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.

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


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.