23 November 2010


Earlier in the week I sent Taylor an email asking him how his teachers can teach him the vos form of Spanish if they didn't got to Argentina on their missions.  He had previously told me that his teachers went to Mexico and Guatemala I believe.  The reason I asked him is I met a lady from Argentina who was telling me that they only use the usted and vos forms in Argentina, never the tu form.  This is different than most Spanish speaking countries.  I had four years of Spanish in high school and a couple more in college (I don't know if Taylor realizes that) and I know a bit about Spanish.  So, that is what he is trying to explain in his letter, but it still isn't clear to me.  Maybe they aren't teaching him the vos form and that is something he will have to pick up in Argentina.  If anybody that reads this knows, please drop me a line.

As far as him getting the ten dearelder letters in one day, I must confess that I did ask two people to write him one day on top of the letters that the boys and I wrote for family night.  So, here is the breakdown, the boys and I were five letters, but Colton forgot to include something in his so he wrote a second letter,  I wrote another letter the following morning (my usual morning letter), I asked my brother and sister to each write one and when my mom heard they were each doing it, she wrote one, for a total of ten!!!

The baked cheddar snack mix that he is asking for at the end of his letter is something that he asked me for in his last text to me before entering the MTC.  I have looked for it everywhere since then.  It must be something he started eating while at BYU Idaho because I didn't know what it was.  Finally, this week I ordered a case (64 bags) of it online to include some in his Christmas package beyond!!  And, the bag of Skittles that I sent wasn't just for him, it was for him to share with his district, but it still may last the whole two years!! :)

Enjoy his letter:

jaja gracias for all of the dear elders! i ended up having ten in total. so i am officially the leader with most letters in one day. and then the following day i got two packages. it was very funny. and then my teacher hermano milne showed me a picture of when he was on his mission and he had seven packages in one day. i was humbled real fast jaja. my week has been amazing. this week has blown by so fast. the days are starting to slur together and the weeks seem like one day. today in the temple i did initiatories. this elder on my floor has a bunch of names that we can do and it feels so nice to be able to help him out. so the branch presidency switched my companionship as well as the companion ship of elder harris and elder simon. elder simon is my new companion. elder edwards is now companions with elder harris. they got switched up because elder harris and simon were butting heads a little and not making any progress. so elder edwards and i are the solution! jaja but its alright. we are getting along real well and i wont know if its permanent or not until after this week and the branch presidency talks it out. elder page, my zone leader in my district, sprained his ankle yesterday in gym playing basketball. his companion, we gave him a blessing, elder edwards annointed and elder leigh blessed while everyone else in the district stood in. it felt really good to be able to help him. i dont think i have had so many tears in my eyes these past four weeks compared to the rest of my life. its just so spiritually uplifting here and i love it!
basically we have been studying spanish and predicad mi evangelio (preach my gospel or PME). right now our district goal is to talk as much spanish as possible. its not hard at all, only the vocab is difficult and a couple conjugations here or there. but all in all, i am really progressing. as missionaires, we are taught to only use the usted form and not the tu form. im not sure what you mean by vos, but tu is informal and usted is formal. so we use usted for everyone to show respect because we dont know them. you can have someone else explain this to you who speaks spanish. we only use tu form for when we pray to heavenly father. its confusing if you dont know spanish so have someone explain it to you :)
this week i went into the travel office and signed a paper to get them working on my visa. so i am not sure how far along is my visa and what not. but yeah, not much else to report. i thank you all for everything and what not. my time is about up.
Con Amor
Elder Jones
P.S. send me a bag of baked cheddar snack mix. i am good on skittles to last me about fifty years! :)

alma 26:12 is my favorite scripture for the week.
last night while teachign to my teacher with elder simon, she was acting as an progresive investigator, it was going somewhat bad and then i had this question pop into my head and didnt know where it came from. so i ended up asking it even though i didnt know why and it ended up making the contact go real well. i love the spirit and all the power the holy spirit has.

Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

16 November 2010


Tay's email came this afternoon.  Like I said last week, I love Tuesday's!!!  I'm not going to write much myself today, but just post his letter and then a few of the pictures that  he sent home.  All of the pictures play in the slideshow in the sidebar but they are small and fast so I thought I would put some of him here for better viewing.  Enjoy!

