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choose Buenos Aires Argentina West Mission and Pouch

Elder Trevor Allen Jones

Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission

POB 30150

Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 3 of the MTC

What a crazy week it has been! I had a blast and learned a ton! I can't believe I'm already approaching my half way mark here at the MTC. I wonder if time moves as fast out there in the real world as it does here in the MTC. This week has been a huge self reflection for myself. My attitude has changed super positively since I first got here.

So major highlight that I didn't see coming at all: Elder Richard G. Scott came for devotional!! That's two weeks in a row and I got to see Russell M Nelson just last week! He had a wonderful talk that left a lasting impact on many people here I believe.

Last night it started snowing! Everyone went super crazy and everybody was outside taking pictures and laughing and yelling. It's like the start of a two month long celebration. Unfortunately now we have to always wear suits because of the temeprature. I got some awesome pictures with a group of us all going to Argentina and we all wore our Argentine shirts that we ordered. The bookstore has the spray on stuff to make shoes water proof. That made me happy. My class (district) consists of ten people and tomorrow four of them are flying out to the Dominican Republic. We will miss them a ton. So here's the loopy part. That will just leave my companions and I with three sisters. Also I've been called as a District Leader, even thought I was already a Zone leader. Basically ontop of being in charge of 50 people I also have to facilitate my own class and prepare lessons for them.

I keep bumping into friends I met at college and get to chat it up. Life moves so fast here. You can get to know some people super well and then the next week they're gone. Everyone exchanges emails and addresses and numbers though. The atmosphere in the classrooms can change so drastically. From laughing and being offtask to still air with tears. It really is an array of emotions and experiences here at the Missionary Training Center. The best moments are every tuesday we get to simulate what we do in the field, which is contacting and then teaching an investigator. This week I dominated the lesson. It was such a powerful experience and I'm so excited to get to Argentina and crack down on it all day long. I can't wait to see the light I can bring to the lives of others and to see them smile at their lives. I know this work is good and I will strive to keep it so.
Thanks for those who read this.

Elder Trevor Jones

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week Two of the MTC

Well I just got back from our second temple session. It was really amazing and I'm so lucky to be able to attend. I got several letters throughout the week that really helped me a ton! I will try to make an effort in writing letters back to those of you who sent me hand written letters. But honestly DearElder is really awesome and it's amazing hearing from people through that too. To those of you who thought of me this past week and sent something to read, Thanks so much!

The week has been fairly routine but there have been highlights. I haven't been here at the MTC two weeks yet and as of last sunday my companionship have been called to be Zone Leaders. Theres roughly fifty people in our zone. Honestly we weren't too excited. Being a zone leader means we need to set examples and be responsible for everyone else. Basically, less fun. But we definitely recognize the blessings that come with it! Tonight I will get the chance to escort and orient a group of new missionaries coming into our zone. Being a ZL is a lot of work, meetings, and responsibility, but we are not given tasks we cannot complete and are given them so that we can better ourselves.

Another highlight is that just last night we got a devotional from Elder Russell M Nelson! It was really something to see him and hear him talk live and in person. What stuck out to me in his talk was that we should strive to stay in contact with our converts as missionaries. It made me think of how those who helped me get in the church were already following his advise and made me smile knowing they did so. I thank Elder Crandell, Elder Webster, Elder Bruton, Elder Pulley, Elder Geis, and Elder Baliff for being the studs they were and still are!

I finally ran into my roommate from college, Thomas Cottam. Haven't seen him since then though. I constantly run into familiar faces and it's pretty awesome. Fortunately the field is still open at certain times of the day so it's a good break doing gym outside. You can also get adjustments on suits and pants here. Unfortunately I have to wait about a week to get them back. My district (my classmates) also ordered Argentina shirts to kind of wear and show off where we're going during gym and P-days. They arrived last night and hopefully we will get to pick them up. My knowledge of the gospel and my fluency in spanish are growing like crazy. I remember reading in a blog from Christopher Pedersen about how when he was getting ready to leave he was able to pray and testify in Spanish. They made us do all that the first two days! We are really getting pushed hard, and sometimes we get a little off task, but we are definitely growing and becoming excellent missionaries. A fun experience that happens once a week here is called TRC (Training Resource Center). Basically it's a teaching simulation where you knock on doors, contact, and then return to give a lesson. It really is an awesome experience and really helps you learn what you need to improve on and how to grow closer to your companions so you can teach more effectively.

