Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Year 2014, the year of the missionary.

Elder North saying Merry Christmas
Date:  January 1, 2014
Area:  CCM Guatemala City
Companion:  Elder Oliveira
Week:  3


So as my title says this is the year of the missionary, what I really mean by that is that this year, for the full year I am a missionary, and that's actually kind of cool to think about.

I didn't get many questions today.  Not any really, so I guess I invite my family to give me one questions by next week for me to answer.  But it is fine, I get to talk about things.

So for Christmas there were still only 12 of us missionaries in the CCM, which actually did mean we got a little bit of special treatment.  We played scout games, like tie the balloon to your ankle and pop everyone else.  We saw a Christmas devotional by Elder Bednar.  It was more of a Q and A.  That was really incredible, although my question wasn't read.

The reason we eat so well in the CCM here is because of Carlos.  He is a professional chef, and he and his crew are fantastic.  Even now while we have around 60 or more missionaries, the food is as good and plentiful as when there were only 12 of us.  We thank him very much for his efforts and I do hope he gets paid well.  I know it's not easy to cook that much food, especially at the variety and quality they do it.  Our Christmas dinner was a ham, a full ham, with green beans and bread and some fantastic potatoes.

Elder North and Elder Oliveira with their stockings
I'm not sure, but I do think I've gained some weight while here.  I'll burn that off in the next 23 months of my mission though.

New Years wasn't as special of an occasion for me actually.  I went to bed a little bit early because I was pretty darn tired.  Guatemalans, or in Spanish, Guatamatecos. (Unsure on that spelling) really know how to party on Christmas and New Year's.  They put on fire works like you wouldn't believe.  All over the city, because there are no restrictions on fire works the entire city, yes, ENTIRE city is one huge firework show at midnight on these two occasions.  It woke me up and I got to watch.  You would not believe the amount of fireworks and stuff exploding in the air.

This week has been as busy as the rest.  Now there are new missionaries, all but three are from Central America.  None are going to Coban from this group.  A couple are from there and I got to talk to them about it.  Pretty much things we already know about the place, like weather and stuff.  With these new missionaries I get the opportunity to talk to and listen to people who nativity speak Spanish.  Every day I get taught a lesson and I teach a lesson to a native.

The Thompson's, Elder North, Elder Oliveira and the Harris's
Today also marks the halfway point in the CCM.  My goal in Spanish is that I will only speak Spanish in my last two weeks here.  That means I have one more week of speaking English.  I think I'll be sufficiently ready for that, but we will see.  My reasoning behind that was that the natives spend two weeks here.  In my last two weeks I want to make my experience as much as like theirs as possible.

Well, It was fantastic reading all the e-mails and such.  I hear there are letters and even a package or two en route to my position.  That sounds exciting.  Each one is important to me and I keep every letter I recieve.  You are all in my prayers, and I pray for your safety, and perseverance in work, school, and other activities.  One thing I try to do with my prayers is to make them very specific, because specific prayers bring specific blessings.

Thank you for all your support and prayers.
Elder Norte

I recieved an e-mail on Christmas Eve from Sister Donna Harris.  She wrote.....

Hi, My husband and I hosted a dinner tonight where Elder North and Elder Oliveira were our guests of honor.  Elder and Sister Thompson were also in attendance.  My husband is in the Temple Presidency and I am assistant Matron in the Guatemala City Temple.  The Thompson's are Temple Missionaries.

My husband was Mission President in the Guatemala North Mission from 2002-20058.  Our mission covered all of what is now the Coban Mission.  It is a wonderful area to serve in and I am sure your son will be thrilled to be able to work in this area.  The people are so humble and loving and kind.  The area is beautiful and he will enjoy being there.  Your son will be a great blessing to these people.

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with Elder North.  He is a wonderful young man and I am sure you are very proud of him and his willingness to serve a mission.  Here are some pictures we took.

YES, I was thrilled to get pictures.  I didn't think I would get any and it was a nice surprise when I happened to check my e-mail on Christmas Eve.  Must admit it produced tears.  I am so thankful for wonderful people who stop and send e-mail's or texts with pictures of my kids, it is such a wonderful thing.  So if you see missionaries stop and take pictures and send them to their mommies!  It is crazy to think that all three of my kids will be gone all of 2014.  It brings tears of happiness and sadness to my eyes but I couldn't be prouder of them and their choice to serve the Lord.  I know they will grow so much from the experiences they will have.  Thank you all for your love and support.

If you would like to send Jered a snail mail he would love it and is actually quite good at writing also.  It costs $1.10 to send him a letter.  You can do that by regular stamps or buying a $1.10 one.

Elder Jered North
Guatemala Coban Mission
Guatemala Missionary Training Center
Bulevar Vista Hermosa 23-71
Vista Hermosa I, Zona 15
Guatemala City 01015

Our Christmas Card this year, doing it digital was a good as it got.

No comments:

Post a Comment