Monday, September 24, 2012

Buenos Dias

Hola de Justo Daract, otra vez!

So this past week was pretty long and crazy. Lots going on, but not in the work really. Monday was good as usual, and then Tuesday we had district meeting. And Elder Day didn´t mention that we were doing divisions with the District Leader, so I brought nothing I needed to spend the day in Villa Mercedes with Elder Daybell. No change of clothes, toothbrush, sleeping accessories, etc. So... it was kind of miserable. But it was a really good day! Elder Daybell is a really good Elder and fun to be around. We got along just fine and got some good work done. It's funny being with other Elders who don´t know my capability or anything, so during every visit he would stop talking and look at me and I would have to speak. Which was actually really good because Elder Day sometimes just keeps talking and lets me say the few things he knows I can say, like the First Vision. That's about all I ever say. So yeah, it was good to actually have to teach parts of the lessons.
We taught good lessons and just visited and contacted lots of diffferent people. It was a good change too to be in a different area for a day, different people, and best of all, riding the bus everywhere!! :) No more walking that day. To answer your question Dad, it is about a five minute walk from the Church to the beginning of town, but then we walk another 20 minutes or so to get to any specific house that we visit. It makes for long days. But I´ll be honest, I don´t feel overwhelmed with the walking. Yet. I actually enjoy it. It keeps me active somewhat. Not quite like the Malibu back in NM haha, but we always are pretty much speed walking because Elder Day loves to walk really fast. Just like he loves to run marathons and everything. Haha he´s just crazy like that. He kinda reminds me of Alex, our roommate. Just to himself a lot, but does all this crazy stuff. He loves to backpack, hike, rock climb, run, just all those extreme outdoor things. He went climbing in the same canyon in Utah that the guy cut off his arm in. He walked past where that happened, and then ended up spending the night in the canyon by himself, because he rappelled down, and then all his friends at the top wanted to go back. So they left him. So he just hiked until he couldn´t see, and spent the night on a rock. He´s just that adventurous I guess! Maybe that's just because he´s in the middle of 5 sisters, and he had to do stuff alone haha who knows. But yeah, I´ve learned a lot more about him, just from talking at night or while we´re making the usual trek home at night. But I haven´t been around an Elder that I don´t get along with yet. I am very grateful, and also very cautious to talk about it because I don´t want to jinx it! But Elder Daybell did just tell me on Tuesday that I seem like the Elder that just gets along with whoever I´m with. I took that as a very good compliment, so hopefuly that continues for the next 20 months, and even after my mission! He also reminds me of Alex haha, it's weird.
I guess I miss Alex a bit or something hahaha. Well I miss all my rommates, hope Chris is surviving in Cali, I´m sure Alex is enjoying Florida, and I bet Jeff is doing just fine in Mexico! And from the picture that you sent Mom, I can see Jalen is doing just fine. Haha wow, I´m SOOOO jealous of just him being by the mountains, not to mention that they´re the Alps. I miss the mountains :/ I´m tired of endless campo after campo. Oh well, I´m content anyway. And I miss Matt too! I don´t know where he is, he seems to be lost from the radar, but I hope all is well with him. Hey maybe he´s back at BYU? Kelly, see if you can find him! Haha don´t know how that's possible, but that would be awesome.
So then Wednesday, me and Elder Daybell got up early to catch the bus at 7 back to Justo to switch companions. So I´m wearing the same clothes, soaked from the rain, I had my coat but I had taken out the warm lining because I thought I was coming back home after the meeting hahaha. Nope, didn´t happen. So I was pretty much miserable. Then I get here and Elder Day tells me we have a service project in 20 minutes. So we go home, grab normal clothes, and went to the Giordano house to cut down two trees. It was WWAAAAAAYYYYY fun. And relaxing. Hacking away at branches and trunks for 5 hours with axes and chainsaws and handsaws is actually pretty satisfying. I had fun! Then they fed us the biggest lunch I´ve had here. They made like paella in Spain, but thankfully with normal meat, not sea food. Chris and Kelly, you´ll have to try this stuff, it's way better than the stuff we had in Barcelona haha. It was chicken and sausage (and liver I guess. I didn´t get any of that thankfully!) but I ate six plates of it. It was so good. I felt so sick after, but I was just glad to eat finally. I didn´t eat after 2 in Villa the day before, so it was a relief. Anyway, then we just did some more work.
We didn´t get the baptisms this weekend :/ They were supposed to come to church yesterday, but they didn´t. So we don´t know when it's going to happen. But we did have another good lesson with Mateo on the Restoration. And guess what!!! We found out he wasn´t drinking that one night that I mentioned. He was just doing exactly what it sounded like. Dancing, singing and showering. Haha we hope he´s not lying, but he seems pretty sincere, and he told us Saturday that he doesn´t even want to drink it because he´s still waiting for his blood test results. I guess he might have cancer :/ so he´s not drinking still. It's good. Although we went yesterday and there were wine boxes everyhwere, but he said he had had coworkers over and they drank all the wine, and he drank mate and Sprite. Hopefully he´s not lying! We´ll take his word for it, either he´s telling the truth or lying, and either way his conscience will get to him eventually. He knows it's not good and he shouldn´t do it now. Anyway, he and Gloria STILL haven´t shown up to church! They tell us every week they are going to, and we even told them to just come for an hour and then leave. And they seemed a lot more willing to, but alas, they did not do it. So we´re just working with them still, teaching the rest of the lessons and principles, and trying to get them to church.
