Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmastime Hospital Adventures

Dec. 19
Dec. 26

So i really don't know how to start this... but this week was awful. Dengue is the absolute worst, for those of you who don't know, my sickness escalated to Dengue Fever, which is almost the same thing as death haha. Monday i flew out to Iquitos to take care of migrations paperwork, and while i was there i got a nice fever, not fun... and i had that fever until this past Friday. when i got back to Pucallpa Tuesday i collapsed and was hospitalized, and until literally an hour and a half ago, I was in a hospital bed with an iv stuck in my arm. fun! Although I cant be complaining because we actually had a baptism this Saturday! I couldn't go to it but I heard it was awesome. More baptisms should be following! In case anyone is wondering what Christmas is like in a Peruvian hospital, its pretty much the same as every other day... so other than calling home, Christmas was pretty bland haha. as of right now i want to work more than i ever have in my life. Being sick here is the worst and I felt like a burden all week. These next couple of days will be focused on recovering my energy and the work! Cant wait to get back in the game. Also, i am so grateful for all who prayed for me, I have no doubt that your prayers helped. I love all of you and I cant wait to report bigger and better things next week. 

¡Chao! -Elder Grover
So fun to huddle around the Ipad. The Skype connection failed several times but we did get to talk for a while and the video worked for a few precious minutes! I wondered why he would opt for a white shirt in the hospital and he said the hospital "gowns" were like a mini-skirt on him! And he is anxious to get back to work and be productive. He's lost 25 lbs.- Ten from eating less and walking a ton, and the other from being sick. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

20-Year Old EGGHEAD

So remember last week? I definitely don't! Man was this week a complete turn around, so many things went so much better and i was just loving it. Funny thing is that everything didn't go well... it was just better than last week so i was real happy haha. most of the days were really similar (with the exception of my birthday (: ) so here's a brief overview: 

Monday: p-day will always be a breath of fresh air, i get to write you all, relax and explore. the end of the day is proselyting but if i remember correctly, it went well!

Tuesday: In all honesty, all i remember about tuesday was we talked to a bunch of people and got turned down... but we did have some awesome discussions!

Wednesday: RAIN. alot of rain haha, and when there is rain, there's mud... and oh boy is the mud crazy. my rain boots get a lot of use when there's rain so that's kinda fun. other than that proselyting was the usual, walking and talking. 

Thursday: Zone Conference! pretty much all day we were inside, and i didn't know this but zone conferences are actual a big deal. President Li came down here and we (2 zones) ate dinner with him and sang songs haha. it was a fun day in general haha.

Friday: we went on exchanges today and i went with a gringo! Elder Thomas is his name and hes my zone leader. hes also the one in the pictures haha. And boy is he a good missionary. the thing is he actually teaches me. He forced me to get out of my comfort zone and it helped me a ton, so shout out to him.

Saturday: Birthday!!! so in the morning was service and i got to chop grass with a machete... kinda interesting but fun haha the rest of the day was normal except that night... my pension bought an actual cake... and then i got my face shoved in it... :) didn't really mind it cause it tasted really good haha but then later... my zone leaders who i live with pulled out a weird peruvian tradition. i got eggs and flower dumped on my head... was i thrilled? haha no. took me a couple minutes to forgive then but when it was all said and done it was a fun experience.

Sunday: Church and proselyting. not much happened other than that haha.

In general things are improving and i'm hoping to see some progress with the people soon. I'm usually hungry (mostly because i eat a lot in general and i don't think peruvians are used to feeding 6 foot 5 clowns like me) but that's ok. i'm actually trying to get used to it because i think as far as the mission goes, we don't get a ton of food. and no i'm not spending a ton of money on snacks, im trying to break that habit too. my comp is still good (hes from arrequipa peru btw)  i don't know tall he is but he doesn't go past my shoulder... so yeah
The scripture for the week is Alma 17, go give it a read if you want some spiritual goodness. love you all and hope you all have a great week!
love- Elder Grover

Email 2: I'm officially out of time so this email is illegal, please apologize to people that i dont respond to, i really am always short on time. also tell grandma terry i love her letters, and i love her too. shes awesome! love you!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Muddy Times and 24-hour Fasts

Yes i finally got a camera, it cost a little more than i was hoping but at this point i dont really care... just happy to have one! this week was a learning week. and when i say learning week i mean it pretty much sucked... like alot. but thats ok because it means i should be growing (hopefully not in height im aready a freak show here). as requested ill do a weekly recap of each day (more or less) so here we go!

Monday: pday!!! it was definitely needed (every pday is great). i got to explore both of the actual malls that are here and that was super cool but it made me both homesick and weirded out. homesick because i saw alot of familiar stuff that reminded me of home and weirded out because there are two giant malls in the middle of the jungle... of course ts city but before there was city there was jungle... weird. anyways later we contacted and one of my zone leaders got the stomach flu and he asked me to give a blessing! super cool experience.

