Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Scaredy Catz

Hello out there!

This week was the usual AWESOME. Being a missionary is just such the best. Especially at this time of the year. Also, me and Sister Bailey have some how tricked the members of our ward into thinking we're super cool or something, because they keep inviting us over for coco and giving us handmade gifts and stuff. Like the other day we mentioned how we love going to bed but the only down side is climbing in at first because our sheets are all cold, then BAM! The next day a member sewed us rice bags to heat up and put under our covers! So, basically life is going beautifully.

And also the work is going beautifully, because that's what actually matters in making me joyous. We have a couple baptisms next week, a few of our recent converts are going to the temple on Saturday, and our investigators have tons of potential. BLESSINGS!

I will now share a tiny snippet of my life that recently blew my mind:

One of our investigators is a 14 year old girl with serious heart health problems. She's a foster child and has been coming to church the past few weeks (and is loving it!) I was in Young Women's with her last week and told her if she had any questions that she didn't want to ask the whole class, she could write them down and we'd talk about them after. The lesson was on missionary work and how we can build the kingdom of God.

After class, she only had one question for me. She asked "Is it hard to talk about Jesus Christ and God?" with a little bit of bewilderment. I told her that some people are a little bit nervous for various reasons, but referred back to the previous week's lesson about Spiritual Gifts and how one of her spiritual gifts is having the confidence to easily talk about the things she believes.

Looking back, I think it's so interesting that she so easily picked up on the fact that the lesson about missionary work was more about breaking preconceived negative ideas about sharing the gospel and convincing the YW that missionary work is actually a good thing to do, than a lesson about ways to improve or things to say,etc. I think it just proves that fear of missionary work is a self taught habit for us members of the church, and that people who meet us are a little confused why we might be so hesitant to talk about something so important to us. Like if one of your friends started talking to you about their job, or their family, or a charity they're involved in, you would never be offended or be weirded out because you know that's a huge part of their life! Even if you decided that you didn't want to join their job or family or charity, you would probably still enjoy the conversation.

So ... moral of the story is that being scared to share the gospel is all in our heads. Try to de-brainwash yourselves this week. :)

I love you all! Have a fabulous pre-Christmas week!

Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Squirrel Killer‏

So in order to fully understand the tragedy of a rather unfortunate event that took place this week, I need to fill you in on little quirk that has been developing for a few months. I think it started Spring Semester up at USU when I realized I really love things to be alive. In fact, I love things to be alive so much, that I would really prefer that nothing dies because of me. This feeling has for some reason escalated on my mission to the point that the majority of the missionaries out here know me as "the sister who saves bugs". After arriving in Rhode Island and seeing all the Rhode Kill, I decided to put "DON'T kill an animal while driving" on my list of 20 things I want to accomplish before I turn 21.

This week, that goal was demolished.

Whilst driving along on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, a majestic gray squirrel with a really bad sense of timing darted out in front of my tire. I was actually really, really upset. Ahhhh! It was the worst. But I will find that squirrel in the next life and give him a little squirrel treat.

Other than that, this week was pretty much fantastically uneventful. We taught some lessons, ate some food, watched the Christmas devotional. You know you are a mormon when you can scout out favorites in Motab. Some of my personal favorites include Tiny Asian Man, Orange Haired Grandma, and Steve Martin Doppelganger. 

Anyways, I love you all and am so grateful to be out here! #MBMforLyf

Sister Gledhill

Weeping Messes

So not much time this week, but all is well in the land of Scituate!
This week was awe-some! And was exceptionally full of Priesthood Power. I got a blessing last Sunday because I was feeling less then exceptional. This was the least miraculous instance. But it get's better!
One of our recent converts, Bill, has an autistic and severely retarded son (Joey) that he adopted when he was 4. He is about to turn 21 and has to move to an adult home this week. Bill has been really worried about Joey having a hard time with the change, and asked if the elders would give him a Priesthood blessing on Thanksgiving. It was an incredible experience and you could feel how special Joey is to Heavenly Father. Bill called us after the blessing and said that he has never seen Joey so calm and peaceful in his whole life! Bill bore his testimony about it yesterday in Sacrament meeting and said, "I'm so glad I found the church - I've spent so long looking for this. I finally feel like I've come home." Needless to say, Sister Bailey and I were weeping messes.
The other really cool Priesthood moment was when the Elders gave a blessing to a deaf man in our ward. It was a really beautiful example of how Heavenly Father communicates with us spirit to spirit - although Joe couldn't hear the blessing with his physical ears, he still could experience the blessing in the most important way.
So anyways, I love the Priesthood. I'm so grateful for the Restoration so we can have such a special connection to our Heavenly Father!
Love you all!
Sister Gledhill

The Foreign Soapy Girl‏

Helloooooo out there!
This week was quite fabulous. We met the new Elder in our ward - Elder Moser. He is from Ogden and is pretty hilarious. He actually reminds me a lot of Uncle Tyson Ballard. It's kind of weird. In a good way.
So for transfers, the biking elders serving in Warwick (a neighboring ward) took our car to Transfer Meeting. The new elder that came, Elder Nordin, had all his stuff in the back of the car still when we went to go get the car back, so we got in the back seat and they drove to their apartment to drop off all of his stuff before we could take off. Whilst driving to their apartment, Elder Nordin made a particularly sharp turn and the lid of his liquid laundry detergent popped off. Unfortunately this laundry detergent happened to be RIGHT ABOVE ME beneath the windshield, and proceeded to POUR OUT ONTO ME IN COPIOUS AMOUNTS. It took me like 30 seconds to unwedge the container out from it's storage place, so I was one soapy girl. Elder Nordin sure knows how to make a first impression ...
Also, ever since I have arrived in Scituate, suddenly people think I'm from another country. Our Ward Mission Leader and his wife said, "You do not look like a normal American girl." Another member says I have a European accent, and yesterday a sister in relief society says I look like I am part of a North-Western Canadian Indian tribe. Uh ... nope.
We taught Relief Society yesterday from Elder Ballard's talk "Trust in the Lord" from conference. While we were studying for it, we realized that President Monson's welcome message was all about missionary work. Usually this is the time that the Prophet will announce new temples and exciting things like that, but this time he said the following:
"The holy scriptures contain no proclamation more relevant, no responsibility more binding, no instruction more direct than the injunction given by the resurrected Lord as He appeared in Galilee to the eleven disciples. Said He, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”2 The Prophet Joseph Smith declared, “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.”3 Some of you here today will yet remember the words of President David O. McKay, who phrased the familiar “Every member a missionary!”4
To their words I add my own. Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work."
So it's like his really exciting announcement was that now is the time for members and missionaries to work together! Whaaaaaaaat??? So cool.
Anyways, I love you guys. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Gledhill

