Week 9: Tres Semanas, March 28, 2016

First of all, big welcome home to my brother Wes, big shout out to his dedication and his commiting to live in the wilderness for 50 days, and of course his beautiful beard. Winston is now the only brother who has yet to show off his beard. Yes Ethan, that means I finally admit what you had was, barely, a beard.

Speaking of Winston, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS! TE AMO! You little champ, I loved the pictures, do what I did at about your age and wear your new costume for days at a time. Hahaha im not kidding. We celebrated your birthday by going and getting ice cream. Winston, we didnt have bills payed, we had to travel, we had 0 money, but thanks to your mother i was able to go to the bank and we got ice cream for you, twice! We ate it both times but it was good. White chocolate and dulce de leche.
So we got our lights back. I went on exchanges with Elder Padilla, whose home ward is in the BAS mission haha. He´s a mini missionary. Hes only here for 6 weeks with our District Leader, He doesnt even have his endowments yet haha. He doesnt speak English but we had a good time, and after seeing a “mochilero” (literally translated: backpacker) I convinced him and we went and talked to him. His name is Coco (i think) and I left him a Libro de Mormón.
That night we hung out with the 2 other elders in their city, one is super cool, the other one is super cool too, he´s from Peru, he speaks a tiny bit of english but not enough to understand whats funny about him having songs like The Metal-Tenacious D, Imagine Dragons, Evanescence(?), Ellie Goulding, and Girls-Cyndi Lauper that he listens to hahaha.
Anyway we have interviews with the Mission President tomorrow then we´re traveling all week apparently so im excited and nervous for the interview and sad to leave for a while haha. I love you all! Keep it up! Big shout out to my cousin and best buddy Jack! I miss our good times, I love you, keep being awesome and exploring your talents, and you will never spend your time better than when youre helping others, especially your family.
Theres always long lines of tons of giant ants walking back and forth in Argentina carrying all sorts of oranges and leaves and sandwhiches and stuff to snack on in the big ant parties they have somewhere and its super cool, not sure you can see well.

Love you!

Elder Gibson
Hi mom! I love you! imma send these and upload them while i read emails. i love wess beard

The first one is this little boy named Tean who lives with his mom and 3 brothers and sister who calls me papa and always wants me to hold him. in the picture hes sleeping on one of their beds in a new house with their cat whose neck is super messed up. like it can rotate, but its like at a weird angle the whole time haha
Then we celebrated Winstons birthday! Ill talk about that more later
Also Ill talk about exchanges with Elder Padilla later, but we found these two baby dogs in this dish on all this trash and of course disturbed them to take pictures

Fat pig we saw, terrible picture, I know.

We were excited to finally have money today, but the cheap grocery store had a ton of empty shelves, so we had to go to the more expensive one, but we were still able to have amazing hamburgers with all sorts of sauces thanks to my comp, whose el capo.
At night tons and tons of little beetle things gather under every light and its super gross and cool. Every black spot is one of em here.

Week 8: La Luz de la Obra, March 21, 2016

The title means the Light of the Work. Its ironic because on thursday they cut our electricity. My trainer´s trainer, his last companion, didnt pay the electricity bill in december or february, or the february gas bill, so we might not have a stove or hot water here soon. It costs a lot to travel, and we dont have much money anyway, so we´ve been living without lights and it kinda sucks cuz it slows us down a lot in the morning and night, but we´re alright. We tried to email the Financial people about it but Elder Derbez typed the address wrong so we sent it and more in on Thursday, but we wont get reimbursed until today or tomorrow. After that we should be able to pay all the bills, pay back the Sisters for traveling fees, maybe, and return to a normal budget.

Today we got up around 4:45 to get ready and get on the Chinobus to go to a District Activity. Tonight we´re staying the night in Cañuelas with our District Leader and his mini-missionary companion, from Argentina. Tomorrow Elder Derbez and Elder Escandon (DL) will go back to Las Flores and I will stay here with Elder Padilla (mini-missionary) for a day. Hopefully by Wednesday all will be back to normal. This exchange just happened to fall on this week, so I will hopefully return to a fully operational pensión haha.
The language is coming along! I can understand people a lot better. And we got two bapstimal dates! Due to a bunch of things, there both on the 16 of April, but we´re all excited. One is this single woman Griselda who has 6 sons. We love teaching them, and helping their family grow closer. They all came to church Sunday. The older 2 are 14 and 12, then 6, then a 4 year old daughter, then Tean, whose 2, who loves me and always wants me to hold him. He´s super cute and hilarious. He always says: vamos, which means like we go, or lets go. Holding babies might be against the rules though.
But anyway I love you all and I love all the emails and I love being a missionary and seeing the Gospel touch the lives of others, and especially mine. Im excited to continue to give all my heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord and see what he makes of me in 2 years. Keep it up! Not sure I can do pictures this week, but we´ll try.

Love you!

Elder Gibson

Week 7: ARGENTINA! March 14, 2016

Wooh! How yall doin? I made it! The flight was long, but it actually felt really short. I didnt sleep at all. I mostly just played Sodoku. It went by quick, but I was super exhausted when I got to BA. First things I noticed were the humidity and how everything is green. Love em both.

