Monday, May 19, 2014

The Big One.‏

Wowee, this week marks my big one. That's right boys and girls, this Thursday I hit my year mark. 
I don't know how it happened! I came on my mission, and now suddenly it's been a year! It's like those times when you don't set an alarm and you wake up and realize it's 5:00 in the afternoon and you've missed an entire day. Except, I wasn't asleep. I was awake. And working. AND IT STILL WENT BY SO FAST! But, 6 months is still a long time to go, you know. So nobody get too upset. You still have half a year of Sister-Gledhill-free life. And 6 more months of missionary bliss for me!

In honor of this momentous missionary event, I thought I would share a list of things we learn as missionaries from Sister Packard. It's amazing that my personal capacity and understanding in every single one of these areas has ridiculously changed since coming on my mission. I think a couple years ago, I would have told you that I was scared to change on my mission. I didn't want to be the awkward RM who's a totally new person after 18 months. But the truth is, any change that comes from representing Jesus Christ for 2 years, and desperately trying to do what He would do, and say what He would say - that is good change! 

We learn ...
> To work hard
> How to manage our time
> How to study the scriptures and apply them to our lives and our challenges
> To be obedient
> How to speak in public
> How to really pray
> The power of fasting
> How to live our lives according to the Spirit
> To notice the hand of the Lord in EVERYTHING
> To see people for who they are and who they can become
> Not to compare yourself to others
> To be flexible
> How to deal with frustration and how to bounce back
> How much we can accomplish with sheer commitment
> How to be amazing member missionaries
> How the church is organized and how it works
> How to work with Priesthood holders
> How to do family history
> To appreciate and love the temple
> The importance of family
> To live with someone 24/7 and appreciate our differences
> How to love.
> To live an unselfish life
> The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and how to apply the Atonement in our lives.

It's like Moroni says in the Book of Mormon: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure." (Moroni 7:48)

When we strive to become true followers of Christ, something happens to us. We become like Him. And obviously I have a long, long, loooooooong way to go. But I do know that serving my mission has changed me for the good so far. Here is to 6 more months of growth and service!

I love you guys and hope you have an amazing week! 
Sister Gledhill. The Missionary Veteran.

p.s. Elder Holland is coming to speak to us on Friday, so if we all get translated and taken up to Heaven ... see you when you get there!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Week of Sister Pross‏

Loved ones! Hello!

This week was full of all manner of amazingness - new investigators, awesome teaching appointments, a phone call home, and a baptism! It also was full of a lot of sister pross. Let me explain. 

As missionaries, we proselyte - or pross. But as sister missionaries, we occasionally engage in  SISTER PROSS. This basically includes any form of missionary work an Elder would not normally think of, such as baking cookies for a less active or using some kind of creative visual poster. (Although we do serve with a few Elders who excel at sister pross.) I myself and terrible at sister pross, but every now and then I come up with some girly pinterest-y idea. Apparently the girly stars were aligned this week, because we engaged in tons of sister pross activities.

Sister Pross Example #1: One of our investigators is the most adorable 19 year old from Cape Verde. This week is finals week for her and she was too busy studying for us to have a lesson, but we dropped off a chocolate bar and an encouraging note with a picture of the Savior for her. Another investigator who lives just up the street was having a birthday party for her son, so we dropped off a random stuffed frog we had in our apartment with a picture of Jesus for him too. #SisterPross

Sister Pross Example #2: Usually after baptisms, some sisters in the ward will bring some refreshments for everyone's enjoyment. However, due to the particular baptism being on Mother's Day, we felt WAY too guilty asking anyone to bring something. So Sister Badham and I made 60+ sugar cookies this week. #SisterPross

Sister Pross Example #3: The Primary President asked us to teach Sharing time on Sunday, with the theme "The Prophets in the scriptures are examples to me and my family." So we decided to do a lesson in which we dressed up the primary kids like 7 different prophets and talked about what we can learn from them. After every prophet we all marched around the room behind him or her singing "Follow the prophet! Follow the Prophet! Follow the Prophet! Don't go astraaaaaaaaaaay!" It. Was. Awesome. #SisterPross

Haha, just another week in the life of a sister missionary! I LOVE IT!

