Monday, June 6, 2011

Week 102: the last week

This week has been very interesting. It has been a week of reflection and of joy. As I finish my service here in the Texas Dallas Mission, I cannot help but think about how much the Lord has blessed me. I have had much success both in baptisms and in spiritual growth. I thought a lot about all of the areas I served in and the reasons I was there. Some areas I had many baptisms, and in others I struggled to get 1. But I think of those times and I noticed how much I grew in different areas in different situations and for different reasons.

Serving a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has fundamentally changed who I am.

I reflect on the words of Paul as he spoke to the Saints in Corinth: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see thought a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:11-12). When I started my mission, I was more like a child. It was my first time truly being on my own; I was still childish in a lot of things, and I would make a fuss over things that didn't matter. Lately, I feel that I have become more of a man and I understand better who I am. Though I do not understand all things and see only through a dark glass now, I know that the Lord has more in store for me and for each of us.

Now I am not going to lie and say that I haven't been trunky at all, because the past day or two have been pretty bad. Especially in packing everything. But at the same time, while I am going to love to sleep in for the first time in 2 years, be able to play basketball with my little brother, go swimming, watch the Mavericks play the Heat in the NBA finals, and everything else that I have kept myself from doing while serving the Lord full-time, I know that all these things simply bring temporary pleasure, and after about 3 or 4 days, I am going to want to come back so badly. But I know that I can't. That is why the Lord calls us to serve in His church and asks us to endure to the end: so that we may feel of His love and His guidance in our lives.

I was reading Elder Bednar's talk from the October 2010 conference entitled "Receive the Holy Ghost". It was an excellent talk, and one line in particular stuck out to me. In talking about things we can do to qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, Elder Bednar stated: "everything the Savior’s gospel teaches us to do and become is intended to bless us with the companionship of the Holy Ghost." I thought about how profound and true that is, especially as a missionary. All the rules and standards we have in place are to help us to have the Holy Ghost with us always. We set ourselves apart from the world to be able to preach the gospel with power and authority form God. "No man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost" (History of the Church, 2:477). Similarly, I believe no man can enter into the Lord's kingdom without following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. It is the cleanser and the purifier.

Being a missionary is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Now my time is over and I know that I must move on and continue with my life (college, work, marriage, etc.) but I cannot wait until I have the chance to serve again. I love this gospel. Nothing has brought me or my family more joy.

We talk to a lot of people who think we are crazy or think we believe things that are false. I bear my witness that this church and everything we teach stands or falls on the Book of Mormon. If it is true, Jesus is the Christ and this is His church. If it isn't, then we're just another one of the thousands of Christian churches out there. But I know it's true. It is absolutely true.

I love all of you and I am excited to see you. I hope that these entries of mine have helped others to appreciate what I am doing and have helped them to understand the importance of having the restored gospel on the earth.

I know that Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior and will give us answers to our prayers and will guide us as we lean on Him. I close with how I began and with my favorite scripture:

The mission has fundamentally changed who I am.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6


Elder Grondel

Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 101

Hey there y'all! It has been another great week here in Texas! This last week was really rough until Sunday night and so I will tell you mainly about that. First off, because it is Memorial Day all the libraries were closed so we are at a member's house and they only have one computer so I am going to keep it really short so my companion can have plenty of time to email his family and everyone else.

Anywho, the family of 5 didn't work out. They talked to their church and decided it would not be good to meet with us. Lame. Mike also dropped off and told us he would call us. Double lame. But things will work out.

Sunday was a good day. That night, we saw a part member family, Cami and Brian. Cami grew up in the church and went less-active when her parents divorced when she was 13. Brian is not a member and they have a super cute kid named Tucker. Brian has had interest before and has had many missionaries come by before as well, but last night we focused on the temple and the importance of an eternal marriage and the blessings as well. The Spirit was super strong and they were very open to it. They committed to praying about the temple and if they should be married in the temple. It was really good.

Other than that, not much happened. It was my birthday on Saturday, so I can legally buy alcohol and handguns now. I probably won't buy alcohol. Handguns maybe. We'll see what happens.

Anyways, I hope y'all have a great week! I love y'all and miss y'all and I'll see you soon!


Elder Grondel

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Week 100

Wow. 100 weeks of missionary service. By far the best 100 weeks of my life so far. The mission is something that changes people in ways that is indescribable. I love it and will forever cherish these times and these memories. The people of Texas have changed my life, and I will never forget that.

With that introduction, Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas! We had a lot of ups and a few downs, but it was for sure a good week.

To start off, I might as well talk about one of the most 180 experiences of my mission. About a week and a half ago we knocked on Neressa's door. She is in her mid-20's and is married; no kids yet. She agreed to let us come back and we did so on Tuesday. We taught her the Restoration, and after sharing the First Vision, we asked her how she felt. She told us that she felt really warm and at peace and that everything made sense to her. My jaw about hit the floor and we committed her to baptism on June 18th and to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. At the end she started asking questions about her deceased mother and what would happen to her and so we came back on Thursday and taught her the Plan of Salvation. She loved that as well and understood it completely. We followed up with her Book of Mormon reading and she said she felt the spirit and knew it was true. Everything was perfect. We met her husband that day right before we left (he had been at work before but was fine with her talking to us) and she talked to him and said they would both be at church on Sunday.
So then Sunday comes around. Neressa and Dustin (her husband) don't come to church. We try calling and texting, but no answer. About 45 minutes into the meeting, she sent us a text and told us her husband researched the church a little more and had some major disagreements with some of the doctrine. I don't know where he researched, but it likely wasn't He does not want anything to do with the church for now and she can't go against him. She said she would keep reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and later that day we stopped by to talk about it. He was cordial but firm in his decision. He said a lot of it had to do with the fact that he was working 2 jobs and had a lot of stress and wasn't very religious anyways (he had religion shoved down his throat as a child growing up). He needed time to talk to her about it. We left them with a copy of Gospel Principles and left it in the hands of the Lord.
The interesting part of this whole experience is that I am not as torn up about it as I thought I would be, and I realize that I have developed a wonderful gift: being able to let go and move on. Yes it was hard and of course I am still upset. But I have a testimony of the Savior's Atonement and how it helps to relieve us of burdens and to push through those hard times. Neressa was prepared. She knows it's true and I believe that she will one day join the church, whether within the next couple weeks or in several years. Either way, she knows what is true. She won't stop reading the Book of Mormon, and the Lord will provide a way. Satan is powerful, but nothing can overtake us if we have faith in the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Moving on, the family of 5 did not work out last night. The mom, Lashawn, had to go do something and wasn't home, but we should be seeing them later this week. Mike is being mike, and we are trying to teach a Catholic couple that are pretty stubborn right now. However, we had a less-active family come to church with a 14-year-old daughter who is not baptized, a member is going to be marrying a non-member who wants to take the lessons (he's been reading the Ensign, the Book of Mormon, and even Preach My Gospel!!) and a 13-year-old girl named Sarah who has been going to church for a year and has gotten permission from her mom to be baptized when she turns 14 in June. Things are definitely looking up. Even in the hard times, the Lord tries us to see if we will do all that he asks us to, and then he blesses us.

