Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 9, 2013

Family dearest,
At times i am excited, other times i get nervous or sad... the reality hit me the other day like a ton of bricks- missions end, but even still... i don't believe it yet. i don't even remember what life is like outside of the mission. i can't even imagine it yet. I'm so glad i came and i am so glad i stayed. I didn't just survive though. I served and i will be serving until the end. Sprinting through (not to) the finish line.
I will be finishing the transfer with lidership counsel and 3 mission conferences... So we will be playing hard and working hard. We coordinated everything for the conferences and it has been cool to be on the "party planning" side of the operation. We did splits last week in a city that is almost 16 hours from here by bus... BUT we went by plane! haha. So it was a 45 minute flight. hahaha.
It was rad, but going to the airport is trunk-tastic. This week we will be doing splits in Criciúma and next week in Joinville... in total we will have done splits in 5 different areas. I have been able to learn so much and it has been really cool to talk and work with so many different people. We have missionaries from 10 countries on this mission! Think of all the influences and cultures i am able to come into contact with. even though we come from far away places we all have one thing in common and through portuguese we can speak to each other and share that. 
If i have learned anything during my time here, it is that the mission is AMOR! it's just love baby! it is love your comp, love your leaders, love your president, love those you teach and those who reject you, and above all- love the savior. 
I really liked that talk that you guys sent me- that we might not shrink- it helped me see something that i hadn't understood. I liked the phrase: "we must drink the bitter cup without becoming bitter." Life is too short to just suffer and be mad or be scared. 

i love you guys and i am so proud of all of you. The church is true. it is so FREAKING TRUE!

-Élder Grondel jr.

September 2, 2013

I have the best momma and the best poppa do mundo!
It's crazy isn't it? my last 6 weeks are brady's first 6. funny how this all turned out. I feel a lil sad knowing that brady and i won't be able to talk until he comes back from his mission. it is good to be able to email him, but it's not the same. I'm glad that i will be able to give him tips, hints, and i know exactly what he is going through. i know the beginning-the middle- and the end haha. He is worried, that is a very good sign. it means that he cares. if he was chill and relaxed that would be worrisome. 
I talked to president and he said he would look into this last week, but until now... he is in the hospital being treated for kidney stones. He doesn't like water at all... so it's no mystery that he ended up there. he asked us to give him a blessing and when we got to the hospital he was in a polo and sweats... i have never seen him like that and it was oddly comforting. here is a man i have seen in a suit for the past two years leading us from the front. Superman suddenly transformed into a mortal. he is human too! haha. it helped me see the confidence and trust that he has in the Lord. i know that he is being lead and guided from on high. i know that the Lord uses normal people like you guys... and me to carry out His amazing plan. 
I bore my testimony on sunday. It was my last fast sunday here in brazil. I can't believe it is all coming to a close. It passed quickly, but it feels like it has been much more than two years all at the same time.
the transfer will end in a bunch of parties haha. on the 10th we have lidership counsel, on the 13th, 17th, and18th we have mission conferences and president wants us to attend all of them. After the conferences we have to prepare the transfer and pass along the new mission roster. This week we are doing a work over with the zone leaders in chapecó, an area 18 hours by bus from the island. So we are catching a flight this afternoon. Yes, I will be getting on a plane, but not for home haha.
I will talk to president again when he gets out of the hospital about the BYU application.
On the 25th when I get back I promise I will be ready to go through the temple and on the 28th I would really like to be there for jacob’s wedding/ sealing. I do not believe that they are getting married! This life is crazy my beloved family. 2 months since he got back? Okay I am going to beat that record! Not… haha.
Abraços pessoal!
-Élder Grondel jr.

August 26, 2013

Hey so this is my response for the week for everybody,

I had some miracles that i wanted to share with you! Last week we had some less active families at church and this week we found two more on accident! i was walking and i saw a lady walking with grocery bags, she looked nice so i smiled and said goodnight. she stopped and said "hi elders." turns out her family is less active, but we visited them and now are working for them all to come back to church: edilene, ideoberto, karen, and gabriel. The same night, our plans fell through and started knocking doors. i felt like we need to knock at a house that was kind of dark and looked like no one was home. i followed the prompting and we found another less active member- elizete. 
We also had some less than pleasing experiences with less active members... some deny the existence of god entirely, some only have "doubts" about joseph and the truthfulness of the restored gospel, and others pick and choose what they want to believe or what applies to them... i talked with president and he helped me understand how to act in a circumstance "desagradável" with these less active members. 
Also, i have some news for you guys. I started to study doctrine and covenants and i had a very powerful experience with the spirit. i read D&C 1-3. D&C 3 talks about what? martin harris and the 116 pages that were lost. what happened? joseph asked once -NO!, again- NO!, again- ... okay. And now the book of mormon is missing 116 pages of doctrine and history. I have thought about extending my mission more than a few times. the first time is asked i went to mission conference with the question in mind- NO! was the answer. when a member of the 70 came is went with the question in my head- NO! was the answer. I started to think about extending and the Lord said: okay. But recently i have been pondering and when i read D&C 3 sunday morning i thought: "this could be me" during the sacrament i talked with the Lord for a while and in the end i decided to not extend and come home the 24th of September. when i said that in my head, a peace came over me so strongly that i knew the Lord has accepted my mission. He wants me to work until the end! But He is happy with me. I asked the Lord to in some way confirm all of this and so today as i talked with president he said the area presidency has asked the mission presidents to not extend missions and a few months ago a missionary died in a service project with 25 months on his mission. imagine if he had gone home on the right date? 
I love my mission and i will serve faithfully until the end! but i will be home next month. 24th of september. i will email you my itinerary a soon as i have it.

I love you guys. The church is so freaking true!
-Élder Grondel jr.

August 12, 2013

To whom it may concern,

I wanted to start differently this week. Hey so we did the transfer and we are finishing everything for the new missionaries that are getting here tomorrow. We had a good/fun/ kinda frustrating week trapped here in the office and twice we had to leave our area and go back to the office because there were some changes made in the transfer. But it was fun. We worked had and the work isn't so much work anymore. I think i am starting to like this whole missionary thing. Brady and the rest of the bunch will get to know about that here pretty  quickly. It's crazy to think that from the graduating class- brady's and the twins- they make a part of the handful of people that are allowed to enter the temple. And now endowed... i cannot believe it. How great is it to know that God's annointed still stand in holy places? 
Ginger and max! thanks for the photo. It's great that they still get along so great. they will all be going on missions here in a little bit too! who knows, maybe brazil will be there destination as well???
And Sexy Lexy what the heck are we going to do with her? she just needs to hold tight and call elder banner or wait for elder bell to get back. if she needs a boyfriend i just need to make one or two phone calls... seriously you have no idea the quality of friends i have nowadays.
I got baxters email and i will send him an email in like 4 minutes. 
OLIVIA- way to go pretty girl! family history is awesome! did you know that our last name wasn't alway grondel??? me either! well until a few days ago lol. i am excited to be able to sing at the top of our lungs when i get back :)
LEVI + GERRITT- um guys. what the heck? when did you guys become so cool? :P hahaha. You guys are crazy bike jumpers now? and levi! have you scored any touchdowns yet? or have you layed anybody out recently? that's my dood!
DAD- HAPPY FATHERS DAY! here in brazil we celebrated father's day and i just wanted to thank you for everything. i remember until today when you guys left me at the airport and the smile you had on your face. i don't think i understood what was behind that smile until now. You saw all the revelations in personal study, comp study, etc... all the spiritual experiences, hardships, laughs. thanks for giving me a smile and preparing me so well to be the missionary i am today. i don't know how i would be if it wasn't for your example in lidership, hard work, and righteousness. Thanks daddy you are the BEST! Lookout for a letter here in a few weeks aight big D?!

