Guatemala City North Mission

...let us labor diligently: for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God. Moroni 9:6

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New Office

We are moving to a new mission office. It will be larger yet still in the same building. To ensure packages arrive, please send them to:

Mision Guatemala Ciudad Norte
Apartado Numero 951 A
Guatemala, Guatemala C.A.

Letters may still be sent via pouch as always.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Nativity in Coban

The missionaries had a very special experience in participating in a community Nativity organized by the members of the ward in Coban. The presentation started at the Central Park with members dressed in robes and Sheppard’s wear complete with donkey. The members of the prosession sang hymns and ended at a nearby mall where the Christmas story was retold using the live actors as illustrations to the scriptures read from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Intermittedly, the choir presented some musical carols to enhance the presentation. This opportunity was a wonderful event for contacting and sharing the Christmas spirit.

Zone Conferences with a Christams Objective

How wonderful to be in Guatemala for Christmas. We toured the mission twice this month with the objective of getting all of Santa’s packages delivered and ensure that all the missionaries had something to be opened on the special Christmas Day.

Zone conference had a special Christmas theme with all the missionaries participating in singing carols from home and other Latin American countries. Each Zone had a special Christmas Luncheon as well as a gift from the mission to be hung on the wall for years to come. Our Goal as a mission was to have a “white Christmas” by baptizing more than in our previous months. This would be a fitting gift for our Savior, in return for his precious gift of eternal life to all of us.

Friday, November 28, 2008

If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work

Two of our new missionaries arrived at the airport from the MTC on Tuesday November 25th to join the other missionaries from the CCM here in Guatemala. They are Elders Hansen and Zepeda, joining Elders Winn, Karr, Fincher, Ireland, Empey, Dunkley, Briggs, España, Peterson, Solano and Sister Velasquez. Welcome Elderes y Hermana to the Greatest mission in the world!

Beautiful Senahu

Many have described Senahú as “Paradise,” we learned for ourselves why this was. On Nov 22 and 23rd we attended the District Conference in Senahú accompanied by a member of our Area Presidency Elder Christensen of the quorum of the Seventy. What a blessing to have him as well as our Mission Doctor and his wife, Elder and Sister Taylor with us. They took the opportunity to serve the members of Senahú by having a brief eye clinic where they gave out reading glasses to the members who needed them. Some of the children got a trill just trying glasses on for the first time. The conference on Sunday had such a large group of members attending that the municipal hall was contracted for the meeting, which meant that the members had to carry the chairs to the building on Sunday morning. Luckily the building was not more than one block away. The choir and the flowers were beautiful. Faithful Saints in “Paradise.”

Said Good bye to our 4th Group of Missionaries

We know that in the Savior’s church, we are called knowing that the day will come when we will be released. This day came for a group of fine missionaries who served the Lord well and with all their hearts. Sent home on November 24th were Elders Ludwig, Eidam, Garvin, Wolford, Anderson, Madsen, Walker, Randy Christensen, Ashcraft, Martin, Vasquez, and Elder Portillo.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Historical First in Polochic

We held our very first Zone Conference in Polochic. This was done in order to best serve the missionaries in the area, as well as give the local membership more opportunities to see their District Leadership and have temple recommends and prospective missionaries’ interviews. The logistics were a challenge given the remoteness of the area, but we all know that for the Lord, “nothing is impossible.” The luncheon for Zone conference consisted of Hoggie sandwiches, guacamole, chips, watermelon and fruit drinks. All of which were brought-in from Guatemala City. The beautiful Polochic Valley was a wonderful backdrop for this historical event in the North Mission.

"Cool" Coban

Chipy chipy” is what the locals here call a constant drizzle of fine rain and we had plenty of this during our visit to Cobán to visit our missionaries for Interviews and Zone conference. The chapel was cold by Central America standards, but the spirit was warm and we enjoyed seeing our missionaries ready and willing to confront both the heat and the cold for the sake of fulfilling their callings. Our topic for Zone conference was Chapter one of “Preach My Gospel” Our Purpose. Another opportunity for chocolate came with the “polished Shoes” inspection where the missionaries were given a “Treat” for each shined shoe at the conference, which was a challenge given all the rain.

