Monday, June 25, 2012

Hello Queridos!

Well.. this week is a little different. We´re in a junky Cyber with AC/DC blaring and images of Dad singing and doing some sick air guitar are coming to my mind, we all need a good chuckle sometimes :). Time is flying by and I can do nothing but be grateful for our Father in Heavens hand in our lives. We are able to do a lot of things in our lifetime but I´m grateful for a set-apart time to come to know my Savior more and rely upon Him in all moments. What an incredible week here in Buenos Aires! :) it´s been B.E.A.Utiful this week and I´ve been able to soak in just how much I love Argentina. Mi hijito continues to be such a kapo in all he does. He is going to do great things in the mission and has such a strong testimony of the Savior. It´s been a great couple weeks, I think I´ve been trained more than he has in our time! A lot happened this week so i´ll try and dive in.

A BAPTISM!! wahoo Maria and Luz are such angels! We had one of the best baptisms, FILLED with the spirit and so much love. The baptism preparations were... complicated. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father gives us tender mercies. Saturday was a busy day that with each visit that we made became more and more backed up. I get kinda stressed out when i´m not punctual so when we were about an hour late to our lunch cita, i think Elder Alvarado was a little confused when I just stopped talking in order to keep positive! (he he) When we got to the capilla we were running tight on time and were running trying to clean the capilla and do all the baptism preparations. I think the ward forgot to clean that day so it was a lot of work. We made it in time and had a simple but powerful service. Presidente Pulido was asked to perform the baptism which was a neat experience for me to be able to watch from the outside and take part in the spirit of this special moment in their lives. Afterwards we celebrated Maria´s 77th birthday with some delicious Torta! The ward really showed up for us and welcomed these new hermanas so kindly! The next day we again were filled with the spirit and love of the Savior as we were able to confirm them members of the Church. Luz y Maria both broke down in tears and a lot of thanks for what they had received. It was a humbling moment as Maria took our hand afterward and told us that "since the day we came to their house, things have never been the same." What a special privilege to be on the Lords errand and see His power in the lives of those who go without His spirit for such a long time. To introduce His love back in their lives is incredible.

Elder Alvarado, Maria, Luz and Elder Jolley

Elder Alvarado, Pte. Pulido, Elder Jolley,
Maria and Luz

Unfortunately Luis was not able to make it to be baptized.. When we passed by on Thursday we found him a little bit "drunk" that was a HUGE hit for me. He had been over a month clean and was progressing so well. I felt in that moment that all we had done was lost and really that all hope had gone when we fell into addiction again. I wasn´t angry but I was hurt because of how strong I know He is and how hard satan works. He stayed in my mind the rest of the week. I learned a great truth about the Savior and was grateful to be drawn closer to Him. Jeremiah 17:7 taught me a lot about the role of the Savior in our lives.

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ does prohibit progression when we fall. The Lord does not loose hope and further Himself in the MANY times when we fall. Hope is a special characteristic that the Savior achieved for us. He had, and still has, so much hope for what we can become. It was because of this hope that He died for us and finished His preparations for us with the Father. IF we place our hope in the power of getting back up we to can have the Hope of a better world as Moroni taught. I was humbled as a realized an opportunity to understand the Savior's love as a missionary. Luis is a amazing example. My hope is expressed as the Saviors, to move closer and express love and positivity in the ability to press on, enduring. What a perfect example our Savior is. I´m grateful to hope in a better Elder Jolley because of the hope that comes the Atonement. I know that it is possible to become better than we believe we can. I know Luis will be baptized in July. We are excited to bring the love of Christ and help him achieve this hope to rest in the mansions prepared.

Time is a pain. Ha I want to let you know that Fiorito is a strong area and that there is much success that is coming! We are improving as teachers and as people! I´m thrilled for what we´ll be able to do as we get closer to the re-dedication of the Temple.

I love you all and thank you for your support and for your great letters! Love to see pictures. (I know the same can be said about me!) We´ll all work on them! Have a great week.

