Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Mailing Address!

Also quick update! With us going to the Richmond mission our mail policy changes and they can't forward mail to us anymore from the mission home so it will have to go directly to the apartments. Our apartment here is:
Elder Gronning
15231 Colony Pl. Apt #117
Woodbridge, VA 22191

Moms note- careful when mailing close to a transfer as the mail is not going to be forwarded to Elder Gronning.  Transfers are July 25, Sept 5, Oct 17(this week he should be coming home).

My last week in DC South! 6/24 email

It sure has been a crazy week here! Lots of meetings and administrative things getting ready for the mission split this Thursday! Really makes it feel like a less than productive week haha. It was still a great one! As of this upcoming Thursday though we will be in the Richmond VA mission, which will multiply the size of our mission boundaries like 4 times haha lots of new ground to cover there. So as far as meetings went this past week though we had: Tuesday- district meetings, Wednesday- drive a missionary up to the mission home for a meeting, Thursday- Zone conference, Friday- open for teaching (awesome!), Saturday- some super sweet service, and then Sunday we had church, ward council, and then the missionary broadcast (which was also awesome). So a busy week for sure! Going down the list though, zone conference on thursday was sweet. Those are always such awesome pump up meetings but man am I glad when they're over with because we have to give a presentation of some sort every time haha. We talked about how we (and those we teach) can recieve revelation and answers to prayers while at church and how church attendance is one of the mediums which the lord uses to give us revelation. It went really well :) Man the service we did on Saturday was awesome though! It was for a lady in the spanish ward who according to the spanish Elder's description needed "a small jungle" cut down in her backyard, they were so right haha. We got there and there was bamboo forest higher than her two story house haha so they passed us 2 machete's, a hatchet, and a lawn mower and had the 6 of us go to town, it was sweet! The bamboo was super strong if you tried to break it by hand or with the hatchet but the machete's cut through them like butter haha it was way cool. We got about half the yard done so this Thursday we're heading back to finish it. I think even with all of that though my week's highlight was still Sunday night's missionary broadcast from church headquarters, it was incredible! It was like a mini-general conference about missionary work haha. We are stoked to get to do missionary work in some new ways over the next few months and excited to get to implement some new ways of member-missionary work as well. An awesome week all around! Today was a great p-day as well. We just got back from touring the pentagon with a guy who works there from one of the local wards here in our stake. It was sweet! He took us all throughout it and showed us a few of the conference rooms where they video conference from people all over the world and the place where the president speaks from when he speaks from the pentagon. It was an awesome tour, I never expected that all the cool stuff we saw was in the pentagon. He said that over 28,000 people work there every day and there are 70 miles of hallways in the building, how cool is that? Well we've got to get running to our first meeting of the night! I hope each of you have had a great week! I love and miss you all lots!