Zone Conference in Peten

To our amazement, Petén was not hot and humid as usual. It had been raining and the climate was tepid and very nice. Our conference was wonderful and we were able to hear from missionaries who soon will be leaving for home. One added feature to this conference was a “Trick or Treat” activity where the missionaries were asked to recite a scripture from memory from the Bible on the restoration or apostasy and they would get a “treat.” I am glad to report that all of our missionaries came away with a treat.

New Zone Leaders

With the exit of so many of our mission's leadership, this gave way to giving other fine Elders the opportunity to serve. On October 21 we had our monthly Zone Council in the capital City of Guatemala and welcomed Elders Wade and Vasques as our new Assistants accompanying Elder Hatch as a threesome. We also have Elders Argumedo, Robbins, Ferman, Nelson, Mulhlestein, Bleggi, Kirkham, Miles and Wright as newly called Zone leaders.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Our 3rd group sent Home

With great sadness and joy we sent home the largest group of missionaries to date. Among the great and noble ones sent home were, Elders Brassfield, Brown, Cozzens, Jonathan Christensen, Eduardo Hernandez, Jensen, Jolly Salazar, Malaga, Bolaños, Recinos, Sturzenegger, Aguilar, Merrill, McCoy, Sisters Anguiano and King. Not forgetting losing our own Assistant to the President Elder Matthew Burnham. These missionaries represented a large portion of our mission's leadership which included Zone leaders and trainers. They worked to the very end as you can see from the picture of Elder Christensen's last baptisms uniting a whole family They will be missed, but the legacy of their labors will be felt for years to come.

We also received new missionaries ready and excited to labor in this, the greatest mission in the world. They are Elders Zuñiga, Greenwood, Luke, Sacalxot, Alvarado, Jimenez, Garcia and Gubler, as well as one new sister, Hermana Rodas.

Friday, October 10, 2008

General Conference Broadcast

What a joy to see so many of the members having the blessing of listening to General Conference via the marvels of technology. Many future missionaries were in attendance as well.

P-day Tortillas

Some of the missionaries thought they would like to try their hand at making tortillas! So last P-day they were given that opportunity. I was really impressed by their abilities, and some needed just a bit more practice at rolling out the perfect tortilla. Yet everyone had a wonderful time savoring their very own freshly made "soft shell taco". Que sabroso!

Blessings of Missionary Work

In the September 2008 Ensign Elder Quentin L. Cook states, "Among the blessing of being a full-time missionary are the lifelong relationships you develop with missionary companions."
More than 36 years ago, we were privileged to serve as full time missionaries in the then, Central American Mission. Many of our companions in the mission were faithful Guatemalans. We felt it appropriate to hold our first ever "Mission Reunion" here in Guatemala in conjunction with General Conference. We hoped to see, after 36 years, some of our dear companions who served with us all those years ago.
To our great pleasure, we had about 6 former companions and their spouses attended, as well as two sons of one of our former companions.
We are of course, older. Yet the spirit as we recalled our experiences in preaching the message of the restored gospel to our brethren in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama were inspirational. To know that stakes and temples now replace the rented rooms and Districts that we labored in gave us reason to rejoice together.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

District Conference in Chulac

Chulac is a District located in the Polochic Valley. It is very remote requiring a trip of several hours on dirt roads. Yet the members are numerous, beautiful, humble and faithful. The church has provided them with stunning buildings which are spiritual beacons out in the natural beauty of the green lush forested terrain. The missionaries there speak Kekchi, so they were our interpreters as we visited with the Church leadership and members. We visited one member’s humble home who proudly placed a picture of Joseph Smith on the door as a symbol of his faith in prophet of the restoration.

Tour of the Mission with Elder Clarke

It was such a blessing for our mission to have our Area President Elder Don R. Clarke and his wife spend six days with us, as we traveled throughout the mission. They had just returned from the Temple dedication in Panamá where they were with President Monson. We were very fortunate indeed with his hectic schedule to have him spend two additional days with us as we attended the District conference for Poptún which is in the Petén Zone. Elder Clarke gave instructions to each one of our Zones and made sure to meet each missionary and thank them for their service. The advice he gave our missionaries and the fervent testimony that he bore yielded spiritual fruit in that our mission reported an increase in converts for this week. The numbers are only figures that do not take into account the spiritual essence of change in the lives which included those of our missionaries, our converts, the membership which whom we serve and our less active brothers and sisters. We were strengthened and recommitted to perform our commission with more valor, dedication and exactness. The kingdom of God or nothing!