Friday, January 24, 2014

Mountains To Climb

Monday January 13, 2014

To my frozen family, 

I've also been feeling cold this week. I had changes and am no longer in San Miguel :( But I am in America (NOT THE US AMERICA). I had a exchange here about 8 months ago and since then I always felt that I would serve in this area. So I am happy to be here. I was worried about being out of shape when I got home. Well I think this area might help me. Its full of hills and lots of stairs. I basically go hiking in a skirt everyday. My legs are killing me haha. I am with two companions, one of them is my mission granddaughter, so that's pretty cool! 

I am also reading Jesus the Christ and loving it. I am learning so much that I didn't know about the Savior's life. I just found out that Hermana Glazier has a blog called "Children of the Same God" you should look it up :) 

I love you and miss you a ton! I pray for you always.

Hermana Giossi

Photos: Making pupusas with the other missionaries in the ward. There are two more sisters and the's fun. 

Oh, and could you look up the Mormon Messages video "Mountains to Climb" on I watched it last week and would like it shared on my blog. Its really incredible.

Back in San Miguel

January 6, 2014

Did you not get the email from Hermana Glzier about the volcano? Oh well, like I said it was cool. I did not however like being taken from my area and being back in San Salvador. I felt like I had abandoned Gavidia. We came back here on Tuesday just in time for New Years. They sent us with masks and everything but when we got back there wasn't anything here...all the ash and smoke and everything went to the other side (toward San Salvador). 

We spent New Years with an investigator. She lives alone, her husband died 19 years ago and her children live in San Salvador. She made us "Panes con Pollo" and it was delicious. Then we went home and slept because I was beat! Traveling to and from SS takes alot out of you. 

Apparently the gases from the volcano are still in the air on the other side of the volcano and President took the 6 sisters that were serving there out of the area. So we are a trio again with Hermana Walstrohm from Peru. She is my first companion from South America. 

There are changes this week. I'm pretty sure that either Hermana Fuentes or I will be changed. We've been together for 5 months now and that almost never happens. I really want to stay here. I hope to finish my mission in this area actually. 

Things are going well. I am happy. This week I didn't take any pictures...sorry. But I will send you this one that I sent to Shelby. 

Also, could you start looking for job opportunities for me that would be awesome. 

I love you and miss you. Pray for you always. 

Hermana Giossi 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

All is well...All is well

December 30, 2013

Hello Family,

Well it has been an exciting week! Talking to you was great! A little
weird too though.

Hermana Fuentes and I had a week of little miracles. We worked hard to
turn our weaknesses into strengths and prayed everyday for the ability
to do so. And we saw it happen.

Then there is the miracle that is Katherine's baptism. I love this
little girl. She lives with her grandma because her mother basically
doesnt love her. She was supposed to be baptized this Saturday but
went to her village for Christmas and we didnt see her all week so she
couldn't have her interview. We decided to fast for her so that she
could be baptized this weekend...and it worked. Thanks to some
superhuman efforts from her uncle (who we have been re-activating) she
was able to be baptized Sunday morning at 7:30am right before church.
She was SO HAPPY when she came out of the water and had the biggest
smile on her face. And then Sacrament meeting was the primary program
so she bore her testimony. She almost cried saying " I know that Jesus
loves me . I'm so happy that I could be baptized this morning. Thanks
to my Uncle and the Hermanas." It was so sweet.

Then Sunday got really exciting. I'm pretty sure President wrote you a
letter, but if you don't know the Volcano in San Miguel erupted in the
middle of sacrament meeting. It wasn't that bad, no lava or anything
just a lot of smoke and ashes. President was close by and within
minutes they had a bus waiting to evacuate all of us missionaries. The
members where amazing and cared for us like their own children. We are
now all safe in San Salvador and will be working hard here until we
get the okay to return to San Miguel. Really I just want to go back. I
miss my area. I know that Heavenly Father was watching out for us and
that he really does protect His missionaries. NEVER in my life did I
imagine I would be fleeing from an errupting volcano but just another
adventure right? I promise that I'm fine...just a little cold...San
Salvador is chilly. haha.

I love you and miss you. You are always in my prayers.

Hermana Giossi

Christmas Time!

