Monday, September 29, 2014

Last week with Elder Jara

Date:  September 29, 2014
Elder Jara on his way out.
Area:  Kanlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara
Week 41

Things have been going well, Elder Jara has been slowly packing away his stuff during the week as his mission comes to a close, this has also sprung up conversations about home and stuff, but not to worry, it´s not going to hinder my work. So, first up, my new companion is another Peruvian by the name of Elder Santisteban, I don´t really know much about him, but I have heard that he knows a lot about the scriptures, specifically the Bible, so I hope to learn a thing or two from that during our time together. Although this change is only going to be four week instead of the usual six because if they did six the next change would land on the week of Christmas making travel for Elders coming and going more difficult. To make up for this we´re going to have an eight week change in the future.

Anyway, we had some good time with some of the members and the investigators as Elder Jara said farewell to them and we shared in some food and such, unfortunately the promise of having a picture with Elder Jara wasn´t enough to get people come to church, they missed out on their chance because we left for Coban soon after church ended, which is actually where I am now. I got to get new ties as well as Elder Jara passed some down to me and a bought a few.

Not too much new stuff on investigators, we couldn´t get some solid visits when we really wanted them, but the Kanlun branch now has a new secretary, my convert Mach, that was exciting to raise my hand to.
Since I´m in Coban I got to get my mail, several letters from Mom and Grandma Mary and a letter from Caice South, I have yet to read them, I plan to do that on the bus back to my area, it´ll make the ride go by quickly I believe.

We´ll see how things go as we continue forward, I always get anxious getting a new companion because the first two days always feel kind of awkward and stiff, but I can´t really do anything about that.
I love you all, and I´ll be sure to share some awesome adventures next week, and some thoughts on General conference.

Elder North

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Another party, another cake

Relaxing by a waterfall
Date: September 21, 2014
Area:  Kanlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara
Week  40
Another change (Transfer) is coming to an end, so we had a party with our neighbors to say goodbye to my companion Elder Jara due to the fact that he is ending his mission in a week, the party was mainly for the birthday of Hector Pop Yaxcal, but they liked the idea of including Elder Jara in it, they love him, more than me I must say, but eh. That`s alright, they do enjoy my company so I can`t complain. They claim it`s because I don`t talk to them as much as Elder Jara does, which is true. Naturally being quite combined with not feeling confident in talking for a long time in Kekchi does that.
Looking out over the promised land

So we did have a cake, it was better than the last time we had cake, pictures of it were taken, it had apple pieces on top.
So this week we began teaching a new family, I actually forgot their name, but they live on the same street of the Pop Yaxcal family, so their not that far away from the church, we helped them with some chores and such as well, and the little kids seem to love me. Not much more information on them for you all yet, but we`ll see what happens.
This week we did another long hike, about an hour and a half up the mountain, to a place called kiche` ha` , which is actually translated as `forest water` , which is wierd because we didn`t see any water there. We met with a fantastic investigator by the name of Josè, with his wife and young teenager. That lesson was absoloutly amazing, I was able to explain things like I have never done before, and with the help of Elder Jara and Elder Pineda we rocked it.
No letters this week, but hey all! General Conference is just around the corner, so get ready, and compile your doctrinal questions to be answered by those that I know will truly bring the Spirit into your soul.
I love you all!
And never forget. GO GETCHA SOME!

Elder Norte
Best companionship photo ever!

Birthday party and also a going away party for Elder Jara

Elder Jara and Elder North

Beautiful Guatemala

Pointing out my area Kanlun

sleeping monster in the mountain

The world is good when the dog sleeps with the pigs

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Come over and pray for our fridge!

Date:  September 15, 2014
Area:  Kanlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara

No sickness this week, although I have some sort of rash on my arm that has been annoyingly itch.  I've been applying a cream to it and covering it with a band-aid so I have less of an urge to itch it, it does help.

Our week pretty much started with interviews with President Curtiss and his wife, they were of course concerned about my health.  There is a sickness that you can get from mosquitoes that is not that good to get, but I didn't have it so I am good!

Sister Curtiss gave me a talk that I have just loved.  It is about submitting your own will to the will of the Father.  I've read it several times and have several annotations on it as well.

