Monday, December 26, 2016

It's Christmas Woooo


Wow. I cannot believe that it is Christmas already. Well it was,
yesterday. Thanks everyone for talking to me when I called home! That
was fun.

Well because of the call I feel like I don't have anything to write
bout. But I'll try! So if y'all don't know, there is a major flu virus
going around. Like something fierce. We were warned by our mission to
carry some hand sanitizer and practice safe hygiene. But the day after
they told us that, I had already caught it. It was rough. The first
night of the sickness I didn't sleep one bit. It really messed me up,
and I'm still trying to recover from that. Although the majority of
the sickness went away around Thursday, we still went out and taught
some of our investigators. Luckily I had my Pocket sized hand
sanitizer on me and used it ferociously before every visit. So I feel
confident that none of my investigators caught it!

We taught a couple lessons the last little bit of the week, then
Christmas eve hit.. Everything missionary work related ceased. All of
our appointments simultaneously dropped and we were completely unable
to visit anyone. So we focused on members. We visited some less
actives and that was great.

Christmas eve and Christmas all we did was eat. Breakfast, Lunch and
Dinner. We ate and ate and ate. But Christmas did come! And Church was
awesome! We had so many members singing and playing musical
instruments.. It was great, we also sang in the choir cause why not?
After church we called home! And then we had Dinner again..

btw... THANK YOU ALL for all the christmas cards y'all sent! It was so
fun to read all the letters and feel your support. It means a lot to
me!

Love you all and until next week-

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas WeekπŸŽ„


Okay so I am totally pumped for my second Christmas away from home,
but I do miss all the family traditions that we always had! This last
week we were super busy, but we didn't teach as much as I would've
liked to. It was a strange week for sure.

Monday we went shopping, ate lunch with the spanish elders and played
sports. It was a fun pday but over way to fast. After we finished our
pday we had to head up north for dinner.

The first half of the week was pretty normal, we caught up with some
old investigators, which was nice! We had an exchange Wed-Thur and we
didn't get a chance to teach on the exchange. We had meetings and an
activity we had to help with... So it was a busy day. Thursday was
interesting because we had interviews. It's always a strange day
because a lot of new policies and rules get thrown into your work to
help correct us (or neighboring elders.) My interview was great and
simple. My companions not so much. After interviews we went home and
waited for the spanish elders to tell us what we needed to change, or
what they needed to change. The new policy was that we can no longer
eat dinner together at members homes, which throws a whole lot off.
They won't be able to attend any of our ward functions or sacrament
meeting. I think it's needed though, that trio is really struggling.
He almost had to break them up.

Anyway on to more uplifting news: This last month, we got permission
to use skype, facetime and imessage to communicate with investigators.
Thursday night we had a really neat experience with video
conferencing. We visited the home and taught Fedya, who mainly speaks
arabic. We've been visiting with her for the last couple weeks and
haven't had much progression because of the language barrier. However
we were able to use FaceTime this last week and have a member, who
speaks arabic, call into the lesson and teach her. There was a part
when we did lose connection, but the lesson went very well! It was
especially cool, because I thought that she never smiled, or at least
didn't know how to, but after the lesson she was laughing and smiling!
It was a complete change of demeanor. After we let Brother Carter go,
we had a prayer with her and you could definitely feel the spirit
there. She told us after the prayer she will read and pray! So all in
all it was a great experience/lesson using FaceTime!

We had some investigators come to the ward christmas party! They were
able to make some new friends and we almost got them to come to
church! It was a really fun christmas party.

Anyway that was about it for the week. Today is zone pday and I'll be
with my ipad in the church sooo if anyone wants to write me a
christmas email I'd be able to reply to it!

Love ya Mucho and see you in 6 Days!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pics

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Rain, bitter cold, then more rain..

Yup it's beginning to look like Christmas, but it's brutally cold also.

So this last week has been busy; complete opposite from last week. We
taught a ton, but it was up in Ruther Glen... It is a serious strain
on our miles.. Anyway! Here's a rundown of my week over here in cold
VA.

Monday was Pday and it was a Zone activity. After that we drove back
up north and went to dinner with a member, who had an investigator
there! He was actually an old investigator, so we helped him gain some
of his fire back and challenged him to read the book of mormon with
this family! We also challenged him to come to church but he didn't
make it.

So we've been seeing this guy very rarely, but his name is Michael
Fox. We taught him when I first got here with Ellsworth, but after
that haven't seen him, then all of the sudden he's at church? We
didn't notice him at first, in fact I forgot his name. But when we
talked to him we figured out he was actually interesting in coming to
church now. A couple members in the ward have been visiting him and
his wife (who is a member) for a while now and I guess all that home
teaching payed off! During priesthood, he stood up and introduced
himself. He said that he's been hesitant to come to church, then one
day he woke up and wanted to come. It's kinda funny how that works.

The rest of the week we visited some new investigators! Although for
some reason we lost their teaching records.. so we had to go in and re
enter all the lessons which took a ton of time. And it was only with
the new investigators?

Jacob 1:19 "And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon
us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own
heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence;
wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon
our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and
we would not be found spotless at the last day."

Love all you guys! Email me if you get a chance today! I'd love to
hear from you all!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons


~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fwd: Pics


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Caleb Gibbons <cgibbons@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 6:46 AM
Subject: Pics
To: Dad <gibbons.paul@gmail.com>, Arla Gibbons <gibbons.arla@gmail.com>, jgibbons@myldsmail.net, gibbons.paul.calebemails@blogger.com




Holiday Seasons πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„

I'll be honest, this week was slower than the rest. Scotchtown is an
interesting place, you'll be teaching and teaching and then, it all
stops... strange...

Pday we decided to go bowling, which I was excited for, until I
remembered I couldn't bowl. First game I got like a 70? Yeah pretty
bad.. but I had fun and we were able to hang out with the Spanish
elders.

The beginning of the week we focused on less active members. The ward
has been wanting us to go check on these people for some time now, so
we got an opportunity to do so. We basically spent the entire day
running around and trying to find people! We were somewhat
unsuccessful. We did however meet another lady who didn't even know
there was a church near to her! So hopefully we can get her to come
back to church. The best part about less active work, is that people
are nice to you. Compared to tracting where you generally get
uninterested, grumpy people. So it's refreshing just to talk to nice
people once in a while.

