Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Final Thoughts...

After about 2 weeks home from my mission I've been more than grateful that my mission has stayed with me! Even though schedules and lifestyles have done a complete 180, what I was most hoping is that I'd be able to keep being the 'Brayden Jolley' that the Lord had refined me to be and it's still there! I feel the same spirit, tender and loving even to this day and know that to be a testimony of the faith that I was taught.

9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?

I have been given so many lessons that I know will impact my life. I know that Faith, Hope and Charity are foundations for a constant and happy life. I know that when we seek to lift others and make their days a little better, we are blessed with the spirit. Before my mission I knew that prayer and scripture study helped us to come closer to Chris,t but now I can add my testimony of service! I miss the 100% dedication to the Lord, it's tough now having to juggle so many things, but I know that Jesus Christ's Plan for Perfection continues to work!! I am grateful that our Heavenly Father has patience and, lucky for us, He has given power to His Son to forgive our weaknesses and look past our shortcomings, allowing us a time to prepare ourselves to become Celestial sons and daughters, worthy to live in His presence! I think of every lesson that I was taught that had the biggest impact in my life. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a real power and a never ending fuel source for us! We are very imperfect and will always be, but the Grace of the Son of God is an available gift to those who are willing to stay in the game as long and as hard as it may be! I know this is the Lord's work, He is the one that directs and carries out all progress that this Church experiences. In these couple of weeks I have made contact with people who I taught, who I did not have the privilege to see enter into the waters of baptism, and they have been able to experience that change of heart and are now baptized!! What amazing miracles the Lord can do in our lives! I know that ALL blessings promised to us will be fulfilled! It has been interesting... I miss the mission, but I do not mourn the fact that I've taken off my tags! I am different than I was before leaving on my mission. I have "woken up", if you will, and realize who I am and how I can be and I pray that forever people will see that those tags still show!

I know this church is true and testify will all my heart of the reality of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God! He is risen again and helps us everyday if we just look for Him!

Elder Brayden Douglas Jolley

Monday, October 14, 2013

Welcome Home

We welcomed Elder Brayden Jolley home on Tuesday, October 8th from the Argentina, Buenos Aires South Mission. We are so grateful to have him home, but especially grateful for the opportunity that he had to serve and be amongst the Argentine people and to share the joyous message of our Savior Jesus Christ.


Monday, September 30, 2013

At the moment I`m good... Haha muchos emociones all at once! I`m safe and alive. Just stopping in quick to read emails and everything like that right now, but I`ll write more on Friday.

Working hard still and just trying to take advantage of time and opportunities that I`m given. Had a GREAT time in Capital. Wow!! I`m in love with Argentina. Wish you guys could see down here! I`ll try and bring some of that spirit back with me.

Had a great lesson earlier today (we worked today so that we can have our p-day on friday) with a lady named Cinthia and her family. I was with a buddy of mine from the MTC. Most powerful lesson that I`ve had. The spirit really directs this work. Cinthia goes to another church and has been pretty closed to anything else! As the spirit helped us to testify and promise blessings a spirit of joy filled her heart- I`m convinced because of the simplicity of the restored gospel- and she accepted the invitation to be baptized. Her and her family!! That was the best- greatest feeling! No other sensation like that! :) Made me grateful for my calling and helped give me excitement to continue inviting anyone and everyone to have this gospel in their lives!!

Well short on time just wanted to say Hi! :)

I`ll send a quick one out on Friday. Hug ya soon! :) (weird!)

Elder Jolley

Monday, September 23, 2013

Querida Familia!

Wow, voló nuevamente la semana. Espero que estemos preparados por la proximas semanas. Me encanta la obra del Señor!! Trae bendiciones especiales cada día. Lo mas lindo es todo lo que el Señor nos muestra cuando nuestros corazones están dispuestos a cambiar o conformarse a Su voluntad. Me emociono el pensamiento de tener que entrar en mis últimos semanas. No se bien pero creo que ahora será mi ultima vez en el Ciber. No voy a olvidar de estos dos años y me camino caminado con nuestro Salvador.

