Monday, December 26, 2011

Hello Family!

So so good to talk to you all yesterday! I can t believe how fast it went, but it made my day! I hope that everything else went well for you all and that you were able to enjoy the presents that you got! For me talking to you guys was the greatest present and so fun to already see how different everyone is looking. After I got of the call I went into the other room for a Christmas Lunch. The members that let us come to their house also cooked us some delicious pasta, so we ate for a bit. Most of the time I kept quiet (thinking about the call and cause there was like 10 Argentines talking at the same time! ha makes things difficult). We were over at their house for most of the afternoon until we left for the Pinch. Rules this year were that we had to be in Pinch by 6 so when we got there we decided to go up to "the nesting spot" on the roof to enjoy Christmas night! (Kendyl please notice the matching Toms) I read from Jesus the Christ about the birth of the Savior and wrote in my journal, a very peaceful night. I love how James E. Talmage writes and was able to learn a lot about the story. The rest of the night was really calm and now we're onto the week. Right now we are going to have a zone soccer game in San Vicente! It is always a blast to be able to get with the other elders. We have so many great Elders here that are so so fun to be with! I am out of time, but I'll fill you in next week! Happy Christmas to everyone there, I hope it was everything and more for you guys! I love you all so much. You mean more than anything! I love Argentina and love the love of My Redeemer. He came and He did the will of the Father. He lived for me and continues to live for all of our benefit. I LOVE being a missionary! I pray the spirit of CHRISTmas will be with all of you!

Take care!
Elder Jolley

Elder Lewis and Elder Jolley spending Christmas with a member family

Merry Christmas!

Christmas evening on "the nesting spot" of the pinch

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hello family! 2 months have come and gone today.. I don´t know how, time goes by so fast! Today are transfers and one of the Elders from our Pinch left for casa today, it was so strange to see someone go home and even though I have a long time to go I just dread the thought of going home! Also yesterday with Chris´s farewell I was following the hours and what would be going on during the day with him. I felt like that was yesterday and am just in awe by the blessing from my dear Savior who has blessed me up to this point. I hope all that went well.

Well my week! Nothing but experiences and opportunities to see the Lord's hand. I loved in Elder Jolley Sr. email he talked about how we don´t know the final outcome of what the Lord is doing with our missions, but my thoughts have been amazed at all the possibilities that are going to come. Argentina has been pretty cold this week. (Remember how I told the guy that I didn´t need an umbrella until winter.. Well it dumped one day as we were walking!) so it has given me a new perspective. This week I have been able to learn a lot, with a lot of help from Elder Lewis. He continues to be so patient with me as I learn to work out little bugs in my missionary self. He is a capo! We´ve been able to teach a little bit this week and have a couple solid investigators that we´re really excited to keep teaching. One is this old Bolivia man who LOVES to work! He told us this last week that 2 hours of sleep is just fine for him, other than that he just goes all day! He is really smart and has a great desire to learn! Most of the people that we find down here in Argentina wonder about why there are so many churches... hmm boy do we have a story to tell them! The restoration has come to be something new as we teach it. I have loved learning how significant it was to have a restoration, but more than that, that there is a way highlighted that they can find out for themselves! We have lots of people shout at us saying that all we do is say fancy words to ¨win the people over¨ but if nothing else the restoration helps them decide for themselves. One lady that we have been teaching named Sylvia has been to several different churches and this week, we invited her to pray and find out for herself. She did, but she was confused as to what she should be looking for as an answer! This opened up such a great lesson for us. We taught her about the fruits of the spirit and at the end of the lesson invited her to say the closing prayer, she did, and was overcome with a feeling of tranquilida from the prayer. As missionaries we sometimes promise people things with the hope and faith that because our Heavenly Father loves us that He will answer, it is a leap of faith for us to promise those things on our own but in this experience it built my testimony that the spirit would be given! That all things that testify of the truth will be visited by the comforting power of the Holy Ghost. Teaching is definitely so new in spanish, but I love being able to practice!

The highlight of the week was the baptism that we had for The family Cordoba/Larrea yesterday. It was a family of 4 and it was an amazing service! The family is really quiet and is just comfortable how they are, not very outgoing or anything like that but just so nice! I was able to baptize the boys and Elder Lewis baptized the girls! Baptisms are so incredible. We are able to see the power of the Atonement in a new and SO powerful way. These people are completely cleaned and to be able to see that is more than a blessing. Modesto (the dad) as we were walking to the font was literally jumping up and down just giddy with excitement, he is not like that at all! The spirit was so strong there and I felt like jumping up and down with him but had to refrain!

Buenos Aires continues to grow on me everyday that I am here. The people and the culture are so funny, but I love it so much! Lately Elder Lewis and I have got up on the roof of our pinch the enjoy the night sky of Buenos Aires and I stand all amazed at what the Lord is doing for me. I finished Alma today as a goal for the transfer and have such a love for this book and testify that it is true! It will teach us truths that we must have in our lives! Hard to believe that we all are gonna be talking this week. Hope all is well for you. May we remember our dear Savior this week and realize what He did, it's different to remember in 90 degrees and humidity, but it is the reason for the season!

Love you all and am grateful to my Heavenly Father for you and pray for you all!
Les amo
Elder Jolley Jr.

Cordoba/Larrea family baptism. (Modesto-dad, Norma-mom, Dana and Nahuel)

Enjoying the beautiful night sky on our roof- a new thing we´ve started to do.

Enjoying some home made (from the bag) pasta!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Heyllo! (this is the Argentine version of Hello that we get when they see Americans passing by!)

