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!

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!!

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. :)

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