Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012!

Hey Hey Hey! Okay, business first. I received one letter that you wrote on Thanksgiving and another from Sis. Sherrard-I dont know if she writes me a ton or if her letters just get here faster, but I have like 5 from her, its awesome! As far as the package from Grandma and Uncle Scott, this is what I know- I have a package in the office that my zone leaders are going to get right now but I have no idea who it's from. As far as tomorrow, I'm thinking it will just be easier to call the house phone where we live. I dont really know exactly how to do it but you can probably look up "how to call El Salvador" on google. I think the country code is 503 and our phone number is 2272-7900. We have 45 minutes talk, I will be waiting at home at 4:45pm your time. Also, this is random but one of the elders here has this cool thing called "All-in-1 External Card Reader/Writer" by Dynex...It's awesome and if I had one I could send you pictures. Just throwing that out there. Also, twizzlers, beef jerkey and reeses are awesome. Sorry I'm a brat. It is a little weird that tomorrow is Christmas...actually here today is their Christmas. Until last night we hadn't even put up a "tree" (see attached picture). We did have a ward Christmas party and let me tell you these people PARTY. It started at 6:00PM we left at 8:00 and they didnt end until 11:00PM and only because it started raining. We also went to President's house on Friday as a zone and spent the day celebrating Christmas with them. It was SUPER fun, we played all these crazy games. My favorite was when we moved the couches around and divided into teams and then threw sock balls at each other. It was like an El Salvador snowball fight. Definitely not something I imagined doing on my mission. President and Hermana Glazier are AMAZING! Like I said tonight is their Christmas so we have dinner plans with a family in the ward. He was a mission president in Costa Rica a few years ago and he has a daughter who served a mission, so it should be fun. And my Spanish is to the point where I can understand what is going on. Yes there is really garbage hanging from trees. Our chapel looks like ours at home. But I'm in the city and meet in the Stake Center (I'm actually in the chapel right now) I dont know if some of the more rural areas have chapels. No it is not hard to wash clothes by's about as hard as doing my laundry with a machine. Now that I am on my mission I realize how lazy I was before. For example now that I walk everywhere I can't believe how ridiculous it was that I didn't want to walk the 3 blocks to campus more than once a day. Or now that I get up at 6:30 I would give anything to sleep just until 7:00. Also, I was not a good member missionary and I need to apologize to those poor elders. You need to work with the missionaries, give them references, if they need a member to teach with them go and do it! Sorry, just try it, it's worth the blessings. They food here is awesome. There is way more than just pupusas. There is this man in our ward, he has a super powerful testimony and we love having him teach with us, but also he makes amazing bread. You know how I love my bread. And for Christmas he made us this awesome bread wreath thing-So delicious! And there is this stuff called "budding"-it's kinda like Nana's french toast caserole (so sad I'm missing that) and I am addicted. I really enjoyed Daddy's email this week. It made me laugh, he painted this beautiful scene of Christmas and then said "and i just got home from a drug overdose death." Sorry this is so short. We're going to talk tomorrow so I don't want to ruin it all. I hope everyone has fun tonight at Grandma's and misses me :P Love you! Hermana Giossi

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"This Is What It's All About"

