Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 20th, 2012

Thank you so much for all of your love and support.

This week was really rough. We had a lot, and i mean a lot of visits fall through and we did a ton, and i mean a ton of walking this week. I am learning to work things out in my head better and also to ponder the scriptures. . The mission teaches so much and gives you a chance to build and nourish relationships with all kinds of personalities. 
We found a really special family this week that went to church and we marked a baptism for saturday. So at the end of the day, we had a tough week, but the fruits at the end were very sweet.

I love you guys a ton and hope that you have a great thanksgiving. The Lord loves you guys so much. I know he loves me. He is happy when we do what is right and He feels sad when we do what is wrong. He gave us the spirit so that we could know what is right always.

I love you guys!

-Élder Grondel jr.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012

Gente do céu!

This week was very interesting. Our house emptied and filled with all new elders... and actually the entire zone haha. only 4 elderes stayed and 6 elders arrived. The other companionship here got white washed so they passed a pretty rough week, but they are good elders and have energy to do the work. My comp is a super star. Super humble and he inspires me to open my mind more to possibilities. His faith is outstanding and he is basically Elder Martin all over again. So i feel like as i respect and serve him, i am also making up for how i treated elder martin. This week we lost a day because of the zone counsel, but we still had outstanding numbers and we found some really special less active families that are part members. We had a really neat experience on sunday with a brother from floripa. He lives there but came to videira to give a training. Also, he spoke in sacrament meeting about how grateful he is that he had enough courage to read and pray about the book of mormon and after, enough courage to be baptized, go on a mission, and be sealed with his wife in the temple. it was exactly what our investigator needed to hear.

After the meeting i thanked him personally and he pulled us aside to talk for about 15 minutes. Dad, mom... the Lord inspires people to pass along his words. I have been praying for weeks and yesterday this brother answered my questions, doubts, and gave me new ideas for the work. Coupled with the desire of my companion... I really feel unstoppable. The Brother said: "Your nametag has two names and that means you are never alone. You never stand alone or testify alone. there are many callings in the church that bring us close to Christ but not one will bring us closer than the calling of an Elder. When an apostle receives his calling we don't call him aposlte (blank) we call him Élder..." He bore his testimony to us and I knew that he knew i had been waiting for these answers. It was amazing.
I love you guys and i miss hearing from everyone.
It was 33 degrees celcius yesterday and it's only going to get better as the year rolls on. QUE bênção e maravilha! I am with an american comp but as always, we don't speak english and we don't plan to. We are very excited for this transfer and everything is looking up :)
Amo muito vocês!
-Élder Grondel jr.

November 5,2012

Hey so i don't know if i already told you that i love you guys...

But i do. I love all of you. This week was really tough, because we had an emergency transfer... my comp and another elder in our house got transferred. So me and Élder Alcântara worked together this week and we had to cover the whole city. So it was pretty intense. But we had a good week and got some serious work done. Unfortunately, as with all of the transfers and all my comps, i didn't realize how much i liked them until they were leaving. Elder Banner is now one of the assistants and the other, Elder Hillstead, is now a zone leader. I think these were two successes in the zone. also, another elder is now training, and the best part, Elder Mollenhauer went home, but baptized a family on his last saturday and then confirmed them all on sunday. That is a victory for all of us.

Also, we had a cool esperience. One companionship was not making a lot of contacts so i felt inspired to call and challenge them- 10 contacts today... but something strange happened. they accepted the challenge and i promised them if they made 10 they would find someone prepared to hear our message. And you know what? They found one and he is preparing for baptism... Dad, i have that same thought - "why didn't i think of that?!" but in the end we are all winners. We are a team and we will be blessed as a team. WE NOT ME! It was very special to know that the Lord inspires us and guides us. The church is true. It is so truy :)

Love you all,

-Élder Grondel jr.

October 29, 2012

Oi meus queridos e preferidos,

This week we decided we were going to take our work to a new level. 100 street contacts. yes, this isn't the door to door on a road, this is stop someone, talk, and contact. I felt a lot of pressure to reach our goal during the week. we had fasted that the lord would soften the hearts of the people here, so we knew that we had to do our part as well. I am pleased to say that we made 109 street contacts! On sunday though, it was like this- we had 81 contacts and i was in sacrament meeting. one of the speakers asked us all to think about something that we want, right now... i thought "to find and teach someone to help him/her be baptized." then i thought... why? why do i want to make 100 contacts? why do i want a bunch of lessons? baptisms?... for president? to tell people about how many people i baptized on my mission? or because i love my savior and my heavenly father so much that i will strive to their work? ... i had to look in the mirror and give myself a gut check with that question- Why? De verdade Élder?

we were watching the best two years and the elder slacker that became good was talking about numbers and how they aren't as important as something else. he said- "it's all about the work" Maybe it's not baptisms, maybe it's reactivation or helping the ward. We have to be about doing good all the time. I am learning daily. I have a notebook i carry with me of revelation i receive during the day. it is so neat to look back and see how the Lord has taught me and responded to my questions. i love the book of mormon. i really do! haha. :D

Good week, our zone got a bunch of baptisms this month so we are very happy. The assistants that came taught us that we need to be worried about the success of our zone and not so much our area. "if you take care of the zone, the Lord will take care of your area." I have always been bad with rejoicing in others successes. i remember when rand went cold the year i went to state and how that affected our friendship, but i have done the same thing. maybe not verbally, but in my mind i have had a battle going on. My pride is a monster that threatens to destroy everything that i do. My pride makes me scared, angry, unmotivated, greedy, thoughtless, and worst of all- selfish. this work cannot be about me. When i find joy in the success of others, the Lord will find joy in my successes for Him.



-Élder Grondel jr.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 21,2012


So this week was really tough. We had some rough days when everything fell through and i realized that it has been a long time since i've had lessons fall through like this. The families have almost always been at home and i almost had a hard time believing that they weren't home. It just goes to show that the Lord needs you to be prepared. We had some late nights because of lessons and we were unable to plan twice- if we aren't prepared, the Lord will not prepare his children, and it is even less likely that He will trust us with them. I incredibly, did not get frustrated haha. I think your prayers are being answered because this week we had a young couple that is progressing really well and a less active member at church on sunday! We are going to work more with less actives and really work on top of people. I just feel sad with these less actives that are sad, have problems, and don't want to pray-read-or go to church. Just go to church! homem do céu! puxa como a vida é um saco as vezes.

But we are teaching some neat people. We cut just about everyone this week and decided- 2 weeks without progress and we have to cut. Also, we have made plans to work more with members. After lunch we always leave a message and last week we decided to plan it on p-day and use one message for the whole week. We planned really well so that the week would have a nice, polished message to thank the members. We had a really neat experience on saturday with the branch president of ipoméia (where the church started... his family is one of the first mormon families in brazil). They had been passing some rough times and our message was exactly what they needed to hear.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, but He is always working.

I love you guys a ton and i am super proud of all of your achievements.
Caleb, I love you and i know that at times XC is not fun. At times football looks like it matters more, but you are competing and i am super proud of you for sticking with cross country. You are awesome cakers. I want to know when you race and you times! haha. I prayed for you the day of your first meet. I hope you felt an extra boost from you brother in brazil.

I love you all and bella too! haha. You guys really are the best. I couldn't think of anyone else i would want forever.

Amo muito vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 15, 2012

Teaching the gospel to every creature...

Hey thanks for the training tip! I hope that you guys liked the photos and some of the stories... i cannot believe that we have been apart for a whole year. One year on the mission and now one year and 3 days... it is so crazy to think that all this time is and has passed by. I still feel like i don't know what i am doing at times haha. I find myself at times questionning why the Lord called me to be zone leader. He has a purpose for me and we had a really neat experience on my hump day. We had marked to do a division, bought the tickets, and then... there was an emergency transfer and a new Élder came into the area. To us it didn't make sense to do a division. only the district leader knew the area and the other elder didn't even know how to get home... poor thing. his second day, and 3rd week in the field (he is doing a "mini mission"-3 month mission and after he will go to the mtc and his mission). it wasn't too far from our city so we could have returned to our area. So to us- one companionship would make visits and the other would... make contacts? It made more sense to wait a week, but we felt very strongly that we needed to stay. so we stayed, we worked with them, and in the end the Lord revealed WHY we had to stay. The mini mission elder had asked for the emergency transfer because he had been with an elder who was not working. that day we had attacked the area book and taught them how to work better with members, investigators, and each other. We had a mini training session with them and then left for work. I went with the DL and elder banner with Élder antunes. After the day was over he told elder banner: "I thought missionaries were perfect, i know they aren't, but what i saw in my other area was not missionary work. Thank you so much for everything you guys have done today. Thank you for taking this work seriously." In tears he thanked Élder Banner for the work that was done. I didn't find out until after our division when we were on the bus coming back home. The Lord knows better than we do.