December 16, 2013

First, I'm totally for the Christmas in April idea...and I vote for the one in the dining room because it looks amazing! So warm and cozy! I loved the pictures...
On Tuesday we went to Presidents house to celebrate Christmas with him. (No my package wasn't there, I'll let you know when it comes). It was so fun, just like last year...I will send pictures when we get them. We ate ALOT of amazing, not greasy or super fatty foods, played games, and shared our testimonies of the Savior. It really is amazing to be a missionary in this time in the history of the church and also this time of year. I know it's weird that I will miss two Christmas at home but I really do enjoy it here.
Last night a whole bunch of members from the ward piled into a couple cars and we went Christmas caroling to the less-active members. I was SO happy! Seriously, I just felt so much joy. We also had made them small gifts and they let me give them to each member, it was so special. The people here don't have much but they have really big hearts.

We are teaching a little girl right now, she is 11 years old and very special. Her name is Katherine, she is the niece of a less-active member we have been working with. She also has an aunt who brings her to church every week, Ambar...shes amazing too, and an uncle in Bolive serving a mission right now. This little girl has a rough life. She lives with her grandmother and her aunts and uncles because her Mom doesn't love her, and denies being her mother. Rene (her uncle) told us that she loves meeting with us and going to church because it helps her forget the problems in her family. Last night we taught her and I asked her if she loved God and why and she said "Yes, because He loves me, and is always there for me when I feel sad and alone. When everyone else leaves, he never leaves and always loves me." We're hoping she can be baptized this month, the Primary President is helping us alot because she just loves this little girl.
I love this work. I love this Gospel and I work diligently to share it everyday. Most of all, I love my Savior and want to serve Him the best I can.
Love you,
Hermana Giossi

Noche de Luz

December 9, 2013

YOU WENT TO NEW YORK What!? But hey, there's always next year..just tell Andrew we're going to need space for 5 because I totally plan on being married by next Christmas...just kidding! Engaged maybe...also kidding. Single as always...not kidding. Looks like it was super fun! Zach is huge! What is happening? Also, loved the Elf on the Shelf gag! Pretty funny.  

I'm glad you got my package! it got there in less than 2! I hope to see pictures of all of you in your matching jerseys...I feel like "Daddy looks jacked" means, "Daddy's fits really tight and mommy likes it" Hehe. 

Meanwhile here in El Salvador, I hit my 14 month mark as a missionary. It's weird. Definitely flying by way too fast. In this time I have forgotten a lot of things, English, the United States, what it is to be cold and what its like to wear pants in public. But on Tuesday we sang at a going away for the son of the Ramos Family (the rich one that feeds us all the time) and his parents bore their testimonies. I started thinking about home and how I just want to make you all proud. 

Remember how last year I talked about how these people celebrate everything. Here in San Miguel they celebrate more. We just got through all the craziness of Carnaval and this week we celebrated the "Night of the Lights". Everyone had huge BonFires in their yards, and were setting of fireworks...its was pretty cool. It rained a little but that couldn't kill the spirits of our neighbors...fireworks...all night. 

This week we also went caroling in the center of San Miguel as a district. I have sung alot in public as a missionary, maybe my voice is getting better...but I doubt it. 

When did you send my Christmas package?I am hoping to get it before Christmas so we can put stuff under the Tree (see photo), yes, we actually have a tree this year. I was not going to do the water jug thing as it was. Tomorrow we're going to President's house for the Christmas celebration (remember last year?) and next Tuesday to the Temple (to see the new movie) maybe I will be able to get it one of those days. 

Love you! Miss you! Talk to you soon.

Hermana Giossi

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

December 2, 2013

Its December, which means its Chirstmas time. And to welcome in the Christmas season its been a little chilly these last couple days. You're not going to believe this but I woke us these last couple mornings so cold that I didn't want to shower (we dont have hot water here so its not that fun to shower in the cold). One day it even got down to 74 degreess...hahaha. But seriously, I was cold. I started thinking about the weather back home in April...its not that warm-I'm going to freeze to death!

We did have changes this week, but I am still here in San Miguel. But I'm not in a trio anymore, just me and Hermana Fuentes...we're going to spend 6 months together! Hermana Martinez left for Argentina today, along with Hermana Sosa. So there goes 2 of my 3 mission-daughters haha. Anyway, this week was also CARNAVAL! So that was exciting! Not really it just meant we had to be in the house early. Spending all day in your house as a missionary isnt that fun. There's not a whole lot to do. We watched the Restoration in like 4 languages. I'm totally learing Portugese when I get back...its SO easy to understand!

