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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

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