Monday, September 23, 2013

Achada Grande, the gangster scary part of the mission

Okay first off, Mom don't be scared after anything I tell you.  I'm fine, and I'm going to be fine haha.  Just a freaking crazy country.  I'll write down the highlights from my first five days here, and then give you more detail on the.  
1. We only had working power in our house 3 of the 5 days.  
2. A baby rabbit nibbled on my ankle during a teaching lesson last Saturday.  
3. .01 percent of the flies  in the world live in Utah, the other 99.9 percent live in my area of Cape Verde
4.  As of right now I have 23 mosquito bites on my arms and legs, the repellent doesn't work haha
5.  We have had running water 1 of the 5 days I've been here.  
6.  I was robbed or jumped of Cash or Bodied my third day here haha

1 We are opening up a new area, and Elder Gooch and I moved into a brand new apartment.  Its a pretty nice place, but there was absolutely nothing in there.  As of right now, the 2 rooms we use are the kitchen, when we eat in there, which is rarely.  The bathroom, which we are never in there either because we have only had running water one day.  and our bedroom-study room- everything room haha.  Our beds are on the floor, and we live out of our suitcases because we have zero closets, close racks or anything at all.  And we have no mirror, so I have no idea how I look everyday haha.    
2 We were in a lesson teaching, and its like my third lesson here.  and There were flies all over me, and I was trying to not swat them everywhere.  And my ankle started to hurt, and I just felt this weird pecking at it.  So I looked down, and I kid you not, there was a little baby rabbit just nibbling away at my ankle!! Like a live bunny, just biting my ankle haha.  
3 There are more flies here than you could EVER imagine, everything is covered in dirt.  
4 The mosquito repellent does absolutely nothing, 23 bites as of right now, there's really nothing you can do about them.  
5 We have no running water, like ever.  We've had it one day, and it was glorious.  And we have a filter, but we can't figure out how to fix it, so we just buy water bottles from a place outside our building.  
6 The juicy story.  So it was my third here, my first legit day going with Elder Gooch to our area.  And we have to walk about a mile and a half, across this big sketchy field to get to our area, and it just kinda looks scary.  But we were walking at like 3 in the afternoon, and we were about halfway across the field, and there is this little hill.  And we are at the bottom, and these two guys come down and are walking kinda towards us, both black of course.  In fact, other than the missionaries, i haven't seen a white person here yet..  Anyway, we were talking, and I smiled and said some of the little Portuguese I knew, Boa Tarde, good afternoon.  And then all of a sudden, the first one grabbed Elder Gooch and put a knife to his stomach and started saying mohner! Which means phone in some language haha.  But he took our phone, and the 2 mil, like a little more than twenty american dollars from elder gooch.  And the other one grabbed me, and I just put my hands up, they could have everything I had to offer haha.  I had 2 mil too, so they ended up taking a little over 45 dollars American money, roughly.  And they took my planner, and our keys, but they gave those back because they did them no good.  Keep in mind this is my third day here, so I was a little freaked out.  K I was really freaking out.  But it'll be good.  And really dont worry, I'm going to be just fine here!  And I haven't even told you the best part.  The main guy that robbed us was wearing a North Carolina Michael Jordan jersey! Just another reason to freaking Hate North Carolina hahah.  But really, don't worry, Ill be good, I just thought you would enjoy this story, but don't worry!  And that was the first day that I didn't carry my wallet and Camera, so that was definitely a blessing from God.  

My comp is Elder Jared Gooch from Draper Utah.  He is on his 5th transfer, and he is a freaking champion.  He is so cool, I freaking love him.  We get along pretty well, and he is amazing at Portuguese.  He plays soccer and stuff, but you can probably look him up on Facebook or something.  Hes a stud tho, he keeps me sane.  

