Monday, March 25, 2013

Hola todos!

Tyson with his beloved Andes in the background
The mutant banana

Hola todos!
So, we got transfer news! I am staying in Rodeo del Medio, as expected, and Elder Galicia is leaving to go to San Martin, as expected. My new companion will be Elder Alberro from California, who is basically Argentine-American since his grandparents are from here, but he was raised in California. He speaks English and Castellano perfectly, so I guess I'll keep working on my Castellano! I have people tell me the thing I could do better with my Castellano, and EVERYONE says I need to say the double r´s correctly, and I have to tell them well, I will always have this gringo accent because I can't do that! So hopefully I can change that, it's my goal before I leave the mission. But we´ll see :/ my tongue just doesn't want to cooperate so far. But other than that, Elder Bulva and Elder Tapia are staying, and Hermana Salcedo is going to more central Mendoza, (I was sad, I´ve been with her my whole mission so far! Even if she was in San Luis capital 3 hours from Justo Daract) and a new Hermana, Hermana Cheta, is coming to be with Hermana Dipuy. I met Hermana Cheta when she arrived here last transfer, and she´s super nice. I thought she was American but nope, Argentine. So yeah, this will be a really good transfer! Change is necessary and we should make the best of it.
WHAT?? I had no idea Justin was old enough to go on a mission! How crazy. But that's super exciting! Somehow, I pictured him always in some place really cold like that (Russia), he´ll fit right in haha. And I also know he´s super prepared, just from hearing Jalen complain about his ability with the scriptures in seminary. So that will serve him well. And Sydney is going to Chicago?!?!?! That's so crazy!!! And she leaves almost on her birthday! Haha that's pretty interesting too. But she will do good work as well. The thing is, I'm pretty sure every one of these people knows more than I did when I left on the mission. Good for them! And I'm learning haha, just a little later than I would have liked. But hey, who´s to blame for that other than me?
So this weekend was stake conference! It turned out really well! Haha we only sang Saturday though, I was sad. Because they all turned out AMAZING! The sister in charge was crying afterwards because it sounded so good. She went around hugging everyone and almost hugged me before she remembered I was an elder. But she thanked me for helping with the choir and playing the piano a few times. Elder Galicia, being absentminded sometimes (I say that because he knows it and is the one who told me, so I can say it haha :D) he said we had to be in the chapel in Gutierrez early, but we arrived early to the meeting, not to the choir practice, and we missed the choir practice because we decided to go to the leadership priesthood meeting. But it was a GREAT meeting! I may not be a leader, but I learned a lot. Then we sang and it was great, and even though I was sick, I sang better than I ever have I think. My voice was super low but I could hit all the high notes too, instead of lingering in the middle haha, so I was content.
Then Sunday we showed up to the conference after staying the night in the ZL´s pension, and we found Graciela and Hermana Gutierrez and Miriam and a few other members, but were upset that none of our investigators, including the son of Graciela, had come. But we were wrong, at the end we saw a TON of people that had come, and so it ended happily. During the conference, Elder Shane Bowen spoke, Jean Stevens of the Primary I believe, Elder Whitney Clayton, and Elder Russel M. Nelson spoke. And even though Elder Nelson doesn't speak Castellano, he gave his talk in Castellano! His accent wasn't so great, but everyone was just blown away that he stood up and told his translator that he wanted to speak in Castellano. It was all written and translated already but he read it and did REALLY good, and his message was great. They all were, I should say! It's always surprising to see a 70 or a member of the 12 get up and just start speaking Spanish haha, it was way cool. But my favorite part was when Elder Nelson talked about Salvation and Exaltation. And the primary difference was this, that salvation is an individual matter, but no person can receive exaltation without their FAMILY. I just felt the spirit so strong, testifying of the importance of the family, and naturally I thought of my family and my friends and their family, and I just had the strongest desire to share with all of them, all of YOU, that the family is seriously the most important thing in this life, because without the family, we can all be saved, and receive salvation or immortality, but without the family living according to the gospel, and performing the ordinances necessary, we will be saved, individually, and be alone, FOREVER. This doctrine goes a LOT deeper, study it on your own, but I just realized right then that my family is my first priority, because I would NEVER choose to spend eternity, alone, without my most loved family and friends and their families. It showed me the importance of the temple, and the song "I love to see the temple" came to mind, and I just felt so thankful for the Primary teaching me that song, because it really does stick in every fiber and tendon of my body, and I realize even more profoundly the importance of the temple. So that was a really good talk, even if he didn't know Spanish!!!!
