Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Well it was definitely a good week!

  So as you all know we had our big Christmas celebration on saturday! that was really fun! we all learned so much! we learned that even the Savior himself had people make fun of him and in comparison had very little followers during his ministry. But he not once measured his sucess by numbers or by how many baptisms he had. He was the perfect example of what it means to do the Fathers will with no desire for numbers or notice for doing something great. We cannot strive only for numbers we are here for individuals not to see the church's numbers increase. 

      This week was a great week! we are working on finding new people. which means we are walking and knocking doors a lot! but turns out its not that bad we like to make fun games out of contacting people! like the next green shirt we see we have to talk to! or things like that! And its a great time to learn more about my companion! 

     This week we had two really great lessons with two different people! and both of them are looking like they are ready to be baptized! we are excited to try and put dates for baptism for the two this week! one was the guy with the Iguanna and the other is a young man with 15 years and we are trying to get his Grandma also! I will keep you all uptaded on them next week! 

     This week on friday we have our ward Christmas party and we have done so much for it! i will try and send pictures next week to all of you! 

       Well the work is working and i am really happy and working hard! sorry my emails i feel like are always kind of boring. i will work on being a little more lively in my emails for the future! 

                                                  Love Elder Groen!!! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wow it's good to be in Chile!

Well first of all i think you all want to know about the birthday so i will talk about this first! after much anticipation the morning of December 6th finally came! and yes it was like Christmas morning and i woke up at 6:30! i just kind of sat around with a smile on my face then i rememberd i had a package from Allie and opened that! then i mad some pankakes for the other missionaries and myself! then i studied! then for lunch we went to the Bishops house and he had a Lasagna that was SOOOOO good! and a really good cake! then we went and worked it was kind of a bummer because a lot of our visits fell through, but we still talked to lots of people and worked really hard! All in All it was a great day doing what i Love to do!!! Work!!!

       second there is an elder in my zone! in fact he is one of the the Zone leaders! and he lives in Dalton's mission and this week he leaves for home so he is going to bring a letter to dalton for me this week im really excited about that! he was always such a good example to me and a great leader! 

       This week i got asked to prepare two musical numbers for our ward Christmas activity. that means two weeks to do two special numbers! 

       We have a family in the ward with the name of Salgado. they are going through a SUPER hard time right now. the dad of the family is in the hospital with cancer... and the rest of the family is doing everything they can to stay postive! almost all of them are members but the two youngest that are 14 and 15 are not. so right now we are teaching those two and trying to get them ready for baptism. but the family is giving up on the church and it is so sad to see them let go of the only hope they have for happiness in a time like this. the more they let go the more sadness we see in their lives and the more problems they feel. We are doing everything we can to help them come back to Christ but it is SOOO hard. 

       on the bright side of things! we have a Less active member named Felipe that had his rights suspended but this week he had an interview with the stake president and now has his goals to come back! we had a lesson with him and his wife and it was the most spirtitual thing to hear him bear testimony of how much he wants to help our bishop in this time when our ward is lacking priesthood bretheren. he is so excited to come back to the ward and help!! 

It was a great week we finally hit our goal of 20 lessons and 6 divisions for the first time on my mission!!! we are so excited that we were able to finally do it! and we are going to try again to do it!  

         Love Elder Ethan Groen! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hello everybody!!

First things first! THis is for EVERYBODY that reads this and please everyone who reads this should tell everybody that they know of this new enlightenment!!!! i was reading in a book called gospel principles!!!! and it said that a good activity for the saboth day is to take 10 or 20 minutes and write a letter to a missionary!!!!!!!!!!  Now of course i wouldn't say this in a selfish way so please you don't need to send me any letters... but think of all of the missionaries you know and spend some time to write a letter to them!!! you have no idea how happy it will make them!!! Letters are just about the very best thing in the whole world!!! what a great family sunday activity!!!!

      Second of all! this week i was called to help and be an asistant to the young mens president. when he is out of town(like riight now) i am in charge of the young men. its only us two and the bishop working with them right now! due to the short in numbers of priesthood bretheren in the ward. all of a sudden i am feeling a lot of stress, but i am going to do my best to prepare all of them for a mission! i was in thier position about 6 months ago! i understand them and know what they are all thinking! so i am going to do my best to love them and help them! that is something that is really small in this ward we have about 6 young men in this ward and i wouldn't say that any of them are particularly strong right now... but we are going to see about that!!!

     Third! This week we were teaching a cute old couple named Juan and Beatrice. we have been teaching them for about 2 weeks now about 3 lessons in total and in our 2nd and 3rd lessons we asked them to be baptized. they haven't said yes yet... they are VERY catholic, but they are changing and they commited to praying about the gospel and baptism into this gospel! they said the believe everything we have said is true including Joseph smith, the Book of Mormon, and the Plan of Salvation. they just won't commit to baptism... but i understand it is really hard for them to change now when they are both 80 years old and change what they have known for their whole lives! but we keep on asking and teaching with faith that they can know that this church is true and that they need to be baptized!!!! 

     the work is working and sometimes i feel like its really hard to be in a tough mission without baptisms or much results. but i alwasy remember the story of Abinidai and his seeds that he planted!!! I know i am doing the Lords work and will! And I KNOW this church is true! 

           I love you all and hope and pray for you all! Love Elder Groen!  