As for Marian, she´s been doing fine. Although we noticed last night... that she and her friend Brenda are just wild! They swear A LOT in front of us, and try and slap us and steal our nametags or pens or planners, or steal things from the church, just to tear them up or break them, and we thought it was just when we were there. But yesterday their uncle was there and they were even crazier!! So I have learned from that, that parenting means A TON. Thank you Mom and Dad and family and friends for raising me to be who I am right now. That's the thing that they lack down here sometimes, good parenting and established homes. Both of these girls don´t have a father, have been raised by a single mom. And that's got to be rough! We can see how they´ve been raised. They just hit everybody, even their uncle! That's why they need the gospel! The central unit is the family. The family being established on good principles is so VITAL for the upbringing of the kids in the church. Hopefully eventually their family either accepts (Marian) or comes back to church (Brenda). It's definitely rough being the only one who goes to church in your family, I give them credit for that. Anyway, so yeah. We haven´t been able to teach Marian any of the lessons after baptism because they just steal our stuff, run away, talk the whole time, or try and hit us. It's kind of frustrating. But all is well! We will just keep doing what we do, because that's how we help people, by doing what missionaries do.
Anyway, I´m glad to hear most everything is going on alright back home! And I´m very happy to hear that Nathan beat Middleton and BK, the two teams that I still don´t have much respect for. Well, not really the team, just the people. And I´m glad Kate won as well! This next week sounds absolutely crazy though! Good luck at all your games, mi hermano y hermana. You will do well!
Hahaha, okay I just laughed when I read the thing about homecoming queen being Ashley Sessions and the whole thing about waiting for Malcolm. I'm glad the Mormon girls are having some influence in stuff like that though! It's good. Mountain Home really isn´t that bad. The same morals just don´t exist down here. At all. But hey, I guess that's why I´m here, right? :)
 Okay about the whole blood thing. I never said I wanted to or was going to give blood. Haha I had the same thoughts as you did about it when Elder Day showed me his pictures. I had no intention to do it. I questioned Elder Day too when he showed me the pictures. He just told me that President Avila had asked them to?? I don´t know if that's legit or not... weird. But I only wanted to know my blood type so I could write it down in my missionary handbook hahaha, that's really the only reason. I have no intention to donate blood, especially now that Grandpa filled us in on the fact that it's not supposed to happen. So I don't know what happened there, but I will remember that! So thank you. I am content with keeping my blood inside me for now, especially down here. So don´t worry about me, I won´t be doing that anytime soon! Sorry to cause some alarm though! :/ Was not intended.
I´m glad I could give you some ideas for packages. And I can´t believe you got my letter already!! That's so weird. Guess it's just one way that takes forever haha. But yeah, peanut butter for sure, duct tape would be great. And I keep thinking of random other things to ask for, but I can´t remember them right now haha. That means they probably weren´t important! So yeah, just keep the list I´ve already sent for now. If there´s anything important, I´ll let you know! I´m still just waiting for any letters, since I probably won´t get them until the end of this transfer, and maybe not even then.. so yeah, I´m just being paciente. Nothing wrong with that, verdad? :)
Well I hope everything is going well still and continues to go well for all of you! I really appreciate all your prayers. I just get a really good feeling whenever I hear someone pray for the missionaries because, well, now I am one! :) It's just great. So thank you. I´ve noticed all the help too, especialy with the language. I´m talking more and more, and I´m not necessarily uncomfortable anymore, I just have to find the right time to say things, since Elder Day usually teaches the whole thing with a few exceptions. So I´m really glad the language is coming fast. There´s starting to be less and less off-days and more on-days with the language. So I am VERY grateful. Good to know Jalen is getting the language down more comfortably too. Hopefully Chris and Jeff are getting to that point too! I almost said Logan Dicus too, but I think he´s pretty good at this point. Holy cow, he only has like 8 months left. That is so bizarre. I can´t believe how fast the time has gone. It's week 5 of my first transfer in Argentina. I feel like I got here months ago. It's so crazy. I learn more and more every day what it means when people say "Time flies." Enjoy every moment! I just thought about the future one night, pictured myself at home with all my freinds and family, and imagined myself looking back on these two years with disappointment for missing any opportunities or moments that could´ve been life changing. So, needless to say, I got rid of that depressing thought immediately and started focusing on taking advantage of EVERY opportunity I have here. Because the time is going to fly. I already know it. And I am constantly aware of it. No me gusta! Anyway, the work continues on, and I hope I can help it advance even more these next two weeks and probably the transfer after this one too! I love being here. It's such a great experience, seeing people´s lives changed if they will just take the small simple steps required to overcome any challenges or problems. I also imagined myself at home, wearing church clothes but without the name tag. And it was DEPRESSING. I literally felt depressed. That just motivated me more as well to take advantage of the time I have every day, 24/7 for 24 months to wear this tag. I hope to live up to the expectations required for this calling!

