Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week Three in Maui

Hey Family!

What a week it's been. 
Last time I emailed you was monday, and we went on a hike after the email! We drove along the coast until we stopped at a bend in the road, and the whole zone pilled out of 4 or 5 cars. There wasnt really a trail head, so I was all confused, but we ended up just jumping rocks down a river until we came to this amazing water fall into a pond. There was a rope swing from a tree into it, and I could tell that this tongan elder REALLY wanted to jump in! haha. Then we climbed down the river so more and we came across a bigger waterfall then an even BIGGER waterfall! It was like maybe 20 or 25 feet up. I have a video of that very same Elder wanting to jump in so bad. He would look over the edge and jump yell "oh come on!!!" then back away and just shake his head. Super pretty hike though. 

So last week I was super amped about Jannon and his baptismal date. So we were suppose to visit him on tuesday. We had taught a former investigator, Kathleen, the week before but her dad was catholic and she seemed worried about him. But anyway we had planned to meet with them both on tuesday and so we biked all the way out to Kathleens house just to knock on the door and her brother to say "Oh shes sleeping." Gosh dang it. To make things worse we biked all the way back to Jannons house and his brother was like "Oh he's not here right now". So frustrating. Thats obviously what happens in missions its just hard to finally get someone interested just to have them bail out. IM MEAN WERE TALKING ABOUT YOUR SALVATION HERE PEOPLE. I just wished people realized how important our message is. But they have their free agency and satan works well against them. 

Not a lot more has happened this week. Its incredibly frustrating because we are trying to visit former investigators, less active, and part member families, but its hard on bikes. This people are people who havent been contacted in 6 months maybe a year, so a lot people have moved, or just arent home. So we will bike up to someones house, which might take 15 minutes just for them not be there. Then we will bike to the next persons house maybe 5 minutes away for them to move. And then we will go visit a former investigator 10 minutes away and they arent interested anymore. So that 30 mins wasted on travel and no lessons taught! Not to mention its hard work! But not to worry. As long as we work and put in those extra miles, the Lord will bless us with miracles. 

So just an update, we have been struggling all week, biking hard, praying harder, and finally we had a break though Saturday night. I told my companion that we need to go out before lunch, which we usually dont do, so we went to Jannons house. Unfortunately he was at his moms house, so we decided to visit a less active. We went to this guys house John, who was super super cool! He said he's from West Jordan and is moving there again soon, but has been in Maui for 7 years. We just shared a scripture with him about enduring to the end, and he told us, "I just feel good having you guys here with us." YESSSS. He's feeling the spirit! BOOYAH. Talk about blessings. Later that afternoon we went to a baptism that the zone leaders had. We had an appointment with a part member family later that day, and they texted us and canceled, so i was so frustrated. That makes all our appointments all week canceled. I was fuming. I was just done. I quit. And so after the baptism we went to the family of the kid who was getting baptized house for a party! so we ate choke food and talked and had fun and then the grandfather gave a speech and said basically this: "You see these Elders right here. They are the reason why I'm in the church. I served as ward mission leader for 21 years, and they are out here serving the lord. They changed my life and they changed my grandsons life too. Listen to what they have to say. They have a good message that can change your life." And then he had us sing "Called to serve" to the kid being baptized. I realized how important the work was and how great a service we were doing. When we got back to the pad around 5 o clock, I still had to dig down deep to find strength to go out and work. I just wanted to crash. We went to a part members house though, and we saw the dad outside and he didnt look too happy to see us. He said, "its not a good time right now" so we went our way. Oh great. So then we just decided to go see Kathleen. We went to her house and she was home! She was surprised to see us, and I dont know how too happy here parents were that we were there, but we just shared a quick message with her. We gave her a book of mormon and read 1 Nephi 3:7 with her and told her why keeping the commandments was important. She said she would read the book of mormon and pray about, and I could tell she was feeling the spirit. I just think its hard for her because she doesnt know english very well. 

Most of the people we teach are from Micronesia or Polynesia, so they arent that good at english. If it they do speak english its really FOB or pidgoeny. Its pretty funny but way hard to understand. Anyway after our lesson with Kathleen I felt really really good! All that frustration was worth it! teaching lessons is the best. 

On thursday we went up to Pulehu (Look it up), where the first missionaries in Maui built the first chapel. It was this small, old style church building, and thats where we had zone conference. It was so beautiful up there! makes me jealous because Im stuck in a poor city. But I love it where I am. But anyway, it was President and Sister Daltons farewell adress. It was their last zone conference, and they bore their testimony and answered any questions we had for them. The spirit was strong in the building, and tears were shed, and even though Ive known them for a week, I can see the progress they've built. They are amazing!

This goal of 200 baptisms in June might actually happen. We'll see though because the drop out rate is large. That would be incredible!

I havent gained much weight I dont think! The biking helps out a lot. Im always sweating, always having fun! I might have actually lost weight. There is cockroaches EVERYWHERE. Every night when I go into the bathroom theres 2 or 3 crawling around on my gel and razor. I hid my tooth brush so they dont climb on it. I stepped on one last night going into the garage last night and it freaked me out!! Theres always lizards crawling around our house but we leave them be because they just eat the bugs. 

