Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello from.... Mendoza!!

Well, does that end your suspense? We finally found out transfers Tuesday night, and I am now in Mendoza Centro, close to the Plaza Independencia, basically where ALL the famous attractions of the Mendoza elders are found, the zoo, Cerro de la Gloria, hikes in the mountains, giant parks, dowtown Mendoza.... does that give any information about the kind of area I´m in??

So, I am now in a very, VERY RICH area, completely different than where I´ve ever been in my mission. It's been a hard change. I´m still not used to it, and even Elder Connolly, my new companion (he arrived with Elder Fullmer, so this is his 4th transfer), has a map and is always looking at it, because it's just so many streets and it's a BIG area. It's going to take a little longer to become familiar with everything. Another interesting thing! Our area was split this transfer, and we share the same ward with two Hermanas! So that's interesting, although it makes our job and their job a little easier, less area to cover. Another interesting thing: our ward is the ward where President Ávila´s family goes every Sunday, how´s that for pressure?!?!  It's beeen super good, and they told me that Hermana Ávila had only come twice in the last month or so, and that President had never come--they're always off visiting other zones. Guess who was there yesterday? Haha ALL of them, it was so cool!!! I´ve met a few members, but know the names of two of them so far, a recently married couple from Buenos Aires. She was baptized only 2 months ago!! And then the ward mission leader. But, things will improve, right?
So, if you´re going to look up the area or anything, just look for the Plaza Independencia, then close to north is the Parque Central, and we live right next to that. So we have a LOT of area. We live just to the east of the street Peru, there´s a roundabout and then to the east there´s another roundabout, surrounded by apartment complexes, and we live in one of those. We have four kioscos beneath our pench, plus a laundry mat (AWESOME!!!! Laundry took 30 minutes today, and it's cheap! I´m happy about that at least). And the other crazy news... it's a four man pench!! Four elders!! I´ve never had one of those, and from what I saw in Necochea and Reitro in San Juan, it's crazy. And it has been. It's me and Elder Connolly, then Elder Degracia from Panama and Elder Alfaro (who is from my group) from Peru. It's interesting. It's not one of the nicest penches... but oh well, I won't complain!
So Elder Manjarres from San Luis, who I mentioned a few times at the beginning of my mission, is with Elder Southwick now! I hope things are going well for them. I spent the entire week taking pictures and teaching one last time all the people I had met, and they all were very grateful for everything we helped them with. It was hard to say goodbye to all of them. And A_____ (the one that's active but can't be baptized yet, so active but not active) and her two inactive daugthers and the rest of their active kids came to church like I said. And then on Thursday I went to the meeting with Bishop to say goodbye, took pictures, and they showed up--A_____ and the two oldest daughters, and had bought me ice cream, and a watch! Way surprising, but they told me they just wanted to say thank you somehow for all the help I gave them. So I was very grateful as well. And then at 10:30 Bishop finally finished his meeting and we went with him to his house (pretty weird, usually a bishop would be pretty upset about being out so late... ). But we went and talked with them and they thanked me as well, made us pizza, and then brought us home. And Friday morning, I was out of there. Super hard to leave.... but I´ll just keep the good memories and try and make some here! I'll send pictures next week, the cyber here doesn't have usb ports that I can see.
As for a good memory, for lunch yesterday we went with this guy in his car to his house, and he lives literally at the foot of the mountains, PASSING the huge park and the zoo and the stadium and just up and up and up. Literally the edge of civilization (I told you it's a rich area).  And even though his house is just simple, it's surrounded by mansions, and the land he owns is just priceless. I took pictures. It looks over ALL of the city, it's even higher than Cerro de la Gloria. Really really cool, plus he made us asado, but a real asado. We had pig, steak, chorizo, and guess what else? MORCILLA, or better known as, blood sausage :/  I ate it... I´m not a big fan. I couldn't get the memory from Ecuador out of my head, where I touched it, licked my finger, and just tasted blood. Thankfully there was some onion with the blood! But it was all really good still!! Way cool family. He offered to go with us on a Monday to hike Cerro Arco, the mountain that the elders usually hike. So we´ll try and do that some time! And also, one of the AWESOME things that the member pointed out to us on the way to his house, was a big empty lot, fenced off, just below his house, looking over all of the city. He looked at me and asked me what I thought of the lot. And I remember something Elder Day told me about... it was the land for the Mendoza Temple, whenever they announce