Monday, July 30, 2012

Even the hospitals have chickens everywhere

Happy new week family and friends!
So this week wasn't too exciting because I got sick and then Elder Hansen got sick. As I wrote my letter last week I was feeling a little under the weather, but that night it got worse and I had a fever and wasn't feeling too great. So Tuesday morning we went and found the hospital and I didn't know how the medical system was here (or anywhere really, my mommy always handled that stuff) so I just went up to this lady and said Buenos Dias yo soy un misionero de los Estados Unidos y no he ido al hospital antes aqui en Mexico, entonces no sé que hacer, pero estoy enfermo. ¿Que hago?.. And from there she helped me get a consulta and then we ran into the Stake President's sisters and they helped us find the lab and I got blood drawn and then the Stake President showed up and took us to another doctor to read the analysis. That doctor said everything looked fine (they did the blood test to see if I had typhoid or the genga or some other bad disease) and he said I just had a throat infection. Then he hooked it up with free meds! And I was told to rest 3 days. So I rested 3 days while Hansen did divisions with some guys in the ward and on my third day of rest Elder Hansen started feeling sick. So on Friday we went to the hospital again and that’s where we saw that THE OLYMPICS WERE ON TV!!! I totally forgot those were coming up. Needless to say I wasn't mad that we had to wait a couple hours for a consult because then I saw some archery and cycling out of the corner of my eye... I want to ask the mission president if we can take a few weeks off to watch the Olympics because its like the only time I get really patriotic. Every time Elder Hansen and I see that the Olympics are on in someone’s house we yell USA USA USA! (china cheats they send niños).
So yeah other than that the week was pretty slow. We have like no one to teach right now so this week will be  lot of knocking doors and chasing ladies down in the street. But last night we had a casa abierta in the church and 3 people came. None of them live in our area but they were solid and we're gonna pass them on to their respective Elders. One of them was funny. His name is Humberto and he wants to start a basketball team with me (this guy is like 60) and he wants to play ajedrez (chess) as well.. Cool guy.
As well this week Hermano Bastian (member) made me the best horchata ever. I love horchata. I've forgotten to mention in previous letters that I've fully embraced Mexican food. I eat chile and drink horchata and agua de jamaica and I've eaten 10 fruits at least here that I had never seen or heard of before. I use tortillas as utensils sometimes and all that. Slowly becoming Mexican little by little.
The best thing that happened this week is we bought a gas tank and hooked it up and now have hot water! I know it’s hot as crap here but I still love to wake up and take a hot shower. Had my first hot shower in 3 months. Its heaven. I don't know how I'll go back to cold showers again, but when I change areas later on its almost sure that I will go back to cold ones.
So that’s it really for this week. I don't feel sick anymore and I'm ready for another week. Time is flying by. I can't believe its gonna be August. Now I just need to use this time in the best way possible.
Before I go I want to share a thought. This week as I was sick I started to just feel lethargic and not wanting to do anything. As I got physically better, that feeling of laziness lingered and I didn't like it. I couldn't quite shake it though. I didn't know where my motivation had gone. So on Sunday I went to church and I asked for forgiveness during the sacrament and I took the sacrament consciously asking our Father In Heaven to motivate me and help me be better. Today I woke up feeling ready to get to work this week. I love the sacrament. Every week we have an opportunity to take all our worries, shortcomings, and sins and drop them at the Saviors feet. He takes them away and we are promised his Spirit to be with us once again. We MUST fill up our spiritual tanks each week. The only way we can truly improve and put off our shortcomings is through Christ. The way we receive that each week is by renewing our covenants and remembering his sacrifice. Take the opportunity this week to enter sacrament meeting with a shortcoming in mind, something with which you need to be better, and ask for help. Then partake of that bread and water and watch the Lord wash you clean and give you a chance to be better that week. I know church will be a different experience if you do it.
I love you all and I love Jesus Christ!
Elder Jarman

