Monday, December 31, 2012

¡¡Feliz Año Nuevo!!

Wow 2013.. that came quick! I´m also very surprised that we´re already a week from the call that we had. I have to thank you guys so much for all the love that I felt, the call really was so great for me! It´s incredible that even though it has been a while since we´ve talked we´re able to keep the same random humor and the same love for one another! Very sorry for the English. Elder Villalba made a comment to me after, something to the effect of "che, you speak worse than I do!" Haha I thought it was funny that he caught Ryan's comment about being Trunky! Ha. He sends you all muchos Saludos. Recién today I got the package from Navidad! :) Thank you so much!! The tie is joya! I love it and all the letters and WOW! The pictures are incredible! Thank you.

This week we were able to get a lot done!! Tons for the time that we were given. We were able to visit several of our super Investigators! Right now we´re teaching a part member family, the Flia. Cejas. The mom is a member and the husband and several of their kids are not members. They were a reference from our Stake President that he has given to us like 3 times.. We tried to work with this family when I first got here, but they didn´t want to hear anything, so when we heard from him this time I was a little hesitant, but I have gained a great testimony that the Lord is constantly preparing His children. About 2 months ago they were finishing up some family trials so it would have been hard for them to see the importance of the Gospel. Right now though they keep telling us, "Right now we feel like we need this in our lives and the more we listen to you guys the more our trials are resolved." Roberto especially is so aware of the spirit. We´ve been inviting them to read the Book of Mormon- he isn´t a man of many words but he knows how he feels. He explains to us so enthusiastically that EVERY time he reads the Book of Mormon he is filled with peace and feels like a huge burden is lifted from his life. They are an incredible family. This week we´ll be doing a lot more to involve the kids and help the family to be more involved in the Gospel.

Our other investigator is Gabriel Yoma. He is a glass-worker. He´s got long hair and I think he was a hippy cause he works the peace sign! Ha. He´s a special friend of ours! He was a reference from our bishop and has been so glad to accept us and the best part of Gabriel is that he listens to us! But more than just listens, he ponders on every word that we say. He has been going through a hard time.. he´s in "a war of words" between us and the other church he goes to. The other day we were with him, a lady passed by his house and told him that we were of the devil... Merry Christmas to her! We were a little worried for him, didn´t want him to be stressed or confused so we decided to just chat with him, try and be in his shoes for a minute and we were able to be led by the spirit in a way that I´ve never experienced before. We knew how to open his heart and how sweet to be able to provide the Gospel of Jesus Chirst in the hearts of these people. I love to be a missionary!! :) Very thankfully I´m going to be able to continue to see the work continue in Villa Elvira!! :)

Transfers came and I´ll be staying with Elder Villalba- this also means that automatically I´ll be staying another transfer after this one. (repeat of Fiorito.) I´m very thankful for the blessing that the Lord has given me. I remember thinking that Fiorito was the hardest thing that I¨d been through, and like Pres. Eyring says, the trials that seem hard to us right now will seem very small compared to the things that the Lord will give us to capacitate (?) us for our future! Come what may, if our foundation of Christ is firm, supported on the solid principles of His Gospel we will become sanctified by Him and be able to reach our potential. I´m not ready to say "Give me, Lord, that mountain to climb" but I´m ready to follow Him and be obedient to His counsels! :) I look forward to a successful time here in Villa Elvira! 

Holidays here in Argentina, the end of the year mainly, we get to be with the members for most of the time. I think I mentioned in the call that we spent our Christmas with a great family. The Flia. Marazita nos invitó a un Asado de Pollo que estuvo riquísimo! Before I leave here I´m learning how to do Asado so that we can enjoy when I get home. It is something very common in Argentina to do, Asado with ALL the family. The next day our next door neighbors, the family Gatica, invited us to do an Asado also and tonight for Año Nuevo, we´re going to a huge "family reunion" again with the family Gatica again with the Asado. Asado = MEAT! :) It is just a huge BBQ with all the Cow that you could ask for! I´m trying not to loose the tradition of eating this holiday season!

I love you all and wish you the best of this New Year! :) I hope that we will all begin this year by coming unto the Savior. I know with all surety that if we are humble and recognize our need for Jesus Christ everyday of our lives we will be inspired to know how to follow Him and will receive the fulness of His blessing! -Mosiah 4:5-8 Con mucho amor familia!

Elder Jolley

Christmas with the family Gatica

 Elders heading to the Mission home in Train.

 Elder Alvarado, Elder Jolley and Elder Lewis - family tree!

 Elder Villalba and I in our common clothes waiting for the other Asado.

With the flia Marazita working on the Asado

2013 ye haw!

Monday, December 17, 2012


This will be the last time that I write you guys before WE TALK!! Wahoo! Time is still something that I don´t like considering because it flies! Si, I had heard about my new release date.. not happy!! But what are ya gonna do? Cutting the mission a little shorter is a hard thought to process when I had been hoping to be here and with the people even for just a couple weeks longer. I am focused and enthusiastic about my time serving here and it´s hard to think of things differently! I´m very excited about the things that are happening right now in the mission! All the missionaries are really looking forward to these next couple weeks. Presidente Stapley has really been inspired to set up "a process of santification" that we have started during the holiday season. Right now we really want everyone to be able to have the "vision" of what we can accomplish as missionaries and to be able to have a strong strong personal desire to listen and follow the spirit in our lives! The best Christmas present that we received this last week was the news that on January 7th La Misión Buenos Aires Sur will be going to the Temple!! :) Presidente has organized a special endowment session for all the missionaries! I´m thrilled.. not sure how else to explain it!! There couldn´t be a better place to go to receive instruction and receive "power from on high!" It has been awhile since I´ve been to the Temple so I´ve kinda got cositas in my tummy to get back there! Ha. There is a super great spirit right now in the mission!

As for this last week, GENIAL! :) Villa Elvira finally has started to explode with new possibilities and success that I haven´t seen!! We had una semana re buena aquí. It was kinda complicada during the week but turned out fantastic!! This week I had a few great experiences with intercambios that we did. This week we ended up doing 3!! We did one with our District Leader, Elder Hogenson.. from Canada! Cool, eh? We enjoyed talking about Mr. Big bars and Hockey! Ha I thought he´d know something about Strange Brew but no luck. We had a great time together! He works hard and we had a great time learning from each other. One experience I loved with Elder Hogenson was in a contact that we didn´t expect. We were going to visit a member who wasn´t there in the end but next door a man salió de su casa and asked us to come inside and share something with him! We entered in and shared about the power of prayer! Daniel se llama hadn´t had communication with his family for a long time and so being able to express himself to his Heavenly Father I think helped him out a lot!

On Thursday Elder Villalba and I received a call from our Assistants who were down in La Plata and wanted to do an intercambio with us. It ended up being such a great experience! Elder Villalba and I have been doing everything how we need to but what we lacked was the "fire-cito" that they brought with them. I learned more than anything with Elder Reid that in our lives, when we know something is right and we feel the desire to help others, we gotta go for it and the spirit will help us and will show us miracles. That day we were able to invite 3 people to be baptized and 3 people accepted the invitation! :) I´ve been praying a lot the past few weeks to be able to find people who would be willing to accept this invitation and this week truly was a miracle and an answer to that prayer! In the end of the week we found 5 incredible people who are now listening to us and more and more things are opening up! To be honest I have no clue what changed exactly?? We changed the way we plan and started doing things junto with our ward and from there I know that the Lord put in His part. It was a great change that we saw!

The last intercambio that we were able to do was with the Elders that share our apartment. We decided to just do it for the afternoon and turned out to be a great success! I went with an Elder Williams and we were able to have a couple really great experiences. We found 2 families that were soo accepting of us and from what I have heard they are capos!! Also I was so grateful to learn from Elder Williams. He and his companion have gone through some rough times and were a little discouraged. While we walked we got talking about the power of our calling and of the covenants that we´ve be able to make in our lives. I really felt the spirit as we sat there talking for a minute. Before we got to finish, we entered into a house of a menos activo and got talking with her. She had been through some hard times and really didn´t have much of a testimony anymore. Again we started to talk about prayer and in the lesson Elder Williams shared a powerful testimony of how he came to love prayer in his life. WOW!! There was such power and authority in his testimony.. it put esa hermana in tears!! She quietly thought for a minute and said that she would pray that night (when at the beginning of the lesson she showed zero interest!) I was so grateful for that spiritual experience, realizing how special it is to realize what we are capable of- when we know who we are and what we´ve been given in our lives!

