Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 54--Old Ladies, Happy Fathers and Transfers


First and foremost, I must wish my personal hero and my biggest influence Happy Father's Day! I love you pops, and miss you more than you can imagine! You have always been there for me--my provider, my protector, my best friend. 

I was thinking on Sunday about how this is the first holiday on the mission that I've already had on my mission. That means next Father's Day we will be partying in style! Better get ready Dad! I even remember the message I shared last Father's Day. We were at the Kama's house (shout out to the Kamas! They're the best!) and I remember talking about John 3:16-17. I remember talking about how hard it must have been for Heavenly Father to send his Beloved Son down to the Earth, even though he knew what he would have to go through. His perfect son, the one who's always listened to him, went through such pain because they BOTH loved us. I will forever be grateful towards Heavenly Father for that, and for all things he's done for me. This video displays the feelings I feel for Heavenly Father's justice. 

As for the most recent news, I found out that me and my home boy Elder Humphreys are staying together until he dies! (Mission dying=going home) But since he is going home mid-transfer for wrestling, I will be in a tri-companionship for two weeks. Our new companion is Elder Kichiro. I served around him in Honolulu. I'm really excited! He's a great kid and I'm excited to get to know him better. But I am even more excited that I get to be with Elder Humpherys until he's done. I've really got to know him well, like really well, and I know that this mission won't be the same without him here. 

So this week we've been teaching this really spunky 83 year-old women. We stumbled upon her a while back, but she's been too sick to meet up. Only until this week has she had the time to meet. Her name is Jean and she is a classic old grandma! I love her. She's been around long enough to have all these crazy stories about being alive for 83 years. She reminds me a lot of Grandma, but not really too much. Just the fact that she's old. Anyway, she spent some time in Nevada, where she met with missionaries before. Which is always a good sign. She is moving down the street, and she wanted us to help, so she has these GIANT plants, like we're talking mini tree like, that we had to move. So we called around the ward seeing if we could get a truck, but literally no one could. So we decided a Corrolla would have to do. So we popped open the hatch of the trunk and loaded in the plants with them sticking out of the trunk. Imagine two trees flying down the streets of Hawaii. It was ridiculous. Two of the plants were even too big to fit into the trunk, so Elder Humpherys and Elder Peterson loaded them onto a dolly and ran them down the street! So now we have trees sticking out of cars and Elders running down the street. Just the life of a missionary. Anyway, we went over on Saturday and taught her the Plan Of Salvation and she LOVED it! She had so many questions that the lesson lasted THREE HOURS. We even included stories about how guardian angels have saved us! It was amazing. Hopefully we will be able to baptize this sweet, sweet lady. 

Anyway, it was a good week. Things are looking up! I love you all and pray for you all every night. Peace out girl scout

Elder "I Like Thin Mints and Samoas" Gleave

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Week 53--Just the Usual

Hey family!

Often times I have crazy things that happen to me as a missionary. But not this week. It was kinda of just the usual. I guess I do have a David update of the week: we took him to dinner with us this week and he and the member had an argument about who was the best WWE wrestler, in which David ended but standing up and saying, "Whachu gonna do brother, when WWE comes after you brother?" So we know who won that one. Then the member put on Elvis Presley songs and David knew every single word verbatim. It was one of the coolest dinner I've been to!

We went over to our recent convert's house earlier in the week and they gave a cooking class on how to make this SUPER good chicken dish. It was actually quite a bit of fun. Their little boy was outside throwing something over their fence into the field in back, so I decided to check it out. When we went back there, he was tossing a fishing hook tied to some fishing line, and I asked him what he was doing and he said, "Just fishing for mongooses." If any of you don't know what those are, they are little weasel animals who run around in Hawaii. So I thought I would join him. So there we were, me and my buddy Jayden, fishing for mongooses. It's the little things in life. Then after that the Dad fried up a fish the other son caught that day. Then me and my comp ate the fish eyes, and I ate the tongue. If you've never had fish eyes before, I'd suggest you try it. Not bad...

We met a guy named Ladi, who is from Nigeria. He's a really awesome guy. He's from the part of Nigeria that isn't in shambles right now. But he is super smart. He just graduated from Standford with his Masters in Business Management, and he's only 25. Great guy. It's cool teaching him because he has no idea what Mormons are. Most people we visit come with a pre-disposed notion on Mormons, but he has never really ran into contact with one. It's a cool contrast. I like this guy, and really hope he finds the truth in the Gospel.

