Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lots of Photos

So not much has happened since Thursday. We have changes Wednesday and it's New Year's too so many missionaries won't get to spend the holiday with members that they know. Ya, tan fome ese día [So lame]!

It was awesome seeing everyone. Really weird seeing Mecham with the family instead of on the other side of the camera. Haha Jeff´s accent is hilarious! And Mecham speaks sooo slowly. It's like he's a snail and Chileans are cheetahs. Ya, the difference is enormous! 

So as a mission we are reading the BOM again. We read it in 3 months and have to mark 4-5 specific topics each time. This time they also gave us a BOM in English so that if the Latins wanted they could read it in English. And as a challenge for the gringos, if we want, we can read them together.... It takes forever!! But it is really helping my Spanish.

Here are a few pics from Christmas. Our tree and gifts Christmas morning and the first course of dinner Christmas Eve. The sister in the photo is the member that sets up our lunches for us

Until next week!
Elder Groneman

Zona Villa Alemana Oeste

Número musical navideño [Christmas musical number. Parker's on the piano.]

[Parker's on the piano]

[Parker is on the piano]


Monday, December 22, 2014

So I can finally breath again.

So I can finally breath again. Yes, everything went well with the zone conference and the stake choir performance. I actually also ended up playing the interlude when the narrator is talking during the stake choir performance. All is well though. It's all over.

So I will be Skyping between 7 and 8 pm Chilean time so like 3/4 in Utah. Yes, a 4 hour difference. If I don't call by 8 don't worry. I should be calling soon if that happens. Chileans don't always have a sense of time. I'ts worse than Mormon Standard Time. So take MormonST, add Chilean ST, and you get 30+ at least. Great fun. Haha it drives my comp nuts. He likes to follow the schedule by the second. 

Yes I got the package. It actually got here before December 5 but after November 28 if that helps to judge the time it takes to send a package. My comp says thank you. He especially loved the beef jerky (thanks Dad). I'll send a photo of our humble Christmas tree...

I honestly don't know how Mecham wrote long letters every week. I literally don't have any stories from this week. It was a normal week. No crazy people, no dead people, no gun shots, nothing out of the ordinary. I was a little sick. That's something I guess? You will need to have a list of questions for me on Christmas otherwise there's going to be a lot of silence....

Eh, Christmas down here is weird. No snow, just deadly heat, yet Santa still wears his winter coat. Oh, and they don't really celebrate Christmas that much on the 25th. Down here is the 24th, specifically at midnight so I guess it's the 25th but still weird. If someone says something about doing something on Christmas they're talking about the 24th. There are Christmas lights though which is nice to see. Haha and since there's no snow how do you think they make snowmen? Haha with plastic cups! I'll send a photo of one. 

Tha'ts about all for now. We can talk on the 25th which I know Mom is anxiously waiting for.
See yall on Thursday!
Elder Groneman
Plastic Cup Snowman

Hey Mecham, recognize him? Elder A**! If you need a refresher - you lived with him in a house of 8 missionaries during your first year. Haha he said that you couldn't pronounce your "rr" or "t" at all. (He also said that my Spanish is better than yours was:P but then he said that you play the piano better - guess I can't be the best at everything ;P) He's one of 2 people now that I have met that know you. They other is Hna B**. You shared a ward with her (I'm guessing at the same time you were living with Elder A**) They both were stuck waiting for visas to Venazuela that never came so they were sent to Viña. Weird huh?

The ZLs and me with H** (he's a recent convert and is a million years old). In the Gospel Principles class for recent converts we had a little nativity play. Elder F** and I were shepherds and Elder B** was the Angel.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Another trip to Viña

Well.....I had another fun trip to Viña today doing the same thing that I had to do with Elder B** - Tramites [Visas?]! The only difference is that this time we actually finished them this week and don't have to return next week. It was funny waiting in the Registro Civil because there were like 18 missionaries standing around the room waiting....for an hour. Yep, another fun trip.