The spirit really has been such a blessing in my life this week. I´ve been a witness of his power and I´ve been touched by his peace on many occasions. What an incredible blessing that we have WHEN we know how to live worthy of His companionship and understand what the spirit can do for us! I loved a scripture in Jarom 1:4 (can´t download it.. if you will that´d be great mom!) Only when I decide to listen and when I decide to exercise faith can I be in perfect communion with our Father in Heaven!

 Jarom 1:4
And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.

I love you guys tons and can´t wait till next week! :) Hope that you all have a great week!

Mucho Love!
Elder Jolley

Monday, December 10, 2012


Wow.. Una semana ya pasó?? How weird the time that flies by. This week has seriously been so short! One of my goals lately has been to use my time wisely! In the mornings I´m trying to get some journal writing in.. exercise (la pansa lo mandaba) and being on time for studies. It has been a struggle to get everything coordinated but I´ve seen great blessings as I do things as they should be done and in the time frame that they should be done! It has helped me to be more effective and surely has helped me to realize how focused I can be! As Diciembre continues to fly by and as we get busy in our work I´ve been taught that every second has to be taken care of preciously! I have a ton of time left on my mission and what I´m doing is part of a great work, I intend to use every minute of it.

This week we had a great meeting with President Stapley and he helped the Zone Leaders in the mission understand a little bit as to what he wants to happen and what he knows is important for us to do- He has really been inspired by our Heavenly Father to have a fantastic Vision of what we can achieve and who we can be as missionaries. For the work to keep going and keep strong, working with the members of our ward is very important and Elder Villalba and I have the great blessing to work side by side with the Stake Presidency! What a great opportunity that it has been for me!! I´ve been learning and listening a lot to experiences that they have had and what they do to be able to help others progress in the Gospel. I feel greatly tutored as I am given new leadership opportunities! I´ve been trying to be more obedient to the things that we´re recommended to do. Sometimes it´s easy to be prideful and think that, "No, I have a better way!" and not follow exactly what we´re told to do. Really the way has been given to us - and it´s easy if we believe that our Leaders are men called of God! So we got to work and changed and were obedient to what President Stapley knows is the right way. We ended the week with 6 church meetings with different groups of ward and stake leaders. We were asked to come prepared to help the leaders know what the missionaries need to do and how to do it! It was a complicated week for our area but a very productive week in getting everyone on the same page! We´re strugglin right now in our area a little bit. We´ve been out trying to find those who are interested but sometimes they´re difficult to find. For that reason we´re really excited and really confident about the work that we´re going to be doing with the ward, the best way to do missionary work is when we teach and the members are converted to sharing their testimonies with their friends! We´re doing good though and keep moving forward with faith! Thank Heaven for that wonderful principle that we have in our lives! Moroni 7:33 is one of the greatest scriptures!

I love ya´ll very much and am excited for the time that we are entering into.. Christmas time is such a great time to renew promises and devotion to our Savior for the maravilloso don that He gave to us, freedom from our burdens and a return to be with our Father in Heaven again! This Christmas I want to give more to Christ and show Him my gratitude by using His Atonement as my motivation in hard times! I can´t wait to talk with ya´ll and hope you have a great week!

Mucho love!
Elder Jolley

Elder Jolley and Elder Villalba

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ah my family!! :)

What a relief to be able to sit back and hear from you all, thank you so very much for all that you share and for the spirit that you bring into my life. I have been thinking a lot this week about families and thought a lot about what Elder Packer said, "The ultimate end to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to see a family happily united and sealed in the everlasting covenant." When I think of this I am grateful for the many memories that I have of home! :) I hope that I never loose sight of what the Gospel has done for me. This week has been fantastic, we´ve had several days of being with church authorities and that comes with a lot of new things to learn and a great new spirit to help us reach our potential. We were able to meet with Elder De Giovanni, Elder Ceballos, and a couple other area 70. It has been a fantastic week!! I am realizing again how much I love being a missionary and how much I don´t want to stop this work. It has been such a rewarding experience for me and to help me understand what is it that I need to work for in my life in order to be happy! I had a great experience today reading back through my journal. Hermana De Giovanni in our meeting that we had on Thursday shared with us the many times that we are going to down or discouraged or when we just need a spiritual boost, that we should always "return to our tree of life!" In 1 Nefi 8 Lehi describes how precious and how unexplainably delicious the fruit that he partook of was and how it literally was able to fill him with joy. Así es when we have the Church in our lives we can literally think back to experiences where we have felt like Lehi and "return" to that happiness that we desire. Last Sunday I wrote in my journal that I just felt in a rut.. not really knowing what Heavenly Father had next for me. As I continued to read the following days i noticed that each day the Lord had done something to help me find my way back to His love! In the end I was able to learn a great great lesson, that was needed, to seek His will over mine! When we live a Christ-Centered life, we seek to know what He knows, love as He loves, and we will find that more and more we will be following in His footsteps.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

I am beyond grateful for all that we are given from our loving Savior! Although it doesn´t seem anything like Christmas, I trust the calendar. It will be a great gift that we can give to Him this year to comprehend in each of our lives how we can seek His will and then in love follow the way that He marks.

Right now Elder Villalba and I are being greatly blessed to be able to find new investigators in Villa Elvira!! Surely (leave out the slowly) we are finding new people who we are praying hard will continue to progress. Oh we had a super great lesson with Javier this week! We went with an Hermano in our ward and were able to help Javier understand the importance of reading, praying, and attending church. Javier has been through some pretty rough situations lately and to help him focus on 3 things that would help him to get closer to God in his life I believe really helped him! It was great too being with Elder Villalba, I am very grateful for the example that he sets for me, with an inspired question we were able to not just teach "lesson" but we were really able to teach Javier so that those things would be meaningful to him! Unfortunately all our investigators bailed on us Domingo in the morning so we felt a little bit alone in the reunion.

Super sorry but we´re late on time today and it´s time to get to the work! I love you all and thanks for the updates that I get! :)

Have a great week and we´ll talk with ya soon!

Elder Jolley

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hola!! Buenos Días!

Happy Thanksgiving!! Wow... that came and went really quick! It has been another super great week in Villa Elvira and super entertaining with Elder Villalba. He´s such a funny hick! He´s from Entre Ríos y is a total worker... don't know how to say that better but ya get what I mean! I LOVE the extra dose of Argentina that I get with him, the culture, the accent, the weird sayings- all of it is SO SO good! We´ve been able to have a really productive week and are gonna be able to get lots of things done together. He has about 22 months in the mission (along with half my other companions) so it´s really nice to again have the experience on my side and to be able to learn from him. He has a really direct and clear way of working that has helped us to be more efficient in our missionary efforts! Haha in the picture, last night we did a little culture exchange.. he dressed me up like a Gaucho and I hooked him up with some Nike! The Guacho has some really unique ways and strict forms of life. The hat I have on is called a Boina and the pants are like the "Wranglers" of Argentina, they're called Bombachas! I love being able to learn more about the culture and the lifestyle that is lived in el Campo de Argentina.

Elder Villalba and Elder Jolley

This week we were trying to get things going... little rough! Taking over the area wasn't hard but having to plan and arrange things solo for a week or so brought a lot of "blanks" to my mind. We got by alright though! We got out in the week only being able to see our investigators each one time... that was a bummer! Right now Javier and Gonzalo are at that point where their interest level can go speedily up or begin to fade pretty quick. We´re trying to do everything we can to help them keep going on their commitments and to continue to invite them to do that which is most important! They both are a little hesitant in baptism for a couple reasons, mostly they are just caught in the thougts that they don´t feel ready! This Sunday though Gonzalo was able to come to an hour or so of church and "lucky" enough one of the lessons that was taught was about the Spirit of Promise!! I was so grateful that he was able to be there for that lesson. The teacher explained to the class that when we embarque (? haha) on a covenant or ordinance that the Lord wants us to make we have the promise that we will know that what we have done is the right things we´ll feel the surety that what we have done is accepted by our Heavenly Father. That was special for me and I also hope that it was for Gonzalo. It has been one of our goals and something that we´ve felt strongly that we need to do in Villa Elvira is to work closely with the ward members! We have an incredible Bishop that is a convert hace dos años! He is excited and so willing to work! We have been working on making plans with him to improve the work. One of these plans has been to take a member to every lesson that we have, it makes a huge difference and is helping the members to get more excited about the work! We met with Javier on Saturday and were able to bring the secretary of the ward with us, it was a great blessing to have him there and we already have plans to have him help us with Javier in the coming week!! Things are steadily continuing to progress, we´re trying to do everything we can to work hard and strengthen the church where we´re at to make sure everything is ready for the success that we´re praying to have!

