Tuesday, January 31, 2017

i cut my toenails again

No, we didn't baptize, but they were getting really long.

This week was pretty dope. I actually have some legit lessons to tell you about, but first I'll share some other things. If you don't think the #seclife is pesado, let me tell you. Tuesday all day we were super busy until around 11:30 at night preparing for two multi zone conferences happening on Wednesday and Thursday. We were out for 11 hours Wednesday and 11 hours Thursday running around preparing for the conferences and then attending the conferences and then cleaning up after the conferences. Friday we had a meeting at 9am, then went straight out of the meeting to immigration. We then went back to the offices and had another meeting for a few hours, missed the comida (lunch)...by this time it's 5 already and we have to start preparing for the next meeting on Tuesday. Then we had to go back to immigration again. That's just an example of what my week is like.

Friday afternoon we needed to go back to immigration because you can only do certain things during certain times. We got stood up because I forgot my green card. That was pretty miserable but we will just go again sometime this week. Anyway, we get in the taxi to go home when Elder Bennion gets a call. He starts speaking in English which was a little weird but not really, and then his jaw just drops. I am trying to hear what he's saying but I cant so I give up and wait for him to finish. He finally gets off the phone and just looks at me for a minute and says "some guy in the Lomas Ward (English speaking ward) just got shot". I could not believe this just happened. He was robbed and they shot him. He's all okay and no problems now, but it made me think about perhaps how close I was to that, and it kinda makes you think about how good you are with God. Have I done enough? Am I good right now? Just makes you think a bit. I invite you all to think as well....if you went right now, would you be okay??

On to a happier note, I bought a rubiks cube this week. I can now say that I know how to solve a 2x2 and a 3x3 rubiks cube. 
I MADE CINNAMON ROLLS. I almost blew up the house turning on the oven. The oven is a gas oven. To turn it on you have to press the clicker to light it but it wasn't lighting. Elder Bennion had this great idea to light a paper towel on fire and use it as a match. I get the gas going in the stove and we light the paper towel, and he puts it near the opening in the oven and BOOM it lights and a flame shoots out of the oven. I almost had to part ways with my eyebrows, but the cinnamon rolls turned out great so I say it was definitely worth it

One night this week we get to our house around 10:30pm after a late night in the offices. We went to open the lock on the gate to get in and it was locked. There's an inner door, and the only way to lock and unlock it is from the inside until the electric number button system thing is installed. Anyway, we got a new neighbor and her first night there she decided to put the bolt on so we can't get in. I start slamming on the door in the hopes that she will hear but no one answers. I call president and explain the situation and he says to call the dueno. Elder Bennion calls the dueno and he says he's going to call the neighbor. While this is all going down she finally answers the door. Turns out she didn't even hear the phone because it was off....she just got sick of hearing us bang on the door. She lets us in her house and we trade phone numbers so it doesn't happen again. We learn that she is Jewish...she's super legit and nice and we're friends now.

Most of the rich people around where we live are Jewish. Our chapel used to be owned by some Jewish people....until the church bought it.

​the view from the roof

​I'm pretty sure I mentioned Hortencia last week. Anyway, because of all our meetings we couldn't visit her after Monday, so Saturday night we decided to go back to try and visit a bit. She said she was sorry but that she couldn't receive us. She told us that her yerno doesn't like us, but that we should come back next week! We persisted with no luck. We said our goodbyes and that we would see her at church tomorrow! So, we went off to find more people. We search for a few houses and keep getting lost and finally find a member on the street who tells us the person we're looking for lives like 5 HOUSES DOWN FROM HORTENCIA. So, we go visit them (they're members....just wanted a nice member lesson). We knock on the door, walk in, and the first thing that is said to us is "I'm bad. Can you give me a blessing?" and so first thing we give a blessing. I thought it was crazy we showed up in that moment when this sister needed a blessing. BUT it gets crazier. As we begin to talk with the family and see how they are we are interrupted by a--knock knock knock on the door. They open, and IT'S HORTENCIA. HORTENCIA CAME TO THE HOUSE WE WERE AT AND DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WE WERE THERE. If you don't think that God's hand was in this I don't know what to tell you. She decided to stop by to bring the sick hermana some fruit. We jumped on it and were like "hey just stay a little while while we share something!" And she said yes! We were able to have a lesson with her and it was just so amazing that God put her right there so that we could talk with her more. Have the faith people. Miracles exist.