it!!!! SOOOO COOOOOL!!! Everyone will flock to it, it's literally like the Bountiful and Draper temple sites, but we´re in Argentina so it stands out more. Or it will. And even crazier, it's right next to a GIANT Catholic school, so hopefully there won't be any crazy things that happen. And it's also across the street from Orange County, Mendoza. It's not really called that, but it's seriously the absolute richest neighborhood I´ve seen in the mission. It looks like the States, and it's all part of our area. Just crazy, huh?? If you want to look up where the member lives, he lives in a part called Challao, it´ll probably come up on a map if you look it up. Anyway, that was all the crazy stuff... before lunch. After lunch, he took us through the huge park, showed me all the cool things to see, gave me a tour bascially, so things I´ve wanted to be doing my entire mission all happened in about 3 hours... just ridiculous. It's still the Mendoza mission, but it's super weird at the same time. Very different. I´ll get used to it soon, hopefully!
Updates on the Albardon people, yes we´ve been working with the less active man and his girlfriend, and also his cousin's family. They are both the G_____ families, and we´re trying to help them get active again and those who aren't members to get baptized! I don't know how to ask Elder Southwick, so I might not know until December, and I hope not to get any bad news! :/ As for Maria, I went twice to say goodbye to them, and thankfully none of us got emotional, but I did as I was walking away. I told them that when they go to the temple to get sealed, I want to send them one of those pictures of the temple and their family name, just like you and Dad bought and is now hanging in the living room/hall. I will pay with my own money, but I already told them I will get it for them. I love that family so much, and I missed Maria´s talk on Sunday! But she had already prepared it on Tuesday when we went the first time, so I don't worry at all! Hopefully Fabian could go to church and not have to worry about taking care of the nephew like he has the last month... And the family that Elder Hone and Elder Southwick found have been listening still, but used Mothers Day as an excuse to not come to church. So I'll be asking Elder Southwick about them as well. We met even more of her kids, so there are a lot we were teaching, but we will see. BUT! On Monday night, we had a recorrido with two kids from Campo Afuera that were invited by one of their friends from the Rivadavia Ward, who came ALL the way from there to Albardon to do the recorrido. We put a fecha and taught them a really good lesson. I want to find out if they came to church!!! But it will all have to wait.
Thank you for the pictures! And yes, Karla is one of the members of the ward in Albardon. She will soon be the second missionary serving from the Albardon Ward! Both in Brasil, crazy huh?
I´m glad your trip to Seattle turned out well! I loved Seattle when we went. And next time you see Kali and Rob, tell them I say hi as well!  I can't believe Nathan is learning ukulele now, that's so weird... but cool too! He can play with Elder Southwick then haha, although I dont know how good Elder Southwick played ukelele, he was mostly guitar.
So being the new district leader here, I have A LOT of things to take care of and fix... thank you Dad and Mom both for sharing your thoughts about testimonies and the Spirit. I have always been really hard on myself, and so when I say that I feel much more secure spiritually now than before the mission, I still have little voices doubting, but I just ignore them. If there is anything I´ve received during the mission, it's been the help to re-align my testimony to be vertical and not horizontal. I still have a lot to do! But I don't care, at least I am willing to do it and keep moving forward! It's hard because one of the elders in my district just does whatever he wants. He´s been watching youtube videos this entire time in cyber, and it's on the main computer so the sound is really loud, and it's really distracting.  As a leader I have to help him correct it, but sadly I think he started out like that, so the roots are deeper than they should be... I´ll try and help him, but if that's any sign at all, I´m definitely not being the normal teenager I was before the mission. The mission is too sacred for me to be doing all the things I did before, like he´s doing now. It honestly just makes me really sad that someone would waste such an amazing opportunity... :/  I´ll get on that soon. It's not just here at the cyber, it's every day... so I'll try and fix things. It's a lot of responsibility. I have felt overwhelmed since I got here last week. But, it doesn't matter!  I hoped to never see that kind of attitude in a member of the Church or a missionary (even though I KNOW that no member is perfect, nor ever will be).  It's very sad to think that not all have super strong testimonies. But oh well!
We have to go now, but I will let you know how things go this next week! And I'll send pictures. We´re going to play soccer now, thank goodness! It's been so long!!! I love you all and hope you have a great week! Until next time,
Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, October 21, 2013


