Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week 56

Hey there y'all! It's been another wonderful week her in East Texas!! We had an OK week this week and will have some really good weeks coming up. I don't have a ton of time today so here we go!

Charles is doing well and should be getting baptized on August 8th! He hasn't smoked in over a week and says he's done and really wants to be baptized! We are really excited for him and so grateful to see the blessings of the Lord really open up in this area. We don't have much left to teach him, so the next few weeks will simply be getting him pumped and getting the ward ready for baptisms!

Sevren is also doing well. We haven't been able to meet with him this last week but we should see him this week and basically review everything. He is really smart and basically knows it all so it really will just be a review for him and then he will be baptized by his dad on July 29th!! We are really excited for that one.

Michael didn't come to church this week because his dad decided they were going to church as a family. I don't know what church he went to but we may be reactivating his family in their old church1 Personally, that would be pretty funny to me, especially because we have a hard enough time reactivating our own less-active members! He was bummed he couldn't come, though, so I know he enjoys it. We are taking a new approach when it comes to teaching as well: giant object lessons. Tonight we are going over the Plan of Salvation again and focusing on the Atonement and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'll have to send a picture next week. It is awesome!

Carlton is still doing well. I feel that I may have been pushing him a little too much; I have gotten to the point where I think everyone should be able to be baptized in 6 weeks or less. But I need to remember that we tracted into Carlton, that we've been blessed as it is to teach him, and that he's 66 years old. It may take a while. So I'm gonna be less of a bulldog and slow down a bit and work with him to resolve his concerns. He'll come around; it will just take a while.

The other miracle story for this week is a woman named Sue. Her husband, Jack, joined the church about 6 years ago and they have been married for three. They are in their 60's and I think this is their second marriage for both of them. We invited her to take the lessons and she agreed. It was funny because then she said, "But don't push me." So hopefully we won't push (we are missionaries, however; I know few people pushier than us). She really enjoyed having us over, though, and has been coming to church for several weeks an enjoying it. Hopefully we will see success there soon.

Elder Redmond is doing awesome. We are getting along great (he's almost as crazy as I am =P) and he is a really good teacher with a lot of skills. I am excited to see him progress.

This week there was an interesting experience at the Nielsen home. Some how a Texas Rat Snake crawled into their A/C unit and jammed the motor. It was still running and got really hot and effectively cooked the snake...yeah talk about one of the worst smells known to man. I'm attaching pictures, so enjoy (make sure it's been a few hours since your last meal; otherwise you may lose it).

I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!


Elder Grondel

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 55

Hey y'all!! It's been another great week here in beautiful East Texas! And boy is it heating up!! We have had a really hot and really humid summer so far. There has been a TON of rain followed by temperatures in the mid-90's...needless to say I have been sweating a little bit and I'm remembering how miserable I was last summer. It's going by pretty fast though, so the next thing I know I'm going to be freezing again when we hit winter.

Well, first off my new companion's name is Elder Redmond from Magna, Utah. I obviously had no idea where that is and he said it's about 15 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City. He's really cool and into everything from shotguns to computers, from cars to video games. We realized about 10 minutes of being together that we had a lot in common and that we were going to have a lot of fun. He is a really awesome missionary and is really excited to work. I have to admit, I was a little scared I was going to get a greenie that wanted simply to go home and didn't want to do anything, but thankfully I didn't. He is really excited to learn, is scared of contacting, and is still trying to figure things out. Spitting image of me when I was a greenie ;) He is going to be a great missionary, and I can totally see him being a district leader or even training next transfer. He is going to do great.

Well this week was pretty good again. We were able to see just about everyone and I really want to focus on a couple:

Sevren is doing awesome and we have a firm date for him to be baptized! He will be getting baptized on July 29th, and we are really excited for him. His dad is going to baptize him and it will be sweet.

Charles is doing pretty good; he hasn't smoked since Wednesday and says he's done. He told us he's pretty stubborn and if he wants to do something he'll do it once he's committed to it. He wasn't at church this week, but he should be there next week and we should see him baptized soon.

We had a really good lesson with Carlton last week. We read part of Joseph Smith--History with him and he really felt the Spirit and is starting to get it. He is one that will take a while but I think that he could get baptized if we keep working with him. He was at church yesterday and really enjoyed it and will hopefully keep coming.

A few weeks ago Elder Hill tracted onto a woman named Christina in Jacksonville on an exchange and she told us we could come back, and we have been meeting with her for about three weeks now. She is really awesome and will hopefully start coming to church soon. She is Hispanic but speaks really good English; however, her husband does not speak a lot of English so it's pretty difficult, but we have a family from Mexico that lives in Jacksonville and attends the Bullard ward, and they are fellow shipping them and so hopefully we can get the Spanish Elders involved and see a baptism in a couple months!!

Other than that, the week was normal. We taught, tracted, laughed, nearly cried, sweat, ate, slept, and studied. It was a good week and we had a lot of success.

I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!!

Elder Grondel

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Week 54

Hey y'all!! It's been another great week here in beautiful East Texas! Elder Hill and I worked hard and had some good things happen. I am going to miss him but I know he will do great things when he goes home.

So here is the biggest news and probably the most humbling event of my mission: I'M GOING TO HAVE A SON!!!! Which is mission lingo for I'm training a new missionary!!! I am really excited and really nervous at the same time. We have a lot of good things going on here so he will be coming into a good area and there are a lot of good people here as well. I'm nervous that I'll screw up, but I just have to remember the Lord and ask for His help and all will be well.

There really is nothing else too exciting to report. We only found one new person to teach this week (it was a bummer) but his name is Roderick and he has a lot of potential. We will see them again on Saturday and will hopefully start teaching his wife too! They are an African-American family with two really cute little kids. We will see what happens there.

I am really starting to see the blessings of the Lord as well. I had a really good discussion with a member of the church yesterday and we were talking about obedience and blessings, and how we can't demand the blessings we want. Personally, I had seen it for a long time as "Ok, I'm being obedient, now I want this blessing." We can't pick and choose; the Lord will bless us with what he will when we are ready. Now I understand more the scriptures that say "stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." When that is said, the people have been obedient and have sacrificed much. And even afterwards, it is not always what people want, but it is what is good for them at the time. I know that while it has been hard in this area, the Lord is preparing people for my new companion and I to teach and baptize, and I know I will shortly see success. I know this work is true and that the Lord truly is over all. The Atonement of Christ, the Book of Mormon, and the history of the church testify of that, as do I.

I love you all and hope y'all have a great week!!


Elder Grondel