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.