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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

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

First Week Leading in my Area!

So I got my second companion, or my tio (uncle), last Monday and right off the bat we went out to work! This week was the hardest I had to work and think! He didn´t know the area so basically I had to do all the planning! The biggest problem is our area is so big I can´t visit so many people and make good use of our time because they all live so far apart! But after the week ended it all worked out it looks like! We definitely walked around a lot more but because of that we talked to sooo many people and met soooo many people who were interested in our message! Our number of new investigators exploded and we taught so many little lessions here and there. Another miracle that came about in my time of need, my spanish errupted with confidence! I feel like I can finally speak somewhat comfortably with anyone! It´s like it just all triggered at once rather than gradual progression. This first week was mostly finding new people to teach and next week is almost already booked solid with all of our new appointments we made. My new companion´s name is Elder Poeppelmeier. He´s from Missouri and he is the most focused missionary I´ve met so far. He´s a giant of patience and humility and the only thing I think he could improve on is his confidence when he talks. But that´s why he´s with me! I was really taken aback yesterday when after we had a short contact with a lady who talked a ton and I presented The Book of Mormon to her and asked her to read and pray about it, he was really excited and told me that I showed him some things I used that he never thought about using before and that I helped him learn more. I feel like we have such unity because what one of us might lack the other has in spades! I´m truly blessed to have him as my companion! The area is definitely going to change, for the better. We´ve been starting to see the fruits of our efforts through the tender mercies of the Lord with some of our investigators! We started to get the ward a lot more involved in our work too which is a huge help.

Basically we have an older couple that attends church every Sunday and no one knows why. They never try to progress or have the desire to be baptised. The lady even sings in the choir. The man is really hard headed and doesn´t want to change anything he´s doing. They´ve been coming for like a year. We wanted to try to set up lessons with them to help them enjoy the church even more but they never really had interest in hearing the missionaries. What a miracle we received when another member, named Hermano Valasquiez, who doesn´t have the chance to come to our ward very often came thing weekend and talked to them a lot and gave a lot of info about them. They like him a lot apparently. So we wanted to try to set up an appointment with them and bring. We called him to see if he could help us invite them for some time during the week and what a surprise when he told us that he met the man that same night in the grocery store and challenged him to be baptised, and he accepted! We were at a loss for words and now we´re doing what we can to teach them what they need to know to go through with it and Hno. Valasquiez is going to help us the whole way! How exciting! There´s also two brothers that are twins who have been coming to church for a long time too without really any desire to join. Basically they only came because the missionaries were good friends with them but they don´t want to do anything more than hang out with us. So we started getting them involved in the choir! And lo and behold they started making so many friends fast and now we think they found more reasons to come besides just us! We´re really excited for them because they´re 20 years old and really like good friends to us. The gospel is the greatest gift we can give to our good friends here to help them. Also it seems left and right we found or have been given references to people who already want to be baptised but just need to take the lessons with us and get to church! The blessings really do come after all we can do!

Yesterday was my cumplemes (monthly anniversary) here in Argentina! I´ve been here a total of three months already! Time is just blasting past me! Plus the two months I had in the MTC I have a total of five months in the mission! Que loco! I feel like an old missionary already! There were lots of changes last transfer period and a lot of missionaries in our zone got swapped out so there´s a lot of new faces when I´ll be going to the zone meeting tomorrow. Today my district of three companionships got together to eat at a buffet called Gran Moron. Eating chinese food in Argentina is pretty silly, but oh so good.

That´s about all the excitement for this week. Thank all of you for your support and keeping up with my adventures in this marvelous work here in Argentina! I can´t wait to share all my stories and experiences with you all when we see each other again! Take care every one of you!

