Monday, April 28, 2014

Here we GOOOOO:

So, this week is more about single events that happened then by the days. So, I am just going to format it like that, not by days.

To be honest I wish I could just type this all in Spanish to make it easier but I guess I will save you all from the pain of trying to read what a translator would butcher it to say....

Let me also say that so much other funny stuff happens that I just don't send home in my emails because I don't want to offend anyone if they happen to somehow see it..... But just KNOW that my life in Indiana is hilarious. These HOOSIERS are CRAZY! Hahah.
Oh, go PACERS by the way!

SO, last monday was Elder Thurston's birthday and so we went to Roman y Mercedes for dinner and we had Chorizo which pretty much means I was HAPPY. One quote we heard while watching a Mormon Message really stuck out to me. It's one that I had heard a lot of times but it was just more meaningful that time. "Nunca estamos solos cuando estamos con nuestro Padre Celestial." Y'all can stick that in a translator if you want. ha.

Now we will start into random things that happened:

First a HILARIOUS joke that's in Spanish. So if you don't speak spanish it probably won't be too funny to you. "Que le dijo la burra a su bebe" "HIIIIII-JA" (if you say Hija like a donkey sound it is HILARIOUS!)
I also enjoy: "Que es el peor vino en el mundo?" "Vino mi suegra!" Haha, I personally can't relate, but I still know a funny joke when I see one! Share these jokes with spanish speakers and they will think you are a riot!!!

On Tuesday we were tracting La Esmeralda apartments and we knock in this white family so we just ask them if they happen to know any hispanics that live nearby and they tell us not really so we just thank them and continue on our way. Like 30 seconds later though this little girl comes running out (maybe like 8 or 9 years old) saying that she can help us out. So we proceed to follow her as she shows us all these houses where hispanics live and then just stands with us as we knock them (lol). As we are knocking one, they aren't answering and the girl tells us that she knows they are home. She says "I will be right back" and she goes around back and goes into their back door and makes them answer, HAHA!!! So we got to talk to that family and they were like medium interested.... We will see....

Went to Kentucky! It was awesome. We went to the temple and it was SO nice. It was a much needed break from everything that can be stressful. I thoroughly look forward to when I can go back in 6 months!

Had dinner with the Oscorrimas who are from Peru and it was just a super good night!

We FINALLY taught Luisa again and it was an awesome lesson! She is back on track and still super interested and just really understands everything. Excited for that!

Taught Hilda with Roman y Mercedes and it's just at a slow and steady pace with her.

Saturday we were walking to our lunch appointment and we were gonna be late and the woman we were meeting wasn't answering her phone so I thought she would just leave thinking we weren't coming so I said a mini prayer that we would find a way to get there faster and out of nowhere, one of our former investigators Fredi turns the corner and gives us a ride in his car!

While at aforementioned lunch, this black man tries to fight the waitress and China Buffet and throws all his food at her and then stuffs a bunch in a bag so he can steal it and as he is leaving the waitress lunges at him and yanks the bag away and saves the food and he flees.... LOL. She didn't speak good English but as she is walking around and all the people eating at the restaurant are telling her they are sorry she had to deal with it she is yelling "HE HAVE TOO MUCH DRUNK!!!" lol

So we were going to a wedding with our Branch President and we get to the address and this white guy answers (we were looking for a hispanic wedding) and I am like "Hey so we are looking for a wedding....?" Hahahah, wrong door needless to say. 

When we finally did find the wedding, Hno. Herrera was doing the ceremony and after, when the couple was doing pictures, he was just standing around awkwardly and the couple was doing this picture with there hands intertwined on the marriage certificate and he awkwardly like shoves the pen between there fingers for something "artistic" and they were just so confused lol.

Yesterday was just another great Sunday and we had lunch with Maria de Los Angeles and a bunch of other people.

SO YA, that's my week. Pretty weird stuff. Enjoy it.

