Monday, October 31, 2016

to josh and kate

I love you guys so much! I hope I'm setting a good example for you guys. I'm really trying but I miss you so much. Please stay safe back home, get good grades and work hard in volleyball, basketball, soccer, planet kidz, whatever you're doing. Remember that hard work is the greatest thing you can do! Also keep going to church. It's hard and boring sometimes trust me I would know I do it everyday but it brings blessings. Sorry this can't be longer but I'm gonna send ya'll something cool next week- I'm teaching the people here american slang like "it's lit" just so you know "que padre" is like the equivalent of it's lit, and "que chafa" is the equivalent of that sucks. Love you guys! adios amigos

hey dudes

Guys I finally found a keyboard where all of the keys work half decent! Except on Spanish keyboards theres no such thing as apostrofes. But anyway I expressed my feelings to Presidente Grossen in our email last Monday and Elder Bird called me this past week and talked to me in English (he's one of the assistants) so that was really nice and I felt a lot better after we talked. Also mom can you send me the bread recipe? We don't have an oven now but maybe I will some day. Also I want to tell you guys about the antigua mision. La antigua mision is the mission with President Whitehead. He was SUPER STRICT. Like it was crazy ridiculous they would yell at you if you didn't meet the goals and you couldn't do anything and you couldn't wear certain ties like they were hardcore. But they were also the highest baptizing mission in the world so I mean hey, But this week, I found 500 pesos just chilling in the street. That's a lot of money here. So I looked around for someone to give it to and there was no one so Elder Sanchez just told me to keep it. So I bought ice cream which was great. It was oreo flavored. We ate with an Hermana yesterday that told us her stories about how she used to cross the border all the time, it costs $100 dollars to cross. She also told us about how she got caught crossing one time. But nothing really happened so no worries. Also I'm gonna try and make it to the temple on Nov 16 so that week p day is on Wednesday the 16 not Monday. Finally this week we finally got investigators to church. Juana Maria was a miracle. She didn't want to go because she has a health problem where she has uncontrollable bathroom issues, and she had a little pena to leave the house. But on Saturday we had a lesson and at the end I just asked her: "¿Quiere bautizarse?" and she said yes. And I told her that she needs to go to church if she wants to be baptized. And so we testified that nothing at all would happen if she went, and so she told us she would talk to us that night to see if she would go. So we called and she said yes! and she even beat us to church (which is at 8 in the morning by the way) and she didn't go to the bathroom AT ALL during the meetings. Except in between Sacrament and Gospel Principles. but dude it was awesome. also I gave yet another blessing but I'll explain that in the group. Love you guys! See you in two months!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I was invited to the pool party, but didn't go swiming

FIRST BAPTISM YO. I didn't baptize him personally. Hopefully my parents send all the pictures. 

It's hard to type fast on these ghetto keyboards. But a few things: We cleaned our house so hard last week you don't even know. It was so gross even our sink was clogged with moss or something in the bottom. So I plunged it. It was awesome.

So guys they always listen to american music here and it makes me so sad😂 I think about what I'm missing and it gets tough. But I'm super stoked to be here. Don't worry about me. We have a little dvd player in our casa that we can use for church music and church videos so we always jam out to hymns in the morning and night. I sing in English and Elder Sanchez in Spanish. 

We have this family of five investigators the familia patlan rico, and they are amazing. We only have one lesson with the whole family but we have two with the parents. When we visited the first time they told us all their problems and the mom was wailing, crazy hard crying. It's hard enough to understand Spanish when someone isn't bawling their eyes out.

One of our investigators is Ximena. She's 16 and super cool, She's teaching me french. Her and her mom, Eugenia
are super great.

Also Ruben is a recent convert of April. We went to visit him and it was amazing how he has the exact same thoughts that I had about faith about a year and a half ago. I was able to help him even though my Spanish is broken.

It was really interesting during a lesson we had this week. The daughter brought out her baby puppies you guys....we started the actual lesson and were in the middle of teaching and the dog just takes a dump right in the middle of the floor. I'll just leave that at that.

 I learned how to play cánicas and I'm terrible. We played with Tadeo who is the boy we baptized. He beat me 10 games to like 4. Canicas is marbles by the way. 

Ya know in the cartoons when food trucks crash and the food is everywhere? Well I witnessed the aftermath of a garbage truck and fruit truck crash and it smelt amazingly terrible. 

Dudes, so the guy that cut my hair used a straight razor to do my edges. I was so scared but now he's my homie and we
always talk on the street. 

I don't have much more time! But in short, you all need to try principes. Also we have an investigator that I can speak some English with. There's now an otro guero in our district. I think I've settled into the life on Friday and then settled out on Saturday night. Our fifth floor second to last door was fail. And I'm obsessed with cheesecake.

