Monday, January 9, 2012

Jan. 4, 2012

How is everyone doing? I cant believe its already Wednesday again! I will just start this letter from where I left off last letter. For Pday last Wednesday, Elder Lee and I went to the Museum of Natural History in D.C. It reminded me of the time we went to New York and went to the Museum there. It was really nice and I learned a ton. We saw about 30 LDS families there that day. Every time we walked around a corner you would hear "Hey Elders!" or "look mom the missionaries" it was pretty cool to see so many members there. After that we just went on with normal missionary stuff. I went on exchanges with the zone leaders this week. I was with Elder Greiner who is from Idaho and has been out about a year and a half. Everyone seemed to have a pretty good Christmas around here and a good new years as well. Not very many people came to church though. For some people i guess its a little difficult to make it to 8:30 church in the morning after New years... We have started to teach Carolina's mom this week so hopefully she will continue to progress towards baptism. We are excited for her. Other than that not very many things have gone on this week. We have just been checking on referrals and things like that. I'm starting to write in my journal daily and trying to talk in Spanish more. Ive already been able to see a difference in my Spanish since we last spoke on the phone a week and a half ago. Sorry this week wasn't very excited but I did get a letter from PJ Davies (me and him were really good friends and then he moved to California) he got called to Nashville Tennessee. He seemed like he was pretty excited so it was cool to see that. So how is the new year going for everyone? What are your goals? I hope they're good ones! In district meeting this week we learned about becoming a "5 dollar missionary" Which pretty much means being the best you possible can. The Zone leaders shared with us a story about a kid who would mow this old ladies lawn every week. The maximum amount of money he could earn was 5 dollars which would require a perfectly done lawn. At first he was content with getting a 2 dollar lawn or a 3 dollar lawn but then he decided to give the 4 dollar lawn a shot but no matter how hard he worked he couldn't get the 4 dollars worth. Then one day while he was sitting around it clicked in his head that if he wanted to get the 4 dollar lawn he would have to work as though he was working for a 5 dollar lawn. So that's just what he did. He worked the entire day on this lawn using all sorts of tools and methods to make it perfect. In the end he had done the 5 dollar lawn. We learn from this story that we truly have to try our hardest in order to become the best. We cant be content with anything lower than that. Even though it may be impossible to be perfect even as Jesus is perfect, we still have to try. The word impossible is only an invitation to try harder. The Lord has promised us that with Him by our side we can do all things. I believe in that promise. I hope you guys continue to work hard to be true disciples of Christ. Your doing great. keep up the good work and keep smiling! The future is as bright as your faith. Never lose that faith! well I will talk to you soon. I love and miss you!
Elder Gleed

Dec. 28, 2011

It was great to talk to you all on the phone this last Sunday, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did! At first I thought it would be a little awkward talking on the phone with you guys just because its been so long but I felt like we just picked up from our last phone call. It sounded like you all were doing super good and I'm impressed with what you have done since I left. Christmas was a lot of fun out here. The only bummer is that it doesn't last very long but there is always next year! Glad to hear that you got all of my packages and I hope you liked them. Well not a whole ton has gone on since I talked to you last Sunday but things are continuing to go well. I talked to James (Elder Edwards) on the phone last night! He sounds like he is doing good and he made sure to tell me about all of the super cute girls he is talking to ha. It sounds like he has been incredibly busy this last week with Christmas and everything. I talked to him for about 40 minutes, it was good to hear from him. Some of the big things that happened this week are first we got a new baptismal date! His name is Marcos and he was super golden. He really has the desire to know the truth and is willing to do what it takes to find it. We thought when he asked him to come to church at 8:30 in the morning that he would say no but he said yeah ill go. Then as we were leaving the house I realized that we weren't in our area. So technically he doesn't count as our investigator so we had to transfer his information to some other missionaries, it was sad but as long as he gets baptized and continues to build his relationship with Christ it doesn't matter who teaches him. Another thing is we went to the Festival of Lights with Carolina's mom for the first time yesterday. She absolutely loved it. After the concert she comes up to and says "What else can you guys show me?" So we showed her pretty much everything that the Visitors Center has to offer and she loved it. The only way I can describe it is like a little school girl. It was really neat to see. She will be baptized soon and its all because of the example that Carolina has been setting for her family. I cant wait to see where this family goes in the near future. I'm excited for them! So what did you guys think of my companion? Carolina? They are both pretty cool right? I am blessed to have been able to get to know people like them on my mission. And I'm sure there will be plenty more people to meet. The mission is going great and I'm trying to become a better missionary every day. Oh one more story so on Tuesday nights we go and do our laundry. We have to do it in the building where the temple workers pretty much all live but after we put in our laundry we go and talk to Sister Hare upstairs, she is probably in her 70's or 80's and she is a single missionary out here. Her husband passed away almost 10 years ago. Well Elder Edwards and I met her probably about a month ago down in the laundry room, she asked us our named and we talked for probably about 5 minutes and then we had to go. She said that we could come over anytime and then we went our separate ways. Well about 2 or 3 weeks ago I was running into the Visitors center when this lady stops me and she says "Hey! your the missionary that I met in the laundry room! Elder....Gleed from Lehi Utah! and your companions name is Elder Edwards from Draper." It took me a second to remember who she was to be honest because I only talked to her for a couple of minutes. But then she said "Why haven't you guys come by my house yet?" Well of course I felt horrible after she said that but no Elder Edwards (now Elder lee) and I try to go over there every Tuesday night just to sit down and talk with her. I love it. She is an incredible lady with incredible faith. We just pretty much just sit around and let her talk about her kids and her husband and how great of a man he was. It may be only a couple minutes a week but I can tell that it means the world to her when we come by and just talk. So I want to invite you guys to do something out of your way for others. Strive to make a difference in someones life, it can be something as simple as a compliment. I love that time that I get to talk to Sister Hare and I feel closer to my Savior as I'm doing it. I promise you will feel the Lords love more abundantly in your lives as you strive to give that love to other. I love you and miss you all. I hope your having a great holiday season and i cant wait to hear from you again.
Love Elder Gleed

Dec. 20, 2011

Hey everyone! How is it going? Are you guys all set for Christmas? What are the plans this year? By the way we got permission from the president to text you guys to coordinate calling times on Christmas so I will text you sometime within the week but what time did you say church is over and everything? I don't know what I will be doing for Christmas yet as of right now we have nothing planned but I'm sure that will change! It sure doesn't feel like Christmas over here! Right now its 60 degrees outside, its crazy! But I'm loving it! I hope it stays like this for a while. I just hope it doesn't mean that winter is going to last super long. Well my third transfer is ended and Elder Edwards left for home today. It was pretty sad to see him go, we became pretty good friends during the transfer. I hope to see him a lot when I get home. I learned a ton from his example, he was a great missionary. My new companion is Elder Lee and he is a great Elder as well and we have a lot of work to do this transfer. I am excited to talk to you all on the phone on Sunday, I cant believe six months has already passed by. Thanks so much for the packages I've really enjoyed the candy and everything unfortunately I had to give all the caramel popcorn and fudge to members because we wanted to give them something nice but they sure did love it and they wanted me to tell you all thank you! Thanks so much for all that you do. Cool experience of the week was probably with Fernando and the other one with Carolina. We watched that 17 miracles movie, holy cow that was a good movie! I was on the verge of bawling my eyes out ha. It definitely gives you a spiritual check the pioneers had so much faith to do what they did and they were rewarded with miracles because of their faith. i know I sure can have more faith like the pioneers and I'm striving to do that everyday, especially this next transfer. The next one was with Fernando as Elder Edwards and I went over to say goodbye. Fernando was crying because he didn't want Edwards to leave. Edwards left a huge impact on him and was considered as one of his best friends. I think we should all strive to set that example for someone else. This transfer has opened up my eyes and has made me realize I have a ton of work to do and a lot of needed improvement. I hope I can do it. You all are incredible and I love you so much. I hope and pray that you are striving to be your best selves especially during this Holiday season, remember who's name you took upon yourself when you entered into the waters of baptism. When you took that name you promised you would do as the Christ would do in all places, all times and in all things. I know you guys can do it. Well I will talk to you guys on Sunday. I love you and don't forget to smile!
Love Austin

