Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 9, 2013

Family dearest,
At times i am excited, other times i get nervous or sad... the reality hit me the other day like a ton of bricks- missions end, but even still... i don't believe it yet. i don't even remember what life is like outside of the mission. i can't even imagine it yet. I'm so glad i came and i am so glad i stayed. I didn't just survive though. I served and i will be serving until the end. Sprinting through (not to) the finish line.
I will be finishing the transfer with lidership counsel and 3 mission conferences... So we will be playing hard and working hard. We coordinated everything for the conferences and it has been cool to be on the "party planning" side of the operation. We did splits last week in a city that is almost 16 hours from here by bus... BUT we went by plane! haha. So it was a 45 minute flight. hahaha.
It was rad, but going to the airport is trunk-tastic. This week we will be doing splits in Criciúma and next week in Joinville... in total we will have done splits in 5 different areas. I have been able to learn so much and it has been really cool to talk and work with so many different people. We have missionaries from 10 countries on this mission! Think of all the influences and cultures i am able to come into contact with. even though we come from far away places we all have one thing in common and through portuguese we can speak to each other and share that. 
If i have learned anything during my time here, it is that the mission is AMOR! it's just love baby! it is love your comp, love your leaders, love your president, love those you teach and those who reject you, and above all- love the savior. 
I really liked that talk that you guys sent me- that we might not shrink- it helped me see something that i hadn't understood. I liked the phrase: "we must drink the bitter cup without becoming bitter." Life is too short to just suffer and be mad or be scared. 

i love you guys and i am so proud of all of you. The church is true. it is so FREAKING TRUE!

-Élder Grondel jr.

September 2, 2013

I have the best momma and the best poppa do mundo!
It's crazy isn't it? my last 6 weeks are brady's first 6. funny how this all turned out. I feel a lil sad knowing that brady and i won't be able to talk until he comes back from his mission. it is good to be able to email him, but it's not the same. I'm glad that i will be able to give him tips, hints, and i know exactly what he is going through. i know the beginning-the middle- and the end haha. He is worried, that is a very good sign. it means that he cares. if he was chill and relaxed that would be worrisome. 
I talked to president and he said he would look into this last week, but until now... he is in the hospital being treated for kidney stones. He doesn't like water at all... so it's no mystery that he ended up there. he asked us to give him a blessing and when we got to the hospital he was in a polo and sweats... i have never seen him like that and it was oddly comforting. here is a man i have seen in a suit for the past two years leading us from the front. Superman suddenly transformed into a mortal. he is human too! haha. it helped me see the confidence and trust that he has in the Lord. i know that he is being lead and guided from on high. i know that the Lord uses normal people like you guys... and me to carry out His amazing plan. 
I bore my testimony on sunday. It was my last fast sunday here in brazil. I can't believe it is all coming to a close. It passed quickly, but it feels like it has been much more than two years all at the same time.
the transfer will end in a bunch of parties haha. on the 10th we have lidership counsel, on the 13th, 17th, and18th we have mission conferences and president wants us to attend all of them. After the conferences we have to prepare the transfer and pass along the new mission roster. This week we are doing a work over with the zone leaders in chapecó, an area 18 hours by bus from the island. So we are catching a flight this afternoon. Yes, I will be getting on a plane, but not for home haha.
I will talk to president again when he gets out of the hospital about the BYU application.
On the 25th when I get back I promise I will be ready to go through the temple and on the 28th I would really like to be there for jacob’s wedding/ sealing. I do not believe that they are getting married! This life is crazy my beloved family. 2 months since he got back? Okay I am going to beat that record! Not… haha.
Abraços pessoal!
-Élder Grondel jr.

