Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Week 18

This week went well. We were able to get many things accomplished and saw a few of our investigators. But the biggest news came on Saturday night: I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED!

I was so upset to hear it when Elder Nate (one of the assistants to the President) gave me a call, but after prayer and listening to the feelings of the spirit, I know it's the right thing to do. It's going to be really hard to leave the people here in Little Elm and The Colony, but I know it’s the right thing at the time. I've started packing, but I forgot how much stuff I brought with's been 4 months since the MTC (can you believe it?).

I also forgot my planner, and since I'm constantly tired I can't really remember what happened this last week except for some of the big stuff, so I'll try to relate those experiences to you. The week started out normally with P-day and basketball (I've gotten a lot's pretty surprising) and the next day we went on splits with The Colony 1st ward High Priests. We were able to have some good visits. Elder Hatfield taught Jack Rea, and that one will be a tough one to crack because we're not entirely sure if he has a desire to learn or if his wife and daughter are pushing him. Wednesday we went on splits with the Little Elm ward Elders Quorum Presidency and Elder Hatfield went and saw Daniel Mattoon again. We're still waiting for permission from his mom, but his aunt and uncle have moved in which will be good for the family. Both nights I went and saw some less active members with the members I went with and had a good time. Thursday was planning and tracting and active member visits. Sadly, we didn't have anyone to go teach that night. We did come up with a new idea, however. Here in this area, it's really hard to remember everyone because we're over three wards (most missionaries are over 1 or 2), so Elder Hatfield and I came up with an idea that will allow us to remember everyone. We are going to try to see every member of each ward, share a quick spiritual thought, and then take their picture and put it in a big book so we can know who everyone is. It's genius, no? =)

Friday was a fun night. We went and saw Kenneth again and had a really good lesson with him. He is what we missionaries call golden. He really wants to be baptized but he's a little worried that if he tells his parents that he wants to be baptized or is even meeting with us, they won't let him anymore. He's 17, though, so right now we are planning on waiting for him to turn 18 in March, but at the same time we are preying for him and his parents that he will be able to tell them and they will be ok with it. After his lesson, we went to The Colony 1st ward Halloween party! I was able to find a jacket in the back of the closet in our apartment that's made by Wrangler (so it looks like a "Texan" suit jacket) and wore my cowboy hat and belt was awesome. I should have gotten a picture. The members loved it and we had a great time.

Saturday was way sweet as well. We went to Grand Prairie, Elder Hatfield's old area, to baptize a person we knew there. It was a really spiritual baptism and we were so happy to have been able to come back for that. On the way home, I got my transfer call. I have no idea where I'm going or who my companion is going to be, but I find out tomorrow. It should be exciting.

Yesterday was the Primary program in the Little Elm ward and it was so good! I teared up a few times and I felt the spirit so strong. I love hearing the testimonies of children because they are so pure and simple. After Church we went and dropped by people I wanted to see before I left, and I realized how hard it's going to be leaving this area. I've gotten so attached to people here, especially my converts! We went and saw the Warners because that's where we taught Korea and we really had a good time there. They are one of the families I'm going to miss most. We went and saw Delia and her whole family, and are planning on stopping by there again this evening for a few minutes. We went and saw the Lewis' and that was pretty hard. They are one of the best families I have met and I have love being a part of their conversion. They are now shooting for a goal to be sealed in the temple next September, and hopefully I'll be able to go to the temple to be with them for that. I love seeing the way the gospel blesses families and hope to bring many more to the knowledge of the happiness I and many others have. I testify to each of you that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ here on the earth, that the Priesthood authority of God has been restored to us through Joseph Smith, and that the Book of Mormon is not only the word of God, but truly another testament of Jesus Christ. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that he atoned for us so that we may one day live with him again.

I love all of you. May God be with you is my prayer.

Elder Grondel

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pictures from Week 17!

Pictures from Saturday's Baptism

Pictures from Saturday's Baptism

Week 17

Howdy y'all! As I head into the last week of this transfer, I can't help but think it just started!!! The time is going so much faster than I ever would have expected, and the next thing I know, I'm gonna be heading home! I have enjoyed every minute of it though and hope it won't go by too fast.

Elder Hatfield and I are still doing really good. We've been getting along better and have really seen an increase in everything compared to the beginning of this transfer over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll be able to stay together another transfer. He's really grown on me.

