Monday, November 11, 2013

"Champitas" House of Metal - A Humble Country

Haha, seriously, my companions almost died when they saw the photo Daddy sent of me cheering. Dad, maybe you shouldn't spend too much time in my makes you miss me too much he he  Don't worry I'll be home in a short 5 months...its like one semester of school. 

From the looks of all this race pictures you've been sending me I will need to buy some lime green workout gear. Sweet! I already have the socks! 

I had totally forgotten about Pinterest. But I cant believe that Nana is using it, that is crazy. I have learned quite a few recipes here, mostly for drinks great for summer but I can also make a pretty good guacamole (yes, I now eat guacamole). We're going to have some fun experimenting when I get home.

Mom, as far as all the work for the family. Start now! Get Grandpa and Joe baptized now! Have Gi Gi meet with the Sister Missionaries!

This week for us was good. We have working hard and still seeing the results. This week we saw a small miracle in that 4 investigators and 14 less-actives came to church! My smile grew as each one of them entered the chapel, I just couldn't hold in my excitement. I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting using the talk by Elder Andersen in the April Conference "It's a Miracle". 

Today we stopped by the business of a member-she owns her own beauty school and cuts and styles all the missionaries (The Ramos Family that take care of us big time). They have one son in the mission and one who is leaving the 4th of December. She grabbed me in a hug and said "I hope Hermana Giossi stays here with us" and then later she was looking at me and said "I really do feel like you are all my children. i love you all." She's amazing. I know I have the chance to know them because of the way my family takes care of the missionaries...please don't stop haha.

Gotta Go! Love you lots! Miss you tons! 

Hermana Giossi


you wanted to see houses...this is a house of one of our old investigators. We call the house of metal "champitas". But don't worry not all the houses are like this. 

I love the mission...its an adventure! 

The Red Sox Win the World Series!!!!! Whaaaat???

When I saw that email title I was kind of confused. I didn't know if it was a joke or what haha. But that's pretty exciting and especially that they won in Boston. And the Patriots, I hope they win the Superbowl! 

Sounds like Stake Conference was pretty awesome. And what is up with Andrew? Will he just get baptized already! He's practically a member. I mean, he went to the Preisthood conference. And Barry Patraiko, him too. Come one guys. The southcoast ward needs more Preisthood! Haha.

This week was a good one. Training Hermana Martinez is interesting, she was mini-missionary in the other mission and they are not a strict there so it is interesting helping her adapt to the rules here. The week our sacrament attendance was up and we had a great Ward Counsel meeting. I have seen so much growth in the ward. On Thursday we were in the huge Family Night in a members house and as we played they game I realized how much I love these members. I never want to leave this ward (which means I'll probably have changes soon haha). 

As far a Christmas, I don't really want much. By the time the package gets here I'll only have like 3 months left and I don't want to have a lot of extra stuff to bring home in my suitcases. But maybe a Red Sox world series shirt...but not a fitted a mans t-shirt size small. And maybe some makeup. And the red jacket thing I mentioned. 

As far a sending pictures goes, I will do my best. I mean, its not the smartest idea to just whip my camera out and start snapping pictures in the street. But I will do my best.

I love you all and miss you so much! 

Hermana Giossi 


1. This is a street a walk down almost everyday. This is the volcano of San Miguel (Chaparrastique). I love this view. 

2. This is a picture taken in the neighborhood we live in. We are drinking "Atol de Pina" Its a hot pineapple drink. It was my first time trying it so we took pictures. And yes, we always drink from bags haha. 

My Feet Belong to Someone Else

For some reason this week they shortened our writing time....... This week was great! Jose Emerito got baptized. The Friday before his baptism we visited him and he told us that the week before we came he had been praying to grow closer to God again and in the same week we came to the house with his friend. He took that to be his answer and for that reason was so willing to obey all the commandments without a second thought.

I was a little sad however because Hermana Anaya wasn't able to see it. Last Monday during lunch President called us (that always means somethings up) and told us we would have changes. We ran around like crazy packing Hermana Anaya bags to make it to change at 5pm. She didn't go very far (still in San Miguel) but I do miss her. My new companion is Hermana Martinez, I am training her. She is from SonSonate El Salvador and also waiting for a visa to Argentina but wants to change her mission to stay here. She served a 5 months mini-mission and therefor is super prepared! She is young though and sometimes it shows. But I love her and we laugh a ton! 

Other than that I don't really know what to say haha. Oh, I am working with less active members and I have been trying to figure out how to help them. I don't know if maybe Mom, Dad Nana and PopPop could help me by sending me your stories. I'd love to know what helped you come back to the church, how it felt and everything. Thanks. 

