Monday, September 29, 2014

Be Bold!

Dear family and Friends,
What a fantastic week this has been! We are really starting to get into the groove of things here in the Penrith area and we have seen heaps of miracle from it!
 
I think to coolest part of this week was that I learned. When the Lord knows he can trust you, he will bless you. We have really been struggling to find new investigators in this area, and I could never put my foot on the reason why.
 
As we went through the week, nothing much was going different. Then we had a lesson with a part member family, the husband isn't a member. We have been teaching them since I got here, and they had been taught for a few months before that. The biggest reason why he wasn't progressing was because he didn't realize all the lesson we were teaching were focused on him. So we decided to make it clear this week and we asked him to be baptized. He hasn't decided on his answer yet, but here is the miracle.
 
Over the next two days we found two new investigators! Moral of the story, when the Lord knows you are going to help His children and you are serious about your calling, He will provide what you need to continue to move forward!
 
Each day I am blessed to see another miracle whether in my life or in the life of others. I think too often we neglect to recognize these miracles and just pass it off! I look back through my journal and see so many miracles that I wouldn't have noticed before. I think we should do our best to recognize the Lord's hand in our life every day. Find a miracle you are grateful for each day, and write it down, create a miracle book for yourself! Some of them might be small, others huge.
 
Love you all heaps!
Elder Gibb

100 Cookies

Dear Family and Friends,
You know I have yet to find a problem that 100 cookies couldn't solve! This week Elder Cecilio  and I delivered heaps of cookies to try and get to know the ward better, and, as is usual within the church, bribe them with some sweets to help us out! My favorite part though is when one of the sisters in the ward said after asking for the recipe, "Since when did Elders learn to cook and to cook so well? We used to through their food in the trash!"
 
We had a couple huge miracles this week with the part member families we've been striving to visit. There was one family in particular where the ward said that they would "for sure" cancel their dinner appointment with us.
 
And they did....
 
BUT we were able to convince them to have us over for just a short lesson, no dinner would be needed! So that was heaps good. We'll have to see if we can get back in there again soon!
We also found a less active man (who has like 6 kids) who wasn't on our records and after inviting him to a family fun night he said, "Well I don't know. I'm really struggling with my testimony right now."  That led in pretty well to our whole missionary purpose so we are going to see him again this week!
 
I splashed gravy sauce all over myself at the stake president's home... that was good...
 
All in all a pretty good week! I hope yours was just as good!
 
Love you heaps
Elder Gibb

Fun, Fair, and Anniversaries

Dear family and friends!
What a busy week we've had! Introducing my new companion to the area, and having only been here once transfer myself, we may have gotten lost a couple times...
 
We had the big 50th anniversary of our chapel this week, and when this stake throws a party, it throws a party! There was a ball Friday night, a carnival Saturday morning and then an entertainment night that night. It ended with a combined sacrament meeting and musical fireside on Sunday. We didn't get to go to all of them but we did go to the fair on Saturday and it was a blast! There were all sorts of carnival games, a bounce house (in the form of Noah's ark) and food! We helped run the stalls, and helped eat the food, and helped play the games.
 
It was really fun to learn the history behind the chapel and it made me grateful to be serving in an area where the church has been so well established!
 
Our mission president shared a thought with us this week and I thought I would relate it 
PRO
 
P=Pray
R=Read 
O=Obey
 
Too often I think we complete the first to steps and we read our scriptures and pray, but if we truly want to become PRO's we need to obey the guidance we receive from these activities!
 
Love you all heaps
Elder Gibb 
 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Plot Twist


Dear Family and Friends,

Last week was the end of transfers and Elder Wolfley and I were pretty certain nothing was going to change. Then Saturday came and that went down the drain! So I got a new companion this week! His name is Elder Cecilio, he is from the Philippines! Should be a good transfer!
 
We had a crushing week last week. The family we have been working with has moved. Their home was broken into and their phones stolen so we have no way to get a hold of them and they left without telling anyone. Hopefully they'll find the church where they go next! Then another two of our investigators have moved. Basically we went from 6 investigators to 1 investigator in one week!

So what does that mean? It just means we are going to have a fresh start! This transfer will be really good, the ward is awesome, my new companion is awesome, and miracles are coming our way!

Love you all heaps!

-Elder Gibb

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Thinking Week


Dear Family and Friends!

This week has been a thinking week.  The area we have been working with has just felt like it is at a stale-mate, so Elder Wolfley and I were determined to change that.  We wanted to come up with a game plan each week, and I quite enjoyed what we came up with, so I thought I might share it with you!

Something we talk about a lot out here is being a consecrated missionary, and in most of our minds we make that out to mean that we need to be the perfect missionary.  We can't make mistakes, and we have to be exactly obedient. Unfortunately when we have that mindset we tend to become overly stressed, and then just give up. So Elder Wolfley and I came up on a solution.