We spent about the first two days of the week doing less active work
and we had a miracle of sorts. We drove up to bowling green for an
appointment with an old investigator. We got gas and for some reason I
drove to bowling green, which we normally don't do. But I pulled up my
map and went to the first less actives house I saw, David Paul. We
rode up to a junk yard and knocked on the abandoned house anyway. We
were about to give up and we heard a truck coming down the road. She
pulled up infront of the house and didn't see us at first, then we
caught her attention. Her name was Traci and she was Paul's Mother in
law. We talked to her and found out that she was coming down to feed
the dogs, which she normally doesn't do at 3 in the afternoon (not to
mention that her dogs have already been fed). She was probably one of
the nicest people I've ever met. She told us about the hard time that
Paul was going through and said that we were a godsend. She gave us
his address and I knew that we had to go see him. So when we were
saying goodbye to Traci, she told us that she wanted us to come back!
It was so out of the blue! And she said that her daughters would love
to hear our message as well. A MIRACLE. So we thanked her and set up
an appointment for this coming week, and headed over to Paul's real
address. It was over in a small small town named Sparta. At this point
in our day we were about 30 miles away from home. We found his little
house behind 2 miles of a gravel road and met him. He started telling
us about the things that had happened to him. I won't devulge in this
email, kinda personal, but he did say that he prayed for the first
time in years that afternoon, around the same time we were getting
gas. This entire experience was super humbling for me personally. We
literally were watching how Heavenly Father moved us around. I know we
are servants and tools for God, especially when his children are in a
faith crisis. I don't even have words to describe the entire
experience, but it was awesome and I hope I can keep having them!

The rest of the week we had a bunch of meetings.. I also made a health
contract with one of the members in our ward. It's like a 30 day
health challenge type thing. Hopefully it will work for me! Anyway
I'll share a scripture now

Moroni 7:37 "Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that
miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and
minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto
the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain."

I love faith, I think you all know that.. anyway keep on keepin on, I
love y'all very much! Talk to you soon!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, November 28, 2016

1 Year!!


Crazy how fast time flies. Well transfers were last week and the ward
lost Ellsworth. Then we got my new companion.. Elder Thalman. He also
is from Logan, but we didn't know each other before the mission. This
last week was awesome! I'll go into depth a little..

So Monday we got a chance to go play some Soccer with some Spanish
homies. It was a ton of fun and quickly made me realize how out of
shape I am... but I had a great time!

Tuesday was transfers, and it is always a nerve racking day, because
you don't know what's ahead. But after transfers is the adjusting
period. Every companionship has one and it's pretty quick.

Wednesday we had an opportunity to meet with one of our progressing
investigators named Negi and Fediya. They are from Egypt and are super
nice. We've been teaching them about the restoration, and in the past
he has had a hard time wrapping his head around it. To him, all
churches are false and everyone needs to worship on their own. It took
some more teaching, but we did help him realize the importance of a
church. It was a cool moment because you could definitely feel the
spirit there. We met with him again and it was such a good lesson! He
was way more receptive and open to the gospel! Anyway we challenged
him to come to church, but he didn't make it. Maybe next week!

Thursday was Turkey Day! It is honestly one of the best holidays of
the year. It is the best holiday to prepare everyone for Christmas. We
had an opportunity to go to a members house. We had a great time!
Afterwards we got a chance to go visit some less active members. We
were discouraged from knocking doors, but we did still teach!

Friday we drove all over the place.. it felt like we never left the
car. We were going through the area Book and finding all of the people
that were progressing at one point. We taught a couple people, and the
cool thing was we were able to set a return appointment with one of
them! They were super nice and when we met them they couldn't remember
why they stopped meeting with the missionaries.

Anyway that about wraps up our week! Today was pday and we drove down
to short pump and bowled for an hour. Then we went to the mall.. this
mall is the coolest mall I think I've ever been in. One thing Virginia
is good for is it's malls haha. But we walked around and looked at
shoes, and suits.. then we went to the Cheesecake Factory and bought a
fat slice of delicious Oreo cheesecake 😍

Sorry the email was late today! I'll get it out earlier next week.

Matthew 5:
"14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a
candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

#LIGHTtheWORLD

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving πŸ¦ƒ

Ahh man I love the holidays! This weeks email will be a bit smaller
than normal. I didn't have a lot of time to write this up..

The beginning of the week we started by knocking doors, the first two
days we found 4 new investigators. The cool thing is that we found a
family! They are Neega and Fedyia, and four kids. They are from Egypt
and they are christian! Last time we taught them he told us his
conversion story. It was such a cool story and it was a large reason
why they actually came to America! Anyway we are looking for an Arabic
Bom for them. They read very little English but can speak it fairly
well! So pray for them and let's hope they come to church!

The middle of the week I caught a cold, I don't know if it's the same
thing that my companion had, but I was miserable for a day or two. We
continued to work though. This week was also the last week of the
transfer so we were expecting a call. Ellsworth will leaving and I'll
be staying! I'm sad that I'll be losing him. He is a great guy and
probably will be the best comp that I'll have.

Well I love ya soo much! I'll try and reply tonight but we are running
around and saying goodbye to members! So it's been a busy pday!

Alma 28:14 "And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to
labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason
of sorrow, and also of rejoicing--sorrow because of death and
destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto
life."

Love y'all! Hope all is well and I'm super pumped for the holidays!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump Nation!





Okay sorry this is a super short email, but this week was awesome! I
dodged a illness thank goodness. But the first two days of the week
Ellsworth wasn't very energized so we didn't get a lot done, but he
got better on Wednesday! We had meetings literally all day.

Anyway we finished out the week strong! Ended up keeping out
appointments the later half of the week. Btw, Trump won! I'm relieved.
Anyway this week was fun.

As far as missionary work goes, we went tracting and were able to find
6 new investigators! It was a huge blessing because we usually suck at
finding more people to teach. But while we were tracting we ran into
these neighborhood kids. We played ball with them and they told us all
the houses to go to! It was the most effective way we have ever
tracked πŸ˜‚

Today we got a chance to go to Virginia state capitol building! We
took a bunch of photos so I'll share as much as I can. The video is me
in a symphony with wine glasses. We were at the Lauritzens. We got
this idea while eating dinner. It worked and it took us like 20 times
to get it right.

Sorry this was a really weak email. I'll try to email more before the
end of the night! Anyway love you all!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, November 7, 2016

Family!




Hello! Sorry this email is going to be short, didn't really have a
great week, but I'll share as much as I can! So Monday was Halloween
and we weren't allowed to go out on Halloween so we visited people
during the day, for the rest of the day we cleaned the apartment.

