Monday, February 24, 2014

One third already?!

Wow, this week went by so fast, I can hardly remember what happened!

OH!  I hit 6 months this week!  I can't believe it.  This time next year, I'll be home...AHHHHHH.  That is crazy.  And strange.  And Weird...

Wednesday, we went to a hospital to give service.  The elders cleaned while Hermana Jimenez and I worked in materials.  I think they thought we were part of the American Army because later on, two soldiers came in to verify if machines are working and help fix them if they weren't.  It was an adventure.  I am grateful for hospitals in the states.

Friday, we had divisiones!  Both of the sister training leaders came to our area and we just split up for the day.  I had the chance to work with Sister Bayles, who also happens to be the mission nurse.  She is from Las Vegas as well!!  But she is from Summerlin area.  She lives near the Bergquist family.  It was wonderful to learn from her and get to know her better.  We had some very sweet lessons, and I really enjoyed our time together.  She is a riot!  

Saturday, Hermana Jimenez and I had an incredible lesson with one of our investigators, Erick.  He was asking questions about the Old Testament, and Hermana Jiminez had answers that were inspired.  I hadn't thought about her answers before, but as she was responding, I felt the pure truth of what she was saying.  After the lesson, she turned to me and asked, "What did I say?? I can't remember anything that I said in response to his questions"  Dude.  My companion was an instrument of the Lord!!  It was incredible.  

Sunday, we had batteries for the keyboard, so I got to play the piano for the ward, and for a special musical number that Hermana Jimenez put together.  The Young Women sang "Master the Tempest is Raging", and it turned out lovely!  Everyone wants me to teach them how to play...We'll see how that goes, haha! :)  

Well, I really cannot remember what else I want to share with you all, so I shall leave it at that.  I love you all so very, very much!

Hermana Grondel :)

I bought some Honduran sandals!

I love the school zone sign, haha, it looks as though they are running :)
Sorry, I don't have many interesting photos hoy :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Feliz día del amor y la amistad!  Hermana Jimenez y yo celebrated by buying each other chocolate.  We both wanted it to be a surprise, but that is a bit more difficult when you are always within sight and sound of your companion, ahaha!

Well, the mud and I are not friends.  Or really great friends.  Not sure how to classify it.  This week, while searching for a less active, I went to kick a soccer ball to a group of children and slipped in the mud.  I ended up on my rear and my foot became completely muddy, just like last week, haha!  I wonder how I will become muddy this week :)
This week we had a Zone Conference.  I got to go back to my old area because the meeting was in Fesitranh.   It was a spiritual feast.  We talked about being more obedient and the talk entitled "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" by Tad R. Callister.  It is truly incredible, and it has ignited a desire to be a more obedient missionary, not just because it is part of mission life but because I truly want to give my all to this mission.  I know that my all is a very small repayment for His all.  I know I say it a lot, but I really love President and Sister Dester.  I hope I get to see them after our missions. :)  I also had my three companions at the conference!  That photo will come next week.
On Friday, we decided to give away free homemade orange juice to try and meet new people.  With our juice, we also had an array of pamphlets and materials from the church to entice people to ask questions.  It was really fun!  Again, photos next week. I had a bit of a problem with one of my camera memories.   

Saturday was a bit rough.  We had planned a movie night for investigators and less-actives. During the week, we made invitations, invited everyone we talked to, had the elders pass out invitations and... almost no one came. A couple of members showed up and one investigator from the elders. That was hard. The truth, I wanted to cry, but I didn't want to cry in front of Hermana Jimenez because we are trying to be positive. So I just smiled instead and tried to comfort Hermana Jimenez, who was crying. Maybe it wasn't everything we had hoped, but I feel like I learned a valuable lesson that day.  When I smiled through our trial, I truly felt happier and lost my desire to cry.  I am certain I will see more trials in my future.  I know I am an emotional person.  If I choose to be happy and put all my force into positive emotions, I am certain I will be blessed.  I will be able to endure.  At least, that is my greatest hope. That I can endure to the end.

In other news, our investigator, Michel, wants to be baptized!!  We don't have a date yet, but that is a blessing!  Michel is 13 and the granddaughter of a recent convert.  We pray this will be an opportunity to teach her whole family so they can one day make it to the temple.
As you all know, I love food.  One of the traditional dishes here in Honduras is called Baleadas.  Well, this weekend, I made my very first baleadas!!!  They weren't so great, haha, but by the end of my mission, they shall be supreme!  Forget lemonade stands, I'm makin' a baleada stand so I can pay for my study abroad. :)  In other food news, here in Honduras, there is something called a Topogigio (toe-poe-ye-yo).  Don't worry, I can't really pronounce it either.  But it is delicious!  It is basically a fruit pop made in a bag...okay, photos are needed.  Maybe that will be the next thing I learn to make!
Today, part of our zone went to Omoa to see a fortress!  It was pretty sweet.  My favorite part was when we went to lunch (ay, again with the food, I know!) We ate shrimp on the beach, some of THE BEST shrimp I have ever eaten!  I got fried shrimp, but the garlic shrimp were the best. 
Well, I really do love you all very, very much.  Thank you for your well-wishes and prayers.  They are very much appreciated.

