Hows it parents!
I hope everything's going well in Colorado! How's the family? How's will? How's having taylor?Missionary life is coming along as usual! We had transfers this week, so its been kinda a weird week. Elder Powell, who lived me for 6 weeks, ended his mission and so he packed up and left. It was really weird to get to know someone, live with them, and become besties for like 6 weeks and then just have him pack up and leave. Every missionary tells me that Im going to get used to it, but I dont see how. So we got a new guy in our house, whose from Oahu. He speaks Marshallese, so I think thats why he's sent here. He's really hyper and tests my patience a lot, but he's a really hard worker and great missionary, and I know he will bring to pass miracles here in Kahului.We have yet to see the fruits of our labor. We have yet to have someone come to church, or really anyone progressing. Its been incredibly hard to stay motivated. I was getting so frustrated, even to the point where I felt like I was being a bad missionary. I was feeling like everything I was doing, I was doing wrong, and that I was loosing faith. It was getting hard to see the end goal, to vision myself bringing someone closer to Christ. I was almost to the point of giving up, when yesterday I opened my scriptures in desperation and came across Alma 32:21. "And now as I said concerning faith-- faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." And even though Ive read that scripture before, it really spoke to me. and then last night I asked Elder Hunter if he wanted to do companionship prayer, which we havent done since the beginning of my mission. And so he said the prayer, and after the prayer, I sat there with my eyes closed not even thinking, and a voice came into my head. It wasnt my voice, but I know it was the Holy Ghost speaking to me. It said, "Stay strong Elder Gleave." It was clear as day. I cannot mistake this event to be anything other than Heavenly Father encouraging me. I have realized that whatever trials that occurring now, they are preparing me for the future. Whatever Heavenly Father has planned for me later in this mission or in my life, he is giving me this trial that I have to better me. I regret to think that I was losing faith, but I know that I'm not perfect, and that in our times of need, Heavenly Father will strengthen us. So I am reminded of the many prophets that endured great tests of faith. Whether Nephi, who's bow had broken during his time in the wilderness when the Lord instructed him to go there, or Alma and Amulek as they we were put into prison and forced to see the faithful women and children burned, or even Joseph Smith, and the trails he endured to bring Christs true gospel back unto this Earth, Im thankful for their example in my life to help me bring me closer to Heavenly Father.So now that Ive told you about my spiritual excitement, time to tell you about the weird things that happens as a missionary. So we were tracting with our mini missionary (someone from the ward who gets set apart and lives with us for 3 days) and went to go visit this potential investigator named warrik. His door was behind his house, so we went and turned the corner to go knock, and there was a girl sitting there in her bikini tanning! Now that's really not that awkward, because Ive seen people in bikinis before and its really not that big of a deal. But she was all embarrised and like ohhh....im so so sorry...And we were like well does Warrick live here? And she was like uhhh...he's inside. so we went up and knocked on the door, and she was sitting like two feet from us, just staring at us! and he wasnt answering his door! SO LIKE TWO MINUTES PASSED BY AND NOTHING WAS SAID...IT FELT LIKE AN ETERNITY. It was so awkward. we were like...uhhh...so can we say a prayer with you? and she was like ummm...(covering her body with her shirt) im not interested. We were like okay...well bye. and just ran away as fast as we could. there was nothing we could say or do at that time that could make that situation not awkward.Anyway...the joys of serving a mission! Im so very thankful to be here in Hawaii!I love everyone of you so very much and miss you with all my heart! Please keep writing! I cherish and save every email and letter! I love hearing about you life!I pray for you all everyday!Much love from Maui!Elder Gleave