Con Amor, Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Tio is Here

SO I had a pretty interesting week. Thursday I had divisions with the Leaders of our Zone. I went to another place called Parque Leloir for a day and got to work with a missionary from Peru. He´s a stud, hence he´s a leader. Saturday we had a baptism for a man named Jose. There were two baptisms scheduled for that day. Jose´s, and the baptism for the Stake President´s son. But the President told us he wanted them separate because they organized his son´s more for him... So we had to try to set up Jose´s baptism the day before. I was dead nervous that no one would show up for Jose. We had Jose´s at 5:30 and the son´s at 6:30. All in all around 15 people showed up for Jose´s and a million people with tons of decorations and food for the after party for the son. We were a bit peeved because it wasn´t really fair for Jose. BUT, I know that the baptism of Jose was way better because it was so humble and spiritual and it changed his life for ever. My prayers to have an amazing baptism for Jose had been answered!
So some exciting news in the mission here: This mission has had a grand goal to get 200 baptisms in one transfer period ( 6 weeks ) for some odd years now. January and February are basically summer here with the most vacations and always the best times for the number of baptisms. So this last transfer we really stressed on our work to try to reach our goal. And we just had the announcement a couple hours ago that we had 201 baptisms this transfer! We all exploded when we heard it. They even made T shirts, which was pretty funny. On top of that! Today my trainer was being transferred to a new area, and I was going to receive my second companion. We have nick names for relationships between companions here, for example trainers are Dad´s. The next companion after your Dad is your Uncle. So I just got my uncle. It´s always tough when you start out with your tio (uncle in Spanish) because you know the area and he doesn´t so you have to do the planning and everything even thought you can´t really speak or have much experience. So this is a definitely a new opportunity to push myself! My tio is from Missouri and he has a really patient, lax attitude about him. Which is exactly what I need because trying to figure out how to run the area is going to be hectic. It´s also like a new step in my mission because a lot of the elders I got to know in my zone left for other areas and new ones are coming. I have either one or two more transfers left here then I get to move to a new one too!
But for now the work continues! Thanks for all your support and encouragement! I´m still alive and walking each day with my eyes wide open to help people!
Elder Trevor Jones

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Same Old Same Old

I´ve had a few enlightening experiences here. The whole purpose of serving a mission is to help people. We believe that the greatest help and blessing we can give to people is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all of the promised blessings it brings to families and the lives of people. That is essentially our purpose. I´ve finally been starting to see the change our efforts have been making.

There´s a man around thirty six years old who feels he has a problem with his heart. The doctors tell him he doesn´t have anything but he says he feels his heart beating slower than normal at times and he feels he is in mortal danger. He´s in a state of depression because he fears for his life. We constantly visit this man and we know the best way to help him help himself is to give him hope and get him out of his sorrowful state. The mind is such a powerful factor to help us when we´re sick and he won´t get better if he never thinks he will be. After several lessons and visits I finally started to see a spark in this man´s eyes. He laughs more, he smiles more, every time we come he says he´s a little better. I finally started to see it. He is really interested in our church because he doesn´t like his past experiences with his former ones but he keeps having doubts about the differences. We know we can bring joy and hope to his life. The same happened with another man who had many trials lately with his family, his job, basically all his life. We were able to show him a video about perserverence (Mormon messages from Elder Holland) and he started to cry and change everything about himself. This work is true. The blessings it brings are true.
I´ve had so many experiences like that and I can´t wait to be more apart of them by learning the language and growing in my knowledge!

Of course today we played some more ping pong. I actually threw out my back bending down to pick up the ping pong. I´m a little worried because I´ve never had a problem like that before. But our mission president told me exactly what to do and I already feel better. I only have one more week left with my trainer and then I get someone new! I´m excited to see who it´s going to be!

That´s about all I´ll talk about this time. The rest of the week is generally the same. Til next time

Elder Trevor Jones

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Short one!

