Buenos Dias familia y amigos!
Well we all are pretty tired of saying Hola to everyone as well, but when we asked what else to say, they said it's either hola, buenos dias, buenas tardes, or buenas noches. Maybe como le va? No se! So sorry if that limits your creativity!! This last week has been crazy. Lots of things to talk about. I feel like I am going to just talk about all this stuff going on here and you will all be mad that I don't comment on anything you told me, but there's just no way to answer all your questions and tell about EVERYTHING that goes on here, so I will answer letters if you absolutely need to know something! :) But I can answer these ones at least. I usually only see Chris on Sundays now, and I think he's doing alright. We haven't had a long sit down converstaion since that first sunday, but he seems to be adapting well enough. But I have not seen Jeff! Well I've seen the back of his head but he didn't see me and Jalen waving to him so I will try to talk to him next time. I think that will only be on Sundays as well. And I will ask him about his mother's recovery for sure!
Okay the visas. SO this is going to take a good while to explain. We had that meeting just before now where the visa agents from the travel office of the Church came and talked to us. They had a bunch of forms and had to get all our fingerprints as part of the applying for visas process.. And two weeks from now we have to have a personal visit with the Argentine Consul! So that will be exciting. But the bad news is that that meeting with the consul is MANDATORY before they can apply for our visas for the last time, so two weeks from now they can put in the final paperwork (I know what you are thinking, I was hoping us turning in our visa info way early would help. Apparently not! :/) So yeah, they said it takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks after they apply, so in two weeks from now we will have about 3 weeks until we're SUPPOSED to leave, but if we don't have our visas, we might end up staying here for another 2-4 weeks. Since tha'ts not long enough to be sent to another mission! So us five in this district have pretty good timing I think! I'm not looking forward to staying here ANY LONGER THAN NECESSARY but I would like to get straight to Argentina. There were some districts that were actually supposed to leave this next monday! But since the consul meeting is the Tuesday, and they can't apply for visas until that meeting, they will all for sure be sent somewhere stateside for a transfer before their visas come. I'm crossing my fingers and praying we won't have to do that! But Argentina is WAAAAAAAAYYYY behind on their visa work, so if it happens, then it happens, and I will serve in any country I may be in. But I'm still hoping of course :) So yes, that is the news on the visas! I think we all got pretty lucky with our timing, it will just be sad if our half of our district going to NEw Jersey heads out on schedule and we have to say bye to them. :/ oh well. We'll miss them, but we all plan on keeping in touch.
This past week has just flown by! We got to yesterday and Sacrament meeting and Priesthood meeting and it felt like we were literally in that room the day before. It's so weird how time passes here, when there's nothing distracting except the people around you, and occasionally a car honking outside as they drive by! (Jason, I'm just assuming it was you! I'll keep listening ) Anyway, so the weather is getting way nice. Really hot sometimes but we've gone to the field at our 6:30 gym time and it's perfect, as the sun is coming up over the mountains. I love it! And it's fun to be the only district there and throw a frisbee or play ladder golf (which i COMPLETELY DOMINATED at :) ) not to be prideful or anything, because everyone else in my district has at least two things that they are better than me at. So that is good to keep me from being prideful. It's crazy all that we have learned this past week as well. Hermano Snyder had a busy week so we didn't see him at all this last week which was sad! But we loved all the substitutes we had, so I think it went okay :) Hermano Stewart, Hermano Voss, Hermano Dushku, yeah they are all the best :) But I am way excited to see Hermano Snyder again tomorrow. He brightens our day any time we see him. That''s definitely a blessing here! As days tend to get dull after oh probably 4 weeks (almost 5!) of doing the same thing :D But things are going good. Any issues our district has had are starting to be improved and resolved, and I don't take any credit for it being District Leader, because I don't feel like I did all that much, just encouraged!
Oh and about District Leader, yeah I did a really bad job apparently. I don't know what I didn't do that I was supposed to, or what i did do that I wasn't supposed to, but yesterday I was released as District Leader! Definitely humbling........................................................ :) But yeah, I guess I am Zone Leader in training now so I think maybe I did something right! haha sorry if I scared any of you. Me and Elder Johnson are REALLY humbled to be called to the most responsible calling here that a missionary can attain, and still with about 4 weeks left! We were expecting a break! :/ Apparently we still need to learn how to work harder, maybe one reason we were called to be the new Zone Leaders until we leave. So that will be fun. All those things I've said about learning to love my district as District Leader, well now I've got another 18 missionaries to love! Apparently I have a lack of love and compassion for my fellow man, and that is one reason I'm now in this postition. So we attended probably 4 meetings yesterday and it was a really long day! But we are both excited to be the best we can be, and get to know everyone even more, and plus we get to have some part in making the new misisonaries for the next two weeks feel welcome! My zone leaders were definitely one of the main reasons I felt comfortable here the first couple nights, so Me and Elder Johnson are going to do our best to make them feel welcome and try and break any tension they may have. We have to role play a bad example of companionship inventory (ask Dad about it, it's too long to explain) to break any tension, because that was honestly the first time I laughed since I got here, and that's a whole day in! So we're planning on really helping them open up and enjoy their time here. :) I love 'em already!!! This wil be tough, lots more to do every day, but it will be worth it.
