Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week 42--Cake District


Sorry if this email doesn't make any sense! I don't feel well so it's really hard to think, but here we go:

So it's the end of the transfer and things are looking good. My district formed an unusally tight bond this transfer, and named ourselves the "cake district". At the beginning of the transfer I was worried about how our district would do, but since we all became so tight, we started to see miracles. Each campanionship individually stepped up their missionary game, and worked even harder, because they saw how hard the others were working and didn't want to get left behind. In the end, the cake district accounted for 70% of our zone's baptisms, and this past week alone, the baptismal font saw six people enter into the fold of Christ. I'm so proud to be a part of the cake district. But what scared me is that transfers were coming up, and I was nervous all of us were going to be split up, that the cake district would be no more. But low and behold, the president thought the cake district, in fact the whole zone was doing so well that he put us on freeze! Which basically means no one gets transfered out. So you know that means--cake district for life.
What's even better, is that two of those baptisms were ours! We've been teaching this big Hawaiian dude's family, and he's been a member his whole life.  But when he was 17, he was trying to make a yellow light, and accidently hit a pedestrian. The court then sentenced him to 25 years of prison. And so for the next 11 years, he spent his life in prison, and when he got out, he got involved in things he wasn't suppose to. But he decided he needed to change his life. So he moved away, and started going to church. Every since then, he's been slowly turning his life around and we've been teaching his kids. He has two boys that are 11 and 14, but they don't look like it! One of them is as tall as me! They are great kids. On Sunday, we baptized the kids. I got the opportunity to baptize the youngest. It was the best! As they say in the mission, I finally got my feet wet. I was kinda nervous though, because I didn't know if I would be able to baptize him because of how big he was, but it must of been the spirit or something because I had a sudden burst of strength and I was able to pull him out. I almost fell back into the water though. I definitly stumbled. But it was all good in the hood.
The reason why I like this story is that their dad, the one who went to prison, is a rougher-looking guy. He has tattoos all over his body; he's 6-5 and 200 something pounds, has diamond earrings and would be the last person you would expect in church. Except without fail, he's there. And it doesn't matter what you look like, or what you've done, all that matters is what you are doing now, and he truly represents that!
Another cool thing happened to me and my comp. We got out of sacrament and someone told us that we were teaching the gospel principles class, and on missionary work of all things. We were a little nervous, but how hard was it to teach a class about what we do everyday. When we got in there, we noticed a lady whose husband is an inactive member, and she's a non member, and who the elders have been trying to work with. Well she came to Church all by herself that week. And so we were teaching the lesson, and she was silently crying, and writing down notes, and she even told a story about how she did missionary work. Then after the lesson, she goes up to the ward mission leader and says, "I want to be baptized on April 4th. I've already taken the lessons like 20 times, so I just need a refresher, but let's make this happen." okay! And so it was a total miracle. But that is just what happens in the cake district.
Anyway, outta time. But just know I love this Church and I know it's true, and that anyone who has any doubt about should just ask the big man up top.
Gleave out.
1) Baptism for Havon and Jonovan
2) Marcus Phipps family took us to dinner!
3) I bought a "C" Head Band for Cake district
4) It left a blue stain on my forehead

