Saturday, June 14, 2014

In All Things Be Grateful‏

This week was so-o-o great. And crazy.

We did a booth at Foxboro Founder's Day, which is the local town fair. We wanted to raise awareness of the Church in the community and let people know about all of the incredible programs offered by the Church - like the Family History Center, Employment Resource Services, and the Addiction Recovery Program etc. But of course we needed some kind of inspiring gimmick so people wouldn't be terrified to come talk to us. Cue: The Gratitude Booth.

The booth had two main elements - a gratitude display where people could write what they were grateful for on a little piece of paper and pin it up on some clothes lines, and a gratitude photo booth where they could write what they were grateful for on a chalkboard and upload the picture to a social media sight. It. was. ADORABLE. Sister Badham and I took the opportunity to do some serious Sister Pross, and we've been making garlands every night for like 3 weeks. And it was totally worth it because multiple people told us we had the best AND the cutest booth. #success.

It was a ton of fun and we got to talk to a lot people! Plus, the ward was like obsessed with it and we will probably go down in Foxboro history. That's what happens when a ward gets sister missionaries I guess ;) We also got really sunburned. Especially Sister Badham. But anything in the name of the Lord and cute fair booths!

Anyways, Transfer texts are this week! Sister Badham and I both try not to think about it because SO MUCH GOODNESS is happening in Foxboro, and there is a pretty good chance one of us will leave. But since we've both been here the same amount of time, it's like 50/50 who would go ... Stay tuned next week for the verdict. Pray that whatever happens will be exactly what all of our amazing investigators need! In fact just pray for our investigators in general - miracles are happening and we need all the help we can get to keep things going so good!

I love you all. I love the gospel. I love gratitude. AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Sister Gledhill

Cutting Edge in the MBM

Heyo!!! This week I thought I would share some exciting things that have been happening in the Massachusetts Boston Mission of late. President Packard is always trying to think of ways we can reach more and more people, and it has led to some really exciting projects specific to the MBM. (Not that I'm trying to say I'm serving in the best mission ever or anything ... but I am.)

The Portable Visitor's Center:
As missionaries, we occasionally give chapel tours to investigators/potentials. However, these are usually pretty short because ... well there's not a whole lot to look at in our chapels unless you want to pretend it's an art museum and look at every painting. But there is no denying there is a strong spirit in the church buildings! President Packard came up with an idea to give non-members in our church buildings a more interactive and exciting way to learn about the gospel - the portable visitor's center. These things are Temple-square worthy portable display canvases that can essentially turn any chapel into a visitor's center. When we're having an activity or event at the church where non-members will be in the building, we just call the PVC sisters up and they come and set these beauties up in the foyer! Each display has a theme with screen and corresponding iPad to choose from videos relating to temples, god's plan for you and your family, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, Jesus Christ, etc. It's sweet! 

The PVC was just completed and the mission only started using them this month, but there has already been a lot of success with them! The Book of Mormon Musical was playing in Providence just down the street from the Providence chapel, so they set up the PVC and had missionaries lining the streets to direct people leaving the play right into the chapel! The Providence missionaries found a ton of new investigators, and when the non-members left they told everyone else on the street to go check it out! 

Some of the videos on the displays are straight from like this one (I will take ANY excuse to watch this video. I LOVE IT!), others were custom made for the display like this one (I love this one because you can hear my cute mission president's Texan accent!)

Digital Mission/Real Life Answers:
I know that lots of missionaries have been doing Facebook proselyting time, but here in the MBM we've been doing internet proselyting a little differently. Due to the presence of some really brilliant computer-hacking-program-writing missionaries in our mission, over the past year and a half we've developed a "Digital Mission". It involves a web-crawler that analyzes all of the religious conversations that happen on the web each day. There is a surprisingly large amount of people who search for religious answers on the internet! and have great answers to these questions, but a lot of people don't find their answers because they don't know the Mormons have them! So the Digital Mission finds these religious discussions and helps these people find answers via is a website created by our mission which is basically made up of lots of blog posts on tons of different topics. When a digital missionary finds a religious question we have the answers to, they just link this person to the website and voila! Web users who find answers and want to learn more can chat with the digital missionaries, who then can pick them up as "digital investigators" where they have skype missionary lessons and fellowshippers. It's really neat because there are people who would probably never let 2 strange, sweaty teenagers into their house to hear about the gospel (can't blame them!), but who are more than willing to learn online. The digital missionaries teach their investigators, set baptismal dates, and then contact the local missionaries. The first baptism that came from the digital mission was in Brazil a few months ago!

