Total Pageviews

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

La Emilia

La Emilia. San Nicolás, my current area, is a small city all by itself. However, every Friday we travel on a 15-minute bus ride to an even smaller town called "La Emilia." It is incredibly small and actually doesn´t even appear on google maps. Though small in size, they have strong church attendance and some incredible programs. Roughly 30 people go to church on Sunday, and they always have the highest percentage of members attend in the stake. 

I basically love this small town. It is about 10 blocks by 10 blocks, and that´s it. The people who live there generally have good jobs, and the area is quite a bit richer than the majority of San Nicolás. The people have cars and drive to San Nicolás to work, or some of them even go all the way to Rosario. Within the small little town they have a supermarket, a small little chapel, a small athletic club, and basically everything you need to live the good life. 

Generally speaking, the people treat us better as well. We always have lunch with a member family since they rotate every Friday. Plus we teach a lot of lessons to many families. Right now, since all of the kids are on school vacation, we have lots of families willing to listen to a short message. It is great. I enjoy traveling there every Friday, and the branch president is really cool too!

Alright, that´s about it for this week. I hope you all enjoyed it.

Thanks so much for your support.

Elder Jones

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cultural Note

Alright, I have very little time since I had to look up classes and start planning my sophomore year of college today. Time sure flies, huh? President gave me permission to look through the website and everything, but he doesn´t want me spending all day here on the computer (obviously haha). I don´t want my companion to have to wait on me forever, either. So that´s why this week´s message might seem a bit short!

Cultural Note. 
Facturas (Fack--two--rahs). That´s roughly how you say it in English, though the pronunciation has its own twist to it. Anyways, these special facturas are incredible! I´ve eaten them every once in a while throughout my entire mission. Similar to a donut, these facturas are eaten for breakfast throughout the country. In my opinion, they taste great, and they only cost about one or two pesos each, which is about 25 cents in America! They are kinda like donut holes. There you go! That´s probably the best translation. They also have many different flavors here, and my favorite are the brown sugar cakes. You will have to look them up on google images to get a better idea. 

In my current apartment, we have a neighbor who sells these facturas to people in the neighborhood so they don´t have to go all the way out to the main roads. Elder Lemon and I will buy two or three every once in a while for our breakfast. It´s fast, easy, and cheap. In other words, it works perfectly for us as missionaries.

If you come on down to Argentina, you better try one to get the Dunkin´ Donuts experience, Argentine style haha.

Thanks so much for your letters and everything. I hope you all are doing great. 

Elder Jones

Monday, January 14, 2013

                            Elder Jones and Elder Rodriguez w/ their Santa Clause beards :)

                                                     Elder Jones's last apartment group

                                                          Their Christmas BBQ

                                                     Some missionaries from his zone!

Sick. Sick. Sick.

Hey, guys! I hope you are all doing well. I had an interesting week full of meetings and special mission councils. Also, on top of everything, I had an upset stomach towards the end of the week, which felt terrible. :( So I will try to fill you guys in briefly on both the mission council and my upset stomach adventure.

Mission Council. Alright, so once a month the mission offices hold a mission council, in which all of the zone leaders travel to Rosario. During the meeting, they all discuss ideas and talk about how the zones are doing in the mission. The meeting lasts about four hours, and we cover many topics. This time I was the zone leader instead of the office staff worker, which felt really weird haha. I didn´t have to set up tables, help with lunch, or set up slide shows on the computer. This time I just participated in the meeting! We dedicated most of the time to talking about our purpose as missionaries and the required obedience for success. We also talked about how to better work with the ward and Bishoprics, especially since about 50% don´t function properly within our mission. In two areas of the mission, a missionary serves as branch president since nobody within the boundaries is capable of filling the position. Pretty crazy, huh?

Overall, the meeting went well. I enjoyed the lunch too!

Upset stomach. Getting sick is never fun, but getting sick in a foreign country is even worse. On Friday night I came home to our apartment after a long day of work and just went to bed. I felt terrible and had a 100-degree fever! My appetite was completely gone, and the super hot weather definitely didn´t help out at all. The next day, we had to call Sister Giuliani, who helped us get some special medicine. I took a few pepto tablets and basically slept ALL DAY. I haven´t felt that sick in a long, long time. The last time was in Santa Fe, which was more than a year ago. Just to sum everything up, I threw up three times, had bad experiences in the bathroom, and had a fever for about a day and a half. Elder Lemon laughed at me a little bit, but I don´t blame him. It was pretty funny :).

