Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weeks 95/96--Hammy

Happy Monday everyone!! 

Things are going GREAT over here. We had transfers this week, and my companions name is Elder Samoala. He's from Western Samoa, been out about 15 month, and couldnt be a more perfect last companion. 

Here's just a few updates on the adventures here in Hawaii. On Tuesday, I went on exchanges with the Elder Greene down in Ke'ei ward. That's the ward that covers the whole bottom half of the island. Anyway, we decided to start the morning doing a little tracting. So we headed down to this road called "Rock Bottom" (we literally hit rock bottom) and started knocking on these run down houses in the middle of nowhere. The first house we went to didn't really have a front door, so we yelled, "Aloha" and this guy popped out of the urinal next to the house. He looked at us, yelled, "Come back in an hour, I'm busy." on to the next house. We walk up and there is a lady outside and she says in perfect English, no accent, "Hello. I am from Mexico. I don't speak English." Whhhaaaaattt? Good thing Elder Greene knew a little bit of the Southern Dialect and surprised the lady by striking up a conversation. Short story shorter, she told us she was Catholic. On to the next house! We walk up and there a giant pig tied to a tree. A pig. Tied to a tree. We knock on the door and it's a blind girl! SHE TURNS OUT TO BE A LESS ACTIVE MEMBER. Her pig's name is Hamilton, but they call it Hammy. So we teach her and then head over back to the guy who told us to come back. He is now shirtless, sweating profusely, and working in the garden. He turns around and looks at us and yells, "BAD DAY. IM BUSY. LEAVE ONE OF YOUR BOOK THINGS." So we dropped off a pamphlet, asked if there was anything we could do, and he said no, so we left. As we were getting in the car, he yells for us to come back. So we do, and he says, "There is something you could do for me. I don't have a car. Will you take my credit card, go to the store, and buy a sandwich and a drink?" Whhhhaaattt? This is the first time I've ever been asked to do that. But I guess when you ask if there is anything we can do, you have to be expecting anything. We were already late to go clean the temple, so we ran to the gas station, and bought as much stuff as we could with our own card, and then drove it back to him. I can't believe he trusted us with his card...Anyway, lesson of the day. If you are ever bored, go to Rock Bottom Road. 

Saturday was an awesome day. Our investigator Kaneke, who has committed to be baptized, invited us over to go lift with him. When we got there, his Mom was interested in sitting in on a lesson. So in regular p-day clothes, we taught Kaneke, his wife, and his Mom the Plan of Salvation. Afterward, the Mom was like, "I have to go now, but I have a lot of questions." We go to dinner there tomorrow. Then we went to go do service at the car guy's house, and we were working on his 1968 Charger. Usually, he doesn't allow missionaries to really talk about the gospel, but we working and he asked if we had dinner. We didn't have dinner, and so we said no. We ate dinner with him that night, and so we asked if we could share a message, and he agreed! IT was the first time in a long time that a missionary has shared the gospel with him. 

Anyway, things are awesome. I love you all! I hope you all have a good week! 

Elder Gleave

Hey Family!

first and for most, HAPPY EASTER ya'll. I hope everyone had a good week this week. Especially general conference. Personally, I liked the one with Elder Holland, but that happens literally every single general conference. 

So this week is transfers, which means I am officially starting the last transfer of my mission. When I think about any sporting event, when there is two minutes left on the clock, and the game is on the line, that's when the player zeros in. When his focus is at his peak. When every move is crucial and every mistake can cost him the game. And that's where I am at. The final stretch. It was weird watching general conference because usually every talk is when I am focusing on the mission, but every talk I was thinking "That's what I need to be doing when I go home." AHHH I hate this. 

This week has been good. Short as always, but good. My companion is being transferred, so we have been spending some time saying goodbye to people. Nothing out of the unusual happened. We ate four Easter dinners yesterday, so that was fun! I honestly have no idea what to write about...just know that now is the time to end strong. 

But I love you all! 

