Elder Deets (Mesa, AZ) and Elder Gibby Yep, I was actually doing some cooking. It ended up being a pretty good meal. Elder Deets thought it was so cool that I was cooking for him. There I am on the floor. We found that crazy blanket in the closet and decided to use it as a rug. It looks like on anyways. The bible belt one is SWEET!!! We talked with the guy in there for about 30 minutes. He was telling us about how he almost saw God. It was an intense story. He took the pic for us.
Jared completed his transfer and received his new "greenie" fresh out of the MTC. It sounds like they had a really good week.
"This week has been pretty sweet. Transfers were last Thursday. We woke up at 5:00 and left bright and early. For some retarded reason, and don’t ask me why, I ended up leaving one of my suitcases outside the elevator. I couldn’t believe that I forgot it. I didn’t find out until I was standing outside my new apartment in Oxford. That was a pretty funny situation. I called Elder Allred and he had Marlene come down and drop it off for me that night. Luckily I only went a few hours without that suitcase. It had all my toiletries and stuff in it so I would have had to buy new ones or something. It’s all good now, I have my suitcase. So anyways, Thursday morning I went to the trainers meeting. It was sweet. There were 12 Elders and 1 sister who came in this transfer. It’s a pretty big group. That’s good that we had 12 come in because 12 left. We don’t want our mission to get smaller. So my new companion is Elder Deets. He is from Mesa, Arizona. He’s an awesome guy. He has that greenie fire and it’s rubbing off on me. We have been working like we are crazy. It’s great. "
"WE met the Branch President, President Thorton. He’s an awesome president. HE’s super excited about missionary work. Apparently the branch here only needs 8 more baptized bodies in order to petition to become a ward. He asked me to give a talk this past Sunday, and I did. It was sweet. Friday we did some planning. Mostly organizing the map and the area book to see who they had been working with, pretty much we are starting all over. It’s kinda nice because then I can organize stuff they way I think it works best. And I like organizing stuff so it all works out. We went on a team up Saturday with one of the recent converts. It was great. WE went to a town called Heflin, about 15 miles east of here. The people we went to see weren’t home so we did some “three dooring,” the three door rule where you knock the houses on each side and the one across the street. We ended up talking to some pretty cool people and we are going to go back and teach them. "
The members of the Church in the South were always good about taking care of the missionaries, "The branch is full of really nice people. I am really going to like the members here. They pretty much feed the missionaries every single night so that’s good. Yesterday a family took us to Cracker Barrel for breakfast that was awesome. I love that restaurant. Mmmm it’s sooooo good." I think that I would like to go to Cracker Barrel. It has been a long time since I have been to one. I guess Britney knows where they will go out to eat when Jared gets home.
"We just are a couple of busy Mormon bees. The work is great. I love training for my second time. It’s awesome. All is well. "
We took Jordan to the Salt Lake City Temple on Saturday, July 25, 2009. My mother and father came as well as our Bishop, Bruce Fivas and his wife Cheri. We had a really nice time, although it was a long day. After we finished at the temple we all went to Olive Garden for dinner. I need to thank my dad for treating everyone to dinner and for the very good pictures of us all at the temple. It is hard for me to believe that Jordan will be leaving in less than a month now. I still don't feel old enough to have children leaving on missions.
What better way to spend Pioneer Day than at the zoo. I had planned to hike Deseret Peak in the Stansbury Range today. But the looming threat of thunderstorms kept me off the mountain (probably a good idea given how hot it was today). I've been on the mountain before when thunderstorms blow in and it can be quite scary. There were alot of people at the zoo today. But it was so hot that the animals weren't very entertaining. We decided to watch the bird show because we would be able to sit in the shade for a few minutes. They had some complications with the show and ended up with a couple of large raptors that didn't go where they were supposed to and we got to watch the training try and coax them down out of the tree. It really was a fascinating show to see how well they can train the birds. I especially enjoyed the white doves flying inches above our heads. After the show we bought some shaved ice to cool us down a little. Sarah had to be back in Tooele for work at 4:00 so we cut our visit short and headed back home. I spent part of the afternoon replacing a broken wheel bolt on the suburban. I used the rest of the afternoon to tidy up my gardens and get the last of my mulch in place. I was going to trim the lawns, but it was just too hot and I didn't feel like being covered in grass clippings (they make me itch and I need to sleep well tonight and get up early tomorrow).
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I will get up at 5:00 am (just like a regular work day) and have Sherrie to her test by about 6:45 am. We then have an appointment to take Jordan to the Salt Lake Temple at 2:30 pm. I am getting too old to cram so much into just one day. I seriously hope we survive the weekend and the stress doesn't get to be too much.