I love you all and hope all continues to go well!
Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012

Hola everyone!

Okay this computer isn´t much better than the last one haha. Every single word I´m typing is underlined in red! It's annoying. And the space bar doesn´t work. So sorry if there are words together. I´m trying haha :) (And I'm fixing them!) I can´t believe how fast this week has gone! I remember running about two miles to the other elders' pension and back to the terminal to barely catch the bus just like it was yesterday haha. Yeah that was a fun p-day. That's why I sounded rushed at the end to get to the bus terminal. It doesn´t help when your companion is a marathon runner! He can just go and go and I am dead after like 5 minutes. What happened to me?? :(  I used to run 90 minutes straight. Oh well, I´ll get back into it. Hopefully. Anyway, this week I had to make a list of things to mention in my email that I keep forgetting!!! So I´ll just start with that.

So, the first day here in Justo Daract, (haha three weeks ago) we ate at Presidente Alaniz´s house,and when I told them I played futbol, they were shocked haha. And then I asked what their favorite team was and they said BOCA. That's the biggest team down here in Argentina. Might have to get one of their jerseys too! But then I told them that Messi is my favorite player. And Hna Alaniz told me (this was my first day, remember. I´m not sure I fully understood her) that her brother is married to a Messi. And it's the same Messi and Lionel Messi. She hasn´t met him obviously, but she is basically related to him. How crazy is that?!?!  So that was pretty cool.

Alright next thing. What is my blood type?? I still have NO idea what type I am. And I don´t know if you want to send that confidentially or anything, I just want to know since Elder Day told me he´s given blood down here before. So yeah I would need to know.

Okay yes, I have a blanket, and it serves me well. I took it from the apartment in Albuquerque, so I do have at least one blanket. And every pension has TONS of extra blankets. So you don´t need to worry about spending a bunch of money sending one down here. Plus it's spring, and it's already really really hot, so I probably won´t need one for awhile anyway haha :) I´m SO glad I get two summers down here.... not. It's way hotter down here than back home. I should be good for now. If that changes, I will let you know.

Okay this isn´t me begging for you to spend a lot of money and send me a package, but I do have a list of things I wouldn´t mind getting, whether for Christmas or whatever. PEANUT BUTTER!!! Haha of course. It stinks down here. Elder Day makes his own peanut butter and it's pretty good, but it's just not the same as the Skippy or Jif back home. And I don´t know why I left my jar in Albuquerque! It doesn´t perish. Dang. I regret that haha. But yeah, peanut butter would be great!GRRRRRRRRR I hate this keyboard. I´m inventingthe worl´ds newest longestwordsin thisemail. (That's what the whole e-mail looked lke before I fixed it!)  Anyway, that's a main one. And maybe like Reese´s or Nutter Butters, just normal American candy haha. But yeah. And this is a weird one, but duct tape would be great too. For everything. It's 35 pesos here and they give you a roll about 1/4 inch thick. Not anywhere close to the what, 2 inches they give you there? So yeah, that would be helfpful. Other than that, whatever you desire to send. Pictures, letters, you decide. Those are my only wishes at the moment :)

Okay so Saturday was the first day I officially had empanadas down here! They were the normal beef onion and pepper ones. They were super good. They were only as big as the small ones we ordered for Mother's Day. And while we were eating those, Julian was telling us about his mission in Bolivia. Apparently there is this town there called Orura or Oruro. And in the giant Catholic church, they have all the saints and holy people on one side, and then on the other, they have like this mine shaft thing that goes underground, and down at the bottom is a giant dragon-looking Satan. It's the creepiest thing I´ve ever heard of. Apparently down there they worship Satan as the god of the underworld pretty much. Like Hades. And then they worship God too. That was really interesting. But yeah, that sounded pretty intense. And also this town has a Carnival with dancing and drinking and all the works about everyday. So I don´t know how they got any work done down there haha. It's weird how different Bolivia sounds from where I am right now. But I guess Argentina isn´t that 3rd world as the other smaller countries. It was cool to talk about his experiences though.

So, on to the news! Yesterday we had a baptism! Marian was baptized finally, and it was really good. I got my first baptism pictures on my mission. It was really spiritual too. It's fun to not have a real font too. We set up a metal frame with a tarp in it haha. It really does feel like a different country. It was fun! We hope to have two more this weekend. I´ll update you on that next week! But it was really good. We made brownies and Hna Giordano made a cake thing, so thankfully we had a lot of brownies leftover :)  We ate those all last night though. They lasted about ten minutes after everyone left. Sad huh. But it was a miracle since the two girls, Brenda and Marian, the one who got baptized, think they own EVERYTHING: they don´t have manners or boundaries. They take something and we literally have to chase them down to get it back. It's the most annoying thing ever! The people down here just don´t really have manners like that. But it's all good, she got baptized, so hopefully she just learns more and more and things will work out.