For Thanksgiving here in Argentina, we were a little bit busy to even think about it. Half-way through the day Elder Williams (the other american Elder in our apartment) remembered that it was Thanksgiving! We stopped for some sandwiches and Sprite for lunch and then quickly headed back out to work! I did enjoy some candy-corn and some of the treats that you guys sent in the package! (I´m saving the stuffing and potatoes cause our bishop said that he would bring us back a fish from his river trip.. see if we can have a 5 star meal here soon!) In Argentina it isn´t really celebrated, but the Thanks was given.

Enjoying Thanksgiving Argentine style

I loved reading today in 2 Nephi 33 about Nephi´s strong testimony of the power of "The words of Christ" that he had received.. plainly.. from the spirit. He promised us that the same spirit would show us and tell us all things so that we would not be detoured in our testimonies. He pleads with us to believe in Christ and then trust that what he has written comes from the same Christ. I loved when it says that the words will persuade us to do good. Many times we will read or hear or experience things in our life that cause us to wonder, In Ether 8, Moroni also testifies that when these situations come we can have complete trust that by reading and praying over the Book of Mormon we will not have a doubt what is right and what is wrong in our lives!

 26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

I add my testimony that these words persuade and instruct any man to do good, to love, and to believe in the Savior of the world. These are His tender words and messages that He has for us! I know that Christ lives, a pesar de todo sepan que Él vive and this can be our sure foundation!

Have a great week! 
Elder Jolley!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Querida Familia! :)

Ah.. Such a relief to hear from you guys and to be able to hear a little bit from you guys! Thank you :) you always know how to bring a smile to my face! Things sound like they are going great for all and I´m excited to be able to share a little of the Thanksgiving spirit- Argentine Style- this week! Here, it´s funny, Thanksgiving, everyone knows about it and what it is, but it isn´t really celebrated like we do at home. From what I remember last year, our day was normal and we ate noodles... it isn´t the Turkey that you´d expect but it was good! For this week I don´t believe we have/or will have any crazy plans. I loved what ya said mom, it´ll probably be a day of "Giving Thanks" to all those around us. Please travel safe and know that I give thanks for all of you! :) So when it comes to be my turn going around the table that my Savior, this Gospel, and my Family are all that I could ask for. I can´t wait for pictures and loved the picture this week, I hardly recognized "little" Candy, she is WAY different and SO beautiful!!

Well we hit transfers this week! I´ll be staying in Villa Elvira (VERY excited to be able to stay) and Elder Mines was changed to Avellaneda. It has been a super fast 3 months with him and it goes by faster every transfer! I´m gonna miss Elder Mines and for all the things that he helped me to become.. companions truly become answers to our prayers! I heard the other day something that I loved and was reminded how true it is. When we pray for patience, God doesn´t give us patience, but rather gives us opportunities to be patient! I know that our Heavenly Father truly answers our prayers in this way! I attached a picture that we took today of all my companions in the Mission so far (menos Elder Juarez who still is in Fiorito). I am now with an Elder Villalba from Entre Rios, Argentina! An incredible Elder that I´ve known for some time and am excited to work with him now! In Villa Elvira we are only improving from here, we are gonna work so hard to help our Zone continue to grow! Elder Villalba is bien Gaucho, del campo- directamente! :) He loves to sing old Argentine "folk" songs... it´s awesome, I think we´re gonna get a long great! :)

Elder Lewis, Elder Mines, Elder Jolley
Elder Juarez and Elder Merritt

This week we were able to get things moving along even more in Villa Elvira. In my setting-apart blessing there has been a line that has been on my mind for a while that I´ve been working to follow through with right now, it said "Don´t be short in your duties." Right now I´m trying to understand all that I can do and all that I should do in the work and to do it effectively and diligently.. a little bit slower in work, but already we´ve been able to see a lot of blessings start to come in our area. We were able to FIND!!! YES! :) haha it felt great to be able to find a few more people to work with. I never realized how much I missed the action of balancing a bunch of investigators and trying to manage their progress and having to be on top of our schedule. We´ll get there soon! Right now Gonzalo and Lenn have kinda fallen off the "fast-track" towards baptism. Lenn is working a lot right now- 13 hours a day and it doesn´t leave us much time to find or even communicate with him! Gonzalo we´re still working with him and is continuing to grow and be stronger and stronger.. I think that is the best way to explain what´s going on with him right now. He´s getting the "profound teaching." I´m sad that we´re not seeing as much progress with them, it bites when the enthusiasm that these investigadores have going towards baptism levels out a bit. We are very very happy with the work and the progress that we´ve seen with Javier this week though! Poor guy has hit a lot of speed bumps since we´ve met him (sometimes I feel like the missionaries are a curse to the people haha). But with all the difficulties that he has had I´ve been praying hard that he would be able to find more interest and more support in the church, that when we would teach him he would feel the spirit! We only were able to find him one time this week, but it was such a funny lesson. He had people coming and going throughout the lesson and we saw that he wasn´t very focused. Finally we sat him down and finished the lesson and tried with all the spirit and conviction that we could find to invite him to church and to our surprise he looked at us and said, "Chicos, I was already planning on going. I was gonna make sure that you guys were still gonna go." Ha student became the master on that one! Well Sunday turned out to be a very helpful day for Javier.. immediately he started chatting with the bishop y otros hermanos de la Iglesia. He was a natural! :) It was a great and really successful end of the week for us.

Elder Jolley, Javier, and Elder Mines

So to explain the other picture that I sent, we were at the Bishop's house on Saturday doing a service project weed wacking a bunch of weeds and raking up trash when Elder Mines screams for me to come and look at something... I found my first spider in Argentina! Qué Asco! I didn´t like the service project after I saw that monster.. tried to keep my cool, but every few seconds I was scanning around my feet to make sure nothing was crawling towards me.

Well I hope that all is and will continue to go well for you this week! :) I loved this week being able to focus my studies on understanding the characteristics of our Savior. I put myself to study how He was and how I can become and loved how great the scriptures teach us about Jesus Christ. Truly by studying and deciding to follow His example we will find experiences every day that will help us to be more like Him. Everyday we are required to go through many, many things but each has an easier way handled! He truly lived. His was a perfect life because it was lived perfectly. I know that He lives today!! He will teach us and guide us the principles and techniques that He continues to use to lead a more perfect life! I know that the Book of Mormon brings joy to our hearts and a better knowledge of the Son of God.

With all my love,
Elder Jolley


Monday, November 12, 2012


Phew! Glad that you guys got the package! I have been worried that it would have gotten lost. Glad that you liked the little regalitos! :) I thought that they were pretty cool and I´ll definitely be getting more stuff to send/bring back in the future! Sorry Mom and Dad, I was in the middle of writing your guys letters, but Aubrie and Gustavo came a little early and wouldn´t be coming back so I had to give what I had. I promise a couple letters for you guys too! Perdón. (P.S Skyler... Argentine Cotton ;) so ya know it´s good!) I hope scarfs are in style for you guys... if not you can be a couple maricones that support your brother! haha.

What a week! Wow, time is flying by and it´s hard to believe that we´re coming up on Christmas again, after receiving the fall/halloween/thanksgiving package, I´m so grateful for everything that you have already sent to me. I got a kick outta the shirt and am glad to be supporting Riser from down here! We are all enjoying in our Pinch the great treats and all the food that you have sent our way.  I´ll do my best to think of any NEEDS that I have this week and will email you back with greater details next week! :) This week we have been busy trying to keep things progressing in Villa Elvira, I think finishing up everyday doesn´t really show the greatness of the week that we are able to see Sunday. Yesterday was a needed day and gave us a lot of happiness to actually see what we accomplished throughout the week, how we changed and what the Lord was busy doing along side us. Thank Heaven for Sundays and for the great perspective that they give in our lives, for everyone. We were busy trying to find, open up new ways to help the ward and to manage the Zone. I feel like I´m starting to get a hang of things now.. in the beginning it felt a little bit like I was running blindfolded, but now I´m able to understand my responsibilities and can begin to "magnify" them. Slowly we´re progressing and I personally can see the Lord teaching us what the right thing to be doing is! Our Zone right now has been progressing greatly, the missionaries are seeing their true potential as they continue to work hard. I´m very grateful for their efforts and it is great to see the excitement as the work of the Lord moves along.