I need help with being patient, because recently i am not. I am picking and choosing when i want to really truly love people ya know? i am more frustrated with myself than others. I feel less than sufficient and i just want to help. But i feel like despite our work, and we are working HARD, we don't have the fruits to show it. This week we are going to have to cut 3 families that we have been teaching. in 3 weeks they haven't been progressing and we when they go to church it is so 1 or 2 of 5 or 6... it is frustrating. i don't know how else to bear testimony and explain how this will bless their lives.

I love you guys a lot and am so glad that the Lord put me into the Grondel family. We are blessed and the athletic side with jake, cake, and levi just goes to show it. Way to go you guys, jake i will be praying for you. Maybe this will be a time for reflection. when my acl tore i learned a lot about god and who my real friends were. What does the lord want you to learn from this? this has to be the focus- what can i gain? not what did i lose?

YOu are perfect i love you... don't change! for anything!


-Élder Grondel jr.

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

feel like we are having a lot of birthdays recently! i am having mine on friday. can you believe it has been a whole year? I have a really hard time believing that i have been here a whole year. I was thinking about all that i have learned and felt. How i went from knowing 0 words in portuguese to speaking with anyone and everyone about the gospel. I think about the tears of strife and happiness. The brazilian hospital, lots and lots of rice and beans hahaha, spiritual experiences like hugging the book of mormon for the first time (i already bought a portuguese quad :), meeting Élder Godoy of the seventy, and really starting to hear the voice in the scriptures instead of read the words in them.
I look at the weaknesses i have now and how i would never have known they existed without my mission. I don't pray like i used to. I sit and talk with my Heavenly Father, i practice teaching lessons with him, and he gives me feedback and new ideas to try. I have two very special notebooks, one to carry and one on my bed in which i write revelation. I have my study journals, but when the Lord speaks to me i write His words in my little notebooks. He loves me.

I had a really neat experience with general conference. I was struggling with my accent recently. Because people were not understanding a word here and there and they were commenting more and more about it... I thought of moses and how he stuttered and couldn't even teach his people. in exodus 4 the Lord teaches him a very valuable lesson in the form of a question: "Who made the mouth of a man? Was it not I?" We have to trust in him that his spirit will overpower our accent and empower our words and testimony. At general conference for the first time i noticed the accent of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. did you guys know that he is from germany and english is a second language to him? haha. He says some words incorrectly and has an accent, but He was called by God and when he speaks, he speaks with POWER! Elder Gonzalez of the seventy from uruguay speaks with a very heavy accent as he teaches a strong message. the message is filled with power and as i cried to myself during that session (we set up a tv to watch in english) I knew the Lord had called me to speak in a different language like he had called those inspired men.

'And if men come unto me, i will show unto them their weakness. And i give weakness to men so they might be humble... "e minha graça basta para todos"

I got zacks package and it came at the right time. I had just run out of peanut butter haha. Thanks a million zack and the abbot family. Thank you for your pictures and testimonies. Thank you "Sister" abbot for your thoughtful card.

I would love a pen drive! that would really simplify my life. Also, more peanut butter and reeses peanut butter cups... just that for now :D

I love you guys so much!

Listen to president uchtdorfs talk again and then listen to elder holland's. Do we love our families?... do we really love them? Mom and Dad I love you guys Brady, lexi, jake, cake, livi, leevers, gerr gerr, bella, landon and addi (thought i forgot you huh?) i love you guys to. I hope that you know it, like the savior knew that peter loved him.

i love you guys!

-Élder Grondel jr.

ps: this week was great. we had counsel with president in floripa... eight hours from here by bus. we missed the bus.... got a taxi and chased down the bus hahahaha. We forgot our suit coats... but there are extras in the office haha. We taught some crazy people, made some funny contacts - "oh you go to that apostasy on the hill? next to that big field? oh okay yeah i know where that is. next to the river of dirty water uh huh and it's on the hill so it looks like it's floating..." haha. or -

"have you been to the church of jesus christ?" -elder grondel

"no i go to the matriz (catholic)" - potential investigator maria

"You go to the matriz? How come you don't go to the church of jesus Christ?!" -elder grondel

"... ? ..." - ex potential investigator maria



We left a training that was awesome with the elders at our zone meeting. I made an I'M IN sign and used a axe i broke a month ago doing service for a less active member. I used D&C 24:12 and explained that WE ARE TRULY IN the Lords work when we work so hard that we break the axe. It wasn't until i concentrated every fiber of my being on cutting the wood that i broke the axe. i painted it red- find, yellow- teach, blue- baptize, and white- confirmation

October 1, 2012

This week we had the transfer and we now have THE smallest zone in the mission. I like it because i know the names of all my elders and now i can give trainings a little more specific to help them. it is actually kind of cool because now i know the names of their investigators and some of the members. WE are starting week 3 of the purification and we aren't speaking english. i feel like the lord is happy with that because it is easier to remember new words and to speak! i have dreams in portuguese every now and then, but in my dreams you guys all speak portuguese too! what the heck? and you all speak better than me. but it is all good.

This last week 27 elders went home and we only received 9 new elders because of visa problems. so president closed 9 areas. 9! my comp elder martin went home, my "gpa" went home, and one of my very good friends (who plays d-line at SUU!) went home. I miss them but it opened my eyes... will i be THAT elder for someone else? will someone look to me like a hero? what kind of impact am i making? what kind of a legacy will i leave?

I thought about you guys a lot this week and prayed for each and every one of you. Especially landon and addi. i know that it isn't always obvious, but i love you guys. i told my comp yesterday- "elder if i could go back in time i wouldn't have friends. i would hang out with my mom, my dad, and my siblings." i am shocked with young men who get married instead of going on a mission. You have no idea what you are missing. You have no idea what you still do not understand and what the lord expects of you. I have learned how to stand on my own two feet in hostile environments knowing the lord would guide me. This growth never would have happened at home. I have learned a ton about my heavely father and i am so grateful for all that he does. He really loves me.

It is so true about criticism! we make these little jokes and it is fine because it is funny! but it isn't. we need to be so careful. we have no idea who or how we can be hurting or offending.

Parabéns para todos vocês! i am so happy to get my email and know that everyone is doing well and having success. i am trying to send pictures and recordings but i have ran into some problems.

... So this week i told the Lord that i wanted to work on Hope. So our baptism fell on thursday in the form of a text. we went to the house, resolved the problem, prayed like crazy, and then... she didn't go to church. I know the Lord tested my faith, but i learned that the Lord will provide. She had some problems in the family and still wants to be baptized. So this month she will. Even though she didn't go, we had a new family there and another family where dad isn't a member... yet!

