Monday, December 29, 2014

As 2014 Comes to an End...



December 28th, 2014

It's hard for me to think about what I did this week cause I was able to talk to my family on Christmas.. So sorry if things are repeated.. So lets start at the beginning..
Monday, the classic P-day shopping, emailing, what else is new? So nothing exciting on MondayOn Tuesday we had our giant mission conference, which consisted of some really good trainings/talks by President and Sister Ashton and Patriarch Newbold from the clearlake ward. It was a really good zone conference. Then of course after that there was a talent show and this was the best thing ever. There are some really talented people in our mission.. Others.. not so much, but nonetheless I loved it. There was this one elder that basically had me peeing my pants. He went up and said "I'm going to be singing 'These boots are made for walking' by Jessica Simpson.. Just kidding just kidding!" haha he also warned that puberty was rough on him so his voice squeaks. This guy literally killed me. I was crying I was laughing so hard. 
Wednesday was Christmas Eve and we went over to the Tacam's house. (Hispanics celebrate Christmas Eve like Christmas) so we just waited for the other families to arrive and while we did that we played some games. I totally killed it with the cookie on the face game. Sister Winger would have been so proud. But also we did some cup stacking. Basically we played minute to win it and I was a champion. Good thing cause 6 year old Ian beat me again at memory. He's such a trampa. 
Thursday was Christmas and we had breakfast as a zone at the church and that was a good time. Green waffles, just like last year (that's what happens when you have the same leadership 2 christmas in a row) it was really fun! All that happened just in time to go over to the Gomez's for dinner/skyping with the family. That's where I learned that my family has grown up so much. What the? So crazy! After that we had dinner #2 at the Cervantes. I basically died. But really I did. That night I was up all night shaking, who knows what was going on there...? Not me. But I'm fine now, I was told to sleep more on Friday to recoop.
Saturday was your average day. We biked all day and Hermana Call fell off her bike. Again. Obviously it was a big deal so we had to go buy a brace. It was dumping rain and no one was home. We later stopped by the bishop's house to drop off a card we forgot to give the family and turns out there was a high priest party going on and we got invited. Pretty fun. The old men in this ward are crazy.
Sunday there was a miracle baptism for the elders (and for us). Louis that we taught at the very beginning of when Hermana Call was here got baptized yesterday. And I was able to give a talk about baptism.. YAY!
Transfer calls came this morning and Hermana Call and I are staying together. I'm out of time because I'm trying to fill out some applications so if I don't email you personally don't be offended. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Hermana Groves
 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Happy week of Christmas!! I hope that everyone is having a great time prepping for the holidays, as for us we're just doing the normal thing but wearing our Christmas sweaters around the house.. We can't wear them in public, so we may as well get jolly within our 4 walls, right? Right. 
It's always the week that I don't have a lot of emails to respond to that I can't think of anything to write...Why is that? Well I'll think of something good, so everyone buckle up and prepare for the best Christmas email of your life.. 

This week started out slow (per usual) because Monday's are hard days to find and the members who love us are doing family home evening.. So yeah. Tuesday was a pretty hoppin' day. We had district meeting and I then went on exchanges with Hermana Johnson (who's from Bryce Valley, turns out we know a few people in common) in the area where Hermana Lister used to be. It was a really good exchange, I was able to learn a lot from her. She's a very obedient missionary and works really hard.  She has such a good attitude and I just loved being with her, she's fairly new to the mission but she knows her stuff. I can't wait to see where she is in a year. We went with this investigator to a ward activity and she drove us there.. The way there I felt like I was on a roller coaster she was going crazy and the way back we were going turtle slow! What she said on the way back "I like to drive slow, it's a lot safer that way" it was just really ironic. So this activity was supposed to be a Christmas activity but it ended up being like a presentation thing.. So all the kids moving from Nursery to primary were presented and then all going from primary to the youth were presented as well. We asked her how she liked it and she said "Man I just love how you center Christmas on Christ" haha it was in that moment we realized the she's basically deaf, so.. at least she felt the spirit of Christmas in our church.. right? haha It just cracked me up. 

Wedesday the Tacams wanted to take us out to dinner so Hermano told us he had a friend to introduce us to (we can't go eat outside our area unless members are inviting their friends) we got super pumped! We pull up to Cici's pizza okay? We're excited cause Hermano Tacam's got someone to introduce us to.. We go inside and he says "Hermanas... I would like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, the buffalo chicken pizza at Cici's." we were like "What? Are you kidding me!?" haha hopes were all gone.. But it's alright, because later we tried that man Julio(who came to church) and we were able to teach him and set up a return appointment for the next day! Cool huh? It was! That night we tracted some doors and met this cool lady named Maria, she also invited us back the next day. Success!

So obviously we were able to teach them both the next day, Julio was super cool he had lots of deep questions and we could tell he was interested. Hna Sorto came with us and she said "aren't you excited to go back to Guatamala and be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" and he said "I will definitely be excited when that day comes" holllla! This guy is ready!

Friday was a super special day for me. I was able to go to the temple with Wilson!!! Wilson got to go through the temple and he requested that I be there :') it was a super happy day! Too bad it was raining cats and dogs, but nonetheless it was so awesome. I just wanted to cry I was so happy for him. But I was actually supposed to go to a meeting that day but President excused me cause he wanted me to go to the temple.. It was for all Sister Training leaders/district leaders/ zone leaders and so my district leader saw that I wasn't there ( i got permission from my president.. didn't need it from my district leader).. tried calling our phone (but it was off cause we were in the temple) and basically was super worried. So finally at the end of the day he called like he always does and told us he had a mini heart attack until he talked to president.. He was like "where are my sisters? what happened to them?" he wasn't even mad. Just concerned. We always make jokes that he's our mom. He totally is. We got to make papoosas with the familia Orellana in our ward that night. We killed it. I'm totally opening up a papoosaria when I get home. Watch out, I'm totally pro. 

