Tuesday, June 19, 2018

18 June 2018 WEEK 104

No Letter this week - But he did send me a Birthday video!!




11 June 2018 WEEK 103

Hey, 

Just wanted to let you know how this last week has been. It's been pretty hot these past few days; I have been praying for some rain. Apparently by the time I head out we should be experiencing some pretty wild weather. I have some pretty impressive looking calves because of all of these insane hills in Ochi. This past week our electricity has been in and out. We found an old Kerosene Lamp and filled it with rubbing alcohol and Olive oil. It worked haha. 

It's crazy to think how little time left I have - It really feels no different then any other transfer of my mission. Thankfully, I have plenty of people to teach to keep me busy; it's only when my companion or one of the elders I live with makes a comment about how little time I have left that I even think about it. 

I just wanted to Take this time to thank everybody for keeping in touch with me up to this point. It means a lot to know how much you all think of me; almost every week I can count on your messages and emails. I can promise you that none of your letter writing was in vain for each letter had the unique ability to bring a smile to my face and get me through some otherwise difficult times. 

Because Our Mission President is in the hospital due to an infected heart valve, his wife sent us this weeks email. I just wanted to share a little bit of that:

We appreciate the prayers that you have offered for us. President Pearson is in the hospital and improving a bit each day. They drew 3 blood samples on Friday night shortly after he was admitted. Bacteria are growing on 2 of those 3 samples, which is good. By this afternoon, the doctor hopes to know which types of bacteria are causing the problem. This is a good thing, because knowing who the enemy is IS a good thing, it helps them to come up with the best strategy. Once they know who the bad guys are, they will be able to customize his treatment using the antibiotics to which they are most susceptible. He does look better and feels a bit better as well. Again, thanks so much for your prayers, and please “keep ‘em coming”! 

As I was studying the Book of Mormon this past week, I read these words --- 2 Nephi 2:2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men. 

However, these are the words I “heard” in my “minds’ ear” --- 2 Nephi 2:2 Nevertheless, Elder _____ or Sister _____, my wonderful missionary in the JKM, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy companion, Elder _____ or Sister _____; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men. 

I love the counsel to liken the scriptures unto ourselves. Do that for yourselves, and reap a wonderful harvest of personal revelation.
-- 
-Elder Gibbons-

Keep Trying. Keep Pushing. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is Cheering You on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.

Monday, June 4, 2018

4 June 2018 WEEK 102

I believe that the lord allowing me to serve in Jamaica has strengthened me in numerous ways. I have been able to see those blessings in our day to day missionary efforts. And lets just say that it was one of those weeks. As Elder Boyer and I have been building our area, we have been focused on ministering with the members. We took this approach with the objective in mind to help strengthen the roots of this branch before it withers and collapses. The excitement to do missionary work increases more and more each time we meet with them. One in particular is and older gentlemen we call Brother Eddy. He is about 84 and was baptized 2 years ago. But he is a referral machine. What makes this even more interesting is he is blind. The testimony this man has of the gospel is an example to everyone. It goes to show, that even though we may have our challenges, the gathering of Israel in these the latter-days is that important. 

So many people are ready to receive the gospel it is crazy. As we have taken this approach we have kept in mind to find those who are ready to investigate the church. This week many people called to us asking us to come by and teach them, and they are amazing. They are so ready to learn and change there life! And in so many instances with them, they have expressed how they appreciate we are real with them. They love how we are there to talk with them, play with them, ect... And that has really helped to understand what the gospel is about. 

Last night We had family home evening with our Branch President and his family. We watched the Devotional that was held by President Nelson and his wife. We are the hope of israel in these the latter days. And the Youth of the church today are the strongest tool we have in hastening this marvelous work. The youth Battalion!! I know President Nelson Is a Prophet.

Virtue is a prerequisite to entering the Lord’s holy temples and to receiving the Spirit’s guidance. Virtue “is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards.” It encompasses chastity and moral purity. Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. It is nurtured in the home. It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions. Virtue is a word we don’t hear often in today’s society, but the Latin root word virtus means strength. Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost. President Monson has counseled: “You be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone. Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow. There is no friendship more valuable than your own clear conscience, your own moral cleanliness—and what a glorious feeling it is to know that you stand in your appointed place clean and with the confidence that you are worthy to do so” (“Examples of Righteousness,” Apr. 2008 general conference).

Section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants was received by the Prophet Joseph Smith while he was a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri: 121:45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
There are some very powerful promises in this scripture that will come to you as you study and practice VIRTURE and CHARITY on your mission and in your life.

Philippians 4: 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
So, we are counseled to think on these things. That sounds like study virtue to us.

