Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Final Thoughts...

After about 2 weeks home from my mission I've been more than grateful that my mission has stayed with me! Even though schedules and lifestyles have done a complete 180, what I was most hoping is that I'd be able to keep being the 'Brayden Jolley' that the Lord had refined me to be and it's still there! I feel the same spirit, tender and loving even to this day and know that to be a testimony of the faith that I was taught.

9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?

I have been given so many lessons that I know will impact my life. I know that Faith, Hope and Charity are foundations for a constant and happy life. I know that when we seek to lift others and make their days a little better, we are blessed with the spirit. Before my mission I knew that prayer and scripture study helped us to come closer to Chris,t but now I can add my testimony of service! I miss the 100% dedication to the Lord, it's tough now having to juggle so many things, but I know that Jesus Christ's Plan for Perfection continues to work!! I am grateful that our Heavenly Father has patience and, lucky for us, He has given power to His Son to forgive our weaknesses and look past our shortcomings, allowing us a time to prepare ourselves to become Celestial sons and daughters, worthy to live in His presence! I think of every lesson that I was taught that had the biggest impact in my life. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a real power and a never ending fuel source for us! We are very imperfect and will always be, but the Grace of the Son of God is an available gift to those who are willing to stay in the game as long and as hard as it may be! I know this is the Lord's work, He is the one that directs and carries out all progress that this Church experiences. In these couple of weeks I have made contact with people who I taught, who I did not have the privilege to see enter into the waters of baptism, and they have been able to experience that change of heart and are now baptized!! What amazing miracles the Lord can do in our lives! I know that ALL blessings promised to us will be fulfilled! It has been interesting... I miss the mission, but I do not mourn the fact that I've taken off my tags! I am different than I was before leaving on my mission. I have "woken up", if you will, and realize who I am and how I can be and I pray that forever people will see that those tags still show!

I know this church is true and testify will all my heart of the reality of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God! He is risen again and helps us everyday if we just look for Him!

Elder Brayden Douglas Jolley

Monday, October 14, 2013

Welcome Home

We welcomed Elder Brayden Jolley home on Tuesday, October 8th from the Argentina, Buenos Aires South Mission. We are so grateful to have him home, but especially grateful for the opportunity that he had to serve and be amongst the Argentine people and to share the joyous message of our Savior Jesus Christ.





THE BEST TWO YEARS!

Monday, September 30, 2013

At the moment I`m good... Haha muchos emociones all at once! I`m safe and alive. Just stopping in quick to read emails and everything like that right now, but I`ll write more on Friday.

Working hard still and just trying to take advantage of time and opportunities that I`m given. Had a GREAT time in Capital. Wow!! I`m in love with Argentina. Wish you guys could see down here! I`ll try and bring some of that spirit back with me.

Had a great lesson earlier today (we worked today so that we can have our p-day on friday) with a lady named Cinthia and her family. I was with a buddy of mine from the MTC. Most powerful lesson that I`ve had. The spirit really directs this work. Cinthia goes to another church and has been pretty closed to anything else! As the spirit helped us to testify and promise blessings a spirit of joy filled her heart- I`m convinced because of the simplicity of the restored gospel- and she accepted the invitation to be baptized. Her and her family!! That was the best- greatest feeling! No other sensation like that! :) Made me grateful for my calling and helped give me excitement to continue inviting anyone and everyone to have this gospel in their lives!!

Well short on time just wanted to say Hi! :)

I`ll send a quick one out on Friday. Hug ya soon! :) (weird!)

Elder Jolley

Monday, September 23, 2013

Querida Familia!

Wow, voló nuevamente la semana. Espero que estemos preparados por la proximas semanas. Me encanta la obra del Señor!! Trae bendiciones especiales cada día. Lo mas lindo es todo lo que el Señor nos muestra cuando nuestros corazones están dispuestos a cambiar o conformarse a Su voluntad. Me emociono el pensamiento de tener que entrar en mis últimos semanas. No se bien pero creo que ahora será mi ultima vez en el Ciber. No voy a olvidar de estos dos años y me camino caminado con nuestro Salvador.

We`ve had a great week family!! Incredible blessings from the Lord and such special lessons. As I re-read blessings that I`ve received and take time to reflect upon each experience and day, I`m so grateful that the Lord continues to fulfill His promises that He has made with me. There is never a "too late" for the Lord- His promises always are fulfilled and blessings are given when we will best benefit!! I read President Uchtdorf's talk from last conference about the Hope of God`s light! I LOVE the symbolism of light that the Savior always uses. We`ve had a few experiences this last week where we`ve been able to see the Gospel Light enter into new investigators and those that we`ve been teaching.

We`ve been talking with an incredible family the last few weeks. They are a incomplete family and a giant family where somehow everyone is related. There are active and non-active members in the family and we`ve especially had the focus on a young couple in the family, Gustavo y Mikaela (maybe I`ve talked about them before). We`ve been very direct with them lately so that they can understand the need of the Gospel in their lives. They are waiting to get married- or trying to decide if it`s what they want to do. Mikaela who isn`t a member has been in love with the idea of the Gospel since they went through the temple open house last year and is really sincere and interested. Gustavo who has been in active for a while has been our challenge. Just really closed off. We`ve been praying lots for them that they will be able to accept our commitments. This last week we decided to do a fast for them that they would be able to commit to get married!! Well we had a beautiful surprise on Sunday. Gustavo and Mikaela I guess were heading to visit a family member when Gustavo felt that it would be a good thing for them to go to church. They quickly changed their route and made it for our ward conference. We didn`t know about it so when we got there and saw them we were shocked and SO grateful that the Lord had touched their hearts in a powerful way! We put a goal this week to strengthen our faith in our Heavenly Father, but to do so by committing ourselves to the service of others and pleading miracles to happen in their lives! Well from these experiences we DO KNOW that God loves His children and works along side of us. I think the last couple weeks have been some of the most special weeks as we`ve tried to focus our work on others and being interested in how we can help the Lord bless the people here. No se bien expresarme y decirles como se siente hacer la obra así y estar tan cerca del Señor y tener su companía...

We`re a ful trying to get things done and working hard to make sure the work gets done! Thanks for your support and encouraging words. I`m running low on time. To fill you guys in a little on a few "traditions" that the mission has right before you go home though, this week we`ll be heading up to Capital Federal. We have a planned tour that we`re doing that includes a few tourist sights up there. We`ll be able to visit a few Catholic Cathedrals, The Casa Rosada (Argentina`s white house), a soccer stadium and my favorite is the lunch! :) We`re going to an all-you-can-eat Parilla (BBQ)- all the asado that you could ask for to enjoy Argentinas famous meat! For funny, the restaurant is called "Siga la Vaca" (follow the cow ) The following week we`ll be busy with a few meetings, my go home interview, General Conference and the Saturday before I leave we`ll be able to spend the day in the Buenos Aires Temple! A perfect way to give thanks and seal up missionary service. I`m most excited for that. (That was another thing that I didn`t mention, I want to go to the temple with the family!! Those relatives that will be there I`d love to go with as many that can too!)

Well :) we`ll be seeing ya real soon! Hope you guys have a good week,

19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness!A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy.

22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel,

I know that this is the work of Salvation of our God. I know with all my heart that this is His church with His eternal Gospel. I have come to feel and through trial I know that this the Gospel is true!! Without a doubt I know that the Atonement is central to God's Plan for the Happiness of His children. I know that Jesus Christ lives!! :)

I love you all!
Elder Jolley

Monday, September 16, 2013

Querida Familia,

Me parece que nosotros también hemos agarrado la misma lluvia que ustedes tienen allá. Esta semana nos hemos mojado. Ha sido re raro la semana. Tuvimos el martes y miercoles algunos días tan pesados, con un calor bárbaro!! y ayer y hoy nosotros tenemos temperaturas de invierno. Que loco che! Sintió re bien mientras quedaba pero que va a hacer. ¡Que semana! ha sido buenísima. Realmente el Señor de la Viña ha trabajado con nosotros. Nos damos cuenta cada día de la importancia de hacer las cosa de la manera del Señor. Verdaderamente es la mejor manera de hacer esta obra. Mi corazón de nuevo está lleno con sentimientos de amor y gratitud al terminar esta semana y reflexionar todo lo que me ha enseñado y todo lo que hemos visto. Ayer en la capilla tuvimos un domingo de "La Obra Misional" y me puso a pensar en lo que he pasado estos dos años. No puedo creer aveces que soy un representante de Jesucristo. Me emociono! Cuán bendecidos somos por el Evangelio Restaurado en nuestras vidas- de todos los habitantes de la tierra nosotros lo tenemos... que grande! Estuvimos cruzando una puente ayer que cruza una autopista de Buenos Aires ayer y vimos una cantidad de gente y me llenó el corazón un sentimiento como si me estuviera diciendo Nuestro Padre Celestial que me conoce, confía en mí y me llamó a ser un mensajero de la verdad. Me impresionó y se me grabó este pensamiento tan lindo.

