Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Skype Visit

This morning when we went to the stake center for p-day there was a box waiting for me and a letter, but I'm going to talk about the box.  I'm really happy about the pictures.  I've been wanting pictures of the family.  Sometimes people ask me if I have pictures of my family, and now I do!  I also enjoyed all of your letters.  I got a letter from Meganne too, that was the other thing waiting for me.  I've only had the chance to read them once, but I really loved reading them.  I'll read them again when I have the chance.  I really need to write everybody back, you guys are the greatest.

The pencil you sent me is super cool. I love how it pops out.  It's super legit, or as we would say in Guatemala, "super chilero."  The only bad thing is that the big thing of replacement lead you sent me is .7 and the pencil is .5.   I think the replacements I have for the pencil I lost are .5 though so it should be alright.
The Oregon shirts are cool too.  I translated your note for my companion and then kept them both. Just kidding.  We opened them together.  It was just like Christmas.
The book you sent me with the temple on the front is the coolest thing I've ever seen.  I'm not sure what is worthy to be written in it.  Also the plan de salvación cards were really cool, in Spanish even. Also the 17 puntos de la iglesia verdadera.  It was all amazing.
The box said 30 dollars of paper.  We are still kind of confused by that.  I assume it must be all the books and stuff in total.  And the letters are paper, that's worth at least 30 bucks for me.
Talking for Christmas was awesome. Freaking fantastic!  I'm not sure what to say about that, other than that it was great.  I love you guys. 
My Spanish is doing a lot better than when I started.  It's really different living in a different language.  Sometimes I slip up in English.  Sometimes I feel like now I'm uncomfortable talking two languages instead of just one.
Did I mention that this is the most legit pencil I've ever seen in my life.  Where did you find this thing? 
We've got changes coming up after this week (in Spanish they call transfers "cambios" which is the word for change, so everybody here calls transfers changes.)  Any way, this is the last week of the change so when it ends I might get moved.  Or they could move my companion and then I would have to remember things, scary thought.  I have enough trouble with the words.
Any way,  I'm pretty much out of time so I'll talk to you next week.  I love you all!!
Elder Jarvie

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Feliz Navidad!

This letter might be a little shorter because I sent a few other letters.  The house looks freaking amazing! And the tile is beautiful.  Those little ornate things are cool too.  It looks amazing. And the walls too, my goodness. (Now that's the kind of enthusiasm we're looking for!)
Yesterday we had a Christmas devotional.  It was really neat.  There was 4 zones, so I got to see a few people that I know.  Two people from my MTC district were there,  Elder Girksnes and Elder Aubrey. And a few people that were in the zone I'm in now that had been changed the transfer. (This is how you know his Spanish is getting better, because his English is worse. So cute!)  They fed us some food and we watched the Disney movie "Iron Will" in Spanish.  I think that would be my first time watching a movie in a different language, and without subtitles or anything.  Luckily,  I have just enough time that I understood a decent amount. (Translated in English he means he's been in Guatemala enough time to understand the Spanish)  It was a really good movie too.  It helps that I'm kind of deprived from movies.  Watching anything on an electronic screen is automatically super neat.
On the bus drive back one of the Latino elders that can speak some English started to sing the song "Friday" only with "P-day" in place of "Friday."  I just thought that was funny and you guys would like to know.
We pretty much had 2 P-days because of the devotional, it ended about the same time as P-day does.
I'm really exited to talk to you guys.
This morning I was reading the Liahona in English and there was a guy whose last name was Amado (which is a word in Spanish)  (It means "beloved") and I was just zoned out enough that I had to stop and look up to double check what language I was reading in.
The Spanish is coming along really good.  It helps that I speak it all the time.  Sometimes I feel like I'm just uncomfortable talking two languages now.
I haven't gotten your box yet, but nobody in the zone has gotten mail for the last week or two, so we are thinking something's up.  Maybe they're saving it in the office until Christmas.  I feel like it would be a lot of work delivering all the mail Christmas day though.  Maybe they got their hands on Santa Clause technology.
One of these days you need to send me Rick's letters too, or is it Elder Pedersen?  Anyway I would love to read them. (I actually mailed them this morning finally!)
From what I've heard and seen the Christmas traditions in Guatemala are: throw firecrackers and eat tamales.  They really love fireworks here.  A little while ago we were talking to a lady walking down the street and a guy came out of his house and yelled "yeahh CREAMA!!" really loud (creama is the Spanish word for cream).  And after screaming for a while he threw a big rope of  firecrackers.  It was kind of weird.  Sometimes I love this place.  It's a tad less weird knowing that it's the soccer finals here in Guatemala.  But it was still funny.  These people are crazy.
Anyway,  I'm pretty much out of time.  Thanks for all the e-mails and "Feliz Navidad" (Merry Christmas tambien  (means "you also" )  I'll talk to you guys in a few days!

