ARGENTINA

ARGENTINA

29 December 2010

A SHORT PHONE CALL AND AN AWESOME LETTER!!!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  We did, and I think Taylor did too!  We didn't get to talk to him that day, but he called from the airport on Monday before his first flight to Dallas.  We all laughed when the phone rang because I was getting impatient waiting for his call, (I know, you're all saying "Not Dee"), but right before the phone rang I was looking at my phone and saying "RING! RING! RING!" and within a minute, it did!!!  I screamed "Taylor" and all the boys here just said "Mom, you're so weird!"  I don't know what they expected me to do!  The boys and I all got to talk to him.  It was wonderful!!! :):):)

Taylor sounded wayyy excited to be on his way to the mission field!  There were a couple of times during the conversation that he slipped into Spanish when talking to me.  He knows that his Spanish has a long way to go, but he also felt that it wasn't going to get any better at the MTC and that was why he was ready to get to Argentina and speak with native Spanish speakers.  He said it was cold in Utah and I said it was cold here.  He laughed at me!  He was excited to get to Argentina when I told him what the weather for the next week was going to be like in Bahia Blanca!  I asked him about his Christmas and he said it was AMAZING!!  Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke.  Taylor said he was there for a total of three meetings with the missionaries.  The phone call wasn't long enough for him to tell me what he spoke about or anything.  Maybe I will get more information in a letter.  I asked about his luggage and if he had enough room for everything.  He said both of his suitcases weighed 50 pounds, but that he had had to give away some stuff.  I know he gave away some of his p-day clothes, but I'm not sure what else.  Maybe I'll be sending him things! :)

The latest letter I've received from Taylor was sent before Christmas but it just arrived in the mail on Monday.  I hadn't opened it yet when we talked to Taylor.  If I had I would have been able to tell Taylor in my own voice and not just in writing how proud I am of him.  I would have been able to tell him what a change I am seeing take place in him.  I would have been able to tell him what a terrific man he is becoming.

Here is a portion of that letter:

On Sunday, Hermano Claybough, (sp?) he is in my branch presidency here, spoke in priesthood and it was amazing.  He spoke on the Fall and stuff.  He said when Adam fell, he fell forward.  I loved the quote.  So I am going to use it in my lessons.  So I can write letters on Christmas Day as well!  You will be getting a letter soon!  So Elder Shane M. Bowen of the Seventy spoke to us tonight.  He spoke of Jesus Christ and how he is our Savior & Redeemer.  His wife spoke about how we need to make decisions before the situation arises, like when the opportunity to be disobedient arises, we should have already made the decision to be obedient and it will be easy to do.  I know this to be true and am putting it into play immediately this way I will be ready for the mission field when I leave very soon.  I am so thankful for the district I am in and know they are going to be great missionaries.  I would be happy to be any one of their companions.  I love Christmas time because it is the time to focus on Christ.  He did so much for me and for everyone.  I know he loves me and he knows me personally.  I am so grateful to grow up in the Gospel.  I love you Mom and wish you the best.  Hang in there til Monday.  Hugs & kisses!!

Con Amor,

Elder Jones, your son :)

21 December 2010

TRAVEL PLANS AND FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

In my email to Taylor this week, I was very specific and in CAPITAL LETTERS told him I wanted detailed information about his travel plans.  He came through! Yay for my boy!  He is learning, I just need information so I feel like I know what is going on.

A few items of explanation: the coat he is referring to, and referred to last week, is one I have been trying to get him since I took him to the MTC, but has been on backorder and every week the store would tell me "next week" and the goodies he refers to are stuff that my mom and I sent for him and his companion for the 12 Days of Christmas.  He hasn't opened his real Christmas presents yet, or at least shouldn't have!

As Christmas draws near I want to say Merry Christmas to everyone.  This is the first year I haven't sent Christmas cards out.  Consequently, I thought I would attach a family picture.



May we all enjoy family and friends this Christmas!  Sending my love, Dee!


