Monday, May 30, 2016

Hey family!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. Had a great day yesterday and I'm super excited for the year to come. 

 Hermana Bartholemew and Hermana Cardenas brought me a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a birthday note yesterday. Super nice. Also a phone call early in the morning of them both singing Happy Birthday in English. I also got a phone call from Elder Numbers in Bolivar, Elder Bosco and Elder Paleka (the APs, yesterday was Elder Bosco's birthday as well so we both just wished each other Happy Birthday haha), it was Elder Tannyhill's birthday as well so I called him Saturday night. Love my zone, and all my mission friends. Great people!

 So after church and lunch yesterday we went over to Damian and Mikaela's house because they were celebrating Alma's birthday and we wanted to stop bye. When we got there they surprised me with a cake as well! Soo nice... I love them so much. That was so cool of them to do. Anyway, so there were a ton of people there anyway for Alma and they all sang to me as well haha. 

 Theeeeen as we were about to leave, a clown got there! That was new for me haha... I didn't really like it haha. I was trying to get out the door, but Mikaela was like "You're not gonna stay for the clown?? just stay for a minute!" so I was like "uhhh ok." Anyway, so the clown was just playin with the kids and all was well... then Damian goes "Eh! It's his birthday too!" and then the clown came over and gave me candies and we took some photos haha.... ohh man I will never do that to my children. That's one to put in the books though haha.

Had quite the busy week and I wish I could give all the details. I will do my best though with the time I have.

So at the beginning of the week I went to Bahia to do the long-awaited "one signature" haha. Hermana Wilkonson and I got there about 10 on Monday night and I dropped her off in a taxi at some Hermanas house in Bahia, then went to the AP's house and slept in the quincha (extra barrak-type building out back) with a kid named Elder Coleman who is new. Then we had an early morning getting into downtown at about 5:30 and waiting until 8 for the government buildings to open and waiting in line. After signing the one paper and finishing all that up we went to the office and I spent the whole afternoon with the office because I was the only one going home that same day and all the other missionaries that were there went off to different areas to work while they finished documentation over the next few days. Anyways, this is really detailed so far, sorry. 
On the bus ride to Bahia I started a 30 day Book of Mormon challenge and got pretty far in that Tuesday while in the office. President came in later and the office took off for lunch. I had already eaten so I just sat in President's office with him and read the Book of Mormon while he worked. Eventually he asked me about what I was studying and that turned into a huge conversation about super cool deep doctrine concerning the plan of salvation and lots of other stuff. My brain left that conversation a little fried, haha, but I loved it. Then I went with President in his car to the mission home because my bus wasn't leaving until 9pm and I was going to join him, the AP's and a few of the office Elders for a family night with their investigators Ernesto and Ariel (the guys who came to fix our house a few weeks ago) and their families. We talked about the temple and the sealing covenant, and after the lesson ate cookies from Hermana Cifuentes and gave a few previews on her violin of some songs she was going to play at the wedding of Ernesto and his wife. Super cool. Then I left to catch my bus with Elder Killinger and Elder Tucker and went home.

The rest of the week was awesome. We had some great lessons with Sandra and her fam (the hippies), Zulma and her daughter Barbara, Damian and Mikaela, and we finally found KAREN! Yesss. Turns out her phone had broke and she was staying with her mom for a few days. Phew. 

Zulma and Barbara finally came to church yesterday and LOVED it. They were only going to stay for sacrament the first hour, then leave, but they loved it so much so they stayed for the full 3 hours.

This last week we had a lesson with our investigator Zulma and Soledad and David Soules from our ward came with us! I love them and having them and their testimonies there helped so much. I think without them Zulma probably wouldn't have come to church yesterday. Such a blessing to have such an awesome ward to help us.

Haydee and Raul came as well. That was probably my favorite birthday moment, to be able to see a few fruits of my labors and progress in people I leave. Karen was going to come, but didn't show up, not sure why but she doesn't have a phone for us to figure out. We also invited Damian and Mikaela, but they still struggle with the whole going to church thing... we're working on it. Sandra and her family want to come, but they went to Mar Del Plata yesterday. Next week will be better! 

