Monday, August 30, 2010

Argentina - Rosario #30

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Amanda Gibbons

Date: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Subject: hey hey

Hey all you at home!

Wow so we had some miracles happen here in Rosario and some more crazy experiences! Ha we always got to have those! So first off, I just want to thank you all for your prayers and for your desire to serve God and the people around you! We have some awesome members here that just made our guests feel so welcomed and loved! They both said, it’s so different from any other church they had ever been in! People actually care and you explain the teachings of Christ, you don’t just bash other churches or read from the bible out loud. How blessed we are to have the true church of Christ where we have the oportuinty to learn and grow every week, that we can feel the spirit so strongly just by being with other people who have come to know the truth in their lives as well!

So we are teaching that family still. I’m going to explain the family, Jose is the old guy, the dad of Miriun and Fabian. Miriun is the mom of Ivan and Estephania. Estehpania lives there with her boyfriend, Lisandro and their son Tiego, and they have another one on the way. Ok hope that made since. Anyways, Lisandro told us that he wanted to change and the day we came to teach him the word of wisdom, we found him drunk and Miriun was embarrassed and asked us to come by the next day. Turns out he’s been being stupid like this for some time and Estephania couldn’t handle it so she kicked him out and then she got a little bitter towards us as well. Miriun was still excited to come to church and they still want to learn more about Christ. We went to look for them on Sunday, but none wanted to come, we were really sad and didn’t know what to say. When we walked into sacrament meeting (it’s the last meeting here), we had the biggest surprise, Fabian came, all by himself! It was amazing because he usually doesn’t participate in the lessons, he just sits on the side. But he came!! And he loved it! He said he loved how the songs made him feel!

Also, our cute little lady, Terecita came to church with us this Sunday. She sat with one of the members and told us she really enjoyed her time there! She is reading the book of mormon and finally said a prayer with us! And when she finished, she said, oh I forgot something, can I pray a little bit more? Ha she is so cute, she asked for our safety and that she was grateful that we were teaching her the truth! She knows this is the true church!

I love the work and I love being a missionary! These last two p-days have been pretty darn fun as well, we played basketball last week and today we went by the river and played sand volleyball! So tight! Ha Remember the Lord is always there for you, and he wants to bless you, but we need to continue to work. The hard thing is that he has his own time! But he knows better than us and He will make everything all right! I love you and I love hearing that you are all doing ok! Keep the faith family!

Love Hermana Gibbons

Debbie Fish- I love you tons and I love your family! Just wanted you to know I am still wearing Kyle’s ring and I have his scriptures with me! They remind me of our goal in this life, eternal families! I love you!

Leah Lowe- I’m praying for you and your family! I love you and I am grateful that you were able to help Coy and Becky out! You are awesome!

Steph and Georgie!- Holy cow, your children are adorable! And they are getting sooooooo big! I can’t believe how different they all look! I love the tea party picture and I love that you wore my prom dress! So cute! I love you so much!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Argentina - Rosario #29

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Amanda Gibbons

Date: Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Subject: The word from Argentina

Well Hey all you Arizonians, and all the rest not from there...

Anyways, what a week! We were led to talk to this mom and her daughter about a week ago, and we have been able to teach the family 3 times this week! Ok so the lessons have been amazing as well as really tough! Their grandpa likes to talk and so we have one of us talking to him, because he just brings up random issues, while the other teaches Mirium, Estephanie, and Lisandro! They are very awesome and receptive to what we have to share. Mirium told us she feels so much better when we come and talk, she feels more at peace and just wants us to stay for longer. Estephanie and Lisandro said their kid is a lot calmer and that he has now began to eat normal food since we've started talking! I know that the spirit has touched their hearts and we are doing our best to teach them what we can! Lisandro and Esteph came to church with us this Sunday, and their kid was not likening sitting around for too long, but the good thing is that we have a TON of kids in our sacrament, so I know they felt just fine about it! They were so excited and asked when we were going to stop by again! We pray that they will continue to understand and come to know the true church of Christ.