Besides that, it's just the usual. We a few double dinners tonight. Sometimes we eat so much that I am too full to sleep! Don't get me wrong, I love eating, but sometimes I feel like those beached sea lions that suntan with their fat belly hanging out. I'm just grateful I'm getting fed. But happy almost Father's Day to all out there! I love my pops!

Happy King Kamehameha day on Weds. Hope you all celebrate.

Elder "Rolls on Rolls on Rolls" Gleave  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 52--Lots of Crabs


So to start this week's report, I guess I should probably explain my heading. Well, to start, we helped move a less-active family, the Crabbes, to the eastern part of the island. So that's crab #1. Last p-day, we adventured around the rocky coast and we caught a crab by stabbing it with a knife. Then the Philipino missionary we live with tried cooking it, but apparently it wasn't good. Crab #2. Today we were fishing, and made the classic stink pole, where you attach a string to a pole. Turns out crabs are greedy little things who won't let go of your bait when you are reeling it in, so you're able to pull them to shore. So I spent the morning catching crabs. It was a good morning. Crab #3.
I feel like a lot of my mission is just compiled of weird stories. Maybe that is how it is with other missions, but I feel like crazy is a constant companion of mine. So this week, a few things happened that were probably one of the weirder moments of my life, but reinforce my testimony that God is real and protects us. I know weird and heavenly protection aren't usually related, but I will soon explain why. Let's examine.
Weird moment #1.  My companion and I were leaving the apartment for the first time that day after we had a zone conference (a giant missionary meeting) and we were walking to go visit someone when a boy zooms by on his bike. About a second and a half later we hear a crash and so turn around to see him on the ground with the bike on top of him. My comp takes off in a sprint, because he is the type of guy that'll tackle the shooter when disaster strikes, and I was quick to follow. We came up upon the kid, and the bike was too heavy for him to get off his leg, so we help him up. Nothing major happened, just a few deep scrapes, but the kid was shaken up so we brought him to a member's house who lived near by, and they helped clean him up. After he called his mom to come and help him, we were talking to him, and I guess it was the sight of his own blood, or maybe just the shock of the whole thing, but I looked at him and his eyes started to roll back into his head and he began to stumble. He was obviously going to pass out. So we laid him down in the grass, and he recovered, and his Mom came and got him. Now I'm not saying that we were the only people on the face of the planet who could and would help him, but I believe and am grateful that we were there to help this young boy out, and I believe that God wanted to protect him and so we were there. I'm just glad the kid didn't try walking home and pass out on the street. That was a cool story, not really a weird one.
Weird moment #2. On Friday, all the missionaries we gathered together at our apartment to visit before the night ended. So we were all sitting together, enjoying ourselves, talking story, and eating food, doing our usually missionary thing, and I decided it was a good time to get a little work out and work off that language around my belly. So I lifted some dumbells and what not, and was sitting on the ground resting in the middle of our living room. Nothing unusual about that.  But I was sitting underneath the celling fan in our room. I thought nothing of it. Now to set the stage of the scene, I want you all to imagine a celling fan that has that glass bowl that hold the light bulbs in it. Okay, you got it? So I was sitting there, resting, with my shirt off, and a missionary walked into our apartment. I was looking down and the lights changed from dim to light, and I was wondering in my head what that missionary did. Then something told me that the fan was falling in my head. I didn't have much time to register what that meant, but I looked forward and that's when the glass bowl smashed on my head, shattering into pieces. The bowl had fallen off the fan and conked me right on the forehead!  I was so confused. Baffled, really. Out of all moments to be sitting under a fan, I was sitting under it when it decided to rain thick glass interior decorations on me. By far one of the weirdest things that has happened to me. But the even weird part, was NOTHING really happened to me! I mean I had small cut on my foot from the glass, but I was fine! By all means, I should have been knocked out, if not worse. I barely had a bump on my head. I know for a fact that there was divine intervention on this one. Either God was trying to knock some sense into me, or he protected me from what could have been extremely disastrous. At least I know how people feel when they get a bottle smashed on them in fights. 
Weird moment #3. The next night we were eating dinner with some members out on their Lanai. Everything was normal; we were having a pleasant conversation. We had good food, we were in a great mood, and there was a nice breeze that was passing by. Well this shady looking guy was walking along the street right next to the house, and being the type of guy I am, I just gave him a friendly wave. He looked at me very angrily, and kept walking. That's fine, nothing unusual. Well I turned my back to him and kept talking when about 10 seconds later I saw everyone staring in his direction. So I turned to look and this man, stopped dead in his tracks, looks right at us. And he was staring, he was glaring. And he just glared. Right then, the spirit was gone. The air was still. Everything had changed. We asked him what he needed, but he didn't say a word, only staring. He then crouched, scoping us out. The father went inside to go grab something, and my comp was searching for anything to protect us with in case this guy had really bad intentions. So I sat back down, and we all tried ignoring him to see if he would go away, but then he came closer, so all stood up. I asked him if he was okay, and told him that everything was alright. He looked at me, and mumbled, "Christian?" and I asked, "What" And repeated, "Christians?" I replied, "Yes, we are Christians." Then his face turned from mad to scary. He distorted his face and began breathing as if he was a bull ready to charge. I wasn't worried if he was to try and fight us, I was worried if he were strapped. So I just sat down, not looking at him, and I said a prayer in my heart, asking Heavenly Father to protect us, and to keep us safe. Right when I ended, I looked up and the member shrugged, and said, "He walked away." He passed by two times that night, never bothering us again. I know for a fact that Heavenly Father was aware of the situation we were in, and he heard my prayer, and he protected us. There is no doubt in my mind. What a joy it is to me to know that He cares. Probably one of the more intense, but spiritually fortifying moments of my mission.
All in all, I made it through the week safe. The Lord really does protect his own. Thank you for all the prayers, they really do help! And for all of you that thought I was hard headed over the years, I guess you were right. Until next week!
Elder "Head as hard as an ox, but empty as a jellyfish" Gleave

