Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baptism of Sherry & her kids!! 8/24/13

Elder Gronning & Elder Collie

A Great Week & A Great Baptism!

It has been an awesome week here in Swift Creek! We didn't get to email yesterday like we had wanted to because our library was closed :/ but they're back open now! So we got permission to email today instead haha. It has been another one of those go-go-go- kind of weeks here though haha. Lots of great lessons. We had a few of the people we are teaching either start feeling better or come back into town so we were able to meet with them again for the first time in awhile. That was nice haha, like an old reunion or something haha. We also got a brand new car this week! Because our area is one of the highest mileage areas in the mission they wanted to get us a new, more fuel efficient, car so use. So they gave us a new 2013 Ford Fusion! We love it haha, it only had 110 miles on it when we got it and those were just from it being driven from the dealer to the Chesapeake mission and from there to our mission office. So it's even got the new car smell to it haha. If I can find a way to plug my SD card into the computer I'll send a picture (forgot my cord to plug it in today). By far the best thing that happened this past week though was the Baptisms of Sherry and her 3 kids, they are such an awesome family! It was a super spiritual service too. They brought lots of non-member friends with them who had never really came to a latter-day saint service of any sort before and you could really tell they felt the spirit while they were there. There were lots of tears of joy haha. Their friends also came to see them confirmed in Sacrament meeting the next day (Sunday) as well and loved that too. One of her friends that came, another family of four, said that they are curious and they would like us to start teaching them more about the church as well. Score! Also Sherry's Mom came again and she told us that she would like to learn more and be the next one to get baptized haha also score! Then to top it all off, we have a young woman who we've been teaching for awhile who lives with a family of the ward, but isn't a member herself, come and tell us this Sunday that she would like to be baptized this upcoming Saturday at 9 AM and she would like me to do it! Way cool!! She had been kind of iffy on it for quite awhile now but she finally decided this past week that it was true and she would like to join the church :) Should be awesome! Her name is Christina (she goes by Tina) and she is 11 years old. Her Sister Brittany was the young woman who was baptized 3 or 4 weeks back as well. So lots of exciting things building up! This week is transfers week though, which is a bummer always, but we are hoping that neither of us will be transferred. We will get the calls tonight to let us know! So hopefully no news there haha. Crazy to think this will be my last transfer call, makes me sick haha. Well I'd better wrap this one up, it turned into a pretty long email haha. I hope each of you are having great weeks as well though! I love and miss you all lots and I'll talk to you next week!

Love, Cody

Also I found a way to send my pictures, so I'll attach a few to an email in just a minute :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Another Awesome Week!

Elder Gronning and Elder Collie

Elder Gronning's home sweet home in Chesterfield VA
It was another awesome week here in Chesterfield! A very busy week haha but good busy. we have been going non stop everyday this week and it's been great. Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Appomattox Ward Elders and i went to their area for the day. We spent the majority of our time out doing service for a woman in the ward, pruning up her strawberry garden and mowing her lawn. Thanks to lawn mower troubles it took us about 3 hours but it was still sweet haha we got to use a riding lawn mower that was made in 1971, I was surprised it was even still working haha that thing was so rusty. Then the following morning we went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders in the zone and i went to their area as well. Always a ton of fun. I love the Spanish program. I got to take a whack at Spanish tracting haha it was sweet. I figured out a few door approaches in my limited espanol and then we went on the hunt for Hispanic looking houses haha. The Spanish Elders here use the "Three Lights" of Spanish homes to tell the likelyhood of someone Hispanic living there haha it's a pretty clever little tactic. So the first "light" is Christmas Lights, if they see Christmas lights anywhere in the yard that are still up and it's not winter that's a flag for them haha whether the lights are just left up or put on something that they want to make look cool that isn't Christmas oriented at all it still counts haha. The Second is Bud-Lights haha they say if you can find a few bottles outside of the house then you're on the right track, from talking to people in their branch they think it's just because that's the cheapest beer they sell around here so they buy it alot haha. Third "light" and the by far most promising one is a satellite (not really a light but a lite so it counts haha) and specifically a Dish 500 satellite. They said that is the only dish package that carries the Spanish channels so if they have that it's pretty much a 99% chance that they speak Spanish haha. So that was a lot of fun going Spanish hunting with them. We also had a great Sunday yesterday. Sherry and her kids came again, which is awesome! and they are totally stoked for their baptism this Saturday! We can't wait! It's going to be at 6 and I wouldn't be surprised if the whole ward shows up, they love her and her kids haha. Also she brought her Mom with her to church for the first time and she really seemed to enjoy it as well, she's going to come to the baptism on Saturday and said that we are more than welcome to come by and start teaching her as well! So awesome! It should be a great week ahead. Well that's my update for the week. It was a good one as always! I took a few pictures of our house and things this past week so you guys can get an idea of where I'm at that I'll attach to this. I hope you are all having great weeks as well! I love and miss you all lots!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another Busy Week 8/12/13