Tuesday we had a great day! We met this guy named Craig who was super
mean to us when we knocked into him, then we caught his interest. We
taught him the restoration and we could tell by the type of questions
he was asking that he had been exposed to a lot of anti. But after the
lesson we asked if he would pray. And surprisingly he accepted! That
never happens! But he prayed and asked about the Book of Mormon in the
prayer and it was such a cool experience, because he paused after he
said it.. he finished the prayer and told us that he would read it. He
said he felt like he should give it a chance. So the spirit was real
in that lesson! It was so cool! The rest of the day we got to go up
and help a member rake his leaves and after we threw his kids into the
giant pile. Haha kids love me in this ward for some reason.

Anyway Wednesday was the typical missionary day with a lot of
contacting people in the area book. We gave up trying potentials and
started finding less actives in Ashland. We found a couple more of
them and honestly it wasn't a good experience. About half of the
people who do not get contacted regularly by home teachers, want their
names removed. So we have the excellent privilege to do that. We make
a note of it and send it into the bishop. It's pretty depressing and I
really don't like doing it. So we had a dinner Wednesday night with
Bro mills, and he was super sick. So we had dinner and went out to
teach this lady named Virginia. Who isn't really interested in getting
baptized. But she knows the Book of Mormon is true because she reads
it with her bible regularly.

Thursday is where the week went south. My companion woke up with an
itch in his throat, which I denied because I really did not want to
get sick. We still worked though. We went up to ruther glen and found
some more less actives. It wasn't a super productive day because we
had to weekly plan which took longer than expected.. after that though
we went over to an investigators house and I cooked for them! It was
awesome! I made chicken adobo which was shown to me by brother Allred.
They all loved it and the kids actually ate it which was a surprise to
me because they never eat anything. Anyway it was fun to share a meal
with them!

Friday we woke up super early to go teach seminary! We have to wake up
around 5:30 to make it to the church building on time. I have a new
found respect for the kids that have to get up that early to go to
seminary. Anyway we taught about Jesus and his Transfiguration. But it
was only me teaching because Ellsworth woke up to a worsening
sickness. So he didn't feel good and sat in the corner. But I was able
to test my missionary teaching skills to the youth. Sister walsh, the
Sister that usually teaches seminary, told us that we did a great job
and should take over her callingπŸ˜‚ but we like the extra hour of sleep
we get in the morning too much... after wards we gave the only boy in
the class a ride to school. He's going to be a stellar missionary some
day. We did do some contacting but Ellsworth was not doing well so we
had to go home early.

Saturday we had to do some service but due to the severity of my
companions cold/flu virus we weren't able to make it. We spent a lot
of time inside. While he rested I was able to start the Book of Mormon
again which I've been meaning to do for some time now!

Today was awesome because we did have an old investigator show up to
church, but he still is not willing to have the discussions with us.
He came because his friend, on of the wards recent converts, was going
to bear his testimony. So it was good anyway because he had an
opportunity to see his friends witness of Christ! Hopefully he will
have us over in the future to continue the lessons and further his
faith in Christ!

Anyway I'm really hoping I don't catch whatever my comp has. It sounds
like a total nightmare. I really don't want to wake up tomorrow with a
sore throat cause that's how it starts. Anyway I hope he gets better
and we are able to leave the apartment soon. If I get sick, hopefully
it won't be as bad and I can still do something. Being stuck inside is
making me crazy.. I love you all so much and found this amazing verse
in 2nd nephi 30 while reading today:

"5 And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them;
wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers,
and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their
fathers.

6 And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a
blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness
shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not
pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome
people."

That is one of my newest favorites from the Book of Mormon. Anyway
love you all and hope you have a great week! I'lol have plenty of time
today to reply to emails so send plenty😁

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween πŸ‘»


This week was sooo great! I have to keep it short because we have
plans up in Rutherglen..

Monday we got to hang out with the other elders which was a huge
relief because it feels like Ellsworth and I are all alone in
Ashland.. well later in the day we went up to Rutherglen and had
dinner with a family called the Millers.. their children are straight
crazy. We had a fun dinner with their family and later on we decided
that Sister Miller and The both of us are gonna sing in sacrament
meeting in a couple weeks so that will be the second time in this area
that I will have sung in sacrament meeting.. wish me luck I guess!

Okay so this week we had a bunch of crazy weird miracles that I
haven't had since Fredericksburg, I guess they only happen in places
where there is a lot of apartments. So there is this guy that works
security 🚨 at Lake Caroline that we always see and he hasn't been
very nice to the missionaries in the past. He hasn't been very warm to
us either but we were knocking a bunch of townhouses and literally the
first door we knock on was his house. So we laughed and asked if he
would want to hear our message, he paused and then said "sure why not"
so we taught him the Resto and he was actually really interested. He
was asking a bunch of questions and even told us about his neighbors
who could use the gospel. It was really weird and cool at the same
time! But that's how missionary miracles work!

Anyway we also had a bunch of service this week and it included
chopping wood and moving members out. We moved the Walkers out of
their house on Saturday as well as the Blackwells. These two families
are awesome and we will miss them greatly.. anyway we moved the
Blackwell family in like 20 minutes but then the walkers took about 6
hoursπŸ˜‚ soo our day on Saturday was pretty full.. but we did get a
chance to attend the ward Halloween party! It was a blast! We also had
like 14 investigators there, which was crazy.. it was great for us and
it was great for them as well. There are like 3 families that are
powerhouse to the max that fellowshipped all of them. They all said
they had a blast and loved the ward. Unfortunately we only had 3 show
up to church the following day.. but it was still great! One of the
investigators told us that it was the first time they had a dry party
in like 10 years, and they said that it was more fun then all of them
combined! Ahh that was such a good feeling. It meant a lot to us.

Anyway family, we also got other great news on Saturday.. we asked
Sister Walsh if we could teach Early morning seminary on Fridays and
she said yes! We are both so pumped!

Love you all and sorry this one is short! I'll try to reply to all of
you individually if I can! Love you!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, October 24, 2016

The anti is real


This week was just about the most normal week ever. We are losing
investigators and are having a hard time finding more. We spend most
of the week tracting, luckily we have a couple people who are getting
more interested. Out of the 40 or so people we have taught we have
return appointments with about 5.. if that gives you an idea about how
interested people are in our message. This area has a lot of anti
material going around. We ran into another proselytizing faith while
tracting and they went to all the doors after us and told everyone
that we were lying and we were a false church.. soo I'm learning a lot
about forgiveness right now..

We had a district meeting on Wednesday and we talked about how to
teach like the savior. We had a great training about humility by one
of the elders! It made me think about nephi and his humility. So I
brought it up and we got into a discussion about how nephi used his
humility. So we set a goal to strive to emulate nephi's love and
humility towards his people. It was an interesting district meeting.

