Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30, 2012

Hello everyone!
This past week has been really great! Mostly because I'm starting to adjust to the lifestyle and the weather and everything! I feel comfortable and I'm glad to be here helping whoever I can. To be honest this last week we had a few days that felt like busts. We didn't get in with anyone, no one answered the doors, and even appointments with members fell through! But we're excited for this new week because we keep getting referrals from members and new teaching opportunities! Like I said, the members here are awesome. They feed us food for one :) but they also report on their teaching and sharing and inviting opportunities they've had recently. It reminded me of all the things you've sent me in your letters mom! So keep up the good work. The members are amazing here but everyone back home or anywhere else can be the same! We really just have to open our mouths. It's simple, yet so difficult sometimes! Thankfully in a few ways I have become comfortable with being uncomfortable, and I just talk and do my best. That's when the Spirit really takes over and things go even better! That's just one lesson I've learned in the last two weeks. Yesterday we went to all three wards again, yes, and it wasn't as hard as it was last week! I was impressed with myself. I didn't get tired until about the last 30 minutes of the last ward. It didn't help we were in a room with the lights off watching a video haha but it was a really good Sunday!
They had trek this last weekend and all three wards were focused on the amazing experience they had. It was so cool to hear all the youth get up and share their experiences and even some of the Ma's and Pa's and stake leaders who participated! It was a really good meeting in each ward. Of course, their wards always go over about 15-20 minutes (without fail) in sacrament meeting, so we have some problems sometimes getting to classes and things on time! But all is well. I really enjoy the Gospel Principles class too. Typically, if the person who was supposed to teach doesn't show or doesn't prepare, guess who gets to teach automatically? We do!! So I've taught plenty of lessons already haha, but it's really fun. There are always new people and I'm starting to get people's names down. It will still take a while, but that's okay. It was really humbling to see how so many of the youth, especially in the Eastridge ward, had grown in multiple ways from the trek. It made me think back to when I went on trek. To be honest I didn't learn as much as they did. I had great experiences and I have good memories and bad memories, but I didn't come away with the intended lesson that all these youth bore testimony about, and it made me pretty upset with myself for a little bit. Yeah it was years ago, but it upsets me that it took me, what, 6 years to learn the lessons that I should've learned that trip and had for the last 6 years of my life. I'm glad that the Spirit doesn't ever give up! Because I learned so much yesterday, even if it was in many people's eyes too late to learn that lesson. Don't ever give up on anything that seemed like a disappointment or failure at the time, because sometime later something will happen and you'll realize oh, that's what I was supposed to learn. It's a great experience, yet humbling! I got very emotional when I heard youth after youth explain to me what the lessons were from that trip, that the hardships of the pioneers had not been in vain, that God knew what they were going through and He didn't abandon them, He strengthened their faith through hardships and trials, and that's why we celebrate and revere the legacy of the pioneers, who gave up everything to cross the plains and establish basically Utah. And I realized that if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be in this position today without a doubt.
One of the Pa's from the trip read a quote from the teachings of Joseph Smith, and I really enjoyed it because it applies to everyone in their lives, not just religion. "A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things cannot and will not produce the amount of faith required to gain salvation and exaltation." How willing do we need to be in order to gain those? Well we're taught all through our lives that we need to focus on the important things and not the things that aren't going to matter later on in life. We may not be required to sacrifice and give up everything we have like the pioneers who crossed the plains were, and in a way that makes it harder for us to be as faithful. But we still have to sacrifice many things daily, whether its habit's, friends, hobbies, family, or especially our time. I realized that right now I don't know for sure if I would be willing and able to give up those things if the occasion required, but then I realized, well in a way I've alredy done that, for the next two years I've given up my family and friends and hobbies and most of all my time, and I've completely dedicated myself to serving the Lord. So without me even realizing, I must have enough faith to be out here right now doing what I am. It was a very uplifting moment when I realized that. How many people my age are still in school or working or partying or even doing the things I love to do, when I get to be out here learning, teaching, and growing closer to God? There are 50,000 missionaries in the world right now, and yet there are thousands and thousands more who have chosen not to be out here or who haven't been able to or even the ones who aren't members. I wish they could all have this opportunity. I'm humbled when I think about all the people who are better than me who are out here serving, yet I'm still allowed to be out here among them, doing what they're doing, and learning just as much as them. I'm lucky. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm lucky to be here. Lots of things could've gone wrong in the last 19 years since I was born that could've kept me from being here, yet I'm here. And I'm so thankful for that opportunity. And I hope that everyone who can and would be able to and wants to serve takes that to heart, and really does everything they can to be out here. It's not worth it to miss out on something of this size. Don't waste any opportunities!
Anyway, wow, I feel like I just gave a talk haha. But really, that's the biggest lesson I've learned in the past week! And it didn't happen until yesterday, so don't give up on learning anything because you never know when its going to pop up! I was discouraged a couple times during this week but I kept going and look what I got in return? It's amazing the blessings that God promises us if we will just do what we're supposed to! It amazes me that so many of the blessings are right in the scriptures along with the commandment or whatever it is we should do, and yet many people don't realize the importance of keeping simple or more important commandments! They will be blessed, it's a promise from the Lord, and He's not a lying God. It seems so simple yet many people don't understand the great blessing that we can receive from being obedient. What an impoprtant principle that is, to be obedient. Anyway, I hope things are going well, and I hope you enjoy the family reunion, my family! Sorry I'm not there, but to be honest I'd rather be here. Don't be offfended! haha :) I just love it here. I miss you all, that's for sure, but it's not the strongest emotion I have right now, that's the respect and love I have for the people here, and I'm not going to leave and give up on them yet ;) , not until I get to Argentina and start all over anyway!
So this last week I didn't have any more opportunites to speak Spanish, which was one of the bummers of the last couple days. All our appts with famiiles that I could've done that with fell through but oh well. And I haven't really been anyplace interesting! We're trying to get a meeting with this new convert Richard (who is the MOST SOLID spiritual guy! did I mention that last time?) and we want to get his family and go to the top of the Sandias on the tram or drive up there, so we're tyring to get permission if we can do that. We'd drive up there and eat and have a lesson with his family. We really hope that his wife warms up to this new change in his life and their family, and hopefully things all work out well! So that will be cool to go to the crest and look over all of Albuquerque and the valley. Maybe I'll have my SD card back by then??? Hopefully!! And other than that we don't have much time to go anywhere else. I guess I've been to the bowling alley which is pretty cool, since all missionaries bowl free :) So that's what we usually do P-days. But we also clean a little, prepare lesson plans for this week, shop, play basketball (trying to get them to play soccer! I'm much better at that), occasionally take a short nap and just relax in a way. We went to get haircuts too but I didn't need one because it was so short when I left the MTC! Anyway, that's pretty much our P-days. It's been fun!
Wow, that's awesome that Grandpa knows (or knows of) Bishop Breinholt. He's really the coolest guy, he's super nice and he loves missionaries! So why wouldn't I like him? These wards are great at missionary work. It makes our jobs more busy !(Which in this case is a good thing. We don't like to be bored, it means we're not teaching) So we are looking forward to a great week! We found two new investigators through a referral and we're hoping to get things going with them. My first real investigators!!! I don't want to mess anything up haha I want to do the best I can. Well there's not much more going on here, besides the everyday finding and teaching! I love being here. The people are great, the weather is pretty great, and the food is really good. I love green chili now. Probably won't have any more once I leave here! But I hope all is well with everyone. Keep up the good work with whatever you are doing, and enjoy life! Every day we have is a blessing, I've realized that too. It's one more day to try and make the world a better place, and ourselves as well. That's a personal goal for me. I love you all!
Elder Tyson Gibbons

