Monday, April 30, 2012

Querido Familia!

 ¡Buen DIA! Hey, so happy to hear that Sky man is doing better, those were some pretty sick pictures.. I´m so sorry that happened but also am thankful! In scary moments it is great to see how close we can come as a family and to our Heavenly Father. He has an interesting way of protecting us enough for us to still learn the worth of each one of us! I was grateful to hear how close Sky and Mom have probably grown in this week. It is an incredible relationship that we have as a family and maybe an opportunity to understand what really is important in our family relationships. I continue to be so so grateful for the example that you have been setting for me, always returning to our Heavenly Father.

We had a great lesson yesterday with an "eternal Investigadora." Her name is Norma and has been meeting with the missionaries for years, I believe I´ve mentioned her, anyway she has been pretty mistreated by her husband this last week and has come to faiths edge. We had a little charla fronca with her about what she believes and what is most important to Heavenly Father, basically what we can do to align ourselves better with Him. Elder Merritt in the lesson said something that has stood out in my mind. He said that, "the Gospel is set made perfectly for to support the family." As we truly live the principles of the Gospel as a family we are exalted to new levels of living and happiness!

This week has been COLD. No.. I´m not a fan but neither am I in some weird country on the other side of the world like.. Mongolia or something like that! Count my many blessing no? Haha pobresito! It hasn´t been too cold here but the humidity really changes things up. As the wind gets blowing that´s when you can really feel it. We had a good time walking and enduring through it! On Tuesday I had a great learning moment as we went from house to house trying to find some success, it was cold and we weren´t really getting anywhere. We hadn´t seen a face in a good while, we clapped on a house and a man finally came out! Up front he told us that he didn´t want anything to do with what we had to say but he had a lot of respect for the work that we were doing. He said that he wanted to come out and tell it to our faces, to which I was incredibly thankful. This week things have felt like they are trying to go into the "well it´s just normal or that´s just how it is" phase. I learned that things need to be hard to keep us uncomfortable. I have been studying and trying to find ways to work differently... it has been tough and haven´t really figured out how the Lord wants me to work but I know it´s in this way that we find the Savior and the true meaning of our beliefs. Because He suffered so long without becoming discouraged, surely we all can be uncomfortable in our lives for a little in order to know Him better. I am excited for the cold, to see what trials I´ll be able to pass through!

We have been able to work a lot with the Rama this week. We have a special group of Saints out here in Fiorito and I love them tons! We have been working with our Presidente de la Rama to help strengthen la unidad of the Rama. We have been able to see a great difference in the way that we work as the Elders with the President through Love and are going to be working harder with the Home Teaching Program in order to nourish the Saints here! Our President is probably the greatest source of joy in the work we´ve done here! He is a true friend and a different man! We have seen him work and work to fill his responsibilities! We work hand in hand with him to support what he feels that the Rama needs. I have grown really close to their family and love seeing the growth that the Lord is helping us to receive!

Today we had a ...New... Experience in Argentina. We did a service project with a lady in our ward who needed to replace her "Poop-Pipe" that leads to the local "Poop-ditch" (please excuse the use of the word). Anyways it was going so great digging and trenching and hitting rocks.. felt like a man! :) Then came time to break down the cement barrier so that "IT" could flow to the pipe. I didn´t feel good anymore. Haha images of the movie RV came to mind! ha anyway the Hermana got all up and in there to attach it right while I just looked at her. It was unbelievable how quick she went after it!! I guess I need a little more time to become like the people! It was a great blessing to help her.. Weird moment in the mission! We were able to get it all done and complete for her!

I love love serving my Savior Jesus Christ! I know that He is directing us! I know that being uncomfortable truly helps us to know Christ in a deeper way! He is our redeemer and truly saves us in our lives! I know that being willing and converting our hearts to Him blesses our abilities. (D&C 61: 23-24) Have a great week and I love you all!

Elder Jolley

¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS PAPI! te agradezco por el ejemplo que nos da. Su familia es mejor a causa de su servicio y la manera que maneja su sacerdocio. QUE LA CUMPLA FELIZ Te amo Pa

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hello Family!

Wow.. what a week. I am so glad to hear that Sky man is alright and recovering, he is in my prayers. I am grateful that our Heavenly Father watches over you all, more than anything! Thanks for all your letters and it´s interesting every week to hear about your lives and to share in your experiences.