Birthday gift from our investigator Haydee ("amen" high five lady).
We picked her up for church on Sunday and she invited me in real fast and gave me this! Also, she rape-kissed me on the cheek haha. She may be old, but she's fast! Super nice though, and I love how it's like a coffee themed mug... I just wanted to say "Ohh thanks so much! but we don't drink coffee remember?" I've actually wanted a cool mug for a while now so I love it.

I love the opportunities I am having right now and for the blessing of having a whole other year to serve my Lord and Savior. I'm so grateful for the people I serve and for the love I feel from them, from my family and friends back at home, and most of all from my Heavenly Father. I am very blessed.

Study your scriptures, say your prayers, go to church, and have a great week :)

Elder Jolley

So for my bday I wanted to make some Chicken Massaman Curry like I always used to get at Thai Village. Yum! Also it requires fish sauce so that finally gave me an excuse to drain the fish sauce... double yum haha.

 Before (look at the cute wittle fishies)

 During (fishies don't smehw vewy good..)

P.S. our house smelled like these fish until the next day. Every time we walked in the house it was super strong and it reminded me of Grumpy Old Men where the guy keeps sayin "pew.... peeeww" in his car haha.


Chicken Massaman Curry with homemade Naan (soo good)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Happy Birthday Elder Jolley!

Happy Birthday Elder Jolley!

Today, May 29th, is Elder Jolley's 20th Birthday! We love him are so proud of him. He is an amazing young man. He loves the people of Argentina. He loves to share the gospel and its joyous message. He is kind and witty and has a very fun and contagious personality. As much as we miss him, we wouldn't want him anywhere else as this time and are so grateful for his willingness to serve our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.

If you wish to send him a Happy Birthday!, email him at:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Another great week in Olavarria.

Last week after the leadership conference (which was great) we came back and got busy with work! We had service on Wednesday and helped the Sanabria family (less actives) to cement the outside of their house. Never made cement before haha... we had a great time though. Good exercise too.

This week we haven't been able to find Karen at home which kind of has us worried. She won't answer her phone and we passed by so many times at different times of day but never found her. Hope she's doing well and hoping to make contact this week. Our other investigators have been a little bit flaky as well this week (except Damian and Mikaela)... so that was kind of a bummer.

We found some new investigators while contacting this last week though. They are TOTAL hippies. They have this weird yoga hut in their backyard with all kinds of plants and herbs all over and their house is covered in paintings of hindu gods and Buddha... so that's different! Ha we really have no idea what to teach sometimes cause they're so "Yes, God is everywhere and we have to establish the connection of energy within" and stuff so it's kinda weird. We did have one good lesson on Saturday about the restoration though. They were asking good questions and understood I think... so we'll see how it goes!

Today I'm leaving to Bahia (again... hmm) to finish up some documentation. I guess they are missing ONE signature from me to be able to get my I.D. so this will be a really productive trip :/ I was trying to get a chance to do divisions with the AP's while I was there to at least do something worth while, but I guess they're in Mar Del Plata right now so I will just be reading the Book of Mormon a lot or something haha. Yaaay.

Love you guys.  Have a great week!

Elder Jolley

Leadership conference in Bahía last week.

The following are the zone leaders dying this transfer (except me.. .I'm immortal :) )

(left to right): Elder Kropelniki, Elder Bosco, Elder Never-dead, Elder Caparroz, Elder Jackson-Babe (our nickname for him), Elder O-Rourke, Elder Swanson (Swan-dawg), and Elder Bowen.

 One more. Elder Chronister.

All great examples and influences to me. Sad to see them go, but excited to see the replacements to come!