How are you family? So good to hear from you and to hear about things that are going on back at home with your ¨seasonal¨ fun. Today I watched a Mormon Message clip on the spirit of Christmas. It showed a family that was going through financial struggles and was worried about what presents they wanted. Meanwhile the little girl of the family was busy creating a nativity scene amidst all the contention over material things. As she finished the family went in to figure out what she was up to and found her reverently adoring the figure of Baby Jesus! It definitely silenced the family and silenced me at the same time. This week we stayed in the Pinch for two days while Elder Lewis was pretty ill (he drank some really bad water and felt the affects of it.. poor guy), but this gave me an amazing opportunity to study study study! I also read about Our Savior and His willingness to give up His life in order to grant our Eternal Life. I'm amazed. Watching that clip today I gained a stronger love for my Savior as He came to complete His fathers will, knowing what He would go through, but still He came. The Spirit of Christmas really is the Spirit of Christ. That He came and still will come as we open our hearts to Him.

Our work has been really slow these last couple weeks and has been a little speed bump for me. We´re in a big ¨finding¨ stage of our work right now, because we still lack a lot of investigators, our overall goals for the week have really decreased. So much of missionary work is realizing your goals, which help you be accountable with the time that we have been given from our Father in Heaven. So when we get really low in those it´s sad.. but thanks to Elder Lewis, he´s calmed me down and helped me to realize there are different stages in a mission and that as we keep working that we´re still keeping busy in His work, it´s just preparing to do the better work of baptizing. Find then baptize! He has been such a blessing to me, he´s a capo missionary who sees things differently than I do, but ends up opening my eyes wider to what I can do better. It has really helped put me into a ¨student¨ position. When I learn something I get really excited and I just want to go crazy and do it, but this isn´t the BEST way. We need to wait for the spirit to finish teaching then go forth and do. Speaking of the spirit, I´m amazed from your letters how incredible you all are and am learning so much from you. With this house stuff so much of what I´ve heard is that "I feel calm, I feel good, we feel comfortable¨, what better workings of the spirit can we have and truly I know that the spirit is guiding this family to things that are better than we know! Keep listening to these small ¨ordinary¨ feelings that we have that testify of the spirit.

You asked about my ward here. Such an amazing ward with so much room to grow! There are tons of strong and amazing saints here that really keep this church going here in Longchamps. It´s very small but everyone knows everyone. I´m still learning to get to know them as I learn to speak better, both are coming along slowly but surely. I try and keep an unusual smile on my face on Sundays to make up for my lack of conversational skills. Thank heaven there are like 9 different greetings that you are allowed to use here in Argentina, all of them mean the exact same thing, but it´s totally good to use them all! haha So I usually cycle through 'em all with one person then move on to the next! :) I´ve been so blessed with the language here and it is really coming so quick. I´ve been able to understand people so much more this week and my vocabulary is growing. The spirit is so amazing in helping me grow with the language!

On Saturday we went to an Hermano Tito´s house (he´s our ward mission leader) to do service for him. He wanted to chop down like half of a tree in front of his house, my American mind reverted to chainsaws, South America handed me the sweetest Lamanite tools I´ve ever seen! They basically are sharpened slabs of metal with a handle! I´ve been reading from the war chapters in Alma and I felt like I was right in the middle of it doing this project! We got the tree done and went in for an Asado. I can´t remember if I´ve explained an asado, but it´s basically a feast of meat. This time we had an asado of pollo, it was delicious and we also had a bunch of other Argentine Original food! I love it so much, it´s different, but so good! And I know what ya´ll are thinking, ¨watch the cheeks and the gut¨, but actually I´ve lost a good 15 pounds since getting here so all is in check!

We´re still tracking down skype info so I´ll let you know when I can! Please wish Chris good luck for me and give him a good 'ol bro hug for me!

Thanks all so much for your support, love, and prayers. I can´t explain what it has done for me! I testify of our Lord and Redeemer. He is mighty to save and what an opportunity to share that glad message! Tengan una mejor semana todos! Les amo tanto, y sé qué nuestra familia serán juntos por la eternidad a traves de Jesucristo.

Elder Jolley Jr.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hey everyone!

How is everyone! I loved hearing all about your week and all the fun Christmas things that are happening around there.. It's so so weird to hear you guys talking about being cozy and snuggly by fires and what not, to me that's crazy! It is really nice though because it definitely takes my mind off anything that is going on at home! I just don't think about Christmas or anything like that right now. What a blessing! This week has been great though, TONS of walking! I have been very tired during the day from going from place to place, but there is strength that comes from doing this work! So long as we are obedient without compromise or without "a little rest" here or there we are blessed with success and somehow a new source of energy! Obedience is such a powerful principle and seriously is EVERYTHING in a mission, but also in life as well. Dad, I loved your experience that you shared with us and it was golden to how our Heavenly Father blesses us. I think I've said before that we have been a little without investigators for the last couple weeks, well we needed to change that so we have been doing a lot of contacting which have made our other goals and stats really low, obviously you want to see all of your goals completed so that was a bit of a bummer, but I couldn't be more excited to see what happens this week. We have been SO blessed by the Lord to find people that I believe we are gonna see baptized. It's funny, but an amazing experience, to feel as you are talking with someone the interest level they have and also just the good feeling you get! You can almost picture them with a role in the church at that moment so I pray things go well this next week!

Also this week we had Elder Aidukiatis come for our Zone Conference (yeah i guess we had one this week). Everyone the day before was talking about his reputation of "bajando la caña" a little bit and just being a really mean guy. He spoke to us for about 6 hours on how we need to improve and especially how we need to Open our Vision more on all the things that we are capable of doing! I loved it, he did get after us for not doing things good, but that's what needs to be said. I was really grateful for his strictness because it is going to bless this mission! He talked a lot about planning and how important that is in our work! It's tough to plan and requires a lot of faith, but I can't tell you how much it pays off! Oh I wish I could tell you guys everything but time says No. He was incredible though and really was a blessing to me on things that I need to be doing better!

