Monday, March 31, 2014


Hey Mom and Dad!

Wow, I had forgotten about BYU registration, but I´m glad things worked out fine! Thanks for sacrificing so much by staying up till midnight to do that!

Yesterday was a pretty chilly day, it rained for about an hour, of course right before church was supposed to start, so that meant that a lot of people didn't come! Sadly, no investigators, and a lot less members. But it was still a really good Sunday! The other elders in Hipolito had a baptism, and we finally met the best friend of the Hipolito elders' ward mission leader, which we´ve been trying to do since the beginning of these 6 weeks! So that was a miracle!

So this last week was so much better than the one before!! We had a really successful week. We had lots of lessons and a lot of them were with new people, so we have a bunch of new families to teach! It's great! Lots of them are part member families, where the husband or the wife have been less active for years, but they are all really awesome!!!  This means that this area will still be going come transfers this next Sunday, which is always a big concern. I´ve been in areas that are left with nothing when I get there, and it's always a huge struggle trying to get things going again!

Wow, I forgot that Jalen has transfers one week early! I can't believe that... hopefully he doesn't leave his area. I think that would be really hard for the members, investigators, and the missionary himself, having to give everything knowing that it isn't going to be permanent. Thankfully here the members don't see me in that light. 

So the people that were supposed to get married didn't end up being able to. We even warned all of them that Satan was going to put a lot of things in the way, and it happened just like that, whether they got lazy or were starting to get sick or other things came up. But oh well, we still have time to work with them! We´ll hopefully get them to take out a turn in this next week or the following, so they could still get baptized in this month of April!

Speaking of April, I can't believe it's already April!!! What is going on? I´m going to be 21 in like 4 weeks. Super weird... but I´m super excited for General Conference!!! It's going to be a huge boost in excitement and desire for the missionary work! No better way to start off a transfer, I think!

Oh yeah, but we don't know transfers until next Sunday, so I´ll let you know next Monday! I´m pretty sure I´m staying, and all the members want me to stay haha, but I´d really like to stay with Elder Rainock. We´re like twins from different mothers. We really have a lot in common, just not a rock band or anything like he had haha. But it's been some of the best 5 weeks of my mission, it really has.

Today we have to leave to Mendoza for leadership council so we´re going to miss like half the week, since the weekend is going to be an intense General Conference weekend! Plus, Friday we have a ward talent activity (just like in San Rafael). But next week I´ll definitely have lots to share, from Conference and council and everything!

It's very sad that it took the act of going on a mission to really value personal scripture study and prayer, because I really wasn't very good at that before. But thankfully God always helps us see from the other perspective! And now I know that if there are three things I will NEVER leave undone during the weeks and days, they will be personal prayer, scripture study, and going to church. I just can't miss those three things, or I´m going to lose so much spiritual strength and protection. I´ve already been on the wrong side of that, I will not go back.

Thanks for your challenge Dad, it's very reinforcing, because on Sunday, being the 5th Sunday, all the adults got together and the bishop talked to us about chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel, the Christ-like attributes. He printed off the activity at the end of the chapter, and he made us ALL do it right there in the class. And at the end, he challenged each one of us to choose one of the nine attributes with which to work during the next month, and what I chose was exactly what you challenged me to do later that day, to be diligent. I don't believe in coincidences anymore. I take the challenge, full heartedly. I don't know what will come with transfers next Sunday, but whatever it is, I just want to work! The time still hasn't settled in, but I know it will soon, and I want to take advantage fully of these last 6 weeks.

I can't believe how much I´ve changed, and I can't believe the best time of changing personally is coming to an end that I never thought would arrive. I wouldn't change anything about these 2 years for any price, I can't, they will always be a huge part of me.

Love you Mom and Dad!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, March 24, 2014


Hey Mom and Dad!

So this last week was pretty good! Long, with lots of walking,but it's alright, there are always lower weeks to make the good ones look even better! We had a great weekend last week, and then this week we had only half of the members in church, and no investigators. But then we ended up running into L_____ again in the street and we are going to meet with him today and start up the frecuent appointments! Plus he´s still going strong, we just lost contact because of the vacations, and he was traveling to Cordoba all week.

But this week we have two people that are going to take out a turn to get married in the next weeks! So we are super stoked about that! They didn't come to church, but they were going to come and we´ll find out what happened this week when we pass by! But they are doing really well. We thought at the beginning of the transfer that maybe they didn't even want to get married, and now we go this last week and they all told us that they had been talking about it and were already planning out the day to go and do it!! It was really cool, some miracles amongst all the fallen appointments and long days!

And today we are just exhausted, as usual, but I think I´m going to make the funfetti cake that I got in the first Christmas package, and when we go to Mendoza next week we´ll probably get the rest of our packages! So yeah I'll let you know!