Talking about the slumps of the mission, well we talked about that in our last district meeting, about how every transfer there seems to be a slump, a decline in whatever it could be, obedience, diligence, numbers, work, you name it. And it's different for everyone. But it just gave me the motivation to try and break that cycle that happens to everyone all the time, and I realized that the elders that really have had lots of success, not only personally but in helping this work move forward, are those who are able to forget themselves and break that cycle. So that is my goal from now on as well. This week may have been lower than ones in the past, but it was definitely motivational and inspirational! You can always learn something from everyone, you just have to have the right perspective. I hope this transfer can be the start of many good transfers without that slump! And actually I would say my whole life! I don't want to make changes when I'll be home eventually and then continue with my same life, exactly how it was. I don't want that. I want it to be better! Same people, but better relationships!
So today I took some more pictures since I found out that one of my sd cards, the one with bascially all my MTC pictures and New Mexico pictures and Justo Daract pictures, somehow got a virus and got erased, so I´m glad I sent home all the ones that were most important! But I took some that I will send home with this email. They´re not great, they´re just what I have at the moment. Today we are going to go bowling!!! I'm super excited!!! Maybe I can win since it's more of an American sport haha, but that will be fun. I'll take more pictures there for sure, and next week we´ll send them!  There's a picture of a mutant banana that we bought, it was two in one, a special deal! And then me today with the Andes, the Cordilleras, behind me and a not-so-good view of me. It's hard to smile when you´re cold haha, and when you´re trying not to look like a tourist. But yeah, hopefully you enjoy them! And we´re still waiting to hear about moving to the new apartment, the pensionista told us he was working on the contract with the guy, so this transfer I expect we´ll be able to move! Poor Elder Galicia--he found it and set up the contract and now won't be able to enjoy the best pension in the mission, as Hermana Avila called it! I'll send him pictures haha and I will be very grateful every night in my prayers.
Alright, today I will look for a watch to buy. I need one, Elder Galicia had the watch in the companionship!
Well I need to get going. Sorry that again, another week without much news about teaching or anything. We actually spent this last week just sick. Elder Galicia was in bed for a few days, and also other elders in the zone. I think it started with me... I feel bad. But everyone is feeling better now! It's just the radical changes in the weather, from super hot, to freezing, to hot again. I hate it. But oh well, what can you do? It's the weather.
I'm glad all is well back home! Or I guess on vacation for now! Enjoy the rest of your trip, make sure to tell Justin, Karissa, Jack, Elli, and Noah hello from Argentina!! I´m so grateful for this opportunity to serve, and I realize the urgency of these short two years with every passing day and week, and trasnfer! I´m so grateful for my family, and I love them so much, also all my freinds, and I want them to have their family forever too! There´s a quote I found in the ZL pension Saturday night that says, "Missionary- someone who leaves their family for two years so that others can be with their families for ETERNITY" and that just added to the love I felt during the conference and everything! Thank you family, for always supporting me, but most of all for raising me in the way necessary to be able to be with you all for eternity! I don't want it any other way, for ANYONE. And I will use that to motivate me to find others who I know want the same thing. And for those of my friends and family who maybe don't have a full perspective of that, please just think of all the happy times you´ve had with your family, think about that, then think about that for ETERNITY, in a better, happier, more heavenly place than this earth. What more could you possibly want? It seems too good to be true, doesn't it? Well I promise you that it's not. It's possible, and the way is clear, difficult but clear. It requires much, but think about eternity being happy with everyone you love... that's a prize worth paying for right? Or should I say, priceless!!

