Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekly Update -- September 26th, 2016

Hello everyone,

I can't write everything that has happened this week, but something I'll start with that I forgot to write for last week was a cool testimony building experience about prayer. We went to visit an investigator named Julia who was locked out of her house without keys. We quickly talked about prayer and decided to invite her to ask for the keys in the prayer. Taking out the scripture guide where it says 'Oracion' we read that prayer is to unite our desires with those of Heavenly Father. I said 'if it is Heavenly Father's will that the keys come at this time' as I motioned with my hand and at the EXACT moment, her son came around the corner with keys in hand. Awesome. The Church is true my friends.

Luis was baptised yesterday, super spiritual experience, but he was very calm through just about the whole service. He asked me to baptise him and I messed up his name the first time, but the second time he was cleansed completely from sin. At the end, his Mom, Gloria, who is set to be baptised next Sunday in between General Conference sessions, said the closing prayer. Before doing so, she gave a teary testimony about how happy she was for Luis making this decision on his own, even though he had never gone to any Church before. After the prayer, Luis also gave a few words and was very emotional as well. He thanked his Mom and the branch and the missionaries who brought him the gospel and said he had a whirlwind of thoughts before being baptised. A lot of bad things and a lot of good things. I think that was another answer he was waiting for.

I think it was especially great because Elder Preciado is going through a tough time. Without giving out too many details, he recently found out that his aunt, who practically raised him, is very sick. The best moments always come at the hardest times I suppose. Nevertheless, it has really helped us grow together as a companionship. I'm really grateful to be his companion at this time. For the invitation, I want to invite you all to invite someone to see the General Conference this weekend. We missionaries always look forward to it, especially because it is such a great chance for others to receive answers to questions they've had for a long time. It's a great way to know that Thomas S. Monson really is a Prophet of God. Help your missionaries out with this invitation. Thanks to all of you who did the PMG chapter 6 quiz, I hope you will receive even more blessings with theses sacrifices. Love you all!!

-Elder Allgaier

Zone meeting where we had everyone find hidden chocolate.
Divisions with Elder Lara, his first!

On the way to the baptism!!
Again to the baptism
Luis got baptised!!! (next to his Mom who is getting baptised next Sunday)
With the branch who came
In the font

Emergency drill this morning

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekly Update -- September 19th, 2016

Hello everyone!

Kimberly was confirmed yesterday!! It was super special to be a part of that experience with her and we could see her example definately made an impact on her whole family. Kind of a week with a few ups and downs, but all are kind of like that. This last week, we had a couple of really special lessons with one of our progressing investigators Luis (who was recently known as Daniel, but changed his name) who is 16 years old. He had a few doubts, but in the end took up the invitation to go through the baptismal interview. A few days later, Elder Reed (our DL) came over and asked him the six questions and he passed! It was the interview I have been the least sure about and it sounded like Luis is going through with a lot of faith. Coming back that night with his Mom finding out about the news, they embraced together in a close conversation about what was going to happen. I know she is very happy because he had never been to any church before. Maybe that was the answer he has looking for. We put the date for next Sunday so that they could both be there. His Mom, Gloria, plans to be baptised the following week during General Conference weekend. It should be a very special conference.

On the other side, Karla and her family said that, for family troubles, they weren't going to go to Church anymore. Opposite of what should happen in that kind of situation, but not much we can do about that. I remember the words of our ward mission leader when he recommended to us that we should really focus on why our investigators need to be baptized, not just that they do so. It made us think enough to go to chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel as Elder Preciado and I decided to retake the quiz at the end to see how we were developing as missionaries. I invite you all to do the same this week. End of chapter 6, Preach my Gospel, take the quiz. Taking up our ward missionary leader's advice, the next lesson, we asked another investigator, Inocente, why he wanted to be baptized. He said he wanted to really change, to start over because of some mistakes he had made in the past. He really needs repentance.

Yesterday marks the four year mark of my Dad's passing from this life to the Spirit World and one of the blessings from that trial is the opportunity to connect on a new level with people who have gone through similar trials. However, I have also noticed that some people aren't looking for that kind of answer. Sometimes they don't want to hear about what happened to their grandma or uncle. What some people really NEED is sometimes the message of the Restoration, or in the case of Inocente, repentance and baptism. As I remember my Dad's great example, I'm also reminded of how blessed we are to have the fulness of the gospel in our lives and that this is the time to progress to become more Christ-like. Love you all, take care!!

-Elder Allgaier

Interviews with Elder Reed and Elder Chavarria
 Divisions with Elder Guerrero
Division compechanas with Elder Chavarria
Desperately needed bike repairs
Package delivered to the Alianza Real Primary president
'Gracias Hna. Diaz!'

