Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve!!! Soon to be 2014!

Hello everyone! It has been a crazy week like usual in the mission field. Concerning my ankle- I am doing fantastic! Christmas Day I was able to start walking on it and by the next 2 days I was great and driving again on Friday! So happy to have the strength back. Christmas was one of the greatest days in the field, such a nice break and great to talk to the family. I also have a secret... you have to PROMISE not to tell! That night.. We got in the HOT TUB! It was fantastic :) when we got out to go to the bathroom we ran barefoot in the snow back to the hot tub haha! I have never done that before! Grandma came out and said President Hiers was here and wants to talk to us. Sister K and I looked at each other with fear in our eyes, then Grandma starts laughing! Oh man. We were scared. Then she brought us hot cocoa :) yes I'm fully aware of how spoiled we are.
So I had a bit of a tough time with my comp this week. We were able to talk about it and clear things up. It's amazing how much you can truly learn from living with someone 24/7. I continue to learn patience and love and how to become a better person each day. It's easier said than done of course but I'm learning. I started reading a book given to me by a sister missionary in my district. This book has really brought new insight to me and has taught me of my supreme significance as well as my nothingness. The book is called Visions of Glory. It really makes one think.
I was able to get this book from her because we went on exchanges! Sister K is a STL (Sister Training Leader) so we will be split a lot. It was great to learn how other missionaries do things. I'm taking notes of what kind of trainer I want to be like because I fear that time is coming soon. Anyways, this one sister and I have mutual friends! She was friends with Emily Strebe (roommate in college) and others... It's such a small world.
There's so many little things I wish to tell you but I fear it's a waste of time. It's amazing the lessons you learn as a missionary. People open up to you about their lives and it is just amazing how it can humble you. I'm so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord even though it's not a walk in the park, it's well worth it. I LOVE the people. They have truly changed me for good and I'm grateful for that.
Our investigators are still struggling with the same things. The only progressing one is Joe Graham. I have gained a deep love for him and always am excited to teach him. We taught him part of the Plan of Salvation last night. He explained that he was never taught that you can have a relationship with the Savior but wants to. He told us also that before he did a surgery, the family asked him to pray. He says he notices the difference when he prays and reads the Book of Mormon he just is wanting a profound experience with the Spirit. We explained to him that it doesn't always happen that way and a lot of the time it takes time. I learn so much when I teach as well. The spirit was strong and guiding us. It was a great lesson and we're excited to finish it!
This Sunday in Sacrament meeting, they had one of the missionary's parents speak about their son or daughter and their experiences and such. It was a great meeting, I loved it! It made me worry though what Mom would say about me.. haha! But I think it's a great idea and really helps everyone get excited about missionary work. 
Well to close I just want everyone to know, I know that the LDS church has the true gospel of Jesus Christ that was established by himself on the Earth long ago. It is amazing to me that so many people do not know this. We talked to a widow about the South (where she served) and how every church preaches something different. They preach what the people want to hear! That is just idiotic to me! The LDS church is the same no matter where you go. The same gospel principles are taught and it is all true! This next year is going to be a good one! I continue to pray for you all and love you all so much. Have a great New Year and don't party too hard! 
Love, Sister Gietz  
P.S. Pictures coming soon!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a fabulous time this Christmas season! I don't want it to end... But it will be back next year I'm sure.

Well this week.... We've been tracting a lot! We are trying to increase our numbers for TTI which is teach testify and invite. We've been doing pretty good! SOOOO my most exciting news is about our new investigator who I told you we would be meeting with this week. His name is Joe Graham and he's a heart surgeon at a near by hospital. He heard about the church from a friend and was interested in hearing what "the Mormons" are all about! I love him. He is just so interested and soaking the information in! We gave him a Book of Mormon on the 18th and by the 21st he had finished 1 and 2 Nephi! He loves the book and knows it is powerful. I can tell you more when I skype.
On Saturday, we had the wonderful opportunity to go serve the homeless food and presents for an Eagle Scout project! It was really great. Sad but good to know we were helping people in need. They served 800 plates. Amazing. We also helped wrap presents which was fun, especially watching Elders wrap. Overall, good week! 

So today I went sledding with Sister Kuwahara and I did something really stupid.. We were going down together and were heading straight for a tree. For some reason in the moment my reaction was to kick the tree with my foot. It probably sounds really strange and it was! We crashed and burned. I did at least... I thought I had broke my leg and foot. We went home and Grandpa fixed me up. I will also show you that tomorrow. Well we've been going on with our day and now my foot REALLY hurts so I will have Grandpa and his daughter ( foot doc) look at it. No worries though! I will be fine :) But my email will be a little short because of it. 