So we met the Mission President and his Assistants and wife, and her sister and brother in law who are part of the mission Presidency? Not a hundred percent sure. Anyway, I got assigned Elder Derbez from Mexico! He´s super awesome and speaks a lot of English, which is good and bad. We get a long super well. He just finished his training which makes me scared to be a trainer haha.
But if I get to be in Las Flores, all will be well. I love Las Flores. Me and Elder Derbez have half this little town, and Hermana Shepard form SoCal and Hermana Molinero from Tuceman, Argentina, have the other half! We´re the farthest area out in the mission, so we´ve hardly had much time to do much in our area! We had to go into town (about 7.5-8 hrs roundtrip) 3 times this week, but usually we only do once, so itll be aight.
There´s one ward here, few members, in the stake Monte Grande (i think). A lot of less actives and a lot of people to visit that are either progressing or future investigators. The language is hard, I have a hard time understanding it, but I can clearly see process as I continue to learn, Im not too worried, I just need to practice patience, because I wish I could talk and understand more in lessons and when we visit people.
So Las Flores is great, mission work is great, there´s dogs everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I havent gotten bit yet, but theres only been like one or two close calls. The drivers are nuts, especially when we got into town. But everyones pretty friendly. I´ll send pictures of our actually pretty nice Pensión.
Also the food is great, no problems at all with it, and Elder Derbez is a great chef. Idk how to cook at all. Spices are unheard of here haha, so the flavor of the food is what you get, which isnt bad. Shout out to everyone who emailed me! Ill try to email back, no mucho tiempo. Pictures to come! Love you all! Keep striving to show the Lord that you understand that everything is his, and that everything you give to those around will be returned tenfold, albeit later!
And of course, Happy Birthday Mom!! I love you! Everyone who reads this agrees that youre the best Mom in the world! No doubt about that. Here´s how we celebrated:
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Our Pension and my companion! So theres always frogs in our backyard at night, which is super dope. Elder Derbez hates frogs. Also we saw a dog walking around with one of his legs freshly removed a little less than halfway down, that was nuts. Most of the dogs are nice. We have one that I named Jefe today that lives around our Pension. Also we have Bikes! Big surprise. Theyve actually probably wasted more time, because we had to walk to the shop like 4 times before it was opened, and then he got a flat tire twice, anyway…

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Week 6: He arrives in Argentina! March 8, 2016

Elder Gibson left the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on Monday, March 7. He was able to find a pay phone and call us while he waited for his flight in Salt Lake City. We talked for about 20 minutes.

A few things he said: He was getting really tired of the MTC food to the point where he almost couldn’t eat it anymore! He told us about how 2 of his companions and 1 elder from his MTC district all left within the first 2 weeks of entering the MTC and that is was very interesting and kind of hard to adjust to each time. He felt really bad for those elders and hopes they can return on their missions. He was so excited to be headed to Argentina and said he wasn’t nervous. His MTC training prepared him to feel confident as he faces a new culture and language. He became emotional when we talked about his brother Wes and through tears told us to let Wes know the there is nothing he’d rather be doing right now. It was a great call!

We received this email on March 8 from Argentina:

Dear Gibson Family,

I am writing to inform you of the safe arrival of your son in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission.  Attached here you will find a photograph of Elder Gibson with President and Sister Thurgood.  His trainer will be Elder Derbez and they are going to serve in the area of Las Flores B. Their preparation day will be every Monday and you can expect an email letter on that day.  

Thank you for sharing Elder Gibson with our mission.  We appreciate your support and also the fact that you have a son who wants to serve.  We will take good care of His!  God bless you.

Sincerely,

Hermana Mitchell
Secretaria
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Sur

 

I sent an email back asking about sending letters and packages and for the mission address. Here’s the response:

NO packages get through, sorry for this.  The office address is

MIsion  Argentina Buenos Aires Sur

Quintana 447

Adrogue 1846 Buenos Aires Argentina

Hermana Mitchell

Secretario

Mision Argentina Buenos Aires Sur

Week 5: On My Way Out! March 1, 2016

Well that was quick. We got our travel plans on Friday. We leave Monday morning to fly to Atlanta, then from there strait to Buenos Aires. We will land around 9:30, and we will land in my mission. I know a few elders going to BAS as well, and most of my district is on the same flight. Super excited and ready to not be ready.

Great news, with tie trades and all I found out I currently have just barely enough ties to wear a different one every day in the MTC. Super excited about that.
We had a great Sunday devotional by Stephen B Allen , who is like the head of the Missionary committee or something, he talked about Repentance. A lot of elders were kinda complaining cuz he brought up some stuff that could be taken as akward and uncomfortable to hear, but I loved his message and I think a lot of it needed to be said.
New District came in on Wednesday, we got to show em around that night. They’re advanced and theyre all awesome. 2 elders and 3 sisters. The elders are in a different building though which is sad because we dont have the opportunity to get to know em as well. It also doesnt make sense cuz there’s like one other zone on our entire floor. Might be closing down our building, Dan Jones/15M, for the empty part of the year.
I love being the Zone Leader because I can see and feel the Lord working through me and blessing me to know who to assign and how to handle interviews and other things. It’s great and a huge testimony builder, and of course great preparation for the field.
I love you all and I love any communication, especially DEAR ELDERS. Favorite thing besides packages haha. Miss you guys, everyone give Winston a high five and knucks for me! And bretheren and father, help my mom! Help her clean or cook or take care of the small baby or whatever it may be! She’s the best.
Us and the new District.
The Zone as it is.
Our TRC ‘investigator’ Jose whose from Guatemala and is super awesome. We got to know him really well and see him around a lot. We didnt know it would be our last lesson but he was afraid of the idea of “Enduring to the End’ because we talked about baptism and because of what he had seen happen in other peoples lives after baptism. I was able to share my favorite scripture Helaman 5:12 and it was super good and emotional, for him especially.

Love you!

Elder Gibson
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