Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 80--Merry Christmas!

Family. Friends. Before I begin. I would like to wish of ya'll A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Goodness. I love this time of the year. 

Well, I would first off like to tell you of a cool experience I had this week. We were going out visiting people with this goofy old guy in our ward, but we love his guts. He is just the friendliest, most spiritually-centered person you'll have the pleasure of meeting. Well anyway, we went to go visit one of our investigators, and he told us that he had a question about the nature of God. So this good brother asked our investigator if he had a pen and a brown bag. So I let him use my pen. He started taking apart my pen and began explaining something to us. He said, (and this is me greatly paraphrasing) "There is essentially two main theories of how the world began. There is the belief in the Big Bang Theory. Which essentially says that there was organized chaos which all of a sudden worked itself into an entire universe. And from that a planet formed that was capable of supporting life. And from there a single celled-amoeba formed (he is explaining this all the while shaking the bag with the pen parts in it). And that formed into a two cells and then to a four cells. And so on and so forth until we have a human being. Now according to the Big Bang Theory, and according to its statistics, we can shake this bag a certain number of times and the pen will come out as a feasible working pen. Let's see if it worked." And he dumped the contents of the bag onto the desk and nothing had changed. He then said, "Now we as humans are far more complex than a pen. I believe that we were created. We were with our Father before we came to this Earth, and he sent us here as fallen, imperfect individuals to become a more dignified, sanctified person. Now the biggest difference between big bang theorists and creationists is that the one needs Christ and the other does not. Big bang theorists believe that we are just here. That there is no real reason to be here. But creationists NEED Jesus Christ, because only through him can we become better people. Only through him can we go on and learn about him to become more perfect people. And in religion I have found a home. Because  it shows me that I can learn to bridle my emotions, to learn to distinguish between good and evil, and to learn how to become as my Father in Heaven is." 

All in all, it was a rather spiritual lesson. And when you look at it, it only makes sense that we have a Father who is there to love us and help us become a better people, like any father would.

We also had a small miracle. On Wednesday, our mission instituted walking Wednesdays, so we spent the whole day "fasting" from our car to try and help out the work. Although I spent a good chunk of my mission walking, it has been a while since I hit the pavement. And even though I can say it felt good to be at it again, I can't lie and say my dogs weren't barking. But we spent the whole day trekking around Kalihi trying to find people to teach. Unfortunately no one was home, which made things worse. There was a few times that I was thinking, "Why are we doing this?" But we kept our spirits up! We also had a lesson with one of the guys who we are helping return to activity to look forward to that night! So we just kept our hopes up for that. This man texted us out of the blue, and told us that he wanted to come to church. He's a really really nice Samoan guy, and just has a strong desire to come unto Christ. Well anyway, his fiance was having a hard time with the whole "Mormon" thing and was nervous about the church. But we have been praying really hard for her heart to be softened to the gospel. So we had started teaching Nation (the Less Active guy) the Plan of Salvation and were about ten minutes in when we heard footsteps coming down the stairs. At first I got excited thinking Santa had come early, but in fact it was his Fiance! EVEN BETTER! She just slipped onto the coach next to her soon to be hubby and just carefully observed the things we were teaching. My companion and I kept teaching, and in fact thought what we both agreed was maybe the best lesson we've ever taught on our mission. The spirit was so strong, and the words were flowing out of our mouths. It was amazing! By the end of the lesson, Nation's fiance and Nation were just lighting up with the Spirit. They were smiling and we both could tell she had loved it. I know that it was a small miracle produced from the honest prayers of Nation and the diligence of my companion and me. 

Anyway, God is good. I love you all! The Church is true. And Christmas is the best. Or rather Christ is the best. 

Elder Gleave

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Week 79--Stop everything and read this!

Dear friends and family. I have a very important announcement to make. One that I have been waiting for a long time to make. One that may or may not surprise you, but regardless, one that has to be said. I can't believe I am actually telling you all this, but I feel it needs to be said. I have been pondering the past few weeks about life and I am very happy to say:


Oh my gosh. oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME. If anyone knows anything about me, it's that I love love love Christmas. I think my companion is getting a little sick of it. He doesn't show it, and he's not a grinch or anything but I'm a little crazy about it. Actually, I think he really enjoys it. We went to Longs Drugs which is like the Hawaiian Equivalent to Walgreen's and bought a whole bunch of Christmas lights and candles and decorated our room. One night, we spent the whole night doing it. Plus, I left all my Christmas stuff in Makiki last year, thinking I would be far away, but it turns out I was right next door and so I swooped by and grabbed that. Let's just say the Christmas season is in full swing at the Gleave and Nielsen suite. 

This transfer has started out incredibly well. Since we have dropped the Samoan ward, Elder Nielsen and I began being able to focus on just our ward. A lot of people that we had been working with had either dropped us or went MIA and so we spent the whole week wrangling them back in. We've had more fun the last fews days then the last two transfers! We are working better than ever. We stopped by Vicinte, our 70 year-old investigator this week, and he wasn't home. But we got to talking to his wife, who is just as nice. But when we walked up, she was just sitting by herself, munching on some corn on the cob. When she told us to sit down, she came over to us with some corn on the cob to eat. They are very poor family, so you never know if you should take the food to be nice, or it is nicer NOT to take the food. But she was very persistent, so we unwrapped the corn and ate it. Let's just say that was a real mistake. It was NOT the corn I was expecting. Apparently, in the Philipines, they let corn sit out for a few days, till it becomes a little old, they steam it, and then eat it really warm. It's almost like corn jelly inside the corn. It was a real trip biting into something you think is crispy and getting a whole bunch of mush in your mouth. But it was a rather amusing sight. Two white missionaries talking story to an old Filipino lady while they all eat fermented corn on the cob. Life is so interesting sometimes. 

