Monday, April 28, 2014


Hey Mom and Dad,

Thank you for the birthday wishes. and thank you so much for the slideshow, it was awesome, very emotional!! Thank you so much Mom. 

This week went by slow thankfully, we had plenty of time to work, and we were just here in Godoy Cruz, the other half of the city of Mendoza. It was a really good week. I worked with Elder Torres (from Chimbas) and Elder Figueroa, and then I got to work with Elder Roessler, (from Nampa, Idaho!!) and my grandson, Elder Lafleur, from Salt Lake. It was a really good week, I enjoyed it a lot. We saw quite a few miracles, with less active members and with investigators. The first area was a pretty normal place, a lot like Mendoza centro, but the weekend I spent in just about the richest part of Mendoza/Godoy Cruz, it was really weird. And on Sunday we got on the bus to go to church and it was completely full of drunk, drugged teenagers, really sad. That just looks like a lot of fun....

Elder Fullmer is now training, AGAIN, just like me, except he´s training the newly arrived Brasilian, Elder Pereira, so I have three grandkids now, one of them being from Brasil! It's cool.

Anyway, instead of taking a bus back to Mendoza on Easter Sunday, President and Elder Wright (yes he comes home with me) were driving through San Rafael and picked us up, a lot cheaper and faster. So that was nice to get to talk with President personally.

Elder Hardy is from Portland, so we´re going to be pretty close, that's why I invited him to the beach house.

I´m glad prom and the wedding went well! I wish the best to Drew and his new wife, and I can't belive Nathan already went to prom. I looked at the picture and for just a second I thought I was looking at my old prom pictures from the first year, he´s lookin good in a pink vest and tie, just like I did. Haha, just kidding, that was a joke, about me I mean. If he´s got the looks, it's because... he looks a lot like me :)

Anyway, this week we have consejo tomorrow, and tonight we´re going to work in Mendoza centro so I can go visit a few people and then we´re going to get fidelitos for my birthday dinner, it's an American guy who makes American food down here, and everyone who has tried it loves it. So I´ll eat the closest thing to American food that I have for two years now.

In the Book of Mormon I´m finishing Helaman, and I really liked the story of Nephi. It's like I shared a while ago, and then Mom you sent me that story, and I really liked it, but it's sticking out to me even more and more, because he did a lot of great things, and then he was STILL upset with himself, feeling like a failure. And I feel the same every once in a while. Looking back on my mission not so much, I feel great about this time (obviously it wasn't perfect, but it's the best two years I´ve ever lived, concerning gospel living and faithfulness to your belief), but more thinking about my past life, since I look back on a lot of things and wince, thinking about how I could possibly have failed in things so simple? But I know that I have changed, and that I´ll never be the same, because I´ve felt things that I will never forget during these two years. It's like the voice that came to Nephi when he was on his way home (ironically, very similar to my position.) As hard as things have been, and most likely will be when I get back, it's going to be different, because I have taken huge steps spiritually, and what seemed like big problems before are not as serious... It's one of the biggest advantages I have now. Whatever comes at me, I know I can handle it, as hard is it will be, because I know I´ve done everything I can. I guess I can call that self confidence and self esteem right?

Oh and today we went and I bought a new shirt to wear when I go home, just one, since all of mine are too big, since I´ve lost some weight. And a tie. And I am going to buy a couple jerseys and something for Sister Eagley.

One more question, are you going to be mad if I leave some clothes for the offices and for members that I visit when I go back to Albardon? That's going to help me pack a lot easier, since I have to be under 50 pounds. Oh and I saw my itinerary, which was weird, but it's still awesome because it still hasn't hit me yet! I have a lot more work to do these next three weeks! I hope they go by even slower! I love you all, thank you for your support and love and everything you´ve given me. I´ll talk to you next week!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, April 21, 2014


Hey Mom and Dad!

So the Easter celebration was quite...non-existent. I switched to a different ward on Thursday so I wasn't with Elder Braithwaite anymore, and no one invited us over for lunch, so the two Latins I was with and I ordered chicken from a rotiseria. Don't know how to spell that in English or Spanish. But on Sunday it was nice to have at least the bishop and his counselor speak about Pascua (Easter). The two first speakers had a misunderstanding and they hadn't prepared anything for this week, so the bishop had to speak, but they did it very smoothly and they shared some really powerful testimonies about Jesus Christ and the resurrection.

But for me, it turned out to be just like my first Christmas here, when there were no commercial distractions drawing my attention away from the real meaning of Easter, so I really enjoyed it. Especially driving home with Presidente Avila and Elder Wright, we passed through the beautiful Valle de Uco with its fall colors (got one picture, that's it) and talked about all the blessings we have received and seen in these last two years, since the three of us are, well, yeah. (What he doesn't want to say is that they're all three going home soon, President Avila too.) Then we ended the day watching the new Bible video, "My Kingdom Is Not of This World." It's a really good video. Same with the main one on the page, "Because of Him." Both really good videos, I recommend them. 

