Monday, September 26, 2016

Rio Gallegos A, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 2... Personal Revelation

Alright, this week might be a bit short, but here goes. 

Rio Gallegos is getting better. I'm more used to knocking doors all day, and we had success finding this week. Since I know that 90% of the people only read the first couple lines of my blog, I'm going to include my spiritual experience now... 

Yesterday, we were headed to an appointment, and it fell through. We were really tired of contacting, so I didn't know what to do. A while ago, Heavenly Father promised me that he would guide me where I needed to go in the mish, but lately, I've been a bit frustrated, 'cause I wasn't seeing any guidance. However, because of the frustration, I started reading talks on personal revelation. Yesterday, when we didn't know what to do, I decided to put what I've learned to practice. So I said a little prayer, asking God to guide me, and instantly a street came to mind. "La Mañana". I thought to myself "Nah, we already hit it hard there last week, and there wasn't anything. Then a name came to mind. "Pablo". "What? He was just some random guy that set a cita fija (appointment) with us and then wasn't home, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't want it." But that's what I got. So I prayed again, asking God if what I felt was right, and what did I get. Tiny feeling. Tiny. Like a light bulb at the bottom of the ocean. But I was like "What the heck, faith, Boba Fett! I've got a feeling, so follow me, and if it falls through, I have no idea what were gonna do." So we go to the house, and Pablo was home. We get in, and have a de diez lesson. He is literally so prepared. Recently quit drugs and drinking, is quitting smoking, just barely separated with his girlfriend, and wants to find God. LETS GO! God is most definitely in my corner, as well as all the other missionaries out there. As Latter-day Saints, if we reach out to God, He will come through for us. So that's my experience, hope you enjoyed it. 

Other dope things that happened this week. I BOUGHT PROTEIN POWDER!!!! I had months of reintegros (reimbursements) that just barely came through, so I was swimming in cash, and decided to aprovecharlo (take advantage of it). There's a pharmacy close to the pensh that sells protein powder, so I bought a huge tub of it. VANILLA ICE CREAM FLAVOR WAS NEVER BETTER. #churchistrue. 

other things... the members are dope, I still suck at futbol, but not too bad... I'd go into more depth, but I'm out of time, and still need to tell Dad that I love him. So that's it for today!!! 

I LOVE YOU GUYS! Especially you Mom ;) 

Keep on keepin' on Familia Jimenez, celestial kingdom is only half a plan of salvation away ;) 
- Elder Son

The scariest, ghetto apartments. THAT'S MY AREA BOI!

 Me with a nuevo (new investigator) named Blas. 
He's a capo, and wanted to take a pic, so I was like "Dale" haha

Dope sign by the street, hopefully I sent the good pic,
but one can't see with these crappy computers
I told him that I hoped he passed by it often and remembered to smile. 
He replied...
It's in a different area. There is a kiosco here named "Smile" though. But it has porn in the window. So I'm always looking at the other side of the street when we walk by. Maybe next time I'll smile while doing though LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

The sign says, "A day without laughing is a lost day!"

Blisters on my hand that I got while doing heavy labor with a shovel
(the other hand is now worse lol)

Me wearing the corset of one of the Hermanas. 
Don't worry I will explain later, but if she sees this, she will murder me,
so I'm gonna delete it from my camara LOL

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rio Gallegos A, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 1... Rely on the Lord

Alright, wow, this week was sooooooo freakin' tough. I'm having trouble thinking in English right now, so if I say the things weird, perdon. 

Anyways, before we get to Rio Gallegos, Monday evening I had to do tramites (splits) with Elder Molina. I was not looking forward to that, because in the past Elder Molina has shown me that he doesn't have it all together, so I was scared. Luckily, everything went smoothly. The cool part was that that night, we contacted together, and got to talk a bit, and the guy, although very immature, is actually a really good person, and his consejos (advice) actually really helped me. So that night I learned to stop looking at the bad side of people. 

