Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 21, 2011

Friends, Romans, Countrymen!

My address in Brazil is:
-Elder Bryson Thomas Grondel
Brazil Florianopolis Mission
Brazil Missionary Training Center
Rua Padre Antonio D´Angelo, 121
Casa Verde
02516-040 Sao Paulo - SP
Have fun writing that out on my stuff =]
Dear Santa: I really want to get a portuguese quad for christmas. That is literally all I want.
I have been marking mine up like crazy since I have been here learning so much and studying all the time. We started reading a chapter a day in O Livro de Mormon to start our foreign scripture study and it is so awesome how much we can already understand.When it comes to the gospel and the scriptures I can talk about a lot, but when it comes to real life or responses to my questions that is where I am going to have to learn in the field. I am all packed and somehow my bags have a total weight of about 10 less pounds.
Eu amo voces

-Elder Grondel
At 11:30 a.m. yesterday, November 23, 2011, Elder Bryson Grondel arrived at the missionary training center (CTM) in Sao Paulo Brazil. The flight from SLC to Atlanta and then to Brazil took a combination of 24 hrs. He got to call and speak to his family during his lay over in Atlanta, only got 1 min. with Landon:( Now the real journey begins!!!

November 23, 2011


Dear Parents,

We would like to inform you that your missionary arrived safe and well at the São Paulo Brazil MTC.
We are happy to have them with us.
President Clark, MTC President, and his wife are currently on a Mission Tour throughout the Brazil area.
As soon as they return, we will send you an e-mail with a picture of your missionary with the president and his wife.


Davi Ramalho
MTC Presidency Bilingual Secretary

November 15, 2011

I love that section in Mosiah! I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. It is so amazing! During my personal study I find so many answers to the problems that i am going through, or helpful advice for my life or the life on my investigators. They are both scheduled to be ''baptized'' this Saturday and we had the most amazing experience in class: Our professor Irmao Perry had us imagine someone in our lives that we love. Someone that doesn't have the gospel. And how we would want the missionaries to prepare to teach that person. How would WE want the missionaries to talk to them. The lesson was on following up on commitments- For the class period it was following up on when someone hadn't read the book of mormon. Elder Wise and I chose names from our lives and while one of us played the part of the investigator, the other one was a missionary. I was his older brother Josh who is currently inactive and I had him be Tony... Momma I felt the spirit so strongly as I expressed my disappointment. And as I shared my testimony of the book of mormon with him, the importance of it in my life... I could really feel The Savior pleading with my cousin to come unto Christ. To receive the restored gospel.
We are so blessed to be in this gospel. I am so blessed to be a part of this work.
Summary of this week:
1. I love going to the temple! we did endowment sessions the first 3 weeks and the last 2 weeks we have done initiatories. I love the spirit you can feel and the reminder of the promises we receive in the temple during initiatories.
2. One more Elder received his visa and headed off to Brazil
3. Elder Wise and I have taken some cute companionship photos that I will be sending to you fairly soon.
4. We are getting workouts in every day that we can and it is so nice to get a good sweat... because we sweat a lot throughout the day on accident haha.
5. I had to deal with some issues in one of our companionships because one elder was not being receptive to the ideas of the other elder. Elder C said: ''I know this sound bad, but my ideas are better...'' yeah we had a good talk on how both parties could improve and how to establish some personal goals for each of them. A neat experience to apply the leadership training I have received.
6. Sister Emily Kohler is here! haha. we have roughly the same schedule so i actually see her a lot haha

-Remember that I love you!

-Elder Grondel

November 15, 2011

The one thing that I havej really been working on these last 2 weeks is charity. Because I always look for the areas that can be improved in myself and a lot of the time that carries over into the lives of others as well... we are admonished to "avoid pride" "and boast not in our strength, but the strength of the Lord just like Alma.''. This is also making me very grateful for the upbringing that I have had. You taught me very well how to receive and give constructive criticism. Also, you taught me how to be a true leader, a leader who leads with love and understanding. knowing that sometimes we must change our attitudes because the ppl around us are not going to change. I have been blessed with a lot more charity this week, although I still struggle, I am able to forgive more easily and I am so very greatful for your prayers.
It means so much to me to know that people are praying for me. That I am thought of. You have no idea how much I love all of you.

