Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This Is the Final Countdown!

Дорогые Друзя и Семья,

So, I have flight plans! I leave Sunday night, and I couldn't be more excited. 

Funny story for this week: There was a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles that spoke at a devotional here the day before I arrived, and there's one speaking the Tuesday after we leave. My district was joking that  we simply are just so wonderful already, we didn't need to hear an apostle speak.

As my time at the MTC comes to an end, I've been noticing all of the things I love to do here that I'll be doing for the last time this week. Yesterday was my last choir practice here. I can't tell you how empowering it is to be in a choir a thousand strong of missionaries. We also have a wonderful choir director, Ryan Egget, who always has the most amazing stories to go along with the music we sing. Yesterday we sang "Child's Prayer," which is this beautiful children's song about a child's possibly first prayer. Brother Egget made the parallel between this song and our work as missionaries as we go out and help others pray for their first time. He asked us what Heavenly Father thinks of us as missionaries, helping His children to talk to Him and to come to Him. He told a story of when he was in the bishopric in his ward, his daughter had just turned 12, old enough to be in Young Women's, and it was her first mutual activity. His daughter is painfully shy, and she sat as far away from the other girls as she could. He could not sit with her because he had to sit at the front of the room with the rest of the bishopric, but he just kept praying that someone would sit next to his daughter. She sat by herself for what seemed like an eternity to him. Then, an older girl in the ward called to his daughter and asked her to sit next to them. He said his love for that girl went over the moon.

The point was, Heavenly Father loves His missionaries because His missionaries are trying so hard to love His children. We can all do that. You don't have to be set apart in order to serve His children. You don't have to be set apart to share your testimony.

I started writing poetry this week, and I thought to end my email, I'd share something I wrote.

"Oh, what joy  sings in my soul.
The honeyed land calls.
The clock has struck, the time is come.
And what am I to be?

The words of some, long past gone,
Whisper in my ears.
They tell me deeds, long past done,
And what am I to be?

Father, help me, Father dear,
For I am not complete.
My mission long is get to come,
And what am I to be?

 Be you, My child,  be you in Me
And I will help you be
The whole complete, the perfect whole.
My child, speak of me."

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I don't know when I'll be able to email again, but it would be lovely to have something to read in English once I get to Russia.


Sister Jarvis

This is Sister Derek, Sister Sommers, me, Elder Sonderegger, Elder Mehr, and Elder Belnap.  They are our best friends. We love them. Unfortunately, they're going to St. Petersburg not Rostov. Sad face.

Here's another picture of us, but just being weird.

This is what our classroom looks like when we study. I thought it would be interesting for people who've never been to the MTC to see what it looks like.

Elder Palmer and Elder White.  I thought all of these pictures were funny, so I chose them all!

The first picture is Sister Johnsen splashing water in Elder White's face for some reason. I don't really remember. I just think the picture is funny.

This is Elder White post-water splashing.

This is the Plan of Salvation in Russian (essentially what the LDS church believes about where we came from, why we're here, and where we're going) done by Sister Derek.
And the writing above it is Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision, or when he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, in Russian.​

Wednesday, July 22, 2015



This week has been bittersweet. We said goodbye to our friends who have been here with us the whole time we were here, and we became better friends with the new elders. It's not easy being at the MTC, but I think I'm going to miss it here. I can't believe I'm a week and a half away from leaving!

Yesterday during Tuesday Devotional, I was singing loudly as per usual, and some elders in our zone were sitting in front of us singing in Russian, when our zone leader, Elder Palmer, challenged the elders to sing in Russian louder than I was singing in English. I gladly accepted thinking I'd win without lifting a finger. But, while I was hitting a high note... My voice cracked so BAD! It was hilarious! Imagine the sound of a large bird squawking and that is precisely what my voice sounded like. I guess I've learned my lesson, though... Sing Alto in order to beat them next time.

This week was pretty great! The anticipation for the end of our MTC stay is getting almost too hard to bare considering that in a week and a half we'll be in Russia. BUT, fear not!  I'm not allowing it to let me slack off. I love Russian AND the Gospel too much to do that.

