Monday, February 16, 2015

I think I have started this email at least 4 o 5 times today.  I don't know where to begin!!  I suppose with what has happened this week. 

Saturday, we had Una Gran Feria!  As a missionary/branch activity, we set up several games, made popcorn, cut watermelon, gave out candy, and had a LOT of laughs.  It was SO much fun, and it was a success!  Although, it didn't start out that way.  But every time I began to worry, I felt a sure inner peace.  Long story short, Friday we decided to fast so it would be a beautiful day and all would work out well (since weather in Honduras can be a little unpredictable).  It rained Friday night.  I woke up several times in the night only to hear rain on the rooftops.  It was cloudy Saturday morning.  It was drizzling.  But we kept the faith.  When we finished our fast and went outside to head out to the church to start setting things up, there were clouds in every direction.  Except for a squarish shaped opening of clear, beautiful blue sky - right above the chapel.  It was such a clear witness to me that God had heard our prayers, that He loves us, and that He was pleased with the activity we had planned.  How grateful I am for the Lord, for fasting, for prayer! I know that God listens to His children, when they speak in faith.  More than anything, for the chance I have to learn more from Him every day.

Sunday was crazy.  But beautiful.  Hermana Avila and I sang a duet in Sacrament Meeting, "Más Cerca Dios de Tí".  It was beautiful.  I played the keyboard for the last time. In Relief Society, someone mentioned that it was my last Sunday, and they made me stand up to share something with them.  Oh, I was filled with so much love looking at mis hermanas hondureñas. Cuánto les extrañaré!

En la tarde, we got to meet many wonderful new people.  All day, I could feel so strongly the love God has for His children - wherever they may be, whatever they may be doing, He loves them.  He loves us!  He loves YOU! :)

I feel so much gratitude in my heart.  This mission experience has changed me, and it changes me every day.  How grateful I am for the chance to serve the Lord as a servant in the vineyard.  Where he has invited me to work at His side that I may become more like Him.

There are so many things running through my mind and emotions in my heart, but I suppose they will have to wait.  I've still got people to serve.

I love you all, so, so much.


Hermana Grondel

Celebrating Valentine's Day with my favorite - ice cream! :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Another week has flown by way too fast!

We've just been doing normal missionary stuff...teaching, finding, walking, and this week we had a baptism as well!!  Angie was a very, very prepared jóven who basically asked us to baptize her when we met her.  She already had this great desire to be baptized, so we just helped her along the way.

We helped clean up a kindergarten this week.  One of the walkways was rather dirty, so we began to sweep it.  As we swept, we realized there was a whole lot more walkway buried under the dirt.  As we were cleaning it, we were joking that we found more Copan Ruinas, hahahaha. :)

Well, I just love being a missionary.  It is the greatest thing in the whole world.  I love being able to go up to anyone and just start talking about this gospel.  The reactions are always varied, but the satisfaction I feel at the end of the day is without comparison.  I love this gospel.  I love my savior, Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for His redeeming sacrifice.  I am so grateful that He was restored His gospel to the Earth once more.  I am so grateful for temples.  So, so grateful.  I am so grateful that families can one day be together forever.  I know that this is the only true and complete church of Jesus Christ on the face of the Earth.  I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve my Heavenly Father, in a very special way.  I love looking up in church to see a less-active member we have been visiting walk in.  I love feeling the spirit in the lessons we teach.  I love feeling part of something that really, really matters.  I love being part of an eternal family.  I love Honduras.  I love this time.  It really is the best part of my entire life. 

Well, I love you all bunches.  Have a great week!

Hermana Grondel :)
The baptism!

One morning during personal study, I got REALLY cold

Monday, February 2, 2015

This week, we have had many special moments.  Moments that just make one glad to be alive. :)  I suppose nothing that big or exciting happened, but I have been trying to enjoying the little moments that come our way. :)

We helped cut down a tree outside of a member's house, which was great fun, and came with a delicious bowl of sopa de frijoles. :)

We have been able to meet many wonderful people, who are progressing so well.  It is so wonderful to finally feel as though we are seeing progress out here.  I truly love this work. :)

One very special moment happened while we were waiting for a member to come accompany us.  She asked us to come back in about a half hour so she could shower.  Well, without much to do near her house, we decided to go look for the house of another member who had recently moved.  Well, she is a nurse, and upon finding her house, we noticed that she was helping one very sick grandmother.  Her family was there - they had traveled more than 2 hours to get there - and were very worried.  Well, she invited us in, and we offered to sing a hymn and have a prayer with them to try to bring them a bit of solace.  It was such a beautiful moment, and the spirit was rather strong.  Later, the nurse let us know that they were so grateful and that it had helped them out a bunch.  Yay for small and simple things!

