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!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

(Letter from June 10th)

Hey family!

Home sweet home I guess!! Welcome to the new house, heard the carpets nice! Not too bad! Sorry couldn`t be there to help you guys out, but I`m sure for the next one I`ll be able to lend a hand.

Well I`m short on time today, but I wanted to give a little bit of a recap of the week! Meetings. Well that was my week! Haha no not all the way but we had an incredible amount of time traveling and a lot of things to do. Poor Elder Jimenez was introduced to life as a zone leader at a terrible time!! We`ve been super busy in keeping up our area and also having to take up the white wash in the new area! We`ve been blessed to work with the members of the ward and they`ve been an incredible help! It has been incredible to see the way the Lord has prepared a way for us to be successful even with all the trials. In all our travels I`ve been able to read a lot in the Book of Mormon and have LOVED the stories of Ammon and Aaron. They are faithful missionaries! If you can go through them this week and read about their experiences!!

Monica came to church! YA! She`s working super hard to quit smoking and its been a blessing to see members of the ward come to her and extend a encouraging word or offer to help in any way! We are hoping that this week we`ll be able to help her into the water! Continue with your prayers! =)

Well sorry guys, I`m outta time but I wanna leave you with my testimony that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. It was performed out of pure love so that the Savior would have the ability to help us become the people that He knows we can be. In our trials if we sacrifice to Him a broken heart and contrite spirit we will soon catch glimpses of who we are to Him! I know that God is our Father and loves us!

10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.

11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.

Much love,
Elder Jolley

Sunday, June 9, 2013

(Letter From June 4th)

Aah! Hi family! :)

Good to hear from you guys. What a long couple days! Haha we had a funny little adventure with a couple elders in our zone last night- we`ve had a little bit of "trouble" with a couple this transfer- so last night we didn`t get a call or anything from one area and trying to get together all the numbers for the week, at like 11:30 we got a call from President saying that we needed to go look for them and make sure they were okay! So with all that we got back about 12 ish. Also an update for you guys, transfers came and Elder Prestwich and I got split up! NO! That was a bummer. The time passed by so quick and la verdad it was such a blessing to be with him for at least a little bit. So we got him all packed up and out the door early this morning to get to Banfield. Transfers always come with a sweet treat! :) Also mom, with the work outs you`ve given me they`ve kicked my.. bottom! I did them all, I was feeling a little bit sick this week so I couldn`t do them all 100% but I did "bring it" in Tony`s words. Thanks for sending them!

I am still in Bosques! I received Elder Jimenez a stud Elder that I new back from Fiorito. He is from Las Vegas, Nevada. (lives about 10 minutes from the temple is what he told me, hoping to find some relation with the Pia family but no.) He is a capo and I am super excited to start working with him. He was just called as a zone leader and comes with some very powerful qualities as a leader!! We`ve still got a lot of difficulties getting missionaries into the country, about 50 are waiting in other parts of the world just to get into Argentina, so the mission is hitting some tough speed bumps. One of those being having to close a bunch of areas! In our zone, the past transfer and this one we`ve lost 2 areas and are down to only 10 missionaries. We were called to be the District Leader/Zone Leaders for our area and we will be taking the other area of the missionaries who were here in Bosques. I am excited. Couldn`t be more grateful for the trust that the President has in us and also that the Lord has in us, my eyes are just kinda wide-eyed and a lot of prayers and fasting to know where to start. I am glad for the blessing of a companion. Micro-managing would be too difficult so one step at a time we`ll get it done! We`re excited to be able to start and just get to work! :) Elder Prestwich and I got a call from President Stapley on Sunday morning that really helped to assure us or what we were called to do. He has such a special way to be able to help ya feel good and wow, such love! Grateful for him!

Well our week went really well!! We were able to work with members this week that helped out our investigators in ways that we wouldn`t have been able to. We went to see Fernando and Diana a couple times this week. We went one of the times with our ward mission leader Hno. Juarez and had a great lesson with them. Hno. Juarez talked most of the time and shared with them how he came to know the truth of these things. Between him and Fernando they have a lot of things in common so what was said was special to them. Also right before Elder Prestwich left yesterday we passed by and had our own little testimony meeting with them! In the little time that we`ve been with them I was SO touched with all that they`ve come to know. Diana is a member, just hasn`t gone in a long time and Fernando shared a special testimony that He believes these things to be true. He knows that when he reads the Book of Mormon, his attitude changes and can keep him from doing things wrong also he shared his testimony that whenever we are there he feels different and knows that that feeling comes from God and wants to be part of all this! How special that was for Elder Prestwich and I to see them progressing in the Gospel!

Monica wasn`t able to come to church this last week! Please keep her in your prayers that she will! It`s so important that she goes to church so that she can overcome the difficulties and make deep progress. We had the most spiritual lesson with her on Friday. I am SURE that this is Gods work and sure that He directs it! We were planning to know what it was that we could do for Monica to answer her questions and help her to establish faith in Christ. It came clear to our minds that we should give her a priesthood blessing. When we passed by she began the lesson with a question, wanting to know if in our church we gave blessings!! She was in need of that for a couple issues that she had. We explained a little bit and then asked her if she believed that we had the authority to give her a blessing and that what we said would come from God. The blessing was a sacred privilege that I had. The spirit was strong and she was touched. As it says in Acts, "and their hearts were pricked and they asked.. what shall we do?" With the spirit there we invited her to be baptized for sure and she said that she knew that God is in this church and that she would, she will get baptized! WOW! So special. There is nothing greater than being able to help someone else come to the knowledge of this spirit!

On Wednesday (happy birthday sky-man) we had an incredible reunion with Elder Cook! We all thought that he was gonna come and speak like Elder Holland at us and put us in our place. How wrong were we!! He spoke with such love and with such power of testimony! He talked about the need to establish faith in Jesus Christ- in ourselves and in others. He left us with a very very special blessing that we would be able to come to know the importance that our missions would have upon the generations of our family! I am grateful for my mission and grateful for my savior Jesus Christ. Elder Cook is an apostle of our Savior. I felt of His testimony and the spirit also bore witness.

This week and many weeks of my life I know that I could have been better. I know that my weaknesses are many, but I learned something amazing about the Atonement. It doesn`t matter how much we fail just as long we put in our best effort and sacrifice His will for ours I know that His grace is sufficient to take our burdens if we place them at His feet!

for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Good luck with the house!

Elder Jolley