Oh, one thing, though, the P.S. at the bottom of Taylor's letter, it came in a second email.  I thought that was kind of funny.  It must have been pretty important for him to have sent a second email to get that in there.  Hmmm, where does his competitiveness come from???  I never want to win anything.  :)  I thought about telling everyone to write Taylor on a certain day to see how many letters he would actually get, but then I decided that would be SOOOO wrong.  See, I am working on my competitiveness!  We can beat 4 letters in one day with just me and the boys if I can only get them to sit down and write the letters!!!

first off, i want to say thanks for the package from all the youth. i am going to enjoy the candy. tell bishop and sister loy thanks for the letter as well. i liked hearing from them. sound like thanksgiving dinner was a hit. wish i could have been there :) i would like to have a pair of gloves an beanie sent to me. on the temple walk on sunday i was freezing. it was not pretty. o and i dropped my journal at the temple and the pages tore off the binding of the covers. that was not my favorite part of the day. o i also want a bag of baked cheddar snack mix. a big bag. :) i actually dont need and stamps. today we went to the temple and did an endowment session. i love just sitting in the celestial room afterwards. elder edwards is still my companion.
well this week was by far the fastest i have had. it feels like yesterday i just got here. not much has changed. elder leigh and elder page just got called as zone leaders on sunday. they were not expecting it at all. they also told me that our branch is receiving 31 new missionaries. our sacrament meetings are going to be very cramped starting on sunday. one of the old zone leaders is going to provo south i think and i dont know where the other is going. elder summers left this week to go down to neoquen argentina. it was cool seeing him leave. i want to leave right now, its fun here and all but i want to get donw to the mission field.
i have TRC every week. turns out we are "experts" for an intermediate spanish. i dont believe it. but i feel this TRC went better than the last time. i talked more and my spanish flowed more. my spanish is coming along real well. my prayers are starting to become better and have more detail. this week, we started teaching our teachers as progressive investigartors. so we practiced contacting and teaching with them. contacting is harder than i thought... but i can only get better at it. i really cant imagine how far i will be in six more weeks. i have learned so much. o, one of my buddies who i met up here left for his mission today. he was from mission high school and played volleyball. his name was Elder Taylor, i didnt get to know his first name. but he left for canada spanish speaking. he was in a different district in my branch and we would hang out during gym time dominating in volleyball :) i am also getting better at basketball as well, surprisingly. me and my district love to just start bursting out into song and its sounds terrible. we end up laughing at how bad we sound. i have seen elder nielson many times but not had the opportunity to get a picture together yet. hopefully soon though. i dont really have much else to report at this time. if i think of something, i will write a letter tonight! love you all and thanks for the support!

ps. tell everyone that i love to get dear elders and packages. my district and i love to compare how much mail we get each day. so far the record is four in one day. tell everyone to dear elder me in the same day. i want to be the winner :) thanks!
con amor
elder jones

14 November 2010


As you all know, I was pretty darn excited the first week when I got communications on back-to-back days from Taylor, one via snail mail and one via email.  So when I only got an email last week and no snail mail I was pretty let down.  And then again this week, there wasn't anything via snail mail.  Then late Saturday afternoon I went out to get the mail and there was an envelope for "The Jones Boys."  Even though it wasn't for me I was ecstatic!!  When I felt the envelope I could tell that there was something in it, I wasn't sure but my hunch was that it was the memory card from his camera.  That meant that I was going to see my missionary for the first time with his missionary name tag!!!!  The only problem was that the boys were gone for the weekend.  I texted them to let them all know I received the letter and since none of them responded I just figured I would take it to them at church on Sunday since I knew I would see them there.  Dallin and Riley actually came home before church because they hadn't taken their church clothes with them and so they opened the letter and I was right, it was the memory card!  I realized I didn't have a card reader so I would need Dallin or Riley's camera to put the card in and I immediately started bugging them for one of their cameras.  Dallin said "You are such a mom!"  I took that as a compliment!  Anyway, I got the pictures put on the computer before church and got to see my missionary.  He looks so happy!!  Now all I have to do is figure out the best way to share the pictures with you.  I will try to have that done by the time I send out the email on Tuesday after I get his weekly email on his pday.

After the boys read the letter they shared it with me.  It was short and sweet.  It warmed my heart though, because the things that he said to them let me know that he actually has been reading the letters that I send to him.  He just wrote a sentence or two to each brother, but each sentence was directly related to something that I had told him about each of the boys and what was going on with them.

