Monday, March 28, 2016

Weekly Update -- March 28th, 2016

Hello everyone,

Kind of a crazy week, but I really enjoy the opportunities I have to learn and to serve the other missionaries in my district. I guess you could say I'm nailing it as a DL and trainer. Sure I have made a few mistakes this week as part of my learning curve like forgetting the phone in the house, making calls on the wrong days and getting temporarily locked out of the house, but the first time is free. No mistake have I made two times up until now.

My new companion is Elder Chan and four weeks ago he was in his house in Yucatan, MX. Luckily for me, he already knows Spanish and how to teach which has made this week a lot less stressful. The hardest thing for me this week has probably been leading the area, making appointments and having a good plan for the next day without downtime to have the most success possible. But overall I would say the transition is going well thanks to the unity in the companionship. The ward is also helping us out when I got sick yesterday eating a bad combination of breakfast foods. They're awesome. The family who was going to feed us recognized that I wasn't feeling good and let the bishopric know who sent the first counselor and the primary president to ask if I needed anything and brought a few bottles of water and gatorade to help me feel better. Organization of the Church is miraculous when used well like it is here.

This week is General Conference, my second to last! I can hardly believe it. I want to invite you all to have a question going into this conference, or you could even have two, maybe even three, but no more than 20. I guess if you really wanted to, you could. Point is, we asked a member here to do the same and she almost got offended saying, 'but I know the Church is true, I don't doubt or question it.' Not what I mean. After explaining a bit more, she understood that she wanted to know a bit more about patriarchal blessings and that she would pay close attention to that topic. We saw her face light up as she understood that with these questions we can have a testimony even deeper. I hope you all can have a similar experience, deeping your testimony. It also wouldn't bother me if you sent me your question with an answer your got from General Conference. Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier

All of the trainers this change
First compechanas
First personal study, dejavu
son of the second counselor and primary president, we call him peter parker because he loves spirderman so much

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekly Update -- March 21st, 2016

Hello everyone!

This was the last week of a seven week change/transfer (usually six weeks) and my Honduranian companion Elder Zambrano and I are satisfied with our work, though we didn't have any baptisms. The changes came in last night, directly from the top. President McCarthur called us to give 'assignments' with Elder Zambrano getting promoted to Zone Leader in Lianares and me.... I'll be training!! I'm super excited to have this experience, but also a little nervous because I'm also going to be District Leader. I'm sure it'll be a good amount of change of pace that will push me to rely on inspiration from Heavenly Father to do a good job. Tomorrow, I'll go to the mission offices to find out who my "son" will be (mission son, of course...) and eat free Costco pizza! Turns out, the other companionship (who are Sister missionaries) will also be training, so I figure it'll be an interesting couple of changes.

Birthday shout-out to my little brother GARRETT!! Happy 15th birthday this Sunday bud, hope you have a good time! That means that when I get back you should be driving with your permit. Crazy. Also, this week we did divisions with the Zone leaders and Elder Garner came to our area. Funny guy and I really had a fun and successful day. We contacted a lady named Alma who had a 16 year old daughter who she really wanted to have good guidance before she left the house. We invited her to a few activities at the Church and she actually came to a YW (Young Women) activity when they were planning to go do a camp by the temple at the end of the month. She even said she was planning on going! I love how awesome the Church is, especially for families. Unfortunately, they didn't come to church this week, but we have hope for the next Sunday.

Due to new responsibilities in leadership, I want to ask for advice on how I can be a good leader. I know there are a lot of great people out there who I've been blessed to be in contact with who are also great leaders, who have had experiences to help them be as such. Thanks for all your help and prayers during this precious time Heavenly Father blesses me with in His work. Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier

Zone picture

Cool Brazilian family! They ate dinner with them.

