Monday, November 23, 2015

Llegó! (I Arrive!)

(We received a bonus email today)

Chilling in the office for a bit today and look what I found!

I will open it when I get to my area tomorrow.. or maybe right now, not sure. Anyway, thanks so much!

Love you :)
Elder Jolley

Me and President Flores (Pedro Luro Branch)

Me and the Flores fam. Some of the nicest people. I love my branch in Luro!

Had to say goodbye to my neighbor/friend Mario as well. One of the nicest guys and he makes me laugh so hard.

I told him we should take a funny pic and he said "Ok let´s pretend I´m chewing you out for not paying the rent again." Haha

Don`t get comfy ;)

Felìz dìa de Gracias! :)

Wow... what a week! So many things have happened.. and again I wish I could just put a GoPro on me so you guys could experience all the amazing things that I am experiencing with me, but I will do my best to fill you in.

So last week, we started a new transfer. I love Pedro Luro, I love my district (even though we had Hermana Mercado and Hermana Chesler leave us which was sad), and I was sure that Elder Staples was my witness that "the blessing comes after the trial of your faith." haha! And it`s true. He`s awesome and we had a great week in Pedro Luro in every aspect. We found some great investigators named Olga and Domigo, an older couple who are super cute and so nice! Domingo had a stroke a year ago and is paralyzed on the left side. They are both so humble and listen so well. Olga was a contact from me and Elder Sotelo, and told us she wasn`t interested the first time we came by. Then this week I was going through old contacts and we decided to passed by. When she came out I said "Hi Olga!" She kind of had a surprised look on her face and let us in without argument and we had a great lesson on the restoration. At the end I asked "Olga, why did you let us in this time?" She told me that she was really impressed that I remembered her name. Small and simple things my friends. :)

 On Saturday we went to mow the lawn of Olga and Domingo, but it ended up raining super hard right as we began. So we walked home and enjoyed the rain for a few minutes before changing and going to the temple prep class that night. I love rainstorms! It was so beautiful. Also lightning struck right by our house while I was standing outside and it was SO loud. Highlight of the week ;)

 Temple prep class for the branch. We stopped by at the end of the day to say hi to everyone. Glad I did because it was the last time I saw some of my beloved friends from Villalonga!

Elder Staples LOVES ice cream, so we celebrated a good day last week with an ice cream cone from Grido before heading home for the night. Mm...good stuff ;)

Anyway, long stories made short, I had a great week. I was loving my area... I finally had a good opportunity to reorganize and clean the house, so I was loving the house... my companion was great and we were working good and getting along... I love the branch here and all the members. I was soo... comfortable :) Maybe a little toooo comfortable? As President Kimball said: "Apparently the gospel is to comfort the afflicted... and to afflict the comforted." So yesterday afternoon after we left from lunch after sacrament meeting that morning, we received a phone call from President Cifuentes asking for me. I answered "Hey President! What can I do for you?" He then informed me that he was making an emergency transfer and that I would be leaving today (Monday) to Olavarria to be a zone leader...what?? Last thing I had on my mind haha. I was in shock for the rest of the afternoon haha! So yep! Here I go this afternoon at 6pm for my new area to be a zone leader... and my new companion will be Elder Yeates (American). The Lord is definitely keeping me on my toes out here. ;)

Yesterday afternoon we traveled from Pedro Luro to Bahia Blanca and stayed the night. Then this morning I had an interview/training session with President Cifuentes and the 3 AP´s. My love and respect for President Cifuentes continues to grow so much. He told me that he specifically felt that I needed this and that it was a preparation for things later on. Then he and the AP´s proceeded in giving me some great advice and counsel for my calling. I can feel the weight of this responsibility and can tell it will be hard... but I also know that if the Lord trusts me enough to call me, then He will prepare me and help me in the process as well. I´m excited!

Not too much else besides that. I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving. I wish I could write all of my family and friends personally to tell them how much I love them and am grateful for them, but just know that if I had time I would! I really am so grateful for all the examples, love and support I have in my life. It´s huge to me and I thank you all for that, sincerely.

Love you all. Happy Thanksgiving! Wish me luck :)
Elder Jolley

Monday, November 16, 2015


This will be a bit of a short one again. Sorry!

So I slept about 2 hours last night because we had transfers! Lots of chaos, but so fun to see good friends from other areas as many pass through the bus station. 

So I will be staying here in Pedro Luro with a new companion, Elder Staples! He is from California and is a super nice guy. I`m seeing a rotation in Latinos/Americans in my companions haha, but it`s ok, I don`t mind the mix up. I`m super excited for this transfer and I`m ready to dig in further into this area and hoping to see results!

Love you all. Have a great week!
Elder Jolley

Luisa and Ronald are married!

 In the Villalonga family´s van after the wedding to go celebrate with an asado. This is Camila. 5 yrs old and so witty/cute!

All the ladies preparing the asado after the wedding. Yum! (The guy on the right is the Dad, Luis. Super nice...but hardly ever says a word and just sits in the corner and giggles at our jokes every now and then. haha!)

 Me and the married couple! The beach was not supposed to happen... they didn`t tell us before that we were going anywhere far. They just said "Want to join us for lunch?" and we said "Sure, thanks!" So we got in the car with them and after like a 1 1/2 hour drive we pulled up at the beach. We were a little caught off guard... but we had know way to leave or anything so we just ate lunch with them there and we were only at the beach for like a half hour.The beach was made of all these colorful pebbles that were super pretty.

 Burying kids in rocks... this is Alba. Please zoom in and look how hard she was laughing. haha!

Found a shell that looked like a tooth. haha!

 Camila and my plaque. She says she wants to be a missionary someday :)

 Tarde blanca!

