Thursday, March 31, 2016

And so it begins.

Alright so first week down into the new transfer! Going on big number 4 here in Olavarria, and will be staying with Elder Jackson. He dies the transfer after this soo... maybe I will kill him? Guess we'll see!

 Things are finally settling down and we are getting somewhat back to normal as far as being able to actually work. That's one thing I always hate about transfers is that it just takes away from work time... then it's always hard to get back into it. It's kind of like swim team was... if I ever missed even a couple days of practice, the next time I showed up to practice it would feel like I was swimming in jello. I am really learning the importance of diligence and consistency in my mission and in the gospel. By being consistent in the "small and simple things," "great things (blessings)" are brought to pass.

Said goodbye to Elder Miller, Elder Howlett, and Hermana Palma. Sad to see them go, but we are excited to welcome three knew sisters! Hermana Bartholemew (Draper Utah), Hermana Robertson (Syracuse Utah), and our zone baby born this week Hermana Wilkinson (mapleton utah). Yep..that's a zone of 50% Utahns, 100% North Americans, and 10% Latina.. poor Hermana Cardenas haha. Looking forward to a great -platinum- transfer! :)

So as I explained in the pictures, we have some changes in the zone. We replaced the Elders, Miller and Howlett in Azul with Hermanas Robertson and Wilkinson, and Hermana Palma was switched out for Hermana Bartholemew. Fun Fact: I was Hermana Bartholemew's District Leader in Bahia for that one week with Elder Staples before I got emergency transferred here. That was her first transfer in the mission and I never actually met her in person. Just talked to her a couple times on nightly calls, then I disappeared from the area haha. So it's kind of fun to meet her and have her in the zone. The other Hermanas are super cool too. Hermana Robertson kind of reminds me of Natalia, just whiter (very tall, somewhat shy at first, but when she opens up she's pretty funny). Then her daughter in the mission, Hermana Wilkinson, is super nice and already speaks Spanish really well, it's impressive. We love the looks of our new zone, I think it will be great! Lot's of solid missionaries :)

That's all that I have time for today. The internet wouldn't work in the internet cafe and all my time got soaked up.. so it's gonna have to be a short one this week. So excited for Conference... still can't think of a question I want to go in with because I have millions and can't choose haha, but mostly I am just excited to receive advice from my Heavenly Father through his servants on how I can improve as His son and servant at this time in my life. Progress progress progress, that's what it's all about :)

Les amo a todos. Felices Pascuas

Elder Jolley

 left to right: (Hna Cardenas, Hna Bartholemew, Hna Robertson, Hna Wilkinson)

 left to right: (Elder Jackson, me :), Elder Tew, Elder Bennet)

Pizza, playing pass with my Christmas football, and three-legged races in the park today for p-day. Sad to have missed Elder Numbers and Elder Wineager who decided to stay in their area for p-day, but excited to have everyone together tomorrow for the zone meeting!

As a going away gift to the go-ers, and a welcoming gift to the come-ers, Elder Jackson and I made homemade maple donuts. Mmm... first time I've had a maple donut in almost a year. We made like 4 dozen donuts haha. Very worth it though :)

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Not too much to talk about this week. It's been another one of those weeks of traveling and meetings so not a lot has happened besides that.

We had a leadership meeting in Bahia on Monday with all the zone leaders, district leaders, and sister training leaders. That was cool and I got to see a lot of good friends including Elder Tannyhill, so that was a lot of fun to catch up. Right now President is making a lot of changes and focusing on improving our planning and goal setting as a mission. In his job he worked a lot with numbers and quotas so his methods are really efficient from what I have seen. This past transfer we as zone leaders were asked to build model areas and President called us every week for our numbers and in the conference showed us a few excels and graphs of our progress in making model areas. It was impressive and really nice to see the improvement we were able to make over that time as we worked more efficiently. Right now President is sending two "Traveling Assistants" out to all the model areas to help train them to plan and use their time more efficiently to be able to get more work done. So far they have only done that in 4 out of the 12 model areas, but it was amazing to see the jump in numbers from each of those areas that they visited and trained. They still haven't been to us, but I am excited to implement the new methods and use my time even more effectively. A lot of times I feel like we work good, but that we could be doing a lot better, so I am excited to have that training and model to follow. 

I definitely have improvements to make as always so I'm excited for my upcoming "platinum" transfer. Right now I trying the "purification process" as of Sunday. Elder Tannyhill and I are actually doing it together which is nice. I had shared that talk with him a while back and he loved it. We both struggle with similar things in the mish so he just jumped on board with me. So far I have seen a difference and have had a lot of cool spiritual experiences this week. One of them being an opportunity I had to give a blessing to Hermana Cardenas. I won't give details, but as I gave the blessing I truly felt the spirit guiding me as thoughts were brought to my mind and words to my mouth to help her. That was a cool testimony builder of the priesthood for me. So cool. 

