Buenas tardes todos!
I can´t believe I´m sitting here in cyber again. These days just go by so fast. and the weeks too. And the transfers, we are already in week 4! What the heck. But, things are going very good here. We have had somewhat cooler weather the last three or four days, and I have been able to sleep quite well, but waking up has been hard for some reason. probably because I haven´t slept so well in so long, so now that I am sleeping well, my body doesn't want to end it! But oh well, there are people to visit and places to walk to all the time, so too bad for sleep haha. About finding a fan, no I haven´t´found one. Well that's not true, today we were cleaning, and in the "broken pile" I decided to try some electrical things, and I found a fan that works just great! And it's a mini-er one, the only probelm with it is that it doesn´t sustain its position by itself, the hinges are broken. But that's not a problem at all! So, I will be using that from now on. And I didn´t even have to spend any money!
Alright, while we are on the topic of money, let me tell you now that I haven´t been able to use my debit card at all. It's not something that they use often here and it hasn´t worked at any of the stores I have gone to apart from Carrefour to buy food and things, so.. today when I used some of my Christmas money to buy a pendrive for Mormon Messages and plenty of talks from BYU speeches, I had to use your card, mom and dad. The pendrive was 129. And then I bought speakers as well since I haven´t had anything to listen to my ipod with for a month now, and these speakers have a slot for usb, pendrive, sd card, and everything else. So, I bought those too to carry around with me. Those were 189.90. So that is the amount I spent, and with the dollar being 1 dollar to 4.95 pesos, you will have to figure out the amount and take it out of my chase account and just add it to your own. Sorry I keep using your card, but it looks like the only place I will be able to use my debit card for sure will be Carrefour haha sorry. :/
Anyway, so, this week is looking up a lot! We have at least 4 people committed to being baptized this weekend, and we have found a few more this last weekend for this weekend too, so wow this weekend is going to be really good, and we are going to be working and working and walking and sweatiung and teaching to make sure that doesn't change! :) Yesterday at church we had a lesson in Principles of the Gospel about Jesus Christ as our chosen leader and Savior. I loved that lesson, even if the two abuelos (grandparents) G___ are the teachers and spend most of the class arguing and teaching towards one another instead of the investigators haha. Yeah have I mentioned the abuelos before? They are quite something. But it was a very good feeling to participate in... oh wait, I didn´t even mention Saturday.
So Saturday, we had a baptism! :D J___, the kid I told you about a couple weeks ago, or last week actually, was baptized this last Saturday. We went to the church in the morning again to fill up the pileta (baptismal font) since it was another one like Justo Daract, and we got it going, set up the chairs for the service, and then went to eat lunch, came back three and a half hours later, and the font was filled about 1/4 of the way full. It gave us a heart attack! Haha and we only had cold water too, which we didn´t think would be a problem. It was rainy all day, so yes at first we thought it was a problem, but once we started sweating and working hard carrying bucketful after bucketful to speed up the filling, of course the sun came out full blast and just cooked us. It was nice though because the cold water would feel very refreshing, plus the sun would heat it up a little. But, at the hour we were planning to start, I called Jairo and his cousin and his grandma to ask where they were, and they hadn´t left yet, and if you remember I described where they live, in the middle of the middle of nowhere, so we drove over there in the auto of the family Gutierrez., and brought them, and then started. So J___ had wanted his uncle C___, a 21-yr-old who sent his papers in two years ago but is still waiting, to baptize him. But at the last minute he couldn´t come for some reason, so.... I did it. I was not expecting it at all. But I can´t tell you how nervous I was!!! I have thought about this moment for YEARS, and then it came and I realized I wasn´t prepared. I didn´t even know the prayer for the baptism! Hahaha man I was so nervous. But, once I got in the pileta and the chills stopped bugging me (the sun went away once we finished filling the pileta with buckets.. weird huh) and then things just seemed to calm down, and slow down, and I had no problem at all. it was like those scenes you see in movies when things just clear up, and slow down, and everything is focused. I felt like I was in a movie! The only thing that I feel bad about is that the water was so cold that when I put him under the water the cold water shocked him so bad he lost his footing and couldn´t stand back up. :/ we felt really bad. But, he dried off and was just fine. And then as I was going to say in the previous paragraph, I got to participate in his confirmation. He already seems like he has such great potential in the church, in the priesthood, and in life in general. He is really humble and was definitely prepared to enter this path. And yes I will attach the few pictures I have. In the one with his family he looks mad but he is just very quiet and doesn´t talk a lot.