This week has been a great great week! A fantastic finish to a transfer. Elder Merritt and I are still together and look forward to finishing up the work here in Fiorito! I am glad to be staying here, the past 3 months have been some of the toughest months, but I have come to see our Heavenly Father's hand in my life more than ever. Elder Merritt and I have worked really hard to increase the "possibilities" of the area. In the past 3 months we´ve found 105 investigators, contacted and reactivated several families and have changed the attitude of our Rama. The leaders are more involved and continue to surprise us with the level of care that have for their callings. Every Sunday it is a humbling experience to see the numbers of the Rama, but everyone is special and has an important role in our little family! I am excited in this next transfer to start seeing results to the work. We have about 6 people that are progressing towards a baptismal fecha and are working with this AWESOME family that I told you about last week (the family of 7). We weren´t able to see them this week, but tomorrow we´ll be inviting them to be baptized. So we´ll just wait and see the miracles that are ahead of us this transfer!

Sorry this week I´m not gonna have much time. Last night I got pretty sick. My luck caught up to me! haha so it has drained my time pretty good. I will share a couple of great experiences that we had last night. We had a lesson with a lady that has been meeting with missionaries for about 2 years, she is basically a member, but is just waiting on her husband to marry her so she can get baptized. When we showed up the husband came out and said Hi and then walked out the fence, there was a soccer game on at his friend's house so he wasn´t able to meet with us last night. We left with a lot of time before our next cita, trying to figure out the best way to use our time we decided to start walking towards the bottom of our area to try and find a family that we met the other day. While we were walking we passed by an investigator's house that we hadn´t met with in awhile. I had the strong impression to stop and turn back to their house. When we got there they kindly let us in and we began talking with them. We talked about the blessing of having a living prophet in the world and the need of having the word of God for our day. They really opened up and accepted the message and later asked my favorite question... "How do people enter your church?" We explained to them the importance of baptism and took out a fecha for the 19th of May! The spirit was so strong and I could really feel the guidance of the spirit in helping these people come to Christ. I was extremely humbled and grateful for the priviledge as missionaries to have the companionship of the Spirit. After we left we went to visit a less active member named Sergio Gomez who has been very far from the church in the past couple years and is starting to return to the church. We had a great lesson with him about repentance and the priesthood. He was taught and was able to make plans to bring himself closer to Christ in the weeks ahead.

Alright I´m sorry, times up! I want you to know how much a love you all and the blessing that you each have in my life. I´m excited to see you all on Mother's Day. I´m not sure where we´ll be doing it or when, but I´ll be looking into it in the next couple of weeks. Please forgive me for the short letter this week. I´m happy and love being a missionary. I am grateful to our Savior who blesses us constantly. Please take care and have a fantastic week!

All my love
Elder Jolley

The first picture is with a Flia Flores.
We had a fun activity with them and this is the end of it.

Elder Merritt and I waiting for transfer calls

Trying to get warm this morning by the oven. COLD has arrived in Argentina!

Monday, April 16, 2012

¡Buenos Tardes! espero que todos estén bien y por lo menos muy felices. Me encanta escucharles y tener un tiempo con ustedes cada semana para compartir el espiritu de la familia. Les agradezco por cada detalle que comparten conmigo. Que Dios les bendiga con aun mas felicidad. Recibí el paquete en Martes. Fow, ¡Muchas Gracias! Papa las botas son Lo Mas piola. Me voy a ser protegido de TODO en el invierno. Y los dulces van a contribuir a la grasa que esta juntando en mis mejillas...

Well this week we got hit with a little bit of the aftermath of the storm. Nothing as far as weather concerns but more of the damage that happened. Areas in Fiorito are still without luz (light) and it leaves the people a little bit... upset. There have been lots of people fighting and making trouble with the government because they´ve been without light so long. We were blessed to not see any of this violence, but for precautions sake, President Stapley had us make some extra efforts to keep safe. This week we were in our Pinch by 6 o´clock every night... woo! You never really understand how little time you have in a day until 3 hours are taken out of it. It made things rather hard for us to contact investigators and inactive families because of the Siesta and also the hours of their work. For the most part we were fodged (the people weren´t there at there house) most of the days. We learned the value of our time in a real way! Here on my mission I am so grateful for time and if we aren´t running I feel so lazy! ... Makes me wonder what I was doing spending so much time on Facebook before the mission? haha Yes, I did just admit that! I was really grateful for the 4 hours that we had to be in our Pinch every night though. I was able to study a lot and just enjoy in the spirit of the Book of Mormon. It was such a blessing to have all those goodies during this week especially for all the time that we spent sitting around! I LOVED the notes that you guys included in the package and was able to receive an extra "boost" from those.. thanks very much.

