Mormon Messages

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Last Missionary Training Center (MTC) Preparation Day (P-day)


Good afternoon my fellow Americans. Today is the last and final time I will be writing you from this great nation we call the United States of America. I leave for Albania next tuesday morning at around 4:30 AM (that is when we head to the airport). The flight plans are in a picture but I will briefly go over the stops on the way there. We fly from SLC to Dulles (home sweet home! only for 2.5 hours) then from Dulles to Munich and finally to Tiranë. That means we will be in transit for about 33 hours....in suits. Woohoo! Luckily we will be able to sleep on the plane and eat real american food one last time in the airports. I will be in Albania (or Shqiperia, as we natives call it) on Wednesday afternoon. It will be a fun trip and I am so excited to start some real missionary work.

So as you may or may not know, this past week was consecration week and I couldnt speak any English. I would be a liar if I said that I only spoke Albanian all week, because I didn't. Although, about 99% of the time I did and my speaking skills have grown so much because of it. I feel a lot more comfortable with muhabet (small talk) and I am a lot more comfortable with bearing my testimony (2 very important parts of missionary work in Albania). When I talk to my family on tuesday you can ask them how awesome I sound. 

This week's devotional was pretty good. Neil L. Andersen of the 12 (Quorum of the 12 apostles) spoke to us and it was really powerful stuff. He said that "We sacrifice for the things we love and we love the things we sacrifice for". This is so true with missionary work especially. I left my family at home and I left Hollie at home and I left school and marching band (which I am finding myself missing more and more everyday). These are all sacrifices that I have made because I love them so much. Being on a mission, I am learning how to put the "I" away and start focusing on others while putting my own interests aside for 2 years. If you know me, you know how hard this will be. Today, I will actually be getting my eyebrows waxed to prep for Albania. Yes, Im a princess. 

The walk home from the devotional was also pretty sweet. It was raining a bunch and we had to walk the 20 minute walk in the pouring rain in our suits. I loved it. It was the closest to being swimming as I will be for the next couple years. 

Thank you everyone for the packages and letters you have been sending me these past 9 weeks. They have seriously made my MTC stay so much better. Since I will be leaving the states next week, my address wont be the same. (mom, Ill tell you the address when I call you tuesday). If you want to continue sending me things, the best way to do that is by email or by sending packages to the mission home in Albania. 

I love you all so much and I look forward to writing you from Albania

Unë të dua!

- Elder Allgaier
Until I get his new address of where Elder Allgaier will be living in the mission field, we can still write emails to his mylds.mail.net address which he will get on his p-days. As far as I know, though, the missionaries are unable to print those emails up and take them with them. So, he will only be able to view the emails in the small window of time when he can check his email, and that's it.  If you need his full email address again or the address of the mission home, let me know in the comments and I'll email you directly.--Elder Allgaier's mom


a napping circle we made on the floor in our classroom

Our entertainment for the month was watching a guy cut down a tree in front of our classroom (just like TV!)

Our classroom building. We are the 2nd floor on the left. sweet balcony huh?

Just some çun boys

Price and I at the last devotional in the Marriott Center

Price and I at the last devotional in the Marriott Center

Consecration week nametag

Garrett's bracelet that he made me. Thank you Garrett! I love you!

Lunch with Uncle Andy. Pure coincidence...this time! 

Last p-day lunch in America.

Headed back to the MTC campus after lunch


Friday, August 23, 2013

Another Week Bites the Dust

Elder Allgaier leaves the Provo West Missionary Training Center (MTC) on September 3, so get your letters and/or packages to him soon!  Thank you for everyone's support!

This week will be a very interesting week because....drum roll please..... NO ENGLISH! This week is consecration week and everyone in the Albanian group will only be speaking Albanian. IT'll be tough but I think we are all ready to do this. It will also be the last full week before I fly out to Albania and let me just say that I am about done with the MTC. I am ready to go back into the real world and immerse myself in the advertisement filled metropolis of Albania. Just kidding. They arent very high tech. Regardless, I am super stoked to finally go. We actually get our flight plans this friday and we get to see what time we leave in the morning and what airports we fly to. I have heard from one of our teachers that we leave at 3 AM.....bummer. I was hoping to get my beauty rest and for those who have ever flown know that it is near impossible to get any beauty rest on an airplane, much less look graceful while doing it. 