-Elder Jarvie

Monday, December 15, 2014

Miracle and Newspaper

Hey everybody!
Honestly sometimes I miss working on the house with you all, but I don't miss cutting tile.  It's almost as bad as speaking Spanish.  The pictures of the dining room look really great though. Make sure to keep sending me pictures.
It sounds like "bishopness" runs in Jared's family.  Speaking of Jared, tell him if he has any questions about Guatemala, I'm here.  Also tell him that I've heard his mission has the most relaxed rules.  At least that's what I've heard.  Probably as far as music and stuff.  Oh and that when he goes it's going to be called "Guatemala ciudad sur."  They'll probably actually say "ciudad de Guatemala."  That's a little more correct in Spanish.
I forgot to tell you when I got them, but I did get a letter from my seminary class.  Well, a letter stuffed with letters.  They were great.  Make sure and thank them for me.  Moroni wrote me a letter in Spanish.  I started reading it and thought, "oh hey, he wrote part in Spanish."  I was about half way through when I noticed  it was all in Spanish.  So props for that.  If he goes Spanish speaking, at the very least the MTC will be a lot less painful.
That's sad to hear about Remington and Blue. She was pretty cool.  He will just need to hang around Michaela's puppy.   Puppies always make me feel better.  Man I love puppies.  Still sad to hear about Remington and Blue.
Your ward Christmas party sounds fun.  We had a stake devotional.  It was almost all choir.  It's harder to understand a different language when people are singing, but it doesn't matter as much, so it's not a big deal.  It was actually a really good choir.
Tell your new young woman that I will gladly be a doodle buddy if she wants.  I need more excuses to draw.  I only have one doodle buddy right now, and letters take a little while so I could do it.
Anyway, things here are going good.  There was a firework show near our neighborhood so that was pretty cool.  The kids here love firecrackers and stuff.  They don't have as many rules here, so there are "bangs" all over the place.  Some a lot bigger than others.  I think I told you about "quemar al diablo," but anyway, lots of fireworks.
Last week our ward took a trip to the other temple in Guatemala, so we didn't have any members to come with us.  But a miracle happened.  A little after we left the house we met a guy from a different ward who came with us for a while and introduced us to a boat load of people.  He was a really interesting character.  He had a formal coat with shoulder pads and the pockets were stuffed with things and newspaper.  He was a really cool guy though and had the greatest handwriting.
Anyway things are going good here.  Spanish is still a little bit of a pain but it's a lot less so.  And I'm doing great.  I'm out of time so I'll talk to you all next week.
Love, Elder Jarvie

Monday, December 8, 2014

Burn The Devil

Things here are going pretty well. I think I've told you already that I'm not the newest person anymore, which is really different.  But it makes me feel good about myself.  That and my Spanish is doing a lot better.  I loved the pictures from home.

Something fun happened yesterday, well actually two things.  First it was "quemar el diablo," (burn the devil) so at about six o'clock, in the middle of a lesson, fireworks started going off.  I had heard that it was going to happen but I had kind of forgotten about it.  Anyway, the fireworks didn't stop for a while.  And it wasn't a little bit of fireworks either.  There was a decent amount and they were loud. Sadly though I missed the burning of the devil pinatas because we were in a lesson.  But it was for a good cause.

The other thing was the Christmas Devotional.  We went to the stake center and highlight of my life they had an English room.  It's like a family's room only it's for white people.  So I got to understand every word.

Starting with the things I read in dad's letter, these are my thoughts: 1st - make sure to send me a picture or two or more of the door when it's done, or before it's done. 2nd - sometimes I miss working on the house with you guys.  I don't feel the same way about cutting tile, but have fun. 3rd - nice job outsmarting the rat.

Speaking of animals, I've been thinking about writing about the creatures here but I haven't gotten around to it.  There is a large amount of stray dogs.  I don't know how many are stray actually but there is a lot of dogs.  The thing I didn't expect is the amount of dogs that have sweaters. It's the colder time of the year.  It's actually been a little cold sometimes in the night.  I guess the people think the dogs get cold too.  People ask me why I'm not wearing a sweater all the time.  (I just looked up the weather for today.  Their high is 70 degrees and their low is 55 degrees!) Next creature of Guatemala is the cockroaches.  There isn't a lot but there definitely is.  I'm trying to think of something to compare them to in amount but I can't.  They're in the house sometimes.  They really aren't a problem here though.  I'm sure there are other houses that are worse.  Next animal is goats.  In the middle of the city there will be some Guatemalan kid walking his herd of goats.  It's kind of funny.  This last thing I've only seen once.  It was this morning just before we left the house.  We went to the bedroom to get something and there was a scorpion chilling on my companion's bed.  
So that was cool.

We had exchanges with the zone leaders this week so I had a white companion for a day, though we talked in Spanish a lot of the time.  It was cool to be able to talk my native language.  And he's a cool dude, so it was good.

You mentioned the "He is the Gift" video.  I saw it and it was really good.  Only I didn't see it in English.  In Spanish it's called "él es la dádiva" and still really good.   We've been giving lots of people little cards with the video address on it.

Make sure to mail me Rick´s letters and pictures of home and my beloved family and whatever thing you feel would be good.

I miss you guys, but not too bad.  Don't worry.  I'm excited to call home for Christmas.  I'd tell you when and how or whatever but I have no idea.  Love y'all bye.

-Elder Jarvie 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Bus Ride


The man in the picture of me and my companion you were talking about is a member of our ward. (See first picture.)  His name is Juan Carlos and he does speak pretty good English. (Juan had posted the picture on facebook on Thanksgiving and tagged Donavaghn.  When I commented on the picture in English my family told me he probably wouldn't be able to understand what I wrote.)  I think especially when he's reading or writing it.  Knowing words and speaking is a little different.  He's pretty cool and he will probably understand anything you send him.

Thanks for the pictures. I'm still looking for a cord, or at least thinking about looking for a cord.  I will see what I can do.   Our Christmas tree is fake. It does have lights though.  We got it from a couple in our ward, the Lorenzo family.  Like Lorenzo Snow, except Guatemalan.

