Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Baptism in the ocean!

Nate, Jair, Elder Gooch and Ima
I already sent the pictures of our baptism in the ocean, so I guess I better write a little about it. So our baptism this week, the ocean one, was Jair. And if you have been keeping up on my weekly things, you probably have heard me complain about him in just about every single letter. Jair was the biggest fubecka in the history of fubeckas. We worked with this guy for my first twelve weeks, like three months. This guy had been to church one time before last week, and that was when we found him drunk as a skunk and we drug him to church. This guy didn’t go to his own daughters baptism. And he had a super drinking problem. Anyway, last week he decided to go to church, and it was pretty sweet. Then is was like the biggest change in the history of anything. God just came into his life. I went and visited him with a member, just us two. And he told me that one day he looked in the mirror and was like "Jair, your 28, you have three kids, you don’t have a job, what are you doing with your life"? It was so incredible. So he stopped drinking, smoking, and everything. Then the day leading up to his interview he did a 24 hour fast to get ready for his interview. Then we asked him why he was fasting, and he said that he wanted to find a job, so he could pay tithing. This guy wouldn’t go to his own daughters baptism, and now he's wanting to pay tithing?! It was incredible, coolest thing I have ever seen in my life. And when I visited him, I was with a recent covert Kubi, who was baptized in the ocean. And Kubi put the idea into his mind to get baptized in the ocean. So he did. And we were looking for a spot, then a member said he knew a sweet spot.

So we show up to the beach, and start walking down these steps. And its absolutely gorgeous, like unreal how pretty it is. And I’m walking down these steps, and I realize I’m walking exactly where they filmed the Cape Verde Video. Then we got down, and took pics and stuff, and I was one of the witnesses with Elder Gooch. So we get in the water, and Ima, an awesome member, does the baptism while we witness. And it took forever to do it because the waves were so big. So we were all covered in water, even before he was baptized. It was so much fun being in the ocean:) Anyway, he got the baptism on the second try, and it was incredible. Easily one of the best feelings in my life.

I wont lie, I feel like I kinda went through a lot of crap my first transfer. But I can't explain the feeling I got when we were in the water with him. Like I kinda just saw the big picture of life and things. And he changed his life, and we helped him do it. Like, idk, words cant really describe how it felt. Every time I think about it, it just gets me. Like, Jair was baptized in the ocean. I wouldn’t trade my first transfer for anything in the world. And watching him get baptized made everything worth it. It was just a reminder that everything is true.
(Sorry my grammar and what not was awful up to this point. I was just getting excited and typing things really fast.)

Wilkar (the 18 year old that plays basketball)
But yeah, we had Jair, Junior, and Wilkar as our baptisms for the week. Junior is 11, his entire family is members, he just lived with his grandma, who is also a member. So he was sweet. And Wilkar is 18, plays basketball, and it just a boss. We've been working with him for a couple weeks, probably a little over a month. It was super good to see him get in that font as well.

We also had the Christmas Party on Tuesday. That was super fun. We wore our light up Santa hats, sang carols, ate food, and had an amazing talk by President Oliviera. It was incredible, he talked on giving, not getting. It was amazing. He will be an apostle pretty soon here. It was so much fun. I hung out with Elder Christensen the whole time, it was great! He will go home and be a major league baseball pitcher. Look him up!  He also slept over at our house, and we stayed up all night and talked baseball. It was incredible, he is the coolest guy. Elder Rice stayed the night too, he's a boss.  Those two are the only and first missionaries ever on the island of Maio, how cool is that. I talked to them, they do everything at church. Like EVERYTHING.

Also, we didn’t have water for three days this week, that was a little tough, but it's happened enough we deal with it. I’ve gotta go, I love all you guys, Merry Christmas, Please keep writing!

Com Muito Amor, Elder Jarvis

Monday, December 9, 2013

6 more weeks with Elder Gooch!

I’m not sure what I did to get to hang with Elder Gooch for 6 more weeks, but the dynamic duo is staying together for a little longer!  But this week in Praia was soo sweet!  I took some notes throughout the week, because I never know what I should write on Mondays, so here are some little things.  

Tuesday, the bottom of one of my pants came unstitched.  So I went over to get Nicco, the member that was walking with us for the day.  And while we were getting him, I asked Felipa, his member mom, if she could fix it.  And she ran and got her sewing stuff, and told me to put my foot on the chair.  So here I am in africa, with my foot on this wobbly chair, having some old African women on her knees fixing my messed up church pants, I thought that was pretty funny.  

So anyway, same day we are walking with Nicco, who is 24, his younger brother Tony is our ward mission leader.  Tony just finished his mission here the transfer before I got here.  So we’re walking with Nicco, whose kinda not all the way there, but he’s a solid member, walks with us all the time.  And we go teach Nobert and Nice, just kinda checking up on them.  And for the first time ever, we heard their little boy Louis pray, and it was adorable.  It was so cute, hes five years old and it was just awesome!  Then after that Nice brought us a plate of food, and it was pretty good.  It was only the second time I had eaten with memberrs on my mission because there is a rule that we can’t because its kinda sketchy.  But their house is way clean, and they actually have a house so it’s all good.  So here I am, sitting next to Elder Gooch, two forks, one plate, eating this huge thing of rice. And I just thought, yep,  you’re in Africa right now..  Anyway,  after that, she brought us juice boxes, and they were good.  Then Nicco, the 24 year old member walking with us, stole the juice box from the five year old Louis!  It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!  Ha, that was just a funny day.
Wednesday was relatively normal, except for the morning.  We were walking back from the louge where we buy bread in the mornings, and there was this 40 year old guy walking down the road.  And he was walking toward us, and in front of us there were 3 teenage girls.  And right before he got to the girls, he dropped his pants all the way down, like everything came down.  Everything.  And it was just an interesting sight to see.  Like people go to jail for that in America, and it was just mildly strange for Cape Verde, if strange at all.   Beer here is the highlight of a lot of peoples weeks, which is pretty sad.   But the alcohol problem is really kinda out of control, everyone drinks all day.
Thursday was a way sick day, we did divisions with the A.P’s.  So I went to Achada San Antonio and worked with Elder Folgerburg, and Elder Bruce came and worked with Elder Gooch.  It was pretty sweet!  Obviously the A.P’s have the nicest house in the mission, so it was sweet to live there for a day.  I had a hot shower for the first time in 12 weeks, and I won’t lie, it felt fantastic!  We went to the office and did A.P stuff.  Which pretty much means Elder Folgerburg did everything while I talked with Sister Matthews, the senior couple that works in the office.  The AP’s in our mission have to do so much more than some other missions because  our transfers are the different islands.  So they have to worry about plane tickets, boat tickets, and all the transportation for 120 missionaries.  Our mission is growing fast, but we’re still one of the smallest in the world.  Anyway,  about the division, I learned so much stuff from the A.P I served with, it was sweet!  And we got ice cream after which is always great.
Friday I did another division with the Zone Leaders because Elder Gooch is the district leader, so he has to do the baptism interviews for everyone in the district.  So I got to hang out with Elder Acord for a while, and that was sweet.  I freakin love that guy so much, its sad he got transferred.  He is now the zone leader for the other zone in Praia, which kinda sucks because between him, Gooch, Darling, and I we had a ton of fun.  But the division with him was sweet too.  He did all three of our baptisms interviews for the week, and it was good, they were all awesome! I'll  write a little about each one of them.  

Derre:   He is a freaking boss, easily one of my favorite converts.  He had so many questions about the church, and wanted to learn so much.  He is 24, and we worked with him forever, like 10 weeks, and it was amazing to actually get him in the font.  He actually understood what he was doing, why it was important, and it was just incredible.    Easily the coolest moment of the week was when Derre took the sacrament for the first time.  Last week at church I was sitting by him, and he hadn’t  been baptised yet, and he didn't take the sacrament.  Then on Tuesday he asked us all about it, and why we took it, and we explained it.  Then Sunday, when he took it for the first time, he just had the biggest grin ever on his face.  And it just clicked.  Like, this guy gets it, he understands what he is doing.  And I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Like being able to help him feel that was incredible.  Like obviously the Holy Ghost is the ultimate teacher, but just to be there and help him realize everything, then to actually see that come into play was unreal. One of the best feelings of my life, by far.
Mandilla:   Also a boss.  He is 18, stud soccer player, and an incredible person.  He had already been to institute three times before he was baptized, just so prepared it was sweet.  Elder Acord, who did his interview, said he was the most prepared person he had ever interviewed, which is such a testament to him and how he wanted to learn.  His best friend is Edson, our baptism from a couple of weeks ago.  And Edson played such a huge role in his conversion.  
Edson actually did the baptisms for Derre, and Mandilla.  And Edson and Mandilla are both talking with President Fernandez about serving missions, so I super hope that happens!  

Alicia:   She is the daughter of Dena, another recent baptism we had.  She is the cutest little girl ever.  She is 11, and she is awesome.  Dena super helped out a ton, and that was awesome to have her there.  She has another brother we’ll baptize in a couple weeks here, so the work is definitely taking off.  

Saturday was great of course, had all those baptisms, it was sweet.  Had Ice Cream too. 

Sunday was the babysitting day, of course.  We kinda have a problem because we have so many recent converts we had to visit throughout the week, plus  all three of our baptisms everyday, we didn't have too much time to find new investigators, which we’ll do this week.  But we got Wilikar to church, our baptism for this week.  And for the first time ever, Jair showed some desire and came to church.  So we've gotta get him to quit smoking, but he’ll be baptized soon hopefully.  We had one more come too, so that was good.  But to find Jair, we went to this big soccer game going on.  It’s kinda crazy, 20 Africans on a tiny dirt soccer field just playing crazy.  So the whole town was watching, and we found Jair, and we asked if he was going to church, and he said yeah, and were like, we’re just gonna stay with you until church, mostly so he wouldn't drink before church.  But we got him there, and we stayed and watched soccer for almost an hour before church just to get him there.  But he came and it was sweet!  

Another cool thing that happened was during sacrament meeting, Nitto and his little bro Clayton passed the sacrament.  And two weeks ago I gave Nitto a tie, and Gooch gave Clayton one.  They didn’t have ties, and they can't afford to buy one.  So they wore those while they passed the sacrament, and it was just sweet.  He will put that tie to way better use than I ever could, and it was sweet to help him out and give him my tie.
I guess I’ll talk a little about the Christmas spirit here.  In Cape Verde, Christmas is big, but not huge.  But in our house, christmas is life!  We went to a chinese store and bought christmas lights, and floss, and santa hats that glow in the dark.  And we have tons of christmas music, and we just turn off the big lights and chill with the Christmas lights almost every day, its so sweet!  
Anyway this letter is so long, and if you read the whole thing you should get some sort of reward.  I won't write as much next week, thanks for reading all of this haha.  Love all you guys, and I love hearing from all of you!  

Com Amor, elder Jarvis

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 12 in Cabo Verde, back to a four person apartment

The new elders that moved in with Elders Jarvis and Gooch
Elder Conduane (left, from Mozambique) and Elder Dorff

This week was another sweet one in Cabo Verde.  It was hotter than usual this week, which is saying something because we live in Africa... It was a sweet week, but definitely an interesting one.  
First, on Wednesday, I did a division with Elder Conduane (from Mozambique), and it was just interesting... He's sweet, it’s just such a different culture change.  He came and stayed in our house, and I led in showing him Achada Traz. 

