Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Finally something weird to eat!

So the highlight of this letter is that I can finally say that I have eaten something weird! Yes, I'm excited about that. It wasn't even too weird but hey, I'll take what I can get.

But before that....tehehe....a different story. After church yesterday the Branch President took us to his house to eat lunch. He lives 20ish minutes from Cabildo in a little town called Las Puertas. Well, due to all of the traveling we have had to do, we have absolutely no money now (I'm literally using the last of it right now to write you all). So they gave us money to take a cab back to Cabildo because they weren't able to drive us back. After an hour of waiting for a cab to pass by, an old man that lives in front of the stop gave us some juice because he had been watching us waiting for such a long time. Sometimes you just find kind people.... Anyways, after another hour of waiting (2 hours now) we decided to start walking. Oh, we have a rule that we aren't allowed to hitchhike but we can accept rides offered to us. Therefore, we were praying that someone would pass by and pick us up. After 40 minutes of walking, a couple of firefighters did just that. As we were talking with them one of them said "bueno, como dice mi hermana, hay que apoyar la obra misional" ["well, as my sister says, we must support missionary work"]. Huh?? You're members? Yep! Both of them were less actives that decided to help a couple of missionaries. After we got back to Cabildo I did a little math and it turns out that we would have been walking for 4+ hours! That would have been fun!!

And now for the food story. The other day we were eating lunch with our mamita. Everything normal and delicious like usual - then she served us dessert. At first we thought it was shredded apples in expired milk but then she told us that it was apples in homemade yogurt. The weird part is how she makes the yogurt. With worms. Yep, that's right. She puts a few worms in milk (not sure what type of worm) and then after a week or so she has yogurt. She then strains the yogurt to take out the worms which she then puts into another bottle of milk. She told us that the yogurt that she gave us didn't quite finish in time which was why it was a bit liquidy still. Apparently she has given worms to other people (some of them members) as well because they obviously have babies too. So yeah, I ate worm yogurt. was very acidic.

Those were the highlights of this week. This last week of the change is going to be hectic because we have to travel a lot (again) and Elder P** has to prep all of his stuff to go home, and we have to finish prepping our investigator for his baptism on Sunday. He is extremely excited btw. The other day we were teaching him about tithing and with his wife (who is less active) they decided to start paying it together!

So ya, advice for the week comes from Mom: "Don't be dumb".
Love you all!
Elder Groneman

Monday, August 24, 2015

Learning Portuguese, Testimony of the Brownies

Let´s see.....what happened this week.......

So after calling the mission nurse because my cough was a persistent little bugger, she told me to go buy some Amoxicillin. Yep, that's right. Here in Chile you can just go to the pharmacy and buy a drug like that. Well, after a few days on that there was no difference so when she called again to check up on how I was doing she decided to send me to a doctor. On Thursday we had a 2 hour bus ride to Quillota and it turns out that I have obstructive bronchitis!!! YAY!!! He told me that after 5 days on the meds I should be good but if I contract a fever it means that I had pneumonia. ¡Que Bueno! I'm on day 3 of the meds and still no fever so all is looking well......
Right now I'm actually in Viña. Elder P** had to go pick up his ID card so we woke up at 5 to take the 3 hour bus ride at 6. Yep, definitely slept the whole ride. It's actually a good thing that we are here because I haven't been able to find a Portuguese book anywhere. Oh, Pres Díaz told us that if our Spanish was good enough that we should start studying another language. Well, he told me that my Spanish was good so now I'm going to start learning Portuguese. I'm really behind because that was almost 2 months ago and his wife told us that in 3 months every person learning a language would have to bear their testimony in that language. In other words I have one month to learn enough Portuguese to bear my testimony in that language. ¡Tengo que ponerme las pilas! [I have to get my act together!]
As for the branch problems we decided to put the Testimony of the Brownies to the test. Here in Chile everyone LOVES brownies so what a lot a missionaries have done is give brownies to people during the week or during church in order for the people to go to church. Well, we decided to try it. The family brownie recipe has entered Chile now and people love it. Hopefully this will help people get into the habit of going to church and then staying for all 3 hours....
Basically that's it for the week. One of our investigators is soo excited for his baptism on the 6th. It's funny because our District Leader was in this sector at the beginning of his mission and he told us that when he was there the investigator (husband of a less active) barely paid any attention to them at all. Well, turns out that he is now prepared and willing to follow the Savior. We are really excited for him.
Love you all. Please take time to rest your fingers when Facebooking or web surfing. Finger Cramps are never pleasant experiences.
Elder Groneman

Monday, August 17, 2015

Good Experiences, Lots of Photos

Cabildo, Chile

Okay so like usual, nothing big or unexpected happened but overall it was a good week.

