Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Gotta Love the Sabbath Day

Yes. I'm training a new elder. Elder R** (pronounced ***) from south Brazil! I'd send you a picture but unfortunately I left my camera cord in the pension. oops. Haha I didn't know that the mission notified the parents of the assignments we receive. Honestly I was thinking about not even mentioning it  ;) Well, if you already know that, I should probably mention that I'm also a District Leader.
That's the biggest thing that happened this week. After that NOTHING went according to plan.
On Thursday we went down to the plan (downtown Valpo. It's called the plan because, well, it's plano (flat) Ya, the creativity of the name shocks me) to buy some food for Elder R**. First we had to take out money. Ya, we searched for a bank for about half an hour because the grocery store ATM is now not accepting our cards for some reason. Last time I took out money was over a month ago and I did it on the other side of the plan. While looking for a place to take out money, we ran into the 2nd Counselor of Huanhualí!!! I talked with him quickly about the ward. Apparently Elder Bednar went to V.A.O. to preside over the stake conference there. And guess who gave the final prayer? Hna M**!! The mom of the family I helped activate there!!! She's also in the RS Pres now!!! YES! In the end we took out money in another grocery store and returned to the other. Yes, doesn't seem to make sense why we wouldn't just buy food there. The other grocery store is cheaper. Simple answer.
The next day, Friday, we had interchanges. I obviously stayed in my sector because Elder R** still doesn't know it. In the morning, a random lady knocks on our door asking for the bishop's number. Apparently her brother had committed suicide and she wanted to have the funeral that day in the chapel because the Catholic church doesn't allow funerals of people who commit suicide. Also, turns out that the guy was an inactive member from Santiago. Long story short, Elder G** accidentally took the church keys with him to his new sector so we didn't have them and while I was talking to the bishop we were leaving the pension and in the commotion of the conversation I forgot our keys inside. Without the keys we can't get in because the door automatically locks. Great. First time I've ever left without the keys and it just happens to be when I start training... So we go and change comps then head over to our mission leader's house because he has an extra key. We eat lunch with him and then return to the pension to grab the extra church keys we have BUT they don't have the key to turn off the alarm. We met up with the bishop to open the church because he misplaced his keys to open the church but had the key to the alarm. Haha funny how that worked out. In the end they had the viewing and the funeral and everyone rejected us. We tried talking about the plan of salvation to people but they were all die-hard Ccatholics. Oh well, we tried.
Saturday we had District Meeting. Haha the new sisters got lost in my sector so we had to go out to find them. We ended up starting over 30 mins late.
Yesterday was actually a great day. Nothing went wrong. Gotta love the Sabbath Day.
In between all of that we taught and found new investigators (FINALLY!). Oh! I almost just forgot. On Friday I was told that I had to give a talk on Sunday. Apparently Elder G** forgot to tell me. At least I had some time to prepare. 
In the end, everything is all good. The Church is true, so no matter what happens it's all going to work out in the end.
So ya, that was the random happenings of the week. Please try not get mad at the cotton swab when you stab your eardrum as you are using it. The box did warn you....
Love you all!
Elder Groneman

Monday, February 22, 2016

Once again I'm in Viña doing tramites (legal paperwork).

No, Elder Bednar didn't visit us :´(   It's all good though  :)

Wow, another change flew by. We have changes this week. We expect that Elder G** will be leaving because he's been here for 7 months now. I guess we will see - you never know what could happen.

So besides walking up endless hills and stairs, this week was a good one. We were able to teach a few more people but thanks to it being the 2nd to last week of summer vacations, the majority of people weren't home! Yay!!! [I'm assuming that's a sarcastic cheer.] But that'll all change next week when everyone goes back to work and school. Thank goodness!

The bishop here in O'Higgins is the best one I've seen in my time here in Chile. He helps us a ton and is working towards getting all of the auxiliary organizations to being more focused on missionary work. Very soon this ward will be one of the strongest in the mission if the other ward leaders continue responding positively. They are already helping us more and we are going to start entering their classes to give brief "training sessions" or a brief lesson of sorts in order to help them know how to work more in missionary work.

Oh, just so you know, once again I'm in Viña doing tramites (legal paperwork). Yep, the tradition of doing it with EVERY companion continues. How does this always happen???

So ya. That's about it for this week. Not too many exciting things happened. Oh, today I read a scripture that I really liked. D&C 132: 5.  [For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.] It explains so simply that in order to receive a specific blessing we must obey a specific commandment. AND that every commandment was paired up with a specific blessing in the premortal life. Which means that before this life we already knew what the commandments were and how to obtain certain blessings. A part of us choosing to come to the earth was accepting the fact that we would have to be obedient in order to obtain blessings. I just love how simple and logical the gospel is. It's a lot easier to understand that way.