We've played soccer as a district for the last two weeks on the gym times in the afternoon, and that has always been really fun. Elder Waite (most of you have probably seen him, he's a pretty small guy) was tearing it up wearing his Aviators the last couple times, so now whenever he stops the ball or defends well we all scream "Waite, SMASH!" (reference to the Avengers, if you haven't seen it, DO IT. It's worth it. Sorry, not getting distracted or antyhing!) He's not quite the Hulk, but it's really funny to just go out there, run your heart out, and have a fun time. I enjoy playing defense and defending Elder Hardy in the goal, last time was very fun. They scored about 6 goals in the first 10 minutes, then I decided to play defense, and they didn't score or get close for the last 40 minutes! Me and Elder Hardy were just having a blast. Oh and Elder Romrell too! You know how he broke his hand? Well, he played soccer and basketball one handed and still schooled everyone (He's so good. He could play for college) But this last week a different trainer came and told him hey sorry. You can't play soccer or basketball of four square or volleyball or anything. So he was way upset. So he sat at the goal and chucked aerated dirt clogs at me the whole time I was defending. The nerve! haha just kidding. I feel really bad for him. Sports are his life. (apart from our daily life here of course :) )
So last night Sheri Dew, not sure what her position is but she's very high up in Deseret Industries, came and talked to us. She was AWESOME. She wasn't a normal talk given by like the President of Relief Society (nothing wrong with those! Don't think that. They're just sweet and nice :D) Sister Dew was in our faces! It was intense. but she talked about spiritual gifts and their role in missionary work. I thougth it was probably the second best or third best talk I've heard since I've been here. I'm really going to miss the Sunday and Tuesday devotionals! But hey, if I'm here for another 3 weeks past my due date, I have a better chance of hearing an Apostle possibly. Just thought of that!
Awesome :) So I am content. She talked about the role of prayer, and how by that simple act of humbling ourselves to God and speaking with him, we can receive answers, promptings, knowledge, help, strength, courage, whatever it is you name it! And even spiritual gifts, but those are the ones that you need to pray for in order to receive, and you need to have the right intent while praying. God will not bless us with these if we don't intend to actually USE them! Our district prays for el don de lenguas almost every calss period, but we are going to be using it for two years, and we have definitely seen some divine help there, as long as we do absolutely EVERYTHING that we can and then ask for a little more help to reach our goals. I really enjoyed her talk! And I wish we had been in the gym instead of the over flow! Me and Elder johnosn were in a zone leader training meeting until 6:40 and by that time, there are no seats left. So that was disappointing. But then we got front row seats to the movie, and we saw Mountain of the Lord. That was a really good movie! I really really really really want to visit the Salt Lake Temple again, and maybe go inside! Someday, we'll see :) It was just amazing the story behind that amazing building. It's definitely one of my favorite temples!
Oh dear. I sent Kelly a letter on Thursday night, hopefully she got it before she left to come down here? Well if not she'll get it eventually. No don't worry, you didn't ruin any surprises! I have been excited about today's mail since Friday night :) Since we only get mail on Saturday morning and none comes that afternooon! You'd be surprised how hard it is to not get mail for a day and a half. but I manage just fine :) Thank you all who have written me by the way! If I haven't answered I am sorry, I get as many as I can done every p day! So today I'll be writing a lot. I'm really behind though and I feel bad. So sorry! But Dad I am glad you got my letter, I forgot to write Don't Open Until Sunday on it, so sorry if you opended it on like Tuesday! Well I need to get going, but it's great to know all the fun things that are going on at home! I would comment on all of them, but I just don't have time!! But thank you so much for the pictures!!! :) It's nice to have pictures from the outside world (*COUGH HINT*) so send any you want! :) I'm glad the fundraiser went well, and I hope the three of you who got pies in the face are doing okay now. Nathan and Kate, hopfeuly you weren't too rough on Dad. And Dad, well you wouldn't hurt a fly so I'm sure Sarah and Lynn are fine :) haha that's a joke, don't worry. You could beat me up for sure. I would need Jalen and Nathan with me to maybe take you on. Happy Fathers Day again! I hope it went wonderfully. I can't wait till next week and hopefully I'll have some more news on the circumstance concerning what I will be doing instead of leaving the MTC! If not next week, then the week after! I love you all! Things are going great here however so don't worry about me. Just keep doing what you're doing, and enjoy your time! It really flies by fast, so don't waste it.
Elder Tyson Gibbons
Oh and P.S. Kelly I need your new address!