Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 25, 2015 -- 1/8 finished

I cannot believe anyone who tells me it has been almost three months already. If only middle/high school went by this fast. This week was pretty uneventful until Sunday. Just a few lessons, people telling us to come by another time when they weren't 'busy' watching tv or something of the sort. We did have a rough day on Thursday when our one appointment was with a family who had been pretty excited about our lessons decided to stop taking them. The rest of the day was filled with 5 hours of unfruitful street contacting. That's where diligence kicks in. Really, one day won't get me down. Maybe 3, 4 or 5 days in a row like that, but we still had some success.

Which brings me to Sunday... Beatrice got baptized!! Soooo amazing to be there with about 20 other members of the ward who came to support her and the other investigator being taught by Elder Rollins (from SLC area who is going home this week, give him a high five if anybody sees him for me) and Elder Frank (super amazing missionary who got here just one change ago from Provo and who I went on divisions with last Friday, his brother actually knows Tyson!). Another great thing about the baptism is that Beatrice asked me to baptize her! And yes, it was in Spanish. I was so happy that I was able to do that for her. It turned out to be Elder Rollins' last baptism and my first at the same service. Afterwards when everybody was hugging and congratulating, I told Beatrice in my broken Spanish that there were a lot of happy people for her right then. To which she replied perfectly by saying, "none happier than me." So great. She's amazing.

After that, we also had an investigator who came to church for the first time, she said she enjoyed it and we went over to her house to talk to her. Turns out her ex-husband would be there as well. As a little side note, he really doesn't like the church. I had to smile a bit because it was so obvious and a bit stereotypical how he was talking with us. Saying how Joseph Smith and the Mormons didn't speak of the same God and that we were teaching all wrong things. He wouldn't let us talk to his ex-wife since we could talk to him. He said it didn't matter whom we talked to since they were the same. My first person I've met like that which was fun. We'll try again to visit her when we don't have to contend with him because that's not how the spirit works.

To make the day good again, we were walking to another member's house when were passing through a street that reminded me of a person we contacted before who was watching a soccer game (my favorite person that we have contacted yet because of that). I felt bothered that we couldn't find his house before because I wrote down the wrong house number. While we were at one house trying to figure out his name again, he walked right out to get something from the porch area where we were standing. As a missionary, I'm able to recognize miracles more easily and that was a clear mircale to me. We talked with him for a good 25 minutes, gave him the first lesson pamphlet and set up an appointment for this week. The odds are too slim for that to be by chance. We'll call him Ramond since I'm expecting to talk about him more. Thanks for all of your prayers and cares!

-Elder Allgaier

First baptism

Last zone picture

Elder Velez and I proselyting

Elder Velez and a member

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 18, 2015 -- Proxima semana

Hello everybody,

"Beatrice" is still progressing very quickly, she loves learning when we come to teach her which makes all of the hard parts of the mission worth it and then some. When we first contacted her, she was so quiet and didn't really want to talk, even at her first time at church with us. Now she is smiling so much and has her pamphlets of the lessons we've taught her before and her Libro de Mormòn at every lesson. Last week I looked back when we were walking away after a lesson and she was showing her books to her friend or her brother, it made me so happy! That's why I want to be here and I'm so grateful to be apart of people's lives like that. She is set to be baptized next Sunday!

Yesterday, as some of you may know, was stake conference. "Beatrice" was there with us too and I was able to sit next to her. One of the things she said to me was that she wanted to be a missionary like Elder Vèlez and I, but that she couldn't. First of all, touchdown. Second of all, we told her that she could serve a mission when she was older on a couples mission. Don't think for a second, Grandma and Grandpa, that I didn't tell her about you two. She seemed happy to hear that. Also, during the conference, our mission president, President Swapp spoke for one of the last times since he will be ending his reign this week. I'm sad to not be able to spend more time with him because he was such a great person and had a lot of good things to say to me. One of which was that I would be fluent in Spanish by the end of my mission. Garunteed. He also said I would make 30,000 mistakes (màs o menos) to get to that point. I believed the second part, but was a little surprised by the weight of the first piece of advice. Fluent in Spanish. That's another small part of why I like my mission.

