Week 100: Goodbye Buenos Aires, Hola Boise, January 8, 2018

Well, I guess this is it. I can`t postpone it any longer. The Last Big One. These last few days I`ve tried to think of everything I`ve learned in the last 2 years, and I got to a conclusion: I can´t. I literally can`t even imagine what I was like before the mission. I`ve changed so much, I`ve learned so much, I`ve shaved so many times. My beard is going to be killer when I get back.

 Alright so maybe I haven`t changed all that much. Nah I`m just kidding, I have. I have learned so much about the Church and the Gospel. I feel like I share a similar feeling with alot of other returned missionaries (or almost returned missionaries, that is); if I had known back then all that I know now, I would have been able to accomplish so much more. I honestly think that if I had the opportunity to serve another 2 year mission as a young adult, I would. Just seeing the difference between little ol Justin Gibson and J-Dawg Gibster 2.0 would be motivation enough to go through a similarly difficult and rewarding 2 more years of service. I can`t even imagine what J-Dawg Gibster 2.0 would evolve into after another 2 years.
 The good news is, I can still be a missionary when I get home! I want you all to know now that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ`s only true and complete church on the Earth today. We literally have all the truth ever. God speaks to our leaders, and his Holy Ghost guides us personally. His work is helping his children come and be baptized in this church for the remission of sins, so that together we can all be perfected in Christ, and present ourselves spotless before God in His day. All the blessings we can possibly imagine our within our reach, if we can just obey God`s will. I could go on forever, but no one likes super long emails. I`ll see you all soon anyway.
 This week we did comp exchanges from Wednesday night to Friday night. I went and stayed in the Acevedo pensh with Elder Stiles, pretty close to the mission home. Thursday morning we got up and got on a bus to Capital, the equivalent of downtown buenos aires pretty much, we did a tour there till 4, inlcuding a ton of super dope places, Imma try to throw some pictures on later, but then we had a selfsufficciency class by our Presidente Calquín, and then ate a little dinner in the mission home. Friday we got up and went down to the temple, then back to the mission home for a big ol lunch, and then we took some pictures, had a little testimony meeting and got some things. The week went by super quick. We were able to have a super good day this Saturday full of work, but on Sunday I already had to start packing. Right now we`re in Lomas, came to buy a few last things.
 Anyway, Imma toss some pictures down, but I love you all and I`m so grateful for the support from family and friends over these past 2 years. I`m very excited to see you all again, but I don`t like to think too much about leaving my Argentine life behind. I dont know how to do anything but missionary work nowadays. It doesnt help that I didnt know how to do anything before the mission either. But I have lived here for quite awhile, its gunna be wierd to adjust back to good ol Idaho.Thats life I guess. Well, you know what they say…
Love you!
Elder Gibson

Week 99: 2018, January 2, 2018

Here in my last area I just completed the first week. Went by slowly. I think its cuz of Christmas and New Years and Interviews with President and a bunch of stuff. Also I only have one week left.

But, I do believe I will be on here again next week, the same day I fly out, becuase if not my comps gunna be pretty anxious to talk with his family haha.
So for New Years we stayed in the Zone Leaders pensh the night of the 31st, and the other Elders from Claypole stayed in our pensh last night. With the Zone Leaders we made completos chilenos (little hot dogs with guacamole and little french fries and stuff) and a Argentine style fruit salad. It was pretty good and we had a good time. Also the next door neighbors threw a party late at night. I have gotten used to sleeping with loud music coming from nearby down here in Argentina, but this time they hit me in my blindspot by blasting Ice Cube. So that was an interesting twist.
Anyway I´d like to wish everyone a Happy New Years! Its wierd to think that its almost been exactly 2 years since I was sent out as a missionary. But it was good to be able to reflect on everything I´ve learned this year. It went by super quick. I have a feeling that time doesnt really slow down from here on out. Just gets faster and faster. But every New Years is an opportunity to refocus ourselves on what we want to do better in the future, and set goals for the year.  I´m not 100% sure what I want out of this next year, mostly because I don´t remember what its like to not be a missionary, but I dont want to think about all that for another week or two, so I´m just gunna invite all of you to really think through what you want to do better this year, and to make plans, and then to do it! I love you all and I´ll most likely be writing next week. If not, well, see ya in about a week.
I had intercambios with a new elder in our district, Elder Wadsworth
The rest of the pictures are a mix of New Years with the Zone Leaders, Christmas with the Ferraro Family, the day after Christmas with the Claypole Elders, and a few pictures from Laferrere that I havent been able to send yet. Also heres my new Zone, Zona Burzaco!

Love you!
Elder Gibson

Week 98: Unexpected Christmas Delivery, December 26, 2017

Well, first and foremost, Merry Christmas everyone! I had my second and last Argentine Christmas as a representative of Jesus Christ, and it was awesome! We ate lunch with this older couple named Ferraro who made stuffed ham and a bunch of other little things to eat like 10 different types of pickled vegetables and also chorizo and cheese and stuff like that. We had dinner with them, the 4 of us here in Claypole and our zone leaders from Burzaco.