… We cannot earn our way into heaven; the demands of justice stand as a barrier, which we are powerless to overcome on our own.
But all is not lost.
The grace of God is our great and everlasting hope. …
But the grace of God does not merely restore us to our previous innocent state. If salvation means only erasing our mistakes and sins, then salvation—as wonderful as it is—does not fulfill the Father’s aspirations for us. His aim is much higher: He wants His sons and daughters to become like Him. …
Another element of God’s grace is the opening of the windows of heaven, through which God pours out blessings of power and strength, enabling us to achieve things that otherwise would be far beyond our reach. It is by God’s amazing grace that His children can overcome the undercurrents and quicksands of the deceiver, rise above sin, and “are perfect[ed] in Christ” (Moroni 10:32).
Happy Easter! 
Elder Gleave

Monday, April 6, 2015

Weeks 93/94--A Mouse Tale

March 31, 2015


What is up?  What is up? This week has FLOWN by, but that's not unusual. Welcome to life as a missionary. Sorry about the Tuesday email...we were in Oahu for a meeting yesterday. It was weird being back there. It was like visiting home after I had been away to college for a long a time. I said, this week was a crazy week. I will give you the highlights. On Wednesday, we went to go teach our Tongan recent convert. He lives out on this ranch, where all around him is open space and fields of grass. Anyway, he lives with his uncle, who is the owner of his own construction company, so their house is pretty nice. Well, we were waiting for the food to be made, and talking to his uncle, who is big Tongan man. We will call him Brother Smith (that's not really his name). Out of the corner of their eye, my companion and the uncle both saw the tail of a mouse dart across the counter. "Did you see that?" He asks. "Yeah. That was a mouse." exclaims my other half. A look of sheer terror eclipses Brother Smith's face. "Okay, okay okay. Let's do this logically...what do we do?" Brother Smith is asking this as he is trying to muster up enough courage to approach the basket in which the mouse is hiding under. "Brother Smith, are you scared of mice?" I ask him. "...Yes Elder. I hate mice." Hahaha if anyone knows anything about Tongans, they try to put on a face and make it seem like they aren't scared of anything. This was priceless. "Brother Smith. We can take care of it." So me, my companion, and our recent convert are huddled around this basket armed with spatulas and a fly swatter. We move the basket expecting a mouse to run out. Nothing. We start taking off the lunch boxes on top of the basket. Nothing. No mouse. Where did it go? Then simultaneously all three of us look down at the basket and this mouse LITERALLY COMES FLYING AT US. It was if it had little dragon wings or a jet pack carrying it straight for me! So within the next half second this is what happened: Both my companion and Teki, our recent convert, start yelling while simultaneously pushing on both sides of me. I feel mouse body, tongan body, and half-asian body all on me while all three start running in different directions. I turn and look, and my companion is on the other side of the kitchen, while Teki had dashed into the living room and jumped onto a recliner, and Bother Smith has his FEET IN THE AIR WHILE SUPPORTING HIMSELF ON THE TABLE AND COUNTER! Everyone's yelling bloody murder like a venomness snake had just been released and its favorite thing to eat is brown people's toes. And this is all within a half a second mind you...And I was baffled...It was a mouse that is smaller than a Hostess Cupcake. Me and my companion both understood we have to find this mouse, or else this little thing will terrorize this poor family all night long. My comp spots it underneath the overhang of the cabinets stunned out of its mind like a just got dunked on by Shaquile O'Neil. "Finish him" my companion tells me. So I wind up an give the little a smack with the spatula. I didn't have it in me to put the nail in the coffin. "It wasn't enough! Here you do it!" I exclaimed. My companion takes the spatula out of my hand, winds up, and delivers the decisive blow. It had the power of a thousand slaps from a woman who just found out that their husband had cheated on her. I was pleasantly surprise that the mouse wasn't sent into a black hole from the force of the blow. Well, needless the say, the little guy was sent packing into the next life with a one way ticket to slapsville. The relief on Brother Smith's face was something to behold. I tell you, I don't think I've ever seen such pure joy on anyone else's face before. Something simply beautiful to behold.

