I haven´t said hello in a long time so I figured I would do it today! :) I´m glad to hear you made it safely home, and plenty satisfied with adventure, sun, swimming, and vacation! And I still have to say that the 32 degrees F or the 0 degrees C still calls my attention; I have told everyone here that I like the winter better, and that I am dying here! I calculated it out, and I'm going to have a year of summer, on top of this year that I am going to complete in May of one summer too! So two years of summer with a short quick brief Argentine winter in between. Maybe I am supposed to learn something from that?? Any ideas? Haha
So, this weekend none of our investigatores made it to their date, it was a bummer :/ but we still had two baptisms, of ward members' children! And Bishop asked us to prepare everything so again Saturday was spent filling the font and preparing the chapel for the baptism. But the baptism service was very spiritual, even if I had to give the talk on baptism with 2 minutes notice! (A little embarrassing, so I am going to go back and write out my simple lesson plans for things like that again.) It didn't end up being a bad talk, but it wasn't very organized obviously. But it's okay, the two kids being baptized had the attention span of about 1 minute anyway. Haha and so it goes, no? But, this week we have lots of teaching to do, because we have more investigators with fechas for this weekend, even though it's going to be Febrero (easier to spell than.. .however it's spelled in English) but we completed our goal as a zone for 5 baptisms this month!!!! So we are all very happy. :) We have worked hard, that's for sure. Dad, I don't know what's so different about Maipu and San Luis, but I think it has a lot to do with attitude no mas. When I arrived here, my zone leader Elder Schirner, who talked to me before Elder Galicia, told me first thing that my area "was the bomb, the members are so ready to work, there are 70 people assisting every week, and there are investigators that have progressed so much" and since that day, I have been excited to work here! In Justo Daract, all I ever heard there from everyone we talked to basically was that the people were hard-hearted and didn't want anything to do with religion, or the Mormons, didn't want to listen, the less actives were iniquitous, and things were just plain difficult. So, I think that really made the difference! That's the example I am going to follow everytime I get a new companion or a new area. Because really that makes ALL the difference!
So on Friday, we found G___ again, after two weeks, and had a really good lesson. I had an impression during weekly planning to read 3 nephi 11 with her about baptism and the doctrine of Christ, and so Elder Galicia left me to do the talking and starting of the lesson. So at first I started shaky, but I noticed that I wasn't even thinking after a few minutes. I was so focused on her and what she was saying. I was truly listening with the Spirit, which Elder Holland pleads with us to do as missionaries in Preach My Gospel, and I know that the impression came from the Spirit, because the things I talked about were the doctrine of Christ, and she stopped me and asked "What does doctrine mean? I've had that question since the missionaries started coming, but I couldn't remember it until now" and so I explained that and thanks to nothing but the Spirit, and Brother Sell, I remembered that my last year in seminary we wrote in our scriptures on the title page that doctrine was unchanging truth, and so I explained that to her, and she understood very well. And that just strengthened my testimony that following the Spirit is the ONLY WAY. I would never have remembered any of that if the Spirit hadn't been present in that lesson. It wasn't me speaking, or promising blessings, or inviting her to set another baptism date even though she is scared to have the interview still after the last time (basically the last time the zone leader who did the interview was really rough, and she hadn't known who Thomas S. Monson was, so she didn't pass the interview, and now she feels she needs to know everything before saying yes), but I promised her exactly what it says in verse 39, but specifically with different things in her life, even though I didn't really know her. This is the second time I have taught her and spoken with her. So really, my testimony is that much stronger of the Spirit leading the missionaries! I have been out 8 months, but I have to say that lesson was the first Preach My Gospel-influenced lesson I have ever had. So I have an example to follow now. So yeah, that was my great experience this last week! Having the Spirit really is a priceless gift, whether we are in school, work, serving a mission, or just being a normal human being going through the trials of life. And that means we have to do a few things to be worthy of that spirit. Are you reading the scriptures? Are you praying? Are you going to church? Are you developing Christ-like attributes and being a true Christian? Just food for thought.