I love you guys,

-Élder Grondel

Aug. 5, 2013

t's Good to hear from you,

I love you guys. Brady is leaving for the MTC in provo. that is good news for now. we have a lot of missionaries that are in other missions waiting for visas so this one month was good and he will be in provo for at least 9 more weeks. We will be in the field at the same time. how crazy is that??  
I always remember the way jake and cake prepared the fishing stuff and practiced at home. they wanted to make a boat to fish in the lake... they don't ever give up on their dreams. i believe they could have caught more than 200! 
So it turns out that our idea to reopen that branch isn't a reality. all the branches within 45 minutes of a chapel are being closed because brasil wants to adopt the same system we have in the US- 2 or 3 wards in the same chapel. we met with the stake presidency and we had a good discussion. we can still work with the less actives and prepare them for the day when the Lord provides them with a chapel. A lot of sin and gossip sunk the branch. We have to be SO careful with this. gossip is one of the many testimony attackers that exist and it can leave a deep scar.
That is rad that brady and mom went to teach. new experience for brady and old experience for momma. but he can't get used to doing splits with sisters :P
Momma! we have to kneel and pray when we don't know what else to do we have to fall to our knees. we also had a neat experience with the stake president with saying prayers on your feet too.
he said that when the area 70 came to train the stake presidents they would do the final prayer on their feet: "We pray on our feet bretheren, to show the Lord that we are willing to leave this room and do what we have discussed and what He has asked us to do." 
I love working with these leaders. as the AP i work right next to president and the other leaders of the mission and church. i learn so much from them and theirs examples. the church is true. it changes lives. it helps all come unto Christ and partake of his eternal salvation. the atonement can only be understood when we learn who He is and live how He lived.

-Élder Grondel jr.

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

Família amada e querida,

So the truth is i haven't taken many pictures this year. when i got transferred i lost my charger for my camera and i never needed a camera cause i always have had a companion haha. but i bought a charger last week and it's working well. i just need to remember to take pictures. we are working in a new area with some really neat members. i think i will start taking a picture a day to make these memories last a little longer. but you guys... i don't have a whole lot of free time ever.... haha. today we were studying and in the middle of our personal study president called for us to do an emergency transfer. we had a couple other transfers during the week as well and we had to make the itinerary for interviews with president. 
this week was awesome. we did splits with the ZL's of a zone close to the island and it was a lot of fun. we made tons of contacts and when we were there they marked 4 baptisms! haha. we didn't do anything, but we got to be part of that excitement! :) The two ZLs are south american. one from chile and the other from argentina. i thought it was so funny- an american and a hispanic working as companions and they don't speak the language of the other... the communicate using another language haha. it's cool how i get to meet so many people from other countries and lifestyles. experience of a lifetime.
I love and miss you guys. i thought about bella and how she is the last little kid in our house. the babies are growing up and i will miss that a lot. but i know that here in a little while their will be munchkins running around the house calling me dad... scary thought.
Like i was saying... we are working in a new area. Well our area and this other area. It is called Tapera. the stake had opened a branch there of about 30, but it closed... three times. we are going to meet with the stake president to make some goals, but for now we are working with reactivation. the members there are going to our ward. they have to take a 30 minute bus ride to church and another 30 back home every sunday. Their are a ton of less active members there. we want to reopen the branch, but it has failed 3 times already so we need to do something different.
I am really excited. I know the Lord will do miracles in this new area. The stakes of zion will be strengthened and the work will go forth. 
how cool is that? we get to be a part of this work. I can't tell you how much my mission has taught me. but it's not just the experiences, it's Jesus Christ teaching me. i really feel the spirit in my life and it is something that is changing the way i talk, the way i pray, the way i think and act... The church is true.

i love you guys a ton!
-Élder Grondel jr.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 22, 2013


Another week that seemed to take forever, but passed SO quickly! You know how it is out here. days pass like weeks, but weeks pass like days. We are making a lot of contacts. We are talking with a lot of people and we are finally starting to get a teaching pool. The last transfer we did 3 work overs with zone leaders and we had to help president with 2 conferences plus the transfer = almost no time in our area. But it's all good. The Lord is preparing people to hear us. We are teaching more and we are happy. I cannot tell you guys how great it is to be companions with Élder Alison again. We get along really well and we have a lot of ideas to improve just about everything. 
Today for pday lunch i made french toast and maple syrup. for a second i thought i was seated at the island... it was crazy. But hey, i am sending you guys an envelope with a letter for the 2 gpas. i didn't know the addresses and it's cheaper if i send them this way... this week elder alison's grandma passed away. We got the call at about 9 in the morning. President let him call his family and talk with his mom and dad. His parents aren't members and i listened as he pleaded with his mom to let the missionaries visit her and teach about the plan of salvation.
I don't think we understand the importance of the gospel until the people that we love the most don't have or don't want it... it was sad, but my comp is a champ. he worked hard and didn't let his mind wander. 
Miracles are happening in our mission and in our area. we are really pumped. I loved seeing twinkies again and the slip and slide hahaha! I love my family. You guys are the best!

Amo muito vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.

July 15,2013

Hey momma hey poppa,

So i am in the office already, but we are going home to make tacos for lunch! :D we had a great week. we set some really high goals this week and we worked to achieve them. i cannot tell you guys how tired i am. i have never been so tired. i am sleeping really well. i fall into bed and it's all over im already snoozing. i think its funny how at home i needed a pitch black room, a fan, and all my blankets... nowadays i sleep in the city with doors or windows open, no fan, and whatever blankets we have at home. sometimes i fall asleep on the bus... like city bus haha.
We are making better contacts and we are workind better with the ward. everyone is excited about missionary work. that training came at the right time. we have some people we are preparing for baptism and we found a really neat lady last week who prayed and really wants to go to church.
Last night.. this morning i had a really powerful experience. at 2 oclock in the morning the secretary (Elder Ruesch) came in and woke me up to help give his companion a blessing. his comp was shaking uncontrollably, had a fever, was feeling hot flashes. elder Ruesch has been struggling a lot with portuguese but he was determined to give the blessing in portuguese. i explained how to start the blessing in portuguese.  I did the annointing and he gave the blessing. it was simple, but powerful. He spoke sincerely and when i finished the blessing his comp stopped shaking. We felt a sweet peace and everyone went back to bed with that sweet spirit in our hearts. The priesthood was restored and now worthy priesthood holders are using this power to move forward this work. the church is true. 

i love you guys,

-élder Grondel

July 8,2013

Gente do céu,

So updates- we had a really special baptism this week of a college student. He is from Guine Bissau, Africa! Every time we teach him it makes me think of the kunovskys haha. he is doing study abroad and was pretty involved with parties and everything else his peers were doing. But he has always had faith and he knows the bible really well. He had a desire to follow christ, but lacked something that we couldn't figure out. He was found and taught in february, but it wasn't until we really challenged him that we figured out what was missing. Last month he had some doubts about the word of wisdom... so we challenged him to read and to pray, REALLY pray and ask if it was true. In the next visit we brought a cevada (like rajas cup- that weird 'not coffee' that Brent used to drink) to help him stop drinking coffee and he said he was ready to make the change and wasn't looking back. 
The Lord can change people. He loves us so much and he wants us to be happy. Fiel stopped drinking coffee and stopped going to parties and it looks like after his baptism that he has physically changed. His testimony was rad at the end of the baptismal service. i almost wanted to stand up and say what lexi always says at home: "PREACH IT BRUTHA!" haha. 
OH HEY!!!!!!!!!! So i talked to president about extending... and he said yes! He already entered into the system and changed my release date to november 5 2013. I am really excited. I love my mission you guys and the Lord has given me 6 more weeks to stay and work here in brazil. I thought and prayed a lot about this decision so don't think it was something spur of the moment. 

