Sunday, September 27, 2015

A little bored

6 September 2015

This week has not been near as fun as the last couple — it was way too normal and not near stressful enough.  ;)   Honestly I've been a little bored. It’s been interesting.

  • What has your weather been like there?
It’s been rainy a little the last day or so and on my trip we had a ton of rain, but I'm still getting to the week, so ya!

  • Who are these parents that cooked you roast for Sunday?
I told you about the Warners right? They are this married couple that are working as the nurses for the mission so they kinda work in the offices with us. It’s way fun to have them and she cooks us real Sunday dinner… like we had stuffing with fried chicken this last week!

  • Are you going to travel to Neuquen? it is a 7 hour drive from Mendoza.
I’m not traveling, they are coming to me to do the same thing that I did in San Luis, I'm actually going back to San Luis tomorrow to start another wave of work, but this time with 36 instead of 25 so it should be crazy and with Neuquen we are going to do 43 I think, but thats not going to happen until next month.

  • Who is the boss you talked to about going to Neuquen?
There is this old guy named Elder Vilche who is helping a lot of the more illegal missions get legal right now and he is awesome, but he asked me to make an entire plan for the other mission to do what I did. I made like a spreadsheet of times and prices for the things, made the budget and made the horario is the word in Spanish, but I don't know what it is in English….

  • It seems so super scary that you are carrying so much money around on you—do you have a hide-y pouch on you that you keep it in??
I never really carry money with me, I carry my card, but in San Luis it’s much easier with cash so I had to use cash and then when I was here to pay fees I have to use cash, but no, I just use a scripture case and it works great, people just think it’s a Book of Mormon when in reality its 6 thousand dollars!

  • When you get your people legal what do you do with the papers? File them?
So the papers I get are a paper that states they are legal for 3 months, and then their papers need to be processed in that time before we get a ID card that says we are residence here for a year, now two — but that is a really new change! So I just need to get all the papers to migracions, get some signatures and then I wait!  Yes I file them so I know who is legal and who is not! I also have computer programs that help me!

  • How many Elder are in your pens? Who are they?
We have 5 elders in our pension, but we can house up to 20, but we rarley do. We have me, Elder Bingham my comp, Elder Romero, Elder Solomon, and Elder Jacobsen. We are the office workers!

  • How do you keep track of what each Elder or Hermana needs to have done so that they are legal, since each nationality seems to need different things?
Everyone needs the same papers, but it’s just different from country to country what they look like, but to get stuff I go to consulates which isn't normal, most people just ask Buenos Aires to do it but I can, I don't know why they do it there, I bet its harder when they don't have the person with them, but whatever its their deal not mine! 

  • So if everything closes for siesta at 1pm—what time does everything open in the morning?
Basically everything opens at 8 in the morning, so I have a solid 5 hour window to get stuff done. All banks close at that hour, all official building close then, all everything except food closes then.

  • What is a distribution Elder? What are the different jobs and titles of the Elders in the offices and what do they do?
So we all have jobs… I’ll explain:
Elder Benedict, secretary to the President, also secretary of visas and travel. I take all of presidents calls, I talk to parents, I send out group emails to the mission, I take care of minor stuff around here, and I do travel and visas as well! 
Elder Bingham is the financier or the secretary of finances, he is the money of the mission. He makes sure we all have money at the start of the month, that people have the rent money to pay for the housing, he pays mission bills and a ton of other random stuff, and he just makes sure we have money to keep going. He works close to as much as I do…not quite, but he definatly works the next hardest!
Elder Romero is the pensionista or the secretary of housing, he takes care of all housing needs and he makes sure we are all taken care of. He looks at peoples housing, makes sure it works and gets us new housing when we need it! 
Elder Solomon is the historiador or the secretary of references and records. He takes all the baptism info and sends it to the area presidency, and makes sure that no one has lack of supplies, and he helps all of us…he has a really easy job.
Elder Jacobsen has kind of a made up job because he broke his foot and doesn't want to go home, so we put him in charge of like our books and the stuff we sale to missionaries, like journals and Books of Mormon in English and stuff like that. So he doesn't do much either, but he keeps busy!