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24, 2012

I'm sorry it's Tuesday, hopefully I didn't give you a heart attack or anything!  Hello everyone, by the way :)  So things are going AWESOME here. I love it here already. There are so many cool people and things to tell, and I don't have a lot of time, so it's going to be a random sporadic email but you'll enjoy it! First I'll answer your questions:

Yes, I am in the northeastern part of Albuquerque right at the base of the Sandia mountains, or the Watermelon mountains haha :) Look up La Mirage apartments and that's where I live!
The trip here was well... awesome. I was right, we did sit in first class! It was so weird. Thank you again! thats what all the other three elders in my group say too (our family are Skymiles members, which gave Tyson and his fellow Elders some unexpected flying benefits--it's never worked for us, but we're glad it worked for him this time!). We got really nice special treatment. It was so weird, yet very comforting if I do say so myself :D But we didn't get any missionary opportunities because I was on the side with only one seat and the window, and the other elders were either by a different elder or by a Mormon! So that didn't work out too well. But yes, it was 1st class. Rather AWESOME.

My first impression of Albuquerque..... Desert. Even worse than Mountain Home haha, but there's still plenty of trees and everything. It was just a giant city, I don't remember where JD and Janet lived, but from what I remember from their house I'm in a totally different area haha. President and Sister Miller are amazing. They took good care of us that first night, and we ate really good. I'm eating salad and vegetables now, so be proud of me :) I figure I better here while people don't know I don't like it, or they would think I'm even weirder than they probably think I am! The mission home was a really nice house, with pictures of Christ everywhere obviously, but it wasn't nearly as impressive as the mission home Grandma and Grandpa Madsen had in France. Which by the way was bought by the church through Elder Waite's grandpa! I thought that was cool. So he's been to that same house. I thought that was awesome actually. They fed us this chicken salad thing with mandarin oranges and grapes, and then dinner was meatloaf and potatoes. So I felt right at home! Elder Foster from a different district grows potatoes--he's from Rigby or something, and his parents sent President and Sister Miller a box full of Idaho potatoes to feed us. How cool is that? So that was very delicious.

