Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 23

Hey y'all! This week has been awesome! Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. I think I gained about 5 pounds...thankfully I'm on a bike so I'll probably ride it off. It was sweet though. That morning Elder Van Cleve and I played in a Turkey Bowl with a bunch of members from the 4th ward and had a way good time. I jammed my finger REALLY swelled up a bit and still hurts when I move it too quickly or put too much pressure on it, but thankfully it was on my left hand and it's healing very nicely. We were tempted to turn it into a tackle game but I'm glad we didn't...some of the high priests were pretty big and quick.

This last week has been good but really hard. Once again we've had a problem of having appointments with investigators, but they've either not been there or had to cancel because of work, life, lame excuses, etc. It's been very frustrating. I know it'll pick up eventually but I have a problem with patience. It's definitely something I've learned a lot about in the past 6 months.

Which reminds me: I hit my 6 month mark this week! I can't believe it! It seems so weird to me, I can hardly believe it's been 6 months already. I remember getting in the field and looking at the guys who had been out 6 months and thought "By then, I'll probably have figured a lot of things out." While I have learned a lot, I still have no idea what I'm doing. I think it'll be ok, I just gotta keep moving forward. By the way, there are traditions for "Milestones of the Mission." At 6 months you burn a tie, a year, you burn a shirt, at 18 months, you burn a pair of pants, and at 24 months, you burn a full suit. It should be fun. I'll send pictures next week! =)

Ok so back on track. We did get a chance to see Trevor this week, and we're really excited for him. He's really close and hopefully we'll set a baptismal date with him this week. He might have a problem with the Word of Wisdom (he loves coffee and tea) but other than that we think he's ready. I'll let you know how it goes. We should be seeing Trevor tomorrow, so wish us luck!

Friday was probably the best part of my week. We had interviews with our mission president, President Smith, and it was really good for me. I really was just having a hard time and it was so amazing to be able to talk to someone who is so inspired and knows my situation so well. I forget sometimes that often my trials haven't been felt by me alone and that there are others who can relate. I love President Smith so much. I wish y'all could meet him. He is incredible. I've decided he's going to be a general authority when he gets released. =)

Sunday was hectic as always. I'm trying to readjust to having 3 wards again, and it's harder this time because meetings are earlier. However, it's really good and we have way sweet ward mission leaders so it'll be good to see how things work out. That night we went and saw some of the members of the wards and had really powerful lessons with them to hopefully inspire them to do their missionary work. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out, especially because we need member support so badly right now.

Anyways, that's my week in a nutshell!! I hope y'all are doing well!


Elder Grondel

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week 22

Hey y'all! It has been another exciting week as I head into week 5 of this transfer. I can't believe it's time for Thanksgiving already! Wasn't it just Halloween?

This week has been really good and really exciting. We have some news: we are now covering the Allen 4th ward along with the Allen 1st and 6th wards! So now we're covering 3 wards. It's definitely gonna be new and exciting and Elder Van Cleve and I are way stoked to get to work. The members and the Bishop are awesome and way supportive and so it should be really good. We’re gonna get really busy really soon and I'm so excited!

This week would have been really good teaching wise, but almost everyone we had appointments with decided to cancel on us. We did have a really good lesson with Trevor, though. We were finishing up the Plan of Salvation and he was having a problem with the three Kingdoms of Glory because he's always been taught Heaven and Hell. He said he would pray about it, though, and so hopefully things will work out for him. He came to church, too! It was really good to see him there and we are really hoping he enjoyed it. Sadly we haven't had a chance to talk to him since church yesterday, but hopefully we'll get a hold of him today. He's really close and we hope he will make the right decision.

We were going to meet with Travis this week, but he had a couple servers go down at his work and he couldn't meet with us and so hopefully we'll see him soon.

So we had a pretty awesome miracle this week. We were tracting on Tuesday and we knocked on the door of a man named Rod. We introduced ourselves and he said he had been looking for a church the past month or so. He said, "I went to that neighbors church and he’s a Methodist, and then I went to that neighbors church, and they’re Mormons, and I liked their Church better.” It was way cool! We found out later by talking to the member next door that they have known them for almost 2 years and invited them to see the Primary Program and he loved it. He has a wife named Suzanne and they have two kids: a 5-year-old and a newborn. He just got laid off and said he was very open right now. We could not believe our ears and quickly set up an appointment to see them the next Tuesday (tomorrow). We are really excited to go over and start teaching him and are so happy someone opened their mouths to their neighbors and shared the Gospel with them.

This week I also had a really good and personal experience. We were dealing with someone who was really annoying us and we really did not have good thoughts that night. I felt horrible; but not because I was mad. I felt guilty for thinking some of the things that I did about this woman. I knew I needed help and I prayed and poured my soul out to my Heavenly Father. As soon as I started praying I instantly felt so much better, and by the end of my prayer, I felt the Spirit around me. I share this experience because I was ready to be upset at this woman for a long time, and I knew that was wrong. I knew that these feelings were not conducive of a successful missionary and that I would need the spirit if I wanted to receive the blessings God has set in store for me. I share this because after I prayed I remembered a very important scripture: “I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” I wasn’t going to forgive this woman, and the Lord knew that. I literally felt the Spirit leave. I knew I was wrong and needed to forgive and forget and not get upset because things didn’t turn out the way I would have liked. I know that as we pray for strength, guidance, forgiveness, and whatever else it may be, if it is for a righteous purpose and if it is God’s will, we shall receive whatsoever we shall ask of him. I leave with you one of my favorite scriptures: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt 7:7-11).