As for Gloria and Mateo, we didn´t get a single visit with them this last week. They always have something going on. Although Saturday we stopped by Mateo's, and he was blasting music, singing at the top of his lungs, dancing by himself, and as we were leaving he was getting in the shower, so we´re pretty sure he was wasted :/  That's what happens when the missionaries only have two hours of contact and Satan has the rest of the hours in the week to work on people. Blah. Hopefully we can still figure things out. I mean it was pretty funny to hear him singing so loud, so out of tune, but that lasted about 20 seconds and then we were just frustrated and disappointed. Así es. :/

Well no one came and checked out apartments, I guess they just told us that to get us to clean them. Haha it worked I guess. We had to take another bus to Villa for the interviews. So yeah, we basically spent all of Thursday in Villa again. Blah. But when we got back we did get the interview for Marian done, so that all worked out. It wasn´t a waste of a day. My Spanish was a little better I felt, but I didn´t have to do much of the talking, so I don´t think he really noticed anything haha and my interview was the shortest one, just because Elder Day said everything already. Oh well,eventually I´ll be able to have a converstaion with him! It was good though. Last night the people at the baptism were asking me how long I had in the mission, and I said 4 months. Then they asked about how long I´d been in the field, and I said 2 months. And they asked about here in Justo Daract, and I said 3 weeks. Then they asked where I was before. So I told them in New Mexico speaking English haha and they wouldn´t believe me. Apparently after my prayer they were thinking I´d been here for at least half a year, because my Castillano was really good? So that was uplifting for sure. Everyone keeps saying my Spanish is good, but I feel like I can´t speak at all, because I don´t know how to just speak it yet. There are days it makes sense, and the next day is an off day. Yesterday was an off day too. But it's nice to be complimented and encouraged, because it does get me down a little sometimes. Anyway, the people are really nice down here. In the branch anyway.

I´m glad you're feeling better Mom. I can´t say I know what it feels like, but I have to be honest, I have the exact opposite feeling of the full, heavy stomach thing. I´m usually pretty hungy haha since I haven´t adapted to the eating schedule. Eat a big lunch at 1. Then don´t eat again until like 9. It's rough. Oh well, it's probably good I´m not eating so much. I´ll count my blessings.

Oh man, we have been lucky until now. No American music so far, but now it's Taylor Swift. It's distracting!!!! I´m supposed to be in a different country haha oh well. Sorry, I thought maybe if I mentioned it it wouldn´t be so distracting.

So Kate's coach still being weird??? What is up with that! And I´m glad Nathan doesn´t let the losses get to him. My freshman year was exactly the same way haha, we didn´t do so well. But then next year we won districts. Not sure what happened. Just keep on pushing through! It'll be a good experience, if nothing else. It´ll build character! Haha now I just sound like strict parents :P

Yeah the re-dedication was a broadcast, we had to go to Villa Mercedes. Man I´m glad we get reimbursed for our bus fares. That's like 200 pesos gone just from the buses. And Carrefour saves our lives for sure. It's so much cheaper than any place here in town. Except they have an American aisle, and there´s like snackpacks of Skittles for 28 pesos, or Goldfish for 35. And I gave in. They only lasted 3 days too :/  Oh yeah, you should send some Goldfish too :)  But yeah, Carrefour is the biggest store besides the Walmart in Mendoza, and we think there´s a Walmart in San Luis too. But neither are close! So we are good with Carrefour. I was wondering why Carrefour sounded so familiar the first time. (I reminded him we went to a Carrefour in France when we visited his grandparents on a mission there. ) Guess that's why!

Well I have my camera to send pictures, but these computers don´t even have usb plug-ins. So sorry, you´ll have to wait a little while longer! Just be looking for the letters I sent finally on Wednesday. I sent one to mi familia, Kelly, and the Torres family in New Mexico. Oh yeah, and Mom, if Richard ever sent you those pictures and things, you should forward these to him as well. He would like that. Thank you!

Well I should get going, Thanks for the updates on home, and hopefully we have more baptisms to report next week, and more good lessons! I hope so too. Que les vaya bien, y que dios les bendiga (Go well and God bless)!  Haha we hear those phrases so much from people who are trying to be nice but slam the door in our faces. It's fun. I love you all, and hope things are going good in all aspects of life. And if they aren´t, remember there´s always a way to make it better, through prayer, reading the scriptures, going to church, and trying to sincerely make a change to whatever isn´t going well. Christ is our Savior, and he went through all that we did, so don´t just ignore that or ignore Him! Ask for help. Some things only He can help us overcome, I know that with all my heart, He´s done it for me. Don´t take Him or His Atonement for granted! It changes lives, I´ve seen it happen even in my few 2 months on a mission. It's a privilege to be a part of such a great miracle. You can be too! Part of your own miracle. All you have to do is sincerely try to change, and do it with His help. Keep doing what's right!  ¡Haz lo Justo!

Chau (spelled a lot less cool than I thought :/ ),

Elder Tyson David Gibbons

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mission Call News!

We found some photos online of the Justo Daract church/house Tyson lives in (the missionaries in the photos were there over a year ago):


 The chapel
Their bedroom

Hola again from Villa Mercedes!

