Monday, February 24, 2014

President visits the new Achada Grande Ward and Building!!

President Oliveria visits the new Achada Grande Ward and Building!
Achada Grande Ward!!
This week was a pretty good one. We had a baptism, and everyone in the district had one, for the third week in a row, which is super good.  The work in really progressing, and Achada Traz is sweet!  Church was good, we didn't get too many people there, and we need to find more people with desire, but we're gonna do that a bunch this week.  I'm stoked. But President Oliviera came to our sacrament meeting.  Just because we are using the new chapel, and we are a ward and he wanted to see how everything was going. I think he posted some pictures on the mission Facebook
 page about it.

Our baptism's name is Alaida. She is 18 and she is the best.  She is Dorecy's best friend. Dorecy was our baptism from a couple weeks back, now she is a sweet member.  Dorecy gave us a ton of references that are pretty golden.  Alaida is sweet, and she read the Book of Mormon, and prepared well.  Its such a good feeling to see people progress and change!  

This week I also did a division with Achada Mato.  I hung out with Elder Pau in my area, and we both learned a bunch.  I love teaching with new missionaries, because they teach super simply, and it helps remind me how simply we really can teach.  He is a stud, and I loved spending time with him.  He is a Tongan, which by trade means he is always hungry, so we kinda ate a lot.  And it was sweet.  He also bought a basketball because he wanted to play, so we have been playing a little bit in the mornings, and that's super good.
We also had a goofy experience this week. So I was at the Dauga, which is the farthest east out area goes.  And we were teaching a lesson when secret agent Fonseca called. (His named in Brother Fonseca, he was an A.P. missionary here, but now he is off his mission, and is the elders quorum president in our ward.) So he called and told me that Sister Olivera was in Achada Traz to look at our new house.  (We are geting a house in Achada Traz because we keep getting robbed in the path to Achada Traz) But the house was on the other side of Achada Traz, over by Norberto's house.  He said that we better get there quick because Sister Oliviera wasn't gonna wait on us.  Which makes sense, they are the busiest people in the country. So we ended the lesson super fast, and took off in a dead run across Achada Traz.  We ran from one side, to the other side of Achada Traz, in our church clothes.  It was crazy.  So we show up to talk to Sister Oliviera, all sweaty, and trying to catch our breathe.  It was super funny, and strange.  We should move into that house at some point in the near future.  

The other sweet thing that happened this week was that I had the chance to do a division with Elder Bruce, the A.P.  It was the day that I had to do interviews, so we just walked around for a while. But we talked a bunch, and I learned a ton of stuff.  He is seriously possibly the best missionary in the world, and it was great getting to spend time with him.
It's good serving with Elder Amado, he helps me with the language a ton.
We also had a good district meeting. I gave a training on inviting people.  I prepared it with Elder Bruce, and it was super nice to have his help. We talked about separating the baptism question from the rest of the lesson.  Because sometimes when I teach, I just get so excited because we have this message that everyone needs, and I just get to excited. And he told me he had that problem, and he still teaches with energy, he just learned to channel that into the spirit when he asks questions like that.  It was super good, and I tried to share that message with our district.
This transfer will be one week longer because the flights are messed up.  But that's just life in Cape Verde!  I hope I stay, but we will see what happens. I Love my area, and I am in the best mission in the world! Thank you all so much for everything you have done to help me get out here! 

Much Love, Elder Jarvis

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Weekly from Cabo Verde

This week was pretty sweet in Achada Traz. A lot of stuff happened.  This was our first week being a ward, and we also opened our new chapel.  So a pretty big week for the people of Achada Grande!  Its a ton closer, and our church moved to nine in the morning, and that helped us a ton getting people to church.  And the church is super nice inside!  It was a little stressful because no one has callings right now because we are switching from a branch to a ward, so we had to do a ton to help them get ready.  But the people were so excited for the new chapel, and it really was such a fun experience.  I wont lie, it was a super stressful Sunday, and I didn't really have the chance to enjoy it as much as I would have liked, but our job is to work so everyone else has the chance to enjoy it.  I was honestly more tired this week than I feel like I have been in my whole life. But I'm sure that never goes away.  Our district had 8 baptisms, and I did six of the interviews, and I had to call President about some of the interviews, and it was just a little stressful.  But like I said, I doubt that ever goes away, and I'll learn to get used to it.  

