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 christmas.mormon.org. 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.
Elder "CHRISTMAS TIME IS HEEEERREE" Gleave
1)Our Christmas Decorations. Weak...but good for missionaries