Monday, June 24, 2013


Elder Davies--very cool apron!
Stuttgart sunset
Hey, thanks for the email with Pres. Auras´ post, that made my day :) I love them all too! He has a wonderful family. And Derek Ryan emailed me and told me the big news for this coming Saturday :) so I am just way happy right now!
Well, there seemed to be one permeating message in all of your emails, so I will address that now. I do not have my bags, but we are working on it! Elder Davies has been a trooper and lent me some clothes and such when I need them, and I have a pair of beat up tennis shoes from Elder Hansen, so I am just fine :) Although, I got a call from President Miles the other day, and he is really worrying about my luggage, and he told me I need to be proactive and use my phone and call people until I can locate my luggage. Well, I told him I would, but I have no numbers to call.... so I need to go to bahnhof and just ask, I guess. But yeah, I have moments where I want to go grab things from my bags, and then realize I don't have that at the moment... haha. Just makes it an adventure. But I am fine, you can stop worrying! The person I have become and the things I have seen and felt and heard in the last year are worth more than anything in those bags. They´ll find their way to me eventually. But I will still be proactive, yes.
Well, another week gone! We did get to play some Fußball this last week, but it was SOOO HOT!! We played in a little street basketball/soccer court, and even though it was just caged in, we felt like we were in an oven. So we played 4 v. 4 for like 40 minutes, then spent the rest of the time in the huge grocery store next to it, dreaming about lying down in the ice cream freezers. But today, I am sitting next to Sister Holmstead at this moment, and after emails we will go and play Fußball again with lots of the missionaries from the zone :) Yay! She says hello. (<-- she authorizes that). I am excited. I am actually wearing the black Germany jersey that I have, but this one is Elder Davies', because I don't have mine at the moment. Last Monday we also had the chance to go to FHE with E_____, one of our investigators. He is really cool, and he liked the time to meet people and the spiritual part of it. He is very open and has good questions. Plus, one of the people there at the FHE activity was a girl from Graz, Austria! I told her I love Graz, and she asked if I knew the Lex family. I said I did, and I even ate with them on austausch with Elder Smith in Graz in my first transfer! Almost a year ago! And then we realized that I had eaten dinner with her parents and her two younger sisters, probably like my 3rd or 4th week in the mission field! So we took a picture so I could send it to her family. But I forgot their email addresses today....
Tuesday we had district meeting, and that was a lot of fun. Our district is Elder Davies and I, in the German ward, then two elders in the International ward (Elders Hansen and Tauche) and then 3 Sisters, in a drit, Sisters Stewart and Jencks and Green. Sister Green is a golden, and being trained by the other two. Sister Stewart goes home this transfer though, so then Sister Jencks will probably finish off the training. We have lots of fun together, and we all love being here. And then the Bensons, the Ehepaar, are there as well :) I love them too.
On Wednesday we went to Ulm to go to their district meeting, and then do an austausch. We had some difficulties, however, getting on the train. We ended up on the wrong one, had to get out at the next stop and then wait an hour until the next one came. We were kinda frustrated, and Elder Davies called Elder Kinghorn to tell him we would be late, and really, before he even hung up, a man walked up to us and asked what we were doing. So we told him who we were, and gave him a BoM and he said he just wanted to get away from alcohol. We promised he could, and then set up an appointment for Saturday (sadly, we couldn't find him, he gave us a bad address :/) but we knew immediately what we were doing in Bad Cannstatt, rather than on the train to Ulm. Elder Kinghorn and I came back to Stuttgart, which was fun because we were in the MTC together, and we went to a place called Böblingen. We talked with 3 people and made 3 appointments and gave a BoM away in like 20 minutes' time, and about 50 meters. We were excited :) All those appoointments fell out, too :( but we keep going.
