Monday, February 24, 2014

Banana Tree!

Dear family and friends,
There are banana trees here....... AND I HAVE ONE IN MY BACK YARD!!!!!
I feel like that could be a sufficient weekly letter alone, but I guess I'll write a little bit more for you!
Well I'm starting to know the area a bit better, but you get lost a few times on bike in an area with hills and then you start to pay a little more attention to where you're going! I've met a few of the less actives and investigators, and they are some tough cookies. The first thing I've noticed is the Aussies are very blunt. On one had it is helpful because we don't waste our time with people who aren't interested.........on the other hand, they aren't interested.
That being said,  we had an amazing miracle this week.  One of the less active families needed some help with service and so we went over there and moved a couple tons of rocks.  Afterwards I was talking to them about being in musicals and stuff because their oldest daughter just finished a play and yada, yada, yada,  Then we asked for a return appointment to come and teach them a lesson, and they said YES and invited us for dinner too! But I didn't realize that this was a miracle until we were driving off and my companion said the family hasn't allowed missionaries in their home since they left the church years back.  The wife has been very anti, he was shocked we got in! I can't wait for our lesson, hopefully it'll work out!
Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Gibb(y)
P.S. Please enjoy this picture of my companion, Elder Han, making a funny face!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A New Country

AHHH there is so much to write when you get to a new country and sooooo little time to do so!
Forgive me if I miss some points.
So obviously I'm not dead and I made it alive...
Planes, they really aren't that bad, when you have an aisle seat, and no one sitting next to you, and everyone talks in an Australian accent so even the food sounds more appealing! It was a long flight, but I slept for about 7 hours of it so it went by pretty fast!
First thought when they opened the door was HUMID! I was sweating bullets as I got off that plane, and being in a suit wasn't helping the situation! Made it through customs all good though (although I did have to declare Almonds... Not gonna lie, when they asked me what I was declaring I kind of wanted to shout out ALMONDS MY GOOD SIR! But no worries mom, I refrained)! When we walked out (oh yea there was a sister on the plane coming from Provo, but we didn't actually realize this til the plane ride was over) there wasn't anyone there to get us.  So we waited, a couple of weirdos wearing nice clothes even though we were just on a plane. When President and Sister Howes showed up with the AP's it was a lovely sight! We had quick introductions and then we rushed off to another side of the airport because there were 17 other missionaries arriving.
After we had everyone together we all headed out with our trolleys to the car.  It looked like a scene from Harry Potter. As everyone piled into the vans they whisked us off to the Sydney Harbor.  It was so cool! The ocean right there, and you could see the entire city laid out ahead of you! Took some pictures, which I will send when I have more time, and then went to the mission office for dinner and orientation. It was right next to the Sydney Temple (which is awesome, went there today for a session) and took care of the business side of life! I had some time to talk to Elder Marshell, and Elder Orr (we were in the MTC together and had been waiting for visas).
Finally, and I mean FINALLY, our trainers came in (I get to do the training again!) and we made introductions, practiced bearing our testimonies in our new wards, and then headed out!
So after a sixteen hour plane ride, and then 8 hours of doing stuff in Sydney, I was ready for a rest! Alas, it wasn't meant to be.  I met the bishop and ward mission leader and then we headed off to the flat (cause that's what they're called here! so fun I'm speaking Australian already!) and went right to bed!
My new companion is Elder Han.  He is the district Leader for our... well district and is from America.  He is a Korean speaking elder and so I'm also learning Korean! He is a super cool Elder and I'm really looking forward to working with him.  He loves music (SCORE) so I think we'll get along just fine! The best way I can describe his personality is a Happy Panda. Yep he's awesome!
There are also two other elders in our flat from the Kellyville 2nd Ward (oh yea I'm in Kellyville 1st) and they are way cool too.  Elder Keefer is from Arizona, and Elder Chin Ah You is from Tahiti! Again both are really cool Elders! We kind of split a car between the both of us (I still flinch every time we turn because they drive on the left... and it's scary... really scary) but me and Elder Han are usually on bikes, so hopefully I will stay in some sort of shape that isn't round!
There is so much more stuff I could put in this email, but it is starting to get painfully long.  I can already feel your minds drifting off as you read this! So I'll talk about foods and everything else again next week... cause... I could write a book about all the cool stuff I've done (yes I've seen a spider... I don't want to talk about it... It was the size of my hand... and Elder Shin Ah You was like "oh that's just a garden spider, too small to worry about"...blah) I've tried on average about 7 new foods a day. had my first Islander workout (I'm still feeling that one, from Saturday) and am on a diet so when I go to my first "Tongan feed" my stomach will be big enough to handle the food so I don't offend them... like I said, I'm grateful for the bike.
It's very multi cultural, definitely nothing like Utah, at all.  And everything is in K's it's trippy, but I found out I only weigh 77 Kilos... whatever that means.
Ok I'm really done now, well until next week.
Hope all is well wherever you are!
Elder Gibb(y)
P.S. Two days, and a ward member already identified me as a Gibby!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

G'day Mate

Elder Gibb arrived in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday morning February 12, 2014 after a thirteen plus hour plan ride.  He has been assigned to the Baulkham Hills area with Elder Han.  We are anxiously waiting to hear more from him.  He can receive mail at the mission home.
 Elder Gibb 
 PO Box 2723
 Carlingford Court, NSW 2118
Welcome to Australia Elder Gibb

President and Sister Howes

New Arrivals

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'll Be Back!

