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


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