Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hello I'm cold :)

Haha...Well, Last week I was struttin around in my short sleeve shirts and stuff... not anymore! For some reason this huge cold front came in this week and I have been freezing my little niblets off (I don't know what a niblet is... but whatever it is, it's now frozen). Our house has a heater, but it doesn't work so in the mornings I turn on all the burners on the oven and stand there to warm/wake up a bit. Also I think I lost my columbia jacket cause I can't find it.. but I'm probably gonna buy Elder Jackson's coat from him because he's goin home soon :) Ha but all is well in Argentine Zion and the work goes on! 

Another great week under the mission belt. We will start with last Sunday. So none of our investigators showed up which was kind of a bummer, and we definitely got some stink eyes from some of the members during the meetings cause the gospel principles class didn't even happen haha... I just wanted to yell "Look, I'm sad too, ok!!" but it's ok because I know that we did all we could to get everyone there. We passed by everyone that said they would go that morning and called the others. Angelica didn't answer the door, Haide and Raul were "just barely getting up" and I literally laied down on the ground and fake cried cause I told them the night before that I would if they didn't go to church. Haha... that was fun :) She just said "bueno....bueno perdon!....bueno basta....ayy bueno vamos la próxima Dios quiere.." (we will go next week... if God wants) everyone uses that phrase and I hate it.... OF COURSE GOD WANTS. So anyway no one showed up and it's hard cause everyone works on Sunday... but this week will be better :)

It's been another week jam packed of lessons and appointments. We have a couple newbies on the investigator list.
Damian: A contact Elder Dement and I made when we were going to visit someone out in the boonies (a place called Barrio Ceco) when they were here. Damian is the coolest guy. He owns a meat shop and we actually contacted him as he was working cause we asked him for directions and ended up teaching him. He is so humble, has a little family with a wife and one little baby girl. He works so hard for them all the time and really wants the best for them. So far he has accepted so well everything we have taught him and really likes the Book of Mormon. He kind of reminds me of an Argentine Ryan almost (not a lot but kind of)... so I think that's why I like him so much.
Karen: A referral from Damian (what a stud... right?). She lives in Barrio Ceco and she's about 20 years old and lives on her own. She has a lot of problems with insecurity and her parents left her when she was really young and she's been abused and stuff... it's so sad. In just the short time we have been teaching her she has changed so much. She says she is so happy now and doesn't cry anymore because she feels like God is with her (she didn't know a lot about religion when we met her). She's super nice, and it was hard at first to teach her just because we couldn't go inside until we had Elias Fuentes (our mission leader) come with us one time because she lives alone. She gets attached really easily and always wanted to give us hugs and didn't understand why we couldn't, but now it's better because we've helped her to understand our purpose here and that we have rules and stuff. She's awesome though and it's been amazing to see the happiness that the gospel has brought her. She is nervous to come to church, but we are really hoping and praying she will.
Zulma: Zulma is a contact in Barrio Fonavi (where Angelica lives). We have taught her and her daughter Barbara a few times and they are so humble and receptive! We've had a lot of great lessons and when we explained about and invited her to baptism she was so excited and said "I need that... I really want to do that." Right now she is finishing up some work things cause she cares for old folks, and in a couple weeks she should be able to go to church. She will definitely get baptized :) and it's cool because Elder Tew and Elder Bennet are teaching her sister who lives in their area and she's exactly the same haha. woo!

We had a few volunteers from the ward this last week come help us with some lessons. So helpful! I love our ward. 

 Juan Antonio Mussi

 Pamela Lopez

Rafael Quinteros

Haide and Raul are doing well. She gets so excited when we come to teach them. I always walk in and she shakes my hand and looks in my eyes and says/yells "I missed you!" and she tells us how happy she feels after our lessons. Also Raul started praying! I guess he never prayed before we came, but Haide the other day told us that caught him praying haha. They're both so great. It's hard to get a lot of progress out of them because they aren't married... but are just friends, like they sleep in different rooms and don't have any intimate relations or anything... they just live together. We still don't know what we are going to do about that, but we have to either get them married or separated before they can get baptized.

Angelica is doing so-so as far as her health. We passed by at the beginning of the week after Sunday a ton to see if she was ok, but her neighbor finally answered and told us she was in the hospital. So we went and found her there. Poor thing is pretty weak.. but throughout the week we have visited more and she is doing a lot better now. We share scriptures with her when we go and gave her a blessing and she's always so grateful and humble about her situation. Not sure what will happen, but she still wants to be baptized. Updates to come.
Carlos... we passed by Carlos this week and he had a visitor. We knocked on the door and he came to the window and told us that we couldn't come in and that we couldn't visit anymore... no!! I hate Satan.. he seemed sad to say it though, as if he was pressured into it. We are gonna give it a bit of time and pass by later to see what happened.

That's pretty much it for my week I think. I wanna wish a Happy Birthday this next week to my dad and my brother Ryan. I love you both so much and I am grateful for the great examples of good men and worthy priesthood holders you are to me. Que se cumplan feliz :)

con amor,
Elder Jolley

 Pictures from our last zone meeting and Elder Wineager's birthday so we celebrated with brownies, ice cream, and a zone photo shoot.

 The hermanas had service with a lady in their ward and she gave them tons of concord grapes and they shared some with us so I made some homemade grape jam. Yum! I also made homemade peanut butter (no pics) so we have been enjoying some pb and js and stuff.

They don't have any fish sauce here in Argentina (for thai/indian food) and I really want to make some massaman curry so I am currently making homemade fish sauce haha :) It is currently fermenting, but I will send a pic of the results in a couple weeks when it's done.

Friday, April 22, 2016

I have bad news, good news, and news.. I will start with the news :)

News is that President cut our internet time in half so in the future it will be even harder for me to respond to individual emails. Please know that every email received is read and appreciated. I will do my best to respond in the short time I have and if I don't get to you I apologize. 
Bad news is we won't be skyping on Mother's Day...#universeshattered. BUT, good news is we will still be skyping! yay! #crisisevaded The reason we can't on Mother's Day is because we have transfers going on that same day. Personally I prefer to not skype that day cause I would be stressing and talking to you guys with a weird twitch in my eye if it was in the middle of transfers haha. Soooo the following week we will chat, laugh, and have a great time with no worries #hakunamatata

My dear family, I just love being a missionary :) I hope you all know that. This past week we have worked hard, worked efficiently, and worked with the spirit and there is nothing that makes me happier than feeling like I've put in 100%. The past little while in my mission I have felt really confused and frustrated with myself for not being at a higher level as far as my progression. I still have a long way to go, but this past week with the visit of Elder Bosco and Elder Dement, as well as a leadership conference in Bahía this last Tuesday, everything has felt really clear. I know what I'm doing, I know what needs to be done, and I feel confident that I can do it with the help of the Lord. As David A. Bednar taught, the light of progression comes gradually, similar to a sunrise, not immediately like flipping a light switch. This past week I had the blessing to see and recognize the progression I have made in the mission, thanks to the Heavenly help and guidance I have received. Time is aflyin', but I'm so grateful I still have a little more than half of my mission to dig in and build upon the progress I've made.

Quick Investigator update:
We have met and taught so many people this past week, but for now I will explain a bit about the 4 solid investigators we have.
Haide and Raul: Remember the old lady I high-fived last week? Well.. we paid a few return visits and now her and her partner (yes... unfortunately not married yet) Raul are investigators! They both came to church this last Sunday. Haide is from the Evangelical church and is very "Evangelica" but has SO much faith in Christ. Gospel Principles on Sunday was filled with loud, passionate commentary from Haide and a whole bucket load of "amens" and "hallelujahs." haha! I'm grateful for the patience of our members. :) The deal we made with her to get her to church was that we would go to her church with her that evening. So as we left our church on Sunday she goes "Alright so we're still going to my church tonight?" and Raul says "No! why would we go there? It's much better here in this church." Raul hardly ever talks so we all just looked around kinda shocked, and after a long pause Haide says "...Bueno." hahaha. Love it. Mostly we just read the BOM with them in our lessons because she loves it and we will work on getting them married. updates to come.
The third is Angelica. She's a cute 63 year old lady that lives in some apartments in the Barrio Fonavi by our house. She was a referral from another contact we made and we have been able to teach her a couple times with the help of members (because she lives alone) AND she came to church on Sunday, which is amazing because the poor thing has cancer and is really weak and can't do much. She has a lot of faith though and receives everything we share so humbly. She has a goal to be baptized April 30th and is really excited, please keep her in your prayers so that she can have the strength to come to church this Sunday and get baptized the next week.
Fourth is Carlos. He is an old guy who lives alone (yes... another old person. I don't know why either haha, I guess we just get along well with the older crowd). I don't know him too well because Elder Jackson and Dement found him and I only met him once so far. He wasn't able to come to church on Sunday, but is really excited to go this next Sunday. He has a goal to get baptized on May 7th. He's a really humble guy and feels kind of alone in his life right now and I can tell the messages he has heard from us make him feel happier. 

