Monday, December 31, 2012

Hola everyone!

Hola everyone!
 
So, I guess I will start with the big news..... transfers!!!! And yes, I finally have news, I am leaving Justo Daract! Honestly right now I don't know if I am happy, excited, sad, or what I am feeling. I think a little of all of it. I will miss it here; I'm just glad I have until Thursday to be here. (Got an email today saying the day of transfers moved from Wednesday to Thursday.) But I am going to Provincia de Mendoza! The area is called Maipu (go ahead, laugh; we all did when I first got here haha). And I will be in Rodeo de Medio, with Elder Galicia. A Latin comp!!! I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, either I speak enough Spanish for my time in the mission that I can handle a Latin comp, or I don't speak enough and I need to speak more. Not sure which it is, but I'm really excited! I think he has quite a bit of time in the mission, but obviously I'll let you know more next week. All I learned was that he is a good missionary and that our area is an hour from the rest of our district, so that doesn't change anything! Just more trips in the colectivo every week. woo hoo! But I am really excited to learn a new area and meet more people, plus Mendoza is more dry and I think the weather will be a little more like good old Mountain Home, dry and hot. So we will see!
 
Anyway, this last week has been crazy. The fiestas still aren't over beause there were only 6 days between Christmas and New Years today, so people have still been very... closed. We haven't been able to teach much, we were actually worried last night, looking at these last 6 weeks with little success that Justo Daract would be closed for the missionaries again. Thankfully it's not! I know Elder Rogers will keep it going, if not increase the success. He is a great Elder, I have learned a lot from him as well. Sorry I always speak generally like that, but if I expounded, you wouldn't finish reading this email for another 30-45 minutes. I'll spare you the time :) So after Skype, just that night felt a little weird, knowing it would be 5 months until the next time, but it didn't affect the work or anything, we still got out and did lots of walking and talking and a bit of teaching. I was just really glad to be able to see people again, after all these months it was a relief just to see, and then talking just made it better haha. I wouldn't doubt it's the same for all Elders.
Wow, I hope your knee doesn't cause any more problems Dad. That just sounds really painful, and I've had some pretty crazy leg injuries in the past. You'll have to start playing a bit more often to be in shape! Haha but hopefully it doesn't need surgery, that would be awful. So how come Nathan's team lost so many players??
 
Kate is in New Mexico??? Wow I am actually jealous. I would love to go back there. I know she isn't in the same area as I was, but still, it feels like a second home, second mission. Hopefully she enjoys the time there with her friends! It's a pretty place, although dry. But hey, so is Mountain Home right? ;) And make sure to save some alfajors for Kate! There were enough in there for all of you, but I know how tempting they are. I'm surprised Tyler didnt just grab one and run! I feel like I will be that way when I get back. Did you give Kelly the oreo and guaymallen alfajor that were in the shoes in the package? I just can't see them in that picture, just wondering!

That's an interesting coincidence, with what the Ogaards talked about this Sunday, because that's something that has been on my mind the last couple weeks, with opening the mouth and talking to random people. But I have noticed these last two days when we have really focused on that, that it's really easy if you just talk to them like you love them and like you know that their Heavenly Father loves them. We talked to a lot of people Saturday, some agnostics, some Jehovahs Witnesses, Catholics, Evangelists, and whatever else there are, but with all of them, it was easy to talk about the gospel and relate it to them. Even if some of them accepted it a little more, I noticed at the end of the day that it really is easier to do everything we are supposed to do as an act of love for them, because we know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love them as well. So that's a cool coincidence! Well no that's just an interesting occurence, coincidences don't really exist for me anymore haha.
 
Wow, can you believe it, 2012 is over. I can't believe that I haven't been in Argentina this whole year, I was at BYU a year ago. That is really hard to picture, it feels like a long time ago. Something that Hna Alaniz asked us to do at the beginning of Sunday School yesterday was think back through the year and think of the big accomplishments that have happened for us, and I had PLENTY. Because I have learned so much, grown a little, and changed so many things about me and how I work. This year truly has been one of the best years, along with one of the hardest, most challenging, but along with those, one of the most rewarding, most worthwhile. Even if we don't get to celebrate New Years as missionaries (even though it's the same thing as Christmas, everyone eats a big meal and then at midnight, fireworks and drinking and partying again. (Hope that answers your question Dad) I still have been changed by thinking about what I have done this year, or haven't done that I need to, And I am ready for the new year. 2013 has plenty in store for each of us, we just have to work our hardest to achieve it all, or take the next step in some cases. I was reading in Alma yesterday looking for something to share with some people, and I found chapter 26, where Ammon is reflecting on the things he has done in the last few years. He is talking to his brother Aaron:

11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

12 Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

I feel exactly like Ammon, as I have thought about this last year and everything that has happened. I especially feel as he describes in the beginning of 12 "I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak." That describes me perfectly. I feel very humbled when I think about this last year, starting with my friends at BYU in January, leading to being home for a little before leaving to the MTC in May, then to New Mexico, and now 4 months here in Justo Daract. I have really started thinking about the times I have subjected myself to the Lord's will and not my own, and I notice a difference between this year and the last 18 years of my life. I think the biggest one that stands out in submitting myself to His will would be the fact that I left everything, my family, my friends, my home, my town, my country, to be here, 1000s of miles away. and for what? To suffer because I left my family, my closest friends? No, I'm definitely not serving a mission to suffer. To repay God for all that He has given me? No, that's impossible, He will always give me more than I will EVER be able to give back to Him. To follow the routine of all 19 year olds? No, I am not doing this out of peer pressure, out of expectation, out of obligation; if I was, I wouldn't have left. Why, then, am I here? That's something I have thought about as I've thought back through this year, why would I have left 5 months into the year and leave everything I was comfortable and familiar with to do this? I can't give a simple answer. There are different levels of reasons. But for me, this past year of 2012 has been one with the hardest decisions, the biggest leaps of faith, but most importantly, the biggest steps towards my Father in Heaven. I thought I was somewhat of a man before I left, I was 19, at college, expanding my horizons for my future.... no, I was wrong. I'm still not a man, but I can say with all my heart that I have taken at least some of the major steps towards becoming a true man, a true son of our Heavenly Father, a man with a divine purpose in this life, and an eternal purpose for the life to come, a man who understands why he is here, doing these things, with an eternal perspective and an infinite potential. I had no idea what a man was before. I was still a teenager getting ahead of his actual potential in the moment. But that has changed, albeit very slightly, because I still have a long way to go. But this is just an example of what I learned this year. What about you? Really think about it, the new year is something that has happened every year of our lives, but don't just take it lightly as a common occurence. This year, I want you to actually sit down, ponder, and think about what you have done with your life this year, and what you want to improve this year that's coming. Something that I have thought about this last week is that as human beings, the only way we can change is if we recognize the faults in ourselves and have a sincere desire to improve those faults. You can't change a problem that you don't recognize, no?
 
The new year has always had its resolutions and things that last about the first month. But this year, think of one thing at the least that you want to start and go through with. A resolution doesn't hold any reward for us when it isn't fulfilled, Think of something and have it on your mind at all times, because only that way will we be able to persevere with the goal and not forget about it the beginning of February.
 
Well, I hope all of you enjoy your New Years festivities tonight! Drink some sparkling cider for me, and enjoy the end of a year that for each of us was full of miracles from our Heavenly Father. All that we are missing (ah! I caught myself, thanks Scott) is the recognition of those miracles. I hope all of you enjoy the rest of the break between school or work or whatever it may be. And don't forget to start of the new year with a goal to be a different, better person at the end, a year from today. I'll address that next year, how about that? :) I love each of you, and hope you can achieve all that you are aspiring to do with your lives, and I hope you can keep on going through whatever struggles there may be. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it, those thoughts aren't from God. He knows our potential, and He knows it is infinite, we just have to esforzarnos (okay, I seriously can't think of this word in English, please translate Dad).
 
Happy New Years everyone! Let's embrace 2013 with our thoughts towards a better future!

Thank you for all that you do for me, all the letters and prayers and thoughts towards me. You will never truly know how much they help me!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

P.S. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHAN!!!!! :) No I didn't forget Enjoy your birthday!! Do something fun. I love you!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Felices Fiestas y Prospero Año Nuevo!

Some photos from the mission Christmas fiesta:
 
With Elder Hardy
 
With Elder Chipman
 
With Elder Johnson
 
With Elder Day
 
MTC Amigos
 
The entertainment


Felices Fiestas y Prospero Año Nuevo!

I know, we are still faulting a little until New Years, even Christmas seeing as how yesterday was Christmas Adam (I always remembered that about Uncle Dave :D) and today is only Christmas Eve, but today is basically the Christmas day down here. Let me tell you, people are NOT more receptive during the Christmas season even, they just don't want anything to do with us because they are busy preparing for the holidays. This weekend was SO HARD. But I have survived until now, so what is there to complain about? In fact, there are things to celebrate this wonderful beautiful (and boiling hot :/ ) day, because yesterday A___ CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!! It was my FIRST person I have been able to get to church my entire time here, well my entire mission actually. I was SOOOO HAPPPPPYYY. My heart was pounding so hard during Sacrament Meeting, hoping everything would work out well. And after Sacrament Meeting, she just walked out of her way up to me, even with her injured leg, and with the biggest smile on her face she just shook my hand. Didn't say anything. Just that.... but that made the entire week worth it, let me tell you. I don't know what the future holds, espeically with possible transfers out of here (for me) being this next week, but I am going to work my hardest this week to try and get this area going, even if it's just one tiny step. The members here deserve it, and I am a necessary key to helping with the work here, so I have a big responsibility, but I say bring it on. I love this place, and I'm not saying that just because I'm caught up in the joy of Christmas and all the great things that have already happened to me (there have been a lot) I really mean it. So, that was the best part of the week yesterday. and now these next two days are going to be amazing, although right now, at 11 in the morning it's already about 37 degrees. I am DYING. Please send some of your cold down here, sharing is caring! :)
 
I am super excited to skype, you have no idea! Well you have a pretty good idea, it's your first time too. But it's going to be the best part of Christmas. I already know it. I'm excited to see everyone who is there at least!
 
