Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lesson on Faith

Okay so yesterday we had a lesson about faith.
On Saturday we found a new investigator and committed him to baptism the 10th of April. He told us that he would go to church the next day. Well, the next morning we left Ward Council early to go by his house and walk to church together. We arrived at 9:25 and yelled at the house (yes, we do that because not everyone has a doorbell and the gates impede us from knocking on the door) a few times and he didn't come out. We called the house phone and no one answered. We called again with the same result. At this point the majority of people would give up and leave, sad that the investigator wouldn't be going to church and wouldn't be able to be baptized on the set date. We did not give up. That morning in our prayer we told God that we would show our faith and go pick him up so that he could progress and keep his baptismal date. The scriptures tell us that if we ask in faith, if our desire is righteous, God will give it to us. We put that promise to the test. We yelled again and again, called a few more times and even threw little rocks on his roof (yes, another weird way to replace knocking on the door). At 9:50 we finally heard him inside and at 9:55 he came out and we started off to church. We arrived during the first hymn. Our faith was put to the test and we weren't going to leave his front porch until he either opened the door or church started. God fulfilled his promise. Our prayer of faith was answered, but only because we ACTED. Many times we pray faithlessly which does nothing. For example, phrases such as "please help the people not here so that they may attend next week" or "please bless those that are sick so that they get better" are faithless (Those are Elder Bednar´s words, not mine). A prayer of faith implies that we are going to ACT and not just sit back and watch. It isn't God´s job to bring people to church or to help the sick and needy. It's our job. Next time you pray please analyze your prayers to see if you really are willing to ACT instead of just ASK.
Love you all. Happy *late* Easter!
Elder Groneman

Zone Conference

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dog bite explained

Okay, about the dog bite. No, it didn't bite my butt. It bit the back of my leg hence the reason why the rip was below the back pocket down to the knee. Yes, it did break skin. Yes, I did clean it. Yes, I'm keeping it clean. No, I did not go to the doctor because the dog had its shots up to date - yes, including the rabies shot. Yes, I did call Hna Diaz to let her know (because the mission nurse just finished the mission so we´re waiting for the next one to arrive). Now stop worrying. I'm not going to die! I had bites from Pepper [our dog] that hurt more - less damage yes, but they hurt more.  :P
Now, on to this week. We walk a lot. Tuesday and Wednesday we didn't teach anyone! Pure contacting all day. On Thursday we contacted all day until 9 which is when we finally found someone to teach! She's a neighbor of members that just re-moved back into the neighborhood. We're hoping that she progresses because she is really receptive.
The other days were normal. One of our investigators is a 10 year old kid whose dad and gpa are less active but reactivating due to the tragic, unexpected death of the gma. Skipping over a giant story, E** is very shy but now we have gained a ton of confidence with him. He actually talks and responds to our questions. This week we created a game in order to teach him lesson 4, the commandments. Wow, it worked better than we thought! He stayed focused, didn't get bored, learned and remembered everything. We are now currently creating a game for lesson 5. We are just waiting on the gpa for him to be baptized. The gpa needs to talk with the bishop and receive permission in order to baptized E**. The only problem is that they now haven't gone to church for a few weeks because they go to the cemetery every Sunday and spend the whole day there. Before, they would go to sacrament meeting then leave but for some reason these last few weeks they been going straight there. But that'll end this next week because they only had that self-made commitment for 3 months. So, we're working with them so that E** can be baptized in April!
Also, on Saturday we found a 16 year old, J**. He is really receptive and actually accepted a baptismal date during that first lesson, went to church yesterday and today we are going to teach him again. If all goes well he´ll be baptized on the 10th.
Other than that there are 2 other investigators that are now progressing - finally! One of them still needs to get married. The other needs to confront his dad and tell him that he wants to get baptized. He's been meeting with the missionaries for a year now. Yesterday we were talking with the member family whose daughter is the gf. They said that the other day he finally decided to be baptized but that he needs to talk to the dad. Well see what happens with that. The dad is an Evangelico fanático. In other words, he's extremely religious and against every church - especially the Mormons-  that isn't his church.
So ya. That was the week. No, I still haven't received that package but we have Zone Conference this week so if it's arrived, I'll get it on Wednesday. It hadn't arrived on the 12th so hopefully now it's here.
So...... When one's personal space is violated by fleas, wear white clothes. It's a lot easier to find them, grab them, then kill them.
Love you all!
Elder Groneman

Monday, March 14, 2016

On the bright side, I can finally say that I'm a missionary in Valparaíso!