I really like Elder Calles too. He's been out 20 months but he's not lazy or super excited to go home. He's actually pretty upset at how fast time is going. He's served on the Indian Reservation, in Las Cruces, in Las Vegas(NM) and in Albuuerque but other areas of Albuquerque. So he knows his way around. I'm still getting there! But he loves sports, he loves music, and we're a really good match. Hopefully I don't annoy him with anything, we haven't gotten to that point yet! We work very well together I think though. So again, I'm blessed with a great companion. Our apartment is pretty nice, it;s just us two so we have a kitchen, couches, recliners, beds, bathroom, washwer and dryer, and desks. It's so nice. and we have a Chevy Malibu :) :) :) hahahah so I have a car!!!! It's such a blessing since I'll be walking EVERWHERE in Argentina. I've really been spoiled. This area is the RICH area of Albuquerque. but everyone is super nice! I've had some pretty interesting lessons and even the well-off ones are super humble beacuse well they've worked to earn it all! It's amazing, I definitely was humbled there. I expected proud people, but like the bad proud. See, one lesson learned already while I'm here! In one week. I think I'm becoming such a better person honestly. I can't wait to get to love this people so much that when I leave for Argentina it will be just as hard.

So every night so far we have eaten with members, and we have it scheduled with a member every night until well, October. Haha so that's pretty cool. Mom, Dad, your karma is coming back to bless me! Haha plus we were in Chipotle to eat lunch yesterday (yes I know, I'm so blessed. I love it haha) And a random stranger comes up and pays for our food, and we learn that he just moved into the La Cueva ward three days ago. People are really nice here. They love us!! It's weird being on the receiving end to be honest. And since we just moved into all three areas and wards instead of two, we've even had two families signed up to feed us on one night... and we've pulled a couple doubles already. Oh my goodness, I have never been so full in my life. Beacuse they feed us GOOD. They keep giving us food and we can't say well actually, I'm full, I already ate dinner, so Elder Calles and I just suck it up. Surprisingly, I'm still not gaining or losing weight. Weird. Give it a couple months and hopefully I'll change that! With muscle of course haha. I'm working out every day so that's good for me.

Anyway, the situation is weird. I'm with Elder Calles, who is an English Elder. Our area is English speaking, no one speaks Spanish really... get the picture? Yeah, I don't use my Spanish anymore. It's getting rough because I don't want to forget everything!!!!! But I think I'll be okay. God does bless us with opporutnites though, we taught a recently reactivated family last Thursday and their mother-in-law was there, and she only speaks Spanish, she's Catholic, and she said we could teach her. So I taught her in Spanish by myself! That was really humbling but very cool. The mother in the family speaks Spanish and English and she said my Spanish was really good for just getting out of the MTC. So I took that to heart. Maybe I still sound like a gringo, but at least I can get the important points across!

And the first Sunday..... 10 1/2 hours of church. Three wards, plus meetings for each ward. It was a BLAST. We were struggling by the third ward to keep our eyes open but we did it! And we taught gospel principles class twice and things went really well. The hardest thing is remembering names.... but I'll get it! Just after some time. But what's really cool is that I've met so many people that know where Mtn. Home is!! I actually ate dinner with the Terry family, an older couple, and they had a wedding announcement for Ashley Christiansen and her fiance on their fridge. They are the fiance's grandparents! How weird is that??? And I met a family on Sunday who knows Carrie and Steve, Apparently the husband was in the Ambassador's program thing with Carrie, so Carrie told them to keep an eye out for me since I was coming down here, and wow--I'm in their ward. I'm so blessed. I'll say that a thousand times. Make sure to tell Steve and Carrie about it even though I'm sure they'll already know. This family was SO excited to find me haha, I felt loved already :)

Okay, I need to get some worldy things out of the way. The first lesson I taught in Bear Canyon was in a gated community and we couldn't find the right house. We circled past this house with a really nice Mercedes and a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and a car under a covering. The third time we drove by the wind lifted the cover... THEY HAVE A FERRARI!! A really nice Italia 458 one at that!!! And then we ate at the Allens' house and he bought himself a Porsche Carrera or something like that for his 40th birthday. So yeah... I got to sit in the drivers seat, hold the wheel, rev the engine... it was awesome haha. This has nothing to do with missionary work but it's so cool! Other than that, the houses are huge, we've been really spoiled, and things are going great. In missionary things too, not just worldly unimportant things like really nice super exotic cars...Also some older guy in one of our wards knows Papa. This is really a crazy small world.

Okay enough of that. So I only have a few minutes left, I know its taken a while to type this, but this will give you a good read! I'm excited for everything that's happening for you all in the next couple months. Enjoy the reunion, family, and enjoy all the fun activities! Things are going so well here. I had a baptism the first Saturday here, although it was already planned, I just came into the ward at the right time. I didn't have anything to do with it, but I was glad I could enjoy the spirit of the event! One more soul brought to Christ. It's amazing what missionaries can do if they teach with and by the spirit. I know that more than ever now. And I have 22 months more to make it even better! I'm way excited to be here. I really am. I love teaching and I love knocking on doors even! The first tracting experience for me was before a lesson appt and we knocked on this guy's door, he opens the door, gives a huge dramatic/sarcastic sigh, and says oh boy... so we just said hello. And he said " Jesus Christ is our Master, our Lord and our Redeemer. Have a nice day." So we asked if we could talk more, he made a dramatic pause to act like he was thinking about it, then just said Nope. And we asked his name and he did the same, then said Nope. So we told him to have a nice day and we left. Great first experience! Now we drive by his house all the time and he's out working and we just wave and call him friend :) I really have been a lot nicer now that I'm here and realize my purpose. So don't worry I'm not going to be a mean brother when I get back, I promsie I'm becoming better. and I'm doing that by helping others be better! Isn't it weird how that works? :)

