Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 84--Big Island Bound

Hey Family!!!!

Happy Monday! 

So this week we had interviews with President Warner. I was so excited! Not really to have the interview but more because transfers were on Wednesday and I knew he was going to tell me where I was going to go. I knew it was time to get transfered because everytime I would go to church, the members would look at me and with a baffled look and say, "YOU'RE STILL HERE? You've been here forever. I mean I'm glad you're here...but you're still here?" And when that happens, it's generally a sign that you're about to be moved. So when I was sitting in my interview with President I was sweating bullets because I just really, really, REALLY wanted to go somewhere off Oahu. And so President was asking me about the zone and he says, "Let's see what Hon-West Zone looks like next transfer." And so he pulls up the transfer board on his IPad and the first thing I see is my name under the Kona Zone and I practically pooped my pants!! I'M GOING TO BIG ISLAND. Right from the beginning of my mission I always had a feeling I was going to serve in Kona, but as I was getting close rand closer to the end of my mission I forgot about it, but it's happening!! New adventures ahead.

But that being said, I figured I was leaving, and when you are being transferred, you can view it from one of two ways. You can view it as I'm not even going to be here in a week, so why worry about working? Or you can leave the area better than you found it. And I decided I was going to go out with a bang. What's really really awesome is that there was a lot of tender mercies from the Lord this week. Here are just a few:

The lady I emailed about last week, well we went to go visit her again. Her name is Patricia. We told her that we were going to be out by her at 7:00, and we were a little bit late. Well, we ended up being a half an hour late because we had to go to a stupid surprise meeting. But when we showed, there was a lot of people in her house to watch How To Train Your Dragon 2. But she invited us, and so we sat in the back of the small apartment, and she looks at us and says, "Today's my birthday! So my family came over and made some dinner. Would you like some?" And we were like, "Sure!" but secretly we were like ahhh man we just ate dinner...were so full...BUT IT WAS HER BIRTHDAY. WE HAD TO! So we ate some food and talked to her. Then we decided to read some of the Book of Mormon. And so we were reading about the Savior coming to the Americas, but the spirit wasn't really there because the movie was so loud. And so we read a chapter, and then two, and then I look over and EVERYONE is asleep who was watching the movie. So I ask her to turn it down, and she does. And then the Spirit came into the room. And she told us about how her Son is struggling with drugs, and he brings the darkness into the house. And how when we come, we bring the light. Then we ask her if she would be willing to go to church, and she said she has her own church. So we testified of Joseph Smith and the Restored gospel. We then asked her what she believed in what we were teaching. She said she wasn't sure. So we read Alma 32 about faith being like a seed. And then we testified that she could know the truth. And Then we asked her if she found out the truth, if she would be baptized. And she said yes. And so we left it at that.

Well to a different miracle...A man that I was teaching while I was in the Samoan ward, had committed to be baptized after 10 years of being married to a member. The member was very patient, and very loving, but he had committed to be baptized in the new year. So when we got transferred out, me and my companion didn't see him again. But we were walking around Kalihi and he drove up out of nowhere and said, "Are you coming to my baptism this week?" But it sounded a little different because he barely speaks English...And we were like sure!! So we showed on Saturday and the place is packed with members to support him. Also our mission president and his wife was there, who just decided to show up randomly. And the Samoan missionaries tell us we are giving the presentation while the people are getting changed. And I was just thinking, "Oh great. I stink at these. And the mission president is here." But it went pretty well. And the baptism was super awesome. And since Samoans LOVE food, we went to the cultural hall and they sat us down at a table and just bring out TONS of food for us. The mission president had obviously never been to a Samoan dinner before, because he was pretty nervous about most of the food. 

Well anyway, we left Patricia's house saying we wouldn't be late the next time, and since the Samoan's baptism stared half an hour late, we were half an hour late to Patricia's house. But she was there and she said she had to go soon, but we taught her half of the plan of Salvation and surprised us by blurting out, "I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true." But we asked her to come to church and she was like, uhhhhhhh. Maybe. 