Tuesday, on the bus to Rio Gallegos, the first movie that came on was Olympus Has Fallen. I didn't really watch it, I tried to read the huge Jeffrey R Holland talk that Dad sent me instead, so that was good. Then right before we crossed the straight, Zootopia came on, and I was like, Awesome! A movie I can watch without guilt! Let's go!!!! Then we had to disembark to cross on the ferry. When we disembarked, it was dope, because Hermana Garcia de mi distrito del CCM (from my MTC district) was totally walking up the ramp from the barca (boat)!!! We had to be quick, so we just snapped a pic. She's going to Rio Grande. Pobrecita (poor girl) lol. Anyways, this time around, la barca was sick! There was a seal, some penguins, and a ton of dolhpins that were jumping out of the water, and doing tricks, and it was awesome. After we crossed, we got back into the the colectivo (bus), and they started palying a new movie. Shoot! It got worse though. It was this movie with Sandra Bullock and... her name just left me... algo McCarthy... anyways it was in English, and it was swearing A TON. Like A TON. F Bomb every couple seconds. The other missionaries, even those that understood English, were totally laughing. In that moment, I lost all hope for those chums in Rio Grande. Anyways, after about 5 minutes, I couldn't aguantar mas (stand it anymore), so I got up, walked to the front of the bus, and asked the guys if they could change the movie, because it was swearing a ton. So the freakin' malditos turned the movie off completely. I got dirty looks from everyone, including the other missionaries. They didn't turn another movie on for the rest of the trip. At least I know there was someone smiling down on me. 

Anyways, we got to Gallegos, Bobadilla eventually came, and when we arrived to the pensh, it was a disaster. It's alright though, because we cleaned up when I got there. Bobadilla, contrary to the rumors, is obedient, so that's a big plus. Our personalities don't mix at all, so I think this will be a really dry traslado, but I'm gonna try to keep things kosher, so we'll see how that goes. 

The area is sooooooo duro (hard). I'm in centro. Like centro centro (downtown, downtown). There are tall buildings that take up about a quarter of my area, and a ton of of houses that surround that. The great thing about Tolhuin is that it's filled with people from the north, who are a lot more receptive and open to the message. Here, nobody wants a dang thing. In Tolhuin, every 10-12 contactos, we would usually enter a house. Sometimes it was a bit more duro (a bit more difficult), but it wasn't impossible. This week (5 days) in Rio Gallegos, we had 171 contacts. We didn't enter 1 house. I saw the ugliest side of humanity I think I've ever seen this week. It was such a great trial, especially since I wasn't receiving much support from Boba Fett, but it was awesome because it made me turn to the Lord for my support. My mantra this week was "My family is receiving bendiciones (blessings) for my service". It was cool, cause I'd be way bajoñado (down), then I'd think that, and suddenly I was willing to get doors slammed in my face for the rest of my mish. Love you guys. 

The bright side is that although we've got very few investigators, those whom we have seem barbaro (barbaric - ie great), so I'm pumped to keep working. Theres a capilla (chapel) here, with a canchita (sport court), so we have a noche de deportes cada semana (We have a sports night each week). I played futbol (soccer) for the first time in my life, and totally sucked, but I scored a goal by pure luck, which here, is essentially the same as Victor running a punt to the endzone for Alabama, so that was legendary (only for me, but igual). 

Anyways, things here are slow, but I know I'll acostumbrarme (get used to it) and be fine eventually. Still breathing, so that's what counts. Also, THERE'S A STORE HERE THAT SELLS PROTEIN POWDER!!!! I'm thinking that will be a great use for Abuela's "luxury money" haha.... Mas que nada (more than anything), I learned this week that I'm weak. I need the Lord, and I always will. It will take a lot of willpower, but I'm gonna strive. Sorry for emailing tan tarde (so late), yes it's after 6 here, but we got permission from Pres, so it's okay. 

I love you guys sooooooo much!!! Especially you Mom!!!!! VAMOS FAMILIA JIMENEZ!!!! AGUANTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 
- Son 

By the way, Sofia looks great (homecoming pictures) and the pic of Nikki and Kev in the stands (at the BYU Football game) made me trunky, so thanks for that haha LOVE YOU

And to Jose...
Sad for BYU, but honestly not too sad. They'll get better in time for my return ;) Deflate gate is such garbage, doesn't change that he's the G.O.A.T. Go Pitta, I wish the very best for that guy. 

Crazy that Moser's already home, he was a big capo (boss) before his mish, so I'm sure he slayed it. Remember to send me pics of Boston when you eventually get there haha! 

