Monday, April 23, 2012

Last Letter from the States

Hola Familia and Amigos for the last time from the United States for 21 months..
Speaking of that, isn't it crazy that I've been out three months?? Time really does fly by. In a way. The days drag sometimes but the weeks go by so fast. Time flies when you're serving the Lord!
I had plans to send some pics home today but this P day has been super disorganized and nutty so I forgot my camera. I bought broccoli at the grocery store today... Not sure what made me do that but hey mom's gotta be proud. At Deseret Book today (buying EFY CD's hahah) I met a lady named Renee something and she knows Derek Hodson. She told me to give him a hug when I get home so in 21 months. Hodson is getting a hug... (she didn't hug me though, I can't hug women even if they're old)
So this week was pretty crazy! I forgot in my last letter to say we had a baptism on the 14th. Sweet little girl who is 10 years old and named Danica. We were supposed to have another baptism on the 21st but the kid who was supposed to get baptized's dad came home from Germany (army dude) and wrecked everything. I just wanted to punch him in the eye and tell him that he was halting his son's eternal progression, but I didn't do it... We have a baptism this weekend though for a woman named Heather. She is so excited to have her sins washed away and have a fresh start. She's a nice lady.
This week Elder Kulu and I got into an argument and let me tell you it is a bad idea to get in a spat with a Tongan. Nothing got violent but he didn't speak to me for 2 days. Literally no words.. It was crazy hahah. But we worked it out and we're cool now and we're gonna "Do it big until I wiggle" (his words) translation: We're gonna have a great time until I leave for Mexico. Kulu has taught me some great hood phrases. Oh and turns out he read all the Twilight books in prison....
I got a bunch of letters today which was awesome and I'm gonna respond to all those after we email, but now that I'll be in Mexico I should be able to email people who aren't family. I hope so at least. If you're gonna mail anything put a Virgin Mary sticker on it so it doesn't get jacked. I'll post an address in a couple weeks when I'm in Mexico.
So we've been teaching this guy named Mario and he is the first person I've really connected with on my mission. he is totally ready to be baptized, we are just waiting on approval from the first presidency because he is on parole. But he read the whole Book of Mormon in prison and he knows the Church is true and he just quit smoking and he is set!! I love that dude. Everybody pray that he will be approved for baptism because he is so ready and he deserves to start fresh in his life.
So my dad sent me the Bonanza Volley updates. You guys are undefeated in conference?!! I'm so proud of all you guys. Keep doing the unexpected and get a back to back state championship. It is absolutely possible. Shout out to all the boys from the State Champ team who are reading this. I still think about it and it gets me so pumped!
I also hear that BYU won our first playoff game this past weekend. If any of you guys are reading this keep it up!! Do I get to be considered a national champ if I'm on the mission? My name IS on the roster.....
Anyways, this should be the last time I write from the United States. I'm stoked/nervous/sad/happy to be leaving! Whatever the Lord has in store I know it is for my good.
STOP: Spiritual thought time.
So this week I've been studying a lot about the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end) Mosiah 26:30
I LOVE the Book of Mormon because of how beautifully it supports the Bible and teaches the doctrine of Christ. I was studying about repentance and I came across a new favorite scripture. Mosiah 26:30. It says "Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me." How BEAUTIFUL is that. I know its simple but think about it. EVERY TIME we mess up, God is just waiting to forgive us, we just need to ask. As humans, we all make countless mistakes daily. As well, we often realize it and forsake them and we're cruising along doing good for awhile but then we mess up and make the same mistake again and we think "Oh no, i promised God I wouldn't do this again but I did... there's no way he'll forgive me now.. I better go hide in the corner." But that is NOT TRUE. He will forgive us EVERY TIME for the same thing over and over and over for eternity. We just need to be truly repentant, we need to truly desire to change and because of Christ's grace we will change. And when we fall God will forgive us again. Freakin beautiful. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect. It truly will guide us to eternal life. My challenge to all of you is to read 2 Nephi Chapter 31 in the Book of Mormon and ponder on the opportunities that we have because of our Savior. Lets show our appreciation by just trying our freakin best huh??
I love you all and when I am down I continually feel unseen support that I know comes from your prayers. Next week I'll be partying with the cartel and eating fresh mangoes and spreading the good word in Spanish hahah!!
mucho amor (copying Brock hahah)
Elder Jarman

Monday, April 16, 2012

MTC Photos!

