Monday, May 22, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 12... Joy in Sharing the Gospel

I'm very happy about the things I heard this week :) Sounds like everyone is doing well. 

The biggest news of the week is BAUTISMO! The baptism was a mission changer! The whole morning before the baptism was spent heating up water in pots, trying to warm up the font, which didn't have working hot water. It didn't do a thing, but oh well, we tried XD The drain also didn't work the night before, so once again, Elder Jimenez had to empty the font with buckets, and will have to do it again this week. Sigh, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT! 

Luisa's Baptism

Luisa was already so excited when she got to the baptism, and it only got better. When she came up out of the water, it was almost as if, like Alma when he found himself with the sons of Mosiah, she was overcome by the Spirit. It was really cool! All of the hermanas that helped her in to change afterwards told me that she was soooo excited and emotional. She even said "I didn't think that it would be this beautiful! I don't know why I didn't do this earlier!" Yesterday, I confirmed her. During the baptism, and yesterday during the confirmation, seeing her happy just made me happy. It's a kind of joy that comes only from sharing the gospel. It felt so good! So that was definitely the highlight of the week. 

After that, everything else was pretty tranqy. We were able to get Mathew back on board, and although he didn't make it to church this week, I smell a baptism in June. We'll see if he steps up to the plate. Claudia continues to come to church, so that's going good. Now she just needs to change that perspective of hers, and we'll get her wet! 

OOOOOOH! Other big announcement: ALLEN IS COMING TO TRELEW! President straight hooked me up on that one XD He's going to the other zone, but I'll see him every Monday. I bought him a Bayern Munich jersey, I think he'll be pretty pumped when he gets here. It's funny how trainers actually seem to treat their trainees like their children lol! I think the the traslados are really going to help the zone because a couple complicated missionaries left, and we've got good ones coming. The new companionships also seem like they will make good pairs, so I'm pumped to see how it goes. Overall, a great week! 

I'm so happy that everyone is doing good, I'll be keeping Madi in my prayers all week. 

FAMILY! I love you guys! ESPECIALLY YOU MOM! I'm so proud of you! 
- Elder Jimenez

Cleaning and emptying the font
(thought I'd never have to again. I was wrong.)

Orange Chicken with Farabee

And to Jose...
The emails today have been great! 

Luisa's baptism was the most beautiful thing I've seen in my mission, so that was awesome! 

I'm glad you slayed the marathon! GO CELTICS! I don't have faith, but GO CELTICS anyways XD 

It feels good to be missed sometimes ;) haha! 

Dad, I'm way glad to be your son. Heavenly Father hooked me up with a family like you guys. I think that many times I don't even notice how abundantly blessed I am, but seriously, I have a great life. 

I love you! - Elder Jimenez

Monday, May 15, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 11... I cooked a lot

It was way sweet to see you guys! I have the coolest family ever, way cooler than everybody elses' haha! It sounds like everything is going well, so I'm happy about that. I'm for sure getting in on the fast for Madi this Wednesday :) 

Alright, so this week... What did we do this week? Well, y'all already know about la conferencia con Presidente, that was really good, but you're all already updated on that... alright so first thing of note was that on Wednesday, we made Oreo balls for a member that cumplired años (had a birthday). They're way easy to make, and SUPER DELISH, but they pack the calories HARD! So I've got to be careful with that... 

That same day we also had 5 lessons in a single day which was a mission record for me, so that was sweet. They were 5 lessons de verdad as well, not the usual garbage that people count ;) 

We ate a ton of raviolis this week, but it's okay, because I love raviolis. Yesterday, that same member taught me how to make tuco and ñoquis, so I'll be able to make my own raviolis with tuco (Argentine spaghetti sauce) when I'm back on the homefront :) I also made dulce de leche filled cake mix cookies this week for some other members, so if you can't tell, I cooked a lot! 

On Friday, we did some divisiones, and I spent the day with and elder who has served in many of the same areas as I, so we have a lot of conocidos en comun (there are a lot of people we both know). It was really cool to see the changes he wants to make in his mission. He hasn't been the most obedient missionary, but he hasn't had the best companions either. He's closing in on the year, still as comp menor (junior companion), and he wants to make a change. It was cool, because I told him about how Dad was comp menor until he had a year as well, and ended up as Asistente (AP). That helped him a lot. We also studied a Boyd K Packer talk together, and as I explained it to him, he said that he really felt the Spirit, and that it really "got to him". I hope that he'll be able to make the changes that he desires to make! 

