Mormon Messages

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Week

Hello my dear family and friends!

First, let me answer all the questions that you sent me in the last email.

1) What kinds of food are you eating?  Your companion's dad said that the missionaries sometimes take the members and investigators out to dinner there since you have more money than they do. 
 - I am eating a lot of interesting things. Nothing that wouldn't be completely out of place in America, though. Today I had a qofte sandwich which is basically a piece of bread with little burger sliders in it, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Its really good! Sadly, we don't have enough money to take the members out to eat. I would really like to because a lot of them are struggling financially, but so are we. Its tough to live on 200 Euro a month. 
Qofte sandwich
This guy makes amazing bread


2) Do you have a favorite dish yet?
- So far, my favorite dish is a breakfast item. It's called a samun (sah-moon). What we do is we go around town and pick up sygyk (sausage, basically), eggs, and some cheese. We take all those ingredients to the local brick oven bakery and have them put it all on a a piece of bread and cook it. Ill try and take a picture of it this next week. It is so good!

3) What's the weather like there?
- The weather is really nice. Its a little dryer than MD and it rains quite a bit. Its getting chillier here and I love it. Its probably getting to around 10 degrees Celsius here at night. And apparently in the winter, it snows a ton. 

So those are the questions. Now I will do my very best to recall the weeks events and put them into a captivating and exciting story that will amaze the masses.

We had zone conference this week (which is when Prishtina, Gjakova, Shkoder, and Macedonia all meet up to discuss the work) up in Prishtina. We left around 6 AM and got back to Gjakova at around 9:30 PM. good times were had by all.

The other Gjakova elders have been teaching this family that have been super awesome. They have been coming to church ever since they met the husband and they have been really interested in all the lessons.  The church is true, we are missionaries and we are all children of God. 

One last little story. We have made it a goal to start doing more activities that are outside of church to invite more people to learn about our church. We are gonna try and start and movie night, start an english class, and have a weekly sports night where we play basketball or soccer. Obviously, I have been a bit more zealous to get the soccer night started and we have had a couple days where we played. One was last week and the other was today. We invite a bunch of people to play and we usually have a really good turn out. The only reason they play with us though is because we are American and tall. But hey, whatever works.



I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the real world. Stay safe!

Love,
Elder Allgaier

The church sign in front of our building

The church!
Newly baptized member and missionaries (Elder Allgaier is far right.)

We set this table up every Saturday

The set up
Didn't have many clothes, so I wore a jacket and Xhaxhi to the ATM.
Xhaxhi shoe
Picture taken of Elder Allgaier when it was "stolen" by a little girl who is a member of the church.  
He calls her "Sassy Pants".
Me and the poor broken car. (The wrong gas was put in by ? and so it needed to be towed.)

The best juice in the world!

This is a gypsy (a very poor person).
The rivers here are very dirty.

Hotel Kosvegas!
Walking the kids to school--one of them is "Fancy Pants" who is precious. 
A very good snack thingy a member made for us when we taught at her house.
A beautiful sunrise!

Monday, September 16, 2013

This weekend I had my first baptism for a girl named Dafina. Since we don't have baptismal fonts out here, we rented out the pool in a local hotel (hotel Pastriku) and had our baptism in that. It was a really cool experience. I also forgot to tell you all that last Sunday I had the opportunity to be in the circle to ordain Niki and Almir to the Aaronic Priesthood. This was also a really fun and spiritual experience. I remember Andy told me a story about how his first week or two in the country everything sounded like white noise. I could not agree any more with him on that. I have no idea what these people are saying and I struggle to hold a conversation. Luckily for me, the members are forgiving enough and dont get upset when I dont understand them. Yesterday I taught a lesson with the Marku family (their oldest son is Niki) and we taught about enduring to the end. They have a girl who is about 12 years old and I had her read a paragraph out of a pamphlet that I brought. I didnt know that she struggled with reading and it took her a good couple minutes to make it through this paragraph. At the end I told her, "Ne durimi deri në fund për këtë paragraf". That basically means that we endured to the end of that paragraph. I couldn't believe I said that. I meant to tell her that she did a good job enduring to the end and she did well reading, or something like that. Oh well, everyone had a good laugh.

