Monday, December 10, 2012

Let´s talk about snow...

What walking all over everyday does to shoes
Hallo :)
Well, Dad seems to be pretty accurate with my weather, because it has been very cold! Don't worry, I have been decently warm, and on Monday I bought a hat and some gloves, and also a dictionary! If you are wondering how the dictionary keeps me warm, then you are trying too hard--it doesn't haha. Sorry for the bad sentence structure. Yeah, it was -8 this week, and hung out around there, but on Tuesday it snowed!! A bunch! Well, it was a couple inches, but it was our first real snow. Elder Eaker has never seen so much snow in his life, and he was super excited haha. We got to shovel the Halls driveway for them, and we did her neighbors too as well. I´ve missed shoveling snow, it's good work. Forgive my lack of possesive apostrophes, bitte. But then that snow semi-melted, and most of it turned to hard packed ice/slush. Kinda like home. But it snowed again on Saturday, and much of it is still here. It is so pretty! On Saturday we rode the bus to a little dorf and ended up walking through big fields covered in snow, and hardly any traffic. It was really a Silent Night, that's what I thought of. Still, dark, cold, very peaceful. Figured that I would look back on my experiences later in life and appreciate that walk through such pretty scenery. It´s the classic idea of what I would be doing as a missionary over here across the pond.
So yeah, I love my trenchcoat! It keeps me very warm, and I have no complaints. We have also been taking more advantage of the wonderful bakeries around here, and it makes me sad that I didn't go buy more huge oatmeal cookies from Mom´s Meals on Wheels friend's place. And I also decided that every week we are each going to try out a new kind of chocolate, because we have been sticking with Rittersport and Milka (cool picture by the way, Mom, from Elder Janis´ blog). I had a limited edition 100 years rittersport this last week (I taped the package into my journal). I have finished two whole journals now! Aren´t you proud of me? Not a single day without something written. I need to start looking for more. A lot of their notebook things are like grid paper, and I don't like writing on that, so I have to look harder.
Back to snow, I must ask something: What is your standing on me buying boots? I will send an email with some pictures, including a picture of my Men´s Warehouse shoes, which are ridiculous. But yeah, my shoes aren't exactly grippy, both of the bottoms are relatively flat, so I had a really good time walking around everywhere in the uneven snow. I even fell once, and yesterday my left knee was a little swollen and my lower leg hurt in general. We have been to the Ecco store here in Klagenfurt, and they have some goretex boots for about € 160, but I don't know how much insulation they have. We also saw some boots in another shop downtown that have insulation and are also goretex, and only € 149. That is what we have seen, and for me the biggest thing is keeping my feet warm, dry, and having traction. You will have to tell me what you think.
Anyway, last week was lots of fun! With the snow and stuff of course, but on Monday we met with D___ and B___. Dad wondered how a pro athlete could have WoW problems, and I thought that was funny. He doesn't have any problems with smoking for sure, but we asked him to try going without black teas and coffee and such. He is doing great too! We finished the Plan of Salvation with him on Monday. But now we have no idea if their parents are coming over here or not :( so that is still the same.
We met with Herr M___ as well, the one who is in the wheelchair who Elder Stapleton and I found. He had a surprise for us, he had told us, and we got there and it was two whole pork roasts! That is expensive here, we heard haha. He really loves meeting with us. It is still difficult to actually teach anything, but we do our normal thing, answer questions and bear testimony, and now he wants to come visit the church! We are shooting for this week! He is great, and such a nice guy. He also told us that everytime we come over, he is going to have something for us to eat that is even better than the time before will have been. So, we shall see where it goes. It was funny, he complimented my teeth, saying that my dad must be a dentist, not an eye doctor. So Elder Eaker and I laughed and then looked at each other and Elder Eaker told me to tell him ;) So, I told him about my nice fake teeth :) and he said many compliments to the Doctor! Thanks Dr. Vogl! haha.
We did an Ausstellung on Thursday, and I can't think of the word in English. like display or stand or something... Anyway, we do it in the middle of downtown, where everyone is shopping and NO ONE wants to talk to you haha. It´s almost like anti-missionary work! Not really, I had a good time, but everything I had heard about ausstellungs beforehand was pretty negative. I got to walk around a lot, and talked to some cool people! It was also freezing then. And after that we went to Frau K___´s with Sis. Schaunig and Daniele Casella, and had a very good time. We gave her handicapped daughter a blessing, because R___ asked her to let us, and it was a good experience. Olive Kaiser, the bishop's son, got baptized on Saturday, and that was a fun time. Too many sweets to try at all of these European potlucks... I felt kinda sick afterwards.
Oh, I saw lots of pictures from the Temple Rededication, with Joey and Jared and Christian and Malcolm, Tyler, Solomon, Justin, Aubree, Willow, Austin, the Crockett girls, and all sorts of people I know from the stake! That was pretty cool. Tell Malcolm I laughed at his haircut ;) he looks like his dad!
I had the opportunity to speak yesterday on how I discover and renew the spirit of Christmas. I think it went well enough, it was better to have things written down, then I don't screw up German as much. I love being here and being able to spend this time with these people I love, in the ward and with investigators. There is always a special spirit at this time, and even though I am so far away, it is the same feeling. I hope you are enjoying it too, and most importantly thinking about what Christ means to you in your lives.
Sorry if this is somewhat shorter, but I have mentioned the highlights. I have all sorts of stuff in my journals, so you´ll have to wait for all the good stuff. ;) Oh, I forgot to mention that we finally met with the young M___ guy we found at the end of November last night, and it was really good! We are going to meet him Saturday and then go to the ward Christmas party. Should be good. I will keep you updated. He is very nice and open and had many good questions.
I know that Christ was born to free us from sin and from death. He did it because He loves each of us. He is the greatest gift of all, for each of us, and what can we do in return? Follow Him, live like Him, love like Him, learn of Him. Seine Geburt feiern wir, sein Leben ehren wir, und seinem Beispiel für uns bleiben wir immer treu. He is the reason we have hope and joy, faith in a life after death. And He lives today, to continue to love and bless us. What can you give in return for such a gift? You´ll have to reason that out within yourself.
Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, and he was called of them to establish this church. Because of God´s love for His children, we can live together in families, we can learn and grow on our journey to become as He is. The Book of Mormon can prove that to anyone who is seeking sincerely. And NOTHING can stop the Lord´s work from moving forward.
Be happy, and rejoice in this season of celebration, and don´t stop smiling. :)
I love you all!
Elder Jalen Gibbons

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