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.