Tyson's growing Christmas stash
Tyson with Elder and Sister Resek of the Seventy
Tyson with Elder Diaz de Leon
Hola todos! ¿Como les ha ido?
I can´t even tell how great it feels to be in a new week. Last week was rough, I won´t get into detail. Mostly lack of sleep with the Internacional Festival de Tango that started Thursday and went until last night. And also we had a Conferencia with Elder Resek del Setenta Thursday, and we had to travel 6 hours to San Rafael, and back, in one day. It was... awful. Haha the traveling I mean. The conference was amazing. I saw Elder Diaz de Leon again, and that was awesome! I miss that Elder. I attached a picture (sorry it looks a little weird) anyway, we just didn´t have a very productive week, with the festival and exhaustion. But it's a new week, a new day, a new time to start over and work harder!
Dad, thanks for the weather update. I really never know if I am going to wake up to a hot day or rainy day or rainy-morning/humid and hot day. It's just unpredictable! So 90's for the rest of the week? Joy... Yes, it feels wrong. It's Christmas, December, and I'm sleeping on top of my sheets and blankets, sweating all day, getting slowly more tan and sun cooked. Haha how much more backwards can you get?? I am wishing I had bought more short sleeve shirts. Oh well, no regrets! I´m glad to hear it at least snowed a little bit! Maybe the white Christmas will come after all! For you, of course.
I´m not sure why the offices didn´t notify me about Great-Grandma Gibbons' death, it could be that they changed their number and our phone doesn't have it, we have received one or two calls while we've been working from numbers without names. That could be why. But it's okay, it wasn't too big of a surprise. The funeral sounded like it went smoothly, as smooth as a funeral can go anyway. They are really hard to handle, for me anyway. But I´m really glad you sang those songs! It's amazing the simple peace that comes from children's hymns, because I believe the childrens hymns are ALWAYS sung from the heart, they´ve been there since your childhood, and so you have a childlike spirit when you sing them. Super spiritual, to say the least. And that poem just about made me cry. I´m sitting here in the cyber surrounded by a bunch of people and I have to try really hard not to! But I copied it down in my agenda. I really like that poem, thank you Janet for finding that. It has a special place in my heart already, just as Great-Grandma did. I can´t believe her sister is 100 and a couple others older! They have some really good genes in that family. That's amazing that she came.
I´m glad you had fun Christmas shopping! It's always my favorite shopping, since I don´t have to worry too much about how much I spend, because well I am spending it on others, and as I have said before, I love giving gifts!!! WHICH, by the way... reminds me. Today I sent the Christmas package! :) And he said it should arrive between 10-15 days!!! So if it got there before Christmas, that would be AWESOME!! If not, well a couple days after maybe. But Mom the post office, just like everything else here, only takes cash, so I paid in cash and I´ll just buy lunch today and some groceries for the next week or so with the card. I´m excited for you to get it! :) Sorry it's only a little something, but it's definitely a little taste of Argentina for this special Holiday! Hope you enjoy :)
And more about Christmas, we are going to do Skype on Christmas, and we´re going to do it in the pench! Since it's the church haha but yeah, that will be great! We still are figuring out the time, but what would be the best time for you guys? Since there are two p-days before, we can figure it out precisely! We are planning on having a meal with the Giordano and Alaniz family for Christmas, and we have to go out in normal clothes, so that will be interesting! I´m super excited nonetheless. How can I not be?? As I may have mentioned once, I love this season :)
Thank you for the addresses! I´m going to write them today, I want to see how they're doing!!
I had no idea about those surgeries, thank you for telling me. Of course they will be in my prayers. I hope everyting turns out for the best! Those would definitely be some hard times...I DON'T like hospitals either, can you guess why? Haha yes I will pray for them.
Wow I love those pictures!! All of them! Europe looks as beautiful as ever, even with a flooded town, and the cultural celebration looks like it was AWESOME!! I´m jealous. I like Malcolm´s shaggy hair, like father like son ;) That's so cool to see Tyler and Malcolm and Solomon and Nathan and Justin and, well, all of those people I know! Did you take those pictures? They´re really good quality and they all have someone from our ward/stake. Thats so cool, thank you!