This week we had a lot of service also. We went up to a members house
clear up in the middle of our area and helped her move out. While we
were doing so we started talking to her roommate about the gospel. She
hasn't really been into religion but she said she would start a bible
study with the member and possibly come to church! Later in the week
we had more service cutting trees down and turning it into firewood. I
didn't know people still had wood burning ovens, but some people out
here rely only on wood burning furnaces! So I felt good when we
finished loading up the trailer with it. We also had an Eagle Scout
project by one of the youth and it was quite the turnout! We had like
30 people there and we got it done in half the time he was expecting.
It was awesome!

Sunday was the primary program in our ward.. aww man it was straight
fire. Our ward attendance was doubled because of it and we had a
chance to meet the rest of the part member families! Anyway the
program was awesome and we know a lot of the youth in the ward so we
tried to get most of them to wave at us. We got one girl named liberty
who waved at us during her talk and she turned around to her teachers
and said "look it's the missionaries!"πŸ˜‚

This week was awesome and the mission gets better everyday. I've been
studying out of the doctrine and covenants lately and for some reason
I've really began to like the book. One of the most enlightening
scriptures I've found so far was in D&C 45:
"3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading
your cause before him--
4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no
sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which
was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be
glorified;
5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name,
that they may come unto me and have everlasting life."

Jesus Christ is our loving savior. And I know that for a fact. I love
the mission because it's gives me an opportunity to strengthen my own
testimony as well as have other come into the fold. I have the unique
privilege to aid my fellow brethren to help them see the light and
walk closer to Christ.

I love you all so very much,

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, October 17, 2016

Smells like fall

Okay this week was awesome. We had a recent set of elders move in to our old apartment and I know one of them. They are pretty chill elders and I'm pumped that we won't be lonely this transfer! Anyway they moved in and we took them to dinner with us. It's a interesting situation, they don't have any ward members up here and they aren't in our ward, so we have to help them with food. Anyway my week was great!

We started Monday with a bunch of finding. We tracted most of the day with no success, but we did reunite with an old investigator. She wants to come back to church and start over with the lessons. So that day was a success! Tuesday we got a referral from church head quarters, we went over to give them a Book of Mormon and when we met them they told us their story! It's super cool, they were passing through Utah and decided to dine in slc at the Joseph smith memorial building, afterwards the sister missionaries gave them a tour of temple square, they were very interested! So when we contacted them, they said that they have been reading the Book of Mormon and were interested in more discussions. So that was the highlight of the week!

The rest of the week we had dinners and more less active contacting. On Friday we went up to rutherglen and talked to jimmy and Tina again. It was great πŸ‘ but they are slowing down and not keeping many of our commitments.. so we are working with their fellowship family to help them keep the invitations we have given them. Sorry nothing else too exciting happened this week. We need to continue finding more investigators! 

Matthew 7:
"7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Love you guys and hope you are having a great week! Have fun in Taiwan I guess, kinda weird and sudden but hope it will be a blast for all of you! 

~Elder Gibbons

Monday, October 10, 2016

Transfers: moving time..

Well these last six weeks have been a total blur! But I did receive news that I am staying in scotchtown! (But the subject was not misleading) The only call we got was to let us know that we are getting a new apartment. Which we already moved in and settled. Anyway! This week was slow...

We spent the first two days of the week up in ruther glen teaching a family up there. They committed to come to church, but the didn't make it, so we will be teaching them more and hopefully get a way for them to make it down to church with us! So on Tuesday we got a call to let us know that we were going to be getting a new apartment. We packed up that night and we spent the majority of the next day moving into that new apartment. It's not great, it's really cramped and our neighbors are really obnoxious.. but our last house wasn't the biggest either so we got use to it real quick. The only con is that we are lacking a washing machine.. so we have to actually go to a laundry mat to do laundry on monday! That's a first for me... 

We worked out in Montpelier the following day trying to contact less actives. It made me depressed because these people have totally turned away from the church. About half of the people we reach out to want to remove their records from the church. I guess agency is a B. Anyway we had exchanges the following day and just ended up tracting all day in Ashland town homes. It wasn't a successful day but we ran into this guy who asked if we knew Jason Pyne. At first I thought he said Jason Pond and I flipped out because who doesn't Jason know right? πŸ˜‚ but no he said Jason Pyne, another less active in our ward. 

On Saturday we had interviews with President Smith. The interview itself was alright, it could've gone better, but nevertheless the advice he gave me will come in handy this next transfer.

So I forgot to tell y'all, but I had a trunky moment last week.. I ate at the only Cafe Rio in Virginia! Oh man it brought back so many memories! It was super funny because all of the members out here rave about cafe rio, and we have the luxury of having one just down the street from us! But it was awesome.

I was reading this week out of Doctrine and Covenants... one of my favorite scriptures in D&C is in section 58 verse 27: 

"Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;"

Love you all so very much! Thanks for all of your support and hope this fall will be great! It's starting to cool down over here after the hurricane rains, which were crazy btw.. 

~Elder Gibbons



Monday, September 26, 2016

Midway through transfers!

Wow this week has flown. I don't know where to begin so I'll start with Monday? Nah Tuesday. On Tuesday we went tracting and had no success. Halfway through tracting in palm leaf, a guy came up to us and said, "y'all Jahovahs witness?" We replied no it's a common mistake, and when he found out we were Mormon he got super angry? He started telling us that we converted his wife and that was when they got divorced. He started yelling random anti material and then we got uncomfortable and left. So later that evening we came back to an appointment and we were met by the leasing people. They told us we couldn't knock anymore. So that was fun. 

Wednesday we went up to the Millers house to have a lunch. Halfway through the lunch, Tina, one of their friends, came by and decided to stay since there was food. So we taught her and she told us she was interested in us coming back! We taught her on Saturday.. I'll get to that later. 

Thursday was non-stop. We had to move a member out of her old trailer into a retirement home. So we spent like 4 hours doing that and got super exhausted. It's surprising to me how much she had in that trailer! So we moved her until dinner, then we had an appointment with the Walkers. This was the first time I met them, so they didn't really associate with me much. We taught them and had ice cream cake at their house. When we were leaving we caught Sis Walker smoking! So we talked to her about it and apparently she's been smoking for a long time. She was just hiding it from the missionaries. So we told her we would help her quit, and along with that we gave her a date to be smoke free. Hopefully she will quit by then..

Friday was weird also. We did service in the morning for a older member in a wheel chair. Afterwards, he decided he would share some of his theories with us. After about an hour of listening to him I asked if we could share a spiritual thought. I shared a scripture about agency and we then talked about the Adam-god theory for another half hour. After that long service, we went over to see Jaclyn. We told her to read the scripture we gave her and watch the video we gave her. She said she was going to Maryland so she would have plenty of time in the car. We haven't heard back from her yet but she said that when she gets her new car, she will be coming back to church.

