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Monday, July 16, 2012

Cultural Note/Few Comments

Sorry, today was INCREDIBLY BUSY. I still thought I´d get on and send you all a quick cultural note plus a few comments!

Housing. More than half of the homes here in Argentina have almost the same design for one specific reason: they are homemade! This might sound crazy, partly because it is, but many people construct their own houses here in Argentina. I have had the opportunity to help an investigator with his house´s foundation this past week, so my knowledge of home building has grown, at least according to the manner of construction here in Rosario :) First off, we draw an outline of the house in the dirt, which usually consists of a big square with smaller squares included within the lines. Then we move the dirt a tad with shovels to make sure huge rocks or pieces of wood won't impede our progress. Then we have huge stompers. "Stompers" probably isn´t the appropriate word in English, but I can´t think of a better translation! Basically, they consist of a huge metal pole with a 40 pound weight glued to the bottom. You raise it up and them slam it into the ground, and boy does it wear you out fast. This process takes forever, and we spent like three hours in the "stomping phase." haha. Finally, we reached a pretty stable and flat point within all the lines of the house. Afterwards, we mix cement. This cement here is a special mixture of gravel, sand, cement powder, and water. Man, with tons of details and little time, I'm struggling to explain everything. Long story short, we mix the cement in a special and quite creative Argentine way. We pour it into our small, now smashed aread outlined as the house and spread it out as smoothly as possible. Then the process of using the cement and stacking brick is pretty self explanatory, so I won´t go into too many details. Later this week, we plan to place the roof on top!! I don´t know very many details about this process yet, so I will have to explain more another week. Many houses are just two or three rooms, all small and box-shaped like described above, designed with cement flooring. I have gotten completely used to these houses and forgot of the differences between them and those of the states. So, there you have it! Another cultural note from Elder Jones here in Argentina. :)

Being Transferred or Not. I just found out that I am staying for six more weeks! There are benefits to both the offices and the field. I will keep you updated on this.

Elder Benson (one of Elder Jones's previous companions). I just told Elder Benson "Go Coogs," and he laughed! He said that maybe our football team will hold its own this year haha!!!!!!!. He also told me he is going to clear the wake for me and try to play tennis an extra hour for me too! Hahahaha. It is so great to have him back for just a few days. (Editor's note: Elder Benson is concluding his mission, so he's at the offices for his last few days.) We have caught up, and guess what??? We ran three miles together this morning, even though there wasn’t that much time! We have also had a great pday so far. I went with Elder Benson and Elder Buhl (one of the previous assistants) to Centro. We went bowling at this small center. It’s really old and pretty rundown, but it was fun. Afterwards, we went to Las Tenajas, which is a special buffet. We are going to play soccer with others in the office and elders going home and then just tell stories about the mission until 6:00 PM! Then Elder Hull and I will go out and work in our area. All of the older missionaries will stay for their special ceremony with President and have their dinner meeting. It has just been a great day for me. A lot of days can really be tough.

I hope you have a great week! You guys mean so much to me.

Nos vemos en la semana que viene, locos.

Elder Jones

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