Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 8... Legendary Week

I'm worried about the news about Madi, but I'm definitely going to keep her in her prayers. (Alex's 11 year old cousin, Madi, was diagnosed with a very aggressive brain cancer last week.) Everyone who sees this blog, please pray for the Knight Family, they really need it! 

As far as on my end, in the two seconds after I read the challenge (9 NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL team names that do not end in "s"), I've already got the OKC Thunder, so we're going good. I'll have the 9 soon enough. Oh, Jazz, there's another ;) 

Alright, email time. This week was legendary, the best week I've had in a while! We worked hard, and the numbers showed. We had more lessons with members this week than other lessons (almost double!). We put a goal down in the zone to reach an average of 11 weekly lessons with investigators (9 being the highest we reached in the last transfers) and we achieved an average of 11.1! The cherry on top though, was that even though we had Consejo (Leadership Meeting) on Sunday, and were in Comodoro, the members went to work, and we had 3 investigators in church this week! All 3 have fechas (baptismal dates).

One of them, Mathew, has ganas (desires) to get baptized this week! We're going to have to see how he does with smoking, and also if he's going to continue living with the novia (girlfriend) (which became a thing last week), but if we can get him nice and ready, we're going to have a bautismo this week! 

One of the other asistencias (investigators who came to church) is named Luisa. Her story is awesome. We were in a members house for lunch, and after finishing, her son let us out because he was leaving on his bike as well. As he biked away, Luisa (71 years old) arrived in a taxi at her home next door. As she entered, she said to us "Hey, you guys never come to share the word with me!" I said to her "Well then can we come on in right now?", and she accepted. That was the first miracle. The second miracle was 3 minutes later, when we heard a clap outside, and saw the member's son, Juan, who had biked away, standing outside. He came in, and we had an awesome lesson. Luisa accepted a fecha for the 13 of May. As we left, we asked Juan why he came back, and he said "I've been trying to listen more to the Spirit lately, and I felt strongly that I should return home. When I got here, I saw in the window that you guys were inside, and decided to join you." MIRACLE! The third miracle is that after we left for Comodoro on Saturday, Juan visited Luisa alone, had a good chat with her, then brought her to church on Sunday. You better believe that I'm making him cake mix cookies! 

Investigators came out of the woodwork, and even though we had 2 days less to work in the area, we had some of the best achievements I've had in my mission this week. Not only that makes me happy, but I also love that my zone showed up to play this week, and when we asked, they delivered! The Lord is pouring out blessing on Trelew Sur, and we're going to be contributing a lot of bautismos in Mayo. 

I love the Lord, and I know that he rewards faithful servants. All the success we are having is thanks to him! Please continue praying for Madi, and pray for the zona Trelew Sur. We've got a lot of success ahead of us, and we need your faith to put wind in our sails. I know that as my missionaries and I are obedient, we will baptize in May. 

FAMILY! I love you guys! I hope Sofia starts feeling better! MOM! I love you and am currently wearing one of the ties you sent me :) 

LOVE YOU GUYS! - Elder Jimenez

La Laguna next to the pension at sunset.
100% Jesus

Sunrise in Comodoro

Destiny missionary in the sunrise

Trelew South Stake Youth Mini-MTC Activity

And to Jose...
I'm pretty sad about Madi, but it makes we want to work more, and value this time more, so I'll definitely be working harder, and I'll dedicate it to her! 

As far as the sports world: Go Celtics! Go Jazz! Also, even though you didn't tell me anything about Champions, I've chosen a dog in the fight (not that I actually see anything of sports, and all I know comes from what the members tell me, but hey that counts right?) VAMOS ATLETICO! I'll send you a sweet pic of the $10 Atletico Madrid jersey that I bought :D 

Alright, after all that, congratulations of the better performance at Boston! It's good to have something to shoot for :) 

Were trying a new method in the zone (as you'll read in the biggie) of setting a weekly goal of average lessons per week in the zone. It worked brilliantly this week. I love it because it's something we need to do together, and it's a short term goal that lets us have animo (excitement) each and every week that we lograr (achieve) it. It's also cool because if someone had a bad week, the other compañerismos can bring them up, and help us all lograr la meta juntos (reach the goal together). So that's fun :) 

I hope you like the biggie, I love you Dad! - Elder Jimenez :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 7... Lost missionary?

