Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Prepared People

This week was great!

On Wednesday there was a World-Wide Missionary Training Broadcast. Every missionary in the world saw it. They haven't done one of those in over a decade according to the Seventy who was conducting. "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts" was the name and theme of the training. Let's just say that Presidente Diaz is very in tune with the Spirit because the day before in our Zone Meeting he told us almost exactly the same things that the Apostles and other leaders told us.

Later that week we had interviews with Presidente Diaz. Everything normal there. Sometimes it's still weird that Pres Kahnlein isn't here anymore but Pres Diaz is an awesome replacement.

R** is progressing nicely. He will probably have his baptismal interview on Tuesday then, assuming he passes it, will be baptized on Sunday!!!

We found great new investigators this week. All of them young couples that cohabitate  :/  I don't think that it'll be a problem though after we teach them a bit more. We found them in two completely different ways.

One of them contacted us as we were waiting to take a bus. He told us that his girlfriend wanted to learn more about the Mormons because she had seen some video on Facebook and was interested. Sweet!

We found the others trying to find a reference that other missionaries had contacted. Well, in the end we never found her. We did find a house that apparently no one ever finds. At the beginning they weren't interested at all so we asked for water (so of course they gave us soda. Here in Chile water apparently means soda). After talking for a bit more they invited us to come back later. Well, a few days later we went back and taught them the Plan of Salvation. In the beginning the girl was angry at God for a few reasons and the guy was just not that interested in religions. Well, as we taught, they started asking really good questions, understanding, and he actually told us that he wanted to learn more. We will definitely be going back.

God definitely prepares people to hear the gospel. He will lead both them to us and us to them. We just have to have the courage to open our mouths at all times. If Satan can just get us to keep our mouths shut, he will be happy. I don't really want to make him happy. I want to make my Father in Heaven happy. Therefore, I open my mouth.

Love you all! Please be careful for flying soccer balls. Being hit in the face is not always a fun experience.

Elder Groneman

A Missionary Matrimony (a senior couple - I can't remember what we call them in English) made me cupcakes for my bday.

The zone of Valparaíso Oeste!

Monday, January 18, 2016

New Area: Valparaíso!!!

Changes!!! So yes, I was changed. Haha and I just happened to go to the one place that Mom didn't want me to go......Valparaíso!!! I LOVE it here even though we are climbing giant staircases and steep roads ALL day. So you remember how we always bugged Dad for his saying "it was uphill both ways". Turns out that in Valpo that saying is 100% true. In order to go down you must first go up. Yes, it makes no sense whatsoever but it is true. To describe Valpo just think of a giant San Francisco but bigger, longer, and steeper hills. San Francisco is the baby of Valpo.
My ward is O´Higgins. We are in charge of 3 of the hills with a random no-name hill in between 2 of them. So like 3 and 1/2. The hills have names - yes, you navigate Valpo by asking for the hill name. Mine are San Roque, Ramaditas, and Roquant. My new comp isn't so new. Elder Gardner, my old comp from the MTC! This is his 5th change here so it's almost 100% certain that we´ll only be together for one change, so we are making the most of it while we have time.
As for this area, we have an investigator, R**, with a baptismal date for the 7th of February. He is currently quitting smoking and drinking and is having lots of success with it! The other day we taught him about tithing which is hard for a lot of people to understand and accept here in Chile (actually, in the world probably). He understood it completely and readily accepted the invitation to pay it after his baptism!! It's amazing how the Lord prepares people to accept the restored gospel.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Wow, you're old  <3  ;)
Love you all!
Elder Groneman

just one of the views from my sector and not even the best one

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This week was a week of progress.

No, I have not been transferred because transfers are this week. I guess that we will see if I am staying for another 6 weeks in Cabildo making it 7 months here. I don't think so though. But then again, we thought that the last time....

This week was a week of progress for various reasons:
1- M** (my convert) gave a talk this week and helped with the sacrament for the first time (because he finally came in a white shirt and tie)!! He and his wife are doing very well. The wife is actually going to start a choir class with my comp this next week because the members here are very shy when singing.
2- Another member gave a talk yesterday who I've been working with since I got here. She actually gave us lunch the other day as well. She's much happier now and very soon will have a calling.
3 - A** (papá) came in a white shirt and tie (that we gave to him) and helped with the sacrament too. He had not helped with the sacrament for about 10 years. He is progressing a ton! He will definitely be able to baptize his son in February.
4 - M** is doing great. Yesterday we visited her and while we were there we took advantage of the situation to teach her husband as well. He is EXTREMELY interested in the church. The other day when we set goals with M** he was there too so we explained everything in detail so that he would understand. Haha he actually understood some things better than she did and then helped us explain it to her. Well, at the end of the lesson yesterday M** told us about something that he had told her. He said "If I do end up going the this church we will go get sealed" WOOT!!!! Then in his prayer last night (yes, he prayed at the end of the lesson) he said " please help me to join your true church" WOOT!! Hopefully he just says here in Cabildo long enough to be taught and to be baptized. He's on leave right now because he has been having these pains in his arm and the doctors don't know why. So until then he will be here.
That's about it for this week. A lot of good things happening and a lot of people are progressing!!
When around someone for a lot of time, be sure to keep a clock/watch hidden just in case they attempt to put all of the clocks 10 minutes ahead.
Love you all!
Elder Groneman



After 5 months of teaching her, seeing her ups and downs, the miracles and the temptations, she finally got baptized!! It was great. Not that many members attended but it's okay because a few members from a different ward came. And her giant family was all there besides a few that had to work. Haha funny story. We had to use the fire hose to finish filling up the font. When we had M**´s baptism 3 months ago, we filled the font in 3 hours so I just assumed that it would be the same. NOPE! Apparently the water pressure is a lot lower now so after 3 hours it was barely 1 1/2 feet high. AHH!! So we just used the fire hose (which is always the last option and the secret trick of the missionaries). It did the trick - in 30 minutes the font was full. Haha I've decided that something random always happens when preparing baptisms.

She is very happy. Her testimony is extremely strong. Apparently this week something extremely bad happened to her. She didn't tell us what it was but said that if it would have happened before she had the gospel she would have fallen big time, but thanks to her testimony and knowledge of the gospel she was able to overcome it. She's just great:)

As for A** and his baptism on the 10th. It's not going to happen. The branch president interviewed the dad and told him that in 1 month he could baptize his son. We are very happy for the progression that he has shown. He has changed a ton! I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes the branch president in a couple years. Actually, apparently a member from La Ligua or Quillota had a dream that he was branch president. Huh, I guess we´ll see what the Lord has planned.

New Year's was good. M** invited us over again to eat dinner with her family. I tried rabbit for the first time that night. It's good. We couldn't see the fireworks at midnight :(  From our pension windows we can see basically everywhere except for the exact place where the fireworks were! Oh well. There's always next year.

Haha I bet you guys are extremely lost in Bolivia. [His dad, his brother, and I spent two weeks in Boliva, where his brother served his mission.] Not understanding anything! Please study Spanish. You'll need it in order to talk to your grandchildren ;P  Why did the bishop call on mom to say the closing prayer if he knew that she doesn't speak Spanish? That must have been fun.

Until next week! When moping floors, be careful not to mop yourself into a corner. Waiting for the floor to dry while standing in a 3x3 square with nothing but a dripping mop can be very boring.

Love you all!
Elder Groneman
Marta and her giant family
New Years with The Avengers
New Year's with The Avengers

M** and her giant family