Thursday, February 25, 2016

What a week! I have millions of things I want to tell you guys.. but little time. So we will do what we can. 

First. This week has been a lot better working wise. Elder Jackson and I have been making plans and goals to improve and have found a lot of ways to improve the way we work. Lately, as I've said before, we have been struggling to get new investigators and a lot of that is because we haven't been contacting a ton for various reasons. It's important though, so we started an activity called "Castigos" (consequences). So basically we have daily and weekly goals for contacting, and if we don't reach our goal, we have to receive a castigo :) We made a list of things like: eat a dried chili pepper, bar of soap in your mouth for 2 minutes (if it worked when we were kids, why not now? ;)), 500 pushups, sing a primary song on the balcony for everyone to hear, 10 "sting pong" shots from your comp, sleep with sweats on, etc. haha I think its hilarious and so far it's been pretty motivating. Our daily goal is 10 contacts each, and the first day I got 9... so I drew a paper from the bowl and got the dried chili pepper. Usually I'm fine with spicy so I just popped that baby in like nothing... then my mouth turned into Sodom and Gomorrah when fire came down from heaven and destroyed the people...WOW that thing was spicy. Elder Jackson got a video and it's pretty entertaining when you're not the person suffering 3rd degree burns in your mouth. 

Then the next night Elder Jackson got some karma his way for laughing at me and didn't get his 10. He got the bar of soap and was dry heaving after like 30 seconds haha! I laughed and laughed. Good times. "Ok I'll contact I swear!"

Second. This has been a week full of good messages and thoughts. On Sunday, Hermana Mussi (from the family with 6 boys) gave a really good talk about marriage... not my alley right now, I know, but it still works for a missionary companionship.. plus all you married folk can use it as well so your welcome. She quoted a talk from Elder Nelson about how the first four minutes of when we come into contact with our companion (in the morning, starting a conversation, coming home from work) will determine how the rest of the day/conversation goes. If those first four minutes are all positive, patient, and loving, the rest of our time together will follow that pattern. The same goes for if there is anything negative or rude in those first four minutes. It helped me to realize I could be more loving and patient with my companion as well as others in my life. We need to make sure we always approach/treat others and live with a positive and loving attitude. Not too deep of doctrine, but a good reminder. 

Another cool experience I had was this last Sunday when Elder Jackson and I were walking over to the house in Independencia (Elder Tew and Bennet) to stay the night for service at the bakery in the morning. We passed by an Evangelical church that was having a meeting. That happens all the time, but this time it caught my attention and I asked Elder Jackson if he would go in with me. He said sure and we went in to sit down and listen for a few minutes. At first I went in with a very judgmental attitude like "Oh boy.. here we go"...then as I sat there listening I thought "if someone visited my church, I would want them to listen with an open mind and heart." So I decided to really listen and be more open. As I listened I realized there was really nothing wrong with what they were preaching, against what I had concluded before entering. Yes.. it was pretty funny when people shouted strange things... and the lady singing/crying/moaning strange words in the corner wasn't the most comfortable thing, but they were just preaching of Christ like we do. The only thing though that kept doubts out of my head was my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. That hit me in a different way as I sat there. Everyone knows that through Christ we can be saved, but no other church preaches about God's plan of exaltation for us. We really don't change much about peoples beliefs as missionaries... we just add more, and it's such a precious addition that I'm so grateful to be able to share. I know it's true.

So our stake mission leader Cristian Unzaga owns a bakery. I think I talked about it last week maybe.. but anyway we have been going to help him on Monday mornings at 6am for the past couple weeks. We make bread and facturas and cookies and all kinds of stuff with him. It's a super cool experience. Also a free factura every now and then is definitely worth the service :)

Selfie with Elder Tew (from St. George)

 Cristian guarding his prize facturas from the hungry Elders.

