Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 75

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas! We had a pretty good week despite the craziness that holidays can cause. This week we saw Alfredo and Amalia about 5 times (it was pretty sweet) and they are totally set for their baptism. We only have a couple things left to teach them and then they will get interviewed a week from Saturday and they will be good to go. We had a recently returned missionary from Mexico come with us and he loved it and had a great time. He said they were way solid and we were stoked to hear that.

Luis is amazing. His sister was there at his baptism and on the way home from work one day last week they were talking about it and he asked, "So are you going to get baptized?" It was so cool to hear about that! Hopefully we will be able to get her taking the lessons soon; we haven't really started teaching her but hopefully we will soon. Luis was confirmed on Sunday and it was sweet. The Spirit was really strong and it was cool because he asked Bishop to do it. It was great.

Tony is doing alright. He is happy to listen to us and is really trying to understand what we believe, but I don't think he recognizes the Spirit right now. It will take some work and definitely some diligence on our part, but we will have to get the Spirit in there really strong so it can get through to him and he will recognize it when it hits him.

In the Spanish area, we are losing a couple of our investigators but we are trying to focus on finding and keeping that up. In the English wards, we are a little worse off. We are struggling to find new investigators but our wards are willing to help a bit. We will be holding a fireside for the youth in the 3rd ward in January on sharing the Gospel with their friends and then have an activity they can bring friends to, and hopefully that will spark some interest and get us new people to teach. Until then, we're knocking doors and visiting members and working hard. I love you all and hope all is going well with you!

Have a great week!


Elder Grondel

Week 74

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Frisco! We had some ups and downs this week as well as some really great spiritual experiences.

To start, Samantha went out of town to go visit her husband for the week so we did not get to see her. We had set a baptismal date for December 4th but that has to be moved but hopefully it will still be in December. I would hate to have to push it back any father than that.

We were able to see Alfredo this week as well. He is doing great and loves what we are teaching him. We taught him and his wife the plan of salvation on Saturday and they absolutely loved it and ate it up.

OK so my computer froze for a little while so I'll just skip to the big things. My Spanish has improved a little bit (not much) and I can now say a simple prayer in Spanish. It's pretty sweet.

Yesterday Luis was baptized, and I had the privilege to baptize him. It really is an amazing ordinance, one that I think is the most powerful of any of them performed in the church. Right before we went into the Font, we were alone for a minute and I asked him if we could say a quick prayer. He said it and it ended up being about 2 minutes long (it doesn't sound like that long, but it was long for a prayer). The best thing was to see how much he has changed since I have bee here. HE was so grateful to become a part of the Lord's restored church. He asked that he and his wife would be able to take the steps necessary to be sealed in the temple one day. It was really powerful and made the baptism that much sweeter. It is an experience I will never forget.

That's about it. We didn't get to teach as much as we would have liked, but we still had a good week. I can't believe it's thanksgiving already, but I hope y'all have a wonderful week and a happy TURKEY DAY! =)


Elder Grondel

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 73

Hey there y'all!!! It's been a very exciting and very stressful week as well. We had a lot of changes happen here and a TON of paperwork. But it was all good and dandy. I'll just go day by day for what happened this last week.On Monday, we moved in with the Barnhouses, a family in the ward. They are really awesome and a lot of fun. It's really sweet living conditions and I am happy to be there. Tuesday, Elder Mosca got transferred out to Sulfur Springs and I got a new companion! His name is Elder Jones, and guess what? He's a SPANISH missionary. That's right family and friends, I'm learning Spanish! President Smith felt that the Spanish work in the area was not enough to be on its own, so he put Elder Jones with me and now we cover both the Frisco 3rd and 7th wards and the Spanish work for the Stake. It's been a lot of fun. I realized that I don't speak a whole lot of Spanish, but I can understand quite a bit and can follow a conversation really well, unless it's one of those people that speak faster than the speed of sound; then it's a little difficult. That night we went and saw one of the Spanish investigators, Alfredo. He had been taught for a while and had finished the Book of Mormon and been to church several times. He wanted to set his own date for baptism, but we told him that he would be going back and forth and back and forth without a date because he had no direction; he wouldn't be working for something. So Elder Jones committed him to be baptized on December 18th, and he accepted! It was really powerful and Alfredo cried during the prayer at the end. It was sweet.