All my love,

Hermana Victoria Giossi


1. El Salvador is the land of the hammocks...I totally plan on putting hooks in my house to have one...They're SO comfortable!

2. Our feet. I know, my toes look like they belong to a different person. 

3. Jose feeling happy before his baptism.

Save my Lambs


Vaya! Sign me up for this tough scramble thing...if you think I can do it. I mean A month isn't very long to train. Seriously, I am in shock that this is even an option right now, that I will be home in time to sign me up for some race. 

When did we get a trio of Sisters. I imagine the whole world are in trios. I will probably never be in a pair again. Also, exciting to hear that Brother Metro came and that it was a good time. I miss the Metros. 

This week was a good one. We did not have changes but we did at the same time. On Monday they called and told us that we would all be staying. Wednesday night at 10:28 our Zone Leader called and told us we have to be in San Salvador at 9am for a special training meeting. We have been selected to complete a special assignment as "Missionary Rescue Leaders" (it sounds better in Spanish...I think President Made it up). Our primary responsibility is no longer only investigators but less-active members. We are assigned to visit the less-active families in the ward and help them to be more converted to the gospel. President said that he feels as though it is something we don't do enough as missionaries and he is confident that by working with less-actives we will have more success establishing the church here in El Salvador. And really this is what Gavidia needs. During the training meeting I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my Heavenly Father and for the missionaries that did so much for us. I am so excited to work in this assignment and know that it will be a blessing in my life and the lives of many others. 

We also had the wedding this weekend. Talk about stressful! Seriously getting people married down here is incredibly complicated! But it was a beautiful night and they were happy. I tried to play photographer haha. 

Love you! 

Hermana Victoria Giossi


1. I mean to send this last week but couldnt hook up my camera. Took this on Mom's birthday! 

2. Wedding of Chepe and Mari!

3. Cutting the cake 

4. Baptism of Maria Teresa! Her brother baptized her. He is a returned-missionary that served in Nicaragua and her mom (orange) has been a member for like 20 years. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

La Chelita!

We have interviews with President today...with any luck he brought my package, if not it will be safe in the mission office until change meeting on Oct 16. 

This week was good. I think my nickname here is officially "La Chelita" is slang for "Little White Girl" just about everyone calls me that. Especially Mari, one of our investigators. Shes probably going to die when I leave, she loves us so much. She is part of the couple who's wedding we are planning, Im getting really excited for that day. 

We also have been finding some really amazing people to teach. And the sisters I am with are really becoming GREAT missionaries. I just feel good teaching with them and they are really starting to understand how to bring the Spirit to a lesson. Thats a very important skill to have. 

Im pretty excited because conference is next week. I'll probably be watching it in Spanish which Im kinda bummed about because its not the same without THEIR own voices. But either way I know it is going to be an awesome experience. I have some questions waiting to be answered and I'm sure I'll be thinking of more this week. You should all do the makes the experience a thousand times better.  

WOW! Lots of news from home. For example, I hadn't even thought about the idea that football season had started again. I've been gone awhile eh? Good to hear that Nate is doing better, can't believe he is going to Alaska...thats nuts. 

Probably wont make Daddy feel any better but I didn't get to participate in the mud run either. Really though, I hope you will be doing them next year because I want to participate as I am  getting lots of practice...pretty much every night is a "mud run" in a skirt, as it rains and we sprint for the house. Its fun, but lets just say that I don't end the day looking as good as I started it. 

Zach, however, looks like he's getting pretty handsome...and tall...what the heck! I love the candid picture of Mom and him. And the group one at the end...he looks embarassed to be with you guys.Hehe. And since we're talking about pictures of the family...could you email me a family picture, maybe one we took up on the mountain during the trip to NH with the Patraikos. Thanks :) 

All my love.

Hermana Victoria Giossi

Doing a Service Project - Making Mashed potatoes in LARGE quantities

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Good to hear things are looking up for Daddy. Also good to know that he still loves Mom...ALOT...even though she drags him all over creation for triathlons and other exciting races

I have not received my package yet. But I imagine it has something to do with the fact that before I got packages in 2 weeks because I went to the office every Tuesday. Now I probably wont be getting the package until October haha. The blessing of being here in San Miguel.

I cant believe Zach is getting so big and...mature...what? Will I even recognize him when I get home? Im sure Mom's happy about the Culinary Arts situation, now he can help with dinner. And maybe he can give me so cosmetology tips, I'm gonna need 'em.

