Monday, January 28, 2013


My dearest Mom, Pah-Pea, familia and friends of whom I love so much!!

Oh my goodness, hello! Greetings from Canada!!!! So, you know how you all told me it's pretty cold here, well you were all spot on! It's quite cold but we have this tactic where if we are going to be outside for more than 5 minutes at a time (aka: every second we leave the apartment...:)) we need to wear at least 3  pairs of fleece-lined tights, 2 pairs of wool socks, our combat fur-lined boots, 2 coats, 1 thick scarf wound up to our chins, and thick gloves. Needless to say, we look like 2 marshmallows with name-tags on the side of the road. :) And by we, I mean Sister Messer and I! She's my new companion from Logandale, Nevada (but mom already knows this assuming she already Facebook stalked her...;)) and we get along SOOO well! We're whitewashing (2 new missionaries in a new area) an area in London in the London 2nd ward. *side note for Matthew Porter: we're in the same apartment all you elders were in before and that Tim Horton's drive thru sign, eyup, still here with your name on it! and all who say hi: President Scott (haven't met S. Scott yet), E. Somerfeldt and E. Marshall along with the rest of the missionaries whose names I don't remember, Brother and Sister Brown from the ward and everyone else in the ward whose names I don't remember...:) London says hi!:) side note ended...* So yeah, the area is one of the smaller areas in the mission, but we're on bus so it seems much bigger without a car. :) that's why we look like marshmallows. :) But, we have an absolute blast! We both love the work and are working hard and we're making each moment count, too! We laugh SOOO much. seriously. so much. :) we're taking lots of pictures, too, I'll try to include some for your enjoyment!:)

Let's inform you on investigators, eh?? We're devoting most of our time to visiting the less actives in our ward and getting referrals from them so we can help them come back to church and find more investigators. We're trying to get all the members names down and we're making some serious progress!:) We visited one less active in our ward who referred us to a man named Charles. We met him that night and discovered he's from Jamaica and has met with missionaries before but hasn't really progressed. We taught him on Friday night about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Spirit was SOOO strong. Since the Spirit prompted us, we followed that prompting and invited him to be baptized. Guess what?? HE ACCEPTED!:) We committed him to be baptized on Feb 24th so if you could, please pray that he'll stay true to that commitment!:) We're so excited for him!! We gave him a Book of Mormon and he's SOO excited to read it! He's pretty golden!:) We're also teaching a woman named Maria. She has been committed to baptism before, but has had some doubts. So we're working with her and she came to church yesterday, saying that it resolved some of her thoughts, but not all. So we're going to see her again on Saturday  and are praying that her questions will be answered. We have a couple more investigators we're going to visit this week, so I'll fill you in on them next week, for sure!:) Ah goodness, I already love it here! and I may or may not be saying "eh" every now and then already. True Canadian, I guess. ;)

so...who's down for question time????!!!!:)