Anyway, before I go I want to tell you that we always need to be aware of our situation at all times, because people and things are placed there for a reason. That's a catch phrase yes, but it's so true. I've met three people here already that have changed my perspective on missionary work, on the gospel, and on life itself. There's Richard who was baptized about 4 months ago yet is the most solid member I've honestly ever met. He goes to every meeting, sits up front, listens intently and takes notes, and is the most excited person I've ever seen in this church, even more so than Bishop Rhead haha :) and I'm trying so hard to follow his example, because we should be excited every week to learn more about this Gospel, because we'll never know the fullness of it! His wife is still hesitant but that's our goal, to get her and their kids to join him in the church. She comes to church, just hasn't officially joined yet obviously. Then there's Bishop Breinholt. He is such a cool guy. He is bishop, yet he seems like he's maybe 35? But he's so successful and outgoing and the three wards we have are honestly the most devoted to msisionary work that I've ever seen. It's amazing. We get so many offers for member's houses to go to for lessons and for dinners, the people are just amazing here. I miss everyone at home, yes, but now that I'm a missionary this place is perfect!

So yeah, things really are going great here. I miss you all and love you all, but as always, don't worry about me :) I'm doing everything I can to be focused and work hard. I love it here. I already don't want to leave. And there's the thunder and lightning! I got here in perfect time for the random storms--I love it!! Anyway, good luck with everything that you are doing, and just try your best! You'll get what you want if you work hard enough for it! I know that's true, because I'm working hard every day to bring myself closer to Christ, and it's already worked so much. Don't ever quit on that journey. We're all part of the journey, and I thank each of you for being a part of mine as well as your own.

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Elder Gibbons arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 16, 2012.

With President and Sister Miller

Sunday, July 15, 2012

MTC photos

Three MH Fourth Ward Elders:
Gibbons, Hall, and Gibbons
Elder Gibbons' MTC District
Elder Gibbons, Elder Johnson, Elder Gibbons
You have to send mail to get mail!
The Three Amigos, going their separate ways for the first time
since 3rd grade!  (Elders Chris Hall, Tyson Gibbons, and Jalen Gibbons)
Elder Gibbons' two missions:  Albuquerque and Argentina
Two Elder Gibbonses getting ready to say goodbye
(for the first time in their lives!) at the MTC

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hola, la ultima vez! (from the MTC)

Hello familia y amigos!

Well, if there's one thing I've learned getting a new call is that 4 days is NOT enough time to get everything ready like everyone else did. I'm sitting here in the laundry room at 7:30 in the morning trying to get laundry done so I can start packing today sometime and finish tomorrow, since we didn't get a whole 10 days to know we were leaving! I've been so excited though so I'm really ready to get out of here, although a few more days to get ready would be great. And I'm really excited to get to Albequerque! Maybe I'll hit up JD's apartment or something haha :) Although that would be a very small chance. But I was excited and ready to go when they told me where I was going for a little while. And hey, it's a blessing to get into the mission schedule and routine, learn to teach better, get things under control, and THEN get to Argentina when I only have to focus on the Spanish at that point. I was actually told that by Elder Bott from "The District" last night during in-field orientation! He was one of our teachers, and me and Elder Johnson stayed after to talk to him, since Elder Johnson is now going to his same mision in San Diego. So that was so cool. He was always my favorite! He gave us a great lesson about exercising our faith. Also Elder Christensen and Elder Murray were there as well, but I didn't get taught by either of them. But just in case you were wondering, Elder Hardy had a long talk with Elder Christensen and he gave him updates on all the people they taught! Jynx is not baptized still, she's one of those eternal investigators, Alydia has now married her beach boy 30-year-old boyfriend (thats just what he looks like hahaaha) and they are sealed and have a little girl I think. German (not sure if he was ever shown in the district videos, but he's the BEST one. willing to do ANYTHING) has baptized some of his family members now and pretty much everything is going really good. That was cool to know that he keeps tabs on them! Anyway, the whole orientation yesterday was really cool. They were taking pictures of the whole thiing to use in church productions, so be on the lookout for me in some pictures or something. :)

Well today is Hermano Snyder's birthday and we're making him an oreo cake and we bought him and Hermana Christensen some funny cards to all sign and give to them, so we're doing that today during our class periods. Which is confusing because with class periods how are we going to pack???!?!?!?!?! It's crazy. We'll figure it out. But I am very glad that I don't have to worry about the weight limit as much as others. Elder Romrell's uncle gave him a suitcase looks like its from the 70's and it weighs 20 pounds by itself! So I am very grateful dad and mom that you got us the nice luggage we have. It will make a huge difference! But other than that, I'll be checking my email again today because I need to follow up on some things, but it's just going to be a super busy day! Same with tomorrow. Whoo hoo. But I'm extremely excited to get out and start working and making a good impression on my temporary mission president! But the bad news is at the moment I do not have my address or even any info on who my mission president is, their address, or anything!!! So I will hopefully let you know within this next week. But it's good to be in the United States still for a while so you can get things to me easier if I need anything! Because by the way all my teachers have told me that to get a package to South America you need to disguise whatever it is, or just put a bunch of pictures of the Virgin Mary on it. So that will be something we can figure out later. Hopefully it's not a huge problem! But I'm not sure where to get those kind of stickers if it comes to that haha.

