Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fwd: Elder Gibbons Transfer

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul Gibbons <gibbons.paul@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 9:25 PM
Subject: Re: Elder Gibbons Transfer
To: Arla Gibbons <gibbons.arla@gmail.com>, Kenneth Traveller <kdtraveller@gmail.com>

Bro. Traveller:

Thanks for your emails, pictures, and interest in Caleb.  One of the things he was most excited about before he left was the rich American history in Virginia.  To have you take an interest in him and provide opportunities to see the historical sights means a lot to him.  Thanks for reassuring us that he is a good missionary.  We know he is a good young man.  Much appreciated.

Paul and Arla Gibbons

On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 9:11 PM, Arla Gibbons <gibbons.arla@gmail.com> wrote:

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Kenneth Traveller <kdtraveller@gmail.com>
Date: April 26, 2016 at 8:43:30 PM MDT
To: Arla Gibbons <gibbons.arla@gmail.com>
Subject: Elder Gibbons Transfer

Today was transfer day and as you known Elder Gibbons was being transferred.  I took him to the transfer meeting in Richmond. His new companion is Elder Galloway from the Lehi/Highland area. They are assigned to the Rivanna Ward. It is located between Charlottesville and Lynchburg.  It is out in the country so he will get to meet some good ole southern folks.    I think they have to drive to Charlottesville to attend church.   Waltons Mountain (hill) from the TV show The Waltons  is in his area.

You should be proud of your son he is a great missionary. I know the Mission President thinks a lot of him because his new companion has only been out 3 months.  That is very unusual to have two missionaries so new  together. 

I have attached some photos of his last root beer last night, his old companion and his new companion.  I will at a later time send you photos of our visit to Stratford Hall and George Washington's birthplace.   

Thanks for your son Fredericksburg will miss him.
Ken Traveller

Monday, April 25, 2016


Elder Tobey eh'

This week was awesome. Full of ups and downs for sure, so I'll start with the first day. On Monday we were able to have an Elders pday which is basically a pday where all the elders in the zone play sports together. We had an awesome day playing plenty of basketball and oompa. Since the transfer was winding down we had to say goodbye to tow of the elders who finished their missions. I've been able to get close to all of the elders and make everlasting friendships. Elder Tobey is someone who is unstoppable! He is probably the most humble person I've ever met. He radiates happiness and positivity. I said goodbye to these elders as they end their missions and start their life. I've met so many people out here that humble me every day. One of these people I speak of is Elyaz. We were able to teach him on Tuesday. He is Turkish and doesn't speak much English. When we first met him it was very hard to communicate with him. But I had an in. Bulent! We called him on his phone and were able to introduce the gospel to him and get him excited about the gospel. But the most amazing thing about this lesson was that I could see him change. When we first came over we talked a little bit about his life and what he does and he seemed almost depressed. After about 2 minutes on the phone with Bulent his attitude changed completely. He was smiling and laughing on the phone and his wife even was smiling! It was something that I thought was incredible. We let Bulent talk to him and we sat back and listened to the conversation. And honestly the Turkish language sounds frighteningly complicated. But it was an awesome experience. On Wednesday, we talked to an investigator, who is currently on date, about the word of wisdom. We told her about coffee and smoking and she was first heartbroken that she had to give up coffee.. But we continued talking to her about why it is so important.

She finally agreed to give up coffee and smoking. She is an awesome lady who told us that she believed in the Book of Mormon and told us that if God sent the book to her that she will listen to everything else he sends! The rest of the week spiraled down to Saturday which was the day that we get transfer calls. I knew I was getting called and was prepared for it. But coming to that realization was hard for me because I've spent the last 5 months here in Fredericksburg and it almost feels like home now. On Sunday I got as many emails and contact information from the families here and said goodbye to them. I love everyone here in the ward but I'll be back to visit! I'm ready for the next area and the people who I'm going to meet and hopefully help! There was a lot more that I could share with you but I'm out of time!  Love you all and hope everyone is ready for summer! Stay strong!

1 Nephi 16:29 "...And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things." (Remember that everything you do, big or small, is making a difference.)

