Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello again family!

Hello again family! We come together at the beginning of another week. How crazy is that? Krass. Ich weiß aber wirklcih nicht, was ich sagen will. It was a rather strange week, just because of transfers and such. Elder Davies trying to say goodbye to everyone in the ward in the midst of trying to set up last appointments so he could say goodbye to our investigators. It was pretty stressful. But assume safely that there will be similar situations later in my life. I am kinda just on a windback from all the stress, and knowing that there is just so much that we would like to accomplish, and not having any idea where to start! For example, we have a goal in this mission that every companionship has a baptism this transfer. It is already week 2! And our goal for baptisms this year is 290 (that number came from the bottom up, namely from ward councils to the stake presidents, to the Area presidency and mission presidency, etc.) I don´t even know where we are at, as a mission! I don´t even think we are halfway. And we have only 5 months left. I feel a great burden of urgency. This is very similar to the situtation I was in about a year ago, as I arrived in Klagenfurt. I heard the goal for the year was 300+, and we were at about 100. Well, I was new, I had no idea how this work went, and I figured I would have to rely on the older more experienced missionaries to be finding those elect people who were ready to accept the restored gospel. (Yeah, I know I had a pretty bad thought process back then haha. I am a bit different now.) Guess where I am now? I am that "more experienced" missionary. And truly, I know that we can make miracles happen, that we can really reach this goal. It is going to take everything that I have and will require the same of everyone. Elder Horlacher and I just are temporarily stuck on what we can do to get everyone else in the zone closer to reaching this goal. With 15 companionships, we have only about half as many baptismal dates. Can´t have baptisms without baptismal dates. 
I am going to stop there. Kinda sounded like I was going off about numbers, but that is not true, because the numbers aren´t important. I know that the companionships in this zone are working hard and doing what they do. My only wish is to figure out how we can make that work more effective and more enjoyable, to start a change to make us all more faithful. That is where we currently are. And all we can think of is that WE have to do it zuerst, and the others will follow. So we are doing it! 
Well, now that I kinda just typed out all that stress, I feel a bit better. Sorry to plague you all with it. This is the business of change we are involved in, and it requires a lot of work. 
By the way, transfers all went smoothly, and Elder Horlacher and I have had so much fun and done good work so far! Kai Weiß came to church again, which is great. We started teaching him about the plan of happiness on Saturday. I love that guy. He wore a new orleans saints t shirt to church, and when Elder Horlacher told him that that was his team (he comes from Louisiana, Elder Horlacher does) Kai left, changed his shirt, and gave it to Elder Horlacher. Sad part was, he just disappeared right when sacrament meeting started, so he missed the sacrament :/ but he came back and came up front to sit with me, and he was so happy that he was able to make Elder Horlacher happy and give him that shirt. I told Kai that Elder Horlacher would definitely be happy about it, and Kai said he was just happy that he could help someone, do something nice for someone. I really saw his heart. In the middle of his troubles, he takes the opportunities to serve others. And that may be the only thing that makes him feel good about himself. He does so much to try and help his other friends who have problems, and it just really puts him in a lot of stress. But he is a good man, and those are hard to find these days, oder? 
We had a great lesson with the other Kai this week too, where we figured out that he has nothing against being baptized, but he just does not like church. He didn't come this week either :( We told him, though, that he couldn't make a decision about church until he actually came to it, and he admitted that was true. He just has to come. That is the next step he needs. After that appointment, which we had up the street in a nice park, it started pouring rain. We got soaked, it felt so good! Because it has been so hot!!! We don´t live in the "kettle" that Mom talked about, I don´t think, but it is still way too warm. Our apartment is constantly 80-85 degrees. Then it poured again last night, and things are cooler now. I hope that it is still going a little bit. This morning was sprinkling, aber really cool and nice. When it rains here, it rains! 
