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Elder Trevor Allen Jones

Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission

POB 30150

Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Here We Go!

Well another week. We havent really had a whole lot of progress. We keep focusing all of our time with a few good people instead of searching for others. Its pretty mind boggling. I think I finally hit one of the parts in every missionaris life with a difficult companion. Its not that hes dificult, he just doesnt really want to work or be obedient. Hes a super good missionary and a brilliant teacher but we waste a ton of time I believe with a couple people when we should try to find others that are ready.
On the upside we do have a ton of super good people that are ready. Theyre just all lazy about going to church. Which means they dont see the importance. Which means we need to show them! Its really hard teaching this couple in the house of one of their friends who is a member because theres always tons of distractions that are unavoidable. They dont really want us in their house too much either. Im sure theyll get in the water one way or another. Basically the whole week is just feels like a filler to see if theyll come to church or not. Of course they all say they wll and they never do. Im not too worried about it thought. Theyre all wonderful people and they already know the Gospel is True. They just need to be punked into that last step, like from the talk by President Uchtdorf this last conference with the people who wont take that last step into the baptismal font.
So some differences Im going to point out between my last apartment and this one. Theres only 5 minutes of hot water here. Pretty much the worst thing I could imagine. The members always give us food so it wont be harder to find something to snack on. Its starting to get cold so its really hard to get out of bed in the morning. GAH! The kitchen and bathroom are nice but super gross because no one ever cleans their things. I did have the opportunity this week to paint a house. I almost managed to last the whole time without getting any paint on my clothes. It turned into a paint war with my companion and our investigator. Every single faucet or pipe in our apartment leaks and we cant stop it haha. We live in an apartment on the 4th story in a 6 story complex and the view is awesome. My last area there was a laundry place half a block where we always took our laundry. Here its 10 blocks away and my companion just does his own laundry in the kitchen and theres clothes lines on the roof of the complex for everyone. I might try that to save money.
Most of the architecture here is rich French style. Everything is custom and really pretty. The streets are coble and theres no such thing as asfalt. There isnt a street in my area that isnt absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes we walk by people speaking Italian. Lots of decendants and people from Italy here. Basically every one we talk to had parents from Italy. Theres a lot of vendors on the sidewalks selling clothes, toys, food, everything. We helped out a lesser active member with is home job of making Purses for a client. For every purse they make they earn 71 pesos and the purses sell for over 800... I guess theres exploitation here too.
Well for now Im just getting to know the area and the members and investigators. Last P Day we went to a big shopping center called Coto. Its like Walmart but with like a mini mall inside too. Theres also like a game zone with bowling and pool. Theres a branch of superstore centers here like Walmart called Carrefour. We have two in our area and they have everything.
Thats about all I have to say for now. Til the next post.
Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, April 18, 2011

First Week in new Area

Just finished up my first week in my second area of Caseros. Theres a ton of big shots (ex-Seventies, mission presidents, general authorities, etc.) Theyre all super strict too (so my companion tells me). Like we better not be late for lunch... Oh goody. Also apparently the chapel here was the first LDS chapel built in Argentina. The weather is starting to turn cold, finally. Althought I hear that winter is a nightmare. I experienced summer where the humidity makes you sweat 24/7 no matter the temperature or if it rains and I hear that the humidity here makes you always freeze no matter how many clothes you wear.
The pace here has been a bit different from my last area. We have several really good investigators that have baptismal dates that we spend most of our time helping. MY last area we didnt have hardly any so all day was spent looking for new ones. Today were going to a place called Coto. Its basically like Walmart but it has places for eating and even bowling! Which is what were going to do with some lesser active members today. My companion says we dont really get together with the other missionaries in our Zone for activities on P Day because everyone is really far from eachother.
My second day in my new area I already had divisions with my Zone Leaders. So I was in Moron one day, then Caseros, then Santos Lugares the next. Now Im back in Caseros. The apartment here is a bit bigger. I get my own desk ya! But for some reason the shower only has like 5 minutes of hot water then it just goes cold. Basically my worst nightmare. My last area was basically half super commercial city and half poorer suburbs. This area is basically all rich city. Everyone is in a hurry and busy and its hard to stop people in the streets to talk to them. Also everything is more fancy... hence more rich. Theres a ton of beautiful homes with all their unique designs. Most of the architecture in Argentina is European. Theres also a ton of Italian influence in my area. Right in the center is a huge factory for cars with basically all employees with Italian descent.
I realize my photos are a bit dark. I think Im going to buy a new camera here. Maybe I can get it cheaper here than the states. But most universal things (things sold in all countries) are about the same. Anyway Im ready to start tearing it up in my new area with my new companion! Thanks for all your support whomever may be reading this!
Just for fun...
Estoy esperando mi compaƱero ahora y me gustaria escribir un pocito en castellano. Obvio mi castellano no es perfecto pero si algien puede entenderlo este bien no? Tambien no quiero usar las letras especiales de espaƱol porque me cuestan porque no hay o es dificil en las computadoras aca. Bueno, si usted puede leer estes oracciones, felicitaciones! Usted es un capo! Gracias por todo!
siempre con amor,
Elder Jones