We also are teaching Terecita, she is a 60 year old woman, who is still very sharp and has been listening to the evangelist missionaries for 2 years now. She is really looking for the truth and she is praying and reading. Her dad was baptized over 40 years ago, so she knows a little about the church. She is amazing and oh I just love talking with her!

We had a crazy day! So some lady came up to us and started talking to us in an English accent, she lived in England for 12 years. She asked us if we could help her find a new place to live, because the church had helped her before and she knew we were willing to help. Then she proceeded to tell us that we were a cult and that we were not true disciples of Christ. This poor women has so many false doctrines, I just wanted to help her understand. We were pretty sad that she said that we were not followers of Christ, but told her we would still help her. Then that night (Thursday), we talked to an Atheist who told us we look for people who are down in life or for ppl who just lost a loved one and tell them lies so that we can take advantage of them! Oh I was so shocked, I just want people to understand, if only they would listen for 5 min with an open heart, they would feel that we just want to bring them happiness. Then the next house, at the buzzer thing, this guy had the freakiest voice ever, like lord voldomort (from Harry Potter), so we decided to leave the street, but before we got to the end of it, a man ran up to us. Started yelling at us and telling us to shut up, and he grabbed Hna Dunfords bag, jumped on the bike with his friend and drove away!! Ya I was pretty shaken up after, but it happened so fast I didn`t have time to react until after. I'm still kinda jumpy at night just when anyone passes by! But we weren't hurt, they just took some of our stuff! I know that God helped me not react, because I could've made that situation worse.

I still love the mission, I just have my eyes open more and I’m praying for guidance to know which streets are ok and which ones are not! I know that the Lord has a great work here and Satan is trying to disrupt it in any way he can!! I know that God has angels watching over us and He has more power than the devil. I love that I get to share this message with the people here who are scared to leave their houses at night! I know that God loves us and he will make everything all right in the end! Keep praying that you will be lead into the right places in your life, that you will never be taken down by the other side! Try to recognize when the little things in life start to pull you down, push those things away and do what is right! I love you all! Keep the Faith.

Love Hermana Gibbons

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The girl in the middle is my companion, Hermana Dunford from Colorado, the others are the sisters living with me! They are awesome!

A son of one of my converts, Orlando, he became like a brother to me and gave me that ac/dc shirt! haha

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Amanda Gibbons
Date: Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 8:35 AM
Subject: Weekly Goodies
To: Bonnie Gibbons , Vince Gibbons

Ok so i don't have much time, but it was a great week! We had Zone conference and they taught us a new way to teach. We are to tell them our purpose in the first few min that we talk to them. We are here to help them prepare to be baptized in the true church of Jesus Christ! We are to ask them, before we teach them anything if they want to follow their savior and be baptized! So i was a little nervous about it, but it just makes so much sense! That is why i am here, to help them come unto Christ, to follow his footsteps and the only way that they can enter into the kingdom of God, is through baptism and then of course enduring to the end!

We have not been welcomed into many homes this week, but we taught an amazing women, Terecita. Her dad listened to the missionaries and was baptized over 40 years ago. But she is wonderful and taught us how she feels the spirit in her life and how it has guided her! I know that heavenly father put her in our path, there are so many houses here, its like New York, but dirtier and they don't have very good pizza Some places you can't tell if they are homes or buisnesses, so you just knock/push the intercoms and talk to people! We have to have a lot of patience and ya i am out knocking and contacting way more than I am teaching. I miss teaching, but I know that as i work hard and talk to EVERYONE, even if i feel like I'm just being annoying, that the Lord will bless me to find those that are ready! I know there are hundreds and hundreds of people here that still need to hear the word of the lord!

I have been learning a lot about the preisthood, in conference talks and in church. My brothers who hold this power, please continue to be worthy of it. You hold the same keys and powers that Jesus himself had on the earth. You have the responsibility to serve and love your brothers and sisters. I love knowing that this power is in my life. That through it, we can return to our father in heaven. We can recieve blessing and make covenants on this earth. Without it, i could not be with my family forever, and then that means there would be no hope in this life. Brothers, you are the hope in this world, you are the anchor that keeps us connected to our father in Heaven. Learn more of your duties and try to do all you can to fulfill them! I love you all and i pray that the lord keeps you safe!