Love you all! Happy Transfers! We find out on Saturday, and I'm super nervous cause President says there will be ton of changes... and I really love Olavarria haha.. but either way I know it will work out for the best :) Wish me luck.

Elder Jolley

Scripture of the week: D&C 31:13

 Zone Pics
(left to right): Hna Cardenas, Hna Palma, Elder Miller, Elder Jolley, Elder Muah, Elder Howlett, Elder Tew, Elder Benett, Elder Jackson, Elder Wineager, Elder Numbers

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Buen día a todos.

Well. Another week of ups and downs. Let's start with some ups, shall we?

Ok so last week we had a lot of great lessons and progress and invited Maria and Leo to church. We passed by their house Sunday morning before church really excited to pick them up. Then after knocking a few times... no show. Yes, bummer, but we continued on and picked up Jacob and Santiago and walked with them to church. That was awesome because we were really worried that their mom wouldn't let them, but she has been a bit more cooperative lately so that's nice. So we show up at church and we are chatting and welcoming people and all that. THEN, right before sacrament meeting starts we start to walk into the chapel and out of the corner of my eye I see someone at the gate to the church. LEO!! This little stud had slept in.. but woke up after we knocked and remembered his promise to attend. So this kid gets on his bike and pedals after us 15-20 blocks all by himself to church. Maybe not the craziest thing to you guys.. but it was obvious effort on his part and it made us beyond happy. He stayed all three hours, loved it, made lots of friends (with the help of our amazing ward), and will be going to mutual this Saturday... which he talks about every time we pass by haha. I love the kid. We were a bit bummed that Maria couldn't come, but she seemed to be sincerely sorry when we followed up with her and we hope she can come this next week. 

Second "up." Jacob is ready to be baptized.. the only thing holding him back is his parents, but tomorrow the bishop is coming with us to their house to talk with his parents about it. I really hope they will be workable... overall if it doesn't work out, at least we will have prepared him and planted a good seed, and he can make the decision later in life without being dependent on his parents to stay active. What matters most is that he has a good support and probability to stay strong.. and if it's not right now, then God will provide him more opportunities. We'll see what happens :)

That's pretty much it for the week. We haven't had a lot of lessons because Maria has been sick in bed and no one else seems to be home. That's been hard. I'm grateful for the low points in our lives though because they help us to see how dependent we really are in our Savior, and how important it is to have faith and press on through those low points. Sometimes the low points come just because we need some humbling or a specific lesson... and sometimes they come from our own disobedience/weaknesses. The end of my "Golden Transfer" is approaching.. and it really has been golden.. I have a lot to be grateful for, and being able to serve the Lord in any way possible is always a blessing. This Sunday I will be fasting and starting the "purification" process from a talk that Alyssa shared with me in preparation for this next transfer. I have lots to improve and the more I can humble myself and sacrifice, the more I will be able to work with the spirit and be strengthened/taught by my Savior. I'm calling this next transfer (get ready)... the platinum transfer... BOOM *drops mic.*  We goin' platinum baby (just like all my records would be.. if I had records).

Here's to another week serving the Lamanites, love you guys.

-Elder Jolley

Quote of the week: "get your game face on." - my Halls Cough drop wrapper "A pep talk in every drop." I have a cold so I've been getting pep talks from my cough drops all day long and it's actually quite uplifting. Thanks Halls :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Muy Buenos Días :)

This week was a good one! We have 7 investigators right now and they're all progressing pretty well! Slowly... but steadily and I love each one! #goldentransfer I will just give updates on each real fast.

Jacob: His mom is still being a bit stubborn on letting him go to church and stuff. He didn't go last Sunday, but hopefully we can get him and Santiago there this week. We taught them a lesson and played some soccer yesterday. They continue to be really into the lessons and literally remember EVERYTHING haha. Also a couple of their friends come to play soccer with us (a kid named Esteban and his sister Guadalupe) and we've been teaching them too. 

Carmen and Marcial: These guys are a couple that own a poultry store. We saw Marcial outside with his little puppy "Felipe" one day and went to talk with him. He then showed us around their little store and we met his wife Carmen. The NICEST people ever. They gave us some milanesas (breaded chicken) and some chicken patty things when we left. They have a really complicated schedule, being newlyweds (about 35 years old each) so it's hard to teach them, but we were able to chat about the Plan of Salvation in the store one time and have a mini lesson which went well, and they invited us to come have dinner with them, not this Sunday, but the next and we will be able to sit down with them for a bit. In between now and then we will just stop by the store to say hi. This last Sunday was Carmen's birthday and we brought them some homemade banana bread with lemon icing. brownie points :) or should I say... banana bread points? ;) heh heh..

