Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Possums Taste Like Chicken

Hola Familia (and the people reading this on my blog)!

Another week has gone by, crazy how time just flies. I'm sorry about the shortness of my letter last week I just was clueless about what to write and didn't have much time-this one should be better...I hope. I'm glad you enjoyed it though and the stories (I have some more from this past week). I need Keelan's address still, I have a letter for him and I don't know where to send it.

I will keep Scotty and her family in my prayers, I can't imagine losing everything you own like that but it is wonderful that the church family and community have rallied around them. Also Pop-Pop I will pray for you and your arthritis pain. I received yet another hilarious email from him this week. How is Nana doing? 

Sounds like things are exciting at home as always.  And Mom, of course you are trained by the same trainer as Dr. McDreamy. It's so funny how everyone knows him and is in love with him. Sounds like you're all going to be workout machines by the time I get, I'm just gonna have really good calves from walking hills and stairs all day long. Oh, and Zach, I miss you too buddy. I will be sending a letter out for you today with some Spanish words for you to learn. Have fun! 

Alrighty, I think it's time for some little stories. I love this place, I've yet to have a day where nothing weird or exciting happened. My week went something like this: 

-I saw a couple half dead possums lying in the middle of the street that some people were about to eat-but it's okay because apparently they eat hens around here alot and supposedly possums taste like chicken! Uggh!

-Jehovah's witnesses came to our door this past week and started quoting bible verses at us. We tried to tell them that we weren't really interested because we were missionaries for our church too but they wouldn't listen and started asking us all these questions about what God's name is and trying to make us say it was Jehovah. The man got really frustrated and asked if I'd read the Bible, I answered in the affirmative and then he spouted off some random verse really fast in Spanish and asked where it was in the Bible. I informed him that I had not yet memorized my Bible in Spanish but when I did I would let him know. 

-We went and taught the little boy who asked if we were from God- he told us lots of stories. Sometimes he and his sister pretend to be super heroes (because God is like a Superhero but WAY more powerful). And this one time he went to the beach and saved a little girl's life by giving her mouth to mouth because he saw it on TV. Also, sometimes he and sister have holidays where they celebrate God and Jesus and read stories from his scripture stories picture book. It was a very interesting lesson. 

-Last Monday I received a leg massage from a two year old. She is the daughter of one of the members of the ward. There is this family that we absolutely love and sometimes hang out with on P-Day. So we went over last week and the Hermana cut our hair for us and while she was doing my companions hair I was playing with the little girl. We were spinning and jumping and all that fun stuff but then I got "tired" so I sat down. She wanted more but I told her I was tried. Then she just sat down and started rubbing my legs, her mom told me she was giving me a massage. Then after about 5 mins she wanted me to play again because she thought where  she gave me a massage I would have energy. It was pretty adorable. 

-We have a little friend living in our house/backyard. The other night we came home from working and we were getting ready to plan for the next day when we heard a plastic bag rustling in the kitchen. We slowly walked over, Hermana Perry in front, and as we got to the door she let's out this huge gasp and flips the light on. "WHAT!?" "There's a huge rat in here! It's was in the garbage but now it's behind the fridge." So she grabbed the broom and started poking behind the fridge (I dont know where we thought the thing was going to go from there but we weren't really thinking). Then the rat came running out towards us right past our feet and squeezed itself under our back door and outside. Well our backyard is completely closed in with concrete, so the sucker is here to stay unless we can kill it or chase it out the front. Gross right?

We had some good teaching experiences too. We have this one investigator, she has been investigating since before Hermana Perry got here (that's a pretty long time) and she is reading & praying and understands everything she just never has time to go to church. I want to apologize right now to all the Elders that taught me, especially Elder Millet. I'm so sorry for being so difficult and not doing the things you asked when you asked. I know now that you just knew it was the only way things where going to change. I'm sorry I was THAT investigator. But anyway we were talking to Maira this week and I think we finally got to her. She has received answers to her prayers and knows she has to go to church so she can really make the decision to be baptized. I shared my story with her about receiving my answer when I went to church and she seemed to really like it. It was really cool to be able to share my own experiences with her and let her know I understand. Plus, it was the first time I successfully told a story in Spanish by myself. 