Its interesting to think about, because we have a lot of Native African missionaries, and they're sweet.  But for the Americans serving here, the houses we live in on the mission will probably be the worst houses we will ever live in throughout our whole lives.  But for the Natives, these are the best houses they will ever live in.  Its just an interesting thought, and obviously things just run a little differently.  Like, I made pancakes for breakfast, and I poured the mix for him and everything.  Then he wanted to make some, so he poured the mix on the pan.  But when the one side was done cooking, and he needed to flip it,  so the other side could cook.  Well he just started stabbing down at it, like the uncooked side.  So here I am, sitting here watching him beat the heck out of our nice pan.  And as I sat there watching this African  Missionary stab  the pancake batter instead of flipping it, I just kinda thought what a different world we live in.  I was also sweating wondering how I got to that point in life...  But thats irrelevant.  But the day was solid with him, taught a lot of good lessons, and maked a couple dates. 

Also, after President visited everyones house, he said that the Achada Grande house, the one we lived in when we got kicked out the first time, was not "livable".  So Elder Doorf and Elder Conduane moved in with us this week.  In our house which is definitely not a four elder house, but its all good.  The house is pretty crammed, and it smells a little different.  But we found glade at a store so our house is smelling fresh again haha.  But yeah, a little weird having a four elder house but its all good. 

I’ll talk a little about our baptism for this week, Andera.  She was super solid, we checked up on her everyday, she was sweet. She passed her interview with ease, everything is good.  So Saturday, at 1, like three hours before her baptism we get a call.  It’s her, and she says that she is in Acha Mada, which is a city 2 hours away from Praia.  So of course we are freaking out because our baptism is two hours away.  And after a bunch of stress and what not, she was definitely not back in time for the baptism.  Anyway, she was baptised and confirmed Sunday before church, and it all worked out,  it was just a huge headache.  Who goes to Acha Mada the day of their baptisms!?  It all worked out. 

I love hearing about Thanksgiving, and it kinda made me a little trunky.  But we ate at the Marrage, which is this buffet, the only buffet in Praia.  It was a little pricy, but it was fantastic.  It was honestly the best thing ever.  They had Lasagna, soup, bread, all sorts of dessert.  It really was amazing! And we went with the Zone Leaders, and Elder Evans and Stevens, and they are all sweet.  And you eat on the big deck looking over the Atlantic Ocean, super pretty, I’ll send pics in a couple weeks. 

Anyway we are doing a division with the APs this Thursday, so that’ll be sweet!  I think Elder Gooch is going to be a  Zone Leader pretty soon here, which makes sense, he’s a stud.  We also have transfers this week, which I am not looking forward to at all. Well I kind of am, I’m  just sad I won’t get to stay serving with my best friend ha.  It’ll be sweet tho. 

Overall it was a sweet week, definitely in the best mission in the world.  Love all you guys.

Com Amor, elder Jarvis

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 11- Cabo Verde

This week was another great week in paradise. We had the grand discovery of pancakes this week, and they are super cheap and American so we made those like everyday. Probably not the healthiest thing ever, but we try to live like Americans. But really, we try to avoid eating rice and beans as much as possible. But this week was good. We did a division Wednesday with Achada Mato. I stayed and ran our area with Elder Stevens, he was sweet and it was pretty fun. The next day, was a normal day with Elder Gooch. Then the next day we did another division with the Zone Leaders, and I stayed in Achada Traz and worked with Elder Accord, he is one of my favorites for sure.

We had one girl, Andrea, that was ready and worthy to be baptized, and she was our hopeful for the week. But she hadn’t been to church for a couple years, like 4, so she wanted one more week to get ready. So she went to church and she is a definite for this weeks, super solid. So it was a little rough not having a baptism this week, first week in 7 weeks we haven’t had a baptism, so that’s pretty good. And not having a baptism definitely wont happen again, we have 3 solid ones for this week, and 4 more solid ones for the next. 

About Sunday. We definitively took our baby sitting titles to the next level. On Sunday, at around 11, we found J.... the biggest fubecka in the history of anything) super duper drunk at a bar. So with the help of his stud little brother NItto (20, used to be less active, we re-activated him 7 weeks ago, and now he's preparing to serve a mission) we dragged drunk J... into his house. At first we weren’t sure if we should help him or what. And he was soooo drunk.  And Elder Gooch was like "Elder Jarvis, what do you think we should do, hes super hammered?" and I was like "there’s no better place for him than church." So we drag drunk J.... nto his house, and literally sit there and talk with until he falls asleep. Super Baby-sitters.

But it was the craziest thing ever, when he was drunk, and he was super drunk, he was speaking fluent English! He was talking to us, and he told us he learned English on the streets, and it was the craziest, funniest thing ever! So we waited till he fell asleep, and then left to go find our other investigators. Our plan for this week was not to teach any lessons Sunday, just find our investigators, and hang out with them before church, then walk with them to church. So we wait till J.... falls asleep, go find Wilikar, stay with him, find Nuno, and Derre, stay with them. And literally just stayed with our investigators till it was time to go to church. By days end we had 7 investigators at church, all with dates for the next two weeks. We only taught one lesson Sunday, but we got people to church so it was definitely worth it, and our next two weeks look pretty solid. Achada Traz is so awesome!

But the whole week was good, studied the language a bunch, like always, and it was sweet. I also got Christmas music from a member, so we listen to sol Christmas music in the house.  Making both of us super happy, and super truncky at the same time. But its awesome. If we stay together next transfer were buying Christmas decorations and decorating the house! We also hang out with the Zone Leaders all the time. Elder Accord, and Elder Darling are my freaking heroes, they are so sweet! And they made us Pizza Friday and it was glorious. Oh, and when I say we eat pancakes, obviously there is no syrup, so we kind of eat them just with butter. Probably not the healthiest thing in the world, but we get by, and we work out.