Taylor added a postscript to his letter to the boys that I want to share.  I cried when I read it.  We had a big family dinner tonight at my mom's house.  One of my cousin's read the letter to my aunt out loud.  I was standing across the kitchen with my back to them, but just listening to it, my heart was full again.  Telling another cousin about it later in the evening caused me to tear up once more.  Taylor is growing so much spiritually it is amazing!!  There is nothing in this world that could please me as a parent more!  Another huge payday!!!

Here it is:

P.P.S. Elder David A. Bednar spoke to us at devotional today.  He gave the whole MTC an Apostolic Blessing.  It was amazing.  He blessed us that we can "study diligently.  The doctrine will distill upon our souls and we will be able to teach and bring understanding and direction to investigators.  This will be magnified and able to assist others.  According to our faith, blessings will be spread throughout all our generations."  He spoke unto us about how we should teach doctrine and not application.  It was an amazing devotional and I didn't want it to end.

Con amor,

Elder Jones

09 November 2010


I'm grateful for Taylor's letter this week, it contained answers to a lot of questions that I had asked him!  The only problem with that was it didn't leave him any time to share anything besides the answers to my questions. :(  With time we will get the bugs worked out in the system!

I thought I would share something that I shared with Taylor in a letter I wrote him this week.  I shared with Taylor the testimony shared on Sunday by Erika Geis, our Relief Society president, in fast and testimony meeting.  She spoke of her experience with her oldest son wanting to say a prayer to help find a stuffed animal at bedtime and then the next day her next son following his brother's example when he needed to find his blanket, I believe at nap time.  Upon hearing Erika's testimony, I remembered a time when Taylor was either in 2nd or 3rd grade and he had a a CTR ring (not one of the cheap adjustable ones either) that he wore everyday to school.  He lost it one day at school.  He was pretty upset.  He prayed that he would find his ring.  He did that for three nights.  I was certain the ring was long gone.  But the next day he came home from school and had found the ring at recess in the middle of the grassy field!  I was amazed!  He knew it was an answer to his prayers.  What an amazing experience for a young boy!  How grateful I am for a Heavenly Father that hears and answers our prayers!!!  I, like Erika, am grateful for the example, too, that older brothers set for those that follow and am grateful for the younger brothers that follow the example of the older brother!!!

Lets start with the questions.Elder Angell was my frist companion but he got moved up to advanced spanish class. i am in intermediate. elder summers is one of the elders in my district who just got moved up to the advanced class this week. elder edwards is my new companion who i got on the second day here. Elder Harris is companions with Elder Simon. And Elder Summers was companions with Elder Page before he moved. We got a new elder, Elder Leigh. There is only one district leader. there are two zone leaders though but they are leaving so and my district is wondering if we could get picked to be the next set. Almost everyone is my district if going to argentina except two. Elder Edwards is gooing to tulsa OK and Elder Simon is going to columbia bogota. Elder Page is going to Neoqen or something, Elders Harris and Leigh are going to Resitencia i believe. my spanish is progressing really well. we had our first TRC this week (teacher resource center). its where we teach to members acting as investigators. and to boot it was in spanish. so that should give you a good idea of how my spanish is coming :) we are told no other class has taught their first lesson in the trc in spanish other than the advanced class who are native speakers. we have devotionals on sundays and tuesdays. sundays are usually mtc staff. tuesdays are usually general authorities or someone else. last week we had Elder Ballard. he was amazing. we dont know who is speaking until they walk into the auditorium. p day ends about six for use because we have it on tuesdays. but thats ok. we go to the temple every p day and its awesome. danny north got in last week and he is now on my floor of my residence hall. we got to go to the temple together today. it was pretty awesome. i have taken a lot of pics. i may send the card home today but who knows. i did get your package. thank you :) i forgot to bring my toe nail clippers and some gel for my hair. i would like to have a vanilla coke or two in a bottle sent to me as well :) i sure do miss those. the food is pretty good in my opinion. i love all my companions. they all are way chill. the branch president, president craig, told me during branch council i have an amazing branch and that he reallly does like us. my teachers are hermano milne and hermano smith. hermano milne served in mexico guadalahara and hermana smith served in peru. we are trying to talk only spanish all the time and it gets pretty funny. come to think of it, this is the most english i have talked all week. it is kinda wierd. o and on mya way over to send this email, it started to snow. i am now ready for snow. my companion, elder edwards loves the snow. not much else i can think of really. ummm, i love and miss you all and maybe i may be zone leader in two weeks. who knows?! o and the two elders who got moved to advanced spanish, they are leaving in a week i think. the advanced class only has 3 weeks in the mtc. i sure will miss em. my time is down to 1 minute. i love you all and look forward to your emails!
Elder Jones