So on Sunday, we were going to watch The Testaments during movie night, but for some reason they couldn't find the DVD. Luckily, we got to watch On the Lord's Errand, a movie about Thomas Monson, the prophet. It was actually exactly what I needed. I loved hearing about the prophet and about his life. He truly is an amazing person. He isn't perfect, but he hasn't let his weaknesses stop him from following the Lord, and I think that's something we all can learn from. Just because something is difficult for us the first time, or just because we fail at first, doesn't mean that we cannot do it. And just because we haven't always followed the Lord or always tried to be our best selves, it doesn't mean we can't start to do so now. The wonderful thing about Jesus Christ and His gospel is that NO ONE is lost from Him, and we can all start over when we do things that we aren't proud of. 

I love the Lord, and I love that I get to serve him for the next 16 months now. I can't believe how fast the days have gone, but I can't believe how happily they've passed, even if they haven't been easy.

I hope all your weeks are going well and I love you all!

Sister Jarvis

P.S. This is the last week you all will be able to send me mail at the MTC!

Just a reminder in case you've wanted to send me a letter my address is:

Sister Jarvis
2009 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84602

This is a terrible picture, but it's still our zone.  LOVE THEM ALL!

Selfie time at the temple with some random elders

Samuel H. and Me

Snack Chats

Me, Sister Sommers, Sister Morris, and Elder Belnap

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Samuel H. and Monologues

Good news, everyone! One of the new elders in our zone is also an actor! It's been rough being the only actor in these parts. Mostly because I've decided to memorize the First Vision, Joseph Smith's account of when he first saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, as a monologue in Russian, which requires a lot of talking to myself... So, the people that pass by while I practice give me a lot of strange looks (luckily, Sister Sommers has already accepted the fact that I'm just odd). It's okay, though, because Elder Maxfield, my fellow actor-missionary, understands the struggle.

Also, I made friends with the statue of Samuel H. Smith, the first missionary, in the courtyard. It's fine, I'm not going crazy having been here for 7 weeks now. But to be completely serious, Samuel H. and I are talking to each other informally in Russian now, so you could say we're besties. It's whatever.

I like the MTC. There are a lot of wonderful opportunities here, and I've learned more than I ever have in my life. However, it's also not an easy place to be in. This past week was probably the hardest one I've had yet on my mission. The MTC, as my cousin, Jason, told me the first week I got here, is a place for harsh self-reflection and growth beyond what I thought I could go. The amazing thing about life is that there is no cap to anything. While sometimes that means that you are having the most difficult time you've ever had, it also means that you can become greater than you were ever able to before. Joy, love, and knowledge are then endless for us.

We were able to go to a broadcast of Boyd K. Packer's funeral, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve that died this past week. Elder Oaks, another member of the Twelve, was one of the speakers and his talk really hit me because he said a lot of things that were like medicine to all the aches and pains of this past week. He quoted Jesus Christ. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28

Perhaps the most hopeful and helpful thing for me about the gospel is that while it is very difficult to make the decisions in your life that lead to Christ, you don't have to do it alone. Jesus Christ is our Savior, from our sins, our weaknesses, and our pains (sin related or not). Life was never meant to be easy, and it never will be, but trust in Jesus Christ has made my life a lot happier and a lot healthier. 

Elder Oaks also stated the following at Elder Packer's funeral, "Love lives on. Death is only a horizon that limits our view of the glories that lie on."

I hope that whatever this next week has in store for you all that you remember that I love you and that our Father in Heaven loves you. 


Сестра Джарвис
(Sister Jarvis)

Sister Sommers and I in our matching shirts

Sister Grant and Sister Derek looked so pretty with the light.  I had to take a picture.

These are some of the Sisters in my zone.
Back row left to right: Sister Matthews, Sister Johnson, Sister Sommers, Sister Wilson, Sister Orr, Sister Hall
Front row left to right: Sister Morris, Sister Grant, me, Sister Cox, and Sister Derek

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4 Weeks to Go!

Дорогой Друзя,

Only a little less than 4 weeks left here at the MTC! I can't believe how fast time is going by. I'm already loving being on my mission, and I haven't even gotten to the meat of it yet!

We celebrated the 4th of July.  It was kind of funny because our teacher talked about how awesome it was to see the fireworks from the MTC. So we were all super excited about seeing the fireworks and then we could only see them through the trees. I didn't really mind, though.  It was just nice to be in the USA for one last July 4th before I head out to Russia. 