If you remember in Matthew 19:16-22 a young man has kept all the commandments, and he wants to know what more he needs to do, perhaps expecting Christ to tell him his work is done. The response in verse 21 is where we focused though, because Christ told him if he wants to be perfect he must give up everything and come follow Him. Unfortunately the young man decides he would rather have his wealth. The part that stood out to me though is that if you look at the footnotes you see that for perfect, it sends you to the Topical Guide for commitment....

Long studies short, Elder Wolfley and I agreed that in this world we will all make mistakes, it's inevitable. We can't be "perfect" in the world’s eyes. However, Christ has provided the Atonement so that we don't need to stress about not being perfect to the world. Rather our perfection, for lack of a better word, would be based on our commitment. If we are willing to try each day to do something better, and we rely on the Atonement, we are made perfect each day.

Am I crazy? Probably.  But we've measured our success now by looking at each day and seeing if we've done better, and it worked. Not only were we happier in general, but everything else actually increased as well!

I loved my studies this week, I could share so much more, but I know most of you would get pretty bored!

Nothing too exciting happened this week. I love my mission though.  I love the ward and I am in love with the scriptures!

All in all it was a great week. Transfers come up here this week, but I doubt much is going to change up here, but you never know!

Love you all heaps!

Love Elder Gibb

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Miracles

Dear Family and Friends!
 
This was an awesome week! We finally got an appointment with a part-member family who hasn't answered our calls (phone or door) since I got here! We met with them and the kids still really want to be baptized, but the parents keep making them wait. They are 100 % ready so Elder Wolfley and I were really hoping that it would be this week. Yet again however the mom stepped in and made the date Sept. 20th. We're going to do our best with that.  They've set dates several times before and backed out, but we are going to do our best this time to eliminate any of the parent’s excuses. So if you could keep the Desilva family in your prayers!
 
Did heaps of train and bus riding this week, and we have a few meetings coming up, but other than that not much more to report!
 
Hope you all have a great week!
Love 
-Elder Gibb

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Moving West


Dear family and friends,

There is a fun Aussie slang that people use a lot around here, and that is hectic.... if I could use one word to describe last week, it would be HECTIC!

On Wednesday we got a call from Elder Han, he told us that he had lost his wallet, so he was no longer able to drive, which is a problem, when his area is in the mountains, and spans over 100Kilometres. So they were looking for an Elder who had a license to drive, wasn't training a new missionary, and didn't have any previous responsibilities, and I fit the bill just right, so I got to go up the Beautiful Blue Mountains for the week!

It was GORGEOUS, and it was also pretty cold. It's about as far Southwest that you can go in our mission, and with the change in elevation, they actually get snow up there quite often! Fortunately Elder Han's wallet was found, so I'm back down here in Penrith today, and it's good to be home!

My favorite part of  last week was going up to a little town called Lithgow. It's about an hour from where we live in Katoomba, and most of the members up there don't come to church to often because it's pretty far away. They were some of the best members I've met though, they were super kind, and they had the best stories about life. The town seemed like it was one of those where everyone knows everyone. Plus a bonus is that after driving for so much up there, I feel a lot more confident on the Left Side of the Road.  It's only kinda scary now!

I'm still getting to know the area, and because of last week it was a bit of a speed bump, but it'll get there. There were a couple miracles that happened last week whilst I was out, and hopefully they will come to full fruition this week and I can tell you all more! (bwahahah I love cliff hangers!)

Hope you all have a good week!

Love you Heaps!

-Elder Gibb

Monday, August 11, 2014

Change

August 10
 
Dear Family and Friends!

Oh I love the mission life! Every day is an opportunity to try something new, meet heaps of people, and find miracles! It’s the best!

This week was pretty fun! So on Saturday we found out that Elder Wolfley is going to be the District Leader for the Penrith District, starting Wednesday.  It’s really strange because it's like mid-transfer, so he won't get any training or preparation; rather he's just going to have to jump right into it! It's all good though because if there is anyone who could handle it, it would definitely be Elder Wolfley!

We also had interviews with our mission president this week! I can't tell you how lucky this mission is, he is the best, literally. We came up with a fun way to counteract any doubts that we have as missionaries we've decided to take President Uchtdorf's advice and "Doubt our Doubts". Anytime that we come up with something like, "I will never find an investigator",  we make a note of it, and then during studies or that night, we will look up scriptures, or just reasons on our own about why that is wrong, there-by literally doubting our doubts. It's really actually quite fun! Maybe you'd enjoy it!

Other than that not much else not of the typical missionary life happened!

