Monday, February 24, 2014


 The stake president and his wife dancing the Cueca

This family came to the activity and loved it!!!
The first goodbye picture I have taken here in Pueblo Diamante.
It's the family Aspitia, really awesome family!
They help us out a lot with visits and transport.
Hey Mom and Dad! 

Okay, I don't have much time, we need to go eat and get things going because we´re spending the day with the district leaders. If we want to help the districts in the zone, we need to help the leaders first. So we´re going to go eat together! But yeah, it's another really rainy day, just like two weeks ago, so it's pretty crazy!! But doesn't bother me! I´m happy...

And you want to know why I´m happy?? Well, I know you maybe forgot that yesterday we received transfers... and I am leaving!! That's not why I´m happy, I´m actually really sad to leave here, because I feel like I just became part of the ward and was ready to work even harder, and now I´m gone. But it's alright, I´ve done all I can while I´ve been here. But guess where I´m going to go???.......... I´m going back to Villa Mercedes, I´m going to be in the same zone and same district when I was born in the mission!!!!!!! Which means.... I´m going to be able to go back to Justo Daract! Can you believe it?!?!?!?! I´m super excited! I´m going to be with Elder Rainock, he got here a year ago about. I don't know him super well but he was traveling assistant before he became zone leader, so at least I know he works hard too!! So I´m really excited for this transfer. 

Anyway, not much news, except the activity that we had on Saturday was really really good!!! It turned out really well. There were about 80 people there, including investigators, less actives and active members! Elder Bulva did his magic tricks (I filmed the whole thing, too bad I can't send videos by email, but you´ll see them when I get back) and there were a bunch of other talents. It was a huge success, and everyone loved it! We walked out the front doors and there was a random teenager walking by and we called him over, asked him where he was going, if he wanted to see a talent show, and he came right in! Made friends with the youth and enjoyed the talent show. Then we got his direction and they will be passing by to visit his family! So that's awesome. :)  And Dad, the stake president and his wife along with a few spectators from Chile danced the Cueca. I don't know if you remember or even know what that is, but it was quite a sight! Really interesting.

Anyway, I´m really glad the surgery went well!! That is not a delightful picture, hopefully it's not that swollen for a long time! That doesn't look super fun. But I´m glad you´ve gained a stronger testimony about the word of wisdom haha. I don't understand why people intentionally drug themselves to feel like that either.

The families are doing alright, we´ve been visitng both of them, and today we´ll visit the quorum president to say goodbye. The invisible friend activity turned out really well, but a lot of elders forgot. Everyone participated at least 50 percent, either giving their gift or receiving haha. But I think I´m one of the only ones that gave and received! Elder Olaya, the Colombian, gave me a planner (that I´m going to use after the mission obviously) and a wood-carved key hanger, so that was cool! But hopefully the people that participated enjoyed it!

Anyway, yeah I need to get going. But here are a few fotos from the activity!

I hope it's not raining or cold like it is here!! Have a great week!!! I love you all.

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, February 17, 2014

More Miracles

Agustina with her family
Ailén and her family
Always thinking about home sweet home, Idaho :)
Hey Mom and Dad!

So this week was a week of miracles! And lots of trials that came before the miracles. pure fulfillment of Ether 12:6, the blessings or testimony or miracles never come until after the trail of your faith! And it was a pretty crazy week!

First things first, yes, we had the two baptisms of Agustina and Ailén!!! It turned out really really well, they were like two little angels, and the spirit was really strong. We talked with Agustina yesterday after church (oh yeah, they both got confirmed yesterday too) and she said she didn't want to get out of the baptismal font, and her older sister heard that and said that she had wanted to be inside the baptismal font! (Whether it was to be in the warm water or to be baptized, doesnt matter!) So we were super happy to hear that. We´re going to try and get Angela, the older sister, to accept a baptismal date for this weekend or the next, because she has all the lessons and is reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and the only thing that is hard for her is coming to church in the morning, but she has already come twice. So we´ll keep you updated on that!

Sorry about the confusion, the person who was hit by a car and passed away was the husband in the young family that we were teaching. He was the son of a less active member. But the less active member is part of the huge family that makes up the ward Pueblo Diamante, so everyone felt the loss. We are still going by to try and help them, and use the teachings of the gospel to help them. We stopped by last Thursday and the wife/girlfriend attended us really well, and told us that she didn't blame God for anything, because God would´ve taken him from her if he was sick or suffering, but she understands really well, and we promised her she would be blessed a lot for not blaming God for what happened, and that He would help her in the moments of need. So that gave us a little boost! As for the ward, the ward is really starting to stick together more and help out those people that are in need. We spent 10 minutes in Priesthood quorum yesterday naming the people that needed our help whether they needed visits or the Sacrament or things like that. It was a huge improvement, at least in my eyes. 