I´m glad to hear that Nathan's driving test turned out well, and that you are not reduced to one driver anymore! That will be very helpful, and I guess I´m glad to hear that the green car is running still! I thought it was out of commission when I left haha. Tell him not to wreck it!

Glad to hear that Nathan won his tennis match, and that Kate had her first drive! Awesome milestones! Keep it up!

What the heck, I didn't even know that Karissa was pregnant! Maybe I did, but had just forgotten! But that's awesome! Now I have a lot of cousins to meet when I get home. That's awesome!! I looked again at the Christmas card that Jill and Jason sent and was blown away when I didn't see a little baby Olivia! It's going to be a pretty big adjustment! But hopefully they accept me haha!

That's awesome that Bryan did a Footloose sketch! I've never seen that movie but I always hear people talk about it, so yeah, it must´ve been good if they are posting it all over the place! I´ll have to check that out when I get back. Among all the other things. 

I´m glad you finally replaced the fence out back! It should stand up to a lot more kicks and soccer balls :) And hopefully the neighbors' dog didn't make a mess! I never loved dogs a whole lot, but down here, they are just everywhere, which means they leave their mess everywhere as well. Haha it's pretty ridiculous. I´m pretty sure there are more dogs down here than in the United States, because no one takes care of them so they just go around the streets doing whatever they want!

Anyway, this week is going to be good, I´m excited! And I cannot believe that general conference is going to be next weekend! What is happening to the time? I don't have any time to waste! Which is good, so I won't waste it!

Well, today we are going to clean a little and sleep because we are just super tired, plus it's a holiday so there´s no way we can do anything else! I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

But before going, my favorite thing I´ve found in the Book of Mormon reading this week was something I read this morning, in Jacob 4:3. It just hit me very strongly the recognition that the prophets in the olden days, like here, 550+ years before Christ was born, knew that they were writing those things for us in these days, because that's what God had told them. It strengthened my confidence and testimony in the great blessing of having prophets in these days! We wouldn't have the scriptures if we didn't have prophets! So we definitely need to be grateful, I am! But, all in all, the Book of Mormon is for us! Written for these days, to help us with our problems, and it really does! Doesn't matter what problem it may be.

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Great Sunday!

Our zone, Villa Mercedes!
As small as a district haha, but we´re awesome so we are a zone!
Hey Mom and Dad!

Wow, I can say that that news was pretty unexpected, but just know that I support you 100%, and am really happy to have a dad that lives up to his callings no matter what it is, whether he likes it or no. The ward will be extremly blessed to have you as bishop! And if you need people you can trust, I know there are lots of people in the ward that look up to you and will support you. We all do!! I can´t really say I´m proud of you, being the son, that's a dad´s job. But I can say that I´m proud to have you as my dad, and my bishop! No matter how worried you feel, the Lord will never call without qualifying and purifying. I know you are going to be a great bishop! Do I still need to call you Bishop or can I call you Dad?

I´m really glad everyting turned out well yesterday with the sustaining and setting apart! I´m glad you chose two trustworthy counselors as well, I´ve always looked up to Brother Hiddleston and Brother Crockett a lot! And sorry Dad, but I´m sure it must have been a humbling experience having to speak for quite some time, and hobbling up to the podium with your leg brace! I´m glad you made it!

I´m glad things are going as planned with Nathan playing tennis and and Kate taking drivers ed! And wow Mom, that sounds like a really intense festival regimen. I struggle with songs with more than one sharp or flat, but of course, that's coming from me who can´t even play piano. So what does that matter. Haha I know it will all turn out great! 

The schedule changes have been interesting, but it's awesome because we have more time outside, and even though we have time set aside for planning and studies, we usually don't get to take full advantage of them because we have appointments and the travel is what kills us, taking a bus for 20 minutes or walking for 20 minutes, everything is just really spread out! But our zone meeting went really really well. It was perfectly timed, really simple, and we have awesome leaders that gave really good little capacitations (question, is that a word in English?).

And the Book of Mormon challenge is awesome! I love reading it, even in English! And I´m definitely getting a lot more out of it than I did before the mission! I have been marking little phrases that stick out to me, even in the chapters from Isaiah, which are pretty rough sometimes. We´re in 2 Nephi 12 starting tomorrow, and I´m all caught up! I find myself reading it at night when I would´ve normally been eating or talking or doing other stuff (sorry, it's really taken over my journal time; between reading the Book of Mormon, verifying and resolving zone problems, and having to get ready for bed, these last months won't be very detailed in the journal, to say things simply), and I always have to have my marking pencil close. One of my favorites so far, 2 Nephi 10:10-14, he´s talking about America! It all just makes sense.