But anyway, yeah, Elder Hardy and I have enjoyed the short time we´ve been together. I already invited him to come swing by the beach house for a day or so when we go, since he lives super close. He said that would be cool, we can go to the Tillamook cheese factory and I told him about Oswald West beach. Pretty cool places.

Alright, I´m glad I know where I´m living in Provo at least. It'll be nice to be in the same ward as Logan, maybe we´ll get to work together a little bit!

Thanks for letting me know about Jalen, I'll send him a little email and pray for him. I just hope he realizes that there´s a reason he was sent there and not me. It's always the stronger people that have the stronger challenges, and he´s always been the better half of this brotherhood.

Anyway, don't know where we are going this week, so I might not let you know until next week! But I'm excited to get out and work. Next Monday is my birthday, that's crazy. Have to play some soccer with the elders in Mendoza or something! I love you! Hope you can handle all the things that you are called to do during this week! Well, I don't hope, I know you can!

Elder Tyson Gibbons 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Easter!

The Zarate twins from Villa Mercedes
Elder Rainock and me
The beautiful Valle de Uco (Uco valley with the snowcapped mountains).
 Closest place to Utah and Idaho that I´ve seen in a while!
 You can look at that and just relax, all that natural beauty. :)
Elder Holmstead from Middleton (recognize him?) and me and Elder Sanz

Hola family!

Happy Easter to all of you too! Hopefully you can enjoy the real meaning of Easter, down here it's a little less commercial (unless you go downtown, of course) but mostly people just eat fish instead of meat on Thursday and Friday! Don't know if I´ll get to eat any, but it's very possible. Fantastic!...

The new calling is based in the offices, so every Sunday night we come back here where all our stuff is (except the packed suitcase we take around everywhere) and sleep, and then Monday is still p-day, but we can basically just do what we want for p-day! I think we're going to make tacos today. Anyway, as for traveling, we are going to be taking a LOT of buses, we usually have to pay but then we get reimbursed afterwards. But it will be super nice to choose which company to take and when! We are planning on getting the suites (180 degree reclining chairs, still only 85 pesos) when we go to San Juan our last week! :)

So it's a really cool "calling" to put it that way, getting to see a lot of areas and elders, and like you say Dad, it is pretty rough because you don't know the people you teach, and it's hard to get their confidence, but I consider it a challenge to help me improve my people skills and teaching skills! But like you said, it will be cool to know just about the entire mission, for when we come back!

It's also a pretty weird assignment, because we literally have a lot more freedom than anyone else. We both have a phone, if we have to travel alone we can (long bus ride on Saturday morning, alone... pretty weird, but weirdly pretty: lots of mountains and vineyards and the closest thing to a forest I´ve ever seen down here), and we just don't know what to do with ourselves most of the time when we are here in Mendoza. When we are traveling to other areas we are going to get to work normally, which is good. 

This week we are going to San Rafael. I´m going to be working with Elder Braithwaite and his companion in Cuadro Nacional till Thursday, and then with Barrio 3 till Sunday afternoon. I´ve been to both areas a few times before, so it will be cool to go back! Elder Hardy gets to work in one of his old areas, Parque Molino, and then in El Cerrito with his kid Elder Hartman! 

Don't know if I'll get to work with Elder Southwick or Elder Fullmer, but I did get to meet Elder Southwick's kid, my grandson, Elder Grandy. Just like Elder Southwick.

As for the packages, still nothing I think, but the letters come a little bit faster. But you can probably stop sending the letters because at this point they might get here after I leave! This is probably the last week you can send stuff and have me get it. I'll read the rest when I get home :)

Thanks for giving me such an awesome topic to speak on! Can I just ask, what is Jalen going to speak about, since I will not be there to hear him?? I will start thinking things out and preparing. (I guess Tyson doesn't know that he and Jalen will be speaking together on May 25!  We're making Jalen wait a few weeks so people don't have to travel twice.)

That's crazy that your teaching of repentance to the youth turned into a teaching experience with a Seventy and the stake president! That is kind of what I feel like when I get asked to teach in a conference with just President Avila there, pretty nerve-wracking.Thankfully the Spirit is also known as the Comfortor, keeps our knees from trembling and collapsing! :)

I really like that quote, thanks for sharing it. I´ve been thinking a lot about that recently, the Atonement and how it has applied in my life, and that quote puts things into a very important perspective. He NEVER sinned, and yet suffered ALL the consecuences. How in the world can we expect to SOMETIMES sin (intentionally), and yet receive ONLY the blessings? It's sad to see that so many people all over the world need to understand that principle better. I guess Easter is as good of a time as any to testify of that crucial difference!

