Saturday, January 23, 2016

What I learned

Well... After more than a month and numerous (more than 20) requests I have finally decided that writing one last blog about  my mission will not actually take that many of my oh so important endless Netflix watching hours. I will be honest when I say that I am not quite sure what I am supposed to be writing. Some have asked for what I learned on my mission, others for my favorite experiences, and then there are those who ask for my advice. I feel flattered knowing that people actually read and kept up with this during the last few months of my life. I know there were times when I would not write for a few weeks, but rest assured that everything that I shared is what I thought was important. I think that as a missionary it is not necessary to share everything that we go through. A lot of experiences are deeply personal and not meant for public reading. Now that I am home I am very glad that I kept a journal, because even though it has only been a month some of the memories seem like distant dreams and I can only relive them through reading my journal. 
I learned a lot on my mission. I wont write your usual cliche "I just got home and nobody can understand until they serve a mission" blog because those are things that everyone already has very present. As much as I want you all to understand and as much as you all want to understand, there is no way for me to convey the fire that burns in my chest, and the tears that come to my eyes every now and then just thinking about Costa Rica and the most amazing people that live there. My personal opinion is that I am a fairly decent writer however I know that I will never be able to express my feelings in a way that you can understand so I will just refrain from trying. 
There are a few things that I would like to address. The first being a few things that I learned on my mission. Things that I learned about myself as well as things that I learned about my Savior. 
I learned that it is okay to be imperfect. 
I learned that it is okay to show your emotions, before my mission I prided myself on being a closed book and not letting anyone see how I was truly feeling. If you had the chance to see the real me before my mission I would consider you very lucky. I tried on a daily basis to make it seem like I didn't have any feelings. Everyone has feelings, and it is okay and good to let others see that. It is okay to cry... Maybe it is not the prettiest sight, however, nobody cares if you are an ugly crier or a pretty crier. The important part is that you are feeling and that makes you human. 
I learned that if we do our best, Christ will make up the difference. 
I learned that I can not make everyone love me or even like me, so I shouldn't try because it is exhausting and to no avail. HOWEVER, I can love everyone. There are plenty of people in this world who do things that I don't approve of, or things that get under my skin, but that doesn't mean that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love them any less than they love me. I think that a lot of times we feel as if because our sins are less visible to the world than other peoples that we are somehow better in the eyes of God, but in all reality, our Father in Heaven wants the people that we think we are better than back in his Heavenly home just as much as he wants us there, if not more.  Luke 15:7 "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." I am not saying that is is easy to love everyone or that I have mastered that skill, all I am saying is that is it possible. It is something that I personally and still working on, and I will be working on it for the remainder of my life, but that is just it... don't stop trying. 
I learned not to judge people. Especially if we do not know them. How can we possibly form an opinion of someone based solely on things that we have heard other people say. While on my mission I had the opportunity to serve in the 2 best missions in the world with the 2 best mission presidents. About a year into my mission, my first mission president (President Wilkinson) and his family finished their service in Costa Rica and went home. The mission was divided and we received 2 new mission presidents. I was assigned to serve on the west side of the country in la mision Costa Rica San Jose Oeste with Presidente Laboriel. It is a small country and obviously people talk and we hear everything that other people say. A lot of people from the other half of the country seemed to think that our president was too strict and that the rules he made were too harsh and that he ran the mission like the military. It saddened most of us in the west mission to think that people thought that about our most amazing president. Actually, on Wednesday I went to an institute class and ran into a lot of people that I served with (probably because President Wilkinson teaches the class). I ran into a few who ended up on the east side of the mission and one of the missionaries that I served with asked me what I thought of Presidente Laboriel and when I said "I love him so much" he looked at me and said "well I am glad that you like him" and started laughing. My first reaction was to say something, but then I bit my toung and just thought to myself, how is it possible that these people can form such a low opinion of a man that they have never even met. My 2 mission presidents were and are very different. I learned from both of them. Things very different but never anything that conflicted with the other's advice.
I learned that following rules and commandments is not the same as being perfect. In one interview with President Wilkinson, he asked if I was obedient and I hesitated to answer his question. He said "Hermana, I am not asking if you are perfect. I am asking if you are obedient." I think that is kind of when it hit me that I don't have to be perfect because I cant do that. What I have to do is try as hard as I can. 
Now I know that this has been rather long winded however there is one other thing that I would like to talk about for just a quick second. 
I learned that living with no regrets is a whole lot easier than we as humans generally make it out to be. 
A few days ago I had someone ask me what I would like to go back and change and when I responded nothing she proceeded to ask me "If you could serve another mission, right now, would you?" There may be people who do not agree with my answer so I hope that you will take it with a grain of salt, but my answer was a simple "no". My thoughts on the other hand were a lot different. They answer was and is no. However, the reason behind that no is not "because it was hard" or "because I have things to do" or "because I cant handle leaving my friends and family again" because all of those things do not really matter. The reason that my answer is no is pretty simple actually. It is because I did everything. I gave my whole self to the Lord. I promised him 18 months and that is what I gave him. Not 18 months of me breaking rules and complaining when I didn't have results, and not 18 months of me being the perfect missionary, but 18 months of me trying my hardest to do what he wanted me to do. 18 months of doing my best. I know that the Lord is happy with my service as a missionary, and not just because my mission president told me so in my last interview, but because I can feel it. He is happy with what I have given him, because despite popular cynic belief in today's society, YOUR BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH. It is not good enough to get you into heaven, that is why we have the atonement and repentance, but it is good enough for our Heavenly Father. If we actually do our best, then we will have no regrets and Christ will make up the difference. Actually, he already made up the difference. 
I am entirely grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve a mission. I thought at the beginning that I would be the exception to the rule that the mission changes you and that I would come home the same person that I was before, but I guess we all get surprises that we don't expect. 
I am not perfect, but I am trying to do my best daily and I invite each of you to do the same. 
There are a million more things that I could write. I spent 520 days serving the people and the God that I love, obviously I have a lot more to say than I can possibly write down.
 I love my Heavenly Father and I love my Savior. I know that my redeemer lives and that he loves me.
Thank you all for caring about me and my experiences, it really means a lot. 
Have a wonderful week. 
With love, 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Last Blog from Costa Rica