Friday, November 28, 2014

What a week!

           we had another special conference this week! so The 4 elders in my house all woke up early got ready and left. in total it was an hour and a half to the center where we had the meeting. we got there and right in front of the building saw two sister missionaries walking the other way and asked them. where are you going? they said we are going back home the meeting was cancelled! the night before this all happend our zone leaders sent us a text saying that it was cancelled. but our district leader never got that text and so we went all the way to find out it was cancelled... but it was fun! 

          then this week we had interviews with president! in my interview i got a feeling that he has a lot of trust in me! it gave me a feeling that not only him but my Father in Heaven also has a lot of trust in me! i tmakes me want to work SOOO hard so I do not let either of them down. 
         the work is working! we are seeing an increase in our sacrament attendance that is amazing, but we are struggling because all of our worthy priesthood brothers are working with the stake and it seems like we keep losing leaders to help the ward. the amazing thing is we had a ward council meeting where the bishop adressed all of his problems that he had with the missionaries in the past and said i am sorry. it was one of the most spiritual meetings i have been in yet on my mission! It was amazing to see so many humble hearts turn to the Lord for help in a time of need! this humility is going to help this ward I know it!!! 

         We have a menos activo named Jose that is really awesome we are seeing an incredible change in him and think he is going to come back to the church this week! keep on listening next week to find out whats going on with him!!!

I want to give a special thanks to all of you that read this for this special week of thanksgiving! Your prayers are felt and needed! I am so grateful for the thousands of examples that were and are in my life thank you all so much!!!

And my family! Mom, Dad, Jessi, Dalton, and Gabe. you all gave me so much! so much more than i ever deserved! but i want you all to kow that i am so grateful for everything and i am so grateful that we can live together forever!!! "Groen, we are loyal to God and each other!" 

Love Elder Groen!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sorry everybody!!

I didn't have time to write my big long letter that usually isn't that long i am going to try and get better at that! please know i love you all and pray for you all see you next week!!! and i will write a letter all about this week and send it next week how does that sound? Chow!!!
Love Elder Groen!!!!

(I asked Ethan about the Iguana in the picture posted in the last blog.  Here is his answer:)

we went to a house that Elder lopez said they contacted before i was here. they hadn't been in before but we were going to try! they let us in and we went to the back yard! there was two guys about 28ish and a girl too! the investigators name is Felipe! we just spend about a half hour getting to know them and then they started asking about the church. when they did they asked about the word of wisdom. then he said " I love nature and everything to do with it including my lizard and marajuanna." it was wierd but then he went and got his lizard and thankfully not his marajuanna. now we have taught another lesson and he said he would read the title page of the Book of Mormon and pray about it! I know he felt something which is why he lets us come back! his name is Felipe!

(And here's the treat of our week.  Ethan didn't send it to us.   I got it from the mom of one of the other Elders in the song. Enjoy!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hey Guys!

So this week we had the most amazing chance to hear from Elder Vinas, Elder Christensen, and Elder Nelson! they all spoke about wonderful things! but Sister Nelson and Elder Nelson were absolutely incredible! Sister Nelson told us of our divine heritage and the spirts that are with us helping us everyday of our lives! she said we need to be constantly praying to realize where we came from and what we have to do! and that we need to pray always to know of the spirits that are with us always! Then Elder Nelson spoke of The Abrahamic covenant and our divine lineage in this earth and the gathering of the 12 tirbes of israel! both were amazing but what happened at the end of the Meeting was a miracle! 

      Elder Nelson had a translator the entire time and spoke in English because he doesn't know spanish! but at the end he said now i am going to give you an apostalic blessing! but he said that in spanish! then he gave us an apostolic Blessing in PERFECT spanish!!!! I don't know if he was or wasn't to the others in that room but when he gave that he was literally glowing!!!!! right then i felt the spirit so strong and i will never be able to deny that he is an apostle of the Lord! i know without a doubt that the Lord sent him to Chile to help us help the people! it was INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!

       other than that the week has been good! We are finding many many new people to teach we are tring to have faith that the Lord has a plan and prepared people for us to teach! President Cook sent Elder Lopez and I this letter! 

I am doing great and i hope all of you are too! please remember to have faith in all things!!!!
 Love Elder Groen!!!!

*Note from Mom - we finally got some pictures. The date happens to be the same and was way before he left for his mission, but hey, they are pictures!!!!    We're not sure about all the people so we don't have names on some. 

Elder Groen & new companion Elder Lopez

Elder Groen & Elder Burt and trick-or-treaters?

Elder Fernando (Fernandez?)? and Elder Groen 

I recognize Elder Burt and Elder Groen

Elder Groen and Elder Burt

I just don't know about that tie.... He sure is enjoying his huge tie purchase. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

hello everybody!

i was changed this week to a new ward with my new companion Elder Lopez from Columbia! my new wards name is Progresso! Elder Lopez and I have the same time in the mission but are super excited to work hard together! we are super excited! I am super excited to find new people in the ward and learn all about these new people! At first i was sad and didn't want to leave Covarrubius! i thought that it had the best people in the world! but this week i learned so much about the plan that Heavenly Father has for me! He knows where others need me and what i can do for them! and I need to submit my will to his will and show him that i am willing to give my life to him!!!! Sorry it is so short! but next week i hope to have more information on this new ward and these new people!!! 

I love you all please have a fabulous week!!!

Love Elder Groen! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Family Search

     So this week was a good week! first of all we are back on the streets again without sickness working hard! and we are one week away from transfers! stay tuned for next week to find out who will be my next comp!! 

      Now to the work! we have an less active named Oscar and we are trying to help him overcome some problems right now! i have been praying for how to help him for a long time now and i think Heavenly Father is opening a new door for him! this week i got the idea or prompting that i needed to do some family history with him! so we talked about temples with him and in our next visit we are going to teach him how to use the family search website! we are almost positive that we will have a name to take to the temple for him so all we need now is that he gets a temple recommend!!!