No me elegisteis vosotros a mí, sino que yo os elegf a vosotros.

Our week was incredible!! We had one of the best weeks as a zone! Elder Anaya and I were SO happy last night as the elders called in with their numbers. We are finally coming together as a team and seeing what the Lord can do for us. We had put a couple goals with the assistants last week to improve a couple Key Indicators and felt so good last night to have been able to pass all of them up! Everyone put in a big effort and happily we can say that everyone had a part in the great week. A cool experience that we were able to have with the zone this week was an exchange we did with a couple Elders in a near by area. We had been praying and preparing for this exchange because the Elders had been a little discouraged. I went over to the other area y la verdad we had an amazing day! We felt the spirit of the Lord guide and direct our lessons to those who we were teaching and also open my heart and mind to the needs of this missionary. We shared an amazing opportunity at the end of the day- we had no where else to go and it was just about time to return to the apartment. I felt strongly that we shouldn`t go back, but keep working just a little longer. After a couple rejections we saw couple ladies sitting out on the porch drinking Mate. We started chatting with them and later presenting ourselves and before we knew it the whole family (about 6 people) had joined us on the porch. They said that they had seen us before but because we had never stopped before they didn`t say anything either. We sat down with them and start to teach them a lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel. They listened so carefully and were very interested. We saw afterwards just how prepared they were to receive the Gospel. In the end of the lesson each of them had committed to receive the Elders again and receive baptism in October. I also found out last night that half of them went to church yesterday and had been reading the pamphlets we had left with them! WHAT A MIRACLE at the last minute! (For Grandma and Paka that was my "extra door" experience!) The Lord showed us a great lesson that night and more than anything that we had thought to share with that Elder, that experience changed him! A very tender mercy! :)

We met up again with Roxana. She was pretty direct with us when we saw her again that it was not in her intentions AT ALL to get baptized or anything like that. Shocked us a bit when we heard that. We were pretty sad but through listening to her and trusting in the spirit we talked to her a little bit about faith- that it`s a feeling within us, a motivation to do things that we normally wouldn`t do- we talked with her about Jesus Christ and how special a belief in Him really is. She softened up! :) We know that she`ll continue to feel the truth of this message. The Lord taught us to never give up but to trust in the power of this message and the Spirit which accompanies it. We did and learned to defend the Truth! Elder Anaya and I have had the opportunity to fast the last few weeks and nos parece that the Lord is converting us into faith of power missionaries! One counsel we`ve received from the spirit has been to be very direct with those we teach. We know the truth and know what these people need and we LOVE them so we tell them exactly that. There is a great young couple that we`re teaching. The guy is a member and his girlfriend no. They have been together 5 years and really love each other but for some reason haven`t taken the steps to get married. We`ve taught them only a couple times but on Saturday after a strong impression by the spirit we invited them and tried to commit them to get married within the next couple weeks. A couple weird reactions: 1. from Elder Anaya. He was surprised but had the biggest grin on his face and 2. from the guy! Haha almost had to revive the heart he was so shocked! The girl was almost in tears she was so happy but ya the boyfriend was a little different. Anyways what was great was that they really understood the promised blessings to them and it opened their hearts to the spirit, allowing things to begin progressing!

So for birthday plans it was a super casual day! Almost forgot. We had a zone conference that day and we were super busy trying to coordinate the amazing lunch we ordered. Ah, we went all out for the Elders this time! We got chinese food, a type of doughnut for the morning and each of them took a 1/2 kilo of ice cream home with them! Ha. We had good plans for all of it to get there on time and everything but it got complicated. One of the assistants and I had to drive 2 1/2 hours cause of traffic to get the food, we got in an accident (wasn`t our fault and yes we`re fine!) and a lot of rain so yeah we`ll just say that mucho participation in zone conference I didn`t have, but what was most important was that the Elders had a good time and learned a lot! We got back kinda late so that was the end of the Big day! :)

Well family I love ya but I gotta run! Have a great week and I`ll look forward to talking with you guys next week! :)

Elder Jolley

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Elder Jolley

Much love going out to this boy today...

21!

Excited to celebrate with him in a few weeks.

(A big "thanks" to family and friends for wishing him Birthday Wishes.
It was a very welcomed supply of love from home.)

Brayden in 1999, age 7, with his Uncle Todd (his mission farewell day)
and his Paka. Brayden is wearing his "future missionary" tag...
had always wanted to be a missionary!
(All 3 share the same middle name, "Douglas")

Then and now....


 Elder Brayden Douglas Jolley
(2013 in Buenos Aires Argentina)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wow, I`m overwhelmed! Thanks to the family and all who sent their birthday wishes. It meant so much to me to have all those messages there to read today. Feeling wise, FILLED with love!! And more feel more dedicated to my Savior Jesus Christ. I appreciate all the good "ralling-cries" and prayers on my behalf. I`ll accept them! :) haha. This week was such a turn-around week for me and for us here in Avellaneda. I believe the Lord has his purposes and a plan for each and every one of us! I know that He works diligently each day so that His plan becomes reality.

17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;

18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches eternity riches of eternity are yours.
19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

I talked a little bit last week about gratitude and this week we`ve had some great blessings as we`ve looked to give thanks for all things that happen to us. Our faith has increased. Our love for God and Christ and been made strong and we`ve appreciated our time as full-time missionaries. We also had an amazing blessing of teaching our zone this last week a little bit more about obedience and revelation. It went SO well. From past experiences and from giving thanks we knew that the Spirit could be with us and we were blown away at the results of the meeting. There was a spirit of worship like I`ve never felt before. I remember hearing a talk about reverence for Deity and well I think we were all able to feel that there. The zone has done great this week! Obviously that gives us more opportunities to give thanks! Así vamos progresando en la zona supongo!

Our week felt much more missionary like this week. Elder Anaya and I laid everything out on the table and were blessed to see new options and people to visit in our area. We had gotten in a bit of a rut as far as work goes. We felt really "routined" and doing the same thing over and over wasn`t really fun nor effective so with help from the heavens we were able to put new plans and it required work, but we felt ourselves being guided to a few new people this week. I`ll tell you guys about two.

We met a lady named Gisela. We were at the end of the day and hadn`t gotten in anywhere when we felt to go to a members house and figure out if she could help us with a family we were working with. Gisela is a family friend of a less active member name Dante. (We`ve also been working with Dante for awhile- we`ve put lots of goals for him but never had been able to get anything progressing with him). Anyways, we talked with the member family a minute and the whole time I felt strongly the need to talk with this lady. She stayed quiet until we began asking her if she had ever talked to missionaries before. What seemed PERFECT turned out to be just that. She was very interested in learning more about God in her life and well, she accepted the invitation to listen to us and begin looking into the church. What we`ve noticed is that she is SO sensitive to the spirit. For knowing almost nothing about the church she was crying as if she was at Girl's Camp (he he). We felt Heavenly Father's love for her and really enjoyed the couple lessons with her and watching the spirit work within her.

Yesterday we went with our with our amazing Bishop. He invited us to eat at their house and then asked to go do some visits with him. We went to a less active family who almost broke into tears as they opened the door to us!! Wow!! We met Roxana. For years she has listened to missionaries but always has had something blocking her way or keeping her from really looking into the Gospel. We KNOW that the Lord prepares people- even angels are about in the world preparing the hearts of MANY so that they will come to a knowledge of this Gospel. We had a great lesson there with the Bishop. He was the greatest of help to us and for her. It was really how the Lord has envisioned His work right now. Members and Missionaries working together!