Oh, we had our interviews with President on Tuesday. It was sweet. We got water Tuesday morning, and spent the morning cleaning. We had to make it look sweet because the most influential man in the country was coming into our house. And they went really well. They were impressed with our house, and it was good. While Elder Gooch had his interview, I talked with Sister Olievera, who is the biggest sweetheart on the whole planet! I felt bad, she spoke in English for a while, then I told her I do speak Portuguese, then we talked in Portuguese and it was all good. She was just checking on our health and our house. Elder Gooch's interview seemed like forever. Then I got in and out of mine in like 10 minutes. I was really worried it didn’t go well, but it’ll be alright. President Olivera is honestly the coolest, most spiritual guy in the world. He is so amazing and its fun.

But yeah had a great week.

The lady at the email place is playing American Music and Elder Gooch and I are busting out in song right now! But yeah, great week, have a couple baptisms set up for the next week, and the work is progressing. God prepares these people and its a fun work to be a part of. And the languages are doing well also. But I love all of you, and would love to hear back from all of you as well!

Much Love, Elder Jarvis

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 10 in Cabo Verde

Jamilla, her Grandmother and her brother Netto that baptized her.
Well this week was another great one in Cabo Verde.  Still working with Elder Jared Gooch, and he's awesome.  I'm never really sure what to write.  Like I know I live in such a different world than everyone, but everyday things that would seem crazy to you, are the everyday norm for me ha.  I'll try to think of just some little things that Americans would think are funny.
There is this place we eat at every week.  And two months ago you couldn't pay me enough to eat there, it just looks really gross with meat and rice and french fries.  And its kinda really greasy and gross, but I absolutely love it now.  It's funny because I was extremely picky before the mission.  But here, if I don't eat rice and beans when we go out to eat, I would never eat.  I have yet to receive a menu at any place we eat, they just bring you rice, fries and beef.  Sometimes beans, but even that's kinda rare.  But its good, I'm learning to like it.  It's goofy, because everyone here gains weight because all we have are carbs, between bread, rice, pasta, and beans, all we eat are carbs.  And there's not a ton of options, that's kinda what you eat everyday.
"The District, and the Title of Liberty"
We're running without water for the third straight day, and we have our interviews with the mission president tomorrow, and you can imagine how clean we can get our house without water.  And President Oliveira does the interviews at our house, so we are kinda praying for water so we can clean the place up a little before the most influential man in the country comes into our house.  We always talk about that, how Pres Oliveira is the most infulential man in the country.  He literally has so much influence on the whole country, and can move 160 young Elders and Sisters at anytime he wants.  He is probably one of the most amazing individuals I have ever met.  But yeah, were totally hoping to get water soon tonight or tomorrow or we will get the fauka of a lifetime for not having our house clean.
Monkey on a leash
This week was a pretty good week overall.  The babysitters failed, and we literally didn't have one investigator at church.  It's so tough because we live like 2.5 miles away from the church, and no one wants to walk because its Africa, and it's a million degrees.  And of course no one can afford a taxi, they can't afford food, and its just kinda tough.  And we don't have any time to work in our area, because we cant go out in the mornings, because it takes forever to walk to our area, and it wouldn't be worth it.  And we have to come back early, just to avoid getting robbed..   But its all good, we have a ton of sweet investigators, they just don't come to church.  Really is the biggest problem.  People will stop smoking, and breaking the law of chastity for us, but coming to church is just out of the question.  So pray for that and we will continue to work hard.
We did keep our transfer goal of having a baptism every week by baptising Jamilla.  She is 9 years old and is amazing.  Her grandmom is a member, and so is her older brother Nitto, who is a champ.  NItto was inactive three weeks ago, then he did the baptism Saturday, and it was sweet!  Its awesome because her dad is a fubecka de mias!  He is 27, has three kids, doesnt work, and will never come to church.  But he'll talk with us all the time, because he is never doing anything.  Anyway, the 9 year old went to church the last two weeks, with her grandma, passed the baptismal interview and everything.  Then when saturday came around, her dad was drunk at the "park" across the street, and her grandma wasn't home.  And this 9 year old girl remembered her baptism, got all dressed up in a skirt and everything, and just waited for us on her couch, by herself.  shes nine, and she was 100% ready all by herself!  Nitto did the baptism and it was just sweet!  Shes awesome, I think I sent a picture of her? 

We should have a baptism for this week, we just dont know who it will be.  Pretty much we have to find someone that's been to church twice, that is ready to be baptized.  Which is kinda crazy, but I have faith we'll find someone. 
Also the night of interviews, friday, we have to go on divisions, because Elder Gooch is the DL, and he has to do interviews, and the ZLs do ours.  So Elder Darling and I waited for Elder Gooch and Elder Accord to get back from divisions.  And they got back at like 945.  Which is 15 minutes late.  And for us to walk from Lan Fahera to Achada Grande after 9 is just asking someone to rob you.  So we had a sleepover, and talked about sports, and girls and Christmas and by the end of the night we were all truncky out of our minds!  We have started to decorate our houses with any "Christmas" things we can, and we listen to Christmas music only!  So if anyone has any christmas music, or decorations or anyting they want to send me that would be sweet haha. But it was such a fun night, those guys are freaking sweet!
Another funny thing that happened this week was as we were talking to someone on the street.  And I looked down at might feet, I dont know why, but seriously two feet away from me I saw some bubbly water.  And I was so confused.  And I turned around, and there was litterally a little kid peeing 10 feet behind me, in the middle of the street, just right there.  And it didnt get on me, it just made me laugh.  I didnt really think much of it because kids pee on the street all the time, I just realized that would never, ever happen in the usa.  Also some lady almost hit gooch when she was dumping water off her roof, that was freaking funny!  Went to the Sukapeta and chilled their again today.  It was soo sweet!  
We also played soccer with everyone in Praia today, that was pretty sweet, soccer is a lot of fun. I think we will go get some good food Thursday for Thanksgiving, probably just rice and beef haha.  
Anyway, if any of you have any questions, feel free to ask, I love all you just.  