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Laying the Ground

Hello my dear ones!
This week was fantastic for many reasons, first and foremost because SISTER BAILEY AND I ARE BOTH STAYING!!! I am slightly thrilled. We are losing one of the Elders in my ward, which is a bummer because we work a TON together and I adore them both, but I guess I'll survive. He just had to go and get himself called as the next AP. Pff. Laaaaaaaaame.
In other news, we had Zone Conference last Friday and it was suuuuuper good. There was much talk about not wasting a minute of our missions because they are just too precious, which is always a good reminder. One thing that really stood out to me was when a Senior Elder who is called to write a history of the building of the Hartford, CT Temple talked to us for a minute. The temple is in the very beginning stages and they are just doing general landscape and foundational stuff, so he frequently walks around and shows the construction workers a picture of what the temple will look like when it is finished. He just feels like it's so sad that to these workers, this is just another job. Just some more dirt. Just some more concrete. But they have no idea what they are really laying the foundation for!
While he was talking, I realized that is so much like us! As missionaries and in everyday life we so often think, "Just another day." But we can't see what we are laying the foundation for! One thing I've gained a ginormous testimony of on my mission is that the small and simple things are the MOST important. So when we find ourselves thinking, "Just another prayer." or "Just another family night." remember that we cannot see what we are working on! "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." (D&C 64:33)
So ... anyways. Sorry. Kind of got on a roll there. The preacher in me in coming out. So before I testify you to tears, I will sign off. I love you all and am so grateful for each one of you!
Sister Gledhill

No News is Good News.‏

Oh Goodness.

This week was so so good! Like, Scituate is nuuuuuuutz guys. We are teaching so. many. people. I don't even know how I have been so lucky to be put here. I love my companion. I love my ward. I. Love. Everything.

I'm trying to think of some incredible experience from the past week that I can tell you about, but mostly I just remember teaching, and planning, and being ridiculously happy. Somebody must be offering up some mighty prayers in our behalf, because life is good. 

But, I am freaking out a little bit because TRANSFERS ARE NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!! And I really, really don't want Sister Bailey to leave yet! I mean, I cannot even fathom how 6 weeks has already gone by. Like, what? Was that fast for everyone? Or just us here in missionary time warp? Anyways, this next week will be spent with many fingers and toes crossed that things stay the same here in our neck of the woods. In other news, it's Zone Conference this week and S. Gifford Nielsen is touring our mission. He is the one who gave the EXCLAMATION POINT! talk at General Conference, so I am sure it will be quite the experience.

Okay well, I will valiantly try to think of something exciting to tell you all next week. In the mean time, pray that next Wednesday I will have very exciting news of no change for you all.

Sister Gledhill

Monday, November 4, 2013

Scituate Santa

I don't have much time today, but this week was the usual fantastic. However, the one extra hour we gained from Daylight Savings sure seemed to add up, because this is the one and only week of my mission that I can honestly say felt long. But it was long and full of goodness!
There is this member named Brother Gagnon who used to live in our ward but now lives in Georgia who gave the missionaries like 40 referrals a few months ago. Well, this guy came to town this week and let me tell ya, he looks just like Santa. He even has Santa contracts with malls and stuff! And he brought his Santa magic with him this week! He had us over to visit with his cousins and some of them are super solid ... Like they'll probably end up getting baptized! Christmas in October from the Scituate Santa. <3
It was also Halloween this week, and missionaries in our mission need to be home by 6:00. For some reason they don't want us out knocking doors with all the children and the devil worshipers. Go figure. But, can you say, "EARLY BEDTIME"?! Sister Bailey and I have been looking forward to it all month! So after doing some planning and record keeping and other good missionary duties, we painted our toenails and watched The Testament, and then snuggled up and went to sleep. Unfortunately, the couple extra hours we got did little to even out our bazillion hour deficit. Oh well. We'll sleep when we're home, right?
This weekend was also Stake Conference, which was fantastic because the Saturday night session was all about MISSIONARY WORK. Which is kind of my thing these days. It was also great because President and Sister Packard came, and every time we get to listen to them it's amazing. They're like our celebrity parents. The Stake Presidency ended up focusing hard core on Sabbath Day observance, which was crazy because they didn't plan that to be a theme at all. President Hutchins stood up and said, "This must be a message this Stake needs to hear." Haha, a nice healthy dose of chastisement never hurt anyone, right? But it was so so so good.
Anyways, I sure love you guys! And I sure love the opportunity to be a missionary. I honestly feel so blessed to have this time to give my tiny part to this work.
Sister Gledhill

Getting Haircuts, 20, and Trunky

Oh man, this week was full of craziness.