This area is durisimo (super hard), and Boba Fett's not an easy comp. I come from good blood though, so I'll aguantar (hang in there)

Cool experience that I had hoy (today). We had entrevistas with Presidente en la mañana hoy, y el me dijo que el no queria sacarme de Tohluin, pero el realmente me necesitaba en Rio Gallegos. El dijo que Boba necesitaba "motivacion" y que el me confia. El sabe que yo trabajo duro. El aun me dijo que estaba pensando hacerme comp mayor y lider de distrito (Boba tiene 18 meces). (We had interviews with President this morning and he told me that he did not want to take me out of Tolhuin, but that he really needed me in Rio Gallegos. He said that Elder B really needs "motivation" and that he trusts me. He knows that I work hard. He even told me that he was thinking of making me the senior companion and district leader - Elder B has 18 months in the mission.) Not gonna lie, I felt like a capo, but really it's not about the titles. It's about the love for El Señor. I love Jesus Christ, and I'll work day in and day out for him, AP or comp menor igual (AP or junior companion the same)

Thanks for raising me right Dad. There's a lot of viejos (old men) that made good decisions that have blessed me, but youre the viejo (old man) who raised me, so know that when I finally baptize out here, you had a big part in it. 

Love you Dad - Son

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tolhuin, Zona Rio Grande - Week 18... Whitewashed!

Alright so we'll get the big news out of the way right off the bat, Tolhuin. Got. WHITEWASHED. I was livid, didn't sleep a wink Friday night. I straight up told Presidente that if he was gonna whitewash Tolhuin, to leave me. Really though, I trust Presidente. I trust that he receives revelation from a real and living God, who knows better that I do, so I'll go where He wants me to go. 

Where He wants me to go is justamente RIO GALLEGOS A. Just across the arroyo. So not too bad, I've heard good things. I'll be going from Tolhuin to Centro, so that will be a big change (meaning from the boonies to a city). Rio Gallegos is the first city when you cross onto the mainland from Isla Tierra del Fuego. (It's about 300 miles north of Tolhuin and he crosses through Chili to get there. He didn't say how long the bus ride was or will be - I think he is still in Rio Grande today, but google maps says a 7 hour drive, so the bus would be longer.)

I did 6-7 hours of paperwork to leave the new Tolhuin boys with everything they'll need to continue having success (literally hand drew a map of Tolhuin with all of the investigator's houses labeled) so I've washed my hands of that. (When I read whitewashed, I took it to mean that President was closing the area, but later Alex told me that his new companion's old companion went to Tolhuin, so he meant that both he and Elder H were pulled and two new elders went in.)

As far as Gallegos, I'm excited, but a bit apprehensive as well. I was talking with one of the APs, Elder Soto, and he told me "Gallegos is awesome, I baptized 7 people there. However, your area has declined a lot lately because your new companion is a bit of a vago, so we needed an elder who's strict in his obedience and dedicated to go fix the area and the elder. So we chose you!" I'm totally flattered by the sugar coat, but that doesn't mean that I didn't notice the GIANT TURD INSIDE!!!! I'm not gonna go in with too many preconceived notions though, I'm just gonna go, make the best of it, and not take any of the trucho crap if it actually exists out there. So VAMOS. 

Anyways, with that out of the way, I can't believe that Utah won, I'm so sick and tired of them. CMON BYU! It's alright though, they can win the first time with Tanner Mangum when I'm back in the states, sitting in the stadium! 

As far as food goes... (I'm talking to the youth this week about missionary food, so I thought I'd get Alex's experiences too.) lots of cereal, there was a time where I ate a ton of rice, homemade popcorn is good, bread not so much ahora, but before yeah... it's pretty much what you make of it. Down here, you can get almost anything food wise, so if you want something, you can almost always make it. Lots of eggs for breakfast, fruit is good too. Also, lots of almuerzos con miembros (lunches with members), so you never know that way. 