I wish you all a very very merry Christmas this year and pray for you always. Remember Christ lived and died for you. What have you done for Him lately? Hope your Christmas wishes come true and that you are all safe and well. 
These pics are from today! 

Love, Sister Gietz

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Mishy

So TONS of Christmas parties this week. We had our mission Christmas party and it was really great! The talent show during the dinner was kinda lame but that's okay. Also, I was the chorister for the hymns at our meeting while Sister K played the piano!!! It was intense. Elder Fisher came and talked. The funny thing is though, his wife's talk was my favorite of all of them.

Richard Benedict, an actor, came and showed us a WONDERFUL movie called Ephraim's Rescue. Everyone needs to watch this movie!!! It's amazing... We watched it then and we watched it again for FHE with our zone last night. WARNING: It will make you cry. So worth it though. It was so cute, Sister K put her head on my shoulder and just cried haha she cried just as much the 2nd time as well. 
We've been doing lots of activities with our district and zone and I love it! We played a funny card game on Saturday that had to do with planting beans. I really like my district, unfortunately though, transfers are tomorrow and we are losing our District Leader and Sister Horvath (girl I went to high school with). But oh well! Life goes on. So happy I'm still with Sister K and in the area. I'm at the best of the best. 
At one Christmas party we were able to talk to a non-member Spanish family that came with some friends. They are awesome! One of my favorite things: The dads were holding each others babies... I about died it was so cute. They are super good friends and after we left, they agreed to take the lessons! Woohoo! They are out of our area so we still have to work with that though. 

Not much to update on people...
Sister Jolley: We will continue lessons next month hopefully. Her and her husband our going to do a program to stop drinking. I hope it works! 
Jake: Still leaving this weekend :( so sad. He is a wonderful investigator. 
Sister Hernandez and Chase: Continues to fall through with lessons...
NEW PERSON! Jo Graham is a referral and we will have our 1st lesson tomorrow. 
Ferguson: Still breaking W.O.W. but he likes us teaching him 

Well! I love my mission. I love being a missionary! It's so funny how a name tag can change the way people act toward you. I haven't had one door slammed in my face yet though! Woo! I love living with the Gladwell family who treats us like their own. This Christmas will be fantastic! Something that Sister Fisher talked about was something like this: "What has been your favorite Christmas? Do you remember the presents you got? I bet you don't even remember. My favorite Christmas was when I was in the Hospital. It's not about the presents but the joy and happiness from being with your family." As I thought about it, I was struck that the Christmas I really didn't care about the presents, but the family, was my favorite. I also spoke in Sacrament meeting again this Sunday. I talked about the kid's presents to Mom and David this year. An act of service and a letter to describe our experience. I was happy I could share that with others! Maybe they will start doing that as well! So fun little story... Before that meeting, we walked in and passed by a family. I turned around and started to talk to the woman and her kids. She was so excited because her dad ( non-member) would be joining them. Afterwards, we met him after and he took our hands and said, " This was the first time I enjoyed Mormon church because of you young ladies!" Haha it made me so happy and I was amazed that I had that little prompting to go talk to his daughter. 

Pictures: 3 Generation. At Transfer Breakfast this morning! Reindeer! Our breakfast... I eat Cheerios and she eats a banana and hot chocolate every morning. We came home late last night from FHE and Grandpa was worried. He called the mission president... Hope we can still do FHE haha oops... 
Love you all! Make right choices! 

Sister Gietz

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mission Update!

It is FREEEEEEZING!!!! It reached 5 degrees last night. I have thought several times that I'm going to freeze to death.

This week has been pretty crazy. Grandpa gave me a driving lesson in our car (Chrysler 200) and it helped a lot! I've only slid and hit a curb once! Haha 
 So we had some Spanish sisters come over and spend the night because one is a visa waiter and would be flying out the next morning to get her visa. The next morning this is what I remember: I knew it was super early but not time to wake up. There was loud talking and then I heard crying. I thought to myself, "she's probably just scared to fly alone." I turned over in bed and fell back asleep not thinking much of it. At 6am Sister K answers a phone call and says that we'll be right there. I get out of bed confused and ask what's going on. She says we need to go to the hospital and she'll explain on the way. Well to make the long story short, Sister Puig woke up during the night throwing up with a high fever and pain in her side. They woke up Grandpa and he said they needed to go to the ER. They spent the whole night in the hospital and even our mission President and his wife came. Sister Hiers asked Sister K where I was and she said, " She's in bed asleep.".... Yup! I slept through the whole thing! Pretty crazy huh? So the next day was recuperating for them but I was well rested and ready to work! So I taught a lesson to Sister Jolley by myself! It was a bit scary but it went okay I think. 
   We've had tons of Christmas parties this week... On Saturday, we had 4! My favorite one however, was at lunch time and we had a less active family we are teaching come! We had Mexican food ( so so yummy ) and sat with the Gailey family. They are my favorite little family. The kids are the sweetest and they are just so well behaved. As we were eating, I took a chip from Sister K's plate and said, " I'm stealing a chip." Lexi ( daughter who's 8) gives me the funniest look! I ask her what's wrong? She says to me, "You told us not to steal..." Haha! I was laughing so hard and felt bad. I explained to her and then told her I would stop saying that. Man... That one came back to bite me! 
Later, the local high school choir sang and it brought back sweet memories and actually made me a little sad. I miss choir... I'm a dork.