02 November 2010


I don't know if this will ever happen again, but I am thrilled to hear from him on back-to-back days!!!  And now I know when his p-day is.  Yesterday's letter came snail mail and today I got an email.  I am going to just copy and paste it, so if you notice a difference in style that would explain it!  I have to say that Taylor did a pretty good job of answering questions.  He got to a lot of them.  I know it is going to be tough for him writing to so many people.

I have told Taylor numerous times (I think I have sent him four letters and two emails) how proud I am of him and the example he is setting for his younger brothers.  All of those were before receiving anything from him, but right now I don't think there is a mom in the world that is/could be more proud of her son!!!

hello madre!
currently in the laundry room attempting to do my laundry. this past week has been hectic to say the least. glad to hear the boys are doing well. well, since my letter, i have become district leader, my companion elder harris was moved to advanced english. i now am companions with elder edwards. he is from orem utah and we are getting along real well. my district has seven elders including me. we all like each other and have no problems. i am told i have a pretty awesome district and we will be great. my branch president it president craig. he is a great guy. sunday was my favorite day so far. i had so many spiritual experiences. at the fireside, president swenson of missionary services spoke and he was phenomenal. i was almost in tears because of the spirit i felt. my spanish is coming along real well and i am really improving. i learned how to pray in spanish and right now my favorite hymn is mas cerca Dios de ti. its amazing. we also got to go on a temple walk on sunday. it was nice to be able to go to the temple and just sit on the grounds and take pictures with my companions. i may print off some pictures and send them home if i have time. the food i kind of like. but i had a bad experience in the bathroom last week. but its past!
onto the questions. my teachers are hermano milne and hermana smith. i like hermana smith because i can understand her more easily. we are supposed to speak spanish all the time during class and its pretty hard but i am improving quickly. i am supposed to teach lesson one this week in spanish with my companion. we are preparing and it will be sketchy but great. my verb tenses are iffy but getting better as well. almost all the elders in my district are going to argentina. but none of them to my mission unfortunately. i have seen elder nielson a couple of times, andrea twice, elder grossen twice and my roommate steve brown from college twice. my p-day is on tuesdays and i love to get dear elder letters as well as real letters. por favor dont send me a lot of emails because i only get 30  mins to email everyone back. writing letters is easier to do. i am not allowed to meet anyone when i go to the temple which is on tuesdays. so if travis does have my stuff, he should just send it. i will be writing more letters because i have almost no time left and when time is up it automatically shuts the email down. well i love you all and i will tell you more next week!
Elder Jones

01 November 2010


It's been five days since Taylor went in, an emotional five days.  But, I'm glad that Taylor's first four days in the MTC are over.  You see, when I got back to my brother's apartment after dropping Taylor off at the MTC, Travis told me that if Taylor makes it through the first four days, he'll be good.  He wasn't saying that because he doubted Taylor would make it, he was just saying that those were the hardest days because you were missing people, you had to be in a suit 100% of the time, and it was meeting after meeting after meeting while you learned the ropes.  Travis said that once Taylor got past Sunday everything would be great!  Well, now it is Monday and I got a letter today and a little bit of peace!! :)  Have a great week everyone!

October 28, 2010

Dearest Mother,

Thank you for the letter.  I was the first to get a letter!  Well, the MTC is pretty sweet!  The food is good so far.  My companion is Elder Angell and he is from Georgia.  We get along real well.  I feel as though he will push me hard because he took 4 years of Spanish and remembers all of it.  I on the other hand remember very little and am having trouble keeping up.  But I have learned new words and we are starting to say prayers in Spanish.  I'm struggling with that part.  I saw Elder Neilson today.  He was surprised to see me.  Well I can only write this for so long.  Oh, and email, I am only allowed 30 minutes a day so tell everyone to only send me letters.  The computer will shut the email down in exactly 30 minutes. Te amo!

Elder Jones