Yesterday we were able to meet with a family of 7 for the second time and had a great lesson with them. We had left the Book of Mormon with them and invited them to read it during the week. We came back and found out that they had read it several times and had remembered EVERYTHING! The importance of what the book is and also he was telling us about the years that the Book of Mormon was translated, when Lehi left, when the brother of Jared reached the Americas. Just crazy things that aren´t normal things for an investigator to tell you about when you ask, "what did you think about the reading?" haha Elder Merritt and I were so happy with what they took from it and was a blessing to see the power of the Book of Mormon when people really study from it. I saw that it opened up his mind to help answer some of the questions that he had had. We explained the importance of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read and study more out of it in order to understand what this Gospel truly is. As I read in Mormon this week, Mormon talked about the surety that he had that as we gain an understanding of the small and simple things that are contained in the Book of Mormon, we will be trusted to understand greater things! We also invited them to be baptized!! They said they would! :) They wouldn´t commit to a date, but they were set in their desires to KNOW for sure so that they wouldn´t have reason to fall away after they were baptized... I take that as a "reasonable" answer. So we´re gonna work with them and help them for a date sometime in May! Also the family I told you all about the last week came back and told us they really don´t want to change their religion. NO! It was a set back, but we listened to their reasons and sought for the spirit to help us understand what they TRULY needed! We were able to help them understand the need of prayer and are focusing on helping them to receive an answer! We have a cita with them tonight, so I´m very excited to see how they´ve progressed.

There was a whole lot that happened this week as far as the work but I feel this week I have just been overwhelmed with blessings and growth as a missionary but more as a person. It hit me yesterday that I´ll turn 6 months this week... I´m sad to realize how fast time is flying but have confidence that I´m not the new little missionary anymore. I don´t know the ropes to everything, but I know that I can produce in the Lords viña with the growth that I have been given. We had stake conference yesterday and were visited by Elder Daniel A. Moreno of the Seventy. He very tenderly related a story of him being able to return to his mission after a long period of time. He went and visited an area that had been one of the hardest. He shared two things that were golden to me in regards to Service and Love. He said, "We learn to Love those whom we serve the most, and that the areas (or things) that will mean the most to us is those that we give ourselves to most. "Fiorito has been a "stretching program" from the Lord to help me learn these two things! I was able to reflect on the things that I´ve done and things that I want to be and found that it is so important that we involve service and love in ALL that we do, it will mean the most to us because we are doing as our Savior Jesus Christ so perfectly exemplified. We cannot fail in the Lord's testing programs when we follow in the footsteps of His perfect son!

23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
(Psalms 31:23-24)

My new favorite scripture! :) This week I want to faithfully DO the Lord's work with courage and hope, and I know that He will preserve and reward us greatly!

I love you all and thank you for your shining smiles in the pictures, for you uplifting examples and your encouraging love! We getta talk soon! :) Have a great week.

Elder Jolley

PS. When is Mothers day?? (no offense Mom, I love you lots igual :) )

Por fin! Found me a new chip and am able to send some back! ... Hope you enjoy! :)

All my love,
Elder Jolley

Elder Jolley and Elder Merritt in Lomas (city center is in the background)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dear Family!

Glad to hear about your Easter and that you all had a wonderful time! I thought I´d take a minute to fill you in on a couple of things. First, going to look for a chip today so I should have that one figured out..all you guys are missing out on is bigger cheeks and squinty eyes...haha. Also for skype here in a month or so! (where did time go??) I talked with Pres. Stapely and he gave me the okay to do a 3 way skype and that I can work things out to make it work, if it is still something that you guys would like to do? Your call. Also I got word that a "huge" package came for me.. I should get it tomorrow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I will really try to get pictures to ya the next week... Ha ha got Mom and Megan in on the emails...