We`ve had a great week family!! Incredible blessings from the Lord and such special lessons. As I re-read blessings that I`ve received and take time to reflect upon each experience and day, I`m so grateful that the Lord continues to fulfill His promises that He has made with me. There is never a "too late" for the Lord- His promises always are fulfilled and blessings are given when we will best benefit!! I read President Uchtdorf's talk from last conference about the Hope of God`s light! I LOVE the symbolism of light that the Savior always uses. We`ve had a few experiences this last week where we`ve been able to see the Gospel Light enter into new investigators and those that we`ve been teaching.

We`ve been talking with an incredible family the last few weeks. They are a incomplete family and a giant family where somehow everyone is related. There are active and non-active members in the family and we`ve especially had the focus on a young couple in the family, Gustavo y Mikaela (maybe I`ve talked about them before). We`ve been very direct with them lately so that they can understand the need of the Gospel in their lives. They are waiting to get married- or trying to decide if it`s what they want to do. Mikaela who isn`t a member has been in love with the idea of the Gospel since they went through the temple open house last year and is really sincere and interested. Gustavo who has been in active for a while has been our challenge. Just really closed off. We`ve been praying lots for them that they will be able to accept our commitments. This last week we decided to do a fast for them that they would be able to commit to get married!! Well we had a beautiful surprise on Sunday. Gustavo and Mikaela I guess were heading to visit a family member when Gustavo felt that it would be a good thing for them to go to church. They quickly changed their route and made it for our ward conference. We didn`t know about it so when we got there and saw them we were shocked and SO grateful that the Lord had touched their hearts in a powerful way! We put a goal this week to strengthen our faith in our Heavenly Father, but to do so by committing ourselves to the service of others and pleading miracles to happen in their lives! Well from these experiences we DO KNOW that God loves His children and works along side of us. I think the last couple weeks have been some of the most special weeks as we`ve tried to focus our work on others and being interested in how we can help the Lord bless the people here. No se bien expresarme y decirles como se siente hacer la obra así y estar tan cerca del Señor y tener su companía...

We`re a ful trying to get things done and working hard to make sure the work gets done! Thanks for your support and encouraging words. I`m running low on time. To fill you guys in a little on a few "traditions" that the mission has right before you go home though, this week we`ll be heading up to Capital Federal. We have a planned tour that we`re doing that includes a few tourist sights up there. We`ll be able to visit a few Catholic Cathedrals, The Casa Rosada (Argentina`s white house), a soccer stadium and my favorite is the lunch! :) We`re going to an all-you-can-eat Parilla (BBQ)- all the asado that you could ask for to enjoy Argentinas famous meat! For funny, the restaurant is called "Siga la Vaca" (follow the cow ) The following week we`ll be busy with a few meetings, my go home interview, General Conference and the Saturday before I leave we`ll be able to spend the day in the Buenos Aires Temple! A perfect way to give thanks and seal up missionary service. I`m most excited for that. (That was another thing that I didn`t mention, I want to go to the temple with the family!! Those relatives that will be there I`d love to go with as many that can too!)

Well :) we`ll be seeing ya real soon! Hope you guys have a good week,

19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness!A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy.

22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel,

I know that this is the work of Salvation of our God. I know with all my heart that this is His church with His eternal Gospel. I have come to feel and through trial I know that this the Gospel is true!! Without a doubt I know that the Atonement is central to God's Plan for the Happiness of His children. I know that Jesus Christ lives!! :)

I love you all!
Elder Jolley

Monday, September 16, 2013

Querida Familia,

Me parece que nosotros también hemos agarrado la misma lluvia que ustedes tienen allá. Esta semana nos hemos mojado. Ha sido re raro la semana. Tuvimos el martes y miercoles algunos días tan pesados, con un calor bárbaro!! y ayer y hoy nosotros tenemos temperaturas de invierno. Que loco che! Sintió re bien mientras quedaba pero que va a hacer. ¡Que semana! ha sido buenísima. Realmente el Señor de la Viña ha trabajado con nosotros. Nos damos cuenta cada día de la importancia de hacer las cosa de la manera del Señor. Verdaderamente es la mejor manera de hacer esta obra. Mi corazón de nuevo está lleno con sentimientos de amor y gratitud al terminar esta semana y reflexionar todo lo que me ha enseñado y todo lo que hemos visto. Ayer en la capilla tuvimos un domingo de "La Obra Misional" y me puso a pensar en lo que he pasado estos dos años. No puedo creer aveces que soy un representante de Jesucristo. Me emociono! Cuán bendecidos somos por el Evangelio Restaurado en nuestras vidas- de todos los habitantes de la tierra nosotros lo tenemos... que grande! Estuvimos cruzando una puente ayer que cruza una autopista de Buenos Aires ayer y vimos una cantidad de gente y me llenó el corazón un sentimiento como si me estuviera diciendo Nuestro Padre Celestial que me conoce, confía en mí y me llamó a ser un mensajero de la verdad. Me impresionó y se me grabó este pensamiento tan lindo.

