Sunday, December 27, 2009

Your Missionary Son

Dear family,

Hi we are the Bowen family. I am a member of the Seventy and am assigned here to the South America South Area as the Area President. Our area includes Argentina , Uruguay and Paraguay .

We have a tradition of going to the MTC here in Buenos Aires on Christmas day to spend some time with our wonderful young missionaries.

As we attended today we had the blessing of meeting, eating lunch and spending a few hours with your great missionary. He is doing well and we thank you for sending him to serve in this part of the world.

Merry Christmas,

Elder Shayne M. Bowen

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas ¡Feliz Navidad!

Dear Family,
¡Feliz Navidad! Today is our P-day. I´m sure you were probably
wondering why I didn´t write yesterday. Now you know why. This has been a
great week. I have learned a lot this week. We have been learning the
subjunctive tense. That is a hard tense to learn because there is no English
translation for it. I don´t like it. I think Nathan will agree with me that
it´s hard. We also learned passive voice. That´s not very easy either. There
are two ways to do passive voice. There is an easy way and a hard way. Of
course, the people here use the harder the most. Oh well, I´ll pick it up
Yesterday was a lot of fun. We took our group picture.
Unfortunately, we had to do it inside because it was raining outside.
Hopefully the picture turns out good. Classes were done at 4:30 yesterday.
That was so nice. I´m getting a little sick of class. Anyways, last night we
did a lot of stuff. We had a little devotional with Hermana Wilson about
some symbols of Christmas. It was cool how they all related to the Savior in
one way or another. We also shared the traditions that we have in our
families. I talked about going to the temple Christmas Eve. I also talked
about Grandma Jones singing Poncho Clause(I´m not sure how to spell that).
After that we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. I love that
devotional. It was really good. After that we got to go caroling around the
CCM. That was a lot of fun. A lot of people came and listened to us. It was
a very good day.
Today has been good so far. My district had Christmas together. We
all opened our packages together. It was fun. I´ll send some pictures home
eventually. Thanks for the gifts. The sweaters were great. Thanks for the
modified version of Green Eggs and Ham. It was a big hit in my district.
Whoever wrote that did a good job. The calender was great. It´s nice seeing
pictures of everyone. Thanks Jenny. The candy was equally great. The candy
here is alright, but it´s not like American candy. Thanks for everything. It
was great. The rest of the day should be great. A member of the Area
Presidency is coming to speak to us. We are also having a turkey lunch or
dinner today. Yum. We are also going to watch some other movies today.
On to the other stuff. Proselyting last week was good and bad at the
same time. It started off great. We had some good contacts. Then at about 1
or 2 it started raining hard. It was pouring. All I had was my umbrella.
That did´nt do much because it was windy as well. So within about 10 minutes
I was soaked. The rain kills everything. Nobody wants to talk on the
streets. Everybody goes inside. It´s not very fun. The biggest bummer of the
day was that we didn´t get to teach Poly. She never answered her door. We
went by her house 3 or 4 times. We were sad. We´re gonna have to turn her
over to the missionaries in that area. Hopefully she listens to them. It was
a hard day, but it was alos good. We had some very contacts. Next time we
are going to a new area. We will be there for two weeks. I only have two
proselyting days left here at the CCM. I leave January 5 at 4:30 in the
morning. I can´t believe how fast the time has gone by. I love it here, but
I can´t wait to get to Uruguay.
Thanks for writing me finally Valerie. Geez. Just kidding. It´s nice
that you get to be in Arizona for Christmas. I bet it feels good. I hope
James is doing well. It sounds like he´s becoming quite the handful. Lucky
you. Christmas here is defenitely different. It was still fun. Anyways,
thanks for everything.
Shelly, you finally wrote me. It´s about time. Thanks for the
pictures. They were great.It sounds like Travis is getting really big. Have
fun with that. Anyways, thanks for the letter. I enjoyed readig it. Tell
Brian to have fun in his new calling.
Jenny, thanks for the letter. I hope everything is going well for
you and Paul. It sounds like it is. Christmas has been good. We have a lot
that we are going to do today.Thanks for everything.
Thanks for the letters and for everything. This has been a great
week. Next week will be my last time writing from the CCM. Wow. Thanks again
for everything. Have a Merry Christmas. Don´t forget the meaning of
Christmas. You could think of Christmas as a Spanish word. Christ mas=more
Christ. So I´ll talk to you all next week. I love you all.