Keep the faith, its what gives you strength!

Hermana Gibbons

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Argentina - Rosario #28

From Amanda Gibbons

Date Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Subject Good times, great oldies....


Hey Family!!!

So I am in the big city now! It’s way different then my small town of Santa Elena! There we had people to teach every minute of the day, and we got most of our contacts just talking to people on the street, or they were sitting outside enjoying their mate and the sun. Here, we knock doors, go from one door to the next. But most people won’t even open their doors, they yell through asking us who we are, or they have an intercom thing that we talk through! I haven’t seen the faces of most the people we have talked to. It’s pretty weird and hard to help them feel the spirit when I can’t show them how much I care, just have to try to share through my voice. But I know that there are people here ready to hear the gospel. I felt really impressed that we were to find 3 people that would be ready this month. Please pray that we can find and teach these brethren of ours, so they to can have the joy that we have! My apartment is pretty cool, its on the 6th floor and its pretty big, we just have cockroaches. Don’t worry mom we are getting that all fixed up this week. We also can go out on the roof, so now I’m going to go up there and workout. Ha we did that Saturday and I felt like Rocky.

So I love my comp and the girls I live with! They are crazy and so hilarious! We work hard and in turn we have a ton of fun! Hermana Dunford is from Colorado and she loves to play sports, shes way chill, and makes me laugh all day! She also has a desire to work and do the will of the Lord.

So I have a new nephew!!!! How amazing! He looks so beautiful! Thank you for all of you that prayed that everything would turn out all right! What a wonderful thing to see, in this world of so much bad, here comes a perfect new baby, straight from the presence of our Lord. You can see why so many times the Lord tells us we need to become like little children. Innocent, meek, close to our savior, living in this world, but being separated from it. Moroni 8:17,

17 And I am filled with acharity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and bpartakers of salvation. If we want to be partakers of salvation, we must become like children. I know we would love that to mean we don’t have to work or worry about finances or things like that, but ya we know that is part of life! But it means to be humble, I’ve realized that its really hard to be humble. I feel like everyday I try, I find another way that I wasn’t being humble. It is truly a gift from God.

Sorry this is all over the place, but I know that I am in the service of the Lord. I know that we have challenges (like my back, which still hurts, but I can live with it) and things happen that we can’t explain. But if we always remember what the Savior did for us, nothing will seem too hard. He suffered through the ultimate trial, so that we don’t have to! Yes, we will be tried and tested, but we can learn and grow during these times, and we can also be happy! And we can receive strength, even when we feel that we can not go on, just like Nephi did.

1 Nephi 15

5 And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine aafflictions were great above all, because of the bdestruction of my people, for I had beheld their fall.

6 And it came to pass that after I had received astrength I spake unto my brethren, desiring to know of them the cause of their disputations.

Never forget who you are or whose side you are on, then you will never have to worry about the outcome, cause you know it’ll be good! I love you all and I love hearing from you! Thanks for your prayers!

Love Hermana Gibbons

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Argentina - Santa Elena Letter #27

Hermanas Garcia & Gibbons in Rosario with
Elder Tello (from the MTC) and the mission bookkeeper
Jorge & his family
Jorge Farias Baptism

From: Amanda Gibbons
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 10:59 AM
To: Bonnie Gibbons
Subject: Blessings! and Transfers!