Dear Family & Friends,
Something about leaving an area you've been for three months kinda puts you right on the edge.  Especially when you have been surrounded by some of the best, and I mean best people in your life.
This ward has been incredible to work with, investigators and members alike. The impact they have all had on my life in the short three months I was here makes it hard to leave. They have taken me in like family, the made the transition from home bearable, and now I feel like I'm leaving home all over again! I'll definitely be back in couple years!
Then there all the missionaries I've gotten the chance to know.  This zone has been so fun to work with, and I will remember them for the rest of my life!
I'm really speechless for this letter, my heart is heavy. However I am sooo exited to go down to Australia! The flight will probably kick my butt, but I'm so excited to be in a completely different area, and to meet all the Aussies!
Hope all is well wherever you are!
Elder Gibb(y)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Last Week in the USA

Hello Family and Friends
So first off I finally figured out how to send out a "Mass" email.  I figured I'd just put you all on a weekly email list. If you want off, it's no big deal.  I'll just put you in the burn book and won't write you again. Whatever! (but really if you want off, no big deal)
So I'm hoping this last week out here in Garden Grove is going to be Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious! I'm super ready to go to Australia! My comp just rolled his eyes at me when I started to pack everything that I could, and started planning when to leave and what to wear.  I mean this is a big deal, a red or blue tie! Basically, I'm getting ready to "Step in Time" and "Let it Go" so I can "Seize the Day" down "Under the Sea".... Sorry I had too (thanks for the music mom! ;)
Found another connection to the Gibb's out here (I swear we're everywhere) So a member of our ward named Chandler Jennings,  is the brother of Casey Jennings who plays in the same league as Jake, and who played volleyball with Coleman at some point, and is good friends with Christine, and knows Grandma and Grandpa! Fun stuff right!
Had a really cool experience with my stake president last week.  His house was broken in to and so instead of being all bummed and depressed about it, he used his "Positoovity" and used it as an excuse to go and take us tracting in his neighborhood to "warn" (convert) his neighbors. We/He gave out 10 Boosk of Mormon, and got several potential investigators.  We only finished one side of the street, so we're going back next week to do it again! 
Hope all is well!
Elder Gibb(y)

Hard to Leave

January 27, 2014
This ward is making it very difficult to leave! Yesterday there were multiple families stealing our food calendar to make sure they got on there before I left.  One of them came up to me and told me how grateful he was I came to his ward.  It kinda made me laugh because he said, "There hasn't been a missionary here before that would actually take time to get to know my kids, play with them, and then share a spiritual thought that would make them want to go on a mission. Well, one that could do that and actually have a civilized conversation with me and my wife."  I couldn't help but laugh a little bit.
Today we had a member who had to cancel on us for dinner take us out to lunch. We asked him if it would be ok if we stopped by the dry cleaners so I could get my stuff done before I left for Australia. When we got there I had my wallet out, but he just pushed my hand down and paid for it himself.
Basically, the best ward ever...Ever...EVER!  They remind me a lot of people in our ward.
Elder Gibb

Orange County Oranges

Jan 27 
Well as you can tell, oranges are in season out here... and... they're... DELICOUS!  Thank goodness my companion doesn't like fruit because we just get bucket loads from members every week of tangerines, oranges, mandarin oranges, and blood oranges. Pretty much anything orange we get a lot of!
Some fun facts for the week: Elder Leon my zone leader graduated from WX!!! Pretty cool huh?!?  I didn't really recognize him or him me, but then last P-Day I did some dorky dance move from Grease like Eugene, and he said, "WAIT YOUR THAT GUY!" Apparently my nerdiness actually amounted to something at that school!
I got a little bit of a sunburn the other day our because our bikes have been a little difficult and so we were walking around... so yep... I got a sunburn... in January.
The picture up on Facebook is me unloading 3 tons of garbage/ rotting wood/ and a tree, which we did a couple weeks ago for an investigator near by.  It was really cool though because I got to see an indoor dump.  There was so much dust in the air the light beams coming through the window look like legitimate  pillars holding up the roof. It was trippy!  Then you had like gigantor trucks moving around and if you didn't stay in your assigned square you would have been smushed like a little tiny bug... basically it was awesome!
I started to read the Old Testament the first week in January. I guess it's what you'd call my New Year's resolution. I just finished Leviticus and let me tell you, that is not an easy book to read.
All is well and I'm starting to get prepared to head to the land down under!
Hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Gibb(y)