Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Apparently I'm the only one who gets sunburnt

March 31

Good mornin' good mornin'!

Hey ya'll (That's about as Texan as my accent is getting...)!

How are you guys doing? My week has been pretty good.  We've been keeping busy with our people we teach. But I wanna tell you about a miracle that we saw this week. Or two. Or three. Wherever my mind lets me go. 

First: I don't know if you guys remember me talking about Ramon my first transfer here? Well, he was my very first investigator lesson, so I'm a little attached to him. We lost him when he was evicted and didn't have a phone. Well, I have a love for him, and he was ready to be baptized.  He stopped smoking and drinking, but  we just couldn't find him. I have been praying for months and months to find him. Well. Miracle. We did. We were leaving Saturday afternoon to go to the Women's Conference, and some car was stopped in front of us for like 5 minutes, and we couldn't go anywhere. My patience was being tried. BUT when we were going down the street Ramon crosses the street right in front of us. I was like, "Hermana Bonhard you better pull this car over, or I am getting out of it! " We pulled over and I RAN over saying, "Ramon! Ramon!" He turned around and had a giant smile on his face. We asked him how he was doing, and he said he was having a hard time, and he wants us to come and teach him. That was literally a testimony of prayer to me. We may pray for something, but it's all about the Lord's timing when he wants something to happen. He'll make it happen. SO COOL!

We also arranged for a soccer game for some members and investigators in our area. We were going on spanish time so no one showed up for the first hour. But slowly but surely we had 4 families there. WOOOOHH! haha we were hoping for like 10, but what can you do? Haha. Our investigator Vicente (his girlfriend is a member) and their 2 kids came, and he had fun! I was so glad.   He needed to see a funner side of us because, well,  we want him to stop drinking, and we want them to get married.  We want him to be baptized but most importantly, we want them to go to the temple and be sealed as a family forever. He knows that, and after a really powerful lesson on Thursday he's really thinking about it. He just knows he's gonna have to change his lifestyle, and that's gonna be the hard thing. He's getting baptized before I leave this area. I'm not leaving until he is. 

Women's conference was great! (We watched the first half in Spanish though, so I didn't take any notes, haha, but really spiritual. Go read on LDS.org if you haven't already.)

I can't really think of anything else that happened this week but just know I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Keep the faith,
Hermana Groves
enjoy haha

Once I stopped spitting missionary profanities...

March 24

Sorry this is later than usual. Usually we go to the office at our apartment complex and email for a half hour (write to president and then do our big emails), and then for the rest of the hour we chat and do that fun stuff. We tried to switch it up today and go to the library first. Well, it just made the day even longer. Haha because we went back to the complex and they were renovating the computer café (booo), so here we are back at the library. Sorry for everyone I was chatting with earlier.

With that being said... Hey everyone! How's your week going? This week was really good! It got super hot really fast though. I swear we were up to 90 one day. Everyone keeps saying it's gonna be a really hot summer.  Hotter than usual. Dang. I guess that's life eh? So while the temperature has been nice, we've just been biking our hearts out. This week I was yet again a stereotypical missionary, the one they would show in a movie like "The RM."  You wanna know why? Well, we were riding down the street just enjoying the warmth when "whoooosh," I was overshadowed by a huge wave of water. I was drenched. I kid you not, it was like  a movie with a person who has bad luck; a car drove through a puddle, and I was drenched with sewage water for a good hour. Aaaaaah, living the life. Haha. Once I stopped spitting missionary profanities (flip, dang, crud) I was fine!

The adventures on bikes are always fun. We were a little early for an appointment so we were just riding around this apartment complex trying to find people to talk to and this dog runs past us. The owner yells "Hey can you grab that dog for me?" Hermana Bonhard hopped off her bike and started chasing this little dog around. For 10 minutes. I kid you not. She had her helmet on and was trying to charm this dog. It thought she was playing with it. You probably can't imagine what I did, can you? Absolutely nothing. I just sat on my bike in awe that my companion is chasing this dog around, I am a truth telling woman, and it was 10 minutes she chased this dog. BUT we actually got a return appointment with the guy whose dog it was, and guess what. THEY SPEAK SPANISH. YAY! haha Blessings for being.... Bold? Baha I don't know

We talk the Calasar family 5 times this week. FIVE. They are quickly progressing towards their baptismal date! I'm so pumped for them! We just gotta get them to church, and we're in business. Pray for them on my behalf will ya? We also taught English class this week. That was humorous. I can't speak English, I can't speak Spanish! Man, I felt bad for these little Hispanics.

