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