Monday, February 10, 2014

A Perfect Love

(Hi this is Ria speaking, Elder Giforos' mom. A lot of people have asked me how he is doing on his mission and have wondered how leaving right after high school and only being 18 years old has felt for him. I thought I'd ask him and let him explain how he feels about it. This was a decision he made on his own. In fact, I kept asking him if he was sure about it. Well, I'll let him answer.)

Hey my people,

First I'll answer those questions.

I am so glad that I decided to go on my mission right after I turned 18. It has been a blessing for me to be out serving others at this time in my life. I sometimes think about what I would be doing at home if the age to serve was still 19. Probably nothing productive. I know that out here right now I am shaping my future, the type of man I want to be. The Lord has blessed me with opportunities to find out who I really am and where I stand personally. There is not a better time to grow spiritually and mentally than on a mission for the Lord.

Also.... I'll get home a fresh 20 year old. Oh yeah.

(I also asked him about the tradition in Spain of kissing people hello. For us, that is pretty normal since his father's side of the family is Greek.)

And I have not been kissed yet out here. I've heard of other missionaries getting kissed down in Madrid though. We'll see what happens.

That's awesome about our new Stake Presidency! I greatly appreciate the men that served in ours before and I'm way excited for Bro. Richards!!!
Transfers are coming up this Saturday. I'm pretty confident by what President Jackson said in my interview and by what the Hs said that I will be staying another transfer. This is exactly what I want so bad. I'm not ready to leave Oviedo, I love it here so much. So we'll see what happens.
The Peach Cobbler turned out amazing. I couldn't believe it! I hadn't tried it yet and was serving, and then people starting freaking out. Like literally standing up and patting me on the back, saying I'll be a great husband, and how amazing the food was. Well... It was a great feeling, and I guess it's pretty good? Awesome.
This week I've witnessed a few miracles.
M (our convert) got accepted to the language program at BYU Provo to learn English. I cannot explain how happy I am for him. If all goes well with his visa appointment tomorrow, he'll be on his way to the USA the end of April. Mom and Dad, if you can, invite him to church with you guys one Sunday. He would love that. He'll be living in Provo, so I'll give you his email and phone number later or something.
He also paid his first payment of tithing.... And now he has work almost every day whereas before it was once a week. Blessings.
We've continued teaching our investigator F and he is just accepting everything. We've reactivated his friend J who I've known now for 5 months now. They are both from Venezuela and I don't know if I said before but J served a full time mission and taught institute for 8 years! He's amazing. Those two have a special place in my life. I´ll never forget them and I will see them after the mission. I love those guys.
We watched the Joseph Smith Restoration movie with them. The Spirit was so strong. I testified that although Joseph Smith and the Saints suffered so much and later died, they are above us now with smiling faces. They are so happy to see the progression of the church and their efforts paying off. We should be truly grateful for them and always remember them.
There is also a video we found about a man named John Tanner. It is an amazing video. It is about a man who had an infection in his leg that caused him not to be able to walk. The missionaries came, commanded him to stand and walk based on his faith in Jesus Christ. John Tanner was baptized that same night. Also, he donated millions of dollars to the church (which was how they built the temple) and he served a mission for 6 years. Incredible story.
I went on splits with Elder Q this week. He's from England. We had a great time together.
I was remembering this week how my dad would always laugh SO hard every time he watched Seinfeld or the movie Nacho Libre with his cousin Chris. That made me laugh.

To finish, I want to share a poem with all of you that I wrote this week, I hope it's good:

A Perfect Love

There is a God above
Who feels a Perfect Love
Created you and me
The beasts, the light, the sea.

A man, He sent straight down
A woman soon was found
The snake did tempt that man
That fool, played part His plan.

Man fell that men might be
Because of him we see
That life is made of choice
Through one we may rejoice.

He sent His Son to man
To watch them pierce his hand
These men were surely blind
To raise one who was kind.

"Remember Me Dear Lord,"
A thief choked out this chord
And with his simple plea
Remembered he shall be.

The pain was felt by few
They knew not what to do
He gave his final breath
Now Life will conquer Death.

A boy, soon man to be
Knelt down next to a tree
His doubt caused him to ask
The answer came quite fast.

A light then did he see
It appeared heavenly
God came down with His Son
The answer said was "none."

"With time you will restore
My path that was before
Great things will come to pass
Man will be saved at last."

Sacrifice, O it came
As heavy as the rain
But through rain comes the sun
The Son of Man has won.

The world is growing dark
It sometimes leaves a mark
He's heard your pleading cries
Watched tears fall from your eyes.

Lift up your head and smile
Do think of God a while
For He knows all your pain
Has often felt the same.

Sends children, His, to die
For cause, some know not why.
Though pain He feels above
His plan is Perfect Love.

I love you all,

Elder Giforos


Andrea Cahoon said...


My son is Elder Cahoon who just was your son's companion in the trio on Lanzarote. I have loved reading his letters as they give such great descriptions! Thank you for sharing!

Andrea Cahoon

Andrea Cahoon said...

My son was just serving with your son in the trio on Lanzarote. Thank you for posting his letters as I get additional info on things he mentioned in his letters.

Andrea Cahoon

Ria said...

I'm glad you found the blog! Elder Giforos loved serving with your son. I hear he gives great haircuts. He will miss him.

Shelley Schwenke said...

Hi Ria!
My son, Elder Schwenke, is now Elder Giforos new companion on Lanzorote. Elder Giforos is friends on fb with my nephew. It is truly a small world. Glad to find this blog. Elder Schwenke left several investigators with a baptism date set in a couple of weeks... it was difficult for him, but he looks forward to working hard with your son. I post Elder Schwenke's letters on mission if you are interested in who your son's new friend will be.
Shelley Schwenke