Well family I`m short on time. Right now I have NO clue what we`ll be doing on Thursday. I`m sure we`ll go out to work and teach people! That`s good by me though. We were invited to a couple family home evenings this week so maybe one of those will land on Thursday. Also, I had exciting news that Elder Villalba (old companion) is here in Avellaneda this week so I`ll probably be able to see an old friend! I`ll let you know what we`ve been doing next week!

Again, thank you SO much for all the love and birthday wishes. I wish I could transmit all the love I feel for the family- I pray that you may feel it! And I`ll work so that I can show it in about a month or so. Onward, ever onward! :)

Have a great week!
Elder Jolley

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hola familia! :)

Ah, gusto hablar y escucharles. Una otra semana ha volada y estoy pero contentísmo con todo lo que el Señor me deja pasar. Ésta semana nos fue un poco diferente y surgieron algunas buenas pruebas para que no me relajara en este tiempo. El Evangelio siempre ha sido para consolar a los afligido y afligir a los comodos. Así ha sucedido. Estoy más agradecido por la mano de nuestro padre celestial en mi vida. Comprendo mejor que Él está para ayudarnos y está en nosotros para dejarlo. He aprendido mucho de La Gracia en los últimos meses, entonces no me quejo por lo que no he hecho o por lo débil que aveces somos pero me regocijo en la práctica! :) Siento mas "entrenado" ahora.

We`ve had a crazy week! Wasn`t good at all for missionary work, we got very little done but I really wouldn`t have traded this week for anything. Two new Elders joined us in our area (a huge relief for us and a giant help for our ward) and it was a white wash in every way possible. The two new elders are great and have a great desire to work. One is 2 weeks into the mission- he also went through the MTC in 2 weeks, he speaks incredibly! Anyways, Elder Anaya and I have made goals to be more Christ-like leaders. Trying to be involved with each of the Elders and be there to help them at all times. So we were blessed with a great opportunity to go and get the apartment ready for the new elders- don`t believe it had been cleaned in years so that was actually kinda disgusting but we got that thing to shine! (We used a bunch of Clorox and stuff like that and I got a good laugh thinking back to the days that I cleaned dads office! ha) Anyways we got all that ready and were ready to receive them! Throughout the rest of the week as well we had to take them different places cause poor guys were without light and hot water for 3 days- great "welcome" right?? Also we had a couple good days to take them around their new area and show them to all the people that we were previously teaching and trying to visit, also got their record books all updated! They were really grateful and are off working really hard right now and are really excited about the work ahead of them. I`ve been going through a little etapa of not serving as much as I could so this week was a great blessing for me! At first it was kinda hard to get along with the elders, one of them was a little feisty so we kinda had to keep our smiles on ya know? Anyway in serving him and being able to understand a bit more where he comes from I gained a huge love and appreciation for him! I love the Elder and feel a great excitement for all the things that he is doing. The words wouldn`t be good enough in just saying that Service is how we can come closer to the Lord! It`s so much more than that, it`s everything that He is about and everything that He wants for us. What a joy we receive from attending to the needs of our brothers and sisters! So anyway gratefully that took up most of our week.

On Saturday and Sunday we had our Stake Conference. We had a couple fantastic meetings with power messages. The President of the temple here in Buenos Aires came and spoke to us and never have I felt such a surety and peace in my life. Sometimes the trials we have really cloud our vision- me ha pasado un poco esta semana- but the answer is in a better understanding of our Heavenly Father's Plan for our Salvation! It is comprehending the nature of our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ! This president spoke on the glory and holiness of the temple- how Deity is better understood. The whole audience was silent as he passionately spoke of the Lords House. Gave me such a gana para ir al templo! Anyways in the conference on saturday Elder Anaya and I were asked to give a workshop to all the bishops and priesthood leaders. Hmm. Very cool experience for us and it went really well. We talked to them about the importance of a mission plan in our wards. We truly saw that the whole preparation and presentation of the message was guided by the spirit. We were both kinda nervous to do it but it ended up inspiring a lot of the bishops to get things together and put a plan into action! The spirit really does help us achieve miracles and helps us to speak the words that need to be heard.

This morning i had a cool study about gratitude and the accompany a couple of the experiences and lessons that I learned this last week I found this great scripture in Alma 34:

37 And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ;

38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

For me what a privilege it has been to worship my God and to thank Him for being so loving to me and those we work with. How special it is to worship Him. I truly know by the spirit that He is the Great God of the Heavens and our Father. He really hears our prayers, I know that! I know that His son Jesus Christ is our Savior and companion, helping us to achieve our salvation and stay forever in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I love this work! :)

I hope you guys have a great week!
Love you all,

Elder Jolley

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hey everyone!! Wow! How crazy to see the late and great Elder Reiber. He looks good, very experienced. I have a picture taken with him in that exact same place 2 years ago. Makes me happy to see good buddies so strong in the gospel like that!

What a week we`ve had. I heard a great quote this week that I`ve seen applied. In a talk by Elder Holland he said, "salvation never was a cheap experience... but if we`re willing the Atonement will carry us!" I thought a lot about that this week. These last few weeks I`ve felt like a new little missionary, we`ve been setting goals like crazy and just want to take into our lives every good thing. Its been a great work week and we`ve felt a special spirit of determination and love for the Savior to help us keep motivated. We`ve been able to accomplish A TON this week. We`ve been a little bit lazy with our zone for the last couple weeks- with things going on we`ve let time escape us a little bit- so we kicked it into gear this week and got a few great visits done with the elders here and were able to finish the week off having the opportunity to serve at least one of the companionships every day! What a blessing! For us I think it was the best thing that we could have done. Ha, by Saturday night though after returning from an area we were absolutely drained! Elder Anaya when he gets tired gets a little hysterical which makes things so funny between the two of us. I had the greatest blessing though, strengthens my testimony that in ALL situations our Heavenly Father is there to bless us, when I fell asleep I had dreamed that I fell asleep in the dream. :) Sunday morning it was like starting fresh! We have been really looked after in the work. 

Great news, Elder Anaya and I will be staying together this last transfer!! SO happy! He has really been a great influence for me so it`s for sure that I`ll be ending well. When we got the call from the assistants, we were so nervous, I thought that Elder Anaya was gone but when we got the news, woo happy moments! (it`s a bro thing I guess). Our area also is getting reduced in half which creates a little bit of stress relief and is also gonna present a lot of great opportunities for us to work better with the members and focus better on the investigators that we have. For the most part we keep the majority of our progressing investigators- we loose a couple which is hard.. Gabriel and Andrea especially is gonna be tough to loose. Luckily we`ll see them at church and for everything that happens there`s a reason. We will be staying with our main man Roberto though. We`re developing a lot of patience with our investigators, but we still love each of them, we haven`t seen any in church the last 2 weeks which is a HUGE bajón, but it`s helping us to pay more attention to their needs and study to be able to provide them with blessings that they can have in their lives. Roberto this last week really came to feel that what we are teaching him is true. He has been studying so sincerely the Book of Mormon and really has captured that spirit of truth. He tells us that the Joseph Smith story just makes so much sense and is very necessary. Also with Andrea, she has always been a little bit, doubtful about the Book of Mormon. She reads when we give her things but always stays with her own feelings of doubt. Elder Anaya felt inspired to give her a chapter in 3 Nephi and when we went back to verify that she told us, "Elders I really felt like I had to read this whole chapter and when I read it, I felt something new!" Just goes to show the power of the Book of Mormon. She is a big fan of the bible and we were finally able to help her see that both help us to come closer to Christ!

Darn, running low on time, but wanted to share a quick scripture with you guys. I`ve had a great week studying on things we can do to come unto Christ. I think in my own changes this week that I`ve had I`ve been able to see also how much Christ wants to come to us. I do know that His ways are just and when we choose to obey Him we are sanctified. In Isaiah 1 it bears testimony of this principle:

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

I know that God loves us and His son Jesus Christ! They are so willing to keep their end of the bargain. If we will "reason" with them and repent of our sins, I know we will be forgiven!