Well, I bought the season pass for the zoo, so I can go back in a couple of weeks when it is cooler (that is my optimistic thought for the day that it will be cooler in just a couple of weeks) and enjoy the animals. Sarah and Jonathan like to go to the zoo so we should have fun visiting it for a year.
I finished out the day (well, before I wrote on my blog) watching the movie "Coraline". I watched it last night with Jonathan and tonight with Sarah. I love animated movies and I love that movie. I took Jonathan to the theater to see it when it came out. I have been waiting for it to be released on DVD. It has a good story that is well told. The animation is good. The characters are interesting and well developed. It is one of those movies that I can watch multiple times (there aren't many in that category).
These are some family pictures that my cousin, Scott Taylor, had posted on his Facebook. I've seen most of them at some time and I think I have copies of them tucked away in my genealogy. But it was nice to have them digitally available online so I thought I would share. You can also see them on Scott Taylor's Facebook.
Well, as a blogged earlier today, Jared (aka Elder Gibby) received a transfer and is now going to Oxford, Alabama. He has been in Gadsden for a while now so the transfer is bittersweet. He just celebrated the baptism and confirmation of a woman that they worked with for a long time, so it will be hard to leave his new convert in the hands of others to care for her.
He writes, "[t]ransfer calls were Tuesday morning and President Tate has given me a special assignment. I'm getting transferred over to Oxford, Alabama, I'll be the district leader over there, and I'm going to be training a brand new missionary. Whoo-hooo. I'm pretty nervous since I'm getting flushed in. The missionaries there are both getting transferred out and I'm going in. It will be like starting an area all over. I know that I can do it and I'm just putting my faith and trust in the Lord. I can do anything he asks of me.
"I'm sad to leave Gadsden. This area has been probably my favorite one so far. I've really learned a lot about how to be a missionary. It's crazy to see how much you learn and grow over a few months. Marlene was confirmed this past Sunday. It was an amazing experience. The spirit was so strong. We went to a church with her that night and that was a crazy experience. It was a church of God and they were all yelling and the preacher was screaming. They had two baptisms that were nuts. Marlene didn' really like it at all. She is thankful that she has found the truth and she knows the church is true.
"I've been going all over the place yesterday and will be tonight telling people bye and stuff. I've realized that I don't like hi's and goodbye's. I don't really know why."
He and his new companion, fresh out of the MTC, will both be new to the area. That will provide him with some unique challenges. I can see why President Tate put him in that area, in that way, as he is a highly motivated Elder and experienced great success in Gadsden.
Again, I am slow in blogging my weekend activity. I go home at after work and with the high temperatures that we have been experiencing, I am spending a lot of time watering the yard and gardens. By the time I finish it is usually time to head to bed.
Last Saturday Jordan came with a group of friends to the cabin. They were a really nice group of young adults. I was impressed with how they included Jonathan in their activities. Sherrie wasn't able to go with us since she needed to be home when Sarah returned from Girl's Camp. We caught a couple of squirrels while were were up there. They get in the eaves so I have to set a trap (live catch). Jonathan and I drove them each to an area several miles from the cabin to release them. Hopefully I sealed up the holes so that they can't get back in (they chew holes throw the wood - they are not the cute little creatures they are made out to be in books and movies - when they are trapped in the cage they seem more like possessed demons).
