Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 13, 2015 -- Weekly Update

Hello everyone!

For those interested, we're renting the only house that was for rent. I believe it was option number three. Nice two story, boiler functioning, air conditioning almost working house. We should be changing either today or tomorrow. My new companion is Elder Casiano from the southern part of México, a city meaning warrior in Spanish. That's pretty cool. He's a great companion, very compasionate and he's a three year convert so his testimony is especially personal to him. Elder Casiano is our district leader so I get to go on divisions with some of the other Elders in our district. A good amount of changes have happened but it doesn't discourage me, it's one of the things that keeps me focused on the work.

In proselyting news, we are lacking in investigators, both new and progressing once again. The thing that is so frustrating to me is when we talk to people and they don't seem to listen. They'll nod their head and agree and say that everything is fine, but when we ask what the importance of a prophet is, they have to have it repeated. I feel like there's a script that everybody gets before they talk to missionaries because we get very, very similar responses for people who don't want to accept anything we teach them. Here are a few "otra ocasiona" "sí, sí, todo está bien" "pues, tengo mi biblia, pero no asisto a la iglesia mucho" "no, no, somos catolicos aquí". If it seems that I'm bashing on Catholics or Méxicans, I apologize because it's not my intent. I love both. I just get frustrated when people are not open to hearing a word of what we have such a strong testimony of. That's part of the mission life I suppose.

In the house, I've been listening to some general conference talks recently to get myself rebooted for the day with the Spirit. I really think it's a good way to learn more about how we can live better, I can even remember more than a handful of times when I did it at BYU and even in High school. I want to invite everyone to listen to a general conference talk today. If you already listen to GC talks, listen to at least one everyday. For my personal pleasure, if you want to send me your favorite or a good one for a missionary serving in México, I would love a nice set of talks. Thanks for everything! Love you!

-Elder Allgaier

Elder Velez with his comp before me at the changes

All of the missionaries at the changes

My new comp

a lizard I found one night in my room that we captured (charmander)tip: don't leave your door or windows open, or have a gap under your door. In fact, just change houses

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6th, 2015 -- Weekly Update (Week 17)

Happy late Independence Day!

Or as they call it here in México, day. This was my last week with Elder Vélez as my companion and also my last week of training! Now I am officially a real life missionary. I haven't heard anything about my new companion or if I'm leaving Escobedo. The liklihood is that I'll be staying here for another 6 or 12 weeks. I'll miss Elder Vélez, but at the same time I'm super excited for my new companion. Our investigator, George, came to church again last week and he's progressing very well. He came to a baptismal service the other Escobedo Elders were having for three of their investigators and was reading his Book of Mormon when we were waiting for it to start! So happy for him. 

We are also moving houses! When looking for a new place to rent that is actually in our area, I feel like I'm in an episode of run down house hunters. Our first option has a nice view and is in a comfortable green shade, but the price is at the top end of our budget. The second option has a nice location, close to our investigators but still doesn't have everything on our wish list aside from the less than pleasing looking missionary who always stands outside. The last option is for rent, which is high on our wish list, great location, but the two floors is a little to elegant for our taste. Which one will we choose? Find out next week! Fun stuff like that keeps me animated about the mission life.

For the p-day here, the dying missionaries (missionaries who are going home) go visit their past areas and their converts as kind of a fun thing. Since I don't know any of Monterrey outside of Escobedo, Elder Frank and spent the day on divisions while his companion (a little more experienced than us in the area) went to help Elder Vélez remember some areas. So much fun with Elder Frank. We went to a huge mall I didn't even knew existed to get me a speaker for my approved missionary music and general conference talks, looked around some other stores near by and talked in English! There's just something about speaking your native language that helps your thoughts flow easier and build a relationship better. We're good buddies Elder Frank and I. A big welcome to our new President, President McArthur, whom we met this past week during a nice speech on missionary work and motivational thoughts in a joint zone-conference. I'm excited to get to know him more and see how the transition works out. Not much else this week, we´ll be having a multi-family home evening (or noche de hogar) with a few members and converts as a nice way to send my companion to his house. I think it's especially great for our new converts who haven't really have a lot of family time together before. I want to extend an invitation to emphasize the importance of family home evening this week. Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June 29, 2015 -- Weekly update (Week 16)

Hello everyone,

For the past two or three weeks we have had no investigators at church and it's very tough to keep on working hard with a smile when the results are invisible to you. I looked for everything that I could do with obedience, prayer, asking for advice from my leaders, even fasting for a day. At the beginning of the week, I decided to test out how specific prayers and fasting would work. I said a prayer to have two investigators at church when we really didn't have anyone we were continually visiting. As the week went on and we contacted a BUNCH, we found a lot of miracles.

The first was with a family we'll call the Gambino family, who let us talk to them about how the church can strengthen families and their kids through mutual activities and attending church together. That sparked their interest and we began teaching them more consistently. I really like the 11 year old son who loves to play fútbol (even though he's a Real Madrid fan and likes C. Ronaldo, details don't matter). Then we met a "Marshal" family we contacted before, came back and the Dad was there with a lot of energy on his way out to go to work. He was really excited because he told us about a dream talking to a couple of people like us missionaries! We've just had time for teaching him the importance of going to church, but I feel optimistic.

The third person we found actually went to church. We'll call him George. George is 20 years old and when he was 15, his Dad died of cancer. When I bore my testimony about my conversion and need for the gospel, the Spirit was very strong. We share a very similar trial and that really sparked his attention. He also stopped smoking 3 days before we showed up at his door. 3 days! How is that not pre-determined? I know that I am called specifically for this area at this time for this person, if for nothing else in my mission, for him.

In conclusion, specific prayer and fasting works. If you aren't sure, just try it with trust in the Lord and He will show you the truths in His own time. Elder Frank and I started a weekly English class at the church for all of the people we meet who want to learn, which is a lot. A fun way to teach lessons and spend time with investigators and members. To end, I want to invite you all to do some family history work. Just this week, one of our recent converts has gotten very interested in just that after finishing a semester working for her Masters in chemistry. She's very smart and has a strong testimony. Another investigator of Elder Frank's asked where his Grandpa is right now because he passed away some years ago. That led to the explanation of the importance of temple work and then to the baptismal invitation. He accepted! It's so important to our ancestors that this work is done. For that, I extend the invitation. Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier