Monday, October 31, 2016

Feliz...  Halloween (it's spelled the same in Spanish so it's not that cool)

I just blinked and we're already a week into the transfer. straaange!

So not too many changes. Elder Lee took off to Necochea and Elder Numbers (from my zone in Olavarria) took his place as a new zone leader here in Tandil. "Ohhh how the turn tables.." (name that) Sad to see Elder Lee take off, he's a good friend, but I love having Elder Numbers here! A solid kid for sure, and it's been fun to catch up.

Agustina has been dunked!Our baptism went very well last week and I loved seeing the pre-game jitters as well as the joy that my companion experienced during his first baptism. The spirit was very strong and it was especially cool to see that as our convert came out of the water she was able to look over and see her little twin girls plastered to the glass in silence watching their mother make a covenant with the Lord and bring their family one step closer to an eternal sealing in the temple. Very special.

 Proud father. Nervous son. Heavily practiced baptismal prayer :)

Another really cool experience from last week was a lesson with our investigator Patricia this last Saturday. Patricia is so nice and a really smart person who always asks great questions, I love teaching her cause our lessons always have so much momentum and that comes from both our preparation and her desire to learn. So from an earlier lesson she had committed to say a prayer in the next one (Saturday) and read some of the Book of Mormon as well. She did read a bit, but didn't pray by herself, although she sort of memorized/practiced how to do a prayer. We had a great lesson following up on the Book of Mormon, then talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and explained to her the role of the holy ghost and the kind of feelings it brings us. At the end she wouldn't commit to go to church and I was a bit disappointed, but we were able to help her set a goal for when she would go (the 6th or the 13th of November). Then she said a closing prayer for us. Such a solid prayer, but I could tell she was nervous. Then after the prayer we just sat there in silence and she began to cry. The spirit hit me so hard and I knew she was feeling it too. I asked how she felt and she said "warm." then continued to say that she "hadn't spoken with Him since she was a little girl" and that she wants to talk with Him more. Man that hit me like a freight train. That was such a good reminder to me about the blessing that prayer is to us and to be able to speak and receive answers from our literal Father who is in heaven.

Funny moments:

1. For some reason whenever me and my comp talk about something, it like pops up somehow. For example, I used the Spanish version of the "let it go" song to help Elder Christensen understand the word "libre." Then later that day this old lady somewhat jogging down the street calls out to her friend "Elsaaaa!" We just looked at each other in shock and my comp goes "do you wanna build a snowmaaan?" haha.
Then another day we were talking about Miss Congeniality (don't ask why.. not sure) and we walk into a lesson with our investigator Diego on Saturday and guess what's playing on tv. "dDscribe your favorite date." ha wow.

2. Elder Holmes always finds really cool things on the ground like a license plate, cool refrigerator magnet, etc. and it makes Elder Christensen really jealous. So now he walks around constantly scanning the ground for cool stuff. The other day we're walking and all the sudden he freaks out and runs over and picks up a 100 peso bill off the ground (don't get that excited.. it's like 7 bucks). Haha He was happy as a lark though and wouldn't stop talking about it for like 2 days. We're gonna use it to make blueberry muffins I think.

Well that sums it up! Love you guys! Keep trying to copy my cool costume ideas.. maybe someday you'll get there ; ) 

Elder Jolley

 Filling up the font... difficulty level: expert

Facturas before service. Health first :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

6 weeks of training down, 6 more to go!

Wow, that transfer flew by. It definitely made the favorites list though. Lot's of fun times and hard work that I'll never forget! Both Elder Christensen and I are very excited for the transfer to come and are determined to make it better than the first.

It won't be too hard either, because we'll be starting off week 1 with a baptism! Last week we visited Agustina and Santiago a couple times and almost had a family night with them and the Prieto family, but they bailed. We were also able to make some delicious muffins ("bits o' glass muffin... owww" name that haha) last week for Agustina's birthday and we took some extras around to other investigators. 

We had a super funny experience on Sunday morning before church. So we went to go pick up Agustina to walk with her to church because Santiago works on Sundays (grr..). We showed up at about 9:10 and she says "go ahead without me. I'll be right behind you!" and she wouldn't take no for an answer so we continued to church and waited outside watching for her and our other investigators. Then it was about 9:25 (and her baptism was going to be announced at about 9:35) and she still hadn't showed up. So I go in and look at our ward mission leader Hno Dorado to give him the "let's go get her" signal. He just gave me a nod and said "I'll be in the car" haha! He's such a stud. So we take off down the road in his car and see Agustina walking on the sidewalk about a block away from her house with her twin girls in this massive stroller. So we hop out and say "hi Agustina! go ahead and get in the car, they're about to start at church so let us take the stroller for ya." She goes "oh wow, thanks!" and hops in. So they take off and so do we, but now with this massive baby stroller, and we're a little ways away from the church. So imagine these two missionaries just running down the road in South America with a baby stroller... still smiling and waving to all the public as if there was nothing weird about it. haha! We were laughing so hard. My comp goes "Elder! We can't run with a baby stroller, that looks so bad!" but there was no time to waste... luckily that thing was like all-terrain or something cause we were running over curbs and train tracks and a few small buses. Fun stuff.