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Miss yo crazy faces all four of you! SO heres the big news...IM STAYING IN KAHULUI!!! nothings changing really. My companion got called DL and Elder Basag is getting a new greenie Marshallese missionary to train. So we will have two brown kids and two white kids in one pad! its gonna be sick. I cant believe its been 6 weeks already. It feels like I just got out here! But when I look back at where I started, I can see the progression ive made spiritually and in this area as a missionary. I guess its kinda like when you are growing up with someone, you dont notice that they grow because they grow a little each day, but when you look back at their pictures you realize just how much theyve grown! thats the same here. sometimes its hard to see the growth youve made if its gradual, but if you take a step back and look at the progress youve made then it makes appraciate the lords hand in your work. I asked my Zone Leader who is leading this week to go back to Oahu if he had any last minute advice for me, and he said "utalize this transfer to make the necessary changes to make the rest of the transfer successful. You have to futher your commitment to serve the Lord, then help your companion become more commited as well." I really took that advice to heart. I thought that was really good advice, and something that I am going to do. This transfer we are going to work harder. I know that if we put in the extra time, miracle will happen.So today we went to Haleakala! All the missionaries woke up at 3 in the morning so we could make it to the top before the sunrise. Since its 10000 ft at the top, its like pretty freezing. like probably 40 degrees. Just picture like 20 missionaries huddled at the top of a mountain with blankets and short sleeve tshirts on. hahaha it was awesome! The sunrise was so pretty. You could see for miles above the clouds. You could turn one way and see the valley of Maui below you and turn the other way see the two mountains on big island. Sometimes being stuck in Kahului, the more city area of the island, without cars, its hard to realize you are on a island. But when I was up there, with the whole island before me, I began to realize how blessed I am to be on a mission here in Hawaii. Sorry if my english is really bad right now. I feel like ive been hit with a brick in the face im so tired. thats another thing!I dont know what it is about being on a mission, but im always tired!! It super weird!! Maybe its cuz of the spirit, maybe its cuz we are on bikes, but Im getting more sleep then in college and each day Im so tired! Will said this would happenen, but I didnt think it would. I guess he was right.So Ive had one really cool experience this week! So things got a little crazy on friday. Elder Powell, our district leader, had a training meeting in Lahina. So all the DLs got into one car, and so we had 5 missionaries together with nothing to do. So the Wialuku area (the area next to us) had a companionship that had struggles getting out and working, so my companion, and Elder Basag (the one I live with) went with one of the Elders to go work in their district. So thats not that important, but that means I was left one of the Greenie missionaries I came out with. The zone leaders told us that we were giving a blessing, and so we asked who we were giving a blessing to and what for? They said that they didnt know, just that there was a YSA member who had a brother in the hospital who was a nonmember who needed to recieve a blessing. So we didnt know who he was, where he was, or what the blessing was for. The Zls gave us a number to call, and said that the blessing was suppose to be at 1130. So we called the people...no answer. 30 minutes later we called...no answer. it was about 1155, and we figured this blessing wasnt going to happen, so we were about to leave when we got a call from the girl! She said that we needed to be there in the next half an hour to give the blessing. So we rushed over there as fast as we can! when we were in the car, we decided that I would give the blessing. I thought, I can do this, Ive given blessings to my sick friends before! When we got there, the girl was like okay do you need to know anything about him? And I was like is he just sick? And she bubbly when we got there, but then suddenyl she got super quite and just said, "well the doctors found cancer in him. He's going into to sugery in a half and hour." Woah...This isnt, oh ive got a sore thraot can you give me a blessing? This is possibly a life or death situation. At first I was scared. I mean what do you say? But as I quickly thought about it, I knew the Lord knew the desires of my heart. I knew that the blessing would be given by the spirit and not me! I immediately became calm and confident. Then we walked into the room. It was as if it was taken out of a movie. The brother was sitting in the bed, with the girlfriend sitting in the chair next to him clutching his arm as if she was never wanted to let go, tear tracks on her cheeks. The mother was standing a little behind, giving concerned glances from us, to the son, then to the daughter. The boy was so young. Not much older then me. He had a blank look on his face, as if he didnt know what to think. He seemed almost in shock. When we asked him his full name, his voice was quiet. It was strong, yet had a hint of fear. Then I was nervous again. As I started the blessing, my legs began shaking. but then something amazing happened. The Spirit overcame me, and I was directed to bless him with a successful surgery. I was guided to give him a bless of comfort, strength, and healing. It was weird, because I didnt have anytime to prepare before the blessing, and I had no idea what to say. But as I was giving the blessing, the words just flowed out of my mouth. When I closed the prayer, the girlfriend and the sister had tears