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


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