Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One of the Best and Worst Weeks of My Mission

Just want you all to know, I'm alive.

Wed- District meeting. It was a really great and needed instruction on how to help people make commitments. The best part of the day was going to the Brigham Temple with the Paris family. Brother Paris is our recent convert that is Muslim and we had the wonderful opportunity to do baptisms for his deceased family, I got to do one for his grandma! It was so beautiful and the whole experience was just so peaceful and heart-warming. On the ride home, Rachel (daughter 16) kept hitting Adam (son 13?) with a slinky. They were just harassing each other the whole time..in a loveable kind of way and it just made me laugh :) good ol' siblings. 

Thursday- Zone Conference! We had some great instruction here and were able to go over our Top 5 Strengths that were determined by a test we took earlier. My top 5: Empathy, Includer, Harmony, Developer, Positivity. Yes, I know. It's funny. Of course Empathy is my top one.. Ha! Anyways, it was really good and we got to chase bouncy balls around the gym. Later that night, we got a text from brother Graham. He said, " Are we meeting this week? I would like to plan baptism for Feb 8th." SERIOUSLY?! WOOHOO!!! We asked him what made him decided and this is his response, "Two things made me decide. The first is the Plan of Salvation. The second is the redeeming of the dead. The more I read about that, the more people I think I could help. I have many deceased relatives and friends whom I could help. The first step is to get baptized." Isn't he just awesome? I thought I died and went to heaven. 

Friday- I rested because I felt off for the past few days and Saturday would be a busy day. After dinner, my stomach would NOT settle. We had a lesson with Bro Graham which was shortened because he had an emergency surgery to do.. thank goodness for me. I rushed home and lets just say.. not pretty. I was up the entire night going to the bathroom.. I couldn't understand how anything could be left in my body after the first few times. Anyways, nasty.

Saturday- No throwing up! YAY! Very weak, aches and chills. So I got a blessing from my zone leaders and just rested the whole day. 

Sunday- Much better. Stake conference with Elder Oaks! It was fantastic. The talks were amazing and perfect even though they were unplanned. Elder Oaks talked about the Satan's efforts are concentrated on disrupting God's plan. A lot of it was about how he tries to confuse us about who we are, who God is, and anyway to take away the spirit. I know that this topic was so perfect for EVERYONE. Satan is out to confuse us but we can't let him control us and we have the power either way, to give in or not give up. I wish everyone could have heard it but we will hear from him again in April! He was super funny too, I love him :) So ready for the kicker...... drum roll.... We had lunch with him at our stake presidents house!!!!!!!! You may need to reread that sentence. It was SOOO COOOOOL!!!!! I'm the luckiest missionary I'm pretty sure. :) 

Monday- Practically 100% back to good health. Had a great time with the members that fed us dinner. They are a young couple and the husband was baptized 6 years ago after going through a lot of struggles with the word of wisdom and all that. He finally realized his life was not on a good track and that if he wanted a good life (and his adorable wife) he needed to straighten up! Later, we had FHE with the zone and played volleyball! I'm fantastic at volleyball.. Haha I really did have a few good hits though! It was super fun. 

Altogether, wonderful terrible week :) gotta love it! Transfers are next week... PRAY FOR ME!!! AHHH! 

Love, Sister Gietz

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Week in the Utah Odgen Mission

Hello! So this week has been really great! I went on exchanges last p-day and hung out with my home girl (literally.. She's from Mesa) Sister Shreeve. We went shopping! It was a good time and we went to Costa Vida, our favorite place from home. Not getting trunky... it's just nice to have that attachment. Everyone talks about Arizona anyways so it's kinda hard not to think about it. Especially the beautiful Gilbert temple and the nice weather. You've guys got it good.

On Wednesday after District meeting, we went to lunch with the zone and let me tell you... Most awkward lunch I've ever EVER had. Haha it was interesting. Then that night, we had a lesson with Sister Luck's granddaughter, Ashley. She's trying to come back to the church but is hung up on the WOW ( word of wisdom ) and some things in the church. Because her husband wasn't there and she had LOTS of questions, we decided to do a girls night and just answer and address her questions and concerns. It was a great thing! It brought us closer together and helped her to trust us. It was a good girl's night! 

