Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 27, 2012

At the mission border--after a LONG hike
Familia Alaniz
Familia Tolaba
Elder Rogers with the Thanksgiving feast:  empanadas...
 ...and ice cream!
And not just any ice cream...Guido's ice cream!

 The Christmas stash

Disculpen! Un día tarde, pero todovia estoy viviendo :)

Como andan todos? Ojalá que todo haya sido buenísimo esta semana pasada.
So, para empezar... I´ll stop talking in Castellano. Sorry, I´ve just been talking so much in Castellano this last week that I´ve truly hit the point where half the words I can´t think of in English so I say them in Castellano. Plus, with Elder Rogers, we have a goal this tranfer to only speak Castellano en las calles, pero he visto (yikes.. sorry this is hard) I have noticed that I say things weird now, but I´ve noticed that we still come into the chapel and speak Spanish most of the night as well. But hey that's definitely not a bad thing! I´ve talked so much because, well, Elder Rogers isn´t a talker really. He´s great, don´t get the wrong impression, he just tells everone he doesn´t talk much. So, I do about 10 times more talking than I did with Elder Day, and I feel very independent. I LOVE IT. :)
Alright, I have another list of things to mention of course, or else it would all forget itself... that doesn´t sound right. Sorry I´m just typing fast because we have appointments that we really want to get to tonight so I´m going quick. First off, Thanksgiving!! Yes mom, you were right, it was just any other day. We actually forgot it was Thanksgiving until about halfway through the day. So, for lunch we attempted to make philly cheesesteak empanadas again, but the carnicería was closed so we got frozen hamburger patties and used them so.. it didn´t come out fantastically. I think I got that word from Jalen, so blame him if it's not right haha. And then at night we each got a 1/4 kilo of helado from Grido´s. Which will be in the pictures I´m sending today. It was pretty good. I´m just glad we got to do at least something small and special like you recommended us, dad. Ice cream and empanadas. Plus it was our first day together as a companionship, and things went really well. We had a huge weekly planning session because I filled him in on all the people we have, but it was necessary to get caught up. So we went out and worked for a couple hours, and it was hard to find anyone. But, we talk to a lot more people so in the future I see some good things coming!
Alright, the next big tema. Stake Conference! We had that this last Sunday, and it was AWESOME. We all made it to San Luis just in time, even though things kept popping up, and the two sessions we went to were really good. Elder Guerra from the Seventy was there speaking to the adults the first session, and then Presidente Ávila and Hermana Ávila were present of course. So during the general session we heard from the Stake President, President and Hermana Ávila, and Elder Guerra. It was a really good meeting. I got pages of notes... and of course I just realized I left them all at the capilla. Sorry. But, it was really good! We saw all the elders in San Luis, all the new ones and old ones I´ve already met. It was a good day. A really long day. We didn´t get home until about 7, and so we only got about an hour and a half of work done. But it was good. We got mail at conference, which I hadn´t even thought about. And guess what? I got both the other packages. (I checked my email today, and I got charged for one of them... I dunno how they determine that?? But this one was 160.44) Everyone was just awestruck, including me. Oh yeah, by the way the four Hermanas in San Luis want you to send them a a package now, since they haven´t gotten any packages for a while. I told them I would tell you. So there I told you haha :) They´re all from down here, whether Peru or Argentina, I think maybe Chile. Anyway, so we got some sandwiches from the Presidente Alaniz and we ate upstairs with Elder McBride (father (trainer) of Elder Chipman from my group) and Elder Hone. We had a good talk for about 2 hours. But one thing I really liked about conference was all the emphasis they put on families. Elder Guerra gave almost his whole talk on family. In my studies I´ve been studying about that, so I´ve been reading in Doctrine and Covenants sections 68, 83, and 93 about families and the duties of parents and children. I´ve really been studying better this past week thanks to Elder Rogers and the other elders here in our district who instituted the Villaract Desafío, which is a list of all the little important things we do everyday, and we have to checkmark each that we complete and mark each that we don´t, so whoever has the most at the end of the transfer gets a prize. It's really jumpstarted my schedule. I wasn´t disobedient before, but I´ve definitely been more focused so far, and it's really helped all the lessons we have had so far. I don´t know what it is, but all the lessons we´ve had with our investigadores have been way better, more spiritual and more than nada, we´ve taught together. I think that has a lot to do with it.

Anyway, so this last week we had great lessons with Mateo, and we set a new fecha for him and are helping him quit drinking again. Have I mentioned him recently? We finally found him again and he´s drunk a few times, but he still has all the desire to do what's right, and we taught him a really good lesson on the Spirit and its function as our constant companion, and just testified to him that we know the Spirit is one of the greatest gifts God has given to His imperfect children to help them return to Him. So this week we´re teaching him the Palabra de Sabiduría again and getting him to church!!! That's what he is missing more than anything. Anyway, we also had the best visit with the Familia Tolaba. They opened up more than they ever did when I passed by before, and we have an appointment with them tonight that we really want to make it to of course. So I just asked them last time what their thoughts were on the church, and if they had any doubts or questions. And we found out about a few doubts, and that's what we´re going to focus on. We teach people, not lessons! If those are their needs, then those are our focuses in teaching. So we really hope to see really serious progress with them soon. We just want to get to be their friends, get their trust, and keep testifying and teaching and bringing the Spirit to their lives. That's what we do, and that's why it's SOOOO important that we do everything we have to to keep that Spirit within us. It says in the Doctrine & Covenants, if you don´t have the Spirit, DON¨T TEACH. NO ENSEÑAREIS. It's that important. No matter our talents or knowledge or capability at teaching, no one will ever be converted without the Spirit. Nefi testifies of the same thing in the end of his record in 2 Nefi 33:1.