On Sunday, I gave my 1st talk! We were just suppose to bare our testimony so I didn't prepare anything. I spoke for 6 mins though and it went great! Very happy :) 

Update on people:
Sister Jolley: The 1st lesson was the Restoration which went great! The spirit was so strong and she even began to cry. She said she believes it's true! She's a bit scared of baptism and is feeling a little pressured but I think that she will accept it soon!!! 

Mimi: She lives in a care center that we cover. She just turned 91 so we took her a birthday letter. As we read them to her, she began to cry. She breaks my heart! I love her so much! She is just the sweetest woman and she is southern so she always calls us darlin and honey. She goes to church but promised her husband she wouldn't join the church... 

Enrique: We teach him on Facebook! He lives in the Dominican Republic and is just amazing! He is so funny and is full of curiosity! Sister K taught him in her 1st area when he was going to school here. 

Jo Kelley: Poor Jo. He is a less active but is becoming much more active! He just recently found out some things so moved out and is getting a divorce. We were wondering around one day and saw him outside of his apartment. We felt like we should go help and talk to him. He was there to get a few things. He was a mess but was so glad we came. He said," It's funny how prayer works... I was just praying for help because I didn't think I could do this and then you sisters pull up. Wow He's fast!" It was amazing to know that we were in the exact place at the exact time we needed to be. 

Augie Weichman: UGH. This man is... so many things. He is hard-hearted, unbelieving, and doesn't even know what he's talking about. He is in the same care center as Mimi. We taught him twice and I think it will be the last. You try to answer or address his concern and he continues to talk over you. I realized that he just wants to argue and confuse us with what he believes. I laughed to myself as I had an answer to every ridiculous question but he refused to listen. It strengthened my testimony in fact! As we left, Sister K started to cry, what he had said shook her. It was good to comfort her and help her see that we know the truth and he is just lost in his own understanding. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I left that scripture with him. I could go on and on but I'll stop :) 

Chase: He is 23 and has been out of jail for a year..? I'm not too sure but I've had the chance to meet with him twice. He wants to be baptized but the only thing holding him back is smoking. I'm cheering for him though!

Jake Johnson: Awesome kid! He's 14 and taking seminary and wants to be baptized! However, he isn't getting along with his mom so he's moving to Nebraska December 21 to be with his dad. We may have to send a referral. He's not the kind of kid you would expect to accept the gospel though and that's what makes him even more awesome! He loves reading the scriptures and praying... what kid does that?! 

Sister Hernandez: Well... She didn't speak to us for a whole week after her meeting with Bishop. We were really afraid and concerned until this morning. She explained she had to go to Idaho because her aunt has stage 4 Cancer. We set up another appointment so please pray for this one!!! 

Now that I wrote a novel.. I'll end. I'm so gratful for the gospel and know it's true! 

P.S. If you haven't found out yet, the Presidency released an official explanation for why Blacks weren't given the Priesthood. They have 2 more coming out and they are on Polygamy! BIG things are happening everyone... I only know about the Polygamy one because I have the hook-ups with Grandpa! Anywho... you should read it! It's pretty crazy!   

Love, Sister Gietz

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy Mission Days!

Hello Hello! So lots has happened in this past week and I'm very excited to share!

So first off... HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Oh my, I thought I was going to blow up from so much food. The members we live with (Grandpa and Grandma) took us to Snow Basin... We are very spoiled yes I know. Anywho! It was a beautiful ski resort and the food was fantastic. My favorite part however was the loooooong table of desserts. I went a little over board but it was worth it :P I later crashed on the couch and took a nap. Not a good time to proselyte. After my nap, we took Mooshie (the doggy!) on a walk but mostly it was to take me on a walk. After that... WE ATE AGAIN. I know... No wonder the average weight gain for sister missionaries is 40lbs! AHHH! Just kidding but not really :) no worries for me! I work out ;) So not to say the food wasn't good at Snow Basin but having a homemade Thanksgiving dinner was like Heaven (even when you're full). It made my Thanksgiving Day complete! 