Last week after we emailed, we went to get haircuts. BAD IDEA. My hair has been growing to Rapunzel-esque lengths thus far on the mish, so I figured it was time for a solid trim. I was aiming for like 2-3 inches. The lady who cut our hair took off like 4. I was in haircut shock, but I took it like a champ and figured I would get used to it in a few days. The next morning, Sister Bailey let out of a shriek of alarm whilst straightening her hair - her haircut was uneven. And I'm not talking like a barely noticeable uneven, but like an inch or more off uneven. I took my hair out of the bun it is usually exiled to and mine was uneven too!!! So that night, one of our lovely members fixed it for us ... at the sacrifice of a couple more inches. So now, 6 inches later, my hair is finally even. My hair hasn't been this short since like 6th grade! But whatever. I feel like getting your hair butchered is kind of like a missionary right of passage, so at least it happened relatively early on in my mission. We figured that by the time we get home our hair will be back to normal! So in the mean time, my hair will be in it's normal state of disheveledness. #bunlife

And then a few days later I turned 20! It was great. Well, basically it was like a normal day in the life of a missionary except we had cupcakes at district meeting. And I got some packages and letters! Thanks to everyone who sent me something, it's nice to know that I haven't been completely erased from the pages of your memories :) Any who, I am now officially a not-teenager. But I still feel like I won't be an official adult for another year. I guess twenty is the year of being unclassified.

Saturday night the ward had a Trunk-or-Treat at the church, which was fun fun fun. We had a pretty good showing of non-members AND there was a pie-eating contest. Which really is just an excuse for people to laugh at you while you rub your face in messy food, but whatevs. For the actual Trunk-or-Treating part, I came up with the idea to fill our trunk with suitcases and make a sign that said "Get Trunky". (For those of you who aren't in tune with the missionary lingo, trunky is the term used to describe missionaries who think about home and all the stuff they want to do there.) Get it? TRUNKY? TRUNK-or-Treat? I mean hello, this is hilarious stuff. But I think maybe 2 people in the ward understood the joke. Yeesh.

Then yesterday, one of our investigators got baptized. As Alyssa was sitting there absolutely beaming, I had one of those almost out-of-body experiences where you just look around and realize how good life is. I love being a missionary! I just get to watch people find the gospel and change their lives and find happiness 24/7. Sister Bailey and I were talking about how little we actually do. It feels like people are just handed to us who have been waiting their whole lives to accept the gospel. I mean, it's kind of hard to find these people, but once we do, our role is so tiny! It's the best. 

I love you guys! Have an incredible week!

Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Girls in the Helmets.

What up loved ones?!

Yet another week of missionary has flown by. I can't believe I've only been in Rhode Island for a week and a half! It feels like I've been here for ages. In a good way. But so much has happened! We have so much work to do we can't even cram it all into our schedules. We have to schedule things like 2 weeks in advance. #sopopular. I feel super blessed to be a missionary here in Scituate. 

... And also I feel super exhausted. Sister Bailey and I have had multiple delusional laughing fits this week - it's the best way to deal with stress and exhaustion. I think it might have something to do with the fact that we started riding BIKES. Hahaha, it's a hoot. Two teenage girls in skirts riding all over the New England hills. In helmets. With a basket full of scriptures. We look so adorable that some people have felt the need to yell encouraging phrases out their windows to us, such as, "Nice helmets!" and "Lose the skirts!" They're just jealous that we pull it off so well. I did have to invest in a seat cushion, because I soon discovered that bike seats are like the opposite of comfortable. 

This week I had the realization that a lot of people think missionary work is really easy. They're just like, "Call this person. Go over there. Knock on the door. Baptize them. It's not that difficult." And we're like, "Uh, what do you think we've been doing?!" Basically all the answers with missionary work are simple, but rarely are they easy. Does that make sense?

But oh man, when things work out, it's amazing. This week we had so many people tell us that right before we appeared in their lives, they had prayed to God for a change or a light or a new path. And then when we show up, they're all nervous to tell us this like we are going to think they are insane. If only they knew that it's kind of our norm. Isn't that crazy? Miracles and signs are my norm these days. I love being a missionary.

This next week will be a week of land mark dates - 20 years old and my 5 month mark! Yuck. Time. Ick. These may be the last words I type as a teenager. #soancient. All I would ask for my birthday is for everyone to find an opportunity to share the gospel this Thursday. That's right, challenge thrown down. I expect reports of you all being a sign from God in someone's life next week. 

Sister Gledhill

New Address

138 Thompson Pike
Dayville, CT 06241

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Promised Land

Oh my goodness. I am here. In RHODE ISLAND. I don't have much time, so let me conveniently break down my new life into categories:
Companion: Sister Makell Bailey from Murray, Utah. Let me tell ya, this transfer is going to be a treat. We get along like New England and clam chowdah. (so ... you know, really well.)
Apartment: We live in an adorable little woodsy cottage. It's a little apartment over a member's garage and it's so. cute. And also freezing. And also it has like 1/16 of the storage space my last apartment had, but it's totally worth it. And also the members that we rent from make us recycle and compost and stuff, so the granola in me is loving it.
The Work: The Providence Stake is basically like the Holy Land of missionary work in our mission. There is SO much happening! It really is an incredible place to be a missionary right now.
Oh man, I love it here. The only downside is we are totally going to have to start riding bikes, and I have like 3 skirts that allow for biking. Hooray for repeat outfits and helmet hair! But, I will probably develop thighs of steel, so prepare yourselves for that.
And I finally got to go to the temple yesterday! WOOOOOOOOO! No offense to any of my beloved family, but I have been far more homesick for the temple than for anything else. It was so nice to go back! And also I had a beautiful reunion with my MTC companion Sister White in the Celestial Room, so that was appreciated.
Man, I'm getting worse at remembering things. But I am so happy here! I love you guys and am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord.
Sister Gledhill

Inline image 1

Sister Bailey and I. #companionbesties

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

SCITUATE! ... Where's Scituate?

I am going to Scituate, Rhode Island. Tomorrow. I am leaving Waltham. TOMORROW.
You may be wondering, where is Scituate? What is it like there? How is the work going there? How do you even pronounce Scituate?
Well, my friends, let me tell you. I have no idea.