Well, there are some cool things I would like to share before I end (go ahead, sigh. I know I talk on and on sometimes! It's interesting I promise). So we did intercambios Saturday, and I went to Villa Mercedes again with Elder Daybell. We visited a family, the Flia. Calderon, and it's an older couple. And I learned A TON!!! They were the first members in basically this side of the San Luis Province, they were found by missionaries who had been sent from the Cordoba mission (bueno, all of Argentina north was one mission back then... guess who was the president?? Elder Richard G. Scott!!!! I had NO idea) and they had to get missionaries to come from the branch in San Luis to Villa Mercedes, and they were the first members. And, they personally met Elder Scott, multiple times, he came to visit them specifically since they were basically the only members in Villa Mercedes at that time. And on top of that, they met President Kimball and President.... don´t remember which other one. They have hook ups! They had a binder with all of these old certificates and things like that, with pictures of them and Elder Scott. It's so crazy. They told us they were also the first marriage sealing ceremony done in the Buenos Aires Temple! And they served a mission there about five years ago, before it closed. The elder who baptized them, Elder Andrews I think, became a Seventy, but passed away a while ago, and they had articles by him as a Seventy, in their binder. But anyway, that's all just a bunch of cool facts. The thing that I really liked was their excerpts from a talk by Dr. Warner Von Braun (I only know him from the movie October Sky) speaking at BYU, and there was one paragraph in the Liahona from April 1968 (so old.. I don´t think you can even find that anymore) that the person quoted Dr. Von Braun talking about life after death. And of course, in his super smart words, he basically said that he is convinced there is life after death, because all of his studies have shown him and taught him that matter does not cease or get created, so as our body returns to the earth, our spirit doesn´t just disappear! It has to go somewhere right? But it does not cease to exist! I can´t explain it nearly as well as he did in his infinitely intelligent words, but that's basically what it was. It just made me realize that even the smartest people, in terms of science, can understand spiritual truths simply if they reason things out in their mind. He wasn´t a member of the Church as far as I know, but he knew one thing, that our spirit continues on after death. It is scientifically proven, and of course, it's the truth too! But that just made me think even more about how important it is for us, for me, as a missionary, to teach simply. I have talked with people that are really intelligent, and it's hard to get past their knowledge to a spiritual level, but it's also different with people who aren´t as educated, who didn´t finish school (sadly, most of Justo Daract). It's hard to achieve that level of spirituality if we cant teach simply enough. We are counseled in Preach My Gospel to teach simply and clearly, so even a child could understand completely, and there is a quote by one of the Prophets I think, that says it's a great teacher who can take the mysteries of the universe and summarize them and teach them so that a child understands completely.
Well, that just made me think about how simple the gospel really is in the first place! We start by teaching that God is our Heavenly Father, and that sets the basis of families, and then we teach that families are important to learn and grow together, and then we move on to the prophets who give us as families the things we need to do, and that leads to how prohpets were in the Bible and that leads to Joseph Smith.... it all is just connected! This book (Preach My Gospel) truly was written by prophets and apostles. And so I started wondering (I do a lot of thinking and wondering.. sorry) why some people can´t or won´t understand or accept this message when we contact them in the street or knock their door. It is exactly what they believe already, because for everyone, family means EVERYTHING. And it all revolves around the family and the teachings of Christ. It makes me sad when someone refuses to listen to us when they haven´t even heard what we have to offer. That's the importance of the door approach and following the Spirit, because we have to say what will catch their attention!! It's so important. Anyway, I feel like all of that is something that I learned more than it will help you all, but hey, at least I´m learning right? :)
Well I should get going, I have some laundry to do and I am starving, plus I want to practice my Christmas songs on the piano more! Oh yeah, Mom last night I started playing It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and I have it memorized already, I just have to put the two hands together. It's AMAZING how once you´ve learned something, it's still there, it just takes practice and patience. I started O Little Town of Bethlehem this morning, and I´ve got the right hand memorized already. It's great, I LOVE christmas songs, and it's even better when I can play them! It makes me feel at home. Playing the piano always reminds me of you of course!
Anyway, I love you all and hope you continue to be happier and happier as Christmas draws nearer and nearer! Enjoy your shopping, your time with family and friends, and get into the Christmas Spirit! It's worldwide, anyone who believes in Christ is feeling the same spirit you are. Tell me THAT isn´t a divine power! Let it reunite everyone, and help everyone to forget any troubles and focus on the rest of the people around. There´s no greater happiness than when you forget yourself! I am a personal walking testimony of that, I´ve never been truly happy like I have been these months I have been serving everyone else. (I´m not saying I haven´t been super happy or truly happy before, those were times when I still forgot about mysefl and focused on you, my family, my friends, all of you.) The Savior lives, and He is there for us, along with His Spirit, through whatever problem we have. Especially as Christmas draws near, I personally feel He is closer than ever, because wherever His Spirit is, He is there also.
Happy Holidays, to one and all! Keep smiling and working hard, just push on through, the holidays are just around the corner!
Elder Tyson David Gibbons
P.S. Dad- I got some advice for mate again, I´m not sure if I already gave you some advice. But they told me first you put some sugar, then the hierba, then more sugar, and you have to put some cold water first so the hot water doesn't burn the hierba, because then it tastes gross. and also they said you can put in some orange or lemon shavings to give it a more summery feel! Although, well, I guess you are in winter. Haha yeah keep using the hot water :D Anyway, I don´t know when your next biannual trying of mate is going to be, but there you go! Hopefully it's more enjoyable than last time. And when I get home, maybe I´ll like it too! Since I won't ever try it here.