First of all, I apologize to everyone for my lack of writing last week. Elder Hixon was leaving the next day and just HAD to say goodbye to a bunch of people, eating up all of our time to write. This week, however, I have un buen of news (pardon the Spanglish). So as I'm sure you may have realized, last week was changes. Elder Hixon went home, and Elder Guerra left Valle Dorado, leaving me with a new companion. I shall run you all through that day.
I had already known that I was going to be a language specialist (teaching English to the Spanish missionaries) because the Mission President's wife texted Elder Hixon and told him to orient me for it. She also said "I hope he's ready for what's coming!" Needless to say, I was freaking out that morning wondering what was going to happen. We arrived at the changes meeting, talked with a few missionaries for a while, and then it started. First they announced the language specialists, and I had to go up and get some manuals and stuff. No big deal. As part of the changes meeting, President always annouces who the trainers of the next cycle are going to be. I thought, "Oh, that's neat. Look at all of those great missionaries that are going to train the new ones." Suddenly, I could have sworn I heard President say, "Elder Groesbeck va a ser un entrenador," followed by the exclamations from many missionaries saying, "¡Eso es todo, Groesbeck!" and Elder Guerra ushering me up to the special row for trainers. My world melted around me as everything dissolved into utter shock, awe, and silence. I heard nothing else for the rest of the meeting until he said, "In Valle Dorado, Elder Groesbeck will serve as a district leader, and he'll be training Elder Gonzalez," followed by more exclamations of "¡No manches!" "¡Eso es todo!" and so on and so forth. I still have no words to describe my feelings at this point. After having finished my training the weekend before, I became a trainer-district-leader-language-specialist. I stil have no idea what to do with myself. I feel like I have so much to do and absolutely no time to do it.
As if that wasn't all, we received a very interesting call from President Egbert. "Hey Elder Groesbeck. We have some news for you. There are some missionaries elsewhere in the mission that are going home, and some emergency changes have to be made. We're going to be taking the sisters out of your ward, and you two are going to move into their house and have their area as well. Hermana Garcia is going to be coming to the offices at 1 o'clock this afternoon, so you need to go over there now and have them show you their area book." I'm just gonna say, the refiner's fire is real. On top of everything else, I now have double the area the explore with my completely new companion. So much responsibility all at once! Gah!
I have decided, however, to take a different approach at looking at all of this. I am actually quite honored that President Egbert feels that I can handle all of this. Being a language specialist just means that I already have a relatively firm grasp of the language and that I can teach and help other missionaries. He made me a district leader because he has high hopes for me and feel that I can handle the added responsibility. He made me a trainer for who knows why, but everything is actually going quite well with my new companion. Elder Gonzalez is a champ. He's from Costa Rica, and he already speaks quite a bit of english. We speak Spanglish in the house at night so he can practice. Like myself, he's left-handed and an older missionary (he's 26). I have high hopes for my son, and I hope to have a grandson in 11 weeks. I can only hope to shape his mission and overall destiny in a similar way that Elder Hixon shaped mine.
I've come to the realization in this past week with all of this change and responsibility that it is not the trials we do or do not face that make us who we are. Trials and challenges will always come. It is in our attitude and how we face them that make us who we are and shape our destiny. And so my question is this: How will you face your trials? Will you sit around and mope as they slowly but surely engulf you in a sea of difficulty? Or will you swim above them? My challenge for everyone is to swim. Swim until you can swim no more, and when you have absolutely nothing left, the Lord will be there to help you. My prayers have become a lot more fervent, and I find absolutely no shame in that. The Lord is always there to help us, but it requires an effort on our part first. Swim.
Iré, haré, y nadaré,
Q&A With Elder Groesbeck (Questions by Pam Smith, his Aunt)
1. Is there much change in the seasons that is noticeable spring/summer, etc?
There's a noticable winter/summer, but there really isn't a Spring. It rained every day for almost 3 weeks straight if that counts as Spring, but it was still super hot.
2. Do you have many dinner appointments with members?
We only eat lunch with members. Lunch here is the big meal of the day, and we eat around 2. We're on our own for dinner at night after planning and everything, so I usually just make a quesadilla or a grilled cheese.
3. How many missionaries in your entire mission?
I think we have about 150? But I'm really not sure.
4. Are there many sister missionaries or senior missionaries?
It seems like there are more sister missionaries than Elders; Thus far in all 3 of the districts I've been in, they've been mostly (if not all) sisters with me and my companion(s).
5. What do you miss most? (food wise?)
I don't know... The food here is actually one of the things I love most about Mexico. It's all really rich and natural. I think it'll be pretty weird when I come back in two years and don't eat every single meal with tortillas...
6. What’s your favorite scripture?
To share, I love Mosiah 2:41. It just applies to everything. To read/appply, definitely 1 Nephi 3:7. Like I end all of my blog posts, iré y haré (I will go and do).
7. What conference talk did you like the best?
Oh my gosh, Generaly Conference as a missionary is the BEST! The sessions just flew by way too fast. I must say, though, I (as usual) absolutely loved Elder Holland's talk. It was so simple but so powerful, and I didn't write a single thing about it. I was captivated the entire time.
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)