First, y'all got a blank email from me on Saturday and I apologize.. But this email is the one that counts. I'm sending it to everyone in my little black book. I thought I'd tell everyone about my experiences out here so far! So listen up cause it's gonna be good.
When I first got to Virginia we met the Pres and his AP's in baggage claim waiting for us. We spent the night at the mission home and got trainings the next day. After we got our iPads and all of our other various trainings we met our trainers and split (I got such a good trainer Elder Hudmasterflex). I was fortuned enough to end up in Fredericksburg. When we got to our apartment our dinner was already waiting for us. Let me just say... People in Virginia know how to eat. We got fed fried chicken, corn, rice and all that good stuff. I'm on a bike though so all that Virginia weight is being fought! So it took me about a week to get into the routine of mission life, and I have to say it wasn't really a huge shock to me as I thought it was going to be. I got introduced to all of our investigators in about that weeks time. The neighboring elders are the coolest people on earth, we go to lunch with them a lot.. Watch out msf.. And thank goodness for Zone Leader Exchanges. They provided me with some serious insight on how to find, teach and love.
I love missionary work. It is completely different than how I imagined. You start developing a love for the people you teach and it makes you want to share the gospel even more. I want to share an experience but there are far to many to choose from so I'll share the most recent one. We were actually at dinner with a family from the ward. We bonded super well with them and their kids. After we shared our thought and said goodbye we were driving home with the father, when out of the blue he said, "you probably don't know this about me but I'm actually not a member.." Awe man Elder Hudson and I were speechless! "Yeah I've seen all three of my kids get baptized and I haven't been baptized, but I think I'm ready now." (Did I not say missionary work is the bomb?) So we started teaching him and his entire family is flying in next month to see him get baptized! I mean this is just one of many... There are so many that I could list off but I'm not in the mood to keep typing. Another thing that I love about the mission is studying! I look forward to my morning studies I don't know about the rest of y'all. I love it.
Reminder to all those serving: You are surrounded by people. People who will support you and people who will tear you down. Love both even when it's hard to love. My advice to you is don't let those bad people get to you! I've had some super negative confrontations with people that hate missionaries, but I try to not let it get to me. Sometimes it does, but remember you aren't standing alone. People fight the fight with you and love you along the way. Love everyone who wants to be loved and everyone who doesn't!
Hope everyone is holding on and teaching strong.
- Elder Caleb Gibbons
*We got some wicked snow here in Virginia and we were stuck inside so we had a lot of free time on Saturday. Made me miss Utah. Also a picture of my comp and my district.