2 Peter !:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
Build faith and add to it virtue.

A few excerpts from a talk, May You Have Courage, given by President Monson:
Tonight I’d like to talk with you about the courage you will need in three aspects of your lives:
“First, the courage to refrain from judging others;
Second, the courage to be chaste and virtuous; and
Third, the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness.
I turn next to the courage you will need to be chaste and virtuous. You live in a world where moral values have, in great measure, been tossed aside, where sin is flagrantly on display, and where temptations to stray from the strait and narrow path surround you. Many are the voices telling you that you are far too provincial or that there is something wrong with you if you still believe there is such a thing as immoral behavior.
Isaiah declared, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.
Great courage will be required as you remain chaste and virtuous amid the accepted thinking of the times.
BE ALERT TO ANYTHING THAT WOULD ROB YOU OF THE BLESSINGS OF ETERNITY.
The commandments of our Heavenly Father are not negotiable!”


-- 

-Elder Gibbons-

Keep Trying. Keep Pushing. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is Cheering You on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.








Monday, May 28, 2018

28 May 2018 WEEK 101

Good Afternoon! 

This week marks the end of the first week of my last transfer. I have definitely been pondering a lot lately. It's crazy to think that its almost been a full 2 years. Because it's my last transfer I've been thinking a lot about people I have met and lives I have been privileged to bless as a result of my service. Nothing quite beats the opportunity to share the gospel in one of the most beautiful countries on earth (except of course being able to swim. Hah) I hope that everybody back home is doing alright. I just wantd to let you know that while i can't wait to go home im definitely going to miss this place. Be sure that you never forget why you are here. I can promise you that everyday can be an opportunity to make a huge difference some how. Consider how you might be a more effective instrument in Gods hands in blessing someones life. I love you all and I hope that you have an amazing week. Bless up!

Words from Our Mission President-
God’s commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible. He has provided us with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey. We remember the words of the familiar hymn: “Keep the commandments! In this there is safety; in this there is peace.”1
Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to say: Thou shalt not lie; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; and so on. We know the commandments. He understands that when we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear, and we will receive His promised blessings. But while He gives us laws and commandments, He also allows us to choose whether to accept them or to reject them. Our decisions in this regard will determine our destiny.
I am confident that each of us has as his[/her] ultimate goal life everlasting in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is imperative, therefore, for us to make choices throughout our lives that will lead us to this great goal. We know, however, that the adversary is committed to our failure. He and his hosts are relentless in their efforts to thwart our righteous desires. They represent a grave and constant threat to our eternal salvation unless we are also relentless in our determination and efforts to achieve our goal. The Apostle Peter warns us, “Be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
We read in 1 Corinthians “There are … so many kinds of voices in the world.”4 We are surrounded by persuasive voices, beguiling voices, belittling voices, sophisticated voices, and confusing voices. I might add that these are loud voices. I admonish you to turn the volume down and to be influenced instead by that still, small voice which will guide you to safety. Remember that one with authority placed his hands on your head after you were baptized, confirming you a member of the Church and saying, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”5 Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that special voice which testifies of truth. As the prophet Isaiah promised, “Thine ears shall hear a word … , saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.” May we ever be in tune, that we might hear this comforting, guiding voice which will keep us safe.
I plead with you to avoid anything that will deprive you of your happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come.
The adversary knows us, and he knows the temptations which will be difficult for us to ignore. How vital it is that we exercise constant vigilance to avoid giving in to such lies and temptations.
Great courage will be required as we remain faithful and true amid the ever-increasing pressures and insidious influences that surround us and distort the truth, tear down the good and the decent, and attempt to substitute the man-made philosophies of the world.
If the commandments had been written by man, then to change them by inclination or legislation or by any other means would be the prerogative of man. The commandments, however, were God-given. Using our agency, we can set them aside. We cannot, however, change them, just as we cannot change the consequences which come from disobeying and breaking them.
May we realize that our greatest happiness in this life will come as we follow God’s commandments and obey His laws! I love the words found in Isaiah chapter 32, verse 17: “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Such peace, such assurance can come only through righteousness.
In 2001, in his April General Conference address, President Russell M. Nelson taught, “Teach of faith in God’s plan of salvation. Teach that our sojourn in mortality is a period of probation, a time of trial and testing to see if we will do whatever the Lord commands us to do.
Teach of faith to keep all the commandments of God, knowing that they are given to bless His children and bring them joy.4 Warn them that they will encounter people who pick which commandments they will keep and ignore others that they choose to break. I call this the cafeteria approach to obedience. This practice of picking and choosing will not work. It will lead to misery. To prepare to meet God, one keeps all His commandments. It takes faith to obey them, and keeping His commandments will strengthen that faith.
Obedience allows God’s blessings to flow without constraint. He will bless His obedient children with freedom from bondage and misery. And He will bless them with more light. For example, one keeps the Word of Wisdom knowing that obedience will not only bring freedom from addiction, but it will also add blessings of wisdom and treasures of knowledge.”
Teach of faith to know that obedience to the commandments of God will provide physical and spiritual protection. And remember, God’s holy angels are ever on call to help us. The Lord so declared: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”6 What a promise! When we are faithful, He and His angels will help us.”
Of course, we all know that we will fall short of perfection, and we also know who made it possible to make up the difference between perfection and the ways we have fallen short --- repentance.
President Ezra Taft Benson said, “It is better to prepare and prevent than it is to repair and repent.”
KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, IN THIS THERE IS SAFETY AND PEACE!