Last Monday was lots of fun! Went to the base with a couple families (one of them being the Johnson family, who lived in Mountain Home a little while ago! They were in 2nd ward, and therefore know the Drapers and Johnsons and Rileys and Sessions and everyone else! And they are moving back there in December, they said. So I will see them when I get home. Cool, huh?). Taco Bell was okay, good taste of home I guess. I don´t eat much anymore, because I don´t run and play soccer. Then we had an adventure at the Rittersport factory. I didn't even buy any chocolate though. Don´t hate me, I just didn't feel like it. I have eaten much chocolate and sugar and the like on my mission, and I have cut it down a lot. The day was really warm and chocolate wasn't too appealing. But it was a cool place anyway. I would send pictures, but it isn't working today. 
The coolest thing about Monday was that Elder Davies' friend from Singen came up to spend the day with us :) Julian, who is going to go on a mission soon! He was less active when Elder Davies was there, and Elder Davies loved to see how he has changed now. Elder Davies is the reason he is going on a mission. We walked around the main shopping street, got ice cream, and then we went to C&A and I bought a new suit :) It was €70, and now I don´t have to wear the same one every week. So now I have a European suit and an American suit. Pretty big difference. But hanging out with him was cool. And then our GML bought us Pizza Hutt for dinner :) He is also awesome. 
OH! Guess who I met from the Military ward this week? Too bad I can´t send the picture. Lisa Berente, a good friend of Janet´s, and basically the Gibbons family. She is here, not too far from Stuttgart. She saw me, came up to me and said "Hello Elder GIbbons, I knew you when you were little in Mountain Home." Cool, eh? She wants to invite us to dinner sometime, so we can speak German with her neighbors :) Can´t wait. The world is small.
We are playing Fußball today with the district, I am excited. We also need to head out. I hope you all have a great week, it was great to hear about all the stuff going on. Thanks for being informative. Sorry if my info is lacking haha. Lots to do. I love you all, and know that Heavenly Father is watching over you. When times get tough, we have lots to learn :)
Keep smiling! :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS Liebe Grüße con Elder Horlacher :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Liebe Familie!


What a crazy week! And warm! It is like 80 degrees in our apartment, pretty rough, because you just stick to everything you touch because of the humidity and such. But I probably can´t say much, because I am not in some other place that is no doubt way worse. 
Anyway, we got transfer calls on friday! Elder Davies geht weg :( he is going to Offenburg, not too far from Stuttgart, but in a different stake. I will get Elder Horlacher as my new companion, the Elder Horlacher I knew from the MTC group above me :) He is way funny! AND he was trained in Landshut! So if we get to go back there, the ward would know both of us :) Yeah, I asked Elder Allan how the baptism (of Sympla and Benito) went, and he said it was great! The water in the font was low, apparently, so they had to baptize one of them 3 times and the other 5 till they got it right haha. But it worked :) Oh yeah, guess what?! Elder Allan is training next transfer! Wahnsinn, oder? There are so many missionaries coming out that there have to be so many trainers! I know he works way hard, and he will do great!
I don´t have a ton of time this morning, we are doing a district pday, going to Taco Bell on the Base with some American members, then afterwards we are going to visit the Rittersport factory! Should be lots of fun. A member from Singen (Elder Davies´ first ward here on the mission) is coming to spend some time with us! He is preparing to go on a mission, which is way cool :) And he attributes it all to Elder Davies just being his friend when Elder Davies was there. Look at the power of example and pure love! We can change so many things when we just try to do as the Savior would. 
We had a great experience this week in meeting with a man named K_____ (a different K_____, although now we are meeting with two K_____s, haha). Elder Davies found him months ago here, and called at least once a week to try and meet up with him. He never answered. On Tuesday he tried again, and after ten minutes, K_____ finally called back and we set up an appointment for that night! We met with him, walked to the church, and had one of the greatest lessons of my life! He has some addiction problems, but wants to get away from it all, and says that he had never answered because he was afraid we wouldn't accept him and his image, how he was. He was still apprehensive as we first met him, but he changed completely afterwards. He said one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard, and told us over and over that he just had so much strength and light from meeting with us, and he tells us everytime that he is so grateful that he met us. We committed him to baptism on the 14 of September, and all we did was teach him about the Restoration, and bear testimony about how he could do anything with faith in Jesus Christ. I can´t think of any other lesson where the German language slipped so naturally and fluidly out of my mouth, and the Spirit was the reason! We taught the truth with testimony, as Pres. Monson said, and it was incredible. My favorite part was when we read Alma´s story in Alma 36, because K_____ told us about his past. We said we would switch off reading aloud every two verses or so, but he started reading and then didn't stop. He read it, and saw himself in it, and when it talked about the pains and afflictions, he got emotional and he could feel his own pains, and then it talked about the light, from the Savior, that incredible joy from repentance. And that story was written for him. Amazing how the scriptures do that, ja? :)
So, he came to church gestern, but wasn't feeling well and went home. But the Lord sends angels to help us all, doesn't he? There was a lady in church who neither Elder Davies nor I know, who went up to K_____ after the meeting and said, "I can see that you want to quit. I can see it in your eyes and your face, you are ready to quit. And you will do it!" No idea who this wonderful woman is! But the Lord watches out for each of us, and Heavenly Father knows His children. 