Amo muito vocês,
-Élder Grondel

July 1,2013


This week was pretty stressful. we had to do the transfer and being my first time... there were some errors. so i have been receiving calls every hour since friday. i am pretty sure it's all resolved, but every time the phone rings i get this sick feeling in my stomach: "what else did i do wrong?" haha
It was a good experience and i am learning a lot of patience. also, planning and how to be more positive. Everything will work out just fine, but somebody has to do something and usually that somebody is me. the transfer is going smoothly, but my comps are leaving. elder banner and elder souza. elder banner is the best missionary i have every met. a true example of someone who has received christ in his countenance. i am sending him back to rescue lexi and reactivate her forever. I will be working with elder alison again! the elder that i trained more than a year ago... in case you forgot. we are stoked and this transfer will be awesome.
I am tired. like, SOOO tired. as i used to say: "i'm ex-HAUSTED" haha. brady will learn a littel bit about that here in a couple weeks (have fun).
I am going to talk to president today about extending one more transfer because i have been praying about it a lot and i have discussed it with my comps... i didn't want to extend because as assistant that would take away the opportunity from another missionary to serve in my position, but i could train in my extra transfer or be a junior companion. i just want to be here for one more. i will let you know what he says. 
I love you guys a lot! Thanks for your prayers. i am receiving the blessing that you ask for me.


-Élder Grondel

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 24, 2013

I like lists. they simplify things. but they can also be incredibly overwhelming. like the list of things i wanted to do on the last 3 p-days that i didn't have time to haha. i am looking at a to do list of 5 thank you cards, 4 letters, byu application, cleanup, laundry, and everything else we have to do this week. it is transfer week... yay! that means fun for us :) we have to plan the transfer, buy all the bus tickets, double check, and then triple check the list before passing on to the zone leaders. awesome!
i really liked that quote momma! We had a miracle happen this week! we have been traveling a lot and we had to help with the conferences so we have not had a lot of time to work in our area. our teaching pool was practically empty, but sunday we witnessed a few miracles:
1- An investigator (Fiel), that will be baptized next sunday, was eating lunch with his friend when we should up for our visit and we invited him to stay. we were there to do a "practice" of the baptismal interview and run through the questions. Fiel's friend like the questions and was really impressed with the principles and standards of the church. We will begin teaching him this week.
2- Two college students that were contacted on the bus showed up at church 3-4 weeks ago. they study and work so we only taught them once. and when we went to teach them again they canceled. and the next time they just weren't there. it didn't make sense. the girl had said she prayed for god to guide her and an elder contacted her on the bus the next morning and invited her to go to church. Sunday she went with a friend and the 2 of them loved it... but then they disappeared! sunday afternoon they texted us and asked us to come by! we went and we had a wonderful visit. they read and felt the spirit. they also began saying prayers daily! 
3- the best of all! a recent convert (Maria) has a 22 year old son who has never shown any interest for the church. they live (literally) in the hood. Jonathon-22, is involved in all kinds of stuff. Sunday however... who was sitting there in elders quorum? JONATHON! he had been interrogated by the police and they roughed him up pretty bad. he was banged up, but i think it knocked some sense into him... pun... not very funny. he realized he needs to change his life so he woke up that morning, and said "momma. im going to church with you today." she was in tears. it's a miracle. 
I love the little miracles that happen. I really enjoyed the training! it was an excellent meeting that helped me see how to overcome some obstacles here in the field. It was great. Also, we ran into some people from Palhoça (my 2nd area) and it was all smiles. they still remembered me and we laughed as we reminisced on the good times we had together. The mission is hard work, but it's also a lot of fun.
Next week my comp will be going home and the best missionary i have ever known, Elder Banner, will also be going home. Elder banner has been assigned, by me, to make sure alexis stays active in the church he is studying leadership at UVU so Lexi, don't think for a second you are alone. if im not there, someone will be watching out for you. btw- he sings SUPER well. just btw's aight?
Brady! you are going to the provo MTC! YES! it is better than são paulo. trust me. have fun. don't get freaked out because you don't know the language like everyone else there. Pray for the gift of tongues, work hard, and Take Advantage of your study time. Focus on preach my gospel- chapters 3, 6, and 10 (more 3 and 10, but 6 is good too). also, make a language study plan (see chap.7) Look up irmão perry and give him a hug for me. also, if you see a sister christensen give her a hand shake and tell her i am still waiting for her letter... :P
I love you guys!
-Élder Grondel jr.

June 17, 2013

Family dearest i love you guys a lot. i had a dream that i was with you today and i could feel how much i really love you all. each one of you. we heard a really neat talk on sunday from a lady in the ward about how we need to find the best in others. our lesson in gospel doctrine was about spiritual gifts and it was neat how we could see these topics linked together. We are all SO different. even in our family- we are athletic, talented, hard workers, and ridiculously good looking, but even still... we are all WAY different.
I thought that was so cool. because that is what makes this world so beautiful. our differences. the forest is beautiful because there a so many different colors, shapes, and sizes. the ocean, outer space... everything!
We had mission conference and we had some pretty neat experiences doing divisions this week. We got to the area where we would have conference about 8:15pm. We had helped President with everything and he dropped us off at the ZL's apartment. My companion went with one of the elders to contact a reference and left me with the other elder to make dinner. Dinner would take 15-20 minutes, but i didn't wanna stay there doing nothing. So we left the apartment, bought a few things at the grocery store and we started to make contacts... but there was no one on the street. I asked if there was an investigator nearby and there was a family on the next street they were teaching. we went there and they let us in AND they had a visitor. We started talking and we taught them the restoration... we invited them to go to church but I don't know what happened next in the story. all i know is that i took advantage of the time i had. It was amazing how the Lord gave us an opportunity to teach because we had a pure desire to help someone. we wanted to work and the Lord rewarded that effort. I learned a great lesson through this experience.
We did splits in a city called Lages... MUITO FRIO! it was soooo cold and they didn't have a lot of blankets in the house. we took some great pictures going to the area that i will send you guys. the couple days there were great and i am amazed with how much i learn every time we work with these elders. they are great examples and they all do something REALLY WELL. it just goes to show, we are all here to shine in a different way. where i am weak my companion is strong and on the division i could see how i picked up some of his skills and applied with the other missionary. I love my mission you guys. i love brazil so much. everything about it.
I thought about you guys a little bit this week and how much i want you guys to value the scriptures, the church, and prayer. Pay attention at church and in your classes. You don't know how much time your teacher spent preparing your lesson, or how nervous he/she might be at times. Say sincere prayers and kneel when you say them.. not underneath your covers. Don't just read the BOM, STUDY IT! You guys will find a great force therein.
Amo muito vocês,
-Élder Grondel-zão dos últimos dias jr.

June 10, 2013

Family dearest,
Once again i am just arriving from a long trip to a distant land. I did splits last week with another missionary. It was great to work with another missionary, but it was also kind of rough. He's american and was having a tough time so president sent me to work with him. To help him out, President asked me to speak english with him. I don't like speaking english, but that's okay. I have been mixing up my english and portuguese for the last couple days, but now i am back home in florianopolis and it's just portuguese. im sure that i'll be back to normal in a day or two. i can't believe how much a couple days messes with your ability to speak! imagine when i come home... i'll be totally tubed if i don't practice and study.
Thanks momma i needed to hear that. i have been asking myself lately- why me? I am glad to hear that. We never know the power of our influence. I am glad to hear you guys are able to see lexi and brady. i have not had any time to work on my byu ap. i corrected the essays that you guys sent me, but i have not even begun the top 5 accomplishments. can you guys suggest some ideas for me? I will send you the finalized byu essays and i will start the fab- 5 moments when i get the chance. It's just hard to find time to, dad knows how that is haha.
This week we have a mission conference and we are going to do a work over in Lages (in the westish and REALLY cold). I will be doing splits there with a kid from Vegas! cool huh?
Good luck at football camp JACOB! Work hard, smash and trash, and always- ALWAYS stay cocky! :P
I love you guys,
-Élder Grondel jr.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 3rd 2013


