Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Greetings from the Fishbowl

Oh wow. Where to begin?

I'm here. In Cambridge. Bean-town. We live in the city. We ride public transportation. The subway smells ... smelly. 

And we preach the Gospel online. Like, all. the. time. And let me tell ya, it actually works!

So the six of us digis (digital missionaries) spend pretty much all day at Digital Mission headquarters, the "Fishbowl" in the Longfellow Park Chapel. It's called the Fishbowl because it's a room with a window wall so everyone can look in at the cute little missionaries and tap the glass and stuff. #don'tscarethefishes. Our proselyting process basically goes like this: 

Step 1: Find someone online willing to chat about the gospel.
Step 2: Teach them over Skype (we try and 3-way video call a member as often as we can.)
Step 3: Continue teaching them over Skype until they are ready to meet with the local missionaries.
Step 4: Contact local missionaries, investigator takes lessons there, investigator gets baptized.
Step 5: Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

At first I was like, "This is going to take FOREVER." And then I had 2 Skype appointments in the first 45 minutes I tried it. And then I was like, "Whoa. This is sweet." It's been really really neat to realize that the same love I've had for my investigators my whole mission still applies to our online investigators! For example, we've been teaching this boy named Radu in Russia. He's a university student and we've had 3 lessons with him so far. After we taught the Restoration he told us, "I knew that Christ set up a church when He was here on the earth, but I didn't know the Heavens were opened again!" Like, who has that much faith?! And who says that?! Only people prepared by the Lord to receive the Gospel, that's who.

It's been kind of a crazy adjustment. It's a lot less scheduled than regular missionary work because we don't have to go from appointment to appointment. Because of this it's easy for me and Sister Zickella to just be chattin' away with people and all the sudden we realize it's been 5 hours and we haven't drank any water and all we've eaten is candy corn. We emerge at the end of the day and we're like, "Wait ... it's dark outside? Where did the day go?!" It's a work in progress. Hopefully this week we'll be able to pace ourselves a little better. But besides feeling like a fish out of water at the end of everyday, I am loving it! I feel super blessed to have this unique opportunity and I'm already sad that I will only be here six weeks. It's so much fun! 

Sister Zickella is awesome. I think out of all my companions, she's the most like me and we've been having a blast. The Elders in the Fishbowl have been taking great care of us (especially when I break my computer. They are very patient with my computer-illiterateness.) We live with 2 Chinese angels. Seriously Sister Hung and Sister Ng are probably the two most adorable and hilarious Sisters I've ever met. Everyone in the wards we serve in is a successful genius #whatevs.

Love you all and hope all is well!
Sister Gledhill

(The Fishbowl.This one really captures the "caged animal" effect.)

 (Me and Sister Zickella, Fishbowlin'.)

The Final Transfer TRANSFER

Skipping the pleasantries and getting down to the nitty gritty:


Can I get a "Woop woop!"? I am so stoked!!! Concrete Jungle here I come! (Wait ... does "concrete jungle" apply to only New York City? Or any city? OH WELL WHO CARES I'M GOING TO BOSTON!)

Well, clarification, I am actually going to CAMBRIDGE - home of the ridiculously smart and classy. For those of you Westerners out there, Cambridge and Boston are like twinsy cities separated by the Charles River. (Except take that with a grain of salt because I myself am a Westerner and haven't actually lived there. YET.) But here's the kicker: I'm going to a working in the DIGITAL MISSION. 

What is this "Digital Mission", you might ask? Let me brake it down. So the church has official websites like and where anyone who is looking to know what Mormons believe can go on and find answers. However, there are literally millions of people out there in the world who are looking for answers to religious questions and don't know that WE HAVE THE ANSWERS. isn't really designed to reach out to these people, and in fact the Church right now doesn't really have any way of interacting with these millions of people having religious discussions online everyday. Cue: the Digital Mission. Due to the fact that the Massachusetts Boston Mission has incredibly talented and wicked brilliant members and missionaries, they've programmed these amazing web-crawlers that find relevant religious conversations that allow us to answer the questions they didn't know to ask us. There are 4 missionaries in our mission who pretty much full time find online investigators all over the world, teach them via Skype, and once the investigators are ready to be baptized the digital missionaries contact the missionaries serving locally and they get baptized there! 

