Mexico Guadalajara East Mission

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Sunday, December 26

It´s time to... to... um, to... write a letter!





Querida familia,

It was great to talk to you on Saturday, even though I wasn´t able to use Skype... I guess that´ll have to be for the next one... The other elders that live with us said that it was really fun. I guess I'll see you on Mother´s Day!

After the call, we went home and waited for the other elders to get home and opened our presents that we had and then we had our Christmas dinner. We had a roast, mashed potatoes, bread, and ginger ale for the drink. Oh, and a make-shift pumpkin pie... It was quite delicious. Poor Elder Cruz... He has to eat delicious food from the U.S. on holidays. I´m sure he´s just so disappointed... ;) He has an uncle from the U.S. that has made him food more or less of that type, but he hasn´t had a lot of it. Here´re some pictures of dinner. :)

There isn´t really much more to write... seeing as I just talked to you all... Or I just am loosing my memory young... sorry it´s so short...

I love you all!!!
con amor,
Élder Gibson

Sunday, December 19

¿See? ya´ll on Saturday!




Querida familia,


Yup! Sounds like winter! Except for all the rain... and I really like your granola... ;)
So first off and very important... ;)  For the phone call on Christmas:  We were told that we can use Skype if we want to do a video call.  I wish we had a little more notice, but oh well. So what we would need is:
               -for you to have an account
               -to make me an account with this info (same capitalization and spacing)
                     -username:   Elder Gibson
                     -password:   REVOLUCION
               -add me as a friend on your account (and you as a friend on my account)
               -both of us need to be on at 10:00 a.m. sharp! ;)
I think that`s all. Elder Cruz is going to call his family first at 9:00. But if something goes wrong you can expect a call todos modos.
I DO get to play the cello!! I´m so excited! We found a member that has one and she let me borrow it so I could practice. We´ll be performing this Wednesday from 4 to 8 for 15 minutes at the beginning of each hour, at the stake center next to the temple. I´m playing with the hymns and two special numbers: Oh Holy Night, and What Child Is This? I´m so excited!!
We got to go to the temple and Sirloin Stockade for our Christmas activity. When we got there the Assistants told us that we had an assignment to bring 7 people who needed (not wanted) to eat with us. So we split up and went searching. My group didn`t find anyone, but we got the 7. Actually it was like 8 or 9... There was a family there so that made me happy. Then we had a gift exchange (...I got hair removing wax...), a piñata and a devotional. It was a lot of fun. Then we were able to go to the temple! It´s a really small temple (your chapel is bigger) but it`s just as awesome! Another cool thing was that I understood pretty much everything even though it was in Spanish.
That`s really all that I can remember from last week... It was a highlight of my mission though. :)
See ya on Saturday hopefully!!

Con amor, 
Élder Gibson



Sunday, December 12

Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall on your kneeeeeees, Oh heeeeee eaaar the angel vooooooiiices!


Querida familia,

 
I´m glad to hear that everyone´s doing great. I love all the Christmas-music-program-things that always happen at this time of year. Oh! and guess what! for the singing thing at the temple, guess what I get to play! The Cello!! Ha ha! Well, my companion volunteered me, then we had to find a member who had one and was willing to let us borrow it, and actually I still don´t have it... but I´m hoping to start practicing today... Because I need to practice... Because I haven´t played in over a year and a half... Aaah! but it´ll be ok, I actually had to write a cello part because this arrangement didn´t have a cello part. So I know how it goes, hopefully it´s not too hard to play... :/ (side-note: The catholic church next to this Internet shop is singing to the virgin "...era Mexicana, era Mexicana..." the day of the virgin was yesterday)



Our first counselor called us on Saturday and asked us to speak in church on Sunday, and I just thought, "when am I going to have time to prepare a talk?" But of course we said yes. It turned out better than I thought and it didn´t have to be very long because there were four people total speaking. I spoke about why we as members should want to share the gospel. And of course everyone complimented my Spanish, and actually, apparently I speak "perfect Spanish" so says an older Hermana in our ward... Yes it has improved a lot since I first got here, but It could be a ton better. I don´t think that it´s quite "perfect" yet... ;) 



Yeah! Go Michele!! Keep playing that piano! I wish I could play the piano... apparently that´s really common for elders from Utah... not me! I play the cello! but I wish I played the piano... it´s more useful. ;)



I´m glad my package got there ok. I was kind of worried, but I guess DHL is probably more reliable and faster than Correo de México. 