Gracias por las cartas, que tengan una buena semana.
Elder Jolley

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hola familia!

Voló la semana. Absolutamente voló. Estamos pero re cansados, sintió re re bien trabajar arduamente y en el fin siempre nosotros salimos mejor. Por lo mas que nosotros hacemos buenas cosas por Dios y por los demás, siempre nosotros recibimos la mejor parte! Igual no quita el sueño.. Ha. Estoy agradecido por mi misión, por esta experiencia! Ha sido el mejor oportunidad evaluarme y empezar a poner mis asuntos en armonía con mi Padre Celestial.

Elder Anaya and I have learned/are learning a lot about teamwork. We have a ton of investigators right now and continually are being led to find new ones. It`s tough!! Each one we get the impression that they are gonna be the next leader here in Argentina.. as the investigators keep coming though it leaves the agenda really limited. So we`ve had to become creative and really work together to figure how we`re gonna do this work here. I think we`re managing pretty good! We`ve got one week before transfers end and then we`ll see what happens. We would love to stay together and we would continue to do a ton here- but we`ll see what happens. It`ll be interesting to see how everything turns out for this next transfer. The great thing this last transfer has been the way we`ve been able to work together. Elder Anaya and I have become really good buddies and we`ve worked really hard!! That`s been the greatest, he`s always pushing me to be better and it becomes a cooperative work! I read at the beginning of the transfer a talk that a member had given me by President Hinckley that talked about companions. He talked about one of his and how special that time was. When we are around good people, it is almost a commandment that we learn from them! They have virtues that we need and so we should be striving to become like them. That has been something that I`ve had with all my comps, but especially with Elder Anaya- he`s a great people person and always looks to make others feel better about themselves and feel included. He`s set a good bar for me to reach this last transfer.

Anyway about the work! We had a huge week with a couple investigators! I hope you guys remember Teresita, I think I`ve told you about her! Well we ended up having a miracle lesson with her in the house of a member on Tuesday! We hadn`t talked to her in a while and we went with the intention to teach her about the Book of Mormon, but as we got talking to her the spirit helped us realize that that was NOT what we needed to talk to her about- this week that has been a reoccuring blessing for us- as we followed the spirit we ended up having a lesson about the Plan of Salvation and bueno the spirit was there really strong and we ended up committing her to an early baptism! She gladly accepted and she loved the spirit! We went again in the week and were gonna continue with that subject but quickly the spirit stopped us and helped us see a greater interest of hers! I loved the blessing that our Heavenly Father gave to us as we strived to help His children. It was all so easy as we payed attention to those impressions we had. We also have been working with a part member family that has a little girl named Sasha. She has been begging to get baptized and so when we found them we quickly made arrangements for her to get baptized. During the week we passed by quite a few times to visit with Sasha's family. They have a... great?.. talent of talking and they can do it really fast and for a long time. A couple nights we got back to the apartment kinda late. So about Thursday we were a little irritated with how things were going. Elder Anaya gave the suggestion that we do a service for them so that we could go back to feeling love for this family! We showed up in the morning ready to serve- the hermana had a rat problem in her Kitchen so we got there and immediately volunteered to look for the rat! We finally decided that it got trapped in the oven, so we took it outside (slowly and after jumping up on the chairs because we thought it was gonna come out!) and started banging it with a stick. The hermana was especially jumpy and I regret having done so, but after she hit the oven one time I screamed rat and she about passed out! Ha She was laughing though, but I think it scared her bad though cause she ran off saying, "I peed, I peed!" haha We started to serve extra hard after that! I admit it was immature! For these 2 investigators they HAD to go to church in order to get baptized and it was the perfect miracle so that we would reach our goal of the month. So Elder Anaya and I started a fast on Saturday that nothing would get in their way and so they would be able to make it to their baptism. Well.. sometimes prayers are answered with a no. We planned and organized everything, went to look for them and neither went to church so we`re placed in a good situation- we have the Lord to look to and a lot of work ahead in order to meet our goals! We aren`t sure how right now but that`s the great thing! The Lord never asked us to know how only to "look unto (Him) in every thought; doubt not, fear not!" We`ll hope to tell you guys of a miracle next week! :)

So I`ll share with you guys a cool experience I had this morning. Elder Anaya was writing some college essays so I decided to study a little bit about faith- how we can increase it! I ended up reading like the whole book of 1 Nephi! He is amazing! I learned about how he searched for knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ and as soon as he obtained it, he never turned back on that knowledge! Line upon line until he came to a perfect knowledge! Much of what we desire to have is based upon our willingness to search and ask of the Lord- the more we learn the more capable our faith!

16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.

Like Nephi hopefully we can obtain the sure hope or the Lord's promises and be true to what we`ve been given! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, I know that by reading it we can feel strongly the influence of Jesus Christ!

I hope you guys have a great week! Good luck with school kids!

Con amor,
Elder Jolley

Saturday, August 17, 2013

From Monday, August 12th:

Buenos días!

Estoy empezando a valorar más mi tiempo acá en el ciber. Siento muy cerca de ustedes y me encanta llevar conmigo sus consejos y buenas experiencias. Estamos bien aquí en Avellaneda y estamos trabajando fuerte para poder hacer la obra de Dios en nuevas maneras. Encontramos éxito y siempre nuevas aprendizajes.

We`ve had a great week here in Avellaneda. We are always amazed at the doors that the Lord opens up for us and lately it feels like more and more people are being presented to us- it`s a good lesson on organization for us! We have been sleep deprived this week and trying to organize all that we have going on for us has been a good trial! People come and go - it`s sometimes a sad process as investigators loose that initial interest they had or as we`ve seen, shrink from the invitation to change that the Savior offers us. As a missionary I think I`ve come to understand the Lord's work of Salvation in such a tender and patient way. Even in the big city we find small but wonderful opportunities to give a hand to those around us through the day. We always love to introduce ourselves and usually get a return visit with it- it`s how we`ve seen the spirit of the Lord soften the majority or the peoples hearts- when we go back however we never are able to find them! Boo. Elder Anaya explained it that God has such confidence is us that He allows us to touch their lives in a way that only we could- and that`s it! With that small taste of His love He goes about preparing them for the day when their hearts are broken and spirits contrite! How important to serve right in the moment no?

We`ve gotten to know a couple people this week that I`d like to tell you about. On Saturday we went to a members house where we met up with a friend of hers- it was a very effective así! Her friend starts off by reading in Galations 1:6-7- "anyone who preaches more that what has been written shall be accursed." Shoot. He was very faithful to the Bible and wanted to make sure that we first understood that concept- however besides how against he was about the Church of Jesus Christ initially he has a deep and tender faith in our Father in Heaven and with help from the Spirit and helping him to increase that faith, he committed to read the Book of Mormon "because of the faith and surety that was felt." is what he told us afterwards. How amazing to see his heart softened and repentance made as this man was able to come closer to our Savior Restored Gospel. We had the visit this week from Elder Walter F. Gonzalez our area President who is an INCREDIBLE teacher. Wow! I really gained a testimony of the spirit that the General Authorities carry with them. They have allowed the spirit of Christ change them! How badly I wanted to be like him when I grow up! Anyways he spoke to us about our mission purpose and a couple area goals but then headed into the importance of the book of Mormon and how we should "flood our lives" with the Book of Mormon. Elder Anaya and I the rest of this week (the meeting was on Thursday) were super fired up about the Book of Mormon in our work and decided to walk around the streets carrying a book freely in our hands. Amazingly every day we were blessed with opportunities to testify and introduce the book to at least one person we was genuinely interested. That day (Thursday) we walked into a couple on the street who looked as us SO weird as we asked them for directions but we started chatting about the Book of Mormon and they became SO interested (haha bipolar attitudes when the spirit comes into play) as we spoke to them about the testimony of Christ that the Book of Mormon can help us obtain!