I loved the pictures from this week! Alyssa is SO pretty. Uncle Jared looks like a lumberjack...or a Patriots lineman. I laughed until a cried looking at Daddy's photoshopped picture! You all look really cold.  Oh, last Monday we went to a fancy restaurant here. I ate lizard that was fun! Its not quite Nana's Thanksgiving Turkey but it was pretty good.

This week I was studying the blessings of the Atonement and started meditating about forgiveness. I have always thought about repentance and forgiveness as the way to clean ourselves from sin. But I started thinking about my dad and what it was like when I had to say "sorry" for something I had done to offend him. I did it not because I didn't want him to be mad at me but because I felt bad for making my dad sad. I realized we do the same thing to Heavenly Father when we sin. He is sad because we have disobeyed and offended him. When we repent we show our love for him and he forgives us with love and patience. I am so grateful for the Savior and his sacrifice so that I cant feel the love of my Father. 
Well, Im off to buy a Chirstmas tree, because I WONT be using water bottles again this year haha!

I'm doing great! I love this work!
Love you tons! 
Hermana Victoria Giossi

A Miracle in the Philippians

An email was received from Victoria this week but after reading the email I (Mom) sent to her regarding a miracle that happened in the Philippians during the awful Typhoon; she requested I post my email to her blog for this weeks entry. We hope you find this story as amazing and awe-inspiring as we did. God is present at all times!

November 18, 2013

You may have heard about the awful Typhoon that hit the Philippines recently. It has been devastating to see the destruction. Of course I have been following the stories of the 204 missionaries serving in the Tacloban Mission where the storm hit.

Well there is this amazing story of 10 Sister missionaries that were all staying in a 2 story apartment during the storm because they were told to come more inland as they had been on the coast. They did have their 72 hour kits etc. But by 5:00am the flood waters had risen so high it quickly was over their heads on the second floor - I can't even imagine. They were swimming trying to find a way out - some sisters couldn't swim so they were hanging on to other sisters. One sister was able to kick a hole in the flimsy wall and they made there way out but they were still swimming and the current was very strong! Those who couldn't swim were still hanging on to those that could. One sister threw a rope and managed to get it tied around a gutter so they could all get to safety on a roof top - They said the waters were rising so fast that soon it would be over the roof top - they prayed and in the prayer they asked that the flood waters would stop rising and in that moment nothing short of a miracle happened - they described as the sea just stopped and the waters stopped rising! I was just crying reading this. Finally all missionaries were accounted for after lots of miracles and coordinating - some scraping $$ together to take a boat - others walking for hours on end they got to the airport - the airport had massive holes blown out of the side of the walls - it didn't appear that they were going to be able to get out of the area (There were mission leaders or Zone leaders and Mission Presidents helping to coordinate it all) but the prospects looked grim when suddenly this happened - This is copy and pasted:

Some sisters, their feet blistered, could barely walk. The looting had become more severe, and the missionaries had heard rumors that prisoners at the jail, which had lost its electricity and its guards, had simply walked out. The assistants stood at the front and back of the long line of missionaries — dozens and dozens — as they made the long march to the airport.
As they walked, Elder Ardern tried to arrange a flight out. He had booked flights in Manila, but thousands of other survivors had mobbed the Tacloban airport. The ticket agent told him if he wanted a flight out, he’d have to pay more to get his 204 missionaries to safety.
As Elder Ardern tried other options, the missionaries milled about what was left of the airport terminal, its walls blasted out by the gale force winds of the storm. And then, a final miracle.
An Army sergeant with a C-130 airplane, assigned by the U.S. government to fly Americans out of the disaster area, said he had a feeling he should walk through the terminal one more time. As he did, he saw out of the corner of his eye what looked like the nametag of a Mormon missionary. The sergeant, a Mormon himself, asked if the missionary was American. When he said he was, the sergeant told him he could arrange flights out for all the Americans and foreigners in his C-130. 

This Sargeant managed to get all missionaries out.

Well my love I thought this story was awe-inspiring and just another example of Heavenly Father's Omnipotence and the power of Divine intervention.