Today, we went to Copan Ruinas to see el Parque de Aves, Macaw Mountain.  It was pretty cool. :) 

Other than that, we have been DYING of cold this week, though yesterday and today were suddenly very hot.  But everyone says it's going to get cold again tomorrow. BRRR!

Well, I love being a missionary

I love you all!!

Hermana Grondel :)

At the park     
Fun with a machete
I love these people!

Monday, January 26, 2015

I cannot believe it is already Monday again.  I feel as though this week has FLOWN by!

Tuesday, we decided to try and make German Potatoes...That was interesting, hahaha.  Potatoes are slightly different here...and soup...and I think I got the timing wrong...But the spam was delicious!!

We had some other interesting experiences this week as well.  One day, we went to help a young girl cut up firewood with a machete.  One more lifeskill to add to my ever growing list. :)  The other day, we were passing by one investigator's house whom we hadn't seen in a while.  Well, she happened to be leaving her house as we passed, so we stopped by to chat with her.  She told us that she was going to her Mom's house to help her make tortillas.  So we asked if we could help.  She said sure and let us follow her into her mom's house.  At first, her mom was a bit hesitant to let us try to make tortillas, but she warmed up to us and gave us a chance.  We then began to feel that we were the show as they made dinner.  I think at least 8 people were crowded into there kitchen to watch the gringas make tortillas, hahahaha.  Some took photos, someone else took a video.  We were dying of laughter. :)

Saturday, we had interviews with President Dester.  If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, but I am so grateful for him and his wife. They are wonderful, angelic people.  I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ, and I know that He carefully places people in our lives.  I know that He calls specific people to specific positions to best bless all of His children.  I also felt sure of that yesterday as we watched a video put together by the Central America Area Presidency. De hecho, something Elder Duncan said in that video really caught my attention.  He was talking about the importance of paying tithing.  He began speaking of all the uncertainty and problems and instability that we see now and that is to come.  He explained that tithing is the Lord's way of giving us a sense of security.  The Lord promises us that if we pay tithing, we will not need to worry, even when all may seem lost. Even when we may not be able to see how it will be possible to live, to eat. WOW! The opportunity to pay tithing is definitely a HUGE blessing.

Other than that, I am just loving life.  I love being a missionary.  I love being able to testify of our Lord and Savior and of His true church every day.  I love being able to bless the lives of other people.  I love all I am learning and becoming.  More than anything, I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven.  I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve them here. :)

I love you all!

Hermana Grondel

Partiendo leña
Hermana Avila and I almost always match.  :)

Monday, January 19, 2015


Well, here I am again.  I have had quite the week. 

I suppose some may have noticed that these past weeks have been rough for me. I am ashamed to admit it, but I have even been downright depressed. Ahora, that isn't to see that everything was dark and gloomy; in the midst of it all, I've still had some great things going on.  But I had lost some of my inner happiness, and I couldn't understand why. This wednesday was probably the hardest of all.  As I prayed, wondering what I was doing wrong, longing for peace and trying to make sense of it all, I felt I should just try and make it to Thursday, when the sister training leaders were going to come do divisions with us.  We kept working as normal and I felt a bit better at the end of the day.  Thursday came and we had divisions.  Todo cheque, todo normal.  My good friend, Hermana Bahr, went with Hermana Avila, and I went with Hermana Lopez.  It was fun, and I enjoyed myself, but the answer to so many prayers came Friday morning during companionship study.  I asked Hermana Avila if she had learned something from divisions that she wanted to share with me.  She said that Hermana Bahr had taught her that she should enjoy every day in the mission.  Obviously, not throw a party and not be lazy or anything like that, but the mission is a beautiful experience, one that we should live to the fullest.  Also, Hermana Lopez had mentioned that I should remember to always focus in the people, not in the numbers.  It hit me so hard.  THAT was what I had been missing.  I had not been enjoying my mission.  I had been working hard and we had good numbers, but it had become just that - numbers.  I had begun to associate numbers with success and happiness with laziness.  I had begun to just work and work and work waiting for the day to end or the week to end and give my numbers instead of enjoying each moment and enjoying the opportunities and people that surround me every day.  We have changed a couple of things about our companionship, and I am now focusing on enjoying every moment and focusing on each person.  I think in past weeks, I have found many temporary solutions, but I feel so sure that this is the one that really reaches the root of the problem.  I think that is part of what the Lord meant when He said that we should serve with all our heart.  It is to love and enjoy what He's asks us to do, not just doing it because He said so. So finally, FINALLY I am happy again. :) And I know how to get back to that happiness when disappointments come. :)

We've been meeting some really great people this week, and I am excited to see how they progress.  The elders have begun focusing on finding families to teach, and I think it will be something to put in practice as well.

Saturday evening we attempted to have an activity in the park.  We set up a table with various folletos and books and mormon messages.  It was an adventure. :)

Sunday night, we had a musical testimony meeting!!!  A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how much I love musical testimony meeting from back home, and decided to suggest it as a branch activity.  Everyone was curious to understand what on earth a musical testimony meeting would be, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  I certainly did!!  I could feel the spirit.  I am so grateful for music! 

Well, I think that is all for this week. :)

I love you all!!

Hermana Grondel

Monday, January 12, 2015

Well, there were transfers this week, but I am staying here in Copan with Hermana Avila!

Tuesday, we had a zone meeting, and I had to say good-bye to Hermana Marley.  Hijole, that was rough.  Hermana Marley has influenced my mission and my life so much.  She's been there in the good times and the bad, and we've served near each other the majority of our missions.  After so much time together, is was quite sad to have to say good-bye.  I'm just glad she lives in the states, so I'll be able to see her again. :)

Lately, well, especially here in Copan, I suppose I have felt discouraged from time to time.  es feo.  Opposition, stress, doubts, rejection, it's taken its toll on me.  But somehow, some way, the Lord always helps me to get back to my normal, happy self.  Today, I was reading in the Liahona de Noviembre2014 and read this from President Uchtdorf:
" Suppose you were able to travel back in time and have a conversation with people who lived a thousand or even a hundred years ago. Imagine trying to describe to them some of the modern technologies that you and I take for granted today.

For example, what might these people think of us if we told them stories of jumbo jets, microwave ovens, handheld devices that contain vast digital libraries, and videos of our grandchildren that we instantly share with millions of people around the world?
Some might believe us. Most would ridicule, oppose, or perhaps even seek to silence or harm us. Some might attempt to apply logic, reason, and facts as they know them to show that we are misguided, foolish, or even dangerous. They might condemn us for attempting to mislead others.

But of course, these people would be completely mistaken. They might bewellmeaning and sincere. They might feel absolutely positive of their opinion. But they simply would not be able to see clearly because they had not yet received the more complete light of truth."

It was such a reassurance to me that what I am doing is right.  I may not be perfect at doing it, there might be people who do it better, but I only hope the Lord is pleased with what I am doing out here.

Saturday, I was sick. blech.

Sunday turned out to be a great day.  Many of our appointments fell through, but we met some wonderful people.

Oh, and I have begun teaching piano lessons!  I started last Sunday, and my student is progressing so well!  They are hoping that she can learn the basics so she can play the piano after I leave.  I certainly hope so!  It has been fun to learn how to teach someone else how to play an instrument.

Today, we went to a river.  That was fun.  and a bit tiring.  I thought we were just going to look at this river, but it turned out to be a hiking adventure.  It was great!

Well, I cannot think of anything else right now.  I love you all!!


Hermana Grondel :)

Last photo with Hermana Marley
The River

Monday, January 5, 2015

Well, New Year's happened.  I actually forgot that this week was New Year's until I started reading letters, hahahaha.

This week started out a bit rough.  I guess I've been a bit overwhelmed with what I think I should have accomplished by now as a missionary.  About halfway through the week, I realized that I may have been doing many things Christ would do, but I had not been acting as Christ would act.  I began to take a moment to think "How would Christ react in this situation?" and wow, it has made a great difference.

New Year's was pretty normal. Lots of Fireworks. We stayed in and watched The Testaments, woo!

We were able to meet some truly incredible people this week.  We were also able to talk with some marvelous investigators.  Things are looking up. :)  Sorry that I don't have much to write, I don't remember anything!!

Oh, and transfers are this week, but as far as I know, I am staying here in Copan with Hermana Avila for my last change!

I love you all!

Hermana Grondel :)