Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Speed Race Against Time to get to Stake Conference

So my new comp is Elder S** from California. He is the tallest missionary in the mission! 6`8"!!! Haha, everyone laughed in the change meeting when we hugged.....I feel like I need a footstool. He's great though. He's been out for 7 months which means that he is my first comp who isn't finishing the mission!!! I'm very happy about that!

He actually started his mission here in Cabildo but was only here for one change than went to El Rocio in Vill Alemana Oeste (close to my first sector) for 3 changes and now is back here. He's excited to be back but has noticed that a few things have changed in the time that he's been gone.

Anyways. Quick little story. This week we had Stake Conference so to help the members in Cabildo and La Ligua out, the stake arranged for a bus to pick us up at 8 in the morning to get to Quillota on time. Well, that morning we were waiting and waiting (during that time is when I sent the photos) and the bus never came. We started getting worried because the bus driver wasn't answering the phone. We called the Elders of La Ligua and all of them were still waiting, too. Well, in the end we decided to head over to La Ligua to see if we could take a bus from there to Quillota because if we waited any longer we were going to be extremely late (it takes about 2 hours to get to Quillota from Cabildo and a member from our branch was supposed to give a talk). Well, as we were in a bus to head to La Ligua, the Elders call us and tell us that the ride from the Stake just arrived, it wasn't what we were expecting, and they didn't have time to wait for us because they were going to be late. So they left. When we got to La Ligua there were absolutely no buses or taxis that were going to Quillota. In the end, I had to talk to a taxi and ask him if he would take us there. Wow, he charged a lot, but in the end it was worth it because we got to Quillota right on time after a 45 minute speed race against time. Honestly I have no idea how we got to Quillota sooo fast but it was definitely a miracle.

Now we are planning an activity for Halloween because we found out that if we (the missionaries) aren't here present, no one does anything. So now after 2 week's absence, we are pumping up the members´ energy again. Haha I'm so happy to be back in Cabildo again!

So I'm very disappointed because no one told me what scripture they were ponderizing. Anyways for this week I am ponderizing 3Nephi 19:24.

24  Y aconteció que cuando Jesús hubo orado así al Padre, volvió a sus discípulos, y he aquí, continuaban orando a él sin cesar; y no multiplicaban muchas palabras, porque les era manifestado lo que debían suplicar, y estaban llenos de anhelo.

[24 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.] 
When we pray, we should be listening to the Spirit because he will tell us for what we should ask. We don't need to repeat the same thing over and over, rather we should pray earnestly and with faith.
Love you all!
Elder Groneman

Elder P**, Elder Groneman, Elder S**

Elder S**, Elder Groneman, Elder P**

Elder S** and Elder Groneman

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Explanation of Last Week

Okay first of all, What happened to my brothers???? You have the flaite haircut! Flaite = the wannabe ganster teenager that thinks he is too cool and spends all day every day smoking and drinking. What HAPPENED?!?! [His two brothers and his brother-in-law all have the haircut with short sides and longer top--the "hipster" haircut that is so popular right now.....apparently not acceptable in Parker's eyes!]

Okay, so my now ex-comp has had a really hard life. Like REALLY hard. His mission hasn't been that easy as well. Well, as his time in the mission has been getting closer he had been getting really homesick and just didn't want to be in the mission at all. Combine that his fight or flight response (he always flees). So one day he just was done with everything and didn't wake up in the morning until 10:30 and started packing his suitcases. He told me that he was going home. Well, he stopped packing after like 5 minutes and went downstairs to shower. He got out with street clothes on, picked up his backpack, and walked out the door. I was upstairs studying and when I heard the door open. I rushed downstairs to see what he was doing only to find him locking me in. I opened up the window and asked what he planned on doing and all he did was look at me with a cheesy grin, wave, then throw the keys. I called the leaders and everything, and ended up having to climb out a window to retrieve the keys. In the end, I was alone in the apartment cleaning and listening to general conference talks for about 7 hours until the assistants and Pres Diaz picked me up. So yeah, that's basically what happened.