Still I am learning a lot and have a long way to grow, but I am very grateful for the Elder Lewis. He is a capo! He keeps me on the ground and really helps me learn how to do things here in the field. I love this scripture in Alma 38:

4
For I know that thou wast in bonds; yea, and I also know that thou wast stoned for the word’s sake; and thou didst bear all these things with apatience because the Lord was bwith thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee.

5 And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your atrust in God even so much ye shall be bdelivered out of your trials, and your ctroubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Such a great reminder that our success comes from patience! What a great attribute that our Savior shows, and oh how badly I need it! As I have been taught to have patience and to trust more in my Heavenly Father, I know and am so grateful to have been delivered from overwhelming trials. Also in Alma 37:40-47 (please read it!!) it talks about how much the scriptures help in our life! It's a delicious feast in Alma! South America is growing on me. I love this place, there's so many things that are just amazing. There is a place called Villa Paraguay in our area and each Sunday night different barrios get together to have a HUGE soccer competition on this dirt field! Soccer here is so fun to watch because it is so competitive! I try and get in on whatever action I can. Last night walking back to our Pinch there were two kids kicking a ball around, I kindly asked them to show me some tricks and they kindly did! Next I kindly asked them to pass the ball my way... kindly I was ignored! haha Being American sometimes is a joke to people when it comes to soccer, but its okay I have fun with it! Elder Lewis was dying laughing as I sat there waiting to get a pass for a little bit but it never came!

Love you guys tons and thanks for your emails! Also just in case you don't know, letters need to be sent to the mission office (Quintana 447 Adrogue Buenos Aires 1846).

Elder Jolley Jr.

Elder Jolley making some melonessa in the apartment

Elder Jolley with a recent convert named Franciso Acuna!,
they go to his house every Sunday for lunch
.

Monday, November 28, 2011

¡Buenos Dias!

Hey family! How are you all doing? Wow first holiday away, sounds like you guys had a good time at Melissa´s house, I did my best to not think about you guys (as far as missing ya´ll), but just to remember and thank my Heavenly Father for everything that I´m blessed with and you all were for sure at the top! Everything is so opposite here that you guys talking about setting Christmas stuff up makes you seem a little crazy, Argentina is getting hotter and more humid! I hate to be negative, but humid is a terrible terrible thing. Period. Sweating every minute of the day is definitely a funny experience and also mind blowing coming from the dry area were we live. In our Pinch we only have one fan that really works and it´s really small so we probably look like so funny sprawled out in the night from the heat. Again I´ll thank my Heavenly Father that I´m blessed to be a deep sleeper cause I´ve been sleeping great! :)

This week has been filled with new experiences and a lot of self-learning. I´m feeling more and more comfortable where I´m at and I´m loving the people. This is such a different place filled with so many goobers, but the people, the culture, and just our day to day routine is amazing and I truly am taken back when I think that I´m actually doing this. Occasionally I´ll catch a glimpse of Elder Lewis and I walking in a mirror and my heart will start going nuts cause I see two Elders up ahead until I remember that it´s me wearing that black plaque! This is such a holy and sacred calling that I´m anxious to be a part of and seriously love! One of you asked if I love it here and love the people? At first I wanted to just stay positive (such a blessing in our lives to stay positive through afflictions), but now more than anything I´m being taught how to love by these amazing people here who usually I can´t understand.. but my heart is filled. I'm so excited to keep learning of this culture.

This week we lost that girl and her son, they called us one day and told us that they were moving to another area so that was a bummer because she was progressing so well I thought, so now we are on the move to find new investigators. This has been great for me to learn more about the spirit and always be aware of the still small voice in my life because being led to those who are prepared is definitely hard and definitely can´t be done alone, I have a lot to learn, but the best way to learn is practice right? Also we´ve been visiting that lady that we baptized last week, Norma, and it has been amazing (sorry, I know I use that word too much but it´s fitting) before she was really shy, wouldn´t talk and would hide her smile, but now she´s a new person. She is pulling jokes on us now and laughs on multiple occasions when you are there. I never realized what baptism can do. The light of Christ is given to everyone, but when people take upon themselves Christ's name there is a difference. There is a physical light that turns on and bears testimony that this work is true, that bears witness that Jesus Christ is the only one who has the sacred power to change us, it has been eye opening to Elder Lewis and I that baptism is the real deal.

For P-day today we went to the capilla (church) to play some good ol basketball court soccer with the priesthood brethren today. My first experience with some South American soccer. These guys are for real!! They are super competitive when it comes to soccer so I was a little worried coming into it but had a great time! Elder Lewis told me this is where I earn respect with the guys.. initiation maybe? so I went to the goalie box. Safe place where a lot less damage could be done! haha I had some saves and then lost it for our team, but the next game I scored a goal? Miracles happen. Ha, no it has been a fun day today and good to get to know the priesthood in the ward more, they are all strong and have a lot of responsibility because of how small the ward is. Great guys! Then, mom, we went back and deep cleaned the bathroom! ha I think I take after you cause I couldn´t handle it anymore, thank you for that... I miss your clean a lot!

Well gotta fly, but I wanted to share with you guys one of the best lessons I´ve learned so far. From Alma 29:4 it talks a lot about how Heavenly Father will bless the desires of our hearts as we work at them. I´ve spent a lot of time thinking about our testimonies, how I sometimes wish that I could notice a leap in mine and sometimes wonder if it has grown. Our Savior doesn´t bless us like that though. If we are DAILY doing things to help it grow, it will change so slowly that we don´t notice. But as we look back on our lives we see how far we´ve come. The Savior is so tender in His actions and in His teachings are sometimes so mysterious to us that we don´t recognize how tender His love is and how much He blesses us! Desires are so important and working to achieve them is even more important. If we desire Christ more, daily be like Christ then ¨when He appears, we shall be like Him¨ and can rejoice in the daily experiences we´ve had to know our Savior. I love you all and give thanks for you in my life and for my Redeemer, He lives and because He lives we can be like Him.