Hey family!
Ok so i loved this week! I got to work!!! Ha what a blessing it is to be in the work of our Lord. Really, i couldn’t be doing anything more fun or worthwhile with my life! When we returned from Rosario (alter all my doctor appointments) we went straight to work! We had to put together all of our missed appointments, find new people, and visit all those that are progressing! It was awesome! First off I feel way better, still with a little pain in my foot and back, but i can work! Thank you so much for your prayers and for fasting for me. I was just saying to my mom, that there is so much power in a Fast, and I know that the Lord has been listening and is helping me with me pain!
Also, Remember my friend Jorge Farías? He was baptized this weekend! Really, what a Miracle! He was so excited and so prepared! He told me he feels so clean and feels so close to God. He wants to do more with his life and he tol done of the elders that he wants to serve a misión! Wow! This family is Amazing and I feel so blessed to have been able to get to know them. They are living the priciples of the gospel and are trying to do the things that the Lord asks. And they are seeing the blessings! There dad always has work, they are so happy even in their Humble state, they have clothing and food everyday (many times in their life this family did not have this). The Lord will bless you when you keep his commandments. We need to have a willing heart to work and we also need to be living so we can hear when the spirit is trying to talk with us.
Well today are TRANSFERS! And I am going to leave my wonderful Santa Elena. I can’t believe it. Its Amazing how you can love so many people without being able to hug them (and for those of you who know me well, this is my favorite thing to gie to people i care about) I really do have my family here, well like 3 familes! Ha they have been taking care of me mommy!!! I am sad to go, but I love knowing that these people, my familias have the gospel in their lives. Because with this, they will be protected from the bad things in the World. With the gospel, they will progess, they will always have someone watching over them and most important, they will recieve eternal life in the end. And in this place I hope to see them again. This gospel changes lives, saves lives! Please don’t ever be afraid to talk about this with your friends and your family! One of our recent converts didn’t invite any of her family to her baptisim, and we have recently started to teach her sister and her 11 kids. They all said, I wish she would have invited me to her baptisim! Your family and friends love you for you. And part of you is the way you live, from the teachings of the gospel. People see this and they want to know more! Sorry if i don’t make any sense, but all i know is that this is the True chruch of Jesus Christ. Do you have this testimony? If not, find it!!!! This is what will give you strength to wake up everyday with hope! This will bring you true happiness! There are not many things in this World that we can be completely sure that it is true, but with this gospel we can!!!! What a blessing!
Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family! Thank you for keeping my mom and dad safe and happy while I am gone! Oh ya, so i am going to Rosario, right in the middle of a big city! Ha this is going to be such a big change! Small, tiny town, to big city life! Ha i can’t wait! I am really so excited! Oh if any of you have recipies for cakes, brownies, really good quick lunches/dinners, that would be great!
I love you and KEEP THE FAITH!
Love Hermana Gibbons (or as they say it here HIBBONS)

Argentina - Santa Elena Letter #26

From: Amanda Gibbons
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2010 10:53 AM
To: Bonnie Gibbons
Subject: weekly update!

Hey Family and Friends,
So i really have not had the best week of my mission. I had to stay in my house or sit around a lot. It turns out the pain in my foot was actually from my back. I hurt my back about 5 years ago when I got bucked from a horse. But hey what can ya do. I went to the doctor and he said all my bones are good, I just get to go back to Physical Therapy. ha I don’t think I will ever get away from the physical therapy world. Scott, these guys here in this small town are not the best, I definitely miss my REHAB AZ!
Anyways, enough about me! We have a baptism this weekend and I still cannot believe it! Jorge Farias is so stinkin’ excited to get into the water. His whole family has been members for 2 years, but for some reason he never wanted to or never understood why it was important. We had him fast and this week he shared his experience with us. He said,” when you were asking me if I wanted to get baptized, with all my heart I wanted to say NO, but something much stronger than me was telling me to say Yes, and when that word left my lips, I felt edified and knew that it was right. I don’t know, but something in that fast changed my understanding” He had his interview yesterday and passed with flying colors. The elder who was interviewing him said that he wants to serve a mission! What a change, going from “I don’t know” for every question, to now saying he wants to serve!
I love this gospel, and I’m not going to lie, right now I am extremely “trunky”, and for all of you out there, that means that I am thinking a lot about my house and that I want to be there! Its not a good feeling. I’m trying to remember the amazing parts about my mission. How I feel when I am doing the work! It is soooo true, Satan works with the idle mind. My friends, I hope that you are searching your scriptures and remembering why we are here! I had a pretty cool experience. My mission president said that if we can-t fix this I might have to go home (I really don’t want to have to do that), and I got really sad. I began to have my personal study. I have a plan to read the Book of Mormon 5 times in my mission, and I was really behind this day. I know it was no accident. I read in 3Nephi 17:7-9 where Jesus invites all the sick to come and be healed. He says” Your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.” I know that he can heal me, if my faith is what it needs to be and if it be his will. In chapter 18:20 He says “and whatsoever ye shall ask that father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” Once again, I just need to ask, and believe. If it be right in the sight of God, I will be able to return to the work!
Man I feel so blessed to have these inspired words from the ancient prophets. I know they were written for our day! I hope and pray that you can find peace in the words! Keep the faith, and pray that I will have the strength as well.
Hermana Gibbons