Alright on with the week. I don´t know if you heard on the news, but this week Buenos Aires got hit HARD by a powerful storm, we heard that there was tornado speed wind in some parts. Anyways, that hit pretty hard this last Wednesday (it was the 4th of April- please see Moroni 8:5 and remember that the first month would be April). I was on intercambios with our District Leader as the storm started to come in, luckily we had a cita as the lightening came in. The storm came in fast and hit really hard. In the house that we were in it blew open the doors, knocked the lights out and broke a window! It scared us pretty good, but luckily everyone was safe. We helped the family get settled in then started our walk back to the Pinch. When we walked out it looked like a scene from "The Testament", trees were knocked over, telephone poles had been cracked in half, wires were everywhere and the streets were full of water and debris. We got home safely at about 10:30 after we went to a couple houses of members to make sure they were alright, we were pretty worried for them. I had a great learning experience as we were walking, I felt the need to go to the house of an older lady. When we got there we learned that she had fallen. At that point I got pretty worried and started thinking of anything that we could do to help her, simply, however, she only asked for a priesthood blessing. What an opportunity that was to learn a little better about being part of Priesthood service, at any time and in any place. The light and water came back about 3 days later! -Gotta take you all through our thoughts, this Easter week there was a huge storm around the time that Christ died, we were without lights for 3 day sand 3 nights, and on Sunday morning the lights came back! Now I´m not saying that this is any biblical sign, but it was pretty interesting for us! Haha maybe it´s just a bunch of missionaries that don´t have anything better to do than relate biblical stories to any and everything! Needless to say, (Mom) all is well and nothing bad ever happened! :)

This week we have been working and praying really hard to find investigators who are willing to progress and will have the desires to be baptized. We have been listening more intently to hear the spirit in our work, as we walk and find people to talk to. It is patient work and it is very humbling to recognize our dependence on the spirit. On our intercambios, Elder Tantachuco and I went around trying something a little different with our contacts. As we clapped houses we we explain who we were and that we were walking around offering prayers for the people. Almost every house let us in! haha. We would fervently pray for the family and their safety then leave them with a message of some principle of the Gospel. We passed by the house of a 26 and 23 year old couple who had been having some difficult times recently andthe husband was really sick. We prayed and shared a message of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit was very strong and you could see that this family had been touched greatly. We also had another lesson with them last night, I´ll tell you about that in a minute. :) Throughout the rest of the week we met with an inactive family that we are working on reactivating and also teaching the lessons to her nomember husband. We had a "candle-lit" lesson on Thursday night.. not really a romantic setting in this case, but a PERFECT time to talk about entering the way to eternal life. ;) This family had come with us to General Conference and later told us about how strong they had felt the spirit, the husband told us that while there he felt that he wanted to investigate this church more. This lesson was one of the most guided lessons I´ve had. All that we asked and testified about were the thoughts of the Spirit. It was a joyful experience and very humbling to notice an answered prayer!

Alright now for the best experience of my mission. Yesterday we had the wonderful blessing to fast. Though I´ve fasted my whole life I´ve never really understood it too much, only that it is a good thing.. so we go and do! I fasted for direction to find those who are preparedf or the ordinance of baptism. I told my Heavenly Father that I didn´t know much about fasting, but that I trusted in His will for us in Fiorito. We closed the fast and had a great day visiting and preaching the Gospel. We then had a cita with that couple, Daniel and Cornelia. They were very happy to see us and honestly thought that we wouldn´t come back! They loved what they heard and had a bunch of questions for us. For sakes of time I would like to take you through the comments that we received throughout the lesson...

"Your church is very very different, -We aren´t looking to change our religion, -We really love los Santos (Catholic statues), -again we really love our religion and aren´t looking to change." Elder Merritt and I were a little confused with these and weren´t sure where to go, with faith thought we went ahead and taught THE best lesson by the spirit. Here are their comments afterward. "We believe that God created all man and that we should worship Him, -Wow, it would be important to have prophets with actual authority, -We feel something different inside us, -How does someone enter into your church,-Yes we´ll get baptized on the 28 of April!!"

Wow, how can you deny the power of God after witnessing a complete change of heart like that?! I get teary eyed just thinking about it! I know without out a doubt that fasting works and if nothing else, it leads us to grow in faith of our Savior Jesus Christ! I was so thankful to be His representative in this moment and to preach the glad message of the Atonement! I loved reading in D&C 18:10-14 and learning about the importance of our souls to our Savior. Only upon Repentance can we be like Him. It is a powerful blessing given to us because we meant so much to Him.

