Mormon Messages

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly email

Hey everyone -

It has been a pretty good week and I have had the opportunity to meet some really cool people. Last Thursday, my companion and I were out tabling in the center and a teen-aged boy comes up to us and asks, "Are you guys from England?" in perfect English. Turns out that he was born and raised in Michigan and just moved back here to Gjakovë with his family last September. He has an equally cool sister. They are 16 and 13 years old, respectively (I think). We have spent a lot of time with them and playing ping pong at the church and hopefully we can keep seeing them! It is always nice to chat with other Americans.

This past Saturday we had yet ANOTHER baptism! It wasn't our investigator though, it was a man who has been taught by the other two elders in Gjakovë. He is the husband of one of the members in our little branch. 

On a completely unrelated note, Spencer won states on Saturday! Congratulations to him and on his undefeated season!

There is a girl in our branch and she is getting married to another member really soon. Because of the wedding, her sister flew in from America with her kids (her husband will come out soon) and they will be here for the next month or so. With this visiting family and the kids from Michigan, we might as well start an English branch out here! Just kidding, but that would be something special.

Aside from those few things, there isn't much else to report on. The weather is getting pretty chilly up here and I really look forward to the first snow fall. We are going to be heading down to Tirana on the 27th for Mission Conference and thanksgiving at the mission home. I am really looking forward to that. 

I guess that is all from me for this week. I love you all and stay safe!

- Elder Allgaier
(Again...going to load pictures as soon as I can. Please check back.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 11, 2013

Hey Everyone - 

I have been getting some emails about where to send packages, so I decided to address the issue on the blog so everyone can see it. Packages can be sent to this address:

Elder Tyler Allgaier
Adriatic South Mission
PO Box 2984
Rruga Qemal Stafa, Vila 1
Perballe Postes Nr. 22
Tirana, Albania

That is the address for regular letters and packages. If you have a special need for a special address, talk to my mom about that and we can work something out. Thank you for thinking of me!

So now for the weekly recap. The beginning of last week started off a little rough because of some safety concerns that we have had here in Kosovo. We were directed to spend most of our time indoors and just to be careful. The 4 Gjakova elders all stayed together for a few days, and during those few days we had some good fun. We did an ab workout program that about destroyed my stomach. 

This past Saturday we had a baptism for 2 of our investigators, a husband and wife. They have come such a long way since the other two elders started teaching them 2 months ago.  My companion and I picked up teaching them about a month ago and they have changed so much since then, as well. Their baptism was held at Hotel Pastriku (the same place as a young woman) and my companion baptized them both. The Prishtina group even came down here for the baptism and it was really good to see them. It's always fun to have more people at a baptism because 1) it shows the new members that they have a large group of people that are happy and support them and 2) we like to see our Prishtina friends. The following day I had the opportunity to give both Mirlind and Vlora the Holy Ghost. It is really hard to describe the feeling that I have when I give someone else a blessing like that in another language. I don't mean to boast at all because I will be the first one to admit that the blessings were far from grammatically correct, but the important part was the gift that they received from God. And I did that correctly. Baptisms like these are amazing because we can see the kingdom of God growing and we get to see people make changes in their lives that make them happier. 

I don't have much else to say because it was a relatively uneventful week (aside from the baptism, of course) so I will end with a shout-out to my brother Spencer. YOU GUYS BETTER GO WIN STATES!!!!!!!

I love you all so much and I appreciate the support you give to my family. I wouldn't be able to be here without you guys. Stay safe!

- Elder Allgaier

Friday, November 8, 2013

One Day Late... (and two days later because of Mom!)

Hey everyone

This has been quite the week here in this part of the world, to say the least. As of Sunday, I am now 1/6 of the way done with my mission. That also means that I have now been in the field for as long as I was in the MTC.... crazy. I feel like I haven't been on my mission for that long (and I really haven't), but time is flying by out here. I look forward to the next 20 months.

Last Wednesday while Harvey and I were talking to people in the Center, 2 teen aged boys came up to us and started talking to us in half decent English. They were probably 17 or 18 years old. The first thing they asked us was, "Can we have visas to America?" Obviously we said no, but they decided to stick around anyway and chat with us. Long story short, it is a bummer to see how skewed the youth's (and some adult's) view of America is. The kids here have such potential.

As all you Americans know, the 31st was Halloween and much to my surprise, we had Halloween here too! Although it was celebrated a little bit differently, it was still fun to have that holiday. Instead of going door-to-door asking for candy, the kids just dress up in costumes and walk around the town with their friends or parents. It's basically just an opportunity for the kids to dress up and hangout with their pals. That night my companion and I went to my favorite pizza stand called "Të Cimi". Since it was Halloween night, the line was ridiculously long. We decided it would be fun to order 10 pizzas just for ourselves. At 1 euro a pizza, it seemed like a great idea. So we did. And everyone behind us got mad. Oh well....

Saturday was a super awesome day. We had an 8 AM baptism for one of our investigators. He is in his 30's and we met him about 2 months ago while we were waiting to pick up another member (Dafina) to go to church. The baptism was held in a local river because the hotel we usually use was being renovated. At 8 AM you can probably guess how cold the water was.... yes, freezing. Luckily for me, one of our members baptized him. So now for the funny part: The first time he went under the water his knees didn't go all the way under so they had to redo it. As he was being pulled out of the water the current knocked them both over and they fell completely into the river. Pretty funny. Then the second time he got dipped, he was so cold and worried about not going completely under that he just curled up into a ball and rolled over into the river. Again, pretty funny. At the same time, though, it was a spiritual moment and I got to see someone who I had taught from start to finish get baptized. After the baptism at the river, we all went back to the church to finish the program. I even gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, which was fun. 

The day after the baptism we had church at the normal 11 AM and as part of the program, Shkumbin was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Guess who did it...... THIS GUY! I had no idea he wanted me to do it until we all stood up in the circle and he pointed to me. My heart flipped out, but I gave the blessing and it was awesome. that was the first time I have ever given anyone the Holy Ghost and it was in Albanian, too! As a completely unrelated side note, we got our piano at the church (its a really nice electric keyboard). The cool thing with this piano is that it has all the LDS hymns pre-loaded onto it and you can play them by just tapping one key to the beat. Because it was that easy to play it, I volunteered to be the pianist for Church. Totally awesome. 

Yesterday for P-day the Gjakova district went to Macedonia! This was a really special trip for us because usually missionaries aren't allowed there unless they have serious business to do.... we didn't. We really wanted to get our passport stamped. That was about as serious as it got. I wont cover the whole trip because that would take forever (plus, you can just look at the pictures) so I will just talk about the highlights. The Macedonian elders have the only dryer in the entire mission, the have Domino's pizza, Burger King, and a radio built into their shower. Talk about high-rollers. For lunch we ordered 4 pizzas from Domino's and it was nothing short of spectacular. Sometimes you just need American pizza to make you feel good. We also go to see a castle and walk around the city for a bit. Skopje (the capital) is sooo clean compared to the rest of the mission. 

So that's about all I have for this week. I apologize for writing it a day late, but I had a really busy day yesterday and didn't have time to get on the computer. I hope you are all doing well, and stay safe!

Love you all.

- Elder Allgaier
(I'm working on adding more pictures of the trip to Macedonia. Keep checking back!.)


A picture of a picture of our zone conference last month


At the baptism

Group picture

Sitting outside the church after service

Tè Cimi!

Waiting for our crepes in Prizren