Monday, July 28, 2014

The secret society of the kekchi people

Date:  July  28, 2014
Area:  Canlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara
Week 32
The Kekchi people don`t really have a secret society, but they are a very secretive people, in the sense that they don`t like to share things, for example, you ask them what they`re doing, they say nothing, you ask them where they`re going, they say `no where` or say `over there` , but the strange part is that everyone asks these questions all the time.

In the odd sense, they`re very secretive, but very not at the same time.
So, we did have some people set up with a baptismal date, now we`re not really sure, because we went to pick them up to go to church with us and we found out that they`re Catholic, very strange for us because we thought they didn`t have a religion. That`s what they told us when we asked, they said they didn`t have one, but then the father `remembered` that they`re Catholic. Very strange, but we shall continue teaching and see if we can`t continue this work forward.
It was another pretty hot week, but with a bit more rain, and we did get soaked a few times, water in the boots and such, but the resulting colder weather is a great feeling, colder being I only sweat while I`m walking and exerting energy instead of constantly sweating.

We had the Zone meeting this week, in regards to mail I got a lot less than expected, but not to worry, mail comes next week as well, so that will be a good day. I did get one letter, from my wonderful sister Amber, who is also serving in a mission.

In Zone meetings we usually hear some talks from the Assistants to the President and then a talk from the President, some announcements and to end it off we have a big lunch, which is very much appreciated here in the Polochic valley and Senahu areas. I didn`t get many pictures, but I did get some.
Other than that I would say this week was pretty normal, some hiking, finding some new people, one lady named Virginia we helped and taught her a lesson, we`re still not quite sure where things are going with her yet. With our converts parents we are working with them and it`s been going great, although they didn`t come to church. In fact getting people to come to church is one of the hardest things here, I`m not quite sure why, some people do think that there just isn`t a difference between churches.

A little about the Kekchi people that I encounter here, they are a great people. They`re nice and kind, but they have no manners. It`s a very interesting combination and sometimes it gets frustrating.

You never travel alone here, there`s enough movement and busses and such that you`re not alone.  Your always with another missionary.

How many priesthood leaders do you need to bless and pass the sacrament? Well, two, one to bless the sacrament and one to pass. I get the opprotunity to bless the sacrament in Kekchi every week for both the water and the bread and one of our local priesthood holders passes, usually Juan Xol or his son.

There`s a few elders that use contacts here, I just have found it easier and less frustrating to use my glasses, I don`t have to worry about dust in my eyes a lot, because there`s plenty of dust.

I carry my driver`s license, my insurance cards, and that`s pretty much it, all the rest stays in the house, I only have copies of my visa, the mission home keeps it, since it stays at home I don`t have to use my document holder.

So..... That`s it, I continue writing in my journal everyday and I`m running out of space in my current one, hopefully my new one gets to me in time, and I`ve played some chess with my companion Elder Jara. I havn`t lost.
I love you all,
Elder North

Monday, July 21, 2014

The sun is really hot.

Date:  July 21, 2014
Area:  Canlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara
Week 31

I got a sun burn this week, it`s actually been a while since I got one, I guess I`ve developed some sort of resistance to the sun, I`m probably also the tannest I`ve every been and probably ever will be in my life, that comes with being an Elder here, in the Polochic valley at least, and sunblock doesn`t really stay on because of so much sweating and then you end up wiping it off, but getting a hat for some days would probably be helpful. This week especially, it`s been 100 percent sunny all week.
We also actually ended up doing less work than we wanted to due to some unexpected and expected events that took longer than planned, like a baptism. Those usually end up taking most of the day here, but we baptized Gilberto Ca`al Chub` this week, or more commonly known as Otto. The baptism went well as well, smooth, and I was the one who did the baptism, in Q`eqchi no less. what you need to say is of course the same as other baptisms, but it goes something like this.
bapismal picture with Otto. He`s Q`eqchi`,
it`s hard to get them to smile for pictures.
(name) chi k`eeb`il chaq intaqlankil xb`aan li Jesukristo ninkub`si aaha` sa` lix kab`a li Yuwab`ej, li k`ajolb`ej, ut li santil musiq`ej. Amen.

There you go, the baptismal prayer in Q`eqchi`. Cool.

