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