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weekly Update -- September 12th, 2016

Hello everyone,

And goodbye to Elder Eusebio, rest in peace good friend in your house in Chiapas. New companion this week... Elder Preciado, the newest Zone leader in Topo Chico! He's actually a former jewish two year convert with one year being a missionary and ex Guadalajaran DJ. Super excited to work with him these coming weeks and we're starting off the change pretty well.

Of course not all mission experiences are super awesome, I feel like I should mention. For example, someone I taught in Salinas Victoria who was baptized faced a lot of opposition and decided not to get confirmed (making the baptism in vain basically). Remember the man with the Bulls hat we found in Colinas? Who we gave a BoM and was super excited to get back in the Church? At least WE haven't seen or heard from him since. I think every missionary has an experience like that where they don't know what happens in the end with a person with whom we have had a very spiritual encounter. I'll tell you a really good experience that illustrates WHY I continue in diligence in missionary work. Last week we ate with one of the members of the branch and her 70ish year old Dad was there to talk with us. Hard of hearing so when we talked to him about being baptized and he said yes, it wasn't such a big event. When we came back a couple of days later, we taught much more clearly and he still accepted. At that moment, her daughter, the young women's president, gave her tearful testimony that this was the right decision. They went to Church together as a family this Sunday and report on their reading in the scriptures together. How can you not want to be a missionary.

While doing the usual Church invitations with our investigators and organizing rides, one of our progressing investigators (Gloria) told us she would rather walk with her 16 year old son (Luis). When we asked her why she replied that she enjoyed that time together because they usually talk about what is going on in their lives, questions they might have about the Church, really whatever came up in that 30 minute space. I sometimes miss having that time with my family. Inspired by her words, I invite you all to have a good quality family talk on the way to Church this week. Not exactly sure who will be involved, maybe a Mom/Daughter talk, Father/Son, Husband/Wife, Brother/Sister, could be even the whole family, but enjoy that time to prepare for the sacrament as well. Love you all and Heavenly Father loves all of us. Have a great week!

-Elder Allgaier

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekly Update -- September 5th, 2016

Hello everyone,

Yesterday I completed my 18 month mark. I have been taught the gospel, taught the gospel, then taught others how to teach the gospel and even been taught how to teach others how to teach the gospel. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to visit my first area in Escobedo doing divisions with Elder Reed, one of the district leaders in Topo Chico. I can't tell you in words how rewarding it was to see some really good old faces. One of the most memorable was Brenda. For those who don't know or may have forgotten, Brenda was the first person I taught who was baptized when with my first companion Elder Velez. She hadn't been to Church soon after her baptism because her Mom had passed away in that short time. Her Dad had put a lot of fault on her making the situation even worse. Seeing her today getting ice-cream made my heart jump. We talked for a bit and repracticed her smile she had grown when we were teaching her for the first time. It was one of the best experiences of my mission. I can't wait to hear from her again.

Apart from that, there were eight investigators in Church this week. EIGHT!! I feel very blessed and can't help but to thank my companion Elder Eusebio (or as one of his nametags say, √Čusbio) for really enduring to the end of his mission; teaching, finding, being obedient, focused. That's where the miracles come from and he really put a great example for me. Karla and her daughter Leslie came to Church for her fourth time, preparing herself to be baptized next Sunday! Along with her, her Mom Marina, her sister Mary, and her brother in law Jesus. They're just all progressing very well. Kimberly was baptized Yesteday, being Elder Eusebio's last mission baptism. It was also the first performance of the Alianza Real Chior, which went pretty well. Kongrats Kimmy!

Something we did yesterday in third hour was teach on how the members can contact and share the gospel to their friends, family and co-workers. Honestly, this branch WORKS and it's an honor to be apart of everything that's happening right now. We left an invitation to the Priesthood holders that I would also like to extend to you all to be more conocido (familiar) with the mission work. I invited you to read chapter 13 of Preach my Gospel and invite a friend, family member or co-worker to listen to the missionaries. I know they would be VERY excited to meet with them. I know that God loves all of His children and there are just some people that can only hear the gospel through friends and family. I hope this will be an uplifting experience for all of you. Love you all so much!!

-Elder Allgaier
Hna. (Hermana) Diamantina
A convert who came with us on a visit that night
Elder Zambrano's last divisions
Before Kimmy's baptism interview (notice the futbol game)
Preparing for a stake dance activity
Cute girl also practicing on the side
Gospel principles class on the way out, packed this week!
 car ride to the baptismal service
Pre-baptism pic

Another pre-baptism pic
Kimmy's non-member dad (up next)

Elder Guerrero DL (District Leader)
Mary and Jesus
Recent converts Garcia family
Elder Martin and I together today making crepes while our companions are out visiting converts for the last time before heading back home