So I don´t know if anyone was paying attention but im now in Claypole! Its the same stake as the other area I was in, Adrogué. Surprisingly enough, they transferred me out of Laferrere with 2 weeks left in the mission! I´ll get to why later, but now my comps name is Elder Allen, from Loro, Ecuador! His trainer was Elder Mendoza, who became my comp right after training Elder Allen. Elder Mendoza also trained Elder McMillan, who was also my comp. On top of that, Elder Mendoza was trained by Elder Batson, who became my comp a year ago today! So I guess I´m just part of the family now….
…Which is good because my old trainee, Elder McConkie, went home this last Friday. He had some things he had to get taken care of from before the mission, and he was also really struggling adapting to the missionary lifestyle and, more then anything, the language. So on Tuesday we had interviews with the Mission President, along with the rest of the zone, and that was when we talked to President and we knew for sure that Elder McConkie was going home. On Thursday they called us confirming everything, and on Friday afternoon me and a Brother from the mission took Elder McConkie to the airport and helped him get through checkin and saw him off. The Brother then dropped me off here in Claypole.
 Good news is my comp was able to be home for Christmas, and hes gunna be able to take care of whatever he needs to take care of, and be with his family. It was a little hard to take my ´´son´´ to the airport and pack up and move with only 2 weeks left after making Christmas plans with the members from Laferrere, but I really can´t complain, my comps great, and in a few weeks I will have successfully fulfilled my 2 year calling as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! I would go more into counting my blessings, but I think I´m gunna save that for next week. Things haved been gettin pretty trunky, especially with my last skype call that I did with my family on Sunday. It was awesome! But I still have time to go ham down here and take advantage of the fact that I´ve never been a better missionary, and I´ve never spoken the language better. So things aren´t bad at all. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Years and let you all know that I´m doing fine and I love you all!
No pics today, I have a ton I want to send, but thats how it goes down here. Next week for sure maybe!

Love you!

Elder Gibson

Week 97: So Little Time, December 18, 2017

Well, next week is Christmas. Like many of you we have already started celebrating. This last Saturday we had a huge stake activity based on the Ilumina El Mundo church thing. I think in English its something like Light The World Campaign 2017. Anyway we had a choir prepared with our ward and with all the Elders of the stake. Went super well! Way too many hours practicing, we didnt get like anything else done this week, but it was pretty cool anyway.

Shoutout to Elder Frandsen, a newby in our ward who also lives in our building, cuz this Thursday was his birthday and we made tacos again to celebrate it. No pictures though for now haha.

So right before the activity, which was held in the Stake Center, in my old area in Catán 3, we did a Tormenta Blanca where I went and worked with a member there in my old area, it was pretty cool to see some people and familys that I used to visit. So that was a blessing.
Also this last week we had Zone Conference. It was pretty cool. An Elder named Elder Hurst was called as Assistant. Is called the right term? Anyway I remember back in the good ol days of Banfield 1 when he started his mission. Made me feel like an old missionary. I guess I kinda am.
Sorry got off topic, the Zone Conference was great. President Calquin is a beast. I`m gunna miss these conferences. I wish my comp were able to understand everything, but I know he could feel the Spirit there either way.
I hope everyone enjoys the Christmas season! My PDay will be Tuesday these next 2 weeks so that theres internet cafes and stuff like that actually open, due to the Monday Christmas/New Years thing, so dont freak out mom! Love you all!

Love you!

Elder Gibson

Week 96: Surprise! December 11, 2017

Well it was a good week down here in Gregory of LaFerrere. We`ve been forming a choir as a mission zone to be able to present it at the zone conference for the mission president and his wife, and this last monday at practice an elder in my old area, Catán 3, told me that one of my old investigadors was getting baptized!

But wait, theres more!
She had asked that I baptize her! Me and my pennsylvannia hillbilly comp Elder Jesson had found and started teaching this one family called Familia PasoGuillén (picture below of the lesson the first night). The now 13 year old daughter Camila has since been reading the Book of Mormon and going to church, even though her mom and older sister are not supportive of her and before, didnt want to get baptized. Thats how they were when I left Catán (the second picture).
I dont know how it happened but they finally decided to let her get baptized this last week! And, on top of that, the day of her baptism, Wednesday the 6th of December, was Camila´s birthday! Thanks to the Lord I just happened to be right next door, in LaFe, and with my mission presidents permission, I was able to go and baptize her! That was also the first time I had performed the baptismal ordinance too! And the first baptism in that side of Catán 3 for almost 2 years!
Well, to say the least, it was a miracle. And I am super grateful to have been able to see it and take part in it. Camila´s a baller and heres a couple pictures of the baptismal service/birthday party.

Love you!

Elder Gibson

Week 95: Last Man Standing, December 4, 2017

Well, I was gunna attach an epic picture of me and my son and the second counselor of the Area Presidency, Elder Bragg, who surprise visited our ward yesterday, but the picture thing aint workin.

Anyway, last man standing is Elder McConkie. All my other mission comps ever are officially in their houses. It´s a wierd feeling knowing im one of the oldest buddies on the mission field.
Anyway yeah Elder Bragg came down to good ol LaFerrere, it was awesome. Him and his wife are legit. They also had a meeting with the Ward Counsel afterwards that apparently went pretty well.
So we´ve been workin with our investigadors, and finding some new ones to teach. A couple weeks ago this guy named Juan (but everyone calls him Toro (Bull)) came to church. None of us missionaries knew him, but apparently he had come awhile back, never got baptized though. Yesterday we finally found him and had a lesson with him, one of the most humbling lessons I´ve ever had. He is in a lot of emotional pain, and is looking for a way out. When most people these days would look into any other means but God to escape pain, Juan dont. So yeah we´re pretty excited for him.
Dont have much time left but I love this work and I love the Lord and I love you all and hope you all come to know the Lord so you can take part in this work! Nothin else makes people truly happy.

Have a good week everyone!

Love you!

Elder Gibson