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