This Tuesday I went on an intercambio with one of our Disrict Leaders, Elder Pender from Canada (good roots there). It was such a fun experience! In their area they work on bikes so I had my fun that day with the pants tucked into the socks, the sweet helmet and a beach-cruiser. :) Argentines have great style with their bikes and I hope you can imagine the added Missionary touch to it all! Haha I enjoyed learning from Elder Pender and was impressed by his ways of teaching and the peace that he brings into an appointment. He´s a great kid! That day we were able to get a lot of things done and were able to invite 2 of their investigators to be baptized who before had been pretty closed to the idea of the church! They have some pretty difficult family problems and what better than to apply and come closer to the Savior's teachings to change the circumstances. We saw their hearts soften and feel the hope that the Restored Gospel provides. I LOVE being a teacher of this Gospel and helping people to understand the things that have been understood in my life! We are excited that that area in our zone continues to progress and work hard! Wednesday and Thursday were pretty normal days for us. We met with Gonzalo and Lenn a couple times and they continue to do well. We figured out a better way to plan- there has been a lot of evaluation on our part- to help all those that we can talk to progress. Especially we were focuesed this week on the experiences that our investigators would have in the Church. We prayed a lot and asked for the Lord's help, when we did something that He could fill in the spaces where we weren´t able to! We wanted to help Gonzalo this week be able to feel "at home" in the ward and to look and feel like a member of the church. After praying we decided to focus on putting everything in order so that he would have friends, people to help him and messages to uplift him this Sunday... what MIRACLES the Lord does in our lives. We provided the shirt and the tie and the Lord provided a Primary Program!! Ha you can always count on the niños! :) In their program they talked about making the right choices, being baptized and being eternally happy!... I love that the Lord knows exactly what say and how to say it! It was the best Sunday that we've had in Villa Elvira and we left feeling so grateful and convinced that Gonzalo also felt a lot closer to our Heavenly Father. Successful plan!

Elder Mines and Elder Jolley with Gonzalo at the church on Sunday

Great part of the week was the interviews that we had with President. He is such a great man and I am so thankful to be able to learn from him. What he had to say was just right for me and for the next steps that I need to take in my mission to be able to keep serving. I want to run and most of all that my heart be overjoyed when I am in the service of God! This couldn´t be a more needed event in any young man's life, but especially in mine! I am thankful for our Savior, I want to be like Him and find peace knowing that by always falling back on Faith, Repentance, being worthy of our covenants, searching for the still small voice in our lives and just enduring to the end we WILL become like Him. That is my greatest joy! :)

I love you and hope that you have a successful and fun week! Please keep this work in your prayers! :) Thanks for all that have been offered!

Con Amor
Elder Jolley

Elder Jolley with a child in his neighborhood
(He's my best buddy!)

A ride on the train with the Elders

The Elders enjoying food at their pinch

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hello!! :)

So good to hear from you guys! Wow, this week was a lot of "events" to be filled in on! Halloween, Hurricane Sandy, elections, a lot of things going on back home! I have been a little bit worried about elections and really agree with you mother! Ha things are picking up speed in the whole process of things and it is nice to be "built upon a sure foundation." Elder Mines and I have been hearing a lot from President Stapley of different changes as more and more missionaries begin to join the team! How important it is (sky-man) that we are prepared for missionary service! Even more though, how important it is that we ALL learn and are involved in the service of Discipleship! How comforting to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that will "unite men and nations in the last-days!" We had a really good week and personally couldn´t be more grateful for my time as a full time missionary! :) I´m sure I´ll hear about the elections this week, but still I´d love to hear a little bit more about what you guys think next week! (My prediction can be summed up in Alma 4 :) )

Hello humidity, I remember you! Haha wow it has gotten hot! Right now the humidity is a lot so I think that´s what changes things more than anything! We have brought the fans back into our room at night and the mosquitos and bed bugs have come back a little more fiercely, but things are great and I prefer this weather over the cold any day! The afternoons are beautiful, the sun stays out a little bit longer and temperatures also cool down a little bit- feels like a nice day in California! :) I´m super glad to hear that Aubrey got in contact with you guys... I was getting a little worried that I didn´t know my own families number (oh wait.. I didn´t! Haha) The things that she has are yours to open when you get them.. I just said that it was a Christmas package because I figured I wouldn´t see another American before Christmas time! Hope that the things don´t stink... I remember the package from Ryan, so I´m a little self-councious of "my Argentine odor!" haha. ¡Qué disfruten!

This week was a little bit of the same story... Haha we will not and have not lost our diligence in the work and only are trying to understand more what else we can do in our part of the Vineyard! Truly we see many, many blessings in our lives and with our investigators! We love them and this week we have been able to feel more of our Heavenly Father's inspiration guiding us to strengthen and prepare them for what this Gospel has in store for them. A blessing that I´ve seen this week has been that our prayers have been being answered with our boy Lenn! We´ve been praying hard to know what we can teach him, what more he needs to hear. We had a fantastic lesson this week with him where he committed to live the word of wisdom!! We have been working with him for awhile with this and finally he was able to tell us, "I feel like I can do this and that it´s the right thing to do." Wahoo!! :) It was a powerful lesson and such a big blessing for him to feel that way! Looking back on our Teaching Records and the things that we had shared with him, we noticed how the Lord had prepared every word that we had shared so that Lenn could feel the spirit and have the strength to take this step in his life! It was one of the "Wow" moments where we were able to realize that our prayers really had been answered! The same happened with Gonzalo! Gonzalo is a very smart kid. He has read by now the whole book of Gospel Principles and understands it all. The other day we came with a sweet activity.. Magic Tricks! :) The purpose was to explain repentance and the miracle that it is in our lives! Little did we know that Gonzalo had read the night before that section in Gospel Principles and had been thinking a lot about it! He continues to keep his commitments and try and learn more each time that we can pass by! Although things pass slowly sometimes, I am 100% sure that our Heavenly Father hears and answers EVERY prayer that we humbly offer.

10 Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.

11 I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers...

I was so impressed by your experience while house hunting! :) It makes me so happy that my family is living the Gospel and is striving to be better! Don´t worry :) God knows us! and the desires of our hearts and will answer. Just keep holding on and you´ll be able to feel what is right!

I love ya´ll so much and thank you for your example! Thanks for the support that you give to me and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Jolley

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hey everybody! :)

I´m a little bit low on time so, please excuse the shorter email today! This week has been super good, we´ve taken a different route with our investigators this week and are excited about how they are going to be able to progress! This week we had been praying hard that Gonzalo or Lenn could accept the invitation to be baptized and take the necessary steps to follow Christ more in their lives. In the end they didn´t feel good enough prepared. I had been fasting for them, that we would be able to understand their needs and to be able to do things how the Lord wanted. Obviously we would love the sweet experience of a baptism, but it is better when they have felt the change in their hearts!! :) We had a great lesson with Gonzalo Friday night! We brought a member that we really felt would be a good support for Gonzalo. The lesson left perfectly! We felt the spirit as we testified of the things that Christ wants us to do- it was a powerful feeling! But we felt a great peace as this member was able to tell his conversion story and then to invite Gonzalo to begin to see these things that we teach him as SMALL steps to experience greater faith and security in his life. I was grateful that what we wanted wasn´t what felt right. The spirit worked in a special way that night,testifying of what was true, but giving us peace for what was right. Isn´t the Lord so tender in teaching us what He wants done?! I was very grateful for His better understanding. Lenn was also the same, we decided to take our teaching and share it in a way that is more directed at the person that we are with, not something we prepare. We want more than anything that these young men APPLY the simple principles in their lives. This is true conversion! :) I feel great in how we are learning to teach, I feel us more focused on who we are with! I am trying harder in each lesson to be more concentrated in the feelings that I receive to teach me what I should say or how I should respond. On several occasions this week I´ve been greatly blessed to stop and understand what is being said and then to speak! Many times it is easy for us when we know the answer to a question of concern to spit out the answer as fast as possible- I have found out that it is a much better experience to wait and listen to everything! We´ve also been working with a lady named Gloria (I think I might have already mentioned her), anyway this week we had a couple fantastic experiences with her! This week she received from a member a video about José Smith and with that she was able to feel the true power of our message! For a few days we had been trying to explain the need of a restoration to her, each time it made more sense, but the movie was the key to helping her FEEL that what we had been teaching had a lot of reason! We are thankful for involved members! Also, she and a couple of her kids were able to go to church, by themselves!! We had offered to go and pick her up but as we turned to corner we looked down the street and she was already halfway to the church! Hmm that was good :) She was bien recibida en la capilla y la disfrutó un montón!