Alright, this week was crazy. Monday, after emailing, I continued to work out traslados (transfers), alone, and there was a crisis. The mini misionera (short-term missionary - like a high school student thinking about and preparing for a mission, so she came to get the mission experience...) that I sent out in the morning was lost thanks to the horrible communication system of the colectivos that has been caused by the storm. President was very, very angry with me (I didn't really do anything wrong, but he was just really stressed lol) I did everything I possibly could to find the girl, and we just couldn't. Finally, I just knelt down, said a really sincere prayer, and about 30 seconds later, got a call that she was already home, safe and sound. She had somehow passed through Caleta without the LZs (zone leaders) noticing (thank you LZs of Caleta...) and had already gotten home. Anyways, crisis averted, even though I had a stress attack over it! 

I woke up at 4am on Tuesday to make sure that the rest of my missionaries got out of town on their colectivos, and at 8:30, I had finished sending them out. They all made it to their new areas, making Trelew Sur the only zone, of 9 zones, to successfully carry out transfers, even with the huge disaster. It doesn't help my humility, but I think I earned feeling a little bit like a boss! The Lord was with me the whole time :) Anyways, I passed the rest of the day with Elder Tavares, a really sick Brasilero (Brazilian), so that was fun. 

The two Elder Jimenez's - one on his way out of Trelew!

The next day, Elder Farabee got here. We get along really well! During the week, we worked out the last couple problems of traslados (receiving people and bags). It was hilarious because one of the gringas that came to train got off her colectivo in Rawson instead of Trelew, and freaked out. I sent the Elders of Rawson to save her. Okay, maybe it's not that funny, but I still laughed! 

BTW, MY PACKAGE GOT HERE! It was weird, 'cause I took a pic with it, and for some reason, the pic didn't save... so that's sad! But I'm way pumped for the watch, the camara, and the face wash. Tasting a cosmic brownie was like a little slice of the celestial kingdom ;) THANKS MOM!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!! 

This Sunday, we didn't have asistencia (investigators at church). It was really frustrating, because it was for dumb reasons too. Right now, Farabee and I are going to focus on finding new investigators, so we'll see how that goes. 

Oh, the other crazy thing is that we have no water here in Trelew, so today is my second day running of bucket showers! Those are fun ;) At least I can say that I become more and more a real missionary as the days go by :P So yeah, a really full week. I had some cool spiritual experiences during my studies, those were awesome. 

Hearing about Williams adventure was sweet (William was "lost" at Fenway Park on Saturday)! Those kids man... XD Hope you guys are enjoying Boston a ton, go Pats! (That's for you Dad ;) ) 

Sometimes, I feel like I don't talk a lot about the work in my emails, and I hope y'all know that it's not that we're not working, it's just that here in the Patagonia that work is definitely not like watching an action movie. It's like watching a chess match. It's slow, methodical, and very meticulous, and many times, the things we do are very monotonous, and not very interesting to hear about. Don't worry though, we're gonna be getting some bautismos soon enough! I'm hoping we finally find a checkmate down here though, and change this part of the world to an area with more baptisms. It'll help our animo (morale). It'll just help me feel like we're doing something for the Lord down here. This is where I was sent, and even though it's not Mexico, I'm here for a reason, so bautismos or no, we're gonna work, and be worthy for the blessings so that when it starts raining, it pours (metaphorically though, cause if it starts pouring again, we're all dead XD) I hope you guys are enjoying life! 

Family, I love you guys! I LOVE YOU MOM! - Elder J

Zona Trelew Sur - Elder Farabee is right in the front.

And to Jose...
So, we don't have water now... It's hilarious because it rained soooo much that the rivers are straight mud (they call it chocolatada (chocolate milk) lololololol) and they can't process the water for the city, so we haven't had water since Tuesday, and we probs won't have any till Thursday. Our water tank got us up until yesterday, and now it's bucket showers! Fun times :) 

The facturas did their damage, but Farabee likes eating healthy, so that'll help me out a lot. 

The stories from Boston make it sound like you guys had a great time! I hope you ran great :) 

Church was weird cause nobody talked about Easter, and we sang a Christmas hymn in Priesthood. That's Argentina though for you, you say felices pascuas (happy Easter), and the people are like "Oh, that's why they gave me this chocolate egg..." lol. 