We also started teaching this guy this week and he's progressing really well. He has alot of challenges but also a real desire to change (I was actually hoping Pop-Pop could send me his story of quitting smoking to come back to the church). So we were teaching him one day about the Atonement and Repentance (GREAT lesson) and he was loving it and then he wanted to ask us a question. I could tell he was a little nervous about it but he still asked. He started telling us about how much he loves that we are always telling him to ask God and he will give answers (he REALLY likes that, he tells us every time how much that impresses him) and then he was like, " I was just wondering if you have asked God about me and if He has a purpose for you guys coming to visit me, like if there's a purpose for me." (or something like that, rough translation). It's hard to explain to an investigator just how much you pray for and about them. It's hard to express to someone how you feel God's love for them every time you teach them and help them make a change. It's hard to put in to words what it feels like when you're planning a lesson and you know it's the Spirit because you and your companion both feel you need to teach the same thing even though it's out of order and somewhat random. We did our best to tell him all of this and to let him know that we were coming because we know he is important to Heavenly Father. We expressed how we know Heavenly Father loves him, we did our best and I think he liked the responses.

 After my letter a few weeks ago I got an email form someone telling me how much they loved my blog and asking if Heavenly Father "really loves us", I promise you he does. Do we always deserve it? No. But I have felt Heavenly Father's love for his children and it's incredible! 

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

Hermana Victoria Giossi

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Are You From God?

Hello All, 

How is everyone doing? First thing, I did not get transferred and neither did Hermana Perry, we're both still here working in Mejicanos. I will be looking forward with great anticipation to my package and letter from Brother Metro. NalaniI have been getting your emails and I love them! I sent you a letter like two weeks ago, SO you should get it by March ;) But keep writing  I'll keep reading. Also, I will be sending another letter and asking you to do me a favor. And thanks for all the updates. Anyway, super cool to hear about Christina...kinda crazy that it's the same mission as Leslie. Want to hear something weird, when she enters the MTC I will have been on my mission 7 months. Time flies by so fast.
Sounds like life is busy for everyone back home. Dad is jet-setting all over the country, Mom has enlisted in the British Special forces and Zach is now a Vet. Did I get that all right? But really sounds crazy back home. Dad, you can let this commando guy you met know that the Book of Mormon is available online until he can get a hard copy. Just go to and look for Scriptures. But he should definitely get a hard copy too. So Dad you went to Sundance while out in Utah? Did you see any films? I have some great memories from that place. It does sound like Zach is growing up alot. He's going to be so old when I get home. I loved his letter. I will be sending him a letter and I think I'm going to include some fun Salvadoran phrases for him. Mom, you are crazy! I bet you could do the Tough Mudder no problem. Don't let just the one obstacle stop you from going for it. My companion says she wants to be friends with you because you sound awesome. 

My week was interesting, lots of crazy stuff happened...well it felt crazy for me. 

First we saw some sort of religious parade. There were a bunch of people marching down the street, playing music, shooting off fireworks and carrying what we thought was a statue of Jesus on a bed of flowers. But then as we looked closer we realized it was not Jesus. It was a statue with a bunch of arrows in it. Super confusing. Turns out it was just some random saint or something.

We were walking through an apartment complex one day when this 10 year old child came  running up to us and asked, "Are you from God?" "Yes We Are!" Then he started telling us about how he used to have our book, but he lost it and has been trying to find it. And asking when we could come to his house and teach him. The children always know. So we're going to go by this week. 

It rained, which is weird for El Salvador in January. This week it's been a little cooler than normal. Now, I say a little cooler but I mean like 70 degrees, (or idk, 20C). But you would think it was snowing. People are walking around wearing winter jakets and scarfs. And everyone keeps telling us how cold they are. It's crazy. 

We found a BYU shirt at a random store on the side of the road. We were just walking down the street and saw the good ole Cougar just hanging in a store. We stopped and bought it. $2...we were so excited!

