Monday, August 29, 2016


Had a great week! This last Saturday we had the baptism of Sabrina Brustles and she was confirmed yesterday at church. At first we were a bit nervous about the baptism because everyone showed up late, but it went really well in the end. She's a bit shy and.. rebellious for lack of a better term... especially towards her parents. She's really nice, but kind of puts up a "too cool" wall sometimes. Anyway, so when her dad baptized her she came out of the water and started to cry and just stood there hugging her dad. Super sentimental and stuff :) haha kidding... the spirit was really strong though, successful baptism!

Things continue to go well in our area. Our investigators Gabriela and Nazareno both told us on Friday that they want to be baptized when we stopped by to say hello real fast. We haven't had an appointment yet to set a date unfortunately and they didn't show up to church, but we are hoping to see progress there this week. The Laspina family is also doing really well. On the fifteenth they will take out a date for their wedding which should be towards the beginning or middle of October. So we have a goal to set a goal for right now, haha. They're awesome though, I'm helping their daughter Selena with English, their son Liam is my little buddy and always sits by me in church which makes my day, and their little baby Sabrina is the cuuuutest. Oh man it's too bad missionaries can't hold babies cause I could just dunk her in my coffee... but we can't drink coffee either so I'm a bit stuck there. Anyways, she's just always happy and chill and does this little laugh when I make funny faces at her and it kills me haha. I love that family. They're a blessing to me for sure.

Things were a bit hard this last week for me. Ups and downs which isn't anything new, but I think I got a little whiplash from a couple of the downs haha. I won't bore you with details, but I think I've just been a bit low on battery or something. I hate feeling impatient, annoyed or angry... especially on the mission because it just doesn't make sense.. "Hi I represent Jesus Christ, but my attitude sure doesn't." I heard a quote once that I think I've shared with a lot of you, it goes "Courage is having the strength to continue after the emotion has passed." We all come out here on the mission, or start different phases in our lives with all this pizzazz. Then we hit a point every now and then that it's like "sooo uhh... how long is two years again?" or "wait.. how long did I have to study to get this degree?" Or whatever it is. I've been trying hard lately to improve my studies. I loved the quote my mom shared with me this morning that said "A mission is to know Him, and to make Him known." I need to know Him  and I need to treasure up His word for myself. "Recharge my batteries" in a sense. I know the more I have Him on my mind and the more like Him I become, the quicker my companion, obedience, stress, temper, etc. problems will fade away, or at least become so light or small to me that they won't hold me down.

Love you guys. read your scriptures, say your prayers, and "go to church!" 

Elder Jolley

Monday, August 22, 2016

fam bam.

Half way through the transfer. There are some interesting changes coming up this next transfer.. nothing set in stone yet, so I won't say anything else, but I'm excited for what's coming.

Things are going great our way. We have the baptism of our investigator Sabrina this Saturday. She's from an incomplete family in our ward and we've been teaching her for a couple weeks, so we're excited about that. Also the Laspina family is progressing beautifully. They are very humble and prepared. The recently converted Vasquez family in our ward (from Paleka and Chicoma) decided to go to a different church on Sunday... so that was kind of unexpected. Personally I think they were a bit more converted to the missionaries than the gospel, so when Paleka left they kind of tanked. We pass by every now and then to share a scripture, but before the missionaries were ALWAYS at there house... so I think they expect that from us and personally that's a waste of time to me when they've been baptized and our duty is to go find the people who haven't. Kind of a rock in a hard spot there, but we'll see what happens. The ironic part was that we showed up as they were leaving to the other church last night, and our current investigators Vanesa and Maxi (golden lesson last week) showed up all fancied up to go with them! ERRRRKLSDFALKDJF not cool,

There's not much else to talk about. This last Saturday we watched the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie with Sabrina, her fam, and the Maneiro family (our converts from last transfer). Man that gets me every time. I think my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel in general has really solidified on the mish. Wow not even kidding, the spirit just sat there hittin me like a punching bag during the whole movie haha. With all the opposition against the church... it would be so easy to just throw in the towel and give in to doubt. If we try to comprehend the gospel based on our own logic.. it doesn't make sense, and I can see why people have doubts.. but I just know. I know it's true. I can't prove it on my own, but God promises that He will... and He does whenever we seek with a sincere heart and real intent, having faith in Christ.
Doubt your doubts before your faith.