So anyway, this week was pretty good. My favorite part by far was the tuesday night devotional at the Marriott Center. I cant remember who the speaker was, but the choir number that we sang was amazing. It was an arrangement of "Dear Redeemer, Precious Savior" (that may be flip-flopped). I had Elder Jorgensen record it on his camera (dont tell anyone!) but I'll have to do some computer magic to get that from him. maybe by the end of my mission you all can hear it. 

This morning we went to the temple and had breakfast afterwards. I cant remember if I talked about it last week, but the temple food is amazing. That is either embarrassing for the MTC food, or the temple should open up its own restaurant. I had a waffle with strawberries and whip cream, an omelet, sausage, and some milk. It was delicious. 

There is a little thing going around our mission and it is kind of like a disease. We call it "Wupping" or "one-upping". It basically goes like this: Someone tells a story about something they think is cool or something they use to do before their mission and then out of nowhere, somebody else talks about doing or having something similar but theirs is 10x cooler. Its drives me nuts! Im excited to do this consecration week when no one can "wupp" anyone. It'll be sweet bliss. 

Im not gonna end the letter on a sour note, so I will bear my testimony in my broken Shqip:

Unë dëshmoj që Jezu Krishti është Biri i Përëndisë. E di së Jozef Smithi ishte profeti dhe Ai përktheu Libri i Mormonit nëpërmjet fuqise së Përëndia. E di së Përëndia na do dhe Ai do të në jetojmë me Ai përseri. I themi këto gjëra ne emrin e Jezu Krishti, amen. 

Dang that was rough. Autocorrect doesnt do me any good. Anyway, it is all true and I hope you can forgive the colossal spelling errors (you wont know unless you put it into Google translate and im assuming 99% of you will). 

I love you all and I will report back to you next week when I can flas Anglisht!

Love, 

Elder Allgaier
All the West Campus mailboxes

Me, Linderman, and Clawson at the temple

bus ride home from temple

Me, price, and rawlings being as cute as ever.

Our humble abode

self-explantory

self-explantory

District at temple last week

Me and Vellai Eckel

Friday, August 16, 2013

Week # 6? I cant remember

Hey everybody!

So the weeks are definitely all blending together now and I cant picture my life outside of this little plot of land we call the MTC. Sometimes I even dream about going places by myself and taking a nap whenever I want (or just a nap in general). Next wednesday we start consecration week (one week of Albanian only, no english) and I am scared out of my mind. We leave in 3 weeks for Albania!!!!! and the last week is a lot of orientation (in english, thank heavens) and general excitement to leave. I know I had a few grey hairs going in, but I am willing to bet a large sum of money that when I get home I will look like Anderson Cooper, and thats not necessarily a bad thing. What I am trying to say is that I AM STRESSED. Woah buddy, does this place ever humble you. On top of learning one of the hardest and most unknown languages on the Earth, we have to do it with a smile on our face. Now forgive me if it sounds like I am complaining, because I am not. I am learning so many lessons here not only about the gospel, but about what it means to be a man. One of our weekly mottos was: "Jini Burrë". 

This past tuedsay we had Elder Richard G. Scott of the 12 come and speak to all of the missionaries at the Marriott Center. Let me just write down a couple notes that I took:
- To reach a goal never before reached, we have to do things never before done
- When we pray privately to Heavenly Father, we can just talk to him. There is no need for a formal prayer. After all, He is our father. 
- If God withholds an answer to our prayers, it is so that we can grow in faith
- Pray even when we have no desire to
- We will learn that we have strength beyond what we thought we had
- He will fit the task to our ability

Elder Scott was Definitely one of the best speakers we have had so far and obviously he made several good points about prayer and missionary work. 

