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)...so 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.

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