This week is staying positive and i realized that i complain. It is almost a skill. because i do it really well. haha

pray for me and my companion!

i love you guys

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24th, 2012

I spent a long time rearranging my photo album putting the new pictures next to the old ones... Wow, everyone is changing and growing up. It seems like i wanted to grow up and get away, but now i want to stop and go back! I think about jake and cakers going on missions after i get back and what that will be like. Or what happens when i go to college for realz... so close but still really far. I really love you guys and i hope you know that i miss you. Each and every one of you guys individually. The pictures were and are awesome thank you so much. I know how hard it is to take time out for someone that isn't even there with a million other things going on!
This week was good. We taught a record number of lessons and are preparing a couple people for baptism. I still get frustrated at times with myself, but i am seeing the Lord's hand in my life more and more. This week we had an intense comp. inventory and i am once again convinced that i will not be getting married ever haha. I guess the problem is i critique myself so much that at times i don't even like me... so how will i like anyone else??? The Lord has been helping me overcome this, but charity is not easy. I feel like the Lord has me on a mission to learn humility, charity, and gratitude.
I learn so much about each of these points every day. We are trying to reactivate a family right now, mom less active + dad alcoholic + 17 yr daughter who has a son + 20 yr son who recently left a clinic for alcoholics. It is amazing how i see MY family in other people and this makes the work a lot easier. I hope that we can do our part because the Lord will do His. We did a division this week and i met ANOTHER missionary from seattle haha. This transfer has gone by soooo fast i hardly believe that it has almost been a year. Now i feel like im racing against the clock! Pressure is on!
I love you guys!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sept. 17, 2012

Momma e Daddy,

I tried to attach the recording last week and i though it went through so i deleted it to make room on the recorder! ugh! technology drives me nuts some times. But i sent the email to dad again and i just hope that at least the email goes through. So we started a 40 day fast of poor behaviors... and today is day 8. It is not easy and we find ourselves self criticizing a lot, but we are learning patience and humility. We chose english as one of our poor behaviors. the missionary manual says we should use the language of our mission the entire time. So nothing but portguese 24/7. it is already helping and on our lists (individual lists) of poor behaviors it is probably the easiest haha. I am really grateful for inspiration. And i am so grateful for revelation. personal revelation! We visited a family this week and the daughter said: "i don't totally believe in God because i don't know where he came from... but i pray to a higher power or grand achitect" Her mom on the other hand is catholic and believes in God... So i asked: "How do you know that God exists? and that he loves you?" she didn't have a very solid answer (like most people we ask she said - "because sometimes we ask for stuff and it appears so i think he exists"). She didn't like her answer so she asked me how i know. I smiled haha. Looked at the ground for a second and said: "I know He exists because i have an open conversation with Him. I talk to Him and He talks back!" We can't ask and wait for Him to prove Himself! haha. We have to actively seek Him. This week i have been keeping track of some cool experiences. After a tough day i got into my bed to review my purification list (behaviors to stop or change) with the Lord, but i was sad and frustrated.We had sat down with a family to explain the book of mormon and they were not understanding. We were sitting with dad, his brother and the neighbor. They said: "every one has their way of believing and obeying the commandments" to which i said: "That is right, and so does Christ. So what you think and what i think doesn't matter. Only HIS WAY is the right way." ... So the man's wife came out of the kitchen yelling! "Stop wasting our time! we are already saved! you need to find someone that needs this message. We already know the words and will of God." ... to which i replied. "Do you remember the faricese and saducese? The used the bible too and they questioned Christ using it. Our SAVIOR! The one who wrote the bible! So he asked them a question- do you read to scriptures? (here i asked them- you all read the bible?) and christ replied- then you do not understand them." I then explained the book of mormon and the importance of a modern day prophet. long story short we will never go back to that house haha.
I said- "Heavenly Father i am in some serious need right now. You know it and i am asking for a word of comfort. Show me in your words what the Lord expects of me." I had my quad (portuguese... english is not allowed) and i opened right then and there. 2 Nephi 6:17-18:

17 But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; afor the bMighty God shall cdeliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them that contendeth with thee—

18 And I will feed them that oppress thee, with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine; and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy aRedeemer, the bMighty One of Jacob.

My God is bigger than anything else in this world. no matter the obstacles, He is bigger. His church will grow, His truth will change lives, and His justice will fall upon those who deny Him.

Sept. 9, 2012

We had an amazing week as companions and as a zone... in reality, as a mission. We had zone counsel with president and it was amazing. We learned a ton and i am still amazed with how much i am learning everyday here on the mission. I cleaned the bathroom today and as i was cleaning i thought of a cool quote i heard about christ's atonement: "You don't understand the strength of the wind by laying down, but by standing on two feet and walking against it." Christ understands best our trials because he NEVER bowed to them, so yes... better than anyone he knows. As i cleaned the bathroom i thought: "You don't understand how dirty the bathroom is by looking at it (or smelling it...) but when you grab a sponge, a rag, and a mop and clean it on your hands and knees." I thought a little about how King Benjamin worked 'with his people' instead of making them work for him. I need to work more with the Elders to help them out. We had our first zone conference and i was nervous right up until we started... the second we started- butterflies left. Um... what!? We left a really solid training with the Elders and one came up to me after and said: "Usually we have zone conference just to have it, but today was diferent. Thanks Elder Grondel, thanks Elder Banner. we really needed that." How neat? I am so greatful for this opportunity i have to serve and learn to fight pride. This week was hard. I gave into my pride. I dominated the lessons, didn't trust my companion and it really affected the both of us. We started a 40 day fast of poor behaviors and i put 'confiding in myself instead of the Lord and his servants' as one attitude that must be overcome. yesterday, during a lesson i was praying soooo hard that the Lord would help me. I had the bible in my hands and the Lord said: "i need to talk to you" i had been kind of leafing through for the next verse and when i heard Him i stopped and read the first verse: Psalms 121:1-2. I will leave that for you to read! But the Lord showed me that my companion is my relief and my aid. I cannot do this alone. and if i try to, i will not suceed.
I have learned some neat lessons these past few weeks but one is that the Lord really talks with us if we let Him. So this week, when you guys are doing personal study in the book of mormon (because you all study everyday :) I want you to start with prayer and bring a question to the Lord in that prayer. Ask him something about your life. A frienship, school, a problem. And how you can improve or resolve that. In the session, wherever you are, He WILL! you don't have to study by topic to receive answers. I promise if you do this, you will find a newer and stronger relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Amo muito vocês!
-Elder Grondel jr.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Aug. 20, 2012

Hey dad,
Just so you know i have been studying in mosiah 14-18 these last couple weeks and i have found a lot of similarities between the mission of alma and me. It was so cool to read and apply what happened there- alma says he only taught those who accepted him and they were MANY! this is proof that people are prepared to hear our message and there are a LOT of them who are just waiting. But he doesn't stop there, he talks about what the people did to pursue his teachings and seek more! they went into a jungle infested with wild beasts to hear his words. and i love how simply he teaches he says that he taught faith in christ, repentance, and the plan of salvation (redemption). People don't need to know everything to gain a testimony and be baptized. but they do need to be hungry and willing to learn more.
Dad, i just got called as zone leader and i need a lot of help. The assistants came and will be working with us until next sunday, but i know you got called early, so maybe you could send me so ideas of how to help, train, and inspire the elders. also, how to raise the standard for them and push them. I need to love, but president expects a lot and im sure the seventy who calls for the numbers of the mission isn't happy go lucky with president fernandes.
I am in a city called videira and i am working with Elder Banner- american- and he is LANDON if he was into musical theatre instead of guns. Same voice, hand gestures, jokes, it is awesome and i love it!
I love you dad and i am so glad that you have so many opportunities to teach. You deserve it! You have worked so hard and it is a great example for me to be able to see the cumulation of all the sacrifices and hard work.
Thanks dad! I love you,
-Elder Grondel jr.

