Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Another week in the Life!

I had a good week this week! We were able to see lots of miracles! I spent a lot of time with other missionaries this week! We had 3 divisions with other missionaries this week! It was super fun because I could learn from so many different missionaies!

We have three baptismal dates for the 26th!!! We are super excited for all of them it is going to be awesome! 

Next wednesday I won´t be writing you guys! I might have a few seconds but it is our mission conference and pday was changed to Christmas. So i will be able to read and write just a little but Pday will be christmas!!! 

I can´t wait to see you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except I doubt I´ll see Allie and Zoe... But Ive got my fingers crossed that maybe I´ll be able to see D again! 

I Love you all and hope you have a GREAT week with lots of snow!!!!! 

Love Ethan!!!! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hey we are going to the President's house!

Hey I love you all! I have to go, but I am going to try and stop for a second at presidents house and write you all a big email! 
Elder Groen  **We never did get the "big email".  :)

*Note from Mom - I asked why they were going to the President's house.   Here is his answer: 

"So to explain a little for you! A long time ago when I had 4 months in my mission my zone leaders always said that we would go to his house for a barbeque. I was told that we were going to go I think 9 times in my mission! And it NEVER happened. His house is outside of our mission and you normally only get to see it on your last day at dinner with him and his wife. So I decided that I was going to do it now that I am a lot closer to him and I organized it for the Zone and so we are going to his house for our pday today!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Well I think I´m going to start by saying that this Thanksgiving day I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ! I think In all my life I have never felt the way I do right now in my life! I feel like every day is a great day from the moment I wake untill the moment my head hits the pillow! A year ago at this time in the mission it wasn´t like this. Actually I have always loved my mission and been happy here! But I feel like my Joy is still growing every day! And now My testimony is even stronger! So the first thing I am grateful for is my Savior! Because never in my life have I had the Love that I have for him or the testimony I have for him! 

Yesterday I went on divisions with a brand new Elder! He is from Chile and has only 1 week here in the field. His name is Elder Pizarro! He is full of Energy and a desire to work! At the end of the divisions we always have an inventory where the leader can talk about the good and the bad and see what the missionary can do better and put some goals for the next time! I did the interview and we talked a lot about him and how he felt here in the mission and his life. Then as we finished the inventory I asked him "what can I do better and how can I help you grow." He gave me two Ideas to do better and then he said something so simple that touched me! He said "Love me." I was so grateful in that moment for corrections. Because I felt so strongly from the spirit that I can do better! The spirit gave me a way that I could try to help him more and to be a little better! Not too long ago I was not able to take corrections without throwing back a correction for the other perosn. But I know that the Lord has helped humble me a little more and I am a little better than before!

This week We had 3 baptisms for a family that we have grown to love SOO dearly! The Rivas family! The three children were baptized Nayadeth, Joaquin, and Vicente. The mother is a less active and the father wants to get baptized! We told the family that the closer that they got to the baptismal date the harder it would be for them! The last week before the date Satan threw SO MANY temptations at them and they had a VERY hard week. But They knew that they had a purpose and that Batism was their goal and what the Savior wanted for them! So they did not give up or give in. They were baptized and now this family is all going to church and are growing in testimony! I am Grateful for Baptism, The Spirit that touches the hearts of many and the trials that we are given to overcome! 

Last of all I want to share to you all the Gratitude that I have for my family! (Grandma Groen got me again and I am in a public internet booth crying again) there are many nights when I stay up wondering why so many people are born into circumstances that are so hard! Or why they are born to only one parent or problems with addictions. Then I think about My family and the Blessing of a strong family in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! All of my Aunts and Uncles are strong members! My cousins have the same blessings as me and we pray that those who have strayed a little from the joy  of this gospel will come back, but it is very few that have strayed, but even then they do not have many problems and have not gone far! The Lord has truly given me a marvelous and I would say the second greatest blessing to me in my family! I am So grateful for Each of them! I love my family from My parents, brothers, and sister to every one of my cousins from the youngest to the oldest, to my aunts and uncles, to my grandparents! There are two of them that I never knew, but I love them too after praying to know them in my heart! I LOVE my family and I am so greatful for Each of them!!!! 

I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do for me! 
Love the Goofy Elder Groen! 😁

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Well the mission had changes this week, but don`t worry niether I nor my companion had changes this time around! So that means that officially I will be my companions last companion! This week was a good week! We have 3 baptisms coming up on sunday so we are in full swing preparation for those! 
I have spent some time thinking about the mission and all that happens here and why so many missionaries come home chaged. Everyone always says "Wow you are so different." or "that guy shure changed a lot!" So why is it that they change? I think that there are lots of factors to this change, but I want to share one that came to my mind as I thought about it this week! 