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week 51--It's the Little Things


As a missionary, you experience a wide variety of…well experiences. Anything from the happy, to the sad, the hard, to the easy. This week I hit my year mark, and I guess you could say, "It's all downhill from here." It feels weird! I feel like I still don't know what I am doing on my mission, that I just got here yesterday. But then again, I feel like I don't even remember what "normal" life is like. I remember as a brand spanking new missionary, looking at those guys who have been out a  year, and thinking about how they have got everything together. How old they seem. It's weird to think that I'm THAT GUY. Well…maybe not the guy who has everything together…haha just kidding…Over the past year, I've started to notice something, a trend you could say. It may be a missionary thing, but I'm pretty sure that it applies to everyone in life. And that is, it is the little things in life that matter the most. Those little details, that at the time seem so innocent and regular, are the ones that will be cemented in your memory for all time and eternity. Those small moments, I believe, are the ones in which we can see the Lord's hand at work most clearly in our lives. 

Today, some members of the Ewa Beach 1st ward invited us over to have a Memorial Day barbaque and to watch some movies. We watched "The Saratov Approach". Man, what a movie! For those who don't know what that is, it is a movie about two missionaries in Saratov, Russia, who get captured and held for ransom. The "Approach" the plan of action that the church took to get these young boys to safety. Instead of paying the young men's ransom, they decided to ask everyone from every faith to join together in prayer and fasting to bring to pass a miracle, and put faith into action. It was neat to see as the crisis began to reach world-wide media, the effect that a whole nation has as they break down religious barriers and send their pleas toward Heaven. I won't give away any details, but the two missionaries miraculously, through the work of Heavenly Father, make it home safely. 

Now I share that story to show how amazing something like that can be, but I argue that what is even more impressive is when the Lord works on a seemly smaller scale. Those stories that don't make national headline news, but rather make the local news station, "Channel 6's Gleave @ 5" My own news station. Today's headline reads, "Miracle on North Road…One young man, David Costa, continues to defy the odds and overcomes obstacles that a mental illness and a local society have placed on him. A firm belief by the Ewa Beach Ward has lead this 24 year old handicapped man to the waters of baptism, and confirmation. But even more impressive, this young man has received the aaronic priesthood, given a church calling, gone to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, and passed sacrament for the first time. Although most people will continue to doubt, this young man's determination to be a servant of the Lord will push him to be better than anyone could ever imagine." 