This last week we spent quite a bit of time with Damian, his (not yet) wife Mikaela, and their daughter Alma. We've had a couple great lessons with them and had a lot of fun as well. 
 We made them pancakes and smoothies one morning cause they wanted to try a "real" American breakfast. I also made maple syrup and they fell in love. They just can't pronounce maple to save their lives haha.
We also went to a little event here in Olavarria with them that the city put on. They had tents with food from all around the world. Lots of fun. Also Alma their daughter was pretty shy at first, but this last week she really opened up and loves us now haha. She calls us her "amigos" and even knows my name now. She says "Hola Holly" haha. So cuuute! We walk around at the fair and she just keeps looking back from Damian's shoulder and yells "Holly!!" and I go "Qúe??" and she goes "... Hola Holly..." haha then sometimes she answers the phone when we call them it goes like this: "Hola? Holly?" > "Hola Alma!!" "... Hola Holly. Venite a mi casa." (Hi Holly... come to my house.) 
I love them so much. We also found out this last week that they're just barely not in our area... noooo! So in the next little bit we will be transitioning them over to the Hermanas. Such a bummer... but I'll be fine as long as they get the best opportunity possible to receive the gospel. They're so prepared and if they make the decision to act I know they have SO much potential.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Alright I have no time to write cause we have to catch a bus to Bahia in a sec.

Skype yesterday was so great. Ha on the way there it was so weird to think that a continent away I was going to be able to see you guys and talk to you. It's a really strange feeling for me to be all the way over here, but for just that little time have my "real" life open up to me on a computer screen. It's like being in a dream, but realizing you're not dreaming... not sure if that makes sense but it's just weird. I really enjoyed it as well though. This time was so much better than the first I think. It was just really chill and natural, and I loved that, being able to just chat with everyone and be "together." Really cool.

Heading out right now for a leadership conference in Bahia. Excited to learn and improve.

For those of you who weren't in the skype call... Karen is going to be baptized! June 12 is the date we set. She still has a little ways to go but she's excited and willing to change and follow the Savior. The gospel is changing her so much and you can see it so clearly. I love it. (see the April 28th post for Karen's back story)

Yesterday Karen joined us for Stake Conference. woo hoo! She loved it although there was a ton of people and I think it made her a bit nervous. Plus she is super short so when we walked through the crowd she kept holding onto my suit coat so she wouldn't get lost haha. She said after the meeting that the testimony of Hermana Cifuentes (her and President talked) really touched her. 

Love you guys! So fun to see you guys yesterday, I love my people : ) Have a great week.

Elder Jolley

 Last p-day for lunch I made broccoli cheese soup for everyone and Cristian made BREAD BOWLS in his bakery. They don't exist here so Cristian and his Wife were fascinated when we put the soup inside haha. Soo good.

We Bought a ZOO!! (what a great movie)

Actually we didn't buy it, but we visited the zoo here in Olavarria last week for a zone p-day (minus Bolivar who had an appointment, they had to stay for the meeting on Tuesday). It was soo fun and FREE. I liked that. haha

We enjoyed seeing a wide variety of animals such as:


 Flamingos (so weird)

 Monkeys (sooo funny)

Annnd a group of wild yankees (what the Argentines call us) plus one Latina panda there in the back (Hna. Cardenas has a panda sweater on for the zoo haha)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Buen Día!

Alright...we'll get straight to the point. *drum roll* the news we've all been waiting forrrr....

So transfers came and went annnnd... I think we should scratch out the "Bahía Blanca" and put "Olavarria" cause I'm STILL HEEERE haha. Yep! I about dropped the phone when the AP's called on Saturday. I was 100% sure I was leaving. I didn't want to, then I convinced myself that it was ok, starting packing up a little bit Friday night preparing to leave.... then nothing. haha! I asked Elder Chicoma over and over if he was joking, but nope! 

So yes, I will be staying here in Olavarria until the end of eternit--... I mean the transfer ;) ha kidding. I was kind of ready for a change, but in the end I'm happy to stay longer to be able to help my investigators in their progression, AND I get to "kill" Elder Jackson, so that's cool. Last week was a bit of a hard week for Elder Jackson and I. I think with transfers approaching we both got down to the wire a bit with each other. Nothing bad, just a little on edge. Transfers came as a surprise to both of us though, but it was kind of a wake up call and we've had a great weekend coming to terms on what things we need to improve as a companionship. I really want him/us to have a successful and happy last transfer. There are some obvious changes we need to make and things to implement, but besides that I've just decided to sacrifice my pride and put him first (actually second cause Jesus takes 1st place) for these last 5 weeks. Wishhh me luck.