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Sorry ya last week there wasnt a lot of things to write about and I didnt really have time either. So I didnt make a blog post. But lots of things just happened this week so here is my blog post this week!
Well I offically am finished with my tio (uncle, or second companion). I left my first area of Moron Uno and am now in whats called Caseros Uno. Basically theres less city but its really really rich. All the homes are gorgeous and theres lots of trees in the streets and its beautiful! Theres a ton of Italian influence here. My new companion is named Elder Cavaras and hes from Peru. He just showed me some pictures from home and it makes me want to visit Peru someday. Im pretty sure I want to visit all of South America one day now... And basically all the countries in the world haha. So this last week was my finally week in my first area and it was nuts! Our goal as a mission this last transfer was to get 200 baptisms again. Everyone is always frantic the last week.
We had miracles happen with one of our investigators named Ana. She had been investigating for a few months and has a huge love for Christ. The time eventually came to help guide her for her baptism. Lots of times she wasnt sure but we helped her come to have the desire to be baptised. The finally moments there were lots of little mishaps trying to prevent her, mostly her son (who{s really catholic) indicating he doesnt want her getting baptised in our church. We got some help from our Bishop and Mission President to help Ana with her doubts and the things preventing her to do what she wants. Finally during some interviews the Presidents Counselor (the prez was sick and couldnt do it himself) and the Bishop said she needed a bigger testimony and that she wasnt ready. Then we asked our President for adivce and he suggested maybe give her a little break and let her rest from all this craziness. So we went just last friday night to tell her were giving her a break but at the end of the lesson the Spirit prompted us to ask her if she would baptize herself tomorrow! She said yes! Then she remembered she had some writers party or something and we said she could do it sunday, no problem.
It went off without a hitch! Just tons of stress. Its so stressful planning baptisms one day beforehand. But we got it all to work out and Ana was baptised yesterday! After that I felt really content with what I had left my first area. After the baptism we spent Sunday visiting all the families and investigators I grew the know and love during my four months in Moron. I got pictures with them all and we shared ways how we can stay in touch. It was a sad experience leaving them all but now Im off to continue this work! Im ready to start fresh and destroy this new place!
My spanish has become so much better. I can understand and speak freely now. Sometimes I lack a word here or there but I can talk to the majority of people. What a nice feeling. Haha but it also means I have to know more of what Im doing without an excuse. Eww so Im in a new internet place in my new area and it looks like they let them smoke in here.... Gross. Ive probably inhaled more smoke and disgusting smells here than in my entire life. Another common thing here that stinks is they like to burn their garbage in the streets or on the sides. There seems to be a lot of english influence. They learn english in the schools but its British English. They also eat lots of their food with small spoons and sip out of soda bottles with straws. Fruits are more of a dessert here than a snack. Generally theyll eat fruits by slicing them with a knife and stabbing it then putting it in their mouth. They really just bite out of it in their hands. Maybe its to look more mannered. I kind of like it because its less messy.
I just had another transfer meeting. I was able to see one of my former companions from the MTC (missionary training center) in Utah. He was sick for a long time and hes going somewhere new like me. Oh and we also learned we broke our baptism record for the transfer and got 208 baptisms! Nothing short of miracles for all the missionaries in this obra marvillosa. Thanks all of you for keeping up with my endeavors and reading this. Im really grateful for all your support and letters. Til next week
Elder Trevor Jones

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The same ol'

Well basically everything is the same. Work work and work. But we did have a combined zone activity today because our zone did so well last transfer. We went to a new city I never been to and played a lot of games and had a great time. Working hard really does pay off huh? Nothing too exciting happened this week. Other than all the hubub about the Tsunami in Japan and the ¨War¨in Libya. Basically all the Argentines keep making the news sound way more than it is. Like millions died in Japan and it´s the end of the world and the US is going crazy and starting wars and what not. The media here really stretches truths to make it more exciting and grab more viewers. Other than that the work continues... Hopefully next week I´ll have more exciting stuff to share. Until then thanks all for reading and keeping up with me down south!
Elder Trevor Jones

