Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Zone Conference!

This week was a good week! We had stake conference on saturday and sunday! that was interesting! I went to all 3 sessions because of my asignment in the ward and I sang in the choir! It was all very Inspired! The stake presidency was changed and the new stake president was the bishop of his ward for 15 years!!!! If that isn´t preapartation I don´t know what is! 
      that was all great but the really cool day came on monday! We had Zone Conference! It was So great as usual! I want to share a story that Hermana Cook shared with us that was SOO Awesome!
           A man walked to a construction site and saw three men working and asked the first man "what are you doing?" the worker said "I am laying bricks." The man then walked on to the next worker and asked the same question. The second man said "I am building a wall" he then walked on and asked the third man. He responded "I am building a temple." 
          Each of the three men were doing the same thing but each had a much different vision of what they were doing! 
         Sister Cook then said to us I can walk and ask three missionaries what they are doing! The first might say "I am trying to get people to listen to me." the second "I am teaching about Christ." and the third "I am partnered with God to do his will and build his kingdom!" 
        What a difference our vision has on each of us! I give you the same challenge she gave us. What is your vision? and how can you try to see the kingdom we are building together?
This Elder Groen is doing Great! I am so grateful for all of the support that I have recieved from each of you and the prayers that have been given on my part! Thank you All!!!
  Love Elder Ethan Groen! 

*From Mom, 

President and Sister Cook send a weekly email to the missionaries and their parents.   I wanted to share a bit of what President Cook sent to them this week. 

THE WIDOWS MITE El Mensajero #96, 29 April 2015
Both Mark and Luke tell the story of the widow’s mite. Jesus and his disciples sit near the Temple and see an impoverished widow put in two coins that in and of themselves are not worth much, but represent a significant portion of the woman’s resources. In fact, the two mites were the equivalent of 6 minutes of the average daily wage during Roman times.  Jesus responds to this scene with the line: “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:43-44)  

 We cannot read the story about the widow’s offering without taking into consideration the few verses that immediately precede this text.  In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds, “Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.”  (Mark 12:38-40)  These are incredibly strong and insulting words.  Jesus is painting a much starker picture, which is as much or more about the wealthy scribes than it is about the poor, destitute widow.  I would venture to say that if you think that this Gospel passage is only about the widow or about how honorable the poor are for being generous, you’re missing the point.  It is likely that this was one of the “hard doctrines” that caused some, like the rich young man, to “walk no more with him.” (John 6:66)

So what does this have to do with you?  You recently received training at zone conference on budgeting.  This is not just so you can better manage your money but to help you understand more about the sacred funds that support you.  Your monthly support comes from the sacred funds of the Church, funded by donations to the missionary fund of the Church.  You must never think of these funds as yours, even if you or your parents contribute to those funds to help support the missionary effort.  They are not yours.  They have been freely given to the Lord.

Let me share a story from the mission of a friend of our family.  Our friend was a very frugal young man.  He did not come from a wealthy family.  He served in Uruguay and throughout his mission he was very careful with his monthly allotment and every month saved part of the funds. In a zone conference towards the end of his mission, his mission president gave a message similar to this one.  The young missionary began to ponder the money he had saved.  It was a substantial sum and he planned to use it to buy an inexpensive car when he returned from his mission.  At the end of his final interview he took out of his pocket an envelope of cash and presented it to his mission president who accepted it with great emotion.  Later the mission president counted the money that amounted to more than $1000 USD.  I did not know his mission president at the time but met him several years later.  When we realized our mutual friend he told me this story with great emotion.  

I am not suggesting that each of you should present me with an envelope of cash at the end of your mission.  I am saying that there are times that you need to consider how you are utilizing these funds.  You do not need to spend everything in your allotment simply because it is available to you.  Likewise, at the end of your mission you should return any leftover funds.  The question is – Is this a hard doctrine for you?  Do you realize what consecration requires of you?  Do you remember the covenants of the temple in this regard?  Please do not misunderstand; we do not want you to suffer.  But we do want you to be wise.  Every time you utilize your funds for something that is not a necessity, remember the poor Latter-day Saints throughout the world that are giving of their means because they love the Lord and want to support his work. Remember their consecration.  As you do you will become more consecrated in every aspect of your service.  

President & Sister Cook

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Well turns out sometimes all we need to do is take a step back and look at all that we have been given! (sometimes its even cooler if you imagine epic music playing in your head!) but seriously! about 1 in every 500 people in the world are LDS think about that and then about how blessed we are to live in a time where the entire world can hear the words of the Prophet! This is INCREDIBLE!! We have been given so many blessings that we don´t have room to recieve them all! I urge each of you to do as the song says and "Count your MANY blessings" I promise that as you do this you will feel happier and a new sense of gratitude will come over you as you do it!! Chile is great, Elder Jones is great, And the investigators and Less actives are great!!  

     Love Elder Groen!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ollo - I mean Hello!

Hello I would like to start by saying that I am truly sorry for not sending a big email for the past couple of weeks. I would also like to say that I will not be buying a dog anytime soon and perhaps never when I return from Chile!
      So to explain a little about Chile that many of you might not know! There is an average of two dogs per block in Chile (no that is not official it is my own guess) one might ask how could these dogs live? The people of Chile throw out their garbage to the streets to be collected and to make matters worse people do give those street dogs their leftover food! So there is an abundance of diseased dogs in the street....
      I have not changed my area or sector still!! I am still training and it is most likely that I will leave at the very end of May to another place! Still the ward Progreso! And yes I still Love this Ward!!!!
      now for some updates! We have two dates for baptism right now! One is really serious and we are getting ready for the 9th of May the other is less serious about it, but still is growing so we will see but he is also planning for the 9th of May! That is some really fun news! We are also hoping to see some reactivations of some less Active members of the ward! The work is working! And even though I was told time and time again that we don´t get very many bapstisms or many reactivations We are seeing things happening in this ward! The members have begun to work with us! We have been searching dilligently to find new people! We have been Obedient! All of these things are happening and the Lord is blessing us!!! To all the missionaries and people who say that I can´t I would read to them Fillipeans 4:13 I can do ALL things in Christ which strengtheneth me.
      Elder jones is still working hard And I love him and all he does for me! He is still new and full of energy and hard work!!!!
     This sunday I challenged the young men to think of someone we could go visit together! when I did that they all came up with two names of less active youth. Then they said lets invite them to mutual together. Then with more comments and the pitching in of others they decided to go right after church! so we did and both said they would come to mutual with us today!!! These youth have changed so much! and they are changing me SOO much I am so grateful for the love they have shared with me!!!
Things are good here in Chile! thanks for the prayers from everyone!!
Love Elder Groen!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hey Conference!

Hey everybody have a great week with conference! Mom Maybe you could share that youth story with the rest of the group? I know that a little Love goes a long way! Go out of your way to prepare for Conference and Find someone to Love and Invite!! I promise if you all do you will find blessings of the Lord in your lives! 

Smile because this is a happy gospel!!! 
Love Elder Groen!! sd

*This is to what Ethan refers.  I asked Ethan what his General Conference plans are.  This was his response: 

We get to go to the stake center and watch it! I am going to watch it with all of my young men!! By the way I am now the only young men leader or the young mens president! the other leader has been gone for 3 months and is having some tough problems and got released... When I got to the ward we had 3 Active young men. Now we have 7 Active and they are happy and go to seminary, mutual, and sunday Every week and they all now tell me that they Want to be missionaries! And we started doing lessons and a game every saturday so they can invite friends that arent members and the less active youth to come and be a part of the joy they are finding in this group!!!