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
Monday, January 21, 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.
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.
Hey so interesting stuff has happened recently...i have been praying for like the last idk... 2 years for the lord to put me with brazillians, but each time, i realize why the lord put me with my companion. so much to learn, observe, and experience. i hope you guys are learning from mom and dad and your brothers and sisters. we have so much to gain from others.
my comp and i are both willing to work and he is a stud. he is from spokane too, so we are repping washington. yeah buddy. he is always happy... and he just believes. it's incredible. it would be annoying if it wasn't so inspiring haha. he is an example to me in humility and faith. i feel like my whole mission i have hoped or wished and he is teaching me how to believe and how to trust. we have the coolest, and i repeat, the coolest ward here. they are all excited about missionary work and we have some great families that bend over backwards to help out the missionaries. i love the gospel. it really can change people if you let it.
I still don't believe that missions end. i also don't believe that i will ever get married. new years resolutions...
-do exercises daily
-love people more (or at least like them...a little)
-comer cuz cuz da molesta!
-write in my jornal
-write my family weekly (letters not just email)
I got the package! ... the day after christmas lol. thank you so much! i loved it all. even those sick candy canes that broke, melted, and stuck to everything else in the box haha. the peanut butter almost made me cry. reeses? oh and butterfingers... i forgot the taste! thanks so much for the football! we threw it around on new years eve :) it is good to throw a football again haha.
i love you guys so much. thanks for everything. be righteous and be your best. the church is true!
-Élder Grondel jr.
the area is great, my comp is an answer to my prayers, and the ward is just a dream. sorry if my emails are hard to read... haha. i am soooo excited to talk to you guys tomorrow you have no idea. i will try to log in on my account and i will call brady or i will call dad. they both have profiles right? so 3 my time...i dont know what time it will be there.
i love you guys so much! merry christmas!
-Élder Grondel jr.
wow you guys are so diabolical. Though i am impressed that you have developed the gift of discernment so well. that is absolutely what he would say if he sent me an email. write down the the linguagem. So crazy story... i was on the bus. just minding my own business and read james when all of a sudden i started hearing english... i looked to my write and this young girl was on the phone speaking english. what?? so i asked:
do you speak english?
are you american?
... how do you speak english? hahah
So angela (her name) is 26, she was born in paraguay, her dad is american-brazilian (didn't fully understantd) , and her mom is from uruguay and speaks portuguese. She spoke all three perfectly. we started talking and for the first time, i taugh the restoration in english and it was really... really... hard. also she had some tough questions, but she was really smart and very mature when it came to religion. she had grown up traveling and doing missionary work with her parents so she could relate a little bit to what we do. but it was in this moment that i was able to say- "what we have, and what the restored church of jesus christ has is more. you have the bible? we have the book of mormon and a living prophet." It was hard, but it was very to sit and talk with her. i realized that i have changed a lot. that i truly have a testimony. its weird to speak english. Portuguese is the language of my testimony so when i teach or talk about the gospel in english, it's like a confirmation of what i have been saying. it's neat to see how i have changed and what i can be when i return home. missionary work can never stop. we have to be preaching and teaching our entire lives.
THanks zac for everything that you do brother. you really are a boss bro. word!
I love you guys and will send you more info about christmas when i can. you don't need to send me shoes because my comp gave me a brand new pair! i liked him a lot. i am writing from itajaí! My new area. i got here today actually so i am very excited. i am close to the island and i am close to the ocean again. To say the least i am happy.
thank you for everything you guys. you don't know how much you helped me during all these trying times. you guys are the best.
-Élder Grondel jr.