Elder Barrios and I had a pretty neat week this week; lots of lessons, a couple of new investigators, and lots of people invited to church. As I've said quite a few times before, Sunday will either make or break your week. This week... it broke it. We were expecting about 9 people in church, and 3 showed up. One of which we pretty much had to drag by his ears to get out of bed, but we got him there. The rest of whom we didn't swing by to pick up never showed up. Needless to say, it was pretty lame.
In other news, another cycle has absolutely flown by. I serioualy have no idea what's happening with the time here in the mission. I'm rolling down a mountain. Does time go by this fast back home? Like, seriously? I feel like I just got here in Mixquiahuala, and my companion had changes today. My new companion is Elder Morales, and it seems to me that we'll be working quite hard and seeing lots of miracles over the course of these next six weeks. We have Fernando's baptism lined up for this coming Saturday; his mom was baptized last week, and he's pretty excited to follow suit. His other brother Cesar was the one we had to pull out of bed by his ears to get him to church. He's a little bit less excited, but he's on his way. He's the notorious rebelious child, but it's nothing the gospel and a little bit of ironing can't handle. We'll see what happens.
Sorry about the short email, but there hasn't been a whole lot happening other than changes. There also isn't much time to think about more interesting stuff... Hopefully I'll have more stories and pictures and stuff for next week.
Iré y haré,
It's been a rather interesting week this week. I'm not sure where to start, so I'll just get right into it.
Carmen got baptized! I think I explained a little bit of her story, but I don't remember, so I'll explain it again! She's been attending church for about a year and a half now, and it got to the point where all of the missionaries simply thought she was a member. Elder Barrios and I found out that she actually wasn't and went to investigate. She said that with all of the other missionaries she simply never had time for them to teach her. After a little bit of firm talk, she understood just how important it was and started to make time to listen to us. We set her baptismal date from the beginning for the 20th of February, and she is officially the first person who has remained firm from the time we started teaching her all the way up to her date; normally we have to change their dates because the miss church or something happens, but with her, it was all green lights Her son Fernando (left of the lady in white) has his baptismal date for March 5th and is pretty darn excited. We've already started teaching him some of the deep doctrine like Christopher Columbus in the Book of Mormon. It's pretty neat.
I also forgot to mention that I fell off my bike like 2 weeks ago. Don't worry, Mom, I'm fine. Just scraped my leg a bit. I busted out the first aid kit and put my Eagle Scout skills into practice.
Pay no attention to my incredibly messy desk... I was searching for my first aid kit...
These are the sisters that share the ward here in Mixquiahuala, Sister Davis and Sister Rojas. They're what we call campeonsotas (super champs). Sister Davis has about 8 months in the mission and has already trained twice and opened the area here in Mixquiahuala. Hermana Rojas just started and is learning quite fast.
Did somebody say smolder?
And that's pretty much all I have for this week. I figure pictures are worth a thousand words, so this is one of the longest emails I've sent yet! Missionary work is great, the Lord is awesome. He's here with us in this work and has been constantly guiding us to His prepared children. Don't get me wrong, this is by far the most stressful thing I've ever done in my life, but the fruits of said labors are more than worth it.
Iré y haré.
Not much has happened out here in Mixquiahuala lately; quite a few lessons, some zone drama with the weekly reports, no time to rest, running out of gas for the boiler, getting a little bit sick. Normal missionary stuff.
I suppose I'll start with the running out of gas part. Here in Mexico, all of the water heaters (they call them "boilers"... like, they use the English word. It's kind of funny) run on tanks of natural gas; they don't have the fancy automatic heating system like the US has. So every morning when we get up, we have to go an turn on the heater. Depending on how good your heater is, you may have to get up earlier; in Tecamac we had to get up at like 5:40 to start up the heater so it would be ready by 7 to start showering. Fortunately, here in Mixquiahuala, we have a pretty nice heater that takes like 10 minutes to heat up, and when the water's nice and hot, it shuts off automatically. Now, when your gas tank up on the roof runs out of gas, you're darn out of luck. Over the course of the past few weeks, it has progressively gotten colder at night (down into the 30s), so when we woke up to the utter pleasure of being out of gas, I was not amused. The mission manual says that we should "shower every day, if possible," but there comes a time in every missionary's life when the shower begins to rain down little ice cubes, and he simply says, "nope. Today it's not possible," before he scrubs deodorant all over himself and calls the gas company 3 hours later when everyone wakes up.
Elder Barrios and I have also been getting slightly sick. It's nothing to keep the work from going, but it does make it slightly less comfortable to do so when we're sniffling every 30 seconds. Don't worry, Mom, I'm making good use of the NiQuil you gave me. No, you don't need to send me more.
Other than that, there hasn't been much going on. We got one more pretty awesome investigator named Luna Sofia; she's 16 years old and is super excited about the gospel. She came to church with us on Sunday and accepted a baptismal date right off the bat. We also have Carmen who will be getting baptized this Saturday and her son for 2 weeks afterwards. Things are playing out quite nicely thus far.
Today was probably the most interesting part of this week; Elder Barrios and I didn't have to go to Pachuca, so we had the whole day to ourselves! We got to go parading through the tianguis spending lots of money and feeling slightly bad but incredibly amused afterwards. To get a picture of what a tianguis is, imagine a table with all of the random junk you can think of slightly organized by genre (computer parts, toys, coloring books, etc.). Now imagine about 3 blocks filled with those tables. Yes, quite fun. I bought some different types of Rubik's cubes (a 4x4 and one that changes sizes and shapes as you mix it up), a flash drive, and a tie for zone conference on Thursday. Fortunately, the tianguis are always here, so we'll have plenty more opportunities to spend lots of money on seemingly useless junk.
