Monday, March 27, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 4... Contacting in the Rain!

As a zone leader I have so much to do each week in the ciber... But let's go, I'm gonna get you guys informed :) 

Sounds like the Women's Conference was awesome, the pics sent me for a bit of a loop Mom haha! (one year ago yesterday was Alex's mission Farewell, so I sent him a couple of pics from that).

It was weird, this week, I just had this weird feeling that this second year is gonna pass by way fast, and I'm going to go home, and BOOM. That's it. I'll be an RM. It was kind of a weird thought, and weirdly, I felt like I didn't want it to happen. I just need to use my time wisely right now, so that I can look back on the mission satisfied :) 

This week was hard. Again. My zone is really struggling right now, so we're planning an emergency reunion de zona (Zone Meeting) this week to get some animo going and have more success in April. I want to share the story of Buster Douglas with them, cause it's really sick, and strangely, I think it's going to help us focus on the Atonement, so we're gonna use it - with permission of course. (Here's the link for anyone who isn't familiar with the story...)

I had a really simple, but really nice experience this week. We were contacting outside, and I hadn't brought my jacket, cause we left in a hurry (fool), when it started to drizzle. No biggie, we kept contacting. Then, all the sudden, it started pouring. We had nowhere to go, just contacts, and it was pouring. We had been working for hours, and there was a member who lived close, so we decided we were going to go to his house and pass the rain. As we were walking, soaked to the bones, a quiet thought came to my mind that said "Jesucristo would stay out here if he was looking for you" I stopped in my tracks, and in the middle of the pouring rain, I said "Che, I know this is crazy, but let's just keep contacting. The Savior would do it for us". So we did. We continued contacting in the rain. The people still shut their doors in our faces, but I ended up feeling really good, because I had a chance to show Heavenly Father that I love him. So that was a really cool experience that I had this week. 

As far as other things, there are two people who need prayers. Jasmin and Augustin. They're new investigators that show promise, so we'll see how they go. 

That's honestly pretty much it. I'm slugging it out out here. I'm sure these clouds will pass though, and I'm almost grateful for the struggles because they're shaping me into the leader that the Lord needs me to be. 

FAMILY! I love you guys! It's crazy to think, but we're almost past the year already! I'll be seeing you guys in no time! 

MOM AND DAD! Thank you so much for all your support, you're making my mission possible! I love you! Be good and give dinner to the missionaries! AND SERVE DESSERT! - Elder Jimenez 

Here is a video of Alex's Apartment. I'll try to transcribe it later if I have time. Until then, he's just describing all the stuff in the apartment... some extra desks, the large room with high ceiling, two microwaves (one works, one doesn't), no dirty dishes, the washing machine that loads from the top, his bed - with sleeping bag, a map of the city of Trelew - which he says has about 20 missionaries, but the top corner he zooms in on is his HUGE area, and the car... is NOT theirs.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 3... Defining Humility

Hello family! This week was definitely interesting. It sounds like you guys are working a ton over there! I'm way excited for that package. Also, CONGRATS TO COLBY! That kid is gonna love his mission! Mom or Dad: Could you guys send me his email? 

Aaaanyways, this week was interesting. On Tuesday, we had emergency divisions because one of our elders had to go to Comodoro. I got to do a short division with my District Leader. He gave me a talk that was really, really good called "El Misionero Desafiante y Testificante" (The Testifying and Challenging Missionary). It helped me see that I need to have more faith that the Holy Ghost is going to speak to the people when I testify. 

On Wednesday, I did my first official division with the other District Leader in my zone, Elder Jimenez (from Buenos Aires). I'm sure you can imagine that we had a fun day XD It was a cool experiece to be able to teach him and help him with his responsibilities. 

Thursday morning we did inspections of the apartments, and our missionaries are actually doing really good! I was really surprised with how clean our zone is. 

