Monday, February 28, 2011

February 22, 2011

“Brittany?!!!! What the heck. I have read this email three times already and I still can't believe it. What is going on in the world? Tell Sami she is not, under any circumstances, to get married before I get back.”

“Everything is going great here in Oceanside. I'm really hoping to not get transferred next transfer. Our ward has really started to take off. Last Sunday, we had about 130 people in sacrament meeting! It was fuller than I have seen it since we got here. There was just this atmosphere of excitement, and the bishop was very pleased. It was almost like the Spirit was stronger because we had more people there. Our district has been trying hard to get people to church because, statistically, "investigators at sacrament meeting" is one of the most powerful indicators of baptisms (according to the people from the Missionary Department who came out teaching with us). It makes so much sense. When there are a lot of people at sacrament, the members get fired up and start helping us more and giving us more referrals, the investigators get fired up because they feel the Spirit at church, and we get fired up. It's a win-win-win situation, so we have been trying to get everyone to church--investigators and less-actives. We are so excited because things are really starting to get moving.”
February 15, 2011

“We are teaching a lot of great people. Edgar and Ana came to church again and continue to love it. Edgar has really caught on fire with reading the Book of Mormon. He even came to church on Sunday in spite of the fact that his favorite Mexican soccer club was playing at the same time as the three-hour block!”

February 8, 2011

Our last night before Elder Rock got transfered. He came to our room and said, "I want to take a Mexican picture with my two favorite Mexican missionaries." So we became Mexican for 20 minutes.

February 8, 2011

Some members in our ward wanted to feed us dinner, but since they don't live in our area, they had to drop off the food at the apartment. They told us over the phone that they were going to make us a 5-course meal. We thought they were joking (they weren't).
February 8, 2011

Querida familia,

Well, first of all the transfer news: I am staying in Oceanside for another transfer! The best part: so is Elder Driaza! We got lucky and get to stay together for three transfers. We are so excited, because we work really well together and have a lot of fun. We have a goal of 5 baptisms this transfer! (On the sad side, Elder Rock, one of the zone leaders, is leaving to be a district leader).

Overall, everything is going amazing, as always. One day the weather got into the 80s this week (missionaries in Idaho and Russia would kill for a California winter). We have been working hard and are excited to be able to stay another transfer. Elder Kendell is dying (going home) today, but he gave me the sweetest bike seat ever. It's basically a saddle for a bike--at least twice as thick as a normal seat and very cushiony. It makes the six mile bike rides down to the beach a lot more comfortable. I can't believe in three days I will hit my 9-month mark....I hate how fast my mission is going by.

Well, we don't have a lot of time today to write, but I will send you pictures. Talk to you later!

Elder Gibbons
February 1, 2011

“I can't believe that today is the 1st of February! I was looking at my call letter the other day, and I realized that is dated February 9th, 2010. It is so weird to think that a year ago I was waiting to get my mission call (and walking around in snow in Provo, Utah).”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1, 2011

Me and Elder Driaza with Elder Kendell and Elder Teerlink. (Both are Assistants). They are both going home (in a week) at the end of this transfer.

“As usual, the winter weather here is nicer than summer in most missions, so there is nothing to complain about there. I can't believe that today is the 1st of February! I was looking at my call letter the other day, and I realized that is dated February 9th, 2010. It is so weird to think that a year ago I was waiting to get my mission call (and walking around in snow in Provo, Utah).”

“Last Thursday Brother Littlefield came and evaluated us. We weren't sure how much he was going to participate in the lessons, so we just planned to teach the whole thing--which was good, because when we went to the first lesson, Brother Littlefield said to the investigators, ‘I'm just here to observe. I will be taking notes, if you don't mind.’ And he pulled out an iPad and just started writing stuff down the whole time. It was intense. But he actually ended up teaching a couple times too. He is a great teacher (probably has to do with being the head of the Teaching Department at the MTC). But everything went really well. We had 3 back-to-back appointments (he said it was the first exchange he has gone on this year where not a single appointment fell through--we were as surprised as he was), and everything went really well. That same day, President Cook and the Assistants all went on exchanges too, to evaluate the mission's teaching, and so the next day Brother Littlefield and Brother Bothell gave President Cook advice on how to help us improve. Brother Bothell said something really interesting: ‘If you are timid or shy about inviting people to be baptized, you are no different from any other pastor or minister from any other church who is preparing people for the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms.’ It was a great night--probably the most intensely planned three hours of my mission (perhaps my life).”