We´re going to the temple this Thursday to do a session. It´s going to be in Spanish so that will be a little different, but hey, I speak Spanish, right? ;) I´m excited to go! We´re going to this buffet called Sirloin Stockade later too. 



We´re kind of having a hard time having our investigators keep their commitments... but we´ll find some that are ready. We´ve just got to talk with everyone to be able to find them.

Well I think that that´s all for this week. Keep remembering the Christmas Spirit! and the hot chocolate, and the lights, and the tree, and the carols, and the... every thing else! 
Especially the real reason for the season!



I love you all!!

Con amor,  
Élder Gibson

Monday, December 6

¡¡Diciembre es aquí!! - December is here!!



Querida Familia, (it just occurred to me that I´ve been spelling that wrong for my whole mission... it´s querida instead of querido) 

This year has flown by! I´m pretty sure I just left the MTC... Ha ha, the Zone Leaders are training a new Elder, and they had him bear his testimony in a Zone meeting. That showed me how much my Spanish has improved. I was actually impressed with his Spanish, though. He caught his mistakes and fixed them, but it was just a little slower. He´ll learn fast, his trainer is Mexican. 

We put up our Christmas tree. It´s about 1´ 6" tall. So the six foot one is just huge. That´s actually bigger than the ones that I´ve seen here. They have real pines too! ...but they´re like $40 - $50 USD for a 5´ tree... so we didn´t get one of those... ,) 

My Christmas list? ummm... probably just ties and some American candy (chocolate... it´s not as good here) oh, and maybe some "Stephen´s" wassail... That´s all. :) 

The mobile visitor´s center is going to be at the temple this month for four days. We´re supposed to bring a family every one of the days. They´re also putting lights up too. I´m not sure on what, because all the trees still have their leaves... They chose our Zone to go and sing for that. I think it´s the 19th. We have practices every Monday and Friday until then. 

 We gave the referral of Alejandra to other elders, because she actually lives in their area. We´re finding new investigators that look at least somewhat promising every couple of days!  

Here´s our Christmas tree and our family Christmas picture except that Elder Rossiter (bottom left) was replaced by Elder Hollingsworth. 
 
Con amor,  
Élder Gibson

Monday, November 29

Happy Thanksgiving and lots of a baptism too!!‏







Hey there la familia mia!


It sounds like there was lots and lots of happy, happy joyness going around this last week! That´s great because we had an awesome week too, all ending with an awesome baptismal service!

(Did I know that Chris was getting married? I don´t remember... either way, ¡Felicidades!)


So yesterday night we had a Zone baptism. The assistants and even President and his family came! There were eight baptized. I think that President is proud of how far this Zone has come. (it´s a long, long way...) I was so incredibly happy there! Everyone was all smiles the whole night. I guess that´s what happens when the Spirit is that strong. :D 


We were going to have a baptism during the service too, but there were giant marionettes in the streets and yeah, it was just a big mess... So Alejandra works over in down town Guadalajara, and there were these giant puppet things in the main streets over there. So all the bus routes were blocked and she couldn´t come to get her interview, then her phone died, then she still couldn´t come for church, so for the next week. She is going to get 
baptized. She´s the most chosen person I´ve taught so far in my mission.


We had a carne asada too this week. And yes those are whole onions and cactus leaves on the grill right along side of the meat.


We actually decided to celebrate Thanksgiving today because we had more time. It all started out in the morning...  I woke up and made pancakes for everyone. Élder Hollingsworth wanted some Mickey Mouse shaped ones too. For toppings we had peanut butter (thanks, Mom), nutella, cajeta (it´s amazing!), and maple syrup! They were amazing!!  Then later, for lunch, we had a chicken, lots of mashed potatoes (with turkey gravy!), and a bolillo (roll). It was delicious and almost reminded me of home... it was kind of sad because the gravy was our favorite part, and it cost as much as the chicken... ;) We were all happy and fat though so it was a successful Thanksgiving!


Con amor, 
Élder Gibson

Monday, November 22

It´s beginning to look a lot like... CHRISTMAS! ... even though it´s not Thanksgiving yet ... but that doesn´t exist down here ... ;)

Querido Familia,


There actually are a few trees that change colors (half at a time) here too. I think that the weather is actually getting hotter right now though... weird. I don´t really remember what real cold feels like... it´s a little chillier in the mornings but not too much.


You´re welcome, Josué. I did spend some time drawing those flags on your birthday card... ;)


I´m sending a package home for Christmas. Hopefully it will get there before then. Our elders quorum president is checking the cheapest way for me to send it.