1.  Tell me ALL about your companion (the things I don't already know...)  haha 
Well, she's a dancer, absolutely hilarious, and such a hard working missionary! working with her is soo much fun! You'll meet her one day, don't you worry:)
2.  How are you two getting along?
remember how Amber and I got along-laughing all the time? yeah. basically that. :) oh! and she has red hair, too! just sayin...:)
3.  What was the BEST part of your first week in the field?
teaching Charles! He's so great and wants to follow Christ! Who knew you'd find someone that golden in your first week in the field, eh?:)
4.  What were your thoughts/feelings as you met your Mission President and his wife?
Oh, instant love and adoration for President Scott! I have not yet met Sister Scott but I am looking forward to meeting her! I hear she's adorable!:)
5.  Did you sleep your first night at the mission home, or head right to London?
Neither. We actually slept in a Hotel for the night, because there were too many missionaries to fit in the mission home! haha
6.  How are you holding up in the weather?
simply splendid thanks to my warm coat and fleece lined tights!!!:) operation Marshmallow never fails!:)
7.  Is there anything you wish you had brought with you, that you didn't?
my canadian mittens...but I figured, since we can't find them, maybe they were stolen by someone who needed them more than I do, eh? let's go with that...:)
8.  Do you have a car?
negative. Buses!!! (we're still trying to figure it out. it's an adventure...:)
9.  Are you teaching anyone?  
yup! Charles, Maria, Sheila (she's leaving town for a week so hopefully we still get in contact with her when she's back. she's really stressed with life and her divorce and custody issues and all that, so we're hoping she'll keep making progress with us and allow us to teach her)
10. How do make contacts?  (tracting, referrals, etc...)
street contacting and referrals mostly. Tracting doesn't work very well for us, but we're trying to figure out how we can make the best of it to find more people to teach!:)
11. Tell me about your ward/branch?
haha well about 65% of the ward is over the age of 55 and boy, do they love to talk! haha wWe have a hard time keeping our dinner appointments on schedule! haha but they're all soo sweet and they're taking good care of us! They're thrilled to have sister missionaries for the first time in like 4 years or so. so we're getting fed a lot. and I mean I lot. :)
12. What was the best (and what was the worst) part of your week?
Teaching charles was the best by far, and the worst...well nothings really been that bad. we did find one of our cards on the ground, so we left it there, thinking someone passing by might need a little pick-me-up. :)
13. Is being on a mission what you thought it would be like?  Easier or harder?
Honestly, Sister Messer and I were talking about this last night. I knew it was going to be hard, so that was no shock for me, but I didn't think it was going to be as much fun as I've been having. I knew I was going to make the best of it and laugh, but Sister Messer is just the greatest and she's made this past week awesome and incredibly fun! :)
14. How much time online do you get each P-day?
about an hour
15. What else can you tell me?
I love it here! You're Sister De Groot is doing just splendidly and loves her mission so much, already! And I know it's just going to get better and better!:)

I need to head out now but I want you to know that I LOVE this gospel and I absolutely LOVE this work! Of course it's hard, but it was hard for Him. Why should I expect that this would be easy when it NEVER was for Him? I know my Heavenly Father lives and is leading Sister Messer and I to those who He has prepared for us, and I am going to do my absolutely best out here, every day! I love you all and appreciate your love and support, I truly can feel your prayers on my behalf, every day! I love you all, until next week....GOD LIVES!!!

Love for now and eternity,
Your Sister Janelle De Groot :)

Missionary Invitation #2: Talk to someone you've never met before and serve them. Whether it's carrying their groceries, opening a door and then having a conversation, home teaching or visiting teaching someone you never contact, or some random person on the sidewalk, just serve someone. Pray that God will lead you to someone who needs help and then follow that prompting. God may need you to be an instrument in helping one of His lost children come back onto His path. and I'll do the same. :)

p.s. hope the pictures come through! 
1- those going to Toronto from my MTC zone.
2- Sister Mendenhall my MTC comp and I on a day when we oppositely matched:)
3- Sister Tycksen and I crossing paths at the Provo Temple:)
4- finding our pass along card in the street...haha
5- my new apartment!]

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Canada or BUST

Monday, January 21st - We enjoyed talking with Janelle from the Salt Lake airport, and again from Minneapolis.  Needless to say, she is doing VERY well, and was quite excited to arrive in Toronto and begin her mission in the field.

Tuesday, January 22nd - Received an email from President and Sister Scott, of the Canada Toronto Mission, telling us of Sister De Groot's safe arrival.  She has been assigned to labor in London, Ontario and will serve with Sister Messer.  Her current mailing address is:

Sister Janelle De Groot
45 Pond Mills Road #207
London, ON
N5Z 4W5

Sister Messer, Sister De Groot, President Scott

Canada Toronto Missionaries

Monday, January 14, 2013

ANOTHER week down.....WHERE does the time go???