Elder Jolley

 The Laspina Fam. Our golden investigating family for the transfer. Working right now on getting a wedding date, then we'll go from there. We love them!

Me and Liam (the Laspina's son). This kid is an Argentine clone of childhood Brayden. Not kidding! Lisp and all ("Thanta told me, Dad!"). He sits by me in sacrament meeting and it's a blast. He's a little ADD... so I just give him my pen and a paper and name off everything I can think of for him to draw... it keeps him quiet for the most part, but I love it :) Also this last week we implemented the "on your knees" concept of family prayer. Liam usually has a hard time sitting still through the whole prayer, but in sacrament meeting for the closing prayer, Liam 5 seconds into it hops off the bench and kneels down for the whole prayer! Such a stud.. haha.

Elder Guerrero and I. Snapbacks and dope sweaters.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Alright totally walked out of the office after writing and realized "shoot.. didn't even write the fam." ha! Sorry. Anyway so I'm finishing up numbers here in the office so I'm sneaking in a couple lines real fast for the fam. Yes I'm sinning a little, but I'm just sitting here waiting for phone calls from zone leaders... and gangster rap made me do it.... k moving on.

This will be brief, but my week went fantastic. Things were a bit hard with the comp and there were a few minor problems. It was difficult and I must admit I was a bit negative about the situation in my head, just kind of wishing away my problems I guess... but soon realized that as always that doesn't help so I came up with a plan to fix it and a put down a rather eloquent execution of that plan last night in comp inventory, if I do say so myself ;) President always talks to us about trying to positively find ways to make it work with our companions because once we are married, "emergency transfers" will no longer exist, and we won't have a mission president to complain to. Smart guy, he's got a point. So anyway things are better there.

I can't explain how... but blessings and random investigators/referrals are raining like cats and dogs right now. Haha not kidding.. it's almost starting to not surprise me. Person: "Hey Elder we have a referral for you. It's a single woman who has heard the discussions before, wants the missionaries to come by, and has 10 children above the age of 8" Me: "Uhh... ok." One of these days I'm gonna walk into the office and a family is going to show up dressed in white. Like seriously this is weird. Random guy shows up to church and wants to hear more (tomorrow to be specific). Another family (Laspina family... currently attending church and making plans to get married) calls us saying they talked with the missionaries like 6 months ago and asked us to come by. Also our investigators that we already had before are all doing so well! I'm on cloud 9 right now.. my jaw is literally descending from my face as I type this haha.

Tonight I had the BEST lesson of my whole mission, with Vanesa and her boyfriend Maxi. People who I never expected even a mediocre lesson out of. We showed up. Chatted a bit. Laughed. Said nice things. You know, the uge (<---abbreviated form of usual. don't know how to spell that. "yoouge"?... moving on). Then normally at this point we cut the rif raf and say "k we got a message to compartir with ya." but not this time! We didn't have to. We just naturally transitioned into a lesson... I don't know where it came from, but all the sudden Maxi tells us about this dream where he's in front of all these men in suits (but like more like Catholic priest suits I guess... not missionaries) and he was angry with them and saying that God wants "sincere hearts and real intent"... light buuuulb :) So I took that and ran like the olympic dudes on the tv behind me (which a minute later Vanesa asked their friend Juan to turn off... WITHOUT us asking.. P.S. Juan and their other friend Esteban were homeless but live there with them for free because Vanesa and Maxi are saints... just not quite latter day saints hehe... they're both missin a few marbles so we focus mostly on Vanesa and Maxi but every now and then they make random comments). We dove right in to the restoration and Vanesa for the first time was just locked it. She was asking the perfect questions and the answers were just popping right into my brain, and apparently into my comp's brain to cuz he said some pretty good stuff. To make a long, awesome story short we ended with Moroni 10:3-5 OBVIOUSLY, and we read together the part where it said "and if ye ask with a sincere heart and real intent" (but in Spanish). Woof. I wish you could have seen the faces of Maxi and Vanesa when they connected the dots. Oh man the spirit was so strong. We challenged them to pray, promised blessings and bore testimony, then finished with a prayer. Best. :) And get this. As we are heading out Vanesa says "So when are you coming back??" *drop the mic*