This probably shouldn´t go on the blog because it´s going to be way short. (The blog poster decided it was worth putting on the blog! :)) I only have six pesos on me and I´m taking a lot of time on the Internet so I don´t know if I´ll have enough to pay haha. Anyway just got done playing some ping pong and eating asado (Argentine Barbeque) and now we´re here doing email. This week was a bit slow. We´re kind of spending more time with our really good investigators. Maybe because my trainer will be leaving in two weeks and really wants to do all he can with them before he goes.
I´ll have more talk about hopefully next monday. Happy Valentines Day!
Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011

Well this week was definitely strange and different for us. Tuesday we had a zone conference which basically lasted all day. I´m glad I got to see some friends and we heard talks from the President, his wife, the assisstants, and other little lectures and things. Obviously the best part was lunch. Then on Wednesday I had divisions with my district leader again! Only this time we were in my area and I had to plan the entire day and lead us! It was crazy being my first time leading. But everything worked out almost perfectly! I had no idea which bus we needed to take to get to which area but somehow when we got off we were on the exact street I wanted to get to! It was really inspiring to see such a successful day from what I tried to plan. Miracles really do happen after our faith and after we do all we can. Thursday we got a surprise visit from the traveling assistants. Basically in our mission there are four assistants to the president. Usually there´s two but when the rare occassion where both will finish their mission at the same time, they split them into two groups in order to train the next assistants. One group is the regular assistants that do all the duties of the assistants and the other group is called the traveling assistants. These two Elders travel throughout all the mission and join in the work of every area. Each day they travel sometimes minutes and sometimes hours by train to a new area and join the companionship there. Thursday happened to be our day! It´s always sudden and a surprise. Basically I would have to lead the area again because what happens is we don´t work as a group of four but split off into two groups of two. Myself and one of the assistants would take one part of our area and my companion with his assistant would take the other. The assistant who accompanioned me is from Chile and he is almost done with his mission. The assistants are generally the best of the mission because of their hard work and their experience. So I really got to see a completely different way of doing the work that day. We got a lot of work done but unfortunately a lot of the people I wanted to visit weren´t home. Well that´s the mission life. Today we played ping pong again. We had more of a tournament with the stakes being a type of dingdong pastry here called Alfojors. They´re like a small cake made with chocolate and sometimes with layers and fillings. Basically like a ding dong with cake batter. They´re really popular among the missionaries. We´re so sloppy with how the tournament was organized haha. We basically just played against each other and everyone just ate them together anyway. My ping pong skills began to resurface too haha! That´s about all that has been exciting this week. The next transfers are in less than a month and my companion will be leaving. Which means I´ll have to do a lot of the planning and clueing my new companion in on who is who and what we do here.
I´ve really learned a lot this week regarding the viewpoints of our country from those of south america. And I don´t only say this from the view points of Argentines. My companion is from Columbia and I talk a lot with Elders from Chile and Peru. First off, they´re super prideful for their countries. If I slip up and say something that doesn´t give the idea that Argentina is the best country in the world, it could be fatal. It really makes me think about relations with us and the rest of the world. For instance, theres a lot of english and united states influence here. They all know who Obama is and about our celebrities and movies and music artists and such things. But do we know who their President is? Do we have any knowledge regarding each of their countries like they do ours? I believe the majority of us don´t, which makes them all a bit resentful at us. But the truth is they really are a very loving people, I believe even moreso than us. My opinion is that we are pretty haughty and it´s true that most of us really don´t care about much outside our country. For instance we use a unit system that really makes no sense at all and the rest of the world uses the metric system. I didn´t know much about central or south america before the mission. To me, for the most part, latinos were basically all the same. I was definitely proved wrong and regret ever thinking that a thousand fold. If you say that here they will definitely be offended. I think that´s one of the reasons I´m here. To help show me the light about this people and relate it to the others about how the countries of the world view each other. It really is a mind churner. Despite how Argentines view ¨Yankees¨ (Americans from USA), or how we view latinos, I have nothing but the greatest love for my country and for the people of Argentina!
That´s about it for this week. Thanks for all your love and support in keeping up with my endeavours to help the people of Argentina! Take care everyone! I´m grateful for my friends from school who have recently sent me DearElders! They really made me happy! I mean you, Kaitlen and Aletta! Thanks for remembering me haha!
Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, January 31, 2011