Three mission calls

I´m sorry dad is feeling sick! I´ve felt good for quite awhile now, probably because the heat down here just fries any type of disease or bug that exists! It's getting so hot! And I just barely got my clean short sleeve shirts back yesterday, so I´ve been cooking in my long sleeve shirts for a week or so. Not fun.
Oh sorry, hola todos!
So I´m just going to start by saying, we don't have transfers yet! And we won't have them until tomorrow afternoon or night, but either way, you won't know where I am at until next Monday! Haha isn't that awesome?  We don't know anything except that Elder Thurgood is the new Assistant replacing Elder McBride! I was always thinking about that possibility, he was pretty shocked. But we don't know anything else. SO! I´ll just let you know next week, sound good? For some reason I´m not nervous this time though. Not sure if it's because I´m staying and I´m happy or I´m going and I´ve been here long enough and worked hard. Guess we´ll find out!

That sounds like a really cool mini reunion that Grandma and Grandpa had! In Madrid, or all places! Yes when we went there Kelly and her mom and I--and a couple of the Baldridges came with us--we went to the temple, and took pictures all over the place there. I remember wondering how it would be to be in that MTC. I wonder if Elder Judd and Elder Daines from the MTC enjoyed their 6 weeks in the MTC with all Spanish! I would've been scared out of my mind.
Wow the varsity is going to State, huh? Playing against a team from Preston! That's way cool, Elder Reynolds in our zone is from Preston, and now Elder Squires is living there too. But go Mountain Home! 
That soccer team party sounds like a blast, wish I could´ve been there! (Not really, I´d much rather be here!) But mostly the pizza part makes me want to have been there. I miss real pizza. And soccer. But that can all wait, there´s no rush!  I think that's hilarious that Oscar can tell us apart and not Jared and Josh. Do they look a lot alike now? I guess they´ve probably grown quite a bit. Keep me updated about State!
Whoa, so does that mean Drew is going to be in The District 3??? Haha probably not, but that means he´d better do his best constantly, and how crazy is it that Eric was his greeter? Way crazy. They both look a lot older with the nametag!
So this last week I did another baptismal interview for a man names S_____. He´s only 22, barely older than me, but he is so cool. He got baptized Saturday and is already helping his mom get baptized too. And his friends and some more family members. Just like what we want everytime! We´re still trying to get the familia Muñoz on that boat, helping their family members. We´ll get it eventually. But Valentín gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, and it was VERY impressive. He was talking with such confidence and the spirit was even stronger right when he started talking, and even though he´s been a member for 2 months, he gave one of the best, most simple talks I´ve heard in my whole life. So that's one down for him, one for Lucila, and now María has been assigned to speak next Sunday! Don't know if I´ll be here, but I know she´ll do awesome too.  I love that family so much.
So this week we worked a lot with some less active families, and we got one of them to come back to church. He brought his girlfriend with him, who seems very interested in the church, whether by curiosity or because she realizes that it can help her boyfriend change some things in his life, which I´m sure she would love, to be a better example for their son. So that was a really good achievement, and now we´re just going to help them learn more and keep coming! I´ve noticed that when people go inactive, they always have SOOO many questions, but since they never got answered, maybe they distanced themselves from the church, and now they´re all surfacing again, so we´re doing our best to answer them. But if we can help the son and his girlfriend, then through them we can better help the other members of the family of the son. It's a big family... imagine if they all came to church! 
And the family that Elder Hone and Elder Southwick found is doing well. They have trouble reading, since their house is a crazy house with so many little kids running around, but we keep meeting more members of the family, and they all love listening to us, so this week we are going to try and do a church tour and get them to church next Sunday! They want to make changes in their life, but until they come to church and read and pray, they won't know how to change, so we´re helping them with that. But the good thing is that they all want to listen to us! They just couldnt come yesterday, since yesterday was Mother´s Day down here, EVERYONE used that excuse for whatever thing, it was kind of annoying. But Happy Argentine Mother´s Day Mom! And all you other moms! And also happy birthday Kenzie and Blake!
Well I feel like I don't have much information to tell you about, since we don't know transfers yet. But I´ll let you know next week! We´re going to go and do something fun for our last p-day with all of us together, so I will talk to you all next week! I love you Mom and Dad! And Nathan and Kate! 
And thanks a bunch for the pictures! It's good to see Justin and Karissa and the kids again, it's been a long time!  And little Ava too!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