Elder Jones

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another letter from Elder Jones

This has been a good week. My disrtict is now the oldest district
here. I can´t believe I´ve been here for 6 weeks. I only have 3 weeks left.
The new missionaries got here today. There are 5 new North Americans and
they are going to my mission. I met one of my new roommates. He seems pretty
cool. He has some facial hair. I don´t know how he still has that. My other
roommate should be here today sometime. That´s enough of that.
Proselyting last Saturday was great, as usual. It was mostly better
because it wasn´t raining. It was bright and sunny, perfect proselyting
weather. We met a lot of people. We ran into some English speakers, once
again. We are so lucky with that. We got one referral. We going to try and
contact them this Saturday. We met most of our goals. The only goal we
didn´t meet was our referrals. We only got 1 instead of 2, but I still feel
we did a good job. The best part of the day was our cita with Poly. We had
to wait for a while, but she finally answered her door. There was a mix-up
with the times. It was a great lesson. She is very religious. Her 2 kids are
very important to her. She reads the Bible with her kids. She prays every
day. She is the perfect investigator. We taught her about the importance of
families and how the gospel blesses families. We also talked about the
Restoration, of course. (Funny story- While I was teaching her about the
Restoration, a mosquito supposedly landed on my head. The next thing I know,
she leans forward and smacks across the head. It was kind of scary. I don´t
even think she killed the mosquito. Oh well.) I really enjoyed the lesson.
We have another cita with her this Saturday. I´m excited for it.
The weather here is alright. It´s defenitely not winter time here.
It rains about twice a week.
Congratulations Cameron on getting your Arrow of Light. Have fun in
Boy Scouts. I have a few words of wisdom for you: don´t be lazy. When you
start a merit badge, keeping working on it until it´s done. Don´t start and
then stop because it´s hard to start working on it again. Just work hard.
You are not going to like it at times, but it´s worth it. When you´re at
your Eagle Scout Court of Honor, you´ll be glad you did it. Also, thanks for
the sports updates. It´s nice to know that our teams are doing well. I hope
your book is coming along well, also.
That´s too bad that Mesa lost, but at least they made it to the
state game. That´s a big accomplishment. They did a good job this year. They
went up against a lot of tough opponents and did a good job. Tell everyone
that they did a good job. Can you do that for me?
Thanks for the letter Emilie. I have only been here for 6 weeks and
I can tell that I am understanding quite a bit. I´d say about 75%. Speaking
is a different story. I´m getting better at it, but I still have a long way
to go. Tell Brisa hi for me. I hope she is feeling better.
Tell Grandma and Grandpa Jorgensen hi and thank you for me. The
package should be here this week or early next week. Thankyou. I guess
that´s about it for this week. Thanks for everything. I love you all. Talk
to you next week.