WOW that was a lot of questions, to the week!

Monday I went to migracions and worked there for the day, arguing about some papers and I got 8 people legal for a full year from it, so that was cool! I felt happy about that! But it wasn't really hard!

Tuesday I had a little interview with the guy who buys all my tickets for me for the mission and we chatted and it was fun! He really was just helping me learn how to be a better secretary and how to do this San Luis stuff and it was fun! Then I didn’t do much more…honestly this week was easy.

Wednesday I went to the consulate and took care of some background checks and got someone a new ID card from Chile, but other then that nothing. Elder Bingham went on a trip to San Juan to do some stuff, so I was bored really. I did meet the most attractive Argentine that day, I’ll be honest… there isn't many beautiful women here, but this girl knocked my socks off! I’m ready to go and marry her right now! ;)

Thursday I went and did errands with Elder Bingham and then Elder Romero asked me if I wanted to make a 3 hour trip to San Rafeal that day with him, I was all over that! So at one o’clock I left with Romero to go to San Raffy and I mad a three hour drive in two and it was awesome…speed laws are not a thing here. I passed cops and they didn't even get mad at me, it was so fun! I honestly love Elder Romero so much, him and Bingham will be my friends for forever! Then I got so wet I took off the clothes and it was just fun! Then we drove home in the pouring rain and it was fun!! i just sat and chatted with Romero for six hours and it was way fun! 
It never rains and it was hailing in that picture, but I was already soaked so I thought I would get me a good picture!

Friday I honestly did nothing. I got a little bit of stuff ready for San Luis, but really it pretty much is already there! So I just was bored which sucked, yesterday was hard for me!

Today I bought some gifts for my bosses children that I'm going to meet this next week in San Luis! Wish me luck, I'm going to need it! 

I love you mom! Be safe and happy! 

Elder Jayson Benedict

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Feeling way grown up!

19 September 2015

So this week I have felt way grown up, like I'm not near as childish as I was before. It’s kind of an interesting thing the changes that happen on a mission, one minute you are nothing—just being a missionary teaching, and then all of the sudden I feel like the world needs me to be doing stuff and it’s a big thing! I don't know— I just feel like I'm older then 19 now. 

On to the questions!

  • Do you have a mobile phone?
Yes I do have a cell phone.  But I usually don’t pass out the phone number because I don’t want to be getting calls on my cell phone from the states, but the office phone is like connected to the states, so its cool if people call me on that! 

  • Why do you call them kids? Are they not Elders just like you?
I call them kids because I like to differentiate them from me and the other office elders. I just say kids because usually they are younger then me in the mission and I don’t know…it just kinda comes out that way. They are Elders and Hermanas just like me, but to me they are just children who have no idea what they are doing and are just following me!

  • What is Grido?
Grido is a ice cream shop that is huge in this country! You walk in, drop 2 dollars and you get a 3 scoop in a cone, and it’s awesome! So we went and got ice cream for everyone, photo included! 
Line for Grido in San Luis!

  • What kind of stuff did you buy Erica—the lady who stayed late  to help in San Luis?
I bought her candies, gum, alfajors juice, kinder eggs, mints, and just like a random goodie bag. I have bought a lot of friendship in San Luis, like I really just would buy random food for everyone that was helping me there even though they were just doing their jobs — its nice to help people like you, and so I did it! 

  • How is Ariel doing? We have been praying for him!
Ariel came to church this week on his own and is doing better! He is still struggling so keep praying, but he is a little better!

  • Did you feel the earthquake that you had in Mendoza on Monday—it was a 4.5 magnitude at 7:38am. Did you feel the earthquake in Santiago Chile?
Ya we felt the earthquake it was kinda fun, but we didn’t feel one on Monday we felt one on I think it was Thursday night!

  • What kind of Face Razors? Disposable? Refills?
Just the Gillet razor ones.  I don’t really have any more and my real face razor got stolen when I was in the offices, so I've been using kinda crappy ones for now! But like they are the bottom of the list! 