PS--The picture is of Elder Southwick, Karla, and me. Karla got her mission call last Friday and is going to the Sao Paulo, Brasil mission! She´s super excited and wanted us to take a picture with our three mission calls! Classic picture, an old elder (me D:) a new elder (Elder Southwick) and a soon to be hermana!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Hey Mom! 
So this last week has been the best week of this transfer by far! We had a really good week. The zone meeting turned out really good, and we talked about it yesterday in the leader meeting that we´re pretty sure everyone has taken to heart what we taught and shared, because EVERYONE had a really good week this last week. One of the areas, Rivadavia, had eleven investigators show up to church! That's just unheard of! But we´re pretty sure it has something to do with the meeting. My part turned out well, and so did all the other ones, so all in all it was a very spiritual meeting! 
As for riding the spiritual wave after conference, yes I think that also made a big difference in our week! And we got a lot of the people that came to conference to come to church yesterday too! Yesterday was a really good Sunday basically. It started out almost exactly like the missionary work-Sunday when everyone showed up late?? It was five minutes till 10 and there were like three families there. I was starting to get a little worried, but I didn't let myself get too worried. I had to bless the sacrament and I was just sitting up there wondering why no one that we had invited had shown up, and during the sacrament hymn, Elder Southwick who was passing with Valentín, whispered, "ELDER GIBBONS" and when I looked at him he just had the biggest smile on his face, and I looked back into the far benches, and the ENTIRE familia Chavez had shown up: the mom who always comes, with the three youngest daughters who always come, but also with Juan, Arantxa, and Mayra. So that put a smile on my face. And then after the sacrament, Bishop gave his testimony, and another hermano did, and then no one stood up. and I was feeling that normal feeling like "You should go up. Do it." And I resisted a little longer, and then I got up. And right as I got up, another less active family showed up and sat in the back, and so I was super happy, and then I started bearing my testimony and I just told everyone how much I really did love them and was thankful for having met them, and I started talking about not getting discouraged, because that same Sunday there were a few people there that I thought just wouldn't ever come, and there they were (I´m pretty sure they knew who I was talking about) and then I got a little emotional because right when I was talking about that, two more inactive families walked in the door, sat down, and just looked up at me, and the feeling I had is impossible to describe, it was like God was telling me, through all those people, "Look, you haven´t been working so hard for nothing, look at the changes you´ve helped make." And so I just lost it, couldn't speak for a little bit, and then finished and sat down. But it's super crazy... if I hadn't followed that feeling to go up there when I did, that timing wouldn't have been so perfect, and I definitely wouldn't have felt the same reassurance as I did. SO, lesson learned, FOLLOW THE SPIRIT!  Sometimes I think God has the best, most simple gifts planned for all of us, if we just keep pushing forward and never give up. I think that's one major truth I´ve learned here in Albardón. 
So the testimony meeting was really good, even more so because there were a few people that haven't come for a good while and that were there, but one of them stood up and bore her testimony, which I think was rekindled on Friday when we did a ward activity. Remember how we´ve never been able to do recorridos or church tours so far? So we planned a ward activity where we just did a recorride with every family that showed up, and it turned out GREAT! They all LOVED IT! And the Spirit was super strong. But this hermana came to the activity, she´s a less active sister of the ward mission leader, and she didn't stop thanking us the whole time, and then she got up in sacrament meeting and thanked us a few more times, and talked about how that activity reminded her of how good she feels being in the church and made her feel at home. She participated A LOT in the Gospel Principles class and basically we got some more attendances from here on out. Which is good! We still need them. Yesterday we had about 60 people, which is so much better than when I first got here. We´re making it to the goal!!

