Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New week, new change with a cow.

Date:  July 27, 2015
Area:  Tanchi, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Torres
Week 83

I don´t have much time to write and my keyboard is kind of funky so....

this week went by well. At the start of the week we did changes and I received Elder Torres. I will be finishing his training. It has been a good time with him thus far. He is excited to learn the language and has been picking it up very quickly, and I´ve also been able to teach him a bit of English.

We had a baptism this week! The Baptism of Henri Noe Sub´ Xol. he´s eight years old and the baptism went really well. Although as I was lowering him into the water he slipped and kind of freaked out while he was in the water but I was able to get him under and we didn´t have to do it again. Probably much to his relief.

This week has been fun to see Elder Torres get accustomed to the new things and the new language. But as I said he is doing really well and we get along really well. One of the best things that happened this week was we got a call from an investigator  that left to work in Peten. Rigoberto, we also had a baptismal date for him.
Rigoberto called me and we put up an appointment with him for tomorrow and that was that. I looked at what he needed and I remember we were about to give him a Book of Mormon but he left, so tomorrow we will give him one and talk about it.

The great part is that he called us again and reminded me to bring him one of  those books.... Or, The Book of Mormom! He was really prepared the last time we were teaching him and it seems like he still is. I´m excited. God is preparing people for us to teach.

But remember God can prepare people for the missionaries or to accept the Gospel in general through YOU! Go out and share the gospel in simple ways and with love. Just share your testimony.

Anyway. That about sums up the week, No letters. I´ll give you a better letter next week.

Elder Norths bed.  Through the window is a corridor of some kind
Love you all!

Oh! The thing about the Cow, Elder Torres´ nickname in Kekchi is Wakax. Which means Cow because his name sounds like Toro.

Language board

More house

Monday, July 20, 2015

Changes and trials

Date:  July 20, 2015
Area:  Tanchi, Guatemala

This week came the changes again, this change seemed to have gone pretty darn quickly, although I can say it was a little stressful and sometimes I didn´t quite know what to do.

I´m going to be staying in Tanchi which is a wonderful area but my companion, Elder Medina is going to go to a different area and I will be receiving Elder Torres from Mexico City, Mexico. Unfortunately he doesn´t know any Kekchi and I´m going to be finishing his training so instead of things getting a little easier for me I´m going to have to but on an extra layer of responsibility spray and go at it. I can do it! It all depends on whether Elder Torres wants to learn the language or not, if he does then all is well. If he doesn´t it could turn out to be a long six weeks! But lets not be judging someone else, especially before I´ve even formally met him.

This last week was more of normal things, I didn´t quite know where to go but we were able to get some good lessons in. I´m not very good at describing how lessons go.

But this week I want to reflect back on the early parts of my mission. When I was a little greenie without any knowledge of the language and a little overwhelmed by my calling and the added necessity of language learning. Times 2!  (His call was to speak Spanish and that is what his training was for six weeks at the MTC but his first area they asked him to learn Kekchi and he did so he was working on two languages)

I´ve been able to see Elder Medina grow quite a bit this last change. The first two weeks were really hard because he suddenly couldn´t talk to anyone or participate at all in lessons, those two first weeks are the hardest and the part where one wants to quit, thinking that they are making no progress personally. But you just gotta push through that.

Being in a different culture causes culture shock, this could be something subtle, for me I was quieter and just looked at everything and it´s very common to compare things to back home.  As time goes along one gets used to things and things start to lighten up as everything starts to seem less strange and easier to handle. Certainly with language. I remember and have seen that new missionaries usually have some struggles the first change and a little in the second change of their mission in the field.

Feelings of missing home and wondering if you´re doing well or other such feelings are normal, I certainly felt that, but after that it all gets easier to handle as the routine of the missionary becomes normal, as studies make more sense as love for the people come in and as miracles are seen (Because the question isn´t if miracles are happening but if we see them happening)

Elder Medina had some of that and now that he has a change and he´s going back to Spanish speaking he did not want to leave Kekchi speaking because he got past the struggles and overcame difficulties and loved the people. Love is key, or as the scriptures put it. Charity. If we have love and charity we can do anything.