To start off I want to share a short experience! When I was on the plane from Utah to Georgia on my way to the mission. I sat next to a man from India. There I shared a message about families. It seemed SO easy to me. He was very receptive and I came into the mission thinking that this was going to be a breeze sharing this message. Then when I arrived in Chile I remember trying to communicate with the people at the desks and realizing that I was in a new world! It seemed so big compared to my little bountiful and So daunting what I was about to face. Then In the MTC it was just as hard trying to figure out this spanish thing! Then when I got to the field and saw the mission I could not believe how many dogs there were and how fast the people talked and how far we walked and how small our house was! I realized early on that this was not going to be easy! In certain ways it wasn`t as hard as I thought but in other ways It was much harder than I could have imagined! But Now I understand why missionaries go home different than before! Because they are asked to do something hard! But it isn`t just something hard! It is a time that the Lord has told us that we should give to him! We are doing something hard for our Savior! I believe that these missionaries come home different because they are brought to their knees and pray in a way that they have never done before, Because they feel a fraction of the same joy and sadness that Christ felt, And because they understand that with Sacrifice blessings will ALWAYS follow! 

I am so grateful for my time here! Where I have come to know and love my Father in Heaven and My savior Jesus Christ! I Truly LOVE this work and being a missionary! 

Love Elder Groen!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I`m Grateful for...

I think that many times in this life we get full of expectations for things to happen. And when they don`t happen we tend to be frusterated that they didn`t happen! So this week I realized that maybe I wasn`t being grateful enough for the things that the Lord has been giving me and I was taking for granted the spirit that He has given me and the strength that he gives me! 

When a new missionary gets to the mission field they are blown away at the miracles and it seems like they are full of the spirit and teach with such power! I think one of the reasons for this is because it is all so new! The spirit that goes with them is new and it guides and leads them and they teach with this spirit frequently! Some missionaries have told me that they don`t feel like they did when they started their missions. I think it might not be that they don`t have the spirit, but more that they have forgotten to give thanks for that spirit! They do not recognize it like they did before. 

I think one of the keys to recognize the gifts that we have been given and have them present in mind is through a grateful heart! We need to be grateful for the things that the Lord has given us! He has given us many things! We only need to open our eyes and see them and give him thanks for them. Then I believe that our attitude will change towards life and all the things that we are doing! 

I have loved this week trying to ask myself in what ways the Lord has blessed me! And it seems that I really do have too many blessings to count! I can`t even comprehend ALL of the things that he has given me!!!! My Father in Heaven loves me enough to give me a loving family, good friends, the church in my life, and more than anything else He gave me a Savior who would love me and guide me in every way possible! I want to give you all this simple invitation to "count your blessings"! I bet that if you do it you won`t be able to count them all! and then you will feel the love of the Lord in your life!!! 

I testify that he loves us individually! He knows us and blesses us!! I love the Savior and have come to know him more than ever here in the mission!!! 

Love Elder Groen!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Miracles are Real!

We are feeling really good about the work in the sector right now! We are seeing so many miracles!! We have a few reactivations that are really close and a few really strong baptismal dates. It is such a blessing to see people change their lives and desires to try and come to know their Savior. I think that is one of my favorite parts of this work! When I can see a true change take place in the heart of someone! 

This week we had a really special moment. After the zone conference on tuesday we tried to think of a way to apply what we learned and put in practice what we shared with the missionaries. So with a family that we are teaching Elder Hermosilla said he felt we should go by them and give them a challenge for our appointment the next day about the Book of Mormon and have them study the chapter of Mosiah 18 and to teach us the next day. We had challenged the 3 kids to be baptized on the 22 and the Father to pray about baptism. Then we went back to teach them on Wednesday night. What happened was excatly what Clay Christensen said would happen. We had them teach us. The Father comes from a Jehovas Witness background which is usally very difficult, but after teaching us he looked at us and said "the more I read this book the more I know it is true. And now I know that I will be baptized. I don`t know when still, but I know I will." We were so Happy then the mom of the family who is a less active said that they had already been talking as a family and decided that they would go to church on that day and would never leave again. We were so happy for them and all that they were feeling. Then the oldest Child a daughter named Nayadeth who is 18 said, "Elders, I got my answer. I am going to be baptized on the 22 of November. I had a dream that I was with my family on the first day that they came to church, but I was dressed in all white! I know I will be ready by that date!" That was one of the most powerful and spirit filled lessons that I have ever been a part of, and it might have been the lesson that I spoke less than any other lesson! I am so greatful to know that the spirit is working in these people and that they are growing and learning every day! I love this gospel and my Savior too! 