Élder Rossiter (my district leader) got changed today, even though they said there weren´t going to be changes.  He was almost upset, because he (like us) has had a hard time finding good investigators that progress, and he finally had some. He´s going to Zitacuaro, on the other side of the mission. Eight hours away by bus.


Alejandra actually didn´t end up getting baptized this Sunday because she got pretty sick Saturday night and couldn´t make it. Which I´m actually ok with because she hasn´t had all of the lessons yet. If everything went according to plan last week, she would have. But she fell asleep on the bus one day and got lost. Then she got sick...  She`s still really excited for her baptism though! So she`ll be getting baptized this Sunday instead.


We also have Ileana. She told us yesterday that she`s going to get baptized before Élder Cruz or I get changed but she wouldn´t accept a date. She says she has to be sure that she´s going to follow through with the commitments after baptism. She said she doesn´t want to get baptized, go to church a couple times, and then quit (she´s married to a less active member). She does want to get baptized though, it´s easy to tell, and she wants to be sealed in the temple (it´s even easier to see that). So, we`re working with her.


Requests for Christmas...  Maybe some ties... and some Reeses Chocolate (they`re not as good down here...) That´s probably all. :)
We´re having a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night. We got some mashed potato mix, and I even found some gravy down on the bottom shelf crammed behind some salsa. I don´t think we´ll be getting a turkey though... maybe a smaller rotisserie chicken... ;)


That´s all for now folks!
Con amor,
Élder Gibson




PS: here´s a couple of pictures from the past little while...

Monday, November 15

No hay la mensualidad... :( Pero, ¡¡mi memoria est a reparado!!

 ¡¡Hey there familia!!

 I´m pretty sure I´m going to have a few Mexicanisms when I get home, or more appropriate: Guadalajaranisms... but that´s a really long word that sounds like a disease... I remember when Chris [Brooks, just returned]left on his mission... Every missionary that comes home is one closer to me! Ahhhh! That´s weird...

 Today we went to check our balances on our cards, and there wasn´t any money... (it´s because the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution is on the 20th, but they celebrate on the 15th for some reason... so nothing is open today, not even the banks. So that means no money until tomorrow.) So we´re living off of the reserves until tomorrow. (Don´t worry, we´re totally fine)

 I remember going to farewells of my friends... (everything seems sooooo long ago even when it wasn´t...) If Kevin was a Mexican he could have started his papers more then six months ago. They can leave when they´re 18.

 ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡Alejandra is getting baptized next week!!!!!!!! She told us after church today, "I think I want to get baptized." She enjoyed church a lot and our Relief Society President was her friend in the ward that day. Then we all went to The RSP´s house for lunch and hurried back for the open house. We had a few investigators come to that and we have another investigator named Ileana that I think is really close to baptism too, but she´s been close for months... But last night she told us that we´ve changed her perspective of elders. Because the elders that she knew were the slackingish missionaries of before, but she could tell that we work harder and want to help people. So hopefully that´s a good big step forward.

 Oh, we carry our Book of Mormons to contact with, then we ask if we can come to their houses and give them one and teach more about it. It´s a way to teach them a lesson and commit them to read it. There are different ways of doing it, but this is how we choose to do it.

 Well that´s all! Thank you for all of your prayers!!

 Tu hijo/hermano/nieto/sobrino/primo
 Élder Gibson

Monday, November 8

No transfers for us until Jan. 2

 Hey there, my dearly Familia!

 Well, it sounds like everything is going wonderfully at home! 16 missionaries is a lot! (He's referring to the number of missionaries from our home ward.) That´s like four districts! That could be a Zone! ¡Wow! We have one in this ward. It´s kind of funny, because the missionary from this ward went to the mission where Élder Cruz is from, and Élder Cruz is in this mission.

 So there´s this family in our ward that moved here about the same time that I got here, but didn´t know where the chapel was. She contacted Élder Ashton and I, but still didn´t come. It turns out that they were baptized in January and so they´re still very new to the church. They contacted É´ Cruz and I and now they come every week. (one of the most faithful families that I´ve seen) But anyway, they´re really good about sharing the gospel with their friends.

 Last night we had a wonderful lesson with one of their friends named, Alejandra. It turned out to be about 1 1/2 hour lesson. She is ridiculously ready to be taught. Towards the end of the lesson, she was asking what someone had to do to be baptized and she really wants a Book of Mormon. She kept reaching over and picking one up (we each carry one in our hand while we walk) and looking at it and opening it. She saw the names at the top of the pages and asked, "So these were prophets too?" And we just said, "YES!!" I really think that she´s going to get baptized. We´re going to give her a book of Mormon later today.