Aug. 13, 2012

Another week of AMAZING! just flew by and the answer is yes... i still rock. it is weird thinking that i have been on the mission for 10 months... 5 months here in Palhoça and i just finished training Elder Alison. He is one of the best missionaries i have had the privilege of working with. he is obedient, he is hungry to study, and he wants to help more than anything. he has ideas and stuff he wants to try to go above and beyond the calling. It has been so humbling working with him. Because i got to a point thinking: "how can i help him? or am i failing him?" and yesterday we had our last companionship inventory. It was tough knowing that we will have to say goodbye tomorrow, but i will tell you right now, it was so rewarding and so fulfilling. In tears, he thanked me for everthing, the compliments, the critiques, the help, the patience... a really neat experience that i hope he has here in 3 months- because he just got called to train! The new missionary will take my place and i am headed to a city called Videira! the land of the grapes as they call it here. lots of juice, wine... joke! and coldddd!
We had mission conference with a member of the seventy- Elder Godoy! I barely know him, but i love that man. (more in the recording). Just being around him made me want to be a better person, to think more positively. I think that is what embodies a humble leader. a true disciple of christ lives what he believes to the extent that people literally "see his good works and glorify his father in heaven." What a privilege i had to sit and talk with him one on one!
I was reading what brady said and i think at times i would have been jealous but i, to this day, remember that feeling when i took 3rd at state. Electricity! Pure adrenaline, pride, joy, sadness- an extasy that i cannot really describe. But when brady and the tumwater thunderbirds got to the state finals... it trumped that feeling. When brady filled the hole on 4th and inches and stuck the running back in the backfield..! I remember that like it was yesterday. I jumped up (on one leg cause of my crutches haha) and cheered so loud haha obnoxious loud. And when the game was over i remember fighting through the crowd to hug my brother. I was SO proud!! I got to him and the tears leaped into my eyes. it was a joy that wasn't gained by my accomplishment or my effort, but it was because Brady is a state champion. And when he won the hammer at the banquet, once again that feeling came. And once, will you just show off a little bit?!?
Jacob, remember that you are the best one on the field. Right now. You are the best, most qualified, and hardest working at your position. Go out and be the best Jake every single day. Not for coach otton, not for tony prentice, not for mom, dad, brady, me... do it for you. Cause you love this game. More than the two of us combined. Go out and love it jake. Have fun and always, ALWAYS stay cocky.
I love you guys a lot. I had a chance to meet up with some great friends at the mission conference. namely elder bell (aka my best friend in the world) and elder noel (are you guys friends with his parents on facebook? they live in seattle...). it was so great to see our progress in the language, teaching, maturity... i love these guys. my friends from home have not written me haha. ever. totally deserve it, but the friendships i am making here on the mission, i will have forever, literally. I love my MTC districts 54-E and 49-B. holla! haha.
I love you guys! Have a great week and remember that Heavenly Father is taking care of me so don't worry. Where the heck are my glasses!? :P

Feito com amor,
Elder Grondel jr :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Aug. 6 2012

Dearest family, how i loveth thee!

So i learned once again that mom and dad are always right. about everything (you will understand in the recording...)
I went on division with elder atoa a couple weeks and ago and we were talking about what we would do if we could go back in time 2-3 years... we both agreed that we would punch me in the face and if that didn't knock some sense into me, we would have to repeat the action. Gosh! you learn so stinkin much to late haha. i sent an email to president saying- "i don't feel good enough president." he responded- "Elder, the day you feel qualified to be a missionary in all the facets of the work, you will be getting on a plane and going home. the same happens with bishops, stake pres, and mission presidents." This all goes back to what my MTC professor (Shout out to my boi Jare bear) Irmão Perry said: "Throughout your missions the Lord is going to bend you and mold you. A little bit here and a little there, but he is never going to stop." He went on to explain that the last 3 months of his mission were the most difficult.
oh, are you guys watching the olympics?! we got to lunch and a family had the olympics on =/ i always loved watching the olympics as a family. i remember we always, ALWAYS watched gymnastics together in the summer and ice skating/hockey in the winter. It's funny what we take for granted. And even funnier the things that stick :)
-This week when we were teaching the restauration at mari luci and jose's, mari luci explained how the gospel has made her more patient, how her faith in christ has grown, and it was so neat to see someone that has truly been converted to the gospel. She can't read very well, but she wants to so bad. When we extended the invite to read to her friend andre, she added her testimony. "Andre you are a really great person and you deserve this. if you don't read... you don't know what you are missing." (ELDER PERRY- i will come back in 2-15 years and see her and jose in the temple!)
-So when an investigator takes a liking for an Elder or elders we give her the name: SNAKEY! and we got our first one this week. usely a snakey is 5-10 years old and adorable... but our snakey is 20 and assustadora! puxa vida família! haha. we marked to do a visit with the family, but when we got there we realized that she had a totally different view of our visit. Mom was cool, bro was sleeping, and snakey was getting ready for prom! Seriously! She was finishing her hair in a dress and heels with all the makeup. Elder Alison asked: "are you going out?" hahaha. she responded: "no... why?" hahaha. Luckily we brought the ward missionaries with us so the environment wasn't weird. Mom got an answer, but snakey, oh silly snakey, wasn't as interested in the message as she was in the messengers. yeah.
We went to a less active members house and made candy bars! he taught us how to do everything and oh my gosh they are soooo good! So now i don't need school. WILLY WONKA! :P

Eu amo vocês!
-Elder Grondel

July 30th 2012

I love you guys,
I cannot believe the shirleys are actually going this time. so many times they said, they planned, and it finally happened. WE DONT NEED THEM ANYWAYS! WE CAN HAVE ALL THE FUN WE WANT WITHOUT THEM! :P nah that makes me sad gang. they were always such good friends and brian ... bishop shirley helped me out so much in my preparation for the mission. i will forever be grateful.
That ice cream... i showed it to my companion and he didn't believe me hahaha. they don't have that serving size here and it would be SO expensive if they did haha. This week president came to our ward and it was great. He gave a training that went SO well. i learned a ton about being a future leader- young mens pres, elders quorum pres, bishop, stake pres... he said that the ward grows in 3 ways:
1- baptism
2- reactivation
3-... (the elders and sisters cannot help here) Having babies!
But how can we help? how do we make these 3 happen?
1- Interviews! If you are the president you should interview every single member in the quorum- know where he lives, what he does, family, etc...
2- Executive comitee has to happen weekly (invite the missionaries 10-15 minutes)
3- Visits have to happen- not just once a month home teaching, but visits to members in the quorum, leaders, friends... invite friends over to watch a movie and invite the elders or sisters to drop by after. invite a family over for family night and invite the missionaries to provide the message!
In 5 years as a stake president, 7 chapels became 30 chapels, 1 stake became 3 stakes, and the numbers exploded. President then went on to read D&C 58 where it says that we should always be involved in a good cause and perform much righteousness. A servant that needs to be commanded in all things is not of worth...
I love president fernandes. He is teaching me so much more than just the gospel. he is teaching (us) me how i can be a great husband in the future, a great dad, a better person. How i can be sucessful in business, school, family, church leadership positions...etc. I am so grateful for being here on the mission. This week we found a really special family and we taught the restoration... when we finished the lesson and were about to leave the commitments to read, pray, and visit the mom asked: "so if i wanna visit your church... where is it and what times during the week?" haha. They accepted the baptismal invite and we had a great day! on saturday we got into 4 new houses! that is more than i have ever done in a day... and in some cases weeks! The Lord is preparing the way for us. We found and taught another family haha. We made the contact and he asked how long the message takes. "Can you do it in 15 minutes i have to leave at 6:30?" ... YES! haha. We got in the house, taught the restoration, and the spirit was really strong! at the end he said that his parents were members but they passed away a while ago. They were baptized after he had already left the house, but he would like us to come back so he can learn more.
People are prepared and i realized this week that it is not us vs. them. no. we have a message that is really special. it can change lives and help everyone that hears it. they don't know what they are missing!
The gospel is true, the angel flew, true blue and all the way through! OORAH! haha. oh ps: USA! USA! USA! :D
Amo vocês!
-Elder Grondel
pps: i am thinking about changing my name tag to ELDER THOMAS... because no one says my name write and they end up calling me Elder Grande which means big... or Grandão (Grandow) which means really big.

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23rd 2012

July 23, 2012

July 23 2012


Oi pessoal! Tenho boas novas de grande alegria! :D This week was solid, difficult, but solid. Our good friend Anderson was baptized and we had a member in almost all of our lessons, they became friends, and the member-Jonas- performed the baptism. Jonas is still on the fence with serving a mission, 22 years old and waiting for something... but we challenged him to fill out his papers go through the tests and wait for his call. He agreed and he was SO excited at the baptism! We are doing great work here, but it is just like dad said- you get one baptism and you just want more hahaha. never satisfied. We have 2 investigators that want to be baptized- one needs to get married and the other doesn't come back until the 27th... so we are working on a wedding and some other families in the meantime.

