Monday, December 31, 2012

¡¡Feliz Año Nuevo!!

Wow 2013.. that came quick! I´m also very surprised that we´re already a week from the call that we had. I have to thank you guys so much for all the love that I felt, the call really was so great for me! It´s incredible that even though it has been a while since we´ve talked we´re able to keep the same random humor and the same love for one another! Very sorry for the English. Elder Villalba made a comment to me after, something to the effect of "che, you speak worse than I do!" Haha I thought it was funny that he caught Ryan's comment about being Trunky! Ha. He sends you all muchos Saludos. Recién today I got the package from Navidad! :) Thank you so much!! The tie is joya! I love it and all the letters and WOW! The pictures are incredible! Thank you.

This week we were able to get a lot done!! Tons for the time that we were given. We were able to visit several of our super Investigators! Right now we´re teaching a part member family, the Flia. Cejas. The mom is a member and the husband and several of their kids are not members. They were a reference from our Stake President that he has given to us like 3 times.. We tried to work with this family when I first got here, but they didn´t want to hear anything, so when we heard from him this time I was a little hesitant, but I have gained a great testimony that the Lord is constantly preparing His children. About 2 months ago they were finishing up some family trials so it would have been hard for them to see the importance of the Gospel. Right now though they keep telling us, "Right now we feel like we need this in our lives and the more we listen to you guys the more our trials are resolved." Roberto especially is so aware of the spirit. We´ve been inviting them to read the Book of Mormon- he isn´t a man of many words but he knows how he feels. He explains to us so enthusiastically that EVERY time he reads the Book of Mormon he is filled with peace and feels like a huge burden is lifted from his life. They are an incredible family. This week we´ll be doing a lot more to involve the kids and help the family to be more involved in the Gospel.

Our other investigator is Gabriel Yoma. He is a glass-worker. He´s got long hair and I think he was a hippy cause he works the peace sign! Ha. He´s a special friend of ours! He was a reference from our bishop and has been so glad to accept us and the best part of Gabriel is that he listens to us! But more than just listens, he ponders on every word that we say. He has been going through a hard time.. he´s in "a war of words" between us and the other church he goes to. The other day we were with him, a lady passed by his house and told him that we were of the devil... Merry Christmas to her! We were a little worried for him, didn´t want him to be stressed or confused so we decided to just chat with him, try and be in his shoes for a minute and we were able to be led by the spirit in a way that I´ve never experienced before. We knew how to open his heart and how sweet to be able to provide the Gospel of Jesus Chirst in the hearts of these people. I love to be a missionary!! :) Very thankfully I´m going to be able to continue to see the work continue in Villa Elvira!! :)

Transfers came and I´ll be staying with Elder Villalba- this also means that automatically I´ll be staying another transfer after this one. (repeat of Fiorito.) I´m very thankful for the blessing that the Lord has given me. I remember thinking that Fiorito was the hardest thing that I¨d been through, and like Pres. Eyring says, the trials that seem hard to us right now will seem very small compared to the things that the Lord will give us to capacitate (?) us for our future! Come what may, if our foundation of Christ is firm, supported on the solid principles of His Gospel we will become sanctified by Him and be able to reach our potential. I´m not ready to say "Give me, Lord, that mountain to climb" but I´m ready to follow Him and be obedient to His counsels! :) I look forward to a successful time here in Villa Elvira! 

Holidays here in Argentina, the end of the year mainly, we get to be with the members for most of the time. I think I mentioned in the call that we spent our Christmas with a great family. The Flia. Marazita nos invitó a un Asado de Pollo que estuvo riquísimo! Before I leave here I´m learning how to do Asado so that we can enjoy when I get home. It is something very common in Argentina to do, Asado with ALL the family. The next day our next door neighbors, the family Gatica, invited us to do an Asado also and tonight for Año Nuevo, we´re going to a huge "family reunion" again with the family Gatica again with the Asado. Asado = MEAT! :) It is just a huge BBQ with all the Cow that you could ask for! I´m trying not to loose the tradition of eating this holiday season!

I love you all and wish you the best of this New Year! :) I hope that we will all begin this year by coming unto the Savior. I know with all surety that if we are humble and recognize our need for Jesus Christ everyday of our lives we will be inspired to know how to follow Him and will receive the fulness of His blessing! -Mosiah 4:5-8 Con mucho amor familia!

Elder Jolley

Christmas with the family Gatica

 Elders heading to the Mission home in Train.

 Elder Alvarado, Elder Jolley and Elder Lewis - family tree!

 Elder Villalba and I in our common clothes waiting for the other Asado.

With the flia Marazita working on the Asado

2013 ye haw!