Friday, March 21, 2014

Week 41--False Alarm


Fun fact of the day:  Spam has a mascot. His name is Spammy! It's a minature pig. How do I know this? Because I love spam. Plus I ate it this week.
Okay so this week has been pretty great! Just a few stories to touch upon. The other day I was on exchanges with some Elders in my district. We were driving down the road, and one of the Elders was like, "Oooohhh...Looky at we got here!" And it was a Lambo! Just driving around like it was no big deal. I don't know if the driver saw me take a picture, or people are always staring at him, but when we drove up next to him, he just gave us a casual wave without even looking at us. It was awesome though. Then, like ten minutes later, we were driving around the mean subburbs of Ewa Beach, and the litttle Philipino Elder I was with was like, "Oh my gosh. I just saw an eagle! I just saw an Eagle!" And his companion was like, "No way. There's not even eagles in Hawaii..." And so we turned around to go see what it was, we drove up to find out it was a peacock just running around on top of people's houses! A peacock! I don't where it came from, or how it got there, but all I can tell you is the Philipino Elder really wanted to eat him. He even got out and tried catching him. "It's like a big chicken!" He kept yelling. I secretly wish he caught the bird, but such a majestic creature deserves its freedom. False Alarm, not an eagle.
We were walking around on the road the other day, and these two Samoan boys were sitting outside. We went up and started talking to them, and one of them was like, "Oh I've never talked to missionaries before. I'm really interested in what you believe." Great! They were two 19 year old guys, who want to learn about the Church! So we start teaching them, and we told them we'd come back. We were extra excited, because the other boy had six kids that lived in the house, and the parents were members. We just assumed they were less-active. We were all excited that we could start teaching a family of eight. So we went back and started talking to the kid, and he was like, "Oh yeah. We are all members. We go to the Samoan Ward." False Alarm. But the one kid who said he's never talked to missionaries wasn't a member, so we are excited to teach him!
I guess the best story of the week is this one: Darryl was baptized last Sunday, so that means he needed to be confirmed this Sunday. We were really excited all week, but halfway through the week his phone got shut off because he ran out of minutes. We had no way of contacting him. We went by around 8:45 am on Sunday to see if he needed a ride, but no one answered. We were thinking to ourselves, "Oh crap. He has no ride to Church and he has no phone." But something inside of me just told me to keep having faith; to not give up on him. Church starts at 10:30 am, so that didn't give him much time. In my mind, I secretly hoped his fellowshipper arranged some sort of ride to get him to church, but that was a stretch. We got to Church at 10, and no Darryl. His fellowshipper walked in, no Darryl. Things were not looking good. About 10 minutes before Church starts, my companion looks out the door and says, "Nooo way. THAT'S DARRYL!" False Alarm. Darryl had walked the two and half miles to church so he could be confirmed. He left at 8:30 am, so we just missed him, but he had enough faith and deisre to walk the 2.3 miles to the chapel. I'm not even sure if most members would do that, and he was only baptized a week earlier. He was so excited to be there. After the confirmation, he sat down next to me, and told me, "That was amazing. My hands are shaking that was so amazing." Darryl is truly an amazing man. He is literally walking proof that if you sumbit your will to the Lord, he will bless your life more than you can imagine. I feel blessed to witness such an amazing soul come unto Christ.
That day, we were in the chappel, and my companion and I heard a voice behind us say, "Don't mess with rock and roll." I thought for sure Elvis Presselly had been ressurected early and come to the Ewa  Beach 2nd Ward to greet me. False Alarm. It was our down syndrome friend who comes to all our church meetings and baptisms. He's really awesome and loves doing Hulk Hogan and Elvis impressions during sacrament meeting.
But as for now folks, "You don't want to be around, when Hulk Hogan comes around".