About a week or so ago we ran into a man named Fernando in the house of a member. He was kinda interested, ended up asking us a bunch of weird questions that we could tell didn`t have anything to do with how he was feeling. We told him that in another moment we would come by and take time to answer everything. We got back to visit him on Friday and had an amazing lesson with him! Nada que ver with the reunion that we first had. He had read a bunch in the Book of Mormon and had a much more humble attitude. In the time we were gone had said a prayer for the first time in years (this was all solo..) and everything about him had changed. We began to talk to him and he listened so well but at one moment in the lesson it was as if the spirit took over the lesson and we began to ask him questions that completely opened him up and he himself was able to figure out a lot of things I believe. I was so grateful- couldn`t have had that experience if we hadn`t given way to the spirit in that moment. From Fernando I understood better what it means to be repentant.. to lay our burdens at the Lord's feet and be able to have Him begin to fix our lives.

I LOVE missionary work- I`m so grateful for MY mission! It has been MY opportunity to become converted to the Lord in the ways that the Lord knew best. I was reading a scripture this week in 3 Nefi 13 that really touched my heart, I`ll share it with you guys:

32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

I studied a little bit more on what it means to seek the Kingdom of God and I found it to be a personal invitation and a life-long process. I know that as we strive to be Obedient to the Lord, strengthen our personal testimonies of our Savior Jesus Christ and most of all dedicate ourselves to the service of God and others we fulfill this commandment of the Lord! I hope this week you guys, with me, can seek to be more prepared for the Kingdom of God in our lives! Love ya`ll and hope that you have a great week! :)

Elder Jolley

Monday, August 5, 2013

Buenas! Como están todos?

Un hermoso día en Buenos Aires, fa que lindo el día che! We´ve been outside taking advantage of the "spring-like" weather. (knocking hard on wood that it doesn`t take a sudden turn for the worse.) From what we`ve heard though and from last year, August starts to warm up and in about a week or so ya pasa el invierno aquí. Not much to complain about- beautiful work, beautiful place.

We`ve had great blessings this last week. Heavenly Father works along side us and keeps us happy we`ll say! We`ve had kinda a meeting filled week and a trip up to the Capital to the area offices, but aun así we were able to help people come unto Jesus Christ in ways that we didn`t expect. I was talking this week to a.. mayor couple (?) that are missionaries here and they helped me to realize that most of missionary work depends on us setting our goals and doing all possible to reach them- I`m a little slow for things to make sense- but as we went about the rest of our week we saw our appointments more as goals and put a lot more faith that as we did our part Heavenly Father would place us where He most needed. We soon came to see that really anything we wanted to happen in the area had nothing to do with us! On Friday, as we were heading to capital, we saw an hermana de la iglesia who we thought about going to throughout the week. She told us that she would be there and her and the family would be waiting. When things kinda fell apart with other citas we had and so we decided to head over there. As we sat down Fernando, a friend of theirs walked in and started to talk with us. Turns out he has always had lots of questions about God and religion and we had a very spiritual lesson with him and the family. Elder Anaya and I, as we left, understood a little better how everything from the morning to the night just fell into place and we really felt that that lesson had to be taught! The whole week was filled with sweet experiences like that one that were sweet and full of service to those who really needed it. I have tuned in the ear a little better this week because I`ve felt like, shoot! I`m praying and all but things are sure silent or at least He must want to see what I`ve got. So I`ve been trying to pay attention to all the situations that we have in a day and always say a little prayer when things get "sticky" to be able to see the spirit's guidance more as I go- It works! Give a little space for the spirit to direct us and it`ll open up pathways that really show us how much our Father in Heaven loves all of us and really what He`d like to do with us. Also yesterday, well we didn`t have a very good day in church- there were like less than 20 of us and things got really complicated with all the plans we had made for members to look for our investigators- un lío total! Anyways, we had planned to get a lady named Romina and head to church on the bus with her. We got out a little bit late and had to walk, get her and make the bus which would come in like 10 minutes- impossible! I was thinking to just call her or make better plans for the following week- not a good attitude. I said a quick little prayer and followed Elder Anaya`s good example to go igual to look for her. My attitude changed in the way and felt our Father's love for His children and desire for them to be able to choose to accept this Gospel. She didn`t end up going, but as we headed to the bus stop thinking we would have to wait, the bus came around the corner and the rest of the morning went smoothly! Take about your tender mercy!

So the week has been full of good moments to serve and help others to get a little stronger. It`s sad when you go and have an amazing experience with someone and see that the spirit itself strengthens them and then nothing happens- really the saddest feeling but good to know that everyone is at different points in this path- hay que seguir amando!

Comparto una escritura que nuestro maestro de la escuela dominical compartió el domingo: DyC 101 

39 When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the  salt of the earth and the savor of men;

40 They are called to be the savor of men; therefore, if that salt of the earth lose its savor, behold, it is
thenceforth good for nothing only to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.

41 Behold, here is wisdom concerning the children of Zion, even many, but not all; they were found transgressors, therefore they must needs be chastened
  
42 He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.

In sacrament meeting there were a lot of testimonies born about trials that were being faced and that ended up being the whole theme in the following meetings. We talked about the purposes of trials and really what we`re supposed to do in them to avoid hitting our heads against that brick wall! The Lord promises that after trial comes His blessings, so if we stay faithful, obedient and humble even in the midst of our trials I believe that we come out feeling refreshed and more capable to continue in the pathway of discipleship instead of leaving warn out both spirit and body. It`s my idea that the Lord doesn`t intend for us to bring upon ourselves more trial than He has in store! I am grateful for and testify of the great plan of happiness that we have! It is our way for protection. I know with surity that Heavenly Father is the true author of this plan and eternal peace is found only by following in His way! I hope we can all find ourselves following God's plan and not something imitated by the devil!

I love ya`ll and hope you have a good week!
Thanks for the emails
Elder Jolley

Monday, July 29, 2013

Buenas!

Hey family!! What a great week, thanks for your emails! I love being "with" you guys and seeing what you are all up to. Things are doing good and continuing to improve here. We`re coming from a fun zone activity right now, we had a couple Peruvian elders that wanted to cook some native dishes for us (haha I was checking ingredients for pig feet! none today though). So we decided to get together and cook and play some volleyball today! We`ve had much nicer temperatures lately so that has been a lot more enjoyable!

Well we`ve had a good week, we`ve been busy! Elder Anaya are getting work done and we`re really having a good time too, he`s hilarious which has been a blessing to not focus at all on any negativity or things like that, usually we just find something else to laugh about. We have continued to work with a couple great families that we`ve found together and we really want to find more and help more, that`s the good thing! We`re doing all we can to prepare ourselves and to get out there and do as we`ve felt inspired to put down. I think I`ve told you guys about Gabriel and Andrea, they`re doing great! They are fun to go back and visit because they are always full of comments and questions. They always read and keep that important enthusiasm of wanting to know the truth. They have come in contact with a couple other preachers and stuff like that that has got them to really ponder on what they are hearing and what they need in their lives- the blessing has been that they have felt already the spirit through the Book of Mormon, they haven`t read much and know little about it, but they are led to believe that it is God's word! We had a couple talk with them on Saturday about the importance of what they`ve felt, the spirit never jokes around, but is always very precise and direct in his whisperings- they took confidence in what we`ve told them and are determined to come to a conclusion. Hopefully they will end in baptism! We`ve gone out this last week to all those who we`ve been teaching and all those who we find and had a good talk with them, I think if anything we`ve come to know better, and explained what the end result is! It is really a blessing to be a missionary, but really we don`t make a difference if we don`t bring souls to Christ- that`s the reason for our ministry! So we`ve gone and challenged 5 of our investigators to receive baptism. I`ve seen the Lord teach ME why I`m there with these people- I have grown in love for them especially as we come to understand our purpose of going to them!

On Friday we had a great exchange that we did with some elders on the other side of town. They had a baptismal interview so Elder Anaya went over there and I got to take the area! When I got to Avellaneda I put the goal to get to know the area in 2 weeks so that was kinda my test. I have gained a testimony that our Heavenly Father really helps us in our righteouss desires. He supports us and even gives us greater capacity in our work! El Elder and I had a great day! ..we didnt get into one house all day but how good I felt! Wow, can`t explain how good it was to get our there and just feet to the pavement missionary work. We didn`t stop all day and were always tryng to go to where the Lord wanted us to be. When we got back to the apartment a feeling of satisfaction came over us and we knew that we had done all we could. The next day in the morning before getting our companions we were walking on the street and saw this lady carrying a big pack on the street, we felt to offer our help. When we did she gladly accepted and as we walked we came to find out that she had a mormon friend who she LOVED and was very touched by the type of person she was. We asked her if she would be interested in hearing a message of the gospel but she one-uped us and asked where our church was- we gave her the direction not thinking much about it but then she said, "tomorrow I`ll go with you boys!" Well, she came!! Teresita was like any other member there in the church and was so friendly and open to everything that she heard! What a miracle that we had there. "When faith increases, so do miracles."