Well fast forward to Friday. I think I mentioned that we have a new investigator who loves lifting weights. On Friday, he decided it was the day we lifted legs. Well, I haven't done legs in a long ever. So it was a new sensation for me. To be extremely sore and incredibly tired and unable to walk all at the same time. After we got done with the workout, I was feeling pretty confident in myself for finishing, and then it dawned on me that we had to help someone move that day. "That's okay. There were be a lot of people there." I thought. Well, we show up, and there is a fortress of boxes in this guy's garage, and he looks at us and says, "All those need to be in the container. Today." So me and my companion, the only people there, helped move 150 boxes up an uphill drive for 4 hours for this guy! All the while our legs are dying because they are already dead. Then we move onto the big furniture...yaayy.... We finally finished 5 hours after we started, and the man looks at us and says, "Well, come back tomorrow. This baby grand piano isn't going to move itself." We go to dinner, and come home at like 8 oclock and just collapse. We were dead tired. The next day I couldn't even walk, and yet that night we showed up and with the help of four other missionaries we managed to move a 900 pound piano. I would say that angels helped us, but the piano was still extremely heavy. Good thing one of the missionaries was from Tonga. I think he lifted 500 pound of it. 

But yeah! Other than that I sat through two hour and half long testimony meetings, and I almost wanted to die. But the Lord has been good to me. LOVE YOU ALL!
Elder Gleave

March 23, 2015

Heres the deal. Sorry for not writing you last week. We had to go to Hilo to pick up the Ke'ei missionaries' truck. We ended up getting back later than we wanted, and had to rush to dinner and had no time to email. I wrote Mom and Dad a letter.  I guess they didnt get it...oh well. I will just do a recap of the weeks!

These past two weeks have been awesome. The Lord has been really good to us. Last Sunday, we were able to participate in confirming our three baptisms. That was an amazing experience. To know and understand that what their getting will change their lives forever made me extremely happy. It made me think about how much the spirit has played a role in my life. I am forever grateful for the spirit guiding me. This work is so rewarding. 

A few weeks ago, one of the members came up to us, and told us that her husband had been asking some questions about the church, and that she would call us in the future when her husband was ready to talk to us. One thing I know is that often time members don't understand when people are "ready" to hear the gospel, and so they are hesitant to call us. Most of the time the people are very ready to hear the gospel. So after a few weeks of not  getting a call, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We called her last and set up a lesson for last Saturday. Well 15 minutes before the lesson, the wife texted us and said that he wasn't ready to meet with us, but that she would still come. We were like, "Alright. It's a little weird to meet just with a member, but sure!" But secretly I was praying in my heart, just begging God to help us meet with this guy. 5 minutes later, she texts back and says, "Hey I convinced him to come!" YESSS. After about ten minutes of talking, the guy just looks at us and blurts out, "How do you pray?" We end up teaching him about how church is a hospital and not a place for perfect people. Then this week we met with him again, and taught him the restoration. It was awesome. He is a really good guy, really has a desire to learn. He didn't come to church this week though, and we asked the wife why, and she told us, "Because he didn't like his hair." LOL. oh well.

Covering two wards can be hectic. One day, we had about an hour and half before dinner, and we were wondering what to do, We turned on our phone, which had been dead, and we had a bunch of missed calls from a lady who was expecting us that night. But it was a half and hour drive to the lady's house and half and hour back, and so we would have to rush our lesson. We called dinner and asked if we could push back a half and hour, but he wasn't too happy that we were. So he told us we could push back  fifteen minutes. When we were at the families' house, we taught them and were about to leave, and it would be perfect timing, but then the dad asked us to stay and eat some dinner with us. We were just like, "Oooohhhh greeaatt..." And so we ate the food as fast as we could and got out of there. When we got in the car, we checked our messages and the member was like NO RUSH! We can push back a half and hour! Greeeaatt..

But anyway, all good things. All good thing. But I have to go! Love you guys!

Elder Gleave