We have another less active family the Meza Family and the Dad is really great we talked with him about baptisms for the dead and then we helped him do some work on Family Search and this sunday he has an interview for a temple recommend!! 

     I am literally seeing the hearts of the children being turned to their Fathers! i am seing revelation happen before my eyes! i can't wait to go to the temple with them!!! Family Search is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      if you are feeling sad or down hearted. i have a solution! please take the 20 minutes to make an account and do some family search! you can do your own work or you can index! either way it will belss you more than you could know!!

                                                   With all the love from Santiago to Home!
                                                                Elder Groen!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wow another week in the Lord's vineyard!

     WEll first of all this last week on friday we got a new investigator that moved into the ward! she is absolutely incredible! i think she has been prepared in so many ways for us to teach her! i can't wait to teach her again on this friday! her name is Arielle! super pumped about that one!
 Then the plague hit our house! my comp got sick last friday and had to go in the house early and couldn't go out all saturday... so the other three elders and me did divs all those days and tried to get to visit everybody! Then on monday Elder purnell and my comp were both sick again and they stayed home all day so i went on divs with Elder Mellado all day long! then yesterday Elder burt said he needed to come in early because he was sick... Then yesterday he told me he didn't study at all in that whole time he was sick!!! i coulnt believe it!! he was inside for somewhere around 30 hours and didn't study at all!!!!!!!! i was trying to be patient with him and have some sympathy for him but it killed me! i felt sick all of those days too but i knew that if i didn't go visit the people they wouldn't get visited! and i knew that i wasn't that sick so i could go and do it! but then it just about killed me because he had stayed inside and i felt like it was all a big excuse so he didn't have to work hard... i just feel like if we look for excuses to not work we will find them but also if we try to give everything we have we will be blessed with the strength to do anything! sorry everybody that was very pesimistic of me but please do not look for excuses!!!!
then on monday we had our Zone conference and it was absolutely incredible!! President told us that our faith is not where it should be and told us that we need have more faith in baptisms and in the power of the spirit! so I am giving everything i can to listen to his words and give more room in my life for faith! After all when we have faith we can move mountains!!!

                          With all the love in the world,Elder Groen

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back to normal

             This week we are back to the normal! After busy General conference and stake conference we are going into a regular sunday! so we finally get to go out and work our week normally! this week we are shooting for 20 lessons and 6 lessons with members! Numbers are kind of a hard thing to fugure out on the mission! we can't let our lives be dominated by the thought of numbers, because then we forget that each number is a person and that person has specific needs and a specific life! but on the other hand numbers show us how important records are in this church! Heavenly Father cares so much about us that he wants to know exactly who is a member and who is doing what! when we realize this love that he has it makes sense that we record the numbers! also numbers help us to measure what more we can be doing! when we see that we didn't reach our goal for the week it motivates us to do more and to try harder to teach more people!!! 

           We are working especially with Francisco and Pato right now! both of them are great people but they are just missing the action part of the gospel! The prophets teach and have always taught that we must act and when we do we recieve! so when we give a scripture or ask them to pray and they don't, but then they say why can't i feel the spirit like you always say i can. we tend to get a little frusterated. but we always try to rmemer that to help them we need patience and love and we look for any possible way that we can help them keep their commitments with us!!!!

           Here in Chile we walk almost all day everyday but i am learning that walking is really fun! if you don't believe me try it! instead of driving somewhere try walking its a great time to talk with someone and learn more about them!!! 

Remember that somewhere else in the world someone is always smiling so why shouldn't you smile!!!

                                         Love the practically chilean Elder Groen!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Miracles Happen TODAY!!!!

      so before i talk about the rest of the week i have to tell you about Monday!!!!! we had district meetings in the morning but then after we had lunch pretty early. so we left early and walked over to our lunch appointment! it was with Nicole and Patricio, Nicole was just reactivated and is awesome! but Pato is out of a job and looking for work. so he had a interview for a job and couldn't be to lunch. so we invited a ward member named oscar to come with us so that we could go in the house! she made lasagna while we all sat around and talked with her (mom i tried to help her she would not let me, i promise!). then Pato got back from his interview about an hour after we got there and he said it went really well! then what happened next was amazing! Pato doesn't talk a lot with us usualy. but all of a sudden him and oscar just started talkin about everything and they were instant friends. I am so glad for that because that is what Pato needed most right now! that was the first miracle of that day! then we all ate lunch and thought nothing of it! then after lunch Nicole told us the story of a woman in the bible who only had enough food to feed one person and fed the prophet Elias with it, but after she fed him their was more food in the pot and so she fed her children and then their was more for her! Nicole told us that usually one pan of lasagna barely feeds thier family of her, pato and little Maxi. they usually only have one square left. but she fed 7 people 4 missionaries, Oscar, her, Pato, and their son Maxi!!!!! she said everytime whe went back for another scoop their was more food!!!!!!! she wasn't even planning on eating that day and got worried when oscar came and when pato got home!!!!! Then Pato Said he didn't know why or how but that everything she said was true and that it shouldn't have happened!!!!!! Miracle number 2!!! then Pato said he would come to FHE this week with Oscar's family!!!!!! Miracle number 3!!!!!!!

              then that night we visited with oscar, because he has a smoking problem and is still techinically not an active member until we can help him overcome that! anyway we visited with him and shared a scripture, then i said the closing prayer and i thanked heavenly father for his good heart and service and asked that he would be blessed for his service. then when the prayer was finished he was crying and thanked us again!!! Miracle number 4 (he doesnt ever cry! EVER!!!! his words!) 

              this week has been such a great week! i promise when you pray for something and then work for it you will recieve that thing, as long as it is Heavenly FAther's will!!

                 we do a lot of walking and working but i love it all so much! i have never been as happy as i am now on my mission! i hope all is well with all of you!!!