Saturday was probably the biggest headache for us. We mowed our neighbors lawns and our own. Then we got a text from brother Rhodes demanding that we find his son a ride to Richmond. Confused, we called him and he thought we promised to help get his son into an addiction recovery program.. so we told him we would. We searched and finally found a ride for him, but it was going to be later than he wanted. So we called him and told him what was up and he got super angry at us for not keeping our word. I don't even.. ugh so we come to find out that Justin (his son) had already found a ride down and we didn't even need to look for one. So we called brother Rhodes and he got even more upset that we allowed that to happen? So we went over and talked to him about everything and settle him down. We finally got him calmed down and told him that he needed to chill. We told him how a successful father-son relationship should be and he surprisingly took the advice. 

After that, we went to dinner with the millers to teach Tina and her husband. We had a very interesting discussion with him about god. He considers himself atheist, but seems very agnostic. We talked to him about bible stories, and faith. The entire lesson was so dense with the spirit we asked him to pray. He said he didn't know how and hasn't said a prayer in 15 years. So we told him how it was done and he prayed! So the lesson was a success in our eyes and hopefully he will continue to have spiritual experiences to feel Gods love for him. 

We had a crazy week here in ashland. But it's pretty normal stuff here... thanks for all your letter and support! Love you guys like crazy!

~Elder Gibbons

Monday, September 19, 2016

Email fail



So I had a great email written out but I had to update my iPad and I lost it. Sooo I'm not really in the mood to rewrite it so I'm going to give you the jist of it. 

Sunday Caleb Givens got baptized that was cool. Jaclyn dropped us for some reason. Talked to her about Christ. I still hate cigarettes. Stake fair on Saturday was a huge success for us. We had a lot of investigators there. Saw a bunch of other missionaries serving in the stake. We had a great time. 

Alma 31:
34 "O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ."

35 "Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee."

Oh and I shaved my leg with a super sharp knife.

Love y'all, sorry for the weak email...

~Elder Gibbons

Monday, September 12, 2016

Scotchtown smokes


Oh this week was nuts! I don't even know where to begin haha. Oh and
why does Scotchtown smoke? Because literally every one of our
investigators smoke.

So let me give you a little bit of background. We are in a ward that
loves sisters, but doesn't really like elders, because of a past elder
in the area. Two transfers ago the elders replaced the sisters and I
can definitely tell that the ward is still pretty bitter about it. So
our job is not only to be a missionary, but also to befriend the ward.
But this week was crazy! So I'll go day to day.

Monday we didn't do much until the evening. We had dinner with a
member in the evening, then after that we went to an investigators
house and they were just watching the end of Gods not dead 2. So we
caught the last 10 minutes, I know we weren't suppose to, but we were
able to transition it into our lesson afterwards.

Tuesday we got a call from one of our investigators named Jaclyn. She
wanted us to come over and when we pulled up she was smoking. Which
was a bad sign because she had quit a month ago.. We asked what was
wrong and she told us that her car blew up and her rent check didn't
clear and her ex-husband was harassing her for more money. She told us
that her life had started going downhill and she was at an all time
low since she has been meeting with us. So after a short talk with her
about adversity she told us that she wished she never had met the
missionaries. It was awkward for a second, but I told her that we
would look at her car and see if it was fixable or not. That was
pretty much the highlight of Tuesday.

Wednesday we had a Zone conference with a seventy there. His name was
Elder Kapishke and he taught us about unifying our mission. It was
cool because we were able to suck in a lot of info from him all about
missionary work. I need to like forget the last 9 month of the mission
haha. But it was a great conference. It took the majority of the day
so afterwards we ran over and taught one of our investigators called
Derek. He had limited time so we shared a scripture with him and told
him to continue reading the Book of Mormon. But just out of my own
curiosity, I asked about what he thought about baptism. We talked for
a while and he said that he would get baptized the day after he quit
smoking. That was such a cool lesson because his son was there and he
said that if his dad got baptized he would also get baptized! So it
was a great way to end the day.

Thursday we called Jaclyn and she sounded happier? So we asked if we
could meet her at the auto shop and check out her car. So after
looking at it doing some tests, we concluded that her head had cracked
and the engine needed to be replaced. So we made some phone calls for
her and within an hour we had like 3 buyers who wanted it. She was
pumped! So we towed it back to her place. She said she was in a better
mood, because for some reason her tuition check came a month early so
she was able to pay her rent and look for a car. Later on in the day
we went over to another investigators house. Their names are Micheal
and Christina. We taught them the restoration again and the
conversation got a little heated after we started talking about the
law of Moses. We talked about church history and I proved all of them
right with scripture references, but she was still so hard headed. She
pulled out this book called the lost books of the bible. So.. Then it
turned into an argument about how that book is not scripture and it is
not called the bible for a reason. So if you ever read it just keep
that in mind..

Friday we went up north and visited a bunch of potentials and members.
It was a busy day and I was really tired for some reason, but we kept
at it. We went to the Millers house and visited that family and he
told us that they were going to dinner with the rest of the Elders
quorum. So we asked if we could join and he didn't see a problem with
it so we tagged along. When we got to the Walsh's the hamburgers
weren't even on the grill yet so we ended up just playing around with
all the kids. Then he whooped out his dirtbikes and I died I wanted to
ride it so bad. But he wouldn't let us so I asked if we could at least
get a picture on them.

Saturday we were able to sell Jaclyns car! She was so pumped and felt
super indebted to us. We went over afterwards and talked to her about
the Book of Mormon. She was more open to it and told us her deeper
issues with our religion. So after talking about some of her issues I
found out that she doesn't believe in Jesus Christ to be the son of
God. Sooooo I told her that, faith is the first and only way to get to
an answer about the Book of Mormon. We decided that we would give her
a week to read out of the four gospels and pray hard about Jesus
Christ. We promised her that she would be able to recognize that Jesus
is her savior if she prayed and truly desired an answer. So that
update is coming next week!

It sounds like you guys had a great time at lake Powell and am jealous
that you got to go. It's a super fun place to be. I have much more
about the week but can't write it all because I'm lazy.. But I'll give
you a scripture for y'all:

D&C 137:
9: For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works,
according to the desire of their hearts.

Love you a lot and hope all is well! Remember God is good!

~Elder Gibbons

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hello from Scotchtown!

The Allreds who I miss like crazy

the mousers and tom. Favorite roommates in the world.

New comp and my main homie Elder Giddings

Sooo I got transferred this last week and it was pretty crazy. I wanna
give ya run down from when I emailed you last.