Well family, friends, and acquaintances... here we are. Its been a long time coming and I have to be honest when I say that I am not quite sure how I feel. Its kind of a bag of mixed emotions. I almost don't know what to say. Actually that is a lie. I don't know what to say. 
I feel like my world has been turned upside down. I feel like I cant quite understand whats going on.
When I was in the MTC one of our teachers told us something that I am starting to understand. He said that "You cant slow down time, but at the end of your mission you are going to want nothing more than to try." As this last week starts I am praying now more than ever that time will go by slowly. 
I could say a million and one things and they would all be cliche because every missionary that is finishing says the same thing. So I wont say anything. 
All I am going to say is that I will miss this country and these people more than you can imagine. The love that I have for these people is something I don't know how to describe and that until one feels it will never be able to understand. 
As my time here comes to a close I have started to reflect back on the person that I was when I started the mission and the person that I have grown to become. I think that I am a better person. I guess we will find out. haha
I know this church is true. I know the God lives. I know he loves me. I am positive that one day I will be standing by his side in the Celestial Kingdom. I have a testimony that can not be shaken of the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet of God. I love the Book of Mormon. I love this gospel. I am glad to know that if I work hard I will be able to be with my family forever. This gospel is a blessing and a gospel of happiness. It is the best way to be happy in this world that has gone crazy.Pray, read your scriptures, and do the little things.
I love you all, and I will see you soon. 
Con amor
Hermana Gibson

Monday, November 9, 2015

Feliz Cumpleanos

So today is my companions birthday so I just wanted to say Feliz Cumpleanos a mi compaƱerita! 
She is turning 20.
Here is a photo for your enjoyment!

​We are going to eat pizza. And she like fried chicken so were gonna eat fried chicken for dinner. But she doesnt know yet. We have planned a ''Family Home Evening'' with the Elders so it should be fun. Its actually a surprise party. shhhh
I received the most bestest phone call on Saturday night... I got a call from Carolin from Guacimo. She called so that I could listen to her read her mission call. I imeaditly started to cry when she told me why she had called. I love her so so much and I am so happy for her. She will be going to El Salvador, San Salvador. How exciting. I rememeber when I got my call almost 2 years ago now and today marks my 16 months in the mission. How time flies. 
Oh yeah... Orlando is going to be baptized. He was an inv Here is a picture from more than a year ago... How exciting!