Mom I am glad you mentioned memories, because I was reading in the Liahona from November of 2007, the conference talks, and sadly only a few seemed familiar to me (I've changed! Don't judge me :D) but there was one where I read the following sentence, "Memories are the gift from God that allows us to have June roses in the midst of December's winter." I LOVE that! Because it fits exactly what I have felt the last 8 months. My memories have kept me going every night, and during the hard times of the day, or at critical moments. I am eternally grateful for you, my family, and all the memories we have, whether in the home or out and about traveling; these moments truly have changed my life. And also to my friends, for the times we have spent together playing soccer, going to the movies, the mall, the park, dates (sorry-against mission policy to think about those things; forgive me :P ) or movie nights at whoever´s house. These things seriously have kept me going for months and months, and will keep me going for the rest of my life! If you don't have any memories to be considered June roses in the middle of December´s winter, then I encourage you with all my heart to make them! Beacuse they literally can be the decision maker in a vital situation in life; they remind you that life really is happy, no matter what situation we face, and that there is always, ALWAYS, hope for the future. I don't mind if you could only think of that much Mom, but look what it did for me! So don't worry, it was enough. :)
As January closes for this year, I've been thinking about how I have done with my goals, because if I can't achieve my goals for a month, it will be impossible for a year! How are you doing with yours? The end of January doesn't mean we are finished. It's the end of the beginning! Keep pushing forward! :) We still have 11 more months of this year, and then another new year to keep it going ;) A goal to change for the better isn't meant to last a year, it's meant to last a life time, and we will only achieve that if we perservere! Remember, it's been said that 40 days of the hardest effort to keep your goals is all that is needed to make those practices become habit. We have 28 days up to today, so keep going :)
Dad you asked about Elder Galicia leaving, and we are both pretty sure that yes he will leave. Which means that since the district leader can't be in Bombal, and there are Hermanas in the other area, that my companion who comes will be district leader, and I'll have to travel to Gutierrez every Sunday still and do all the same stuff. So not much will change! And I will be fine with that. :) Helps me to stay focused in the work and the people that we have and will have when that time comes. And no I can't listen to the speeches with him. He knows a bit of English, but when I listen to them he always turns on some music since he doesn't understand, and I wish I could downlad them in Spanish!! They are such great talks, and it's something I thoroughly enjoyed with Elder Day, listing to talks during the night and discussing them for hours later on. Oh well, such is the luck for this transfer! And I will send Jalen something next week so he feels comforted. I know how it is to be somewhere a long time and leave! But he has always been better than me, so I think he can handle it haha. But we will see if he leaves, some elders stay for 5 transfers! ;) Guess we will see no?
Well that is basically my week, we have done more walking, more teaching, and more sweating, and it's all worth it! In the binder they gave us when we got here to Mendoza, there is a talk given by Elder Ballard to some missionaries in Peru, and he said that attitude is everything. "When you and your companion wake up to snow covered streets, you turn to your companion and say, 'This is great! Today Elder we get to be persecuted and rejected for the Lord in the freezing snow!'" How great is that attitude? I've tried hard to adopt that, just in the opposite unfortunately :P but I have that thought every day as we head out, and I can't complain anyway because the weather has been rather mild these last weeks. It's been a miracle! I have no problem. One day was really hot, and Elder Galicia told some people that he was dying of heat, but I thought back, and I didn't even notice. It didn't bother me one bit. That's the blessing of truly forgetting yourself, I would say.
Well I want to download a few talks and get going, so I will end this here for this week! I'm glad to hear all is well, and also about Marcel´s call and Christina sending her papers in! I don't know where she would go, but I like the Segovia, Spain guess haha :) or also Mexico. Those are my guesses. Make sure to let me know when it comes!
I love each and every one of you, and hope this week is FANTASTIC, despite any hardships that come! Keep working hard in work, school, at home, or whatever you are doing that is wholesome and good, and you will be surprised at the help and blessings you receive! The Lord is full of surprises, don't hesitate to try your best to deserve one this week ;) I am so grateful to be here, doing the work of the Lord. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored, and that we have a prophet today just as in times of old, and I know they have the same mantle of power as did Adam, and Moses, and Noah, and Elijah, and most of all Jesus Christ. I know that this gospel is lead by Him, Jesus Christ, and that it is the only way to really have true happiness. So if anyone is searching for just that, ask the missionaries, they can help you! :)
Until next week, your faithful son and friend,
Elder Tyson Gibbons