Yesterday we had a huge Noche de Hogar with Yolanda and some friends of hers. It was really crowded but it was lots of fun. We taught the restoration with cups and played a game with it. The crowd went wild. Not really, but they made us feel like we were all that and a bag of chips haha.

  We're planning on having a giant game of soccer this week with all the people we teach (members and investigators); we're excited! We think it will be a good way to get some Amistad going. I can't think of much else to write, but just know I love you all very much! I hope you have a great week and keep on keepin on!

Hermana Groves

Happy St. Patrick's Day

March 17

Hello everyone! 

How are you doing? I'm doing really good.

This week we spent all day on Wednesday drawing the Plan of Salvation on Westheimer (probably the busiest street in our area). It turned out really well, and a lot of people talked to us while we were doing it. Unfortunately, on Saturday, the rain washed away all of our hard work. Good thing I have a camera isn't it? Haha don't worry, you'll get pictures. It was really fun, but it's kinda awkward trying to draw Jesus on the sidewalk... so that's why I made Hermana Bonhard draw him. Basically my work was writing the words and I drew maybe 2 squares. I figured this failure at college level art was better off not ruining the streets of Houston. Haha.
We also had some nice weather at the beginning of the week. We rode our bikes all Tuesday, Wednesday (when we weren't drawing), and Friday. Don't worry, we're pooped. But we're definitely gaining some killer leg muscle, and we fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. I've also gained a little color. I know, odd. Don't worry, you can't tell. I can only tell cause I seem to wear my watch in the same spot every day. Guess who's gonna use it as a tan gauge? This girl! I guess you could say I'm getting pretty dark ;) Also I don't know if I've told you about how sometimes I use finding different states license plates as a game/stress reliever? Well, I do. I only have 2 states left, so if you guys know anyone from Conneticut or Montana that would like to drive by me for a minute that'd be great. Then I can start over. And say that I've seen all the plates in one area. This place is hopping with people from all over the states.
That golden family we saw the last week? Well, we met the dad and he also accepted a baptism date. We saw them 6 out of the 7 days last week and we're going back today. They love the gospel. The kids are so awesome, the mom too. Wanna hear something refreshing? The parents are married. They've been married since before they had kids. That is really rare for the Hispanic culture. This family is on fire.
On the other hand we have Jean Pierre and Wendy, Jean Pierre basically flipped out on us a couple weeks ago saying we were liars and how we were trying to trick him and all this stuff so we haven't seen them in a while, So our solution was to write him a note and just tell him that we love him and care about him, and that we just want him to have the happiness the gospel brings. That's it. Hopefully he responds to it, we left it yesterday. It's really hard because he has so much potential, and Satan definitely sees that so he's working extra hard on him. One day.
Hermana Latorre came out teaching with us 3 times this week. (She's the one that's like 80-something who's basically blind.) She's nuts, but I love her. She had to teach the lesson in Relief Society this week [but she can't read] so we read the whole lesson out to her two or 3 times. She has great memory; she remembered everything we read out loud to her. She's really cool, but she's racist, against Central Americans. She told us that the Mexicans aren't teaching us real Spanish, and that needs to stop. She told us if we ever were to go to South America (she's from Columbia), that no one would understand us, so basically she corrects us at every opportunity she gets. Someday I'll be old, and I'll get to correct everyone. So I guess that's alright.
We had a heart to heart with Wilson and Rosaurio this week, and hey told us that we are the only missionaries they've ever loved (sigh), and they thought I was going to leave. Rosaurio started crying when she found out I was staying another transfer. I love her. I will come back for  her! Haha also Hermana B's mom sent us some St. Patty's Day stuff, and we had a field day. 

Have a great week. I love you all so much!

Hermana Groves

Con valor marchemos

March 10

Well, transfer calls came today, and it looks like I'm going to spend my 7 month and my 8 month here in Houston 1 West. Sometimes I don't believe that transfers exist because Hermana Bonhard and I are staying together as well. Haha, we're just living in our own 5 by 6 mile world. I know our area like the back of my hand-- the fastest routes, the bus schedule, the cheapest gas station, and what sidewalks are the worst to ride your bike on. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I spend my whole mission here, because after this transfer I hit halfway. Man. Isn't that just too weird to think about? It is for me. 