Mom, Daddy, family, friends, and all others who read this!:)
Oh my goodness, hi!:) ok, really I don't feel like I've been here for almost two weeks! the first week, I'll admit, was hard to adjust to the schedule and everything but this week, it's already over!!! what the fastness!:) boy, do I have SOO much to attempt to fill you in on that occurred this past week and so little time, but I'll do my best!:) ahem. so first off, guess who gets to be a host for missionaries coming in this week????? MEEEE!!!!:) I am SOO excited especially because I may or may not have a few friends coming in this week......eyup, you know who you are, so look for me!:) I remember the day I came here and was SOO thankful to have such sweet and kind elders and sisters leading me to where I needed to go because let's be honest, I had NO idea what I was doing once I walked into the building! haha The sisters in my district (Sis Mendenhall, Griffin, Sorenson, and myself) all get to play hosts for a bit, we're all super excited!:) ah man, I'm sitting here looking at the list of items I wrote down to tell you all and there's just so much I don't even know where to start! chronological order, maybe? yeah, good plan, let's do that. wow, now that I'm done typing my thought process...:) Starting monday night, sis mendenhall and I began teaching Marie (our teacher-sis mills- role playing) who was a nanny for an LDS family in London and had dinner with the family one night when they had the sister missionaries over and loved their optimism! So we were referred by the mother to teach her and she's an absolute sweetheart! Through the 3 visits we've had with her, we've taught her the restoration, part of the plan of salvation, and how important it is to recognize the Spirit, which we explained is probably why those sister missionaries were so happy! We invited her to baptism on our last visit and she said that she'd like that but wants more time to think it over, so pray for her, because she likes to fall back on her doubts as a cushion rather than taking a leap of faith. She'll make it, we sincerely hope. :) We're also teaching a man named Greg Pyle (our teacher - bro kitchen - role playing) who is catholic, married to an LDS woman, and because his wife keeps inviting them, has met with the missionaries for the past 4 years! We taught him kind of like we taught Marie, but made sure what we said fit together with the promptings of the Spirit into what he needed to hear. In 3 visits, we taught him the restoration, touched very slightly on eternal families because his wife kept bringing it up, and focused on helping him recognize the Spirit. and here's where I have to admit something that I was quite ashamed of. In our 2nd visit, we were teaching him about the Spirit because when we asked him why he kept meeting with the missionaries if he refused to be baptized, he said he loves the feeling the missionaries bring into his home, and told him that was the Spirit testifying to him. When we said that, he responded "so you're telling me that this feeling I've felt for the past 4 years was the Spirit an no one told me?" My heart just sunk. He's had this feeling for so long yet he had no idea what it meant, and when he said this, I had the feeling to invite him to be baptized. But did I do it? no. I didn't. why? because my head starting listing all these reasons why he wasn't ready and I was gonna stick to our plan we wrote out. so I didn't ask him and we finished the lesson. Needless to say, that night in bed, I began to cry, thinking of the prompting I had and I refused to do the exact thing I was asking Greg to do. so we met with him 2 days later, and at the beginning of the lesson, I apologized to him and explained what I failed to do. and then that same feeling came, and I invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the proper authority. After a moment of silence, he looked up with true sincerity, thanked me for my apology and accepted the invitation! We are both so excited for him and felt the Spirit so strong in that room during that lesson, and I promised myself then and there, that I would never overlook a prompting from the Spirit ever again, for who am I to second guess God? yeah, I learned a hard lesson. But I'm taking what I learned and putting it to good use, don't you worry!:) (ouch...reliving that moment kinda hurt my heart a bit...but he accepted!!! woohoo GREG'S GETTING BAPTIZED!!!:)) Both sis mendenall and I decided that if this is the excitement we get when an actor accepts the gospel, we can't even imagine the joy that's going to fill our hearts when one of our Canadian investigators accept the Truth!:)