Elder Jones

Friday, December 11, 2009


Hola Familia,
This has been a good week. The weeks have been going by so fast. I
have four weeks left here. It´s crazy. The highlight of my week was
proselyting. We are in the same area for three weeks. We went there last
Saturday so we have two Saturdays left in that area. Last Saturday was good.
It rained all day though. No bueno. Anyways we go dropped off at the church.
My area was pretty far from the church. Elder Marchant and I started walking
in the general direction of our area. We got there about 45 minutes later.
The streets here are laid out so bad. I do not like that. So we finally got
to our area. We were really excited because we could finally set up
citas(appointments). We had to walk to the farthest part of our area because
the other part is pretty much commercial. The part we were in was pretty
residential. Those are the areas we like proselyte in. We clapped aty one
house and lady started talking to us through the window. Her name was Poly.
She said she was taking a test and told us to come back later. So we walked
around for a couple of hours and got some contacts and ate lunch. Then we
went back to that lady´s house. It turns out she has the lessons before,
about four years ago. We asked her if we could come by again and teach here
and she said yes. We are going to teach her on Saturday. That was one of two
citas that we set up. Our other cita was with a guy named Alejandro. We had
about 20 minutes before we had to start heading back and we wanted another
cita. We saw this guy cleaning out his car and went and talked to him. We
started teaching him and then he told he spoke English. That was great.
Elder Marchant and I seem to run into alot English speakers. Anyways, we
talked for about ten minutes. We tried giving him a Book of Mormon but he
said he already had one. That was a good sign. We challenged him to read
Moroni 10:4-5. Wer asked him if we could come back to teach him more. He
said yes but we have to call him the night before because he doesn´t know if
he´ll be around on Saturday. We are really excited. Please pray us and for
Poly and Alejandro.
This is part is for Emilie. On Monday Elder Zivic and his wife came
and talked to us. A member of the area presidency comes every three weeks
and he was the one that came this time. When I went to introduce myself I
was planning on telling him that he was my sister´s mission president.
Before I could say anything he and his wife both said, "You´re sister was in
our mission." They remember you very well. They told me to say hi for them.
He also talked about you a lot during his lesson. I didn´t understand too
much of what he was saying because he was talking in Spanish but I did
understand a little bit. He kept saying you were a good missionary. That´s
all I got from it. Anyways, I thought that was a cool experience.
Thanks for the email Valerie. I know what you mean. I don´t know why
people won´t listen to us. It makes me sad sometimes. However it will all
work out. All the poeple that don´t listen to us will eventually listen. I
was reading in Alma today about the Sons of Mosiah. I can´t remember the
chapter or verse but it was good. The Lord was telling them to be patient
and he would give them success. From now on I am going try hard to be
patient. I know that I will find the people I am supposed to teach. Oh, by
the way, I don´t have a picture of you guys. I would like one. Oh and keep
up the good work with haircutting.
It sounds like the ward party was fun. I wish I could have been
there. It sounded like the food was pretty good. I enjoy me some Greek food.
I hope you all had a ggod time.
Yay, Mesa is going to state. Too bad they didn´t do it last year. Oh
well. I hope they do well. I hope you all have a fun time at the game and
Cabelas. Tell everyone in the ward that are involved in football good luck
for me. I really hope they beat Hamilton. Hamilton has won it too many
times. It´s time for them to step aside.
I hope fishing was fun dad. I wish I could have been there. I miss
fishing. We´ll have to do a lot in two years. Tell Nathan to do a good job
with the lights. Our house needs to be the best on the street.
It is getting very hot here. Summer is on defenitely on its way. I
wish it was in the 50´s here. That would be nice. Thanks for sending the
package mom. I can´t wait to get it, and I promise I won´t open til
One more thing. On Sunday we watched a devotional that Elder Perry
gave at the Provo MTC October 27. As I was watching I saw Tyler in the
choir. I didn´t know he could sing. It was funny to see.
Thanks for everything. Thanks for helping me get to where I am
today. I love you all.