So getting transferred out of Rivanna was hard, and I'm still missing
the ward like crazy.. But nevertheless, I did get to say goodbye to
most of the ward members and investigators. After that I basically
packed and said goodbye to the people I lived with. It was hard
because they were straight family to us. So we had a member drive me
and my companion down to transfer meeting at Short Pump in Richmond.
Afterwards I did figure out who and where I'm going to be serving.
Drumroll.. Haha I'm serving in the Scotchtown ward with Elder
Ellsworth!

Okay so I'll start with the area. Scotchtown is an area just above
Richmond, it covers a lot of trailer parks and isn't really a whole
lot to enjoy, but it is a great place nonetheless. So there is a HUGE
different between Rivanna and Scotchtown. First being that the people
here are straight crazies. They are absolutely off their rockers and
it's hilarious. The first person that we taught together was convinced
that in a month, the government was going to be dissolved and marshal
law was going to be established. I think there is something in the
water that makes people this way. So other than the conspiracy
theorists and crazy people who don't know how to drive, the ward
members here are awesome. They are super supportive of missionary work
and are actually really involved! This was was pretty much founded on
one family, the Beazleys. So when they were baptized, they converted
everyone they new. So this ward was basically fueled by them.

Now my companion, Elder Ellsworth, is super cool! He trained one of my
friends from the MTC. I heard he was a great guy and when I heard that
we were being put together I was super excited! So we are killing it
in Scotchtown right now with like 5 on date. Sooo hopefully there will
be some baptisms soon!

Anyway, I'm super excited to be where I am and if I haven't shared
this scripture with you already it is the coolest psalm ever..

Psalms 116:
1 I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon
him as long as I live.

I love the lord because I know he is everywhere for me even though I
have faults. I will continue to struggle as long as I shall live and
know that when I fall he will help me back up and get me to where I
need to be.

I love y'all a ton and miss you like crazy! Hope you are having a
great Labor Day weekend!

~Elder Gibbons

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fwd: Soooolid news!


So family I'm pleased to announce that I will be getting transferred!
So I'm running through ice and coals right now.. One because I
freaking love this ward. It's so hard to say goodbye to some of the
members here, but the other because I'm getting a new area and a new
companion!

This week was basically pretty missionary type week. In the beginning
of the week we went into Charlottesville to play some sports and after
the member came and got us I realized I left the keys in the church.
So we didn't have a car for the next two days but it was still fun! We
got it back at district meeting on Tuesday. We didn't do much tracting
because it was mid 100's. In the beginning of the week we taught
Curtis and his wife. His car got hit by lightning so we took him to go
buy another car. We taught Jill some more and I will not be able to be
here for her baptism. I'm sad but it's just the life of a missionary!
We also did a bunch of service in the week for a bunch of our
investigators and also brother Creasy. I love his horses so much! They
are hilarious. The later part of the week we said goodbye to some
members and to our investigators. It's been a good area! And I'll miss
it like crazy but it is time to move on.

I took some pictures with some members and will send them over. I'll
also send some later tonight because I have more people to see. Sorry
for the short texted email! I'll respond to each of you later today.

Love you guy so much!

~Elder Gibbons

Last one is a picture of John one of our investigators. He's stubborn as a mule but such a cool guy. I'll definitely be visiting him when I get back!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hello family


Well this is probably my last week in Rivanna! This week flew again.
It's crazy how fast time flies when you're working. This week we
taught multiple lessons with Jill. Again she is progressing but has
hold ups. We are working with her to get her married so she can be
baptized. So most likely that won't be when I'm around. I'm sad I'll
miss it but happy that she will finally get baptized.

I honestly am having a hard time remembering anything from this week.
But early on we helped Brother Creasy with a ton of work. We ended up
helping him cut his grass and do a bunch of work on his horses. We
helped out Curtis and got a giant tree cut off of his driveway. He was
super grateful for that. He is slowly getting farther and farther away
from the truth. He has been attending Calvary chapel and he says he is
converted to that church so we probably won't be teaching him much
more.

Later on in the week we helped brother Allred build some bird houses.
Haha we got carried away and I suggested we build a bird condo. So two
hours later we put the vacant signs on the door. It was hilarious.
I'll shoot a picture over.

Sorry I don't have much to write about! I will write all of you
individually to make up for it.

Love yall

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, August 15, 2016

Truth is evident by the Holy Ghost.


This week flew by! So we started it out with a super fun pday. We
played sports and hung out with the zone. Afterwards we had a service
project and more lessons. Remember that lady that we went to give her
a bible? He name is Jill, and she read the Book of Mormon also and
going to get baptized on August 27! She came to church and told us
that she still has some things that she needs to work out but she is
so close! We talked to her about the word of wisdom and the other laws
of the gospel. She smokes but recently quit cause she wants to get
baptized. After we talked to her and set her on date her husband came
in and we taught him as well. He says he isn't really into the bible
but from what Jill has been telling him about the Book of Mormon he
wants to learn more also! So we are helping him quit smoking by e
cigarettes, because if Jill smells cigarettes she will want to smoke.
So we helped him get set up to stop smoking, and after that he said
that he wants to be nicotine free by her baptismal date! He said that
if he was able to do it then he will read the Book of Mormon and
eventually get baptized as well! Freaky crazy miracles after miracles!
Anyway.. This week flew by and we had a lot of service.

I've realized recently that if investigators are truly looking for the
truth they will get it! It's crazy the difference you have when you
teach someone who actually is wanting to learn the truth. I shared a
scripture with Jill that made total sense to her and she took the
invite we gave to her and she received an answer!

The scripture is D&C 9:8 "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must
study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if
it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you;
therefore, you shall feel that it is right."

The church is true and the power of the Holy Ghost is real! Love you all!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, August 8, 2016

August


This week was true,y humbling. Early on in the week we started slow.
We taught maybe 3 or four lessons, it was a rough start for sure. So
then we get a call from the secretary of VRM. She said that we had a
referral who called her and asked for missionaries to come by! So she
called us right away and we visited her with in the hour. It was such
an amazing lesson. She said she wanted to clean up her life because
she just got in trouble with cocaine. After talking to her about the
restoration, she asked us why she hasn't been able to hear about the
Book of Mormon until now? We said we were Mormons and she laughed! We
wondered why and she said she went to the first website that popped up
for a free bible. Anyway. She loved our message and she agreed to be
baptized after she gets a testimony about the book. She was super
ready for change and hopefully she will be able to get baptized soon!

The ward here is great. After that awesome lesson we visited ward
members, and less actives. So I think we taught 6 less active lessons,
and guess how many less active members attended church on Sunday? 6.
Ahh it was such a good feeling to have people come back to the gospel!

