Monday, December 28, 2015

Fwd: Elder Gibbons

From: Kenneth Traveller <>
Date: December 27, 2015 at 9:49:47 PM MST
Subject: Elder Gibbons

Hi,  my name is Kenneth Traveller and I live in Fredericksburg Virginia.  Elder Gibbons is currently serving in our Ward.  I grew up in Richmond Utah and attended school with Dennis, Darrel and Gary Gibbons. I graduated with Darrel.  Elder Gibbons is doing very well here and is adjusting well to the missionary life.  His companion is Elder Hudson from Ventura California see attached photo.  The Elders are helping with a Ward humanitarian project in another photo. The final two photos were taken this evening when the Elders stopped by for root beer floats.

Ken Traveller

Christmas week!

First off, thanks you all for the amazing postage Christmas! I honestly wasn't expecting the amount of gifts I received. But it means alot! And the cards have been great. Elder Hudson makes a comment about the large family I have every time he goes to the fridge because of the amount of christmas cards I have stuck to it. But thank you all it really does mean a lot!
This week in Virginia was strange. Fredericksburg is a hard enough community already to tract in because no one is ever home during the day. Everyone works. But this week was particularly hard because everyone was gone to go visit families. But that didn't stop us from tracting..  We went to a neighborhood about 2 miles away and tracted in the rain for about 2 hours. The unusual thing about Virginia right now is that the temperature is around 70°. So that made being soaked less miserable. We didn't get any new investigators though. Then we had a couple appointments to keep but other than that our week was slow. We spent the majority of it studying and planning for the up coming weeks. We ate at the Chong's house for Christmas eve and they are native Hawaiians so needless to say we got fed very well. We got a chance to skype at their house and it was really nice to see everyone.

Christmas day was also very fun! Around 6:00 am the Zone Leaders came and woke us up and we went over to their apartment for breakfast and for gifts. Oh and I wanna say my secret santa was Sydney! Both ties are awesome and and my new favorites. Elder Hudson loves his new shirt! (Pictures below) We went around the room and all said stuff we like about the other elders, I only have my video but I'll share it. After breakfast we were invited to the Jett's for dinner, but it turned out to be an all day event spending time with them and getting to know their family. But over the course of the week, both me and elder Hudson gained weight. We are making resolutions to start pushing ourselves harder in morning workouts.

I read the Book of Mormon in the MTC, but I'll admit I didn't get much out of it so I'm trying to read it again. One scripture that stood out to me this week was 2 Nephi 31:20. It reads:

  "Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and love for god and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ,  and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

Even though we tracted in the rain and got no new investigators I still feel like we are winning. From the point of the natural man that would be considered a loss. But I'm learning to think a different way out here. We are working our way to an investigator that Heavenly Father has been preparing for us. It doesn't matter that we got soaked and shut down on multiple doorsteps, it matters that we are pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ, and that we have hope. The time will come when Heavenly Father meets us with his children that need to hear the word.

I love you all so much and hope that all is well! I wrote this email in a rush so there may be typos, but hopefully you'll understand! Have fun with your week off and enjoy the snow. I know I'm enjoying the short-sleeve weather out here. 'Till we meet again...

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

All the elders opening gifts.

Brother Traveller's house. We call him santa because, well he is santa. So I guess you can call this santa's house.

The basement is dedicated to Elvis Pressley. Mrs. Clause loves collecting vintage items from the Elvis period.

They have a rootbeer bar in their basement. And every once and a while they'll have the elders over for rootbeer floats.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Re: Merry Christmas! Photo

This is pretty much the only picture I can send right now. But I'll send more this week!

- Elder Caleb Gibbons
Christmas Conference
Mission Picture 2015 - Top Row, Fourth from Right???

Re: Merry Christmas!

Well the first week in the field is over and so much has happened.. I arrived in Virginia last Monday and we got assigned to companions on Tuesday. Elder Hudson is a great guy. He is from California and also a slightly less active family. He love to skate and eat. He said he gained 15 lbs while being out here in Virginia... And I can attest to that. The first night we get here we go to a members home and ate friend chicken, beans and creme of corn. I ate so well during dinner when she shipped out the ice cream sandwiches I couldn't finish mine. I have another story to go along with eating to much but I'll try and keep things in chronological order. So it took us about an hour to fix my bike before going tracking the first day. We decided that we would go to down town Fredericksburg and proselyte. We street contacted a little and mainly went to houses. We didn't have much luck though because after an hour of that we were going to move onto another part of town, but when we got to our bikes my tire was flat. So we had to call a member and have him come grab us. We went to a bike shop and I had to spend $50 to fix my bike. The next day we were riding back from a lesson and my companions bike tire popped also. But all is well because we lined up a ride to the bike shop today. Luckily he had another bike and we were able to get around for Saturday and Sunday. So yesterday we were invited to eat at a members house for dinner, kinda short notice. Just after we ate a late lunch. The fed us so much.. My companion compares it to the grinch when he's being force fed by the entire town. After we ate dinner we had a lesson we had to go to about two miles away and we were both just bloated as ever. So we were just in bad shape.. and right before we hit this guys block my companion said, "dude that was so much food I feel like I'm going to puke." Well I just brushed it off, but sure enough 20 seconds later I hear that miserable yaking noise. I look over and he just looks back at me and shrugs. But the funniest thing about it was we were on our bikes and moving when he did it. And after he did I was worried that he was sick, but he shrugged it off and apparently it made him feel better! Anyway I couldn't stop laughing before we got to our lesson.

So when the highlight of my week was my first placed Book of Mormon! We were tracking around our apartments and this particular complex wasn't home. But we kept knocking and soon enough we came across a guy named James and we had a really good lesson with him. He seemed very interested and hopefully he progresses soon!

That's about all that I have for now! I'll try and reply to all of your emails if I can. And if you want a faster response I'll be on email at 7:30-9:30. So that's 5:30-7:30 your time. I'm still trying to get into the swing of things here but I'm sure that's going to be the best time. And I will be able to Skype you at a members home some time this week. I'll email one of you and let you know what time I will be able to.

Love you all and hope that Christmas is great without me in Utah. Try to send me more pictures. I'll send pictures when I get to the library today. See you soon!

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

> On Dec 20, 2015, at 11:14 PM, Arla Gibbons <> wrote:
> Hi Caleb!
> I was reminded again today at church about your talk as a neighbor came up to me and said that she never had a chance to come tell us how much she enjoyed your talk. She appreciated how "real" and difficult the choice to serve a mission can be so she was thanking you for the frank way that you put it. She also told me that she saw Sariah immediately after that meeting down the hall by the Stake offices with a primary friend. They were looking at the map with the pictures of missionaries on it and she wanted to show her friend your picture now that you were a missionary. This lady had to remind her that he hasn't left yet so his picture wouldn't be up there yet. Then this same lady said how she thinks Adam is so cute at passing the Sacrament. I was recounting all of these things at the dinner table today after church and Sariah replied "oh yes, that was me! And to Adam's complement about being cute she said "that's because he looks like a baby!" :D. We all laughed so hard!
> I can't wait to hear more about Fredericksburg and your companion. Where is Elder Hudson from? You are so close to Washington DC, right? From the pictures we saw on the Facebook group that Sister Wilson is keeping up, it looks like you'll be able to go to the DC temple sometime! COOL! It looks so huge! We saw some cute pictures of you and the other missionaries arriving at the airport! What a fun find so we saved some of those pics.
> So, do we get to look forward to a phone call, Skype or FaceTime on Christmas Day? If Skype, then do we need to set up something here at home? Just clue us in when you know more about it. I hope you're able to feel the Christmas Spirit in all of your work. I guess if you're teaching the gospel or serving in any way, you probably are! Any opportunity to play the piano yet? I just wonder if you'd be able to open up the Hymn book & play if needed. ;)
> I'm sure by now you know that we all went to Star Wars at the theater yesterday after being invited by Dad's client again. Now we all know who Rey & BB8 are on your wall. I don't want to make you feel sad about missing it but I should let you know that Dad got a little choked up a few times and even said as we came out of the theater, that it "actually might have been worth all of the hype!" :)
> We sure love you and talk about you all the time, just as much as if you were still here in Utah. Baxter still comes in the door by himself but not as often now.
> Have a wonderful Christmas week and know that you're loved!
> Lots of Love,
> Mom
> Sent from my iPhone

Fwd: Dad - Sunday Dec 20 Letter

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Caleb Gibbons <>
Date: Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 7:41 AM
Subject: Re: Dad - Sunday Dec 20 Letter
To: Paul Gibbons <>

Hahaha that cracks me up about the neighborhood Christmas gift! Elder Hudson is a great guy. And yeah that's not the exact apartment building but you're close! I heard Star Wars was the bomb and super bummed I couldn't go see it.