WAHOOO!
guess who got travel plans on friday?! i know when i am leaving and want to leave now. first i will be flying out of salt lake to dallas and that willl leave: 255pm  arrive: 630 pm (in dallas). so be expecting a phone call around 145 or 2 :) then i leave dallas for argentina buenos aires at 735 pm and i will arrive in argentina on tuesday around 900 am. so i am excited to leave. i will be able to eat real food and stuff. so elder page had picked up a package today and it had breakfast burritos made fresh this morning. they were the best food i have eaten in my life.
last wednesday, my district got to be the host missionaries for all the new missionaries in the mtc who were arriving. it was pretty fun. very cold. i wore the huge jacket you sent and i was very warm. muchas gracias! while being a host, i saw grayson koeliker, he was coming in last week and it was pretty sweet. and then yesterday i finally saw trevor brown in the bookstore. so i think i can say i have seen everyone i know in the mtc now. elder simon, with his first newbie, took the elder to the wrong floor of his dormitory and put him in the wrong room. when they went to test the key they found it was wrong. so it was pretty funny.
so the packages you have sent are like death. when i leave, i am going to leave behind a lot of food and candy. the new missionaries will be very happy. but thanks for all the goodies! my roommates are loving the candy. so, elder simon and i started a new investigador progresivo in the TE with hermano galan. he is from ecuador and he talks very fast. our goal is to teach him and practice listening to natives who can speak very fast. right now, i am struggling. but i am getting better! we are going to teach him about the book of mormon and the resoration tomorrow. we have been preparing for him today. hermano milne, my teacher, left last night to go home, so yesterday was our final day with him. he shared with us exp.s about his mission and pictures. hermana smith is still here and not going anywhere. so, in class, we started the "olympics" to test our knowledge of spanish and preach my gospel. i am proud to say that my elder simon and i are dominating. although he is doing most of the work jaja. in the TRC on friday, we only had one investigator for our three companionships. so we ended up teaching all six of us to the investigator. its a bit difficult because there was a lot of repeating and we didnt know how the others worked and stuff like that. but it was a great experience. i am happy to have had the chance to exp it.
feliz navidad. i believe i am going to have a white christmas here. it has snowed non-stop since yesterday. it is nice and annoying at the same time. check out moses 5:10-11. my mission president taught about adam, eve and the fall on sunday and how they knew what they were doing when they partook of the fruit. i know that if they hadnt done that, we would not exist today. love you all!
con amor
elder jones

Moses 5:10-11  And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God,
11  And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have had known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

14 December 2010

WE ONLY HAVE TO TEACH THE BASICS (WITH THE SPIRIT) & I NOW HAVE MY VISA AND AM READY TO LEAVE FOR ARGENTINA

Even though there is a little bit of worry left in me, Taylor seems to be doing well this week!!  His letter was more upbeat, maybe it is because he can see the light, only two weeks until he leaves for Argentina.   I know he is excited to go, even if he is not totally ready!!  As his mom, more than anything I love reading Taylor's letters and seeing his spiritual growth.  I'm grateful for the references to scriptures he has given at the end of his letters.  The last couple seem to have a common theme.

It seems that every letter I wrote to Taylor this week was looonnngggg.  He probably got tired of reading them by the end.  The letters contained thoughts about certain scriptures, thoughts about principles, updates on sports teams and details about things going on here, mostly in his brothers' lives.  It is going to be a hard transition for me when "dearelder" letters won't be delivered to him daily anymore, once he leaves the MTC.  My weekly emails will become like novels if I am going to share with him the same kind of information I currently am.  I hope he gets more than half an hour on the computer for email in Argentina!!

I wasn't too happy to hear from him that Elder Summers, who went into the MTC the same day Taylor did, but is already in Argentina, because he was moved to advanced Spanish, has already been robbed twice.  He has only been in Argentina three weeks, at most!!!  He is in a different mission than Taylor is going to, but I don't know what difference that makes.  As a mom, you think of your kids as your "babies" no matter how old or big they are.  I have tried to explain to the boys that they will always be my babies and they don't get it, yet.  I am struggling a little bit again as my "baby" gets ready to leave the MTC for this foreign land called Argentina!


HOOOOOOLA!
yes i got the box and the coat! muchas gracias. the coat does fit and i would have you know i wore it today while waiting to get a sack breakfast at 630 in the morning. it was very warm and i am grateful. everything is going great. elder simon and i are growing in unity and our lessons are getting better. we are realizing that the investigators are "spiritual children" and we really only have to teach the basics. as well we need to stop repeating what the other said. we taught about 10 lessons last week which was our goal and about 8 of them were amazing. two of them we hadnt prepared enough and it didnt go well but we didnt crash. so all in all, we are teaching with the spirit and its going great! devotional on sunday was the mens choir from byu singing to us and it was pretty amazing. reading the book of mormon in spanish is pretty good. i think i can understand it better than in english at times. but i still dont understand many parts due to my lack of vocabulary skills. we are not allowed to go to the call center, its a new rule they started here. i would love to go though. my favorite part of the week, hmm. probably teaching to our investigator "scott" last night. last night was our fourth visit with him and it was pretty awesome. we almost got him to say yes to baptism but he said he needs to learn more and we almost have him committed. but last night was our final night with him because hermano walton (he plays scott) is leaving to go home this week and we wont be able to teach him anymore. but we are starting another investigator in the TE this week. we are excited to begin teaching again to someone new. teaching is a bit difficult when the investigators dont keep the committments. manuel and elizabeth is hard because they dont say anything and when they do talk its saying they dont know or they dont have an opinion. but we are progressing. the spirit is guiding us and we are learing the does and donts of teaching.
My visa. i had two meetings in the past week. one on friday and one on monday. the first one was to fill out a form with my fingerprints for my visa and the second was to meet the argentine consolate to sign the form in front of the argentine ambassador or whatever. but i believe i now have my visa! so no need to worry and i am ready to leave for argentina. i found out i will be able to see penguins. so elder simon emailed elder summers last week to see how he is doing and we heard from him today. elder summers used to be with us but he was moved to advanced spanish and left a while ago. he apparently has been robbed twice and his glasses have been stolen. we thought that was a bit funny. he hasnt had any baptisms yet but he said he was close. he said he was loving it there as well. he is in neoquen if you were wondering. well, i got nothing else. 2 nefi 32:5. the holy ghost will show us all the things we must do. i love this because the holy ghost is my companion and shows us all we must do, including during lessons with investigators.
CON AMOR
ELDER JONES