Zone Conference

I heard about Steven´s reassignment to Alabama. I´m glad he´s finally getting out of the MTC haha. This week my companion and I worked hard. It felt wonderful. Our mission has a goal for this transfer (6 weeks) to get 200 baptisms. Last year at this time they got 195. Now that I´m here 200 will be nothing! January, February, and March are, for some reason, the highest baptizing months here. Probably because here those months are during summer.

Tomorrow I have my first zone conference. Basically we go to the mission offices and stay there for almost the whole day and listen to talks from the mission President and his assistants etc. We all also have to prepare a talk in our opposite language (english for the latinos) and we will be randomly chosen to speak in front of everyone. I don´t remember if I mentioned this but It´s pretty sweet that in the missions in spanish countries, the missionaries that already speak spanish learn english. I thought that was really cool. My companion knows a good ammount. He studied a little before the mission because he someday wants to go to the USA and study at BYU. I love helping the latinos with their english when they ask me. It´s one of the few things I feel like I can teach well.

Well I finally got sick. Saturday was the hardest day I´ve had yet, health wise. Sometime the past week I ate something bad and threw up Saturday morning. The rest of the day I was able to work with my companion but I felt like if I ate anything I wouldn´t be able to keep it in my stomache. I felt fine Sunday fortunately. Today I played some ping pong with the other missionaries. We just ate pizza and came to do our emails. Nothing else too exciting really. Tomorrow should be interesting and long.

Thanks for reading and giving me your support everyone!
-Elder Trevor Jones

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So hot!

Well I need to make this one fast because I only have four pesos on me now and time costs money (on the computer)! Ahhh! Anyway there wasn´t a whole lot of excitement this week. The best was on monday for P day I got to play some legit soccer with a bunch of latinos. I actually did really good which was awesome. We got super crazy at some times and laughed a ton and had an amazing time. Afterwards we went to the small house/pention where another companionship are staying and had a barbeque! The meat here is so much better than the states! Probably because none of it is fake haha. It was amazing after just throwing it on a grill behind the house. All of our things are super cheap and poor. There wasn´t a grill, just a patch of dirt with a rack. We had to buy the wood and the charcoal and start the fire and just roast the meet behind the house in this sort of court area. Then we made a common potato salad here with potatoes, eggs, mayonaise, and onions. It was so delicious.
It´s amazing at how much I´m actually learning about other cultures here, moreso than the culture of Argentina where I´m actually living. One of the Elders during the barbeque is from Hawaii. We spent a ton of the time sharing jokes and talking. I got to learn a lot about the Hawaiin culture from him. Also that all their jokes involve a Hawaiin (who´s always a stud), a Japanese, and a Portuge ( apparently they always make fun of the Portugese). Also my companion is from Columbia and I talk a lot with another Elder from Chile. So I´m really learning a lot about several cultures. It´s really cool.
These past few days have been ridiculous. Everyone who has sent me letters here always say how cold it is and they can´t wait for the sun to return. I sure can! The average humidity here is always 60% - 99%. It´s always an inferno in the summer! Tuesday was ridiculous, with 108 F and 99% humidity! And ya, it did rain and it didn´t get any colder. I never saw so many beads of sweat on a person´s forehead before. Looking at my companion´s face, it was like trying to count the rocks in a mound of gravel. But that´s the mission life. I hear winter is just as crazy. That the humidity makes you feel cold no matter how many layers of clothes you have on. Haha bring it on!
We also kicked but with our work these past couple days. Visited a ton of people and shared a lot of lessons and spiritual thoughts. I love days like this when we accomplish so much! Well time to jet. Oh and this post is on Thursday because the internet died last monday so I couldn´t email. Thanks for reading!
-Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 16, 2011