As far as our area is concerned, we're struggling a bit. The investigators that we are finding are not progressing, and I don't really feel like we're helping much. Dominguez is working well, but he's tired. It's hard, because he has a very independent personality, and likes to lead, but he's struggling to have energy right now. However, that doesn't mean that we're not working. I too have been tired lately, but we're still putting in the hours out in the street. What we need is more faith. 

Dominguez is way trunky (zoom in on the name of the vid) XD
(LDS Missionaries Coming Home Mix)

All these new trials are teaching me a valuable lesson: HUMILITY. Humility is the version of confidence that comes from righteousness. If one is humble, they recognize their constant need of the Lord, and they give Him the glory when they have success. I believe that this is a valuable lesson for me to learn early on as a Zone Leader. These past weeks, I believe that I was trying to do things on my own. As Ether 12:27 says, the Lord sent me trials to humble me. Now, through careful study, I'm learning what it means to be humble, and I'm starting to rely on the Lord more fully. As I turn more to Him, I know I'll have more exito (success), and as I have more exito, I will give the glory to the Lord. I think that that's something that's not happening among the Zone Leaders in this mission. It will be a good change to make. 

Returning to the week, we found a new investigator named Veronica. With the animo
 (encouragement) that I gained from the talk I mentioned earlier, we boldly entered into her house, testified of the truth, and put down a fecha (date)! She wasn't able to attend church for several reasons, which was hard, but we're not giving up. 

Sweet sign for missionaries lol 
(Pone is in vos just so y'all understand, its a command lol)

March has been a hard month for my zone, but we're keeping our heads up, making changes (mostly me needing and making changes) and we're going to have a great April! So yeah, that's what I feel this week. 

Mom, I know you'll do great with the FHE, make sure to testify :) FAMILY! I love you guys! Thanks for supporting me out here :) 

MOM: You already know that youre my inspiration out here :) I tell Dominguez about you every day! 

LOVE YOU! And send Abuela, Grandma, and Grandpa saludos :) - Elder Jimenez

And... The Trelew picture we've been waiting for... 
Mimosa Avenue

And to Jose...
I'm gonna hold you to that promise haha! BYU just sucks. But go Badgers! And go Colby! He's going to the same mission as Kess Gibson. Pray for him if he's ever her District/Zone leader lol! (That kind of applies to all hermanas in general though haha!) 

I think that the Lord has been leaving me a bit solo to teach me humility lately. Once I learn my lesson, these trials will pass. I can't believe that you're searching for work again! You should go back to school and become a Professor :) I think thats what I'm going to do with my life. Professor of Kinesiologia :) 

Anyways, the German culture down here is huge. It's a totally normal thing for these guys to see people talking German, especially if they're from the north. For example, if you're in Misiones or Formosa, the majority of the rich people are Germans, and the majority are Nazi children. I even met a guy in Tolhuin who told me that his ancestors were Nazi war criminals lol. He was at least sad about it though :) 

Thank you so much for your prayers. The work in this mission is honestly going horribly this month. We've got 12 baptisms so far this month. In the mision. And that's coming off a 30 baptism month last month (that was our highest month with Pte. Salerno). It's okay though, because as I pass through these hard times, I'll learn quicker and have more success later. 

Dad, I really do love and respect you. Thank you for raising me so well and loving my mother. Do something nice for her from me! 

LOVE YOU! -Elder Still a Pats Fan

Monday, March 13, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 2... Building Week

Sounds like you guys had a rough week! I was also sick earlier in this week, so I felt a bit of your pain Mom! Hopefully you get some good sleep in. Here in the mission, insomnia is a nightmare. It's never been a big problem for me, but there have been a couple nights here in Trelew that I couldn't sleep, and it made me want to "pegarme un tiro" lol!!! (shoot myself in the head!)

Sofia sounds like she's rocking everything right now, so she might be rising up to become the second greatest child in the family ;) I'm gonna be so pumped for that package! 

