Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Staying through transfers

First off. Why did no one tell me that M** B** was getting married? Please tell her congrats for me.

Okay. Cambios. Elder B** left and I stayed. I am just a regular missionary still. I am not training nor am I DL. My comp is Elder M**. He is from Peru. He only speaks a little English so we basically just speak inS panish though I am helping him with his English. 

Scripture for the week: 2 Nephi 31:10  Take notice of the word "Willing" What does that mean? We can only follow Jesus Christ when we are WILLING to keep the commandments. That means that we not only need to obey the commandments but we also need to WANT to obey the commandments. Remember that we will be judged according to our works and the desires of our hearts. If our hearts aren't in it then we won't receive all of the blessings that come from keeping the commandments.

Okay, funny story for this week. We were looking for a menos activo [less active] and when we yelled at the house a lady came out. Ya....she was super crazy and super Catholic. We ended up talking to her for about an hour because she wouldn't let us leave! During the whole conversation she barely let us talk and when we did talk she would cut us off when we said something that wasn't Catholic - so basically we were listening to her preach to us for an hour. She jumped topics a lot too. One of the topics was infant baptism. According to her people need to be baptized by immersion unless it's a baby. If you're baptizing a baby a few drops of water is sufficient. Okay? Oh, and apparently Jesus was standing in between me and my comp shaking his head and asking what we were doing. After about the 6th time trying to leave I just started baring my testimony. Of course she tried to interrupt me because what I was saying she didn't agree with. Well, I just kept on talking and then she asked if I was going to let her speak. Was she going to let me finish? Haha after that she asked me for my testimony and I thought, "didn't I just give you my testimony?" Apparently not. She wanted my life story. She wouldn't even let me finish that. Oh, apparently my eyes are full of sadness because she is the 2nd person that had told me that (the 1st was also a crazy lady that is now in a mental hospital) and everything will be better if I just cry.....okay? At the end, after trying to leave about 12 times before I finally just said "Yo sé que El Libro de Mormón es verdadero y sé que un día usted va a saber lo mismo [I know that the book of Mormon is true and I know that one day you will know the same]" then we walked away.......and down the road there was a dead guy. No joke. He was either dead or almost dead. We have no idea what happened.

Love you all. Welcome home Mecham. Have fun being an awkward RM ;)

Till next week
Elder Groneman
Elder M** and Elder Groneman
Elder M**

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time's Flying

Four months down and 20 to go! It's really weird. I don't feel like I've been gone for that long. Time flies when you count in increments of 6 weeks.

So we would have had to go to Viña anyways even if Elder B**'s tramites [processing] had worked because we had to go pick up Elder G** from the offices because his comp is dying with Elder Groneman 1. So now I'm in a temporary trio and we have to go to Viña AGAIN on Wednesday to pick up Elder G**´s new comp and possibly to pick up our new comps. We never find out if we are being changed until the morning of changes - unless you're being called as a DL, ZL, Trainer, AP, or one of the office Secretaries and then you get a call on Tuesday. It is death waiting to find out what is going to happen during changes. Elder B** and the ZLs are basically placing bets that I'm going to be called as a Trainer and DL. Ojalá [I hope] that doesn't happen! I think that Elder B** is going to go to a different area though. Ehh, vamos a ver [we'll see]!

So you know you're in Chile when you see kids playing in the water of a fire hydrant that they opened up. Ya, no idea how they open them up or how they close them but somehow they do it. Oh, and some of the adults join in on the fun instead of stopping it. Ya, it happens all the time during the summer.

To answer a few questions.....I live in an apartment. It is only Elder B** and me. Most of the missionaries in this mission only live with their comp. There are very few areas where 4 missionaries live together. I can get most things. I do know that I can't get brown sugar though. Besides that I don't know what iI can't get because I haven't tried looking for those things yet. Oh, thanks for the lump of chocolate and caramel that I think once was Rollos (they melted and meshed together - still good though:) ) A flash drive would be nice to have. I can get one down here but they're a lot more expensive. Spanish is getting better but I still can't understand everything. My vocabulary is ridiculously small. At least it feels that way. Pulga [Flea] bites are sooo annoying! But I bought bug spray and coated my mattress and since then I haven't gotten any new bites. At least I don't think I have. It's hard to tell sometimes because they don't go away after 2 days like mosquito bites if you don't itch them. Even if you don't itch them for a week then accidentally brush them it's like you just barely got bit. Ya, super annoying....and itchy.