Well it was another great week here in Chesterfield VA! We met much less crazy people this week, so that was good haha. Monday we went Golfing at a course here in the area, which was awesome! I've gotten to Golf a ton on my mission haha. That just proves that the inspires where we serve! haha. We have had some great sucess with those we've been teaching this past week as well. We met with Sherry and her kids a few times and they are still as excited as can be for their baptism on the 24th. We can't wait! The whole ward here is pumped as well haha. They are so solid! She payed her tithing for the first time last Sunday (without anyone asking her to) and this week she got a surprise email saying that someone had paid her mortgage payment on her home for August, which she really needed! Direct blessing from making the sacrifice to pay her tithing! It reminds me of the story of the Widow's mite in Mark 12:41-44. We also got to help another guy that we are teaching with some service. His name is Tim and he lives on his Uncle's farm. Tim is also super solid haha he is preparing to be baptized on the 31st. So he is taking care of the farm while his uncle is away, well the week before last we had a little bit of some wind and rain come through and give the last little push to a really tall big tree behing their barn, so it came down and wrecked the fence for the goat pen as well as smashed in the roof on their barn. So we went over and helped him do some repairs on the fence and cover up the barn with a tarp, a huge tarp haha it was 60 ft by 40 ft. Lots bigger than we needed but it did the job just fine haha. He has to wait for the insurance company to come take a look at the barn before they can do any work on it but we atleast needed to get it covered before the rain came and weakened the walls that were bowing out even more, so we were glad to be able to help, it was quite a bit of fun haha his goats are way cool. Well really that's the big updates for the week haha. We got a ton of good stuff done but not too many crazy stories to go along with it. Which is sometimes good sometimes bad haha. My mission is coming to a close fast though!! Way too fast. So we are doing all we can to make sure I finish out with an extra push haha and man is it wearing me out! Gotta love it! Well I hope everyone has had a great week wherever you are! I love and miss you all lots! More of an update next week!

From Sister Alder

Taken from text messages sent to us from Sister Alder in Colonial Heights, VA
Hello, your son, Elder Gronning is in our ward in Colonial Heights VA. Your son has been wonderful to get to know and has been so active in this area and especially in our home. He has been part of my husbands reactivation (15 years of inactivity) in the church and is watching the progression of my husband taking me and our 3 daughters to the temple to be sealed. He has a sweet spirit that just radiates all around him. Thank you for allowing us to get to know your son. :)
This is a picture of excitement after teaching an investigator family in our home.
Always a delight to have them in our home! We know they become homesick at times and we try to make our home as a second home for them. We love having the love, laughter, and spirit in our home.

What a busy week 8/5/13 email

Well it was a super busy week here in Chesterfield! A really good one too though. Most of our being busy has come from it being the beginning of the month though, that means meetings meetings meetings for us haha. So Wednesday we had meetings, thursday we had to coordinate interviews woth President for the zone, and Friday was our zone meeting and then our interviews with President, busy! So I'm good not having to go to anymore meetings for the next while haha. We've had some really great success with a few of the people we are teaching this past week though. We had a few lessons with Sherry and her kids and they are loving the gospel up! They still can't wait to be baptized on the 24th of this month! We had dinner and a lesson at a family in the ward's house last night too, dinner was great lesson went great, all around the absolutely ideal environment for missionary work. Man did we have a super weird experience this past week though haha. We got a referral from some missionaries outside of the zone for a man who wanted us to come and help him mow his lawn, so we called him and set up a time to stop by, got his address, the whole nine yards. The address that he gave us wouldn't pop up on the GPS though so we called him and got some over the phone directions and he was super testy about it haha everytime we'd ask a question to clarify he would just snap at us haha. So we get the directions and go grab a lawn mower from a family in the ward (the Alders) and fit it the best we can in the trunk of our Malibu, which worked but very ghetto haha, the engine was too tall so it wouldnt go through the gap to get in the trunk so we had it hanging out the back with the bike rack up holding it in haha it looked so bad. So we sart dirving to his house and after about 15 minutes of driving we're out of our area and not even halfway there yet haha 30 minutes past that point we leave the zone and find his house, wayyyyyyyy out there and better yet he's got like 4 acres of grass knee high... it was a pretty discouraging sight haha. So we mowed as much as we could over about an hour and a half, which was maybe a 3rd of the yard because the mowers kept dieng haha, then went inside to talk to him about the gospel. He looked exactly like a blonde Will Ferrell a was super evangelical so he went off about how he is a prophet and prays in tounges he doesnt understand so that the devil can't tell what it is he's saying and stuff haha super weird and then his wife came around the corner... Elder Collie and I were both like oh man please be his daughter please be his daughter haha because she was lots lots younger than him but nope it was his wife. So we talked with both of them and somehow age came up, he is 44 and she is 21.. almost 22. Weird but not super weird, it gets weirder. Then their daughter comes out who is 4 and looks just like the mom, meaning she had her when she was probably 17, but wait there's more! He then told us that they had known the name for their daughter ever since they met when he was 38, immediately the math went through my head and the thought came "holy smokes she was 15 when they met and picked out a name for their future daughter!!!!" and he was 38!!! So weird!!! So at that point Elder Collie and I were just weirded out beyond reason haha we kept trying to share things about the gospel with them but man it was just not coming haha. So we showed him lds.org on his computer and committed them to watching President Monson's talk from conference after we left and then we got out of there and started the 45 minute drive back to our area haha. By far the weirdest service I've ever done, just very very awkward nothing felt right at all while we were there haha. Well that was my week in a nut shell! I love the life of a missionary! Busy, crazy, but a ton of fun at the same time haha. Time just goes by too quickly! I hope you all have had good weeks as well! More next week! I love and miss you all!