Love my family, love my friends. I miss them all, but I love where I am, I love the people I'm with, I love these missionaries that I get to serve, I love President Cifuentes and his example to me, and most of all I love my Savior and stand amazed at the love that He offers me.

Elder Jolley

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hi everyone.

So I know I just barely wrote home, but we're back on normal pday schedule soo, why not :)

Not much has happened over the weekend. We did get a baptismal date set on one of our investigators named Gabriela this last weekend and her husband (yep, married!) wants to start coming to church. woo hoo! 

Last week was a bit hard for me changing companions. I've been with an American for the past long time so being with a latino 24/7 was weird for me. Not a bad thing at all, Elder Ortega is great, but it's just a different vibe and I can't express myself or communicate the same as I would with Paleka and that's been weird. Buuut as I've learned, Heavenly Father likes to throw in a plot twist every now and then when I start to get comfortable, so here we are.

So after having a bit of an adjustment week, it came time to start my fast for Fast Sunday, and I decided to fast that I would be able to have more charity and love for my companion. That Saturday night we had the chance to talk and were able to open up to each other a bit more. We both expressed ourselves humbly about things that are a bit difficult for us and gave each other advice, and he basically bore an informal testimony to me, and in that moment I felt an increased love and compassion for him, and the purpose of my fast popped into my mind. Almost as if Heavenly Father was saying "Hey so...if you didn't already put it together... I just answered your prayer." haha. I was super grateful and touched by that. I'm still going to have to put in the effort this transfer to be able to develop that charity for my companion and others around me, but I was especially grateful for that experience.

I love you guys. I'm very happy to participate in this work, even though many times I realize I know nothing concerning the depth of it's purpose and importance. However, I believe and have faith that I'm doing the right thing and following the footsteps of my Savior.

- Elder Jolley

Friday, August 5, 2016

Elder Jolley rn: *gasps for air after having his face held in front of a metaphorical fire hydrant named "transfers" for the last 7 days*

Jimminy Christmas it's been a long week. I didn't even have time to write even a sentence in my journal about all that has been going on, so we'll see how this whole "inform the fam" thing goes.

Let's start with highlights and after I'll get to details and funny stories if there is time.

- Elder Paleka is currently back in the celestial kingdom (Hawaii) and I am here with my new companion Elder Ortega from Uruguay.
- The recently new left hand man (me) of President Marcitos Cifuentes was just made the right hand man AND is now training the new left hand man.
- The left hand man is great, but is almost impossible to understand sometimes because of his super low voice and "busta rhymes" - worthy dialog speed.
- I haven't been with a Latino companion for almost 10 months..
- ..what is sleep? ;)