On a side note, all you Californians and Nevadans and Utahns and Arizonans know about In-N-Out. Well, this week one opened here in Allen. I've already been twice. It is SO good. I LOVE In-N-Out, and I'd never thought I'd see one in Texas. They are opening a store in Frisco, one in Richardson, and they have plans for a couple in Fort Worth. All hail the Double-Double Animal Style!

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


Elder Grondel

Week 99

Hey there y'all! It's been another great week here in Texas! The weather has been beautiful which means we have been enjoying contacting a lot more than we have before. Usually it's been cold or we've been sweating, but the past couple days have been perfect, around 72 degrees. Sadly I know it cannot last, but I will enjoy it while I can.

This week Mike did not go on his retreat thingy to fast and pray and he said he was going to do it this week. Since I am not sure if he will do it, I will no longer predict when he will do it. I will just tell y'all when he has done it. We got to meet with him last night; he is doing ok but he has not been reading to Book of Mormon like he needs to. We left him with 3 Nephi 11 and he said he would do it. We are going to follow up on Wednesday night.

Most of the week was pretty hard. We did not get in any doors Monday-Saturday and most of our appointments punched on us. But the Lord sometimes puts us through trials to receive blessings. Last night we stopped by a family of 5 that we knocked into on Easter. They let us right in and we talked a little bit about our purpose as missionaries and their religious background. It was super good and we left them with a copy of the Book of Mormon and we will teach them the Restoration this week. It was sweet!

As always, the Lord watches over us and helps us every day, especially when we least expect it.

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


Elder Grondel

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dallin H. Oaks

Week 98

Hey there y'all! It was another great week here in the wonderful state of Texas! We had a decent week and got to talk to our moms for Mother's day! It was great!
There really isn't too much exciting that has happened this week. We found a couple new people to teach yesterday so that will be really good and we will see where that goes.
Mike has gone to the country to fast and pray this week. We should see him later this week and we will see where it goes.
There really isn't too much more. Elder Sullenberger and I are getting along really well and we are doing our best to find new people to teach. This has really been a growing experience and a chance to do what we can to get to know the members of the ward and the branch much better, which will hopefully bring new people to teach.
Sorry it's short but that's about it for this week! Have a good one!
Elder Grondel

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 97

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas!! This week was really good with a lot of good finding experiences amid other events.
First off, I got a new companion! His name is Elder Sullenberger (I know, it's a mouthful) and he is from Lehi, Utah (what a surprise). He has been out about 9 months and he is a really hard worker. He's a bit of a goof like I am and has had a lot of good experiences already, so I am excited to be with him.
Last week we found a young couple by the names of Deep and Lolo. Not kidding, that's their name. They are really cool, though. Deep grew up Sikh, which is basically a mix between Hinduism and Islam and Lolo grew up Jehovah's Witness, but moved in with her Catholic father when she was 14 and has basically been Catholic since. They haven't been active in religion in the past 10 years or so, but they were very open to the restoration of the Gospel and to reading the Book of Mormon. Then at the end Deep said the closing prayer! I think it may have been his first time saying a Christian prayer in his life and it was so good! We taught him way simply and he did it. It was so cool!! We will see them Wednesday and will hopefully commit them to baptism then.
Right before that, we were knocking on their street and ran into Patrick, a strong Catholic that wanted to know what we believe. We taught him the Restoration and he was very open and kind about it, but he wasn't willing to have us back. It worked out in a way, though, because somehow I forgot an extra copy of the Book of Mormon and now we have an excuse to go back and to give him a copy and maybe talk to him a little more about it! His neighbor, Mahesh, came out and talked to us a little as well and we will be hopefully seeing him later this week! Awesome week for finding.
Elder Sullenberger was in Farmersville yesterday and started teaching the granddaughter of a member who is trying to come back to church. Her name is Kailyn and she is 14 and is pretty interested in the gospel. She committed to come to church this upcoming Sunday and we should see her tomorrow.
Then the highlight of the week was seeing Elder Dallin H. Oaks this weekend! It was so cool and we had the opportunity to shake his hand and meet him! He's pretty tall. And so funny! He was cracking jokes left and right. It was great and I learned so much. It really helped to strengthen my testimony that truly there are apostles and prophets on earth today. Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Senior president of the Seventy, was also there and gave excellent remarks.
That's really all for this week! I hope y'all have a good week!
Elder Grondel

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Week 96

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas! We did a lot of hard work and found a few new people to teach with a lot of potential. And the big news...Elder Frost is getting transferred! I will get a new companion tomorrow and I am excited to be staying here.
This Monday we visited a family that we tracted into last week and it went pretty well; they are Catholic and see no need for a restoration of the Gospel, but they are willing to read the Book of Mormon and so we will have to find a convert with a Catholic background to fellowship with them.
Wednesday we went and saw a woman named Yolanda and we had a really good visit with her. She is Pentecostal, so it could be very interesting in the future, but it was great on Wednesday. We taught the Restoration really briefly but she got it. Right before we left, she asked, "So why are their so many churches?" Either she didn't understand the apostasy or we didn't explain it well enough, but we told her about the apostasy and how Christ's church was lost from the earth and she got really excited and said, "That makes so much sense! That is great! I'm going to read the Book of Mormon and read up on Joseph Smith!" There is a new Joseph Smith movie online as well, and so the member we were with gave her the web address and she said she would watch it. We will see how it goes!!
Mike is doing alright; he is going up to Van Alstyne this week to camp out and fast and pray about the Book of Mormon to try and get an answer. He is taking it pretty seriously and I hope he does get an answer and find out it is true.
Pranom didn't end up working out. She doesn't want us to come over anymore, but we are still going to at least try to drop off the Thai copy of the Book of Mormon to her.
We didn't get to see Sarah this week, either, but we hopefully will be able to later this week.
This week we saw a less-active member who is in the hospital recovering from a surgery and we gave her a couple blessings this week. They were some of the most powerful blessings I have given in my life. The first one I gave, and the second one Elder Frost gave. The first one, I felt like everything I said needed to be said, and in the second one, the minute our hands touched her head, I felt the power of the Spirit from the top of my head going through my arms straight to hers. It was an incredible feeling and I loved it.
This weekend we have a SWEET opportunity to hear from Elder Dallin h. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder Fluckinger, who is an area seventy here. I am way stoked and it should be super good.
That's really it for this week! I love y'all and miss y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!
Elder Grondel

P.S. just a couple pictures. The Harty's had a breakfast on Saturday for the district and so we took some pictures...I hope you enjoy them =D

Week 95

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas! We had a really good week with some really cool experiences.
First off, a member in Farmersville named Jason just got back from serving his mission in California and called us on Tuesday and said he was having mission withdrawals. So we agreed to let him come tracting with us for a few hours and found some people that day, including a woman named Pranom. She is from Thailand but converted to Christianity several years ago and loves having people over that love to talk about Christ. We got her a Thai copy of the Book of Mormon and we should see her tomorrow and give it to her then. Jason then came with us on Saturday and all our appointments fell through so we went and saw some of his high school buddies and families he's been working with. One of them wasn't home, and so we went to another one and his mother was home but he had since moved out. His mom, Sarah, was very nice though and allowed us to teach her the Restoration. It was short yet powerful and we were able to commit her to read the Book of Mormon as well! We should see her tomorrow, too.
Friday we had a Specialized training and it was incredible. President Smith talked a lot about keeping up records and better ways to work with members. We talked about the new mission president, too! President Smith is going home in July and so we are going to get a new one. I would love to meet the new mission president, but at the same time, I am happy that I will be able to have the same mission president my entire time here.
Sadly our investigators aren't really progressing all that much right now. Mike is still wanting to meet with us but he hasn't come to church yet. We are having a member invite him to church this week so hopefully he'll get there. We have a few other potential appointments as well so we will see what happens.
Other than that it's been great! Beautiful weather, a love for the work, the Spirit of the Lord, and a good companion. I couldn't ask for more right now! Well, Except for baptisms. But I always want those =)
I love y'all and miss y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!
Elder Grondel

Week 94

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in the TDM!!! I am loving Texas so much and it has been just wonderful to serve here.
Lauren was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was a really great service and because she's moving to the 6th ward this week, there were a lot of people from the ward there in support of her decision to be baptized. It was super sweet. She also invited a nonmember friend named John and he seemed to enjoy it. He lives in Lucas (which is just east of Allen) and so we probably won't see too much more of him, but hopefully the Elders there will be able to teach him.
This week we didn't teach a whole lot of people; to be honest our teaching pool is really quite small. We have Mike and we haven't seen him for a few days; other than that we don't really have anyone to teach in either Melissa or Farmersville. We found a couple new people but they seem pretty flaky. We will have to see what happens.
Saturday was really cool. We had the baptism in the morning, and then we were invited to a child of record baptism in the Farmersville branch. It was a girl named Kloey and we eat with the family every Thursday, so they invited us to come. It was super good and a lot of fun. After that we did a little bit of finding and then we went to the temple with some recent converts for temple baptisms! It was just a day full of baptism and I was so drained by the end of it. It was pretty awesome.
Well that's really it for this week. Our dryer broke this morning so we might be doing coin-op for a while...lame. We'll see what happens. Hope all is going well for all of you!!
Elder Grondel
P.S. Here's pictures of the baptism!
P.P.S. Sorry here's some pictures from the Harty's sealing as well. I forgot to send them to you. =)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Week 93

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in the marvelous state of Texas!! As always, I am loving the work and things are going pretty well.
This last week we saw Lauren a couple times and she is still doing really well. She had her baptismal interview on Friday and is set to go to be baptized this Saturday! I am so excited for her. She loves the church and is excited to become a part of it.
Mike is doing great. We had a good lesson with him Wednesday and invited him to watch the Priesthood Session and one of the Sunday sessions. He ended up coming to a cook-out the men were having just before priesthood and became good friends with one of the ward missionaries. He later enjoyed conference. The next day, he came to the Sunday afternoon session and loved it. I think it was a changer for him and we will hopefully see him progress rapidly form now on.
The Farquharsons are still doing well and are headed for the temple in about a month! They are extremely solid and Jared and Ashlyn are loving it as well. I am so happy for them!
Our investigator pool is slipping, but we are going to go out there and keep looking! We'll find some new people to teach.
Conference was great this last weekend. I received a lot of insight at what I am doing OK at and what I need to improve upon. I am excited to take the things I have learned and apply them to myself as well as to my investigators.
I hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Grondel