We decided to put our investigators to the test this week, to see who really is investigating, so we didn't call or search for anyone to come to church with us. We wanted to see who would come without being herded and begged. Luisa and Claudia showed up! It was a really big animo builder for me, because some of our former good investigators, like Matthew and Agustin, are floundering right now. I'm so amazed at the progress that Luisa has made. It amazes me how she, a woman that is not of our faith, has followed the impressions of the Spirit so strongly and obediently. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan specifically for her, and I feel very honored to be a part of it. These two years are worth it! 

Shout out to my kid sister Sofia. I'm so impressed by all the progress you've made! Keep going! Although I think your attempt at beating my ACT record is laughable, I INVITE THE CHALLENGE! Do your worst >:D 

FAMILY! It was so great to see you guys, especially Mom and Abuela on Mother's Day! 

Shout out to my Grandma Shari as well, I love you Grandma! Happy Mothers Day! 

And to Nikki, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON SUNDAY!!! and HAPPY NEAR-FUTURE MOTHERS DAY!!!!! ;) Alright, y'all get the point.

Love you guys! Especially you Mom! 
- Elder Jimenez

To Jose...
Great email! It was awesome to see you yesterday, I love your voices. The Puerto Rican accent sounds nice, so we'll see how that turns out after the mish ;) 

I'm glad I made the day of the 2 most important women and the most important mortal man in my life! 

I love the mish, but this year needs to pass quick, I feel like I'm missing so many beautiful moments in the family. 

GO CELTICS! The part about the 2 hour marathon was really cool, it would have been sweet if he did it! 

I'll be fasting on Wednesday for Madi, so I'll add to the cause. 

Dad, your emails always are the emails that inspire and motivate me the most. Thank you! 

- Elder Jimenez

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 11... Mother's Day Skyping :)

We were so happy to skype Alex today. We had a lousy connection, and we couldn't add Nikki and Kevin to the call, so they facetimed us (from Post Falls, ID) and we just held the phone up to the computer so Alex could kind-of see and talk to them too. Alex is doing really well and it was great to see and hear him. He is definitely still the same old Alex!!!

We skyped him from Nikki and Kevin's apartment in Provo because we were there for Sunday Dinner. He said how much he misses Sunday Dinner at Abuela's, so we took him upstairs to share a moment of the madness that is Dinner at Daisy's. He enjoyed seeing all the cousins and family.

Two experiences that he shared with us... The first was some background on an experience that he already shared about Luisa. She's the woman who arrived just as they were leaving a member's house and asked why they never visited her to share the word (see April 25th - Week 8). Anyway, Alex told us tonight that they were at the member's house asking for referrals and that the members had told them, "Elders, we know EVERYONE in this neighborhood and there is not anyone who would accept to listen to the gospel!" Luisa is getting baptized this weekend! Alex said it has been an awesome experience working with her.

The second experience came as he was telling us about a dog that he doesn't particularly like, and another time that he was bit by a pit bull, etc... not inspiring my confidence in his safety. Anyway, he went on to say that one day they were walking and a little boy came out and started throwing big rocks at them as they were walking down the street. He said that he felt like Samuel the Lamanite because all of the rocks missed them! Then an adult came out and yelled at the little boy to stop throwing rocks at the missionaries. 

So... we had a very sweet evening talking with Alex. It is awesome to have a missionary and especially because he knows that he is doing the Lord's work and is happy and excited to keep doing it. It definitely makes this Mama proud!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 10... Obtain the Word First!

This was a great week! It sounds like you guys had a good week as well, so that makes me happy. As far as highlights from my week, I'm not sure I'll follow a time line, but I'll try. 