Ha ok first off, sorry I couldn't write on Monday. Usually when transfers come around our schedule gets flipped upside down and I end up "flying by the seat of my pants" (<--not really sure what that means, it's just one of my mom's sayings that I heard growing up). Overall it's been a lot of fun and as always I loved being able to spend time with the missionaries that left this last week including my companion Elder Paleka and some other good friends like Elder Killinger, Elder Tucker, Elder Petersen, etc. We had the "last supper" in President's house on Monday night where we ate the BEST asado I have had here (cooked by Hermano Pedro), had Sister Cifuentes' homemade baked beans and scalloped potatoes, and a salad :) yum. We were all laughing a lot and really enjoyed our time talking about mission memories and hearing animal noise impressions from Sister Winn from Idaho, followed by President giving his "dying pig" impression, and ending with Elder Tucker's Southern Ebonics impression. Can't explain how that all ended up happening, but it was hysterical. Sad to see some of them go, but I'm excited to have welcomed the new comp Elder Ortega, the new Elders in the office (Elder Acosta and Elder Ocampo), as well as the 10 new missionaries we received this transfer. That's always a highlight to welcome them and see the fresh curiosity, humility, and excitement of a new missionary.

 Out with the old and in with the new. Elder Paleka and Elder Ortega (Paleka gave me a Lei with the color of his island, Kauai)

 Elder Paleka "going through the veil"

Last week for our P-day we went as a zone (the office) with President and Sister Cifuentes to a beach named "Pe Huen Co" about an hour away from here (Bahia Blanca has zero nice beaches). Not the prettiest beach in the world, but we had a great time goofing off playing sand-futbol, passing the football, and wrestling around. I accidentally gave Elder Alvarez a head-butt to the face, and I totally pinned Elder Frischknecht to the ground... just in case you guys were wondering (I'm coming for you Ryan and Brayden..).

 Found a crab :)


Some futy on the beach

 Just wanted to give you guys a preview of the sick beard I will be growing when I get back.

 Road trip with the Latinos

 Dream team

Me, Frisch, and Alvarez

Funny stories:

President and Sister Cifuentes give me a lot of crap for being a perfectionist/organized/systematic/indecisive (just like a good majority of the people in my life... haha). But anyway, so yesterday at a leadership conference I was helping Sister Cifuentes cut brownies before all the missionaries left and I did something (can't remember what) that wasn't very perfectionist and she goes "Elder Jolley! That wasn't very systematic... I know I make fun of you for it, but don't go changing!" I just laughed and said sorry and we kept chatting. She asked where I get it from and I just told her I grew up with Teri Jolley as my mom ;) So she told me to tell you thanks mom for teaching me to be organized. She goes "so you can blame you being an assistant on your mom, because you being like that is part of the reason we need you here." haha so thanks mom :)

Yesterday was probably the longest day of the whole week. Finishing up transfers as well as trying to get everything to run smoothly with the leadership conference was pretty chaotic. Luckily everything worked out how it needed to in the end, but we had a few close calls. One was that the conference ended about 25 minutes before the first bus taking 11 of our missionaries had to leave. So I had to pull a fast and furious in the truck through the city to grab tickets, pay the arriving taxis, load up the 11 missionaries all in my little ranger and book it to the bus depot. Ahh! On the way we realized that one of the people in the count was Sister Sanchez that apparently just wanted to come along for the ride, because she wasn't even going on that bus! haha. So we made calls to figure out where the missing Sister Flores was. We tracked her down and got her there JUST in time to catch the bus. Sometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall to watch what we do as missionaries cause when we pulled up to the bus station all the missionaries were running around like chickens with their heads cut off to catch their bus. It probably looked so funny haha.

Well that's the sum up of my last week and a half. I'm probably leaving out a lot, but as usual I can't pack it all in. As I laid down in my bed last night after finishing up the day I looked back on this past week amazed and grateful as I noticed how much the Lord's hand has an influence on what happens and how things work out. Even though I lost a lot of sleep and had a pretty full plate of things to do, plus the emotionally and mentally draining things like saying goodbye to good friends and helping missionaries solve problems, I noticed how I much I was really lifted, strengthened, and guided to be able to do all that was required of me. Only last night after the conference was over and my to do list was done did it all hit me and I walked into the house like a zombie haha.

Love you guys, abrazos y besitos
Elder Jolley

 *Us office elders after transfers*: