Monday, January 30, 2012

Bryson's email 1/30/2012

So this is a response for you and dad because i have already used up a lot of time here at the Lan house we use to check our email... i was writing to President Fernandes and he is so awesome. He replies to our emails sporadically (sp?) but he always knows what to say and i find so much comfort and strength in his words. He's a rockstar. I got my new AMERICAN companion and he is awesome. He wrestled in HS, wants to work hard, he is very insightful, helps me out so much, and check this out- he is from seattle! he went to Liberty High school! He was in the same stake as Chloe. We get along great (it helps that we both speak the same languages...) and we really are teaching people. His perspective on the mission and the little things he has picked up during his time working with the president and the assistants has really reformed my view of the mission. "We are not here to baptize, we are here to build testimonies so people will want to be baptized." We can teach and tell people this church is true, use scriptures to prove it, make a million examples, leave compromisos e muitas coisas! Mas, they have to read, they have to pray, and they will receive an answer. Our job is not to teach, it is to love. unconditionally and without an agenda. This is how Christ taught, he taught because he loved. People love the bible because they can feel the love of God and his beloved son Jesus Christ. And our message is that there is more! you can have the spirit, peace, comfort more abundantly... who would say no to that message!?
I have adopted his philosophy and we are working on a new teaching style that gave us an opportunity to teach the best lesson i have had on my mission. I love the plan of salvation =].
Sounds like the storm was crazy! I bet you guys had a ton of fun on the hill and spending time with just the grondels. it's nice to slow down and remember what matters most. Elder Noel (comp) told me Lexi wright got her call to chile this morning haha. WOW! Não sabia cara! Good for her. She is going to be a great missionary. And tanner is going to have a blast. Thank Greg and Jen again for me! I had to discard a garment shirt so that package could not be coming any sooner! It's hard to think about snow with how hot it is here... wow.
Lexi- two things: You need to go to school. You have know idea what a priviledge it is to receive an education of that caliber. People say Tumwater is a simple hick town high school, but compared to the average level of education here it is excellent. A lot of kids have to go to work and don't get to finish school. Education and knowledge are so important. Knowledge is one of the attributes of God himself. Be thou perfect, even as thy father in heaven is perfect... You can follow this and have the spirit more just by paying attention and working hard at school. 2-Who can find a avirtuous bwoman? for her price is far above rubies. (proverbs 31:10) You are beautiful and so amazing. Don't let the world tell you how to live, love, or be yourself. REmember you are the daughter of a king. You might have to wait a little longer for your prince, but it will be worth more than anything lexi.
Jake- Remember to compete... LIKE A BOSS!
Amo Vocês!
-Elder Grondel

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bryson's email 1/23/2012

So i made a recording that is too big to send! =/ But I wanted to let you guys know that I just had the best week of my mission. We worked harder and accomplished more this week, than any other week... in my opinion. We did our weekly planning session and really took advantage of the time to plan specifically for our investigators. I saw we because this work is done in two's haha. Elder Longo wasn't too stoked, but as we started to plan and set more goals his attitude flipped and we had a great session. We had zone conference and a companion exchange this week so we lost a day or so of time in our area, but I had the opportunity to work with another junior companion Elder Dias (Brasil) and really see how the Lord has blessed me. Elder Longo really helped me learn how to teach and how to begin teaching investigators. I was able to make contacts and speak with confidence despite my weakness in the language. I learned charity and courage this week. Charity is necessary to teaching, to having the spirit, and really living like christ. I printed off the Grondel 2012 inspirational thoughts page and dad's guide to focusing. I asked myself throughout each day: "Is my focus on Christ?" if not "what do I need to do to refocus?" doing this has really helped me find the desire to love people. My companion for starters. Our relationship really improved and I have vowed that I will never let myself treat another companion the same way. He is my brother. And I truly am learning how to love people out here. unconditionally, sincerely, and without reason. Smiling is the easiest way to do this... I am starting to understand more conversations and share experiences with people so i am feeling a lot less pressure with the language.
The church is true, and I KNOW Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Everytime I share the first vision and bear testimony I know it more and more. We found another family this week that we are really excited about too! We had 7 investigators at church! WE ARE SO BLESSED! =]
Elder Longo is getting transferred so I will have 2 trainers... He is american so im pretty excited.

a igreja é verdadeira
Amo Vocês,
-Elder Grondel

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16th 2012

Hello all =]

