Monday, December 29, 2014

Here we are again.  Another Monday, another letter.

This week has been all over the place.  It was great being able to skype and talk, but it was also a bit hard on the proselyting side of things. 

We had a district meeting with another district and it was so great!  We had a white elephant gift exchange and played some games as well to celbrate Christmas.  I received a 3D wooden velociraptor puzzle.  #dinosaursrock That night, we all went Christmas caroling in the park and the sisters from La Florida spent the night in our house.  That was a blast!

Christmas Eve, much of our day was spent doing service - washing dishes from making tamales mas que todo.  We also got to eat several tamales.  Yum!  I am trying to figure out the best way to make them so I can eat them always. :) We had to return home early because the fireworks here get preeeeeeeetty crazy.  I mean, really, really crazy.  And the majority of them are lit by children.  Yep.  Things are a bit different here. :)  Well, since we were in the house early, we decided to open our gifts Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning.  Thank you so, so very much!!  I enjoyed everything. :)  We have also eaten almost all of the candy and sweets, hahahaha.

Christmas morning, we made cinnamon rolls and planned as a district.  yum!  One of the elders had received bananagrams, so we took turns playing it in english and spanish for our language study. 

Friday, I was writing in my journal, todo cheque, when Hermana Avila started flipping out, saying there was a spider.  Now, here in Honduras, there are many spiders, and normally they are pretty small.  And since Hermana Avila is relatively new, I figured she had seen a small spider on her skirt or something that had frightened her.  BUT THAT WAS NOT THE CASE.  I looked over to see a HUGE spider crawling on the floor.  Like, the size of my palm huge.  So we both started freaking out.  we tried to kill it with a shoe, but the angle was off, so it just started crawling away. At this point, our desk became a mess as we tried to move everything.  We ended up moving the table away from the wall and the spider crawled behind my box of books.  After losing sight of it for a minute, we found it again and ever so slowly moved the table back towards the wall.  Then, fast as lightning, I pushed my box against the wall and squished that sucker.  Man, those were adrenaline-filled moments.

Other than that, it has just been normal missionary stuff.  Contacting, teaching, searching for the Lord's chosen.  Then searching some more and some more and a bit more. :)

Shortly after killing the spider!















It was HUGE.  I mean, this was aftersquishing it, so when it is alive, it would be larger.















After Christmas Caroling

Monday, December 22, 2014

Well, it has been a fantastic week out here in El Dorado!

I completely forgot to mention that last Monday, we went to a bakery! I will include a photo of us ready to go in.  They wouldn't let us take pictures inside, but it was fun to go and see bread be made.

We have seen many small miracles in our work this week.  It has been incredible, and I am so grateful that we have had the chance to work hard and serve our Lord. 

Much of our work this week has been in the form of service.  From folding shirts to picking up fallen beans to collecting firewood to wrapping a Christmas package, we've done it all!  I love doing service.  :)  We also crossed a river this week.  I definitely felt like a pioneer, hahahahaha.

I cannot say how grateful I am for the restored gospel.  As I have been studying this week, I have been thinking about what it would be like if we only had the Bible to depend on.  If we didn't have the Book of Mormon or Modern-Day Revelation.  HIJOLE.  So much of what I hope for and who I have become is thanks to this gospel.

President Dester invited us to study the words of our Savior during this Christmas season, so I have been reading a bit in Matthew.  As I was pondering Matthew 6:25 (and the JST of that as well), I realized that that scripture has literally been fulfilled for me.  When we have had nothing to eat in the house, someone has invited us or brought us food.  When I have needed or wanted some sort of clothing, it has been given to me.  How grateful I am for the goodness of other people!!

This week, we had divisions with the Sister Training Leaders.  I love them so much!!  I learned a lot from Hermana Ugarte.  We bought some plain white shirts and decorated them to be able to take photos. :)

Saturday, we had a branch Christmas party, put on by the four of us missionaries.  WOW so, so many people helped us to make that night special.  It was a bit stressful, especially since our mission leader overslept and had to change his work schedule aka no pudo llegar a la fiesta.  But the Lord worked miracles.  We had a small presentation and had a Christmas dinner.  We had decided to have something typical of Honduras, which included grilled meat.  So we spent much of the evening grilling 36 pounds of beef on 3 rather small grills, hahaha.  But everyone loved it!  They said it was the first Christmas party they had had in years, and everyone left full and happy. :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!  And God bless us, every one.

THE CHURCH IS TRUE!  christmas.mormon.org

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel


En la panaderia





















Our grills
















We were covered with ash. :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

sooooo, I lost track of time, so this letter could be rather short!

This week, we had our Multi-Zona/Christmas party, and we went to SAN PEDRO SULA!!!!  It was so great.  I had a blast, and we learned lots too.  Hermana Robles was there as well!!  But it was to give all of us the flu shot - not so fun.  The day before, I found out there was going to be a small choir.  The day of, I found out I would be directing said choir.  THAT was an adventure!  But it turned out well.  We sang "O, Holy Night", pero en español.  I also got to direct everyone as we sang almost all of the Christmas hymns, just like last year.  It was great. :)

On the bus ride back, we realized it would be our only chance to have the whole zone together! (Zona Copán is HUGE) so we all introduced ourselves and had a talent show there on the bus!!  We spent the rest of the ride singing every Christmas song we could think of.

We had the chance the week to meet Carlos, who while we were contacting asked us how he could be baptized.  SAYETH WHAT?  He is now our golden investigator.  Each time we have taught him, he has been so open and accepting of our message, a rather refreshing reaction to our efforts.

Yesterday, I was calmly waiting for the announcements to finish to sit with my companion in the congregation after the sacrament. (I was on the stand playing the piano).  Well, to my surprise, as the first counselor read the speakers' names, I heard my name.  Um, what?  NO ONE had told me that I was going to be speaking.  So I just prayed and went up there and said what came to mind.  I ended up sharing Yolany's story and emphasized the need to do our visiting and Home teaching.  Afterward, various members told me how they enjoyed my message.  I just hope they apply it!!

OH, there is so much more to say, but ther is no more time.  I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

The field is white, all ready to harvest



Trying to mentally prepare myself for this vaccine. :)


Christmas party with the missionaries del Dorado!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Well, it's been another great week out here in Copan!

But...I do not remember most of it.  Everything has been a great blur.  But a fun blur.

We've just been walking around, contacting, teaching, laughing, eating, working, studying, normal missionary stuff.