This week was J.J. and Hayden's baptism!! It was so amazing too. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room by the end of it. It was really spiritual and everyone there knew that the boys made the right decision. We were so happy for them and the family, and it's once again incredible to see how the Gospel changes lives. The family went from rarely going to church to attending on a regular basis. It was so cool.

This week was a really great week. We saw many of our investigators and a lot of them are progressing. We saw David and Sue this week, and while the lessons went good, it might take Sue some time. She wants to read the whole Book of Mormon before she learns more, but she was fairly open about what we taught her and if she prays with faith and sincerity, she'll get her answer. David said he wanted to keep moving forward, though, so we'll see him tomorrow.

Mendi is still doing good. She is set to be baptized on November 7th and we will start planning her program soon. We are really excited for her.

Friday was a really good day. We went on exchanges with Elder Holt and Elder Pett again, and Elder Pett came to my area. We were planning on lots of tracting in the afternoon, but a woman named Sister Rea called us and said that she and her husband, Jack (who is not a member), wanted to meet with us. They had already talked to us previously, but we hadn't set up a time. We agreed to meet with them that day at the church, and their son and his fiancée were also there. Jack is older (in his 80's) and has had a couple strokes recently. He's thought a lot about it and has decided that he wants to get baptized. Jeff (his son) was born and raised in the church but fell away and has found his way back. He is trying to prepare himself so he can baptize his father. His fiancée Kristina has also expressed a desire to learn more and be baptized, so we will be teaching them all together. We had a really good discussion with them on Saturday and we will see them again tomorrow night.

Later that same day we met with Kenneth and taught him the first half of the Plan of Salvation. He enjoyed it and has always wondered why we're here and those kinds of things. We're happy to be able to tell him and teach him. He still hasn't told his parents that he wants to be baptized and I don't think he's even told them we're meeting with him because he's scared they won't let him meet with us or baptize him, but hopefully he will be able to tell them and they will understand and let him choose. We are praying for him.

The next day (Saturday) we had the baptism (which I mentioned earlier went really well) and later that evening we met with a man named James Hays. He was born in the church but didn't really like it and left when he was 18. Recently, he has come into monetary issues and has turned to the church hoping for support. This has caused him to come back to church with his two kids, a girl and a boy, who are 10 and 5. We met with them and Athena (the ten-year-old girl) told us she really liked church. We asked them if they would like us to come over and teach them, and they said they would. It's been crazy how the Lord has been blessing us with new investigators and people to teach.

To finish off the week, a girl named Brianna in the Little Elm Ward came up to us at the end of Sacrament meeting and introduced us to her friend, who had been coming to church for a couple of weeks and was interested in taking the lessons. We are hopefully going to see her on Sunday at Brianna's house and begin teaching her. We have not been able to thank the Lord enough for the blessings he has been giving us. There are so many things going on here that are waiting to happen. I'm excited to see how it all turns out.

Well that's all from me! I hope everything else is going good for y'all!!

Elder Grondel

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 16

Well everyone, yet another week has gone by. It's the beginning of yet another week, one that should be pretty good too. Last week was good, and as I go through this week, I hope to see success in all that we do.

We saw David again this week, and his wife, Sue, was sitting in the same room. About halfway through our lesson, she became interested in what we were talking about and wants to know more! We said we could teach her from the beginning. She said that was fine, and hopefully we'll see her tomorrow! It's really exciting and the Lord has blessed us so much. I love it!

We went and finished sharing the message of the Restoration with Tessa and her daughter Emily. They really liked it and said they would come to church! Unfortunately we didn't see them there yesterday, but we'll see them again on Wednesday. I think they could be pretty golden. They were both way into it in the lesson and seemed to love it when we started teaching them about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I'm really excited for them. Tessa also said her son would be with them on Wednesday, so we might begin teaching him, too!! It's been amazing.

Daniel is doing well also. We were able to see him Wednesday and taught him what we call the "Eggbert Lesson"...I'll take a video and try to send it sometime. He said he wants to be baptized, but sadly we are still trying to figure out if his mom will let him. Hopefully it will all work out, but we're not sure at this point.

We saw Kenneth again on Thursday and had a really good lesson with him. He believes it's all true and wants to become a member! The bummer is that he hasn't told his parents and he's 17, so if they don't want him to get baptized, we have to wait until he's 18. Hopefully his parents will be able to see this is something he wants and something that will make him happy. It's so amazing to see the desire people have and what they will go through to do what they feel is right. We're excited for him and really hope he can make things work.

