Monday, January 27, 2014

Still no fish, and interviews with President Wagner

"I am not as fat as I look in this picture."

Gina and Alberto with the glasses he gave me. The bad thing is that they got separated this week. He went to Guadalajara and left her with their 3 kids and she does not have a stable job. We were going to visit them Saturday morning which was before he left, but we had to go to interviews in Santiago. They could not make it to conference. We are going to continue teaching her.

We had a good week this week. We had interviews with President Wagner on Saturday and District Conference on Saturday and Sunday.  The interviews went really well.   President Wagner is so good to me in the interviews. He always picks me up and reminds me that God looks on the heart.

He also interviewed me for my temple recommend because it had expired. It was kind of funny because one of the questions was about honesty and I told him that I owe about 10 or 15 pesos to correos mexico (Post Office?), but I did pass the interview even with that little problem. People here trust other people, if you want to buy something and you don´t have enough money, they just tell you to bring the rest later and trust that you will do it.  Mom, I look forward to eating your cookies when I get back. I did 550 push ups this morning and bought an ice cream. By the way, thanks so much for money you sent me, it was more than enough and I have got to learn to spend it more wisely as well.

We went fishing again today, we still have not caught anything. I don´t fish, only Elder Garcia does, I just relax in the sun for a little bit. We go by ourselves and do not use rods, we use empty plastic soda bottles and get some string and wrap it around them.

I wrote to Jess today and plan on writing to the Kelly´s.

Transfers are this Monday. I would like to stay here with Elder Garcia, and I have a hunch that is going to happen.  We'll see.

Mayra did come to church again and is preparing to be baptized on February 22.

We had to send photos of our house today, luckily it looks pretty clean.

Sorry this was a little short, I've got to go.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fishing and moving sand

I am doing good, we had a good week. Today we ate lunch with Yina and Alberto, 2 of our investigators, one investigator came to church, Mayra, she is the brother of Agustin who was baptized in August.  She has been to church 3 times and we have taught her 3 lessons.  Only 65 people came to church, so that´s not that many, but I am not sure what to do, or what we are doing wrong, or maybe that is just normal.  

We also went fishing again today, but did not catch anything. We do fish in the ocean, actually in the famous, muelle de San Blas.   

I have been doing my push ups, but not on Sunday. The only day I did not exercise was Thursday because I woke up feeling sicker than a dog.  I did manage to get up on time, and be studying on time and do everything else, I just did not have it in me to exercise. 

We gave service on Saturday and it was wonderful. We had to move a ton of sand, put it into buckets and move it, I was sweating more than you can imagine and it was absolutely wonderful. I read that Nate is going to train and thought that that was totally awesome! That is so cool, I am sure that he will do great, he has been such a stud missionary!

Thinking about Nate reminded me of something I thought about yesterday.   Sometimes, I worry a lot about setting a good example for my younger siblings to follow, and then I thought, and tried to imagine how Jesus Christ must have felt having to set an example for the entire world, and that, if he had committed even one sin, all of humanity would have been lost forever!

 Jordan Sanders wrote to me today and it was very nice to hear from him.

Sorry, I've got to go.  I'll send pictures next week.

Elder Jarvis

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Digging in the dirt and going to bed on time

January 13, 2014

My week has been very good, I made a major change this week. Last week, President Wagner told me, translating it from Spanish to English, in my weekly letter, "Remember, there is safety in following the manual." I think he told me that because the week before I told him that I wasn't going to bed on time. Anyways, his letter motivated me to go to bed on time this week, and for the first time in all of my mission, I was in bed on time, all week long! It was wonderful, I actually slept worse, but at least I had the peace of knowing I was being more obedient. It is funny because I would never dare sleep in, but I manage to find it quite easy to justify going to bed late. That was the one rule that I knew that I had to obey before the end of my mission, and I am finally obeying it! I was just staying up too late eating, filling out papers, talking to Elder Webb for 20 minutes, going to the bathroom while reading the notes you have written me, washing clothes, etc.

When you told me about Sister Wagner and her sisters shocking their grandfather, it reminded me of something pretty funny I did on Saturday. So, next to the gas station here in San Blas, there is a soda machine, and when it is, or recently has been raining, the machine shocks you as you put the money in or take out your soda. So, walking back from lunch, I asked Elder Montano if he wanted a soda and he said yes, and so I gave him the money and when he put it in the machine, it of course shocked him and he threw the money backward. So it was like killing two birds with one stone because I got to see him shock himself and he didn't spend the money either!

We had several good spiritual lessons this week as well. I went on divisions to Villa Hidalgo. I worked with Elder Perez. He is from Mexico City and has the same time in the mission as Nate. We had a fun lesson talking about repentance with a youth from their branch. The kid we taught is Christian, he is 22 years old and I asked him if he was going to go on a mission, and he said that he didn't think he could because of some things that he had done, and so we taught him about repentance. Then, we gave service, and it was totally awesome. This guy was moving some dirt with a shovel and we asked if we could help him. You can imagine how much I loved digging in the dirt again. Elder Perez also tried to help a little bit, but he is about the size of Elder Martinez so............haha.

