Monday, May 30, 2016

Weekly Update - May 30th, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Hello everyone!

Awesome week, Elder Chan and I are both very content with our work. For fruits, we saw our investigating family (Sandra 35ish, Fatima 11 and Alondra 9) at Church for the fourth time and they came to a baptismal service for the other ward to prepare for their own next Sunday!! At this point, they are just anxiously waiting for the date. They know all of the lessons, love going to Church, study the BoM and are very excited to be baptized. At this particular baptismal service (yesterday), a couple who got married this last wednesday due to applying the law of chastity who recently moved from North Carolina were two of the three who were baptized. I was very happy to be able to interview them, though I struggled doing it in English (being that they took the lessons in English as well). Two less active members who we've been trying to activate also came for the first time! We've been working specifically to help them to read the BoM and maybe it's starting to take affect.

Another thing I learned this week, after learning to another degree about patience last week, was that you can't teach people who don't want to be taught. Being a missionary, it's easier with investigators if they don't want to learn because we can just stop visiting them, there's not a whole lot of change for them and we look for new people. With your companion, we're stuck 24/7 and before I would've tried to force upon him to learn until he changed. It's not something that happened before Elder Chan because all of my companions have had a lot more experience than me so there was little I could see to help them progress. When that happened with Elder Chan, I decided to take a different approach by giving him space to think. Worked a LOT better than my previous method and I feel like I am more prepared for life after the mission for this experience.

I don't know if I've extended this invitation before, but recently we've been having a lot of success working with the members. One YSA (Young Single Adult) 4 year convert who can't go on a mission even if she wanted to due to her Dad's health problems, has been coming with us sharing her testimony with Sandra and her daughters. Another YSA convert (by pure chance) has been coming with us regularly on Saturday afternoons to meet new investigators and sharing her strong testimony as well. I invite you all to go to a lesson with the missionaries this week and share an awesome testimony! Thanks everyone for your prayers and cares, love you!

-Elder Allgaier

pictures to come next week... sorry

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly Update - May 23rd, 2016

Hello everyone!

A couple of shoutouts to start. One, good luck to my buddy Bryce who entered basic military training this past week; God's speed my friend. Second, happy birthday to my Uncle Steven and my cousin Sam, hope you had a great day! Lastly, congratulations to my awesome Grandparents who will be shortly finishing their second couple's mission serving as medical advisors in the southern east coast of the US. Thanks for all of your service, hope you have a great last trunky week!

So I definitely learned a big thing this week through some difficulties with my companion. Pretty much, I was impatient. Luckily, we had a quick companionship inventory with our zone leader, Elder Garner, which totally changed our relationship and, most importantly, had the Spirit more fully with us. Isn't the Church awesome? I just needed someone to tell me not to expect perfection where it won't be found, to be patient with my companion's progression as a missionary, especially being his first two changes (3 months). We smoothed things over the next day celebrating E. Chan's birthday. It was also a boost in morale when our investigating family came to stake conference this week and are progressing well towards their baptismal date on June 5th!

Right now, I'm reading in the book of Mosiah where king Mosiah takes over from one of the greatest leaders ever, King Benjamin and I can say with a full sincere heart that I am very grateful for the time Heavenly Father has given me to feast upon His words. I am also grateful for the opportunities to share personal revelations with everyone so I will invite you all to share a personal revelation that you have received from personal study with a friend or a family member or even a missionary. I hope it will be an edifying experience.

Little note to end, today we went to the Cerro de la Silla as a district activity, we took a lot of pictures. Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier
How we celebrated Elder Chan's first birthday on the mission

Going to stake conference with our investigator family.

Mormon snail
'Ready' to start climbing the biggest landmark of Neuvo León México, El Cerro de la Silla or the saddle of the mountain

Going into the clouds

The view from the middle point (where you can still see the buildings)
View from the highest point we can go
Sitting with the district
La Puerta, a local landmark of Santa Catarina

Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly Update -- May 16th, 2016

Hello everyone!

Honestly, we had a bit of a tough week. Some stress building up due to Elder Chan adjusting to mission life AND problems with investigators. A couple of other areas in the district didn't have very much success either. Let's see... We had to pass one of our investigators to the sister missionaries, but even before they could get an appointment with her, she was really hurt thinking it was her fault. Pretty much, we can't see her anymore, which was a bit tough because she was one of our progressing investigators.

One Friday, we went to the offices for an activity called 'return to the MTC' for those in training and did fun practice lessons to remember how far the trainees have come since the MTC. For those who are preparing for a mission, you should prepare before by reading Preach my Gospel and the Book of Mormon, maybe even the mission manual as well. In the MTC, you learn a lot to be functional in the field, but you learn 90% actually talking to people in these two years. I saw that when a sister who arrived the same day as me, Sister Hernandez, gave some counsel to other missionaries after being sister training leader for about 5 months now maybe and boy has she broken out of any shell she had when we all got here the first day! I hope to show that when I get back as well.

Saturday, the same investigator that we had to drop called us to say how she was not going to come to Church anymore and that we shouldn't come by and hung up. Then she did the same thing again. Really our conversion should not be dependent on other people and with this particular investigator we did emphasize the importance of her relationship with Heavenly Father and not with us. Sometimes people can't see the connection that we are just helping to make between themselves and our Heavenly Father and confuse the changes to be in our cause. How terrible is that misconception. Even so, I felt more than a bit bummed for what had happened and saw two options. One, work less, maybe focus more on less active members or visit more active members. Two, work hard in spite of the difficutlies and have the best day this companionship has seen. I chose the second, and yes we found multiple new investigators and had the best work ethic to date between Elder Chan and I. We even had a baptismal interview which are always very uplifting. Our companions in Lopez Mateo prepared a 9 year old girl who was baptized by her grandpa yesterday. Awesome.

