Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Last week of the transfer, and of Elder Christensen's training. Ah! So weird. I can't believe it. This week Elder Christensen and I are having a "Spanish party." aka trying to speak as much Spanish as possible and cut out the English in order to help him better. Most of his training we've spoke a good mix of the two, so this will definitely help.

Long walks through the middle of nowhere

Last week was different than normal with conferences and what not, but everything went super well. The sweet pork salads turned out delicious. thanks for the recipe mom. We had thirty people there so we had to start cooking and food prep the day before. Everyone loved it though. We definitely got a standing ovation and President and Sister Cifuentes told me the next day at Stake Conference in Olavarria: "We thought about it and decided that the lunch yesterday was the best thing we've eaten since being here in Argentina." Wussup! haha it was fun. That night after the zone conference and a lesson with Patricia and her family we went out for ice cream at Figlio (ate it at the top of the Tandil castle) with the AP's, Zone leaders, and Elder Frischknect who was here to do house inspections. That was a great time and it was fun to see them again. I'll send pics. Also Stake Conference was really cool in Olavarria. Good to see my old area again and the people there. I wasn't able to sneak away to see any investigators, unfortunately, but I saw a lot of members. I heard from my old bishop that Nadia and her husband Nicolas are inactive right now and that Nadia's sister convinced her to go back to a church called "Cosecha Mundial" with her. Super sad, I'm going to try to send her a letter or something. Keep her in your prayers.

 Kitchen crew

 Frischknecht and Jolley reunited

 Lunch is served

 Now I know how it feels to be whipped around in the back of the truck. #karma

 Ice cream on top of Tandil

Bus ride with no AC. Hotter than infierno

On the bright side of things. We now have TWO baptisms this weekend. Yep! Patricia's sister Belen has also decided to be baptized. They will both be interviewed tomorrow and the baptism will take place at 4 on Saturday, and they will be confirmed on Sunday. We're pumped and they seem excited as well. We've now had two really great family nights with them, and the one we had yesterday went so well. Patricia made all the assignments and we barely participated. It was great. We also watched The Restoration movie and everyone was locked in the whole time. Except her mom in the back who was wrestling with her grandson (the son of Soledad) Bautista (what a great name, right? Baptist :)). Then on the way home last night we tried to be creative and find a shortcut through the wilderness to get home faster and ended up getting very stuck in the wilderness and we got home late. Whoops. Bad dad..

First Ruiz Family FHE!

Blueberry muffins for FHE

Chasin the gooses

 Ruiz FHE round #2

 Celebratings Mia's (Belen's daughter) birthday.

Sunday, we had a read-a-thon after stake conference to catch up on our Book of Mormon reading goal, and we made pumpkin pie to celebrate Thanksgiving. Normally I'm not a pumpkin pie fan, but this was good. Reminded me of Thanksgiving too, so that was nice.

 P-day Eve Sleepover

 Pumpkin Pie

 100 contacts of November

Missionary tanlines 👌

Love you all! Keep us in your prayers so we can have a bomb last week of the transfer and that these baptisms go smoothly.

Happy December!

Elder Jolley

Monday, November 21, 2016

Feliz Dìa de Gracias!

What a great week we had here in Tandil. Elder Christensen and I were able surpass not only our contact goal, but our lesson goals as well as a result of all the contacts we made. It's been keeping us busy for sure, which is exhausting but so rewarding at the same time. We were able to see the blessing of our hard work this last week as one of our favorite contacts Patricia from a few weeks ago, who is now a progressing investigator, accepted a baptismal date for the 3rd of December and attended church for the second time. She is progressing so well and witnessing that progress has been such a blessing for us. Not only in her, but in her family as well! One by one her family of 8 are beginning to listen to the lessons and some have attended church. This evening we have a family home evening planned with them, which has us very excited! On another note, after baptizing a couple weeks ago, my bless-ed comp offered to sit out on this one and let me be the one in white for Patricia's baptism. I'm quite giddy to say the least haha :) it'll be the first time being in the water since my first transfer. woo hoo!