Well anyway, Sunday rolls around, and we went around trying to wake people up for church. But no one could come! So we were a little sad, but we were at church shaking people's hands as they came in and in walks Vicente! Our 70 year old Filipino investigator. Then in walks Patricia! Then in walks a family who we had been working with who hadnt been to church in 6 years! It was amazing!! 

Overall, it was just a great last week in the area. I couldn't ask for anything better. But next time I email you I will be in Kona!! 

I love you all and I know that God lives and is very very active in all of our lives. 

Elder Gleave

Sunset every day in Kona
Tony's baptism

Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy New Year! Weeks 81-83

January 5, 2015


IT'S 2015!!!!!

What a great way to start the new year. I'm on my mission. My best buddy just got married to his dream girl, and I'm in Hawaii. All is good on my end of the boat.

First off, I am feeling a little bit under the weather, mostly just really tired, so if this letter doesn't make sense, please forgive me. 

But first off I would like to congratulate my brother Will on his marriage! You looked so happy in the pictures, and I know that this will the best decision you've ever made. Getting married in the temple is important. I want to be with you guys forever!!! I'm sad I missed it, but I'm happy that you're happy. Plus you both looked super good!!

Well New Year's was both fun and exhausting! On New Year's Eve we were allowed to watch Despicable Me 2, which is probably one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. But that's not saying much. I couldn't tell if it's because we haven't watched movies in forever, or if we we all were slap happy, but the whole zone was literally slap happy! Unfortunately, we had to leave back to our house by 9:30, so we didn't get to celebrate together. The rest of the night was kinda lame. My companion was pretty sick so he was virtually incapacitated in his bed,  so I just hung outside and watched soso fireworks and our drunk neighbors make fools of themselves. I did a silent HAPPY NEW YEAR in my brain when it hit midnight. 

New Year's Day, we started by going on a hike to a water fall. It was a good adventure, lots of mud, lots of water splashing, lots of fun. Then we ate lunch at a member's house, and headed back to the zone to literally spend the REST of the day playing soccer, capture the flag, and basketball. I could barely walk the next day I was so sore. 

But overall it was a great new years. And a great year. I remember last year being so excited that a WHOLE year was dedicated to missionary work. Like every single second. And it was a very sobering feeling knowing that that year was over. I look back and realize how amazing that year was. Easily the greatest, and hardest year of my life. I am thankful I had the opportunity to be on a mission, to be serving the Lord this year. 

I was on exchanges with the Elder who is pretty newish and he's had a hard time getting out and working hard,, and so it was my goal that we were going to work as hard as possible no matter what. Well we were at dinner, and I was just falling apart. I was so exhausted for some reason, and I could barely even think. I was trying to give the dinner message, a I'm not even sure if I were speaking English. Well, we ended around 8 and I was thinking about just calling it a night and switching back, which I had every justifiable reason to do so. But the spirit was like, "Just visit one last person." And I was like "Are you sure?" And he was like, "Yeah, I'm good with these types of things." So we went to go visit NJ, who is virtually ALWAYS home, and when we drove up, HE WASNT. I was thinking, "Great. Glad I came." And then the Elder I was with was like, "Oh! We gave a blessing to a non-member around here! Let's go check up on her!" And so we went in and taught a very spiritual Restoration lesson. She was so prepared to receive us, that she was reading a book that was describing practically the apostasy. It was nothing short of a miracle. 

Well, got to go! Love you all! Happy New Year!

Elder Gleave

December 30, 2014

Happy Hollidays family!

I hope everyone's Christmas was great. I know mine was spectacular! I think this might have been my favorite Christmas yet. I will give you an update. 

