Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Baptism and long bus ride

Date:  October 27, 2015
Area:  Tucuru, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder McEntee
Week 96

So, Elder McEntee and I had some interesting adventures this week and all those adventures started with interviews with our awesome President of the mission Presidente Curtiss and his wife Sister Curtiss. I felt like my interviews with them were shorter than normal but no less fantastic, I did ask President if I could renew my temple recommend but unfortunately he wasn´t caring around the papers to do it, so we have to find another time to do that. I have a new assignment from sister Curtiss to study about Pride and being humble for the remaining time I am on my mission, usually the assignments from her are for the next three months, but the fact is that I´m going to be out of the mission in less than that.

About those adventures, Elder McEntee´s tooth was hurting him our first week and Sister Curtiss always asks about our health in the interviews so he told her that his tooth was hurting that first week but now it was better, Sister Curtiss in her love and concern right then set up an appointment with the dentists. The dentists though, work in the capital, so we had to go there this Monday and that´s where the long bus rides come from. It takes two hours for us to get to Cobán from Tucuru and then four hours to get to the Captial from Cobán, and we had to do that four hour ride twice in one day, because we went, they found out that nothing was wrong with his tooth because the pain he felt was actually from sinus issues as we were adjusting to the new area and then we went back, so that was a lot of bus rides and that sums up our day Monday. Go in, get checked, get out. Hehe, Oh well, better safe than sorry I guess.

Here are some pictures of my house.  I think this is the nicest house in the whole mission!

Anyway, other than that lovely adventure we did have a baptism this week, the baptism of Beverly Cristabel Balsells Xol, she has been being taught for the last two years I believe and is now ready to be baptized and it was a very happy day, the service was simple and actually started way later than planned, but we got it all figured out and we even confirmed her that same day. I have learned that every baptism in the mission is a very special  
Hole to the secret gnome world.
We have several investigators, friends of a member, that are very interested in listening to us and they seem ready, for a missionary it is always a treat to teach people that are truly ready, they have questions and they follow through with their commitments and it´s so easy, since the spirit has prepared them we pretty much just walk in teach and then that´s it, they do the rest and get baptized and we get to see another special miracle.
My new ride

Another investigator we have that we are propably going to drop is a very kind guy that is named Marco Antonio, we met him through contacting and he was very nice and listend to us and we introduced ourselves and got to know one another, we asked if he had a church and he said yes, we found out later that he is actually the pastor of the church, now that´s not going to stop us from sharing our message if someone will listen to us and we gave him a Book of Mormon and he promised us that he will read it. Now the question is what will he do once he reads the Book of Mormon and prays about it, I´m very sure that he will recieve an answer if he asks with faith but once he gets that answer what will he do with it, will he follow it or will he stay with being pastor of his church. It all depends on what he feels and what he´s willing to do, because if he´s not willing to change then we can´t really do anything but I do believe that even if we drop him that we have planted a seed that will definately be able to have fruit in the future.

So, that was our week, busy with the baptism and then going to the capital, it was a bit weird being there for a little bit and knowing that I´m going to make that trip again soon and when I do that it will be on the way home. I´m excited to be home but I´m also very excited to end out my mission strong.

I love you all, keep on truckin´
Elder Norte

We finally got Elder North's release date.  We had hoped he might be home for Thanksgiving but it is not to be.  He will be home the next week on December 3rd.  Will keep you posted as to when his homecoming address will be.  Thanks for the love and support!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tucuru, the beginning

Date: October 19, 2015
Area:  Tucuru, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder McEntee
Week 95

So here goes the beginning of the end, I´m in my last area, my last change my last companion and my last mountain walking legs. My companion is Elder McEntee, spelling is now correct, he is from Old Port Oregon and we get along just well. It´s interesting to be opening up an area, that means that both of us are new to the area and it makes things a little hard at first but the members here in Tucuru are really helpful and we´re getting plans together and we´re going to work hard.

Although I actually didn´t take any pictures this week somehow I have plenty of things to take pictures of, the house for one is awesome, I wish I had a before and after picture of when we cleaned it but it´s now just amazing and it feels nice and cozy. The area of Tucuru itself feels homey for some reason.  I am in the Senahu Zone and I go to La Tinta for P-days which is about an hours drive away and that is no joke!  :) 

We don´t have many investigators on our plate right now but we have one that is ready for the waters and her name is Beverly Balses, she has been being taught by the missionaries for a bit and has accepted a baptism date and then it fell and now we have another one for her on the 24th of Octuber, she is more decided on this one and I believe she´ll get there. We had a member with us, Daniel and he was the one that told us that she was more decided on the date than the ones before it where he said she was more wishy washy on accepting it.
We´ve done some contacting in Tucuru and I have noticed that the people are a little different than what I´m used to. The people speak more Spanish as well so I´ve been pulling out the Spanish lessons from the shelf and dusting them off and polishing them up, by no means do I think I´m bad at Spanish, I just didn´t use it in lessons that much before. Now I´m using it on the daily.

I've been helping my companion, Elder McEntee learn in both languages, he´s doing really well, he has about four months out (Like my brother Mikel) and he started with a Mexican companion, with me it´s a lot easier to explain things and I feel like it´ll let him learn faster even if we don´t speak a lot together in either language while at home. Trading better understanding with speaking time.