Well I report to the travel office at 6 on Monday morning, and we'll probably leave the MTC around 6:30, which puts me into the airport at 7:30 probably, and after getting checked in I get to call. But that really doesn't give me much time! But guess what--I get to call again before I head to Argentina, so don't worry!! So be waiting for my call, I am sorry I really can't give you a solid time but it will be before 9:20 because that's when we start boarding. And yes, I found that 200 dollars in the envelope for luggage? Or is that for emergency? I'm still not sure how I'm going to pay for the luggage. It's 25 for the first bag and 35 for the second. So I have enough, I just want to use the right funds! Even if we just get reimbursed. But yeah, please just let me know asap.

Anyway I think that's all the information that we really need, I'll be talking to you soon so don't worry about communication! And please just know I'm so excited to be going anywhere even though it's not Argentina! I'll go wherever I am needed or wanted. and I'll do my best whileIi'm there. I love you all! I'm sorry for the short notice on so many things, but it will all work out, don't worry!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, July 9, 2012

Re: Hola!

Hola everyone! Buenos Dias!
Wow. I was just sitting here yesterday writing this email to you. I cannot BELIEVE how fast the weeks go by, but how slowly the days go by. I do not understand the time. Maybe this is as close to the Lord's perception of time as I'll ever be in my life. Hopefully I can get accustomed and not worry about wasting any time! Okay so the meeting we went to was really truthfully.... boring. The lady came who was the assistant consulate and she just talked for 15 minutes about questions she has been asked before by missionaries, then she said two sentences in spanish so we could hear the accent, and then that was it. The only thing "personal" about the meeting was she was sitting at the table while two lines of missionaries came up and signed the papers we had finger-printed two weeks ago. So that was actually kind of a disappointment! But, the news on visas is that according to here they only have three people at their office working right now, soon to be two since one has family matters back in Buenos Aires, so the visas will take at least a month! From last Tuesday. So honestly I just don't know what our future holds right now haha, we could be lucky and get our visas in the month which means we would be here two extra weeks. But when the rest of our district got travel plans to New Jersey on Friday, we all got papers saying "Dear Elder ...... We are sorry to inform you that your visa information has not yet been processed. We will submit your name on Monday (today) for a temporary assignment and we will know where you will be going on Thursday." And that was our travel plan! So on Thursday, we will find out if our visas will come in the next two weeks and we'll just stay here, or if we're going to wherever for a temporary assignment. So I really am as lost as any of you are! I'm excited though, no matter what happens I'm glad to be serving. It will be like having two separate missions!! So I consider that a blessing, no matter how bad I just want to get down to Argentina.
Oh no that's terrible news! :(  (He's talking about the death of a family friend from cancer last week.)  I hope their family is doing alright... That would be so hard, I can't even imagine. I hope it helps them to dig deeper roots and realize that he's much healthier and not suffering anymore. I don't have many memories with him, but everytime I ever talked to him I really enjoyed listening and talking and just having his presence. I remember he was there on our first high adventure with the Wards and he did some cooking and he biked with us and it was all really enjoyable! Well, probably not for him since he crashed on the dirt road while biking going probably 15 miles an hour. That must've hurt. But he's a tough man, and he just got back up and kept riding. I was impressed. I really hope the family becomes closer now.
The missionaries cooked for you??  I've never heard of that before. But that's funny you mentioned food, since yesterday during district meeting President Ricks told us another one of his stories and this one was about food. He told us the story of his first night in the field when he and his companion went to eat at this poor lady's house for dinner. And he really likes to tell stories, so it always takes him about 35-40 minutes to get to the point, but it's very entertaining at least. But the point was that this lady cooked a giant tortilla for the four of them, and then took a whole onion, chopped it up, put it in the tortilla and gave it to him. And he looked at his companion and his companion gave him the Senior Companion-like look and said "EAT IT" in a harsh whisper. So he ate it. And the way he describes it later that night was that his body (who talks to him by his first name, aparently it doesn't know he was an Elder) and said, " Uh... Jim? Jim?......... Jim. Um.... What did you just put inside me?... Because I don't like it." And apparently he talks back to his body and said, " Well I had to, I can't be rude, she was poor!" And the body replied, "Um... okay. I think I'm going to get rid of it now Jim." And he said, "Oh no, please no. Don't do that. Just keep it in there and it will go away" but it just said "Umm nope. It's going out. I don't like it." So he spent the next three hours in the bathroom and got about 3 hours of sleep that night. So after taking 40 minutes to build up to that, we were all kinda wondering what he was getting at. He takes a while to get to the point. But he eventually came out and said, "Get over your fears!" If we fear the food, if we fear the language, the culture, the missionary work, the people, getting mugged, getting sick, intestinal bugs, leaving a loved one behind, families, etc. It doesn't matter, because fear and faith cannot dwell in the same person at the same time. And the only way to get the work done is wth faith. So fear has no place in my life right now. Yes, I have fears, I have quite a few. But I know I can overcome them if I just trust in the Lord, since I am completely in His hands and His service right now. And I plan on doing that as best as I can, to make the best of these two years that are going by so quickly already! So if you have fears, please put them aside. You can do it! You can do what you need to do, because the Lord is there by your side no matter WHAT. He knows more about us than we do or anyone else does, and if we trust him we can overcome those fears and realize, you know what, if I made it through that, I CAN do this. I've had multiple experiences like that already here, and I know I'll continue to have them until I trust the Lord with everything I am going through. Anyway, to finish the main point of the first sentence, that food sounds delicious! I can't wait for Argentine barbeques :)