today was crazy so i am writing to you all very late. i cannot believe that we all got so old. sister fine already got home, sister kohler, elder klumker comes home soon... and when does sister winterose get back? haha. channing is due back any day now right? the burb's are headed out soon, we already have an elder kohler, soon another elder grondel, my good friend audrey is going to the philipines, my other friend emalee is serving in australia... when did we get so old? next thing you know i will be paying bills and changing diapers... (your diapers mom and dad because you guys are getting olddddd hahaha). cassie is prego, matthew george got married. 
I want to think that i got more mature on my mission, but even though i changed a ton and got fat, i feel like i still have so much to learn and change and do better. I love you guys a lot and i really appreciate your support. There are some elders that don't have any support or are the only members of the family. i feel for 'em but i find myself motivated to be a good father. i am inspired by these sad stories because the desire to have a gospel based family becomes stronger and stronger. 
I just got a letter from zack abbott and as i thought about what he said i remembered that president would send you guys a letter and i imagine it will arrive this week. so yes, i am working in the mission office, but not just working here with the secretaries. i am working as assistant to the president. it is a HUGE responsibility- conferences, transfers, splits, training, problem solving... there are a million things and instead of praying for my comp and my 14 elders or sister i now have the responsibility of more than 150 missionaries. it's challenging and a lot of the time i feel like i am not qualified to be in this position. there are missionaries that are way more qualified, that multi-task better, and i am learning humility very quickly as i work in this position. 
i like it because we get to do splits with the zone leaders. we get to travel throughout the state and we started where??? ITAJAÍ! Elder Souza and I went to itajaí to start off our splits. it was sooo fun! we visited all the recent converts and we did a family night with the family that got baptized after i got transferred. The mom of the family, carla, made a pillow for me using my "team" from brazil corinthians haha. and she wrote me a very touching letter. In the letter she bore her testimony of the restored gospel. i remember reading carefully every word... you can't BUY words like that. I remember thanking heavenly father for allowing me to be the instrument that helped this family find the truth. they will be sealed next year and already have a goal set! i will be here for that special day!
Hey, so i have something serious to ask. I have been seriously thinking about extending my mission one more transfer. I can up to 30 days of my release date (oct. 12) and the transfer ends Nov. 5, so i could extend. I want to, and when we were updating presidents board my card doesn't have a release date written... all the other elders from my group have a date written there, but not mine... 
I love you guys. thank you for everything. pray for me. pray for the mission.

-Élder Grondel jr.

May 27th 2013

Hullo mother... hullo father,

I love you guys a lot. do you ever get tired of hearing me say that? i hope not. 
I cannot believe emily already got back. what a trip. she was having a rough time in the MTC and i don't know how many times i meant to write her from the field. but you know how it is... p-day is the day you wait for the longest and passes the fastest. we get up, work out, prepare, and study until 11. we leave and send email. buy something to eat for lunch or make at home. we get home at 2 or 3 clean up the house, write some letters and before we know it we are putting the tie back on to go back to work. 
I have some personal goals for this transfer and until the end of my mission. There are some things that i would like to do. recently i have been thinking- i waited my whole life to be on my mission and here i am... but what have i done? what did i accomplish? at times this has been gratifying but at others it has been saddening and frustrating. On the search for perfection... hahaha. i am trying to find my joy in the journey :)
Last week we had a kid from the US, who got his visa late, arrive in the airport alone. He spent four months in alabama and he was fried. Me and elder alison went to the airport to pick him up and he was not understanding anything that anyone was saying. he looks like harry potter! he was pretty frustrated and he was sitting alone so me and the financial secretary sat and talked with him for a while. he was nervous, frustrated, and REALLY tired. we did our best to help him out and president and sister fernandes complimented him like crazy on his portuguese i think he is doing better now. 
We had a really special group arrive and we got to eat dinner with all the greenies. It was a real neat experience. We had a testimony meeting and the spirit was really strong, but subtle. and sister fernandes really really knows how to cook. oh my goshness!
You have to congratulate emily for me. im sure she was a great missionary. she has such a sweet spirit and i always admired her example. Her and matt george are my heroes. studs of the latter days.

Jake- you got brady's number, my attitude, and plenty of time to do work. Set goals! make plans to work out and be prepared for the season. if you want to be the best you have to work the hardest and have the most fun haha.
Gerrit- you rock bubba! I like samuel the lamanite too. way to go dood!
Levi- He is so wise... like a miniature budda with pasqueti hair :P way to help out momma leavers!
Momma- thank you for being so amazing. you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for the counsel. that is exactly what i needed to hear! I want to be like nephi and i want to be a great missionary.

Amo vocês,

-élder Grondel jr.

May 20th 2013

hey family dearest,
I am sitting in the mission office with about 10 elders that are leaving tomorrow. two were my companions and one of them was my trainer... it is unbelievable seeing these elders that i have served with for so long going home. i know that the mission ends but what about the missionaries that stay? it's not the same mission anymore ya know? these missionaries you admired for so long. missionaries you looked up to going home...? everything is changing. i guess that's just gunna be life right? growing up, moving in and out.. so many changes. i guess that's the only thing that is constant- CHANGE!
Thank you for the suggestions and the corrections. i will take a look probably next week because today is the last day with these elders that are leaving. i am really going to miss my comps and the friends that i made from this group that is going home. Elder Noel (who is going to visit you guys!) is a missionary who really influenced my mission and an elder that i really admired. he changed my mission. Aside from president, he is the person that most influenced my mission.
I hope that we can all keep in touch after the mission. so many elders! Elder Christensen, eide, noel, welling, emerson, martin, longo, etc...
never forget the power of your influence. people will remember you on the mission (and in life) as someone that made a difference  for better or worse. don't worry about pleasing people so much. sometimes we have the bring the hammer or work won't get done. even Christ took a whip to clean up His temple.
I am going to play some basketball today :D wish me luck!
-Élder Grondel jr.
PS- Lexi, stop dating losers. make a rule for yourself- first date = no kisses. i have a couple of missionaries that could help you with a paradigm shift. ok???

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 13, 2013

It was so good to see you all yesterday!

I was so happy talking to you guys... i don't think you have any idea! :) I really am starting to feel the joy that the gospel brings to my life. I have never been happier than i am right now. I have wonderful friends that have the same standards as me. They push me to be better and when i am around them i want to be better. WE want to be better. We work hard, but i have never had a comp like i had here in itaum (my current area... i will be transferred tonight). he is a stud that has really inspired me, but i also see why i was called to be with him. I have spoken very little if hardly any english in the last year, but i had some long conversations in english with Elder Luschin that helped me a lot as a missionary and as a person. it's funny how your personality can change because of the language. Speaking in english (just a little!) helped me realize i am still a goof ball and life isn't all serious. However, bearing my testimony in english solidified the testimony i bear daily in portugues. how cool is that? for almost 2 years i have born my testimony almost every single day... what a great blessing. I love you guys! I love you all soooo much! work hard, have fun, and be true to who and what you are! 

-Élder Grondel jr.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 6, 2013

We are really trying to be great missionaries here. We are running into a lot of opposition here, but the talk mom sent me gave me a lot of hope. and as élder bednar said about the work of changing ricks to BYU: "if i thought we were alone i would be terrified. but we have help from heaven." or something like that. i am speaking better than ever, studying better than ever, trying harder than ever, working smarter than ever... but for some reason we haven't hae any real results. we had some this week and i realized we need to stay more positive and trust more.
it's not just about doing... but being as well. this month i chose to focus on my patience. i will be patient with myself and others. not easy!
i loved the letters! thank you guys so much for writing me. i miss you guys a lot and your letters help me feel a lot closer to you guys. you don't know how many times as a missionary i have read and re read and re read your letters or looked at your pictures... i love you guys so much.
OH! and send a HUGE thank you to the ivanoff family! i will be sending a card this week, but i love love love reeses. i don't know how they know that, but i am grateful :) i didn't know reeses came in bars that size... how do you say 2nd best day of my life? 
no for real gang. i love you and i wanna make you all proud. but more than anything i wanna make my heavenly father and my savior proud. i think that is why this mission is rough at times. it's not always because the investigator rejected the message, but because we feel like we failed the savior... :/ I know He loves us and wants us to be happy. i will work to make Him proud this week.

i invite you guys to work and live to make Him proud as well!