Saturday night, we were in the car driving to our dinner appointment after the second session of conference when all of the sudden Sister Roy started screaming. As the good companion I am, I was obviously a little troubled by this. The last Saturday of every transfer, T-texts go out alerting the mission of any changes that will take place the next transfer. Usually these texts come at about 9:30 or 9:45, but the Elders wouldn't be out of Priesthood session until 10:00 with the time difference, so we were told that T-texts wouldn't be until 10:30. But, in order to cause much distress and chaos (they claimed so we wouldn't be up late), surprise T-texts were sent at 6:00 - hence Sister Roy's screaming.
Surprise T-texts are bad for a number of reasons.
1 - I need to take time to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for such life-altering announcements.
2 - It is usually safer for all parties involved for me to NOT get life-altering announcements whilst driving a vehicle.
3 - After receiving life-altering announcements, it is very hard to recompose yourself and act like a normal person at dinner appointments.
And it is in this unprepared state that we found out I am being transferred to Scituate. AHHHHHHHH! All I could think was, "Being a missionary is a crazy thing to be." Like, for the past 4 months Weston 1 has been my life. I literally spend 24 hours a day thinking, planning, serving, teaching, and interacting with the people who live here. And now, I am leaving. And I am going to have a new life in this mystical Scituate.
Here is all my limited knowledge about Scituate: The Scituate ward is in the Providence Stake. You pronounce Scituate SIT-CHEW-IT. My companion is going to be Sister Bailey, who came out the same time as Sister Roy and was trained by one of my MTC district sisters, Sister Neilson. The Scituate missionaries are known for going on tons of splits with their members. And they already have a Christmas tree in their apartment.
THAT'S IT PEOPLE. This is all I know about my new life!
Oh and also that I will live here: 138 Thompson Pike, Dayville, Connecticut. CONNECTICUT! I am going to live in Connecticut. I guess Scituate is by Connecticut. ... Actually probably all of Rhode Island is by Connecticut. That's what happens when you're in the smallest state in the country. WHICH I AM GOING TO BE IN! Oh my life. I've been saying goodbye to all our investigators and members the past few days, which was kind of sad. But also I know I will stay in contact with the ones that I got really close to, so I'm not too worried about it. Plus, it's reassuring to know Sister Roy will be here to watch over my old life. It's in good hands.
In other news, Conference was AMAZING. I woke up in the middle of Friday night and couldn't go back to sleep, I was so excited. Just like ... woh. Conference is so amazing. This church is so amazing. Revelation. It's cool stuff. I would go into more exciting details, but mostly I just can't even focus. So much to do in preparation for SCITUATE!
Pray for me!
Sister Gledhill

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Building the playground!

 Mulchin for dayzzzzzz

 Playground Prep day

Posing with Pat and Slyder

 Hahahahaha she's so tiny

Pam's Baptism

The Harvest of Much Fruit.

This week was craziness because a ton of stuff that has been in the works since I got here all came to fruition at the same time!
At the beginning of this week/end of last week we helped at a service project organized by KABOOM. They go all around the country and build playgrounds in low-income communities. I mean, how can that not tug at your heartstrings? Playgrounds for high-risk kids?! Sign us up. Last Saturday we were there prepping the sight for Tuesday, which was the big build day. It was kind of insane to see how the chaos of dozens of clueless volunteers turned a dusty lot into an awesome playground in just a few hours. Totally an Extreme Home Make-over Moment. We got there Saturday morning and were assigned to the Mulch Team, which was probably the most labor intensive job of the entire day. I guess they looked at the walking twig (me) and the adorable hobbit (Sister Roy) and figured we would be the most suited to haul an entire mountain of mulch to cover the playground sight. Like this pile was honestly as tall as the apartment building it was next to.
But luckily, we're missionaries endowed with the power of God, so I simply looked at it and said "Remove hence to yonder place." Unfortunately, things went the "faith with out works is dead" route rather than the "faith can move mountains" route. You win some, you lose some.

At the end of the day, some of the Patriots and Revolution players showed up. New England sports is like a religion out here so people were going NUTS. I felt like it was kind of lame though, because they just did some glamor shots of them putting up the finishing touches, looking like they had built the entire thing. I was like, Hello? Where was the football team when we were moving a giant pile of mulch?!! I tried talking to one whilst we were tightening screws next to each other. I asked him what position he played and he just stared at me like the peasant I am. That pretty much exhausted my sports related conversation starters, so I just went back to tightening. The playground ended up looking so good though!

The second thing that happened this week that we have been planning for.ev.er. was we started an English class! I guess 1 in 3 people in Waltham don't speak English or speak English as a second language, and the main free English class provider lost funding this year - so there is a huge need! We've been working a lot with some of the community big-shots and it's been really good to get the church's name out. Our Stake is actually starting this huge missionary service project where the relief society is in charge of coordinating all of our service. It's kind of ground-breaking or something because a few of the Brethren are really excited about it. #hipstermission 

Anyways, the English class was tons of fun. I was scared we would get a really small turnout, but as it turns out people are pretty enthusiastic about learning English. We had about 50 people show up on registration night and had to turn some people away! Which was a bummer, but some people really were too advanced for the program anyways. We're trying to find a couple stable teachers from the ward that don't have the possibility of leaving every 6 weeks, but so far we're having a little trouble with that. So Sister Roy and I taught this week! It was so fun! The first lesson was on introducing yourself, so I repeated "Hi, my name is Sister Gledhill. I'm from the United States. I live in Waltham." like 76 times. But it was really great to see some of the people who had no idea what was going on at first be able to introduce themselves. Also, I think all of them learned my name.

The last super exciting thing that happened was our investigator Pam got baptized! She is a 13 year old Haitian adorable girl with such a strong testimony. Her parents are baptized but stopped going to church just before she turned 8. She knows from her experience with other churches that this is the true church and she found a member family and started coming with them. She really is going to be such an anchor for the rest of her life. She was beaming the entire baptismal service. It was so cute because after she got baptized she just stood there with her eyes shut and her nose plugged for like 30 seconds while she processed what happened. So adorable. She's also stoked to go to the temple to do baptisms and she asked if she could get her temple recommend the same day she got confirmed. What a babe.

