Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eating marlin and street contacting

We had a good week. 4 investigators came and 6 less active members came, I think. Bere and her future husband Silvestre both came, and it was the first time that he came. They are going to get married on Friday and me and Elder Martinez are going to be the witnesses. Gabriela, whose sister is a member, and Ruben, whose wife is a member both came to church and they were the other investigators who came to church. Some of the less active members who came were Andrea, Moises and his father Seferino. I taught the Gospel Principles class and it went alright. I made the mistake of telling a story that I often tell and really should stop telling, I told the story about me and Nate and the bloody pants before church story.

The weather is the same, hot and humid, but it´s good, and we had a good week. I am sweating a lot, and it makes it tough to keep my shirts clean, but that´s alright.  It was kinda fun this morning, after running I bought some food and a drink at a little store and crossed paths with a member and talked to her for a little bit obviously in Spanish, and I turned around and this lady was looking at me smiling like, "wow, this white guy speaks Spanish" it was kinda funny and cool.

There are a lot of little kids here and that made it a little bit harder to feel the spirit at church. Yesterday we taught Juan, and he is awesome and accepted a baptismal date for the 6th of December. Bere, who has now come to church 3 weeks in a row has already read to Mosiah in the Book of Mormon and absolutely loves us. They invited us over to eat again. The week before we ate Marlin with them.

We have been contacting in the street more because it is a rule now to contact at least 10 people every day, and it has been fun, it seems like we now know about half of the town. Could you send me Nate´s letter, because it appears that I didn't get it, I don´t know if you already sent it or not. Thanks!

I heard from Lindsey last week, but not this week, but I´ll write something to her.  Bere is about 50 or 55 I would think, and she always calls us her angels. I followed your example this week and wrote notes to Bere and her husband and the branch president and his wife who was sick over the weekend and could not make it to church. All who received letters cried while reading them, it made me feel good.

Funny story, the members went to the temple this weekend, and ended up having to travel to Santiago, about an hour or two away, really late at night, in one truck, 11 OF THEM IN THE BACK OF THE TRUCK!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Really good week in San Blas

I had several really good experiences this week. On Friday we worked in the list of members, looking for inactive members and we found one, his name is Jose, and he was very excited to see us, we taught him just a little bit and it was awesome. Then we taught the mother of an inactive member, her name is Josefina. We had a really fun time listening to her. She is 70 years old and I felt a little bit like mom when she goes in to talk to the people at the care center. She told us about her alcoholic brother who died in a tragic accident. He was walking along the freeway and was hit by a car. I think she really appreciated that we really listened to her, and I felt so good and very interested in the story she told us. We briefly explained to her what happens after this life and it was totally awesome. 

Yesterday we visited Eulohia another inactive member. And we arrived just at the right moment, it was totally awesome. We taught her the Restoration, always the best lesson and she said that she wanted to say the prayer at the end of the lesson and thanked God that we had come to visit her and that our visit had done her much good and expressed much love for us, it was one of those awesome moments when you feel like you are making a difference. Then, in our last lesson, the husband of a member here, who had never listened to the missionaries before listened to us, and we didn't even ask him too, he just stopped by and started to listen while we were teaching his daughter in law. His son, who is a recent convert, walked by the window, and when he saw his Dad listening to us, he looked at me like, what is going on, and he came and listened as well. 

This morning, we had a lesson planned with an inactive member who was not there, and so we were walking home and decided to teach a man outside of his house. We taught him about all of the Restoration and then his friend Samuel got there, who is super escogido and his friend, the one who we began teaching, Luis is cool as well. I felt the spirit so strongly throughout all of those lessons. And this morning, I was doing push ups, and because of time, I was doing other things in between sets such as shaving and things like that, but I still wanted to get my 500 push ups in. And, as a tender mercy, I ended up doing exactly 500, not knowing how many I had done until I counted them up at the end. 

The other elders in our district are Elder Martinez, Veracruz, Elder McGhee, Las Vegas, Elder Montano, Pachuca, Mexico, Elder Perez, Mexico, and Elder Krambule, Preston, Idaho. As District Leader I have to call all of the elders in our district every night to see how their day went and do 1 day divisions with each one of them once every transfer, I can go to their area or they can come to mine. I have to report how their day went to the Zone Leaders and at the end of the week I send their week numbers to the zone leaders. I also have to teach the District Class every Tuesday and that is about all that I have to do, so it is not too much. 