Dec. 14, 2011

Well howdy!
Man I swear the weeks are going by way to fast. Tomorrow is 6 months, next week Elder Edwards goes home and then its Christmas! Where in the world did the time go! This has been a pretty good week out here in Kenzington. We have made a ton of trips to the visitors center to go to the concerts and stuff (p.s. I met Jenny Oaks Baker, if you know who that is(daughter of Dallin H. Oaks)) We have had a ton of dinner appointments with members and even more teaching appointments. Ive been seeing some people that I know in the D.C. South Mission such as friends in the MTC and then my old Elder's Quorum president from my singles ward was at the VC yesterday. Pretty cool! Today we went to the temple for Elder Edwards last temple session as a missionary, sad stuff! Then I just barely got done playing some basketball with all the missionaries. On Monday we had our mission Christmas party which we watched a movie and some food and played some games. The movie we watched was Kung Fu Panda 2! Crazy right? I love that movie but it will be interesting to see what we watch next year because I will probably not have heard of it. Santa came to the party and I was able to get a picture with him, so don't worry Santa still makes his stops to Missionaries. We had the Baptism of Fernando on Sunday which was really cool. He was baptized by his brother and he is going to be a great missionary one day, we are very excited for him. After we went to the VC with him to go and listen to a concert. The highlight of the week probably happened on Monday night though. We had a dinner scheduled with Carolina's family that night. We decided that we needed to get her something for being so awesome. So Elder Edwards and I bought her a quad with her name on it and then wrote our testimonies in it along with some of our favorite scriptures. We were super stoked to give it to her. When she saw she broke down crying, it was cool to see that a pair of scriptures could mean so much to someone. It definitely made my desire increase to read and use the scriptures more in my life. The scriptures should be that important to everyone and they can be that important if we read them with faith and search them diligently. I hope your guys are all still reading your scriptures daily!!
It sounds like you all are remaining to stay super busy. I want to see this comedy thing Dillon is doing, I'm sure its pretty funny, sorry to hear about the car troubles bud ha. I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping I just need to get it all packaged up and sent. So hopefully i can finish that all today! Now about the glasses...I didn't get new ones on my birthday and no I don't need new ones but Id like new ones, just to shake things up a little bit you know? If you have more contacts for me go ahead and send them. I think for the most part that was all of your questions. Thanks for the last package that was super cool with the book and everything, Bradens voice is getting deeper! ha atta boy! Everyone said I sound exactly like Dad. I hope you enjoyed your letter and there will be pictures soon! No se preocupen!! But You guys are awesome and thanks so much for your support and prayers I appreciate it all so much! I cant wait to talk to you guys on Christmas. Keep working hard and continue to love one another!! And don't ever forget to smile!!
Elder Gleed

Dec. 7, 2012

Dearest Gleed Family
From what I hear it sounds like everyone is doing great! Service at the salvation army dinner was a ton of fun, I'm glad Sis. Matsumori continues to update that, I'm sure she has a ton of pictures on that. I'm excited to check it out when I get back. Things in Kenzington are going great and we are having a lot of fun and success. We have a baptism this Sunday for Fernando, and he is stoked. I'm pretty sure that everyone and their dog is going to be there from what it sounds like. Which is great. We had the Christmas First presidency fireside a couple of nights ago that we were able to attend which was awesome. I love listening to the apostles and prophet. Definitely helped my perspective on the Christmas season. There is a change in the atmosphere out here as we go around teaching everyone and doing service. I love it. This is Elder Edwards last free P day before we have death temple and then transfers, pretty sad eh? He doesn't want to go home, He loves it out here. I don't know if you know this or not but He actually went home about the same time I was starting my mission. He dislocated his shoulder while playing soccer and then did it again playing basketball so he had to go home and get some surgery. He was home for 7 weeks. He always tells us to keep our minds here in the mission because the world has nothing better to offer. Of course our families and friends are at home but other than that you will not be able to find that same spirit that you feel out here on the mission. I try my best to think this way. Elder Edwards is a great example and I'm learning a ton from him. We have had a ton of lessons this week and we have even more in the future. With the festival of lights there isn't time to relax. Ill take some pictures of the temple and all the lights and send them to you. Were going to try and go to costco to get some pictures developed so I will try and send some home soon. Mom I am already half way done with your letter, so its in the works just be patient. It will be there before you know it. So this morning we just had the alpha battle, you are going to have to ask Brooklyn to get some more info about that ha. Long story short Elder Edwards beat Elder Kuddes aka. Cuddles and is Alpha. Ill tell you on the phone or something. We have been playing a ton of basketball this transfer and Elder Edwards and I are going to go to a yoga class next week for Death temple, were excited. The only problem is I'm not very flexible, so I will let you know how it goes. How are things going in Utah? Has it changed a lot? a lot of construction still? Quick story, So Edwards and I had to go on splits the other day because we had so many appointments and I had to teach a lesson pretty much all by myself, crazy right? Well it went really well and they understood everything I said and now we have a new baptismal date! Arnold is from Honduras and is about 18 or 19 he will be getting baptized the 1st of January. Its really cool. We have been seeing a ton of golden investigators this transfer that are amazing and truly blessings for us to be able to teach. Well we have to go up to the city but I will be sending a package home soon with some pictures and everything. Hope all is well and remember I love you all. I cant wait to hear from you again and please let me know if I can do anything for you! Serve each other this Christmas season, make it a memorable one! "Service with a smile"--Kung fu panda
Love Elder Gleed

