Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Last weekly update -- February 13th, 2017

Hello everyone!

Happy Valentine's day and yes, this will be the last official update. Next week, we'll be visiting some past areas and good people I've been blessed to know over the past two years. At most, I'll send a short email and maybe some pictures to let you know I'm still alive. Just want to express one more time how grateful I am for my mission.

This past week was pretty easy-going. Service project with Bella and Javier and their family who moved about 100 yards down the block. Still, service continues to be one of my favorite parts of the mission. Sunday, the branch Presidency gave the missionaries the chance to talk about the themes from last conference or missionary work. Pretty much open theme and we enjoyed the opportunity. Elder Fernandez spoke first talking about a story of Indians who send their kids on a journey blindfolded, but in reality, the father is there the whole time guiding them. Something like that, but the point was that Heavenly Father is that same personaje for us, always there, always watching us. I followed touching on three points on the member's side to help in the missionary work in Estanzuela. 1. Branch counsel 2. Home/visiting teaching 3. Friendshipping. A few member's recognized that the talk would be my last and that it was a "planch" as they say here. Seemed to motivate them.

Last invitation... Almost off the hook from Elder Allgaier. I want to invite you all to my homecoming talk on the 26th and ask me about an experience I had, there are many and I want to remember them. But I also want to give a special invitation to the youth or anyone who still has the chance to serve a mission. If you are still not sure if you are going to serve a mission, ask Heavenly Father and SEARCH for an answer. That doesn't mean just pray. That's for youth who might even be in Primary too. If you have received an answer and are preparing, read PMG (Preach My Gospel) ch. 3. Thank you all for supporting me and my family these past two years. Dios vive y nos ama a todos y nos bendice por nuestros sacrificios. La Iglesia es verdadera y nos ayuda tener las ordenanzas de salvación necesarias para regresar con nuestro Padre Celestial con nuestras familias para siempre. Nos veremos la proxima semana, cuídense!!

-Elder Allgaier

The Mexican flag building, a tradition for all who go to Estanzuela
Moving day with Elders from campestre
The family who organized the project of the mexican flag building which supplies water to an entire neighborhood (santa anita). We contacted them, turns out they talked to other missionaries about 8 months ago and wanted another Book of mormon to read. we're going to paint inside with the zone this saturday . The dad is "annointed" as some kind of pastor for a christian church up on the hill. Very nice people who will be fun to teach. Cool to know a bit more of the story of the flag.
View from the top

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Weekly Update -- February 6th, 2017

Hello everyone,

How many of these do I have left? One or two, depending on how my last pday goes visiting my past areas. Wow, how fast the time goes by looking back on it. The best two years. Other clichés... Everything good in Estanzuela this week. Actually, we visited a part of the (very big) area that we almost never visit because of lack of transport, but a few members were willing to help us visit a few references we had in Santiago. Santiago is much prettier than the 1 square mile of area we usually work. Very green, nice people, there's even a lake! Makes me feel like home.

One person we found from the references was named Martin who had reported reading the Restoration pamphlet five times. The member who came with us started talking a bit and mentioned prophets, which sparked Martin to ask the question every missionary longs to here, "Where are the Prophets and Apostles today?" I just happened to be in the other room at that time, but Elder Fernandez filled me in at the end. I still kind of heard him ask the question. He says he will come to Church this coming Sunday.

Quick invitation. Thanks for talking with your seminary teachers last week, those who did. This week I invite you all to share the Gospel in some way. Kind of a freebee, it can be with members, preferrably non-members, but this one comes from inspiration from the Acosta family who are awesome members. If they can do it, you can too! Love you all, take care!

-Elder Allgaier

In front of a ptaridactyl they have in a museum in Santiago
The Mirador in Santiago
At the Acosta's house
Bowling district activity today
"Second place" ZL still shows how it's done

Monday, January 30, 2017

Weekly Update -- January 30th, 2017

Hello everyone,

There has been a huge change in the missionary world this past week via worldwide transmition (transmission/broadcast) from the Executive missionary counsel presided by Elder Dallin H. Oaks that all the missionaries were able to see. One big change: Only four key indicators (Baptisms/Confirmations, Investigators at Church, Investigators with Baptismal date and New investigators). The other big change involves the schedule basically giving us freedom to move around aspects of our daily routine (personal study, exercise, etc.) before leaving the day. We're all very excited and I'm happy to see how all of missionaries are humble enough to take on the changes. One even said 'In leadership counsels we've been talking about how to solve a problem like putting bandages on a flesh wound. This is the change we've been looking for.'