So wonderful news! Our 2 baptisms went fantastic! Logan's was Saturday and unfortunately.. he had to be dunked 3 times ha I was so scared he was going to cry. He was really nervous about it but the first time was the other guys fault. No biggie though, the work was done! We sang a musical number ( Sister K and myself ) and I saw his aunt crying so I started to get shaky and even more nervous! I lived to tell the tale though! We went to his grandpa's house after and it was just... fantastic. Some of his family are inactive and it was just a great experience to be with them and talk and to show them that we're not scary or weird! Haha 

Brother Paris had his baptism this morning! It went really well and we were quite happy with it. We sang the same song at his which was I am a Child of God. After the baptism we gave the restoration presentation ( we do this after each one while they get dressed ) and let's just say I got a little emotional. It was annoying. Haha but I guess sometimes you just can't control the Spirit! I truly love him and his family. They are just fantastic people and are so loving. I didn't get to really teach him but I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I had to know him. Can you imagine putting your life on the line because you want to follow Christ and be baptized? Amazing example. 

Some fun things: 
-I let Sister K drive in the church parking lot yesterday... She had the time of her life haha! Don't tell anyone that I let her... I don't want to get our car taken away! :)
-Grandpa answers my questions and we always have very deep and insightful conversations. I love it! 
-We helped Grandma decorate the tree last night and it is looking a lot like Christmas here! Eeks! 
-Sister K taught me I am a Child of God in Japanese and it was so cool to sing with her and she also is teaching me a beautiful Japanese song on the piano. I like having her teach me things :) it makes her happy which makes me happy!
- Met and have 2 people in the Stake that are in MOTAB Choir! One is a black guy and the other her name is Sister Penman. SO COOOL! Oh only in Utah :) 
- Went to Olive Garden with about 14 Elders... Someone paid for all of us... Oh only in Utah :) these crazy Mormons. 
-It SNOWED today! Please pray for us that we will be safe on the roads!
Brother Ferguson- Challenged him to the 15 Steps to Stop Smoking and he has accepted! We also have a bap date for him! Jan 10
Chase- Finally got a hold of him. He's been playing hooky but now sees the difference in his life. Bap date for him as well! Dec 21
Sister Jolley- She came to church with her husband and seemed to enjoy it! We are meeting tomorrow to have a 2nd lesson! We are excited for this one :) 
Sister Hernandez- Not too sure... She came to church with her son and was really into it. But, there were some "needs" of hers that the bishop couldn't help with. She hasn't talked to us since she told us. Really hoping she wasn't using us.. 

We are teaching lots and I love it! THE GOSPEL HAS BEEN RESTORED! Did you know that? A lot of people don't... count your blessings! And remember, you are a child of God who has sent you here to have happiness which is through the Gospel. He leads and guides us by a living prophet, the Holy Ghost and the scriptures! 

Love you all! 
Sister Gietz

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Turkey Day!!

Hello everyone! So this past week has been awesome! My companion and I are on FIRE! We've been able to have 18 lessons a week and a baptism every week.we're really hoping Logan and his family feel better by this Saturday :( they are all sick! 

So I want to tell you about 2 new investigators that made my day. 
Sister Jolley- We met with her and on our 1st visits we just get to know them and share a little gospel here and there. She and her husband were homeless for a while and just got an apt. Her husband is a Vietnam War Veteran and has since then fell away from the church. But! He wants to get active again and she wants God in her life. She already is trying to quit smoking. They are so funny and are so lovey :) he said he wants her to quit so she can be around longer.. he's 14 yrs older than her but I'm rootin for them ha. At the end, we asked her to be baptized in December. She said she wasn't ready. We told her we would get her ready and that we know she can do it. She said if she knows it's true she will! Sweet! 

Sister Hernandez- LOVED. She welcomed us in and explained that she had referred herself by mormon.org. She was close to baptism but was on drugs so she and her husband went to jail. Her family is Catholic but she has always felt like this is the truth. After getting out of jail, she went to a halfway house and would attend church. She received a blessing one day and described it as an experience like nothing else. She motioned upward with her hands by her chest and described it as feeling so " light". We told her it was the Holy Ghost :) we later extended the invite to be baptized and she said YES! Woohoo! We  were  so excited and I thought I was going to fall over and die... We've just been having such a great time. The work is moving! 