I am glad to hear that Dad talked to them all (Tyson's high school friends who are home from college for the summer) again! I think that's so cool they enjoy talking to Dad. He just has that effect on people. Hopefully he has some good discussions and gets them to realize what we are doing is so cool! And I'm glad the party worked out! That sounds like a really fun time, hopefully Kru really enjoyed it! And think that a blog would be a really cool thing! If you could figure out how to connect it to facebook then she could read the emails as well! If you are able to figure that out that would be awesome! Anyway, I'm glad your 4th of July was very fulfilling and fun! I missed going to Cafe Ole and doing things like that, especially since last year was very fun and the year before! But it was good here as well. The fireworks were good, and we had a pretty good view of them! I met up with Jalen and Chris and we talked for a good while; it's always nice to get the three of us together. And yes Mom I promise I will get a picture with just Jalen. I'll do it today if I can! I'm sending my SD card home this week so I will make sure there's some on there. I also got pictures with a lot of the district A who left today, and then Tim Lee and Taylor Reed from our BYU ward. I guess you don't really know who that is, but Kelly does so she would like to see those probably! Maybe you can send an email. I'll let you figure that out though!
Oh yeah, so District A left this morning!! That makes District B, us, the oldest district in the Branch! This is so weird. Especially knowing well I'm not leaving on time so I'll be the oldest for quite a while haha oh well. At least all the Elders here now like me so I'll survive :) But yeah, I'm so tired today since three of the seven elders from district A had to leave at 5, so me and Elder Johnson were up at 4:30, then we got back to the residence at about 5:25, wrote a letter and then went back to send off the other three at 6. So I'm pretty tired today! I'll have plenty of time to take a nap though. So thats nice :) (And don't wory, that is allowed on Pdays! I'll still have so much more to get done though. I'm catching up on letters!!) But yeah, if you were observent you realized that only 6 elders left this morning out of the 7. Elder Kevesdy is now in our district until he leaves in the next week or two. So it's kinda nice to be back to a whole 10 again! Although he'll have to adjust to having different investigators and everything. But he's very enthusiastic and excited to be with us. Anyway, so that's the news for our district this week! But then we're losing Elders Waite, Christensen, Romrell and Peterson in a week!!!! I'ts going to be so weird not to be going with them. But they're going to be going out and doing amazing work, and we're all going to keep in touch. So we'll figure that out later.
So yeah, time is really weird here, but I think it's just because the day time schedule is so busy but once the day is over the next day is there so quickly, and in no time the week is gone! Yes I'm excited to get to Argentina (or wherever I'm going). But I'm still glad to be here to learn and practice more. So if we do stay here extra weeks we'll just stay with Hermano Snyder and Hermana Christensen and the new district will get the teachers who just sent off their district today. So yeah, that will be interesting! But hey, I would get to learn a lot more and I'm just fine with that!Well that's pretty much all the news for this week. Nothing special going on except IT'S THE LAST WEEK WITH HALF OUR DISTRICT! It's so weird. But we'll get through it :) And thursday I will know where I'm serving before my actual mission in Argentina! haha so yes, I may be pulling a Kramer! But no matter what, it will be okay.
Well I love you all, and I'm so glad everything is going well. Everything is going great here and I'm so excited to be here. I will continue to work hard and dilligenty because honestly my success depends on it. But as we learned last night from Elder Keaton, administrative officer of the MTC, it's not OUR success. It's the investigators' success in coming closer to Christ. Not our success in getting another number to add to our reports or to the church's membership record. That really opened my eyes, not that I thought I needed to go get a certain number or baptisms, but really we're just messengers, and the real relationship and success is between the investigator and Christ. So before I can strengthen their relationship, I need to have a strong, firm relationship with my Savior. As Sister Glasgow told me in her letter, " you cannot convert someone beyond the level of your own conversion." And I will continue to work on my personal relationship, because I know it could be a lot stronger. And I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be here and be able to do that exclusively for two years. In Mark 5:23 a father is begging Christ to come "lay his hands" on his daughter who passed away. And in my scriptures I have an insert from seminary probably, and it is a quote from President Howard W. Hunter and it says something along these lines: This verse does not only speak of a grieving father who wants the Savior to lay his hands on his daughter so she will live.  Absolutely anything that the Savior lays hands on will LIVE. If He lays His hands on a marriage, it will live. If He lays His hands on a relationship, it lives. If He lays His hands on a family, it will live. I absolutely loved finding that, because it shows me that I need to be closer to the Savior, not just personally but with my family, my friends, my relationships, because then if we have that triangle of me, you, and Christ, that relationship can be forever. And I want that!!!! So I'm doing my best to have His hands in everything that I do here. And when I return home I will have that personal relationshp that will strengthen any other relationships I have or even have right now with you. And by you I mean whoever is reading this! Because He is your Savior too.  I know that with all my heart.
Anyway, I was trying to say bye then, but obviously I had a little thing come to mind! But I will let you all know the situation when I find out on Thursday, and I will be hoping for the best! And if the best is a temporary assignment, then so be it. As I said last time, I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord. And let me add, I'll be who you want me to be. I know I've grown so much here (I may not look like it in pictures, but in that case its just because you can't see my spiritual side in those pictures :) ) but I really have, and I hope all of you continue to strengthen your relationship with Him, because He is always there for us, no matter how far we may put ourselves from Him sometimes.
I love you all, please stay safe and enjoy what little remains of summer! And Kelly, you are at school so enjoy your class, which I know you do :) and enjoy the free time you have before fall sememster! haha As much as you can enjoy it anyway :)
Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, July 2, 2012

