Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015 -- Weekly update (week 15)

Happy Father's day! (a little late),

After kind of a bummer week before, this week was pretty great, if not just by comparisin. In terms of proselyting we weren't able to do too much due to a number of irregular activities including a joint zone activity with President Swapp, the last time we will ever see him as our mission president. In July, we will have President McCarthur as our new mission President! Both sets of zone leaders gave fantastic lessons on reverence as missionaries and diligence. Hmna Swapp led a basketball activity/lesson on how the ward is like a team in missionary work. At the end, there was a group of missionaries playing and one of them passed to President who made the basket on his first try to end the activity! Our zone sang the song A Child's Prayer, which was especially cool because our zone leader, Elder Frost, let me conduct! It was a little rough musically, but the spirit was there so President and Hmna Swapp really liked it. President then gave a powerful lesson about the purpose of your mission, some motivation and personal experiences from his own mission in Uraguay. Totally worth waking up at 3am that morning to hear those lessons and go to the temple. If there is one phrase that I've learned to demonstrate the mission it would be ¨vale la pena¨, meaning worth the pain.

Since yesterday was Father's day, the people here had an excuse to drink. I'll be one of the first to tell you that they take to that invitation a lot quicker than a lot Elder Vélez and I extend. It was hard to find a sober person to contact. There was one group who we've seen a couple of times before and they like us enough that they talk to us when we pass by, but don't really want anything to do with the church. It was pretty funny when we passed by yesterday with a huge speaker blasting horrible norteña music and we said hola as usual. We almost walked away when one of them shouted ¨¡picture!¨ I was so impressed that he was able to get out an English word that we went back and took one with the whole group. Not sure how it happened, but there we were, a couple of Mormon missionaries with a group of Méxicans, either with a cigarette, beer or both in hand, taking a picture. I want to find that when I get back somehow. Fun week, very motivating, but I want to do more teaching and more contacting.

To end, I want to thank my Dad, in leu of Father's day weekend. I'm starting to realize the perspective that he might've had for me when I was growing up. He has set such a Christ-like example for me and I strive every day to follow it. Please tell your parents that you love them. Love you all, thanks for everything.

-Elder Allgaier

Last picture with President Swapp and his wife before they go home.

Zone Junta at the temple

My companion and me
Area books of two zones...(teaching records of a lot of souls)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 15, 2015 -- Update from Mexico

Hello everybody!

Kind of a slow week this week, we definately could've done better with proselyting, but we did go to the temple and the mission office as part of the reason. Again, diligence, faith, humility and patience are very important traits, especially as missionaries when you don't teach a whole lot of lessons. One family we found, let's call them the Jones Family, was a reference from Beatrice. We were told they were doing some less than good spiritual stuff as a result from their son passing away some years ago. Very sad and it only strengthened the need we had to go visit them and teach them. The youngest daughter, is exactly like Matilda! It's crazy how smart she is from reading the Bible she was given by her mother, I think when she just didn't want to read it anymore. Maybe she didn't have much else to do, but she answered all of our questions before her 19 year old sister or her mother could. Afterwards I was asking her questions like what was your favorite story, what do you like about it. She answered, I like the parts about Jesus' life and Noah because Jesus did so many miracles and Noah was righteous even though nobody else would listen to him. How crazy is that?! She's 7! I'm super excited to continue teaching them.

Having Elder Vélez as a companion has it's perks, like I said, like cashing in a favor from the mission president to go to the temple with your recent converts. We went with other ward members and a few of our recent converts. Amazing experience. If you haven't gone to the temple recently, go! That's my invitation, especially if you can go to the Washington D.C. Temple. One of the recent converts also started a family search account! She wants to get started getting names of her ancestors and doing ordinances for them. So happy for her and her family because she totally gets it. At church this past Sunday, I was able to talk in the 'minutos misional' about temples and how we can keep that peace we feel in there. I referenced Mosiah 4:11-12 if you want to read some scriptures.

Because this last week was a little slow, I thought of an anology of missionary work regarding the show gold rush. My family and I watched that together a few years ago and there were huge machines, tens of thousands of dollars and mounds of earth that they moved in a season. After the year was over, they were left with a flask of gold that made them enough money to break even. A flask of gold after a mountain of earth, huge machines and a good amount of money. To me that's kind of like mission work. We talk to so many people to try to find the one's who will listen, progress and eventually be baptized and we do it with a fine tooth comb. The numbers now are more like 1000 contacts to 100 who accept a lesson to 10 who keep commitments to maybe 1 baptism. But I'll be darned it that 1 person is not worth talking to 10,000 people before I find them. That tiny percent who keep me motivated to know that what I'm doing is changing lives for the better is worth all of the other stuff. Now, numbers don't represent success as a missionary, but they can represent diligence. With that in mind, keep your goal in mind during hard times, keep searching for gold! Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier
The one and only new picture sent this week...

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015 -- Weekly update

Hello everybody,

Another week full of ups and downs, but the ups are definately worth it. There's almost a pattern now where we'll have a day with little investigators accepting committments, few lessons and unsuccessful contacting, then the next day will be the exact opposite. With more time here I'm picking up on a lot more patterns, even the types of people there are that we teach. Maybe another week I'll go over my 5 types of people that won't progress, but there's not enough time this week.

