Monday, April 19, 2010

Week 43

Hey Y'all!! It's been another week here in East Texas! So this week didn't go as well as I would have liked it to, but we still had some good moments that I am very happy about. So first things first, I got a new companion! His name is Elder Hill and we actually served together when I was a greenie in Frisco! I was pretty excited when I heard his name because we got along pretty well there. Of course, he has his challenges as all companions do, but he is excited to get to work and get things done.

Chance disappeared! We set the baptismal date with him on Sunday and went back Wednesday for our next appointment with him and he had MOVED. We have no idea where he went or why he moved so soon, but he did. All we can do is pray that he will find the missionaries wherever he is going. Carlton is still doing good, though. He was shaky for a bit but then we really talked to him about it and figured out his desires and recommitted him to the 22nd of May. He has some things to overcome (like smoking) but we are going to get him through it and on his way to baptism! We are excited to say the least.

Other than that not much really happened. We didn't find anyone new to teach and couldn't meet with any of our investigators. It was pretty rough but we are looking forward to this week and what it holds in store for us. The biggest news is that a new stake center is being built in Bullard and it's the biggest building in the community. It's awesome because EVERYONE is talking about it, which means good publicity for the church. Of course, it also means some of the Baptist preachers are having "Meet the Mormons" classes, so we will see what happens. There's also a rumor going around that we have purchased a 600 acre plot of land and that all the polygamists are moving in. It's pretty funny stuff. There are some interesting people out here. =)

So I forgot to mention last week: We went to the Zoo! There is a pretty cool zoo here in Tyler and we went as a zone and had a really good time. It was pretty awesome. I'll be sure to send a couple pictures. I hope y'all have a wonderful week!!

Elder Grondel

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 42

Hey y'all!! It's been another great week here in beautiful East Texas!! And it really is beautiful right now. The weather is mid-70's and everything is in full bloom. It's great! but because of that, I am suffering from the worst allergies ever! I never had allergies before Texas, and they tell everyone that if you didn't have them before you'll get them when you get here. But it's starting to get better so we'll see what happens.

So for the big news: Elder Davis is getting transferred! He'll be going back to Dallas tonight and then I get my new companion tomorrow!! It will be exciting to see what happens and who I get. I'm gonna miss Elder Davis, but I always love a change.

So in case y'all don't know already, we live with our stake president here, and his mother-in-law passed away on Thursday night, so the funeral was today. We were invited and went and it was a beautiful service. I was really uplifted by it, and couldn't help but be happy in the knowledge of the plan of salvation. I thought of Grandpa Behunin the entire time, which was hard, but at the same time, I had the Spirit whispering to me that he is in a better place, and there is nothing to worry about or to be sad about. We will see him again.

So this week, we found a couple new people to teach and they are getting baptized!! They are set to get baptized on May 15 and are really awesome. Chance is in his 20's or 30's and is really awesome and searching. He is planning on moving to Louisiana before he gets baptized, however, so we'll have to see what we can do. The other man is a guy named Carlton and he is in his 60's and smokes a lot, but he seems really sincere and we will be working hard with him.

Sorry this one is short but I have to do a bunch today to get my companion off and ready. Love you all and have a great week!!


Elder Grondel

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 41

As I look back at this last week, I realize that I have hit my 10-month mark--yet another milestone in a missionary's life, I have hit double digits. Congratulations to me, I've been out a while. I can't believe it! Where did it all go?!? I just left the MTC! At least that's how it feels.

Anyways, I also look back at this Easter weekend and have thought a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As many of you may or may not know, as missionaries we are given time each morning to study the scriptures and other church material to spiritually prepare ourselves for the day. I have recently started the Book of Mormon from the beginning again, and consequently I was in 1 Nephi and came across a passage of scripture that hit me very hard. in the 19th chapter, verses 7-9, it reads,

"For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels. And behold he cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem. And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."

As I sat there thinking about the sufferings of Jesus Christ, I couldn't help but think of his innocence and love. It reminded me of a scripture in the 45th section in the Doctrine and Covenants, where Christ speaks and says to the Father "behold the sufferings and death of Him who did no sin." I love this scripture, as I know the Lord will be there to stand in my place as long as I have lived my life worthy of the mercy and grace of the Savior.

As I also thought about the cruel pain Christ went through for each of us, my sadness was swallowed up as I thought about the joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the occasion for which we celebrate Easter. I love having the knowledge that we will live again. As President Monson taught us this weekend, we have the answer to Job's question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that I know that Christ lives and that we will all be able to live again because of the love that God the Father and Jesus Christ have for us. I know the reality of the Atonement and that the Savior's arms are outstretched in mercy all the day long for us if we will but come unto Him. "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you."

This week was a good one that, as you may be able to tell, was filled with many spiritual experiences. We found some new people to teach, including JJ, an African-American man who used to be a Baptist preacher. He is really friendly and rather open right now, and may end up being baptized! Elder Davis and I are really starting to see success and should start baptizing soon. Please keep us in your prayers! We are so close with a lot of people but we need all the help we can get.

General conference was amazing. If you missed it, go to and watch it!! It was so incredible!!

I hope you all have an incredible week. Keep moving forward!


Elder Grondel