What a Week! 6/18 email

It was a great week here in Quantico! We had some really great lessons with those we're teaching at the moment and had some luck finding new people to teach as well! It was a rainy week for sure though haha. Today especially. We had quite the P-day yesterday as well! We planned and got permission to go mountain biking at a pretty good size national park up outside the area. With it getting ready to be outside of our mission boundaries after the mission split next week and Elder Skinner being such an avid mountain biker we had to take the chance while we still were able to haha. It was a place called Fountain Head. Off of Fountain Head Park Road, which it turns out is a lot different than Fountain Head Rd haha. We punched Fountain Head Rd into our gps from the apartment yesterday morning and ended up going wayyyy past the actual park haha. Over twice the distance we needed to. So that killed us for time. Then we realized that we needed to stop by a bike shop still and get one of the bikes we were using fixed (we were supposed to stop on the way out from our apartment but forgot) so we had to make an extra drive over to the bike shop. Then we got headed the right direction to the REAL Fountain Head park and as soon as we got close it started pouring rain haha harder than I've seen in a long time. We had our windshield wipers on full speed and it still wasn't quite enough haha. So Elder Skinner was devastated at that point as were all four of us that went haha. But then we pulled into the park and it turns out there was just one weird patch of storms over the city and Fountain Head had been dry all day and stayed dry! So sweet! Blessing for sure haha. So we started riding and I found out really fast my bike was definitely not working the right way, but I wasn't sure what was wrong.So Elder Skinner looked at it and there was all sorts of thing messed up with it but mostly one of my cranks (the metal part that connects your pedal to the frame) was super loose so close to half my pedaling wasn't doing anything and it would just slip backwards haha super frustrating! But still very fun! We got a ways into it though and realized it was a lot larger loop than we had thought so we ended up taking lots of extra time there as well haha. So overall our p-day was spent attempting to mountain bike from 10:45 when we left until about 5 when we got back and at that point we just had to rush to our next appointment which was a ways away and started at 6:30, but we made it! We were both completely dead though haha. We still are for the most part too, it was exhausting! So we had to move our email time to during our lunch today haha. Long story but I figured I owed you all a reason for the day-late email haha.
We had stake conference this past Sunday and man was that the highlight of my week! Brother and Sister Giacomini (Lorenzo and Nicole) who were just baptized about a month back spoke and they did awesome! That's always a big day for a missionary when you get to see someone you taught give a talk in a meeting haha especially Stake conference, it was so cool. Also we started teaching a young man we used to visit again and he wants to be baptized! The first week in August we are helping him work towards. He wants to serve a mission a year from now and just really wants to put Christ into his life so he can turn things around for his family. Such an awesome kid. He is going to start coming out and teaching people with us on a regular basis as well. A great week all together! I've got to get running though so with the little time I have left I can email my parents and wish my Dad a happy father's day! I hope you all have had a great week too and all of the fathers had a happy fathers day! I love and miss each of you and I'll talk to you next week!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pictures of Elder Gronning & Elder Skinner from Dec 2012

A Great and Rainy Week! 6/10/13

It was another great week here in Quantico but man was there rain and rain every day! Haha we had a tropical storm blow past us so we were just on the edge of all the drizzles. Just enough to make it hot and humid haha. We had some great lessons this week and we are getting pretty close to being done with all the "beginning of the transfer meetings" so we can just go back to normal missionary work almost every day! I can't wait haha. We got to do some really sweet service this past week for a lady and Nicole (the one who just got baptized a few weeks back). Nicole has been reading up on President Monson quite a bit lately and watching his biographies and stuff and it has inspired her to acts of "Secret Service" like President Monson does haha. So this past wednesday we had planned to go help a neighbor of hers take out some bushes and so we texted Nicole to see if then was a good time (we didn't have her neighbors number). Her response to that though was "Yea I think now should be fine but meet me and Lorenzo and the Kids over at home depot in about a half hour, I want to get her some stuff for the yard" haha so we went with them and she got 4 big bags of soil, 8 really nice flowers/bushes, and a small tree for this flower bed that her neighbor has out front that has sat empty for a really long time and weeds had mostly taken over it. So we went and cleaned up the weeds, filled it woith soil and replanted the new stuff. Man did it look awesome! Nicole said she didn't want to say anything to Sally though (her friend/neighbor) she just wanted us to leave a pass along card in the soil and then leave before she got back home from work haha, it was sweet! She said Sally cried quite a bit when she got home, she has had some really tough times lately so it was really cool to be able to do something like that to cheer her up. I love being a missionary! We got pretty close to being skunked at church this past week though, always a bummer haha. Out of the 5 people who were planning on coming only 1 did haha. And she's kinda crazy (has schitzophrenia pretty bad) but a super sweet lady. Still a great week at church! Today has been a great P-day so far as well. Elder Skinner and I went and did some fishing this morning, we caught some super small bass haha but bass nonetheless, much better than the bluegill we caught last week, and then we had a zone bowling activity at the local bowling alley that everyone seemed to love. So life is good as always as a missionary! We have some good things planned for this week that hopefully go through so I can tell you guys about them next week! I hope you are all having great weeks as well and I will talk to you next week! Love and miss you all!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trip to the DC Temple 5/29/13