in their eyes. I know the spirit of the Lord was present in that room, and their hearts, as well as mine were touched that afternoon. The Sister walked us out, and thanked us for the blessing. She said she felt more at peace now, and even though her brother wasnt a member she said she knew he'd be okay. Later that night, the zone leaders said they talked to the dad, and he said that the son was doing well. That he had a successful surgery! And he said the dad was so very thankful, and the ZL said he thinks the dad is going to be baptized. In my patriartical blessing it says that I will have to use my priesthood power in times where there is little time to prepare, and the consiquences will be dire, even eternal. And I never thought that would happen. I never thought that I would give the blessing to anyone who was in a life or death situation. But I know that this is what it was taking about in my blessing. That this exact situation is what my blessing is refering to. Its amazing what the priesthood can do for us. That it is GODS power to heal and do proper ordiences here on this Earth. I have a firm testimony that the priesthood is real, that it has been restored to man so man can organize Christ's true chruch on this land. I feel blessed that I am able to use this priesthood power, acording to Gods will, to help other people.Well beside that, this week has been pretty slow. Me and Basag went on a lot of exchanges this week because Elder Powell is dying (ending his mission) this week and had a lot of things to gather together before he leaves. I guess my companion wanted to be with him the whole time, idk. But it was good to be with Basag! He has a lot of fire and a lot of drive as a missionary!We are still working on getting an investigator to church, but we are starting to get more of the ward members involved in missionary work. The Bishop has been really helpful, and I think we are going to starting getting more member referals and more success!Missionaries are really goofy! I dont know if thats the lack of woman contact, or the fact that we have to entertain ourselves without elctronics, but we are weird. super weird. we LOVE catching cockroaches and tourtering them. We eat ice cream and ramen for breakfast. we have dance parties to MOTAB with flashing bike lights. We are weird.I cant wait for that first baptizm! I pray everyday that my investigators hearts will be softened, that they might act on the promptings of the spirit. I know one day it will happen as long as I stay faithful. I know that I am brought here to learn patients, how to work hard, and to be humble, and that when eventual success happens, I know it will be of the Lord.I love hearing from all of you! Keep sending me an updates of life I love it! And I love all of you!Keep strong, pray often, and I know the Lord will bless your life!Much love!Elder Gleave
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
How's it from Maui!!!Good news. I'm happier than ever! This place is AWESOME. I'm learning to love the people here with all fiber of my being. I work with a lot of Micronesians and Asian people and let me tell you, I love them. The area I'm serving in is on the poorer side. Since Hawaii is such an expensive place to live, people are often time struggling financially. I always pictured my mission as something where I struggle in an impoverished community high in the andes, so I guess I got what I wanted just on an island! I love poor people. They are so friendly, and what they dont have in material, they make up in spirit. If America is a giant melting pot, Hawaii must be the very center. It's funny because in my patriatical blessing, it says that I will be teaching people of many different cultures and nations, and so I thought I would be called to somewhere foreign. But its funny how the Lord works, because now I'm in hawaii teaching more cultures than I ever could have imagined!! Its funny, they all have their unique cultures, but they also have an underlying Hawaiian pride!Things are moving along here in Kahului! We have more and more appointments, but the only problem is that no one is ever home. But I feel inspired to tell you about a certain person that we found:Some and my campanion were struggling. We rode around our WHOLE area, had a plan to visit all these people, and no one was home. It was hot, and humid, and I was frustrated. And then I remembered about a talk I read about the enabling power of the Atonement. I remember that with Christ's true and everlasting sacrifice, we were given the ability to endure. The Atonement not only cleansed us of our sins, but allowed us to be able to endure any trials that are placed before us. So we went to our appt, and the family wasnt really ready to hear our message. They were swimming, and Im not sure how much they got out of our short lesson. So afterward I was just frustrated beyond belief, and so while we were riding our bikes I prayed to our heavenly father asking him to not changed my situation, but give me the strength to be able to endure the trial presented before me. And what happened next was a true testament and answer