Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nuns, Move, T-texts

Ah! So much to say, so little time, so little attention span today!
We knew this week was going to be CRAY, but luckily it started off with a good omen - a nun sighting. Let me take a second to remind you that due to my obsession with The Sound of Music, nuns are at the top of the list of things that makes my heart pound with glee - even though I really have no idea what a nun actually does ... except sing in the hills and convents of beautiful Austria. So there we were: in Applebee's with the Elders, celebrating the last weekly planning session of the transfer with a $25 gift card from a member for the 4 us (we only got appetizers.) And who but two nuns are sitting RIGHT ACROSS THE AISLE! I proceeded to stare at them for the next 10 minutes as they finished their ice-cream sundaes, buttoned their coats, and fixed their habits. Then as they left, one of them leaned over to us and said, "I am so happy to see four refined young people here today. Good luck and keep up the good work." I NEARLY DROPPED DEAD. The nun. She talked to me. Needless to say, "The hiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllls are aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!" has been stuck in my head ever since.
So nun sightings aside, remember those big life changing things I mentioned last week? Well, they have/are happening my friends! On Saturday we moved which went really well despite the fact that next to nobody showed up to help! We had 2 dedicated members with out trucks and the Elders, so we had to put all the big furniture in the Elder's mini-van and do a two-trip-caravan with all the cars. The mattresses and bookshelf strapped on top of the Elder's van did little to stop them from weaving in and out of weekend traffic, but most of our belongings made it unscathed. My giant orange suitcases, which my companions have lovingly nicknamed "The Mall", made it over all right too. But I didn't ever get the chance to unpack them because I FOUND OUT I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!!!

I am going to Foxboro, Massachusetts! Which for you sports fans, is home to the recent almost-Super-Bowl-winning New England Patriots stadium! Rumor has it, we even have a player in our ward. This is obviously the perfect place for me because I LOVE SPORTS. Oh wait a second ... I know NOTHING ABOUT SPORTS. Need we remember what happened last time I tried to speak to a Patriot's player, and he stared at me like a peasant wearing a potato sack? Ai, ai, ai!
But despite the sports anxiety, I am stoked! I've heard really good things about the ward and the missionaries that are already serving there. Plus, I think the work must be hopping over there because they already have 2 sets of Elders and now we're going to be opening the area for sisters! My companion is going to be Sister Badham, who I know basically nothing about except that she is blond and adorable and just finished training Sister Batschi's MTC companion in New Haven, CT. Also we've been called to be the Sister Training Leaders over a couple zones, which is a new calling for both of us, so this transfer is going to be an adventure for sure! (Adventure in the "I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing" sense of the word.)
And so now I'm off! This library is the last pit-stop before Transfer Meeting and then the shot-gun-opening-sister-training-leader fun begins! I'm really excited and only start to hyperventilate a little bit when I stop to think about it. Scituate is SO AMAZING. It really is a such a great place to be a missionary! There is so much work here and the ward is super supportive. I'm going to miss the people here so much! But I'm leaving it in good hands - Sister Batschi continues to move towards ruling the world with her awesomeness and she is going to train a new sister here.
My time in Scituate has taught me so much about miracles, and what it means to serve with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. Before my mission I think my brain thought things like, "I will work really hard and through my hard work and diligence, I will perform miracles." WRONG. Now I've learned that it's more like this, "I will try my absolute best, and give my WHOLE heart and soul, and I will still come up short and fail ALL. THE. TIME. But because of my efforts, the Lord will cause miracles to happen." I KNOW this is the work of God, and somehow His perfectness and grace compensates for all the many shortcomings and mistakes of His army of 19 & 20 year-olds. There is no other explanation for the things I have witnessed and played some small role in while I've been here.
Sister Gledhill

To Unpack, or not to Unpack?

