Well buen día de Argentina, de vuelta!
How is everything going? I hope it's going great for everyone, because this last week was well, FANTASTIC!! Not really for the work, that kinda took a big blow, but it was adventurous and a different schedule than normal so we loved it! So, before I get ahead of myself, I´ll answer any questions first haha because I don´t have a lot of time today. Anyway, yes I absolutely LOVED Conference weekend. I don´t know if anyone believes me when I say it, but I paid attention attentively for every single session. I know, the Lord really can perform miracles huh? :) haha but yes, I absolutely loved it. For one, I just really enjoy listening to talks now. Elder Day and yo downloaded about 20 talks from byu speeches.org and have already listened to all of them, about five times. They´re hour talks because they´re all from devotionals at BYU, but we got like 15 from Hugh B. Brown, who I first found out about from listening to the Heber J. Grant talks by Truman G. Madsen, so Dad, thank you very much. His talks are absolutely AMAZING; then we got some from Jeffrey R. Holland, one from Ezra Taft Benson, and a couple others, like David A. Bednar. So yeah, there´s one more miracle I´ve seen on my mission: I can stand listening to talks fully awake and not get tired, because I really understand that this stuff can HELP ME!!! I feel spiritually renewed and ready to work for another six weeks here in Justo Daract, with Elder Day.
So that leads to another question, transfers didn´t affect us out here in Justo at all. It's still us, and only two elders left from our district, Elder Summers and Elder Smith. I´ll miss them, you always seem to remember the elders who are there with you for your first experiences, like the MTC, Albuquerque, and first time here in Argentina. So yeah, we´ll get two new elders and Elder Daybell is now the new District Leader, which is really good because he hasn´t been anything but compañero menor for his 14 months on his mission. He´s a really good elder, he just doubts himself someimes. Don´t we all?? Heck, I know I have, sorry for the language, but it makes me cringe when I think about how much doubt I´ve had in myself just in the last 5 months! And then I realize how blessed I've been and I feel like Ammon, who rejoiced in the Lord and not in his own strength. Because I know for SURE that I have nothing to do with the accomplishments that I´ve fulfilled. It's all the Lord. And I will be extremely grateful forever for that. Anyway, Elder Day is kinda disappointed not to leave, but it's mostly because he told EVERYONE he was leaving haha and now he´s still here. It's more of an embarrassment thing. It's pretty funny. But I´m glad to be here with him still to work even harder this transfer, now that we´re both settled in pretty well.
Anyway, back to conference! My favorite talk was, well there´s a couple haha, but of course Elder Holland´s was amazing. I loved it, and I loved one of the last statements he made, I´ve made it my personal motto, because I felt the Spirit more powerfully with his one sentence than the rest of conference, which is saying a lot since it's all really spiritual. But he said, for all of them and us in the audience, "We have put our hand to the plow, and WE WILL NOT LOOK BACK, until the work of our Lord is finished." I LOVE that. I don´t know why, but everything they say seems to apply to me way more now on a mission than it did back home. That's not a good thing by any means, and it was my fault it was that way, but I am really glad I´ve realized it, even if it is what 8 years later? I absolutely loved conference. I liked President Uchtdorf´s talk in Priesthood, and I really liked D. Todd Christofferson´s talk as well. I wish I had my notes with me! I took a ton (another miracle!). But I am just really thankful to listen to it in English. Huge relief haha.
Okay I think that's about all the questions really. My Spanish is doing just fine, and I hope it improves this transfer too so I can get fully to the point where I don´t think, I just say.
Okay, on to the crazy week. SO... Monday was good, we had two FHE or NdH, well we tried two, the second kinda ended... abruptly. Long story, basically Brenda was being her normal self trying to get her way and Elder Day wasn´t going to have it, so she started swearing, even during his prayer! It blew me away, I felt so uncomfortable... I didn´t like it. So we gave a brownie to her little brother because he actually listened which was a miracle, and Elder Day walked out of the house without giving her one. So she got really mad and tried to tell on us to her mom and uncle and sister, and they had no idea what she was talking about.. blah. I don´t like talking about it, I was really uncomfortable, and it's still going on beause Brenda ignored us both times she saw us. I just wish I could talk more and try and help out. Anyway, that was Monday. So Tuesday was really good, and we had a good talk with the Tolaba family about the Book of Mormon and families, and we read a lot of scriptures, which is unusual because they usually love to talk. So we were really excited, and they invited us over for dinner on Thursday which we were SUPER stoked for. So everything was picking back up a little from Monday... and then Elder Summers calls us and asks if anyone had told us we were supposed to go to Mendoza on Wednesday! And of course, no one had, so that came as a very big suprise, to say the least. So yeah... we spent Wednesday and Thursday in Mendoza, which was AWESOME!!! It felt so different being there after being in the small city. But it was scary too, because our bus on Wed. left an hour and a half late, so we got to Mendoza at... 1. in the morning. So we walked around at 1, scared of any people who looked mysterious. It was pretty freaky, but adventurous. Then we get to the office pench finally and, no one is awake. They didn't wait for us. So we knock/bang on the door, ring the doorbell, throw rocks at all the windows, and even call the Assistants. And no one lets us in for another 30 minutes. Elder Solano lets us in finally and we end up sleeping on the porch outside the top room I stayed my first nights in Argentina, with a couple blankets each. Needless to say... it was absolutely miserable, and cold. So that was a rough night haha, then we had a good day Thursday. We went back to Mendoza for another capacitación con Presidente Ávila, with all the elders from my district who had come the same time as me! So it was a great reunion, and a really good capacitación. It was a good precursor to General Conference, seeing as how Presidente speaks like a general authority, since he used to be part of the Seventy. It was really good. Then we got another bus at 5:40 back here, and had to pay ourselves, so we tried to get the suite haha but alas, they didn´t have