Hermana Grondel :)

The fortress in miniature

One side of the fortress

Random sign in front of the fortress

On top of the fortress

Inside a watch tower

The church inside the fortress

Random well 
I found Don Juan!! (See Les Misérables, "Red and Black")


Elder Coronel and I used the same shirts

Another traditional honduran dish - an entire fried fish.  I did not eat this.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Puerto Cortés

Um, Wow, what a week!!
This week, we had transfers! Packing was quite the adventure.  I thought I was doing pretty well until I remembered I had to somehow fit a basketball and a pillow into my suitcases.  That was an adventure.  But, I did it, haha!  I was pretty sad to leave my zone, especially Hermana Bahr, and because they changed the districts, and I am excited for those changes.

 I am now in Puerto Cortés with a new companion, Hermana Jimenez.  She is from Nicaragua, and she is awesome!  After transfers were announced, I was talking with Hermana Dester, and she warned me that Hermana Jimenez gets sad sometimes.  Pres. Dester then talked to me about her, followed by Elder Loyo, Elder John, Sister John, and Hermana Vasquez.  Soooo, I was a bit nervous my first day.  But the truth is, I absolutely love her.  She is one of my favorite companions! We get along so well, and I adore this area too! Hermana Jimenez has 1 year in the mission, and she has been here in Puerto for 5 months already, so she thought she was going to leave this area.  In fact, she was so sure she was going to leave the area, she packed up all her things.  It was super sad to see that when I got here, all her stuff packed up.  But we are going to light things on fire!  I feel at home here, as though there is something very important for us to do here.  Also, she has told me that before cambios, she was so ready to leave this area, but now she is sad because she is almost positive she will leave this area, and she doesn't want to stop being companions.  Seriously.  Love her.  She is trying to learn english so she can go to BYU-Idaho, so I help her practice.  That is a blast :)  She is OBSESSED with Michael Jackson, and we have plans to go to the Vegas show after our missions. :)
Our area is HUGE in comparison to El Bosque.  Our area reaches the ocean.  Oh man, it is beautiful!  But also a bit cruel, since we can't go swimming. :)  I could live here.  Though I think I will stay in the states. :)  They have a gorgeous park with stores nearby.  The streets are nice and wide.  Everyone is chill and laid back here.  I feel like I am in Hawaii or something.
On Friday, we went to visit Hermano Alfredo, an awesome man in our ward who is in a wheelchair.  He lost his left leg below the knee.  We cleaned his house and helped in the yard.  While helping in the yard, I stepped backward and ended up in a mud pit.  Hermana Jimenez felt so bad because she thought it was so hard, so she took my shoe and then started washing it.  Well, it was so wet, I couldn't use it, so we both walked around barefoot for the rest of the morning while we were cleaning, haha!
I also had the chance to eat my first full coconut!  There is one hermano in our ward who is rather old and never wears a shirt.  He always calls us "mamá", haha!  He gave us some coconuts.  Hermana Jimenez chopped off the top, we drank the coconut water, and then we split the coconut and ate the meat inside.  La verdad, I didn't like it very much. I think I will stick to dried coconut.  But Hermana Jimenez says it's because it didn't have enough flavor.  I guess we'll see!
We are in a branch that has the attendance of a branch.  We have a goal to reactivate or baptize 40 men so we can split the ward.  We share our area with two elders, Elder Bailey and Elder Arnold, who are also our Zone Leaders.  Every Sunday night, we have a Family Home Evening with a family in our ward and the elders.  I love it!  I think I will finally learn how to make Baleadas this transfer!  But if not, when Hermana Bahr and I are companions (one day!) she will teach me. :)
Well, I think that is everything!  I love you all so very, very much.  I hope you have a fantastic week.  Before you know it, we will all be together again, but for now, thank you for your love, support, emails, prayers, and examples.

Hermana Grondel :)

The day of cambios, Hermana Pavón invited us to breakfast. Yum! 
Elder Rodrigo Loyo and I, from Guatemala, who went home this week.

Hermana Jimenez made me a heart shaped tortilla

Hermana Bertila y yo

Hermana Georgina and I

Danuvia, Grelie, and I

Jared y Katherine

Jared, Katherine, y yo.  These two are so awesome.  I am going to miss them terribly!

Yo y la Familia Irias

Last photo of Hermana Porter and I

Elizabeth got baptized!!

Hermana Jimenez and I

Elder Lui and I.  He's on the BYU football team!  I just liked his tie, haha, and he is super bueno.

With two of the Young Women in my new ward.  They are so cute, love them!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb. 3rd

Wow, the Lord has been listening to my thoughts and prayers this week, which has been both good and bad.  

A couple of Examples...

We had lunch planned with a member and had an appointment right before it and right after it.  Well, in the appointment before, we were served a huge lunch and were running late for the appointment after lunch.  Well, I was praying "Please, let Hermana Nolvia forget we have lunch with her today."  Well, we went to lunch, and she had completely forgotten!  I hoped certain people would not be home (terrible, right?  I wanted to visit some other people) and they weren't there when we passed by!  I jokingly said we should teach about Eternal Marriage to one of the recent converts in the branch ( We really just wanted to help him understand the Book of Mormon better) and he started asking all sorts of questions about eternal marriage in our lesson! I had been talking about how much I missed going to a sit-down restaurant, and today we went to Denny's!  (Okay, that one was planned, ahaha!)  But it has been interesting.  So, pretty much Heavenly Father and I are on the same page for a lot of things.  

I have felt so blessed this week with my companion.  Almost all of our citas fell through this weekend, but we still felt so happy!  Hermana Porter says it is because we put patience as one of our goals for the week, haha!

GUESS WHAT?!  So, I still sleeptalk sometimes.  And this week, Hermana Porter told me I had been sleeptalking EN ESPAÑOL!!!!!!  ÉXITO!!!!!!!

Other funny story.  So, remember Daniel, whom I mentioned last week?  Well, this week we had planned to teach him the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity.  When he came to the lesson, he just happened to have his girlfriend with us.  I thought we were doing alright, making our way through the law of chastity, when he mentioned that Hermana Porter and I were both bright red.  Hahaha, even when I feel comfortable, my face still gives me away!  

Okay.  So.  We had a baptism last week, right?  Well, one of the things we do as missionaries is fill out baptismal records.  We thought we were covered when we noticed one very important thing missing: the signature of Jaline's grandmother.  We were supposed to turn in the records on Tuesday, but asked if we could give the Zone Leaders our records on Thursday because we had an appointment on Wednesday, and the grandmother could sign it then. Todo Cheque (It's all good).  Fast forward about 20 minutes when they called to say that Hermana John (who works in the office) said that she needs the record Wednesday, so we need to have the record signed by about 9 in the morning Wednesday so we could run to the elders' house and give it to the AP who was doing exchanges with the elders in the ward.  Puchika.  Jaline lives in an area called Campisa, a richer part of our area where we need them to call ahead to the guards to let us in.  In addition, it is about 30 minutes by foot to reach her house, and Julissa was working that day, so she couldn't give us a ride.  Okay, that's alright, we thought, we don't have anything firmly planned until 4, we can head over there in the afternoon.  We call Julissa.  The Grandmother won't be home until 5:30, and she is going to call us later to confirm she called the guards.  At this point, we are freaking out a bit, but figure we can move some things around and get there before dinner at 6 and our meeting with the ward council at 7, where we canNOT be late.  Fast forward to 5 when we walked around for an hour trying to find someone with a cell phone that has salgo (something like minutes.  People pay for minutes, not with a monthly plan).  NO ONE HAD SALGO!  Al fin, at 6, we found a phone and called Julissa.  She said the grandmother was home and the guards knew we were coming.  Because of a lack of time, we grabbed a taxi and started to drive for Campisa.  When we got there, we were shocked to discover that our taxi man had forgotten his license, so we had a bit of trouble entering the neighborhood, but we got there.  PHEW.  So, we called the elders at night to find out when Elder Loyo (the AP) would be going back to his area.  They said to pass by their house the next morning.  As we were trying to cross the street, the national police stopped in front of us.  That turned out to be a blessing.  They stopped traffic for us so we could pass!  I was SO grateful to get that baptismal record out of our hands and to the AP.  So. Stressful.  A Testimony that we always need to double check what we need!

So, we went to the house of a member this week, and this person has cats.  The last time we visited them, they had two kittens, but this time, they only had one.  While there, they told us one of the kittens had died.  They then told us that one of the big cats ate the other

Other than that, an incredible miracle happened on Friday.  We called our amazing Zone Leaders at 11 to see if they could come with us to an appointment at 1. They came and made all the difference.  They helped two of our investigators, Elizabet and Julissa, set a baptismal date for this Saturday, the 8th!!!  It was a marvelous lesson, and I am SO grateful!  I am also a bit sad because transfers are this week, and I think I am going to go to a new area.  However, I will not know until later tonight or tomorrow morning.  AHHHHHHHH!  I JUST WANT TO KNOW!  okay. That is all. :)

Today, Hermana Whittle, Hermana Bahr, Hermana Porter and I all went out to DENNY'S!  It was delicious and so fun.  Later we had water balloons, ice cream sandwiches and homemade guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.  YUM!  



Hermana Grondel :)

A fan with the Ten Commandments

Delicious nachos from a member

Parrot hanging out in front of a house

In front of Denny's

Hermana Bahr with the cookies and ice cream

Lightening McQueen Piñata! 
Homemade tortillas