My Mission Call

Called to serve in the Michigan, Detroit Mission in the Spanish language from September 2014- September 2016

Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 13 - Christmas was amazing!

Well, I've had a great holiday season up here! I got a bunch of unexpected packages and love! Thank you so much, those simple things were touching.

So, shout out to Aunt Kathy, I love you so much! Thank you for the  Sriracha  sauce, super awesome gloves and everything I just about cried!

Shout out to Banna Tesfay, the next Oprah Winfrey! She can't make me sandwiches anymore but she can send the ingredients! That was one meaningful gift Banna, I love you!!!

And shout out to My Family who I love some much! You all mean the world to me!

It was nice this year to not know what was under the Christmas tree! I felt like a kid again! And I also got to see my family for the first time in three months over Skype... wow, I love them so much! And if they took and Skype pictures on their end I they better post them on the blog! And email them to me too! But seeing family this Christmas was the greatest gift I ever could of asked for, it didn't make me homesick at all. In fact it reminded me more of why I am here in Detroit. I left my eternal family so that I could come here to help make eternal families here in Detroit through inviting people to come towards the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

As far as missionary experiences and the work this week, it slowed down a lot because no one wanted to hear from us and cussed us off their doorsteps but we only teach those that are willing to listen.

I love you all, Happy New Years from Detroit!,
Elder Alger

P.S. We were taken good care of for Christmas, the Hispanic culture will feed you whether you're hungry or not! haha

Christmas Morning!

Graffiti of the week 
(lots of Astro graffiti in Detroit)


Skype Pictures

Sara got a selfie with Elder Alger!

It really was a sweet call.  Elder Sammy has already grown and learned in so many exciting ways.  We love him bunches too!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 12 - Merry Christmas!!!

Well it's a new transfer, I'm 19 as of yesterday, Christmas is coming up and I'll be able to Skype my family, and I love my new companion Elder Birch!

Before I got Elder Birch I asked God to give me a companion I can really be friends with and he did just that! Me and Elder Birch have hit it off great! But I cannot wait to see what this transfer will bring!

I got my first flat on my bike today, so yay for that.... It didn't just have one hole, it had about 10 all the way around it... I not sure what the heck I ran over to do that but it's ok, we have spare tires!!

So Elder Birch is from Lehi Utah, and actually spent his first three months in Detroit River North too, so it's really nice to have someone with a knowledge of the area with me even though if he didn't I would be able to manage just fine. But the members in the branch love him, and he, like I, has a great love for them! Missionary work isn't work anymore, it's a vacation! Elder Birch is so open with seeing anyone in our area, which is super nice because we have seen great blessings come from giving previous investigators another chance at the gospel.

I notice that the Lord prepares people every where we go, everyone in our path is being prepared for the restored gospel! No matter where we are we bump into people all the time that are members, previous investigators, investigators, and random people we don't even know that stop us to ask us questions. I have decided that when we see someone we know outside of a church activity or in their homes then that is the Lord telling us we need to see them! There are no coincidences in our lives, whether by the choices we have made or by guidance from the Lord, EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

I have seen and heard gruesome things in my sort time in Detroit, I've taught a man who was chopped up really bad by a gangster with a machete, I've been told a dead man was outside of a high school this last week, and I have seen horrible wounds on innocent children from child abuse. It's not right. (and you told me not to hold back my experiences mom, just be aware of that.) But none the less I have seen more beauty here in Detroit than I have anywhere else and it is because of how I choose to apply myself to the gospel. The beauty of the gospel is all around us. I am seeing the gospel touch so many lives and especially me! We have one investigator on date and I really hope he pulls through. His name is D'ante and he has come to church, had lessons in the church and has read everything we have given him! He is loving the gospel and has a strong desire to change his life! Unfortunately Hector does not want to meet with us anymore and refuses to look at us and wont explain why even after all the amazing things he has experienced he doesn't want to be taught, so please pray for him and his brother Jazziel who is still taking the lessons, but has a hard time remembering his desire to live the gospel.