Yeah we came to villa today to play soccer and basketball with the other elders in our district. It was way fun! And we ate some lunch, I did some shopping at Carrefour, pretty much the biggest store anywhere, except in Mendoza where they have a Walmart. But yeah, I am looking pretty set for this next week or so! So yeah that's pretty much what we do p-days haha. We went shopping last week got some food and I started my collection of alfajors! Well the wrappers I mean. Man those things are so good. And the best ones are either oreo or terrabusi brownie con dulce de leche. Oh my goodness, I love those things haha, and they're only a dollar! I´m still geting used to the money change because I see alfajors for 4.50 and I think NO WAY, I am not buying that. Then I remember that's less than a dollar haha, so then I end up buying like 10 :) Everything's going good here. We eat good! The main things we´ve eaten so far is milanesa. Just like squished chicken or beef breaded and cooked. It's always good.

But we got stuck in the (bus) terminal here on Sunday after the temple dedication, and we were there for four hours because Elder Day read the sign wrong, and the next bus didn´t leave till 5 haha, so yeah that was fun. We had to eat there and we got hardly anything done last night. Except we visited this guy Mateo, who loves to drink wine (sorry, can´t remember if I mentioned him already) and we had a GREAT visit. We have a date set for him at the end of this month, along with another lady, Gloria. She was in charge of some ELIAN thing for special ed kids, and they had a big celebration/dance recital/carnival for those kids, including her son Ariel. So we showed up to support her, and it's amazing to see the way people changed from when we first showed up. Everyone glared at us and gave us weird looks, and we felt awkward at first, but then we started helping with chairs, with refreshments, and we handed out these goodie bags to all the niños, and EVERYONE was smiling and laughing and saying gracias and actually looking at us like humans. Haha service really changes people´s minds, that's for sure. The only guy who wasn´t very nice we´re pretty sure was a Jehovah´s Witness. And mom, no matter how nice you are to the ones at home, the ones here aren´t the same. They really don´t like us for whatever reason. We always say hello, well no--hola haha, but they just ignore us. Oh well. We´re doing our part! I´m impressed with all the door knocking and everything they do, it's just not the same as us though! It's always older people, not 19-year-olds in a different country. But we feel that that activity was a really good way to show pretty much half the town that we are human! So hopefully down the road we meet one of those people and they don´t ignore us or slam the door in our face. We´ll see eventually! But the bus system really messed us up this weekend. We didn´t get very high numbers for the last 4 days, because we kept having to take buses back and forth from Villa to Justo Daract, and we missed them a couple times, had to wait a few hours, or they were late themselves. Man. We didn´t want to come today because it was SO much time spent on a bus. but oh well. We´re still doing alright. We´re going to stop at Mateo´s place every night now before we go home, to keep daily contact. Because we don´t want him to drink, and he knows that if we come over we´re going to ask him about it. Hopefully he gets to the point where he realizes it's a commandment and we can´t drink, and doesn´t just stop because of us. We´ll keep working with him!

So to answer your question, no we are still working with mostly just kids. and holy cow it can be frustrating. Because they aren´t ever sure about their schedule or anything! The three baptisms that were planned for this Sunday were cancelled because they think that we just randomly choose dates and it doesn´t matter if they keep them or not. They just don´t get that we´re being serious. So that whole family "supuestemente" is going to a tournament for the next 8 days. Not going to school or anything? So we just found that out yesterday and were like, what the heck. Satan definitely took advantage of us putting off the baptisms for a week! But he´s not going to win, so we really aren´t worrying too much haha. That's the great thing about all this, he is never going to win! :) He never stops trying, but it's safe to say that we've got the better end of the deal. There's nothing better than knowing and feeling that you are serving the Lord every day, 24 horas a day for 2 years. And when we went to the rededication of the Buenos Aires temple, that was just reaffirmed to me. It was a really good meeting. I had no idea Elder Christofferson had served in Argentina! He just stood up and started leading the meeting in Castillano and I just smiled and laughed almost haha, it was awesome. And President Eyring was there along with Elder Ballard, grandson of Melvin J. Ballard who dedicated the land of Argentina and South America for the missionary work to start. It was really amazing to see the connections they both had with Argentina, and let me tell you, it was pretty emotional. First of all they are apostles of Christ, and they had such powerful feelings for this country and when they spoke of the saints and the missionary work, I´m pretty sure everyone was tearing up. Missionaries included. It's so crazy to think that back at BYU I had like 6 temples within a couple hours reach. Here they only have Buenos Aires, and I can´t imagine how tough it must have been to have the temple be closed for however long it was. They were SOOO happy when we walked out of that meeting. I don´t feel fit to be here among these people! The members here are so strong and faithful, and go through a lot to keep the commandments. And back home, it's not easy, but it's so much easier than here. I don´t feel hardened enough to match up to their caliber. Hopefully I can better myself and get to that point soon. Anyway, I loved every minute of it. I can´t wait til I get to go through that temple before I leave! Well I can, because I still have a year plus :) plenty of time to work and wait.