I personally feel like these changes are helping me to adjust to coming home, BUT I'm not trunky (=wanting to come home). In fact, we are working a lot with the seminary teacher and youth leaders with the branch mission leader to use the extra freedom to focus on those between the ages of 15-25. We know they are especially important based on the words given by the institute Director/stake President Tapia (from Anahuac) and the Seminary 2nd counselor who came to the zone conference last Thursday. One said, 'Let us help you by bringing people to a place where they will be surrounded by the gospel and good friends their own age.' Good enough for me. The branch's seminary teacher is also much more enthusiastic seeing some help from someone else.

I invite you all to talk to the seminary teacher in your ward (wherever you might be) just to get to know him/her and ask if there is something you can do to help with the youth. Something that the seminary counselor told us to do as well. I know Heavenly Father loves the youth of His Church. If you're like one missionary who said 'But what if our seminary teacher is inactive?' do as he responded: 'Activate her!' Gotta love the mission. Love you all, thanks for your prayers!

-Elder Allgaier

Elder Charles before the transmition (transmission/broadcast)
new schedule (if you can make out the blur)
Missionaries who came
 'What's up dog?' -Elder Fernandez
Pekey in Fernandez's jacket
How we call for dats
Heading to Santiago for pday to fish (these police stands are pretty common in Monterrey) (we didn't have any poles to fish today, so the activity was postponed...)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Update -- January 23rd, 2017

Hello everyone,

Thank you for those who accepted the challenge last week to study a Christ-like attribute, I hope it was an edifying experience. I certainly liked studying by topic as well, here's what I learned...

I completed the study of reading the passages of faith in PMG and the references of those scriptures. In the three sections (what is faith, how do you obtain faith/what can I do with faith, what blessings come through faith) I was able to learn a few new things. Concerning the first question, what is faith, the scriptures teach that we cannot have perfect knowledge while having faith. The example in Alma 32 is the clearest to explain that principle and is strengthened with another account when we read the brother of Jared's story when he trusts in the Lord's plan to build a boat, though he has no sure knowledge on how to do so. Leading us to the second question, how to obtain faith and what can we do with it. Having so much faith, not only trusting to do what the Lord wants, but taking initiative and adding his own part to the same vision by giving an idea on how to have light in the boats, allowed him to see God's finger. Testifying that miracles can and WILL procede trials of faith is one of my favorite verses in Ethere 12:12. The entire chapter mentions the word 'faith' some 34 times (left the exact number in my other book of mormon), but that scripture in particular was noted a significant number of times within the references to the scriptures in PMG.

Thank you President McArthur for the challenge.

In recent news, I'm really enjoying my last change here. To keep me focused, I'm taking the advice of Elder Barrientos who said 'It's ok to think about home, but only on pday.' And the results are visible. This last Sunday, Oliveria (Bella) was confirmed and is loving learning about the Gospel through her personal study and asking us and other members the questions that come up every once in a while.

Meanwhile, I'm finding it very easy to apply my fùtbol talents that Heavenly Father has given me in the missionary work. This morning, for example, us four missionaries decided to take a couple hours to conquer the nearby cancha or fùtbol court. There came a group of about 6 kids between the ages of 11 and 16 to play with us in less than 20 minutes. Lots of fun. Juega bonito, joga bonito.

Just a small invitation to read Moroni 10 to find out more about your spiritual gifts. A quick read in the Gospel Principles wouldn't hurt if you want to read a little bit more in depth about the subject. Thank you for your continued prayers and efforts. Love you all!!  