Hello Family! I was so happy to have an email from you this week. I have P-day on Mondays now so that's when I will read and write. Thank you for sharing the email-address with everyone. I really love and appreciate the emails but just know that I can only email people I am related to but will snail mail others as often as I can. I have not received the letters or package from Grandma but they could be at the mission office, I have no idea. I will let you know. According to my companion the mailing address for letters is: Hermana Giossi La Mision El Salvador San Salvador AP 3362 CP San Salvador El Salvador C.A. Sounds like things are almost all set for Christmas over there. If I'm being honest I forgot next week was Christmas. It just seems so weird because its like summer here. I dont know exactly what is going to happen on Christmas, but the way it works is you have to call me.The President has suggested skype because it's free. I will let you know on the 24th which time I will be waiting and all that. I'm sure this is going to be one of the most memorable Christmas experiences of my life, if nothing else it will be unique. Exciting about the Christmas Cantata...I'm sure it will be amazing! And my Patriots, of course I'm missing a sweet season but it's all good. Everyone here is really jealous because I got to see the count your blessings right? Sounds like you Jen and Aimee are having a blast as always! Oh, Hermana Perry´s brother served in Tacoma...guess who his Mission President was? President Bowen...pretty cool huh? Anyway, Mom I doubt that what you're picturing of me walking down the streets of El Salvador is correct. It looks nothing like what I expected. Let me paint you a picture: There are little stores on every corner, if you want to try pupusas there is a pupusaria every 20 ft or so, when you have garbage you hang the bag on a tree on the side of the rode and the truck comes and picks it up. There is garbage everywhere.There are dogs everywhere and they bark all night long (I´m used to it now), and apparently we have earthquakes alot but they're so tiny that I haven't even felt one. And I probably sweat way more than you picture. For this reason I do not mind the cold showers at all. I still have a hard time believing that I am in El Salvador, walking around speaking Spanish all day. And yes I am a little tired of my clothes already but it's all good. I might do a little shopping this afternoon because stuff is so cheap here...we'll see. I will let you know if I need more clothes or anything. Climate=hot! OH YEAH, that's another thing, the people here also talk about the "climate change" and how they might be getting sick because of it. There will be like a 3 degree difference in temperature and they´ll be talking about how yesterday was SOOO hot and today is SO cool...I'm just like "everyday is hot". They would never survive in New England. I gave a talk in church this week. Hermana Perry and I were planning the baptism with one of our investigators and one of the members of the bishopric came up and asked us if we could each give an 8 minute talk about whatever subject we wanted. I spoke about the Atonement and Hermana Perry talked about accessing the Atonement through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Somehow I managed to prepare a talk in like 3 minutes. I thought I would be so nervous but it wasn't bad at all. I had my first Baptism this week, Hermano Manuel. He is so strong and satan worked really hard against us, but we worked harder. We washed the baptismal jumpers and hung them out to dry the night before, when we went to get them right before we had to leave a bird had pooped on one! Thankfully we had an extra. We had everything planned and the person that was supposed to baptize him didn't show up, thankfully one of the elders, Elder Defigueiredo, stepped up and performed the ordinance-I think it was a great experience for him too. When Manuel came out of the water he was just so happy. Then he bore his testimony afterwards, it was so powerful-he blew everyone away. As we were filling the font beforehand Hermana Perry and I just looked at each other and were like "This is what it's all about." I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary and testify daily of Jesus Christ. I love you all so much. Hermana Victoria Giossi

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bienvenidos a San Salvador!!

Hola! Well I´m here! I still can´t believe it. I spent the first two nights in the palatial residence of my Mission President and his wife-I was the only Hermana who arrived in my group so I spent two nights in the ¨General Authority Room in a queen sized bed. My President and his wife are amazing. It´s kinda weird, President Glazier reminds me a ton of Bro. Metro and Hermana Glazier is quite possibly the sweetest woman I have ever met. We went to the Temple too which was really awesome. It´s such a blessings to have a Temple in my mission-we get to go every six weeks (I went today too). This Temple is my new is literally a vision of heaven. I can´t even describe it. Anyway that vacation is over now and I am hard at work in my first area! Mom you would like my house, we have two iron doors that lock and a working (cold) shower. I wash my clothes by hand and cook my own food except for lunch. Everyone here thinks I´m Latina-it´s just because I have dark hair- And when I tell them I´m not they keep asking like they don´t believe me. Just wait until I can actually speak Spanish, I´m really going to have them fooled. El Salvador is an interesting place, sometimes when we´re walking down the street heading to an appointment, I still can not believe I´m here. It is like something out of a movie to me. No one in the United States should ever complain about their living situation, my area is ¨nicer¨ and I can´t believe how poor it is. The people are amazing though, so kind and giving. Funny story; so my companion (I´ll get to her) were contacting and we knocked on this door. The woman in the house across the way said the person we were looking for wasn´t there, we walked over to talk to her and were met with quite the surprise. The old woman who had talked to us was sitting there carving wood and next to her was a woman sitting in a chair doing nothing but staring at us...she was completely naked! Hermana Perry and I just said thank you and quickly walked away. I think it´s going to be an interesting 16 months. So my companion is Hermana Perry. SHE IS AMAZING! I absolutely love her and we get along great. We actually took gymnastics together at BYU...crazy right. She´s from California and really loves sports. She is also minoring in Non-Profit management , her major is Recreational Management. She has been out about 6 months. Oh, and I saw Heremana Hale (who´s blog I had been reading) my first day. She was so surprised and happy- it´s nice to see a familiar face. She and Hermana Perry were companions in the MTC. Small world. Speaking of which, there is an Elder in my zone who was in Analisa´s freshman ward! The conversation went something like this, Me-"Oh that´s cool that you know her. She´s married now." Him- "What? She´s married?!" Me-"Hate to break it to you Elder but alot of your freshman friends will be married when you get home." Him-"I know but I dated her!" It was hilarious, my companion and I were cracking up! So I have been here one week and...We have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday! I can't even believe it! Heremano Manuel is ¨de Oro¨or in English "golden". Pretty much he had been waiting for the church his whole life and just needed the missionaries to come along. He has such an amazing testimony, I am so excited for him-he is just so happy to be getting baptized. Guess what!? We have another Baptism scheduled for the 22nd! Hermana Dora, she has been investigating for a long time she just had to make the decision. She finally made it this week and we are beyond thrilled. She shared here testimony with us yesterday, I was crying. I love this calling, it is such an amazing opportunity. We´re really trying to work hard with the members because there is a new rule that missionaries in Central America do not knock doors anymore. It´s hard work but I love it. I have to go soon but here´s the deal. 1)I wasn´t able to send pictures today. I don't know when I will be able to sorry...but I will as soon as I can. 2) Mail and Dear Elders take forever here. So I would love it if I received emails. My P-Day is Monday. I can only email family but I will always do my best to write back to other people. I received letters from Shelby, Kristy and a DearElder from Bishop Spearin. 3) Nalani Artinger is in big trouble if I don´t hear from her soon! And could someone please tell me if Lawrence is engaged yet. Alrighty, I´m off to go pay some bills and enjoy they rest of my P-Day. Hope to have an email next week! Sorry this was such a scatterbrain email, next time I will organize my thoughts better. Love you SO much! Hermana Victoria Giossi