Thursday, we went on exchanges again and I was with the other STL, Sister Sauder and she's from Indiana. We had a great time! We helped a widow take down her Christmas decor and then had a few lessons. We also talked a lot. It was refreshing :) 

Friday, we had a lesson we've been trying to set up for a while with a sweet Hispanic family that we met at a Christmas party. The Spanish elders came and decided they would take the lessons from them. I was lost the whole time they were speaking... I want to learn Spanish so bad!!! I was practicing with another sister while sis k was in a meeting and it was fun. She's from Spain and we came out to the field the same time. For dinner, y'all would be so proud. I ATE SALMON. It was not my cup of tea though so I gave the other half to sis k and ate the other things. 

Saturday, we did a Super Saturday Missionary Youth Activity with our ZL's stake. The youth were separated into 2 groups for breakfast, Mexico and Germany. I went to the German one. I don't think it was ANYTHING like a German breakfast haha! We had greek yogurt with granola, and this hard bread with jam. I think Bryant ate WAY better food or just cereal like most missionaries ha but it was a good effort. I was put with 2 girls to help them teach the Restoration to a family we would visit. Thankfully, the family was an active member family. I don't know what happened but the girls like blanked and just kept looking at me to talk. A photographer also came with us which was kind of weird but I doubt they will be in a church magazine because the mom wasn't there! It was weird not having a woman there but we went in anyways. 
We also taught a new person, Bonnie. She has been less active for a while and is just trying to figure out what church is right for her. She suffered brain trauma from an accident 9 years ago and got brain surgery 2 years ago. It's been hard on her but she knows she's blessed and has seen the blessings on the priesthood in her life through the blessings she received from family members. 

Sunday, we sang at a care center the song called The Test. It's a really good song, especially for those people going through those kinds of trials. We made lots of people cry and that made me happy to know we had touched someone's heart. We later gave a talk in sacrament on the 1st article of faith. I got a little teary-eyed as I talked about how Heavenly Father knows us by name and knows EVERYTHING about us. That's a great knowledge to have, I am a daughter of God who loves me and I love him.
 Later, we had a good roast beef dinner with all the goods :) just like home! 

Yesterday, we had a pretty chill day. We only had one lesson work out and that was with the Gailey family. We tried their patience by doing a fun activity. They lasted 15 MINS of having a chocolate kiss and cookie in front of them and not eating it! Even the 2 yr old! It was amazing :) 
For FHE, we played Murder in the Dark at the Stake Center. IT WAS SO FUN. The last round was crazy. I was the only sister left and there were 3 other elders and one was the murder. Unfortunately, we killed the wrong person and the murder won! Ha it was really fun though. 

So that's been my week! I'm so grateful for my mission and everything it has given me so far. I love being able to study and just focus on the Gospel and Jesus Christ. If you aren't reading the Book of Mormon EVERYDAY... START! We need to always be feeding the seed of faith so it can grow and be fruitful. Don't let it die from the lack of effort and being a careless gardener. Love it! Feed it! Grow it! 

Love, Sister Gietz

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Very Great Week!

So this week has just been fantastic. I LOVE my area and don't want to leave for a while. We've had some really great lessons and I love the people. Every day is different and exciting and I think that's what keeps me going. Because Sister K is an STL, I get to go on exchanges like every week and attend a special meeting on Thursday's. Our zone is so fun and I love being with them! They are always on top of things and trying to improve us missionaries.

It snowed again! Ugh how I really dislike the cold and slushy snow. Thankfully the roads are clear now but I about have a panic attack every time I have to drive in the junk. 
We have been doing really great on our TTI's (Teach, Testify, Invite) this week! We got 8 last night! We have met some interesting people tracting.. haha gotta love a mission. I feel so blessed to be serving and gaining this experience. There's no other place I can get this training and I'm so glad I'm here! 