I hope you all have a great week!
Love you HEAPS!

Elder Gibb

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Post Brigade


August 3

Dear family and friends!

What a glorious week this has been! Can I just say how much I love Penrith?  I LOVE PENRITH! Getting adjusted to the new area has not been hard at all. My companion is great, the ward is fantastic, and the Zone is phenomenal! Basically this is going to be awesome!

 

We had our Zone conference last week and it was really good. After the training we went to a member’s home with the whole zone and we had a Hungi (not sure if spelt correctly). For those of you who don't understand, it's a massive Tongan feed, where they did a giant pit and cook HEAPS, and like I mean HEAPS, of food! I was swimming in meat and meat! IT WAS SO GOOD! They cooked our zone three pigs and there was heaps food, for the about 26 or so of us, there was enough food to feed a ward in Utah. And I ate way too much! My mouth waters just thinking about it.

My new favorite drink is __________ unknown Tongan name but it's basically coconut milk mixed with heaps of fruit! Let me just say again SO GOOD!

The ward is awesome I've only met a few members outside of church so far, but it's going to be good. We get fed like every night, and the members are really excited about missionary work! We have a few investigators who have come to church so it's good to have the work moving along!

Love you all heaps and hope you have a great week!

Love Elder Gibb

 

Once there were three little pigs...



Close enough...

Elder Wolfsley

KANGAROO!!!


 

Jul 28  

Dear family and friends!

Well this week I got transferred! I'm in a brand new area... but with a ton of familiar faces!

The new ward is called Penrith, it's only about an hour or two from the city (about the same as in Kellyville, just with a lot less traffic) It has heaps more Aussies, and I might even get to meet a Bogan (an Aussie hillbilly).

Anyhow, last night was awesome I met the first members and I know I will love it here. There are heaps of people to talk to and I reckon it will be a good transfer! One reason I feel so is because last night I saw my first real life Aussie Kangaroo! AND THERE WERE 3! Ha ha! Unfortunately the night had already fallen so I couldn't get a good picture... but I'm sure I will see some more!

My new companion is Elder Wolfley, and funny story, we were in the same MTC district and even were in the same room! He's from Star Valley Wyoming, and he's pretty legit. Not only that but I'm in the same zone as Elder Han, and Elder Watts, it's like a big old family reunion!  So life is going to be awesome!

Last week in Kellyville was pretty smashing! One of our investigators who has been coming to church for a few weeks is going to be baptized! I know he's in good hands in the ward so I'm not worried about leaving! 


So happy this week and looking forward to the new adventure!

Love you all HEAPS!

Elder Gibb

One of Them Weeks!

July 20


Dear family and friends,

We didn't have too much happen this week. Out of all of our appointments only one or two actually worked out, and they were both with members!

Still had a good week though. We found a couple new investigators this week who we were expecting to see at church, but it looks like we'll have to go and follow up to see if they can come this week!

My highlight of the week - we had 2 people at English class this week, one from Ecuador, and the other from Colombia. We were role playing introductions and how to start conversations... I just didn't realize how many ways there are to say the way Thursday.  I think there was spittle all of the room by the end of teaching them how to make the th sounds.

Well hope you all have a great week!

Transfers are next week... there is a good chance change is a comin’, but we'll see!

Love you all HEAPS!  BE HAPPY! 

Love

Elder Gibb

The Power of Primary

July 13

Hello family and Friends!!!

First of thank you, for all of your birthday wishes! I love you all so much! I had a good birthday celebration yesterday and will probably be on a sugar high for the next month or so to recover! #guesswhogotcaptincrunch

Anyhow, the rest of the week has been spectacular! So my companion has the flu, which has been totally raining on our parade, but he refuses to let it hold us back! We met with so many people this week it was crazy!

 Hmmmm... I think this would be my favorite though

This week we met with a less active man who hasn't been to church since he was twelve and only became a member a 9. As we began to get to know him he asked if we could play the piano, I said, yea some songs. We asked him if he remembered any of the songs from church, and if he had a favorite. Of course the beautiful classic of "I'm a Child of God" was his favorite.  As we played, he remembered all the words, sang with us, and the rest of the lesson went like a charm! So lessons to be learned 1) always have your primary song book with you and 2) don't be afraid to use music!

It was awesome!

Another awesome thing about this week is the whole weekend we had a youth from another stake come serve a mini mission with us. So we got to basically show him what a mission was like, and it was a blast, his name is Brother Garret, and he was pretty smashing! 

This ward and area just keeps getting better and better! 

Love you all HEAPS! 

Elder Gibb

Frost Vs Squeegee


It's Flu Season!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Buko Cream

Dear family and friends,
 
If you want to know what the best food in the world is then you need to find your nearest shop that has coconuts, sweetened condensed milk, and cheese. Oh and you'll probably need a someone from the Philippines! It's like frozen heaven... 
 
