Tuesday, September 19, 2017

18 September 2017 WEEK 65

Training week 2:
This week has been so fun. There has been guts full of laughter and joy!

To give you an update on the work here I mandeville, we have been working with a couple of really solid investigators. As you may know we are still working with Patrick to prepare him for October 8th. We had a really solid lesson with him, and he believes the Book of Mormon to be true. We are trying to get him to understand the importance of keeping commitments! But on the other hand we have been working with a woman by the name of Michelle. We have had 2 solid lessons, as we picked her back up after the sisters taught her. She believes this is the right path for her and committed to prepare herself for baptism on October 15.
She trusts us so much to help her and it is a privilege to get to help her along her journey.
We have also been working with a part member family. We are teaching her two children; Ahkeem, and Ahkaliah. Ahkeem is 16 and Ahkaliah is 14. They are on date for the 30th of September. We are working close with them as they seem to be the average teenager. Wow that is weird to think that I was that age once. Sorry Mom and Dad... 😘

But Elder Evans is killing it as a missionary. He is a very fast learner, and is such a goofball. We have been working very hard and are finding joy in the work. Not a day goes by that he does not make me laugh to the point of where my abs are eating themselves. I love to giggle haha.

I have been able to spend the day with my mission father, Elder Smith. We were able to go golfing and catch up a little bit. We got shut down early, because of the darkness, but made the most of it and had a blast. I did not do to bad, I shot a 34 in 8 holes so grandpa you better be proud of me.

But mission life is good. A relatively cool temperature, so I can't complain. We have Zone conference this week and I am excited to get to learn from the leaders of the mission.

Be safe out there this week and Nuff Love!

Be Still my Heart... He may need to bring her home to me! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

11 September 2017 WEEK 64

Sunday, Sep. 10 was the official start of our new study program. I am going to enjoy reading and pondering the many attributes and roles of our Savior over the next 7 months. He is everything. The better we can know him, understand his role, and love him, the better off we will be.

So I am officially back in the land of Jamaica. I just received my new companion and trainee Elder Evans. He is from Lewiston Utah. Right on the border of Utah and Idaho. But he is just a ball of fire 🔥 We get a long very well and I am grateful for this opportunity to help him become the best missionary he can be. But I am currently serving in a big part of Jamaica called Mandeville. This is where the church was first established on this island. They have a nickname for this place, cool cool mandeville. And they are not wrong. The weather is relatively cool, so I can't complain.

We have been working with a man named Patrick! We have had two really solid lessons with him and he is on date for the 8th of October. He has a hard time remembering things so we have to repeat it multiple times for it to click haha. But he is such a sweetheart and overall is amazing.

We met with a lady named Michelle this last week too. We had the sisters show us around a little bit, and they introduced us to her. We had a bomb plan of salvation lesson with her and she began to weep as the spirit was so strong. Even in her prayer she said that she felt like this is the true church.

Other than that I am living in a 4 man house with 6 Elders and it is a blast. They are all just so funny and so easy to get along with. We have been able to bond in so many ways that we have all become so close.

Hope you all have a fantastic week, and be safe out there!

Love Elder Gibbons

Monday, September 4, 2017

4 September 2017 WEEK 63

Lots of stuff is fixin’ to start happening in the JKM. We will be receiving 16 new Elders and one new Sister on Tuesday. We will be sending another Sister off to her mission in the Northlands of Canada. Four Elders will be returning home to the US, plus one Elder and one Sister will be going home to Jamaica. Part of the mission may be hit by a major hurricane in about a week. And finally, we are concluding our unified Book of Mormon reading. I have truly enjoyed this reading of the Book of Mormon more than the many, many others that I have completed over the years, and I have received lots of feedback that many of you found this reading experience very spiritual and enlightening. 
I especially enjoyed Moroni’s exposition on faith/miracles in Ether 12. As he talked about many of our Book of Mormon heroes and the miracles that resulted from their faith, I could not help but think of you Elders and Sisters. My missionaries. There have been so many miracles wrought because of your great faith. What a wonderful testimony this is that the Lord is with us. If it were needful, I believe you could see the finger of the Lord. 

But this week we received transfer calls. And long story short, I left Turks and Caicos. I am currently back in the good ole land of Jamaica. I am so excited for what is going to happen. I will be opening a new area that has been closed for a while and will also be training another missionary. I don't have to much time to get to all the details but when we left Turks we had a man named gabriel who is on date for the 9th of September, and I really wish that I could have been there for it. But I am very excited for him!

So that is my update for this week, I love you all will keep you posted about how everything works out. 

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Stone is white washing the Mandeville Area and is excited to be back to Jamaica and training a brand new missionary.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

28 August 2017 WEEK 62

To move forward, we have been blessed in a variety of different ways this week. As Elder Johansen and I have taken the advice to basically pretend to be like Jesus Christ, the lord has provided us with so many tender mercies. One of which came through a member referral. We were introduced to a man by the name of gabriel. We have had a couple lessons with him, and it was really interactive. We have been teaching more with the scriptures, and as well as asking them questions. We came by one day and Gabriel expressed to us that he wanted to be baptized. So we put him on date for the 9th of September

We have been doing as you counseled us and are really trying to do more teaching then finding. We have been looking for opportunities to strengthen members, recent converts, less-active members, ect... We have really been focusing on their conversion with the book of mormon. We invited and challenged them to read one chapter of the book of mormon every night. We know that as they do this they will regain a witness of the authenticity of the book. We have been working with the low hanging fruit along the lines of less active members.

We do have a situation involving a young man who just turned the age of 8 years old. The family is members of the church, but the mom will not allow this young man by the name of benjie to receive baptism. We really do not know what to do... Would you be willing to maybe give us some insight on how we could help her let him be baptized? He really wants to and has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ, the mother just does not believe that he is ready... How can we help?

