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. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Greetings from the MTC!

Hola Familia!

This is the first email I have been able to send. I'm hoping this will get to you before you leave on your cruise. I would have emailed Daddy too but I can't remember his email address. You should have another letter and a card coming, for a total of 3 pieces of mail from me. I'm sorry if I repeat anything from the letters I don't really remember what I've already talked about. I have received both packages, they get here within like 2 days. It's great! Our district leader gets the mail, and had threated to withhold it from us Hermanas if we dont let the Elders take our empty trays at meals. I have felt so loved this first week and a half. I have gotten dearelders from the family, my friend Alex, Aimee, Jen, Sista A and Christina! Thank you all so much. Plus, one of the best parts about being a BYU student is I have friends who work here, so I get to see familiar faces every once in a while. I saw Kristy at Sunday Devotional signing  away and got to talk to her. Then Nalani came and found me in my classroom and so did Jake from my Birttany ward. I also feel so loved by my teachers. Mainly we have Hermana Millan, she is from Spain and so amazing. You can tell she really cares about us. 

My district is great. There are 12 of us. 4 Hermanas and 8 Elders. Us Hermanas are all roommates, we have such a fun time. The other 3 are going to El Salvador Santa Ana y Beliz and two elders are going to El Salvador San Salvador like me. The rest of the Elders are going to Nicaragua, except for one who is headed to France Spanish speaking...and he already speaks French. Everyone keeps asking how our elders are and saying to have patience with them. Honestly, I think they are fantastic, spiritual giants. And they keep me laughing.  

I love my companion, Hermana Harris. She's super silly and loves to laugh (and eat...) but she is so excited to share the gospel. She invited our investigator to be baptized after a first lesson! She's awesome at Spanish, which is very helpful to me. Spanish isn't actually that bad. The stuff we're learning right now is stuff i already knew from high school so the memories just come back. Mostly it's hard remembering church words. We didn't learn how to say things like "Atonement" and "Priesthood" at Apponequet. And yes our teachers speak Spanish all the time, in fact they ask us permission before speaking English-of course we always grant their request. It is weird always having someone with you. I almost feel the way I do when I'm babysitting, like I always have to be looking around to make sure I know we're she's at. It's also weird to wake up before the sun, but beautiful to see the sun rise over the mountains. And we're not allowed to say "guys", we're supposed to say "Elders and Sisters", I'm the worst at that but I'm getting better. 

The food is great! They give me far too much though. I've been trying to eat healthy though and I think I'm doing alright. Plus we get an hour of gym a day which helps. 

Oh I almost forgot, we got to leave campus! We had to go to the Police Station for background checks. I was so excited to go one a field trip but by he end I couldn't wait to be back at the MTC. I hadn't felt like I was in Provo the whole time and then I was downtown and it felt so weird. And we went on a Temple walk, I lived in Provo for 3 years and never knew how pretty it was behind the temple. We get to go to the temple today, I'm so excited!

Thank you for the "worldly update" about football. It's good to know my Pats kick butt. Speaking of football we had a fireside with an former NFL tight end. He was great! He served his mission in Taiwan and is the NFL embassador to China (because he speaks Chinese). He was SO funny. He told us about how the NFL asked him to translate the SuperBowl one year into Chinese. He agreed and then realized he was only fluent in church words. He said he spent the whole game "Testifying that Tom Brady threw true passes." Hahaha. I thought that was really funny. He also talked about climbing Mt. Kilamajaro with Teddy Bruschi (which of course made me miss my little guy). He said Teddy Bruschi is one of the best guys he's ever met and really funny. Apparently Teddy even spoke at a fireseide with him in Boston once. How did I miss that?! 

How is everyone doing? Please tell me all about life back home! I don't have much time left to write but I am interested. 

