Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 2 in the field

Week 2 in the mission field. Man it's A LOT of work. I am always exhausted. 

ANYWAYS, it sucks sitting down to write the email and forgetting everything that happened this past week. 

So last week for Preparation Day we went to this really yummy pizza place called Zwanzinga (or something like that) and that was amazing! We then went and got our bikes and now 500$ later, I had a brand new bike! I forgot to take a picture of it I just realized so I will have to do that next week.

On Tuesday we went to the Richard's for dinner and the Achievement Days girls in our ward made us dinner and it was actually really good! It was this amazing breaded and seasoned chicken with cheesy breadsticks and spaghetti, BOMB!!!!

On Wednesday I got attacked by a dog while riding my bike. We were just on the bike/walking trail and out of nowhere this teenagers dog comes hauling away from his owner and bites me. I looked in my wrist and there was a fast hole and I could see the bone! It was disgusting. We immediately turned around and showed the Branch President because we live with them and he took us to the Stake President's medical office and now two stiches later, I am doing just fine!

The missionary work here is hard. Working with the hispanics you get the excuse of "work" nonstop. We go and tract (knock doors and hope for the best) in trailor parks mostly because that's where we find the most success. The people are always super nice, listen to us talk, give us water, and then never answer the door again when we go back. It's kinda disheartening! The worst though is when we have set appointments and the people cancel on us last minute and then our backups don't answer either and we are left tracting random houses and desperately searching for hispanics!

Last night though we had an awesome experience. So last week we decided to go tracting and we came by this guy and asked if we could speak with him and he agreed so we just talked a little bit and then did some service for him and took down this big tent he put up for his daughters birthday party. We then set a return appointment and left. When we got home we looked him up in the area book and saw his wife went to church a bunch and was a former investigator and he was too but he wasn't attending church or as interested. We went to the return appointment and he was busy and it took us another week to get ahold of him which was last night. We asked to share a short message and he agreed and his wife listened too and the lesson was so powerful. When we started, the kids were playing and being loud and about five minutes in they made them leave because you could see how engrossed they became in our lesson. It all changed there and it was just SO POWERFUL that we invited them to baptism and Ninel the wife started to cry and they both said yes. It was such an amazing experience and now we are working with them to try and prepare them to be baptised September 7th. 

All our other investigators are just floating by. We teach them, they say they love it, we invite them to pray and read and they commit to do it and then never do. It's so frustrating. WE HAVE THE TRUTH AND THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW IT AND THEY WON'T PUT IN THE EFFORT! Ay carumba!!! 

Well, not much else to talk about, just a lot of the previous paragraph happening. Although, mom you would love to know, that we did service on Thursday and I mowed her lawn. For anyone who doesn't know, that was the first time I have ever mowed a lawn, haha!

Oh, and the people we live with have their son and his wife and 2 young kids living with them and so this morning we had crepes with them and got party hats, woooooo!

Elder Groseclose
Jeff and his companion 
Jeff's injury 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Welcome to Indiana!

I am finally in the field. Let me start off by saying that I have never done anything more exhausting in my life, and it's only been 5 days. Eeek. It seems like YEARS ago that I left the MTC, and well.... I kinda miss it. Our last meal was buffalo strips and curly fries, man... I'd kill for that again. I miss the people too, I had such a great zone. ANYWAYS,

So woke up at 2:30 AM last tuesday to board a bus for the airport to fly out to Detroit. When we touched down in Detroit they had a Taco Bell and I nearly cried and had some and I was so happy, haha. Then we hopped back on a plane and headed to Indianapolis. When we landed the mission president was there to welcome us and the whirlwind began. We stepped outside and it was about 105+ degrees with high humidity. Everyone sweat unceasingly the second they stepped outside, it was RIDICULOUS. I was dying. We all then loaded into big vans and headed for the mission office. Our driver got lost and we ended up getting an entire tour of Indianapolis because of it, which I can't complain about! It is a beautiful place, all of Indiana is covered in trees, it's beautiful. We had a little orientation at the mission home and the mission presidents wife made us all BBQ Pork and Brownies, so good. Also, we found out there that there's actually 18 spanish missionaries, not 8. Cool stuff. 

So on Tuesday we had a mass sleepover of new missionaries and then on Wednesday we had more orientation and then finally, we got our companions. My companion is Elder Oliva. He was born in Mexico and moved to California when he was 10 and now lives in Chicago, well Indiana now, but you know what I am saying. He was baptised when he was 17 and he has been out for 19 months, so he has 3 or 4 transfers left. Good thing he speaks fluent Spanish because the people here talk SO fast. 