It´s always so hard trying to think of which experiences to write about every time. Maybe I should start bringing my journal with me to this little convinience store. Last Wednesday I went on divisions again. This time so that my companion could go on divisions with the District Leader, so I spent the day in their area with my district leader´s companion. He is super cool and he´s from Chile! He knows English pretty well because missionaries from the US taught it to him in Chile. I don´t know what it was but for some reason with him (Elder Castros), in that area, that day, my spanish was better by five fold. Maybe because he is also fairly young in the mission and it was his first time leading another person (me) so we both had to step it up. The lessons and words I taught and said that day we´re pretty fluid in the language. Not perfect of course.
I just had my first transfer conference today! It was a blast having the chance to talk to my old companions from the MTC again. It was interesting seeing who would get paired up with who and who would be sent to new areas and whatnot. I still have a few months in this area so nothing is going to happen to me soon. But my trainer has been here a while so next transfer he has to go and I´ll get a new companion. The train was a nightmare again. Also in the morning, the trains heading in the direction of the capital are crammed with people. So much so that we couldn´t even get on the first one that stopped at the station. You have to be aggressive if you want to get anywhere on the trains at this time of the day. Fortunately we waited for the next one which had room for us.
It rained again yesterday. The rain here is always heavy. I can never tell if it´s water or sweat dripping down my forehead because it´s even hot when it rains. The humidity really makes things different. There´s no wood houses, or carpet. All the houses are made of cement and have tile floors. I don´t know if it´s only the style or because of the humidity also. I fortified my good pair of shoes in the MTC for just this situation. Unfortunately a couple weeks ago, after having my shoes for only a month, I already started to get a hole in my right foot. When it rains my left foot is cozy and snug but my right foot is waterlogged and miserable. I´m experimenting with ways to help lighten this burden. The hole isn´t big at all. It takes a few puddles to start getting my foot wet. I tried shoving part of a plastic bag in the hole to prevent water from getting in. Pretty savage but missionaries don´t have time to use their heads. It did help, but only for a little bit. Next time I´m probably just going to put some paper towels or a washcloth in my shoe to absorb the water.
I got another chance to do some more service this week. This old lady (who is a member) can´t really keep care of her house. She has a big sort of vine tree on the wall infront of her house, maybe 15 feet high. Our task was to trim the branches that grew long and made it look really sloppy. The problem is that there isn´t really any place to prop the ladder to climb up and cut the branches. Another problem from that is there wasn´t really any ladder that wouldn´t collapse or fall apart after stepping on it. It didn´t help that she didn´t own any shears. Our weapons of choice were limited to a pair of scissors and a rusty saw with dulled blades for trimming her vine trees. Somehow we got my companion on the roof so he could get one side of the grove and I had to take one of the somewhat decent ladders and prop it against the very branches I was cutting to get up there. Trimming vines with an old hand saw was definitely a new experience. It was also a little nerve racking that sometimes my ladder would start to give when I  cut a branch. To keep the bottom from sliding out we propped another ladder against the house and it´s bottom. The only thing keeping myself and the ladder upright were the thin vines I was cutting. Eventually we had to have my companion stand on the bottom to keep the ladder from sliding out from underneath. When the branches under me started to crack and I would drop suddenly a few inches, I had to end my work. Somehow it worked out and we were able to make her crazy vine tree thing look a little better. Then we put back on our ties and white shirts and resumed our walking about finding people to teach.
Those are the biggest highlights of the week I can think about. I love every moment and every whacky experience I get to have here. I´m working on figuring out how to send some pictures. I keep forgetting my camera and the cables. Thanks for all your support and love!
-Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, January 10, 2011

