Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Car-less Wanderer

I GOT MY PACKAGE! It was a day of much rejoicing. I missed my cloud-comforter so much. Thank you for sending it! And also thank you for filling the empty spaces with toilet paper rolls Tami. GENIUS. And hilarious. I also got my letters from the little munchkins. I wrote them back today :)
Speaking of mail, the weirdest thing happened last week. We hadn't gotten mail for a while, and we were tired of being super disappointed when we checked the mailbox at the end of the day. SO we started putting candy in our mailbox in the morning so at the end of the day, even if we didn't have mail we would have CANDY. But, then our candy started disappearing and WE STILL DIDN'T HAVE MAIL! This happened 3 times! So. We figured either the mailman was opening our mailbox even though he didn't have anything to put inside and taking the candy, or somebody had a key to our box and was taking our main AND our candy. Pff. So the next morning we left a very nice note explaining that we were missionaries and that mail was very important to us and why we were leaving candy in the mailbox. We then told the mysterious candy theft that we would leave 3 pieces of candy every morning, and they could take one piece and leave the other two for us. That night, we opened the mailbox to find all 3 pieces of candy and like 12 letters!  Since then, we have been getting mail regularly. It's a mystery that will never be solved apparently.
So you guys watched the broadcast last night?! It was kind of huge deal for us missionaries, and the last week it was a main topic of discussion and excitement. The missionary rumor mill is intense. We had pretty much narrowed the possibilities down to half of our mission getting shipped to China and everyone getting an ipad. It sounds like the second half is probably true! Our mission is already SUPER member focused, so a lot of the broadcast just validated what we are already doing! Now that I am a missionary, I've realized how much more effective I can be as just a normal member of the church! Seriously, it is crazy how little we can actually accomplish as missionaries alone.
Sorry I spaced telling you this, but Sister Bringhurst is from Star Valley, Wyoming. When ever she tells people we meet this, I make sure she also tells them what Star Valley is famous for - The World's Largest Antler Arch! Hahahaha, isn't that amazing? It goes right over their main street. They also do not have any stoplights. Sister Bringhurst actually went to Utah State for a semester before coming on her mission! She lived in a building right next to mine! Crazy, eh?
I'm pretty sure a lot of the missionaries think of me as some kind of tree-hugging hippie. It all started at the MTC when I rescued a bug from our residence. Then, when I very first got to Boston, there was a spider at transfer meeting and I kind of had to cause a scene to stop people from killing it so I could take it outside. I mean, it deserved to live! And it seems against the rules to kill something in a church building. However, now I'm the crazy girl who saves bugs. What evs.
This week our car has been in the shop, so we've been walking and bumming rides. This has proved to be quite a pain, as a majority of our members live about a 30 minutes DRIVE away. It does give us a lot of opportunities to meet people on the street, though. Contacting is super fun, and super ineffective. A lot of people will talk to us, but nobody really cares to meet with us again. That's why working with the members is SO important. You guys should obtain the book The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton Christiansen (the councilor in our mission presidency). It's wicked awesome. (People here say wicked all the time. It rocks.)
I haven't been to the Boston Temple yet, but hopefully soon! The temple presidency here is super fly and opens the temple for the missionaries on Monday holidays and on Christmas! So ... I don't really know when the next Monday holiday is, but half the mission will go then, and the next holiday the other half goes. Being on a mission is seriously the strangest thing because I have NO idea what is going on in the world. Every time I see a flag at half mast I have a mini heart attack. So feel free to keep me updated on important going-ons in the real world. Important things like natural disasters and who T.Swift is dating. (hahahaha joke. But seriously.)
I'm stoked to get my rain boots! And I haven't gotten a package from Nichole... but that's really nice of her! Unless her package was the tiny package inside my package. (Package inception). Of like lotion? If so, thank you!
You should try to figure out a way I can send you pictures online not by email, because it is impossible for some reason. So, try not to forget what I look like in the mean time. I look pretty much the same I think. Except I'm growing out my bangs and have a stellar missionary glow. And I'm kind of sweaty because it's been really hot lately and we don't have a car.
I love you all! Think of me fondly! Thank you for your love and support. You guys rule. \m/