Our first night out we were on bikes. We have the car Friday-Sunday, share Monday, and we share it with other Elders who have it Tuesday-Thursday, My companion doesn't have a license so I am the driver, WOOHOO! I LOVE IT. Usually you never drive your first 12 weeks, but I do! Anyways, it's stinking HUMID here. People here don't wear shirts when they drive, which isn't bad except for when certain people who shouldn't not wear shirts think they don't have to either, blah. Also got cussed at by some random guy while we were riding, that was cool, haha. The people are mostly nice though, they give us water all the time when they see us and we even got free shaved ice!

Where I live, forgot about that. We live in Columbus Indiana. It's south east and if any of you heard, it just had a heat wave, lucky me. -_- The town is kinda like an old town with a nice side of town and an old run down empty side. For those back home, it's like having an entire town being just like that neighborhood by the Liquour Store by Edna Hill and that neighborhood behind FoodMaxx. A cool thing is that like EVERYONE in the town works at a place called Cummins. That business practically employs everyone, it's kinda cool. We stay in the bottom floor of the Branch President's house. They live in a nice neighborhood. The son and his wife also live in the top story and they have a 6 and 2 year old so it's awesome, I get to see kids! I have a queen sized bed and the house is gorgeous. We have a full kitchen for our use and our own laundry room and such. We are so lucky. The Elders we share a car with live in an apartment that stinks of cigarettes and the AC broke and is leaking water EVERYWHERE, I feel bad, but I won't trade! HA! 

On Friday we did service at Hermana Lopez' house. She is an older lady in the ward. We dug up her garden in 100+ degree humidity. It was horrid, I'll just let it be known LOL. She then fed us lunch and I have no clue what it was but I ate it.... Ah! 

So, I'm changing this place! Before I came, the average was 2 lessons a week, in my 4 days we have taught 7, YAY for young enthusiasm! My first lesson was to Israel. He is really humble and nice, most people here are like that. Very good people. At the end of our first full day we were riding home and my companion felt prompted to go back and we did and got a new investigator out of it, we were lead by God on that one! 

SUNDAY! Ok, so our ward is called a "Gringo Ward", there's not a lot of actual latino members here so they call families where the husbands went Spanish speaking on there missions to attend the ward and that way when investigators come they have people to fellowship them and become their friend. The ward has 60 members in it and me and my companion have to do English > Spanish and Spanish > English translation, it's intimidating. The people are so nice though and I am blessed to have a ward that is bilingual, YAY! For dinner we went to the Bejars and they made us Pupusas which were AMAZING. I put cholula hot sauce and salsa and lime all over it and I loved it. And get this Mom, I had salad. It was disgusting, I knew I was right. 

ANYWAYS, this life is so crazy but I am here for the long haul. I hope to continue to do amazing things here and hear from you all soon!

Much Love, Elder Groseclose.
On the plane to Indianapolis 
How the elders slept their first night in Indianpolis
Elder Groseclose's mission president and his wife 
Elder Groseclose's new area Columbus, Indiana 
Jeff and Brett, his college dorm mate 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Last week in the MTC!

ONE MORE DAY!!! Indianapolis tomorrow! I have to be ready and packed to go at 3:30 AM and then I fly to Detroit and then to Indianapolis, I am so excited! This week has been such a long drag because we have all just been anxiously waiting to leave. Last night we had a devotional and it was very interesting. The guy called random people out of the crowd to share their conversion to the church stories and one guy said he was really into this girl but then her family adopted him because he was in a bad home and so they like had to stop dating because it was his adopted sister and it was just weird. People are definitely interesting, haha! It's crazy to think that all our Spanish lessons on grammar are done and now it's just down to perfecting it and learning new words daily until we are professionals! 6 of the Elders in my district left this morning so now it's just gonna be 4 of us at class tonight, it's gonna be so sad. It's crazy how fast you grow to love the people you work with. In other news, there were protesters outside the temple yesterday and one guy was yelling at us "Don't worship Joseph Smith! Jesus is the way!" and we were all like ummmm yes sir we agree haha! It was funny because everything the protesters said we believed in also they were just ill-informed so it'll be cool to go out into the world and teach people that Mormons are actually normal people.... Just asked my companion what else happened this week and neither of us can think of anything.... It truly was just a waiting game this week. Tomorrow is the big day, the truth mission begins! 
Elder Groseclose with Vick on a stick
Branch president and his wife

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 5. One more week till INDIANA!