Elder Amado and I definitely don't see eye to eye on everything, or anything for that matter, but we're making it work, and he will be ready to train by the time we are done.  We had a couple of baptisms, and that always solves a lot of problems.  We baptized a 17 year old kid named Patrick, and he is a stud.  It was actually pretty interesting how we ended up finding him.  His brother Nunu was a reference from like three people, so we contacted him, and had a lesson with him.  Turns out he is kind of a fubecka.. But during the lesson, his brother came in and said that he wanted to talk to us.  So we started talking with Patrick, and it was pretty awesome.  He was prepared, came to stake conference with us, and church one time, and he was baptized last Saturday. He just had a super desire to serve god, and he read the Book of Mormon, and that's all it takes.
The other is named Delcy.  It's a very interesting story with her.  So she lived with her mom, and her one brother and sister.  Then her mom started liking this guy named King, and he moved in with them.  King is an interesting story.... He lived in Achada Grande, and was a recent convert to Elder Montes, and Godfrey.  So he was baptized, and then he broke the word of wisdom before he was confirmed.  So that was a big long thing, but he finally got confirmed.  But now he is living with this other lady, and they are not married.  And he is kind of breaking the law of chastity, and the palavra de sab (Word of Wisdom).  So we go over there to talk to those two about marriage.  Then realize that Delcy has already been to church one time.  So she came one more time, and we kept teaching her, and she was baptized last Saturday.  She is pretty quiet, but she had a pretty big desire to follow god, and that's always a good start!  So we baptised those two, and it was pretty sweet. 
Also this week, Elder Pau'u, from Tonga, missed basketball, so he bought a ball! There is a "court" down in Lem Ferra, and we got to ball a couple times this week.  It was super nice to hold a ball, and it was the first time in a couple months Ive gotten to do that.  It sounds strange, but I really don't love playing basketball out here.   It just makes me think of the gym at CV and makes me miss home.
This week I also did a division with Achada Grande.  Elder Conduane and Elder Amado worked together in Achada Grande, and I worked my area with Elder Dorff. We  had a pretty solid day, and did a couple of practice interviews.  The point of the division was just to give Elder Conduane a chance to lead his area, give my comp a chance to speak portugese a little more freely.  And I'm supposed to do divisions with everyone in the district.
We have also been doing lunch with Elder Accord and Elder Gooch quite a bit.  Those guys are awesome zone leaders, and it is nice to talk to those guys on the phone almost every night.  Elder Accord goes home soon, and he will be passing my Cedar at some point in time, so be looking out for him Jarvis Family!  He told me he is going to stop by and say hi to Ben just to make me mad.  Elder Christensen actually told me the same thing, so be on the look out for those two clowns.  I look up to those guys a ton, and the mission is really going to change between them going home, and President Oliviera going home, and it will be a little weird..  I'm looking forward to it though.  Transfers are in a couple weeks, so that will be intersting to see what happens.  Elder Bruce has been A.P for 5 transfers, and it will be interesting to see how much longer he stays.    Honestly we have the best missionaries in the world here, and I'm super blessed to get the chance to work with them.  I love all of you guys, and am so grateful for everyone of you.
Much love
Elder Jarvis

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Branch becomes a Ward, Doing the Training, and trying to get along with Amado