So this week was dragging on and it wasn't that the work was too hard... I just felt frustrated for some reason and an overwhelming exhaustion. Monday and Tuesday were fine but wednesday I felt like it was never going to end. We hadn't even walked that much because we had lessons and it wasn't until thursday that I figured out why. Thursday we had Almoço with irmã tatí and she always has good food. Her house isn't too far but the walk felt like forever and i was sweating like mad. I felt exhausted when we got there. We ate and we were going to go to the LAN house to do an online part of our comp study but i was not feeling it. I told my comp we could do a different part em casa and i needed to take some ibuprofen. But when we got back to the apartment i only got worse. I had terrible stomach pains, nausea, and for about 4 hours i was in pain on the bed. And oh my gosh i threw up. it was awful. Beans and rice look the exact same the 2nd time. I drank some water, and tried to suck down some lemon juice w some bread but 2 hours later i threw up again. The mission presidents wife, we called for advice on how to proceed, told me to go to the hospital. So i stumbled down the stairs and a member gave us a ride. The hospital wasn't bad and the doctor was really funny. But the nurse, bless her heart could not place the IV to save her life when she went to try to place the iv in the 3rd spot... I passed out. Literally. I came to and couldn't remember where i was or why.
"I am going to die here...w a bunch of people i can hardly understand. Great." I finally came around and the the nurse finally placed the IV. they pumped me full of 1200mL of iv fluid and sent me home w 2 prescriptions. I slept and spent the next day sweating, hydrating, and trying to recuperate. the doctor said i was sick because i have to serve a mission for 2 years with "No kisses or brazilian women"
The next day, sábado we went around and apologized to people we have planned to teach and we taught a 2 or 3 lessons which went really well. We picked up 2 more families and momma, I really taught by the spirit this week. When I get to recite the first vision and testify of Joseph Smith I literally feel it! This work is so real. I wanna be so great right now, but the Lord is slowly going to make us great. He is slowly going to teach me to language. I am slowly going to learn to teach. And slowly, we are going to get baptisms. Slowly, but without ceasing. Work, work, WORK.
I don't know what happened with the stomach ache and all that, but something changed in me. I know i can do hard things. My companion didn't really understand how sick i was. and the whole ordeal was kinda funny to him... so i was kind of on my own. Me and the Savior. I gained a greater understanding for his suffering in Getsêmani. I was lying in bed 6 ft from my comp and he didn't know the pain i was feeling. Jesus's apostles were just around the corner and didn't understand His pain either. The Lord however, suffered so we don't have to be alone. So when we are suffering he can help us through.
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." Matthew 11:28-30
The church is true! -- A igreja é verdadeira!
Amo vocês
-Elder Grondel

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jan 9th 2012


So i've taken up smoking... 2nd hand smoking. Not really conventional, but i can't complain. So many people smoke and because I am living in a city for the first time in my life, i am still adjusting to sharing the air. anyways... this week was a lot better for a lot of reasons, but it was also another week of learning to live the life of a missionary. I set a goal to be totally ready by 8 for personal study-shoes, shirt, tie, pants, etc... but i am always a minute or two late... frustrating. I really, really wanna be obedient, but we aren't leaving by 11 and i don't know if this is the fresh out of the MTC greeny talking, but I NEED THE BLESSINGS that come from obedience and anywhere else. that is the less than good news. The good/great news? I am understanding more and my courage in the language is really growing. I am a lot more confident when we talk to people now. Even if i don't perfectly know how to say something i just try and people correct me or my companion helps me out. The story that Jason Bippert told really motivated me to talk this week. I wanna learn the language faster and the only way to do that is to abrir sua boca! I learn something new everyday. words, lessons, new insights in the book of mormon/ bible study, and how to look for blessings.

Mom and Dad... my companion is kinda of driving me crazy. hahaha. but seriously. All these little things are adding up and it isn't him that is frustrating me... it's me. Why do i let these things get to me? I pray for patience and charity everyday to look past all the little things, but i fall short day after day. Any ideas?

The family sounds like everyone is staying busy and working hard. That's good to hear =] All the little ones are doing something and making sure the house is crazy as always. And Caleb is 12!? When did that happen? I hope he understands how amazing the priesthood is, and that he will be carrying the same priesthood as John the Baptist, the 12 apostles, and Christ himself. To pass the sacrament is a priviledge and I really hope that he understands that. Read D&C 84 with him and i think... 107? and then the section in 3 Nephi where christ institutes the sacrament. Powerful words that can only be expressed by the Savior.