You may have noticed I said 5 weeks instead of 6. That's because Elder Jackson's flight leaves a week before transfers. Not sure what will happen with me at that point... solo missionary week?? ;) I wish, but probably not haha... updates to come.

Can't wait to talk with you guys on Sunday! 

Elder Jolley

Thursday, May 5, 2016

hello hello.

Ready for some more changes? The first one isn't too big... so now p-days are switching back to Monday... haha just when we started getting used to the whole Thursday thing, right? Sweeet :) No worries though. P-day is p-day whenever it is... and honestly sometimes I don't like p-days. I think if I didn't have like cleaning and shopping and other stuff to do I would just skip p-day sometimes to work more. 

Change number two... hasn't quite come yet, but this Saturday we have transfers (even though I swear they were just last week). I'm praying like crazy that I don't get transferred from Olavarria... but there's just that feeling in the air that I won't be staying too long much longer... about 3 days to be exact :( haha. Makes me think of Red Hot Chili Peppers "Sometimes I feeeel like I don't have a partner... sometimes I feel like, my only friend, is the city I live in, the city of angels. Lonely as I am.. together we cry" haha, there's a song for everything, right? This really is the city of angels though... and the angels are my investigators, my ward, my missionaries, etc. I love them all so much. One of the things I have noticed on my mission is the ability and blessing I have had to really love people... to be able to see their potential and to just desire with all my heart that they can reach it. It makes me so happy when they make correct choices, and crushes me when they don't. It's been such a testimony builder of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. A question that has been in my mind for the past little while as I have felt so inadequate and imperfect and simply stupid at times (as well as being around some inadequate/imperfect/stupid people), is: WHY did the Savior do it? WHY did He sacrifice Himself for us.. for me? I've heard all my life that it was out of love that He did it... but WHY does he love us? I still don't have the whole answer, but I've realized, especially this last week as I realize that I might leave these people, that if I, being a puny human (<--said with a nice Arnold Schwarzenegger voice), and an imperfect, rebellious sinner, can see the good and the divine potential in these people that I serve, how much more can our Heavenly Father and the Savior, being perfect and knowing us perfectly, see the good and the divine potential in all of us? How much more do They rejoice when we make correct choices, and how much more does it crush Them when we don't?

I'll step off the pulpit before my rant turns into a novel haha, but that's been on my mind a lot lately and it's been a special experience for me to feel and know even just a sliver of the endless love that They have for me and for the people I serve here. I know our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us beyond our capacity to comprehend. They are cheering us on and will guide us as we humble ourselves and obey to reach that divine potential. And even though it crushes Them when we sin and rebel, I know it makes Them that much happier when we turn around and make steps towards Them, and that we are NEVER too far away to make that turn and move back in the right direction :) I know and am deeply grateful that these things are true.

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers... send me some tissues for this weekend :'( haha

Elder Jolley

 Passed by to say hi to some members that work in a panaderia (bakery) and they showed us their giant brick oven... let's make some pizza!!

 I've shared before we sometimes go help Cristian in his panaderia for service days, and Elder Tew and have a tradition of "camping" the night before on his balcony. With transfers coming we were thinking this would be our last chance, so even though it was a bit nippy outside we camped out one last time. I had like 6 blankets, it was freezing.

 Pic with Cristian Unzaga and his little fam (Irene and Diego) in their bakery. Love these people a lot.

Did service with Damian and his family yesterday at his wife's grandma's house. Choppin' some wood and other man stuff, woo!.... my back hurts ;) Going from not working out too much to chopping up like 7 trees is quite the workout. It was a lot of fun though, we had a great time. We told Damian on Tuesday about service day and he really didn't want to ask us for help, but we kept insisting and practically begged for service and yesterday we got a text in the morning from Damian saying "So we gonna cut some wood boys? Yessss! haha He said he just invited us cause "We look skinny." ... he's got a point.