Few random stuff: 
1. Our old lady neighbor Graciela (not sure if I've talked to much about her) LOVES us right now. When I got here she hated the "chicos" upstairs, but Elder Jackson and I have been helping her to take care of the building and we always try to be really friendly with her, and so far it's working! She makes us bread, gives us eggs and veggies from her farm/garden. It's so cute haha.. by now she knows that we can't kiss women on the cheek as missionaries so she always kisses her hand and waves it saying "gracias mi amor!" I don't think she would ever let us teach her (I've tried), but I really hope our relationship/example to her sparks some curiosity in the church for her some day.
2. Last night as we were working we passed by a house with an old man in the doorway playing some kind of accordion instrument. I have contacted him before and he wasn't very friendly, but this time we went back after we passed and said "Wow! That's so cool! Can you play us a song?" I think he forgot about me because he was friendly and played us a couple really cool songs on his weird instrument... also the whole time he played he stared at us with this suuuper serious face without blinking, I think cause he was super focused, but it was soo funny and it took all I had not to burst out laughing. I love random experiences like that. His name is Luis and we might pass by another time to listen more... oooor teach him ;) #goldentransfer

There is more to tell, but no time. Love you all! Have a great week.

Elder Jolley

P.S. Our ponderizing scripture this week is 2 Nephi 31:21

Bus ride to our leadership conference in Bahia with the Hermanas (Hermana Palma is the Sister Training leader). Had a fun time, ate lots of snacks, and Hermana Palma even taught me how to do a Rubik's cube... ya learn somethin new every day I guess.

 The ONLY other passenger on the bus decided to sit right behind us on the bus and ended up sawing logs the whooole time. haha so I took out my camera and got a video and was about to go sit by him and take a selfie... but then the Hermanas said no.. so I took a couple from my seat :)

 So yesterday was super hot, so Elder Jackson and I decided to camp out on the roof. The temperature came down a bit so it was soo nice, and the sky was so clear, tons of stars, aaaand a full moon. We had a fun night chatting and eating homemade popcorn. Then we went to sleep and I think it rained a bit in the middle of the night cause we woke up wet in the morning. Whoops.

Today after lunch we went downtown to take care of a couple things. As we were walking we saw this chess table in the park that looks just like the one from the Pixar short film with the old guy! So I looked around and whadda you know... there was the perfect little old man sitting on a bench across the park! So I went and asked him if he would come sit at the table with me to take a picture. He said "Sure! but I don't smile very good..." Ha so then we sat down to take the picture and he wouldn't look at the camera haha, so we chatted instead and got some nice candid pics. His name is Hugo. Great guy.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day this past week... definitely the most romantic one for me so far. ;) An old drunk guy gave me a kiss on the cheek so that was cute. Anywayyss moving on.

Another crazy week in the life of a zone leader. We had a mission conference last week, a zone conference on Tuesday, a leadership conference next Tuesday, and a broadcast from Elder Bednar the day after. It's ok I don't like sleeping anyway ;) Ha kidding... really no complaints here. I love being busy... I just hope we can fit in some time to do some good normal missionary work as well because I really am craving it right now. We have actually contacted a lot more lately and have found a few great people to teach. I will tell more about that later as things progress.

Last week we took a trip to Mar Del Plata to hear from President and Elder Resek of the Seventy. Lots of great messages, and the best part was we drove through Monolito where I was born! That was a trip.. holy moly. Also on the way back I talked the bus driver into stopping at the bakery across the street from my house in Monolito called Rincon Dulce, annnnd we might have bought 3 dozen facturas for the zone and the zone from Tandil who were traveling with us. YUM! 

 Elder Kleinman from my first area! This guy is such a great missionary and helped me so much in my first area. He dies this transfer and it will be sad to not have him around.

 The new Zone.

The homies reunited!

Pictures during lunch on Tuesday's zone conference. The zone leaders are always in charge of arranging everything for the conference.. including lunch. Normally zone leaders just order food or pay a member to make stuff... but I thought "nah...we can do better." So I printed off one of my favorite recipes from Mom, Pineapple Salsa Chicken, and we went all catering on the place! We had to times the recipe by 7 to feed everyone, but with the help some of the missionaries in the zone, we pulled it off! It turned out sooo delicious. Also, you can't find sweet chile sauce here so we made that from scratch as well. I felt like a chef haha. "Tastes just like my momma used to make!"