Other than that, the rest of the week went really well. Thursday it just poured and poured and poured. and poured some more. We got so wet. and then the next two days were beautiful, and Sunday after the dedication we had to walk a mile to the bus terminal, and it was pouring again. Haha so we´ve been well-soaked the last week. I love the rain, but here it's just freezing haha, and the streets just flood and turn to mud. It's fun that's for sure. But all is well. So this week we´re going to really work with Gloria and Mateo, and we´ll see if that family really goes to the tournament. They´ll probably be home but shut and lock the door when they see us coming. Happens every time. I don´t like that! We´re not monsters, but people always like dart inside and shut the door and ignore the door when they see us coming. I wish they would just talk to us like normal people. Oh well, we still go and talk to them anyway :) The work is going well here, and this week we have interviews with President, which I´m way excited for. I wish I could speak better than I did the first time. Maybe it will be a little better. And he´s inspecting our places, so I´m really glad that we´ve kept the church/house clean. We´ll finish up cleaning today when we get home, and it should be very clean and neat when he comes to inspect. Our place is SOOOO much nicer than the other elder´s penches. Their bathrooms are disgusting, and kitchens. and floors. It was sooo nice to get back to our humble abode in Justo Daract after spending the night at their place. It was so much better back home haha.

That's so cool about all the mission calls! I know they´ll all do well if they just apply themselves. I told Logan the MTC was an amazing place if you took advantage of all the time you had, so hopefully he remembers that. And that means Levan is learning korean then? Yikes, he´ll have fun with that! Haha not sure I could survive the MTC for 12 weeks. But I already know he´ll be an awesome missionary. They all will. That's so cool that Dylan is district leader too! I don´t even have to say anything about that, he´s going to get the job done. He always did haha. I hope everything is going well with him! His parents have every reason to be proud of him.

WHOOOO HOOOOOO You have no idea how happy I am to hear that we beat Middleton. I mean, I love them and all, but that's really good news still. :) Good job Nathan on blocking that goal! And kate you still have to keep me updated on your games! That's weird you and a bunch of other girls didn´t get to play that game, but don´t worry, you will get plenty of chances to show your stuff! Don´t get discouraged, just try even harder than you did before. You´ll be a really great assett to your team, that's for sure. Everyone always loves the Gibbons ;) just kidding. But I do miss having everyone on my team just yell Gibbons since they could never tell us apart. Oh good times. Anyway, keep up the hard work!

Well we need to catch the bus so I need to get going. Sorry, I was going to add some pictures but I didn´t bring the cord or anything, so next time i will! :) Just know that everything is going well, in fact great, in Justo Daract. I hope to make things better than the way they were when I found it. There´s a good ol´ boy scout saying for you. oh, speaking of boy scouts, there were two at that activity I told you about, but their uniforms were WAY WEIRD. They wore like balloon pants like clowns and they apparently learn dances as part of their program. It was interesting for sure.

Anyway, I love you all and hope everything continues to go well! Viva Messi! Viva Argentina! çiao!

Elder Tyson Gibbons :)

PS--Oh and the Spanish is coming along just fine. I don´t speak as much as I wish I could, but everyone in my district keeps telling me I know way more than they did when they came. So that's encouraging! I´ll just keep working!  And no, I haven´t played soccer with any random kids since I got here yet. Elder Day likes to be focused on work so it wouldn´t happen anyway. But it's okay, I like having things to do to keep us busy. He's a great elder.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hola de Argentina!