Dang, my package still hasn't arrived?? Well hopefully soon... If it's after Christmas, I apologize! Wow I didn't know people were going to do that... 135 in my account?? That's like... 600 pesos!!! Wow. Thank you everyone, I will make sure to get something good!
 
I am so jealous you went to temple square!!!! I want to go there so bad. Oh well, future trip planned! And you had Sacrament Meeting with Elder Oaks and Elder Carlson. Aren't you just having the best time of your lives without me!! It's okay, I'm also doing the same I guess ;)
 
Sounds like these past weeks have been pretty exciting. Wow, Nathan just has the good teeth of the family I guess. I remember we were told 2 years, which turned into like 3 and a half. And still not as good :/ well congrats Nathan, you just keep getting more and more things to brag about to us. That's okay, I accept it though, the younger generation really is just more capable. I still am older!!! (how pathetic a claim haha)
 
So the branch Christmas party went really well!! None of the families that Hna Alaniz invited came :( but Hna Giordano brought her sister, so that was good enough! Julian had us watch the Bible videos that have to do with the birth of Christ, and it was a really good presentation. Then President Alaniz added some more thoughts and shared his testimony, and afterwards we went outside and there were Christmas lights and everyone enjoyed the weather and some pizzas and mini milanesas and bread and chips. I felt at home. That's the most important part. I loved it so much! Even though we were up until 12 ( we had permission, don't worry) and Elder Rogers kept trying to go to bed, I felt kinda bad because he wanted to go to bed but I wanted to enjoy the moment. I regretted staying up so late at 630 the next morning of course, but it's all worth it. It's moments like that that really make up your mission. So I wanted to enjoy it. I think he really tried to go to bed before they brought out the fruit salad because he refused to eat it since he doesn't like fruit and they talked it up like the main special event of the night. I felt bad that I stayed up and he was subjected to everyone saying how do you not want fruit salad, just eat a little, why don't you want any, are you sure? Yeah he gets that a lot, I feel really bad haha but, I thoroughly enjoyed the night!

Then we had the mission fiesta too! It was a realy long tri again, in a private colectivo (makes it sound nicer but... it's not) and we got there three hours too late, so I only played futbol twice, and each time for about 1 minute because then we got knocked out. But, I take pride in the fact that I was the only gringo playing with a bunch of Colombians, Chilenos, Paraguanos, Argentinos, Peruvians, and Mexicanos. :) I like surprising people because they didn't want gringos playing with them, all the teams were already made, but then I joined and once they realized I actually know what to do, they kept asking me to play. Sadly, I didn't play nearly as much as I would have liked! But now I can say I've played futbol down here 3 times!!! The number is increasing slowly. Anyway then I spent some time with Elder Day, mi papi, and Elder Braithwaite, Elder Hardy, Elder Johnson and Elder Chipman. I love those guys Elders. It was really good to see everyone again. Those are the photos I sent before this email. But it was fun to see Santiago too. Haha me and Elder Johnson ate with Santiago (President's 12 yr old son) and talked about his English and played ping pong and stuff. It was awesome haha and Elder Rogers and I got a receipe from their youngest daughter for bombons or something like that, and we got to see Hna and Pte Avila, so it was just a really good day! The food was really good, and after we had a meeting where we watched a slideshow of all the pictures of all the baptisms this year, sadly ours from my first transfer wasn't on it, we forgot to send it in. Whoops. But we sang Christmas hymns, as about 100-130 elders and hermanas, and president spoke to us for awhile too. We were issued the challenge to read the Book of Mormon, as a mission, as a unit of 200+ missionaries starting last Thursday and ending February 23. So only about 65 days! But it's going good so far, since we have set chapters to read every day, it makes it easier. But he challenged us to mark things that we wouldn't normally mark, so that has been the callenge. I've avoided scripture mastery scriptures we studied in seminary, and things that I always mark, and have really paid attention to the little things that I don't usually notice. It has helped alot, I have already learned a ton! That can apply to life to, if we start over with something and pay attention to the little details and not the main events we learn even more! Like this newcoming year, don't just focus on the big events like holidays and birthdays, focus on things that happen every day that are little miracles themselves. That's I guess the challenge I issue to you all as well! Try and learn something new this year that is coming, and not just focus on the main points of the year.
 
And after that, we got back on the bus and headed home again. It is hard being in Justo Daract, we never get all the way home, we have to stay in Villa Mercedes and it's impossible to sleep there for me, since its so... dirty. So I was pretty tired for the next couple days. But before we left Mendoza I started juggling by myself, in missonary attire, and then the elders from my zone, all the Latins, came and joined, and it was really fun, then some hermanas came too, from my zone first, then more from Mendoza, along with President's daughters (I started getting a little worried like I'd started something crazy and President was going to get mad, but thankfully that didn't happen!) , and at the end we switched to a volleyball and started hitting that around, and it was all just super fun. There were still no other gringos besides me, so I felt pretty cool again :) I did a couple dives and had some cool saves. I was just super excited to play sports again. It's been so long...
 
Anyway, we have lunch today with J___ and P___ and O___ (their daughter; I don't know if I have mentioned her name before) at 1 and we are going by the flia L___ (an Evangelist family, but last time we passed by we had a really spiritual visit, so I'm starting to see more potential) and then flia Alaniz for the night. I'm super excited!! It's going to be great. And today we are getting the netbook from Julian and also the webcam from President Alaniz so we can both skype since we will have the laptop and the computer in the office. So that will work out just fine! I'm so excited, I've been looking forward to this since I left honestly! :)

Thank you for the pictures, even if Dad just asked you to include them so he could have a reason to mention his IPHONE: what the heck, when did that happen?? But those are really good pictures, I love the one of the temple and the nativity. A reverent reminder of the reason for Christ, for Christmas, and the Gospel of Christ.
 
Well this won't be so long either since skyping will be happening tomorrow. I'm so excited!! I'll get on as soon as possible, around 4 or 5 and look for you all. I hope you enjoy your christmas eve, and tomorrow as well! I hope you enjoy the spirit that is there as well, because there is not a better feeling than being with family, giving gifts from the heart, and enjoying time together during the best time of the year. :) Thank you all for all you've given me these 19 years of my life, I could never ask for more. All that you have done makes this Christmas away from home bearable, and even enjoyable. :) Thank you. I love you, and send my best wishes for this holiday day! (I say "day" since the season has since passed, although it is good to keep it going all year )
 
Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, December 17, 2012

Buenos días!

 
Saturday night storm, 12/15/12


Buenos días!

Well I got stuck with the computer with the broken space bar again, so to start, I apologize for attempting to invent the longest words in English history :) Can youbelieve Christmas is NEXT WEEK????What happened to this year? I can´t even believe the beginning of this year I was at BYU enjoying the time with my friends and roommates. That's crazy. I feel like I´vebeen gone a long time, but at thesame time hardly at all. This week has been an eternity though so that could be why! ;) But not in a bad way. Just really hot and long.Just as Dad predicted. It was plenty hot. We helped José with his house of dirt Saturday again, and got alittle burnt. But its reallyfun, because it's something completely different. So I´ve been going through the cycle just like lasttime: burn, fever, exhaustion, cold, but thankfully the cycle is already on its last stage today. I woke up feeling dead, exhausted. But it's okay, I´m getting better. Slowly but steadily.
 
The conference was very good! And this Wednesaday we go to Mendoza again! I am going to see Elder Hardy, Elder Johnson and ElderChipman,along with my Argentine papi (trainer) Elder Day. So that will be superfun! And Dad, THAT is what I was trying to remember the whole trip home aftertheconference, who he reminded me of hahahahahahaha it's so true. Gru! He was very spiritual though, and I didn´tget distracted duringthe conference thankfully. And Elder Diaz De Leon is not the mini missionary I did exchanges with, he was just in Villa Mercedes myfirst two transfers here, and he was always reallyencouraging with the language.
 
Also this Friday we have the branch Christmas devotional. It's going to be really good! We just have to give a relato of Christ's life with Julian helping us.It's just going to be hard to get together with Julian because he is getting married finally next month, so he´s super busy right now! Plus we haveto get with him to Skype because he has the laptop we will use for Skype.Which about that, yes we are doing it in the pench, in President Alaniz´s office, and if you will be online waiting then I´ll try and coordinate accordingly. And we aren´t allowedto proselyte Christmas day, so we have all day basicallyto schedule it best if necessary. Yes I remember ourphone number... I justdon't know if I knowhow to dial it. I think you might have to call us, I really don´t know. But I´m prettysure Skype will work out justfine! We will get on around 3 or 4 I guess and we´ll seefrom there, does thatwork??who all is going to be there?? I am super excited obviously, I would be fineif that was allthe Christmas presents I got, to see everyone! Hopefully the package getsthere thisweek, and don´t open it until Christmas obviously. And sorry nothing iswrapped, for Kelly tampoco, but as long as everyone gets their gift then that's good! When are you going to get togetherwithKelly?she should be ending soon. You could send her a text orsomething and find out.But I know she´ll be home for Chirstmas day!
 
So Hna Alaniz asked me yesterday if we were going to coordinate Skype with Jalen too but I told her he wasdoing it Monday instead. She was disappointedhaha I don´t know why,but oh well. Maybe next year! I got an email from him saying sorry so it's okay haha.
 
OOOOOHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I totally forgot! So there wasanice pleasantsurprise yesterday in church. I had to speak and teach Priesthood, but everyone was in such a good mood thateverything went really well anyway. They are going to build a chapel here in Justo Daract!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can´t even describe how happy I was and the members were to hear that. :):) I think it means moreto me than anyone, although I´m sure the members think thesame, because I´ve been here for 4 months, without a lot of progression, a little here and there, but that justconfirmed to me that sí, my work and faith and efforts along with the members' really has made a difference here, enough to build a chapel! I am reallyexcited forthe future work here. With a real chapel it should be easier to get people to come, all depending on where theybuild it. But that's the happynews of this week :) I´m so excited!!!! I´ll behome when it's dedicated but that doesn´t matter.Thework will go on, until theLord says it is finished.
 
I sent information about my Skype too lastweek, I created a new one. But I guess I can use the old one if I needed too.But my new one is tyson.gibbons93. I sent a friend request to my old account, butif you created a new one then I will try either one. If you are already addedto myold one then alright I can use that one! Youalready friended yourself to my old one?
 
Yes Mom I´m still practicing thepiano, we have a keyboard but it's better than nothing. I have been practicing Christmas hymns but also I keeptrying to remember Cristiforís dream and I've recently started listening to Paul Cardall on my ipod and figuring out by ear his Live to Love song. I´ve got the main part, now just to get it all solidified. I can't believe how much youcan do when youpractice every night. So yeah I´ll keepyou updated on that! I feel like a musical professional trying to decipher the notes by ear, like youand your roommates did with Cristiforis dream. Wish me luck! I am definitely taking it slow haha.
 
Theres not much to report from here this week, we´ve just had somereally good lessons, but can't count anyone as progressing because they still won't cometo church!!! GRRRRRR but it's okay,we´ll havethe activity Friday and church again Sunday,and hopefully more peoplecome, seeing as it's closer to Christmas! I hope so, I really do. We are going to watch Special Witnesses of Christ with Aida tonight, so hopefullythat goes reallywell. It will be spiritual, for sure! She´s the closest one we have to taking the next step in her life, she just always has something come up before church. Satan is either working really hard because he knows that's the last thing she needsto receive an answer, or God is testing her and so far she just hasn´t passedcompletely. Either way, I haveto have patience still too! It's hard haha she´s one of the only people that I actually started teaching. Anyway, thank you for your prayers,they really do help!
 
I´m super excited for thenew week, as always, and we have a bunch of Christmas activities, so how could it get better??? :) I love Christmas!!!! The spirit ofChristmas has power to change hearts, change attitudes, and change the very soul of anyone who fully accepts it in themselves. Just like in Alma 32, if there is just a tiny bit of room to plant theseed, it will grow. All it needs is just a littleroom,but from that little seedcomes the miracles that the world has seen andread in the Bible and in modern times right now. So, if you put the equation together, this christmas season withthe power of its spirit, is the season of miracles! :) Never forget the miracles that have happened in your life, and if you´ve never seen one, you aren´t looking hard enough! Miracles happen every day, it's simply a matter of looking forthe good in everything that happens. Because in the world, with it's state of being today,anything good that happens could be counted as a miracle or a tender mercy from the Lord. I always loved the commercials where someone does something nice for someone else, and one person sees it, and then that person doessomething else for another person, and itcontinues like that! That's how theworld should work.Unfortunately, not everyone is in accordance withthat. But as I taught yesterday, we as members of the Church, and I would modify that to all of us who want a better world, have the responsibility of setting thebest example. And I´ll conclude with the quote from President George Albert Smith, "Make them feel your influence." Or "haganlo sentir tu influencia." There is our duty!
 
I love each of you and again wish youthe best for thisholiday season! Don´tforget the reason for the season, and always remember to forget yourself and givea little more to those around you! Therein lies true joy and happiness. :)
 
Elder Tyson David Gibbons

p.s. Yes Mom we are getting the fridge back tomorrow.Thank goodness eh? two months plusa little without one. I don´t know how I survived. It has been hard to say the least haha but no need to worry anymore. I´ll keepstaying cool ;)
 
p.s.s Those pictures are from Saturday night, it wasabout 10:15, completely black outside since there was no moon or stars, but I got some pretty awesome pictures :) even with my not so awesome camera. The first is just to show you how strong the storm was. It looks bright outside, but it's really pitch black. Anyway, enjoy! And sorry I am not in that picture. Since I have control of the camera, I get to choose if I am in the picture or not :) haha sorry, I´ll try harder to convince myself. Love,

Elder Gibbons 2
 
(Added later) Sorry this will be short, I answered everything I think except theChristmas tradition question. Basically, every fewhouses we see a lighted star on the window and some houses have some little trees, but other than that, there really aren´t any decorations. It's depressing. Theydothe same thing here though (as in Chile, where his dad served), theycelebrate everything the 24th, at night, and then sleep a lot of the day the 25th, but after that just go to the river or the pool to swim since it's so hot. But the 25th we are allowed to be out till 11:30 and we have to go out in public in normal clothes so that will be interesting. Anyway, that's bascially their culture, pretty similar to Chile! Just makes me miss the states more than ever right now. They do shoot off fireworks too. As for the Skyping time, I´m guessing if you are all going to open presentsabout 9 or 10 as the four of you, and then with everyone at Grandma's house doing their thing, and with the four hours difference, I think it would work best if I get on about 4 or 5? So it would be 12 or 1 for you. Does that work? If not let me know nextweek, but we´ll plan for that. Can´t wait! Love you,
 
Elder Tyson Gibbons

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hola todos!

Tyson's growing Christmas stash
 
Tyson with Elder and Sister Resek of the Seventy
 
Tyson with Elder Diaz de Leon


Hola todos! ¿Como les ha ido?

I can´t even tell how great it feels to be in a new week. Last week was rough, I won´t get into detail. Mostly lack of sleep with the Internacional Festival de Tango that started Thursday and went until last night. And also we had a Conferencia with Elder Resek del Setenta Thursday, and we had to travel 6 hours to San Rafael, and back, in one day. It was... awful. Haha the traveling I mean. The conference was amazing. I saw Elder Diaz de Leon again, and that was awesome! I miss that Elder. I attached a picture (sorry it looks a little weird) anyway, we just didn´t have a very productive week, with the festival and exhaustion. But it's a new week, a new day, a new time to start over and work harder!
 
Dad, thanks for the weather update. I really never know if I am going to wake up to a hot day or rainy day or rainy-morning/humid and hot day. It's just unpredictable! So 90's for the rest of the week? Joy... Yes, it feels wrong. It's Christmas, December, and I'm sleeping on top of my sheets and blankets, sweating all day, getting slowly more tan and sun cooked. Haha how much more backwards can you get?? I am wishing I had bought more short sleeve shirts. Oh well, no regrets! I´m glad to hear it at least snowed a little bit! Maybe the white Christmas will come after all! For you, of course.
 
I´m not sure why the offices didn´t notify me about Great-Grandma Gibbons' death, it could be that they changed their number and our phone doesn't have it, we have received one or two calls while we've been working from numbers without names. That could be why. But it's okay, it wasn't too big of a surprise. The funeral sounded like it went smoothly, as smooth as a funeral can go anyway. They are really hard to handle, for me anyway. But I´m really glad you sang those songs! It's amazing the simple peace that comes from children's hymns, because I believe the childrens hymns are ALWAYS sung from the heart, they´ve been there since your childhood, and so you have a childlike spirit when you sing them. Super spiritual, to say the least. And that poem just about made me cry. I´m sitting here in the cyber surrounded by a bunch of people and I have to try really hard not to! But I copied it down in my agenda. I really like that poem, thank you Janet for finding that. It has a special place in my heart already, just as Great-Grandma did. I can´t believe her sister is 100 and a couple others older! They have some really good genes in that family. That's amazing that she came.
 
I´m glad you had fun Christmas shopping! It's always my favorite shopping, since I don´t have to worry too much about how much I spend, because well I am spending it on others, and as I have said before, I love giving gifts!!! WHICH, by the way... reminds me. Today I sent the Christmas package! :) And he said it should arrive between 10-15 days!!! So if it got there before Christmas, that would be AWESOME!! If not, well a couple days after maybe. But Mom the post office, just like everything else here, only takes cash, so I paid in cash and I´ll just buy lunch today and some groceries for the next week or so with the card. I´m excited for you to get it! :) Sorry it's only a little something, but it's definitely a little taste of Argentina for this special Holiday! Hope you enjoy :)
 
And more about Christmas, we are going to do Skype on Christmas, and we´re going to do it in the pench! Since it's the church haha but yeah, that will be great! We still are figuring out the time, but what would be the best time for you guys? Since there are two p-days before, we can figure it out precisely! We are planning on having a meal with the Giordano and Alaniz family for Christmas, and we have to go out in normal clothes, so that will be interesting! I´m super excited nonetheless. How can I not be?? As I may have mentioned once, I love this season :)
 
Thank you for the addresses! I´m going to write them today, I want to see how they're doing!!
 
I had no idea about those surgeries, thank you for telling me. Of course they will be in my prayers. I hope everyting turns out for the best! Those would definitely be some hard times...I DON'T like hospitals either, can you guess why? Haha yes I will pray for them.
 
Wow I love those pictures!! All of them! Europe looks as beautiful as ever, even with a flooded town, and the cultural celebration looks like it was AWESOME!! I´m jealous. I like Malcolm´s shaggy hair, like father like son ;) That's so cool to see Tyler and Malcolm and Solomon and Nathan and Justin and, well, all of those people I know! Did you take those pictures? They´re really good quality and they all have someone from our ward/stake. Thats so cool, thank you!
 