Have a great week!
Elder Jolley

Elder Lewis and Elder Jolley


Monday, November 21, 2011

Buenos Dias from Buenos Aires!

Hola todos!

How are we all doin? This is still so weird for me to be on the other side of the world and be sitting in a very different place than where I was last week... I was actually talking to you all last week at this time! Hmm.. Argentina is great and beautiful. There really is such a difference from the United States. But it's good and has its own special traits that make it so cool and also so so corky.

The traveling all went pretty well and well.. I´m here so that´s a tender mercy right there. I was able to sleep most of the time on the plane, but they had this cool little tv that would show you where you were on the screen so I kept getting up and looking at where we were. I ended up seeing Cuba and Jamaica and Paraguay and all these places that you only see on a map, granted that I only saw them in the night time, but still you knew they were there. I sat next to this real ¨stalky¨ guy who took up a little bit of my chair so things were a little bit crowded, but I ended up sleeping good. When we got here luckily there was some senior missionaries that ended up taking me under their wing when we got off and helped me through customs because at that time my eyes were just as wide as they could be and everyone else around me was speaking some weird language. (this first week I´ve gotten incredibly good at my "intensely listening" face and the occasional nod that satisfies the people that I know what they´re talking about... I don´t!) President and Sister Stapley are awesome!! As we headed back to the mission home, because it was just me that they were picking up, I got to have a nice little chat with them, they fed me at their house and let me take a shower. Whenever I tell any missionary that here they are always so amazed and tell me how special my treatment was! They´re really kind though and helped me out a ton to get accustomed to everything.

My companion's name is Elder Lewis from Greenville Colorado, I believe, and he´s such a good guy! The Lord has blessed me incredibly so far with 2 amazing companions that have (and will) help me to grow so much! He´s a really funny guy we have a good time jokin' around about stuff as we walk. We´re in the Longchamps B area and cover most of the poor side of Longchamps known as the villas (veshas), it´s a really really humble area and most of these people live in the worst of circumstances, but couldn´t be nicer. The people of Argentina, as a culture, are really humble and LOVE missionaries! We have lunch appointments everyday and these people will give you everything and will serve you until you abruptly tell them NO! A lot of the area is covered in trash for the most part. The houses are usually concrete blocks or wood, only one room, but everybody usually chooses to be in these villas just so they can get funding from government and just not have to do anything! Mom, I think you asked what I would compare my apartment to. In high school there was a big thing to try and find Ted Bundy´s house during Halloween and stuff, well everyone has been looking in the wrong place! :) We found it here and decided to live in it! I can´t tell you HOW badly I miss your clean, mama! The first few days were extremely hard for me. Culture shock isn´t a joke and with my problem of getting my head too much involved in my life, I kinda had a mental breakdown. My body wasn´t really sick, but because I got thinking of all the things that I was faulting in and how different everything was it started to affect me pretty good! No worries though :) I live with 4 Elders and I think on Thursday they gave me a blessing, I slept for a while and I was good! I can´t tell you enough the power of our Father in Heaven's love. There are no words to describe the sweet redeeming power of the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I´m still having to refocus my mind here and there to not dwell on unimportant things, but as we bring our weaknesses to our Savior and lay them at his beautiful feet, somehow, we are made strong!? He has changed my life and continues to be the influence in my life that guides and directs me to a better way.

Thank you for your prayers, everyone! What a miraculous blessing they have been in my first week. Normally fresh ¨Yankee¨ elders get soo sick the first, but my stomach has been a champ! Food is weird here. Breakfast doesn´t really happen, usually just a bowl of cereal and dinner is usually some crackers or some bread with some meat on it! The majority of my eating has come from lunch! We´ve had a ton of Melonesa, which is just a think slice of meat covered in bread.. like breaded chicken? It´s delish, but we did have our first Asado on Friday! That's where we basically eat a cow :) and they don´t hold back on the parts! At this one we had just regular steak and sausage, but in the mix was chinchulin and Morsilla! Morsilla is sausage filled with cooked blood and chinchulin is intestine! Thanks to coke a cola I quickly swallowed the morsilla, but the chinchulin got me... I straight up puked! But we're hoping not to have that one again!

Most of the mission is a walking mission, but we do take the bus a lot! Bus rides are really fun cause usually we are laughing and joking around in English so all the Argentines look at us like we´re weird or start giggling, I haven´t figured out what´s funny yet? Most of the roads we walk on are dirt because they´re in the villas, but other than that it´s just a nice little town! It was funny, yesterday while we were walking to church, Elder Lewis and I were walking up one side of the calle and we saw some kid walking up to us, fairly normal, but outta nowhere he jumps on us and starts pushing us around and acts like he has a gun! We´re now up against a fence while this kid has his hand to my throat Elder Lewis gives him about 80 pesos. I was incredibly startled by this, but so so amused. Obviously I knew the kid wanted something, but as he was shouting at us in Castellano I just had to shake my head cause I had no clue what he was saying! Kinda funny being the one out of the loop in a robbing! Nothing happened other than him acting tough, he took the money and ran!

This week has been awesome and the area is awesome! So many people are accepting to at least the first lesson just cause Argentines like to talk, which also creates problems when you have to keep to a schedule because you don´t want to offend anyone by saying that you have to leave. On my first night here we went clapping down a street (oh you don´t knock here, you clap outside peoples doors) and we found this lady and her son who are seriously the happiest people you´ll every see. We sat down and talked with her and at the end she committed to being baptized! Hmm.. there ya go! We´ve taught her a couple lessons since and she´s just so accepting of everything. She has a date to be baptized on the 4 of December!