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Days Feel Like Weeks and The Weeks Feel Like Days

Hola familia! como estan? Well this is it, my last email from the CCM, I cant believe it. I leave for El Salvador at 7:00 Monday morning. Thank you for all the letters and DearElders this week. I got DE from Mom, Christina Cook and Grandma and 3...yes 3 letter/cards from Sis. Sherrard. Grandma, I have not received the package yet, hope it makes it. I will be sending letters today in response. I cant believe all the exciting news about Sisters going on missions. I'm so excited for Diana especially, she enters to MTC on my 6 month mark exactly. And it would be so awesome if the Southcaost Ward got Sister Missionaries. Sounds like things are awesome at home. Zach seems to be doing great...I'm happy he's drumming again! I miss my little Bruschi boy like crazy! I'm so happy Jared and Alyssa come over every Sunday...I'm sure that makes Nana very happy. I have to say to Uncle Jared, we need a facility like the CCM for when the Zombies come...this place is like prison secure but still comfy. How is Daddy doing, haven't heard from him in a while? Good to hear about all your working out. I'm sure not eating healthy here.....the ice cream is way too amazing and I think they are trying to fatten us up for the field.Supposedly I'll lose it all in a month though once I enter the field; that's what the teachers say. Also, I have really enjoyed having beans for breakfast almost everyday Seriously. I especially love fried plantains with black bean pure'....just thought that was something random I could share. Sounds like you have had some amazing service opportunities. I was reading the Dear Elder where you quoted that missionary doing service in New York. The Elders in my district were like, "That's how we do! Represent!" and fist pumping. They crack me up. Seriously, this group of Elders are absolutely amazing I would have gone crazy without them. They kept me laughing and strengthened my testimony so much. I love's so sad that we can't hug them. Although one of them informed us, "Just so you sisters know, if I see you after the mission, I'm going to hug you so hard you wont know what hit you." Man, I am going to miss them.In the CCM you have this whole family that you can turn to when you and your comp are having trouble or when you need help with the field it's just you and your companion. I'm so excited for the field though. Let's see what else, the Spanish is coming pretty well. I still have a wicked Gringa accent but the Latinas say my Spanish is good. The other day I only spoke 25 words in English from 6:30-9:00 it was SO hard. So for my weekly spiritual thought I want to talk about Faith, the first principle of the Gospel. We had a meeting about "Exercising Faith as a Missionary" during which the speaker talked about how in our lives we all have "moments of truth" where we choose to either exercise our faith and follow Heavenly Fathers plan for us even if we are afraid or we choose our own will. When we follow Heavenly Father we allow our testimonies to grow and see the miracles that result because of our act of faith. Moroni 10:7 says that Heavenly Father only works ACCORDING to our faith. We have to act in order to see results. I am so excited for the opportunity to have my own "moments of truth" but also for the opportunity to help others realize theirs and exercise faith. I love my savior Jesus Christ and know that this church is His church and that the fullness of the Gospel has been restored to the earth. I know that it is only through the Gospel that we can find true happiness. I love you all so much. Always, Hermana Victoria Giossi. P.S. I will try to send pictures once I am in the field. I will TRY, I have no idea what is going to happen out there though.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"I desire to dwell among this people for a time...but I will be thy servant." Alma 17: 23&26

