What a week! I'm happy to hear that you have a new calling Mom! Each new calling is an opportunity to serve and grow, so get the most out of it, and SERVE! I can't believe that Jaxson Ruff is going to the MTC! I'm so proud of that kid, QUE CAPO, EH! It sounds like Dad dove into the depths of humility for a day this week! I hope you guys took videos, because I'm going to need to see to believe XD
The week was tiring, seriously, but GREAT! I think that last week, if I'm not mistaken, I wrote to you guys from Gallegos... Yep, pretty sure. So we had the conference in Gallegos, and it went well. Elder Bragg based his talks, more than anything, on the Spirit, so they were different in each zone, according to what he felt he needed to say. It was inspiring to see how he would pause to let the Holy Ghost guide him, then continue talking. Not only did it make the conferences a lot more interesting, since I learned something different each time, but it also gave me a great feeling of thankfulness for the opportunity to be one of the only 2 missionaries that got to hear Elder Bragg speak in all the conferences.
After finishing in Gallegos, we took a colectivo to Ushuaia (really long). In Ushuaia, the preparations went well, and the conference went smoothly. After the conference, Elder Bragg took a picture with me, and said he was going to send it to you guys, so you might have an email from a General Authority :) After the fotos, he had an interview with Elder Popa and I.
The love I felt from that man was incredible! He transmits a peace and love that make one want to be better! One of the great lessons that I learned, and he didn't even teach it, it was the Spirit teaching me through his example, is that positive, living leaders are the most effective leaders. Before, I thought that if a leader focused very little on the weaknesses of those he led, and if he sugar coated his suggestions for improvement, that he would never gain true respect from his followers. I thought that his followers would never really improve because they wouldn't take seriously the leader. However, the example of Elder Bragg taught me otherwise. When Elder Bragg suggested that we improve in certain ways, he always expressed to us his love, and even said various times "This isn't something that you're doing bad, it's just a place where you can improve". At first, I thought "If we've got to improve, say it to us like a man! We can take it, and we'll improve!" But then I noticed that by showing us so much love, we didn't just see it, but we felt it. Every spiritually-sensitive missionary left each of the conferences with a strong desire to change, and improve, not because he had scared us into in, or threatened us into it, but rather because WE WANTED DO IT FOR HIM. And the best thing is that he was so true to his calling to represent that Lord, that by wanting to improve for him, really we were all wanting to improve for the Lord. Sometimes, we just need someone a little bit more visible to help us remember how much we love the Lord. So that was a GREAT life lesson.
Overall, the visit of Elder Bragg "me hizo re bien!" One of the ways that he wanted us to improve was in talking with everyone we can find. After he invited us to "hablar con todos" in the first conference, I started putting it into practice, and had a bunch of cool experiences. I was able to get references from taxi drivers to hotel maids. I was able to contact a girl from Germany, a bunch of people from France, and even a kid from Philadelphia. It was a great experience!
After Elder Bragg left, we had the Christmas dinner for Tierra del Fuego in Ushuaia. It was great! President and Hermana Salerno, Elder Popa, and I did a sketch that had everyone dying from laughter, and afterwards, dressed up as Santa Claus, I was accompanied by my elf (Elder Popa) to greet all the missionaries and give out their Christmas gifts.
The whole time I had funny things to say, and Hermana Salerno laughed so much that the majority of the fotos she took came out fuzzy! XD It was awesome to make people laugh in a way that didn't make me feel bad and didn't drive away the Spirit. #SEPUEDE! After the dinner, and after missing our first flight out of Ushuaia because the incredible staff of Aerolineas Argentinas gave my companion the ticket of Clementino Papón (not gonna lie, I got a bit angry..), we flew to Calafate (which was less pretty than I thought it was going to be) then took a colectivo to Gallegos (making it the third time I go to Gallegos this transfer). In Gallegos, we had the Christmas Dinner, which went just as well as the first (although I'm going to be sick of asado by the time were done haha!) and then in the morning, we left for Comodoro. Mom, I've been searching desperately for a uniquely Argentine pesebre, but they don't really have any. They're all pretty generic. But I promise that I'll bring you a nativity!
On the way back to Comodoro, we did traslados. It was hard to keep track of everything, because we had to do it on paper, and to make it worse, I'd say that these were the most complicated transfers that we've done up to this point (even president said that it was the hardest time in his mission) It seems like it gets harder and harder each time! However, looking at them this morning, I think they came out really well! Big news, there will be a change in the Assistance of this mission (I'm not sure if that's how you say it, but we'll go with it). After a chat with President, Elder Popa will be training in Ushuaia for his last transfer, in his first area. He's super pumped! I'm sad to see him go, and a bit scared of the change (since we've been together for more than 4 months) but I feel like everything's going to go great. My new companion is going to be Elder Ekblad, form South Jordan! He's a capo, so I'm pumped to show him how things are done in the office. We're going to be more obedient than ever, and I'm going to trust in the Lord, so that He can guide to be able to help President change this mission.
So yeah, CRAZY WEEK! FAMILY: Enjoy STAR WARS THIS WEEK! I am so, soooo jealous. I haven't even seen the trailer, but the temptation is so strong. Every time it comes to my mind (not a lot, I'm not THAT trunky, but its come to mind a couple times), I feel like Chancillor Palpatine is whispering into my ear, telling me about how I'd be able to see the trailer if I fell to the dark side. I'LL BE STRONG FOR YOU GUYS! Tell me how it goes, without spoilers though, because if you spoil it for me, i'm going to Anakin to Count Dooku you XD (<- Nerd). MOM! Enjoy your new calling, and keep on grinding in school! YOU CAN DO IT! I love you! LOVE YOU GUYS!
- Elder Jimenez
Alex is having WAAYYYY!!! too much fun as Santa...