 President is coming to our housed tomorrow for interviews with Hermana Jesperson. So we spent a good chunk of the day deep cleaning the house.

 Well that´s really all that I have time for this week. Sorry it´s so short. Just know that we´ve been getting new investigators and they´re awesome!

 con amor,
 Élder Gibson

Monday, November 1

El Día de los Muertos...

Querida Familia,

I did remember of my 12th baptisamal anniversary, I didn´t tell anyone though...

I´m glad to hear that Grandma´s funeral went well, and that everyone is doing well, and back from Vegas in one piece. ;) 

Well, this week was pretty good I guess. We found some old investigators that weren´t even in the area book. They seem to be pretty interested and there´s four of them too!  Not that we´re focused only on numbers. I really hope they progress, they seem promising. We´re also working with a sixteen year old who contacted our Zone Leaders... but I think I already told you about her.

On Saturday, the Stake had an activity with the primary. "A day as a missionary" They had the kids come and work for a couple of hours with us in the areas that are closest to the stake center. It was really awesome. We went and knocked doors in some apartment buildings first and got some return appointments for the missionaries of that area. One of  the kids that was with us even introduced us at one of the doors. I think he was about 9 or something. He spoke about a million miles an hour, and I don´t think the lady understood him, but he did awesome. Then we went to a part-member family and taught a lesson. We went back to the stake center and the assistants were there in place of President (he couldn´t make it). Some of the kids were called on to talk about their experiences working with the missionaries, and bear their testimonies. The kids in my ward wanted to go with me, but they got assigned to a different companionship. Each companionship was at least 5 missionaries total (including the kids). It was an awesome activity for the kids!

Sunday we got an extra hour of sleep... and it was wonderful... ;) But seriously you only get two of those as a missionary! It´s a lot easier to get up in the morning now too. Maybe because it´s somewhat light outside...? I don´t know, but I like it!

There are actually a bunch of people that celebrate Halloween here too. That was weird to see... But bigger is: the day of the dead. I`m not really sure what it is actually. It´s like a cross between Halloween and Memorial Day, I think... something like that. There´s the sugar skull things, and a bunch of other
things that you put at the graves of your family.

It´s good that the garden is doing good. My district leader thinks that everyone in St George has a garden... ;) One thing that I wasn´t aware of is how many different varieties of chile(peppers) there are; Jalapeño, Serrano, Green, Ancho, Chipotle, Habeñero... There´s a lot!

Well, I´m still working on the virus in my SD card and USB... My district leader had the same virus and says he can do mine too. So hopefully soon I can send pictures again!

That´s all for this week! Thank you for all your prayers and everything!

Con amor,
Élder Gibson

Monday, October 25

Feliz cumpleaños a... ¡mi!

Dearest Familia,

So remember the baptism that we had? Well we had a hard time tracking him down after that. There were two weeks in between his baptism and when he could be confirmed because of General Conference. But he works all day and then he moved out of the ward boundaries so it was a hit and miss trying to find him. But we finally did, and reminded him that he needed to receive the Holy Ghost for his baptism to be complete. We got his address and passed it to the other elders, but it doesn´t look like they´ve found him yet. He hasn´t made it to the chapel since then, but we have a cita with him in the chapel on Tuesday, and made sure he knew what day and time. So hopefully that will go well and he´ll understand the importance of being confirmed...

We did get a few references... no, in English they´re called... referrals! One was a 16 year old girl that our Zone leaders contacted and she asked if she could have a Book of Mormon. Another one is from a part member family actually there´s two from that family. (extended family) And last, we were walking from contacting a referral that didn´t turn out to be that cool... but as we walked past the pizza place this guy ran out and said, "Hey I´ve heard a little bit about Joseph Smith, and it sounds interesting. Do you have a Book of Mormon I could have?" My companion and I both passed out right then and there. So we don´t really know what happened after that... Just kidding!  We told him that we didn´t have one on us, but we´d love to come by on Wednesday and give him one and talk about it a little. I like it a lot better when people contact us... They always seem to be more interested that way... ;)

Our mission is the pilot mission for a mobile open house for the church. We have a missionary couple that are in charge of it and go from Zone to Zone with it. We were going to have our first one this Saturday, but a bunch of the stuff got stolen. (oh by the way: it includes big pictures, big flat screens, touch screens and a life size Cristus picture. It´s like a mini-traveling visitor´s center) I´m not sure about what exactly was stolen, but it´s going to effect Saturday a little. So that wasn´t all that great of news for us... We´re still going to have an open house, but it just won´t be as high-tech.

