Monday, January 30, 2017

Rio Gallegos Centro, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 20... I'm pretty much on VACATION!!!

Crazy, crazy, crazy week. CRAZY WEEK! Let's get to it :D 

We continued to teach Carlos all week. He did a fast with us on Sunday, and thanks to his last asistencia (attendance at church) he's officially baptize-able, so were gonna be working on that! We ate lunch with him yesterday, and while we were eating, two gringos walked in. Carlos uses this app called Couch Surfer to host travelers in his house free of charge, and the gringos were from Boston, travelling through South America, and had just happened to arrive at Carlos's house as we were eating. Elder Allen felt like a boss cause he talked more Spanish than one of them. I asked the more gringo one out of the two if to him, it actually seemed like I was speaking good Spanish, and he was like "yeah bro, it's just really weird to hear a white guy speaking like an Argentine (using the shuh)" So Dad's gonna love that when I get home!!! ;) It was fun; that's the first time since the collectivo between Rio Grande and Tolhuin that I've talked to gringos!

Wednesday was an EARTH. SHATTERING. DAY! We had a worldwide missionary transmission with the church's missionary executive council (3 apostles and friends) and the training was really cool and all, and then they were like "Missionaries in Africa are going to start waking up at 6.... and missionaries in Latino America are going to be WAKING UP AT 7:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the most pure moment of joy that I've had since my first baptism!!! Then they also said "We're cutting the majority of studies out of Pday to give the missionaries more time to do what they need to do" AKA TWO HOURS MAS DE PDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Anderson said "I felt the wave of joy that rang out all over the world thanks to the changes to PDay" So, now I'm pretty much on vacation! :D The way the new schedule works is that we wake up at 7:30am and return to the pensh at 11pm. We also get to choose when we do comp study and idioma (language), so that gives us a ton more flexibility. Oh, the other earth shattering change was that we plan in the morning now, instead of at night, which is a bazillion times better. I had time to do the numbers and make arroz con leche (rice with milk) last night! So life is way good as a missionary right now :) 

After the transmission, we ended up finding some sweet new investigators. Remember the pic of me that y'all put on the Christmas card (great choice by the way, I look facherisimo in that pic ;) )? One of those kids, named Chris, had always told me to pass by his house, and we finally did last week, and turns out his parents are awesome! So pray for them please! 

On Thursday, Allen went to Comodoro to do tramites (visa stuff), so I was with the ZLs, which was pretty fun. We went to one of their investigators houses, and it was the second lesson with her. She had a lesson 1 pamphlet on the table, so I thought they had given it to her the time before. However, Elder Skaggs picked it up, and was like "Where did you get this?" They hadn't left it there... So I picked it up, looked at the back, and in my handwriting it had my number and the direction of our capilla (address of our chapel). I had planted the folleto like months before! She must have been walking around in centro or something, it was way funny though, cause we put a fecha (baptismal date) down on her, and after the lesson, Skaggs was like "Bro, you get to even our fechas before we do" Not gonna lie, I felt like a capo haha! 

Yesterday, at church, everything was going well until this drunk, high beggar walked in to ask for money. So he ends up sitting himself down in our class (we had the combined class this week) and starts making a ton of rude comments. So one of the hermanos from the district turns around to me, and was like "He's an investigator, so you need to take care of him." So I'm about to start chewing this member out, when I just decide to keep the peace and go sit with this dude. So I'm doing alright controlling him, when he gets up, and moves seats so he can start checking out the sister missionaries. So I walk over to him, and I'm like "You're either going to return to the back and sit with me, or you're going to leave." So then the guy was like "Are you giving me orders Shankee?" and I just look the guy right in his face and I was like "Yeah, I am, now choose." I went back to my seat, and the guy got up, comes over to me and says "I didn't mean to fault respect" and walks out. I was fuming for another 10 minutes, but I was glad that the storm passed so easily. After that, the day went off without a hitch. 

We didn't hit our teaching goal this week, but after a week where we lost almost 2 whole days, we did a great job! Now we've just got to continue! 

I hope you guys are doing good up there in the north, even with all the snow! 

I love you guys! ESPECIALLY YOU MOM!!! - Elder Mama's Boy (Jimenez)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rio Gallegos Centro, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 19... Goals

Alright, what happened this week? I guess we'll just have to find out... 