I haven't heard much about people stealing packages or letters, mail and what not, so you shouldn't have to worry about it too much.
On the way here to write, we rode a bus.  It was pretty full to begin with but then we stopped like four or five times on the way to pick up other groups of people.  So.. it was pretty freaking tight.  That was the most people I've been in the same bus with so far.  What made it better, is that last week was the end of the transfer so there are new people in the field.  A new white person, who has been here just less than a week, was with us for the experience.  I swear that bus almost rolled a few times when we turned.  If it would have fallen over there would have been enough people that not much would have changed.  OK,  so not quite that full, but close.
I never thought I'd see the day when I spoke better Spanish than somebody, (Is he referring to the "new white person?)  My Spanish is making its way up even if I am lacking a few words. 
On a sad note, Thanksgiving came and went and I didn't even realize until the next day.  It was one of my favorite holidays back home too.  I'm fine just as long as you all celebrated good for me.
Sometimes things are a little different here.  Sometimes you just got to love it though. The weird buses and sidewalks that are falling apart.  And some people live in the jungle and the city at the same time.
I've said before I think that the houses are interesting.  They are all different.  I would send you pictures but it would be a little weird to knock on a door and say, "Hi, we're missionaries.  Can we take some pictures of you house."
Tell Emerson to snowboard hard for me. (Emerson is snowboarding in Utah for two weeks.)
Christmas is coming up and I will get to call home. Are you excited or what? I'm going to try to send a few pictures now.
Love, Elder Jarvie

Monday, November 24, 2014

First "cambio" finished

I finished my first transfer, or "cambio" as we call them here. Things are going good.  I can actually speak Spanish.  Not good Spanish, but Spanish none the less.

We put up a little Christmas tree.  We would follow the tradition of not doing it before Thanksgiving, but I don't think Thanksgiving is much of a thing here.  I don't know what more to say about that.
The houses here on the outside all look really similar (and dirty), but on the inside they are all different.  Some of them are really nice and others are dirt floors falling apart.  Saturday we knocked on a door, inside was nice, apart from the fact that it was about the size of our bathroom.   We brought the guy to church.  It seemed to go pretty well.  Funny thing was the first thing he really ever heard was a really good talk on the law of consecration. 
I really love all the letters and e-mails and stuff I get from you guys.  And please do send me Rick's letters.  That would be great.  I love hearing about the house too and anything you want to tell me.  I' ll see what I can do about sending pictures.
For Christmas, if you're planing on sending a box, please include another of those magical thin towels that you bought me.  Also, if you could find a nice looking notebook or two of lined paper.  The book I use to take notes in church and meetings is getting close to full.  The last thing,  I have that sewing kit that Grandma Walker gave to me.  I've used it a couple of times and it works great, but I lost the needles.  I would just try to find some here but they're so small I don't think it would make a difference if you just put one or two in with whatever you send.  Oh, and if you could send some pictures too.  Some pictures of the family and some of Oregon so I can show people my home.  And maybe some pictures of the house.
I will now proceed to answer questions.  I know we can play some types of discs but not all.  We have a little portable DVD player.  Also you can plug a USB drive into it.  I'm not sure what your question was about that.  (I wanted to send him some music and wasn't sure the best format to send it.)  We don't try to talk people down (I asked him how it works at the markets.  Do they try to "wheel and deal" or just pay the asking price), nothing is expensive, and we don't buy a whole lot.  I am assigned to one ward.  It's hard to say who is well off and who isn't, well unless they're really well off or homeless, but everybody in the ward seems pretty normal.
It's pretty normal here to call people what they look like.  There's a guy in my ward that everybody just calls "conche." (I don't know if that's spelled right) A "conche" is just someone that has lighter skin.  (They might have to be a Latino though.)  I've been called "conche" at least once. (I wonder how many people mistake him for a Latino.) Anyway, this person I was talking about, I think I heard his name for the first time yesterday.
Some people here speak English.  Some better than others, but everybody knows that the elders speak English (well at least a third or so of us, probably less).  So people just yell random English stuff at us.  Most of the time it's, "what's up dude?" or "good morning," even if its five thirty in the afternoon.
Anyway,  I'm out of time.  Have fun.  Love you guys.
Elder Jarvie

Monday, November 17, 2014

Despicable Me


Things here are going alright.  I'm at the point where my Spanish isn't that bad, I just have a terrible vocabulary.  But it's getting better every day.  I'm also getting used to being in a dirty, third world country.  

I got letters from Remington and the Dabels. (Thank them for me please) I think it was Sister Dabel who asked if I see a lot of poverty.  My half joking response is ¿What do you think Guatemala is?  In all seriousness, there are places here that are really nice, but there is a lot of poor areas.  Third world describes the streets pretty well.  The difference is interesting.  For garbage they have this little semi-truck thing drive around with a bunch of guys that go door to door with little tarps collecting people's trash.

Last week we had to go to a different place for e-mailing because where we normally go the internet went out.  Now that I'm back at this place, I can see a lot more of the pictures you sent me.  Thank you for those.  I enjoy pictures.

The letter I got from Remington was great. Hand written and everything.  Tell him he's a legend.  He also told me not to tell you about anything sketchy.  So when I come back in two years, remember to ask me, because boy do I have some stories for you guys.  Just kidding, there hasn't been anything too dangerous.
Side thought- in Spanish I think the word for pants is singular.

Also they have lots of little shops here that sell tortillas.  Tortillas here are fantastic. They are all hand made.  You can buy normal ones at the super markets, but the ones from the little venders all over the place are small, hand made and taste like heaven. Or maybe I just like eating.

I never really missed music in the CCM, but here you hear it on the streets. (I'm not used to calling them streets. They are called "calles" here.  Double Ls are said like a Y, like in tortillas. So its pronounced "cayay.") anyway yeah.  Also I never really liked music in Spanish before now.  The national instrument of Guatemala is the marimba.  It's like a big, super legit xylophone.  Sometimes I hear what you would call "Mexican music" with a marimba and it's actually pretty fantastic.  Also they listen to a lot of English music.

You always ask me about my companion.  He's good.  He keeps the rules, so that's a plus. In fact I think he studies obedience every other morning.  His favorite movie is "Despicable Me," along with every other Guatemalan.  A couple of days ago they set up a bunch a chairs and a big projector screen in the middle of the calle (like a 4 lane calle) and watched "Despicable Me."  This place isn't normal, but it has its perks.