Yesterday was an awesome day! At church everyone is so so kind and loves missionaries so with me being the nuevo in the area everyone came up and offered their welcomes to me! It´s a very small ward with not a lot of people! I´m very excited to continue working with them! I was also able to confirm a man named Oscar in sacrament meeting. I forgot beforehand that it had to be in Spanish so I was praying my lights out for the gift of tongues! haha It´s still a weird concept that everyone speaks Spanish down here, I always find myself telling little kids stuff in English then getting impatient cause they don´t listen, that´s when Elder Lewis reminds me that I´m not speaking their language! Yesterday we also had a baptism for a mom and a son named Norma and Latauro! I was able to baptize Latauro who´s about 12 which was really good and an awesome experience in this first week!

Oh man I love you guys so much! I show everyone the pictures that I brought and I get to try and brag to them how amazing you all are! Such a beautiful thing to have a family like you guys who have done so so much for me! For Christmas I really am just excited to talk to ya´ll. I would love a ton of those Quaker porage packs for the mornings :), that´s all I could think of!

I wanted to share a thought from 1 john 4:18-19. It says, ¨There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that hath fear is not made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.¨ The love that comes for our Father in Heaven is amazing, it´s something else. I´ve learned and experienced this love a lot this week with my fears that come from the mission. But I know with all my heart that we have a Father that sits in his heavens and cares and comforts his children. There is nothing that will separate us from that love! He lives and because He loves we will live and can love others. Fear is nothing but a lack of love! I´m working on loving my Savior more and with that I can literally feel my fears being taken away!

Love you guys so very very much!
Elder Jolley (Jr.)

Elder Jolley, first week in Longchamps Argentina... with a little friend!

Picture taken before Brayden left the MTC with a group of elders and friends from Lone Peak

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Arrived Safe and Sound

Dear Brother and Sister Jolley,

We wanted to notify you that your son, Elder Jolley, has arrived safely in our mission. Attached is a photo of his first day here in Argentina. His trainer is named Elder Lewis and they will be working together in an area called Longchamps. His preparation days are on Mondays so you should expect an email from him this coming week. We are truly excited to have Elder Jolley as part of our team here in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission. There are many wonderful experiences that your son will encounter here while serving the Lord as His full time servant. Rest assured that not only we are looking after him, but our Heavenly Father is as well. I know He has many great blessings in store for your son and that there are people waiting here to hear the Gospel message preached to them specifically by him.

Sincerely,
Michael J Stapley
President, Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission

Elder Lewis, Elder Jolley, President and Sister Stapley

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's Time!

Wow... so the "delayed status" is now officially "go status". We received a quick call from Brayden Thursday evening. He did receive his itinerary and was calling to give us the info.

He is flying out first thing Monday morning. He will fly to Atlanta and after a bit of a layover there, will continue on a 12 hour flight to Buenos Aires.

He will have the opportunity to call home from the airport before he departs and we look forward to talking with him more on Monday.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hey family!!

Ah how are you all? Things are going well on my end! I've noticed in my emails that there isn't a whole lot of things that I can write to you guys about what I'm doing here in the MTC... A lot of it just applies to sitting in a tan bricked classroom for most of the day! This week has been a little goofy for me with Elder Jackman leaving for Texas on Wednesday. I've now been put into a 3 sum (however you spell that) companionship and also put into a "refugee" district with Elders and sisters who are awaiting their Visas and all that good stuff. So we are kinda of the outcasts who nobody really knows what to do with and what to teach.. We do a lot of role playing and teaching experiences which is really helpful.

Today I find out about my flight plans. At 12 o'clock they told us to come and check in and they would then know our status. Does anybody else feel like I just got here?? And that it's really soon to be going out into the field. I'm just filled with anticipation right now.. can't really say what I'm feeling. Just excited that I'll be able to grow in a HUGE way in country. I've felt like I've been stuck on growth or just lost as to where to go with growth the last couple days, although I have been continually stretched, I'm just anticipating the opportunity to be completely immersed in the work on another level. The Lord truly is here for us! If all goes well I should be calling you guys tomorrow?.. No idea when or anything like that, but just so you are aware... I'm so sorry I wish I had more information, but it's just not coming on this end either! I'll inform you as I know! I love you all and can't wait to talk with you!

Love you tons!
Elder Jolley jr.

Mom could you please forward the other part of this on to Ryan.. I forgot his email address!

Elder Jolley!!

Hey brother how are you? I'm so so sorry that you haven't heard from me since I've been here! I'm doing amazing and am in love with the work. I'm constantly reminded how blessed I am to have your example as I go through trying times. It's such a blessing to know I have your example as something I can look to and strive to better! I've loved hearing your emails as mom sends them my way. I hope you've been able to read some of mine and have been filled in on some of the happenings with me.

I believe that this week I'll be heading down to Argentina!!! shuu dee right?! haha I've been so blessed and touched by the Lord as I've gone through the MTC and have been able to witness His hand in my life. Through any rough patch I am strengthened by His loving kindness. Teaching is an absolute dream and to take part in the salvation of another man's soul... is there a greater and more rewarding work? There is so much to learn and take in on how to be an effective teacher, but it'll come. The language has been a significant bump in the road for me, but I can bear solid testimony of the power and gift of the Holy Ghost as we place our faith in him and testify of the truths in our hearts.

I've been extremely touched by the message that we have to bear as personal representatives. In PMG chapter 10 (a heaven sent chapter) it is the "manna" to know how to teach and what to teach. The message of the restored gospel is unique and special to us and our church and is something that, if taught by the spirit, will touch the hearts of those that seek with pure intent. I don't know if you ever saw the talk with Jeffery R. Holland in here called the Miracle of Missionary work. Anyway it's lo maximo! It talks a lot of the power of the Atonement in our teaching. If I've learned anything it is that we have an older brother that did so much for us. In John 17 it talks a lot of what our potential is to be with the father and the son. In Elder Holland's talk he talks about how we can't expect to not experience a little bit if the "bitter cup" on our missions. That is the price we pay in knowing and testifying powerfully of the love of the Savior.