This week went well here. We are working really hard and starting to see results. The members in this ward are amazing. I have felt more loved here than in any of my other areas. Yesterday we left with a member...He's really shy but he brought us to the houses of like 5 of his friends just to introduce us. And he even taught parts of the lesson with us. It was so cool. He was so excited to share his testimony with his friends and talk about the blessings he has received.

Also, I drank root beer. I haven't had root beer in a YEAR! I don't know if I have mentioned it but every Sunday we eat lunch with a ward family. Basically they are famous here in San Miguel and have a ton of money. And they treat us like royalty in their house. And yesterday they surprised us with ROOTBEER...I couldn't believe was SO good! Really though the family is amazing. I am convinced that the reason they are so blessed is because they do so much to help others. The are currently helping us with a couple that we need to get married here. On Tuesday we received a phone call from them informing us that they would like to help with all the legal stuff necessary for the wedding so that the couple can be baptized if they so desire. It was the miracle we had been praying for.
How blessed are we to live in an age of miracles. And how amazing is it to know that we can be part of miracles in other peoples lives. I think of the woman who puts of the triathlon Mom did. She is the means of blessings the lives of so many other families. She provides them with small miracles.

I was reading this week the talk that President Uchtdorf gave to the young women in the April conference. He talked a lot about the plan of Salvation and how important we are to Heavenly Father. He said something that really impacted me. He mentioned that in the pre-mortal life "we had faith". I had never really thought about that before. Even when we lived in the presence of our Heavenly Father and we didn't need faith to know He existed we needed faith. Faith is an eternal principle. We had to have faith in His plan. We needed faith to come here to this earth, trusting that our Father would provide a way for us to return home again. He also encouraged us all to look around...all the people you see are valiant children of our Heavenly Father. Not only are they children of God, our brothers and sisters...but they were BRAVE. Brave enough to come here by faith, hoping that someday they would receive the gospel. As  those who know this gospel we have a great responsibility to share it. I know that ths gospel is true. I know that it is only through living gospel principles and participating in saving ordinances that we can return home again. I love my Savior and I know that He lives. I love this work and I know that it is the Great Work of the Lord. 

Love you and Pray for you always. 
Hermana Victoria Giossi
Photo: In the house...content with my rootbeer :)

Servicios Sanitarios (Sanitary Services)

First, I will definitely praying for Daddy...although he's probably out of the surgery by now.
Second, President has asked that we no longer use facebook even if our families are running it for us. So if you could just stop posting but make sure that they don't shut it down on me that would be great. Thanks. Also, I just received like 4 letters from Sister Sherrard (she asked if I was receiving them...yes)

I laughed really hard hearing about you in the Spanish Sunday School class, just trying to imagine your face as everyone was speaking Spanish.. Our ability to fulfill our callings or assignments has nothing to do with our gifts and talents and has everything to do with the faith we have in the Lord to be our strength.

Its kinda weird that people are reading the blog...sometimes I forget that I have that and that people can read it. Its cool to hear the stories though. When people mention the blog to you, you could totally use it as an opportunity to invite them to the house and listen to the missionaries. Just an idea ;)
Well, we had changes this week. Basically the whole Zone had changes but I'm still here...the only area for Hermanas. Hermana Sosa went to San Salvador and I am finishing the training of another sister, Hermana Anaya, and Hermana Fuentes.

Change meeting meant another day of waking up at 3:00 to travel to San Salvador. We 3 hermanas and about 20 elders in a bus. Here's a pretty good story for you. I don't know exactly what happened but somewhere around 6am we pulled over in the middle-of-nowhere for a half hour. Well all the elders took advantage of the break to get of the bus and take care of business. They're guys, they just hopped off went behind a conveniently placed brick wall and did their thing. But I REALLY had to go to bathroom. If I wasn't with a group of missionaries I might of just went behind the wall to but it just wasn't really an option. Well, I started dancing and all that and one of the elders noticed and he and his companion went to find us sisters a luck. So they told us to just go knock on the door of one of the houses and ask to use their bathroom...AT 6AM! I didn't want to but there wasn't another choice. We asked one woman and she informed us that a little up the road their was a "public restroom", I had my doubts but I had to go so off we went. Well, we're sisters and the elders pretty much think they are our big brothers and they couldn't have us walking around alone (for our safety) so they followed. We found the bathroom (a toilet on the side of a house-see attached photo) and paid 30 cents a piece...and the elders waited for us right outside...what a party. Man, I love the mission. Definitely, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Sorry this email wasn't super spiritual. I love you. I miss you. I pray for you.