Argentina - Santa Elena Letter #25

This was the next bit of info and I estimate about 10 days or so after the onset of her pain/injury...

From: Amanda Gibbons
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2010 10:19 AM
To: Bonnie Gibbons
Subject: Re: Worried!

Hey mom!
Ok ya i hurt my hip/back, but with my hip and back out of place, i guess i was overcompensating when i walk. My foot is swollen a bit and my back didn't hurt until i went to the physical therapist and he worked on me. I can now feel it throughout my whole back and my hips. I don't know if my shoes are the problem, but i am wearing my tennis shoes right now because i can't fit my foot into my shoes. The shoes have ok support on the bottom,I have orthotics but not for the top of my foot. We don't have time to go buy shoes, we have to leave in an hour for the collectivo to go back to santa elena. Mom i could't talk to the doctor very well, its really hard to explain in spanish.
My pain level depends on what i'm doing. But the thing is if i sit for a long time i can feel it, if i walk for a long time i can feel it, and every morning i feel it. Theres nothing really i can do. We went to the doctor here in Rosario and I've gone two times already to do physical therapy and what i wouldn't give to have Scott (Mandy's boss and physical therapist at Rehab AZ) work on me again. I just feel like i'm going to have this pain for the rest of my life because they can't find anything new.

I haven't been out a lot, but i don't know i hurt just the same. I hurt worse today then i have in a long time, i think its from traveling. I don't know i think i'll be you.

From: Amanda Gibbons
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2010 10:35 AM
To: Bonnie Gibbons
Subject: i am ok!

Hey just trying to get a hold of you! Hope you are doing ok! I miss you tons and wanted you to by my side so many times. I don't feel like a missionary right now. i haven't worked for over a week, just a few visits here and there. i'm really down and really trunky. I don't like to feel this way, i want to be happy like I was. 1 year now feels like forever away, I've never felt this before. I love you mommy and please pray that i will have the strength to go on. Not only in my body but in my spirit. I want to do this work and i don't want to go home. But wow, how satan can work on an idle mind. I'm sorry i don't have very much to say because i just feel down and i don't want to do anything. We are going to travel back to Santa Elena today, so ya. Anyways i don't have much time on the computer. But, i love you please pray for me!
Love your daughter
Hermana Gibbons

Argentina - Santa Elena Letter #24

To catch you all up on what has been are the details of what we know...

From: Amanda Gibbons
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 12:43 PM
To: Bonnie Gibbons
Subject: Re: Hi baby!

Hey mom,
so i think i have a stress fractor or something wrong. i don't know if it is tendon pain or bone, i've gotten cramps in my calf the last 2 nights. My big left toe and the planter part of my foot was really swollen and hurt to touch. Also, i have shin splints, which idk could have caused the pain in my foot. Today it's better, but we have been in the house for 3 days now, so i think its just because i haven't been walking. I'm taking an anti-inflmmatory. I've been trying to keep it elevated and it looks better but there still is a little pain. We are going to the doctor right after we are done here at the cyber. I'll leave some time so that i can return and tell you the results, well i will try, we might have to travel to another town because this place is small. Im here for anothre 30 min! I hope you get this soon so you can ask questions! love you