Tuesday, August 26, 2014



First off, I would like to give a shout out to my wonderful brother. Congrats on getting engaged! I'm sad I can't go, but I'm super happy for you! I know that the blessings of being with Tess for all time and eternity are so much greater than we can understand right now.

So while I am on the subject of life-changing events that I was unable to attend, there was one that happened this week that I am so very pleased about. As you may recall, I was working with a family of 5 while I was in Honolulu during the winter. They are the Fitzgerald family. In fact, they will probably read this at some point (well at least the Mom, she likes to blog stalk me)! Anyway, they were my absolute favorite family I've worked with on my mission. They are some of the most down to earth, kindest people I've ever had the opportunity of meeting. Well, they have been coming to church for the past 7 months as regular attendees of the ward. For all intensive purposes, they were the definition of  "Dry Mormons". They were waiting to get baptized until their youngest daughters turned 8 to make the commitment as a whole family. As a family-oriented church, I can't really blame them. Well, she turned 8 a couple of weeks ago, and guess what happened on Saturday. They got baptized! Unfortunately because of mission rules, I was unable to attend, but I am so overwhelmed with joy at the fact that this family was able to join together in the gospel of the Lord. I love them with all my heart, and I know their lives will be changed for the better from here on out. From the initial reports of the missionaries who attended, it sounds as if the baptism went well! Apparently the confirmations took about half of the sacrament meeting, but I don't think anyone really minded. The unification that the church brings into families' lives is simply splendid. 

Another neat thing happened in which I DID get to attend! A man by the name of Via Sikahema came to talk to all the missionaries serving on Oahu. For you ancient BYU football junkies, he's the guy who ran a punt return back for a touchdown to spark BYU's miracle come back in the "Miracle Bowl". He was also part of the national championship team, and became the first Tongan player to be drafted into the NFL, where he spent nearly a decade playing for three different teams. Now he a commentator for NBC and covers most of the Olympics, as well as serving as a Stake President in New Jersey. He was a super funny guy. I think the line of the night was, "Look at my son-in-law. He looks like he's right out of GQ. My daughter-in-law is drop dead gorgeous. I always tell my kids the same thing: 'Us Sikahemas don't marry ugly or dumb. We need to better our gene pool." It was relaying the point that on his mission he learned skills that later helped him in life, including finding a wife. It was cool to hear him say that out of all the things he's done in life, including playing in the NFL and being on a college national championship team, the thing that made the biggest difference in his life was serving a mission. He told us that everyday of his life, a memory of something or someone, or of something thought he had on his mission always comes up. He can't say that about anything else. It was a great experience.

The last cool thing that happened this week is we had a stake sports fest. Our ward isn't the most athletic of wards, so when we went, me and my companion weren't sure we would have enough people to play on the basketball team. As it turns out, we had 6 people, but one of the older guys took a tumble in the beginning of the game and had to sit out. So that just left us 5. A Mexican guy, me and my companion, a pretty tall navy dude, and a 60 year old short guy. I didn't think we had a popsicle's chance in hell that we'd win, but I guess we were out there to have fun, and coupled with an underdog mentality, we ended up winning! The bummer thing is that we had to wait like 3 hours for the next game, and half our team left, and so we were really tired for the next game and so we got destroyed. But it was all for fun, and I can't complain. I did jam my thumb pretty good and it got all swollen and bruised! It looks cool. BATTLE SCARS. 

Anywho, things are good! Life is good. Food is good. I love you all so much. 
Elder "Purple thumb" Gleave

Monday, August 18, 2014



Okay, first off, there is a few things I have to get out of the way. 
Congrats to my favorite brother on getting engaged! Tess is perfect for you, and secretly I always wished and knew you two would end up together. Nothing makes me happier than to know my family is happy. I am so happy!

Next, I have to admit I was being a little dramatic. Last week, I told you all that I was serving in the ghetto. That's only half true. I cover part of Kalihi, (the ghetto part), but I also cover part of a place called Salt Lake. Not to be confused with Salt Lake City, Utah. I know that confused me a lot when I first saw it. But It consists of mostly high rise apartments that are really hard to get into as missionaries. Plus we cover some military housing so it pretty much looks a lot like Draper, Utah over in that part. So I am half ghetto. 

I guess this week has been pretty interesting. Whenever news comes of a big storm over here, people begin to panic. And when the news that two hurricanes are coming back to back to attack the beautiful islands of Hawaii, people began to go bonkers. It was funny. The stores were absolutely OUT of water and canned goods. People were stalking their cupboards, getting ready for the worst. All the mormons were chuckling though, because we've got a the leg up on food storage. Like, "you silly people, we were preppin a long time ago!" Anyway, the storm came and went. The Big Island got slammed, but it died out after the storm went over Muana Kea. There was a joke that went around that Pele was mad that another women (Hurricane Iselle) was moving in on her territory, so she smacked her until she went away. And that's why the storm was so small. But we were instructed to stay in on Friday as a precaution, and it was suppose to hit around 11 o clock, but around noon I walked outside and told my companion, "I don't know about this whole hurricane thing...I can see blue skies." Life as a missionary is kinda funny when you can't watch the news.