 Zone Conference lunch

Pineapple Salsa Chicken

Also... Happy Birthday to my sweet little diva sister Andraya! She's turning 21... whoops I mean 12, but she acts like she's 21 so it's really all the same. Ha I love you so much Draya and hope you have a great day! Wish I could be there for your first time in the temple... I hope you have an amazing first experience!

Sorry for the short email... but my time is up and rules are rules. Love you all and hope your week goes fantastic!

Elder Jolley

We have had a ton of cool storms this past week, and we finally figured out a way to get on our roof, so we went up to watch the lightning (I know... intelligent, but we're missionaries so we're safe) and got some cool pictures in the process. We have seriously had some monsoons and lightning storms that look like the Fourth of July. I love it! Two nights ago we got home at the end of the day and it started to pour, so we went outside in the street in shorts and t-shirts to be in the rain. We have a haircutting place right below us and the owner saw us and came outside laughing and took some pictures of us. haha! Then his friends asked us if rain meant something in our religion because " es normal." he said. haha! People don't know how to have fun here ;) 

So we're starting a rap group after the mish and this is our new album cover. All of our names are going to be dessert names... we're still working on the names though so for now we are "Orhinge Jooleu$ & the Cr3w"  droppin our hottest mixtape summer 2016 (it's just EFY remixes cause that's all we have).

Mom: If you wanna be in our rap group, your name can be "Teri-Misu." Genius!! or you could start a restaurant/pastry shop and you can name it that.. we'll even give you the rights to the name for free ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Happy end of transfers everyone!

So the results are in and all the missionaries are finally moved into their places.. mostly. So I will be staying (for the first time) with my companion for another transfer! That's going to be weird haha, but I'm excited. As far as the zone we only had 3 changes. Elder Searcy went home and Elder Tew is training a new Elder from California named Elder Bennet. Elder Marin went to Mar Del Plata and got replaced by Elder Wineager from Idaho, and Hermana Fasanando went to Bahia and was replaced by Hermana Cardinas. We have all of our zone in our area right now because tomorrow we all travel to Mar Del Plata together for a conference, but besides that transfers are done. Yay! Ha I got to catch up on sleep a bit last night, but all the other nights this week have been like 2am trips to the bus station and other crazy stuff haha. It's fun. Poor Elder Tew missed his bus to Bahia on Tuesday evening, then we bought another ticket for 2am the next day. Then after we dropped him off we went home and slept. Then he called us right at 6:30 and said "umm... I'm still in Olavarria." WHAT? Ha the poor guy just sat in that bus for four hours and it didn't move anywhere... and he isn't the most assertive guy so he just sat there patiently and didn't ask what was going on. haha. So apparently the bus was just having problems and they didn't tell anyone or do anything until 7:30 when they just moved everyone to another bus and sent them...*sigh* Argentina.

So as you can see in the pics. Nadia got baptized! Saturday night at 9 it took place and it was such a happy experience. We did it late because Nicolas had to work. She said she felt really good after the baptism and her mother-in-law told me yesterday that this whole week she has just been glowing and can't stop talking about how happy she is. Such a blessing to be able to serve her and her family to help bring that happiness into her life.

Nadia was baptized by her brother-in-law Federico

So that's pretty much it for this week. After a nice spiritual boost tomorrow at the conference I will be able to get things back to normal and really dig into my golden transfer :) This week as far as the work we have been doing a lot of divisions with Elder Numbers, Tew, and Wineager and contacting a TON! It's been really good and we have found a lot of ways to make contacting more interesting. I taught Elder Numbers and Wineager a game called "contactos unicos" where on each contact you have to do some different requirement like stop a car, tell a joke, or sing a hymn. It's super entertaining haha. It's been really fun doing divisions as well. Elder Numbers is probably the most pure person I've ever met. He is truly a man without guile and working with him is so fun. Elder Jackson and I also had a great planning session yesterday again and set some great goals. We're both really pumped up and excited to work hard this transfer. Woo! 