2 Nephi 32:5  For behold, again, I say unto you that if you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive  the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

13 December 2010

10 REASONS A MISSIONARY CHRISTMAS IS DIFFERENT

I belong to an email group for missionary moms.  It is a place where you can submit questions to the group and get answers from other members who may have already experienced what you are going through or you can share stories or thoughts or feelings.  Sometimes the owner of the email lists gets stories on her personal email that she then has permission to distribute to all of the email groups.  Such was the case today.  I wanted to share this email I received today:

TEN REASONS WHY A MISSIONARY CHRISTMAS IS DIFFERENT
-Written by Sally Tielemans, Henderson, Nevada -Missionary mom to
Elder Tielemans-Japan Sendai (Now an RM)

1. Last Christmas we were counting our money; this Christmas we are
counting our blessings.

2. Last Christmas we were giving thanks for gifts from stores; this
Christmas we are giving thanks for gifts from God.

3. Last Christmas we valued things that were costly; this Christmas
we value things that are holy.

4. Last Christmas we were wrapping gifts; this Christmas we are
wrapped up in the work.

5. Last Christmas we looked into people's eyes when we spoke; this
Christmas we look into their hearts.

6. Last Christmas we prayed to obtain a testimony; this Christmas we
pray to share our testimony with others.

7. Last Christmas we were impatient with the weaknesses of others;
this Christmas we are working on our own.

8. Last Christmas we read the scriptures as a duty; this Christmas
we read them as a joy.

9. Last Christmas we thought it was enough to celebrate the
holidays; this Christmas we are finding ways to consecrate them.

10. Last Christmas, Japan was just a place on a map; this Christmas,
it is a place in our hearts.



Merry Christmas everyone!!

08 December 2010

NO NEED TO WORRY AND 100 WORDS OF ENGLISH THIS WEEK

Wow! The things Taylor is learning are amazing!  His attitude is impressive!  I won't say all my worrying is for nothing, but I do feel much better after his letter this week.  Thank you all for your support throughout the week!!

Hola familia,
 
no need to worry! i had one bad teaching experience that wasnt really bad at all. i only had that one rough spot but that is why we are here. to learn, progress and figure out how to teach. this week when we taught to elizabet, it went better and i think we can turn it around next time we meet. elder simon and i now how three investigators we are teaching to. so far its going well. we startedx teaching to a person in the TE (teacher evalution i believe). i thihnk we started thast off really well. we are dominating teaching together and we can only get better. our unity is building and we are slowly but surely becoming more in tune with tthe spirit. so onve more, mother, you do not need to worry! today we did sealings and it was very cool to participate. missionaries can only be proxies for children. but i got to see the whole thing i think. very interesting. on sunday we had mission conference and that was pretty long. it was two hours and the seat i was in wasnt very comfortable. but i still learned a lot whil in there. not much has happened this week. same old same old. i saw elder nielson the night before he left and said adios to him. i also got a picture with him mother, so yes, i am taking pictures. so i am ready to leave the mtc. its great and all here but i want to get out and start teaching. but i know i need to keep preparing and i know i am not ready. this week my district and i have a goal of only being able to speak 100 words of english. right now i have about fifty left. its very difficult when i forget we are only talking in spanish. one sentence is a killer. but this is good practice for spanish. surprisingly, it has been very warm here. so i have not needed to wear more than two layers at any one time. well, i have nothing else to report, pretty much the ame thing is going on and the routine is boringish but hey, i cant complain. well, i love you all and thanks for the support. take a look at 1 Nefi 4:6. me gusta mucho. Ciao!
 
