Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First Week in Assomada

March 17, 2014
Mickey, who was baptized the week after Nate left Praia

This is the first letter from the new area, Assomada! Last week I was transferred to serve as a zone leader with Elder Fernandez.  So how that transfer worked, was I got in a Hyass with three other Elders, also going to Assomada.  A Hyass is like one of  those big vans they have in America, but a lot different than those big vans we have in America haha.  When you are in Praia, these big hyass things drive around, and people always yell out of them, "Assomada, Assomada!" and Its super loud, and annoying.  And we joked the whole day Monday that later that day I was actually going to get on that Hyass and go to Assomada.  It was funny because we had heard so many people yell that everyday when I was in Praia, and it was funny actually getting in one.  But we called one, and two guys came running at us like linebackers, and just grabbed out suitcases and threw them into the back of this huge van thing.  So Elder Cruz, Conduane and I got in the hyass and took the hour ride up to Assomada.  So Praia in on the far south end of the island of Santiago, and Assomada is dead center.  So we took that ride up the mountains, where my area is.  It was an hour, and a super pretty ride!  Its the dry season right now, but it is still insanely green, and its pretty!  I got a little car sick, but it was sweet. RIght when I got there we had lessons, and I feel like we have been in lessons ever since. Elder Fernandez is awesome! He schedules comprimissos like every 45 minutes, and we kinda run around like crazy all day, but its super good.  Our house is by far the nicest thing I have lived in on the mission.  We have hot showers, and we both have our own bathrooms so that's super good! 

By far the coolest part about the mission is the monkeys that are downstairs!  There is this big cage, and there are four monkeys, and they are so dope! I go play with them every time we leave the house, Ill try to send some pics!

The biggest thing about this place is that it is freezing!  We are up in the mountains, and it was just super cold! My first day I was absolutely freezing, I slept with like a sweatshirt, pants, and every blanket I could find  But I'm getting used to it, and I'm sure in relation to Utah its super hot.  I just got used to that nice Praia weather haha.  This is by far the coldest place in the mission, so it will never get worse haha.  It is the first time in my mission that I am living in a two Elder house, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn't a little more lonely these days.  But overall I love it up here, and its super sweet.  
Our house is literally right next to the church, and the store is super close to our house as well, which is nice!  
We also had a couple baptisms last week.  Dulcy, Jasmine (mom and daughter), and Maria (19) and they were super sweet! 
Dulcy, Jasmine, Elder Jarvis and Elder Fernandez

Its really nice because my district leader in Elder Smith.  He was my Zone leader when I started my mission, and he was my Zone leader my third  transfer as well, and we are pretty close.  I look up to him a ton, and he helps me a lot with he language.  He is absolutely incredible at Creole and Portuguese, and he teaches me new things every time we talk.  I actually had the chance to do a division with him on Sexta, Friday, and we went to Tarafall, the other side of the island to do an interview.  So as of right now I have literally seen the whole island of Santiago!  Tarafall is super pretty, and I'm doing another division with them this week, so I will get to see that area a little but more.  It was super fun to get to hang out with Elder Smith and do those interviews tho! We took and hour hyass ride, and just saw the island and talked about everything.  He is from Florida, and he is super sweet.  He is dying soon, (finishing his mission) and he is pretty trunky (ready to go home).  We always joke that he is gonna be kissing girls pretty soon here while I'm living in Africa! But there really is no other place I would rather be! 
Also Sister Gates is in District and Zone.  I think she knows Deb Cowen?? 

Also another cool thing happened in church.  First of all, our ward is huge! We had 158 people in church, and that's a ton!  It was sweet to see so many members in one place!  Also during church I got to translate for a man that is from Nigeria that only speaks English.  It was super fun, and a really good experience.  There may have been some parts that I kinda made up, but people speak Creole, and the Creole here is different than it is in Praia.  I'm still learning the Creole here, but its kinda similar to the Creole in praia.  I never really speak it unless I'm just joking around with members, but I can understand most of it haha.  Were not suppose to speak it, so we try not to haha. 
We also have our interviews with President on Wednesday, and after that I am doing a division in Tarafall.  All the Elders in the Zone will come to Assomada for the interviews, so it will be nice to see all those guys!  
I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought about March Madness basketball all week, and that kinda makes me homesick because its my favorite.  But I love what I am doing and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  Its the best uniform Ill ever wear!
Hope you are all doing well, I love hearing from all of you guys so keep writing!
Love Elder Jarvis
In the blue shirt is Zito, Nate's first baptism when he arrived in Achada Traz

Monday, March 10, 2014

Transfer to Assomada

 Find Places of Worship - LDS Maps

I’m going to be a zone leader in Assomada with Elder Fernandez, and I leave pretty soon.   My zone covers the North two thirds of the island.   My comp is from Mozambique.  Super humble, super awesome.  I’ve met him a couple times.  We’ll take a hyass, a huge oversized van.  

Leadership training last week was incredible! Most spiritual thing I have ever been to in my life.  All the Zone leaders in the mission, me, the Sister leaders, the A.Ps and President.  That’s it, super sweet!  It’s sad leaving Achada Tras, that place was my casa for the last 7 months.  I got pictures with everyone though, but it was my time to leave that place.   I set that next missionaries up good though, they should have 8 baptisms next transfer.

