Hallo mein Familie (und Freunde)!
It is my 6th day here, and my very first Preparation day. We woke up and got all dressed up, because we were told to wear our missionary attire for study and such. Then we got to the classroom and NONE of the other districts were even there! We went back to the residence hall to get some letter writing stuff and saw everyone else hanging out in their regular clothes. But, we have to be dressed up to use the computer labs anyway, and we will also be able to get good breakfast in the cafeteria and not the sack breakfast. This "week" (it's not even been a full week) has seemed both fast and super slow. But we have learned so much already! We got here Wednesday and got all our stuff and then met everyone in the classroom. Out teacher is Brother Evans, and he is the coolest guy in the world! You can tell that he loves us and is excited for us to be here on our missions. His wife was due last Tuesday I think, so they are inducing her on Friday if the boy hasn't come yet. Everytime we see him we ask if he is a father, and he is so excited and nervous haha.
We have been thrown into German mode since that first day, and we learned on Wednesday that we would be teaching our first investigator, Lucas Mueller, on Friday!! How in the world were we supposed to do that? I have 3 years of German behind me, but I was scared out of my wits! My companion is Elder Botcherby, from Springville, UT. He is a soccer guy, and he plays really well. We are pretty similar, and our whole district has become good friends and companions. We go play soccer everyday with all the Germans, so I am really happy. When I see Tyson (and I usually do every day) he always says that he just goes and runs on the track or lifts weights, because his companion in a tall, blond, strong guy who swims and probably plays football. I feel bad for him. I take it as a blessing that I run into Tyson almost everyday, just to remind me that I am not completely cut off.
So we have actually taught Lucas 3 times already! It is fantastic that when we get here we are thrown right into it. The first "lesson" went well enough, except my companion and I came out realizing that we kind of just talked at him; and it probably wasn't very good German either. The second lesson was Saturday, the next day; we thought we would at least get a weekend to calm down and prepare more! Nope. But, we prepared and we had an excellent lesson, just trying to get across the point that Heavenly Father loves Lucas, and that Lucas can have a personal relationship with God. Lucas comes from Stuttgart (I told him I had been there) and he is here training as a fireman. He is Catholic, but he never really went to church (his mom was Lutheran, dad was Catholic). In his introduction video Lucas told us that he didn't really know what his purpose in life was, and he wondered why his LDS friend in Stuttgart (Peter) was always so happy even when bad things happened. My companion and I decided that we wanted to let Lucas know that his purpose on earth is to live, learn, and return to live with our Heavenly Father. Our 3rd lesson wasn't as great, and I didn't feel very prepared at all. So after that experience, I am going to work my butt off to never let that happen again! I am utterly amazed at how well the things I have already learned are coming back, and how well I am learning the new things (which includes almost all of the gospel things). I couldn't do any of it, none of it whatsoever, without the help of the Holy Ghost.
I hope Morgan enjoys her graduation today!! I am excited for her and the "beginning" of the rest of her life! School is almost over for everyone, so now you guys all have to figure out what you want to do for the summer! Lucky me, I know exactly what i will be doing for the next 2 years ;)
Sunday was pretty cool! The fireside was the Provo Temple President and his wife, and it was incredible! They talked about the temple, as you can guess. Then we went and watched a film; it was Elder Bednar's Christmas devotional in the MTC, and he talked about the cookie monster (with a pretty darn good impression too)! He talked about how the cookie monster wants his cookies now, and is only worried about himself. He told us to not do that, to get over ourselves, and remember that we are here to serve God and convert them unto Jesus Christ. We are just the medium through which the Holy Ghost can speak to those we teach, so we need to put off the natural man, the "I want cookie now!" or "I want baptism now!" (said in a perfect Cookie Monster voice of course). It was a fantastic day, and I hope I can feel the Spirit like that every day of the week.
It is so hard to think of what I need to say and what questions I need to ask, because I have to beat the time limit still haha. I have 2 minutes left. So, my disrtict has 10 people, Elders Botcherby, myself, Taylor, Barr, Pack, Birkinsha, Janis, Robins, Goodsell, and Hansen. They are all great guys! We get along quite well, but sometimes they get distracted. All is well though.
Have fun with whatever you do, and I hope you will always look for those things with which you have been blessed in life, and look every day for ways to serve others. As Nathan told me, Return With Honor!
Love you all,
Elder Jalen Gibbons