I was reading out of Mosiah 5 and found this sweet scripture:

"15 Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable,
always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent,
may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have
everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power,
and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in
earth, who is God above all. Amen."

King Benjamin is a boss.

Anyway love y'all a ton! Thanks for all your support and love through
the mission so far!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I love VA!







~Elder Caleb Gibbons
Yes this week was a strange one. I'll hurry it up because I wrote in some thoughts on faith. Sorry this one is long winded!

I just got to say real quick, I totally am in love with Virginia. In my opinion, it is among the most prettiest places on the face of the earth! I'm serving near the blueridge mountains, which is on the eastern side of the Shenandoah valley. It is so pretty here. And when we get a thunderstorm it is so cool. This last week we had a couple come through and the sky is just a giant flickering lightbulb. The thunder rolls all night long and is so soothing to me haha. I took a time lapse and threw it in here so you could somewhat experience it! Anyway...
-Monday started with a bunch of sports with the Elders from the Zone. We ended the day being schooled by brother Allred in some 'deep thinking exercises' haha.
-Tuesday is that day when I had a Peanut Butter and Cheese sandwich. Yep, not a typo, I ate that thinking that it basically went against everything I've ever lived for. I'm a huge PB&J fan, especially on a tight budget, so when I heard about it, I jumped right into denial. Haha but our investigator (Curtis) made us one and the grieving stages immediately went away. It was so good! If you ever get an opportunity to eat one, it's now officially endorsed by Elder Gibbons. Afterwards we did some service and put up a fence for him.
-Wednesday was the usual midweek day for us. We did service for a member (Brother Creasy) and helped him with his horses. Afterwards he took us out for ice cream and we went and visited his cousin, one of our investigators.
-Thursday we did more service! So much service this week I love it! We helped spread some mulch/fertilizer stuff on a members garden and yard (Brother Foepple). Afterwards we warshed his car and he took us out for ice cream again haha.
-Friday we had interviews with President Smith. I love our new mission president so much! He is such a down to earth kind of guy. He really wants what is best for the missionaries. Something interesting he said to me in my interview is that Hope is a Christ-like attribute that we routinely sort of forget about. It is something that we do to increase our own spiritual faith in the gospel. Also he said that charity is a Christ-like attribute that we exercise to help others in their journey. These two things work very close together to further the faith of everyone on the earth! We also popped a tire again so we had to go get that fixed. After the interview we went back and we helped cut some grass for a member (Brother Creasy). By the way, Brother Creasy calls us his sons, because we help him so much. He has some back problems and he really appreciates the help. I love going over there and helping him because he is such a humble man and he really needs a couple hands. 
-Saturday I needed a hair cut so I asked Brother Allred to cut it. He cuts his own hair regularly but has never cut anyone else's. He actually did a good job! Afterwards he cooked us some spam and eggs. We had it with rice and banana ketchup and it was sooo good! We also had a self referral on Saturday! A guy called and said that he was interested in the Mormon faith and wanted to meet with us! He basically said that he wanted to know because he needed some sort of religion, or a relationship with God, in his life. So that was really cool. Also we had a sweet discussion with one of our investigators (Curtis). He made us a pizza and we talked about church stuff. He really opened up about his feelings towards God. It was an interesting lesson!
-Sunday we had a great day at church. We had one investigator there named Logan. We've been trying to get him interested in Baptism, but I think he is scared of what his friends in school would think of him. So hopefully he will continue to strengthen his faith and decide to be baptized!

So I gave a talk about two weeks ago in church about building faith in Christ. I kinda swayed the subject a little bit and talked about how faith is so crucial for every single person on this earth. I thought I would throw it in my email this week because I'm nearing my 8th month mark (nooo its going soo fast!). I hope you like it!

    I've been reflecting on the last couple months of my mission and thinking about how many times the Lord has swayed my thoughts and led me to children of God. It unreal how manifested his hand is in your life while on the mission. If I had as much faith as the Brother of Jared, I could probably see it. But while I have been pondering, if you will, I've been thinking about the people whom I've made initial contact with. The area before Rivanna, we did a lot of tracting. Although sometimes I was dragging my feet, it's always at that moment when our faith is getting weak when we should push forward. I have had several miracles happen to my companion and me when we are about ready to stop knocking. Only when we show our faith, we are able to meet someone ready to hear the gospel. It's funny because thinking back on my mission so far, tracting has been my least favorite way to find. But... I know the Lord sees our faith. That is why when we push forward he will reward us because of our faith. Joseph Smith said in the Lectures on faith,
     "As  we  receive  by  faith,  all  temporal  blessings  that  we  do  receive,  so  we,  in  like  manner,  receive  by  faith all  spiritual  blessings  that  we  do  receive.    But  faith  is  not  only  the  principle  of  actions,  but  of  power  also, in  all  intelligent  beings,  whether  in  heaven  or  on  earth.  .  .  .   "
      Wait.. Did he just say that faith is a power? My interpretation and my experiences confirm this truth. Faith (in a way) is a superpower! I've been looking at faith all wrong. I always thought that faith was just a strong belief. Well it is, but why couldn't we just say "Yeah, I have a strong belief in Christ"? Because there is no power in that statement!
      I digress back to the Brother of Jared, a perfect example of this statement. In Ether 3, though out the chapter, we read about the Brother of Jared's Faith. Now this wasn't the first communion with the Lord that he had. Earlier the Lord asked the Brother of Jared how he proposed to light the barges. So imagine Jehovah, the son of God, the savior and redeemer of the world, asking you what you think you should do to light up the barges. Quite a loaded question! Or is it? I submit to you that this was the ultimate test of the Brother of Jared's faith. Reason being that the Lord already diminished two of the only known light sources back in the day: the sun and fire.
      So this was quite the task for the Brother of Jared. In Ether 3 it reads: (included the entire scripture in the email)

      1 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared . . . went forth unto the mount, which they called the mount Shelem . . . and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord, saying:
      2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.
      3 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hast driven us forth, and for these many years we have been in the wilderness; nevertheless, thou hast been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these things which I have molten out of the rock.
      4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.
      5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.

      That is probably the most humbling prayer I have ever read. But it is what happened next that really showed the temporal and spiritual blessings of faith.

      6 And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.
      7 And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him: Arise, why hast thou fallen?
      8 And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.
      9 And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?
     10 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.
     11 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?
     12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
     13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, . . .

