Wow, I just watched the video that Dad told me about. I love it! I, too, have been doing my best but not always succeeding in feeling the Christmas Spirit. It is sad that that is the world today, just business and stress. But there is always time to serve. Like Pres. Monson said in the Christmas devotional, it is the Spirit of Christ when we but drop the last syllable. What could the world be if everyone felt this Spirit? Fröhliche Weihnachtszeit to all :) Well, that video helped me out a lot. Thanks so much Dad. I recommend it to everyone. On mormonchannel.org, "What shall we give?" Such videos always remind me of who I want to be, and give me the will and the strength to work for it. And that is indeed the Spirit of Christ, the ability and strength that comes to us when we seem to be at our limit. It pushes us to be better. And it brings a peace absent in the world. I know Jesus Christ was born for us. He is truly the Prince of Peace, bringing relief and hope to the lost and the forgotten. But we cannot forget that we are ofttimes the means by which He helps those who are lost and alone. Think about those people this Christmas time, and figure out how you can help.
This last week went by SO FAST!!! I just emailed you all yesterday. It is crazy. Christmas is almost upon us! So, we are going to be skyping on the 24th, it will be evening for us, and Tyson said he is pretty sure he will get permission to do it then, too. I would guess around 20 here, that is about 2 PM by you. Mmm, maybe let´s say about 19 here. Ah, I will talk more with the family we are with, maybe they only have like 1 computer. I will let you know next week. Wait that will be pretty short notice for Tyson. We will make it work.
I want to share something that we learned in our ward mission correlation meeting yesterday. The assistant ward mission leader was there, Arnulf Schaunig (his mom in Sister Schaunig from Klagenfurt, who I love :) ). He had invited a friend to church gestern, and she came with! But even though she liked what was being talked about in the Sacrament Meeting, she had one question: why doesn't everyone pay attention, why are there so many people just messing around with their phones? Arnulf told us he was ashamed, because we know the truth and don't even appreciate it as we should. I remember Dad not letting us bring our phones to church back home-- thanks Dad! He also didn't want us just bringing our iPods, even though they had the scriptures on them. I will ALWAYS bring my hard copy of the scriptures to church, unless I am on vacation or something. We don´t often think that much about what people see when they visit our wards. Sometimes, sadly, people pay more attention to what they see, rather than what they may feel. I want to challenge you all to think about that too. Maybe you have self control and don´t play games during church, but prevention is the best medicine. We have to realize what we have, and be excited about it, and share it with others. That is what Arnulf talked to us about yesterday. He also said many other inspiring things about the authority we have as missionaries. We are eating lunch with him before he goes home for Christmas, and I will send him with a note to his mom.
Anyway, church was great yesterday, and we got to watch the Christmas devotional. And the ward party was also really fun. We helped out a lot in the kitchen. And sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Oh, guess who I met yesterday, from the Wien 1st ward? Haha you don´t know him, but chances are sometime you will, he is going to the Idaho Twin Falls mission! Last I heard, Mountain Home is in that mission now, oder? I will come back, find him, and speak German with him. And teach someone in German with him. He is Michael Schmid. He has your information. He is flying to Provo today. That was so awesome, I wanted to meet someone from here who would go to Idaho!
Okay, where did you get that idea Dad? Because that would be SOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!!!! (Jalen and Tyson have been asking whether we were coming to pick them up from their missions, and Jeff proposed an alternate idea--since Jalen is being released from his mission 11 days before Tyson, maybe Jalen could fly to Argentina and serve with Tyson those last few days, and they could come home together. Don't know if it's possible yet.) I would do it in a heartbeat. It may be rather complicated, though, with permission to proselyte in Argentina or whatever legal issues, but I would totally do it. As long as they don´t ship me through Africa and steal my luggage again or something haha. Anyway, if you find anything more about that, let me know :)
The S_____ family are doing good! The boys always talk about their missions, being missionaries :) even if they want to be Elder Botcherby haha. Sadly, there was some more trouble with the father this week, and they sent him away again. And our appointments got cancelled, except for one, so it could be that at least the mom won´t make the date for the 29th. But she said in the beginning, we tell her when she is ready, and she is there. So we will see what happens this week. We just have too little time to teach everything since appointments didn't happen. And as for the father being gone again, the miracle still happened! He just let the influences of the world work on him again, and he is gone. God is still a God of miracles, and we still all have that wonderful gift of agency.
We are still trying to find the elect, those who will actually take time to meet with us. People are just way busy this time of year. We have one new investigator from Nigeria, but we will be giving him to the international elders this week. Oh, this weekend there is a baptism here in Wien, a man who was taught by Elders Jones and Abbott, while they were in Neuötting and I in Landshut, is coming down to Wien to be baptized :) I am going to witness. I met him a few times, his has been a long journey. I am so happy for him :) This work ist einfach wahr! Read 1 Nephi 13, I wish people would just understand how simple it is, the reason we have the Book of Mormon. But people stop at the sight of new scripture. Well, God still speaks to man, through His chosen servants. I bear my witness to that, that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord´s prophet on earth today. And Joseph Smith was the Lord´s servant in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ. The gospel blesses anyone willing to follow it, and Jesus Christ, our Savior, born for us, and who died for us, is always there waiting for us to come to Him.
I wish you a blessed week, with much hope and love and peace. "Picture a Christmas in Vienna! Picture an Elder Gibbons here." (To the tune of the Primary song-- I may or may not finish writing the lyrics. Those were from the top of my head :) )
Keep smiling and serving!
Ich hab euch alle lieb!
Elder Jalen Gibbons