to my prayers. We then visited a less active member, one who was recently baptized, and guess what, he was home! He seemed to really enjoy the message that we shared with him, and desired to come back to church. Then we found someone on our former investigator list, so we went to go visit him. We knocked on his door, and asked are you so and so? And he said no, Im Idle (sounds like El Dee). And usually in this situation we asked them if theyve ever talked to missionaries before, and they say no but we are busy right now. So usually its a failure. So we did the same thing, and asked if we could say a prayer with him. He's Filipino, and he BARELY spoke English, so we could barely communicate with him. We had to talk really slow, and use sign language, but he seemed interested in what we had to say. So we figured out, with some time, that he speaks Tagalog, and that we would return tomorrow to teach him. So one of the missionaries that lives with me is Filipino, and he is fluent in Tagolic, so I went on exchanges with him the next day. We showed up, and knocked on the door...no answer...the door was open, and the screen door was shut, so we said "Aloha!"...no answer...knock plus "Aloha!"...no answer. And I felt inspired to just yell his name, which I never do, So I yelled "Ilde!" And we heard in the back, "Yes?" "It's the missionaries!!" "Okay one second..." and so in a few minutes he came outside and we sat down. I said "Hi Ilde, we brought a Tagolic missionary along" and that was the only thing I said for two hours. Elder Basag taught him for two strait hours in Tagolic. It was amazing to see! He taught him about the Restoration, and it was amazing to see his demeanor go from skeptical, to interested, to hungry for more. It was a little awkward though because they would both look at me, talk in Tagalog, and then laugh. Im pretty sure they were making fun of me! hahaha thats okay though. Its interesting, because Elder Basag got transferred out of his last area really early, and we didnt know why, but now we have two Tagalog investigators, and now I know that he is meant to come here to teach these people. The Lord needs this valuable message to be shared, and he will do it according to his will. I know that these people were prepared for Basags message, and he will be heard.So we totally hiked into the creator of Haleakala! Our ward was going, so we decided that we needed to build ward trust and get to know the members. If you are friendly to the members, and they know you and trust you, they wont be afraid to give you a referral. So we woke up at 4 in the morningand met at the church. We planned to make it to the sunrise, but we didnt get there in time! We didnt go all the way to the top, but we went to about 8000 feet up. It was like 50 degrees outside, and all the Hawaiians were freaking out. They were like THIS IS THE COLDEST IVE EVER BEEN. hahaha I was just sitting there in my shorts laughing. We started up, and hiked switch backs down into the creator and ate lunch there. It felt like we were hiking on some ancient Mayan trail, but jk we are just in a volcano. When we got to the bottom, we ate some spam, fed some nenes, and explored in a lava tube. I talked to some people from Germeny, and then talked to one of the youth about serving a mission so it wasnt all in vain! Plus it was super fun and pretty! I feel asleep at the top because we got to the top a hour and a half before everyone else. So now Im sitting here with pink legs and aloe smeared all over them haha. We watched the broadcast yesterday, and I know that it was the right idea to go on that hike and be with the members. Missionary work is mostly through members, and we are here to help guide and hasten that processes, and so its important to get this ward missionary minded. From what I've been told, this ward is not totally focused on missionary work, so its important that we get them there. As it was said in the broadcast, every member is a missionary, and it was important that we gain this wards trust so we could remind them of that without being offensive. I know this is a place where missionary work could florish, but we need the help of the members. They are amazing people I know that they can bring the work of salvation to many.I know that the Lord has sent me to this specific place, and that he has sent me here for a reason. Each struggle is a lesson. Each success is a blessing. I know that if I continue to work hard, the Lord wont let me fail. One thing that is really amazing to me is how much Ive grown spiritually here! I love my Savior, and all he's done for me. I cant process the events that transpired in Jerusalem, but I know how they continually bless my life. Christ lives.Good days come, bad days come, but overally the worst days are starting to be better than my old best, because I am doing for and with the Lord. It sounds like the fires are picking up at home, I hope everyone is okay! Its weird being so distant from news and sports. Its like Im the person who is a week late on watching the lastest eppisode of Gossip Girl and everyones talking about it and wont tell me anything about it. But thats missionary work. I might be having too much fun here. I LOVE HAWAII. OH BRAH YOU WANT TO GET BATIZED YEAH?Keep me in the loop people. I love hearing about you. Tell me about your life. Anyway, long story short, the church is true.BYEEEEEEEElder Gleave