There are lots more people to share about, but no time. Thank you so much for your prayers in my behalf. They are felt. I love you all and hope everyone has a great week.

Elder Jolley

 Pic in the mission home with Elder Bosco from Provo (left) and Elder Dement from Texas (middle left), Elder Jackson and me. Great friends and examples.

 "Over the roof" shot with Elder Chronister

Goofin' around in a Taxi through Bahía Blanca with Elder Jackson

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Buen día queridos :)

It's been quite the week so far. Things are starting to cool off here on the other side of the equator. It's definitely nice to not be sweating all the time and I LOVE fall. Wearing a sweater around working makes me pretty happy to be honest haha. I really like sweaters :) The not-so-good part about the cold is that the "wear a suit jacket" rule will be put into play within the next few weeks. May 1st is the day and until about November I'll have to truck around in that... greeeat. Don't get me wrong, I like throwing on a suit coat every now and then for conferences and lookin like a shnazzy fachero, but working in one all day? Just another test of my pride I guess. ;)

So the work. Things are awesome right now. Sorry I have been short on investigator updates and stuff. As far as the ones I have told you about,  things have kind of died down unfortunately. 
Jacob's mom won't talk to us or let him be baptized so we are just going to leave that in the Lord's hands knowing that someday he will have that opportunity to make that decision himself and a higher chance of staying firm.

Maria will hardly give us two minutes to talk when we pass by cause she's always "muy ocupada chicos..." pssh. Heard that one before. ;) We've literally tried so many ways to just get a lesson with her. We offer service, tours of the church, movies, the whole shabang... but nothing works. So we'll have to turn our focus elsewhere for now. Hopefully she can notice a difference after a little bit of time without us passing and feel that it's true and blesses her. 

Carmen and Marcial. Pretty sure I told you about them... they are the couple that owns the chicken store? Anyway, COOLEST couple and super nice. They really want to listen to our message, but they literally work 24/7, it stinks. 

So ya kind of a rollercoaster as always, BUT, I don't know if I told you guys about how President called two more APs to travel around to all the model areas to help the zone leaders? Anyway, so Monday morning I get a call from my buddy Elder Bosco (from Provo) saying that him and his comp Elder Dement would arrive that night to stay with us for a week. WOO!! I have felt super lost on how to improve our work here for quite a while cause we just don't see any progress. So this week we have been working like freakin perros out here and have found lots of great people and had some killer lessons. President is teaching us a few new methods of working with numbers as far as goals and planning, and working more efficiently with our maps to be able to use all of our time efficiently. So far I'm in heaven. Obviously Elder Jackson I were working before, but I always felt like we just weren't reaching our potential, but this week with a few tips and tricks from Elder Bosco and Dement I end the day crawling into bed with a smile on my face, then I pass out from exhaustion. Also they have been going to the gym with us every morning so through the day my body is like "che. have mercyyy" haha. But I just say "shut up nene, walk faster" and we make it through :) In it's own way this week has just been a call to repentance for me, it's always hard to change and correct yourself, but my absolute favorite part about true repentance is the feeling of joy and satisfaction that fills you after. I love the mission and the fact that my time is flying by so fast freaks me out. I always heard it would from other returned missionaries, but you never really get it until you go on the mission and in the blink of an eye you have 11 months. Kinda scares me haha. I've been talking with Jackson and he gets home in June. WHAT??? Feels like yesterday I was on the phone with him on his way to the airport saying bye. So weird.

