Sunday, December 17, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 17... HO HO HO

Hey guys :)

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...

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 16... #LightTheWorld

Alright everyone, today, in Ilumina el Mundo, the theme is "Honor thy father and thy mother" and that's going to be really easy for me because they are the two most praiseworthy people that I have the pleasure of knowing. 

MOM, you are the smartest woman I know! You are very charitable, thinking about others and doing TONS of service projects! You really do understand, in your heart and soul, the happiness that comes from making others happy. I think that you may not understand the great impact that the love you showed to me always has had in my life. You have always been there for me, cheering me on, and consoling me with that sweet, soft voice of yours when I've made mistakes or have failed in my past. It was that love that gave me the perseverance to push through my trials. You are SO patient (you raised me XD) and the best thing about you is that you have a firm testimony. I am SO grateful that I have a real, logical hope of being with you in the Celestial Kingdom one day. I LOVE YOU! 

And DAD! You are definitely the man after whom I have modeled my life. As I've already said to you many times, If I could become half the man you are, I'd be a great man. You are honorable. I've never, ever heard you tell a lie. When you say you're going to do something, YOU DO IT! You teach me so much by your example. You're not only an IMPECCABLE home teacher, but you do your visits at the start of each month. You honor and magnify the callings you are given, no matter the pressure that you receive in your job. You're hard working and dedicated: a man who shows true grit in the workplace and with your crazy hobbies. And you are wise. As I said to you in my letter this week, I know that if I need an opinion to help me make a good decision, I always have the best man on earth to go to: you! I LOVE YOU! 

I must have won the Heavenly Lottery to get parents like you guys here in the Earth. You inspire me, you build me up, and I give all the credit of all the success that I've had in my life to 1) God and 2) you guys :) You guys are a super couple! I LOVE YOU BOTH! 

Now, as for what happened this week, it was tranqy. We got back to Comodoro on Wednesday, prepped for the visit of Elder Bragg of the Seventy until yesterday, when we had the conference with him. It was awesome! It inspired me to be better :) Now, were in Gallegos (after an 11 hour bus ride in which I slept very little) getting ready for round 2 of the conference. Wish me luck! 

Elder Bragg, his wife, and Alex

FAMILY! I love you guys! Don't go doing anything foolish in these next couple months, because were close to being reunited (not trunky doh) LOVE YOU GUYS! 

MOM: Although I already wrote a lot about you, I've got to keep the good tradition that I've got going. I LOVE YOU! 

- Elder Jimenez

Christmas Stocking Package that we sent to Alex and Elder Popa

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 15... Happy Birthday Old Man!

What a week! It sounds like you guys had an awesome week, and an awesome Thanksgiving. DAD. HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLD MAN!!!! Espero que la pase re contra copado, sos la inspiracion de mi vida, y la verdad es que estoy re agradecido de que sos mi viejo! TE AMO! (Espero que te guste la jerga porteña ;) ) 

Alright, this week was busy! After P-Day in Trelew, on Tuesday, we did divisions in Rawson, which turned out well. The elders were improving the area a lot! 

The next day, we took a flight from Trelew to Ushuaia. That night, we did divisions with two elders named Elder Goltz and Elder Whitehead. Elder Goltz and I visited a recent convert family, and used one of the activities from chapter 9 of Predicad Mi Evangelio (Preach My Gospel) to ask for references, and FAH! It worked so well! The family was so happy that the elders wanted to work with them, and they gave us 6 references! It was a great success! 

That night, we ate fried chicken with Elder Popa's favorite family in Ushuaia, Familia Polanco. I was a bit worried though because the hermano is from La Republica Dominicana, and not gonna lie, there were times that I had a hard time understanding his accent. So when I get home, it might take a couple weeks to get used to the boriqua speak... But I'll for sure get accustomed quickly :) 

The next day, we had the training in Ushuaia which came out really well, then we took a combi to Rio Grande. The combi stopped at Panaderia La Union in Tolhuin, and that brought back a ton of good memories! I took a photo, but for some reason, it didn't register in my memory card... I think it's in my camara's internal memory... anyways, IT WAS AWESOME! After stuffing my face full of facturas, we continued on to Rio Grande. 