My time is short but i just wanted to get in touch with you! Thanks so much for all that you do and who you are! I love joining you in the work of our God! He is my light and my way. This church is nothing but true and is guided by Him who died for us! God speed in you work buddy!

Love you tons!!
Elder Jolley jr. (talk to you next from the other side of the world ya?)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pictures

We received our first set of pictures from Brayden on Saturday... enjoy!

Elder Jolley and Elder Jackman in front of the Provo Temple

Halloween costumes?? : )
A Nephite and Egyptian


Elder Jackman, Elder Jolley, Sister Balbuena, Elder Chafez, Elder Fuertez, Elder Ramirez and Elder Eliason

Our white "gringo"

Elder Jackman and Elder Jolley

Elder Jolley Jr with a Mongolian Elder who knows Elder Jolley Sr.

Hey everyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hey family!!!!
How are ya'll? This week has been a ride! Ups and downs and plenty of opportunity to grow which has been amazing! The Lord is truly over the work and leads and guides us as missionaries. Today has been great to give my brain a break, process everything and get ready for a new good week... maybe the last one too?? No itinerary or news on my Visa.. I'm expecting a "delayed" status, but there's still hope for tonight and tomorrow. Laundry... Please this thing is simple! haha Expect to see a couple letters coming your way! Elder Jackman and I went and were witnesses during a sealing session, he'd never been before so I think it was a good learning experience for him. I had prayed before (love prayers in the temple) and asked to learn something new during the day. A little later while we were waiting a couple ladies came and sat down, we ended up talking about our missions - a common topic with the old people in the temple - and found out both had served. Anyway, one of the ladies randomly asked if she could give us some mission advice, of course we accepted and she said, "find and do something that you'll be proud of after your mission... when you return home what will you be proud to say that you did during your mission?" What an answer this has turned out to be, I feel re-focused and anxious to find and do something that I'll be proud of when I think of my service to the Lord. I haven't figured out what that thing is yet, but I've been stewing over ideas. It's a great question for all of us. When we meet our Savior again what will be the thing that we've done in our lives that will make us proud to tell Him?

Elder Jackman and I (he's a stud, we get along so well and are having great success) have been anxiously trying to improve our teaching during the week as we usually teach 2 lessons a day, but on Tuesday maybe? We committed our first investigator to baptism. I WISH I could express a little bit of the joy that we felt. The spirit there was so strong as we were able to see through the loving "eyes" of the spirit and see that change in her heart! There is nothing greater than bringing souls to change... bringing souls to Christ. In the scriptures it mentions a lot of "tasting" of the love of Christ, or experiencing the Love of Christ and I had a buffet that night. My biggest concern before coming into the MTC was who my companion was going to be. The Lord has a plan! Shuu dee He aligns us with people that will allow us to be our very best and I'm so grateful for my companion (particularly his Spanish :) that's a heaven sent). Teaching the lessons and realizing my weaknesses in Spanish is a humbling experience, especially when I'm supposed to be leaving to the opposite side of the world next week but... We go and do with a smile and a way will be provided that will make us smile bigger! (copyright)

My days are usually the same, just in a different order depending on the day, we have a couple hours of personal study and then usually about six hours of classroom instruction mixed with teaching and food time! Food time is my favorite. I've gained about 10 pounds in 2 weeks... uh oh! but what else are you supposed to do in a buffet? I've always been taught to take advantage of your resources, so I do! Not to worry we usually try and fast walk up stairs! haha. Oh! on Sunday we got to listen to Music and the Spoken Word!! That was so weird being in a different area and not being with you guys, but wasn't it an incredible episode? The message was great and the hymns were even better. Here at the MTC we aren't allowed to listen to music so I miss hearing the MOTAB more often. I'll try and watch it again this Sunday so be aware that I'll be there in spirit!

This week there's been a lot of focus on prayer, on Tuesday we had a member of the Seventy come and teach us and he discussed prayer (it was really good) and I've also been studying in John 17 about the Savior's intercessory prayer! Please if you can read that! In verse 26 it talks about how Jesus Christ has declared the name of his father to those that have believed in his name and he goes on to say that "I have declared it and will declare it" so that the love that Heavenly Father has for His son can be given to us as well. I had the amazing experience to be taught SO much of the Atonement and what it means. This chapter states and is a testimony to us all of the divine relation between the Father and the Son and the blessing given to us to BECOME one with both of them. The Atonement is such a big part of my life... such a big part of this work. It keeps me going and gives me strength in the hard times. As we learn of the Atonement we are increased in desire and knowledge to preach the gospel to the world. It is THE ONLY WAY to come to Christ with full purpose of heart. I testify He lives. I know he walks with me and for me. And through sincere prayer - like he demonstrates here - we can receive testimony and "taste" of their divine nature and Love allowed through the Atonement.

I love you all so much. Thanks for the support and letters! They're amazing.
Elder Jolley Jr.

Friday, October 28, 2011

An Elder spotting...

Found this picture, courtesy of friend Allie Gonzalez who works at the MTC. She spotted Elder Jolley with his companion Elder Jackman and got a pic.
Looking good!

Hey-lo family!!
Goodness.. a week has already flown by?? That is crazy because the days have been soo long! (very very good though). Thursdays are my p-days and it has been such a blessing today! We got to go to the temple earlier this morning and do an endowment session so that was really cool to go and do those again! This week I've been studying the difference between faith and TRUE faith. The bible dictionary explains it as a "confidence or a trust", that was a powerful word. Think to yourselves what the word confidence means. Cool how it can apply to faith!

