Monday, August 27, 2012

Everybody gets one

Aloha Fam

So first things first, I gotta say that I just read Jared Hyer and Kohl´s letters from Nicaragua and those things need to be published. So funny hahah. Nicaragua sounds a lot like Mexico but with worse food.
After last week this week had to be a good one because last week was kind of no good. This week went pretty normal except it ended with some great stuff.

As for anything new this week I went on exchanges with my district leader Elder Herrera. He's from Lima, Peru. He's never heard of Dad though. His family got baptized like 9 years ago. He´s a really laid back guy. We had a decent day and we saw a head on collision of two trucks. People streamed out of all the houses we had knocked on that street to see the crash. funny how when we knocked those houses, 5 year olds came to the door to say "know one was home".. They teach em young...

We had two great experiences this weekend where we showed up in the right place in the right time. We were visiting this referral we received from this old investigator who was worried about her brother getting metido in drugs. So we went to visit the family. As we are leaving we are on the top of this huge hill and I look across to this other huge hill and I see the house of an inactive family that we used to visit. I say to Elder Hansen, lets go visit Rubi and Alejandro. So we went across to go visit them and we get there and Rubi is outside and turns out that same day she and her husband Alejandro had separated. She was really sad and she talked with us and we shared some scriptures and watched a couple Mormon Messages and she seemed a lot better. Then we worked with another less active hermana and we got her to pick Rubi and her sons up for church the next day. First time she's been to church in like a year. So great. She said that every time shes going through a tough time somebody shows up from the Church. I honestly didn't feel any strong prompting to go to her house, but sometimes i think the Lord sends us messages with a passing idea, then in retrospect we can see the benefit. Then last night we decided to visit Hermana Yadira who is the Young Womens president and she's just the best. It was another perfect timing because her husband works out of town and all 3 of the kids were sick so we gave them all blessings and I gave her 3 year old a lollipop. Not sure if the lollipop or the blessing helped her more.

The highlight of this week was that Federico came to church! Last week we were expecting 14 people and no one came. This week we were expecting 23 and 1 came! Federico is now about 20 pages into the Book of Mormon and he said its like he's discovering beliefs he already had but they are right there published. He won´t commit to baptism yet because he says he's old and he doesn't jump into decisions. But he liked church. It was so awesome to have him there. I'm praying I stay here next change so I can see him be baptized. Speaking of changes, this is the last week of the change and next week I should have a new companion and maybe added responsibilities. We'll see what happens.

Anyways, my letters are getting more detailed about specific events and less about the environment or culture because at this point I'm pretty used to that stuff. You might be more interested to read the adventures of Jear Bear or Kohl or all the other guys who are starting out because they will have better stories.

I love you all and I hope life is good for ya. Keep on the straight and narrow and don't do anything dumb!

Elder Jarman

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Hansen Birthday

This week was a week of milestones. Elder Hansen turned 20, I completed my 7th month as a missionary, Jess and Matt have now been married for a year, and Mom and Dad are gonna hit 25 years this week. I love milestones. Just ask Elder Hansen. He is getting sick of me pointing every mildly significant date hahah.

So this week we had some really good stuff happen and also some really disappointing stuff happen. Gonna try to use the ol' noggin to organize my thoughts here.

As for the temporal things, Elder Hansen turned 20 yesterday and on Saturday we ate with the Hermana Ibarra and she made us cheeseburgers and cake. I ate 4 cheeseburger and some cake. I physically thought I was going to die. I stopped about 4 times in the street and almost puked in the gutter. Gluttony is a sin and I was punished...

I also completed my 7th month this week. Its crazy how fast it is going. I keep getting more and more tired but I also am getting more and more used to being tired all the time. Every day things become more normal. At this point I can't imagine what just regular old life must be like. Somebody tell me what its like to "relax". Its a foreign concept at this point hahah. But it's good. Buildin the ol' character.

So the feria and the rains continued this week and getting to sleep was rough with the feria being right behind us. As for the rain it has been raining the hardest at nights so it doesnt affect us much. the water in the air just makes everything hotter though hahah. Not much other crazy stuff happened this week. We are trying to teach our recent convert Maria how to read. She's like 72 and is pretty loopy but we started reading the Book of Mormon with her and we just sit next to her and point to each word and she repeats it after. She said she felt happy while we read it. Crazy how she can feel the spirit even when shes not entirely sure whats going on. She now has the ability to recognize the word "Nefi" which is Nephi for those of you who struggle with cognates. I hope she remembers what Nefi is when we go over there this week.