This week was interesting. Our only investigator that had a baptismal date now doesn't have one because he didn't go to church. Correction, he didn't go to OUR church. Saturday night we saw him preaching in an Evangelical Church gathering in our Juntos de Vecinos (Community Building). Apparently we are teaching the pastor of a different church...okay. 

This next week is going to be crazy. Our schedule is already basically completely full (some days are more than full). I have to play the piano for our Zone Conference tomorrow. I just found out that not only am I playing prelude and the hymns but I'm also going to be helping Hna Kahlein with her presentation playing 6 hymns.  Adding on to that I was recruited by the Stake Coordinator of music that lives in our ward to accompany the Stake Choir this Sunday. Yep, I have absolutely no time to practice for any of that because the work must go on. Yes....for the second time that I can remember in my life, I am a little stressed (The last time I was stressed I got Bell´s Palsy). Prayer definitely has been helping a ton. God definitely knows how to help.

That's about all the time I have because the trip to Viña killed our time. I'll write more next week filling you in on the rest.

Love yall!
Elder Groneman

Monday, December 8, 2014

Just the life of a missionary

So the scripture thought for the week isn't actually a scripture. I'ts a quote from Elder Packer.
   "The true success of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be measured by the spiritual strength of its individual members."
Are we hurting or adding to the success of the gospel? What do we need to improve?  How?   A few questions for thought....

So I just about melted like the wicked witch of the west every day this week. No, it's not because I'm wicked. Nor was it because someone threw water on me (though that would have been a blessing). The Sun is the reason. I now know what raisins feel like as the sun sucks the water out of them. 

Besides that the week was very calm. Not much out of the ordinary happened. No dead people, no gun shots (though as we were teaching a guy, his 18yr old son walked in, pulled a gun out of its hiding spot, then walked out), just the life of a missionary.

It's a little weird to me that some parents have such strong opinions / biases / grudges that they won't let their kids choose for themselves what they want. For example - A less-active lady and her super Evangelical husband wouldn't let their son go to church yesterday. We haven't even had a lesson with him yet but he has read part of the BOM and wants to go to church. It's going to be hard to teach him because his parents want nothing to do with the church and since he isn't 18, he has to have permission from his parents to be baptized. We are going to be working super hard and praying a lot so that his parents' hearts will be softened. 

I don't really have much more to say for this week. So until next week!
Love y´all!
Elder Groneman

Monday, December 1, 2014

Show de Talentos

So this week has been a little crazy. On Friday our ward had a Show de Talentos. Well, each organization had to preform a talent - including the missionaries. Um okay?...we don't really have time to put anything together. Haha What we did ended up being awesome! I'll forward you a link that someone sent me so you can watch it (I can't send videos -too big).

 Well...I had a scripture thought for the week but now I can't remember it. I'll try to remember it for next week.

Yes, my Spanish is improving a lot now that I have a native Spanish speaker as a comp. Haha on Pday I was trying to tell a story in English to another missionary and randomly I started using some words in Spanish. Ya, that was weird but kinda cool.

The reason why we didn't go check on the dead guy was because he was already surrounded by people and then a little bit later an ambulance came. We wouldn't have been able to do anything more than what those people were doing already.

(Mom - don't read this paragraph)
So one day this week we were talking to some people in their doorway because we were trying to find their mom who is inactive. Well, as we were talking we hear a ton of sirens and a couple police cars fly by. Right after that *BANG BANG* like 10 times. Ya, we don't know exactly what was going on but it was happening in the area where we live. Gotta love living in the most dangerous part of your sector! Every day brings a new experience;)

I don't really have much more to say. Every day is basically the same with a few random moments of excitement. Everything is going well here. Yes mom, we are being obedient. Oh, what is Mecham's story with the machete? I'm intrigued.

I believe that is all for this week. Chao! (no, we do not say adios here. It is always chao......and the 10 other ways to say goodbye before you can leave without offending the person)

Chao! Que estén bien. Que les vaya bien. Cuidense......[Goodbye. Things are good. Things are going well. Take care....]
Elder Groneman