Funny story:  I was talking with Hermana Avila about Latin dances.  I asked her "Sabes como hacer salsa?" (Do you know how to make/do salsa) Okay, so I didn't say the question well, and Hermana Avila says "OHH, chunky salsa, o more...?"  And I was thinking in my head,"What, is that some kind of dance only for fat people??"  And then I realized she thought I was talking about food, not a dance.  We were dying.

Yesterday was so very special.  I love fast sunday.  And testimony meeting.  They could quite possibly be some of the greatest days of my life.  Here in the mission, there are many ups and downs.  There are days when your testimony is unappreciated, stepped on, spat back in your face, and you are left, sometimes wondering why.  If I've felt it's true, why don't they?  And sometimes Satan tries to get in there.  He starts putting doubts in your head and questions that you are left trying to answer.  But despite all that, it cannot and will never change eternal truths.  Yesterday confirmed that for me.  Sitting in Sacrament meeting, I felt so happy and close to tears.  I know this gospel is true. I feel it with my very soul.  I want my family, present and future, to receive every possible blessing this, the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer.  I cannot think of a better way to be spending Christmas this year than being able to give of myself to help others know the truths I so deeply treasure.

Here in Copan, la gente es dura.  More so than in any other area I've been.  And it's given me the chance to truly come closer to my Savior.  Oh, how I love Him!  And how grateful I feel for the love He has for me.

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel

We tried making caramel....And we burnt it....


Monday, December 1, 2014

Helllooooooooooooooooo!

Well, this week has been great. :)  Monday night, they called us to let us know all about transfers.  Well, they told me that I would be training!!  I was ECSTATIC.  And still am so very happy. :)  My companion's name is Hermana Avila, and she is from...wait for it.... LAS VEGAS!  She was born in the states, but her mom is from Chile, and her dad is from Mexico, so she is fluent in Español. :)  And she is just so great.  She is a convert to the church, as of three years ago, and she is a fantastic missionary!

Rewind to Tuesday.  We had a (almost) zone meeting to say good-bye to those who left the zone and celebrate the end of the transfer.  The sisters from Las Ruinas came up to spend the night with us so they could catch the bus Wednesday morning.  So, Hermana Bahr and I went in divisions for a few hours so Hermana Delgadillo could finish up some things she had to do and say good-bye.  It was great to be with Hermana Bahr again, but we had decided to go work in Santa Luz.  Well, on the way back to La Entrada, it started raining.  And raining. And pouring.  And we got back COMPLETELY soaked!

Wednesday, it was off to San Pedro!!!!  I really, really love San Pedro.  We then went to the institute building (El Benque was full of medical things) where I met mi hija!!!  Then it was back to Copan.

Training is an incredible experience.  It is teaching me the power of example.  I also am learning how to better depend on the Spirit.  Hermana Avila is just so prepared and ready to be a missionary.  The Spirit is so strong in our lessons, and I know the Lord is on our side, helping us in every moment.

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

Last photo with Hermana Delgadillo

















P-Day with mi hija!




Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wow, this week has FLOWN by!!  I have so little time, but I have so much to say!!

We are seeing some incredible progress out here in La Entrada, and I love it more and more every day. :)

Tuesday we went to Santa Luz, the ruralest part of our area, and were nearly attacked by more farm animals.  I just don't think they like me very much. :)

Wednesday, we received SO MANY baleadas.  I have never received so much food in one day here in Copan.  :)  We also made and sold donuts to help Hermana Merary y Hermano Walter.  In the afternoon, we received a phone call from the Migration Secretary of the mission.  "I've got good news and bad news", he told me.  "The bad news is you and your companion have to come to San Pedro tomorrow for your companion's residency.  The good news is Hermana Robles is going to be there as well."  Well, for me, both pieces of news were good news!!!  I was so happy to be back in San Pedro for a bit, and exceedingly ecstatic to see Hermana Robles again.  I kept pointing things out to my companion on the bus ride through SPS, and finally she said, "Pucha, we should just come to San Pedro!"  To say my current area and my last area are different is an understatement.  Seeing Hermana Robles again was beyond words.  We were both so happy to see one another.  We started talking and didn't stop.  When we had to go, both of us said, "but I haven't finished telling you everything yet!"  I am so grateful to have found such a wonderful friend in Hermana Robles.  A trip to Peru in the coming years is going to be a must. :)

While in San Pedro, we had so many awkward, funny moments.  Like when the guards wanted to search our bags.  "What do you have in there??"  "um....scriptures..."  I had completely forgotten to remove a large knife I had placed in my bag to make donuts the day before.  Fortunately, they let us pass without any problems.  Tender mercy!!  There were also too many men hitting on us.  Including a congressman #awkward

The bus ride back to Copan, however, was not so delightful.  We both were feeling rather carsick, though we made it to the house just in time to relieve ourselves.  Traveling on large buses for long periods of time more than once a day is not the best idea for Hermana Delgadillo and me, hahaha.

Friday, we had the chance to have divisions with the Sister Training Leaders.  I love them so very much.  I went with Hermana Lopez, who entered the field the same day as me!  It was an incredible day.  We worked hard all day and I felt the spirit so strong.  Hermana Lopez also extended a baptismal invitation a una familia super pilas, and they said YES!  I cannot believe it!  I am so grateful for this work. :)

Here is part of the letter I wrote to Pte. this week, which shares more of the miracles we've been seeing here:
Yesterday was a wonderful day as well. Pues, empiece con Sabado. o mas bien, Viernes. After our inventory and divisions, hna delgadillo and I had the chance to plan for Saturday, but Hermana Delgadillo wasn't feeling well, so we were trying to plan a bit quickly so she could rest. We didn't have any citas fijas after 5, so our planning was a bit eccentric. Well, Saturday evening, almost everything fell through. We decided to go to our very last plan we had made, a less active family in our area. We found la hermana at home, and began to share a thought with her. As we spoke, the spirit was so strong, and we felt impressed to promise her some specific blessings if she came to church the next day. Well, she came. With her husband. And their son. And about 4 other less active people we have been teaching. And some of our investigators. I was over the moon. :)

Also, in the District Conference last week, Presidente Dester stressed the importance and the sanctity of the Sacrament.  One of the things he mentioned we should do is arrive early to the chapel to be able to sit calmly, read the scriptures, and prepare ourselves for the meeting.  Well, as a missionary, getting to church on time, let alone early, has been a bit of a challenge.  Passing for investigators, less actives, or other things have often prevented us from getting there early.  But I decided that if that is what the Lord wants of us, as missionaries, we have to set the example.  We arrived early to church, and I began playing prelude music until the meeting began.  I felt a different spirit in the meeting, and I also felt a difference as I focused on the true purpose of the meeting, the sacrament.  I was able to receive personal revelation to know how to improve, something I'm sure I would have missed if I had been too preoccupied in other things.  It is now my goal to arrive early to church every week. :)

The Lord has been blessing us so much here, and I am so grateful to be able to serve here. :)

There are changes this week, and I think I am going to have a new companion when I write next week.  We'll see!!!

