Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 66

Hello y'all!! It's been another wonderful week here in Frisco, Texas! SO transfer calls were Saturday (can you believe it's been 6 weeks already? I barely can!) and I am NOT getting transferred, and neither is Elder Mosca. We are staying together for at least another 6 weeks and possibly longer. You never know. I am excited to be with Elder Mosca for a little while longer--I can still learn a lot from him.
This week was a really good week. We taught a lot of lessons and found several new investigators. Mikey is doing really well; he's almost done smoking (he's down to one every couple days) and he was at church yesterday! He is really smart and knows pretty much everything from when he was taught before. Now we just need to help him to find a place to live and we will be good to go. He is looking forward to the 16th of October to be baptized.
Luis and Tiffany are still doing well; we are reviewing all the lessons for Luis and finalizing wedding and baptism plans. They were at church yesterday and enjoying it. We are planning on seeing them 3 times a week until the wedding, so we may have a lot of cool experiences to share.
This week we picked up a sweet new investigator named Jennifer. She was dating a member of one of the Frisco wards and was going to church with him a couple times. They broke up and she didn't go for a while, but she went the past couple weeks and the missionaries serving in the ward she was going to found out her address and found out she lives in the 3rd ward! SO we met with them and started teaching her. She really has loved church and basically her end goal is to know these things are true so she can be baptized. It's going to be way sweet. We are seeing her this week and so we will extend the invitation to be baptized and hopefully see her get baptized by the end of October or beginning of November.
We saw Sarah this week as well. She is doing good but has been really busy lately, so it has been hard for us to teach her. We were planning on just seeing Lara (her daughter) for new member lessons, but she was there and sat it about 15 minutes after we got there for the Plan of Salvation. We had set up an appointment for this Saturday at 8 PM but somehow forgot that was General Priesthood session of conference. So we will have to reschedule. But we did get to see her! It was really good.
I've also discovered over the past several weeks that being a zone leader requires a lot of paperwork...and I also found out how much I dislike paper work. So I just hope I never get a job where I have to deal with a lot of paperwork; however, that may be impossible. I think every job has paper work. So here's my new hope: I have enough money to one day hire people to do it for me. I dunno. It doesn't matter.
It's finally starting to cool down for REAL this time. Last time I said that, it was like that for a week and then it was in the 90's for the rest of September. So hopefully it really is cooling down. It's supposed to stay in the low 80's the entire week. We'll see what happens.
I love y'all and miss y'all. Have a great week!!
Elder Grondel

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week 65

Hey there y'all!! It's been another fabulous week here in Texas! It's still a little warm, but it should be cooling off this week and hopefully that will really kickoff fall.

I don't have a whole lot of time, but this week was pretty good. We went on exchanges with some of the missionaries in the Zone and had some really good learning experiences. We went on an exchange with some regular missionaries on Wednesday and then one of the District leaders on Thursday. Both days I went to the other area and they are both bike areas...and I haven't ridden a bike in over a month. Needless to say, I was a little saddle sore. It was really good, though, and as I said, we learned a lot.

On Friday, we had a specialized training with President and Sister Smith and the Assistants. It was really good and we talked a lot about finding as we are trying to baptize 950 this year and we are a little behind on that goal. So we are working really hard to reach it and finding is the key to it. Nothing happens in missionary work until we find people to teach. The next step is getting the ward leadership involved, so we talked a lot about that as well. It was insightful and there are new ideas that we want to try.

Teaching wise, Jason is doing great. He loves having us come over, and we know he will get baptized pretty soon. again, it's just a matter of the other Elders getting involved. Mikey and the gang didn't come to church again this week, and if they don't come next week, we will have to drop them. Luis and Tiffany did not come to church because they went to see Luis' sister for the day. We didn't get to meet with everyone (Allen punched a couple times--he's having health problems) and as a result, we realized how small our teaching pool is. So we are in finding mode, which means lots of doors, talking with members, and working the ward list. We should see things turn around soon; it's just that everything is on the Lord's time, and sometimes we have to wait.

Well, that's really it this week. I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!!


Elder Grondel

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Week 64

Hey there y'all!! It's been another fabulous week here in Texas! This week was altogether a good week. We were able to see a bunch of our investigators and find some new ones!

To start off, Luis and Tiffany are still good for marriage, but they bumped it up a week because of birthdays and other conflicts. We are fine with that, and Luis has committed to be baptized on the same day. We will figure it out but it should be really good and very powerful.

Sarah hit a bit of a road bump. A coworker told her some anti-Mormon junk and she got upset for a while and was ready to keep Lara from going to church or anything, but have no fear, the Bishop is here! Bishop and one of his counselors went over and talked about it with Sarah and Gary (her husband) and everything was fine. We prayed so hard for them it was crazy. She ended up coming to church yesterday and wants to have us over again, so we are looking forward to the time we can start teaching her again. We'll just have to be careful about being pushy (after being a missionary for a while, it just starts to happen naturally).

We saw Jason and Donielle a couple times again this week and it was great for Jason. We talked about a lot of things and he really wants to change his life. He came to church last week and really enjoyed it, and we talked to him this week about baptism. He feels like October is too soon, especially if he has to quit smoking and drinking coffee (smoking he can understand, but he said he may have a problem with coffee). However, we dropped by last night (we didn't have an appointment) and just wanted to see him for about 15 minutes tops. Well, next thing you know, 15 turned into 50, and we were running a little late to get numbers in. It was excellent, however, because we talked about the purpose of life and what we need to do to return to live with our Heavenly Father. it was incredible and really drew out his desires. He wants to quit smoking and recognizes the fact that he needs to be baptized by the priesthood (he was baptized when he was 10). The bummer is that they live in the 2nd ward, not the 3rd, so we will have to get the other Elders involved and get him taught and baptized over there; we're pretty sure he'll get baptized, though.