On Thursday, after a very uncomfortably warm night, we switched back our companions, and then later that night we went and played soccer with some of the young men from the ward. The leaders are really pushing them to go on missions, and sadly I don´t think there is much excitement at the moment. So we want to get to know them better and change that :) They said we were the first elders that were actually good at soccer, so that was nice. That night there was a crazy rainstorm and lightning and thunder. We actuallly went out for a couple minutes in the rain. It was literally like buckets of water falling from the sky, we got soaked immediately (we were wearing the clothes we played soccer in anyway, so it felt good). That was crazy. We played some more soccer at a BBQ we were invited to on Saturday night, and we got the whole district so excited about soccer too :) I love it when that happens. Sister Jencks did a perfect rainbow after like 4 tries, and learned to head the ball right. And Sister Green was excited to try more at home, so she said they have to go buy a soccer ball :) Music to my ears, those words. It is the greatest game ever.
Sunday was also great, there was a talk about gratitude, which really touched me. I need to be more grateful to Heavenly Father. But I was in a much better mood after that than I was that morning. I was just tired and my brain was going really slowly. I sat with the Wells family kids. They are Americans, but the husband is an author, Dan Wells, and they moved here to Stuttgart, and they have us and the sisters over every Tuesday for dinner :) I love their kids. So I sat with them. Bruder Wells came on a joint teach with us Tuesday. He speaks Spanish, and he had a fun time trying to talk to a man who speaks Portuguese. But it went very well, and we were very grateful for his help. It was very cool to know the Lord was just helping this man understand. We have another appointment with him, A_____, on Tuesday, with someone who speaks Portuguese :) yay.
We are way excited for this coming week, and I am excited to see the changes that come in the missionaries in the zone as we set up our own zone vision for what we want to become. We have interviews this week with President Miles, and we will probably discuss it more until we can write our own spiritual constitution as a zone, things that will change us into the best missionaries we can be. And I get to start with myself. The missionaries in this zone aren´t going to do it if I don´t.
It sounds like you had a very fun week! Sorry for Malcolm, I didn't think the knock-out-your-teeth club was THAT cool, cool enough that he wanted to join haha. Hope all goes well with him. I can´t believe Logan comes home tomorrow! O my goodness! Tell him Hi :)
Um, I will send some pictures this time, we are at a different place today. But I am almost out of time. There is Elder Davies, nice apron, and there is a picture of a sunset over Stuttgart, not too far from our place. Then, a picture with S_____ and Be_____ (respectively left and right).
Hey, I love you all :) and I love where I am, and what I am doing. I know it is the Lord´s work, and I have never been happier :) Sometimes we don´t know if we make a difference, but then you get emails like Pres. Auras´ or the email from Derek, and you know that you have done something right :) It is all worth it. Heavenly Father loves us all so much.
Have a great week! Be happy, and smile :) Fare thee well.
Elder Jalen Gibbons

Monday, June 17, 2013

Liebe Grüße von Schwabenland!

He, griaß euch :) man, this week has been SOOOOOO CRAZYYYYY!!!!!???!§"!! And mostly just in the last 4 days. Let me explain :)
Elder Davies is an incredible man. We have so much fun. And we are just always doing something! Which I like a lot. I have my own phone now, that is pretty cool, I guess. But yeah, I am getting ahead of myself. I did get the chance to say goodbye to everyone in Landshut, all the investigators and such. And there was much time spent packing. But I did it! We didn´t do anything too exciting on Pday. I think we had what, like four appointments? No, three, and two worked out. We had a great appointment with Frau Kuhn, the lady I found on finding day! She was very nice, we talked about what the Book of Mormon means for her. I hope Elder Allan and Hustead get to meet with her often, because she was cool. Our meeting on Tuesday was also way cool! We took a picture, I saw Elder Robins and Elder Stapleton (who is now home :o ) and shook Elder Nelson´s hand, as well as his wife´s and the hands of the other general authorities there. We had Elder (and Sister) Soares from the first quorum of the 70, and Elder Patrick Kearon, from England, whose accent I love, and then Elder Fingeley from Germany, an area authority here. And then the stake president from Salzburg and Pres. Auras from Munich :) There were many inspired words spoken, and Elder Nelson told us to master the language, and then he took some questions. He also gave us a blessing to be true disciples of Christ, to be obedient, and alles. His wife spoke about receiving the spiritual gifts that counteract and overcome our weaknesses. That was also very good. One part that stuck out a lot to me was what Elder Kearon said. He spoke about the power and authority of our calling, and he shared the quote from Pres. Kimball in that section in PMG chapter one. About being set apart, from all things of the world that are low, vicious, crude, vulgar, etc. And it was perfect for me, because I had been feeling like I was just stuck living in a world where morals and all things that are good and from God are trampled upon, and it was just getting me downhearted and sad. I was low on confidence in the people we talked with or saw on the street, because I let the verderbheit der Welt crush my faith. But then Elder Kearon spoke about grasping the power, the literal power, of our setting apart, and just knowing that we can do this. It was awesome. We didn't have much time to talk with others, although I talked with the Halls from Klagenfurt :) I was excited to see them. We had our own zone meetings after that, and then we all had to go head home.