Zone Training in Rio Grande

On Friday, we had the training in Rio Grande, and it came out just as well as the others, so no complaints there. After the training, the Rio Grande district (3 areas) had dinner with a member named Mario. He's famous in the mission because each cena (dinner) is a challenge. He cooks A TON of food, and makes  A TON of jugo (juice), and the missionaries have to eat and drink everything. If they do it, they win, but if they can't eat and drink everything, Mario wins. Elder Popa said that during his 12 weeks in Rio Grande, he only won 4 times! However, the elders that are currently in the district are animals, and have been undefeated for 2 transfers (they're the most winning-est group of elders in the history of Mario) So after the training, we went to Mario's house, and took a seat at the table of battle. He whipped out the food: Fiambre Aleman (a giant stack of pancakes with ham, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise in between each pancake) It was soooooo hard to finish, because on top of the Fiambre Aleman, we had to drink 6 LITERS of jugo, and a bucket of fruit salad afterwards. However, after an hour long battle, and one elder puking in the bathroom, WE WON! We continued the streak, even though the elders said that that was the hardest dinner to win yet. I think Mario's determined to win before one of the elders who has never lost goes to another area XD 

Dinner at Mario's

On Saturday, we did another division, and I went with an elder named Elder Clavel. He was great! We talked with literally EVERYONE walking in the street, and it filled me with the pure joy of missionary work. I think I learned as much from the division as he did :) It was awesome! 

On Sunday, we attended the Rio Grande branch, and the best part was that several of the hermanos that I had met in Tolhuin came to church, like Familia Sielas and Hermano Ruiz. They were super pumped to see me, and I was happy to see them :) Now, today, we have a flight to Rio Gallegos at 3pm. Overall, it was a very busy, tiring, but productive and fun week :) 

FAMILY! I love you guys! I'm glad that I'll always have you guys as my family, even if were not together physically. 

MOM! I love you, and I'm so proud of the hard work you're putting in at school. Trust in the Lord for your support, and He will lighten your burdens! 

However, today, the most important is DAD! You really are a great, great man. Heavenly Father blessed me hugely by sending me to a father like you. Although you're not perfect, you're getting there, and the truth is, is that when I meet Heavenly Father, I'll notice that you, my earthly father, had a ton of the qualities that my Father in Heaven has. You're exemplary Dad! I LOVE YOU! 

Love you guys :) -Elder Jimenez

Monday, November 20, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 14... Zone Conferences

Hola familia :) 

Truth is I remember very little of this week. I've hit a certain point in the mission where everything just kind of blurs together... But I'll do my best to remember!

The first couple days of the week were full of preparations for consejo nada mas, and as y'all can see from the fotos, we made stir fry, which was really, really good! 

Thursday was consejo, which was as normal as always. I remember my first consejo, feeling like I didn't know anybody, and being the newbie. Now I'm the second most consejo-ed missionary in the mission! I've gone to like 10! Pretty nuts. It's fun to remember how I felt though, because it always makes me want to include the newbies as much as I can, so that they don't feel bad. 

The night after consejo, we had to stay up until 1:30 in the morning, because there were missionaries that needed to catch a colectivo at that hour. The best part was that after finally dropping them off, Elder Popa was feeling really bad, so, after having given him a Priesthood Blessing, we went to the hospital at 1:30! And believe it or not, the guardia was full! So we were there waiting for another hour and a half. When we finally got home, I managed to get to bed by 3:30 in the morning! It was the "earliest" that I think I've ever gone to bed! The best part is that I had to wake up at 8 to catch a colectivo to Puerto Madryn. I LOVE MY LIFE!

We were headed to Puerto Madryn because, this transfer, President is only going to be doing entrevistas, so he asked us to do a Mission Tour, and give a short conference in every zone. On the way to Madryn, I still had to finish my talk, and the truth is that I didn't want to do anything but sit there and look out the window, cause I was destroyed! However, I then thought about something that I had read in the New Testament last week. I read about how Jesus Christ, after healing the mother in law of Peter, was served by the mother in law, along with his disciples. I imagine that they were resting, eating, and having a good time after a hard day of work, when the Bible says that the common folk came to the house, and brought all of their sick and possessed. I imagined that Jesus Christ was probably tired, and comfortable there in the house, but even in those circumstances, he left the house, and began to heal the sick and afflicted. Jesus showed me that a good Priesthood holder is never off the clock. So I decided to finish my talk, and make a good use of my time. 

In Madryn, we stayed the night with some of the common elders. The next day, Saturday, they had a futbol activity planned. So that morning, we played futbol with investigators and members. It was re copado! My futbol skills, although still very weak, have improved. It would be cool if you guys could figure out if there's a men's soccer league in the valley, because I think it would be really fun to play when I get home! 

That night, we had the conference. My talk came out mas o menos, and I think it wasn't that great because I noticed that I had wrote it thinking that everyone was going to love it, and I didn't even pray before giving it. I had trusted in the arm of the flesh. Luckily, I learned my lesson! }

On Sunday, we assisted in Puerto Madryn. The Elders Quorum President is 20 years old! He had barely come home from his mission, but from  his class, I saw that he was doing a great job. After church, we went to Trelew, and we gave the next conference to the 2 zones. That time, I put my confidence in the Lord, and totally recognized that I couldn't do it well without Him. Under that guide, I made some slight changes to my talk, and it came out great! I think that each time I give it, with the Lords help, it will be better. 

