Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Transfer to Tuxpan

I will try to do the best to write the week out in words, I would really like to be able to send pictures, but right now i cannot.  I hope that you guys are receiving my emails because this computer is stupid.

They are going to transfer both me and my companion to Tuxpan tomorrow and are bringing in a trio of Sister missionaries, but President Wagner gave us permission to come back for Veronica’s  baptism. I am not too excited about having to go to Tuxpan, but we will see how things go.   I will take a bus to my new area, it is like a 40 minute ride from Guzman.  We are going to be 4 elders in Tuxpan, it is a small town in the same zone.

It was of course very hard saying goodbye to everyone this weekend. This week was good other than that they are going to send us to to Tuxpan and I have to leave Paradise.  


Elder Cristian Ramos Barrios---Chiapas, Mexico
Elder Luis Francisco Aguilar Rojas---Puebla, Mexico
Elder Isaias Gonzalez Garcia--Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Hermana Lesly Amparo Lopez Cruz, Mexico, Mexico
Hermana Angie Karina Ramirez--Comayaguela, Honduras
Hermana Paula Andrea--Armonia, Colombia
Hermana Ivonne Jenili Sauceda--Tegucigalpa, Honduras
(Elder Aguilar, second in from the right, has been Ben's zone leader for the past six months, and most of this time they shared the "big house" there in Guzman.  Ben describes him as one of the funniest guys he knows.  He would go running with Ben, something Ben says he will really miss.)

"I  found a lizard this morning, it was in the bottom of the washer that we rented, and so I was easily able to catch it, but then, with all of the common sense I have, I took it outside, and did not know what to do with it, so, what I decided to do with just throw it high up into the air, it fell down from the air and broke a part of its tail, and I felt really guilty, of course, about having done that.
The good thing is that I did not kill the lizard, but rather just injured it, but it could still run fast and everything.

I also killed 2 tarantulas in the house yesterday and today.

We had a party, sleepover at the zone leaders house on Friday night and on Saturday morning me and Elder Aguilar went running clear out to the monos, like 5 miles in total, just like old times and for the last time, and then Saturday morning, the old letdown feelings started to come back.

E. Aguilar is going home and that was and will be really tough for me, Elder Webb, the black elder from my generation is going to be the new zone leader here.  We had a minor conflict on Saturday, because the other zone leader wants me to like him as much as I do Aguilar, but I was not willing to do that so quickly.

Veronica came to church again and to an activity Saturday night, that was kinda frustrating because we did not have very much time and had hoped that the members would come over and talk to her and everything, and they did not really do that.    The members here  are all totally awesome, and with a few hints from us they did go over and talk to her.   I wished you would have been there on Saturday to go and sit by Veronica at the party, she is so awesome though!

I had divisions in Sayula and that is when President Wagner called with the news that I would be headed to Tuxpan.   I ended up sitting by a homosexual man on the camion going to Guzman from Sayula and so like a 45 minute ride, and that was not very fun at all."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Elder Christofferson visits the Mission!

Ben did not email until Tuesday this week because they met Monday in Guadalajara with Elder Christofferson  (of the Twelve) and Elder De Hoyos (from the Seventy)

Here is the ENTIRE mission in front of the temple. Elder Christofferson and his wife are in the center front row. President and Sister Wagner are to the left of him (while looking at the picture, and  Elder De Hoyos from the First Quorum of Seventy and his wife are on the right side. Ben is directly behind Elder Christofferson on the back row.