Anyway, that's been my experience this last week. I´ve really felt more comfortable with speaking, and I´ve spoken more than ever and people have noticed. Not all because of my speaking skill, mostly because I talk more since Elder Rogers doesn´t like to talk really. Haha but either way, I still know I´ve been really blessed. I still don´t know even close to everything, so I´m just going to keep speaking and keep learning.
As for the last week with a new companion, it's been fantastic! We get along really well. The only problem we have... is not with each other. It's with the fridge!!! Haha :) So yeah we stilll don´t have that fixed and the members haven´t come through in the last three weeks still with trying to help us out. So both of us tall skinny kids with huge appetites are starving basically. Haha so yeah while we´re on that topic of you feeling sorry for me... I´m really glad to read in your email that it's okay if I buy groceries on the card that amount up to the amount I´ve spent on the packages because that's what I did today. I spent 215 pesos on food for the next three weeks because the last three weeks, with Elder Day never eating anything, I´ve been hungry constantly. And I always ate enough at members' houses with Elder Day because he always refused seconds, but now we both could eat three plates but they still make the same amount of food. So we´re still adjusting... it's just really hard without a fridge! I haven´t had a cold drink in 3 weeks, including milk, and we don´t have anything that is perishable since we don´t have the thing that keeps it from perishing. So please excuse my spendings that I did without asking! But that's funny how close that adds up to how much the packages have cost. Anyway, thank you very much! Also on the topic of Christmas, I bought myself a pillow at Carrefour today too. I´ve been sleeping very poorly the last month or so, I don´t know why. But I bought a new pillow which should help, because the one I had before was just solid and uncomfortable. I´m going to bring it with me throughout the rest of my mission though, and leave the other one there, hence I spent 171 pesos on the pillow. That if anything was a waste of your money, but I promise I will pay you back sometime! Or you can count that as $40 dollars worth of that money you gave me for Christmas. Either way, I apologize and hope it wasn´t a big blow or shock. But just know I won´t be starving for the next while!! :) That's really the only reason I used my card.
Okay, moving on haha I have a little pile of Christmas goodies, including some of the food I bought today, saved in the corner of my room waiting for Christmas. I was really tempted to open one of the packages or both before Christmas because I was starving, but now I can save them. Thank goodness! We found out that the Christmas parties for the mission will be the 20 and 21 of December, so we´re really excited about that! But we still haven´t figured out the Skype thing. There´s a cyber in Villa Mercedes with a webcam, and since no one here has one we can use, we´re going to try and go there. Hopefully it works out, because I am NOT going to be super satisfecho if I just have to talk with voice and not see my family and such for the first time in 7 months! So we´ll be letting you know about that next week at the latest. I´m going to figure out with the Skype account as well, but what Jalen said in his email might be the best thing to do! So I´ll let you know next week.
Alright, enough about me! I´m glad to hear all these great things going on, and sad to hear about Great Grandma! I´m glad I got to say goodbye to her before I left. I have no doubt that she is ready to move on, but she will definitely be in my prayers. I´m glad mostly everyone got to see her before. I´m also glad that Nathan is going to show off his basketball skills today, or probably already has! And Kate, I´m proud of you for playing soccer :) Play more soccer for me since I still haven´t played much here. Just the one time!! (And mom, Elder Rogers isn´t a soccer player either... so I´m just going to be patient. As much as possible. ) Just give it all you got and don´t get discouraged. They told us in the MTC NEVER to get discouraged, but disappointment is alright as long as it's the motivation to improve. That's one thing I have to say about soccer. I let myself get discouraged a lot. Just get up, forget about it and move on whenever something happens, and just have FUN!!! I really miss just the fun and relaxing feeling I would get when I´d mess around. Just enjoy it. And don´t let Coach Ogaard get in your head too much ;P
About Elder Genem, I would tell him but he left Saturday before transfers, so I´m probably never going to see him again. I hope he realizes the blessings that would come from serving a full mission! I wish him the best.
And also about the package I got first, yes all of that stuff was in there too. I got everything. There´s just no food left besides the jar of peanut butter that I´m protecting more preciously than Gollum protected the Ring. Haha sorry random reference but, that's how much it means to me right now. The things you take for granted....
Anyway, I need to be finishing up, but I hope you all enjoy this wonderful Christmas holiday spirit of December! (Especially the cold factor...) (Christmas holiday season has officially started since Thanksgiving is over :D) Remember the reason for this season, it's not about getting, that's for sure. It's all about giving, and being more Christlike. Because that's what He did, was give ALL of Himself, to every person He met, and for the rest of the world, to people that lived before and after. Just think about that. We need to give all that we have if we want to truly be like Him. I hope to do even more of that than I have these next 5 weeks. I´m excited to get more into the work and hopefully bring some soul closer to Christ in their life! What greater joy is there than bringing a loved one to enjoy the same blessings as you for eternity? I don´t think it gets better than that. Nothing could ever compare.
I love you all! I hope that things go well with the end of the first semester of school soon and that any activities going on will go smoothly and turn out wonderful! I´m excited for all of your endeavors and hope that you always remember to include the Lord in everything, because if everything we do includes the Lord, then nothing is going to fail. Food for thought :)
Hasta la próxima vez! Con mucho amor,