 The newly weds got baptized! So happy for them. Didn´t get to baptize this time around, but I was there when Ronald got out of the font and he looked at me and said "I feel free." Such a cool experience.

Picture with our district and our zone leaders

 Picture with both the Hermanas

 Me and Hermana Tovar

 Me and Hermana Mercado

Me and Elder Aquino
(He is my zone leader. lives in Alyssas' mission area and goes home tomorrow!) Good guy

 Last Zone Meeting before transfers

Our District

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hola mis queridos. Last week of the transfer!

Well, seasons are officially changing here in South America and it is HOT! Apparently the worst hasn`t even come from what I have heard so I will be looking forward to some hot/humid months to come. Luckily we will be able to walk around without jackets here in the next week or two. Also there are mosquitos all over that eat me at night, as well as tiny little may flies everywhere that for some reason like to fly up my nose/ears/mouth while I`m talking to people in the street, making me look even more special than I already do. ;)

Not a lot of time today (story of p-day, sorry), but a few updates:

- We have a baptism! Luisa from the Villalonga family is finally getting married this week which means she can be baptized (shout out to the law of chastity). This Saturday we have whats called a "Tarde Blanca" (white afternoon) where our whole zone will baptize their investigators at the same time. Luisa and her husband will be baptized on Saturday after their wedding on Thursday and I`m super excited! Not really an investigator-investigator for us, but we have still taught her a bit and it`s equally exciting.

- No updates with Angeles and Romina. Hard to find them home.

- I made my first "bus contact" last week! On the two hour bus ride from Bahia to Pedro Luro, I talked with a kid named Anzel that sat next to me for the whole ride! I was nervous at first.. because if it doesn`t go well then I have to awkwardly sit next to them for the rest of the ride, but I decided to sacrifice my comfort and go for it! It went well and we talked about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. He was a friendly guy and I know he felt the spirit, I was praying so hard for him to accept the Book of Mormon, but unfortunately in the end he said "I`m just going to stick to the bible.. that's all I need." NOOOO!! Too bad... but it was good practice, and hopefully one day that conversation will help him to come into the gospel.

- Things are going SUPER well with Elder Sotelo. I have been praying a lot lately for the Lord to soften his heart and to help us get along, and to give me patience. The beginning of the week last week he was being even more stubborn than he usually is... annnd I cracked. ha! I came down on him a bit for like 15-20 mins. straight about how we need to get along so we can have the spirit, and how we need to be better in general, and how I just want us to have a good time and enjoy our companionship as we are obedient and as we work hard. In the end I expected him to fight back... but the only thing he said was "ok... I`m sorry. I will try harder to get along and be friendly." My jaw about fell off. Ha! I just said "...thanks." and ever since we have been getting along! WOO! That was such a cool answer to my prayers and a huge blessing that I was so grateful for. 

I love you all so much. Remember always that no matter how many times we fall, the Savior is always there to lift us back up. We just have to take His hand.

Elder Jolley 

 Last week for P day we went with a couple sisters to play (basically) pickel ball at an indoor court in General Cerri. That was super fun, and nice to take a little break from soccer as well.

 Made no-bake cookies! I finally found peanut butter last week, and decided to make a batch for our zone last Tuesday. I hate to brag... but they were de-rishish. ;)

 Today we went to a buffet called Bamboo for lunch as a zone to celebrate the last week and the departure of a few missionaries (including Hermana Mercado from my district). Super fun and the food wasn´t too bad!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Another great week in South America!

This will be a short one again, sorry. This week wasn`t crazy exciting, but it was a good one. I ate cow stomach, we had a couple really good lessons, and we had our first solid follow up appointment! Woo! 

Last week we had a super cool experience on Monday after P-day. We were contacting in a park here in an area called General Cerri, and all the sudden a car pulled up next to us on the street. A guy got out and introduced himself as Maxi, an less active member. He said "Elders! What a blessing... my daughter needs a blessing and I just prayed to find someone to help and here you are!" I guess his daughter has been acting weird lately and has been getting scared for no reason and has been having weird panic attacks. She`s about 3 years old. So Maxi asked us to come to his house where his daughter was in about a half hour. When we got there, we chatted with him and gave his cute little girl a blessing. We told Maxi that blessings depend on faith and that he needs to show his faith by reactivating himself in the church so that he and his family can be blessed. He broke down in tears saying he knows he needs to be better and that he wants the gospel back in his life. I was grateful to be able to help him. I have always heard the "the right time, in the right place" stories from people's missions, and I`ve definitely felt that before in my mission in different ways, but that was a cool experience to know I was the answer to someone's prayer as a servant of God.

We had some great lessons this week and our follow up lesson was with Angeles and her sister Romina (the family where the mom argued at everything and we taught them about the restoration the first time). The mom was there for about half the lesson as we went over the restoration again and argued again quite a bit, but it went a lot better than the first time! They accepted a Book of Mormon from us and we have another appointment on Wednesday. They`re hard... but I know that they felt the spirit as we taught and that the daughters are interested at least... as well as the mom... but she won`t admit it or show it right now haha. 

This past week, I had some rough spots as always, but I also had a few times where I just felt SO happy. I find myself smiling as we are walking in the street, or sitting on the bus, and I know that happiness comes from my obedience and work/sacrifices. It`s hard and I still have a lot to improve in so many ways, but I can feel that I am progressing. I just need to motivate myself and be diligent enough to continue in that progression. 

I love you all! Have a great week.

Elder Jolley

P.S. Look up the talk "Living the Abundant Life" by Pres. Monson. It`s a good one :) bye!

P.P.S. no pics this week, sorry.