Lessons are going well, but one thing about the people here that is hard to get along with is their lack of following up when we make appointments with them. For example, we could contact 100 people, but only 30 would make appointments or citas with us, that's fine. But of that 30, maybe 15 would actually be available at any time for us to actually teach them. Of that 15, 5 might progress and of that 5, we might get 1 investigator to be baptized. Not quite sure about those numbers, but it definately has that shape. I'm also very grateful for "Beatrice" for that

to keep me motivated. I want to end by extending an invitation to pray every morning and every night for a week and write down the difference you feel throughout the day. When I started doing this I found I was much happier during the day, had more patience and more humility. Especially now, I need that time to be humbled and increase my relationship with Heavenly Father. Prayer is a blessing. Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier

For the pday (preparation day) zone activity, we played nerf with about 15 misionaries. Very mormon, but fun

shoe picture from last night

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 11, 2015 -- Weekly email

Hello everyone,

The weeks are starting to get shorter and the miracles more prevalent; especially with my body adjusting to the missionary schedule and my Spanish getting better and better (shout out to the gift of tongues). First of all, I was able to Skype with my family yesterday (Mother's day)!! It was really nice to see and hear all of them again, even if it wasn't as long compared to other missionaries here. Love them so much! Happy Mother's day!

Last week we had a couple of peopole who are progressing pretty rapidly and responding well to the lessons. The first I mentioned before who brought her niece and 2 year old son to church from a street contact, we'll call her "Beatrice" since I'm not sure whether or not I should use real names for this. We taught Beatrice again last week about the second half of the Restoration including the Book of Mormon and prophets. My companion does a really good visual aid for the prophets lesson. We gave her a Book of Mormon (my first time) to read and asked if she remembered her baptismal date. She did (24th of this month!) and also that she would read the Book of Mormon! Beatrice also came to church again and it seems like she is getting along with the members well.

We also had another lady who we contacted a couple weeks ago that I forgot to mention, but that we're going to check up on again later today. She is only available on Monday's so it's a little difficult, but we keep up with her more so because of the experience we had when we contacted her. Elder Vèlez and I were walking down the street, houses to the right of us, the Spirit to the left of us :) So we're just being good missionaries knocking on gates asking to share a message when this one lady invites us in, kind of quietly. We share a little about ourselves and who we are. I give my testimony about how families can be together forever and she started crying. I later found out through the translation of Elder Vèlez that she had lost her husband just a couple months before. People really are prepared for us and I am called specifically for this area at this time! The crazier part is that she was only available on Mondays! If we had not gone in the little time we had on p-days after 6p before 9p, we would've missed that miracle. We'll see what happens later today.

Also, as an end note, tell your Mother's that you love them. Love you all! Especially you Mom!

-Elder Allgaier

Skypeing on Mother's Day

Ever the jokester!

Practicing to his other "roommate"...funny guy!

Updated shoe picture

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015 -- 2 months already?!

I think my problem last week when I was feeling 'america sick' was that I was focusing too much on myself instead of the people in my area. I thought I was pretty selfless before, but just count how many I's there are in these first two sentances... Anyways, this past week went by a lot smoother with that thought in mind, just loving the investigators, other missionaries, members, less-active members, and just people on the street. There have been a few occassions where small miracles have been noticeable. Last Saturday, Elder Vèlez and I were contacting and came to a young mother's house who was playing with her 2-year old son and talked to her for about 10 min about gospel stuff. At the end, she accepted the invitation to come to church on Sunday and she actually came! I say that slightly surprised because we also invited four less-active members and another investigator family to come as well, none of whom came, sadly. So we were very excited when we knocked on her door Sunday morning and she was ready with her son and sobrina or neice (?). Three new people whom we just talked to once before! They seemed to be happy at church and we have another appointment this week.

Yesterday (Sunday), was also a member's 8th birthday! That means she was able to be baptized. The family is super nice, like they let us use their washser and dryer every week for laundry and Elder Vèlez and I are over at their house, either to give a thought or ask to help with a lesson almost every day and they are happy to help. So I was especially happy for her yesterday and for their family.

A few odd ends to finish this week's email. If you've ever read Preach My Gospel pg 157, the story of how the cab driver from Monterrey found the church after lending a ride to a couple of missionaries in the rain, then you might also like to know that my companion served in his ward before. He is serving as the ward mission leader (how appropriate) and I know a missionary who knows him. So pretty much I'm famous is what I'm getting at. Also, I want to end on how the church is awesome. I forgot to write about this the first week in the field, but during that week, the four missionaries were eating lupper at a member's house all speaking Spanish and laughing pretty hard. Clean fun and in a whole new language. How else could you have an opportunity like that save it be through the church. The Church is awesome and true. I'll end there. Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier
 Fulfilling a childhood dream, having a half of a chocolate cake and milk for breakfast (it was really second breakfast because I had oatmeal before that, but it was delicious anyhow)

New shoes which I got this week for 800 pesos (about $40?)
very comfortable and I'm taking a picture of them after every
day to have a nice movie by the end of my mission
when they are all torn up.
Day 2