Maria and her two sons, Leo and Carlos: Maria is probably our strongest investigator right now. She is the one who had her husband pass away and we talked about the plan of salvation with her. Things are going well and she has been praying. Next lesson (tonight or tomorrow depending on how busy she is) we will invite her to be baptized, as well as her sons. I'm excited #goldentransfer

 Meet our investigator's (Maria) son, Leo, or as I like to call him, "Mista Steal Yo Gurrrl." Stud! haha He's the funniest little kid ever (I died when I saw his shirt because he has no idea what the words mean.. just like all the other people in Argentina when they wear shirts with English phrases on them). We had a really good appointment with Maria about the Plan of Salvation last Saturday after dropping off the cake, then after Leo wanted to go to his friend's house, but his mom is kind of overprotective of him and was super worried cause it was starting to get a bit late... so we told her we would walk him there. On the way he was showing us how he could go off the curb on his bike and make huge skid marks. I was laughing so hard.. ya gotta love him :)

Celeste: A woman we have been teaching who has a boyfriend and a daughter. Kind of a complicated situation and she has a hard life. She gets emotional and the spirit is really strong every lesson we have with her, but she has a hard time keeping commitments, we are working on that.

This past Tuesday we had a really good Zone meeting. The first one in a few weeks due to complications the past little bit. It was awesome to have everyone together again. It was also Elder Tew's birthday, so at his request I made tacos for the zone and he brought a Hershey's chocolate cake to share. Very good. We had a really great meeting and it was really satisfying to feel like a good example due to the fruits we are having in our area right now. Not in a "rub it in everyone's face" kind of way, but it was nice to be able to demonstrate and testify of the happiness and success we are receiving from hard work.

Two funny things:
1. When we teach Jacob, we always sit on this huge tire all together in a group during the lesson. It's a bit short so usually my leg like falls asleep after a little bit of time. Anyway so this last appointment, we finished the lesson and the prayer and got up to go play one last game of soccer. I stood up super fast and apparently my legs weren't ready for that so I fell backwards flat on my back... all the kids laughed at me Mom... it was humiliating. ;) haha It's a good thing God keeps me humble.
2. There is this house we always pass on our way to Maria's house, and this crazy old lady lives there (also named Maria). She's like 179 years old, has no teeth, her lips are like sucked into her mouth, she NEVER blinks (I've watched... trust me), and is always smiling. Also she has a crazy son with a beard and he looks like Rambo. Anyways, so every time we pass they like freak out and call us over. So we go over sometimes and the son just says crazy stuff like "I'm a god... but I'm not the god of the... you're not god. god is.... come inside my house!" Then he goes inside and insists that we come in and we just say "uhh no thanks." Then he brings out a plate of stale crackers and insists that we eat some saying "soy amable! soy amable!"(I'm friendly, I'm friendly). Then he asks us for a paper and a pen and continues to write gibberish all over our agendas... meanwhile his mom just sits on a chair staring at me with a crazy look in her eye saying "soy religiosa" (I'm religious, I'm religious) then she goes on and on about how she prays and goes to the Catholic church and sleeps with god... haha!
This place is like a giant looney bin sometimes... but it keeps you entertained :)

Les amo a todos.

Elder Jolley

 This last week Emma turned 1 years old :) Nadia threw a super cute Minnie Mouse party for her at Nico's mom's house. We made a little vanilla cake with strawberry icing for the party and passed by that night to drop it off. I was super proud of our cake, then we showed up and Nadia's sister had made all these dope cupcakes and a Minnie Mouse cake.... hmm. haha! Anyway, we stayed to sing Happy Birthday (we did it like 2 or 3 times cause Sarah wouldn't stop blowing out the candle), took some pictures and took off. I love them. Such a solid family and I'm still so grateful I was able to be a part in helping Nadia come into the church.

 This last Sunday we had Elder Tew and Elder Bennet over for Sunday dinner and I made your chicken enchiladas. They turned out a lot better than I thought they would. We made homemade tortillas and even some homemade sour cream. Yum! I love cooking your recipe's Mom, it's a fun way to bring a little piece of home out here with me :)

"Pass the Cake" - So Nadia and Nicolas live on the same street as us, but about 10-15 blocks away... but the thing is that there is a rail yard in the middle of us so we have always had to walk like an extra 10-15 blocks to go up, cross the tracks, and come back down to their house. So this last week we got sick of that and decided to find a way somehow through the rail yard to make a shortcut. The rail yard is bordered with a barbed wire fence... but this is Argentina... so of course we found a little opening that we can squeeze through (takes some flexibility) to get in. THEN we had to climb over, under, and through like 5 different trains to get to the other side. So we did that the day we brought the cake because we didn't have much time to drop off the cake before an appointment we had that night with Maria. It was super funny though cause we had to play "pass the cake" the whole time and we looked so random just walking through this rail yard with a little pink cake. haha! So of course we got a pic.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

What a week! 