That was one miracle this week! From many. I write down the miracles that happen every day in my planner. My journal is kinda....terrible.. but I know the Lord´s work is moving forward. I love you all very much, and am grateful for your examples of faith and love, and I wish you all the best! 
Keep smiling!
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS--Photos!  Check out the sweet shirt I bought last week. It says, in Bayerisch, "eins zwei drei, gewonnen", referring to their triple championship win this last season, so funny :)
Then, this was my shopping last week, I got a pair of shoes, the shirt, the shorts, socks, and a Fußball.  I was worried about the shoes being expensive, but I found these ones :) 
Now, a sweet Audi r8 by our church! But just wait, that isn't even the end of the nice cars...
Let´s just call it "New Mission Vehicles..." ;)  Yes, I am standing there with exactly 8 Lamborghinis, two of which were the brand new Aventodor. Beautiful machines. The orange one is probably my favorite. We found the Bentley/Lamborghini dealer of Stuttgart. I must say, we decided it would be a sin to buy such a car. We discussed afterwards how we didn't feel very good, and decided it was the strong testimony that money DOES NOT equal happiness. And after that, no other cars on the road even caught my eye. See what money and luxury does to you? That was our experience last week :) Life lessons learned. And we had fun doing it too.
Love you, 
Elder Gibbons

Monday, July 15, 2013

Guten Tag miteinand!


Grrrrrrrrrüüüßßßßßß euch! Hey :) you´re awesome.
I am happy. It is a good feeling, ge? We can all be happy, if we just choose so. And live and love the commandments of God. It is so simple! And true. Do you know what my scripture of the week is this week? Mormon 9:21. That promise is for ME. And YOU! And my cousin´s girlfriend´s aunt. You get the point. We can do ANYTHING if we just acknowledge the faith that we have, and give it to the Lord. Show your faith to Him, and He will always come through. Try it out :) It gives an incredible sense of confidence. 
Anyway, let me attend to some business. Last week I withdrew some money already, to reimburse the Bensons, and then have some for me. We will probably shop a bit today. I just need shoes, mostly... Dazu, you keep worrying about where to send my stuff, and the answer is to send it to Stuttgart! I will be here for awhile, because ZLs stay at least four transfers. Crazy, knowing where I will be for the next 5 months or so. July is halfway over. Holy Krapfen. (Krapfen: a delightful pastry, much like the famous Berliner, filled with fruit jelly and powdered with fine sugar). So yeah, I sent Justin my address already. Tell Tyson sorry that they mixed up our wiring. But I can´t complain when all the "bad" things go his way. I am happy ;) haha jk, he can be happy to, I submit that he is, because he is on a mission! Can´t go wrong with that. Tell Sister Allen thank you so much, too! She is so nice. And tell Becky I am still waiting for her wedding announcement!
Let´s see, what else muss ich besprechen... Dad asked why I didn´t recognize Sister Jencks, and that was because she was towards the front of the class, and I didn´t see her. Just made the story better a year later, ge? And Dad, Elder Davies says thanks for the advice :) haha. Hey, I hope you all know how awesome Elder Davies is. He is one of the greatest men on the planet! Just in case you didn't know. 