That's nuts that there were 3 general authorities there (at Kurt and Jenn's ward in Boston)! Was Mitt Romney there?!?!? more lol. I'm loling a lot today XD 

Anyways, I'm holding out hope that one day you come into the light of the glorious red white and blue. Be proud to be an American, Dad! Be a Patriots fan ;) 

Love you! -Elder J

Monday, April 10, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 6... Adios Dominguez

Alright, this week was nuts. Just NUTS! Everything is all jumbled together in my mind, so I'll need to give you the highlights instead of a timeline. 

Soooooo, we made tacos one day. I think there's a foto... We used the seasoning that you sent me Mom, and it was awesome! Dominguez made the tortillas and I made the meat, rice, and guacamole :D 

(But no lettuce or tomatoes because "we're poor mom!")

Other cool things, Dominguez finished the mission. That's causing me a lot of stress though, because he needed to leave Trelew on Saturday for his exit interview, and he left me alone to figure out how to manage traslados (transfers) for the first time in my life, and it just happens that these traslados are the worst, most complicated traslados in the history of the mission. The Comodoro disaster completely immobilized the Patagonia, because there's only one route, and it was damaged by the storm. On the route between Trelew and Comodoro, there was a part where a lot of water started passing over the road, like a river, and took away a lot of tierra (dirt). When the water stopped, a camion (truck) passed over the top of that spot and fell into a giant hole. Nobody died, pero hay un hueco gigante en la ruta ahora (but now there is a huge sinkhole in the road). The army built a bridge over it, but it's just one way, so it's only open at certain times. I was able to get one missionary through this morning, but the rest are going to have to wait, and I am definitely not going to be sleeping much for a couple days. I'm making up a ton of trios right now to work everything out. So yeah, I'm figuring that out, and it's coming together. Slowly haha! It's cool though because I like to manage even though it stresses me out. 

Other cool things, Mathew came to church! He's progressing really well, and I think were gonna have a baptism the 29th of this month, so that really excites me. Mathew is 21 years old and lives with his dad and sister who aren't interested right now. He's wicked smart though, reads the Book of Mormon when we ask him to, and writes 2 page reports about each reading :D Agustin didn't come to church because his tios are vagos (uncles are lazy), so that really bugged me, but were gonna work it out this week. 

There was one day this week that it rained a ton. Like, A TON! We were out working in the rain, and it got to the point that I didn't even try to keep dry anymore, because I was soaked to the bone. That's the mission I guess! 

Yo y Dominguez despues de la lluvia (no estoy seguro si se puede ver nuestra ropa muy bien pero estaba mojadisima) (Domingues and I after working in the rain. I'm not sure if you can tell, but our clothes are super soaked)

My new comp's name is Elder Farabee. I think he's from Arizona, he was one of Wilhelm's (Alex's first trainer) favorite companions. From what I've seen, he's a capo, so I'm pumped for that. I'm not actually sure when he'll get here though (if he ever gets here lol). 

A couple other crazy things happened this week, but I think I'm gonna save them 'til after the mission to tell y'all. 

To answer some of your questions Mom, Dominguez was here for 6 months, Sending comps home is not fun, cause it makes one trunky, but I'm too busy to be trunky right now, so it's okay haha! We still haven't gotten much news about Prince of Peace, I think the disaster has taken precedence down here. 

As far as Colby/Kelly goes, the clothes (from CTR Clothing-we did one stop shopping for the mission) are holding up great. Like really well. Especially the socks. Send him with a light jacket and the mister mac jacket to put on top, that's what I like doing. Buy a good backpack that will last, it's worth the investment. 

Anyways, it's a stressful time, but a good one igual (just the same)! As I focus in on my purpose as a representative of Jesus Christ, the work becomes easier. Im so happy to have heard from everyone! 


Have a great week :) - Elder J

And to Jose...
That trip sounds like a dream... JEALOUS! If you read my mail, you'll see that we're passing through a little piece of hell right now, so that's fun ;D It would be sick if you could see the Leicester game. 

Dominguez is gone, the package still hasn't arrived, the weather is still crazy (it's gonna rain again in Comodoro), and I've been living off of facturas (Argentine pastries) lately, 'cause I dont have time to do anything else, and that's been a bit much, but aside from that, I'm healthy :) 

Congrats on the win! You ran that pretty dang fast! (Jose ran a 1:34 at the Riverton Half Marathon in the freezing rain on Saturday - and got First in his age group!!!) Keep up the good work, and I'll keep on keepin' on down here. 

