Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 16: It's just been one of those weeks

Hey there family!
How is everything going? Heard mom made a spur of the moment trip to Italy. Not surprised. Haha just kidding....
So this has been a really weird week. It started off really good, then it got really hard, then it got really spiritual, then it ended super miraculously. Let's start from the beginning.
So on the Monday, we ate dinner with a girl who was baptized around two years ago. Her parents aren't part of the church and we had a really really good dinner. We talked all about the church, and the spirit was there, and I could tell the girl was really happy.
On Tuesday, we went over the a house where the family we've been really working with  have three unbaptized kids. We talked to them for like 2 hours which is really amazing! Apparently, they are pretty reluctant to let missionaries in so it ended up being such an amazing experience. We commited them to pray as the family, and we did it right then. I could definitely feel the spirit. I know that Heavely Father is so very happy when families come closer together in the gospel. They invited us to dinner on Thursday!
Wednesday was kinda hard. We knocked on all these door, and no one answered, and we didn't know what to do. So then we knocked on this door, and we were like "We are missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have you ever talked to us before?" and then they invited us in, which never usually happens, so we were excited! Anyway, they turned out to be Born-again Christians and so we got into an hour-long bible bash. Basically, it was my first bible bash and it SUCKEDDD. 
Thursday was THE SAME THING. We ran into two people who didn't think the BOM was true. COME ON. They had stupid reasons, but still, it was really discouraging. So we decided to go to our favorite family in the ward, the Browns. He calmed me down, and he gave me a lot of reassuring advice. He doesn't know how much he helped me, but it's amazing how much one person's testimony can strengthen yours. He also gave me A LOT of advice on how to be better missionary.
Friday we went on exchanges, so it was nice to just go into someone else's area and not have to worry about my people for a day. I could just focus on helping his area.
Then on Saturday, we went to go see ELDER HOLLAND! Holy cow. Imagine an amazing talk that Elder Holland could give and that's how it was. He was passionate, he was yelling, he was crying and he was hitting the podium with his fist, except the crazy thing was that it was spiritual the minute he start talking!!! I know that he is an appostle of the Lord. I could feel it with every portion of my being. It was a feeling unlike any other I could describe. I couldn't break my focus from his speech. Oh my goodness. I love him. PLUS I SHOOK HIS HAND!!! I SHOOK ELDER HOLLAND'S HAND!!! HE'S AN APPOSTLE!!!! I was so spiritually enlighted.
On Sunday, it was a really amazing day! We set up like 6 appoinments for next week! That has to be a new record! And when we were at dinner, there was a family whose grandchild needs to be baptized. He's 9. I was asked, "Will you baptize him?" I was like ummmm....uhhhh....welll...i guess so....JUST KIDDING I WAS LIKE UMMMM YES! So we are teaching them this week! I'm so so so so excited! I can't wait!
So this week was some highs and some lows, but I know that through our dilligence we were blessed by the Lord. I know I may not be perfect, but I'm honestly doing my best and Heavenly Father blessed me. Plus my son (my companion) is doing really amazing so I am so proud of him! He's teaching me! He's a good missionary!
Anyway, all is good! Love you family!
Elder Gleave

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week 15: Miracles all around me.

So the past few weeks have been a major struggle. I've been under the weather, adjusting to a new companion who's new to the mission, and struggling to learn the area.  Some crazy things have been happening.

A couple weeks ago, we were riding our bike by this guy's house and I saw him raking leaves outside, but I didn't think anything of it, so I was just going to ride on by. But right when I passed him, the spirit hit me so strong and was like, "ASK HIM TO HELP" and I was like uhhh....okay? But we stopped, and he agreed that we could help him bag it, but on a different day. So finally on Saturday we got to help him. He was very happy for our help, but I thought he was going to help us while we put the leaves in the bag. But he was like, "you guys do this, while I go and clean the shower" and I was like DANGITTTT. Anyway, long story short  Elder Horsley and I cleaned the whole thing by ourselves. There was 13 bags of leaves we had to clean up! Plus they were from a mango tree, so there was rotten mango everywhere. Which also meant there was cockroaches EVERYWHERE. After we were done, we were about to leave, and he was like "let's go grab some lunch!" so he took us to go get some pizza, and he told us all about how he is a recovering from some addictions, and so we taught him about the Atonement and repentance!  He seemed super interested, so he said we could come back. 

