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

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