I love you all, hope this week is amazing!

Elder Tyson Gibbons :) Each smile brightens the world a little more!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hola de Argentina todos!

Hola de Argentina todos!

Sorry I didn't end up sending an email last week, we played soccer but started late so I could have written, but it was really fun and I haven't played for so long, so it was good to excercise. It's amazing how much you can forget when you don't practice though. I'm sorry you were depressed Mom! I was thinking about you all week, knowing you would be sad, but since our time on pday ended and we aren´t really supposed to go to cyber other days, I just waited until today! I have a lot to talk about, so many questions and news, but I'll try my best.
First off, our zone conference! It was so good! Just like Dad said about Jalen, I can just feel all the time President Ávila spends seeking revelation, studying, praying, and talking with his wife. But everytime I am around him, the feeling I get most is just from the aura he has around him. His spirit just reaches out to every missionary, and his love too. He doesn't ever scold or drop cain, as everyone says here, unless it's absolutely necessary. He just has a calmness about him, and it makes even the disobedient missionaries feel comfortable. That's definitely thanks to the spirit! As men we have tendencies to get mad or upset or frustrated. He has developed the attribute of patience and charity to the maximum! I just feel at peace with myself and the world when we are around him. We focused on the Book of Mormon and there was one thing he said that was like a slap in the face. It was so obvious, but still we need to hear it to apply it. Joseph Smith once said, "If we take away the Book of Mormon from our religion, what are we left with? WE HAVE NOTHING." That's the clave (sorry, can't think of the word in English) of our religion, everything is based on it, if it's true or not. It's just amazing how hard it is to get people to understand that if it's true, there are things to change in their life, and if it's not, well they still have to find out for themselves, by reading pondering and praying. It's a simple cycle, but people don't want to even try, even if it means their life could be changed for the better. But President changed the quote a little and said, "If we take away the Book of Mormon from any lesson we teach or visit we make, what are we left with? WE DID NOTHING." Really their progress depends on their reading and finding out if it is true or not. It's that simple. So I thought about all the lessons I've gone to where I didn't feel the need to bring up the Book of Mormon because they believe so much in the Bible, or visits when we use the pamphlets, nothing more, so that was a good wake up call for me. Now I'm making sure we have a scripture in the Book of Mormon every visit we make, because that's how they are going to progress! And how we are going to progress in this life, studying and praying about all the wonderful things found inside. Like it says in the introduction, it contains the fulness of the gospel of Christ.
Anyway, those were really good talks, and for a practice we left and opened the mouth with people in the street, with different companions, and I went with Elder Tilleman, the assistant, again. It was awesome. We found two huge families and taught about the family, and it was just cool to learn new ways to talk to people, to get their interest. So that was cool. But no I didn't see anyone I know besides the people in my zone and the elders in the offices. I haven't seen anyone from my group since Christmas. Oh well, one day! But, yes I finally got the packages!! Thank you so much Mom and Dad, and also Jill and Jason and kids! I loved the valentines and candy and letters, and I loved the tie! It's a new favorite :)
Oh man, the whole business with the Pope was crazy! Everyone wanted to talk to us about it, but we would just say oh congratulations, he is Argentine! I was impressed with his humility in his first address to the people, everyone told us about that. I have respect for him. I just don't know anything else about how they do everything or why, but to him as a person I respect him! ç
Thanks for all the pictures! Everyone looks like they´re surviving very well, although Dylan looks like he´s freezing in the snow and all that. But that food still looks pretty good, I won't lie! As for the news about emailing friends I heard it too, but it's not an official rule yet, not for the rest of this transfer anyway. But yeah, that will be exciting!

