Hey Mom and Dad!
Well this week as you´ve noticed was pretty crazy, weather-wise. We started off nice and hot, and peaked in the middle with really hot wind blowing really fast (basically viento sonda like in San Juan, which NEVER has happened down here), and then the rest of the week was actually really nice! So that was a great relief, although it wasn't the end of the physical problems, since I as well have been suffering from very random different little things. Thankfully I haven't lost my voice yet, like you Mom. But I´ve come close, today more than any other day. But, all in all, things are going great!
We worked like crazy this week, finding a bunch of families, that's the best part! A lot of them are less active families, but they all have family members that haven't heard the missionaries and aren´t members, so we have started to teach all of them! It's the plan of the Prophet, working with the less-actives to help them come back, and all the while asking for their family members and friends, so they come back and stay back. Also with the recent converts, we had a little visit with Margarita, who got baptized in December (well, baptized end of November, confirmed in December). She wrote a little dedicatory note in a Book of Mormon, and we practiced with her how we were going to go with her and give them the gift that she had. It ended up that we got into the house, taught them a lesson, and now the mom is reading a lot! (The husband is really cool too, but he drives buses from here to Bolivia, so he´s home one day of the week, every week.) So we saw a miracle working with the recent converts too! And now her granddaughter that has come with her quite a few times, turned 8 three days ago! So we´re going to talk with the parents and help them understand the importance of baptism, and we know that Margarita will start seeing the changes in her family that she has been waiting for. So we have many miracles in store there, waiting for the right moment!
Talking about the right moment, thank you Dad for sharing that scripture. I don't believe in coincidences much, and I know that it wasn't coincidence. I will take that advice to heart, and I will keep doing what I´ve wanted to do, work harder and harder until the last moment. It's been my goal since the beginning of the mission, personally and somewhat forced upon me by Hermana Alaniz in Justo Daract, who made me promise her I wouldn't get "trunky" or anything like that. So I´m not going to do it! I want to find the miracles, because it's true that now I know what I´m doing (still have a lot to learn too, don't worry) but I just want to enjoy applying everything! And that's what we´ve been doing these two weeks. This weekend we are going to have people at church and we have our goal of 4 baptisms in our companionship, so we´re going all out. We didn't get any this month, we went through a cycle of searching for new people, and we have really good FAMILIES right now, that's the best part.
So today we have to go to Mendoza again. I don't want to bring my suitcase this time, because last time the three boxes of BoMs broke the little leg that keeps it upright, so that was really frustrating. But we´ll see. I´m excited and nervous because it's always a long night when we stay in the office pench. Oh well.
I´m really glad everything turned out great at the end with the surprise for Grandpa Madsen! Those are the best times, when a surprise that special is completely unexpected but really really nice. I like doing that down here too, surprising investigators or members with little simple things, but that help them feel special and feel our love for them. Even with all the craziness that happened with Mike and Nikki, thankfully it all turned out perfect!
I´ve been feeling fine, it's just been these last few days that have been rough. I had low blood pressure, allergies (I´m positive I have seasonal allergies now, because I´ve been going through the same thing the last 4 summers of my life, it's not just irritation from mowing lawns), headaches, cold, sore throat, dizziness, heat exhaustion (dont worry, I got almost to the point of heat exhaustion, I didn't actually get it). But all of that has happened, starting Thursday until today. Today I´m just struggling with a sore, swollen throat, but I still have my voice at least! It's not going to be super hot this week, so that's good too. I still shower almost every night, since I hate waking up with my sheets sticking to me. As for sleeping, it's been getting a little better, but it's still rough. No changes there.
We are still planning on doing the exchanges, we have them all planned out for this next month, so we´re going to be helping all the elders to work hard and stay excited and diligent, since that's always the hard part, especially at the end of transfers. But I do remember how I looked up to the zone leaders, and I always remember thinking "thank goodness I'll never get to that same point in the mission...." and now here I am. I don't ever know if I´m making a difference in the lives and work of these elders, but I always give my best, so I just hope and pray that I can be a good example and help someone in need.
As for what Dad said about Jalen, that is a pretty good description of how I´ve been feeling these last weeks. It's like a tiredness that I can't get over, but the amazing thing is that I´m still going out, working, and taking advantage of the time. I watched the end of "The District 2" where they all get off the plane and find their families in the airport (that part was weird, did my best not to imagine anything. But I don't think about it) and I remember what Elder Christensen says, "I´m....tired." And I think about what President Avila said once, that if we are tired, it's a good sign, because we are still giving it everything we have! So that keeps me going too.
About playing soccer, it didn't turn out well last week. We only had 6 people since a few elders betrayed us and went with a different group to play (no hard feelings), but we stil had fun! And it got really cloudy and stormy for a few hours so we enjoyed it A LOT. But, we´ll be playing again in the future for sure. Not today, we´re goign to rest, clean, and head up to Mendoza!
Dad, Elder Bulva has the same time as me, just that he got to the mission two transfers earlier than me, since he´s Latin, and since we gringos have the MTC for 9 weeks (6 weeks now, poor elders and hermanas) and they only go for 2. But we started the same day, May 16, 2012. So it's nice to be in the same time frame, we can tell everyone here that we have the same time but then show them that we aren't old elders that give up or slack off at the end, which is the stereotype. So we are excited!
Anyway, that's about all I have to share for now. Hopefully Nathan gets back in shape soon! Tell him to avoid any contact with elbows or knees or soccer balls (unfortunately :[ )and tell Kate to keep her head up with work and school and all the other commitments she has! It'll help her out a lot on the mission if she goes! I love you all, and I hope this week isn't too cold for you all! Look for the good in everything, the key to a successful, happy week!
Elder Tyson Gibbons
Elder Tyson Gibbons