The Brazilian Dad was also 1st counselor in the stake and has a thing that he has all of the missionaries who have eaten with them sign, see if you can find mine...

zone more relaxed

Dinner with the Ferreira's (Brazilian family)

Cine mormón snack table (church activity Saturday night)
Elder Garner (ZL) close up

Elder Slade (ZL) and his 'Nacho face'

Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekly Update -- March 14th, 2016

Hello everyone,

We had 14 investigators committed to come to church this week and four actually came! We were very excited, but at the same time a bit sad that a new investigator we found Saturday night named Enrique didn't show up due to a family visit. He had great questions and an interesting  background being born Catholic, converted to a Christian church a few years ago (putting up a little wall that we hurdled telling us so), but recently stopped attending due to a divide he felt within the congregation between two groups who sided with each pastor that directed the overall decision making. He told us that each group wanted the majority to be able to make the decisions for the whole which made him feel uncomfortable; now he just wants to find the true Church of God. We promised him that he would feel an answer to what he was searching for if he came to Church with us Sunday and he gave 'the word of Enrique Sanchez' that he would. It was sad because during the ward conference I was recognizing certain aspects that he would've loved to see or hear or feel. Let's hope he comes next week.

Upon contacting a few streets, we stumbled into an untouched area that we thought was private, meaning no missionaries. But we asked the first person who said we could be there, then commited to go to church (she didn't but was very kind and receptive). After a few more houses, we realized that we had fallen into the secret garden of contacting. Everyone was very kind, even if they didn't want to talk to us, but would then give us a reference to their neighbor! Unheard of! One guy even said he had 50% co-workers who were LDS and then let us touch his motorcylce he had at his door. Cool guy. This was the same area where we found Enrique.

As for an invitation, I first want to say thanks to my Mom for being so great in fulfilling so many of my invitations and I really enjoy being able to read her experiences. Love you Mom! We talk with a lot of people here and almost nobody knows what the Book of Mormon is, which makes a great opportunity to share a message. It changes lives and gives us the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we just can't get with the Bible alone. I want to invite you all to find the blessings of the Book of Mormon and share it or explain what it is to someone else. In this, we can share the blessings that we have recieved and give the opportunity to others to have the same in their lives. Love you all! 

-Elder Allgaier

Burger king for lunch last pday, nostalgic

A typical street here

Tried to catch my companion sleeping but he turned at the last second

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weekly Update -- March 7th, 2016

Maybe you won't recognize these pictures of me because as you may know... I FINSIHED ONE YEAR! Thanks so much for everyone who has helped me come this far and learn so much! Elder Zambrano and I celebrated by the traditional burning of the shirt, compechanas, coke and wearing of the sombrero.

One of our investigators who has been progressing very well recently is named Norma (about 30 years old), who makes a humble living selling elotes. She faces some opposition with her parents who live with her because we called her just before Church to ask if she would be ready to be picked up and she replied affirmatively. She didn't show and her mom said she wasn't home... Maybe next week, but she's accepted a baptismal date (though we'll have to postpone it now to the 10th of April) and we're very excited for her.

Recently, the ward has been very excited about missionary work and the leaders are doing a great job with helping us with getting members to sign up to teach lessons with us. Member present lessons are awesome and the investigators keep their commitments a LOT more when there is someone else there besides us missionaries. I want to invite you all to sign up to teach a lesson with the missionaries this week and feel the Spirit that only comes from missionary work and sharing your testimony of the restored gospel. I hope it will be an uplifting experience for you all. Love you!

-Elder Allgaier

After the the apartment.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Weekly Update (two for one!) February 15th AND 29th! One year this week!

Some of you may remember that Elder Allgaier's email from February 15th didn't reach me then. But this week he sent it so we can catch up! This is his email from February 15th (pictures included underneath, followed by this week's update!): 

Hello everyone,

What even happened this week? A lot of the days and weeks seem so similar now, but maybe that's just me coming up on my halfway mark. Elder Zambrano is going on 18 months just two days before that happens so we've decided to celebrate with a traditional shirt-burning and compechanas March 3rd, kind of a compromise.