So Jalen is training and district leader? That's just crazy. I know he can handle all the responsibility. He´s doing awesome work over there. I'm pretty sure my companion who comes to replace Elder Galicia (if it happens that he is leaving... one more week and we´ll know) will be district leader and I'll have to travel a bunch still on Sundays and everything. But oh well! It's all good with me. I feel comfortable with the work and the area, so I just want to keep working.
What?? Tyler is going to New Mexico!!?!?!?! That's so sweet! I loved it a lot, and tell him that if he ever is in the Bear Canyon, East Ridge or La Cueva wards he should say hi, not that anyone remembers me. Haha but he will love that. And wow there are a ton of missionaries going to Korea!! They´re going to tear it up over there! I just respect them for learning such a crazy language. I like regular letters a lot. And Peru!!! Sorry but I'm more excited about that, someone is coming on down to South America to join me! I won't feel so far away from everyone now. And make sure to let me know where Sydney is going! I don't even know what to guess. Korea too?? Haha.
Anyway, we did intercambios with the zone leaders this last Wednesday, and I was with Elder Schirner from Utah. So there was a gringo storm in Rodeo del Medio! We worked good, it was really cold and the weather came out of nowhere, but we survived. I think we just got each other sick, but thankfully it's already almost over with! I just couldn't sing yesterday in choir, which made everyone mad since I know the part and they follow me. But my throat has been killing me, I was lucky to be able to play soccer today too (I'll mention that later). But it was good to talk to Elder Schirner, talk a little bit of English and learn from him and his experiences. Then Thursday we switched back and had a good day working. It was a good day. But Friday we went to Unimev in the morning to help commit an investigator of the hermanas to baptism, and that worked out mas o menos well, but at lunch is when things went downhill, at least for me. The hermana that makes us lunch on Friday is menos activa, she doesn't come very often, and he never comes, but they know a lot and are faithful, to the point of coming to church anyway. But she told us that there was an accident and someone had died in our ward. She told us she thought it was a young woman who is recently married and 4 months pregnant, but they weren´t sure who it was, so I was just thinking and thinking and worrying and depressed all day. But then we talked to the zone leaders and they had heard about it because the stake president came to Rodeo del Medio to visit the family, and they told us what really happened. It wasn't the pregnant sister, but it was Agostina, the 10 yr old girl that sits in front of us every Sunday, and I've talked to her and her little baby sister every Sunday, and it just hit me so hard. I don't even know her really, or the family, but I just felt devastated. I realized though that this ward really does feel like family, as it should with any ward. It was a partial answer to all the prayers I've asked for charity, for love for the people. 5 days ago she had been all happy and talking with us and Juan Pablo and her little sister, and then they told me she had passed away. She was crossing an old highway and a car decided to pass the other, even though it was a curve, and... well it killed her instantly. I felt like it was my own sister that passed away... I was just out of it and depressed for days. It's still lingering. I can't imagine being the mom, who went walking after her and found her, already dead, on the side of the road... I wanted to talk to them, visit them, but Elder Galicia had other plans. Not that he did anything wrong, in fact it's good that someone was still focused on the work as well, our first priority, but I was just thinking about it all day long, and all night. That was the rough week we had basically. Obviously they didn't come to church yesterday, and I just don't know what to say or do. But because Elder Resek (one of the General Authorities down here) heard about it, he came to the ward as a surprise and gave such a short, inspiring message about how we need to as a ward be there to comfort them and help them to move on, because if they hold on to her death forever then they won't keep moving on or progressing. It's like that with everything though right? Any bad thing that happens in life will hold us back from moving on if we can't forget it and let it go. I think that was just a sealing testimony about what I talked about two weeks ago. But what hit me the strongest was his simple but firm testimony, that we should remember, that she is now in a better place than all of us are. It was simple, but so strong. We´re still in this imperfect world, and although we mourn the loss, there are others rejoicing that she has come home on the other side. The whole meeting after, I was just repeating the words of the poem that Janet read at Great-Grandma´s funeral. It was very comforting, I wish I could translate it and share it wtih them. I think I'll try to do that.
Anyway, then Sunday came and me and Elder Schirner couldn't sing, so we went out and had a good talk with the dad of a family they've been teaching that they´ve never found, and it was such a good talk! I realize now how important it is to talk to people, and not focus on lessons. Hopefully there is a good future with that family, since the kids and the mom already have a testimony of the Church and the gospel, now it's just the dad that doesn't have it! So yeah, that was a good experience. Then today we played soccer again on a turf field, so that was better than concrete, but I didn't have as much fun as last time. The zone leaders invited members, and it was bascially 3 on 3 instead of 7 on 7. Me and the other elders on the team, and on the other team, didn't do anything, it was all the natives playing basically. So I got bored pretty quick. But whatever, it was still good to excercise! And it wasn't super hot so I didn't get burned. That's a blessing. My poor white skin... I wish it would tan easier than burn.
Well this is the last week of the transfer, and hopefully we can get things picking up! The whole zone has had a few rough weeks, and not just our zone we found out today. As a mission hopefully we can get out of the slump and start moving forward! I'm glad the weather has lightened up though, although I'm sick because it went from super hot to super cold in a matter of two days. But oh well, what can you do?
As you mention my birthday, you said you had warm clothes like sweaters or something to send me? I wouldn't mind if you sent them sooner, I can have my birthday early. I was wishing for a sweater these last few days. It's warming up a little but it's not going to get super hot, then it's going to drop to winter. So that would be nice if you can get them to me at least by the end of this month! I will still consider it my birthday. And as for the rings, I really like the one that's mostly black with the HLJ and it says one moment in time inside. But there´s just one thing... we aren't allowed to wear rings here. You can still buy me one, I would like to have one! But there´s no need to send me it, since it will just sit in my suitcase. Just a rule of the mission! I was pretty bummed, but oh well. I'll be obedient!
I'm glad to hear everything is going well with tennis, soccer, driver´s ed, whatever else is going on!There´s really not much to mention here, I was glad to get the packages and letters! I'm glad all is going well back home, even if there are difficulties! It's still a good life, just focus on the good things! :) Life is happier that way. I love you all! I will let you know about transfers next week. I can't believe it's already ending again. What's up with that? Until next week, cuídense!
Elder Gibbons

