Wednesday, December 27, 2017

27 December 2017 WEEK 79

(We were able to Skype with Stone on Monday December 25th and Tuesday the 26th was Boxing Day - So P-day this week was Wednesday December 27th)  
I don't have to much to say this week but that I loved being able to see my family! It was so cool to see how much they have all grown up. I am grateful for the Christmas season as it brings family together. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know the Church is True! In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

Stone and the Siblings! 
Stone with Sisters and Spouses ! 
Mom and Dad with Gibby! 
Skyler Norton (Just returned from serving in Mexico)  and Stone 

Monday, December 18, 2017

18 December 2017 WEEK 78

The gospel plan is simple. It is perfect. It is infinite in its’ reach. Despite its’ simplicity, one can spend a lifetime learning and living it better and better. As full-time missionaries, our mission is very focused: Preach repentance and baptize converts. Even though our purpose and focus can be summarized in five words, we have been taught and learned many lessons on how to be as good as we can be at preaching repentance and baptizing converts. As a reminder, here are some of the things that we have learned over the past 18 months: 
Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles.
We cannot teach without the Spirit and without unity.
We can boldly challenge 10 people a day to baptism, using the BOM.
We want to move from a “wishy-hopey” faith to a “knowy” faith. 
Teach investigators using the BOM and inspired questions; let them feel the Spirit and receive their own personal revelation.
The best finding is done while teaching; so, teach as much as you can.
Part member families are a rich source of new investigators and baptisms. Most families in the Church in Jamaica are part member families. 
Read the Missionary Handbook every day.
Read PMG every day; it is inspired. Apply what you read.
Strive to be passionate about your calling. Go for that A+, and find ways to get “extra credit” every day.
Your Area Book is like the “Brass Plates” for your area. Treasure it. Maintain it. Use it!
Sing hymns in your studies, in your teaching, and in your finding. It will invite the Spirit. 

So today was the day that I left the cool places of Mandeville with Elder Evans and arrived in the scorching heat of Savannah La Mar. I am going to miss him so much, but I am excited to train Elder Fua. I do not have much to report on seeing that I am new to here haha, but I am excited for this new adventure. I am grateful to the lord for allowing me to serve in this area. 
Love you all!!

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, December 11, 2017

11 December 2017 WEEK 77

 In chapter 1 of PMG, President Ezra Taft Benson is quoted: “Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family.” I love this statement; it is just so . . . basic. We don’t need think-tanks. We don’t need editorials. We don’t need focus groups. We don’t need the insightful opinions of our Hollywood and sports celebrities. All we need is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Referencing D&C 58: 26-29, just doing what we were commanded, such as attending our Sunday meetings, reading the scriptures, regular prayer, fulfilling our callings, doing our visiting and home teaching; these things if done will give us a “C” grade. These things are the basics. But I don’t think we will get into the Celestial Kingdom with a “C”. It is going to take an A+ to get into the Celestial kingdom. That means “extra credit”! We need to do more than what we are commanded. We’ve got to think up good things to do on our own. 
So, for a full time missionary, what is going to get us a “C”? If you want a C, just do what you are commanded. Get up at 6 or 6:30, kneeling united prayer, personal study, companion study, out the door on time. You know the drill. 
Now, what must you do to get that A+? I can’t tell you. That is in the nature of “extra credit”. It needs to come from your own free will, not mine. So, what is your own free will going to lead you to do? I will give you a hint, though. I think your “extra credit” is inspired by love. 

​So some unexpected news for you all, Elder Evans and I will no longer be with each other for this Christmas season which is a huge bummer. We are both being Emergency transferred due to missionaries going home (reasons unknown). Sorry family I was so excited for you to meet him. But Elder Evans will be going to the Cayman Islands, and I will  be heading to Savannah La Mar to train a new missionary. In all honestly I am super sad to leave Elder Evans. Me and him have become close brothers and work really well together. I guess the lord needs us else where then here in mandeville at this time. I am super excited though as I will be training a missionary from Tonga. His name is Elder Fua. I will be heading out on the 19th of December!