But enough about that. Overall, we had a pretty solid week. I will have more to say next time, since I dedicated about half of my time to uploading and sending pictures this week.

We are doing great, and go cougs! haha. I just had to say that since winter term just started up again. One more semester, and then I´ll be back on campus! Wahoo!

Take care,

Elder Jones

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hey from San Nicolás

Guys, I am doing absolutely great. Incredibly busy too! We all played soccer as a zone today, and then Elder Lemon and I needed to send a bunch of reports to the mission offices. We have mission council this week with all of the zone leaders on Wednesday. So yep, we have to travel to Rosario again, but it´s all good. The buses are comfy :). We have to send in many types of statistic averages like stake statistics, ward statistics, updated forms on the recent converts, and even more info about our zone. Luckily, I´m already familiar with the forms and everything since I was historian. It is just weird being on the other end of everything, though. This time, I am the one sending all the forms to the historian and bibliotecario (mission librarian). Kinda cool, huh?

Bascially, long story short, I am SUPER BUSY. Plus it is Elder Lemon´s last transfer, so I have to learn everything about the whole zone in just one transfer. It is taking us over an hour to send everything to the offices, and I know the historian is really busy filing away all the data and sending it off to Buenos Aires. I used to do the same thing every week just a few months ago! haha. I also had to write a detailed report to president about the whole zone and how it´s doing. 

But guess what? My area is four times as big as my last one, which totally rocks! We serve with the ward Barrio Oeste, which means "West Ward" in English. We are also in charge of a little branch that resides in a town close by the main city. It is called La Emilia, and we work there every Friday. We also go to help on some Sundays! It is like a 20 minute bus ride to get into town. There it is really small. It is about the size of BYU Campus, and maybe a little smaller. Look it up online if you can! It is a small square, about 10 blocks by 10 blocks! So crazy.

I will talk all about the zone and my area next week, since we don´t have time today. Luckily, all these statistical reports only need to be done once a month. So the other pdays, I will have more time to write to you guys.

I will send a bunch of pictures next week too! I have some good Christmas ones!

I hope you are all doing great.

Elder Jones!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas in Rosario

We. had. a. blast.
The fireworks, small presents, and members made my Christmas the best. The sun absolutely baked down on us the whole time, but we enjoyed every minute while celebrating the special time of year. I have tons of info and little time (like always), so I will try to cover the most interesting events. 
Christmas Brownies. Alright, while all of you enjoyed the special day, we were asked to hit the streets and try to share the special Christmas spirit with all--members and investigators alike. My companion and I came up with a good way to share it with some families in our area: Christmas caroling and gifts. We bought tons of flour, eggs, sugar, chocolate, butter, and basically all the good fatty stuff. haha. I have never made such a large amount of brownie batter all at once. After a couple hours of cooking with our frustrating oven that barely works, we had enough brownies for about five families. Actually, we probably had enough for six families, but we decided to eat some ourselves to celebrate! They tasted amazing, which is a miracle when you have missionaries in the kitchen. So we went over our Ward roster and selected some of our favorite and then went out to work, absolutely loaded down with plates full of brownies! I used my Santa hat, even though most people don´t use them here. What´s Christmas without a Santa hat? haha.
So we walked the streets in church clothes, singing along the way and giving a plate of brownies to these families. Even though I was thousands of miles away from my family, surrounded by severe summer humidity, and wearing a tie, I enjoyed this Christmas in a different way. You really don´t need that much for Christmas:). Honestly, I saw extremely happy families that day with humble circumstances who appreciate the simple blessings of the Lord. 
With Mirta Cascardo´s family, we sang two Christmas hymns while they all ate up the brownies. Due to the extended family and obvious festivities planned, we didn´t stay very long. However, we could see smiles on the faces of everyone, and I know we touched the hearts of those there who don´t know of the church. I hope Mirta and her husband can share the gospel with their extended family in the future, but everything has its due time and place. 
I know the Christmas goes far beyond the gifts, toys, and foodsI know it, you know it, and the Savior knows it, for whom we have the festivities in the first place! 
I have tons more to say, but we will have to wait till next week.
Hopefully you all had a great Christmas.
Elder Jones
P.S. I was just called to serve as a Zone Leader in San Nicolás! My apartment has air conditioning! There are only three or four in the whole mission!!!!!!! Santa treated me well, even though this last gift came a little late. haha.