Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week 37: Well...That Escalated Quickly

Hello Family,

So it's been a crazy week. Like really quite weird. So on Wednesday, I arrived at my new area to meet my new companion. He's super funny. Just this short, stalky wrestler/hunter who loves joking around. I love him. But anyway, he just came from Kona, so we were both new in the area. Well, when we got there, we didn't have a phone, we didn't have a map, we were completely lost. It was pretty amusing actually! That night we went to bed and we didn't have a phone, so I thought to myself, "If anything happens, we won't have a phone to call for help, we don't have a car (oh yeah btw I'm in a walking area), and we have no idea where the nearest gas station is. We're done for." Luckily, we made it through the night without anything bad happening, but since then there has been some crazy things happening. I'll label them in bullet points so you can easily follow my train of thought. 

1) Thursday, Elder Humps and I were walking down the street, completely lost . We had no idea where we were going. So I was like, "Let's go down this street". After a while, we noticed a dude walking behind us, and he comes up to us and is like, "Why did you decide to go on a mission?" And it was weird because that's what my comp and I were talking about before he asked us. And then we told him, then the next thing he asked was, "What are the steps for joining your church?"...Well that escalated quickly. So we walked with for about 45 mintues, and we were like, well we'd like to meet up with you again soon. And he was like, "How about tomorrow?" and so we agreed, and we told him that we were going to teach him about the Plan of Salvation, and he was like "Can I start now?" and so we taught him some, and he was the most solid investigator I've ever talked to.  My companion and I were like, "This is stupid. It can't be this easy. It never happens." And then so we went back the next day and taught him the rest of the POS along with almost everything about the church, and he agreed to a baptismal date. He was then like, "I don't want to go home. Can I see your church?" So we took him there, and he like, "Man I like this." And my comp and I were seriously considering that we got punked. That he was a return missionary messing with us. But we focused on a few things during our lesson: POS, service, the Atonement, doing work in this life, and eternal familes. Well on Sunday, he came to church. We were like, "No way, this is too good to be true." THEN at church, the three talks at sacrament were on the POS, service, and the Atonement. THEN the Sunday school lesson was on doing work, THEN the Elders Quorum's lesson was on eternal families. It was weird. It was like everyone in church was playing a giant prank on me. He told us as he was walking out, "It feels like Heavenly Father has been talking to me all day today. I feel like I'm walking on air." 

2) Right when Elder Humphreys and I became companions, the first thing he says to me was, "Oh, by the way, I was teaching a guy in Kona, and he came to Oahu becuase his mom has cancer. He wants to be baptized., so we might have a baptism here any second." On Friday, he calls the kid, and the guy was like, "I don't want to wait till I'm back in Kona. I want to be baptized here. You're here. I've prayed about it, I want to be baptized tomorrow. You call your people, I'll call my people. Let's get the ball rolling. Let's do this."...That escalated quickly... All he wanted at his baptism was his Mom, the branch president of the Tongan branch, and us with another set of missionaries. So we called the Tongan branch president and we were like, "Hey, we have a baptism tomorrow." Anyway, we had a baptism at 8 pm that night, and only seven people were there. It was crazy! He is 6 foot 5 in, and we couldn't find a suit that would fit him, so my comp gave him his white pants. The bad news is my comp is 5 foot 6, so they came up to his mid calfs on him. Plus the water drained a little so it was only to his knees, so when we baptized him, we had to have him lay down while he was in the water so he'd be completely under. Regardless, it was one of the most spiritual baptisms I've been to. 

3) We were visiting all the people on our part-member list, and we came up to the last house before we were going to dinner. the kids were like, "ELDERS!" and went and got their dad. So this HUGE Hawaiian bruddah with no shirt on, tatted up, walks out and was like, "Hey Elders, I thought you were coming at 6. why are you here now?" (So there are four missionaries in this ward now, and there was one who had been there before me and my comp came in. And so he was referring to their lesson with those elders at 6, but this family was in our area so he should technically be ours.) "Oh, well we didn't know." "Oh, you're not the other guys, Where are the other missionaries. Tell them we are meeting at 6! We have to start the lessons for baptism." "Wait, who's getting baptized?" "My kids!" So long story short, all four of us went over and taught his kids and set them up with a baptismal date. 