I'll tell you a little bit about Cabo Verde.  Take the absolute nicest parts of Costa Rica, then noche it down ten levels, and you have Cape Verde.  To be fair, I am serving in the absolute most Ghetto area of the mission.  Every other missionary was apologizing because my first area is the most ghetto and the most scary.  But I figure it will just be nice when I get transferred, if I get transferred at some point in time.  But we walk about a mile and a half to our area, the ghetto part of Praia.  We have to walk across this big field, that's where we got robbed, or cash or bodied. Anyway about Praia, oh the area I'm serving in is calle Achada Grande, super ghetto.  The mission president thought about getting rid of the area, but instead he sent us there haha.  It ll all work out. I know it will, God sent me here for a reason.  But it was amazingly nice today, I got to take a shower in the other Elders apartment, and they have a mirror and everything, and it's super weird because I hadn't seen myself in the mirror for like 5 days.  But getting to shower was amazing!!!  
The food is pretty good, but I'm insanely spoiled right now because we live on the outskirts of Praia, and there is a lot to eat in Praia.  And I still have my six pounds of American Candy I'm running off! Well its down to like 2 pounds, but still.  I'm so glad I have that, its amazing.  I've eaten at the two nicest restaurants in Praia, so like I said I am amazing spoiled with food up until this point.  Which is nice because I get robbed haha.  But well eat a lot of rice, and onions and peppers in it.  And we kinda drink a lot of soda, and that's easily one of the best parts of my days. ~
Like I said, I'm serving in Achada Grande, the gangster scary part of the mission.  Its a long walk, and we kinda don't love that place, but well end up loving them and baptizing the heck out of them!  
 The language is definitely coming, but its a process.  I understand a ton of what people say in Portuguese, but you have no idea how many people speak Creel.  Its unreal.  Everyone we talk to, we have to ask them to speak Portuguese, because they just start going off in creel.  And its annoying, but i'll end up learning creel after I get Portuguese down.  The reason we can't teach in creel is because the country hasn't decided on a specific dialect of creel, and we don't have Book of Mormon in Creel.  And if they can't read the BOM, they really can't do too much, so we have to speak Portuguese.  but at least where I'm serving, the majority of the people speak Creel unless you ask them to speak Portuguese.  But we have language study and stuff, and Portuguese is coming along.  When Elder Gooch and I are just hanging out, we always speak English.  
It is insanely humid, but part of that is because its the rainy season, and such.  But my clothes are already dirty.  I never wear any of my nice ties or anything, I'll go put them in the A.P s house when I get a chance because I don't want them to get ruined.  But we iron all our clothes and such everyday, but right when we step outside we are drenched in sweat and our shirts become wrinkled.  We iron a lot more to show Heavenly Father that we are willing to take the time to iron everything and try to look nice, not matter how much of a difference it ends up making.  
Church was good yesterday.  I was honestly so tired, but I'm always tired out here.  But I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting and that went well, kinda.  I speak really slow, and I'M not very good and Portuguese yet, but it will come.  
For P day, we can't play soccer or anything because we lost that privilege a couple weeks ago because some missionaries were being stupid.  And we can't go to the beach or anything because that's against the rules.  So today we did some shopping, went to a freaking nice restaurant, and now are emailing, that's about all we'll do.  We have a laundry machine in our house, but we haven't been able to use it yet because we don't have water or electricity haha.  Its definitely a different lifestyle.  It'll take some getting used to.  I miss American Showers already.  I won't lie, I miss America at times, but this is where I'll be for the next two years, so I will learn to love it.

Love all you guys! Please email and send pics and stuff, its amazing nice to get something! Love ya
Love Elder Jarvis      

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First email from Cape Verde - He made it!

TACV (VR) #691 Flight Tracker ✈ FlightAware

Fire at Logan Airport fuel pumps strands planes
AP/ September 17, 2013
BOSTON (AP) — A fire at Boston Logan International Airport’s fuel pumps sent thick, black smoke into the air on Tuesday, forced some international flights to make stops elsewhere to refuel and stranded a handful of planes on the ground.

We talked with Nate from the airport in Boston on Tuesday.  His flight was delayed a few hours.  Then today (Wednesday) we got this quick email from him, which made us happy-

Hey they're giving us like five minutes to email and just let you know everything is going well.  