Well family that`s all the time I`ve got! I love you and hope you know that. I love my Savior, I am so glad to follow Him and to serve Him. I promise I couldn`t be out here if I didn`t know that He does live, I`m so sure of it. I don`t begin to understand all about Him; how He is and why things happen as they do, we make so many mistakes and never reach the level where we should. I stand all amazed right? ·3 Nephi 9 13-14: 

13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?

14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.

Love ya
Elder Jolley


 Visiting with the Elders and an Argentine Family


 Elder Anaya and I from the 16th floor apartment

 In front of the "Racing" soccer stadium

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hi famila!

FA!! QUE FRIO!! This week has been absolutely terrible for the cold! "Polar Air" as the news says! I believe every bit and the worst is that it totally tricks you! In our tower it actually stays really warm and we don`t feel any wind or anything like that so on a couple mornings we`d look outside and see that everything was good and there in our short sleeves we were comfortable but then when we left the apartment and opened the door, WOW!! It has been very cold! So we`ve had to go back up and bundle up! Scarves are a drew, I don`t feel lame in saying that either! I thought you were un chavón if you wore one before the mission but I love it now! So we´ve survived this week with the cold. Avellaneda is sweet!! It's a different form of working. This last week we hardly talked to anyone by contacts on the street just cause nadie te hace caso, everyone`s in a rush to get somewhere so we`ve had to rely a lot on the members. They are fantastic, they`ve really shown so much support to the missionary work here. Throughout the week I got to know a few of them and on Sunday it was good to present myself to the ward! Elder Lewis, Villalba and Mines (3 of my old companions) have all passed through this area so its been fun to see some of their converts and such like that! Up to right now I love the area and sigo con el mismo ánimo. I want to finish things off good in this area, lasts the best right? In the area there are 2 parts, the big city and the rural parts that are on the outskirts. We like to work more in the suburb part and outskirts- the city with all its apartment buildings really doesn`t give us a lot to do. I put the goal to get to know the area in 2 weeks and this week I`ve been able to start to manage myself in the area- with a lot of patience from Elder Anaya. Ha he`s let me try and find our lessons a couple times and with tons of confidence I take us like 4 blocks in the opposite direction! Oops. Elder Anaya and I get along super well though, he`s so funny and we spend most of the day laughing and making jokes. There is a really positive feel in our companionship and it`s nice to both be focused on improving and a strong desire to reach our potential! He`s from El Paso, Texas and has 1 transfer more than I do. He`s a bro!

Well this week we`ve worked on our planning a lot. Trying to get things going in our area has been priority numero 1. We have a few investigators that are in the way to get baptized. They`re still a ways off because of marriage and stuff like that, but we have been able to beat a lot of our metas this week! We have difficulty finding a few of them this week, but we have this kid named David that goes out with us all the time that really helps us. Usually he makes time to leave with us in the afternoon and takes us by all his friends! He has zero embarrassment to clap the houses of his friends and just insist that they listen to his "church friends." Haha we`ve begun to teach a couple new families as well. Gabriel and Andrea who we found yesterday- they`ve been really interested in the Book of Mormon and committed to ask about it in prayer. They are our bright future!

I thought this week that I was pretty experienced in Argentina, but on Saturday morning we had a service project and the wonderful hermanas cooked us up this Peruvian soup! It was amazing but had a couple ingredients that were a little strange. Here really traditionally they use all of da vaca and the stomach is a delicacy! It`s called Mondongo! It`s this white rubbering thing that on top has a bunch of brissel looking things like a sea enemeny.. algo así. It`s rubbery and well I thought it was pretty good, doesn`t have a big taste, but the pig foot they gave us.. yes had a really piggy taste! They cut the feet of little pigs then throw it in the pot to boil. Poor Elder Anaya got stuck with the graphic looking foot.. you could still see the little toe nails and on both and the foot hair was still visible! Ha I contemplated on what I was doing to my life as I ate! Haha that`s my funny experience for ya! Can`t wait to get back and cook for you guys! ;)

I wanted to share with you guys a cool scripture I found. I`ve been studying a lot about the atonement and loved what was said and also how special the opportunity to be witnesses of Christ, not just as a missionary, but as a member of His church.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

I know that`s it`s true, that Christ paid a great price for us so that we can return to God. I know that an Atonement has been made and I have been blessed to feel how much God wants the message of the atonement made known to all His sons and daughters! The work of bringing these souls back to God is so important and I know that God supports us and works through us as we do all we can to have the Spirit. I hope we all have the strong desire to share with those around us that Jesus Christ is our beloved Savior! Se que vive y testifico que nos ama.

Hope you guys have a great week! :)
Elder Jolley

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Area

Saludos from Avellaneda, Buenos Aires!

I`m in a new mission!! Ha sometimes it feels like that when I get transferred. Our mission is so diverse, you have really rural areas, suburbs, and total city! I am in the closest city to the Nation's Capital here in Avellaneda. It is very different from Bosques. My favorite part is that we live in a skyscraper on the 16th floor overlooking all of the Capital! We have view to a couple soccer stadiums and at a distance the docks to all the boats coming in from the ocean! La Boca se dicen! I love it! My new companion is Elder Christopher Anaya from Texas! About 2 transfers ago I was his zone leader in Bosques and now we`re companions, I`m way excited to be working with him! He has a great enthusiasm for the work and is a great missionary! I was surprised and in the end sad to leave Bosques! We`ve had 2 incredible weeks that have changed the area completely and had a lot ahead of us! Saturday night was hard- I felt like I hadn`t done everything I could because of the results that I never saw! I was afraid that I hadn`t reached my potential so while starting to back I was praying a lot that I would be able to understand why the Lord wanted this change NOW!? What an amazing Sunday we had!! We got to church and saw our amazing members and as we said our goodbyes and everything I was overwhelmed with kind comments or warm wishes- things that just made me overflow with gratitude for having gotten to know these people. Like the Sons of Mosiah, we had entered their houses and taught them, served them and cared for their needs and the Lord is capable of making a much greater impact with such small actions! Anyways after taking the sacrament (Elder Jimenez had just given a great lesson about it the class before so we were all in the right attitude) it was a miracle blessing to feel the peace of the Savior- knowing that HE alone makes all things right and fair and that His grace is sufficient for us! How great that He only asks that we give all we can and He`ll make everything fall into place! Well I know that each effort we put in will someday have its fruit!

This week we were able to find a few more investigators and continue to help a few more on their way! We left Monica and her kids in good hands and hope to hear from them as they continue to progress. The great thing about that family is that they understand what this gospel is. I talked to them about the temple and how that needs to be their goal- they promised to keep going and to have that dedication to continue on in the work!

A fun event from the week was the wards first Elder Quorem Activity- the first one done in a long time at least! We cooked hamburgers and played some futbol with the jovenes and some of the mayores! Elder Jimenez and I ended up destroyed from the futbol game... since I got sick I have completely dropped exercises! Oops. But there was a great turn-out. That was done on Saturday and we had a couple members come back to the church for the first time in a while the day after! The ward has seen a complete change! They are awesome and they have done so much!

Well no me queda mas tiempo! Sorry this one was kinda short, but want you guys to know that I`m good, I`m happy and I`m very excited to start working here in Avellaneda!

Todo mi amor, besos
Elder Jolley

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hi!! Wow, we`re getting to you guys late today! We`ve been putting together a presentation for a zone conference tomorrow. We filmed a video with a family here in the ward. Turned out.. funny! Ha it`s "missionary humor" is what the family said... I`m sure that means it`s retarded! We`ll see what the effects of it are!

