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