Monday was good. After P-Day, we took Eduardo to the house of Carlos to teach our last lesson with him. However, when we told him about the rules, and how we were going to let the hermanas teach him, HE WOULD. NOT. HAVE IT. The guy was dead set on having us teach him. I tried to explain to him that it really wasn't right, but he wouldn't have it. He wants to hear the gospel from us. Technically, we do the grand majority of teaching in our area, in his ice cream shop, so I told him that there's a chance that we may be able to teach him. So that I night, I called the APs, and they suggested that we continue to teach. I discussed it with the Hermanas, and they didn't have any problems. So now Carlos is our investigator! Teaching him is soooo cool because he's progressing really well (he came to church again this week), and every time we teach, he gives us free ice cream! It's the sweetest deal ever! It's like Heavenly Father is just telling us that he loves us :) During church, Carlos even leaned over to me and said "I watched the Joseph Smith movie". The guy had looked up the Restoration, and watched the hour version of it, and loved it! He still doesn't want to accept the fecha (baptismal date), but it will come with time >:) Anyways, that was sweet. 

Other happenings: We had dinner with members twice this week, once with Los Baier and once with Los Vargas and Los Rivera juntos. It's so cool to see how much more the members love us right now in comparison to before. They're supporting us soooo much right now! Some of the lunches we had this week were super good too. For example, the Vargas also made us lunch one day (the day before they gave us dinner, GENIOS) and the hermano totally made an asado! He told me "Hermano, te dijo que iba a hacerte un asado antes de que vayas. AQUI ESTA!" (Elder, I told you that I was going to make you an asado before you go... HERE IT IS!) It was incredible. Cordero Patagonico (Patagonian Lamb) is incredible. They also had the Real Madrid partido on in the background. Not trying to sound like a trucho, but Sergio Ramos is a capo. That's all ;) 

Familia Vargas a la izquierda (left) y Familia Rivera a la derecha (right)

Hno. Vargas' Asado!!!

This week we also started teaching Jose and Anderson again after a break. The cool thing is that Anderson came to church, AND he brought Rosanna, his pareja! It was really cool, so we're gonna try to help those guys progress again. 

The coolest part to cap off the whole week though was how we achieved our goals. As I have been explaining, we have a goal to reach 21 lessons per week, and it's almost impossible. Last week, we set our companionship record by setting a goal of 11, that led us to break the record of 9, and teach 10 lessons. This week, we set a goal of 12, to be able to break the record again. So we worked our butts off all week (95 contacts) and we ended up teaching 14 LESSONS! We smashed our previous goal! If we can improve by just 2 lessons more per week, well be teaching 21 by the end of the transfer! So yeah, things are happenin' here in Gallegos. 

FAMILY! I love you guys! Thanks so much for supporting me! Stay strong in the gospel. MOM: I LOVE YOU! 

And to end this letter... DAD:... GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, VAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS PAAAAAAAAAAAAAATS! Tom Brady's already the GOAT old man! 

Love yah ;) - Elder Jimenez (I was really thinking of putting "Belichick" there just to cap off your part Dad) XD

I asked for a bit more info on Carlos, the district, and Elder Allen...
Carlos is single, and he told us that his family lives in Misiones, but they're very religiously liberal. If he wanted to get baptized, they wouldn't get mad or bothered at all. The district is good, the new hermana is chill so that's good, and Allen is doing well.

I'm really learning out here the importance of goals. Although sometimes we set goals that scare us, and that we feel like we may not be able to achieve, we can achieve great things! Ive got to go. I love you!!

Mi querido distrito (lagrima silenciosa para mi amiga Hna Gervasoni)  
(My beloved district (silent tear for my friend Hna Gervasoni))

And to Jose...

Now that we've got that our of the way, I like the reflections that you made this week. I too had a great chance to see just how blessed we are while I was in Tolhuin, and even here in Gallegos, which is one of the richest cities in all Argentina, the US still puts it to shame. We are truly blessed to live where we do. The members are way sweet here, there's some of them that I'll never forget, but there are others that I'll need to document well, or they might slip through the cracks. I hope you like what you hear in the weekly letter. 

I LOVE YOU DAD! JOIN THE PATS BANDWAGON ALREADY, AND WE CAN RULE THE FANDOM, FATHER AND SON (that started off as a strong invitation and then transformed into a star wars themed command. Join the 'murica side of the NFL, and your transformation into a superfan will be complete!) Luv u - Elder Brady

Jose's response... Never. I'll never join the dark side. Soon the Emperor Palbelicick will be brought down when Luke Ryan makes Darth Brady look like a pansy at the Super Bowl!