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hola padre!
The weather has been quite a bit better. I love the fall, it's starting to arrive bit by bit. Although the last week was nice and cool and then ended with super hot days. And this week is starting the same, but the weather says it's in the 60s later this week! How great! I'm excited. Of course you're showing off the iphone (a weather app), but I'm sure people enjoy laughing at our misery, whether from the heat or the cold. Kate wants to go to Ecuador ahora?? That would be cool. I would like to go back.

This week was alright. Lots of traveling, so really we had two days of work in our area, since we were helping the other areas. But what can you do, a leader has to do his part to help those he leads! And Elder Galicia is plenty busy doing that. He's a good example for me. Supposedly soon we are going to get more missionaries, so we´ll see if your training prediction comes to pass. But I still haven't gotten any other packages besides Jenn and Scott's. Maybe tomorrow, we have zone conference so that will be cool! I'm excited for that. I always love seeing President Avila, he just has a happy spirit about him always that lifts all those who are in his presence.
I guess I inhereted your genes then, because I feel like I've always suffered from the same thing, having a hard time forgiving myself. But the good thing is we are never alone, mire (see) I´ve got you and the Savior so how is it possible to fail?
Thanks for your comments on the Book of Mormon, it's funny how I've been realizing all these things about the same time you say them. This last week we had a big focus on using the Book of Mormon because it clarifies so many doctrines that aren't clear in the Bible, and that's why we have baptisms of babies and other things like that. But one thing I found was the treasure of 2 Nephi 2 about the fall of Adam and the plan of salvation! I'm never going to skip the chance to share that, because it's a common thought today that it was a big sin and we could all be living in paradise with God if they hadn't done that. We shared verses 22 to 25 with an investigator and she was SO excited at the end of the lesson because she understood finally about all that confusion! Now the problem is just we have to find her new house, beause she asked us or basically begged us to come back the next week, but they had a problem with the renter and had to move. So we don't want to lose that excitement! So yeah, that's going to be an interesting challenge. But we´ll do it.
The Book of Mormon really is everything, it is so clear. I've always had more trouble understanding the Bible and Doctrine and Covenants, but even though I've gained a love for those too now thanks to the mission, I have ALWAYS loved the Book of Mormon, because I could understand the basics, and now I'm just finding all the more profound things. ¿que tal? I guess I did have room to improve here on the mission. Haha I already knew that, I wasn't anywhere near this level then.