Last night we had FHE with an active member family to show them what their son is teaching on his mission. I had the opportunity to share the 1st vision. As I told of Joseph's experience, I was overwhelmed and started to cry. This lesson is amazing. My testimony continues to grow each day. 

Alek's baptism was great! This was a HUGE event for their family. They've had missionaries for 7 years... Brother Ruiz ( father) is really coming around and softening his heart and guess what... He is moving to ARIZONA next week! He's going to work at the Williams Field Airport and is looking at homes in Queen Creek and on Power and Guadeloupe! Mom- he said he will find you but you may need to find him :) so cool right?! 

I've been learning a lot about the family and the Gospel. Without one, you can't have the other. Heavenly Father, with all his wisdom and understanding, see's it fit that a family made up of a woman and man legally married and their posterity is the BEST unit for mankind to have joy. My landlord ( Grandpa Gladwell ) told me of this principle. Joy is the greatest we can achieve. You can have pleasure and happiness and everything else but without a family and the Gospel, you can never reach true joy. 2 nephi 2:25 replace be and are with the word exist. We exist to have joy! The scriptures carry such spiritual truths and they are vital to our joy. 

" make scripture reading a part of your regular routine, and the blessings will follow. There is in the scriptures a voice of warning, but there is also great nourishment... If the language of the scriptures at first seems strange to you, keep reading. Soon you will come to recognize the beauty and power found on those pages." -Elder Packer 

I'm so thankful for my family, the gospel of Jesus Christ, My savior, and the scriptures. I'm grateful for a lot more than that but those are most important. I hope all of you are grateful for our Heavenly Father's wonderful gifts he has given us and to not take them for granted! We have them for a reason and we are extremely blessed. 

Love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'll be up at Snow Basin for lunch ( spelling?) with my Grandpa and Grandma Gladwell as well as their family. :) I'll be thinking and missing you!!! 

LOVE, Sister Gietz :) 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My head is going to explode..

I'm sorry I didn't get to write last week! They didn't even give us an option and I've been so busy I can't write. I try for a few minutes a night but it's so hard :( not complaining.. just wish I had a voice recorder for my journal so I would have more time! Okay so my trainer/companion is Sister Kuwahara ( spoken like so: Koo-wah-holla!) yeah. She's from Japan and has been out 6 months! Her English is pretty good but she does have a heavy accent. Some investigators have a hard time with it (mostly the one's in the care center) heck I have a hard time with it sometimes! But she's good :) she is very obedient and hard core. It took a while to break her shell but she's coming around. She told me openly that she didn't get along with her last comp very well but was happy when she got me. She always says nice things about me to the ward members and other important people :) she says she doesn't even have to train me... NOT TRUE. Haha it's been a crazy week. The 1st day I was out we had to move Sister K's stuff to a new place. We live with the nicest people in the world that spoil us. They are the Gladwell's and I love them! We had 5 lessons my very 1st day! Ahhhhh! I survived though :) it slowed down after that. Right now we have a couple baptisms! 1. Aleks Ruiz is 14 and getting baptized this Saturday!!! We're so happy because he's wanted to for so long but his Dad is a Baptist and didn't want him to. Now that Aleks has shown him he really wants it by going to church by himself every week, attending seminary, reading the BOM and praying, he has said YES! We teach him and his family but he's the only one right now that has permission. 2. Brother Paris. LOVE this guy. He's Muslim and is quite the character! He's wanted to be baptized but he's the oldest in his family, has to take care of them but can't return to Iran ( I think..) if he does. So happy for him! He's married to a member and has been married to 2 other LDS women. He's super funny and I love his family. He's getting baptized Dec 3 which is their wedding anniversary!  3. Logan he is 10 and his parents are inactive. He has ADHD but is super cute. 
So we were teaching Bro. Ferguson about the Word of Wisdom... again.. He said he would try his hardest to quit. The moment we walked out, we looked through the huge windows and he puts a cigarette in his mouth. Ha! Seriously? Grr... 
Yesterday was ROUGH. After eating lunch we get a phone call.. "Are you coming to lunch?" Oh... NO! "Yes we'll be right there!" I wanted to die. Thankfully it was just a HUGE salad and tapioca pudding. Haha it was such a grandma meal :) I laughed. Then, a couple hours later we had dinner. I was so scared as I looked down at my bowl with zucchini and spinach. "Please please help me to eat this..." It was surprisingly delicious! Then after brownies and ice cream I wanted to die. You'd be so surprised and proud of me... :) I ate guacamole the other night. Haha just with a few chips but this lady was authentic and it was pretty good but still not a total fan. 