THE MISSION LIFE IS THE BEST LIFE!!! I love you guys! Please pray for me and my compa and mis investigadores! I'm praying for Texas and the states 😉  but until next week! Adios Amigos

Monday, October 24, 2016

sorry homies

Sorry I didn't write you guys last week. It's hard to type fast on these
ghetto keyboards. But a few things: we cleaned our house so hard last
week you don't even know. It was so gross even our sink was clogged
with moss or something in the bottom. So I plunged it. It was awesome.
You guys need to look up how to make sopa de fideo and make it. It's
easy and delicious. One of our investigators is Ximena. She's 16 and
supercool, she's teaching me French. Her and her mom Eugenia
are super great. Also Ruben is a recent convert of April and we went to
visit him and it was amazing how he has the exact same thouights that I
had about faith about a year and a half ago. So I was able to help him
even though my Spanish is broken. Dude, so with my haircut the guy used a
straight razor to do my edges. I was so scared but now he's my homie we
always talk on the street. There's porn and weed EVERYWHERE in Mexico.
Like advertisements and magazine stands and every auto shop which there
are a lot. People just smoke blunts on the street and no one cares not
even then cops. Finally we raided the apartment in armas, I took a bunch
of stuff to use in our apartment which was great. We can plug our cameras
and flash drives in our dvd players so I'm gonna download all the pictures
from you guys. Okay gonna write the group now! Love you guys mucho!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

i'm chilango

Hey everyone! Sorry to keep you waiting. I'm sure you've all been so worried because you didn't hear from me on Monday! ;) There's a lot to write about so get ready. It's become pretty common that people yell at me, usually two or three times a day I'll hear "*expletive* guero!" or "ese guero" or just "guero" but my favorite that I've only heard once is "bolillio" like the white bread! 

I've gotten pretty accustomed to riding in la micro, which is basically a bus that you squeeze as many people on as you can and you pay four pesos and you go where you need to. It's awesome. 

So I got as close to America as you can get here. We finally made it to Wal-mart and there was a McDonalds inside. It was crazy. 

We ate with Hermana Carbajal last night. We had spaghetti, pizza, and flan, just like Tuesday nights in the ccm....felt like home. 

I went on my first exchanges after my first service project, which let me tell you was crazy. I wish I could have brought my camera. So we climbed up this lady's house onto her roof, and then used this stick thing to pick challotes from her trees. There were limes that were as big as small watermelons. Guys, Mexico is crazy. You just chill on roofs, and pick challotes and limones that are ginormous. But then for the exchanges we tried to visit a lot of people that weren't home, and then found Brian who is now a new investigator for Elder Alva.

I'm sorry to tell you all that I've been converted. Not from Mormonism, but the Coke here is way better than Dr.Pepper in Texas. I'm sorry. 

Also tortillas de maiz are better than those de harina. I bought a KILO of tortillas today for 12 pesos. That's like 75 cents. A KILO OF TORTILLAS. I love Mexico.

Also speaking of conversion, I had my first interaction with testigos de jehovah. The first one was quite grosero but the couple we talked
to were nice about why I'm going to hell.  We made a trade. 

My favorite food is now sopa de fideo. Everyone google it and eat it. It's delicious. We eat it quite often with members. Speaking of eating with members I had my first meal in a restaurant in Mexico. We went to eat at a sister's house and she was like here's 100 pesos. So we ate at a restaurant and they served alphabet soup. Alphabet soup. Also spaghetti and pork but alphabet soup. It was so funny. 

I have a permanent chichon. A chichon...I can't remember how you call it in English but you know when you hit your heard super hard and have a lump? Well Mexicans are pretty short so every doorway I slam my head on because I'm too tall. 

There are dogs EVERYWHERE. Everyone owns a dog and there are millions of dogs just on the streets EVERYWHERE. 

So here the concept of agua is pretty weird. Agua is not water. Agua simple, or agua natural is water. Agua means limonada or horchata or jamaica or however you spell it it's weird but delicious. 

So to my family and anyone else who has visited Jamaica or somewhere like know those crazy people that walk in the street while all the cars are doing whatever they want and almost dying? That's now me. Trust me. It makes sense. You just kinda go for it and hope they slow down. 

Okay everyone this is crazy: so ya know the story 4th floor last door? Well now I have my own, and it's 5th floor 2nd to last door. We knocked every door in unidad las trancas edificio 14 and finally someone answered that 2nd to last door and so are gonna teach them on

I saw a Mercedes G Class which was weird. 

Also met a man with a toe for a thumb. 

Also met a man who I contacted and then at the end of the contact he started speaking English and I didn't understand what he was saying. It was super weird. 