So that was this week! Now I'm in Trelew, and passing a nice PDay :)

FAMILY! I'm happy that Kurt and Jenn are so strong in the gospel. God has given them a heavy cross to bear, but they bear it well. And the best part is that they have the help of He who bore the heaviest cross, Jesus Christ. In this thanksgiving season, I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of Jesus Christ. I long to know Him! He is our Perfect Example, our Savior and Redeemer. My goal in life is to know Him, and be like Him. 

Ah! One more thing! Last night we saw the Cara a Cara with Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard and it was awesome! The traductors were really bad, but still,it was awesome to see how the apostles interpret the gospel. I saw a more human side of the two of them, laughing, and confessing some of the faults they have. All in all, i loved it. If you guys didn't get the chance to see it, WATCH IT! It was great :)

MOM! I love you! But just get ready because next week, Dads going to trump you for a week, so don't let it break your heart XD I LOVE YOU GUYS! Happy Dia de Accion de Gracias! - Elder Jimenez

Some birthday treats that the Hermanas Capacitadoras made me. CAPAS! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 13... Rada Tilly

Alright, I'm going to write this email first today, because last week, I waited to write to Mom, and Dad freaked out!!! XD 

However, before I get to the rest of the email, I wanted to send a message to the Boston Knights. I don't have your guys's email, so my mom will just have to make sure that ya'll read this. I've had you in my prayers. Truth is, I don't understand how you're feeling, cause I've never been there, but Jesus Christ has. You guys already know, but just to stress it, He lives, and because He lives, death loses its sting. That doesn't mean that it's going to be easy to accept; I'm sure that this last week was horrible. However, death loses its lasting sting, because although the Adversary wants us to think that we're never going to see those people again, thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ, death and the Adversary have been defeated. He already won. The Lord even revealed to Joseph Smith, who I'm sure understood VERY well what you guys are going through, having lost 7 of his 11 children, a truth that may bring a sliver of comfort in this time of trial. It's found in the Priesthood manual "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith" Chapter 14, section 2. The whole chapter is great, but that second section applies specially to you guys. Frederick is far from gone, in fact you all can be comforted, knowing that he already attained the Celestial Kingdom. Your job now, Jenn and Kurt, is to keep living your lives with the faith that you already live, and I know that you'll be seeing Frederick in, what to us may seem a lifetime, but to God is an open and close of the eyes.

It's hard to write a good email when the people you love are passing it so bad, but I think the best thing in times of trial is to be positive. If someone's sad, and you get depressed, that's just gonna make them more sad, so we're gonna write a positive email! This week passed by fast! Tuesday was my birthday, thanks to all who sent me birthday wishes! The funny thing was that I had went to bed at 12:30 the night before, and had to wake up at 6 on my birthday, so I was pretty tired during the day! (Alex's mission is on a different schedule where they are supposed to be in by 10, to bed by 11, and up at 7. So, he was out late, and then had to get up extra early on is birthday.)

It was still great though! We celebrated by going to Rada Tilly (a city about 30 minutes south of Comodoro Rivadavia). Here's a picture overlooking the bay at Rada Tilly.

Elder Popa took me to this Chinese restaurant that he had been telling me about. When we got there, the place wasn't open, but we rang the doorbell, and after about a minute or so, a little old Chinese lady opened the door and invited us in. The place was tiny, and it looked like it had been closed for years, but CHINESE FOOD! Looking around, I saw that boxes in which she had received her ingredients, and they were all imported from Taiwan, so I was pumped. 
We ordered pretty much everything on the menu, and as you guys will see in the foto, it was DELISH! The best part though was that the lady was SO NICE! She gave us a huge deal without even asking, and when she brought out the food, she had doubled one of the dishes we asked for, just to be nice :) She spoke really broken Spanish, but she talked to us the entire time! And the craziest thing was that she believed in Jesus Christ! She even showed us her bible in Chinese, which was really cool. We're probably headed back there today for round 2, and we printed out 10 pages of the Book of Mormon in Chinese to bring to her, so we'll see how that goes! From what I've seen in this last month, meeting the man in the plane and now this lady from Rada Tilly, the Chinese are a very friendly people :)

Birthday Dinner at Rada Tilly

On Wednesday, the newbies got here, and we spent Wednesday, Thursday, and the majority of Friday with them, teaching them and taking them to the places they needed to go. It was as fun as always, and as you guys probably saw on Facebook, we got a hold of the phone of President and took some great fotos in la casa de la mission XD

I spent the rest of the week doing odd jobs and divisions. The best division that I got to do was with Elder Allen in Ciudadela. He has developed into a great, great missionary, and I'm super proud of my trainee! I see a future leader in him.