So that was our week! Hopefully we keep having so much good stuff happen and we will harvest a whole cornucopia of blessings.

I love you guys!
Sister Gledhill

The Plague.‏

Oh man you guys. This week we were smitten with a curse.
So, after taking things really easy last week so Sister Roy could rest and recuperate, she was cleared by the hospital on Monday. Sound familiar?
The next morning, she woke up with The Plague.
Okay, I'm being totally dramatic, but she woke up with some kind of crazy virus that made her nauseous, and fever-y, and achey, and exhausted. This is not exactly the state of being that facilitates missionary work. And so, home we stayed. Our Sister Training Leaders and some really incredible members helped us cover our important appointments by going on splits with us, but for the most part I was home with Sister Roy Tuesday and Wednesday. By Thursday she was feeling much better, but we had weekly planning and District Meeting which took up most of our day. So we were really looking forward to Friday - the blessed day when we could finally get back to work and catch up on everything that we've missed for the past couple weeks. But alas, this was not what happened.
Friday morning dawned, and The Plague struck again.

This time, I was the one who woke up nauseous, and fever-y, and achey, and exhausted.

I mean, what? The sickness cycle was getting a little ridiculous. However, as we can learn from the scriptures (who knew those things can actually teach us stuff, huh?), God never sends a plague with out also sending you a lesson to learn. And trust me, I sure did learn a really good lesson. I sincerely hope that none of you are as stubborn as me and require such treatment in order to learn things. Anyways, we are now both healthy and strong and with every finger and toe crossed we will be getting back to life as usual this week!

But you might want to pray for us just in case, because we are good at defying the odds apparently.
I love you guys!
Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Love the Gospel

This week was alternately really eventful and also really, really not so eventful. Sister Roy kind of had a health-scare fiasco in which we were pretty sure she was going to have to go to the hospital to recuperate from. Fortunately, this is not the case! But for most of the week President Packard ordered her to be on partial bed rest, so we would work for a few hours of the day and then she would rest and do treatment for the rest of the day. Which means I had a lot of time to do all kinds of exciting things! Like re-organize our area book, bake a million sugar cookies for the ward linger-longer, paint my toenails ... Lucky for me, Sister Roy is on the mend and we will hopefully be able to be out a lot more this week. Otherwise I might start having slightly Cast Away-esque symptoms.
But we did get to go to a few exciting meetings this week! (This is not sarcastic. I really do love meetings more than the average person. It's a personality quirk I guess.) We had Interviews with President, which happen every other transfer - so about every 12 weeks. I really don't know how to describe how much I love President Packard. Imagine a general authority, your grandpa, and a teddy bear mixed together with a little bit of Texas twang thrown in. A combination that would melt any heart. Plus everything that comes out of his mouth is so incredibly awesome that we kind of all just stare at him with our mouths hanging open.
Sister Roy and I also made a brief appearance at DLC (District Leader Conference), except we thought it was MLC (Mission Leader Conference) which is when all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders get together once a month to do important leadery things. But DLC is when all the District Leaders and Zone Leaders get together - aka no sisters. We were invited to demonstrate the way we report at District Meetings, and were told to come about half way through the meeting. We burst through the gym doors in a cloud of excitement and then awkwardly realized that we were the only girls and that every pair of leadership eyes in the mission were on us - we're talking like 80 Elders here people. To make matters worse, we had entered in through the doors that made us take the longest possible route to get to a pair of empty seats. Then to add to awkward humiliation, they were running late in their agenda, so we sat there for like 30 minutes while everyone gave us worried looks, confused why two greenie sisters had crashed the meeting with such barbarianism. Anyways, by the time we presented it was totally anticlimactic, but whatever. I'm totally over it. (Not).
Anywaaays, being a missionary still rules. Even when you are house-confined and totally embarrass yourself when you leave.
And I love all of you.
Sister Gledhill

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Pics from transfer 3!

Photos fromTransfer 3

Hola humans!

This week we got a new Elder in our ward! And not just any Elder, but Elder Paiva from Brazil! Which is actually kind of a miracle because Elder Rushforth got transferred and he's the only one of us who speaks Portuguese and the Elders are teaching a Brazilian investigator who's getting baptized soon, and a Brazilian family just moved into our ward, and one of our member's non-member husband just moved from Portugal, and we've been working on getting another Brazilian family to investigate ever since me and Sister Bringhurst came and they finally came to church last week. But, it's probably just a coincidence that Elder Paiva came to our ward at this time. (NOT.)

