Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Second week here in Bahia.

The time goes by even faster here in the office and I hate it. You think it would feel longer with more work to do but nope! more work = less time. 

Yesterday we had the first zone conference in Necochea. After a lot of studying and prep over the weekend for my individual part and our part as a companionship, I think it went really well. We are focusing in these conferences on Chapter 1 in Preach My Gospel, as well as the Restoration. I could feel the spirit guiding me to remember and present what I had prepared and studied. Of course there were a few slow points to fix and some other tweaks to make, but we're off to a good start! We have today and half of tomorrow here in Bahia until we head out for Viedma in the south (with the penguins... nice and toasty haha). Then Friday we might be taking a p-day with Pres. and Hna. Cifuentes to go whale watching! Cooool. First we have to make sure there will be whales. Updates to come.

Sorry for the shorty. Here's a pic from our baptism last weekend for Isidro and Gladys. They both have been going through a two year process of fixing divorces and preparing to be baptized so it was really special for them.

Love you!

Elder Jolley

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hi family!

Well. The fast life just got a bit faster.

This week has literally felt like a month. I have been so busy, tired, and most of all, happy! So many things have changed and happened, and unfortunately I have no time to talk about it.

After about 8 months, I left Olavarría last Sunday. Leaving my precious ward, investigators, and zone. Hard to leave, but it was time for a change.

 Saying goodbye to my ward, investigators, and zone in my beloved Olavarría. This is with my Bishop (Bishop Jose Luis Medina) in Olavarría.

I am now in Bahía Blanca serving as the assistant to the President. A true call to obedience for me, but such a blessing and opportunity for growth as well. 

Spent the first night in Bahía at the "Last Supper" with the dying missionaries.

My companion is Elder Jonathan Zenkichi La'akea Paleka from Kauai, Hawaii. I don't even have to describe him anymore for you guys to understand how much I love my new comp.. haha! I'm very blessed to have such a great companion who works hard, is a spiritual giant (not too much on the physical side.. he's kinda short haha), and that I love to be around. We've actually been super good friends my whole mish so it's just been awesome. I have learned so much already from him in just the few days we have been together and I'm very excited for the transfer ahead. This is his last transfer as well (nooo!) so we're going to soak it up, work hard, and have a great time.

Elder Paleka and I when we met in Mar del Plata the first week of my mission.

That's about all I have time for, sorry. This next transfer is zone conferences so I will be traveling around the whole mission. This Sunday we leave for Necochea. You know what that means... ROAD TRIP! I still haven't driven the truck yet, but President is going to press the magic "permission" button on my account in the next couple days. Ahh. It's been a year without driving and I believe it's been too long :)  I've been having dreams about driving the mission truck every now and then this past transfer... odds are I've been "sleep-shifting" in my sleep as well. haha I'm so excited.

Love you all so much! I'm happy and off to work!!

Elder Jolley

 (left to right) My new comp Elder Paleka, Elder Bosco the AP I replaced (from Provo.. Robby Bosco's son), and me :) One of the best and worst jobs of an AP.... sending off the missionaries going home. Great, but sad. It's always nice though cause the next day you get to pick up the new missionaries. 

 Morning studies in McDonalds with Elder Paleka. Yumm!

 At the wedding of our investigators Isidro and Gladys who are getting baptized tomorrow :)

 Making lunch with Elder Guerrero and Elder Alvarez for Pday in the mission home after a good game of soccer with the office this morning. (started from the bottom now we here).

 Eating with President and Hermana Cifuentes, Elder Paleka, and the rest of the office (that's Elder Tucker there in the middle and Elder Frischknecht on the right).

Selfie out of the window of our Ford Ranger (named Patricia) with Me, Elder Guerrero, Elder Frischknecht, and Elder Diaz.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hey all.

Last week of the transfer! super weird. 

So Elder Jackson died and we got him off last Thursday night. Right now I'm in a trio with Elder Tew and Elder Bennett for this last week. 

Nothing too exciting this week besides a leadership conference in Bahia tomorrow, then transfers at the end of the week. Yay! haha. I love this area and my zone but I'm ready for a change :)

Yesterday for church my mission leader (Elias Fuentes) came and picked me up to go to my ward. That was SUPER weird being at church without a companion, and I had to explain why about a million times cause all the members thought I had a runaway comp or something.."no he's just dead." haha. 

Going to the lesson for Damian and Micaela with the Hermanas (Bartholemew and Cardenas)

Anyway so I had 4 investigators there with me. woo hoo! Sandra, José, and Malena (the hippies) as well as Zulma. Zulma really liked it and stayed the whole time as usual. The hippies... left after sacramen,t not very pleased haha. I think Sandra went with the intention to find reasons why she doesn't like our church... and obviously she found them in our imperfect members.. "she didn't say hi and he wasn't listening to the talk and she pulled out her phone... yadayada... dumb." Then José opened up the Book of Mormon and just happened to read the verse where Nephi kills Laban with his own sword... HA! Not the best place to enter into the story. Obviously there was a reason behind it and it's not that he was a murderer or anything.. but José wouldn't listen to me and wasn't very happy about it. I think Malena loved it because she always loves the lessons and does the assignments we leave.. but José and Sandra are her parents so she didn't really have a choice to stay or not. Bummer.