Monday, June 17, 2013

Shot Gunning

What up familia?!
I feel that last week there were a few key things I forgot to mention. Such as my address. (which is as follows)
16 Kings Way
Briar Glen Village
Apartment 202 C
Waltham, Massachusetts
So ... feel free to send me things. I'm not sure if I have mail waiting for me at the mission office or something, but I have not received any mail yet. Which is fine - but I'm pretty sure my companion thinks I'm some kind of social pariah who nobody cares about. But, like, what evs. I know that I have people who love me. (Right?)
Also, Sister Bringhurst and I are opening this area for sisters. When two new missionaries go into an area, it's called "shotgunning" which is kind of hilarious. So because we were opening, the first few days were really slow. But it's been picking up this week!  Our ward has been compared to a Ferrari going 10 miles an hour. There is sooooo much potential, but they just need some gentle nudging in the right direction. So we just meet with as many ward members as possible and help them set goals that eventually lead to their friends joining the church! But it's hard to get a hold of people, New Englanders are so busy. So we just call, and text, and "stop by" until we get in. Being a missionary is like 85% stalking people. It rules.
I highly doubt that I will get transferred in 6 weeks, Mom. I'm pretty sure the plan is for me to stay here for the foreseeable future. I suspect that Sister Bringhurst might leave though. She's a Sister Training Leader and is supposed to be companions with the other Sister Training Leader in our zone as soon as possible, which probably will result in her leaving me pretty soon :( But also that is all speculation and Heavenly Father is probably laughing at my "plans".
I never realized how much of desert Utah was until I got here! That's the biggest difference between MA and home. It's like the entire state is an enchanted forest. I frequently look at my back window to see cute little bunnies. BUNNIES. I feel like Snow White. It's nutz. Also, all of the sidewalks are trimmed with granite. #highclass. And there are no Walmarts out here! It's sooo weird. When we went shopping last week, our cart was only like half way full and everyone was staring at us like we were stocking up for the apocalypse. Apparently people don't shop in advance here. If only they could see a Utah mom at Costco! Oh and also it rains a ton, so if you could send me both pairs of my rainboots at some point, that would be fantastic.
Everyone we meet is falls into at least one of the following categories: super successful, super educated, super foreign. Our Relief Society President is a published author - her name is Laura Anderson and she writes historical fiction. The last book she wrote was about if Anne Bolin (?) had a son instead of a daughter. So you should read it and see if it's any good! Also, Clayton Christenson is in our mission presidency and he apparently was voted something along the lines of the world's smartest man by Times Magazine. And everyone in our ward is either a world renowned something or the other or they are going to grad school out here. But all of our investigators are from Haiti or Uganda. It's an interesting mix! Our ward boundaries are so large that we have a lot of really wealthy people and also people who live in project housing. It's kind of nice to experience both!
If Haili is reading this, please send me music! We have 3 CDs and drive like 4 hours a day, so ... they get a little repetitive. But, I officially could sing the entire sound track of the Prince of Egypt backwards if I had to! Also, did you know Steve Martin is a voice for one of the Egyptian Priests?! Make sure you tell Kade!
I still haven't gotten my package yet, but I'm pretty sure I will get it on Tuesday! (fingers crossed!) But ya, definitely don't send packages to the mission home anymore, because it take FOR.EV.ER me to get them. But life is good, being a missionary is so incredible. I'm already dreading the day when I will have to take off my tag. But I don't think about it to much because it makes want to hyperventilate a little.
I love you all and pray for you everyday! Let me know if I can do anything for you!
Sister Gledhill

You Better Believe I'm in Boston!

Ahhhhh! What, this is only my second email home and I'm already in BOSTON?! Well... actually I'm in Waltham. Which is pretty close to Boston ... I think. Like probably 30 or 40 minutes? I'm serving in the Weston 1st ward. IT IS SO GORGEOUS OUT HERE. I'm like Pocohontas running through forest trails. Well, at least that's what I wish I was like. Technically we are driving through forest trails.
So I stepped off the plane on Tuesday and spent our first 2 nights with our Mission President and wife, the Packards. They are seriously the most incredible people. I know for sure that one reason Heavenly Father sent me to Boston was so I could learn and grow from their amazing example! (Hahaha side note, I just had to explain to the man sitting next to me in the library that I am not a nun. He heard my companion calling me sister. Bless him.)

Then we had transfer meeting, and here I am in Waltham! My trainer is Sister Bringhurst. She has like waist length red hair and sings all the time and is possibly the most cheerful person I have ever met. Basically I'm companions with Giselle from Enchanted. This is not an exaggeration. She has only been here 4 months and this is the 2nd time she has trained! And also she is a Sister Training Leader, which is the equivalent of a zone leader... In transfer meeting, the Elders that are assistants to the president said we were "the dream team" and are excited to see what happens with us. They obviously don't know anything about me, so Sister Bringhurst must be pretty incredible!
President Packard has asked us to have a HUGE focus on working with the members. Like, that is all. we. do. So, so far we've just been trying to put out roots in the ward and meet as many people as we can! We eat dinner and teach member lessons, etc. We have gotten some awesome referrals, but we are waiting for the members to contact them essentially. We also are rumored to have a few investigators, but their avoiding us or something, but we do have an appointment with one on Wednesday! So I have definitely been developing patience! We are always busy, but not necessarily in the way I was expecting to be busy out here. But I believe this is the way we will find the most success out here! We have the members plant the seeds, and then swoop in for the harvest!!!
We have 2 Elders in our ward as well, who are also our Zone Leaders. One of them, Elder Willhelmson has been here for like 8 months, so we basically call him every 5 minutes to ask him questions about the ward. He's a huge help and blessing for sure!
At transfer meeting, we also got assigned a car (yay no walking!) However, when we went outside to find it, the entire left taillight was smashed in! As it turns out, the sisters who had the car before us backed into a pole. So that's been exciting, we've been riding dirty with out a left blinker while trying to get an estimate for the past few days. It's been quite a fiasco for some reason. Also, it will probably be in the shop for 2 weeks and I don't think we will have a car! That is quite detrimental, as everybody is WAY spread out. So hopefully things work out in our favor some how.
Our apartment is so adorable. I was trying to send you pictures, but I'm technically challenged or something and I can't figure it out. So maybe next week! Also, the Office missionaries just called and told me there is a big package waiting for me! Hopefully I get it soon, thank you for sending it!

Okay, we only get a little bit of time this week because we don't have library cards yet. Hopefully next week I will have some crazy stories to tell and some pictures!
I hope everyone is doing well and love hearing your updates! Thank you for your love and support!