I think I've talked about the little venders all down the calles but I'm going to talk more about them.  There are a lot of them.  They have tortilla shops, bread shops, food shops, misc. shops and electronic shops.  And there is tons of all of them.  Like honestly, you could live here and never go to a store.  Just buy stuff through some bars off the crappy little sidewalk.  It's really useful if you ever just want a snack or some little miscellaneous thing.

You have asked a couple of times about Christmas.  For Christmas I would like a bunch of letters,  (If everyone who is reading this letter could help me with that one, I would really appreciate it!) maybe some ties, a nice mechanical pencil, (I lost mine at the mtc :( ) pictures! yo quiero pictures, and what ever you feel like would be good.  I think I might be able to find an adapter here but the only ones I've seen I'd have to buy a different memory card (one with the little chip). I only have a few pictures on the one I use now so it's not too bad.  I do have one of me and my companion at the temple. Do you know if my Mickey Mouse card works here, or if it's still active? (At first I was like, "What is he talking about? He's never even been to Disneyland. Then I remembered his debit card has a picture of Mickey Mouse on it.)  If so, how much money is on it? I could probably just buy the adapter with the money I have.

Anyway, I miss you guys. Thanks for the letters and e-mails.
-Elder Jarvie

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bucket List

Thanks for the letters, and thank dad for his too.  We went to the temple today.  That was pretty great, even if it is kind of a small one.  I got to wear little headphones that translated everything.  I understand Spanish well enough that I probably would have been fine, but it was nice to not have to worry about it. 

Yesterday I went to the offices for immigration paperwork.  I got to see three of the elders from my MTC district.  My paperwork took a little longer because one of them had my middle initial and the other didn't.  So I had to go sign a few things.  On the bright side I think I can check being an illegal off my bucket list.  It's all sorted now so don't worry.

We had a baptism Sunday morning.  Her name is Paola.  It's a rule in the east mission that the members of the ward baptize people.  So she was baptized by a guy in our ward who works at the CCM.   I actually knew him before I started the mission.  The baptism went very well.  I have a few pictures but they are kind of a pain to send.  Try and see if you can find a USB adapter for the memory of my camera.  It would be a great present and I could send pictures a lot easier.
Spanish is coming along really well.  For being in the field less than a month I actually speak pretty good.  My Spanish was pretty bad in the MTC but having to speak it all day, everyday, I'm improving pretty fast.  I'm still far from comfortable talking to people.  (Not that I'm really comfortable talking to people in English.)
You always ask about my companion.  I don't really know what to say about him.  He is from Guatemala.  Mo mos tenanga I think. (I have no idea what that means? Anyone?)  He speaks very little English.  (And not like I speak very little Spanish.)  He knows a couple of phrases.  But I learn faster that way so I can only complain so much.  Next time I send pictures I'll send some with him in them. His name is Elder Zárate.  I told you that right?
My area is in Zona 5 Calle 30.  It is pretty much the backbone.  Just don't fly down here or anything, they would probably get mad at me.  There are a lot of churches in my area. Guatemala is different, a lot dirtier.  It's interesting though.  They have tons of little markets down all the roads.
Tell dad I've felt at least a portion of his pain.  I've only gotten decently sick once.  But you don't really work quite right for a while here.
Oh, I have a thing to tell Jared.  I believe his mission borders mine so I bet they use the same weird jargon.  A "pila" is a thing of water, like a sink or a baptisimal font, it's also batteries. But when someone says "que pilas" it's kind of like, "how smart."  Sometimes they will say "bien" before something that just means "really."  So if a person is "bien pilas" they are "really smart."   It's not a perfect translation, but pretty much.  Also "piñas" (pineapples) often refers to attractive girls.  And "chilero" is a guy that sells chilies, but it also means cool as in "that's cool."   You would say "eso es chilero."   It's usually "cool," they don't talk about the chili selling guy that much.   And if they did, they would probably just call him "el hombre que vende chilis."   I can't think of any weird words or what not apart from that.
When I e-mail, spell check is in Spanish so almost everything, but my address, is underlined in red.  There are a few others that aren't.  Once is 12.  He is haber congugated in yo form. and a few others.  Also the Spanish words of course. (If part of this paragraph was confusing to you,  just know you aren't the only one.)
I love hearing about what's going on at home and the pictures too.  This time I e-mail in two days less than normal.  I'll talk to you all Monday.
-Elder Jarvie

Monday, November 3, 2014

Baptism this Sunday!

Hey everybody!

Thanks for the pictures and the letter Mom.  I love seeing the things that are going on at home.  It's really exciting to hear about the house.  It's sad to hear that Emerson has a wheat intolerance too. How is he doing?
Things here are going all right. Spanish is coming.  I still feel a little out of place.  It's probably because I'm a lot out of place.  You always ask if people feed us so I thought I'd tell you that yesterday we were fed by three different families.  It's a lot different here but a lot of things are really neat.  I almost said nice.  That describes very few things here, but it is an interesting place.
You asked what would be a good way for people to prepare.  I would start with every day reading the scriptures and preach my gospel with the intent of finding verses, thought and teaching ideas you could share with people.  Directly following that, I would say pray, keep the commandments and get used to the idea of doing something you're not comfortable doing all day long. (And also know if they serve in English they have no right to complain.)
We rode a bus today.  That was a fun experience. They pack those things pretty tight sometimes. It helps when at one stop you throw in like ten missionaries.
One of our investigators is getting baptized Sunday!  We've been teaching her for a little while now. I've had a lot of times when I've taught the discussions, but I've never really been comfortable doing it.  It's even worse now that I have to do it in a different language.  Thank you guys for praying for me.  Things aren't going all that bad so it helps a lot.  Keep it up please.  At least until I can speak Spanish.
Speaking of Spanish, it's actually coming along pretty well.  The last couple of weeks I've actually had people tell me that for only having the time I do I speak pretty well.  Which is a nice change considering I probably was one of the worst at speaking in the CCM.  I'm sure speaking nothing but Spanish all day helps.  Meetings with the district or zone are always really nice because I get to hear at least a little English.
I love and miss all y'all.  I hope you guys have fun
hablare con ustedes siguiente semana
(translated means, "I'll talk to you next week.")
-Love Elder Jarvie