So we had a zone replica [meeting?] this week and because we are 2 hours away from the stake center we had to wake up at 4am in order to get ready and take the bus at 6. Haha well apparently the bus driver had a lead foot because the bus arrived at 5:30 and we made it to Quillota at 6:40. Well, after walking to the chapel we find it locked so we call the ZLs. They tell us that they won't arrive at the chapel until 8. So for a whole hour we sat, freezing, in a nearby park. That was fun. Haha the replica was awesome though.

So we had 2 really cool experiences with 2 of our investigators this week. The first is M. He is really looking for the true church so he asks us a lot of questions, which is awesome. Well, during one of the lessons he started asking us a lot about Joseph Smith because he told us that if he was to accept him as a prophet he should know basically everything about him. After answering a few questions we redirected the lesson to what the real focus should be - Jesus Christ. We explained how we don't worship JS and that he is important because he restored Christ´s church. After teaching a few other things he told us he hopes that his family listens to us too because he wants to be united as a family in terms of religion. In comparison with how he was at the beginning of the lesson he had changed a lot. He now understood exactly what our purpose was and what his purpose was too. He is definitely a good investigator.

The other story is when we were teaching the mom and little brother of a recent convert. We started talking about the restoration while other members of the family started sitting down at the table in order to eat 11s [lunch] (the table was in the other half of the room). When we got to the part of the First Vision, we started to watch the 20min video about the restoration. Well, one by one everyone at the table started to pay attention. By the time that the First Vision happened in the video EVERYONE was completely attentive to the tv. Even after the video had finished and we were talking again they all were still listening to us. We are going to start teaching them all (family of 11)!!

When sitting next to a camel......Watch out, they spit!
Elder Groneman
La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

La Serena Zone Conference-July 2015

Elder Groneman w/President Diaz

Elder Groneman w/President Diaz and companion, Elder H**

Gathering for transfers-July 29, 2015

Elder Groneman and new companion, Elder P**

Elder Groneman, Elder P**, and peanut butter and syrup

Monday, August 10, 2015


Okay, I literally have like 2 minutes because the internet died on us.

So this week it has rained a lot! A few weeks ago all of Chile fasted and asked for rain to end the drought that has lasted for years. Well, now there are problems because of soo much rain in soo little time. Santiago is now a lake, for example. In Viña we have heard that the waves are about 10 meters tall and are pulling cars into the ocean that are parked 2 blocks away from the coast. Here in Cabildo everything is okay. There's a river that's been dry since ´87 and there is finally water so everyone is fascinated by it, especially the kids.

Besides that not much has happened. Trying not to get soaked. I've had a cough for about 2 1/2 weeks now but I don't feel sick at all. Weird. I'm too stubborn to call the mission nurse because she'll just tell me to bundle up and go home early which I don't want to do. So instead of being disobedient I'm avoiding the possibility completely and not calling her :) Can't be disobedient to a command that doesn't exist!

So ya, next week I promise pics, unless something random happens which seems to happen a lot to me.....

Please do not run with scissors. It's very dangerous. Please jog, skip, or do yoga with them instead.

Elder Groneman

[Here is a link to an article about flooding in Chile. Parker is far enough inland that he hasn't been adversely affected. Valparaiso and Vina del Mar are part of his mission.]

Monday, August 3, 2015


Okay, so I'll start with the information that you all are waiting to hear. I am in a mining town called Cabildo (written kbil2 in the language of graffiti). My comp is Elder P*. He's from Lima, Peru and this change is his last which means that I will have a different comp in 6 weeks. Haha it also means after this change all of my previous comps will have finished already besides my current comp. But I guess that's what happens when all of your comps have been out for 1 1/2 years or more when they become your comp....

I love the view here. Cabildo is situated in a small valley so there are mountains on all sides and because it's been raining everything is green! I never thought that I would miss that color so much. Apparently Las Compañias were a lot browner, drier, and sandier than I realized.

There is a small branch here which is struggling a bit. Our goal is to get the branch up and running again because some are already traveling 1 hour to go to church. We've got some work to do.

That's been my week. I'm slowly learning my sector (there's not really a map that's accurate) and meeting people. I love being in a new area. It's great.

Please remember that paper must be treated with respect. No one is happy when paper lashes out and cuts you.

Elder Groneman