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