Elder Jolley

PS. Not sure how I´m feeling about Elder Jolley coming home.. doesn´t seem real. Trying not to think about it too much just cause I don´t want to be home with you guys for the moment. I´m excited for you to have Ryan back for a little bit.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Querido Familia

Sorry for the Spanish email! Haha.. it slips outs! I hope that you all had such a great week and from the sounds of it, summer is treating you guys well. I love hearing about all that keeps you busy and the funny little things that pop up. Sometimes life is like that, "jumps up and bites ya in the buttox" but what a blessing it is to have to means to continue forward despite it all! I hope that the pipe gets fixed soon! Its been interesting as I can scan the experiences that I´ve had and can remember days and remember that I never thought I´d be able to get past them. As Pres. Eyring said though, compared to what He has faced as He continue his journey in life these appear so so small. I am grateful this week for this knowledge and for the continued support that it gives to me. Training is amazing!! My little guy is such a powerful missionary and a great friend already. He has been teaching me tons (especially in Spanish!) and we have been able to find a good rumba this week for what we want to accomplish as a companionship in our area. He is a hard worker and has true desire to learn and adapt to being out on the mission again.

This week that is coming we´ll be having a BAPTISM for Luz and Maria! They are angels. Unfortunately Luis won´t be able to because he didn´t come to church. I´ve been so impressed by this family and more grateful for our Savior in our experiences with the Flia. Martinez. I have come to see what power the Gospel of Jesus Christ has when faithfully applied in our lives. They have come to grow closer to the Lord and are very excited for their baptism this Saturday! We had a lesson with them earlier this week and were blown away when we showed up and saw a couple new people. They told us that "the kids in this neighborhood just have to listen to you muchachos because they need help!" One of them, I think I´ve told you about, is Daniel. We have talked with Daniel a couple times and he remains interested and has a true desire to be better in his life. We´ve taught him/ are helping him to quit smoking and to read the Book of Mormon. In a lesson that we had Maria ended up cutting us off and asked if she could explain.. "maybe a little more clear" than we could! Haha she looked Daniel in the face and said, "Danny, this book says it more clear than the bible! and if you have a question.. just open this book up to ANY page and there you´ll find the answer!" Haha I´m excited for her to get baptized and then take my position as a missionary! This family is super special and I´ve really grow to love them, for who they are but more for what they´ve done to grow closer to Christ. It takes a lot and their faith is impressive.

We had a great capacitación this week with the lideres de zona where we were able to focus on Our Missionary Purpose a little bit more. We talked about baptism and the importance of inviting people to get baptized and the sacred responsibility that we have to do so! They shared a scripture in Alma 13 that I loved:

10 Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish;

11 Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.

12 Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.

13 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest.

As missionaries we´ve been called to this same order with a commission to help people become sanctified and be made spotless. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I know that it is this that our Religion makes itself different from all the rest. It is by applying habits of FAITH, REPENTANCE, CLEANSING OURSELVES, FOLLOWING GUIDANCE OF HOLY GHOST, AND ENDURANCE TO THE END that we are able to become "saints" even "Children of Christ." Without the proper application of this Gospel in our lives, we believe in the same thing that others do. (of course we believe in doing these things according to the Restored Priesthood authority too but the point makes itself) What a blessing that has been in my week, to come to understand that and to learn how to apply that to the lives of our Investigators.

We are healthy and happy here in Fiorito. We have many things improving in our area as we go out with enthusiasm and excitement. I continue to see the power of the spirit leading us to become better, in our lives and in our Rama. We have a special group of people here that are striving to become better and our leaders are amazing! They have been able to feel they spirit of Christ in their lives and to act upon it! I am grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful that He experienced mortality as we do. In D&C 93:12-13 it explains the perfectness of our Master Teacher. He too was tried and had to learn by experience. How grateful I am that He could superar (English ?) all and give us the hope that we need to continue to improve every day! I love you all and am grateful for you!

Have a great week!

Elder Jolley

Monday, June 11, 2012

Querido Familia!