We also began TRC this week! We are teaching a woman named Barbara who is such a sweetheart. She's catholic but not very involved, from New Jersey, interested in the Church, and is VERY inquisitive! Our lessons are going very well but because she asks some really hard questions sometimes, both sis mendenhall and I have to explain that we don't know the answer but we'll write down the question, find out the answer, and let her know next time, and surprisingly, she really appreciates it! I thought it'd be awkward when we didn't know an answer but she appreciates the honesty and we don't talk ourselves into a hole, so, win win!:) we had two more experiences with a less active, Austin, and a referral, Chase. I'll be honest, the discussion with Chase did not go well. we were both incredibly out of it, the Spirit wasn't present, and it was just bad. we talked for a while afterwards, though, how we could have been more prepared and on top of things to allow the Spirit to be present. it was definitely a good learning experience, that's for sure!:)  But the lesson with Austin, AH! incredible! we began teaching him, thinking it was an actor and just kept teaching, until the Spirit told me very distinctly "you are not teaching a lesson, you are teaching a child of God" and I immediately knew that he was not an actor, but someone really wanting help. So we taught him, we bore testimonies from heart and the Spirit was so incredibly strong, it was BEAUTIFUL!!! I seriously can't adequately express how incredible the lesson went but just know, that the Spirit was definitely present, and when the Spirit is present, anything can happen, I can testify of that!!!:)  
so....who's ready for question time??? Ooh! I am, pick me! (I may be a missionary, but I am still very much my weird little self, let's be honest. and sis mendenhall can attest to that...:))
1. Did you find your Canadian mittens yet? no....I have looked everywhere in all of my bags. could you try looking in those white drawers in my closet? if they're not there, I'll drop it...:)
2. How are things going with Sister Mendenhall? The rest of your District? things are just great! Because we all get along really well, sometimes it's difficult to stay focused in study time, so we made a goal to make this last week the best yet and help each other stay on task because next week, we'll all be in the field. WHAT?!?!?!?!?:)
3. In what ways do you feel you have grown the most during your time at the MTC? oh my goodness, my testimony has grown SOOO much, of course! and you know how I get really nervous in front of people? yeah, that's not really the case anymore. I mean, the fear is still there, but because I understand my purpose so much more, it doesn't phase me that much. I feel so accomplished! thank heavens for the Spirit who calms and puts words in our mouth if we but open them up!:)
4. Are you getting my packages?  am I getting your, YES! I love them SOOOO much (and so does my companion and other roommates:)) we might get fat. just sayin...:)
5. Does the watch fit? (Do you like it?) I absolutely love it but funny story bout doesn't work. haha I just took it out of the packaging and it wouldn't work so I'll send it back to ya sometime this week...
6. Is there anything you would like me to include in a package that you haven't already mentioned? mmm...a card reader would be splendid so I can actually send you guys pictures! I was going to buy one from the bookstore this week but they didn't have one. so just a cheap one from walmart would be great! oh! and I still need a passport holder. they don't have em here....I have one but to be honest, I don't remember where I put it. I believe it's in one of those colorful drawers I have in my room or in my backpack. but if it's not, don't worry and could you just buy one cheap one for me, that'd be great!:)
7. Do you have Erin's phone number in a place that will be easily accessible at the airport next week? :0)yes I do! but I'll be calling you from the layover in Minnesota because we leave the MTC at like 3:30 in the morning and I really don't wanna be half asleep when I talk to ya, you know:) our plane leaves (delta) at 6:45 and we have a 3 hour layover in minnesota so I'll call you then! (I think like 10:45 or something, sorry I don't have my itinerary with me)
8. What are your plans for the remainder of P-Day? writing lots of letters, and because we're in the MTC and can't really go anywhere, we're gonna take a nap....:)
9. Anything else you need to tell me that I forgot to ask about? Not really, but I thought I'd let you know bout departure-we leave next monday super early in the morning so I'm not sure when I'll be able to email next week so if it's later than normal, that's why!:)
well, I need to head out cause I have like 90 seconds left! I love you all and know this church is true!  oh!!! real quick, I rememered that I had a thought yesterday-I've always loved the gospel but never shared it so I'm inviting you all to do one small act of missionary work each week I'm out here, I'll do it too!:) 1st week challenge: share your testimony with someone not of our faith. write a message in facebook, write a letter, or talk to someone. Just share it, and do it from your heart! The lord works through social networking, whether by a voice, written word, or the internet! Just share it!!!:) I love you allll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (next letter will come from CANADA!!!!:)
Sister De Groot!:)
Alma 26:16 - 
Therefore, let us aglory, yea, we will bglory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his cmercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