The Sieles just happened to be passing through Trelew, and I got to see them! It was crazy because we met up with Elder Perez and Elder Escobar to see them, and Elder Dominguez has also served in Tolhuin, so there were 4 elderes that had served in Tolhuin that got to see them :D It was sick (Hno. Sieles was the group leader in Tolhuin - from Rio Grande.)

This week in Trelew was a building week for sure. I was sick to my stomach for a couple days at the start of the week, so that was no fun, but not to worry, 'cause it passed. We had success in finding. We found a super good investigator named Mathew, who was progressing way quick, and had a fecha (baptismal date), but didn't come through on Sunday. We'll see how it goes with him this week... We also found two families just last night. Neither one of them seems like gold, but with a bit of refinement, we'll get 'em there! We found them last night though, so I still can't say much. 

The members are already starting to like us more. The area had a lot of truchos/muertos (lazy/dead missionaries) lately, so they were a bit tired, but we've been trying to take them to citas (appointments) with us, and asking for references, and they're actually giving references. The family of the bishop is especially excited, so I hope we can get some bautismos with the members. I'm still getting used to the grind, but now I'm a bit more accustomed to being a Zone Leader. I really miss just chilling and watching movies in the basement with you guys, but there will be plenty of time to loaf around after the mission. Fun fact, if I don't extend my mission (there's a great possibility that I will, if they let me) then yesterday (March 12th) marks one year left in the mission :D Pretty nuts. The 30th will mark my year, so be looking forward to that :) 

Anyways, I'm just working out here, tranqy. It's cool to see how the Lord provides investigators for us. I'm going to work especially hard to be diligent and obedient, and leave the rest in the hands of the Lord. 

Family! Thanks so much for all your support! I LOVE YOU GUYS! I hope you all have a better week next week! 

MOM: LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get well soon :) Ill be praying for you! 
- Elder Jimenez 

And to Jose...
I'm glad that Abuela is enjoying her retirement! It makes me sad though that Mom is sick :( There's not much I can do though from all the way down here. She'll definitely be in my prayers. 

Honestly, I haven't seen anything too sketchy yet here in Union, so that's a good sign. 

Not even surprised about BYU, I knew it would happen. Hopefully we get a chance to beat up on Utah, forcing Coach K. to play the thugs again XD My pic game has sucked lately, we'll just have to see what I can get this week. 

Word has it that there's a life size dinosaur outside of Trelew that we might visit today, so that'll be a sweet pic. 

Honestly, I'm pretty tired. I'm not dead, 'cause I'm still working my butt off, but I won't lie, home passed through my mind many times this week. I just need to get a spiritual recharge. General Conference will probably give me the kick I need. Until then I'll be working on grit and love for the Savior haha! 

I've been noticing lately that I don't really know how to study the scriptures very well. Do you feel like you do it well Dad? What study techniques do you use? 

I miss you a ton! When I get back we need to go on a golfing trip. That would be sweet! Just like old times :) NOT TRUNKY THOUGH! I know that I'm supposed to be out here, and I'm not gonna be wanting to come home until March 12, 2018. 


Monday, March 6, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 1... Stress and Work

What a week. What even happened this week?!?!? 

Alright, I remember that on Monday, I left Rio Gallegos in the morning. When I got here to Trelew, I wrote you guys on Miercoles (Wednesday), so I'm just gonna start there. 

After writing you guys, I got back on a bus to go down to Comodoro, and that lasted for 6 hours. We got down there, ate dinner in the hotel, and went to bed. It was cool though because all the new missionaries and trainers were there, so I got to meet the newbies and see some old friends like Hermana Garcia (from my district at the CCM) and Elder Christiansen. 