Hola! Que Tal? Okay so the title of the email...I realize that I spelled "Restoration" last week in a mixture between English and Spanish. It's a little embarrassing but I should probably be happy, Spanish is starting to stick. I know I've always been a bad speller but from now on my excuse is Spanish. Yesterday I managed to speak less than 40 words of English all day, from 6:30am-9:00pm. It was incredibly hard and the Elders really like to try and make us speak English. Also, want to know whats really hard? Learning to direct music when the instructor is speaking Spanish. I do not speak the language of music and I am new at speaking/understanding Spanish...It was a very difficult hour of my life. But I can kind of lead hymns now, so that's cool. This week was another great one here in the MTC, although I think we're starting to lose it being locked in the same room with the same people all day everyday. It's fun though, I'm thankful for the Elders for making me laugh everyday. And for my Hermanas for helping calm them down when we need to focus. We took another group photo this week. I was still one of the shortest (2 sisters were shorter this time...I'm moving up!). I had to stand on my tiptoes for the picture so they could see me...ridiculous I know. I got my package this was HUGE! Jeepers. I thought I was in trouble because I was coming out of the cafeteria and suddenly the Presidents wife came up, checked my tag and said "I thought that was you." And dragged me into the office. I was trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Then she showed me the package and was like, "Good heavens! Clearly someone loves you." everyone here can see your love for me. Thank you so much for all the stuff, seriously the sweater came just in's been so cold the last couple days. And I will try not to open the presents...but its so tempting. So I have a funny story. So the MTC here shares the campus with housing for Temple visitors and this week there was a BIG group in from Northern Guatemala. Hermana Harris and I were teaching this week and we were sitting outside. We were sitting on this little tiny bench and our investigator was on the other. Then right in the middle of our lesson this random woman came up and sat on our bench with the two of us and pushed us right over so we were really squished. There were like 7 other benches available. Then like 5 mins later she left. Turns out she was standing behind the bench while we were teaching and took her shirt off...which explains our investigator's weird behavior. Yeah, its interesting here. Later that night we were practicing teaching with other missionaries and the elders started to fidget and get uncomfortable. A woman had just started breastfeeding right in front of us. It's totally normal down here but it was hilarious to see the Elders reactions. We got to go contacting at the Temple again this week. Because of the big trip there were tons of people to talk to. I talked to a young man who had just been baptized and confirmed for his friend who died and a family that had just been sealed. I also talked to some teenagers who were about to receive their Patriarchal blessings. And my favorite this little 11 year old boy named Ishmael who told us how excited he was to serve a mission and how much he loved reading the book of Mosiah. And he really liked giving us high fives. Honestly one of the most uplifting experiences I have had out here. I love the people here in Guatemala, they are beyond loving, I wish I could describe it to you. They are so patient with our Spanish and love to smile and laugh with us. And they share their testimonies with us so freely, it's amazing. Remember the story of Ammon in the book of Alma. He was such an amazing missionary but it wasn't like he just walked in and started preaching. He showed the people love with his actions toward them first. In Alma 17: 23&26 it says " I desire to dwell among this people for a time...but I will be thy servant." I wrote that down on my planner so I can remember that I am here to love and to serve. I am a representative of Jesus Christ and need to love with the same love he would. I am learning so much in the MTC but I am super excited for the field. I can't believe that in about a week and a half I will be in El Salvador. Speaking of which, from now on all mail and DearElders should be sent to my mission home. Also, if you want to email this week that would be fine too :) That way I get it before I leave. I got the most amazing packet of letters from the primary children and Sister Enyia this week. I have written a little note back to each one of them and will be sending it out today. Please thank them for was the highlight of my night last night. I hope all is well at home. I love you all so much. Read your scriptures and pray together. All my love, Hermana Victoria Giossi

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Yo Si" .....Pronounced in English "Giossi"

Its been another great week here in CA! Once again I was so excited to
get mail- you know how I love letters! And I got a package from the
Patraikos...which was awesome! Thank you so much! The pictures kept me
smiling real big and I am loving all the goodies. My District is
really enjoying the candy too-its perfect when you're stuck in the same
room all day! 

 So happy to hear all the amazing news
from home. Glad things are so wonderful. WHAT has everyone been doing?
 How is my little Bruschi boy? I'm really excited for my package...I'm sure I'll love the
glasses. It will be better than wearing my broken ones like I am now.
I will try not to open the Christmas presents...unless they make me at
the El Salvador border. Also, I don't need stamps anymore, I bought
some here. 

