Monday, June 28, 2010

Greetings From Playa Pascual

Dear Everyone,

How is everything? I guess a lot is happening back home. Philmont sounds great. The only place better to be is Playa Pascual , Uruguay . What`s new here? I got my new comp last Wednesday. I was late getting to the bus station to pick him up. I was supposed to be at the bus station at 6:30 AM. I woke up at 6:50. The alarm didn`t go off. Elder Zorilla and I took a taxi to the station. Luckily there were a lot of other missionaries there. We were at the station for a while. We eventually made it back to Playa Pascual. We had to wait for the AP`s to pick up Elder Waton`s luggage. Elder Watson is my comp. We take a city bus from Montevideo to our area. It`s about an hour bus ride. It`s far enough away that we can`t take a taxi there so the AP`s have to take the luggage to our area. Anyways we got that figured out and made it to our area. We are pretty much starting over here. We have no investigators. They all got dropped. Well we have one "investigator". His name is Luis. He has some crazy ideas. We found him last change. I took Elder Watson to meet him on last Saturday. He essentially told us to change our religion. He says the Book of Mormon is an alteration of the Bible. We`re not getting anywhere with him. He doesn`t want to listen to what we have to say. He tries to teach us the "real" gospel. Anyways, we told him we weren`t going to come by anymore. He flipped out. He told us that Jesus wouldn`t do that. He went off for about 5 minutes. We eventually told him we`d come back. We left him some scriptures to read. We`re going back in a month. Besides him, we have no one. We`re going to work with the members more. We`ve made some good plans. We`re hoping to see success. I`m giving another talk in two weeks. This is talk number 4. Ì only have to talk for twelve minutes so it shouldn`t be too hard. Presidente and Hermana Heaton arrive on Thursday. I believe there in Buenos Aires right now having a mission president conference with the Area Presidency.

I`m kept pretty up to date with the World Cup. The U.S. lost to Ghana . Uruguay beat South Korea though. Uruguay will now play Ghana in the quarter finals. All of the Americans were hoping the U.S. would win so Uruguay would play them. Unfortunately, it didn`t happen. Uruguay is doing great though. `We`re still not getting any work doen though. When we clap at houses most people don`t let us in. They see us, but they`re too busy watching the World Cup. I believe the championship game is July 7. It`ll be nice when it`s over.

I don`t know if you remembered Mom, but make sure you send packages in the USPS Flat Rate Boxes. Customs never opens those.

I don`t know what else to say. I guess that`s it for this week. Tell me all about Philmont. Until next week...

Les Quiero,

Elder Ethan Jones

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Change Gone

Dear Family,

First off, Happy Father`s Day two days ago. What did you buy yourself this year Dad, more camping stuff? I hope it was a good day. Also say Happy Birthday to Grandpa Jorgensen. I looked on the calender and saw that it was his birthday.

Well another change is gone. The last six weeks have flown by. I`m staying in Playa Pascual. Elder Haslam is leaving. He`s actually going to my old area in Paysandù. I`ve been telling him a lot about it. He`s going to look for my memory card when he gets there. I hope he finds it. My new comp is Elder Watson. I`ve met him before and he is hilarious so it should be a fun change. I was hoping to a Latino comp that doesn`t speak English. That would have helped with my Spanish.Elder Watson speaks pretty well though so it should work out. I`m hoping that by the end of this change, I`ll be able to understand everything people say. I can speak alright; it`s the understanding part that I`m still working on. Hopefully by the end of this change I`ll be able to understand everything. I hope that`s the case because this could be my last change as junior comp. A lot of missionaries go up to senior comp their sixth change. We`ll see.

I went to the temple this morning. That was my first time going in almost sixth months. I went my second day in Uruguay . I understood a lot more this time. The first time I didn`t understand hardly any Spanish, but I understood a lot more this time. It felt so good going back. Elder Haslam and I had to spend the night at the zone leaders house because our session was at eight in the morning. My area is about two hours from the temple. We kind of got lost on the way to the temple. We got off the wrong stop. We finally got there though, and it was great.

