Serving an LDS Mission in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


BAUTISMO!!! U** got baptized yesterday! It was also quite a normal baptism. Not quite as calm as the last one but once again nothing went wrong. I could get used to this....
C**, U**´s older sister now wants to get baptized as well. She keeps saying that this next Sunday is going to be her baptism but can't be. 1 because it's Stake Conference. 2 because she doesn't have enough church attendances. She will easily be baptized in June though. Oh, shes 10. Needless to say the Primary President is very pleased with the growing numbers.
We've been finding a few very promising new investigators and others that seem like they will progress but we still haven't been able to find their houses or them in their houses. One challenge of Valparaíso is finding people´s houses. Lots of times 5 families live in the same plot of land and every house has the same number. Then there are the houses that are in the gullies in between the hills and the ones that you have to travel through other houses and down/up stairs just to get to them. Haha it makes me think of the computer games in which you build houses. They never let you build houses on steep hills or really close to other houses, right? Ya, I don't think that the makers of those games ever visited Valpo. It is very possible to build houses on very steep hills.
Here are some fotos from the baptism.

Love you all!
Elder Groneman

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Good Week

This week was a good one. Nothing extremely exciting happened but good things still came to pass.
J** y F** were confirmed yesterday so all is well there. M** (J**´s mom) came to church finally. She's also an investigator. We are hoping that now that J** got baptized she will have more desires to follow his example.
This week we finally were able to teach a future investigator that we've been trying to teach for a couple months now but every time we've passed by she's been extremely busy. When we passed by she was actually about to tell us the same but then my comp (we were on interchanges) asked to use her bathroom. Yep, we entered the house. Anyways, as I was waiting for my comp, the husband comes up to me and asks me if we are busy because he wanted to talk with us. We always have time when you ask like that! We then proceeded to teach him and his wife (haha at the beginning she actually tried to leave the room to finish washing the dishes but he made her stop and sit down - yes!) He apparently is a less active (now very evangelico). They both felt the Spirit big time and she accepted a baptismal date immediately and then said that she wants her whole family to be baptized! They have 5 kids living with them and after passing by so much we already know them all. The oldest 3 will be a challenge baptizing...   :/ Impossible no, but with them it will be hard. Yay for the gospel! Life´s one-size-fits-all problem solver!
Sunday we should have another baptism. U** - 9years old. Ya, I told you we were going to baptize the primary. If we can finish teaching him everything, he'll be baptized. The only problem is that with his family the parents are very flakey and even when we pass by for appointments we set they usually have an excuse. That's why the oldest daughter still hasn't been baptized either. As of right now it seems that everything will go well but well, you never know. One thing that I've seen over and over again is how Satan loves attacking families and especially people about to be baptized. Lots of prayers would be a giant help  :)
Please make sure that you always have a way to access the roof when you play soccer with a bunch of white gringos. Turns out that soccer balls have a strange attraction to roofs.....
Love you all!
Elder Groneman

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bautización (Baptization)

J** and F** got baptized!!!! It was the most uneventful, calm, normal baptism I've had my whole mission. NOTHING WENT WRONG! It was a weird but nice change. The font worked perfectly, the kids and family arrived on time, the mission leader actually put together the program, no one forget anything, we didn't have to run anywhere, and the font drained fine as well. Wow, so that's how it should all work....weird....

We should also have another baptism on the 29th with the kid whose parents are less active. We started teaching him and if all goes as planned - which it rarely does - he should be baptized on the 29th. Then we are going to work on the older sister. Then hopefully the parents will actually be willing to get up early on Sundays to go to church because nothing else seems to have motivated them yet.

Update on E** - his dad is now avoiding us and we have no idea why. Almost 2 weeks ago now he told us that he wants to baptize E** and that we were going to work together to get it done. Well, ever since then he has been avoiding us. Ya, we are a bit confused with the whole situation. Lots of prayers are needed....

Oh, as for the title of the email - Bautización (Baptization for all you English speakers). J**, for some reason didn't realize for the longest time that you could just call it a baptism. Instead he would say things like "At what time is the baptization?" Haha he's great.

