Monday, October 26, 2015

Peter, Members, Mowing Lawns

Hey hey hey everybody! We had some pretty interesting experiences and overall just a good time this week.

First of all, Peter. We were walking through a park on Monday night when we see this guy that yells "misioneros!" y despues "gringos!" We knew it could not be good from right then. He ran up to us and started talking crazy fast. He was suuuuuuper drunk. His name was Peter, and he claimed to be Mormon, Evangelico y Testigo de Jehovah. He was super funny, just begging us to teach him, talking about how he knew Michael Jackson, Joseph Smith, and had a kid with the president hahahaha. Then talked about sniping a bunch of testigos and stuff I don't even know what was happening. At the end as we were trying to leave he begged us to show him the church, and said that he would be our boyfriends if we did hahaha it was a good laugh.

The next day was Sandra's birthday, and so we made her brownies! We had to attempt four times till we got them good enough to give to her, and even then they weren't that great haha but it was fine, she liked them. The day after we came and cut her lawn, and it was actually really fun! Elder McNeil and I were both super surprised by how much we enjoyed it. We're going to go back sometime this week again.

Our investigators have all kind of decided to not want to listen to us anymore, in fact we had two in one day tell us to stop coming by. But we have been feeling for a while that our area has been dying and that it is going to close. Our suspicions have been only further confirmed as President has decided to add three more companionships in one city in our zone, and that he was thinking about closing our area. So we talked to our zone leaders, and we are now focusing on working with members, strengthening them in case they actually do take us out. So that has been fun to get to know them more.

On Friday we went to a little pueblo outside our already tiny Lamarque called Pomona, to get to know it and possibly find people there. It's extreeeemely small, but really pretty.

On Saturday I had my first asado! Our recent convert Margarita's husband made it and it was super good. Unfortunately it was raining, so they had to do it in the oven instead outside, but it was amazing nonetheless. Reminded me of good ol pop's barbecue.

Yesterday we couldn't leave the pension because it was presidential elections. Apparently it's a really big deal here, we weren't allowed to hold any meetings until after 6, and we could only leave to go to lunch at a member's house. It was a day of a lot of studies, naps, and letter writing. But yeah, that's about how my week has been. All is well hear, can't believe I've been on my mission for almost 4 months now!

Love you all, and hope the best!

Elder Grondel

1. Sandra's birthday

2. My inspiration to plan (Elder McNeil's girlfriend)

3. This is the trashman in Lamarque. A tractor with a flat bed attached.

4. A beautiful park in Lamarque

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Week of Food

Hello everyone!

This week was kind of low in numbers, we didn't get in a lot of houses unfortunately, but we did eat a lot with members, so that was good! On Saturday we ate Milanesas (basically country-fried steak/chicken), hamburgers, and empanadas at three different houses. That was awesome.

We went on exchanges on Tuesday, and I went to Choele with Elder Loayza, which was interesting. He is kind of disobedient a lot of the time, but we were actually able to teach a couple good lessons, and I still learned a lot with him. We also contacted this guy named Leonardo who said that he has a ton of faith in God, but every time the Jehovah's Witness of Evangelists have come by, there has always been something that has stopped him from joining. But he said that he doesn't know much about the Mormon church, and he'd loved to listen to us, so that was pretty cool.

On Wednesday it rained and hailed like crazy, so the streets got super muddy and flooded, so it took us like 40 minutes to walk to each person, and none of them were home when we stopped by. But it was fun trying to navigate the destroyed streets.

Thursday we actually had a lesson with someone we've been trying to talk to for a long time. It was a family from Bolivia, and we taught the Restoration, and it was awesome. The wife actually tried to go to church the other week, but didn't understand our directions that well so just went back home. They were out of town this weekend, but we're hoping to see them there next time.

The rest of the week we just walked a lot, and talked to a lot of people, but didn't get in anywhere. We were feeling pretty down on Friday, and prayed a ton for help, and the next day a ton of people said they were going to come to church, and we had 20 on Sunday, the highest since I've been here. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but He is always there for us if we just reach out to Him. I know that He will help us if we just ask for it, and ten do the things he asks us to do in order to qualify for that help.

Sunday was also Mother's Day here, so we helped the kids make/decorate cakes, which was fun. We had a pretty good day in church, and we got to teach primary (5 kids) which is always great.

Everytime I get discouraged, the Lord always does something to help lift my spirits. We haven't had a ton of success here, but we have still been working hard. I just feel like I need to figure out more exactly what I need to do to have the success I want, and more importantly the Lord has in store for me. I love you all and hope the best for each one of you.

Elder Grondel

Monday, October 12, 2015


Alright alright alright, this week was pretty sweet, so let's get into it.

The beginning of the week was pretty normal, we're trying to work harder to get more lessons, contacts, and references in Lamarque, so we just did some work with that. It went alright, but we're going to work harder on that and make sure we're giving our entire effort.

On Friday we had a zone conference with President, and it was super awesome. We traveled to Villa Regina for it, and had our zone and the Roca zone there. There were a couple missionaries from the group I came in with, so it was good to see them again. The focus of the conference was a lot about miracles, and how we need to be worthy for them, and have the faith necessary to allow the Lord to bless us with them. We also talked about the First Vision a lot. We are trying to visit members 3 times a day and share the first vision with them in order to increase the references we get, and we've learned how to share it extremely powerfully in just a short time. There truly is power in the First Vision, and I know that every time it is shared, the Spirit is there. It is an amazing account that I know with all my heart and soul is true.

We were supposed to take a collectivo back that night, but they were all full, so we ended up going out with some other Elders and spending the night in Villa Regina until our collectivo left the next morning. I went out with Elder Rose, who has the same amount of time as I do, so we had a good time trying to figure out Spanish and stuff, but it ended up being pretty fun.