Brady- READ PREACH MY GOSPEL! You have no idea. You MUST read that book before you get to the MTC
-Elder Grondel

November 8, 2011

I remember before my mission when you would apply all the challenges in my life to the book of mormon and how frustrated I would get with all of that. But now that I am out on my mission, I wish I would have paid more attention so that I could do the same things with my investigators! Haha. I hate to say it but you did tell me so! ... is that even a phrase? I'm sure it is. This week has been the best/ hardest week so far I think. Not hard in the sense of pressure or stress, but we have worked really hard over the past week on the language, teaching our investigators and building each other up as a district. We are down to 7 total in the District now 5 elders and 2 sisters total. It makes me sad, but I am really grateful to be working with Elder Wise. We are able to balance fun and work really well (we could be better... but that's why we set goals during companionship inventory) and we have both of our investigators committed to baptism on the 19th of this month! =] (Mind you they are not real... but it's still exciting to have come this far in their conversion process). Our professors are the investigators for us, but they make sure to separate the 2 roles very well and this always us to act like we are teaching a real person. It's amazing how much love you can develop for someone you hardly even know. At times, it's a little scary knowing that as much as you care, they have to make the decision to read o Livro de Mormon or orar (pray), o perguntar a Deus para saber as coisas nos ensinamos e verdadeiras! (ask god to know that things we teach are true). Making commitments is definetely a big deal in the conversion process... You have got to get them involved from the start so they can start to develop their relationship with their Heavenly Father.
I have to tell you that doing Temple sessions on P-day is awesome. Yes I used temple and awesome in the same sentence. I had the most profound, powerful experience while I was doing initiatories today... I really don't know how to explain it, but I learned again that my heavenly father loves me and that He is watching over me. He knows exactly what we need and WHEN we need it. The hardest thing to accept here is that our timing is not the Lord's timing haha. We pray and ask for things taht we want today, or in an hour, but how many times do we ask for help in achieving a long term goal? ... That is one of the most important lessons that I am currently learning here. Also, I am areally starting to understand the importance of prayer in my life. I have never prayed this much in my life. I probably pray personally 4-6 times a day and 2-3 times w my companion and our classes open and close w prayer... So my wife is gunna be WAY hot, and I am developing a real relationship with my Heavenly Father. It's amazing at the end of the day to fall on my knees and thank Him for all his help. And then I am able to ask Him to help people in my life in ways that I never could. I am SO greatful for prayer.
The longer I serve here and the more people I come into contact with... The more I realize how much I like charity.
I am so happy you guys got that CD! I was afraid it would get scratched of broken in the mail, but I'm glad that it made it safely to you. I am going to take some more today and get some from Elder Gallinger of us playing bball in the room (he brought a hoop for the back of the door so we play PIG and dunk on it haha. We have an awesome group). The language is starting to come together more easily. I can use it in some everyday conversations and because Elder Wise and I are ahead of the class we use it to talk about people in front of them hahaha. Nice things... mostly ;) I have to tell you that I HATE the cafeteria here. I cannot stand it. The food is really harsh on my stomach and i think my body too. So I try to eat healthier, but it's really just "less bad." I don't have a lot of time to email, but I want you to know that I love you guys SO MUCH.
A quick summary of events:
-I have been doing workouts w/ Elder Wise on the daily and we are gettting Huge
-I moved into the room w/ ALL the Elders in my district so we are getting really tight
-Brady! do you remember brother moore from EFY?! the ginger teacher!? He wrote me a letter! He got it from my compainion who used to be his Seminary teacher...! Awesome right?? He gave me some great scriptures and he is such an inspiration to me. He really saved my life.
-I was able to take part in a very powerful blessing for one of our Sisters who has been really struggling during her time here
-We have memorized the purpose, the 1st vision, and the baptismal prayer... Also, I memorized Philipians 4:13 in portuguese
-My companion and I have inside jokes out the ying-yang we have a really solid companionship.
-I am currently in the 5th chapter of Alma and I started over when I got here so the goal is to finish by the time I leave.
-I am pretty much in love with Preach my Gospel
I will have more pictures for you very soon and now a little portuguese para voces!

