With Elder McBride and Elder Fullmer
Quite a detour--from Idaho to Argentina, by way of India!
So this last week was pretty crazy too, lots of divisions and intercambios and interviews with President Ávila, but everthing turned out really well! Except starting Wednesday it got freezing again. But that's the only downside really that there was this week!
So on Tuesday after district meeting we did intercambios, I went to Necochea and was with Elder Pyne, and Elder Haist (the mini missionary) went to Albardón with Elder Fullmer. It was a pretty rough day for us in Necochea. No one was home, so we didn't have any of the citas that we had planned. Sorry, citas means appointments. It's a lot easier to say cita. So we just talked with a bunch of people in the street, and got a lot of the classic "point at the watch and keep walking" responses. A lot of people that didn't even have time to say hola. Haha so that was pretty fun! I was just trying to help Elder Pyne recover some excitement after a hard day. I feel like I helped a little bit!
So then Wednesday we switched back, and had a pretty good day. And then Thursday we had interviews!! We went at 9 in the morning. I saw Elder Johnson and talked to him a lot about Rodeo del Medio (I'll mention all that exciting news a little later), and then we had our interviews first. Mine lasted 5 minutes as usual and Elder Fullmer about 10-15. Then we headed back to Albardón with Elder McBride! It was such a good day. He showed us a BUNCH of people that he had been passing by, his converts, old investigators, everything, and we got a LOT done that day. Me and Elder Fullmer analyzed the whole thing the next day and took out some examples from what we did to apply now for the rest of the transfer and mission. Elder McBride was just like in a dream the whole time. I can't imagine what it would be like to return to one of your areas from before, but he was super excited! We had lunch with the familia Algañaras. They made empanadas, SUPER good, and then since they had to rush off to work, we said we would come back that night. So then we went and visited a lot of people, taught some good lessons, and he just told people to start listening to the missionaries again and to come back to church (which none of them did yesterday....) We introduced him to the flia Muñoz, and he was telling all the elders how awesome that family was afterwards, and we went back to the Algañaras and they gave us even more empanadas (I didn't complain) and a torta, but we were already there later than we told them we were going to stay, and we had to call a taxi because three buses passed us headed to the station, they had already finished. So we got home a little late.
And then we spent the night here, and in the morning we were out again. Back to Centro. But I got to see Elder Chipman for the first time in 8 months!!! We talked about Albardon, since he started there, and he was super excited to hear about all the progress and everything. So that means all of our MTC district is here in San Juan except Elder Hardy! And I guess Elder Egbert too, since he is in Mendoza. But the rest are all here! Pretty crazy.
But then President Avila asked me about my shoes, since they are falling apart (the better pair, the other pair was destroyed and I left them in Rodeo del Medio), and he asked me why I had asked about shoes a few months ago (Hermana Avila had asked if there were any items of clothing or anything we needed, and I said if they had just a leftover pair of shoes, if I could have them). And I told him that was why, I only had one pair and still a year to go. He asked if there was anything that would keep you guys from sending me new ones, and I just mentioned that Jalen had lost his luggage, and after I said that, he didn't say anything else, and sent me with the assistants and bought me a simple pair of shoes. So now I have two pairs. But it just about made me cry, he didn't even think about it twice. He is a really loving, generous man. I could literally feel his love when he was talking to me, it was a very humbling experience. So then we went back to Albardón and the day was más o menos(so/so), and then Friday was pretty good. But then we lost the last three hours of the night going to do another interview for the zone leaders, which turned out super well. A man named Daniel got baptized after listening to the missionaries for 5 years or so. But he´s seen big changes in these last few months, and finally made it! We were all super happy, plus he has like 9 kids so they all are going to be a big addition to that ward!
Then Saturday we worked in the siesta, went to change because we went to help a family move houses, and that was pretty interesting too. It was really really humbling. They were living in a house made of bamboo and mud bascially, and they moved to an abandoned house, but a lot bigger and a real cement house. I´d never thought I would have a move done with just two truckfulls of possessions. (Did I spell that right?) But it was a super cold night, and the sun went down, and I was freezing. So we went back to the church to change, and I realized I forgot my coat. So I was just in my shirt the rest of the night. We visited the flia Muñoz, and then went home! And they came to church yesterday, and Fabian and Valentin received the priesthood. (Bishop Alvarez did it, and we participated when Valentin was ordained. We just watched for Fabian. ) And next week Bishop asked them to bless and pass the sacrament (Fabian and Valentin respectively), so that will be SUPER COOL!