Anyway, that made our week just great! I don´t even remember anything bad that happened during the week. Oh wait, that's a lie. I got sick for the first itme in my mission. Thankfully I know it was from something I ate, and it was gone 24 hours later, but let me tell you, that 24 hours was terrible. Haha and we did intercambios with the elders in the other area, so I had to walk all over our area showing the other elder everything, while feeling like I was going to puke again, or pass out, or both in succession. Haha but, I feel just fine now! But that was just a day to show me that yes, we all have down days, but once we get over those it's all looking uphill after, so I have no reservations or regrets! What happened happened and I can definitely HOPE I don´t get sick again like that, but that's just life, isn´t it?
Anyway, my feet are holding up just fine. Even better actually. It's my shoes that are taking the beating! Haha my Men´s Wearhouse shoes are... well they are definitely worn in for sure. Worn in in every way possible. But they are actually really comfortable, so I still wear them haha.
Also I haven´t been burnt at all by all the walking, it's a miracle! Well I got burned last Monday playing futbol, but I didn´t realize it until I left the cyber and looked at myself. But it wasn´t nearly as bad as before when we walked to Cordoba, and it's left me with a rather nice bronze look, so I don´t mind! Haha but I have sunscreen and if there is ever a day where I know I'm going to get burned, I will use it, don't worry. But for now, I've been okay!
Yes, we had the tormenta blanca in the hermanas' area last Friday! It went very well. The assistants couldn't come but we got into three housses and talked to some really nice people, with some potential, so we hope the hermanas have a little more to work with now! I really am amazed with these hermanas. If this was my area, I would be still out working, yeah, but I don't think I would be working as diligently. But I know Hermana Dana is dedicated 1000 percent so that definitely helps. And it is really nice having Hermana Alaniz here to give me updates on back home. She told me that A___ moved her baptism date forward to this next weekend and also that they are baptizing a different C___ that I never met, who was baptized and then never showed up for her confirmation! So I was very excited to hear about that. Elder Rogers and Elder Cisneros are still working there, and the Alaniz family and Giordano family are both very happy!
MATT WEBBER IS GOING TO SOUTH KOREA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? That is the BEST news I have heard in this whole week!!!!!! I don´t know why he has been so hard to get ahold of, but I am really glad that he is going! Hahaha Matt if you read this, I knew you were going over there to Asia. I just knew it. You knew it too, so don´t act surprised or anything :P I´m excited! We´ve got Asia, the US, Mexico, South America, and Europe covered between the 6 of us (meaning the 6 BYU roommates from last year), so that's pretty sweet. April 17, hey that means you will be in the MTC for my birthday! Eat some ice cream and lots of cereal and chocolate milk for me will you? Thanks bro.
