Ach so, wie ich euch lieb habe! :)
Happy birthday Nathan :) (Hope you liked your song that I sang on skype!)
So the big news eh?!!! Elder Eaker is going to Munich, serving in the 3rd ward, as Zone Leader! Haha let me just say this, that if I had a baptism for every time that Elder Eaker talked about never wanting to be a Zone Leader, then Klagenfurt would be its own mission :) He will do great there, no doubt, but he is so sad to leave Austria haha. He doesn't know Deutsch, he says, only Österriechisch, so he will have lots of fun in Bayern :) He has been here in Klagenfurt for so long, since May, 5 transfers, and the ward loves him. ANNND... I will also be here for 5 transfers, because I am staying :) Yay!!! Let me intoduce my new companion...
It was afternoon on a typical spring day, I was laying on the couch at home (Mountain Home home, I mean ;) ) and amid my many just-got-my-wisdom-teeth-
removed-and-now-I-am-on- painkillers dreams, I received many text messages from various people, saying, "Hey, they just mentioned someone going to your mission in the General Conference talk!" So yeah, my companion, fresh out of the Italian area of the mission, is Elder Orchard, who was in the MTC with me!!! I am so excited!!!!! So we are going on Thursday to Innsbruck to pick him up, and Elder Eaker will continue on to Munich, and I have the chance to see Elder Robins too, if he is in Innsbruck when I get there! (I hope he is, I miss him haha). But yeah, Elder Robins is going to be serving in Innsbruck, in my Zone, but I may never see him, because interviews this transfer are in Wien for we Klagenfurters. :( welcome to the craziest district in the mission! Haha. It was a long, good time working with Elder Eaker, and I will miss him. But the work goes on, and to spend time with someone as old as I am, that should be fun :)
By the way, I have not yet received the Draper´s package yet, but there is a good chance that it may come today, and if not, because of holidays maybe, then sometime this week. But that is okay, because we received SO MANY cookies for Christmas from the members! We will never finish them! Dad asked if I had eaten all of my candy, and there is no way I have haha. It will last me a while, I believe. No worries there.
As for New Years, I have no idea what they do haha. Nothing different, I don't think. We are going to the Familie Korak´s today, and if the weather isn't too bad they said we are going to watch the fireworks on the Wörthersee. That would be so beautiful! But it is always so foggy here, so only time will tell tonight. Also, tell Easton that Elder Eaker and I have thoroughly enjoyed the table soccer that he gave me :) I am amazed that it is possible to put spin on the ball when flicking it (obviously it is physically possible, but I didn't think it would do as much as it did). So that was great. Plus the Tootsie Pops! Best Christmas ever, eh? :) Each year gets better haha.
So I can't for the life of me think of what it was that I said that you thought was so funny. You said I spoke like Jack, but I can't remember what it was. And the plaid/plaayed, what did I say there? I just speak and have no idea what happens or how I sound, not in English anymore. Haha it is fun.
I can't believe Dad busted out his patella! He has played Fußball with us for so long and never got that seriously wounded. Hopefully it decides to stay in place, but be careful, Father! haha.
So, this week was so great, so much time with the members, and then the weekend was just the opposite, out on the street, doing some doors, for HOURS! Talking to the few people on the street, walking the whole day. Good stuff, since we were fed so much the first three days haha. So Monday you know, we went to the Kaisers', the Bishop's family, and we had a good time there, and like I may have mentioned, they gave us pancake mix and real syrup!! It was so great! Back to the Future was also fun, we watched it in English, sorry Mom. That was our first late night, today will be the second. Tuesday we went to the Bishop´s parents´ house, (the bishop was there again, haha) and had a wonderful dinner. I love the Kaiser Family :) and then we went to the Halls' and watched Silent Night, which was great! And she made (Sis. Hall) chocolate chip cookies!!!! It has been so long!
Wednesday we were invited to a single adult activity, where we ate and sang and had fun. We ate at the Mauchs' gestern, Elder Eaker´s goodbye, and we had a long discussion about missionary work, which was very cool. And actually, before we came here today to do emails, we were at F___´s house for lunch, the man from Iran. He is so nice, and I don't ever think I have talked so much or heard him talk that much with anyone except a few members. But apparently we were nice enough, and he made us lunch and we had a nice discussion :) I love this place. I will probably only be here one more transfer, but we´ll see.
Sadly we didn't meet with anyone this week. M___ dropped both of our appointments :( so we have no idea how things are going. He just calls and says that something came up, and then we don't know anything else. Frusutrating. So sorry, no news there.
Oh yeah, guess what? When we went to the Halls' Tuesday, they were skyping with Sis. Hall´s daughter´s family, and Sis. Hall introduced us to them. And she said "here is Elder Gibbons" and they said, "hey wait, we have already had an Elder Gibbons come through here. Have you served in Albuquerque?" HOLY COW! They are the Merrill family from the ward where Tyson served before going to Argentina! Tyson knows my Senior Couple´s child´s family! Crazy how small the world is, there is a connection between our missions. Wow.
I enjoyed the Skyping a lot, glad I could entertain unknowingly, and it was great to see everyone. I hope you have a great new year, and have fun when the schedule gets up and running again. :)
But let me conclude with a thought, actually, it is someting that struck me from the testimony of the man who spoke last at church yesterday. He said, "I do not want to live ONE SECOND without having the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world." (Auf Deutsch, natürlich). He said the same thing about the gospel, didn't want to live one second without the gospel. I have thought it already in my life, as I am sure many have, where would I be and what would I be doing if I were not a member? What if I didn't know the Book of Mormon is true? Have you thought that ever? I have, but then it always comes back to "Hey Elder Gibbons, you know the Book of Mormon is true. What more do you need? You wouldn't be here without that, don´t worry about what-if´s." And indeed, you know exactly why you are a member, why you live the way you do, why you do the things you do right now. But sometimes we all need help remembering. Somthing that Br. Mauch said in class yesterday was a quote from Lion King, from the baboon (sorry, don't remember his name...). He told Simba (Symba, however you spell it), "It is time to remember." And how true that is! Remember who you are, where you come from, and where you are going. If you have already remembered, great. If you need to remember something, then I hope you do. If you get nothing out of this, then at least I did. It´s time for me to remember. Remember how much the Lord loves you. Remember when you first knew what the Holy Ghost felt like, remember when you first felt clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Remember that you are never alone.
I love you all, and wish you the best. Remember to smile. :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons