When I woke up this morning the snow was still here. I guess I was subconsciously hoping that I would wake up to warmer weather with all the snow melted off (the Richland Chinook). Well, I got to scrape 6 inches of snow off my car this morning and, of course, I didn't have my gloves or my snow brush in the car yet. This weekend I guess I will be getting all the cars winter ready.
The new group of missionaries reporting to the Porto Alegre North Mission
I was pleasantly surprised this morning to receive an email from Jordan. We received an email from the mission president yesterday so I guess that I figured we wouldn't receive one today. "I am now in my first area. ...My trainer is Brazilian and he dosen't speak English so that poses a slight problem. However I think I am getting a little better at speaking. ... I am happy to actually be working now. ... The food here is really good, they members feed us a lot. I think you would love to see the area I am in, it is called Caxias. It is an agricultural city that is really pretty. ... We had church on Sunday and it was pretty nuts, I had to give an entire talk without being able to prepare, I basically said a few things about where I was from and how long I have been here and that the church is good."
We were able to attend the Fall Concert by the Orchestra at Temple Square. Sarah was able to get off work early enough to go with us. So Sherrie, Saran and Jonathan headed into SLC with me to attend the concert. We arrived a little early so we were able to mull around Temple Square for a few minutes. We decided to sit up in the balcony. Jonathan and Sarah had never been up in the balcony since they don't let you up there during tours. We had a front row balcony seat with a great view. We also ended up sitting next to the 92 year mother of the Concert Master (I thought she was closer to 75 than 92). She sat next to Sarah and gave her the whole run down on the orchestra, the conductor and the guest pianist (a 12 year old virtuoso from Hong Kong). She was a piano student at Juliard in NYC years ago. It was fun talking to her. She had a lot of spunk and didn't seem to have too much trouble getting up and down the stairs. I always enjoy the concerts at Temple Square. I drew tickets for the O.C. Tanner concert in November and was able to get tickets for the Bell Ringers Christmas Concert. Now I just need to the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert tickets to round out the season.
Jared had us slightly concerned yesterday when we didn't receive an email. This was the first time I can remember since he left over a year and a half ago. As it turns out, they had a special mission conference with Elder Kikuchi and P-Day was switched to Thursday. Jared wrote, "It was such an awesome experience. I feel like I have been spiritually recharged and am ready to go out and teach more people. Elder Kikuchi is from Japan and is a convert to the church. I’m assuming he has been a 70 for a while now because President Kimball was the Prophet who called him. He talked a lot about how we can improve our teaching; how to use the BOM and how to teach the first vision. It was a very uplifting experience. I would have to say it was the best multi zone I have ever been too. I loved every second of it."
The pictures are from the Banana Festival Jared went to. "The Stewarts used to live in Hawaii and love the banana trees. When they moved here they planted some in their yard. Every year, since it gets too cold for the trees, Brother Stewart gets stuck with the job of cutting them down, cutting the leaves off, and piling the leaves on top of the stumps. (I guess it helps with nutrients and fertilizer and stuff and helps them grow the next year) So this year he decided to turn it into a festival so the kids would help do it. It was so much fun. They had a little fire pit outside and they started the festival with the blowing of the conk shell that they got from Hawaii, then Brother Stewart told us some facts about bananas and we all told some stories about bananas. Each person then had the chance to chop down one of the trees and everything. It was a lot of fun. So if you want to make chores fun, just turn it into a festival."
Having lived myself in Guatemala, I also love banana trees. I found a "cold hardy" banana tree that I attempted to grow in Idaho Falls (definitely a difference in the definition of "cold"). It didn't survive. I tried planting the same variety in Tooele. It didn't survive. I think in Tooele, it might have been a nutrient deficiency because it never seemed to grow, even in the heat of summer. Maybe I will try it again next summer. I was successful in keeping my Wisteria alive, so I am feeling more optimistic about other marginal plants.
Jared has been out 533 days with only 197 days to go. It is hard to believe that he is essentially down to the last 6 months. We are excited now for his return home next spring.
