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Monday, January 23, 2012

Argentine Bloopers/Random Info.

Well, like always, I hope that you guys are doing great and that you have had a great week :). I received mail again, which always gives me a small lowdown of the happenings up there in the states. Sometimes I feel so caught up in the culture, language, and work down here that Argentina feels like my permanent home haha. Throughout my life and especially as a missionary here in Argentina, I have learned and grown everyday. I have a strong testimony of the gospel, but I also wanted to let you all know that I have a firm belief in Jimmer too! Thanks for the updates, guys. All the information just strengthened my testimony of his extraordinary abilities. Haha. But seriously, I want to thank everyone who has written to me, both during my time here in Argentina and at the MTC, because it gives me motivation, and it is fun to hear about what's going in your lives right now. Sports stuff is great too, like the Jimmer details many of you sent me :).

Also, I have talked to tons of different missionaries here about the mail, its process, and the best way to do it. This is what like 90% of the missionaries do, and apparently it works really well. At least that's what I've heard :). So here's the info:

1) This works fine and should never have problems. They get delivered every week, and it usually takes another week or two to get to me. :) Many of you have used this. Thanks!

2) Handwritten Letters. There are a couple of options: LDS pouch mail and U.S. postage. I think that U.S. postage works best. You handwrite your letter and then just mail it in a normal envelope to my mission address. An international stamp costs 98 cents for a half ounce. It works great, and should be easy since you can mail it like a normal letter. The only difference is that you have to buy an international stamp instead of a normal one. If you want to use the LDS pouch, click on the link to the right of this blog. There are instructions, and you can see the pouch requirements.

Also, it's been a long time since I posted my address:

Elder Rory Jones
Argentina Rosario Mission
Blvd Argentino 7935
2000 Rosario
Sante Fe

And alright, I've got a boat load of information again. This time I've decided to share all of the funniest moments/bloopers here in Argentina :).


#1: My companion eats it. Alright, I gotta explain this well :). So when we had all the floods come about two months ago, Elder Birky and I did service for hours and hours, trying to help the people get the water out of their houses. Water covered EVERYTHING - the streets, the sidewalks, the soccer fields, people's yards, everything. Also, when we needed to travel, we just had to tromp through the water, which was about knee-deep in most places. So yep, we had been doing this all day, walking through dirty flood water and bucketing it out of houses. After finishing up at the last service activity of the day, we were exhausted and started our trek back to our apartment, once again shuffling through the deep water. Elder Birky was walking just a few steps ahead of me when he all of a sudden he fell down into water up to his shoulders. He screamed and a couple of people outside (including me) laughed at him once they realized he wasn't hurt. Haha He had fallen into a zanja (zan--hah). In the poorest parts of Argentina, like many parts of the area I'm serving right now, the sewage just runs along the side of the road. Normally we know exactly where all of them are for two reasons: 1) you can smell their NASTY and reeky fumes and 2) they just look like small little brown streams along the sides of the roads. But because of all the water from the flood, we couldn't see them at all. In fact, it was even hard to tell where the streets and sidewalks started and ended since many of them are just muddy, dirt roads here. So that's how it was. Elder Birky was walking and then slipped and fell into one of these sewage streams, which are like four feet deep. The water wasn't that dirty since it had mixed with all of the rainwater, so that was good. It was just really hilarious to watch Birky go down like a torpedo into the water. I wish it was on video. You guys shoulda been there. :)

#2) Never-ending lunch. So we have lunch appointments almost every day with members, which is really nice since most of them can cook WAY better than us. Plus, it gives us a nice break from working out in the heat and contacting. Anyways, one day we were eating with a new family, getting to know them, and just passing the time in their cozy house for a bit :). For about a half hour, we had been drinking lemonade and eating empanadas, a special food here that is kinda hard to explain. Search it on the Internet if you would like to know more! Haha. But yeah, my companion and I had assumed that the lunch consisted of these empanadas and the small salad placed on the table, a simple but tasty lunch. O man, we were wrong haha. Apparently she had told us that the empanadas served as an appetizer, but we both hadn't known :). So I had already eaten like five empanadas and Elder Birky six when she brought out a meat platter, another salad, a vegetable plate, and more juice. Those of you who know me well know that I eat quite a bit, especially during CC season :). I already felt STUFFED, but we didn't want to offend her. We are men, so we just decided to keep eating. Bad decision haha. It did taste really good, by the way. So we ate, ate, and ate some more, finally thinking we had finished the meal, when they brought out two more kilos of ice cream. I still ate some of this dessert, even though my stomach felt like it was gonna explode. Then she asked us if we wanted something more haha. NO! It was a great lunch, and now we both know the word "appetizer" in Spanish so we won't get surprised like this again. :).