We helped Sisters Garrett and Regnier get to the train (which was our train as well) with the many heavy boxes of Books of Mormon they had to bring home. I don´t know how they would have made it without help, so glad we could be there. They talked to a very drunk young guy on the train, who came up to me and asked what we were doing, and I answered. But then he turned to Elder Allan and said, can you speak German, because I don´t understand what that guy is saying (pointing to me). So I just sat behind him and laughed as he talked with the Sisters and Elder Allan :) They did very well. Then later he talked to me again, this time with no problems. Drunk people. They are ridiculous, and they are not very respectful. But hey, the gospel can help them! :) He took a Book of Mormon with them.
Anyway, that is basically all the news about Landshut. So, transfer day came! I was the ticket holder for all the missionaries headed to the Stuttgart zone, so I got to ride with Elder Janis (who is going to be ZL in the new Freiburg Zone, with Elder McClellan!!) and three goldens, and Elder George from my group, and then a couple other Elders who, until now, I have only known by name. There are two new Sisters in the zone, and then one Elder. The sisters were fast tracked, they were talking about how 3 weeks ago they were home! That is really crazy. But they are all really cool :) We have a pretty young zone, and Elder Davies and I are excited :) We got to ride an ICE train, and it was the nicest train I have ever been on! But we had to spread our luggage out all over the train, like 3 cars. So we started gathering them all when we were close to arriving. I had a couple bags in my hands, so I just lined up some of the suitcases along the corridor to the door, and then I dropped the bags in my hand off and went quickly to check that the Sisters had all their stuff off the train a few cars down. Then I came back to where the Elders had been unloading the rest of the bags. My bags weren´t there! So I ran to the train door, but they wouldn't open. And then, my two suitcases took off on the way to Berlin. :O Uh oh. By this time, I am assuming you are probably freaking out! But just remain calm, ge? I am not freaking out. We have told the DB, they have the bags in file, and Pres. Miles also called the Berlin Mission President and the Berlin President is going to Berlin bahnhof today to ask about my bags. So, things are going as well as they can. :) What a story this will be in the future, eh? The Bensons, the senior couple here in Stuttgart, heard about my misfortune and they have done so much for me! Locating me clothes and giving me money to buy a couple new shirts and pairs of pants. Because all of my clothes are in my two suitcases. All I had in my carry-on bag was my books and such, to save weight. I figured I would be with my luggage the whole time... But everyone has been very helpful, and really, I am okay :) I am so happy, there are cool things happening. So, just laugh with me, okay? That was my biggest story.
Suttgart is very pretty, and it is hilly! No more flatness! It isn't the mountains, but I will be okay with Taco Bell :) (all on the military bases, to which the international ward Elders have access ;) ) I am pretty excited. We are playing soccer today with some of the Elders, and we have planned a zone pday already, and a zone service project. I miss being so close in on all that is going on in the districts, and I wish I could see all the missionaries more often and speak with them. I just love them all, we are going to work miracles. Oh, and next week I will finally get my rematch with Sister Holmstead, we are playing Füßball again :) My only problem is that I have to borrow everyone else´s stuff to wear, cuz I have nothing.... just a minor complication.
Being a missionary is awesome! I wish you could know the ways I have grown and the happiness I have experienced. You just have to do it yourselves, then you will understand. I don´t want to be anywhere else! I love it. I hope one day many of you will also have the experience. Just choose the right, choose to be happy, and follow the Savior Jesus Christ. He lives, He loves us, and He guides us through His servants on earth. There is nothing that cannot be healed by His great love and sacrifice for us. Come to Him, and there will be peace in your life.