What an amazing week!! Don`t know where to begin or how I would cover everything. Has been a very exciting week for sure, Heavenly Father has put us to the test and never has let us down. We have had high goals ever since the sick week to try and get the area back in direction. We noticed last week that we were working good but we didn`t have many meaningful activities so we had to readjust and put some new goals this week that had everything to do with baptism!! We really want to baptize. Ha I was reading in the war chapters this week in Alma and trying to figure out the best lesson from them and I found a scripture that was everything for me this week!

Alma 58:37 But, behold, it mattereth not—we trust God will deliver us, notwithstanding the weakness of our armies, yea, and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies.

Even in the worst of moments these people had learned to trust in the promises that God had made to them and insist upon receiving His blessings! I was amazed at how much they depended on the Lord. As we went along in the week, we weren`t hitting our goals and things continue the same. We had a great experience on Friday night I think it was?.. we were at about 8 o`clock and we had a lesson with a less active member but still lacked finding a couple people and a few references for the day.. the night before though we had planned everything perfect and we KNEW that we needed this and that the spirit had helped us in our planning. As we arrived to the house we had a great lesson with the family and right as we were about to leave their kids walked in with 2 friends who wanted to talk with us. Elder Jimenez and I just looked at each other- beyond grateful for the miracle that we had received. We returned that night to the apartment having completed all our metas.

This week I also had the opportunity to go with our new district leader here in the zone on a division. I was super excited to go, I love doing changes and being able to work in other areas! He`s from Santa Clara down in St. George so we talked about a lot of things down there and I asked him if he had ever bought a sprint phone por ahi on the boulevard... he hadn`t. We had a productive day! He`s pretty new to the area and so at the end of the night we were finishing up plans and felt to clap a house that we passed by. A man and his son walk out and we begin to talk with them. We present ourselves as missionaries and then they stopped us! The dad looked us up and down and said, "chicos, do wanna come in and have a hot dog with us?" Well yes sir we would! Haha it was the easiest way I`ve gotten into a house so far. After a wonderful hot dog we finished telling him who we were and why we wanted to pass by in the first place. They didn`t want to hear anything about religion... That was one of the first times that we weren`t allowed to share our testimonies! It was a weird experience. Every time we tried to say anything about religion he got mad! So we were first wondering what to do and also wondered why the lord wanted us to go there!! Well thankfully the wife and daughters showed up and were very kind and convinced the guys to hear us out, at least hear what we shared. In the end it was a very good opportunity to find this family and be able to share our purpose and express why we desired to be there so badly! Don`t know what happened to the family but was very grateful that we were able to share the Gospel.

We felt this week like the area has just exploded. We`ve seen goals and desires fulfilled this week that we`ve been working months on, trying to help the work here. First off, how much I love the members here! It`s incredible all that they have done and what an excitement for missionary work! This week, being happy about it, one starts to think of all the things that one could have done but no.. it`s just incredible how blessed we are! I think more than anything I`ve had to change! This Sunday we had 8 investigators in sacrament meeting and several less active members return! It was a packed Sunday for us. We had organized a welcome commitee with all the organizations and it`s been hard to get it all going but after the meetings yesterday we hardly could talk to our investigators because the members had swarmed in to talk with them and invite them to different activities or family home evenings! Just amazing. They are leaving with us and passing us names of friends and just doing thing how the Lord wants! How great is the mission! :)

Our investigators are doing great. We added 10 new ones this week and were able to invite several to be baptized mas adelante in the month! We also have planned to invite a few more this next week! All works out as we remember our dependance upon God! I love and know that this work is His. He is the director and head of this church!! Couldn`t doubt it, because solo we couldn`t make this or any type of life-saving work progress, impossible.

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, THEN IS HIS GRACE SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ;

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and because of His love and the Atonement which He made, despite the circumstance, we can become the sons and daughters that He knows we can be!

Have a great week, love ya guys tons!
Elder Jolley

Un asado que tuvimos con algunos miembros.






Monday, July 1, 2013

A New President

¡Buenas! Que viaje que tuvieron. Me alegre que hayan pasado bien la semana. ¡Que hermoso Lake Powell! No les voy a mentir- me dio un re gana para estar allà ahora en vez de congelandome. Verano para mi necesite ser durante los meses de Junio a Agosto.. ojo me parece a mi solamente.

Well we`ve had a good week! A kinda weird one pero a pesar de todo estamos felices. I`m feeling great. 10 puntos! I remain with a cough, but that`s normal and cleans out the lungs so as far as I know I`m progressing normally. Unfortunately Elder Jimenez woke up this morning with a fever and a headache.. where have we seen that before?? So we`re taking it easy and making sure that he takes care of himself. We don`t want to return to any clinic/hospital. We`ve been able to work normally and we`ve had a lot of success this week in helping our ward out in Bosques.Since the Work of Salvation meeting there has been a large emphasis placed on getting our wards organized and as missionaries being of extra help to them. Personally these last couple weeks I`ve really had a change of heart towards our ward. They are incredible and just amazing people here! They work so hard to do their calling and improve them... can`t ask for more. We heard a quote the other day that I love, "If we do our best and are motivated by love, the spirit will inspire us in our work and the Lord WILL NOT let us fail." I loved that. We`ve worked hard with our ward the whole time I`ve been here, but now as you add love to the mixture the Lord picks things up and is able to do great things. This week we`ve been trying to gain the confidence of our members and help them know that the missionaries are there to support them in their callings so we`ve gone out with a few of the presidents of the different organizations and helped them to reach their goals or we`ve gone out and visited families at their request and reported back- all has helped us greatly to be able to help the members have more enthusiasm for their work. It has been great!! On Saturday we were able to head out with the young women's president who took us by a couple houses, we got to know the area a little more and we were able to have a couple good visits. She then helped us to find a family! :) Julia and Karen are from Paraguay and great friends of this Hermana Franco. We talked to them for a little bit and explained who we are and shared with them a message of the Restored Gospel. We were grateful to have found more people to teach. And last night we made a little "plan" with our Elders Quorum President. He called a friend of his to come over to his house while we were there, he was a little afraid that his friend would take it bad so he sent us to visit a family real quick. (we were grateful for him sending us to this Family, familia Melo, we had a great lesson with this family and felt with them the spirit really strong as we talked about the Plan of Salvation) Then casually after the visit we returned to his house, that was the plan, and we just "happened" to show up! Haha when he opened the door he was like, "oh, elders! What a surprise, are you guys working in the area?" he repeated that like 2 or 3 times. We got away with the plan though and had a great lesson with this friend. Right now we`ve been inviting the majority of the people we are with to receive us again, we try and leave them with a short message an invitation to read and a return visit. It has been kinda hard to get people to commit to listening to us. Sometimes it just goes by as a nice message or something.

Monica, Maria and Andrea are all doing really well. Monica continues to struggle with her cigarettes. She is faithful in coming to church and everything like that but what a powerful addiction! The good thing with her and all the investigators that have problems like that is that they never get worse! They always just stay the same or just little baby steps. We have great reason to be happy for that. Time just isn`t ours and we just wait! Maria and Andrea, we had a great visit with them this week. We wanted to help them get a good understanding of Joseph Smith. We went with Hermano Moya (the guy you guys talked to when we skyped), he`s a stud teacher. They still had the doubt that there was a true church. The spirit really helped us to testify to them that they would know if there was this truth if they would search those things that Joseph Smith taught and the works which he did, especially we`re trying to help them read the Book of Mormon so truly those were the perfect words given to us! We hope that they have been reading this week!

Well, President Stapley I`m sure has arrived in Utah by now and President Thurgood and his wife have arrived to Buenos Aires! What a weird experience... We knew it was coming but when it got here, super strange! We had our last meeting with President and Sister Stapley on Wednesday and there we kinda said goodbye. It was really hard to just say "thanks" because it didn`t feel like enough. He really is an inspired man and an example of Christ! He really made such a difference in the mission! Also I had the chance to have, as if it were my exit interview with him on Wednesday too and we had a good talk and he gave me some great pointers for the next chapter of life. Make sure you send him a hello when you go to his homecoming! We are very excited for President Thurgood, I don`t know him. Hardly anyone does but they say he`s an amazing guy! I believe Tuesday will be the first time we`ll see him. I`ll let ya know next week!

