I am Grampie’s mother.
I was born in Los Angeles, California on June 27, 1931 and named Lillian Carolyn Louise Ahlstrand.
My father, Emil Ahlstrand, and all of my grandparents, were born in Sweden. My mother’s parents, Carl and Carolina Ahlberg, and my father immigrated to the United States. My other grandparents, Carl and Louisa Pearson, stayed in Sweden, so I never met them.
I had two older brothers, Milo and Lyle.
After I was grown up, my parents got divorced.
Two things I did when I was little influenced my life’s work: When I was four and a half years old I began learning to play the piano. The most important thing I did around the same age was that I asked Jesus to come into my heart.
When I was 19 years old, I knew God wanted me to be a missionary. I studied music at BIOLA and George Pepperdine College.
In 1957 I went to teach music at the Christian Academy in Japan. God had a surprise for me there. Leslie Grove, a Canadian missionary I had just met, asked me to play the piano for him when he sang a solo at the conference we were both attending. Thirteen days later he asked me to marry him! Our wedding was on June 12, 1959 in Japan.
God gave us three children, born in Japan: your Grampie, Marilyn and Lisa.
I have written stories about your Grampie so that you will know about his early years. I want you to see how God had a big part in our family life.
Leslie Grove - Great Grandpa Grove - GGpa
I was Grampie’s daddy.
I was born in Rich Valley, Alberta, Canada on May 3, 1930. My parents named me Leslie Alfred Grove.
When I was 13, I knew God wanted me to be a missionary. I graduated from Prairie Bible Institute in 1953. In 1957 I went to Japan to be a missionary with JEM, the Japan Evangelical Mission.
God answered my prayer to find a wife of His choice. I found Carolyn in Japan. I met her at a conference and asked her to play the piano for me while I sang a solo at one of the meetings. She said she would, and she also said, “Yes” when I asked her to marry me thirteen days later! We were married in Japan on June 12,1959.
Our three children, Larry, Marilyn and Lisa were born in Japan.
My father, Knute Grove, died when I was four years old, and my mother, Bernice Grove, married Philip Johnson when I was 13. She passed away before Grampie got to meet her.
My grandparents came to Canada from Norway. My Grandpa, Peter Ellingson, was a preacher who started churches in Alberta. He walked many miles to those churches to get them started.
A little note from GGma:
God called GGpa to Heaven on September 24, 2003 while he and I were in Brazil.
Lillie Ahlstrand - “Nahnee”
I am GGma’s mother, Lillie Ahlberg Ahlstrand. My parents, Carl and Carolina Ahlberg, immigrated to the United States from Sweden before I was born. My dad was a harness and shoe maker. My mom was a seamstress. They were farmers and storekeepers as well. They loved music and also helped start churches.
I was born in South Bend, Indiana.
Emil Ahlstrand immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden and worked on a farm close to my family’s farm in Minnesota. That was where we met.
We were married in 1917. Together we moved to California. Emil was a veteran of World War I. Our two sons, Milo and Lyle were both veterans of World War II. Our daughter, Carolyn, became a missionary in Japan and Brazil.
My granddaughter Christy, Milo’s daughter, and I went to Japan for GGma’s and GGpa’s wedding. I sewed the wedding dress. When Grampie was 6 years old we went to Japan again.
All of my grandchildren called me by my nickname, “Nahnee.”
Wedding Day - June 12, 1959: Nahnee and GGma and GGpa