Today we went to the Temple for the first time since we have been at the MTC. Normally we would go every week, but it has been closed for cleaning. It was such an awesome experience to go with the people that I have grown to love in the past 6 weeks. Its really hard to have any negative feelings in the temple. After we finished a session, we all were able to eat in the cafeteria at the temple. Now before you point and laugh, let me just tell you that we have been suffering from a lack of good food as of late. The temple had AMAZING food. I had a ham and cheese omelet, 3 sausage links, a massive waffle with blueberries and whip cream, and a ton of milk to wash it all down. It was probably the best breakfast I have had since Kneaders the morning before I got to the MTC. 

Well... Thats about it folks. I hope that this has been an enjoyable read for everyone and I look forward to writing next week!

Love, 
Elder Tyler Allgaier

On our Sunday walk taking pictures with the Albanian flag
Jorgensen wearing all 3 flags


 Price, Rawlings, and I with the flag


 Elder Price had his birthday and we celebrated

Price and I with the edible house we made that he got for his birthday

A mega worm that we ate


Price, Linderman, Clawson, and I taking a sick morning. Our teacher actually told us to go home and rest because we sounded disgusting. I love naps!




Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekly email update -- week 5


Hello Family and friends -
The weeks are going by so fast now. Im not sure if that is because I am numbed to MTC rules, or if that is because I am finally getting into a routine (hopefully the latter). Im in week 5 (I think?) now and that means that I am officially more than halfway done with my MTC stay. One would think that being 5 weeks into the MTC, I would have a pretty decent grasp on the language........ Nope. This is the hardest language in the world. If you dont believe me, try learning it yourself and tell me how it goes. My notebooks are full of "T-charts" and vocab and lesson plans for my investigators. Just last night I finally put together a master page. or a cheat sheet, with all of the charts that I have learned so far. Putting together one grammaticaly correct sentence continues to be a minute long endeavor. Its all fine and dandy to struggle with the language until we have to go teach our teachers a lesson in Shqip. Holy cow...... those are easily the most stressful 30-45 minutes of my day. I just pray that my trainer (the person who trains me for 12 weeks when I first get to Albania) is a patient man.
   
Anway, this past sunday I was released as District Leader (they change District Leaders halfway through) and my companion Elder Hald is the new one. We have very different personalities and I am curious to see how things in the district change. Tuesday night was another MTC-wide devotional and Elder Jensen (Emeritus member of the 70) spoke on scripture study. He gave a TON of tips on how to effectively study and how to mark your scriptures so that you can recall spiritual insights that you may have had while reading. He easily had the most powerpoint slides of anyone that has spoken so far. I was in the choir for this devotional again, and it continues to be a great experience to sing with so many missionaries.
Speaking of choir, the choir director Brother Eggett gave a spiritual thought 2 tuesdays ago that I want to share (Spencer has my notes on this fictional story).
Imagine this: You and some friends are going on a trip after you graduate to a foreign country to celebrate your accomplishments. You are traveling with 3 of your closest friends and there are no adults. The country you are going to has an unoffical tourist location that your friends insist that you must visit. After you land, check into the hotel, and get settled in, you and your friends go to this location. This "unoffical tourist location" is a big concrete wall that appears to have been freshly painted over. Your friends tell you that everytime someone visits, they spray paint their name onto the wall. They begin doing that and you notice that there are signs that say "Do not vandalize. Serious Penalties will occur". They encourage you to sign your name, but you decline. "You have to do it! We came all this way and you wont even sign your name?" Eventually you give in and spray your name onto the wall. The second you finish, the flashing lights of police cars turn on behind you and you immediately know that you are busted. The cops take you to the police department and fill out all the paperwork and hold you and your 3 friends there. The next day they let all your friends go back home to the United States, but keep you to serve as an example. Since it is a foreign country, the can have whatever punishment they want for crime. Your punishment is to have your hand nailed to the wall where you spray painted and to keep you there until you wither away. They will feed you and clothe you, but you are to never leave. Eventually the US Embassy catches wind of this and immediately shuts it down. You are taken back to the local police station and held there until they figure out what to do with you. A couple days later a US Embassy representative comes to the jail and tells you that you are allowed to go back to the states and live your life the way you want it, but that a family member must take your place on the wall. This family member volunteers themselves to have their hand nailed to the wall, but instead of staying there forever, they have the option to pull their hand through the nail and if they do that, they are free to go home. You get a call within the hour saying that your older brother has volunteered to take your place on the wall and he will be flying to that country the next day. So the next day you are escorted by police to the airport to wait for your older brother. (This next part gets me every time) Eventually you see him walk out of the plane terminal and you briefly make eye contact. He smiles at you and you know that He has everything taken care of and that you wont have to suffer anymore. You have that 3 second long moment before the cops dash over and beat him with the clubs in order to subdue him. They cuff his hands and drag him out of the airport right before your eyes. You fly home that afternoon and when you get home you are devastated. You arent sure when you will see Him again so you have a picture of Him next to your bed. You think to yourself, "Why would I do such a stupid and small thing? Now because of my mistakes my older brother, who did nothing wrong, has to suffer for me". This older brother is (figuratively) Jesus Christ. He is the older brother that sacrificed himself so that we can live our lives. He is the older brother that we should all strive to be. We need to constantly remember the things that He did for us and live our lives to be like Him.
That is my favorite story that I have heard here so far and I hope you all enjoy it like I did. I dont have much more time, so I will wrap up. I love all of you and the support that you give to me and especially to my family. Stay safe and enjoy the real world!
Love,
Elder Allgaier
 I hate it when someone leaves the cabinet open so Elder Price opened all of them. Pretty funny.