Before coming to the door to one lesson we had with Raymond, we saw him tapping away ashes from his cigarette in a beer can. Not the best way to start the lesson because it really does numb you to spiritual impressions, but we went on anyways. He really needs to find his answer and he hasn't started reading the Book of Mormon yet. After talking for about 40 minutes about the Restoration and how everything we're telling him is true, I offered a couple of chapters that I was thinking about, Alma 18-19 about the conversion of King Lamoni. He said he would read them and we left. Elder Vélez later told me that in all of the Book of Mormon, that was the part that he needed the most. Spiritual triumph!

A little note on an epiphone I had about being like a child or however the scripture goes. There will always be difficulties in our lives, we knew that in the pre-existence. How can we enjoy anything if we always have something that can bring us down? How does a child act when something bad happens? Sure, he/she will cry and be really bummed, but rarely will they carry it for long. They get lost in the fascination of simple things. If a friend is mean to them at school then they get to sit in the front seat of the car, for example, they're going to focus more that they get to sit in the front seat than the other. It's a lot easier to be happy if we can focus on simple great things, which are many if we just try to recognize them. Stay happy, end of note.

Sundays are kind of like a test or analysis when we can find out how our investigators are doing, if they are progressing and how we can teach them the following week. Again, we had 0 investigators and none of our less-active members come. I am starting to understand the frustration that a lot of other missionaries have felt of committments falling through, especially church attendance. It's such a simple and easy way to feel everything out. This week I want to invite you to help your missionaries out by inviting a friend to church. Something I realized again this week during a contact is that the church really is amazing. Thinking of what the missionaries can do for them, what difference in my life the gospel has been helped me be more enthusiastic than any other contact. It may have also helped that we were next to a busy street and I had to talk louder, but that's an additive. One thing I learned from Elder Frank is that the church/gospel is like a party. If you have the same enthusiasm when inviting your friends to church as a party at your house, they're going to want to come. Think about it, how would you invite your friend to a party, for example to watch a BYU football game (or if you really good friends, to watch the UEFA finals). You would do it very excitedly. There is so much that the church can do for people and they are going to want to come even more if you convey that with your invitation.

Lastly, shout out to all the seniors who are graduating in the next few weeks. Congratulations! You have earned yourselves a very short break. Then you get to go to college or work, whatever, just make sure you get yourselves on a mission!  Congratulations to all of the graduates! Welcome to the real world!

No pictures this week.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1st, 2015 -- Weekly email

Hello everyone!

Every Thursday we have a meeting with the ward mission leader and the youth also have their activity about the same time. A lot of you may not know this* but I love fùtbol. One of the reasons why was illustrated this last Thursday when we had a bit of time to kill waiting for the leaders to get ready and it just so happened that we have a soccer court and a soccer ball at the church. I told Elder Frank (the other american in our ward) we should go and watch the youth play to make sure nobody got hurt... Then we started a game with three other 12 year olds, then a couple of other older youth came, then another missionary, then a few other youth and by the end we had a full game going with 5 or 6 a side. How can you not love that? There were people from Utah, Maryland, Monterrey, Cruz Azul (México) and Ecuador all playing the same game after about 7 minutes. ´Nuff said.

Now for spiritual experiences. One of our contacts on Wednesday, if I remember correctly, was nice enough to let us in and show us a picture of some of their family in baptism clothing! She had known about the church, not exactly sure why she wasn't baptized too, but then also told us about her friend named 'Beatrice' who had been talking to her a bit about the church too. I thought "that's a piculiar name for a Mexican and we also know someone with that name whom we just baptized" (reminder that Beatrice isn't actually her name). Turns out it was the same Beatrice! Also, that morning I thought I should bring my camera, maybe to take some pictures in the road. It's something I never do, but did that day for some reason. Because I had my camera, we were able to show her the baptism pictures of her friend! So cool and she said we could come back this week. She also said she would come to church but ended up not doing so, kind of bummed about that.

Another contact who let us in the next day, a mother and her daughter, talked a bit about their experiences with their church and we naturally invited them to ours the following Sunday. The mother wasn't able to, but the daughter said yes, even after she knew her mom couldn't go. She was willing to go by herself! I can't really imagine what exactly that would be like, but I know enough that she had bravery to say that. Then, she told us that she had met with previous missionaries who had given her the address on a card, but lost the card! How awesome was it that we were there just a few months later knocking on her door! We also offered her a ride from one of the members and she said she would go. Unfortunately, when we drove by on Sunday, she wasn't there. We had NO investigators at church this past Sunday. Ugh. Nevertheless we have follow up appointments so it can only be a better this week.

On a personal note, I finished copying all of my highlights from my English scriptures to my Spanish scriptures. Finally, all of the Bible, Book of Mormon, D AND C and the Pearl of Great Price. After going through all of my favorite scriptures, I found out there are so many answers. My cheat sheet of scriptures has about 70 questions with most of them having multiple references. Really, my testimony of their truth has grown so much. For this week I invite you to find some way to study the scriptures, whatever book, by chronology, topic, whatever. Just do it and since next Sunday is fast and testimony meeting, it would also be a good place to share what you have learned with others. Elder Frank is an amazing missionary and part of it is because he is so open to sharing what he has learned with others in the scriptures. That was kind of a long update, thanks for sticking it out. Love you all!

Also, a shout out to Sam and Steven who had birthdays a couple of weeks ago! Also to Emsley and my buddy Bryce who are had birthdays this last week! Have a good one, love you!


-Elder Allgaier
                                                   compechanas -- favorite food so far
(Elder Velez in pic.) behold, this is my work and my glory