Saturday was our ward christmas party. Julio came! And One of the elder's creepy investigators Roberto came too. We had to be with him cause the elders were late and he was complementing us and asking me how to say it in English to make him sound more exotic. How bout no. This fool. Haha don't worry. I've only gotten better at putting creepy men down on my mission. Why can no normal men try? I don't know. Great question. Anyways Elder Balls got to be Santa and the kids were upset when they weren't allowed to sit on his lap. Missionary probs haha. 


Read Jacob 5 this week and actually made more sense in Spanish. Fancy that.
Anyways I can't wait to speak with you guys on Christmas! I love you all! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

"started from the bottom now we're at the temple" with wilson


Ward party with WML



Sharing the gift with our school class



feliz navidad

(I wanted a cuter picture for my christmas card but my comp didn't like it of her) 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I'm dreaming of a white...Christmas...



December 15th, 2014 

The person who wrote that song HAS to be from Utah but spending their Christmas in Texas, because it's literally 75 degrees outside right now. Haha. 

Can I just tell you guys that this week was really awesome!! We experienced quite the miracle week. obviously we got 5 new investigators which isn't very easy in this area, but it all came from tracting. I have never tracted before in my whole mission, but Elder Hudson suggested it the other day in district meeting. I was able to gain a really strong testimony of tracting. We only spent a couple of hours doing it and almost 90% of the people who opened their doors invited us back (most of them were English speaking, we gave those referrals away) and a few even gave us referrals! It was truly a miracle! I keep telling Hermana Call that I'm going to endorse tracting for the rest of my mission, because sometimes the people aren't outside, and you've tried all the formers but Heavenly Father knows the desires of your heart, as you get bold and put yourself out there and define your purpose with everyone you meet you feel like you are fulfilling what the Lord has in store for you. I know that this truly can be the BEST time in my mission if I truly continue to put my trust in the Lord. 


We also tried chalking a few places. We were getting the sidewalk by a busy street and this lady stopped at the light looked out the window and said "Oh my gosh, that is so creative, I love that you are focusing Christmas on Christ, my husband and I have been looking for a church truly centered on Christ! Where are you located?" so I quickly gave her the coordinates of our building and told her the english services started at 9, I don't know if she came, but we planted a seed there! 


Yesterday a man who we gave a card when he was on his phone texted us and asked for the address of the church and the time. He came and stayed all 3 hours! The elders said that when he introduced himself in priesthood he said he felt really good.  Heavenly Father has been blessing us left and right. We also had a lesson with a niece and nephew and law of one of our less actives yesterday, the spirit was so strong as we taught the plan of salvation/my family and testified to them that they would see his sister (who just barely died at 18) again. They were both crying saying they knew what we were saying was true. 
Heavenly Father really loves us and is blessing us in ways that I honestly cannot describe more than the fact I just feel His love so much!


We've been doing the 12 days of Christmas with the members that live in our area and the 12 gifts are the articles of faith, we cut out a paper tree and every day we are brining them something to decorate the tree with. It's really cute, the families are getting really excited and focusing Christmas on the gifts that Heavenly Father has given us. I LOVE IT! 


On Saturday Jessica and Rosaurio from my old area stopped by to see me. It was so awesome to see them and talk and read in the scriptures with them. I look at them and I feel Christ's love for them, which is still something I'm working on. 


Okay also something funny, on monday we had a zone activity (like usual) and usually we end up playing "one bounce" (well our district and the other hermanas in my old area) which consists of passing the ball back and forth but allowing it to hit the ground only once.. Well.. Hermana Hull, Elder Anderson and I started a new trend. This game is hilarious. "One bounce" with our hands taped together. It was so fun almost everyone joined in. My legacy will live on in the THSM because I came up with this game and everyone loves it. Haha that was the excitement with that. It was hilarious. Just imagine it please. Haha I loved it. We also got to go to the Galleria. Totally overpriced and overrated. But a good time! Also had exchanges with Hermana Endicott. Party. Haha. Well I hope you all had a great week and keep having a good Christmas season. 

I love you!

Hermana Groves




Monday, December 8, 2014

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

December 8th, 2014

Buenas dias mi quierido familia y amigos. Como estan? 
Pues, no tengo mucho de que puedo hablar entonces... Voy a prepararles por mi regreso, con un mensaje en espanol. :) Esta semana fue muy bien pero no ensenabamos mucho. Teniamos muchas reuniones y intercambios y esto resulto en pocos lecciones por nosotros. 
Por Martes tuvimos una conferencia de zona y Presidente Ashton y Hermana Ashton hablaron mucho sobre la consecracion y como podemos mejorar en esta aspecto. Y yo lo creo completamente, de las hermanas en que estoy encargando son del mundo muchisimo. Y es mi trabajo de.. Ayudarles de cambiar basicamente jaja. Pero esta reunion fue muy bien y pienso que va a ayudar a los de mas (y yo) cambiar por lo mejor y sacrificar las cosas que en verdad 1. No son importante o 2. Que estan esperando cuando regresamos.
 Pero tenia la oportunidad de ir con la Hermana Beltran por su ultimo intercambio (ella fue mi primero) en su area. La area de ella y la Hermana Millard tiene mucho potencial no podria creer cuantos personas en verdad vivieron en su area. Esta una buena misionera y tenia muchas pruebas durante el tiempo de su mision. Esta lo mejor! 
Tambien pudria ir con Hermana Lister por intercambios. La extrano muchisimo. Esta la Senior Sister Training leader. Basicamente ella esta AP. jaja pero su area esta hoppin basicamente ella vive en mexico. Que suerte.. Literamente tienen personas a quien pueden hablar con todo el dia. No es justo! Pero, whatever. Ella me ayudo para respirar y tener un discanso o viaje de mi area. La amo, en verdad. 
Tambien ayudabamos la Hermana Gonzalas y su hija para hacer y limpiar despues haciendo tamales por una fundraiser. 
Ayer conocimos un nino que era muy chistoso! El queria que jugamos tag con el, pero no pudriamos. Hablabamos con el por casi 20 minutos. El nos dijo cosas muy rada sobre el complejo en que vive. Tambien antes la devocional de la navidad (que mirabamos en la casa de Obispo Gomez) mirabamos Jonny Lingo. Jaja. Estoy muy contenta que en verdad esta video era hecho por la iglesia. Un dia voy a ser un 8 vaca mujer. Jaja.
Really I didn't have anything too exciting this week. But I hope that you guys are all having a great week preparing for christmas!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AL! Sorry I didn't send any pictures this week.. I love you all!
Hermana Groves
ps. I will be in my apartment until after christmas. 