Monday, December 17, 2012


This will be the last time that I write you guys before WE TALK!! Wahoo! Time is still something that I don´t like considering because it flies! Si, I had heard about my new release date.. not happy!! But what are ya gonna do? Cutting the mission a little shorter is a hard thought to process when I had been hoping to be here and with the people even for just a couple weeks longer. I am focused and enthusiastic about my time serving here and it´s hard to think of things differently! I´m very excited about the things that are happening right now in the mission! All the missionaries are really looking forward to these next couple weeks. Presidente Stapley has really been inspired to set up "a process of santification" that we have started during the holiday season. Right now we really want everyone to be able to have the "vision" of what we can accomplish as missionaries and to be able to have a strong strong personal desire to listen and follow the spirit in our lives! The best Christmas present that we received this last week was the news that on January 7th La Misión Buenos Aires Sur will be going to the Temple!! :) Presidente has organized a special endowment session for all the missionaries! I´m thrilled.. not sure how else to explain it!! There couldn´t be a better place to go to receive instruction and receive "power from on high!" It has been awhile since I´ve been to the Temple so I´ve kinda got cositas in my tummy to get back there! Ha. There is a super great spirit right now in the mission!

As for this last week, GENIAL! :) Villa Elvira finally has started to explode with new possibilities and success that I haven´t seen!! We had una semana re buena aquí. It was kinda complicada during the week but turned out fantastic!! This week I had a few great experiences with intercambios that we did. This week we ended up doing 3!! We did one with our District Leader, Elder Hogenson.. from Canada! Cool, eh? We enjoyed talking about Mr. Big bars and Hockey! Ha I thought he´d know something about Strange Brew but no luck. We had a great time together! He works hard and we had a great time learning from each other. One experience I loved with Elder Hogenson was in a contact that we didn´t expect. We were going to visit a member who wasn´t there in the end but next door a man salió de su casa and asked us to come inside and share something with him! We entered in and shared about the power of prayer! Daniel se llama hadn´t had communication with his family for a long time and so being able to express himself to his Heavenly Father I think helped him out a lot!

On Thursday Elder Villalba and I received a call from our Assistants who were down in La Plata and wanted to do an intercambio with us. It ended up being such a great experience! Elder Villalba and I have been doing everything how we need to but what we lacked was the "fire-cito" that they brought with them. I learned more than anything with Elder Reid that in our lives, when we know something is right and we feel the desire to help others, we gotta go for it and the spirit will help us and will show us miracles. That day we were able to invite 3 people to be baptized and 3 people accepted the invitation! :) I´ve been praying a lot the past few weeks to be able to find people who would be willing to accept this invitation and this week truly was a miracle and an answer to that prayer! In the end of the week we found 5 incredible people who are now listening to us and more and more things are opening up! To be honest I have no clue what changed exactly?? We changed the way we plan and started doing things junto with our ward and from there I know that the Lord put in His part. It was a great change that we saw!

The last intercambio that we were able to do was with the Elders that share our apartment. We decided to just do it for the afternoon and turned out to be a great success! I went with an Elder Williams and we were able to have a couple really great experiences. We found 2 families that were soo accepting of us and from what I have heard they are capos!! Also I was so grateful to learn from Elder Williams. He and his companion have gone through some rough times and were a little discouraged. While we walked we got talking about the power of our calling and of the covenants that we´ve be able to make in our lives. I really felt the spirit as we sat there talking for a minute. Before we got to finish, we entered into a house of a menos activo and got talking with her. She had been through some hard times and really didn´t have much of a testimony anymore. Again we started to talk about prayer and in the lesson Elder Williams shared a powerful testimony of how he came to love prayer in his life. WOW!! There was such power and authority in his testimony.. it put esa hermana in tears!! She quietly thought for a minute and said that she would pray that night (when at the beginning of the lesson she showed zero interest!) I was so grateful for that spiritual experience, realizing how special it is to realize what we are capable of- when we know who we are and what we´ve been given in our lives!

The spirit really has been such a blessing in my life this week. I´ve been a witness of his power and I´ve been touched by his peace on many occasions. What an incredible blessing that we have WHEN we know how to live worthy of His companionship and understand what the spirit can do for us! I loved a scripture in Jarom 1:4 (can´t download it.. if you will that´d be great mom!) Only when I decide to listen and when I decide to exercise faith can I be in perfect communion with our Father in Heaven!

 Jarom 1:4
And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.

I love you guys tons and can´t wait till next week! :) Hope that you all have a great week!

Mucho Love!
Elder Jolley

Monday, December 10, 2012


Wow.. Una semana ya pasó?? How weird the time that flies by. This week has seriously been so short! One of my goals lately has been to use my time wisely! In the mornings I´m trying to get some journal writing in.. exercise (la pansa lo mandaba) and being on time for studies. It has been a struggle to get everything coordinated but I´ve seen great blessings as I do things as they should be done and in the time frame that they should be done! It has helped me to be more effective and surely has helped me to realize how focused I can be! As Diciembre continues to fly by and as we get busy in our work I´ve been taught that every second has to be taken care of preciously! I have a ton of time left on my mission and what I´m doing is part of a great work, I intend to use every minute of it.