-Élder Grondel

April 29th 2013

Ó élderes e sísteres,

One more week went by and i didn't even see it. i sure felt it, but the time is flying by. i hit another milestone and realized that i will be going home in 5 months. I feel like i still have so much to learn! we had a special multi stake conference that was presided by Pres. Richard G. Scott and directed by Elder Stanley Ellis of the seventy ("do you want the truth? or would you like it with sugar?"). The conference was excellent, the spirit was strong and so pure. i love being gathered together with the saints. so many singing proudly- "i am a child of God" ... it was a very special moment. it was neat seeing president scott speak portuguese. he and elder ellis didn't use translators and i felt once again the sweet truth that the spirit doesn't have an accent. he speaks clearly to each and every one of us. 
The week was a little rough running after less active members, trying to schedule visits, calling tons of people, confirming plans... and a million other things.
Sorry is don't have a recording, but there isn't a TON to report from this end. We have a solid companionship and my comp is a super star. he is from germany and his dad is the architect behind the temple in rome... and preston... and kiev... and some other temples haha. he comes from a very strong family in the church and has had a pretty rad upbringing living in various countries. his dad served in england as well! haha. only the best are sent there right? ;)
i love you guys so much. i hope you feel that in my emails. i think about you guys, i pray for you, and i am really trying to work hard so that you can all be proud of me. My mission saved my life. i don't regret a single day. i don't regret a single moment. i don't regret a dime. this is the best investment that anyone could ever make. The church is true. 
I love the book of mormon. i am in 3 nephi 18. Christ is such a great teacher. He really loved those He served. i hope i can learn that:
Experience! - we were making contacts yesterday on a road and i have never been received so terribly. we started to be a little sarcastic and jaded because of the way people were talking to us. Élder luschin said- élder we need to say a prayer. we can't keep doing this because it makes us no better than them, it drives away the spirit, and without the spirit we are never going to reach them the way we want to. we said a prayer and made our last contact of the night. The girl that came to the door was horrid. she was incredibly disrespectful, but we were okay with that. we didn't make rude comments after and i realized something:  Many missionaries who slack off on the mission will go on the leave the church. but also, missionaries who become jaded and are frustrated for their entire mission will also fall away. Even missionaries that worked hard, kept every rule, and were diligent will fall away. why? because they didn't learn to LIVE the gospel and be happy living it. They never learned to LOVE like Christ OR be a true disciple. as we learn in a special hymn: "by this shall man know ye are my disciples- if ye have love one to another." 
I love you all. pray that i might have charity and patience and pray that you might have charity as well. 

Amo muito vocês, tenho saudades, mas estou perto de meu pai celestial. sei que ele nos ama. Saibam que ele está cuidando muito bem de seu filho e seu irmão. Vocês são os melhores :D

-Élder Grondel jr.

April 22, 2013


This week was super tiring. I don't think i have slept so well at night in my entire life. Missionary work can be incredibly exhausting. The area is great, the members are solid, but the teaching pool was very empty when i got here. We are going to work a lot with less actives in an attempt to split this ward. President's goal is the divide this stake and the itajaí stake to create another stake before the end of the year. I am excited to be here and be part of this vision! We lost a couple days because of the transfer, but we were blessed with many miracles. My companion is a stud and works really hard. I think it is interesting to see where i am at now as a missionary. I got to the house and the first thing i wanted to see was the area book and i wanted to know abou the investigators and the ward and the bishop... it's all habit. I immediately had some ideas to increase our teaching pool, my comp wanted to tract on some roads close to home, and we went to work. We had  a really great lesson with Israel and he went to church on SUNDAY! he liked it a lot and we are going to do the follow up visit today. He was studying to be a padre in the catholic church but as he studied more and more... the more he realized he was in the wrong place. He said: "i had that same question joseph had. if it isn't this one... which one is it??" I know the lord is preparing people to receive the message of the restoration.
I was missing itajai a lot this week. i actually almost cried. i realized that i really loved the people i was serving there. i love the members and itajai will always have a special place in my heart. i was asking the lord to help me figure out why i had to leave so quickly. I loved it there, the work was going super well... and the Lord helped me see why i needed to be transferred. The Bishop of our ward. I have a TON i am going to learn from him. He is intense, demanding, and incredibly righteous. He doesn't wait for anyone and has no patience with idleness. he has this laugh he does that kinda reminds me of Dad too. The Lord always has a purpose for everything He does.
Thanks for the updates! i am glad that you guys liked the pictures. We had a lot of fun taking them. The airplane picture is my favorite! haha.

I am so proud of all of you guys. i ove and miss you all. enjoy the recording :)

-Élder Grondel

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2012

My favorite mormon family, 

Hey gang. This week was a roller coaster that had some very high highs and some very low lows... Monday we had zone counsel and it was excellent. We had a great training, practices, and it was so good to see Élder Bell again haha. Tuesday we did a trail with president and i took a bunch of pictures. i will be sure to throw in a few for you guys. We had another training with president on thursday and baptismal interviews on the same day in another city... so we had a "shorter" week. We had some frustrations that i believe i could have handled better, but it's all good now. I got transferred! Happy and sad. I loved my last area and it was hard to leave the recent converts and the family (karla, rogério, and caroline) that marked the wedding/baptism. When i said that i was going to be transferred to Joinville Karla cried... a lot. We had a very special visit sunday night at their house and i felt and saw the diference that the gospel makes in our lives. i don't know how to explain it all through an email, but i hope you guys value the teachings and principles the church offers. I have seen miracles on my mission. 
We had two more baptisms and on sunday, we had something amazing happen. We baptized leonardo- 9 and manoela- 10 (cousins). Their dads are not members and moms are less active, but for the first time in years they went to church together for the confirmation. I was so happy! We left a 'stories of the book of mormon' with them and left a dedication on the title page to help them remember their baptism. I was a really special way to finish my time in Itajaí. 
I love you guys a ton. he are some pics for you guys! oh, please, whoever is taking care of my facebook- get on and accept everyone from brazil haha. 

-Élder Grondel jr.

ps: my new companion is from frankfurt, germany... in the middle of brazil who'd a thunk it?


April 8, 2013

Familia grondel de souza santos machado de oliveira (Real brazilian last name... at least the length...),

We had a solid week and we did divisions with the assistents. We had a ton of fun and we learned a lot with them. one, elder banner, was my companion in videira and the other elder ludgero is a clown who made me laugh the whole day. The complimented our work ethic and drive and i was happy to be able to credit that to you guys. I love being able to say "My parents are returned missionaries" instead of my dad is a returned missionary. I really, really, really enjoyed the conference this year. It didn't seem to be 2 hour sessions. I was so absorbed in the messages and i was clinging to every word. Trying to think of how to apply this to my investigators and my own life. I noticed a few themes: Obedience (with an emphasis on chastity), Member missionary work, and relationships in the home- husband and wife, parent and child. 
I was really happy with the counsel that was given to the youth to "not hyperventilate when a doubt comes up." Also, the counsel in respect to our future marriages. I learned a lot and i really hope that i am as lucky as the seventy from guatemala when i get back and shake everybodies hands haha. 
I also really liked how they spoke to the full time missionaries and acknowledged our work as more than admirable. I loved conference. every minute! 
We had a family of investigators that went and we marked the wedding for may 10th and the baptism for may 11th! we also had another young couple (that we were not expecting) that showed up to watch conference. He ended up giving us a ride home and the two REALLY liked the conference. they wanted us to mark a day this week and they said they will be at church this sunday.
We have two baptisms this weekend and the transfer... so if i leave, i will be leaving on a high note! I love itajaí i don't know how to tell you how amazing it has been to be here with this ward. i learned a lot about leadership and courage here. I have learned a lot about consistency, keeping promises, and being prepared... so many lessons. so many lessons!
Let life be the professor. I really liked quentin l cook's talk about real peace and president uchtdorf's talk about walking in the light. President monson made me laugh so hard when he taught about obedience... 
Guys. The church is true, the angel flew, the book IS blue. I love the scriptures. They are a font of support, love, and direction. i learn from them almost daily and i love the book of mormon. The book of mormon is truly the word of God. Joseph Smith restored the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth and was given the Priesthood power of God. We have this power! The church is true.

