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???