Later that day, we were at dinner, and the members were like "hey heads up I am bringing a neighbor" and she was really really open and excited to talk about spiritual things. She was like, I need to have you guys over for dinner! and so afterward, we asked her to take the missionary lessons and she accepted! Lots of miracles are happening here in Waialua! We aren't doing anything special, just getting out there and Heavenly Father is doing the rest! I feel so blessed and so excited for the potential that is happening in this area. I can feel the Lord's hand in our work! 

Thanks for all the bday wishes and the package! I'm using the little notes all the time!! I love the basketball hoop too! We went to probably my favorite family for dinner. They made me a cake and it was awesome. We may have spent three hours there, but that's okay it was my birthday. The next day we helped them plant, and he gave me a plant I named Sylvester Stallone because he's a fighter. 

The other night, I opened our door and I saw a cane spider, which looks like a tarantula, about the size of my hand sitting on my shoes. It was pretty cool to find out that I am DEATHLY afraid of spiders. so that was fun. I went to McDonalds and saw the news and pretty much found out that the world is in the crapper. Thats really sad. I guess its signs of the times. 

I live in the beach town thats really small, so I love it! Not a whole lot of people, just really spread out. There's lots of whites out here. We are in the country, so it's really relaxed and laid back. I'm so happy here. My companion is awesome and really doing well. We have potential for 6 baptisms for the next few months so that makes me excited. 

Being a trainer makes me realize how much I don't really know. Thats okay, the Lord is strengthing me. I love it here! I love this church! Thank you for everything and annie thanks for the package! I love the Lord

Elder Gleave
ps GO DONKEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! sounds like they are tearing it up!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 14: Called to surf

Hey fammmmmmm

Basically, i love it here. IT'S SO PRETTY. We live behind the church, so it's really fun to wake up and see the Lord's house right next me. We live a couple of blocks from the beach, so whenever we are on bikes, we can see the beach as we pass by! 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I'm on a bike again! It's really weird, we have like one of the largest areas in the mission, but we are on bikes...haha that's okay that's missionary work! Luckily, I'm young, I'm kinda fit, and i can loose some weight! 

It stinks cause the last two pdays, whenever i sit down to write emails, its like my mind goes blank, so I will try to remember everything important that goes on! 

There's a military base that we covered, so on Tuesday we helped a military family move in. Then we went to Pizza Bobs afterward which is a local restaurant in Haleiwa. That was awesome. It's almost as great as the name sounds.

Wednesday, we went and cleaned the USS Missouri (however you spell it) at Pearl Harbor which was super cool! We swept the boat then they showed us the hospital room in the bottom of the boat. I sometimes think how different my life would be if I lived during that time peirod. Then we got ice cream so that was like a cherry on top. 

On Thursday we had a sports night with all the youth! That was amazing. So many non- members. I love the youth in the ward.

On Friday, we went to a birthday party for a 3 year old, and there was pizza from Costco. It was on the grass next to the beach, so we got to see the sunset and everything! It was with one of my favorite families in the ward, so that was a plus.

On Saturday, a really cool Tongan gave us breakfast. He's been a little less active, so it was really awesome. Then we went to some recent convert's house, and they fed us Thai food and stake (becuase she's Thai and he's American) and it was awesome to hear how their lives changed through the gospel. Then we went to a mission call opening with a girl who is the only member of her family. That was awesome!!

Sunday was my son's birthday, so we went to all these members house and they made us cake and cupcakes. it was good. He's 19.  He's awesome and has an awesome testimony.