Now, it might not be that crazy of a story, but to me that seems amazing. I never could have imagined when I first met David that he would be in the place he is now. I love him, and although he might not be the most reverent in sacrament meeting, and he might love to have thumb wrestling wars and reenact scenes from Space Jam in the church's cultural hall, he is the most dedicated, submissive person I've ever met. It was a small victory in my book, and it's sad that no one will ever hear about it. 

Anyway, I wish I could show you everything that happens here. I wish I could film my everyday life, because I often feel as if this church is similar to the Book of Mormon when it says that only "one one-hundreth" of what happens can be recorded. I'm excited for this next week. It should be a good one! I will keep you in touch with the local news. Until then, aloha err body.

Elder "I'm not sure if he's a missionary or a giant toddler in a suit" Gleave

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Week 50--You wanna kiss the ground

What's up party people?

This week is going to be a weird week for a multiple of reasons. First off, I turn one year old (in missionary life that is)! It's a bitter-sweet feeling, one that all missionaries go through. It's bitter because that means that I am half done with my mission. It's sweet because I have half as much time left until I see my family as when I started my mission. Occasionally, especially with my companion going home so soon, my mind drifts off to what it would be like walking off the plane, and to be completely honest, it scares the crap out of me. Let's do a little recap of my mission shall we?
Month 1: "What did I get myself into. This is hard. I don't like this. Two more years of this?"
Month 2: "This is getting easier. I like the food, but my thighs don't like it."
Month 3: "Being a missionary is pretty sweet. I love Maui, can't wait to stay here!"
Month 4: "Oh crap. Oh crap. I'm in somewhere new, training a new missionary. I can't do this. I wanna go home."
Month 5: "Ha! I love the North Shore! I'm practically local. Look how local I am everyone!!"
Month 6: "Wow I've really gained a lot of weight."
Month 7: "Being in the big city really scares the snot out of me!"
Month 8: "Homeless people are great."
Month 9: "I have a hard time understanding what my companion is saying. I'm not sure if he's speaking English."
Month 10: "How long have you been out?" "About a year."
Month 11: "How long have you been out?" "About a year." "You said that last month!"
Month 12: "Well, that went by rather quickly."

That little segment was a lot less funny then when I pictured it in my head, but that's usually how things pan out in my world. In all reality, through all the chaos, through all the homeless people, through all the pains and all the joys, without a doubt this has been the best year of my life. I try to think of a better year, but everything else falls short! So many stories to be told. So many new relationships made. So many girls kissed. Haha JUST KIDDING!  But the Hawaiian Island have provided a home away from home for me. It has been a paradise in all sense of the word. I can't believe that it's already been a year, and I can't wait to see what the next year has in store! (If any of you are in any doubt of how great my last year has been, please refer to my previous emails. Then picture my face giving you a "You better believe it" look.)

So aside from that, this week has been pretty basic. We went over to a part-member's house, and this was after dinner mind you, and the wife was Samoan, so she came out and of course said, "Are you Elders hungry?" I have learned through much trial and error that there is only one good answer to this question. "Ohhhhh yeahhh! Starving." The Dad is really into spicy food, so he brought out some peppers and wanted us to eat it. That weren't incredibly spicy, but considering I have probably the weakest tongue this side of the Mississippi, it was a struggle. But when I ate the first one, the dad was getting all excited  He was pumping his fist in the air, saying "Hooo...finally being a man, huh?" So I had to eat another one. And he got even more excited. So I ate another one. I cant really remember the rest of the night because it all seemed to end in a blur. Actually it wasn't THAT bad, but I did wake up at 3 in the morning with incredible heartburn and pondered on the possibility of my life ending. So like I said, a pretty normal week.

Today, I went to some lava rocks on the coast to try fishing. But sadly, all I had was a pin from a sewing kit made into a hook, a little pad lock as a weight, and beef jerky as bait. Needless to say, I botched the first cast and the hook went flying off. So we just threw rocks at crabs and now there is one in my freezer ready to be cooked. SWEET MANA FROM HEAVEN!!!

Remember how I said that this week was going to be weird and only listed one reason why, well that's it. It will probably be just another normal week for Humpherys and Gleave. Which, in all actuality will probably be a weird week.
Well, time to cast off! (Classic fishing pun.) I've got some basketball to play. I love you all and miss you all so much.

Stay fishy,
King Krab Gleave