One of the highlights at the start of the week was divisiones with Elder Tavares. He's a stud! I was with him while we were waiting for our new companions to arrive in week 1 of the transfer, and we got back together this week to do a division de verdad (a real split). We had a really cool experience. He has been struggling a lot in his area to find new investigators, so we started to contact, and we ended up running into a lot of Evangelicos that wanted to bash. After a while of that, we decided that we were going to pray to be able to find someone. 4 contacts after praying, we entered into a house, and found 2 new investigators. It was a big boost to his faith! The Lord hooked us up with that lesson :D 

Next highlight that comes to mind is my division with Elder Lowe (asistente) (AP). It was on Sunday, and the lunch ran late, so we ended up planning the day out around 4. As we left the pension, and were walking to our first cita (appointment), I told him that it might be better to skip the companion study so that we have more time to contact. I asked him if he wanted to, and he said "No, Elder Jimenez, we have to obtain the word before we declare it, even if there isn't time" So after our first cita, we went to the capilla (chapel), and began to study. We ended the study with a practice, where I showed him how I've been utilizing the Libro de Mormon to contact. After the practice, we said a prayer, asking to be able to use what we had practiced. As we left, I felt a confirmation of an idea that I had had earlier in the day, as we planned, that we should go to contact in a barrio called 99 Viviendas. We went to the barrio, and clapped our hands. Nobody answered. Next house, same thing. I said a prayer, and said "Por favor, ahora que he obtenido la palabra, desata mi lengua" (Please, now that I have received the word, loose my tounge). We clapped the next house, and a lady answered. I began to contact with the Book of Mormon, and at first she didn't seem interested, but I bore a testimony of the book, and she let us in. After a spiritual lesson, we put 2 fechas bautismales with her and her daughter. After planning to do so many contacts in the day, we only ended up doing 1. It was a very cool experience, and another example of how the Lord is the one doing this work. 

Elder Lowe shared the experience in the conference with President yesterday (thus the lack of email on Monday!), and I think it gave the other missionaries a little boost, so that was good. The conference was really long, and we didn't actually end up doing entrevistas (interviews) until today in the morning. The entrevista really helped me a lot. I felt the love that President really has for me, and after the entrevista, I had a stange but very strong impression that Heavenly Father loves me, and really has forgiven me of all my sins. It might be one of the most beautiful feelings that I've felt. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ. Thanks to Him, it is possible to feel free from the mistakes we make. If I died today, I have no doubt that my earthly preparation would be sufficient to achieve glory in the next life, and I really know that the Plan of Salvation is real, and in effect. Christ lives, and is that Savior of us all, and if we live and follow his commandments, we will have joy. 

These weeks have definitely been some of the best of my mission. We've seen so many milagros (miracles), from finding people, to seeing them progress. This week, we had 4 investigators at stake conference, and 6 with fechas bautismales (baptism dates). I know that if a misionero will put his trust in the Lord, and give the glory to Him for the successes that he has, the Lord will work through him.

Jeremiah 16:16... 

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

Some were called to be fishers, I feel more like a hunter, and each day that passes, I feel more and more un discípulo verdadero de Cristo (a true disciple of Jesus Christ). I'm lovin' it out here! 

FAM: I LOVE YOU GUYS! Lookin' forward to talkin' to y'all on Sunday :) 

MOM: I. LOVE. YOU!!!! 

Y usted tambien Abuela! Le respeto muchisimo, y doy gracias por tener antepasados tan honrables como usted :)  (And you too Abuela. I respect you a lot and am grateful to have ancestors as honorable as you!)

LES QUIERO! - Elder Jimenez

 Alex with Hna. Garcia in the Conference with the President
They were in the same district in the MTC.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Union 1, Zona Trelew Sur - Week 9... The Lord Provides

I hope the quilt and pillowcases come out really nice, don't even feel bad that you weren't able to write much, because it was for a good cause :) 

Anyways, this week was definitely a week. We had mas o menos week (so-so week), but there were mentionable things that happened. The investigators are progressing, slowly but surely. I really think we're going to baptize in May, we've just got to keep letting the Lord direct our work. We had a good meeting with our zone, all centered on obedience.