Yesterday, one of Pres. Wagner´s counselors came to our branch and taught Elder´s Quorum and he taught an awesome class about the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, he was so good at knowing when to pause, which is something that we are taught to do and something that I love to do. He taught with power and you could feel his worthiness. And that is another thing that I learned this week, is that God does not expect me to be perfect in order to have the companionship of the holy ghost. He expects me to do the best that I can. And something that I have to remind myself of, and, I am not saying it to brag, but just so that I remind myself that I am worthy to be here is that, God requires a pure heart, and I have a pure heart, I know that and He knows that, and that is all that matters. I read Nate´s letter and that was alarming. I am glad that he is still safe, he has become such a stud!

Oh, and Mom, you look SMASHING in that picture with Paul outside of the SUU Building, I had to hide the picture from the men here with that Blond hair and blue eyes, haha, but you look really good, you look thin, and I like your pants. 

Letter back to Guzman

The sisters in Guzman asked Ben to write to a family he taught when he was there.  He sent us a copy, Jodi says it's good stuff :)

Bueno, pues espero que usted y su familia esten bien. Disculpenme por no haberles escrito antes. Siento que no los he visto por mucho tiempo, aparte de Juan Pablo. Las hermanas misioneras me contaron que estaban pasando por tiempos dificiles. Espero que ya esten mejor. Ustedes son una familia muy especial, nunca me olvidare de ustedes y tampoco me olvidare de todos los tiempos muy buenos que pasamos juntos. Todavia recuerdo el primer dia cuando que nos conocimos. Hermana Escobar nos llevo a su casa porque sabia que su mama era miembro de la iglesia y no estaba asistiendo. Recuerdo el dia cuando vimos los videos de los templos en la casa de la hna. escobar y Valeria decidio que queria bautizarse. Recuerdo cuando Daniela compartio su testimonio despues de su confirmacion. Recuerdo cuando Juan Pablo y Emmanuel repartian la Santa Cena juntos. Recuerdo cuando comimos con ustedes un lunes, cuando yo y Elder De La Mora nos invitamos. Recuerdo cuando Juan Pablo discurso sobre el Arrepentimiento y cuando Daniela discurso sobre La Palabra de Sabiduria. Recuerdo cuando nos ayudaron a vaciar la pila bautismal despues del bautismo de Mariel. Recuerdo cuando vimos el video de los testamentos en la capilla. Recuerdo cuando yo golpee a Elder De La Mora durante la leccion que tuvimos con ustedes. Ustedes son los futuros lideres de la iglesia en Ciudad Guzman y son mis mejores amigos, los quiero mucho aunque no siempre pueda expresarme muy bien en espanol. Fue un privilegio haberles conocido.

Espero que entiendan esta carta porque se que todavia me falta aprender mucho de espanol, pero quiero que sepan que la escribi con amor y que les amo mucho. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Good bye Tuxpan picture, Good Week San Blas

This  photo is me when I left Tuxpan. In this picture I am with the Castolo Family. They are some of my favorite people. They are the strongest members of the church in Tuxpan, they are the strongest. I felt like with them, The Lord knew that the church were going to go through some major trials in Tuxpan, and for that reason put a family there who He knew would be strong in the church and they are that family

This is a picture of Aristeo and his wife Francia and their baby Dario. Last Monday we went with them and a few other members up to a cool place where you can see all of San Blas and the beach and everything and it was pretty cool. They have both been members for about all of their lives, but when they got married they both went inactive and have just recently begun to come to church again, just a little while ago. He fishes oysters for his job, the majority of the people here fish for a living. I tried a plain oyster one day at their house and did not like it too much, but of course ate it.


This is a picture of me and Elder Martinez with the sun setting in San Blas behind us. In the picture I am wearing a long sleeve Steelers shirt, I do not know where Elder Martinez got it, but it was the only shirt that he had that fit me, and my shirts were dirty at the time. We are sitting on a cannon. The members who we went with were, Aristeo and Francia, Angeles and her brother Ulises, Angeles´s daughter and the girlfriend of UIises.   The view is really cool from up there, it was a way fun trip.

Zone conference was cool this week.  Elder Webb is one of our zone leaders now, he has the same time as me in the mission and is a really cool guy, really charismatic, and black, reminds me of Zack in some ways. My companion is doing well, he knows a lot about the scriptures especially the Bible. One of the families we are working with is Bere and her husband Silvestre. They are great. We were able to gain their confidence in the first lesson, and they are not married, that is the only thing that is holding her back from being baptized.  Once we were talking well with them and I called her his future wife, instead of wife, and he took it well and thought it was funny and everything.

Supposedly, 93 people came to church yesterday, (that is what the branch president counted) although in reality I think we were about 80. We had a good week though.   I did 1615 push ups  in total, it is harder to do them here with the heat and humidity but it is alright. I had a fun experience in one of our lessons this week, with a less active member that I will tell you about later.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Conference Week, and Bugs!