Monday, July 23, 2012

6 more weeks por lo menos

Buenas Tardes Familiars!
First things first got give a big shout out to the sister for turning 22! Congrats on being old! Hope you partied hard for me.
This week was another good one. Another fast one too. It was the last week of the change (transfer? they are called cambios here so when I say it in English I say changes...) The whole week I was messing with Elder Hansen and telling him he was for sure getting transferred and being made a zone leader and it was bugging him so much hahah. Because I know he secretly aspires to be an Assistant to the Mission President. But Saturday Night came and we're both staying here in Tenechaco. I knew I wasn't going anywhere but it’s cool that Elder Hansen will be staying here with me. We've got a lot of solid prospects.
This week we had 2 bautismos. Leticia is 13 and her grandma Maria Luisa who is 72. Her grandma has this super gnarly flesh-eating thing going on her leg. We wrapped it in a garbage bag and taped it up so she could get baptized. They are really great but were very tough to teach. They both are very easily distracted. Unfortunately only Maria Luisa got confirmed because Leticia left to visit some family on Saturday night and when we went by in the camioneta with Rogelio on Sunday morning she wasn't there. Kinda frustrating but she'll get confirmed next week. I get frustrated because the concept of commitments, appointments, and overall paying attention to time is very foreign here. But hey it’s all good. It’s just a difference in culture. They make up for it by just being overall nice to people. So yeah the baptisms this week were sweet! I’m gonna send the pictures. I’m also sending a picture with mud on my face. The climate here is messing up my face real bad. I'm all sunburned and splotchy and that great stuff and this dude gave me some mud stuff that is supposed to help. So that explains the other photo I'm sending hahah.
I made a note to describe our house in this weeks email. I've been living in it for 6 weeks now and I'm finally getting around to tell you what its like. We rent an apartment that is on the property of this super catholic family. We have a Giant Virgin Mary painting right outside of our house. The family is really nice. They also own a veterinaria and we live right behind it. A lot of mornings I study to the sweet melody of dogs screaming while they get neutered.... It’s interesting. Our house is really infested with ants and every once in a while we find a giant spider like the one I found on my bed in Cazones. They are so fast and they freak me out a ton. We have 2 bathrooms though which is sweet. It’s a pretty sweet set up.
I'm excited to stay in this area for another 6 weeks. I think we're gonna really see the work rolling. I'm finally grounded in an area for more than a month and a half! Hahah and I should stay for the next 3 months or so.
Also we've got a buddy in the ward who helps us with so much stuff. His name is Aaron Cruz (Jessica accept his friend request on FB). Aaron is the man. He got home from the mission about 4 years ago and he hangs out with us on p day and goes to lessons with us and brings us tortas every once in awhile and any other favors we need. He lives on a property with like his whole extended family and they are all members and they are the best!
So that’s this week for ya, before I go I just want to say that I love you all so much and I'm grateful for all the support. 
Elder Jarman

Monday, July 16, 2012

Greetings from Tuxbread!

Greetings from Tuxbread!

Pan means bread so I call tuxpan tuxbread sometimes. Not sure if I already explained that but as all my friends know I'm notorious for repeating stories...
Before I do anything else I gotta write the new address for the mission office so here ya go…

Elder Price Dix Jarman
Misión México Xalapa
Ave Arco Vial Sur #738
Colonia Lomas Verdes
Xalapa, Veracruz 91098

Alrighty now if you want to write me you can send me letters. Now for the latest in the Adventures of the Two lost Gringos in Mexico.

This week was another fast one. It’s impossible to describe time in the mission. It just goes fast. This transfer is already almost over. Elder Hansen and I should be sticking together because of the new mission president and chances are nothing will change. My mom asked for more info on Elder Hansen so here’s a short bio:

Elder Alex James Hansen from Murray Utah. Parents recently moved to Texas so I guess he's from Texas now? He is like 6 foot with brown hair and glasses. He graduated in 2010 but is only a couple months older than me. He likes running and manual labor and Disney music. He is slightly OCD and sometimes it's really funny. Overall he's a good guy and a hard worker. Our personalities clash sometimes but the best thing I've learned in the mission is that its best to just apologize to someone within like 5 minutes of offending them so we get along well for the most part. He likes to describe books and when we're walking from appointment to appointment and there’s no one in the streets he will describe the plots of entire movies in detail to me. He also explained to me the whole Eragon series in detail because I didn’t read the last two books. Now I don't have to hahah. So that’s Elder Hansen!

As for the work this week it went pretty well. We're preparing a 2 people for baptism this coming weekend. Leticia is a teenager and her 72 year old Grandma Maria. Maria talks so fast you would swear she does cocaine. And she doesn’t remember a whole lot so it’s hard to teach her but yesterday we reviewed the baptismal interview questions and looks like she'll pass. She loves church and talks about how alegria comes over here when she comes. Sweet! So if all goes well we'll have 2 baptisms Saturday. This past week was highlighted by a conference in Poza Rica where we met our new presidente, Presidente Lopez and his esposa! They are so awesome! Presidente Lopez is funny and he's super loving and I already think he's the best. If you want to learn more about him he's got a profile on I think. We spent essentially the entire day in Poza Rica because the conference started 2 hours late and after there were interviews. I hung out with Elder Sulzen on the bus ride back to Tuxpan. He’s a funny dude. Look up his band on iTunes and tell me if they are any good. (They’re called Negative Zero)