When I was in Villa Hidalgo, we went to the gym as well and that was great! We were the only ones there, just us and the owner and I did work. The owner was very impressed that I was as big as I was just by doing pushups. I am still pretty big, but my muscles are just covered in fat, I would like to lose some fat and get more toned.

We taught several good lessons this week. I taught district class, one of the most boring ones I have taught, but o well. We had a good lesson with Sagrario. She is 14, a couple of her brothers are members, but they don´t go to church, her mom is a member of a Christian church, so she is the only member of her family who goes to church, and members of her mom´s church come to their house all the time telling her she has to go to their church but she has stayed strong and wants to be a missionary, and is not that cute just so you know. Brother Manrubio accompanied us all day long yesterday, he is such a stud! He has only missed church once in 10 years as a member. He was sealed in the temple and now is divorced, pretty sad. He often invites us to eat tortas and drink soda with him.

The water is not safe to drink (from the tap) But, I have drank it on several occasions and have never gotten sick. People still drink tons of soda here, actually I am famous for being probably the only elder who does not absolutely love Coke. I have actually tried to like it and have drank it a few times, but I hate it, for me it is an acquired taste, and I know I spelled that wrong. So, the point is, I have stopped drinking coke, I just do not like it. I feel like God knows that I like to eat sugar so much that he has given me the blessing of not liking Coke.

I feel really comfortable with my Spanish lately. It is not perfect, and I don't think I will ever be able to say the double r´s, and I do not know how to say everything and I do not understand everything, but I feel really comfortable with it. I feel like when I focus and concentrate it is really pretty decent. I love to speak in English with the American tourists here because they remind me that my accent isn´t that bad.

We cleaned the house this morning as well and that was soooooo nice! I was just thinking today I am so looking forward to eating your desserts when I get home! I feel soo good obeying the rule of going to bed on time now, and I feel like when I pray and ask for blessing and protection, it is more likely that I will receive those things. I really like a quote by Elder L. Tom Perry in Preach My Gospel that talks about how obedience pretty much puts like a shield around us.

I have got to go, sorry!

Love, Elder Jarvis

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Short email this week (because "we went fishing" )

January 6, 2014

Nada pero solo tengo 10 minutos mas para escribir porque fuimos a pescar y no pescamos nada, pero nos fue bien, y tu, como estas?

Ok I am really sorry, but this weeks letter is going to be really short, like really short. This week we had a really good lesson with an active member. We taught him the Restoration. He always goes with us to teach and has heard the lesson like 50 times, but when I told him the first vision, he started to cry a little bit and it was super cool. We also watched the testaments yesterday with a few recent converts and an investigator. I didn´t really do anything fun for new years. I was on divisions with Elder McGhee who is from Las Vegas. I have to stop writing in 2 minutes. I am safe and fine and everything is good. I got my hair cut today a little bit too short. We are going to have a family home evening tonight with Gustavo, one of our investigators. I exercised throughout the week, that is fun that you guys were able to talk to so many of my return missionary friends at basketball! 

Have a great week! I love you all!

Love, Elder Jarvis

Gratitude from Christmas week

December 30, 2013

Don´t worry about what you guys told me on Christmas...........Thinking back on it, I would never judge a person for going home from their mission early either. Something I have realized in the mission is that, it is hard. We often hear that if someones goes home early from the mission they will probably not stay active in the church, and I am not so sure I agree with that. There are so many factors that play into someone going home early from their mission. Something my District President in the MTC often told us is that, "you can go to the Celestial Kingdom without going on a mission, you can´t go to the Celestial Kingdom without going through the temple." I liked that a lot, I know that the mission is a great experience that changes our lives, but they are many, many very good people who have NOT served missions. 

To avoid any confusion right from the get go, my week was a lot better after talking to you guys than it was before. I did my best to focus on having positive thoughts and feelings rather than focusing on not having bad ones and it helped.

More than anything Mom, I don´t want you to worry about what you told me, I am glad that you told me!

I really liked something that Jess told me last week when she was sick, she made a big list of things she was/is grateful for. Even in our hardest moments we can find much to be grateful for. Some of the things I am grateful for are:

My Family,
The companions I have had and the things I have learned from every one of them.
We ate sooooo much good food this week.
Exercise and the endorphins I feel after exercising,.
Sacrament meeting was by far the most reverent sacrament meeting I have been a part of here in San Blas, the classes Sunday were wonderful as well.
OUR HOUSE IS CLEAN, I am no longer fat like I was in Residencial.
And speaking of Residencial, a less active/recent convert I knew there´s son recently was baptized.
Me and Elder Garcia have been getting along really well.
Agustin and Karla had us over for dinner last night.
The sunsets, sunrises, and sky in general here in San Blas is gorgeous, the members feed us every day,
I gave in talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday and felt the spirit very strongly while doing so.
I had a great time talking to you guys on Wednesday and now feel like I am a more normal person again.
I have had a fun last few days reading the scriptures,
We ate tortas and tacos this morning, it has rained all week long,.
We are going to have a Noche De Hogar tonight, I had a fun time talking with everyone about how good Mom´s Spanish is,.
Brother Manrubio is ALWAYS willing to accompany us to lessons, and many more but I feel like the list is long enough!