I was thinking a lot about how the gospel, and I guess God in general typically doesn't like us to be comfortable. The more we are comfortable, the less we are growing. As a missionary, there are a lot of times in which you are severely uncomfortable. Whether it is talking to a person who doesn't want to talk to you, getting a door slammed in your face, or trying to teach someone who literally has no idea what you are talking about, I always seem to be squirming a little bit. I can see it especially at church. In this ward, we start at 8 o'clock in the morning. I don't care who you are, being at church, in all church clothes, at 8 in the morning is uncomfortable. I especially see it in the eyes of those with kids. But the more we are willing to go outside our comfort bubble, with whatever it may be, that is when the Lord can really mold you into some great. I've been uncomfortable as of late serving in the lower income areas. Whether it is urine on the walls, sitting on a dirty floor, or seeing people with literally nothing still be happy, it really gets me out of my bubble. But I love it. It makes me happy to know that I am growing.

Today we hiked to a waterfall and had to "repel" down to it. It was a good reminder that I am still in "Hawaii". I loved it! Then after we played volleyball with a group of Samoans. That always makes me smile. I was in the elevator with my companion and a teenage girl got in, and things were pretty silent. So  I decided to break the silence by asking, "Come here often?" She looked at me confused and shook her head. That was the end of that. See? Comfort bubble.

Okay I have to go. There's a group of elementry school kids mad that I am stealing their computer time and giving me the death glare. I LOVE YOU ALL SOME MUCH. Till next week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 61--From Green to Ghetto

Hey family! What's up?

So in case you're wondering, this is what my last week went like. Rumor comes in that I am going to Kauai and serving over there. Green paradise! I was super excited. Everyone kept telling me that I was going there. Then something happened with a missionary in Hon-West (Honolulu-West), the ghetto zone of the mission, where a missionary had to go home. So I was still thinking about the fact that I was going to Kauai when the info about transfers come in and I find out that I am NOT going off island. I was in a sort of freak out mode where I was sad that it wasn't happening. I was almost frustrated with the Lord that I was staying on the island. Then something pretty spiritual happened where I was taking the sacrament at church, and the song "I will go where you want me to go dear lord" plays in my head. I was like, Alright. I know I know...I'm sorry for grumbling. But now the question is still left as to where I will be serving. I thought about all the zones I have served, and where there was people possibly leaving, and I came up with two zones. Kaneoha and Hon-West. Hon-West is notorious for being the ghettoest spot in the whole mission. NO ONE looks forward to Hon-West. But in my heart I felt that I was destined to go through the ringer. 

So Wednesday rolls around, I said my good-byes, and I was ready to go to my new area. Still don't know where I am going. President gets up and starts transfer meeting, and announces the Honolulu Zone. Then he starts on the Hon-West Zone. And what do you know, here I am. 

I am now in one of the most run down areas of the islands, but I'm actually not too sad about it. Before I left, I got so many "Have fun on a two-year vacation" that I wanted to prove to myself that this was a TRUE MISSION by serving in the most humble of areas. And I guess I got my wish!

The place where we work mostly is called KPT. It is a pair of giant 17 story buildings that are all government housing. That means they are some of the cheapest. The people are great there. They are all so humble, and very teachable. I call it the "Jungle Gym" of missionary work, and it's not uncommon to see 3 or 4 sets of missionaries crawling around there. My first day we went there, and my companion knocks on the door. I was a little apprehensive, because I've heard stories about this place, and when he opens the door a mouse runs out of the apartment and tries to climb up his foot. He nonchalantly brushes it off, like nothing happened. Most people there don't have furniture so we taught the lesson sitting on the floor that the mouse just ran on. I love it here so much. 

We have a lot of fun here. My comp is a great guy. He's really quiet unless he's talking to strangers and then he's utterly fearless. It's quite awesome to tell you the truth. He's very by the book, which is good because I am very not by the book, so we complement each other. In a lot of ways we are opposites, but he has one quality that makes it so the relationship works: he has an amazing ability to love all people he's around. He's an incredibly kind and gentle person. He's from Preston, ID, but he's spent his whole mission in the lower income parts of Hawaii. 

Overall, I am pleased at where I am. Even though it's not the "paradise" that most people consider when thinking Hawaii, it's where the gospel is needed the most, and where I want to be. The funny thing is, I never feel unsafe here. The Lord protects his own.