Wednesday we had a Zone Council and got the zone together to talk about things that we felt the zone needed to work on. It was really good and everyone enjoyed the training that Elder Jones and I prepared that morning, but of course, we didn’t tell them that ;) Later that day we went shopping and started to do some planning because we were so frazzled about taking on an area that I knew little about and that Elder Jones knew nothing about. That evening we did some finding in an apartment complex with a lot of Hispanics and found an Egyptian family. IT was pretty trippy. We have an appointment with them tonight.
Thursday we drove to McKinney for a Zone conference. I was able to see Elder Williams and Elder Hall and a bunch of other Elders that I know. We just got a new assistant, too. His name is Elder Urqhart (pronounced urk-heart) and he sat next to me on the flight out here to Texas last year. It was pretty sweet so see him there; he’s still a little nervous but he has enjoyed it so far. Later that day, we started to collect a little bit more paper work for the reports we turn in to the Stake President every month, and I realized I lost the jump drive that has our templates and most of our work! It was pretty annoying. We started from scratch and got some things done, and then we went and had another good night with Alfredo, Sarah, Melinda, and the EQ president in the 3rd ward.

Friday we had our full planning session and planned what we wanted to do for the zone and for our area (I forgot to mention, this is Elder Jones’ first time being a Zone Leader as well, so we are learning together. It’s quite fun because he brings a lot of good ideas to the table). Then we did a little bit more for the reports and taught Samantha and the Nava family. They are a part-member family, but Brother Nava loves the church and wants to get baptized. The problem is that he doesn’t get another Sunday off until after the Holidays, so it’s likely he won’t get baptized until about January or February. He did come to church Sunday and enjoyed it, so that was good.
Saturday we finished our reports and did some finding. We found a couple of potential investigators who we’re going to go see on Saturday, but no one too solid. That evening we saw Alfredo again and his wife Amalia was there. She has been to church about 7 or 8 times, a little less than Alfredo, but she is on fire as well. She works every night but Saturday and Sunday, so we can only see her then, but we talked to her about baptism as well and she accepted the invitation to be baptized with her husband. It was great! Then they asked me to give the closing prayer. O_O I don’t know Spanish that well yet! So Alfredo gave it, but I am working on it. Hopefully I will be able to say a prayer in Spanish next time.

Sunday was hectic. I’m no stranger to covering 3 wards (I did it for 9 months straight) but I am not used to meeting in 3 different buildings. So we split up. The Spanish branch meets in Carrollton and so Elder Jones went there with Hermano Carranza. I stayed with a priest in the 3rd ward and went to morning meetings in both wards and then went to 3rd ward. Elder Jones got back about 1 PM and then we headed over to the Legacy building for out Stake Missionary Coordination Meeting. President Smith and President Grant were there as well as the high councilor over missionary work and President Alleman (stake president). It was a really good meeting and I learned a lot about leadership and keys of the Priesthood. If I am ever called into a leadership position in the church, I will reflect on these meetings because I know they will help me a lot.

So some other random things: Mikey and Shelita moved to Michigan. Mikey got in a fight with Mike (Melinda’s boyfriend) so they up and left. I have lost some weight (or it’s been redistributed because the necks on all my shirts are now pretty loose) and I have never been more tired or more happy in my life! I love this work and I love each of you. I hope y’all have a great week!!

Elder Grondel

P.S. Yo hablo un poco espaƱol, pero estoy apreniendo! Mucho amor!

Week 72

Hey there y'all!! It's been a crazy Monday so this is gonna be short.

Elder Mosca is getting transferred and I'm moving in with a member.

Mikey is backsliding a bit but we are working on it.

Samantha is doing pretty good and is set for baptism Thanksgiving weekend.

Melinda and her boyfriend Mike are planning on getting married!

Luis is getting baptized next Tuesday!

The Spanish Elders are getting double transferred out (both of them are leaving) and I think they are closing Frisco Spanish.

AHHHH!!! This week has been crazy! Much love!

Elder Grondel

Week 71

Hey there y'all!!! It's been another wonderful week here in Frisco! We went out and worked hard and didn't see the most success, but we feel pretty good about it. Our lessons suffered a bit (we didn't teach as many) but that's our own fault with not planning them out and many of them cancelling on us. But such is life. We are looking forward to next week.

This week we were able to see Mikey and he is doing about the same. He is still looking for a place to go and so for right now he's simply going to try to be sleeping in a different room. It will help a lot and may show the Lord the effort he needs to for Him to bless Mikey with a place to go.

Luis and Tiffany are doing well. We haven't been able to see them much this last week but we have an appointment with them tomorrow night and we will hopefully be talking about baptism soon for Luis. We are excited for that.

Darian has slipped a little bit. We haven't been able to see her for a couple weeks, so we don't know entirely if that will go anywhere or if we are going to be done with her. We really don't want it to go that way, but we may have no choice. If people won't progress, they are not ready to be taught and we have to find those that are ready and willing to be taught.