Tuesday and Wednesday: both days were super frustrating as i felt like i wasnt making much progress, and the work here is slow. there's not many people to teach and we have a giant area. it doesnt make much sense i know but its true. we are usually getting shut down by angry moms and super religious old guys with no teeth. however after a lot of prayer i realized it all depends on me and my attitude, so wednesday night i decided the next day I'd have a good attitude...

Thursday: woke up in a bad mood. like really bad. no idea why, i just did, so during study i wasnt happy, and then my comp talked to me about pacience and its importance. so i tell myself, ok im going to be patient! AND THEN, on the way to lunch we found a car stuck in mud, so what do we do? Serve! long story short i got plastered with mud... not so patient anymore... throughout the rest of the day i kept trying to better my attitude but it wasnt working, and then god stepped in. we have possibly 3 new investigators and an entire family to teach... such a tender mercy. my prayer that night was long...

Friday: so back home friday is usually a fun day with alot of relaxing and getting ready for the weekend. what did i do? i walked :) alot. all of our appointments fell through and nobody wanted to talk to us... oh boy was my patience tested haha. but according to my journal by the end of it i was in a an ok mood. dont know how haha

Saturday: Ill be quick with this, hardest day ive had. first off we fasted from lunch saturday to lunch sunday, which means no water. i was dying haha additionally noone wanted to talk... ultumatey it wasnt fun, i learned alot about myself that day

Sunday: never have i ever been more excited for a sunday in my life... it was so nice just being able to relax and feel the spirit. not much to say about it other than i needed it haha.

And that concludes the week! for everyone who actually read this far, the mission is hard, but it is a blast. i realize that there is a lack of fun experiences in this letter, but atogether this experience is awesome. im beggining to realize why its so important and why everyone stresses the mission so much. its hard, but its incredible. cant wait to see where the mission takes me and how much it will help me. i love all of you very much and i hope you all know how much god loves you. stay close to him and he will make you something amazing. i guess ill throw in a quick scripture: Mosiah chapter 2. its helped me a lot recently. love you all! have a great week!

-Elder Grover

Notes from us back in Cali: We read Mosiah 2 as a family to honor Jordan's mention of how it helped him. We then went around sharing why we thought it helped him. Baylee: When we try to bring happiness to others it can bring happiness to us. Lauren: We need to be obedient to be fully happy. Ty: We need to keep trying in order to be with Heavenly Father. Paul: King Benjamin was humble and worked alongside the people. No one is better than anyone else. This humility is essential in serving and sharing the gospel. Jen: I reflected on a book passage about accepting compliments. Not accepting a compliment is not really humble, it's prideful. We disregard someone's authentic observation about ourselves when we shrug off compliments. Instead, we should acknowledge them with gratitude in a way that say "thank you for seeing that in me". This honors the fact that all good things come from God- every aspect ourselves, our talents, our actions, our appearance, it all comes from God. I'm not sure that helped Jordan but I thought it was important to share.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mud and 90 Degree Weather

So whats this thanksgiving thing that everyone is talking about? sounds nice, but i doubt anything you had is nearly as good as the chicken, potatoes and rice that i get to eat every day. Now before you get jealous, remember im walking around in mud and 90 degree weather.

So still no camera, yes in know I suck but I wasn't about to pay for an overpriced piece of garbage haha im going to look more today, so hopefully I find something. anyways its finally P-day! i know i should look forward to proselyting more but writing home is such great stress relief. as far as investigators go we have currently 2, which i know sounds disappointing but one thing i failed to mention last week is i am opening an area! which means both my companion and i are completely new to the area we are in... and our records show a total of 2 people that we might possibly be able to teach, but i doubt it. My comp is awesome haha although sometimes I can't completely express myself because of the language barrier but that's alright, its not necessary to teach! He is super patient with me and I'm trying really hard to not be a frustrated wreck haha. The Spanish kills and my head is pounding by the end of the day but that's just part of the experience right? i just need to keep at it and i know the Lord will somehow help people to understand what I'm trying to say. The food hasn't changed much, from what ive been told the area, apartment, and my pentionist (cook) might be the best in the mission... so the real question is... what is a hard area like... yikes. Everything here just seems normal now though. when i first got here it was a little shocking but now its like the US doesn't exist. With time I know ill adjust even more and hopefully ill come out of this a tad more mature... we shall see. haha,I cant distinguish days that well, so next week ill bring my journal and give you all a daily report. So uh, yeah that's all for this week, love you all so much! (the lord loves you even more) ¡Chao!
-Elder Grover

**If I'm being honest, this is very hard, but I'm so happy to be here because I know that when its hard it means you're changing, which is what I wanted.