Yes, I will be going back to Cabildo. Pres told me that specifically. I'm happy about that because M**, our awesome investigator has a baptismal date for the 31st (yes, Halloween). She's doing great and has been reading the BOM while we haven't been able to pass by. I'll be in Cabildo on Thursday so we are going to pass by her that night.

So, here´s a question for all of you. What scripture are you ponderizing this week? I expect answers next week. I am ponderizing Helaman 14:30--

30  Así pues, recordad, recordad, mis hermanos, que el que perece, perece por causa de sí mismo; y quien comete iniquidad, lo hace contra sí mismo; pues he aquí, sois libres; se os permite obrar por vosotros mismos; pues he aquí, Dios os ha dado el conocimiento y os ha hecho libres.

[30 And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.]

It's always good to remember that we are free to act. Satan doesn't have power over us unless we allow him to. We can't blame him for anything that we do because in the end we make the choice.

So I've actually really enjoyed being in a trio this week. We've gotten really good at teaching and working together. It'll be sad to leave them but I have to go to Cabildo to help the people there.

Love you all. Hope that you are all reading your scripture DAILY!
Elder Groneman

Monday, October 12, 2015

Just a short note...

Haha so this week has easily been the most eventful week in my mission.

Long story short I am no longer in Cabildo. For the last 2 weeks of the change I am in a trio in La Calera. During the change meeting I will get a new comp and return to Cabildo.. All I can say now is that our apartment is spotless, and cleaning while listening to general conference talks for 7 hours is a great way to pass time along.....

Anyway, I am with Elder S** and Elder P**. Elder S** and I were in the CCM together. Haha Dad knows his dad (both dentists). It's great here in La Calera but I miss being in Cabildo. I just keep thinking about our investigators that we can't visit for 2 weeks. I hope that the Lord and the members will help them while we aren't there.

So ya, this week it's been interesting. I don't have much time to explain everything because today is a holiday and the store where we are writing is about to close. Sorry.

Please be careful of pianos falling from multiple-story buildings. 
Elder Groneman

Monday, October 5, 2015

Really Good Week

Gotta love General Conference in the mission! It's like Christmas for missionaries. You just can't get enough of that spiritual high!

Three great new apostles. I remember a talk from each one of them which was amazing. Men definitely chosen by the Lord to help guide the world in these last days. When Pres Monson was almost falling on Sunday morning a scripture popped into my mind. The scripture of when King Benjamin says that he is being sustained by the Spirit. Pretty sure that we saw an example of that scripture in real life yesterday.

Besides GC, this week was really good. We returned to Petorca in order to find a bit more less actives and start finding people to teach as well. Well, a less active there gave a reference of one of his neighbors that had been asking for a copy of the BOM. He asked us to visit her so we did right away. She has been prepared a lot. When she opened the door she immediately asked us to come in before we could even say a word (that doesn't EVER happen here in Chile). As we were talking she started crying and was extremely receptive. Hopefully she`ll be able to make the journey go to church in Cabildo.

We also found an 84 year old lady who, when she opened the door, exclaimed "My brothers have finally come back!" and then proceeded to hug us tightly. In her prayer she said "Thank you for sending me my own brothers again in answer to my prayer that I've had for so long now." People have definitely been missing the church there for some time now.
Haha we also talked to a guy in pure English. He is one of the English teachers there. Wow, who would have thought that it would be sooo hard to teach in English! First time doing it and I literally had to think hard in order to find the words. It's definitely much easier to share the gospel in Spanish.

Our investigator finally accepted a baptismal date! She had been telling us that she wanted to wait to be more sure and that she wanted to learn more AND that she wanted to wait for her husband to be home so that he would be able to attend (he's only home 5 days a month and sometimes he's away for more than a month). We literally had no ideas left for how to help her progress. Well this week we decided to watch the hour-long video of Joseph Smith´s life and the restoration of the gospel. Well, that did the trick! It helped her gain a real testimony of JS and take the decision to be baptized. Now we are just waiting for her husband to come home which should be around Halloween. We're hoping and praying that all goes well so she can be baptized.

So ya, that was my week. Todo tranquilo [quite calm]. Please always have your shield of faith ready to block the fiery darts that Satan likes to throw at us.

Love you all!
Elder Groneman