No me elegisteis vosotros a mí, sino que yo os elegf a vosotros.

Our week was incredible!! We had one of the best weeks as a zone! Elder Anaya and I were SO happy last night as the elders called in with their numbers. We are finally coming together as a team and seeing what the Lord can do for us. We had put a couple goals with the assistants last week to improve a couple Key Indicators and felt so good last night to have been able to pass all of them up! Everyone put in a big effort and happily we can say that everyone had a part in the great week. A cool experience that we were able to have with the zone this week was an exchange we did with a couple Elders in a near by area. We had been praying and preparing for this exchange because the Elders had been a little discouraged. I went over to the other area y la verdad we had an amazing day! We felt the spirit of the Lord guide and direct our lessons to those who we were teaching and also open my heart and mind to the needs of this missionary. We shared an amazing opportunity at the end of the day- we had no where else to go and it was just about time to return to the apartment. I felt strongly that we shouldn`t go back, but keep working just a little longer. After a couple rejections we saw couple ladies sitting out on the porch drinking Mate. We started chatting with them and later presenting ourselves and before we knew it the whole family (about 6 people) had joined us on the porch. They said that they had seen us before but because we had never stopped before they didn`t say anything either. We sat down with them and start to teach them a lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel. They listened so carefully and were very interested. We saw afterwards just how prepared they were to receive the Gospel. In the end of the lesson each of them had committed to receive the Elders again and receive baptism in October. I also found out last night that half of them went to church yesterday and had been reading the pamphlets we had left with them! WHAT A MIRACLE at the last minute! (For Grandma and Paka that was my "extra door" experience!) The Lord showed us a great lesson that night and more than anything that we had thought to share with that Elder, that experience changed him! A very tender mercy! :)

We met up again with Roxana. She was pretty direct with us when we saw her again that it was not in her intentions AT ALL to get baptized or anything like that. Shocked us a bit when we heard that. We were pretty sad but through listening to her and trusting in the spirit we talked to her a little bit about faith- that it`s a feeling within us, a motivation to do things that we normally wouldn`t do- we talked with her about Jesus Christ and how special a belief in Him really is. She softened up! :) We know that she`ll continue to feel the truth of this message. The Lord taught us to never give up but to trust in the power of this message and the Spirit which accompanies it. We did and learned to defend the Truth! Elder Anaya and I have had the opportunity to fast the last few weeks and nos parece that the Lord is converting us into faith of power missionaries! One counsel we`ve received from the spirit has been to be very direct with those we teach. We know the truth and know what these people need and we LOVE them so we tell them exactly that. There is a great young couple that we`re teaching. The guy is a member and his girlfriend no. They have been together 5 years and really love each other but for some reason haven`t taken the steps to get married. We`ve taught them only a couple times but on Saturday after a strong impression by the spirit we invited them and tried to commit them to get married within the next couple weeks. A couple weird reactions: 1. from Elder Anaya. He was surprised but had the biggest grin on his face and 2. from the guy! Haha almost had to revive the heart he was so shocked! The girl was almost in tears she was so happy but ya the boyfriend was a little different. Anyways what was great was that they really understood the promised blessings to them and it opened their hearts to the spirit, allowing things to begin progressing!

So for birthday plans it was a super casual day! Almost forgot. We had a zone conference that day and we were super busy trying to coordinate the amazing lunch we ordered. Ah, we went all out for the Elders this time! We got chinese food, a type of doughnut for the morning and each of them took a 1/2 kilo of ice cream home with them! Ha. We had good plans for all of it to get there on time and everything but it got complicated. One of the assistants and I had to drive 2 1/2 hours cause of traffic to get the food, we got in an accident (wasn`t our fault and yes we`re fine!) and a lot of rain so yeah we`ll just say that mucho participation in zone conference I didn`t have, but what was most important was that the Elders had a good time and learned a lot! We got back kinda late so that was the end of the Big day! :)

Well family I love ya but I gotta run! Have a great week and I`ll look forward to talking with you guys next week! :)

Elder Jolley

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Elder Jolley

Much love going out to this boy today...