Amo muito vocês!
-Élder Grondel jr.

April 1, 2013

Hey family i love you guys.
So we had a pretty good week. We baptized Stephanie and i don't think i have ever seen a recent convert integrated better than her in my life. The relief society, young womens, and all the members have made her feel so welcome. We had two baptisms marked for saturday, but the little girl(emanuela) couldn't make it this weekend. her cousin (leonardo) wants to get baptized too and has been going to church with his grandma every week so we are going to mark their baptism on the 13th of April :) 
Gente, this is my favorite area. I love itajaí! I can even imagine living here after the mission when my kids are a little bit older... but that is another story entirely. I finished my essays and i left the notebook in my apartment. wow i just realized that i don't have it. I want you guys to look over the essays and critique them. what can be changed or improved. They all can be up to 250 words so i don't need to shorten them. 
I cannot believe that it is already april. i will talk to you guys next month and after five more months i will be at home talking face to face with you guys! can you believe it? this mission has/ is changing my life in so many ways. Today we had to clean the house (1st pday of every month is 2-3 hour cleaning) and it is amazing how you feel after a job well done. I have also become a clean sink freak! i cannot stand a single dish in the sink. Mom, i think i understand why you and dad got frustrated with us for not cleaning up after ourselves. 
"If you just take 5 minutes to rinse off your plate and clean up after yourself we wouldn't have this mess"- Darrin and Rebecca Grondel. Wise words mommy and poppy dearest. HAHA. you learn because you want to or because you have to. but in the end you will always end up learning. right? 
I am in third nefi and i am blown away with how the Lord answers our questions through personal study and through others. A less active member we are going to visit this week has had a rough life, her and her mom. she talked about a ton of things that have happened and are happening to make her life hard. She asked "what did my mom do to deserve this? She is doing everything right and still the Lord hasn't answered." In third nephi in the 2nd or 3rd chapter the gadianton robbers get so powerful that the lamanites and nephites have to work together to defend against them... oh in other words: The crises brings us together. 5 years ago no one knew where haiti was unless they were going on vacation. And japan? they made video games and anime. but... after a tsunami and an earthquake suddenly the whole world was running to the rescue. At times we need tragedy to learn and to open our eyes. To come together and seek the Lord in humility. Like i said, we can learn if we want to or because we have to (Alma 32...).
You guys are the best and i love you so much. i pray for you and your success in everything. Be your best and leave unto the Lord the rest.

-Élder Grondel jr.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

March 26, 2013

Momma and poppa bear,

First off... we didn't go to the temple because it is outside of mission boundaries, but the ward went and one of the families we are teaching went as well! They were at church again and they are progressing quickly! It is amazing here. It is starting to get cold now and i caught a pretty intense cold. I am talking funny and everyone is telling me to drink water, tea, and vitamin C... thanks yall! haha. This week was excellent and I studied the difference between grace and mercy for the first time. Did you ever realize how great the bible dictionary and topical guide are? We had an interesting encounter with a "christian" the other day. He tried to defame joseph smith and the book of mormon AND mormon doctrine saying that only the bible has the truth and god given revelation. We didn't bible bash! you guys would have been proud of us. We were able to quote scriptures and bear testimony of simple gospel truths. I love the power we can feel when we testify of the restoration.
I am glad that my letter finally arrived. I sent that a long time ago... and speaking of a long time, i still haven't received any packages since the christmas package. I will keep an eye out for my box, but thanks for everything you guys. I love the photos. It's like im really there, but always show up late for the birthday parties haha. This week i finished helaman! i am starting 3 nephi and i am really impressed with how prophecies were fulfilled exactly. Many people were converted, but even with proof (one day-one night-one day as one day) there were people who still didn't believe! President said something really cool and president mazzagardi repeated it: Testimony doesn't save ANYONE! Conversion is what will save us. Testimony = To know. Conversion = To be. We can't just know what is right. We have to be what is right and do what is right.

Eu amo vocês para carumba!

-Élder Grondel

March 18, 2012

Hey so this week was solid,

We are doing good work family. I promise! We had a really good week here and we found a bunch of new investigators. We also (with some guidance and inspiration from Jairo Mazzagardi of the setenta) were able to work with recent converts to get some references. We had a new family at church on Sunday and we marked some other visits for this week. We can't do this work alone. We have to work together! Pres. Mazzagardi talked a lot about this- he lifted his hands and said i can do this much... so what do i need to do if my area needs more than this? I NEED MORE HANDS! So with that counsel (sp?) we made a plan to work more with the ward. I cannot believe it, but the work is getting better every week. Literally. We have learned so much until now. At times i wish i could go back with the knowledge and instruction that i have, but... even if i could i wouldn't haha. We need to learn and grow to be better where we are, when we are there.
I feel like i am just now starting to understand what a mission is and how it should be done. Our zone is being super blessed! we have had baptisms in almost every area and the missionaries are working harder than ever. We marked 3 baptisms for the 30th of march:
-Stephanie, she started going, started reading, and she really feels the spirit when we teach.
-Santa... (yes you can laugh it's okay) is a lady who has been searching for a church her whole life and told us "i finally found the one i have been trying to find all these years
-Manuela is 10, super cute, and the daughter of a less active family. we are working to reactivate the whole family
It is going to be a really special experience because the 23rd is the caravan for the temple (in brazil there are only 6 temples so the members rent a bus to go to the temple every 3 months) and the following week we will have the baptisms. I love you guys, i love my comp, i love my area, i love everything! haha.

-I was really nervous in a lesson the other day... the thing is i don't show that i am nervous so no one has any idea that i am freaking out behind a poker face. I talked to my companion about my anxiety problems and how i get so worked up that i don't even want to do the things i love the most- football, wrestling, choir, etc... I am the best at practice, the hardest worker, but when the game comes around i freeze! i freak out and i am not the same on the field. He said: " Élder, those butterflies we all get can be used to improve our perfomance and our abilities or they can ruin everything. Think about it, why do we practice if it's not for a competition. We have to have an opposition or it doesn't make sense so practice and work so hard." Then, Pres. Mazzagardi said something i will never forget: "You have power INSIDE of you! You have to claim that power." (talking later about the priesthood)..."You have power each one of you- Governors and presidents don't have it. judges and generals don't have it. And if you don't have that power no one does."
So, instead of asking the question: "What if i fail?" We need to ask the question: "What if i suceed?" Look at all the great things that you do, visualize yourself being great, and then go have fun. Be great! This week was WAY better and we were able to teach a lot smoother. Pres. Mazzagardi said that we MUST teach the wise, rich, and well off because they are already prepared to be leaders in the church... so we started making contacts with rich people haha. We see a big house or a nice car and "hi... :)" don't limit yourselves you guys. i am trying to be better, but i hope you guys can too.

i love you guys!
-Élder Grondel jr.