Well apart from that, I´m no longer a teenager... weird. I´ve been that way for seven years now. And now it´s gone, never to return. That´s ok with me. To celebrate, I cut my hair. Awesome, huh? Ha ha! and later, we bought pizza from Pizza Hut (pepperoni and pineapple for me!) and Élder Shelley bought some... ¡ROOTBEER! (and it even had an American flag on it... It also said "Cerveza de Raíz", but it was rootbeer!) I realized that rootbeer is a wonderful thing. ;)  Then my District Leader Élder Rossiter placed a lumpy gift on the table with wrapping paper of the virgin on it... and a ribbon that said, "mis 15 años" but then I opened it, and it was a blender! Now we´ve been talking about getting a blender for a little while now, and I was the most excited about it because I cook (prepare food) the most. He found this one used and cheap this morning in a tianguis somewhere. It´s got an on and off switch and that´s it, but that´s all I really need it to do. I turned it on, and about had a heart attack. It sounded like a table saw... I guess I´m just used to different levels of speed... Then he told me that I owed him $65 MXN...

It´s probably getting kind of chilly in St. George now, isn´t it? Here it´s about 85°F with about 20% humidity. How´s it compare? ;)   Josh has a card coming, a list of everyone´s birthdays would be wonderful, I think I´ve got everyone´s right, but just to be sure... and I´ve killed 18,594 mosquitos so far (how does that compare to Andrew´s bug count?). Just kidding, but that guess is probably fairly accurate... ;) That´s all for this week!! I love you all!!

Con amor,
Élder Gibson

Monday, October 18

...Subjeto? ...Subject...Subjeto. Sí, es mejor.

 Dearly Fami,

 Well, It´s good to know that our Abuelita is with our Abuelito now. I don´t see how people can live without knowing the Plan of Salvation. That would make it so incredibly harder.

 Zone Conferences are amazing things, you know. Just chuck-full of awesomeness. We`re having Zone Conferences this month, and we had ours last Thursday. We had got a ton of awesome advice on how to improve our numbers and the quality of our lessons. Élder Cruz and I got picked to do a role play on "How to Begin Teaching". So every thing was going great, my Spanish was good, we were asking great questions, and when time was up and we were being evaluated everyone was saying positive things. Then President said from the back, "¡No oraron!" (You didn´t pray!) So that was a good thing to learn: Don´t forget the basic things... although I was hoping to learn something other than something so basic... oh well. It was awesome.

 Well, I was going to send some pictures... but, I've still got a virus on my SD card. Sorry. I´m not really sure what I can do to fix it... ¿Ideas? The people in the mission office couldn´t fix it.

 I found this giant citrus fruit in the street one day as we walked out our door. I wish I could send a picture! It´s green and about twice the size of a grapefruit, maybe a little bigger... I think it´s called Lima. (which turns out, isn´t lime...) My companion said it`s sour and people just make agua out of it.

 Our 1st counselor scared me yesterday. My companion was going to give a talk, and after the sacrament, he announced that we´d be hearing from Élder Gibson, and I just pointed at my companion, but the 1st counselor shook his head and said "he´s going to share his testimony." And then I wasn´t scared anymore. But for a second there... ;) Then all the members complemented my Spanish. I did this the first week I was here too. They said I´ve improved a lot. Which was good to hear.

 Well, that´s all I have time for this week. Talk to you next week!!

 Con amor,

 Élder Gibson

Monday, October 11

¡El Día de Independencia!


Querido Familia,
 
Well, el Día de Independencia wasn´t quite as crazy as I  thought it was going to be, but we weren´t outside for the crazy part of the day... so I guess it could have been. ;)  One of the sisters in our ward let me choose what we wanted to eat for that day, so I chose chicken enchiladas. They were soooo good! We had our District meeting and weekly planning on Wednesday instead of Monday, so that we wouldn´t be outside from 5 - 9 o´clock. President came too! He went around to every compañerismo, and gave them advice and candy bars. He told us about the stripling warriors and all the great missionaries in El Libro De Mormón, and why they were successful. (they were strictly obedient) It´s always awesome when President comes.
 
