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

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