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nov. 30, 2011

How are you? and the rest of the family? It sounds like you guys are all enjoying the holidays so far! It sounds like the family is doing well, glad to hear about Great Grandma, 'im sure there is no way she remembers me! Thanksgiving was a ton of fun. We started the day playing some good ole Turkey bowl with some ward members. One of the running backs from the red skins actually showed up and started playing with us it was really cool. Then after that we returned to the apartment and wrote letters and stuff because we weren't allowed to proselyte. Then we had a thanksgiving lunch with a member were we had chicken and rice. Then our Thanksgiving dinner took place at one of the Elder Edwards' recent converts named Lorrenia. We had lamb, pork, duck and then some other Hispanic food. But overall it was a great experience and a lot of fun. Other than that we've been teaching a ton of lessons, we definitely have a ton more to do in this area. There are about 10 times as many Hispanics in the area. So this Saturday we had a baptism, her name is Carolina. She's twenty years old and is amazing! She loves the gospel and cant wait to go to the temple. I had to give a talk about baptism at her baptism and had to translate for President Matsumori. I swear I always have to give a talk or something when President is there! Then the next day was church and she was confirmed, she said it was the best day of her life. I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting about the light of Christ in sacrament meeting and I think I did alright. Ive gotten over my fear of public speaking now I just need to work on my Spanish! The weather here has been ridiculous the last week or two. Its been in the seventies!! I'm loving it but I think it will probably start getting a little more chilly this week. Its almost December! I cant believe it! December means things around here are going to get super busy with the lights and everything! We have to take over the sisters areas because they are going to be at the Visitors center practically all day so we are going to be swamped with appointments! It should be fun! Ill take some pictures! yesterday we had a lesson with Carolina at the VC about Temples and she is so pumped to go through one day and to serve a mission. She is hoping to serve in Utah which I am too because that would be sweet if she could meet all you guys! We all took pictures of us touching the temple, she is definitely one of the "elect" that we missionaries dream about teaching. Some background info about her. She is from Peru and she wanted to start looking into the church a couple of years ago but her parents wouldnt let her. but now that she is 20 her parents have decided she can make her own decisions and so she started to take the lessons and felt an overwhelming feeling that it is true. Her family still didn't want her to baptized but she did it anyways because she knew it was true. She's incredible! I have an other Investigator named Fernando who is going to get baptized on the 11th of December who might be going to Utah for Christmas break, he is 14 years old and he reminds me of Dillon. he is going to try to hook up with Elder Edwards and maybe stop by you guys and meet you all! Ill keep you updated on that! I hope everything is going well for you guys and that you are all enjoying the holiday season! I know I am! I don't know if Ive ever been so excited for Christmas music and lights before in my life!! During this holiday season there is a change in everyone that you can see. I believe its because everyone stops thinking about themselves and begins to think a little bit more about others. They begin to put the Christ in Christmas which if you break that apart you have "Christ" and "mas" which mas means more in Spanish so that just shows we need to think more of Christ in our lives. If our attitude is constantly centered on Christ the adversary will not be able to take us off the straight and narrow path that leads to the Savior. "Doing the things that matter most, will lead us to the Savior of the World" --Uchtdorf. I hope your all doing well and I cant wait to hear from you soon. I love you and don't forget to smile!!
Elder Gleed

Salvation Army Dinner Nov. 2011