I wrote a note to myself saying to describe Sundays in this letter because they are so stressful. We leave our house 2 hours before church starts and walk to our ward mission leader (Rogelio)'s house and hop in the back of his truck. Then we go all around our area loading all the investigators we can in his truck. Then we get to church and try to pair them up with people from the ward to sit with and try to show them their classes after and I try to keep the niños from screaming by showing them pictures from pamphlets and its all really stressful. Your day of rest is my day of stress. And why do we do all that? So these people will keep the Sabbath Day holy and come remember their Savior in his house. The message for this week is KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY! Rest from your labors and grow spiritually. Approach the sacrament with specific plans of how you want to improve yourself during the week and then make the changes. Then go home from church and find ways to study, serve, and get closer to our Savior. The church has infinite amounts of materials to learn and grow each Sunday and use that day to visit less active members of the church instead of napping.

That whole speech was also a speech to myself because before the mission I was terrible at that. So if I fall back into watching basketball after the mission, somebody show me this letter.

This week I will hit the 6-month mark on the mission. It’s pretty crazy. Don't really have much to say about it except for the fact that its happening hahah. My observations from the first 6 months of my mission are these. The world is a crazy messed up place, but it is full of a lot of good people. There is no such thing as a bad person, just people whose circumstances have caused them to move away from God. I am not the best missionary, but I'm also not the worst. Mexico is nowhere near as scary as some people think. Spanish is a pretty cool language. God expects us all to struggle, to fight, to cry, and to feel alone at times. He lets us hit our limit sometimes, and then some. But the thing is, if we go past our limit of what we think we can endure, then we set a new one, and a new one, and so on. He doesn't take hard things away most of the time. He lets us see that we can push through hard things.

To finish up I want to give a big shout out to my boy B Fish for the mission call to Spain! You're gonna be great man! Also gotta congratulate Zach Taylor for getting married here soon. Can't believe that one hahah. You'll probably have kids when I get home. Craziness.

Another week of walking a lot and not contracting any diseases. Today I'm gonna go see a guy about making me an alligator skin scripture case!

Hasta la pasta!

Elder Jarman

Monday, July 9, 2012


And I'm proud to be an American! Where at least I know I'm freeeeee...

Been thinking about how the volleyball team used to sing that for warm ups. So true. Happy 4th of July!

This week went by crazy fast too. We had some success, although not as much as Brock. Shout out to the homie on his 5 baptisms! We had 1 though, so still solid. Erick got baptized this week and he seems so stoked to be starting his new life as a follower of Jesus Christ. He's a good kid. But getting him baptised was craziness. So he passed his baptismal interview and everything and it wasn't until after when we were starting his paperwork that we realized he doesn't turn 18 til the 30th even though he'd told us at the beginning that he was 18. So we needed a signature from his mom which wouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that she was on a vacation in some pueblo an hour away.. and out of our area and our zone too I believe. I was on an exchange with our district leader Elder Valdez and we got permiso from the zone leaders to go track down his mom. So we took a bus full of rancheros out to this rancho and found his mom and she was sick and she signed the paperwork and then we ate some fruit that I forgot the name of that we don't have at home and I sucked on some sugar cane.. Then we came back and yeah. After the whole fiasco he was able to get baptised no problem. That was really the highlight of the week. We found a couple more people who are really ready to be baptized, but we have the same problem that Brian has in Taiwan.. People who are part of some other faith but don't go to church or anything and think they are too old to learn, grow, change, come closer to Christ, etc... They have no idea why they are a part of their church and they don't understand the Gospel and they refuse to try to learn.. It is very frustrating to see people reject something before they even know what it is.. Not sure if I already mentioned this but our area is really tough.. Since January there have only been 5 baptisms and Elder Hansen and I had 2 of them.. We're hoping to turn that around though. We've got some great people we're working with and we're trying our absolute best to help these people. But everybody comes with their own sets of challenges.. The fact of the matter is is that we can't do it. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can truly help these people. We just have to show them how by the Spirit. It's a tough gig sometimes though. When we explain repentance to someone plain and simple and testify of the blessings that come through that change of heart and coming to Christ and they look us straight in the eye and say they don't want to repent. It's tough.

