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 cute...in 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.