On Thursday, a lot of time was spent doing nothing. We started our new leaders training (which I didn't even know existed because they never trained me when I became District Leader lol) in the morning. It was interesting, but not anything close to what I'll need to learn. Elder Dominguez is gonna teach me on the go though, so I'll be okay. After the training, a lot of time was spent doing nothing, and after a couple hours, I decided to accompany one of the other new zone leaders, Elder Sosa, to one of his old areas, Maximo Abasalo. I was interested to check it out, because it's infamous as being one of the sketchier areas of the mission, and I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. Don't worry Mom, it didn't! I think that all the hoods in the Patagonia are only dangerous at night. Anyways, we visited a family of members that was way cool, so that was a better way to pass the time than just sit in the office all day. Later that night, we went back to the hotel, and all the LZs had arrived for Consejo (Leadership Meeting)

It was cool to see some of the guys that came in. Hermana Gervasoni was there, so it was sick to see her. Elder Saunders is a LZ as well, so there was another Herriman boy there. He told me that one of my acquaintances from my class of high school is married, so that made me a bit sick. 

Friday was sweet! We baptized 30 this month, which is a great improvement from last month. We striving to get up to 40, because that's what the missions around us are baptizing, but at the same time, President stressed that 40 is the launching pad. Igual (Just the same), he was happy for the good work. I thought it was a really cool meeting, especially because the missionary that baptized President Salerno came and shared his story. The rest of the day was spent on a colectivo going back to Trelew. 

Saturday is hard to remember. The area right now doesn't have a ton of investigators, so there's a lot of work to do. It's hard to be a LZ. All day you're running around on errands, while trying to work your area at the same time. 

I'm a little sick right now (it's nothing serious) and I think it's a result of not eating almost anything (because the pensh didn't have a crumb when I got here and still doesn't, were gonna buy food today) and also because being an LZ does those kinds of things to you. 

Sunday was a day. We showered in the dark because they cut our light, and we don't have windows in the bathroom XD The ward seems mas o menos (more or less). I think that by the time I left Rio Gallegos, we had the branch stronger than this ward is right now, so there's work to do. 

The theme of this transfer is gonna be stress and work. However, the more stress you put a diamond under, the shinier it comes out, so I'll be shining in no time! Really, the key is to use the enabling power of the Atonement to conquer these difficulties. Let's see how she goes. 

I hope you guys are doing way good! I feel very blessed to have you guys as my family! LOVE YOU ALL!!!! MOM: I love you!!!! COLBY: You're a champ bro!!! Espero que hables castellano en tu mision che!!! (I hope you go to a Spanish speaking mission!!!) 

BESITOS - Elder Jimenez

And to Jose...
Mom is nuts XD Thanks for the ZL advice. It's a hard job for sure, but I know that I can do it. I just need to put the effort in, and rely on the Lord. 

Go BYU! 

Elder Dominguez is really cool. The guy is a convert of 3 years. Before the mission, his parents didn't support him, so he worked 14 hour shifts at an airport an hour away from his house to pay all that he could before leaving. The guy works well, and teaches great! He's trying his best to not die this transfer, and with me, I'm sure he won't. So I'm happy about that! 

Union 1 is ghetto to put it plainly. There are a couple neighborhoods that are a bit sketchy. There are gangs, but they're not very present, especially during the day (I'm assuming that you won't be telling Mom any of this by the way) (Little does he know that I see everything!!!)

The people seem like typical Argentines. We're living alone no mas, and the pensh is sweet cause it's really spacious and there's not any broken stuff inside. Plus, there's a laguna right down the street that has flamingos in it, so that's way cool! We're the only missionaries in the ward, and the ward is mas o menos from what I've seen. We'll just have to see. 

Dad, I freaking love you! You're a big role model for me. 

Love you! - Elder Jimenez

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 1/2... Midweek Note from new area

There goes Mom, ruining surprises! I don't know how y'all found out, but yes, I've been transferred to Trelew, serving as Lider de Zona! I still feel sick to my stomach about the whole situation, but change is the tema of my mission hasta ahora (change is the theme of my mission up to now), so I'm sure I'll settle in eventually. 

