Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To All Future Misionaries....

Well, now that I'm basically a missionary veteran (hahaha ... just kidding), I thought I would rack my brains for some advice for future missionaries. Here is my offering to you:
  • Missions give you so many opportunities to start fresh - new transfers, new areas, new companions, etc. Take advantage of it and set lots of goals!
  • Find a good way to deal with stress, especially when you first get out. Normal stress reliefs, like going for a drive, listening to music, running, etc. aren't really feasible when you are working and with a companion 24/7. 
  • Write EVERYTHING down. ... everything. You will not remember - trust me.
  • Get really good at making your small talk story interesting, you will have the same conversation with members all. the. time. Where you are from, your family, your education plans ... Find a way to make them all love you!
  • Find a way to make Sundays different. When you are the Lord's errand all the time, it can be hard to make the Sabbath a day of rest. I make frozen Rhode's cinnamon rolls every Sunday morning and only listen to MoTab. 
  • Make sure you like your mission wardrobe. I've met too many sisters who decided they wouldn't care what they wore when they came out, and then realized that they DO care. You will be grumpy every morning when you get dressed. Do your companion a favor, and bring clothes you like.
  • Also, if you don't wear flared jeans at home, don't bring them on your mission. That's so weird, and everyone does it and regrets it.
  • Bring recipes.
  • Go to the temple cafeteria at the MTC when ever you can.
  • Make sure you love your mission papers picture - it follows you around EVERYWHERE!
  • Elders - don't put your hands in your pockets. Soooo unprofessional.
  • Take advantage of your weekly letter to your Mission President - ask him a question every week.
  • Missionaries have a HUGE impact on little kids in the ward, so make sure you give them special attention.
  • Advice from the Elders in my district: Waterproof shoes and machine washable pants. Bring lots of socks. "When your day is going horribly wrong, have faith because it's about to get a lot better." Shoveling snow is the best service/finding technique. For interesting talks, use experiences you've had, but use 3rd person and don't say your name. Write in your journal every day.
Now that I put that all down on paper (... well at least digital paper), it doesn't seem like that much. There is a ton about missionary life that kind of just has to be lived to figure out. But seriously, it's so great.


Sister Gledhill

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Thanks for the intro, Bon Jovi.
CAN YOU BELIEVE I'M HALF WAY? ... gross, huh? It's like the world started spinning double time or something.
I wanted to look through my journal the other night to reflect on some of my favorite experiences, when I realized I have NINE JOURNALS, none of which are even close to being full. Why is this you might ask? Because my brain likes to compartmentalize everything. I have traced this habit back to Pinterest. (I'm serious, guys.) Photographic evidence:

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From left to right : One a Day Journal (containing a single miracle, event, or something I'm grateful for every day), Revelation journal, General happenings journal, Conference journal, Meeting journal, Personal study journal, Goal journal, List journal, and Future Family journal.
Plus my Scriptures - A Book of Mormon focusing on Revelation and another on Christ, and the good ol' Grandpa Bible.
Moral of the story: I am the worst multi-tasker ever. Especially when it comes to journal keeping.
In other news, on Monday we got to go to the temple! Sister Batschi and I are both temple addicts, so we decided to maximize every minute we could. The temple was open from 7:00 - 11:00, so we got there early to do the first session, then did sealings, then did initiatories, then ended with another session. IT WAS AMAZING.
Then because we were out by Boston, we thought we would travel home via Cambridge so I could complete one of my mission bucket list items:
This is me when I parked the car in Harvard yard. Or more commonly known as "PAHK THE CAHR IN HAHVARD YAHD."

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That's right. I did that.
Sister Gledhill. The New England Veteran.

Sister Gledhill, the Pusher

Hello out there!

I think I forgot to mention this, but this marks the end of another transfer! Me and Sister Batschi are both staying here in Scituate for another 6 weeks. Everybody was making me nervous and telling me I was going to leave (probably because Sister Batschi is so awesome that she would have no problem taking over the area if I did.) But they were wrong! We thought that half of our district would get cancelled, but alas, not a single person left! Which is great because our district is SO AWESOME. (As pictured below.)

In other news, since I last emailed:
  • We had a semi-ridiculous Valentine's themed Zone Meeting, complete with heart doilies and rose petals on the ground. (Don't even get me started on Elders and their dating -themed analogies)
  • The Olympics are happening AND NO ONE EVEN TOLD ME! Way to leave me out of the loop guys! It's just a WORLD WIDE CELEBRATED EVENT. Help me out - we're trying to convince people we're not Amish over here!
  • We got red-dotted (forbidden to drive) whilst on the opposite side of our area from our apartment and had to sleep over at the Providence Sister's apartment. They're apartment is like 3 times the size of ours and has been inhabited by sisters for many moons, so it contains all kinds of interesting and spiritual junk.
  • We had an appointment with a less-active man who then didn't invite us in to his house when we arrived. So us and the semi-elderly couple we brought with us had a five minute lesson on his porch, at night, in the below-freezing temperature and lost the feeling in our limbs and faces. We make appointments to avoid these kinds of things, but oh well.
  • Sister Batschi and I finished memorizing The Family: A Proclamation to the World and are currently mastering saying the entire thing switching off every other word. It's super obnoxious but mildly impressive.
  • We sang "If You Could Hie to Kolob" and "Oh My Father" in the same Sacrament meeting. This led to slightly confused looks from our investigators and recent converts, and panic stricken looks from the Elders as they tried to define Kolob and explain Heavenly Mother. Oh dear ...
So basically life as usual here in the MBM! Another night we visited a less active who hasn't been for years who told us he knows the church is true, but won't come because the people who go aren't perfect. We had a great chat as we discussed his concerns and his testimony and shared a little message about God's hand ALWAYS being stretched out towards us. He talked about how he has definitely seen this in his life and especially because he knows God answers prayers - ALWAYS. So of course, we invited him to pray to have his heart softened towards the imperfect people in the church and his response was something like this, "I knew the second you pulled in who you were and why you were here. I knew you would come in here and push me." But he didn't say it in a mean way like most people do. He just seemed to know that he needed a good push in the right direction, as he put it a "whack in the head from God".