So I just want you to all know that the Lord watches over us and is constantly trying to bless us! I learned another special lesson this week! and I think I might have some new favorite scriptures to add to my list! I just want to say that I love this work and I love to serve! It is something that I have learned gives me true happiness when I am serving and loving others! I love you all SOO much And I pray for you all often! 

Love the skinny kid from bountiful! Elder Groen! 

p.s. here are the awesome scriptures! Aren`t they so bright and full of hope!! 

 Revelation 21:3-4 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
1 Corinthians 2:9 2 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Short 'N Sweet

Well I just want to tell you all that the Lord knows us and Loves us more than we can understand! I find out more and more every day that He loves me! I know that he will help us through any trial and any struggle if we but give our will to him and let him take over! 

This week we were able to teach a few really special people! We have two less active members that are now going to church and almost a complete reactivation, and we have 4 baptismal dates for the 22 of November and we are Very excited for them also!! The work is definitely working here in Chile! I love you all and hope that you all have a great week! 

Con Amor Elder Groen!
Oh just playing my weed whacker, er, uh, cutting the grass. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A mighty change has taken place in my Heart!

Dearest Family and Friends
      I want to share with you all a special experience that I had during a personal study this week! I was studying in the Book of Mormon, and while i was reading i started to think about who I am and who i was before and who i want to become. I was thinking about htis and I started to think about how I got here to where I am today and to be who I am today! I was thinking when I realized that all that I have is from my loving Heavenly Father! For example My parents taught be many valuable lessons as a child and gave me a home to live! I will be forever grateful to them for that service and for ALL they have done but the one who gave me them was my Father in Heaven! I was also given incredible friends! People who showed me by action what real happiness is! But again My Father in Heaven was the one who put me here and gave me them! And All of you who read this letter have also impacted me and my life in ways that you do not know! And I am so grateful for you and your dedication, but I must recognize again that my Father in Heaven gave me each of you!!! I had never thought of it like that before! But it is literally all from him! Everything that we have or are is from our Father in Heaven! He loves us and watches out for us! 
      We have 4 new baptismal dates for the 22 of november! It is a miracle that we have found all of these people! The Lord is guiding us and helping us in ALL of our efforts! 

Love Elder Groen!  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A week of miracles!

      When I got to the sector and we had a few days of work together I began to talk with my new companion about the work and about what he has seen in his 21 months here in the mission. We started talking about miracles. Then after talking about the miracles that we had seen we talked about how they happen and how we could have them happen to us! Then we decided that we needed some miracles to help us find some new investigators. So we stopped right there in the street and prayed that the Lord would lead us to someone who needed this message! We then walked for a little while and then we both started walking towards a house that we saw. We went to it and contacted it. Then a young guy came out and started listening to us his name is Maxi. He asked us to come back another day to teach him more and so today in the night we are going to go back and teach him. 

      By this point I was amazed that the Lord answered our prayer and we found someone so quickly! The next day we were walking and all of our appointments had fallen and we were walking to go contact some houses! Then my companion turned to me and said "If you and I have the faith the Lord is going to give us another miracle!" So I said a prayer in my heart asking to know how this miracle would come then kept on walking. we then saw a young man cleaning his yard so we went to talk to him and we had a lesson with him and we are going back on Friday! 

      I have always believed that the Lord gives answers, but I don´t think that I was a strong believer in miracles like this! But this week I learned that the Lord will give us what we ask for, as long as it is a righteous desire and if we have sufficient faith! So I will keep on asking for miracles! Because I know the Lord will bless this work and help these people progress! 

I know this church is true and that Christ lives! I love you all and pray for you often! 

Love Elder Groen! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


   This week I had changes and now i am in a ward that is in the same zone and stake as my last ward. I am with my companion Elder Hermosilla from Santiago Chile! The ward here has about 180 members! 

       It came as a big surprise to me to hear that I had changes! I had only been with Elder Johnson for about 3 weeks and I only had one change in that old sector! In this misison the missionaries tend to stay in one area for about 6 months is normal. So I was expecting that, but I only stayed for 6 weeks. It caught us all off guard. It was hard. I don´t like saying goodbye and not to mention that I am a cry baby too... 

     Anyways I know that everyone is talking about it, but how can you not? CONFERENCE!!! It was so incredible to go into conference with real and sincere questions in my heart! I watched as one by one the Lord answered my prayers! Including the 3 new apostles were direct answers to my prayers! It was just like Bishop Hanks always says! If you go with a question they will talk to you! It was like that for me! The world seemed to drown out and I was alone with them for those short talks! I really think that they were talking to me and what I needed! 

    This week I spent time thinking about the profets since Adam. Every one of them passed for a trial that made them better people and more devoted servants of the Lord! I believe that trials are the Lord´s way of saying I love you! Sometimes we feel or say why are you punishing me like this, but he is saying I only want you to be able to grow and become better! In this past month I felt for a moment like I was alone. But because I had that trial I was able to grow more than I could have imagined! 

    I testify that the Lord knows us individually and is at our side in all moments!!! He spent time completely alone so that we would never have to!!! He loves You and he loves me! I know that this is the truth! I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Love Elder Groen  

Elder Groen & Elder Hermosilla (Mom editorial: Ethan was quick to reassure me that the picture was not taken in his room.)

Elder Peterson, former Zone leader and Elder Groen, new Zone leader 

The Zone

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Work hard, play hard! Hard Rock cafe!

Its been a good week and I have  little amount of time to explain it! We got to see the funeral of Elder Scott. It was super cool to see and to hear all about his life! It gave me a stronger desire to be a better desire to follow the lord! 

Then this week my trainer goes home so we went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch today! 

I just want to say that i love conference and i know with out a doubt that the profets are called of God! This is such a great time to get answers to your prayers! So start praying and preparing and go and listen to what the Lord has to tell you! I can´t wait to talk to all of you about conference next week! Come prepared with your favorite talks and why! so we can talk about them! And anyone who reads this I would LOVE to hear what your favorite talk was! A little email sent my way would be great! 

Love Elder Ethan Groen!!! 

This family was in my last ward. The two parents couldn´t take the sacrament and were waiting for the stake president to interview them to fully repent. And now they can take the sacrament again! And they are going to go to the temple again when they haven´t gone in over 15 years!!! We worked really closely with this family and saw a drastic and miraculous change in them!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for them!!!!! 

Us in the bathroom doing the funny prom boy bathroom pic

Hard Rock Cafe Sandwich!!!!! YUMMMMMM
My trainer and the missionary i trained!!! Elder Burt and Elder Jones

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


**This message to the family: 
Ok So I am sure that most of you have heard that we had an Earthquake here in Chile! Well the rumors are true! We had my very first Earthquake! Sidenote real quick! In spanish there are two words they use one is temblar and the other is Earthquake. Everything I have felt up to this point was a little shake for about 2 or 3 seconds the longest was about 7-8 seconds. Those are all temblars. Then Last Wednesday on our P-day I had just gotten my new companion Elder Johnson and we went to go see a sister in the ward so she could tell us who we had lunch with this week. Then she said some youth of the ward needed to use the chapel, but didn´t have keys to open it. So we called the other Elders and asked where they were to go get the keys to open the chapel. They were in a members apartment on the second story. So we went to get the keys. We walked in the house to get the keys and it started to shake just a little and the member said "temblar" So we didn´t think to much of it. But then it got stronger and kept going and the whole house was shaking. then the glass started making noise so he said come away from the glass and it shook for about a minute and a half. then after that the Bishops counselors asked us to go check on some members so we went around helping calm people down. We have felt probably about 20 replicas since that time! most of the time the replicas are smaller, but in some earthquakes they could be bigger. So far they have all been smaller and in Santiago we are all ok! The power didn´t even go out! So now we are on standby to wait and see if we can send support to the north and the coast! On monday we were giving a blessing to a member and Elder Johnson the other missionary not my companion was giving the blessing and it began to shake and after words the member said to him "Now I know what real power and authority is!" I am doing fine there is absolutely NO problem here in Santiago!!! 

**And then this later: 
Well I told you all about the Earthquake so I am going to pass on that one for the most part! I had a couple of awesome things happen this week and I want to tell you all about them! 

First when I was with Elder Castro their was a night when we were both tired and all of our appointments had fallen. We were on the same street as our house. So we decided that even though we wanted to go home we should try and knock a few doors. So we went down the street looking for houses with lights that were on. After three empty houses we got to the corner and with 4 minutes before we had to head home a nice man named Gardo opened the door and was very nice and accepting to us! He said "look guys, today its a little late, but can you please come back later this week?"We said sure thing and went back later that week! He was very nice and seemed to be listening intently! We were excited, but at the same time in my mind i was let down by the fact that I had seen lots of nice people not end up keeping commintments. Many people are nice and like the visits of the ELders, but do not understand really why we are their! So I decided I wanted to do something different with him than I had done before! So I asked the elders in the house for advice, the Elders from the zone and district, and members. THen I started praying with ALL my heart that he would be prepared for our lessons to him. I prepared and prayed for those lessons like I never have done before in my misison. And this week he accepted the baptismal invitation. We still have a little way to go and need to see him keep on progresing! But he was SOO sincere with us and asked us how he could come to know if it was all true!!!! I am so excited for him to progress and grow!!!

The other quick thing is that a member was put in the hospital the first day I got to this ward. I heard that he had a big tumor in his stomach and that he would be going in for surgery and that they needed to do a ton of tests for Cancer. So they did it and he was in the hospital for  3 and a half weeks. I don´t know if anybody remembers the Salgado family and when I saw the Hermano Salgado pass away from Cancer. But this story seemed to be the EXACT same thing! And so I was so scared that I would have to see another family pass through that trial... I have prayed more fervently for this family than I knew I could pray for somoned I didn´t know! The brother who had the tumor is in his house and his recovery time has been a third of what it was predicted! We saw him the last two days to help him and things have gone wonderfully! He still has a long way to go. He still has to go through kimo therapy, but he is very optimistic about it! Things are looking very bright for this family! And as he told his story and ALL that happened I was in shock at how many miracles happened so it could go so perfectly!!!! I am so happy that prayers are being answered and he is doing so well!!! 

Also I got a new companion this week! He is from Alaska and is the 4th of 8! He is a really good kid and a really humble missionary! He is a good follower! So I will try to help him break out of his shell a little! But I am so excited to learn from him an try to be more humble like he is! His name is ELder Johnson! That means that I live with two of them now!!!! 

THis week was so great! I wish I could tell you even more, but I am low on time so thats it for now! Thank you all for your prayers and concern! Especially during the Earthquake thing! I love you all!!! 

Love Elder Ethan Groen! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Full of faith in the midst of our trials

Hey yall! 
       So I had an opportunity to start the Book of Mormon again this week! I was amazed at the things that I was able to learn!! I could read that book a million times and learn something new everytime! Nephi was full of faith in the midst of his trials. He was thrown trial after trial and with every trial that came he consistantly put his trust and faith in the Lord. He knew that the Lord could, can, and will do anything that is in the Fathers will. So he put his faith in the Lord. I have been tried and have passed for a few tough weeks. But I know that The lord has made me better because of it! I want to now look back and try to learn in anyway possible from the trials that are now in the past and use those experiences to make me better and stronger! I hope to keep on pushing on with faith and a brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men. I know that you all have prayed for me and helped me! I thank you will all of my heart for being my examples and my heros! 

     Love Elder Ethan Groen! 

P.S. from Mom - Ethan was assigned a new companion today.   Elder Johnson from Alaska who's been out 13 months.   He's ready to be back in a twosome, he said a trio can be difficult in many ways. 

Early morning run

Missionary Minions

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A week to remember

I went through a week that I never thought I would this week... I learned that I would be having special changes and I was going to be put in a trio for a while... I am not sure how long it will last, but for now I am with Elders Johnson and Diaz. 

This week will be a really interesting week! On the 10th we have to be in the house at 6 and on the 11th we have to be in ALL day long! Turns out that the 11th is a big day for the world! Spain has a holiday or something, Chile has a really sad day, and well in the states its 9-11. Then the 15th of september is a pretty cool day too! Its the birthday of someone close to me! I just can´t remem... OH YEAH DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then on the 18th its independence day!!! So that will be a GREAT day!!! 

I just know one thing is for sure! Jesus Christ is our Savior and reedemer! He Loves us and was sent to Die for us! Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve We are here, able to feel, cry, laugh, smile, love, breath! And Because we have a savior we now have Hope! There is never a point when we have gone too far or cannot change! That is the miracle he gave us! I testify as one of his called servents and reprasentatives that he lives and is the Savior of the World! 

Love Elder Ethan Groen!

What do you do when you can't leave the pench?

What do you do when you can't grow a real mustache?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

We can do hard things!