Okay, funny story...we went to visit a member and we were waiting outside his house and there was a kid who had a shank around his neck. He starting to come towards us and I'm about to freak out and he's like "you guys waiting for Gustavo? He just ran some errands he'll be back soon." We started talking to him and compa asked what the shank was, turns out it's a probe to work on cars. 

Almost out of time so last thing I gave my first talk this past Sunday. We got a call on Saturday night that the people cancelled so they asked us if my compa and I could speak? 10 minutes each is good. We arrive on Sunday and he's like so you guys are ready to speak 15 minutes each right? And that's the story of my first talk in Mexico. 

Baptism update: none yet, but 1 this Sunday,and then FOUR next Saturday if they keep their commitments. 

I hope you all are doing great. I miss you guys, but Mexico is legit! 

Con Amor, your favorite elder, Elder Jones

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

surprise email

hola todos! odio hablando ingles porque necesito cambiar mi manera de
pensando y es super dificil. pero, today es medio p day entonces we
get to write again. no tengo fotos porque ill get robbed if i take out
my camera. pero esta bien the lord is looking out for me if i just be
smart. lets start with alma y fatima, ellos son super buenos and at
first i think she thught i was dumb bc i cant speak spanish but by the
end she was more impressed and could feel the spirit. the showers
estan frios and it just kinda drips out the faucet so im building lots
f character. btw this is one of the higherst baptizing missions in the
world. su nombre es la gran mision, o barco de la bandera. i bught
some churros yesterday which were amazing, and i also bought some
mazapan which is my new favorite. yesterday we ate at la casa de
hermana resendiz y we had sopa de fideo, picadillo, y ensalada de
manzanas and it was THE BEST FOOD EVER. after that we talked with her
and her daughter and shared a short mensaje, and then when we asked if
there was anything we could do they asked t give the daughter of
blessing because she has cancer. when mi compa asked her wh she wanted
to anoint and who to bless, she asked me to bless her. i was so scared
because i do not speak spanish. so i did it and i felt el don de
lenguas working on me and it was so crazy but she was so thankful
after. thats about all for today. no pictures because its too
dangerous to take my camera out. ill try and get some by the end of
the week! we have hopefully 6 baptisms lined up by the end of this
month! i love this gspel and in all honesty its un poco peligroso
aqui. pero yo se que el senor va a protegernos. i know im here to do
his work and like abinadi, no one can harm me until i have delivered
my message. so for at least these two years i will be protected by
heavenly father. were off to comida, so pray for me that its not too
spicy!! les amo muchisimo, cuidense!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Letter from President Grossen

Dear Jones Family,
     We want to let you know that Elder Jones arrived safe and sound here in the Mexico City West Mission.  We are grateful to have him here!   He and the other 15 new missionaries arrived on Monday morning.  It was a busy day; introductions, orientation and training, breakfast and lunch, pictures, and then meeting his training companion and his first assignment.  Elder Jones and Elder Sanchez, from Chihuahua, Mexico, then headed to their proselyting area in Tezozomoc, Culturas, Mexico City.
     Thank you for sending Elder Jones to our Mission.  We look forward to two great years together with your good son.

President and Sister Carl D. Grossen
Mexico City West Mission

Monday, October 10, 2016

First Day in Tezozomoc!

This is probably the most terrifying thing I've ever done. I'm in the back corner of some tiny little store with two computers that work, I wish you could see. Presidente Grossen is super cool. Mi companero es Elder Sanchez and he's from Colonia Juarez. He's really nice, he kinda has a lisp though so he's a little hard to understand.

This keyboard is really hard to type on. 

I wish I knew more Spanish. 

We have three appointments tonight and I don't know what were going to teach or what's happening or anything. Apparently we have a baptism this Saturday maybe so well see what's up with that. We got lost on the way to our casa which was fun, our taxi driver had never been there. We're in a super poor area it's crazy the difference in life here. 

The last few days in the CCM were pretty chill and really spiritual, especially Sunday was great. The CCM is a sheltered wonderland compared to real mexico. The 'o' buttn barely wrks, neither does the l. 

A dog is sniffing me right now. 

I'm not sure what else to write now but everyone pray for me because I definitely need it here.

​I guess this s where I sleep?

 Persnal study space

​I guess yu can call this a living room. Todo que necesito es la plancha entonces voy a sobrevivir.

My maestros vargas y acosta

That's all for today! I am most definitely terrified right now but despite all those feelings I could not be more stoked to be here. I know this gospel is true and it has helped me so much in my life and I know no greater happiness comes than through this gospel. I love the Lord and am so grateful for the opportunity to serve Him. I know that through the power of Christ's Atonement we can do all things. I love you all and want you to know what I know! 