They have this thing here called the "Grita" (shout) and it was last Sat. It´s part of the celebrations that they have for Independance Day. They all gather somewhere, and someone shouts: "¡Viva México!" "¡Viva nuestro libertad!" "¡Viva la Virgin!"(they say the last one in Guadalajara, but I don´t know about other places), and stuff like that, and everyone shouts it after every one. There´s some story about someone who woke everyone up in the middle of the night and shouted those things and got everyone excited about for the revolucion. So that´s why they do that, and it was really loud! ... well, they had fireworks too, but there was a lot of yelling. And then our neighbors were up all night being loud, but I slept through most of that.
 
There´s been a ton of rain lately, but it´s always in the night. Our street was a river though. There was about 1 1/2 ft. of water in our street a couple of nights ago, and that´s why all the house entrances are up higher.
 
We had two investigators at church on Sunday. I think that´s the most we´ve ever had. One of them has a baptismal date for next Sunday and it looks like this one´s going to happen for sure. His name is Josué Moisés... something... and he´s someone that we´ve seen since I´ve been here. He would always say hi to us, but we never really thought anything of it. So we finally decided to teach him and he´s getting baptised next Sunday!
 
Well, apart from that, I ate a meat sandwich with a spoon for lunch today. (Tortas Ahogadas, look ´em up, they´re amazing!) con amor,
Élder Gibson

Monday, October 4

¡¡¡Conference!!!


Querido Familia Mio, 
 I´ve never had a General Conference go by so fast! We all went to the Stake center to watch Conference. There were soooo many awesome talks! I think one of my favorites would have to be Élder Uchtdorf´s talk in the first session about the basics and focusing on what´s important. The Priesthood session was good too! ¡Awesomeness! 

We (the English Elders) got to watch all but the Sunday morning in English. So I guess I´ll just have to wait to read that session to see if it was good. The biggest turn out was during the Sunday morning session. The chapel and all of the cultural hall and the stage were full. Saturday was a little more sparse though. I think that Conference made me "autumn-sick." I realized that here, the leaves don´t turn yellow and fall off of the trees... oh well.

Awesome Dallin! Don´t let your salamanders die! :D Brian´s moving to Oregon? That´s a ways away. Not as far as New York, I guess. 

My companion´s family is fine. Apparently his town is blocked by mountains from the coast so his family and house are fine. Everyone asks him about that when he says that he´s from Veracruz.

I guess that´s really all that happened this week. Conference! Keep those prayers for more investigators comin´!!

Con amor, 
Élder Gibson

PS I´m still working on the picture thing... :/

Monday, September 27

¡¡Baptisms!! ¡¡all around!! ... or just one. ;)


¡Hi there mi familia!


Apparently there´s been some really bad weather in Veracruz too. But not where my companion lives. So that´s good. And why is everyone getting married? Amanda´s [Wignall]getting married too! Goodness gracias! I´m going to be the only single person when I get home! Ha ha!


Ah, yes, the days of the Swiss. I remember those well. Oh, there are these things called "tianguis" here that are pretty much like the Swiss Days... vendors...? if that´s what they´re called... except these are everyday in different places. They just close down streets, set up tents, and sell! Awesome.


Ha ha! I remember the youth missionary dinner thing! The ward is great for doing stuff like that. It helps the youth get used to missionarish stuff.


General Conference is this week!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ok... But seriously, I was in the MTC for the last one, but it doesn´t seem that long ago... but it does... but it doesn´t... ;) We´re hopefully going to have some investigators to ´come listen to the prophet´s voice´. I´m so excited!!! ¡¡¡Estoy tan animado!!!


Oh, and just by way of anouncement, we baptized Josué Moisés Tedeo Hernandez yesterday. ;) The ward was very good about welcoming him. A bunch of them stayed for the service after church. He had a little trouble offering the closing prayer, but one of the hermanos went up and helped him. That was nice of him. We also had a ward activity that we were in charge of on Friday. We had a few investigators there and they loved it! (¡YES!) We read parts from Lehi´s dream and then blind-folded people and had a few little activities. Then we blind-folded everyone, and did the iron rod activity. We used a rope going through the churchyard, eventually leading to the 'tree of life' (my tree drawing skills came into use ;) ). Everyone thought it was great, and was asking about the next one!


I wish I could send pictures, but I plugged my camera into the computer and it got a virus... oh blah. So I can only look at my pictures on the camera itself. But I´m going into the offices this week for a 'junior companion conference', so I can get it fixed while I´m there. So pictures next week!!


Well, that seem's to be all for this week.


con amor,
Élder Gibson

Tuesday, September 21

¡El Día de Independencia!


Here are some fotos.
There´s me being patriotic, and the patriotic food that I ate on the day of patriotism.



 Some delicious Méxicano food, 



and my compañero and I eating the food.
 And finally a horse and "buggy."

--
con amor,
Élder Gibson




Monday, September 20

¡El Día de Independencia!


Querido Familia,
Well, el Día de Independencia wasn´t quite as crazy as I  thought it was going to be, but we weren´t outside for the crazy part of the day... so I guess it could have been. ;)  One of the sisters in our ward let me choose what we wanted to eat for that day, so I chose chicken enchiladas. They were soooo good! We had our District meeting and weekly planning on Wednesday instead of Monday, so that we wouldn´t be outside from 5 - 9 o´clock. President came too! He went around to every compañerismo, and gave them advice and candy bars. He told us about the stripling warriors and all the great missionaries in El Libro De Mormón, and why they were successful. (they were strictly obedient) It´s always awesome when President comes.
They have this thing here called the "Grita" (shout) and it was last Sat. It´s part of the celebrations that they have for Independance Day. They all gather somewhere, and someone shouts: "¡Viva México!" "¡Viva nuestro libertad!" "¡Viva la Virgin!"(they say the last one in Guadalajara, but I don´t know about other places), and stuff like that, and everyone shouts it after every one. There´s some story about someone who woke everyone up in the middle of the night and shouted those things and got everyone excited about for the revolucion. So that´s why they do that, and it was really loud! ... well, they had fireworks too, but there was a lot of yelling. And then our neighbors were up all night being loud, but I slept through most of that.
There´s been a ton of rain lately, but it´s always in the night. Our street was a river though. There was about 1 1/2 ft. of water in our street a couple of nights ago, and that´s why all the house entrances are up higher.
We had two investigators at church on Sunday. I think that´s the most we´ve ever had. One of them has a baptismal date for next Sunday and it looks like this one´s going to happen for sure. His name is Josué Moisés... something... and he´s someone that we´ve seen since I´ve been here. He would always say hi to us, but we never really thought anything of it. So we finally decided to teach him and he´s getting baptised next Sunday!
Well, apart from that, I ate a meat sandwich with a spoon for lunch today. (Tortas Ahogadas, look ´em up, they´re amazing!)

con amor,
Élder Gibson

Monday, September 13

Guavas... ¡yum!


¡Hey there, Familia!
¿¡Aren´t Mexican keyboards just so awesome!? ¡Ha ha!
I´m glad to hear that Stake Conference was good. I wonder when ours is... We just had our Ward Conference, but I don´t really know what the schedule is. And it´s great that Kevin likes the "college" ward. I never got to go there.
¡Peaches! ¡I am so jealous!  We have them here but not as many... There´s a ton of guava treeseverywhere though. So the members give them to us all the time when they feed us. ¡They´re sooooo good!
We have a Wal-Mart here and we go about every week (excluding these past two weeks), but I´ve never looked for peanut butter there. I guess I should... They do have American brands there, but they´re kind of expensive because they´re all imported. I did buy Heinz Ketchup though. The ketchup or "catsup" that they have here is like a watered down nasty version... so I bought the real stuff... ;)
Oh, and though of some other things too:
      Christmas music would be wonderful.
      Church DVD´s that we can watch with investigators (The Restoration, The Testaments, Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration (if it´s dubbed in Spanish), movies like that. We can buy them when we go to the temple, but I don´t have any idea when that will be...)
      And that´s all that I can think of, anything else would be wonderful. :)
¡Brett´s going to Brian´s mission! ¡That´s awesome! It´s so unexpected when you hear that someone you know, is going to a mission that you know of. ¡Ha ha!
¡Michele, you are so lucky to have piano lessons! ¡Good luck, you lucky duck!
I was wondering if the bathroom was going to be finished before I got back... ¡I guess so! ¡Ha ha!  ¿Are you putting a cabinet in for the sink? or just one of those standing ones? or like the one I have here, that just hangs out of the wall... ;)
I wish we had high speed internet... I just get to sit in an internet shop on the side of the road with ancient computers... Ha ha, just kidding... kind of... ;)
So, this week I decided to get creative and make... ¡papusas! Everyone thought I was crazy until they tried them. Now they know that they´re really amazingly awesome! For breakfast, I´m eating cereal or oatmeal. Except one day, I made corn pancakish things... basically just sweet papusas without anything in them, and syrup... they were good too. I´m so glad I learned how to kind of cook so I don´t have to open a package to eat... that got old really fast... ;)
Well, we had kind of an effective week. We had some really good lessons with a member present, and we have a few good investigators. We´re just having a little bit of trouble finding really solid people who want the gospel. We´re not looking for "golden" people necessarily. Just chosen people. People who want to progress, and not people who just like learning about other religions. But if we´re diligent and do our part, then the Lord will do his part. Thank you for all your prayers!
Con amor,  Élder Gibson

Monday, September 6

Searching, ever searching . . .


