Hallo liebe Freunde und Familie!
Well, I am sorry to hear that Great-Grandma passed away. President called me on Saturday night to tell me that you had emailed him, and like he said, we had a good conversation. He asked me about her, and then he asked if Great-Grandpa had already passed away. When I told him he had, then President said, "Oh, can you imagine that wonderful reunion?" I appreciated the love he expressed, and the testimony he bore about the Plan of Salvation and our purpose here. It wasn´t unexpected news, but I was grateful to have him tell it to me personally (as personal as over the phone is, I suppose). He told me to just think about the knowledge that we have that night as I contemplated the meaning of Grandma passing on, and I did. It was a very interesting experience. I was lying in bed thinking about it, and somehow my thoughts turned to my remaining family and all of my friends, and I thought back on great memories with so many people. And in this situation, as usual (speaking of her death), one can get a little sad, and those emotions started creeping into my wandering thoughts, and I started to just feel sad about the fact that so many memories are just that--namely, memories-- and I also had glimpses of opportunities gone by and mistakes made. What was interesting was that my natural instinct in the midst of these emotions was to just bask in the sorrow, like some people so readily do. And honestly, I tried for a second. But I couldn't. Instead, a hope for the future, memories to be made, opportunities to take, faith in the reality that we can live forever with our loved ones, came into my mind instead. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have, and the opportunity to share it with others. I am grateful for the comfort that night, the reassurance that things will be okay. That there is a plan for us. But most importantly, that when we give up everything, give it to the Savior, then it is really impossible to let yourself be drowned in sorrow or regret. It´s funny to say, but the best way to describe my experience was that the Savior DID NOT let me be sad. Haha He forbid it! And so are the workings of the Atonement in our lives. Each of our lives. That was my impression from Saturday night, and I am grateful for such a wonderful Mission President. He is truly an inspired man, and he is exactly what this mission needs, just what these missionaries need. And all you can summarize from that is that God speaks through living prophets, and Jesus Christ really guides His church today.
Well, I shall report on the rest of the week, eh? Moment, ich muß zuerst etwas erledigen. So, thanks for the addresses from Tyson and Chris, and now I have more favors to ask: can I get addresses for Ossie and Logan Olaso and Stephen Bush, if possible? That would be super. And yeah, I don't know how much it would cost to send Tyson something. I can figure out. I also want to give you the address from Sch. Schaunig, who took us to lunch a couple weeks ago and who has basically just been treating us as her sons. She is so nice! Anyway, that's all the address stuff I believe!
Also, it was funny in Dad´s email, because he was talking to me, but then occasionally you mix us up, and in this case Dad talked about his study in the NT and said he had thought of "you and jalen." haha i always just laugh :) no worries. Sorry that there are two of us.
Also, I have some information on the package stuff. So a package has to be less than 1 kilogram (just the cheapest one, from what I have heard) and that is still € 20!!! Wow, it´s pretty ridiculous. So I don't exactly know what I am sending yet (don't worry I am going to Villach today to shop and get haircuts and such, so I will look around for Nathan and Kate and Will), but it may be rather expensive. Plus, the Post only takes cash, so I am thinking that I will convert the $100 I have from the bike fund and use that for the packages. Otherwise, you would have to put money into my debit account and I would have to withdraw it. Only cash, so annoying! But yeah, that´s some news on that.
Also Mom, I am going to send a letter home today, but it will be a letter for Will, something for just the family, but then a letter to a friend as well. And I am going to just write the Buchteln recipe in there. And actually, no need to worrry about conversions, I have it all already, that is how Sis. Kaiser gave it to me, thankfully :) so, ich freute mich!
Plus, you talked about singing in the choir about Christ, and I had a similar experience in the MTC, where we were singing "I Believe in Christ" in a meeting, and the whole meaning hit me. Actually, everytime we sang that, it did so. My favorite version of that is MoTab, and my favorite lines are in the last verse, where it says "And while I strive through grief and pain His voice is heard,´Ýe shall obtain!´" and then, "I believe in Christ, so come what may." These have really struck me as a missionary, and I know how you felt when you told me about that. It is incomprehensible joy, there is no other description. And I find it much easier to feel such love in this Christmas season. Dad asked if people were more open to us, and I don't know if I can say that many more people are, but I can say that we have been blessed to find those people who are willing to talk to us. We found lots of potentials this last week, and we did A LOT of dooring! Haha one klingel that we hit DIDN'T STOP!!! And it just kept buzzing and we pressed other buttons and then banged on the door and then we just looked at each other and said, "And it is time to walk away..." which we promptly did :o that was fun. Also, it is really cold now, it SNOWED GESTERN!! But the sun is out today and it is melting. But it was beautiful!