I learned this week that we are given trials for different reasons! sometiems for ourselves and sometimes to help others and sometimes we just don´t know why! But trials are always for the good! Also a good friend of mine reminded me of a simple scripture! Filipians 4:13 I can do ALL things in Christ which strengtheneth me! 

This week I learned how true it is and i hope that i can keep on understanding and learning the power of the atonement in my life! 

I love you all and am SOOO grateful for all of your prayers and love! Thank you for EVERYTHING! 

Love Elder Groen!!! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I got changed

Well we had our change meeting yesterday and now I am in a ward called Lo Blanco (the White) and I am with an Elder Castro from Honduras. I got put into a whitewash. Thats when the two Elders weren´t in that sector before and both are new! Its pretty rare that president does that. So this should be fun! We don´t know anybody so we have to work out of the Area Book and the Members! 

I am so glad to be a part of this church and to know that these things are true! i look at the abundance of blessings that have come from knowing what I know and i cannot help but be grateful for all I have been given! i know this church is true and love my Savior with all my heart! 

Love Elder Groen! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The bottom of a pig is not so good to eat!

Hello beloved people! 
      To explain the titel! The other day we were offered a "special soup" So of course we said Sure! They brought the soup out and at first look I thought it looked great! Then I realized that the meat that was in it seemed new to me and that I had never eaten that type of meat before! So I went for it! Turns out they didn´t even take all of the hair off of the skin so I was eating the skin of a pigs bottom with hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was not so good tasting!!!! I would not reccomend it to anyone! I just had to do everything I could do get it down! 
      So We were challenged by our zone leader to try and get a baptismal date every week! We were already trying to do it, but it seemed like it just wasn´t happening. I really think that our Faith was not where it needed to be. So We took his challenge to heart and prayed that we would be able to do it! We worked hard and invited All to be baptized this week! We also asked all of our investigators again to be baptized! And guess what! We have 3 baptismal dates right now and we have four more that said they would choose a date for the next visit! That means 7 prospective baptisms!!!! I started to look back and think "why when we were doing it before was it not working?" I think that now I understand! We were doing it for the fact of only doing it. There really was not a lot of faith... and it seemed that when they were uneasy we backed off trying not to startle them into leaving us. We had more fear of man than we did of God! I think this challenge helped us to put our faith first and strive to give ALL we had to the lord! And miracles have been coming from this faith just like they always did when Christ was on the earth! I love what he always said "Thy faith hath made thee whole" When Faith replaces Fear miracles will come to pass! THis I know is true! 
       I also want to share about something that I have seen here that has worried me! It is the LIE! So many people think that a little lie is ok. or that if they keep on lying they will be alright and find a way out one day. These lies will only catch up to you and make you feel even worse than before! Sadly I know this from experience! One lie has the power to make you feel like your heart is heavier than a car! If the Savior is just and always tells us the truth and Satan is the father of the lies and never tells us the truth. Who are we becoming when we lie... I hope that we can all stive to be a little more honest in all of our lives, work, and family! honesty is an important attribute of our Savior! 
    Love Elder Groen! 

P.S. Lincoln and William are living together right now! they aren´t in the same sector, but they are in the same house! How crazy is that! My only cousin that is my age and one of my very best friends are together in their missions! CRAZY!!!! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I know my Savior lives!!!!

    I don´t know if I have had a chance to bear my testimony to each of you in a while! So I would like to share my testimony! 
      I lived a life for myself 100% before my mission! It is what almost every teenage child does and honestly isn´t a terrible thing. I was focused on what mad ME happy! I didn´t ever try to put myself into the shoes of others or to live for someone else. It honestly never even crossed my mind to do that! I was living for myself! 
     Coming out here on the mission we are asked to live for someone else for the first time for most of us! For the first time you dedicate studies, prayers, time, thoughts, energy, and more on other people! Wether or not your heart is in it, you are doing it! 
     At first it takes some time to adjust to the new life and to really grasp what you are doing. But then after some time it is like the change begins! It isn´t one moment that happens when you look and you are completely different. It is a process that happens over time! You can´t see it happening in the moment, but after a while you look and see that you are different! your desires are different and you don´t even want the same things anymore! It comes from giving yourself! 
     I have always heard the scripture, If you lose yourself you will find yourself! but now I am seeing it happen! I have strived to give myself to the Lord and in turn he has molded me and made me into a new person! The Love and patience that he has had for me has astonished me! I can not believe that he loves me SOOO much! I know that Jesus Christ LIVES!!! It wouldn´t make sense for him not to live! I know that he is the Savior of the World!!!! What a glorious message we carry! I know that Even though I am not perfect he is there to lift me up and give me hope! 
     I Testify as one of his called servents that He lives and loves each of us! I only have so much time to share this message as a called servent! So I will give ALL I can! 