My super amazing Albanian sentence that I translated. It has no logic to it, so dont worry about that.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Keeping busy at the MTC -- Week 4


Hello my dear Family! (and friends) -
 
I have learned that I cannot recall anything that I have done during the past week without using some kind of journal. So for this email I will be recalling events as they are written in my journal.
 
Last friday: Elder Hald and I taught our progressing investigators (our teachers who role-play) and we taught 2 awesome lessons. I cant remember what they were about, but it is so awesome to see how much better I am getting at the language. We have been teaching the past several lessons without any notes and just using the Book of Mormon. We also had Papa Johns for dinner that night. The MTC buys it for the whole west campus and it is delicious. I used to think that i loved pizza, but after eating, how do you say, less than pleasant food for the past 4 weeks, pizza is God's gift to us missionaries. Friday was also our first SYL (speak your language) day. It is so hard to speak only in albanian when you have to try and explain a topic in class, especially when you dont understand the concept in the first place. We played 4 square and that was always super fun (we play volleyball now because our district got too good at 4 square).Only 24,000,000 seconds left in my mission!
 
saturday: Elder Hald and I taught one of our investigators named Shpetim about what happens after we die. I knew i had this lesson in the bag. We taught from Alma 40  and taught him about the "happy place" that we can go to. I bore my testimony that I know our families can be together forever and that we can be happy if we follow God's commandments. He asked what he needed to do and we said baptism. So long story short, He is getting baptized sometime in August (I forgot what day because I just said a random number that I cant remember). [Shpetim is not a "real" investigator. He's a teacher role-playing as an investigator...otherwise, I'm sure the date would have been a BIG deal!] : )  
 
Sunday:  I shaved one of my legs.......... pictures included. Missionaries do the weirdest things to stay occupied. Also, church was good.

Elder Allgaier and Elder Jorgensen working on their legs.

Fresh shaven leg

 
Tuesday: (I didnt write on monday) I sang in the choir again and the main speaker for the devotional was H. Bryan Richards. During his talk he showed a video on Elder Holland speaking. He spoke about Jesus asking in the garden of Gethsemane if what he was doing could be any easier. The same thing goes for missionaries. Although what we do is hard, the work that we will do will echo for eternity.

Wednesday: (yesterday) I am getting so many packages and letters and I love them! thank you so much everyone. If i had time to write all of you, I totally would but time is really tight here.
 
Im out of time so ill write more next week. I love you all!
 
- Elder Tyler Allgaier
The three of us eating sunflower seeds.

Weekly motto

An igloo we are building in our freezer