I got here safe, although we were the only white people on the plane, and it was extremely hot and everyone was smushed together, and it was kind of really gross.  And it ended up being a really long flight, but it all worked out.  I love it here, its so beautiful, you have no idea.  It’s so colorful, and the ocean is gorgeous, and everything is good.  On the long plane ride I had a killer headache and that was nao bon, mas I got some advil when we landed and it all worked out.  

It’s unreal how humid it is.  I stepped out of the plane and was immediately drenched in sweet, its crazy. And it rained, and everything is so green and beautiful and amazing.  I find out who my comp is in a little, and find out which island I serve on.  I can't wait to hear from you, I love all of you!  My P-day is Monday so I'll email more then, but its incredible out here.  Love you  guys.

~love elder jarvis

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Travel Plans for next week

We got out travel plans, I'm sooooo excited!

We leave on the 17th!!!

Another great week at the MTC.  We switched buildings, they are moving all the Portuguese speakers into 18 M, the biggest building.  They have almost completely gotten rid of Spanish speakers at the regular MTC, they are all sending them over to the West Campus.  I think Elder Sanders is moving over to the West Campus Tuesday.  There are so many people here going to Brazil, its unreal.  We always make fun of them because they are learning the ugly Portuguese, and we are learning the actual Portuguese!  Its a lot of fun tho.  It was really sad because a lot of my really good friends left for their reassigned areas this week.  Elder Huxford went to Jacksonville, Milsap went to Ohio, Starr went to Boston.  These are all guys that I saw everyday in my building, and played ball with almost everyday.

I leave for Africa in 12 days, and were suppose to get our travel plans Monday if everything goes according to plan.  We also have a new teacher, Brother Casia.  He served in Brazil.  Irma Pike, our other teacher also served in  Brazil.  Irmo Workman who was our teacher served in Mozambique.  So none of our teachers served in Cape Verde.  We did have a guy, who served in Cape Verde come and talk to us.  I think we will have 11 missionary's going to Cape Verde, but don't hold me to that number because I'm really not sure.  Oh also this week I said goodbye to Elder Hulet and Elder Bosco.  That was sad but fun.  I went over to their residence and hung out with them from like 9-11 ish, and it was really nice to say goodbye to those guys, hopefully I will hear from them soon.

From speaking with Ryan and Dallin I was really surprised at how similar a lot of English words are to Dutch words.  I think their flight went to Detroit and then straight to his mission, but you guys probably know more about that then I do.  We continued to teach our "investigators" this week.  And we have TRC tonight, which is where we talk to real people, who are acting as themselves, that know Portuguese.  That's always fun and interesting.

As far as the language goes, I think I have a pretty good grasp on a lot of the spiritual stuff.  I can pray, share my testimony, do the first vision, the purpose, and a couple of scriptures in Portuguese.  We can teach a pretty effective lesson too, but that's just all the church stuff.  I'm really kind of blind about all the world stuff, and what not.  But I understand things when we talk about religion and churches and such.

Tuesday night we heard from David F Evans of the 70.  He mainly  talked about mission stats and stuff, but it was really good.  There are 75k missionary's right now, and its suppose to just to almost 100k in a year.  And we talked about the crowded MTC and what not.  My favorite quote he said was "The key to missionary work is work" And he was quoting someone else, but I really loved that. Dad will like this, but it made me think of John Wooden’s quote that said "Nothing will work unless you do"  I love that.

Another thing that hit me really hard was when I was reading back on my journal and I wrote this the night Elder Riley Gates left.  We talked about how only .4% of the world is LDS, and .002% of the world has the opportunity to serve missions.  And just how blessed I was to grow up in Utah, surrounded by people that believed and lived the gospel.  Like statistically, I shouldn't be here with this opportunity to share the gospel with people.  And I especially shouldn't get the chance to serve with my best friend, in a district that I absolutely love.  But I guess its just testament to how much we are blessed on this Earth at this time.  Idk, I kind of feel like I don't deserve all these blessings that I've received on my mission, but I also know that it will all catch up to me pretty soon when Im in a country where I don't understand the language, or don't get to eat these MTC donuts every morning haha.  Not that God won't bless me and be with me in Africa, I just know it'll be tougher.  But I really am looking forward to it.