Ai, ai, ai! Every week feels like a mini lifetime when I have to think about what happened each time I email. Big things happened this week! I mean BIG LIFE CHANGING THINGS! But don't get too excited, as a missionary our whole lives change very frequently.
Life changing news #1 - Sister Batschi and I are moving! This Saturday! The apartment that we, the Scituate Sisters, currently live in is on the far, far, FAR side of the ward boundary in Connecticut. It is a charming life we lead in our cottage in the woods, but unfortunately all the work we do is in Rhode Island. So ... we're moving to Rhode Island! This way we will have to drive like 2 hours less a day and we will save tons of miles. Well, that's the plan anyways.
So now we have to somehow transport 2 beds, 2 armchairs, 2 desks, 2 rolling chairs, 2 night tables, 1 dresser, and approximately 20 pairs of shoes (mostly mine) across the state with only our Chevy Cruze and girly muscles. We'll see which members of the Elder's Quorum truly care about us come Saturday Morning. Also, the new apartment is at least 3 times the size of our current apartment and we don't really know what we are going to put in there. I guess we'll go for the minimalist look.
Life changing news #2 - We went to Return & Report (a meeting for new missionaries and trainers) on Wednesday, and it was sooo great. This is the 3rd time I've been, and it's basically the same every time, but I LOVE any chance I get to hear President and Sister Packard talk. After the meeting, we were talking to Sister Packard about how transfers are quickly approaching. We find out THIS SATURDAY NIGHT who is getting transferred. I've been in Scituate since October and the direct quote from Sister Packard is "President thinks your days are numbered." GULP. So I guess we will see if I need to unpack into our new apartment, or just wait till I leave for the unknown! But of course there is a chance that I will stay another glorious 6 weeks. Either way I will be happy! So ... until I find out where I will be for the next few months, you might want to send any correspondence or packages to the Mission Office. Hint, hint ;)
In other less life changing news, this week I've had a yucky cold and have steadily been working my way through two tissue boxes. But the work of the Lord goes on! We even subbed Singing Time in Primary yesterday, and holy cow! Junior Primary has ENERGY. I led them in a rousing course of "Hinges" and then they had us doing all kinds of ridiculous jumping aerobics during "Do as I'm Doing". Add the heavy breathing to my congestion on top of my already struggling vocal abilities - not pretty. But I don't thing they were scarred too bad. I had fun at least.
After Singing Time, our Primary President taught Sharing Time about the Resurrection. In response to the question "What happened after Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days?", one of the sunbeam girls jumped out of her chair and shouted, "He BLOOMED again!" Isn't that great? I am so grateful that the Savior did indeed break the bonds of death and bloom again. One thing I've been learning lots about on my mission is the ability for us to change through the Atonement. On the days where we might be a little wilted, or maybe a lot wilted, through His grace we can bloom again. In my head this is much more symbolic and beautiful, but I don't know really how to explain it. Maybe it's because I'm just so darn excited for Spring. Either way, I love Jesus Christ and feel incredibly lucky to be representing Him right now.
Have a bloomin' good week.
Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Shoes, Skirts, and Miracles


We just got done going fabric shopping with some on the Young Women in our ward. We are going to make skirts next P-day! (Note to anyone who likes to sew and likes to make sister missionaries happy: invite the sister missionaries over to make a new skirt. We LOVE new skirts.) I ended up looking at every single bolt of cotton fabric in JoAnne's and chose an upholstery fabric. Oh well. Looks like I'll be matching someone's couch cushions some day. But it will be one good looking couch!

This week we had a Cinderella moment with our investigator Ellen. She is an adorable lady in her late 60s who has some health problems that make it hard to balance. She didn't feel comfortable coming to church in her sneakers, but didn't have any sturdy walking/dress shoes. Hmmm, sturdy walking/dress shoes, eh? Insert: ugly sister missionary tracting shoes. Sister Batschi just happened to have a pair of ... sturdy looking black shoes in Ellen's size that she was persuaded to buy before coming out. So with great trepidation, we brought these shoes to our next lesson with Ellen. And, voila! The shoe fit! I guess people make questionable fashion purchases for all kinds of reasons. And sometimes those reasons are to prepare for a miracle.
I hope your week is full of miracles!
Prince Charming

If All the Snowflakes Were New Investigators and Baptismal Dates‏

Hola mis amigos!

I heard that you Westerners are having some kind of "Spring" out there. That is pretty much the opposite of what is happening here! I long for the days of tights-less weather, but I fear that those days are far, FAR away. But the freezing temperatures and icy ground WILL NOT STOP THE WORK OF THE LORD! Cue: the week of miracles.

Now I must admit that my life in Scituate has been pretty cushy - a busy missionary is a happy missionary after all, and we have been plenty busy the whole time I've served here! But there has definitely been a drop off since when I first arrived. We basically baptized everyone we were working with and we've been trying to find, find, find for the past couple months. Somehow, all of that hard work seems to have payed off all at once! This week we set 3 baptismal dates, found 3 new serious investigators, had 5 investigators come to church, had several former investigators contact us and want to start meeting again, and taught about double the amount of lessons that we normally do. AHHHHHHHHH! WE ARE SO BLESSED!

When ever a week like this happens to me, I always try to analyze and figure out what we did differently to merit such amazing-ness. And pretty much every time I come up with absolutely nothing. The truth is, this is the Lord's work. I'm pretty sure all we can do is be obedient and try our best, and then in His time the miracles happen. But I'm still analyzing, so I'll let you know if I ever discover the secret. ;)

In other news, our Primary President took us to get sushi and I may actually be starting to possibly like it a little bit maybe. But I'm still analyzing that as well. But I feel slightly jipped that no one ever told me there are VEGETABLE ROLLS with no fish in them! SO much more delicious. Also we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders, and it was the first time I've exchanged out of Scituate since I got here! It's going to be so strange when I leave ... But transfers aren't for another 3 weeks, so I'll worry about that later!

Last P-day we went to the oldest operating nursery in the country, which happens to be 5 minutes down the street from our house. It was so crazy! It's like a tropical rain forest in there! I bought a super sweet Zebra Plant and have been plotting how I am going to transport it back to Utah when I come home. I haven't come up with a good solution yet, so let me know if you have any ideas. One of the ward members told me to just put it in my purse, but I don't know how Airport security would feel about that. I feel like that might be labeled as suspicious behavior. (You can see it in my hand in the picture of me kissing a giant lemon of a century old lemon tree.)

Well, back to the work of miracles.

Sister Gledhill