Hermana Giossi

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Humility in the Work


You guys won! That's amazing! I am so proud! I almost cried a little bit...yeah that's embarrassing in front of my whole district. How fast did you all complete in individually? I'm sure it was amazing! Seriously I want to do a triathlon when I get home. Its a life goal of mine now. 

I got an email from Nana this week...I decided I wouldn't send her her own email just a shout out...I don't want her to cry too much. I LOVE YOU!

Things are going well here...I am learning so much. Training is hard...I understand now why we always joke and call the people you train your Daughters and the trainer the Mom. I've been praying to know how I can help these girls become the amazing servants of the Lord I know they can be and I have been using lot of conference talks about parenting as inspiration haha.

This week was exciting...I traveled to San Salvador twice...that's a 3 hour bus ride each way...blekkk. But I have changes with Hermana Hale again. We talked lot and I learned lot about the importance of humility before God in this work. We talked about how lot of times when things in the mission are really hard for us it is because we are depending too much in our own abilities and not trusting enough in the Lord. Its true. When we have faith in Him we can always do what he requires of us. Trials our tests. Tests of faith and tests of humility. 

I also had a first time experience. When Hermana Hale and I were together we taught a 17 year old atheist. Kind of. Mostly I just felt sad for him because he is so confused. I realized that the simple fact that there is a God that loves us is something he doesn't understand. He comes to church with us though, he says he likes how it feels in the church and how loving the people are. Yeah, it was a new experience for both Hermana Hale and I. 

I have also been learning more about the civil war here...I plan on studying it more when I get home. Apparently it was really bad here in San Miguel. We taught a woman this week who lost her 18 year old son and her mother when a bomb exploded in their back yard. I cant even imagine. It's still a different world down here. I think I will probably have culture shock when I get home haha. 

For example I got an email from Brother Metro this week. Dan is going to Chicago but he is in the Mexico MTC... Dan mentioned in his letter that in Mexico there are just people walking down the street selling stuff and that is weird for him. I read about that and realized how used to that sort of thing I have become.That is how I buy all my stuff down here. It was so awesome to hear from him.

Well, my time is about up. I love you. I know that Heavenly Father loves you. Nothing makes me happier than to hear of the blessings you are receiving from Him.

All my love 

Hermana Victoria Giossi 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In the Streets of El Salvador

First things first...OUCH Zach! Sounds pretty painful. But I have to say that as I was reading that I was thinking "What about football?" and then "Maybe Zach shouldn't play football, something always seems to happen whenever its time to play." Good to know Zach was thinking the same in the mission when that happens we blame it on the Spirit haha.

This week was a good one. We are working really hard and we are just happy. Things aren't going perfectly and we are learning everyday but we are always smiling and always working to improve.We have this couple that we're teaching, Jose and Mari, they are awesome! They absolutely love us and they just crack me up. Meeting with them is always the highlight of my day. And whenever Mari prays she ALWAYS prays for our families...that really touches me. Just thought I'd let you know.

Last Monday for P-Day we went to Morazon and enjoyed a relaxing day in the mountain home of a member. The house was gorgeous and we had fun cooking lunch, playing soccer and going on a little hike in the rain. 

This week we had a training meeting for all the new missionaries and their trainers. It was amazing...I am so lucky to have President and Hermana Glazier. We talked about a lot of things but my favorite was when we talked about how we choose to be happy. Hermana Glazier shared Alma 26:27 (one of my favorite scriptures) and talked about how suffering is part of life and it is the only way that we can grow. But we can always choose to be happy...even when things aren't easy. President talked about how the things that we do here will effect us for the rest of our lives. He mentioned how his life and the lives of generations to come were changed on the streets of Santiago Chile 40 years ago. I don't know why but that really hit me. What I am doing here in the streets of El Salvador will have more effects than I have thought about before. I am learning so much, this experience is changing me forever.  I love these streets and I know that the things that have happened here will always be a part of me. Yeah, I guess I'm just sentimental because that really inspired me.

Oh, I have a request. Do you think you could email me a couple pictures from my baptism. Thank you!

Love you!
Hermana Victoria Giossi

A Great Start to the Day


This week was cool. Unfortunately, I dont have to ability to upload pictures of the waterfall trip but I will send them next week. We worked hard and it payed off. We were able to teach lots of lessons and feel the spirit. We had 6 investigators in church and they all loved it! President sent me a message this week-It said, "We look forward to seeing you this weekend. You are great, you are doing a wonderful job. He is pleased with you." It's simple...but it made me feel good. I really dont want to let President down on this one. 