  • I have been keeping a list of things that you have asked for—anything else?
Um…I want anything that screams America—like an America tie that just looks American, like a bald eagle, or like a flag, that would be way cool! A marker, like a silver sharpie that shows up on black, more of the thick pens I like the 1.6 crystal pens. I’m not sure if I need anything else, but really more then anything as many ties as you can fit in the box! :) and I'm not going to lie I will open it as soon as I get it! 

Military me!
Saturday I just wrote a ton of people and kinda burnt, a gal friend from Washington wrote me so I chatted with her for awhile it was fun to catch up, but she told me I have to go to Washington to visit her now, I'm not sure how I'm going to make that one happen, but we shall see! 

Sunday the day of rest! The parents cooked us roast and it was way awesome! 

Monday I took a Bolivian to his consulate so that we could go get his back ground check and it was weird to be working in a consulate and just be talking to the people working through the banks doing things that just seemed way out of my league, but whatever I guess I'm now like an adult and have to do big boy things! 

Tuesday we did tramites for 2 people because the third was in the hospital for back pain, I sent her home on Thursday, but I was going to get her legal because where she is from in Argentina its even harder to get legal there then here, so I tried but couldn't get it done. But my other boys I got done, but again had to take another Bolivian to the consulate! It was kinda fun, but weird! Then I got to talk to the secretary for the mission Neuquen about some stuff for our mission and it was kinda fun, they are the mission that was just a little less illegal then us before I got in here! But now I'm destroying them, and we talked about what I was doing and what they are, and he wants to do what I did. So we will get to that! 

All the work in San Luis for these papers!
Wednesday we got brand new computers that are out of this world!!! I love them so much they are way better then what I ever had at home—50 cm and a touch screen all in one with speakers and memory and fast and its so awesome!!!! I’m like a kid in a candy store on my computer really its great! Then I went and paid 8870 pesos worth of fees and took them to migraciones and got my papers back from them so I have even more people legal now! So that’s fun! But really it was an easier day, I got to talk to elder Rodriguez more in Neuquen and to talk about a trip plan, and then I called my boss and talked with him about it and he said he thought it was a good idea. Then I started working on a plan for that and got that going good! We put on my old pajamas that are huge and we fit 3 people in them, and we just laughed and had so much fun this night at the apartment.

New computer versus the old one, the new one rocks!
Thursday I got more fees paid and got more papers from migraciones. But I screwed up big time. To leave this country you need a habilitacion de salida or to pay 60 dollars and then they give them a paper that says they can leave the country, but for the Elder I was sending home that day I had forgotten to do it, so I got to the airport and they wouldn't let him on the plane, so I called everyone I knew and couldn't get it fixed, so I got his ticket changed to Saturday so I could get him the paper he needed. But the guy who changed the ticket is one of my friends so he changed my ticket for free and I didn't have to pay the 150 dollar fee to get him to change planes... I don't know if you've noticed, but I throw around a lot of money! Then that night I put a girl on a bus to Neuquen to go  home to her family, so in grand total I've sent home 12 people in my 10 weeks in doing what I do, so that’s kinda crazy, but it happens.

What I do when I've given up on the day, and just need a little minute!
Friday I took two people to the Chilean consulate to go do some work to renew an ID card for one and get the background check for the other, but the consulate was closed due to the Independence Day of Chile, it is the 18th of September so I got a little screwed up there, and then when I took them to the terminal to buy the bus tickets I couldn't find my debit card, this is how I pay for the tickets I buy at the terminal and without it I'm done for...but I had gone to the bank early that morning to get cash so I used the cash I had pulled out to buy the tickets for the Elders and then I went to the bank and the card was in the ATM thank heavens, just like I always used to do at home, it was kinda nostalgic for me really! Then I  went and got the paper for the habiltacion de salida and then I went back to migraciones when I had it paid and got it all done in time. I don't know if I've explained this well, but in this country everything closes at one in the afternoon so that people can go eat lunch and be with there families. Well in what I do nothing ever opens after that, like the banks or official buildings or anything. So when I say I do all these things—all of them get done before 1 o’clock. Then I got home and played on my computer too destress. Then called Neuquen and we got a plan really firm going on like buses and the hours we are doing what. Currently I'm waiting for a list of all the people he plans on doing and then I'm going to finish all the planning! Also I took care of some stuff for my San Luis trip and I am getting ready to take 36 people this time instead of 26, so it should be interesting! Pray for me! I'm going to need it! Also to finish the day we cleaned the crap out of the distributions elders office and it was a blast!! We had a burping contest that me and my comp killed at, and then a did a power cling with my comp holding him from the but, that was like a 170 pound power cling so i felt like a stud! It was a way fun night!

