Monday, March 27, 2017

27 March 2017 WEEK 40

    I can't even begin to describe the change being in the Turks. It's just so exciting. This week has been full of new adventures and stories. I think the most difficult thing that I have noticed is the language barrier between us. A lot of the island is of Haitian nationality/Dominican nationality. We either speak little to none Haitian Creole, or little to none Spanish. You will find a couple people here and there that are Portuguese or are from the Philippines and speak Tagalog. I think it surprises them when we come up and talk with them in English. Probably because they don't understand what we are saying.  
    But along the lines with that, we are constantly in a lance with finding, teaching, and baptizing. That was the main focus of our district meeting this week. I have definitely seen the blessings that have come from talking with everyone. When we teach lessons though, it is a whole new story. When we teach, because of the language barrier, we have to teach the most simple you have ever heard. We use all kinds of tools, including a white board. Who knew right? 
    But the thing that struggles the most over here is probably the branch itself. There are over 100 people on membership record, and only 13-30 come every week. That includes tourists. So we are excited to get to work with the members, and less/not active members. It is hard because we have no idea where they live. They don't have any address written down. And some phone numbers don't work. It is going to be a lot of work, but we know that the lord is in it. Elder shepherd and I are still continuing to warm up to each other. He is very quiet, while I love to talk a lot. He is an awesome missionary, I am excited to serve with him. I would love to hear of any suggestions on how we can increase our church attendance with our less active members?

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Island Adventures! 

-Elder Gibbons-

Keep Trying. Keep Pushing. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is Cheering You on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.
Elder Gibbons & Elder Shepherd
One of my Spanish Town Girlfriends! 
Mom's Tag Photo
Bluest Water I've ever seen outside of Airplane
Ready to Land on the Turks~
Outside my Plane Window! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

20 March 2017 Transferred Off Island to "Turks & Caicos" Week 39

Hello from the Turks and Caicos!! I am so excited to be here ahhh! This past weekend we had another Baptism for a man named Peter. In the Spanish Town Zone, we had a goal of 6 baptisms in 2 weeks. We got so close and reached a goal of 4! I truly do have a testimony of goal setting and I know that as we go to the lord he will promise us a goal that we can accomplish. An inspired goal is a promise from the lord. I can't say it enough but I love this gospel!
     I am so excited to get to serve the people of the Turks. I am excited to be learning a new language. I am excited for a new culture. As I was telling people goodbye this week it really hit me that I love these people so much. Serving in Spanish town was an amazing experience. I was able to see the lords hand in his vineyard. I saw many miracles that were brought to pass. I know that the lord works in mysterious ways. I was able to see myself mature in so many ways. But I have a long way to go and I know that with the lords help all things are possible!
     I am excited to share with you the adventures that I will have while I am here. My new companion is Elder Shepherd. I don't really know anything about him yet but that is going to change haha. I know that God is a god of order and I really pondered about that this week. All things are done in the wisdom of him. As we truly lose our selves in his work we shall truly find ourselves
-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