                                                Love Elder Groen!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Book of Mormon is a book of power

Last thursday on the 18th (Chile's independence day! Super fun! Kind of!) we had a big Mission meeting with Elder Zeballos from the quorum of the 70! it was such a great meeting! president, sister Cook, Elder Zeballos, and Sister Zeballos all spoke about the Book of Mormon! 

on monday september 8th we were told that we were going to start reading the Book of Mormon ont he 18th and finish it on December 13th as a mission! so i decided that i should finish it before that! so i spent every moment i had extra and read the book! i went from Alma 34 to the end in a week and a half! it was a lot of reading for story and now i am back to my deep study of it but it was really cool to just read it and see of the goodness of the prophets in it! Now i started and im on track to finish it by the 13th! I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true! And i testify of Moroni's promise that you can know to! if you read and pray you will recieve confirmation that it is a book from Heavenly Father! and you will recieve strength to bear your trials with patience! 
then on the 19th we celebrated the 18th with the ward! the best part was we got there adn two of our investigators were there and it was so special to see them just have a good time and smile and be with the ward! the ward did missionary work without even realizing it!!! 
 One of the menos activos we have been working with for a while got called to be the ward sunday school president and he is SOOOO motivated to work hard! i am so excited for him and this calling! 

this week we spent most of our time walking and knocking! we didn't get very many lessons... but it is motivating for me to think that its not always the number of lessons or baptisms that determines what kind of a missionary we were! it just matters how hard we work and how much we live up to our potential! 

                                   lots of love from Elder Groen!!!!

From Andrea: The next comments are from Ethan when we told him that John, Andrea, Gabe and Sydney (our cousin) are in the LDS Church's Savior of the World production this year.   Jessi has school on Tuesday and Thursday nights when we will be performing, so she couldn't participate this year. 

"oh my Goodness Dad that makes me SOOOOOO happy that you guys made it! my companion has the CD of the soundtrack and we have listned to it here and there, but when we do i only think about how much i loved that time and how much that increased my testimony! memories of wonderful friends we made always come flooding back into my head! I know it will bless the family so much and i know you will love the experience to participate in it!!!!!

ok we worked our way back up to 13 lessons this week. its hard it was still the 18th so everybody was gone on vacations... we did a lot of door knocking again! but we are excited about this week to get our numbers back up! and we can´t give out Book of Mormons on the streets because too many people smoke weed with them... so we have to be in a house teaching someone in order to give one away... oh chile... 

language is great! we get along great! and we obey all of the rules! right now we are trying to help the other two missionaries we live with be more obeidient! but we just got a new missionary in the house! Elder Torres is gone and Elder Mollado from conception Chile is here!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

There is real power in prayer!

so this week was hard because we spent most of our time walking around knocking doors and trying to contact... anyone who has tried this knows that their is a lot of work and not a lot of reward. so i began to get down hearted. then i read in the book of mormon about prayer and the power that fervent prayer has! so i decided that i was going to try this! i did this about two weeks ago! and at first we saw no change at all... but then the past four days have been incredible! first we talked two three peole during contacting that said they were interested and said we could come back!!!!! for those of you who don't know this is a miracle! chileans NEVER have time for the missionaries in thier houses!! then we got two references from a member i haven't ever gotten one before this! and finally we found more opportunites to serve this week than we have before ever! I know that the power of prayer is real and that with it we can change the world! but don't forget that after you get off your knees you have to work! this is a promise from the prophets! and i know that it is true! 

            then one more story! last night we went to visit nicole and Pato nicole is our recent convert and pato is her investigator husband. we went and they live in a big apartment building, and in these buildings you have to go to the front desk and call them before you can go up to their house. yesterday we went and they let us go straight up without calling. then when we got up there we knocked then we heard fighting. After a little bit of time they let us in and we shared a message about christ! i know that because of their willingness to let us in and to hear a message they invited the spirit back into their house and when we left they were holding hands!!!! that was an incredible tender mercy that we didn't have to call them because they probably would have just said not now! 
                                                               Love Elder Groen! 
p.s. i finally put some pictures up!!!

Tie anyone? 

90 lbs of ties for $44 dollars - what a deal.
(notice their bunk beds and how close they are to the ceiling).

Elder Burt & Elder Groen
Can you guess which desk is Ethan's?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

how important are the members of the church? ESSENTIAL!

so this week was different first off i went on divisions with my zone leader elder Toledo on thursday and turns out he lives in daltons mission! I learned so much from him about how important it is to listen and how important it is to love the people he was an incredible example of those two things! 

        then this week we tried to find more investigators and less active members to teach. so we did a LOT of contacting! we yelled Allo! a million times this week and we didn't get one new investigator. it is hard but it requires a lot of patience! so we have been trying to find new ways to get investigators and we started asking the members in every way possible. we were given 4 new references and two possible investigators. but now in order to keep those people we need the members to keep helping us and go on visits with us so those people have a friend to help them. Without members what we do would literally be impossible! so i want to extend a challenge to everyone that reads this email! please think of every person you know that is not a member and choose one that you can invite over for dinner, family night, movie night, or anything else and then all you need is 10 minutes or more if you can to have the missionaries talk with those people while they are in a comfortable but different setting. Please find a way to get involved with this work the missionaries need you but more important the lord needs you too!!!!

      then we talked with a contact we had and met her dad and he told us all about his time spent in whales and all about some places that i'd heard of! it was so cool how a conversation about his life led us exactly into the plan of salvation and he said he would be willing to listen to our message we are SOOOOO excited to teach him!

     then this week we had a reactivation! Nicole was a member when she was a little girl but her family fell away while she was still young, so she never really was a member. so right before i got to the sector they started teaching her. and she had been truly prepared by the lord. Anything we asked her to do she did with no questions. now she is active and her husband Patricio is listening to our lessons!!!! at first he told us he wanted nothing to do with our message!!!!!!! she is so awesome and her husband has been touched by the spirit it is sooo exciting!

      well just to let you all know right after i am done emailing i am going into my house until friday morning. September 11 is independance day for chile and they blow up cars and shoot guns so tomorrow is my super deep clean of my house!!!! wahoo!!!! gotta love chile!

                                                       Love elder groen
p.s. i sure love all of you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Another week in Chile!

last thursday was super good! we got three lessons and a member came with us for one of them! then we found out about poor Elder Delgato... my first companions trainer. he is having some serious panic attacks and has to change companions now... 

      friday it rained again! but we had an opportunity to teach Noche De Hogar! Family Night! and we chose to talk with the ward about unity in missionaries and the ward, and then about how we need to come together to make this work what it can become! and it went really well! it is very hard our ward is a little lazy... but part of the problem is they have never been taught or shown another way! this is our goal to begin to try and establish this ward to help them see what the lord needs of each of us! its not always easy or comfortable but the lord will always bless us for our service! 

     Saturday was tough there was a lot of complaining about the ward and them being lazy by the other missionaries... just remember that nothing good comes from murmuring it is bad!

    sunday we had ward conference and it was super good! and the stake president shared some awesome things with us! and that night we taught 3 lessons too so it was a really good day! 

    Monday i went on my very first splits and i went with my district leaders companion who had some big problems with rules. and it was so bad to see the way he just didn't care. it made me grateful for the missionaries i have in my house! and it made me want to give everything i have to being an obedient missionary! 

    Tuesday was really cool we woke up and got to go do service we painted some less active members house because they are moving but they promised to talk to the missionaries!!!!! then that night one of our lessons fell through so we were about to go to our plan B but i said we should go check up on our contacts from a week and a half ago because we haven't had time to do it yet. and so we did and we found out that a man named louis had his child admitted into the hospital and he is really worried so we asked if we could come back later. and we think that this gospel could really help him. i think the lord has been preparing him for us!!! and it wouldn't have happend if i didn't listen to the prompting of the spirit to go there!! 

     wednesday today!! we went to get a farda!!! it is a HUGE bag 90 pounds worth of ties we split the cost between 4 missionaries and got over 1000 ties it cost each of us 11 US dollars!!!!!!!!!! it was so cool i will send pictures when i can it was Super fun!!!!

       family remember when it rains a little it just means that a rainbow is coming! our trials will test us but what matters is how we trust in the lord during them!! and how we serve during them!!!

                                          Love, Elder Groen!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

hey guys love ya'll

so first of all i spent almost all my time trying to figure out how to download pictures so my letter will be kind of short! and second of all the dang thing i bought so i could download pictures won't work so i didn't get any pictures up yet... please don't kill me! 

      now my week! so we have been working on an 18 year old named fransisco who is SUPER smart and he is reading and praying about baptism, but he says he hasn't felt an answer. so we are trying to help him see all of the different ways the spirit can touch us! 

Oscar another less active member has now been off of drugs for 3 weeks!!!! its a miracle he couldn't go 3 days without before he started reading the scriptures with us everyday!! 

everyday we walk So much but the cool thing is we are coming in contact with hundreds of people everyday that we are helping plant seeds. Just remember the lord needs willing servants who will be his soldiers to fight satan in these latter days!!

 oh and mom the missionaries in the ward were volunteered to be in the ward choir so... yup im back at it again! we are going to practice right after we email today!!! 

  the trainer of my old companion is having some stress problems right now and they are going through a pretty big trial. so please if you could family pray for elder delgatto and elder Curtis they could use the extra blessings! 

also everyone promise me you will read the book of mormon or any scriptures but without them you cannot feed your seed of faith and of testimony. i can't tell you how much i wish the people down here would learn that... so please do it, its so little being asked.

                                                         Love elder Groen! 
p.s.    the word of the week is sonrisa.       lift up your hearts and rejoice!     SMILE!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

hashtag numb one

so on thursday we had our interviews with president cook! and it was so fun just to get to know him and talk with him! turns out he knows Elder Zwick really well i told him i would tell elder zwick hi for him if i ever got the chance! maybe you could help me out there Allie?!?!?! 

           Friday was my official welcome to chile day!!! so first in the morning i was doing my scripture study and i looked up out the window and a house in our ward about 5 blocks away was on fire!!!!!! then all of our plans and lessons fell through one after another so we walked for about 4 hours straight with no lessons. then while we were contacting some houses a guy stopped us and told us to come over to his house so we did and told him who we are and what we are doing and he said come in lets talk about Jesus! Right then my companion and I looked at eachother and smiled! the people of chile never invite you in unless they are ward members. so we went in and it turned into us listening to him. then we asked if we could share a message about our gospel and why we are serving missions and he told us that its more important to listen than to talk so we needed to listen... that made me chuckle a bit! then at the end he told us about his marajuana (sorry don't know how to spell that) and we aren't aloud to be in a house with marajuana and we had been there listening for about 1 hr and 45 minutes so we left him with a few words and a pamphlet and will continue to pray about what we should do with him! then we went to teach an investigator named oscar and when we got there he was fighting with his sister they are like 40 and 45 and he said not tonight and just left... so we knocked on a few more doors and went back to the house. then while we were planning we heard a ton of gun shots about 10 blocks away in our sector and the next day found out there was a gang fight with 42 gun shots fired and they think one man was killed but the police have tried to stay out of it so their is no official report, so we don't know for sure... yeah WOW what a crazy day and mom don't worry im fine and just remember the promise that the lord made to the sons of mosiah!!