Saturday I took Elder Toledo home and then we just played soccer. I have a hermana who’s mom is Korean working in the same ward as me, so I convinced her to cook us Korean food today and it was awesome — it was like a teriyaki lettuce wrap and it was to die for! She is way cool and then I've written, played soccer, and just been us!

I love my comp!! This is maybe the first time in my mission where I'm companions with a kid that I honestly want to be friends with him forever. He is a huge stud and he is just so funny, and we just go together well! 

So thats been my week! Fun, big and crazy!

I love you guys be safe! 

Love, Jayson!

Chinese Food with my kids in San Luis

Lunch with the Elders and Sisters in San Luis

Eating octopus

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sweet Week!!

12 September 2015

So it has been a smashing week! I loved everything I did in San Luis and it was like mad crazy! But way fun! So to the questions! 

  • How do you do the tramitez while you are in San Luis?
So doing tramitez in San Luis is the same as doing them in Mendoza but it is easier. I’ll explain…there are a few papers I need that we do to make people legal. One is we need proof that they live in Argentina, then we need a background check from Argentina, and then we need a biometria, (I don't know what it means in English) and their FBI clearance. With those papers I can get it done and sent in to migracions. The hard thing about it is that I need two witnesses to testify that people live in Argentina. The Argentine background check takes at the very least 1 day to be processed, and then I have to pull them out online, then to do a biometria I need the back ground check from Argentina. After that we need to scan every single paper, including every page of their passport into a computer, so it takes a while. In San Luis, was able to do it in bulk, we finished Ranar (rnr) (Argentine background checks) in the morning for 17 people, and then we did domicile using a cop who trusted us as a witness, then in migracions they pulled out all of the RnR’s for me so I didn't have to do that part. Then the lady stayed 4 extra hours working for us so that I could leave on Thursday instead of Friday, it was sweet! 

  • Why do you bring the missionaries into Mendoza if the work can be done in their areas?
Because I'm in Mendoza with all the paper work and its hard to travel, but honestly I could. The thing is that not everyone is ready at the same time. I have over 60 people ready right now because the last couple of people who have done my job didn't do it the best they could and left quite a few people illegal for no reason. So I'm doing the work for the last three secretaries at once. I’m cool like that, but it’s hard to go on 5 hour trips for 2 people when I can get 5 to come to me all on the same day! 

  • Did you travel to and from San Luis all by yourself or do you take a companion?
I traveled with the first group to San Luis, and then I took a bus with the second group home to Mendoza. Next trip I will go with a companion! 

  • Explain to me…who are Bosses? Are they with the church? Are they with the Argentine Government?
The bosses are people who do my job for either Argentina or for the South American area of the world. They are like me, but in charge of a lot more missions and they are paid by the church to do it — I honestly would love to have that job! I love what I do! 

  • How many missionaries are in your mission? How many do you still need to do the immigration work for?
We are as few as 200 right now, when I got here we had over 100 people in need of getting their work done, we have about 55 people that need it done still, but I have another trip planned to San Luis to get more then half of those done! The rest I still need papers! So we will see what I can get done!

  • Besides getting people legal, buying tickets for buses and planes, and dropping off and picking up people from the airport…what else do you do? How do you have time to do anything else?
So I also write all the parents when people show up, and when they leave I have to send all the info home. I also take permissions from the mission and pass them to President. I do errands for President, and I'm companions with the financiero, so I also run random errands with him. I also have to keep a website updated and maintained while I'm working and keep all the work I do in that, and then I cook and clean and try to follow most of the mission rules! It is hard! 