Not much else to say. I love you all and have a wonderful week. 
Hermana Gibson

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Learning Expierence

 So as many of you are painfully aware (thanks to the picture of me in the hospital being posted on facebook by my oh so loving mother <3) I have been a tad bit ill recently. We haven't worked in 2 whole weeks and I was starting to get really upset. I was thinking things like ''I am a missionary'' ''I have things to do.'' ''I don't have time for this.'' ''We have people to teach.'' ''Our area is now a disaster.'' ''There are no investigators.'' along with plenty of other things. People keep telling me to calm down, and to just be patient. Those of you who know me well, know that patience is not my strong point. While I have doubtlessly gown a lot in that area as a result of daily missionary trials, I am still working on my patience level. 
 However I remembered a mormon message that I have always loved and I am now repenting for questioning the will of the Lord. 
I have learned a lot in these last few weeks and I feel like I am a stronger person because of it. We have to learn from our trials. It is the most important thing that I have learned in these past few weeks. To learn from everything that happens to us. There is a plan. It is a perfect plan. The Lord's plan. He is perfect and his planning skills are better than ours. Trust in him. He will save you. Let him mold you into who He wants you to be. 
Here is the video, and a picture of me in a mask trying to get my fever to come down that I thought was funny. 
Con Amor, 
Hermana Gibson

​and a photo of my companion and I this morning

Monday, October 19, 2015

I love being a sister missionary! (Several Pictures)

Hello everyone! 
This is just going to be a quick email to say how grateful I am for this wonderful work and the opportunity that I have to be a part of it.
My zone is wonderful and on Tuesday they had me a surprise "party" it was as much of a party as we can have as missionaries. =)
Here are some fotos. 

They blindfolded me and it was fun! I was completely unaware that these fotos were being taken. haha. I didn't see them until later!
There were balloons!

​and cake!

I hope ya'll have a blessed day and a fantastic week! 
Love all ya'll

Hermana Gibson

PS here are the pictures that didn't attach last week
My Bishop and his family. 

A silly picture with a super cute little girl! I love her! Its one of my birthday scarfs you sent me Momma. 

I got to hold a boa. She almost ate me so I kindly and calmly have her back to her owner. HAHA

I got to hold this super cute hedgehog.Thats not me holding it there but I want one now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A quick hello and some pictures

I just thought that I would take a quick moment to say hello world. 
Its been a while since I last wrote a large email. 
I have been good. 
I am good!

This week was sacrifice week and it was wonderful! Our zone made a gigantic Book of Mormon and we went to Central Park to sing in front of everyone and contact everyone we could see. It was so so so much fun!

We also had a huge lesson outside the temple with all of our investigators and it was so so so beautiful! Then we got to take them inside the waiting room so that they could go inside the temple and feel of the spirit that is there. I love the temple and I know that it is the house of The Lord. I know it without a doubt.

Yesterday was my birthday and I just wanted to say thank you for all the many birthday wishes! I love you all a whole bunch!
My Trainer came to visit me! I love her so much! I cried when I saw her!

We had a party in our house.. well in the house of the family where we live. And it was wonderful!(Should be a picture here but it didn't attach)

And the bishops family also invited us to come over!
(Should be a picture here but it didn't attach)

They are absolutely wonderful! I love them a whole bunch! 

Also, i got to hold a hedgehog and a boa this week! It was so so so cool!(Should be a picture here but it didn't attach)
Well, have a great week! I love you all a whole bunch!
Hermana Gibson

P.S. I just wanted to send a really big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! to my grandpa! I love you so so so much! You will forever be my favorite person! I hope that you have the best day of your life!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Meet the new companion!

Hello, this is my new companion. She is great! I have known her for a while not and honestly had  no idea that we would ever be companions. It never even crossed my mind, so when the Zone Leaders called last night and told me that she would be my companion I got really excited!

Her name is Hermana Dubon and she is from guess where..... Honduras! 
My 4th companion from there! I have got to visit that country sometime. Haha Also, Elder Gonzales decided that he wanted to be in the foto jaja so he just kind of jumped in. Hes real great. He is going to be our new district leader. He is also from... Honduras! haha everyone is from there. So yeah, this is my new little! I like her a lot and I'm real excited to work with her. 
We had a baptism on Saturday. Her name is Melissa and she was turning 8. Her mom isn't a member but her sister is. We made her a cake and it was so adorable to see how excited she was to be able to be baptized. I am not going to post pictures because I don't have permission from her mom and she is really little so I don't want to do anything that could offend her parents. haha even though we are really good friends its better to be safe than sorry. 
However here is a foto of the Hermana Chavez and I making her cake before the baptism. 

​Love y'all a whole bunch!
Get excited for Conference! I know I am! Its going to be historic!
Take notes. Remember to have a personal prayer antes de que empieza so that you can receive the personal revelation that you need!
Hermana Gibson