March 11, 2013

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM, Bryson Grondel <> wrote:
Olha só esse pessoal folgado!

hey there grondels. I am excited to get your letters and i am super sorry that i have not been writing you guys recently. i miss you all a lot and i think of you guys often. i am reaching the one year and six month mark. i don't remember if i told you or not... but my return date is September 24, 2013. i was talking with an RM yesterday about the mission and i told him- "the last six months is just fun" i have an awesome companion. He is from spokane- Élder Welling. We are laughing all day long and teaching very well together. He is focused, he works hard, and he REALLY knows the doctrine. we had a very special baptism this week. A lady, Maria, who is 85! it took the three of us to baptize here and she was blaspheming even in the baptismal font! she has a problem with her spine so she walks very slowly and tenderly. hahaha
she was entering the font and saying: "Oh my god! only jesus could get me to do something like this! Hey you piece of trash (me) if you let me fall im gunna punch you in the face!" bahahaha. She is our brazilian grandma. Maria is really special. She jokes around and makes fun of us, but she is a sweetie. she calls us her grand kids :)
Our area isn't the only area having success. in the last 4 weeks we have had 12 baptisms! we have baptisms lined up for the 24th (and/or the 30th) and the 13th of april. i am really excited for conference. It is funny because before the mission you don'
It is funny because before the mission you don't wanna get up because you are tired or some other weak excuse... but on the mission you are LIVING for conference. it is a feeling i can't describe. we are all excited and then after we are always talking about it. we remember the talks and we use them to teach investigators. I love the church of jesus christ. we are working hard, but we are tired. this week we had transfers and my comp finished his mission (Élder Emerson- spokane). (monday) so we were up until late finishing packing and we had to get up a little early too. Tuesday- bus at 4:45am to do a baptismal interview in another area. thursday- bus at 5:15 for zone conference... we had a rough week, but maria was baptized and that made it all okay.
I love the book of mormon and i am glad that i can read him every day. we don't always have time to study, but at least we can read during lessons or before bed. He makes all the diference.
It is funny to see everyone so big and gerr gerr losing teeth! haha.
Happy birthday olivia! happy birthday dad! be looking for a letter here in a few weeks. I love you all a ton. i hope that as we approach easter and general conference you guys all watch prepared with one question! or one problem! we have the promise that the Lord will answer if we watch PREPARED (like more than the day before...). I have my question already! :)
I love you guys for realz,

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013


I am sorry that my english is kinda crappy and that there are a lot of pauses, but this week was really special. We baptized probably my favorite investigator, Stella and it was amazing. Her fiance baptized her and i confirmed her at church on sunday. My comp is going home today and actually, he already left for floripa. he has his interview today and then dinner with president. tomorrow he flies home. it was a really, really neat week for all of us. i don't think i have ever felt the spirit so strongly in my life you guys. at church on sunday... i don't know houw to explain it to you guys. during my testimony i felt it so strongly. i don't know everything and i have questions sometimes, but i know what i feel. and what i feel is that these things are true. moroni 7- moroni taught us that we won't pull bitter water from a good font, and we won't pull good water from a bitte font. if we feel good it's because it IS good. "and all good things come from God."
I love you all so much and i really hope that hannah listens to the spirit. we cannot rationalize eternal truths. a finite mind is unable to prove/ comprehend eternity. but we can believe. if we trust, the Lord with answer. we have to take one step into the darknes and trust that the Lord will illuminate one more.
i have a new companion from spokane! yes ANOTHER american hahaha. so much for serving in brazil right? he is dope. we have already served together in the same zone and were already friends before so this transfer will be great. he is a hard worker, so i am feeling really good about this month.

Amo vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.

February 25th, 2013

February 25, 2013

Brady is coming to brazil and is going to a very VERY VERYYY HOT mission. I don't think he has ever seen weather like he will when he gets to the field. I knew that he would come to brazil. I am here, baxter is here... logic clearly states that the 3 b's will stick together haha.

Wow what a relief. i was thinking about him this week, but i was sure he would come to my mission here. i wanted to train him. I don't know how to express to you guys what i am feeling right now... i would have to use the words of nephi and lehi when they were surrounded by a pillar of fire and the voice of the Lord came to them in the prison... "and they were filled with that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory." there are so many good things happening recently... lexi going back to church, getting her GED, brady finishing his papers and getting his call, the little ones living life to the fullest, and here we had 2 more baptisms! :)

I am so stoked you guys. i am really, truly greatful for these many blessing the Lord has given to me and to my family. Even though i am weak, arrogant, and it seems like i shouldn't be so blessed... i am! The Lord loves me and he really loves my family too.

I read helaman 5 today and i loved the chapter! it was soooo good! i was impressed with the examples of just and righteous fathers. In chapter 5 it says that nephi and lehi remembered the words of their father... and the counsel he gave them was amazing and very touching when he explains why he chose their names. He saw heroes inside of his children before they were even born! I love the book of mormon.

I am glad that you liked the letter(s). thank you for the photos!

Amo vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.

* we did a combined baptism with the first ward... :

February 18, 2013

One word- impressed,

Our family is changing for the better and progressing! That is what the gospel is all about! If i have learned one thing on the mission it is that we must always change and improve. We taught a lady yesterday who, rather sarcastically, asked me: "Do you really think that we need this book of mormon? isn't the bible enough? For me i am satisfied with the bible." ... Do we 'need' the book of mormon? what a funny question. I responded that it is not a question of need, but want. I WANT more words from my father. Imagine if Dad raised me until i turned 18, wrote me a big long letter, and said "well bryce, i love you so much that i wrote this letter for you. so when you need me you can read this letter and you will find the answers you need. i won't write more, i won't talk to you, but you'll know what to do. Good luck!" haha. God is MY heavenly father. He wants me to be happy and successful.

Our lesson on Sunday was about the spirit and following the promptings of the spirit. We are studying the life of lorenzo snow and i really am liking the manual this year. I liked the story of the two friends that saved his life by performing CPR in the 1860's... almost 100 years before CPR was developed by doctors and adopted by the medical community... Interesting huh? The Spirit teaches, reminds, and He guides.

I will be giving a training in our district meeting tomorrow about the importance of asking questions and i remembered a tuesday tip that dad sent me a little while ago. we have to ask brave questions that go beyond the surface. I am so greatful for you guys going above and beyond with quotes, scriptures, pictures... you guys don't have to send extra stuff but you do! i love you so much and hope that i can do the same for my investigators. Pray for Fabíola (Fa-bew-la) and Higor (Ee-gor) they will be baptized on Saturday! :)

The church is true!!!

Amo vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.

February 11, 2013

O time bem amado,

I am glad to hear that everyone is doing so well. I worry about you sometimes and i want you to know that you have been included in my prayers. The Lord answers our prayers. I know that He does.

I had a dream that brady came to Florianopolis and i trained him in my last transfer... if everything goes as planned, the timing is perfect and this could really happen!

We had lunch with a "less active" family. they are more like slackers with testimonies you know? The oldest boy is 20 and is moving to São Paulo to play soccer professionaly- it is more like a minor league team, but he has made it clear a mission is the last thing on his list of priorities. His mom tried to blame the members, the bishop, and even the home teachers, but me and my comp, we did our best to defend everyone. The problem is dad likes soccer. he likes is so much that in his free time he works as a referee. but his free time includes sundays and more specifically sunday mornings between 9 and 12 (our meeting hours). They even have coffee in the house. And it isn't hidden, it is on the counter for everyone to see. I learned once again the importance of our example. We can't point and tell others where to go. We have to lead not with our finger, but with our body! If you drink coffee, don't go to church, aren't holding family night, and don't do family scripture study or family prayer... why would your son have any desire to serve a mission? It would be surprising if he did.

I have learned so much until now. I don't know where i would be or who i would be without my mission. We taught a family this week about baptisms for the dead and we taught them that their loved ones are not lost. and better yet, they can be the ones that rescue them! They can go to the temple and perform these sacred ordinances for their loved ones. The gospel is perfect. It changes people. we have a family we are reactivating and baptizing and it is amazing to see the changes! They have a light about them. We marked 2 visits with them this week and they both fell through because of sickness and scheduling conflicts. we werent sure if they would be at church, but sure enough they were there :) The church is true.

