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!

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. :)

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. :)

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.

Hermana Grondel :)