6:00am Head pops off the pillow and both me and my comp simultaneously yell "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" Then we read a scripture and opened presents. 
9:00am--Went for the first round of food at the Castle's house. We ate some really good waffles, then they let us skype with the family! It was so good to see all of you by the way. It feels weird that there is only one more skyping sesh left. We walked back downstairs after skyping, and the whole family was like, "you guys are still here?" Guess we're pretty sneaky.
12:00pm--Went to the Wachter's house for lunch. Ate a bunch of pupus. (pronounced poo-poos) (it's Hawaiian for appetizers)  Then we watched him play with his remake vintage Atari game. It had like 90 something of the old games like centipede and Pong. 
3:00pm--We dropped some cup cakes off to a few of our investigators and wished them Merry Christmas.
4:00pm--Dropped by the Sudas, who is pretty much like our family out here, and they fed us some food. Then we watched as they opened up presents! So fun!!
5:00pm--Went to the Hernandez house for some more food! They were having a little party and so we had a good opportunity to talk to this guy from Haiti. It was a neat conversation. 
7:00pm--We finished the night by watching Frozen! It was such a good movie!!

All in all, it was a really amazing Christmas. Unlike last year, we practically spent the whole day visiting members, and it really made things great. To see so many people that we've grown to love and all of them really felt like family. It made being away from home feel like I was a little more at home. 

We were really happy we were able to drop off those cupcakes. One of the people we dropped them off too is this kid named NJ. He doesn't have too many friends, and his Mom doesn't make too much money, so he didn't get too much for Christmas. He's grown to be like our little brother, and so we visited him the next day, he was really excited to see us. I know it was only cupcakes, but in a way, I was glad that we were able to show him that somebody was thinking of him on Christmas Day. Especially since his Mom's boyfriend, who had been like a father figure to him for the past three years, just bailed on Christmas Eve and didn't come back. It really felt like a true Christmas. 

This morning, two of the Suda girls left to go on their missions. When I got here, they were still considering the possibility of serving a mission. They were working on their papers, but they hadn't put them in yet. Well a few weeks ago, they surprised us by saying they had put them in! And guess where one of them is going! Baltimore, Maryland. So Anna, best be on the look out for a Sister Suda. But they left today, and so we went over there last night and played a few games, took some pictures, and then wished them good luck. It literally felt like my sisters were leaving. But it's so cool, because the whole family are converts, and now the girls are going out into the world to change lives, just like theirs was changed. They bore their testimonies in sacrament meeting about how much they grew and changed into better people because of the gospel. 

The gospel is so good. It's so true. When we act upon the principles found in the gospel, things will always go right. We will never be led astray! 

I love you so much! And before I finish, Will and Tess, I hope you have a beautiful wedding. I hope it's everything you wanted. I love both of you, and know that you guys are making the right choice to marry in the temple for all eternity. I will keep you in my prayers.

Happy New Year's to you all! 
Elder Gleave

December 23, 2014

Well almost. Happy Christmas Eve Eve everybody! 
I hope that your Christmas season is everything everyone imagined it to be. 
Not too much exciting happened this week, we didn't have a car all week because it was in the shop, so we were walking everywhere. Luckily, we live pretty far outside of area and what's even better is that on Thursday night none of the missionaries could give us a ride home so we were trucking on foot. We had gotten about an hour into our two hour trek home, and about the time, we swore we'd never take for granted our car, acted out what the pioneers in the spirit world were probably saying about us complaining about walking, and right when our hopes of ever making it home were dashed, some members drove by and picked us up. They looked a little baffled when we told them where we had just came from and said, "You realize that you have an ENTIRE ward who would give you a ride, right?" And then we felt a little silly. 

 So I have to keep this short, but I will talk to you all in a few days anyway, I just want to show you this beautiful picture. 

We had dinner with this Recent Convert and we were teaching about Lehi's dream, and I was getting into the lesson when I look over and this was happening. MY COMPANION IS PLAYING WITH BARBIES. haha it was awesome. 
Anyway, I love you all! Merry Christmas!
Elder Gleave