Tuesday, October 25, 2016

24 October 2016 - Week 52 - Half Way!!!!!!!!!!

First week in Ensley! Wooo We are in the HOOD!! I looked it up and i am pretty much in the most dangerous area in the south. Yes we hear gunshots every single night. We will hear Pop,Pop,Pop, then someone will reply a few seconds later with a different Pop (different caliber) Pop,pop,pop,pop. Its crazy. We share a car with the other elders here. There are basically 2 sets here. So we get the car 3 days a week. We ride our bikes the rest. We do not go out at night!! We are in the apt with all the locks on the second it goes dark so we are in usually around 6-6:30. ummm what else. I found 3 bullet shells just on the street so far. This random guy gave me a pretty cool watch lol ummm We have been working out a lot. I'm trying to be good and obey the rules, this is Elder Morley's 3rd transfer and I'm his 2nd companion so I'm trying to be a good example, so we don't go to the gym. We ride our bikes a lot!! According to my fit bit I walk an average 15k-20k steps and burn around 3k calories. I do have pics and videos for y'all but this computer is all locked up and I can barley do anything. We are in a library so I will throw them on the google drive next time I'm at the church. It's just a tiny branch here. There is a solid family from Alabaster that is assigned to this branch to help it out. Then 2 sets of missionaries and 2 sets of senior couple missionaries. soo the the branch needs help. My bike is definitely being used well! We are in the city so I'm constantly hoping curbs, riding down stairs, jumping stairs. Its crazy! But defiantly a super fun crazy area!!! Love and miss everyone - can't believe it's already been a year!! Thanks and love to everyone!!

Note from Mom: no pictures from Ensley yet, but here are a couple from Hamilton :) Have a great week!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

17 October 2016 - Week 51 - Transferred!!

Finally heard from Elder Gilbert on Saturday!! Elder Hix has headed home (we will miss him so much!) and John has been transferred to an area west of Birmingham called Ensley!! It is a low income area and he says he will need to keep his head up - he wont be wearing his watch for awhile! He asks that any letters (which are ALWAYS appreciated!!) be sent to the Mission Home for safety of arrival. I have noticed if you are viewing this blog on your phone, you can't see the sidebar, which has the address, so here it is again:
Elder John Gilbert
3100 Lorna Road, Suite 107
Birmingham, AL  35216

His new companions name is Elder Morley - John will be the senior companion, as Elder Morley has just completed training. We can't wait to hear from Elder Gilbert again - I will post as soon as we hear how he is doing!! This coming week he will have been out for one year - can you believe it?? We certainly can't. How can it be going so slow and so fast at the same time?? Thanks for all your prayers and support - have a great week!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

10 October 2016 - Week 50

Hi Everyone! Crazy weeks! Elder Hix will be home in 8 days! So we are getting him ready for that! I will find out if I am staying in Hamilton or not on Saturday, so I don't really know what to do, we are trying not to buy food till we know. I'm kinda starting to go through stuff seeing what I need / don't use, and can send home. Its crazy that I'm already coming up on a year! It seems so fast but also so slow!! Love and miss y'all and have a great week!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

3 October 2016 - Weeks 46, 47, 48, and 49

Dearest Friends!! Heartfelt apologies for posting fails!! I have many explanations (including an untimely kidney stone - me, not John) but no excuses for not keeping everyone up to date. Elder Gilbert continues to email regularly and I will improve the regularity of the posting on my end! Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support - we couldn't be doing this without you!! Let me post one email he sent a couple of weeks ago - we are all so proud of Elder Gilbert and all he is learning!! Hugs to all...  Debby

 Good week, I had one of the coolest experiences on my mission so far! So Elder Hix and I are eating dinner at taco bell (right after giving a member a blessing because he just had back surgery) and these guys kinda seemed like they were going to try and bash with us, but we made it a good conversation out of it and we went on our way. Then in the parking lot we get a call from our branch president telling us to go give a sister in our branch a blessing who is in the emergency room because he is out of town in Tuscaloosa. So we drive down the road right away. We get out of the car and we see a helicopter with the door open, Elder Hix and I have a whole conversation about helicopters (because we are goofballs) as we walk into the hospital. We get to the desk and we tell them that we are there to give a member of our church a blessing. Elder Hix knew the guy behind the desk, he has been disk golfing with him, and has tried to teach him. So he knew who we were and what we do. The guy behind the desk said "The rule is only 1 visitor per patient, but I will let you guys go anyway" So we walk down to her room. We walk in and there are about 4 doctors around her all working very fast and precise. Around the room are about 5 people all watching (I think they are from her work). This elderly sister is having heart problems and is being emergency evacuated to Birmingham. The helicopter outside is there for her! The second she sees us she waves us over, fights back the tears, and says "I want the blessing now"! She tells the doctors to stop and I pull out my oil vial on my keys. I lay my shaking hands on her head and anoint her, Elder Hix wastes no time and we give her the most powerful blessing of my life. All of the doctors stop what they are doing and respect the blessing. I have never felt the spirit so strong in my life. The room was dead silent and Elder Hix's voice booms around the room. After we finish, I look up and every person in the room, the 5 nonmembers from her work, 3 nurses, and one of the doctors are crying. The spirit was so strong. As we leave the room the sister says "That's what keeps me going folks". Less than a minute after we leave she is on the helicopter outside heading for Birmingham. It was the most demanding moment of my life for the use of my priesthood. It was an awesome experience. We were able to have the spirit with us because we didn't bash with the guys at taco bell. We were able to get past the desk because Elder Hix has been diligent in the work here in Hamilton and met the guy prior to this experience. We were able to be the mouthpiece for the spirit because we were worthy of it. Because we are doing what we are supposed to and trying to the best of our ability to magnify out calling.
> Then we watched the Alabama game on saturday with a less active member. Lol so that was the highlights of our week.

Elder Gilbert keeps telling us their motto is 
Work Hard, Play Hard!!