them. We got full cama though, instead of semi cama. WAY better. But we didn´t get home until 11:30 again, so it was rough. Friday was a normal working day, and then Saturday we headed back to Villa Mercedes for conference! It was a really good weekend, spending a lot of time with all the elders in my district, although I hated staying the night two nights in a row at their pench. It's such a gross pench. they don´t clean, so it was pretty miserable. But fun I guess! It rained again, a lot, and I didn´t have my coat, again, and I always forgot my paragua. Umbrella, that's the word in English, haha I forgot. I love that! :) Anyway, yeah that was a pretty intense weekend. We all loaded up on snacks and sat in our little classroom watching it in English. It was great. I loved every session. We were all hoping for the announcement of the Mendoza Argentina temple ;) haha but oh well, in the future! But holy cow.... MISSIONARIES AT 18 and 19!!! We were all blown away. That is so crazy. We all started talking about our little siblings and girls we knew who might go, and I didn´t really have any haha since Nathan is only 14, but it was still way cool. It was a really good experience. and I´m so stoked for Kody!!! He should talk to Kelly´s brother in law since Skyler served in Sweden too. That's way cool, he´s gonna be nice and frozen for two years, serving the Lord. Kody, good luck to you! You´ll do awesome. and sorry about the ironic announcement the day you opened it haha. Just think about it this way, the Lord was waiting until you got your call to announce the 18 year olds! You were the last 19 yr old he was waiting for ;) There you go. So yeah, I´m really curious to see how this is all going to turn out. Just like you Dad, I´m pretty worried about what people will think if any young man waits until 19 still to serve, since many do judge quickly. Hopefully people realize that although it's an obligation, it's an obligation that they have to be prepared for. I certainly didn´t feel completely prepared, but I´m glad for the time I had to get used to living away from home and everything. Anyway, yeah that is just really cool!
Well, now that we´re entering a new transfer, I´m hoping to get even more settled in and let go of any preocupaciones or whats the word.... doubts I guess? that I´ve had because I just want to get the work going here again. Hermana Alaniz found a family for us, so we´re hoping that they will turn out to be solid. We need new people to teach, because we´re both sick of dealing with all these 10 and 11 year old girls and boys, and plus we´ve been counseled that we need to stop teaching only the kids in a family. We have to teach the whole family if we can, so the Zuchini family will have to be a back up plan for a while until they realize, like you said mom, that they could really improve their lives with what we have to offer. I pray that it is soon! Since we haven´t seen Mateo for three weeks now and Gloria keeps putting us off, we really are looking for new people because we can´t keep wasting our time going over there. It's rough, but we have to focus on the people that are progressing. Hoefpully we can help them start, or we´ll have to move on. So goes life, I suppose. Anyway, especially since last week was rather unproductive with all the traveling, we hope to make this week great. Although the weather may be a bit gloomy and rainy (this is the ONLY area that rains in our mission. It's ridiculous. It's rained so much!!) we don´t mind. Maybe someone will have sympathy for us and let us in their house. Haha I wish, the people aren´t that receptive here. Yet! I´m staying optimistic.
Anyway, I need to get going, but I hope all continues to go well! I love you all, and I echo Logan´s words in an email from a few weeks ago, saying that P-days really aren´t everything I expected, there´s just not enough time for everything!!! Oh that does remind me, I got like 8-9 letters from you Mom and Dad, including all the emails printed out and some personal ones, and one letter from Kelly. That's all the mail I have recieved so far, but let me tell you, I was the happiest missionary alive when I got all those letters :) even if they were emails I have already read haha, so thank you all. The next time I get mail will probably be.... end of this transfer haha so yeah, it's rough, but it gives me something to look forward to! :)
I love you all and hope everything continues going as well or better than it is! And don´t forget all the great counsel we´ve been given from the leaders of the church this weekend. Especially my favorite from Elder Holland. We´ve put our hands to the plow, we´ve started on this eternal path to perfection and exaltation, and we´ve accepted callings or duties and responsibilities, and I pray that we all take to heart his final words, when he says we will not look back. The past is done, we may have regrets or things we want to change, but if we take advantage of that loving sacrifice of our Savior, we can get rid of those feelings and focus on furthuring ourselves personally and as families and friends in this Gospel, eventually leading to eternal joy and happiness. May we never look back (like Lot´s wife from the Bible; another talk from Elder Holland), and continue to live for today and prepare ourselves daily for tomorrow, to better ourselves and improve our weaknesses and faults. I´m so thankful for that opportunity I have here to be serving so close to the Savior and I know I´ve improved myself and bettered myself, and I hope we can all continue to do so.
I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know He loves each and every one of us so much and wants the best for us! As President Monson stated, "The Savior is in every detail of our lives." I know that is true, and I know that we will be happy eternally if we continue to follow the guidelines He gives us, because He knows what we are to become. Let's not be like Peter who went back to his nets once the Savior was crucified; keep pushing forward and be who He knows you can be! Of course, we need to rely on Him to do so, because we are all imperfect, I know that very personally because that is me for sure. But through Him, we can do anything. I love you all, and I know the Savior loves each one of you as well. Until next week! Que te vaya bien,
Elder Tyson David Gibbons
P.S. Thank you for the pictures Mom! I promise eventually I´ll figure out a way to send pictures, it's just hard having a crappy ciber here. Don´t worry, I´m using my camara plenty! Oh and again that reminds me, can you send me a nice sweater? This one I got from an elder in the MTC is falling to shreds. So yeah.. that would be nice. A nice solid color one would be fine! Thank you very much. Sorry I am probably just making this package cost a ton, you can wait on any that aren´t urgent! I love you!