Tuesday, June 27, 2017

oops i did it again

Oops I didn't have time to write a group email again, but I will leave you all a picture of a beautiful pig foot that I ate this week: 

Love you guys!!!! The work is good and I am safe. Pray for me so that we can baptize someone or help someone to change a tire this week. We need some more work! Have a great week everyone and hopefully you don't have to eat a pig foot (it wasn't the tastiest).

Love, Elder Jones

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

the water was cold?...my bad

I just want to start off by saying that I'm only slightly upset that no one notified me that USA and Mexico were going to play last night or even that they played. But it's okay. Now I know that they tied. 

We baptized again this week. Tianguistenco is a great area with a lot of potential and the people here are just so great. The point of my subject title is that I turned on the font and it's not like the states where you just turn on the hot one and hot water comes out. You've got to close the drain, turn on the boiler (this alone takes Albert Einstein and 4 US presidents and a prophet to find out how to do it), figure out which key is the hot one, then depending on the font you've got to do some trampa to get it to come out good. Fact of the matter is, I didn't know how to do the trampa to get it to come out good so at first it came out hot, and then later it turned freezing cold. How did we find it it turned freezing cold? My companion and Mari (the convert) got in and about died of hypothermia. Oops. 

Wow I look really tan. I'm becoming more Mexican. That's what the pueblos do to you. The ward is just AMAZING here tbh. We have so many good friends and the work is good. Don't get me wrong it's not like life is easy but I've seen so many blessings here. This week one of the greatest seminary teachers of all time (Sister Womack) sent me a quote that her son Ethan who's serving in El Salvador sent her. He said, 
"On a serious note, it really is a privilege to be a missionary.  Lately I've been enjoying all the little experiences and moments that I've been having.  The little things, like sitting on the ground drinking water and talking with my companion.  Like be around missionaries that I have served with and love and have come to be some of my closest friends.  Like feeling the gentle voice of the Spirit in a lesson.  I have come to realize that success on the mission can't be measured in numbers.  It is very important to work with goals and strive to achieve them, but success on the mission comes from inner conversion.  It comes from loving where you serve and giving every ounce of energy to the work.  It comes from being humble and patient and obedient.  2 years is a long time.  It goes by fast.  I'm glad that I am blessed enough to be a missionary.  I know that everything that I have learned and felt here will stay with me for the rest of my life and longer.  I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything in the world.  Its not easy.  It has never been easy and it never will be.  But it is worth it. "
This is an area that I've learned to love. I'll be honest, there are times when I still struggle to be 100% diligent or 100% obedient, but Elder Womack's words reflect my feelings. It's hard having to report numbers several times a week and not seeing a whole lot in the technical side of what you're doing especially when you feel so good about your week. But it's really not about how many new people we've found, or how many we baptized, or how many came to church, it's about the spirit that we feel as we teach and as we help others. The mission is tough, but like Elder Womack said, "it is worth it"

It's so crazy that this is already the last pday of this change! Next Monday I could be in a different area or have a different companion, but we're about to see! 

Last Monday was my companions birthday. There's a tradition in Mexico called "la mordida". Basically the whole point is to try and take a bite out of the cake without someone else slamming your face in it. My companion lost the game and ended up with cake all over his face. One of these days I'll send the video home.

The same family that slammed Elder Matchett's face in the cake also has a tradition of telling the new elders fake horror stories (that become more believable when you're a missionary and live in Mexico). They scared me and my companion so much. 

Elder Matchett and I have started a video series. This video series is of weird tacos you can eat. The first video in the series is tacos of tongue. Video soon to come. Other videos in the series will be: tacos of brain, tacos of eye, tacos of cheek, tacos of trompa (still haven't figured out how to translate that one). Also I tried mollejas this week. I never knew what they were and didn't know what I had eaten until after the fact. Basically it's all the stomach and liver and intestines of the chicken. Now I can say that there are two foods I've tried on the mission that I will never willingly eat again. Eggplant and mollejas. 