     Love Elder Groen!!! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So pink is nice!

So other than the fact that i feel like I have been completely stripped of ALL of my man cards... I am loving the pink house! The color really brightens things up! It makes the house feel really sunny all the time! And the best part is we have no shame singing the song "Duh duh dununa duh duh! I feel like a woman!" 
         We had interviews with president this week! It is always like he knows what your needs are or he knows what you are going to ask him before you ask him! I love interviews, because you always walk away feeling like you want to work harder and give a little more! He asked me why I was here in the mission and I told him why. It was a really powerful moment for me! I think it was almost like a light went off in my head and I understood why I am here in the mission! 
         We have a big ward activity with the Youth coming up this week on friday and tonight for mutual we are going to help them all get ready that is going to be super fun! I love working with the Youth and helping them all! It has been a huge blessing to me and I will never forget the young men of this ward they have truly impacted me in ways that they will never know! The sad news is that in my interview president told me that it is more than likely that I will be leaving the sector on Agosto 25 and Then My ZL told me that president also told him I was going. So I think my days here in this ward are very limited... I will miss these people, but I plan to go out with a bang and work as hard as I can for this last month witht them!!!! 
        I just want to leave you all with a spirtitual thought! I studied a lot about our vision this week! One of the interesting things about us as humans is that as hard as we try we can only focus our eyes on one thing at a time! We are incredible at changing that focus really fast, but that focus is on one thing at a time! It is like when you are walking! You walk where you are looking! So where is your spiritual vision? is it forward or backward? is it on things of the Lord or things of the World? Because it can´t be on the two at the same time! So try and think about where you are looking and where you are going! It is interesting to think if you kept on going in the direction you are headed where would you be in 5,10 or 20 years! It will tell a lot about your vision! 

          Love the just peachy Elder Groen! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A GREAT week!

  So did you know that the word Great means above average, or exceeding the normal! Well it does according to my spanish dictionary! One might ask what makes it a Great week then? I will tell you! A great week is a week when you can see the hand of the Lord in your life! A great week is when you know that you have been successful in helping someone come unto Christ even if it is only a little bit more, When you can look back and say WOW I am truly happy doing what I am doing in the place I am in! A great week is when you have an overwhelming feeling that Someone is here at your side to give you a hug, but when you look you don´t see a person! A great week is simple, it is when you are given another confirmation of the love that the Savior has for you! so those are a few of the reasons why I had a GREAT week!! :)
      I had a really fun experience in my personal study two days ago! I was listening to a song from the old album of the Nashville tribute band that my comp has! I was listening, but I was writing and not focused on the words more studying that anything! Then I got this feeling that I should listen to the words so I did right as a new song started. It was a lady telling the story of her son who she had to barry when he died as a baby. She was a pioneer from a long time ago! I felt a strong warmth in my whole body when that happened! Then she said the name of the pioneer who experienced that! Her name is Elizabeth Partige Lyman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could not believe that I don´t know if she is a direct ansestor or not, but judging by the two last names I am fairly certain that she is! It was such a neet testimony to me to here what she experienced so that I could be a part of this gospel and here in Chile in this very moment!!!! WOW!!!!
    So we also had a Zone Conference this monday! it was AWESOME just like Always! President Cook is such a great guy and always inspiring and inspired! He taught us a very powerful message on the Sacrament! The importance of it, but also spoke of the importance of Grace and Works and how that relates to the Sacrament! It was Powerful!
    This week it is likely that we will be moving houses! Due to how dangerous our mission is the area presidency has asked that in our mission we move all of the sister companionships to be living with 4 or more sisters! So the sisters will still be working in the same ward but will be moving outside of the sector and we are going to move into their house! the only problem is that their house is pink and has flowers EVERYWHERE!!! So we will send pictures when we move! We still don´t know when but it should be soon! the sisters move out tomorrow! should be fun!
    Well I just want you all to know that I love this work, church and most importantly my Savior!
Love the man from snowy Chile... wait there is no snow... only on the mountain tops.... Groen!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

So here we go again!