Elder Tyson David Gibbons

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012

¡Buenos días de Villa Mercedes! (the cyber here is better, so that's why we´re here)
Well hello everyone! Wow this week has been ridiculously crazy. I can´t belive it's almost Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you enjoy it and eat really good food, a lot of it at that, and think of me down here eating whatever we can find haha :) I´m sure we´ll probably just go get Grido´s or something to celebrate the night. Maybe buy an alfajor that I haven´t tried before. Just something creative! I always loved Thanksgiving. Enjoy it for me!!!!
Anyway, so news on transfers... I am still in Justo Daract! That makes it easy right? Elder Day is gone, however. He is going to San Jose, Guaymallen, Mendoza, his old area basically. So he´s extremely excited! He will be with Elder Braithwaite from my MTC district! My new companion is Elder Rogers, coming from Caucete, San Juan, another small area like Justo Daract. He was with Elder Hardy from my district in the MTC, so that's pretty interesting all those coincidences. I´m way excited. I hope we can get some work going again in Justo Daract. And keep up what has been going on! I will definitely have to work harder this transfer. I guess Elder Rogers has had trouble with the language his whole time here and doesn´t like to talk much... So I might be speaking a lot. Which is good for me! Makes me try harder that's for sure. So yeah, that is the news on transfers! They´re taking out four elders from Villa Mercedes, so now all of the Elders in Villa Mercedes, which is now only 4 instead of 8, are in the district with us in Justo Daract. So my new district is now Elder Rogers and me, Elder Daybell with Elder Ashby, and Elder Tingey and Elder Cornejo. It will be interesting! Lots of new changes. Oh yeah, and Elder Tingey´s name is spelled with an "e" too so maybe there´s a relation?? And also Elder Daybell is from California... I´ll ask him about Sister Burgess. I can´t remember where in California. I just know his name is Elder John Daybell. I´ll figure that out and let you know.
So, with the big news over, how is everything else going back home? I¨m sure it's all just great. Same here! Besides the little things that really don´t matter, things are going good. Life is possible without a fridge, I NEVER would have thought it possible! It's been rough, but we´ve survived. :) Things just don´t matter like that when you just go out and work. It makes the time go by so much better and you are happier! I guess that's one thing I´ve really noticed this last week. I did divisions on Tuesday with Elder Genem, and had to speak Spanish the whole time. But there wasn´t a single minute that went by that we weren´t talking, so I took that as a good sign! I found out all about him, and I´m way excited that he´s out here doing a mini mission. I had NEVER heard of that before. I guess it mostly just happens down here?? Anyway, since he´s almost 26 it's too late to go out on a mission so I think he´s just going to do this mini mission. But I hope he learned a lot and that he had really good experiences! Anyway, then Wednesday I was with Elder Tingey and the other two elders in the Hipolito area, but it was a bit complicated. We got the really good lunch, SOOO MUCH FOOD. But we got there really late, and didn´t finish until about 5:30, then we went to the chapel for Consejo de Barrio, but no one was there at 6:30 so we headed back to the pension. It took us about 25-30 minutes to get back there, so much walking, and then Elder Tingey packed and we caught a bus at 9 back to Justo Daract so we could get a whole day of work in here. Since we didn´t do much work in Villa, I was glad to get out and work! As much as people think it's great being back at the pench not doing anything, it's so much better when you just get out and teach and talk to people and work. There´s no better way to spend the time. Anyway, so me and Elder Tingey roamed the streets of Justo Daract on Thursday and got some good work done. Elder Tingey and Elder Cahoon his companion got 63 references contacted in one week. That is INSANE. So we did some contacting, and it helped me realize how easy it really is. President Avila said there was no such thing as a trucho reference, and Elder Tingey understands that perfectly. We just go wherever we got a name and knock and just try. That's all we do as missionaries, we just try the people, and if they accept, great, if they don´t, we move on. It's hard sometimes, but we still do it because everyone will get the chance some day.
Anyway, Elder Tingey is from Idaho Falls, and he knew Elder Romrell from my MTC district, so we had some good talks about that. He´s the funniest person I´ve ever met. And yet he´s still a really good missionary. It's hard to find the people who are loveable, but also get out and work. Usually it's one or the other sadly. So I learned a lot with those three days with other Elders. And since I had to be the one in charge, it gave me some good preparation for the new transfers happening this week, since I´ll be showing someone around the great town of Justo Daract for the next 6 weeks! I´m way excited!!! It's sad to see Elder Day go, but it's always good to start over and meet some new people, learn new things. I ´ve definitely learned my share so far. I just want to learn more!!
Oh about last Monday, yeah it was a miserable week weather-wise as well. That's one week I just wanted to work, because when we´re sitting back at the pension we were just burnt and miserable. The sunburn is just now going away, although I do have a bit more of a bronze look ;) So that's all cool with me. Not sure it was worth the pain... guess I´ll never learn. But anyway, we did a lot of walking Monday because we walked to the sign where it said Provincia de Cordoba. So basically since we´re right on the border, we walked 4 hours in the hot midday sun to get pictures at the Cordoba/San Luis border. It was cool, no one else has a picture like that. But the burn was not worth it at all. It was a good day, spending time with some other elders instead of being here alone by ourselves, but still pretty painful for the rest of the week. But yeah, the pain was just the heat and the burn after. My feet are doing fine. What does bother me is the stupid blisters I´m getting on the fronts of my toes. They don´t bother me until the shower though, so I can survive throughout the day haha :) So all is well, don´t need to worry about anything mom :)
So yes, my package made it just fine!! Thank you a TON!!!!! I think it had been opened by the Argentine mail system since they usually check, but nothing was gone. That was a clever little gum trick, I´m impressed. But yeah, I got the batteries, the toothpaste, the duct tape, the nutter butters (which as of today are gone), the reese´s, the peanut butter, and the letter from Sister Eagley. I think that was all? Besides the gum and sd card. If not, they probably took it. And yes I got all those letters, and I read them all on the bus ride home haha. Sorry dad I don´t have the fortitude to hold back and save them for a day cada una. I read all the emails and got caught up on the progress with Chris and Logan and Jalen. I love gettting their emails, since we rarely have time to actually communicate besides that. So thank you for sending those too! The only thing about packages is that I get charged for them too. Quite a bit. I didn´t know that they charged us, but I got an email saying "you have your package! That will cost $150.45 pesos." So that got charged to my account. I´m glad I hadn´t taken all my money from my account, or I´d be in trouble! Anyway, I guess packages just have to come at a good time. Hopefully these next two arrive in December so they don´t completely wipe out my funds for the rest of this month. I don´t know how much they´ll cost me, so I will just wait and see I guess! But still, thank you for sending them!!!