Hows it.Sorry I didn't write yesterday, we got wrapped in a hike that took most of the day. We pulled off on the side of a winding road, and everyone piled out. On the right of the street there was a giant wall of 30 foot bamboo. The whole street was COVERED with bamboo, and there was a little entrance where everyone in the zone started filing into. It was literally a bamboo forest. It was like we went into Narnia, and instead of a vast kingdom and talking animals there were yelling missionaries and bamboo everywhere. Eventually we came upon a river, which we followed until we eventually came upon a stunning waterfall. There was people jumping off it into the pool below, and let me tell you, the temptation was real. It looked SO FUN. We climbed up so more and there was another waterfall! Literally so amazing. Whenever we were climbing through the bamboo it felt like we were pandas lol.So I've only got 30 minutes so I gotta make this quick, also sorry to anyone whose e-mail I might have not gotten to. You aren't forgotten!Work is picking up here in Kahului! So 3 weeks ago I started out with 0 investigators and no we probably have 11 or 12! We got 9 last week. You might have missed that. 9 FREAKING INVESTIGATORS. WHAT. So awesome! Talk about miracle from the Lord. I know that the Lord has blessed us with help bring sheep unto the fold. It's still super frustrating though because no one is ever there for their appointments, but thats okay. That's missionary work! Hopefully we will be able to get a solid investigator soon! I know that the Lord helped us out. Any investigator we have gotten was from the help of the Lord, nothing on my own accord! Me and my companion are getting along better, the zone is doing great, and the people of Hawaii are such strong saints.Its super awesome, Im totally a minority. Theres people from all walks of the island life here. Microneaseans, Polyneans, everything.Just a couple of funny stories: The other night, we were at our dinner and the Piilani Elders (The Tongan Ward) called us and said that we needed to run splits. So me and Hunter got in the car with them, and we went to the Tongan members house. The investigator showed up, and then I realized that it was a Tongan Dinner. The bad thing about Tongan Dinners is that if you are white, they like to see how much you can eat. And its not very polite to say no. So I've already eaten and they sit down and say "Here Elders, eat eat!" and just pile on my plate. Im not kidding you when I tell you that the struggles are real. I had to pray for strength to finish the meal. Talk about Struggasaurs-Rex. But like always, the Lord came through, and suddenly my belly felt like it was empty everytime I took a bite.Speaking of my belly, I ate a whole can of Spam the other day. My belly didnt like that.We hunt cockroaches like every night at our pad. We run around with hangers yelling "Ipis!" (Cockroach in Tagalog) and then smack em till their dead. Sometimes we catch lizards and play with them too.Getting up in the morning is getting harder and harder, but ya know it has to be done. I think the jetlag is wearing off. It's weird, I get more sleep than at college, but I'm like 6156546846844665564x more tired. I'm a firm believer that when have a big spiritual experience, you are incredibly more tired afterward.Regardless of the lack of PROGRESSING investigators, we have seen people's faith increase when it comes to less actives. Which, by my book, is a win. Regardless if they dont count as a baptism, I think bring less actives back to church is just as big part of missionary work as any other. If I can get someone to go back to church, it is as just as big as a win then anything else.Anyway, I got to go. Let me know if the fires get any closer! Just use your best judgement on my things to keep. Anyway, Im proud of you Dad! Good job being a missionary! Sounds like the spirit inspired you to use that question, props for listening to it! We might not be reach the 200 goal in the mission, we will probably end up mis-180's but we still have a week! Dad, I would encourage you to read Preach My Gospel. Even if you are not going on a mission, It is valuable to know because we should be always striving to share the gospel. And its a good testimony boost. Actually, everyone should read it!Ive really seen and felt the power of the Lord these few days. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for his influence and love. He truely strengthens me where I am week. I also feel eternally blessed by the Atonement. Alma-13 has really been a comfort these last few days! LOOK IT UP.Keep me in your hearts! Dad I got your letter today. I sent the letter to you guys on monday so thats how long it takes. Will you post my letter address online?I love you all! The church is true!Ke Akua Pua Hui Hou KakuGod Be with you till we meet again.Elder Gleave