Con amor,

Elder Jolley

 Zone pot luck for the last meeting :)

1. Biscuits and gravy with hash browns (Elder Tew and Searcy)
2. Aji de gallina from Peru with steamed potatoes (Hermana Fasanando)
3. Chicken pot pie (my comp and yours truly)
4. Tacos (Elder Miller and Howlett)
5. Calzones Rotos (Elder Marin and Numbers)
6. Brownies (Hermana Palma)

yep.. lots. yum!

Last zone pic

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I'm running out of ways to start my emails... hi?

Well, best week in the mission so far :) Normally I would say that every week just to be positive, but I probably would count this past week in one of the top 5. It's been reee piola (Spanish)

So last Monday. We had (yet again) a trip to Bahia for a follow up leadership conference to discuss area changes and play soccer with President in the morning. That was super fun as always and the meeting went well. President is continuing to make a lot of changes, which freaks out a lot of missionaries. I understand that on his end it's still a new thing for him and he is just trying to do what is best for the mission and to fix the problems that existed when he got here. I really trust him, and know that as long as he is following the spirit as to what the Lord desires of us in this mission, "it'll all work out." (name that conference speaker). <-- p.s. no one ever names things when I do this haha... lame!

This week was good as far as the work. I have really been trying to contact more. I know that I have been working this transfer... but at the same time I feel like I barely have. It's a strange feeling. So it was super refreshing to be doing some normal work again this week. Contacting is not my favorite... and we get a lot of referrals here so sometimes I use that as an excuse to not contact... but I know I need to get better on that. I had a few succesful ones this week that ended with scheduled appointments so that was really exciting. It's such a good feeling when you step outside of your comfort zone and receive the promised blessings. I'm stupid for not doing that more often, but I have goals to fix that this next transfer. Also I'm calling this next transfer "the golden transfer" cause I've got big plans for change and improvement. It'll be great :)

Speaking of next transfer. We've got transfers coming this weekend! That's always a chaotic time, especially for a zone leader, but I'm excited. I feel like I will be staying here with Elder Jackson, but we'll see. I really like Elder Jackson. He's such a peacemaker. He doesn't have a lot of time left so sometimes I think he's a bit trunky haha... but everyone's got their thing so it's good. We'll work with it :) The past few weeks we've been a bit silent with each other, but yesterday we had a great weekly planning session and talked a lot about new goals and stuff and that pumped us up pretty good. Funny story: Last night I looked in my Christmas package and saw the "Christmas Crunch" you guys sent (that was a miracle haha... I was so happy to see that) and I took it out and asked Elder Jackson if he wanted a bowl. His eyes LIT UP and he said "um, yes!" ha so I poured some out for us and asked him to say the prayer. Then in his prayer he said "please bless... this Christmas Crunch. and please bless the Jolley family... for sending us these beautiful things" (but in Spanish) and I was this close to busting out laughing. I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father was laughing too so it's cool. 

Alright Imma get right to it. NADIA IS GETTING BAPTIZED! After almost a month of lessons falling through and being somewhat worried as far as things were with her.. we finally had a solid appointment last Friday. I was in divisions with Elder Marin while Elder Jackson was in Bolivar. So we went that night and brought some peaches and dulce de leche for them (that's a popular dessert here). At the beginning we caught up and laughed for a bit. Then as we started the lesson, I was super nervous to bring up baptism cause she usually gets a bit nervous when we talk about it. As I started to talk about it though, she caught me off guard and said "ya so with the baptism thing... I was actually going to tell you guys.. I've been thinking a lot about it and I'm going to do it..." jaw. on. the. floor. haha I just said "oh!....uhh. ok!" ha then we had a great lesson after that reading some scriptures about baptism and talking about how it will all go down. So anyway this Saturday she gets baptized and I'm super excited. Obviously to have a baptism is always exciting, but mostly I'm just so excited for the progress I've seen in her and Nicolas as I've come to know them. She is seriously so prepared and is doing it completely for her and because she feels it's right. Not just a baptism.. a convert :)

Well sorry for the shorty.. and I have no pics. I'm a dummy, but I love you all and I hope you have an hermosa semana!

Elder Jolley