Thursday, August 28, 2014

Climbing mountains and playing the piano

August 25, 2014

Had a very solid week from Cova Fig.  I freaking love this place.

Power Problems

Saying that we had some power problems this week would be an understatement.  There was a stretch in time where we went two and half days without any power. And the other days we had it for maybe an hour or two. Whenever we got it we had to run back the house to charge the phone so it didn't die. The work was a little rough around 730, when there is no light at all in the town.  The word village would probably be a little more appropriate, this place is tiny.  Its not too big of a prob not having power because most of the time were out of the house anyway.  

Hills to Climb

Whats that country song? "The good Lord gave us mountains, so we could learn how to climb?" or something like that.  Super true. Up until now, I have served in 3 of the 4 biggest cities in the country, and havent really gotten the little town expierence. But our area consists of mountains, and volcanic rock. Which pre mission Elder Jarvis would have no problem getting up those hills. After being in Africa a year, Elder Jarvis, struggled a little getting up some of those hills haha.  I love it tho.  


One of my goals for this place was to be able to learn the piano a little more. There is no one to play in Sacrament, so I figured I'd practice and learn.  My thought process was "I've been in this country for over a year, and served in 4 wards, and not one of them has picked the sacrament hymns until ten minutes before sacrament." So I figured if I could learn four songs, I could tell the bishop ten minutes before sacrament and I'd be good to play those four songs.  Go figure, Cova Fig is the only area where they pick their hymns BEFORE Sunday.  And even when they told me they had already picked the hymns, I still felt pretty safe because we sing the same 4 hymns, every week, in every ward. Come to find out, none of the four songs were any of the five I had learned... So Ill let you guess how me trying to play the piano went.  Feel free to use your imagination, and you probably won';t be too far off.  It actually wasn't terrible, just a little amusing.  

The Work

The work is going great.  I love it here, and wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.
Until Next Week

There are 20 missionaries on the island of Fogo.  The church is big compared to the town. Idk if you can find it on a map, but the area I work is call figero pavon, and its up this big mountain. I wouldn't go up there if we didn't have to, because I don't think its too efficient to walk all the way up there. But we are baptizing two families up there within the next little bit, so that's what we do.  Yes, its an insane amount of volcanic rock. My shoes are literally getting killed, but Ill last them out. Having shoes that are destroyed is kind of part of the mission experience so Ill last them out.  My greenie is sweet. He had a really rough past with gangs and stuff, and has a couple of tats.  He is also very "willing" to share his past history and stories. And by saying that, I mean we walk around, and he just talks and tells stories all day.  I listen just enough to say "oh really" or to ask another question that could lead into him talking more.  I'm sure you guys had that on your mish, but he likes to talk about himself and his past. So I kinda listen, just enough to keep him talking haha. Sounds weird to say, but I know you guys know what I'm talking about.  Dan and Jess are seniors, that's insane to me.  I hope everything is going well with school, its really nice to hear from you guys! 

(later in the week)

Hey so i have to play some songs in our zone conference next week, with that general authority coming, and the only one I don't have in the simplified version is "Nossa Lei e Trabalhar" Or in English, "Put your shoulder to the wheel" And I cant find a simplified version. Do you think you could look and see if you can find one for me somewhere and send a pic of something? Thanks a bunch! 

 Ive been practicing everyday, its exciting haha.  How funny is that.  there's 26 missionaries in the zone. 26 Lds missionaries, and Iºm the closest thing to a piano player haha.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cova Figuera (the other side of the island)

August 18, 2014

I'm not sure if i will get to email more today, or if it will be tomorrow.  We had transfers yesterday, and I am getting transfered to Cova Figeta! Its a really small area on Fogo. I will train again, a missionary name Elder Alyla, from nevada. His parents are from El Salvador, so Im hopin to pick up on a little spanish. 
I loved Sao Filipe more than anything, and the frat house was fun. But this will be a chance to get away from everything, and really get to study.  Its kinda in the middle of knowhere, really green, rainy, cold. Ill kinda be by myself, but my studies were not as solid as they should have been here, and Im looking forward to getting away from everything, and kidding getting to know My Savior. I feel like thats when you get to know him, and im looking forward to that.
Ive been playing the piano a little here in sao filipe, just like the top hand of things. I play at the baptismal services. And we live next to the church there, so I will get to practice the piano hopefully everyday, and get a little better. Ill play in church, so that will be fun! 

