Saying goodbye to Elder Eaker
Delicious schnitzel with the Eakers
We have been singing Christmas hymns for the last couple weeks, but the sad thing is that the German hymnbook only has a small portion. So we pulled out the two English books we have and sang "The First Noel" and "It came upon a Midnight Clear" and "I heard the Bells" and loved it :) We are so excited for Christmas! The ward Christmas party is this weekend, Saturday. :) So stoked! We didn't get around to checking out the Christmas markets last week, and today it is raining, so we will see.
Anyway, everything is going so great! So Dad was confused about whitewashing, that just means that both missionaries get transfered out of an area at the same time, and two more come in, who have never been there before. So my adventure is doing that, plus training a new missionary. I am having so much fun. The elders who were here were teaching family S____, and they are so AWESOME!!!! Their new date is the 29th of Dezember, but I think they could even do it sooner, if the circumstances allow. We have a schedule schon for when we will meet, and we have planned out the next appointments with what we still need to teach. I will send a picture of the last appointment we had. We had a tie-tying party at the end :) We all fit in that little room!!! Haha. Man, they are so ready, the mom said that as soon as she met the missionaries, she saw the light we had. And she knows she is now on the right path. She looked through lots of different churches, but now she had found it, and she is such a good example for her kids and her younger sister who has been living with them for a month. She will probably also be baptized, next year. M____ is the nicest lady ever, and the sons love us and text us almost everyday. And they have so many friends in the ward already. It is basically the PERFECT situation, and we are just blessed to be here and keep it moving forward.
We saw a HUGE miracle on Saturday, that was the appointment in the picture. When we got here to Wien and read the records for the family, and also heard from the other missionaries a bit about them, we read about the kids´ father. He didn't want them to go to church, he wouldn't let them, and was basically against all of it. But then the father moved out one day, and the family´s progress took flight! Now they are where they are. After our first appointment on Tuesday, we were just flabbergasted by how ready this family is. The only thing missing was the father--they aren't a complete family. And we want families to be eternal. That was basically the only thing not right in this picture. Then, we get to our appointment Saturday, and the dad is there. The other missionaries didn't like the father, because he had pushed so much against them and the family. But then the mom told me that he had showed up at their house on Saturday morning and said that he wanted to come to church and learn with them. WHAT???!!!! The mom then said that he had seen how the kids had changed, what good it had done in their lives, and in the family life, and he wanted to be part. So the ENTIRE family came to church yesterday, and all of the boys, and the dad, had nice shirts and ties on, the ties we had showed them how to tie yesterday. We are so blessed to be here and take part, because we really haven't done anything for this. The other Elders were just doing their best, trying to fulfill their responsibilities, and now there are so many people involved and so many lives have been touched, both missionaries and member and investigators. Wow. So that is Familie S____, I love them so much. One day the sons will go on missions and bring their light to everyone else in their missions. Meine Güte. So cool!!!!!!
Another cool miracle from last week. On Monday, the guy sitting at the computer across from me got up to leave and couldn't find his wallet. That was too bad. But then we are sitting on the Bahn on Wednesday, and Elder Weston points him out and says "Hey look, it is the guy from Monday." As soon as I saw him, I knew he was going to get out where we were getting out, and we were going to talk to him. He actually jumped out one before, but we were standning by the door, so I checked my watch, and then we jumped out and asked him if he had found his wallet. He hadn't, but we gave him something with much more worth ;) he took the Book of Mormon and we are going to call him this week to see how he likes Alma 34. What are the chances of seeing the same person again in Vienna, a city of 2.5 Million people??!! We had to do it :) That was way cool.
I got to see Elder Eaker later on Wednesday too :) His parents picked him up over here, and he was in Wien, and he called me. We met him and his parents in the city, and then they took us to go eat. It was great talking to him again, and Elder Weston got to see his trainer´s trainer. I had a schnitzel filled with ham and mushrooms, it was so huge and was delicious. Man, it is crazy how much we change on missions. I love Elder Eaker and have so much respect for all that he taught me and for the man he is. I hope he has a great time at home and that he keeps himself busy haha.
Okay, really quick, about the skype in two weeks. You have to send me my info again, I lost it. And I have of course 40 minutes with the family, but I also have permission to talk to Tyson for 20 minutes! So the hardest thing is the timing haha. Just had to throw that in before I forget.
Man, Elder Weston is so awesome! We have been eating so good this last week, eating like four kings for €70! I have had meatloaf, beef alfredo, tortelonni, bbq chicken wings, and last night we ate scones. Fresh scones. With homemade honey butter. All compliments of Elder Weston. Yeah, we go running a couple days a week, in the morning. And our frühsport is pretty good! I am excited for this week, because Elders Jones and Botcherby were at mission leadership council this last week, and they bartered with the German elders for a few packages of maultaschen, like schwäbish (Stuttgart area) ravioli, except special and so delicious. They don´t have it here. Naja, don´t have to worry about food. We are working together on German, we have to start from the basics. But he will get it with practice and more practice. It is way crazy how we are almost the same person, but totally different as well. We have some great conversations about the things we have learned and how we learned them and why we are here, etc. Meaningful conversations. I am grateful to have him. He is so ready to share with everyone, and he listens and does his best just to serve. He will do great.
Well, we are excited about this week. Lots going on, and lots to do. I am just doing my best to love everyone like the Savior would (and does). Makes everything so much better, more meaningful, more enjoyable, and more memorable. The Lord does so much for us, just like Dad told me, He is there to calm our troubled hearts and silence our fears. I know it, too. And there is no better time to feel His love and devotion than this Christmas time! Enjoy it, love it, and spread the joy around.
Have a good week, give your best, and smile. :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS I just noticed that my nametag is not on my coat in my picture with Elder Eaker. It was still on my sweater, sorry. I do always wear it :)