As we have gone throughout the week, I shared with the members of our district, at district meeting, the importance of the Book of Mormon. I have never thought the book of mormon to be so important in my life then I did this week. Everything that we will ever teach revolves around whether or not the book of mormon is true and testifies of Christs Divinity. My personal testimony of the book of mormon has grown this last week, as I have been able to not only read, but to question God of its truthfulness. We have been working so hard to help our investigators, less-active members, and recent converts, gain that divine witness for them self. 

I encourage you all this week to reflect on your personal study of the Book of Mormon? When was the last time I read? How did I feel? How can I make time? these are only but a small portion of questions to think about. My invitation is for all of you to strengthen your testimony of the Book of mormon by reading at the minimum of one chapter every morning night or whenever every day! I can promise you that your faith will never be tossed if you will read the book of mormon everday. 

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, August 21, 2017

21 August 2017 Week 61

So This week we went and did missionary work all day everyday. In case you thought that I was just on vacation on this beautiful Island of Providenciales. I have keep having this reoccurring thought that I do not speak creole, and to tell you the truth I do not haha! But all is good here in the land of all the Haitians. Elder Johansen and I have been working really hard this last week to build up our area. From 10 am to 9 pm we are out giving our all to the lord. 

We have been pushing with John to be baptized on the 26th of August, you could say that the only thing that is holding him back is himself. He knows it is all true he is so hesistant to take a leap of faith and trust that god will lift him up. But he was able to come to church this week and I was so excited to see him. Oh and if you did not know I get to play the piano in church and also I get to lead the music, (Dont ask me how I am able to do both haha) plus I get to say one of the prayers to open or close the meeting every week. Why? Because we are the only ones the branch presidency will ask haha! 

We have done enough door to door contacting this week. It was a week of finding new investigators to teach repentance. We have been praying a lot to find new investigators, but there is a reoccurring theme, that when we meet them on first contact they will set up a return appointment, but never actually show up for that time. So it is frustrating to have seen that about a thousand times this week. Keep on keeping on!

We also learned how to sing Nephi's Courage in creole on Sunday. Singing in creole is so much more weird then english haha. 

We also got to play basketball against a bunch of kids here. When I say kids, I mean they were like 17-18. But during our dinner hour we went and asked if we could do a beat and teach. They aggressively excepted! So we balled them out in our white shirt and ties, and you could say embarrassed them haha. No, we beat them once and they asked for a rematch and we beat them again. We played 2 on 3 and still won haha. So that was a fun experience that we had this week.

Spiritual Thought:
After Joseph Smith was martyred, many of the Saints were very discouraged. How could this have happened? What did they do wrong to deserve this? Was Joseph's vision of the fullness of the Gospel sweeping the earth true? 
At this time of bewilderment, confusion, and discouragement, Brigham Young received the revelation of D&C 136. His counsel to the Saints? Verses 1-16 give practical "get organized and get to work" directions. Verses 16-33 gives more personal counsel; codes of individual behavior. I find verses 17, 18, 29, 31-33 most applicable to us today. Verse 31 reads: My People must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion. 
We must be tried in all things.
As long as you keep trying, and do not become discouraged, I promise you that the Lord will be pleased with you. 
Some challenges may be quickly overcome. Some may never be. Your missions are probably the first real taste of life for many of you. Things will not always go your way, but I promise you that things always go the Lord's way. He is in control, and we are being tried. 
We are making visible progress already, and we will continue to progress. It will be hard work. There will be lots of ups and downs. But if we stay excited about sharing the Gospel with as many people as we can, and teaching those who will listen fast; if we treat our challenges as challenges, as something to figure out and overcome, and do not become discouraged and stop, we will grow, the Church in Turks will grow, and we will find joy and satisfaction in our work. 

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

14 August 2017 WEEK 60

How have you lost yourself in the Lord's work? I share my answer with all of you. As full time missionaries, I think there will be many opportunities for us to apply the principles contained therein. We will always say yes to the Lord. We will do whatever we are asked to do, without a moment's hesitation. We do not need to think about it, or consider the practical implications of accepting the call. If we are asked, we will say yes. His will is more important than our own will or desires. Way more important. I hope this answers your question. We love serving. We love our Heavenly Father. We love his Son. We are happy!

I wanted to give you an update about how our area is doing! So this week, I had the opportunity to say goodbye to Elder Houston, and send him, off his way to Grand Cayman. But little wonder, I was suppose to be receiving Elder Burin, who is originally from Haiti. We got a call from the Assistants to the President, that he will not be coming and I will be receiving Elder Johansen. So we have been going crazy bouncing off every wall trying to figure out the whole visa situation with Elder Burin. But Immigration has been cracking down over here in Turks, and starting today they are going to be going around and deporting anybody who is Illegal on the Island. Good for me I am not illegal. Other than that, I am super excited to get to serve with Elder Johansen. He only has a couple weeks left on his mission, but he is an amazing hard working missionary.

Things have been difficult here in the Turks. It just seems to be that we can not get anybody to understand the teaching that we are putting forth. I feel like at the end of the day we can not put the message anymore simple to fit their needs. But we still love them it just takes a lot of patience. 

We had a great zone conference that was held via skype this last weekend. We had our mission tour with Elder Alanzo. We have been really focusing on not only becoming like Jesus Christ, But to strive to be Jesus Christ. I have began to understand in more depth the ministry of Jesus Christ, and overall who he is and was. I can say with a surety that I love the people in the Turks and Caicos so much, despite all the challenges, and hardships. I just want them to know how important this message is! Pray for us that we may find success and bring them in! 

-Elder Gibbons-

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