Anyway, it's been a great week so far! We finally had an investigator come to church this week! His name is Tom, and he said he wants to try and come every week from now on!!! It works our pretty well too because we'll be teaching his Sunday school class for the next few weeks! For all you Sunday school teachers out there, I feel your pain.
 
My favorite thing I learned from the week was when I was looking over the Christ-like attributes (Chapter 6 Of Preach My Gospel) and I loved the part on diligence where it says "diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and an ENERGETIC effort in doing the Lord's work" (emphasis added)! I like the part about energy, (maybe it's because I have too much) because missionary work isn't meant to me boring its supposed to be engaging and fun!
 
Elder Escabarte is awesome! I think we're still figuring out each other a bit, but it's been really good! I think the transfer is going to be AWESOME!
 
I went and got myself some fingerless gloves for the bike rides! I'll tell ya, the weather is more bi-polar here than it is in Utah!  Well except the whole lack of snow thing.
 
I love you all heaps!
 
Love Elder Gibb

The GRIM!

Dear Family and Friends!
 
So for those of you who aren't as familiar with Harry Potter, the Grim is a big black dog.  It is used in fortune telling to predict death. Story to come later.
 
Well this week has been full of mixed emotions! Last week a family was broken. Elder Watts has officially left the Kellyville First Ward. The ward was totally heart broken since he has bonded with them so much and to have him stay with us for only one transfer seems like a cruel joke! I always hate writing about transfers because it makes it sound like they die! So to finish Elder Watts is enjoying a happy life now in the Penrith Zone as a Zone Leader!
 
My new companion is Elder Escabarte! He is from the Philippines and I've only been with him for a couple days so far so I don't really know all that much about him yet. More to come on a future date! So far I think he's awesome!
 
Guess who is coming into the flat? Elder Kamoto! (He was in the MTC and in Cali with me but had to go home for knee surgery) Elder Keefer, who is also our new district leader, will be training him so I'm pretty exited about that! 
 
STORY TIME!
I think this one will count as the miracle for this week, so on Sunday Elder Watts and I were walking down the street to a members home. As we were going along we heard a bark from ahead of us. I looked up to see a large black scary looking dog eyeing me down (like I'm talking as tall as my waist, big rippling muscles and teeth that would make Chuck Norris cry). So in my head I'm like remember all that training you've had with animals? (none) You can handle this! (yea right) So what do we do?We simply step out of the way. I'll tell you that took some faith and quick thinking!! The dog simply ran by, looked back at us for a few seconds really confused and conflicted (I was still tensed and ready to battle if needed) and then just kept going along. I know a boring end to the story, but if it had gone any other way, I wouldn't be writing this!
 
HAHA
I love it out here!
Another 6 Weeks to get some miracles in Kellyville!
 
Love you HEAPS!
Elder Gibb

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Final Week

Dear Family and Friends!
 
What can I say? We see miracles everyday! I'm loving it out here! Sometimes you feel like you should be discouraged, but then you're like,"mmmmmm better not", and then BOOM miracle! It's so good!
 
This is the last week before transfers and I'll tell you, it feels like some game show where the lights just did their color change and you feel this anticipation and then they leave you on a cliff hanger till next week!
 
Love you Heaps!
Elder Gibb!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Let's Get Down To Business

Hello Family and Friends!
 
What a crazy week! We had three trade offs in a row, and if you know anything about trade offs it is the equivalent of a miracle day! It totally was! We taught the most lessons this week that has ever been taught within the Kellyville ward boundaries. I wish I could share all the miracles that we had but I'll suffice it to share just one
 
Elder Keefer, from Kellyville 2 Ward, had been out finding all day and had met so many people but no one who had been willing to continue to learn from us. We ended up at a fairly busy bus stop on the T-Way and we decided to go and talk to the two people there, The person I met was named Joyce, she is from the Philippines and has a very strong Catholic belief. As we were discussing the gospel, I asked if she had seen missionaries before and she was like "yea, I know two who are out right now!" These are the sweetest words for a missionary to hear! We discovered one of the missionaries had actually already come home! She said she would love to learn more and would send him a message!
 
I came home so exhausted from each day this week, but rather than being groggy the next morning you always just put a smile on your face and get ready for another beautiful day! AH I love my mission!
 
The weather is starting to cool down a bit, I finally had to put on a jumper today! But I guess that's ok, seeing how June 1 was the start of winter anyway! (feels more like fall, but whatever!)
 
Till next Week!
Love
Elder Gibb
 
P.S. Did I mention I love it here!