 You like funny Elder stories? Really?  I don't feel like they always translate
 really well into email. This week especially our  district elders
 have been cracking me up. We have a peep hole on our classroom door;
 everyday they put a piece of tape over it and write a new message so that
 when you look through that's all you see. The messages are funny but the best part
 is they have to write backwards and that always end up messing it up. Oh and the other
night they had us Hermanas cracking up. We have these huge windows in
our classroom with curtains. So each of the elders took a curtain,
wrapped it around their waist like a skirt and did a holla like dance
for us. I am so grateful for the Elders who always keeping life

 Like I said it's been a great week.
You're not going to believe this...I sang in church this week as the
special musical number, IN SPANISH! My roommates and I sang, "A
Child's Prayer"- I was scared out of my mind but I did it. The mission
is already changing me...haha. We also watched two amazing films on
Sunday. You should check them out. "Mountain of the Lord" about the
Salt Lake Temple and "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration"

 On Tuesday we got to go out in to the real world again for
a "City Tour". Except we didn't get to tour the city because there was
a bunch of pretesting downtown and we missionaries are supposed to
avoid that stuff. It was still really fun though; we got to hang out
with the MTC President and his wife all day on a big tour bus that
always felt like it was a second from tipping over. People drive CRAZY
down here, seriously, Utah has got nothing on this place! We went to
an artisan market which of course I loved. And I saw a coffee bean
plant which was really cool. Then we went to this mall, its a big deal
here in Guatemala. I felt weird being at the mall, like we didn't
belong there as missionaries. We got a lot of weird looks. And on
Tuesday we went to the Temple which is always a wonderful experience.
The Guatemala Temple is SO beautiful inside. I wish you could see it.
Also, we watched a devotional address from the Provo MTC in April.
David Archuletta sang during it. The Hermanas were freaking out and it
wasn't even live. All I can say is I hope they've pulled all of the
sisters missionaries out of his mission...haha

 We got new investigators this week, which I am really excited about. Its so
fun to figure out how to apply them to different people. Everyone
needs the gospel, and we have to help them see that. That's why the
Holy Spirit is so important in this work, because he's the only one
who can tell me the best way to help my investigators. 

I hope you got the chance to look up the video I told you about on's awesome! I actually have something else I was hoping
you could look up for me. It's a poem called "A Missionary Prayer"
that one of my district elders shared with us. It's pretty long but
BEAUTIFUL. It starts " The alarm rings at 6 am, I stumble to my
feet..." and ends with "No matter what we go through when we feel we
can't take any more. Just stop and think about Jesus Chris,t he has been
there before." If you find it, I would love a copy. It's so amazing.
Reminds me of Alma 7:11-12. 

 Anyway, time to sign off.I hope all is well and I  LOVE you all so much.
 Always, Hermana Victoria Giossi or as the Latinas say "Yo Sí" (Our last name is a little
difficult for them to read but once they figure out it's just said
like two Spanish words together they tell me it's "muy facil")

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mom, It IS possible to lock a Hut!

                                                Sounds like things
have been pretty crazy at home with the hurricane and all that. I had
heard about it but I wasn't too worried, I know my family will be just
fine. Also, sorry about the election. Everyone here is still upset
about it. The CCM building manager told us on Tuesday "Obama won,
America lost." It was pretty funny. Well, at least I will be living in
the country of El Salvador for almost half of the next 4 years.

 Anyway I have had a super exciting week. Probably the best
so far and then next week looks amazing too. After emailing last week
our district went over to the Temple grounds and just chatted with
some of the patrons to practice our Spanish. It was SO fun. There was
this one women who literally talked to us nonstop for 20 minutes about
how missionaries have influenced her life...and then invited us for
dinner anytime. It was pretty funny. She was a little hard to
understand but I probably got about 70% of what she was saying.
 We also went proselyting on Monday. They gave us a Latina
companion, a couple copies of the Book of Mormon and some pamphlets
and dropped us off in a random village to go talk to people. It was
by far the best day of my mission so far. I was really nervous at
first but for the most part I was able to understand what people were
saying and able to talk with them and bear my testimony. I learned
alot in those few hours out there. Here's two: 1) Everyone wasn't
kidding when they said the people would be easy to love because of
their humility. I have never met more loving individuals with such
kind faces. If the people of El Salvador are anything like the people
I met Monday it going to be a GREAT year and a half. We were able to
place 3 BOMs and I felt so good about all of them. Like they really
wanted to read it. 2) Mom, I promise you it is possible to lock a hut.
I said the people are humble and I meant it. Such an amazing
experience. I got so many hugs from the women, they just loved us.

 The other really awesome thing this week, and maybe I
should have addressed this right away, I experienced my first
earthquake on Wednesday. Everyone is fine here. My companion and I were
working on memorizing D&C 4 in Spanish when all of a sudden everything
started shaking...I didn't even notice and then ermana Harris was like
"Uhh, are we having an Earthquake!" It lasted for almost a minute and
was about a 7.2 Dad you were right, it just felt like someone was
shaking the couch. I'm fine though and actually enjoyed it. Apparently
it was worse near the coast but all the missionaries are just fine.