Moving onto Thursday we visited San Vicente, which is an hour ride in a truck up the mountain.  In San Vicente you can see a lot.  We visited with the family up there that were investigators at one point, but the father decided that his family won't get baptized.  We just visited to see how they are doing and only found one member of the family.  After that we went on an adventure to find a couple new people and also to find a waterfall.  We found the waterfall and it was an amazing time, the hike back up the trail wasn't as fun, but that is what we do here, we hike.

I then went on divisions with Elder Jesus, (Yes, his name) they didn't last very long.  I had to teach a lesson all by myself in Kekchi, because Elder Jesus is still new and doesn't know that much of the language, but he is progressing and learning it quickly.

The title of today's e-mail comes from a kid named Mapo who is our neighbor.  They bought a refrigerator for their house, so they invited us over to pray for it.  I told him we don't do that, he said to come over anyway.  We did and their was a pastor from another church there also.  The family aren't all members, just Mach, there were also several other people who I didn't really recognize.  They prayed quite loudly to God to give thanks and to bless the house and fridge and such.  I always leave these experiences feeling indifferent, they have the right spirit and devotion, it's just put in the wrong way, in the wrong direction.  All of us can learn a thing or two about giving thanks more for the things we have and acquire, but it just doesn't sit right to me to do it in a way that is so loud and nonspiritual.  When you give thanks to God don't you want it to be respectful and peaceful?

No mail this week.  For those who mail me physical letters often and get discouraged that I don't get mail every week, don't be.  It is only that way because of the mission.  We only get mail once or twice a month.  Typically the mail sits and waits in the office until someone comes out our way.  I love every letter that I receive, so keep writing.

Despite today being the independence day of our lovely country of Guatemala, I've only seen a little bit of festivities.  Luckily it didn't impede my ability to e-mail or other things.  I would think we would be encouraged to stay aloof of rowdiness.

Thank you all for reading!  Your support!  Love!  ETC!

Elder Jered Lamont North

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sick....Rest....and rice.

Date:  September 8, 2014
Area:  Kanlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara
Week 38

So this week started with me and Elder Jara doing some service in the rice fields for the Pop Yaxcal family.  That means I figured out the secret of the rice, how it goes from the green plants to the grains of white rice that appear on the table and such.  So the green plants grow and then have seperate stalks that grow that hold the rice.  They look much like a wheat plant then.  You cut the whole thing down and then you seperate the rice from the stalk by pounding them against a wooden board into a make shift holder thingy...(look at pictures)  This work was really hard, I didn't bring enough I ended up stopping earlier than the others because I was starting to get a little dizzy.

Then the rest of the week happened.  Wednesday we had zone meeting, which means mail!  I got a big one from Karoline and the kids, on from mom, one from Julie, another from Grandparents North (Happy Grandparents day by the way), and two from Grandma Mary.  AWESOME!

For the meeting we talked about Chapter 2 of Preach My Gospel, which is about styding more effectively.  Something I studied when I was back in La Tinta and I realzied that my study time was too disorginzed, now it is bwetter.  I'll study a topic for an hour, (or more if I had time) and shared my experiences in La Tinta in focusing my studies on themes more to be able to orginize my study.

Thursday was a normal day, we got visits in and such, we taught some new people actually.  Hopefully we can get them to start progressing well.  They are promising though, I love them already.

Friday through Sunday...Sick, it started Friday morning, or even Thursday night...Headache, fever, aches in the wrists and elbows and not being able to eat.  Not wanting to eat.  Saturday night I called the missionary nurse to say that I've been sick for a couple of days, I don't' call on the first day, because usually I only get sick for one day and then I'm back up on my feet.  Amazingly I got a call from Sister Curtiss and Presidente Curtiss to see how I was doing.  That was quite unexpected and I thought it was awesome.  My fever broke Saturday night returning me from a hot 101.5 to normal in about thirty minutes form when I actually called the nurse.  Sunday I did feel better, except for the headache, that went away as the day wore on and we were able to visit some member and do some things.  I'm good now and ready to go for another week.