That's about it for this week. Give the soon to be ex-Elder Groneman a hug for me when he officially dies. 

Love y´all!
Elder Groneman 2 (soon to be the only)

Monday, November 10, 2014

All is well

Yes, I got the package. Well, actually I don't have it yet because the ZLs haven't given it to me (they'll give out the mail on Wed). I have no idea when exactly it got to Chile but it got here in time for the ZL Conference which was on Friday. You don't really need to worry about anything being stolen. That rarely happens with missionaries in Chile. The postal service here is pretty good (so I hear - I haven't been here for too long)

Scripture Insight!
So you know how the Lord completely wiped out all of the Jaredites because they were so wicked? Have you ever wondered why He didn't do that with both the Nephites AND the Lamanites? And the reason why the Lamanites will be blessed in the last days? Read 2 Nephi 4:3-7 for the answer. I´ll just say that Lehi was a powerful priesthood holder.

Mom, you keep asking me for details about where I live and what it is like. Please pause and remember that you told me to not tell you all of the scary and/or dangerous stuff about my mission......I'll let you think about that......

So this week in general went by really fast even though absolutely nothing happened. Basically all of the lessons we had fell through, there was nobody in the streets to talk to, and Elder B** got sick so we spent a day in the pensión. But we got a lot done too. I made a map of our sector because the map that we have is missing streets and is basically impossible to read, stopped by a ton of members' houses to see if that member actually still lives there (nothing ever gets updated when people move), and earlier today we went all the way to Viña to work on some papers for Elder B**´s last carnet (ID card). That trip took 4 1/2 hours (9-1:30) and at the end we found out that we have to go back next week because the people who were supposed to activate his last carnet forgot so this week they are going to work that out so by next Monday we can finish all of the papers and stuff. Yay for another 40+ train and bus ride! (yeah, that's only one way...) 

All is well though. Later today we're going to eat homemade pizza at one of the RM's house that will be made in his clay oven! Yeah, this ward has a ton of awesome people.

Love yall!
Elder Groneman

Monday, November 3, 2014

"No tendrás otro Dios delante de mí" [You will have no other God before me]

I bet you're wondering why I have titled this email the way I have. The answer is quite simple. I now know what it feels like to be prayed to. Haha! So yesterday in Sacrament Meeting an old lady that has been a member for centuries went up to the pulpit to say the opening prayer. Well, I think she forgot what she was doing exactly because she started praying to the congregation! Ya, don't think that had ever happened before......The ward secretary got up and said the prayer right after so it was all good. Oh, also yesterday I was the pianist. Usually one of 2 members plays but both were gone so yippee for me I got to play! Haha ya....I haven't played hymns in a long time....It was actually not bad though.

The rest of the week doesn't really have a story. A lot happened but none of it was out of the ordinary. The week felt like it lasted all year. Speaking of years, it's kinda trippin' me out having a full year of summer and having the seasons flipped. I'm like, "It's November, where is all of the snow and cold??"

Oh, and holidays are not as good here. Halloween was definitely a disappointment. There were absolutely no decorations anywhere until a couple hours before dark and once it got dark there were barely any trick-or-treaters. AND the candy was not as good. Yes, we got candy. One guy gave us some because we "are dressed up as missionaries". I'm not sure if he realized that we dress like that every day.....(Sarcasm doesn't really exist down here. I'm kinda dying without it - Not that I could speak it in Spanish anyways...)

So ya. That was my week. Nothing big or exciting. Just the usual. 

OH! They have Mac&Cheese down here!!! It's not everywhere but the store we go to just happens to have it (The store is actually now owned by WalMart). Yes, I am very happy if you're wondering :D

Okay, that's it for my stream-of-consciousness this week. Stay tuned for next week´s episode.

Elder Groneman
Photos from last week's BBQ