Casting Stones

Another Monday and I´m here writing to all of you back in the home land! This week started off strange. My district meeting started off with us casting stones (paper balls) at my zone leader. Each ball had a hidden message inside which consisted of an aspect missionaries might lack (like cleaning our apartment, having a part in our hair, etc.) or a message about how to improve ourselves from the scriptures. After we opened our stones we chose to either cast it into a pile saying we will repent and do what it says (like not being slow to rise out of the bed in the morning) or throwing it at a picture of Christ. Of course no one would throw theirs at the portrait of the Savior. It was a fun activity. I got the Christmas Stocking letter from Medford 2nd ward Young  Women´s! What a treat that was! The latino missionaries love American candies. They all wanted some. Thank you so much Young Women´s for the gift! I also got the DearElders from Bro. Bennion and Sis. Hokanson! Thank you both so much and I really enjoyed reading your letters!
After the meeting that day we walked a ton and visited so many houses for appointments. Unfortunately not one person was home. My companion was kind of glum and I kept trying to tell him ( in Castellano, hence TRYING ) that he should just smile! This didn´t help much but then we stopped by to talk with a friend of his, who is Catholic, and always said she never had interest in learning about our church but she has interest in being our friend. We were totally shocked this time as we chatted outside her house on the sidewalk when she had a question about our gospel. I didn´t know exactly what but it lead into my companion teaching her a whole lesson and asking her if she will pray to know it is true. She accepeted and afterwards my companions attitude was completely changed! It only snowballed from there. Right after that we visited an older Lady named Susanna and basically asked her if she would prepare herself to be baptized in a few weeks. She said yes! We were on fire! So much so that we even gave a lesson and passed on a pamphlet to our Taxi Driver as he drove us back to our apartment because we were very late that night. How empowering in deed!
Imagine our joy when on the next day when we got a referral for a man who lived very close to the church. We visited him and asked him for a fecha (spanish for ¨date¨, for us meaning baptismal date) and he said he would be ready! 2 fechas in two nights! Bam! The next night. We visited Jose. An older man who has been to church many times and has always said he needed to study more for some reason before he would be baptised. We promised him that we knew he would be ready soon and then ANOTHER FECHA. 3 Nights, 3 Fechas! We had so much success these days! We are pumped for these people who made the decision and we fasted that they would come to church. Not one of them came. This was a bit discouraging. Apparently Jose was sick, the man that lived close (named Reyenaldo) was visiting his daughter, and no word from Susanna. We are always given trials but we have to persevere and endure and never lose hope. I have faith in these people and in the Spirit that brought us to them!
Saturday I finally got the opportunity for some real service ( besides cleaning the chapel ). We went to a members house and helped him chop down trees with a machete and clean up his yard. He was able to confirm a fun fact I learned from my district leader a week ago.
Fun fact: A pair of shoes tied together with their laces and hanging from the cables between telephone poles indicate that a nearby house sells Drugs in Argentina. The police don´t care.
My spanish is improving ( I hope anyway). I can pretty much understand my companion, but that´s because he´s from the capital of Columbia and he says they all talk slow there. Most people here my age talk way fast still. I´ll get the hang of it soon enough. I´m able to teach the lessons well though, so that´s good. It´s the everyday talk with the slang and variety of phrases that will take time.
Thank you all so much for your support! I hope everyone has an awesome week!
-Elder Trevor Jones