Oh, that´s right. My release date is May 9th. Crazy, eh? When is Tyson´s? He better not get longer than I have! I miss out on a whole week! And Logan had like 3 extra weeks! Lucky duck. Hey, Hajo Logan! :) du bist schön! genieß dein Leben! Danke für deine Email, ich schreib dir später, ist in Ordnung? So yeah, beach house trip sounds awesome! But that can come when it comes. Stuttgart is the coolest place on earth, remember!
All these connections with Tyson are ridiculous! I think it is so cool. If I understood correctly, Tyson said that Derek helped convert part of Elder Fullmer´s family? Derek is the man! He emailed me today :) I am so happy. He gets back to Austria on August 5th! I am going to have to ask him for another jersey :/ he said that if I was close to Villach we could get together... but I am pretty much as far away as possible haha. I told him to visit me in Stuttgart! Hopefully he calls me when he gets back to Austria :) The work is true, my friends! 
HEYYY!!! Elder Allan told me today that S_____ AND BE_____ ARE BEING BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY!!!!! Man, I am so excited. I have no idea if I can go :( cuz it starts right after church at 12. I would definitely have to miss my own ward, but the thing is, if Elder Davies is transfered, this Sunday will be his last. BUT, if Elder Davies stays (oh yeah, transfer calls are on Friday) then we are going, auf JEDEN FALL! I told Elder Allan that I probably can´t come, but if we do, it will be the coolest surprise ever! Schau ma moi. That is way cool.
Also, randomly, Mom, I was able to see those pictures on your email. Cool uniforms, ge? 
The zone pday was way fun last week! I played fußball South American style, without shoes. I left them in Munich on accident haha. They are just old beat up shoes from Elder Hansen. Today I will try to find some other good shoes. Tell Dad not to kill me! I am not buying cleats or anything. But I just have no athletic clothing of my own, and I don´t want to keep bothering Elder Davies haha.
Oh my goodness, guess what I saw this week? Wait, I already told you that.... about the Ferrari, right? Holy krapfen, that was so long ago. What in the world? Okay, but I did see another Ferrari yesterday (yeah, I know Chris sees those everyday, or did in Orange County, but it is still special to me), but I saw a sweet Aston Martin too, bright orange. Anyway...
Things are well here in Stuttgart! We have found lots of potentials and given out lots of Books of Mormon as well, we actually are out of books right now. We are just really trying to make them into investigators, and bring them the blessings of the gospel. Dad asked about the zone as a whole, and I think it is the same. Some areas do great finding, some not, but the major things are just new investigators and people coming to church. There are churches on every corner, but no one visits them anyway, so we are still trying to break that culture. I don´t mean everyone, of course, because the elect will do anything they can to receive the blessings of the gospel. We are working on it :) so, this last week, we never heard from K_____ until Friday, and he said he would call us today. So we have had a bigger pause than wanted... but we are going to push meeting with him at least 2 times a week, because we all need it. We are going to do that with all our investgators. We haven´t met any of the people from the Wells family yet, but soon! We pray for them to know how to invite them. And we go every Tuesday. This week we are having an American breakfast for dinner! We almost melted at the prospect. The other option was chicken enchiladas, also a mouth-watering idea. I miss good Mexican food. I miss Chipotle. But I love Germany :)
We had a good appointment with E_____ as well, he wants to follow the Word of Wisdom! So we will do that stop-smoking program with him next time. We did find a new investigator this last week, an Albanian man we found a little while ago. He has a family. We had a couple austausches this week, I did one with Elder Hemsley, the AP, who is awesome. A finding machine. And way funny :) Then I tausched with Elder Tauche, from the Military ward. He is also way cool. We met with a less active member from Thailand yesterday, who intoduced himself in Priesthood and said that he was less active and wanted to become active. So we met with him at a member's house, and he is way cool. We will meet regularly. We taught Priesthood gestern, and I think it went pretty well. As we were preparing, we were literally like jumping out of our seats with excitement about the things we were talking about. We talked about faith, with God all things are possible. Chapter 14 in the Lorenzo Snow manual. We were supposed to do chapter 13, but didn't quite know how to pull it off (it basically is a chapter praising the Relief Society and their charity and awesomeness). We love our mothers, but I don´t have a wife, and therefore no daughters in Relief Society either, so we moved to the next one. Haha. We can do anything :) It went well with my scripture for the week. 
