Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What a Rollar Coaster!

Hola from el CCM!
Well, this has felt like the longest week of my life!  That first day must have been a week long on its own!  I have learned so much already, and it is incredible!  SO Hermana Hymas is the Baird´s niece, and she is absolutely fantastic.  I don´t think there can be a better companion for me here.  We are A LOT alike.  Just some examples: We both randomly break out into song, we have read almost all the same books, including ones I wasn´t sure she would know about!  We are constantly laughing about something, and haven´t had any problems with being compañeras.  If you wonder what she´s like, just think of me! Haha! :)
In addition, I swear, I have the best district here.  We have seven elders and five hermanas, so we have a trio of elders and a trio of hermanas.  We were originally 6 and 6, but one of the hermanas moved up in Spanish level, and one of the elders moved down to our beginning class.  Elder Wing and Hermana Robertson are going to the same mission as I!  Hermana Hymas and Elder Blaylock are going to Kansas Wichita Mission, Elder Wangsgaard is going to Ogden, Elder Lythgoe and Elder Cheney are going to L.A., Elder Hansen is going to Chicago West, Elder Wagner is going to Independence, MO, Hermana Orr is going to Nicaragua, and Hermana Howell is going to Twin Falls, ID.  All of them are incredible, and we have become really close already.
Hermana Hymas and I are on bunk beds, and we share our room and bathroom with two other hermanas, Hermana Lui and Hermana Lattin.  I love these two so much!  They couldn´t be more different in appearance though.  Hermana Lui is Tongan (THough she grew up in Cali) and Hermana Lattin is this little, short girl with blonde curly hair.  They are absolutely hilarious, and we laugh a ton with them.
So, it is a rule at the CCM to let the Hermanas go first in the food line.  It´s really nice for us, but sometimes it is sad to watch all those hungry elders as we glide to the front!  Speaking of which, the food isn´t too bad!  I like it.  Lunch is the biggest meal, so we eat a lot then. They have a lot of variety, which is nice.  Oh, and every tuesday is Costco Pizza night! It´s the best! :)
Another rule at the CCM is that you cannot play recorded music on speakers because we´re in such tight quarters.  Well, I exaggerate, we have a lot of room.  But that{s besides the point.  Hna Hymas loves music just as much as I do (She even plays the violin!) and we will sing a lot.  We even have some elders that love to sing, so we practice spanish hymns together.  We are going to sing in church in two Sundays!  In relation to a lack of music, one day, while studying in our classroom, we had the windows open, and coud hear the faint trails of music, including The Beatles and "Have you ever seen the rain?"  It was hilarious.  On the not so fun side of music, Saturday night, there was some concert going on until about 2 am, and it was LOUD.  Our door to our casa was shaking!
Speaking of our casa, it is purple and white on the outside, and there are 5 rooms with 4 beds in each room, but only 4 rooms are being used, with a total of 13 girls.  It is really fun, except 9 of us have the same p-day and all need to do laundry.  That is interesting... :)
Our Third day here, we taught our first lesson.  Completely in Spanish.  That was quite the experience!  Our investigator´s name is Melissa.  She is a young woman who likes to party and drink, and she is pregnant.  Her sister is a member, and She last her dad two years back in an accident.  Today we´re thinking about teaching the law of Chastity.  Wish us luck!
OH. My. Goodness! I was SO excited to discover that not only is Hermana Orr a dancer for the BYU Cougarettes, but she has also learned the part of the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious dance where they spell it out!(from the broadway musical.)  So guess what we did for gym time yesterday?! That´s right! We learned it!  Another check on my bucket list.
Don´t worry, we´ve been doing spiritual things too.  Hermana Orr´s niece the other day had surgery to remove a port for her chemo treatments.  It was really hard for her to not be there, so we fasted together as a district and got to watch our elders give her a Priesthood blessing.  You guys.  It was incredible.  The power of God is real, and we are so blessed to be able to witness that power.  On Sunday nights, we watch a movie, and this week was The Testaments.  I had never seen it before, and it was absolutely incredible.  I sobbed at the end, and I just loved it.
On Tuesday night, we had a live broadcast from Provo!  It was also broadcasted to the Phillipines MTC, the Guatemala MTC and the Columbia MTC.  I also discovered that there is an MTC in New Zealand!  So cool.  The devotional was from Elder Neil L. Andersen, and he talked about Love and Sacrifice.  He read the 13th chapter of Corinthians, which is what I had studied for personal study that morning!  I really loved it. 
Our teacher is Hermano Hardy, and he is wonderful.  We´ve learned a lot of Spanish already, and lots of other uplifting things.
We have also been comparing el CCM to Hogwarts.  I will have that list for you next week!
Today, we got to go to the Mexio City Temple.  It was all in Spanish, which was really intimidating.  But really cool.
I really love all of you more than I can describe, and I am very grateful for your love and support.

Hna Grondel
Me in front of the school bus
The view from the CCM

Selfie in front of the temple!

Mi compañera in front of the temple

My district

My tag!

The Angel Moroni

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Arrival at CCM (MTC in español)

Hola Familia!!! I just got to the CCM (MTC in español) and it is incredible! It is a HUGE compound! I have yet to see a tower, but there are very high walls with fences on top of them.  My flights both went well, though the one to Atlanta seemed to go on FOREVERRR! Probably because I had no idea what to do :) Guess who I saw in Atlanta? JERRY AINSWORTH! He was on my flight to Mexico CIty.  I met up with some elders and hermanas on that flight, and we had a grand old time.  It is beautiful here, but a lot chillier than I imagined.  I will try to send pictures at a future time.  We are going to eat pizza tonight and then I think we go to our dorms.  I am already a senior companion because my last name is closer to A, haha! But only for three weeks.  What was the name of the Baird's niece? Is it Kassie Hymas? If so, she is my companion! I have not met her yet, though.
I love you guys so much! It is incredible here! I am so excited to work and serve and learn!  I have made some friends already, like Elder Jolly.  He photobombed one of my pictures. The one I was taking with my other friend, Hermana Frisbie.
Every thing is colorful in Mexico City!  That was the first thing I noticed as the plane was landing - all the colorful buildings.  ON my way to Atlanta, I met a nice family from Wales on their way to Orlando.  They were really sweet, and wished me luck!
Funny side note - I made it all the way to gate D23 in McCarran before I realized I was supposed to be at D32.  They were in opposite directions...Whoops!
Well, I'm not sure what else to write... Oh!  The CCM has their own school busses.  I took a picture of one, which I will send to you.
Out of all the missionaries I talked to on our bus ( I only talked to about half) I was the only one going out of the country!  Everyone else is going Stateside after this.
I got my nametags - they are pretty suh-weet!
This is going to be a tremendous experience, I can feel it.  Anything new with you guys?  Man, I have to keep going back and retyping things because I am using a Spanish keyboard.  The letters are the same, but the symbols are almost all in different places.
Oh, and my p-day is martes, so Tuesday, maybe?  My spanish is very bad.
Hermana Grondel

Last Hurrah

Well guys, so long! I will see you all real soon, in about 18 months or so. If you feel like keeping up with me, visit or email me @

I also ADORE handwritten letters!

Write me in the MTC!
Sister Lauren Grondel
Honduras San Pedro Sula West Mission
México Missionary Training Center
Ave 510 #90
Colonia San Juan de aragon
07950 Mexico City, Distrito Federal

In about 6 weeks:
Sister Lauren Grondel
Honduras San Pedro Sula West Mission
12 Calle Ave. Circunvalacion SO
Edificio Yude Canahuati
San Pedro Sula, Cortés

I love you guys so much!!!! :)