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

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