My Mission Call

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Week 21 - 40 Days of What?

Well, let me share a funny story! So, this Sunday I gave a 20 min talk in Spanish (of course my Spanish was limited and certainly not of literal merit) but I did it! However, I made an absolutely silly mistake. So in part of my talk I was sharing about the experience Christ had during and after His forty day fast. And so I said "la cuarenta dia desayuno de Jesuscristo" instead of "la cuarenta dia ayuno de Jesuscristo" Ayuno means fast, however desayuno means breakfast! And not only did I make this mistake once, but I did it SEVERAL times! The entire congregation looked shocked and after a while were shaking their heads no and laughing at me and then someone said "Nooooo, AYUNO!" Once I caught on, I stood their for a moment and realized by myself I was actually talking about the forty days of breakfast of Christ! hahaha! I hit my forehead and said "Ohhhhhh my... I just said the forty days of breakfast of Christ," and then me and the congregation all laughed! It was fantastic!

But on to more spiritual things, I have now officially experienced a baptism of someone I was able to take part in being a mouth piece for the Lord for! She is absolutely fantastic and a little fireball for the gospel! I had the opportunity to confirm her as a member of the church and to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost because she had asked me to do it for her specifically. I was so blessed to be able to experience this part of the priesthood power again. I haven't had the opportunity to deliver such gifts to one of God's children since I had the opportunity to baptize my brother Daniel!

My message is short today but not any less powerful because of the truths in which I speak. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and a man can come closer to God by abiding by it precepts than by any other book. If you seek the strength to move on, the power to overcome trials, the comfort of God's loving arms, the revelation and guidance to move in the pathways of God then you should seek the words of this book always. If you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, keep it and strengthen it, convert to it's precepts. If you don't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and you desire all of the blessings of the One who loves you most and power and strength beyond your own, gain one and come to know the One who has suffered all for you. If you've gained a testimony and have lost it, repent and repair it, there will come a time when you will realize that there truly is no other way to live to the fullest without the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do not let yourself come to this point. But if you have, don't give up. So long as the Master of the Vineyard says there is time, there is time. There is time my loved ones, come and know of Him.

Te amo mucho,
Elder Samuel Afton Alger

PS -  I am now officially a cat person! I love cats so much! A lot of it has to do with that I am sick of all the barking and chasing dogs and they just poop everywhere and I now officially see that cats are superior to dogs! :)

Graffiti of the week

We got to go to the temple again, we get to go once a transfer!

We had a baptism :) I'm not in her area anymore but Elder Birch and I started her up!

Elder Birch got to baptize her and I had the honor of confirming her in Spanish/ had someone translate for me the next day!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 20 - The Drop

Well, I now know how to love someone so much that you'll drop them. We had an investigator who has been struggling with alcoholism and keeping his commitments. He is so sincere and I love him so much but he can't progress unless he stops drinking and keeps his commitments. There's was no point in us teaching him more. He wouldn't have retained what we taught him because of what he is doing to himself. However, when we walked into the lesson with this investigator, this was the last thing on my and Elder Sawyer's minds. We love this man so much. But when we checked up on how he was doing with drinking, even though I just wanted to push it aside and keep teaching him and hope everything would go alright, the Holy Ghost told me otherwise. So I stopped right there when he had given us his little story of why he hasn't stopped, and no doubt we have shown the mercy of God to this man and have given him weeks and weeks of chances to change, this time even though I didn't want to, I stopped. As I waited and the silence in the room took over, I told him we can't be here anymore. It threw him kind of off. I told him, "There are no excuses or stories that can get you away from making the choice you fear most. I know you really want to quit drinking and you see how it has destroyed your life but you are still not stopping. Of course there is an addiction you have to deal with but you aren't doing the part you need to do to allow God to help you with your addiction. The question you have in front of you is clear, you are either going to get all of the alcohol you have in this house and dump it out and show God you are willing to change or you're not. There is literally no other path you can take right now, and it's the same with all of us despite the things we say to ourselves, the answer is always yes or no. And the one you choose is going to decide whether or not we can come back... We love you and we don't want to leave you but depending on what you choose you will either be bringing us closer to you or pushing us away. So what will it be? Yes or no? Are you going to dump out your alcohol right now?" To our great sorrow, he said, "I'm just going to drink the rest and then stop." I told him, "That's not the choice you really have before you, the choice you really have before you is yes or no." After that he sad a slow and sad, "No, I can't... "

I told him, "We act in the ways of God and His Holy Spirit and just like Them unfortunately we have to leave because of the choice you have just made, so I'm sorry but we have to leave for a while until you truly decide you want to change. We love you so much though and as soon as you are willing, know that we have our hands out to take you in. And you are free to call us at anytime but we have to go now."