Much Love Elder Jarvis

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tough to get 'em to church!

Dina and her grandson
Well, this week was sweet!  Sorry if the letter is a little shorter than usual, I tried to send some pics for like an hour but it didn't work.  The computer here are like the ones we used in 1990, so things just take a while, and everything is old ha.  But this week was solid!  We had two baptisms, Jaineny, and Dina.   Jaineny is the daughter of Nobert and Nice, my first family.  She is 14, and she was super sweet, listened well to everything, and was just incredible.  Her baptism was pretty cool, and we have to baptize one more kid to complete that family, so that’s pretty cool!
Jaineny and her mom Nice, and little brother

Dina is 52, and she is awesome!  She stopped drinking coffee after we taught her for like three days, came to church all on her own, and is just awesome!  The first time she prayed, she kinda started crying and feeling the spirit and it was incredible.

Our area is so amazingly cool.  I’m sure its different for every mission, but in our mission, anyone will let you in the door.  Like we can just go walk up and down the street and anyone will let us in and listen to our message.  The BIGGEST problem is getting people to church.  Our church is so far away!  And we commit people to baptism like crazy, like all the time, but they never ever come to church.  We have so many baptism dates marked that we have to push back because they don’t come to church.  And it's frustrating at times because they are way sweet when we teach them, and they want to get baptized, and we visit them before church and they say they will come. Then they never do...  Really that’s the biggest problem we have for sure.  This week we only had 1 investigator at church, and she'll be our baptism for the week, she's chill! And I was kinda feeling down and sorry for myself during church, because all our investigators are fubeckas (lazy, in Portuguese).  But then Nobert bore his testimony, and Edson bore his, and Zito bore his, and Nice bore hers!  And sacrament meeting was just filled with all our recent converts bearing their testimonies, and it was incredible.

Sundays are the day "Day of Rest", but for us, its the day of work.  We have church at three, so we go out to find people to come to church at ten, and spend 5 hours walking around in the African sun to babysit our investigators to get to church, and it doesn't really work.  That’s definitely, by far, just the most frustrating thing.  But other than that its sweet!  Everyone here is so cool, and I love the people we work with, and there are so many neat people here.  We have awesome investigators too, they just don’t come to church... But its all good, still the best mission in the world.

Gosh if you guys only knew the view I get everyday!  We walk down this huge hill to get to our church, and the Zone Leaders house.  And the hill sucks, but the view of the hill is just amazing!  It captures the whole city of Praia, and the lights, and the ocean with the beach! Especially at night, when you cant see how dirty the city is, its incredible, it would blow your mind!  And from what I hear, a bunch of the other islands have even better views so it’ll be interesting to see all of those!  Not that I ever want to get transferred or leave Praia, Praia is the best!  And I get to serve with my best friend Elder Gooch, so its still the coolest thing ever.

I just realized that I never write about the languages I need to learn.  I guess its probably because I don’t worry about it a ton.  I love Portuguese, when people speak that, my eyes just light up, its so nice.  And that’s what we study, and I feel decently good at that.  I never really worried about learning Portuguese, I just figured it would come,with speaking, which is what everyone says.  And worrying about it wouldn't do a ton of good.  The advice I would give to anyone trying to learn a mission language is prayer, obviously.  Because God called us to our missions for a reason, and he's not going to leave you alone while you’re trying to learn it.  That’s probably whats helped me the most!  Everyone says don’t stress about it, so I don’t.
Creole is just a native language that is tough to learn, and were not "suppose" to learn.  But 90% of the people here speak it, and that’s probably the most frustrating thing.  But I can't complain, I'll learn it.  But so many more people speak Creole that Portuguese, it's unreal.
This week I also did a division with Elder Darling, the ZL, and he's sweet!  We had a lot of fun, and worked hard!  I got to hang out with Elder Evans a little too!  We were good friends in the MTC, and we're in the same district, so that’s sweet!

Once again sorry for the short letter, it will be even shorter next week because I'm sending more pics next week.  I love you all, the church is true, and God is everywhere in our lives.  Let yourself be happy!!!
Love Elder Jarvis

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stake Conference and Chocolate Syrup

This week was a kinda decently normal week.  No days are really that normal, because we don't live in our area, and it takes a while to get there, and we cant go unless we have 2 adult members to walk with us.  We had a habit of getting robbed without members with us...  And we have to come back from our area earlier than most missionaries because its not the safest thing ever.  But we are well protected, we just don't have as much time working in our area as most missionaries.  But we work smart, and effectively, and our area is still booming.  But the Lord helps us so much, you have no idea.
So we have a transfer goal of a baptism a week.  And we had two for this past week, and we were really determined to get at least one of them.  Because it would be stupid to have a transfer goal, and not get it the first week.  So the one drank on Tuesday, he's off the table.  And the other one, Talo, we cant find forever.  We finally find him, drinking Thursday.  So me and Elder Gooch gave him a very spiritual fauka, (chewing him out).  It was the first time I had ever kind of told someone off in Portuguese, so that was a fun experience haha!  Anyway, literally right after we get mad at this guy, and drop him as an investigator, Zito tells us we need to talk to his friend.  And this is Thursday night, and we don't have a baptism for Saturday.  Remember Zito was my first baptism, who is just a complete champion, and who was walking with us that night.  So he introduces us to his friend Edson.  And his friend had been to church at least twice, which is the requirement.  And Elder Gooch and I just looked at each other, and we were like "Wanna give him the baptismal interview questions?" and I was like yeah.  So we gave this guy the baptismal interview questions, and this guy was  sweet and awesome!!  And he knew almost all of them, but the Palavra de Sabadoria (word of wisdom).  So we listed off the 5 things we shouldn't take, and he was like, "I had coffee this morning.  I'm so sorry, I really didn't know we weren't allowed to, I feel so bad" and this is 2 days before baptism day.  So we call the ZL's, and they tell us to call President Oliviera about it.  And President said if he promised to stop right then, and read the Book of Mormon that night he could be baptized!  And he did, and it was so glorious and sweet!  Easily one of my favorite baptisms!  It was just so crazy how God answered our prayers, and had him ready to be baptized this week, it was unbelievable.  One of the coolest things I have ever had a chance to be a part of. 