  I was so happy when I got my DearElders this week- I
pretty much live for DearElders! Daddy you crack me up, I'm pretty
sure it will be just fine if you call me Tori. But we'll keep it on
the DL just in case. I love the new way Sunday School will be taught.
Sounds alot like the way the missionary lessons go, you learn as much
as you can about the topic and then go teach it. What you said about
following the Spirit and teaching what is needed is something they
stress here all the time. I think Sunday School will be so awesome
with this new program. Sounds like Mommy is becoming a fine little
missionary herself. Talking to people all the time about the
Church...go Mama! I cant wait to be able to speak Spanish when I get
home either. I was just talking to my companion about how I will keep
using it as much as a can. My Spanish scriptures are already being
used a ton and I cant wait to see how they are by the end of the
mission-although I don't know if I ever want my mission to end. 

 I also got a DearElder from Jen. I think about her parents
whenever I go to the Temple. I'm so happy I was able to meet them
before I left, they're amazing. Sounds like there setting apart was
pretty special. Jen also asked how many of us are going to San
Salvador, I'm not sure but I think there are 5 of us...and I'm the
only Hermana. My companion is going to Santa Ana and Belize. She also asked
if Spanish just rolls of my tongue or if I have to think about it
first...haha. Pues a veces necessito...sorry I mean sometimes I need
to think about it but sometimes words just come out. And there are
some English words I just don't use anymore. I always say "pero"
instead of but and "sobre" instead of about, just a couple examples.

 I have a couple of things I want you to look up. On
Youtube you should look up "Missionary Work and The Atonement" by Pres
Eyring and Elder Holland. It's amazing, we watched it in class. It
will make you see salvation and the Atonement in a totally different
way. One thing that was said was "If you let it, the Atonement will
carry you even more so than your investigators." Anyway, amazing! 

 From now on packages should go to my mission home. And
always adress them to HERMANA GIOSSI. Okay. gotta go. Love you so
much. Hermana Giossi.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Como una Latina

HOLA! How is everyone doing? DearElder works here but it takes
forever. I just got DearElders from Oct 26&28 yesterday. So I feel
like I'm a little behind on the times. This week has been awesome and
it went by crazy fast. I have a couple things I'm really excited to
share with you...haha. 
First, we took a group picture
of our Branch with the MTC President and his wife. Word around here is
they give us a copy and send one to our parents, I don't know if it's
true but I hope so. Anyway for the picture they separated the
Hermanas and the Elders and told us to line up from "mas chiquita to
mas alta" or shortest to tallest. Now these Latinos down here are
pretty short so I was feeling pretty normal ya know? But then we
started lining up and I am the second shortest person! The only person
shorter than me is my roommate Hermana Espanoza, and we're basically
the same. All the Latinas got a real kick out of this situation. I was
the only Norte in the short group with the Latinas;The Latinas kept
teasing me and saying "como una Latina" (like a Latina). But then they
all were hugging me and telling me how much they love me and
how much the people will love me because I'm short like them, so I'll
take it! 
 We got to go to the Temple! I spent a whole
week looking at it out my bedroom window and on Tuesday we got to go.
Of course it was gorgeous, even though it is super tiny. I could
hardly believe I was sitting in a Temple in Central America, is this
real life? But the cool thing was even though I'm far from home when I
was in the Temple I felt at home, i knew what to do, I knew I belonged
there. I don't know if that makes sense but that's the best way I can
describe it. Oh and my district here has some great Elders in it, sure
they get a little crazy and unfocused at times but I love them. Four of
them waited for all of us Hermanas to come out of the Temple so we
wouldn't be walking down the street back to the CCM alone. It was the
 Some other happenings. Let's see. Spanish
is coming slowly but surely. It's weird, mostly I just know alot of
gospel words, yet when I'm teaching I feel like my Spanish is way worse
than when I'm just chatting with the natives. Those chats are probably
the slowest conversations they've ever had, bless their sweet hearts.
But I was pretty happy because the other day I was talking to a couple
Hermanas and a Latino Elder came up and told me I spoke good
Spanish...of course there was the implied, "for a gringa" but I'll
take it. I still have so much to learn and so little time. Although it
is pretty awesome when you're teaching a lesson and even though what
your saying is terrible Spanish the spirit is super strong. The Spirit
speaks English, and Spanish and doesn't really need perfect words to
be felt. This next week we are going out contacting on the street with
our Latina companion. That should be pretty fun. I'm excited. And in
like a week and a half we get to go tour Guatemala City. I'm pretty
pumped about that. They took our cameras away but we get them back for
that, so I'll be taking lots of pictures. 
I have been pretty left out of politics down here, which isn't necessarily a bad
thing, but I do know the election is soon, I'm excited to hear what
happens though. I heard Romney is ahead in poles...true?
 I was so happy to get DearElders yesterday. So much good
news! Daddy and the "Franks Hearing" was great to know and all the
cool stuff Mommy told me. I will be writing a more personalized
letter home today and if I have time to a couple others. Last week I
mailed letters to Aimee and Grandma and Uncle Scott so look out for
those. Should be there by next month sometime lol. 
I want to share something our teacher talked about this week real quick.
He said that when problems arise in the field and in our lives we
should bring our leaders "Solutions not problems". I thought that was
so true and wanted share. Its like the Brother of Jared in the Book of
Ether with the stones. Great story in ch.3 and 4...check it out! I
think its those chapters, no time to look sorry. My time is up sorry.
I love you all so much. You're in my prayers always. Love, Hermana

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bienvenidos a Guatemala MTC!