Love you all! Stay strong in the Lord.
Elder Gleave

Friday, August 8, 2014

Week 60--Those Darn Mormons

Hey Fam! What's the hippy happs?
One week down, and plenty more to go. That's kind of how I have to look at things. Even though I have ten months left, in my brain that isn't much time, and it gives me panic attacks every time I think about it! 
Things have been great these past few weeks. And funny enough, just as things start going well (even though they have been super awesome lately), I end up getting transferred. That's right. The t word. It's funny, whenever I first get into an area, I am always really nervous and think I am going to hate the place, but by the end, it really grows on me and I am sad to leave. This place will be hard to leave. After spending 6 months here, the people really really grow on you. But that's missionary work! As of right now, I have no idea where I am going. So we will see. 

We got a new Ward Missionary about two weeks ago, and immediately he wanted to find us more people to teach. He texted us telling us to go visit a part-member family that lived in "9D" of an apartment complex, and when we went over, there was a woman outside smoking a cigarette and looked at us like we came straight out of the loony bin (and I don't really blame her) and told us that they didn't live there. Anywho, we reported the news to our WML, and he told us he would do some investigating, and then texted us back and said the ward hard the wrong appartment complex and that we have dinner with the family on Tuesday (last Tuesday), so we went over and the Dad was less active for a while and was going to try to get back to church, but the wife didn't want to go to the Mormon church, so they just church shopped for a while. But they needed their baby blessed and they still hadn't done it, so they went over to the parents' ward in Makaha and had the baby blessed, and the Dad stood up and bore his testimony about being sealed as a family. That really stuck with wife. She never considered that there would be a way for families to be together forever, and she wanted that. Anyway, we went over and taught them the restoration, and the family LOVED it. They all commited to baptism. The daughter then brought out her uku and started jammin while the little 4 year old son was singing all the reggae songs. Anyway, they ended up coming to church yesterday and it was just a real testimony builder about how a family that comes to church together, stays together. 

Plus, we had a baptism this week! Heyyooo. What's up for converts. Her name is Heather Holbron. Really great person. She came up to us about a month ago in the store and told us she wanted us to teach her but she was super preggoo with twinzies. But she was committed. So we taught her and she came to church twice, even though she was due to have the twins the next DAY the last time she went to church. And then she had the babies and she only missed church once. She was back after two weeks! Anyway, she loves the church, she loves her two baby boys (Mason Maximus and Hayze Elijah), and she loves Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She has a 7 year-old daughter who I always make faces with during sacrament meeting and we play tic tac toe. Im not mad though, I don't know how else I would stay awake anyway.

Well, I will keep you updated on where I go! Pray for somewhere cool! David took it hard that I was leaving. He first told me he was going to wrestle me because I was leaving, then he told me he was going to call president and tell him that I need to stay. Then he just started rattling off WWE sayings. Im gonna miss that guy. He introduces himself as "the future missionary" because we gave him a mini name tag. Well, love you all!

Elder "Was that a whale on land?" Gleave

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Week 59--It's that time again!!

Time to write all my best buddies.Actions speak louder than words. Obviously you can get pretty loud with words, but I've found the old cliche saying to be true. This week there are a few stories to accent this principle. #1: Our 83 year-old investigator Jean called us up Wednesday and told us she needed help building a desk for her small apartment. Always looking for an opportunity to hang out with Jean, we gladly took it. So this is how things panned out. We get there, she tells us how jealous she is of our bikes (not surprised), we sit on her couch, and she tells us to teach her. So we taught her the restoration, she loved it, great. Committed her to baptism, she accepted, great. Then we spent a few hours putting together her desk. You could tell that the more work we put into the desk, the more she really could feel how much we cared for her. And we do! We love Jean. And instead of dipping out right after that, we thought, "Hey she's 83 and just moved here and doesn't have many friends, let's be a friend." So she invited us to have dinner with her, so we ate dinner, talked, and had a good time! She was incredibly persistent on having us watch her favorite semi-opera singers in concert. I say semi-opera because it was like a boy band mixed with opera. Their name is il Divo. So we watched a few of their songs and it really sent her into her early years. She was really grateful when we left. I know that her life was changed, if only a little bit, by us building her a table and watching boy opera with her.

Lesson of the week: 

#2: A part-member family has two little girls who are into hula, and so last sunday we went to go do service for them and we helped them shave off the stems of leaves to make Hula skirts. Anyway, this week we got the approval to go to their hula compitition in downtown Honolulu. After multiple tries coordinating rides to and from there, we finally got everything worked out, and on Friday night we were able to see our two favorite little youngesters dance their hearts out! I was so mad that I forgot my camera. Anyway, after we were done, the girls we excited to see us and the Dad (who isn't a member) was really excited to see us! He was really glad. The girls looked so cute in their hula outfits. I was glad we were able to do that for him, and even though we didn't teach him anything in terms of us telling him about our church, I think just the fact that we were willing to go all the way to downtown Honolulu just to support them speaks enough as it is. 

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but acorrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:16-20
In all that we do, we should be aware of the impact it has on the other around us. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. I love you all!  Miss you so much.
Elder "I just built that!" Gleave
1) Pearl Harbor Props
2) The desk me and my comp built with Jean