Then we had Stake conference, with all of Praia!  That was sick, so much fun.  Its fun because sometimes it feels like when we are teaching, and people aren't getting it, it is just so frustrating.  But then when you see all those amazing members in one place, it's just such a good reminder that the church is so true!! There were so many people there, there wasn't space for the missionaries to sit in the chapel, so we all chilled outside and just talked sports and such.  There's an Elder Christensen in my Zone, he actually was the AP till last transfer, one of my favorite people ever.  He was drafted by the Royals, and will play for them when he gets back.  And it 2 days he is going to Mau to open up that island.  How cool is it that he gets to be the first missionary on that island.  That island literally has never had the church on it ever before, and they just start from scratch, how awesome!  We hung out all P day.  But we talked about baseball during Stake Conference, that was fun!  And we had Edson's baptism last week.  And its just sweet. 

We also have new Zone leaders, they are the best, Love them.  And there's another Elder Jarvis that just got here, how weird...  So on every letter, if anyone ever writes me, write Elder Nathan Jarvis, because just saying Elder Jarvis no longer narrows it down,  haha.  

Easily the highlight of my week was finding Chocolate Syrup!!  What a steal!  We put it on everything!  Also found Mac and Cheese, I was all over that.  Elder Gooch and I try our hardest to not eat rice, but we really don't have many options.
This week we should have three baptisms.  Two are the daughter and son of Nobert and Nice.  After them that's their whole family, Familia!!!  They are talking about going to the temple in a year too, to be sealed.  How cool is it that we had the chance to help them get the gospel, and their  lives will never Ever be the same after their choice to follow Christ.  Its just such an amazing thing to see.  Ah, the church is true and its Amazing!! I'm gonna try to send some pics now, and try to stop gaining weight.  Seriously tho, I'm gaining weight and I need to stop, I don't know how its happening...   But I love all you guys, take it easy and have a fantastic week!

Much Love Elder Jarvis

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First Transfers? Staying in Achada Traz!

This week was pretty sweet!  We baptized our first family, Nobert and NIce!  They are sweet and golden pescadors! They both quit smoking and drinking coffee, and were baptized within a three week period of us teaching them.  He also got the priesthood on Sunday, and they are talking about getting married in the temple.  Familias! And he is a freaking cop, where was he when we were robbed?  hahah!?
Norbert and Nice
We also had transfers yesterday, that was kinda cool!  I'm staying right here with Elder Gooch, and he's gonna finish up my training!  That's sweet too because we're like best friends, and I really wanted to stay with him.  And we get to continue to work in Achada Traz, which is sweet!! And the reason we live in Achada Grande is that's just where we could find a "Decent" missionary house.  The house itself really isn't that bad, but we just rarely have water or electricity, but we make do!  Lately we just pay a water truck to fill it up, and the church pays us back for that.  The power went out at different parts of every day last week, but that's just Cape Verde, there's not a ton anyone can do about that.  We kinda had running water this week which is a Blessing!

Another fun part of the week was doing  a division with Elder Dos Antos, he is from Brazil and doesn't really speak English.  It was fun, I spent a day and I half with him.  Obviously just spoke Portuguese, which defiantly stretched my Portuguese, but it was so much fun.  He works hard and its fun to be around him.  The coolest part was when he was reading the English Ensign during Language study, and he was reading about the new temples.  And he was like, " Elder Jarvis, Como se diz Cedar City?"  and I was like what, and I looked and it was talking about Cedar City  getting a temple, and it was soo hilarious that he asked me how to pronounce it!

Also we just lived off bread this last week because we are so broke because of all the  taxis!  Our area is a ways away from the church, and all our pescesadors are fubeckas, and don't want to walk.  So we have to buy taxis to get people to church, and to baptisms.  But its  worth it because its the Lord's work and its sweet!
The language is coming along.  Easily, EASILY the toughest part is that I'm, not surrounded by it.  Obviously Elder Gooch and I speak it all the time, like during planning, and study, and the whole time we teach.  But everyone on the street, and just everyone in our lessons, and everyone in general speaks Creole.  Which is just a dumb language.  We're not suppose to learn it, but essentially we have to to communicate with people.  Like they are similar, but they are definitely not the same.  And we taught a lesson the other day, and the people spoke Portuguese, and it was glorious because I understood a lot of it.  But it will come, its not a switch, and it's a process. 