And about the package I´ve been trying to send... I don´t know if it's going to get sent in time to get home for Christmas. I don´t have enough money for food and travel and sending that home, since we´ve traveled a lot this month already. :/ So hopefully I can get some stuff sent home soon! It might be next month though. I was just going to include some little random things. But I´m sorry if that's disappointing to anyone! What are you going to get for Harrison besides the little things I´ve found? I think that's what he´ll get on Christmas Day. Sorry for any inconvenience :/ And yeah we have a little mini dvd player like the one Kate has, I´m sure it would play CD´s. Why?? Haha well I guess it doesn´t matter too much haha but yes, I have at least one way to play it. And if not, the elders in Villa have a nicer dvd player with usb hook ups and everything. So I´ll figure it out somehow. If you send me a cd... ? Guess I´ll just wait and see haha.
Alright, so I saved the bad news for last. D___ and his "wife" told us Monday night when we went back that they had malas noticias para nosotros. So basically they told us they were going to stay with their religion. But it was really complicated because he believed the Book of Mormon was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that our church was true. But that showed us, or at least me, that we neeed to teach in a manner so they understand that if it's true, then there are steps they have to take to make convenios and things like that. But they didn´t understand it... they said they believed our church was the true church, but that they believed theirs was too, and they didn´t want to change anything because it would be hard. We tried SOOO hard to get them to understand that if ours was true, and if they wanted these blessings we´d promised, there were steps they had to take. Sadly, they just didn´t understand as well as we had thought. :/ So it was a really rough week having dropped them, but we´ve managed still! Sadly no one has come to church still, so there´s something I need to change this next transfer. I´ve been thinking about it nonstop, it's plaguing my mind, which is good. It keeps me focused on what they need, and not what I want. That's the important thing in life really. We are always happier when we are thinking about others, not ourselves.
Other than that, there´s no such thing as bad news! It's just a sad realization of the truth, and we have it happen to us so much. So it's just a hard thing at first, but we just keep them in our thoughts and hope someday things will change. I will have to say there is nothing more humbling I´ve done on my mission so far than what I did that night, after 2 hours of trying to convince these people of what they needed to do. I´ve never felt so humbled as I knelt down and prayed to my Heavenly Father, who knows those people infinitely more than I do, and praying for THEM, for their family, for their future, and completely forgetting myself, and asking for forgiveness for the lack on my part in teaching them, and helping them understand. It's moments like that that really stick out, and I know it's going to be one of the main learning experiences I´ll remember from my mission so far. I felt like Heber J. Grant in those prophet talks who always knelt down and said he humbled himself for his arrogance, or his prideful thoughts or vain wishes. That's how I felt that night. I´m glad for the experience, I´m glad for what I have learned, and I hope that I can learn and improve and not have to go through something like that again.
Well, these next two days are going to be pretty crazy! I´m going to spend all of Wednesday in Villa Mercedes again waiting for Elder Rogers to show up from San Juan, the furthest area in the mission from the offices besides Justo Daract. So that will be fun! I´m excited though. Things are going to be great! :) I´m excited to start working and improve my teaching and my work ethic, because that's one thing I thought I had before the mission, but now realize I had NONE. Anyone preparing to go on a mission, just prepare yourself for the shock, because it's going to happen no matter what you do! I thought I knew how to work, and what it was going to be like. It's still a shock, but the sooner you get past that shock, the faster you become better as a missionary. Remember that! I´m starting to get over the shock, and I have no problem talking to people, teaching, walking around all day, forgetting everything that I want or need and giving it all to Him. If anything, the moral of this email would be to forget about yourself and serve others. No matter what you´re doing in life right now, I can promise and testify that you will be even happier if you forget about yourself and your wants and worries and desires and give some time to others. It's a truly rewarding experience that requires more than just about anything else, since the natural human being wants to be surrounded by the best of everything possible. It's the natural tendency and desire. But how much better do you feel when you forget about that and focus on others! That's the joy of Thanksgiving, the joy of the holiday spirit, especially Christmas. Forget about yourself, and give of your own time to others who may not be as fortunate as you. You´ll be eternally more grateful for the smiles and tears and thanks you see and receive while you serve them than you would be looking at yourself smile in the mirror because you just got the newest toy, the coolest gadget, the sportsy-est car, the most recognition for something. That happiness does not last for more than a moment. If you want true happiness, just listen to what I´ve said, or what my brother or Chris or Logan have said, and mix it all up and do it. I´m for sure the least powerful person to speak and tell people what to do, I´d give all three of them a better score than me, but take a little bit of each one, and I am positive you´ll find what will truly make you happy in life. Just a suggestion from me to all you loved ones. From friend to friend.
Well we need to get going, we have some things to do since we´re going to be having a crazy time this week! I love you all and hope you continue on doing as well and better at whatever stage you may be at in your life! Thank you for all the mail and prayers as well that I´ve received and felt. Keep on working hard, whatever you may be doing. And I can promise that if you forget yourself and give your time and your efforts to others, you will be blessed in all other aspects of your own life. But only if you do it for others, not if you do it for the blessings at the end. Enough wise words from me, I´ll let you all go and continue with your lives. Maybe think about me once in a while down here in tiny Justo Daract and that will be all I need to get by for now. :) Hasta la próxima vez!
Chau, con amor y con fuertes abrazos,
Elder Tyson David Gibbons

Monday, November 12, 2012

¿Qué tal familia y amigos?