--Elder Allgaier

 Elder Fernandez's new haircut (similar to the egg)
Nice coke shot
Less active Lazaro who came back to Church yesterday
Another shot

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Weekly Update -- January 16th, 2017

Hello everyone,

It looks like I owe you two updates this time... Last week was a bit crazy being Elder Barrientos' last day in the mission field visiting some converts and members from past areas. Really a fun experience seeing how excited he was and the impact he had made on so many people. Of course, I still have a long way to go until I do that...

The day before (Jan 8), we had an interesting baptismal service for Oliveria Garcia Hernandez. She came late due to a previously scheduled hospital service, which we were expecting. What we were not expecting was an absence of gas to heat the water and fill the baptismal font! There were doubts if we were going to be able to go through with it at that Church, or if we were going to have to postpone it until the next week. A recent convert then butted in saying he had a little tank of gas at his house. We hurried over and filled it up, running in our suits whenever we could. We didn't know, but we broke a rule hooking up that tank to the chapel boiler and started to fill the font. About 40 minutes later, Oliveria was baptized and I was able to perform the ordinance in semi-cold water.

This week, I'm with Elder Fernandez, who I actually met in Anahuac as Zone leaders in the same stake (but different zones). Really fun, hardworking missionary and he'll be excellent to work with until the end. A funny experience

Ended the week without fruits, but we had our zone activity watching Finding Dory and playing fùtbol with some Tamas (even better than compechanas). An invitation that President McCarthur extended to me in my last interview, I will now extend to you. Pick an Christ like attribute from Preach My Gospel (chapter 6) and study every scripture at the end of the section, as well as every footnote scripture within those scriptures and then send me a report of what you learned. Mine was faith. I'll even give you all a report next week! Love you all so much!

--Elder Allgaier

 In the office before leaving to visit converts with E. Barrientos
First house
Free tacos on the restaurants grand opening 'tacos che'
The 'che' team
 Last companionship picture with our baptism saver (Chepe)
Elder Fernandez and me
 Last leadership counsel (ZLs) Zone Leaders
Recognize anyone?
Knocking doors way up in the mountains
Playing fùtbol in the house the night before
The famous cow horns which go to the zone of the change (most baptisms)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Weekly Update -- January 2nd, 2017

Hello everyone,

So for short time, I'll just say I love being Zone leader in Roma. I love the missionaries and the good experiences we've been having thanks to our hard work, obedience and diligence. Of course there are problems, but I feel that humility, even humbling experiences, has brought us together. We're looking to finish with the most baptisms in the entire mission as a zone. Considering Roma usually finishes with the least, it's quite the feat for our work. Thanks missionaries!!

Just a quick invitation, share your goals that you made for new years with your family, it will help you to complete them this year. Love you all, have a great week!

--Elder Allgaier

Monday, January 2, 2017

Weekly Update -- December 26th, 2016

I am so sorry!  I am not intending to be selfish, but I totally forgot to post this email from Elder Allgaier last week!  Look for his new update from today by tonight or tomorrow morning.

Merry Christmas,

Short email, because we had a very Christmas activity filled week and I told my family a lot of what's going on. Just a short story for Ricardo Romero who was baptized yesterday!! Such a great guy who is here from Vera Cruz separated from his family, but has since found a lot of happiness in the repentance process and the importance of the family in God's plan. Elder Barrientos found him 5 weeks ago just knocking on doors and just yesterday he was also able to perform the ordinance. We're excited to see him continue to progress in the Gospel and help others as well.

Quick invitation to make some meaningful goals this week approaching new years, something that will help you to be wiser, not just older in 2017. Something spiritual, something intelectual, something social, something physical and something familiar (with the family). Love you all, happy new years!!

-Elder Allgaier

Christmas decorations in the house
Cool photo in the area
Divisions picture
Another divisions picture
Some birthdays at interviews this week
Moving service with the Garza family on Christmas eve
Garza family's kid
A few tomales we ate, very few of the many we ate these past weeks
Christmas party with the Acosta famiy
Pre-baptism pic with Ricardo
Post baptism pic!!

Best zone activity today! Secret santa, perfect game movie, fùtbol!
Screenshot of skyping with family on Christmas day!