Well, there are some cool things I would like to share before I end (go ahead, sigh. I know I talk on and on sometimes! It's interesting I promise). So we did intercambios Saturday, and I went to Villa Mercedes again with Elder Daybell. We visited a family, the Flia. Calderon, and it's an older couple. And I learned A TON!!! They were the first members in basically this side of the San Luis Province, they were found by missionaries who had been sent from the Cordoba mission (bueno, all of Argentina north was one mission back then... guess who was the president?? Elder Richard G. Scott!!!! I had NO idea) and they had to get missionaries to come from the branch in San Luis to Villa Mercedes, and they were the first members. And, they personally met Elder Scott, multiple times, he came to visit them specifically since they were basically the only members in Villa Mercedes at that time. And on top of that, they met President Kimball and President.... don´t remember which other one. They have hook ups! They had a binder with all of these old certificates and things like that, with pictures of them and Elder Scott. It's so crazy. They told us they were also the first marriage sealing ceremony done in the Buenos Aires Temple! And they served a mission there about five years ago, before it closed. The elder who baptized them, Elder Andrews I think, became a Seventy, but passed away a while ago, and they had articles by him as a Seventy, in their binder. But anyway, that's all just a bunch of cool facts. The thing that I really liked was their excerpts from a talk by Dr. Warner Von Braun (I only know him from the movie October Sky) speaking at BYU, and there was one paragraph in the Liahona from April 1968 (so old.. I don´t think you can even find that anymore) that the person quoted Dr. Von Braun talking about life after death. And of course, in his super smart words, he basically said that he is convinced there is life after death, because all of his studies have shown him and taught him that matter does not cease or get created, so as our body returns to the earth, our spirit doesn´t just disappear! It has to go somewhere right? But it does not cease to exist! I can´t explain it nearly as well as he did in his infinitely intelligent words, but that's basically what it was. It just made me realize that even the smartest people, in terms of science, can understand spiritual truths simply if they reason things out in their mind. He wasn´t a member of the Church as far as I know, but he knew one thing, that our spirit continues on after death. It is scientifically proven, and of course, it's the truth too! But that just made me think even more about how important it is for us, for me, as a missionary, to teach simply. I have talked with people that are really intelligent, and it's hard to get past their knowledge to a spiritual level, but it's also different with people who aren´t as educated, who didn´t finish school (sadly, most of Justo Daract). It's hard to achieve that level of spirituality if we cant teach simply enough. We are counseled in Preach My Gospel to teach simply and clearly, so even a child could understand completely, and there is a quote by one of the Prophets I think, that says it's a great teacher who can take the mysteries of the universe and summarize them and teach them so that a child understands completely.
 
Well, that just made me think about how simple the gospel really is in the first place! We start by teaching that God is our Heavenly Father, and that sets the basis of families, and then we teach that families are important to learn and grow together, and then we move on to the prophets who give us as families the things we need to do, and that leads to how prohpets were in the Bible and that leads to Joseph Smith.... it all is just connected! This book (Preach My Gospel) truly was written by prophets and apostles. And so I started wondering (I do a lot of thinking and wondering.. sorry) why some people can´t or won´t understand or accept this message when we contact them in the street or knock their door. It is exactly what they believe already, because for everyone, family means EVERYTHING. And it all revolves around the family and the teachings of Christ. It makes me sad when someone refuses to listen to us when they haven´t even heard what we have to offer. That's the importance of the door approach and following the Spirit, because we have to say what will catch their attention!! It's so important. Anyway, I feel like all of that is something that I learned more than it will help you all, but hey, at least I´m learning right? :)
 
Well I should get going, I have some laundry to do and I am starving, plus I want to practice my Christmas songs on the piano more! Oh yeah, Mom last night I started playing It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and I have it memorized already, I just have to put the two hands together. It's AMAZING how once you´ve learned something, it's still there, it just takes practice and patience. I started O Little Town of Bethlehem this morning, and I´ve got the right hand memorized already. It's great, I LOVE christmas songs, and it's even better when I can play them! It makes me feel at home. Playing the piano always reminds me of you of course!
 
Anyway, I love you all and hope you continue to be happier and happier as Christmas draws nearer and nearer! Enjoy your shopping, your time with family and friends, and get into the Christmas Spirit! It's worldwide, anyone who believes in Christ is feeling the same spirit you are. Tell me THAT isn´t a divine power! Let it reunite everyone, and help everyone to forget any troubles and focus on the rest of the people around. There´s no greater happiness than when you forget yourself! I am a personal walking testimony of that, I´ve never been truly happy like I have been these months I have been serving everyone else. (I´m not saying I haven´t been super happy or truly happy before, those were times when I still forgot about mysefl and focused on you, my family, my friends, all of you.) The Savior lives, and He is there for us, along with His Spirit, through whatever problem we have. Especially as Christmas draws near, I personally feel He is closer than ever, because wherever His Spirit is, He is there also.
 
Happy Holidays, to one and all! Keep smiling and working hard, just push on through, the holidays are just around the corner!

Elder Tyson David Gibbons

P.S. Dad- I got some advice for mate again, I´m not sure if I already gave you some advice. But they told me first you put some sugar, then the hierba, then more sugar, and you have to put some cold water first so the hot water doesn't burn the hierba, because then it tastes gross. and also they said you can put in some orange or lemon shavings to give it a more summery feel! Although, well, I guess you are in winter. Haha yeah keep using the hot water :D Anyway, I don´t know when your next biannual trying of mate is going to be, but there you go! Hopefully it's more enjoyable than last time. And when I get home, maybe I´ll like it too! Since I won't ever try it here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Buen dia de Justo Daract!

Buen dia de Justo Daract! ¿Que tal?
 
Again I apologize for last week. All is well though! Just a waste of a p-day basically. Well it's never a waste to do something different, it's just the fact that communication between Elders could be better. We will have better plans next time we go.... if we go. Haha anyway, yes things are going just fine. Great actually! Today, Justo Daract has been transformed into Oregon. It's raining so hard, harder than almost any other day I've seen since I've been here. It's crazy. but I love it. It's so much better than the heat, which is continually and daily getting more and more potente. Elder Rogers loves it anyway, because he just came from San Juan where it's super dry, and really hot, so now he's here and it's more humid, like his home in Nueva York. So he is just doing fine. I'm the one suffering haha but I can honestly say, there are not many feelings better than coming home after a long day of work, physically and spiritually, all soaked from sweat and covered in tierra, and taking off the formal clothes and relaxing in shorts and a t shirt. :) I think one of the bonuses of a mission is that I'll get home and be comfortable no matter what. Plus taking a cool shower before you go to bed just makes everything better! In memory of Thanksgiving, I'm very grateful for a working shower.
 
So I got a few more letters last Friday when we had ANOTHER zone capacitacion. I'm so sick of traveling at this point, because it's never somewhere new! Haha but it was a really good meeting. And I thought it was hilarious that in Chris' email, he said how on earth do I write so much. Well I can't really answer that question, besides the fact that here in Justo Daract, there isn't anything to do but come here, write Presidente, and family, and then go and do nothing in the capilla for the rest of the day until 6. Plus I've always been able to type really fast, and I have so many experiences that I want to share! Because spiritual experiences are there to share and help others learn something (not all though, there's always a few that should be kept personal. Here's another call-out for Thanksgiving: I'm so grateful for these two years that I have to bring myself closer to my Savior and have those experiences that are so personal and profound. They give you the will to carry on!) But anyway, I'm glad I can read my friends' emails too! That is something I've always wondered though, how do they write so little? It's always really good experiences, I feel like I write too much. Hahahahaha except for Ossie. Hahaha :D his emails just make me smile and laugh every time. But I'm way excited for him, and everyone else.
 
So to impress you mom, yes I made the empanadas myself. Kinda. We bought the tapas, se llama, the dough part, pre made, but we made the filling and we just put a spoonful into the tapa and fold it over and make it look nice. Then eat. I've learned to cook quite a few things! Brownies, chicken with vegetables, pizza which we are having today, tacos, and empanadas. Now I just fault asado. Still have only had one! I'm pretty disappointed. Every person that told me I'd be eating the best meat and a ton of it, thanks for raising my hopes! It's okay, I still eat a lot and it's always really good. Well almost. But hey, that's just life, right?

Also, news on the fridge, we are bringing that to a tecnico guy today, and it should be fixed by Thursday. That would be fantastic! Elder Rogers has been dying without a fridge. He can only drink water when it's fridge cold, not just from the tap like I've done this whole time. Haha so he asks everyone we talk to for aqua fresca. It's interesting. Also he asks to use the bathroom a lot.. I never did that with Elder Day haha, just a couple more interesting ways to get into a house. Problem is, everytime we ask someone they tell us "la neña esta banando." Every single house we go by, the kid is taking a bath. It's too good to be true haha but yeah. You always learn something new from different companions right? On that topic, I did find out more about Elder Rogers. He knows how to make a few desserts, that's all the cooking experience he has, so I've done a lot of the cooking so far. He didn't go to seminary which really surprised me because he knows a TON, I guess one benefit of the mission right? And he loves to play video games, he always asks me the most random video game questions... it's actually really funny, it's so random! But I feel bad because I don't know what he's talking about most of the time.. I think that's the only gap in our understanding of one another haha ;) but yeah! The T___' son asked us what music we liked because he works for the radio station here, and I said I like lo que sea, and then he asked Elder Rogers and he said la musica de videogames. And the son looked at him for a minute, didn't understand him, he thought he misunderstood the question. Hahaha it was thoroughly awkward, but really funny. So those are some of the fun experiences I've had this week! It's good to learn as much as you can about your companion though, it's the only way to get along really well and function well as a duo.
 