¿Qué tal familia y amigos?
I´ll apologize for the opening. I´ve just heard it a thousand times this week from people. They taught us it means what´s up in the MTC, but here it's more like what the old people say to you when they don´t want to talk to you. Haha I´m not saying it with those same feelings!! :)
Anyway, I´m glad you enjoyed the pictures. I´ll send them every once in a while from now on. But tonight we only have an hour in cyber so we want to get out and work so we´re prepared for Dario again tonight. It's been an interesting p-day so far, Elder Cahoon from Elder Day´s MTC district and his companion Elder Tingy came to Justo Daract, and we just did a lot of walking. I´m fried :/ it's really uncomfortable. Haha but I´ll survive. Until tomorrow, when we have to go to San Luis again for a zone meeting, not the zone conference though. Anyway, that will be rather uncomfortable! Then we might be doing divisions tomorrow too, with me and Elder Genem, the mini missionary, which would be interesting. I´d have to speak Spanish every minute of the day. But if not, we´ll stay in San Luis. Then Elder Day and Elder Cahoon are going to Mendoza on Wednesday so they won´t be back until Thursday night, so I´m going to be working with Elder Tingy for those two days. It's going to be sweet. He´s pretty famous in the mission just because he´s so funny. It´ll be a good two days. We´re thinking of working in his area Wednesday and then Justo Daract Thursday. But we´ll see I suppose! So that's the crazy last week of the transfer eh? And Friday is hump day! I can´t believe it. It's gone by sooo fast. Yet really slow too haha. Depends on the day and weather.
Oh and that one elder in the picture is Elder Allred, he was Assistant when I got here, then he left last transfer. And yes, my hair was really short because Elder Day cut it. But it has since grown back enough so I´m not complaining. Next time though, I´m going to Señora Tolaba. haha
Wow a lot happened this last week! That's really good though. Yes I heard about the elections, since Elder Day loves to talk about them. But whenever politics got brought up I just kinda lost focus and the people always noticed too. So I just tell them I HATE politics. And I don´t like how it gets brought up at just about every single house we go to. But I think you should just study and ponder and pray for who is best, and support whoever it is. But it's over now. So that's good! Haha I´m glad Warren finally made it! He´lll be a lot bigger when I see him that's for sure. And President Monson is goingto be at the cultural celebration???????? That's so cool!!!!!!!! I wish I could be there. I love that man. I´m glad Nathan is listening to talks from him and others too. They´re a really good way to end the day, that's for sure.
Logan is in the MTC huh? That's so crazy. I´ll keep him in my prayers, those are about all that got me through the first couple crazy days haha. That and good district friends and zone leaders. Hopefully he has an abundance of those as well. And I´m glad to hear about all the girls going on missions! It's going to be a totally different experience from now on, with people going right out of high school and everything.
Well I just got the email today saying I have the first package, so that took a while! But I´ll get it next week since the zone leaders already got my 15 letters or algo así for the zone meeting tomorrow. The zone leaders called Elder Daybell and he called me just to tell me that I had about15 letters. So really, thank you everyone who sent me something! It made my night, that's for sure. And now I have a package in the offices, and two more?? I´m spoiled. Thank you very much. There are elders here that don´t get anything ever. I´m really lucky. Haha I´m going to try to get a pacakage sent in the next couple weeks too. I don´t really know what to put in it since there´s not much to send, but I´ll come up with something!
Brian Buckner is getting married this Thursday? Wow that's crazy. I remember seeing him and Brandt in the MTC when I was there. Now he´s getting married. That's great, tell him congratulations for me! Or whatever you say when someone gets married. I´ve never really been to one haha.
The weather has really been getting crazy. Last Wednesday was SOOOOO hot. I think it was 38 degrees celsius. And then Thursday was 35. Those days killed us, we were so exhausted. Yet I got burned worse today than those two days... weird. Then this morning, I was FREEZING. I don´t know what was going on. But it was really cold. It doesn´t help that Elder Day has a really big blanket so he makes the room absolute zero everynight haha. It's definitely just a humbling and patience building experience when things like that come up. I´ve learned a lot from that anyway. It's definitely making me a better person, so I´m grateful for whatever comes my way.
Anyway, we had a really good lesson with D___ and his girlfriend for the first time together last Friday. It went really well, and we´re going by again tonight too. We had a good lesson about the plan of salvation, and they are both really intelligent so they have really good questions. Like, REALLY good questions. The questions basically show that they´ve been prepared and it's almost like they´re teaching themselves, which is how it should be. There is really good potential with them, we hope this visit will be just as good. They´re great. They aren´t married but they were planning on it before we met them, they´re just really good people. We hope to continue on with them! As for the others, most of our people seriously just lack coming to church. It's the hardest thing to do here for sure, since it's at 9:30 am and all the way by the Ruta out of town. So we still haven´t gotten anyone to come. M___ still hasn´tcome as well, and that's all he´s faulting. Or was faulting. He has started drinking again, but we´re really working with him. Except the last four days we went by every day and found his house in the same condition, and we don´t know what happened :/ Last time we saw him he left to go answer the phone and find out if he has cancer or not... I hope that has nada que ver con what has happened since. Hopefully we find him again! :/ Everyone else just needs to come to church. Hna Alaniz came up to me after church yesterday and just grabbed my hand and kept asking me if I remembered what I said in my prayer at their house Saturday, and I think I remembered, so she just said good, remember that prayer, because it happened Elder. What you prayed for happened after you left! So that taught me some good lessons too. To pray with faith. To be sincere! And that God does answer prayers!!!!! :) I have no idea what exactly happened, except that she had her mom, A___, over to eat when we were there, and we have been teaching A___ for awhile. So yeah, hopefully something happened with her! I can testify of the power of prayer, that will never be a doubt for me. That's one thing I love about the mission. I feel like I´ve increased my testimony more than any single person I´ve taught so far. And that's just en acuerdo with the statement "The best conversion of your mission will be your own." I know that's true. And it's what I want! Teaching all these blessings of the Gospel has given me an even stronger burning desire to do everything I can to receive that with my family one day.
So I have another suggestion for you to look up, talks-wise. It's definitely not on but it's really good. The guy's name is Bob Richards, and he´s a motivational speaker. He´s THE motivational speaker. I guess the last president of the mission made a CD with all these motivational talks from this guy and gave them to the elders. They are all really good, pretty similar, always include sports, but they are really good at what they are for, motivating! There´s a quote that I wanted to share from his talk we listened to Sunday morning. Basically he´s talking about us as humans, being children of God, and he starts with some random athlete whose dad told him everyday, "God loves the winner!!!" Which motivated this kid to do great things. But Bob Richards expanded, "Of course God loves the winner. He also loves the loser. He loves everyone, we´re all His children!!!" He goes on to say that God made each of us with the potential to do anything and everything we want, we´re His greatest creation, with all the emotions and energies and material of the earth, the galaxy, the billions of universes, all of it is found in us. then he gave this statement, "We are programmed for VICTORY." God made us so we could succeed, we could be victorious, in whatever aspect of our lives we want to be. Of course, I thought of it in the gospel sense, being a missionary and all, and I just got hit with emotion thinking that I, an imperfect and struggling human, mortal, wandering child of God, was programmed for victory. Not for last second defeat, not for shortcoming in life, but for VICTORY. And what is the victory in this life?? To do everything we can so we receive everything He has in store for us in the next. There is nothing out there that should stop us, because we are born victors! We know Satan won´t succeed in the end, so why give him the victory for even a minute? An hour? A night? Whatever temptation you may face, as we all do, step back and think about it. You have a divine origin, made by the power of the Almighty God, and he has invested in you the power and will and might to be a victor. I have a better eternal perspective right now then I EVER have had in my life, even being a member of this church and hearing it my whole life. We are MEANT to be victorious, what else would our loving Heavenly Father want for us? It seems so simple, yet I just now really thought about it. That's the importance of taking time to really contemplate the things of God. Next time you are faced with a defeat, or a downfall, or a temptation, remember your divine origin, your divine purpose in this life, and remember that YOU are programmed for VICTORY. I can´t even describe this talk enough to get the same motivational power, you have to listen to this guy Bob Richards. It's worth the search, I promise you! Anyway, that is my speech for today. :) Sorry for all my speeches, by the way. I just really like all the stuff I´m learning, and I want to share it of course!

