Again I apologize for last week. All is well though! Just a waste of a p-day basically. Well it's never a waste to do something different, it's just the fact that communication between Elders could be better. We will have better plans next time we go.... if we go. Haha anyway, yes things are going just fine. Great actually! Today, Justo Daract has been transformed into Oregon. It's raining so hard, harder than almost any other day I've seen since I've been here. It's crazy. but I love it. It's so much better than the heat, which is continually and daily getting more and more potente. Elder Rogers loves it anyway, because he just came from San Juan where it's super dry, and really hot, so now he's here and it's more humid, like his home in Nueva York. So he is just doing fine. I'm the one suffering haha but I can honestly say, there are not many feelings better than coming home after a long day of work, physically and spiritually, all soaked from sweat and covered in tierra, and taking off the formal clothes and relaxing in shorts and a t shirt. :) I think one of the bonuses of a mission is that I'll get home and be comfortable no matter what. Plus taking a cool shower before you go to bed just makes everything better! In memory of Thanksgiving, I'm very grateful for a working shower.
So I got a few more letters last Friday when we had ANOTHER zone capacitacion. I'm so sick of traveling at this point, because it's never somewhere new! Haha but it was a really good meeting. And I thought it was hilarious that in Chris' email, he said how on earth do I write so much. Well I can't really answer that question, besides the fact that here in Justo Daract, there isn't anything to do but come here, write Presidente, and family, and then go and do nothing in the capilla for the rest of the day until 6. Plus I've always been able to type really fast, and I have so many experiences that I want to share! Because spiritual experiences are there to share and help others learn something (not all though, there's always a few that should be kept personal. Here's another call-out for Thanksgiving: I'm so grateful for these two years that I have to bring myself closer to my Savior and have those experiences that are so personal and profound. They give you the will to carry on!) But anyway, I'm glad I can read my friends' emails too! That is something I've always wondered though, how do they write so little? It's always really good experiences, I feel like I write too much. Hahahahaha except for Ossie. Hahaha :D his emails just make me smile and laugh every time. But I'm way excited for him, and everyone else.
So to impress you mom, yes I made the empanadas myself. Kinda. We bought the tapas, se llama, the dough part, pre made, but we made the filling and we just put a spoonful into the tapa and fold it over and make it look nice. Then eat. I've learned to cook quite a few things! Brownies, chicken with vegetables, pizza which we are having today, tacos, and empanadas. Now I just fault asado. Still have only had one! I'm pretty disappointed. Every person that told me I'd be eating the best meat and a ton of it, thanks for raising my hopes! It's okay, I still eat a lot and it's always really good. Well almost. But hey, that's just life, right?
Also, news on the fridge, we are bringing that to a tecnico guy today, and it should be fixed by Thursday. That would be fantastic! Elder Rogers has been dying without a fridge. He can only drink water when it's fridge cold, not just from the tap like I've done this whole time. Haha so he asks everyone we talk to for aqua fresca. It's interesting. Also he asks to use the bathroom a lot.. I never did that with Elder Day haha, just a couple more interesting ways to get into a house. Problem is, everytime we ask someone they tell us "la neña esta banando." Every single house we go by, the kid is taking a bath. It's too good to be true haha but yeah. You always learn something new from different companions right? On that topic, I did find out more about Elder Rogers. He knows how to make a few desserts, that's all the cooking experience he has, so I've done a lot of the cooking so far. He didn't go to seminary which really surprised me because he knows a TON, I guess one benefit of the mission right? And he loves to play video games, he always asks me the most random video game questions... it's actually really funny, it's so random! But I feel bad because I don't know what he's talking about most of the time.. I think that's the only gap in our understanding of one another haha ;) but yeah! The T___' son asked us what music we liked because he works for the radio station here, and I said I like lo que sea, and then he asked Elder Rogers and he said la musica de videogames. And the son looked at him for a minute, didn't understand him, he thought he misunderstood the question. Hahaha it was thoroughly awkward, but really funny. So those are some of the fun experiences I've had this week! It's good to learn as much as you can about your companion though, it's the only way to get along really well and function well as a duo.
About Great-Grandma Gibbons, I hadn't heard that. I am really glad to know she passed peacefully and that as many people that could were able to see her. I don't know why the mission offices didnt tell me? But that's okay. It was on my mind all week anyway, and I figured it would happen soon. I'm glad that everything went alright, and hopefully the funeral and the people talking can help out with those who don't understand everything. I know it will all go really well! And yes dad, I will always remember her smile and her laugh, and her hugs too. Those are what I think of when I think of her, because she was always all smiles when I talked to her. I'll miss her, and I'm glad things have worked out thus far. She was a great example to any who knew her, that I'm sure of.
So this last week we got to talk to a few more of our less active members, and we aren't sure why, because they are people that I have never met and I've been here two transfers now. But somehow we are finidng them and having good discussions. And they are all part of the B___ family, so we are hoping that in the future they can all help each other out as a big family and return to church. They have all told us they would love to start going again, they just all have work supposedly. So hopefully we can get in and teach more about the family and the role of the gospel in the familia. I don't know why all the sudden we've been able to find these people, but I thank all of you who have prayed for us missionaries or have fasted or done anything like that, because we have really seen the blessings in the last two weeks! We are finding more people to teach, we are teaching in unison, and we are teaching familias and focusing all on familias who can support each other in their decisions. It's always more difficult when just a child or one parent is a member and the others have different standards. I have noticed that more than anything here, so props to all of those people that I know who have gone through that, whether things worked out better in the end, or still aren't going as well. You have all my respect, it's hard enough to live the gospel perfectly with a family supporting you. Satan is always just right there waiting for one little mistake. How important are the little things we do!!! Alma 37:6-7 talks just about that, how we need to do the little things to bring about the grand things, like the blessings or the things we need. The Lord works by small means to bring about His great and eternal purposes. We just have to trust in Him and do our part, and He will always complete His!