Well, I got to walk around the whole market that Dad told me he saw online, and that was cool. It´s because Sis. Schaunig invited us spontaneously to lunch, and so we wanted to go talk with her and see how things were going since she is having a rough time. I was really glad we went, because we figured out that that day was probably her toughest yet, in terms of her situation, and so we got to comfort her, since we are basically her sons! When we said goodbye she hugged us again!! Haha and then she said, "you aren't supposed to do that, huh?" and we said, nope, not really haha. But she just said that she imagined her sons on missions and knew how much she wished that someone would be motherly to them. So, that's why I want you to send her a Christmas card, if possible. She is so nice.
Also, I figured I should be better on investigator reports! Sorry for my lacking, but nothing much was happening I guess. Anyway, D___ has been trying out the Word of Wisdom this last week or so, and we just told him to pray and see if it was right. And, gestern, B___ texted us and said "Guess who got a hat trick tonight? :)" plus they won their game 11-2. So we told her that he better be thanking Heavenly Father and that he better recongnize the blessings of the WoW. So, we are meeting with them today, like I said :) Um, V___ isn't doing anything, and he cancels appointments, so we had to drop him, and then besides that we have the man that I found a few weeks ago in the wheelchair, who made the appointment without us having to ask. He loves us haha. We basically just go and listen to his ideas, many of which are true, and when we can we just answer his questions and bear testimony. We just let him talk and try to be there for him. We count him as an investigator just on principle. But yeah, that´s how things are going. I will do better on updating you.
Well, as always, I get up to bear my testimony on Fast Sundays, and as soon as I stand up, no matter how much I have formulated things in my head, it all goes away, and I feel like my German is just terrible and all I can hope is that the Spirit talks through me. I guess it is my monthly "be thou humble" experience haha. So, I am going to do what I do better, and write out what I tried to say yesterday. And sorry, it is in German, but I heard that Bro. Sell must have liked translating it :) Hi Brother Sell! And everyone else.
So, fange ich jetzt an. ein paar Tage vor habe ich eine Ansprache vom Elder Holland gehört. Er hat darin eine Geschichte über den Vater des Präsident David O. Mckays erzählt. Der Vater hat ihm ihm (David) gesagt, als er auf Mission ging, daß er sich mit allen Lehren des Evangeliums beschäftigen wird, mit allen Heiligen Handlungen, mit den Heiligen Schriften. Aber wenn er vor Menschen steht, er wird finden daß sein Sinn ganz leer wird. In diesem Moment, sagte der Vater, er soll sein Zeugnis über den Propheten Joseph Smith und das, was Joseph Smith sah, ablegen. Dann hat der Elder Holland über die Wiederherstellung der Kirche Jesu Christi durch Joseph Smith gesprochen. Er sagte, daß diese Kirche nichts wäre, sie wäre wie jede andere Kirche, wenn sie die Wiederherstellung und die Erste Vision nicht hätte. Und ich (elder Gibbons) hatte mich gewünscht, daß ich wie Elder Holland sprechen könnte, daß ich Zeugnis von der Wiederherstellung mit solcher Macht wie er ablegen könnte. Doch kann der Geist so sprechen. Ich weiß, daß der Prophet Joseph Smith Jesus Christus und Himmlishen Vater gesehen hat. ich weiß, daß diese Kirche die wahre Kirche Christi auf der Erde ist. Durch Joseph smith war das Priestertum Gottes wieder dem Menschen gegeben, zum Segen der Mitglieder der Kirche, und zum Segen der Kinder Gottes. Dank Jesus Christus, können wir zusammen mit unseren Familien für immer und ewigkeit leben. Und was bringt uns größer Freude als dies?
I hope you all have a great week! Nathan, good luck with basketball, keep playing tough and keep your head high. Good luck in school and with everything else. Also, a happy birthday today to Eshjaia Gervais! Don´t know if she will ever see this, but just in case.
I love you all :) Choose to be happy, smile! :) It´s contagious.
bis nächste Woche!
Elder Jalen L Gibbons