Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"i'm with the devil"

Hey guys! Hope everyone is having a nice October week, hopefully its not 90 degrees outside too many days this month.

I heard a lot about the devil this week. We had interchanges this week. As we were walking down the street some guy just says "hey we've gotta give thanks to the devil too right? Without him we wouldn't have bad, and without the bad we wouldn't know the good." The guy makes some sense but there's no way I'm giving the devil thanks for anything. My compa asked if he would like to come closer to Jesus and he said that he'd rather keep smoking weed. That's a normal thing in the life of a missionary btw. 
Hermano Gino shared a pretty funny story with me.. He said he was in a taxi coming to church but he was gonna get down a lot before the church because he only had 24 pesos and 24 pesos wasn't enough to get all the way to church. So he tells the chauffeur to let him down when it got to 24 pesos. The taxi driver said, "no worries man you just tell me where you're going and I'll take you there, I like you guys". So he keeps going and they get to the church and Hermano Gino decides to share something with him about the church, and invites him to church and the taxi driver says "nah man Im with the devil but you guys are bien chidos" I think with Hermano Gino's story is funny, but I learned something from it. Through our example people recognize members of the church, and if some day they meet some missionaries the first thing that will come to their mind will be "hey I have a Mormon friend" and they'll think of that example. Just some food for thought.

I'm not sure if salsa valentina exists in the United States but it's eaten with many, many things here. so anyway sangria (if you don't know what that is its a soda and you can buy it in Kroger) can be prepared a certain way so that it becomes a "sangria preparada" and it's got like the salt and all that kinda like a margarita. A sangria preparada is: valentina negra (valentina but the really spicy version), salt, and tajin. Tajin is like spicy powder stuff that you put on fruit so that its kinda spicy. But anyway you mix all that up with the soda and then you drink it. Basically it's gross and just tastes like you're drinking valentina. I tried that this week.

To end I wanted to share something from general conference. There was this one talk where the brother said "mirar mas alla de lo que vemos" which basically means that we have to look a little farther than what we see. I'm not sure how to translate it very well. Anyway, something came to mind that my dad always, always talks to me about which is perspective. and more so eternal perspective. In life lots of stuff happens, trials come and sometimes like stinks. We have to have an eternal perspective. We have to be able to realize that this life is just a short part of our existence and some day we're going to be back with our Heavenly Father with all the experience we've gained. Sometimes life is hard and not very fun, but if we can have that eternal perspective, we'll be able to understand a little better why those things happen.

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay safe, love you guys!

Elder Jones

This is Cristian, he's a convert of Elder Hernandez that we talked to today, he was super cool. He used to be a Freemason. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

my back hurts

I'm pretty sure that everyone knows by now about the earthquakes here in Mexico City. The earthquakes have provided a lot of opportunities to serve. In our area there's not anything to do really but we had two days organized by the mission to go to a place called Chimalpa to go and serve. About 40% of the houses there had fallen so we went to go help out. Huge trucks of cement bricks and rebar were brought in to build new houses. Our job was to unload them and carry the bricks to the houses. It was pretty hard work. OTuesday I got the job of getting on top of the truck and pulling rebar up on top, then I got to ride on top of the truck to the destination. Then I touched every single brick that went off the truck bc I passed them off. That's why my back hurts. haha. On Friday we had an even harder job. About 20 of us went with a truck to go unload it, but the house was at the bottom of a really steep and muddy hill so we couldn't take the truck down. We had to carry three to four blocks at a time and walk them down until we got to the house. It was brutal. Like really brutal. But then we finished and the lady that lived there gave us coke. We asked if we could sing a hymn for her. So we all sang I'm a child of God. I haven't felt the spirit so strongly in a long time. We all sang from memory bc we didn't have hymn books, so some of the guys didn't know the words, and we didn't sound the greatest, but I looked over at the sister and she just started crying. She then thanked us so much for our work and we left. My body hurt but it felt so good to be able to do that for her. I mentioned to a friend "sometimes the mission is just really hard, but the moments like these are the ones that make everything worth it, and I remember why I came."

The other thing I want to share is about something that a friend shared in a training we had on Monday. He talked about how there are 2 types of animals in the jungle.  I think we all know that you either eat or you get eaten. He mentioned that both animals run all the time, but for different reasons. One runs so that he doesn't get eaten. The other runs so that he can eat. So the question is, why do we run? To eat or to not get eaten? Do we run as a result of our own initiative, or because someone is telling us to? Do we obey the commandments and go to church bc we have to and people will see we're not there, or because we want to? That's something that really impacted me this week, and it's the thought I leave with ya'll today. Why do I run? And then try to run for the right reasons.

Love you guys! Have a great week. Stay safe.

- ElderJones

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Questions

1. What is the question you are asked the most on your mission?
2. What is the scripture that you quote the most?
3. What is the food that members feed you the most?
4. What is the best part about being in the MTC?
5. What is the first thing that you ask your family to send you on your mission?
6. What is something that you do on your Preparation day?
7. What is a reason to call the Mission Nurse?

Answers:
1 - Are you guys Jehovah's Witnesses? Are you hear to charge the bills? Why is there so much bad stuff in the world if God exists? Why did (x thing) happen to me? Why me?

2 - Alma 7:11-12, 3 Nephi 18:20 (all of them that talk about praying and stuff)

3 - Chicken in whatever form, sopa de fideo. I've never eaten so much chicken in my life. TORTILLAS, TORTILLAS AND, MORE TORTILLAS

4 - it's like being able to hangout with your best friends all the time (if you have an awesome district like I did) and learning about the gospel at the same time. It's a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun if you make it fun. I learned more in those six weeks than in most of my life before.

5 - Swedish fish, pictures from home, things I wish I would have brought

6 - Write home. haha. There are areas where you can do a lot but at this point in my mission I really just look forward to writing my family. 

7 - You basically need to be dying to go to the nurse. If you wake up with diarrhea and throwing up...just diahrrea and throw up all day to get it out of your system. If you're still throwing up at 8pm, you can call...basically he always says "take pepto bismol and tylenol".

the world is ending

and people still don't want to repent. hahah. But it's okay. We're helping people to understand.

Hello world! Forgive me for not sending any emails in a while but nothing has really happened. Thanks to everyone who responded to my earth quake email on Tuesday. Sorry I won't be responding personally, but I wanted to say thanks here!!

These past few weeks have been kinda difficult due to my companion. He goes home in 4 weeks and in missionary terms he is frito, muerto, y apesta. If you speak Spanish you'll know what I mean. haha! He's a great guy and I'm learning a few things from him, but he's also very disobedient. It's been difficult, but I'm trying to learn from this situatino. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to learn from this, but I'll keep you guys informed in coming weeks. I feel like the reason might be so that I can see what I don't want to be like at the end of my mission. Or in any aspect of my life. Whether it be in the mission or studying, or in a job or marriage, if I just stop working then I won't be able to receive the blessings that God has for me. I read this morning in a church magazine that one of ten ways to be financially stable is work. It's pretty obvious, but we can't just earn whatever thing, money, blessings, or eternal life, unless we're willing to work for them.

If this keyboard didn't suck so bad I would tell you all about the robbery we saw but I'll save that for another week or maybe after the mission.

One thing I think about a lot when I play piano is Brother Hauth. Whenever we were in mutual he would always bug me to play piano and I didn't like to because "playing piano while people sung was hard" but now I've played piano every Sunday in some wards and in most mission meetings. It's something that I've been trying to develop even more. So youth that want to go on a mission, learn to play piano because if you go to Mexico, basically no one plays the piano and you may need to use that talent.

Finally, I'll end with Carlos. We've starting teaching him this past week. He's the boyfriend of a member. I love teaching Carlos bc he asks us a lot of questions. It's great because he's similar to the way I was a few years ago. I feel like maybe that's why president sent me to this area so that I could help him. I was really mad about being sent to this area at first but now I can see why.  The Lord has a plan bigger than mine. He can see the whole picture and I can't. We need to go with his will and we'll understand why a little later. I'm grateful for the experiences I've had in my life so that I can share them with others and help them the same way that I was helped.

Love you guys! Stay safe!

Elder Jones

bday of Hermana Guerrero (in yellow

Squadddd

me, Noris, hermano that I don't know his name, Quetzally, Tita, and Metzi. They're my homies


​​my homies....really blurry in the terminal. I lost my name tag.


mi casa



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

my first earthquake

Well today I experienced my first earthquake and I will let you all know that it was very scary. Haha! I'll just give you guys a short rundown of how it went. We were on the third floor of the temple whenever it started. We were sitting down when the temple began to shake so we started to get up, but one of the temple workers was like "no sit down!". Then it started to get really violent and the chandeliers were moving like crazy (I thought they were gonna fall off) and then all the lights went out and we started falling over because of how violently it was shaking. So we all had to evacuate and I'm not gonna lie I think the scariness of an earthquake compares with the scariness of being robbed. Haha. But the spiritual-ness of all this was something really profound. We were all scared but while we were evacuating the temple worker said, "Don't worry everyone. The temple is built to last until the second coming. There's not a safer place we could be." In the midst of all the scariness and confusion that brought a lot of relief to my soul. The temple is the House of the Lord. When he comes again to visit the earth, he'll visit those temples. I know that there's no where safer that I could have been. Anyway, I'm alive and well! Lots of people have lost their lives and there's been a lot of destruction so keep the people of Puebla and CDMX in your prayers! Love you guys, Thanks for your prayers! Stay safe!

