Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 17, 2015 -- Goodbye, Provo. ¡Holá, México!

Hola everybody!

When some of the missionaries told me that the weeks would start to feel like days, I didn't believe them at all since that first week felt like a month. Now I understand, I'm getting into a groove of the schedule and being able to find my way around campus and the lessons a lot more easily. Quick side note while it's in my mind, there's an Elder on our floor who sang the National Anthem full volume in the shower like it was a nightly ritual. He doesn't do it anymore, but it was awesome. That's the kind of spirit you can see around the MTC (Missionary Training Center), so many great missionaries here.

Anyways, I brought my journal this time so I can remember everything that happened. Our (Elder Johnson and mine's) investigator, Ana, was responding very well to our lessons even though our Spanish was not very good. On the third and last lesson, we went over el Plan del Salvaccion, the Plan of Salvation, and asked her to be baptized. She said yes! To celebrate I drank that mini bottle of martinelli's (thanks again Mom and family). I was so excited until we found out the next day that she was our teacher... Still very happy about how we were able to do, just a little weird. Her name is Hermana Larson and she's a great teacher. All of the maestros, teachers/masters, here are the best I've ever had. They are young enough that I can relate to them and not be very intimidated, but also experienced as returned missionaries and have incredibly strong testimonies. Excellent instruments in the Lord's hand. The three maestros are Hermano Voss, Hermano Thompson (who actually served in my mission!) and Hermana Larson/Ana.

Also, last Wednesday we got a new district of missionaries in our zone. I've gotten to know most of them and they are all great missionaries as well. As an added bonus, it's nice to not be at the bottom of the totem pole :) One of the big lessons I've learned at the MTC is to invite! I even memorized the mission purpose in Spanish and English on the second day and the first word is INVITE. Our teachers have told us to always invite people to come unto Christ, otherwise we have failed the lesson. Last night some Elders and I had a cool experience with that when a southern lady came over to talk to us during our study time just outside the building. One of the coolest things about the MTC is these random investigators who float around campus and we can teach them whenever we want to, sooo cool. So this lady actually approached us and started talking about musicals with one of the elders who loves musicals (Elder Egbert who was in BYU men's choir as well) we must've been talking for an hour until we started talking about religious things. She had told us about her very trying life, but she has a great attitude about it now. Moved from Tennessee with a member friend to get somewhere new and wanted to come help the MTC by being a practice investigator. Not a member, so she had a very specific question about why we let women speak in church, even young women since her church follows all of what the Bible teaches including in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (I invite you to read it with the JST-Joseph Smith Translation which is part of the Bible left out or changed through the centuries, restored through inspiration by Joseph Smith). It says women shall not speak, but the JST changes the word speak to rule. Elder Jones in our district was smart enough to point that out and tell her a bit about the JSTs. Before she left I remembered General Conference (A broadcast via internet, satellite and radio around the world where the leaders of our church give the members guidance and direction.  This happens twice a year the first weekend of April and October.) is coming up in the next few weeks so we invited her to watch it and find out for herself if our women were really giving doctrine and "ruling" or giving testimonies and speaking to uplift others, since only the quorum of the twelve apostles can do that (like when President Monson lowered the mission age). I felt like a real missionary after that and it was great to realize that a lot of the practice investigators are real investigators as well, so the pressure is more intense.

The lesson that did not go well was one with our new investigator especially when he asked about how the prophet can receive revelation to change the way the church runs (again, like the mission age change) but that also God is unchanging. I knew the answer in English and I assured I knew it by asking the older district afterwards, but I could not tell him in Spanish. I ended up telling him that we couldn't answer it now, but we would next time. Que avergonzado (even more if I spelled that wrong)...

Turns out we won't even be there since I finally got my flight information to the Mexico MTC! That lifted my spirits really quickly when I found out that I'll have a change of scenery tomorrow (wednesday) at 4:35am. Early morning, but I'm very excited. It makes the fact that my companion left yesterday (Monday) for the Spain MTC, so I won't have to be in a tripanionship for that long.

Last event was the lesson I was able to give on Sunday about enduring to the end. Missionaries are very hard to give new ideas to, but very easy to lead a discussion with (especially in english). So the lesson was pretty easy, though I had planned a three part, two page lesson that would've taken about 40 minutes if we had gone the same pace for that time. It took an unexpected turn when my companion jumped to the end of my plan, probably since we were getting low on our 20 minutes of allotted lesson time, and we asked what happens when we do and do not endure to the end (can't quite remember the scripture reference now but it's somewhere in 2 Nephi, scripture challenge extended). Everyone gave great thoughts and great testimonies, I learned from them. At the end Elder Johnson gave his last testimony and I gave mine on enduring to the end. I was grateful for the chance to lead the discussion with Elder Johnson and he has been a great companion.

Well that's all for this week, I love you all so much!

-Elder Allgaier

Building where classes are held

Classic map picture of each missionary pointing to the area to which they were called.
Elder Allgaier and his MTC companion, Elder Johnson, before he headed to the Spain MTC.
MTC zone picture behind the Provo, Utah temple.

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