Conference is amazing here. We all watch it in the same room. I have never paid such good attention. Plus we the new missionary announcement it was amazing! I really love Elder Hollands talk. In one of my letters I wrote down a couple talks I was hoping you could send me a copy of. We have devotionals every Tuesday and a general authority speaks. Usually it's a 70 but this week Elder Bednar came. I was sitting pretty close to the front and was so excited when I saw it was an Apostle. I was sitting next to my district leader and he literally jumped out of his seat with a huge smile on his face and exclaimed "Elder Bednar is here! Do you see him?" It was a totally mission appropriate way. Hearing Elder Bednar speak was such a special experience. He shared with us how he studies conference talks. An Apostle of the Lord! He also mentioned how his call and ours is the same, to be representatives of Jesus Christ. 

I am so grateful for my call as a missionary and the opportunity to serve my Savior in the best way I can. I cannot believe how much my testimony has grown in only 10 days. It is impossible not the feel the Spirit here. I love this gospel more and more everyday, which I didn't think was possible. I know this church is true and that this is what Heavenly Father wants for all his children. 

I love you! 

Hermana Victoria Giossi. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The following letter arrived today!:

Hola Familia!

I hope everything is going great for you. This letter probably won't be too long, my P-Day is usually Fridays but we don't get one this week so we have special permission to write a quick letter home so you don't worry.

Mom, I feel a little bad about not letting you take any pictures but don't worry I've already taken some.
Today has been absolutely crazy! After the nice Edlers picked me up curbside they dropped me with a host sister who excitedly showed me the ropes. I got my "Hermana Giossi" name tag - it feels pretty cool, not gonna lie! Please tell Elder Concha that I am in fact HERMANA! From there it was all a whirlwind. I went to class and met my teacher, she is from Spain so she has the lisp. My companion is Hermana Harris, she is super sweet and is going to El Salvador Santa Ana & Beliz Mission. Actually the other 2 sisters in my district are going there too, but I've met quite a few Elders going to my mission and a couple are in my district. Class was pretty fun and my teacher said I have a good accent - that's probably because all we had to say "How are you" "Where are you from" and "Where are you going" We'll see how the rest of this goes...

After class we had orientation, each member of the MTC Presidency & their wives addressed us. We also got some stats ( and I asked around about others) There are currently about 2000 of us living in this MTC. Each week 300-500 arrive. This week there were 88 new sisters (usually there are around 40) When it's your first day your tag has a bright orange sticker on it and EVERYONE.....and I mean EVERYONE welcomes you. It was like when I had the birthday pin at Disney, but worse.

Then there was dinner. The food was GREAT - maybe I enjoyed it so much because I was so hungry, I don't know.

We had this really cool teaching experience thing where we taught new "investigators" as a group of about 40. That was a really neat experience. Our teacher told us that as missionaries our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and we could teach great lessons but if we don't "invite" we have not done our job as missionaries. So No Pressure.

So far (with my one day of experience) I like it a lot. The most surreal part was in the orientation when hundreds of us were singing "Called To Serve" I am a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I represent Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind. I know that the church is true (and very organized :) ) and that this is where I am supposed to be right now. I love you so much!

Hermana Victoria Giossi

P.S. I'll be waiting for letters. I want to know what's going on at home!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Drop Off MTC - Provo Utah

Victoria reported to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah today at exactly 12:45 pm. It literally was a drop-off on the curbside where 2 young missionaries took her luggage and quickly escorted her into the building. Believe it or not it's better this way than having a long drawn out orientation where family is there and the tears just flow. When we pulled up one of the older gentlemen looked into the car and said "look at that smile! We love you already" I think that eased her fears right then and there.

Tori has been waiting and more importantly preparing for this mission for a long time - she is ready and we all know she will be a beacon of Hope, Truth, and Light to the people of El Salvador. If you wish to write, her contact and mailing information is linked to this blog. She will be in the Provo MTC for 3 weeks, then off to the Guatemala MTC for 6 weeks, then to El Salvador for the next 16 months. Watch for updates as I post her letters here.

May the Lord bless her and keep her. Via Con Dias!