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Monday, August 13, 2012

My Weekly Message

Here ya go!

Cultural Note. Kioscos (Key--ohh--scos). These kioscos dot every city throughout Argentina, filling the streets and selling anything from standard flour to souvenirs. In almost every street in Argentina, one house dedicates itself to selling merchandise and then becomes the nearby, accesible kiosco. Simply put, many families designate the room right by the front door of their house to business and afterwards place a sign outside to notify everyone around. Even though they appear to be normal houses from a distance, the simple sign does the trick. So whenever we walk through our areas, we notice many people dedicatiing almost their entire day to their kiosocos. It is basically a small store, and the majority sell simple foods and treats. In my opinion, the best American comparison would be a gas station. As you might have guessed, we stop by them almost daily to buy a snack or quick drink on a hot day with whatever pocket change we might have in coins. After serving in an area for a long time, a missionary tends to have his favorite kioscos, where they have a wider selection or special, less common treats to garf down in between contacts. I personally like them a lot, even though it felt weird buying juice through the front door of a house the first time! Now, I am just used to it. Some areas in the mission have more than others. For example, in Santa Fe, I would sometimes find three kioscos on the same street. Whereas here in Rosario, there are only like five in our entire area since stores and gas stations are more common here. It all just depends on the economic circumstances of the town and how close everyone lives to Centro (downtown).

Buenos Aires Temple Open House. Guess whhhhaaatttt? They finally finished the grand project/reconstruction of the temple, a process of almost two complete years. Yes, many members--and investigators, for that matter--coudln´t control their excitement. For the past couple of months, the closest temple sessions were held in Uruguay, involving a longer trip and more planning. So right now, EVERYONE can´t stop talking about the rededication and open house of the temple. We would have liked to go visit as well, but obviously we can´t attend until after the mission, which makes sense. To help accomodate and ensure that everything runs smoothly, the church assigned stakes and districts to certain days of the week. Still, there are tons of people every day going through to see every room. Alright, now for the great news!!!!! MARCELO AND ARACELI BOTH WENT THIS PAST SATURDAY. These two recent converts that we contacted about three months ago have now already attended the temple! :). They both shared their experience this past Sunday, and their words had incredible power. It really made my day. That´s why I´m a missionary. Not just to have baptisms but to help out families and bring them to the temple. As part of his testimony yesterday, Marcelo said that he knew one day he would take his entire family there to be sealed for time and all eternity. Just four months ago, he was frustrated and looking for a solution in his life. He said that now he has completely changed, and he feels much happier right now. With the eternal perspecitve in mind, the small difficulties in life seem minuscule and not important. Also, these moments make us grow spiritually and socially even more than we realize. These are my first investigators who have made it to the temple, which really made my day. Nothing can describe it better than the smile on Marcelo´s face in front of the temple in the picture he showed me!

Alright, we are preparing for zone conferences right now. I am helping the president´s wife prepare packets and orgainze the food services, messages, etc. so we are quite busy right now. Thanks for your support and everything.

I hope you are doing well. Thanks so much for everything.

Elder Jones

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