Sunday, January 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Week

Oh my loving peeps. This week has been draining. And honestly I'm trying to remember why. I have been so bad at keeping my journal so I'm depending mainly on my memory which is awful.

Well I can't remember if the break in that I witnessed went in my last email or not. Don't be too worried, I am protected but the apartment above ours was broken into last weekand I witnessed it. But the guy breaking through the glass door so happened to be wearing a orange construction vest (and after going to Cedar High through 4 years of construction) I didn't question it and went on with it. Well the next day the apartment manager came knocking on our door and asked if we saw anything. Well obviously I felt like an idiot, I watched a crime be committed and thought nothing of it. Wow. I'm naive haha. I had to call the police and give my best description of the guy and all this fun stuff. Crime. Crime is actually a thing here. Who would have thought. 

I was on exchanges with an English sister, Sister Howard, this week in a complex that we have multiple investigators in and as we were leaving from Dulce and Jorge's (Dulce is a member and Jorge has been investigating for years but now he has a baptismal date) after they had opened the door and cancelled on us and as we were walking down the stairs this lady says "Do you remember me?" I said no, because I had no idea who this lady was. (apparently when Sister Howard came here before with Hermana Carlson this lady had talked to them about not knocking on random doors, which we weren't) and she said "I thought I told you not to go knocking on doors" and I said "Even if we have an appointment?" and she said "Yes, even if you have an appointment (insert snide rude voice here) I know what times you usually come wandering around here and I know your names, you are not welcome here, you are trespassing, I will call the police and have you arrested, and that is a promise" well doesn't that make things a little complicated? Yeah. But honestly, like who wouldn't want all this fun around them in their complex? Pft. So we are scheduling a meeting with her this week with our housing coordinator to get things settled. Wooooohhh. This will be super fun. (Please sense my enthusiasum please)

Here's another thing to hoot and holler about (sarcasm) I can't seem to hold onto a trainer because on Wednesday Hermana Carlson is being transferred to another area. Seriously. I will have 3 trainers in the time that I was supposed to have one. I am like the little puppy that people take in for a few days and then send it on it's way. I'm wondering if I'm a handful or something? And believe it or not I'm trying to not be sassy and be a really good companion. It's draining. So here we go, a new companion and I'm taking over the area for good. Woooohhooo. But seriously this work is great and I know that my favorite scripture is always applicable Alma 26:12 because in the Lord I have all my strength and can do anything in him. I want you guys to know I love you tremendously and hope you are all doing great. I love getting letters and am responding as fast as I can. Keep your heads up and keep the faith. Love you!
Hermana Groves 

ps we had a good hard rain a few days this week so, you know I was eager to wear my raincoat and have a photoshoot.. enjoy. haha