Though harsh and bold he knew exactly why we were doing what we were doing and by us telling him this, he learned more than if we had tried to teach him what we were planning to teach him before coming in through the door. He knew and he was crushed, and so were we.

My loved ones, this situation is the exact same bland, simple and basic situations we have with God every day, it is so simple but Satan would have you think otherwise you are either going to do or not do it, you are either going to say yes or no. And depending on which path you take, you will either place yourself along side God and in His grasp or place a wall between you. Do not let yourself make a choice you'll regret.  

Love to you all!
Elder Alger

Every once in a while you see houses like this in Detroit.

Headed straight toward the heart of Detroit.

Graffiti Picture of the Week

You can see Canada from here in some places and Ambassador Bridge goes straight to it!

Elder Sawyer and I had our own little Valentine's "date night" with brownies and chess. hahaha

Blowing out the candles!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 19 - I Am Happiest Where the Lord Wants Me to Be

Favorite Quote of the Week:
"Spirituality... is the consciousness of victory over self, and of communion with the infinite."
  - President David O. McKay (from Teachings of David O. McKay)

So, if you don't already know, us missionaries move around a lot to different areas for exchanges. Let me explain, six weeks make up a transfer, and after every transfer there is a possibility of getting moved to a different area in the Michigan Detroit Mission (which makes up about a third or a fourth of Michigan, and I can be called to any part of it depending on what the Lord says). BUT! We also go one what is called "exchanges" a lot. So with in the Detroit Michigan Mission there are many "Zones" which split up the mission into different areas to serve in and then within the Zones there are "Districts" and with in the Districts there are "Areas". This helps the mission to stay organized and helps the Lord's work to be organized as well. So right now I am in the Detroit River South Area, but before I was in the Detroit River North Area. Detroit River North and South and East Areas make up one district. So depending on the choice of our District Leader (the missionary who guides the district) we can be switched around into different areas in the District (otherwise called an "Exchange" but we can only be exchanged for maximum time period of 24 hours.) and work in a companionship with a missionary from a different Area to help us learn from how different areas and missionaries do the work of the Lord. It helps me because I learn new ways of how to become a better teacher and missionary!

So, with that being said and explained to all those who may have not already known, I went on an exchange back to my previous area in Detroit River North. I thought I would have been a more effective missionary because I knew the people and I had worked so hard and shared many tears with those people. However, I learned that this was not so. I went back to North for a time and worked with a newer missionary than I, his name is Elder Mortenson. Because I was back in North I was ready to hit the home run and take off flying but that didn't happen. Out doing God's work requires that we do all we can to be guided by His spirit because this work CANNOT be done by man alone. It is impossible. Fortunately we all can have the Holy Ghost to guide us through Baptism by someone who has the Priesthood of God and Confirmation, but missionary work works a little differently. Where God calls you to serve is YOUR area and he trusts you with it and to take care of His children and to bring His love to them. However we desperately need his help, because HE KNOWS BETTER THAN US. I can receive revelation and guidance in Detroit River South that no one else can. God has literally trusted these souls into my and my companion's hands! What a calling! So being back into an area that even though I had served there previously, I am no longer called to that area and because of that can no longer receive that guidance that I used to have.

So you can only imagine what this would be like unless you've experienced this for yourself, here I was with streets and people I knew once again but I wasn't having the same guidance I used to. It was frustrating. Irritating. And most of all a shocking reality to me. Detroit River North no longer seemed to be my home and seemed very distant to me compared to what it used to. I had no idea what to do! Thankfully, even though Elder Mortenson is a younger missionary than I, he COULD receive that guidance that we so desperately need from God. I love the Lord and I know now more than ever that he strengthens me EVERY hour of the day. I can see the strength He gives me as I do what He asks of me and I know that I am nothing without Him. Praise the Lord God Almighty!

Though I couldn't receive the guidance I used to the experience as a whole was nothing but spiritual. I learned things from Elder Mortenson and from this exchange that I couldn't have anywhere else. Elder Mortenson was even kind enough to say, "has anyone ever told you that you speak with so much power and know exactly what to say at just the right time? There's just so much power in your voice and you're so direct!", I said "well my mom has called me a straight arrow before", and then he quickly said, "YES! Exactly like that!", I was flattered. However I also know that I am nothing without my God, I will not boast of my own strength, for all my strength and all I do and any praise I receive is God's for it is Him who gives me that power! All the praise be God's! Not mine.