Last night we met with a women named Debra. She found us at church and got our number so we could talk to her brother who's on drugs... Well we ended up talking to her for forever and I'm pretty sure she was talking 50000 words a minute.. Poor Sister K.... It was hard for her. It was hard for me too. She has lots and lots of burdens because of her family and their problems with drugs. Drugs are so stupid. :( it breaks my heart. Sister K wasn't able to relate and so it wasn't affecting her as much but I could see the pain in her eyes and the trama that it has caused. I could go on and on about this but I wont. Satan is so jealous of us and so he attacks the family and the body. Why do you think we have the Word of Wisdom and The Law of Chastity? Our bodies are gifts! Treat them with respect because they are temples! 
I'm so glad that I have the gospel in my life and know that it is how we can truly be happy. I want to help everyone and anyone but I can't do it alone and neither can all the missionaries! We need the members to extend a loving hand and fellowship! That is the most effective way we can spread the gospel and help people know the truth! We are children of God and everyone needs to know that. Okay okay I'll stop it ;) 
Sister Gietz 
Brother Gladwell (homeowner) calls me Sister Geeks haha he's hilarious. This morning he gave us some great insights to the Book of Mormon and how it was transcribe

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I'm ALIVE!!!

Hello hello! Oh my goodness what should I tell you?! Everything? There's a lot... I'll do my best though with the time I have. So my P-day is Wednesday, if you didn't figure by now.. but in the field it is on Tuesday's. Thank you for all the letters and emails I have gotten. I love hearing from you!!!
So my companion's name is Sister Hadden and she's from Desert Hot Springs, California and is 21! She went to BYUI and has her Bachelors in Accounting. She is an awesome Seester and I love her! We've been having tons of fun :)
It started out kind of rough for us, but after we talked and fasted Sunday we've become best friends! We're similar in a lot of ways, with things we like and such, but when it comes to emotionally... We take things differently. I'm the cry baby who's sensitive as a baby's bottom and she's a rock! Tears don't escape her eyelids. It's amazing. Our favorite thing to do is... get ready for it... SIIIIIIING!!! That was me singing like an old lady. Yes, I've been able to open up my little mouth and sing sing sing. Our district rocks too! We have a bunch of choir kids and only one tone-deaf Elder, so we sing as much as we can to bring in the Spirit. If you're wondering what I do all day it's kind of like this: Wake up, get ready, study, eat, class, teach, study, eat, class, teach, study, eat, study, plan, go to bed. They have us on an intense schedule! My companion keeps me on track and thankfully isn't directionally challenged like I am. There's a reason we're together! Ha hmm what else.. My district has 2 Elder companionships and a trio of Sisters and then us! And we're all going to Ogden together! We also have 3 other Elders in our zone going too! We get to wake up super duper early next Tuesday and get on the Frontrunner at 6:20 AM!!!! We're all upset we're not leaving on Wednesday because L. Tom Perry will be speaking in the devotional next Tuesday night.. Bummed. But still in happy spirits of course! Last night we had a devo with one of the 70 with the last name of.. Zwacks? Something like that. It was AMAZING and the Spirit was so strong! I felt the love of my Savior so much, and also the love of President Monson.
We are kept super busy, but it is awesome! Oh and Sister Hadden and I have been called to be the Sister Training Leaders for the new missionaries coming in today! We are so excited!!! We bought some stuff to decorate their door all cute and make them feel welcome :) can you tell I love it here? Cause I ABSOLUTELY DO!!!!!!! The MTC is a little peace of heaven on Earth.. Seriously. I have been able to feel the Spirit so much, be extremely happy and energized and it's the best! Whoever said that they didn't like the MTC must have gone to the wrong campus cause this place is great! I can't believe I'm leaving in a week..
So we are teaching 2 people right now! One is our PI (progressing investigator) named "Eduardo" and he's role-played by one of our teachers named Brother Neilson. Eduardo is someone from his mission who he taught in Cali and who is struggling with some things in life. We have been able to teach him The Restoration and only got to The Plan of Salvation for a couple minutes because he had to go. But our TRC (an investigator who volunteers to be taught by us missionaries. Whether they are a member, convert, or non-member is unknown and will never be known to us) is who I want to tell you about... Her name is Joy Cepull and she is from Orem Utah. She grew up with many LDS families and has sad stories of the discrimination that she faced as a non-member. She had questions at a young age and still today her mind buzzes with the troubling questions of her soul. She enjoys nature and is huge about finding God through it and not in a church building (she's a naturalist and doesn't like organized religion). So the first day we met with her, she unleashed these questions, which were answerable, but all over the place. I was overwhelmed with trying to help her see her answers and trying to soften her hardened heart. My mind was troubled but excited. I took Conner's advice with his Stick of Ephraim ;) and sought to find the answers. She asked such things like: "Why did Adam partake of the fruit if he was perfect?", "Are there other worlds with life on them? Alternate Universes? Because I believe there is." and so on and so on... ugh. The next day, we decided we needed to find out why on Earth she was meeting with us because our message is of Christ and if she doesn't want to hear about that then.. that's unfortunate. She told us that she wants to know what the big hype about Christ was and why we need him. Okay, we can work with that! I was able to testify to her and show her the answers we had found for her and she was AMAZED. She said no one had answered them for her. PEOPLE! THE BOOK OF MORMON HAS THE ANSWERS. FIND THEM!!! I left her a few scriptures and my testimony and we left feeling on top of the world. I really don't think she is a member but if she is, she knows how to act! I could go on and on about her and her way of thinking and questions but I need to share other stuff! However, The Book of Mormon is the word of God and can answer all questions of the soul. Jesus is the Christ and he died for our sins. I have a challenge for all of you (this was a class activity that I greatly enjoyed and increased my testimony with). In Preach my Gospel, go to the back of lesson 2: The Plan of Salvation. You will see summarized lesson plans. Find the Medium lesson plan. With each sentence apply how the Atonement made this possible. EACH SENTENCE you can apply Christ and His Atonement. Mind Blown. We need Christ and my love for him has grown so much. I didn't realize how much I could learn in a week but it is astonishing. Sister Hadden and I had a little time yesterday on the computers and went to LDS.org. We started to watch The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos. Please... watch them if you haven't already. The one with Mary the Morther of Christ and Let All Children Come unto Me... oh my. We were crying in the computer lab haha! To see how Christ looks upon and feels about the children... Wow. Watch it. Please WATCH IT. 

