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.