Amo vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013


This week was amazingggg. This is probably the best week i have had as a missionary. Not because everything went my way, but because my faith is growing and the Lord was very much present in our day to day. I was able to accept the things that are out of my control, trust in the Lord, and keep moving forward. I can honestly say that i have never been happier than i am right now.
We did two splits with the elders quorum and we were able to teach WAY more people. We had some great visits and on sunday we saw the fruits of our hard work and patience. We have been working hard and we are trying to work smarter as well. We are teaching better, more clearly, and more direct.
The Lord is blessing us for our righteous desires and i am seeing now, more than ever, that the gospel is not a list of beliefs or rules, but a map to be successful and find happiness in this life. We all have problems, but as i was reading moroni 7 he taught that we must have faith, hope, and charity. But he doesn't just say faith. He says: "Faith in Jesus Christ." We must hope that through Christ we will be resurrected and that we will receive eternal life. So no matter what happens, no matter the problems that we face, we have hope. We understand the atonement of Jesus Christ. We know He wants us to be happy.We know that through Joseph Smith a fulness of the gospel was restored and we can find peace in the words of a living prophet.
I have learned to love the words to a hymn- Assombro Me Causa- which in english is: I stand all amazed. We can all change :)

Amo vocês,

-Élder Grondel jr.

Jan. 28th, 2013

Família querida,

Minha nossa senhora essa semana foi uma montanha russa de emoções! We had a great week that ended with a sour taste unfortunately. We worked really hard this week and with patience, the Lord has blessed us. We made a "plan of action" or game plan with Heavenly Father and as long as we are doing our part, He is doing the rest. We have some great investigators and some families are just falling into our lap. This sunday was probably the Best i have had on my mission. Our gospel principles class was full and i was very pleased with the attendance of less actives and investigators at church.

We had some more really neat experiences this week and one of our investigators is dating a guy who goes to utah valley and will move there in march so i will probably see her after the mission. cool huh? I am so glad that lexi is going to church! we are teaching a young gal who just turned 19... 2 weeks ago and she reminds me a lot of lexi. she knows the truth, but has struggled in the past to do what is right. almost everytime that we mark a visit with her... she is not there, or is leaving and we end up having to pass by later. But for some reason i felt obligated to persist and now i understand why. i believe that the Lord puts people in our path that are similar to our loved ones so that we can help them even thousands of miles away. when i teach Ana, i imagine lexi. when ana doesn't read, or go to church i didn't fail her, i failed lexi. You guys will understand better when you are missionaries. But this week we had a very touching visit with almost all our investigators and i really feel the Lords hand in our work. HE is the man! haha.

I love you all!

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21,2013

Hey family,

I left my recorder at home so i will send you a recording next week, but i wanted to tell you guys about some really neat experiences this week. We are teaching a lady, stela, who is dating a member. He lives in the USA, but she will be moving there in march. they met when he came back to visit his parents and she is interested in the church, but this fool talked about some deep doctrine with her and created some serious doubts. At the end of a visit she expressed one to us about the sealing of a family. she didn't understand how you could be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity and then give up on that. how divorce would have power over that. We spent the week thinking about her and how to help. we planned the lesson, did some practices, feedback, and finally, the hour of the lesson arrived. we were nervous, but ready and guys... it was amazing, she asked the questions we had practiced and we were able to respond perfectly to her questions as we taught the plan of salvation. We teach her at the church and the member who we invited couldn't make it, but a member showed up after about 10 minutes. The spirit was strong and during the lesson this member bore her testimony of the gospel. Even better though, this member that showed up randomly? converted from the catholic church (stela was raised in the catholic church too...). The Lord is amazing.
We had another lesson with an awesome couple. José and Marisa. They understood the lesson and the spirit there was so sweet. I really love missionary work and at that house i was reminded why i do what i do. At the end of the lesson i was brought to tears as i invited them to church. José said the closing prayer and he really spoke with Heavenly Father. We all felt the spirit as josé opened up his heart and asked the lord to bless his family. through tears, he ended that sweet prayer. Truly humble and true to his word, he went to church and he really enjoyed it. He already made some friends too!
One more experience was with a companionship. They have not been getting along and it got to the point that one asked to transfer the other and one said he wanted to go home... what?! we were on a division when we discoverd this (me and my comp). we talked to the élders and i was amazed with the way we were able to handle the situation. I don't think i would have been so calm, mature, and unbiased before the mission. we sat down with the elders on the division and we were able to hear the two sides, counsel the two sides, and leave them better than we found them. We left them with a goal to start over. I have never felt the Lord guiding me like this before. I love it.

amo vocês,

-Élder Grondel

January 14,2013


 i had a really good week and i am really enjoying working here in this area. it has been almost a month, and i honestly feel like this is the best area i have served in. I also have a great companion, so that helps me out a lot. We are creating a pretty big teaching pool and we have established goals for the transfer and the nest transfer as well. i realized that i have not been myself lately, so this week i wanted to work on that. i suceeded and this week was actually a lot of fun. it's cool because i can say that now! the mission isn't just work and rejection. it's laughing, feeling the spirit, helping others, and so much more.

We have 2 baptisms marked and we are working with 3 more progressing investigators towards baptism as well. We are also working a lot with less active members here. What makes me really sad are the less active members. they are worse than semi pro football players- "back when i was in high school... in junior college...etc..." they say "o élder i always helped the missionaries, i visited 5-6 families that weren't on my list, i helped plan activities...." they USED to be is the problem. they used to feel the spirit, read the book or mormon, take the sacrament, go to the temple... what is going on? when did this become okay? i hear that they have testimonies, but i don't see it anymore. in their eyes it's as if a fire has diminished to nothing but smoldering ashes. i want to help sooo much and i get so excited on sunday, but they don't come :/

be active in your callings guys. go to the activities. support our ward. be your best and leave unto the lord the rest. HOORAH! (shoutout to joe stinton).

hugs and kisses,

-Élder Grondel jr.

January 7, 2013

beloved family,
i cannot believe that corynn already got back from her mission. i cannot even imagine all the changes. the world just keeps getting more complicated- brady in college, returned missionaries, weddings, and so much more is making life change completely. i feel like on the mission everything is still paused. 
i have had some cool experiences these last couple weeks-

1- we were walking on the road and an older guy with a 4-5 year old girl stopped us:

him- "hey elders how are you?"

us- "we're good. are you a member here? we still don't know everyone."

him- "Yes, but i live in rio grande do sul. im just here visiting this little one"

me- (speaking to the little girl) "what is your name? (stéfani) nice to meet you stéfani. are you having fun on your walk with grandpa?"

... him- "im here father..."

me- "oh... :)..."

2- we made a contact and the lady invited us in. we sat down and a guy came into the living room:

us -"how are you?"

him- "i'm good thanks! how are you young men?"

us- "we're doing well. im élder grondel and this is élder emerson"

him- "nice to meet you my name is alexandre"

me- "right on. so alexandre you live here with your mom?"

him- (a little confused) "my wife."

me- "... so have you... like... uhh... lived here... for a long time?" ... :)

it just goes to show that we need the spirit to discern. am i right?

So we have been working a lot here with less actives and we went to a house this week and met a family that seems very solid and very much okay. as we continued talking, the story unraveled ( gosh i hope i spelled that right). This lady was t - oed feel me? the church nearby is under construction so everyone has to go to the stake center (7-10 minutes in the car... and a bus passes every sunday too). she said she wasn't going because the church was far and she was tired. then i asked, if the church wasn't being renovated would you go? she said yes, but the husband was hesitant. we continued talking and that is when she opened up. she said she doesn't want to go the stake center because their are people there she doesn't want to see, things happened in the leadership, and their are too many fake people. she talked about wonderful people in other churches and how it would be better to be in one of the humble churches closer to home with REAL people. she went on and on about how the true church shouldn't have jack mormons or pride. then she went on to say: "on judgement day God isn't going to ask if you were a mormon because if He only means to save the mormons, he will save less than 5% of the population."

--> you guys asked- "what is one of the coolest experiences that you have had on the mission?" this is one of them^ because my companion and i were cool, calm, and collected. we were able to respond with power, with authority, and we were literally lead by the spirit. i have never felt something like that before the mission. we were able to answer and make them think. we called them to repent. we didn't defend ourselves, we defended the Savior and His church. Some of the best experiences have occurred during rejections because we were able to bear testimony of truth. bear testimony of the book of mormon. bear testimony of joseph smith and the power of prayer. i know that the church is true. and i know that my redeemer lives.

i love you guys so much!

-Élder Grondel jr.