Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Hola family!

So these past few days have definitely been interesting! I haven't been unfocused since I got the news about my visa, I've kind of tried to forget it honestly! I am sad to go. But it keeps coming up with EVERYONE we visit so I take it as the Lord saying "you're going where you're supposed to be. You learned plenty here and now it's time for you to go and teach" So I got rid of that sad attitude pretty quickly. haha Yes I have received multiple packages and letters from home, well from you mom, since last Thursday. SO thank you! I had my bigger SD card in time to go to the Crest with Richard and his family on Saturday! So I'll be sending pictures of that home don't worry. It was a really good experience. We read some articles from Richard's Ensigns on his ipad on the drive up there and we had a good time eating and hiking and taking pictures. About that though, they had an awesome gift shop and I bought some stuff to send home to Kate and Nathan, and I had no idea my debit card account was that low. I haven't used it hardly at all! Although yes, we went to this House of Soccer store last week and I bought a Barcelona Black and Green jersey. But it was only 30 bucks because it's not an authentic one. But I'm glad I decided against the authentic Argentina jersey, I wouldn't have had enough! But I should still have 60 or so but I bought Elder Calles a Portugal Ronaldo jersey (it was 40) that he's paying me back for so that's probably where a lot of it went. So I tried to pay the $20.10 fee at the gift shop and it didn't work so I used the other card because I didn't have the cash on me. So I'm sorry! That's why there is 20.10 less in that account. Spent on things not quite as important as a Swatch or Bike or anything like Jalen has bought. (He's already spent 300 euros?? That's crazy hahaha) But anyway, that's the situation with that. I really don't spend my own money that often, and I have plenty on the funds that we get, so don't worry about that. I'm still eating and sleeping and living comfortably. For now haha.

But this past week has been very good. We've had really good visits with members and taught more of the Family Mission plan, which in our area is our biggest finding effort since tracting doesn't provide much fruit at the moment. People who have life good just don't think they need anything else! But it's okay, I love the people anyway. But it really has been a good week. And Saturday was awesome! I got a lot of good pictures and Richard took some videos on his ipad and I am going to give him my email and your email since I can't really hear any videos since we don't have headphones. Besides, I was there, so it's better for you all to see it anyway! Plus you can see him and his family, it's more personal. So to answer Dad's question, both of his kids that are old enough to be baptized are excited about baptism! Yazmin is very open about it and Jacob is more reserved but he did give that answer where he said he wants to be married in the San Diego temple! So that's not a bad answer again haha, but that's how his family is doing. Jean really opened up on Saturday too, maybe just because she's stuck with us in a car and on the top of a mountain for hours, but she really was open and talked to us about things she had concerns about. It was really good. We're excited and see some good things happening in the near future. Also we went to a neighborhood bbq in Richard's neighborhood and got to meet a LOT of new people! It was so funny to see people's first reaction when we showed up at this big gathering, no one smiled or talked to us and kinda gave us wary glances. Then we went back to Richard's house with Jacob and brought back chairs, so they realized we were with Richard, but people were still hesitant. Then we decided to go play basketball against some of the younger kids who were actually way better than me, and they realized that we weren't robots and did normal human stuff like eat and talk about non-church things (at first anyway ;]) and played sports. So people actually started coming up to us and talking. It's amazing how defensive people get without even talking to people. But that was a really good experience, and even if we didn't get into major religious discussions, people will be more open because they realize we are actually human. So that went really well. But then we passed out when we got home after being 10,078 feet high for hours and breathing the thin air. It was exhausting. I got pretty red too, my neck and arms still hurt. But hey maybe I'll be that much more tan when I get there and people won't think I'm American! Haha, yeah right. I'll never be mistaken for a native. Darn. I don't tan like Kelly and Chris do after a summer at the pool. I just burn! Curse that Norweigian ancestry :) oh well. So that was a good experience.