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, December 4, 2017

4 December 2017 WEEK 76

No Letter today, just pictures - A Picture can paint a thousand words! 

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

27 November 2017 WEEK 75

Not to much to talk about this week! But here are a couple of important things that you should know about!
  • We had a baptism for a cute quiet little 8 year old boy named mosiah johnson. We have been working with him and his family. We have been working to bring the family back into reactivity by teaching some of their children. The mom was able to get up and bare her testimony at the baptism and it was so spiritual.
  • This week we got transfer calls and Let me tell you I am super excited! I will be staying with Elder Evans here in Mandeville for another transfer. Our mission president specifically told us that we are staying because of our example to the other missionaries, our success, and that we are fantastic and bringing the branch into unity. I am so excited for my family to get to meet him over skype in the next couple of weeks.
  • Had a nice thanksgiving dinner at KFC because they don't celebrate it here:)
I will send some pictures a little later as the internet is really slow and does not allow me to do so on certain days. But I love you and pray for all of you:)

-Elder Gibbons-

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


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

20 November 2017 WEEK 74

The Book of Mormon has a special power to touch people’s hearts, and convert them to the fullness of the gospel. That is why we use it in our 12-second baptismal challenges. Would you, members and leaders, join us in sharing our message, using the Book of Mormon? All you need to do is follow these three simple steps:

1) Get a paperback Book of Mormon; the blue one with the gold print on the cover.
2) Before you leave your house in the morning, say a prayer, asking for a missionary experience with your Book of Mormon.
3) After you leave your house, hold your Book of Mormon in your hand, in front of you, all day long, so people can see it. Put in on the table when you eat lunch. Put in on your desk at school or work. Put it down on the counter with your groceries when you are paying for them.

If you follow these three steps, people will come up to you and ask you about that book. You will not have to say a word until after they ask you about it. Then you can tell them why this book is so special to you, or you can have them meet with two of your friends (the missionaries!). 

We have a baptism this week for Momo! We are so excited for him. He is so quite but he is super smart. 
Also we had the special privilege this week by having Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, come and visit Jamaica. He spoke at our Stake conference which was held at Kingston, So we got to watch it over live video feed over here in Mandeville. I just know that these men have been called by God. I feel the spirit testify to me so strongly that this really is the truth, and I can not deny it!

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, November 13, 2017

13 November 2017 WEEK 73

Those of you who remember talking about the “12 second challenge” That happened last year august will love what is happening now. The purpose of this challenge was not only to get us to talk to more people, but to challenge them to be baptized, using the Book of Mormon. Here is an example of what we were challenged to do at least 10 times per day: “Hello! If you knew in your heart that this Book, the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, was true, and thus that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is His true church, would you join us and be baptized?” There can be many variations to this. Here is one that Elder Alonso shared with us: “Hello! We are your missionaries, and we are here to baptize you into Christ’s true church!” 
While not taking any emphasis off working with part member families, our mission president wants us all to challenge 10 people a day to baptism, using the BOM. Let’s start on December 1, and do at least 10 per day for the whole month. Just talk to people and challenge them wherever you see them. It shouldn’t take any more time. Be creative, but be bold and fast! If each companionship does this, we will have challenged nearly 14,000 people to be baptized by New Years Eve. Have fun. Have faith. Be obedient. Be prayerful. Expect miracles. This simple exercise will bring passion and excitement to your day. 

As I was reading in Alma 57 today, I likened Helaman’s 2000 stripling warriors to you. Starting in verse 20: And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted. 

21: Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; . . .

22: And now behold, it was these my sons, . . . to whom we owe this great victory; . . . 
25: . . . according to the goodness of God, and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army, there was not one soul of them that did perish; . . . .
26: And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe – that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his miraculous power. 

27: Now this was the faith of those of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually. 

So how did Helaman’s 2,000 develop that exceeding faith, that they did not doubt, which led to miracles? I believe it was because, as it states in verse 21, “they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness;” How are we doing on obedience? Do we obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness? If we do, we will have exceeding faith, and we will not doubt. This is what it takes to get the kind of miracles that Helaman’s 2,000 earned.