We did a bit of hiking this week and my legs kind of hurt, but on the other hand we did get some pretty good pictures, we found some new investigators, but we`re now going to start focusing on the five new baptismal dates we set yesterday and the parents of Otto, they`re all great and interested, we have several activities already planned to get them all together in the church and have a sort of fireside activity. Buy some bread, maybe some soda, and it`ll be a good time.
So, no mail this week, but tomorrow is Zone conference and I should be getting mail then, it`s always a very good day when I get mail.
I got questions to answer this week as well.
Anything you would tell new missionaries coming to bring? - Make sure you have good shoes, I`m not really good on advice, most things are not too hard to get, and you get things you need, the things my parents packed for me are great! I would say to missionaries coming in to study some Spanish before, it`s helpful, and maybe knowing more Spanish will give you a better chance at getting put into Q`eqchi` speaking, if that`s something your interested in.
A colorful Lizard

5 legged spider

Bunny - He said this one surprised him but didn't say why

Materials in Q`eqchi`or Spanish? - We can get any materials we need from the offices, hymnbooks, things to hand out, scriptures, the articles of faith, in both languages.
In the New area do you have a store that has stuff or do you just get stuff when you go to La Tinta?- We have a store, but it doesn`t have everything, so we buy our weekly stuff in La Tinta or El Estor.
Does your shower work? - Yes.
Have you used any of the mosquito stuff? - No, besides to sleep with a mosquito net.
What is your number one important item? - Good shoes or boots, you can buy your dinosaur boots here, the big ones if you need them, a raincoat, and my backpack, it`s good to have a great backpack.
The beautiful land I am serving in.

How is your new companion? - He`s great, I got over my fears and actually talked to him about things and now we`re doing fantastic and being obedient and such, although sometimes I`m terrible in Spanish, but that`s improving.

Elder Suitter is indeed an AP, I`ll see him tomorrow, I need a picture with him, I`ll do thattomorrow.
We have no meetings to meet our new companions, we just kind of try and corrilate bus rides and stuff to get people to their new areas, sometimes it`s not that easy, but it gets done.
Well, new Elders, maybe they`ll be called to speak some Q`eqchi` and maybe not, I don`t know.
I love you all, thank you for all the support.
Elder Saqi` Noq`

Elder North would love to hear form you.  It take mail at least two weeks to get to him so don't delay and get a letter out today.

Please do not use nick names on letters or packages. They have to go to the mission home and then be forwarded on. If you have a nick name on the letter it may never make it to him. THANKS
Send mail to:

Elder Jered North
Guatemala Cobán Mission
Apartado Postal #34
3ra Calle 2-02, Zona 3
Cobán AV 16001
Guatemala, Central America
It costs $1.15 to mail a letter to him. You can use regular envelops and stamps just make sure they equal $1.15. 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, July 14, 2014

Many new investigators

Date:  July 14, 2014
Area:  Canlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara
Week 30

Another week in the life of a Guatemalan missionary, Polochic mission, we do call it that sometimes.

So things are going great, my companion, Elder Jara, isn´t as disobedient as I was first led to believe.  That isn´t to say that there aren't some things that we could work on in that area.  He´s a good worker and I´ve been learning so much from him in how to work, the language of Kekchi and a few other things. I´m helping him learn English, he´s fairly good at it already, but there´s room for improvement, like speed and pronunciation of the words.

Obviously from the title we have a lot of new investigators, many of them are kind of interesting in the aspect of how we contacted them.   They saw us and said they wanted us to sing to them, apparently it´s known around Canlun that the Mormons sing to people.  We gladly do, because what do we sing about? SALVATION! Most of these new investigators seem like they will progress well, we´ll see as time goes on a bit more.
Bye Elder Barker
How come we have a lot more investigators than before? Elder Jara´s skill with Kekchi has been a big factor, people listen to you more when they can feel from the way you talk that you know thier own language and they can talk to you, and then they see his companion try to talk and laugh at him. I got laughed at this week, silly Kekchi people, they´re rude but not at the same time, good thing I´m better at patience, both with others and myself, but that is a continueing process.

It´s been really cool to hear more advanced Kekchi, and I´m understanding it a lot more, it feels like when I left the CCM, I couldn´t speak the best Spanish and such, but I could understand pretty much everything, I´m on my way to being
a really good Kekchi speaker, I know it.

We´ve been walking to the more farther areas in our area, which means two hours of walking in the sun and hiking, it´s good though, beautiful land and some pictures, a little bit more of being tired, but that´s allright, it kind of comes with being here.

No mail this week, but I am curious about any missionary experiences that you´ve had, if you remember I challenged you last week to go out and have a missionary experience or something, and I want to know if you´re doing so, follow up, it´s something I´m learning, and a conference talk was very specific about it.

I´m still doing great! I love your prayers and support, and I pray for you guys as well.