 En frente del museo de los pioneros (laaaaaaaaame)
 (In front of the Pioneer Museum)

Yo con Moralitos, mi ex lider de zona
 (Moralitos and I, my ex-Zone Leader)

I mentioned to Alex that it must be getting warmer because he's in short sleeves... He replied Winter never ends here haha! There's just some random days where we can bring the guns out ;)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rio Gallegos Centro, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 18... Good week in the Windy City!

We had a good week! Sounds like you guys did too :) 

I had no idea that Sofia was doing shotput, so that's cool, even though according to her goals, she should be doing long distance (which is where all the cool people go anyways). I'm way pumped that Nikki was so successful this week, I was praying for her! 

This week was pretty good for us as well. Being the last week in the traslado (transfer), we put goals to teach more lessons with investigators than we had in the rest of the traslado (transfer). Counting only lessons with investigators, we had previously taught 9 in one week as a transfer record. So we set a goal of 11. We went working, trying, and the Lord provided. Through some very interesting finding situations as well as some inspired searching through older investigators, we taught a total of 10 lessons with investigators! It was interesting to see how putting a goal of 11 pushed us enough to get 10, and beat our previous best week of 9. 

The most interesting part of teaching that we had this week began in an ice cream shop. We decided to take a break, and I decided to buy some ice cream for Elder Allen. So the guy is serving us, and I start talking to him about the gospel. We were alone in the shop, and we ended up chatting about the gospel for 40 minutes with the guy, and setting a cita (an appointment) for later in the week. After teaching once in his house, we began teaching every day in his ice cream shop, and ended up teaching him like 4 times this week! His name is Carlos, and he came to church with us on Sunday. The sad thing is that he lives in the hermanas area, so in this week that comes were going to pass him to them. 

We have faith that the Lord will bless us with another good investigator in our area for playing by the rules. We also ended up teaching some of our dead investigators, like Orlando and Mirian, and Orlando came to church as well. So we had a successful week to finish the transfer! 

We were greatly surprised on Jueves (Thursday) when the Zone Leaders announced that they received traslados a day early. So we sit down to listen. Every. Single. Companionship. in the zone had a change. EXCEPT FOR US. That's right, Elder Jimenez is putting in 5.5 months in Rio Gallegos. Not gonna lie, I was ready to go, but if the Lord wants me here, then he wants me here. So I'll be trying to make things go for 6 more weeks in the windy city. 

Other interesting things that happened: I ate mondongo for the first time. It was actually really good! I'm scared though because I feel like I'm slowly becoming my father, a lot more attractive of course, but still... Luckily he's a good man ;) 

Anyways, I know that there's more to say, but I honestly don't remember much. I think I've written enough for one day. 

Big thank you to all who are praying for me, those prayers really are heard. 

OH! The last thing I wanted to share was Gordon B. Hinckley. I read his bio in the front of the new priesthood manual, and it really inspired me a lot. His mission seems so similar to mine. READ IT DAD! It's cool :) 

Ahora si, Fam, I love y'all! Time is flying, and it'll be no time until I'm roundin' that corner in SLC, so let's buckle down, and do some great work for a year and a half more! 

LOVE YALL! Love you Mom :) - Elder Jimenez

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rio Gallegos Centro, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 17... Dry Week

This week was dry. Really dry. I'll get right into it... except there's not much to get into... We're really struggling to find people to teach in this area. 

President Salerno has challenged us in the mission to reach 21 lessons WITH INVESTIGATORS every week. That means that lessons with conversos recientes and menos activos (recent converts and less actives) don't count towards that number. With that in mind, we had 6 lessons this week. 6! Not gonna lie, I'm feeling a bit confused. It's not that I don't have faith, but tripling our lessons isn't some easy thing to do, especially because of the 3 people we met last week, maybe one of them is holding on, and she's not even really progressing. 

Allen and I are really trying to use Alma 17:3 - 
But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
We've been fasting a ton, and praying, and working, and being obedient, and things still just won't go! If I learned anything from Tolhuin though, it's that adversity can be conquered. I really am struggling to improve as a missionary, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a way. We'll just see what I can do... I probably do need more faith. 

I don't even really have anything to report form this week cause nothing good happened on our side of things. The hermanas baptized an investigator that started investigating in 2001, so that was cool. I got to do the entrevista bautismal (baptismal interview), which was stressful, but turned out well. 

All there is to do now is just keep hoping, and keep trying as hard as I can. I'm really happy that everything is tranqy on the home side, I hope you guys have an awesome week. 

Pray for me! 

