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.