Week 92

Hey there y'all! It's been another week here in Texas! This week was a little bit slower. We really didn't find anyone new to teach and because we baptized Jared and Ashlyn, we didn't get to teach a lot of lessons. However, we did get to meet with Lauren a couple times, and it's amazing to see the change that has taken place just in the last week. Last Saturday, she said she was a little concerned with everything, but this week we taught about baptism and what it means and had a really powerful lesson last night and she is doing really good. She is set for baptism on April 9th and we are looking way forward to it. We also got her connected with another single mom in the ward named Amy and she has been way good for her. Amy is very solid and has a lot of faith and it has really helped Lauren a lot.
That's really it for investigators, but the best and biggest news of the week is what happened on Friday night. I was able to go to the temple and see AJ and Cindy Harty sealed for tome and for all eternity in the Dallas Texas Temple. Elder Hardy and Elder Moses were there, too. President Smith and Sister Smith were also there, as they were part of their teaching process and it was great to see them there. It was so powerful. I couldn't help but smile most of the time. I did cry for a little bit, but most of the time I just couldn't stop smiling. I forgot my camera so I can't send pictures but next week I'll send a picture of everyone that was there that night. Tons of people from the Allen 6th ward were there as well in support and there was probably 40 or 50 people total! it was really cool. I love the Temple!!
Well, that's about it for this week. Have a great week y'all!!
Elder Grondel

Week 91

Hey there y'all!! It's been another awesome week here in Texas! We had a lot of good things happen but best of all, we had a baptism!
Jared and Ashlyn were baptized this weekend and the Spirit was super strong, especially when Ashlyn's dad baptized her. They are now preparing to go to the temple here shortly so they can be sealed together forever as a family. I love the gospel so much.
Lauren is doing well. She came to church and had a good time but for some reason couldn't meet with us yesterday when she said she was going to be able to. We'll see her sometime this week, however, so no worries.
Sadly, there weren't any miracles this week (besides the baptism of course) but I am looking forward to this Friday because AJ and Cindy Harty will be going to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity! I can't wait for it to happen! It's going to be so cool!
I know it';s short, but that's really it this week. Check out the pictures, though!
I love you all and hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Grondel

Week 90

Hey there y'all! It's been another great week here in Texas! We have seen more and more miracles here! First, the big news: Elder Frost and I are NOT getting transferred. We didn't get the call this go around so we'll be together for another 6 weeks! I'm actually pretty happy about it because we're getting along really well and it felt like the last 6 weeks went by way too fast.
Anywho, Jared is doing really well and he had his baptismal interview and will be baptized this week! Last week we also found out that his little sister, Ashlyn, was also not baptized and she is 9, so she's going to get baptized this week too!! It's so crazy to see how the Lord blesses us when we are diligent and obedient to His commands and expectations of us. It has been so wonderful to teach this family and they are rock solid now. They will hopefully be able to go to the temple soon after the kids are baptized and be sealed for time and all eternity!
Daniel and Genevie are kinda flaking out; she's pregnant which makes it hard and he said that he has just been way crazy busy with work and what not. We're going to keep on them, though; hopefully they'll turn around and recognize the truth.
Mike is a cool guy. He knows the scriptures really well but is pretty open and we have had a couple good lessons with him and we will be seeing him tonight to teach him the Plan of Salvation, which I think he will thoroughly enjoy.
Brent sadly works every Sunday from 7 to 7, so we won't see him at church every and he wanted to take a couple weeks to read from the Book of Mormon. He is a really inquisitive man as well and asked a lot of questions about the organization of the church with the prophet and the Apostles and seventies and etc. He has a lot of potential and we are going to keep on him. We're hoping that he will be able to switch shifts with someone else at work so he can have Sundays off, but we'll have to see what happens.
The miracle this week is a woman named Lauren. On Wednesday we were driving home from District meeting (they are normally on Tuesday but we had a leadership meeting this week) and this man named Ed called us. He lives in Tennessee but was here visiting his daughter, Lauren, because she is going through a divorce right now and it's a hard time for her. Ed joined the church several years ago but got divorced when Lauren was 4 (she's 28 now) and so Lauren never grew up with the church. He has been feeding it to her for years, however, and now she was ready to hear the gospel! It was crazy awesome. We went over and it was really powerful and spiritual and we invited her to be baptized on April 9th and she accepted! She didn't bring up any concerns about it, either. She is so prepared. She has a cute 2-year-old daughter as well named Samantha. I love it when the Lord provides!
We had a pretty funny experience yesterday. We were walking to dinner after knocking a street nearby and saw some people on the side walk and I just said, "How are y'all doing?" and they said, "Good. Are you from Texas?" Apparently I say y'all good enough and I have enough of a drawl to blend in. I told them I was from Vegas and they laughed and said they didn't believe me at first, butit was just funny. It was great. It made my day. I love Texas =D
I hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Grondel

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 89

Hey there y'all! It's been another great week here in Texas! There were a couple cool miracles this week and so here we go!
First, Jared is still doing great. He is so getting baptized.
Daniel and Genevie are doing good; they grew up Catholic and so we will have to help them overcome their fears of changing religions. But they have really good friends and we found out that another member in the branch grew up with her! So we will be seeing some good things happen here.
We had a good lesson with Erika, but they are hung up on a few things that we are working with right now to overcome.
This week the cool miracle happened on Tuesday. We went shopping on Tuesday because we had no food and we didn't get money until the 1st, and as we were heading to the checkout, a random guy walked up to us and asked, "Are y'all Mormons?" I didn't know what to expect. After being in Texas for this long, it's either a good thing or a bad thing. This time it was good. In talking to him, we found out he used to live in Kingsville, Texas, and that he was taught by missionaries there for a while. He had since moved but he wanted to "reacquaint himself with the Mormon church." So we taught him on Friday and we spent over an hour just talking to him about his beliefs and different doctrines. He seems like a really cool guy and is really willing to have us over. We are really excited for him.
The other cool story is a man named Brent. He is divorced with a 15-year-old daughter and we found him tracting. He was pretty open to having us over and we talked about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon with him. He said the Book of Mormon made sense because if people were an ocean away, God would speak to them just like he did people in the Bible. It was pretty sweet. We have an appointment with him Wednesday and it should be good.
Well, that's really it. My companion isn't feeling too good today, but nothing stops a missionary from emailing home! Except for maybe vomiting and other unpleasant bowel movements...but that's another story!
I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Grondel