I was thinking this morning about families, because I read Alma 24, and in verse 14 it talks about how God loves and will bless His people, and bless their children. And I just thought about a new approach to talking to people on the street or on doors about the family and God´s plan. My thought process was  something like this: God loves all of His children. He loves you. He really does want you to have these blessings, blessings that come only through His authority and through His ordinances performed through said authority. God wants you to return to Him, and by you choosing to follow Him, God knows that the chances for your future children and descendants to return to Him will be increased as well. Essentially I thought, who are you to deny your future family these blessings, or at least prolong their waiting before they can enter into their own covenant with the Lord? Anyway, I have no idea how I would say that to someone, it was just a cool thought (also much better in my brain than written out) that strengthened my testimony of the family. He sees not just now, but how things could be for the spirits He will send to earth in the future. So, join the church and have children in the covenant, and help God out in His cause, described very well in Moses 1:39. It is all worth it. :)
I hope you have a great week, Nathan should have lots of fun at the Jamboree. And Kate, have fun mowing lawns ;) Stay happy and safe and keep smiling!
I love you all!
Elder Jalen Gibbons 
PS Check out this awesome sticker I found! :) Then this was on the way to an appointment. Then waiting for the bus :) I am working on different faces haha.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Elder Janis (back left) and Elder Orchard

Jalen with Elder Riser
Hey Familie und Freunde, da bin ich wieder da :)
I wish I could type in German. It would be good practice. But besides the point.... How are you all doing? The weather here is a bit warmer geworden this last week, and we were just all over the place. Mission leadership council was Thursday and Friday, and it was way fun. I saw lots of friends and made new friends. There were rootbeer floats, but I didn't have ice cream. I just drank a root beer and felt not very good. I don´t like drinking soda anymore. Well, sometimes I do, but I am trying to just stick with water.
Okay, I did some pictures, with Elder Riser and Robins and then of Elder Orchard, from the meeting in Munich. And to answer your questions about the sisters, we have certain sisters who ARE in leadership positions, called Sister Training Leaders. I thought it was a worldwide thing. But, they are basically just the people the Sisters go to when they have problems, so that we zone leaders don´t have to deal with all that stuff. They do exchanges with the Sisters and work with us in training the zone and such. It is actually way cool. It will totally change the future of leaders in Relief Society and Young Women and everything. Does anyone else´s mission do that? Our Sister Training leaders are Sister Stewart and Sister Jencks.
Hey, the world is way small! I am going to tell you a story. We were on the train to Munich on Thursday, and we were discussing favorite colors and stuff with the Sisters, and then we started talking about eyeballs. And eye color. So we asked Sister Jencks what color her eyes are and she said that it depended on her mood! We all thought that was way cool. (Dad, have you seen stuff like that? People´s eyes changing colors? That is so cool). Anyway, Elder Davies looks at me very perplexed and asks if that is even real? And I said yeah, it is pretty crazy, there was this girl once who stood up in my Book of Mormon class at BYU and said that her eyes changed colors depending on her mood. So Sister Jencks asks me who I had for Book of Mormon, and I said Bruder Parker, and then she said, "That was me!!!" Crazy world, huh? Then we established later that I had sat in the observation room watching a preschool class at the JSFB (for a paper in my Child Development class) and she was there helping out! The world is small, and when you are a missionary who went to BYU, it is even smaller, eh? That was a lot of fun. That is way cool that Tyson is training the grandson of his New Mexico Mission President and his wife. I love being a missionary. :)
This week, apart from being gone for a couple days, was okay. Our appointment fell out with K_____, and he isn't getting back from whatever trip he is on until tomorrow. We did get to meet with E_____ again, and are meeting him tomorrow again. Tomorrow is zone training meeting, and I am way excited. I had a great experience when just thinking about and preparing for this meeting, because in doing so and thinking about how we were going to uplift the zone and get everyone excited and ready to work even harder, I found so many answers for the things that have been bothering me in the last few weeks. And I think now that I get most of my answers in a combination of from other people or when I am thinking about others. What I could share with you was just the importance of putting your mind where your feet are, and focusing on what you are doing and what is going to bring you closer to your potential. In thinking about that, I thought of D&C 45:32, about standing in holy places. And then I just thought, "Elder Gibbons, look where you are. It doesn´t matter what you did in the past, what you feel you DIDN´T do, that doesn´t matter. Look at where you are standing, because THAT is where you belong." And then, just like always, all that weight and those burdens and doubts just left, lifted by a power far beyond my own. I know that the Savior will give us strength, and I know that He will have mercy on us, for He loves us. And what else do we need in life, other than to know and experience that freedom from guilt and sin? I am so grateful for the Atonement and its enabling power, because I feel born again and ready to help others feel it too.