Infiltrating Hillsong

Dear Family and Friends
 
This week has just been incredible, and shocking! We had heaps of miracles. It started off on Tuesday when we went to the home of one of the less active/ part member families in the ward and we caught her just as she was about to go inside! We were able to set up some service opportunities and later that week we met her 12 year old son Zach who isn't a member yet. We'll hopefully see them again this week!
 
Then we went to Pale and Karen's home and the lesson went really well. One of the young men in the ward, Ashton, came with us and bore his testimony on the Book of Mormon. I tell you that kid is gonna be a good missionary! The real miracle though is that they invited us over for dinner that Sunday! We always struggle to set up appointments with them and often they dodge us, but this time they invited us over! YAHOOO!
 
The next day, Sister La'ulu had us (well Elder Watts) come help her with her net ball team's shooting! We found out that one of the girls was less active and so we will be helping them out a lot more in the future and Sister La'ulu might even have one of the families over for dinner for us to teach! Miracle!
 
Finally on Saturday (and if you've just been skimming through the email this is the part to see!) we got to go to Hillsong's church. The YSA had an multi stake extravaganza with heaps of performances and it was really fun to watch. The best part was that we had 10-12 missionaries, all over the building talking to the staff, non-members and the less actives who came, and then Elder O'Rirden of the Seventy came in! Moral of the story it was awesome (but I'm not going to lie, it was really uncomfortable watching the performances with all the music, I don't think I've seen so many 18-25 year olds look so squeamish at a church performance).
 
AHH and there is so much more I could say about this week, but that will suffice for now! I love you all HEAPS!
 
Elder Gibb

Elder Haleck

Dear Family and friends,
 
Australia is just gorgeous! I don't know what it is about this place but it just make you feel happy inside!
 
Last week was really neat. Elder Haleck a member of the seventy was down so we had a special conference with him, and it was smashing! We talked a lot about aligning our visions with the ward and all the people that we work with! Our zone was able to perform a musical number and he asked us to sing again that night for all the stake and ward leaders. It was really neat!
 
The ward is really starting to progress. Our last ward council was really good, and after applying what we learned with Elder Haleck, and because of our phenomenal bishop, I know this ward is going to start moving forward! Super excited about it!
 
Miracles happen everyday, and I love it out here!
 
Keep the Faith!
Love all you heaps!
Elder Gibb
 


 

Look Into My Eyes

Dear family and friends!
 
What a great week this has been!  Ah man its been so crazy and full of first it's insane!
 
Ok so first off, I had sushi for the first time this week...and I've also had sushi for the last time in my life.  It was pretty horrid. I definitely almost barfed over the member's table, but hey, the rice was pretty good!
 
Now to explain the picture. This woman in our ward Dorthy Decorso is some sort of eye person. I don't know what it's called, but anyway, she basically uses this little magnifying glass and can tell, just from your eyes, almost anything about your body. She talks about your heart, kidneys, blood, shoulders, back, and it's pretty creepy but really cool at the same time! Anyway, then she gives you this all natural herbal medicine to take and it'll help you sleep or cure acne or clear out your bowels, and it only tastes foul so no worries! Not sure how I feel about it yet, but we'll see if it actually makes a difference!
 
Also had the opportunity this week to speak in sacrament meeting about my mom. It was only 3-5 minutes and it was the hardest talk of my life! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ONLY SPEND 5 MINUTES TALKING ABOUT MY MOM? I definitely didn't do her justice up there on the stand for being so amazing! LOVE YOU MUM!
 
We were asked that morning to give it so I didn't have a chance to really write anything down but I can give you the bullet points I used.
 
-Story about how in District Training this week we talked about why we were out on missions, and I definitely said because of my mother
-I remember waking up on the weekends and listening to her sing church songs and playing the piano.  I would stay upstairs longer just so she wouldn't stop
-She bore her testimony through her music as she sang on Sundays. Sometimes I just would stop to listen as she sang, but then she would gently elbow me to get me to start singing! She sang louder that anyone else in the congregation and I know other people didn't sing just so they could hear her as well!
-Story about when Grandma died, being at the hospital even though mom was scared to let me see grandma in this state, because she wanted me to remember her in her celestial way, when we were in the car up to the office, and mom got the call, and mention the music theory you had (statement about work ethic here)
-I love you mom! I miss you so much, and you've done more to help me in life than anyone else in the world! I use your teachings daily, and I'm so grateful for the person you shaped me into!
 
For all the other mothers out there, I hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day, and that if you have a missionary out there know that they love you more than they know how to put into words!
 
Love ya Heaps!
Elder Gibb
 

 

Family History

Dear family and friends,
 
Well we had transfers last week, and let me tell you some crazy stuff happened! So first off, I haven't moved. I'm still in the Kellyville 1st Ward which I'm really exited about because the members are just phenomenal here. The bishop is so motivated to do missionary work and his fire is finally starting to catch on!
 