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Money and Meat

Well we didn´t have too many exciting things happen this week. Just work, like normal. It looks like I´ll have my first baptism this weekend where I´ll be the one performing the baptism. Her name is Ana Passerelli and she´s an older lady who lives alone in a huge rich house. She writes and publishes books and poems was a former actress. She was born in Italy and loves having us pass by, if not to teach her about the gospel then just to keep her company. We started working a ton more with the members in the ward. It´s really mind boggling how huge of a role the members play in the mission work. What I would give to be able to find a friend in the ward to accompany all of our investigators. There´s hardly any young men which makes it hard to find people to help out our pair of twenty year old twins that have been coming to church for almost a year. I´m fairly certain they haven´t joined yet because they just come to hang out with the missionaries and don´t want them to leave them. We´ll fix that, because nothing can be more comforting and blessed than receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Thanks so much Sister Hokanson for sending your blog with your questions! Now I have something to write about YEAH!!! To answer your questions:
My favorite food here is probably Milanesa. Basically chicken fried steak. It´s super common here with potatoe salad and rice. I also love the empanadas. They´re a million times better than the fake ones at Taco Bell haha! Asado is basically the hottest topic regarding food here. It´s basically a cageon style barbeque where they grill a ton of meat on a ground grill with basically everything natural about it. The unique thing is the taste. It´s basically the best meat you can ever try. Ice Cream here is different too. It´s a lot more creamier and basically there isn´t a flavor you can´t like. The members feed us most of the time. Basically there´s a calender where they sign up for which days to have lunch with the missionaries. If something comes up then we get a vianda (take out) and go back to our apartment to eat it. Sometimes we don´t get lunch then we figure out how to eat. Either we order a cheap pizza or make some noodles. I miss Chocolate Chip cookies from the states. They don´t exist here. No such thing as cookie dough. Also it´s hard to get a lot of the American candies here. The temperature is loopy. Up until now it was blazing hot. Not heatwise, but the humidity makes us sweat 24/7. It´s really gross. Suddenly the climate completely changed overnight. It got freezing in just one day. Now it´s slowly going back to being warmer. I think I heard today was the first day of Fall. I´m excited to not have to always sweat. My first companion was from Columbia. My second is from Missouri.
The economy makes the commerce here a lot more lax. If the train station runs out of coins to pay people their change, everyone can ride the train for free. Today I also tried sending a letter to the states for 5 pesos. I only had a bill for 100 pesos. She asked if I had anything smaller and I said no. Then she told me I can´t pay for it like that and won´t send my mail. Then my companion said he´d pay for it with his bills. Basically change here is a huge deal. People save their coins like gold because everyone uses them for the buses. It´s really hard to get change for small things with a large bill. Lots of times business will run out of change too and they can´t do anything. We also get ripped off a lot now because I´m American. My first companion was from Columbia so it wasn´t as bad but now my companion is another American. So we get ripped off a lot more. Sometimes the people will just take less money for what you need to pay so they don´t lose certain bills or change, or it´s not worth their time. The commerce here is really slack, lots of things here would never fly in the states. Also a ton of businesses close in the middle of the day when the whole country takes a nap. It hate walking around in the afternoon cause there´s no one in the streets and we have to wake everyone up.
That´s all the time I have for now! Thanks so much for your support and all your love!
Til next time!
Con Amor,
Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, March 14, 2011

What a week!

So this week has by far been the most stressful. We had so many appointments with people we couldn´t keep up with all of them. Even worse is that we wanted to set up appointments for investigators when they had free time, not when it was convinient for us. Because of that we walked way more and take way more busses than we should have. It really killed our time. BUT, we had a ton of success this week!