Yesterday, we planned out the calendar for the rest of the transfer (until Dec 19th), and WHOA. It's gonna be nuts. President wanted us to do conferences on our own this round, so Elder Popa and I are going to be traveling for 2 straight weeks, then we're going to travel with President, la Hermana, and Elder Mark A. Bragg of the Seventy for a week (he's in the S America South Area Presidency), and then we're going to continue traveling with President and the Hermana for another week to finish off the transfer. IT'S GOING TO KILL US, BUT IT'S GOING TO FLY!

My reading of the Bible is going well, but Dad... I think I'm going to take your advice. I loved Genesis, but Exodus is getting really, really boring, and I think I'm going to read some special selections from the Old Testament (Job, Isaiah, etc.). I'm sorry, but the truth is is that I'm not an architect or an internal designer, so I don't think it helps me to know the exact specifications of the Tabernacle of Israel for 20 chapters XD After the Old Testament, I'm going to read the whole New Testament :) I've already felt a huge boost to my testimony of the Book of Mormon though. It's soooooo much clearer than the Bible, and makes it so much easier to believe in the Bible, because it clarifies a lot of key doctrines. I KNOW THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE TRUTH!

Family! I love you guys, and am pumped to talk to you all at Christmas! 

SOFIA: Byu! Byu! Byu! M

OM: Without fail, you'll always have your special place in my emails. LOVE YOU! 

The Boston Knights: My prayers are going out to you guys. You will not be forgotten! 

LOVE YOU ALL! - Elder Jimenez

Jose Luis, a friend from Gallegos that passed through Comodoro on the way to his mission in Salta!

Gangsta face in the H1 (la vaca!)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 12... ASADO!

Hey everybody! Thanks for all the birthday wishes :) I'm really glad to hear about all the good things that are happening in the family. It helps me to be tranquilo down here at the bottom of the world.

This last week was definitely interesting! On Wednesday, we went with President to Caleta Olivia for a special asado. The zone had achieved an outstanding number of baptisms in the past month, so we threw a special asado for them. It was great! We ate lots of meat, and played lots of futbol. Later that day, President returned to Comodoro, but we went to Pico Truncado to do divisions.

On Thursday, I woke up in the morning, and felt really bad. I went to the bathroom, and while I was seated on the throne, I started to tremble, sweat, and felt like I was going to pass out. So, after surviving that, I went stumbled back to bed, and waited for it to pass. But it didn't pass. Then, I had another grand opportunity to see the power of the priesthood. Just as I had 2 weeks ago, I asked for a blessing of health. After giving me the blessing, I prayed to Heavenly Father, and told Him that I had the faith to be healed, but also to continue sick. In less than 10 minutes, the nausea passed! It was a great sign to strengthen my faith.

I did continue sick though, and had to pass the day inside. I felt so bad in fact, that for the first time IN MY LIFE, I went to the doctor's office. After waiting an hour and a half in the ward, I was attended, and the doctor advised me that I had food poisoning. GREAT. That asado wasn't as rico as before... She gave me a prescription, and offered me a shot. Like a MAN, I accepted. So they took me to another room, whipped out a huge needle, and stuck it in me. Right in the butt (I thought Sofia would like that XD). After the shot, the nurse hurried out of the room, leaving me alone (thank you Argentina). All the blood went to my head, and I almost passed out, but after one of the most sincere prayers of my mission, I was able to stay standing.

The Lord did bless me though, because after sticking to the diet, and taking all the meds, the next day I was already feeling a solid 75%, and got out to work. The best part was that my companion in the division was Elder Tiffany, a friend of mine from the MTC :) After some great divisions, Saturday morning, we made it back to Comodoro in time for the traslados. Although we had to hustle, everything came out well.

On Sunday, we had lunch with some members named Familia Maimot. After eating the main dish, the hermana pulled a cake out of the fridge. She had remembered my birthday! So they sang to me, and we ate cake. I was very grateful :)

The highlight of the week though was definitely my reading of the Bible. I've read the Book of Mormon 4 times, and still I haven't received a sufficient confirmation of my testimony of the book, and it frustrates me. However, if one looks closely, in Moroni's Promise (Moroni 10:3-5) in verse 3, it talks about how one needs to meditate in how merciful the Lord has been with the sons of men from the days of Adam up until today. In Ether 1, Moroni comments that the story of the creation and Adam and Eve is not in the Book of Mormon "because it's among the Jews". So, if one has read the Book of Mormon, and still hasn't received their answer, then they should read the Bible, and compare it with the Book of Mormon, to be able to see how merciful the Lord really is. So that's what I'm doing! I have a goal to read the whole Bible before finishing the mission, and I already finished Genesis! I loved the story of José (tocayo mio eh!), and I can feel my testimony of the Book of Mormon growing as I see how it's similar, but clearer than the Bible, and how they talk of the same message. I know that Jesus Christ really does love us, and He has been working for mankind from the beginning to today. He loves us, and through him, like the Patriarchs of old, we can be "reunited with our people" in eternal families after this life.

