Hey y'all! It's been an amazing first week! As you may know, I got to the field last Monday and have been busy ever since. Tuesday morning was the transfer meeting and I met my new companion and trainer, Elder Smith. He has only 5 weeks left out here, and I'm his third "son" (greenie). He is so amazing and knows more about teaching and explaining well than I could have ever imagined.
Right after the transfer meeting (on Tuesday), we went to an appointment we had at 12:30. I didn't even get a chance to go to the apartment before we got into it! It was really good, though. We taught two sisters, Gabriella and Veronica, and their daughters. Gabriella has one girl named Carla and Veronica has two girls named Joanna and Alex. They are really eating it up and understanding it very well. Later that night, we met with a 17-year-old named Peyton who wants to be baptized but can't because his mother won't let him. He knows it's true though and we're excited for him. After that we ran over to a house where a mother, Delia, and her two boys, Michael (15) and Adrian (8), live. Elder Smith and Elder Tanner, his former companion, had already committed them to baptism and they are getting baptized on July 4th, a.k.a "Uhmerica Day".
Wednesday, after our studies we had a District meeting, where I found out Elder Hall and I are in the same district!! I miss everyone so much already and it's really nice to be able to have a familiar person in the group. After that meeting, we got some lunch and then met with a young man named Juan we bumped into on Tuesday. He works at a local Wal-Mart, and is going through some tough times (his girlfriend just dumped him, his car broke down, some legal problems). He told us he "needed God in his life again", and we were only happy to help him. When we met with him, we talked a lot about the church Christ had set up when he was on the earth, and how it fell. He seemed really interested, and we set up an appointment to see him again on Friday. After Stopping at Juan's, we went and knocked on doors, and holy guacamole is it hot here. The heat itself is fine, but you add humidity to it and it's just horrible. Once you start sweating, you don't stop. We were tracting and ran into a kid named Ivan, and he let us in and let us teach the first lesson. He is so-so about it, but he agreed for another appointment. Hopefully something will come of it. Later we taught the Lewis family, who consists of the mother Melissa and her husband Kelly and her three boys, Michael, Branden, and Logan. Melissa, Kelly, and Logan are really progressing, but Branden and Michael are not. Michael also causes problems and it is unlikely he will keep any of the commitments we give him. We met with Delia, Michael, and Adrian again tonight, and they are on fire, especially Delia. This Gospel has changed her life so much. She has become quite the missionary too, and has asked us to send missionaries to her sister, brother, and mother.
Thursday we had our weekly planning meeting. Half the time was spent on the phone making calls for appointments and what not. We did a lot of tracting after that, too, with very little success. It was depressing. That night totally made up for it though. We went over to Gabriella's house to teach her and the others the Plan of Salvation. It was amazing. Elder Smith and I were both feeling the Spirit, we were teaching well, and the Lord did the rest for us. Elder Smith extended the invitation to be baptized, and they said yes! We've only been teaching them a week, but they get it. The five of them are set to be baptized July 25th; Elder Smith and I are so ecstatic. The Lord has blessed us so much it's crazy.
Friday we did a lot more tracting. We didn't have an appointment until 3:30, and sadly, as before, we didn't have much success. We met with Juan at 3:30, and he is really doing well. The discussion we had was a little too casual for us (we were helping him change a tire as we taught), but he got the message. We finished up the Restoration and left him with a Book of Mormon, which he said he would read and pray about. I'm excited for him. We had dinner with a member (I forgot to mention: we are fed essentially every night by a member...I'm gonna get so fat.) and went to the home of a less active family with an unbaptized ten-year-old son (if a child is over the age of 8, the missionaries need to teach them before they can be baptized). His name is J.J. and he is a sweet kid. He's really into baseball, and can already throw a 60 MPH fastball! And he's like 90 pounds! He's awesome and we hope to see him baptized soon. We went over to Delia's house again and taught them some of the commandments that need to be kept in preparation for their baptism. They are so amazing and I'm so happy for them.
Saturday was so legit. We were able to see one of Elder Smith's converts, Mickey Wilson, from an earlier area get sealed to her husband and daughter for time and all eternity in the Dallas Temple! It was such a great experience. The daughter joined the church about 15 years ago (I think) and Mickey's husband joined a few years later. Years after her husband joined (and just over a year ago), Mickey joined the church as well. That afternoon, we had a bunch of appointments cancel, so we did a lot of tracting. We were let into the home of a Nigerian woman named Franca and her sister's friend, Eseoso. They were both very open to the message we had to share, and agreed to set up another lesson. Hopefully they will continue to have an open heart and mind.
Sunday was long. It was so much Church. Thankfully we had ten investigators there to keep us occupied. We were really happy, considering it's normally no more than 5 or 6 at church. After Church we went to dinner, where I ate way too much. We went to Peyton's house after dinner and taught him the Plan of Salvation. It went really well, but dinner didn't sit too well... Thankfully we only had a short appointment after that. When we got home I essentially went straight to bed.
This morning stunk though. Neither of our alarms went off and we didn't get up until 7:45. We were pretty upset, but we played basketball later with the rest of the district and it was a lot better after that...until I got a major headache. I was feeling the after affects of last night and barely ate anything for lunch. I took some ibuprofen, and thankfully that pretty much got rid of it. Tonight we're meeting with the Lewis' and Delia and her kids. It should be a good night.
I miss and love you all.
Elder Jeffrey Douglas Grondel
P.S. Write me!! I love getting letters from people! =) Here's my new address:
Elder Jeffrey Douglas Grondel
203 Main St. #B202
Little Elm, TX 75086