Re: Happy July!

Hola everyone! :)

Okay well let me start off by saying we just got back from the temple. But we weren't doing anything but cleaning! It's closed until the 24th and we got the first day assigned to clean it and it was SOOOOO COOOOOOOOL. I was a security guard for the first 30 minutes with a cool huge Provo Temple Security Guard badge on my suit. Too bad I didn't have my camera! Actually no one did so sorry no picture there :/ But it was very cool to go all over the temple and see a lot and clean. Me and Elder Waite got to go into the basement of the temple and move probably 100 huge rolls of carpet/fabric and that was way cool. Other than that, we cleaned baseboards and lockers with q-tips and tooth picks in the women's locker room. It was much more fun to move the fabric. Two of our elders got to do a bunch of demolition since they are replacing all the men's bathroom plumbing, and their guy took them on a tour of pretty much everywhere, including the bride's room. So that is all well and cool, but now they won't stop talking and bragging about it, so we are all getting kind of annoyed. But we're kind of used to it, with Elder Johnson already being pretty proud of his accomplishments. But I love the Elder still! When he's focused, he's great! :) But yeah it's still really cool to just be in there and even just doing simple cleaning work, it's still an awesome experience! I'm still shocked at how big the Provo temple really is.
Anyway, I was thinking about you family on Saturday, wondering how the game was going and I KNEW you would go to Chipotle after. I was hoping you might slip something from there in my package but I figured that might not work out so well :) So sure I hope you enjoyed it enough for me. I have absolutely no doubt that you did! Especially Nathan.
Whoa that is so WEIRD!!! I was going to ask in my email if the Robins knew a Creed Richardson from Orem area who played for the BYU football team last year. I remember me and Kelly looking at the player roster and seeing that and she told me she knew him from somehwere but I don't remember where. But yes he is in my zone! And I know him very well. He is the nicest guy I mean Elder, and he's had a pretty rough life with his dad dying awhile ago, but he is so strong and has a great testimony. It's crazy how small of a world it is, because Elder Romrell from my district and Elder Christensen from my district grew up with him, and it was like a friend reunion when they realized he was in our zone. So yes, I know him very well! I give him a good night hug every night :) Since that is one duty of us zone leaders haha. That's way cool, I keep forgetting to ask him if he knows them! I'll wait to do that until I realize how they know him though. I love his whole district, we all play soccer together Wednesdays and Fridays and it's super fun. And seeing as how I might be here for another month possibly, they might leave before me! Oh well, I'm being optimistic :)
Thank you for attaching the pictures! Those are way cool, you're so close to the field! I was pretty jealous, but the updates on the scores from around the world in dad's letter were enough to keep me happy! Im SOOO glad Spain won!!!! I have been going for them since I went there last year. Wow it's already been a year... Crazy. But I'm glad to hear Messi was doing good for Argentina. Obviously that will be my new favorite coming up here pretty soon!
Yesterday we had some issues come up again, of course there's always issues here especially as zone leaders. But other than those, fast and testimony meeting was amazing! The branch presidency told me afterwards that it was in the top 3 meetings they have had since they had been serving here. So that was a really spiritual high! But then it just got better and better after that. The fireside was one of those presentations by those people who memorize word for word Joseph Smith History or other people's journals from that time, but this man, Ted Gibbons (I know, it was awesome simply because of the name right? :) ) was acting as Willard Richards who was with the Prophet in Carthage Jail. And all the hymns we sang before and after that were the Jospeh Smith songs, and then after we sang Praise to the Man and everyone stood up, even the MTC presidency, one by one and started singing. It was so powerful, I couldn't sing the last verse very loud. We were all pretty emotionally worn out! And then we stayed and watched Jospeh Smith the Prophet of the Restoration movie again, and that was such a good way to end that whole Jospeh Smith run of events. And the day! If there's one thing I will NEVER doubt, it is that Jospeh Smith was a prophet. I know that, I don't just believe it anymore
. So yeah yesterday was a really good day! And for our district meeting after priesthood meeting President Ricks came in and talked to our district about the importance of EVERY WORD in verses 16-19 in JSH. I would read that again if you have time and pay attention to every word. He is a lawyer (president Ricks I mean) or was so he loves words. Figures :) But that was a really cool meeting.
Well, Jalen had P-day so he camped out, we still had class until 4 so we got sent to the overflow. I was way disappointed, but I loved the talk unlike most of my district. It was kind of discouraging to here all of them saying " that was a waste of time, it wasn't even spiritual!" Yeah things happen like that here. I was surprised honestly. I loved the talk. But it was okay they all got over it after a while. Their loss! I got a lot out of it.
