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