Monday, April 3, 2017

RVA

Dearest family and friends of mine,


Real quick I'm changing the way I'm sending out my emails. I'll send y'all my weekly instead of adding it to the blog. If there are any objections please let me know.


So this week was full of mixed emotions. First part of the week finishing packing and saying Goodbye to a bunch of awesome members in the Garrisonville ward. I will remember this ward and the people here, who are great to the missionaries. I am however excited to tell you about my new assignment. Remember about two weeks ago I told you that I got a transfer hint? Yes sir indeed it is come to pass. The prophecy given to me by President Smith has been fulfilled by my new assignment to serve in... drum roll please........ Downtown Richmond! Second part of this prophecy was me becoming companions with a prior companion. Elder Ellsworth. The only reason that this was been able to happen is because Elder Ellsworth departs from the mission April 21. So I've been given the exclusive honor to kill this missionary off. Along with me and Elder Ellsworth, the companionship we have been given a third companion, The most legendary Elder Woods. We live with two other Elders named Elder Morris and Elder Larson, who serve in the southern half of the branch.




Downtown Richmond is definitely the most interesting place I've ever served in. I arrived to our apartment on Wednesday, we unpacked and got ready to go out and experience our first taste of the greater Richmond area. Most of the proselyting in this area is done by street contacting. We've been out a couple times trying to find new people, since the area is lacking a little. People here freaking wacko man, one of the first people we met started rapping to us. A little vulgar, but it was sweet none the less. Most of the people we run into are VCU students on their way to class. We still contact them, but there are YSA elders, so we try to focus on some of the areas where the working class lives. Being with a prior comp is strange because we already know eachothers teaching styles, however it's fun to be in a trio because we testify like mad. 


The crime rate in Richmond is pretty high. In fact, there's been about 18 homicides so far in 2017. Because of that statistic it's a rule for the missionaries serving Richmond to be in by dark so they are out of danger from all the gang activity. So the first days we were here we went proselytizing in the government housing area or the hood as some people call it. Usually the ghetto is probably a place you would like to stay away from. In fact, when we were knocking doors, we saw an officer of the law putting up a subpoena and then hurrying away. I asked him what he thought of the area, and he subsequently told us that we were braver to be there than he was. The Lord is truly on our side as far as the work is concerned in Richmond. A couple of the prior Elders have been near shootings, drug deals, or pretty much everything else that that you can imagine. It's all happened in he slums of Richmond. However through all these events we've always seem to be protected. Been told by mission president as long as we are obedient and diligent to keeping the mission rules we will be safe as we hasten the work of the Lord in Richmond.


We had the wonderful opportunity this weekend to hear from the general authorities of the church! We attended general conference from the Grace Road building in Richmond, which is a converted business complex. Saturday sessions it was just elders, and on Sunday we had other members of the branch come and watch it. One of my favorite talks given was by Elder Ronald A. Rasband. That talk was straight fire. Anyway if you didn't pay attention to that talk, go back and read it! 


Love y'all so much! Richmond is the city of art so everytime I see a sweet mural I'll put up a pose and snap a pic! Talk to you soon!


~Elder Caleb Gibbons




New companionship: a trio

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fwd: Elder Gibbons


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arla Gibbons <gibbons.arla@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 8:32 PM
Subject: Fwd: Elder Gibbons
To: Paul Gibbons <gibbons.paul@gmail.com>




Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Kenneth Traveller <kdtraveller@gmail.com>
Date: March 29, 2017 at 6:59:32 PM MDT
To: Arla Gibbons <gibbons.arla@gmail.com>
Subject: Elder Gibbons

I saw Elder Gibbons for a few minutes at the transfer meeting today. It was good to see him. He is doing great.  I can't remember where he is going, but his new companion is Elder Elsworth. The photo is us pointing to the hitch cover he got for my truck when he was in Fredericksburg. 

Ken Traveller 

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm getting transferred!





Hola Familia, so today we are going to Fredericksburg to go bowling.
Hopefully I'll have some internet there so I could email. This week
was great! But I'll try to give you a quick synopsis of my week here
in Garrisonville. I think I should let y'all know I did get a call to
get transferred! So I'm excited about it and also pretty sad that I'm
leaving Garrisonville. So I'll be able to say goodbye to some people
here before I leave.

This week we did the normal Garrisonville stuff. We biked everywhere
and did a lot of finding. We didn't find anyone new this week, but we
did get a lot of return appointments. Unfortunately we didn't have any
of those return appointments want us back. But that's normal
missionary work!