Week 88

Hey there y'all! It's been another great week here in Texas! We have had an awesome time and are doing well here.
So last week went well with the referral. Their names are Daniel and Genevie and they have a 5-year-old and one on the way. We taught them the Restoration and they received it well. They committed to read the Book of Mormon but I don't think they understand the significance of it yet, so we are going to go over the Plan of Salvation tonight and tie everything in to the Book of Mormon and how it's really the key to a knowledge of the truth.
We had SWEET time with Jared. We were nearing the end of our lesson and HE said, "Elders, I want to set a baptismal date." Slight pause. Of course I just wanted to jump up and hug him and start crying, but instead I composed myself and said, "I believe we can help you with that." So he is getting baptized on March 19th. Super sweet. Super prepared. All the Lord. I love it when he blesses me like this, because sometimes I don't feel like I deserve it. But hey, it's all part of the Lord's plan.
Sadly none of the cool experiences I talked about last week went through, but that's OK. We are moving forward and we will hopefully see more this week. I think part of it was to build my testimony that the Lord can and will work miracles. I know that things happen for a reason; it is up to us to be faithful, diligent, and patient in order to receive the blessings the Lord has in store for us.
I love you all and I hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Grondel

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Week 87

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas! This last week we had a lot of things fall through but at the same time we have had a lot of things work out. I am loving this area so much and I am happy to be here and I know I'm going to baptize here.
Tonight we are meeting with a referral from the Melissa ward who lives in Princeton (the referral does). His name is Daniel and he seems really open to having us come over. The member who referred him, Peter, said that he is always asking him questions at work and was willing to meet with the missionaries. Peter is going to come teaching with us tonight, so we are looking forward to it and it should be a great lesson. We are hoping and will be praying that he will be baptized soon.
Tomorrow we are eating dinner with a part-member family. They are fairly active and have a 12-year-old son named Jared who hasn't been too interested in baptism before but recently may have had different feelings about that. Elder Frost went over when we were on exchanges with the zone leaders and they had a really good lesson. They just read out of 3 Nephi 11 and apparently Jared's Dad bore a really powerful testimony about baptism and how that is the first thing that Jesus teaches the people here in America. I love the Book of Mormon!! It is so simple and so plain.
This last week we had a couple of cool miracles as well. We were out knocking and between doors a lady in her car pulled up next to us and pointed to a house. "Go knock on that one. I'm a member, he's my boyfriend. He has a Book of Mormon and is interested. Don't tell him I sent you." She gave us a good luck wink and drove off. So we immediately went to his house and Albert (the boyfriend) opened the door. He said he was on his way out, but he definitely wanted to meet with us. So we got his name and number and went back the next day. He wasn't there because he had to go out of town last minute, but we called him on Saturday and we are going to call him again today to set up a time to meet with him.
Later that week (or that day...I can't remember. It all runs together now) we were knocking and we talked to a lady named Pam. She wasn't feeling good, but she said her brother was a Mormon, her sister -in-law was a Mormon, and she has an ex-sister-in-law who is a Mormon as well. She has a copy of the Book of Mormon, too! We weren't sure if she was going to want us to come back, but when we asked, she enthusiastically said yes! We got her name and her number and will be calling her this week to go see her! It was so sweet.
On Friday we were on Exchanges with the Zone Leaders (P.S. Elder Hall is one of my Zone leaders! It's so much fun!) and I was with Elder Hall. We exchanged Thursday night to be with them on Friday and so we were planning out the next day and Elder Hall asked me where to go tracting. Not really sure because I didn't know the area, I randomly pointed at a street and that's where we went (I know, I didn't think it was inspired either, but wait. It gets better). First off, the ZLs also cover a singles branch in Allen, and they have had a member of the branch presidency coming out with them a ton to try to find more people to teach in the branch. They have been praying about it and had been having a hard time. So we're knocking and we talk to a kid named Christian. When he first opened the door, I thought he was 15 at the oldest; he just didn't look that old. So we asked him how old he was and he said he was 18. We asked him if he was a senior and he said no, I'm attending Collin County Community College (quad C) in Plano. Elder Hall and I sat there for a second and then asked if we could come in and share a message about the Restoration. He let us in and the Spirit helped us to teach an awesome lesson. It was so smooth (which can be hard on exchanges) and he got it all. We invited him to be baptized when he knew it was true and he accepted. He seemed into it and he is from Peru and has only been here 6 months! It was super cool! He said the closing prayer and in it he said, "God I'm grateful that I am opening myself up to you after so many years of being closed." It was so epic! I love the Gospel so much! This whole week has helped me to build my faith in having a good attitude, working hard, and just having faith that the Lord will provide. I had no idea that Christian lived on that street. I didn't even look over the streets; I just pointed at the map! But I know that the Lord doesn't allow for coincidences. Not in the Gospel.
I love this work so much. I am loving this area and I love my missionaries that I serve. I hope and I believe every week will be as good as this one for the rest of my mission.
I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!
Elder Grondel
P.S. Y'all aren't going to believe this, but they are building an In-N-Out here in Allen! It should open sometime in April or May, so I will for sure be going and taking a picture in front of it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Week 86

Hey there y'all!! It's been another wonderful week here in Texas! It was quite a bit warmer this week (only one snow day) and yesterday it was a beautiful 70 degrees! Don't ask me how it works; that's just Texas for you. It's pretty weird.
There isn't too much to comment on either. There was a bunch of baptisms recently and so we really don't have anyone to teach. Right now we have a bright ray of hope, however, in a 16-year-old kid named Will. We had a really awesome lesson with him last night about the importance of the Book of Mormon and he committed to read it more diligently. He has been having a hard time reading it and so we came up with ways for him to read it more readily (putting it on his bed, etc.). What is really cool was when he described how he feels when he reads it. He said when he is reading a book like from school he has to plug his ears and be alone because he gets distracted pretty easily, but with the Book of Mormon, he said he's been in the same room as his friends when they were playing video games and he feels at ease and has no problem concentrating on the book. It was really cool. We talked a lot about the Spirit and how it feels and how he can gain an answer and know that these things are true. The Spirit was way strong and we had a powerful lesson. Now we just need to get him to church.
Other than that there isn't much. There is a family that has been worked with for a long time where the mom, Erika, hasn't been baptized, but her 3 daughters did in October. So we are working with her and will hopefully see some good things soon.
We have got a lot of potential this week. We have appointments with people we have knocked into, referrals from members, and random people calling us and asking us questions. It should be a good week.
I love you and miss all of you. Have a great week!!
Elder Grondel