Hola de Argentina! ay que raro! these keyboards are weird too. I know what you mean Jalen haha
SO! it's been a week since I arrived in argentina. i'm not capitalizing anything, i keep missing the shift key haha anyway, it has been AWESOME :) so we got to buenos aires at 8:30 in the morning, an hour later than we were supposed to. all our flights monday got delayed by at least an hour. but all is well. let me just say it was really torturous to be surrounded by people watching new movies like the avengers or men in black 3 or whatever else on the plane. it was pretty hard to sleep too. i got maybe 2 hours of sleep, reminded me of the spain trip for sure! except kelly was the only one able to sleep on the planes that trip it seems, haha lucky :) but yeah, guess who we found in the dallas airport????? well about 40 other missionaries, but elder johnson and hardy were there too! that was a great reunion. we all just sat and talked about our experiences in san diego and albuquerque. it was awesome. we all really enjoyed our first transfer, but were way excited to finally be in argentina.
in buenos aires we took a bus, a really nice bus by the way, to the buenos aires national airport which was right on the beach! it was cool. but the ocean was just straight brown. kinda gross haha. and we stopped at the temple!!!! it was beautiful. they´ve totally changed it from the old pictures, it's got two more wings almost tripling its size, and there are new young trees all over, plus the mtc down there was right next to it. lucky them! so we took some pictures and then picked up some of the native elders. Elder abad, elder correa, elder ayala, and elder alfaro were the four who came to mendoza with us. they are aewsome! i feel bad that i couldn't talk as much with them as i usually would. oh well. eventually one day i'll see them again at a meeting and be able to talk. we all got really close though, me, elder braithwaite, johnson, hardy, chipman, wright, egbert, and the four natives. we were all super excited. in the buenos aires airport though we ate our first meal in argentina.... pizza! just crust, a little sauce, and enough cheese to make you feel sick. but it was a blessing compared to the plane food haha, that's for sure! and me, elder johnson, hardy, and braithwaite just sat and told stories from our areas. hahahahah man..... i wish i could just bring elder hardy home for a day and let him tell his stories. we were dying of laughter for the three hours we sat at that table. then we finally got to go to our gate and waited another hour before our flight left. that flight was really comfortable, one of the smoothest i've ever been on, and they gave us this weird box thing for the snack. but it had an alfajor int it! my first experience with an alfajor here. i love them haha! make sure you go to that argentine restaurant whenever you get the chance, although i haven't had a single empanada yet! But that's okay, the food is still delicious.
So we got to mendoza too late to eat at the mission president's home, so they ordered pizza again for us, the same exact pizza as before. and they just kept feeding us. i probably ate 15 pieces. i was stuffed. then we slept at the office elders pench (not a real word, it's short for pension). (wow, this cyber cafe plays american music. i'm listening to "somebody that i used to know," making me REALLY miss BYU and all my roommates and friends haha. dang argentines and their love for american music! by the way, this song reminds me of matt mostly, because we were the first ones to hear that. where is that guy?? I want to talk to him!) Anyway, we had just a lot of capacitaciones (training) the next day, got our money and binders with info and learned about the mission rules and everything, and got our companions! then we ate at the mission president's house or apartment really, but a really nice one at that, and it was so good! His son santiago who is 12 looks EXACTLY like president avila. it's awesome. and his daughters were there too and elder ence and sister ence were there, a senior couple. they're awesome-he can´t speak any spanish at all so she had to learn for them haha. anyway, then we had ice cream for dessert from Grido's, delicious! and we had a testimony meeting and it was amazing. all us gringos still could bring the spirit to this apartment as we bore our testimonies of the truths that we know, in a foreign language, simply and basically, but that's really the best way to do it. to say it how it is. it was an amazing meeting, almost ruined by bodily functions-i had to go to the bathroom so bad i was almost shaking by the end. but all ended well! we took pictures with president and sister avila, and then went back to the office pench. we woke up the next day, had one more capacitacion, then left to our areas around 1. we were taken to the terminal of buses, holy cow it was like an airport, for buses. crazy nice buses too! double deckers with the chairs turning into beds. so we waited for an hour there til about 4, then we got on a bus, and were on a bus until about 10:30 that night. thursday night. so we didn't get to our little area in San Luis province until way later. and they showed the social network on the bus, and with the sound blasting right in my ear i couldn't sleep, so i sat there and listened to the social network. never really had a big desire to see that movie, but it seemed interesting. hopefully i'm not being punished for that. i tried not to pay attention to it haha. anyway, here's the part you've been waiting for i'm sure!!!
So, i am now with Elder Day from springville utah. and.... the moment you've been waiting for...... i'm serving in....... La Ciudad de Justo Daract! :) i smile because NO ONE knows where that is. It's the smallest little town haha, on the edge of the mission by cordoba. the only way to get here is by bus, which we have to take every tuesday for district meeting, an hour drive from the district leader and the rest of our district in Villa Mercedes. but it's nice. so we live in the church! it's a house pretty much, and it's all ours except for 3 hours on sunday. it's way nice. i wish people took care of their bathrooms here, but oh well. it's still better than like an outhouse, although it's almost that bad sometimes. but we have bedays or however you spell them. i think that's just awesome :D reminds me of spain too! Eric, nick, chris, you know what i'm talking about haha, but it's definitely a change, that's for sure. i forgot they weren't going to have toilet paper very often. thankfully, the church goes all out for their buildings. haha so we´re pretty well set. we have some nasty looking spider friends living under our kitchen sink, but other than that, the place is relatively clean, just a bunch of tile that freezes every night and makes the mornings miserable! But it is pretty easy to clean. it can go both ways haha! i do miss carpet a lot though. all of you, just go lie on your carpet for five minutes today and think of me, ;)
but everything is great! we have about 20 people at church every week, and we eat lunch with president alaniz's family every friday at 1, and with hermana giordano every saturday at 1. other than that though, we don't get fed. not in this area. oh well. eventually i'll have an asado i'm sure! But the way it is here, you eat a HUGE lunch and you aren't even hungry until like 10, and that's when we're back at home, so it works out good. we made a really good lunch yesterday, made chicken like orange chicken from panda express (did i ever mention i miss panda express a lot?), and it was pretty good. but it was pineapple. but hey, i'm good with whatever food whenever i'm starving. i'm not picky anymore, you can't afford to be! mom i'm sure you're glad to hear that haha, and anyone else who has eaten with me before.