So, as for seeing THAT goal be acheived, I´m not sure if I will be here to see it! This is the last week in the transfer, and I´m honestly not sure at all if I will stay or go. I´m 50/50 right now. Yes Elder Southwick is new, and I feel like I need a lot more time to help him, and I told President that, but then I think about Elder McBride who also trained his 4th transfer, he trained Elder Chipman one transfer and then left. But he left and went up as district leader, and I´m already district leader, so that's another 50/50 reasoning. So I just don't know... I´ll be letting you know tomorrow! But I told everyone in sacrament meeting that it's possible my last testimony bearing opportunity in sacrament meeting, and then everyone was asking me where I was going, when, why, all those questions, and I just told them, well I dunno. Haha but we will see...we talked about it in the leader meeting yesterday too, Elder Thurgood for sure is leaving, Elder Pyne is for sure leaving, Elder Gonzalez is leaving, Elder Rojas is leaving, Elder Varney & Reynolds are in bascially the same situation as me, so we don't know, and Elder Nazareno is leaving. Just about half the zone! Elder Reynolds, Elder Varney and I are the only three oddballs that we aren´t sure about yet.
So on Saturday we went to Bishop´s house for lunch, and we got surprised by an asado! So that makes six I think in my whole mission, and this one was in the oven not the parilla, so it still only half counts I think. But it was SUPER good, I ate more than everyone else. I felt pretty crappy after haha, but imagine the flank steak that you make, Mom and Dad, and then take one piece and multiply it by 10, and that was the size of the pieces we ate. And I ate three of them. Haha I was pretty hungry. And then afterwards we went and I met the family that Elder Southwick and Elder Hone met and taught on Thursday when we did intercambios (oh yeah, I'll talk about that in just a second) and we met another one of the daughters and put fechas or baptismal dates with the mom and three daughters! They are a way cool family. The mom wants to change her life so she´s really receptive. They didn't come to church but they told us next week is super possible, so we´re just going to commit them good this week.
So we did intercambios with the zone leaders Thursday and Friday. I went to Retiro to work with Elder Thurgood, and we had a really really good day. We saw miracles Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. That always happens, intercambios are just full of miracles. So with Elder Thurgood we visited some of their investigators, put four fechas and met this really cool family that accepted us really well. We also bought empanadas for lunch Friday and they were WAY good. 
But we had a really successful day, and I got to know Elder Thurgood more, and I really learned A LOT from him, plus he helped me get excited about the work, not that I was getting complacent or anything, but he boosted my excitement even more, there´s no doubt as to why he is a leader right now. He´ll be at UVU when I get back, and I guess a lot of other elders will be too, so I´m definitely going to hang out with them a few times, reminisce good memories from the mission! But before that, I have 7 more months to MAKE those memories, thank goodness!!!
So yesterday we ate a lot of empanadas again, and I dont think it settled well with me. I think a few of them weren't fully cooked or the meat wasn't at least, so this morning was a painful, long morning. But I feel fine now! Except it's really hot in this cyber and they aren't turning the fans on. But oh well, those are just mission experiences I guess! Oh and before I forget, I´ve been telling the other elders about the "Ogaard slip," that lovely uplifting conversation we had with Dad and the Ogaards before heading off to BYU. They were talking about them in the mission. But they all get a kick out of/are completely disgusted thinking about it. Thankfully that has NEVER happened to any of us, probably because we don't have bikes. Phew. 
So I am on and looking at the Conference highlights, it's way cool!!! They have the quote from the actual talk in video, then they have it written, and then they have a cool little uplifting poster thing for each of the talks as well. It's super cool! I would definitely buy some of those and put them up on my wall or in my house, that is, when I have my own house....  But they are really powerful, go look them up! I got the same conference feeling inside just reading those short quotes, but it goes to show how powerful the Apostles' and Prophet´s words are for us. I think a few of my favorites are from President Monson´s talk in the opening session Saturday morning, Elder Ballard, President Uchtdorf´s from Priesthood session, President Eyring´s from the Sunday morning session, and Elder Scott´s from Sunday. Look them up, the quotes are really cool! And the picture poster things too. 
Anyway, this is the last week of the transfer, and we´re going to make sure we go out with a bang, figuritively speaking. It's going to be an awesome week! We have many people to teach and this ward needs as many as it can get!
I love you all, and I hope all your endeavors continue being fruitful and successful, and that you all find the happiness you are looking for!
If there are any little words of wisdom I can leave with you all, it would be to persevere, even when you don't see the results you are hoping for, because eventually, as He always does, God will give you your reward, and it will ALWAYS make up for the seemingly fruitless and pointless efforts. I know it is true, that's honestly been my entire life. The things of most value in this life NEVER come without heartache, sacrifice, and perseverence.  

