Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Be A Light To the World

Hey friends! 
How was your week? I feel like there's not a lot to update you on since it's been one less day than usual since I wrote but we'll see. We had an awesome lesson with Loc this week. He says that the Holy Ghost freaks him out because of how often he feels it and how personal it is. He says "it's scary, but in a good way." It's pretty funny. We talked to him about baptism and he said he wants to do it but he has to talk to his wife first. We're hoping to set a date with him on Wednesday, which would be awesome! 
We had some interesting dinner adventures this week. So the Bosque branch is fed my members of the stake since their branch has about 10 people in it and each ward takes turns feeding them (by the way if you ever find yourself being asked to feed someone in a branch, Spanish, YSA or whatever please do! Those poor people never get any food). So this week it was our ward's turn to feed Bosque but somehow their dinner calendar and ours got put together, so we both thought we were going to the same places for dinner. So the members started freaking out when they thought that 4 missionaries were coming over and then we also have a mission rule where we aren't allowed to eat with other missionaries at members houses. So we got to do some fun juggling to see who got to eat with the member which night and who got to take their dinner to go or fend for themselves. It all worked out pretty well in the end though.
We've been really hitting the pavement to find new investigators this week since we still only have two solid ones. We didn't find any news but we did find some interesting people. One guy asked us if we had ever been enlightened and offered to hang out with us some time so we could try some "unnatural enlightenment". Needless to say we politely declined. He told us we were really missing out though, because "that's how you really dream". So I guess my dreams will just always be lacking, oh well! 
We also had a few funny dinner experiences this week. We traveled back in time and had dinner with one of our zone leaders, Elder Thompson as a toddler. Elder Thompson's parents are divorced and less active, his first name is Brennen, and he has a twin sister. Anyway, we had dinner with a recently divorced less active mom in our ward who has twins, a boy named Brennen and a girl named Evelynn. So we thought that was kind of funny. We also had dinner the other night with our Relief Society president and her family who tried to set up Sister Gibbons with their son who is on a mission in Wyoming. Ha, don't do that either! It's weird! 

This week we've also been getting our focus for next month ready. We must be doing decently on them because they asked us to give a training on how to have a good focus at MLC this week. Anyway, last month's was "look not behind thee" and this month's is "You are more than what you have become. Remember who you are." It comes from a devotional given by President Monson at BYU (yes I was there, that's my hipster plug for the day) called Be A Light To the World. The idea though is that as we remember our divine nature, who we are, we can become better and we have the confidence to do the things Heavenly Father would have us do. In my interview with President Miller, something that he said was that confidence comes from knowledge. I think in a sense that's true of all things, when we have knowledge, we naturally have confidence. So, spiritual confidence comes from spiritual knowledge. When we have and understand who we are, we have the confidence to not only be the people he wants us to be but also to do the things that he wants us to do. If you find yourself afraid of sharing the gospel or afraid of standing up for something, or not even afraid but just being tempted, study your divine nature. Study who you are, where you came from, why you are here and what is really important in life, and you will naturally find your confidence growing, your happiness increasing and your priorities realign in the right direction. 

I hope you all have an amazing week! 


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Living in a FOG(H)

Hey friends! Sorry to write you on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday but we had zone conference yesterday so our p-day got switched to today. 
So first, the best thing that happened this week, it rained! It was seriously the greatest thing ever, especially since it's been in the 90's recently. Rain is my favorite thing in the whole world I think, ice cream of course being a close second.

We had a really good lesson with a new investigator named Joe this week. He was a referral from the Spanish Elders. I was a little skeptical because he doesn't seem to own a shirt and his house stinks like weed like you wouldn't believe but, it was actually really good. He recognizes that his life is better when God is in it and he wants to get back to that. We were supposed to see him yesterday too but it didn't work out so hopefully we'll get to see him again soon.

Jessica also has a baptism date of June 11. I'm not sure if she's going to make it since she is still really struggling with the word of wisdom but we're keeping our fingers crossed! We also had a lesson this week with a man named Melchezidck! How crazy is that! He's friends with a family in our ward but it turns out he lives out of our area. But, another family has a friend named Loc staying with them that we had our first lesson with on Sunday. He's not Christian but open to other ideas and he really likes church so we'll see how it goes! 
The real highlight of this week was being able to go to zone conference. It was good as usual, but this one was a little different because it is the last on the we will have with President and Sister Miller before they go home in July. So they gave us their dying advice at the end. Ha, all the zone leaders "had something in their eye", and Elder Sanchez was very concerned about what was wrong with Elder Bracken. It was really good though, President and Sister Miller have been amazing and I'm so thankful that they were here for my whole mission. I also had my dying interview this week, which was strange. We spent a lot of time talking about spiritual gifts obtained and how to continue to progress for the rest of your life. He also said that if I wanted, he would interview my future fiance before I got married so I might have to take him up on that =D 
As for a spiritual though, I have two but I think I'm going to save one for next week because I'm a bit low on time. Something that President Miller said both in my interview and in his advise at zone conference, was that living the gospel is simple, it's living life that's hard. And life is what can sometime trick us into over complicating the things of God. The primary things we invite investigators to do to progress in CPR. Go to church, pray, and read your scriptures. Generally, assuming you're attentive, and apply and all of that, that's all you really need. Sometimes, when questions, concerns, and trials come up, you need other things, and of course you have to follow and listen to the council and revelation you get, but when you are doing those three, and for members of the church attending the temple regularly, you will progress, you will grow, you will move forward. It is something I have seen again and again. No matter what stage you are at, high or low, we can always do better. We can always ask with an open heart "what lack I yet?" and find the answer in those things and come closer to Christ. So, if you are doing those 3/4 things, keep it up, and if you're not, commit to start, today. 
Oh, one more thing that happened, I told President and Sister Miller that they couldn't get trunky in their last few weeks and he just looked at me and said "ain't nobody got time for that!". Sister Miller said they were living in a FOG(H) (the H is silent I guess), a fear of going home. Ha, I told them I was in a pretty thick FOG(H) too. 
Well, I hope you all are doing great and having a good week! Talk to you soon! 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Are you less active?