(this picture was pirated from the blog that Sister Wagner keeps)

One of the things that Elder Christofferson talked about is the process of assigning missionaries their calls.  I really like one thing he said about, a lot of what determines what mission a missionary will serve in is who is going to be their mission President and his wife. The Wagners have been such a blessing to me. I think that it is safe to say that President Wagner has saved my mission two times.  Once in the four hour interview I had with him when he miraculously pulled out of me the reason why I was not sleeping well,  and the other time when he chewed me out for not exercising.
That brings up a fun exercise story, one of the days running at the track, I was taking it pretty easy, and some teenage kid was like bating me, he would start a 400 repeat at the same time that I was starting my lap, and just blast me and then wait for me so he could do it again.  I finally said, alright this time I am running with him, but I set the pace and ran on the inside, but we ended up running a nice hard mile together, not racing, just running together and it was pretty fun. I could not talk to him for lack of breath and he would not have understood my Spanish anyways, but I made friends with him pretty quickly and it was a fun experience. And this morning, there were some people just flying around; I was impressed. I ran my fastest 800, a pathetic 2 minutes and 51 seconds, I cannot think of a time in my life in the which I have been slower, but oh well I am enjoying running and that is what matters. Elder Christofferson's visit was awesome of course. I was able to see many elders that I had not seen in a long time. I had a funny experience this week when someone asked that I would pray for a family member of theirs so that he would cross the border safely, illegally of course. I was not sure if I could do that or not, and so I just prayed that he would be safe.
Veronica came to church on Sunday and she is going to be baptized the 1st of June! Elder Hernandez is going to have his first baptism! We found a family of 5 boys this week, they only lack the one girl, haha! It was really awesome, I was looking through the book of old investigators, and when I passed their name, I felt something really strong, and so I called the phone number on the teaching record, but here is the catch, the missionaries taught them 9 years ago! But when I called, one of the sons, who was 10 years old at the time answered, and he still remembered the elders! We went by and got to know them for the first time Saturday, and it was awesome, they are so cool, five athletic boys! We never teach men, when we got there, the mom did not remember us, but she said, well, I do not know you guys, but I feel like I want to, it was a really great experience.
The sacrament meeting attendance went down again this week, and many ACTIVE members from our area did not come this week, the good news is that we have work to do.
Elder Atoche and Elder Pew were over at our house this week on Sunday night before the conference and Elder Atoche was really sick and asked me to give him a blessing so that was pretty cool.  Another big blessing that I received yesterday was that I felt really good even though we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to go to Guadalajara and I did not have time to exercise.  Lola was not able to come to church, because of Franciscos grandpa's death.    I love you guys and will talk you again next week, thanks for all of the encouraging letters and the prayers, I can feel them and also pray for you guys everyday as well,
Love, Elder Jarvis

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

Having fun Skyping with Mexico

Here's Nate, trying to show Ben where Cape Verde Africa is.
Looks about the same, but talks very choppy; his English sounds funny.

Ben says he's famous for this green bucket, and the variety of foods he eats in it.  

(He assures us he washes it once a week.)

"These are folders for my scriptures, a member made them for Elder Robertson, and he let me use them when we were companions and he never asked to have them back and so when he left I did not offer them to him, so he kinda gave them to me right?"

"a collection of ties that I have received here in the mission"

"Well I still have not lost all of my muscle, and if you cannot tell, 
the jersey is a little tight on me too, and so it helps me out, haha."

"The yogurt that I bought today in the tianguis"

"I decided to do pushups on the soccer field today"

Wow, the pictures were awesome! Sorry I had to leave, today we had a
weird situation writing. What happened is that we wrote for 1 hour,
but then we went and ate Japanese food with Elders Kubat and Velazquez
because tomorrow Elder Kubat is going to be transferred to
Guadalajara. They are going to have special transfers, not because of
anything that either one of them have done, they are both very
obedient elders, I think it is because there are a lot of American
elders that are going to be arriving here in the middle of the

I am going to miss him a lot. Elder Kubat is from California
and has been here in Guzman for all of his mission, 6 transfers, one
more than me. He is really obedient and has been a great example to
me, he is always happy and positive, and is just a really Christlike
person. Actually, when I think about him, that is the first thing that
I think, that he is the one person that I have ever met, who, when he
makes decisions, it really seems like he takes into account what we
all should, what would Christ do in this situation. 