      So let's recap, Brother of Jared's faith was tried and tested through the Lord himself. The Lord did indeed reveal Himself to the Brother of Jared, only after he had showed his faith and humbled himself in front of the Lord. I think in a way the Lord was surprised at the strength of faith that the Brother of Jared had. But this example is the perfect example of explaining the power of faith! Oh what a magnificent power! If we use this in the right way we will receive these gifts and blessings that we are promised. This was is following the gospel and rooting our faith in the Lord Himself, Jesus Christ.
      So I admit to you I never understood the difference of faith and belief until my mission. Some people think they are synonymous.  Ehhh, they are in a way. But now I see it as comparing a body of water to the raging waters of a river. There is such force and power in faith! It is such a concept that had been standing for eternities and eternities before us! It is the basis of the gospel and the first step to becoming like our Father in Heaven. There is so much more on faith that I want to talk about because it is such a God-like attribute. We are all born with faith and all are able to exercise faith if we choose to.
      Love God and move mountains with this vigorous and meaningful word.

Your Elder in Virginia,
 ~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pioneer Day celebration!


This week was definitely slower than last week. But some good came out of it!
We had a super fun pday with the other elders in the zone. It was
super hot outside and to top it off it was like 60% humidity out side.
The rest of the week was just a giant blaze. It was like upper 90's
the entire week. We are in a huge heat wave.

So we did a ton of service this week. The first day was Wednesday and
we spent like all day power washing junk off of the concrete. It was
so hot and miserable haha. But we endured lol! The next day of service
we thought was going to be setting up chairs and tables, getting
everything ready for the party. Nope. More power washing. So after we
finished the power washing we thought we were going to set up table
and not do so much back breaking work.. Nope. A giant truck came with
a ton of black mulch and we spread it all. Every little piece. I guess
there is a lesson to this though! Even though life isn't what we
expect it's going to be we need to endure to enjoy the splendors of
our labor. In this case the party! It was so much fun! We were blessed
to have a couple of investigators there and they had a total blast! So
looking back, yes the work was hard, yes my back still aches from
shoveling mulch... But it was all worth it when we were able to enjoy
our work with people who are looking for the gospel! So it was a
humbling week for sure.

But yesterday I learned probably more about the deep end of the
gospel, then I even knew was possible. It's crazy to me because the
more and more I learn, the more and more the basic principles of the
gospel make sense to me! It's fun to learn more and read about the
prophets encounters with the Lord. Oh, also I started to read Jesus
the Christ again. This time I'm going to read cover to cover instead
of jumping around. I am super pumped to learn more as I read!
Hopefully my enthusiasm isn't worrying any of you. It is a 800 pg book
after all.

Anyway I love you all! Hope all is well. And soon Elder Jacob Gibbons
with be flying into Arizona!

Scripture to live by: Matthew 22:
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Have a great week and love thy neighbor.

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, July 18, 2016

Not transferred!

This is our investigator, he's dope!. And the biggest fish he caught.

Man this week flew. We started it off with a fishing trip with one of
our investigators. The rest of the week we taught pretty much even me
in our area book, it was insane. But we had a cool experience with
someone in our neighborhood. He is a Methodist and told us to go away.
When we initially came up to him he said he was rebuilding a house and
getting ready to flip it. Immediately I related to him and started
talked to him about flipping houses. I told him I was involved a
little bit with flipping homes. We started talking and he invited us
back! It was epic.

The rest of the week we taught like crazy. Saturday came and I thought
I was going to get a call... But I didn't. So I'm staying in Rivanna
for another 6 weeks! I Love the ward here. They are pretty much
family.

Sorry I don't have much more. The yard looks really good! And Happy
Birthday Sariah! Time flies out here! I hope you have a great rest of
the summer!

Love you guys like crazy. Hope all it well!

~Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, July 11, 2016

Last week of the transfer.


This week was very interesting. We had a lot of cool stuff happen!
First of all we are house sitting for the Allreds so we come over and
feed their animals and water their plant. So the first day everything
was all cool and it was going well. So I turned the a/c off and left
for the night. The next day when we came by we opened the door and it
was 90° easy inside the house. I could hardly breathe it was so hot.
So we turned the ac back on and set it to 78°. The day after that we
went over and the house was right at 65°. The lowest setting on the
thermostat. It was so cool that the humidity had condensed on all of
the Windows haha. So i guess that something I learned on my mission
was how to use a thermostat..

We had an opportunity to go into Charlottesville on Monday for a
little Independence Day celebration. Man it was scary. Everyone that I
saw on the street was holding a bud light in one hand and 12-pack in
the other. I probably saw 2-3 drunk drivers (that yes we did report).
It was crazy how many people use this holiday to get drunk hah. So the
parade got rained out so all of the elders in the area went and played
sports in the church.

The following week we had a couple of really interesting lessons. Well
I should say very unique:

Elizabeth - We went over to a members house for dinner and there was a
non member there. Of course we are going to teach her! So the entire
dinner we talked about the gospel and the Book of Mormon. She was
interested in what we had to say about the Book of Mormon but she kept
quoting scriptures trying to disprove it. The most annoying thing was
that she was reading out of the new English version of the bible.
Every verse of scripture that she quoted I have never heard. She knew
the bible well enough to quote some of the scripture but almost
everything she quoted to us she didn't know the ending so she always
said "-you can in no wise inherit the kingdom of my father". So we
did some clearing up with her about the bible translations and we also
talked about how the Book of Mormon doesn't conflict with anything the
bible says. At the end of the conversation we had kind of told her
that she should read from the Book of Mormon and study the bible with
it. There was a lot more about that whole lesson that was really
strange. (Twelve tribes of Israel are supposed to be twelve separate
churches? I don't think so...)

John - I love this dude because he is so smart! I feel bad for my
companion at times because both John and I get carried away in deep
doctrinal topics and sometimes my companion gets lost. He is a
Catholic. He has an interesting take of the Catholic Church though. He
hates the pope, he believes that most branches of the church are
corrupt, and he only believes in one doctrine taught by the Catholic
Church to be correct. Transubstantiation, or the Eucharist. She
believes, in simplicity, that you are what you eat. So when you take
the bread and wine you are literally consuming Christ. It is kind of a
strange thing to hear at first but it makes sense why so many people
would buy into it. We talked more about it and why it is such a big
deal to him. But near the end of the conversation he said "I would've
been baptized by the Mormon church a long time ago if I didn't believe
in the Eucharist." So we are still working on him!

We had a zone conference on Thursday and got to know president Smith
better. He is a great guy and I already love him. He is really wanting
what is best for us as missionaries and I love that mind set. I am
looking forward to working closely with him in the next 17 months to
come!

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now. But I love you all and hope
that all is well! The yard looks amazing and I wish I could see it
first hand! But stay safe and happy!

~Love Elder Gibbons