4) There is an awesome Hawaiian guy who lives below us, and we introduced ourselves to him our first day. a few days later we went up and talked to him while he was waiting for the bus. he was like, "Hey Elders!" We talked to him for a little and then we noticed that he had a "Island Air" shirt on and we were like, oh do you work for an airline? "Yeah. I can get you buddy passes so you can fly to any of the islands for free if you guys want." ...Well, that escalated quickly... We've only met him once and he wants to give us free airline tickets. 

Well all in all, from the span of Thursday to Sunday, we got three people with baptismal dates, baptized a future missionary, and free tickets to any of the Hawaiian Islands. You could say it's been an interesting week. If you've made it to this point, you're probably sick of reading my Email, but I just want to say that I know this work is real. That God lives. And that the church is true. I hope you are all enjoy this weather as much as I am! haha jk 

Elder "I'm not sure if that's his body or a potato with a head" Gleave

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week 36--Out with the Old; In with the New

To all my favorite couples out there, I wish you a most sincere Happy Valentine's Day.
As for me, I'll stick with my ever-deepening relationship with food.
I hope all is going well! I heard the Browns made it to Colorado! It's awesome whenever people from the mission connect with people from home. Speaking of people of mission people and home people connecting, Jun Son, Elder Son, who served in Colorado came home from his mission and gave his homecoming talk. So he saw me give my farewell talk when he was a missionary, and I saw him give his homecoming talk when I'm a missionary. Very cool experience. We talked a lot about Colorado. He says he misses Texas Road House and Garlic Knot. I DON'T BLAME HIM.
I only have a little bit of time because I'm going out to lunch with Jacob and he is on his way now, but just wanted to give you guys a heads up: IM BEING TRANSFERED. I'm going to Ewa Beach 2nd ward in the Waipahu stake. I'm really excited. I'm sad I am leaving the city, I have grown to love it, but I am excited about new adventures.
We have been teaching this couple who is homeless, and they sleep by the church. The Dad is a LA member who was innactive for 34 years and decided to come back a month ago, and the wife is a non-member. We gave her a Book of Mormon last week, and she hasn't put it down since! They seem so much happier ever since we've started teaching them. On Friday, we had a dinner drop off, so people just gave us some dinner plates, and we decided to bring it to them and have dinner with them. Even though we were on the ground, eating with some homeless people, I felt the spirit so strong and it was probably my favorite dinner. I LOVE THE CHURCH.
Something that makes me sad about leaving is having to leave the Fitzgerald family. It's a family we've been teaching and we go over every week to eat diiner with them. I've really grown to love them and I am going to be sad when I have to miss their baptism. Oh well, I just feel blessed I get to teach them!
One upside about serving in the city is how tight you become with the homeless people. They LOVE missionaries! It's so awesome! They may be the craziest people to talk to, but who doesn't need a little a crazy in their life? Now that I think about, people probably think I'm a little crazy...side effects of being stuck with the same person for 6 weeks 24/7 and having a diet that consists of nothing but rice and fast food.
I'm sorry this email isn't creative or funny or that spiritual. I recently really have been enjoying 2nd Nephi 4. So if I could leave you with a message about Jesus, it's don't let your past sins burden you and bring you down. Lift your hearts and rejoice in Christ! If you are stuck in the past, you can't progress to the future. "The past is to be learned from, but not to be lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences, but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future." --Jeffery R Holland.
I love the gospel, and am thankful for my Savior. I'm going into my 7th transfer, that means I only have 10 more to get people into this church! I wish it'd never end.
WELL, I hope cupid is kind this Valentine's day. LOVE YA'LL
Lover Boy Gleave

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 35--Pre-Valentines Lovin

Yo what's up family! 

First off, weird story at church this week. There was a guy who just came home from his mission from New Zeland in the ward I'm in, and we were in Elder's Quorum and he told us that he served in three missions because of visa Issues. So I was like "Oh what missions?" "I started in Colorado Denver South." "Oh did you serve in the Ken Caryl area?" "Oh yeah, I served in that ward. With the Bishop who has that...daughter? (HAHA MCKAE! Of course that's all he remembers) And drives the beamer?" "WHAT. THAT"S MY HOME WARD." His name is Jun Son, I guess Elder Son. But he was there during the three weeks when I was home between college and my mission. He said we met, but I don't remember meeting him. That shows you how good of a member missionary I was back home. oops. ANYWAY. That was weird! Plus I met two other people who served in the Denver South Mission this week too! Maybe its time for me to go home. ha nope! I love the mission too much! 