August 26, 2013

Hey so this is my response for the week for everybody,

I had some miracles that i wanted to share with you! Last week we had some less active families at church and this week we found two more on accident! i was walking and i saw a lady walking with grocery bags, she looked nice so i smiled and said goodnight. she stopped and said "hi elders." turns out her family is less active, but we visited them and now are working for them all to come back to church: edilene, ideoberto, karen, and gabriel. The same night, our plans fell through and started knocking doors. i felt like we need to knock at a house that was kind of dark and looked like no one was home. i followed the prompting and we found another less active member- elizete. 
We also had some less than pleasing experiences with less active members... some deny the existence of god entirely, some only have "doubts" about joseph and the truthfulness of the restored gospel, and others pick and choose what they want to believe or what applies to them... i talked with president and he helped me understand how to act in a circumstance "desagradável" with these less active members. 
Also, i have some news for you guys. I started to study doctrine and covenants and i had a very powerful experience with the spirit. i read D&C 1-3. D&C 3 talks about what? martin harris and the 116 pages that were lost. what happened? joseph asked once -NO!, again- NO!, again- ... okay. And now the book of mormon is missing 116 pages of doctrine and history. I have thought about extending my mission more than a few times. the first time is asked i went to mission conference with the question in mind- NO! was the answer. when a member of the 70 came is went with the question in my head- NO! was the answer. I started to think about extending and the Lord said: okay. But recently i have been pondering and when i read D&C 3 sunday morning i thought: "this could be me" during the sacrament i talked with the Lord for a while and in the end i decided to not extend and come home the 24th of September. when i said that in my head, a peace came over me so strongly that i knew the Lord has accepted my mission. He wants me to work until the end! But He is happy with me. I asked the Lord to in some way confirm all of this and so today as i talked with president he said the area presidency has asked the mission presidents to not extend missions and a few months ago a missionary died in a service project with 25 months on his mission. imagine if he had gone home on the right date? 
I love my mission and i will serve faithfully until the end! but i will be home next month. 24th of september. i will email you my itinerary a soon as i have it.

I love you guys. The church is so freaking true!
-Élder Grondel jr.

August 12, 2013

To whom it may concern,

I wanted to start differently this week. Hey so we did the transfer and we are finishing everything for the new missionaries that are getting here tomorrow. We had a good/fun/ kinda frustrating week trapped here in the office and twice we had to leave our area and go back to the office because there were some changes made in the transfer. But it was fun. We worked had and the work isn't so much work anymore. I think i am starting to like this whole missionary thing. Brady and the rest of the bunch will get to know about that here pretty  quickly. It's crazy to think that from the graduating class- brady's and the twins- they make a part of the handful of people that are allowed to enter the temple. And now endowed... i cannot believe it. How great is it to know that God's annointed still stand in holy places? 
Ginger and max! thanks for the photo. It's great that they still get along so great. they will all be going on missions here in a little bit too! who knows, maybe brazil will be there destination as well???
And Sexy Lexy what the heck are we going to do with her? she just needs to hold tight and call elder banner or wait for elder bell to get back. if she needs a boyfriend i just need to make one or two phone calls... seriously you have no idea the quality of friends i have nowadays.
I got baxters email and i will send him an email in like 4 minutes. 
OLIVIA- way to go pretty girl! family history is awesome! did you know that our last name wasn't alway grondel??? me either! well until a few days ago lol. i am excited to be able to sing at the top of our lungs when i get back :)
LEVI + GERRITT- um guys. what the heck? when did you guys become so cool? :P hahaha. You guys are crazy bike jumpers now? and levi! have you scored any touchdowns yet? or have you layed anybody out recently? that's my dood!
DAD- HAPPY FATHERS DAY! here in brazil we celebrated father's day and i just wanted to thank you for everything. i remember until today when you guys left me at the airport and the smile you had on your face. i don't think i understood what was behind that smile until now. You saw all the revelations in personal study, comp study, etc... all the spiritual experiences, hardships, laughs. thanks for giving me a smile and preparing me so well to be the missionary i am today. i don't know how i would be if it wasn't for your example in lidership, hard work, and righteousness. Thanks daddy you are the BEST! Lookout for a letter here in a few weeks aight big D?!