I love you all so much I I know that I am truly happier where the Lord wants me to be, and that is where I can receive all His love and guidance! I ask that you find out for yourself where is God's path for you with real intent so you can know that you are exactly where God wants you to be so that you can receive all the love and guidance He so desperately wants to give to you. Be willing to do whatever He expects of you nor matter how hard or illogical it may be, He WILL guide you because He loves YOU and He NEVER lead you astray. He is your Father and mine. Praised be His name for all time and eternity for it is Him that strengthens me. Him and Him alone.

Until next week
-Elder Samuel Afton Alger          


So there's a whole lot of icicles out here, I've even seen some as long as a story and a half! 

This is the Detroit Michigan Mission boundaries and I can be called to any place with in these boundaries after a transfer or I can simply stay where I am already called! Right now I serving specifically in Detroit.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 18 - Whatta Week! What Would My Life Be like Without the Gospel!

"As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase." Preach My Gospel

Well, here I am at the beginning of a new transfer and I am with Elder Sawyer! Elder Sawyer and I came in to the mission at the same time so I guess the Lord trust us enough to put two missionaries fresh out of  "in field training" with the largest area in the Detroit River District. It's really nothing to brag about because we are also the smallest district in the mission too haha. But first day in the Detroit South area you'll never guess what we did! We de-bedbugafied our apartment! Ya, it wasn't that fun...

But throughout the week we've worked with a bunch of people, drug attics, alcoholics, less active members and unfortunately a witch... like a practicing witch... so when we realized that we got out of the house haha, but he was a ginger headed man so he doesn't even know his own religion Elder Sawyer said, "HE'S A WIZARD NOT A WITCH!" it was pretty funny, so anyways we aren't going there again.

But also I've been pretty ticked off... I've never burnt so many things in my life... I don't understand. Being on the mission has apparently made me lose all of my basic cooking skills... I'm talking I stinkin' burned three microwavable bags of popcorn in a row! I don't understand haha. But I've lost another 3 pounds so maybe this is a good thing haha I'm at 28lbs lost now since the beginning of my mission!

Also this week, we had the 3rd largest storm in Michigan since 1794 or something like that. There is so much snow it ridiculous. Half of Detroit is shut down right now because stuff has been snowed in and just because people don't feel like working... we as missionaries have helped push endless cars out of snow... It's been quite the experience!

But now I'd like to get to business. So, we had an excellent lesson this last week with an investigator, and it was only possible because we had a member come and teach with us (so get out there and teach with the missionaries). It's because we as missionaries aren't human beings to people. People think that we are only able to live the gospel so well because we are missionaries, the truth is we are human beings too and we have temptations just like anyone else. Nonetheless, there is something about having a member in a lesson that just helps an investigator absorb everything that's being taught. So our investigator has been struggling because she doesn't have any support from her father, and her mother wants her to "search other religions before she picks one" which would be soooooo silly because she has the only true and living gospel right in front of her! So our lesson really came down to her asking what would our lives be like without the gospel. What a question. What would our lives be like without the gospel? Have you thought about that for yourself? We all shared really heartfelt testimonies and really the one I know she took in the most was of the member we had with us.

But I'd like to say right now, what would my life be without the gospel.

My life would be aimless and I would see the reality of my in-capabilities. Just growing up as kid, I have always had such a desire to love people with all of my very being and because of this I have desired to have a wife and family since I could think clearly for myself. But I know that it is only because of God and his gospel that I can ever hope to fulfill my righteous desires. So where would I be without the gospel? I really think I would be exactly opposite of where I would have wanted to be in my life right now. The gospel gives me the strength to love that I don't have the ability to give. So I think right now if I didn't have the gospel I would still be searching to love, that I know for sure. But, I would be trying to go about it in ways that never last. I would be in a place of endless confusion, with an empty heart, and unfulfilled dreams. The world offers no strength or feelings that last. Only the gospel does. I encourage you all to see how the gospel has blessed you and ask yourself if you want those blessings in your life to continue and if you want even more. Those blessings are all available for us we just need to recognize that it is only through the gospel that they are available.

I love you all so much!
Elder Alger

the beginning of the blizzard

My new apartment!

Yes, this is the tiny shower I posted from a visit earlier in my mission.  Now it is mine full time.  hahaha


If you want to be on my wall of love then send me a picture of you and I'll stick your beautiful face on there!

Companion selfie

This is an incredibly cool elementary school building. 

it's stinkin' cold

frozen smile

Elder Sawyer and I, I love this guy

just the day before the blizzard

And a couple of short videos of me in the storm