As for the missionary work things are still struggling in our area.. We just can't get people to come to church. We had 14 investigators confirm to come to church this week, and we even called all of them on saturday AND sunday to remind them all and not a single one showed up... We were pretty bummed.. So we ate leftover cake. Silver lining I guess. As for investigators I told you all about Federico last week. We had a super great lesson with him this week. We invited the bishop and we went over there and he had read all the way to 2 Nefi 20. And he's making notes and cross referencing with the Bible. He said he basically knows its true but he hasnt felt the right moment to ask God yet.. I wish he'd just ask and get his answer confirmed. He didn't come to Church either though. I think he's afraid. He's my favorite investigator though. Aside from him we finally got a cita (appointment) with this woman named Ana and her 5 kids. Her husband wasnt home which stinks but we had a great lesson on the Restoration. She said her husband doesnt like this kind of stuff though which is chafa.. Without the support there they can't progress. I don't think he let them come to church this week.

So the overall theme of this week is being frustrated that people won't come to church. We invite and we call and we pass by their houses and we beg and we plead and nada... Sometimes the most frustrating thing is other people's free agency. We've got high hopes for this week though and we are going to make absolutely sure that people are in Church this week.

So I just want to end by congratulating my wonderful parents and my sister and brother on their anniversaries. It truly is wonderful the way you guys love eah other and set great examples. Thank you for your examples to me. Maybe someday I'll have an anniversary too hahah. Keep up the good work! Jessica, don't get pregnant yet.

Adios errybody

Elder Jarman

Monday, August 13, 2012

USA RULES, Mexico is second, China two thumbs down

I'm running out of ways to open these letters. So... hey.

This week has been pretty eventful so I hope I can write it clearly so it gets full effect..

First things first gotta shout out to my country the USA for getting the most medals.  Taxi driver told us about that one. I'm stoked. Anybody who has seen me watch the olympics knows I am anti-China. USA USA USA. As well Mexico beat Brasil in futbol so I gotta talk trash to my cousin Dylan and my boy Brock. So your mission country is second best.. no biggie.... It was so funny. Elder Hansen and I were walking down the street Saturday morning to a lesson (that fell through of course) and it is silent as a graveyard. NO one is in the street because they are all inside watching the game. Then from both sides of the street every house erupts with screams of GOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL.. And then children starting running around screaming. It was great. Then I yelled GOOOOOLLLLLL and the people smiled at me. Gotta score points with the locals.

In weather news, I've been told there is a hurricane going on down near Veracruz right now. My mom said shes concerned hahah. But the hurricane has made it so it's rained every day here. It rains mostly all night and then clears up. We havent been detained from proselyting at all. Just a lot of mud everywhere and wouldn't you know that its even HOTTER when its raining. I don't know if any of you have google mapped Tuxpan but we've got a really big river and there has just been mountains of garbage and fallen trees running down to the ocean. All of it caused by some hurricane that I guess is going on. Still looks like its gonna rain some more too.

In food news, I ate pizza for lunch twice this week. It was awesome. I am getting a little sick of beans tortillas and pollo.

The last of the temporal news is that the Feria (fair) is in town and the fair grounds are literally right behind our house.. And Mexican fairs down't close for 8 days. 24 hours a day. Mexicans know how to party. they party a little too much actually. So yeah Ive been falling asleep to a lot of noise. There have also been more drunks roaming around where we live lately. Tuxpan is kinda crazy right now with the weather and the Feria and Mexico winning gold.

Okay now for mission related news. This week I want to talk about a few investigators. The first one is Federico. He is like 60 years old and is a retired professor and he loves to read. He is really brilliant. Our lessons are just commentaries on what he's reading in the Book of Mormon. He read all of 1st Nefi between our first and second visit. The problem is that he won't pray. He says he hasnt seen anything contradictory in the Book and he feels like its true but for some reason he won't ask God for that confirming witness. He also won't commit to coming to church yet. people here hate commitment... urgggg

The next investigator is named Isis. We met her dad on the street one day and he gave us his address because he wanted us to come help his daughter with her English studies. She is 25 and speaks English pretty well and we've been teaching her in English. She is really smart too which is great. And she actually came to sacrament meeting this week!! We were stoked.