Zona Trelew Sur

A couple experiences: This week, we got to the end of Saturday, and there was nothing to do, so we got contacting. As a zone leader, it's hard to find time to do things, so this was the first time that I had contacted for a long time like we did. As we were contacting, we finished a block, and there was still an hour left of work in the night. It's starting to get dark around 6:40, so it was already really dark outside, and we didn't know what to do, because the people around here get really sour after 7:30. (It was probably about 9:30pm because they work until 10:30 in Alex's mission.) I've even had people threaten to shoot me when we contact in the dark hours because they think I'm a "chorro" (thief) XD. Anyways, we decided to leave it in the hands of the Lord, and we prayed. Then, I asked Elder Farabee how he felt, and he said "Let's keep contacting, just not here though". I didn't think of anything better, so I decided that we were going to contact some close-by apartment blocks, because we can get closer to the door, and people would easily see that we are missionaries and not chorros (thieves). So we were contacting, and we ended up getting into a house and teaching a girl named Deborah. The lesson was nothing special, but I still saw it as a nice little miracle because it was proof that when we let the Lord direct us, he'll point us in the right direction. It happened last night as well. We ran out of options to visit people, and we didn't want to contact much, cause it was dark. We had picked some teaching records out of the area book of antiguos (old investigators) that live in some of the less sketchy barrios (neighborhoods), and we decided that we would look for some. As we went, we decided to look for one named Diana. Her registro (record) said that she lived in front of a member family, so we went to the family's house, and asked them if they knew her. They told that they did, and sent a text to her, telling her to come over. The look on her face was hilarious when a gringo answered the door. XD The cool thing is that she had stopped meeting with the missionaries because she liked going to the boliche (nightclub) too much, but as we talked to her, she told us that she has stopped going as much, and now she's excited to start listening again. TENDER MERCIES! 

So yeah, the week was really bland, but even in the bland weeks, the Lord helps us. Sometimes, you've got to work, even when it's not glamorous. Even if people aren't getting baptized every week, or even coming to church, you've just got to put the work in, keep the head high, and baptisms will come. 

I want to gave a big shout-out to the closest man that I have to a brother, AUSTIN RAMSEY, who recently contributed to a BAPTISM in ESTONIA! If there's anyone that can give a pure testimony of the principle that I just described, it's him :) You're a boss man! 

Family, I love you guys! I'm so grateful for the blessings that you guys receive for my service. 

MOM! I love you! You are an inspiration to me! 

MADI! You are too! Keep fighting, and know that you've got prayers coming to you from the bottom of the planet! 

JENN: Read the talk "Trust in the Lord" by Richard G. Scott with Kurt. I was thinking of you guys when I read it! 

-Elder Jimenez

Proof that there are flamingos en la Patagonia :P 
This is the pond outside our pension, the flock was way bigger before but I was always too lazy to whip out the camera, and now the majority left XD!

And to Jose...
This was a sweet letter! So many interesting things :) As you'll see from the photos, I was going all gung ho with the Atletico Madrid, but then I got cold feet to commit myself to a team in Europe, and just ended up buying the sweet Tevez jersey. XD I don't think I'll be able to really hinchar de alguien (choose a team) until I can actually watch futbol (soccer) XD Still way interesting to see who will win though... 

The sweet, not Atletico jersey that I promised Dad... but equally awesome, Tevez jersey (BOCA's best player that went to play in China)

I'm kind of sad that we lost Jamaal, but at least we have Squally to fill his place. I hope those three kill it in the NFL. Van Noy was also a free agent if I'm not mistaken... so we've got hope. Oh Taysom though... I wish that guy the best, good luck bro XD GO PATS! 

Tell Maddie Walker that she got the mission call of my dreams! We'll speak some CASTELLANO when she gets home! I've really been hoping to get another Herrimanite down here. I don't know if I told you, but one of the zone leaders form Trelew Norte is from Herriman... he graduated the year before me and has like 2 transfers more than me in the mission. 

I'm praying for Kurt and Jenn's family every night. I suggested a talk to them in my weekly letter. I hope they read... to end on a good note though, GO JAZZ! Elder Allen must be pumped out of his mind right now XD If they can beat Golden State, we should just give them the trophy for that. 

Dad, I love you, seriously, I really admire you! You're a great man, and its been a privilege to be your son. see you in 11 months! 
- Elder Son 

PS I asked Mom for some exercise books, and if she buys them, you should read them before she sends them :) They're really cool.