If you are having troubles reading this Spanish Email, Here is the translation from Google Translate
It is not perfect because I am not a Spanish Speaker like Hermana Groves.

-Jess



Quierido Good morning my family and friends. How are you?
Well, I have not much that I can talk then ... I go to prepare for my return with a message in Spanish. :) This week was great but we did not teach much. We had many meetings and exchanges and this resulted in few lessons for us.
On Tuesday we had a conference area and President and Sister Ashton Ashton talked a lot about consecration and how we can improve in this aspect. And I think it completely, sisters that are in the world am ordering a lot. And it's my job .. Help them to change basically haha. But this meeting was very good and I think it will help to more (and me) change for the better and sacrifice the things that really are not important 1. or 2. are waiting when we got back.
But had the opportunity to go with Sister Beltran its last trade (it was my first) in your area. The area of ​​it and Sister Millard has much potential could not believe how many people actually lived in your area. This a good missionary and had many tests during the time of his mission. This the best!
May also need to go with Sister Lister by exchanges. The strange lot. This Senior Sister Training leader. Basically she's AP. haha but its area is hoppin basically she lives in mexico. Lucky .. Literally have people who can talk to all day. It's not fair! But whatever. She helped me to breathe and have a trip discanso or my area. I love her, really.
Also we helped the Gonzalas sister and daughter to make tamales and clean after doing a fundraiser.
Yesterday we met a child who was very funny! He wanted to play tag with but not pudriamos. We talked with him for almost 20 minutes. He told us very rada things about the resort living. Also before christmas devotional (which we watched at the home of Bishop Gomez) we watched Jonny Lingo. Haha. I am very glad indeed that this video was made by the church. One day will be August 1 cow woman. Haha.
Really I did not have any anything too exciting this week. But I hope that you 'guys are all Reviews having a great week Preparing for christmas !! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AL! Sorry I did not send any pictures this week .. I love you all!
Sister Groves
ps. I will be in my apartment until after christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas :)

December 1st, 2014

Seasons Greetings to all those within reading distance. 

Can you believe that it's already December? Where the heck did the time go?! I basically heard that the highlight of the week was Thanksgiving in Grandma's destroyed house and people having to wash the dishes in the sink. Haha I'm so glad the traditional perfect thanksgiving was broken. Seriously. The crazy makes it that much better :)

So this week was another eventful one in the Texas Houston South Mission. Our car no longer smells like turkey but now smells like sour cream and onion chips... But nasty ones. Haha it doesn't make you crave chips. Just in case you guys were wondering about that.

So lesson wise this week was a little slow but not only were we spiritually fed.... We were physically fed.. a lot. Allie made a joke in her last letter about how that one thanksgiving we weighed ourselves before and after thanksgiving and we gained 10 pounds... Well I gained 10 pounds after my FIRST thanksgiving dinner.. With that being said, we had 2. Hispanic Thanksgiving is not gringo Thanksgiving if you know what I mean. Let me lay this out for you a little bit.. We had a SPICY turkey, rice, beef mixture(or suprise.. haha she said it was her version of stuffing haha) and tamales with some mashed potatoes within the 2 dinners that was completely normal for them. Sometimes it's not hard to miss the holidays while you're on your mission.. because literally they don't feel like the holidays. It's actually pretty lucky! I love it, it's really cool to see how those who aren't from around here try to start their own family traditions.  It was really good we were able to share a nice dinner with the Molinas and the Liburds and really build our relationship with them, so that was good :)

We had our zone conference this week and I feel  like my study went really well. I ended up focussing a lot on faith and sacrifice and how as we truly sacrifice the things that mean the most to us we receive blessings basically out the yin yangs. Maybe I felt like it went really well cause I started crying and basically all the hermanas were crying. Touching them right in their hearts? I believe so.


With it being the end of the month you know that we rode our bikes more than usual.. It was great. I'm seriously so glad they gave us mountain bikes and not street bikes because the city of Houston doesn't even feel bad about just stopping a sidewalk in the middle of a path. (Am I going to start a petition? You betcha! I'll get all those other crazy people out on the sidewalks [other missionaries?] to sign it haha) Anyways we've been trying to use bikes as a way to find people to teach and with the new christmas thing the church is doing... (check out this cute video :) so watch it and #sharethegift We've been able to talk with a lot of people about this. It's so cool.




















So we were going around the other day talking to a few people before our dinner appointment with an Hermana in our ward and this dog kept following us around so we were trying to shoo it before we got to her door, Hermana walked out to take out the garbage and was like "who's dog is that?" we said we think it was a stray so what did she do? She took it into her home! It was so adorable to watch her 2 year old daughter play with this dog. She named it Jelly. She's so stinkin cute I couldn't get over it!

Martha had her baby shower this week and only us and a few people from the ward came. We felt super bad because we both only had like 3 dollars left on our cards when she invited us.. So a pack of wipes and a bottle from fiesta will just have to do. Haha. But she was so grateful that we were even there so it was all good. 
Yesterday I beat the champian (Ian Tacam) in memory. His family basically hoisted me up they were so happy. This kid is 7 and has not lost a game of memory in 2 years.. and he knows it. haha So they were so happy when I gave him a taste of losing. Haha

Well I hope that you all had a great week! I love hearing from you all, sorry I don't always respond but I always read. You guys are amazing and I'm lucky to have you in my life. I love being a missionary. It's the best. Have a great week! I love you!!




Monday, November 24, 2014

It's turkey week! even though we made the only turkey...