Con Amor

1 Nephi 4:6  And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.

01 December 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!! A LITTLE LATE

Well, I guess I need to get in the habit of checking the mail daily!  I don't know when this letter arrived, but I just got it out of the mailbox this afternoon.  I am so used to getting letters from him only on Saturdays (emails on Tuesdays) that I haven't worried about checking everyday.  That's going to change!  I feel a little better about the lack of information he gave in his email about Elder Holland on Thanksgiving Day now.  But, his comment at the end about "having a hard time" confirms my concerns that he is having a hard time.  Keep him in your prayers!

November 25, 2010

Dear Family,

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  Sorry my letter is coming late.  I forgot about Thanksgiving up until Wednesday.  Today is Thursday and we are allowed to write letters so it works out. :) I just got back from eating turkey, mashed potatoes and all the other good treats as well.  It isn't the same as at Grammy's, but food is food!  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Spoke to us today at the devotional.  It was pretty cool  So now I have been able to been able to hear from three apostles while I have been here: Elders Ballard, Bednar and Holland.  It's been awesome!  Elder Holland brought his whole family and his grandchildren sang to us.  It was funny and cute at the same time.  He also told us he was acting as our family today and it was very spiritual.  I was loving devotional!  He spoke on how we, missionaries, have such an impact on everyone and how grateful he was for the example we set for his grandchildren.  He expressed his love for us and the work we do.  I am so grateful for the gospel and the role it has played in my life.  I am thankful for my family and the example you have been to me in my life.  I know I am doing the Lord's work and that I could be so many other places right now, but I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.  I know that if I do what is right, I will be blessed even if I am having a hard time.  I want you all to know I love you with all my heart and you are in my prayers!

XOxOXoxXOo
Con Amor,

Elder Jones

ELDER HOLLAND AND "I GOT POSTERIZED"

Taylor has been out five weeks today!  His email arrived yesterday afternoon and for the first time, I am a little worried about him!  His email didn't have the usual "happy, cheerful, everything is great, I love this" tone to it!  Not having served a mission, I sometimes feel inadequate in giving him advice, but I hope he listens to the things I have to say as his mom.

Taylor refers in his letter to a talk given by Elder Holland.  I have included both the video of that talk and a link to the written text.
video
http://classic.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=185b230bac7f0210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

Dearest Family,
Thanks giving week was the same except for the actual thanksgiving day. on thanksgiving, we had a morning fireside and elder holland spoke to us and his talk was very similiar to a talk he gave two years or so ago. it was about how we are not alone or none were with him. im sure if you look it up you can see that talk online :) yeah, its kind of wierd thinking i have been out a month already. i dont know where all the time is going. weeks feel like days and days feel like weeks. that exp. with the question was actually with hermana smith. but last night, my teaching didnt go well at all. it went very horrible and afterwards i felt like i was leading an interrogation. but that is what the mtc is for. i need to find the line of questions and explaining things. i need to work on finding out the needs of the investigators and getting them to open up to me. right now, that is the hardest part for me. o and thanks for telling me how many days i have left, that really helps... jaja
so elder simon is from las vegas, henderson area. yes, he is going to colombia bogota north i believe. he is now my permanent companion and its going well. the branch presidency thought it was better than it was before because the other companionship wasnt working out so well. so elder simon and i are going to kick butt! the other day i got released from being district leader. it was a sad day but i enjoyed serving my district and all. i fel we have beome real close and its awesome. i honestly love them all and they are amazing. from being in branch council meetings, i realized things could be a lot worse and my companion be a real pain in the butt and not want to work at all. we didnt have trc this week because all the volunteers were not going to be here and its was a holiday. so we just taught to other districts on friday. it was good practice.
supposedly, there was supposed to be the storm of the century here in provo last week but we got maybe 2 or 3 inches of snow. i heard that salt lake got blasted though. yesterday and sunday it started snowing and i am freezing cold. i am wearing two or three layers at all times. walking to the temple today, i barely felt my face when i got there. i did initiatories with elder simon today. next week we plan on doing sealings, so it will be awesome! i got a hair cut today which was much needed. o, yesterday, i got posterized. during gym, this elder dunked over me and it was embarrasing but the same time awesome. i wish i had a picture of it. well, i have to get my laundry and go study for my progressive investigator tomorrow. i look forward to hearing from you and love you all! i really do love being here and having the spirit with me at all times. being 100% obedient is more hard than i thought but its amazing how much the extra effort helps. i want you to know that i know that this is the Lord's work. He could do it on his own, but He allows us to help Him. i know that i couldnt do this work alone either and i need all the help i can get. I love you all and wish you the best!
Con Amor,
Elder Jones

i almost forgot. this week i finished the book of mormon and now i am starting to read it in spanish. i cant belive how fast i got through it. spanish is going to be a bit easier though. that was the only other thing i forgot. ciao!