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

Pictures from the Fredericksburg ward

Monday, April 18, 2016

Last week of the transfer

Well I'm getting into the last week of the transfer. This last week
was awesome! As well as interesting. We started the week off with a
trip to the Traveller's, afterwards we went to play sports with the
neighboring elders. We had a district meeting on Tuesday which was a
ton of fun because Elder Giddings forgot to call people to train so it
basically turned into a huge discussion. After the district meeting I
was privileged to go on an exchange with the zone leaders and have
them train me. I still feel like I'm not learning anything from them
though. The week continued with missed appointments and people not
answering. We were not able to reach our weekly teaching goals... But
sometimes it happens and you have to keep pushing on. The last bit of
the week was a ton of fun. We helped do some service for the ward and
on Saturday we were invited to a birthday party for one of the
members. After the party we kept doing service for the ward and were
invited to the fundraiser for the Girl Scouts! We ate sloppy joes and
had a blast with the ward. We ended it with a excellent Sunday!

TIME HAS FLOWN! As this transfer starts to wind down I'm realizing it
more and more. I'm almost 5 months out already and I still feel like
I'm brand new to the mission! Apparently that is a universal feeling.
My companion only has 4 months left and he says it feels like he just
barely walked off the plane. It's strange to look at the time line and
see how fast it's been moving. I've been trying my hardest to continue
to write in my journal and keep it updated but I always am just too
tired and lack motivation to write in it. I'm trying my hardest

Mark 13:13 "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but
he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." - keep
Christ in your thoughts at all times!

Thank you all for the love and support, I hope that all is well back
home and everyone is healthy! It's starting to get super hot out here
and the humidity is really starting to hit me. Anyway I'm still loving
Virginia and hope that this next transfer I will be moved around and
continue seeing more of it! Love you all a ton!

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fwd: Shields crazy fun part 2

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

Begin forwarded message:

From: Leslie Shields <leslieshields@gmail.com>
Date: April 11, 2016 at 7:28:47 PM EDT
To: caleb.gibbons6@gmail.com
Subject: Shields crazy fun part 2

Fwd: Shields crazy fun part 1

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

Begin forwarded message:

From: Leslie Shields <leslieshields@gmail.com>
Date: April 11, 2016 at 7:27:53 PM EDT
To: "caleb.gibbons6@gmail.com" <caleb.gibbons6@gmail.com>
Subject: Shields crazy fun part 1

Southern food

Oh and I had grits for the first time! Staple southern food

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

Restoration week!

This week was a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. To start it off
we had an epic pday which consisted first of us running a 5K (bleh)
then we had a zone activity at the church and we all played sports
including oompah, basketball, volleyball etc. But we were all to tired
from the 5K to keep it up all day. We woke up sore as can be and
unmotivated as ever, but we decided that we needed to go knock at a
nearby apartment complex. Of course knocking is one of the things that
doesn't reap success in the Virginia mission, but we decided that we
needed to do it. So we started knocking and we didn't get anyone who
was interested. After being turned away by 20 people we thought our
day was near over and we were going to try some potentials. But I
decided to jump over to another near by complex and knock some more.
The first door we knocked on was answered by Martina, a sweet heart
who was open and wanted to listen. We taught her the restoration and
gave her a Book of Mormon. We told her the significance of the Book of
Mormon and told her that if she started reading it she would be able
to get a different shift at work so she could spend more time with her
kids. She texted us on Thursday after reading the first chapter in
Nephi and said she got the shift she wanted! We were so happy for her
and told her that the blessings would keep flowing if she kept
reading. Another person we found was Melissa (near the same building
as Martina). She was one of the coolest ladies I've ever met. She is a
marine police officer and she works nights. We taught her the same
lesson as Melissa and promised bless is. She said she wanted to come
to church and learn more about it. She was religious when she was
younger but never stuck to it. She was looking for something else that
would stick with her and make her fell at peace.

The day after we had a zone conference. That is basically where three
zones get together for 5 hours and receive trainings from the
president and his AP's. It went slow and at first, then felt like the
day started to pick up. We won the cleanest car contest and got $10 at
Walmart! That was basically the entire day on Wednesday.

