Monday, October 31, 2016

Weekly Update -- October 31st, 2016

Hello everyone,

Happy halloween, which they DO celebrate here in México, but a bit differently. At least here they do, but Día de Muerto is still more popular. One day... Until then, here's a little run-down of this past week. We had a tri-zone Conference on Thursday with Topo Chico, Anahuac and San Nicolas, all past zones I've been in so it was fun to see some new and familiar faces. Then Saturday, we had a stake wide Family History activity. Honestly, it was probably the most well organized family history activity I've ever been to. There were areas to learn more about Indexing, Family search, Bible geneology, even one member who showed her tree up to Adam and Eve! Cool to be a part of the activity.

Talking a bit about investigators, Luis recently told us he wants to serve a mission!! Elder Preciado and I have already talked about how he would be as a missionary, but now Luis has decided for himself. We're planning on taking him to a few visits these coming weeks. Jesus was baptized yesterday and it wasn't the most organized or most attended service, but it was uplifting all the same. Jesus was especially emotional in giving his testimony at the end. He's such a great guy and has a real desire to retain a remission of his sins and serve the Lord. I remember when we found him, just coming in from Tobasco and we invited him in on a lesson. He really liked it and accepted the invitation to come to Church, then General Conference, then Inocente's baptism. That is where he received his answer. Small and simple acts can lead to a great change. Inocente's son who recently arrived as well (after years without being in contact), is a new person who we're starting to teach as well.

I feel very blessed to be serving in this area at this time and we had one day in particular when it seemed as if all of the pieces were falling exactly into place. It was last Friday to be exact. I could write all of the miracles that happened, but the most important part is that my testimony of obedience and diligence has been strengthened. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and blesses us when we keep his commandments. I love being a missionary. On kind of a different note, the invitation this week is to relookup your family history. Try to add some more on or at least get to know your ancestors better this coming week. Love you all and hope you have a great week!!

-Elder Allgaier

Zone activity today
Man of the hour
Everyone together before the service
On the way to Jesus' baptism
Branch conference and all of the present members, how many do you recognize from the updates?
Youth class I taught about how to direct hymns
E. Reed when we jokingly told him, 'we have to do another baptismal interview later on'
Marcado during the week, an usual sight in most areas here
Package came!!
Selfie with the AP E. Rodobaugh
 At the tri-zone conference
Divisions with E. Uc when he said 'why do missionaries always want to get married RIGHT after the mission?' as a memory

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Weekly Update -- October 25th, 2016

Hello everyone,

I'm not breaking the rules, don't worry. Writing on Tuesday because we've been in the hospital from Sunday afternoon until last night. Elder Preciado has been having some stomach problems this past week and after a few phone calls, we went over to get it checked out. The closest hospital in Monterrey that we use as missionaries because of insurance coverage is called Doctor's Hospital. It also happens to be the 8th most modern hospital in the world. You can see by some pictures we took enjoying our stay. Everything turned out well, just some colon swelling due to some bad food and Elder Preciado's sensitive stomach. Now we're back in action.

From last week's email, you know that we found Lupita, a convert from one of my old areas, and her boyfriend. Well, this week they went to Church! They liked the themes that were touched in sacrament meeting, especially about self-reliance. At various times during the talks, Lupita would elboe Cesar and say 'Listen! Did you hear that part!' Inocente also brought a friend to Church named Damion. We don't even know him! All of the sudden he just shows up to Church with Inocente. How cool is that! We'll get to know him a bit more this Wednesday.

In my personal study, I've been able to do a lot of 'escundriñando' or intense studying in the BoM. Now I'm passing through Alma 33 and I really liked how the doctrine of faith was so simply and clearly described in chapter 32. I invite you all to read it as well. Love you all! Happy late birthday Dad!

-Elder Allgaier

Our room over night
Elder Preciado with the Nurse
When the nurse left in the emergency room
The view from the window
Elder Preciado 'resting'

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekly Update -- October 17th, 2016

Hello everyone,

Want to give a couple of late birthday wishes to Amanda Borretos and Grandma Allgaier. Love you both so much even if sometimes I forget to tell you! This last Saturday was a pretty special day for a couple of reasons. I finished being a teenager, but more exciting... We found Lupita!! She is a convert from Salinas Victoria who was confirmed my second week there and we got to know each other pretty well since. Turns out she hasn't gone to church in a while and moved in with her boyfriend (hence her moving here and finding us). Even so, she has a strong testimony, which is why she brought us to her boyfriend Cesar so that they could 'later on get married in the temple'. Awesome birthday present, thank you Lupita.

Apart from that, the missionaries talked on Sunday touching various topics, which is always fun for us. I talked a bit about the importance of sacrificing temporal desires for eternal blessings. Then, there's a new thing that the Church is doing, at least here in México, called self-sufficiency (autosuficiencia) that helps people become more financially and spiritually independent. Great idea because there are a good number of members who are struggling with that, including all of our recent converts. I invite you to take a look at the program as well and see if you can take advantage of its ideas. To end, Gloria and Benigno have officially received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Love you all, stay active!