I love chrizo! 
Louisville Kentucky temple W/ Elder Markward, Paxman, Thurston and President Coffin
Louisville :) 
can't tell too much..... but my shirt is all bloody. intense young mens basketball.
Missionary life.
Last weeks email was HUGE so I don't feel bad that this one will be super short.
I would like to start off by saying, I AM GOING TO KENTUCKY! This Wednesday we are going to the temple in Louisville and we are stoked! It is gonna be amazing!
This week we made contact with Hilda and also Luisa again so that's good promise for this week. Other than that, I didn't teach any investigators this week! It was pretty slow week of work so I really have nothing to tell.
Easter was fun, Norma and Cris (first convert from Columbus [Norma]) came here for Easter sunday service and it was nice. Spent the day with Cumberland Elders and we went to Maria de Los Angeles like we usually do!
It is heating up here! Today is in the 70's and it's supposed to rain tonight and then the HEAT comes!
Hope you all enjoy the pictures I sent (if you can go on blogs, sorry missionaries that read this!)
Love you all !

Elder Groseclose
Got bite by a dog again. 
Norma and Cris from Colombus visiting! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Another week in the books. This week I will reach my "13 months to go" mark. Which is almost a year. Which is almost REALLY FREAKING CRAZY. It blows my mind. Like I can't have already been doing this for 10 months can I?
My week was definitely interesting. Our 3 "best" (progressing) investigators we couldn't meet with.
Luisa -> Super sick.... still ):
Hilda -> In the hospital
Francisca -> Wasn't at church and we planned to teach her there.
So those three were a big let down... But we did still teach this week.... but the people were a little...... different. HA. I am in love with hispanics, they are hilarious. Lets get this going:

MONDAY. Nothing

Tuesday. Pretty normal day. District meeting followed by a little tracting and then eventually having dinner with Roman y Mercedes. Great as always. Love hanging out with my little Chilangos! We then went to the church and just kinda explained Eternal Marriage to Manuel and it went great! 

Wednesday. What a freaking day bahahaha. Wednesday morning we had Leando and Marcela. The night before we had found leandro outside by his car AFTER we had already contacted Marcela at her door. She was interesting and talked alot but wasn't interested and then we leave and find Leandro and found out he lives with Marcela and so we set up an appointment with him for Wednesday. So the appointment was so dang.... interesting. Neither of them would stop talking. Marcela wanted to read the entire book of Revelations with us (???) and it was just a complete mess. It took us TWO HOURS TO GET OUT OF THERE. When we finally did we were practically running away bahaha. We have another appointment with them tomorrow but I will be on exchanges, bummer ;) We also taught this guy Fernando who legit told us for our entire five minute lesson that HE ONLY HAD 5 MINUTES. So he is a new investigator. We will see where he goes. The night was supposed to end with a member present lesson with the Castellon's at Hilda's house, but she is in the hospital! SAD DAY. So we instead went by her brother Juan's house and read all of Moroni 10 with him and ya, it was "meh".

Thursday. I am skipping all of Thursday except for our dinner with President Coffin. SO, we went with our branch president to Sam's Club for dinner because he is AWESOME and we hung out and just talked about his recent trip to Utah. Then..... lol..... We went to the Lara's family for some soup and with it they gave us a chile to put in it if we wanted to. So of course I wanted to eat it so I was dicing it and put it in my soup and it was so delicious and spicy and then I for some reason rubbed my nose during the dinner and my nose was on FIRE! IMMENSE PAIN, INDESCRIBABLE. I was DYING!!!! They got me an ice pack and I just sat there the whole lesson with a HUGE ICE PACK ON MY NOSE. They were dying laughing at me the whole time and I just felt and looked SO DUMB! They also made Agua de Pepino (cucumber water) and I drank WAY too much and got death cramps and along with my Chile Nose I just felt SO sick that we went home and I fell right to sleep.

Friday & Saturday. HAHAHA, I am just going to steal whatever my companion writes for these two days because they were so bizarre and he is so good at over exaggerating, so we will see what happens. 