I haven't heard anything about the new missions in Argentina, but Elder Galicia didn't believe me when I told him there were 9 or 11 new missions in Mexico, haha pretty funny. But that's cool that Mountain Home is in the Twin Falls mission now! Elder Ashby from my last area is a good friend, and lives in Twin Falls, and went to BYU, so there s a pretty good chance I'll try and visit him sometime. I would love to visit all my friends from the mission, but it could be hard! I'll try my best. Life certainly takes off after the mission, right?
Well Mom just barely wrote me literally right now, but we are playing soccer finally again with the other elders and I need to go. But I will write back later! Tell her that for me. Anyway, thank you for your always humorous yet uplifting emails. It's a true divine gift I believe to be able to insert humor with teaching, I've found you are good at that, and it also helps break down the ice with people you talk to. So thanks for your example, maybe I'll have that in my genes hidden somewhere to reveal itself in later times! I love you, and hope this week is just as good as the others. Until next week,
Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hey Mom! And everyone else,
No I can't believe it's March. Already a fourth of the way into the year.. I don't know where the time goes. It's been a good week, it's definitely had its ups and downs, but the downs have just helped me realize my mistakes and change them, so why bother mentioning those! Just the ups will suffice. The weather has been changing and cooling down steadily, and yesterday I had the first smell of a normal brisk autumn wind, and the leaves are starting to change color, so thank goodness autumn is on the way. I'm done with summer, although you are all looking forward to it. It's weird, being in opposite sides of the world.
Yes this last week we did intercambios again, and of course I got to go to Bombal, so I rode bikes around for another day. But I was a lot more accustomed this time, I didn't hurt nearly as bad. And I slept very well, and woke up to a real shower, so that made the day pretty good. Then I came back to our pench and it's all the same haha. So yeah, what can you do about that? It's just the life of a missionary.
So the plans with the sectors still haven't given their fruit, because this last week we had so many things to do besides work in the different sectors, so this week we set aside days to go to each sectore, and now we just have to make sure the person who signed up to accompany us can do it on that day. But it will work very well I imagine, when we finally get it going! Things are just crazy right now still, with the Vendimia going on. For those that don't know what that is, it's basically a big beauty pageant for all the counties of Mendoza. They have a competition in the county, choose one girl as the queen of that county, and then all the queens have a competition to basically be crowned queen of Mendoza. But it wasn't always just a beauty pagaent. It all has to do with wine, since the winning queen has her picture put on every wine bottle that Mendoza makes during this year of 2013, and in the older days the candidates had to basically do the wine making process on their own and that was part of their judging, but now it's all just about looks. Sad what the modern world can do to even the culture. But it's a huge deal in Argentina so everyone was going crazy this last week. I don't know who won, but hopefully things calm down a little this week.
The choir is going well. The majority of the same people come every week, so that's nice. I had to play the piano again yesterday, but it was a little easier this time. And we finally finished the first two hymns and are going to decide on the third and fourth I think. But we just don't know which ones, because none of the basses (me and the others) know the parts to the songs they sang in the past, since we weren't part of the choir. But I already learned one part, so hopefully I can help the rest of them and we can start practicing All Creatures of our God and King next week.
We have a zone meeting this Wednesday, and they´ve told me I have a few letters and maybe my package will be there too. I don't think you need pictures of Christ on padded envelopes, Jenn and Scott´s package came without problems! But yeah, I'll let you know when I get it.
All I have to say about Nathan and Kate is wow. I don't know what happened to the little siblings I had. I'm really glad they are branching out more though. And what makes me more happy than anything is that even after the stupid things I did and said to them before, they still turned out alright, or better said, even better than I did. I've had moments where I've felt just awful for the mean stuff I've done to them, and hearing how amazing they are really makes me feel better, and very proud of them. Mountain Home High School nor Junior High will forget about them for quite a while for sure. They are bascially fraternal twins, like me and Jalen, and since me and Jalen were well known just beacuse we were twins, I think Nathan and Kate will have a little more influence. And by the way, thanks for the pictures of the play! I have to say Nathan looks alright with makeup on (just kidding). But seriously, he just makes me think of Luke from the "5000 Days Project." I don't have the right to say I was Sam, I'm sure Jalen was more of that role than me, but Nathan is fulfilling the role of Luke perfectly, it's amazing.
So this week we had the exchanges when I went to Bombal, and it's always a nice thing to have a change in the normal routine. But I learned a lot, mostly about myself. That I am a better teacher than I think sometimes, and that I have a testimony of a few things that maybe I didn't think I had, or of things that I knew I had, but it has been strengthened. We were teaching an investigator the plan of salvation, and Elder Bulva was explaining the Atonement. When he teaches, the spirit is there, no matter what. And as I listened to him explain the atoning sacrifice that Christ made for us, I sat and looked at the picture in the pamphlet of Christ praying in Gethsemane, and tears just came to my eyes as I felt things click in my heart and mind. I had a testimony of the Atonement, but this moment changed things for me, I decided to live what I preached and take full advantage of this blessing we have in our lives, to change mistakes, to be a different person, a better person, and to repay the people that were affected by my actions. I have always had a hard time with a few of the steps of repentance, one of them being forgiving myself. I don't know why it's so hard for me, but I'm glad to have had all the experiences that I've had to help me grow and practice with that, because I have no trouble forgiving others, I think I've always been that way. But for myself, it's different. We are always harder on ourselves than what others would normally be, and it's been really really hard for me to forgive myself and move on... but today I feel that way. That I have finally given in and forgiven myself, forgotten things, and now I can move on more fully, and not be held back by this. Obviously it's not going to be all easy, I know there could be some more problems and difficulties in the future, but I just trust in my Savior and know I'll overcome them, even if it takes me days, weeks, months, years, or a lifetime. As Job says in chapter 27, I echo his statement,