I love you all bunches and bunches!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)


On the bus back to La Entrada last week



Monday, November 10, 2014

Every week here gets better and better. :)

I am coming to know my Savior as I never have before.  Every day, I understand more of the changes He would have me make so that I may become more like Him.  Truly, "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me". Today, as we were walking to eat lunch, I just felt overwhelmed with love for Copan.  That is something that I have been praying and hoping for, and I am so grateful to feel it growing every day.

This week, we had the chance to meet another great family.  Our first lesson with them, the Spirit was so strong as the couple we brought with us testified that families can be together forever.  The two daughters of the family even came to church yesterday!  The couple that accompanied us gave them a ride.  I love when the members get involved.  It makes this work so much more meaningful. Things are certainly looking up. :)

We also had the chance this week to make and sell donuts to help some of our investigators get married so they can be baptized.  Getting married in Honduras is a rather complicated and expensive ordeal, but these two are determined to get married.  :)

Yesterday was the Branch Primary Program, and it was beautiful.  Seated in front of the children were three little girls, one in a red dress, one in a yellow dress, and one in a blue dress, each one with a matching balloon.  They sang the primary colors song.  adorable!  Also, one of the oldest boys directed the program.  But I particularly enjoyed that each one of the children had a missionary name tag that said: "Futuro Misionero Elder Mejia" or "Futura Misionera Hermana Orellana".  They brought the Spirit to the meeting as each one of the children testified of Christ and His church.

Funny Story:  One of our investigators lives with her Grandmother and her great-grandmother.  Her great-grandmother is nearly 100 years old!  Well, one night, as we were teaching Ana, our investigator, we heard water splashing in the next room.  Confused, Ana went to see what was happening.  We only heard, "Abuelita! ¿Qué está haciendo?" (Nana, what are you doing??)  she replied, "Bañandome.  Mañana es mi cumpleaños!" (Bathing myself.  Tomorrow is my birthday!) Ana then had to explain to her that it was NOT her birthday the next day and that it was not a good idea to bathe herself at that hour of the night, especially since it was cold.  I was dying of laughter.  Our next lesson was also a riot.  As we began singing a hymn, her grandmother came into the room, using her cane like a guitar and dancing.  As we said the opening prayer, she began singing hymns.  When we were saying good-bye, I realized that she is totally convinced that I am a nun.  I explained that I was a missionary, not a nun, but I'm not entirely sure that she understood.  But she's a sweetie. :)

For P-Day today, we went to a member's home in another branch to eat lunch.  They invited 16 of us missionaries!!  It was a beautiful, humbling experience to feel of the great love they have for us.  I love this work. :)

Pues, I love you all very much, and I hope your week is wonderful!!

I will have to send pictures next week.  I love you all!!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

                                                   Here is a picture of my area now!


Monday, November 3, 2014

So, here I am, just another week chillin´ out here in Copan.

But literally, chilling.  It is rather cold out here.  I used a sweater almost half the week this week.  And I have hardly ever used a sweater here in Honduras, hahaha.  And when I say chilly, it's been about 60-70 degrees.  Which means everyone gets out their coats and hats and scarves and no one leaves their house. :)

 I honestly feel as though I've been assigned to a new mission, Misión Honduras Copán.  We already worked out who is the mission president and the office elders.  I'm the nurse of the mission here, hahahaha.  Which is ironic since I got sick this week, but I'm great now. Nothing serious.

Out here in Copan, I am learning a whole bunch about patience, charity, humility - basically all the Christlike attributes I have ever hoped to gain. I am also paying the price for them.  It costs everything, everything I have.  But I so desperately want to become what God sees I can become.  My own will doesn't matter.  I am trying to give it all to Him because He can do so much more with what I have than I can do alone.  I think that is what I am learning more than anything out here.  How to depend completely and fully on my Savior, because I certainly cannot do this alone.  Living in a pueblo helps me refocus on my Savior.  I am in constant awe of the love He has for these people.  And for me as well.

One morning this week was particularly rough for me. As we were walking around, trying to contact, I wondered if we were doing something wrong. I thought about how not everything in the mission is beautiful and wonderful, that there are trials to make us stronger. As we approached one house, I thought of the quote from Pres. Monson that is in PMG under Christlike Attributes talking about patience. The phrase "often, the heavenly virtue of patience is required" entered my mind. We knocked- well, really, we shouted buenas - and a man came out. Who then invited us into his house. And introduced us to his whole family. Who loves the missionaries and wants to learn more. I was shocked. And so happy. I felt a sweet calm in their home, something I hadn't felt in a while. Even though the rest of the day almost no one was home and less people wanted to let us in, I felt happy. Por lo menos, I know this gospel is true. And it strengthens me every day. I can't explain it.  Every day, I finish exhausted.  And sometimes no one has listened to us all day.  But I'm so happy.  I cannot help but be happy.  (Tender mercy. :) )

Today was a FANTASTIC day.  We rented a bus as a zone and we went off to the Copan Ruins!!  I got to spend the whole day with Hermana Marley, and we just had a blast.  I met a group of people from France.  It was crazy.  I could understand more or less what they were saying, but I couldn't remember how to speak to them!!  I kept talking at them in Spanish, hahaha.  On the way back, the elders were taking turns pretending to be un cobrador of the bus, shouting "Mayeco, Mayeco!!  Choloma, Roatan, Quebrada Seca!!"  Oh man, we were dying.  Good day. :)

Well, I love you all bunches and bunches. :)

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

The one and only Halloween decoration I have seen here.  I found it on Halloween, woo!



  On top of one of the ruins



Inside of another ruin

Monday, October 27, 2014

It has been another great, cool week here in Copan!  