I love you all so much! I love the Savior so much. I am glad that you are enjoying all your adventures in life, girls camp, scout camp, work, whatever you are doing these days. I hope you find time to smile (there is always time, just so you know :) ). Have a great week.
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS I wanted to send pictures, but these computers are weird. Sorry.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Goodbye to Landshut!
With the Andersons and Bruder Koenigbauer
With some Klagenfurt Ward youth
3.7 meters of flooding
Helping clean up in Passau, with Sisters Garrett and Regnier and Elder Allan.
They helped the older couple clean out their flooded cellar.
The white mark at the top of the door is the flooding watermark.
They say (basically) that despite the flooding of 2013,
Passau is still here, and thanks for the help!
Hey Leibe Familie :) alles ist klar bei uns, keine Sorge über die Überschwemmnung, ge?
There was lots of excitement about the flooding, huh? Yeah, as far as I know, Passau got it the worst, maybe tied with Deggendorf. But no worries, the missionary apartments were not affected, at least not here in Landshut or in Passau (so, our district). The Sisters actally moved into their brand new palace this week (anything is a palace compared to the apartment here...) because Elders are coming this next transfer! That should be great for them :) Sister Garrett and Sister Regnier are very excited. And, because of flooding, they have done LOTS of service this week. We went to Passau as a district on Saturday, to help out. There were so many volunteers there! They had centers set up everywhere where people went and waited for an assignment, and they had food for everyone, but they were out of rubber boots by the time I got there, so I just walked through the mud and dirt and water in my tennis shoes. They dry fast, sowieso. I will send some pictures of the project. We ended up just finding an elderly couple who were throwing all the ruined stuff out of their kellar, and Elder Allan and I worked there with the Sisters. SO much fun, and they were very grateful. Everyone even offers us beer!! (We say we don´t drink--good teaching-by-example opportunity, eh?) and then we met up with Elders Jones and Abbott again, and their friends they had worked with, and tried to go find work. There were so many people there that they just told everyone that there was no work for the moment, and we had to wait. Pretty impressive system. And, to top it off, München Zone/stake is doing a Mormon Helping Hands service project this coming Saturday in Passau. That will be way fun! BUT....I won´t be there. OOOOOHH, the suspense is getting to you, haha :) have patience. (Yes, we got transfer calls). ;)
Do you know what else I got? LEDERHOSEN!!! :) They are so comfortable!!!! And awesome. I attached a picture. I wanted a dark blue shirt but they didnt have one in my size :/ so I stuck with the light blue. But anyway, what do you think? That will look good at Kate´s prom, right? ;) I can´t wait.
Let´s talk about transfers, ja? :) It´s pretty cool, lots of awesome things happening. There is a new zone in the Mission! All the German wards that belong to Swiss stakes are now a zone, and Elder McClellan is the zone leader with someone :) He has been zone leader twice, then! Pretty crazy. Elder Eaker is leaving Munich, and going back to Wien 5 ward, where he was trained!!! And he is training again! He is super excited. Elder Gochnour is the new ZL in Munich with Elder Orchard, (he was one transfer behind us in the MTC). Elder Allan is staying in Landshut, and gets to see Landshuter Hochzeit! His new companion will be Elder Hustead, who trained Elder Hansen from my MTC district. Oh, I get to see Elder Robins FINALLY tomorrow, at our meeting with Elder Nelson!!! (Have I mentioned that yet? Sorry if I forgot :O) and Elder Robins is going to be the new zone leader in Wien with Elder Riser (from my Klagenfurt district) :) The Sisters and Elders in Passau and Neuötting stay the same, Elder Jones is the new DL and will rock it up! Elder Harris is spending his last transfer training and opening the second Innsbruck area! I wish I could have worked with him one more time, but it´s okay--I am working with Elder Davies, who was trained by Elder Harris. :) it kinda worked out. Elder Davies I met in Wien at interviews once, and then I did an exchange with him my second time in Wien, remember him? He gave me lots of good advice, and he is awesome, I am excited to work with him in.......... jk, I am not going to tell you yet. (Sorry, I have to make this exciting for you). :p
Elder Gubler, who was ZL in Wien is the new Assistant to the President, and he is the Hammer! The Andersons are sad that I am going away, they wanted me to stay to see these baptisms through! But where I am going, I think I would be able to come back and attend the baptisms. ;)