Monday, October 27, 2014

dia del brujas

I was going to send pictures . I brought my camera and everything but seeing as I just spent the last 10 minutes trying to figure out how to download them from my camera and aren't any closer, I'm thinking I'll do it another time.  It's a pain trying to do everything in Spanish.
That's really exciting to hear about Remington and Meredith (they are engaged and will be married December 30th in the Nauvoo Temple.)  It's great to hear about the whole family and the house.  I love hearing how the house is going.  To answer your questions, the tortillas are usually flour and the members feed us almost every night.  To answer another of your questions, they do have Halloween here but I think most people call it "Dia Del Brujas" or something like that.  It's day of the brujas. I have no idea what a bruja is though. (It means "Day of Witches" - thanks to the Spanish to English translator online.)

You asked where my companion was from.  He's from Guatemala.  I think the city is called Quetzaltenango.  I mentioned to him that my friend (my friend being Jared) got his mission call to Guatemala South. He told me that that part is really hot.  Also for Jared, my advice is learn the conjugations because they are a pain.  Other than that,  I really don't know what else.  Having more garments and socks than they say to bring would be convenient.

All the front doors on the homes have this little window, so when you're knocking on doors looking for people we always talk to them through that little window.  The houses are pretty third world.  Some of them though are pretty decent.  The third world part is nothing compared to constantly speaking Spanish. That's coming pretty well though.  I just wish it would come instantly.  On the topic of "third worldness," there is a lot of dogs on the street.  You mentioned a picture of a sink that Elder Konold had posted. I think you are talking about the big cement kind. Everybody has those. We have a regular kitchen sink too.  Well, it would be be normal if water more than dripped out of it.

Our church building is pretty cool.  Half of it is outside.  I should have taken pictures of that.
Anyway, it was great to hear what's happening.  I love you all.  Have a great week.  I'm going to try to send pictures again.
-Elder Jarvie

P.S. I finally got some pictures to download.  There is two of the city.  I'm in Guatemala City right now.  It limits my email size to like nothing so i can't send much as far as pictures. (I learned when I sent him pictures it worked best to just send one picture per e-mail.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

poco poco

I don't think I'm going to have a lot of time to write, mostly because I had 7 e-mails to read. Thank you everybody for those! And thank you madre, I got three of the biggest, bestest e-mails I've ever gotten in my life. It's amazing to hear that Jared is going to Guatemala! My mind was pretty much blown when you said that. About as much as when you said he was going to temple square. I was really confused by that. (Jared's mom was mad (but not the real kind of mad) that Jared made them wait until Emerson got off work to open his call, so she created a “fake call” where he was called to serve at temple square with the tabernacle choir through the language of music. He totally believed it for the first half of the letter, then figured out they had tricked him. It was pretty hilarious, if I do say so myself.) Tell him to study Spanish. Mostly so he doesn't have to suffer in the MTC. They force feed you Spanish all day in that place. Speaking of that, is he going to the MTC in Guatemala? I've heard that they close it some times of the year when there isn't a lot of people going out because it's so tiny. There are some perks to going to the Mexico MTC, like keeping your camera and having more free time than just P-day. But that wouldn't be as cool. 

It's different being here in Guatemala. It's third world for sure. I'll try to send some pictures next week. The area I'm in now, my first one, they just cleaned out. They had disobedient missionaries or something. So my trainer and I got put here starting from pretty much nothing. Also my trainer doesn't speak English, so that's a lot of fun. My Spanish is doing really good though. For less than two months, it's pretty freaking amazing. And it's improved a lot hearing it 24/7 with the whole comprehending what people are saying.

A lot of the houses are kind of like a house with no roof that has a house with a roof inside. There are a lot of little shops in the doors of what would be a house. It's kind of hard to explain. I'll have to send you some pictures of that too. A lot of them sell tortillas. Homemade tortillas are really common here.

One of my proudest moments so far was that I talked with a member about his avocado tree. I understood pretty much all of what he said except for the Spanish word for avocado. I had my Spanish dictionary with me so I pulled it out so we could look up what the word was. He pointed to a word. I read it. The word in English was “patient.” I was confused for a little while wondering what he meant by “patient tree.” We figured out it was wrong pretty quick, but just thought that was kind of funny. I know the word for tree because when I tell people I'm from Oregon and they have no idea what or where that is, I just tell them it's a lot like here but all the trees are pine or “pino” not to be confused with “pina” that's a pineapple.

As far as the whole missionary work thing is going, I'd say pretty good all things considered (and there is a lot to consider.) I'm pretty lost a lot of the time. It would probably help if I spoke better Spanish. I just follow my companion, smile real big and teach what I can. The Spanish will come I'm sure. The members always say “poco poco” which translates directly to “little little.” But judging by the context I'm pretty sure it means “little by little.” They also tell me Spanish is easy... like a lot. It's a lot easier when you've spoke it since birth. But honestly, it's coming just fine. It'll just take a little time. Poco poco. I love the times of the week when we're with the district and I can speak English. The weird thing is there are words I miss having. Like I wish there was a direct translation for the word “get,” or more then one way to say “yes.” In Spanish all I got is “si.” In English we have “yes, yeah, yep,” etc.

Also I should mention we have some investigators now. Some of them even committed to a baptism date. They're really cool people, even if I can't talk very well with them. I'd tell you more about that but I'm out of time. I miss and love you all. Talk to you next week. 

Elder Jarvie 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Things are going alright.  I'm getting kind of sick of always being in the same place.  General Conference a few days ago was amazing.  The good thing about being in the MTC is that you get to watch it in English.  It would have been cool to listen to the Spanish talks in Spanish though.  Which by the way was super legit that they did that.  Just a week or two ago my district was talking about if there will ever be conference talks in other languages.  That question was answered pretty quick.  There was some really good talks.  I really enjoyed President Eyring's talk Sunday morning about revelation.
Last P-day they changed the e-mail time because we got to go on a tour of the city.  It was really cool. It doesn't really feel like Guatemala in the MTC, so it was a fun experience to be out there.  We went to a relief map of Guatemala.  You should try to Google pictures of it, it's really cool.  I doubt there are too many giant relief maps of Guatemala so it shouldn't be too hard to find.  It's crazy how steep some of the mountains are.  They said the map is almost perfectly accurate, which is crazy considering it was made by a bunch of guys riding around on horses.  The map was made a long time ago and the story about it is pretty cool.
The other thing we did that day that was really neat was we went to a market.  It was underground.
There was two parts to it.  The first one was a meat and fruit market.  The meat shop was pretty much like you see in pictures, just big hunks of meat hanging from hooks.  There was mountains of fruit. Some of it was different looking fruit too.  Anyway, it was pretty cool.
I leave for the real world on Tuesday.  It is pretty exciting.  The days here are the same most of the time.  I can't wait to just be able to walk more.  I've heard that our mission president is a cool guy.  All but one person in my district is going to my mission.  Somebody here, I'm not sure who, has a friend who is in the Guatemala City East mission right now.  The best news I've heard is that mission president doesn't have strict music rules, so I'm hoping that's true.
It's really pretty here in a lot of places.  It was really neat to be able to see things when I was out on the tour, because really all I've seen of Guatemala is what I could on the drive from the airport to the CCM.  It's really green. Like really green.  Even parts of the city look like a jungle.  There were some amazing buildings when we went downtown. There is a big green palace and a cathedral-ish thing, some sort of Catholic building.  It's too bad they're in the Central Mission so I won't get to go inside or anything.  I did hear that the map was in my mission though.
The culture here seems really cool.  There are some really neat and different places and people here.  There is amazing artwork and architecture and some really poor places too.  The last part of the tour we drove past a community that was pretty much a steep valley coated in shacks.  I can't remember what they call the places in general but I think that one in specific was called the Limonada (or something lemonade in English).
I can't wait to be able to speak enough Spanish to be able to talk to people.  Or even just to talk to people with the Spanish I do know.  I can teach the lessons alright, and can usually understand words I know.  I just don't know a whole ton.  That should be fixed in a few months though.  And if they go as fast as this one has, that should be in no time.  The first few days here felt like the longest ever, and I'm sure the first few in the field will too.  But the weeks are never long.  And as little as it feels like I accomplish, some days at the end of the week I'm a lot better than I was.  My Spanish is coming along a lot better. I'd even say it's going good.  
Things here are alright. Sometimes the supervisors are idiots (I mean this in the kindest way).  A lot of the teachers are really good though.  We've been really lucky with teachers.  The first two we had were amazing.  They changed our afternoon teacher last week, so we don't have Hermano Ruiz any more, so that's too bad.  Our new teacher's alright too, and we only have one more week.
Before I forget, I got your letter last week that you mailed me.  I just forgot to tell you.  And I got a Dear Elder letter from Michaela.  On the topic of letters, thank Sister Dabel for her letter.
I don't have much time left to write, so last thought is I love and miss todo de ustedes.  I'm sending a letter home today hopefully.  I'll talk to you next week.  It might just be a small letter next week because we are leaving and I don't know how much writing time we will have.  Goodbye.
Elder Jarvie

Monday, September 29, 2014

Going On A Tour

Today actually isn't p-day. We are just going on a tour around the city, so we won't have any time to write on p-day. It sounds really cool. There is a relief map of Guatemala here. It will be sweet to actually be in Guatemala instead of in the CCM. It just looks so cool out there.

A normal day here involves waking up around 6:30a, getting ready and going to breakfast around 7:30a. The food is usually not too bad and when it is weird it's usually because they are trying to make something American. After that we have personal study for an hour, where we study scriptures and whatever gospel topics we want. The hour after that is language study. Sometimes we have pre-work that we do (if we do, it is the most confusing hour of my life.) If we don't, I try my best to remember words. I don't have the best memory, so that's hard a lot of times too, but its going a lot better than I thought it would. I'm still behind most people but I can speak Spanish some. 

The reason understanding someone can be easier than talking sometimes is that they can say a word you don't know and you can just go off the rest of them, but when you're talking, if there is a word you need and you don't know it, there isn't much you can do. Also, sometimes there are words that you know but you just can't think of them. 

 After we've done language study for about an hour, our morning teacher comes in and we start grammar class. What we seem to work on recently is the endings to verbs. Every verb in Spanish ends in “ar, er, or ir” and then you change it to something else depending on when and who is doing it. For example, the verb “to pray” is “orar.” If I'm praying you take off the “ar” and add “o.” The “I pray” is “oro.” There are tons of endings.  For example, “will you pray” is “orará.” After grammar study we either have crey or companion study/teaching. Crey is where you practice the lessons. We practice with both white districts or Latinos, depending on the day. If we don't have crey, half the class does companionship study and the other half practices with the morning teacher. They had us doing teaching practices like the 2nd day. It was the most rediculous thing ever. 

Most of the times we have TALL before lunch. TALL is Technology Assisted Language Learning, so pretty much just more language study like what we do all day. (Which is good because I need it.) Then we have lunch and whatever happens next depends on the day. We always study something. A lot of times after lunch we get to study something gospel for a little bit, which is a nice break. (Not as nice of a break as lunch itself though.) After some more class we get to do sports at 3:30p. Sports is the biggest break of the day. We get a few 15 minute breaks (2 or 3) but meals and sports are pretty much our break time.

After sports we have our afternoon teacher, he's a really cool guy. He speaks like perfect English and is probably the only teacher in the CCM that relaxes every once and a while. We do class and study. The half of the class that didn't teach the morning teacher, teach him.  Some days we have a devotional instead of an afternoon teaching. Devotionals are the best. We usually watch videos from the Provo MTC. We watched a Christmas one once. One time we watched the same one twice (the first time it was a few years old, the second time it was live from Provo.) Then we finally get to sleep, after we write in our journals and everything else.

And that's pretty much a day, except for Sundays. Sundays we get to have priesthood in English. Usually we would get to have district class in English but they changed it to Spanish half way through. So this Sunday it was Spanish. We joined with another district. Usually, we switch back and forth and the companionships who didn't teach the last week teach that week for about 10-15 minute. But because they put us with another district, they called on the 2 companionships that didn't have a lesson and they had to teach in Spanish without a lesson plan. Sacrament is always in Spanish. Everyone plans a 5 minute talk and they randomly call on a group of people to give them. So, you write your talk and really hope they don't call your name. Last week it was the class before sacrament meeting and the guy who announces who is talking asked how to pronounce my name. I knew from that point that I was pretty much screwed. Sure enough, I gave a 5 minute talk in Spanish and read most of it.

The last couple of days I've been really tired. I'm not used to sitting and doing nothing but studying for so long. I didn't try to, but this week I fell asleep in sacrament meeting. I'm really exited for General Conference. Sometimes there are loud noises around here. We are pretty sure we heard a gun shot last night, and there are sirens all the time. All in all though things are going pretty well. I'm starting to get the Spanish. I'm still not good at all, but it is going well.

I love you guys. I'm out of time. Goodbye
Elder Jarvie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Thanks for the letter. It was great to hear what's going on. Things here are going great. I'm learning Spanish better. I can actually say things.  The days here are like a year long but it's not too bad.  The afternoon teacher we have, Hermano Ruiz, is the coolest guy ever. We're pretty sure his family is part of the Guatemalan Mafia. He speaks perfect English too. You don't find that in many people who aren't white down here.

I think the scripture I wanted (for his missionary plaque) was 2 Nephi 22:2  I just know it was strait twos. I really like that one. It says something about God being my strength and song or something like that.

Things here happen the same most days. The CCM is a little different than the MTC for devotionals. People don't come, we just watch old Christmas devotionals from Provo. They aren't always Christmas devotionals, just one was, and it was really good. I just thought it was funny. Also, one time we watched a devotional that was a few years old and a week or two later we watch a live one from Provo and it was the same exact talk, almost word for word.

I sent a few pictures that the CCM people sent to me (group photos). My companion is the one with the blue coat. I think he is just a few people to the left of me in one of the pictures.

How is the house coming? If you do anything really cool you should send me some pictures or something. Or you could just keep it a surprise for two years. Either way.

The service project sounds really cool. I wish I was there to see it. Tell Grandma Anderson thanks for praying for me, and tell everyone else thank you too.

I feel like I've been here forever but I still have nothing to write about. I'm getting used to things here. Constantly doing something isn't as bad and I don't feel like as much of an idiot, because I actually know some Spanish now. It's kind of tough not having any knowledge of Spanish to begin with when almost everyone else has taken like two or three years. Things are going great though. One weird thing is being friends with people you don't speak the same language as. There was a Latino elder in my room who left last week named Elder Huasupoma. He was the funniest guy even though I understood very little of what he said. Most of his English was silly phrases and Toy Story quotes. Everybody here is great, especially in my district. We are learning a ton. We can actually give lessons in Spanish, even though I do get really lost sometimes. I'm excited to go out into Guatemala. It's like, “Let's get this show on the road!” Sometimes I feel like I don't accomplish anything here, but I am learning a lot. And I guess the more I learn the better I'll do in three weeks.

I'm out of time and I really can't think of much else to say so I guess that's alright. It was wonderful to hear from you and to hear what's going on. Keep me posted and keep up the praying. It helps a lot. Hopefully after I leave the CCM I'll have more time to say things and more things to say.

I love and miss you all, have fun.
Talk to you next week, bye.
Elder Jarvie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Things are going great. I've mostly gotten over the feeling that I'll never learn Spanish. Now I'm starting to go crazy doing the same thing every day. They moved p-day to today because we got to go outside of the CCM and go down to a little mall-like place. I have coat hangers now, so I'm a lot happier.  

The other four people in my room left this morning. More missionaries should be coming tomorrow. They were cool guys even if I could hardly say much to half of them. One of them was the Latino elder who always called me Elder Woody or Sheriff.   I would have a lot more to write about but things from day to day are similar. 

The craziest thing is that on the 2nd day I was here they had us teach a lesson in Spanish. It wasn't the best lesson I've ever given but that's what happens when you teach in a language you don't know at all. Even if I don't speak good Spanish it has improved a lot. When I got here I didn't know the Spanish word for good, so if you consider that I'm doing pretty great. 

They have some really good fruit here, and it's really pretty. There are flowering vines that grow on a lot of things around the CCM, they are even in some of the trees. The people in my district are pretty cool. I get along with them well. It really is a neat looking place here. I'm in the big city but there are still trees everywhere. It's like a forest with big buildings poking out of the trees.  

If you could check and see if they make Spanish scriptures in the size that my English ones are in that would be great. If you do anything new on the house you should send me some pictures. I don't have a ton of time and my p-day changes from Wednesday to Tuesday, so e-mails are going to be a little weird while I'm in the CCM.  Also they told me when I get out that I can e-mail for a longer time.  

I'm exited to go out into Guatemala but at the same time I'm worried. I'm sure by the end of the six weeks that I'll be so ready to be done spending everyday studying that I'll be perfectly happy to go, no matter how nervous I am.  Heck, I'll probably be at that point in about three days. Today is a little weird because everybody left this morning. More are coming tomorrow.  Because the Latinos only stay for two weeks everybody here is white now. Last night was like a going away tradition, everybody packed into one room and sang a couple hymns in Spanish. It just happened to be my room, so it was hot in there for like 20 minutes afterwards. They made a cake on the 15th for Guatemala's Independence Day, and then I spilled my tray in my lap. 

 The food here is great most of the time. Sometimes we will have something a little weird. One day for breakfast we had a grilled cheese french toast ham sandwich. The fruit here is amazing! As long as you don't eat too much of it.  Luckily, I haven't had any problems. 

The teachers are usually pretty cool, especially our afternoon teacher, Hermano Ruiz. I hope we get to keep him. Every two weeks they change teachers in some of the classes. They say it's like a 50/50 thing. We are all hoping he stays. Sundays are great. We speak English most of the time. It's nice to have a break. P-days are really good too. I'm getting used to stuff so everything is staring to be good, it's just not quite there yet. The way people put it here is that the days are long and the weeks are short. It's true though, everything drags on and flies by at the same time. Things here are going a lot better. I'd even say they're going good. I love and miss you all. Make sure and pray for my Spanish. 
Elder Jarvie

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


The first day here must have been the longest day of my life, but it's
getting a lot better.  A lot of people say that they don't know any
Spanish, but two years in high school is a lot more then none. To a point,
I'm just kidding.  Most people here do know a little more than me but my
companion, Elder Konold, is nice and puts up with me. His Spanish is a
whole lot better than mine and he helps me when I sit there like an
idiot. The SYL isn't incredibly bad, they translate a lot of the things
they say and I'm picking up some of the words now. It was really
stressful starting out but I'm feeling a lot better now.  We've had some devotionals and most of Sunday was in English. Those were amazing. I
legitimately cried a couple times, and I didn't even cry getting on the
plane. Not that I don't love you guy, I do a lot.  

The days don't take as long as they used to.  Fun fact: here they call the MTC the CCM. It's MTC in Spanish.  There are six people in my room. Me, my companion, two missionaries who have been here for a few weeks and two Latinos.  Talking to the Latinos is pretty cool.  I don't know much Spanish and they don't know much English.  There are a few of them that call me Elder Woody, because they think I look like Woody from Toy Story.  Some times I'll be walking down the hall and like three of them will salute me and say "sheriff."   I'll just be walking down the hall and have to salute like three different Latino elders.  One night the lights were off, I was laying in my bed and I heard "Elder Woody."  I responded back "Si" (yes).  All he said after that was "I'm a snake in my boot."  It was probably one of the funniest things I've ever heard. 

Remington has described the MTC as drinking out of a fire hose. Personally, I think it would be a whole lot easier if the fire hose was in English.  We've watched two videos on dealing with stress, so you can imagine it's hard at times, but it's getting better.  We get to play sports for like an hour every day, that helps a lot. And even though it's hard it's some really good times. 

My CCM district is amazing.  They are some of the coolest guys I know and I've made some friends, even if I don't speak the same language as some of them.  In one of the stress videos they were interviewing missionaries.  One of them popped up, and in my head I was like, "that guy looks familiar."  It was Shane, but a lot younger.  It was neat to see someone I went to college with when he was in the MTC. 

My Spanish is coming.  It feels like it's coming slowly but
that might just be because the days are so long.  Our teachers are
really cool, so it could be worse.  We went to the temple today. That
was pretty great.   It's nice here in its own way.  It is very pretty.  I
would send you pictures but they take our cameras while we're at the
CCM. I got a few picture before though so I'll send those when I can. 

Also, at least while I'm at the CCM, my P days are on Wednesday. 

I love and miss you all. Things here are hard but great.  On the way over I met up with missionaries in the airport in Salt Lake and LA. At Salt Lake there were like 15 or so and I think I was the only one not from Utah. I did get a window seat for two of the three plane rides, so I got to watch the whole thing. I can finally say I've flown in a plane now, three in fact.  On the plane to Guatemala I sat next to a lady who didn't speak English. We rode in a re-purposed school bus to the CCM. Security here carry huge guns. Things are different here and really neat. 

Love Elder Jarvie

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Arrived at the Guatemala MTC

Hey mother and everybody else! I got off the plane really early this morning. We only have about five minutes to write today so it's going to be a little short. From the sky Guatemala looks a lot like Oregon but all the trees aren't pine. We made it to the MTC alright. It's a really interesting place here. The MTC is really nice, so you shouldn't have to worry at all for the first six weeks at least. We have only been to one class so far. They do a thing called SYL (speak your language), so they're speaking spanish for most of the time. I'm sure it will be good in the end, but right now I just sit kind of confused. After I learn the basics the whole SYL thing will help a lot I'm sure. There is a temple right across the street. You can see it from some of the windows of the MTC. They gave us all a mountain of books a few hours ago, so I'll get to study hard.  It's really green here. Everything is going great.  I'll send you more when I have time. I love you all.
Elder Jarvie