Sunday. Normal church and then after we went and ate with Maria de Los Angeles and her daughter made food because Maria has been sick so we had enchiladas and chocolate flan with chocolate cake, yum!!! We then had the Why I Believe fireside which involved REAL LIVE HOOSIERS saying hilarious things. Quote of the night by this hilarious black women, convert to church, "Yeah, being a mormon is hard, I AINT EVEN MAD THOUGH." and "I don't talk with my family much, they aint got JESUS in their life!"



Attaching my comps descriptions:
1) Leandro y Marcela. We were tracting in La Esmeralda, an apartment complex in the north end of our area. We hadn't been having a whole lot of success. We knock this door, and a little Hispanic boy opens the door (couldn't have been older than about 4). "Hello! Are your parents home?" He looks at us, then slowly shakes his head. Small girl appears at his side (about 2 or 3 years old). "Ok. Can you give them this card with a picture of Jesus?" 

Before he grabs it, woman's voice from the other room yells, "Ven! Ven aqui! Ahorita!" Children run out of view, leaving the door open. Missionaries awkwardly stand there for a full minute, not sure what to do. Door then closes, seemingly of its own volition. We awkwardly leave the card in the door and walk away. I say to Elder Groseclose, "That was an awkward contact." 

And then Hispanic woman opens the door. We run back and talk to her (Marcela). She proceeds to talk to us for 20 minutes (which is super-long for a contact). After we leave, I say, "Ok, now that was an awkward contact."

We hadn't planned on staying that long, and we were now late for lunch, so we head towards our car. En route, we see a man (Leandro) half-in and half-out of his car, just kinda fiddling with something in his hands. He gets out of his car, and just stands there. Of course we talk to him; missionaries talk to everyone. He's very polite, and we talk for about 15 minutes (still super-long). He explains how we had been standing on his doorstep, and he didn't want to be awkward. New definition of awkward has been achieved. Also very clearly tells us how Marcela is NOT his wife, but then fails to explain how/why they live together.... Whatever. We set a return appointment for the next day.

The next day, the house is overflowing with small children. There's literally like ten of them running around. Marcela babysits children of graveyard shift workers. We start teaching Leandro the Restoration, and he doesn't seem to be grasping much. Then Marcela comes in. And dominates the conversation. For two hours. Just as a reference, a normal lesson is around 45 minutes to an hour. We're both exhausted at the end of this ordeal. Marcela told us about her religious beliefs (she's against idol worship and infant baptism, but doesn't think we need churches, nor that authority is necessary to cast out devils (??)), quizzed us about our Bible knowledge (and she asked why the rich man and Lazarus and Father Abraham... actually, I don't think it was a question.... I just don't know.), and attempted to read aloud the entire Book of Revelation (we cut her off at Chapter 3). Holy cow. We're set to return again tomorrow. BTW, Marcela and her husband let Leandro live with them because... I don't know. So, they're not together.

2) Antonio. We were able to teach Francisca before conference last week, but we still hadn't been to her house yet. We decided to try by and say hello. However, as Glen is probably familiar with, a lot of Hispanics don't tell you their address, they say, "Take this street and then turn right and then it's the last one on the left across from the hair salon." She did tell us, however, that she lives in apartment B. 

So off we go to try to find Francisca, and we find the house that matches her description. We knock it, and a Hispanic man (Antonio) opens the door. He's completely baffled when we ask for Francisca, claiming he lives alone. Awkward. We then transition smoothly into a regular door contact. He lets us in, and we teach him! His wife is going to move to Indy soon, he says, and it's hard for him to find time for religion, what with work and... sleep and... um... work....

He seems pretty interested, and says his wife is Christian and was asking him if there are any Christian churches in Indianapolis. To which we respond, Jesus Christ is in the name of our church. He wasn't there for our return appointment, but we're not giving up on him yet.

3) Fernando. Not super noteworthy, except that he explicitly says, "I'll let you in, but I only have five minutes." And throughout the entire five-minute lesson, every comment he makes is preceded with, "Well, I only have five minutes, but..." 

4) Reynaldo y Lourdes. First off, I always wanted to teach a Lourdes. Check that one off the list. Next, I'm pushing for a Pilar.