-Elder Allgaier

Other new missionaries, ZLs who helped out and other mission leaders
New missionaries and trainers at 'return to the mtc'
Before heading out to 'Los Generales' buffet after playing fúbtol

Monday, October 10, 2016

Weekly Update -- October 10th, 2016

Hello everyone,

Great short week, since I've wrote just 4 days ago. Lots of good experiences like the baptismal service for Benigno (Hna. Irma's Dad, the YW president) and Gloria (Luis' mom). Super spiritual and Benigno was even baptized in a chair by his grandson, Jorge! Apart from that, Inocente AND Luis were confirmed yesterday. In their blessings I noticed the part where Luis would be pivotal in bringing many to the knowledge of the gospel and Inocente would be faithful to the change he was making in his life, something he was asking for since we met him. Inocente took advantage of fast sunday to share an awesome testimony.

A quick story on Gloria. We found her about two months ago just knocking doors and they hesitantly let us in and explained that they had never been to a Church together. It's always fun to see how much people open up to us while we continue to teach them. She has had several spiritual experience to help her to have a deep conversion to the Gospel. One of the first was when Luis said his first prayer and cried toward the end, then went to Church on his own! Gloria has also received an answer of one of her long-time questions in Moroni 8:11-12 and felt the family friendly atmosphere in the Church very strongly which helped her a lot during her service when just her son attended from her family. But also 20 members!

Benigno was found when he moved in with his daughter Irma, who is the YW president in the branch. When we asked her if we could try to teach him she replied, 'he probably isn't interested' So naturally, we took that as a yes! He accepted the baptismal invitation in the first visit even though we weren't sure if he understood much of what we were saying. Later on, talking with his family, he definately DID understand and lightened up a lot more to us as well! He even learned how to understand my american accented spanish! After the service when he was asked if he wanted to add any words of testimony, he simply replied, 'no' but his daughter did take the opportunity to express her gratitude to share that she didn't make any of the decision for him and that when they talked she asked him 'do you really want to get baptized? do you want to tell your kids?' (who are not members) and he said 'yes I want to get baptized and I don't want to tell them yet.' Irma said she was sure to face opposition at the very least because they will find out very soon. But we all know it was Benigno's choice and nobody else's.

Sorry for the long update, but I really love the people Heavenly Father is letting us teach and I want to share my stories with you all. As this week's invitations I want to invite you all to join the Miles for Jonathan running challenge. I just checked and found that my pedometer isn't working so I think I'm just going to count in my head this year. For sure I'll keep my Dad in mind this month and hopefully you all will be a little less fat for accepting the challenge, 47 miles in the month of October, walking or running. Good luck! Love you all!

-Elder Allgaier

Inocente, Felix and Jesus' desk filled with new scriptures
Branch member selfie, Hno. Oscar

Me with the Ward mission leader, hno. Ivan Garcia (two year convert)
Benigno's family
Us with Gloria and Luis

Both groups together

 During the service
pday bowling district activity

Elder Urban's store at the Sandero mall

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Weekly Update -- October 5th, 2016

Hello everyone,

Great week with General Conference to make it even sweeter. I'm writing on Wednesday again because we went to the Temple this morning; doen't get much better than that. Really great experience going to the temple and I'm realizing a few things... 1. This is my second to last Temple trip 2. my last General Conference and 3. My last 5 months on the mission. Still with a lot left to do coming up on the last leg of the mission.

During conference (in the middle of the Sunday sessions), we had a baptismal service with 3 investigators being baptized in the zone and one from us, Inocente! It was such a great experience hearing their testimonies at the end and how sincere they were to be faithful to the commitment they had just made with Heavenly Father. Inocente came to us by way of reference when he and his workmate went to a different ward nearby. He has always had a very sincere desire to repent and become a different person to the one he was before. I think the pictures say more than I can. Gloria was actually supposed to get baptized as well, but we had to postpone it to next Sunday. To be continued...

Taking advantage of General Conference, I want to invite you all to send me your favorite talk and a little note saying why you liked it. I personally really liked President Uchtdorf's talk from Priesthood session talking about how we should 'find our Amulek' or maybe 'be more like Amulek' to serve others. I want to apply it in these coming months to have a more fluid relationship with my companions. Love you all, have a great week!

-Elder Allgaier

 Inocente's pre baptism pic
Three co-workers who live together and went to church together as well (left: Jesus non-member and right:Felix 2 year convert who is talking to get his recommend)

Zone meeting
 temple shot
Pre-temple compechanas
 Elder Martin and Elder Reed
 District team shot
my son Elder Chan!

Elder Pisciotta (who has lost about 80 lbs. on the mission now)
 Sirloin buffet celebration picture
picture from Elder Perez
Another picture from Elder Perez