So this week we had a pretty solid week. We were able to contact a lot of people that 1. we've never met before or 2. that it's been a long time since we've caught them at home. On Tuesday we were able to meet a young women that lives in our area for the first time! We try her house all the time in various hours of the day but everyone seems to play the "pretend like we're not home" game. LAME. Anyways, she was home and she was SO EXCITED to see us. We had to talk to her outside because her parents aren't members and don't like when the missionaries come over. But she told us she wants to come out teaching with us and that she's missed the missionaries so much. Solid. Best thing ever. 


Later on that day we were at the church waiting for our meeting with the ward mission leader when we saw that Heyley and her siblings were running amuck around the church so we asked them if they wanted to play a game. We were able to play the word of wisdom game and do the temple puzzle and teach about them both. Heavenly Father definitely blessed us with being able to see her,  because we don't teach her anymore because.. well apparently to the mom we're the worst. Whatever I'm over it. (but not really ha)


On Wednesday we were able to make "chochinas"(?) with the Tacam's, they are Guatamalen version of tamales. So we were invited back on Thursday to eat them. YUM!! They were so good! We were finally able to see Hermana Rosa too. She's still crazy as usual but she was actually happy to see us, so that's really good. Later that night we saw Aaron and his sister-in-law Gaudi with a few members. They said they would come to the ward party and to church but still haven't done either. Sadly we think we're going to have to stop teaching them because they are no longer progressing. It really makes me sad, church attendance really kills who we think are progressing investigators. 


On Friday there was MLC and president gave this really awesome training on faith and I somehow have to repeat and aply to my zone this week at zone meeting. yay! It will be really good, they want us to focus on working with members and looking for people with real intent. There's also this really cool iniciative for Christmas called "He is the Gift" we watched part of the video at MLC and I thought it was really good. 


So remember how I'm not one to hang out in the Kitchen? Well we were asked to make a turkey for the ward party on Saturday. Remember how Hermana Call is less of a kitchen lady than I am? Well luckily with the help of Hermana Tacam we were able to bake a turkey and actually make it taste really good. Question though: does everyone crazy stab the turkey? Or is that just a Mexican thing? I just felt like a serial killer, that's all. But our turkey turned out fabulous! But the turkey juice got all over the car and our clothes. YAY. I totally looked like I threw up on my shirt (which doesn't help with the bollemic rumors going around about the sister missionaries, we're not I promise. We just don't eat as much as the elders) so I turned my shirt backwards. Fashion statement? I think yes.But it was really cool because Hermano Sorto (investigator) came to the activity and the next day, church! The ward party was awesome, except for the fact that it's super hard to stop one from dancing to the music they have playing at those things.. but with time.. I'll be able to do so again.


Last but not least, yesterday we were eating lunch at a member's house and she was just talking to us about her life and how she's single again and she wants to get married and all this funny stuff and then in English she says "what has my life come to? I'm talking to the missionaries about my lack of a love life" haha I was literally dying. Because after she said that, she just continued on with her story. I was loving it. 


Oh and to answer your questions about Thanksgiving we'll be eating with a member family. Also the question about the bike, my brakes stopped working, my back tire came off and my chain had something messed up. The list goes on, but I was safe, all of this was bad, but I didn't get hurt, so no harm done. Also I fixed the drain this week. I am my father's daughter. Also shout out to Hermana Bonhard (Megan) for the early Christmas present, my new scripture cases :) and to all of those who gave me a little thanksgiving note :)


So basically that was my week. Pretty enjoyable. I learned some real valuble lessons about life. Haha. I hope ya'll have a great week. Keep strong and carry on! :) 



Monday, November 17, 2014

"Are ya'll breakin' in?"

November 17th, 2014

Well another week has gone by here in good ol' Houston, Texas, transfer calls came and Hermana Call and I are staying together for another transfer. Houston 8 is a really hard ward to work in and our area is really rough so it's bitter sweet, I obviously love it but for once I would like to be in an area where it's already built up and I can just harvest. But I guess I'm good at planting the seeds so I'll probably doing that for the rest of my mission. I'm excited though, that means that my work isn't done here and there are more people to touch. So with that being said let me tell you all about this week. 


Not gonna lie, this week started out a little rough, I'm gonna spare the details of that because we only want to remember the good in all the people we come in contact with, especially our companions. Also my bike fell apart so shout out to Grandpa Lloyd cause he payed for the unexpected bike expenses. Also I'm a Texan cause I'm freezin my buns. But besides the zone activity where it was superheros vs. animals (it was supposed to be an animal activity but.. our district coincidentally bought superhero shirts so we all wore them.. no regrets) obviously my disctrict is the bomb haha but we had a run in with a member at dinner and she told us some concerns she had with an elder so unfortunately we had to report it and now Elder Jarvis is being transferred :( but he didn't do anything bad just the members in the ward... basically it's the telenovelas (hispanic soaps) in this ward. 
We were able to teach this part member family this week (finally) and we're really excited to just continue working with them. We were also able to meet with this woman who just moved into our ward.. from Guatamala, she's super pregnant and this random family took her in. It's really sad though she's like 9 months pregnant and she's basically living in a closet. She moved here cause her baby daddy fled the scene but he wants nothing to do with her anymore. It makes me really sad. We talked to the bishop yesterday and he's looking for someone to take her in, so hopefully that works out. It just makes me really grateful for the chance I had to be born here in the states to "goodly parents" haha but really, a good support system makes a huge difference. 

So here's the funny of the letter the other night we went to go visit our investigator Carmen and she wasn't there so as we were walking to the car we heard a "umm excuse me can you help me?" (all of this in spanish) so we went to this lady who was basically trapped in her porchish thing from her sliding door. She went outside to water her plants and she locked herself out so she asked us to go to the office to send someone to come open her apartment. Too bad it was right when the office was closing so they didn't have anyone to send. So we told her she had to get it herself but she said "how? I'm trapped" so, me being the problem solver I am... got on my hands and knees and told her to climb down... All of the sudden we hear these guys yelling "YA'LL NEED HELP? OR ARE YOU ROBBIN THE PLACE? Cause we ain't gonna help if you robbin' the place" so they came and lifted this lady over the fence. it was probably the most hilarious thing that happened this week.
Not much more is going on, but we're having the thanksgiving party this week. How exciting! Well hope ya"ll have a great week. Love ya!
Hermana Groves



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Put your hands up like some single ladies!"