Anyway, today we are back in Morazon for a district P-Day excursion. I dont really know what we're goignt o do but it should be fun. I can tell its going to be a good stay because I stated it by stepping in dog poop. I imagine it was quite the sight at 7AM, as I stood hoping around on one foot and my district leader cleaned my shoes off. Everyone was just cracking up. Like I said, the start of a great day ;) 

I have to go though! Sorry this is so short. I love you! 

Hermana Victoria Giossi

Friday, August 9, 2013

I am Learning a Ton

President was right when he told me this would be hard. This week was rough...but I can feel my faith growing. We didnt have many lessons and our numbers were a little disappointing, but the lessons we did have were really good. I am training a couple of really powerful sisters. Hermana Sosa is a convert of only 2 years (she's actually from San Salvador and is waiting for her visa to Argentina) and has so much faith. She just says " These are trials that we are going through because our faith that we can see miracles is so strong." I am so grateful for her optimism and for both of them with their great desire to learn and grow as missionaries. I feel weird having to be the example for them because I am still learning how to be a missionary haha.

This part of the country is so pretty. I really missed the country after my 10 months straight of life in the city. On Friday for District meeting we went to Morazon (a different department/state) it was SO cool. The hour bus ride was full of gorgeous views. Today we're going to visit some waterfalls in our area. I'll send pictures next week :)
It great hearing from home. Of course I remember last years Surf and Turf spectacular. Mom, you did a great job with the photos this year. The corn looks we eat lots of corn. In more forms than you can imagine. Maybe next summer we can make some "elote loco" (crazy corn)...DELICIOUS!

I received one letter from the Metros in January. I have a response letter written, I just haven't gotten to the post office to send it. If he sent another one I wouldn't worry too much, now that I'm here in San Miguel I'll probably get mail like once a month...maybe.

Dad, it's true there isn't a whole lot in Saint George. But there is a temple with a visitors center ( I have a friend serving in that mission) you could check out. Also, there is Zion'a National Park and Arches National Park near by. Arches is super cool if you have a little time.

That picture of the twins and Travis is priceless...I cannot believe how stinking big Travis is! Who is that kid?
Not going to lie I'm a little embarrassed to hear that my English grammar has declined so terribly that it is noticeable in my letters. Especially considering sometimes I have to write a sentence three times in English to make it sound "right". Oh well. Losing myself in the work right?
Love you. Miss you. Pray for you.
Hermana Victoria Giossi

Monday, August 5, 2013

Yeah, It's Hot Here

...I have been transferred to the hottest part of the country! In fact part of me wishes the shower water was just a little bit colder. I bathe twice a day; once at night just before I go to bed, I do it fully clothed and then sleep in my wet clothing to keep cooler...yeah, its hot here. I have never sweat SO much! I am now in the zone San Miguel (you can look at a map of El Salvador and will see that it is one the other side of the country from San Salvador. After 10 months in the city I am in the country. Me and my two companions (Hermana Sosa and Hermana Fuentes) are the first Hermanas here in 4 years! The ward is SO excited to have us!

This week was pretty crazy! Wednesday we had change meeting. I was so nervous, looking at the new Hermanas wondering which two would be my companions, wondering where I would be going. What area I would be opening. Imagine my surprise when my face popped up in the "elder Zone"...everyone gasped and President was just laughing. He just looked at me "How do you feel Hermana Giossi?" "Good" "Oh yeah, have you ever been to San Miguel?" "Nope" "Get ready for a long trip." Haha. Its like 3 hours from my old area.
My companions are also super excited to be opening an area. We talked alot on the bus ride and I could already tell they were amazing. I am learning so much from them already.

There are definitely challenges ahead for us though. We got here Wednesday night and were greeted by the two Elders who we will be sharing the ward with. They're great! The three of us were told we had about an hour to study and then we had to go to a meeting with the ward mission leader and the elders. Turns out this ward is in trouble. We have 90 days to get the church attendance from about 67 to 120. We were trying to plan all of the ideas we could think of and people kept passing by the room smiling at us. They could not believe that we are here and they are so excited to have us. I have never felt so welcome in a ward. We feel a little pressure too though because this ward is expecting alot from us. I know there will be lots of prayer and fasting in the future.

