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 “orarĂ¡.” 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