Friends! We just got back from a baseball game! There was an afternoon Albuquerque Isotopes game and our zone got permission to go! It was I have to say pretty awesome, and certainly a change of pace from basketball in the gym. Not that that's not good too. 
Last week at sports we played a game called flicker ball, which is like ultimate Frisbee but you play it in the gym with a football, and instead of getting the ball into the end zone you get it into the basketball hoop. It was pretty fun, so if you're ever looking for a weird new game to play give it a try! 
We picked up a new investigator this week! Yay!! His name is Eric and he's friends with a member of the branch. We met him at FHE and after we left he asked the Branch President for our number because he "wanted to talk to us about Jesus." Can do Eric! Can do! He doesn't know much about the church though, or even Christ really. In our first lesson he asked us what it was like to be nuns and he brought us some incense that Catholics use for some kind of ceremony. So that was nice... Ha, he's a nice guy though so hopefully he's interested in learning more and is willing to put some effort in. 
We met with that family that I was telling you about a few weeks ago, where the father passed away suddenly. We hadn't ever really talked to them up to this point just because of everything that was going on but we did this week. Guess where they lived before Albuquerque? Marysville, Washington. How weird is that?!? 
We also went on a few less active adventures and were happy to find that a few of them were actually active and just like to travel. We were talking to one thought to be less active member who asked what we were doing for the day and we said "going to go see less actives." They laughed and said "I hope we weren't one of those!" ... they were... 
As far as something spiritual for the week goes, we are still reading those books by Elder Bednar. Today we talked about being offended and taking offense. This is a clip from one of the talks we discusses. 

On of my favorite quotes from Brigham Young goes something like: A man who takes offense when offense is not intended is a fool. A man who takes offense when offense is intended, is also a fool. 
Ha, anyway, I hope you all are doing well and have an amazing week! 


p.s. Sister Gibbon this morning accidentally called Pahoran Pathoran.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Answered Prayers

 Friends, I have bad news. I forgot my planner today, which has all of my notes on the crazy shenanigans that have gone on during the week. So, I'll tell you two stories and leave you with a though and try to not forget it next time, sorry!

 We were having a meeting and somehow off hand it was brought up that Sister Gibbons has a Cost-Co card. One of the Elders started protesting about how he lived right behind Cost-Co and he had to see if every day but he didn't get to go inside. She offered to let him use her card. He thought about it for a minute and then said "No, I'm too poor for Cost-co. All I really want is a hot dog.". So now whenever we see the Bosque Elders or something disappointing happens we just respond with "will someone please get that man a hot dog?". Maybe you had to be there but I was, so it was pretty great.

 The second thing happened yesterday during our weekly planning. We live about half a mile from our zone leaders and the other sisters in our zone. Around 2:30 we got a text from the zone leaders asking us to call them. We did and were asked if we could bring over some butter. When we asked if they were home now they said yes and that they weren’t going anywhere any time soon. When we asked why they said "Well... it's kind of a long story but Elder Thompson was trying to fix a leak in the sink and now his hand is stuck in it." So naturally then needed the butter to get his hand unstuck. We came over and brought them my tool kit, Windex, and some butter but... it turns out that they actually just wanted butter so that they could make cookies. It was pretty funny and we totally fell for it, but we came away with a new motto for the transfer. "Don't wait around for your Zone Leader, he's probably stuck under a sink.".

 So anyway, now on to something slightly more spiritual. A lot of times on the mission I've thought back to my old areas or my old companions and thought "if only I could go back and serve there again, I would do so much better the second time.". Not that I was bad before, just because I know more now. Towards the end of my last transfer in Hondo Pass, when I knew that I was going to leave, I asked Heavenly Father that if it was possible, I would like to go back to somewhere I had been before. Or get the change to work with/ around some of my old comps I had before. And I promised that if that happened, I would be better this time. I would use what I learned to do what I should have done the first time. In this transfer and last I've been blessed with that in literally every way you could imagine. I'm an STL again, in a YSA again, in a family ward again, I'm serving in ABQW again, and work in Rio Rancho again, and even get to work in two of my old areas. I've had the chance to see and work with many of my old companions and even just people that I've known from the past. And I know I haven't been perfect this time around, but I hope I can keep my end of the deal and do my best to make things better this time and make things right Anyway, just a thought, what a huge testament of the love Heavenly Father has for us and how perfectly He knows us! Anyway, have a good week!