Monday, January 7, 2013

First MTC P-day (aka "First Missionary Training Center Preparation Day")

My beautiful, incredible family and friends!!!

well hi!!!:) Greetings from the MTC!! It is absolutely incredible here, seriously! It's so cool to walk out of your room and see hundreds of Elders and Sisters walking the sidewalks and studying to gain a greater understanding of the gospel and a more effective way of teaching it!! AH! I just love this so much. :) It was funny though on Friday morning, we walked outside and I turned to my companion and said, "oh look! a missionary!!!! wait...." haha I felt a tad bit silly. :) speaking of companion, her name is Sister Mendenhall. She is from Alberta Canada and is also going to Toronto mission speaking English! She's never been to Toronto so the area is new to her as well which will be awesome! She is an absolute sweetheart, we get along well, are learning lots from each other to become better teachers and missionaries for our Heavenly Father, and we laugh. a lot. which I love, ps....:) Our district consists of 6 companionships, 4 sisters going to Toronto (sister mendenhall, myself, Sorensen, and Griffin), 4 Elders going to Toronto (Elder Healey, Palmer, Berguson, and Sanabria), 3 Elders to Mississippi (Elder Anderson, Poole, and Hall) and 1 to India (elder child). It's so cool being with all of them because, well, we get along sooooo well! We have so much together joking around during meals and all, but then have incredibly spiritual study sessions together, as well! All these missionaries are just so great, I am learning SOO much from them! (side note to life: I'm not used to writing on a time limit and in a laundry room where everyones talking and my brain can't think correctly, so if I write something super odd...I apologize:))

Well, as you all know, I arrived on wednesday here at the MTC and we just jumped right in to the work! We spent the night teaching 3 individuals as a huge group (about 3 branches in each room). We taught Junichi, chicho, and barbara, the last of which Sis Mendenhall and I found out we are teaching her in TRC this week! She's very open to new ideas, but she doubts her feelings a lot. We have a lesson on the love of God and the restoration planned but will teach by the Spirit and let you know how it turns out!:) Some people have seen the dork dot on my name tag (pronounced name-taig. sis mendenhall is teaching me canadian already...:)) and have asked me if I'm overwhelmed, and to be completely honest, I am not at all! I mean, yeah, it's difficult jumping into a lesson and being put on the spot but I'm learning quickly. The only thing I need to get used to is the schedule. You all know me...I'm a tad bit lazy. ;) I would sleep in til 10 and my day would be gone, so waking up at 6:30 and then in bed by 10:30 and doing something every possible second while I'm awake, it's a definite change. I love it, but it takes some getting used to! 

there's more I would like to write but I am already out of time, wow, I'll figure out a system that works better, I promise so I can slip in more details and info about the week. I just want you all to know that I LOVE this gospel so much! when we arrived our branch president, president jones told us that our testimony from when we were 8 til we turned 18, how much it grew, that'll be how much our testimony will grow in the MTC alone and I was a bit skeptical. but already, I have felt it grow TREMENDOUSLY!!! this gospel is beautiful and I love it with all my heart! Thank you all for your support and the love you have shown me! I LOVE YOU ALLLLLL!!!!!!!


Sister De Groot.....SO cool...:)

p.s. write me!:) you can in the MTC me if you want to also! I would absolutely LOVE it!:)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Letter Arrived!!! :0)

We received our first letter from Sister De Groot yesterday!  Such a happy mail day!!!

For anyone wanting to write to her, here's the address:

Sister Janelle De Groot
MTC Mailbox #141
CAN-TOR 0121
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Utah  84604-1793

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Mom & Dad & all who reside @ home!  :0)

     Why, hello!  My first letter written as a missionary.  CRAZY!!  :o)  I don't have a ton of time, but I just wanted to drop a little note saying that I am doing very well!  :0)  We got all settled yesterday with nametags, bedroom, classrooms and, of course, a companion!  Mine is an absolute sweetheart!  Her name is Sister Mendenhall and she is from Alberta Canada, serving in Toronto as well!  She's never been there before so the area will be new to her as well as to us!  We've been getting along just great - studying heard, sharing insights, and laughing every chance we get!  :0)  We're gonna be just splendid for the next few weeks together! :0)
     Ah, man, it's absolutely incredible here!  I love EVERY second of it!  The spirit floods over me so incredibly often and my district is top notch!  There's 4 companionships going to Toronto, 3 elders going to Mississippi, and 1 elder to India!  And guess who's in my district & my room??  SISTER SORENSON!  (She was in anatomy with me...:0) )  She's just great except both of us have a REALLY hard time not calling the other by our first names.  We're working hard on it, though!  :0)
     I haven't seen Amber, Karl, or Michael yet but I'll keep on trying!  :0)  I've gotta go to bed, but I love you all!  Thank you for how incredible you are!!!  :0)