We had a lesson with a Japanese lady yesterday in THREE different languages. We left the English ward early because a sister asked us to come to the comida early. We sit down to eat and the Bishop of the English ward calls. Elder Bennion asks me if I remember those Japanese girls that were at church today. The bishop told Elder Bennion that one of them isn't a member and wants us to teach her more right now. We book it back to the capilla for this lesson. We find her and have a lesson with her in the kitchen. We start speaking in English. Her friend that brought her speaks Japanese and some English and no Spanish. We eventually ask the lady if she feels more comfortable in Spanish or English, and she was like "you guys speak spanish?" We then started speaking in Spanish and she translated what we said into Japanese for her friend. She had no concept of God or Jesus Christ. It was completely different and so difficult to teach her but she craved knowledge. It was so great. She told us she was going to study up and we're going to meet again in two weeks.  I'm pretty stoked. I love the new experiences I'm having here and that I can just help people. I'm not even talking about just baptizing people, but just helping them in their life to feel more happiness....just like I know I've gained from the gospel and from having Christ in my life. It's so crazy when I look back and see the difference between the dark and the light that consumed and then illuminated my life as I transitioned from making bad to good choices. Hopefully all of you can see those things too, the difference in our lives when we're trying to be good and better and the best choices, and really focus on what matters. I think having an eternal perspective, seeing beyond this life and the things of this world is when we really see true happiness in our own lives.

Love you guys lots, I hope you miss me as much as I miss ya'll. I appreciate all of you who still email me!! It's nice to hear how things are every week. Remember: the church is true, Jesus saved us, and he's the key to our happiness. 

Mexico is legit. Love you guys, cuidense, hasta la proxima semana

The Elder Jones

Monday, January 30, 2017

seminary question

From Mom:
Quick question...I am teaching about the beginning of Pauls mission tomorrow in seminary. The lesson specifically asks to relate examples of challenges that missionaries sometimes encounter....can you give me an example one or two and then how you overcame them or how they affected your missionary work. These kids love hearing from you. They think you are so awesome!

Elder Jones repsonse:
Sorry to bring this up again, but I think getting robbed twice in 4 weeks is a pretty solid example. But it's really just learning to accept God's plan, and this applies in any part of life but I really learned it here. The other is really just how hard the work is in general, and each part of the mission has different pieces of work that are harder, but then you've gotta remember why you're working, your purpose and stuff, and why you've committed to be here. I read something about having to recommit yourself more than once in the mission and I've already done it a few times

Monday, January 23, 2017

crazy week bro

This week was so ridiculously crazy.  

I guess I'll start with our surprise trip to the CCM. Wednesday morning around 7:10am I get a phone call from President Grossen. He says, "Hey Elder Jones turns out an Elder got here from Argentina last night at 7pm, and he stayed the night in the airport. He decided to hop in a taxi and go to the CCM. Can you guys go pick him up? Can you be there by 8:30am? Alright, thanks bye". I just sat there on the edge of my bed like what just happened. We hurry and get ready in like 15 minutes and ship out to the CCM and it takes forever to get there. We get lost and when we do finally get there they won't let us in. Security there is so tight. I literally took off my badge and showed it to the guy and he finally let us in. 😂We head on in and go straight to reception. There are some people from church travel already there....which I thought was weird. We talk to them and they tell us that, "Elder "so and so" isn't here right now but he'll be back in about 30 minutes". They proceed to tell us that he shouldn't be here anyway, that no one knew he was coming, and that he was illegal. He was being sent back to his country that same night. 

While at the CCM we went to the tienda and I bought a mini Preach My Gospel and some new scripture cases!! (my old ones got stolen) I bought a new fancy backpack to replace the one that again, was stolen. The best part of going back to the CCM is that we ran into our Bishop (he works there). I asked him if he knew where my teacher (from my time at the CCM) was, and while we were talking my teacher recognized my voice and walked out. It was so great to see him! After that we left to go home and got super lost again because taxistas don't know where they're going most the time. 

