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