We also got to return to the scene of the infamous pool baptism because the Bishop was hosting a giant barbeque swim-party for all the new families in the ward. We went over a little early to help set things up and the Bishop and his wife were getting dressed when people started arriving, so I began welcoming people to my beautiful home and thanked them for coming. I thought this would be funny because the Bishop lives in a mansion and I obviously don't own any part of it. But then I think people were really confused about why I was there and making lemonade in the kitchen ... Half the ward probably think we're live in servants in our spare time now.
Okay so due to my own previous experience of trying to send missionaries packages and due my current experience of being a missionary, I have decided to create a list of things that would be included in THE ULTIMATE SISTER MISSIONARY PACKAGE. This is not because I want to beg for packages (even though I totally am), but because I think it's hard to know what missionaries really would find useful unless you actually are a missionary. So after brainstorming and asking all the other sisters in my district their ideas, I have come up with the following list:
  • Office Supplies - this would include cute notebooks, sticky notes of all shapes, sizes, and colors, favorite pens (Pilot Precise V7 RT if you were wondering ....), and basically any thing you could purchase at Staples.
  • Things to Give to Kids - stickers, ctr rings, etc.
  • Stamps - stateside and international are both appreciated
  • Accessories - necklaces, scarfs, watches, rings, you name it.
  • Scrapbook Paper - we are the Pinterest generation after all. We want everything to look cute.
  • Quick-dry Nail Polish
  • Coloring Supplies - crayons, markers, coloring books
  • Good-Smelling Hand Sanitizer - being a missionary is gross sometimes.
  • Lesson Aids - anything you think could be useful when teaching. Supplies for an object lesson, gospel pictures, etc. I've really been wanting a Children's Song Book.
  • Gift Cards - for our area the winners would be Chipotle, Target, and Staples.
  • Cute Quotes & Printouts - seriously. We tape them up everywhere.
  • Favorite Conference Talks
  • Any Random Mormon Themed Item - Missionaries all have Mormon pride. It's kind of our job. So socks, calendars, magnets, T-shirts ... We'll proudly sport it all.
  • "Healthy" Grab & Go Snacks - It's not that we don't love candy, but crackers and granola bars and the like are a little more practical when you actually want to survive.
  • Mission Approved Music - I think missionaries are the reason God gave us the ability to make mix tapes. We seriously will be grateful for anything.
  • Pictures - getting pictures of home is seriously the best. Old pictures and new are both awesome.
  • Cash. - Being a missionary is like being a poor college student. Except poorer.
Anyways, that's what we want. Straight from the mouths of the Sisters themselves.
And also we want referrals. So if you can some how swing that...
Okay, gotta go preach the gospel now. #missionaryswag
Sister Gledhill

Monday, August 19, 2013

Human Orbits

Okay first of all, I feel that I should apologize for my email last week. We were really short on emailing time and I have since realized that I used 99% of that time talking about the pointless fact that my inner voice is Italian. I promise that most of my thoughts and actions are centered on more important missionary-related things. Except sometimes the really nonsensical stuff spills out. And sometimes that nonsensical stuff is Italian.
So yesterday I was totally sick. :( Which was a bummer for a couple reasons:
1. It's really hard to missionary work when you are alternately throwing up and sleeping for 24 hours.
2. We have another mini missionary with us this week (HOORAY!) and it wasn't a super ideal picture of what missionary life is like for her first day with us. I felt the need to keep emphasizing that being a missionary usually involves less laying on the ground moaning and more helping people come closer to Christ.
3. I had to miss church and Sister Roy and our mini said it was SO. GOOD. (Side note: our mini's name is Kyla and she is sooooo adorable. She's 17 and gonna be a senior this year. She's from a beach town in Rhode Island and wants to go to Stanford and help Africans have clean water. #awesome)
But like a million people helped take care of me, so that was really nice. A bunch of different sister missionaries came to babysit me through out the day, and the elders and our ward mission leader showed up to give me a blessing and Sister Roy made me some really good soup. And all of their love  miraculously nursed me back to health! My Bishop suggested that Sister Roy probably poisoned me to insure that she would get a new companion next transfer ... thanks for the vote of confidence Bishop.

Aaaaaaaanyways, besides my recent sickness/poisoning, the past couple weeks have been really super awesome. Our area is finally getting busy and it makes my heart swell with joy! A lot of the really exciting potential stuff that we've been hoping and praying and crossing fingers and toes for since me and Sister Bringhurst opened is finally pulling through. It's amazing to be able to see the hand of the Lord in His work, especially in the tiny details! On a daily basis, something will happen that is so unlikely that there is no other explanation. The messages we feel impressed to share, the times we go visit people and catch them at just the right time, the members we feel like we should check up on ... it's definitely not our own knowledge and power that lead us to these people!

It makes me think of this quote by Elder Maxwell:
“The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.”
Isn't that beautiful? I have a huge testimony that Heavenly Father is SO involved in everything we do. I know that he arranges our lives so we come in contact with those people that we can help and those that can bless us. Human orbits. Such a cool thought. It's really obvious in missionary work, and it's made me realize how true it's been my entire life! I know that each of us can bless so many lives if we are just aware of the opportunities God gives us!
This Saturday we get transfer texts! I'm pretty sure me and Sister Roy will stay right where we are, but who knows?! (God does. See previous paragraph.) But because next week is transfer week, P-day will be on Wednesday. So I will talk to you then!

I love you all and I love this work that the Lord has entrusted me to do. I feel so blessed to be a missionary at such an amazing time in history! We are so lucky to have the gospel in our lives and there are so many good people who need the peace and happiness that comes from it!
Sister Gledhill

Welcome to Boston, Where People Drive as Well as They Say Nice Things

So last P-day we went into Boston and did all kinds of touristy cliche things. Well mainly we just went to Mike's Pastries and Quincy Market. But it was super fun to be in the city! And when we were in the North End I was reminded that I think I used to be an Italian peasant in a former life. (Not that we believe in that type of thing ...) But my inner voice totally has an Italian accent and it's the only accent that ever feels normal coming out of my mouth. And, I really like pizza. Viva Italia!
This week was awesome because we had Zone Conference and every time we get multiple missionaries in the same room, it's like standing under one of those giant buckets at water parks. Except with the spirit instead of water. We are engaged in something pretty amazing. Missionary work rules. \m/
Okay I don't have much time, but just know that I love you and God loves you. #truth.
Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mini Missionary

