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 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