 I really am excited. Its a good chace to get away. Ive worked in three of the four biggest cities in the country, so itll be nice to get away. Its absolutely gorgeous out here. I have a sick view of the volcano, and its increcible. Rains all the time, and is super green. My shoes are destroyed, but I will buy some new ones at some point in time. My area is straight volcanic rock, so that might take a little hit on my shoes as well haha. Im really excited to be out here, should be good

This is just a little email, ill write a big one later. Know I love you guys, and hope everything is going well!
Much Love, Elder Jarvis

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

P-day to the Volcano

don't want to brag but I saw the volcano today, and when they talk about the four corners of the earth, they are talking about Fogo...

Best P-Day ever.

Translation:  Strange People Prohibited from Entering

They grow these grapes in the crater of the Volcano
"Where we tract"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

One Down, One to Go

August 4, 2014

"The Soccer Gang"

Hit my year mark this week, such a crazy feeling.  The days feel like weeks, the weeks feel like days. 
Feels like just yesterday I was spending my last day in Cedar City, eating a chicken fried steak , going golfing with Hux and Coach Jake, saying goodbye to Brady, Chad, McCoy, Dallin.  Crazy to think I haven't seen the family for a whole year.  

Iºm so blessed to be able to serve in the best mission in the world, and have the opportunities I've had the last year.  Iºve lived the mission of all missions this first year, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Most rewarding year of my life, and crazy to think its half over.  I love all you guys, and thank you for everything youºve done for me.  I love Fogo, I love Cabo Verde, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.  I love you guys, and thank you for everything!  I will try to summarize my last year into some points, and send it later today.  Love you guys 
The church is true. It changes lives, I see it everyday. Let it change yours.

Much Love, Elder Jarvis 
Cabo Verde, August 2013-2015

Sunday, August 3, 2014


July 28, 2014

Elder Pauli, Ja, Nate and ?

Another solid week from Verde

Elder Naylor
Probably the highlight of this week was Elder Naylor... He is working in Mosterios, about an hour out of Sao Filipe. He had to come to Sao Filipe to get toe surgery for an ingrown toenail. Super gross. Its actually the second time that he has had to have the surgery, but his area is literally walking on volcani rock every single day, kinda makes sense something like that would happen. But I had to stay in with him for two days this week, and we had to babysit him all week.  He is a super boss, I love that kid, but a lot of our week was taking care of him.   Elder Pauli worked our area for two days with members, and he did an awesome job. He's a boss.    

I dont usually write too much about baptisms, but Ja might be my favorite one ever.  Ja is 19, and we have been working with him for about three weeks now.  He had already been to mission prep before his baptism, and all he talked about was wanting to serve a mission.  
Money is kind of tight for everyone in this country, but he took all the money that he had, and bought two pairs of shoes for church.  Such a sacrafice, but he was so happy when he showed us his new shoes.  He asked me to do his baptism, and it was incredible.  We showed up, and the water wasnt working at the church. So all the members ran from this house across the street to bring buckets of water to fill up the fount.  That might be a bigger deal in other missions, but its kinda normal here.  But the baptism went well, and after he bore his testomony and said "Im so grateful for the missionarys that brought me this message. All I want to do is share it. In the name of Jesus Cristo, amen." SO sick! Ill try to hook on a pic.  

Thoughts of the Week
Similar thoughts to last week. Its funny, after everything I study, everything comes back to just trying to be more like Christ everyday.  And the mish really is two years, to try to become as much like Christ as I can. But Elder Cook says something sick, "The mission should not be a two year spiritual high, that ends after two years.  It should be a learning process, where we continue to learn, grow, and change everyday. And continue to do that the rest of our lives!" I loved that quote.  
There were a couple times this week where my patience was tested, and it made me realize even more how patient my parents are with me.  I really kinda sucked as a kid, and my parents put up with a lot of crap.  Hopefully I am learning some of the patience they showed me.  I also had some thoughts about baseball, and America, but I wont talk about those haha.  
I just want to write one more time to anyone thinking about a mission. Do it. I'd be lost without it.  

I love all you guys, and I love being a missionary.  

Love Elder Jarvis 

African Weight Room

July 21, 2014

African Weight Room

View from the Apartment


Very solid week from the Island Called Fire. I read in a missionary handbook that if you dont know what to write home in your letters, try to title it like a news paper artice, and write different sections. So let me know if this is good or bad.  

The Baseball Section
 Elder Bazzarone and I went on the roof today and did soft toss to eachother with little rocks, and a broom stick.  It was nice to swing something like a baseball bat, brought back some good memories.  Needless to say, either the rocks got a little bigger, or the bat/broom handle got a little weaker, it broke in half like a wood bad on a Mariano Rivera cutter.  But we do have plans to get another broom handle, and we plan on keeping the broken one as a lembranca of our works.  That happened this morning, and it was super fun.  And if I wasnt missing baseball enough, I recieved word that my family is going to California and going to the two baseball parks in Cali I have never been to.  Thanks for that. Its great to talk baseball with Elder Bazzarone. Hes from DC, a big O's fan, which is respectible.  