Sunday night we watched a devo by Elder Bednar that was given at the MTC 2 years ago. They continue to play it every sunday... can you imagine why? Because it is one of the most fantastic talks I have ever heard in my life that has forever changed me. You will not be able to find it because it was a MTC devo but if you can.. you rock and should watch it. It is on The Character of Christ. The concept of charity never had rang so clear to my ears than that night. My understanding of my character increased and the need to "turn outward and resist the natural man" stung my heart. How selfish I have been all these years took root and instantly.. I wanted to become more like the Savior. I wish I had my notes in front of me but I can just tell you that the Spirit was extremely strong. Our district wants to watch it again this Sunday so I will probably get even more insight! So excited.
Okay, I need to go finish my laundry.. We've got lots to do! I need to clean.. eeks. I'm doing well and hoping you are all as well! Next time, I'll have my journal next to me so this goes easier haha it's hard to remember everything and deciding what to tell you. By the way.. Food is BOMB. I have salads and wraps all the time! I thought I would possibly lose some weight maybe but these cookies are to die for... they balance each other out though right?! :P
LOVE YOUUUUUUUUU!!! Maybe if I have more time I can write some more. If not, I'll talk to you next week and hopefully squeeze in a letter sometime.... Okay, got to goooo! I love youuuuu!

P.S. I have a few addresses but not everyone's... can you make sure whoever wants this gets it? Thanks!
Sister Gietz


Friday, October 18, 2013

The Start of a New Beginning Approaches

I haven't written in some time now and for that I apologize. So much has happened, it just feels unreal. Like a huge mess is whirling around me, trying to distract me and discourage me. I had been told over and over again that Satan would challenge me, especially before my mission, to prevent me from leaving and helping the work, but never did I think these adversities would come upon me. I thought to myself, "Challenges? Bring it on Satan! I can handle it." Now I think to myself, "Please give me the strength to overcome what I must face." Where would I be without the Gospel? In trying times like these, I know I would be lost and feel alone, but because of my testimony, I can hold my chin up high. I can continue on hitting that punching bag (Satan) that keeps coming back, trying to knock me down.