Elder Jones

P.S. I hope Cameron got the birthday letter I sent him. If he didn´t, tell
him Happy Birthday for me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Already

Dear Family,
I can´t believe it´s already December. I´ve bee here for a month. Wow. I´m
freaking out here. It´s December and it´s not cool outside. This going to
take some getting used to.
This has been a great week. My favorite part, by far, was proselyting. Last
Saturday was our first time going out for seven hours. That was our only
time going to that area. The next three times we go, we will be in the same
area. Anyways, there were only fourteen of us, all of the North Americans.
The new Latinos didn´t go because they didn´t know how to teach yet. We left
at ten. They drove us about a half hour away. We all got out and went our
ways. Elder Marchant and I were lucky because the drop off point was in our
area so we didn´t have to walk to get to our area. It was nice. So we walked
down the street and saw three guys sitting under a tree and decided to talk
to them. One of them wasn´t interested at all, one was a little interested,
and the last one was very interested. We gave him a Book of Mormon and got
his address and phone number. We told him we would send other missionaries
to him. That was a great way to start the day. After that we walked down a
street and stopped a guy who was doing some yard work. HIs last name was
Gustavo Paz. We talked to him for a few minutes and then gave him a folleto.
We got his information also and said we would send missionaries to him. I
wish we could have been in that area for more than week so we could have
taught those people. Oh well, as long as they get taught. We kept talking to
people for a couple of hours. We were handing folletos like they were candy.
It made up for the two previous weeks when we didn´t hand out very many. It
was great. After a couple of hours we were walking around trying to figure
out where we were. I don´t like how the streets are laid out here. It´s
pretty confusing plus they don´t have street names. They paint the street
names on the side of buildings. It´s so weird and annoying. Anyways we were
walking down a street and this huge dog started barking at us and coming
closer towards us. Normally I wouldn´t be nervous but the dogs here in
Argentina are crazy and this particular one was huge. Luckily this guy came
out and got rid of the dog. We walked over to him and I started talking to
him in Spanish of course. His name was Mario. He stopped me and said he
spoke English. That was awesome. We were able to say what we wanted to say
to him and actually express ourselves. He was very receptive. We got his
information also and told him that we would also send the missionaries to
him. Anyways, I think those are enough proselyting stories for now. I can´t
wait to go out this Saturday.
My Spanish is continually getting better. We had another English
fast yesterday. It was alot better than last week. I was able to say more.
That was nice. We have been practicing Lesson 2 this week. All the
companionships in my district can teach it pretty good. One of our teachers,
Hermana Davila, pushes us really hard. She is helping us to be good
teachers. She is really good at it. If she thinks we´re not teaching good
then she´ll tell us. She´s not afraid to say what she thinks. I´m glad she´s
our teacher because she helps us so much. So. all in all, the Spanish is
coming along.
I can´t wait to hear about the ward party. It sounds like it´s going
to be fun. It´s defenitely original. I´ve never heard of a ward doing that
before. Be sure to tell me all about it. I´m looking forward to it.
To answer your question Valerie, Christmas isn´t very important
here. The only decoration is a stuffed snowman in the cafeteria. It´s kind
of depressing. We sing Chrisrmas songs every day in class but that´s all we
do. We´ve been told that we´re going to be doing some stuff on Christmas but
we don´t know what yet. So, we´ll see how that goes.
Well I guess that about it for this week. Thanks for the package
mom. The ties were awesome. They are a big hit. The candy was also great.
It´s nice to have some American food. I´m saving that candy for a while. I
finally got my clip on name tag. That was nice to have. I now have four name
tags. They gave us a pocket one the day we got here but I don´t like it.
That´s why I said I only have one. Anyways, thanks for everything. Keep the
letters coming. I love letters. Talk to you all next week.