            Saturday we had two pretty big service projects that took up most of the day and that was really good then we taught oscar and we ran into a lady that we think we can really help that seems to be very receptive of the gospel so we are excited about her!!!

           Sunday i gave a 5 minute talk to introduce myself and help get the ward excited about missionary work and it was really awesome even though my spanish wasn't very good i bore my testimony and after a lady in the ward told me that she thinks the world needs more young people like me and it was the sweetest thing ever!! and no i didn't understand that all at first my companion helped translate for me!!! then i attended meetings for a long time then we had lunch at 4 and went and taught 4 lessons that night!!

           Monday we had my first zone and district meetings and they were both good but in spanish and hard for me to understand!! then we went and had lunch and taught all that night!!!!

           tuesday we taught a teenager in the ward english in the morning and gave his 90 year old grandma a blessing then we went to a zone practice to practice our play for the stake primary and i got assigned the rold of John Taylor which is the only speaking part for an elder and i am the only one who doesn't speak fluent spanish in our zone... but im still way excited for that i think they will laugh at me a lot!!!! then that night we taught francisco and i extended my first baptismal invitation and he said if he recieved an answer he would get baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i know if he does the things we have asked him to do he will recieve an answer because the lord always keeps his commitments!!!!! 

     Here on the mission i have found a new love for the scriptures every morning i read 5 chapters in the BOM but then i have so much more to study i have to stop... but i have never had a desire like this i absolutely love it!!!!! my spiritual message comes from mosiah 24:15 when the people of alma were righteous but were still overcome by the lamanites and alma promises them that they must remain faithful to the lord and he will deliver them! and it says that they prayed and the lord stregthened their backs that they could cary their burdens and overcome their trials and then it says they waited with patience and cheerfulness.

              we have trials and hardships every day and not only is it important to have faith in the lord but it is important to wait with patience and cheerfullness! i am learning how important it is to be postitive always here on my mission. some missionaries seem so bummed and grumpy sometimes and it just makes the work so much harder... the power of a smile is really special!!!

                                                         Love Elder Groen because he loves you!!!! that sounds kind of funny!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

hey guys i made it!

                 well this week! where to start... oh yeah the beginning! on thursday we went on splits with some missionaries from santiago east for 5 hours and it was so incredible! i shared my testimony with a little old lady and she started crying! i didn't know i could do that in spanish!!!!!!!! it all just really settled my nerves and showed me that i can do this!!!

           friday and saturday were good we said goodbye to all of our teachers on saturday and it was sad but exciting!!! 

           sunday was normal and wonderful!! then at night President Cook came and spoke at the CCM and it was AMAZING!!!!!  "we congratgulate you for your sacrifices but we do not apoligize for them!" 

           Monday was a big long boring orientation day and we learned all about how to work with ward members!!!

           Tuesday was the big day!! we woke up at 6 and got ready to leave then we left to the mission at 8 and got there at about 9 then we took care of all of the paperwork and that good stuff! and i learned that my trainer and new companion is Elder Burt! he is really cool he is from massechusits i know i spelled that very wrong but i can't think in english sorry! and we had a really good lunch!!!! then we had a testimony meeting with all of the new elders and sisters! then we left to my new home!! it is really small and we live in the upstairs of a cute old couple that are members! it is so humbling to see what these people have and how happy they still are! count your belssings you are all living in mansions! and please serve everyone you can there is no reason not too! anyway then we went and taught the mesa family that was super hard they spoke the fastest spanish i have ever heard! but i was able to share my testimony and try to speak with them!! then we taught Oscar who is a great guy but has a problem with drugs... so we meet with him everyday to make sure he is staying out of trouble! but he is just a happy gut that wants to improve his life it is so humbing!!! 

             today was pday and we played soccer that was super fun and then we had complaetos a big hotdog with everything on it yummmm!! then we cleaned the apartment and came here!!!! 

                I know this church is true and i love it with all my heart! please, please, please serve the lord will give you opportunities all the time just take advantage of those! I love you all!!!!
                                                    Love Elder Groen 
          p.s. keep on keepin on
          p.p.s. come up with lots of questions that i can answer next week!!!!

Elder Groen asleep - what a surprise! 

Missionary selfie

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

gotta love it but I sure am ready to leave!

So as you all hopefully know i am leaving to the field in one week from today! i can not tell you how not ready i feel but how ready i am to leave! I love the CCM so much but all day stuck in a stinky classroom with no windows gets a little tiresome! And so i am very excited! this week we will go on splits with the local missionaries and we will go contact people in the park (Scary but Fun)!!! the Bad news of all this is i do not think i will be able to email next week so i am very sorry for that but please send me all of your emails because i love to hear how EVERYONE is doing!!!

      Any way this week was fun but also very similar to every other week!! On tuesday we said goodbye to all of our teachers and that was sad because you get to grow so close to them, but we got new awesome teachers on wednesday so it was fine!! Wednesday we got a few new things. We got new teachers Hna. Arcos, Hno. Gonsalez and hno. Correa! i love all of them a lot but they don't speak any english so sometimes it is very difficult!! We got two new roomates for two weeks Elder Clegg and Elder Puzey! they are nice boys i like them we don't see them a whole lot but its all good!! 

Thursday we taught an investigator and turns out he is a bar tender and i told him i wanted a drink... spanish is kind of hard sometimes!!! other than that it was just spanish all day long!

Friday was excatly what every day is here so it was kind of boring but i like the days here so it wasn't bad in any way!!!