The other day this random man came walking up to us in the street telling us he would like to serve a mission. We taught him on Sunday, turns out he knows almost nothing about the Bible or Jesus. But he came to church with us and told us he really liked it and wants to come back. We're going to be teaching him...should be interesting. 

The craziest (and most stressful) thing about this week was we didn't get to teach Celso. He is supposed to get baptized this Saturday coming and we didn't even talk to him this week. We could not find him ANYWHERE. We were so worried that something happened and we were praying a ton. We finally got in touch with him Sunday night. He didn't understand why we were worried, told us he feels great about his baptism and doesn't even miss coffee. I wanted to thank him for the stomach ulcer. haha.

So that's my life lately. I don't know what else to say. Hope you enjoyed the pictures (I stole the adapter from that Elder). I love you and miss, I will write more next week I promise. 
Pray for you always. 

Hermana Victoria Giossi

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tell Him That I Love Him

Hola Hola! As usual business is first. I got a TON of mail this week. Everyone was amazed. I got a bunch of cards, our family Christmas card (Bruschi is the cutest), and my package from Mattison. He sent me this SUPER cool stationary-apparently he is in India now so it will be hard to write him a thank you note. And I FINALLY got an email from Lawrence Barret! If he's reading this on the blog,Felicidades! Also, I still need addresses so I can write people back, Lawrence and Keelan now. DearElders should now be sent to the El Salvador San Salvador mission so I can get them faster. I'll be looking forward to that package with beef jerkey, maybe some pictures and whatever other surprises. Also, this is random but I heard Bath&Body Works is discontinuing my favorite scent, Dark Kiss, maybe you could grab a couple body sprays so I can have it when I get home (: .

 Thanks for the emails this week. PopPop I don't stop laughing, I miss your humor. I would love to open up my email and have a bunch of little funny daily happening, that would be hilarious I'm sure. WooHoo! Super awesome about the Pats! I've decided Bruschi needs a little 54 jersey...I'm not one to dress up animals but it would just be SO cute! Hermana Perry is super into sports too, so I get all the NFC updates from her. Mom, Pinterest is great isn't it? Remember when I got it last year and you told me it would be a waste of time? You're welcome. How is Amanda Ford doing...I was thinking about her the other day actually. Sad to hear about Brother Sears but I know that they understand the beautiful message of the gospel. I have no doubt Brother Sears is one of the faithful Elders of this dispensation (D&C 138:56-57). Glad you enjoyed the pictures, sorry I can't send more, but once I get an adapter I'll be sending some. I totally trust you with my blog, I get emails from friends telling me they read it so I know stuff is going up. Man, Daddy is SO cool. I was just reading about him and the Feds and all that with my mouth open, he's so great! My week was pretty normal.

The only big thing that happened, was we had exchanges. I went to a different area for 24 hours. It was cool, my companion was Latina so it was all Spanish. She asked me what "CougarTown" is, so that was fun to explain in Spanish. It was cool though, seeing another area and what other missionaries are like, different teaching styles and stuff. She kept telling me how good my Spanish was...LIES. Actually, I do alright most of the time, but I still have a LONG way to go. Let's see what else happened. We got to see the "Viejitos"-this little old couple (members of a different ward) that sell random plastic items on the street in our area. They are SO cute, the Hermana is always saying "a cosita linda por mi cosita linda" (which means, "a pretty little thing for my pretty little thing"), she wants to give us each one of her little plastics things that she sells. I love them so much and I don't even know their names.