Carnival in Rio Gallegos

I didn't get to write on Monday because it was carnaval in Rio Gallegos and everything was closed. Monday at 6pm, I got on a bus, and I got to Trelew at 11am on Tuesday. So that was fun XD The crazy thing is that I'm going back down to Comodoro (5 hour bus ride) today for a training, and consejo on Friday, so de verdad I got transferred to the colectivo/hotel zona serving as a tourist haha! (back to Comodoro for Zone Leader Meeting, so really I got transferred to the Bus/Hotel Zone as a tourist!)

The despedidas in Gallegos were sad, but I've never been that sentimental about saying goodbye, so it wasn't too bad. The members supported me sooooo much though. Familia Vargas made me a special lunch and gave me facturas at the terminal, I got a tie from Joel, and a tie with alfajores from te Cutitn, so it was like second Christmas haha! 

Saying goodbye at the bus terminal

The sadness did hit me though when the colectivo was leaving Rio Gallegos & months of my life, and a lot of people I love. But now there's work to do, so gotta get to it. The whole Zone Leader thing is taking up all my capacity haha! My new companion is Elder Dominguez from Durango, Mexico, so that's a big plus. I met him in Ushuaia when I was in Tolhuin, and he's a capo. He finishes the mission in 6 weeks, so he'll be my third comp that I put to rest. 

Trelew is hot. Like really hot. I think the I said the phrase "Che, hace calor, de verdad" (Boy, it's really hot!) like 30 times yesterday! It's probably not actually that hot, but I was down in the frozen tundra for a year and my heat resistance is weak haha! I can already tell the being a Lider de Zona is hard. Probably the hardest assignment in the mission. It's so much extra work and stress on top of wanting to work and baptize. I know the Lord will support me though, so I'll be fine! My zone only has 14 missionaries, so it's nice and small. I've got a lot of friends in Trelew Norte and Puerto Madryn as well (Elder Cole, Elder Tiffany, Hermana Garcia...) so conferences with Presidente will be fun. (Those are the two closest zones to Alex, and it sounds like they combine for Conferences with President Salerno.) 

The pension is really sweet, so I'm happy about that. The change was hard for me, but I'll be good to go in a week. It's like a running a race, the first mile always sucks, but then you hit your stride, and you coast. So that's what I'm hoping for. 

Anyways, I'd love to tell you guys all about what happened in my last week in Gallegos, but I'm honestly having a hard time remembering my last name right now. Viviana and her son Luciano are gold, so I left some good investigators. Speaking of my last name, there's another Elder Jimenez from Buenos Aires in my zone, and he's a capo. So he decided that I'm Jimenez Capo (Jimenez Boss) and he's Jimenez Piola (Jimenez Cool). I'm wearing his name tag right now XD 

Aaaaaaanyways, that's pretty much all I've got for you guys. If I think of anything else in these moments, I'll send another email, but I'm pretty sure that's all. 

FAMILY: I love you guys so much!!!! Pumped to talk to y'all in April (I think he meant May), it's right around the corner! MOM: Your awesome! I love you! 

Ciaocitos ;) - Elder Jimenez Capo

After much pleading on my part, Alex told me his actual area...
It's called Union 1, I'll just let you know off the bat, there are some sketchy areas, but seriously, I'll be fine. Don't research it though, cause the internet will make it seem worse than it is!

And to Jose...
Just another legendary sports event that I can add to the list of things I missed (BYU beating #1 Gonzaga). God is playing games with me haha! Anyways, how did zone leadership go for you in your mission? How did you adjust? I feel like a scared little boy walking around with Elder Dominguez. Running 20 miles in a snowstorm is madness. It's also crazy that you guys are suffering snow storms up there, cause I'm burning up in a fiery hell down here. I'm gonna be cooked well done by the end of this transfer, en serio (seriously)! I'll be looking forward to your answers! 

LOVE YOU! - Elder Gimenez <- The Argentine way 😂

Carlos, the ice cream investigator turned new member!

And finally... the promised BOCA jersey pics