Buenos Dias. Some items of business to take care of regarding mail
 1) Snail mail is truly like snails; it takes between 10 and 12 days for the mail to get from you
to me or me to you; but I enjoy it! 2) DearElders arrive of Wednesdays and are
probably the quickest way to write to me while at the MTC.3) On any packages you send please write HERMANA on it so they know that I can't come to
the post office and examine the package with them. I hope you haven't
sent the package yet. If you have oh well, if not I need glasses(BADLY!), stamps and a couple t-shirts, and maybe a zip up hoodie. And any
other surprises you might like. 4) Please don't send email to my personal email unless it's an
emergency in which case I read emails Saturdays. I will try to write
everyone back, our Pday is only a half pday though so time is short. I
wrote Grandma, Uncle Scott and Aimee today.
 I absolutely love it here in
Guatemala. The CCM is super tiny but the country is
green! It's raining today and the contrast of the clouds against the
green hills is gorgeous. I have the best room in the place, the Temple
is right outside my window. It's so beautiful of course. Then behind
the Temple are all these big green hills with houses built the whole
way up. We got to walk down the street to go to the CRE (TRC),
definitely not in the US anymore. Haha. The food here is phenomenal, I
got a little tired of the food in Provo;  It was good at first but then it was like eating at
the country buffet everyday. Here the meals are like something Mom
would make or like eating at a nice restaurant. Sometimes we have
beans for breakfast, probably something I should get used to, it's
pretty interesting though. 
 Things here are way different than Provo. First, the 6 of us from my district in Provo
that came all go split up. It's so sad. But we still see each other
and the Elders from our old district still clean our trays for us if
the see us. Oh, here the Hermanas get to cut the line for every
meal...awesome! The teachers who pretend to be investigators are way
nicer than those in Provo, they act like they are actually interested
in the Gospel. And Language instruction is way awesome. The other day
our class went outside and played "Human PacMan" as part of our
language instruction. We also play Hot Potato and Basta! (which is
like Spanish Scattergories). 
I have only been here like 4 days and my Spanish is already improving greatly. Daddy asked
if I could still read English...yes! But sometimes when I'm writing
in my journal I am writing in English but thinking in Spanish...I
don't know if that makes sense but it's really cool. It's really easy
to "Habla Su Idioma" (Speak Your Language) here because of all the
Latinos. I have two Latina roommates and I love them. Especially
Heremana Espanoza. She is the sweetest, cutest little Mexican and she
also speaks English really well but we only speak in Spanish most of
the time. One of the Hermanas from Peru said that I understand Spanish
really well (and tried to volunteer me to translate during a
meeting...heck no!) and then my roommate Hermana Cruz said in Spanish,
"Yeah, but you need to learn some more complete phrases in Spanish to
be better." So clearly there is room for improvement.
Thank you Daddy for sharing
everyone's testimony with me, that was really cool. I am so excited
for Diana! The MTC in Provo is doing tons of renovations right now.
They are expecting a 40% increase in Sisters come January. So
exciting. I realize my emails haven't been super spiritual because I
been trying to get everything in but I want to talk about being a
missionary for a second. Every morning I wake up and
put on a name tag that bears two names. My name and the name of Jesus
Christ who I represent. When I wear that name tag I identify myself as
His representative, His disciple. It is an honor a privilege and a
responsibility. I know this Gospel is true and that my calling and
authority is the greatest I can have. Love you and miss you all so
much. Heremana Giossi.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bienvenidos a Guatemala!