I went to Justo Daract, and it was just how I remember it! With a few improved plazas, that's all. I didn't get to see many people, since it was a rainy day and no one wanted to talk to us haha. But, we saw a few miracles. And when we ate with the Alaniz family, they helped Elder Ortez out a lot by giving them some more information about some investigators that is really crucial at this point. And we taught some good lessons! All in all, I enjoyed the day. But I have to admit, I recalled Dad´s words that he said when we went to visit the MTC before leaving on the mission, "It feels really good to know that I´m not stuck in here this time!" Things are tense there, more than they were when I was there, but mostly because of elders in the past 2 years that have been lazy, and lost completely the trust of some of the members. It's sad, but it taught me something! "Whe'er thou art, act well thy part," knowing that the people that come behind me are going to suffer for my mistakes or be grateful for the blessings I´ve left, according to my decisions! I feel happy knowing that I gave it my all there. 

Next month I should get my last two Christmas packages. They couldn't bring them to the conference in San Luis because the elders went and picked them up on Wednesday, but President had already left Mendoza and didn't go back until the next week. But I will get them, don't worry! 

Anyway, yesterday was a day of miracles!! It was by far the best Sunday I´ve had in a while! There were 115 people in church!!!! Incredible, never had so many before! But what's even better is that there were investigators, less actives, and almost all the active members, and they all got along just fine! All the active members greeted the investigators enthusiastically, and welcomed again the less actives. For example, a less active lady came to church for the first time in a year or so with her 8 year old son, and 1) she invited one of our investigators to sit with her when she found her outside alone not knowing what to do (we were already sitting down, getting started... our bad) and 2) our ward mission leader went up to her and just hugged her, and she started crying, and that was the pure example to me of fellowshipping, that's how all members should be when they see a loved friend or loved one return after having distanced themselves for a time. That's how I want to be! And then the gospel principles class was really great. The investigator that sat with the less active sister is actually an investigator from Justo Daract, she´s friends with Hermana Alaniz, and she LOVED everything she saw, so there´s lots of potential there. So it was a really good Sunday!

Anyway, I love you all and hope you enjoy the cold weather along with me! (Although it's just cold right now; it's supposed to be 92 I guess later! We´ll see!)  Enjoy your week, and recognize God´s hand in all the little details of your life. That's a motivator, if I´ve ever seen one!

Elder  Tyson Gibbons

Monday, March 10, 2014

Great week!

Hey Mom and Dad!

So, good news! We had a baptism on Friday!!! I´m sorry I forgot to even mention that last week, but it turned out really well! And I´m sorry that I don't have a single picture to send, my camara is out of batteries and I keep forgetting to buy some! So we´ll get that picture later. His name is Cristian, his wife was less active but now she´s active, he got baptized, and they already have the goal to go to the temple next year! It's like a perfect baptism for a missionary, a family that will make it to the temple! So that was a good thing this week :)

We also had a really good week, we found A LOT of new people to teach. We´ve talked with so many people and now with the changes in the work that we do (Elder Ballard had a meeting with all the mission presidents in South America South area) and now we leave the pench at 9:30 every morning, we have to talk with 20 people a day at least, our schedule got mixed up a little, but it's so worth it! We saw a lot of miracles this last week!

We had a zone conference on Friday as well, so we got to enjoy the first half, eat lunch with President (he´s funny when you get to talk with him for a while; I´ll tell some jokes when I get back), and then we booked it over to the terminal to get the bus at 3, while the rest of the zone and the San Luis zone stayed until about 6. We ended up showing up just in time for the baptism, even though we showed up late, and it was awesome! But I got to see Elder Johnson, who is in San Luis, and a few other elders I have met before. It was a really good conference! And tomorrow we have to go over bascially everything President and the assistants talked about on Friday, but it's going to be a great meeting too!

Anyway, this week is going to be awesome. A full week with the new schedules and standards that we have to meet, and we´re really excited! We have a goal of three baptisms in our area, and we have plenty of people to achieve it, it's just going to take good spiritual lessons, planning, and prayers! But we feel very confident that we can make it. 

Dad, you asked awhile back about my MTC companions. Elder Braithwaite is in Godoy Cruz, Elder Chipman is in Alvear, Elder Hardy is in Mendoza, Elder Johnson is in San Luis. Elder Fullmer is still in Godoy Cruz and Elder Southwick is still training in Valle de Uco. I hope I get to see those two before it's too late!

So we started to read the Book of Mormon again in 66 days, just like 2 Christmases ago, and I´m super excited. But it's weird because I´m doing it in English this time. I haven´t read the Book of Mormon in English for almost 2 years. Last time was in the MTC when I read it all in English. It's going to be a really good next two months, reading that and getting a stronger testimony! 