February 10, 2014

So this week will definitely be memorable..  It started off with Monday night.  I had like two hours to talk with Elder Christensen about how to give my training and what not.   He was the A.P for 5 transfers, and he also opened up the island Miao.  So he is a boss.  And he taught me a ton about how to give trainings.  Most of the material I used to talk about the book of mormon I got when I studied.  But he helped me put it all together, and just showed me how to give it.  Because honestly how you present something is more important that what is actually coming out of your mouth.  So we just talked about never standing still during trainings, and always looking as someone, and asking specific people questions. But I was still a little nervous, it's a training in front of 75 missionaries and president.   I learned a bunch, and I definitely
 need to thank him.  But the training itself went pretty well, or as well as it could have.   Obviously it wasn't perfect, I'm in my fourth transfer, and everyone there speaks better Portuguese than me.  But it went as well as it could have. We also did the scripture game in Zone conference.  My scripts were the forth article of faith, and a scripture for repentance, super easy ones.
This is a crazy part in the week though.  So we hadn't baptized yet this transfer, because Elder Gooch and I really didn't set up this next transfer well.. And we didn't have one for this week.  But the night after zone conference, we got a text from the zone leaders, and they said, "We learned a bunch today, put your faith to work, and find one more person for baptism this week."  So Elder Amado and I prayed like crazy to find someone.  And Wednesday we passed a less active house, and they weren't home.  So we had an hour. Our window to find.  So we said a prayer to find someone.  And seriously right after the prayer, a kid walked out of the house.  We talked to him a little, and he had been to church a couple times, but was never baptized.  He is 17 and his name is Leo.  So we went in, and had a pretty good lesson with him and his die hard Catholic mom.  And he was iffy about getting baptized on Saturday.  He didn't really have a strong belief in anything we said.  So we left, and finished the day.  And at the end of the day, we passed by his next door neighbors, members, to see if they could pass by him, and maybe convince him to get baptized.  Long story short, he doesn't go anywhere right now, and hes not ready to get baptized.  
But as we are leaving the members house we start talking to their other next door neighbor, an 18 girl named Dorize.  So we talked to her, and had a sweet conversation!  We call them conversations now, not lessons.  But she asked why there were so many churches, and was confused about that.  So we explained how all the churches were formed by man, and without power.  4 nefi 26.  And she said it all made sense.  So we marked a date for that Saturday. And we passed by her everyday, and she was ready for baptism, and was baptized on Saturday.  Such an answer to our prayers, and a true testament to the Lords power with faith.  She was a great baptism too.

Also, Friday was my six month mark.  It feels weird to be 25 % done with the mission.  I don't really feel like I can remember any other life than cape verde.  Its crazy. I had an Oreo today, and its crazy the things that make me home sick ha.  But to celebrate six months, we made cinnamon rolls, and burned ties, it was great!

Another funny thing that happened this week was at church.  We were sitting in Sunday school, and the teacher had asked someone to read.  It was a little quiet, and no one was reading.  Then Norberto said really loud, "Igor ler" Igor is his kid, and he just told him to read.  But he was so loud and demanding, it was hilarious.  It is like on Glory Road, when the mom goes to class and tells her son to answer every question the teacher asks.

Also, this week our branch was made into a ward.  It was super nice to see that finally happen. We have been a branch for a while, and we have been working really hard to get less active people coming back, and baptizing more.  And to see it actually become a ward was such a great feeling.  I got up and bore my testimony, and just thanked all the members for the help we have received.  We really received a ride home from achada traz everyday this week, mostly from Norberto, but  it was super nice.    I'm in the best mission in the world, and I love my area so much.  I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  Its a little tough workin with Elder Amado, because quite frankly he just doesn't like me.  And he broke our toilet this week so we're going to have to call someone to fix it.  Like, he wasn't used to using an indoor toilet before his mission.

But I'm tryin my best, and we're so blessed out here.
Thanks so much for all the emails and letters.  Keep writing, I love all you guys.  
Love Elder Jarvis, Cape Verde Praia