Similarly, we visited a less active who was feeling down from a sickness the same day. We shared with her Mosiah 24:15 that says we should be patient in our afflictions. I know we have a choice in how we can react to our trials. I know that the Lords knows as well and is watching to see how we react to the trials He gives us. I want to invite you to read this scripture in Mosiah this week so that you might have more patience in your next trial, because we don't stop learning in this life and for that, we don't stop having trials. Thanks for your prayers and I love you all!

-Elder Allgaier

At Hermana Juanita's house, the best ward missionary ever!

Ex-missionary, ___ McCoy, cooking carne asada for us (served here about 4 years ago).

Our ward mission leader who works as an artist and other odd artistic jobs with one of his work companions (how awesome is this place?!)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekly Update -- May 9th, 2016

Hello everyone!

First of all, happy Mother's day to my Mom, my grand-moms and all of the other Moms out there. On behalf of sons everywhere, thank you! This week was very exciting ending with my second to last skype call home, crazy! Less than 10 months to go! It was especially nice being able to see my family with my future sister in law, Hollie and my best friend Bryce who is going to basic training for the military next Monday. Good luck buddy and to you as well Hollie.

This email I'll share about our investigators who came to Church yesterday because we had 5!! Sandra is a Mother of three (happy mother's day to her as well) named Fatima (11), Alondra (9) and David (2). This is their second time coming to Church and they came by themselves! Usually we have to pass by or call them to make sure they don't forget, but we were impressed by their self-reliance this week. They have a baptismal date set for June 3rd, progressing very rapidly. Fatima loves reading the pamphlets we give them and answers questions we ask better than anyone else there.

Elisa (21) is an investigator who has had a lot of difficulties in her life with multiple deaths in her family and had a very hard time accepting that a loving Heavenly Father would let this happen to her. We talked about the importance of agency and how others use their agency poorly and good people are affected, but in the next life we will be judged fairly for what we've done in this life. She FINALLY received an answer after a long talk with a member who helps her a LOT named Juanita and saying her first prayer this past week as we kneeled together. Her little 4 year old son Daleo gave her a hug because she started crying, so sweet.

Luz, short for Lucy, has been coming to Church for a couple of months now, but still hasn't accepted to have the missionaries (i.e. us) come to teach her and invite her to be baptized. She is a neice of our ward mission leader and his wife, the gospel principles teacher. We're a bit confused with her, being patient, but persistent with her spiritual progression.

Basically, we've been very blessed with success these past couple of weeks in Colinas A and in a huge part thanks to the members. Today (when we now have district meetings) we had a training session (capacitación) about how to work better with members. I invite you all to ask the missionaries this week, how you, as a member, can be more involved in the missionary work in your ward (or branch). Thanks for all of your prayers and efforts to become more Christlike, love you all!!

-Elder Allgaier

 These pictures are from the improv zone activity this morning playing soccer

Screenshot of our Skype session on Mother's Day
(l to r clockwise:  Elder Allgaier, Kristyn, Mom, Garrett, Hollie, Tyler)

Bryce dropped by to say hi/goodbye on our Skypeing session! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekly Update -- May 2nd, 2016

Hello everyone!

Crazy week with a lot of miracles. To start, we had a baptism! We have been teaching a less-active family for the past couple of months and helped their 8 year old son, Arturo, receive entrance into the kingdom of God. Unfortunately, their Dad, who is a really good guy, was unable to baptize his son due to having to work on Sundays. They asked me to baptize him and it made me really happy to see Father and Son sitting next to each other before actually going into the baptismal font.

I conducted my first interview as District Leader this last Friday! It was another 8 year old kid from Lopez Mateo's area, where Elder Lopez is right now. Super sweet kid and it was a joy to be able to be apart of his baptism, even just a small part. He was confirmed last Saturday at the end of the service, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I remember in my blessing when my Stake President set me apart to be a missionary, he said I would especially do my part in helping the youth. These past few months I am really grateful to feel like that blessing is being fulfilled.

Another couple of investigators we have are Alejandro, a really sweet old man who came to a ward activity last Sunday, but didn't come to Church for some reason. He told us he wants to change and be a better person and has been showing us his reading in the Book of Mormon on occasion. Elisa who lives nearby him, has had a very rough past with not just one, but multiple deaths in her immediate family, resulting in a less than great relationship with God. She really has a hard time accepting that Heavenly Father loves us. It's tough because we are answering her questions, but she just isn't ready to accept them. Elisa HAS told us about a few occasions during and after our visits that she feels a little weird and relieved (i.e. the Holy Ghost). We have confidence in her.

This fast Sunday, Elder Chan and I fasted specifically to know how many people the Lord has prepared for us to baptize this change. A cool spiritual experience because at the end of the day we wrote on different sticky notes our answer and both showed '5'. Revelation is real if we search for it. (I'm pretty sure there's an article on the Church's homepage about that right now by President Eyring.) I invite you all to watch that video and to fast for whatever important decision you might have to make. Not just this week, but whenever. Thanks for all of your prayers, hope you have a great week!

-Elder Allgaier

Artura and missionaries
Arturo and fam
Elder Ruiz (from lopez mateo) and me
The Bishop and me

District picture
how we set up cameras for district pictures

Zone picture