FAMILY: I love you guys! I'm so glad that we're going to be able to be together forever, especially because you guys are esteemed company, and good company. Los Jimenez son los capos papá! 

SOFIA: Bien ahi con el Sterling Scholar, eh! 

MOM: Dad told me that you're doing really well at school. CAPA! Love you :) 

LOVE YOU GUYS! Nos vemos en 6 ;) - Elder Jimenez

Here are a bunch of pictures from the old missionaries leaving and the new ones arriving in November.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 11... Li Yi Yi Yi

(Just a note before he begins... This email covers about 7,000 miles of travel last week!!! It's tiring just reading it!)

I have a feeling that this one's gonna be long. I hope you guys can handle it!

As far as the home-fronts going, I love to see Madi smiling. She's a fighter, eh! I'll keep her in my prayers and fasts! VOS SOS UNA CAPA MADI (Madi, YOU ARE A BOSS!)

This week was really, really crazy. On Tuesday, we took a flight to Buenos Aires in order to get down to Ushuaia. However, we didn't leave until 4pm, so we didn't arrive in BA until about 7pm. President arranged for us to stay the night in Buenos Aires, and it was SWEET! The church uses a special company of taxis to get around, so the taxi driver was a member, and he was really cool. Before taking us to the hotel, I asked him to take us to La Bombonera, the stadium of BOCA. It was awesome! 

We took some quick pics, then he took us to the hotel, which was literally in the middle of Buenos Aires. We stayed in what would be the Argentine equivalent of Times Square. ¿¡Que loco, no?!  (Crazy, Huh?!)

View from the balcony in the hotel at night! 
The Obelisco is the most famous monument in Buenos Aires.

Pleno centro de Buenos Aires in the morning :)

Inspired by the mail of my best friend Austin Ramsey from last week, I left a pamphlet of the Restoration in the drawer of the hotel, with the New Testament. It felt good to not get lost in all the distractions, and always be trying to share the gospel, even if I'm not technically in my mission. The craziest thing was that, after asking some questions to the taxi driver, I found out that we're the only missionaries that travel through Buenos Aires to get to other parts of our mission. O sea, that out of thousands of missionaries in Argentina, we're the only two that get to travel like we do. It made me feel very grateful! I try not to get too wrapped up in all the travel, but at the same time, I think not thanking the Lord would be inappropriate. So I'll thank Him in word, as well as with my actions! 

Pamphlet of La Restauracion that I left in the hotel 
(foto cred to my best man, Elder Austin Ramsey)

The Zone Conference in Ushuaia went really well, nothing too crazy there. After completing the conference in Ushuaia, we took a direct flight to Trelew. I got to sit by Li Yi Yi Yi (not even kidding! XD) I tried to speak to him in Spanish, and it was obvious that he didn't understand, so I tried English, and found out that he knew how to speak very roughly. Although he didn't speak very well, he was super, duper friendly, and we talked for the whole flight of 2 hours! I found out that he was from China, is married, with a son who's six years old (he showed me fotos on his phone), he likes to play futbol, and loves to watch it (especially Messi). He was in Ushuaia for work (he works for a cellphone company; so typical haha!), and the crazy thing is that he is Buddhist! That's not the craziest thing though, the craziest thing was that when I mentioned Jesucristo to him, HE DIDN'T KNOW WHO HE WAS! It was nuts! I wanted to teach him a bit, but he didn't understand sufficient English to be able to understand the message. I had been drawing on a napkin to help communicate, and had asked him to write his name on it (it's now taped into my journal :D). So I whipped out a Lesson 2 pamphlet, and copied his name (very badly) on the back. Although he can't read Spanish, I thought that he might like to look at the pictures and enter into the website on the back. After giving him the pamphlet, and a very rough, turbulence filled Patagonia landing, we shook hands, and that was it. It was sweet :) 

The next day, we did some divisiones in Puerto Madryn that went well. I like doing divisions with the missionaries, especially when I feel that I've taught them something that actually helps. 

On Sunday, we got to go to the stake conference in Trelew Norte. One of the best quotes that I noted down was "Sometimes, the Lord doesn't extend a calling for what one's done, rather for what one can become". I identified myself a ton! I also met one of Taylor Bingham's mission comps from Viña del Mar, so that was cool. I got to eat dinner that night with Los Rapiman, and it was a good experience. They're a family that little by little, I gained their confidence, and I think I have some friends for life there! 

Yesterday (Monday), we had the Puerto Madryn zone conference, which went very well, and then we high tailed it in a rented car back to Comodoro to give a farewell dinner to Elder Christiansen, one of the Secretaries that went home this morning. We finished at about midnight, and his flight was at 3 in the morning, so we just stayed awake until he left. I didn't get to bed until 3, and had to wake up this morning at 8 to turn in the rental car. I'M SO TIRED! And I'm sad that Elder C is gone. But oh well, that's just how it is. Now, I've got my missionary juices running, and I'm going to do my best to get this mission to our goal of 45 baptisms. With faith in Jesus Christ, all things are possible!

