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Monday, May 27, 2013

                                                     Elder Jones in front of his new apartment
                                                   Elder Jones and his new comp, Elder Thorn!

Our City Called Concepción del Uruguay!

Wow, this is amazing! We have SO MUCH work to do and so little time. Today we have to buy a new fridge, and we are slowly getting used to the city, learning the streets, and meeting both members and investigators. This past week has passed by quickly, and I will try to summarize some of the most interesting details.
Wednesday. Last Wednesday was probably one of the LONGEST days of my life, full of activity and plenty of traveling. After saying a few goodbyes, I woke up and left San Nicolás on a bus at about 7:30 am, with my suitcases packed. After arriving in Rosario, I met up with some other missionaries who watched my suitcases while I traveled to the mission home to meet my new companion, who happened to be Elder Thorn! He is from California and had been waiting for his visa in North Carolina for around 12 weeks. So he is already trained, but I will train him and show him around here in Argentina. It´s definitely different than his other temporary mission. We are both excited :).
Alright, so after eating lunch and getting everything done at the mission home, we finally could leave and head toward the bus station, where we would take a bus to Concepción del Uruguay. Guess what? This bus ride took FOREVER! Haha. It´s good that the chairs were comfy since the ride lasted around five hours. Yep, FIVE HOURS!
Obviously there are a ton more details, but long story short, I woke up and started my day early in the morning and ending up arriving at Concepción del Uruguay around 10:30pm, where a member helped us get to our apartment. We were tired but we´ve worked especially hard these last couple of days! It´s been a good experience.
I love the city. Even though we only had 18 attend church on Sunday, I know that we can help the small branch. The branch president is 28 years old, is working with some sort of advertisement and also  studying to become a teacher, and his wife is expecting a baby in about 3.5 months. Yeah, he is pretty busy. We also help him with the tithing after all the meetings. Elder Thorn and I should be able to provide some much-needed service here during the next few weeks.
Even though the church is struggling a little here, I know that we can make a difference. I only have about 11 weeks left and plan to make the best of them.
I hope you are all doing great. Thank you so much for the support and love.
Your missionary,
Elder Jones
P.S. We have the whole city to ourselves!!!!!! That´s a lot of ground to cover on foot :).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Saturday´s Baptism, Transfers, and My Testimony

We had a baptism last Saturday in La Emilia, the small little branch close to our city! It went extremely well, and it was a great way to draw the transfer to a close. We also recently received the transfer list. Guess what? I have been called to train for my last two transfers (12 weeks) in another city called Concepción del Uruguay. I will pick up my new companion tomorrow, and we will just have to hit the ground running in our new surroundings. We both will just start from scratch, hoping for the best. We will have to see how it goes, and I will probably have a ton of information next week about everything.

Hey, I decided to write my testimony of missionary work as part of my weekly letter, so here it is:

I know that missionary work is tough and rewarding. I believe that the missionaries receive many blessings--temporal and spiritual--while serving the church for two years. In Argentina we gain experience, learn a new language, strengthen our scriptural knowledge, meet tons of people, and learn to work diligently. I also know that the investigators and converts might benefit even more than us, as they strive to live the gospel and apply its teachings. I know that each new member of the church has taken upon new responsibilities, many of which require work and effort. I also know that the blessings that come into these people´s lives are worth the price from such work and effort.

I believe in revelation, however small or insignificant it might be. I know that our leaders, both within and outside the mission, receive divine instruction before making some of their decisions. I believe that all my areas and companions have formed and shaped my mission for purposes known and unknown to me.

I hope that we can all participate more in missionary work. Members and missionaries work together to have success. It´s the Lord´s work. It´s a constant process. It´s a part of our lives. Let´s all be better missionaries.

Thanks for your support and help,

Elder Jones :)

Editor's Note...  A Few more comments from Elder Jones

And I hope you guys are doing great!

GUESSSS WHATTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got my package yesterday, and it IS BOSS!  I´ve already made two packages of noodles! They tasted great! I love the shavers, the tie too. I can´t wait to throw the football. Maybe we will use it today, but i don´t think there will be time!

I also enjoyed reading the messages inside the box, and I will make the brownie mix soon!