But we have really been working with some part member families here in mandeville, speaking of that we have a young man by the name of mosiah who is being baptized this next week! I am so excited and in the process of that we have been able to reactivate the mom and one of the daughters so we are seeing so many miracles!

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

6 November 2017 WEEK 72

This past week I watched an old Church video, “How Rare A Possession”. It told the story of two men whose lives were influenced by the Book of Mormon in dramatic and powerful ways. 

Parley P. Pratt followed distinct impressions from the Spirit, that led him to the Book of Mormon. When he was introduced to the book, he began reading. In his own words, “I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.” Feeling the confirmation of the Holy Ghost, Parley wrote: “I knew and comprehended that the book was true. … My joy was now full.” He spent most of the next 26 years serving multiple missions, and fulfilling any assignment given him. He began missionary work the Sunday after his baptism. 

Vincenzo di Francesca found an old copy of the Book of Mormon in an alleyway in New York City in February, 1910. He was a Methodist pastor at the time of this discovery. The title on the cover was worn off. The title page was ripped out and missing. The pages of the book were covered with soot and ash. Despite these obstacles, he felt compelled to reclaim and then read the book. In his own words, “For several hours I read the remainder of the pages, which gave me light and knowledge and left me charmed to think of the source from which this fresh revelation had come. I read and reread, twice and twice again, and I found it fit to say that the book was a fifth gospel of the Redeemer. At the end of the day, I locked the door of my room, knelt with the book in my hands, and read chapter ten of the book of Moroni. I prayed to God, the Eternal Father, in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, to tell me if the book were of God, if it were good and true, and if I should mix its words with the words of the four gospels in my preaching. I felt my body become cold as the wind from the sea. Then my heart began to palpitate, and a feeling of gladness, as of finding something precious and extraordinary, bore consolation to my soul and left me with a joy that human language cannot find words to describe. I had received the assurance that God had answered my prayer and that the book was of greatest benefit to me and to all who would listen to its words.” 
Brother di Francesca immediately began preaching from the Book of Mormon, and quickly got into trouble with his church leaders, because everybody started attending his sermons. The other pastors complained, and he was instructed to burn the book. He said, “I will not burn the book!” To do so would offend God. He was stripped of his job as pastor, and excommunicated. It took 20 years of searching to find the name of the book and its origin. It took 21 additional years before he could be baptized, the first LDS baptism in Sicily. But he had been preaching from this book already for 41 years. 

These men were passionate. Both were brought to the truth by the Book of Mormon. Ponder the influence of the Book of Mormon in your own life. There are things you can learn from the stories of Parley P. Pratt and Vincenzo di Francesca! What resonates in your heart and mind? Use those things and build your testimony until you have Brigham Young’s fire in your bones, then share it with everyone!

I love you all and hope you stay safe out there! You are in my prayers and will continue to be. NUFF LOVE 
-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

30 October 2017 WEEK 71

Happy Halloween from a country that does not celebrate it whatsoever!
    Not to much happened this week, but I am loving being able to give so much service here in the Mandeville area. This week we had the opportunity to give service for a blind lady in our branch. I chopped down a coconut tree with a hatchet. It was pretty rough but it was fun we pruned and farmed a little bit. She is always so grateful and it is just a testimony builder to me to see her faith and the love she has for us! Also gave some service at a bar this week for an investigator, it was really funny because she thought it was weird of us to handle beer and such. But I know that she was grateful!
    Also the coolest experience that I had this week was, I was able to contact a man in sign language this week. I honestly could not remember a single thing until I calmed my nerves and it just started to flow. I was so gratful for the gift of tongues. But in this case gift of hands. But I do have a testimony that the lord will provide us the things to say when we really need them most even if we have not studied it for a long time.
    Every Friday we go and pray for a salon shop, and honestly it is the funniest thing in the world. They love us missionaries and some actually came to church. We chat a lot with them and there is no english involved, just Patios. 
    We have been working with an 8 year old boy, who is working to get baptized he is a chiild of record. But his name is Mosiah, MoMo for short. He is so smart and so adorable I am very excited to work with him.
    I love you all have an incredible week. I pray for you:)