But today was P Day, and it was seriously possibly the best day of the mission!  We finally got to play soccer for the first time!  It was banned before because it got too competitive, but its all good now!  That was pretty fun!  Then we went and hung out at the Sukipeta, and just looked and chilled there!  Mom, Dad, ask Elder Dunnell about the Sukepita, and Sugundas.  I'm 100% positive he has been there and he will tell you all about it.  Its a mad house, and its freaking sweet!  Then we went and got Ice Cream, yes ice cream.  That was so incredible!  Then we bought some bread to last us until we get paid on Thursday.  Its Elder Gooch's birthday on Halloween so I'm making him a cake this week and it'll be sweet!  He is the new District leader, which is pretty cool.  We have some sweet new missionaries  in our zone too, its gonna be sweet!
Its just so much fun to serve with him, and its awesome to be a missionary right now!!  I love all you guys, and I hope good old America is well!  Never take anything for granted, because you don't know what these people live like.  I've taught so many lessons in shacks made out of literal garbage, and its just a different world.  I love all you guys tho, and I love hearing from you!  
Much Love
Elder Jarvis  . 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 5 in Cape Verde

Definitely another crazy week in Africa.  To start off, I will tell you more about M and S.  They are 25, and 26 and brothers.  They are the most  freaking awesome people on the planet!  And we taught them everyday this week, and I really have such a deep love for both of those guys.  And Friday night came around, and they passed the baptism interview, and everything was set up for Saturday!  And I was so excited for their baptisms Saturday.  Like everyday in the week, I just looked forward to their baptisms.  They are a family, and they both have little kids, and they are two of my absolute favorite people on the mission!  So we work with them all week, and were just looking forward to Saturday afternoon, all week. Then it finally got there, and we were so excited for their baptism.  And we walked the mile and a half to our area to get them for the baptism.  And we got there and ran into a member in the ward, the guy that was suppose to do the baptism, Benchmal.  And he was just like, " Nao sei suas baptismos vi acconteacu oji..."  "I don't think your baptism will happen today"  and we were like "Por Que!?" Why.  and he was like, "elas enviam para prisiao".  They went to prison today.  So we were super confused, and it was just so weird.  So we went to their house to get them to go to their baptism, and they weren't there.  Then we started talking to his cousin we know, Kevin, and he was like, yeah the cops just took them to prison.  And we were freaking confused, and sad.  

Turns out our baptisms kinda mugged or as they say "Cash or Bodied" someone a little while back.  So like 4 years back, this guy was carrying a ton of money from the Sukapeta to a warehouse where they ship things.  And M and S jumped him, and stole what in american money is close to 400 thousand dollars.  Which is unreal for people in this area.  And they tracked them down after 4 years, and took them away, the freaking day of their baptism!  Elder Gooch and I were like "Really Satan, you couldn't just wait 2 days to take them away!?”   Anyway they took them to prison literally 30 minutes before their baptism.  And I guess they can’t appeal it at all, because they are guilty, and they did it.  So that was probably one of the most heartbreaking things to ever happen to me, it was so tough,.  Because they turned their lives around 100%, and were so ready for baptism!  It was tough.
Then on the way back to our house Saturday night, same day, we were robbed again haha.  We were walking, same spot we were robbed last time, and just got robbed.  Its crazy because we always have a member walking with us, but we didn't then because we were just expecting a baptism later that day, but they were thrown in Prison... Kinda sucks.  But we just can’t go out there without a member, and its just kinda weird.  But we’re perfectly fine, no one is going to hurt us, ever.  But yeah, my favorite converts were thrown in Prison and I was robbed within a 6 hour time period haha, so that was my day!  But it really is all good, that  just kinda stunk.  But Sunday was great, and we’re baptizing a family this week and everything's good!
Earlier Saturday we were to Kubi’s baptism, he was baptized in the ocean and that was soo cool!  Going to the beach, and seeing a baptism in the ocean on a Saturday morning was possibly the most beautiful thing ever, it was incredible. 

Other than that we had a pretty normal week.  We moved back into the house we were originally kicked our of. The house is a little nicer, but moving was kind of a pain.  We did that Wednesday, had Zone Conference Tuesday and that was good.  Pretty much just had normal missionary days other than that.  Well  normal missionary days for here I guess.

This place is so cool tho.  The members, and people are so awesome.  And transfers and this week, I've never had those so I’m excited for that.  But Cape Verde is a chosen place, these people are ready to hear the gospel, and the church is true.  Its definitely been some of the toughest 6 weeks of my life, between robs, being kicked out of the house, the food, weather, language adjustments, and our investigators going to prison.. But God has shown me so many blessings the last six weeks, and its amazing.  We literally have blessings everywhere we look, and its crazy how he is behind everything.  The church is true.  I love all you guys, and I love hearing from you!  
Much Love,

Elder Jarvis

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fourth Week, First Baptism

First Baptism!

I think its my fourth week out here, I'm really not even sure haha.  But this week was an awesome week to be in Africa!  

I'm never sure quite what to write, so I took little notes of little things that happened throughout the week.  I failed to mention in the last letter that we had a stretch of 5 days in a row between the last two weeks where we didn't have any water.  And there's four of us in a house without water, so you can imagine how clean our place was.  And always what the toilet smelled like haha...  But it was good.  We are moving back into the house that we were kicked out of tomorrow I believe, and that will be nice in some ways and not so nice in others.  The four elder house is great, but there are  perks to just having two people in a house as well.  And its a little rough not having water for that long, but were not going to die and god will take care of us.  Theres definitely perks so other missions with running water tho haha.
Another funny thing, well not funny, but it came to my mind and I’m sure it goes through every missionary’s mind.  We have this kid named talo, that we've taught twice, and we can never find him, but when we do find him, he always wants to do everything right.  And we have a date with him and everything, but he will never go to church.  But he always talks about how he wants to be an active member and such.  And the thought that always crosses my mind in the quote from remember the Titans.  Where the white coach says,”If you wanna be a star, you've gotta give me a star effort.  And i think of that quote all the time out here”.
Also Elder Gooch and I made a transfer quote for this transfer about Achada Traz.  Its from Elf.  "This place reminds me of Santas workshop, except it smells funny and everyone looks like they want to hurt me..."  ha we laugh about that all the time.
Another funny thing that happens all the time, is we will be talking to someone, and then they will ask if we are american, which is kinda a stupid question, of course we are american.  And then they will get really excited, and tell us that they know someone that lives in America (probably in Brockton, or Boston) and then they always ask if we know them.  And we of course say no.  Then they stay excited, and start describing the one person they know in America, like if they explain more about their black cousin that lives in Boston we will know him.  Its actually quite amusing, none of them understand how big America is haha.