At night, I star gaze, becuase we can see the Milkyway from where we are. 

As for work, it's super slow, but that's okay! Things will happen sooner or later.

So that's all I got. I love you all! Happy birthday to me!

Elder Gleave

ps go broncos and cougars!
pss sorry to those people I havent emailed yet. It WILL happen!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week 13: Under the Waialua Skies.....

Hey family!

How is everything at home? I heard about the game. WHAT A BUMMER. That's okay, it's hard to care too much when you are on a mission. Sounds like you had a good time in Virginia. I keep thinking how werid it would be coming back to here after the mission is done. 

So here's what my past week has been like. Monday and Tuesday was filled with a lot of goodbyes. We were so busy visiting member after member after member. I feel so loved here. They really treat the missionaries well! In two days we had 5 meals from members! FAMILY: FEED THE MISSIONARIES. LOVE THEM. It was so weird, Everytime I would look at something, or get on the bike, or do anything I would think, "this is the last time I am doing this..." Probably not the healthiest way to leave a place, but I was so sad. It was weird because at the beginning of three months I couldnt wait to leave but at the end of three months it felt like my home. But, I had to go. That's missionary life!

Wednesday was transfer meeting. So we woke up early to fly to Oahu! I bet we are one of the only missions to fly to our new areas. It was weird not to be a greenie at the transfer meeting. I saw all the young ones up there and it was so fun to see how nervous they were! So my new companion is named Elder Horsely. He's from Salt Lake area. He's 18 years old, so he JUST graduated high school, so he's pretty young. He's exciterd to work which is good. 

So we weren't 100% white washing. There was two Elders in the area, so we moved in too, making 4 in the ward. So we showed up at our new pad, and it didn't have beds set didn't have a shower doesn't have a closet rod...basically, we were starting from ground zero. It's been really hard because we didnt have an area book, so I didn't have any idea of what's been going on. We split up the area, so I had to steal all their former and less active records out the other companionship area book. It's been really nice having them there though! They really help out a lot. We've just been going around meeting members mostly. It's just been very hard because I don't know what Im doing still, and Horsely definitely doesn't know what hes doing! So we're learning together. 

My area is BEAUTIFUL. Imagine the really nice beaches, with the really nice surf that you think of when you think of Hawaii and that's where we live. All the major surfing compititions on Oahu are held in my area!! We ARE on the north shore. It's all country too. So beautiful! Apparently in a few months there will be 30 ft waves! I can't even wrap my head around that. I feel like the ocean is going to wash the shore away!! Is that possible? I'll keep you updated.

As of now, we have one investigator. That's okay though. We will build it up! 

Well I got to go! Happy Labor day!! I hope its a good holiday!

Love you all and stay strong in the gospel! The church is true!
Elder Gleave

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week 12--Here's the Scoop-di-Loop

Okay I have some big news. I hope you are all sitting down. Are you sitting? Okay good. Here it is.

Im leaving Maui.


So let me back track a little bit. This week has been kinda weird because usually once you are done training, you stay in the area you started and your trainer leaves.  Elder Hunter and I were CONVINCED this is what was happening. I had all these plans lined up for when my new companion arrived. We were going to visit all our investigators (which we finally have) and visit all our less actives, and I was ready to take over! So all week, I've had this mind set, and all week I've been prepping myself for taking over my area. It was hard for my companion to stay motivated because essentially it was "setting up appointments when he's not even going to be here". I didn't really understand, but he was a good sport and worked as usual. So this week was going really, really well. We finally had a few investigators who seemed interested in the church, the members were beginning to trust us, we were meeting and helping more and more people who were finally coming back to church! It was all going so well. I was letting Elder Hunter kind of call of some of the shots, because he was visiting members he wanted to see, since we assumed he was leaving. One of our favorite families was going out of town on Thursday, so we made sure HE took about a picture with them. 