In the offices we order fast food a lot because we can never get out. There's so much work to do. This week we ate Dominos probs three times, Quiznos, and Wing Stop, so I'm pretty fat and it's pretty legit.

I finally got to teach a lesson again today, and it was super amazing. Both my companion and I were pretty nervous because we haven't taught in a long time. We showed up and started by just talking and becoming friends with Hortencia. She tells us lots of personal stuff. We begin our lesson by saying a prayer. Elder Bennion offers the prayer and prays specifically for her kids and grand-kids. In the middle of the lesson the phone starts ringing and she goes to pick it up. When she gets off the phone she tells us about how this past week no one has heard from one of her kids and no one knew where he was or what he was doing, but it was just him that called. She started crying and thanking us for our prayer. It really was a testament of the power of prayer for me. It's so crazy how powerful prayer really is and what it can do for us. In 3 Nefi 18, from verses 15 to 20 or something like that...it says that if we pray for something that's righteous, and we have the faith it will happen, then it'll happen. Today I saw that firsthand and it was so amazing. I invite everyone to just keep praying really hard. I know that if we have the faith, if it's part of the plan, that it'll happen. One of the coolest things I've ever heard is that there are blessings just waiting on us...all we have to do is ask for them, so if we ask we can receive them! So lets ask this week.

Love you guys a lot, miss you a ton too....and have fun with a new president!

Elder Jones

Attachments area

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

just another week in the offices

Quite honestly, there is nothing to say about this week. The office life is about the same thing over and over and over again for multiple hours a day. So this email will be pretty short.

As secretaries we live and work really close to all the senior missionary couples serving in Mexico. Our mission offices and the area offices of Mexico are down the street and around the corner from where all the senior couples live. So we get to know them pretty well. It's super cool. Some times we eat with the Senior couples which is really cool. Some of them grew up in the Mormon colonies. It's super weird because they're white but they grew up speaking Spanish and in Mexico. We get the best of both worlds. The first time we ate with a senior couple that grew up in the colonies we had a nice Mexican guisado. It was like eating with any other Mexican family. But yesterday we ate with the Messerly couple and we had rolls and mashed potatoes and roast. It was soooo good and we spoke English which was so weird. Anyway, life is good in the offices.

Today we ordered Dominos pizza because it's "pday" (pday really doesn't exist for secretaries)...that was extent of it.

I finally got up on our roof of our apartment complex last night! It was so legit to see all the buildings around. Mexico City is so pretty.

This week I was reflecting on what I've done in the mission up to now. It's not a whole lot really, but I have had a lot of different experiences that I've learned SO much from, and I'm so grateful for them. I was telling some senior missionaries about my two transfers, two robberies, and two baptisms and thinking about how really that doesn't sound like two great first transfers. But then I started thinking about how Heavenly Father has this perfect plan for every single one of us. He knows exactly what we need in every moment that we need it, and he's going to give it to us in those moments. I've really learned to appreciate that God's timing is not our timing. That He really is the one that knows. We think we know, but we don't. A scripture comes to mind, Proverbs 3:5-6....I remember the first time I read those scriptures. I remember thinking that, "wow, maybe I really don't know everything"....because we all know that I may or may not think that I'm the smartest person on the planet sometimes...but really, I'm not. I can accept that. I love that the mission has taught me humility and to accept the will of God. We have to go with his plan, because He knows. I love this church and this plan that we all have in our lives. I love that he knows, and if we can learn to accept that then we'll have a greater understanding of our purpose in this life.

Love you guys! Stay safe

Elder Jones

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

the cube life

Hello family and all, it's just another day here at the cube farm with Elder Bennion from farmtown Utah.

There's honestly not much to write about unless you'd like me to detail how to organize a retention report or do a canje or renew a visa because that has consisted of my week.

Or I can tell you how to take out a voting credential.

We are in the super fancy part of Mexico City (its called Polanco) and we went to Costco!!! We bought lots of stuff for the house because it's a new house. I also bought stuff to make homemade bread....so that's exciting. I also bought 4 pounds of sour worms.