Anyway, we're knocking in these apartments near our place. A man (Reynaldo) opens the door and, after asking us what year our church was founded (1830), lets us in on account of us being "religious men." His wife Lourdes and assorted children are also present. Once we're sitting on the couch, he awkwardly asks us who/what we represent. Isn't that something you should ask before letting strangers into your house? Oh, wait: you did! Remember when you asked me what year our church was founded? That was right after I told you the name of the church. Whatever. Ask the same question twice. To each his own.

Things go relatively normally. Until, that is, I ask if we can begin with a prayer, and if they'd be comfortable if I offered the prayer. Reynaldo agrees, and I'm literally about a half-second from starting my prayer when Lourdes says, "Well, since this is our house, we'd like to pray in the way we pray."

Um, okay. Then why'd you say I could pray? Whatever. Okay, Lourdes; why don't you offer the prayer then? Reynaldo informs us that they pray standing up, so we stand. Then they both spread their arms, and Lourdes starts praying what seems to be a rather scripted prayer. And then they both make the sign of the cross. And in harmony recite the Lord's Prayer. And the Hail Mary. And then the sign of the cross again. And then a series of amens.

I could've been okay with the interesting prayer if the rest of the lesson hadn't been so uncomfortable. They told us that Jesus had established one church and that was the Catholic church, but they just couldn't seem to let us teach anything. They refuted our claim of an apostasy by saying that the popes continue in an unbroken chain from Peter. First off, where does it say Peter was a pope? Or that he ordained Pope Linus? And what about the time when there were three popes who all excommunicated each other? I successfully refrained myself from asking those potentially offensive questions. We're going back to them tomorrow as well. *Deep breath*

5) Reginaldo. Oh, man. I need some patience for this one. He had been taught by missionaries before in Maryland. Says most religious people don't like him "because I'm real with people. I don't hold back." Then goes off about how your church won't save you, God will save you. And you are the church, so you don't need a church (??). Multiple times includes the statements, "To be honest, I'm not interested in churches at all," and "If you come to talk about anything other than God or the Bible, I'm not interested. Don't you teach me about any book other than the Bible." And he wonders why the Maryland elders stopped by ONCE before dropping him.

We gave him more chances than the other elders did, apparently, because we taught him twice. The next day, we stopped by. In the interim, I had gotten sick and lost my voice. Poor Elder Groseclose had to take on a 75-minute encounter with Reginaldo single-handed. He's a trooper.

It ended with, "I don't want to be offensive, but we teach a message that is broader than what you're currently willing to accept. If you ever decide that you want to learn more, here's our number." Reginaldo countered with, "I pray every day to God that I will never change, and that I will never need anything more than the Bible." Needless to say, Reginaldo is no longer investigating the church. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bueno, la semana mia... Dejeme pensar un ratito en que paso esta semana.....
(So annoying because this computer won't let me put accents on my words... ^)

Entonces, the week overall was a really good one. We had our best numbers by far as a companionship, so that was good. Still want more investigators though.... NEED MORE PEOPLE.
Right now it is currently raining and it is absolutely gorgeous. The rain drops on the library windows seriously is entrancing.
Luisa and Tracy are still sick, and they don't want to risk us catching it from them, so we still haven't taught them. 

So Monday, oh my heck let me just say that we are such a slow group of Elder's because P-Day cleaning time was the longest time of my LIIIIIIFE. When it finally ended I was on an exchange with Elder Cozzens and he is our district leader. Been out 21 months so he is good as dead as a missionary.... But he is still a super hard worker so don't get that wrong! What happened on the exchange is nothing exciting or good enough to tell because I will prolly never work with those people again so ya. Ha.