​Elder Romero and I alive and smiling after the earthquake

Just a tiny bit of the damage we saw on the way back from the temple​.

- Elder Jones

Friday, September 8, 2017

Earthquake

***President Grossen had all the missionaries contact their parents about the Earthquake that happened overnight in Mexico. This is the short message we received from Braeden letting us know he is OK:

"Just to let you know I survived the earthquake thingy. I heard the siren go off...and supposedly we should go outside but it was like 12 and my compa was asleep so I was like nah, so I just prayed that I would live and laid back down. I felt my bed shake and listened to the house creak. It's crazy that we felt it. First earthquake...."


Monday, September 4, 2017

365



Hello everyone, I now have 1 year in the mission. That's kinda crazy but it's gone by fast and I'm enjoying it.

Just a short email this week: first crazy story is about the metro. Last Monday we had a zone activity and we had to use the metro to get there. We knew it was going to be full because it's always jam packed from 6-9am. We get into the metro and they have it closed because there are so many people. It's kept closed for a little bit until some people leave. We finally get down there and it's RIDICULOUSLY packed!  It's so packed people are taking pictures and everything like that. When the doors of the metro open everyone just starts pushing and it's like a huge fight throwing elbows and all that fun stuff. I had a bag with a soccer ball in it and one time the doors opened and everyone started pushing, and long story short: my ball got inside the metro, but I did not. That was really sad. Next we actually get pushed in too, and then someone says "hey is there a shoe over there?" and so everyone starts looking for a shoe and finally we found it and passed it to the guy looking for it. It was pretty funny. Then it was time to get off (which is almost harder than getting on) and we all started to push off.  Me and some guys behind me didn't make it, and so I'm like "guys I need to get off" and I turn around and this guy is like "are you getting off?" and I was like "yeah" and then he says "lets do this". In my head I was laughing so hard. I start pushing and this guy starts pushing me and another guy is pushing the guy that's pushing me and then this police man grabs my arm and starts pulling me out of the metro. It was so epic!  As I get off I see that I have black marks all over my shirt from squeezing in through the doors and some lip stick stain on my pants (no idea how that happened).

Now for the spiritual. This week we ate with Hermana NiƱo two times. The first time we showed up to her house and had to call her so that she would come down and open the door. We arrived at the same time as this joven. Hermana opens the door and the joven goes to the dept of the hermana.....turns out he's her nephew. He hasn't been to church in a while.Fast forward to Sunday when we go back to Herman's house and she tells us this: "after you guys left, my nephew just started laughing, so I asked him why. He told me that a few days before you guys came to eat the first time he had a dream, and he saw his grandma that had passed away. He said she was trying to talk to him but he couldn't understand what she wanted to tell him. He said that the day he showed up at my door and saw you guys (the missionaries) he knew what his grandma wanted to tell him. His grandma was trying to tell him he needed to go back to church. He thought it was funny." Isn't that an awesome experience?? I'm not sure if he'll come back to church or not, but he'll always have that reminder that his grandma wants him to come back to church. I think little things like that are just miracles but we don't always see them as miracles. That experience was really cool to me.

Finally, I'll talk a little bit about one year.  Here is a list of 5 things I've learned to do in the past year, and 5 things that have changed about me:

5 things I've learned:
to eat whatever is on my plate
speak Spanish
give 10 to 15 minutes talks with no preparation
what a REAL taco is (hard shells is apostasy)
to wash clothes by hand

5 ways I've changed:
I'm kinda chubby now
I'm more grateful for everything
I'm more service minded
I love more
I appreciate family more

I've become all sentimental and write poems now....so I wrote one for one year in the mission:
One Year in the Mission
One year down in the mission,
Only one more to go.
There's still so much to learn;
So much more I could grow

The time has flown by,
It's passed by so very fast;
But the experiences I've gained
Are ones that will last.

There's no where near enough time
To do the work that must be done,
But I'll put in my best effort
Because I represent God's son.

My call comes from on high,
"Recommended as one worthy,"
And so when the hard times come
I'll just try to keep on working.

He is the reason for my work.
His life - my perfect example.
That's why I try to keep in mind
As I share his love so ample.

One year left in the mission,
Time to stand tall.
As I go preach the truth
I must give it my all.

One year left and I'll be home. I hope that I keep learning and growing. Love you guys! Stay safe....and send me an email or two

Elder Jones