Alright, now on to other things that happened this week... my journal was packed away, so I won't be able to use it... alright so, Monday was a joke. Elder Hernandez said that we needed to go to Rio to go to the medico (doctor). So I enjoyed a PDay, H played futbol for like 3 hours (those knees though) then, get this, HE NEVER EVEN TOOK OUT A TURN (I think "took out a turn" means make an appointment...) WITH THE DOCTOR! And it turns out the doctor wasn't in that day, so we essentially wasted a lot of the church's money. None of the missionaries out here respect that the funds we have are the Lord's funds, not ours, and there's a lot of waste for a lot of dinking around. I wasn't happy, but I can't say I was surprised. Anyway, Tuesday was pretty dope. We found some good new people, so that was good. Miercoles (Wednesday) was pretty much the same as Tuesday, tranqy no mas. And now that I think about it, Jueves (Thursday) was really good too. It's hard to remember the specifics without my journal, but the days were good. Viernes was a porqueria (Friday was a waste). We had a Zone Conference, and it was a total joke. I love Tolhuin to death, but Zona Rio Grande is a sinking ship that I'm glad I'm leaving. I hope Gallegos is a lot better. We were also going to go to the medico, and that sucked too, because Elder H was pouting the whole time cause he had a headache like always, and he once again didn't take out a turn, so we had to go and wait. Latinos man, theyre great, but soooooo hard headed sometimes. LOOKIN' AT YOU TOO DAD! You're my hero though, so it makes the bad times okay. 

The one good part of Friday's trip to Rio was that I RECEIVED MY PACKAGE!!!! Holy crap, I love you Mom and Dad. Dad, I totally know the part that's from you, I'm gonna save it, to build it together in 2 years! (I didn't have the heart to tell Alex that I forgot to put Jose's addition into the package, and the Legos were really from me and Sofia! Jose's is in package #2 that he is going to be totally surprised by because he doesn't know that it is in the mail!!!)

Anyways, we found out traslados (transfers) that night, and I didn't sleep after because I was so worried for Tolhuin. Saturday was spent saying goodbyes, which was really sad (especially Charly). Hno Amarilla took us to the lake, which was cool. Then I stayed up till one in the morning doing paperwork, and I was dead yesterday. Yesterday (Sunday) was great, we said a lot of goodbyes. The best part was the despedida (farewell) that we had right before we left. Lots of the miembros (members) came, and we ate some good food. They started clapping after our testimonies. It's dope to know that the people of Tolhuin are gonna remember me. I MISS THOSE GUYS ALREADY!!!! After the despedida, we took a late night combi to Rio, and arrived at 1am otra vez (again). So I'm very sleep deprived right now. Had to do tramites this morning which was boring, but now were good to go for mañana (tomorrow), so I'm happy now. 

BTW, my new comps name is Elder Bobadilla. He's from Chile. And his previous companion went to Tolhuin!

That's all for this week, lots of action, a roller coaster of emotions. Its gonna be weird to be in another area, but I'm pumped to go and baptize. 

I love you guys with all my heart! Especially you Mom!!! 

Charly (lagrima)

Familia Amarilla (capos)

Hno Cruz 

Familia Vidal

Hermano Bullones

 Hno Bullones and me like Deadpool

Familia Ruiz (capos)

ANGELA aka Chuki haha!!! 

Jose y Susanna

 Hna Sandra

Hno Sieles (capo)

With Doctor Favlano in La Union. Classic Tolhuin photo 
- He was a famous Heart Surgeon.

Elder Christiansen (from Sky View lol)

Elder Clark - one of the Zone Leaders in Rio Grande

Monday, September 5, 2016

Tolhuin, Zona Rio Grande - Week 17... Tender Mercies and Balloons

Where do I begin... First of all you have no idea how relieved I am acerca de (about) Nikki. I was legit worrying my pants off for her, so now that all is well, I might be able to sleep tonight haha! 

Hearing about the vids (we watched home videos from 2001-2005 at Sunday dinner - pretty funny stuff!) made me trunky, but not that trunky, so we're okay. Shed a tear for BYU, luckily it was a lagrima de gozo (tear of joy), GO COUGARS GOOOOOOOOOO, VAMOS BYUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!! Sounds like the family is slaying life like usual, so I'm really happy this week. 

As for the other side of the equator, were in Grande. Again. Wooooooo. Hernandez got his Xrays last week, and the doctor said that he needs physical therapy. President was like "Nope, were going straight to ct scans", so that's fun, and we're in Rio again. I don't mind though, and I was a good Elder and actually remembered to right down what happened this week, so here it is. 

First off, we were in the house of a member this week, and his wife, who I met but then she left him and ran away to Ushuaia, came walking in. We were going to give him a blessing with one of the other members, and we were calling the other member, when she walked in. I was like "Ummmm I think we'll just walk over to Pedro's house to bring him over here." Soooooo awkward, but hilarious!!!! She's a capa too, so I'm glad they're working things out. 