Fortune Tellers and Born Agains and Visas, Oh My!

Holler familiars y amigarz

I'm starting to go a little insane today. We don't have a car so we had to wait for our district leader to pick us up to go run errands today and I got cabin fever sitting in the apartment all morning.

Might as well blow the suspense now: MY VISA IS HERE. On Friday I went up to the consulado in downtown and signed for it. I fly to Mexico on the 30th. Also saw my passport for the first time in forever and i forgot about how thug/homeless/flowlicious my picture is. I miss the mullet and tank top days hahahah

Speaking of hair, Elder Kulu shaved my head to a 2 length this morning and I look like a skinhead missionary.

Let's see... what else happened this week..

Our days are pretty nice. We teach a few lessons each day and we have 3 people on date for baptisms. We had a 4th but I'll tell you about that in a little. Elder Kulu is cool (cooloo hahaha) but he is NOT a morning person. Not sure if I mentioned this in the last letter but he won't speak before 9 am and he rarely speaks during the rest of the day. For everyone reading this who knows me, you know that is a huge challenge for me. I love talking all the time and its really hard just having to quietly think to myself all day while we walk. But it's all good. They say the Lord works out our character flaws on our missions and maybe I talk too much and he's trying to teach me to shut up sometimes hahah.

So I went on an exchange with Elder Harvey who is a Spanish speaking Elder in our district on Wednesday and I learned something terrifying about Spanish.. I can't actually understand much of it when native speakers are talking. Freaked me out pretty good hahah. Guess Mexico will be tough for a little bit. The nice thing is I can say basically anything that I need to. Also while on that exchange this Born Again lady tried to convert us to her religion and tried to get us to watch some anti videos. Pretty interesting experience.

The rest of the week is kind of a blur and I'm not sure what days things happened but we're teaching this guy named Mario who is a super awesome guy who wants to be baptized but he's on parole and we have to get permission from the first presidency. We had him on date for the 28th but it looks like it's gonna take longer than that. I am pretty sad about it because he's the first person I've taught on my mission who I feel close to.. I know that sounds horrible but serving as a reassigned missionary has its own set of challenges. Everybody is cool and nice but they kind of see me as a temp or a substitute teacher. Members and investigators included. So I have yet to feel grounded on my mission. I kind of always feel like things are up in the air. But I am learning a lot and having a lot of fulfilling experiences. The best part of being a missionary is testifying and feeling the Spirit confirm your words in your own heart. I find myself teaching and testifying about things that a few months ago I had no clue about, but as I tell someone what I know is true, my testimony grows. So tell people about the gospel everybody. You will find a greater love and appreciation for what you have as you share it. I promise.

Spiritual experience for this week. Mario, the same investigator who is the homie but still can't get baptized, asked us for a blessing because he had a cold. I got to give him the blessing and the next day he was feeling a lot better. He said while I was giving him the blessing that he was praying for God to show him that this was the right path for him by healing him through that blessing. He told us that the next day as he had made the recovery from his nasty cold. It was a great spiritual experience. Mario is just such a great guy. I'm bummed I won't get to see him be baptized, but I know when the time comes that he is able, he will.

Also this week the mom of one of our other investigators, Alex, who will also be baptized after I leave, totally did some witchcraft fortune teller stuff on me hahah. She is a less active member and is really nice but she has like a gift for reading people. Won't go into detail but it was crazy and actually spiritual and she's got like other worldy powers.