November 10th, 2014

Hola! Como estan? Espero que todos estan teniendo una buena semana! I'd be lying if I said this week was easy. It was not. But there were some really good ups to this week. So let's start with that. Well I'll finish with that too, I won't put any bad in the middle. haha 
So let's start with Tuesday, the day of my dreams. I went on exchanges with Hermana Hull back to H1 West, my first area! :) We were filled with people that I missed and got to visit. It all started out with my Yolanda. We were waiting at the door and she walks up with orange roses (because she remembered orange was my favorite color. First time to ever receive flowers from someone? Totally worth it :) She told me that she was about to write me and then she found out that I was coming to "visit" so she postponed it, she also had a scarf ready to give me. This woman cracks me up. She's my grandma in disguise. I love her. Next stop the familia Poza, only Hermana Poza was there but she was SO happy to see us, the hermanas haven't visited her since before Hermana Bonhard left.. so it's been a while, but she was doing really good and she said that she's working on  reading her scriptures with Sofie, but her husband isn't supportive of them going to church anymore :( so that was a shame. 
Remember how I always used to talk about Wilson and how much I love him? I love him even more now, and I got to see him too. He's super active in the church and like every week he brings a random friend to church. He's on fire and like the coolest ever. Hermana Hull told him she was going to surprise him with something and when I showed up he was like  freaking out and just kept saying "best surprise ever" holy cow, he's definitely the coolest fake cousin I have. He has another girlfriend but he said he's gonna bring her to my new ward so I can meet her (probably so he can get my approval haha) but he's doing good!
We also stopped by to see Margarita's family (she was working) but her baby Ivan is so big now, he's definitely in the terrible 2 stage. But they are preparing to go to the temple next month and I'll be able to go with them!!! I'm so excited! We stopped by the Avalos as well but the parents weren't there but I did get to see Oliver and Jashly. So that was really good. 
We had a really awesome lesson with Aaron and Monica on Wednesday and they committed to read the scriptures and pray daily, they didn't come to church cause Lesley had her quinsinera so... they didn't come. This week though! We have a lesson with them tonight so it'll be really good :)
On Thursday we went to the temple as part of the mission. SUPER GOOD!!! I wish that I could write all of the great things that I learned but it was like when the prophets would say that so great were the things they beheld that they couldn't write them. That was my temple experience. Every time I go I just learn so much, the spirit is truly the best teacher. But it also was super cool that president Crane (the temple president) his wife and President and Sister Ashton had a meeting with us afterwards in the temple to answer questions and to discuss things they had asked us to consider in the temple. It was sick. But super sacred.
On Friday we went on yet another exchange, me with Hermana Christensen, the senior sister training leader. and it was really good! Their area is boomin' and she's a super awesome missionary, I learned so much from her in the day I was there. 
Saturday... I had this massive migrane that resulted in blurred vision so I stayed in for a few hours.
On Sunday it was the primary program. Let's talk about not getting trunky. It's hard when they hand out things that say "families are eternal" and members make comments about how my future family is forever. Trunky girl right here. Get thee hence! 
That basically sums up all the good of my week. Hopefully I didn't bore ya'll to sleep. I love you and hope you have a great week. Keep strong and carry on!
Hermana Groves 





November 3rd, 2014

Okay, Texans are such babies. Haha I kid you not. Saturday we had some awesome weather (like 75ish) and I was rejoicing because I could just wear a short sleeve and not sweat. But we were leaving a member's house and she basically refused for us to leave her house because it was "cold" haha she was not having the fact that we weren't willing to wear a coat. Haha so honestly, this is gonna be short because I forgot my planner and all the things in it contain the things that I did. 
So last week we had a zone activity and we played volleyball. I got super competative and ended up with these giant  bruises on my forearms. Talk about battle scars, pretty cool I guess.
On Tuesday I got to go to MLC and be with all leaders of the mission and Hermana Call went on exchanges. It was a pretty good day. 
On Friday it was Halloween but we had zone meeting and I had to do a training on inviting people to be baptized centering it on Christ. Not gonna lie, it was probably the best training I've ever given. Not a dry eye in the house. Well that's what I thought because I was looking through tearful eyes. haha it was a really good zone meeting though, we went over what we talked about in MLC about making sacrifices when it comes to the sacrament and the symbolism of it. I've totally been doing the sacrament wrong. I took the sacrament prepared yesterday and it made a huge difference. 
On Friday night we had to be in early at 7 so we would be safe and all that jazz. We watched this video that we can give out called "Solutions for a better family life" hey, I give this video an A+ for real. Contact your local missionaries for a copy. 
On Saturday we had a ward activity for Halloween. I did dress up. As much as you can as a missionary. I wore a hat and gloves and claimed myself a mime. Too bad everyone flippin thought I was a robber! Oh the HORROR! They didn't recognize my costume! Haha it was whatever. I just put it on last minute because my companion decided to be a barbie.... It was really fun and we were able to make some more friends in the ward. 
I'm so glad for daylight savings. We got to sleep in yesterday. Holla! It was great, we were so tired though. I also was so tired after eating (I kid you not) 10 papoosas yesterday because the member told us we couldn't leave unless we ate all the food. Here I am, always taking one for the team. 
I love being a missionary. It's the time of my life. I hope you all have a great week. Keep strong and carry on! LOVE YOU!
Hermana Groves

ps. everyone keeps asking me when my release date is. Feb 10. Now let's stop speakin about it. Gracias. 





Happy Halloween :)

October 27th, 2014

Time is just flying by isn't it? This week we had an emotional roller coaster of events. It was one of the best weeks of my mission but also the hardest. So get ready for this. 
On Monday we had a super fun zone activity (we're actually going for round 2 today) we played volleyball and scatter ball. I have no idea what was up with me but I was ready to take on the world so I was bouncing off the walls hitting everything. If my friends saw me they would be so surprised at my participation in these games, I know I was. And you know what? I'm super pumped to go back today. They weren't kidding, you come back from your mission a changed man. 

