Monday, January 27, 2014

The New Kid

Nate meets Elder Amado for the first time

Chegadas Jan 2014, Portugal, Tonga, USA, Brasil e Cabo Verde
(the new missionaries this transfer and where they are from, Nate's new companion Elder Amado is 2nd from the left)

I got a feege!

So this week was sweet.  I didn’t get my comp until Thursday, so I hung out with Elder Evans until then.  We worked Achada Traz during the day when we could, and we worked Achada Mato, his area, at night.  It went well.  Taught some sweet people, marked a couple dates and it was sweet.  We also made brown sugar rolls every day, which was incredible.  He had a member that showed him how to make bread, and we found some brown sugar at this American store!  It was super good to spend so much time with Elder Evans, he’s a boss, and we’ll hang out after the mission. A funny thing that happened when I was with him when we were at a member’s house.  There was this little kid, 2 or 3, with a diaper on.  And he was screaming like crazy.  So the mom takes the diaper off, and put him in the little pool of water that they have in their house.  And he immediately poops in the pool of water, like within 2 minutes of getting in! It was super funny because this kid had a diaper on for 2 hours before that, and right when the take it off he decides to let loose.
So on Thursday we received our new companions and that was sweet! It was clearly the first time I have ever met Elder Amado, and he is a boss.  He is from Cape Verde, the island of Fogo, and has been a member for a year, and already knows a ton of the missionaries in the mission because they served in his area on Fogo.  He is super sweet though, and will help me a ton with my Portuguese.  We'll work hard together and it’ll be fun.

It’s a little weird to have a normal comp, because I was the most blessed person in the world with my first two comps.  Having Elder Caplin in the MTC was super easy, and then Elder Gooch was my best friend for my first 4 months in Africa.  It’s just different because I don’t have anyone to really talk to a ton, but I speak English with Elder Dorff in the house, so that’s super nice.  It will be a great experience serving with him,  I’ll learn a bunch and I’m super looking forward to it.  A couple things about us.  We established day one that we are buying our food separately, ha ha. I made him pancakes his first day, and he didn’t really love those.  So I think we’ll do food separately, which is alright! I’ll just eat American stuff, and he will cook what he likes.  It’s kinda funny, I tied his tie for him the first 3 days we were together, then I taught him how to tie it last night.  That’s a pretty big cuza (creol for thing) for missionaries to know how to do.  But he’s a boss, and I will love serving with him.  (Nate told us Elder Amado has never had a working sink, washing machine or fridge, until coming on the mission….)

So this was also my first week of being the district leader, just me.  Between starting to train elder Amado, and doing that it was kind of a stressful four days, but I’m getting used to it.  Just trying to adjust.  This district meeting went pretty well too.  I was a little late because I was doing one of Achada Matos interviews.  But it was good.  I gave training on why goals are important to missionaries.  Just talked about why we set goals, and the importance of them.  Then we talked about the three people that need to be aware of your goals.  You, God, and the investigator.  We also talked about the importance of using calendarios to help our investigators.  Elder Gooch and Elder Accord helped me out with that, and it was sweet.  I Love having those guys as zone leaders, and its super sweet!  I look up to both of them a ton, and there is a reason they are both Zone Leaders.  I’ll definitely hang out with those guys a bunch when I get back.

Yeah, so a pretty normal week.  Had Friday Pizza with the Zone leaders as always.  Also Elder Evans got his new missionary.  His name is Elder Pau'u from Tonga.  His last name translates to bread in Portuguese ha ha.  He is a boss, and he is huge.  I give Elder Evans crap and tell him that he is going to go broke the first week of the month because his comp will eat so much, ha ha.

I’m not sure why this week I couldn’t stop thinking about my big brother.  Its crazy he’s almost done with his mission.  There are so many people out here that I’m like great friends with that will go home the same time as him, that he will have to look up and be friends with.  Also, Elder Christensen will come to Praia for Zone Conference next week, and I talked with Norberto, our recent convert, about getting me a glove so we could play catch, and he said he could!  I’m super stoked for that.  I miss baseball and basketball as much as anything.

But tonight we have a family night in Achada Grande.  People don’t really do Family nights in Achada Traz, but I invited Noberto and Enice to come and see how they do it.  Well try to get a family night in Achada Traz someday this week, that would be sweet! Our family night is in like 20 minutes, and I haven’t planned a spiritual thought yet, so I’m winging it!