Tuesday was a lot of tramites... (formalities...) working on the passport situation... I won't say anything more haha! But yeah, it was cool to spend some time with Elder Clark. It was also my Cumplemes (month birthday - he's been out 5 months now), so we got Gridos for the first time (helado). It's mas o menos (gridos are ice creams and he didn't really care for them.). One could say Han shot first (everyone who gets that joke, I love you, if you're a young female, email me 😂) 

The combi (bus) back to Tolhuin was legit the most legendary ride I've ever taken in my life. We were just leaving Rio when "Adventure of a Lifetime" came on. Then it repeated. Then Clocks, Talk, Trouble, In my Place, and VIVIA LA VIDA. I was rockin' hard while everyone else was sleeping haha! Tender mercies.  (Can you tell that Alex LOVES Coldplay... He would have been sad if I had told him that they had a concert here last week.)

We had a sweet lesson with a menos activa (less active sister). We used globos (balloons) and popped her problems. She came to church on Domingo, so I'll be buying more globos this week haha! 

One of the days last week totally sucked, all the citas (appointments) fell, and I think I got a minor burn on my face from all the dust that got kicked up by doors getting slammed in our face, but the weather was incredible. I actually felt warmth on my skin. Tender mercies! 

Just so ya'll know, I've pretty much become the Abe Lincoln of Tolhuin cause I'm a leña (firewood) cutting legend. I also cut some garlic for an asadito that we had with some members, and my left hand still smells like Sofia's worst food nightmare (not worth it) (Sofia hates garlic)

Elder Hernandez was throwing up one day, but I think it was just something bad he ate, nothing serious. The guy's a mess, but you've got to love him! I'm learning how to be patient 😉 Tolhuin has also taught me the value of tranquilidad (tranquility). Before the mish, I feel like you couldn't leave me in a place for more than 3 days without getting bored, but Tolhuin is sooooooo beautiful, and tranqy. It's nice sometimes to get out into the boonies, contacting of course, and take a minute to just listen to the birds, and think "wow Heavenly Father is truly great". 

Anyways, last thing is that the menos activos (less actives) are progressing well out here. Jose and Susanna didn't come this week, but they're still good, so we're good to go. Susanna showed me how to make torta frita (in Argentina, these are like fried biscuits), so I'm gonna get fatter haha! Traslados are in a week, so let's see what happens! If I get transferred, chances are that I don't email until like Miercoles (Wednesday), so we'll see. 

My family. I love you guys so much! So happy Nikki is better, Kevin's still a bum, but I love him, Sofia's slaying Junior Year, Dad is my HERO, and Mom. Oh Mom. You are the greatest woman I know! MY INSPIRATION!!! i LOVE YOU GUYS!!! (especially you Mom!) 19 to go, VAMOS TOLHUIN, SHANKIES, AND BYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!! Love you Mom:) 
- Elder Jimenez 

Pics that Alex forwarded from Elder Hernandez...

And to Jose...
I swear, each email just gets better and better! First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to my men upstairs that Nikki is okay, y'all have no idea how worried I was. Legit prayed for her every day, multiple times. So relieved right now. 

And BYU!!!!!!!!!! You have no idea how much money I'm gonna waste in my college days going to the away games. So pumped that they won, I hope we smear the Utes. Did Squally Canada get any time? And our home boy Francis!!!! That's what I'm talkin about. Tell the Big 12 to get their stuff together though, I just want to know! And Wisconsin! They always seem to pull it out when they're the underdogs. Let's get BYU up there in the top 25 with Wisconsin, since we know that Bucky's gonna be ranked this week. And the Cowboys. I need Kammerman's email 😂 Really great sports update overall. 

I'll be praying for Cynthia. 

It actually really does help that there are people in the home ward thinking about me. It's good to remember that there are places in the world with lots of strong members, that not everywhere is Tolhuin haha! But Tolhuin has improved a ton in my time here. We reactivated a couple families, including one member that's gonna be recieving the Melchizedek prisethood in October, and we got another priesthood holder, so were moving along out here. One day... 

Loved the español, it's good to speak in the language of my father like Nefi (por fin jaja). I'll print that talk. Thank you so much for your support Dad. It's nuts that 5 months came and went already, well be at a year in no time!