  • Are you getting to speak Spanish—or are you using it less now that you are serving in the office?
I speak a ton of Spanish! I don't work with people who speak English I'm always with Argentines who are helping me, so its hard not to, I just use it a ton and I love it — but it's bad, because when I'm so tired and stressed I speak worse, because I'm thinking about what I want to say instead of just speaking. I can think and flow in Spanish now, but if I get nervous or scared, or just too tired, which is always my Spanish is a little worse, like I just conjugate in the wrong tense, mostly preterit, but it's fine they still understand me! 

Sunday I had Elder Jacobesen who hurt his foot bad, take care of a ton of paper work for me and get a ton of stuff like that done for me! Then I did some prep work for San Luis! 

Monday we went to migraciones to get Hermana Goates legal and that was fun! We got her all done and also President so no worries…I got the most important people legal, thats all I really wanted to do that day, but I still worked up until the moment I left to catch the bus to go to San Luis. I got there and we almost had a kid miss the bus, even though I told the kid to be there at 6pm, but whatever. We all got on the bus, but I didn't have the cash that I needed with me. I only had the check. So then I told my boss who was going to be helping us, Elder Vilche this…he panicked and told me I wouldn't be able to cash it in San Luis. We are not talking like a couple hundred bucks, we are talking like 5 grand American dollars that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get out! Then I called a ton of people and no one knew for sure, so I went on faith and stayed on the bus and we went to San Luis. We arrived and made it to the hotel, ordered pizza and we were in bed around one at night! We got in trouble at the hotel for being too loud! It was my fault…I was the guy in charge and I forgot, so I was just playing like I was one of them and that had to change.

Tuesday we started working, we went and did the RNR first thing in the morning and got that done at about 11:30 and I'm carrying around like 5 thousand dollars with me now at this point and that’s scary!! Then we did the certification of residencia, like they live here and it was good, I got two members to come and be the witnesses for us, and then we went to a nice lunch and then we went home. I slept for an hour, and then we went out took pictures for the next step! We did mission work in a plaza and it was fun! I bought some stuff for friends in the mission and that was fun! Then I had to go get the next group of 10 from the bus stop, and then we went to dinner all 30 of us and it was way fun! We didn't get home till midnight and it was late I was tired and I still stayed up talking for an hour or so, but i needed to de-stress! I had 4 kids who left the group that day and it made me so mad, so I vented about it! 

Wednesday we started the next group on RNR, but we couldn't because they were already full, so I saved them for the night time. Then I went and did the certification of residencia, and we broke the law with the police women as a witness. My boss from Cordoba who showed up for a couple hours to help did it! Then I got pictures done, we went and got grido, and then I took the group who I had left in migracions to the terminal and got them headed home as fast as I could! Then we finished RNR, but it was so cold we couldn't really work that night, so I took care of other things and then we went shopping and it was fun! Then we had dinner and back to the hotel at 11:15 and I was beat!

Thursday everyone woke up late, so we headed out late, but we got what we needed to get done early so it was fine. I just sat and chatted with friends, but I was all alone being the boss — it was scary and I made all the decisions, but it was fine! We did good! We went to a Chinese food buffet and it was awesome! I loved it! I ate octopus! Oh, I also forgot….Saturday night I ate sushi in Argentina it was way fun! Back to San Luis… so I wanted to get these people home, so we went to the terminal at 3 o’clock, but I hadn't got the paperwork back yet, so we went and I was like I can’t send them home, they were going to have to spend the night in Mendoza, so I brought them to there at 5:15 and I ran back to get the papers! A nice lady Erica stayed for an extra 4 hours at work trying to finish everything for us just because she was way nice! I bought her a ton of stuff, because I felt bad, and then we got it all at about 5pm, we took a taxi back to the terminal and barely made it!  Then I rode back with them to get to Mendoza to sleep the night! I got back and put in all the numbers, because the area wanted to present my work to Salt Lake the next day and it was substantial, so I felt like a stud! 