Hello Humans!
This week was reaaaaaal nice.
One really awesome thing that happened was we got a Mini Missionary! All of the Stakes in our mission participate in this Mini missionary program. Basically kids 16 and up get to come and stay with us for a few days and experience what mission life is all about. Apparently it happens pretty frequently too, like at least once a transfer! It's an awesome way to prepare to serve or just try it out if your considering it. Our "mini" missionary was named Amanda and she was 25. SHE WAS SO COOL! She has had this crazy life where she really wasn't on the straight and narrow for a long time, if you know what I mean. But the missionaries have been working with her for the past couple of years and now she is one of the most faith filled people I've ever met. She was planning on serving a mission, but it didn't exactly work out. So this mini mission was kind of her chance at getting the experience for a couple of days. I was kind of surprised that they sent her to Sister Roy and I, since she came out by herself and not with a whole herd of minis. I would have thought that she would be sent to a ward with lots of investigators and stable work, but the assistants felt like it would be good for us to be with her. I'm glad she did, because it was great to be around someone filled with so much faith that the Lord has a plan for her! Hopefully she had a good experience ... maybe the point of her coming with us was to make her happy that she can't serve. Oh well.
Also we taught Sharing Time in Primary yesterday! I love childrens. They are so cute. We taught about prayer and how the scriptures teach us how to pray. There were only like 10 kids in Senior Primary! Definitely a change from Utah wards. Also I'm pretty sure like 60% of our ward is on vacation in Utah, so ... send them back to us please :)
Sometimes being a missionary is like in the 7th Harry Potter when Harry, Ron, and Hermione keep visiting all of the places that they know there is no horcrux at, but they just don't really know what else to do. Except we are looking for people who want to come closer to Christ, which is kind of like the opposite of horcrux hunting. But other times it feels like when Harry figures out where the Elder Wand is and has to make the decision between horcruxes and hallows - like there is too much good stuff to do and you have to make hard decisions! #missionarylyf
There is this really awesome quote from President Eyring that is helpful to ponder when making such decisions. "What would the Savior do if He had your opportunities?" Isn't that so awesome?! It's like WWJD, but way more thought provoking... even though it's essentially the same thing - but from the mouth of an Apostle of the Lord!
So this week think WWTSDIHHYO. Okay?
I love you guys!
Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Baptism Pool

Life here in MA is aMAzing. (hahaha it took me like 3 minutes to come up with that and it's totally lame.) But really it is quite good. Sister Roy is doing amazing, she does a great job of being patient with me when I have zero idea what's going on. Which is a good chunk of the time, so she must be REALLY patient. Luckily we get to work with some pretty incredible members that make our lives easy. Every time we go to help our members share the gospel and bring their friends closer to Christ, I feel like those two monsters from Monster's Inc. that are like janitors? And every time the Scarers walk by, they bang random tools on metal stuff and say "They're. Soo. AWESOME."
Me = janitor monster
Members = Scarers
So as a missionary we have 3 "pools" - the Finding Pool, the Teaching Pool, and the Baptism Pool. The Finding Pool is our list of potential investigators - mainly people that our members know and are working with. The Teaching Pool is anyone that we are currently teaching, and the Baptism Pool is anyone we are currently teaching that has a baptismal date. This week our baptism pool got a little ... literal.
So the Elders have been teaching this man named Jose Smith (that's right people, JOSEPH SMITH. His Dad's name is even Joseph. Which makes him JOSEPH. SMITH. JR.). And this Saturday he got baptized! We had the baptismal service at the church at 9:00 am and the Elders got there at 5:30 to fill up the font. It takes approximately 3 hours to fill. When Sister Roy and I arrived at a quarter to 9:00, we passed by the font room. THE FONT WAS EMPTY. Okay, not empty-empty, but like it had about an inch of water in the bottem. How do you baptize someone with an inch of water? Exactly, sprinkling. (Just kidding. We did not apostasize and sprinkle Jose.)  Apparently the plug got sucked DOWN THE DRAIN and the Elders hadn't noticed until about 2 minutes before we arrived! Everyone was in their seats ready for the program to start when we walked in to announce the font had drained.
Luckily our amazing Bishop saved us. He kind of reminds me of Harvey Dent from Batman but before he goes evil. ... Which is good because nobody wants an evil Bishop. He also happens to be quite wealthy and just happened to have completed construction on his brand new swimming pool this last week. That's right everyone, JOSE GOT BAPTIZED IN THE SWIMMING POOL. (Get it? Baptism pool. hahahahahahaha). It was quite the memorable experience and Jose was surprised when we told him that this usually doesn't happen. The service actually turned out pretty beautifully, after I ventured into the neighbor's yard to ask him to stop using his chain-saw.
Just another day in the life of a missionary. It's craziness. But I LOVE IT!
Also, to anyone who has written me a letter and not gotten one back, it's not because I don't totally love you and appreciate all you've said to me. I WILL write you back. The question is just when....
Anyways, I love you all! Thank you for being so supportive, it's a huge blessing.
Sister Gledhill

Monday, July 22, 2013

Transfer Magic

Hello humans! How is the real world going? Life in the missionary bubble has been especially sweet this week due to transfer magic - that's when tons of amazing things happen because one of my companions is leaving and needs to be super blessed and one of my companions is coming and needs to be super blessed. Hence like 5x the amount of normal blessings. It's super cool and so many things kind of just fell into place! This work is definitely inspired, and a lot of good things are going to happen this transfer!

My trainee totally is here!!! My baby's name is Sister Rachel Roy. She is so adorable and tiny and twenty. She is from Sandy, Utah and went to BYU for a couple of years before coming out and she is majoring in Communication Disorders. She also has Cystic Fibrosis. On Wednesday, President Packard called me into his office (we were there to help orientate the newbies) and told me the Lord has a special calling for me - to train Sister Roy! I got to find out a day early because we had to go and do a bunch of things with her insurance that day, so it was awesome to bond before any one else even knew who their companions would be! Basically the only thing that her CF affects is that we have to do cardio exercise for 45 minutes to an hour everyday (I know. I know. God sure does have a sense of humor.) And she also has to do breathing treatments every morning and night for about 45 minutes. She puts on this inflatable vest that shakes around her lungs and breathes through this tube full of medicine. It literally sounds like I'm studying next to someone going scuba diving - but it's strangely soothing. I think it kind of reminds me of car wash sounds I heard for 3 years of my life ... why this soothes me, I have no idea.

