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.