I saw Laura Mann in the temple so that was fun to see a familiar face, even though I see them all the time around here! I've been able to run into so many buddies from LP and now as missionaries it's so awesome to see those friendships grow!
Ah I don't like emailing from here because it is such a time stress, but I'll try and fill you guys in as much as possible! My companion Elder Jackman is such a capo! (stud in most Latin American countries: drug dealer in others :) use that word carefully I guess). He best reminds me of Spencer Simpson, I swear he's his mini-me, but he has been a great buddy and a heaven sent in helping me to learn Spanish. In looking back over this last week I feel like I didn't know anything, but through the spirit and the comfort that it brings I know that we are able to see things through an eternal perspective and be able to have a clear view of things that we need to grow and improve on!

haha You guys will get a kick outta this... the food!!! INCREDIBLE!! The second day, I think it was, I popped a button off one of my pants! :) hahaha dang tailors didn't do something right apparently! Haven't sown it back on yet cause the sewing stuff intimidates me. Also I'm sitting here doing my laundry and well that's a mess too! But the Lord has plans to help us grown in many different aspects! I'm not pudging, but I'll be running up more stairs from now on!
The MTC is an incredible place, I can't say that enough! I feel like I've experienced every single emotion possible, but I have nothing but faith and love for my dear Savior! Spanish is interesting because the word choice is on such a deeper level, like they translate words and phrases to mean things a lot different. For example if you want to say through it can be por.. or a traves. A traves is used to describe going "through a process" so A traves la expiacion de Jesucristo podemos ser limpiado de nuestros pecados! meaning: going through the process of knowing and understanding and doing the Atonement we can become clean from our sins! How beautiful is that? That was it isn't just a check off list, but we really come to know and understand this process that our Savior went through in order that we can become new. Another amazing thing is the gift of tongues! I know that this is a gift only through the holy spirit! We teach our progressive investigators everyday and I've been able to actually communicate a little of what I want to say and I think tomorrow or the next day we're going to "commit" one of them to baptism!

Sorry time is running out... I'll write more in my letters to you, but I just want to end with something that Elder Hallstrom said on the Tuesday night devotional. Reverance is defined as: to revere or show respect and love for Diety. As missionaries and especially PERSONAL representatives of Jesus Christ if we are living our lives with reverence towards God then the most important message that we, or members of this church, can bring to others is the "message", if you will, of ourselves. We are the message we bear this sacred opportunity as we live our lives with love and respect towards our Heavenly Father. I KNOW that my Savior lives. He is my light and my hope. If we can focus and give 100% of our devotion and lives to Him he WILL guide and direct us. I've seen and come to know that this week.

Love you all so very much and for the package!!
Elder Jolley Jr.

Monday, October 24, 2011

From Elder (sr.) to Elder (jr.)

Elder Jolley

YEAH! Welcome aboard Elder! Man I have been especially excited for this Preparation Day to email you, and I've loved hearing about all that's going on and a snapshot into the MTC. I can't believe you've only got 3 weeks- soak up every minute because that time will go by like nothin! Elder Wilson and I would always joke around saying "What happened to this Elder or that Elder? (in the 3 week groups)" while we were zone leaders because they would unpack and then it seemed their plane tickets came. Ahhhhh..... I have a hundred things to say but don't know where to start. When's your preparation day? Thursday? I know that the time crunch when you email is intense in the MTC but give us a rundown of your companion and such. You're going to love it. In a month from now even being in a restroom alone will be super awkward- you'll have the companion mindset and all working for you. Remember that every companion you get is an assignment and opportunity from Heavenly Father, one to bless said Elder, and the other is to learn from his strengths. Look for that in each Elder you will serve with. How's the MTC food? Sweet ya? Ahhh the foods good there- with time and a little luck you could get your cheeks back!

I'm going to include most of this weeks details in the email but I want to share with you a cool scripture that I found again and loved reading/pondering/and sharing this week in my work. It's Luke 14. The whole chapter is incredible, but there is an especially powerful parable in verses 16-25. Many people wonder why we need the Gospel, or what the benefit is (a very sad perspective but nonetheless a start). But this is a great reply from the Savior and I have learned a lot from studying it. I loved getting your email this week. You're full of the missionary spirit and desire to serve God! That's the key factor in success! I'm now getting the "old missionary" feeling Elder- but more than anything I want to serve hard right until the end! Remember when we used to go running? As soon as you hit the last turn til home, or get in the neighborhood you start sprinting. That's the mode I am getting myself into for these last 8 months- I want to be dead tired and sure that I gave the Lord my best! It's been especially strange now that I have this double-duty in the office because it takes out my morning study time and such- but that's going to be improving this next transfer. Transfers! I forgot to tell you. I'll be still serving as assistant but am also going to be training a new American missionary! So that means you've already met my companion before I did. With that I will be able to get more study and more time to focus on training him better. I couldn't be more excited! Where at first I was worried about language with Elder Verdusco, my language fears are subsided and now I just want to get out and teach with him as much as possible. I've also got a baptism coming up this Friday! My first since being back in Sansar, but this investigator, Munkh-Orchlon, is incredible. Goes to Institute, attends choir, and is extremely committed to following the Savior. I love this work and I'm so excited to hear about your experiences as I share with you mine! Gotta go, Preparation Day is getting sucked away in the office and so we're going home to pack up- heading out to a new apartment this week. Love ya bud!

Elder Jolley

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our first email!!

Family!!

You would not believe the butterflies that are floating around in my stomach right now! I didn't think I'd be able to get an email off to you guys until next week but they gave us a time to do laundry today, so I'm postponing doing that so i can write you guys! Thanks so much for the DearElder letters, those were fantastic... might have brought a tear or two to my eye! It was at the most perfect time. I felt all your love and support and I have really been feeling it during these first few days. I can't believe that it's already Saturday! Here in the MTC all days feel the same.. I've lost track of days having names. I only know things by what is going on in our schedule. (scheduling the MTC way is divine!!) Being new and everything we've been being taught a lot of "the missionary" way or doing things and as me and my companion have strived to be obedient to mission rules and to goals that we've set as companionship I have felt the spirit with me more. Yesterday at the end of the day, I was beyond tired and my mind felt like it had hit its max capacity.. which isn't to much as you all know. Ha ha ha i make funny jokes still ;) but i felt just drained and never thought i'd be able to get all my "end of the night" stuff done but I know that because I got those things done that i had extra time. I ended up with time to just sit around for a minute.