I love all you guys so much, thanks for all you do and all the letters, it literally makes the mission!

With Much Love,
Elder Jarvis, Cape Verde.

Nate, Elder Evans and the New Guys

Monday, January 20, 2014

Behind the scenes pictures and a new companion on the way

So two Elders from the MTC wanted "behind the scene pics" of cape verde.  So here are random pics I took before transfers. 
Where we always get robbed!

Where we go shopping each week
The Hill in Lem Ferre we walk up every day
Where we pick up bread every morning
A playground in our area, Achada Traz.  I had to be sneaky when I took this because Traz is such a sketchy place.

Our apartment in Achada Grande

So we had transfers last night, and for the first night on the mission, I received a call from President Oliveira.  I was honestly really nervous when he called, obviously.  But he said that I was staying in Achada Grande, and training a new missionary straight from the MTC in Brazil.  He is from Cape Verde, and will be serving in Cape Verde.  So it will be super nice to get a lot better at Portuguese with him.  It was awesome though because Elder Gooch became Zone leader in my Zone, so he literally just moved down the street.  He is my Zone leader, and I'm in his district and everything.  Also, he is serving with Elder Acord, who is one of my favorites also.  He was my zone leader my second transfer, then he got moved, then he got moved back! So its gonna be a ton of fun.  And we'll still do Pizza Fridays and everything so I'm really looking forward to it!
But this last week with Elder Gooch was sweet!  We worked the area a little, and its doing well.  We should have a couple baptisms here in the next couple weeks.  I wont lie, I feel some pressure leading this area because its been doing so well, and I really just don't just wanna mess it up.  But the week was good.  I did a division with the Achada Mato elders on Thursday and that was way fun.  I went down there and worked with Elder Evans.  He was in the MTC with me, and we are awesome friends.  He will be my comp till Thursday when my new comp comes in.  But he is from Vegas, Legacy High School.  We were in the MTC together, and he was in Cedar all the time because his cousins live there (Lauren and Lindsey Olsen), and I actually know them!  So we talked about Cedar, and Las Vegas a lot.  Their house is one of the crappiest on the mission, but they always have running water, and they have a fan, which is nice.  But the house itself is really awful haha.  But it was a ton of fun to do the division with him.
Also this week we had the big scripture game, and that went better than expected.  Two weeks ago I did a training in Zone Conference, and it was on diligence.  And the Zone Leaders asked me to come up with a date when everyone in the zone would have all 42 of their scriptures memorized.  They asked me in part because I was giving the training, and because I was the youngest one in the zone.  So when I could have them is when everyone should have had them.  So I said two weeks, which was really a stretch for me.  So the last two weeks, in almost any free time I had, I just studied, and memorized like crazy.  And its amazing the power God has to help us do things.  Because before the mission, I really couldn't memorize things very well at all.  But I prayed like crazy, and just asked for His help.  And one thing I love was a quote by Elder Smith, our ZL, and he said "When we make a mission goal, its not just a goal.  Its a covenant with God" And I loved that because it super helped me a lot.  By the time we had our district meeting I had most of the scriptures memorized, well all of them.  But it was just such a testament to the power of God.  Because obviously if I make a goal working toward memorizing scriptures, God isn't gonna leave us hanging and say "ha, sucks you can't memorize very well".  Like it was a goal to get these scriptures down.  And obviously he wants us to know the scriptures, so he will help us.  And it was just amazing to see his hand in my life. 

Last week I got an email from an Elder I was with in the MTC, and he said he wanted the "Behind the scenes" look on Cape Verde.  So I took a bunch of random pics and sent them to you guys.  Also right now, apparently its some sort of holiday.  Pretty much an excuse for people to not work.  Which they don't really do much anyway, so its not a ton of a change.  But everyone marches up and down the streets and plays trumpets, and a ton of drums just as loud as they can.  And its giving me a bad head ache right now, but its also just kinda funny.  Its seriously like they gave little kids drum sets and told them to go crazy.  Like it doesn't even sound like music, they are just playing as loud as they can, and its been going All Day 

Another funny thing they do is honk their horns on the cars.  Kinda like when you let your little kid sit in your lap when you drive, and they keep honking the horn because they think its the coolest thing ever that it makes noise.  Its like that, but everyone in the country does it, its pretty funny.  