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, October 7, 2013


Hey Mom!

So, this isn't going to be super long I don't think, but it was a very good week! Our focus kind of shifted from finding new people and teaching and everything to visiting A LOT of less active people and getting them to General Conference. Maybe we as missionaries can't get people to come back to chruch or feel the Spirit super strongly, but I think that's a good job for the Prophet and Apostles! Haha, but in all seriousness, things turned out super well yesterday.
So Saturday we had lunch with the family that usually gives us food on Sundays, and that made us late to the first session, so we missed the first half, and got there for the last 5 minutes of Elder Bednar´s talk. I was  a little disappointed. but it all turned out well afterward! We had the gringo room again, but a lot more elders this time. In Maipu there were only three of us. But here we were nine I think. And getting there last always left me the crappy corner spot where there was a glare on the TV the whole entire time. But it's alright, it helped me realize that it doesn't matter if I see or not, I just need to be able to hear! So Saturday was really good, just a really late night with the priesthood session starting at 9 at night, but thankfully the bishop brought us home afterwards! And then Sunday, we had a rented bus just like for Stake Conference to bring everyone who needed a ride, and that was where things got crazy.
SO! During the week we spent a lot of time, like I said, visiting less active families, and committing them to come to Conference. So as missionaries down here we're allowed 200 texts a month, and I´m pretty sure I used about 40 of those just yesterday, communicating with the bishop and families we couldn't walk with since we went to Campo Afuera. So first of all, we woke up, and I just felt dead. I felt like maybe I was getting pnemonia like Elder Rogers did because I had no energy, was coughing (but only a little bit, he was coughing really bad) and I was stuffed up and congested and just tired. So I took a nap because that's what Elder Ence (mission nurse) told Elder Rogers to do when that happened. So then I woke up, we got ready and left. We got to Campo Afuera on a completely different bus route (there was a crash and the road was closed, another one of the hectic conversations trying to communicate with the bishop and the bus driver) and we went to the familia Muñoz first, and they were still just finishing getting ready, so we told them that the other family was already at the corner waiting, and they all showed up by themselves. Then we went by another family of investigators who said they would try to come, and we show up and they tell us they aren´t going to go, they have things to do. And then we go by the less active part member family that promised us they would come, and they were outside with other family members drinking and smoking.... so that didn't give me much hope. Thankfully I wasn't let down too much though! Elder Southwick was a little more let down, he had made them promise us, and for him, his word means everything. You give your word to someone, and if you don't fulfill, it's already almost impossible to trust them. So, he was pretty upset, and now we´re worried that this guy really does lie a lot, since his girlfriend/wife always rolls her eyes and tells us he´s not telling the truth. The frustrations of missionaries!!! So they said they were going to come alone late, which sadly but truly usually means they aren't coming. So they didn't come either! But we went to the familia Subieri, the family we´ve helped activate so far, and they helped us bring their family members that live next door, the familia Marinero, and then the mom of another less active fmaily came, and then the mom and a few grandkids and one of her kids all came too! And the bishop was VERY happy, but so were Elder Southwick and I.
We were sweating and making calls and trying to get people to hurry up (the people who were making the bus wait) AND ironically slow down (the bishop and the bus driver who called us, told us to walk to the bus, and then started driving away right as we started walking...?) but all turned out well in the end! We had more less active families with us than we did active! Which I think is just absolutely awesome! Our goal of 100 in attendance seems so much more achievable now, and I think the members and the bishop realized that. It was funny, the first words the bishop told me Sunday morning when we finally got on the bus were "Oh elder you have been driving me crazy this whole morning!" But it's kind of hard to round everyone up, then walk fast with a bunch of younger kids and moms in high heels. But obviously we got to Conference and those stressful feelings went away REALLY fast!
So after the first session, everyone started getting out their food they had packed, and we hadn't brought anything because the family we usually eat with on Sunday told us they had brought food for us, but then EVERYONE just started offering us food, even people from other wards that I went and talked to. It was pretty cool, but I felt like a manipulator a little bit, like the people thought we just wanted food instead of talking to them. It wasn't true!  But I had some delicious empanadas, pizza, sandwiches, and a couple fruits! I also taught Valentín how to tie a tie, and now he´s super excited about it, and his dad was pretty impressed. María told me that she had something to tell me about the first session, and I asked what, and she said, well can you guess what it is? And I said, well I bet all those scriptures they mentioned were ones you have read! And she just smiled and started laughing and I was just speechless. A normal Sunday makes sense, there are a few scritpures mentioned, but CONFERENCE?? With scriptures being quoted right and left, she recognized all of them! That woman has a gift. But they LOVED Conference! Honestly, the part that made my day was when I tried to take pictures with Valentin, and Fabian came back and told Valentin to hurry up so they could get seats up front! :) How could you not feel good after hearing that?? Other than that, I ate a lot of junk food, got pickpocketed by a kid from a different ward (he stole a sheet of stickers than Scott and Jennifer sent me) and then he wouldn't stop interrupting us in the gringo room. But everything else was AWESOME! :) 
On the way home I met more people that had shown up by themselves but are less actives from our ward, and then we were the last ones on the bus, so we cleaned and said goodbye to everyone as they got off, and it all went really well!
So, to go a little more in depth with Conference, I will share a few things I really liked! 