HAHAHAHAHA so this week had a surprise coming that I did not know was going to happen.

So. Last week we decided to explore a street that I had never been down. We knocked on a few houses, got rejected, and kept walking. This street had some nice dogs. They all wanted to be pet and were so nice that they decided to share their fleas with us! We contacted the very last house and it happened to be an old investigator from years ago. She told us that she didn't want anything to do with us but was going to invite us to pass by just to be nice. So, on Saturday we started on our way to her house for the appointment we had set. As we were walking down the street, the friendly dogs came up again wanting to be pet and in return share their fleas. Then, from a distance we see a 12ish year old kid chasing his dog which is running towards us rapidly. I recognized the dog, it was one that gave us its fleas. The dog reaches us and pauses. The kid catches up and then the dog lunges at me and bites me! After the initial shock that I had just been bitten - twas a very good bite - I just started laughing. Why, I don't know. I just found it funny. Then my leg started to hurt. Not too much though. I looked down to see that the dog had successfully ripped open my pants from just below the back pocket to below the knee. I asked a lady standing nearby for a needle and thread in order to quickly sew up the pants enough so that on the way to the pensión everyone wouldn't see my Gs.

The bite wasn't that deep, to my surprise. And my G only had a small little hole. My pants on the other hand were destroyed. Now my hamstring area is bruised and swollen. It hurts sitting down as well. On the bright side, I can finally say that I'm a missionary in Valparaíso!

That is the great story of the week. Oh, and yesterday Chile had a multi-skate conference. Pres Nielsen from the 12 presided via satellite. Turns out he speaks Spanish. Huh, who knew?


Elder Groneman

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Less Stressful Week

Yes, this week was a bit less eventful. Nothing that random happened.
We found a few more investigators this week. One of which is M**. Haha, she literally had a look of shock on her face when she opened the door. Ya, backstory:
Her mom is L**. About 10 years ago she was meeting with the missionaries and eventually got baptized. At this time M** was 14ish and a rebel. She didn't want anything to do with the church. Her younger sister on the other hand started listening to the missionaries. Well, both missionaries were taken out of the area and little by little the family lost contact with the church because they had a few problems that limited their ability to attend. In the end the mom and daughter that almost got baptized moved. Years later M** started talking to the missionaries. She told us that they would always pass by and talk but that she never went to church or got baptized. Well, 4 years ago she moved and lost contact.
When we knocked her door asking for her, she literally was in shock. I understand why. After not talking to the missionaries for 4 years and moving and then having them randomly show up at your house......HonestlyI  don't know how we have her name and direction. Elder G** found it somewhere. I still haven't taken the time to look in all of our stuff to see if it's there. All I know is that God knows who she is and where she is and He led us to her and her mom and her sister (who now is the kind of rebellious one). Hopefully we can help them return to church and be baptized! There's definitely a reason why we just "randomly" had her name.
Another new one we found was the mom of a guy we've been teaching. He was a hardcore drug addict so we think that messed up his brain a bit. His mom is all good though. We've always invited her to join in on the lessons but this week was the first time she actually sat down. We shared the Restoration and she definitely felt the Spirit. She immediately accepted a baptismal date - it already fell through though because she couldn't go to church yesterday. We're going to keep working with her and her son. She could be a very strong member.
One last thing. The bishop is great. Thanks to him we are now entering into every organization to teach them something for like 10mins at least once a month. Yesterday we taught the primary and the RS. Haha in between we went to EQ and ended up teaching how to give a health blessing. Then after church a bunch of people had to talk to us for the first time! Also, randomly they decided to put together a ward choir for ward conference on the 20th. Guess who's the pianist? Yay!
That's about it for the week.
Please don't yell at the computer when it decides to not work. It can't hear you - either that or it's pro at the silent game.......
Love you all!
Elder Groneman
So the ZL called right when the camera was about to take to picture. therefore you have this photo
the Zone from last change

the Zone from last change