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