Okay this is the real email. We´ve had a really good week, filled with some interesting happenings, but a lot more calm than last week with transfers and everything. I´ve gotten used to the weather, or at least I had, until it decided to be warm again these last two days! It's driving my immune system insane, but it's actally fighting with Elder Rogers' immune system, poor guy. So I'll get to that a little later.
But, I think I'll start from the bottom of your email, so yeah! We are getting along just fine, even better actually. I've matured a little bit, as a missionary, but as a person too, and since he was with me as a newbie the last time, I think he is a little happier now that I know how to work and everything. We had lunch with the bishop's family (talked all about Spain, because they used to live there!! It was awesome!) and his wife told me that when Elder Rogers told them who his next companion was going to be, "he had the biggest smile on his face" is what she said. So that made me feel good! As for investigatores, well I´m kinda in the same situation as all my other areas. We are looking for new people, as always, because those we have just don't want to come to church! (Justo Daract all over again, right?) So I'm kinda starting from scratch, but at the same time I´m not. It's complicated. BUT this area is seriously so big but really really beautiful. I have some pictures, I'll send them next week! I forgot my camara :( sorry.
As for food, yes I bought food! And it lasted me perfectly through this week haha, we just have a tiny mini market place that takes cards in Albardon, so we shopped there. They just don't have nearly as much selection as Carrefour :/ But I ate the last of it last night, so I chose wisely I guess!
Anyway, so on Friday we spent the whole day in the pench again! Apart from 5 hours traveling, waiting, and traveling again to and from the hospital! Elder Rogers had some x rays done in a hospital. He waited at the door for the supposed "clinical check ups" for about an hour and a half, and there was a line and everyone was getting really impatient! So I just sat there and wrote a letter to the Gutierrez family, and to Kelly, and talked to this random guy that was like 20 years old that I THINK was only talking to me because he wanted to tell me what I was doing was a waste of time. But, I seemed to thwart him in his efforts with all my well-guided missionary standard questions, and he ended up taking out his phone, answering a call from his mom and left. The thing is, his phone wasn't ringing, and I didn't hear a voice answer him, and he was literally right next to me, so that was just really funny haha. But then we had to go to the hospital in Albardon because they didn't have the medication for him there in San Juan. I have a lot more willpower to take really really good care of myself now. It just turned out that he had the starting symptoms of pneumonia, and is taking an antibiotic now. How crazy? I'm doing everything I can not to contract the same thing.
Congrats Nathan on driving to church! You´ve hit a milestone! Haha but just wait till you go to Utah, that'll be an adventure. I´m glad Kate is going to EFY with Rachel and Elisha, that will be super cool! And a Real Salt Lake game!!! They're going to love that, being soccer fans and all. When we went during BYU year with Matt, he was just foaming at the mouth, he was so excited. They might be a little more sophisticated than that, but we´ll see ;)
President of the Portland Temple!!! That's so cool! I remember that temple just from Jacci´s wedding, it's beautiful. But I just am biased towards anything that's Oregon, since I love Oregon. But I would like to go there some day!! Along with the Boise one obviously. I want to see how awesome it is now. (Correction, more awesome, since it was already an awesome temple.)
Oh man, that birthday dinner sounds really good :( I miss good ol' homecooked food. We get rare glimpses of it with a few members, but it's still the classic noodles and sauce haha, oh well. But we had a really good torta de papa (like a weird quiche but made mostly out of potatoes) and then REALLY REALLY good raviolis. So I'm excited for the next 10 Tuesdays with the bishop's family :) I hope Kate had a very enjoyable birthday!! Send me a picture of the giant giraffe pillow, it suits her well! So tall :) and her personality is just so spotted ;P just kidding, nada que ver!
Wow, those home videos you talked about make me realize how old I've gotten (not mature, just old haha). I remember all those people from Florida, and it's crazy that I haven't really talked to any of them for who knows how long! Wow that's weird that Ashley is 16, but I guess Kate is 15 (actually, she's 14 :) ) so it's about the same! And that's really funny, doing the happy dance or whatever they called it. I don't even remember what it was, I'll have to look that up when I get back. Or you can show me when Ashley and Nathan did it in Florida haha. I'm glad you are getting in contact with a bunch of people though! That's about the only thing I like about facebook. Other than that, it's just really distracting haha, too many things to do for too much time. But it's a blessing as well! Maybe one day Dad will join the bandwagon. :) (Not likely.)
Well today we are going to the seminary or institute building to play ping pong and everything, because last Monday we traveled all over, and no one was there, and the shopping was closed, and yeah. It was a long, boring p day. But we saw Elder Braithwaite here in cyber and talked to him, so that'll be cool to hang out with him again! :) Anyway, we´re starving and Elder Rogers has been sitting very patiently waiting for me for 45 minutes(not my fault, I guess he just doesn't write as much haha) but I need to get going! One last thing...
So on Saturday we talked to a less active person, and it was a really good experience. I don't know why, but it's the second time that a less active member has told me their life story, and they have both told me that they don't ever talk to anyone about anything like that, so I should feel special because "I guess I trust you enough already," so that made me feel good, knowing they trust me! Anyway, listening to the story of all that had happened, the reasons they don't go to church anymore, it was like I didn't believe them, because I was seeing them just like President Monson explained in October, that we realize they can change and that they´re just a child of God surrounded by things of the world trying to bring them down. In this circumstance, the person kept saying something and then "can you believe that??" and I seriously just looked at them and said "well, no not really. I don't see you like that" and it was amazing to see their face change and realize that we weren't having a normal less active visit where we come to tell them everything they are doing wrong. Elder Rogers and I shared some scriptures, talked about the Atonement and some other things, using the night sky as an example of God's power to help us change, and we testified more than anything. And I saw their face just pause, really think about what we were saying, and realizing they were feeling the spirit, something that maybe hadn't been present for a good while, and it brought me to tears, and them almost as well. One thing they said really hit me though. Because it was something I've thought too many times, they said that they didn't believe that things really could be just that easy, repent and change. And that's when the tears came and I just told them that well, it really is that easy. I know, from personal experience. It made me remember Elder Holland's talk from last year in April I think, and I am going to have them read it, because that's what helped me understand better. So I'm looking forward to that visit. But that was the highlight of my week!
It really is possible to see people surrounded with so many problems, yet realize that they aren't creatures of those circumstances, and all we have to do sometimes is help them to become the creators of their own circumstances. That's the joy of this work, helping people realize that they DO have power to overcome their problems, and weaknesses, and help them become the creators of situations, the captains of their own fate, masters of their own soul. (Can you send me that quote?? Please. I love it!) I hope you all can do the same, with a friend or family member in the same or varying circumstances, that you can see them literally through God´s eyes. It helps us love them even more, and teach them how they NEED to be taught or helped. It will help in all circumstances.
Just another weekly quote from talks (I can finally listen to them again! We have a good dvd player in the pench). Again from Elder Holland: "Honesty and truthfulness are the principles that should govern all organizations and ALL personal relationships" as well. Gotta love the apostles, they just have a lot of good one-liners.
Well I love you Mom! And my family of course. And all of you! I hope you have a great last week of school, and enjoy the beginning of summer!! I know that each of us is a child of God, with an INFINITE potential, and the only way to unlock that potential is to give everthing over to Him, and let him shape us into what He knows we should be.
Until next week!
Elder Tyson Gibbons