Filipia, who would always make bread for us.

Nitto, that would always walk with us!

The Maio Elders

But I’m with the Maio Elders right now, do you guys want a pic?
Ask dad about Maio.   These two opened the island of Maio to the church my second transfer.  Like they are the first elders ever to be on that island. Completely started it. and the one in with the dark hair will be a pro baseball player.  I’ll leave for Assomada tonight in a little.  And the Zone Leaders house should have hot water!!!

Elder Fernandez is here to pic me up.  I’m getting on a hyass and go to Assomada right now, I’ll email more when I get there!
Love you guys!

P-Day hike, Carnival, and the kid wearing a Red Sox Jersey to his baptism

March 3, 2014

So this week was pretty sweet! It actually went by super fast.  It’s a little weird because this should be transfer week, but because all of the flights got held up, this transfer is one extra week.  And because of Carnival.  Carnival is like a week long celebration that happens every year here in Cabo Verde.  The worst day is Tuesday. Pretty much everyone runs up and down the streets with their shirts and all their clothes off.  We have to stay inside that whole day...  I will actually have a meeting with some other missionaries during that time, but no missionary here will go out and teach.  It’s a little goofy, little kids had their carnival last week.  They just dress up like its Halloween, and it’s pretty funny.  I have some pics of it, I’ll try to get them out to you guys.
Today has been a pretty sweet day too.  We went and played soccer, then hiked this crazy valley that is in my area.  It’s seriously the prettiest thing I have seen in my life, and it was incredible.  And it is in my area!  I’ll go to another internet place really quick and try to send some of the pics; its beautiful!

We also had a baptism last week named Isais.  He is 16, and he is a boss.  He wore a Red Sox jersey to the baptism.  Right before we walked out of the house, his mom told him to change it for a better shirt.  I told the mom that I loved the Red Sox and that everything was all good.  It was a pretty funny interaction, and he ended up wearing it to the baptism! It was sweet. 
This week was also a little interesting with food.  As it was nearing toward the end of the month, some of the Elders in the district kind of ran out of money.  Like Elder Pauu, Elder Evans, and my comp.  So I bought lunch for 4 elders for 5 days last week.  So Mom, and Dad, if you’re wondering where all that personal money went, it went to helping Elders in need in Africa.  It was actually super cheap.  We just made like 50 pancakes every day, and I got out of it really only spending like 15 bucks, to feed 4 elders for 5 days.  It was pretty lucky. Just water, flower, bake, sugar, and some syrup, and that should do it for a bunch of 19 year olds for a couple of days, haha.  It was a lot of fun having those guys over everyday, and its a lot of fun having them in my district.  I felt a little responsible because they were in my district and it was so much fun having those guys over all week.
Another funny thing that happened was when I was trying to find a member we have named Nitto to come walk with us.  I kinda stepped in the house like one step to yell if he was there.  That’s acceptable here.  And his 89 year old grandma Maria came out screaming at me in Creole.  She was saying that you never set foot in another person’s house without them knowing, and the rest was straight Creole that I had  a hard time picking up..  But she was waving her cane in my face, and I stepped back and was literally scared.  Like this crazy 89 year old cape verde woman is waving this large wooden object in my face.  And right as she was walking out the door to chase us, she just started dying with laughter! It was the scariest, and the funniest thing that happened to me all week.  She is usually such a sweetheart to us, and I was so confused when she just started waving that cane at us.  It was honestly scary.  And she doesn’t have any teeth, other than like three on the bottom, and every other tooth is there on the top.  Just thinking about it is making me die of laughter.  Elder Amado and the other member we were with were dying as well.  They were more laughing at me backing away scared of her then what she was actually doing.  

This week we also spent a lot of time doing this new contract for the new house.  Obviously doing house contracts is a new thing for me.  And trying to figure out what all these stupid house item words were in Portuguese was such a headache.  It’s goofy because I can go up to anyone on the street, and just have a nice dandy conversation in Portuguese.  We usually end up talking about the church.  But just simple words like pot, and stove, and counter give me the hardest time because I never knew those words before this week because I never had a reason to know those words before this time.  My vocab is just strange because I can tell you anything and everything about the gospel in Portuguese.  But if you ask me kitchen items, or body parts, I’m as lost as  a Canyon View basketball team in Las Vegas...  

I’m kind of excited about transfers and kind of not. I’m not sure if I’m leaving or staying.  But I’ve been here for 6 months, and I think my work in Achada Tras might be done.  I’m excited at the chance to possibly see another area, but in the same breathe Achada Grande Tras has been my home for the last 6 months.  These members are like my family, and it’s gonna be really hard leaving all these guys.
On that note, Dina came back from America yesterday!!! Dina was one of my favorite baptisms, who went to Boston to hang out with her daughter for a couple months.  I haven’t seen her in almost two months, and my heart like left my chest when I saw her.  I can’t even imagine what it will be like when I come back to Cape Verde after the mission and visit all these guys.  They are my family and I love them so much!  

Thank you so much for all the Love and Support you all give me.  I love you guys so much! 

Much Love, Elder Nathan Jarvis