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,