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."