Well there is a little bit for the week! Sorry it was shorter this week! Next week I´ll get on top of things for some pictures and a longer letter! I love you all, thanks for your love! It keeps me going in the moments of trial. I hope that we never forget that God is our Father, He loves us and what He does, He does for a reason. I know that it is a good thing to be humble when we are faced with hardships in our life. "yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him."

23 Therefore, blessed are they who will repent and hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; for these are they that shall be saved.

24 And may God grant, in his great fulness, that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for agrace, according to their works.

All my love!
Elder Jolley

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hello dear family!!

Finally!! Ha we´ve been coming from a long day of traveling and a lot of just businessy type work. Elder Mines had to do some paper work for his visa so that meant us leaving for The Capital at 7 o´clock this morning! :) I´m pretty tired... haha, but so glad to be able to hear from you guys and talk to ya´ll! It was a great time in the Capital and some crazy city sites that I´ve never seen before, Highland Utah and a Nations Capital are a little bit different! I was all eyes for the first little bit as we tried to find our way to the building that we needed to get to! Por suerte we were able to get everything done without any problems and with spare time to find a Burrito restaurant! :) First type of "Mexican" food that I´ve had in a year! So delicious! In the photos I sent we also were able to meet up with several other missionaries that were doing the same thing at the "Buenos Aires Monument." Shoot.. I can´t remember what it´s called but it was a sweet... pilar!

Elder Jolley with some of the other missionaries at the Capital

Well for the week! :) First off another big Happy Mother's Day yesterday!... I tried getting on skype, but unfortunately you weren´t on to chat! That was a let-down. Haha just kiddin! Would have been great to have 3 calls in the year! We passed the day really good and got a little bit wet, but in all we were happy to get out and talk with the people and wish all the mothers we could find a great day! As far as the work goes we still are a little bit... slow. Today I loved reading in Mosiah (4 hours in the train turns out to be a great blessing!) and being taught about the afflictions of several groups of people. We have felt a little bit like them in the past couple weeks- "captive" if you will, where we are at and not being able to find a lot of progress as a whole. It has been a "trial to try (our) faith and patience," I hold onto my knowledge that God is our Heavenly Father and never leaves us abandoned in our way! I have grown to trust more in Him and strive to be more submissive to HIS WILL over mine! Every experience has an Eternal Significance! :) I have been so so grateful for small and simple blessings that I have seen in our day to day work. I loved what you said mom, that we sometimes need to build piece by piece and watch the picture grow in that way! Sometimes it seems in our lives that we close our eyes in our daily progression of becoming more like our Savior and then expect that when we open them that the picture will be complete! We have been able to have some incredible experiences with Gonzalo this week! He´s a stud!! We´ve been trying to listen to him and understand how he is doing rather than go at our speed! At the beginning of the week we had a very powerful lesson with the spirit about fasting! We taught that it is a powerful way for us to come to understand what it is that Heavenly Father wants us to do in our lives. For Gonzalo I believe that it was what he needed to hear to help him come to see how he could come closer to the Lord. We fasted and it was super great! :) But we found out that he hadn´t felt anything.. huh? That isn´t what we were expecting! Ha but in the end the blessings are ALWAYS there. I believe that the Lord was able to soften his heart just a little bit more in order to help him see how important it is that we make those decisions in our life to follow the Savior! :) They were some of the most powerful lessons that I´ve been blessed to have. The spirit, if we are prepared, can really guide each and every one of us to know how to help those around us come closer to Christ. Gonzalo is a gran amigo and has been a huge example for me in reminding me of the things that we can and should do to come unto Christ!

I don´t want you guys to think that I´m sad or negative right now about our situation. It is something I´ve never been through before, but each of us have that blessing in our life! I love how Elder Holland put it, "we cannot expect to come to true discipleship without walking through our own little part of the Garden of Gethsemane." All of life's trials are so that we can come to know the "True and Living God!" :) What a blessing! I think each of us have a special need to seek and know the Will of our Father in Heaven more in our lives, it is the most important thing that we can do in order to continue forward in our progression!

Well we gotta run! We are a little behind and we gotta get to a cita! Favorite scripture for the day: Mosiah 24:12-16

12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.

Jesus Christ is at the head of His work and does guide each of us, personally, as we dedicate ourselves to greater trust, patience, and fervent prayer! This week will be a great week! :)

I love ya guys! :)
Elder Jolley

Elder Jolley and Elder Mines

Monday, October 15, 2012

Family Reunion!!!!

Wow! haha thank you so much for the great pictures! I got a good kick out of each one and a great laugh from the minions! :) It´s crazy how much everyone has grown! I didn´t recognize little Cooper, took me a couple minutes to figure out who he was! Glad to hear that you guys are all so good and that you had a good time!

Another week and A YEAR! It´s a weird feeling but it has given me great time to look back and see how far I´ve been blessed to come! The Lord truly is so merciful in all of His work and truly has our progression as a priority! This week we´ve been keeping super positive! The ups and downs come a little bit in the area, but we know that we can give more! :) We were able to find earlier in the week a couple of families that we had great experiences with and truly felt the spirit guiding our lessons. With a lady named Adriana we invited her to be baptized and she accepted! It was a special lesson to be able to understand how the Gospel truly can relate to each situation. She had told us that everything was fine for her and that all she asked for is that things would stay the same. She believes in Christ and at one point in her life attended a church, because of things in la vida she had aparted from the church. We explained to her how by maintaining a faith in Christ we have the promise that through the ups and downs we can have a steady hope! She loved what we had to say and ya we left with a smile on our faces and a cita the next day!... Next Day: Adriana no se encuentra mas! Ahorra she doesn´t answer her door. Hmm? Ha I know that this Gospel is true and pray that we´ll be able to find people in Villa Elvira that have to hear our message!

We are very grateful for Lenn and Gonzalo! :) They are truly a couple blessings in our lives that have helped us to keep the work going here! We were able to adjust the way that we teach them a bit this week. We´ve been passing by and teaching things that were great but wanted to focus on things that were best! We evaluated where they are at and how we can help them build a testimony. With Gonzalo we´ve seen a huge change in him as he continues to try and incorporate good habits in his life. He is having troubles a little bit with the Book of Mormon, but in giving him small parts to read and sections more focused on what he wants to learn, he has told us that this week he has made time to read! YES!!! :) Haha also this week I´ll have you know that we had a SUPER SABADO... unfortunately the results haven´t changed from Fiorito! HA we had like a total of 9 people. One day we´ll have success as an "activities committee." We watched 17 Miracles (INCREDIBLE movie)! Gonzalo came and loved being in the church!

With Lenn this week we had a great lesson! I had fasted to know what it was that we could do to help him progress and that day we had a lesson with him about the Holy Ghost and the guidance that it provides for us. He had been worried that by making this change in his life by getting baptized that it was like, he changes and then left alone to try and stay on the path. When we taught about the Spirit there was a different look on his face and you could tell that he was paying attention and that something had changed. We rehassured (spelling ?) him that following Christ isn´t as hard as we imagine it to be. I love in how Nephi describes that by receiving the Holy Ghost we will be guided to do all that we should do. Really our lives become easier as we summit our will to the Lords and choose to be dedicated and is especially blessed by the companionship of the Holy Spirit. So in the end it was a super good week! We saw progress where the Lord wanted and we grew in ways that we didn´t expect. I have been so grateful for a journal.. I wish I could go through each thing that I learn because it is life changing! However, I´ll be excited to share them after. (Up to this point in my mission I´ve missed 8 days of writing in my journal so there will be lots to share).

Well time continues to fly and we get to go back to work! :) I hope that you have a great week. I have a testimony of this Church and know it to be true. I know that we are blessed with a the true principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Chirst and by applying and obeying them we are brought to an everlasting joy. I know that the Sacrament, when prepared to partake of it, will leave us clean and blameless before our Father in Heaven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That was and continues to be its purpose!

