Monday, February 24, 2014

My first Baptisms, in the 10th week of my mission.

Date:  February 24, 2014
The Coy Family
Area:  Lat Tinta, Guatemala
Companion:  Edler Aguero from Peru
Week 10

So I am not really sure where to start this week.  Things slightly ran together and I'm not going to be able to give a daily account like I did last week. 

We did have the baptism of the Coy family and that happened at eight in the morning on Sunday so they could receive the Holy Ghost in the following sacrament meeting. The font is a bit smaller

than we have in our wards but it is in the church.  A bit about the Coy family which I am sure your a bit interested about.  There are six children, five girls and one guy.  Edwin, Romelia, Daniella, Ana, Ilse, and Mercedes.  We baptized the older five, so all but Daniella.  Daniella is the most precious to me.  She is the youngest and is absolutely adorable.  She gives me a hug when
we arrive at her house and when we leave.  She also leads me around the chapel after the baptism, just to simply lead me around everywhere.  A brother from the ward baptized them.  The parents have not been baptized.  Not sure why the mother isn't yet but the father is marred to another woman at this time, so he is on our investigator list.

Coy family dressed in white!
Now about my Kekchi name....Aj Tz' ak was temporary as I looked for my permanent name which is usually given by the people.  So given to my be the Coy family is Aj Nog', or some times Saq' Noq' which is to say string and on occasion white string.  They speak both Kekchi and Spanish.

Some of the locals

An interesting thing that happened this week was that we were called to go to the hospital to give someone a blessing.  When we got there though there was a local pastor from on of the local churches and he was giving a blessing.  We didn't quite know what to do, the patient is a member, but I think the Pastor was or rather is his father and he is not a member...So we opted to return another day. 

We didn't doas much walking this week, but we did have a division.  I went with a member and Elder Aguero went with a member and we went to different parts of our area.  I did pretty well, I prepared my lessons and we did them.  Althought not waht you would call perfect, I did it.  In Spanish.

I got mail today as well!
- Karoline
- The Andersons I believe
- Caice South
- Mom
- Also dear elder from mom which actually had a letter from Jessy in it.

All these were sent in January and I can say they took about three weeks to get to me.  I believe it takes almost the same time for both regular mail and dear elder pouch mail to get to me.  How long it takes often depens on when they get it out to my area.
Family of Sister Lila

To answer a few questions...

I have had to cross a river to get to an appointment.  We took off our shoes, rolled u our pants and crossed a little part.  We returned a different way so we don't have to do this often.

P-days are held in La Tinta and we e-mail from La Tinta.

I hardly wear my contacts.

Thanks for the support and I'm so happy to receive letters, keep those going!  They make a tired missionary less tired!!!

- Elder Norte

So please support Jered and send him a letter.  If you do it form Dear Elder it is free.  Otherwise it cost $1.10 in stamps.

you can also check out his blog at

Elder Jered North
Guatemala Cobán Mission
6a Avenida 2-36 zona 1
Alta Verapaz

Monday, February 17, 2014

Xamaan wuqub´ (week 8, I think it´s week eight...)

Panoramic of Pina Blanca
Elder North in a grove of trees
Date:  February 17, 2014
Area:  La Tinta, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Aguero from Peru
Week 9 (yup not eight)

Well this week wasn't that great in the sense that we didn't do much in the way of working, there's some reasons for that.

First off Tuesday was an absolutely horrible day for me.  I got sick, yup, I got a fever and such so we went to district meeting and after I slept the day away.  I was better Wednesday.

Most of our plans we ended up not doing because the man in the mountain of Palomar which was sick, Hermano Gimnasio.  We visited him again at the request of our Stake president.  We spent the day hiking up Palomar again, we had other visits later in the day, but people weren't home.  Although we did get in a lesson with Amairani and we committed her to be baptized on the eight of March.