So it was Friday morning, and guess what came in the mail? I yellow packet. That means I am for sure training!! I will have a new missionary to train in a place I am finally comfortable. I was already planning everything out, introducing him to all these new people, going to all our lessons with him, what I was going to do the first day; it was all going to be really amazing. I was actually excited. Later that night, I got a call. Elder Hunter hands me the phone, and he says "Mission President" (The Mission President always calls the trainers to make sure they accept). "Hello Mission President, this is Elder Gleave" "Hi Elder Gleave this is President Warner" After we exchanged some formalities, he asks "Elder Gleave, will you be willing to train a new missionary?" "Yes of course President" "Great! You will be be white wash training in Waialua." Wait, hold up. White wash? Waialua? (White washing is where you and your companion are both new to the area). This isn't right. I am suppose to stay here and work with our investigators. I couldn't tell if I was happy, sad, excited, or just plain freaked out! Everything was flashing through my head all at once. All the people we've been teaching, all the members we've eaten with, all the friends I've made; what's going to happen to them? How am I suppose to train someone who has absolutely zero idea what he's doing, in a place where I have never been, while I've only been  a missionary for 3 months. Heck, I barely know what I am doing! I didn't know what to think. My emotions were running haywire, I was struggling to comprehend it all. What began as confidence and excitement for the future, quickly became fear and stress. Fleeting self doubt was encompassing the fact that almost all my missionary inadequacies were being shoved in my face. The simplest of activities suddenly seemed impossible. I felt like I was going to throw up. Needless to say I didnt get much sleep that night.

I woke up the next morning, and everything just felt off. The whole day my mind was on what I was going to do. The whole day I just felt as if I was going to fail. Nerves were taking over my body. We found out that Elder Hunter was going to Molokai, so that means that two new elders are coming in our place. That also means that two new elders are going to try their best to not let things fall through the cracks. But what if they do? What if a person gets missed? What if they are lazy missionaries and everything we did for three months is for nothing? The stress began to build up.   All I wished is just to be home, to be where I was comfortable and away from it all. 

So I just prayed for Heavenly Father's help, to give me strength to finish the day. To calm my troubled mind. Right before church, I was reading a book about the Atonement of Christ. It talked about how Moses was instructed to lead his people out of Egypt, to run straight to the Red Sea, not knowing what was going to happen. Heavenly Father told him to go straight, and he blindly followed. Any mortal reasoning would have said go around the lake, but through Moses's faith, the water was parted. And it talked about Nephi, who had known no way of obtaining the brass plates from Laban, but he was instructed to go back, and he did with faith and the Lord produced. It also talked about the Savior. The fact that he had to endure such terrible pain, such an unfair suffering for a perfect person, that he had to have tremendous faith. He didnt want to go through it. He asked Heavenly Father to "remove this cup". But he had faith, such unwavering faith to finish the most sacred, and important act in human history. Heavenly Father needed the Atonement to be done, so our Savior went forth with unwavering faith. And that's how I needed to be. This is what I needed to hear. This was The Lord answering my prayers.

During sacrament that Sunday, I pondered on the words that were in that book. I prayed to Heavenly Father, asking in complete and totally faith to strengthen me in this calling. To go forth with unwavering faith. To give me confidence, and to calm my troubled mind. After sacrament, they called Elder Hunter and I up to the stand, and the whole ward sang "Aloha Oe" to us. It was such a sweet, sweet moment. My heart was touched. Afterwards, everyone came up to us, people I thought I barely effected, and were telling us how thankful they were that we served in their ward. People I didn't even know knew my name were so sincerely thankful for the service in their ward. It touched my heart. Fear was beginning to be replaced with love. During church, three return missionaries, including my bishop, all told me that they have no doubt in their minds that I would be fine. "Oh you? Ya I wouldn't worry about you." This was an answer to my prayers. And I felt as if I was getting better by the minute. I was finding unknown strength. Oh how the Lord knows me so very well! 