This morning we cleaned the house for a long time and it was sooooo nice. We could have gone to Santiago to play ball and not have had time to do anything else, and we would have ended up washing our clothes and cleaning the house tomorrow, and in the process disobey, but we chose to be obedient, not go and I am so glad we didn´t! There is so much peace that comes from simply obeying the rules! I remember a quote from President Monson that said, "Life would be a lot simpler if we would just obey all of the commandments," and Elder Eyring said, "the only plan of happiness that God has for all of his children, is to keep all of the commandments." 

If I have to get off before you next email it is because I am following the rules and am getting off by 6. If I continue to write to you pass 6 San Blas you can remind me to be obedient and tell me to get off!

Love you, have a great week.

Elder Jarvis

Short letter the week before Christmas-

December 23, 2013

I may not have a lot of time to write today because we went to Santiago to play ball. But just so you know I am fine and doing well! And the packages from you guys and the grandparents got here, thank you very much!

Jugamos futbol, basket y futbol americano.  It was really fun to play ball, I just got fried! I threw 2 td passes to Elder Webb, lefty to lefty!.

I think we are going to write on Christmas day around 6 and we are going to try to find a member who has skype. Thank you so much for the shoes and the belt, I really needed a new belt and I do not know how you knew that! Thanks for the ties and the candy as well. I did not want to but I felt that it was necessary to take the candy to church and share it with the members which I did. It is funny, there is something that I have learned from all of my companions. Elder Martinez was really good about sharing and giving everything he had to others, I know he would have done the same thing in my situation

Just a question, the tie with the catholic churches on it was a joke? I thought that was pretty funny, maybe you did not recognize it.

One last thing...... I will actually be writing at 4 instead of 6 because I forgot we have a lesson at 6, and tell Sam Heron I said thanks as well!

Love you guys Elder Jarvis 

Staying in San Blas, back with Elder Garcia!

December 16, 2013

Hey mom! Happy Birthday this coming Friday! To tell you the truth, Dad did remind me of it, but I had already remembered it as well! Sounds like you guys had a nice fun week this week, busy as usual. We had a good week as well. With transfers coming up, Elder Martinez and I went to the soccer field to run Wednesday through Saturday. My legs felt SORE, and it was absolutely wonderful, and I´m not being sarcastic, I loved feeling like that. We had our zone class this week in Santiago, and they gave us Microwaves, which I, of course had to carry to the taxis and such, at one point I was walking along with the big huge microwave and this guy stops and say, "lo bueno es que estas grandote, si no estarias cansado." I thought that was pretty funny. I had a few funny experiences this week, you know that when you are at your house, everyone always says to shake hands with a firm grip, well, I think that is usually good advice, and I tried for some odd reason
I´m not really sure of to put that advice into practice this week. So, here I was shaking hands a little bit more firmly than I usually do, being about twice the size of the average Mexican, and I bet you can figure out the rest. Several members complained to me about breaking their hands, I didn´t really hurt anyone, but I´ll make sure to shake hands a little more gently this week. 

This week was a little bit of a tough one for our district as far as our investigators and less active members and sacrament meeting attendance goes. Only 60 came to church, but 5 less active members did come, and Gabriela, our recent convert came as well. 

We had transfers this week and they transferred Elder Martinez to Puerto Vallarta,and I received a "new" companion. He is a familiar face, his name is one you´ve heard before........Elder Garcia. We are companions again, I am pretty excited for that. We are working here in San Blas and I am excited for that. At several points this week I felt very irritated with my companion and didn't feel like I was being a very Christlike person. I am excited to be with Elder Garcia again, and things have gone really well right now. He has a nice ipod and some good music that it was fun to listen to last night. 

Speaking of nights, something that I have forgotten to mention to you guys in middle of some difficult times, one big blessing that I have been receiving lately is that I have been sleeping really well. There has been several times when I have wanted to keep reading, but have been so tired I could not and have fallen asleep reading. I also find myself occasionally drifting off while praying, I pray on my knees on the hard floor and using a hard wooden chair, and it is not like I am trying to fall asleep but it just happens sometimes because I am so tired. For me, that has been a blessing. We have a nice fan in the house and I have had many nights when I have slept very peacefully. 

But, all in all I had a good week, we got back late tonight, and I will write a little bit more tomorrow. Happy 47th Birthday on Friday mom, and it makes me very happy to see all the success Nate is having, I am glad he is being such a great missionary.