I LOVE YOU GUYS! Especially you Mom! - Elder Jimenez

To Jose:
I love that you talked about making specific commitments because that's one thing that I really struggle with, so I noted it down in my agenda. I'm gonna study it this week to become better! Elder Renlund should be really cool! 

My Pats are gonna take it all as usual, and BYU is as mediocre as usual. People in the ciber are stupid as always, so that's frustrating, but it's okay lol! 

That's pretty much it Dad, I could really use some divisions with you, but we'll just have to wait. 

Love you! - Elder Jimenez

Monday, January 2, 2017

Rio Gallegos Centro, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 16... HAPPY AÑO NUEVO 2017!

HAPPY AÑO NUEVO! 2017 y'all, das wassup (even though I continually write 2016 in everything by accident lol!) Hearing about all you guys makes me happy every week! Kevin's mustache also makes me happy! Great job with the two puzzles, maybe I should not participate next year too ;) 

This week was great! Monday was PDay, so that always rocks. Tuesday, we taught 4 lessons! In our mission, that happens very rarely. We also found a lady that looks like she's going to become a new investigator, so that's a big miracle. The awesome thing is that that very afternoon we had started a fast to find people, and boom, we found someone! 

Here's the crazy part though, Wednesday, WE TAUGHT 4 MORE LESSONS! And not only did we teach 4 more lessons, but we also found ANOTHER lady that looks like she's going to start investigating! When the miracles rain, they pour! 

Thurday was a bit more tranqy, I'm pretty sure that I made Loco Mocos that day. Allen has the pics, they looked soooooo good! It was the first packet of that gravy that I've spent so far. Sooooo worth it! (Loco Mocos are basically a burger with gravy and an egg on top.)

Friday was solid, and on Saturday, we taught two lessons in the morning, which never happens! One of the lessons was with Cristian, whom we had taught earlier in the week as well. He's progressing slowly, but surely. The good news is that he's also changed his mind on baptism, and although he still doesn't want to accept a fecha (baptismal date), he told us that he was thinking about getting baptized, so that's a massive change! 

Saturday night, the Zone Leaders got permission from Pres to watch the movie that we didn't get to watch on Christmas, so we watched Pets. I'm pretty sure it was a Pixar movie... It was pretty good! It was cool because it was the first movie I've even watched and understood in Spanish. The big brown dog had a porteño accent (the accent of someone from Buenos Aires), so that was legit! Saturday night, nobody had invited us to pass New Years with them, so we decided to sleep it. It's the only time in my mission I have ever slept 10.5 hours (because we had permission to sleep until 8:30am. It. Was. GLORIOUS! So yeah Mom, Elder Jimenez wanted to "go night night" before 2017 (Little Alex always begged to go to bed... "I wanna go night night!!!") It just makes me think of Dad saying "But don't you want to be awake for the new millenium?" LOL. 

Yesterday was the perfect ending to a great week. After church, we didn't have any citas (appointments), so we just decided to contact. It was miserable because everyone had just barely woken up (5 in the tarde) and they were all hung over. So we struggled to even find doors that would answer, and we were contacting some apartments, when we knocked a door, and without us saying anything, the lady was like Come on in! So we entered, and met Laura. She's from Formosa, and she has Mormon friends there, so she already knew a little bit about the message. We shared the Restoration with her, and she accepted it so well! The only problem was that, due to a distribution problem that the Church had with Argentina, we still don't have any Libros de Mormon down here. However, she accepted the message so well, and accepted the invitation to read so sincerely, that I left my triple with her. We set another cita for Tuesday morning, so I should be able to get it back before we start full teaching days again, so I'm praying that she's gonna read! It was a cool experience :) (I'm going to be praying for her to keep that appointment too... hopefully he didn't just lose his triple... we won't be able to get another one to him!!! And before this I was just concerned that he wasn't getting any packages with treats - now I'll start praying for the Book of Mormons to arrive!) 

Anyways, we ended up exploding this week on our lessons number, and finding a lot of potential investigators. Fasting works!!! So we're doing real well down here. Allen is struggling as much as a new missionary will, but he's happy, so that's what matters. 

Mom, I did get the ensign with the ornaments. Priceless! Franny's and what I'm assuming to be Ryan's killed me! The latter with trunkiness and the former with laughter! 

Anyways, I hope you guys started an incredible year! I love you all sooooo much and I'm happy to be a part of our family! 

Stay safe, be strong in your testimonies, and GO BYU! I LOVE YOU GUYS! Especially you Mom :) 

- Elder Jimenez

To Jose...
Wow! I absolutely loved your emails! Your bowl experience made me trunky! You must promise me to take e to the BYU bowl game the year I get home. BTW, go Pats sucka haha! 