-- 

-Elder Gibbons-

Keep Trying. Keep Pushing. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is Cheering You on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.





Monday, May 21, 2018

21 May 2018 WEEK 100!!!!

     So the first week in Ocho Rios was a little harder then expected. Elder Boyer and I are currently white washing and starting from scratch. But nothing compares to love the I have for Elder Boyer. We have been so unified and literally on the same page about everything. As a district we have a vision for the branch. We are going to set the example and tone for members by ministering to our fellow brother and sisters. We are all excited to do this, and The brethren of the elders quorum are excited as well. 

     After Jesus was crucified, was resurrected, and appeared to his Apostles several times, his Apostles were still not committed. Jesus had made it clear what he wanted them to do. He taught them for 3 years. That must have been a whirlwind of an experience; being taught at Jesus’ feet, witnessing miracles, being given power to perform their own miracles. Yet, when it was all over, Peter said to his companions, “I go a fishing”. His companions followed him. Peter was ready to step back into the world he knew. He knew his boat, its oars. He knew his nets; he knew fish. 
As he and his companions spent a fruitless night fishing on the Sea of Galilee, a man beckoned them from the shore. “Children, have ye any meat?”, he asked, knowing full well that they had not caught a single fish all night. “Cast the net on the right side of the ship and ye shall find,” were his simple directions. Peter and his companions threw the net onto the right side of the boat. Immediately the net was full, so full that they could not pull it into the boat. So full that it was a miracle that the net did not break. They dragged the net ashore and counted 153 “great fishes”. There is so much symbolism in this story up to this point, that many lessons could be taught from it. 
But the most important lesson has yet to be taught. As the Apostles make it to shore, and see that it is their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I’m sure they were full of wonderment, and perhaps a little guilt. But Jesus had cooked them breakfast, so they sat around the campfire, enjoying a meal cooked by their Savior. But now the real teaching begins; teaching with inspired questions. “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” I can imagine Jesus making a sweeping gesture with his hand, taking in the 153 great fishes, the boat, the oars, the net; everything that was the totality of Peter’s prior life. “Yea Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” was Peter’s earnest reply. “Feed my lambs”, was the Savior’s simple response. Twice more, the Savior asked Peter the same question and offered the same response to Peter’s answer. Peter was a little sensitive about threes at this time, so being asked the same question three times must have cut him to the core. 

-- 
-Elder Gibbons-

Keep Trying. Keep Pushing. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is Cheering You on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.





















Thursday, May 17, 2018

14 May 2018 WEEK 99

Happy Mothers day to My best friend in the Entire Universe. I am truly grateful to have you as my superhero. Alice Marie Gibbons, I am indebted to you for eternity. 

This week we had transfer Calls. For the final 6 weeks of this glorious mission, I will be serving in Ocho Rios. I am sad to leave Elder Hudson, and everyone that I became family with In Kingston. The Lord prepares the way!
“Though Deepening Trials” , Hymn 122, vs. 6 & 7 
Though Satan rage, ‘tis all in vain; The words the ancient prophets spoke 
Sure as the throne of God remain; 
Nor men nor devils can revoke. 
Nor men nor devils can revoke. 

All Glory to his holy name Who sends his faithful servants forth 
To prove the nations, to proclaim Salvation’s tidings through the earth. Salvation’s tidings through the earth.

Satan will rage, but it is all in vain. We are the faithful servants sent forth to proclaim Salvation’s tidings through the earth. How awesome is that? This is a glorious time to be a missionary.


-- 
-Elder Gibbons-

Keep Trying. Keep Pushing. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is Cheering You on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

7 May 2018 WEEK 98

     I don't have to much time this week, But Omari and Quadre told us that they want to be baptized so we are going to work with them this week so we can get permission from both of their moms.  I wanted to leave you with some thoughts about The savior of mankind. 

    Jesus Christ has created worlds without number. He commands the elements. The power that emanates from him animates all of his creations. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and gave his Disciples power to do the same. He had the power to atone for our sins. He has the power to forgive. He had the power to resist the temptations of Satan. Through His power, we can be made perfect as we repent. He has given us the power to become sons of God. He has the power to grant us eternal life. He has the power to one day cast Satan and his followers into outer darkness. All nations and all men will one day bow down to Him. Yet he knows and loves and guides and sustains each one of us personally. 

-Elder Gibbons-

Keep Trying. Keep Pushing. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is Cheering You on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.