Monday, November 21, 2016

David and Goliath Unleashed

So I missed a week, Big deal right? at least i have a really good excuse! Finally in the field! YES. oh man have these past days been crazy... lets start with the basic stuff. this past tuesday i flew to iquitos with a group from the mtc, we met the president and had this yellow mush for lunch. i dont know how they do it but yellow mush is so good! president lee and his wife are both tiny and super nice, but i didnt get too much time with him because he is super busy, we then went to the mission office where we got our areas and our companions! drum roll pleaseee...... I am currently in the city of Pucallpa! not even iquitos but I'm not mad, its super awesome here! and my comapanion isss....... Elder Llamoca! Tiny little Peruvian who has been out for a year and 4 months. the height difference is astounding... we've been called david and goliath i don't know how many times... anyways that reminds me, I am going to buy a camera today! so next monday you will all have pictures! the city itself is actually nicer than Iquitos is, it has 2 actual malls and a pizza hut... haha yeah pretty awesome. most of the houses are basically wooden shacks with dirt floors, luckily for me i have basically an actual apartment with a fully functional bathrrom (no hot water though, my shower is a good wake up call). as far as the rest of the mission goes, the apartments can be pretty gross, so well see what i get in the future! the people are suuuuper friendly, its pretty easy to talk to just about everyone. for transportation we use mototaxis to go just about everywhere that isnt waking distance, which i love because of the breeze that comes with it (its very hot here). our food is all cooked by a member "pentionist". her name is Fiorela and she's super nice and laughs at everything haha. the food is pretty good too, alot of chicken rice beans and potatos, but the sauces usually change so its pretty good. the other day i tried cow intestines... that was interesting, i asked what it was and they said "pollo" of course after picking out a few words of the following conversation i discoved it was caocao, or cow intestines. surprisingly i was ok with it and kept on eating haha. my comp and i live with our zone leaders, and one of them is a gringo, so at night before bed i can let loose everything i want to say in English. as far as my luggage goes, when you go to an area that isnt in iquitos, you can only take one bag, so i had to consolidate all my neceseties into one suitcase... its ok though, theres only one thing i wish I brought and thats my rainboots... the mud here gets wild haha so my shoes are almost constantly dirty. its whatever... im just excited to be here! i dont think there's much more to tell, the people are awesome and I love the work. OH! i just remembered, we already have an investigator with a baptismal date! just keeps getting better and better. that's all for this week, love you all and so does the Lord! !Hasta Luego¡

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

One More Week Until the Real Mission Begins!

Two Weeks, Two Letters!

Week 4 came and went, and i regret to inform everyone that this week was pretty much the same as last week. rice, chicken, class, fake investigators, and a bunch of fresh missionaries who act like they're still in high school. Lately I've just been trying to focus on becoming more focused and diligent, as well as learning Spanish. In honesty i probably haven't been studying as much as a should be, but I am progressing and i hope to be somewhat a useful companion when I get out into the field. As far as morale goes, its definitely a roller coaster, where we have experiences that lift us up and then we will have lessons that are like a slap to the face. its definitely humbling to know that we are on the Lord's time and we really can't get very far without him. I have really come to rely on Him so much and I can't wait to see what he makes of me when this is all said and done with. I love this work and everyone involved so much, especially the president of the mtc, the man is walking wisdom (cant even imagine what an apostle is like). i hope everyone reading this has an excellent week and i cant wait to see what this next week brings. ¡chao! -Elder Grover

Would it be disappointing if i said this week was pretty much the same as last week? Well luckily this is the last week in the CCM, so starting next wednesday the updates should get a little more exciting. As far as events go nothing spectacular has happened. classes are progressing at their usual pace and i still feel the need to get out. however there have been times where i appreciate the comforts of the CCM, especially that i have about 80 missionaries from the states here with me which makes things easier as we deal with the changes together. the field should be a new and exciting challenge and i look forward to what the hot jungles of iquitos brings. My spanish is progressing slowly but surely and I can't wait for the super embarassing moments in the future where a lesson takes a completely wrong turn because of something i will say. The spirit is still as strong as ever and I have to say if i learned anything this week, its that perfect obedience is so important. but to elaborate i need to explain my companion (which i should have done earlier but they never give me enough time). Elder Cook is from Utah, and basically is the epitomy of apostle in the making. his Spanish is better than mine and he started with basically nothing, and he makes little to no mistakes with the rules or with his study. Sounds great right? Not when that's what you have to be companions with as you watch him surpass you in everything you were doing well at. the frustration is real, but he is a great example of what perfect obedience can do. so this past week ive had two goals, stop comparing myself, and be perfectly obedient. so far Ive had such a wide variety of good and bad experiences, i don't know what to think other than that its been a crazy roller-coaster. As far as my success goes with the goals, well ill leave it at I'm working on it. Ill have to end it here, but know that this work is amazing and that the Lord loves you all so much. also remember if you don't abandon Him, He wont abandon you. ¡Chao!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Halfway There! Three Weeks to Go in the MTC

No pix this time... you will see why...Jordan is anxious to get out there and start talking to people. I hope he has had time to personally respond to any emails sent. Thank you so much for your support!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Two Weeks Down!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

First Week!

Pictures taken at the Atlanta Airport, 22 Fine Men and Women heading down to Lima. Some will serve in Lima, some in Cusco (will they meet the llamas from Emperor's New Groove?) and a couple heading to Iquitos with Jordan! Check out the super petite gal- she will probably love it in Peru with all the tiny locals! 

Elder Grover with his companion, out on the town doing service. (Not sure what kind of service besides looking sort of tough/smiley.)