Picture of Marlene's baptism. I love the smile on her face. She looks so happy. Apparently it looks like my eyes are going to pop out of my head. haha oh there are also some pics from the 4th when we had fried Oreos, only in the south. mmmmmmm so good but yet so bad for you. haha!!! I Luv it! Jared was blessed with another baptism. He and his companion have been teaching Marlene for quite a while. He writes, "[t]his past week has been pretty awesome!! Sunday was totally amazing. I have never had a more spiritual baptism in my entire mission. Marlene was baptized this past Sunday and it was great. Everything went really smoothly and well. The talks were wonderful. I'll kinda give you the rundown of what happened. Marlene came to church and that was great. One of her friends that she invited, who we taught the previous Friday, Jazmyne, came to church as well. She really enjoyed it. After church things were pretty hectic. They always seem to be when it's baptism day. Filling up the font, getting clothes and everything for the baptizee. So we got Marlene her clothes and stuff. Then we had to get the typical missionary picture with the investigator. We usually do ours by the picture of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. I play the prelude before the baptisms. I think I've done it at every baptism I've been too. I really enjoy it. Brother Phil, our recent convert who was baptized the end of march gave the opening prayer. He's such a funny guy, a wonderful member too. Sister Williams gave the talk before the ordinance on baptism. She is a great speaker. She is one of the seminary teachers in the ward and she is really knowledgeable about the gospel. He talk was mostly centered on the power of covenants. Then we all walked over to the baptismal font. In this building it's located in the nursery. Kinda a weird spot but it works. Elder Allred was the one who was performing the baptism. He was super nervous because it was his first time baptizing somebody. When Marlene stepped into the water she suddenly felt the spirit and started to cry. You could tell she was so happy and excited. Then Allred said the prayer and she came back up. She described the experience as when she went under the water she felt the spirit just wrap around her entire body and a burning sensation all over. . . While they were changing we watched special witnesses of Christ. It's a movie with the Apostles and the Prophet baring their testimonies about the restoration of the gospel and of Jesus Christ. It's a really spiritual movie. They came in then we had a musical number. I played the piano and Elder Humphrey sang a duet with Sis Meranto. During the second verse President and Sister Tate walked in late because they were at a meeting with Elder Cornish from the 70 in Birmingham. He told us to not start the meeting late. The musical number was amazing. I really loved playing the piano for it. Marlene was balling during it and Allred had to grab her some tissues. Brother and Sister Robinson then gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. It was great. Then the Bishop bore his testimony. President Tate then bore his testimony followed by Marlene. She got up there and bore such a powerful testimony of how the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is true scripture and more revelation. She said this is the only true church on the earth. She almost started to preach to us and every sentence ended with the word amen. It was pretty funny. So over all the baptism was great. I loved it. We got her History of the church for her to read. Sis Robinson gave her the entire set, all 7 volumes."
We made a trip up to Island Park and then down to Idaho Falls for the 4th of July. The kids were able to float the canoes from Big Springs to Mack's Inn (in spite of the fierce thunderstorms). We had a delicious BBQ at the Farnsworth's home and then enjoyed fireworks down by the Snake River. The drive home from Idaho Falls, starting at 11:00 pm was grueling, but we made it. It was good to get home and sleep in my own bed.
This week the letter was short and there were no pictures, indicating Jared has been really busy.
He write, "[t]his week has been pretty good. The 4th was alright. We had some fireworks at a members home. Marlene went with us. . . She's getting baptized this Sunday so we are super excited. I think it's the second preacher that has been baptized since I've been out. Sweet hu?
"The work continues to progress. We are trying to find tons of people. It's pretty intense. The weather has been really hot but I think I'm used to it. The heat doesn't really bother me anymore, neither does the sweat."
Having lived for five years in Tennessee and 2 in Oklahoma, I know what the heat and humidity are like. In truth you never really acclimate to it. Next year at this time he will be sweating it out in a much drier climate. I am excited for him to have another baptism. He has enjoyed a significant amount of success serving in a southern state. He has always been a hard worker and it shows.
Okay, So it's been over a week since I wrote anything. My blogging is starting to go the way of my exercising at the gym. I get motivated and go everyday (sometimes twice) for a couple of weeks and then I forget where the gym is located until my next round of fat-induced motivation. Realistically speaking, in an ideal world, I would go to the gym everyday (except of course on Sunday - can't walk too many steps and it's hard to run in a suit) and I would blog at least once a day. Both would be excellent for my health both physically and mentally. Herein lies the problem, I have other people involved in my life and all too often, the interface involves time and distance with the resultant loss of time for "less important" activities such as physical exercise and mental dumping. Well, now that I have that out of my system - not that it was meant to sound complaining in any way - I will proceed with the rest of my braining cleaning exercise.
It has really been a busy two weeks (or should I just say a busy summer). I find myself rushing out late at night to water all my plants that I haven't yet found the time to get into the ground. I have a way of doing things backwards. I see the plants and water feature that I want, so I buy them. Before I can plant them, I need to bring in soil to build up the garden area. Before I can bring in the soil, I need to move the sprinkler head. Before I can move the sprinkler head, I need to move the plants that are sitting in the future garden so that I can access the buried sprinkler pipe. Before I can move the plants I need to clean another space in the yard to set them in. When I set them in that place, it will block my access for moving soil to the backyard and into the garden. I am beginning to think that I will just water the plants every night in their pots. That is obviously easier than all the other work that would have to be carried out to actually finish the garden. I spent last weekend (4th of July) in Idaho and I need to make another trip up there with Jordan and his friends (fairness is the most important factor in life). I also need to get some repairs taken care of on the cabin (some certain products should not be flushed because they result in a semi-permanent plug). I also need to repair the canoes that were damaged when we were up there last weekend (what would my life be like without a continual list of things needing repair). All-in-all the visit to the cabin was pleasant - I will post in another blog about the trip. Last night Sherrie and I worked on getting some house decorating accomplished. She had purchased some nice things to put on the walls and we got most of them hung. I told her that it appears she has decided to stay in this house after three years of living in it because she is now finally starting to decorate it. On a positive note this week I got my stolen cell phone back. Sherrie received a call from a young lady that had found it on a table at the park. Sherrie drove over to her house and picked it up. It was in perfect condition (thank goodness for a good cell phone case). I'm sure that there is a very irritated individual out there who has lost his phone. Looking at the clock it appears that my lunch break is over. I now feel much better getting some of this clutter out of my head. I just need to get the 4th of July weekend out and Jared's Wednesday update done (I'm a day late) and I will be all up to date again.