However, Elder Han was transferred. I'm going to miss my third mission father! I'm officially no longer a trainee for the first time on my mission. I think that means I actually have to do something now!
 
My new companion is stellar! Although I guess you can't say much less about your companion when you're related to him!!! Explanation: Elder Watts is my cousin by marriage. His Aunt Jane married my Uncle Jake and now we're serving together here in Kellyville. This is why family history is important! Anyway he's awesome! He's the district leader and just came from serving basically in the bush. He likes Broadway and music, so I think we'll get along just fine!
 
Super stoked about this transfer. Kellyville isn't going to know what has hit them!
 
Love ya Heaps!
Elder Gibb
 
P.S. Hope you're all enjoying the warming weather. I finally succumbed to the humid chill and had to get a sweater!
 
 

Camping Out......On A Mission!

Hello Family and Friends
 
Last week was a blast! We finally were able to meet with the Loesio family for the first time in five weeks, but I guess when you have nine kids you tend to get a bit busy! We taught them the Restoration again, this time using a movie. They are definitely visual learners and hopefully they'll start to progress a bit more now that they're starting to understand! It helps that all the movies have Tongan translations!
 
We had a very unique opportunity this weekend, Elder Han and I got to go up to ward camp! We didn't actually get to stay overnight, but still. It was really weird to drive 40 minutes out of the area, but it was super fun! There were a few non members/less active members there and so we were allowed to head up, and it all finished with a fireside (puppet show) that ended the night! We played some footy (don't underestimate two Elders just because they're in church shoes. They THRIVE in those babies!!) ate some food and taught a few lessons. Overall it was a blast!
 
Unfortunately I didn't see any wild life other than birds. However I did taste some sort of New Zealander fruit.  It was pretty good, but I don't remember what it's called.
 
Anyway! Transfers are this week and nobody knows what's going to happen!
 
Love you heaps!
Elder Gibb
 






 

Easter

Dear Family and Friends
 
Just in case anyone was curious, in Australia, Easter is a four day holiday.... so that means the shops are all closed on Friday, and Monday, hence the really late letter!
 
It was an incredible week last week.  The Bishop's son brought his friend to church! This has been quite a long process, but it was so good to see this young man come, and to feel the excitement of the ward about the work. Now we'll just get the rest of them to bring people!
 
This week should be really fun. We're going up to the ward camp on Friday, doing a fireside, and helping with the activities. Should be a blast! There will be heaps of non-members and less-active members there. Can't wait!
 
Our training we had yesterday was really good too, (even if it was an 8 hr meeting). We talked a lot about having visions for ourselves out here, and as we gain our vision, it will give us the energy to keep improving! We also talked a ton about why exact obedience is so important.  It was really powerful, it coincided with the impressions I had during General Conference as well, so it was really good!
 
Finally finished my first study of Preach my Gospel! I've been tearing up that book since I've been out and drinking it all in. It is such a phenomenal book! Tf you struggle with studying the gospel, sharing the gospel, or anything else, give it a look. Tt may be based mostly on missionary stuff, but it focuses a lot on your own conversion as well. It's super good! I can't wait to start it again this week!
 
Hope all is well wherever you may be.
 
Love you heaps!
Elder Gibb

Monday, April 14, 2014

General Conference

Dear Family and Friends,
 
I'm not going to lie.  I was a little worried for conference this week. Everyone in the ward has been touching on a line here or there of conference and telling us it was going to be so incredible, and we were going to love it.  This kind of stuff happens when we don't have internet and have to watch conference a week late and everyone else is up to date.  But it was better than everyone made it out to be! Elder Holland basically kicked the whole thing off with his usual, intimidating but powerful talk, and from that point on it was just incredible!
 
Lots of rain this week! We usually walked into the flat looking like we had just finished taking a shower, in our clothes!
 
Our of time this week, love you heaps though!
 
Have a great week!
Elder Gibb(y)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Suburbs - You Gotta Love Them!

Dear Family and Friends!
 
What a wonderful week!  I had Kangaroo for the first time!!!! It was in a stew with Lamb (also a first for me) and so I'm not really sure which one was which... but they were both definitely really good! Also we found another Huntsman spider in the flat this week.  Luckily we managed to preserve it's life from Elder Chin Ah You's attacks, so it can continue to kill our pests in the home! I'm thankful I don't have to worry about the bugs as much now that Aarogog is around! (So I name spiders now... there's nothing wrong with that) It's not as big as the last one, but still, pretty big!
 