Me and Elder Gooch after a run
Sometimes we will just be walking down the street here, and then I will just look around at everything.  Sometimes I just forget how very much we stand out.  As you can imagine, we are the only white people, besides the missionaries we live with, in like the whole city.  And we always wear shirts and ties, and we just really stand out.  I won't even lie, other than the other missionaries, I haven't seen a white person in a month.  But I love it, the people in Achada Traz love the missionaries.
This is kind of a side note, but I ask every missionary, and the mission president and stuff about Devin, and if they know him.  And its funny because no one really knows him amazing well, but every single person knows of him.  Everyone talks about how positive and patient he was with everything.  And everyone in the mission says the word "Man" all the time.  And I get Elder Dunnell is famous for starting that, because as you know he says it all the time, and so thats really funny.  

Another funny thing is that when Devin showed me his blanket with things about cape verde, I thought it was crazy and funny that people would really do that.  LIke throw buckets of water off the roof, and little kids peeing in the middle of the street.  And all this crazy stuff.  But now I see all that stuff, and I  call that Tuesday, because I see that every single day.  You have no idea how many lessons I have taught with naked kids, and lessons in houses made out of garbage.  Its definitely a different world.
Okay, so the highlight of this week was definitely having my first baptism!  He is a freaking stud.  His name is Zito, actually his name is really long but I don't remember it and thats what everyone calls him.  And he is 19, and 6’5”, and is sweet!  We started teaching him 2 saturdays ago, and he came to church both weeks.  And we had a date for him for the last saturday.  And we went in the monday before his baptism, and he looked all sad and down.  And we started talking with him and his mom, and he said he just didn't feel like he was ready to be baptised this saturday.  And it  broke my heart, but me and elder gooch just talked to him for like an hour.  And we shared experiences, and stories, and everything to try to make him believe that he was ready for baptism.  And at the end the night, he decided he was ready and it was incredible.  We met with him everyday last week, and then he was baptised saturday at four and it was amazing.  Its such a testament to the truthfulness of this gospel, and the spirit, and God could change this kids life in two weeks.  And its was really cool, because I was there the first time we taught him, and it was just so rewarding to see the progress, and see the change two weeks can make.  And then watching him get baptised, and confirmed at church the next day was just incredible.  One of the greatest feeling of my life no doubt.  And it makes everything we have gone through this transfer so much better and worth it.  All the struggles, and getting kicked out of the house and robbed, and having awful cell phones was all worth is when we baptised him.  And he bore his testimony yesterday and it was amazing.   He was prepared to hear the gospel, God prepared him for his gospel, and it was incredible.  

We also had 8 investigators come to church yesterday, a record for Achada Traz.  Like it wasnt even us though, like we reminded them of church and everything, but the spirit got them there.  And it was awesome  because after the baptism, I was on a spiritual high, and just feeling so blessed, so  I decided to do a 24 hour fast to just thank God for everything he blessed us and this area with.  And it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but a ton of our investigators came to church, and it was glorious.  We are suppose to have two baptisms this week, and they both came to sacrament, and they both bore their testimonies and they are solid.  They're brothers, Mindo and Salo.  24 and 25, and extremely athletic, and they are just overall champions.  I cant wait for their baptisms.  We also have 4 or 5 dates set for the week after that, which is the last week of this transfer.  
We only have like 2 weeks in this transfer!  Our mission is so freaking cool because when we get transferred zones, we fly to a different Island!  Part of me wants to be transferred to a different island, but a big part of me wants to stay here and work in Achada Traz.  Because even though its a mile and a half walk, and there's definitely a lot of downs to is, some of the people are just the most amazing people ever.  I have met some of the absolute coolest people ever on the mission!  And the language is coming along, ish haha.  Im working hard at it, but not stressing because that doesn't solve anything!  I love the work tho, and even tho Im sweating 24/7 its a pretty fun place!  I love the mission, and I hope everything is going well back home.  I think about you and miss you all.  
MUch LOve, Elder Jarvis
p.s.  The name of the lizard that lives in the house is Hector.  just like you (dad) call every little mexican kid you see.  And yeah everyone went home from my mtc district but me and Elder Crooks.  Elder Montes has a new comp, a kid from Mozambique, I know i spelled that wrong.  and he is living with us.  hes interesting to say the least haha, but he’s alright
We all have cellphones so sometimes when I get sad I call Elder Drawe or Crooks, and that helps.  We manage to "shower" everyday, if you can call it that ha ha.  Very normal not to have water ha ha.  
Church is about 2.5 miles, which we walk with our suits in this heat haha.  Sorry Dad, but there  are no street names anywhere here. I’ll get a pic with the mozambique elder and send it next week.  
We take bucket showers most days, , and go to layne fahera, another area in our zone.  
I miss Wrigley, she’s the last clean dog I’ve seen.  We kinda have running water.  but most the time you get your body as wet as you can with a bucket.  Shampoo, soap as much as you can, then dry off ish.  I also got my first hair cut here today.  It looks awful haha.  And the whole time I was sweating like crazy, and there was hair everywhere and that was kind of a  mess, but its cape verde.  I love you guys, ill write more next week!

The View from outside our house!