Love you all. Please try not to lock your keys in the car. Freezing to death while lamenting your forgetfulness is a sad way to spend a day.

Elder Groneman

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Great Week!

This week was great! Elder Texeira visited us and wow, pure power. His wife is also pure power. Haha his Spanish is a mixture of Spanish from Spain and Argentina with a few Portuguese grammer elements thrown in. He gave a few new standards to measure our work level and also to help us elevate our faith and trust in the Lord. Then he, his wife, and Pres Diaz and his wife answered a lot of questions that we as missionaries in Chile have. Let's just say that it was one of the most inspiring and Spirit-filled moments in my mission.
We have found a few more new investigators this week. Hopefully they will progress because we literally still can't find any of our other investigators. Hopefully we will be able to find them soon because the summer vacations are about to end soon.
Well, I don't have too much time left because we are going to have a zone activity today because in January we met the zone baptism goal!! Hopefully I'll be able to send photos next week. The computers here in the Ciber don't want to recognize my camera for some reason.
Love you all! Don't stick gum wrappers in plug outlets. Burning down walls is not always a pleasant experience.
Elder Groneman

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


One word describes this week -- Ouch.
So we are all pretty dang sure, at least I am, that the giant worldwide missionary training broadcast was a giant prophesy that was supposed to warn us that finding new investigators would be a lot harder if we didn't get their names from a member. I say this because ever since that training conference we have found a total of 2 new investigators when usually we find about 10ish. And the 2 we found were old investigators. Now none of our investigators are progressing and we can't even find a few. Le'st just say that this week we have literally spent hours walking up and down hills trying to find new people to teach while trying to motivate the members to start sharing the gospel with the people they know. There's been a few days that we never even entered one house.
It is all good though. We are learning a lot of patience, diligence, perseverance, and love for the people and the Lord. I'm actually kind of happy that we aren't finding anyone easily because it means that when we do find someone that they will be ready to receive the gospel. It's also putting to the test how much I really want to help the people and serve the Lord.
On a brighter, happier note, this week Elder Teixeira for the 70 is coming to visit the mission! We are all really excited for that. AND Elder Bednar is going to be here on the 20th. We know that he is meeting with the stake and ward leaders but still no one knows if he is going to visit the mission. Let's just say that there will be many missionaries that will be very sad if he doesn't.
Oh, reading the Book of Mormon, I found a scripture that I really like. Alma 56:27. [And now it came to pass in the second month of this year, there was brought unto us many provisions from the fathers of those my two thousand sons.]  I feel that Mom and Dad can best apply this scripture  ;P
HAPPY late BIRTHDAY to Eliza and Jacob. Weird....18 years old. That means Mom and Dad are finally free!
Love you all. Please be careful with the vacuum. Putting the end part on your skin may cause embarrassing hickey-looking marks  ;)
Elder Groneman
[I received an email from a sweet sister who I have never met: "We are in Chile visiting where my husband served in  Valparaiso 34 years ago.  While driving around and getting very lost, we ran into these two awesome missionaries out doing what they do best.  They stopped to chat and had fun comparing missions then to now.  They are good strong Elders and they work real hard. The hills they walk up and down are incredible .  It has to be exhausting but they smile and love what they are doing. We loved meeting them and thought you would like a quick peek at your boy.  I have a son serving in Kentucky and miss him like I'm sure you are missing yours.  Be assured he is healthy and doing well."  
Missionary Moms are awesome!]

Monday, February 1, 2016

Normal Week

Well, this week was pretty normal.
R** didn't get baptized :(   He's been having a few problems getting used to being separated from his wife. He literally doesn't go anywhere without her. They even work together. So, when he went to church without her, he felt really lonely which made him feel like the members where cold towards him. We talked to him and he understands that they weren't and that it was just because his wife wasn't there. We arranged for some members nearby to go with him to church but he won't be able to go for a few weeks because of work and family stuff :(   He also smoked again....Pray for him! He wants to get baptized and join the church but he's having some difficulties changing some old habits.
We are working harder with the members trying to help them work more in missionary work. In the Worldwide Training Conference they told us that more than anything else we need to find new investigators from member referrals because the majority of baptisms come from those types of investigators. We are starting to get some referrals little by little. Hopefully we'll get some new investigators from them. Oh, just so you know, the missionaries in Utah saw the same training conference and would probably LOVE some referrals.....Hint hint, nudge nudge.
That was basically the week. Not much else happened. Oh, actually I just remembered something! I made empanadas!!! For the first time by myself! They weren't perfect but were still pretty good. Haha I'll have to make them at home just so you can try some good Chilean Empanadas!
Love you all! Try not to jam your big toe on the couch or chair this week. It kind of hurts....a lot.
Elder Groneman
December 2015 - Christmas Activity

December 2015 - Christmas Activity