Most of our lessons this week were with our investigator Heyley. Which was really awesome, but ends in a sad story for us. Heyley is 9 years old and both of her parents are members. She lives in the elder's area but we teach her because the ward mission leader thought that we could apply to her better. So we've been teaching her since I got here. Her parents work out of town a lot so she spends weeks living with members that live in our area. Up until last week I had never met her parents, so I had been teaching her forever and we've formed a relationship. Well this week her parents came back so we stopped by to visit them. Let's talk about the awkwardness there was. It was just weird. But they told us that their nephew was living with them and he wanted to know more about the church. Awesome. We took that opportunity. We had a really awesome powerful lesson and Heyley and Louis (the nephew) both accepted baptismal dates. So we set up a time to come back and we came back a few times more that week. The elders went over to visit and apparently Heyley's mom has a giant beef with me :( but I'm gonna spare the details that I was given. Let's just say her mom doesn't want her to get baptized as long as I'm teaching her. So we have to give Heyley back to the elders, it would break my heart if she couldn't get baptized just because I was teaching her. So that's something really sad that happened over the past few days. 

Something cool that we were able to do was to teach the seminary class (that's right, 5 50 in the morning) and we were "special guests" to help them learn the scripture mastery of the first vision. These kids are killer, like all of them learned it in the time we were there... I wish it would have taken me 1 hour instead of 6 months. Haha jk. But seriously. But it was so much fun. I fit in SO much better with the youth! Probably cause I'm super immature haha
We also had a really inspired lesson with Carmen and Juan. This house was a mad house, okay? There were like 3 kids running around screaming and hollering and I wasn't even sure if they could hear what we were saying. But we read in 3 Nephi 11 about when Christ comes and visits the Americas and I had the strongest impression to just ask them what they thought of the chapter and Carmen said "I need to get baptized correctly" so then I invited her to be baptized and she was hesitant, but then I asked her "Okay we've talked about prophets, do you believe that God still talks to his children through prophets?" "Yes" "do you believe that we all chose to come to the earth before this life?" "Yes." ect. she said yes to everything! SO then I whipped out Moroni 10:3-6 (I think) that talks about if it is good it's of God and told her that the good feelings she feels is of God. She and Juan accepted a date and they're now preparing for baptism :)

It's so awesome how sensitive the feelings of the spirit are. I am so blessed to be able to share that feeling of the spirit with others and to help them feel joy. 
Other than that my breaks completely stopped working on my bike yesterday so I was going ape grabbing on to poles and things like that to stop myself. We were going down this hill that leads to a few intersections and I couldn't break and I just starting saying probably the strongest prayer of my life (Obviously I was safe) but I am so grateful that Heavenly Father is watching out for me! I hope you all know how much I love my mission. It's one of the greatest decisions I have made/will make in my life. Thanks for all your love and support. Keep strong and carry on! LOVE YOU!!
Hermana Groves
PS: BIRTHDAY SHOUTOUT TO JESSICA :)


Trunky Trainer

October 20th, 2014

That line is basically describing my past week. "Trunky": a term used by missionaries when referring to other missionaries that are basically packing up their "trunks", thinking about what they'll be doing after their mission, overly missionary tired. There is a reason that I didn't train earlier on in my mission because these guys are fresh out of the world. They got all the information of things going on in the outside world. And when they talk about it a lot, you can't help but think about it. So I'm back to working on keeping my thoughts diligent and not about movie quotes and all that. But don't worry, Heavenly Father helped me out as I was in my personal study in 2 Nephi 4. If I just trust in the Lord, follow the commandments/keep mission rules I will be prosperous in the land/prosperous in  my mission or in keeping my thoughts focused where they need to be. 

So last week I told you about Aaron, our investigator who accepted a baptismal date. We've seen him a few times since then and he's progressing SO MUCH!! He has prayed about what we've taught him and he feels like it's 100% true. It's so awesome. He's keeping all the commitments we leave him with and he's just so legit. Just 18. I can't get over it. Haha that rhymed. Anyways we're going to see him again to teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost) and we're really excited! We have this cute member named Jesenia coming out with us and we think she'll be a perfect friend for him. 

On Saturday we had a crazy day. We literally spent the whole proselyting day biking. But of course my brakes stopped working (cause they always seem to do so) we called the elders to come help us, but we weren't patient enough so we biked over to the Tacam's. A family in the ward who I knew Hermano would be home to help me out. A little background on Hermano Taccam. This guy is the NICEST guy I've ever met. He's from Guatamala and he's just so nice. But because he's Guatamalan he has a certain trait... he's super short. I'm short, but he only comes to my shoulders, if that,okay? So we go to the Tacam's and ask for help, they invite us to sit and we talk with Hermana while Hermano is fixing my bike. But as I'm watching him through the window from my seat I can't help of think of how great this scene would have been in a movie. Every time he gets on my bike to try it out he has to turn it over to the side because it's too tall. He did this multiple times. and then he'd just ride past the window and slam on the brakes. Haha I had to hold in my laughter but after we left I basically died of laughter. But turns out he tightened the brakes too tight, so for the rest of the day I rode my bike around with A LOT of friction. But because of that I'm probably gonna have the buffest legs/butt ever. Sweet. Seriously. I'm super grateful for them though, I would rather have too well of working brakes than not working brakes. You take what you can get. :)

I can't think of a lot more that happened but we both had our first TEXAS BBQ this week. YAY!! I hope ya'll have a good week and hope to hear from you next week :) Remember to keep strong and carry on :)

Hermana Groves


Momma Bear



Another successful week in the Texas Houston South Mission completed. I'm just going to start off with transfer meeting because that's really where my week began. So we showed up early to transfer meeting to meet our babies and I received my lovely new companion, Hermana Call, straight from Provo, UT. (I'll explain more about her later) So we start transfer meeting and we're singing the hymn and President Ashton starts looking around the missionaries sitting there with a  very serious look on his face. He then stands up and starts looking around more. All I was thinking was "man I feel bad for whoever president is looking for, looks like he's got some news for them" so I just look up to the front and Elder Jones, one of the AP's makes eye contact with me and mouths "Hermana Groves, he's looking for you" I point to myself and with wide eyes he nods his head. So obviously I was thinking bad news. I get out in the hallway for president to talk to me and he says "Hermana Groves I'm sorry forgot to ask you before hand, but the Lord has called you to be a sister training leader(which is the equivalent of a zone leader), do you accept your calling?" I grabbed his arm and said "President, I thought you were going to tell me someone died!!" but then I realized what he said.. But it was too late, I had already accepted it! 