We had Oreo night last Tuesday (Out Rescuing Every One) and I don't remember if I've explained it before! So if I have just skip this paragraph, if not read on! We have it the first week of every month, and someone in the Ward Council opens their home. Everyone in the ward is invited, and we along with the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader, come up with a list of names for the people we want to see. Usually it is a list of less actives, but occasionally members that weren't there last week, people who might need service, etc..
 
Anyhow! This week it was full of miracles! I went with the Ward Mission Leader Brother Lau'lu and we went to visit a couple of less active families that haven't ever really let the ward in and are usually pretty hard to get a hold of because they're very busy! We went around with our little booklets about family history this time. and it was incredible.  The spirit of Elijah is truly working among the people here! Within a few minutes they both wanted us to come back and show them how to get online and get started!!!!! It was incredible!  I've had to brush up on my knowledge a bit, and the website just gets cooler every month! Hopefully it'll amount to some more miracles in their homes!
 
Other than that it was a typical week.  Talked to heaps of people, met people from India, China, Japan, Chile, England, Finland, and a few Australians - you know, a typical week! HAHA, I love it down under! Getting more used to the culture (sarcasm) and learning how to do missionary work in the suburb mentality (mostly involves a lot of waving)!
 
Hope everything is going great for you where ever you are in the world!
 
Love ya heaps!
 
Elder Gibb
 
P.S. That is not my hand next to the spider, I'm not that dumb...
 
 

An Unfortunate Event

April Fools!
Oh I totally got you guys!
#patheticmissionaryjokes
 
Seriously though this week as been pretty good! Kellyville now has sisters in the area! It's so awesome, except for the fact that they are now teaching all of our old investigators, so it's back to base one and finding! However it was definitely time for this ward to have sisters. There are so many  people who we've been teaching who we could only meet with at parks and who's husbands weren't all that thrilled with us teaching them. But with the sisters they are progressing much faster, which is so good for the ward to see and to help them get excited about missionary work again! Hopefully this will lead to some people getting baptized. It's gonna be big!
 
Other than that nothing really super cool happened this week....
Seriously....
I'm sure it'll be better this week!
 
Love you heaps!
Elder Gibb
 
P.S. If you would like to send me stuff about general conference that is TOTALLY cool. However, in Australia, we won't see conference until next week. The women's meeting isn't until this Saturday, and we still have regular church this week, but I would love to hear some of your thoughts, just put spoiler alert in the subject!
 
Love ya!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Youth Water Activity + Missionaries = WATER FIGHT!

CRAZY week last week!
 
So for what ever reason I always feel like the last week of the transfers is always the most stressful. Even when you do the exact same thing as the week before. We did heaps of finding and most of it was spent just riding our bikes along until we saw someone. Then we would target them, bike really fast to them, slow down, and ask them if they want to learn more!  We found two new investigators this week! One will probably be passed off to the sisters that just came in, but hey, PROGRESS!
 
Since we were out in the sun so long, I may or may not have a chin strap tan from my bike helmet.  At least people can't say that I'm intimidating!
 
On Saturday we had so much fun it hurt... literally.  Water balloons can leave bruises - just FYI! We woke up super early and played basketball at 6:00 with some less active members and members.  Then we went and did yard work for two hours with a member.  He made us biscuits and gravy and it was so good!  Did you know they don't have breakfast sausage in Australia?   Any who, then we changed and got ready for English class, but no one came, so we went out to help with the youth activity... and may or may not have had a bit of a water fight !  I guess you only live once eh!?!
 
Finally found a spider that was picture worthy while I actually had my camera on me! Although you usually have your camera near by when your home right? Any who, this is a Huntsman Spider. It is very common here to name your Huntsman Spider because it eats cockroaches and keeps your home clear of bugs! However, it is large, it jumps large distances, and it was in my room!  I think our bug spray will be just as effective as the spider!
 
Not much else has happened. None of the missionaries in our flat moved this week, sisters will start serving in the ward this week, and the sky is still blue!
 
Love you heaps!
 
Elder Gibb(y)
 
 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An EnLIGHTENING Week!

Dear Family and Friends
 
It's been a good week.  Who am I kidding???   It's been a great week!  We maintained our 20 lessons, found a new investigator, and she came to church! M-I-R-A-C-L-E! Had some fun on Sunday when I got to teach the youth in the 13-14 year old Sunday School class! We were learning about the atonement and using comparisons to try and help others understand what it means. The lessons you can make out a paper clip.... I tell ya.
 