And guess what? This transfer the Digital Mission is getting Sisters! (That's me!) I don't really know very many details about what I will be doing on a day to day basis, and how much of my time will be spent online vs. normal proselyting (we're also assigned to two wards - Longfellow Park 1&2).  But here's what I do know:
  • My companion is going to be Sister Zickella, who was Sister Jessop's MTC companion. She is 19 and from Florida and I've heard lovely things about her.
  • We will be living in 4 sister apartment with the 2 Chinese Sisters in our Mission. 
  • SISTER BAILEY MY BEST FRIEND COMPANION FROM SCITUATE IS IN MY DISTRICT!!! (We are so excited to end our missions near each other.)
  • This is the 3rd out of my 4 areas that we will be shotgunning. (Aka both companions are brand new to the area.)
  • Elder Tait, who saved me and Sister Badham when we opened Foxboro for Sisters, is working in the Digital Mission right now. Hopefully he can work his magic with me and Sister Zickella!
  • The people working in the Digital Mission are smart. Like smart-smart. Like computer hacker smart. I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT COMPUTERS. I'm not sure why they are sending me there ... I think maybe so I can hang up cute little quotes on the wall or something.
But, I am seriously so so excited! Hopefully this week we'll find out more details about what we're actually supposed to do. If not ... we'll have no idea what to do, obviously.

Also, I'M TURNING 21 THIS WEEKEND! What the heck? How did that happen? I'm not sure. But it's real. Unfortunately it's 2 days after transfers and no one in my new area will know me. BUT I'LL BE IN THE CITTYYYYYY! So, it's like the best birthday present ever.

I love everyone. I love being a missionary. The gospel rocks. And I'M GOING TO THE CITY!
Sister Gledhill

Morsels of Excitement

Why hello out there! Sorry I've been kind of terrible at emailing of late ... It's like my brain goes out to lunch when ever I sit down at the computer. Oh well, I will repent and give you a few morsels of excitement from the past few weeks.

The Zone Leaders put us in charge of planning Zone Pday this transfer, so there was one point at the end of September when every night I would come home and grate chalk sticks into dust ... like 120 chalk sticks (my fingers were not. happy. with me.) But it was all worth it because then we had an epic HINGHAM NORTH ZONE PAINT FIGHT! It was total chaos with all the Portuguese elders running around and ignoring any rules that we had made, but it was so fun! I don't want to exaggerate or anything, but it was probably the best Zone Pday that has ever happened ever.
 (It got kind of intense during the jumping pictures ... )
I'm not sure how many of you are aware of my hopes and dreams of being an old lady, but ... being an old lady is one of my most anticipated achievements in life. The knitting, the baking, the always-wearing-the-hair-in-a-bun. Bliss. I am also really stoked to have gray hair and this week Sister Jessop FOUND 4 GRAY HAIRS ON MY HEAD!!!!!!! I almost fainted in joy.

We also had Zone Conference this week! Zone Conference happens every other transfer and it's when we get together with a bunch of other missionaries from the surrounding Zones and the Mission Presidency dumps buckets of spiritual improvement on us all day. This being my second to last transfer, this was my final Zone Conference! :.( We always stand and sing "The Spirit of God" at the end of the meeting, and I can barely sing two words with out weeping on a normal day, let alone my last Zone Conference. And then they asked me to say the closing prayer. #TrainWreck On the plus side, we also got to watch "Meet the Mormons" while we were there. Wooooooooo movies! (I've always loved the story of the Candybomber: cute German children + old man + world peace = right up my alley.)

Love you all!
Sister Gledhill

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Here are some pictures to illustrate my thoughts about being a missionary:

I know, I know. Missions aren't always about riding unicorns, dancing through the streets, and baptisms. 

But it sure is fun when they are.

Love you all!
Sister Gledhill