About Great-Grandma Gibbons, I hadn't heard that. I am really glad to know she passed peacefully and that as many people that could were able to see her. I don't know why the mission offices didnt tell me? But that's okay. It was on my mind all week anyway, and I figured it would happen soon. I'm glad that everything went alright, and hopefully the funeral and the people talking can help out with those who don't understand everything. I know it will all go really well! And yes dad, I will always remember her smile and her laugh, and her hugs too. Those are what I think of when I think of her, because she was always all smiles when I talked to her. I'll miss her, and I'm glad things have worked out thus far. She was a great example to any who knew her, that I'm sure of.

So this last week we got to talk to a few more of our less active members, and we aren't sure why, because they are people that I have never met and I've been here two transfers now. But somehow we are finidng them and having good discussions. And they are all part of the B___ family, so we are hoping that in the future they can all help each other out as a big family and return to church. They have all told us they would love to start going again, they just all have work supposedly. So hopefully we can get in and teach more about the family and the role of the gospel in the familia. I don't know why all the sudden we've been able to find these people, but I thank all of you who have prayed for us missionaries or have fasted or done anything like that, because we have really seen the blessings in the last two weeks! We are finding more people to teach, we are teaching in unison, and we are teaching familias and focusing all on familias who can support each other in their decisions. It's always more difficult when just a child or one parent is a member and the others have different standards. I have noticed that more than anything here, so props to all of those people that I know who have gone through that, whether things worked out better in the end, or still aren't going as well. You have all my respect, it's hard enough to live the gospel perfectly with a family supporting you. Satan is always just right there waiting for one little mistake. How important are the little things we do!!! Alma 37:6-7 talks just about that, how we need to do the little things to bring about the grand things, like the blessings or the things we need. The Lord works by small means to bring about His great and eternal purposes. We just have to trust in Him and do our part, and He will always complete His!
 
Oh! Last night I got to watch the Christmas devotional!! I totally forgot it was at the beginning of the month, but all the branch came to the chapel at 10 to watch it, so I stayed up and watched it with them. I watched before to where it was showing the choir from last year, with David Archuleta, and it brought me to tears. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, whether because I was getting presents when I was younger, or now that I realize that it's so much better when you give. All the christmas songs just make me think of all the great memories I have with family and friends for Christmas, and I couldn't help but let a few tears go. I bore my testimony yesterday (first one, just like Jalen! I'm going to try to do that from now on. Not like it's a competition or anything.. :D just a motivation to get me up there every time!) about the power the spirit of Christmas has to help us share our testimony of this gospel and of the Christ, the Son of God, with all around us. The Christmas season is the time of the year when everyone is focused on family, on getting together, on giving and receiving, and making memories that will be with them forever. I'm so excited for this month!!!! It's going to be the best month to go and just talk about Christ and the purpose of Navidad with any person who believes. Since last night it has seemed more and more like a tender mercy of the Lord to give to us missionaries just one more way to talk to people and touch their hearts with the Spirit. I have a goal to work harder than I have any of the last 6 months for this entire month. I hope the same spirit helps each of you to be open with your testimony of Christ, to share with all around you the marvelous life and birth of the Savior of the World. What better month or time is there to share our beliefs, as fellow Christian Latter Day Saints, than this?
 
I really liked President Uchtdorf's talk last night, about how sometimes we focus so much on the giving, that we forget to be good receivers too. That was so crazy to me, because earlier in my life, well it was all about the coolest present I got. That's just how kids are right? I wasn't the only one I hope. And recently I've tried to focus everything on the giving, that's been my mindset for the last few years. and now it just gets even more complex, because I don't know if I have been the most gracious or grateful receiver. So there's just another goal to set for myself! I hope we can all think about everything that we have been given, by our fellow members, our friends, our family, those around us, and more than anything our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Everything we have was given to us by them, we only have our will that is truly ours, but if we truly want to be happy in this life and the next, that will of ours needs to be aligned with Theirs, and for me, I think that aligning our will with theirs truly is one of the greatest ways to show our gratitude for everything, because with Them being the receivers, They WANT us to be happy, and They know that we are happy when we live according to Their will. But there is not a single selfish concept here, They are ultimately happy for exactly that reason, that WE are happy. That just sounds like the best never-ending cycle of happiness doesn't it?? Well now is the time to apply that to our lives, because that is the only thing faulting at this point. I hope each of us can really show our gratitude for everything we have been given, and make Them happy by doing what they want of us, which is the thing that truly makes us happy.

Well, I feel like I've talked enough. Sorry Chris and Jalen for the long email to read, but hey, hopefully you learn something. I've learned plenty from your emails along with Logan's, so obviously I'm trying really hard to do the same for everyone else, it just takes a lot more words for me. Dont judge me :) haha I'll figure out the simple teachings soon enough hopefully. Anyway, that is about all for today and this last week. Oh, besides the fact that we Abrimos la boca with a lady last Tuesday, and we talked about the family and how to best raise kids in the world with so many things going wrong, and she really liked what we were talking about, so she invited us back. She was like 9 months pregnant so that's why we talked about family. Thank goodness for clues!! Haha and so when we asked when we could come by, we found out that it would be somewhat later in the day because she and her husband are...... wait for it........ the owners of Gridos here in Justo Daract!!! :) Needless to say we were pretty excited. We just are focusing on them because if we teach them to get free ice cream, that's just selfish and it won't work. So it was a pretty selfish thought for a little bit there, but really we are excited to teach them. We didn't get in with them this week because we were so busy, and she is just about to have the baby so soon hopefully we get in. Anyway, that was a really cool experience! Again, thank you for your thoughts and prayers for families, we keep finding new ones!
 
Alright, I just went on quite a bit when I said I was done, so now I'm going to finish it off. I hope all of you can start getting the Christmas Spirit, and start feeling the happiness and joy and peace that come always at this time of year. I know I already have it, and I'm going to keep searching for it every day. Christmas is the best time of the year!! This may be my first Christmas away from home, but it's okay, the Spirit of it all is the same all over the world. Even minus the snow and plus the 40 degree weather. That is, degrees Celcius. Almost got my hopes up for a second :P I love you all, and wish you the best of the holiday season! Enjoy the music, the atmosphere, the decorations, the chill clean air, the snow, the lights, the trees, the beauty of it all! Therein lies the spirit of Christmas, the true spirit of giving to others and forgetting yourself. For me, that's about the closest I've ever felt to being Christlike, since we are all imperfect. Hence, the reason I love this season! Enjoy it all, it is the best time of the year. And make sure to share your testimony, and your smile, and your spirit with whoever crosses your way. :)

Elder Tyson David Gibbons

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 27, 2012

At the mission border--after a LONG hike
 
Familia Alaniz
 
Familia Tolaba
 
Elder Rogers with the Thanksgiving feast:  empanadas...
 
 ...and ice cream!
 
And not just any ice cream...Guido's ice cream!

 The Christmas stash


Disculpen! Un día tarde, pero todovia estoy viviendo :)

Como andan todos? Ojalá que todo haya sido buenísimo esta semana pasada.
 
So, para empezar... I´ll stop talking in Castellano. Sorry, I´ve just been talking so much in Castellano this last week that I´ve truly hit the point where half the words I can´t think of in English so I say them in Castellano. Plus, with Elder Rogers, we have a goal this tranfer to only speak Castellano en las calles, pero he visto (yikes.. sorry this is hard) I have noticed that I say things weird now, but I´ve noticed that we still come into the chapel and speak Spanish most of the night as well. But hey that's definitely not a bad thing! I´ve talked so much because, well, Elder Rogers isn´t a talker really. He´s great, don´t get the wrong impression, he just tells everone he doesn´t talk much. So, I do about 10 times more talking than I did with Elder Day, and I feel very independent. I LOVE IT. :)
 
Alright, I have another list of things to mention of course, or else it would all forget itself... that doesn´t sound right. Sorry I´m just typing fast because we have appointments that we really want to get to tonight so I´m going quick. First off, Thanksgiving!! Yes mom, you were right, it was just any other day. We actually forgot it was Thanksgiving until about halfway through the day. So, for lunch we attempted to make philly cheesesteak empanadas again, but the carnicería was closed so we got frozen hamburger patties and used them so.. it didn´t come out fantastically. I think I got that word from Jalen, so blame him if it's not right haha. And then at night we each got a 1/4 kilo of helado from Grido´s. Which will be in the pictures I´m sending today. It was pretty good. I´m just glad we got to do at least something small and special like you recommended us, dad. Ice cream and empanadas. Plus it was our first day together as a companionship, and things went really well. We had a huge weekly planning session because I filled him in on all the people we have, but it was necessary to get caught up. So we went out and worked for a couple hours, and it was hard to find anyone. But, we talk to a lot more people so in the future I see some good things coming!
 
Alright, the next big tema. Stake Conference! We had that this last Sunday, and it was AWESOME. We all made it to San Luis just in time, even though things kept popping up, and the two sessions we went to were really good. Elder Guerra from the Seventy was there speaking to the adults the first session, and then Presidente Ávila and Hermana Ávila were present of course. So during the general session we heard from the Stake President, President and Hermana Ávila, and Elder Guerra. It was a really good meeting. I got pages of notes... and of course I just realized I left them all at the capilla. Sorry. But, it was really good! We saw all the elders in San Luis, all the new ones and old ones I´ve already met. It was a good day. A really long day. We didn´t get home until about 7, and so we only got about an hour and a half of work done. But it was good. We got mail at conference, which I hadn´t even thought about. And guess what? I got both the other packages. (I checked my email today, and I got charged for one of them... I dunno how they determine that?? But this one was 160.44) Everyone was just awestruck, including me. Oh yeah, by the way the four Hermanas in San Luis want you to send them a a package now, since they haven´t gotten any packages for a while. I told them I would tell you. So there I told you haha :) They´re all from down here, whether Peru or Argentina, I think maybe Chile. Anyway, so we got some sandwiches from the Presidente Alaniz and we ate upstairs with Elder McBride (father (trainer) of Elder Chipman from my group) and Elder Hone. We had a good talk for about 2 hours. But one thing I really liked about conference was all the emphasis they put on families. Elder Guerra gave almost his whole talk on family. In my studies I´ve been studying about that, so I´ve been reading in Doctrine and Covenants sections 68, 83, and 93 about families and the duties of parents and children. I´ve really been studying better this past week thanks to Elder Rogers and the other elders here in our district who instituted the Villaract Desafío, which is a list of all the little important things we do everyday, and we have to checkmark each that we complete and mark each that we don´t, so whoever has the most at the end of the transfer gets a prize. It's really jumpstarted my schedule. I wasn´t disobedient before, but I´ve definitely been more focused so far, and it's really helped all the lessons we have had so far. I don´t know what it is, but all the lessons we´ve had with our investigadores have been way better, more spiritual and more than nada, we´ve taught together. I think that has a lot to do with it.