J.J. and Hayden are still on track to be baptized! His baptism will be this Saturday and we are way excited for him. The whole family has really started coming back to church on a regular basis and it's been so cool to see them be able to come back to activity. Hopefully things will continue to improve for them and they will be able to attend church more often.

Mendi is also doing well, and is preparing herself to be baptized on November 7th! I know I said we had a date set earlier, but this is the legit one and we are so excited!! She's come such a long way since we first started teaching her and she really understands everything we teach. It's so cool to see how easily she accepts it now and how much sense it makes to her. I have loved being a part of it and hope things continue to work out well. Sadly, that day is after transfers, so if I do get transferred, hopefully I'll be able to come back to see it. There really shouldn't be an issue, but you never know what can happen out here.

Korea is doing well. We saw him yesterday and he's still loving church and is going to school right now at University of North Texas (I's UNT, so that makes sense to me =P). The Lewis' are also doing well and they are having a good time. Delia and her family are great, except for the fact they were fairly sick this weekend. We talked to them today, though, and they are doing a bit better.

Well, that's really all I have this week. I hope all is great back home!

Elder Grondel

Week 15

Hey there everyone! It feels like (once again) it was just a couple days ago that I was writing to you all. I know I said that last week, but it really is flying by! I just hit my 4 month mark on Saturday! I just got out here! I'm loving every minute of it and am hoping to continue working hard to accomplish the goals I have set for this week.

This week went a lot better than the previous weeks have gone. We were able to teach a lot and we got a few new people to teach! Tuesday we went to see a lady named Tessa Nielsen. She had requested a church DVD earlier and we hadn't been able to see her for some time. We finally got an appointment and went and taught her and her daughter. They really liked what we shared and we should see them again tomorrow night! It's really exciting.

We were able to see Amber and Kimberly again on Wednesday. We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and they thought it was great. They are really receptive, but it's hard to see them because they are fairly busy. Amber is going out of town this Wednesday, too, which will make it hard to see them until probably sometime next week. Still, it was really exciting to see them and teach them.

Thursday was pretty awesome. A girl named Leiandie in the Little Elm ward said she had a friend who is interested in the Book of Mormon, and so we went over and taught him. He understood what we talked about, and we committed him to read and pray about the Book of Mormom and to watch General Conference. Apparently he did because we got a text from him Sunday evening saying he prayed about it and thought it was true! He asked on how he could become a member and is really excited! We'll see him again this Thursday and so we'll find out more and get that set up. We have been so blessed and don't deserve it, but the Lord's people hear his voice and he was ready for it! Later Thursday evening, we went and saw Mendi at Bishop Colegrove (The Colony 2nd ward) and we set up a date for her to be baptized! She was set to be baptized November 1st, but sadly that day won't work and she has to reschedule it. But hopefully we'll see her baptized before the end of November. It has been incredible to see her change and we are so excited for her.

Friday was pretty good too. We went on exchanges with Elders Holt and Pett serving in the Frisco 4th and 5th wards. I went to their area with Elder Pett. We had a really good time. Minus a Bible bash in the afternoon (which I promise I didn't start), we had a good day. We were able to do some service for the members they live with and taught a really powerful lesson on prayer later to a part-member family (the dad is a member, but the mom and kids are not). It was really fun.

The next day was awesome. General Conference. For those of you who don't know, twice a year the leaders of the Church address the world in 5 different sessions every 6 months: the first weekend in April and the first weekend in October. There are 4 general sessions: two on Saturday and two on Sunday, as well as a Priesthood session Saturday evening for all males 12 and older. There is also a meeting for the Young Women in March the week before Conference and the same thing for the Relief Society in September. This Conference was really good and extremely powerful. There were many talks given that hit me hard and that had real power behind them. If anyone wants to listen to or read the talks given, go to and click on General Conference.

I am also happy to say that the people who have been recently baptized are still doing well. We've been teaching Kimberly and Amber at Delia's house, We just saw the Lewis family last Tuesday, and just finished the New member lessons with Korea. It has been amazing to me to see the Lord's hand in all that we do. It has been a real testimony builder for me too, as I know that if we trust in Him and push forward through even the hardest of times, the Lord will bless us for our faith and perseverance.

As always, I love you all and hope all is going well. Don't be afraid to write! Hopefully I'll have new pictures up soon as well. =D

Elder Grondel