Elder Gronning and Elder Springer

Lorenzo and Nicole Giacomini

What a crazy week! 6/4/13

It has been one crazy week here in Quantico with all the transfers happening, temporary companions and stuff. Needless to say I am exhausted! It was still such a great week though! Wednesday night we went to the Temple with the Giacomini family for the first time since they were baptized and they loved it! It was such a sweet experience. They are hoping to go back again as soon as they get the chance, such a cool family haha. Man Thursday was super sweet though because I got my new companion! He is Elder Skinner! Again! Haha the same Elder Skinner I was companions with for 3 months back in Centreville! Now we are companions again here in Quantico as Zone leaders together, so cool! This is his first transfer being a zone leader too so I get to train him on everything, we are super stoked haha. Transfers were all sorts of crazy because of the amount of missionaries coming in compared to those going home. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it previously but we had only 7 missionaries go home and 37 come in. So that's 15 full new companionships coming in and 15 new areas that had to be opened up because of that haha. 2 of the new areas are in our zone so that was very hectic, they both went into completely new apartments that were totally unfurnished for the time being so it took quite a bit of time to get all of that settled in and sorted out haha. So now that puts us up to almost 30 missionaries in our zone! The missionary work is really exploding out here. So one of the problems with lots more missionaries though is finding time to email haha. We have 6 companionships living in our apartment complex where only 1 companionship at a time can email. We each email for a little more than an hour and we have a total of 8 hours of P-day every Monday. so if all 6 companionships want to email it has to work out completely perfect haha. That's why we had to push our emailing to today. We came home to email and there was a line of 6 missionaries and a few lifeguards waiting for their turn on the computers haha. So we just ended our P-day early and moved our emailing time to today. It is going to be so good getting to go back to just doing missionary work this upcmoing week! I've had my fill of meetings this past week and I'm ready to just get back into the routine of working hard teaching the Gospel haha. Even with all the hecticness though it was still a great week! It always is as a missionary! Well we've got to get running! I love and miss all of you though and I will talk to you next Monday!

Still in here in Quantico and in Quantico I'll Stay! (5/27 email)

Well it sure has been an eventful week! A great week as well. The biggest news is that I found out that I will be staying here in Quantico at least another transfer! Which means that I will also be going to the Richmond Virginia mission on July 1st! Exciting for sure! It will be a bummer to leave behind a lot of DC South but it will be great to see some new places for the last bit of my mission. The mission is huge though! It's about 8 times the size of DC South from what it looks like on So it'll be exciting to be able to serve there. So normally we don't find out our transfers until Tuesday night but Elder Rasmussen found out a little early this time because he was called to be the assistant to President Riggs up in Burke, so he got picked up on Sunday after church and I'm with a temporary companion here in Quantico until Thursday when I get my regular companion. He is going to be a great AP (assistant to the pres.) though! He'll be doing lots of training and speaking to the mission now so I'll still get to see him pretty often until July 1st haha. I also got an exciting opportunity this past Saturday to go back to the Sterling park ward and watch a guy that I taught when I served in that ward get baptized, it was so awesome! His name is Sergio Arraya and he had been learning about the church for 4 or 6 years now and he finally decided to get baptized! It was sweet! So Elder McGoffin and I got to be companions again for the day and go back to visit the area. That was surreal haha, it felt like we had gone back in time, the guy that would usually give us a ride around picked us up and took us so it was pretty much the exact same situation that we were in a year ago in the same place haha. There was a total of about 14 missionaries that had taught Sergio that came back for the baptism, it was just like a mission reunion haha. 3 of the missionaries that were there were even returned missionaries from the beginning of my mission that I hadn't seen in forever! They all had gone home my first or second transfer so they'd been home about a year and a half. It was good to get to see them again and all the members of the ward one last time before the mission splits. My temporary companion is named Elder Springer, he is an awesome guy, him and I get along great. He is from Oregon and has only been out about 3 months is all so he is brand new! His companion just had to go home because of medical issues so he was stuck with a temporary companionship too and with Elder Rasmussen getting transferred he got moved over here instead, so it has been even crazier of a week for him haha. Overall this week was great though! Some awesome experiences and we taught more lessons this week than any other week so far in my entire mission, haha we were so busy! I hope each of you have had a great week as well! That's about all the update I have time for this week! I love and miss you all though and I'll talk to you next week!