Monday, October 12, 2015

Hey fammm.

First off, congrats again to the happy couple this last week! The pictures killed me and I wish so bad I could have been there, but I´m so glad it went well! Love you guys.

This week has been nuts, but awesome. I heard a cool quote about the mission last week: "On this incredible journey, the load never gets lighter... but your back gets stronger." That's so true and I have felt that strength that comes from my Savior a lot this past week as my plate gets fuller and fuller here in the mission haha.

So... area update. My assigned area is Pedro Luro... but come to find out this past week that we have two other areas as well? One is an hour away (Villalonga) and one is two hours away (Maldonado). We have a house in Pedro Luro to ourselves and share one in Maldonado with Elder Barroz and Elder Malovich, we travel and work between all three areas, I have no idea where to unpack my things cause I never stay in one place... and I have a headache haha! wow

Pedro Luro is a tiny little pueblo where one of the most common forms of transportation is a tractor... and that pretty much sums it up haha. It reminds me a lot of Mona, UT. There are a lot of Bolivians and we are part of a cute little branch of about 30 people. Everyone is super friendly and the branch has such a "family" feeling to it. It´s awesome.

Villalonga is a random little town with a mix of super poor villas and rich people. It goes against a lot of the theories I learned in AP Human Geography... but here we are :) This amazing family (they´re all related and live together, but it's a mix of like 4 last names..s. o we´ll just call them the "Villalonga Family") of Bolivians lives there and they absolutely love missionaries so they feed us lunch and dinner on Fridays when we go to Villalonga. Then after lunch we play a quick game of Uno or Argentine Yahtzee with them and it´s the most entertaining thing because they take it SO seriously, haha.

Maldonado is where we go every Sunday after church until Wednesday so that we can be here for district meeting on Tuesdays. MY DISTRICT! Wow my district is the best, it´s all Hermanas besides me and Elder Sotelo haha. They´re all so awesome though. We all get along really well and laugh a lot, but everyone works hard and takes the work seriously which is such a blessing. I love being a district leader and being able to serve and learn from these missionaries.

Our quaint little chapel (house).

My District! (left to right) Hermana Tovar, Palma, Chesler, Mercado, Sanchez
Front: Elder Sotelo and me

Companion update. Elder Sotelo from Peru! We have a confusing bittersweet relationship haha. I think the Lord is planning on teaching me how to be the most patient person on earth haha. kidding... I´m grateful for what I have :) Elder Sotelo and I actually get along pretty good. He´s a funny guy and loves to joke around which is nice, but his sense of humor is the kind where he´ll say something really rude, laughs (leaving me with a confused "wait...what?" look on my face) and then 2 seconds later he´s like "I´m kidding haha! You know I love you compy... I´d love you more if you were dead... but I love you!" followed by more laughter. haha... I´ve learned to take 99% of what he says with a grain of salt... take a deep breath... and say something nice back.. patience :) Ha, but besides the confusing sense of humor, things are good between us. He leaves in two months so he is quite trunky (i.e. he makes sure I know every time he sees a pretty lady on the street haha), but when we teach or contact he actually works good and we´ve had some pretty good contacts and some powerful lessons so far, and that´s all that matters to me so I´m a happy camper!

House update. I actually really like our house in Pedro Luro. The first time we walked in it looked like a grease/dirt bomb had gone off, and there was random crap everywhere... but over the past week I have organized and cleaned it up pretty good. I even found the dusty Area Book in a stack of mission supplies.. pretty sure it hasn´t been used in thousands of years cause I opened it up and found a teaching record for Laman and Lemuel. HAH! Mission jokes :) The house really isn´t bad... just needs a bit more cleaning and I will be able to live there in peace, haha. Also we have a crazy neighbor named Mario who has a strange dog named Pancho. Mario has beehives and will come knock on our hallway window sometimes and give us honey. I haven´t had honey since I was at home so I have been and will be taking advantage of that while living here, haha. 

Animal update: 
1.The week before last week, as we were walking from one side of the area to the other, this dog (it was like a rottweiler type) followed me around for like an hour. He was super friendly and one of his legs was crippled, but he could still run pretty fast with his other three. It was awesome haha! So anyway I stopped by a little kiosco and bought some bread for him and we were best friends for like the next half hour until we arrived at our lesson.
2.Yesterday morning when we left for church this little dog was sitting outside of our house and followed us all the way to church haha! We thought it was so funny because his head and feet were white, and his torso was all black, so it looked like he was wearing a suit. We named him Elder (it was either Elder or Rags haha - Lyssa)

Elder :) He cried outside of the door all during priesthood meeting cause we wouldn´t let him in.

Spiritual experience of the week: This past week in our first district meeting we played a question game just to get to know each other a little better. Each person would stand up and be asked a question or two from every other person in the group. When it was my turn, Hermana Tovar asked me, "If you had to have all your memories erased except for one, which memory would you choose?" Wow! So I started scanning my head, going through all my favorite memories. At first I was going for memories like "sunset in California" or trips with the family or my friends. I love those memories so much, but none of them felt like "the one." I mentally asked myself what is most important to me in this life and instantly an image popped into my head. I remembered the first time I went through the temple, being together with my family and loved ones in the celestial room of the Mt. Timp Temple. I could remember it so clearly and it instantly brought tears to my eyes. I felt like an idiot for getting a bit emotional in front of my district haha, and I´m sure they were a bit confused because they had no idea what I was thinking or why I was getting all teary eyed until I told them my memory. I was super grateful for that experience and for my testimony of eternal families that continues to grow each day out here in the mission field.

Tengan una semana buenĂ­sima! 

Con amor,

Elder Jolley

 My zone!

This is my new investigator Carlos. He´s the best listener I´ve met here in Argentina! 

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