"5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.
6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live."
I won't forget this day, even if I feel distracted and have a lot on my mind, I can now 100% sincerely and without doubt say that my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. I don't intend to let anything hold me back from what I want, and I will work until I die to repay every last drop of blood Christ shed for me, and every last injury I've caused to any one of you in my life. I promise you that. There really is truth in the promise that we can be pure and clean before God if we give ourselves in and let Him make us what we should be. I feel like I've for the first time gone through that whole process, because I feel different, lighter, more free than I ever have! And I know there are more times it's going to happen in my life, but I welcome them, and know I'll be quicker in the process than I have been in the past. If anyone is having trouble with the same problem, please just turn yourself in and let Him change you, and forgive yourself! Yes we are imperfect, but with God, like it says in all scriptures, "nothing is impossible," and as President Monson said in his talk last conference, men CAN change. It's possible. I know it is, I may not be a man, I don't feel like it, but I know I've changed.

That's bascially the biggest thing that has happened this last week. A lot more happened but I just feel distracted today, It's something I still have to get used to, this feeling. And I just have a lot on my mind, so sorry it's not a usual long email. I promsie next week it should be normal! But please know I love each and every one of you, more than you know, and want to fix any wrong I've done to any of you, because with the perspective of eternal families and friends, I don't want there to be anything between you and me that doesn't go in harmony with God or the teachings of Christ. I apologize to any that I may have offended or done wrong, and please forgive me, even if it takes time. I'll do everything I can and need to to fix it! I know Christ hasn't given up on me, even if for too long I felt like He had, and there was no hope. Please try and do the same. We are all imperfect.
I hope this week is better than any week in March you´ve had so far this year! With any big events I hope you enjoy them to the last second! This life is better when we are focused on the good parts and not the little bad details. Like I've said before, these memories will be the June flowers in whatever December, winter, cold situation comes into your life. Just remember all the good things that have happened, and rejoice that they have happened, and expect more in the future. That's the best way to look at life!

Elder Tyson Gibbons