On Tuesday we had an exchange with the ZL's we both went to their area
and we worked over there for the day. I'd say the exchange went really
well. Elder Eames is a great guy. They have an investigator that we
taught that actually got baptized on Saturday. Tuesday was a great
day.

Wednesday we did a lot of finding. We had like all of our appointments
fall through. We did get new Ward Missionaries though so we had a
correlation meeting at the end of the night with them.

Thursday we had a great lesson with the Coppas. So I should clear
something up, cause there was a lot of confusion. Sister Coppa is a
returning member and we are working with Steven, her husband to get
him closer to the gospel. She is awesome and we love going over there.
You can see the change that has taken place in her life and she has
really loved being welcomed back into the gospel.

Friday we had a lesson with Keith about him and his progression. He
thinks that whenever we see over there it counts as church soo we
talked to him more and hopefully he will continue to realize that
church is more important and eventually he will come.

Anyway that was my week! Thanks for all the love and support! I'll let
you know next week where I go! Adios

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lemonade and Snow

Dearest Familly of mine. This week was pretty quick like the last couple weeks so I'll try to give ya a rundown of my week as best as I can:


Monday we had a grand ol time doing the same thing we do every pday. Shopping, library, sports. We need to be more creative with how we use our preparation days.


Tuesday we woke up to snow. And it was freezing. Like literally 20° outside. So we bundled up and went out! it was tough in the snow because it wasnt like Utah snow, it was like icy and wet. We stayed pretty busy that day with the teaching appointments and such, but the snow made it pretty bad. 


Wednesday was the worst weather wise. We woke up and it was like 15°. Not only the cold but the wind was howling.. Ah so since there was still snow on the ground we had to walk everywhere. We had a service project at the Library which took a little bit longer than normal, but we got all our work done, bundled up and headed back out! We had a couple appointments but we had most of them fall through sooo since it was so cold no one was outside, we had to tract. We knocked for about an hour and my hands were so cold when we were done. I thought this day couldn't get any worse, BUT luckily we had a great night. We went out with a newly called ward missionary and we taught this guy named Edwin. We focused on the Book of Mormon and he had so many questions about it. We answered all of them and he said he would continue to read! He also said he was going to try and make it to church, but unfortunately didn't get there on Sunday. We walked out of that lesson with huge smiles on our faces and thought that the night would end on that high note, but we had another great lesson! This time with a part member family named the Coppas. We had a fantastic lesson with them and it was super spiritual. Sister Coppa was able to make it to church last sunday, but this Sunday she came! Not just for the first hour but for all three! She loved it. So that was a huge progress for her! 


Thursday we had the Bible Study. We had a couple people come and it was a fun class. We taught and we had a lot of participation! After the Bible Study we had an awesome lesson with an investigator and we taught him again about the Book of Mormon. This week has just been all about that book! 


The rest of the week we had taught and had lessons left and right. We were most busy last night with like three appointments right on top of each other. So that was fun.


For some reason this scripture has come up a ton lately. Matthew 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."


Anyway family I had a great week! Hope you did too. I'm glad Grandpa and the family got to enjoy the nice weather. Perfect way to welcome spring. Thanks for the emails! Love you!



~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, March 13, 2017

Gonna get snow tonight

Our awesome district

I have a love/hate relationship with VA's weather. The entire month of
February I'm talking like 70° avg. and now it's gonna snow tonight!
I'm so confused.

Anyway this week was dope! Sorry it's going to be a short email, I
don't have a lot of writing time today.

The beginning of the week we had a really good lesson with this family
who has been investigating the church for about 40 yrs. They've had a
bunch of missionaries in the past but haven't made any real progress.
So we went over there and just pushed prayer with them. They said they
haven't prayed together since they got married. It was really
spiritual and they agreed to pray. Hopefully they make some progress.
They've also been working with the Senior couple in the area so we are
hopeful!

This week was full of knocking and street contacting. We talked to a
bunch of people and this one girl we met gave us a huge bag of rice
crispy treats. We talked to her about her mission and she told us that
she was once a missionary. We talked to her about her mission and she
served for her faith in Northern Africa. It was totally different than
what our missions are.