Mikey's situation is tough. He came to church last week but not yesterday. He is trying to quit smoking, but he still has his girlfriend living there. They won't kick her out because she's basically paying rent, and so Mikey would have to go if he wants to get baptized 'cause we don't want to push them to get married if they are not ready for it. Samantha is slipping and she won't be getting baptized anytime soon. Hopefully she will eventually, but not by next month. We are working hard with Mikey to help him progress because he is the one showing the most interest, and the rest of the household may benefit from him.

We have a pretty cool miracle too. We had a little time between dinner and our first appointment, and so we went to tract some apartments we had been to before. We had knocked two floors of one side of a building before but not the third because we didn't have time. We were about to skip it and move on to another building when Elder Mosca asked, "Did we hit the Third floor?" and I knew that we needed to do it; not necessarily because I knew there was going to be someone there, but because I know the Lord looks on diligence and smiles and will bless us, whether immediately or later. In this case, it was immediate. We headed up to the third floor and the second door we knocked on a man named Allen came to the door and let us right in. We taught about the Book of Mormon and came over the next night and taught the Restoration. We committed him to baptism and he wants to be baptized. He is here all alone (his family is in Michigan) and he is in his 50's. He's African-American and is way humble. He was supposed to be at church yesterday, but the member who went to pick him up said he knocked on his door and Allen said he was not feeling good but promised to come next week. Either way, it was still a miracle to find someone because Elder Mosca asked a simple question and I listened to the promptings of the Spirit.

Tuesday we had Zone Leader Council, where all the Zone Leaders, the Assistants, and the Mission President got together and talked about the needs of the mission. We have set a goal to baptize 950 people before the end of the year and we are a little behind. It will be hard, but we talked about a lot of things that will help us get there and talk to as many people as possible.

That's really it for this week. I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!


Elder Grondel

This is a picture of us and the Assistants, Elder Hubbard and Elder Brown.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week 62.7

Hey there y'all!!! I know this is a weird day to be sending an email but the libraries are going to be closed on Monday because of Labor Day so we are doing it today (plus there was a sweet survey President Smith needed us to fill out). So that's why it's being sent today!

This week was really awesome. We had some amazing lessons and some very spiritual and powerful trainings. So first off a couple weeks ago we had Zone conference and it went really well and it motivated us to do more. Then this last week we had another three day session of leadership training, but this time instead of President Smith doing it himself like he did last time, the assistants and the zone leaders did about 85% of it! It was really good and very spiritual and I almost think it was better than President Smith giving it all! Not only did I gain new insights myself from the other missionaries, working with Elder Mosca to prepare a training ourselves was a really good way for us to learn it and to apply it to our own missionary work. We were assigned to train on how investigators can receive revelation through prayer, and now I understand the role that prayer takes in conversion so much better. It is so important and it is amazing what it can and will do for us as missionaries and members of the Lords' kingdom as well as those who are not of our faith (see Elder Oaks talk from April General Conference about prayers of faith). It was really cool and really enlightening. As a mission, we have set a goal to baptize 950 people this year. That's a lot, but we can do it. We are a little off track, but if we work hard we will be able to accomplish it. The training was a wake up call for all of us so we are really buckling down to make sure the rest of our zone feels the same things we felt there and that they can catch the vision of 950! We are looking forward to it.

As far as teaching goes, we had a really good week. We saw Luis and Tiffany this week, and they have decided to get married! They chose October 30th to be married and it should be good. It is a little far away, but they still need to work it out and plan it with family and everything else. It shouldn't be too big, but it still requires planning. So we'll get them married and then get Luis baptized, and they they will be sealed in a year! We are really excited for them.

Sarah didn't read the Book of Mormon like she said she would, and she didn't come to church this week. Apparently she had a big presentation to do, so she was stressing pretty bad about it, but we saw her Wednesday and she promised to read it and have questions for us by the time we come back tomorrow (Sunday). I am looking forward to seeing what questions she has for us. We are still hoping she will get baptized in a couple weeks, but we'll see.

We have a couple investigators that have committed to baptism! Their names are Mikey and Samantha. They are both 19. Mikey lives with his sister Melinda who is married to a guy named Mike. Samantha is married to Mikey's brother Doug who is out of state for a time. Mikey also has his girlfriend living with him, and Mike and Melinda have three kids. Get it? If not, just read it over and over again until you do. It will get there eventually. I promise. Anywho Mikey and Samantha are preparing to be baptized on October 17th. They both have Word of Wisdom challenges and other things, but if they truly desire it I know they will be ready to be baptized on the 17th.

We are teaching another part-member family: Jason and Donielle. Jason is not a member, but he's been pretty open so far and committed to come to church for all 3 hours on Sunday. We have an appointment with him this afternoon, so hopefully it will go well with them They are African-American and have a lot of faith, so there is a lot of potential there.

The family of five that we found didn't really turn out. They punched the appointment we had and they haven't been solid, so we may drop them soon. We are going to try to give them a call this week and see what happens.

We have been able to see a lot of people and hopefully we will be able to find more. We need them.

That's about all for this week. Hopefully I'll have more exciting things for next week!

Have a great week!


Elder Grondel