Anyway the ward here is awesome. Everyone is friendly and loves having the missionaries over for dinner and everyone who can't drink tea, drinks cool aide. EVERYONE. I'm so sick of cool aide. But I love the members here and they love us. Thanks for your advice last week. I'm trying it out and hoping it will work. I've been pretty good though last week. I haven't really had any struggles yet but I'm sure they'll come. So thanks for your help!

I don't have grandma and grandpa Gibbons email. Could you send that to me so I could thank them? Also grandma and grandpa so winkels email.

Love you much
- Elder Caleb Gibbons

> On Dec 20, 2015, at 9:20 AM, Paul Gibbons <> wrote:
> Caleb:
> I hope this email finds you well.  The two pictures that I'm attaching give you an idea of the fun we've been having.  When you get your package, take a minute and read Sariah's note to you.  It's super funny and she was writing it as I took this picture.  The Stevens family had just delivered a christmas gift to us and Mom had spent all week doing the same neighborhood gift (the Sprite bottles).  Mom was frustrated and you will enjoy Sariah's letter as a result.  The second photo is of Sariah walking across the field toward the Stevens' house with our neighborhood gift..
> So... Elder Hudson.  I hope that he is a great missionary and that you are learning a lot from him.  I'm sure the mission president made the best decision he could in choosing your campanion.  I'm really interested to hear how you're doing.
> I'm curious about where you live, whether you live with another companionship, etc.  I didn't ever live in a foursome on my mission although there were several elders who did.  Anyway, I'm super excited to hear how things are.  I'm also wondering about your first week at church, if you're in a ward that has a good WML and it active in helping the missionaries.
> I am wondering what time you write usually.  Maybe mom and I can get on at the same time and we can communicate in "almost" real-time.  If you're ever feeling like you'd like a little more immediate response, that's a way we could do it.
> I hope you don't get tired of my many emails.  I find that email makes it easy for me to write something quick and get it out to you.  I think I'll get my old letters and start sending them to you for kicks.  You might enjoy seeing the things I was dealing with on my mission.  You'll have to let me know once I start.
> Take care and have a great week.
> Dad
> <IMG_1938.JPG>
> <IMG_1939.JPG>

Fwd: Sariah Dec 20 Letter

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Caleb Gibbons <>
Date: Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 6:07 AM
Subject: Re: Sariah Dec 20 Letter
To: Paul Gibbons <>

Hey Sariah! I'm so sad I couldn't see Star Wars with you but when I get back you'll have to show me ok? Hope you are still as cute and as fun as ever! I love you emails keep them coming!
¡Hasta luego Sariah!

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

> On Dec 20, 2015, at 7:44 PM, Paul Gibbons <> wrote:
> Hi Caleb we watched star wars yesterday it was awesome !But I wouldn't spoil it .But today we saw 2 deers fighting it was awesome! Then mom said 'I think that your walrus noise made them fight '. And when I was in my class every  1 was laughing .Love Sariah
> <IMG_1940.JPG>

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fwd: FW: Elder Gibbons

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Virginia Richmond Mission <>
Date: Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 7:50 AM
Subject: FW: Elder Gibbons
To: "" <>, "" <>

Dear Brother and Sister Gibbons,

We are so grateful that our new missionaries arrived safely in Richmond.  They were a bit weary due to early morning travel, but we fed them dinner, held a brief orientation, and got them some rest.  I met individually with each of our new missionaries and am so impressed by their dedication and desire to follow Jesus Christ.  Tuesday morning, we assigned them their first area and missionary companion.

Elder Gibbons will be serving with Elder Hudson
11140 Sunburst Ln #A
Fredericksburg, VA   22407

Thank you so much for your love and support of these great missionaries.  It is truly our privilege to serve alongside them.  Please sign in to Facebook Group:  Virginia Richmond Mission – President Wilson Era for current pictures and events in the Mission.

May God's choicest blessings be with you.

Best regards,
E. Bradley Wilson
President, Virginia Richmond Mission
Cell:  804-477-2473

Virginia Richmond Mission
9327 Midlothian Turnpike #1B
Richmond, Virginia 23235

Fwd: Virginia address.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Caleb Gibbons <>
Date: Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 6:00 AM
Subject: Virginia address.

11140 sunburst LN Apt A
Fredericksburg, VA 22407

Thanks for your support. Also I'm still thinking about Adams gift.
I'll email you and tell you what I'll have you get for him. And also..
Why am I waking up at 4:30 every day. In the MTC it was 4:14 everyday.
So is it my sleep schedule or am I just sleeping weird idk you should
just see if you can figure it out for me!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Week 2!

There is a strange phenomenon that happens at the MTC. The days are long, but the weeks are short. I cannot believe I'm leaving the MTC on monday! Anyways, I thought I'd send you a synopsis of my very very short week here:

Sunday was the best. We went to sacrament and priesthood, then we were able to go on a temple walk. We took our zone just around the temple and took pictures. I feel like we really bonded as a zone.
Monday and Tuesday were essentially the same. We woke up around 6:30 and went to breakfast around 7. Class for 3 hours then lunch. Then more class and then dinner. Then more class and then we got a chance to do some zone teaching. Me and Elder Wamsley taught the zone how to think like a missionary. I think that this teaching moment for us really built us as Zone leaders. We taught about how to teach with the spirit and how to recognize the spirits promptings. 
Wednesday was soo cool because I got to re-live my first day at the MTC by showing the new missionaries around. We were able to learn more about the missionaries and really made them feel welcome. All I tried to do was just share the love I felt when I was a freshie at the MTC. We have amazing people in our zone including some deaf elders. Elder Cross is a recent convert who dropped his entire life to come and serve a mission. He's 24. Elder Blazard was born with deafness in one ear and the other ear only partially working with progressing deafness.. He can read lips and is an amazing person. And Elder Match was born in the church but his family fell away when we was young. However he was taught by the missionaries and became baptized when he was 12. He can speak 2 languages in sign and is a super funny dude! They are teaching us sign language and we love them so much. Our testimonies have strengthened dramatically because of running into them. They will be great missionaries
Thursday we were able to do in field orientation. We learn about transitioning to missionary life. How to contact more people and how to set goals and achieve them. We also learned that expectations = results. And we also learned how to interact with the ward members and how to get along with our ward. In the end I felt like it was a great way to learn how to be a missionary. I learned so much in that day than I ever would in a classroom. 
And that brings us to today... I am really looking forward to today because we are going to the temple! Our entire zone goes today at 2:15. 

So next week! I leave for the airport at 3:30 and our flight leaves for Virginia at 7, with a connecting flight to Atlanta to drop some of the sisters off. I will be able to call you at the airport before I leave between 5:30 and 6:30. Its kind of early but its the only time that I can. Then when I get into Virginia I will be able to call again and let you know everything is good. I miss my little sisters! You guys are the best and I'm sad I won't be there for the next two years to play with you guys. And I miss Jacob and Adam. You guys were awesome and I hope all is well with you two. And Sydney! Thanks for your support on your door. Pretty cool how they're all hand made! And Dad and Mom! I miss our personal interviews.. I didn't think I would miss those but I really do. 

 Thank you for your prayers and hopefully I'll be able to write again soon!
District Pic
Elder Cross in the middle

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fwd: soo I forgot some stuff mom..

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Caleb Gibbons <>
Date: Sat, Dec 5, 2015 at 8:30 PM
Subject: Re: soo I forgot some stuff mom..
To: Arla Gibbons <>

No coats from the kater shop PLEASE. Just an overcoat that goes over my suit coat will be fine. You can run to kohl's with dad and have him try on some (we're about the same size). Also I need my workout shoes (blue and green nikes) and if you could try and find my patriarchal blessing and send that, it would be a lifesaver!  If you want to write messages to me so I can receive them faster, go to I recommend it. 