 We will be having transfers this week. That's kinda scary, I'm hoping I get to stay here. I like my area, Mejicanos, even though it's one of the harder areas in the mission supposedly. The Ward Mission Leader of Llanitos (another ward that meets in the same chapel) told us it was a miracle that we were able to baptize in Mejicanos. Haha. Speaking of Baptisms, we should be having one the weekend of the 25th. We've been teaching Hermano Celso since I first got here and he is finally ready. He is SO awesome. We have had some really amazing lessons with him. I want to share an expereince from this last week. So last week President shared an experience with us, "This weekend I was in the San Salvador stake for Stake conference. After having prepared Saturday my thoughts for the Sunday morning session, I hear in my mind, very early Sunday morning these words that HAD to be in my talk, " Tell them that I love them." Our Heavenly Father desire that all know this, that He loves them." (sorry if that doesn't make sense, I had to translate it). Anyway, I was thinking about that all week. On Thursday we had a lesson with Celso, towards the end Hermana Perry was testifying and I was looking at Celso and his wife thinking about how this family could be sealed in the Temple in a year, and I felt the Spirit so strong saying "That's my son, tell him that I love him." Then Hna. Perry did just that. Then I testified of the same thing. That as missionaries we are here to teach him the Gospel but more important than any of the lessons from Preach my Gospel we are here to tell him that GOD LOVES HIM, AND KNOWS HIM. That is true for all of us. I think sometimes in the culture of the church, somewhere in all the meetings, and classes and activities we forget that the whole point of all of this is that Heavenly Father Loves and Knows us. Remember that always.

 Time for me to sign off, so that other missionaries can write. I miss you, love you and pray for you all always. Hermana Victoria Giossi

 Moses 1:39, John 12:17 and John 10:16...Been thinking about these verses alot this past week.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Querida Familia

HOLA! I've been doing really well. I'm almost done with my first change in the field...crazy, I can hardly believe it. This morning I had my interview with President (we have them like every other change or something). He is truly an inspired man called of God. He loves us so much, you can just tell and he has such a great way of bringing the Spirit. Also, one of our investigators will be getting baptized at the end of this month, his name is Celso. His wife is a less-active member and they have a 2 year old son. Sometimes it's hard to teach because the kid is so stinking cute. But we have had some really powerful lessons with him. This last one we were trying to pick a baptismal date for him and we all said a prayer together kneeling. And then listened for the Spirit. It was so strong. And I know he felt it too. Oh and one day we went over and he wasn't home, so we just visited with his wife and she told us that once he's baptized the goal will be the Temple to be sealed. I'm so excited for them.
Sounds like Daddy is keeping busy, flying all over the country for work and building his flight simulator cockpit. Not going to lie, that actually sounds pretty cool. And Zach will be moving into the basement room I hear, should be fun. I don't want to freak him out but living down there prepared me a little for life here in El Salvador, living with bugs and all that stuff. The kid is a little dare-devil though, and it sounds like he had a pretty awesome Christmas. I can wait for my para cord bracelet, maybe I could attach one end to my companion so we don't have another bus incident. Mom you asked about drunks...I don't know if there are more here, but I think so. But it is true that I didn't hang out in the city like a do now. Or maybe they are just easier to recognize because for some reason every single one of them speaks English. Their accent is always good, although most of the time the sentence doesn't make any sense. It's fun, sometimes we tell them that we don't speak English, and even funnier sometimes they believe us.
I got quite a few emails this week. One from Jen with pictures of the girls. SO STINKING CUTE! I will be writing her back. Also, still waiting on my letters and packages from Mom, Zach and Mattison. Mail takes forever. Wow, I already have to go, this week email time went super fast. Next week I will try to write more. Love you and pray for you always. Hermana Victoria Giossi