The members are amazing here though. They take care of us. I have eaten with members every single day. Some of them don't have a lot but they are just so willing and happy to feed all five of us missionaries. This Saturday we did a big ward service project (see picture below of me with my companions). It was so much fun...I think service projects are my favorite thing to do in the mission...second only to baptisms. We saw a miracle here yesterday. Last week the ward had a church attendance of 67 people...this week it was 108! Less active members who hadn't come in years came! I know that the Lord's hand is guiding the growth of His church. 

I loved reading the email this week. Cried a little bit reading about the family get together. Good to know you all haven't forgotten me just yet. I miss you all too; Especially when we eat with members because I think of our family dinners with the missionaries. I'm glad people enjoy reading the blog. Sometimes I think my emails are probably a little boring but I do my best :) I love you and miss you.
Hermana Giossi

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Me Voy de Monte Cristo

Well I definitely cried during this last email. The part where Zach said "Sissy is inspiring me to go on a mission"...I couldn't be happier. I really do miss the little guy. Also, very happy to see all of you together doing the workout...I realized we just dont do blondes in our family huh? My companion said we could be Latinas looking at the group haha. It looks like the twins are growing so much! They're are going to be like 5 when I get home. Woah! 

This week was great for us! We had a baptism (see photos)! This little girl has SO much faith. She wanted her Aunt's boyfriend to baptize her and he was not able to. The little girl really wanted to get baptized this month because it was her birthday but none of us thought it was going to happen because he still had things to work out. We asked her who she would want to baptize her if he couldn't do it; she simply said she was "going to pray so that he can"...the next day we got news that he could do it. There is nothing like the faith of a child. I am sure that it was her sincere and simple prayer that brought this to pass. I love this little girl!

We also had the Hermana's Conference. It was so incredible. We talked about knowing our Heavenly Father, loving the scriptures and what Heavenly Father needs from each one of us in these last days.They had us study our patriarchal blessings and focus on 3 things 1) Strengths 2) Talents and Gifts and 3) Instructions. It was amazing looking at my blessing that way. It amazes me how much Heavenly Father knows each one of us and knows exactly what we need. One of the Hermana's said something that really hit me, she said "We are the hope of Israel" Brought tears to my eyes. Also President said "Heavenly Father has faith in you, he has trusted you with the salvation of His children" pressure or anything. 

Carolina, Bryan and Josseline passed their interviews and will be baptized this Saturday...but I wont be there. President called today and assigned me to be a trainer. And then informed me that I would be doing it in an area that wasn't my own (which is called "opening an area"). I'm pretty sad about this, I really love my area here in Monte Cristo. And to top it all off there is a good chance I will be training two new missionaries. President told me it will be difficult but promised me that I would grow more than I probably ever had before. I feel grateful for the opportunity but also a little bit overwelmed. Serving a mission is the hardest thing I have ever done but also the most amazing. And I know that this experience will be amazing. I have no idea where I'm going  but next week I'll be writting from somehwere different. I am excited though...just another adventure right? 

I love you and miss you!

Hermana Victoria Giossi

Monday, July 29, 2013

And I hope that when all is said and done I can say that I have given all I have to give and that I couldn't have given anymore of me.

Hey Hey Hey!

So Shelby told me about this Florida Trip thing...I'm impressed this is planned well in advance. She said we got the Presidencial Suit. It's a good thing I'll have a couple months before this trip or I am postive I would probably die from the culture shock. I'm very excited! 

Thank you for responding about Bruschii, I dont know why but I was really worried about the little guy. I am so happy to hear about how much Zach is growing and maturing...sounds like I am not even going to recognize him when I get home. Also, great to hear about the time you are spending with D and Jessica. Family is so important. It's one of the few things we take with us. I have faith that one day we will all be back in the church together again. 

Things are going really well here. We are working REALLY hard and are still seeing miracles. We have started a new way of teaching as a mission. It is a challenge because we have to change everything we have learned but it is definitely inspired of the Lord. When we trust in Him and teach by the Spirit it becomes so easy to indentify which people are prepared to receive the gospel and which need a little more time. I know that Heavenly Father prepares people everywhere. We have to responsibility to find those who are waiting for this message. I LOVE my calling. 

This week Carolina, Jossyline and Bryan Giron (sister, niece and nephew of Lizzeth) will be having their baptismal interview. Pray that everything goes well for them. They are all three so special. Special to me and special to our Heavenly Father. Carolina has made so many changes in her life in such a short amount of time, I have really witnessed a miracle in her. When I first met her and Lizzeth I did not think she would be getting baptized anytime soon because she had ALOT of changing to do. But she has done it. And she did it through the 3 keys to lifetime conversion. Reading, Praying and going to church. I have realized that if we are faithful in these three things we will never fall. We will receive strength beyond our own to change and endure...but if we fault just one we just wont have the strength. 

