Hey hey what a week!! I´m super happy to be in Villa Elvira... What a different view!! Haha, the first day I felt like I was in the U.S. I think I said to Elder Mines a hundred times, "whoa.. you don´t see that in Fiorito!" It´s a super nice area and has GREAT potential. Elder Mines is such a great guy, we get along very good- from the beginning we´ve been laughing, sharing opinions and trying to help each other be better. I feel so blessed with such a great companion. This week, I´ve really just been trying to keep my eyes open to what I need to do and to learn the new responsibilities that we have. I don´t think I´ve been so tired in my mission!! Ha the first couple days we were running from place to place trying to get things done and planning our zone meeting that we had on Wednesday! I arrived at the Pinch the first couple nights just dead! :) I love it though and I feel so hopeful for all that we can do. Our Zone has 10 Elders and 4 Hermanas that are capos!! We ended this week SO SO happy! We saw greater faith and love from these missionaries that hasn´t been seen in a long time and are planning a great week that is coming! (we´ll have 2 and a half days to work in our area this next week- it´s gonna be a little bit different to try and do all that we want in this time frame.)
Villa Elvira has recently had a ward split so right now we´re at about the same amount of members that we had in Fiorito but we are considered a Barrio. During the week we did a lot to gain the confidence of the members and to begin to establish a working relationship with them, that will be the key for success in this area I believe. Ha during the week Elder Mines and I tried, I believe, every possible way to enter a house! I´ll share a couple techniques; we tried being super nice and loving about our message, but that I guess was annoying to the people, we tried being pretty straight forward with them and also tried to just talk normally with them. So it was a great week to practice doorstep approaches. Monday we found a couple named Pablo y Yamila. Yamila answered the door and had a super big smile on her face and was just very nice. We found out that they don´t believe in God and never really have bought into beliefs. They didn´t want to listen to us, but luckily we caught glimpse of a guitar in their house. Ha quickly I asked if they knew how to play (I was gonna offer my talents, but I couldn´t remember any "Dust in the Wind" or that one song that Dad always plays so I passed that idea). Pablo I guess is a stud with the guitar and ended up playing like a five minute song for us there in the doorway! I´m sure it would have been weird to see, but it was sweet. Toda onda! haha after the "concert" we shared with them that we know that God has given us a plan to help us to let us know that He exists and is here to help us, unfortunately they didn´t let us in in the end. It was a sweet contact!
We worked a lot this week with the members of the ward and WOW! They are amazing! There are a lot of young members and small families but there testimonies are huge and have a great desire to share the gospel. We worked pretty closely with the Flia. Marazita. They are a young young couple with 2 little chicos. They had been working hard to invite their friends to come and listen to us- 3 times we scheduled an appointment with La Hermana to meet with some neighbors but all 3 times they never showed up. We felt so sad, she was destroyed but with every time we were blessed to have very spiritual experiences as we shared with her how she can continue to share the Gospel. I learned a ton about the Atonement from this Hermana, we thought a lot about the story of Nephi in Helaman 10. Sometimes we are left rejected by the people for the cause that we support but the Lord is there to invite us to return with the promise that He will be there for us. I´ll be sure to update more as we see more come about here.
Right now I am super excited for the Re-dedication week!! As Zone Leaders we´ll be able to sit with President Eyring in the Sunday re-dedication ceremony!! :) nah just kidding that´d be sweet though! So this week, this is the plan. Friday the 3 missions in Buenos Aires are going to be able to have a fireside all day Friday with President Eyring and Elder Christopherson and Ballard. Saturday also the 3 missions are going to be able to take part in the cultural event!! The missionaries will be entering into the stadium singing "Called to Serve!" Que Ocupado no?! Ah i´m so excited! There has been a lot of work going into these events and to have them here is the greatest thing in the world!! :) I am hoping that during the fireside we´ll be able to shake the hands of the apostles but we´ll see? Sunday for the dedication we´ll be going to the stake centers to watch the ceremony. Kinda like you guys will be doing for Brigham City!
Well time is short but I wanted to share with you guys a great scripture that I read this week! It is found in Mathew 10:37-39
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
I came to understand this week the importance of our dedication to the Lord. With the re-dedication of the temple I´ve been thinking a lot about what it means to dedicate. Our love to the Lord is first and foremost in our lives and in what we do. The promise that He makes us is that He has everything lined up for us so that we can obtain all that He has, but when we put our desires or wishes before Him we are without His direction and are worse off! I am grateful to dedicate my life to the Lord for these short years and am grateful to trust in Him more and have faith in His grace! I love Him and I testify that He loves us. I´m overwhelmed at the thought of His love, it´s infinite!
I love you all and look forward to telling you guys about the Re-dedication here in Buenos Aires! All my love to each of you and my prayers that the Lord will bless and guide you all!
Elder Jolley and Elder Mines in Villa Elvira