Anyway yeah, about Rodeo del Medio, Elder Johnson just told me about a lot of the people I had been teaching, how Graciela´s kid Matias finally got baptized, how Juan Pablo blesses the sacrament every week, how he (Elder Johnson) went out to the middle of nowhere to visit one of the families and is now the first official elder to step foot out there, and they found a lot of people. And then he told me that Patricia, Juan Pablo´s sister, started reading the Book of Mormon!!!!!! She was the one who would always leave when we would try to talk about anything religious, but I sent her a Book of Mormon and Elder Johnson gave it to her and "helped her" read some verses and realize it wasn't a bad book, and it was just like the Bible. I put those quotation marks because he had to put the book right there and told her to read, and with time she started softening a little bit. That's just how Elder Johnson is haha, but now that family loves both of us! Weird how we were MTC comps and everything. But I was super happy to know about that.
Other than that, the week was a good week, a normal week! We are seeing good changes in the zone and we hope to keep them going upward! Constant progress is what we need! We found another family of 4 on Tuesday. Actually, the credit goes to Elder Fullmer, he was in a meeting with our new ward mission leader, and they were talking to him about their neighbor, and then five minutes later she knocks on the door, they invite her in, and they teach her about the Restoration. So now we are going to be teaching them with their neighbors, and hopefully this month they get baptized! I still haven't met them, but they told me that they are all very receptive and open, and that she specifically has been looking for the true church and true teachings for years. So we hope to be able to help her on her way! I´ve already seen this message help the lives of lots of people, I know it will do the same for anyone who takes advantage of it!
Anyway, that's about all the news for this week, it's been a very good week! Thanks for the pictures, the house does look quite different, but I like it! I am pretty bored with the gray and tan houses all around. Down here they have pretty random colored houses too, and it definitely brightens things up!
I´m glad to hear that soccer had a very good opening game as well! Oscar is doing a good job for sure! And yeah, I remember Solomon told me one time that his dad had played for a team for years, I always thought that was cool! I bet he can help out a lot! And if he can help Nathan too, even better! :) The soccer camp we went to in Oregon helped me a lot, even though me and Blake spent the majority of the time injured and on the sideline watching!
Oh yeah, so more news, on Tuesday I am going to Mendoza again! Crazy, huh? I have to go to two meetings on Wednesday, whoo hoo!(That was half sarcastic, but I really am excited!!) I´ll get to see Elder Day again, and a few other elders I haven't seen for a while, so that will be cool! Hopefully the bus is at least half as nice as last time... we´ll see I guess. But that takes out another two days of work in our area, so we have to work like crazy today, tomorrow afternoon, and then the rest of the days! It will be rough, but we´ll do it.
About the package, no I am still waiting for it, hopefully it is there when I go to the Mendoza this week... if not, well Bishop Alvarez might have to wait a little more time for his Sloppy Joe seasoning haha. He actually asked me if I had ever asked for it, and I told him yes, and that I was just waiting. Two more weeks in the transfer, so hopefully it comes.
Alright, well we have to go print pictures for the flia Muñoz and familiares, and do compras, since last week we didn't get to! Everything was closed, and all of Centro was just empty. So weird. I can't imagine Boise or New York or any city like that ever being empty. But then again, the holidays are different there, people still work, and the siesta doesn't exist either! Gotta love Argentina :)
Anyway, I will talk to you all next week. I'm starving, and we´re going to go play some games and ping pong with the other elders! I love you Mom! I'm glad you are happy with the house! I like it too, dont worry. Doesn't matter what anyone else says, it adds some variety, and we´re supposed to be a "peculiar people" anyway, right? Definitely standing out! Can't wait to see the finished project!
I hope you all have a good week and enjoy all that comes your way! I'll do my best to do the same. Time flies too fast, so you have to have that in mind always or you´ll miss opportunities, and that's just the worst feeling ever! Don't let it happen!
Elder Tyson Gibbons
p.s. I got a letter this last week, and this is what it said on it! Sister Eagley, I guess your letter wanted to make a big detour! Pretty cool right? I have a letter that went through India!
p.p.s. To answer your question Dad, we do offer blessings quite a bit, and whenver they agree we always have the chance to explain what it is and how it helps, so it's a good teaching experience! But yeah, I definitely understand why you would be asked to do that stuff so much. I don't know why, but I've heard stories of elders who bless babies and everything. I haven't got that one under my belt yet! Maybe in the future. If not, when I have my own kid then!