This week we got 10 new investigators... right? this is AWESOME! 10!... but a lot of them didn't understand our message, didn't want it, or didn't accept it. Even though they felt the spirit!! They all have their agency, but it makes me sad knowing that they viewed our message as an obligation and not a blessing. HOW HARD IS IT TO SAY A PRAYER AND ASK GOD IF OUR MESSAGE IS TRUE??? (Deep breath). The church is true, the priesthood authority was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, the book of mormon is proof that God loves us. NEWS FLASH: if you ONLY believe in the bible you believe that God ONLY taught the people in the middle east. And that the teachings of Christ were ONLY important for them. Which means that ONLY those children of God were worth saving... if ONLY you could understand how much God loves us 2 Nephi 28-29 :)

I had a really neat experience with prayer this week i wanted to share with you guys:

-I was doing laundry and sometimes (a lot of times) the spin cycle in our washer (we dont have dryers) doesn't work. it is REALLY cold here so it takes a day or 2 to dry our clothes. But i was out of bottoms nah mean? Totally out and i had tried 3 cycles the night before and that morning and the washer was not working with the spin. my clothes were soaked and i would have to spend 20-30 minutes wringing them out and even then... 2-3 days to dry. I stopped in the middle of everything and knelt down to say a prayer. something like this: "Heavenly Father, i really need help. I know this is silly, but i don't have any more underwear and i really need this washing machine to work. You created all of this and i know you can make it work. Please help me father." I put the cycle on and guys... the spin cycle worked. what the heck hahaha. I got on my knees and said of prayer of thanks. The Lord really loves us and he is worried about us. no matter how big or small the challenge, he is mindful of us and he is ready to help. The church is true, god lives and jesus is the christ!

amo vocês,

-Élder Grondel

July 16 2012

Hey before i forget:
-hard copy of photos, i can't print them very well here.

-still no packages... :( starting to wonder if you actually sent them haha... no really.

-i love you more than pepper loves salt, and more than brazillians love techno remixes

I love you all,

Thanks so much for the photos you guys. you don't know how much it means to me to know that my family is happy and doing well. I hope you guys take advantage of the time at home. i will admit, i really missed you guys this week. it was a slower week and we spent almost 3 full days (1pm-7pm) making contacts and then just 1-2 hrs of teaching. which is hard. the speaker on sunday talked about the importance of family night. what a blessing we have. family night? what is that? you actually like hanging out with your family? UM duh? if you don't like it now, forever is going to be a SUPER long time. haha.

I love you guys a lot. im glad the summer is hot, hurray... i am freezing here! It is soooo cold. i use a coat everyday. and i am sleeping in sweats and socks... something i have never done before. i am becoming more and more greatful for being an american. Yes, i love the USA! haha. i love hamburgers, cheese, apple pie, and internal heating systems haha. oh and milk, real live milk in a carton. and peanut butter too. and jelly. not that i am counting. football and hockey.

So this week was trying but we have a baptism saturday! he came to church in a suit and tie! :) So proud of him... I really want to help and i guess i get frustrated when i can't or i feel like im not helping you know? Thanks so much for the advice. He is trusting us and helping us teach :D

HAve a great week, study-prayer-church never EVER falter in these key blocks of the testimony!

Forte Abraço!

-Elder Grondel

July 9 2012

I cannot believe i forgot about the 4th of July!

So here is how the story goes... We had two lessons planned, but we couldn't get ahold of the bishop so the second lesson fell through. But it gave a little time for us to prep our members for the lesson we were going to teach. YOU HAVE TO TRAIN YOUR MEMBERS BEFORE YOU TEACH! A quick visit with the message you want to teach, important points in the lesson, maybe practice how they will teach or bear testimony. So we went by the members house first, but we forgot to ask our member to avoid talking about past sins... We taught the 5 steps to return to our Heavenly Father- 1- faith, 2-repentance, 3-baptism, 4-receive the holy ghost, and 5-endure to the end... The lesson was going very well. Our investigator talked about how much he enjoyed church (especially sacrament meeting) and we explained the sacrament. How you can be clean every week. And we can have the spirit to be with us. Then i asked our member how the spirit blesses/blessed his life... He talked about how the spirit doesn't dwell in unholy temples... like his when he was sinning...! NÃO PODE! Oh buddy, so somehow we saved the spirit and marked his baptism for the 21st! :)
I got a call from the district leader and my 1st companion from the MTC Elder Atoa! (We are in the same district now). And they said (in english): HAPPY AMERICA DAY!!! They then went on the sing the national anthem... i love the gospel. It was amazing how much that simple (kind of pitchy) national anthem meant to me. I was thinking about how blessed i am to have been born in the US AND the gospel of Jesus Christ. QUE BENÇÃO! QUE MARAVILHA!
the Church is true :)
It was great to see all of you, brady is jacked, lexi does need some more clothes, and gerr and levi are getting so stinking big! Momma, we aren't gunna have lil boys when i get back. no more gerrit pizza or pasghetti hair =/
I look forward to the eternities and i am so greatful for the plan the our Heavenly Father has for us.
Can you send me pictures of your wedding? Not the wedding, because it was in the temple, but of you 2 on the grounds. Lookin fresh to death :D I want to show this picture to my investigators when we talk about eternal marriage!
Thanks a ton... im a still waiting for the packages, but i still love you.
The church is true

-Elder Grondel (2 Nephi 26:24 - Who the Lord loves, he chastens)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 2nd 2012

So my camera isn't uploading today, but i will send you guys the pictures from the baptism next week. We baptized a couple and her son and grandson came to the baptism. We will start teaching them very soon! My recording talks a lot about this week we had and the success in our area. I love what we are doing and i realized a cool lesson today while cleaning dust from my wardrobe and mold from our walls... (yes i am serving in brazil) Happiness comes in all kinds of forms. YOu don't have to smile to be happy, you don't have to cry to be feeling the spirit, and you don't have to be perfect to be inspired. I love this work, it is exhausting, frustrating, disheartening, Arduous, looooooong, but above all, it is rewarding. My companion and i are really working hard, and really trying to do our best. This transfer has been the best of my mission and good news, we are staying for one more transfer! So we will be here 6 more weeks. And then i will probably leave because i already have 3 1/2.

I am so glad landon and addi moved close to you guys. and it is so good to hear that you guys are doing family night! In Elders quorum the 1st counselor talked about the importance of the family. He said that your wife is not YOURS and the children are not your possesions. Heavenly Father entrusted you with His children. He went on the bear testimony of family night and loving your wife. My whole world is changing out here ya know? FAmily night, the temple, scripture study, home teaching, callings, and much more. All the little things are SO IMPORTANT! and i am really grateful that i can see that and that i am learning.
I love you guys so much!
Landon- Daily scripture study with Addi with change your life and strengthen your marriage like nothing else.
Brady- Keep studying the book of mormon. Jesus the christ, marvelous work and a wonder, miracle of repentance... all these books can wait! President Fernandes taught us to study: Preach my Gospel and Book of Mormon! Breathe preach my gospel and use the book of mormon to teach! Find your testimony and build him up.
Lexi- Celeste replied. what up! haha. Don't forget what you felt and learned. We read a scripture during our mission conference that says "we must shine like meteors!" Not a candle, lamp, light bulb... METEOR! something that the whole world can see.
Jake- You are a stud cuzzin. Remember that as hard as it gets, you always have more in your tank. Push yourself! Don't be afraid to push until you break baby.
Cakers- Read your scriptures bubba. 5 verses everyday this week and write me an email on sunday of what you learned and what you read. Get ready for football season!
Olivia- I love you so much! did you know that? You are the best sister ever (sorry lex)
Levi- I saw a poster for planet of the apes and remembered when we went and saw that awesome movie dood! I hope we can watch so more movies when i get back :)
Bella- Hi... Do you talk yet? or do you just drive mom and dad crazy? :D
I love all of you so much,
-Elder Grondel

June 26th 2012

You are the best!
I love you guys. This week was so much better. We went above the standard of excellence this week for lessons, investigators at church, and we marked 2 baptisms for this saturday 30/6/12! We are very excited, but it was not easy haha. We worked really hard, planned better, and i found a new confidence this week. I talked to my companion about a few things that were negatively affecting me that he was doing (which i NEVER do, i keep my mouth shut and put up with it) and it really strengthened our companionship. Yesterday during comp inventory we had a really good talk and i am hearing the words of my 3rd companion Elder Martin: "If you serve 2 years, baptize like crazy, but don't learn to love your comp like your brother... you served in vain." I really want to love and this week i really felt like we grew together and individually. Dad, you are a super star. I am impressed every week with what you are doing, where you are going, who you are meeting... and i see how the way was prepared for you. But you had to get up and walk the path. THanks again for your example in hard work. That is the key.