2 Nefi 26:24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

Have a fantastic week! :)
I love each of you very very much!

Elder Jolley

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hello hello! :)

How we all doing!? Thanks so much for the great emails and fun experiences! I love all of them!! Wow... can the church be more ture?? Te das cuenta después de escuchar la voz de nuestra profeta. I was so grateful for conference! It passed by so quickly though.. I swear before the mission that conference seemed a lot longer. 2 hours was a big thing for me! Haha times change. We were able to see almost all the sessions, we missed the 1st hour of the first session on Saturday because at the last second Gonzalo decided to bail on us. President Stapley had invited us to bring an investigator to both sessions on Saturday and if we couldn´t find one that it would probably be a better use of our time to go out and work in our areas. We were super bummed to have received the text message from Gonzalo at 12:55! Ha! Bajón. We knew that we had to be obedient so right as President Monson got up to make the big announcement about the Missionary Program (how crazy was that by the way?!- Skyman is gonna be able to leave super quick after I get home if he decides to). Leaving the church was a bummer, but we knew that it was the right thing to do to get out there and get to work. I have a huge testimony and I felt it in that moment that each thing that happens to us in our lives happens for a reason and that there is something Eternal behind each deciding moment. I left praying my lights out that we would be able to understand His will and if possible that we could get back in and listen to the Prophet. As we were walking back Lenn popped into my mind... we had forgotten to check in with him again to make the invitation!! Quickly we called him up and asked if he wanted to listen to a prophet!! Ha luckily he was super chill and told, "yeah, why not! I don´t have anything better going on." Haha whatever it takes right.. the seed of faith is planted in many ways! It was a great great miracle from our Father in Heaven! We watched the conference in our stake center (about 3 blocks from our apartment) and I believe it was a great experience for Lenn and later Gonzalo. In the afternoon session he was able to come and also on Sunday Lenn and Gonzalo were able to come!

I loved the theme of service that I got from the conference. So many talked about the need to show compassion through loving service. Sister Burton gave a great talk about the need to observe and then serve! Also I loved how tenderly President Monson talked about prayer and how miraculous it is to be able to communicate with our Heavenly Father. I loved what you said dad, that each talk had a special highlight and I truly saw that! President Eyring is the bomb! What he talked about was similar to what he talked about when he was here for the rededication, how God truly is in our lives!! Most of the time we think that He is hiding from us!! How opposite that is. When we can come to repent, pray fervently and don´t INSIST on a time limit, WE uncover our hiding spot and come to understand better the will of Him! That touched home for me!

Like all the apostles and prophets, I loved most feeling of their special witness of the Savior! If there is any testimony to receive or any doubt that remains we need only observe these men and feel the spirit that they transmit! As representatives of Jesus Christ they bear testimony of who He is and how He would be if He were with us now! I love my Savior Jesus Christ and know that He lives, I am grateful to understand more about WHO He is by following the example of His special witnesses. This week passed by super quick!! We were packed with meetings all the mornings and then were running around in the afternoons trying to find and invite everyone we could to hear the voice of the prophet. This week was the end of a transfer and Elder Mines and I will be staying together another round! I´m super excited to be able to have a consecutive transfer with a companion again, it brings a huge blessing of experience in our work. We've been able to learn a lot and hope to apply and get more and more comfortable this next transfer. We are working on finding investigators right now. We feel that the Lord is helping us to see from another angle in our missionary efforts. Things are kinda slow right now and most of those who we were working with have asked for more time to think about what we´ve taught them... It will come as a blessing as we are patient! :)

Elder Mines and Elder Jolley

Well I gotta get going, I hope that you all have a great week! Saludos a the Campbells! Get pictures of mom camping!! Hehe just kidding I know it has happened before! :) This week I loved reading in Romans about the blessing and miracle of the Atonement in our lives. In the scriptures it mentions many times what our Savior went through in His life to prepare himself for the Atonement, a few things are His obedience, willingness and the suffering that He went through in order to understand us better. I loved what President Monson said about making sure that we don´t Condemn others! Also what a blessing to know that God doesn´t condemn us for our weaknesses.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

In the end, if we choose to follow the call of Christ to repent and make the necesary changes in our lives then we are assured that we will not be condemned in the last days. We should also know that it isn´t good to condemn ourselves or dwell on those things that we lack in. If Christ accomplished what He said He did then we should live in peace and only work to be better disciples of Chirst!

I know that this church has living prophets and that it has been restored to its fulness as the Lord promised it would!

I love ya tons! :)
Elder Jolley

As you´ll see in one of the pictures, I got a haircut! :) I don´t know if you remember back to when I was in Longchamps and our stories back there but we had a repeat! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hey Family!!! :)

SOO good to hear from you guys! I loved all the emails and thank each of ya for all the great experiences that you shared. Dad, bummer with the car! Did you park it in the "Fiorito" section? Hehe... little Argentine yoke :) Glad that all was made better by Apple! Ah, what a week! It passed by quick, but Sunday we received great news from all sides. Our mission has found and baptized more people that this part of Argentina has seen in "centuries" and our Zone continues to surprise and blow me away. The Elders and Sisters were able to work harder and achieve more goals than all the weeks that I have been here (I know it doesn´t make that long but still)."And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God." I´m soo happy and love this work!! :) This week has been a refining one, but I can only express how thankful I am for the Savior and His desire to fill our hearts with joy! I truly know that He lives after this week! :) What a great a Gospel we have in our lives!

To answer a couple questions: The tummy is great! :) Haleluya! Thanks for all the concern, you guys are so great! PACKAGE!! :) Thank you so much for the October 1st birthday celebration! haha I guess it had been in the offices for a little bit, but the important thing is that it arrived. The Zone got together today and played some hard-core fútbol... I´m out of shape! But the Snickers were a great re-fuel for the group and WOW, thank you so much for everything else that was in there! Also Papi, you asked about President Stapley, unfortunately he´ll only be here for a couple more months and in July we´ll be getting a new President. I should be with the new President from July to the end of my mission. I´m sad obviously that he´ll be leaving, but have learned that God has planned things out perfectly so I know that we´ll be able to grow as a mission and as missionaries from both Presidents! Also CONFERENCE weekend! I´m so excited. We will be able to watch it at the same time as you guys up there.. just a couple hours later. The only bummer is that priesthood session starts at 9 o´clock down here and well.. doesn´t really fit in with the missionary schedule so we won´t be able to watch that for 2 years! ... I´ll have the Pastrami Burger with a strawberry milkshake from Burger Supreme, please! :)

This week went by flying!! We had a great week though and were able to get a lot done in the first part of the week. President Stapley came to our district meeting and we ended up getting paired up to do some practices. Elder Jolley and Elder Stapley- imagine that! Haha I was a lot bit nervous to teach with him for fear of equivocation, but it was actually one of the most powerful "fake" lessons that I´ve taught! :) I learned a lot from President and am so grateful to have learned to put off what I wanted to happen in the lesson and really focus on the spirit and what it was telling us about these investigators! Both were able to feel the spirit strongly and teach according to the spirit. The whole zone left the meeting really excited and filled with the spirit! The second part of the week was a little bit slower. Seemed for a minute like everything that was happening in the area, and in my life had the brakes slambed.. on them? (grammatical errors.. ¿no se?). We had a couple families, Lorena y Favio y a great lady that we found named Rosario loose interest a little bit and just stop progressing. We felt pretty confused as to how things stopped so quick. We kept working hard trying to find other investigators, contact people, work with the members but nothing was giving us a lot of success. I learned a lot about patience this week! :) We have 2 years on a mission to work and to progress (also in our lives) - can´t loose a second of it- but we also have to be willing to understand that the Lord doesn´t do things in great heaps rather gives to us line upon line. I think we were wanting to see a lot of "perfection" with our investigators and to become the missionary that God wants me to be ¡YA! but we needed to learn to continue forward with patience and diligence. I love the talk by Henry B. Eyring about taking on the next Mountains in our lives, always wanting to take more upon ourselves. I know that it is important to learn and become all that we can in each trial that we are given and instead of asking for the next trial to prove our ability, I have found great blessings in asking the Lord to teach me ALL that He would have me learn before I feel like I am strong enough to move on! We continue to find miracles in Villa Elvira. We have a couple appointments tonight with these families (Luisa y Lorena) and we are sure that the Lord will help us to bring the Gospel where it is needed in their lives.