Sister Gledhill

A Week of Miraculous Hooplah!‏

Hello out there!
Another Transfer down! Can you believe it's already been 6 weeks since me and Sister Badham came to Foxboro? This was the fastest transfer of my mission for sure! Sister Badham and I both emerged from Transfer week unscathed, and will be together for another 6 weeks. Hooray! This transfer is going to be a big one for both of us - I reach my year mark (?!) and Sister Badham hits her hump day! It's kind of sad getting mission-old :( All of my mission buddies are starting to go home! Ahhhhhh! Luckily, everyone and their dog goes to BYU, so mission reunions should be pretty easy.
This week was a ton of hooplah. We had Zone Meeting on Friday, and we decided to have a High School theme. It was kind of hilarious. Sister Badham and I stayed up till midnight the night before to make everyone in the zone a paper graduation cap, and then at the end of the meeting we had one of the senior sisters play "Pomp and Circumstance" and handed out diplomas. Everyone said they loved it, so either it was as fun as I thought it was or nobody wanted to burst my school pride bubble.
The High School theme continued when that night we got a mini missionary! I LOVE MINI MISSIONARIES!!! A mini mission is when the youth from a nearby stake get to go see what mission life is like for a few days. We only got to have Sister Tribbet for the weekend, but boy was she adorable! She had a super powerful testimony and was awesome to bring to our lessons. By the end of Sunday we asked her what she learned, and she said "That missions are really tiring!" ... we may have packed our schedule a little full. But we wanted to give her a lot of experiences!
Saturday it was also Sister Badham's TWENTY FIRST BIRTHDAY! I sneakily informed some of our favorite members and when we went to their house for a lesson, they surprised her with a cake! This was quite a feat for me, because do you know how hard it is to plan a surprise for someone when you are with them 24/7 and share a phone? But alas, I managed to succeed.
So here's a fun fact about serving in Foxboro: My whole mission, I have very rarely had any new investigators from street contacting. 99% of the time people will say "I'm all set" when you invite them to learn more. But in Foxboro, EVERYONE wants to learn more! Okay, not everyone, but we set up so many return appointments this week - we even got a few new families as investigators! It's kind of a miracle. Not kind of - it IS a miracle.
Anywho's, if these miracles are the result of anyone's mighty prayers in our behalf - keep up the good work!
I love you!
Sister Gledhill