That's pretty much it for my week. It's fun having transfers come and already knowing where you will be and who your companion is... and I'm happy about all of it. I will give you guys the details next week though. 

Happy Transfers :) packing isn't fun.

Elder Jolley

So Elder Jackson died (went home) this last Thursday. He left earlier than we thought and we had to get up at 2:30am to go catch his bus. We had a good last week of work and some great lessons. It was my goal to help him finish well and finish working and I feel like that happened so.. all is well :) He arrives in Oregon (his home) today at noon. R.I.P.

So here I am now, staying with these goons (Elder Tew and Elder Bennett) on the other side of the city in a trio! We call ourselves Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and let me tell ya we are on FIRE down here ;) Ha, but really we have been working hard walking between our TWO areas (almost the whole city) and have had a lot of lessons, all while havin a good time :) 

 Walking home from service this last week with Elder Bennett, we saw a sheep tied up by the river just chillin and eatin grass with no one else around... and I couldn't resist the temptation to get some selfies with a sheep! haha So we sat down and chilled with it for like 5 minutes and took some pics. He loves us and we named him Kyle :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Alrriiiiight. Another quick email, so sorry. Also no pics...sorry again.

So this is Elder Jackson's last week. He leaves this Sunday for the good ol' US of A. "Byyyye buddy... hope you find your dad." Anyways so next p-day I have no idea where I'll be cause there will still be one more week in the transfer. Solo missionary?? Sounds good to me! ;) Just kidding.


Can't find Karen... we passed by her house SO many times before Thursday cause she said she was moving on Thursday. We think she was home a couple times too but she's ignoring us.. super sad. We hope and pray she's ok but I don't expect us to find her.

Damian and Micaela. This last week we passed them over to the Hermanas. The Hermanas joined us for a lesson with them and we talked about the Book of Mormon. We invited Damian to pray. He never has accepted the invitation to pray for us cause he always feels embarrassed about it and says "Naaaaah, next time, next time." But this time we talked it through with him and he prayed!!! It was super short and simple because right when he started the spirit was so strong. He got emotional and just thanked God for his family and that he was able to find a new job, then ended it. I was so proud of him. Like I've said before, they have so much potential and I love them so much. Sad to not teach them anymore, but Hermana Bartholemew and Cardenas are awesome so I'm not worried. Keep them in your prayers please.

Zulma and Barbara who came to church last week (not this week unfortunately) accepted a baptismal date for the 2nd of July! woo!

Brenda and Jesús. We had a lesson with them yesterday. Not sure if I have told you guys about them but they have the cutest little family. Jesús is a funny guy but SUPER hard hearted towards churches, especially ours. His wife Brenda is so cool. She has gone to church once before (not when I was here) and really feels that this is all true and wants it for her family, but she won't/can't make a move without the support of Jesús. We gave them a Book of Mormon last night. Brenda loves to read so I'm sure she'll have the majority of it read by our next appointment haha. (I told her I was doing the 30 day challenge... that's hard for me haha but I don't think she was impressed. She reads like a novel a week haha). Please pray that Jesús's heart will be softened (you think with the name he has he would be a little bit more inclined towards this stuff haha... nnnnope).

We have more investigators but I don't have more time. next week :)

I am doing very well. As the transfer comes to a close and I get ready for a new transfer and changes, I have been fasting and praying a lot as I've been making the effort to improve and prepare myself to become the missionary/leader that I, President, the mission, and the Lord need me to be. I've always struggled to get results out of fasting, and yesterday I felt so low and almost forsaken for some reason during church. I know my life is really not bad and I don't have anything to really complain about, but for some reason I just felt awful and alone. I read a talk recently by Elder Holland called "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence." It talks about how Satan will always make a push at us before an important step or change in our lives. This calling I have is really important to me, and I have felt so strongly the push from the adversary. Ryan recently shared with me that callings in the Church are catalysts for priesthood holders in that they can become a stepping stone or a stumbling block to our progression based on our efforts. I'm working hard to make this next step in my mission a stepping stone for me. After I broke my fast yesterday and with an effective study in the Book of Mormon and an afternoon of hard work I have felt that weight be lifted off my shoulders. I know that comfort came as an answer to my prayers and fasting from the Lord. I'm always so amazed and grateful for the patience that the Lord has for us amidst our imperfections, and for the faithful blessings that are always sent as we sacrafice and move closer towards him. 

Ok I gotta go haha, but I wanna share one more thing I found in my studies. So as I mentioned I am doing the 30 day Book of Mormon challenge (I got a bit behind, but don't worry, I'll catch up), and I was reading in Jacob 5. Verses 65 and 66 really stood out to me. I have a really hard time being patient with myself as I expect perfection, but I loved in these verses how the "Lord of the vineyard" doesn't want the bad taken out right away, otherwise the good would not grow properly. Instead he prunes and clears out the bad according to the growth of the good so one day we can bare good fruits. That was a really good insight and comfort to me. It's hard to thank Him for trials and weaknesses but I know that I have them because He can see my potential and He has a plan specifically tailored for me so that I can reach that potential.

I love you all. I KNOW this church is true and am SO SO grateful for the gospel and especially the Book of Mormon right now with this 30 Day Challenge. It just brings a fluidness and light into your life even when things are hard. 

Onward, Ever Onward :)

Elder Jolley