I have the good fortune of having some very amazing teachers. One of them, Sister Gillespie, just makes me laugh whenever she's teaching. She has the funniest stories from her mission. She told us this story about a friend of hers from the MTC who woke up in the middle of the night because his companion had punched the wall and yelled in his sleep "RECEIVE!" in Russian. So now, whenever possible, we punch something and yell "POLUCHAT!" (the word for to receive). Obviously, I was lucky enough to be stuck with a bunch of nerds in my district. :)

Sister Sommers and I got to teach our district on Sunday during district meeting. We had asked everyone to think of a time when they have felt the Spirit prompt them to do something and they followed through. It was probably one of the best times I've had here. As the sisters and elders in my district spoke, I could just see the amount of potential they all had to become like Jesus Christ and the love that they had in being on a mission and for each other. 

There's a quote we frequently talk about by the late Boyd K. Packer, a member of the twelve apostles: "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior... quicker than a study of behavior will change behavior."

Being here, surrounded by people who really care about and desire to learn about Christ and His gospel, has begun to really change my attitude and behavior. I can feel in it in the amount of love I have for others, how much I am willing to work, and how happy I feel. That's not to say that my life is extremely easy now; in fact, I'd state the contrary. Being at the MTC has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life, but I'm so glad I'm here because I've learned more about myself, my Father in Heaven, and how to love others than I ever have in my life.

I hope your week was fabulous and I hope you can feel my love from Provo.

Я вас люблю!

Sister Jarvis

Our zone 

Our whole district ready for the 4th of July! 

(Starting from the back row on the left) Elder Palmer, Elder White, Sister Grant, Sister Sommers, Sister Derek,
(Front row starting from the left) Sister Morris, Sister Johnson, me!, Sister Matthews

4th of July!

This is us trying to make a 1/2 sign for halway day... 

Halfway Day Picture!

Halfway Day Selfies!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Some BATS Just Want to Watch the World Burn


This week was pretty eventful...

I'm sure a lot of you are wondering about the title of the email. Well, there is an explanation.

Last Thursday, all the sisters at the MTC were called to an emergency meeting. We waited there for a while, and I was convinced that like President Monson wanted to talk to us for some reason because he was here last week teaching the new mission presidents. Alas, I was very, very wrong. 

Bats had been sighted in the brand new building most of the sisters had been moved to the week prior. So, all the sisters had to move into the two other buildings.

We now have two more roommates, and we moved into our old building. The two new sisters in our room, Sister Mon and Sister Yang, are headed to Thailand, which is pretty cool. Unfortunately, they left on Monday, so we didn't get to spend much time with them.

I found the whole bat thing pretty funny considering my dad's history with bats as a health officer in Nevada. Long story short, he gave out a lot of rabies shots.

Other than the bats, though, the week has been pretty great.

We have 18 elders and 2 sisters joining our zone this week, finally evening out our numbers. The sisters have outnumbered the elders 5 to 1 in our zone for the past two weeks, and the first week I was here, there were more sisters than elders at the MTC for the 1st time in MTC history.

During Tuesday's devotional a member of the 70, Elder Joseph Sitati, and his wife, Sister Gladys Sitati, spoke to us. The story of his conversion is probably one of the most inspiring I have ever heard. They are from Kenya, and when they started attending sacrament meeting, there were 20 members in all of Kenya. Since there were so few members, the Sitatis and their children began filling leadership positions in their little branch before they were even baptized. I really loved what Sister Sitati said about why they kept coming back to church. She said that the people were just very kind to her and her family. 

If the Spirit is in your life, you will do good. Elder Bednar said that we just need to quit worrying about whether it's a spiritual prompting or not. If you are trying your hardest to follow the commandments, keep your covenants, and love those around you, then you don't need to worry about it because every good thought you have, every good thing you do is a consequence of the Spirit.

Moroni 7:16"For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man,that he may know good from evil; wherefore, show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the poweand gift of Christ; whereforye may know with perfect knowledge it is of God."

Love,Cectpa Jarvis

My Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Miner, and the Rostov Sisters

(Left to right: Pres Miner, Sister Sommers, me, Sister Miner, Sister Derek, Sister Grant)

The view from our classroom

Our new roommates!  Sister Yang and Sister Mon!
From left to right: Sister Yang, Sister Mon, Sister Grant, Sister Sommers, Me, Sister Derek (she had to change her name because "Beach" means something bad in Russian)

This is us leaving our nice pretty room that the bats kicked us out of.

This is Sister Feldman.  We went to high school together. 

Just relaxing.