This also goes with another well known gospel principle called endure to the end. God is always there to help us, he knows our trials and he lifts us up by lightening the load, not taking it away because opposition needs to exist in order for us to grow.

An example of this that I use in many lessons that seems to work is I ask the children if they are in school. (Some say no.) Then I ask them about exams and tests. I get them to realize that exams and tests are necessary, as you pass the tests and exams you get moved up in classes. If you don´t pass you have to do it again. The point being that we need tests in order to improve.

I hope you all find the courage and pray for help from the outstretched hands of our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. They are there for you and WILL help you. Just ask. Put works to your faith.

A few questions from mom that I answered.

For P-day we usually just play soccer, nothing too exciting outside of that.  We did find an awesome store that sells mind puzzles, like rubik's cubes and stuff.

My house is in Tanchi and is about a ten minute walk or less to the church so not that far at all.

I do not sleep under a mosquito net here.

Being closer to the city is nice but I actually kind of like being in the more rough and tumble mountain feel.  This is where I am needed right now though so its ok.

I love you all,
Elder North

P.S. I got letter from Grandma Mary. Mom and from Sister Hibbs

I got the marriage invitation for my brother! (They were married this week) That was amazing and to also see the wonderful pictures this week. Congratulations to my brother Deven and his new wife and my new sister Arley.

Missionaries love mail.  It takes awhile to get to him sometimes but it has been pretty reliable so take a few minutes and send him a real letter.  Missionaries love real mail because they can take their time reading it and they feel special that they go it.  You can put an international stamp on it or if you don't have one like me lately just put three regular stamps on it.

Elder Jered North
Guatemala Cobán Mission
Apartado Postal #34
3ra Calle 2-02, Zona 3
Cobán AV 16001
Guatemala, Central America

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Week of the week

Date:  July 13, 2015
Area:  Tanchi, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Medina
Week 81

This week was pretty standard, nothing too outstanding to say, we did have a high counsel member come to our sacrament meeting and he talked about going to the temple and he got everyone excited to go to the temple this coming week. Unfortunaetly this means that we´re going to be moving our baptism back one more week that we have of little Henry, but I think it´s all right. It´s for a very good cause.

Things have been slowing down here in the work, we´re not finding many people that really want to listen to us so we just keep looking and this week has been a week of finding.

We did find Richard, I´m not sure how well he´s going to progress right now, but I have my hopes, he knows a lot about the Bible and that can sometimes help and hurt the lesson. But we prepared and when he wasn´t accepting what we were teaching we just testified and told him what we know is true and invited him to find out for himself and now it´s up for him to find out. That´s how it works. We invite, they do.

I´ve found myself getting stuck into a sort of routine, I need to find something with my companion to break out of this routine and do something new. So we´ll be doing that soon. Also changes are coming up soon, those generally make new things happen as well, although I´m unsure if either my companion or I will be getting a change. Whatever happens will be just fine with me though. In the mean time I´m going to just keep working hard.

I love you all!
Elder North

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week of not being in the area

Date:  July 6, 2015
Area:  Tanchi, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Medina
Week 80

This week we weren´t in our area that often, we were in it almost everyday we just had to travel to Coban about  four times this week, once was for P day and then we had our Zone meeting and then we had interviews with Presidente Curtiss, which were fantastic as ever.

We found an awesome family this week through a reference and we even got them on a date for baptism but the date has fallen because  Rigoberto went to Peten to work for about fifteen days, but he´s awesome and I feel that once he comes back he´ll be able to be baptized with his wife and it´s going to be a fun time.
Our other baptism that´s coming up is Henry, we had it planned for the 11th but then we had to move it to next week due to some scheduling conflicts with stake meeting, but that´s alright, if anything it gives little Henry more time to prepare for such an important event in his life and I love teaching him, he´s very smart and understands really well.

Our interviews went really well, I found out that I´m actually really happy with where I am at and all that stuff, it was fun because in a happy enviornment the spirit can be there strongly and we had a really nice interview.

I did get some mail, about three letters from Grandma Mary, one from Mom, one from Julie and another from Rowan. Thank you all for the letters and I´m trying to get writing back. It´s hard sometimes, busy schedules and stuff.

I love you all and if you havn´t heard my older brother has now returned from his own mission. He´s done it!

Thank you,
Elder North