We´re still getting used to things here, but it´s all going well and the area is pretty big so it doesn´t look like we´re going to have a lack of things to do and places to go. It´s going to be a fun and work filled final to my mission.

I expect to get mail with interviews with my mission president that is coming up but I don´t know if they will bring it, we´ll see. The next time I expect to get mail is our Zone meeting the first week of November, getting mail while out in the Polochic takes some time.

I should find out tomorrow or Wednesday when I am actually coming home because we´re going to have interviews with President Curtiss, most likely will be December 3rd though.

I love you all, get better everyone and avoid more accidents, I´m praying for you,

Elder North

Monday, October 12, 2015

The last of the changes

Date:  October 12, 2015
Area:  Tanchi, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Torres
Week 94

I have gotten a change and I will be going to Tucuru to die, my murderer will be Elder McIntee (Not quite sure on spelling) He is a North American and I don´t really know where he´s from yet, I can get you all that information next week.

When they finish their mission they call it dying.  And the companion they end with "kills" them.  Gotta love mission lingo.

The start of the week was fairly normal, visiting people. We have seen progress in the rest of the children of Ernesto and Matilde, my converts but it´s still actually slow going for them, I don´t quite know what they are waiting for or why they don´t really want to listen to us but some people need more time than others and they are coming around, it´s really cool to see them coming together as a family, the littlest one in the family, Luvia is going to be turning eight soon and will be baptized at the end of the month. I´m very excited for that but unfortunately I won´t be in the area, I will be back in the Polochic valley where it is warmer.

The last part of the week, The last two days really were about saying farewells to people and packing my stuff, which are fitting really well, I don´t think I´ll have problems being within the weight limits of the flight.

I´m now starting the last leg of my journey here in the mission and there is still plenty of work to do, I´m excited to be in a new area, I do love the people in Tanchi though, they are amazing and the branch is growing steadily, they are going to be starting the extension to the chapel really soon and that is a very happy thing for all the members, it was getting pretty crowded some Sundays.

Well, what can I say, I´m ready for the end, in the sense that I´m ready to work it towards the end. I thank you all for the support!

I did get some letter this week, one letter to be exact from Aunt Karoline and little Mary.

Go Getcha some!
Elder North

Monday, October 5, 2015

Conference and Birthday wishes

Date:  October 5, 2015
Area:  Tanchi, Guatemala
Companion:  Elder Torres
Week 93

For those of you who do not know this week was the General Conference of the church of latter-day saints. It´s a conference we do as a church twice a year to hear from the church leaders as a whole church all over the world the talks are inspiring, and the counsel is always worthy of following and meditating  as they all are focused on Jesus Christ and his teachings.


My favorite talks include the talk by Elder Holand where he talked about mothers, they´re important roles in the lives of their children and how impactful their prayers and love can be, I love my Mom!


There was another talk all about Women specifically, and although it was mostly directed to Women it was very clear that one of the main messages was that keeping sacred covenants gives us protection and gives us the power we need to help other.

In many of the talks I heard the words ´Need to´ and it is apparent that we need to step it up and become better than we were before to help others and to withstand the many temptations that exist and are increasing in this world.

The last talk of the general conference was very powerful by Elder David A. Bednar where he shared his love for those in the quorum of the twelve that he has seen pass and their testimonies and the invitations to study their teachings from their ministry because they are truly words inspired by our heavenly father.


Another teaching that I felt like was said a lot but not exactly in the forefront was about how much our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to progress and succeed in our lives, He is always there and is always willing to help us despite our many mistakes. I´ve been learning through my mission a better understanding of the love parents have for their children, whether it be our Heavenly Father or our earthly parents, it is incredible how much children are loved and I am very blessed to be born of goodly parents that have taught me the gospel and have withstood my rebellious behavior at times and have loved me despite of me.

So, if you missed conference sessions or if you saw them, go and review them and study them and meditate some of the teachings and apply them in your lives. What use is learning something if it isn´t applied?

So, this week was all about preparing for the general conference, visiting everyone we had invited and making sure that they went, we didn´t have that big of a turnout on Saturday and only a few of our investigators came Sunday, but oh how much they learned.

I would like to thank all of those that have given me wonderful birthday wishes, I am turning 20 this coming Sunday and have planned a little dinner with some awesome member because it might also be my last week in Tanchi, changes are coming up again, but with changes I might stay and end my mission here, we´ll see about that.

No mail this week, but that´s alright, and just a reminder, due to the delay that comes from sending mail to another country this week and next week are probably the last weeks to send me mail because after that the mail will probably get here after I have gone home and that would be a little sad. So, that doesn´t mean that one cannot send me a letter, just send it to my home and I´ll get it once I get there.

I see my president face to face about every two weeks now and it´s always a pleasure. A lot more than when I was farther away.

I look foreward to family time, feeling cold (although I think once I feel cold again I´ll want to come right back to Guatemala weather.) food. Probably one of the biggest things I miss is carpet. The first two things I will do when I get home are 1. Go to the living room and make a carpet angel and 2. Take a long hot shower. In all my time here I have had two hot showers.

I love you all! Go getcha some!

Elder North