13 March 2017 Week 38

    I was watching a Mormon message this week called LIFT. And in one scene of this it showed a pair of scriptures that had the verse Matthew 16:25 marked. So I turned to this passage of scripture and studied it all week. This is what it says, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." A verse of scripture has never hit me so hard being out here. I have often reflected upon the words of the Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley- "Forget yourself, and go to work." I have truly recognized my importance of being a missionary this week. It has been a very humbling experience.
    This last week we had the opportunity of having three baptisms in the Spanish town area. Elder Hatch(my son) and Elder Harrah(my grandson) had one on Saturday for a young girl named Brandie. She is Neiko girlfriend and I am so proud of the decision that she has made. She has so much member support I couldn't even count how many people were at her baptism. Elder Stevens and I had the opportunity to baptize 2 young men. One named Craig and the other Akeem! We had this baptism on Sunday before church, so they will be getting confirmed the following week at church.
    I have truly seen the Lords hand in the work this week. The Spanish town Zone came together and came up with an inspired goal of 6 baptisms before the end of march 18th. As now I have learned that and inspired goal is a promise from the lord. So we turned to the scriptures to see what the lord would have us do, Alma 6:6- "Nevertheless the Children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God." This is exactly what we did. We conducted a district wide fast and continuously lifted our heads up to God to soften the hearts of our investigators and that they might receive revelation as they go to God in prayer. The lord has blessed us with a miracle. I know we are going to reach this goal for we only need 2 more!!!!
    We were able to go up to a members home in our ward and give service this week. Instead of working on his yard we went and helped build a fence for his neighbor. I was pondering on how our Savior Jesus Christ felt after serving others. Because after this experience I had such a profound love for being in the service of others. "When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God."- Mosiah 2:17. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father for trusting me to serve in the Vineyard of Jamaica. For whatever happens the lord is in it, and I can bear my witness that this is the lords work and can not be frustrated. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son! And his name is Jesus Christ. For I know he lives and the Atonement is real! I give my heart to this gospel and shall not doubt!

-Elder Gibbons-

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

Monday, March 6, 2017

6 March 2017 WEEK 37

     "When the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea his shafts in the whirlwind, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you," just know that there is always something good on the horizon. This is the exact same thing that I got to experience this last week! I am so grateful for the atonement and sacrifice of our lord and our savior Jesus Christ. He was able to provide me with strength this week when I wanted to give up.    
      Other than the opposition, it was a pretty normal week. We had the opportunity to give service this week at a members house. We packed up and went to Kitsentown to help Sister Edwards. We got the privilege to rake her whole yard which is the biggest yard I have ever seen. Upon finishing when I can around the front it didn't look like we had even raked. The leaves had just fallen again to the ground. But then I got to pondering about the vision of this mission. When we go through and pick up all the leaves that have fallen to the ground, when we gather the elect and baptize them, there will always be plenty more to find. We need to rely on the lord, because the "Elect hear my voice and harden not there hearts."- D&C 29:7
      I am very impressed with our laborer's that have been placed in the Spanish town, Linstead, and Old Harbour vineyard! At district meetings this past week the district leaders presented us with revelation from God! Everything that they taught was like a call to repentance. They were able to inspire the missionaries of their district and it lit a fire under them to work even harder. Of one such experience, at the Spanish Town District meeting, We talked about goal setting with them. Using the acronym SMART. After we had finished teaching our segment Elder Hatch conducted an awesome meeting. We set and inspired goal from God that we could see 6 more baptisms before the end of the transfer. The end of the transfer is March 18! Everyone was on board and I have never seen a group of missionaries get so pumped. We left them with a quote to think about! "An inspired Goal from the Lord, is a promise!" 
      I got to think about that and it is so right. But it will only work if we put into action our faith. Because Faith with out works is dead! When we had Elder Gammiet have a training with us he talked about asking questions and using the scriptures more in our lessons. I worked so hard on that this week and the most spiritual lessons I have had came because of this. I am so grateful for the scriptures. For they truly testify of God and Jesus Christ. I testify that Christ is our Redeemer. And that God lives. I know that my savior loves me. My heart I give to him. These past couple weeks leading up to interviews, I feel as if I have been caring a big fat back pack with a load of stress inside. It was weighing me down and beating me up. After my interview and much prayer, I felt that back pack was taken off of me. I feel like a new man! 
     A very big lesson that I learned this week is a quote from the Prophet Alma found in Alma 37:6. "By small and simple things, are great things brought to pass." There is a really cool prayer that sports teams will repeat before they go into a game and it goes like this... " Dear lord the battles we go through life, we ask for a chance that is fair, a chance to equal our stride, a chance to do or dare. If we should win let it be by the code, faith and honor held high, if we should lose, we'll stand by the road, cheer as the winners go by. Day by day, we get better and better, till we can't be beat, won't be beat! We all go through battles in this life. It is up to us when we get knocked down to get back up and keep fighting!

-Elder Gibbons-

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