On Friday we had an interesting day, we started it off by doing some
service with Brother Traveller and after that he took us to Denny's.
We had a huge breakfast and soon after that, one of Elder Giddings
recent converts called and said he was going to take us out to lunch.
So we went to Peter Changs and had some of the best Chinese food I've
ever eaten. The members were such cool people! They live isolated in
Culpeper and love all of the missionaries. We enjoyed a lunch and went
out to contact after that. We worked the rest of the day and got to
teach this kid named Keenan. Keenan is a 10 year old who is one of the
smarted kids I've ever taught. We met him through his dad. He said he
was interested a while ago, so we came back and he introduced us to
his son. Keenan is enrolled in a Christian private school and has had
religion in his life ever since he could remember. Last time we saw
him (about a month ago) we gave him a Book of Mormon and he read half
of it! He knows that the Book of Mormon is another testament. We
invited him to be baptized and he accepted! He came to church with his
dad and we had a great day teaching him more about our church and its
workings. It was an awesome experience to see him progress. And his
dad is slowly coming around to it also. I love this kid and hope that
he will continue reading and keep gaining that witness.

Sunday afternoon was hard. We got a call from a sister in the ward who
wanted us to come over and visit her. She had been struggling with her
health for a couple weeks and hasn't been able to see us. She has a
disease that is slowly killing her. Unfortunately she admits that she
doesn't have much time left. And we stayed and talked to her about
spiritual strength. We told her that Heavenly Father is making her
strong and preparing her for something special in the kingdom of
heaven. We shared our message for about an hour and lifted her
spirits. It was amazing how you could see her demeanor change. Before
we left, she told us that she wanted to start going to church and
paying tithing. We asked her why in such a bad state of health she
would want to do that. She said that she had never been to the temple
and she wanted to get her 7 year old son sealed to her. I've never
seen so much sincerity in a statement in my entire life. It almost
made me cry. At the end we knelt and said a prayer to help her get
strength to come to church and make it happen. As heartbreaking as
that was it still is admirable to me her dedication. She has a
testimony so strong that she would crawl to the temple if she had to.
The gospel heals and brings new life, I've seen it first hand...

Those are my experiences this last week. After some slow weeks it
finally started to pick up again. I love this work and love that I
came out here. The mission is starting to change my perspective about
life and why it is important to live like Christ. The world is
changing. It's scary but I'm seeing it and don't like it. More and
more people are becoming lost and I want to try my hardest to bring
them back. This gospel is the light that this world needs and the
world needs it badly. Keep reading the word and living it day by day.
It's truly a gift for me to read out of it every day and continually
working as hard as I can to help share this light.

John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of
the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall
have the light of life."

I love all of you and your support. I hope all is well at home and
everyone is healthy!

Your favorite Elder~

- Elder Caleb Gibbons

Monday, April 4, 2016

April is here

Well as of two days ago I'm already 4 months out. Crazy how fast it's
been going! This week was awesome. We had am opportunity to watch
conference at the church. All the neighboring elders drove in to
watch. Saturday was fun because we had priesthood session. A bunch of
the elders here drove up to the stake center and we had an opportunity
to watch with all of them. I don't know if you noticed the theme of
conference, but it had a lot to do with families. Being out here I've
noticed that a lot of families are torn apart. It makes me grateful
for the amazing family I'm in. We had an investigator come to one of
the sessions of conference and he took notes! It was cool because I
saw his attitude change from "I'm just here cause I promised I would
come" to being ready to hear the message. That's one of my favorite
parts of being out. I get to see people change and change for the

Well other than that the week was full of tracting and the usual
missionary contacting.. I got a package in the mail that said it was
my birthday? Am I 20? Haha THANK YOU GUYS for that package! It was a
lot of fun to pull everything out of it and not get a mess. We went to
my all time favorite restaurant to get some lobster. It was an awesome

Well I hope all is well and everyone is on their game for when school
comes to a wrap. Love you all and stay safe!

Moroni 10:23 "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny
yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all
ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then
is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect
in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can
in nowise deny the power of God."

- Elder Caleb Gibbons