Haha. here I am training and an STL. Definitely didn't see that coming. 
I'm loving this transfer so far though. Hermana Call is a hard worker and doesn't get discouraged which is super awesome. She's willing to just get out there and learn, and she's confident in what she does know. It's great! Our first night together we were walking and we said hello to this man and he said. "Wait, where are you from?" and we told him that we're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he said "I could tell you were messengers sent from God, you both have a glow around you." and we thanked him and told him that we taught more about Jesus Christ and how we can grow in our faith in him, also that we teach about how we can have our families forever. His response? "Do you have time right now? I would love to have you over to talk more about this" Unfortunately we had an appointment to get to.. So we set up a return appointment. How crazy right? I love when prepared people are placed in our paths :)

On Sunday we ran out of toilet paper. We couldn't break the Sabbath so we called the elders and asked them if we could have some. That is the missionary life. 
So on Monday I had the privilege of going to my first MLC (mission leader conference) and not gonna lie. It was awesome. I mean it doesn't help that we had Elder Schwitzer a member of the 70 there. We talked about how we can better help the mission purify their hearts and it was a really great conference. 

Yesterday we were able to have zone conference again with Elder Schwitzer and it was so awesome! We talked a lot about bringing Christ back into the center of our messages. We applied it yesterday with our investigators Aron and Lesley. You could cut the spirit with a knife it was so defined! They accepted a baptism goal! And they were like crying. I definitely felt the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ during that lesson. There is no way that it could by anyway be denied. Oh my gosh, the power of the message we bring is so real. I am so grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary and spread the Lord's word on the earth today. I hope you all have a great week. Remember to keep strong and carry on! 
Love always, 
Hermana Groves

1.Toliet Paper delivery Boys
2. First comp picture. Haha she was cleaning off her shoe cause she got mud on them
3. we actually do like each other haha



by the way I have a new address 
10575 westpark dr. #529 
Houston, TX 77042
stop sending my stuff to my old one, because it will take me 6 weeks to get it. Thanks :)

and now I have a bun in the oven?!

October 6th, 2014

Hello everyone :) how was General Conference for everyone? I don't know about everyone else but I thought it was super good. Saturday morning was my favorite session. I remember at the intermediate hymn I leaned over to Hermana Nath and said "Man, they're bringing out the big guns this session" and personally I think it was the best session (for me, I was able to receive a lot of revelation) I had 3 talks that really stood out to me, Lynn J. Robbins' about fearing no man, Tad R. Callister's about teaching in the home and Henry B Eyring's about personal revelation.  I think they were all helping me with the questions I felt like I needed an answer to. If you haven't heard those talks I encourage you to do so. :)

So I have been praying and trying to decide whether I should extend my mission or not, and because I only have 3 transfers left, it's inevitable to think about. But I've decided after prayer and fasting that it will be best for me to not extend my mission. It's not that I don't love my mission, I do with all my heart! But I think that there are other things that I need to prepare for/need to do within that time. So it's official, I'm going home when I'm supposed to. 
We got the opportunity to watch "Meet the Mormons" in our zone meeting. Oh my gosh it was so good! Not your everyday documentary but super good! I encourage you to go see it in theaters. They want us to tell people about it because the church's major goal is to get it on Netflix, but it's gotta have enough views in theaters to do so. It comes out this week. It's really good, the last story will bring you to tears. 
 
Now for the big news. Hermana Groves is going to be a mom! That's right, I got the call on Thursday, I am going to be training a new missionary, starting Wednesday. The funny thing about this statement is we always make "mom" references to our trainers but I was making a baby joke about my food baby and me being pregnant from dinner when we got the call from president. So really I do have a bun cookin in the oven. Haha but not in the way you would think.. Haha how ironic.  But  Unfortunately that means that my short 3 weeks with Hermana Nath are almost over. (I don't like how temple square sisters come in the middle of a transfer) not going to lie, I'm really nervous, I just look back on when I was trained, I expected Hermana Carlson, Watkins and Bonhard (all my trainers) to know everything about Spanish and the gospel and to have solutions for everything. I'm really hoping that Heavenly Father isn't going to punish me for the horrible trainee I was! Haha I guess we'll see :) I'm shakin' in my boots but whoever it is we'll be companions for a reason, whether it's to call me to humility or what. But it makes me think of a talk by Neil A. Anderson where he says:"I have heard President Monson say, “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.” I know this is true, and it gives me hope looking beyond my own inadequacies. I know that when we are on the Lord’s errand, he will be with us, he will strengthen us, he will build our capacities. I have experienced it. I have felt his lifting Spirit. In the months and years ahead, I will need him so very much.
I pledge all that I am to this sacred calling. I promise to be teachable, and I pray that I can be sufficiently meek that the Lord can mold and strengthen my spirit to accomplish his purposes. I commit to you and to the Lord that I will consecrate myself to advancing the cause of the Restoration."
I'm going to try to apply this statement to the best of my ability. I hope that I'll be able to be the best trainer I can for this missionary. How I train her will be how she is for the rest of her mission. No pressure, right? Haha it'll be fine. Heavenly Father is on my side and won't let me fail. 
I love being a missionary. I'm grateful for the opportunity I get to continually grow in my testimony of the gospel, I know that the Lord has a purpose for each of us and right in this moment, my purpose is to be here. I love you all and hope you have a great week. Keep strong and carry on :)