So this last week I was in Valle de Uco, I had never been there before. It was cold, freezing actually, but I loved being there and working with the elders! First I worked in La Consulta with Elder Pearson and Elder Alcalde, and we taught some really good lessons and saw a few different miracles with finding prepared people to teach. And then I went to Urbana with the zone leaders, Elder Sanz and Elder Holmstead (from Middleton, in the picture I sent attached to this email. I recognized him the first time I saw him in San Juan, and he recognized me! We played soccer against each other for years, and against his older brother for few years. He remembered I had a twin and said that he always dreaded our games because me and Jalen were really tall and really fast haha). And I went to church in their branch. It was a really good fast and testimony meeting! I was really cold, but I really wanted to share my testimony so I got up there and the adrenaline kind of warmed me up! But I just gave my testimony about coming to know the Savior even closer during these two years. Couldn´t let my second to last chance slip by! But I met many awesome, faithful members and it helped me to recognize the growth in the church, since Valle de Uco isn't a stake yet, it's only a district, meaning President Avila is basically the stake president. But those were some of the most faithful, missionary-work-involved members I´ve seen in my time here. 

Anyway, I'll have lots more adventures in these next weeks, so I´ll take as many pictures as possible and write the miracles that we see! I love you all!

Elder Tyson Gibbons

Monday, April 7, 2014


Hey Mom and Dad,

Alright we´re in the other cyber, a little bit less pressure now for writing! Although I don't have much to write anyway, the Conference and the leadership council were basically everything this last week! Not much time to get out and do the normal work! But the Conference was amazing, one of the best that I´ve seen in my few years of enjoying Conference to the fullest! We got to see all the sessions, with the only satellite failure in the talk on Sunday of the sister, I don't remember her name, sorry, when we missed the story of that boy on the street. But that was the only inconvenience haha! But I really liked Elder Aidukaitis´ talk about recognizing truth, and Elder Ballard´s talk about following up, and Elder Bednar´s talk as well. I really liked all of them.  Especially the gratitude one, and the one about love (well there were a few, all really good!). I don't have my notes on me, but I was very satisfied after the Conference. Now I have 6 months to apply everything.

Anyway, one of the biggest surprises of the day yesterday was a call we received between sessions. We had just started eating, and we get a call, I look at the phone and it's Presidente Ávila. So I talked to him for a few minutes, and it was bascially an ahead-of-schedule transfer update, telling me that I was going to be traveling the entire mission for the last six weeks! I´m going to be doing intercambios with elders all over the mission, helping them improve their planning and teaching (still don't really understand why me, but I don't doubt the choice President made, so I´ll do everything I can to help). But yeah, my companion for the few days that I´m not with other people in their areas, is Elder Hardy! Awesome, right?? So we´re going to be traveling all over the mission together. I guess we´ll see if I get to go to any old areas or see any old companions, although many of them are home anyway! But that's the news for changes. I leave Villa Mercedes for the second and last time of my mission. It's sad, I even had an asado promised me by the Familia Giordano, who came to our talent show on Friday (turned out great by the way! They asked Elder Rainock to sing a song, and it was really good. I was the only one who understood haha, but it was really good.) Sadly, I think something happened to my sd card and I lost 5 of the 8 videos :(  oh well.. stuff happens!

I´m sad to leave this area and ward, and Elder Rainock. It was probably one of the best transfers I´ve had, absolutely no problems between companions, and just working hard and having fun doing it! Maybe I´ll come back to Villa Mercedes within these 6 weeks, but I don't know yet.

Anyway, I can't believe the first week of April is over! Oh and happy birthday Church (yesterday, 184 years since the Restoration, and many many centuries before that!). I´ll be turning 21 in no time, I feel like. Oh and just so you know, in the leadership council, Presidente Ávila received an email from the Area Seventy presidency, saying that parents should not send packages anymore, to anywhere in Argentina, because they simply won't get through. It's not prohibited, but it's 90% likely that the stuff they send will never make it to their Elder or Sister. Sad, huh? I´m glad I at least got most of mine! (Still have two chances to get my other two Christmas packages...)

The area is being left in good hands and also in good shape! We have a lot of people to teach, just lots of them needing to get married first, so that's something that will be a focus this next month! 

Anyway, I think most of us are focusing on having an attitude of gratitude. I definitely will be improving that as I am traveling so much and sleeping on old mattresses and living-out-of-a-suitcase level 2 (since these two years have been like that already, now just on a different level). Gratitude is going to be a big factor! But I have a good start, I can't believe how great this time has been until now! And now I hope to get the final refining to start off well in a matter of months! I love you all and hope you can find success applying the many things we learned this weekend! Gratitude, diligence, obedience, love, whatever it may be! Choose one, and work on it till you improve it a lot, and choose another! It's all part of life! 

Elder Tyson Gibbons