It's been a bit difficult to start almost from scratch with investigators. Fun, but tough going door to door while we could've had a few investigators already. Being here where everyone proclaims in believing and loving God, but the same place where weekends are filled with drinking and occasional crime, we have to be really good at discerning who really wants to learn and be closer to Christ through keeping commitments and making an effort on their own part and those who don't really want to change outside of their comfortable traditions. Resulting from our enthusiasm for contacting, we found a good number of people to teach so far, including a lady named Griselda who came to church this past week! She's a born Jehova's witness, three year Christian convert, but responded very well when we talked about the Book of Mormon with her and living prophets. We have a lot of hope for her and not just because she gave us some cupcakes before leaving the first visit.

Last week, I asked you all for your conversion story; how it started. This week, I want to invite you all to look at your own personal conversion and recognize how far you have come and what you can improve on this week. We never really stop being converted in this life until we stop trying. There is always something to improve on or to learn, which is why I'm focusing my Book of Mormon reading on the same question: How are we 100% converted? I hope this will be an edifying experience for all of you. Thanks for everything you do!

-Elder Allgaier

dinner yesterday, SOOOO good (a member who works in a hamburger restaurant made us these with two patties, sausages and pineapple!)

Me enjoying the hamburger

This one looks spooky!

Elder Zambrano

Elder Zambrano studying hard

the castle by our house, two stories 1. it's an insane asylum or 2. a rehab clinic for marijuana adicts where they make profit by making and selling burritos

This is the update for this week (February 29th) amazing!:  

Hello everyone,

I want to share with you an experience we had this past week when we were knocking on doors in our area. After all of our appointments had fallen for the afternoon, Elder Zambrano and I went into an untouched street with not very much success. A little discouraged, we were about to head back a few houses short of completing the whole street when we decided to finish up before going to the next appointment. At that point the door closest to us opened up and a man with a Chicago Bulls jacket came out as we presented ourselves to him ending in the question 'what do you wish from God in this moment?' Without words, he gently beckoned for us to come in his very humble house and we cautiously joined him on his bed, just about the only furniture that was inside. He started crying admitting that he had been baptized in our Church about 9 years ago, but had fallen hard under the temptation of drugs and alcohol to the point where his family had left him. Just before opening the door, he also told us he had said a prayer asking Heavely Father to send someone to help him in this painful point in his life. And THERE WE WERE! We shared a verse from Mosiah 26:29 with him and said that if he was willing to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior and fully repent, he would have forgiveness of his sins. Such a powerful moment, probably one of my favorite lessons I've had on my mission. I am really grateful that we can be such a light in the lives of other people who truly have a desire to change.

Recently, we've been having trouble helping people to keep their commitments with Heavenly Father that we leave with them as missionaries/messengers. For example, we might leave someone an invitation to read a pamphlet concerning the Restoration and pray to Heavenly Father to see if it is really true. Upon returning, we'll find out the majority of the times that they've not done so, through the gift of discernment (asking any question on the restoration with a terribly wrong answer) or a straight up 'no I didn't do what you told me to do.' After various capacitations (not an English word!  : ) Translated means training.) from leaders and reading Preach My Gospel, I'm open to more creative outlets. I invite you to write me this week with ideas or ways that you personally have been motivated to make a change (we could even say repent) despite being difficult. I hope that this invitation will be not only personally edifying, but that I can apply it in my teaching to people here in México and possibly share ideas with my companions, thus being Internationally helpful. Thank you all so much! Love you!!

-Elder Allgaier

Good looking missionaries of the Colinas Ward

Package arived from family including party gifts for my first birthday (in the mission field, right on time ;)) and some Christmas letters from Steven and Elinn's family, THANK YOU SOO MUCH!

E. Zambrano with a similar compechana

Handsome looking compechana

 P-day risk with a Young Man member and Elder Zamrano (the YM won all 3 times...)

Zone meeting with the President and the zone leaders did an activity with walking on a tight rope.