I love my Savior and being a Missionary. I love you all so much!
Elder Jolley

Monday, April 2, 2012


Dear Family!

How sweet it is to be able to sit down and bask in the love of our Savior. A quick April Fools to you all.. We had the great blessing to watch the General Conference live! Gotcha. It was a very special week with lots of emotions and being touched by the spirit in many different ways.

So glad to hear the lawn is up and going! Haha I loved how most of you informed me of that, confirmed my doubts that I´ll be the solo old man with his grass. :) shoot. (lets be honest though I´ll probably pedir (to ask) pictures and updates in the future.)

This week past by very quick with lots of amazing experiences. The first one was our interviews with President Stapely. So so good! Each companionship would participate in a taller with the Zone Leaders. In this one we were taught a lot of our unique experience to be representatives of Jesus Christ. I loved pondering on what that meant and what traits a servant of Christ would have. We were taught about an experience that Gordon B. Hinckley shared of a simple, but loving act of charity that promoted 2 boys to be sanctified by the spirit and grow to become more like Christ. As a missionary, I am blessed to have many opportunities to give simple but loving actions to those that don´t know Christ and it is a joy every time that it happens. My favorite and sometimes the most special experiences that I will have in a day is through saludando EVERYONE that we can pass by with a sincere smile and to see a face change to smile back at you! Nothing better. After we were done with our taller, we waited in the mission home to meet with President Stapely. My interview passed really well and I had a great talk with him about the ways to improve my abilities to become an effective missionary. He shared two scriptures with me that really have stuck with me. In Jacob 1:19, and in Jacob 7:26. Jacob realizes the importance of magnifying his calling to the Lord that he will not be held accountable for the things that he could have done. The other says something that puts into perspective the importance of priorities in our life, "and our lives past by as if it were a dream." WOW! Kinda explains the mission, but from hearing a couple of the talks from conference this principle can really be applied to everything that we do. He has granted us a select time here on Earth that will pass by too quickly, so it is our blessing to always be in His service and giving Him our all! President Stapely is an inspired man and am grateful to have him as a guide.

As far as the rest of the week went, Friday I went on a inter cambio with Elder Saunders, a capo from Morgan, Utah. He is a great friend and he and I get along really well. He is a lot like Elder Nielson, Elder Larsen, Zach and Jake... Don´t know if there is much more to explain from that.. The purpose of the Inter cambio was to FIND. We contacted a few houses and set up some follow-up appointments with some great people. I learned a lot from Elder Saunders. Each misionero has a unique form of teaching, I was really impressed by the inspired questions that normally I wouldn´t think to ask in a contact but helped the people to be touched by the spirit. Elder Merritt and I continue to find new ways to improve and new ways to make sure that we are helping our investigators progress. Our desires have had to change a lot as we have hit a little rut, BUT I couldn´t be more thankful for the Ruts of our Heavenly Father! They´re "a higher mountain" as President Eyring put it that secures the foundation of our faith.

Alright to get to conference. I swear this year was something else, I didn´t sleep at home, but I never was touched by conference in the way that I was this year. I had such a testimony building experience as my Savior and I chose things that I can fix in my life in order to become more like Him. I wrote down questions and was filled to the brim with the word of God. There is no way I can choose favorites cause everyone was just a feast. I was able to take in a little more on Saturday than on Sunday, we had a few investigators come and watch so I was able to... improve my Spanish movie skills with them? ha. Both days were completely different and equal in blessing. I can´t explain how amazing it was to be able to see those men and just look at their countenance and to testify that they are chosen men and disciples of Jesus Christ.

There was one talk by Elder Packer that I loved so much. It talked about the family, I had a lot of memories of the last conference at home and this one being away was an eye opener to the love I have for you all! He said a golden phrase, "The ultimate end in all activity of the church is a husband and wife with their kids. Happy at home and sealed safely in the bounds of the Everlasting Gospel." How beautiful eh? :) I love my Savior beyond description. He gave me a family that is happy at home and no matter, sealed in the bounds and security of His Atonement- which is center in the Everlasting Gospel.

I hope this week we can each reflect our love and the SIMPLICITY of the Savior. His course is straight and His promises sure. I know that my Redeemer lives!! :)

Felices pascaus a todos.
Elder Jolley