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