So Philmont is this week. How long will that last? It sounds like it going to be fun, but as much fun as being in Uruguay . Let me know how that goes. A lot of stuff is happening in the family apparently. I bet that`s fun for everyone. I`m glad I don`t have to set up the backdrops.I`ve done that enough.

So me and Tyler are the only two misisonaries in the ward now. Rock on. Preston`s having a hard time with English. I hope that`s how it is for me.

Uruguay beat Mexico today 1-0. Everyone was pretty happy about that. They also beat South Africa last week 3-0. Whenever we`re on the bus we here about the World Cup. I`m not sure how much longer it goes, but hopefully it ends soon.

The work is slow here right now. We have two investigators right now. We found both of them in the last few days. We`ve had to drop a few investigators because none of them are progressing. I hope this change is successful.

I`ve had to pull money a couple of times in the last two weeks because I`ve had to pay some bills. Luckily, I get to reimburse them and get the money back.

It`s so cold here. I know I say that every week, but it`s cold. It`s really hard to get warm. I do have a pair of thermals though so that helps. I think I`m going to buy a thicker pair of gloves because the ones I have don`t do much. I`m also going to buy a scarf and ear muffs. That`s how cold it is right now.

How`s Water Mart? Who works there now? Did Neil get his mission call? I know Mark Halbert did. He sent me a letter telling me. He`s going to Riverside, California(American Sign Language). He sounds pretty excited to go.

Anyways that`s enough from me. Until next week...

Les quiero,

Elder Ethan Jones

Monday, June 14, 2010

Letter from Uruguay

Dear Everyone,

Well last week was better. I realized I just have to keep working hard and leave the rest up to the Lord. Elder Haslam and I met some interesting people last week. Yesterday, we chatted with a guy for about 20 minutes. He straight up told us that he doesn`t like our church. He had an interesting reason for not liking our church; a reason I had not heard yet. He said he went to our one Sunday about four years ago. After that, he never wanted to go back again. He thinks we spend too much money on our church buildings. He thinks we should be using that money to help the needy. We didn`t really say much. He didn`t want to listen so we left. If he only knew about the Church`s humanitarian services. As we walking away, I told Elder Haslam that that man better not go to Temple Square because he would have a heart attack haha. We meet a lot of interesting people who have some pretty crazy ideas, but I love them. Uruguay is a great place. The people are great. I`m still getting used to the country. Siesta drives me crazy. Nathan knows how siesta is. It kills the work. All the dogs also drive me crazy. Almost everyone has a dog. Everyone time we clap at sometimes house, the dogs start barking which makes it hard to hear people. I`m glad I`m here though. This is where I`m supposed to be.

The weather hasn`t been too cold the last few days. It`s been raining since Saturday morning. It`s still raining right now. We were out contacting on Saturday for a few hours. We were soaked from our knees down. We weren`t really having any success so we finally decided to go home. We got back around six and left at eight to go to a lesson. The rain makes the work hard here, but not impossible. We`ll probably be out in the rain tonight again. Rock on.

We have changes again next Tuesday. This change flew by. I think my Spanish improved quite a bit this change. I started studying harder which helped. I`m catching on to this language. I still can`t understand everything, but I`m getting there. I feel pretty good about the language right now. In fact, I have to repeat the things that my comp says sometimes because the people can`t understand him. That makes me feel pretty good.

The World Cup started last Friday. In terms of missionary work, that is bad for two reasons. First, everyone here loves soccer so, of course, they are going to watch it. Second, Uruguay is in the World Cup this year. The World Cup lasts for a few weeks. We`re not expecting to get into a lot of houses over the next couple of weeks, but we`ll try.