FAMILY! I love you guys :) MOM! I think you're more trunky than I am! XD 

Love you :) - Elder Jimenez 

 Farewell dinner for Elder Christiansen

 The dinosaur mas grande del mundo
(The Largest Dinosaur in the World)
that they discovered in Trelew. It's HUGE! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 10... Priesthood Power

FAMILY! It was good to hear from you guys! Sounds like everything is going well on the homefront. Down here at the end of the world we're doing pretty good as well! 

This week was very, very busy. Presidente went to Bariloche for a Mission President's Seminar, and we thought that we would take the week to proselyte tranqy. Nope. Wednesday morning, one of the Zone leaders in Trelew called me, and told me that one of his companionships was having problems, and requested that we do divisions with them when we got up there for conference. However, seeing the seriousness of the situation, we decided that it was time for a ROAD TRIP! So we packed up the Ranger, and drove up to Trelew.

Upon arrival, we met with a bishop and talked about the work in his ward. Then, in the last hour of the day, I did a division with Elder Sosa (one of the zone leaders) and we were able to visit a menos activo family. It was really cool because I know the son, and we gave a very powerful lesson, that actually seemed like it helped. Afterwards, I flew by Enzo Rapiman's house to see how he was doing, and to my relief, he stopped dinkin' around and is once again focused on getting out on a mission. CAPO!

On Thursday, we did surprise visits in the morning, then had lunch with Los Millan. They didn't know that we were coming with the LZs (they had asked for 4 seats, but hadn't said for who) and when they saw me through the window, they all started shouting for joy. It made me feel good! :) After lunch, we had a special meeting with the problem companionship that came out really well. Elder Popa and I are getting really used to training together. That night, we stayed with the Lideres de Zona from Trelew Norte. One of 'ems from Bingham. His name is Carson Eckblad, and he's doing a great job in that zone.

The next morning, we did another surprise visit, then afterwards, had another division, this time in Parque, the most dangerous area of the mission! It was tranqy though, and I had a great time. 

Later that night, we took an emergency trip to Rawson, because a missionary needed to go to the hospital. Thanks to the trip, we got behind schedule... President was going to be getting home on Saturday, and we wanted to be in Comodoro, but we still had one last job. We closed one of the areas in Trelew, and our pension coordinator wanted us to grab some stuff from the pension and bring it to Comodoro. So we grabbed the LZs from Norte, they showed us the house, we loaded up the truck, took the LZs home, grabbed some empanadas, and hit the route. We didn't make it out of Trelew until 11. HERMANA SALERNO WOULD HAVE KILLED US! If she knew haha! Bad news was that I had caught some rain during the division, and started deteriorating slowly on the ride home. For only the second time on my mission, I got to see a Patagonia lightning storm, which are super weak, and super rare, but hey, cool. We got home at 1:30am.

Saturday was nuts, I don't even remember what I did, but I only remember that I woke up sick, and got worse during the day. Sunday I was also sick. After church, we figured out transfers (because we're booked for the rest of the transfer), and as we did them, I deteriorated to the point that President started considering leaving me home for the trip to Tierra del Fuego, but I wouldn't have it. I can't stay down on tranqy days, nobody's going to keep me out of the action on the important days. Today (Monday) we had a conference, and tomorrow, we're taking a flight to Buenos Aires. Although I didn't want to believe it, the truth was that if I continued going like I was going, I was not going to be able to fly. I was showing all the symptoms of the flu. However, before going home, I asked for a priesthood blessing. Elder Popa did the anointing, and President Salerno gave the blessing. As they spoke, a strong feeling came to me, reminding me that the effectiveness of the blessing does not rest in the power of the priesthood holders, rather in the faith of the receiver. So, last night, in my prayer, I expressed to Heavenly Father my faith in His son Jesus Christ. I told Him that I had faith to be healed, and also, as was mentioned in General Conference, I had faith to not be healed as well. God answered my prayer! This morning, I woke up strong and ready to get to work! How grateful I am for the Holy Priesthood! It really does exist, and Jesus Christ really does live!

Today, we gave a great conference. In each of the conferences, President has asked me to make videos of the missionaries doing their training. I definitely think that the Lord gave me a talent there, and I'm glad I can use it to encourage the missionaries.

All in all, it was a jam packed week! I hope I didn't overwhelm you guys with all the information. 

FAMILY! I love you guys! You're all very special people for me, and you're all role models of mine, all in different ways :) 

ABUELA! Get well soon! You are in my prayers! 

MOM! I love you! 


- Elder Jimenez

Monday, October 16, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 9... GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLL!!!