Saturday i had a cool experience with an investigator! he was talking about his concerns and the spirit just prompted me to talk about why we chose to serve missions so i did and he completely changed and began to listen to our message i was so happy! the spirit is definitely the teacher not us!!!

Sunday was good but we got put into the all spanish lessons so all day long i don't really know what was said, but i do know that i felt the spirit and that is what is most important!! 
Monday was good we didn't do a whole lot but we did talk about how much of a miracle it is that we are in Chile being able to learn spanish!!! 

I know this gospel is true please do what is right make the everyday little decisions the right ones and when it comes time for the big ones it will be a MILLION times easier to make it!!! God loves his children, and i love the people of Chile and all of you!

                                                      Love Elder Groen the one who is in Chile!
p.s. enjoy milk it is something that i wish i had.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


      Wednesday was super hard i felt like it went on for hours and hours and hours staying awake was impossible! but it was still full of the spirit so i can't complain! 

Thursday was Pioneer day and no one down here knows about it not even a ton of the missionaries... so i told everyone that it was and made it a special day because no one else seemed to really care! but I had a really awesome day!! And Elder curtis and I were asked to teach in priesthood! that was really special!

Friday was pretty boring... Hermano Marcel bore his testimony about Never losing the Faith. i really love that message! why are we here not for ourselves, so don't lose the faith!

Saturday during one of our lessons President Doll the president of the CCM came in and was a memeber of the ward. He taught us so much about listening to the investigator and focusing on their needs. at the end of the day i felt Really sick but i prayed and when i got to Alcantra i went right to bed and sunday i felt better!!

Sunday was full of the spirit!!! WE listened to a talk by Elder Oaks that was awesome he talked about missionaries who have a real change of heart! Elder Gilbert taught the lesson in the afternoon devotional about planning and being prepared. then sacrament meeting and sunday school were both focused on obedience!! And then Elder Curtis and I taught a lesson about the book of Mormon to all of the English speaking Elders in priesthood! 

Monday was sad there were a lot of lasts... our roomates and a bunch of the missionaries left this morning (tuesday morning!) so it is sad to see them leave and Elder and sister Gilbert the couple that is called to mannage Alcantra leave on thursday and the Jacobsons come in!! that is going to be a hard goodbye! WE also went out on the streets and gave out pamphlets! It was super scary but really cool we gave out all three of ours and got some new names for the local missionaries!! 

Now Ethans Missionary Stats at the CCM!! 
13-15 prayers in one day(sometimes more)
2-3 hours of scripture study and reading
4-5 hours of language study
3 meals a day
3 different teachers every day

This weeks missionary message is about listening! I felt like i kept hearing the idea of listening all week long!! you have to listen so you can aske inspired questions. this way investagators will teach themselves and tell you exactly what to teach them! its amazing how listening with the spirit is so important!!!!!

I love you all so much please keep doing the small things they will change your life i promise!! 

                                            Keep on keepin' on!
                                             Love Elder Groen the one in Chile

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I wouldn't rather be anywhere else!

I love everyone so much and i miss you guys but man i really do love it here despite the hard times the good ones make it all worth it!!!

 now all about my week to keep you updated!! 

tuesday we said goodbye to the three oldest Elders that were staying at Alcantra with us! then we went to the chilean Walmart called Liters! that was definitely a new experience! 

Wednesday we got our 3 new teachers for the next two weeks!! Hermano Marcel, Hermana Arcos, and Hermana Areneda. so that means we get three new investagators too! its kind of hard because we were just starting to get somewhere with our last investagators... but im very excited for the new ones! that night we had a fun game of "who can get on the top bunk without using there hands!"  im pretty lucky because there are 4 of us to our room and 4 to one shower all the other rooms have 6-8 per shower! 

Thursday we met all of the new missionaries and they all seem very nice they are all going to santiago Este (east) We also had an awesome lesson on obedience!  It reminded me of what elder Zwick and President Eyring said to me before I left!!! 100% obedience! 

Friday night my roomates and I got in trouble for not being on time in the mornings... but its hard because most mornings i sit around ready to go for 10-20 minutes just reading, while i wait for them to get ready. Oh well they are trying to get better and that is what matters! It was still a great day i played soccer for the first time here! and Hermana Arcos told me i need to bear my testimony more because the spirit is so strong when i do! that was really nice of her!! 

Saturday was good our lesson went really well and i understood almost everything that was said in spanish!! also we had a substitute hermano Alvarez and i found out he served in Long Beach California and one of his mission presidents was mari Bubert's Dad! she was my friend in junior high and left in 9th grade when they got called to that mission!!! he also taught us the reasons why people serve missions. Fear-Duty-blessings-charity!!! Good, better, best!!! i hope im here for the right reasons! 

Sunday was awesome just like always!! frist we watched a video from 2011 of Elder Holland addressing the missionaries in the provo MTC it was INCREDIBLE!!!! he talked about converting ourselves before converting our investagators, then he talked about peter and the principle of a change of heart and feeding his sheep! then we watched the movie On The Lords Errand about president monson! and talked about him with the class. then we had our sunday meetings and those were all awesome and about the Holy Ghost! then for FHE we watched a video about the Book of Mormon, Parley Pratt, and an italian man who found a book of mormon and wearched his whole life for the church that the book belonged to! I love the book of mormon and we should never take it for grantid! Monday! today Elder Curtis yelled from the shower "holy hot mother of my children!" as the water turned super hot coming out of the shower! today Elder christensen went home... its hard to see him go but he is doing it for the right reasons and wants to be here serving worthily and honestly so he is going to clear some things up and come back out! I can't imagine the courage it took to admit he had a problem im sure he struggled with that every day so im so proud of him for putting his savior first and using the atonement!!!