I'm sitting here watching So You Think You Can Dance. I probably should have done something else tonight because this is just the show where they pick the top 20. I really only watch the show to watch the dancing. I really don't know any of the dancers or have any favorites at this point. There is some strange girl from Utah who's mother moved their family to Utah so her daughter could pursue her dance career (they girl is only like 19). There is also a couple from Salt Lake. They are just about to announce if they both made it. After this is over I will help Sherrie prep for her Praxis Test. I probably could have forgone the show to start it earlier, but she received a phone call and has enjoyed talking on the pho I had to take off early from work today to take Jonathan to his orthodontist appointment. It gave me a good opportunity to finally finish the book I have been reading, The Life of Pi. It was a really good book. I ended up having pay a small library fine for keeping it a little over the due date, but it was kind of like really rich food and I could only read so much at a time. After the ortho appointment Jonathan and I went to the library so that we could get some new books to read. Also while, I waited for Jonathan I ordered the hardwood flooring for the lower level of our house. I've finally had it with the nasty carpet. I just have to get the tile in the laundry room laid and then I can rip out the carpet and get the hardwood down. The more flooring I replace the happier I am with my house.
Well, the couple of Salt Lake City both made it into the show. I wonder now if they will have them dance together as a couple. The other annoying girl from Salt Lake City also made it - maybe she will be voted out early on. Well, the show is over now so I had better finish this up and start helping Sherrie with her test prep.
I hope I am feeling better tomorrow. I've felt like I am coming down with a cold, or heaven forbid, influenza. I woke up this morning with a headache and body aches. I did make it through my 3.5 mile run, but it was tough. I wasn't sure I could make the last 5 minutes. I just hope I feel better tomorrow morning. Until next time, Adieu.
We received a short email from Jordan today. Apparently, his companion spent most of their time on the computer writing his girlfriend. They went to the temple today and he will actually leave the CTM for Porto Alegre this week. "Well, I have 3 days left in the CTM! I am so excited cause this place is getting to be pretty repetitive. . . . Our entire district is getting pretty excited to fly out to Porto Alegre. Everyone that is in our district, with the exception of 3 people, are going to the same mission so it is pretty cool."
"One thing that I did this week which was pretty cool was after our night meeting there was one of the pianos left out in the gym. I asked one of the instructors if I could play it and they said it was fine with them so I went over and started playing on it. Some kids came over and we started showing each other stuff and it was pretty fun. Then I was showing them how you can make your own songs. They didn't believe me at first, but I showed them a basic song structure and before I knew it, it was pretty much a full blown concert. There were like 50 people standing there listening. I was like What?? I felt pretty good after that."
"We went proselyting out in the city last week. It was pretty cool. We went down town in the city where they had tons of people. It was scary at first but I went up to people and started talking to them and with about half Portuguese and the other half charades figured out what people were saying. One thing that happened which was pretty funny - me and my companion were walking by this doorway and we heard drums coming from it. Not the drumset drums but like bongo type drums. We were both like hey lets go in there, we could see that it was coming from the upstairs. Before I entered I noticed that there were store hours on the door. By this point I had no idea what to expect and I was in this dark doorway with drum sounds coming out of it. We made our way up the stairs and to my surprise there were people playing bongos and doing a form of fighting dancing. It was sweet! It is called capwata ( I don't know if that is spelled correctly or not) The signaled us to come inside and then they taught me how to play the drums they had. It was pretty cool, we didn't stay long because we had to get going but it was a ton of fun. We placed 3 BOMs out in the field."
Jordan has grown so much in the brief time that he has been in the CTM in Sao Paulo. I really can't believe that it has already been two months since we put him on the plane for Brazil. I am excited for him to get out into a real area. He will be able to master the language faster and will get to interact with people all day long (which is really his forte).