As for my Birthday, I honestly forgot my own birthday, but it was all fine with me! There is work to be done! And I didn't tell any of the members about my birthday because it was on Sunday and they already have a hard enough time with keeping the Sabbath day holy sooo haha. And I really didn't want to get my face smashed in cake so that was another reason I didn't say anything. But it was a great and successful missionary work day for my Birthday!

I love you all Merry Christmas!

PS: we might not have a white Christmas this year! There's no snow on the ground!    

Graffiti pictures of the week! (Be aware that I have TONS of graffiti pictures saved up for this weekly thing, so please do not assume that these pictures are up to date) 

 Sister Ferriera and her family, and Elder Bardalez (Sister Ferriera is basically my mission mom) but she still can"t compare to the one I have at home :)

 I saw a possum this week, it's essentially a large ugly rat the size of a cat...

close up possum

 I'm not the missionary Detroit needs, but the one it deserves (say in a low, dark, scratchy voice like batman haha)

This tree ate the pole holding these signs!!

this is my new companion Elder Birch! I love him!

Santa Claus is black up in Detroit! haha

Me and Elder Birch!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 11 - Continued - Transfer #2!

Just in finishing for last weeks email, the man who came up to us and asked if we had anything to read was named Diante. He actually came to church the following Sunday and loved church and we are hoping to teach him in his home

Well, it's an interesting situation to be seeing so many Elders leaving to their homes as quickly as I came. Elder Bardalez is off to his home in Utah and this is both a blessing and a hardship because even though I didn't mix too well with him the Lord has help me see the good that has come from our companionship and I actually have truly come to love him.

This last week was a good one. We met several of our transfer goals as far as teaching! I have found that the more I continue to make myself more worthy and loyal to the Lord and His work that he literally tells me about the people I am teaching in the very moment I need it.

But this week has been quiet adventurous! Detroit is a place of many different cultures! We actually have the largest Middle-Eastern population in the United States!  The reason I bring that up is because a young 18 year old member named Ricardo Galzaines took us out to eat at some Middle-Eastern restaurants! The first one I forget what it was called but it is where I had the chicken shawarma (there's a picture of it in this weeks post) and then Ricardo took us to Shalita's Bakery (which was a surprisingly beautiful location considering the quality of Detroit). At Shalita's, Ricardo bought us all sorts of desserts which mostly consisted of Baklava. Baklava is a pretty popular cookie thing in the Middle East, and though it was quiet different than anything I've ever tasted it was quiet delicious! He also got us some of the French pastries that were there too! And I had the best brownie I have ever had in my life! But just on a side note, Detroit has sooooo many cultural influences because of all the different people that move here! We have people from Africa, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, Romania, and pretty much from every country in South America!

I also come bearing sad news.... Jazziel has decided that for absolutely no reason he doesn't want to be Mormon. It has nothing to do with the doctrine or anything that he has learned, he simply doesn't want to be Mormon. Hopefully this strange situation will straighten out because it's super silly of him to know that the things we have shared with him are true and not receive the ordinances of salvation the Holy Priesthood can offer him through his faith! But frustration and impatience are not emotions of love, and we will continue to see Jazziel as long as he seems to progress otherwise we will have to give the time we are giving to him to others who will better partake of the Lord's message. As far as Hector, he is still amazing but we haven't seen too much of him this last week and he is leaving to Texas for three weeks so we hope all stays well with him!

But I am soo excited for this next transfer! I will still be staying in Detroit River North just I will have a new companion! I hope I can have a better friend relationship with my next companion!

Elder Alger

Week 11

Sorry no time for an email this week.  The other Elders are rushing me.  Enjoy the pics!

Graffiti picture of the week

Just a little piece of the hood

This was the big dog that was giving me troubles in my last email.

Look at those blue eyes.