Anyway we taught a couple of really good lessons this week. During one
of those lessons the Sisters in our district called us and one of
their investigators decided to get baptized outta the blue! It was
crazy. So we were on our way to interview her, and then we got a call
that she had to be interviewed by President. So we continued our work
and got another call later on. The Sisters asked me if I could come
play the piano with them while they practiced a song with eachother
for the baptism. When I got their the song was a lot more difficult
than I had thought. So instead of playing it we sang with them. They
asked us if we could sing at the baptism so of course we said yes. We
sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessings at her baptism and it was
awesome. Such a good song and loved it. Loved it so much that she
started clapping afterwards! So she'll have to work on that a little..

We had a bunch of cool experiences this week and one of them being my
interview with President. We talked about a lot plus my future area! I
can't give any hints away but just know that I'm so incredibly excited
for it. Anyway you'll be able to find out in 3 weeks!

We had a cool miracle at church. No investigators but we did have two
less actives come! We taught them both and after Sacrament meeting we
saw them and we were shocked! It was so cool to see them! And they
were both so happy. Anyway it was a cool experience.

Sounds like everyone back home is doing well! It sounds like it's
warmer there than here! We got a chance to watch the face to face
event with President Eyring and Elder Holland. It's a great face to
face and highly recommend watching it.

Have a great week! Talk to you next week!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, March 6, 2017

G-villa on wheels 🚲


Btw Joseph got baptized! I started teaching him out in Rivanna. So cool that I was able to go out to his baptism. I surprised them which was even cooler


Hello!

Sorry this email will be short, I really haven't had a lot of time to
write today. This week was great though! I'll try to break it down the
best I can but it was really all over the place.

So near the beginning of the week we started finding a ton of people.
Did a lot of walking and knocking. Nothing new for G-ville though. We
found a couple people who are just ready for the gospel. Though we did
break up tracting by some appointments throughout the week. We saw
this guy named Keith, who has a huge drinking problem. But after we
started teaching him regularly he has cut back on the alcohol! It's
neat so talk to him when he's sober because he is actually a really
smart dude! However the last lesson we had with him this week was not
a great because he was plastered. You could smell how drunk he was. We
tried to teach him but he couldn't hold the Book of Mormon straight.
We committed him to not drink the next time we taught him! So
hopefully he will continue to be sober when we teach him.

We taught Natalie this week again and she still has so much potential!
We had another lesson with her at the church and this time we brought
a girl her own age to the lesson. We also brought Bro Cozzens. This
dude was critical in the lesson because he started connecting the Book
of Mormon to things in her life that I wouldn't have ever said. It was
cool to watch him teach.

After some really good lessons this week there was a lot of knocking.
We were walking.. until Saturday when I had a giant box show up on my
door! Yes a bike came! Thank you so much pops! I assembled it right
away and immediately started using it! It is so nice not to walk
everywhere...

Anyway thought I would share this scripture with y'all in D&C 82:10
"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what
I say, ye have no promise."

Be obedient. It's easy, and you get mega blessings from it.

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hailstorms and distant explosions


So I can't remember how much I've actually talked about my area, but
I'll fill you in. There is a Military base that borders our ward.
Throughout the week you'll hear gunfire and helicopters occasionally.
But this week was different. We were doing our studies and we felt the
house shake! It was awesome. It lasted all day and supposedly they are
dropping bombs on the base. So idk kinda cool fun fact for y'all.

This week was awesome! We didn't have much planned, but a lot turned
out. We started the week out with a Church tour! It was with a new
investigator that we found two weeks ago named Natalie. She came to
the church and we taught her the restoration after showing her the
church. She loved it and told us that she wanted to start coming! She
had a field hockey tournament this week so she wasn't able to make it
yesterday but this week she will!

Soo this entire week was really nice weather. In fact I spent most of
it without a jacket! The average this week was 65°! So we were out
enjoying the weather and we had a storm roll in later in the week. No
big deal, just some giant freaking hail stones! Like Legit hail!
luckily we were in the church when it struck and we were shielded from
it, but it came down hard. It gave cars and homes dents and even tore
up the siding of our home! It was intense. But fun. Virginia weather
is confusing.

Anyway we went through the week trying to balance teaching
appointments and finding opportunities. We had a couple cool return
appointments, including one family names Edwin. We taught him the
restoration and he said he was super interested in coming to church.
So there is some potential there! It was a good week and we were super
productive throughout the week.

Elder Griffin is getting broken in to the area, and from us walking
around everywhere he's been able to pick up the area real quick. So
there hasn't been a delay which has been good! We've met a lot of new
people and we've had a ton of cool appointments.

Moroni 7:47 "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth
forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall
be well with him."

Love ya guys and talk to you soon!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons