Monday, August 14, 2017

Kilometros 5, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 6... Changes coming

Family, it sounds like you guys are all getting ready for the changes to come. Sofia will be going back to school, Mom is going to also go back to school (just to teach this time ;) ) and Dad is finally going to get a well deserved break from work! My mission also experienced a huge change this week...

Following in Dad's footsteps, I'm the new Asistente (AP). It's all kind of nuts! I remember reading that letter you sent me last week Mom, and seeing how highly your mission president considered Dad, and just thinking that I was never really going to get there, and then boom. I got a call on Friday, and President Salerno said "Elder Jimenez, you probably already know why I'm calling." "I have an idea, but I'm not sure..." I said. "Well," he said "You've already been a trainer, district leader, and zone leader. There's only one more way to go! You're my new assistant." The next thing I heard was his voice coming through the phone saying "I always love the moment of silence" and then he laughed! 

I was shocked! Of all the assistants in my whole mission, the youngest have gone up with 16 months, and there have only been two. Elder Soto, who left awhile ago, and Elder Popa, my current companion. The craziest thing is that Elder Popa said that President fully intends to keep him as AP all 5 of the transfers that he had left when he first came up, and he goes home one before me, which means that if Elder Popa stays 5, the office is officially my last area in the mission! I'm probably going to be with Elder Popa for 4 transfers! The most I've ever heard of two companions being together was 3. It's going to be a crazy ride. 

The last couple days have been really weird. It's hard to take it all in, the fact the I'm the assistant, that I no longer have an area and will almost never have time to just go out and work like I did before... I don't how how it was in your mission Dad, but here, weeks 3 through the end of 5 we're traveling. To get down to Ushuaia, we take a plane to Buenos Aires, and then another plane to Ushuaia. Weeks 1 and 2 we're planning and executing the capacitations of the re-enforcements and trainers, the new leaders (planning and giving training to the new missionaries and the new trainers and leaders), and the consejo de lideres (Zone Leader Training meetings), and week 6 is figuring out transfers. It's going to take a little bit of time to get used to the rhythm, and I was already getting stir crazy when I had to study up all the material last night in the office. But oh well, that's what I get for trying my best haha! 

Elder Farabee is finishing his mission today, so he stayed in the house last night. It was cool to see him again, I think he ended his mission very well. The nice thing about the transfer is that I'm still in the same zone, and even the same ward, so I'll be able to keep in touch with Elder Richards and my investigators up here. 

Saturday was my last day of field work, and it could actually have been my last day of field work in the mission, so we took advantage of it. We spent the day running from lesson to lesson, and ended up achieving the lofty weekly goal that we had put, and if we would have had Sunday, we might have been able to get 16 lessons, which is a great number down here. The best part is that it's not just a number either, the people we we're teaching really are progressing, slowly, but surely. Now, my days will be spent trying to convert missionaries to the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be, so I'm going to do my best. And even though everyone tells me I won't be able to, I'm going to do my best to manage our time well, and be able to get out and contact on a regular basis. 

Dad, if you have any good tips about being the assistant, I'd love to hear them. All in all, I feel very humbled by this new calling. It's given me a huge reality check, and is truly humbling. But I know that whom the Lord calls, he qualifies, so I will put my trust in Him. 

FAMILY: I love you guys! It's really crazy that the mission is going so fast! Just be patient, and we'll be seeing each other soon! 

MOM! I love you! 
- Elder Jimenez

PS: I fully expected Alex's companion, Elder Richards, to have a transfer this month because he's been in this area for 4 1/2 months. I was so shocked when I read that Alex was transferring instead. I am super excited for his new adventures... I just hope he isn't so busy that he cannot send me a good email!!! It is also interesting that last week I felt very strongly to share with Alex some thoughts that President Flake had shared with us as he thought back about the evacuation of Honduras.