This week we had a great meeting with President Stapley and he helped the Zone Leaders in the mission understand a little bit as to what he wants to happen and what he knows is important for us to do- He has really been inspired by our Heavenly Father to have a fantastic Vision of what we can achieve and who we can be as missionaries. For the work to keep going and keep strong, working with the members of our ward is very important and Elder Villalba and I have the great blessing to work side by side with the Stake Presidency! What a great opportunity that it has been for me!! I´ve been learning and listening a lot to experiences that they have had and what they do to be able to help others progress in the Gospel. I feel greatly tutored as I am given new leadership opportunities! I´ve been trying to be more obedient to the things that we´re recommended to do. Sometimes it´s easy to be prideful and think that, "No, I have a better way!" and not follow exactly what we´re told to do. Really the way has been given to us - and it´s easy if we believe that our Leaders are men called of God! So we got to work and changed and were obedient to what President Stapley knows is the right way. We ended the week with 6 church meetings with different groups of ward and stake leaders. We were asked to come prepared to help the leaders know what the missionaries need to do and how to do it! It was a complicated week for our area but a very productive week in getting everyone on the same page! We´re strugglin right now in our area a little bit. We´ve been out trying to find those who are interested but sometimes they´re difficult to find. For that reason we´re really excited and really confident about the work that we´re going to be doing with the ward, the best way to do missionary work is when we teach and the members are converted to sharing their testimonies with their friends! We´re doing good though and keep moving forward with faith! Thank Heaven for that wonderful principle that we have in our lives! Moroni 7:33 is one of the greatest scriptures!

I love ya´ll very much and am excited for the time that we are entering into.. Christmas time is such a great time to renew promises and devotion to our Savior for the maravilloso don that He gave to us, freedom from our burdens and a return to be with our Father in Heaven again! This Christmas I want to give more to Christ and show Him my gratitude by using His Atonement as my motivation in hard times! I can´t wait to talk with ya´ll and hope you have a great week!

Mucho love!
Elder Jolley

Elder Jolley and Elder Villalba

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ah my family!! :)

What a relief to be able to sit back and hear from you all, thank you so very much for all that you share and for the spirit that you bring into my life. I have been thinking a lot this week about families and thought a lot about what Elder Packer said, "The ultimate end to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to see a family happily united and sealed in the everlasting covenant." When I think of this I am grateful for the many memories that I have of home! :) I hope that I never loose sight of what the Gospel has done for me. This week has been fantastic, we´ve had several days of being with church authorities and that comes with a lot of new things to learn and a great new spirit to help us reach our potential. We were able to meet with Elder De Giovanni, Elder Ceballos, and a couple other area 70. It has been a fantastic week!! I am realizing again how much I love being a missionary and how much I don´t want to stop this work. It has been such a rewarding experience for me and to help me understand what is it that I need to work for in my life in order to be happy! I had a great experience today reading back through my journal. Hermana De Giovanni in our meeting that we had on Thursday shared with us the many times that we are going to down or discouraged or when we just need a spiritual boost, that we should always "return to our tree of life!" In 1 Nefi 8 Lehi describes how precious and how unexplainably delicious the fruit that he partook of was and how it literally was able to fill him with joy. Así es when we have the Church in our lives we can literally think back to experiences where we have felt like Lehi and "return" to that happiness that we desire. Last Sunday I wrote in my journal that I just felt in a rut.. not really knowing what Heavenly Father had next for me. As I continued to read the following days i noticed that each day the Lord had done something to help me find my way back to His love! In the end I was able to learn a great great lesson, that was needed, to seek His will over mine! When we live a Christ-Centered life, we seek to know what He knows, love as He loves, and we will find that more and more we will be following in His footsteps.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

I am beyond grateful for all that we are given from our loving Savior! Although it doesn´t seem anything like Christmas, I trust the calendar. It will be a great gift that we can give to Him this year to comprehend in each of our lives how we can seek His will and then in love follow the way that He marks.

Right now Elder Villalba and I are being greatly blessed to be able to find new investigators in Villa Elvira!! Surely (leave out the slowly) we are finding new people who we are praying hard will continue to progress. Oh we had a super great lesson with Javier this week! We went with an Hermano in our ward and were able to help Javier understand the importance of reading, praying, and attending church. Javier has been through some pretty rough situations lately and to help him focus on 3 things that would help him to get closer to God in his life I believe really helped him! It was great too being with Elder Villalba, I am very grateful for the example that he sets for me, with an inspired question we were able to not just teach "lesson" but we were really able to teach Javier so that those things would be meaningful to him! Unfortunately all our investigators bailed on us Domingo in the morning so we felt a little bit alone in the reunion.

Super sorry but we´re late on time today and it´s time to get to the work! I love you all and thanks for the updates that I get! :)

Have a great week and we´ll talk with ya soon!

Elder Jolley