Well I love you guys very much, sorry this week is a little bit short.

I love you guys so much and give my assurance that the Lord wants to lead and guide our lives and that we truly can become instruments in His hands through our dedication to His commandments and through humble but fervent prayer. I know that He is aware of each concern that we have and that if we can approach Him and His beloved son with our burdens we will find the way to progress in our lives in order to experience the JOY that this Gospel is. I know that Jesus Christ is the center of our Father in Heavens work! :) Have a great conference weekend and let's listen closely!

All my love,
Elder Jolley

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hey Family!!

Okay... maybe the whole hospital thing came out a little "critical", I´m doing good I promise! :) Thank you so much for your concern and for your love! I think one of the things that characterizes so perfectly the plan of our Father in Heaven and of this Church in general is LOVE! I couldn´t be more grateful for this special attribute and for the many ways that it is felt in my life. From what I´ve heard and what the people think is that because of how "heavy"the food is here in Argentina and the amount of flours and other types of ingredients that are used here that it could be that my body had some allergic reaction that in a way "paralyzed" the regular movements of my intestines causing them to be... full... and to swell up! They´ve had me on some pills and other medications to stimulate the normal rhythm of my intestines again and to help things move along. Haha we´ll talk about the treatments when I get home, they should make for a good family laugh! There is nothing like a mission to help you to be able to experience, like you guys put it, new things that all have a lesson! I´m doing well though and not anything long lasting! If anything I´ll just have to check if it was some kind of allergy.

Shoot, time flies so quickly! It sounds like you had a great time at Lagoon and.. Go Riser (I´ve done some soliciting down here to put in my part for the open house that ya had, so we´ll see if we can land ya some projects)! Thanks for all your stories and great experiences that I get to hear about! :) I love to here about em all! Things right now are great and to answer some of your questions Pops, right now we are doing great as a zone, we came off of a great week! We had 4 great baptisms in the zone and was a really rewarding thing to hear of the experiences that they had in helping others to come unto Christ. Responsibility wise, I feel like I´m still in the fast seat, trying to learn as I go. Elder Mines and the rest of the zone leaders are a huge help in giving me support and being examples in how we can manage the Lord's vineyard. I´ve learned that unity is a key ingredient to a successful team. If all gears are not spinning at the same time then our productivity begins to slow down or can end up causing further damage to the other members of the team. As a leader it is important to learn our duties and then to act in all diligence so that our part of the vineyard is well taken care of. I feel humble in the calling that I have and really blessed to be learning so much from everyone else. I love the scripture in Proverbs 27:23: Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. Right now I´m learning how to center my mind on others. So many times I believe we can feel unqualified and unprepared for the responsibilities that the Lord sees fit to give us. We all have been given special lessons and gifts even from the counsels in heaven to be prepared for all service that we would give in our time here. I have learned that the best way to progress is to center all that we do on the needs of others. Study for them, work for them, love them and when we do this we progress in our own lives. It is a great blessing to be able to be serving a mission! :)

Well this week we had a super great week, we found GOLD! Since I´ve been here I´ve had the strongest feeling that there are people who are waiting for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to come into their lives, I´m so sure of this knowledge, not only for us but for the whole Zone. (In each occasion that we can talk with them we try and emphazise this point!) We found here in Villa Elvira a couple great families! One lady that we found is named Luisa. She was a contact that I had the other week when we went out on divisions- the truth is that I didn´t know the area really well and thought it was the house of where our appointment was- but it turned out well!! We passed by again and before we said anything she was opening up the gate and inviting us to come in.. not to shabby! She is a perfect investigator!! She listens so well, asks questions when she doesn´t understand and takes our invitations to read the Book of Mormon as if her life were depending on it! We met with her a couple of times before she left for el campo to spend the weekend. Tomorrow we should have a lesson with her again! I´m very excited to see how much she has been able to progress.

The other family we found has been a little bit longer of a process. At first the family was a reference from a member in our ward. When we passed by the first time she was just leaving, but got the chance to talk with the mom named Lorena. She talked a million miles per hour and just about the most depressing things... kinda a stress case! We listened to her for about 15 minutues (I guess the errands weren´t so important which was a blessing) and really grew to have empathy for her and the things that her family was going through. We expressed to her that we understood her and just tried to express how much we cared and wanted to help. At the end she looked at us really weird and said,"ya know, you guys are strange. You transmit a feeling of peace that I´ve never felt in my life." Apparently something had changed her mind and she set up an appointment with us for the next day! We´ve been back to see the family a couple times. They are 4 in their family and all are great. The dad, Favio, Lorena, Juan Cruz and Constansia! Each time we go over there we experience the most hectic household that you could imagine. The kids are all over the place and won´t listen to the parents and the parents are ripping their hair out cause of work and kids and who knows what else but at the end, I can feel the spirit stronger than any other time in the day- they have gone quiet and are listening intently and there is a peace that can´t be explained. I have gained the strongest testimony with this family of the witness of the spirit and the power of this companion that we have! His presence is essential in our lives and without Him we really are left "in the world." I´ve come to appreciate the family that we have and the peace that is in our home, but even more the power that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has to change and accommodate the environment for this special witness of our Heavenly Father to testify of the truth. I´m so certain that we are going to help them with all we can so that they accept baptism and this peace into their lives daily!

It´s a beautiful spring season right now and we are enjoying all the new signs of live here in Buenos Aires! :) Temperatures are coming up and there is a new hope for what is possible in our lives. Yo se q estamos en La Iglesia Verdadera. Sin ninguna duda nosotros tenemos las ordinanzas necesarias para la eternidad de nuevo restauradas en la tierra. Jesucristo es nuestro esperanza por el nuevo comienzo que estemos buscando en nuestras vida y la única esperanza por lo que queremos lograr en la vida que viene. Yo se que mi Salvador ha resucitado y ha roto las ligaduras que nos tengan cautivos, podemos progresar y llegar a ser como El Hijo de Dios.

1 Corinthians 15:

14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Yo se que Cristo se ha levantado y ha tomado sobre si la gloria de su Padre para hacernos herederos y ganadores en nuestras vidas!

Que tengan una semana maravillosa!
Elder Jolley

Monday, September 17, 2012

Querida Familia!

Hey!! How are you! So.. we´ve got royalty in the family! :) Skyler with the studly face to win the crown! Haha sounds like you guys had such a great week. Thank you for sharing it with me!! This week was great. Life throws us things that I think we´re not always able to imagine or that we thought could have happened. I have been so thankful for this week and for the will of our Heavenly Father! Many times we are asked to do things or be okay with things that aren´t exactly what we had in mind!

Monday and Tuesday were normal days out in the mission field. We´ve been working with a couple families really closely to help them through some problems that they´ve had while also being able to teach family members and friends about the gospel. Right now in Villa Elvira we have been finding the most success with part member families! They have been saving us and helping us to help the members as well. One family in particular we´ve visited a lot this week. The Family Arroyo is a menos activo family that we´ve found 2 incredible people. Maria y Gonzalo! Maria is a 14 year old girl that has been through a little bit of everything in her life and was kicked out of her house by her mom.. she didn´t want to deal with anymore problems so one day she sent Maria a message that her things were on the steps and that she needed to come and get them and find a new place to live! Just a terrible situation for her, we were able to teach her a couple times. She was really sad to be neglected by her mom and came to be so sincere in her prayers. The first day we invited her to begin praying so that she´d be able to have that "friendship" that we are offered through prayer. After a couple visits she was asking to pray and I loved her prayers. I felt closer to God from just hearing her! Unfortunately her mom this weekend called her and wanted her to come back... we are just praying that her mom can take care of her this time (I guess this isn´t the first time she has been kicked out). Gonzalo is a cousin to these members and has been an active member of an Iglesia Evangélica. We were able to have a great conversation with him, he has talked to missionaries before but never wanting to really be engaged in the conversation so this time we were super grateful that he was willing to open up and to talk a little bit more. Something that I´ve been learning this week is about the purpose of this gospel and the purpose of the message that we share. A lot of the people that we talk to are found without hope and don´t have anything to really look forward to that is good and lasting. I loved Moroni 7 - this week I´ve been trying to help our investigators to have this greater hope in their lives, to be free from worry and free from guilt so that they can live in a better world!

