Monday, August 2, 2010

Week 57

Hey y'all! It's been another great (and fast) week here in beautiful East Texas!! This last week was pretty good with some sweet experiences, which always makes the time go faster.

So first off I was in Longview for three days. For anyone that is wondering where Longview is, it's about an hour east of Tyler. I went there for a leadership training meeting that involved all district leaders, zone leaders, and trainers Out East. It was really cool. Basically what happened was (and I forgot to tell y'all 2 weeks ago) the Brethren came out with new curriculum that is to be taught in the MTC and in the mission field. Back in the day (but not too far back) missionaries would give memorized discussions--they would say the same thing for different people. A few years ago they came out with Preach My Gospel, which is the basic handbook for missionary service. It also contains all the doctrine for the lessons, and is meant to be more guided by the Spirit because the missionaries would present it in their own words. It is an amazing and truly inspired program; the problem is many missionaries (including myself at times) fall into a routine of giving a rote lesson; basically saying the same things every time. It is in our own words, but it's not exactly guided by the Spirit. So we are going back to the basics, and teaching a very simplified curriculum. So basically for three days 6 hours a day I was sitting in the chapel with 15 other missionaries being taught by the Spirit like I never have before. It was incredible and broadened my view and vision. It has only been a few days but I have felt the Spirit stronger in the lessons we have taught the past couple days. We ask more questions and listen more, finding out their concerns and their interests. It was amazing. I'd go into more detail but I'm running short on time.

Sevren is getting baptized this week!! He had his interview yesterday and I am so excited for him!!! His dad is going to baptize him and it will be really sweet to see it happen. The Lord has been good to us!

Charles is doing good and not so good. He has read a lot of the Book of Mormon and is praying and wants to be baptized; he simply won't come to church. His car doesn't have insurance so he has to get a ride, but his grandfather lives down the street and would be more than happy to give him a ride. I'm not sure what's holding him back, but we are meeting with him tomorrow night and we will find out a little more. It's no longer a matter of if he'll get baptized; it's just a matter of when.

We had a sweet lesson with Carlton. We went over last night and we were planning on teaching him the Plan of Salvation again to review with him what he has been taught. We got about halfway through it and just started following the Spirit big time. It went a different direction but it was really good and a lot more spiritual. I am excited for him. He is understanding more and the Spirit is working on him. There have been huge changes in him.

One more miracle! We were tracting on Saturday afternoon and it was HOT. We did some service that morning and we were supposed to have appointments at 3 and 4, but they both punched on us. So we were tracting from 2-5. For 2 hours and 50 minutes, we really didn't have any success other than a couple potentials. At 4:50, we were knocking on the last door before we went home to eat dinner and a woman named Stacy opened the door. Listening to the Spirit (thank you Heavenly Father) I asked her if she believed there could be a prophet on the earth today, to which she replied yes. We asked her if we could come in, and she went and woke up her husband and let us in! He husband's name is David; they are 30 and have a 6-year-old girl. They are really nice and in 10 minutes we gave a basic overview of the Restoration. We asked them what they thought about Joseph Smith and the First Vision, and David believed it was altogether possible, considering that there's crazier things in the Bible. Stacy was a little more skeptical, but said it might be true. We left a Book of Mormon with a promise to read it and we are planning to see them this Thursday right before Sevren's baptism. Another cool thing! David already has a Book of Mormon. He had a really good friend in high school that gave him a copy and he intended to read it, but never got there. Coincidence? I think not! Needless to say we are excited.

Well, that's all for this week. I love y'all and miss y'all. Have a great week!!

Elder Grondel

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