I was reading the Book of Mormon today and wanted to share a couple cool scriptures I found. I`ve been trying to be better about having faith and I read about the Sons of Helaman having faith and it working for them as a principle FOR power.

46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.

47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

55 And now it came to pass that when they had surrendered themselves up unto us, behold, I numbered those young men who had fought with me, fearing lest there were many of them slain.

56 But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power.

Their faith and confidence had become so strong in the Lord that they did not doubt what He was capable of doing for them and in the moment of need they were able through their faith call down the powers of Heaven and receive great blessings in their lives. I know that we need this in our lives. We have to have Heavenly Father's help in order to do the many difficult things that life requires! I also know that we need to work in order to become familiar with what the Lord can do for us- become so familiar with HIM that our confidence can wax strong in the moment when we call upon Him. It is something that is easier said than done, I`m trying to receive that faith and confidence, but as I do so I am coming to know my Father in Heaven more personally and the spirit of Christ truly comes into our lives and helps us have peace! I know that the spirit gives us these gifts.

I love ya guys! Have a great week and we`ll talk to ya next week.

Elder Jolley

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hola familia!! Fa, soné- primero Cancun y ahora Lake Powell! Haha broma broma. Que bueno. Espero que les pase bien y que puedan disfrutar la hermosura de Lake Powell. (shoot off some fireworks for me!)

I CAN WORK!! Ha no more apartment! The control on tuesday went really well- we waited for like 2 hours for them to listen to my chest and tell me that I was good to go! I got the "all-clear" with just precautions that I would need to take in order to not have any secondary infection or anything like that. I feel fantastic!! Ya on wednesday we were out working and visiting all we could. I`ve still had my "ward-mothers" and even investigators get on my case through the week telling me to take it easy and to go back and sleep but trust me I`m doing just fine!! A lot of that I owe to you all, I don`t know how to express gratitude for the prayers and well wishes... it`s hard to describe what it feels like to have that extra strength. I do know that I was VERY watched over and the Lord in His love helped me to get better really quick. I can`t say how badly I wanted to ya get out and work- it was a trial of patience for me but again thank you for your prayers! They helped me get back to doing this incredible work! What a week we had! :) I think in getting back to work I was ready to baptize all of Bosques and just have incredible results and everything like that. Didn`t happen. What was so great about this week was the opportunity to grow in faith and get a better perspective of what the Lord wants from missionary service. I do know that the Lord is at the head of this work and that for the work we do a way is prepared for us to be successful and do what the Lord wants. We saw that in little ways, things just worked out and we were able to get in to a house or we were able to get a little more work done in a day or that members were willing to work with us and even had people for us to teach. Those little miracles really set "the roots" deeper for us both!

We love our investigators!! We are looking to continue to receive more and the ones we`ve been working with are progressing greatly. First Monica. She blows our mind in the way that she has found out how to "live" with faith! She is still working to drop her smoking habit- es bravo but luckily she has been open to learning new things from the Lord in the process. She (along with 4 other investigators) was able to come to church this week! At the end of sacrament meeting she came up to me and asked, "Elder Jolley I have my tithing ready to go, where do I pay it?" haha. That was a happy moment! She is becoming a "dry-mormon" she needs the baptismal font!

Also we have Maria and Andrea. They are investigators that we took over from the other area. They are great! They`ve been kinda shy in our charlas- en el sentido que they listen and all that good stuff but participation has been limited. So this week we put the goal to help them be more active in the lessons so that they`d be more likely to follow through with their commitments. Well we had a great lesson with them on Friday. We had went by earlier in the week and taught a little about prophets and when Jesus Christ was on the earth. They stopped us mid-lesson when they heard us say, "we know that these things are true." It surprised them that being so young we could KNOW something. We took advantage of the situation and invited them to know for themselves. We invited them to read and pray about the things that we were sharing. Well coming back on Friday they hadn`t done it.. urg!! So we took the time to read with them from the Book of Mormon and had such a powerful experience where I know that the spirit testified to them that the book is true! We came to a point reading about when Christ appeared to the Nephites that there was such a peace and stillness in the room. We asked why they would be feeling how they are right now, Maria then was able to bear testimony that she had felt that before with the Elders who passed by before and knows that it is a feeling from God. She then got the courage to pray at the end of the cita! What a blessing!!! Only the spirit can do that guys.

I don`t know if you guys heard about the leadership meeting that the Quorem of the 12 had last night called, The Work of Salvation. It was a worldwide training for missionary work. It was fantastic! There is some amazing things happening and that will happen in the work of the Lord. This work really is hastening. Anyway they talked about working with Members of the church as missionaries- they gave great counsel and it makes sense! So that this work continues forward we must have the help of the members and it must be directed by them through the spirit otherwise we`re not being productive! Maybe you`ll be seeing it soon if you haven`t already.

Well family soak up the sun! When you are all burnt I`ll be here freezing! :) haha. I leave you with my testimony that Jesus Christ lives. His Atonement is real, I know that. I know that He loves us and has a great vision of who we can become if we just look to Him. He is the light that gets us through our toughest trials! The Book of Mormon fills us with His spirit and will testify to our hearts the simplicity of His Gospel. I know that this is the truth! Love you guys! Give my love to family and friends.

Elder Jolley

Monday, June 17, 2013

Buenos Dias,

Hey family! Pretty cool to have been able to talk with a few of you on the phone. I got kinda worried that that probably was a scary phone call... sorry for whatever worry que haya causado. I`m doing well!! I feel great and am very tempted to jump the gun and get back to work! We`ve gotten VERY far behind in our area and it needs some help so I am very anxious to get back to work, but know to take care of myself. Thank you for your prayers and support as always- very cool experience about the temple and how you felt to do that mom. It is always very humbling to know how much our Heavenly Father cares for us and is involved in our lives. I know that He is teaching me, I need the lessons, especially right now!

So most of the week has been spent in the Pensiòn or in the Hospital. Wednesday and Friday were both very long days waiting in lines and waiting for answers from the doctor. I had a series of x-rays and a couple doctors that were all very patient and very helpful in explaining everything that was going down. I`ll be heading back tomorrow for hopefully the last control that they want to have. With the medication that they put me on last I felt like it has helped me a ton! I love the inhaler! :)

My vaporizer!
(editor's note: couldn't get the picture to turn the correct way) 

I`ve had a lot of time to do things around the house... I adopted "a list" like mom used to have and have been keeping myself busy crossing things off the list. On Saturday I saw that my dirty clothes were piling up and decided to learn how wash some socks (start with the most simple..) and went in and stared at the soap and bucket and socks for like 10 minutes trying to figure out the order and how to go about doing it! Haha I`m happy to say that it isn`t as complicated as it originally seemed. I even rigged my own dryer in our room with a jump rope, some wire and our heater! I`m embarrassed to say how satisfied I was and thought myself the biggest Handy-Man in Argentina. I just think it`s a lot of time in a house without a lot to to! haha I also learned and did a bit of cooking with Elder Jimenez. We invented our our stews and they turned out incredible!! We`ve been very blessed by the members of the ward. They`ve called and brought lunches and have all been "mothers" for the week! I had a couple Hermanas find out that we went out one afternoon and I got an earful about how dumb that was... I`ve learned to stay inside and take care of myself!

A little fun while making dinner! 

My first experience washing my own clothes!

I`ve also had a lot of time to read the Book of Mormon! We`re trying to finish up Alma right now and I`ve loved the story of the Book of Mormon. I think sometimes we read it in parts and we get the great principles, but the story of this people is also such a blessing for us. I have felt the spirit of Christ as I`ve read its pages and know that it is a true Book. What I have also learned though is that all that the Lord teaches can all just be considered theory, it`s all a great idea if we don`t put things in practice! This message is only special in our lives when we act upon what is taught. As Christ taught the Gospel of Repentance it changed(es) people's lives because they had the faith to act and when we act we come to see change in our lives!

I hope that we can all continue to follow this special Gospel that we have in our lives and that we can change because of how we apply it! I hope to have a better, more event filled letter for you guys next week!

Have a great week and un besito por todos.
Elder Jolley

Elder Jimenez and I!