but the work here is crazy. it's definitely different than my last area in la cueva east ridge and bear canyon. we had lower numbers there, but people were usually pretty solid. here it's the exact opposite. our whole town is like a ghetto basically, and the people aren't super well off of course. but we talk to everyone and have super high numbers of new investigators and lessons, but then it's just hard to get people to keep committments. there are ups and downs to every place. but i do love it here. i just have one complaint... there are no mountains ANYWHERE: we´re in the middle of the plains. i hate it haha, i want mountains! but the people here are awesome. we talk to a lot of kids, and all the kids know us as Elder!! and we hear them scream that everywhere we walk. oh yeah, we walk everywhere. haha there's a change i knew was coming. my shoes are so dirty just after two days. a car (in Albuquerque) was a blessing for sure. but it's good exercise. so we talk to a lot of children and teach them actually, but we can never get the parents to be involved. but we are praying and working hard to get that to happen. it will happen eventually! i want to try and implement that family mission plan here too, i think the members would be a big help. there are only about 20 active members, but the ward roster has, oh, probably 90. it's crazy, we see people and we're just like-oh there's one of our less actives. oh there's another one. they're ALL OVER. it's crazy. we're working on it though.
elder day and i get along really well, and even though i may not say much at the moment, it's slowly coming. i can understand basically everything everyone says, until they speak to me haha, and even sometimes then i understand, i just can't come up with an anwswer right away yet. but it's coming, i've seen improvement just in the last three days. i really have. thank goodness that we have the spiritual gifts like gift of tongues. it's such a blessing, i need it that's for sure! But i'm eternally grateful that the Lord has blessed me with at least this amount of being able to understand. i know it will just keep growing as i work for it, and trust me, i'm wokring for it! i can't work without it! Anyway, things are going great here. only been here for 3 days, walked through the entire town probably 4 times, and i'm sore, tired, and exhausted, but most importantly i'm satisfied. i'm completely happy because i love it down here, and i already love the people. they´re great. they're so much nicer than in the states. you say hola or ciao to everyone you walk by, no matter what. haha in the states they're plugged into ipods or something, and you kinda just ignore each other or maybe smile. it's a lot nicer here in that regard :) so yeah, today we have some cleaning to do and some shopping, then we'll have some good appointments tonight! I'm excited for this next week.
i am really glad to hear about all these great things happening, like nathan's soccer season and kate making the a team!!! felicitaciones! :) you will do well kate, you are tall, strong, and skilled, so use that to the best of your ability. you will be a great asset to your team as long as you always give your best, remember that you're part of a thing called a TEAM, and that if you've done your best, you can walk away from every win, every loss, with no regrets. you'll do awesome, can't wait to hear about your first game! and nathan, it sounds like you're enjoying it all already, so please just keep that attitude. the times that really stunk when i was on the team were when i got frustrated or upset, which was way too much--ask anyone who talked to me after a loss, and they know. so keep the good attitude! plus you have three more years to build up even more skill and confidence, so just keep pushing through. it's the best when you can just enjoy it as you play, and not worry about it after the game or before. it took me just about my entire time playing on that team to figure it out, actually it took me longer, even during college. don't make that same mistake please. soccer is the best when you just enjoy it and love every minute of it! Just ask kelly or jalen or chris or any of my friends. they always told me that, but i didn't always listen. so listen to them! haha and me if you want. i'm just your older brother, nothing special. anyway, keep up the good work!
I'm sorry you had to miss the other reunion, but you can just think of me and we'll all be happy because i missed it too haha :) and i'm just fine! Hopefully all works out well. and you said the boat is now working--sweet!! enjoy that too. tell justin, karissa, and the kids hi for me and i love them all!
well it sounds like everything is going really well at home. i got an email from jalen too so i'll have to answer that now, but i'm glad to hear from any of you whenever you want to send something! about the mail, i can't answer all the questions at the moment, but yes you want to disguise things in a package. like the sd card could go in a stick of gum, and Elder Day said to definitely put pictures of the Virgin Mary on the package hahaha. i have no idea where to get those, but he said whenever his parents send things they do that, and he always gets it. and other elders haven't and their stuff has been opened and reclosed again. so yeah, just to be safe! and about the addresses, i'm not sure if there are two. Elder Day says to use the same for both packages and letters, the mission office address. i'll make sure though. and as for the timing, yeah i'll probably only get mail whenever one of my leaders or we go into mendoza for a meeting, because we're seriously the farthest area from mendoza. it was 7 hours on a bus haha. so yeah, i got three letters before i left mendoza, from sis glasgow, tindall, and sis eagley. they had been sent to the mtc a couple days too late so they got forwarded. kelly i didn't get anything from you, so it's obviously not down here yet. but yeah i'll probably get it in... five weeks! Let's just say i'll have stuff to look forward to at the end of each transfer haha :) i don't know how long i'll be here, but this town doesn't really have addresses... so yeah just send it to the mission office. i'll get it eventually! Anyway, there are those answers, hopefully that helps.
other than that, i've really enjoyed these three days for sure! i'm excited for five more weeks and probably more here, i just want to get the language down quickly! I speak it as much as i can, but i'm still going to improve on that even. so hopefully i´ll be adequate before i leave here, just so i can talk to these people i've already met and see almost every day. that would be great :) anyway i need to write a couple more emails, so i will finish this up now. I love you all and just remember, we really are never alone, even in the most desperate times when no one is around. i've learned that EVEN MORE being in a foreign country, and it's rough sometimes, but don´t let it get in your head. know that you always have someone there. i've never felt so alone before, but i've also never felt so comforted and loved by my Heavenly Father. I guess you have to go through the hard times to get to the best times ;) now there's a profound statement. espero que todo les vaya bien! Hasta la proxima semana (I hope everything goes well. Until next week,),
Elder Tyson David Gibbons