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