Monday, January 3, 2011


So 2010 is over and 2011 begins!
It´s really hard to remember what happened throughout the week anymore. Last Tuesday to Wednesday I had my first Divisons with my Zone Leader. It was great that he could explain a ton of things to me in english that takes a ton of time or I don´t get the entire idea when my companion tries to tell me. I got to see his area and it was a bit poorer than ours. I noticed there was a lot of shoes tied and thrown up around the telephone wires along the streets. He said that those were indicators that the house next to them sold Drugs. I thought that was kind of interesting. Apparently the cops don´t really care either. We talked with a women who was a member but she didn´t go to church for some years. She even worked at the temple. We talked with her for a long time and I knew she had a concern but I couldn´t completely tell what it was. After the visit Elder Lewis explained what it was to me. As soon as he did my mind raced with things I could have said. Fortunately I can write her a letter and pass it along through Elder Lewis. Elder Lewis was confident that he got her to agree to go to church and hopefully my words will help her a bit as well. Thursday we worked a ton and walked so much. That only downside was that not one appointment or investigator was home because of the upcoming New Years.
When New Years Eve actually came, it was nuts. I described Christmas being like a warzone and this was basically WW3. New Years here is a much bigger deal than in the states. It´s more important than Christmas in South America ( or at least in Argentina and Columbia ). I get to find out a lot of things about Columbia through my trainer. When midnight struck the sky exploded. My companion was super homesick. He said Christmas was time for his family and New Years was the time for his friends. He missed them a ton. We went outside to see if we could catch some close fireworks on camera and because my companion couldn´t stand being inside, neither could I. The entire sky was lit up with continuous explosions and flashes and bangs and thunders and all kinds of craziness. I saw fires actually floating through the sky, like a paper lit of fire just lazily hovering around. Since our apartment is in the city the tall buildings blocked all the excitement from the neighborhoods and all the craziness from our view, which sucked. I could only see the flashes going non stop. There´s a nearby soccer stadium that had a fireworks display going on. But here in Argentina, there´s a soccer stadium every five blocks, so they were everywhere. Also every person was out in the streets shooting off fireworks that dwarfed the ones in the States. Every one of them sounded like a rifle. Even the normal people had the biggest of fireworks that you only see in the large displays at home. It truly was a war zone. It was a spectacle that was tough to miss out on, especially for my companion.
Last weekend was my first baptism and this sunday we confirmed him a member of the church! I could see the change in his eyes as soon as we finished the laying on of hands. He was with his girlfriend and son in the pews and they looked so happy! I couldn´t stop smiling! Also this sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting in the church. A lot of members walked up and bore their testimonies on the pulpet infront of the congregation. My companion and myself too of course. It was a very powerful sunday. With the lack of sleep from New Years Eve, combined with the lack of food for the fasting sunday, my body felt a lack of energy I never would have imagined. I was so thankful for the lunch that the ward mission leader offered us. It was also my first time eating something with Tuna in Argentina! Also they had empanadas with chicken, egg, and potatoes inside. It was basically the best thing ever.
Another P Day has arrived! I´m kind of tripping out. In 3 days I would have been here for an entire month already! I´m kind of worried if my spanish is where it should be at this milestone. But I know I will learn it eventually. Mondays suck trying to get money from the banks. The lines are huge and we don´t have the time. I bought some more Arpargatas! And they fit this time! They´re so sweet and cheap. We walked all over the big city shopping part to find a soccer jersey for my companion. He wanted the jersey for the soccer team of Moron (which is our area), so it was kind of ironic how we couldn´t find a soccer jersey of Moron, in Moron. For lunch we went to a buffet place which was kind of expensive but really good! The best part was basically our whole zone arrived! Everyone kept looking at the huge table with 20 white missionaries all wearing white shirts and ties laughing and eating and talking in English. It was great! I smirked at the idea of me eating in an all you can eat buffet in Argentina and first grabbing some chinese food. We were overcharged ( probably because most of us are from EstadosUnidos and look like gringos ). Which leads me up to this point now writing this email.
I´m so grateful for this opportunity I have to be here! I´m so grateful for all of you who read my words and about my experiences 6000 miles away! For some reason I´ve felt the strongest desire ever to want to hit a baseball with a bat. I haven´t played little league for ten years so I have no idea why now. Thank you all so much for your support and your love! I miss all of you so much and can´t wait to see you all again when I´m done. But for now this work is true, I know that for a fact. I have a chance now to touch so many lives and I take every opportunity here I can. So many examples and ideas I have been able to apply here are because of the amazing people who read this blog like my family, my friends, my ward, and all those I´ve met during this mission. Thank you all so very much!!
Til next time
Con Amor, Elder Jones