It was a really great package. It also had my other shoe!! Wahoo. I will start using them tomorrow, when I go off to train! Yeahh!!!

Thank you so much. I don´t have much more time cuz i wana take a nap, but thanks for everything guys.  I really appreciate it.
Elder Jones' Birthday on May 17
Before the Baptism in La Emilia

Elder Brasher and Elder Jones 

Elder Jones on a Cold, Foggy Day
Elder Jones and Elder Brasher Playing Tennis on P-Day

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Phone Call

It was great to talk with my family. Though email and letters work fine, skype is definitely better! It sounds like everyone has had a good time lately, and I am STILL here in San Nicolás, Argentina, about to hit 22 months in the mission! Don´t worry, though, I´m still working hard :). Anyways, here is some quick information about this past Mother´s Day.

After church yesterday, our Ward Mission Leader, Fabio Vazquez, let Elder Brasher and I use two computers in his house to skype our homes. Their family loves and opens up to almost anyone, and I am grateful for their service and devotion to the church. Around the world you find incredible, loving families, and I know that the gospel blesses their lives on a daily basis. Families like this somewhat become my adopted families on the mission! My mission has been both hard and rewarding, and members have helped me out along the way. :)

As many of you know, I started my missionary service back in July 2011. Yep, let´s just say it´s been a while haha. Even without all the old friends and family gathered around me, I´ve grown to love those whom I serve while here in the mission. The church helps the family, and the family helps the church. Both the church and its families help the missionaries, and we as missionaries try to help everyone. When everyone does their part, small miracles become a part of our lives. I promise. :)

I really hope everyone had an amazing Mother´s Day, wherever they might be living right now. I´m extremely grateful for the support and strength I received yesterday from the two most important components of my life: the church and the family.

Have a great week! Serve others when you can!

Yours truly,

Elder Jones

P.S. I love you so much, mom! It was so great to talk with all of you. I hope you have a great week.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Working with the Zone and playing Tennis

Well, during these past two weeks we have tried to help out other areas within our zone. Every Tuesday after district meeting, Elder Brasher and I head out to one of the other parts of the zone with the respective missionaries. We dedicate the night to their area, trying to help them with whatever is needed!

Not only do we get to know the zone better, but we can just work together as a team. If someone gets baptized, he or she receives blessings, regardless of the area in which the ordinance takes place or the missionaries serving during that time. 

Also, today we played tennis. We found a small, clay tennis complex and decided to play this morning. IT WAS GREAT. I hadn´t played in forever. Both of us aren´t stars or anything, but it was just a nice break. Playing on a clay court really has a nice feel to it :)

We also ran to the tennis courts and then all the way here to the computers. I have probably burned a decent amount of calories, which is kinda hard sometimes to complete on the missoin. haha. Jump rope can only do so much :).

I might set the goal of completing an ironman after the mission. We will see what happens, though. 

Time will tell!

Thanks for all you do, and I hope you are having a great week. Enjoy summer!

Elder Jones

Editor's note: Here are a few questions/comments that Elder Jones mentioned on email

Have you had any more cow tongue recently? :)
Nope, no cow tongue for now! It´s all just part of the mission. haha.  

So who won in tennis?
We are like the same. We didn´t play sets. His mom played tennis for University of Utah, so she is probably pretty good haha. We just rallied for like an hour. It was a nice break.

At Windsor and Laura's reception, they had a life-size photo of Jaxon on the wall since he's on his mission now! haha It was great. So with this photo, this was his way of being there :)
Jaxon. What a boss. haha.

We have another baptism scheduled for May 18th. It is a 16-year-old who lives in La Emilia, that small little town we visit every once in a while. He should be a good addition to the small branch!

Yes! We do have a newly called Sister Training Leader. The missions are slowly changing, I think, to work better with more sister missionaries. :)

Our mission council got postponed due to bus driver strikes. We will have the council on May 15th, so I should get the package right before my birthday! Thanks again for sending them!

Zach looks like a man. haha. That would be awesome if he were on varsity tennis and starting JV baseball next year!

Man, I am almost 21. I´m getting old haha.

I think I am gonna log off. It was great to see some pictures and talk to you guys. I will talk to you on Sunday. It should be great to skype!!!!!