HOLY OVERLOAD OF INFORMATION AND EVENTS TO REPORT ON! The past few weeks have been cra-zy! In the absolute best way possible! Due to the ridiculous amount of things that have happened, I feel it will be best to present this email is bullet format:
  • Preparation Day Extravaganzas - Oh man. The past couple P-days have been awesome! And busy. Hence the no emailing.
Two weeks ago we had our very own Hingham North Zone TRIWIZARD CUP! It started with some very sportsy games that involved a lot of athletic coordination that I simply do not possess. Plus, one of them was essentially crazy dodge-ball on steroids and I am TERRIFIED of balls being thrown at me! But, for the sake of zone unity, I persevered. Then we ended with a nice Quidditch tournament, which was equal parts hilarious and fun. Sister Badham and I were sorted into Ravenclaw, and unfortunately Gryffindor took the cup. But we somehow ended up with the actual trophy-cup in our car and so we have claimed it as our own and it now functions as our fabulous golden fruit bowl!
Last p-day we were able to attend the TEMPLE, due to Massachusetts celebrating Patriot's day. I don't think this is an actual holiday anywhere else, and I'm pretty sure it's just an excuse for all the Bostonians to not go to work so they can go watch the marathon. After our morning temple session, we hit the streets of Boston and watched the marathon with the rest of the throng, and man was that sweet! We were pretty close to the finish line while we watched, and for some reason watching made me super emotional! I don't know if it's just the amazingness of the runner's dedication, the spirit surrounding last year's marathon bombings, or if I really just hate running that much. Just kidding. I'm pretty sure it's a mix of the first two. ;)
Also while we were in the city, I RODE THE SUBWAY! That's right. Consider me a city slicker. I was pretty thrilled.
  • The New Apartment - We moved! And although we STILL haven't been able to unpack all the way yet (we seriously have been crazy busy - but hopefully today we will get it done!), we absolutely love our new place! It's super nice and is actually a 2 bedroom 2 bath, which is pretty unusual for a single companionship missionary apartment. It's kind of crazy that the only time in my life I've ever had a bathroom to myself is on my mission. I must admit, I've really been enjoying myself. We are only going to be there until a 1 bedroom place opens up in the same complex though, which means there is a high likelihood that I will be moving a missionary apartment AGAIN. I guess we are all called to our missions for a reason - apparently one of my purposes here in the MBM is that I'm really good at cleaning empty apartments.
We are 99% sure that our new address is as follows, but if not I will alert you when I discover otherwise.
10 Conners Avenue
Apartment A308
Mansfield, MA 02048
Also, for the record: I have officially been living out of a suitcase since March 22. I. AM. DYING.
  • Mission Meetings - We've been privileged to attend a few amazing meetings, the first of which was SISTER'S CONFERENCE! Which is basically when all the sisters in the whole mission get together for a day and we just talk about how awesome it is to be a sister missionary. It's so great. Every time I go to a meeting like that I am overwhelmed with how many gorgeous, talented missionaries I serve with! Everyone out here is SO AMAZING. It seems that everyone sent here is either ridiculously intelligent, a major sports star, a future General Authority, or has the musical ability of Mozart - or a combination of these things. And then there's me. The Apartment Packer. What can I say? We all have our spiritual gifts.
One of my favorite quotes I heard at Sister's conference was this: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience." So profound. I don't know who said it originally. Probably C.S. Lewis. That's where most profound things of this nature come from. Sister Packard also gave a really beautiful talk on what we learn from serving missions and listed 20+ life lessons that I really want to share but unfortunately I don't have my notes on me. Maybe some other week. Moral of the story: Missions are the. best.
We also had Interviews with President Packard this week. Interviews are basically just an opportunity for us to sit down with one of the most inspired men on the planet and ask him anything you want. Plus, he usually just tells you a lot of really exaggerated compliments that make you feel really good about yourself. It's awesome.
  • Exchanges - The best part of being a Sister Training Leader is we get to go on exchanges with all the sisters in our zones. Since I've last emailed, we've been on like 5. We cover a few language speaking sisters, so for a couple days I got to experience something I imagine would be similar to serving in South America. Basically every single person you talk to wants to hear more about the gospel and everyone loves talking about Jesus. Haha, what a life! I greatly appreciated the opportunity to fulfill my dream of being a Portuguese diva for a day in the streets of Brockton. Plus, the sisters we work with are so so amazing. (see previous bullet point.)
So ... that's a little bit of what's been going on here in the life of Sister Gledhill. Not to mention, Foxboro is on FIRE and we are teaching some super amazing amazing people and we've found a lot of potentials the past week that we are stoked about! I think the 4 of us have been handling the transition with out Elder Tait pretty well, although we still kind of have no idea what's going on. We just basically run around in circles with our jaws on the ground because of all the awesomeness that's happening. Always room for improvement, right?
Okay, well I think I've sufficiently overused every positive adjective in my vocabulary. BUT I AM JUST SO DARN HAPPY. My life is so, so blessed right now.
Hope your week is equally fantastic! (I bet it will be better if you share the gospel with someone. Hint hint.)
Sister Gledhill
p.s. I have a million pictures I want to send home, but we forgot our camera cords. Maybe we might get a chance to send them later today, or maybe you will just have to wait till next week to get proof of all the awesomeness.