Anyway, so this last week we had great lessons with Mateo, and we set a new fecha for him and are helping him quit drinking again. Have I mentioned him recently? We finally found him again and he´s drunk a few times, but he still has all the desire to do what's right, and we taught him a really good lesson on the Spirit and its function as our constant companion, and just testified to him that we know the Spirit is one of the greatest gifts God has given to His imperfect children to help them return to Him. So this week we´re teaching him the Palabra de Sabiduría again and getting him to church!!! That's what he is missing more than anything. Anyway, we also had the best visit with the Familia Tolaba. They opened up more than they ever did when I passed by before, and we have an appointment with them tonight that we really want to make it to of course. So I just asked them last time what their thoughts were on the church, and if they had any doubts or questions. And we found out about a few doubts, and that's what we´re going to focus on. We teach people, not lessons! If those are their needs, then those are our focuses in teaching. So we really hope to see really serious progress with them soon. We just want to get to be their friends, get their trust, and keep testifying and teaching and bringing the Spirit to their lives. That's what we do, and that's why it's SOOOO important that we do everything we have to to keep that Spirit within us. It says in the Doctrine & Covenants, if you don´t have the Spirit, DON¨T TEACH. NO ENSEÑAREIS. It's that important. No matter our talents or knowledge or capability at teaching, no one will ever be converted without the Spirit. Nefi testifies of the same thing in the end of his record in 2 Nefi 33:1.

Anyway, that's been my experience this last week. I´ve really felt more comfortable with speaking, and I´ve spoken more than ever and people have noticed. Not all because of my speaking skill, mostly because I talk more since Elder Rogers doesn´t like to talk really. Haha but either way, I still know I´ve been really blessed. I still don´t know even close to everything, so I´m just going to keep speaking and keep learning.
 
As for the last week with a new companion, it's been fantastic! We get along really well. The only problem we have... is not with each other. It's with the fridge!!! Haha :) So yeah we stilll don´t have that fixed and the members haven´t come through in the last three weeks still with trying to help us out. So both of us tall skinny kids with huge appetites are starving basically. Haha so yeah while we´re on that topic of you feeling sorry for me... I´m really glad to read in your email that it's okay if I buy groceries on the card that amount up to the amount I´ve spent on the packages because that's what I did today. I spent 215 pesos on food for the next three weeks because the last three weeks, with Elder Day never eating anything, I´ve been hungry constantly. And I always ate enough at members' houses with Elder Day because he always refused seconds, but now we both could eat three plates but they still make the same amount of food. So we´re still adjusting... it's just really hard without a fridge! I haven´t had a cold drink in 3 weeks, including milk, and we don´t have anything that is perishable since we don´t have the thing that keeps it from perishing. So please excuse my spendings that I did without asking! But that's funny how close that adds up to how much the packages have cost. Anyway, thank you very much! Also on the topic of Christmas, I bought myself a pillow at Carrefour today too. I´ve been sleeping very poorly the last month or so, I don´t know why. But I bought a new pillow which should help, because the one I had before was just solid and uncomfortable. I´m going to bring it with me throughout the rest of my mission though, and leave the other one there, hence I spent 171 pesos on the pillow. That if anything was a waste of your money, but I promise I will pay you back sometime! Or you can count that as $40 dollars worth of that money you gave me for Christmas. Either way, I apologize and hope it wasn´t a big blow or shock. But just know I won´t be starving for the next while!! :) That's really the only reason I used my card.
 
Okay, moving on haha I have a little pile of Christmas goodies, including some of the food I bought today, saved in the corner of my room waiting for Christmas. I was really tempted to open one of the packages or both before Christmas because I was starving, but now I can save them. Thank goodness! We found out that the Christmas parties for the mission will be the 20 and 21 of December, so we´re really excited about that! But we still haven´t figured out the Skype thing. There´s a cyber in Villa Mercedes with a webcam, and since no one here has one we can use, we´re going to try and go there. Hopefully it works out, because I am NOT going to be super satisfecho if I just have to talk with voice and not see my family and such for the first time in 7 months! So we´ll be letting you know about that next week at the latest. I´m going to figure out with the Skype account as well, but what Jalen said in his email might be the best thing to do! So I´ll let you know next week.
 
Alright, enough about me! I´m glad to hear all these great things going on, and sad to hear about Great Grandma! I´m glad I got to say goodbye to her before I left. I have no doubt that she is ready to move on, but she will definitely be in my prayers. I´m glad mostly everyone got to see her before. I´m also glad that Nathan is going to show off his basketball skills today, or probably already has! And Kate, I´m proud of you for playing soccer :) Play more soccer for me since I still haven´t played much here. Just the one time!! (And mom, Elder Rogers isn´t a soccer player either... so I´m just going to be patient. As much as possible. ) Just give it all you got and don´t get discouraged. They told us in the MTC NEVER to get discouraged, but disappointment is alright as long as it's the motivation to improve. That's one thing I have to say about soccer. I let myself get discouraged a lot. Just get up, forget about it and move on whenever something happens, and just have FUN!!! I really miss just the fun and relaxing feeling I would get when I´d mess around. Just enjoy it. And don´t let Coach Ogaard get in your head too much ;P
 
About Elder Genem, I would tell him but he left Saturday before transfers, so I´m probably never going to see him again. I hope he realizes the blessings that would come from serving a full mission! I wish him the best.
 
And also about the package I got first, yes all of that stuff was in there too. I got everything. There´s just no food left besides the jar of peanut butter that I´m protecting more preciously than Gollum protected the Ring. Haha sorry random reference but, that's how much it means to me right now. The things you take for granted....
 
Anyway, I need to be finishing up, but I hope you all enjoy this wonderful Christmas holiday spirit of December! (Especially the cold factor...) (Christmas holiday season has officially started since Thanksgiving is over :D) Remember the reason for this season, it's not about getting, that's for sure. It's all about giving, and being more Christlike. Because that's what He did, was give ALL of Himself, to every person He met, and for the rest of the world, to people that lived before and after. Just think about that. We need to give all that we have if we want to truly be like Him. I hope to do even more of that than I have these next 5 weeks. I´m excited to get more into the work and hopefully bring some soul closer to Christ in their life! What greater joy is there than bringing a loved one to enjoy the same blessings as you for eternity? I don´t think it gets better than that. Nothing could ever compare.
 
I love you all! I hope that things go well with the end of the first semester of school soon and that any activities going on will go smoothly and turn out wonderful! I´m excited for all of your endeavors and hope that you always remember to include the Lord in everything, because if everything we do includes the Lord, then nothing is going to fail. Food for thought :)
 
Hasta la próxima vez! Con mucho amor,

Elder Tyson David Gibbons

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012

¡Buenos días de Villa Mercedes! (the cyber here is better, so that's why we´re here)
 
Well hello everyone! Wow this week has been ridiculously crazy. I can´t belive it's almost Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you enjoy it and eat really good food, a lot of it at that, and think of me down here eating whatever we can find haha :) I´m sure we´ll probably just go get Grido´s or something to celebrate the night. Maybe buy an alfajor that I haven´t tried before. Just something creative! I always loved Thanksgiving. Enjoy it for me!!!!
 
Anyway, so news on transfers... I am still in Justo Daract! That makes it easy right? Elder Day is gone, however. He is going to San Jose, Guaymallen, Mendoza, his old area basically. So he´s extremely excited! He will be with Elder Braithwaite from my MTC district! My new companion is Elder Rogers, coming from Caucete, San Juan, another small area like Justo Daract. He was with Elder Hardy from my district in the MTC, so that's pretty interesting all those coincidences. I´m way excited. I hope we can get some work going again in Justo Daract. And keep up what has been going on! I will definitely have to work harder this transfer. I guess Elder Rogers has had trouble with the language his whole time here and doesn´t like to talk much... So I might be speaking a lot. Which is good for me! Makes me try harder that's for sure. So yeah, that is the news on transfers! They´re taking out four elders from Villa Mercedes, so now all of the Elders in Villa Mercedes, which is now only 4 instead of 8, are in the district with us in Justo Daract. So my new district is now Elder Rogers and me, Elder Daybell with Elder Ashby, and Elder Tingey and Elder Cornejo. It will be interesting! Lots of new changes. Oh yeah, and Elder Tingey´s name is spelled with an "e" too so maybe there´s a relation?? And also Elder Daybell is from California... I´ll ask him about Sister Burgess. I can´t remember where in California. I just know his name is Elder John Daybell. I´ll figure that out and let you know.
 