Querido Familia,


Are Grandpa and Grandma almost finished already!? That was fast! Did it really take them four months to get there? It seemed shorter than that... probably because I wasn´t the one waiting until this year. I waited for four months too, but it seemed a lot longer... 


Scott, I was going to get your birthday card to you on time. Then you just had to go change you´re address! Ha ha! But yeah, if I could get the new address that would be great! :)


Don´t worry kids, I don´t like store bought bread either. I just buy tortillas instead. ;) And do you know how cheap produce is!? That pineapple I bought was less than $1.30 USD ($15 MXN) It´s wonderful. :)


Si, Élder Cruz is a native. He tries to speak English with me... I think he´s learned a lot. But we live with the Elderes of the ward next to us, and they´re both Americans. So it´s kind of like, English in the house, Español in the street. My fluency has improved a lot since he´s been my companion. And he talks really, really fast! So I don´t always understand him... it´s fun. :) I think I´ve learned more Spanish than he has English. He has one change in the mission more than I do.


You really didn´t notice any baldness? Hmmm... it must not be as bad as I thought (I hope). The lighting was a little weird in that picture, but my hair has lightened to a dark copper. 


I did have a birthday request besides peanut butter (that stuff is sooo expensive here!), but I forgot it... so I´ll have to let you know next week.


We´re finding and dropping investigators fast. But we´re finding slightly more than we´re dropping, so that´s good. We found these teenagers (18 & 19 I think...) Who say they´re "atheist". They have a lot of great questions (some were really deep/philosophy questions) that we have the answers to. They seem like they really want to believe, but they just have a lot of doubts that we need to help them resolve. We´ve decided to have lessons in the chapel as much as we can, because we hardly ever have investigators in Sacrament Meeting. So we´re trying to get them comfortable with the church while there´s not a lot of people there. We´ve had a lot of investigators agree to that. So we´re going to pick them up and go have awesome lessons!!


Well, That´s about all for this week. Keep the prayers coming. We always need new investigators!! 

Con muchisisisimo amor, 
Élder Gibson

Monday, August 30

My trainer is now stateside . . .


Dearly Family,


Well, it sounds like you´re all keeping busy! That´s great! I am too! ;) So today, my father in the mission went home... Elder Ashton got transferred last Tuesday for his last week in the mission. That was a little unusual. I saw him throughout the week, and we had to go pick him and his companion up yesterday so that his companion would have a companion. But yeah, he´s gone now... come to think of it he´s probably already landed in San Diego... weird.


Apparently we´re getting six new elders from the MTC in Provo. On time! Ha ha! The missionaries in the office said this is the first group in five months to get here on schedule. So hopefully all is up and running with the visas to México.

Eric Gubler´s leaving and Brett Schiller´s getting his call soon? That was fast, I´ve only been gone for six months... ;) And Mark Gubler´s coming home?! Isn´t cousin Andrew coming home soon too!? Time flies...


Well, Elder Cruz and I are doing great! We´re still not finding a ton of people, but we´re working hard and finding a few. We went to go contact a reference, but they weren´t there, and the neighbor said, "No hay nadie. Fuieron a misa." (or for all those who speak English) "Nobody´s home. They went to mass." So we decided to talk to him instead. He was smoking and told us that he has (or had...) problems with alcohol too, and he wants to leave all of it behind. So we talked to him for a little while and then gave him a Word of Wisdom pamphlet, and invited him to an open house in the church that we were having. Out of all the invitations that we gave away, he was the only one who came from our area. It´s really hard to get anyone (including members) to come to anything, let alone a contact. He seems to really want to change, and is willing to do his part. That´s the biggest problem that we have, people who are willing to change. ... and I can´t remember his name right now, I feel a little bad... it´s not a common name... I guess I´ll tell you more about him next week. 


Our zone has interviews with President tomorrow. That should awesome! I love talking to President, he always has something constructive to say. Well that´s all I can think of for now... except that I´m going bald. But I don´t want to talk about that... I´ll just send a picture ;) The other is Elder Vasquez and Elder Ashton.


Con amor,
Élder Gibson