I don´t know if I have told you yet, but Stuttgart really just feels like home. I don´t know how to explain it, but Elder Harris told Elder Davies that that is how it is-wherever you are zone leader is just your home. I just love being here and love working with these missionaries, and this is home. Funny enough, we have a CD with a song on it called "This is Home" by Switchfoot. And when we listen to it, all we think about is just being here. Listen to it and you can imagine how it just fits in perfectly with the things I have learned and felt this week.   
Um.... today is our zone Pday! I am excited. The Bensons are going to help us with our grilling, a mini Independence Day celebration for the rest of the missionaries haha. And Fußball. Can´t go wrong with that.
We got lots of potentials last week, and the coolest thing was that 12 of them came from the Wells family. We went to their house on Tuesday, like we do every week, and this time they wanted us to teach the first lesson, so they could know how to talk to their friends about it! (How awesome is that? It is the start of everything the broadcast was about, this is how it should be done!) And then they gave us 12 names to pray for specifically, and tomorrow we are going back and we are going to role-play how they could talk with these friends. But Sister Wells is an awesome missionary, she just orders Books of Mormon online in whatever language she needs and gives them to her neighbors. We are so thankful for them and know that they can be a great influence on these other families. It was the coolest thing ever to hear Sister Wells tell us about one of these families, her good friends. She said that ever since the first day she saw them, she just pictured them in white. Incredible. The oldest daughter also wants to talk to her friends at school, so hopefully she can do that too. It will be awesome. 
We didn't get ahold of the Portuguese family, but we are going by today because it is the son's birthday :) Hopefully we can get them to church. We have started to do a lot of less active work, trying to stop by and say hello and offer our help, and then we just do some finding on the way and in the area. This is seriously the quickest transfer I have ever had. It is week 5 already. So much to do and I wake up in the morning, mind buzzing about what we are going to do. It is great.
I emailed Justin back, just about some of the things that he could get me quickly. Otherwise, I think I would just have to get some shoes and some shorts and maybe pants on my own. I can definitely buy slacks and white shirts here, that is easy. I just have no Pday, sport type clothes. I think Justin may send me some, I don't know, you can talk to him. And I still love ties! I lost some of my favorite ties, like my sweet green one. But it is okay, I will get the luggage back someday. Just practicing patience. But yeah, I lost the first year of my journals, too. I wrote every day, for over a year. Well, I have my journal now, which started on March 13. So a little under a year. But I did it, and I know I did it. Sorry Mom :/ probably a pretty big hit. I have all my pictures though, like I said. We just move on. Elder Davies' dad told him last week that he could withdraw a couple hundred euro to buy me some stuff, but I can´t let him do that! Haha. I am grateful for the offer, though.
Okay, tomorrow I will withdraw some money and reimburse the Bensons, and maybe I will just take some more out next week to get some of the things I need. Otherwise, reallly, I am fine. And happy to be here :)
Hey, I love you all a lot. And the Lord loves you a lot. And I am exactly where I am supposed to be, as are you! So make something of everyday, enjoy life, all of God´s creations, and thank Him for the ways He helps you and blesses you throughout the day. You will be a happier person, and more pleasant to be around (not that you are unpleasant in any way ;) )
Have a great week and smile! :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons

Monday, July 1, 2013


With Elder Davies after helping a lady paint
Wearing Elder Davies' Bayern soccer jersey--same as the one Jalen used to have
Hey Mom, I decided to just answer your questions really quickly. So, 1) yes I have my passport and my wallet and all that important stuff. 2) yes, I have my camera and my thumbdrive for backups, except I can't figure out how to back up my photos here, because the computer places only have one USB thing, and they are just weirdly formatted. 3) the Bansons gave me €100 to buy stuff, so you could just put that on my card, and I will withdraw it and give it to them. 4) I was wearing my Mr. Mac suit, the pinstripe, but the other one is gone, along with my trachten suit. So I have one suit still. 5) yes I have all of my scriptures, all the stuff from my desk I have. 