"JUST KEEP SWIMMING!" -Dory (Finding Nemo).

I love you all so much! Sorry for not having a recording, we had 0 free time this week (like it should be haha). But i sent my talk from sunday. I was translating so i hope the grammar and spelling is right :)

Mom and Dad,

Here is a copy of my talk that i gave last Sunday:

An old man going a lone highway,

Came, at the evening cold and gray,

To a chasm vast and deep and wide.

Through which was flowing a sullen tide

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

The sullen stream had no fear for him;

But he turned when safe on the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,

“You are wasting your strength with building here;

Your journey will end with the ending day,

You never again will pass this way;

You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,

Why build this bridge at evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head;

“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,

“There followed after me to-day

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm that has been as naught to me

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”

(This is a poem that zack sent me)

We don’t know who is preparing our trail. That young man will not know that the bridge was built for him. He won’t be able shake that old man’s hand and thank him. So how will he show gratitude? How can he show gratitude? Finishing his journey! Enduring to the end. While enduring to the end he will take advantage of the sacrifice that was made. And this, is gratitude. But what happens is that kid doesn’t want to use the bridge…

Brothers and Sisters I owe everything that I have to a 19 year old boy and a 21 year old girl. They stopped everything to serve missions. They built a bridge for me. They learned and knew that one day a young boy, ME, would pass by that river that is the danger of the world today. They stopped everything, turned around and built my bridge so that I could grow up in a secure household full of love and truth. And so that I could avoid the dangers and pitfalls of this life. I can thank them, hug them, compliment, go on and on! But the best way, the way they want me to thank them- what they want me to do? Use the sacrifice that was made. Continue until the end. (Enos 1:1 & 3) Enos is grateful for what? The teachings of God that his father past onto him. What did he want? Forgiveness… And who taught him how to pray? Repent? His dad. (2 Nefi 2:4 & 6-7). Heavenly Father Provided a way by which we can have a life of joy and peace here on the earth and eternal life after. He wants us to use the sacrifice that was made for us. Heavenly Father wants us to accept and use the atonement of Jesus Christ to get to our final destination… His presence. What happens if that kid doesn’t want to use the bridge? What happens if we don’t use the atonement of Jesus Christ? We choose to walk to the river and try crossing alone in the dark. But what does that feel like? (Alma 36:16) We, like alma will recognize the need for the atonement and desire to be cleansed as well (Alma 36:17-19 & 24).

Sei que Deus é nosso pai celestial. Ele nos ama. Jesus Cristo é nosso salvador. Ele Tomou sobre si nossos pecados e dores. Ele pagou o preço. Ele sofreu a penalidade por pecado para nos resgatar da morte. Ao usarmos a expiação, receberemos a remissão de nossos pecados e nos tornaremos mais semelhante a Cristo. Ele vive e Ele me ama. Em nome dele, Jesus Cristo, Amém

Abraços pra todos!

-Amo vocês!

June 11th 2012

Oh grondels

Hey. What's goin on? I am sitting in the LAN house after a semi crazy week feeling anything but competent. This week i got really sick with a cold. You know sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose until you get that really attractive dry skin around the rim of your nostrils. I think it's sinus infection. remember that whole butterfly thing i used to do when i would blow my nose? hahaha. Yeah. my face hurts. I am going to ask for a blessing today, because it is affecting my ability to teach. the other day i sneezed during a lesson. cool right? WRONG! i sneezed a FAT mess onto my sleeve. i looked at my comp and asked- "pode continuar para mim? faz favor?" then i looked at the family and said: "Com licença" hahaha. i went to the bathroom, cleaned up and came back. it was rough, but a really good family night. We did a trust fall example with faith: Close your eyes, fall, and stay rigid so the other person can catch you. OR... Trust in the Lord and his love. We taught 2 principles- 1: We have to trust no matter how low we feel (how low we get to the ground) & 2: We have to know the person behind us (we have to know the master if we are going to trust in him)

Then i asked: "How can we trust someone that we don't know?" i think this is a good question for all of us. HOW? And then we left the invite/ commitment- what are you going to do to know jesus christ better? What would you be willing to do to know the master?

I was a solid week :) rough, but solid. I had a really neat experience with finding by the spirit this week. We walked by a house that we have already contacted, but a woman was walking into the house and something felt familiar... she paused momentarily and entered the house. We passed and went to the house we had planned to visit. But the lady wasn't home. So, we turned back around and again, something pulled me to that house. So i said: "Elder, A gente tem que bater aqui." Before i could explain who we were the lady asked: "Quer entrar?"- "would you like to come in?" ... YES! She loved the lesson and said that when she saw us pass by, something touched her heart and she knew we would come back, so she waited patiently for us. She accepted the baptismal invite and we will visit her tomorrow!

The church is true you guys. SO FREAKING TRUE! I love this gospel and I love my savior. Heavenly Father loves me.

Amo vocês,

-THE Elder Grondel

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June18th 2012

Jacob you are such a super star and i love you! Lexi, you are not allowed to date until you are married. Why don't you understand that?

Hey so you will be able to tell in my recording that this week was my mental break down week. I feel sometimes like i am just the worst missionary. And then i think, "no, you just put more pressure on yourself than any other missionary" and i am so tired of it.

I feel like missionaries are supposed to be happy, right? well then how come i don't feel happy outside of lessons? this sunday we had 5 investigators in sacrament meeting and we a prepping one family for baptism. But that wasn't enough. i was thinking about the families that didn't come, how we could have taught or followed up better. critique is good up to a certain point, but i am killing myself with my expectations. If your really study preach my gospel, there are SO MANY things you can do to be a great missionary. So when i forget to make a call, bring a document, update a teaching record... i get on myself.

I think that i got sick because of stress and the cold. Also, i have been getting acne because of my stress... what in the world? haha.

I want to be happy, i really do! So i believe that your emails were inspired mom and dad. I will try to keep my head up during this week and i will be waiting for that package. Get it out as soon as you can. I still haven't received that package that you sent for my b-day... it usually takes 1-3 months to arrive so get it out soon or i will get gloves and a winter jacket for summer haha.

We found some real neat families this week and i was reminded again the importance of our testimonies. Knowledge is great! But if you don't have a strong testimony of the atonement, why do you need to study calling and election? where is kolob? What happened to Cain? if you don't know the timeline of the book of mormon you have no business trying to study anything else! Our testimony of Christ on the earth will be His testimony of us in the eternities. How can we trust in someone that we don't know?

Elder Bednar gave a fireside here in the Florianopolis area and told everyone, EVERYONE to read Mosiah 20-Alma 50. He said this section of scripture would teach about the life of alma. While reading, he said, become what you read and what you learn... WOW! right? an apostle of Jesus Christ gave us a reading assignment. Lets start tonight! I would for sure read, wouldn't you?

But the people didn't like that too much and left dissapointed. The assignment was "too easy" and "too basic." in the words of one member: "He's an apostle, he's supposed to teach something cool something different or new."

The Gospel isn't something complicated! Faith repentance baptism holy ghost endure to the end... The Lord won't ask us to do something crazy! We will not be instructed to embark on an indiana jones adventure haha. All the Lord asks is a little bit of our time. Sacrifice- Visits (home teaching), prepare your lessons, study the scriptures, go to church, pay your tithing, fast, go to the temple (PLEASE!), renew your covenants and understand them.

I love you guys so much and i will be better this week. More obedient, more smiley, more willing, and more committed!