Now as missionaries, we get that a lot. That we "push" too hard when people aren't ready - and it's probably true sometimes! But in reality, we all know that we don't grow or improve with out change. The Savior asked us to take up our crosses and follow Him, and sometimes that's a lot of work! Sometimes I don't want to pick up that cross - it's heavy and I'd rather leave it alone, and we all know how much I hate working out. But the amazing thing about following Christ and pushing ourselves to become like Him is that the more we change, the easier it becomes. Or maybe the stronger we become. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

So, moral of the story is that sometimes, a good whack in the head from God is what we all need. Pay attention to it next time it comes.

Hope you all have a great week! Happy Valentine's day! (Can you believe it's already been a year since I got my call?!)

Sister Gledhill
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Monday, February 3, 2014

40 SPLITS!!!‏

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2014-02-03 Brooke Gledhill <brooke.gledhill@myldsmail.net>:
WE DID IT!!!!!!!!

This week was ridiculously full of running around like crazies to go out with all the members. But, all of the ridiculousness paid off with FORTY SPLITS!!!! #recordbreakers.

Someone send me a trophy or a commemorative letter or something.

But hopefully we are just gonna get a ton of way great blessings because of all member's dedication. I am so blessed to be in a ward where the members are so missionary minded!

I love you all!

Sister Gledhill

That One Time We Met Giant Dogs, Had Sleepovers, Almost Burned Down the Church, and Went to a Bar‏

So ... for having an extremely regulated schedule, lots of crazy things happen during any given week. Such as the following true accounts:

On Tuesday night we plugged in our phone to charge like normal, and awoke to it doing this crazy "power cycle" thing. (For those of us who are normal and don't know what that means, the phone kept showing the logos that it does when it powers up - for HOURS. We couldn't stop it unless we took the battery out.) We took it to the Sprint store, aaaaaaand ... there was no fixing it. So we had 2 options: wait a week for a new phone to be mailed to us (AHHHHHHH!) or drive up to Boston to the mission office to pick a new one up. After a brief phone call from one of Sprint's finest iPhones to President for some advice, we decided to go up that night and pick one up. And instead of driving up and back in one night, we decided to prolong our little adventure by sleeping over at Elder & Sister Vail's house again! They are the same senior couple that took us in when we got stranded around Christmas. That's twice in two months! They joked that I should just leave an extra set of pajamas at their apartment. I suppose time will tell if I need to intrude on their hospitality again.

Every Thursday we have District Meeting - our district is composed of 3 rambunctious sets of Elders and us. After our morning meetings, we usually have lunch together. This week, one of the elders put two pots on the stove on high heat for a few minutes before adding anything into them. When he went to add butter to cook our pancakes, WHOOSH! Tons of smoke appeared. (You may be wondering why we were cooking pancakes in two pots ... when you're a missionary, you just work with what you've got.) We tried fanning the smoke away from the smoke detectors, but alas, our efforts were in vain. The fire alarm went off and a few minutes later firemen showed up. But not just one fire truck! 2 full blown fire trucks, 1 police van, and 2 random other vehicles containing emergency response personal. Hahaha, it must have been super anticlimactic for them to pull up and see 8 missionaries plugging their ears while frying bacon. After a few minutes of investigation they all loaded back up into the trucks and noisily paraded away. This week we are planning to have cold sandwiches - no cooking needed.

Our adventures with large animals continued when we met two giant Great Danes at a less active's house. I swear those things are half dog, half horse. Where did they even come from? Can you imagine meeting one in the wild? ... maybe from Denmark. That would make sense.

One of the lady's from the ward always takes us out to restaurants when she feeds us, and this time we pulled up to what was unmistakably a bar. Not to mention this happened on Saturday night, so the party was hopping! Well, it was part bar, part restaurant - but we still got a few awkward stares. We're not exactly who people expect to see when they go out for the night! It's like a bad joke, "Two Mormon missionaries walk into a bar ... "

Such great adventures we're having! And somewhere in the midst of all this craziness, we try to share the gospel :) This next week is going to be equally crazy! Our ward holds the mission record for number of members going out with the missionaries in one week. Last year a set of elders got 26 splits in one week! Bishop has politely challenged us to beat this record this week, so me and Sister Batschi are shooting for 40 splits! Pray that everything goes as planned, because right now, we're probably gonna make it! WOOOOOO! It's gonna be nutz, but it will be so so fun.

I hope that all of you have an amazing week! 

Sister Gledhill
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