Hola! Oy es dia 34 (Today is day 34! can't do accents on this computer SORRY for you Spanish speakers). Es loco pensar que hemos (mi distrito and yo) sobrevivido un mes! un semana mas. Okay, enough of that Spanish, I am probably boring y'all to death. Anyways it was another awesome week in the Missionary Prison Center, sorry Missionary Training Center, computer must have autocorrected it.... The district ahead of us just left this morning so I am sad about that because I was super close and good friends with them (closer than to my own district). Stayed up way past the missionary bed time last night with them having a queso party, I know, I am so crazy huh?
I am so excited to leave for Indiana in 8 days but it's starting to get scary because I am realizing that as good as I think I am, I have so much more Spanish to learn and my vocabulary is nowhere near where I want it.  Today we have temple cleaning. Provo Temple is closed until August and we get to go and clean it today, I have heard it's actually super fun! We lose a lot of our PDay because we clean for like 4 hours but esta bien. It's just gotten to the point in the MTC where we are the group with the highest seniority in our Zone so it just really feels like it's time to get out of here.
Got my travel plans on Saturday! Flying out on the 16th and flying to Detroit and then from Detroit we head to Indianapolis, the final stretch is here!
This past Thursday as you all know was 4th of July and so we got to stay up until 11 and watch the Fireworks coming out of the BYU Football stadium, it was so fun! (hahah, this is the only place where you'll see 3000 18-21 year olds cheering for an 11PM bedtime). I have grown so much here, it's unbelievable. I am still my crazy old self but I really feel like being here I am finding out what really is important in life. The people here are amazing and I am just so blessed to have all these people around me. On Sunday it was my first fast Sunday as a missionary and boy was that brutal, the cafeteria didn't open until 5:45 and when it did it was 3000 starving people rushing a cafeteria with 8 workers plating food, HIJOLE!!!
Y'all wanna hear a secret? The bookstore sells this nifty thing called extend a button that makes it so you have more neckspace with your button up collar shirts, it's seriously MAGICAL, I have been breathing easy lately.
Well everyone, 8 days until I am in Indiana! It's crazy, 8 days and I'll be teaching people all about the Church IN SPANISH. 6 weeks ago I could say Hola and now I am having to explain an entire religion to people, it blows my mind. I'm ready to leave, I'm ready to serve!
-Elder Jeffrey Aaron Groseclose

Jeffrey got his favorite meal in the MTC! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Hola! I am now on day 27! 15 more days to go and I'll be on a plan to Indiana! I get my travel plans THIS FRIDAY! Ahhh! I am so stoked! It's a little stressful to think that I only have 15 more days of Spanish prep but I am at the point where I know enough that I'd be just fine speaking and teaching people in the language! This past week was so cool! On Tuesday the devotional was of Janice Kapp Perry who writes all kinds of church songs, including Army of Heleman and Sisters of Zion so as an MTC we sang a new version she wrote of the medley and she sang to us also and it was such an awesome experience. It's crazy how music can really bring about so much good! My zone is awesome! You get so close to people but then they just all leave week by week but it is life. I constantly want to write in Spanish but I don't want to confuse people so I am refraining.... I constantly find myself hearing things in English and thinking of it in Spanish, it is taking over! I wonder how bad my English grammar and spelling has gotten..... Anyways, everything is profressing fine. Just teaching our investigators and having to deal with some pretty tough questions but it's good that they are testing us here so much. Something funny, I am always tired in night class because I just require so much sleep and I guess my teacher thought I had ADD because I am always tired so he had the Branch President ask me if I needed to see the MTC psychologist to see if I had ADD, I politely denied that idea real quick, my sleep patterns just suck! In other exciting news, Stadium of Fire is on Thursday and we get to be outside for it and hear the music and see the Fireworks, MISSIONARY DREAM!!! Actual music! The temple is closed for the next six weeks so no more of that for us, sad sad. Atleast it gave me time for a nap this morning. In 3 days I'll be a 1/24th of the way done here, not bad eh? ha! Well, sorry I am so boring, but like I always say, not much things happen here so looks like time just keeps passing, soon soon I will have enthralling stories for you!
-Elder Groseclose