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

23 October 2017 WEEK 70

     I do not have a whole lot of time this week but I want to give you an update on how our area is doing and a couple of the fun little things we got to do this week.
     As you may know we have been working with a man named patrick. He has been going really well it is just really hard to meet with him. But we just met with him recently and we were able to put him on date for the 23 of december, and he fully committed and said that there is no backing out. He has been coming to church and the activities and is loving it. 
     Also we had a couple of lessons planned on friday of this last week in a place called knockpatrick. We were able to pick up 7 new investigators in the space of three hours. It really was a blessing as we have been finding new people to teach. 
     Also this week we were able to give some service at a farm. We got to chop yard with machetes for 3 hours straight and cleared out the area so we could begin farming more produce. It is a melon farm, a pepper farm, and banana farm. I will send a couple pics of us working there. 

But I want you all to know that I love you so much and I am excited for this next transfer here in mandeville. 

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

17 October 2017 WEEK 69

Of the many challenges we as missionaries face, one of the most common is getting that 2nd teaching opportunity. To improve the percentage of 2nd lessons, we strive to “teach to our investigator’s needs”. When I hear “teach to their needs”, I quite naturally wonder what are their needs? I have been pondering this for a few weeks. Since true gospel principles apply to all; investigators, less actives, part member families, leaders, and missionaries, the answer to “what are their needs” applies to all of us. 
So, here are three things that every investigator needs. Number one, they need hope for a better tomorrow. A hope and vision of a better tomorrow helps them put the trials of today into proper perspective. Two, they need peace in their heart, even though they live in a troubled and turbulent world. And three, they need to feel their Savior’s love. 
When we sit down to discuss the Restoration (or any other topic) with an investigator, we should be pondering, “how is this discussion on the Restoration going to give our investigator hope, peace and love?” We will be counseling together on this during our upcoming round of zone conferences. 

We had transfer calls this past week, and drum roll please......... I will be staying in Mandeville with Elder Evans for 6 more weeks. I will continue to finish training him. I am very excited. Elder Evans and I get a long very well, and I have been able to see the changes he has been able to make as he continues to grow to be an amazing missionary. 

Also this last week we had the opportunity to give so many service opportunities. I love being able to help people and see their reactions when we accomplish just a bit more then they could alone. For example some of the service that we did this week: We mixed and casted concrete to build a house, We helped prune some trees at a church sisters house, by pruning I mean tying a rope around a tree and pulling as hard as we can while he cuts so it can not fall on any crops or the house haha. Also we went down to a place called alligator pond that is full of crocodiles and help build a cottage for a member in our branch. By doing this I was able to see a 13 foot crocodile, and also we chopped a whole bunch of macca bushes, which is in comparison with rose bushes that hurt a whole lot more. I do have some battle wounds. But Elder Evans was able to teach me how to rope cattle and it was so fun he said I would be good at it because I play baseball and have pretty good form.

But this is all for this week, we are still working close with some of our investigators, but I am very happy and will remain. I love this work, and I love being a missionary.

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

9 October 2017 WEEK 68

The sound of relief and a sigh is the way that I can begin to describe this week in a whole. We have been up and down, left and right, forward and backward with moving, missionary work, and service. 

Lets begin to tell you about moving. So yes it was official we were able to move into a bigger house that actually fits 6 Elders. Yes that is right we have six eldersliving in one house. But last night we had 8 so it was a party. We have been running up and down to get everything cleaned and fixed so that we can have all said and done. 

Sadly we had to take some of our key investigators off date due to them not quite being ready. We are going to be working with them very closely, but also are going to be visiting with members more regularly so that we can unify the branch and develope lasting friendships between members.

We were also able to give service this week. We helped one of the members of our ward by the name of sister Ranger-Dimple haul maul up her ginormous hill. we shoveled carried and unloaded for what seemed like an eternity, but she was so grateful. She loves having the elders come over, and just loves to talk and be friendly.

I don't have much this week, but i am going to make it up with Pictures so keep a heads up!
Love you all thank you and I am praying for you!

-Elder Gibbons-

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