No we didn't get to watch any birthday broadcast for Pres. Monson??? I haven't even heard about it until now. What the heck?? That would've been perfect. We haven't got in with Tom to talk or sing or anything for a week and a half now, so we're really not sure about continuing visits as frequently. I hate saying that! But if people aren't progressing we have plenty of other people to find and teach. It's one of the hardest parts about missionary work, that's for sure. I hope we've made a good impression on him at least for future visits. Other than that we're working with mostly the same people, Shelley in trying to get her actually ready for her baptismal date in September, and we just started meeting with a former investigator who hasn't had lessons for over a year, but she's going through a rough time. Have I mentioned Chryssandra before? Maybe I have, but we had a good visit with her and we're seeing her tomorrow too so we hope to see lots of good things happen for her and her family. The gospel can help out so many different people in so many ways, and ultimately in the same ways too!! That's why I'm out here talking to people that I've never met or who may not be very nice in return. But that's the fun part, getting cussed out and realizing "well, someday maybe you'll be nicer! Let's just keep going, because the Mission President told us that for every 40 doors you knock, there's probably one person who's nice enough to talk to you" so you just keep going and forget about it and keep that smile on your face. It's funny how quickly things melt away when you're not worrying about yourself and only focusing on serving others. I love it! People don't know what they're missing out on when they could be out here serving :) I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I'm excited for you mom to start being the pianist in the choir! You'll do great. Everyone always knew who you were anyway in the choir, so now you'll just be even better known! And I guess I could probably send a short email to Jalen haha I never even thought of it really. I just figured I'd wait until you forward his month-worth of emails to me. Don't know what I was thinking haha So I'll have to do that. Pretty soon we'll be on even ground, in a foreign country not knowing what people are saying, eating weird food, and enjoying life for sure! But everyone I keep talking to who has served in Argentina tells me that it's the BEST food they've had in their life, even back here. So needless to say, I'm way excited! We talked to Erica Garcia, who served in Buenos Aires a few years ago and is married now to Oscar from Mexico I believe, and they raise their kids bilingual! It's crazy. But she told me all about the people and the food and the culture, and what I'm going to do during siesta probably. So I'm way excited. She said she has never eaten as well as she did down there. So that just boosted my confidence in Argentine cuisine. Then she gave me some Mate Cocido, apparently it's the social drink down there which I won't be able to drink when I get there, it's just some herbal tea but apparently it tastes really good? So I'm going to try it before I get down there, before I'm not allowed to haha because the people sit there for hours (kinda like Germans and beer) and pass around one cup and share with everyone and everything. So that's interesting. I'll have to learn to understand the people when they offer us Mate and learn how to refuse haha. Oh I'm way excited to start speaking Spanish again. I did it last night with Oscar and Erica, I gave a message in Spanish, and it was ROUGH. Not speaking contstantly for 6 weeks has really been hard. But it's okay, I have like 19 hours with the other three elders who fly with me and I'm going to have them only speak to me in Spanish. Things will be okay. It's going to be rough. But it will be okay. And rough. I'm ready for the culture shock though! I'm going to feel like I'm in Ecuador and Spain all over again! Except more like Ecuador obviously. Monday is going to be a long day that's for sure.

So one thing I'm really going to miss here is the Green Chili. It's SOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD. Anywhere else the green chili isn't real, I've had it at Cafe Rio before and places like that, but it's not the same. We bought $20 worth last week, I got to see them roast it in the giant furnace things and then we spent a couple hours peeling it, and it smelled SOOOO good. But of course Elder Calles tricked me into trying the Triple XXX chili at the stand we bought them from, and I took the smallest bite, like there was nothing to chew, and my mouth was on fire for three hours. It was the worst. I loved it, but it hurt haha but I can say I've tried the hottest chili in that place at least! I feel fulfilled now. I can go to Argentina and enjoy the delicious meat and potatoes and pasta. :) whoo hoo!

Nathan and Kate, good luck with sports! Just remember they're only sports and not everything, just have fun and enjoy it, even though yes I know you get really frustrated sometimes. Ask me about it haha, but not until after my mission. I don't want those feelings to interfere with the Spirit!!! But don't just take it lighty either, you're on a team for the school and you need to work hard still, just don't let it interfere with schooling or church things that are so important. But just have fun! You'll both do really good! Just enjoy it as much as you can.

Well I've been taking quite a few pictures, although there's not much new to take pictures of after a week of the same stuff. But it's okay. There's some good ones. Have I mentioned how awesome the sky looks all the time? I have some pcitures of just the sky. So enjoy those haha. Don't worry, there are people in others too. But I'll try and send some home soon, not sure how it's going to work out, but yeah. So I'm going to be sending home a package of things I can't take with me, like this sweet iHome some elder gave to me that lights up different colors and stuff, and then other things I don't have room for. So that will be showing up eventually! I'm just now starting to pack so I don't know when I'll get it sent off. But it will happen before I leave that's for sure. So be looking for that!

Anyway, we have some good things planned for my last p-day here so I better go. But just know that the work is moving along whether slowly or quickly, it will go on! I love you all and hope you all are doing great and are enjoying life, because when you think about the large picture, life really is short! But I know some days can be long too. So enjoy both of those :) Good luck with school, work, college, sports, or whatever else any of you may be doing!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

P.S. We started listening to the Heber J. Grant audio talks by Truman G. Madsen, and we love them! It's a really good thing to turn on in the morning when things are getting off to a slow start. It helps us laugh and feel the Spirit at the same time, which is awesome. It's a good reminder that life doesn't have to be so serious all the time. It can be full of laughter and humor and love and fun all in moderation of course, but if it's about wholesome things then it's all a part of life. So enjoy the good moments, don't forget to laugh or smile, and remember that this life is a gift and something to enjoy every minute, so make the best of it!

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