This week was MUCH better than last week.  I could feel so strongly that many people were praying for me - thank you. :)

We have just been outside working hard, enjoying the cool weather, and trying to find those who are truly prepared for this gospel.  Our branch members are wonderful and so dearly want to help this work move forward, so it's basically paradise over here.  There are more challenges finding and retaining investigators, but I know the Lord will provide for us.

SO many funny things happened this week.  For example, one afternoon, as we were teaching some investigators, it began to rain.  We were outside, but underneath a metal canopy.  We thought all would be well until we noticed that with every raindrop, a bunch of little black specks fell from the roof...on top of us.  It was rather difficult to get them all off later, hahaha.

Later this week, when we tried to return and teach this family again, they quickly ran to shut the door when they saw us coming. Ouch.  Ni modo pensamos, and we went to try and contact another man we had met near their house.  Well, he lives in a three story apartment, and we only saw a little girl, about 2 years old, on the porch of the second floor.  So we asked her where her parents were.  "ahí esta mamí" dijo.  Could you call her please? We asked.  She said no.  No. No.  So then I decided to use my opera lungs to say "BUEEEEEEEEEENAS" rather loudly.  When I finished, a little boy from the house whose door was closed answered back "¿QUIEEEEEEEEEN ES?"  We were DYING of laughter.

Yesterday, we were teaching the Plan of Salvation to a remarkably receptive lady who owns a pulperia.  Well, around the corner from where we were, there were some drunk, smoking men.  We ignored them and kept teaching the lesson.  All was well until we reached the Kingdoms of Glory. One of the men came over and was standing at my side saying "I only believe in Padre Celestial.  None of this moon or stars stuff.  NO NO.  No hay luna ni estrellas!!!"  We continued trying to explain the scripture in 1 Corinthians 15 to our investigator, but our drunk friend was getting out of control.  And it was hard to keep a straight face because the situation was so absurd.  So we handed him a pamphlet of the Word of Wisdom and invited him to read it and apply it in his life.  We then placed a return appointment with our investigator and began to leave.  The man began asking " And will you come visit me too??"  I replied, "Bueno, if you're not drunk, maybe."  To which he said "drunk, no, I'm in love".  Our investigator lost it there and we did too.  I hope he reads the pamphlet and makes some serious changes in his life.

Mi companion is awesome.  I love her a whole bunch.  She works so hard and laughs with me as well.  We are having a blast learning how to cook together, talking with everyone around us, teaching, singing, and having adventures in Copan.  :)

Well, I love you all bunches, and I hope all is well with you!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)
P.s., we found a waterfall in our area!!


It was a bit small 😀

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hey there!

I think the biggest piece of news of I've got this week would be I had transfers this week!  I had to leave mi querida Hermana Robles and mi querido area Castaños, and now I am in El Dorado, Copan, with Hermana Delgadillo, from Nicaragua.  This has easily been the hardest transfer of my mission, so hard, that at times it's hard to keep the tears back.  I miss Hermana Robles and Castaños so, so much, but Copan is incredible!  My area is more of how I imagined a mission in Honduras would be when I received my call.  Here, we have a nice little branch with many wonderful members whose testimonies impress me so much.  And our branch mission leader is AWESOME.  I can easily see a ward being formed here soon.  

Saying good-bye to everyone was rough.  But I felt so loved.  How grateful I am for the chance I have had to serve in Castaños with Hermana Robles!  During transfers meeting, I started crying and couldn't stop.  I have treasured so much my time there.  I hugged and hugged Hermana Robles and then tried to be normal for my new companion.  Hermana Delgadillo has been so patient with me.  I hadn't felt well since Tuesday, and a curvy bus ride to Copan did not sit so well with my stomach.  I ended up getting carsick.  So basically I was like "Hola Hermana Delgadillo, I'm your new companion *bleh* *sniffle, sniffle*", hahaha.  She doesn't talk much, but she really wants to work hard and see success here. :) She just finsihed her First Twelve Weeks, so she's still a bit new, but her desires are very strong.

Last week, there was an earthquake in El Salvador, which affected parts of Honduras as well, but we didn't feel anything and are just fine.  Here in El Dorado, though, there has been some flooding (not related to the earthquake) so we have been doing a lot of service lately cleaning the mud out of people's houses. That has been QUITE the adventure.  

Our house here has a gate that looks like that of a Princess. It is so lovely!  Oh, and there are MANY hills here. When you reach the road that leads to our house, it looks as though you are going to fall off the face of the earth, and then you realize it is just a very steep road, hahaha.  Also, the weather is much cooler.  I don't even need a fan most of the time.  The water comes and goes, so sometimes we have to bring water in from our pila to shower and flush the toilet.  But when there is water, we have warm water!!

Yesterday was all over the place, but I deeply enjoyed the Gospel Principles lesson.  Though it was directed toward our investigators, I felt as though it was meant just for me.  How grateful I am for the Lord.

Though it has been rough this week, the Lord has provided many tender mercies.  Like the warm water.  or that my companion has a ton of music to listen to that I love.  That the branch is so ready to move forward.  The examples of the elders that work in this branch with us.  Our mission leader.  An encouraging letter from President Dester.  The chance to talk with Hermana Marley today.  The ability to always pray.  No, the road is not easy.  But nor is it impossible.  Right now, I'm just trying to be patient and work hard as I adjust to my new circumstances.

I love you all so much.  Thank you for your prayers and letters.  They are always just what I need. :)

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wow.  Just wow.  I love the mission.  I love this life.  I love the Lord.  I love the chance I have to serve.  I cannot explain how much love I feel right now!

This week has been amazing.  Beyond words.  I feel like that's been happening a lot in this mission.  I cannot express the love I feel, and I stand all amazed at the love that is given to me here.  I don't ever want to leave! 

We spent some time in the hospital this week, and we had the chance to spend some time with Hermana Dester.  She had been out of the country for a short time because her mother passed away, but now she is back.  I am so very happy to have her back with us again.  I missed her dearly.  We got to spend all morning with her in one of the hospitals with 12 other missionaries on Wednesday (that was pretty crazy, especially in a very small waiting room. :) ) She even took us out to lunch.  She is such a peach!