With Love,
 Elder North

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Date:  July 7, 2014
Area:  Canlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Barker
Week 29

As far as changes go this time around I will be staying in Canlun, but that`s not too much of a surprise.  Elder Barker is going up to the mountains, and Elder Jara will be coming down from the mountains to here. At first they told us that both of us were staying in Canlun and we found out today that that was actually not true. I`m kind of excited for this, but it`s going to be hard, I`ve heard that Elder Jara isn`t exactly the most... Obediant missionary. I`ll probably be killing him as well because he has two changes left on his mission, that`ll also be an interesting experience.
As far as this week goes, the highlight of the week was the baptism of Mach, full name, Victor Humberto Pop Yaxcal, but everyone calls him Mach, which in Kekchi means beard, he`s going to be a big help here in Canlun.
I did get some mail this week, three letters from Mom, one from Karoline, two from Grandma Mary, and a package from Grandpa and Grandma North with some really cool bottles that have filters in them, I didn`t get pictures using it yet, but I have tried it and it`s really awesome, Elder Barker gives his thanks as well.
I`ve been learning patience recently, I`ve actually been having a problem with loosing my cool a little, which may sound surprising to some people because I like to believe that I`m a pretty patient person, but it`s a little different when you`re in a foreign country with many new things and the people just act different, but I`m working on it, just more things to learn and to be able to become better! I`m probably going to be tested on patience more, but the work in Canlun is going well and I`m learning a lot, I`m still going well on the Kekchi and I have a Latino for a companion so I`m going back to speaking Spanish all the time.
So, I`ve been reading some of the talks from last general conference and something that caught my attention was one of the talks, (I believe by M. Russell Ballard) Where he says that we should share the gospel, so I challenge you at home to find someone that you can share the gospel with and maybe get the missionaries to start teaching, the missionaries will be happy, we always love receiving references and honestly the references are usually the best investigators because they have another person outside of the missionaries that they know really well that they can trust in this new religion that they are learning about. So get out there and find a missionary opportunity.
If you guys have any questions for me, I will answer them, just so you know though, I don`t eat anything that weird, they mostly just give us tortillas and beans and corn and maybe something else, and if I do eat something really weird I`ll be sure to tell you.
I love you all, and all your support for me and other missionaries out there.
Elder Jered Lamont North.

These are the only pictures he sent this week of his house.

This area they sleep with bug nets over them.

The church is on the left and their house is that little building.

Don't know if he has actually running water for a shower here but maybe.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Little Miracles

Date:  June 30, 2014
Area:  Kanlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Barker
Week:  28

Things are still going well in the area across the Polochic river called Canlun, we´ve been seeing some little miracles, we have another baptism with a little kid who has 13 years and has a strong desire to be baptized, his parents are of another religion, but they gave him permission to be baptized, they also asked us a strange question. He asked how much the baptism would cost, apparently in other religions you need to pay for the baptism and that´s just crazy, we don´t have to pay for salvation, it´s given to us as long as we follow the commandments and strive to follow Christ.
We also went on an adventure this week to see if we could find another area within our area, so we went on a half an hour hike and found hills and corn fields, nothing else, but that´s alright, sometimes you need a good hike through the mountains of Guatemala.

No mail this week, but we have our zone meeting this week and I shall receive mail then. I always get excited for mail.

The work in Canlun is progressing, once we get Otto and Mach baptized then they will be able to help us with other investigators that we have, and they are willing to help, because they are awesome.

We had a district conference this week and the kids from Canlun were the choir, we did really well, but the person who played the piano didn´t quite know how to play our songs and that kind of messed us up a bit, but it was still awesome. I learned some really cool things from it, and I know that little things can make a difference and that we must follow the way of Christ.

To answer the questions Mom sent me this week.

I don´t have pictures of my house this week, I´ll be sure to do that next week.

The laundry in Canlun is done by Hermana Paz Buena Fe, (that is her name)

The biggest challenge in Canlun is drinking and people are kind of hard hearted, but we find who´s ready and we teach them, that´s been a lot of our success, we find those who are ready to change and we show them how.

I did decent in taking more responsibilities, I feel like I could train, but I may not do the best at it.
Training is hard for everyone at first.  I am sure he will do just fine though.  I have great confidence in him.

We only ate a few times with members, they gave us beans, I have a picture with it, because Amber sent a picture of her breakfast saying it was so pretty, I had to take a picture of my dinner because it was pretty as well. Good ol´ beans and tortillas.

I´m not the best at writing my weekly reports I feel, but I do my best, what´s really going to be fun to go through is my journal and stories, because there´s more in the journal than I put here and there´s more in my head than I put in my journal, it just happens that way.
I really think with him we will get some good stories when he comes home.  Very exciting.  Need to get a new journal off to him soon he asked for one.  He wants one of the bigger ones with Christ on the front.  So proud of him for writing in his joural.

I love you all, and I am trying to get some letters out to most of you.
If anyone has questions you can send them to me and I will ask him.  Sometimes my brain quits working and I just can't come up with questions to ask.  Jered does a pretty good job at responding to the questions I send so ask away.

Elder Saqi Noq´
Elder North loves mail so very much so write him today!  It takes awhile to get to him so don't delay.
Elder Jered North
Guatemala Cobán Mission
Apartado Postal #34
3ra Calle 2-02, Zona 3
Cobán AV 16001
Guatemala, Central America
It costs $1.15 to mail a letter to him. You can use regular envelops and stamps just make sure they equal $1.15. 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.