A lot is happening back home. The Jamboree is in a month. Philmont is soon. Westom has an Eagle Project. I guess everyone is staying busy. Preston gets home this week also. It looks like me and Tyler are the only two full-time missionaries right now in Solomon Ward. Is anything new in the ward? Is anything crazy happening in Mesa ? Has construction started on the Gilbert and Phoenix temples yet? I guess that`s all the questions I have.

Can you send me a conference issue of the Ensign? I have a Spanish one, but I want an English one. Normally the Church sends English ones as well, but I don`t know what happened this time.

I guess that`s about it for this week. Thanks for everything. I hope you all have a good week.

Les quiero,

Elder Ethan Jones

Monday, June 7, 2010


Dearest Family,

How`s everything going in The Valley of the Sun? Is it nice and hot? I guess a lot of stuff is happening over there. Cameron was in the newspaper. Tiffany is getting married. rysten is coming home. Prestoon is coming home. Lots of stuff going on. All is well here. Presidente and Hermana Peterson have about three weeks left. We had our final interviews last week. After our interview with Presidente Peterson, we had an interview with Hermana Peterson. She wanted to know about our family and what our plans are after the mission. She also ased me if I knew the Cooleys. I told her yes. She was happy. Apparently Sister Cooley was in her Hermana Peterson`s wedding line. The two of them were very good friends in school. Hermana Peterson hasn`t heard from her in years. She was happy when I told I was good friends with Mar Cooley. I`m going to give her their address so she can write a letter to Sister Cooley. It`s a small world. Presidente and Sister Heaton get here on July 1. Presidente Heaton served his mission here so he`s really excited to come back. I`m sad that Presidente and Hermana Peterson are almost done. They are awesome. I`ve learned a lot from Presidente Peterson. I`m also excited for Presidente and Hermana Heaton to get here.

I`m pretty sure last week was the hardest week of my mission, so far. We just kept getting rejected. No one was listening to us. It was worse than usual. On top of that, we lost four investigators in two days. One of them is a girl named Maria Rivero. We have been woring with her for a while. We had a lesson set up on Saturday. When we got there, her step-dad came out and talked to us. He told us to not come back. He told us that we can`t teach her anymore and that she can`t go to church anymore. He was mad at us because he said we come by at any hour of the day. We only went by their house when Maria told us to, and if we were walking down the street and saw her outside, we would stop and say hi. He was also mad because he said someone from the church keeps calling their house late at night. When he showed us the number that keeps calling. it was our number. We told him that it`s not us because we`re in bed at that time. It was probably someone else calling him, but he wants to blame it on us. So we`re not aloud there anymore. We went home and prayed to now what we should do. Right now we`ve decided that we`re going to send over a couple of members to tal with the step-dad because he doesn`t like the missionaries. The other three investigators that we lost was the family that we found two wees ago. We were teaching the two sons and the wife of one of the sons. We went there yesterday and the mom told us that they want to eep going to their church. That was a huge bummer because they seemed so interested. We`re going by their house again tonight to see if they let us in. We just had a hard week. I was pretty depressed when we got home last night. I opened up my scriptures to find some comfort. I was reading in Alma 26. In verse 27, the Lord gives Ammon and his brethen comfort. They weren`t having success preaching to the Lamanites. They wanted to give up but the Lord told them to go back and he would give them success. He told them to be patient and long-suffering. That made me happy. I just have to try my hardest and trust in the Lord, and he will give me success. He will lead to those people who I am supposed to teach. It`s times like this when we really grow. It was a good lesson for me.

Now about the rain suit. I`ll be wearing my white shirt and sweater under it. I guess a medium for the jacket. My waist size is 30. It`s alright if there are logos on them. It doesn`t have to be plain blac either. There can a little color in it. That will probably make it easier to find a good one. They just can`t be huge. I do have a few pairs of thermals right now. That`s about it there.

I guess that`s about it for this week. Thanks for everything. Until next week...

Les quiero,

Elder Ethan Jones