Excited to celebrate with him in a few weeks.

(A big "thanks" to family and friends for wishing him Birthday Wishes.
It was a very welcomed supply of love from home.)

Brayden in 1999, age 7, with his Uncle Todd (his mission farewell day)
and his Paka. Brayden is wearing his "future missionary" tag...
had always wanted to be a missionary!
(All 3 share the same middle name, "Douglas")

Then and now....

 Elder Brayden Douglas Jolley
(2013 in Buenos Aires Argentina)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wow, I`m overwhelmed! Thanks to the family and all who sent their birthday wishes. It meant so much to me to have all those messages there to read today. Feeling wise, FILLED with love!! And more feel more dedicated to my Savior Jesus Christ. I appreciate all the good "ralling-cries" and prayers on my behalf. I`ll accept them! :) haha. This week was such a turn-around week for me and for us here in Avellaneda. I believe the Lord has his purposes and a plan for each and every one of us! I know that He works diligently each day so that His plan becomes reality.

17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;

18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches eternity riches of eternity are yours.
19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

I talked a little bit last week about gratitude and this week we`ve had some great blessings as we`ve looked to give thanks for all things that happen to us. Our faith has increased. Our love for God and Christ and been made strong and we`ve appreciated our time as full-time missionaries. We also had an amazing blessing of teaching our zone this last week a little bit more about obedience and revelation. It went SO well. From past experiences and from giving thanks we knew that the Spirit could be with us and we were blown away at the results of the meeting. There was a spirit of worship like I`ve never felt before. I remember hearing a talk about reverence for Deity and well I think we were all able to feel that there. The zone has done great this week! Obviously that gives us more opportunities to give thanks! Así vamos progresando en la zona supongo!

Our week felt much more missionary like this week. Elder Anaya and I laid everything out on the table and were blessed to see new options and people to visit in our area. We had gotten in a bit of a rut as far as work goes. We felt really "routined" and doing the same thing over and over wasn`t really fun nor effective so with help from the heavens we were able to put new plans and it required work, but we felt ourselves being guided to a few new people this week. I`ll tell you guys about two.

We met a lady named Gisela. We were at the end of the day and hadn`t gotten in anywhere when we felt to go to a members house and figure out if she could help us with a family we were working with. Gisela is a family friend of a less active member name Dante. (We`ve also been working with Dante for awhile- we`ve put lots of goals for him but never had been able to get anything progressing with him). Anyways, we talked with the member family a minute and the whole time I felt strongly the need to talk with this lady. She stayed quiet until we began asking her if she had ever talked to missionaries before. What seemed PERFECT turned out to be just that. She was very interested in learning more about God in her life and well, she accepted the invitation to listen to us and begin looking into the church. What we`ve noticed is that she is SO sensitive to the spirit. For knowing almost nothing about the church she was crying as if she was at Girl's Camp (he he). We felt Heavenly Father's love for her and really enjoyed the couple lessons with her and watching the spirit work within her.

Yesterday we went with our with our amazing Bishop. He invited us to eat at their house and then asked to go do some visits with him. We went to a less active family who almost broke into tears as they opened the door to us!! Wow!! We met Roxana. For years she has listened to missionaries but always has had something blocking her way or keeping her from really looking into the Gospel. We KNOW that the Lord prepares people- even angels are about in the world preparing the hearts of MANY so that they will come to a knowledge of this Gospel. We had a great lesson there with the Bishop. He was the greatest of help to us and for her. It was really how the Lord has envisioned His work right now. Members and Missionaries working together!

Well family I`m short on time. Right now I have NO clue what we`ll be doing on Thursday. I`m sure we`ll go out to work and teach people! That`s good by me though. We were invited to a couple family home evenings this week so maybe one of those will land on Thursday. Also, I had exciting news that Elder Villalba (old companion) is here in Avellaneda this week so I`ll probably be able to see an old friend! I`ll let you know what we`ve been doing next week!

Again, thank you SO much for all the love and birthday wishes. I wish I could transmit all the love I feel for the family- I pray that you may feel it! And I`ll work so that I can show it in about a month or so. Onward, ever onward! :)

Have a great week!
Elder Jolley