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
Elder Tyson Gibbons