Yeah, that is the classic latino-ism, blaming all health problems on the liver. I´ve heard so many excuses about the liver that don't even make sense! Like they have irritated eyes (I think I can recognize a little bit, having worked with you Dad for a while) and they say it's because their liver is having problems. Or leg pains, or a sore back. Maybe some of those could have results like that, but seriously, every problem is always the liver haha!

Our ward doesn't really keep track of the reading, but every Sunday the ward mission leader prints off a little paper and hands it out to everyone that enters the chapel that has the week and the chapters to read each day. And every Sunday someone gets up to verify, to talk about what we learned this week, and yesterday Gonzalo Campos, who is 11, stood up and gave the best verification that I´ve ever heard! He´s a little stud! He´ll be a great missionary someday. But, we honestly don't know how many are doing it, since not everyone can get up and report. But we believe a lot are doing it because we have seen a lot of changes in the ward itself, and that defintely can happen through reading the Book of Mormon and sending their conversion roots deeper and deeper!

We are ending the invisible friend activity today, and honestly we hope that everyone rememberd! I know a lot of them did, but if someone doesn't get a gift, then at least we´ll know who doesn't want to be united! :D Haha just kidding, but that would be embarrassing. I bought Elder Van Orman (it's his second transfer here in Argentina, he´s a stud!) a yo-yo and a little random thing that jumps. I honestly can't think of a better explanation, sorry!

Alright, I guess if I can't get into summer semester, I'll just work at the clinic which is what I was going to ask to do if I was at home, and we´ll have to go down to Provo frequently for job applications and to visit friends and mission buds :)

As for the classes, I got online and looked at classes and decided on a few that I would like to take. I would like to have your feedback obviously since maybe I´m just hyped up and maybe the class combination is a little bit much, but I chose these classes: New Testament REL A 211, Spanish 321, Biology BIO 130 Chemistry 105 (I know how to study and try harder now!), and Calculus MATH 112. It's a total of....17 credits. I might change some of the serious classes and try and get some calmer ones to even it out, that's probably a good idea huh? I'll look at some of the recreative classes and stuff, and let you know next week, if I have until March!

Okay, I hope the surgery goes well! I'll be praying this week, hoping that the surgery can put back together my beat up Dad!! And Mom I´m glad the festival went much better this year, it's always fun to have someone critique you for something that doesn't have anything to do with you. Could be jazz piano playing, or being a missionary... some people just don't think before they speak! But we love them anyway :) Same thing happened to Christ!

I´m realy glad Nathan's game turned out really well this week!! It's always nice to find that little ray of sunshine amongst the shadows! I know how he feels. So Kate spent Valentines Day watching wrestling? I never enjoyed wrestling that much, (except for when I saw Kelly´s cousin Todd win, that was awesome).

That's cool that Lindy and Jackson are going to come this summer! We´ll make sure to talk about the mission and get them excited ;) It's been too long since we´ve seen them! 

Anyway, we´re going to get going. Just remember that in spite of all the trials that come, whether it's spiritual or physical, we just have to keep pushing forward, and God always does His part when we give it our all!! That's what I have learned this last week, with a straight week of rain, nonstop, trying to plan baptisms and plan how they were going to get there and how their family was going to get there, and lots of plans, and it all turned out perfectly. We had a great baptism, and they got confirmed and we found lots of miracles during the week, like going to the house of an new investigator that we found last week and happening to find a less active sister that served a mission and went to the temple and lives in our stake, who is really good friends with the investigator, and we taught the Restoration and had a really good lesson. God always puts people where He wants them!! :) He´ll do the same for you!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, February 10, 2014


Hey Mom and Dad,

Wow, I didn't even know that the Olympics were back, although I guess it makes sense, since when I started the mission the Summer Olympics were goign on. I don't think anyone down here is paying much attention, there aren´t many reminders in the weather or anything like that. It's just hot.

This last week was a really good week, we saw lots of miracles, two of them being that this weekend the granddaughter or Margarita is getting baptized, along with the daughter of a half-active/half-inactive family, so it's going to be a really good, spiritual weekend! Thanks to the visits with members that we were able to have, we confirmed those two baptisms this past week.

About the visits with members, it was a really big success, even with all the trials that showed up before and after. I´m amazed at how important the plan of salvation is, because everyone who doesn't understand automatically has less hope in this life... and with all the things that have happened last week and recently with a received phone call, have made me think a lot about the reason for being here. After doing splits with the Elders Quorum president, we found out the day after that his wife, who had been in bedrest for her pregnancy, lost the baby. I couldn't believe when I heard it, and I was even more amazed at the way they were handling it. They obviously weren´t fine in any way, but they haven't let it shake their faith in any way. And seven minutes ago I received a call from the bishop letting us know that one of our investigators, a young family with two children, lost their dad last night, he was hit by a car. And now I can't get that out of my mind. We have plans already to visit his wife and kids tonight with the uncle of the dad. Even with the amazing week we had, it's hard to erase those events or replace them with the good. I just can't stop thinking about those two families now. It's alright, we are going to help them as much as we can! 

