Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bienvenidos al CCM!

Hola familia!

So my first P-Day at the MTC has finally come. And man has it been just a crazy week. In case you were unaware, when you first arrive at the MTC, they put you through a well-oiled system that gets you all the essentials you need (nametag, debit card, MTC ID card, etc), drops all your stuff off at your room, and puts you in your classroom with your teacher that only speaks Spanish to you within the first 20 minutes of arriving. So that was fun. But as the day progressed and I got to know my district better and we went to a couple different introductory meetings, I started to feel better about it.

My companion is awesome! His name is Elder Johnson and he is from Heber, he just graduated high school, and he's going to my mission as well. Just think of a poster-boy missionary that uses every square inch of his planner and is extremely proactive, spiritual, and funny, and you've got him. He knows some Spanish from high school and on his own, so he helps me a lot with that.

My district is fantastic as well. It's just ten guys. Sorry, elders. In my room we have just one other companionship, Elder Davis and Elder Phillips. Elder Phillips is from Brigham City, and he is a very short, strong kid that also just graduated high school. He swam and ran in high school so he's really in shape. Elder Davis is from West Jordan and he is 21. This is actually his second time at the MTC. He came once in October of 2013, but wasn't supposed to be here, so he went and took care of all his stuff, and now he's back. He's awesome. He is very strong and really good at Spanish, and played lacrosse in high school. They are both going to the Buenos Aires South Mission in Argentina.

My district leaders are Elder Monnett (actual descendant of Monet) and Elder Piscione, they are going to McAllen, Texas. They are great, and Elder Piscione is hilarious. He cracks me up all the time. Elder Monnett is from St. George, also out of high school, and Elder Piscione is from Idaho, also out of high school. Elder Weight is from Portland and went to BYU-I for a year, and his companion Elder Knutti is from Virginia and is out of high school. They're also going to McAllen. The last two are Elder Christensen and Elder Brundage, who both went to BYU for a year, but I never met them. Elder Christensen is from Las Vegas and went to Palo Verde, and played lacrosse in high school and also for BYU his freshman year, and Elder Brundage is from Roseville, California. They're going to Salta, Argentina.

My teacher is Hermano Rasmussen. He served his mission in Hermosillo, Mexico, is married, and is hilarious. He is a great guy and really is an excellent teacher. He knows how to be strict enough where we can learn our best, while still letting us have fun. Par ejemplo, yesterday my compa and I practiced doing door approaches and he was the "investigator," and he kept switching between different personas to answer with, the favorite of mine was an old Catholic woman. He answered the door all crouched over and just acted in awe of these two "bonito gringos." He's great. He's also in Doug's ward! So Doug look for a Brother Rasmussen on Sunday.

By the third day, we were teaching our first "investigator" which is one of our teachers that we haven't officially met yet, all in Spanish. She's fantastic and we all love her. We committed her to baptism on Monday night! It was amazing.

Our other investigator's name is Jose, and he is from Guatemala. He's somewhat old and tired and really poor. He seems to accept a lot of stuff that we talk to him about, but he falls asleep when were speaking sometimes. Only for a brief moment, but still it happens. We'll teach him I think six more times, which is pretty exciting. 

All in all, everything is going pretty well. I've had my ups and downs, but it's really all up when I think about it. I can definitely tell a difference already when I'm exactly obedient, and when I'm not. This obedience disparity is usually manifested in the form of not going to bed on time. Sometimes it's really hard when you really click with this people and you start to talk to them about just everything, but I need to work harder on that. 

I've seen a ton of people that I know from both BYU and home, and it has been wonderful to see their shining faces here at the Lord's house of training for His missionaries, and know that we are all serving Him because we really want to. It's amazing.

My testimony has already grown a ton and I learn more about the Doctrine of Christ and the Gospel, and my family, and my Heavenly Father, and my Savior every single day. I love all of you so much, and know that our Heavenly Father loves all of you too.

Con amor,

Elder Grondel

 My companion and me

My district

Fourth of July we went outside and watched the fireworks from Stadium of Fire. We couldn't really see it but we had a good time. I thought of you guys.

4 and 5 are pictures from class.

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