Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, June 29, 2015

La Copa America

So nothing much happened this week. It's been really cold here so basically there aren't many people to talk to in the streets and no one wants to open their door. Even the members don't want to leave their house to go to church. Actually, this week the church attendence hit the low for the year  :(
BUT, as for good news, I learned how to put together a Rubix Cube this week! As of right now my record is 2 minutes 27 seconds! Yes, I feel accomplished. That and now we are playing soccer every morning with the other Elders in our ward. We live really close to them (no missionaries live with another companionship) and there's a small court in front of our house so we play every day. Yes, I have improved a lot.
Speaking of soccer, La Copa America [The Copa América (Spanish and Portuguese for "America Cup"),  is an international football competition contested between the men's national football teams of CONMEBOL, determining the continental champion of South America. It is the oldest international continental football competition] is in Chile for the first time and everyone here is going nuts. Basically we are starting every contact by talking about the games because people actually listen that way. Haha it is soo funny when Chile is playing because there is literally NO ONE outside, complete silence. And no one wants to open up their door so basically we walk around for an hour until 9:30 when we can go to the pension. And as we are planning, we know when Chile makes a goal because there is an eruption of sound all around us. GOAL!!!...GOAL!!!...GOAL!!! Then when Chile wins there is a celebration for hours. People in the streets shouting and blowing these horn things, people driving around honking their horns, small fireworks, we have even heard gunshots. They go crazy. That starts at 10:30ish and then we go to bed at 11 while everyone else is still going crazy. It's a good thing that we are always dead tired because if we weren't I'm not sure how we would ever fall asleep.
So ya, that's about it for this week. Like I said, not much has happened thanks to the cold and La Copa America.
Love you all. Please don't confuse the computer mouse with a real one. I don't think it would appreciate being clicked on the head.
Elder Groneman

Monday, June 22, 2015

Still in La Serena

SOOOO.......... Jacob, I need a drumroll right now...................
I am still in La Serena. Nothing changed. Elder H** is still my comp and we are working like usual. Haha the other companionship in the ward changed. He's training a newbie. Haha it is funny watching him try to communicate in Spanish because it reminds me of myself when I was starting. Wow, and now almost one year later and I am still in my second area. I'm okay with it though because I like this area and it's finally waking u,p which has been the struggle from the start. So ya, all is good.
Besides changes nothing else happened. Change weeks are the weirdest weeks because at the beginning of the week everyone is wondering about what is going to happen and the days go by really slowly and then after the changes, the rest of the week goes by really fast. And during that week you either teach a ton of people or no one at all. Unfortunately for us we basically didn't teach this week. But it's okay because we are starting to work a little differently because Pres K gave us new guidelines for how he wants us to work. So we're starting with that right now.
Basically nothing changed with our investigators because, like I said, we didn't really teach this week. We do know that lady has had some health and family problems which is why she disappeared for a bit. We are also going to start working with an old investigator again. I'm not sure if you all remember him, but about 3ish months ago he accepted a baptismal date for this first time but then his family (siblings and parents, not children,grandchildren, or spouse) started to talk bad so he didn't get baptized. Well, we know that he knows everything is true and that he wants to get sealed in the temple because we were talking with his daughter yesterday. So we are going to focus a bit more on him. Hopefully we can help him overcome the fear of his family.
This week please do not walk into glass doors. One it's embarrassing and, it's just embarrassing.
Elder Groneman

Zone Activity

Zone Activity


Transfers coming this week...