Well I don't know if you got my letter yet, but we didn't get a new district this last week. They moved them back to this week for some reason, so this Thursday we are going to be BUUUUSSSSSYYYYYY. Because they all come in on Thursday due to the 4th of July. So that will be a super busy day, but I'm way excited. I hope I can be a comfort and help them adjust quickly, beacuse the newest district really seems to like us so far. Hopefully we'll keep it up, since we're going to be Zone Leaders until we leave here! Which could be a little while longer. I'm praying for the visas to go through! But we don't even have that meeting until tomorrow. So then we'll see if we can figure anything out. I hope things work out for the best! No matter what that is. I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord. That's all I can say. So I will keep you updated on that, but as for now there is no news, since we have the meeting tomorrow. I was glad it was moved to Tuesday, because cleaning the temple as I said was such a cool experience!
Anyway, so not much news here. We "baptized" Ariel on Saturday as a district since we all had her committed, so that was a pretty fun experience! Now we're teaching Gloria who apparently loves to Bible-Bash and won't take anyone's word for anything unless it says it somewhere in the Bible. So that will be interesting, but very fun and we'll learn a lot! And with Fernando, we were the first to commit him to baptism and we've had amazing lessons since then, so that is all really fun too! His "baptism" is this week so we'll see how everything works out. Other than that, the Spanish is coming along well! Subjunctive (which Hermano Snyder calls the manly tense) is so easy for me to understand, so I'm worried I'm missing something! But then hardly any one else in my district understands it, so I thank Heavenly Father for blessing me with the brain and memory I have, because I've always been able to learn so fast. Now I just gotta survive the first 4 weeks in Argentina or wherever when I realize that the Spanish I learned here isn't the Spanish they speak. That will be fun! :) Super excited for that. But I see it as good timing that I will hopefully have been in Argentina for about 6 mionths when I skype, so maybe I'll be rid of my annoying gringo accent! Then maybe I'll sound sophistocated and speak the "beautiful Spanish" as many natives from Mexico and other Latin countries tell me. SO that's super exciting. Anyway, it's P-day today obviously so I will try and write EVERYONE back that I have a letter from, which actually isn't too many. But be patient please, there's only so much time to write especially since P-day ends at 6! Anyway, I love you all and hope everything in your lives is going well! And if not, remember you aren't alone in life. There was a sister who sang "Still Believe" in the mission conference yesterday, and one of the lines was this: "I never walked beside Him, but He is always right beside me" I know that's true. I've felt plenty of times when I've been helped with things even just here, when I feel like I can't study or learn more, I always have a little self-reflecting moment and realize, wow I'm so far behind where I should be right now, I've made stupid mistakes in my past, and I'm going to overcome them and change myself for the better, and just keep pushing through. And the best part is, we never EVER do that alone. Well partly because we can't, we need His help if we expect to change ourselves for the better, but He is there because He loves us. I know that's true! I can't deny it and I won't deny it, because I've felt that love so many times in my life.
Well I should probably be going! I will let you all know if anything comes up with visas and hopefully there isn't anything crazy going on that has to be told! Although wow--it really was just this past week, we had Elder Allen go home, not beacuse he did anything wrong ever, he just had medical issues, but that took a toll on our district. We had some time with him before his parents came and picked him up and we all shared contact info and we all plan on keeping in touch!Other than that, the zone is doing well. Oh and no, we didn't lose any elders, I was just saying that it would be sad to not have Elder Kevesdy and Elder Robinson coming around to hug us every night, because we took over their job as Zone Leaders. They are still here and well! Although their district got their travel plans on Friday and are all super excited.
OH MY GOSH. We're supposed to get travel plans this Friday. Wow. That just hit me. Well, I guess all the New Jersey Elders will, since we probably won't! Haha. But wow, that is crazy. This is so exciting, I wish you could all have this experience! I'm going to be miles away and miss all of you SO MUCH. But it's not going to tear me down or bring me down, because I am serving the Lord and following Him is what is important right now. I will love getting letters of course, that's just protocol for missionaries :) But just know I'm super excited even though it will be hard. But He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it. I love you all! Please stay safe and take care of yourselves! And as always, don't worry about me. I'm doing just great :)
Elder Tyson Gibbons
P.S. thank you family and the Hall family and Kelly for the package! :) I have plenty of sharing stuff and yes Mtn. Dews are pretty high up on the list of black market. I have a hard enough time keeping them from Elder Johnson who apparently went two years with his work not missing a day of drinking atelast two mountain dews. But all is well! Love you all,and thank you so much!
P.P.S. Jalen had his camera and took pictures of me and Christ and him together outside the cafeteria and with us pointing to our three differnt missions all over the world! So if you think i'm not taking pictures, well no I"m not hahaha sorry but Jalen is, and both our SD cards go to the same place so hopefully you enjoy that picture!