And to Jose...
I love the sports news! Gah, I just love american football in general. Futbol is awesome and all, but it just doesn't get better than some good ole American football :) 

I think you'll really like my weekly letter this week. I'll definitely need some pro tips from you. The truth is that this whole change is going to humble me a lot! But that's life, and really, it's going to be sweet, I just need to get used it. The best part though is that it makes me more semejante a vos (more like you), and that means I'm on the right track. 

Love you Dad - Elder Jimenez

Monday, August 7, 2017

Kilometros 5, Zona Comodoro Norte - Week 5... Carry on with Faith

Sofia said something that I hope I interpreted wrong. She mentioned a dog. And I hope I interpreted it wrong, but I believe that she said that it's living in our house. I really hope that I've got it all wrong because if there is one thing that I've learned here in Argentina it's that I. HATE. DOGS. ... 

Alright now that I'm done raging, I'm glad that you guys had a good week :) My week was... blah. It was a weird week. It's hard because I look back on the week, and I feel like we had ZERO progress. It was also hard because there were several times that I walked out of lessons, and just felt like my teaching skills have deteriorated a bit, like we just didn't teach well. I think the answer to all of this is to just humble myself, repent, and put my trust nuevamente in the Lord. Sometimes, as a missionary, you work, and work, and work, and it becomes routine. You just get used to doing the same thing dia tras dia (day after day)

It's worse down here in Argentina as well because the people in general not only don't really want anything, but they're also just kind of mean sometimes. It has a lot to do with the recent history I think. They've had a lot of governments that have taken advantage of them, and some of the older generations lived during the dictatorships, in which people often disappeared and never were found (the government kidnapped them). During that time, this culture of not trusting other people and keeping to yourself at all costs popularized, and now the growing use of technology has made it 10 times worse. A person can walk through centro for two hours without even looking another person in the eyes! There're also a ton of churches down here, and many of them shamelessly rob from the poor, which hardens the spiritual heart of these people even more. The list goes on and on, and you add that to the routine-ness that I mentioned before, and I think that the majority of missionaries down here just get used to getting the door slammed in their face all day every day. It's hard. It's hard to have faith. But that's the secret. 

I know that Jesus Christ does exist, and I know that there are prepared people in the Patagonia. They're rare, but they're out there. It's like the escritura that I found before the mission, Jeremiah 16:16. Some guys are meant to be pescadores (fishermen), they throw their nets in and bring a lot of baptisms out. In this mission we're cazadores (hunters). We need to search in the mountains, valleys, and caves, and put in a lot of effort to baptize. However, even though it's difficult, with the Lord, nothing is impossible. That's why I need to repent. I continually need to repent, but especially now. I need to stop trying to teach the lessons in my way, and let the Spirit guide. I need to take the time, and put in the effort that is needed to have the guidance of the Spirit. So that will be my task in this coming week. I'm going to humble myself, and be an instrument in the Lord's hands. He always guides this work, but we're going to take more advantage of that guidance this week.

I appreciate your prayers and fasting on my behalf! I'm determined to have success, and all the glory goes to God. 

FAMILIA: SELL THE DOG OR LEAVE IT IN THE WILDERNESS OR FEED IT TO A COUGAR! Just get rid of it... 

I love you guys :) 

MOM! I'm pumped that you got a sweet new ride :) It's gonna be weird to never see the Enclave again though... But it's okay :) 

I LOVE YOU! - Elder Jimenez

DEAD ARMADILLO IN THE PATAGONIA! So sweet!

Our ghetto ice destroying oven that we built to defrost the freezer. 
It was a solid block of ice XD.



I sent Alex the next picture and alleviated his concern that we got a dog... Daisy and Zeb are the crazy ones to add a puppy to their family. Sofia is thrilled to be able to love on her every Sunday. Anyway, here is Alex's response... OH THANK YOU! OH I AM SO HAPPY YOU GUYS DIDN'T BUY A DOG! Those animals are the worst!