Monday, March 31, 2014


Wow.  I had no idea I could sweat so much!  It has been quite toasty and humid here in Puerto!  Hermana Luna and I have been super grateful for pulperias that sell us bags of ice cold water, ahaha!

Well, I do not have much time to write today, so this will be a short one.  This week has been all over the place.  Being Senior Companion is a bit stressful, haha!  Thankfully, I've got Sister Luna by my side!  She always has ideas and is so willing to do whatever it takes to help the people here.  Truly, she is an example.  She has had some medical issues in the mission, including nerve pain in one of her legs that makes it hard for her to walk, but she refuses  to let that stop her.  She throws herself into this work and completely forgets herself.  

Thursday, we walked into our weekly meeting with the ward council only to learn that President and Sister Dester were on their way to our meeting.  WHAT?!  Well, when they arrived, Hermana Luna and I had just started giving our report.  I was SOOOO nervous.  Well, we made it through and went back to the house.  Friday morning, I was feeling pretty stressed.  Between the meeting the night before, some problems we have had with our landlady, and other difficulties, I was sitting in personal study searching for some comfort from the scriptures.  I had been praying and was reading about how the Lord answers prayers, but they didn't give me the same comfort I usually received.  As I was despairing a bit, the phone rang.  It was President Dester.  He just wanted to call me and say that he and his wife were so impressed with my Spanish and my handle on the area that they observed from the meeting the night before.  After a few other sweet things, I hung up and began to cry.  It was truly a tender mercy from the Lord, and it confirmed my testimony that the Lord truly answers prayers.  

Saturday, we had the special opportunity to participate in a Mini CCM to encourage the young men and young women to go on their missions!  Hermana Luna and I taught about The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was a blast!  The spirit was so strong the whole day.  

Today, we just went to San Ignacio again.  It was fun, especially because Hermana Luna had never been to the beach before!   


Hermana Grondel
At the Mini CCM

Our lovely drawings explaining the Restoration

Just chilling at the beach

I love the ocean!

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17

THE TIME IS FLYINGGGG.  I hit 7 months this week. We have transfers this week. I feel like I just got here with Hermana Jiménez!  I am sad to see her go.  She has become one of my best friends.  I thought I was here to bless her life, but she has been the blessing to mine.  I've learned a lot in this transfer.  How to be a better person, what I want from life, how to truly trust in the Lord.  I cannot mention all, but I am eternally grateful.  I suppose I could write pages about it, but this is sufficient for me. Today I read a talk by Elder Wirthlin entitled "Come What May, and Love it". How true it is.  Laugh today!
So, last Sunday, Hermana Jiménez and I were trying to help a family attach a chandelier to their light bulb.  We thought it was all great until the chandelier started rushing to the ground.  As it fell, they started screaming, and all I could think of was "The Phantom of the Opera, haha!  Luckily, this chandelier is made of plastic cups, so we didn't break it :)

One of our neighbors, Mary, has a dog named Snoopy.  Snoopy loves to follow Hermana Mary, and sometimes he even follows her into the church building!  It is an adventure to try to get him out again.

Monday, Hermana Jiménez wanted to straighten my hair.  That was one of the worst decisions of my mission. :) OH MAN I was dying of heat! Plus, it's so humid that I looked more like a lion than a person.  And, I was sweating so much, my hair turned curly again real quick, hahaha!  Welp, never doing that again!!

In other exciting news, I got to go to Immigration this week.  I shall soon have my residency and officially be a catracha! 

Wednesday, we went to teach one of our investigators, Oscar.  As we began praying, the power went out.  Dang Lucifer!  Oh well, we kept teaching anyways.  And it was incredible.  Oscar is so prepared and searching for the truth.  As we were talking, he said, "If I had to tell someone if the Book of Mormon is true or not, I would say it's true.  No.  I testify to you right now that I know that this book is of God".  Wow. He's incredible.

Friday, our ward had a celebration of the anniversary of the Relief Society and Father's Day!  In Honduras, Father's Day is on March 19th.  We had a little program, and I sang "Scarlet Ribbons", since Grandpa Behunin would sing it as a lullaby to me.  

Saturday, we went out in the morning to work as normal, but Hermana Jiménez got sick in the afternoon.  We called the elders for a blessing and then I helped Hermana Jiménez make it to Hermana Nubia's house so she could receive the blessing.  It took a lot of effort to get her there, so we stayed at her house for the afternoon.  While Hermana Jiménez slept, I left with Gladys to visit Oscar again.  The power didn't go out (thank goodness!)
and we explained a bit more of the gospel.  He says he is waiting for his answer because when he receives it, he plans to leave everything behind to be part of the true church.  We are grateful to work with him.