A funny experience is that on the first day or two when you enter they take you to some demonstrations of teachings. A few volunteers act as investigators (all different kinds) and two missionaries attempt to give them a lesson with the new group of missionaries watching. Theres time for Q&A and it's really funny to watch at times. One of the ones we watched involved a Hispanic man named Daniel. Later this week and a few times during lunch I saw him in the cafeteria and tried talking to him. Saying what an awesome job he did and getting to know him. He was kind of reserved and didn't really want to do anything with me. I after found out that he ALWAYS stays in character, so I felt kind of like an idiot haha. But he is a really cool guy. Sundays we got to watcvh a movie in the gym and this week was the Testaments. Sundays are generally the best days (besides P days), because we get relaxing things like that.

Well that is basically all I have to say so far for this week. I just want to thank everyone who is making this possible for me right now. My parents especially, and the ward back in Oregon. This truly is an enlightening experience and I can't wait to get to the mission field. Until next week!

-Elder Trevor Jones

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My First Week in the MTC

Well, I'm here. This first week has been pretty crazy. I got a letter from Steven through the thing and it was really great to receive one. I want you all to know that is really an awesome tool and helps us missionaries here out a lot. But of course nothing beats a hand written letter, jsut remember that the DearElder one is instant and we get it in the mail within hours. I also invite anyone who is curious to ask any questions they have and I will post them on this blog here.

First I'll talk about how it is in the MTC. I only get 30 minutes every week to email, so I'll try to get in as much as I can. My "P" days are on Wednesdays. The first four or five days are insane. I felt dead tired all day long and wanted to sleep any chance I can, but here... you can't do that. We follow schedules the whole time and are beat tired. I finally got used to it to where I don't want to sleep all the time. The first day we were learning spanish within a couple hours of entering. There was a brief orientation and we were guided around with a host. On their first day, every missionary wears an orange dot on their tag to show all they're new. Most missionaries have a companionship of two but I'm in one with three (don't knoiw why). The three of us will leave for Argentina Buenos Aires west in around 7 weeks. I ran into Elder Russell and Elder Wright really fast. They just left last Monday. I ran into several other friends from school here too. It's funny because you can't leave your companion so when you want to catch up with someone you have two missionaries standing to the side waiting. Most missionaries here speak spanish, or learn to speak spanish. The food is probably a 6 out of 10 but the problem is.... it's unlimited. Sometimes it's awesome and sometimes it's mediocre. I just did my first practice contact and teaching the first lesson yesterday. We did well and we had to knock on their door and set up an appointment with them in spanish. My class (or district) has 7 elders and 3 sisters in it. We are already praying and giving testimonies in spanish.

I'll go ahead and answer the questions Steven sent me in his letter:

First reactions: Tired, always tired.

Things you should have brought: Bring more white socks, we have gym every day and I wish I brought more. Bring at least 3-4 shirts and a pair of jeans. Other than that everything else you could need is in the store. You can always go to the store and it has anything a missionary needs, EVEN AIRHEADS FOR 9 cents EACH!!! I highly recommend a spanish vocab book. They first teach you how to pray and give testimony in spanish. Then the grammar. They don't really teach you vocabulary.

Things you didn't need: Well you don't bring your temple clothes to the temple here. They give all of it to you here, but I don't know if you will use them in the mission, most likely you won't.

Visa status: I got called to the office and they told me that I didn't need a visa to get to Argentina! That was a huge relief. I will still need it to live there thought, they said they will send it to me while I'm there. They are on top of travel requirements.

The lessons seemed to have been going through some changes. They tell us now to try to commit investigators to baptism in the first lesson. It's pretty cool. It's only been a week and I already feel like I'm a senior here at the MTC. Try to stay obedient but you also need to have fun. "Find the middle ground", as Tanner Crandell told me. I'm getting kicked off in two minutes from the computer so I'll make another post next week.

Thanks for all who read this and support me while I'm here! Send questions! Send letters via!

From your Medford 2nd ward missionary, Elder Trevor Jones