It's been pretty rainy here lately. I love it. It feels like it's FINALLY fall. Too bad its suppose to be winter. Everyone is cruising around in jackets and pants and it's 65 degrees outside. My comp is always walking around and saying, "ITS SO COLD." Ha. You don't even know cold. 

Things I've been missing of late
1) Mariah Carey and Beyonce
2)Yelling in public
3) Cruising 16th street mall
4) Dance parties

On a mission, random memories come to your head and you're just like, "Shoot. I miss that." But then you think about how short the mission is and you're like, "Shoot. That can wait. I GOTTA GO TEACH." 

I've realized that at the beginning of my mission, I viewed the mission as like one big sacrifice. But slowly, and I can't tell you when this happened, I realized that a mission is just one great privilege. I'm not sacrificing ANYTHING import, besides maybe a wedding and family time, that isn't worth the lessons I've learned, the people I've met, and the growth I've experienced. A mission, as much as sometimes I don't want to admit it, is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. 

So there is this family we've been working with here. They are incredibly the best. They came to church this week! During gospel principles, we were learning about the creation, and the teacher asked, "How does God's creation show that he loves us?" And the Dad raised his hand and said, "Well, besides maybe a few things, everything in the world is super awesome." That's just the way he is. Well, I hope I can set them up with a baptismal date before I leave! BTW, transfers are a week from Wednesday, and President told my comp he's training, so there's a good chance I'm leaving. I will keep you updated. 

This week, a Marshellese lady came up to us in Goodwill and told me that she use to meet with the missionaries in Marshall Islands, and wanted to meet with us in Hawaii. Unfortunately, there is a ward that is marshallese speaking, so we had to refer her to them, but the sisters told me just now that she is the Queen of Marshall islands. Pretty cool...

Elder Old LEgs Gleave

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 34: Trails, tales and emails


One more week in paradise. You know, lots of swimming, surfing, tanning on the beach, drinking virgin alcoholic drinks. That's the life! Just kidding we don't do that. We actually do this: walking, sweating, hand shaking, and food eating. Lots of all those! 

So in case if the beginning of me email wasn't proof enough, and including the grammar in this sentence, I am incredibly tired. So please bear with me. The reason I am so tired is because this morning, I gathered with some of the more fit Elders to climb something called Koko Head. Basically, it is a giant mountain, where at the top they have a military bunker, which was probably used for radio communication. Anyway, it is suppose to be for a tram-like structure that runs on tracks, but since it is retired, everyone just uses the tracks as a hiking trail! I just read a review on the hike and it went a something like this, "It wasn't really a hike, more like a stair master from Hell." Apparently, it is something like 1,000 steps? Yeah, you could say my out of shapeness is catching up to me. No more McDonalds and hot dogs for me. But the view was AMAZING. Totally worth it. 

This week was quite the week! Me and the Fijian decided we were going to teach as many lessons as we could. And so we just went out and busted our butts. Long story short, to release any pent up anticipation built from that last sentence, we got 17 lessons. Now that's not a whole lot, but it is the most I've ever gotten on my mission! So that was a win. Working hard is really quite rewarding in itself. 

On Sunday we were late to Sacrament because we had to walk one of investigators to church. We got there for the second half and he was like, "Ya'll got me to church. I ain't gonna sing. I'm no singer. Ya got me to the first step but that's it!" I was feeling a little bit sly and was about to tell him the only way he could join our church was by singing a solo in front of everyone, but I decided I better not mess with his salvation so I held off. 

The mission is full of lots of ups and downs, in fact many in one day, and I've just decided that no matter what happens I am just going to be happy with the circumstances and trust in the Lord. Often times during the week I'm worried that this person isn't progressing, or im not teaching the right thing, or I'm not doing the right thing, but I decided just to do my best, and the Lord will work through my inadequacies. As always though, I feel extremely blessed to be a missionary. 

Hope all is well! 
Better than my legs at least
Elder "Koko Headed" Gleave