Hey so I almost forgot: we had zone conference this week and guess who came through? Elder Ringwood of the Seventy! He was really good and it was amazing. He talked a lot about becoming all we can and consecrating ourselves to the Lord and to the work. Elder Ringwood taught us about the rich young man who came to Christ and asked how he could obtain eternal life. Christ listed the commandments and the young man indicated that he had obeyed all of those commandments from his youth. The scriptural account then states:
“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
As we know, at the time the young man was not willing to give it all to the Lord. He felt comfortable sacrificing, but he would not consecrate himself. So my goal now is to consecrate myself as much as I can this last part of my mission. It's scary to think about how little time I actually have left, so I can't waste any of it. I am going to take it one day at a time, me and the Lord, and together I hope to become what he wants me to be.
Again, I love you all and I pray that the Lord will shower His blessings upon you.
Elder Grondel

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 85

Hey there y'all!! This week has been CRAZY! First off, I got transferred, and normally transfers are on Tuesday, but there was a really bad ice storm in the forecast, so we had to do it Monday night instead. So we frantically ran home and finished packing and I got transferred to Melissa and Farmersville in the Allen stake! Once again I am in the Allen Zone as a district leader in the same district where I was first called. I am really excited to be here, but like I said there was a crazy ice storm and it basically shut down Dallas for 4 days. Tuesday everything was covered in ice (so of course we weren't allowed to drive) and then Wednesday night and Thursday it SNOWED. Like a good 5 inches. It was ridiculous. SO we basically stayed in the apartment the whole week because we don't actually live within our area. It's only about 5-10 minutes by car, but that's about 30-45 minute walk. And when it's 14 degrees outside, you definitely don't want to be outside that long. So we went to Wal-mart because it's across the street to get a change of scenery but that's about it. Anywho, my companion's name is Elder Frost and he's a GREENIE! Well, sort of. I'm his second companion and so he's been out about 4 months. The other day, we made the scary realization that he's been out as long as I have left. O_O So I'm gonna be working hard. He's a cool elder, and I think we'll get along just fine.
Sadly I don't know who our investigators are really because we haven't had a chance to meet with them, but I'll keep you posted next week!!
I love and miss all of you!! Have a great week!
Elder Grondel

Week 84

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Frisco! It has sadly also been my last. We got transfer calls on Saturday, and I'm outta here. As usual, they don't tell us where we're going and I'll find out tomorrow. I do know that I'm being released as a Zone leader and I'm being called as a District leader, for which I am way excited. I haven't been a district leader for 6 months and now I can take all the cool things I learned as a zone leader and apply it to my district. It will be fun to have a smaller group, too.

This week went pretty well. In the last couple weeks in the zone we had baptismal dates come out of no where and so we were able to finish off the month with 3 baptisms. This year we have a goal of 1000 as a mission and we already have brought 85 souls unto Christ so far this month. I am excited to see where I go to help others to make that covenant of baptism.

Sarah is doing good. She has been pretty busy lately but she met with us last night and we had a good lesson with her. We read out of the Book of Mormon with her and had a good discussion. It was 2 Nephi 1 and so we talked a lot about putting off the armor of righteousness and shaking off the chains of the world.

Samantha is doing about the same. She may be getting kicked out because they are really behind on rent and she would have to go down to Corpus Christi to have a place to live. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

That's really it. We had a miracle story with a lady named Tonia. She is dating someone who joined the church when he was a teenager in Ohio, moved to Utah, and moved back to Ohio, where he went inactive and actually had his name removed from the records because of family problems. Now he's here in Texas and he has been regretting that decision and wants to get rebaptized. She has learned a lot (she already has her own copy of the triple combination) and really wants to know more. We committed her to baptism for the end of this months and she said she wants to know more. She wants to get baptized, but she doesn't feel ready yet. So we'll get her there. I'm kinda bummed I won't be able to see that, but I know it is in the Lord's hands.

Well, that's really it! I've got to pack among other things today, but I love and miss all of you and hope y'all have a great week!!


Elder Grondel

Week 83

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Frisco! I'm going to be short today just because we have a bunch of things to get done today, but last week went OK. Samantha is doing a lot better and came to church yesterday!! It was really, really awesome. Tonight we have an appointment with a lady named Tonia, who is dating someone who she says used to be a member in Carrollton, so we are excited for that because it sounds like she wants to get baptized. We are pretty stoked. We are still trying to find people but right now it's a bit tough. We're not discouraged though; this week we're going to take the ward lists apart and find those that have gone astray and bring them back into the fold.
Now for some really exciting news: AJ and Cindy are getting sealed!!! If you don't remember them, look back to February last year and you'll find the story. They are so awesome and I am so excited for them! They will be getting sealed on March 25th in the Dallas Texas temple. I am so happy and excited for them and I can't wait to be there for it.
That's all from me. I hope y'all have a great week!!
Elder Grondel

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 82

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas! It was a lot of fun this last week. We had another one of those wonderful 6-hour meetings, but this time it was just one day instead of 2 or 3 (thank goodness). It was really good and helped us to refocus on the important things in Preach My Gospel and in using it and the fundamentals of teaching. We also had a couple exchanges and had some good appointments.

This week we saw Samantha a bunch, and she is slowly making progress. Last night we watched "On the Lord's Errand", which is a really good biography of President Monson's life, and the Spirit was really strong. Samantha said she almost cried a couple times and didn't know how to explain exactly how she felt. We testified of the Spirit and committed her to pray about him and find out if he was the Lord's prophet today.

Sarah is having a rough time. She has been super busy lately and we didn't see her last week. We won't be able to see her until next week, either, so it has been a little difficult for us not being able to meet with her.

Tony has dropped us. He said he just wanted to know a little bit more about the church but said he wasn't going to do what we asked him to. It was a bummer but we must move on.