                                                                   Love Elder Groen!!!! 
p.s. I hope everybody is reading there scriptures!! EVERYBODY not just family!!!
Elder Prince and Elder Groen 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We can do hard things!

This week has been a roller coaster! last tuesday after i emailed we got to go to the temple and it is super pretty it is very small compared to the bountiful temple but it is just as pretty! I love that the gospel is the same around the world. 

        I am learning that sometimes i can let myself get annoyed very easily. and some of the elders are kind of unique but this week has been all about learning that none of what i am doing is about Ethan. So when i find myself annoyed or bugged i try to do service of somekind. Our investagators are really hard to teach sometimes especially for me because i have so much to say but my spanish holds me back and i can't communicate... but then today one of our teachers told me she was so grateful that i didn't let spanish hold me back. She said that it was so cool that sometimes i couldn't think of a word but i did my best to communicate the word with the investagator, but more important she could see the spirit in my eyes and my love for the investagator! that meant so much and showed me that the spirit is the most important not how well i can speak spanish!!! 

          you will all be interested to know that yes we did have an earthquake and it was awesome! but it was small and only lasted 6 seconds... none the less it was still super awesome and we freaked out! 

          I have to tell you about an elder named Elder Walker. he is probably the most unique person i have ever met. he has no intention of being friends with anyone else at all. One day this week he was saying why nobody likes him usually.(he seemed to be ok with that but i think really that was really hard for him.) then i said why what do you like to do. he said i like to run, play video games, sing, and play with my dog. Then i said look i like to do all of those things too. then i asked what kind of music he liked and he said he loves josh groban and i  yelled ME TOO!!!! then something cool happened he started to open up to me and our district and now he will laugh and talk with us! i am so glad that i could help him realize that he is loved because no one should ever feel like they are not loved. 

         I love all of you so much and i know that the lord will bless you all for your time and effort devoted to service! please always do the small things and everything else will take care of its self and also always remember that Jesus Christ Loves you and died for YOU!!! 

Yo se que el Jesucristo es nuestro salvador y obra missional es marvilloso! 

                                                 LOVE, Elder Groen the Elder
p.s. sorry if my spanish spelling was wrong or a little off im still getting there!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It is such a crazy ride!

first of all i flew with 32 other missionaries and i think 45 others to Chile! It was such a blessing to have so many others do that for the first time also! the plane ride to Atlanta was awesome i bore my testimony to a man named Hashi after he asked me a ton of questions about our church and our missions! I told him that My family is where some of my most happy times come from and that i love this gospel because it brings me so much joy and happiness! it was pretty cool to share my testimony before i even got to my mission! The whole plane ride was a fun experience the shrimp tacos in atlanta were so good! And even though it was long it was a good flight but the best part was when we were flying over the ocean and it was really cloudy. We were above the clouds and could see the sun coming up over the HUGE Andes Mountains and it was one of the prettiest things ive ever seen. 

           Getting to chile was pretty cool kind of crazy but we got to our new home on Alcantra street which is like 10 minutes from the MTC. There are 65 missionaries total and 32 of us live at the old mission home! Its super cool because that is where the Zwick family lived when they were mission presidents in Chile! So i am living in there home!!! anyway we got there and i found out my companion was Elder Curtis from California I like him so thats really good! The first day was really nice it was just to calm us down and make us feel like we were at home! I really do love the mission home its so cool! i sent a picture that one of the elders drew of the front of it! its super pretty! 

            Um Every day we wake up at around 7 we go down to the study room and we study for an hour then go to breakfast and work out. After our morning routine we drive to the CCM (MTC)! then we have classes to learn spanish and how to teach all day every day! our time in classrooms is split into three parts we have three teachers and they all help with spanish and learning how to teach. they are all really young like 23-27ish so it's pretty fun getting to know them really well!! And each teacher does a thing called progressive investigator where we pretend to teach a real investagator. the teachers pretend to be the investigator but their back story is a real story of a real person somewhere so when we pray for them we are really praying for someone that is looking into the gospel! but we have to teach in all spanish and it is SOO HARD! but i am learning that my spanish is not the most important thing it is listening to the spirit and knowing when to bear my testimony! 

          Sunday really is a day of rest i got to talk and learn in english all day! which was so nice for a change. Heavenly father really knew what he was doing when he made the sabboth! 

       Some days are harder than others but the times when i say something or understand someone in spanish are the best i just get super pumped up because it is just super awesome!! Yesterday was a really good day i felt like i learned a lot! And today has been good so far too i finally had some american food i ate a Big Mac for lunch haha! 

       there is another Elder in my district that i Love he is so funny and we act the same we are just kindred spirits! his name is Elder Prince he is from Hurricane and knows lincoln! but i really like him he always keeps us smiling! 

         my companion loves basketball and volley ball which is really fun! during work out time in the morning we play a lot of volley ball. Im trying to get more soccer in there! but he is nice he went to BYU for a year before his mission. he loves to be really prepared which is good but we are learning to let the spirit into our lessons more. because sometimes we just follow the plan and don't even listen to the spirit! 

     The food is pretty good. breakfast is kind of wierd its always yogurt with ceral which i don't really like... but its ok im learning to like it more and more! they cook a lot of chicken for dinner and lunch and a lot of rice too! the deserts are wierd i like american pudding much better! its just different enough to be kind of wierd but nothing has been just aboslutely crazy yet. 

ok if you have any questions ask away and i will answer them either now or next week!  

Love Elder Groen the first!!! haha

Ethan's first district

Back Street Missionaries
Elder Curtis & Elder Groen (1st companions)