Elder "Mad for March" Gleave

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 40--Lau Lau and Peaches


I'll start off today with a story.
My companion and I were just going to visit one of our less active members, but they weren't home so we decided to take a rest on the curb. While we were sitting there, a giant truck drove up that I saw pass us on the main street just a few minutes eariler. And when I say giant, I mean GIANT. It was a F-450 that was lifted and it had probably two feet tall tires. So keep that in mind while I tell the story. So I hear this guy on his cell phone, and it went something like this, "Yeah yeah yeah, I'll talk to you later." And then he signals for us to come talk to him. My chin barely reaches the bottom of the window, that's how big this sucker is. He looks at us and this is the first thing he says, "My great-great grandpa was the first person to bring peaches into the Salt Lake Valley in 1850. Brigham Young stood in the same place 2 years earlier and said, 'this is the place'. My great grandpa owned 40 acers in Centerton or something like that, and was given to him by Brigham Young himself. My grandpa was the Secratary of Agriculture for Utah for 40 years. My two uncles shot Jesse James in the back." Turns out he's a super less-active member, but for the sake of time I will include quotes of our conversation. "I've smuggled everything into this country but guns and heroin." "I wish I could grow weed in Taiwan and sell it to Colorado" "There's a fine line between really bad, and really good. I walk that line." "When the zombies come out, I will be there standing shoulder to shoulder with you fighting. I've got my guns. I've got my food. I've got my water. I'm a prepper." "If my grandpa knew about this queer stuff going on right now he'd roll over in his grave." I wished for this car, I got it. I wished for this watch, I got it. I wished for some women, and I wish I wouldn't have because I got them. Be careful what you wish for." Then he gave us 100 dollars and drove off. It was the weirdest thing.
So this week has been absolutly awesome. To start off, Darryl got baptized. It was glorious. We intially were going to have the baptism on Saturday, but due to some miscommunication and complications, we moved it back to Sunday. But as it turns out, everything went very well. Right before the baptism, we had to rearrange our speakers, and one of them thought that he was speaking on one thing, and it was a fiasco, but it worked out! Before the baptism, Darryl was like, "One of my drinking buddies might come." Despite all of the mix up, the main thing was that Darryl got baptized, and he did. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong. He got dunked, and he looks at Brother Thiim (the guy who baptizes him) and asks if everything was okay, and he nodded, and Darryl turns around and was like, "Yeeeeaaahhh..." and does a little dance. But that's just the way he is. He got up after his baptism and bore his testimony, and told us his parents had died in the same year, which caused him to spiral into alcoholism. And he tried stopping many times, but never did until he met us. And he told us about how much Christ and the Church has helped him. It was insanely spiritual. So spiritual that I forgot that we sang closing hymns and went up to say the closing prayer and the bishop was like, "Elder, what about the closing hymn?" OOPS. But his friend came right after the baptism, and we went up and talked to him, and he told us he wanted what Darryl had, and he was coming to Church the next week, and we taught him about the Book of Mormon, and he was like, "this book speaks to me." It looks like we have another Darryl on our hands.
So we have been teaching this family, and it's this big Hawaiian dude and their kids. The dad is a member, but the kids aren't, and we are baptizing them in two weeks. But they let us make Lau Lau with them, which a local dish. And so here's how you do it:
Clean the taro leaf->separate the stem and the leaf-> wrap the pork butt and stem in taro leafs-> wrap in tin foil->steam for dayz
So we went Thursday and made Lau Lau, then on Saturday we went over and taught the boys and had Lau Lau, Poke (raw fish), loni salmon, poi, and potato salad. It was sooooo good. I felt real hawaiian.
Another weird story. The other day we called for our dinner, and she was like, "Oh I forgot!" and so she just told us she would leave her house open, and go in and eat. We were like" What the...." but regardless we did it. We felt so awkward. So we just made so quesodillas and dipped outta there, but it was weird just being in their house alone.

Lots of interesting things happened this week, buy one thing is for sure. Darryl is a strong member of the Church, and I couldn't be happier.
Aloha family! I hope this letter finds you well.

Elder Gleave

1) my companion being Jack Black
3) Scuba Gleave

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week 39--The kid next to me is in a Spider Man hoodie!

Hey family!