Today when we got out of church the day was so beautiful I didn't want to waste it sitting around in the house. So we all decided it would be a nice day to visit the zoo and see Zuri, the baby elephant, that we have all been wanting to see. Sarah didn't work so we were able to go as a family (well, without our two sons that are serving missions). It was the perfect day to go to the zoo. It wasn't cold or hot and most of the animals were out and about enjoying the nice weather. We were able to watch Zuri nursing, playing with her toys and taking a little nap. The colors of the leaves were beautiful. We ran into my cousin, Portia, and her children. It seems that often times when we go on one of our outings were run into a family member (I guess great minds think alike). We all had a fabulous time at the zoo.
Well, maybe not, but I am continuing to progress. I started back on the day Jordan left for Brazil. It was my way of dealing with another child leaving home for an extended period of time. I was able to up my speed on the treadmill again today. I started out on a fast walk on August 26 (4.5 on the treadmill). Today I increased it to 6.0. I have lost 22 pounds. I'm not sure if it is the weight loss of the movie I get to watch every time I go run, but I am motivated. I am hoping to reach my goal weight this time. That means I have only about 65 pounds to lose. On another positive note, I am down about 3 inches on my waist. It is nice to get back into some slimmer pants. Jonathan is trying to get me to start lifting on some of the days with him. He is taking a weights class in school. I just need to lose some more weight and then I will start lifting weights (right now I carry around enough of my own weight).
I don't know when I fell off the wagon for blogging. I used to be so good at writing something almost every day and now I can hardly get the updates for my missionary sons taken care of. It isn't that I have nothing going on in my life. It seems as if I now have too much going on to have any time to write an entry. I may have to give up one of my TV shows (I am on the edge of becoming a reality TV junkie). They have really set me up with two different dancing shows and Survivor. And in spite of the cast changes on CSI, I am actually enjoying that show this season. I guess some of it is the shorter days and cold evenings. After I go and run, all I feel like doing is crashing on the couch until it is time to go to bed. Maybe it is the working out every night that has taken my time. I only work out for an hour, but then I am tired and ready to settle down for the night after I am finished. I can say that I have increased my work out ability - I am regularly running over 3.5 miles every day and over 5 miles on Saturday. I am just about to up the speed on the treadmill again. I have dropped 24 pounds and almost 4 inches on my waist size. A little bit more and I should be able to get into my "skinny" suit again. I tried last Sunday to see if I was getting close and I was surprised to find that I was actually getting close. I have also been spending time trying to get my Christmas shopping done. I really don't like going into the holiday season with shopping looming over me. It is a little harder this year because two of my children are away from home and I can't really send them anything that they have to cart around. Well, hopefully in a week or so I will be closed to being finished. I guess I should finish this up so that I can pay attention to my dancing show.
"Friday we had our DDM. It was a pretty good training. We made district goals and I trained on the importance of making goals and planning. It was really fun. Afterwards we went to La Frontera and had lunch together.
"Saturday we went up to the church for General Conference. We call this spring break for missionaries. I loved general conference this time. My favorite talks were Elder Scott’s, Bednar, Callistar, and Holland. Those were all awesome talks. Holland laid it down with the Book of Mormon. It was completely legit! After the second session Ashleigh was baptized. The baptism went really well. It was probably the noisiest baptism I’ve ever been too because there were tons of kids running around. We finished the night with the priesthood session. Sunday we watched the rest of conference then afterwards we went to a part member’s home and had dinner. It was really good. They made homemade pizza.
"Yesterday we taught a really nice lady. She was a media referral and ordered a copy of the Bible. We went to her house and had a great lesson. We should be giving her a church tour next week and she should be coming to church too.
"The weather has been in the 60’s this past week. It is really nice to have some cooler weather. Last night we had a pretty bad thunderstorm. There was tons of lightning and thunder. It reminded me of Oklahoma.
"Oh, so when we got home last night we walked in and there was a leak in our ceiling. The maintenance man had already gone home so it dripped into a bucket all night long. I guess it has to do with the air conditioner or something. They are going to fix it today."
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 ...
10 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.