40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?

41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

So Wednesday!! Big 20 :) We woke up headed off for a normal day working and it went really well. A couple fechas that we have invited us to visit each with them for a great Peruvian lunch. That morning I woke up pretty sick, or just had a pretty bad stomach ache. The food was super good and it was so nice to be able to spend time with them! The rest of the day went pretty normally. I don´t know if I´ve told you guys, but right now we are living in a 4-man apartment. That night the Elders had bought a cake and surprised me with a lot of singing and a faceful of cake!! It was a great surprise and made the Big day complete!

Thursday we went to district meeting and had to come right back cause my stomach was in shambles! After a couple hours my stomach had swelled up pretty good and with a good stomach pain I was taken to the hospital! After taking some tests and x-rays they found that my intestines had stopped working. President Stapley at that time had come down to La Plata to be with me and help me out! It turned into a very long night and in the end they kept me in the hospital for the night to do some treatments! All ended up fine and I left the next morning without problems, but it turned out being an intersting end to some great birthday festivities! No worries at all, everything went well and I´m doing good and am happy! :)

It was interesting to be in the hospital and to have a minute or two to think about the things that happen to us and how involved our Heavenly Father is in our lives. I don´t necessarily understand why things happen or what things are going to happen, but I learned and know without doubt that whatever happens, God is in it! He does not leave us alone, even for 1 minute of our lives. I know that was with me in the those moments and that each moment and each decision that we take has an Eternal Significance, helping us to grow in our ability to accept what comes and choose to put our faith in Christ. I was grateful to have you all there with me and to have you in my life, I know that it is for a reason! This life is a process of being optimistic and hopeful for the future. The way to progress is accept the Savior's role as our Redeemer and to trust that one day we will be perfected in Him. :)

I thank you all for your love and for being there for me as an example! I hope you have a great week :)

Elder Jolley

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Elder Jolley!

We Love You

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dear Family!

Wow, thanks so much for all emails and all the love! :) Was a great testimony to all that happened this week with the Rededication and the focus on families! Thank you so much for being who you are and for all your support!! This week has been incredible.. if that´s a strong enough word? I can´t believe that it has come and gone so quickly! But I´m so happy to say that there is now a dedicated TEMPLE IN BUENOS AIRES!! When Presidente Eyring said that on Sunday it was an eye opener to me for what that actually would mean for the amazing people of Buenos Aires. I know that now the Savior and His spirit are here in this land and that they will be able to enjoy more of His peace, something that is definitely needed right now.

I´ll start a little bit with the days that we were in our area (they weren´t much), but we were able to get work done! I´m starting to get a hang of the area more and understanding how the streets work and what side is up and which is down. Ha I´m impressed by the trust and patience of Elder Mines in this process. A couple times I´ve gotten the courage to say, "nah, I got this" and end up lost! It´s a good plan that they´ve set up to have a companion there who already knows the area.. keeps things effective for the most part! We FOUND PEOPLE!! This week our prayers and efforts to find were answered! We had been looking for people who were just interested to listen to us and on Tuesday we were able to find a lady named Soila and her nephew Lenn. They are family members of a couple young men that we have in the ward. They first told us that they aren´t interested and that they don´t believe in a God. Thankfully they let us share a message with them and it went really well. We´ve taught them about the Restoration and worked to help them pray! It´s been fantastic and when we past by last night Soila offered to say the prayer and it was the most personal and "casual" prayer that I´ve heard. She has really come to trust in our Heavenly Father and to see Him as a friend and a support in her life. Her and Lenn have a baptismal date for the 29 de Septiembre! We worked hard for what we could and actually ended the week with great opportunities and more people to be able to teach for this week that is coming! :) Here in Villa Elvira it´s a pretty "rich" zone and we find a lot of people that just simply don´t believe in anything greater, they don´t have a need for it. I´ve seen with Soila that everyone needs God! At some point or another everyone falls and in that moment is when people have to know that there is something greater- it is a blessing as a missionary to be there so that when that time comes they know where to look!

On Wednesday we went up to Banfield to have a Leadership meeting in President's house. In all, this week, we´ve traveled about 11 hours from La Plata to Banfield. :) Super! I didn´t know that traveling could be so impactful (?) on your energy, but it gave me a great time to work on reading Jesus the Christ! It was a great opportunity to be able to work closely with the other Zone Leaders and especially with President Stapley! He is an amazing man. It was interesting, when we heard from Elder Christofferson this last weekend, he said that a big portion of our call is considered by the Mission President that we will have. The majority of missionaries are called to their missions because they need to be with that mission president and learn what he has learned. I think that is a large part of my mission. I have seen so many things.. fulfilled as I´ve heard from and learned from Presidente Stapley. The rest of the week passed by quickly as we got back and tried to get in some more work in our area. 

Alrighty, we´ll skip to the good stuff! Friday we met up as a mission and got in some buses and headed up towards capital to a stake center where more than 600 missionaries were gathered together waiting for the arrival of President Eyring, Elder Ballard and Elder Christofferson. They showed up and the room went silent! What a blessing to have been in the presence of Apostles and Prophets. There was a feeling unmistakeable as they spoke and bore personal witness of Jesus Christ. Elder Christofferson actually served in Argentina so he whipped out some sweet Spanish for us and talked about the importance of the authority that we hold in bringing change and salvation to the world. He shared with us D&C 63:60-64 and talked about the need to help others to gain a testimony of Christ and to do it how the spirit directs. I don´t know how Highland, Utah is right now, but down here there are a ton of religions that preach the gospel and each testifies of Christ. Through the Authority that was restored through Joseph Smith we know that we do not take the name of the Lord in vain- we do not change His sacred Gospel Plan. It was a powerful talk as an Apostle explained of the power that we have as THEIR companions in bring to the world the truth of the Gospel.

Elder Ballard throughout the weekend referred to his grandpa and the prophecy that was made when Melvin J. Ballard dedicated South America. He prophesied that the church would not grow quickly, but when the truth would come to this land that it would grow and remain. That these people whom we are teaching are the direct lineage of Lehi and Nephi and that we must teach to them the Restoration of the promises that the Lord will make with them. Was a great talk to help us see how true the Book of Mormon is and the love that the Lord has for us and for all people. President Eyring is tall! Did you all know that?? I thought he was a little bit of a smaller guy but no! He is an amazing man.. I´ve never seen such a mature man appear like the most innocent child. He truly fits that description. From the time he entered into the room the most pure smile never left his face. He literally beamed as he bore such strong testimony that God doesn´t just know us and care for us but that He is WITH US. Don´t ever suppose that you are not guided, that He is not at our side was the message that he had for us. What a brilliant and powerful man! The emotion and sensitivity that he has to the spirit is inspiring and he truly said what was needed.. for me at least! Saturday was incredible!! :) I would give anything to go back and relive a culture celebration! Argentina is amazing! We got together in the Stadium for "The Devils" of Avellaneda (an ironic place to hold a mormon celebration), but it was sweet! It was a beautiful day and the dances were incredible. The youth did a great job in the end and was so well organized. Ha... afterwards I think a lot of missionaries and I decided to stay down here and get to know the rest of the country after the mission! They showed a traditional dance from each provincia of Argentina. Unfortunately, we weren´t able to bring any cameras into the stadium so we left without a single photo! :( booo! There should be some videos on Youtube that you could look up.. in Spanish probably you´ll want to look up- Celebración Cultural del Templo de Buenos Aires. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity! I loved it tons!

Wanted to share a great quote from Presidente Eyring that he said in the Rededication Ceremony on Sunday. Talking about hope he said, "God grants to us hope as a promise of greater things to come and of eternal gifts. For this reason the promise of His Son Jesus Christ and of a Savior of Mankind brings to us an everlasting hope." What a special time and special opportunity to remember the plan of our Father in Heaven and in who this plan centers. Our Savior Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end of our salvation. The hope and desire of our well being. He is the reason for our change and with all my heart I testify of Him. He is my hope and my promise of greater things to come. When I can´t, He can! When we don´t know how, He only asks that we maintain hope in what He has said and what He has done. Let us have patience in what we want and return to Great Beginning, where we accepted Him to restore us to our happy state! He lives and loves us dearly and is guiding us each step of the way!

With all my love,
Elder Jolley

Editor's note: Here are a couple of links for information about the events that Elder Jolley attended this past weekend