Oh! Last night I got to watch the Christmas devotional!! I totally forgot it was at the beginning of the month, but all the branch came to the chapel at 10 to watch it, so I stayed up and watched it with them. I watched before to where it was showing the choir from last year, with David Archuleta, and it brought me to tears. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, whether because I was getting presents when I was younger, or now that I realize that it's so much better when you give. All the christmas songs just make me think of all the great memories I have with family and friends for Christmas, and I couldn't help but let a few tears go. I bore my testimony yesterday (first one, just like Jalen! I'm going to try to do that from now on. Not like it's a competition or anything.. :D just a motivation to get me up there every time!) about the power the spirit of Christmas has to help us share our testimony of this gospel and of the Christ, the Son of God, with all around us. The Christmas season is the time of the year when everyone is focused on family, on getting together, on giving and receiving, and making memories that will be with them forever. I'm so excited for this month!!!! It's going to be the best month to go and just talk about Christ and the purpose of Navidad with any person who believes. Since last night it has seemed more and more like a tender mercy of the Lord to give to us missionaries just one more way to talk to people and touch their hearts with the Spirit. I have a goal to work harder than I have any of the last 6 months for this entire month. I hope the same spirit helps each of you to be open with your testimony of Christ, to share with all around you the marvelous life and birth of the Savior of the World. What better month or time is there to share our beliefs, as fellow Christian Latter Day Saints, than this?
I really liked President Uchtdorf's talk last night, about how sometimes we focus so much on the giving, that we forget to be good receivers too. That was so crazy to me, because earlier in my life, well it was all about the coolest present I got. That's just how kids are right? I wasn't the only one I hope. And recently I've tried to focus everything on the giving, that's been my mindset for the last few years. and now it just gets even more complex, because I don't know if I have been the most gracious or grateful receiver. So there's just another goal to set for myself! I hope we can all think about everything that we have been given, by our fellow members, our friends, our family, those around us, and more than anything our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Everything we have was given to us by them, we only have our will that is truly ours, but if we truly want to be happy in this life and the next, that will of ours needs to be aligned with Theirs, and for me, I think that aligning our will with theirs truly is one of the greatest ways to show our gratitude for everything, because with Them being the receivers, They WANT us to be happy, and They know that we are happy when we live according to Their will. But there is not a single selfish concept here, They are ultimately happy for exactly that reason, that WE are happy. That just sounds like the best never-ending cycle of happiness doesn't it?? Well now is the time to apply that to our lives, because that is the only thing faulting at this point. I hope each of us can really show our gratitude for everything we have been given, and make Them happy by doing what they want of us, which is the thing that truly makes us happy.
Well, I feel like I've talked enough. Sorry Chris and Jalen for the long email to read, but hey, hopefully you learn something. I've learned plenty from your emails along with Logan's, so obviously I'm trying really hard to do the same for everyone else, it just takes a lot more words for me. Dont judge me :) haha I'll figure out the simple teachings soon enough hopefully. Anyway, that is about all for today and this last week. Oh, besides the fact that we Abrimos la boca with a lady last Tuesday, and we talked about the family and how to best raise kids in the world with so many things going wrong, and she really liked what we were talking about, so she invited us back. She was like 9 months pregnant so that's why we talked about family. Thank goodness for clues!! Haha and so when we asked when we could come by, we found out that it would be somewhat later in the day because she and her husband are...... wait for it........ the owners of Gridos here in Justo Daract!!! :) Needless to say we were pretty excited. We just are focusing on them because if we teach them to get free ice cream, that's just selfish and it won't work. So it was a pretty selfish thought for a little bit there, but really we are excited to teach them. We didn't get in with them this week because we were so busy, and she is just about to have the baby so soon hopefully we get in. Anyway, that was a really cool experience! Again, thank you for your thoughts and prayers for families, we keep finding new ones!
Alright, I just went on quite a bit when I said I was done, so now I'm going to finish it off. I hope all of you can start getting the Christmas Spirit, and start feeling the happiness and joy and peace that come always at this time of year. I know I already have it, and I'm going to keep searching for it every day. Christmas is the best time of the year!! This may be my first Christmas away from home, but it's okay, the Spirit of it all is the same all over the world. Even minus the snow and plus the 40 degree weather. That is, degrees Celcius. Almost got my hopes up for a second :P I love you all, and wish you the best of the holiday season! Enjoy the music, the atmosphere, the decorations, the chill clean air, the snow, the lights, the trees, the beauty of it all! Therein lies the spirit of Christmas, the true spirit of giving to others and forgetting yourself. For me, that's about the closest I've ever felt to being Christlike, since we are all imperfect. Hence, the reason I love this season! Enjoy it all, it is the best time of the year. And make sure to share your testimony, and your smile, and your spirit with whoever crosses your way. :)
Elder Tyson David Gibbons
Elder Tyson David Gibbons