The Work Section (I promise it's not that boring)
The work here is going sick. Still bishop-less, which gives us a little more reign to do what we will with the ward haha.  We're reading the BOM juntos, and the home teaching is a lot better. This week a lot of people were gone to help start up EFY, and our frequency stayed about the same with a lot of the strong members being gone, so thats very solid.  Had quite a few investigators, and even more less actives show up.  Our baptism for this week is one of the best baptisms of my mish.  His name is Ja.  He is 19, been to church the last couple weeks, was just ready to hear the gospel. We talk a lot about what he has to do to serve a mission, and he is actually preparing right now haha. We got him PMG, and he reads that and the BOM everyday, and he hasnt even been baptised yet. He went to mission prep with us last night, and Im excited about him.  We have a couple that we are working with thats progressing well. We will start the marriage papers this week, and they should be married within the next three weeks. Carlos and Samilia. Carlos is a MA, and Samili is an investigator.  The work is going well, and Elder Pauli is a boss.  On Wednesday I was reading in Matt about repentence. And literally all 5 lessons we had were on repentence that day.  I felt like all I was doing was spiritual Faukas, but litterally everyone we taught that day came to church so it kinda worked...  I also taught Elder Pauli how to say "take out your earings", so we found a coulple less actives with earings, and my earing collection got a little bigger.  

The "Strange Things That Happen in Verde Section"
We havent had water in two days, but thats almost not even worth writing about.  We were walking on the street, and an old lady three a bucket of dirty water off the roof and was about 5 feet off from hitting my companion.  As you can see in the pics, we've starting lifting in our "weight room". Fun stuff.  We talked with two 30 ish year old white teachers from Boston.  They asked us who we were, and what we do.  Amazed me that people come from the States, and dont know who the missionaries are.  It was the first time in my whole mission I have explained who we are, and what we do in English.  They were super awesome, and they loved me because I love the Sox, and we talked about the Sox forever.  God Bless America.

The "Thoughts of the Week" Sectioin
Had a bunch of good/strange thoughts this week.  I hit my year mark in two weeks, and I was just thinking about that. Like I have been out a year, have I even changed that much? And I becoming the person I want to be, & the person God needs me to be. The good thing about the mish is we dont have to wonder if we are actually making a difference, because the fruits are visible.  
Another sick thought was from Tony Dongy (Football coach for the Colts) (Not the best missionary source, but very reliable, and one of my dads favorites) "God didnt create christians to be soft. If your a player, win the game. If your a lawyer, win the case. If your a detective, solve the crime." Thats not saying dont be christ like in everything we do, but we werent made to be soft, or shrink in the shadow, or not let out light shine.  God blessed us with the Gospel, the chance to grow up in a member family.  God didnt do that so we would hide under the shadow, and not share His message.  To anyone thinking about serving a mission, God blessed us with the gospel, and this light.  He didnt do that for us to stay home, or to crumble, be quiet, and not share it.  "God didnt make christians to be soft" 

Let me know if you liked how I did this letter, and if it was a little more enjoyable to read.  I love all you guys, thanks for all the support Ive recieved the last year out here. Thanks for everything, love you guys! 
Elder Jarvis, Fogo Cabo Verde

New Elder Pauli the Tongan!

July 14, 2014

This week i received my Filho.  Elder Pauli from Sacramento California is now in Fogo.  He is such a boss, I love this guy! He is like 5'11, weighs 230, speaks tongan.  He is full Tongan, and lived there for a few years.  He is a boss.  Overall the week was sick.  His Portugese is a lot better than mine was coming out of the MTC.  And he eats Everything. 

Its nice, we listened to the same sort of music back home, he played football, and we have a lot of stuff in common to talk about.  He's so funny. On Sunday before church, he invited EVERYONE to go to church with us.  His line for the week was "Voce vai assister igreja comosco" "You will come to church with us?" And if everyone that said they will come next week actually comes, our frequency should be nearing 400, and the ward should be looking to split soon:) But he honestly is funny. We kind of wrestle in the house sometimes, and having him there kind of adds a different element, because he can kind of take down all three of us when he wants too...  