Here are some pictures from this past week. The first one is of Elder Pulsipher and I from our team up in Locust Fork. Yea, I didnt' bring my razor so I need to shave. Oh, and the "will you?" on the front of my shirt is for a blood drive. On the back it says "donate blood." I got it for free. The second picture is of Elder Combs and I from our team up. we had a fun time together. He is a great guy.
This marks the 420th day of Jared's mission. He is now 58% complete. I used to calculate the days and percentages every week and then the time seemed to pass faster. It seems unreal that he is now two months passed the halfway point. I see him with the power and energy of a freight train moving the work forward. Every week he has new people in his teaching pool and persons who want to be baptized.
Jared writes, "[t]his other guy we are working with Elders Allred and Heywood found him on our team up last Tuesday. We followed up with him on Saturday and when we were at his house I asked him if he wanted to go on a church tour right now. He’s like sure! So we went up to the church and gave him a tour and committed him to baptism. It was way awesome. The spirit was totally there. I loved it. He said he wanted to pray about it first but his is for the 19th. So we might have two in a row. That would be awesome."
Jared has also found success with lighting the fire within those who aren't yet baptized. He and his companion have been teaching a women, Marlene. "We have had the chance to be able to take her on team ups and talk to people around her home and she tells them the BOM is true and Joseph Smith is a true prophet and everything then she’ll prophecy to them also... She is finding people for us to teach because she talks to everyone about us."
It looks like all those years of piano lessons and getting up to practice (thank you Sherrie) are of benefit to him now. "Saturday morning we went to a nursing home and sang hymns for them. That was a lot of fun. I played the piano too. I’ve been playing the piano a lot lately. I think I have become the primary pianist as well. It’s a lot of fun and brings back a lot of memories from when I was in primary. They have new songs now that are cool too and I didn’t even know about."
He seems to spend quite a bit of time mowing lawns. I have to say that I can't remember him mowing our lawn, so maybe this is a useful skill that he has acquired as a missionary (Britney will appreciate his ability to mow a lawn).
When you are a missionary (at least that was my experience) you seem to be a magnet for people under the influence. I never knew what "alcohol on the breath" smelled like until I was a missionary and street drunks would come up and literally hang you my shoulder to either ask me for money or ask me to save them (although save might have ultimately meant getting them their next drink). Jared wrote, "I'm lovin every second of it. I mean, yesterday a crazy black drunk guy walked up to us and was preaching to us for about 20 minutes. It was nuts. Only in the south that would happen. He smokes marijuana and drinks and swears. Oh boy, Elder Allred and I got a kick out of that."
We continue to be the overly proud parents. I am also excited for Jordan to head down to Brazil. It will be exciting having missionary letters coming from two sons. It is fun to relive, in a sense, my missionary experiences through theirs.
I am the father of 4 great children and two incredible daughters-in-law. I have been married to the same amazingwoman for over 26 years. I enjoy life especially when I am outdoors. I am employed as the Environmental Manager for a mining company.
I think that the Disney character that I'm most like would have to be
Aladdin. I'm not sure if this is because it was my favorite Disney movie as
a child ...
9 years ago
Elder Jared Gibby
Jared preparing to leave on his mission to Birmingham, Alabama
My sister Kimberly is 10 years my junior. She is among the most adventuresome and accomplished of my siblings. She is married to Sione Fifita and they have one son Viliami who just turned two. She has been a professor of English in Hawaii and currently works for a scrapbooking supply company (Stampin Up). She has actually changed jobs more often than I have! She is writing a novel (has been for years) which I am eagerly anticipating. She has always been a great sister and in some sense is the glue that keeps all six of us bonded together. It has been nice to have her family back on the mainland and to live closer to them.