I´m Here! Our group of 35 arrived at the CCM in Gautemala around 7:30
this morning. It's still a bit surreal that I am in central America.
The humidy is a welcomed comfort, I was getting sick of my dry Utah
skin. It's wayyyy smaller here than in Provo...but I'm excited for how
fast the Spanish is going to come. In 3 weeks we get to go tour
Gautemala City which should be really fun, and give me a better taste
of what CA is really like. I love the food in the cafeteria here
already! It's better than Provo (probably because it's not as mass
produced) and the chef stands right out and serves the food. Plus they
dont give you nearly as much as in Provo, which I love! Hermana Harris
is still my companion! Alot of others got split up and we're not with
any of our friends from Provo...triste(sad) I know. I was going to try
to write letters on the plane but I was just trying to sleep. Didn't
work very well, I think between the plane ride and the time they gave
us this morning I am running on about 3 the most. Our
teacher said he tried to talk to the manager here about it and the
manger said "They're strong they can handle it. They have the Spirit."
So we're handling it. I like it alot already, it's much more intimate.
We get to know just about everybody personally because there are not
nearly as many missionaries. Well my time is about up, email again
Saturday!I love you! I miss you! I loved talking to you all! I love
this Gospel, I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. I can't
wait to share the good news with the people of El Salvador. Always,
Hermana Victoria Giossi. P.S. This is a Spanish keyboard and I
couldn't figure anything out. Hence the same paragraph and mistakes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Letter From the little Hermana


Que Pasa!? Thank you all so much for all the dearelders and the letter from Daddy was quite the treat (and came at the perfect time). As far as Guatemala CCM (that's the Spanish version of MTC. I don't remember what it means though) dearelders are concerned I'm pretty sure it's the Guatemala MTC, the other Guatemalas are actually missions. Also I dont believe I have a box number but I'm not sure. I will let you know everything when I get there. Speaking of which I got my travel itinerary. I leave Tuesday the 23rd at 8:30PM from SLC, layover in LAX and land in Guatemala City at 6:30 on the 24th. I'm sure there will be no rest and we'll have a full day ahead of us. So keep an ear out, I will try to call on Tuesday night (I still need to get a phone card).  I don't remember any phone numbers but the house number though, sorry. I should be calling between 4:00 and 5:00 your time. I had to get the rest of my vaccinations. I'm still taking my Typhoid pills and I had my Hep A 2nd yesterday. The pills cost $48 and the shot costs $71. I got insurance reimbursement forms, just in case  Also keep an eye out for a check in the mail from the travel office. 

I am so beyond excited to go to Guatemala and begin another adventure. I'm also a little bit sad. Half of my district is staying here. Over these last few weeks we've become like a little family. I just love them all so much, these Elders and Sisters amaze me. Their stories and testimonies are so inspiring. I have been truly blessed to be able know them and learn from each one of them. And we have so much fun together. Elders do ridiculous things all the time. My favorite one lately is their obsession with the song "As Sisters in Zion" They really want to sing it to start class but we wont let them yet, so instead they just dance around the room together singing it in high pitched voices. 

Speaking of Sisters, I love my Hermanas! Honestly I don't think I could love them anymore. 3 of the greatest girls I know! They're getting me breakfast as I write so that I have time to email you while I do my laundry. We also just crack up together. Last night we stayed up (only until bed time) just cracking up and giving each other group hugs. Hugs are a big thing here (with the Elders we do cinnamon roll handshakes, I'll show you sometime). Oh my gosh, the other night the water in our building went out in the middle of shower, and getting ready for bed time. So we four Hermanas and  two other sisters left the floor to try and find a place to go to the bathroom. But the whole building wasn't working. So we were going to go across the way to a different building, but the second we stepped outside we turned around because we felt to rebellious. That's what I've become, a girl who is afraid to go outside at night. 

I'm really happy because our whole district is going to the temple together today. If it's as great as last week I know I'll be on a high all day. The Provo Temple is so beautiful inside, and to go through as a missionary was a cool experience. Last week it was super cloudy and rainy here. So when you walked out of the temple the view of the valley was amazing! The contrast of the changing leaves against the cloudy sky with the mountains in the background...gahh! What a view! 

Thank you so much for all the news from home. I want to know how the cruise went? Daddy's story about the crockpot meal and breakfast for lunch made me crack up...out loud. I could just see it all going down. I'm so excited to house is almost done and my bed is getting started. Woo hoo! Good to hear Zach is doing pretty well in school. I wouldn't worry too much about the maturity thing. You should see my Elders. 

Zach asked me about how the Spanish is going....It's interesting. They don't really teach us much. Mostly they give us a bunch of books and then stick us in a room with someone who speaks only Spanish and say "Go Teach." It's muy dificil! And it's funny. The other say in class we were saying (In Spanish, obviously) "When I arrive in (where you're going on your mission), I want to ______" One of the Elders said he was going to posses (like a demon would) a monkey. He was trying to say hold...but yeah, Spanish. 

Well my half hour is about up. But I will tell you how amazing the MTC is. This week Sis Burton (RS President) spoke in RS and it was incredible. And Elder Bowen (He gave the talk at conference about losing his son) came to devotional. His talk was so inspired. I couldn't stop writing my impressions. I love this gospel so much and know without a doubt a mission is where I belong. I will be writing letters all day to everyone, answering your questions and bearing my testimony and all that. 

All my Love,

Hermana Giossi.