First of all, I have the greatest family, friends, and ward members when the district leader brought the mail to church yesterday I had 6 packages and 2 letters, but in the packages I had over 40 letters. You guys are awesome. I was excited to hear from my siblings, cousins, young women and friends. I am still living up to my reputation of being loved the most by the people back home. (evil  hand rub haha). 
This week I took over my area, Houston 1 West, holy, what a task that is. I got a new companion from New Jersey named Hermana Bonhard. She's legit, she's been out for 10 months and seriously I'm already so close to her. She just is so loving, accepting and bold. She just says what needs to be said to the investigators and she's seen a lot of success in her mission. We actually took a trip to Galveston with 
 a recent convert Jessica and A member from Galveston to see 3 of her investigators (all kids) and it was really cool, they loved her and she really made a difference in their life, I know it. Also I heard Brianne and Alyssa got baptized. I was sobbing like a baby I was so happy to hear of the missionary work of all my young women back home. Hermana Bonhard told me that even though I may not feel like I'm seeing success here in the mission because of my obedience people I know and love back home are receiving some sort of blessing and I'm seeing that little bit more every week. She's so full of knowledge right? Haha yeah I like her. 
Mom sent me the conference ensign and this morning I read Thomas S. Monson's talk " I will not fail thee, or forsake thee" oh my gosh, you guys gotta read it, it's so great. It was exactly what I needed today. There's a quote in it that says "Shall I falter, or shall I finish?" I've been thinking a lot about going home lately because I have felt so inadequate and then I realized that that's not what God wants of me, he can't bless me until he gives me opposition. There is a living prophet today and he receives revelation for everyone I know this as a fact. Because this was revelation that I could apply to myself. I know that God gives me opposition so that he can make me stronger "Good timber doesn't grow with ease, the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees" I don't want to be a wimpy tree. I hate wimpy trees because dad has to tie them down to something in the back. But all trees start out week, but the ones who endure through the wind and the storm grow strong and set deep roots, that's what I'm doing right now. Setting my roots deep and holding on through the wind.
Another thing that Hermana Bonhard told me was that her mission president in Alabama (she was originally a visa waiter) said that our patriarchal blessings are Heavenly Father's father's blessing to us before we come to Earth. That completely made sense. I encourage you guys to read your blessing with that in mind as well, I had an overwhelming spiritual experience with that and just felt God's reassuring love for me. Guys I love you all and I know that you are put in my life to bless me, I am so grateful for you and your examples to me. I know that this church is true and that I am doing God's will. I love you all and hope you have a good week :) Keep the faith

Hermana Groves

Nov. 18 2013
Oh my loves, 
How are you doing? I hope all is well on your end of the spectrum. This week was a good one for me. We had a lot of success this week, and really taught by the Spirit. I think the book of my family was the best thing I could get to teach these people. Talking about eternal families is one thing, but showing them one puts a whole new reality to it. This week one of our investigators got married! Margarita is now one step closer to baptism, she wants to wait until Sergio, her husband is worthy to baptize her but she's there, she's now 100% ready to be baptized and we're super happy for her, she's been taking the lessons for over 2 years now. She's so ready and I cannot wait. 
This week we taught a lot of lessons and met a lot of people, we're working hard and the Lord is blessing us for putting our faith in him. 
Hermana Watkins came on exchanges with me so that she could be here for Sergio and Margarita's wedding but she was sick the whole day leading up to it so we just stayed in and I studied. And then when Hermana Bonhard came back she got up in the middle of the night and fainted in the bathroom and got a huge scrape on her face, so all night I was playing nurse taking care of her haha. We went to church and she recieved a blessing. Can I just tell you how I love the priesthood? A few weeks ago president made a rule that the elders aren't allowed to give blessings to the sisters because everyone is having a little trouble "locking their hearts" and a lot of it seems to come from giving/recieving blessings so Hermana Bonhard needed a blessing, Hermana Watkins and her companion Hermana Washburn went and found 2 random english speaking priesthood holders to give her a blessing. Well priesthood is true, these guys had never seen Hermana Bonhard let alone knew what was going on in her life and they gave her a blessing directly from God. It was fantastic. After that we went to go take the sacrament and were going out to leave and as we were walking by the kitchen to leave the church Hermana Bonhard threw up. All over. I couldn't even go get anything to clean it up because of the "sight and sound" rule so a kind guy from our ward happened to walk by and in his broken english said "we take care of you hermana" he mopped up all of her throw up and everything. What a great guy. We're totally making him cookies. But I then continued playing mom yesterday getting her everything she needed and that was our day. I wish I had more to report but I think I'm getting a little sick and my memory will be the first to go. I'll have you know that I am in Alma in the BOM in Spanish. I believe that I can reach my goal by the end of the year and I know that God will bless me with the ability to speak and interpret Spanish. The mission is great. I love you all and hope you are having a great week. Be smart, be safe, keep the faith.

Hermana Groves

Happy Week of Thanksgiving!