I love you guys,

-Élder Grondel

Aug. 5, 2013

t's Good to hear from you,

I love you guys. Brady is leaving for the MTC in provo. that is good news for now. we have a lot of missionaries that are in other missions waiting for visas so this one month was good and he will be in provo for at least 9 more weeks. We will be in the field at the same time. how crazy is that??  
I always remember the way jake and cake prepared the fishing stuff and practiced at home. they wanted to make a boat to fish in the lake... they don't ever give up on their dreams. i believe they could have caught more than 200! 
So it turns out that our idea to reopen that branch isn't a reality. all the branches within 45 minutes of a chapel are being closed because brasil wants to adopt the same system we have in the US- 2 or 3 wards in the same chapel. we met with the stake presidency and we had a good discussion. we can still work with the less actives and prepare them for the day when the Lord provides them with a chapel. A lot of sin and gossip sunk the branch. We have to be SO careful with this. gossip is one of the many testimony attackers that exist and it can leave a deep scar.
That is rad that brady and mom went to teach. new experience for brady and old experience for momma. but he can't get used to doing splits with sisters :P
Momma! we have to kneel and pray when we don't know what else to do we have to fall to our knees. we also had a neat experience with the stake president with saying prayers on your feet too.
he said that when the area 70 came to train the stake presidents they would do the final prayer on their feet: "We pray on our feet bretheren, to show the Lord that we are willing to leave this room and do what we have discussed and what He has asked us to do." 
I love working with these leaders. as the AP i work right next to president and the other leaders of the mission and church. i learn so much from them and theirs examples. the church is true. it changes lives. it helps all come unto Christ and partake of his eternal salvation. the atonement can only be understood when we learn who He is and live how He lived.

-Élder Grondel jr.

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

Família amada e querida,

So the truth is i haven't taken many pictures this year. when i got transferred i lost my charger for my camera and i never needed a camera cause i always have had a companion haha. but i bought a charger last week and it's working well. i just need to remember to take pictures. we are working in a new area with some really neat members. i think i will start taking a picture a day to make these memories last a little longer. but you guys... i don't have a whole lot of free time ever.... haha. today we were studying and in the middle of our personal study president called for us to do an emergency transfer. we had a couple other transfers during the week as well and we had to make the itinerary for interviews with president. 
this week was awesome. we did splits with the ZL's of a zone close to the island and it was a lot of fun. we made tons of contacts and when we were there they marked 4 baptisms! haha. we didn't do anything, but we got to be part of that excitement! :) The two ZLs are south american. one from chile and the other from argentina. i thought it was so funny- an american and a hispanic working as companions and they don't speak the language of the other... the communicate using another language haha. it's cool how i get to meet so many people from other countries and lifestyles. experience of a lifetime.
I love and miss you guys. i thought about bella and how she is the last little kid in our house. the babies are growing up and i will miss that a lot. but i know that here in a little while their will be munchkins running around the house calling me dad... scary thought.
Like i was saying... we are working in a new area. Well our area and this other area. It is called Tapera. the stake had opened a branch there of about 30, but it closed... three times. we are going to meet with the stake president to make some goals, but for now we are working with reactivation. the members there are going to our ward. they have to take a 30 minute bus ride to church and another 30 back home every sunday. Their are a ton of less active members there. we want to reopen the branch, but it has failed 3 times already so we need to do something different.
I am really excited. I know the Lord will do miracles in this new area. The stakes of zion will be strengthened and the work will go forth. 
how cool is that? we get to be a part of this work. I can't tell you how much my mission has taught me. but it's not just the experiences, it's Jesus Christ teaching me. i really feel the spirit in my life and it is something that is changing the way i talk, the way i pray, the way i think and act... The church is true.

i love you guys a ton!
-Élder Grondel jr.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 22, 2013


Another week that seemed to take forever, but passed SO quickly! You know how it is out here. days pass like weeks, but weeks pass like days. We are making a lot of contacts. We are talking with a lot of people and we are finally starting to get a teaching pool. The last transfer we did 3 work overs with zone leaders and we had to help president with 2 conferences plus the transfer = almost no time in our area. But it's all good. The Lord is preparing people to hear us. We are teaching more and we are happy. I cannot tell you guys how great it is to be companions with Élder Alison again. We get along really well and we have a lot of ideas to improve just about everything. 
Today for pday lunch i made french toast and maple syrup. for a second i thought i was seated at the island... it was crazy. But hey, i am sending you guys an envelope with a letter for the 2 gpas. i didn't know the addresses and it's cheaper if i send them this way... this week elder alison's grandma passed away. We got the call at about 9 in the morning. President let him call his family and talk with his mom and dad. His parents aren't members and i listened as he pleaded with his mom to let the missionaries visit her and teach about the plan of salvation.
I don't think we understand the importance of the gospel until the people that we love the most don't have or don't want it... it was sad, but my comp is a champ. he worked hard and didn't let his mind wander. 
Miracles are happening in our mission and in our area. we are really pumped. I loved seeing twinkies again and the slip and slide hahaha! I love my family. You guys are the best!

Amo muito vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.