Well this next week is looking pretty interesting, with us being fridge-less and the weather and all the crazy traveling. But I´ll do everything I can to make it the best week yet, of course! Elder Day is probably leaving, so he is not worried about it, but I need a fridge!!!! But with all the traveling, that little aspect shouldn´t be a big deal! I heard on Wednesday Elder Tingy has a really good lunch setup, so I´ll be eating well Wednesday that's for sure :) :) So that makes for a content missionary! No worries there. Anyway, I hope all goes well for you this week, and I hope you come out the victor in whatever challenge you are faced with! I´m struggling just as much as you, but I can promise that prayers are powerful, and are always answered in the best way possible for us. So don´t give up! Haha a Josh Groban song just popped up in my head, "Don´t Give Up.." It's a really good song. Listen to that if you´re having a rough week or day! Haha oh the random things that can make your day so much better. I love you all! Keep on keepin on! Life is full of victories for us, just make sure you´re doing your part to reach them! Keep the optimistic outlook on everything, it helps a lot ;)
Hasta luego, queridos amigos y familias! Que Dios les bendiga en todos aspectos de sus vidas!

Elder Tyson David Gibbons

Monday, November 5, 2012


Flag of Argentina--on day of arrival (August 28, 2012)
Buenos Aires Temple
At home in the church/house in Justo Daract
Baptismal font at church/house in Justo Daract
"The Guys" painted and repaired things at the church/house
Zone Conference in San Luis, 11/1/12
District Meeting in Justo Daract
¡Buenas tardes, familiares y amigos!
So, as you probably noticed, there were some pictures attached to this email. :) Hopefully you enjoy them! I have plenty more, but I´ll send some major ones for now. And I can only attach so many to one email, so I´ll send one more email with some more pictures after this with a few more pictures of things I´ve already told you about. ¡que disfruten!
I am doing rather well I suppose. Wow that was some old person language, I´ve been listening to too many Hugh B. Brown talks, haha! Speaking of, I recomend his talk "Father, Are You There?" from It's a great talk. Also a devotional by President Monson from 2009 where he speaks of a few different prophets of this time. It's really funny, but really informing as well. Those are my two recommendations for the day!