As for the luggage, I have already filed an online lost item claim, and I did the one at the train station too. How that works is that the info is put into a system, and EVERY train station in Germany can see it. So when anyone finds a match, then they have my contact info. So I called the Berlin lost and found from the number I got this week, and I finally got ahold of someone. But all she could do was put in my "loss number" and see if anyone had found anything. So that didn't help. I went to the lost and found here, and together we looked at the list of found items in their system, and we didn't find anything. So there is nothing else they can do. It doesn´t help when I call people, because it just goes back to this same system, and them saying that I will be notified if they find anything.
This last Friday, Elder Benson  got a call from someone he didn't know who talked to him about some lost luggage at a airport. He gave me the number, and whenever I call it goes straight to voicemail. So no big help. I keep trying though.
That is what is happening. I continue to try, but I can't do much. Just don't worry about it, you don´t have to replace everything. Most of it is irreplaceable anyway. We just move on. Heavenly Father still knows, so I leave it to him. I will still make calls, though! Don´t think I am just sitting on it. That´s the news about that.

Now for the rest. How is everyone doing? Holy Cow, Logan is home! I can only imagine how he feels, but I also know that everything he has done and everything he has become are just going to launch him into the future. He is ready for the rest of his life! Tell him hello for me :)
Cool that a lot of the family got to come together for all that! But my computer is being dumb and I can't look at the pictures you sent me. Except the last one of Kate, Morgan, and Kenzie. They look great though! Haha. I will try again later.
So, last pday was a lot of fun! We had I think 15 missionaries there, and we played fußball. I was happy :) This week was a little off for me. Towards the beginning at least. The week before had just been crazy, and we had done lots of stuff, but it felt just like nothing was accomplished. And this week again was kinda just a lot of fallen out appointments and not much time where I felt like the missionary who just talked to people on the street for hours, as in the past. We just didn't have much time for that. This week I hope it gets better. Tomorrow we are tausching with the APs, and then Thursday and Friday we and the Sisters will be headed to Munich for mission leadership council, where we will be having a 4th of July BBQ!!! Way excited. I have heard these meetings are awesome, and I will get to see Elder Orchard and Elder Janis and Elder Robins! And other friends. :) So this week is kinda crazy too, but we will make the most of it.
We had a lesson with A_____ again, with a lady who speaks Portuguese, and he basically just told us that he had no interest. That was a bummer. We gave him a blessing for his back, so I hope he is doing a bit better and feeling that power. We did an Austausch with the Elders in Waiblingen, and I worked with Elder Phillips, who is in his second transfer (still being trained). We walked around Waiblingen, where the Mercedes Benz museum actually is. We got some potentials on this one street, then kept walking, and then we got to the corner and guess what I found? I looked back and saw.... Burger King!! Yes, there are Burger Kings in Europe, that is not my point. This was the quaint little Burger King we ate at after visiting the Mercedes museum 3 years ago! That was cool :) I will send a picture of it. We went back and ate there that evening. So I have eaten there twice.
Hey, I whistled this week! For like a second. I just tried blowing something off of my desk, and then something whistled. So I looked at Elder Davies and asked if that was him. It wasn't. So it was me! I have never whistled before, and I can´t do it again, I have already tried. Sorry, random sidenote.
We had interviews on Wednesday, those were good. President is a very incredible man. He basically just talked about how awesome our zone was and how we need to be working with the district leaders. And we saw a couple clips from the broadcast, but didn't see the whole thing until yesterday. That was incredible!!! I loved every second of it. The whole time, the thought in my head was just "You are a missionary!!" and I thought about how awesome that is. I love being a missionary :) I want to watch the broadcast again.