So, talking about our friends! We met with S_____ and Be_____ last Monday, and read in Moroni 10 with them, trying to help them understand how to get answers. We gave them colored pencils, courtesy of Sis. Anbuhl so that they can mark what they like and then we can see what they liked! But none of our other appointments worked out with them :( we are meeting later again today, and I will have to say goodbye to them and get pictures). There was just lots of things going on, we were trying to do service for people who had lots of water in their cellars, like the Auras family and their neighbors. We spent all of Monday doing that, basically. They all have pumps to pump the water from the basement and out onto the street, down the drains. They live down at the opposite tip of the island from us, where the two rivers (well, it is the same river still) and the flooding channel come back together. The soccer field we played on weeks ago was covered with water, like almost a foot deep, maybe more. So we spent lots of time doing that, and trying to run to appointments and such. What an adventure. We had to cancel our appointment with the lady Elder Abbott and I found, we went and rang her doorbelll and talked to her and we are meeting her tonight, this time in white shirts and ties and not dirty, wet jeans and such. (We didn´t have her phone number :/). We met with P_____ a couple times. He has lots to do still. He will not be baptized at the end of the month, that is for sure. Elder Allan will have to decide if we keep teaching him or not. We met with Br_____ on Saturday too, and she just never finds time to read. We will have to move her baptismal date back as well. It is also so hard for us to teach because the kids run in and interrupt every five minutes, and she just has lots to do. We are trying to get Julian to go with us again, hopefully this Tuesday (tomorrow) because the kids like him and are quieter when he is there. We shall see. That´s how all that is looking. We need new investigators, though. Our potentials just don´t turn into anything, for the most part. No time, too busy, false numbers, etc. But we keep doing it!
Also, I should tell you about the tragic death in the Landshut Ward. A complete surprise. Brother Niedermaier, who translated in churrch for our investigators, who was always willing to pick them up, who was at our last appointment with Brigitte a little over a week ago, passed away on Thursday morning. He was a very fit man, 57, who went jogging Thursday morning, came home and made breakfast, then fell from his chair and passed away. Elder Anderson called me and told me and I was in shock. We had just worked with him on Monday evening at the Auras´ place. It is very hard for his wife and his one remaining son. They have lost now 5 members of their family (including some extended family) in the last 18 months. My heart aches for Sis. Niedermaier. But, what was great was that she came yesterday to our "stake conference" meeting with Elder Russell M. Nelson, and Elder Nelson spoke directly to her and told her how much he felt for her, and then he and the other speakers all bore testimony about the plan of salvation. Elder Allan and I saw that she had come and we said to each other that we hoped she would find peace and comfort at this meeting. And then, at the end of Elder Nelson´s talk, he said he felt impressed to leave a blessing upon the saints gathered there that day, and "invoking the keys of the Apostleship which he holds," he blessed us with peace and comfort, and with faith in Christ. That settled that for us. His talk was great, he had all the Primary kids stand on their chairs and sing "I am a child of God" and he held the music director´s little girl as he led the music. I really just pictured the Savior with the kids, because Elder Nelson is in all reality the Savior´s Apostle and servant here on the earth. After the meeting Elder Nelson actually stayed and shook everyone´s hand who wanted to. I will see him again tomorrow, so I let the members have their chance. It was so cool. The problem was, I was trying to catch members before they left so I could take pictures with them, since I won´t be there next Sunday. I got a few of them.
But, yeah, Sister Nelson also spoke and talked about how all the questions we are asked as members of the church could be answered the same way: "Because I know the Book of Mormon in true." She shared a story about Elder Nelson as he was younger, in an operation room, where one of the nurses asked why he seemed so different than the other surgeons. That was his answer, as quick as could be. So should it be with us! Why do we do this or that, or this in our church? Because I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And I know it! And I have no excuse for the way I live as a member of this church, because I am happy. And I have been incredibly blessed to know what I know, and to be learning what I am learning here. The Book of Mormon is true, and in all reality, that is the reason I am who I am. What about you?