Although it was bitter-sweet to leave Kahului, I am just so very grateful I was able to serve here. Like good old Dr Seuss said, "Dont cry because its over, smile because it happened."  

I know that The Lord knows us, that He loves us with all his heart. I know His atonement can bless our lives no matter what situation we are in. Alma 7:11-12 testifies that Christ has felt every pain, temptation, sickness, and infirmity. And he can help us accordingly. Whenever we feel that we are all alone, there is always one who has been there, and that is our Savior. 

As for me? I leave Wednesday. I'm going to Oahu to meet my new son!! I have since gained a better perspective that I have 3 MONTHS to train him, so it doesn't need to be perfect right from the beginning. Im excited for what the future has in store, and I'm excited about all the new people I get to meet! and plus, Elder Holland is going to Oahu and holding a special missionary confrence on September 21st, and he wasnt going to Maui, so HOLLLLLLLLEEEERRRRRRRR!!!! I get to meet Elder Holland!!! 

Until further notice, send all mail to the mission office in Oahu. I will let you know soon of my adventures!

Elder Gleave

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 11: First National President Warner's Maui Zone Hawaii Honolulu Mission High Water Mark Celebrity Baptism Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for Salvation

Hey fam and friends!
Everything's going well here in Mauuuuuiiiiii. We've been really really busy. Last week we set up a lot of appointments for this week...and they all fell through. EXCEPT one. We taught this kid named Sydney, and man did it go well. We were talking about past prophets (Moses, Noah, etc) and he was like "Is there prophets now?!" Why yes, thank you for asking! We do! So we taught him about the restoration, and he was very excited. He told us he would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Another really neat experience: we tracted into this lady last week, and we usually try to say prayers as our tracting method here in Maui. So we asked this lady if we could say a prayer with her and she was like, "Why yes. I need a prayer. A few years ago my son died, and today's his birthday. I could use a prayer." And so we said one with her, and this week we managed to go back. When we went back, she was having a yard sale, and so we talked to her about where her son was. She told me that she knows that she is going to see him again, but we explained to her about the Spirit World, and read Alma 40. Which says that anyone who dies will be in a place where they can rest from all their worries and cares. When we read that to her, she breathed a sigh of relief. I knew she was happy to hear those words, and the spirit touched her heart. 

Unfortunately, Satan must have been working really hard because neither came to church. I was so excited to see them! I EVEN GAVE A TALK! But we must be close to experiencing success because I can feel Satan working harder and harder around me; luckily Heavenly Father is stronger.

Those two were pretty much the crowning events of the week. Besides that, I saw my fav person Rodger. Even with having no legs, and having barely any eye sight, and dying twice (literally flat lining), he's still so happy. When I go over there I don't know if I'm teaching him or he's teaching me. 

I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. It was weird because in their area they baptize a lot, probably because their ward gives them a lot of referrals, so it was a very interesting day. The zone leader I went with, Elder Orminston, is a lot like me so it was really weird going from a companion who is nothing like me, to someone who is exactly like me. It was really fun! But I spent the day in a car area (because they have one) so it was also weird riding around all day. Even though we taught more lessons, because I wasn't on the bike it felt like I wasn't doing as much work. That's one of the rewarding aspects of biking...when you come home during the day and you're all sweaty you feel super accomplished! I love my area. It's a challenge, but its way worth it. 

So this month our theme is "Baptism Awareness Month" or B.A.M., and so we went on a "fun run" like in The Office. We were raising baptism awareness haha. Anyway, it was a mile run (which I walked) around our church up in upcountry, and then we spent the rest of the day doing a slip and slide (which was soap on a tarp on a hill). So basically, it was the best P-day ever. 

And speaking of crazy events, I just went to one of the Zone Leaders baptisms, and there was a girl there that was Brooke Harper's best friend (besides me of course). So pretty weird. 

Anyway, I love you all. The church is true.

Elder Gleave