Sister Roy has such a strong spirit and determination! She is so ready to learn and improve and work. She doesn't let any of her circumstances stand in her way! She is so ... persistent? Devoted? She ran a marathon a few months ago. She's marathon-y. We are going to be great friends - if I don't die from cardio overload. And also she has good taste in music which is always a plus. Also she unpacked her clothes and we have like 5 matching outfits. For some reason, once you go on a mission, matching becomes the most hilarious thing ever so I'm sure we will have tons of fun. It was weird to say goodbye to Sister Bringhurst and realize how close we had gotten after 6 weeks! Spending all of your waking and sleeping moments with someone for a month and a half will do that to ya. Luckily she is still in my district, so I see her at least once a week. I'm excited to bond with Sister Roy though!
Speaking of my district, when I was in President Packard's office on Wednesday he also gave me another special assignment. My district consists of 4 companionships - The Assistants to the President, the Zone Leaders, The Sister Training Leaders, and Sister Roy and I. So basically everyone has a leadership calling already and there is no one to be District Leader. So, for the first time in the history of the Massachusetts Boston Mission (and in my head I say in the history of ever to make myself feel cooler), a sister will be serving as District Leader! ... and that sister is me! But really, we call it District Mom because I can't do everything a district leader can because of the whole lack of the priesthood thing. But I get to do reporting and check on all of my district members and stuff. It's kind of hilarious and super fun. Definitely a unique opportunity!
In other exciting news, we found out that Babe Ruth, Chris Evens aka Captain America, and Mary (as in Mary had a little lamb Mary) all lived in Sudbury, which is one of the towns we cover! And ya, don't ask me how Mary is a real person because I do not understand. But she is! And we went and saw the school house that the lamb followed her to! #Wild&CrazyMissionaryLyf
Also, one of our members (Sister Baer - she took us to dead sea scrolls) is a professional ballroom dancer and told us that she taught Shaqueil O'Neil how to swing dance a couple of years ago. He lived in Sudbury when he played for the Celtics!
Being a missionary is so incredible. There are so many miracles that happen to us everyday that I kind of take for granted - like I just kind of expect it. But I'm going to write down a miracle every day in hopes of being more grateful for it! But I have the strongest testimony that Heavenly Father is watching over us and is involved in every detail of this work. It's incredible to watch things unfold that we could not possibly be able to accomplish on our own. There is such power in the gospel! I hope you guys can see it in your lives too! I pray for you everyday and am so grateful for all you do for me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm Expecting!

That's right boys and girls, I AM GETTING A BABY!
Sister Bringhurst is transferring to the Weston 2nd ward on Thursday, and I am staying here in Weston 1st and training a brand newbie from the MTC! Everyone keeps asking me if I'm nervous to train, but I'm actually super stoked! Although, the more that people ask if I'm nervous, the more I feel like I should be nervous. I think I will be more nervous when I actually meet her and there is a living, breathing missionary that expects me to know how things work out here. ... ya maybe you should pray for me.
This week has been so so crazy and I kind of can't even remember what happened. There were a lot of exchanges with sisters, and lots of success, and lots of blessings, and lots of just loving being a missionary! Ahhhh!
So. Big things are happening this week! I have to run, but be excited for me! I love you guys and am so grateful for your support!
Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pictures from Boston!!!

PhotoRocket Gallery - Weston 1st Ward <3

America Pranked Me

What I'm about to tell you may be shocking. Prepare yourselves for the following conversation that I had this week.

Group of Missionaries: Wooo Boston! 4th of July! Woo! Gospel! Fireworks! Wooo! (paraphrased)

Me: Ya I'm so excited to be in downtown Boston! I've been wanting to come into the city for forever!

Group of Missionaries: Ya, Boston! Fireworks! Wooooohooooo!!! (paraphrased)

Me: Ya let's go see the Boston Bell!

Group of Missionaries: ......

Me: You know, the Boston Bell. Historical American landmark? With a crack in it?
Group of Missionaries:  You mean the one in Philadelphia?

Me: .......

Ya guys, THE BOSTON BELL IS NOT IN BOSTON. Nor is it called the Boston Bell. It is called the Liberty Bell. The one iconic Boston historical thing I wanted to see is NOT EVEN REAL. Ugh.
BUT. We did get to go into the city to watch the fireworks on the 4th! It was fantastic! But pretty comparable to any other firework show I think. Don't tell anyone though, because it is supposed to be world class and stuff.  We also went into the city today! Sister Baer is this awesome lady in our ward and she took us to the Museum of Science to see the Dead Sea Scrolls! It was incredible. The Bible is really old. I feel so scholarly. And also like I want to go to Jerusalem. Family trip 2015?
In other news, this week was by far the most amazing out here. We really are starting to see the fruits of our labor! (That is the lamest expression I just realized.) ... We really are starting to have some success! (Ya I can talk like a normal person and not paraphrase the scriptures all the time!) We taught one of our investigators the plan of salvation this week. Her name is Guiriline and she is from Haiti and looks like she's 30 but is actually like 55. She is the mom of a bunch of teenage girls that recently got baptized and has an incredible testimony of Christ. Also she works harder than probably is possible for anyone to physically do. But it was amazing to see her learn that she is Daughter of God and that she lived with Him before she came to this earth. It was like her spirit automatically recognized it as truth. It ruled. Being a missionary rules.
This week we have a TON of work to do, and I am so excited! On Saturday Transfer Texts come out, so we will find out who is leaving and who is staying. Sister Bringhurst and I are both pretty sure that we will stay, but also we know that President wants Sister Bringhurst and another Sister Training Leader to be companions as soon as possible. Also 11 new sisters are coming into the mission that need to be trained! So, we will just have to see what happens! Cross your fingers that I get to stay where I am because I absolutely love it!
I LOVE you guys! Keep me updated on your awesome lives! Share the gospel with someone, okay?
Love, Sister Gledhill