Lordes is struggling as well. She just wants to be Catholic and pray to her saints. We had a good lesson with her on Thursday, but as of right now, she does not want to be baptized.

We have another investigator named Santiago that we have been teaching and the same day that Lordes decided that she did not want to be baptized he said the same thing. When we asked him why, he said, "I think the branch president is a hypocrite. I don't want to be baptized in a church of hypocrites." We asked him if he wanted to be with his wife forever, and he said, "I don't know." It was pretty disappointing. We have an appointment with them on Wednesday, so we'll see what happens.

Needless to say, this week and the last couple weeks have been a little disappointing for us. I kinda feel like Emily; we have dropped all but a few investigators and we have not been able to find many lately. We are doing a lot of knocking and are really trying to work hard with the members, but it has been a struggle for sure. However, I know that things will work out, because they always do. The Lord has said, "Be still, and know that I am God." I know that is true and that he will provide for us.

This upcoming week will be crazy. We have district meeting tomorrow, planning Wednesday, Interviews with the mission president on Thursday, an area mission kickoff meeting Thursday night with Elder Fluckinger, a specialized training meeting on Friday, and exchanges with the Little Elm elders on Saturday, with 10 glorious hours of church on Sunday. O_O This week is going to go by faster than you can say, "Texas Dallas Mission". But, I'm excited for it. Especially Thursday night; it should be awesome.

It was really cold last week. We had snow Sunday and it was cold enough to stick around until Thursday. I did get a scarf from a friend for Christmas, so that really came in handy. Elder Jones and I had a wonderful time tracting, and we've just been having a good time in general, with occasional moments of hilarity. I'm gonna miss him when I get transferred.

I hope y'all have a wonderful week!!!


Elder Grondel

Week 81

Hey there y'all!! It's been a wonderful and cold week here in Frisco! We had SNOW yesterday (a good 4 inches, too) and this week it is supposed to be really, really cold. I also don't have a lot of time, but this week we were able to teach a bunch of lessons and found a couple new investigators. We had to drop Tony because he is not progressing, but Lordes is doing really well and would have come to church yesterday but her dad, Alfredo, did not want to drive in the snow. SO while it was fun, it was not good for church. Pity. Anyways, that's really about it! We had a meeting with the Stake president and the high councilors over missionary work and President Smith and it went really well. Training this week. WOO HOO!!!!
Elder Grondel

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Week 80

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Frisco! This week was actually a lot better than last in some aspects. We have been trying something in our mission (I think I may have mentioned it before) and that is making 140 new contacts each week (10 per missionary each day) and this week we did it and definitely saw blessings because of it. We found a couple new families to teach, and while it's been a bit shaky trying to meet with them, we know that because we worked hard the Lord guided us to these people. We were really happy to see that happen.
This week we saw pretty much all of our investigators, and they are more or less the same. Samantha is still struggling to come to church (we are going to try to get her a ride on Sundays from now on), Sarah is reading the Book of Mormon and staying for all three hours of church, Tony is learning, and we haven't seen Alex for over a week.
We have a couple new ones, too. We started teaching Alfredo and Amalia's daughter, Lordes, and she is really smart and on top of it. She has already read all of 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, which is quite the accomplishment (especially in Spanish, because overall the Book of Mormon is over 100 pages longer in Spanish than in English). She wants to come to church, too, but she has a baby and Alfredo's truck doesn't have enough room for all of them. We are trying to work on getting a ride for her, too.
Alfredo also referred us to one of his friends, Antonia (Alfredo is a great missionary). She has a rough time because her kidneys are spent and she has to go on dialysis 3 times a week, but she has really good faith in the Lord because of it. She is doing really well but is having the same issue of not being able to come to church. She can't drive herself and I'm not sure if her kids always want to, but hopefully that will change soon.
Elder Jones and I continue to have a good time. This Sunday was fun, too, because now the wards meet at 9, 11, and 1 and we can go to all three of them. It really is nice, and so because of that, I also went top the Spanish branch for the first time! It was good but different. I really didn't understand anything. It was interesting. But fun. Everyone was really nice, and a bunch of people there speak English, so they helped me out a little bit.
The new year has brought about interesting feelings for me. It has all gone by so fast and although I miss everyone greatly, I don't want it to end. I can't really imagine doing anything else. I love this work, and I know that it is of God.
I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Grondel

Week 79

Hey there y'all!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas experience! I know I did. Reflecting on the birth and life of the Savior is amazing and I feel like I don't do it enough, even as a missionary, and I wish the world would do it more. Even then, the world takes Christmas and turns it into something much more commercial and the central point is often missed as to why we have Christmas. But I do know that Christ came and lived and died for us and now lives so that if we will turn to Him in faith we will live with Him again someday.
As far as teaching goes, it was not the best. We had a lot of our appointments cancel because family came into town and so we were not able to meet with a few families, but we are still hoping for the best. On the brighter side, Alfredo and Amalia were confirmed yesterday and that was a good experience. They are doing really well and they are getting their family involved. We are teaching them and having a great time doing it.
I know it's short, but that's really about it. Thank you to everyone that sent me packages! They were very much appreciated.
I love y'all and miss y'all!
Elder Grondel

Week 78

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Frisco! And guess what? I get to stay here for another 6 weeks! Transfer calls were on Saturday and neither of us got transferred! I am really excited because I have loved being with Elder Jones and I love this area. Plus, I get to stay for Christmas, which is like the best thing EVER! I am so excited for Christmas! I love the lights, music, food, everything (And being able to talk to Mom is a plus, of course).
This week went really well. Samantha came back into town and wants us over quite a bit. She loves having us over and is excited to learn more. The hardest part is she doesn't have a car and she lives with members, but they don't always come to church (they've had a rough time the past year or so) and so it's kinda difficult to get her to church, but we're working on it and it will hopefully work out.
Alex is doing alright; we taught the plan of salvation to him and he has a slightly different view of things, but he knows that the key is to read and to pray about the Book of Mormon. So he will be working on that and we will be working on getting the Spirit in there and having it touch his heart.
Sarah is about the same; she read about 5 chapters in 1 Nephi last week and she is still going. She's been busy with relatives at home so we won't be able to see her this week, but we will be able to see her soon.
Tony is doing better. We watched the Restoration DVD with him and he enjoyed it and he and Sister Harris had been reading the Book of Mormon together when we walked in, so no complaints there. He still doesn't like to pray, but we will hopefully be able to hit him with the Spirit too.
The best part was Sunday night. Alfredo and Amalia got baptized! It was really awesome (even though it was all in Spanish and I didn't understand a good portion of it) and I learned once again that the Spirit is the same. It was a lot of fun. Elder Jones got to baptize them both and they were all glowing. It was a combined baptism, too, so there were 3 other people getting baptized. It was just a Baptism fiesta! The best thing about that was there was that Antonia (a friend of Alfredo that we've been teaching for a few weeks) and her two daughters and Alfredo and Amalia's son were all there too! They really enjoyed themselves and the branch did great at fellowshipping them and helping them feel welcome. It was awesome.
Sadly, Govani has pretty much dropped off the face of the map. We haven't been able to get a hold of him and so we don't know what is going on with him. Hopefully we will be able to see him again soon.
This week weather has been crazy, too. It's the week of Christmas and it's 60 degrees outside! It was SNOWING last year! It's weird. I don't get weather in Texas. Oh well. That's what makes it fun.
Much love to everyone. I hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas and remember why we celebrate it. Remember that it is because of the Atonement of Christ that we celebrate His birth. It is because he is the Son of God, and that he came in the flesh to redeem his people.
Elder Grondel

Week 77

Hey there y'all!! This has been another one of those crazy days where there hasn't been a lot of time today to Email. All the Elders in the Zone got together for a breakfast and for some fun and games. It was a lot of fun and we had a good time with it, but now we're pretty pressed for time so we will have to go soon.
There hasn't been any major changes. Alfredo and Amalia had their baptismal interviews and are set to go. Sarah said she would get through the whole book of 1 Nephi by Tuesday and so we are looking forward to seeing how that went. Everyone else is pretty much the same; we'll keep y'all posted.
Much love!
Elder Grondel

Week 76

Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Fantastic Frisco! We had a great week full of training and cold temperatures, but we had good lessons and found new people to teach as well.

As I said last week, Luis is doing great, and yesterday (I think) he got interviewed for the Aaronic Priesthood. Bishop Friend is amazing and on top of it. He is very focused on missionary work and always wants us to have new people to teach. Hopefully we will be able to start teaching Luis' sister soon as well; that would be really cool.

We found a new guy named Alex and his buddy Lou. He is from Maryland but moved to Pennsylvania because he heard about a church out there and felt really good when he did. So he moved out there and then the head Pastor was given the opportunity to be put on TV if he moved down to Texas. So he did and much of the church followed him, including Alex and Lou. They are pretty young (early 20's) but are pretty spiritual and fairly interested. We have another appointment tonight at 8, so hopefully that will go well.

Alfredo and Amalia are doing well; we had to move the baptism back one day because of conflicts with scheduling the building, but it will work out and we will still have a baptism. We are excited.

Tony hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon and until he does, he can't go anywhere. So we are working on getting him to read it with his girlfriend.

Sarah, on the other hand, is doing great. She said the last couple times she has come to church she has come for herself, not for her daughter. She is really starting to feel the Spirit more and we will hopefully have another baptism soon. She said she would be baptized when she knew these things were true, so hopefully we will see one next month.

Elder Jones and I are getting along really well. We both have the same sense of humor and he's pretty laid back so he can deal with my craziness at times =) It has been really fun. Spanish is not coming just because we never have time to study it because we are always in meetings and trainings. Last week we had an AMAZING leadership training on Tuesday and Wednesday that ran from 10-4 both days (talk about a long haul) and we had District meeting on Thursday, and this week we have a Zone Leader Council (where all the zone leaders and assistants to the president and the mission president get together and talk about the mission) on Tuesday, Zone Council (like a District meeting for the whole Zone) on Wednesday, and a Specialized training for all the missionaries in Dallas on Friday. DAHHH! It can be stressful at times, but it is really good and it helps a lot.

This morning we had a really cool experience. We met with a guy named Govani (pronounced ho-VA-nee) who was a referral from the Spanish sisters in Carrollton. He lives in Little Elm and he has had a rough time the past couple of years. He had an accident about 2 years ago which greatly scarred him. He has skin grafts all over the place and it doesn't look the best. But the Spirit radiating from this man was incredible. This morning it was about 29 degrees when we went outside and they aren't doing the best financially, so his house was about 55 degrees on the inside; however, the entire time I felt warm. He told us when he had his accident he prayed in the ambulance that if God spared his life, he would find His truth. So he's been looking for that, and that is what we have to offer him. It is all that we really can give him, but it is likely the best thing he will ever receive in this life. We taught the Restoration (well, Elder Jones taught it and I tried to follow along in Spanish) and he loved it. After we talked about the restoration of the Priesthood, he said, “this sounds really good and I believe it's true, but how can I know its true?" We talked about the Book of Mormon and he loved it and agreed to read it. He has a wife and 2 kids who weren't there, but we are going to see them sometime this week. He has had a hard time, including being rejected at jobs because of how he looks and the fact he might lose his green card soon if he doesn't get a job or something. It's been rough, but we are going to be praying hard for him. He is so humble and Elder Jones and I believe he has been prepared for this and we are excited to see him again.

This week I realized how much God loves us as well. I had a chance to sit down with President Smith and just talk about different things I had been struggling with and how to fix it and make it better. It was incredible and I love the Spirit. This week as I was taking the sacrament, I felt more peace than I have in a VERY long time, and I felt true love from the Savior. I finally realized that I am doing the right thing and that I was clean before him in that moment. Of course, I still make mistakes (all of us do), but I realized that if I just do my best every day to repent and try hard not to do wrong and if I partake of the sacrament worthily every week, then all will be well and I will be forgiven of all that I have done wrong. It was a very wonderful and personal experience, but one I feel like sharing because I know there was a time where deep down, I didn't believe any of this was possible. But as it says in the scriptures, "With God, nothing is impossible."

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


Elder Grondel