So, with the big news over, how is everything else going back home? I¨m sure it's all just great. Same here! Besides the little things that really don´t matter, things are going good. Life is possible without a fridge, I NEVER would have thought it possible! It's been rough, but we´ve survived. :) Things just don´t matter like that when you just go out and work. It makes the time go by so much better and you are happier! I guess that's one thing I´ve really noticed this last week. I did divisions on Tuesday with Elder Genem, and had to speak Spanish the whole time. But there wasn´t a single minute that went by that we weren´t talking, so I took that as a good sign! I found out all about him, and I´m way excited that he´s out here doing a mini mission. I had NEVER heard of that before. I guess it mostly just happens down here?? Anyway, since he´s almost 26 it's too late to go out on a mission so I think he´s just going to do this mini mission. But I hope he learned a lot and that he had really good experiences! Anyway, then Wednesday I was with Elder Tingey and the other two elders in the Hipolito area, but it was a bit complicated. We got the really good lunch, SOOO MUCH FOOD. But we got there really late, and didn´t finish until about 5:30, then we went to the chapel for Consejo de Barrio, but no one was there at 6:30 so we headed back to the pension. It took us about 25-30 minutes to get back there, so much walking, and then Elder Tingey packed and we caught a bus at 9 back to Justo Daract so we could get a whole day of work in here. Since we didn´t do much work in Villa, I was glad to get out and work! As much as people think it's great being back at the pench not doing anything, it's so much better when you just get out and teach and talk to people and work. There´s no better way to spend the time. Anyway, so me and Elder Tingey roamed the streets of Justo Daract on Thursday and got some good work done. Elder Tingey and Elder Cahoon his companion got 63 references contacted in one week. That is INSANE. So we did some contacting, and it helped me realize how easy it really is. President Avila said there was no such thing as a trucho reference, and Elder Tingey understands that perfectly. We just go wherever we got a name and knock and just try. That's all we do as missionaries, we just try the people, and if they accept, great, if they don´t, we move on. It's hard sometimes, but we still do it because everyone will get the chance some day.
 
Anyway, Elder Tingey is from Idaho Falls, and he knew Elder Romrell from my MTC district, so we had some good talks about that. He´s the funniest person I´ve ever met. And yet he´s still a really good missionary. It's hard to find the people who are loveable, but also get out and work. Usually it's one or the other sadly. So I learned a lot with those three days with other Elders. And since I had to be the one in charge, it gave me some good preparation for the new transfers happening this week, since I´ll be showing someone around the great town of Justo Daract for the next 6 weeks! I´m way excited!!! It's sad to see Elder Day go, but it's always good to start over and meet some new people, learn new things. I ´ve definitely learned my share so far. I just want to learn more!!
 
Oh about last Monday, yeah it was a miserable week weather-wise as well. That's one week I just wanted to work, because when we´re sitting back at the pension we were just burnt and miserable. The sunburn is just now going away, although I do have a bit more of a bronze look ;) So that's all cool with me. Not sure it was worth the pain... guess I´ll never learn. But anyway, we did a lot of walking Monday because we walked to the sign where it said Provincia de Cordoba. So basically since we´re right on the border, we walked 4 hours in the hot midday sun to get pictures at the Cordoba/San Luis border. It was cool, no one else has a picture like that. But the burn was not worth it at all. It was a good day, spending time with some other elders instead of being here alone by ourselves, but still pretty painful for the rest of the week. But yeah, the pain was just the heat and the burn after. My feet are doing fine. What does bother me is the stupid blisters I´m getting on the fronts of my toes. They don´t bother me until the shower though, so I can survive throughout the day haha :) So all is well, don´t need to worry about anything mom :)
 
So yes, my package made it just fine!! Thank you a TON!!!!! I think it had been opened by the Argentine mail system since they usually check, but nothing was gone. That was a clever little gum trick, I´m impressed. But yeah, I got the batteries, the toothpaste, the duct tape, the nutter butters (which as of today are gone), the reese´s, the peanut butter, and the letter from Sister Eagley. I think that was all? Besides the gum and sd card. If not, they probably took it. And yes I got all those letters, and I read them all on the bus ride home haha. Sorry dad I don´t have the fortitude to hold back and save them for a day cada una. I read all the emails and got caught up on the progress with Chris and Logan and Jalen. I love gettting their emails, since we rarely have time to actually communicate besides that. So thank you for sending those too! The only thing about packages is that I get charged for them too. Quite a bit. I didn´t know that they charged us, but I got an email saying "you have your package! That will cost $150.45 pesos." So that got charged to my account. I´m glad I hadn´t taken all my money from my account, or I´d be in trouble! Anyway, I guess packages just have to come at a good time. Hopefully these next two arrive in December so they don´t completely wipe out my funds for the rest of this month. I don´t know how much they´ll cost me, so I will just wait and see I guess! But still, thank you for sending them!!!
 
And about the package I´ve been trying to send... I don´t know if it's going to get sent in time to get home for Christmas. I don´t have enough money for food and travel and sending that home, since we´ve traveled a lot this month already. :/ So hopefully I can get some stuff sent home soon! It might be next month though. I was just going to include some little random things. But I´m sorry if that's disappointing to anyone! What are you going to get for Harrison besides the little things I´ve found? I think that's what he´ll get on Christmas Day. Sorry for any inconvenience :/ And yeah we have a little mini dvd player like the one Kate has, I´m sure it would play CD´s. Why?? Haha well I guess it doesn´t matter too much haha but yes, I have at least one way to play it. And if not, the elders in Villa have a nicer dvd player with usb hook ups and everything. So I´ll figure it out somehow. If you send me a cd... ? Guess I´ll just wait and see haha.
 
Alright, so I saved the bad news for last. D___ and his "wife" told us Monday night when we went back that they had malas noticias para nosotros. So basically they told us they were going to stay with their religion. But it was really complicated because he believed the Book of Mormon was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that our church was true. But that showed us, or at least me, that we neeed to teach in a manner so they understand that if it's true, then there are steps they have to take to make convenios and things like that. But they didn´t understand it... they said they believed our church was the true church, but that they believed theirs was too, and they didn´t want to change anything because it would be hard. We tried SOOO hard to get them to understand that if ours was true, and if they wanted these blessings we´d promised, there were steps they had to take. Sadly, they just didn´t understand as well as we had thought. :/ So it was a really rough week having dropped them, but we´ve managed still! Sadly no one has come to church still, so there´s something I need to change this next transfer. I´ve been thinking about it nonstop, it's plaguing my mind, which is good. It keeps me focused on what they need, and not what I want. That's the important thing in life really. We are always happier when we are thinking about others, not ourselves.
 
Other than that, there´s no such thing as bad news! It's just a sad realization of the truth, and we have it happen to us so much. So it's just a hard thing at first, but we just keep them in our thoughts and hope someday things will change. I will have to say there is nothing more humbling I´ve done on my mission so far than what I did that night, after 2 hours of trying to convince these people of what they needed to do. I´ve never felt so humbled as I knelt down and prayed to my Heavenly Father, who knows those people infinitely more than I do, and praying for THEM, for their family, for their future, and completely forgetting myself, and asking for forgiveness for the lack on my part in teaching them, and helping them understand. It's moments like that that really stick out, and I know it's going to be one of the main learning experiences I´ll remember from my mission so far. I felt like Heber J. Grant in those prophet talks who always knelt down and said he humbled himself for his arrogance, or his prideful thoughts or vain wishes. That's how I felt that night. I´m glad for the experience, I´m glad for what I have learned, and I hope that I can learn and improve and not have to go through something like that again.
 
Well, these next two days are going to be pretty crazy! I´m going to spend all of Wednesday in Villa Mercedes again waiting for Elder Rogers to show up from San Juan, the furthest area in the mission from the offices besides Justo Daract. So that will be fun! I´m excited though. Things are going to be great! :) I´m excited to start working and improve my teaching and my work ethic, because that's one thing I thought I had before the mission, but now realize I had NONE. Anyone preparing to go on a mission, just prepare yourself for the shock, because it's going to happen no matter what you do! I thought I knew how to work, and what it was going to be like. It's still a shock, but the sooner you get past that shock, the faster you become better as a missionary. Remember that! I´m starting to get over the shock, and I have no problem talking to people, teaching, walking around all day, forgetting everything that I want or need and giving it all to Him. If anything, the moral of this email would be to forget about yourself and serve others. No matter what you´re doing in life right now, I can promise and testify that you will be even happier if you forget about yourself and your wants and worries and desires and give some time to others. It's a truly rewarding experience that requires more than just about anything else, since the natural human being wants to be surrounded by the best of everything possible. It's the natural tendency and desire. But how much better do you feel when you forget about that and focus on others! That's the joy of Thanksgiving, the joy of the holiday spirit, especially Christmas. Forget about yourself, and give of your own time to others who may not be as fortunate as you. You´ll be eternally more grateful for the smiles and tears and thanks you see and receive while you serve them than you would be looking at yourself smile in the mirror because you just got the newest toy, the coolest gadget, the sportsy-est car, the most recognition for something. That happiness does not last for more than a moment. If you want true happiness, just listen to what I´ve said, or what my brother or Chris or Logan have said, and mix it all up and do it. I´m for sure the least powerful person to speak and tell people what to do, I´d give all three of them a better score than me, but take a little bit of each one, and I am positive you´ll find what will truly make you happy in life. Just a suggestion from me to all you loved ones. From friend to friend.
 
Well we need to get going, we have some things to do since we´re going to be having a crazy time this week! I love you all and hope you continue on doing as well and better at whatever stage you may be at in your life! Thank you for all the mail and prayers as well that I´ve received and felt. Keep on working hard, whatever you may be doing. And I can promise that if you forget yourself and give your time and your efforts to others, you will be blessed in all other aspects of your own life. But only if you do it for others, not if you do it for the blessings at the end. Enough wise words from me, I´ll let you all go and continue with your lives. Maybe think about me once in a while down here in tiny Justo Daract and that will be all I need to get by for now. :) Hasta la próxima vez!
 