Anyway, the weather here is still as odd as ever. Every Sunday starts stormy and gloomy, and once church ends, it's all sunny and burning hot. I´ve come to think that it's a trial for the people we´ve committed to church, to really test them and see if they´ll come or not. And, so far, none have. So I guess we´ll start trying to increase their faith a little more! Anyway, other than that, things have been rather hot. The mosquitos are thriving, and I have plenty of bites since we don´t have anything to combat them with right now. Thank goodness we´re going to Carrefour tomorrow. We´re going to arm ourselves for war. I have 8 bites on my right hand and plenty more on my arms and legs. ¿que tal eh?
Wow it sounds like the house is really coming along quite well. I can´t even imagine it any different than it was when I left. Maybe that's a desperate anchor for my sanity right now, or maybe I´m just not trying hard enough. Haha but once it's all done, send some pictures! Definitely made for a busy week!
So, Halloween. Here it's pretty interesting. Like I mentioned in the last email, all the little kids just walk around to all the kioscos and they give them little caramelos. As for us, we went teaching instead of spooking. Darn. Haha but we did run into Loana and her two little brothers, and they gave us some candy! It was awesome. A couple teenagers walked past us and were looking at us like what the heck?? I guess they all thought we were dressed up going around getting candy too. Maybe we should´ve tried that.... But no it's okay. We went and got Grido´s! It was way good. My new favorite sabor is definitely Chocolate Suizo. I don´t know why it's so different, but it's re rico. Anyway, then we had to buy tickets to San Luis because Thursday we had my first zone conference! I´ll get to that in a little bit.
I´m glad to hear that the temple tour guide experience turned out so well!!! I´m way jealous. I would love to do that. And even with some pressure I am sure you both did just great. Like I told dad, I think it's way cool that you didn´t want to be reading off a card or reciting from memory the information. It's always so much more meaningful when it comes from the heart! That's the power of testimony.
So Nathan did good on his solo I hear. That just blows me away (sorry little bro, don´t take offense). I´m glad he and Kate have really branched out. I say that every week I feel like, but it just blows me away all the stuff they´re doing that I didn´t bother to do. I don´t think they´ll have any regrets from their high school career if they continue that way. I know I have a few. I hope you got a video of Nathan doing the solo. I want to see that eventualmente.
All that info about Grandma and Grandpa Madsen's mission sounds just so bizzare! I can´t imagine a mission like that, and I´m sure they´re still pretty surprised too. But that is AWESOME: I can say that my grandparents are the first assigned missionaries in the country of Morocco. That is still way exciting.
I´ve been asking most of the people we visit if they know anything about the huracán Sandy, or any estadísticas, but not many people are helpful. Some say there aren´t any, and some others say that there are thousands dead. Both seemed a little off, so I wasn´t sure what to believe. I am really glad to hear that Nikki, Zach, Bryan and Brad are doing alright though. I´ve been telling people I had family there, and then it always makes me worry no matter what even if the things they tell me have been ridiculous. Haha oh well. That's what you get from the public international Argentine news I suppose.
Alright so you need a picture of me from here? I´m not sure if one of the ones attached is good, so I´ll make sure to get one that has me in it at least. I´ll send some more in another email, like I said, take your pick!
Thanks for the pictures too. Nathan you look just like Jalen wearing that shirt, and putting your hands in your pockets like that. That stance is just a Jalen stance. Nice going. So do you wear any of my clothes??? I´m pretty sure I had better style than him :p just kidding. I don´t know a thing about style. Ask anyone, especially Kelly. She always buys me clothes because they are more stylish than what I have ;) just kidding.
So, back to the zone conference! It was fun to get together with everyone in San Luis. It was definitely an adventure getting ANYWHERE: It rained so much, each street was a river. We had a fun time hopping around like mad rabbits. Although it was fun to do some parcour tricks to get across, just to add to the weird looks we already get for being missionaries and all. Hey, nothing wrong with attention right?? So we finally get to the church, and the meeting doesn´t start for another hour. So yo, Elder Day, Elder Cahoon, and Elder Tingy left to go get something to eat. We found a Havanna, which basically is the thing they have that would compare to Moxie Java/Starbucks, but with facturas and submarinos, which is the Argentine hot chocolate. Holy cow, it was SOOOO GOOOD. They just give you hot steamed milk basically, and then a chocolate bar. Like the size of a Hershey´s bar you use for s'mores. And you put it in there and stir it. It's way better than hot chocolate. I fear that has ruined any hot chocolate for me for a while. Anyway, me and Elder Day sat upstairs with the windows, looking onto the busy city block, and it was pouring. So we had to walk back to the church and we were soaked completely when we got back. Anyway, the meeting started, and we just had a really good lesson from President Avila, from the zone leaders, and from the assistants. It was a really good 6 hours, and for lunch we had lasagna basically, except it was bread, pollo, bread, fiambre, bread, pollo, bread, fiambre, bread, pizza sauce and cheese. It was so bizzare. But really good. Anyway, then at the end we had a testimony meeting, and I had to go because President said that the new missionaries had to get up first. So I went first. But it went really well. Usually when I bear my testimony it's not so smooth because it's not a written thing, and I always have different thoughts. But this went very good. Anyway, then we went back in and sang the song of the mission or something, all having our arms around each other (except the hermanas of course) and we were jumping up and down and singing. It was way fun. I guess it's a tradition, so we´ll do it every three months then! Whoo hoo! Anyway, then the four of us from earlier walked down the main plaza and road to get to the terminal and saw a lot of cool stuff like the huge Catholic Cathedral and a mini New York set up, and lots of cool little shops. Then we got home nice and late again, of course. So that was Thursday! But it's okay, Friday was really good. We went by D___ again, and he had read and studied and pondered the pamphlet we left. Gotta love the people who actually understand you need to study it out! And he believes Joseph Smith was a prophet, and we left him a Book of Mormon, and as I was saying the prayer his señora walked in, so I quickly ended the prayer, since I imagined that would be kinda awkward for her, but we got to meet her and we are really excited to get back and teach them both. We have an appointment on Wednesday. I wish it was today!! And today, the rest of our district wanted to come to Justo Daract, so they came and spent the day with us, and we made a ton of food, chicken tacos, chicken curry, and ground beef tacos. It was really good. And that's why I´m here past 6 right now. Sorry :/ hopefully the pictures make up for your disappointment in me. That's why we´re here at cyber way later than normal too. We made a mess cooking, so we had to clean all that of course. Blah. I didn´t get any laundry done or anything. That's the worst part.
Anyway, something from Sunday that President Alaniz told us in Priesthood meeting really hit me. He was teaching from the article by Elder M. Russell Ballard in the Liahona a couple months ago, and he mentioned a story from some other talk, about a pig and an eagle. Basically, since I can´t tell every detail since all I really can understand and translate is the basics, the story is about the use of time for these two types of animals. He wrote up a graph, that showed that one third of our time in our lives is used to sleep, because that's a necessary part of our biological maintenance, and then another third is used to work and do the things necessary to provide the menial things of life. So then we move on to the animals. The pig spends its 1/3 of its time sleeping, then eats and gets whatever exercise or whatever is necessary done for the second 1/3, and then what does it do for its last 1/3? Remember that this last 1/3 is the only time we have to do the things we want to, like spend time with family, strengthen relationships with family and friends, go out and relax, things like that. But the pig goes and lays in the mud and just does nothing until it gets tired. It wastes that last 1/3 of its time doing exactly that, nothing! However, do not fear, the eagle still remains. The eagle rests its 1/3, then goes and gets food for the kids, observes the area for danger, does whatever exercise as well, but then what does it do for the last 1/3 of its time? It soars as high as it possibly can, strengthens its flying ability, explores the open sky where only few animals have the capability, and enjoys the freedom it has because of its physical capabilities. And what I really like was the quote from the actual talk that this story came from. It goes something like this, "While the pig wallows in the things of the earth, the worldly things, and wastes its time it could be using to do the vital things required of our lives, the eagle spends its time soaring high above the earth, nearing itself as close to the heavens as it can. The eagle spends its time getting as near to God as it possibly can, and enjoys every second of it." Are we using our free time like the pig, wallowing and wasting away in the things of the world? Or are we following the example of the eagle, coincidentally from the scriptures as well, soaring high above the things of the world and nearing ourselves as close as possible to the heavens, where our Heavenly Father dwells, and doing all the things He asks us so that he can bless us with all He has? Think that over. It definitely made me think. If there are some things that aren´t exactly following the eagle´s path, I encourage you with all the love in my heart to change that! As I said in my last email, there may be little things that are holding us back. Don´t let any of that "mud" hold us down and restrain us from reaching up higher and higher to our Father. And if it is happening like that, as I have always said, there is someone there for you! He knows exactly what you are passing through. He knows how to succor you, and He is the only one who truly can, seeing as how He paid EVERYTHING for me, for you, and for every other son or daughter of God on this earth. As it says in Isaiah I believe, our sins are washed by the blood of Christ, and with His stripes we are healed. Mosiah 5:8: " And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives."