So Brother Graham is progressing wonderfully!!! He attended church Sunday wooooohooo! He also set a baptismal date for Feb 1st! I just know it will happen! He's our golden investigator and I will forever remember him as one of the best. He's been without coffee since we taught him the word of wisdom and I'm so proud of him! We taught the law of chastity last night and it went really good. We were able to talk about his family, their interest level and his wife's support. She's pretty anti but he said that she will let him do what he wants. I know that the gospel can really bring families together and by his example, they will see that as well! He's in Ether, so almost done with the Book of Mormon! So excited for him :) 

Brother Trujillo is doing great as well. We've only had 2 lessons but he's come to church twice now and his baptismal date is Jan 25th. I hope it will happen! He's just the sweetest guy and he's started the BOM! 

So I have fabulous newwwws! For stake conference.... Elder Dallin H Oaks and Elder Callister are coming to speak!!! We will gather in the Ogden High School so EVERYONE can see and hear them. I'm so excited! So stake president wanted to talk with us and sis k said we'd probably be speaking as well.... I thought I was going to DIE! As we walked into his office my heart raced and I thought, "surely I will faint if I'm up on the stand with one of the twelve apostles and have to speak." Thank goodness that he was just informing us about a meeting. Whew! 

Well I think that's all I'll report this week! Love you all so much! Thinking and praying for you! Remember that! 

Love, Sister Gietz

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hope you all had a great New Year's!

This week has been very busy like always! It didn't feel like New Year's but that's okay! I made brownies and we played games with our zone, those who played RISK didn't have as much fun as us though!
After our District meeting, we went to my favorite place in the whole wide world... Costa Vida! It felt like home :) so nice. Grandma and Grandpa were leaving that day for Cali so we went home, said goodbye and were on our way to paint Sister Luck's Bedroom! Sister K was super excited because she's never done it before. It looks fantastic! 

We went on exchanges on Friday and it was sooooo fun! I got to be with Sister Shreeve, she is from Arizona and went to Mt. View! We talked A LOT and were able to have a lot of good visits with people. We met a sweet widow (member) who just wants someone to talk to. She has in a car accident and is recovering from a broken neck and back. She wants us to come over so she can do facials and makeovers ( she's a Mary Kay consultant ). So sweet. 

Yesterday, Sister K had a meeting with all STL's and ZL's so I went on splits with Sister Whitfield and Sister Maldanado (Spanish sister from Spain who I came out with from MTC). We had a lesson with a Irish less active member named Danny who's going through a divorce. He brought his daughter who is 5 and it just broke my heart. BUT! He was super funny and we were able to help him find and watch President Thomas S. Monson's talk, I Will Not Fail Thee, Nor Forsake Thee. I LOVE that talk. It can really be applied to all of us sometime in our life. Anywho! After that, we were able to go tracting for an hour in some apartments! Haha tracting is quite the experience. Love it. One woman opened the door, looked at us, then pointing her finger said, "I'm all good with this." then closed the door. We just laughed. I know it's really not that funny but it's interesting to see the way people react to us. It was really great though, I love going on splits! 

So we have a new investigator! His name is Mario Trujillo and just recently got out of prison. He started going to an LDS church while there and really likes it. He said he's never felt comfortable in the Catholic church. So we taught him the Restoration and even took him to church! We're excited for our next lesson with him.

Brother Graham is doing fantastic! He just needs to recognize the Spirit! Last night, he was on Moroni so he's probably done now! He said it's like he's uncovering history! He knows it's true and that it's helping and changing his life. He opened up to us about his 4 yr old son drowning a couple years ago. I think he felt the spirit when we taught the Plan of Salvation and knows he can be with his son again. He also told us that he hasn't told his wife that's he's investigating. She is sarcastic about the church and he doesn't want her to keep him from progressing and change his mind. Hopefully he can be open with her soon and be an example as well. 

Not much has changed with everyone else. However! I was able to run into Brother Jolley. He said they quit the program and are still drinking... I asked him if we can have a lesson again and he said yes! We'll get things set up this week. 

Well that's pretty much it! Hope you all set great goals for this year! I'm excited that I get to give all of 2014 to the Savior and His work! The church is true and the book is blue! Love you all! 

Sister Gietz