Chau, con amor y con fuertes abrazos,
 
Elder Tyson David Gibbons

Monday, November 12, 2012

¿Qué tal familia y amigos?

¿Qué tal familia y amigos?
 
I´ll apologize for the opening. I´ve just heard it a thousand times this week from people. They taught us it means what´s up in the MTC, but here it's more like what the old people say to you when they don´t want to talk to you. Haha I´m not saying it with those same feelings!! :)
 
Anyway, I´m glad you enjoyed the pictures. I´ll send them every once in a while from now on. But tonight we only have an hour in cyber so we want to get out and work so we´re prepared for Dario again tonight. It's been an interesting p-day so far, Elder Cahoon from Elder Day´s MTC district and his companion Elder Tingy came to Justo Daract, and we just did a lot of walking. I´m fried :/ it's really uncomfortable. Haha but I´ll survive. Until tomorrow, when we have to go to San Luis again for a zone meeting, not the zone conference though. Anyway, that will be rather uncomfortable! Then we might be doing divisions tomorrow too, with me and Elder Genem, the mini missionary, which would be interesting. I´d have to speak Spanish every minute of the day. But if not, we´ll stay in San Luis. Then Elder Day and Elder Cahoon are going to Mendoza on Wednesday so they won´t be back until Thursday night, so I´m going to be working with Elder Tingy for those two days. It's going to be sweet. He´s pretty famous in the mission just because he´s so funny. It´ll be a good two days. We´re thinking of working in his area Wednesday and then Justo Daract Thursday. But we´ll see I suppose! So that's the crazy last week of the transfer eh? And Friday is hump day! I can´t believe it. It's gone by sooo fast. Yet really slow too haha. Depends on the day and weather.
 
Oh and that one elder in the picture is Elder Allred, he was Assistant when I got here, then he left last transfer. And yes, my hair was really short because Elder Day cut it. But it has since grown back enough so I´m not complaining. Next time though, I´m going to Señora Tolaba. haha
 
Wow a lot happened this last week! That's really good though. Yes I heard about the elections, since Elder Day loves to talk about them. But whenever politics got brought up I just kinda lost focus and the people always noticed too. So I just tell them I HATE politics. And I don´t like how it gets brought up at just about every single house we go to. But I think you should just study and ponder and pray for who is best, and support whoever it is. But it's over now. So that's good! Haha I´m glad Warren finally made it! He´lll be a lot bigger when I see him that's for sure. And President Monson is goingto be at the cultural celebration???????? That's so cool!!!!!!!! I wish I could be there. I love that man. I´m glad Nathan is listening to talks from him and others too. They´re a really good way to end the day, that's for sure.
 
Logan is in the MTC huh? That's so crazy. I´ll keep him in my prayers, those are about all that got me through the first couple crazy days haha. That and good district friends and zone leaders. Hopefully he has an abundance of those as well. And I´m glad to hear about all the girls going on missions! It's going to be a totally different experience from now on, with people going right out of high school and everything.
 
Well I just got the email today saying I have the first package, so that took a while! But I´ll get it next week since the zone leaders already got my 15 letters or algo así for the zone meeting tomorrow. The zone leaders called Elder Daybell and he called me just to tell me that I had about15 letters. So really, thank you everyone who sent me something! It made my night, that's for sure. And now I have a package in the offices, and two more?? I´m spoiled. Thank you very much. There are elders here that don´t get anything ever. I´m really lucky. Haha I´m going to try to get a pacakage sent in the next couple weeks too. I don´t really know what to put in it since there´s not much to send, but I´ll come up with something!
 
Brian Buckner is getting married this Thursday? Wow that's crazy. I remember seeing him and Brandt in the MTC when I was there. Now he´s getting married. That's great, tell him congratulations for me! Or whatever you say when someone gets married. I´ve never really been to one haha.
 
The weather has really been getting crazy. Last Wednesday was SOOOOO hot. I think it was 38 degrees celsius. And then Thursday was 35. Those days killed us, we were so exhausted. Yet I got burned worse today than those two days... weird. Then this morning, I was FREEZING. I don´t know what was going on. But it was really cold. It doesn´t help that Elder Day has a really big blanket so he makes the room absolute zero everynight haha. It's definitely just a humbling and patience building experience when things like that come up. I´ve learned a lot from that anyway. It's definitely making me a better person, so I´m grateful for whatever comes my way.
 
Anyway, we had a really good lesson with D___ and his girlfriend for the first time together last Friday. It went really well, and we´re going by again tonight too. We had a good lesson about the plan of salvation, and they are both really intelligent so they have really good questions. Like, REALLY good questions. The questions basically show that they´ve been prepared and it's almost like they´re teaching themselves, which is how it should be. There is really good potential with them, we hope this visit will be just as good. They´re great. They aren´t married but they were planning on it before we met them, they´re just really good people. We hope to continue on with them! As for the others, most of our people seriously just lack coming to church. It's the hardest thing to do here for sure, since it's at 9:30 am and all the way by the Ruta out of town. So we still haven´t gotten anyone to come. M___ still hasn´tcome as well, and that's all he´s faulting. Or was faulting. He has started drinking again, but we´re really working with him. Except the last four days we went by every day and found his house in the same condition, and we don´t know what happened :/ Last time we saw him he left to go answer the phone and find out if he has cancer or not... I hope that has nada que ver con what has happened since. Hopefully we find him again! :/ Everyone else just needs to come to church. Hna Alaniz came up to me after church yesterday and just grabbed my hand and kept asking me if I remembered what I said in my prayer at their house Saturday, and I think I remembered, so she just said good, remember that prayer, because it happened Elder. What you prayed for happened after you left! So that taught me some good lessons too. To pray with faith. To be sincere! And that God does answer prayers!!!!! :) I have no idea what exactly happened, except that she had her mom, A___, over to eat when we were there, and we have been teaching A___ for awhile. So yeah, hopefully something happened with her! I can testify of the power of prayer, that will never be a doubt for me. That's one thing I love about the mission. I feel like I´ve increased my testimony more than any single person I´ve taught so far. And that's just en acuerdo with the statement "The best conversion of your mission will be your own." I know that's true. And it's what I want! Teaching all these blessings of the Gospel has given me an even stronger burning desire to do everything I can to receive that with my family one day.
 
So I have another suggestion for you to look up, talks-wise. It's definitely not on speeches.byu.org but it's really good. The guy's name is Bob Richards, and he´s a motivational speaker. He´s THE motivational speaker. I guess the last president of the mission made a CD with all these motivational talks from this guy and gave them to the elders. They are all really good, pretty similar, always include sports, but they are really good at what they are for, motivating! There´s a quote that I wanted to share from his talk we listened to Sunday morning. Basically he´s talking about us as humans, being children of God, and he starts with some random athlete whose dad told him everyday, "God loves the winner!!!" Which motivated this kid to do great things. But Bob Richards expanded, "Of course God loves the winner. He also loves the loser. He loves everyone, we´re all His children!!!" He goes on to say that God made each of us with the potential to do anything and everything we want, we´re His greatest creation, with all the emotions and energies and material of the earth, the galaxy, the billions of universes, all of it is found in us. then he gave this statement, "We are programmed for VICTORY." God made us so we could succeed, we could be victorious, in whatever aspect of our lives we want to be. Of course, I thought of it in the gospel sense, being a missionary and all, and I just got hit with emotion thinking that I, an imperfect and struggling human, mortal, wandering child of God, was programmed for victory. Not for last second defeat, not for shortcoming in life, but for VICTORY. And what is the victory in this life?? To do everything we can so we receive everything He has in store for us in the next. There is nothing out there that should stop us, because we are born victors! We know Satan won´t succeed in the end, so why give him the victory for even a minute? An hour? A night? Whatever temptation you may face, as we all do, step back and think about it. You have a divine origin, made by the power of the Almighty God, and he has invested in you the power and will and might to be a victor. I have a better eternal perspective right now then I EVER have had in my life, even being a member of this church and hearing it my whole life. We are MEANT to be victorious, what else would our loving Heavenly Father want for us? It seems so simple, yet I just now really thought about it. That's the importance of taking time to really contemplate the things of God. Next time you are faced with a defeat, or a downfall, or a temptation, remember your divine origin, your divine purpose in this life, and remember that YOU are programmed for VICTORY. I can´t even describe this talk enough to get the same motivational power, you have to listen to this guy Bob Richards. It's worth the search, I promise you! Anyway, that is my speech for today. :) Sorry for all my speeches, by the way. I just really like all the stuff I´m learning, and I want to share it of course!

Well this next week is looking pretty interesting, with us being fridge-less and the weather and all the crazy traveling. But I´ll do everything I can to make it the best week yet, of course! Elder Day is probably leaving, so he is not worried about it, but I need a fridge!!!! But with all the traveling, that little aspect shouldn´t be a big deal! I heard on Wednesday Elder Tingy has a really good lunch setup, so I´ll be eating well Wednesday that's for sure :) :) So that makes for a content missionary! No worries there. Anyway, I hope all goes well for you this week, and I hope you come out the victor in whatever challenge you are faced with! I´m struggling just as much as you, but I can promise that prayers are powerful, and are always answered in the best way possible for us. So don´t give up! Haha a Josh Groban song just popped up in my head, "Don´t Give Up.." It's a really good song. Listen to that if you´re having a rough week or day! Haha oh the random things that can make your day so much better. I love you all! Keep on keepin on! Life is full of victories for us, just make sure you´re doing your part to reach them! Keep the optimistic outlook on everything, it helps a lot ;)
 
Hasta luego, queridos amigos y familias! Que Dios les bendiga en todos aspectos de sus vidas!
 
Chau

Elder Tyson David Gibbons