I really liked Gifford Nielson´s talk, he was very motivational, and I liked his remarks about the exclamation point so often! After his talk we all just looked at each other and were surely all thinking, " Whoa. That was awesome." And then I really liked Elder Ballard´s talk about member missionary work, I loved how a lot of Conference was concentrated on missionary work, especially after that broadcast in June. I loved Elder Scott´s talk, and I really liked how he mentioned that there is a difference between weaknesses and rebellion, and now tomorrow I have to speak about something along the lines of that in zone meeting, so I´m going to use some of his comments! I loved the talk from Elder Nelson as well as Terence Vinson-- he told us how the Lord can bless us SO much more when He can TRUST us, and that has a lot to do with me right now, so it stuck out to me a lot. But they were ALL really good talks. I will read the ones I missed next week once they are online, and that way I can learn everything I needed to know!

And Mom, about Elder Holland´s talk, I was thinking about Uncle Dave as well, with his physical infirmities, and it struck me very hard and strongly. It was one of the most spiritual moments of this General Conference. I miss him a lot too. 
I can't even really think of anything else to talk about. It's just been a blur of a week, and Conference went by WAY too fast... I only have one more Conference in the mission! :(  I can't believe that! But today is just the start of a new week, and it will be a good week too. Zone meeting is always motivational, and hopefully my part turns out well. And then we have the rest of the week to work hard! No distractions this week!

Oh and Dad, Elder Southwick had to go to Mendoza alone to get his visa papers done, just like Elder Day and I went to Mendoza last fall. It was a big surprise but it all turned out well.
Today I think we might just hang out with Elder Hone and Elder Thurgood, since Elder Pyne and Elder Torres had to go to Mendoza this morning. I don't really know why, neither did they. But it will be a good Monday for sure! I hope your week turns out well as you start doing all the awesome new stuff the prophets and apostles and leaders have taught us this weekend! I know you´ll all see little miracles as you do it, and I plan on doing it all as fast as I can, because this ward still needs some miracles!
One last thought that I really, really liked from President Monson, and I hope you think about it before every decision, whether big or small, that comes during this week, " Will I falter, or will I finish?" I plan on finishing, as the Savior did with his earthly mission, and is with His eternal mission now! We have a lot of work to do, and we frankly just can´t afford to falter anymore. The world already has faltered and gone away from a lot of truths and doctrines, and I don't want to add to it, that's for sure. I´m sure none of you do either! So keep up the good work, keep being examples! There is always someone to help.
Elder Tyson Gibbons
PS--The photo is our Star Wars picture, thanks to Elder Southwick´s special effects knowledge.   Oh yeah, I forgot that question Dad. Elder Southwick is a musical genius because he plays guitar, piano, harmonica, violin, cello, drums, and a few others instruments with strings, and plus he sings really well. He had his own band before leaving on the mission, so that's pretty cool too.