The next day, Thursday we planned to work in Sierra de Chama.  So we went up that way and then we got another call form the Stake President saying that Hermano Gimnasio was going into the hospital and the church pretty much represents plenty of things with the hospital and it would be easier for him to be accepted if we were there.  So we walked half an hour to get there down the mountain, but we went a new way and I got pictures, the ones with the bridge.  I thought they looked pretty neat.  We didn't do much else Thursday
but visit with the Pop family.
Hobbit Path

Friday we planned to work in Pina Blanca, another area in the mountains, but more on the left side if you look at the mountain.  The people we tried to visit were not there although we did explore a little to get to know the area a bit more.  The pictures of the hobbit path and the picture of me on the rock overlooking the distant mountains, and also the panoramic picture are all from that area.

Saturday...I think I mixed a day, but it went kind of similarly and we did more walking and didn't have any lessons really.

Sunday we went to church and after sacrament meeting half the ward went up to Palomar to visit the family of Hermano Gimnasio.  So we hiked up Palomar again...Yeah.  The end of Sunday we taught the Coy family again and we will be visiting them more as we prepare them for baptism this coming Saturday.  They will be my first baptisms if they do get baptized, which I'm sure they will.

Another bridge picture on the new way we found from Palomar.
Things aren't easy all the time, but we try our best, and when things get overwhelming you can rant about everything in your journal, cry and go to sleep.  I did this Sunday night and this morning felt loads better.  I even made pancakes, which were pretty good.  Next time I'll try putting some sort of chocolate in it.

I've noticed something, there are a lot of products that say centroamerican product and all of them also say hecho en Guatemala (made in Guatemala).  So i'm lead to believe Guatemala is pretty central part of Central America.

To answer some questions I got.

My towels are working well, not sure how to explain much more than that.
We bought him micro fiber towels to help with drying fast because of the humidity.

What could be done to prepare me more for everything?  First thing that comes to mind is pushed me on my
On a rock looking out over the area of Pina Blanca
Spanish a bit more, but I don't have difficulties with my living conditions or surroundings.  They're not great, but camping and certainly hunting where we live up in the mountains for a week or a little more has helped prepare me for that.  Dad is good with giving us a bit of knowledge of other cultures and such.  I'm not sure there was much more that could be done to prepare me.
Well from our perspective we pushed him as much as any parent can push any teen to do anything.  HA  Love hindsight!  Some of the missionaries have had major culture shock with being in areas that they breastfeed very openly and the children are quite old and things like that.  

I do apologize to Mom that I have not taken pictures of people.  I'll be doing more of that this week.  In comment of your high 40's weather.  HAHAHAHAHAHA, cute!  It's HOT here, I sometimes think I won't ever be dry again.
We have had beautiful weather here in Utah the last few days.  We even took the kids hiking today.  It was muddy from the snow and rain but a beautiful day to be out in nature.  Had sent Jered a picture of Ceaira and I after our almost four mile hike.  He replied saying, where is the sweat?  I said it is mid 40's with a slight breeze so no need for sweating.  Amber's reply to that picture was...Still Snowing!  Amber is freezing in Chicago and Jered is sweating in Guatemala and Bryen is loving the winter in Arkansas.  He doesn't love the summers so much when it is very humid but the winter has been great.

Something I ate that was pretty interesting was a red banana.  It was like a normal banana, but the peel looked red.  A little interesting thing here is they call bananas, bananos.  I expected to hear platanos, but nope, they're bananos.

Most people here work in farms or work in the little shops.  There are some bigger shops on the main road, but that is it.

Generally on a P-day we get up and do some studying, then we go play some futbol and get some lunch then e-mail family.  After we will do some shopping and pick up our clothes and clean a little if we think we need it.  Then go to some lessons and visit a member's home.

Keep sending those supportive prayers, I love you all.
- Elder Norte

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nakatinra (meaning: I love you)

Name tags in THREE languages!
Date:  February 10, 2014
Area:  La Tinta, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Aguero from Peru
Week 8

This week I have some pretty neat stories to tell you, but first a few things about what I have been asked.

My zone leaders are Elder Hill and Elder Cadena and our zone is called the Zone Polochic.