Anyway I love you so much! Take care.

Elder Hyrum Caleb Gibbons
2005 N 900 E Unit 230
Provo UT 84602

On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 10:58 AM, Arla Gibbons <> wrote:
I'm so thrilled to hear that the MTC is awesome!  You are a great writer Caleb!  I can't wait to read more of your letters.  I'll send those sandals right away.  Would you like the overcoat that you tried on at the Kater Shop?

Love you!

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 4, 2015, at 10:48 AM, Caleb Gibbons <> wrote:
> If you could I could use a 'save me' package already.. If you could, can you send me those Jerusalem cruisers that I always wore in the summer? They are the size 12. Also if you can I could use an overcoat... not to expensive but it should be size L and long. Also if you can make it black... I hope I'm not asking too much of you.
> Love you sooo much and miss you too!
> -Elder Gibbons

Saturday, December 5, 2015

soo I forgot some stuff mom..

On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 10:48 AM, Caleb Gibbons <> wrote:
If you could I could use a 'save me' package already.. If you could, can you send me those Jerusalem cruisers that I always wore in the summer? They are the size 12. Also if you can I could use an overcoat... not to expensive but it should be size L and long. Also if you can make it black... I hope I'm not asking too much of you. 

Love you sooo much and miss you too! 

-Elder Gibbons

Friday, December 4, 2015

First ever p-day!

On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 10:42 AM, Caleb Gibbons <> wrote:
There is so much that I want to tell you but I don't have that much time to tell you everything. First of all, forget everything you've heard bad about the MTC. I've only been here for two days and I LOVE every single bit of it. Our class teacher is an absolute gem and our district and zone leaders are awesome. My companion is the coolest person ever. He reminds me of Tyler Jensen in the first ward. And the district is a dime also. Oh and the sisters! Almost every sister I've met has the best attitude in the world. They are so kind to everyone and I know that they had to sacrifice way more than us elders. Other than the food, nothing I've experienced so far has been at all negative. The first thing they tell you is that while you're learning you'll be teaching everyone along the way, and that is so true. I'm in branch 31-D which only has 3 districts in it.. So about 20 people. Yesterday my companion and I were made zone leaders! With this awesome responsibility we get to train new missionaries before we leave. In our district we have ASL elders, which means they're deaf. However the very first night we were there they pull us all into their room and taught us how to sign love and beauty. If that doesn't sum up the ASL elders I don't know what will. The first night I was here they put the all the new missionaries in a room with an investigator named Victor. He was an investigator interested in the church and he was studying religion. When it came to the time that the new missionaries to try and convert him to the church, it hit every single missionary that.. well he really knew his stuff.. and we did not. As we journey through the MTC we will learn how to teach with the spirit and hopefully when we meet people like victor in the mission field we will be able to reach out to him and bring him closer to Christ. I found out that I fly out of the MTC on the Tuesday the 14th, and my entire district is flying with us. I've been eager to write you all week and hope that everything at home is alright. I have a lot more to say but I have to finish up laundry and get ready for afternoon classes. If I had to leave you with one spiritual tid-bit, I would have to tell you that after I got out of the car on Wednesday and started walking away, almost immediately I felt the spirit.. and I haven't lost that feeling since that day. I left everything I had to come and help others find their way to the gospel and I know that with him I can be a successful missionary.  .  .

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Drop off thoughts and pictures

Today we dropped Caleb off at the MTC.  It was an interesting day for all of us.  Arla is usually so stately and reserved about showing her emotions in public but today she was emotional and rightly so.  I think it would have been another day for me but it's hard to see her broken up like that.

Caleb was great.  I could tell he was excited to get checked in and everything went like we anticipated and before long we were watching him walk away with one of the greeters.  As he walked away, Arla said, "He looks so great".

In 1987 essentially the same thing happened to me and I certainly didn't appreciate it then.  Today, I realized that life had come full circle now it was Caleb's turn.  Life is interesting that way.

It was a wonderful day.