Monday, February 3, 2014

Another Week in Paradise

So this week was another baller week in Cape Verde.  Just trying to stay alive.  Honestly Africa is kicking my butt right now, and I’m more tired than I’ve been in my entire life, but I love it.  I think I’m getting a little better at the language, and that’s one great thing Elder Amado is helping me out with.  He is a boss.  He already has a ton of his scriptures memorized, and he just does work.  Its definitely weird not having an american comp, but we learn and we grow.  So I’m gonna complain for a little, and if you don't wanna read the next paragraph don't, haha.
This week I felt like Bob the Builder, or Joe the Plumber. I’m not sure which reference is more appropriate.  Living with a couple natives is just a little different.  Neither of them have really had these nice of showers, or sinks or anything.  So when I went to get into the shower this week, it was completely filled up with dirty water that they had used when they showered, like it just wasn't draining.  So I asked those guys what happened, and of course they said “no faz mal”,  which means “I didn't do anything wrong”.  So I call up a neighbor, and get a screw driver.  And I spend an hour cleaning out hair, and plan of salvation pamphlet pictures, out of the dirty shower drain.  Not sure how or why those pamphlets were there, but they were haha.   So yeah, that was kinda super gross, but it had to be done.  Then after that, literally two days later I went to wash some dishes, and the water didn't wash down the dish sink.  So I got under there, with the screw driver, and literally took the whole sink apart.  Dad, I think you would be impressed.  So I took everything apart, and cleaned everything.  It was gross,  but I couldn't really find the problem.  Then I got to the last pipe, and I took it out, and just like a pound of dirty spaghetti and other gross rotten food fell out.  It was the grossest thing I've seen in my life.  And I gave Elder Conduane and my comp a little fauka (chewing out) because they eat the spaghetti every single night, and just throw the rest down the drain.  And obviously that doesn't work here.  But yeah, that little project took about 2 and a half hours, but it was worth it I guess.  I don't mean to complain, I was laughing about it the whole time, and I tell Elder Dorff all the time.  I say this is literally the only time in our lives we will live, and sleep, with native Africans.  And I really do love both of them to death.  They are good missionaries, and they work their butts off.  They just grew up with different things, currently living in the nicest houses they have ever lived in.
The other kicker this week was when I was sitting at home studying on Wednesday.  I get a call from Elder Bruce, one of my favorite missionaries, one of the AP’s since the day I got here.  I get a call from him and he says that I have to give a training on Tuesday, tomorrow, in zone conference.  And the zone conference is with our Praia zone, the other Praia zone, and the Acamada zone, three zones over 75 missionaries.  Almost half the mission.  And it has to be 45 minutes long, on the Book of Mormon.  oh, and President will be there...  So I have to prepare that tonight, and it’s been kinda stressful trying to get ready for that, I won't lie,  I hadn't even finished  the Book of Mormon a year ago, and now I have to give that training, in Portuguese, in front of all those people.  I probably haven’t been more nervous for something like this since the high school basketball days. I’m super looking forward to it tho, I'll learn a bunch.
Also this week elder Dorff, and Gooch and Accord made hash browns, eggs and pancakes with us, it was phenomenal.  Super good.  I love the mission life so much, but it’s honestly kind of kicking my butt right now.  But I’m super glad that I get this chance because its just gonna make me better, and I’ll look back on this for the rest of my life.  

Also, this week Elder Christensen came in.  He is the one that got drafted by the Royals.   I talked to Norberto, a recent convert, and he hooked me up with a baseball glove for today.  So we played catch this morning. It was so nice to hold that baseball and throw.  It was probably a little scarier catching for Elder Christensen with him throwing gas, and me having a crappy Cape Verdian glove, haha. But I love him and it was super fun.  

Dad, I also gave a bunch of the ties that you sent me on Christmas to investigators.  I gave one to Norbert, and one to Louis, and told him to wear it on his mission.  I’m stoked for that. I gave one to Zito, the first baptism, and to Derre, who is just a boss.  We taught some good lessons this week, it’s weird getting used to teaching with other people.  I really kinda gave Elder Amado the reigns because that's the only way he will learn how to teach.  It was interesting, but he got a lot better.  We’ll have a bunch of baptisms here in a couple weeks, and that’s always good.  Its a little overwhelming at times, but I love it, and I know I’ll grow.  

I hope everything is going well with everyone at home.  Keep sending mail, and emails, I love getting it!  Love all of you guys, thanks for everything!  
Much love,  

Elder Nathan Jarvis