It is not cold here at all.  I am thankful for the fan I have which when I'm in the house I am usually sitting on my bed to read while the fan cools me off and reminds me of better times when I didn't sweat a lot.

I'm blessed to be in La Tinta where there is a dispensa familiar, which is pretty much a very small Walmart.  I can buy fruit or meat or cereal which I need, so I eat and cook pretty well here because of it.  I hear that it's heavenly to have it, but I don't know life without it.  I'm really blessed to be more eased into things rather than thrown into the very deep end.

I have not had any type of health problems.  I'm a North and we're a pretty healthy and hardy breed.  I do take my vitamins every day.  The food outside of the house is mostly eggs, some chicken and tortillas are always.

The lee Family does our laundry.

I have had a little problem with mosquitos, but in La Tinta I don't have to sleep with a mosquito net.  I have not seen any snakes, but I have seen some lizards.  Not too exciting in this area.

I received mail from:
- Mom
- Grandma Mary
- Jessy

from about January 11th I believe.  Mail goes through a pouch system.  I believe it is sent to our zone leaders and then they give it to us when they get the opportunity to, about every two weeks or so.
My Triple Combination in Kekchi

My week had some pretty interesting happenings.  First off, my biggest problems are mornings.  I don't like them because they're kind of monotonous, and just sometimes I get feeling very down.  It doesn't last long and you just have to think about work or investigators.

I study hard and I do learn something new every day that I can apply in my day.  Recently I have been reading the conference report from last conference, some good stuff in there.

You have spiritual experiences every day out on a mission.  Not necessarily large or profound but they are there.

The best lesson this week was a lesson with a new investigator Amirani.  She's bright and we gave her a Libro de Mormon, but we used several examples with coins which helped quite a bit.

Elder Aguero and I way up in the mountains
above La Tinta.
We hiked up to Palomar, which are where the pictures of the mountains I sent are taken from.  We went

to visit a man who is sick.  We had planned to give him a blessing, but didn't because he would receive one on Sunday.  Which he did, and if he wasn't going to get a blessing I wouldn't have left without giving him one.  What makes this interesting is that a doctor was there and his methods are kind of odd. He took the guys shirt off, dipped a frog which I'm not sure if it was alive or dead, and rubbed the frog all over the guys chest and back and especially his neck which had a rash.

Me in the mountains.
Another experience this week, which was yesterday, was after the lesson with Amarani this drunk guy talked to me and was babbling something about Christ and how he's important and such.  It was kind of hard to understand him because he was speaking in drunken Spanish.  He pretty much asked me if Joseph Smith was more important than Christ.  I said no, but he was a prophet.  He pretty much accepted my answer and went on his way, fairly politely I must say as he said con permiso, shook my hand and walked off.

My feelings, it was weird and incredibly funny.

I received my Kechi name, which is a tradition here for missionaries speaking Kekchi.  My name is
aj Tz ak, which means wall, which I received because I'm a great goalie.  Yes we play soccer every week and I'm the goalie.

My two complaints so far.  Sweating, and sweating.  Yes...That's pretty much it, I'm not allowing myself to get frustrated or annoyed with not talking the languages.  If anything not being able to communicate has driven me to study a lot more fervently.  Why complain when I can do something about it?  I'm still considered new and training, so I don't care if I don't do the lessons all the way correctly, but I'm just happy with how much I have been able to contribute.

Thank you all of your support and your prayers.  I hope to receive more physical letters and hopefully I'll be able to get some started on their way to the States sometime soon.  With all my adjustments I haven't been doing that well with physical writing, but I have not forgotten.

You're prayers give us strength, we remember those we love and it pushes up through the times we feel kind of down.

- Elder Norte

PLEASE WRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Jered North
Guatemala Cobán Mission
6a Avenida 2-36 zona 1
Alta Verapaz

It costs $1.10 to mail a letter to him. You can use regular envelops and stamps just make sure they equal $1.10. If it weights more than a regular letter you should take it to the post office to have it weighed.