Well, I will tell you now. I am headed to Stuttgart on Thursday! So, I get another shot at the Porsche Museum, eh? :) I will get to work with Sister Holmstead in her last transfer, and also some Elders from Elder Allan´s group, and all the other people who are there. Elder Davies will be training me in the ways of being a zone leader over there, and I am so excited for the things I will learn and to meet and watch over the people there, and the missionaries of course. So, now I will be able to see Elder Robins at least once a month, and also Elder Orchard and Elder Riser and Elder McClellan, because they do their ZL council every first Thursday of the month. That will be exciting :) I am way excited! I am not worried about Elder Allan at all. I wonder what my apartment situation will be like in Stuttgart.... they are just sending me as far away from the mountains and trees as they can. But I hope we can do some awesome zone pdays, then I can learn more Fußball skills from Sister Holmstead. Sorry, I have no idea what the address there is. Elder Allan will get me any mail that comes here to Landshut, but you know now that I am leaving! So no more mail here. I just got another letter for Elder Smith, who hasn't been here since the beginning of February. Don´t make the same mistake! I have packed one bag already. And the guitar shouldn´t be a problem for transfers. And yes, there are multiple missionaries who have guitars, and President of course just warned us about the effective use of our time.
Just remember what Sister Nelson said, and think about where you are in life, and why you are there. The Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and we know the plan of eternal happiness that God has for us. Don't forget it. I love you all and hope you have a great week, with scout camps and girls camps and all sorts of things. Happy belated birthday to Dylan, heard he had a great birthday haha. Liebe Grüße an alle Freunde und Verwandte :) ich hab euch lieb.
Mach´s guad, und lächeln noch weiter :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons

Monday, June 3, 2013


 Flooding in Landshut
Jalen, curled up next to the radiator after a cold, wet day
(notice the shoes drying out on top of the radiator above the keyboard) 

Servus, I am just tired of thinking of subjects, and I think you all know what the subject is anyway, oder? Haha. But grüß euch miteinand!
Remember what I said about the weather last week? It got worse. Haha. Dad was worried that I had a bad attitude, but no worries there because I was just happy for all the cool things happening with investigators and such. Yeah, I´ve had to put my shoes on the radiator overnight every night, and they are all hard and stiff in the morning, but just like Dad said, the worse the weather, the prettier my wife will be :) Haha. Trust me, I don´t go around with that as my motivation; rather, I look at it all as just part of the work, and we have a lot of fun. But for real, there is a TON of water here. The rivers are so close to overflowing. I will send you some pictures of the river overflow places. We normally walk there... for example, where those signs are in one of the pictures, those are usually about head level, and we walk there to go home. But they have everything marked off. The Germans have never seen such weather. Passau is actually flooded. We were going to have a district pday today, but that isn't happening anymore. But I will still go buy my lederhosen today :) Yes, I withdrew the money on Saturday. Anyway, it was so cold that we had to take drastic measures to stay alive! (As you notice in the 3rd picture) :) just kidding, it wasn't that bad. It has been a fun week :)
SO, we had no one at church yesterday :( P_____ said he was going to Hambug, Br_____ didn´t come, and S_____ and Be_____ were invited to go with a friend to church. But S_____ and Be_____ were really worried about that, if we would be mad that they were invited somewhere else haha. Of course not! But we met with S_____ and Be_____ like 4 imtes last week! And I had an Austausch with Elder Orchard in Landshut this week, and he actually had the chance to meet all of our friends with baptismal dates! That was cool. Elder Orchard's brother served in Ghana, and is currently living there, so he had a great time talking to Br_____. We had a lot of fun too, Elder Orchard and I. We did have the awesome dinner with Br_____ and Julian and Christina, and they taught the kids to pray, and then we went back the next day to meet and to try and eat more of the tons of food that was left over. We talked a lot about the purpose of life, she is very interested in that, in her purpose. So it was wonderful to bear testimony about how the gospel enlargens (<-- is that a word?) our view of this life, and how following Christ will bring the only happiness that lasts. With S_____ and Be_____, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ, baptism and the Holy Ghost, and we are trying to help them recognize answers to their prayers, which they so diligently say! We also taught the Word of Wisdom and Chastity, and they both agree that it is not easy, trying to follow Christ in the world today, but S_____ tells us over and over he wants to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost to guide and protect him his whole life long :) good that he understands that! We are meeting them again in about an hour, which makes this email a bit shorter. Sorry. Oh, before I forget, thanks for the pictures of Tyson and Kody and Logan, and the pictures of Christina and Sydney are awesome! Can´t believe it is already JUNE! But it doesn´t look or feel like it haha. P_____ is also doing well, I guess. He was successful not smoking for like two days. Then we saw him across the street the other day, and he was smoking :( he didn´t see us. Dang it! He did have us throw away all his coffee though. I was worried that my backpack would smell like it forever.