I think that's everything from this week. It was pretty eventful. I'm excited to go to Mexico but also getting kind of tired of bouncing around. Can't wait to get to Mexico and feel grounded and settled and really able to dive in. I'm doing the best I can though and I do like it here a lot.

Oh yeah Taylor and a car full of her friends drove by the other day and she just yelled "I found you!" like she'd been out looking for me. Super weird hahaha

Anyways I love you all and I am glad everything is going well at home. If I'm correct finals should be coming up right? And I know the team has playoffs coming up so good luck to any of you guys who are reading this. I want to get an email in Mexico about a National Championship hahah.

Hope I didn't forget anything, if I did, you guys wouldn't know anyways!

Paz y Gozo

Elder Jarman

Monday, April 9, 2012

Comp reps Crips

What's up familiars and friends. This week has been an eventful one and lots of changes have happened that I'm excited about.
So last week was transfers but I wasn't really expecting anything to change because I'd only been with McInnis for 2 weeks and I'm a visa waiter but I got transferred! I am now serving in Midvale in the Union Park Stake. I am really loving this area.
So my new companion is named Elder Kulu. He is Tongan and he grew up in New Zealand, but he lived in Oakland for high school years. He is about 6'1'' and 250 and can bench 400 pounds. He's a beast hahah. He's also been to prison which is pretty thug. He's teaching me how to be more gangster. Everybody knows I'm the whitest person who ever lived so he's helping me with that. He is not a morning person though. He will not speak before 9 am. But that's when we start comp study so thats cool hahah. I keep getting these quiet companions. I think the Lord is teaching me patience because all I ever want to do is talk but I can't really talk to my companions thus far. But it's cool. I love Kulu. He also has only been in the field for 3 months. He just got done being trained and now they're having him train me. He is showing me a lot though and I feel like I'm improving. He works hard and that's all I care about. I love Midvale because we don't have a car so we walk everywhere and the weather is beautiful. I've got a sweet collar sun burn line. Trying to get a base tan before Mexico hahah
So this week I've just been getting acquainted with the area and meeting all the investigators that Kulu and his trainer had. They have been doing VERY good work around here. Tons of baptisms and the wards we work with can tell. They are super supportive. We have 5 people with baptismal dates for this month and the beginning of May. And a few other investigators who are very close.
7670 South is my new favorite street in the world. It is this randomly really ghetto street that is nestled into some nice neighborhoods, but 7670 looks more like the streets east of BHS in Vegas. Not like crazy ghetto but just furniture in people's front yards and kids running around while their parents are off doing who knows what and random crackheads sitting around, and that is why I love it. They have had tons of success on this street because people are just more humble, and all of the kids and people love the missionaries and I can see how the Church is making a difference in these people's lives. The focal point of the street is Dee's house. She is a recent convert who basically takes care of everybody's kids and there are always just people hanging around her house. I watched an African dude pluck chickens in her front yard a couple days ago. It's getting me excited for Mexico because everywhere will be like this but better and they'll be speaking Spanish. But yeah 7670 is notorious to all the missionaries who have served this area because its so cool and the people are so nice. We're teaching a couple of people on the street. You can find us sitting on the sidewalk teaching the Plan of Salvation to about five 9-13 year olds on any given afternoon hahah.
I'm loving it here in Midvale. It has been weird though because I ran into Riley Hodson on his way to one of his classes the other day. I'm sure you all have seen the picture by now. And then a couple days ago I saw Aunt Sue randomly. Now she and Rich know where we're at. I better not see people come looking for me hahah. Seeing family and friends weirds me out. But it was kinda cool I guess to see them. But still too weird.
This week I get to start going on splits with Spanish missionaries once a week so I won't lose my Spanish entirely. It is struggling a little bit though. I can still read it fine and speak it fine but I just never hear any so I'm worried about my comprehension a little bit.
SHOUT OUT TO MY BOY REED. Goin to Florida. Proud of you buddy. State Champs for life.
The scripture that's been running through my mind a lot this week is Alma 7:11-12. I love these verses about the Atonement because it mentions how not only did Christ suffer for our sins but also for every negative experience or emotion we feel.. It makes me so happy knowing that every time I'm feeling down (which happens, its a rollercoaster every day), Christ knows exactly how I feel. And every person we work with, no matter what their specific challenges are, Christ knows how they feel. And for all of you, no matter what pains or hardships happen, CHRIST KNOWS HOW YOU FEEL!
Its a wonderful comfort, because oftentimes we feel alone in our sadness. But Christ knows, because he felt it for us. He had to, in order to be able to have mercy on us and empathize with us. So just remember that Christ always knows how you feel.
So yeah, this week I ate African chicken food, dried my white shirts on a tree in our backyard, witnessed my companion whip out a blue bandana and rep Crips, and have had like 10 people give me the finger. And I'm just in Salt Lake hahaha.
Life's good, I love you all. I'm actually praying to stay here in Midvale for a while, good things are happening. I'll catch you all next week!
Paz y Gozo
Elder Jarman