The way they do changes here kill me! we have a 3 day warning and then we change! saying goodbye to members, converts, and investigators is a nightmare... Anyway by next wednesday I could have a new comp and be in a new sector, but the truth is no one knows! So wish me luck because If I have to say goodbye to this ward after being here for 8 months it is going to be a tough weekend! 

Anyways You are all at youth conference!!! how fun is that I hope it is all going well and that you will give me a great report with lots of pictures!!!! 

Well my spiritual thought comes from a scripture I love dearly! 2nd Nephi 31:20 "Wherefore ye must press forward!" that is the very first part of it, but a part that I love! think about where you are and the trials you have or maybe the trials of others you have and think about how sometimes it would just be easier to quit... Now think about what Nephi is saying! Press forward! Remember that better things are always to come if we but press onward with diligence and with patience!! 

Love the Ethan-ater!! 

Chillin' on the back porch

This is how the missionaries watched the COPA. 

Soccer fans!

Still strong and fit.   Kinda weird that his twin, who we don't think could have seen this picture, did the same thing just a week later to show his strength.   It's a twin thing - we won't understand (unless we're a twin). 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1 Año!!

Well I figured something good I could do is talk about 5 of the Lessons that I learned in this first year in the mission! 

First lesson! The power that every individual has in himself or herself! 
            Each of you is a daughter or son of God! That means that you come from a royal lineage! We also are given a privilage and responsibility of living under the keys of the priesthood! That is a number that is so small! in all the time of the world very few have had this opportunity! So remember the power that each of us have to do good! You can start doing good in so many ways but think of the way this world could change if everyone realized the good they could do! I believe that everytime that we do a little good we are helping change the world for the better!

Lesson Two! The power of service and giving! 
            There was a study that was done that those who give and are more focused on spending more money on others than themselves tend to be more happy! Get out and give! wether it be your time, love, things, or hugs just give! Everytime you give a little you are following the examle of Jesus Christ! 

Lesson 3! The importance of a visit! 
            Have you ever been siting at home and someone came to stop by and see how you were doing? If you haven´t its ok! But Trust me in will change your day, week, and maybe life! when we go out of our way to visit someone it will help change them and their relation with us! Please get out and visit! whoever it is forget yourself and visit someone who needs it! 

Lecion numero 4! 
          how to love! I did not know that I could love people I didn´t know and who lived lives so different than mine! sometimes inspite of the lack of love that I recieve I still feel a powerful love for the people here that seems to give me a sense of motivation and drive that pushes me through the tough moments! Love truly is the most powerful tool that we have as desiples of Christ! 

Lesson 5! The Atonement is farther reaching than i have ever before known! 
          I have seen the Atonement reach lives that many thought were Too far gone or that were without hope! but I have seen that there is NO soul that the Savior cannot save! 

These are some of the little lessons that I have learned in my time out here! I am still growing and striving to become a little better everyday! I am so happy to have had this year here in Chile it has truly changed my life! I could not be more grateful to my parents and family who gave me this opportunity! and to my Father in Heaven who so lovingly gave me all that I have! 

 With all the love i have Elder Groen! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another week of Happiness!

I love this work It is the BEST!!! We found a miracle investigator this week named Karen! She is awesome we are going to invite her to be baptized tomorrow!!!!!!!!! She is super aweosme and prepared for us to come it is awesome!
Sorry I have to run Now! I love you all soo much thanks for everything!
Love Elder Eth!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I got soul but Im not a sold.... wait a second I am too a soldier!

Mosiah 10:10 And it came to pass that we did go up in the strength of the Lord to battle.

I love to think about the battle that we are called to everyday! It is a war that we are required to be in. Sometimes we might think that we can sit on the side and watch the war happen. That is the Lie of Satan. If you are not defending righteousness and fighting for the right, I am sorry, but you are fighting for the wrong. Standing on the side is not doing what the Lord is asking of us, which unfortunately will not bring us our ultimate goal of Eternal Life. So it means it is not fighting for the right like we are commanded to do! Now I would add another of my favorite scriptures! 
D&C 31:3 Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.
It is a great message that we are called to declare and a great power that we carry! As we strive to share and to love the Lord will bless us in our efforts! 

 This week was a great week It was good to get to know the new district better. We definitely have our weaknesses and strengths as a district, but I know that we are going to see Miracles! I have Faith that we are going to see Miracles and Be a part of Miracles! What a blessing that is for me to know that we are a part of the work of preparing the way for the Lord! 

I love you all SOO much and pray for each of you! THank you for all of the prayers and love! 

Love Elder Groen! the one who is in the winning country of the South American Cup!