My district is fantastic. Did you guys get my letter?? I sent it on thursday but anyway in there it'll explain a little more that I've been put in the Advanced class and that I am with 6 fantastic spanish speakers. All but two of us have grew up with spanish influence. So even though it is hard, the Lord has really blessed me with resources to grow in the language. So remember how in that email we were planning on me leaving on December 20?.. Scratch that. I leave on November 9th to Argentina to start my work in the field!!!!!! Ah! How crazy is that? I feel a little sad because i was so looking forward to this MTC experience and the concentrated work that this place brings but it'll be such a rich opportunity to get out there quicker and start to serve. This also brings a lot of intimidation and the huge responsibility to take advantage of everyday! I'm doing soo well at understanding. The lord is so much apart of this work! Heavenly Father is such a loving and merciful Father. I have been surrounded by his love so much and especially comforted. My speaking lacks.. but it's coming as I am immersed in constant spanish all day. What a blessing! so much of my time is working on growing in teaching that I have kinda been slacking on general gospel study but that is where I'm grateful for the prep. I had before the mission.

I'm doing well. Sleeping great and striving hard to be the missionary i should be. I know the Lord is blessing me and as i continue with a faith-filled attitude I know that i will grow.. i know that the language will come and that i'll be ready for Argentina in 21/2 weeks. WOO!! How's home life?? Did the kids have a fun fall break? what's new? I don't know what else to ask cause i just want to be filled in completely.

Tomorrow will be the first sunday (obviously) but I've heard that they are amazing here! My branch president is fantastic and I look forward to growing with his help. We all have to prepare a talk for sundays because they call on people randomly. Being in a spanish branch this means that it will have to be in spanish. (K. I know i'm pointing out the obvious but sometimes it's the obvious that strikes us the hardest) So at least mine will be catered to primary/nursery age children :) haha. Let me know how home is and I'll fill ya in more as i go! Thanks for your prayers and again for the letters. Incredible!

Love you all so so much!
Elder Jolley Jr.

PS. You'll probably get to talk to ryan first so let him know that i contacted the mongolians and they are thrilled to be coming out! They're a great bunch of guys and will continue being a benefit to that place! Also Brother Mortensen passes on his love! Sorry for no pictures, i barely got on to the email without problems. (Sky man you woulda been useful)

To the MTC

Well, here we were (again... seems like we just took Ryan to the MTC!?!).

The day had come... Wednesday, October 19, 2011. What a beautiful fall day!

We had a great morning. Such a calm and peaceful spirit. We enjoyed a yummy french toast breakfast, as per Brayden's request.

We got things gathered together and after a few family photos, were on our way.


Brayden was to report to the MTC at 12:55 p.m.


As we arrived and started our decent into the MTC "drop off" area, we were greeted by many helpers and elders. There is such a wonderful, happy spirit of welcoming at the MTC. A couple of elders helped Brayden unload his luggage. We gave our hugs and love and he was off.










Ready to go and serve.

Being set apart

Brayden was set apart on Tuesday night, October 18, 2011. Our immediate family along with a few Aunt and Uncles, Bishop Davis, a few of Brayden's close friends and Stake President Bangerter and President Glade gathered to share in this special evening. President Bangerter gave each of us the opportunity to share and express our love, testimonies and feelings to Brayden. The spirit was very strong and the room was filled with lots of love and emotion.

President Bangerter then set Brayden apart as a missionary and offered him a beautiful blessing. Brayden then had the opportunity to share his feelings and testimony. What a powerful testimony he bore of our Savior Jesus Christ. Brayden will be a wonderful, humble missionary... and you could feel it!

Brayden with (Aunt & Uncle) Cherie and Jeff Campbell

Jake Wright, Brayden, and Zach Newman

Tanner Jensen and Brayden

Brothers

Draya and Brayden

Brayden with Kendyl
Brayden with his Dad and Mom

We carried on our tradition from when Ryan left of having a family "camp out" down in the family room. Again, being altogether as a family, sharing our last bit of time before Brayden was to leave the next day!


Such a fun and cherished time and memory!

Wrapping things up and good-byes... for now

The last few days to wrap things up. Brayden was very well prepared and only need to figure out how to get everything he needs for two-years into 3 pieces of luggage (and yes, we did get it all in!). We also were able to attend our Stake Conference in which we were privileged in having Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Gary Doxey of the Seventy attend. This month of October truly has been a spiritual and uplifting feast for us.




After finishing up his packing, Brayden spent Tuesday afternoon (October 18th) saying good-bye to family and friends...

Brayden and Megan Jackson

Jessica Walker and Brayden

Cousin Clare and Calvin, Brayden and Aunt Jill

Cousins Tanner, Ty Brayden, cousins Allie and Kylee
(missing Haley in the picture, she was at gymnastics)

Ali Reilley and Brayden

Our Last Family Hoorah

After a wonderful "farewell meeting" weekend, we took a few days in the sunny, warm state of Nevada to enjoy some final family time. It was nice and relaxing and great to have that extra time to enjoy being together.



Brayden's Aunt Kelly and her family live in Las Vegas.
They were able to come meet up with us for a day to play.

Bradyen, Aunt Kelly and Mom

Andraya, Bentley, Skyler, Trey, Kendyl and Natalia

Fun family time together

A last good-bye with the Pias

Kendyl, Andraya, Skyler and Brayden

On our way home, we stayed in St. George with Brayden's grandparents.
We loved visiting and being together with them too.



The time away went by much too quick!