What's up everybody! Hope you guys had a good week, my week was crazy as ever! Mom, I'm really happy that your observations went well. You are a person with many gifts, and that middle school is lucky to have you! I can't believe that Brock is already home, how crazy is that. I'm sure he grew a ton on his mission. It's funny to see though that with all the changes, he's still good ole Brock :) And man, how awesome is that, that Kurt and Jenn and Madi got to meet Elder Anderson. The Lord really does love our family! 

As far as this end, I was busy this week. Tomi couldn't come to play futbol last Monday, which made me a bit sad, but the story continues! 

On Tuesday, we drove all day until we got to Rio Gallegos. La Seleccion de Argentina had their last match in the World Cup Qualifiers, and it was a very important game. For the first time in a while, Argentina was on the verge of not making it to the Mundial. Their last game was against Ecuador, IN ECUADOR. If they won, they were in, if they lost, they wouldn't make it. With the game being so important for the country, President Salerno gave permission to the missionaries to watch the game. I WAS PUMPED! For those who don't know, the arguably best player in the world, Lionel Messi, is infamous for playing really well in Barcelona, but never making goals here in Argentina. During all of the world cup qualifiers this round, he had only scored 1 goal thus far. So the game started, and BOOM - in the first 20 seconds, Ecuador scores a goal! And the whole mission sighed, and got scared because there were going to be riots in the streets. But wait, Messi gets a clutch, rebound and BOOM! GOL MESSI!!!!!!!!!!! And then BOOM! Another! and to finish it off, in the second time, falling backwards, with his left foot, a beautiful goal to finish em off! 3 - 1 Argentina, with all 3 coming from Messi! I was super pumped, because I'm going to be home to watch the Mundial. AGUANTE ARGENTINA! 

Sorry to everyone who was hoping for some deep spiritual thoughts to start off this email, but for all those who know me, you all know the love I have for watching sports. It's safe to say that it was a great experience for me :) 

On Wednesday, we had the conference in Rio Gallegos. Everything went well, and the zone loved the activity. I didn't have time to make visits this time, because we finished late at night with the interviews, and we left on Thursday morning. It's really awesome to be assistant though, because it allows me to get to know all the missionaries, and give them counsels about how to improve that I think they take a bit better because I'm a fellow missionary, and have been where they are. 

Friday and Saturday were spent running errands for President. 

On Sunday, I had a good experience. Before church, as I read the scriptures, I read a bit about the Brother of Jared. I learned a lesson. The Lord commanded the Brother of Jared to build ships, and showed him how to do it. When the ships neared completion, Jared encountered two problems: 1) How were he and his people going to breath in the ships, and 2) How would they have light? So the Brother of Jared (Moriancumer) asked the Lord. With the first problem, the Lord taught Moriancumer, then gave him the answer. However, with the second problem, the Lord responded:
"What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not go by the light of fire. ... Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?"
This time, the Lord did not give the answer to Moriancumer, rather He let him work it out for himself. As the majority of you all know, Moriancumer prepared translucent stones, and asked the Lord to touch them, that they might glow. You all might be thinking "Where is Elder Jimenez going with this?" This is what I learned :) If we want the Lord to help us overcome obstacles in our lives, sometimes, He will guide us and show us the way. However, other times, and in my case I believe it to be the majority of the time, before giving us the help we need, He wants us to prepare ourselves to be ready for the solution, like the Brother of Jared when he approached the Lord with his stones. 

So, on Sunday, after church, I wrote a dedication in a Book of Mormon. Then, Elder Popa and I had a good companion study, and finished it off with some practices. In that moment, we were ready. Sunday evening, we had our only moment in the week that we were able to work in our area. So we started working. We knocked, and knocked. And knocked. For 4 hours, we kept on keepin' on, but it just wouldn't give. Finally, as the day closed, we started heading home. I felt a tiny bit discouraged, because I really didn't want to accept the reality that Assistants just can't baptize, but after doing all the work we could, we once again came up with nothing. I had prayed a lot as well, asking the Lord to guide us, but the agency of the people kept us from having the success we desired. However, as we were walking towards the pension, passing Daiana's house, Tomi, her son who was going to play futbol with us, came walking out. "Hey, are you Tomi?" I said to him. "Yeah" he said. 
Lord 1 - Satan 0. 
I introduced myself and Elder Popa. He seemed like a really nice kid! I then had the impression to give the Book of Mormon that I had dedicated to Tomi. So I wrote his name in it, and gave it to him :) We invited him to play futbol with us the next day, then continued on our way. 

Later that night, Daiana sent us a text thanking us for the book. She said that the dedication was very nice, and that Tomi loved it, and that she was going to bring him the next day. And sure enough, HE CAME! I love how the Lord gave us success after we prepared ourselves for it, just as He did with the Brother of Jared. 