I´ve also noticed that with these events, the ward and the members have started to come out of their routine, their shell, and start to worry and care for the other members. I would never wish anything like this on anyone, but I do hope that the members can start to be even more united as they help these two families.

Well I don't like to dwell on the hard things, since we had a lot of miracles yesterday in church, so I´ll mention those too. We had 6 people come to church, 6 non members I mean, including the mom of Agustina (who is getting baptized this Saturday), the daughter-in-law of Margarita. So that was a big success. She told us in a lesson on Saturday that she would go (after telling us she wasn't going to promise us anything; we kept teaching and bearing testimony, and she changed her mind) and she even said she would keep going if she liked it and felt alright. And when she got there, ALL the members started greeting her and were helping her the entire time. She couldn't stay for the classes but she said she really liked it, and felt like she was with family, so we are going to work with her now. And then Agustina came, Aileen came (the other baptism this Saturday), a friend of the ward mission leader´s daughter came, a cousin of the Ortiz family came (Oh, Gonzalo and Antonela got married on Friday! It was really good!), and the granddaughter of a less-active member came for the first time in years. So it really was a great Sunday, it was a big blessing for us. I know that God does the rest if we do all that we can do, that's what happened this week. 

So yeah, it really was a good week, don't think it wasn't, I´m just sad right now for what has happened with these two families, but we´ll keep working hard. I really love this area and the people here. I just want to help them all, but it's really hard to have contact with everyone. I'll do my best. 

Zone meeting turned out really well, I got over the strep throat Monday night. It was still a little sore on Tuesday but I handled just fine. The meeting was really spiritual. We´re going to play a game as a zone, invisible friend. It's like white elephant gifts but the people are going to know who bought them a gift since we have to give it to them personally, But it's all part of trying to be ONE as a zone, since Christ says we need to be one (D&C 33:8) or we aren´t His. So that's a goal we have as a zone.

I guess I do have some latino-isms, Dad, now that I think about it. But at least I don't say that every problem I have is because my liver is failing. Everyone uses that one down here. But I´m not joking about the blood pressure or anything, it went from really hot to really cold, and I´ve learned that I do not adjust well to rapid changes. It sounds lame, I know. But I´ve had ridiculous allergies both of the summers I´ve been here, just like last year, at the same time as now.  But my health isn't a problem anymore, I feel really good!

Yesterday as well we were assigned to speak 5 minutes before Sacrament Meeting, but I got voluntold by Elder Bulva to be first. The bishop gave me the topic of obedience to the commandments, and I smiled since I gave the exact same talk in Albardon 8 months ago. So I did my best to remember how I gave the talk, and then I just followed the Spirit, and it turned out really well. Pretty amazing, huh? Giving a talk on a moment's notice. not that I agree with that concept, but it's nice to feel prepared.

Anyway, I´m going to look at a few classes later today. I think I do want to take the Spanish 321 class, but I need to look at the rest. So, I won't be able to study summer semester?? I guess it would be nice to know if it's possible or not, can you let me know when you find out? Does that mean I´m still going down there in the summer to work or something like that? I´m just trying to figure out the mental plan I have right now.

Anyway, we need to get going! If there´s anything I would like to share, it's a little miracle that we are seeing in the ward because of the inspired activity of reading the Book of Mormon as a ward, one chapter every day, that the ward mission leader and the bishop and the elders planned and started in August last year. We are starting 3 Nephi today. But a lot of members can see the big difference that it is making in the members, since I know that every member who is fulfilling their reading assigment is strengthening their own conversion, and I notice it in myself too. The Book of Mormon is powerful, and like it says in the front introduction, I feel a lot closer to Christ when I read it! That's what the book is for, to testify of Christ, just like the Bible. I also really enjoy reading the New Testament, I´m in 2 Corinthians right now, and I found a lot of little counsels and advice this morning in chapters 6-11. I love being able to study so much!

I hope this week and all its events turn out really well! Good luck with the jazz festival Mom. A little counsel that Elder Zwick gave us when he came and talked to us last year, "Suffer with joy." It's not fun to be criticized when we aren't in the position to be treated as such, but, I know how it is too so don't feel alone! It's not fun, but we can always learn something! :) I love you all! Talk to you next week.

Elder Tyson Gibbons

First picture is in the registro civil (like the courthouse, I guess) for Antonela and Gonzalo's wedding.
Second is the ceremony, missing a few people, it was a little while before starting. That's the chapel of Pueblo Diamante!
Third, outside the chapel, with Antonela´s little sister and cousin I think.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Hey Mom and Dad!