We ate at the Finotto's on Thursday, the ward mission leader from italy, and their kids are so funny! One son and a daughter, and the daughter has blonde hair and blue eyes, so we made a club. The parents have no idea where it came from, they both are dark haired and dark eyed! Sis. Finotto said she just prayed :) Sis. Finotto also has your email address, Mom, she is going to be your best friend haha. She loves the Elders! Wants her son to be like us. But the family went back to Italy, and won't be back until August :( that is sad.
We had a great day yesterday, though! We just had time to go to Zuffenhausen and go by on some potentials and less actives. We tried one less active, but he wasn't home. So we went upstairs and we were let in by a nice woman. She had a son and a friend she lives with. She could speak okay German, but not a whole lot of gospel lingo, so she told us something, about her brother in Portugal. Then she translated it online, and we figured out her brother was a stake president in Portugal! Oh, okay! She is a member! But she isn't even on our list! But her son loved us! And was so sad when we had to go. We committed them to pray together and read in the BoM, and promised it would help her boyfriend develop faith too. Hopefully we can get her to church! Her son is almost 9, and really wants to come to church! So we shall see. But we were so happy, because we had just come from church, listening to the broadcast about gathering the sheep that have gone astray, and that is exactly how we saw this little family. We want them to come to church and go through the temple and have the gospel in their lives. So we will meet with them some more! We talked to some other very nice people, and we were using like all the foreign language knowledge we have, I don't know how many times I just spit out "I don't speak French" (in french, of course, can't spell it) like it was natural. And I got to use my Twi (from Ghana), that I learned from Br_____, and the guy was way impressed. I just love learning all the little small talk in different languages. I got some Polish too, from a lady we brought to church. Fun stuff. The guy I spoke Twi to, we helped him just lift his stroller out of the bahn, and he waited for us by the stairs and saluted us as we drove back by, and put his hands together and shook them as if to say thank you. We hardly did anything! But I love those little acts of service, and I love being a missionary :) He also had sweet shoes, that were like an American flag. I really hope we see him again sometime. He has our card, at least. 
Well, we lost contact with E_____, which is sad. We are working on it, just everytime he calls recently we are pretty sure he is just drunk. But! We finally got Kai to see the church! We went and played basketball with him because he has no one to play with. Then he saw the chapel and said it was very pretty. So we are hoping he comes this next week. He is way cool, and I am excited to see the progress he will continue to make. Otherwise, we are just finding! We organized our ward list and also decided to do lots of less-active work, so that will give us more opportunities to find and get referrals. You´ll hear next week, then, how things went.
We do so many things, it is just crazy! I love it here, and I love all the great missionaries. I am happy :) What more can I say?
This week I really want to just have the Holy Ghost with me, and this mornnig I read in the General Conference Liahona, Elder Cook´s talk about peace and also Elder Kopischke´s, about being accepted of the Lord. I am going to follow his pattern, and he said that having the Holy Ghost with you is the best sign that you have been accepted of the Lord. I hope to have that encouragement and excitement that will also ignite all the other missionaries here, and I know and feel over and over again that the words that were spoken at General Conference were true. The Lord will keep the promises made, and I look forward to becoming a better person than I was even just last week. What more can I do, especially after being kinda off for a bit last week? Just keep going, and doing better. I hope you all have gone back through and read your favorite talks, and all the talks, again! Just look at the table of contents and ask yourself what you need, and then find the talk to read. Read, and you will get answers. So simple! Pray and ponder about it, too. I know that those men are all servants of the Lord, and the Lord will fulfill His words.
Have a great week, don´t let anything distract you from being happy, and know the Lord has so much in store for you.
I love you all, keep smiling and working hard. :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS the pictures, the first is when we helped a member paint, and she made us hamburgers! the second is just after soccer, and Elder Davies has the same Germany jersey that I did! (That one is his, mine is not in my possession...). Then, the Burger King! Remember it?
PPS the email last week from Derek was just saying that he was getting baptized on Saturday! They will be sending me more info and pictures sometime soon, I hope. So I was way excited :)