Sunday, we had a Stake Conference!  It was a broadcast from Salt Lake City to stakes in Central America, and it was incredible!!  It focused a lot on the family and how we can strengthen our own families through FHE, prayer, the scriptures, tithing, and church attendence.  Elder Marino, Elder Richard G. Scott, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson and Elder Dallin H.Oaks spoke.  Elder Scott spoke on the atonement, and he spoke in Spanish!!  I had no idea that he speaks Spanish!! I was pretty excited. I could feel the spirit testify to me during the conference of the veracity of this church.  It is perfect.  We, as members, are not, but the structure and direction are.  

We had the chance to talk with a part-member, less-active family, and their daughter wants to get baptized!  YAYYYYY!!

Today, we just washed clothes and cleaned the house, pretty boring. :)


Hermana Grondel :)

P.S., As I was sitting here, a little girl came up and started talking to me.  She asked why I speak Spanish so strangely. I explained that I am learning how to speak spanish, so I can't say things as well as she can.  She then said, "I'm going to teach you how to speak Spanish" and proceeded to teach me how to say things to say good-bye and tell my companion that I love her.  SO CUTEEEE! :)
Hermana Jiménez and I walking to the bus that would take us to conference.

ON the bus with Hermana Alicia!

Hermana Reyes y Yo at the conference

Eating lunch today

Okay, something funny about Honduras.  It doesn't matter what kind of cereal it is, they call all cereal cornflakes, but when they say it, it sounds more like conflay (confle)  I saw this as a flavor :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

How Can I Keep from Singing?


So, one of my favorite things about having a Latin companion is I try to teach her a bit of english.  Lately, I have teaching hermana Jimenez the proper times and places to use the word " 'Murica ".  SO funny.

As missionaries, we tend to meet people from all walks of life.  This week we met a man named Clifford.  Clifford is a rap artist and is black.  We are pretty sure he also takes drugs.  He is also absolutely hilarious.  He isn't trying to be funny, he is just himself, and his personality makes me laugh SO hard.  If you have ever seen the video "Welcome to Kingburger where you can have it your way, but don't get crazy now" (not titled as such, just what I can remember), he reminds me of her. A lot.

So, one of my problems as a missionary is when people start contradicting what we are saying, I want to prove them wrong, since I feel and know that the gospel is true.  That is NEVER a good idea because the spirit leaves as soon as you start doing that. Also, everyone leaves the experience feeling terrible.  I have made it one of my goals to stop before it starts.  This week, we were in a lesson with Maria and Romel, two investigators who have a lot of potential.  The spirit was super strong when the brother of Maria came to visit.  He is evangelico...muy fuerte evangelico... He began to deny the existence of prophets and the need for church and other was bad.  So, Hermana Jimenez and I just left our testimonies, saying we respected his beliefs and didn't want to contend with him about the Bible and we left.  Well, later that afternoon, we ran into Romel again, who apologized for his brother-in-law, saying how said it is that he doesn't believe the same things as us.  The way he said it, he put himself in the same opinion as us. THE GOSPEL IS TRUE! Rosa, who is Maria's sister and the sister of the evangelico, is also an investigator.  When we went to her house the next day, she began apologizing for her brother.  Maria had told her what happened and they all felt terrible.  Truth and peace are always stronger than contention.

Reason number 456 why I love being a missionary.  You are truly an instrument in the Lord's hands. Saturday, Hermana Jimenez and I wanted to visit some less actives that live far from our house.  Entonces, we decided to take a bus to visit them. It was also super hot, so we stopped for ice cream. As we walked to the bus stop, we saw our bus leave. Puchika. We were then waiting for the next bus. It arrived, we got on and started going. About half way through the bus ride, Hermana Jimenez says, Hermana Grondel, you're going to kill me. I, very confused, asked her why. She said the families we wanted to visit live about 5 minutes from where we bought ice cream, but we both thought they lived farther away. We also recognized that the fastest method to reach them would be to get off the bus where we got on. Feeling a bit bad that we wasted time and dumb that we forgot where they live, we waited for the bus to continue. As I looked out the window, I said to Hermana Jimenez "Look, those two look like elders!" "Hermana, those ARE elders! Let's go see what they're doing in our area." We got off the bus and walked up to them as they were talking with una joven. We quickly learned that the joven was a recent convert who had moved to Puerto and had no idea where the church is, so she hasn't been able to attend for 2 months. She had been searching for missionaries, but hadn't seen any until she saw the elders. When we came up, we were able to give the direction of the church to her. We felt like we were fulfilling the story of Job, for the Lord blessed her doubly after the trial of her faith.

Sunday was a great day.  Hermana Jimenez and I spoke in church!  I discovered that I do not enjoy speaking in church in Spanish.  Part of my problem may have been that I didn't actually write out my talk.  I just had my idea, my Liahona article, and went with it.  I think I'll stick to playing the piano and musical numbers :)

Also, the elders had a baptism on Sunday, so Hermana Jimenez and Holly (a member in the ward) sang "When I am Baptized" while I played the piano.  I love playing Primary songs on the piano!  After the baptism, a couple of members requested their favorite primary songs, and we all sang together.  It reminded me of Sundays at home when we all sing together around the piano.  It was a beautiful day.