 BYU plays Texas here tomorrow, so were all planning our escape haha.  I'm so jealous you get to hear from Christofferson.  Of course right when I leave you get my favorite general Authority!  Its cool tho cause President Monson is coming to talk to us Tuesday!  We are leaving like 4 hours early to get there, it will be insane!! I've gotta go, Love you guys (and tell people to write me!;)

Love Elder Jarvis

Sunday, September 1, 2013

MTC Week 3- Visit from Elder Anderson

Another good week at the MTC, trying to learn Portuguese.    Elder Anderson of the Twelve came and spoke to us on Tuesday, he talked about love, and that was really good.  Then it was pouring rain outside the Marriott  Center, so we stayed in for 20 minutes and sang hymns, we sing all the time haha.  When they finally let us out it was still pouring rain, but there wasn't lightning, so all the missionaries in the MTC ran from the Marriott Center back to the MTC in the pouring rain, it was a blast!  We let all the sisters take our jackets, and we were freezing, but we had a great district testimony meeting after, and it was really cool.  We have a very spiritual district, and that's good.  We all talked about Anderson’s talk on love, and things we love, and all this stuff.  

The District on our Sunday temple walk-

I've seriously felt the spirit more the last 3 1/2 weeks than ever before in my life.  Which makes sense, I'm on a mission.  But its just a cool thing.  I really like when we teach our "investigators" too, because even though  I don't know the language very well, God has a way of letting the Holy Ghost into your heart, and giving you words to say.  And I always thought it was cheesy when people would say that, but it really is the truth.  Because I'm really not that great at Portuguese yet, but we can effectively teach a lesson, and we've only been here for a few weeks.  Elder Caplin gets the language a little better than I do, but we talk pretty 50/50 during our lessons.  Caplin was sick again yesterday, so we stayed in the room till about noon then went to class and such.  It sucks that he is never feeling good, but I guess the Lord is just testing him.  

I go talk to Trevor Sanders every night, and I see Ryan Hulet almost everyday.  He leave Monday, so we're bringing some of the Poly's from our building over to his and throwing a big bash Sunday night before he leaves!  On the second floor of our place are all the Poly's going to Samoa and Tonga and Fiji and such.  They hang out by the vending machines till like 3 in the morning.  And they are always playing the ukulele all night, and its crazy how talented they are.  And they are all huge, and are all going to play football at  D1 schools.   And they party every night, and wear their skirt things, and its great!

Elder Sefita, grew up in American Samoa, knows Gordan Reid and the whole Reid family

The left is the winner board for PIG, on the right, Elder Kaplin changed the quote of the day!

Today is P day, which means laundry, which is an absolute mess at the MTC.  Its definitely a dog eat dog world down there, every man for himself.  People are running for washing machines, and dryers, and its really quite funny.  After being here a couple weeks, I consider myself a vet, and so laundry isn't too bad.  But there are so many people here that it can definitely get ugly.  

My good friend Elder Braze Huxford got his reassignment to Jacksonville Florida, I thought Mom would like that.  Everyone on our floor is going to Brazil, and they are all getting reassigned so its crazy to see where people end up going.  As far as I know my visa is good, but I haven't heard anything yet so we'll  see.  Its crazy to think a 3 weeks I'll be flying to Africa,  haha!

I love all you guys, and miss Cedar City  and the Pizza Factory and such, but I really love it up here, and it's a lot of fun. And contrary to popular belief  (or maybe just my parents belief) we are working really hard up here, we have class like 14 hours a day! Days feel like weeks, weeks feel like day.

Love Elder Jarvis

Elder Bunting, played basketball for Snow Canyon

Elder Richards