I love you all. God Bless and Have a Happy Thanksgiving! See Psalm 100: the Thanksgiving Day Psalm.


Elder Grondel

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Week 21

Hey Y'all!! This week has been good. We got a lot of things done and were able to see a few people. While a lot of our work did not bring a lot of success, I know that the Lord was pleased and that if we keep him on our minds, we will be blessed with things to do and people to teach.

This week we saw Trevor a couple of times, once on Tuesday and once on Saturday. We had a member named Mike Fackrell come with us on Tuesday and he was able to connect with Trevor really well. When we saw Trevor again on Saturday we started teaching him the Plan of Salvation more in depth and we just realized how bright of a kid he really is. He was basically able to figure out that all things were created spiritually before they were created physically from the Bible. Most people don't realize that without modern revelation. He was definitely more open to it this time and we hope he'll keep reading and praying because if he gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon, then everything else will follow for him.

On Wednesday we went and saw a former investigator named Travis. Right now he's not very religious and is pretty much agnostic because he said religion can't be "proved" to him and he hasn't found anything to convince him otherwise. So we'll see how that goes. He did say he wanted something for his daughters, though, so we'll see how that goes and hopefully we'll start teaching them.

Other than that there really hasn't been much going on. We've been meeting several of the members lately so I can get to know everyone better & right now we're just working & praying that we will be blessed with people to teach.

Hope all is well with all of you!!


Elder Grondel

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Week 20 Pictures!

Week 20

Hey Y'all! So I just finished my second week here in Allen and it's been great! It has been a little hard getting adjusted to the differences, but it's been fun and I've loved it so far. I think this will be a good transfer.

This week we had pretty good success. We were able to see Trevor this week and start teaching him about the plan of salvation. He was a little thrown off about it, but he promised that he would pray about it to really try to understand what we had taught him. Sadly he wasn't at church on Sunday, but his work schedule has been pretty busy lately so we'll just have to see.

We also went with one of our assistants to the President, Elder Kelly. He's a really great missionary and a really hard worker. While we were out working, we decided to drop-by a less active member & found him and his wife there. We were let in and we taught his wife & she liked what we were saying a lot. Sadly, her husband has lost his testimony, but there is great hope for her. It'll be hard, but really good.

The best news is WE FOUND A FAMILY!! We were looking through some of the Former Investigators records and found the Woods there. They seemed promising so we set up an appointment & taught them! We were only able to teach the mom & dad yesterday, but we're hoping to get their sons involved as well. It will be very exciting to see what happens!

Saturday was way awesome. I was able to go back to The Colony to see Mendi Delavan be baptized!! I was so excited and happy to see it. It was incredible and I am so happy for her and her decision. I pray that all will go well for her.

Well that's pretty much it from me! I hope all is going well for the rest of you!


Elder Grondel

Week 19

So now begins a new transfer in a new area! I'll admit, this week has been one of the slowest of my mission, but it's been really good at the same time. I think a big part of it is just getting adjusted to a new area and a different setting. I was transferred to Allen, Texas, Serving in the Allen 1st and 6th wards in the Allen Stake. My companion's name is Elder Van Cleve and he is awesome. We are having such a good time already and we get along great. We've set a goal to find, teach, and baptize a family this transfer and I think we can do it!! It's gonna require a lot of hard work and obedience, but I know the Lord will provide if we are faithful to him.

So the biggest change is that I'm now on a bike. I was in a car up in Little Elm, so it's way different and WAY exhausting. I have never been more tired in my life. I love it so much though and almost prefer it to a car (sometimes...not when it's raining). It's perfect this time of year, too, so it's really nice to ride.

I really don't have much to say here, sadly enough. The work here is very little (apparently the missionaries here baptized everyone and now we've got to find more people to teach) but we do have a couple of people that could be good. First is a kid named Trevor, who is 24 and very open about the church. He basically said he would continue meeting with us until he found something he didn't like. We found a kid named D.J. the other day and he has a lot of potential too. Like I said earlier, we want to find a family but haven't yet, but there is a family we have been trying to meet with that has a lot of potential. This transfer will be hard, but it will be good.

So Elder Brooksby is in my Zone! He was in the MTC with me and it's gonna be way fun to see him every week or so here in Allen. I'm excited to serve around him and have a good time with him. It's been so nice to have companions that I came out with around me. There are a lot of good missionaries in the zone as well so this transfer will be a lot of fun.

Well, that's all I've got right now! I promise I'll write more next week.


Elder Grondel

P.S. My new address is:

Elder Grondel
205 Benton Dr #11108
Allen, TX 75013