P-Day was super fun last week! We went to our Stake President;s mansion, and I mean like a gigantic amount of property surrounded by the bush.  Big enough to fit an entire zone of missionaries, with crackers (sorry biscuits) included! We got to play as a whole zone on his basket ball, tennis and volleyball court.  We look longingly at his indoor swimming pool and  I think we all almost "fell in".  We played pool, ping-pong, used his complete home gym, and watched a couple elders play squash.  Then went to dinner. It was  a very good day 
 
Had a couple of  HUGE storms this week.  Elder Han and I were out finding on Saturday and the sky was clear and blue.  Then within 30 minutes the rain was coming down so hard we were soaked within a couple of minutes.  We had our rain jackets luckily, but it was raining so hard it even broke through that resistance! As a last resort we walked to one of our member's homes who were unfortunately not home.  We started off to dinner hoping they would have some towels when we got there.  All of the sudden, the world turned white, and then a crack of thunder that was incredibly loud surrounded us! IT WAS SO COOL! We may or may not have screamed a bit, and my pants were already wet.  Needless to say, it may have been a good thing we didn't have umbrellas!
 
And since I've had this question about thirty times this week.....no, we are not Jehovah's witnesses.
 
Love ya Heaps!
 
Elder Gibb
 
 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

It's Getting Better All The Time

Dear family and friends,
 
This week was full of miracles!  It's funny how when they happen you don't notice it, until you look back on the week and realize that it's been pretty good! The first miracle, we got over 20 lessons! Now I know to some of you this doesn't seem to be a very big achievement, but in this area, we have struggled to get more than ten a week.  So it's a huge improvement!
 
We've been using a new finding tool called, THE SURVEY.  It's this really high tech way of finding people to teach, where you take a paper that has some questions on it, use it to start the conversation and then BAM, you're teaching them about the Book of Mormon... Unfortunately the only people who wanted to keep learning, live outside of our area, BUT we all play for the same team, and what goes around comes around!
 
Another miracle happened on Saturday.  A young man who we have been trying to see for ages, and only talked to him at the door to invite him, came to one of our stake activities (it was a multi cultural pot luck, you'll all be happy to know America was represented by apple pie, and Jell-O). He had so much fun he came to church on Sunday with us! And we're going to start seeing his family! 
 
There was also another miracle Sunday... but I'm not allowed to talk about it yet... but it was really quite neat and really good for the ward!
 
I hope all is well, wherever you are in the world!
 
Love you heaps!
 
Elder Gibb
 
Elder Gibb and Elder Han
"A powerful combination" according to Sister Howes

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Elder and Sister Nelson Visit

Dear Family and Friends!
 
So last time I sent out this email I kind of forgot a somewhat crucial event that had happened during the previous week... We had Elder Nelson come visit our Mission!!!  It was really cool!  He spoke to the North and South Sydney missions (saw Lauren Bretzing if any of you know her), but they kept our missions separate from each other, we couldn't even talk, so it was a little awkward!  However, we did all get to shake his hand and then we heard from him.  Let me tell you those men are very knowledgeable about their scriptures! It was so fun to hear him speak to us, although I think I may have liked his wife's talk better! 
 
Last week was pretty fun, we went on exchanges with the Kellyville 2nd Ward Elders this week and so me and Elder Chin Ay You spent the day together.  Unfortunately his knee has some problems so we weren't able to ride our bikes, and since the other elders had the car, we walked! I have a great appreciation for my bike now! It was an amazing experience though because after several hours of nobody talking to us and doors in our face, the refreshing drizzling rain came along and we ran into a young woman from Ukraine. She just arrived in Australia a few months ago, and wants to learn more about what we believe! Hopefully we're going to see her again this week with a Russian Book of Mormon... because she doesn't really know English that well.... but it's goanna be awesome!
 
Had a fireside this Sunday and William Hopoate spoke (famous footie player who turned down a contract for 1 million dollars so he could go on his mission, so pretty much, he's awesome).  He's a really good speaker, and I don't think I've ever seen so many youth pay such close attention at a fireside... especially the young women! Any who he was really good, and he was super nice and was signing autographs for everyone... but I didn't meet him cause I was putting away chairs, and jump starting a car like a good missionary!
 
I'm starting to get to know the ward a little better because we've been going around and starting to institute family mission plans!  We put a little twist on it though.  We're having our ward families create a "title of liberty" like Captain Moroni in Alma 46.  I'll have to send some pictures next week because they're pretty cool! They have 5 points to them and it's goals the family creates in order to be better member missionaries! Occasionally we have to help them come up with their goals, but thanks to Brother Price I've got them all typed up for me already! (Thank you!)
 
It's fall down here now... that was definitely strange so it's starting to cool off a bit.  The weather is perfect today at about 24 degrees. I don't know what that actually means because it's in Celsius, but I do know it feels about right!
 
Hope all is well wherever you are in the world!
 
Love,
 
Elder Gibb(y)
 
P.S. Does anyone know when bananas are ready to be taken off the tree...