Wow! Esta semana ha sido un bendición muy grande en mi misión. Mi "hijito" nació martes y salió morocho! ¿Qué sorpresa no? Jaja. Mi compañero se llama Elder Alvarado de Cordoba. Él es un capo ya y nosotros hemos tenido una semana muy productiva. Tengo un situación un pocito diferente de los demás entrenadores. Mi compañero ya hizo un año de su misión hace 3 años atras, pero por algunas razones personales tenía que regresar y ahora está empezando a vuelta. Elder Alvarado también sirvió en Fiorito... Que raro. Nosotros estamos muy bien y mi mente ya volvió argentina.. Si fuera una mezcla antes no sé cómo lo describiría ahora. Estamos hablando castellano 24 horas y a mi me encanta. (Mama si pensaba que era mal antes.. ahora aumentó la molestia! haha) Mi único problema ahora es que desde al principio le pregunté a mi compañero que tal mi acento y él me dijo que yo hablo "Re Gringo"... Shoot! Es una experiencia completamente diferente estar con un latino. Estoy re animado a tener éste oportunidad a trabajar con él y ayudarlo.

This week was a little bit strange for the time that we had. We started out the week preparing to pick up our nuevos. We did this in a capacitación for 4 hours on tuesday where they taught us all that we need to know about how we need to teach them and what they need to know in order to be successful missionaries later on. In the capacitación I wasn´t sure they chose the right guy because I was learning so much!! But was more grateful for a refresh on what missionary work is about now. We later went with the asistentes to the mision home and there we were able to meet our new companions. I was SO excited to meet him. When Presidente Stapley said a Latin name I was thrilled! So far it has been really good and we´ve been able to hold conversations and I´M just glad that he has been able to understand me. Elder Alvarado has a year already in the mission and my assignment is to teach him how to be a missionary in our mission now and how to utilize the Fundamental Principles of Preach My Gospel. It through me for a bit of a loop because I wasn´t sure how to treat the situation. This week for both of us was a little crazy learning to adapt ourselves to the positions that we´re in. We are more stable as time goes on and are excited to keep working ahead.

Bueno. This week we had a an amazing experience that we didn´t know was going to be so great until last night. On Wednesday we ate at the house of a member and were asked at the end if we could go to the house of his brother to give his sobrina a blessing. Her name (or nickname) is Piru. She´s 34 years old and has a problem that doesn´t allow her to grow. She is a small small little girl that has such a sweet and powerful spirit. When we went over she had been sick for a few weeks, she was very weak and wasn´t able to speak. I went over beside her and kneeled down, introducing who I was and just trying to have a nice little chat. You could feel just a peace about her, it was a special experience to be with her and to feel our Savior's love for this precious daughter of our heavenly Father. We gave her a blessing and left. Right before we left she began to talk and said goodbye to us.. very cool! Yesterday however we stopped by this same member family because they didn´t come to church. We found out that Piru had passed away on Saturday. I was crushed! The family too wasn´t having a good time with the situation. We sat down with the family and were able to testify of the plan of salvation that truly our Savior took our place to prepare a way for us to return to live with our Father in Heaven. We expressed our love for them and more important the love of the Savior that in these times He, especially, is here to comfort us and allow us to draw closer to him! There are certain times when we feel closer to Heaven and when we are able to feel ourselves take the place of our Savior in doing His work. Last night was one of those great and humbling experiences.

Family Martinez continues to progress and show super animo to get baptized. All we need is water and I think they´d jump in! More incredible news with Luis. He and his daughter nallara went to a party this weekend... had us a little worried. But I guess she came back from the party and told her grandma that her dad denied every drink that was offered to him and instead they went off and drank some 7up together! What a capo! Tonight we´ll be going to their house to have a lesson about prophets.. We´ll be showing a talk by President Monson! I´m super happy with this family!

Well time is cut short this week! I love you all and know that this church is true. I know that faith is our most powerful tool and that we can achieve great things by obtaining it. Mosiah 24:15-16 was a scripture that really helped me out this week and I saw and know that it is true and is applicable in our lives.

I love you all very much!
Elder Jolley

Monday, June 4, 2012

Querido Familia!

HEY!! What a week and what an amazing start to summer that you guys had, from the pictures (in my head) that I´m seeing everything is beautiful and I´m excited for all the summer fun. Here in Argentina things have been rather warm? We haven´t had much cold weather hasta ahora but today the wind started to pick up and with the humidity it gets pretty cold. I bought a scarf! :) It's my first time with one and I´m just amazed at the variety of ways that you can tie these things!!

This week we had a special week with Zone Conferences and transfers. Elder Merritt and I have had a great run together, but he has been called to be a District Leader in my old zone.. Guernica! I´m super excited for him and the opportunity that he is going to have to take on more responsibility to the Lord and be a blessing to those Elders over there! We were together a fairly long time and became good friends. I know that I grew to be a better person and hope that I was able to help him also. As for me I get to stay in Fiorito!!! Wahoo! I have know idea who my companion is but I´ve been called TO TRAIN!! I will receive the new elder tomorrow! Wow! I´m overwhelmed and so excited for what the Lord has in store. This new Elder and I are going to work so hard to continue to grow the area of Fiorito! I feel confident that the Lord knows what He is doing.. with only 7 months, I don´t know if I know tons, but together we are going to learn and apply all that we need to become better. Today in transfer meetings President Stapley shared a thought with us that I thought was right on the money! We as people need to have integrity in all that we do, he said that it ultimately is "who we are." Being members of the Church we have a special privilege to know the eternal plan of our Heavenly Father and to ACT accordingly. By the application of gospel principles we will become more like Christ, and it will become who we are! Our integrity and the outcome of who we really are depends on the Application of what we are asked to do! I am thrilled to be able to apply with my new companion the principles of the gospel in order to become  more capable representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ, our integrity depends on it! I´m excited to take him through the first couple days of Argentina and can´t wait to fill you all in next week.

We were able to teach a couple really great lessons this week and find a lot of "hopefuls" that I´m excited to talk with more in the coming week. Fiorito has come such a long way and know that it will continue to grow. I feel the Lord asks from us our obedience and diligent service at certain levels in order to help us progress. As we succeed and gain faith that His commandments are possible, He asks us to jump up another level. Así es in Fiorito. There is a new expectation from us that I know we need to reach, one that I learned from our Zone Conferences. This transfer is was based upon "The Missionary Purpose." We had reference from a talk that Elder Christofferson gave that talked about missionaries that were focused on their purpose and those that weren´t. It talked about the difference in being a missionary that teaches lessons and a missionary that shares Salvation. There is a great difference he said. The missionaries we strive for this goal are focused in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the pathway that it creates for the PERSONAL needs of each of God's children. They study harder and are more focused in the needs of the investigators, they realize the true need of missionary work and the divine calling that they are given! I know that as we become more focused in the needs of our Investigators and focus on what "Our Purpose" truly means, that we will reach that new level.

Unfortunately this week we were sad to not see Donene and Juana come to church which cancels the baptism for this coming week! NO! They have a lot of health problems and with the cold they were told to stay in bed for a couple days... This next week we´ll be going strong to help them keep up the fire for baptism and we´ll be putting the goal for the following week. We had a couple others lessons with them this week where we were able to introduce some members of the church to them. We brought with us an hermana name Juana Lobo to introduce her to this family. We were regretting the decision after about 45 of them conversando about the life in el campo! (not that it was a bad thing, it was such a blessing how well they got along- only that we weren´t able to stop them in order to teach the lesson.) After a couple times of trying to stop them we were offered a submarine (hot chocolate) and some bread! Haha I think that they wanted US to stop talking! :) It was a funny moment. Por Fin we were able to share with them about the Word of Wisdom. La hermana that we brought was super helpful and the spirit was strong as they came to understand our Heavenly Father's love in giving us a way to protect our bodies.

The Familia Martinez continues to be steady and great blessings in our lives! I´m not sure if I told you last week, but when we first met with this family one of the varones was having a really tough time with drugs and other tough problems, we have been working with them to help him change his course and work to stop these habits. We had been skeptic about his progress and had followed up a couple times. One visit that we had though, I had a minute to talk with him. He told me that he had completely stopped hanging out outside in order to not be around influences that would offer him any of these substances and that he had been clean for a week! What a blessing!! It was truly a testimony builder to me of the importance of our desires to our Heavenly Father. He knows what we want to do and how we want to change in our lives and will work accordingly with us in giving us the strength that we need to realize these changes in our life!

Time is short but I want you to know that I know that our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ are two real beings who have a powerful influence in our lives. We must listen to them and rise to the levels that they want us to reach, not for their benefit, only for ours. Our integrity to our Heavenly Father is such a blessing. When He knows that we will apply what He asks us to do we will become who we are meant to be! I love them and this work. I love you all and thank you for your example and support and love. I feel it.

Elder Jolley