Oh, we helped M_____ again this week, to move stuff from down in the kellar to his apartment, which is at the very top, of course. Then he bought us dinner. I got a gyro, it was very good. He is such a nice guy! When we talk, he asks us questions about the Book of Mormon, and he tells us experiences he has had and asks us what we make of it. It is a different kind of teaching, but a good experience!
Did I tell you that I bought a guitar? Last pday, we were looking at a music store at guitars (well I was) and they were all so expensive. I had about €85 left from my birthday, and I just couldn´t ever decide what to buy. So I found a guitar, nothing special, it was only €79, but the man gave it to me for 70 because I am American, and gave me a carry bag for 20. Elder Allan lent me 5 euro, but I paid him back already. So yeah, I just decided that I would use the money to develop a talent that could last my whole life, eh? I am pretty happy. It is relaxing. And I don´t know any songs, I just play the Primary children´s songbook songs, because the chords are written in there. My favorite and probably best right now is "When I am Baptized" you know, the one about rainbows. Good stuff :)
We had a finding day here on Saturday, and I got to work more with Elder Abbott! We found a lady and gave her a BoM and we are meeting with her tonight :) we are excited! We can finally practice our Deutsch now! Haha. It also rained that whole day. Needless to say, we have done lots of dooring. I haven't done it for awhile. But who knows when this weather will stop. I miss having people on the street haha.
Transfer calls are on Friday. Isn´t that crazy??!!! I haven't thought about it, and continue not to. I just go with it now. But I hope I stay for Landshuter Hochzeit :) das wäre super. Schau ma moi!
When I was working with Elder Orchard on Austausch, he told me he had accidently seen our release date. He kept telling me we were so old! Haha. It is ridiculous how much time has gone by, and 2013 is half over. What in the world?! I´m not going to tell you my release date, because I also do not want to think about it. But that kinda jolted me again. Just like life, we can´t take things for granted, you have to make the best of every single day! I agree with Paul, when he said in 1 Korinther (Corinthians) that he was who he was by the grace of God. I am so grateful for what I have learned, what I am learning, and what I will learn. I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends who support me and love me. I love you all too. One day all the things that happen in life will make sense to us, so why do we need to worry about all that now? Just have faith, forget yourself, and do something. If there is something I could say that I have learned up to this point, it is that I have to stay busy. I will have to stay busy for the rest of my life, because when I sit around with nothing to do, then I get distracted and lose all excitement and motivation. It also goes with the gospel as well (of course, that is kinda my whole life haha), in that when we sit somewhere with nothing to do, the temptations that come are hard to get away from. We need to have some forward momentum in our lives, always learning something more about the gospel, applying things to our lives, so that even when temptation comes, we can get ourselves hence. Boy have I noticed the difference, when we are just out doing work, the time goes by and we do so much, and I forget all the things that are trying to drag me down and discourage me. Live the gospel and love it, it is a natural defense against the potholes and whirlpools of Satan. Live so that you have the Holy Ghost as your guide. He will be there. I know that, I feel it everyday.
And like Paul says in 2 Cor. 3, we have been guided and comforted by God so that we can do the same for others. Because I have been given much, I too must give. That is the gospel, and that goes perfectly with the quote Dad sent me. See how simple the gospel is, how easy it is to see its power and influence in our lives?! See the blessings that come from it? Why would we do anything to hinder that? We just have to stay true, and one day we will be found blameless before God, through the mercy and merits of Jesus Christ. Of that I testify.
I love you all and wish the best for you. Keep smiling :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons