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