Saturday, we had the privilege of seeing Consuelo, Ernesto's mom get baptized on Saturday.  Oh, happy day!  It has been absolutely incredible to see the changes she has made in her life to be able to be baptized. She is such a wonderful person.  I think I saw more ward members at her baptism than at any other. WOW.  It made her feel SO special, and the friendships she has made with ward members have strengthed her testimony so much.  :)

This Sunday was one of my favorite Sundays of my life.  The Spirit was SO strong, all day.  During Sacrament Meeting, Consuelo was confirmed a member of the church, and two babies were blessed.  They also had to bless more of the sacrament so there would be sufficient for everyone.  Though there was not much time left after that, the testimonies began.  So many people wanted to share their testimonies!  At one point, the bishop stood up and said that he felt that there were still some testimonies waiting to be shared. He said that the time was not important.  He wanted everyone who wanted to share to have the chance to bear their testimony.  And those testimonies were so powerful! I took the chance to share my testimony as well.  Oh, How I love this gospel!!  It was so special to watch Ernesto walk up to the pulpit to share his testimony. "Creo que esta es la iglesia verdadera", he said, "porque mi mamí ha cambiado tanto."  Hermana Robles and I were nearly in tears.

In Gospel Principles, we talked about the atonement.  How grateful I am for the atonement of Jesus Christ!  I am no where near perfect, but I know every day I can try a little harder to be a little better.  What great reason to rejoice!!!!

In Relief Society, we talked about praying in faith.   The testimonies shared were so incredible.  I know that God listens and answers our prayers.  At the end of the lesson, they gave a the sisters a chance to share their testimonies.  What surprise and joy we felt as we watched Consuelo walk up to share her testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel and the church. 

THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE!  I know it.  :)  And I am so happy.

I love you all so very much!  Recuerden los milagritos. :)

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)
An awesome braid that a sister missionary did.  She stayed at our house for a night before leaving for her mission in the Dominican Republic.

Almost all the missionaries in the pharmacy :)

At Consuelo's baptism!
We found a phone that looks like a shoe! And I definitely want one when I get home, hahaha

Monday, October 6, 2014

 God speaks....
And He does it through His living prophets.

Wow, this weekend was so great!!  For me, the Saturday sessions of conference were especially inspiring.  How grateful I am for the chance to receive personal revelation.  This conference, I tried to prepare by thinking of questions and doubts I wanted answered, and It made the weekend so much more enjoyable.  Yay for living prophets!  I am always awed by how very perfect this gospel is. And it was even better being able to listen to the speakers in their native language.  Hermana Robles and I were overjoyed to listen to them speaking in Spanish. :)

The weekend was made even sweeter by Hermanito Ernesto, who got baptized on Friday.  This youngster has a burning testimony and has so many desires to follow Christ's example.  It has been a privilege to teach him and his mom. :)  How grateful I am for this gospel!  It has changed my life for the better, and it is so gratifying to see it change the lives of other people as well. :)

Friday was an incredible day.  We felt impressed to go to Stiby's in the morning, an area we normally only visit at night because the majority of investigators and less-actives that live there work all day.  But we decided to try it.  We also decided to try one less-active house that we had never been able to enter.  As we approached, we began talking with their neighbor (whom we found out is also less active) when Grisel, the sister we were trying to reach, came home.  Due to a crazy work schedule, she is normally in her house from 10a.m. to 1p.m. and doesn't come home until after we are leaving to go home.  During the lesson, I could feel so strongly that we had come especially for her.  She has not been doing so well, and she had been longing for the chance to feel part of the church again.  How grateful I am for the Spirit!

Today we just enjoyed our P-day -  we washed clothes, went grocery shopping, and Hermana Lopez (one of the sisters we live with) made some food from the Dominican Republic, her home.  OH man. It was SO good.  I think I just need to cook Latin food for the rest of my life and I'll be happy. :)

Well, I love you all bunches.  I know the Lord loves you too!!  Never forget that.

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

What to write, what to write.

We are working with some awesome people right now.  I cannot believe I am so privileged to be here, helping people along the path to Christ.

This week, we had interviews with Presidente Dester.  How grateful I am for a mission president who is so Christlike.  His interviews are always the highlight of my week.  I learned a lot about compassion and selfless service.  Here in the mission, I have realized that at times I am a very selfish person.  What's in it for me?  What will I gain from this??  But the secret to happiness is to just forget all about yourself.  Slowly, but surely, I am trying to learn that.

I love this quote from the October Liahona: "It is so hard when sincere prayer about something you desire very much is not answered the way you want.  It is difficult to understand why your exercise of deep and sincere faith from an obedient life does not grant the desired result.  The Savior taught, 'Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you.' [D&C 88:64; emphasis added.] At times it is difficult to recognize what is best or expedient for you over time. Your life will be easier when you accept that what God does in your life is for your eternal good." - Richard G. Scott

Things that have happened in my life and my mission many times have not been as I've hoped and prayed.  But they have taught me so much.  They have helped me to become a better person, the person God knows I can be.  I still have a loooooooooong way to go, but I feel as though I understand better how to get there.

This week, we tried to have a cake activity in the park in front of our house.  It worked out alright.  The cake was pretty stinkin' delicious, hahahaha.

We got to see a baptism of one of the ward member's son on Friday, and we brought some investigators as well.  They enjoyed it so much, that we are now planning for their baptisms.  How grateful I am for the hand of the Lord in this work. :)

Saturday, we had divisions, and I got to go with Hermana Marley again to work in their area.   I learned a lot about how to teach things simply, in such a manner that a child could understand them.  We also had the chance to see the General Women's meeting.  How lovely!!  I think one of my favorite hymns is "Let Zion in her Beauty Rise".

Yesterday, as we arrived home, we suspected something was up because the lights were turned off, but the door was open and one light in the other hermana's room was on.  As we were exploring, Hermana Robles was suddenly SOAKED.  Which caused us to defend ourselves...until we were all soaked and the floor as well.  It was great fun. :)

Well, this morning, as I went to open our bedroom door, I heard the strangest noise, like television static.  I tried to open the door, and it was a bit stuck.  I also noticed that the tiles on the floor were beginning to rise...and rise...and crack...and basically, our floor exploded. But just in our doorway, which makes it an adventure to enter and leave our room.  We have to be very careful where we step, hahaha.

Other than that, it's just wonderful missionary life!

I love you all so much!!

LOVE;
Hermana Grondel :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wow, this week has been one of the craziest weeks of my entire life.

I know I say that a lot...but I think this week surpasses them all.

We had to attend to several medical things this week that all seemed to come at once, hahaha.  But the Lord has been constantly blessing us and helping the work to progress in this area.

Wednesday, we had the chance to go to un Día de Hermanas, which was a meeting in President's house with all the sisters of the mission.  WOW that was so great!  I loved being able to see everyone again and be spiritually fed.  It was like a Zone Conference de puras hermanas.  The Sister Training Leaders, Sister Dester, President Dester, and elder King (the financial secretary) all gave trainings.  We learned much about our Savior's love and the worth of each of God's children.  Plus, it was in President's house, which is one of my favorite places here, haha.  In fact, President's house is in our area, so we have been talking about passing by to ask for references, hahaha.

Lately, we have been working with an investigator named Eva.  She is my adopted grandmother here in Honduras. :)  I just love going to visit her.  It has been incredible to watch the Spirit of the Lord work within her. Every time we visit her, I feel humbled and in awe of the Lord's mighty power.  Honestly, we do not do much.  We invite her and teach, but her conversion has been between her and the Lord - exactly as it should be. I love the front row seat we are given to some of the greatest miracles of this life.

Funny Story: Thursday we spent almost the whole day in the hospital.  We ran an errand to the mission office, and as we were leaving the hospital, a random man decided he wanted to communicate in english...so he began to sing what I imagine is one of the only songs he knows in english..."Eeeeeeverybody loves bananas!" Oh man, I was dying!

Yesterday was a great day.  I love Sundays! 

Today we went to a Peruvian restaurant, and oh my goodness, it was so delicious!!  I love Peruvian food!!  Maybe I'll just make peruvian food for the rest of my life. :)

I love you all so much!!

Love,
hermana Grondel :)

P.S., I'll send photos next week (I hope) :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hey Howdy hey!!

It has been a pretty good week...though I don't remember most of it. :)

Right now we are working with some really incredible people who are SO ready for this gospel!  I love hearing our investigators say that they are reading, or that they are pondering, or when we see them at church.  Equally, it hurts when they reject us, or when they decide to stop investigating.  But I know this gospel is true, and I know the Lord is preparing His children to receive His gospel.  We've just gotta find them!!

Yesterday, hermana Robles and I had the chance to talk in church...and then we taught Gospel Principles...and then the other sisters taught Relief Society...so it was just missionary day, hahahaha.  But I enjoyed it a lot.  I love to talk! 

Today just happens to be Independence day here in Honduras!!  They are celebrating 193 years of freedom.  That means that today, the streets were EMPTY.  And almost everything is closed.  I have never seen Honduras so deserted!  We spent part of the afternoon at the stake center, enjoying the day with the ward and stake and celebrating Honduras.  We also had the chance to see parts of some parades, which consist of marching bands...the majority of which are just drumlines.  Though there were a couple of groups with other band instruments. :)

Anyhoo, I love you all lots and hope you have a great week. :)

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

                                          Celebrating Independence day in Honduras!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hoooooooooola!

This week was the week of Cambios, but Hermana Robles and I are staying together!!!  That means 3 transfers together!!  We are both very excited.  We also feel as though this is a wake-up call to go and do EVERYTHING we can with this last transfer together, because who knows what will happen in the next transfer!  I am so grateful for Hermana Robles.  We have so many adventures together, and she has grown to be one of my greatest friends and exampes.

As you may have noticed from my recent letters, these past couple of weeks have been a bit rough.  Honestly, I did not feel like myself.  This weekend, I couldn't take it anymore.  I don't want to go into much detail, but it was a really low point, both in my mission and my life.  The point of sharing this with you all is for the testimony I have gained of the power of the sacrament.  As we sat, waiting for the sacrament to be passed, I began pleading.  I wanted to feel like myself again.  I wanted to feel the desire and drive this work deserves.  I took the sacrament and continued pondering, hoping.  As the young men returned to their seats and I sat by my companion, I felt it.  I felt the difference.  I finally felt like myself again.  And yesterday was a day full of work and people and love.  And I am so happy. 

I missed that. Feeling happy.

I know that God lives. I know my Savior lives.  I know He loves me, that He knows me personally.  I know He never left my side as I have struggled in this life.  Every trial has been accompanied by a shower of tender mercies.  Por ejemplo, Saturday, we thought we weren't going to have lunch (the family wasn't home when we passed), but the guard of the neighborhood gave us a ton of corn and avocados out of the blue.  And then the family passed by and invited us to lunch.  But I knew that corn and those avocados were a message directly from Heaven, telling me that I am loved.  That I am not forgotten.  That it matters very much to my father above that I make it through this life.

Today, we went to the cathedral here in SPS.  It was lovely.  We also ate at McDonalds.  That was the first time in over a year that I've eaten there!  Funny Moment: We were all really full, and Hermana Marley didn't want to finish her fries, so she said (jokingly) "*gasp* what in the world is that?!" And Hermana Robles fell for it.  She looked behind her and started talking about how the cathedral was behind us while Hermana Marley dumped all her fries on her plate.  We were DYING! :)

I love you all so much.  Thank you for your love and prayers. :)

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Howdy Hey!

This week has flown by.  I cannot believe it is already September.

Wednesday we had a Multi-Zone Conference with half the mission and Elder José L. Alonso, de los setenta.  He is in the Area Presidency of Central America.  Wow, it was an inspiring day.  Remember that choir I had mentioned two weeks ago?  Well, it was for this conference.  We sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" to the tune of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing", and in part of the song, no one sang; an elder shared the First Vision.  And it was so powerful.  Though the elders only had a chance to practice for about 40 minutes the day before and we only had one run-through the day of with all of the elders and hermanas (since half the choir was from Copan), I felt calm and at peace.  I cannot describe how beautiful it was.  I was awed at the power of the Lord.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of it.  Elder Alonso even mentioned that it had brought the spirit to him in a powerful and very personal way.

The conference was full of pure revelation that will help us SO much here as we begin to incorporate it.  I especially loved a thought from Sister Dester, the mission president's wife.  She spoke of the impact her Stake President had on her as a teenager, but she never mentioned it to him.  She spoke of her curiousity when he spoke.  As he spoke, he would always cry.  She began thinking, "He knows something about this gospel that I don't understand". When she was older, they happened to live near each other again, so she planned to visit him, only to discover that he had Alzheimer's, so he would not remember her.  Soon, he passed away, and she went to his funeral.  She mentioned a thought that one of the speakers shared.  He said that this man was a "High Yield, Low Maintenance" member of the church.  Think about that.  I began asking myself, "What kind of missionary am I? What kind of member am I?"  Do I requiere much of everything and do little?  Or do I truly give all I have?  Do I move on and grow from my experiences?  It is a phrase I never want to forget.

Today we went and hiked the Coca-Cola!  Think Hollywood sign, but a bit smaller.  It was a blast. :)

Other than that, it's just been normal missionary life.  Transfers are this week, but I've got no clue if we have changes or not.  I'll let you know next week!  I love you all!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)




Monday, August 25, 2014

I cannot believe I have made it to one year out on the mission. This time has flown by.  The day I hit a year, I was close to tears almost all day.  I love this work.  I love this life.  I love what I am becoming, and I don't want to stop doing this.  Ever.

I made a list of some of the things I have learned this year, and I wanted to share them with you:

-Who I am
-Who I want to be
-How to Speak Spanish
-How to wash clothes by hand
-How to make tortillas
-How to make arroz con leche
-The Savior's atonement is real
-What it TRULY means to be a member of this church
-Mint Oreos are my weakness
-Tamarindo juice, made strong and hot, is one of the worst things on Earth...and shortly after drinking it, you WILL have to find a bathroom. I really cleans out your system
-Other people matter
-MoTab is one of the greatest choirs on Earth
-Nothing calms the heart as quickly as singing a hymn
-Prayer is a great de-stresser
-The Book of Mormon is better in Spanish
-The Lord answers prayers - ALWAYS
-We cannot think to earn a great reward if we choose to shun the fight
-I can choose to be happy
-Selfless service rests the weary mind and heart
-Nothing tastes as good as Mom's cooking
-If it's not fried, it's probably not eaten here
-Bugs are a normal part of some people's lives
-Maggots become huge, ugly, green flies
-Just because you can't sing, doesn't mean you shouldn't
-How to dance Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
-Fasting is the fastest way to receive an answer
-If you don't know the word, try to act it out.  You'll at least get a laugh
-"Called to Serve" is better in Spanish
-Riches don't equal happiness
-A hand-written letter makes all the difference
-Mexico is a lovely country
-Talking out your problems is much better than bottling them up
-A smile changes everything
-Soccer is one of the greatest sports on this planet
-Without the members' help, all this work is for naught.
-Everybody has a story
-I prefer a Samsung Galaxy
-Faith + Obedience + Hard Work= Power
-I love writing
-No margarine tastes nearly as good as real butter
-"Adventure is Out there!"
-Want to be happy?  Follow the Spirit
-How to effectively plan
-There are no such things as impossible dreams
-It is better to laugh at yourself than wallow in self-pity
-Patience wins out in the end
-The Scriptures bring you closer to God

Friday was a day full of miracles. But it didn't start out that way. Actually, it started out rather badly. The morning was filled with doctors appointments, the majority of our appointments cancelled on us- including a very important one where he was going to receive a blessing - we struggled to have a member join us to teach, one woman whom we were teaching even refused to let us sing because she was afraid of what the neighbors would say. (I think she thought we were evangelicos and were going to start rocking out or something, hahaha). But at the end of the day, we didn't care because the evening was so stellar. We met a wonderful family, whose grandmother is beyond excited to learn with us. After just one lesson, they all came to church yesterday - and loved it. This abuelita even asked us to get a hold of the hymns on CD so she can listen to them.

That same night, we went to visit an investigator whose son is serving a mission. She wants to be baptized, but her husband doesn't want to get married. During the lesson, we started talking about L3, and de repente we began talking about marriage and how God isn't happy with them, a subject we usually have avoided because the "husband" se enoja. And he did become a bit bothered, but the testimony of the member that came with us was PERFECT, and they even opened up and asked for the help we need. Later, the investigator told me that we had mentioned EXACTLY what was going on in their home, so perfectly that her "husband" accused her of telling us of their problems (which she has never done.)

#ijustopenmymouthandweareallsurprisedbywhatcomesout


Well, I love you all!!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)
                                               CelebratingAmerica Day with Ice cream
                                                       I was so happy to get popcorn!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hello there!!

Pues, to be completely honest, this week has been rough.  The last couple of weeks have been rough.  Compared to my last area, this area is ROUGH.  Working in the city is COMPLETELY different from working in un pueblo. (Whoops, sent this before I was ready!) People are busy.  People aren't as sensitive to the spirit.  People have commitment problems.  People have AGENCY.  Well, that isn't different, hahaha.  I have been rather discouraged as of late, which is horrible, because it only lowers your desire to work.  Plus, I feel as though I am a different missionary in the city.  Not as powerful.  Not as focused.  So many things remind me of home here.  And worst of all, I've let that affect me.  It's irritating.

I could not possibly express enough gratitude for Hermana Robles (my companion) and Hermana Marley (One of the Sister Training Leaders).  Hermana Robles never fails in her patience, in her determination, and her support.  She doesn't say much, but I feel and see her love for me, and I love her so much.  I feel as though we have known each other for forever.  Hermana Marley never fails to say or do exactly what I need, exactly when I need it.  It's incredible.  Plus, both of them are absolutely hilarious, so they usually help me laugh myself out of my blues.

Reading the Book of Mormon also helps me to regain my excitement and remember the tender mercies of the Lord.  Right now I'm reading it in Spanish, and for me, it is even more powerful.  The Lord really does love us, each and everyone of us.  Sea como sea, haga lo que haga, He loves us.  Intensely.  Unfailingly.  Perfectly.

Funny Story.  Apparently the other night I was yelling in my sleep.  I yelled so loud, I woke up the other two hermanas in the other room, but my companion was sleeping SO deeply, she didn't even stir, hahaha.

Other than the normal missionary/nurse stuff, Hermana Dester (The Mission President's wife) asked me to help plan, organize, and perform a special musical number with a small choir for the Multi-Zone conference we are going to have with Elder Alonso, from the Area Presidency, next week.  So that's been fun. :)  I'll let you know how that goes. :)

Anyhoo, I love you all.  May God bless you and que Él les cuide. :)

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)
                                                           SO MUCH LOVEEEEEEE

Monday, August 11, 2014

Aug 11

One week more, one week less.

We have had some adventures this week...such as going to the emergency room at about 10:20 at night and leaving at almost 1 in the morning.#lifeofthemissionnursescompanion.  We were rather sleepy the next day, hahaha, but we made it through.  We also experienced walking on the Honduras streets at about 11 at night as we crossed the road from the hospital to the pharmacy, hahaha.  I could not believe how quiet and calm everything was when we went home at about 1am.  As we sat in the emergency room, President Dester came and joined us.  I then proceeded to lean over to him and ask permission for to stay up past 10:30, hahaha.  And no worries, President gave us a ride home, so we didn't walk or take a bus home.

Saturday, I had divisiones, woo! I had a chance to work with Hermana Zelada again - love that girl.  She is hilarious, enojadita, loving, and just a wonderful person.  Her example taught me a lot of how to be a better missionary and how to help our investigators.  We also could not stop laughing...for the entire day...We had to stop several times, actually, because we were laughing so hard, we couldn't walk.  Hermana Zelada will finish her mission in about 3 weeks.  I will miss her so much.

Lately, we have had an investigator named Vilma.  Vilma is a lovely young lady, and was going to get baptized before I got here, but one thing led to another...and we're still teaching her.  Well, it has been a while since we had a lesson with her, and we decided to make our lesson this week make it or break it. We thought long and hard about what we would share with her, and we finally decided to share part of the life of the prophet Joseph Smith, namely JSH 1:21, 23-25:

21 Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement; and, conversing with him on the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.

23 It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitterpersecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.
 24 However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
 25 So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.
I love those words: "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it."

To my great surprise, these words also impacted Hermanita Vilma.  And she decided to be baptized.  I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.  I also feel as the prophet Joseph Smith, that I know these things are true, I know that God knows it, and I cannot deny it.

I love you all!

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

And then there was (not) light

Well, these past few days, the lights have been going out about 4...only on our side of the area...And because the sun sets at about 6:30 here, it has been a bit of a problem, hahaha.  It also explains why this letter will be short (the lights went out again). :)
This past week was INCREDIBLE! Hermana Robles and I were able to throw ourselves into this work, and we saw miracles.

One of my favorite parts of this week was our Multi-Zone Conference on Wednesday.  President Dester is always so inspired.  This conference, he spoke about our Heavenly Father.  His attributes, His goodness, and the ability we have to become like Him.  At the very end, he said something that made me cry. (I think his closing remarks at every zone conference make me cry, hahaha.)  He began saying that thoughts that we are not good enough, that we aren't making a difference, that we should just go home, do NOT come from God. They come from the adversary.  I love this mission, but I have had many moments when I have felt worthless. When I have felt as though I do not make a difference and I should just give up.  I should just go home.  But when he said that, I was filled to the brim with God's love for me.  No, I'm not perfect, but God doesn't expect me to be perfect.  He expects me to try my best and give my all, but He already understands that it won't be enough.  
And has already provided a way to make up for what I lack.

He also shared the following from a speech given by elder Tad R. Callister:

"There is a sentiment among many in the world that we are the spirit creations of God, just as a building is the creation of its architect or a painting the creation of its painter or an invention the creation of its inventor. The scriptures teach, however, a much different doctrine. They teach that we are more than creations of God; they teach that we are the literal spirit offspring or children of God our Father.1 What difference does this doctrinal distinction make? The difference is monumental in its consequence because our identity determines in large measure our destiny. For example, can a mere creation ever become like its creator? Can a building ever become an architect? A painting a painter? Or an invention an inventor? If not, then those who believe we are creations of God, rather than His spirit offspring, reach the inevitable conclusion that we do not have the capacity to become like our creator, God. In essence, their doctrine of identity has defined and dictated a diminished destiny.

On the other hand, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that we are the spirit offspring of God with inherited spiritual traits that give us the divine potential to become like our parent, God the Father. As to this identity, President Packer has written:

You are a child of God. He is the father of your spirit. Spiritually you are of noble birth, the offspring of the King of Heaven. Fix that truth in your mind and hold to it. However many generations in your mortal ancestry, no matter what race or people you represent, the pedigree of your spirit can be written on a single line. You are a child of God!2
 The difference between man and God is significant—but it is one of degree, not kind. It is the difference between an acorn and an oak tree, a rosebud and a rose, a son and a father. In truth, every man is a potential god in embryo, in fulfillment of that eternal law that like begets like."

I love you all so much.  May God keep you always!
LOVE;
Hermana Grondel :)

P.S. this is awesome!!!

http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3701964025001&cid=HPTH073114368

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wow.  This week.  I think it was one of the craziest weeks of my mission.  We were all over the place helping with doctor's appointments while still trying to teach our investigators. 

Tuesday, another elder had to come into San Pedro to be hospitalized due to a bad case of Dengue.  I sat with his companion as my companion and elder Roberts talked with the doctors.  This elder was actually one of the elders that was in el CCM with me and entered the mission with me, but upon arriving, he had to go home to take care of some previous mistakes he had made in his life.  Well, now he's back in the mission.  Anyways, we were talking about el CCM and he mentioned one of the sisters who had thrown-up upon arriving at the airport due to motion sickness.  I said something like, "How horrible that you remember her as the girl that threw-up!"  To which he replied, "Well, everyone from my district remembers me as the elder that had to go home".  I didn't know how to respond, so I simply said, "I'm sorry."  "No, that's okay. I'm clean now," he said, with a smile on his face.  I'm clean now.  Those words made such an impact on me.  Yes, he made a mistake.  Yes, he had to go home.  Yes, I imagine he suffered humiliation and felt like an outsider many times.  But now he is clean.  And that is all that matters to him.

Friday, Hermana Robles had a Nurses Video Conference - Level Centro America.  It was pretty sweet!  It was with about 6 other areas plus el CCM en Guatemala, and we learned much about health concerns and ideas. Then we got to go out to lunch with Sister Dester, Sister Klein (east mission president's wife), and Sister Bennet (nurse of the east mission). yum!

Saturday, we were also blessed with a baptism!!  It was of a young man named Nefi (Nephi en español).  His mom is a member, but was inactive when he turned 8, and when she became active again, he didn't want anything to do with the church.  But now, he is a member, and he is utterly and completely happy.  We felt so blessed to be a part of his progress.

Sunday was a bit of a crazy day.  We had gotten up and gotten ready early, but when we passed for our investigators' houses, they were not exactly ready...so we got to church late...and happened to see Presidente y Hermana Dester sitting there...and then I had to rush to make it to the piano to play the sacrament hymn...and in the last hymn, the piano DIED.  So I just started singing with everyone else, hahaha.

I am so very grateful for this opportunity I have to live so many adventures and share this gospel.  I love this mission so much, and I don't like thinking about how quickly time is passing.  There is nothing I have lived in my life so frustrating, difficult, trying, gratifying, lovely, exciting, and joyful as serving the Lord here in Honduras. 

Thank you for all your love, prayers, and letters.

LOVE,
Hermana Grondel :)