This week we will have zone conference on Friday right after Thanksgiving. The zone leaders asked me to run the lunch plans and we're planning on making pulled pork salads. Also this weekend is Stake Conference in OLAVARRIA! I get to go back and visit my old area, see my convert Nadia and all the other members. Maybe I'll try to sneak away with my comp and introduce him to some of my old investigators like Damian and Micaela and Haide or something. Maybe the hippies as well ;) 

With Thanksgiving this week, I'm especially grateful to be able to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and to witness the light of His atonement illuminate the lives of those we work with. There's nothing quite like it. I love being a missionary!

I love and am grateful for all of you!

Elder Jolley

 Argentine Wall Art

Monday, November 14, 2016

Bueeeen Diaaaa (said like an old Argentine lady)

Well, to be completely honest. Divisions are the pits. I love Elder Numbers to death, but those three and a half days without my comp and being in two areas were awful, haha.

On the bright side, we were able to squeeze a few contacts in between both areas, but there was a lot of busy work to do pertaining to district meetings and baptismal interviews, yada yada...I love being a normal missionary :) When Elder Christensen got back we were both hungry for some good ol' hot and sweaty missionary work, so we went to TOWN and back in our area. uphill both ways ;) Haha so like I think I said last week, we had some catching up to do on our contact goal, sooo Saturday we dug in and busted out 21 ("What's 9 plus 10??... 21") leaving us 4 more to make on Sunday to be on point with our goal. So how many do we make on Sunday? that's right.. 5 :) haha

In other news, Patricia came to church on Sunday! We had a few more people that were commited to come but I think their pillows convinced them otherwise. Not Patricia though! That sweet lady calls us during a huge rainstorm at 7:30 am as we're getting ready to make the valient quest to her house in the rain to pick her up to catch the bus and says "Don't come I don't want you guys to get wet!" A little disappointed that we couldn't make the valient quest walking, we called Hermano Dorado our mission leader (aka the clutch) and he came to the rescue to help us pick her up from her house. She was a little shy in church and the poor thing is so humble that she teared up in Gospel Principles when the teacher asked her how she felt about Jesus Christ. As she'd told us before, she said that she felt distanced from Him but that she wants to grow closer. She had to leave after 2nd hour but we have another appointment with her on Wednesday and are hoping to be able to invite her to be baptized this week. Pray for that to go well please :)

There are a thousand contacting, teaching, etc. stories that I would love to share but there's no time. I am doing very well. The downs in the mission still exist, but the ups become so much more powerful as I obey, work hard, and turn my focus outwards towards others as Christ would.


Elder Jolley

Monday, November 7, 2016

(insert creative salutation)

Another great week!

This last weekend we had an "open chapel" activity we had in our ward. We spent the majority of the week contacting to both reach our monthly goal (as a mission) of 100 contacts per companionship and to pass out open chapel invitations. My companion and I had started a fast beforehand for the success of this activity and that something good would come of it for our investigators or unknown visitors. Our turn out was less than what I had hoped for, and with 15 minutes left in the activity that night we were a bit bummed, but we reminded ourselves to have faith. Right as the activity was coming to a close, one of our "eternigators" named Hugo who usually has a hard time following through with his commitments walks into the chapel for the first time since we've been in this area! We were so happy and even though our turnout wasn't hundreds of people like we would have hoped for, we were able to see God's hand and the Spirit touch the hearts of a few of His children who did show up.

My companion, Elder Christensen, and Elder Holmes are going to Bahia this week to take care of some documentation stuff, so I will be here kickin it with Elder Numbers for a few days trying to keep contact goals afloat for 2 areas. Bring it on :)

(insert loving farewell)
Elder Jolley

It's been a minute since I've been dressed in white. A very good feeling, especially as it reminds of being in the temple. I might just live in the temple for a bit when I get back cause I miss it so much. #trunkyspirit