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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

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