I was in Wal-Mart today with my companion (which is always an adventure, because I always feel like we are a couple shopping for our apartment and people always think we work there. "Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find creamed corn?" "Oh we're missionaries...") and I was telling him that I was so excited to check my email! I guess it was more than usual. But it was to read all about the wedding! First off, I know I said something last week, and I will probably write something personally to you, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I have the prettiest sister in the world. Also, the best sister in the world! I'm so proud of her and it is probably really weird for the kid sitting next to me in the Spider Man hoodie because I was crying my little eyes out reading about the wedding and looking at the picture. Oh well, one day he will understand.
Anyway, not too much happening here in our neck of the woods. We only had spaghetti twice this week, but two of the days we had pizza, so essentially the same thing. Last night, a family dropped off a huge tub of spaghetti with 5 or 6 sausages on the top, and so my companion and I and another set of Elders just picked off the sausages. But one night we went to a dinner with a less active/part member family and the mom was like, "We only have steak and rice, I hope that's okay." I almost cried I was so happy. And THEN we went to another lesson after that, and the Mom was like, "Would you like some steak? We had some left over from dinner." It was like a dream come true. I wanted to kiss everyone in the families right on the forehead.
Darryl, our super sweet invesitgator, was suppose to be baptized on Saturday, but he came down with a fever so he will have to wait till next week. That was kind of a downer. I looked forward to being at his baptism all week, but it will just be that much better this next weekend!
There is something called "Kendama" which is a Japannesse toy that all the middle and high schoolers play here. So we have been playing a lot of Kendama with middle schoolers these past couple of days. We challenge them and tell them if we win we get to teach them a lesson, and if they win we give them one of our ties. Needless to say I have been giving out some ties lately. We teach them after anyway!
I don't have very much time left, but I just want to tell everyone that I love you all! Wherever you are in this world, I love you all. And I know that Heavenly Father is very aware of everyone in this world, and he loves us all equally. And that's something I love, because I need his love.
Stay warm
Elder Gleave!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Week 38: Miracles for Dayz

This mission thing is awesome.
My companion is awesome.
The Church is awesome.

Not too much to report on this week except about everything. First and foremost though, I would like to congratulate my beautiful sister, Anna, on her wedding this week! I know that Mateo is one lucky guy to be spending the rest of eternity with my best friend. I feel so blessed that one day, our whole family will be able to go together to do temple work. The wedding is bitter sweet, because I really wish I were there, but I am also so very excited for Annie!!
Anyway, this week has been insane. Last week, I talked about Darrell, the guy who stopped us on the street. Well, long story short, we taught him every single day this week. And they were some of the most spiritual lessons I've ever been to! We had a past stake president as a fellowshipper, so I mean there wasn't too much that could go wrong. This guy has amazing stories too! Darrell is one of the amazing guys too. He has such willingness to follow the Savior. Everything we taught him, he totally embraced. It's crazy we even found him, but the story gets even crazier. The fellowshipper, Brother Thiim, gave an extremely amazing talk on Sunday, and during one of the lessons, Darrell told us that, "If it wasn't for your talk, I wouldn't have stayed all three hours. I would have left after Sacrament meeting. But it had such an influence on me, that I wanted to stay all three hours and I'm glad I did, becuase they were exactly what I needed." Talk about Elect. We first taught him on a Friday and the next day he stopped drinking, and hasn't drank since. Since then, he's helped better his relationship with his sister; he has gotten a job, and he has told us he knows the church and the Book of Mormon are true. Every lesson, we would ask, "When do you want to have another lesson?" And he would just say, "Well, how about tomorrow?" All he does is smile. I know that he was prepared! Anyway, we have a baptism for him this Saturday. I'm really excited.
We got talk to this guy on Tuesday who was in a wheelchair. To spare the details, let's just say he was having a hard time with life, and ended up in a wheelchair paralyzed. But he knows that God has a plan for him. so we are going to teach him this Tuesday!
This week we've had A LOT of spaghetti. I mean a lot. Try five times. Gross. If we have spaghetti again, I might cry the whole dinner.
My companion is seriously awesome! He's really funny. I love the crap out of him. Not literally.
We met a guy walking around who told us to come talk to him. He's a member who hasn't been to church for a while, but he loves missionaries. Part of the reason he hasn't been back to church is because he spent 50 months in Afghanastan. He's an amazing guy, and always gives us "beer" but it's actually just Diet Pepsi. you can tell he's been through a lot. It's been really an eye-opening experience to just talk story with him. I'll keep you updated on that.
Well anyway, I've been running in the morning which is unusual. So maybe I won't be so fat when I get home?


Love Handles Gleave