I haven't made it to Justo Daract yet, but I´ll be going there on Friday for exchanges, I´m excited!

I can't believe Nathan is going to prom, that's pretty crazy. Asking a junior to prom, huh? I guess that's alright if he´s already been planning it out with her. Interesting. But I hope he enjoys it!

And Kate is starting drivers ed soon? That's weird, she´s too little!! Or she was when I left haha. Oh, and about the drivers extension, I filled it all out, I´ll mail it to you today then! That way it gets there soon and I can drive to Oregon!

As for trying to work at the MTC, I think that would be AWESOME! I don't know how good of a teacher I am, but I would love to be in that atmosphere again, even for short periods of time!

Anyway, we´re going to eat fajitas with the elders and hermanas for lunch soon. I guess Hermana Vasquez is from Mexico. I didn't know that, but the name does make it clear I think. But I just want to let you all know that I love you! And I´m loving it here in Villa Mercedes, this place is the best!! I´ve never felt so excited to get out and work everyday, since now I´m comfortable with all the parts of the work, although yes there is still room to improve! I'll let you know more about our investigators and stuff next week!!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, March 3, 2014

Goodbye San Rafael, Hello Villa Mercedes

Alberto and family. They bought me a really nice mate cup and bombilla!!!
It's super cool, it has their name on it too.  :)
Now I can drink mate! (When I get home.)

A mix of the familias Gerry, Calderon, and Aspitia

The family of Antonela

Our district in San Rafael:
Elders Ruiz, Bulva, Alcalde, Prado, Rojas, and me, clockwise
Hey Mom and Dad!!

Alright, things are going WAY good out here in Villa Mercedes. The ward here is super involved in missionary work. It's one of the best functioning wards I´ve seen on the mission, and we have a LOT of people to work with. There´s one family that we visited yesterday (that I had visited once many months ago when I was starting here) that has six families with which they are working, and almost all of them have had a visit with the missionaries in the house of these members! And the ward mission leader is awesome, the bishop is awesome, all the members are awesome! And I got a very warm welcome yesterday, since a lot of them remembered me. And guess what? Our lunch yesterday was with the familia Z_____, and it turns out that 1) they have twin sons that are less active, and 2) the dad is the brother of the familia Z_____ that I visited in Justo Daract, who moved and then we never heard from them again! And he said that they are planning on coming back to Justo Daract, so how crazy is that? It's amazing how much progress and change has happened in almost two years. I´m just super happy when I wake up, and all the time, because I´m back here. We have so many families that we are going to be working with, so if we plan well, we´ll be having plenty of awesome baptisms and we´ll be helping all these families on their way to the temple and an eternal family. It's just great. :)

So Elder Rainock and I get along just fine. We are really similar in almost every way, so we´re going to work like crazy. He´s from Virginia, in Richmond, so I wanted to ask where we lived when Grandma and Grandpa were living there. I thought it was somewhere around Richmond? Just wondering.

I´ve been planning on going to Justo Daract ASAP, of course. It might not happen this week, although I think it should happen. President on Wednesday said he wants me to go there often.  Long story short, my buses got mixed up so I left San Rafael, went to the offices and chilled there for three days, helping out the assistants and the office elders with planning the consejo on Friday, running errands, and geting little things done in the offices, like sorting mail and putting together the material orders for each zone. Super long days. I also went out to work half a day with Elder Braithwaite and Elder Gorge in their area in Godoy Cruz! It was legit. And anyway, President gave me a special assignation, to go to Justo frequently to help the elders get the area going again, and to get the confidence of the members there more quickly. But the Elders Ortez and Kidman are STUDS, they had a WAY good week this last weekend. With only four days of work, they taught more than I taught maybe in two weeks while I was there. That area is picking up and quick! What's cool is that they are teaching some of the people that I tried working with, some of them being a couple that ended up telling us that we shouldn't come back anymore, and now they´ve been coming to church for months and all they are missing is to get married! So that is AWESOME!!! Over all, this is going to be an AMAZING set of transfers here. I couldn't be in a better place, honestly! This is the best area I´ve had so far. Maybe it's just because I am now just applying everything I´ve learned!

So yeah, that's what's going on so far. It's been a long two days, but I like it. I don't want it to pass by fast!! 

That's awesome that we´re going to have two family reunions this summer! I´m super excited to go to Oregon, that's going to be great. And I´ve never been to Texas, so that will be interesting!

And working at the MTC... I´ve thought a lot about that during the mission. At first I didn't want to, but now I think it would be really cool. That's definitely an option as well! And I´m glad Chris will be in town as well!

I'm sending photos of my goodbyes in San Rafael.  I will miss them all!
Anyway, we´ve gotta get going, not a lot of time! Lots of things to do! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Tyson Gibbons