A lot of the stress was because we tried really hard to get the members of our ward to join us in as many lessons as possible. It´s really tough with some of them because if the investigator flakes out of his appointment then we have to try to reschedule and also try to get the member who agreed to come to change their time and AHHH.... it was nuts. I hope this week will be a bit less hectoc but with just as much success. We got our ward mission leader to come out with us a ton and he basically made our days! We had two lessons with the man who thinks he has a problem with his heart during the week. We started out good but I felt like we always left him on not such an extactic note that he needs to feel to get him to stop being depressed. So I was determined to get one more visit with him this week before Sunday with a member and make sure we end on a fantastic note. We couldn´t get in touch with his home or cell phone for nothing so we got our mission leader to come with us and hoped for the best that he would have time for us. I made a prayer in my head, ¨Please just let Cristian be there¨. We buzzed his apartment but no reply. Then a bit down I thought of a family we haven´t visited in a while who live in the same apartment complex. The family was of three daughters who were members and went to church (which is amazing because the oldest is 14), and their mother was gone and their father was struggling just to support his daughters. Miraculously we got to enter his apartment and even talk to him. We shared some lessons and found out several times he was going to be baptised but things always happened and he never was.

After a dynamite lesson he agreed to be baptised like his daughters were. We left super pumped. I wanted to try Cristian one more time and see if he was there. I made another prayer much stronger this time that if only he would be there this time. But no luck once again. HOWEVER, as we were walking away and about to depart from our mission leader. We spotted in the distance Cristian walking back towards us! Basically we walked straight to him and I just thrust my arms up with a huge small when he saw us! We got to teach him with his mom in his apartment and thanks to our Mission Leader (who we called Hermano Vera), Cristian was super happy when we left and loved the things we taught him.

Another success we had was with a family of members who had a son that wasn´t baptized. The son wants to be baptized and all his family does too. The only problem was the Dad didn´t like some of the processes of doing it so he refused to let his son get baptized until he felt it. The crazy thing is that he told us he wants his son baptized but only his own due time. So we tried showing him the importance and family unity it would bring. This man has maybe some psychotic problems that also influence his pride in not letting his son get baptized. The father never went to church because he hated the people asking him when was he going to baptize his son. He basically told us he knew exactly why we were there and what we were trying to do and he didn´t like it one bit. But we stuck to our desires to help his family as a whole by getting his son baptised and eventually he must have cracked because we set up the lessons his son needs every sunday just before church! And this sunday he came for the first time since I´ve been here with his family and listened in on the lesson! What a huge relief! Basically this was also only thanks to our ward mission leader.

Now for a funny story! Yeah! So we always call the members we have lunch with to verify our lunch appointments with them. So we called the family the morning we had them and the sister said we didn´t have lunch scheduled with her... I was dead certain it had her name on March 11 on the calender posted in the church... Well we basically got shafted and it was in the morning before we should leave our apartment but I was determined to get to the bottom of this... We had some problems with this family before in terms of drama. Sometimes they made gossip about us that wasn´t true because the previous missionaries spent way too much time with them and wasted a lot of time to work because of it. Because of that they grew really attached to the missionaries and are troubled why we don´t visit them as much as the others who weren´t being obedient. They don´t even live in our area... I was affraid at the possibility I was wrong and there was a different family on the calender than I had written. I didn´t want to not show up if we did have lunch with someone else. So we left to go to the church to look at the calender and get back as fast as possible. We had some bad feelings about doing it but we didn´t want to offend any of the church members by skipping out on their lunch for us on accident. Just as we left and were walking we get a call on our cell phone from the Assistants to the Mission President. Uh oh. Of course we had to answer it and we live in a city with tons of cars honking. My companion was answering the phone and we looked for a quiet place to listen so we found the first open building and walked into the lobby to talk over the phone in peace. Suddenly a lady from one of the offices came out to ask what we were doing and looked worried. I told her we couldn´t hear well outside and to excuse us and that we will leave as soon as he´s done on the phone. Then like five other older ladies surrounded us from the same office as if they were preparing for something bad to happen between us. I was a bit freaked out but they just watched us and my companion finished his call and we said ¨Excuse us and we left¨ Then as we left feeling scared we looked back and saw that the building we walked in was a Jewish Temple. OOPS. Well we kinda goofed there... I thought it was hilarious (personally) and my companion was a bit worried something bad might happen. I´m sure the lady saw our plaques that read in big white letters ¨The Church of Jesus Christ (well in spanish, LA IGLESIA DE JESUCRISTO¨).


We definitely had a lot of blessings this week with our work. I know that it´s due to the greater focus on obedience that my new companion brought with him! He´s the most humble and focused missionary I´ve ever seen. I hope I can follow his example and help him in things he wants to improve on. Thank you all so much for reading my blog and keeping up with my adventures! I love getting DearElders and hearing back from the exciting things that happen back in the States. I heard something about a tsunami hitting Japan and that it´s going to possibly hit Chile, Hawaii, California, etc...

Thanks for all your support!
Elder Trevor Jones