Jonathan left our ward this week. Jonathan was probably my best friend. He kind of speaks English but not really. I took a picture with him to celebrate our friendship. I'm sad that he's gone.

Other food news: I tried a chupacabra this week. This is different than the goat sucker. There's a local de tacos by the house. We go there so much (at least once a day) that the people who work there have become good friends with us. They have this torta (huge sandwich thing) that's HUGE. It's called teh chupacabra. It has every single ingredient in the store on one single sandwich:

milanesa, jamon, salchicha, queso amarillo, queso oaxaca, queso de puerco, chorizo, piƱa, cebolla, rajas, aguacate. I'm pretty sure some other stuff but that's what I remember. All I have to say is that I will probably not buy it again. There is such a thing as too much meat.

Yesterday I tried pancita for the first time. In Texas we call it menudo. I must say, it is not my favorite thing in the world. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's cow stomach. 
Something that tastes even worse than cow stomach would be mollejas....that's chicken stomach. hard pass

Yesterday we celebrated my birthday. I don't know why because my birthday is in April, but anyway they slammed my face in a cake. My mom will be uploading the video to facebook.

We walked into the chapel on Sunday to find 6 white people in the entrance. My companion said "they were some really white Mexicans". I then let him know that they were in fact some very white Wyomingans. Turns out one of them had served here 22 YEARS ago and he came back to say what's up. #dope
One thing that I loved from this past week is that Abi (Abinadi) who is the bishopric counselor in charge of the missionary work here asked us what our objective is as missionaries. Of course we said, "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to..." and so on and so forth. He said great great, but really why are you hear? We said to baptize, teach, to save souls, help others, the whole nine yards...we laid it out for him. He said that's all great and that's all true, but no. Missionary work is a work of creating eternal families. I love that phrase so much. Missionary work is not a work of baptizing, or teaching, or showing service, or helping, but is a work of creating eternal families. That is so true. More than anything, I'm here to help others to be able to have an eternal family. On a little plaque in our house back in Texas it says, "a missionary is someone who leaves there family for a little time, so that others can be with their families forever." I have such a strong testimony of the family. It's something that the world today is trying to destroy and diminish and say it doesn't matter. I know that it's SO important. I'm so grateful for the family I have. I'm so grateful for my dad. (because it's father's day this Sunday even in Mexico) Without them, and without the example of especially my Dad in this case, I would not be writing this email right now because I wouldn't be a missionary. I'm eternally grateful for what our Heavenly Father does, for what my earthly Father does, and I know that right now I'm learning how I can some day be a great father for my children. I know that through this gospel we can live with our families for ever. The only way to do it is through this gospel. And that no matter what happens, the family will be together forever, and that's what I'm here to teach.

I love you guys so much! Happy Father's day to all the dads out there!! You guys rock (even though you're too strict sometimes but it's for the better) Cuidense mucho, y les amo!!

Elder Jones

Monday, June 5, 2017

This week was pretty good, we struggle in the work but ya know were pushing on. It's crazy that it's been a year since my call, since the priesthood, since the temple, since graduation, and before we know it it'll be a year in the mission! I feel like once I have a year in the mission the time is just gonna fly by super fast and it'll all be downhill. favor: can you keep checking to see when the byu application opens up for fall 2018?? It should be in August I think sometime but who knows. I think I might go that fall right when I get back. I'm hoping that I'm changing, sometimes I just feel the same. I know that I've learned and progressed a lot but sometimes I just feel like same old Braeden. I know things are different but I' still waiting on that huge change that you see in missionaries. Yesterday we had stake conference and a 70 came and talked about the family and how we live in a world of so much communication and the communication between family members is being lost. And he talked about the importance of the family and how we'll always have the family. I loved that talk and it made me think about you guys and the future family I have and I think more than anything my testimony of the family has grown in the mission. because now I know what it's like to basically not have them. But anyway, i love you lots mom!!! Sorry my emails not too long but just wanted to shoot you something. If you send questions that also makes it easier haha. Anyway love you mom and miss you and we'll talk next Tuesday.