Not too much time so I will get right into it. This last Saturday was probably the best day I have had in my mission (for now :)). We contacted in the morning and got hardly any. Then in the afternoon we passed by Jacob's house to remind him and his mom about church (his mom didn't end up coming, but Jacob and his brother Santiago did.. woo!). 

 This is one of our new investigators :) His name is Jacob and he is 11 years old. His mom is an inactive member that was baptized 11 years ago. We are working on reactivating her, as well as working with Jacob towards his baptism. This last week we taught him the Restoration and played a few games of futbol. He's a super smart and witty kid, keeps us laughing, plays soccer quite well, and looves to go to church. It's almost weird how receptive he is. I love teaching little kids! Sometimes he is a bit crazy.. but when we teach him something he's super good at remembering it. We also teach his 7 year old brother Santiago (with the glasses.. see picture). Cutest kid! He reminds me a ton of Cooper and I love it. Funny story: So I sat by him during sacrament on Sunday and he looked a bit bored during the talk so I pulled out our cell phone and pulled up a little car game we have to keep him occupied and turned to give it to him. When he saw he just shook his head, looked at me and whispered "How am I going to listen if I'm playing a game?" *chick-chick-BANG!* My jaw just dropped and I whispered "Oh... ok sorry." haha! Humbling moment :) 

Then after (this is the good part) we were about to go to a baptism that the Hermanas were having in their area next to us, because we didn't really have anything important to do. So we left Jacob's house and as we were walking I just felt bad about going to the baptism. Not that it was a bad thing.. but as momma always used to say.. "good, better, best!" So I asked Elder Jackson if he wanted to just skip the baptism and contact and try to get to our goal of 20 instead (that morning we had gotten about 3). He said sure and so we turned around and went contacting, and I'm not kidding when I say that RIGHT after making that decision the spirit just took over for the rest of the night. We decided to visit an old referral so we talked to a woman to ask if she knew where the street we were looking for was. We ended up chatting with her and I felt like I should ask about her family. She ended up telling us that her husband had died a year ago and she looked pretty hurt. I then bore my testimony to her that she would see her husband again and that the message we carry could explain how. The spirit was so strong and the woman began to cry. She said we could come back to teach her and we pressed on. Every single contact after that went so well and we found so many great people. At about 8:00 we had 15 contacts and had to start towards home because we were pretty far away, but we were determined to reach our 20 and had faith that it was possible. Just as we finished discussing that, we walked to the next block and passed some kids playing futbol and as we passed they asked us if we wanted to play. We said "Sure!" and went over to talk to them... there were 5 kids. :) Plus another that came later on. Before we left we told them about the church, and mutual, and that we could help them with their English homework.. haha. That got their attention! They all gave us numbers and we will be working with them later on. #goldentransfer

The kids we met and played futbol with at the end of the day on Saturday.

Not everyday is like that, but everyday that I work hard, and every time I make the decision that I know would please my Savior the most, I know that the influence of the Spirit is involved. I feel really insufficient for this work at times and feel like I don't know how to work or teach, but it doesn't matter because all I have to do is try my best and strive to have the spirit and after that I become an instrument and everything runs smoothly. I loove being a missionary!

Before I go, I want wish a happy birthday to one of the best missionaries I know, who turns 20 this next week! Happy Birthday Sister Tycksen. Thank you for your example and friendship to me. I... respect you lots :) #missionarytalk

Elder Jolley

P.S. I heard "Love Bites" by Def Leppard in the store this past week... and you better believe I did a subtle air-guitar solo just for you Pops :)

 Downing some milk after eating that darn chile.. Glad you guys enjoyed my pepper video haha. This past week I had to sleep with sweats on, and eat an onion like an apple, cinnamon challenge, and eat a pepper again. No videos sorry haha.. but I will tell you that eating an onion like an apple is NOT something you want to do.. bleeeh! The contacts goal is hard to meet, but we have reached it a couple times, and it motivates us to contact more. Personally I think it's motivating and fun.. but I don't think Elder Jackson is a huge fan of it so we will see how long we keep up with it.

Las Malvinas...  long story. Ask Brayden.