Sarah (Lara's mom) was taught a couple weeks ago and agreed to go through the lessons herself. Lara has been a great example to them and we are excited to help Sarah understand. Sarah is very intelligent and highly political so it can be difficult sometimes, but if she keeps her heart soft and mind open, the Spirit will testify and she'll understand and desire to be baptized.

Tony is a pretty cool guy. He thinks we're "up to something" and that it's a little too simple (read the book and you get an answer) but he agreed to read the Book of Mormon and to get baptized if he knows it's true. He still has an interesting concept of God, and it will take time to teach him the lessons, but other than that, he is pretty willing.

We went and checked out the house we will live in soon (we are living with the Barnhouse family), and it is really sweet. We are definitely going to be hooked up and be in a very cushy place. It's not the same as the Nielsen's, but it is really quite nice. The Barnhouse's have a good size house and lots of room because only one son is living at home right now, so it will be pretty sweet.

This week I realized that I need to work on my planning. At this point, I'm pretty confident in teaching and contacting, but I always can do better with planning. It takes time, but it makes your time more effective.

Anyways, that's all for this week!! I hope y'all have a great week!!!


Elder Grondel

Week 70

Wow...that's a lot of weeks...I can't believe October is almost over. Where does time go?

Anyways, it's been another great week!! We have had a lot of good things happen this week. The sad part is, it went by so fast I can't remember half of it =P Thank goodness for planners (I would say journals, but considering the fact the last time I wrote in it was 3 weeks ago, I don't think it'll do much for me).

This weekend Luis and Tiffany got married! It was a small wedding, but it was really good (they both cried) and family was able to be there. Decorations were modest, but there is a member of the ward who makes professional cakes (any kind of cake...he's made the White House, the Dallas Cowboys name it, they do it) and so they made an AWESOME cake for them. It was really cool to see the ward support them as well. Luis is still doing well in the gospel--they have come to church 3 or 4 weeks in a row. We should see Luis be baptized shortly, probably in about a month or so.

Mikey is doing good; just needs a place to live. He keeps buying random things, though, and he needs to be focusing on saving his money so he can get an apartment or something. We're working on it and praying for him. Sadly, his sister-in-law Samantha is moving to Corpus Christi to live with her grandma and be near her husband (I can't remember if I told y'all, but he's in prison right now but can be visited) so we won't be able to see her get baptized because she is leaving this week. We have told her that she need to make sure to find the missionaries down there. Who knows? Maybe she'll run into Elder Low (if he's still there).

Darian is not doing so great. She didn't come to church yesterday and we haven't seen her in over a week. There may be some disconnect or miscommunication or something, but she may be backing out. That would be a bummer, but if that's the case, so be it. We are praying for her and her family.

We do have another ray of light! Sister Harris is a member of the ward dating a nonmember named Tony. He is really cool and really funny. We invited him to take the lessons and he said he would. He grew up Catholic but his view of God and religion is that as far as he knows, no one can comprehend God completely without being consumed and that it doesn't really matter what religion we are because it's all the same God. He did say, however, that he was searching for the truth. I couldn't help but think, "Really? Well, how convenient. We just happen to have it. Will you read this book, the Book of Mormon?" We are seeing him tonight. The process may be slow or it could take off, but either way, we are excited to see what happens.

We had fun this Saturday because it was the 3rd ward Halloween activity and we got to judge the chili! There were 8 that we actually got to judge, but about 2 minutes later, about 5 more showed up! We were bummed because they were already serving it and said there was no more judging, but the one we chose was incredible. It was a barbecue chili (go figure in Texas, right?). Someone had gotten brisket from a place called Rudy's (it's really good barbecue) and then put it in a pecan peach barbecue sauce. Yeah, it was tasty.

This week I had quite the adventure. I got food poisoning! BLEH. I don't know what I ate, but it put me down and out. I had the worst diarrhea for 4 days and I'm still feeling aftershocks. I tell you what, though, if you want to lose about 10 pounds in 3 days, that's one way to do it. It's not fun, but you'll do it. Thankfully I'm feeling much better now and am on my way back to 100%. It was nice to catch up on some sleep, though. Thursday is when I really started feeling it. We went out for a bit, but I felt sick so we were back in by noon and I slept until 4. Later that night, I stayed at a members house and hung out for the night and Elder Mosca went with a member of the ward to go teach. It was nice to relax for a minute, but I like missionary work a little better.

We are also moving! We currently live in an apartment, but the lease is about to be up so we are going to move in with a member of the ward. We'll do it about the second week of November, right after transfers (so I may never live there!) but hopefully I will be staying.

Well, that's it for me this week. I hope y'all have an awesome week!

Elder Grondel