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