Thursday, August 6, 2009

Week 5 and 6

Hey y'all!! So I know it's been a while since you've heard from me but last week the server timed out on me and when I re-entered my password to get back on the site and send the email, I accidentally hit an extra key and entered the wrong password...which resulted in my email getting deleted...AHHHHH!!! I didn't have time to write another one and so now I'm writing about "both" weeks ;)

Melissa and Logan continued to be amazing and excited for their baptism. They have such a strong testimony in the Gospel now it blows me away and they want to be baptized way badly. I'm really excited for them and the way the Atonement has affected their lives. The baptism itself was incredible. That morning Logan woke up excited and ready to go but then started feeling sick a little bit later. He had Elder Smith and myself come over and give him a blessing, and we blessed him that he would feel better by the time he got to the baptism. When he got there, he was still feeling pretty sick and did not look good at all (he was pretty pale and ashen) but as soon as he got his baptisimal clothes on, he was at 100%! It was almost instant but he went from ready to hurl to completely fine. It was so amazing to see the faith on an 8-year-old boy and that he trusted the Priesthood enough that he knew it could heal him. It was such a testimony builder for myself as well to realize this young boy had this much trust in the Lord. The power of the Priesthood is real, and it made itself manifest that day not only in the blessing, but in the baptism as well. Elder Smith baptized Melissa, and Elder Tanner, Elder Smith's previous companion, was able to come up and baptize Logan. It was beautiful, and one of the most amazing parts of it was when Melissa's husband Kelly showed up. She did not expect him to be there (and neither did I) and it was so amazing to see his love and support for her. Michael, her son, also showed up and it was great to have the whole family there to support Melissa and Logan. Then next day they were confirmed and Melissa's mother came to church for the first time in 39 years. It was so cool to see how the actions of one person can affect an entire family. Since it was fast Sunday, testimony meeting followed the confirmations and the sacrament, and it was very spiritual. Melissa's grandmother got up to bear her testimony and Elder Smith and I did so as well. It was such a wonderful Sunday and the best weekend I've had here.

Shawn is progressing in an ok way. He loves having us over but mainly is just curious about our beliefs and is having us over to learn more; however, the Lord works in mysterious ways so he could have a change of heart. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, though, and said he wanted to start from the beginning, so hopefully he'll see something that answers a question he has had before that the Bible didn't anwer or that didn't explain it as well. We will see.

James and Jessica are two new people in out ward. James has been a member for a while but Jessica is not a member. She said she was interested in the lessons so we went over and started teaching her. We taught her the first lesson and then when we went back a couple of days later, she had all but forgotten everything we had taught her previously. We came to find out she has a mental disability, which makes it hard for her to fully comprehend and retain things that are taught to her. We are definitely going to have to take it slow with her and it could be really difficult, but if we have faith I know the Lord will provide a way. We haven't been able to see her in a while, though, because they both have been pretty sick. We're supposed to see them tomorrow, though, so hopefully that will be a good lesson.

We picked up a new investigator who is nicknamed Korea because he looks Korean. Yeah I don't know why really either. Anyways, he's been going to church for a couple weeks with one of his friends and we had dinner with that family. We invited Korea over for a bit and taught him the first lesson. He really enjoyed it and we will be teaching him again tonight!

Sadly we really haven't had a chance to see many of our other investigators because they have been busy or out of town, so we have been initiating the "Family Mission Plan" in many of the wards. Basically, everyone writes down the names of all their non-member friends, prays about that list, and chooses 3-5 names or families to be in their "Sacred Circle of Friends". Then they pray specifically for those people and try to figure out the next step for them, whether it is inviting them over for dinner, having them for Family Home Evening, inviting them to church, etc. with a goal of eventually getting them to meet with the missionaries (us!) It should help with the work and getting us new people to teach.

Now for the sad/exciting news. As you know, Elder Smith is leaving this week to go home. He has been an amazing missionary and a great trainer. I don't know what I'm gonna do without him (besides missionary work of course!) but i think I'll be able to get by. He has become one of my best friends though, and I'm gonna miss him dearly. I am excited to get a new companion, though, and experience what it's like to have a new Elder. It should be a lot of fun.

Well, it's the end of the first transfer, and I'm so excited I still have 16 more to go!! I don't want to be anywhere else right now and I'm gonna love every minute of it.

God Bless y'all!!

Elder Grondel

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