Sunday, September 29, 2013

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

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