We found this really awesome family on Thursday. They accepted a baptismal date the first day we met them and in the first lesson! Not only that, they invited us back Friday and Saturday. Sunday too, but we already had a full night after church, but we're going to see them tonight. They are so cool, it's a mom and her 3 kids. Marlena is the mom, Kimberly is 11, Oliver is 8 and Jashly is 6. This family is adorable. When we ask them questions Jashly always says," The most important is to keep Jesus en our hearts." I wish we could pick up little kids cause I just wanna hug her. 

My birthday was a really good day. We went to target (HOLA!), and I fulfilled my childhood dream of going to the American Girl store. Not gonna lie, it was weird in there. Like a million dolls just staring at you. All I wanted was like a mug or something, to prove to myself? Well doesn't matter.. No one in that store was above the age of like 8. I don't even think there were moms in there, but whatever haha. But Jessica and Giovani had us over for cake, and then Yolanda had us over for dinner and sang me this traditional Mexican birthday song. She said that they sing to only the prettiest girls (I know she was just saying that to flatter me on my birthday, definitely worked. Haha), so that was really cool. The next day Wilson, Rosario, and Sabina (Wilson's girlfriend) had us over for dinner and cake. They got the trick candles and got a good laugh out of me trying to blow them out for like 5 minutes. I kept saying, "I used to play the clarinet! I can blow out candles!" Well, I can obviously also make a fool out of myself to Spanish people, haha. Then yesterday, Yolanda gave me this giant cake. I was given 3 birthday cakes. It was ridiculous. We don't have room for them in our kitchen, let alone our stomachs! Haha. 

Well that's all I can think of for this week, I hope you guys have a great week. Love you!

Hermana Groves

Monday, July 21, 2014

Well, I can always say I was never a pregnant teenager...

March 3

Bahaha! What a great title for my birthday email, right? Haha well,
it's true. Never was, never will be haha. Man, 20 years old... older
than dirt.

So this week was a pretty good one. I went on exchanges with our
sister training leader,  Hermana Steenblick, in a bike area, obviously.
Don't worry,  it was definitely the coldest, wettest day of the week!
Haha,  thought it was gonna be 80 degrees like the day before so I
didn't pack for anything warm. I was wet the whole day anyway,  so I
guess it doesn't matter. My lanta what an adventure, definitely
experienced the missionary stereo type. Was chased by a giant dog on
my bike! Fear not, I am in good enough shape that I just biked as fast
as I could. This one was like a pitbull too.  Obviously, I was fearing
for my life. Haha.

We had a lot of meetings and trips to the mission office this week,  so
we haven't had a whole lot of teaching appointments,  but this week
looks really promising. We also went to Yolanda's work this week to
help her with some plants and stuff like that. She loves her boss and
her job. That house is giant. Seriously. Yolanda is, like, 60, and she's
doing all this manual labor,  like intense plant stuff.  We were tired
out, but she's like a 2nd mom to both of us, and she's so willing to
help us with our job, we figured it's the least we could do.

We have a love/ignore us relationship with a few of the people we
teach.  Some days they want us to come over like 4 times a week,
others, they ignore us like the plague. So if we could get a happy
medium that'd be great. Haha. We're working hard, and we'll see the
fruits of our labors I'm sure.

We started teaching that old man Claudio again.  He actually called us.
So we're really excited about that. And that guy Quincy that I told
you about in December (the guy who stands on the median)? Well,  we
were filling up our car with gas,  and he was trying to help these
people with their car.  They didn't speak English, so Hermana
Bonhard went to go translate for them. He started crying because we
remembered his name and told us that he was being tempted to do
something he shouldn't, and everytime he is tempted he sees us, and we
talk to him. He bore his testimony that he knows that God speaks
through us, and it was a really cool experience. He wants us to call
him every day and just check up on him. We will, cause honestly, we
love him.

Tonight for my birthday we're going to Yolanda's,  and tomorrow Wilson
and Rosaurio are having us over for dinner (and to teach Wilson's
girlfriend...smooth thinking Wilson, smooth thinking.. haha). Besides
that,  we're probably gonna go take a trip to Target and party it up
(cheap sister missionary style haha).