How is everyone doing? We had an interesting week here in THSM. First on Monday, it was Hermana Bonhard's Birthday, so we tried to celebrate a little but she was still healing so we took it easy. Members Jessica and Yovani surpirsed her with a cake:) But with the age change there seem to be more and more missionaries who are getting crushes on one another so in Zone Meeting on Tuesday we were "lucky" enough to talk about "locking your heart" which I was scoffing at because I'm not having any problems with this. No seriously, my heart is not towards anyone here (romantically). Well, Heavenly Father thought that He would make me pay for my words by putting flattery in my path. Yes flattery. It's interesting how one week as a missionary people are avoiding all forms of communication with you, and then the next you scoff and have foreign men flattering you. This guy from Morrocco tricked us, he asked for directions, and then said he was interested... But not the interested I thought so I gave him our phone number. Only after he had it did he pull (as Hermana Bonhard likes to call it) his "suave" moves and was asking for us to hang out and all of this stuff. He then was harassing us with phone calls and text messages saying how pretty we were and all this. Fear not, I was flattered, but we immediately got his number blocked. Challenge accepted and achieved. Haha moral of the story, if someone approaches you don't just assume he wants to learn about the gospel? Haha I don't know. Hmmm.. What else this week?

We were able to truly explore the part of the area that we had never even been to before and found about 8 complexes that we didn't even know existed. I know that there are people prepared there, and even though we took up a few full days driving on every single road in our area I know that it was a test of patience and something that we really needed to do. An appointment fell through and so we decided to go to the northern part of our area to go back to a street that we saw with a former's address on it.  In that time we were stuck in traffic and passed by a car on the road pulled over with their hazard lights on and we ignored the prompting we had to stop and continued driving because we had an appointment we had to get to after we were to try this former. Because we were stuck in traffic we knew that we wouldn't make it back in time for that appointment if we didn't turn around, so we did, that car was still there. Not 5 minutes later we got a call from our investigator saying she had to cancel so we decided to try the former once more. The car was still there. So finally after receiving that prompting once more, we didn't ignore it we pulled over, and luckily we did. This woman had been taking care of her mom for 4 days straight with no sleep, she blacked out at the wheel and drove off the curb hitting a speed limit sign and a mail box and she was really shaken up. We were able to help her by just calling the people she needed called. We then gave her a Book of Mormon and a pass a long card and left after she had found someone to come get she and her mother. No, we didn't get a new and no we didn't teach her a lesson, but the fact of the matter was she needed to come in contact with her and because we didn't listen to the Spirit the first time God made a way for us to come in contact with this woman. She needed to see and feel the love of Christ and I believe she did.

Also my beloved investigator Angelica came to our ward party and brought her two teenage daughters who want to learn from us now too! Angelica is really set in her Catholic ways, but she really loves reading the Book of Mormon and found a copy of the "For Strength of Youth" and read the whole thing to her daughters. I LOVE HER. I don't understand her much but she's really patient with me (she always looks at me when she's talking and Hermana Bonhard says she's always seeking my approval on the things she says haha), but we totally are supposed to know each other. We definitely knew each other in the Premortal life.
The Spirit speaks to us in different ways, but is present if we are just listening for it. I want ya'll to know I love you with all my heart and pray for you all by name. I am blessed to know you and know that you are all doing your best. Keep it up, and keep the faith :)
Hermana Groves

"Now that's what I call Texas toast"- Me thinking I'm the funniest missionary around. 

The next few lines are things the Moroccan guy said to us, so if you don't want to be laughing don't read them. Also only funny if read in Moroccan accent. :)
"So you are students or.. working?"
"So I only live in this area for 5 days and I need friends, you want to be my friends don't you?"
"You want to get coffee sometime? You like a starbucks?" 
"Here, what is you name? I add you on facebook right now" 
"Oh so you're seesters?"
Basically every pick up line in one meet up. Also he made sure to wait 24 hours to call us after the first few texts were sent. Smooth. 

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