Eu tenho um testimunho de minha Salvador Jesus Cristo foi um profeta e Sua expiacao nos da o opportunidade pare arrepender-se por nossos pecados e ser purificado do pecado. Atraves a expiacao de Cristo nos podemos vencer a morte fisica e voltar e viver com nossas familias para sempre no reino Celestial com nosso Pai Celestial. Em nome de Jesus Cristo amem.

-Elder Grondel

November 1, 2011

This week has probably been the hardest weeks that I have had since arriving at the MTC. We, as a district, talked to our professor about how much pressure we have been feeling to teach lessons to our pescisadors (investigators). The language, the doctrine, the expectations were starting to build up and the entire district was at an all time low. We all just want to be the best missionaries that we can be but it is so hard to see any progress when we have nothing to compare to and our teachers double as investigators so they can't give us feedback on the lessons. They tell us not to worry about the language and focus on the language of the Spirit but it is so hard to keep that in perspective. If it wasn't for humor I would honestly be dying. I am having great experiences here with my district and personally, but missionary work is hard. We want so badly to be the best NOW that we have a hard time feeling successful. Our professor talked to us for a long time about how we will ALL learn the language when we get to Brazil. He said EVERYONE learns the language. "Now is the time for you study the gospel so when you can speak the language you can teach." Then the branch president, President Crosby spoke on Sunday about faith and how we must constantly choose faith over fear and doubt. He made references to learning the language and how we need to focus on: "What am i doing now, right now?" Our entire district (except one elder who feel asleep...) left that sacrament meeting feeling better and we all knew the Lord had prepared that message for us. I love these elders and sisters. I really, truly do. I had some personal thoughts of inadequacy come up this week for myself. I just didn't feel like I was progressing as a missionary in any aspect. I felt like I was kind of hitting a wall w the language, like i would never be able to learn all about the doctrine I was preparing to teach, and I felt like I was failing as a leader. I let my personal problems affect the way I was leading my district and that bothers me the most. I put myself before others, and one of the Elders in my district was having an even harder time than I was. He really needed someone to come in and help him out w his problems. The sacrament meeting helped me overcome a lot of my internal struggles and then our leadership meeting helped me want to be better. We talked about how, as leaders, we don't have time for distractions! We have SO little time, and so much to do that if we let ourselves focus on other things, we are not able to be there for our District. President Crosby said something that I will never forget: "The Lord expects a lot because YOU promised a lot." Before this life we promised to bring people the gospel and to work HARD! At times I feel like spirit Bryce didn't know what he was signing up for haha.
In closing, we lost 2 more Elders from our district so we are now down to 7 total members. 5 Elders and 2 Sisters. I love everybody. Everyone in my original room has left so now I am in the other room w the 4 other elders. I really am not a fan of sharing closet space and living space w so many people. AND i have to sleep on a top bunk again...! Yeah it is SOOOO fun to climb into bed at night when im exhausted and climb down in the morning when I am half dead... not. Not even a little bit haha. I am now onto my 3rd companion. Elder Wise. He has a really good grasp on the language and you guys he is so freaking funny. He makes THE funniest faces and we can go back and forth just laughing about this and that. Our first lesson together was AWESOME. We prepared it in just a couple of minutes and when we taught, everything just worked. It was pretty sweet. I am expecting to get my VISA in the next week or 2. Thanks for the bread! It has been amazing, the shirts were a must! I need a new alarm clock and if you guys could get a voice recorder... that would be awesome.
Eu amo voces!
-Elder Grondel