The best are dinners with the family. I love them! They are always so much fun and they laugh and feed us so much. Last night we went over to the Kamas for dinner for the second time. The Filipino wife is a fireball and the dad is from Hawaii so he's always like "You like some more food brudda?". They are so crazy, and they laugh at everything! Its a roit when I go over there. The members are so strong over here. They may not be the most educated because most are financially struggling, but they make up for it with love and care. They all have such a deep faith in the gospel, and put such strong trust in the Lord. 

My companion is awesome. He's from Tennessee. He served in a Tongan Ward, and in those wards you have to be more relaxed and hang out with the members in order to gain their trust. Tongan wards consist of people all over the island, so you cant tract to find them so you work though member referrals. He's super smart in terms of gospel knowledge. He also has a strong testimony. 

Ive been reading a lot about the Atonement lately. They gave us this atonement packet, and I decided im going to read it. Its all just talks about the Savior! Its so amazing. I never really had that strong of a testimony of the atonement, but after reading the booklet, I must have grown because every time I look at a picture of the savior I just get this overwhelming feeling of peace and love. I seriously love him. If youre ever struggling, read about the savior and you are in for a treat! 

Well I gotta get going! I love you all and love hearing about home! So alls well in Hawaii Land! Much Love from Maui! Keep me updated yeah?
Love you! 

Elder Gleave

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week Two: Maui Wowie

Hey Gleavelets! 

Guess where I am! Go ahead. Guess. That's right. I'm in Maui!! But anyway lets take a step back yeah? 

So it was the last day of the MTC and we were all like freaking out (good way and bad way). All the girls wanted blessing so we gave them all blessings. It was cool because one of the sisters asked me to give her a blessing so obviously I did, and let me tell you I dont remember a word I said in there. The spirit put the words in my mouth, and I guess it was exactly what she needed to hear. It was first time that has ever happened that strongly. Well it was hard to say goodbye all my MTC buddies but it helped that I was going to Hawaii. The amount I grew there was insane. I started off going there believing that Book Of Mormon was written for me and I could get revelation. I believed that Christ died for our sins. I believed the church was true. But let tell you, I know that these things are true. I know with all my heart that Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for our sins and died on the cross so we could be cleansed of the mistakes we've made. I know that God is our heavenly Father, and when we die we shall return to live with him again as father and son. I know that the Book Of Mormon is a true book of God, and in it are answers and truths that are written for us in our day. The Holy Ghost is real, and its influence in my life is huge. It comforts me, and helps with me with my problems. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, just like Abraham, Moses, and Noah, and he was sent here to restore the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ask me before the MTC and I'll tell you I believed, ask me now? I know these things. I know them with all my heart.

So anyway, time to go to Hawaii, yeah? The flight wasnt too bad. I sat next to two sister missionaries so I couldnt (thankfully) talk to nonmembers about the gospel. It's not that I didnt want to, its just that i was way to scared. Well we got to Hawaii, and IT IS BEAUTIFUL. We flew into Oahu. I met to mission president and the APs and they are really awesome. It's weird like being here. I was so nervous. Honolulu is way urbanized. Its like a REAL city yeah. There's so many big hotels and skye scrapers, its not what I pictured. Anyway, the APs took us to the mission home, and its weird because they were like "this is one of the nicest houses in Hawaii. Like their neighborhood is for houses that are millions of dollars" and I got there and it was like smaller than most peoples houses in Colorado! It was only one floor! Just weird how much everything cost yeah. Anyway, they took us to the house, gave the low down and rules on what to expect, and we went to a baptism! the TAB (tabernacle) in Honolulu is where it was held. It was amazing to see someone change their life like that. Choosing the gospel, and how happy he was to be apart of something this great. He was a Chuckesse man (from the island of Chuck), and he was just smiling the whole time! We went back to the house and they gave us all envelopes on where we were serving. I was so nervous yeah. FIRST AREA!!! I really really wanted to get off island (off of oahu), so like I was just about to burst when I opened mine and it said I was serving in Maui. Merry Christmas Elder Gleave!!!!! There was like five of us going to Maui too, so I was stoked because we'd see them each week during district meeting and zone conference. We slept at a members house, but I didnt much sleeping. We had transfer meeting at the TAB the next day, and all the Pollys are always yelling when people get called. President Dalton and Sister Dalton gave their testimony becuase it was their last transfer meeting. It was incredible. The faithfulness of that couple is so inspiring. 