June 15, 2015
So sad update :( The  lady didn't go to church so her baptismal date fell through. She had so much work to do so she just stayed home to work on it. Well, it's all good because she will get baptized, just not the 20th. Haha when we taught her about tithing she was completely fine with paying it (even though she never could understand the math with 10% of her income) but she was completely adament that she was not going to fill out the tithing slip. Definitely the first time that's happened during my mission. Usually if they have a problem, it's with paying. Nope, she doesn't want to fill out the slip. "No, eso no me gusta. Y lo que no me gusta no me gusta" ["No, I don't like that. And what I don't like I don't like"] That is what she said for her reasoning. (Mecham or Jeff can translate it for all you non-Spanish speakers). So ya, that's where we left off with her.
This week is changes so we´ll see if I stay in another area for 6 months or if I leave La Serena. Oh, Pres K is going to leave at the end of June/beginning of July, so for like 2/3 ish weeks more Pres K is still large and in charge.
Last week my zone (La Serena) had a Zone Activity (my first in the mission) because we completed the baptismal goal for the zone! Yay. SOOO we went bowling!! Haha I've never bowled so badly for years! But it was fun anyways. We definitely got a lot of weird looks from people. Haha 20 missionaries in street clothes bowling and taking lots of pictures and laughing without the help of alcohol. Yep, definitely received lots of weird looks.
So ya. That's it for this week. Stay clear from table corners. They like to reach out and hit people.
Elder Groneman

Monday, June 8, 2015

Last Zone Conference with President Kähnlein

The last Zone Conference with President Kähnlein was great but a bit sad, too. He almost cried and his wife did cry. At the end he gave us a GIANT list of all the things that he hopes he will and/or have learned. That reminded me of Lehi and Alma when they talked to each of their kids and gave them very valuable advice. At the end he "introduced" us to Pres Díaz by reading to us the bio that was in the church news.
So there is this old lady that we are teacher who is awesome. We first contacted her a month ago Saturday night and invited her to go to church and she went! Well, after that we could never find her to teach her. Well, she never went again until yesterday. I have never seen the ward befriend someone so well before. She was almost crying because of all the people making her feel welcome. In Gospel Principles the class was on baptism - perfect for investigators. Haha! for half the class she just started talking about random things that have nothing to do with baptism - like "´I heard that Mormons can't drink tea, is that true?´.. ´yes´...´well that's okay with me because I stopped drinking tea a few months ago because it was killing me...along with cigarettes´" Haha and then we had a good talk about wine. She said  - in the middle of telling a story- "...and then Satan came along......and I married him" We were all expecting something really profound or spiritual. Nope, apparently her ex-husband is Satan. Basically the whole class we were all laughing with her and at the end, even with many detours, she understood the need of being baptized. Then she went to RS and (finding this out from our mamita who is also the GP teacher) she participated and said that she had never been in a place where she had felt so welcome. We took advantage of her being in the church to teach her after the meetings, too. At the end she now has a baptismal date for June 20th and we are going to teach her in the house of our mamita. Oh, and she is going to go to the RS activities every Friday now. Basically she is great and everyone loves her-.
So ya, God definitely prepares people. FIND THEM - then give the references to the missionaries. Elder Bendar once said that Missionaries are called to be full-time Teachers not full-time Finders. It's the members´ job to find.
That's it for this week. Love you all and please keep an eye out for rabid squirrels.
Elder Groneman

Last La Serena Zone Conference with President Kähnlein.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Really Good Week

So this week was really good. We had more lessons than I have ever had since I've been in this area and we found more new investigators! Woot! It's definitely been hard waking up this dormant sector but I think we've almost got it up and running.
So today as we were walking to the cyber [internet cafe?] I realized that today is June 1st and that basically one year ago I was graduating. It's a bit weird to think about that......Time has really flown by.
Haha okay the story of that family continues. So this week the dad told us that when we contacted him, he mentally hit himself when he told us his name and then did it again when he told us his direction. Then when he told his wife about us, she got mad at him. Then when we passed by, he tried to hide upstairs but she basically dragged him down to talk with us because "we were his problem to deal with". Haha then the mom told us that she NEVER accepts visits from anyone, especially people that she doesn't know. Haha she told us that she had no idea why she ever let us inside her house to begin with. Well, now every time we go by they have food for us (the last time they gave us a full 3 course meal) and les caemos bien. That translate to "we fall well with them" which basically means that they like us. Oh, and when the dad prayed, he called us his friends, compadres, perros, and brothers. Haha it's funny how the Spirit can work major changes in people´s hearts.
So ya. Thats about it. This Friday we have Zone Conference so it will probably be the last time we see Pres Kähnlein because we are in the north.
This week please avoid stepping on a crack. Mom is getting old and her back is getting more fragile every day ;)  [Rude. I'm not that old and my back feels just fine, thank you. ☺]
Elder Groneman