Im gonna write another short letter later today with pictures and stuff so you can add that one to the blog as well. (He ran out of time to write more, but he was able to send some pictures.)

I love you guys! Stay safe!

Love,
Elder Allgaier

A cute little basket this elder used at Nertilli's

A guy hanging outside a window during construction 

A little church I saw on my way to Prishtina

A local butchery

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello from good 'ol Gjakova!

Well I am officially not in America. I am in the great thriving metropolis of Gjakova, Kosovo! This place is absolutely crazy, But first, let me tell you about my travels from the MTC. So we woke up at 3:45 AM to catch the bus and then a train to SLC airport. We flew from SLC to Dulles (and thats where I talked to you guys!!!!!!) and then to Munich on a super awesome airplane. We had tv's on the back of every headrest so I basically played bejewled for 6 of the 8 hours it took to get to Munich. Ballin' huh? When we got to Munich I thought I had lost my wallet. I freaked out and checked through all of my pockets and both of the backpacks that I had as my carry-ons. I couldnt find it! I ran back to the terminal to have an airline employee check my seat for it and they still couldnt find it. I said a quick prayer and i went back to where I had left my stuff in the airport and looked through my bags one last time. I found my wallet sitting right on top inside one of the zippers. Either I was a super retarded and didnt check all the pockets or my prayer was answered. Definitely the latter.

Anyway, after that little fiasco we made the 1.5 hour flight to Tirana. That is one hick ariport. As soon as we landed I knew that my mission had finally started and that I would be a foreigner for the next 2 years. Everybody was speaking Albanian and I was completely lost. We took a car to the mission home in Tirana (btw, the driving is CRAZY) and dropped our stuff off. We then met up with our temporary companions for the day and went proselyting in Tirana. That was the hardest thing I have ever done. I had no idea what anyone was saying and I basically said the same thing everytime I knocked on a door. Just a quick fun fact; Albania speaks a dialect called Tosk and Kosovo speaks a dialect called Gheg. We learn Tosk in the MTC and I am more lost in Kosovo than I was in Tirana. Anywhoooo, the next day we got assigned our areas and our trainers. I got put with Elder Harvey and sent to Gjakova, Kosovo. 

Kosovo is cray cray!!!! Its like a smaller and cleaner Mexico City. Im trying to think of ways to describe it but I cant. You all need to see it. I got here on Thursday and I have already gotten a girl to agree to baptism and yesterday at church we had the highest number of people at church in Gjakova's history... 25! Elder Harvey and I have taught a few lessons and I mostly sit there and play with the kids or say a prayer. The hardest part isnt speaking, but knowing what the natives are saying. One day I will know this language and Im gonna baptize everyone I talk to.

Love, 

Elder Allgaier

A local Mosque

Just a street

Me and Merlind

Me with Patrik and Genta

Mirlinda is so cute!...She is 8 yrs old

No dryers here, just a rack

The entertainment center

The nails are poking through. (I guess it's time to get this boy some new shoes!  Already?!)

The sleeping room

The sweetest missionary kitchen ever!

The view outside the room #1

The view outside the room #2

Saturday, September 7, 2013

He has arrived!!

I received an email from the Albania, Tirana Mission President, Andrew Michael Ford, confirming that Elder Allgaier has arrived "safe and sound" in Albania!!!  He arrived on the evening of September 4th and has been assigned to serve in the Gjakova group in the district of Tirana with a new, experienced companion.  He even included in the email a few pictures.  We can't wait to hear from Elder Allgaier himself! If you want to write to him, the address should look like this: 
Elder Jonathan Allgaier
Albania Tirana Mission
PO Box 2984
Rruga Qemal Stafa, Vila 1
Perballe Postas Nr. 22
Tirana, Albania
After 33 hours of travel, Elder Tyler Allgaier arrives at the mission home in Tirana, Albania.  Pictured with (L to R) mission president, Andrew Michael Ford, Elder Harvey (his new companion), Elder Tyler Allgaier and Sister Ford.

Elder Tyler Allgaier finally arrives in the mission field!  He and his new companion, Elder Harvey.