Our baptism goal for last week passed the interview on Friday, all ready for baptism saturday right? Well, she kind broke the law of chastity, the day before her baptism, and let her boyfriend move in with her. FRIDAY night, before her baptismSaturday.  I gave her one of the most spiritual faukas Ive ever given anyone.  It was a strange feeling becase when I left, I still felt the spirit, so I didnt feel bad about ripping her.  Cape Verde Problems... 
I also had an interesting experience this week. I taught a lesson with Elder Evans, (From vegas, MTC together) and it was sweet, super spiritual and everything. ANd I had never done this before, but I felt like I should. When we finished, I gave her the pamplet, and told he that after we left, I wanted her to write down everything that was going through her mind on that pamplet.  
So we came back sunday before church. And she wouldnt talk to us. So her sister who is a sweet member let us in, and I found the pamplet on the table. So I read the back, and it said this "Os palavras deles foi increvel. Sinto muito optimo. Para Falar a verdade... Os palavras me batarem." "Their words were incredible. I feel great. To say the truth, their words hit me." But the word batar in portugese is like hitting in english, but harder. And besides her portugese errors, it was a very powerful message. So I slid it under her door when she wouldn't talk to us.
I also listened to an insanely good talk by Brad Wilcox "His Grace is Sufficient" I had already listened to it, but it is the number one talk listened to by BYU students, so I figured it wouldnt hurt to listen to it again. Its super good.  He talks about people asking him "Have you been saved by grace?" And he says yes, absoluletly. Then he quickly asked "Have you been changed by Grace?" Such a powerful line, and I just love that thought. He talks about how grace is not something we recieve at the end of the race, at the finish line. But its something that we have with us throughout the whole race.  Super good talk, really made me think.   As Ferris Bueller says "If you have the means, I would highly reccommend it.

I had this kind of change the past couple of weeks. Where the amount of baptisms doesnt matter, but baptising leaders and families does.  Because honestly in this mission, if we want to just find 15 and 16 year olds to baptise, we can, and there are plenty of them, and a majority of them are less active. Its more about baptising families, and specifically leaders of the church. And right now we have two less actives that are 26 and 28 men, that will be leaders in the church Who are both breaking the law of chastity. 

. And right now,in Fogo expecially, we need leaders. So the main goal for this transfer is to get them baptised.  
Other than that, things are great here. The best four elder house in the history of missionaries is still sweet. Church was good, and my comp is hilarious.  Love Fogo, and love these people.  I hit my year mark in a couple weeks, super crazy.  I definantly dont want to ever go home, which was one of the goals for my mission.  Everything is good, and I miss and love all you guys! GO CUBS GO

Love Elder Jarvis

Fourth of July in Cape Verde

July 7, 2014

It was kind of a strange week from the Island of Fogo. So I was serving with a mini missionary from Fogo, just waiting until my greenie comp gets here.  And Tuesday my mini refused to go out teaching with he. He just stayed home, and said that he was home sick. So we talked to the stake president, and he went back home. I got a different mini missionary for the time being, named Elder Lopes.  He never stops talking. Ever.   Just noise comes out. Very energizer bunny like.  Hes not bad tho. My new companion Elder Poly gets here from the states on Thursday, so that should be sick.  Looking forward to that a lot

Also today we had interview with President Mathews. It is the first time that I have seen him since my praia days.  It was really nice to see him again, and I had an awesome interview. 
The work is going super sick, and Im very happy out here in fogo.  The forth of July is like my favorite holiday, so that was a little truncky day, but its all good.  We ate some pretty good Pizza. God Bless America.
As for the spiritual stuff Im suppose to write about:) I listened to an insanely good talk by John Bytheway titled "Turn off the TV and Get a Life" But its not just about TV, its about life in general. It was very motivating and just sweet! 

By far the highlight of the week was Elder Bazzarone getting a package full of granola bars.  Courtesy of Bazz's grandma. 

We had some great lessons this week, and working with a couple families.  The church is Sao Filipe is shut down because they are doing construction on it for 9 months.  SO we get to the church in Congresso. But Churchs here arent like churches in utah, where they're everywhere.  We have to walk a pretty good ways to get to church, but we actually had a very solid frequency, and it just shows the sacrifice the saints here are willing to make.
We are helping Zecarlos, Lela and Leele prepare for baptism this week, so if you've got a little spare time in your prayers feel free to include those guys! I love fogo and I love the people.  Thanks so much for everything mom and Dad, you guys are awesome.  

Love Elder Jarvis  

President Olivera went home

June 30, 2014

Hey, not a ton of time to right today so Ill just make a couple small points. 

Elder Gunther got transferred, and I will train a new greenie from the states.  He will get here next week, so until then, IM just serving with a cape verdian mini missionary. 

We had a baptism last week Manuel Antonio, and Ze Carlos also. 