Those are the two investigators I am really excited about right now. We are really struggling in this area to hit our goals and to find people who are really ready to change their lives and commit. It's really frustrating but we're trying to just focus on the positive.

The way we work in the mission is changing. Before, the mission put a lot of emphasis on street contacting and knowcking doors to find new people, but apparently things are dangerous in Mexico and the whole country is being changed. We are now focusing more on meeting with members and finding referrals and finding new investigators that way, because apparently we are going to hit a point where we will no longer be able to knock doors or contact in the streets. They are preparing us for that day now by changing the way we do things. It's really different and its like starting from zero but in the long run it will be way better and the converts will stay active in the Church better.

So yeah thats the jist of this week. It was another quick week and lots of good stuff happened. The trick is to always find the good in a day and just forget the bad. The truth is that the majority is less than good things that happen but at the end of the day or the week we gotta try to focus on what happened that was good. We see so blessing so much more clearly that way. And as well the tough stuff starts to be a lot easier to bear. They say that a lot of young missionaries are going to be put into leadership and responsibilty positions sooner than normal because our mission is new and they are sending lots of new missionaries next change. Hopefully they don't throw me anything to drastic, or worse, not throw me anything at all hahah. Til next week, I love you all so much! Enjoy your air conditioning!

Elder Jarman

Monday, August 6, 2012

Not sick, just acolorado

Ho-Lee-Crap it has been so hot this week. The sun is the enemy.

Uhhh I mean, Hello Family and Friends!

So yes it is very very hot and the sun is really strong. We learned the word for "dog days" which is like the end of summer. It's called calicula. Thats what we're in, and it's really hot. I can't wait for winter. 

So this week was slightly uneventful. We worked hard but nothing too crazy happened. We found 14 new investigators but only 3 came to church. And they aren't married and don't have the means to do it right now so things are kind of bleak with them. We'll keep praying and working though. I ate chicharron again this week, and I don't think I've mentioned chicharron but I don't like it. It is made of pig skin and I think it's really gross. So yeah thats chicharron... We also finally met up with our ward missionaries and they now know what their calling means and that they need to do it! Hahah they are all the elderly couples in the ward who can barely walk. We went to give this one couple a training on how to contact their neighbors and friends. It was hilarious. I remember when they taught us in the MTC and we were about the same. Sharing the gospel for the first time is hard. But teaching 70 year olds to knock doors was some great entertainment. Also, we're now in the 3rd week of this change so I guess I better describe our zone. We are the smallest zone in the mission. 5 companionships. Elder Hanson and I are now the only gringos. Elder Carmona and Elder Altamira are the zone leaders. Elder Carmona is the skinniest dude who ever lived and looks about 11 years old. Elder Altamira is pretty funny. Then we've got Elder Reyes and his companion Elder Solis. I don't really know Elder Solis yet but Elder Reyes is hilarious. He prefers to be called Elder Kings. Then we've got Elder Vasquez and Elder Lascares. Elder Lascares is gonna get a dude to make me a alligator skin scripture case and Elder Vasquez is really tall (for a mexican). Then we've got my district leader Elder Herrera who is from Lima, Peru. Really quiet and plays piano. His companion is Elder Villegas. He's from Tijuana and is very very loud and funny. Everyone asks him if he's from the north as soon as they meet him. Apparently Mexicans from the North are like him..

So yeah, this morning we helped our convert Gabi move houses. She is super solid and progressing well in the gospel, but she moved into another ward. We packed so much stuff in the bed of Rogelio's camioneta. It was nuts. Gabi's roommates have pugs. I hate pugs.

So thats this week. I'll make sure and pay more attention this week so I have some crazy stories to tell next week. Gotta give a shoutout to Anne Capener for sending me a Fourth of July package. The treats were awesome and I'm proudly repping the american flag on my desk. USA!

I love you all and I invite you all to read the talk from this last general conference by Elder Scott (I think) about personal revelation. It's very cool and it totally works. The steps are:

Pray to find scriptures to answer your question or doubt and pray to understand them
Search for and read scriptures pertaining to your doubt or question
Ponder and write down your conclusions
Pray again and ask the Lord to tell you if you found everything he wanted you to.

Do it! Totally works.

Love you all!

Elder Jarman