Anyways, the point is that I have great enjoyed my time here with him and am going to
miss him a lot. And the Elder who is coming here in his place is Elder
Rogers, who has the same time as me in the mission, he is "Sean" from
Psych, a super funny, always happy and positive kinda guy. I am going
to try and send a few more pictures quickly, I only have 5 more
minutes left.

Well, I cannot at the moment find the cable for my camara and so I guess that I will not be sending more photos until next week.

I love you guys and will see you next week, well I guess talk to you next week. Next week I will not be writing until Tuesday because Elder Christofferson is coming on Monday.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The New House

May 6, 2013

This week from Elder Jarvis:

We moved into the new house, it is nice and big, and right next to the Tianguis, and the ciber where I am writing from right now, and next to a big store, a small store, and a big soccer stadium with a track around it. It has been awesome, we go to the track every morning to run, and it is really nice to be able to do that everyday, but I think the track is a little too big, I did everything that I could and finally busted out a 1:15 400 and a 6:13 mile, and I run between 2 and 2.25 miles everyday, rather slowly but surely.

The Washer

The Dryer
(the water for the house is the black tank)
The Couch
What we drink water out of.  They are called garrafons and cost 20 pesos to refill it and 60 to buy one new.

Well this week was very hard, so I could take the very natural and negative look on it, or look for the positive, I will start out looking for the positive. We found many new people to teach this week.  The bad news, we are now teaching none of those people. We found an awesome Christian lady that I was able to relate with really quickly, but she cannot accept that Joseph Smith was a prophet because it does not talk about him in the bible. It was a little bit frustrating in one lesson getting to the point where my lack of Bible knowledge was frustrating to me.  With the New Testament I feel like I can hold my own, but my Old Testament knowledge is not very great. 

We continued teaching Veronica this week.  Without us talking about it, she mentioned that she wants to be baptized, and she reads everything that we leave her to read.  The problem is that she says that she is going to stop working Sundays in 2 months, I am not sure what will change in 2 months, but we will see. That is the small problem, the bigger problem is her crazy mom, Veronica has got to be in her 60s and her mom in her 80s and is like the majority of the people here, super catholic. But she is doing well, and just needs a little bit of time.

A cool guy from Chicago showed up at church today.  He is from Chicago, like an American, it was nice to be able to talk to him in English. He is going to be here for a couple of months and then head back to Chicago, he is Christian as well, but seems like a pretty open guy. His parents are Mexicans, so he grew up speaking Spanish in the house, but English in any other setting or circumstance, so he obviously speaks perfect English, and has an accent in Spanish, not quite as strong as ours, but clearly an accent. 

We had divisions with the zone leaders for one hour Thursday to teach one of our investigators, but it was going to be in the house of a member who lives in their area, and it was an awesome lesson.  Our investigator did not come, so we taught the husband of the member who is a dry member, and one of their daughters friends the plan of salvation, it was a really awesome lesson, we felt the spirit very strongly.  The only down side was the awkwardness of the girl who openly tried to flirt with us.   I quickly shook hands with her and the member wisely avoiding the trap that my companion fell into.  There is a certain handshake here that is a not good way of telling someone that you like them. But she really was interested in the lesson too, and said a great closing prayer.

Several members went with us to teach this week that had not in the past, so that was nice.  The recent converts and 2 active members still do almost all of the work, so we are trying to get more members involved. Only 135 people came to church, and 0 less actives or investigators, but 6 of the 7 recent converts came.  Valeria had to work, and she was the only one who could not come.

Elder Hernandez is really easy to get along with.   I felt bad yesterday and Saturday because I was talking using a little bit of idiot message type language, my excuse was being so tired not having anyone to teach.  I did apologize to him, and he is really good about forgiving me, and really is an awesome guy, probably my favorite companion up until this point.  Just a really level headed, obedient guy, a great example to me, he does not know a ton, but always bears his testimony, and really has been a blessing for me, he is very humble, very teachable, and just a great guy, I think that we are going to be friends for a long time, after the mission as well.