Use Dear Elder (
its Free to my mission. Just got to, create an account
and it will track the letters you send
so you can go back and view them.
On the drop down menu just put in
Guatemala Cobán Mission and then
address it to Elder Jered North.
They get mailed out once a week.
This will be the best way to contact
me since I don't have that much
time on e-mail each week.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ka´r´u yookin? (What am I doing?)

House in La Tinta, they pretty much all look this way.
Date:  February 3, 2014
Area:  La Tinta, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Aguero from Peru
Week 7

Well I'll tell you what I'm doing.  I'm preaching the gospel to people in Guatemala.

Honestly, this week wasn't too exciting.  I have things I can say which will probably seem a lot more exciting to you guys.  I will also answer the questions I have recieved.

Church is in both languages really, but mostly in Spanish.  La Tinta has a pretty large ward, about fifty members or so I think.

Spanish and Kekchi are pretty different although Kekchi borrows some words from Spanish.

The two investigators that I really want to mention are K****, and the C**** family.  K**** is fifteen years old and is really very timid.  She reminds me of Ceaira and she is following through on commitments.  The C**** family is actually really recent, although I have a hard time understanding them as they mostly speak in Kekchi, I'm able to say what I want in Spanish and either they understand me or someone else translates for me.  We invited them to baptism yesterday, of which they accepted.  If all goes well they will be baptized the 22nd of February.

I wear my boots the most.  My shoes I trade off every three days.  So, three days in one set, then three days in the other.

I have not bought a machete yet, but we do have one in my apartment.

The rubber boots are not necessary for me to have here in La Tinta.  I'm sure I'm probably going to need them at some other time in my mission.

It doesn't rain that much right now, maybe once a week.

La Tinta is fairly small and doesn't have a lot of fast food.  There is a chicken place and that's about it.

Sadly I have not received any letters out in my mission yet.  I'm not even sure how I'm supposed to receive them.  Hopefully I'll find out some time this week.  When I went to the mission home I did get the package from the ward that they sent for Christmas.  We don't get mail through any type of mail box.  We get them through what I hear is a pouch system through the mission home.  So hopefully at zone meetings I will get mail.  I have one coming up this week.

We have electricity in our house.  It is pretty dim inside though because we only have one light.  The power has only gone out once so far and that was only for about an hour.  So it seems to be pretty reliable thus far.  We do have plumbing.  Cold showers though, our shower head doesn't spray that much so we turn it on about ten minutes before we shower and it fills up a bucket and we use that.

We eat mostly eggs, rice, and tortillas.  We do get fed by members and when we do that is pretty much what they feed us.

So, my studies in Spanish consist of reading in Spanish and learning the words I don't already know.  Where as pretty much all my free time I spend in my grammar book of Kekchi, learning as fast as I can.  I hope to actually start speaking a little bit of it this week.

I will be getting a badge in Kekchi!  Hopefully at the zone meeting this week.  Those that speak Kekchi usually know Spanish, there are areas where it is only Kekchi, but in La Tinta, Spanish is the main language.  Kekchi is part of the school curriculum.  I will mostly just wear my Kekchi badge.

We did quite a bit more walking this week as we visited some of the farther areas in our area, which
La Tinta from up on the Mountain
include part of the adjacent mountain.  So we did some hiking, I at least got to take a fantastic picture of La Tinta.  The C**** family live in one of these areas.  I also want to comment on the stars at night...which I am slightly disappointed with, there's less stars than I thought there would be.  Oh well.

Honestly there's not much else to report about this week... I continue to write in my journal daily and that will be great in helping me retell some things when I get back.

Walking around the town, pedestrians do not have the right of way, EVER.  If you want to be a driver here, you've got to actually be pretty gutsy, or at least the drivers here are pretty gutsy and kind of crazy.  So you can pretty much walk anywhere on the street you want but you make way for cars.  Imagine that.

Next week I'll actually bring my journal while I'm writing so that I can write a bit in more detail.  I've restarted reading through the Book of Mormon, but this time in Spanish.  I have gotten to First Nephi 3.  Yay!

Thank you all for the updates, I love reading them and hope to read more.

- Elder Norte