Love Always,
Sister De Groot  :0)

P.S.  P-days are on Monday.  I have lunch @ 12:35 & dinner @ 5:35, District 51 & my classroom's in 4M 325.  In for Amber is she wants it...  :0)

~3 Nephi 12:14-16

Friday, January 4, 2013

From "The Call" to "The MTC"

During October 2012 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an announcement was made to move up the age that a Sister Missionary could serve a mission from 21 to 19.  Since Janelle had already been counting down the days until she could submit her paperwork (January 14th - 120 days prior to her 21st birthday), the news of the age change only sped up the process.  She called her BYU Bishop immediately at the conclusion of the closing prayer of the Saturday Morning Session, and made an appointment to visit with him that Tuesday evening.  In record time her papers were submitted, and the excitement for where she would be Called to Serve intensified.  Halloween morning we received a call from the American Fork, Utah Post Office informing us that a "large white envelope", addressed to "Sister Janelle De Groot", had arrived.  I called Janelle in Provo (OK, truth be told I had to call her roommates phone at 6am (after numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact Janelle on her own cell) since she had accidentally turned her ringer off the night before!) and she met me in American Fork 1/2 hour later. The call was opened up that evening while numerous family members and friends listened in (many were there in person, and others participated via FaceTime (Keri/Ernesto in Las Vegas and Bill/Whitney in New York), Skype (Erin/Brandon in Brazil), and Cell Phone (Ryan in New York)!  We LOVE technology!!!)


Sister Janelle De Groot, 
you have been called to serve in the Canada Toronto Mission!  Missionary Training Center (MTC) entrance date:  January 2, 2013!!!


Christmas gifts were 
mostly mission related.  Janelle loved the 
Sister Missionary Apron 
we had ordered for her!


The next 9 weeks FLEW by!  Celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's added to the excitement!  Visits from many out-of-town family members made the time go by even quicker (The Tinoco's joined us for Thanksgiving, and again for Christmas; Ryan came for 3 1/2 weeks over Christmas/New Year's; and Bill/Whitney flew in on New Year's Eve with Nina and their newest addition, Elin).  We are SO thankful that so many of our children were in town to help celebrate Janelle during this wonderful time in her life.  We missed the Hooley's in Brazil, but once again are grateful for the connection we feel via Skype sessions!


Janelle spoke in church on Sunday, December 30th.  Afterwards, we had a gathering of @ 50 of her best friends and family members over to visit and eat.  Here are a few pictures from her Open House:


We celebrated New Year's Eve with dinner at Texas Roadhouse, compliments of Ryan (who had given everyone gift certificates for Christmas.  Thanks, Ryan!!)  Afterwards, Bill and I took Lia to the airport to pick up Bill & Whitney and their girls.  Lia and Nina were thrilled to be back together again...and Aunt Janelle loved spending time with these two crazy girls!  

We all enjoyed getting to 
meet sweet Elin, who was 
born on December 3rd!!


 Janelle was set apart as a 
Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Tuesday, January 1st, by President Conrad Gottfredson. Beautiful promises and blessings are hers as she serves obediently. What a PERFECT way to start out the New Year!!!


Wednesday, January 2nd, finally arrived, much to Janelle's excitement! A farewell lunch at Uncle Craig's Gandolfo's Restaurant, in Provo, was Sister De Groot's food of choice before 
heading over to the MTC.  :0)

THANKS, Uncle Craig!!!

SO HAPPY to FINALLY be here!!!
WELCOME to the MTC, Sister De Groot!!!