This week was... well... it was all right I guess. It was just the first real example I've
had of how hard the mission can be. Don't get me wrong, we had some awesome
stuff happen this week, but Friday and Saturday were just awful in terms of our
lessons. For some reason, almost all of our scheduled lessons for those two days fell
through; whether it was because they weren't home or they suddenly got busy or
whatever, they all just dropped one by one, and our backup plans weren't home
either. We were left to just contact rather unsuccessfully.
On the bright side, however, the couple of lessons we did have were super powerful.
We went out with the Bishop one night and had a lesson with this one family who
wasn't doing a good job with keeping their promise to read the Book of Mormon and
pray about it. We decided to not teach them the next lesson, but just bear some
super strong testimony as to why reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it
were so dang important to know the truth. Holy flip, the Spirit worked something
fierce in that lesson. It was to the point where I was like, "I testify to you that what
you're feeling right now is the Spirit, and when you read and pray about the Book of
Mormon, you will get this same feeling. You will come to know it's true." It was so
flippin' great; we'll have to see if they keep that promise now.
Anyways, it's time for investigator of the week! This week's award goes to... Caren
Alcala, and there's quite the story to go with it. During one of our days of fallen
appointments, we were knocking on some doors with no success. We were standing
outside of one house just talking for a bit when a girl walked out (we hadn't knocked
yet). I decided to jump on the opportunity and say, "¡Buenas tardes! Somos
misioneros," and the rest of the stuff. We talked to her for a minute or so just getting
to know her a little bit. Meanwhile, her mother was standing just outside the
doorway, and after a little while, she said something to the effect of, "Hey! My
daughter needs faith. You two have faith. Get in here and teach my daughter!" After
a glance of disbelief at each other, we were like, "Well all right, then..." and walked in
to teach her. She's super open to everything we've been teaching her, and although
she was unable to come to church yesterday, she's really interested. I have high
hopes for this one.
For the adventure of the week, I'd like to call it the Great Mexican Dust Bowl. While
out and about contacting one afternoon/evening with two young men from the
ward, a butt ton of wind just came out of nowhere and started kicking dust
everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. We had to run through the dust, covering
our eyes, and trying not to hit anything. Then, as if it wasn't bad enough, it started
raining! We quickly ran into the house of the Garcia Vilchis family (the investigators
aforementioned with the super spiritual lesson) because they were close, and their
lights were on. Needless to say, it was some super crazy stuff, but we were lucky
Manuel and Martha were home.
The four missionaries in our ward (two are sisters, one is from Mexico and the other
is from Guatemala) gave talks on Sunday about missionary work, and apparently
mine went over VERY well with everyone. It could just be because I'm new and they
thought I needed the confidence boost, but I had a lot of people compliment me on
it. I basically just asked the question, "What is missionary work" and proceeded to
answer it in 3 different ways; first, it's a commandment of God. We've been told to
preach the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Second, missionary
work is sharing the message of the Restoration, our chief and principle message as
church members. And third, it's being an example. As members of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, everyone is watching us closely to see what we do.
All we need to do is live the basic gospel principles, and everyone can see what a
difference it makes in our lives. Everyone can sense that there is something different
about us and our families. With said talk, I would like to issue a challenge, and if you
are currently reading this, you have accepted said challenge. The challenge is to get
a Book of Mormon, and give it to someone by the end of this week. Whether they
read it or not, that's their choice, but I would encourage you to give them the book,
and bear testimony of it's power and how you have come to know of its truth and
power. If you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, my
challenge is this: Get a Book of Mormon. Read it bit by bit, and pray about it. Pray to
Heavenly Father, and ask with sincere faith if its words are true. I promise and
testify that doing so will give you the answer you seek if you pray earnestly with a
true desire to know. I've had my doubts about the Book of Mormon, and I've had
them all quelled by this same manner. You have all officially accepted at least one of
these two challenges, and I expect a report on how it goes from each one of you by
Until then, iré y haré.
Questions your fans are dying to know the answers to:
1. Have you had any near death experiences riding your bike this week? (Please
leave out anything that would make me want to call the mission office about.)
A. I have near death experiences every day riding my bike, and I've grown to
love them. Like I said last week, the week just wouldn't be complete without
2. Has taco Friday become a ritual with you and your companion?
A. No, taco Friday has not become a ritual; we only went last week because the
people who were supposed to feed us forgot and just gave us money instead;
we decided that once every other week is good for that taco place and the
3. How is your tongue? Try any new hot sauces that have caused you pain?
(Please see refer back to question number one.)
A. I had the habanero sauce last week, and that's as spicy as it gets. I really want
to try a raw habanero pepper, though...
4. Are you able to find your favorite foods at the local stores or have you had to
discover new favorites? (Do I need to send you anything from home?)
A. There's hardly anything from America in the stores here, so I'm just trying
everything and having Elder Hixon recommend stuff for me.
5. How is the missionary training going? Are you following the training
program you mention in an earlier letter?
A. Yeah, we're following the 12-week program to get me all accustomed to the
mission life and such. It's just a bunch of different practices and stuff for the
I don’t know what you mean by “Different Practices and Stuff” can you
explain?” Does it include exercising?
The first twelve weeks program just has different areas of focus each week;
for example, "The new missionary takes the lead in contacting people" or
"the new missionary takes the lead in teaching the first discussion". Stuff like
that. Exercise is 30 minutes every morning, and it's just whatever we feel like
doing to wake ourselves up.
6. Tell us about the people in your ward. Are they supportive of the
missionaries? Do they go on splits with the missionaries? Is there a Ward
A. The youth here are pretty great when it comes to going out with the
missionaries; they come up to us on Sunday asking when they can go out
with us, which is pretty cool. Two of the missionaries are sisters. They just
have a few parts on the map, we have the bulk of the area. Yes, there is a
ward mission leader and his pretty cool. We have a ward council every other
week, we would like it to be every week because we need to keep the ward
up to date on what we are doing. All four of us missionaries in the ward
actually gave talks on Sunday about missionary work and how we need the
members' help because they're not too great about giving referrals and stuff.
The ward members are really nice, though, and we get fed every day. We’ve
made it clear that we eat EVERYTHING.
7. Are there many members of the church in your area? Are there many wards
close by to make up a stake or is the stake boundaries spread out?
A. The houses here are super packed close together, so there are tons of
members in a relatively small area (compared to the US); it only takes us
about 7 minutes to bike from one side of our area to the other, so you can
imagine how close the members are to form a solid ward out of that size.
8. How big is your zone? How often do you have zone conference or meet with
the other missionaries to learn? Have you made any friends?
A. I have no clue how big the zone is, but I imagine not too big considering how
small our area is. We have zone conferences every month, and the only
missionary I constantly see is my companion.
9. Do you like your mission president? What is he like? What is his wife like?
A. I haven't had a whole lot of time to talk to him (we have interview with him
this week), but so far he seems pretty cool; based on the stories Elder Hixon
has told me, he's a pretty awesome guy. From my limited association with
him, I agree with that.
10. Do you help your companion clean the apartment? Is he surprised that you
know how to wash your own clothes and clean a toilet?
A. Yes, I help him clean every Monday. We take our clothes to a laundromat, and
it's really not that hard to clean a toilet.
11. Do you love and miss your mommy?
A. Of course I do!
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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 :)