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bambi on Ice

Hola Familia y Amigos
Don't be fooled, I'm still serving English. But I talk to my companion in Spanish all the time because he can't understand a word I'm saying and I think it's hilarious.
I think I came into the mission field a little too MTC pumped up. I mean I'm still pumped to be a missionary, but I think I kind of expected it all to happen in one day. That is not how it goes hahah. But I am really trying to be patient and things are going pretty well.
Monday was P-Day and we had a mission activity at this Family Fun Center in Sandy. We went roller skating and I heard worldly music for the first ime in 2 months. I heard missionaries aren't allowed to dance but I busted a move to some classic 80's jamz, while skating. Picture that one scene from Bambi where he's on the ice.... Yeah
Anyways then on Tuesday we had a lesson with this guy named Joe. He is older and really is looking to fix up his life. He said he wanted to be baptized after the first lesson, which is GREAT. He has wonderful faith and loves the Book of Mormon. We are just gonna have some other challenges in order to help him get baptized, but I love seeing his faith!
Wednesday we went by this family's house in jeans and t shirts. The week before we asked them if we could come by and teach and they said no, but then we said we would still like to serve them. They said they were fine... BUUUT we showed up in jeans and t shirts and told them that we were there to pull their weeds. This family is so great. They are the Whytes and they have 2 little kids but the husband was recently diagnosed with leukemia. We know that the gospel will bless them. So we did all their yard work and after we shared a message about miracles and Christ and she accepted a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet about the Restoration. She promised to read it and said we could come by this Tuesday. We were so STOKED. So yeah we're hoping that will play out and we can show them how hope in Christ will help them through everything.
Thursday we met with Joe again and his girlfriend Monica who he lives with (like i said, some roadblocks) and had a great lesson about the plan of salvation. We also introduced the law of chastity and word of wisdom. We are meeting with them tonight to go over details and make sure they start living both. The goal is for their baptism to be on the 21st.
Friday, I don't remember anything spectacular happening specifically.
Conference weekend!!
I hope everybody watched conference and got as much out of it as I did. Man was it awesome. I took a bunch of notes but they are in my journal at our house so I won't go into detail. But just remember that God has a plan for all of us, there is ALWAYS a way to correct mistakes and come unto Christ and change, and NEVER judge others. Everybody is trying their best. Don't judge, don't be mean, and don't act contrary to Christ's teachings. You can NEVER justify anger or hate. EVER. Anyways I just want everybody to know I'm doing good and I'm eating really well. The members don't hold back around here hahah.
We're getting mail here in a couple hours. Hoping to have some letters! Sorry to anybody who's emailing me, still can't quite respond unless we're related. Hand write me something. Also we only get mail once a week here. Not sure if that changes anything.
Pray for miracles, pray for your neighbors, keep a positive outlook and look for the beauty in everything. That is what I am trying to do and I want you all to do it with me. Also pray that I will remember Spanish when I get to Mexico hahahah. I love you all and I love the support.
Paz y Gozo
Elder Jarman