Have a great week, hasta luego, 
Elder Jones

P.S. - I am in Tezozomoc, Mexico City

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

only 5 more days of this sheltered little world

hola todos! voy a tratar y hablar en español por un poco tiempo y ustedes pueden tratar y entender qué estoy diciendo!! JK...Typing in Spanish takes way too long. Literally it's only been four days guys so pretty much nada pasó. However generla conference was this past weekend and we watched all five sessions so I have 15 pages of notes!! It was crazy. For those of you who don't know what general conference is, we have it twice a year and the prophet and his apostles and other church leaders speak to us about what they feel we should hear. It's broadcast online and on tv as well. We kept talking about what we really liked and people would ask what my favorite talk was but there were literally so many that I cannot choose, so I'm gonna try and share some of my most favorite parts. I won't give who said what because that's gonna take a lot of time but just phrases that I really liked. One was "what shall we give in return for so much?" and "here i am doing what i can but am i trying hard enough?" I think it's a good thing to think about on a daily basis. Another really good one was "if i love the savior more will I suffer less?" and the answer is that no we can't avoid entirely our trials and tribulations but  we can find more peace and joy in our sorrows through the savior. That was super interesting to think about. Another thing I liked is that "our loving god is only so close as a prayer away" or something like that but it's so true and I've experienced it here in the mission so far. One of my favorite things was about Joseph Smith "Joseph did not let his questions paralyze his faith, but he turned to the scriptures for answers" and this is such a strong piece of advice. So often people let their faith falter without doing anything about it and Elder Rasband gave a great talk on protecting our faith. If we turn to the scriptures and ask in fervent prayer then we can solve our doubts. Something we should all think about is how "he had paid attention to my voice, but i paid no attention to His" and this is so true with the Savior and the whisperings of the spirit. We hear promptings all the time but how often do we act on them?? They're only there for our benefit. "He believed in me at a time i didn't believe in myself." The Savior is always rooting for us, he's there for us when we're not even there for ourselves and I'm so grateful for that. There's so much more I could talk about....that's like only the Saturday morning session!!! Everyone should go and watch all the sessions they're amazing. Also the same invitation as last week....everyone go read the Book of Mormon. It'll change your life!!! Another quote from conference is "as she looked to the book, she was led to the lord" speaking about a woman who started reading the Book of Mormon. I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and it has changed my life. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and I know that with every fiber of my being. There is no other place on earth that God would rather me be than right here in Mexico City. I'm so excited to be out in the field and start changing lives!!

I almost forgot! We got our filtered water bottles on Tuesday which was legit and I leave on a bus to my mission Monday morning at 6am!! The president is gonna come swoop us from the ccm so I'm pretty stoked!! les amo personas bellas!!!! tengan una buena semana!!!

​This is elder clawson he just left the ccm. He baptized his girlfriend in june, which is legit!

Elder Cluff was the district leader of 12a. He's pretty much my favorite person outside of our district.

Elder Skidmore is super goofy but he matured a lot here in the ccm. He also left this past Monday.

Elder Schwieger and Elder Romero were having a moment, idk why Schwieger was in my bed but its whatever

Enjoy this wonderful close up of my face but the point is: on Wednesdays we wear pink.

Look at this beautiful Mexican day and Elder Butterfield also​

It's only been like 4 days since you've heard from me so there's not much to say. We watched every single session of conference along with music and the spoken word and I took 15 PAGES OF NOTES. I felt very inspired but there were so many good things that we heard from the prophet and apostles. I'll share a lot of my notes in the group email so everyone can be inspired. Literally like nothing has happened the past four days. I don't know what to write about. I got an "actual" prescription like the doctor wrote it but he said he's not recognized here but the people always fill them anyway. We got our filtered water bottles and we leave at 6:30am Monday morning, our mission president is coming to pick us all up from the CCM. I think there's about 10 or 15 of us going out to our mission. We have to sing a musical number in sacrament because we're leaving so I'm playing come thou fount and we're all singing in Spanish. It's gonna be super cool. I've decided to buy a Book of Mormon and I'm going to mark every reference of Christ. There's like some instructions in preach my gospel for an idea but I'm gonna do that. uhh honestly I can think of nothing else even remotely exciting. We taught a boyfriend/girlfriend "investigators" and it was the hardest thing ever. They weren't real but we had been teaching Alex for a while and then we invited his wife and they're separated and not actually married and she's hardcore catholic and it was pretty rough to teach them. It was hard. He's getting baptized and we finally got her to say she would be baptized IF she felt it was right for her. That was tough. Elder Shumway just got here and there's like 7 or 8 of us total from Frisco here right now?? It's really cool we're representing Texas. I think that's all for now. I'm just gonna share a bunch of my notes in the group email and pictures, but I love you! Maybe I'll write you guys on Monday... maybe not until the following Monday. I dont know! But I'll see you guys at Christmas! Talk to you soon!