Unfortunately, the next morning our collectivo came three hours late, so we didn't get back to Lamarque till about 1 or so, but such is the life of a missionary in Lamarque.

The rest of the week was good, especially our Sunday Fast and Testimony meeting. We were a little worried because there were only 14 of us there, but it ended up being super powerful. The people here are so humble, but they have such fervent testimonies of this church and of our Savior.

I thought today I'd take a little time to talk about the food we eat here. I love it a lot. Unfortunately I haven't been able to eat with members a ton yet, so I haven't been able to have a ton of good experience, but it's all good. We have had chorizos twice this week, the second time being home-made ones of our recent convert Margarita, which were super good. People eat a ton of meat, as well as pasta, the best of so far being ñoquis (gnocchis in english). Our favorite member Hermana Sandra made them for us a while and there were sooooo good. I'm going to learn how to make them soon. Pastries are also super huge here, which I didn't know. Facturas are like sweet breakfast pastry, like croissants with sugar, sweet dough with dulce de leche and powdered sugar, and other fruit pastries kind of like danishes. They're also super good. Tortas fritas are also super popular, which are basically just fried dough that they dip in salsa that's kind of like Mexican salsa. It's all really good. Also, Milanesas, which come in either carne or pollo, and are just thin pieces of meat that are breaded and then cooked in oil. Good stuff.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is an experience we had Saturday night. We were walking in the street and a man stopped us and wanted to talk to us, so of course we said yes. It turns out he was a Testigo de Jehovah (Jehovah's Witness) and he basically ranted at us for 30 minutes about how "we're young and don't know anything" and that when we get back to the states "and have woken up, talk with some of my brothers." It was frustrating because everytime we tried to say somehting he just wouldn't listen. But instead of getting discouraged or starting to doubt, I thought about the testimony I have of this church, of this gospel, and the joy I've experienced from it. It made me really sad to think this man will probably never accept the gospel because he's so set in his ways, when I know with all my soul, with all my heart, with my might, with all my mind, with all my strength that this is the only true church, that Christ stands at its head, that I'm doing the will of my Father in Heaven, and that He is mindful of and loves me. Joseph Smith had a vision. The Book of Mormon is completely true. I have no doubt. Our church is led by a true prophet of God, and I sustain him with all that I have. This gospel is true, and there is nothing that will ever be able to tear me away from that.

I love you all, thank you for the support I receive from you!
Elder Grondel

ps no pictures this week, my camera still isn't working :(

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hello Argentina

Hello everyone!

This week was kind of hard, we didn't get into many houses, but we still had a super good time. I thought thtat this week I would talk a little about the life of amissionary, specifically a missionary in Argentina, and even more specifically in Lamarque.

Every morning we wake up at 6:30, except in my mission in between conferences we push everything back 30 minutes, so we wake up at 7 and go to bed at 11:00. The mornings are filled with studies, about two hours here in Argentina, and then we go out and contact, trying to find new people to teach. Lunch is the big meal here, so we come back around one to eat something. Usually members feed us, but there are only 11 here in Lamarque, so we get lunch from them about once or twice a week I've been told, but we haven't gotten lunch in our area since I got here. After lunch we finish the rest of our studies while the rest of the world here takes a siesta. Everything closes down at 12:30 or 1 and opens around 5 for all the Argentinos to take a little snooze in the middle of the day. After that we go out and walk everywhere, trying to teach people and help them in their lives through service or other means. Almost all the roads are dirt here, and stray dogs litter the streets, grocery store, bank, basically anyplace really. Dinner isn't really a thing, so we eat a little snack when we get home around 9:00 or 9:30 usually. Then we plan for the next day, write in journals, prepare for the next day all that. And I love every minute of it. I love our broken janky washing machine, our gross tile floor and tiny stove. The bagged milk and corn flakes with chocolate powder for breakfast everyday. The unstable top bunk I sleep in, the 7 year old Nokia we use to talk to other people. It's all amazing. I love it here, even if it's completely different and I don't understand what people are saying half the time.

Some other highlights from the week:

This week we had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) activity at our little salon this week, and it was great. We watched some Mormon messages and then played a really fun game where we had to put on random clothes and stuff. Pictures will be attached.

Saw 17 miracles for the first time so that was good.

We had Zone Conference on Thursday, and it was awesome to meet everyone else in our zone. There's another Elder, Elder Rose, who got to the mission when I was supposed to, so we got to talk a little bit. My zone leaders are great. Elder Gallegos is from Utah and is an awesome missionary, we went out and taught a little with him on Thursday. Elder Bazzeha? (Don{t remember how to spell or even say it) is from Brazil and is crazy and a pretty funny kid. We also ate with a member on Thursday in Villa Regina, and had like a pizza that had chi

cken instead of dough for the crust. Amazing.

Lastly, conference. Conference is frikin amazing and I love it more and more everytime that I watch it. Thankfully, the transmission of video is actually in English, and then they have a translated in Spanish, so we got to watch it in English! That definitely helped and a learned a ton. I in particular enjoyed President Eyring's talk about following the Spirit, it really meant a lot to me as I try to detect the subtle whisperings of the Holy Ghost more and more each day. Conference is amazing, truly a great opportunity to listen to the voices of true prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm excited that we have this new scripture and three new apostles called as well. Use this scripture specifically for our day and cherish it, I know it will bless your lives and you'll see a difference as you study it and apply the principles found therein in your life.

Love you all so much, and know that the Lord is extending is hand to you at all times.

Elder Grondel

1-3. Majestically looking over the streets of our beloved Lamarque

4. Self-explanatory

Random statues at a park in Villa Regina we went to while we waited for our collectivo back to our pension after zone training