Elder Jones

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Dear Family,
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope it´s fun. I´m was sad this morning
because I didn´t get to go to the Turkey Bowl. That´s alright though because
we are goig to have today. All the North Americans have planned it. I´m
pretty excited because it´ll be a nice change from soccer. We play it every
day during Physical Activity time. It´ll be nice to play something
The new missionaries got here this morning. There are 22 new Latinos
and 5 new North Americans. I´m jealous because thier first meal was turkey
and mashed potatoes. My first meal was a spinach empanada thing. It was
gross. Anyways, I´m excited they´re here because now, I´m not the little one
anymore. I now know more spanish than someone else. It´s great. We were by
ourselves Tuesdat and Wednesday. It was so quiet and boring. On top of that
we had an English fast yesterday(Wednesday). That made it more boring
because no one in my district was really talking because we couldn´t speak
English. It was a hard fast. We´re going to do one again in a couple of
weeks. Maybe by then we´ll know more Spanish so we can speak with each other
Last Thursday all of the Buenos Aires missionaries got to go and
listen to Elder Bednar.I lied in my letter. I t wasn´t all of the Argentina
missionaries. It was a great experience. Elder Bednar let us ask him any
questions. There were some intense questions, but it was cool how he
answered the questions. The Spirit there was so strong. I loved it.
Hopefully I´ll be able to here a general authority again before I go home.
Funny story. At the meeting there was a translator so the Latinos could
understand. At the beginning Sister Bednar was talking and she had some
missionaries come up and bear their testimonies. One of them was from Utah.
He tried to start in English but he couldn´t remember anything so he ended
up saying it in Spanish. So the Spanish translator had to translate it into
English. It was really funny. I hope my Spanish is that good. I want to know
it so well that I forget how to talk in English.
This Saturday will be our first time going out proselyting for 7
hours. I´m really excited for that. It´s going to be a lot harder though. I
feel comfortable enough speaking in Spanish though. It should be a good
experience. We have been practicing really hard for it this week so
hopefully it goes well. Our teacher always tells us that as long as we have
the Spirit with us then we don´t have to worry. The words will be there.
This week, Elder Marchant and I have been praying for the Spirit alot and
we´re going to keep praying for the Spirit.
Tomorrow is Milestone Day. We have our last English one. After that
it´s all Spanish. It should be quite the experience. We know enough Spanish
to get by though so I´m not too worried.
I think that´s about it for now. If I think of more to say then I´ll
send a letter. I hope your Thanksgiving is great. I´m jealous I´m not there
but, I´ll live. Thanks for all the letters. I really look forward to
Thursdays because I can´t to read my emails and write home. I never knew how
important letters could be. Tell everyone to send me letters, especially
people from church. It´d be nice to here from them. I love it here and I
love being a missionary. Until next week, I love you all.

Elder Jones

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Week

Dear Family,

This has been a quick week. It seems like I just wrote to you yesterday. The
time is starting to go by quickly. I have just under 7 weeks left at the
CCM(MTC). I can´t wait to leave and go to Uruguay. The MTC is great I´m
really enjoying it. Everyonr here is so awesom. The Latinos are hilarious.
There is never a dull moment when they are around. The Spanish is coming
along good. It gets frustratng at times because the teahcers are just
throwing gobs and gobs of stuff at us. I´m taking it all in slowly but
surely. We´ve been working on lessoon one the last two weeks. Elder Marchant
and I can teach the first lesson without cards now, in Spanish of course. We
can´t say everything that we want to because we don´t have a big enough
vocabulary yet, but we know enough to get the point across. Pretty soon I
should be able to carry on a conversation with the Latinos without looking
like an idiot.

The CCM has bidets, but only on my floor. I used one. It was interesting,
that´s all I have to say.

Last Saturday we went proselyting. It was so cool. We all got different
areas throughout the city. Elder Marchant and I were about 10 minutes from
the temple. Our area was right next to the "NO ZONE". Missionaries aren´t
aloud there obviously. I really enjoyed it. In Argentina, almost every house
has a gate around it. Usually there is a doorbell on the mailbox. If there
isn´t we have to clap. Elder Marchant and I did that alot. The first house
we went to was a rejection, of course. We talked to a lot of people. We had
to use our cards though because our Spanish was still bad, but we did
alright. I can´t wait to go out this Saturday.

Today we are going to listen to Elder Bednar. He is in the area for a
mission conference. All the missionaries in Argentina get to listen to him.
I´m really excited to go. It will be cool to see all of the missionaries. We
weren´t even supposed to go but President Wilson made sure we goto to go.