TUESDAY -> Still on an exchange. Did a cool little study on integrity though and I was really thinking about the word. An item with integrity is something that does what it claims. Are we full of integrity? Do we always do what we claim we do? Something with high integrity can deal w/ more pressure and not collapse. Low integrity items crumble faster and easier. Another word for a person with integrity is someone who is "upright". So I found a promised blessing in D&C for what happens if we walk with more integrity in our hearts: 100:15  Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for aall things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly. We are promised that all with work together for our good if we have integrity, we can be comforted and need not worry. When we exchanged back, Elder Thurston and I had dinner outside because it was a nice day, with Hermana Mendez! She made chicken so I was simply ecstatic. I was then playing sword fighting and spear throwing with her kids, just being a complete fool to be honest. Haha, I am such a kid! We then stopped super quick by BK to get Onion Rings because I seriously was craving them for some odd reason...... The night ended with us going by Luis Mora and sharing a message with him. He would be so solid if he could just come to church, but work holds him back so much.

Wednesday -> Pretty much a morning full of just trying to find people and not really being able to! We did teach a man named Esvin though, but he was just visiting and is back in Chicago, so no clue there! We then had a great lesson about the BOM with Hno. Alonso with our investigator Hilda. It was really really good and she seems super interested (more on Hilda soon). Then..... the greatest thing EVER....... Arturo and Ana (from Columbus, my second baptism!)  came here to the City to visit! We went out to dinner and just had a great time talking! It was so much fun and it made me so so happy! I sure do miss them! I am so grateful that missions give us this awesome opportunity.

THURSDAY -> Had to take the car in to the shop because Elder Cozzens says he thinks part of it is broken (?) We were there for two hours and they tell us they can't diagnose a problem because it was rainy (?) So that was weird. I then had the blessing to get to eat at Church's Chicken and it was delicious! We then had weekly planning. Blah blah blah. Dinner with the Alonso family and it was funny just talking with them! We then had a LARC with Hno. Rios and then also with Roman y Mercedes. :)

FRIDAY -> Zone Meeting! It was pretty good, learned stuff, the usual. What I liked from it was talking about bringing members to lessons and having THEM give the commitment to your investigators. It was something we have done a couple of times and we have seen it be really effective, so it was nice to have it affirmed to us. Then, the absolutely MAGICAL lesson with Hilda w/ Hno. Castellon in tow. Walk in to the lesson, not expecting much to happen. Just expecting a normal lesson, but little were we aware of the machine gun blazingly good member, Hno. Castellon, ready to bring Hilda to tears! (Okay so really he just used the spirit but it was great nonetheless!) She loved the Restoration, and we were excited to teach her again. Hilda has issues with diabetes, blood pressure, and possibly other things as well. She says the doctors aren't sure what's wrong with her, and they're trying different things with no avail. She had heard about (and seen) miraculous priesthood blessings, and she asked for one because things seemed to be getting rougher. As we gave the blessing, I could tell she had begun to cry. At the end of the blessing, she seemed at such peace, tears silently streaming down her face. All she could manage to say was "gracias" over and over. So thankful Hno. Castellon recommended that we give a blessing! After that we just went by Juan Diaz (Hilda's brother) to invite him to conference..... but he didn't come.

SATURDAY&SUNDAY -> General Conference! So they go together! The two standouts of those two days (besides the talks!) 1) Roman y Mercedes making Chorizo and Milanesa for dinner. My two favorites, IN ONE DINNER! 2) Teaching Francisca again and she just being SO awesome! 

Francisca came to conference on Sunday. We taught her an hour before the morning session at the church. She really loved the Plan of Salvation. She said the "stuff up to death" sounds a lot like what she had believed. She told us she liked the mercy that was shown in the Spirit World and Kingdoms of Glory .We called Hilda as Conference was starting, and she was watching it as she had promised! We called her at the close of the Saturday Morning Session, and she told us she had loved it and couldn't wait to hear more. I'm excited for Hilda to progress. She's reluctant to accept a baptismal date because "I don't want to commit to something I might not be able to do." In my opinion, she just needs a little more time. It would be awesome if she and her brother Juan were baptized together... We'll see. :)

Conference Standouts:
When Christ blessed the people he didn't just say "You are all healed, bye!" He did it one-by-one. He knows us personally!
It is essential that we are in the EXACT path that Christ taught because no matter HOW CLOSE we can get on other paths, only one will lead to Eternal Life.  Matthew7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Lot more thoughts, but I will stop there! Hasta la proxima!
-Elder Groseclose