Don't worry, talking about BYU doesn't make me trunky or anything (I'll explain a little later about a few cool miracles this week) but it's perfect timing because we have interviews with Presidente Ávila on Wednesday, so I will talk to him about all that there, and I also need my temple recommend interview so I think that covers everything that an ecclesiastical endorsement needs too! So there we go, killing two birds with one stone. Or three, I will ask him for permission to look at the BYU classes online. I would love to take the Spanish class. Everyone says I speak well, but I need to remember all the grammatical stuff and improve whatever problems I have, so hopefully I can get some credit! 

I just have one question, this is all for the fall, right? But for the summer, I´m going to go down there and live with Grandma and Grandpa and work, right? Not study? Just wanted to clear that up. How am I going to get from Grandma and Grandpa´s house and campus/work? Haha sorry, I just don't want to worry about anything, we´ll plan it all out.

So things went pretty well this week, but I did end up with a bad case of strep throat! Which I am still fighting against today, but it's almost over. I´m going to rest today, and tomorrow I should be good! But before that, it was all headache, fever, shivers, sweating, and dehydration mixed in with the council on Tuesday (longest council ever, but I persevered, and I learned so much!). I just consider it was a week of extreme trials for me, and I'm pretty sure I came out how God wanted me to come out! We had Margarita come with both of her granddaughters, one that comes every once in a while, but the other one had only come once and then never came again. But since their mom (Margarita´s daughter in law) committed to come, I guess that was good enough for the granddaughter! The daughter in law didn't come, but we´re working on it! It was a miracle Sunday, too. I bore my testimony about the power of the scriptures, because of the few miracles that had happened this past week, and it was really powerful, and our quorom president came up to me and said "I had something to say to you.... you have the face of a bishop" and then walked off. So that was a slap in the face, I´m just an elder, and would prefer to stay as such for a good while... But then we saw a visible change in the members. We printed off a calendar for the members to come out and work with us, and we have someone signed up for every single day, it's a miracle! Even the bishop wanted to go out! So we´re going to see big improvements, and then we have ward council the week that is coming, so things are just going upwards! :) We are super excited! Of course, after church, and after talking with so many people, I made my strep throat flame up a little bit worse, so I spent the rest of the day in bed resting, doing a bunch of random intercambios. Elder Higdon, my fellow Idahoan, came and stayed with me at the apartment during the first meeting we had, since he wasn't feeling too hot either, and then Elder Alcalde came for the second meeting, and that's how I saw a bunch of elders even when I was just in bed! But things all turned out really well!

Anyway, that's AWESOME that Papa bought Rosetta Stone!!! He should let me borrow it for a little, that way I never lose my touch! (It's going to be hard. I hope all my Mexican friends are home haha.)

I love the New Testament too! I´m glad Nathan and Kate are starting early to have their scripture interpreting abilities, since I feel like I just barely developed those, but I think they´re pretty advanced.. haha just kidding. But in the New Testament, I have been reading everywhere, and my favorite this past week was 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, where at the end he says "for when I am weak, then am I strong." So I shared that in my testimony, because I´ve felt sick for a week and a half, but this scritpure became a motto for me. And also about feeling fatigued and just tired like Jalen, I´ve been studying and praying a lot to overcome those barriers, and that's another one of the miracles I´ve seen. I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants 64 after receiving a lot of Christmas letters from Sister Eagley and the Primary and the ward, and someone had put D&C 64:33 and I read the rest of the section, and verses 25, 29-34 were just what I was needing these past days. About the work, about the ward, about our area, about our members, about my health, about the zone, just everything! And I just understood perfectly clearly in that moment what it was that I needed to do. 

"be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

 34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind;..." my new motto. and it went perfectly along with the things I have been praying for, specifically, to feel the same excitement and desire that I did at the beginning of the mission, despite the health trials and the struggles with the zone and the area and the ward, and it's happening. I don't just see it, I feel it. I´ve never been so excited and anxious to get out and work, to help the other elders, to help our members and serve them and just be a missionary! It's the best feeling in the world, I wouldn't change it for anything! And I won't, not for now! God answers prayers, and those who are diligent, have a willing mind and give their heart to Him, will receive what they are searching for, I know it's true! 

Anyway, today I´m going to cut my hair and relax, so I feel better for the zone meeting tomorrow, since I have to talk and right now it hurts to even breathe haha. But yeah, I will talk to you all next week! Don't let a single day pass by wasted!! There´s no time for that! Doesn't matter how tired, sick, fatigued, lonely, worn-out you may feel, just pray, lift your arms, square your shoulders, and face the day with a smile on your face! I´m convinced that one thing Satan hates worst is a good person waking up with a smile, ready to take on the day! more opposition for him! But I like that feeling, I really do.

I love you Mom and Dad and Nathan and Kate! Talk to you next week!

Elder Tyson Gibbons