MariaTeresa one of our investigators from Miramonte sent Hermana Bowers and I an email this week. She still hasn't been able to get baptized but she is faithfully going to church, reading and praying constantly. She said that her "faith in Heavenly Father grows everyday". It brought tears to my eyes to know that even though she has not yet been baptized her life has changed. Then to top it off she informed us that she pays her tithing and fast offering faithfully. She says that she cannot wait to be an active member of the church and share her testimony with everyone! 

I really have been so blessed to watch the Lord work miracles in the lives of others. It is a special opportunity that Heavenly Father has blessed me with. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love this work. I love my Savior. And I hope that when all is said and done I can say that I have given all I have to give and that I couldn't have given anymore of me. 

Thank you for your love. Your support. And for always encouraging me. 

Love you! 

Hermana Victoria Giossi

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The 4th Of July Isn't a Holiday Here

I think seeing all those pictures from home just blew my mind. I am not going to recognize anyone when I get home. Except maybe is very clear to me that he has Latino blood in him because he is the only one that doesn't look odd to me...haha. But really it looks like it was a really fun weekend. Hearing about all the food made me really hungry haha.

Dad makes this Bootcamp sound crazy!  But I would love to try it when I get home. Actually, I think I am losing weight in this area...Walking Walking and more Walking.

Shelby has mentioned to me several times about the trip to Florida...and yes I will be looking forward to that. I love the Normandins!
This week was a really good one for us. We learned a new way of teaching and it is SO powerful...I can tell already that we are going to have alot of success with this. We found alot of new people to teach and are looking forward to visiting them next week. We are working with Lizzeth's family still. Her sister, Carolina, and niece and nephew, Jossiline and Bryan, are listening to us and have a baptismal date for the 27th of this month. They LOVE the church and have been going to all the activites. They even went to the temple with the ward just to see it. You can just feel the hunger they have for more.
We also had a mission activity where new converts were invited to share their testimonies. It was really cool. One convert, Carlos, shared his testimony about how much the Gospel has changed his life. He was a drunk who basically lived in the street and 8 months ago he quit drinking. People who knew him before where in the meeting (investigators) and they couldn't believed how much he had changed. A 16 year old convert also shared her testimony and invited her family of investigators to be baptized from the pulpit...that was pretty cool. This gospel is INCREDIBLE!

Personally, I have been studying about how to become a more consecrated missionary. Or how I can losee myself in the work more. I love this study topic given to all of us by the Glaziers. It is changing my mission and they way I work. I wish I could have started changing these things earlier. I really do love being a missionary and sharing this gospel. I think about the missioanries that helped us often and hope I can be a little bit like them.
I love you all so much and hope all is well at home. Miss you and always pray for you.

Hermana Victoria Giossi

Monday, July 15, 2013

Turning 22


Well this has been the weirdest birthday i have ever had. It started with a trip to the city to accompany an Elder to an eye exam. I'm back with Hermana Bowers doing the nurse thing haha.  I don't have a whole lot of time to write. It is now 4:40 and we have to leave at 5:00 to work. Sorry if this is lame. 

Thank you for all my birthday love. I got my birthday package! Last Monday actually, after I finished writing. It was amazing...pretty much I have already worn all the clothes. Plus my companion Hermana  Sanchez went home and left me a bunch of clothes...basically I have a new wardrobe! BIG  thank you to the Normandins and their much needed gift...haha. Looking forward to the pics from the Patraikos! 

I cant believe this craziness about Daddy and this case. Dad is right it is sad what people do with their lives. Living in a country where gang activity is so prominent I have really come to realize how much our little decisions affect not only our lives but the lives of those around us. I have seen many mothers cry about how their young sons walk in bad paths. But it is also true that there is so much good in this world. I am literally seeing miracles here everyday. Like I said I am back with Hermana Bowers and we now have a list up on our desk titled "Our Miracles"...everyday we write one miracle that happened that day. It is amazing what we see. The gospel really does change lives! 

Dad, I am proud of you and all the hard work you do. I might have been sharing parts of your email with my zone...they are amazed. They don't believe your life is really that much like a Tv show...haha. Keep working hard. In the church too, your calling is so important. Mom, I am so proud of your new calling too (congratulate Aimee for week I will email her). Now more than ever we need strong leaders in the programs for the youth. By the end of the year the church expects to have 90,000 full time missionaries (we're at 70,000 right now). We need strong leaders to guide these young people into the mission field so that they can serve in this amazing army. The mission changes lives...of the people we teach...but sometimes I think more than anything Heavenly Father has put us here to change our lives. I learn more from the people I teach than they do from me I think. 