Amo vocês,

-Elder Grondel

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May 28th, 20012

Not a ton of news, but i have a companion that i have been praying for... forever! He is native, he was the secretary in the bishopric, and he is here to work. He has tons of ideas from his ward and working with members of leadership. I have been praying for help with finding new ideas to teach, find, and to baptize. And all of them came in the form of a nervous Elder from Fortaleza =] He is great, a little timid, but his desire is great. He reminds me a little of Elder Rampton from my district in Provo and São Paulo... except he talks more. I am really excited to work with him. This week we taught some very powerful lessons and he said to me he has never felt the spirit so strongly in his life. Que benção! Without knowing it he told me that he trusts me, that i teach by the spirit, and that this work is real. Today my brother is going to get married. He left the church 5 1/2- 6 years ago but he started to accept the missionaries again. and you know what? today he is starting a journey that doesn't end. He will get married to his beautiful wife, then she is going to be baptized, and after one year (and a little becase they love me and will wait for me to get back) they are going to the temple to be sealed for time (this life) and all eternity (forever!). I have never been so happy in my life and i have never felt the spirit so strongly! This church is truly the church of Jesus Christ! If you have any question or any doubt ask your Heavenly Father! My brother did, his girlfriend did, I did! and we all received the answer and undeniable confirmation that this is the church of Jesus Christ. A única igreja verdadeira na face da terra! The only true church that is lead and guided by a living prophet of God. God lives, Jesus is the Christ, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
Amo vocês,

-Elder Grondel

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 16, 2012

I love you guys,

I am so glas to hear that gerrit is continuing the Grondel Athleticism. I started to think this week about our family and how blessed we are. I took 3rd at state, brady was part of a state championship team, lexi was part of dance and now is a track star, jacob and caleb have always been a little ahead of their generation, olivia is a dancing fool, even levi! And then i started to think on the spiritual side. We are a família escolhida! A chosen family! Why us? What makes us special? In truth, nothing. It is what we DO with that nothing that makes us different. We aren't like other families. I am seeing here in the field that i am not like other missionaries. We have been blessed by our Heavenly Father to be leaders among our generation. We are empowered by the Holy Ghost and the priesthood from the time we are born. People here always ask how my parents manage 10 kids!? And i say first, they are amazing. But second, they were great missionaries that learned how to work, plan, and gained maturity. We have a ton of missionaries here, unfortunately that have good intentions but have neglected to learn the value of work. The mission is amazing and is teaching me so much.

I start to recognize blessings that i never noticed before. Also, I am noticing the little trials the Lord sends our way to build us up and to test us. I am starting to love the book of mormon. I really love to read it! weird right? Most missionaries carry it in the back pack, but 2 weeks ago i started carrying it in my hands... the case duh haha. But it makes a big difference. Only 3 more weeks? maybe 4? And i will be calling you guys again! can you believe it? Tempo pass elder... Tempo passa

my city is called: Palhoça (pal-yo-suh)

Amo vocês!

-elder Grondel

PS: Remember who you are. You all ARE different, so act different! Read the scriptures, stay away from things that separate you from the spirit, work hard, be on time, be a leader in your actions.

*I challenge you guys to take your scriptures to school and read during lunch or those little breaks you get. 1 page a day and i promise you will notice a difference! =D

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Hey gang, Pascoá foi muito legal. We have brazilian mommies here so we got a bunch of chocolate. We went to the bishops house before one of our appointments and he gave us some more chocolate... imported from switzerland... yessir. This week was full of revelation. I am keeping a little notebook for the little things that I receive everyday and writing them down. It's so neat to look back and see how much i have been blessed. The part that is difficult for me is that I wanna be able to share this with my investigators and we haven't had a ton of success teaching. But this week everything changed. The training that we received during mission conference completely changed my outlook on the mission, the work, my life! President Fernandes teaches so well and so plainly but with so much power. the goal setting and reinforcement of faith has pushed me to believe! I really am ready to commit to this work. Not that i haven't been. I have just doubted at times or been more concerned with the thoughts of others. "They aren't going to like this..." "They can't understand my accent" "I don't have the vocabulary to teach this principle" ... Doubts and lack of faith. So this week i received much needed counsel from on high.  I have been blessed with a LOT more patience than i had and part of my goals is my attitude. I still have so much work to do... and from you have said it sounds like i haven't made the progress i have been seeking. I love you guys and really appreciate the help with this. Never give up: good--->better-->BEST (rinse and repeat)
Amo vocês!

-Elder Grondel

March 26, 2012

A lot to reply to and not too much time, but i wanted to tell you guys how much i love you. And how glad i am that i grew up in a home of 2 returned missionaries. Not just missionaries though, 2 missionaries that returned with honor and didnt let the mission end at two years. I was reading in D&C a while back, i dont remember where, but i believe sidney rigdon was being called to serve and the Lord said: "Vão dois em dois pregando minha palavra" two in two preaching my Word. The mission doesnt end at two years! After you get back you are still called to find a worthy companion that will serve with you to teach your children. Two in two... we were teaching an incomplete family ( dad is not a member) and from what i saw he has no interest. he has received lessons from missionaries, bishops, mission presidents, his wife, his kids... nada. How dificult it must be for his wife. To walk the straight and narrow virtually alone. How can you teach your kids the word of wisdom when dad smokes and drinks? How can you teach them proper principals alone? I am running really low on time today! ughhh. But I had a really neat experience this week with a lady we ran into on the street. She told us about some problems she wanted to resolve before going to Jesus for help. For the first time in my life i literally had my tongue loosened. The spirit spoke through me in a way i dont know how to explain. It was like i was watching myself teach. the church is true and the recording i made is about lady who has not gone to church for 7 years. but yesterday she came and momma, poppa that is better than any baptism.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19th 2012


I am so relieved to hear that the surgery and everything went well for you momma. I was really worried, but prayer and fasting truly are opportunities given to us to help us grow. I had the best feeling of peace and comfort this week. I knew that everything was going to be okay. I am glad to hear that the family is doing well and staying active! Dad, parabêns! That is awesome! I'm sure that they enjoyed the class, there is something about real life experiences that help people connect with what is being taught. Mom's testimony of the atonement hit me so much harder because she KNOWS that Christ was walking with her. I too want to bear my testimony of the atonement. Last week we had a mission conference scheduled and i was really excited to see Elder Noel, Elder bell, and some other missionaries... and to speak english haha. We have a rule (me and elder martin) to only speak português. So i was looking forward to the break, but the conference was cancelled and i was a little disheartened. Because, when i get to someones house and we talk a little, i can converse and understand, but if we get to a topic like sports... i dont have the vocabulary to talk or even understand. So in the beginning they say: "what part of brazil are you from? Americano?! Serió? Não acredito" by the end... they know ha. So i was a little frustrated with myself and i was praying really hard for help. I knew if i stayed positive the Lord would help, but it is SO hard when you feel like a child- people don't understand you, you don't understand people... Then, the day of the cancelled conference we were teaching a lesson, and i literally was not teaching. Words just came into my mind and left my mouth in perfect (not perfecttt) português. I know that the Savior felt that anxiety i was feeling, the pressure to be great, the sadness, frustration, tears... and He knew i was tired. but he picked me up and he talked for me, he talked through me.

I really am starting to notice blessings in my life and i am learning how to notice them more. Yesterday was a rough day, but we had almoço with this goofy guy in the ward. He made me laugh so much, he was patient with my language skills, and he made me feel good. That almoço totally turned my day around! The Lord gives us oportunities and blesses us in little ways, but they can make a big difference.

I know my family loves me and i KNOW my Heavenly Father loves me.

March 12th 2012

Momma I love you and that is the best news i have heard in a long time. I am writing form my second area and celebrating my 5 month anniversary as a missionary. I am with my 3rd companion- Elder Martin and things are going well. I make pancakes every day now and he doesn't know how to cook, at all, so i do a lot more of that. He is a great example to me in humility and i think i know why the Lord has us working together... he is an optomist! haha. This area is B-E-A-UTIFUL! I forget that im not on vacation here sometimes. We have the beach real close and we have mountains too! It's like Utah and the cruise at the same time lol. WE have an amazing ward here and a handful of people we are teaching. Oh! Plus, we have a chapel! I never realized how much i love the chapel/ capela! NOSSA! Elder Martin and I are only speaking in Português and it is already helping my abilities in the language. My accent is pretty good i guess... because people ask me what part of brazil i am from, dont believe im from the US, or think that i am mexican =[ (sorry landon). I love this city though.
5 more reasons to wait for Elder Grondel...
-Elder Grondel cleans... like a BOSS
-Elder Grondel make THE BEST pancakes
-Elder Grondel walks his butt ON everyday
-Sol de Brazil = Darkness
-Elder Grondel does laundry. His own laundry. By hand.
Any questions?
Amo vocês!
-Elder Grondel

March 5th 2012

Oí tudo bem!?