Friday I had Elder Jacobsen here all week planning the next trip which is the 27th, 28th, and 29th, so it should be good! I'm going to be really ready and I'm already doing more here in Mendoza on Tuesday which I planned this day, I tried to get fees paid, but I didn't make it before the siesta so it was sad, but I got a ton of stuff planned and organized and ready and it was really good! Then I taught a lesson — my first one since I've gotten to the offices and it was really good! His name is Ariel and he is really struggling…please pray for him! We taught him that he can have peace even through all the struggles in his life and it was good! I felt good! Then I got home and was out, I may have slept in today! 

Saturday I have done a little work, but mostly just written a ton of people and its been nice! I feel happy—I love what I do!! I just feel strong and good, I'm not working out enough, but I'm going to get back into it before I leave for San Luis! Don’t you worry! I'm planning it better this time, but the next trip is going to have a lot more hermanas! 

So I love you guys!! How is life? Are you happy? I'm way jealous of the Jeep! is it a stick shift? if its not, we are just playing!!! 

I love you guys! 

Love, Jayson

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I love what I do!

So we made it through the week! It was a good, hard, stressful, but way fun week! I love my job—its hard and not fun sometimes, but honestly I love what I do! 

So to the questions.
I’m going to San Luis this Monday night. I'm going to be there until Thursday night late, late, and then I'm going to sleep a ton, then plan the next week, and then I do it all over again—I'm a little nervous! 

Yes, what happened is getting better slowly, but we still have a lot of stress to see what it brings in the next few weeks! Pray for me in San Luis that I don't lose any missionaries, and that I can get all the work done! 

Facial hair for days

Monday I had to fix a lot of legal things in the mission for what happened last week and it was crazy, but way bad! I had bosses calling me...everyone, and I had just so much stuff going on, and then I just had to wait and do it all. So it was fun and then I kept working!

Tuesday I did tramitez for 5 people. I got some married folk done, and then I got some other homeys done! It was good, but stressful because the married people wanted to go do their stuff so they were pushing me to get it all done! Then more planning and stuff! 

Wednesday I got four girls legal in that day, just got them done, and sat, and sat,and sat, and then took them home. Again I was the bad guy, I bought them food and got everything done without problem, but they were just kinda mean—so that was lame! 

Lunch with my girls Guadalupe and Valaria!

Thursday I got 4 more people legal in the country and that was all good and fun! I just really sat a ton and did it all. There is always huge lines, it really only needs to take like 10 minutes, but whatever it takes us like 3 hours and we just do it and go with it! But then I had my bosses here! Honestly just the 2 sassiest women I have ever met, and I'm not sure I have had so much fun in my mission. We talked about everything that is my job and how I can do it better! There is a program of the church that is specifically for me as secretary of the mission where I can see all the stuff I need to do and put in the info of everything I've done, and it’s so awesome I love it! Other secretaries have never used it right, so I'm like 488 tasks behind and I'm trying to enter all the information in it so that it works, but its just hard! Honestly everything I'm doing In San Luis and for the last little while has been cleaning up the mess of the last secretaries that have been here, but I'm going to take care of all of it so my newbie that takes my place can just do a really easy secretary job! 

They bought me a cactus because it was the day of the secretary, and they
are just way cool to me and we are friends! I love them to death!

Friday greatest day ever! My bosses came and helped me work a ton, and then we chatted and worked some more! They showed me how to use the program more, how i can be a better secretary, how I can track everything I do online, and how I can make my job so much better and easier then I thought it was. Honestly in those 2 days I learned more from those ladies about my job then I did in my entire transfers with Elder Lawrence, but that might be because Elder Lawrence didn't really teach me, nor have any idea what he was doing! The whole time we were working they talked about how nice it was that I understood Spanish, how they could tell I was paying attention, and then when they talked to President they just complimented me for like 10 minutes—it was so cool! I loved it! Then we went to lunch, they bought, and then I took them to the Cierra de la Gloria, and then took them to the airport. It was so fun! Then worked and worked for San Luis. I finally got out of my office at about 11:40pm.

Flash to the past -- with the bosses,  just like the photo when I started the mission

Saturday we went to a church far away to play soccer — way fun, but I also worked that’s why this is here so late! 

So ya I love you a ton! Be safe and happy! Im glad you like the Jeep and are having fun! 

Love, Jayson Benedict