Well, while we were talking to her, she told us her husband use to be a sportscaster for basketball. We being basketball fans, our ears suddenly perked up. We had no idea. Vicinte is a quiet, old man who can barely walk. Our lessons are very quiet, and not much is usually said. So when we met up with Vicinte, we asked him about it. Suddenly we released the flood gate. Story after story of basketball memories came pouring out of his mouth, all the while me and my companion were absolutely baffled. We have been struggling to get him to open up, and this whole time HIS FAVORITE THING IS OUR FAVORITE THING. He told us of how he use to run his own basketball league, and how he would play on his high school team. He told us he wasn't very good, but the whole team loved him so much that if the coach wouldnt put him in, the whole team would refuse to play. He then told us virtually ALL of the NBA basketball statistics of the last few days. He was even laughing as we told him how we use to lower the hoop and play "dunkball". I had never seen him so excited. It was absolutely stunning to both of us. 

Like I mentioned above, I love Christmas. So one thing I have been looking foreward to is the Ward Christmas Party! Ours was this week.  Elder Nielsen and I wore festive hats, and everyone just thought they were the most dandy thing. They had a "freebee" room where people just donated old things they had and everyone could choose, and we scored this old suit jackets from the patriarch in the ward. Everyone was so happy. There was food, lots of food, dancing, little kids doing ridiculous skits, and of course a huge SAMOAN SANTA. I have never seen a brown Santa before, but let me tell ya, he sure was jolly, especially around the waist. All in all, it was an amazing party. The next day everyone was so happy at Church. Fast and testimony went 15 minutes over because everyone just really felt the spirit. 

There's so much that I could tell you, but I have to get going, but really, Merry Christmas to everyone! Please watch this video! It's found on We've been sharing it all week. I love all you guys so much. I miss you like none other during the Christmas season, but I am happy I am here! 

Please let me know if you have any special requests for Christmas presents. 


1)Our Christmas Decorations. Weak...but good for missionaries

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 78--Hilary Duff answered my prayers!

Hello Family!

In missionary work there is no bad days.

But that doesn't mean there aren't hard days. Entailed with missionary works comes a lot of joy, a lot of happiness, a lot of great, amazing times. But it's pretty ironic, because you also experience a lot of hardship, trials, struggles, and worries. It entails both ends of the spectrum. Many, many times throughout my mission, I've been brought very low, sometimes lower than I ever have before, but the amazing thing is the Lord always tends to lift you back up. This week, for whatever reason, I was experiencing a period of self-doubt. I just felt completely unqualified to be a missionary, to be responsible for all people we are trying help. I was completely second guessing myself, doubting every move I made until the point where I was nervous to say anything to anyone at all! It was pretty weird. But like I said, the mission does that to you sometimes. 

Anyway, that night I just got on my knees and just let it all out to Heaven Father. It was pretty much a "This is all I got Heavenly Father. I know it's not very much, but it's what I got." type of prayers mixed with a lot of "I'm sorry I'm messing everything up". Not my most happiest of prayers. And so I closed and just flopped on my bed, going to get ready for the next day. 

The next day I woke up, got ready, and was feeling pretty good. We tried to visit a few people, but no one was home. We decided to team up with the rest of the zone and go and do some service at the pre-school, and while working there I started to doubt everything again. It was really weird. So this Elder and I were working on chipping some paint, when we were sharing inspirational quotes, and as a joke one of the lines from "A Cinderella Story" with Hilary Duff came to mind, which says, "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you out of the game." And I said it and didn't really think much about it. 

Well, fast forward to later that day, we were teaching our 70 year-old investigator Vicent, and things have been going great with him. He's been coming to church every week, liking our visits. It's been going well. We had decided beforehand that we were going to see if he would commit to baptism. It's something we've talked about before, and I know he is ready to take that next step, but he doesn't feel ready. And it is always a risk to ask them more than once because they might feel pressured and back off. Well we were in the lesson, and we were talking about what he feels about Joseph Smith, and it came to mind to ask him about baptism. And I was like, "No, I am probably going to mess things up with him." AND THEN THE FREAKING HILARY DUFF QUOTE CAME TO MY MIND. I had to! I couldn't let the fear of making a mistake ruin what COULD be a good thing. So I asked him. And he thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it for what seemed like an eternity, and then he said, "I believe everything. I don't see why not." And I practically pooped my pants. It was amazing. Definitely God answering my prayers. 

Well anyway, Thanksgiving was good. We ate at a buffet. It was a lot of food. I'm thankful for you all! I love you guys so much. By the way, I am staying in the same area with the same companion next transfer, only we won't have Elder Talatau or the Samoan ward anymore. 

Merry almost Christmas!
Love you all,
Elder Gleave

P.S. When we asked Vicent about Jospeh Smith, his response was, "It's less about the name of the person, but more about their relationship with God." I think there is a sense of profoundness in that statement.