I have a pretty interesting story. Elder Barrera, one of the Latinos here
was originally called to Romania. Then 5 days before he left, he got a
letter from President Monson saying his call had been switched to Urugauy. I
thought was cool because it confirms to me that we really go where we are

We sang our first Christmas song in class. We were all upset about it. It
was pretty funny.

I´m running out of time so I´ll say more in a letter home.

I love you all,
Elder Jones

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One week down

Hello everyone,
This has been quite the week. It has also been going by very slow. It´s
starting to go by faster now. Time to answer questions. I did bring some
melaleuca lotion. The spanish is coming along pretty good. We´ve learned the
first two principles of lesson one in spanish. We have also learned how to
testify, pray, greet someone, and invite them to church. It´s pretty hard
remembering everything because the teachers are constantly throwing it at
us. It´s still going pretty good though. I don´t remember if I told you, but
my companion in Elder Marchant. He is from Missouri. He´s a pretty good kid.
There are actually nine elders in my district, not five like I said before.
When I talking in the phone in Dallas, some more missionaries showed up.
Anyways, this Saturday we are going out proselyting for the first time. We
are only going out for two hours. We go out every Saturday. The first two
Saturdays are for two hours and then after that it´s for seven hours. I´m
really excited for that.
The food is pretty good. There have only been a few things that I didn´t
like. We had a zucchini casserole for lunch one day. It was gross. The
cereal isn´t very good, but I´ll survive. Other than that it´s been good.
All of the teachers don´t speak very good english so it can be pretty
interesting in class. We know enough spanish at this point to understand
most of what they say.
I found out why I am at the Argentina MTC(CCM). The North Americans going to
the two Urugay missions are the ones that come here. New missionaries get
here every three weeks. It switches off between Montevideo and Montevideo
West. So in three weeks they will be another batch of North Americans going
to Montevideo West. It´s been raining off and on so that´s pretty nice.
We are in the same compound as the temple. Unfortunately, as I said, we
don´t get to go because the temple is closed. I found at that we have part
of Montevideo is in our mission
Mom could you send me one of the black name tags in the hutch. I only have
one because the clipon ones are unavailable at the moment. Also could you
send me some ugly ties because we do an ugly trade every week. Those need to
be sent in a padded envelope because boxes don´t get here. If you can´t send
it it´s alright.
I´m out of time so until next week, I love you all.

Love Elder Jones

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The First Letter

Hey everyone. I made it here. The plane ride was very long and very boring.
We sat in the plane forever in Dallas because it was taking forever to get
the luggage loaded. We landed about 9:30 this morning. We had to wait in
line forever to get our passports stamped. Then we got our luggage and
exchanged our money. We didn´t have to go through customs so that was nice.
Some random lady came up to us and told us to follow her. Then we loaded in
a van and went to the MTC. We had interviews with President and Sister
Wilson and then ate lunch. That´s about it so far. My pdays are on thursdays
so that´s when I can write. My email is
That´s about it for now.
Elder Ethan Jones

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Airport: He's off!

We just got back from taking Ethan to the airport. It was strange to see him go because he doesn't seem old enough. At our house we referred to the kids is 3 categories. There was the older boys, the girls, and the "little" boys. Ethan is the oldest of the "little" boys and it is crazy to think that he is old enough to be leaving for 2 years to serve a mission. He is so excited to go. He has always wanted to serve a mission. When he talked about it, it was always "when I serve my mission," not "if I serve a mission." He will be missed but we are so proud of him and are excited for the experiences that are in store for him. We know he will be a great missionary. We love you Ethan!

Here are some pictures from the airport. He is flying with 2 other missionaries, Elder Crandall and Elder Opie.

I am leaving on my mission today. I am going to the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission. and I'm going to the Argentina MTC. I am flying from Phoenix to Dallas and then from Dallas to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am very excited to go. I have been waiting for this for a long time, and it's finally here. I'll see you all in two years.