The random tip of the week is more serious this time - DON'T WALK THROUGH TEAR GAS!!! It is not a pleasant experience just in case you were wondering....

So ya, Love you all! Enjoy the photo of the baptism  :)
Elder Groneman

Sunday's baptism

Monday, May 9, 2016

Short Letter after Skyping

Yay! Short letter because I basically told the basics of what has been happening here. [We were able to Skype with Parker for Mother's Day. Best. Present. Ever.]

Oh, just to let you all know, the tradition continues - today we went to Viña to do Elder R**´s first tramites! Ya, I think we made record time finishing in less than 2 hours.

Okay, quick recap. J** and F** are going to be baptized this Sunday (assuming all goes well)! Haha the Primary definitely got a lot more.....energized...with J**. Think of Jacob´s energy and humor with Mecham´s habit of pestering. Now put that into a 10yr old kid. That's J** in a nutshell. It's definitely a party every time we teach him.

We got permission from the less active family to teach and baptize their son who is about to turn 9. He always goes to church with his uncle and gma. We are hoping that this will finally help the family to reactivate. Hopefully....

Ya that's about it.

Please remember that your feet stink. Be courteous to others and don't take off your shoes in public. I'm pretty sure becoming the world's first mass murderer for death by feet odor is not on anyone's bucket list.

Love you all!
Elder Groneman

[Sort of strange with Parker creeping over Mecham's shoulder]

Monday, May 2, 2016

Normal Week

This week was fairly normal. Nothing big or exciting happened.
The kids are almost ready to be baptized. They lack one lesson and their interview which will happen this week. Haha when we taught then we used the game we created to teach E**. At the end we reviewed all of the cards to make sure they understood everything. When we pulled up Thomas S Monson we asked them if they remembered his name. The older brother (member) said it but apparently the little sister (investigator) wasn't paying too much attention because she quickly raised her hand extremely enthusiastically and shouted "Matias S Mismos!!" We all burst out laughing (us, the brothers, the gma, and the cousin) because she was soo focused on remembering that she didn't even hear her brother and then blurted out a random name so rapidly and excitedly. Don't worry, she didn't get offended or mad. She kinda started laughing too when we told her why we were laughing. Haha, teaching little kids is definitely interesting sometimes.
There is also this young couple that aren't married.... Well, long story short, she wants to get baptized so about 6 months ago they were going to church, receiving the lessons, and even had a marriage date. But her parents were opposed to the marriage so in the end they didn't get married and stopped complying with their commitments. Well, the other day we confronted - with love and the Spirit of course. We talked to them about what the most important thing for them is. Of course they said their family (they have a 1 yr old daughter). We basically asked them if they were really focusing on what would help their family or only themselves. In the end they finally woke up to what they were actually doing. Now they are once again going to church, praying, and reading the BoM. We are going to start reteaching them the lessons so that when they get married (we still don't know if they've set another date yet) she can get baptized right away.
Thinking about that whole situation made me realize exactly how easily we can be distracted by things that are good but can impede us from achieving what we really want. They were distracted by school and work. Two good and necessary things but they let themselves become distracted, losing sight of what mattered most and where they wanted to go. I've decided that we need to take a step back and remember where we want to end up and if we aren't acting according to that vision then make the changes needed to get back on track.
So, about Sunday and Mothers Day.... Presidente Diaz told us that if we are in our last 2 changes (which I am) that we won't be able to call home. He doesn't want us to get unfocused and become trunky. Sorry Mom!
Okay, mean joke. I will be calling. I'll probably call between 4-6 Chile-time so like 1-3 home-time. I think it's 3 hours behind....  Please send me my username and password just to be sure that I remember it  :)
Love you all! Please be sure to brush your teeth before the Skype call. I don't think smelling someone's bad breath through a Skype call was a feature that they intended to add  ;P
Nos vemos el Domingo! [See you on Sunday!]
Elder Groneman