And that's pretty much it for now. We have zone conference this week would should be pretty edifying. Elder Barrios and I have a half hour portion to teach, so we've got quite a bit to plan. We'll see how it goes.
Iré y haré,
I haven't much time (we had to trek to Pachuca today 2 hours both ways), so I'll keep it short and simple. This week we simply had a lot of people lie to us. Very obviously as well. We received a reference from the trip to Hawaii activity that we were told was golden, so we went to contact her Saturday night. Her mother answered the door and said she wasn't home, but accepted to listen to our message. In the middle of our quick message, her daughter opened the door (from the inside) and said, "hi, Elderes!" Well... that was incredibly awkward. For her, anyway. They also said they would come to church, and despite the resistance of her mother, we told her we would come by so we could walk together. Upon arriving at their door Sunday morning, her mother answered the door and said, "she's not ready yet. We'll see you there."
"We can wait for you guys."
"No! We'll see you there." Yes, it was that blunt.
Upon leaving the door, we both pretty much knew her mother wasn't going to let her leave the house, and big surprise, they never showed up to church. We weren't able to swing by in the afternoon, but she will surely have some PG-rated dialogue coming her way the next time we see her. Seriously, her daughter is awesome; she accepted a baptismal date within like 2 minutes of knowing her. We'll see how that one goes.
We also had quite a few people simply flat out reject us. I went on interchanges with Elder Bigler, a new missionary with about 2 months in the mission, this week. We knocked on a door, presented ourselves, and the older gentleman at the door said, "I thank you, but we're ahora si que Catholic," and promptly closed the door. Just so you know, "ahora si que" is a saying that so many people down here say and it literally makes no sense whatsoever (in English or Spanish). "now if that". What!? It bugs the heck out of me when people say it. I usually make a little bit of fun of them and start to stick it in wherever I want in my speech as well when I talk to them. They don't notice, but Elder Barrios and I have a good laugh about it afterwards.
That's all I have time for this week!
Iré y haré,
So many cool things that happened this week, and there's no time to waste. First, there was pretty much nothing cool about our investigators that we taught this week; not a single one of them showed up to church. Super lame, but that's the mission; we'll keep working and see how it goes.
First things first, my flashlight taser, Leticia, was broken by Elder Martinez, but this week, I had the utter pleasure to find another one that's even bigger and more powerful. I'll have lots of fun scaring dogs and killing bugs with Leticia 2.0. I call her Veronica.
I was studying in the Book of Mormon this week, and there was a part that really called to me. It's in the book of Mosiah, and it said that the Lamanites fought like lions for their prey against the people of Limhi. But then it says that the people of Limhi fought for their wives, their children, and their families, and they did combat like dragons. I decided to dedicate a few minutes to these particular verses... and draw them. I felt like it would have been the coolest battle ever to watch.
I don't remember if I mentioned this, but I've started studying the Book of Mormon in Chinese. I figure I've got Spanish down pretty well, so it's time to move on. Unfortunately, I don't have any sort of dictionary to tell me how Chinese grammar works or how to pronounce the symbols, so I've only found a few combinations of symbols that mean things like "desert", "jews", "history", and other basic/common words in the Book of Mormon. Elder Davis had been looking for a Book of Mormon in Chinese, so I think I'll trade him for his triple combination in French. French is at least a phonetic language, so I can piece it together along with the grammar. We'll see how that goes...
So we're sitting in Ward Council Tuesday night, and the Stake President showed up. I had met him very briefly back in Presas, but he actually lives here in Mixquiahuala. He took a look at my nametag and said, "Where did your father serve his mission."
I skeptically looked at him and said, "Spain."
"I believe your father served his mission in Spain at the same time I did. Groesbeck isn't a very common last name."
He left me with the potential doubt in my head until Wednesday afternoon when we ate with their family. As his wife was preparing the food, President Lozano came out of a room with a little trifold. He handed it to me and asked, "is this your father?" Sure enough, there was a little picture of Dad with the words "Elder Groesbeck" printed beneathe them. President Lozano said he'd been looking to connect with people from his mission for quite some time and hadn't been able to find anyone until now. Those are some pretty crazy connections right there.
As we continued eating and making President Lozano trunky for his mission, his wife opened the fridge and said, "Hey, we have some of these left over from last night for dessert. I don't think they'll like them, though." Naturally, she sparked my curiosity. Upon asking what it was, President Lozano looked me right in the eyes and said something that sounded a lot like "root beer". My gaze maintained fixed straight ahead at him. He took one from the fridge and sure enough, there he held the most beautiful brown can of A&W root beer I've ever seen in my life. I had been searching for 13 months for root beer and hadn't found a drop of it here in Mexico. And there it was. Now, President Lozano owns a little ice cream shop beneath his house, so, you guessed it, we had root beer floats for dessert! My life was made.
Last event of the week. We had a really awesome stake activity back in Presas this weekend, so I got to see all of my converts and members I had grown to love Friday and Saturday night. It was so exciting! I also got a picture with my grandson, Elder Alder, and my great-grandson, Elder Garcia. The family is growing quite quickly! When President Egbert gets changed, we're all gonna get together and take a large family photo. It'll be great!
That's all I have for this week. Hope everyone else has a wonderful week as well!
Iré y haré,
LOCATE ELDER GROESBECK!
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE LOCATION ON MAP WHERE ELDER GROESBECK IS CURRENTLY SERVING IN MEXICO.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ELDER GROESBECK'S FAITH
This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)