In the end we all made it to church right when they announced Agustina's baptism and everything worked out. You can call us the clutch :) Then I just sat there with a giant grin on my face as I partook of the sacrament and reflected on that morning and our last week and noticed how God's hand is involved in all of our efforts and I'm pretty sure He laughed with us as we were running down the street with a baby stroller. 

To make a long week of stories short. We had some killer lessons and ended up getting 6 lessons with members. We would have loved to get more, but that's actually quite a bit for us so we'll take it. I will try to give a better update on the rest of our amazing investigators next week.

I love being a missionary! Read your scriptures!
Elder Jolley

Monday, October 17, 2016

Buenas Tardes!

Can't believe we are coming into the last week of the transfer. They get faster every time and we've been working and enjoying ourselves so much this transfer that I forget about the time. Which is the way it should be so I couldn't ask for more!

Elder Christensen and I have been teaching a lot. Last week when the zone leaders reported the zone numbers on the board, my son leans over to me and says "psst... we taught a third of the zone's lessons last week.." and we really did! Out of six companionships too. Not that it's just about numbers, because it's not at all, but it was just a nice moment to see the fruits of our labors. Now we just hope to see even bigger fruits in the actual progress of our investigators! A week and a half ago Elder Christensen extended his first baptismal invitation, which our investigator accepted! Her name is Augustina and she is married to a less active member named Santiago. She has a lot of faith and desire to take care of her family and follow Christ, but their marriage is a bit of rollercoaster so it's been hard. We have so many great investigators,  but for some reason getting our investigators to church has been like trying to comb dreadlocks. We seriously do everything we can besides physically pick them up and haul them on our shoulders to the chapel! ... and i will..
haha kidding, it has to come from them and we want it to... we teach them how to spread their wings quite clearly... but apparently they need a little push to get them out of the nest. 

We have a goal to teach a lesson with a member every single day this week (or seven in total). We have lot's of good members who could help so much, so we're trying to give each of them a little push too, because we really need their support.

Here's to the last and best week of the transfer! Thank you for your prayers! They are felt and appreciated.

Elder Jolley

 Real time missionary work

Chalking the block with the plan of salvation in downtown Tandil! We chalked and talked all morning with all the passer-byers and got lots of contacts! Also a few humiliating rejections... but what can you expect :)
Super fun activity and definitely strengthened my testimony of the plan of salvation as I was able to visibly show these people this plan and testify of its' reality. Las familias pueden ser eternas!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fun facts of the week:

- We now have a fully loaded and running house, besides a washer but, "beggars can't be choosers" as Teri always says.

- Hiked up last pday to see a giant rock called Movediza on top of the mountain only to find that the rock is only a replica of a rock that was there before... how interesting :)
- Just played basketball for the first time in about a year today and had a blast. Maybe living with my 6'5 basketball playing son is having an effect on me.

- We starting eating with members again last week... bye cooking.

- I've lost about 12K (25ish lbs) since last Christmas after blimping up in Pedro Luro. Wowza! Kinda feels more like I hover down the street now.

- It's officially spring here and we don't have to wear suit jackets anymore.

- We just ate cow tongue for lunch today... "Mmm num num num. Delicioso!"

- I've never actually seen someone mix chocolate like Dora's abuela here in South America...

Hope you enjoyed those. It's an adventure here.

This week has been so great! I probably sound like a broken record cause I say that every week, but really I'm having a blast and I love the work right now. We are now completely moved in and are finally able to dedicate our time fully to our daily work and study schedule. This house is such a blessing and we love it, but moving sucks haha.

Lately we have been focusing a lot on teaching the restoration and it's really renewed my testimony concerning that crucial aspect of our message. It's been cool to teach Elder Christensen all the things I have learned throughout my mission and especially after being able to break down the restoration with Elder Paleka last zone conference to the mission. I love our message and I love teaching and sharing it even more!

Say your prayers. Los quiero.

Elder Jolley

Hipster pic over Movediza

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hey Fam,

Feelin' up on spiritual cloud 9 right now after a solid general conference weekend! Wow I loved it. Usually I would go in with a question or something to think about, but this time I kind of just went with an open mind/heart to kind of let God surprise me a bit. Lately though I have been thinking about prayer and wanting to improve myself in that aspect a bit. Turns out Heavenly Father did take me off guard a bit and put not one, but TWO talks solely about prayer in the very first session. Sure, prayer is a general topic, but I really felt like those were for me and was grateful for that little personal message from God. It never ceases to amaze me how much he really knows us and pays attention.

We are moved into our new house as of last Friday! I really wanted to get in and settled before conference so Wednesday through Friday it was a lot of running around, somehow we were still able to reach the majority of our goals last week as far as the work so we were happy about that. Our new house is awesome and the best part is that it's in our area! No more wasting hours of walking for nothing! The only problem is that we don't have gas or electricity or a fridge, etc. haha. but you're not a real missionary until you live a few days without such things so it's fine... it builds character. We've been living off of fruit, crackers, and dulce de leche for the past few days cause we can't cook or refrigerate anything haha. Good times.

That's all I have time for. There are a lot more pictures, but I included one from pday today and will have to include the rest next week. 

Con amor,

Elder Jolley