Well, I love you all bunches and bunches!!


Hermana Grondel
And I packed your angry eyes!  Just in case. More fun with eye stickers

More bird friends

Hermana Jimenez had a bit of fun with bananas this morning

The thing is, I'm a bit taller (by a bit, I mean a lot) than Hermana Jimenez.  She feels these bananas fit our personalities well :)

Can you spot the difference?

Monday, March 3, 2014

I will Fight a Good Fight

Wow, another week has come and gone!!

So, last Monday, Hermana Jimenez and I decided to go shoe shopping because I wanted a nice pair of sandals, and we can use them here in the mish.  And I thought shoe shopping in the states was hard.  For those of you who do not know, I use a women's size 11.  Usually, cute and attractive shoes only make it to a size 10.  Those poor store attendents kept bringing me different styles, all size 10, and I kept saying they were too small.  They were amazed, haha.  I think the sandals I eventually found were intended for men, but oh well, I like 'em :)
In our mission, we have a senior couple, Elder and Sister John.  They work in the office and also bring us our mail every week.  Well, I absolutely love them! They are the sweetest.  They are also going to finish their mission in April, so every week, Hermana John brings me something that she doesn't want to take home with her, hahahaha!

Well, my area is huge.  In fact, it is probably three times as big as I originally thought.  This week we had the chance to get to know the area a bit better.  One Hermana in our ward, Gladis, joined us in our quest to help us find the less active members, and to introduce us to some of her friends.  We had the chance to meet Rosa, the wife of an inactive member.  We invited her to church, and lo and behold, Sunday morning she was sitting in sacrament meeting!! MIRACLE.  We were so grateful.  We have also met a couple other investigators, and Gladis has more people she wants us to meet!!  YAY!

 In that same day, we had the chance to visit Martha, an investigator Hermana Jimenez met during divisiones.  She is really special.  She lives alone in her house and became interested because she wanted to know where her daughter, son, and husband who have all passed away are in this moment.  She is very interested, but she sells on Sundays, so coming to church is a roadblock, but I feel really great about her.  And she always gives us free topogigios, so that is an added bonus. :)
Funny story: we visited one hermana who has a pet bird.  She reminds of Skittles, the bird of Chelsea Osborn (insert new last name here) We had a good time as she hung out on my shoulder.

Sunday was a marvelous day.  Well, to start off, we reached our goal of 100 people in sacrament meeting!!!  So that was wonderful.  To tell the truth, I love being a missionary.  But Sundays are hard.  In fact, I could easily say that Sunday is the hardest day of the week for me.  It is the day that I think about home the most, the day I understand how less active members feel, and many times after the sacrament, I just want it to be over.  We were walking with some members to visit other less actives, and I asked Hermana Nubia (a returned missionary, single mother of 4, who feeds us lunch and dinner on Sundays and lives kiddy-corner to us) how she has been so faithful through the years.  She said really, it is by studying the scriptures.  Later that night, in our Family Home Evening, she shared the scripture 2 Tim 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith".  She then looked at the four of us missionaries and asked "Will you be able to say that at the end of your missions?"  I hope so.  She helped remind me of my purpose and that this work and this life truly are possible.  The spirit in the room was so strong.  She continued to ask her children what they can do to improve to return to their father.  Just as much their earthly father as their Heavenly Father.  Their dad passed away about a year ago, which interrupted the two eldest girls' plans to serve missions.  But through it all,they are faithful and preparing to serve the Lord in any way possible.  They are all incredible.  This morning, I had the chance to read 2 Nephi 26: 23-28:
 23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in adarkness.
 24 He doeth not aanything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he bloveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw call men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
 25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: aCome unto me all ye bends of the earth, cbuy milk and honey, without money and without price.
 26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should adepart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
 27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his asalvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath bgiven it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to crepentance.
 28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but aall men are privileged the one blike unto the other, and none are forbidden.

He is waiting for us, ALL of us.  I know God loves us because he never fails to invite us to come unto Him.


Hermana Grondel :)

This is Daniel, one of my investigators from my last area, and for cambios, I couldn't go to his baptism
Yo y Hermanito Lencho, a recent convert.  He is a sweet heart!!!  When he laughs, he reminds me so much of the old man from the pixar short about chess that premiered before "A Bug's Life"

Hermana Jimenez bought eye stickers, and we have had a little too much fun with them.  I left the bathroom only to discover this on my wall :)

so I did this to Hna Jimenez's picture

I showed Hermana Jimenez what tortilla chips are. She then showed them to a member who said that they're just like mini tortillas!  I woke up to this for breakfast one morning :)

This dog's name is Gringo.  I tried to get a picture with him, but he wouldn't sit still, haha!