Downtown Detroit

Downtown Detroit Christmas Tree

Cool buildings

Detroit Tigers Baseball Stadium

Giant tigers in front of the baseball stadium  

Middle-Eastern food, this is a Chicken Shawarma (which is essentially chicken, tomato, pickles, and some BOMB garlic sauce) 

Shalita's Bakery (the middle-eastern bakery)

We were treated to by a member.

They also had some french pastries.

This is an awesome brownie I had.

This is baklava which is a very honey and nut based pastry from the Middle East.




And even more baklava

 These are some guys from The Congo that go to our ward! (the one in the brown is our 1st president, President Bobo)

 This is Brother Moffett who actually trained Seth Alger (my cousin) in Uruguay, he and his wife go to our ward! 

Annnnnd this is Jazziel!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 10 - Well! It's been about 2 & 1/2 months!

Time has passed by pretty quickly! And it seems like there's a couple questions my mom told me that you would all like to know more about!

1) Do you get dinners with members?
A: Yes, in fact, people feed us whether we like it or not here. It's just how the Hispanic culture is haha! It actually reminds me a lot about my best friend's mom every time I was over! (Victor's mom) 

2) How's the Spanish coming?
A: The Spanish is coming well! I learn more and more every day! When my companion would go to the bathroom and leave me in the room alone with the people we were teaching, I normally wouldn't have said anything (that was in the beginning of the transfer) but now I can hold excellent broken conversations! hahaha I try to spit out as much Spanish as I can everywhere I go! 

3) Are you biking?
A: Yes, we are either biking or walking every day! We do have a car but we only use it to go to far away places like for shopping or going to the church building and we share this van with 5 other Elders!

4) How is the cold?
A: I love the weather up here! However, I am not a fan of 45 mph winds and the wind doesn't go in one direction. It always comes in every direction, from all sides, right at you! But am I cold? No, absolutely not, the wind is just a little pesky!

5) How is the family I helped with the tree debris?
A: Quite annoying actually. We try to see them as much as we can but even though they know what we said was true and committed to baptism, they still make no effort to come to church or read from the Book of Mormon.

6) How is Olga and her little innocent son Alexander?
A: Well, once again Elder Bardalez and I cannot make anyone keep their commitments, whether or not they know it's true. So we try to see Olga as much as we can and teach her and help her but if she doesn't sacrifice some of the things that waste time and keep her from keeping commitments, then, while we will still care for her, there is someone else out there who will, and that's the person we need to be finding and teaching!

But now on to the letter! Lately I've gotten several emails about concerns about what I want for Christmas and my 19th Birthday, well let me tell you! Nothing! I don't want anything! The only thing I want from those who love me is to send me an email of a picture of you! I miss seeing all the faces of my friends and family! But really I don't NEED anything else! But something you could do for me for Christmas is to let the missionaries help YOU in YOUR SACRED CALLING as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! As missionaries, we are called to ASSIST the unit in which we serve in. We, as missionaries, are supposed to teach and aide the members around us! And the work cannot progress the way it needs to if the members of His church don't hasten it! So if the work isn't going to take off here, send it to the sky down in Arizona!

Just on a side note, I have found that they're are few things as beautiful as a PB&J on my mission. It's cheap, the supplies last forever, and it's delicious!

But now quickly to sum up this week! As we were tracking and not having too much success, a tall, skinny, African American man of about 24 years of age came up to us and asked us if we had anything to read and Elder Bardalez said, "Oh ya I do!". At this point and time I was struggling to close this gate between me and the largest pitbull I have ever seen in all of Detroit! and that's saying something!! It had rather beautiful blue eyes! I am so sorry I will finish my letter next week, I ran out of time.... But I love you all so much!!!
Elder Alger

Graffiti pic of the week!

Cool Houses!

Cool architecture 

More cool architecture 

The cold air was making my eyes water so I took advantage of an epic tear drop picture!

This is my favorite picture I've taken yet on my mission! It's a definite keeper!!

More cool architecture 

If you know the right places you can get ANYTHING cheap! I got a bunch of goodies for only about $3! Freshly baked and all!

Just some good sunset pictures!

Even MORE cool architecture!