But overall I still love this place.  Super excited to get a new comp, and have a chance to get better at the language.  It'll be a little different living with an African, but I'm super excited for the opportunity!  I love all you guys, keep sending pics! 

Women are usually carrying something on their head.

Where I get my haircut.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Igor, Dino and last week with Gooch!

January 13, 2014

I'll be honest, that last week went by super fast and I really don’t remember a ton of it. Monday night we had a family night, and that was sweet!  Tuesday was a pretty sweet day!  We did a division on Wednesday with Elder Doorf and Elder Conduane.  which really wasn’t much of a division because we live in the same house...  But Elder Conduane came with me to Achada Traz, and Doorf went with my better half to Achada Grande.  

My job in the division was to make Elder Conduane a little more happy, because he never seems that happy, and Elder Gooch says I'm one of the more positive people he knows. So the whole time during comp study we talked about happiness and stuff.  And I used a ton of stuff that my dad talks about. I Just said, in Portuguese of course, "do you know what my dads job is? and of course he said no, and I said, "Seu trabajalo e para adujadar triste pessoas ser feliz" I said my dad's a therapist, and his job is to make sad people happy. So we talked about that a lot.  And I did this example where, and this will happen in Cape Verde.  where there are a lot of people in our area that won't get to talk to the missionaries. There are just too many people.  So I said, maybe there will be someone on the street that only sees the missionaries one time in their entire lives.  They might never talk to us ever.  And there one impression about the church will come from seeing Elder Conduane, or Elder Jarvis,  walk down the street.  And their whole belief about our church will be seeing us that one time.  And if he sees us and we look sad, what is he going to think?  Well clearly he is going to think that that church makes people sad.  But if he sees us smiling and laughing as we walk, what is he going to think? Of course that this church makes people happy.  So we just always need to be happy whether we are  really happy or not.  Because we never know when there will be that one person looking at us to the the light of Christ.  And if we are sad, we might have just cost that person a chance to be interested in our message, and I feel like that's just one of the worst things ever.

      And the other thing we talked about was just telling people that you love them.  Because one thing I’ve learned out here is that you can never tell people that you love them enough, and actually mean it.  Its definitely one of the things I wish I would have done more before I left.  So I asked if he tells elder Doorf that he loves him. And he said that he has never said that to anyone in his life.  So we did a practice, and it was actually kinda funny, where he told me that he loved me. And when Elder Doorf, and Elder Gooch got home the first thing he said to Elder Doorf was that he loved him.  
      And Its just one of the best things I learned from my mom and dad.  Like two years is seems like a long time.  And if you aren't happy and love what you do every single day, its gonna be the longest two years of your life.  But its like Elder Holland says "The biggest regret people have before they die is that they wish they would let themselves be happier. People have this thought that there is always some obstacle in the way, keeping them from having that happiness.  Like a better cell phone, or a nicer car, or a better comp, or running water, or hot showers.  But in reality, there’s always going to be those things in life.  And if we chose to focus on them, life's gonna suck.  But it was really nice for me to do the division because it made me think about what makes me be happy everyday.  And I always knew, but helping explain it to Elder Conduane really opened my eyes, and hopefully helped him out a little too.  
     But other than that the week wasn't too bad.  We didn't teach too many lessons, but I taught 5 tree of life lessons, and got 26 references for us to contact this week, so that’s all we will do this week is contact and try to get new investigators.  Last week all we did was pass by our baptisms for the week Igor and Dino.  
Nate, Igor and Elder Gooch
      Igor is Noberts and Nices kid, and he was the only one in their family not baptized. We had tried to teach him before, and he had desire.  But he was completely honest with us, and said he had a girlfriend and was not going to stop breaking the law of chastity.  So we told him when he decided to change, the doors to the church were open, and we knew Nobert would help him get there.  So hes been to church three weeks in a row, broke it off with his girl, and was baptized this last week.  He said that  he noticed his family was happy and he wanted to be happy like them.  So now their entire family is preparing to go the temple in a year from now and be sealed. It's pretty sick because I'll still be on my mission.  And to go home,  we fly out of Praia, so i will definitely see them as a sealed family before I go back to America which just blows my mind to thing about.  They are the coolest family ever.  
Nate, Dino, Dina and Gooch
     Dino is Dina's son.  Our baptism from my second transfer.  We have baptized him, his mom, and his sister.  So we will continue to work with Tito the husband, and another one of her daughters.  One of her daughters doesn't really believe in God, so it will be interesting to teach her, but were gonna try this week.  But Dino is 16, super prepared to hear the gospel and it was sweet!.
      I also did baptismal interviews last week.  I interviewed a ten year old, and a 26 and 27 year old couple that just got married, so that was sweet! Everything went well with those, and they were all baptized.  We also had a less active get a calling, which is one of the main goals for the zone right now.  
     But other than that everything is everything in Cape Verde.  Today was my four month anniversary with my better half, Elder Gooch.  so we went out to lunch and it was great! But I still love it out here and i love hearing from all you guys.  Keep writing and sending pictures!

Gooch and Jarvis, one last lunch
Com muito amor, seu amigo na Africa,

Elder Jarvis

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Years in Cape Verde

January 6, 2014

New Years in Cape Verde is a little different than Utah haha.  I love it tho, it was super fun.  So most the people here just drink like its a job on New Years Eve.  We went out to our area, and came home around 6 because the sun started to go down, and everyone was hammered by 5 in the afternoon. So we went over and spent the night at the Zone Leaders house! The whole district was there and it was sweet!  We brought mats, and sat on the roof in Lem Ferra, and it was sweet.  I sat up there and had a good talk with Elder Evans from Vegas for a while.  He has a lot of family in Cedar City, and we know some of the same people so its fun to have someone to relate to.  So we sat on the roof and watched the "Firework" show.  But to be completely honest, the firework show in the front yard of the Jarvis home would give Cape Verde a run for its money.  There were only a couple fireworks that we could actually see, but it was still fun to be there and hang out with all the guys.

Missionary work is crazy around the holidays because Everyone is drunk, and it's tough to find sober people to teach.  New Years day was sweet as well, but there were more parties so we didn't get out and teach a whole ton.  But the work is still sweet!  Igor, the last non member in Noberto’s family will be baptised this week.  And Odgevanilto, son of our recent convert Dina will be baptised this week as well.  Familias!!!  But we should have one or two for the week after that too so its all good!  We also had most of our recent converts come to church, so its looking good.  We should become a ward pretty soon here, which is sweet!
Other highlights from this week.  I did my first baptismal interview.  I interviewed a 14 year old boy, and it was good.  It was amazing because I was really blessed with the gift of tounges during the interview.  Like I can understand some creol now, but I’m in no way fluent in it.  And the kid answered every question in Creol, and I understood everything.  Which I guess is just a tender mercy the Lord definitely blessed me with on Friday.  

Also, Friday while we were doing our usual division with the Zone Leaders, Elder Smith asked if I would give a training the next day in Zone Conference.  I’m only in my third transfer, and technically I'm a district leader, but thats just because Elder Gooch is the district leader and hes a boss.  He asked me to give the training in Zone Conference on why Diligence is "cool".  And I said "Elder Smith, I’ll be completely honest, I dont even know how to say the word Diligence in Portuguese" And he said I should give the training anyway.  So I prepared it and gave it and it went really well.  It was a little weird because Im in my third transfer giving a training to Elder who are all older and smarter than me.  With the language, and probably spiritually.  But I prayed like crazy, and God definitely helped me out, and it turned out pretty good.   

Another crazy thing that happend was this fight on Sunday.  So we were trying to find Junior, an investigator.  And all of a sudden everyone started running up this street to watch this fight.  And so the whole town is gathered around this house.  And there are 2 full grown women standing on the street throwing beer bottles and rocks at, and into this house.  And the people in the house were throwing beer bottles and rocks back at them.  And the whole town was watching these four girls go at it, just throwing beer bottles and rocks into, and out of the house.  Elder Gooch and I turned to corner, saw what was going on, and immedietly turned around and walked the other way.  A couple "cops" showed up and cleaned up the fight a little.  It was just funny to see these grown women fighting like that! Like I doubt any four of the women were hit with rocks, it was grown women throwing rocks at each other.   We got out of there fast tho, we were never within 100 yards of the fight.  And it wasn't dangerous at all, we walked away right when we saw it.
Another sweet thing was Sunday after church.  Idk if you can find it on good maps, but there is this big road straight up from Lem Ferra to Achada Grande.  Just straight up the hill.  And the sun was setting over the ocean Sunday and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  The sky was seriously  purple, orange, red, light blue, dark blue, white, and yellow.  It was the most colors I've ever seen the sky.  And the ocean was there, and we could see the whole city of praia, and it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life.  Elder Gooch and I literally sat down and started at it for 20 minutes until the sun went down.  So pretty.  I take it for granted, but I see the ocean every single day, and not many missionaries  get to say that.  Its pretty!  

