Sunday, August 4, 2013

Week 8: Tropical storm GLEAVE

Theres a storm coming...a big storm...with lots of water involved...A STORM OF BAPTISM BY ELDER GLEAVE! 
Just kidding...
Well not really! Nothing planned yet. 
Anyway...Hey fam! Whats up? First off...Miss you all! Heres the deal, I guess a tropical storm is supposed to come but I dont even think its happening because its not raining. So dont worry dont worry about me! Alls well from Maui. Literally.
Me and my companion have vowed to make this a better transfer. We decided that this is going to be a harder working transfer.  And let me tell you...its been WORTH IT.
Ive been out a little over 2 months now, and it feels like this is my normal life. It was werid to think that I couldnt watch TV or movies or anything for two years, and now its weird to think that I ever did that! Mission life can be very stressful at times. Sometimes you just want a break, but you cant until monday! But then most of the times, you are just involved with the work that you never want it to end! Man, I love missionary work!
Sometimes I struggle with the fact that other missionaries are teaching more lessons, or getting more baptisms than I am, but I have to constantly remind myself that success is based on my commitment to serve. And as long as I am out there working as hard as I can, and as long as I am remaining as obedient as I can, then I am a successful missionary. Its also hard, because most of our success is coming through Less Active members, which doesnt show up as "numbers" so the zone leaders think that we arent good missionaries. But thats okat I could honestly care less about numbers. 
This week we had like 5 or 6 less actives come back to church which is like a NEW RECORD. This ward has 500 members in it, but only less than 100 come to church each sunday, so its a long road ahead of us. Its hard too because since Hawaii is such a touristy area, and tourists generally like doing things on sunday, a lot of the people CANT come to work because they work. It is also a very difficult obstacle for investigators also. They have the desire to go to church, they just cant because they work on sunday. It warms my heart when I see the less actives at church because I know that they are making that step to live those covenants they made with Heavenly Father and come closer to him. 
This week has been a lot better than the weeks in the past! I am feeling better about myself each day. When we are more obedient, I dont have to go through my day worrying about what I didnt do that day that I was suppose to, and more about what I am doing that very moment. And we've been more successful! 
Me and my companion had a very cool moment with one of our less active members. Usually, we teach his children because they are not members, but on Tuesday we decided to focus on him only. We talked to him about why he got baptized, and he told us about how his wife left him, and all the members went and visited her and not him, so it really offended him. He decided then that he wasnt going to go back to church, and he has been going to the Salvation Army Church ever since (apparently they have a church). The Spirit had been preparing me all week to be bold, and so I straight up just asked him if he believed this to be the true church. That was very scary, because sometimes people dont react well to that question. But without hesitation, he told me that he did. He explained to us that he knew this was the true church, and that he needs to go back, but hes too nervous to do it. He doesnt have the courage. So we explained that we are only here to help him, and to help him get back to church, and that we will be there every step of the way. Its hard because he knows that the people of the church might lead you astray, but the church will never lead you astray, but its hard to remake that commitment to live the life of the gospel. Being a member of this church is hard, but its defiantly worth it. The Lord appreciates the faithfulness of living such a hard life, and we are blessed in return. 
Also a cool experience, I was on exchanges with another Elder, and we visited this old man named Rodger (I might have mentioned him before) but he has no legs and is blind because of diabetes. (Which is scary! Everyone stay fit!!!) He's in similar, almost exactly the same situation as the person I just mentioned. He joined the church when he married his wife, then divorced her when she started getting into drugs and then he got offended at church and never went back. But we talked to him for 3 HOURS! (mostly him talking) but we did manage to squeeze in a restoration lesson to him and his wife. We taught them all about the restoration of the gospel, and the Spirit prompted the missionary I was with to ask if she wanted to be baptized! She said she would once she found out the church is true. But its hard because she works on sunday from 8-4 and she doesnt speak english that well, but I have faith that it will happen! I dont know how, but I know this baptism will happen if she discovers the truthfulness of this church for herself, and wants to be baptized. Rodger, her husband, asked for a Book of Mormon, and wants to come back to church! Its just hard with his lack of lower limbs and his dialysis, but with the help of the bishop and the ward members I believe he can come back to church! Its times like these when I feel confident that I am a successful missionary. Its when we help these people feel the spirit that I know that I am making a difference of their lives. Its tender mercies like these that make me more excited about living and serving in this gospel. 
But I have to be running now! I love this church. I love serving. One of the best things about this gospel is that it can help out anyone in any situation they are in! No matter if you are happy, or sad, it can bless your life! 
I love you all!
Elder Gleave

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