Alright so this week I remembered to bring my notebook from all the talks I have listened to. And there are a few things that I really liked (well obviosuly, if I wrote them down in the notebook...) one is from Hugh B. Brown and he is talking about the fact that most of the hundreds of universities and institutions built first in this nation were patroned by a religion. And he is talking about in this part how the Founding Fathers of the United States knew that a nation would not and could not prosper on any other basis than religion and education. Hugh B. Brown adds that religion and education are the two most adequate forces in the world. and he shares a quote from Thomas Jefferson who says that the people" cannot be ignorant and free"--how true is that?? I like the introduction that he gives about the nations being built on other things, like Alexander who built his nation upon power, and it failed. Caesar built his nation upon the law, and it also failed. I would add that none of them built their nation upon GOD. The United States has survived this long because the Founding Fathers KNEW that religion, or the existence of GOD and faith in Him, along with education, were fundamental for any people or nation to survive. And the quote from Thomas Jefferson intrigued me as well. That a man cannot be ignorant and free. It is so true, in the worldly, temporal view, but also in the spiritual. Surely these leaders of our nation were inspired and led by God to perform so great an event as the revolution and independence! A man who is ignorant will follow his path wherever the wind blows him, because he doesn't know better than that. He doesn't take control of his destiny as he could, and therefore, even if he isn´t in slavery or in jail, he is not FREE. But he that is educated, that understands the world and its demands, and also understands how to guide his own destiny, how to be the captain of his own soul, he is in every way, shape and form, FREE. Free to do as he pleases, free to follow this path or that one, but being educated, he has the ability to choose wisely, with the purpose of avoiding any backtracking or pitfalls. The same goes for the spiritual. Obviously a man is not free when he is ignorant as to his divine purpose and plan in this life! If someone doesn't understand the plan of salvation, where we came from, why we are here, and where we go after this life, they are not free. They don't understand their purpose, and therefore are enticed by this thing or that or this temptation, and are led down forbidden paths until there is almost no way to return. Surely no one could daresay that these are free. But on the contrary, he who knows his purpose, he who knows that there is a God, and that He is our Father in Heaven, and that He has a purpose for us and has given us so many different means to achieve it and firstly to understand it and discover it; he that lives his life with the intention of doing good, of helping others, of being Christ-like, he is truly free. He understands that commandments aren't restrictions. They don't steal our freedom. He understands the need for constant nourishment and constant repentance, to continue living in the path to perfection. Surely no one can say that this man isn´t free! Now, how many of us fall under the first category, and how many under the second? Completely, I can't say that any of us are in one of the other 100 % but we can sure try, right? This life is here for us to enjoy in every good way possible, every way that is in harmony with the Savior. This makes me remember one of the motivation talks that the old mission president here gave to all the missionaries. It is mentioned in one of those talks about a baseball pitcher, who was the best of his time, who was Jewish, and he told the managers first thing that he would never pitch or play a game on a Jewish or religious holiday or festival. And the man giving this talk asked this pitcher why he would never do that, and this man said he has his beliefs, and he must live them, because every other aspect of his life, whether it is sports, education, family, economics, etc., DEPENDS on his faith. That is how it should be with us! The Founding Fathers knew that religion and education were necessary and the only true basis for a nation. And notice which one is mentioned first? If we have a faith, we should do EVERYTHING possible for that faith before we focus on other things, because really our faith is what every single other aspect of our lives depends on. If we live our faith, the rest falls in place. It's like what Matthew says in chapter 6, where rather Christ is speaking and says that first we need to seek the kingdom of God, not thinking about what we wil eat, or what we will drink, or where we will sleep, or anything else. Before thinking about our next trip, our next bill, our next exam, our next game... because if we do as Christ asks, what does He promise us? That all the rest "will be added unto you." Why don't we take that promise more seriously sometimes? Let's try and remember that this week. And if anything, hopefully this gave some hope for anyone studying and who needed motivation to keep studying. It's important!!! :) But don't forget about your duty to God as well, or your faith.
Anyway this week is going to be a great week! The weather is still continuing pretty fresh and cooler than normal, so hopefully that will keep up for the next month :D Too much to ask, no? But I am excited for all that will happen this week, for me and for all of you! I hope you continue enjoying where you are at right now in life, or physically, spiritually, and any other way possible! Thank you for all that you all do for me, for your prayers and thoughts that keep me going literally every day. I love you all, and I am so glad to be here doing what I am doing, every day, every minute, for this time I have been given! May we all continue increasing our faith and improving whatever aspect of our lives that we see is needed! And I hope that we can remember the best person to turn to to help with those things in particular :) Prayer is powerful! I can testify of that!
Elder Tyson Gibbons