I cannot believe Preeyanka is engaged! Shelby did tell jaw fell to the floor. how did this happen?! Man, I wanted to go to her wedding but I imagine the plane ticket from El Salvador to India is pretty expensive...and I don't know if President would improve that trip. Haha. 

I am so proud of my little brother. I think about the strong young man he is becoming all the time. i don't want to pressure him or anything but I picture him as a missionary alot. I hope he has the desire to serve one day. I look forward to watching him play football at OC sometime in the not so distant a year and a half. haha. Haven't heard about Bru in a's my little guy? 

Well I love you lots! Until next week...

Hermana Victoria Giossi 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Really the Service Never Ends"

Good to hear that all is well at home...with the exception of the pulled hamstring...poor guy. So hurdle huh? Does Zach want to run track in high school? Or has this incident changed his mind? This trainer Liz sounds like a real trip...I think I am going to need her help after the mission...the pupusas don't make loosing weight very easy (but the good news is that I haven't gained any since my first area). I do miss Uncle Jared and his humor. I am teaching a family here and they are kinda crazy like ours. One of them reminds me of Uncle Jared alot with that understated humor.

This week was pretty amazing. Lizzeth was baptized! It was SO special. Her whole family came (we are teaching almost all of them) and her brother who is a recent convert baptized her. One of the relief society sisters let her borrow her temple dress so she didn't have to wear one of those less-than-amazing jumpers. She looked so beautiful and when she entered the font she had the biggest smile on her face. After the baptism we went into the bathroom with her to help with everything and she grabbed us in a hug (soaking wet) and thanked us for being her angels and then started crying. She was so happy. She kept saying in the days leading up to her baptism "I've been waiting so long for this. I just can't wait anymore." Oh man, she is so amazing and is sharing the gospel with her whole family. And her brother and sister-in-law, even though they aren't my convert I love them just the same. We spend alot of time with them and are really trying to help the entire family become members.

Also, last night, I don't know if you had the chance to see it but there was a World Leadership Training broadcast about missionary was amazing! Elders Holland, Andersen, Perry, Packer, Nelson and the Prophet all spoke. There was also musical numbers accompanied by videos. One of them made me cry. It started with "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission" and showed all these primary aged children serving others, reading, and praying. Then "Army of Helaman" started playing and they were growing up. And in the end they filled their papers, received their call, opened it, got set apart and entered the MTC...oh man, so many emotions. Mom, I still feel bad that I didn't let you take a picture that first day. Sorry. Then the closing song, sung by a missionary choir, was "Called to Serve" it reminded me of being back in the MTC. This missionary army we have now (70, 000 currently serving in 405 missions) is incredible and I am so blessed to be a part of this great work during this incredible time. I know without a doubt that this is the work of the Lord. Mom, I know you were an incredible Relief Society President. And really the service never ends. Keep working hard in the vineyard of the Lord.

I love you and miss you. And pray for you everyday.

Hermana Victoria Giossi

1:Sweet view of what we believe is the Volcano of San Vicente/Chichontepec (but we are not entirely sure)

                                          2.)    With Lizzeth before her baptism-her brother David baptized her

P.S. This is a quote from President Monson that President sent us in his email this week. I really loved it and thought I would share:

in the interior of our consciousness, each of us has a private Hall of Fame reserved exclusively for the real leaders who have influenced the direction of our lives. Relatively few of the many men who exercise authority over us from childhood through adult life meet our test for entry to this roll of honor. That test has very little to do with the outward trappings of power or an abundance of this world's goods. The leaders whom we admit into this private sanctuary of our reflective meditation are usually those who set our hearts afire with devotion to the truth, who make obedience to duty seem the essence of manhood, who transform some ordinary routine occurrence so that it becomes a vista whence we see the person we aspire to be....

"Some may question, 'But what is the value of such an illustrious list of heroes and heroines, even a private Hall of Fame?' I answer. When we obey, as did Adam, endure as did Job, teach as did Paul, testify as did Peter, serve as did Nephi, give ourselves as did the prophet Joseph, respond as did Ruth, honor as did Mary, and live as did Christ, we are born anew. All power becomes ours. Cast off forever is the old self and with it defeat, despair, doubt, and disbelief. To a newness of life we come--a life of faith, hope, courage, and joy. No task looms too large. No responsibility weighs too heavily. No duty is a burden. All things become possible."