This week was another one of personal growth and seeing growth in others. Most of the time I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing but I do it anyway and things seem to come out alright. Learning a lot about putting my trust in the Lord. He's got it all figured out. There is a plan to everything. My dad wrote me something a couple weeks ago that won't leave my head. He told me that whatever I go through out here its just for my good because the Lord is preparing me to be the man he wants me to be for the next 70 years.. I love that. It's all about the preparation. But we can take that a step further and say that the Lord is preparing us all during our lives here for who he wants us to be for eternity. Let's get prepared people, so that when we meet our Savior and our Father in Heaven again, we'll feel comfortable and happy in their presence. It's never too late to change for any of us.

I love you all and I really love agua de piña.

Elder Jarman

Monday, July 2, 2012

Danza Cuduro Josefina

¡Buenos Dias Buenos Dias!

Holy crap this week went by so fast. Time is really starting to fly by. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in this ciber writing you guys. Now I gotta remember what happened this week.

This week was a week of hard work. Lots of contacting and new investigators. We found 12 new investigators this week and we set baptismal dates with 11 people. That sounds great but setting a date is one thing and actually seeing them have the opportunity is another. We've got a lot of faith though and we're gonna work hard to see these people really come unto Jesus Christ. The most frustrating part though is even when we work our absolute hardest it still only covers a tiny percentage of what needs to be done. They have to exercise their agency to read the Book of Mormon, pray, come to church, and truly have a repentant heart. I just wish I could do that for them hahah. I've seen how much this gospel has blessed my life, and I just wish they'd take it a little more seriously. People here don't like to commit to much of anything. But hey thats okay. We got a wondeful text message this week from our recent convert Gaby. She is on vacation in Xalapa right now and is attending church there. She was so golden oh man. Super cool to see somneone really accept Jesus Christ. So yeah we have a lot of hopes for the coming weeks. This weekend Bertha couldn't be baptized. Her situation (vague I know, but it's her life so no details) has gotten worse and we haven't seen her in a few days. We're worried about her. But we'll find her this week and help her out. Someday it will work out. This weekend coming up we should have a baptism with a young man named Erik. He is a prime example of the power of the word of God. He started reading the Book of Mormon and he just can't get enough of the gospel. He is really stoked for his baptism and to leave his past life behind. His mom and sisters are slowly coming around as well. They used to hide when we came by but the other day we played kickball with them for a rato (a sec?) and now they kind of listen in on the lessons but refuse to participate. We're hoping through his example they'll all open up more. So yeah we're stoked for Erik.

I'm sending pictures with this email. Hopefully Jess has a chance to post them somewhere where people can see them. Mexico is super cool. I hope everybody likes my gelled combover. It's a mission rule to have a visible line in our hair so we GO HARD with the hair gel. Yeck hahah

As for other interesting things this week, the mission split. We went to Poza Rica on Saturday for a conference to say goodbye to President and Hermana Treviño and their family. They are truly great people. I didn't have a chance to get really attached but they are wonderful and I'll miss them. After the conference we ate Chinese food. YES. So good. 

The mission split yesterday and President Lopez and Co. should get here by Thursday I think. I am excited to meet him and see what's gonna change and stay the same. As for now who knows who's in charge of us. ANARCHY!! Just kidding...

As many of you probably don't know or care, the Mexican presidential elections were yesterday and at like 6 pm we got a call from our zone leaders that we had to go straight home. Apparently somewhere in the mission there was some kind of something and they decided that all the missionaries needed to be inside. Who knows what happened but civil unrest is always cool. From what I heard today it sounds like Peña Nieto is gonna be the next president. Mexico is getting a nuevo rumbo as his slogan says.. I personally would have voted for Josefina. SER MUJER EN MEXICO VA SER DIFERENTE: LA MUJER TIENE PALABRA. Their slogans are so cool here. I especially loved how they sent cars driving around with speakers on top bumping classic Mexican pop songs but with the lyrics changed to have their name in it. Josefina changed Danza Cuduro to have her name in it hahah. I don't thnk copyright laws are really strict here. But what do I know.

This week I've been thinking a lot about trials. I think of the story in First Nefi 7 where Nefi's brothers tie him up, and rather than praying that he is freed, he prays for the strength to free himself. There's a great talk written by Bednar in the January (I think) Liahona or Ensign about that.. How much better is it to recieve the strength to push through trials rather than just have them be taken away! Much better! Because then we get double blessings. We will overcome that trial (so the trial goes away, there's a blessing) and as well we can learn and grow so much! We were not put on this earth to have it be easy. We were put here to learn, grow, and prove our devotion to the Lord. We can't learn and grow without getting hit in the face with trials a lot of the time. So my invitation to anybody reading this is to embrace your trials, love your problems, and echarles ganas (never quit? not a literal translation there). We can overcome any problem that comes our way.

I hope this letter finds everybody well and I hope you know I love you all. 

Sale pues bye

Elder Jarman