Monday, December 27, 2010

The nativity scene at the San Diego Temple.

Elder Gibbons with Elder Driaza.
December 21, 2010

“Hello from beautiful Oceanside, California! I don't have much time to talk today (we have had a crazy preparation day), but I will write as much as I can and send a few pictures. We are doing great. It has been super wet lately (apparently there is a big storm that has been hitting us) so we have had rain for the last three or four days straight. At least it's not super cold. We went to the temple this morning, which was great. It's so bizarre that transfers are already here again (we get transfer calls this Saturday and transfers are a week from today). I have to go inspect an apartment right after this (the Assistants declared today a mission-wide cleaning day, so we have been busy cleaning and district leaders have to go check the apartments of missionaries in their district). We went caroling yesterday to investigators in the rain and started teaching an amazing family (we got them as a referral from a recent convert family. The daughter of the recent convert family, invited her cousin, the daughter in the investigator family, to church, and she hasn't missed a Sunday of Church in months. She is 10 years old and is reading the Book of Mormon for the second time.).”
December 14, 2010

“Wow, thank you so much for the package. My nights have been a lot warmer with those sweaters, and they fit perfectly. Thank you so much. And we opened the first of those packages today, and Elders Driaza, Knudtson, and Stevenson were able to experience the modern miracle that is Grandma Utz's potato chips (they loved them).”
“Everything is amazing here in Oceanside . . . We are meeting a lot of great people. Actually, we went to teach one of our families a few nights ago, and during the course of the lesson, I found out that the wife is the daughter of a member in Escondido who was baptized a couple weeks before I got sent there (we visited him a lot to give them the new member lessons). It's such a small world. I got a letter from Elder Silva this week, and he told me that the family that we were working with when I got transfered (José and Yesenia) are getting baptized on Christmas, along with two of their daughters! And since the Escondido South stake touches our stake (Carlsbad Stake), I will get to go to the baptism (if the family invites me, so hopefully they will)!”

“I am learning a lot of Spanish from Elder Driaza, and he has been keeping us entertained with a few "greenie" moments. The other night, Elder Knudtson (one of the zone leaders we live with) and I were talking while Elder Driaza was working on his bike in the living room, and we looked over and realized he was spraying degreaser on his bike chain! We had a good laugh about that. Another time a couple weeks ago, we were knocking doors and a girl (probably 14 or 15) came to the door and Elder Driaza said, "Hey, we're the missionaries. Are your parents here?" And the girl said, "No." And Elder Driaza (I guess he must have froze up or something) stood there just looking at her for a good 10 seconds, and then said, "Well, have a nice day!" It was so funny. But really, he is a great missionary. He teaches very well and has a real love for the people we teach.”
December 7, 2010

“Everything is going great. We are finding a lot of great people. We found a great family that we taught on Saturday and are going back to teach tonight. The wife has family who are members of the Church, and her father is investigating, I believe. They are a lot of fun to teach. We are working hard and having lots of fun. On Saturday, a guy (Victor) that the sisters in our district are teaching was baptized, so that was cool. He was the first investigator that I have ever interviewed for baptism. It was really fun. When I asked him if he was ready and willing to pay the law of tithing, he told me, "I wanted to pay it before I got baptized, but the sisters told me I had to wait." (I took that as a 'yes.') A couple that we are teaching just had a baby last night, and we started teaching two part-member families this week that seem really promising.”

“Ah yes, I just wanted to let you know that I have had a pretty expensive week. I took my bike to the bike shop over by the beach so they could fix it (part of my left pedal was broken, so I have been basically pedaling my bike with only one leg) and they are also replacing the inner tube (flat again) on my bike tire, as well as the tire (the one that came with my bike wasn't very good, apparently; but here's a cool fun fact: the bike man at the bike shop looked at my tire and said that I probably had about 600 miles on my bike tire).”