Okay, so this was a good week. We had a zone conference that went really well and i finally got that package you sent. I was shocked to see the cost of shipping =/ But the protein has been so great for energy in the morning and feeling like im replacing those calories. the pasta was excellent and we made chicken alfredo with it the other day. It was excellent =] We do have pasta here in all the super mercados so don't feel like you have to send that in the mail for you man (cause im 20...) to get those much needed carbs.

Thank you so much for the prayers i really needed them this week. Elder Noel and i had a tough discussion and i thought our friendship had been wrecked, but we talked it out and i really learned a lot about communication this week. If he hadn't come to me to talk about it i would be living this area really bummed.
I am amazed that i am 20 cause it doesn't feel any different, but im sure with time it will sink in. thanks for the note about how i used to be quiet. very funny mommy :P

Thank you for what you said about faith, that is so true. Faith is sticking with it and enduring to the end to receive the blessing =]

Anyways, i love you guys so much. These 20 years have been amazing and i cannot wait to see where we go from here =]

Amo vocês,

-Elder Grondel

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February20th 2012

. I think that is the hardest part of the distance. My whole purpose is to help people. Help them develop faith in christ, find a testimony of the restoration, answer questions, or just be there to come by on a bad day. I love the feeling of acceptance and the light that we can see in the eyes of the people we teach. The difference in the feelings in their homes. We had one of our investigators come to church yesterday for the second time and in our elders quorum the teacher asked him: "Valdo, quem é joseph smith para você?" e ele respondeu "Um homem escolhido por Deus para revelar e restaurar a verdade." ...WOW! Our investigator bore his testimony of Joseph Smith in front of everyone! We have to get him and his girlfriend/wife married legally (they do what is called marriage by the blessing but it isn't valid legally or legally binding and ppl say that they are married when in actuality they aren't...) but they are going to get all the papers squared away and they already have a goal for the temple! Can you believe it?! We have another family where dad is tough, but i think he knows the church is true. His wife wants to be baptized but they have to get married too... hmmm. recurring theme right?
All in all this week has been amazing. We are working with conselha do ramo... i cannot remember that in english-the ward counsel? ward mission leader, elders quorum presidency and we did splits last week to go by the menos ativos in our branch. it was excellent. We have service projects set up to help some of them, we are planning an activity, and we have 2-3 family nights marked each week. The church is true and the words of Christ are so true- "unto he who has much, much will be given." You have got to prove you can handle it and then He gives a little more. This isn't easy, but it is so worth it momma.

February 27th 2012

Mom and Dad,
-Jacob, you are absolutely ridiculous haha. Check yourself before you wreck yourself okay?
-Lexi, put a smile on or i will... be really, not very... wanna go ride bikes?
- Brady, read the book of mormon because you will get out here and an investigator will reveal some doubt they have--> You'll think "i can share a scripture about faith"... but if you don't know a scripture you will look to your companion, close your eyes, and pray ha. Store up all you can now and hit preach my gospel with mom. Chapter 2- chapter 3- and then chapter one. Practice teaching all the lessons!
This week has been amazing. It was tough because we had almost 5 potential investigators shut the door on us. one family we were really excited about and then another family that really enjoyed the story of the restoration. We showed up to teach the plan of salvation and the book of mormon and pamphlet of the restoration were on a chair outside... the oldest son came out and said: "minha mãe não quer mais de vocês" ... pusha. she didn't even have the decency to talk to us face to face. It just makes me sad. It really does. The gospel is here to help us. The word of wisdom? You can wake up and you don't have to worry about cigarrettes, effects of alcohol, or other addictions! Law of chastity? You can gain control over your thoughts, actions, build stronger relationships, avoid feelings of guilt, and heartache that come from sexual sin. Tithing? You give 10% and the Lord "Abri as janelas de céu" What has the Lord asked us to do that we don't actually like doing? Really think about this question. Prepare a lesson? Talk? Go to an activity? How many times did you get to the end and realize how greatful you were?
I love the change in perspective I am learning. I feel like I am maturing out here little by little. I am noticing the things I want to change and I am still a goof ball haha. Making ridiculous faces, secret handshakes w/ kids in the ward, laughing with members, pretending to play golf while waiting for the bus... i have a really cool umberella. Oh and now i sing while we walk... kind of like olivia cause it's about what we are doing or about to teach hahaha. We are having a lot of fun and we have 2 really special families that are progressing a lot. They need to get married before baptism, so we are working with them, but it takes at least 30 days before the papers finalize so we are praying for a chance to ficar aqui!
I love you guys so much and I can feel the strength i get from your prayers each day. Oh and i was talking w my companion about resumes a few days ago and i decided to make my 5 reasons to wait for Elder Grondel
1- um... have you seen me?
2- I am not expensive, in fact i did home surgery (again) so we avoid medical bills
3- Elder Grondel knows how to flow
4- If you offend me, my ADD is so bad i probably won't notice... or
5- Elder Grondel is adorable, he sleeps with pillow pets and his baby blanket
more to come...
Amo vocês!
-Elder Grondel

Monday, February 13, 2012

Feb. 13th 2012

Every member is a missionary. This is the truth.
You would be surprised how many people resist love... haha. but i know what you are saying and that is our goal here. to love and teach by the spirit. You don't have to prove the book of mormon because it will prove itself. i am so grateful for your examples and especially the example and drive of my companion. he is a superstar.
Thanks for the insight papa bear. It is always good to be remind: "Satan trembels when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees." I have been really frustrated this week with the language. One day it is solid, i feel good, understand and then 2 or 3 days of feeling lost, confused, useless in lessons. It is hard because elder noel is american, but he gets it so i think it is a bad case of elder envy... Anyways, he gave me some great counsel during our companionship inventory that i am going to apply more to my personal growth and language study aspect. and then on sunday i realized in the church that THIS is the only thing that really mattters. If i can teach with love and the spirit. Answer questions, ask question, and help them see the importance of the gospel in their lives... that is all the português that i really need.
This gospel blesses lives. This week we challenged 2 couples to get married to prepare for baptism. One of the families we also challenged to live the word of wisdom. Valdo likes his café and kelly smokes 2 or 3 cigs a day. So we challenged them to cut those things out and use each other to overcome these addictions. The coolest thing happened! They are going to use up the coffee they have and then they aren't going to buy anymore and kelly is not allowed to buy cigarettes! The spirit in the home has totally changed and it is because of this gospel. I love this work big D.

Feb 6, 2012


Esta semana foi ótimo! Ensinamos muitas lições e encontramos novos pesquisadores. Estou entendendo muito mais e posso falar bem melhor que semanas atras... I don't really know what happened but the day that I started working with Elder Noel I could understand better. My knowledge of the language is growing like crazy and having an American companion means that someone can actually explain it to me haha. We have a lot of fun during the day and I think that is helping us keep the spirit. We have set a goal to teach people, not lessons. We are really trying to help people here. This is our purpose. Domingo we had a family come to church for the first time and they LOVED it. We followed up later that day and they said that they really liked the feeling of one big family. They felt different there... I can testify to that. This church has something that no other church has- A fulness of the Gospel. The priesthood power was restored and I am learning each day what that means. The members here are amazing. We had a family night last week and picked up 2 new investigators not because we taught, but because the members shared their testimonies during the lesson. And THEY taught! We had a family night message yesterday with another family (the lídere dos Élders he looks like steve fine haha) and the lesson was solid. But it was lacking something. The lady Jurací that we brought was saying that at times in her life she hasn't believed in God because of trials and before I could open my scriptures to look for a verse the Irmã Vania bore a testimony of Christ. Then Irmão Sandro bore his testimony of his conversion and how the Gospel truly blesses our lives. That was one of THE best lessons we have taught because we didn't teach it. The spirit did. By grace we are saved after ALL that we can do. I know that is true because i have seen it momma, i have seen it dad.
Jurací read 1/2 of the book of Mormon! she said she stayed up until 3am reading! We are being blessed with opportunities and I know this work is true. As tired as we get, after a lesson or a few contacts I have enough energy to get to the next appointment. It isn't always a ton, but it is always enough. I love you guys so much and hope everyone is having success in whatever they are doing.