I don't have feeling in my feet anymore. Don't worry about it. haha



September 29th, 2014

Well this week I'm just pooped. And that is how this email is going to begin. You thought we were busy trying to contact people last week? Hahahaha then you have no idea what this week was like. We had 3 set appointments for the whole week. And we're supposed to be out of our apartment from 12 until 9 every day. You know what that means. We got out, and we worked our butts off. But you know what? I was definitely blessed in ways that I don't even know if I can explain. While we're out walking/biking it's usually so hard to keep my thoughts where they need to be (on the work, and on the people we teach, not on things or people at home) but I've realized that as I've been diligently working on that as we are out, that is no longer something I have to constantly worry about. It happens sometimes but not more than it should. And that's a blessing. We also went on exchanges, our sister training leader Hna Green came with me and we hit the streets(like always) we had a miracle day!!! We taught 7 lessons out on the street to people who were genuinely interested. It was incredible! Unfortunately only 1 of them actually lives in our area BUT those are still 6 people ready to learn about the gospel somewhere else! That was literally a miracle. I just kept saying "Our diligence is finally paying off, Heavenly Father Loves us!!!" Which obviously he does. But when you are walking around all day in the Texas heat with people being rude to you you need a reminder of it. 
Heavenly Father keeps putting people in our paths to encourage us to keep going. The other day, it was(or felt like) the hottest day of the week and we were just trudging along on our bikes and we hear "GOD BLESS YOU!!" like 5 times. we look across the street (about 8 lanes, mind you) and see this man jumping up and down at the bus stop saying "I'M TALKING TO YOU SISTAS. GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP SPREADING THE WORD!" We gave him a nod of appreciation and he yelled it again, but this time with pounding his chest with his fist and throwing up the "I love you" sign. I don't know about Hermana Nath, but that's EXACTLY what I needed. Haha. We also had this man come up to us and say "I just want you to know that you ladies are glowing, and not because you're sweating. Keep spreading the word of God." thank you for pointing out that we're sweating, but really, we needed to hear that. Haha
And for the awkward moment of the week, we were going to contact people (obviously) and there were these 3 people sitting at a bus stop. A Hispanic lady, a black man and an Asian lady. No this isn't the beginning of a joke. So I was just wondering.. "How am I going to talk to them?" and I'll have you know that this is something that I have mastered so I just stopped my bike and..(Now as a quick backround, we had a training once about if you don't know what to say, open your mouth and the Lord will fill it with what you need to say) sat on my bike, made some extreme eye contact with these people and just had my mouth wide open. In the 10 seconds (that felt like 20 minutes btw) that I had my mouth open I just waited. I got nothing. Except probably a few bugs in my mouth. Haha so I just said "uhh Have a great day" and biked off. Just in case you were wondering, I haven't lost my awkward on the mission. Just gained a different kind. 
I would love to talk about sisters conference but.. I understood very little of it. I was actually the missionary sitting in the back row who fell asleep because she was too tired trying to translate. Haha oh the joys :) But Elder Uchtdorf's talk was awesome. 
I hope you all got some sorts of laugh from this email. Haha I want you all to know that I'm in the right place right now. I may seem a little discouraged but honestly I know I have a purpose here. I hope you all have a great week. Keep strong and carry on! I love you all :)
Hermana Groves 
please don't zoom into the picture of my crusty foot. thanks. haha










Pioneer children sang as they walked.. and walked.. and walked...

September 22nd, 2014

Hello hello. Very eventful week here in the Texas Houston South Mission. So I'll just try to cover the goods to the best of my abilities. 
Because it was Hermana Vargas' last P-day last week we had a district activity(plus a companionship from our zone so we wouldn't appear that we were pairing off) and we went to the zoo! This time it was a lot more eventful than last time.. Mainly because elders are like little boys sometimes. Haha they would just get so excited, we spent a good 40 minutes with all the different monkeys. Correction, I spent all day with monkeys but they weren't locked up in the zoo, if you catch my drift. Haha. It was a good day to be there because obviously it was hot, but not Texas hot, like it was when Sister Piutau and I went. All in all, it was a successful p-day.
Wednesday was a rough day. Well, obviously because I sent my companion back to Utah, in the middle of the transfer. Not fair. But another thing that wasn't fair was the 2 temple square sisters (who were replacing the ones going back to the square) were sitting with us in the office for like 2 hours before we found out who our companions were. So we just awkwardly tried to not be more nice to one than the other... I was lucky enough to receive Hermana Nath. (Pronounced like gnat) she was born in equador, but raised mainly in spain. Two Hermanas from Spain in a row. That's pretty rare if you ask me.. But she's really cute and a super hard worker. And I know this because I'm putting us to work. 
 So yeah, suddenly I'm over this area that I've only been in for 3 weeks, where I don't know very many members and don't really know what they expect from missionaries. Basically white washing. Because of that, and our lack of people to teach we've been working really hard. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We're also basically out of miles. So one day we rode our bikes about 24 miles. (we live about 6 miles out of our area) and that was like Hermana Nath's second day here. I'm pretty sure she hates me. Haha just kidding, but I would definitely hate me if I were her. So for the subject of this email.. For 4 full days we had ZERO appointments and no one would open their door, so we walked. and walked. and walked. We were talking to everyone we could find in the street/complexes and it averaged to about 1 "street lesson" a day. My companion is a trooper. Did I mention that we're working on diligence as a companionship? Well we are, and Heavenly Father is definitely trying to help us grown in this attribute. Everyday something is put in our path for us to decide whether we want to keep going or give up. It's definitely worth it though, I know that only good will come from the trial of my diligence. 
We also had a ward party for this holiday that basically all Hispanics celebrate their freedom from "La Madre Espania" haha. There were a bunch of cool cultural dances and lots and lots of food. Hispanics know how to have good clean fun! And guess who was there? The Avalos family that I taught in H1. Whenever I see them I just get all choked up and so happy to see that their active in the church. I just love them.

I wish I had some funny stories or something, but this week we will see the blessings of our hard work. I hope you guys have a great week. I love you all! Keep strong and carry on :)
Hermana Groves

I would just like you all to look at the awkward missionary space between the elders and the sisters at the zoo. that's it. haha
Also I have the best district in the world. 
Me and Sister Nath :)