I got sick again this week....like really sick, like never thrown up so much in my life sick. Saturday night I didn't sleep a ton, and was throwing up until around 8 o clock Sunday morning. I really didn't want to miss church, so one of the senior couples brought me some medicine. I tried resting all that morning and then made it to the offices at 12 to finish up some work so I could get to church at 1. At around 12:30 we got a call from the sister that was going to feed us that day. I was really worried about it because I had orders to eat basically nothing, but she called us and asked us what we wanted to eat (which never happens). I was able to tell her just some chicken soup because I'm still pretty sick. For me this was a tender mercy from the Lord. In 1 Nephi 1:20 we learn about those tender mercies. I feel like if we focus on those tender mercies from Him life will be a lot better. We start to count all those blessings that we do have in life instead of focusing on all the hard or bad parts. It's hard, but I know if we can do that that we'll have more happiness and be able to focus on what really matters. 

Love you guys lots...everyone stay safe.  Talk to you guys next week.

Elder Jones

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

the secretary life

Say hello to the new executive secretary of the Mission Ciudad de mexico Oeste. Saturday morning I got a call that said "Elder Jones you're getting a new area! You're gonna work in Palmas!" and I was like "but the secretaries work in Palmas..." and he said "you'll be the new secretary to President Grossen! We need you right now to start training so pack up and come to the offices". That was pretty crazy. Normally new secretaries end their transfer two weeks early and go to the offices to start training, but I got two days. Basically I have no idea what I'm doing, but it's casual. 

I now live in a house that is the fanciest in the mission. We have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. My bathroom here is nicer than my bathroom in Texas. 

Right next to the offices (where I work) is a chapel. Two wards meet there, Palmas y Lomas. Palmas is a normal Spanish ward, just with lots of rich people, and Lomas is AN ENGLISH WARD. I WENT TO CHURCH IN ENGLISH ON SUNDAY. I almost didn't like it. It was really weird, but it was also kinda cool. 

I'm not sure what all to say...basically I'm brain dead from all the work I've had to do. I have a smart phone now, it's for all the work I have. I talk on the phone for much time of the day.

I'll give you all a description of my job real quick and brief, and then I have to go: 1.) I'm in charge of all of Presidents calendar and schedule all his meetings and everything he does 2.) I do almost everything for all the people who leave, meaning buy their plane tickets, organize their itineraries and "bye bye packets" and am kinda in charge of them the day before they leave. Also we take them to the airport at 3am, like this morning. I got two hours of sleep last night. Gotta love the offices #cubelife 3.) I deal with a bunch of number reports from the missionaries, so i filter and organize all the numbers they give and then print them out for President and the meetings he has with all the stakes here. 4.) I'm in charge of all the cellphones in the mission, if they break or are stolen, ordering new ones, and i also get to stalk all the missionaries and their cellphone records if president asks me. 5.) about a million other small things that are different around the mission that just add to the tediousness and 6.) the most important is that I'm in charge of every single persnos passport and visa. When they expire I have to renew them. I have to find visas for people who come to Mexico. I do all the paperwork, going to immigration like...three times, making sure nothing gets lost, it's all pretty stressful sometimes. That's my new job....

Final thing I want to share. Abraham 3:22-23...I love how it talks about the great and noble spirits. We can all be great and noble spirits if we live up to what we've been foreordained to do. I love how God says to Abraham "you've been chosen, you're one of those spirits". We've all chosen to come here. I think because of that we also are considered chosen. That's not something we should take to our heads and be super proud about, but it really feels like an honor for me, especially as a missionary called of God, to be able to do this. Let's all be chosen this year, and do what he asks. I love you guys so much! And miss you! Enjoy 2017, and make it a super awesome year. Hasta luego mis amigos, cuidense

Elder Jones

Monday, January 2, 2017

short email

Hello to everyone. Today is Monday January 2nd. Just a quick email because I'm not actually gonna write you guys until Wednesday because of what I'm about to tell you. So in the mission there are 4 really important missionaries: the two assistents, then the secretary to the president, and then the financial secretary. I'm now the secretary to the president and so I basically run the mission (more or less.) so normally they get two weeks to train so they end their transfer two weeks early to start training but they called me Saturday morning so I learned everything in the past two days. I'll write you on Wednesday cause I'm super busy. But the sec life is the good life, just so you know. Except we never sleep. Love yall, adios cuidense