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