Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Weekly Update -- February 22, 2016

Somehow Elder Allgaier's email from last week did not reach me, but if he finds it and sends it again, I'll add it. Until then, we are on track this week!

Hello everyone,

Kind of a cool event this past week and that is that the Pope is in town (i.e. México) for a few days, so..... Everyone is watching his movements which are live on every tv in every home we walk into. Interesting saying prayers with that on in the background, but fun cultural experience. Also, I want to take this chance to send a few birthday shout outs. First of all, Grandpa/Elder Allgaier is turning the big 60 this year, whoo!! Don't count me on the exact number because I didn't ask, but around there. Also, my friend Sister Kendziora who is currently serving in the Buenas Aires East mission, has her birthday in March 14th if I remember correctly. Keep on preaching. And my big brother Tyler is turning one year closer to being able to rent a car!! Love you!

Quick update on Griselda, who we visited again yesterday after Church. She hasn't been praying which makes us sad because she will not have a conversion type experience without it. Saturday night, we gave her a blessing because she was really sick and we had a very interesting experience when we talked for just a little bit afterwards. I also took the chance to show her the line of authority of Priesthood I could show her. The Church is about as awesome as it is true. We were going to explain the Plan of Salvation with her, but she was busy making pies so I finally told her we could come by another time. The Spirit just wasn't there. We'll see how it goes with her this next week.

Yesterday I was able to give a talk on the blessings of sharing the gospel and being part of the obra misional, or mission work. I like the spanish translation because work has two meanings; 1. Trabajo, which is more laborous like a career and 2. Obra, which is more of an artistic work or show. It's a good representation of how I feel being a part of it and coming up on my year mark, I'm so grateful for how much my knowledge and testimony has grown through daily sacrifice. I'm also grateful to have been able to be a part of so many people's conversion, seeing them change from a more reserved and not really interested kind of person, to more questioning, searching for truth, more uplifted kind of person. It's those types of blessings that make this 'work' more of an art and less of a labor. Of course, the gift of tounges isn't a bad blessing either. For that reason, I want to invite you to take part of the missionary 'work' in any way you can imagine. It can be sending a favorite scripture to a friend along with a short testimony, accompanying the missionaries in a lesson (I personally like those a lot) or calling repentance to a city upon a wall, whatever. Maybe not the last one, but be creative. I know there is a certain Spirit that fills us whenever we can take part in this work and I hope you will be able to feel it this week. Love you all!!

-Elder Allgaier

Elder Zambrano taking a quick power nap on my shoulder

Ironing my tie after I accidentally spilled coke on it

million dollar candy courtesy of Grandma's Christmas package that finally came this week, thanks Grandma!

Toe improving condition (I think) in place of red, it is a nice green

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekly Update -- February 8th, 2016

Hello everyone,

Oh my, Colinas is so great! The first day there was actually a mix up because one companionship got white-washed or both Elders were sent and Sister missionaries were sent in place. BUT, the new house the were going to live in was in a dangerous place for them to live so the assistants told us (Elder Zambrano, who has been here 6 weeks and I) to take that area, Colinas A, instead and the Hermanas would live in the area of Colinas B. The house is nice and has a very nice view from the roof of the valley of Huasteca. The ward has a very nice Spirit; especially coming from a smaller branch, I feel like we can focus more of non-members than the members here. There is even a Brazilian couple in the ward who moved in just a few weeks ago for work and the husband speaks no English and very little Spanish. I thought I was doing pretty well with my Spanish, then all of the sudden I try to talk with him and get humbled pretty quickly with my communication skills. Maybe it'll be a good opportunity to learn Portugese.

A lot of people here have a conversion story of 15 years or less which I find fascinating, especially as a missionary. I'll ask one member who will say her son went on a mission and she decided to get baptized as his last convert as a missionary. Another will say they gave up a crazy life of drinking and smoking, made a BIG change and now has a happy life with his family all active in the Church. I ask everyone when they invite us to eat with them and love listening to the stories. Mexicans, I've come to understand, are great storytellers. This week, I felt inspired to invite you all to remember your own personal conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ; what part of the gospel called your attention the most? If you have family who were baptized before you, find out what their story was as well. EVERY member should have a conversion story, whether they were born into the Church or had the missionaries teach them. How else do we gain a testimony? Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier

Elder Zambrano (from Hondurus) and I on the roof

Roof shot at night

Day shot from the roof

New companion, Elder Zambrano!

Afternoon siesta
This is a picture I took first day in Colinas. Story: After a night work out session, I was putting a weight back and it slipped when I picked it up, landing right square on my big toe. Oof it hurt, now it's a lot better. Just a nice warrior wound picture  I wanted to share with you to let you know I'm working :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekly Update -- February 1st, 2016

Hello everyone,

Changes arrived last night, which is something new, but welcomed since we now have time to pack and get ready for our next area. The results are..... WHITE WASH! Which means both of us in Salinas A are leaving and two new Elders are coming in. More specifically, my mission brother, Elder Pisciotta who will be training! I've heard about a white wash here before and it was not easy; our neighbor who is a member and a taxi driver had to lead the area for the first week because of the size of the area. God speed to him and his kid (what trainees are called here). I'm going to the area Colinas B, with a Latin companion who's name I forgot. Sorry. I've learned a lot in this area and I'll probably remember it as where my capacity was expanded the most. Ups and downs of course, but all worth the miracles we saw in the end.

Juany was confirmed yesterday and even gave the class using the Gospel Principles manual on the gift of the Holy Ghost. Also in attendance, Hermana Rosales who was with about 8 kids, only 4 of whom are her own. She's been a great example to me having some troubles in her family, but still making the effort to put Heavenly Father first. Whether it be fasting, going to church, starting family prayer or forgiving someone, she's been there. I'll miss her, but remember how important the wife is in the family in part because of her.

This last week, I found the talk given by Elder Rasband on mission work, or more specifically, mission callings. I invite you all to listen to this talk again. I invited our friend Greg and his wife to do the same when they asked us about the application process this week when we saw them again. Also, we were finally able to give the Bible class! Almost didn't work out, but Elder Gale (our District Leader) and I went over last Thursday morning and gave a nice 45 minute class about our beliefs and history of the Church of Jesus Christ. Really cool experience being able to do that in front 27 18-25 year old people who had a solid background on the Bible. Three favorite parts 3. Someone asked how one could become a member of the Church 2. Another asked if we saw miracles in our work and I answered, looking him in the eye, 'every day' 1. Favorite part was when we got to the invitation to read and to ponder and to pray about the BoM to receive an answer and the whole class was quite, but the Spirit was talking pretty loudly. I promised an answer with the authority of a representative of Jesus Christ. Love you all so much!

-Elder Allgaier