Anyway, I should probably finish up. Sorry if any of you were freaked out because I didn´t send one earlier today. It's coming I promise! :) I hope this week goes just as good as the last for everyone, or improves immensely for some of you other people! Sorry about the storms and everything! I hope you all continue to be safe and keep doing all the good things you´re doing! Just remember that it's better to take the path of the eagle than the pig. Who chooses to be a pig over an eagle, if they are given the choice? [Aunt Janet, sorry. You can still love pigs and everything. Just don´t act like one eh? ;) ] Haha I love you all and have all of you in my prayers! And I thank you sincerely with all my heart for all the support I get from each of you! Keep on improving yourselves every day, and if you ever need to write anything down and get it off your mind or you have some crazy stories, here's my address.... :D haha just kidding. But oh yeah, before I forget, I got a couple more letters at zone conference, from Kelly´s parents, Grandma's talk from the MTC, one from mom, and the emails of Chris, Logan, and Jalen.

Oh yeah, I remember why I started making a list of things to mention haha, because I always forgot! So, brace yourselves, but I ate some pretty weird stuff this last week. Hermana Alaniz promised us that she would make canalones, kinda like crepes basically for lunch. So she did.... but she tricked us. I noticed that there were two different kinds, but I was the only one, and I didn´t worry or anything. So after we ate them all, she came out and told us what was in them. So guess what i ate?? I ate some ceso. Cow Brains. ........ let that soak in. She didn´t tell us until after so we would just eat it and not worry. It wasn´t the best, but it didn´t make me want to puke (after a little bit, it started getting to me more. I had to ignore it!!!!) But yeah, I brushed my teeth very well that day. I just ate brain.... I feel like I was in Indiana Jones when he ate the monkey brain soup or whatever. Oh well, definitely was worth it for the story. If I eat anything else weird, I'll let you know! I don´t recommend going and buying any cow brains or anything. I don´t think they even really sell that... things are different down here trust me.
Okay that's all for the email for this week! It will be a really good week, we have some good appointments set up and planned, and we´re always finding more people! The Lord has people prepared always, it's just up to us to find them in the midst of all the rest! That goes for you all too, not just us missionaries. It's a big responsibility, no? Looks like we have plenty of work ahead. :) Keep on working, then! I love you all.
Elder Tyson David Gibbons