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!

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