President Oliviera left for the house.  Words cant describe what that man did for me.  

Brazil advanced in the world cup, so things are still a little crazy in this country.  

I gave a talk in sacrament meeting.  Because we don't have a bishop, or really anyone major in charge right now, gives me some freedom to work with the ward. So I organized a thing where the ward will start to read the BOM juntos.  Got the home evening lists, organized that, and that should help.  Its good learning experience.  

 Found a soft serve ice cream place, that was a highlight from the week.  

Still lovin life, and lovin Fogo, thanks a bunch for everything you guys do, love all you guys. 

Tamben sento muito porque vo faltar o 4 of July. Estadudas unidas e o mais optimo Pais na tudo mundo, e espero que voces sabem o sort que todos de voces tem para viver la.  Amo Todos de voces! 

Com muito amor, Elder Jarvis

Shaquille O'neal

June 30, 2014

Super good week from the Island of Fogo.  Ha, a lot of funny things happened, and Ill try to write about those first. So we are teaching this family, and the kids are 19 and 18.  And they get it, like they want to be baptized, but they are afraid of what their Catholic mom will do.  So we go teach the mom, and we are talking about power to baptize and what not.  Let me replay that conversation.
EJ. = Elder Jarvis 
CVM = Cape Verdian Mom
EJ. So when Jesus was on the earth we had to power to baptize?
CVM. Of course, John had it, and then he baptized Jesus, then Jesus had it. 
EJ. Perfect, where did the power go after Jesus Died?
CVM. Well the Apostles had it.
EJ. Perfect! Who had it after the Apostles died? 
CVM. Faith. 
EJ. Who? 
CVM. Faith. 
 There's an interesting thought..  
Just a little of the stuff/ answers we receive on this mission.  This was not the first time it happened to me, and it will not be the last.

Another funny this was during English class last night. I walked out for a second, then walked back in to the room, and this guy named Pai, (Which means Father in English) (Old guy, funny glasses, super funny).  So I walk in and he says, in the cabo verde English accent, "Shaquille O'neal!" but because of the accent it sounded more like "Shaqweel O'neal!" And it was hilarious!  Then he said, in English "I will name my feege (child) Shaquille Oneal!" 

This other guy that we talked to said that he was homeless, and that he sleeps in a boat at night.  Then my comp asked him if he had a phone number that we could reach him at.  Then he replied, "I live in a boat, do you think I have a phone?" Very sarcastic, very funny.  He didn't actually live in a boat, he was just being funny.  Haha I love Fogo people.
With Cabo Verde being so into soccer, a lot of our lessons are interrupted because of games, but that's not to big of a problem.  The wards here are still a little wobbly because most of the really solid members from every ward received callings for the stake, so now we are training new people to do all the jobs.  The baptismal service was a little shaky again because the old ward mission leader has a calling with the stake right now. 
We had another solid week with church attendance. Not quite as good as last week, but solid.  Had a couple investigators, few less actives, and had a couple less actives receive callings.  We also taught the primary a song, it was super cute, and they will sing this week at the baptismal service.  This week I also took 3 different pairs of ear rings out of less active member ears.  I kept them, and put them in my journal.  Not sure if Im allowed to do that, but it happened so...  Also took cigarettes from a different less active.

 There is a lot of less actives here.  

We were without water for different parts of everyday this week, but we had more than enough to survive, and we had it almost every morning, soo we showered... I also read this book of EFY talks.  Super great.  Would have been a big help to read before the mish, but I kinda missed that train...  

Today has been a super good P day. We balled for a couple hours, went to the restaurant, and have a family night planned for tonight.  Brazil also happens to have a soccer game tonight, the same time as the family night, but thats a strange coincidence..  Everybody here would give us so much crap if America lost last night to Portugal, so a tie was good.  Plus we should still move on.
We should have a couple baptisms this week, super looking forward to that. Manuel Antonio, and Kayliza.   The work is going great, and I love it out here.  Thank all you guys for everything you do, and thanks for writing, its always fun to read about your lives! Amo Voces! 

Elder Jarvis, Sao Filipe Fogo       

The weekly from Fogo

June 23rd

My comp is sweet, we do fine together.  For P day we played basketball for like 4 hours because we all like to play, we to the restaurant, I bought my weekly supply of fruit. I'm eating healthy, and trying to stay not ugly. I watched a church film in Portuguese. We don't have water right now, it's been two days now.

My area is full of hicks that have a hard time understanding things, but just have great hearts.  They got 115 at church last week, which is crazy good.

I know that convert of Devin's, Relva.  She is active and super funny.

Sorry this was short this week, more later.

Elder Jarvis-