Love you Dad! - Elder Son

Monday, April 3, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 5... Flash Flood

This week was definitely interesting XD 

Monday and Tuesday were the normals. We taught Agustin again, and it went really well. His mom is definitely softening her heart. 

On Tuesday, here's the part that'll make Mom cringe... we took a colectivo down to Comodoro for Leadership Meeting. We had received a storm watch in Trelew, and had spent almost all day before the trip readying our missionaries, making sure they had food and were prepared. The colectivo ended up leaving super late, and we got to Comodoro around 1 in the morning on Wednesday. Tuesday, the rain had already started, and there was destruction all around when we got there. There were cars pinned into the sides of buildings and roads, and lots of water filled pot holes. We stayed the night with Elder Morales and Elder Lopez, the LZs in Comodoro Norte (two guys that were with me in Gallegos :D). That night, it started to rain again. 

Wednesday was incredible! I have never seen so much rain in my entire life! Luckily, the pension of the LZs is on a hill, so there wasn't any bad flooding, but we did have to squeegee pretty much all day to keep the water out. That night, when the rain calmed down a bit, we ran down to a kiosco to get some more food. We passed a bridge to get there, and there was a roaring river beneath it. I asked Lopez if the water level is always that high, and he told me the the day before the river had been a meter deep ditch with no water passing through. I couldn't believe it! It was literally a river! That night, we got home soaking wet, and I took my first bucket shower of the mission. It was actually kind of fun XD 

This isn't from Alex, but it was Wednesday in Comodoro Rivadavia!

Thursday, President still hadn't given the okay to work, and hadn't decided if we were going to have consejo (leadership meeting). We made some asado for lunch, and literally right as I was about to put the first bite in my mouth, the secretarios called and told me that the only colectivo going north was leaving in 10 minutes, and they were going to pick us up in 2. Secretarios these days... As they drove us to the terminal, we got to see a bit of the destruction. It was bad. There's a big hill in Comodoro called Cerro Chenque, before the storm, it ran right next to the road. When we passed it, its lowest point was 3 meters or more away from the road. It had literally been washed away. The bay in front of Comodoro was brown with mud for kilometers out into the sea. There was mud everywhere, and we almost end up missing the colectivo because the terminal didn't have light. We did end up returning to Trelew though. Luckily, Trelew avoided the storm completely. That was a big blessing for us! 

General Conference was interesting. I watched half in English, and half in Spanish. It's just not the same in Spanish, and although I understood, I wish I could have watched more sessions in English (I watched 2 in English). Igual, we had investigators at all the sessions in Spanish, so that was really good. The first session was cut short though, because the city cut the lights about 1/3 through, so that was sad. I loved the Prophet's talks, they were really good. I also loved the talk from Joaquin E. Costa. Porteño reppin in the Conferencia General ché! (Argentine representing at General Conference!)

Overall, it was a crazy week, but we actually did really good with the circumstances. There's a lot of potential, now we need to turn it into baptisms. 

I'm so grateful to be a member of the church and have a family that is made up of faithful members! If we live this gospel, we will inherit eternal life together! 

I love you guys! LOVE YOU MOM! Have a great, safe week :) 
- Elder Jimenez

Pictures of the Comodoro Flood...

Alex's mission president posted most of these on Facebook. He also did a great job of keeping us all updated, so we would know the missionaries were all safe.

And to Jose...
I'm glad that you guys were well informed, that way Mom doesn't freak out haha! I'm way jealous that you guys are going to Boston, that sounds like so much fun! 

General Conference was good, I especially loved Joaquin E. Costa's talk. It was funny because it was tiring me out way bad to translate the translators gringo accents when Elder Costas talk came on, which he recorded, and I stopped noticing that I was even trying to translate. It was nice and easy ;) Aguante Argentina! I think I'm gonna draw more out of reading the talks later on, and really studying them well. 

The pensh is definitely the best I've been in thus far in the mission. Nice and cheto (posh/expensive/rich) :D 

As far as cool experiences that the Zone has had... were kind of in a rut right now. It's making me work really hard though, and think everything through, and that's gonna help me be a better leader. Ya vamos a salir. 

Dad, I love you! Thanks for all the help that you've given me!!! We'll be seeing each other in no time :) - Elder Son 

P.S. get used to watching European football now, because were gonna watch together when I get home! Champions League is in quarter finals, and I've heard that the English team, Leicester City, is one of the greatest Cinderella stories in the history of sports, so you should get watchin! 

Love you :)