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Feliz Ano

Buenas! I can't believe it´s only been a week since the phone call, it already seems like way longer. That was pretty cool though right? In May I promise to have some more Spanish prepared so I can speak it for you...or you can just wait until I get home, I might not remember English by then anyway...kidding. I told my companion Pop-Pop's jokes...she cracked up. I tell her alot of stories (that's what you do when you walk all over the place 8 hours a day) and she thinks our family should have a reality show. The rest of my Christmas was wonderful. More singing and then we ate Christmas dinner with a family in the ward. How was it having the missionaries over on Christmas? Did you give them any references...I'm sure they asked, or wanted to at least. I was thinking about last Christmas and how much has changed since then. And then I was thinking about next Christmas and how different things will be in a year. Funny how time just goes right on by. It's still so surreal that I am on my EL SALVADOR. Anyway, I received the package from Grandma and Uncle Scott (and Gummie Bears from GG?) THANK YOU! Everything is awesome. I have no idea how I am going to eat all the cookies but my companion and I are working on it. The journal is GORGEOUS and all the Elders envy the pen. And the CD is awesome! We listen to it at least once a day. My parents should get one of those, it´s a great description of alot of the emotions of the mission. Thank you! How's everyone doing? How's Zach, I feel like I know nothing about him or his life? I'm so happy the Christmas season went by wonderfully...that's not a word-Oh well. I'll be looking forward to my homemade beef jerkey and pictures. It was a little weird hearing how mom got all this stuff for the kitchen...I remember the days when dinner was fishsticks and cambells chicken soup. Haha. Mom cooks better now :) When I come home I will have to teach her some of the latin dishes I've learned how to make...sorry but they will probably involve alot of ham. Daddys emails this week were pretty funny. I especially enjoyed reading about Alyssa's pet names for Jared. Sounds like they're doing really well which is awesome! I'm excited to get to hang out with her more when I get home. Looking forward to it. And while I'm on the subject of Jared...which makes me think of Zombies. Let him know that I think I have seen some real ones down here. Some of the drunks have zombie like behavior. It's kinda creepy. Also, alot of the businesses here are well fortified for such an invasion, I've got some ideas...just thought I'd let him know. Daddy also sent me pictures of SNOW! I almost cried. Here it feels like the middle of summer. My companion mentioned how this was going to be the longest summer of my life. I entered the MTC in October when it was still warm, left Provo right before the cold hit, my six weeks in Guatemala were like fall and now I am here in the blazing sun of El Salvador for a year and a half, I will get home in April just in time for summer again. It's going to be like a 2 1/2 year long summer. He also asked about when they celebrate New Years here and made a comment about how since they're Latin it's probably all week...he's right but really its ALL MONTH. There have been fireworks almost every night since I got here. Christmas eve was the worst and I hear it's going to be even crazier tonight. The way I understand it is, the 24th is their Christmas. They spend the night with family and friends and at midnight they open presents...on the 25th they just sleep. Then all week there are parties and stuff but the night of the 31st (tonight) is like the real holiday here. Everyone stays out all night partying with friends...I wont sleep tonight that's for sure. But what can you expect from a country where the buses are like a nightclub-black lights and loud music. Speaking of the bus..story time: This week we had a new missionary training meeting with the President. We had to take a bus to get there. So my companion and I get on this shuttle-it's a city bus but it's smaller and faster ( the buses are just painted school buses and the shuttle is a van...almost all of them say "Jesucristo" somewhere in HUGE letters)-and they pack people in, 50 people in a bus made for 25. So we´re about to get off and I'm tucked in behind my companion, she hops off and a I am trying to get out behind her this woman stands up and blocks the aisle so I can't get out. I'm trying to let here know that I need to get out but she wont move. I look out the window to see H. Perry looking for me so I knock on the window. She starts yelling at me to get off the bus...well yeah, I understand that I need to do that. I was panicking a little bit but I really lost it when the bus driver closed the door and started to go. Just picture me stuck between some random lady and a bus seat, yelling " No stop! I need to get off!" in Spanish. It was crazy. Anyway, the bus driver stopped, opened the doors and I got off. And with that it's just about time to go. It sounds like you've been updating my facebook. Could you let people know that if they email me I need their address. Right now I need an address for Nalani and Keelan because I would like to write them back. Oh and I have a challenge for you. We did it as a mision but I want you to try. Read the Book of Mormon (in your native language...hehe) and highlight every reference you find to the Savior...I'm doing it right now. It's such an amazing experience. We're members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints and we profess the Book of Mormon as the most correct Testament of Him we have. I know that if you want to increase your faith and come closer to the Savior, you can do it through the Book of Mormon. Oh yeah, you have until April Conference to start now. I love you and pray for you, Hermana Victoria Giossi