This week there was a blog post published by yours truly! ( If you want to help our cause, you can share my blog post or any other you like from the website on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and then link your friends back to The Digital Mission is also always looking for more articles to publish, so if you feel like you have an experience that can answer somebody's question of the soul, please email me and I would love to give you some more information about how you can write your own blog post! The more articles we can get, the more likely we will have someone's answer when they need it.

Anywho's, I'm done Vanna-White-ing now. But it's so cool! I love that there are so many ways to do missionary work, and the more ways we can reach out, the more people that can accept the gospel!

Sister Gledhill

P.S. We went to the beach last P-day. I'm. in. Love.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Elder Holland and Beach Parties‏

Oh my good golly. (Haha, I never say this in real life. I just don't know how to start my emails.)
But here's the sitch. This week, as all other weeks in missionary life, was amazing. I don't know how it happens, but everytime I look through my planner when it's time to email I am amazed at all the crazy things that can happen in just 7 days!
This week got spiced up a little when Elder Flory broke his collar bone last Monday while riding his bike. So being the good charitable souls we are, Sister Badham and I surrendered our car to the elders. We had the intentions of biking, because there are like 12 missionary bikes in this area that are not being used, but unfortunately all but one of them has been "bike totaled" in an Elder biking accident. So ... we were hoofin' it for most of the week. The weather was playing games with us though. Tuesday we walked a few miles to an appointment and I got a wicked bad sunburn on my neck (that's what I get for rockin the bun-life everyday), and then Wednesday AND Thursday we got caught in unexpected rain storms with no umbrellas (you'd think we'd learn. Nope.) We saw the elders at the end of that night and their reaction to us was something like this: "Oh Sisters! Your soaked! Your shoes! Your HAIR!" ... we may have looked a titch raggeled by the end of that day.
But it was all worth it! We felt like martyrs for the cause just in time for ELDER HOLLAND to come and talk to us on Friday. I mean, it was alright, I guess. Just kidding, it was a spiritual outpouring of course! At the end of every single big missionary meeting or conference we have, we sing "The Spirit of God" and I cry every. single. time. It's impossible to describe the way the room feels ... it's like the hymn says "We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven!" I totally understand what that line means now.
On Saturday we were on exchanges with the Martha's Vineyard sisters and we had to go drop them off at the Cape Cod ferry, so while we were out there we thought we would take a moment to celebrate my year mark. We found a little cafe called Pie in the Sky, and we bought a couple slices and went and sat by dock. And now we are getting ready to go spend our P-day at a member's beach house in Hull with the rest of our zone. Elder Holland, pie at the Cape, beach parties ... it's  a hard life, but somebody has to do it!
And in the midst of all this rain storming, apostle speaking, pie eating goodness, the work of the Lord rolls on here in Foxboro. We saw miracle after miracle this week, from finding new families, to less actives suddenly wanting to come back. We brought a couple mother/daughter teams out teaching with us this week and it was amazing to see the impact it had on these moms to see their daughters bear testimony of the gospel. We took our 19 year old investigator Carla to the YSA branch yesterday and she ended up staying for FHE and dinner and didn't go home until 7:00 at night - that's like 6 hours of church here very first time ever attending! That's impressive for a life long Mormon, let alone someone who has never been to church before! It's like every where we go there is just so much progress and goodness going on.
Why am I so blessed? I don't know. God must just love us or something. In fact, I'm pretty sure He does.
Sister Gledhill