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

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