I have since spoken in church, which I must say was one of the biggest reliefs to me. After that, things started to spin, putting me in an emotional tornado. Yes, not a rollercoaster... a tornado. On a rollercoaster, you have a secured seat, sometimes a companion next to you who goes everywhere you do, and you have a start and finish. A tornado can take you in any direction, you are tossed and brutally afflicted, and you have no idea when it will throw you back on the ground. Have I ever been in a real one? Ha no, of course not. Thinking about being in one though and trying to keep my eyes open during the commotion would be a headache, much like this life is if we do not close our eyes. When I do, I reflect on what I know and believe. I try to separate myself from the world around me. And the best thing I can do, and everyone else can do, is turn to Christ. He suffered all. He knows every pain we have or ever will feel. He knows PERFECTLY what we are going through. I think that even though I know this, I relearn it with each trial. That is why the Atonement is so important to remember. It is something so incomprehensible, that it should humble us to even think of what He and the Father did for our mankind.

Now some of you are probably thinking that I'm crazy and an emotional wreck and I will tell you that it has been pretty emotional for me. But, because I know how to stand on my feet again, I wish for all to be able to as well. My friend, who is currently serving a mission, recommended a new method to saying personal prayers. He told me that when he starts off his prayer with expressing to Heavenly Father how he feels, he understands better on how to ask for help and makes him feel better! I started to do it as well and have noticed a change just as he has! Our Father is there to help us, and even though he knows how we feel, it's nice to open up to Him. I feel like it's letting Him into my heart. I am happier when I do this and can sleep peacefully! So my challenge to you... is to do the same! It's quite simple really. As you reverently kneel, and offer a sincere prayer, believing God is listening, I promise you will feel something powerful and good inside! That feeling is brought on by what is called the Spirit or the Holy Ghost. If you have trouble, continue to do it and don't lose faith! He wants you speak with Him, that's why He gave us prayer. Remember, even Christ prayed to God.
 Good luck and God be with you! :)

3 Nephi 18:18  Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

Joshua 1:9   Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Oh Dear, Oh My!

Could it already be?! No, there's no such thing! "Farewell talks" will be something of the past and it seems so much is changing for us youth. The age change was a shock for everyone and for most, quite a delightsome surprise I'd say. I am in fact one of those delighted pioneers embarking upon this fantastic journey, in which my young generation has the privilege to adventure into the mission field. Oh what a blessing it is! As you can tell, I'm not thrilled at all...
And so it begins! The packing, the sending of additional information to Salt Lake, the immunizations, the early morning mission prep, the "adieu" talk, and of course entering into the Holy Temple of God and making covenants with Him to help us on our way back home. It's overwhelming, but amazing at the same time. I love it!

Well today, I was given my non-farewell talk. Yes, that's a thing of the past for those who don't know. For various reasons they have been encouraging that before missionaries leave for their missions, they should speak in sacrament meeting at least 3 weeks in advanced. It is to be centered on the Gospel, Jesus Christ, and your topic of assignment. Fortunately for me, this is my circumstance.

In the first weekend of October, we are blessed to hear from the Brethren and select sisters of the church in a live broadcast called General Conference. In this powerful meeting we are instructed, reminded and uplifted by people who have been called by God through our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson so speak on things pertaining to everyone in the world. If you have a question and pray about it sincerely and earnestly, you will be able to feel or know your answer by listening to these talks. It's amazing! So I bring this up because of two things. One, these meetings take place on Saturday and Sunday and so we do not have sacrament meeting making it impossible for me to speak then. Two, because General Conference is on the 1st Sunday of the month we have Fast Sunday the following week, making it impossible to speak then as well. So I'm left with October 20th or September 22nd. They (the stake presidency) wish that I speak in September, so I agree to speak in two weeks and am given the topic: Obedience- By Stand in Holy Places. Holy Cow! Did I just agree to preparing a 12-15 minute talk that I will be speaking into a microphone in front of tons of people?! Oh dear.. Oh my.. Well here goes nothing!

Oh and one last thing... I will be going through the Mesa Arizona Temple September 20th! I'm so excited! This is going to be one crazy and emotional weekend :) I'm going to love it.

Sister Gietz

Friday, July 26, 2013

And So It Begins...

It's here! It's here! Finally, the day I have dreamed of and thought about for so long has arrived! It feels unreal. I received my mission call in the mail today. I was getting ready for the day when I heard a truck outside. My heart sank and I rushed to the window to see if it was the mail. It was! I anxiously waited for the mailman to leave and as he did, I ran to the mailbox. I opened it and there in my hands laid the information to when and where I would be spending the next 18 months of my life in service. Tears of joy welled up in my eyes and I quickly called my family to let them know.

My family and friends gathered around and it was time. I nervously fumbled to opened the letter. I began to read and of course.. started crying, making it hard for people to hear but I managed to say Ogden Utah Mission! I report October 30th and I'll be preaching in the English language. I'm SOOOO excited! I've heard wonderful things about the place and many friends have family there. I'm going to be a missionary soon! Woohoo!