So I'd like to extend an invitation to all of you, to put your trust in the Lord. He really does live! He loves us, and if we trust in Him, and DO OUR PART, He WILL bless us! So prepare yourself, your homes, and your families for the blessings of the Lord, then ask, and wait patiently. I know that as you do so, the Lord will bless you abundantly, in His time and way. 

FAMILY! I love you guys! 

GRANDPA! Happy B Day old man! 

MOM! You're a boss! Keep slayin' it in your job! 

SOFIA AND ABUELA: Prepare to teach me how to do family history and get me going after the mission. WE GOT WORK TO DO FOR OUR FAMILIA BORIQUA! 

I love you guys :) - 
Elder Jimenez 

Monday, October 9, 2017

AP, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 8... Going the Extra Mile

Well, this week went by fast! All the weeks go by fast now, I'm gonna be home in no time (not trunky though) Sounds like you guys had a good week, I'm a bit envious of Sofia's camping trip to Escalante with Nikki and Kevin. I hope you guys keep doing cool stuff like that when I get home! 

This week was full of different activities. The idea for the obstacle course was from Hna Salerno. I think that she's literally the most creative person I've ever met! She asked us to make a video, so in 12 hours I whipped together a 8 minute video that everyone loved! One of the LZ told me that I should be a vlogger after the mission, but I'm not sure if that's up my alley haha! I'm trying to send you guys the video, but the internet in Comodoro is some of the slowest internet in the world, so we'll just have to see if it loads. 

Consejo (Hna and Zone Leader Training) was on Thursday, and it went well. The good news is that it went so well that President decided that hes going to do mas o menos the same thing in the conferences, and that means ROPA DE P DAY! So yeah, I'm going to be wearing a lot of P-Day clothes this transfer :D 

Back Row, 5th from right

One of Alex's previous companions described this Leadership Training as kind of like a Jedi Counsel... sounds like Alex must have been involved in the planning.

Friday night, President sent a text message to the office saying that we could take an extra P-Day on Saturday for all the craziness of Consejo. Later that night, I told Elder Popa "If you're dying for a P-Day, we can take it, but man, I already feel like I took a P-Day on Monday, so if you want, I'm down to work in the area tomorrow" He told me he'd sleep on it. Saturday morning, as I was doing exercises, he said "Jimenazo, let's work today" AWESOME! And it payed off! We taught two lessons, and had a really sweet experience. 

We were contacting, and rounded a corner, and on the other side there were two ladies sitting on the outside window pane. I asked how they were doing, and then noticed that one was crying pretty uncontrollably. The other lady said "It's a bit complicated" We were afraid that the lady that was crying was going to freak out, so we decided to go on our way. We got to the next door, and knocked, and I looked over at the girl. She was curled up, crying her eyes out, and it got to my heart. "We've got to go back," I said to Elder Popa. "Nah man, she's probably crying because the boyfriend broke up with her, and if we talk to her, she'll just get mad" The thought crossed my mind. The girl had a phone in her hand, and it looked like she had received bad news or something, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to contact her. "Nah" I said "We've got to talk to her, I can't see her this way." So we reluctantly walked over, and I said "Hey, I saw you crying form over there, and I could just watch, is there anything we can do for you?" She cried for a while, but when she got a hold of herself, she told us that she has a 10 year old son. The kid has light colored hair, and for that reason, every time he goes outside, the kids from the neighborhood beat him up. He had come home crying, and she was really sad about it. I asked her what his name was and what he likes to do, and she said his name was Tomas and he likes to play futbol. I told her that we play futbol on Monday, and she said that she wants to bring him. She ended up telling us that missionaries had passed by her house before, and that she got along well with them, and that Tomas used to say that he wanted to be a missionary when he grows up. So we decided that we're going to be Tomas's new friends. She calmed down a ton, and as we walked away, we saw that she got up, and went back into her house. Later that night, she sent me a text (I left her my number) and said "Thank you guys so much for stopping today. I'm going to bring Tomas on Monday" We felt so good! It was probably one of the sweetest experiences that I've had in my mission, because many times we see the progress in peoples lives as the time passes, but this time, we got to see how through our actions, we were able to comfort someone, stop the crying, and make the day a lot better. It made me feel like a true representative of Jesus Christ, because I feel like that's what he would have done. Tomas should be coming today, so we'll see how that goes, but overall, I'm excited! 

The pics I sent are from a pueblito called Sarmiento. We're taking the elders out of there, and we had to empty the pension, so we went over there yesterday.

"Danger of Death, Aqueduct Inlet, Bathing Prohibited!"

All in all, it was a very good week! I never have time to do anything, but at least I'm busy :) 

FAMILY: I'm glad that you guys are safe and happy :) 

MOM! Love you! -Elder Jimenez

Only 8 hours later... here's the video --> It is AWESOME! but it's too big to upload here. I'm working on how to share it.