love my fam. love my friends. love my life. love the mish. love the Lord :)

-Elder Jolley

Funny experiences:

1. We were walking to an appointment out in the boonies this last week with a member named Angelina Lopez (ward missionary) and we walked by this big potato truck and I see something on the ground in the corner of my eye. I look over and see this dog (or satan in dog form.. still not sure) foaming at the mouth and breathing really raspy like a zombie. Haha so I yell "Rabies!" and Angelina yells "ALÉJENSE!!" ("get awaaaay" like finding nemo) and takes off. She's a little on the bigger side so it was impressive how fast she got away haha. Anyway luckily it was in pretty bad physical condition and couldn't chase us or anything. I know I have joked about the dogs here being like zombies.. and they are... but this one was freaky. I walked around for the next hour singing "... I am a child of Goooood..." in my head just to try to get the image out haha. Good times.

2. Elder Bosco, Tew, and I were contacting people in the area book the other day and knocked on the door of this old couple. They opened the door and the lady like jumps up all excited, comes to the door, and begins to tell us all about how Jesus had saved her from her wheelchair or something (she was pretty much yelling and spitting in my face haha) and how she could walk with a cane now. So I go "Wow! que bueno." And not sure why, probably out of habit, but I reach my hand in through the bars of her door opening to give her a high five (who gives an 80 year old lady a high five??). I think that was her first high five offer in her life cause she definitely didn't get it. Instead she comes closer and puts her forehead on my hand and yells "AMEN!!" hahaha. Oh man, I just sat there in shock. I guess being a representative of Christ, she thought I was offering a quick one-handed blessing? I looked at Elder Tew and Elder Bosco who looked all confused and we all just said "Umm. si. amen!" Pretty funny. I love contacting so much. I just laugh all day long at all the crazy people we meet. I wish I could just record all of them for you. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

So this will have to be a shorty cause zone bowling took a bit more time than we thought, but it was worth it! ha

Starting with conference. I think there were only about two talks in the entire conference that were a little bit not up my alley just cause of where I'm at and that I don't have kids, but besides that I LOVED all of them. A few favorites: Elder Eyring brought the spirit so well with his opening talk, such a good way to start off the conference. I loved Elder Stevenson's talk about losing keys (definitely had "losing keys" by Jack Johnson pop into my head during that talk), and Elder Holland (surprise surprise) really put the cherry on top at the end talking about how we can continue in that high level of spirit and not getting frustrated when things don't go as planned/desired. I definitely needed that.

This morning we had interviews with President and it went soo well. We had a great group chat with him and Hermana, and the zone at the beginning. It's been more than 6 months since my last interview so I was a bit lost on what to say or ask President in my interview. So I decided just to kind of wing it because I feel pretty good about where I am at. I know I have a lot to improve of course, but I know what that list of things are and I didn't feel the need to say anything to President. Anyway my interview went awesome. He basically just asked me how I am doing, then after that it basically turned into a one on one counsel between both of us as to how we can help the mission and missionaries to progress right now. I really appreciated that because I really felt like my opinion mattered to him. We discussed that and different doctrine for a while and in the end he just told me that he was happy with the work I am doing and to keep progressing. I loved it. I have a lot of respect for the guy.

Keep trying, keep getting back up, and keep progressing. I love you all :)

Serving the Argentines, the missionaries, and the good food :)

- Elder Jolley

Had interviews this morning with President. He and Hermana Cifuentes came and chatted with us. For breakfast we brought fruit, milk, annnnnd made DONUTS :) Elder Jackson, Elder Tew, Elder Bennet, and I stayed up a little past 10:30 and got up at about 5:30 to get them made. We made probably about 70 donuts haha. Chocolate, Maple, and regular glaze. President said after the meeting "Elder Jolley... I think next transfer you will be in the office cooking for us." 

 Zone p-day bowling! Never thought I would miss bowling, but we really had a great time!

 Bowling jokes and stuff.

 We had a creativity round and Hermana Cardenas couldn't think of anything so she just sat down for like 5 minutes saying "no sé!" haha

 We may be a small zone, but we make a perfect bowling set.

Argentine bowling :) This old man who is probably professional was there bowling and we invited him over to take a picture with us.