Thank you all, I love you!
Elder North

Elder North's birthday is October 11th so if you would like to send him a card or anything I would do it soon as mail takes awhile to get there.  He would love to hear from you.  If you want to include something stamps are always needed and easy to put in the envelope without costing too much extra.
Elder Jered North
Guatemala Cobán Mission
Apartado Postal #34
3ra Calle 2-02, Zona 3
Cobán AV 16001
Guatemala, Central America

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Divisions with Elder Champagne and balloon assassin.

With a duck
Date:  September 1, 2014
Area:  Kanlun, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Jara
Week 37 in the mish

The highlight of this week was my divisions, or exchanges as other missionaries call it outside of our mission, with Elder Champagne in Teleman. Elder Champagne is my Zone leader and an awesome missionary and knows a lot of Kekchi, he`s confident with the language and talking to people in it, where as I`m still in the habit of second guessing myself, but my two days with Elder Champagne helped me with that and I saw an improvement in myself as I taught the next day in Kanlun.

We had a great busy time, more lessons than we have on a normal day in Kanlun, my shirt got dirty the first day and a member gave me a clean one, a CTR clothing shirt that was exactly my size, it was incredible, and another highlight of the week, I learned that my Zone leaders accidentally held a package from me, they didn`t realize it was for me and I found it with other packages for others in our Zone.

The package was from my Mom, with lots of pictures from summer vacation back home, (including one of Mikel that is now one of my favorites, gotta get those fresh baked buns) a journal, and balloons for some reason. I`ve mostly been using those to pop and scare people.
As a missionary mom you want to send something to your missionary for fun or extra but you don't want it to take up a lot of room and to Guatemala it can't weigh a lot because it is already expensive to ship there so I went with balloons.

Coins for eyes
I now have two new journals, one sent from Grandma Pam, and one from Mom, the one from Grandma Pam had the picture of Jesus I expected to be on it, but it was shinier. The one from Mom had a picture of Jesus overlooking Jerusalem I believe. Which one is better? Not sure, they`re both better than I actually first imagined, and now I don`t have to bother someone to ship me a new journal until I fill up these two, I expect that to happen in a year, six months for each journal. What wonderful family I have.

So thankful for Grandma Pam sending him a package.  Mine took longer and he would have run out of space so I am very happy he now has two and should be set for awhile.

So, a little more about my divisions, Teleman is a great place, it sits on the mountains so to get to places is a bit of a hike sometimes, but there are lots of stairs, concrete stairs that go everywhere, something I havn`t seen anywhere else here.

I learned some new words in Kekchi, one of which is Moqx, which means popcorn. We asked some people because we like verifying new words we find in our dictionary with actual people, I don`t trust dictionaries like that.
Some ties I have picked up
We went to an area where missionaries had not gone for about a year, or more, so it was a completely new experience to kind of `open up` a new area, the people said they hadn`t seen missionaries before, that was certainly new, we found some potential investigators, one guy we found that`s not a potential was devout Catholic, he even did the cross thingy, the first time I`ve ever seen anyone do that here.

Now I`ve walked across the valley about 2 times, now the valley isn`t as large as the Salt Lake Valley, but it`s still pretty big, and I`ve gone from the North mountains to the South by foot, we do some walking sometimes. Good times to just talk to your companion, unless you`re hiking, then there`s not talking, just focusing on hiking.

Returning back to Kanlun was good, for one I got to shower and shave again after two days, the Teleman house didn`t have water while I was there and I left my razor back home, I don`t like carrying a lot of stuff when I go on divisions. So coming back home and cleaning up was really nice.

After two days of no shaving.
While I was gone Elder Jara and Elder Pearson contacted some people and we visited them, we could have some potential baptismal dates. We talked to a man named Carlos about eternal families, it seemed to catch his attention.
Church though was a little disappointing, 25 in attendance, we usually get around 45 or 50, and none of our investigators came, everyone was drawn away by a local soccer match I believe, it made us sad, but I got to build up my recent convert Mach and talk to him, he`s doing just great!
That was pretty much my week, no other mail besides the package I found in Teleman, but I expect to be getting mail this next week as it`s the start of a new month.

Keep up the support, stay caught up with school and GO GETCHA SOME!

Elder Jered North
A map to kinda of show the Polochic Valley

Elder North LOVES mail so write him 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.