Sorry I don't have more to share. I love you guys have a great week!
Thanks for all the birthday cards and packages. :)

Hermana Groves

ps two weeks ago I cut my own hair and accidently gave myself bangs.
that's why they're pulled back in every picture! haha

With Yolanda after service and what a 20 year old Hermana Groves looks like :)

February 24

This week we've taught Wendy and Jean Pierre a few times, but like I've
mentioned before, Jean Pierre is taking classes to be baptized in
another church.  He told us that he doesn't want to disappoint us or
his pastor so he was thinking about doing both. Well, we taught him
that we need the right authority to be baptized,  and our church is the
only one with that authority. He talked to his pastor, and he told him
to be careful with the Mormons because we will try to baptize him,  and
he told him that he can take good things out of the Book of Mormon but
not to believe in it. So he's coming across a time of lots of
confusion. We told him it's not for us that he should want to get
baptized, but for himself and for God, so we told him to pray about
it, sincerely ask for the truth and guard the answer he's given from

One the former old people we used to teach came to church on Sunday
and definitely swiped a Gospel Principles book. (Little did he know we
definitely just hand those out for keeps anyways,  haha) This is the
same old guy who when we taught the 10 commandments he thought adultery
is fornicating,  and fornicating was going to a church that isn't
yours... honestly. haha.

There was a ward party for couples this week, and it was super awkward.
None of the missionaries knew it was just for couples so we all came,
and one of Hermana Lister's investigators has a crush on her and
thought it was a date. Haha. Classic. Can't think of much else that
happened, just running around trying to find people to teach. If you
guys can think of any creative ways to find people to teach,  let us
know. Thanks for all you do. Love you all. Happy Birthday Bub and

Hermana Groves

February 17

Hello hello everyone!

This past week was Valentine's Day and my 6 month mark on the same day. We really wanted to celebrate my 6 month mark, so we went to "The Madeleine" (for obvious reasons ;).  We definitely thought it was going to be a sit down restaurant-- nope. But it still tasted pretty great. Of course, my 6 month happened to be Single Awareness day. Couples were swarming the place. You cannot be more single than a missionary is on Valentine's Day. Haha ridiculous. So,  that was the highlight of our day because everyone was focused on being couples, and no one answered the door. Don't worry;we made little hand made valentines for every person we teach and just spent all day on bikes riding around delivering them.

We rode the bus a lot this week and met some cool people. Cutest story. This lady came and sat by me, and so I said, "Hi how are you doing?"  She looked at me and did some sign language (she was deaf) and just kinda looked away. I really wanted to try hard to talk to her,  but I didn't know how. So I wrote her a note on the sticky note I had in the back of my planner, and said "Hi I'm Sister Groves. What's your name?" I handed her the note, she read it, looked at me, gave me a hug,  and started crying. It was just proof to me that everyone wants to be talked to; everyone needs to be shown love. I gave her our information and haven't heard from her since, but it was good for me to feel the love that Christ has for each one of us. Also we ran into my future father-in-law twice on the buses today. What luck. We just focused on avoiding him the whole way to where we needed to go. My lanta.

We also found this really cool mother and son who we've taught at least 3 times each and the son Jean Pierre came to church on Sunday.  It was a miracle that he came; he's been going to another church, and for his church they have a soccer team that he's on. He texted us on Saturday night saying that he had a soccer game on Sunday so he actually wasn't gonna be able to come. We prayed that by some miracle he could. He texted us Sunday morning and said that his game was cancelled for some reason that didn't make any sense to him (God) and that no one could pick him up for his church so if he could get a ride to ours he could. Don't worry about it, we didn't even finish reading the text before we found someone to take him. Thank goodness for the young women in the ward. He loves learning but it was a little bonus that the young women were giving him the attention he was probably hoping for. Haha he's a little suave. I'm slightly concerned because I felt like he was like trying to pull the moves on me when he was sitting next to me in church. Haha nothing to worry about, I'm not really into 16 year old boys. Haha.

I hope you all have a great week and that you enjoy President's Day! Be safe,
Hermana Groves

Also we decided to take some pictures as the single cat ladies we are on Valentines Day-- Haha, enjoy!