This next week should be the first normal week in a while, which will be nice to kind of settle down.  I’m looking forward to just studying, and working in Achada Traz.  Also our Recent Convert Dina made us cake this week! What a boss! Were not allowed to eat with members, but its dina, and it was sweet!

Overall I love this place, another great week with the Dynamic Duo.  Love Elder Gooch.  Love all you guys and miss you like crazy!

Much Love, Elder Jarvis

Christmas week

December 30, 2013

I think this week is really crazy for all the missionaries in the world, and it wasn't any different for us.  Monday was a sweet day.  We went and bought presents for Jair and his kids because they weren't getting anything for Christmas.  So we bought Jair a tie that he wore to church this sunday.  We bought Jamilla, his oldest daughter some nail polish, she wore that to church as well.  We got his 8 year old son jamilson a toy car, and his littlest daughter a stuffed bear.  It was sweet because when we visited them Sunday they were all playing with their toys and it was sweet!  Monday we also had the Chrismas party for the ward.   Being the good missionaries we are, elder Gooch and I probably should have bought our white elephant gift recievers ties, because we are missionaries and that's what missionaries are suppose to do.  But we thought that would be boring.  So we bought them Sunglasses!  They were chinese, super fake, and super sweet!  Our people were a 60 years old man and 45 year old man in our ward.  They looked a little goofy in the sunglasses, but it was a fun gift!  There was also a crazy amount of food there, which was sweet!  Mostly just little african cookie things.  They are straight carbs, destroyed my stomach, but it was christmas so we ate a ton anyway.  The guy that drew my name gave me a couple cabo verde bracelets, which with probably be sent home in my next package.  It was a way fun night. 

Tuesday was of course Christmas Eve, and it was kinda tough for us to stay focused.  So we delivered the presents to Jair, and baked a cake for some of our other investigators.  After that we had the sleepover of the century at the Zone Leaders house.  It was sweet! We had our whole district there, and we had 7 cakes up there.  We received two cakes from members in the ward, and a couple missionaries made cakes.  So we ate cake, played Heros De Biblia, bible versions of uno.   We did that until we fell asleep.
We work up Christmas morning, and opened the presents of course.  It was  sweet!  My dad sent me some sweet DI ties that I will actually wear just about everyday out here.  Most people didn't get their Christmas packages because the mail is super backed up.  So if you sent something here, I probably wont get it for a while, sorry... 

Christmas day we borrowed a laptop from a member to Skype our families, but it never really ended working out.  We just spent a lot of money, and Skype never actually worked.  So I spent the entire christmas day waiting for other people to finish skyping their families so I could skype mine! But my dad called me, and we talked for a little.  Then finally I got to skype them, and we had enough time, and it was all good.  

They day after christmas was probably one of the most depressing days of my mission tho.  Elder Gooch and I didnt talk much the whole day, and we got our hair cuts and such.  And after we got them cut I told Elder Gooch, "Look I tried to hide it, but I think we should just be honest with ourselves, Today really sucks"  He thought that was really funny, and insanely true.  So we sat down, got a coke and talked for a little.  Then we went and taught the gospel, and everything was all good.  We also went to the only buffet in Praia to try to cheer us up that day but it didnt really work out...  But was good though.   It was just so nice to talk to the family, but that the day after was a little tough.  

Friday and Saturday were pretty normal days.  One of my favorite things about saturday was when we were walking back from District meeting.  And when people get married, everyone just honks their horns on their cars.  And the funniest thing was when I saw bride and groom.  They were sitting in the back of a samari, just like the Corry's.  Can you imagine sitting in the back of a samari right after you got married? It was one of the funniest things Ive ever seen in my life.  She was all dressed up in white, in a Samari.  
Anyway, Sunday was sweet.  Got quite a few investigators to church, Should have a baptism next week.  
But I love you guys, and I hope everything is going well! 
Elder Jarvis