I have felt a little bit sick this week, I got a sore throat, but overall it has been a good week. It is hot and humid. I still managed to exercise every day even though it was difficult. I went running 3 times with my companion and 3 days did pushups. My companion knows how to run, like, he could possibly beat me in a long distance race, maybe.

It is a nice fun area though, the people seem to be less catholic and the members are awesome, they are very humble people, there are a lot of bugs. I have big shoes to fill, Elder Webb, whose shoes I am filling speaks great spanish and has a lot of charisma. 
Elder Webb (the big shoes to fill), and Ben's companion Elder Martinez from Veracruz

I was richly blessed with the gift of tongues this week, as in, by far the best spanish of my life. I even am beginning to be able to say the double r´s.

I  am district leader now, we are 6 elders in our district. 4 of us are here in San Blas and 2 are in Villa Hidalgo. I enjoyed the parts of conference that I understood. I understood more than 90 percent of the saturday morning session, and not quite so much in the other sessions. There are many awesome less active members and recent converts here.
It gets dark early here, like at 7 at night and that is when the bugs really start to come out, so we try to be in lessons during that time. We had some good lessons this week, one in particular when we were teaching  several investigators, we spent the first part of the lesson with them just talking and gaining their confidence, upon doing so we then began to teach very directly, I have found that that is one of the best tactics. If you get to that point, you can tell the people exactly what they have to do and they take it the right way.

The branch president and his family are awesome and she did make the cake for us Tuesday, for all of us and not just for me sadly. I ate bread and jam this week and the members gave us a lot of food. This is my first area where the members feed us every day, even on Mondays.

We are going to go an climb up a hill with a couple of members today.

I ran 3 times with my companion this week. The first time, he really wanted to run on the sand at the beach, and I do not think that we can do that, and I did not know where we were going, but I felt like we were running towards the beach. We ended up running parallel to the beach, but far away from it and not on the sand, when, all of the sudden we were running on the sand. We eventually got back, and I was just a little bit irritated. But, overall, we had a good week, and the heat and humidity was not as bad as I thought it would be, and the members are great.

We eat a lot of seafood here, the majority of which tastes good, and some of which, such as oysters does not taste so good. Actually, I have loved everything that we have eaten other than plain oysters, which we normally eat with chile or lime. I ate a lot of chile this week just because I can and the members like it and think that it is cool. We go and run around a soccer field right next to a school in the morning.

Oh,  and we are on the same time schedule as you guys here, just so that you know. And I think my favorite conference talk was Elder Uchtdorf´s Saturday morning one, because it was the one that I understood best.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tuxpan to San Blas!

I have very little time to write right now and so i am going to try to get all of the important details in.

I was transferred, I am now in San Blas, Nayarit.

It is hot and humid here, you can imagine how much i sweat doing my pushups in the morning.    I set my record doing 607 pushups in half an hour last week on Saturday.

My companion is Elder Martinez, he is from Veracruz, Mexico and only has 1 transfer in the mission.   My companion is younger and has less time in the mission than Nate. I am kinda training him, his trainer, Elder Webb has the same time in the mission as I do and he is now one of our zone leaders, and so I am going to finish training Elder Martinez. He is an awesome guy, he seems confident for a missionary who only has 1 transfer, but at the same time, not cocky.

We had district conference with the Wagner´s and it was awesome. Montze came to the saturday and Sunday sessions. President Wagner told us that all of us were in the pre earth life for at least 6,000 years, to more than 600,000 years.  
District Conference in Guzman, Ben is in the very basck

The branch president and his family are awesome. His wife is going to make me a cake because she asked me how old I thought she was and I said 35, she is 53. We ate with them yesterday, are writing in their ciber right now, and we wash our clothes here as well.

Several people yesterday told me that I speak spanish very well and they were also impressed with how much chile I ate.  We have to go and eat now and hitch a ride to get there.

I am safe and sound, and Mom, so that you know, nothing has happened to me like what happened to Nate, you know I would have told you about it, I am not a small person, and rarely feel like I am in danger, knock on wood. I felt a little bit scared one time with E. Robertson and that was it.

I was able to say good bye to all of my buddies in Tuxpan, and me and Garcia really got along well, we just had 2 incidents, but i think in 6 weeks that is pretty good. I am safe and sound and looking forward to working here. Something funny that happened this morning was that, I guess one elder who left San Blas this transfer was saying good bye to an older sister in the branch and he told her, “pero no se preocupe, va a llegar un guero con ojos azules, y despues, ella le dijo, o entonces no le voy a extranar por mucho tiempo, haha.”  Pretty funny, Mom can explain, sorry but I have got to go, Love you guys!

Love, Elder Jarvis