After the meeting and some good ol training we had a little tracting. Not too bad yeah. THEN OFF TO MAUI!!! My companion is Elder Hunter. He's this short little guy from Tennessee. He's way nice and pretty experienced. He's been out 15 months. Okay but here are when things start getting weird. So we got in and got to our pad (our house), and they took me to Wal-mart to get some supplies. I thought we'd have a lesson, dinner appt, or something, but we just got stuff and then went back to the pad and hung out. I thought it was just because it was my first day, but apparently heres the deal: Im in Kahului area right now, and before I came in there was only two Elders there. But when I came in, that companionship split up, and me and another Elder came in and joined those two. So Elder Hunter and Elder Powell were the only two Elders in the ward, but theres me and Hunter, and Powell and Elder Basag. The only problem is that we jhad to split the area. All the work, all the investigators, and the places that Powell and Hunter had worked on previously went to Basag and Powell, while me and Hunter got nothing. We have no investigators, and all we have is former investigators. So the first REAL day I was out there and allowed to work, heres what happened. We had to the early morning study yeah, and then I was expecting to get going around 11. But we kinda just waited around, then another companionship came over so we went and got lunch at food land around noon. And then so we got lunch and we ate it and kinda just sat around al lot. We didnt even get out of the house till 2! Im like what the heck. I just want to work!!! And so were walking right now becuase I'm in a biking area and we havent gotten our two new bikes yet. So we were walking and decided to start tracting. Funny story so we went to literally the second house and we knocked on the door and we heard through the window "Can I help you?" We look through the window and see a lady BREASTFEEDING!!!! WHAAAAAAAT. EWWWWW. I guess like father like son. So we basically were like uhhh nevermind and just away. Anyway, the rest of the we tried visiting former investigators and literally no one was home. We went to the pad around 4 and Hunter seemed like really discouraged and I was like come on man we got to go. And so he got up and we went and visited so members and less active. We visited so family from the Marshal Islands and gave his wife a blessing because she was sick with an ear infection. Then we went to a members house and introduced ourselves, and they actually were nice to offered to make us dinner! it was good because we hadnt eatten. 

Well anyway, friday was the same deal. We got out late, walked like 5 miles, and got pretty much no wheres. Its like really frustrating becuase we just walk and walk to one house, knock on the door, and no ones there. We dont really tract, and we dont really teach. All it is walking. I guess my companion served in a tongan ward, and so in there you kinda HAVE to be a little bit relaxed, but I was just frustrated because I felt like we could do so much more. We actually got one former investigator to answer, Kathleen, and she seemed pretty interested, but her dad was Catholic so she was worried about him. We figured out a time on tuesday we could back, when her Dad isnt home so we could teacher her. It doesnt seem so sure though. Anyway, just again, not a really productive day. We ate at the bishops house that night, and it was good to meet them! Awesome family, awesome bishop. 

So on saturday we went to a baptism over by Kihei in the Tongan ward. That was really cool! But after we went to a togan birthday party, not even in our ward. It was so awesome to see all the Tongans and to eat their food and stuff, but we didnt get done until 2:30! I mean thats like half our day. And When we got back, my companion had to work on a talk and so we didnt get out until like 4. At least we got our bikes. But oh wait, my companion popped his tire in about 20 mintues of riding them! So we were like in the farthest away zone in our area and his tire popped. We managed to visit a less active who has choke (a lot of) number of kids not baptized and set up time we could teach them, and we headed back. So we taught one person. All day. I know I shouldnt be pushy, and just kinda relax but I know we can do better than ONE person in one day. I mean come on. I want to serve the Lord with all my heart! And so we got back around 6:30 because our food was being dropped off, but the person didn't even come till 8:00. So basically we were just sitting around for an hour and a half. I wanted to be obedient and serve with all my heart, but I didnt want to be an uptight Elder who cant have any fun. So when I got home i just dropped to my knees and prayed. I prayed with all my heart and strength for heavenly father to help me, to help me know what to do. Thats when I got up and walked by my computer and had a thought that said, "read your patriartical blessing". And i was like thats weird, I know everything in it. And then a little bit later I walked by again, and again it was read your patriatical blessing. So I pulled it out, and when I got the part about being a missionary I read "You will serve with total dedication". And thats when the spirit overcame me. I knew I had to be obedient even when other people might not be. Then "we are as the army of helaman" started playing in my head, and i thought about the army of helaman which serves with exact obedience. And i knew that the spirit had told me to read my blessing, and put that song into my head. I then made a promise with heavenly father that I would be exactly obedient. 

Anyway sunday rolled around, and We went to church and came back. It was around 440 by the time we got back and dinner was at 6, so I had an impresson we should go tracting. My companion was reluctant because he hated tracting and they usually sit around until dinner on sunday but i told him we had to. So we went and like the first five houses: nothing. The next five: nothing. I was thinking to myself tracting is stupid. And then we came to this kids house and we did what we call the prayer approach. That is where you meet them, ask if you can pray with them, and then when you do they feel the spirit and then teach them about the spirit and then right then you ask them to be baptized. Just like that. And so this kid Jannon we prayed for him and his mom and then asked him how he felt and he said that it was like his Mom was going to get better. We told him that was the Holy Ghost and then told him one way he can feel that more often is through baptism and guess what...HE WANTED TO BE BAPTIZED!!!! JUNE 29tth!!! I was SSSSSSSOOOOOO stoked. I know that the Lord rewarded me for my diligence. I know that he rewarded me for being obedient. Things are always going up from here.

Anyway, I got to go. Just giving you the update. Miss you all! think about you and pray for you all day! I wear sunscreen dont worry! 
I will update you next time on how things are going! Keep me updated!
Much love from Maui! Shoots!
Elder Gleave