We dropped 2 investigators this week, but we picked up 2 families to teach! I am so excited about this. I really feel good and my companion is SO stoked. We were pretty bummed because we contacted a family earlier this week and when we followed up the parents were gone so we talked w/ the neighbor and told her we would be back the next day... We came back and the kids told us the parents went to Joinville to visit family... 15 minutes later we circled the block and the parents were sitting outside with the kids... yeah. We smiled and walked on.

Funny story...

One morning we were walking to lunch and I really wanted to make the first contact of the day. I found the courage and walked up to a lady with her daughter. I delivered the message, she was receptive, and we set a time to visit her family. We crossed the street and i went to adjust my belt... when i realized my fly was down... we were almost 20 minutes (walking) from our apartment. It had been down the WHOLE time =[ haha.

The desire to be better never goes away. I want to be exactly obedient so i am going to be better about managing time this week.

Wish list for mommy:

-After shave

-(don't laugh) protein powder --> will save me a bunch of time in the morning and it is SO expensive here

-Light rain jacket (CTR)?

-Shower Brush

- Recipe for twice baked potatoes (Stir fry idea = awesome i love veggies)

-Garment tops (5-10)

-Explain to me how to ask for a haircut to keep my bangs... i miss them

Amo Vocês!

-Elder Grondel

Monday, January 2, 2012

December 2011 Muscle Man

Dec. - Jan. 2012

January 2, 2012

Feliz ano novo!
So I finally understand why they stress loving your companion so much. You see, there are only 2 things that i don´t like about Brazil- the way they whistle, and how much they party haha. I am working really hard during personal study, comp study, language, planning sessions, to really learn the Gospel. I finished matthew and Mark so today I started luke and i just got done w the first two chapters. I really love the new testament and as I have been reading i have been thinking about how i can be more like the Savior. Also, I think it´s interesting to remember that EVEN Christ did not come into this world with a fulness of knowledge or a perfect knowledge of all things. He had to learn and grow just like we did. He didn´t have it all, but he had the desire to learn and to build the kingdom.
In my recording you can hear a lil more about this week, but we really turned it up. We talked about using time more effectively and I have been a lot more vocal about ideas for teaching and making contacts.
I feel the best when we are out of the apartment talking to the people or teaching lessons and oh my goodness... the food is so good. Now, that I am over the bashful hump, I eat SO much at the members houses haha. They always say: Come mais Elder precisa força para trabalhar...--> eat more elder, you need strength to work. So I am happy to oblige them =]... i think i spelled that wrong.
The language is getting better and we put together a study plan to help both of us learn the other´s language. It´s funny to think, but back home you couldn´t get me to shutup and here  they have a hard time getting me to talk. I am understanding more and able to contribute to some conversations, but the accents and speed make it so hard for me to understand sometimes. Most of them are patient with me, but if i don´t know a word it makes it hard to explain haha. The families in the branch are great. I am learning to love these people Mama.  You and Dad were amazing teachers for me. You taught me so much about the Gospel and how to be a great missionary without me even knowing it.Each day to start comp study we share what we learned during personal study and my companion has been sharing things that I have known for years... and he is so excited about them! I took for granted the level of knowledge you guys taught me and now I would like to thank you... again haha. I love you guys.
It has been raining elephants and hippos here! The rain beats you up and the wind just destroys the umbrellas. Mine has already broken and this week i had to use both pairs of shoes because they got so wet. our investigators have not kept commitments, but on Sunday a couple we just started teaching came! and then a less active couple came! Oh my i could not get the smile off of my face haha. The church is true.
5 funny things i have noticed about brazil:
1- they like to party... a lot. fireworks at all hours, music until 3 and 4 am, and they start drinking around 9-10 am.
2- everyone has a dog or 3, but they don´t always chain them up so there are packs of dogs that roam the streets haha
3- they don´t like to wear a lot of clothing... no matter their age or shape...
4- They drive crazy, but SO WELL. The worst driver here would prolly be better than most people in the US. And they can all parallel park...
5- The bugs are so tough here. and SO fast. All the bugs have like a turbo setting- flys, ants, cockroaches (disgusting).
Eu amo vocês!
-Elder Grondel