Anyways, didn't know anything about LaVell, or Carrie Fisher, or Rhonda Rousey, so that was all nuts. It's so crazy that Rousey went from total Bad A to a weakling like that. I was pumped to hear that Urban Meyer got humiliated! Take that stupid AP people! New Years sounds like it was awesome! 

Thanks so much for the tips on things I should teach to people! You always say things that help me know what I should teach! I also really liked how you told me a bit about your mission. That helped me. Dad, thanks so much for all you do! I miss yah, I even ate a loco moco this week to honor you staying at the Orleans! 

I LOVE YOU! - Elder Son

Believe it or not... It's almost 10 PM!!!

Rio Gallegos Centro, Zona Rio Gallegos - Week 15... Christmas!

Alright, what have we got to say about this week... It went by fast, that's for sure! It was a really tranqy week to be honest. We taught Cristian a couple times, and he's accepting everything that we're teaching, he just doesn't want to accept a fecha, so were trying our best to get in on that. We've been getting a really good relationship with some recent converts named Belen and Luis. Luis has been helping us to teach Cristian a bit. Belen gave us some little Christmas presents which were cool, they were some little golden tie bars. I wore mine on Christmas day :) We had a bit of success finding some new people to teach, but both the people we found fell through on their second citas (appointments), so we're still suffering that curse, but we'll get there eventually. 

There was a branch activity this Friday, which was fun. There was a live pesebre (manger) done by the primary, and I had to be one of the singing angels. I felt like our goodness as missionaries and the lack of ability to say no to members was taken advantage of, but it turned out okay, so it was good. I personally sounded like Michael Buble, but just a little bit better ;) 

On Saturday, it rained a ton. Like a ton. It rained so much that the majority of the roads out here were rivers, and it made it really hard to walk around. It was like each block was an island! It was a fun adventure though! Saturday night, Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) we were supposed to watch a movie as a zone (the one time all year that Pres lets us watch a movie). We were gonna watch PETS, but the ZLs hadn't downloaded it, so they tried for hours to make something work, and couldn't, so we just ended up leaving. That was definitely a disappointment, but whatevs, one more movie to watch when I get back. Later that night, we had a Nochebuena dinner with Los Chodin. They made asado, and the cordero (lamb) was SOOOO good. If the cordero is well grilled, it's definitely the highlight of any asado. Soooooo rico. We read Lucas 2 after dinner, and shared some testimonies, then we had a toast at 12 to celebrate Christmas. That's when the war started. We had to walk home, and I thought I was in Vietnam, there were firecrackers all over, and pieces of cardboard raining down on us the whole time. Legit! 

Christmas was pretty awesome. I wasn't actually trunky at all, so that was great. Church was very short, 1 hour no mas. I got to discursar (speak), which went really well. I talked about member-missionary work, and after the reunion (meeting), all the members were like "wow, we're gonna work harder now!" I made a comment about how it would be better if after I leave, no one ever says my name but the work progresses well instead of having everyone remember me because I wasted all my time drinking mate with members, and after the reunion, Hna Vargas grabbed my arm and told me "hey, don't say that were not gonna remember you! We're never going to forget you!". It made me feel good :) We also defied worldly logic, and actually had an investigator at church on Chistmas, so take that world. 

Talking to my family Sunday night was the greatest thing ever. To see you guys so healthy and happy just made me soooooo happy! Just to hear your voices was incredible. And to have Dad deliver the bowl news with his own voice. WITHOUT PRICE! BYU! BYU! BYU! GO HOOSIERS! These next 4-5 months until Mothers Day are gonna fly by, I'll see you guys soon. All in all, great christmas. 

I'm soooo grateful to be a missionary, and represent my Savior. In a country where Christ is an afterthought during Christmas time, it was refreshing to gather together with the faithful saints of Rio Gallegos and renew our covenants on Christmas, enjoying the greatest gift that was ever given, LA EXPIACION (the ATONEMENT)

I love you guys soooo much! Keep choosing the right, and using your time wisely. 

See y'all on Mothers Day!!! - Elder Jimenez

Christmas Zone Conference/Dinner pics

Picture from the Mission Conference with Elder Teixeira of the Seventy

You can also see the Mannequin Challenge and a special edition of the Light the World campaign video on the mission facebook page: Mission Argentina Comodoro Rivadavia Facebook Page

And finally, here's a video of the street on Christmas Eve...