#3 Cake fail. Everybody loves cake, so Birky and I thought it would be a "great idea" to make one. Wrong... Haha. I think it would have been fine if we had had an oven that functioned properly. This happened about two months ago while living on the floor by the fridge for three months in the other missionary´sapartment. They did have gas, though, unlike us now :). But yeah, to keep the oven on, we had to use duct tape and some string to keep the oven door shut. It was pretty hilarious. So, all excited and thrilled to be making a cake, we waited and waited for it to cook to perfection. After a while, something started to smell funny. Oh no!! Haha. The oven heat-control buttons had slowly changed underneath the duct tape, despite our best efforts to make it work. In other words, the heat had moved up to a setting WAY too high. Half of the cake was burnt, but we still picked out the good parts and ate it :).

#4 Bread baseball. Best. Activity. Ever. Haha. Though a little bit different than in the states, the bread still tastes really, really good here! And even better, it's cheap :). They come in big bags from street vendors and can be bought almost anywhere. They are crunchy on the outside and nice and soft inside, kinda like french bread :). So anyways, Elder Limon, a missionary in my apartment now, bought three kilos of bread. Kinda weird, huh? Little did we know that he had a plan up his sleeve! He let the bread sit out for two weeks, until the small chunks of white, cheap bread literally felt like rocks. Haha. Then we went to a big field by our apartment one Pday to play ball. :) It obviously wasn't like real baseball, but it's about as close as you get here. And guess what? They don't sell bats here were I am--just soccer balls. So picture this: four missionaries on a free day out in a field, a broomstick being used as a bat, and about 50 bread chunks to pitch! :) Whenever someone made good contact, the bread would just explode into like 50 million pieces and even make a small dust cloud haha. It was the most fun I've had in a while, and Elder Limon deserves some credit. He´s awesome.

Alright, I have some comments just for you guys too! I like to comment on your mail, but in the past I spent too much time doing it. So i´ve started to do it at the end now, that way i can manage my time better :).

- Zach, good luck with your english project, and it sounds like the movie with Brennen was a blast!
- Xbox 360 slim!!!! Do you have it yet? One student did at BYU, and it was awesome!
- Jennie commented that she doesn´t think she could live in my circumstnces. This made me feel a little better haha. They are getting A LOT better, though :).
- Dad, it sounds like you dominated in that ward football game but are still paying the price hahahahaha. Pedal hard on that bike for me :)
- Camille, I have no idea what´s going on with Aquatic Science cuz you say stuff in dearelders and through email, so everything is time warped haha. I read stuff in the wrong order so it doesnt make any sense hahahaha.
- Mom, those shirts that you saw are HILARIOUS :) haha. And thanks for all of the updates. Also, you always rub it in that you get to eat sushi hahahahaa. I miss it SOOO MUCHH :)
- You guys got to go to the Texans' playoff game??!! I can´t believe it. I heard that it´s Patriots and Giants this year. Is that right? haha.

Whew, I have typed a ton and want to go to for a bit to watch some videos and stuff. I will try to send pics really quick too! Birky also received a call that he will be training again, so that means we won´t be together anymore. Most likely he will stay with his greenie, and I will leave out to another area! I will know all the details next week. My Pday is next Tuesday, so don´t expect an email on Monday!!! :) Hopefully we will get gas soon (Editor's Note: He's talking about gas for his apartment, not his own! Haha :D ). There is never enough time!!! I seriously love your mail, and I hope you all are doing absolutely great. I have struggled a lot somedays, but things are getting better--much better--very fast. Also, the language is really coming. Some people say that I seem fluent. I still have to practice and study, though :). Thanks for everything. For caring. For your support and updates. Gotta go.

Elder Jones

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