Well here we are, my last weekly email as a missionary. I can't
believe it. It seems like it all just went so fast. Since my interview
with President last week I have been thinking alot about everything
that has happened these last 18 months and it has been incredible. Its
amazing what we are capable of when we trust in the Lord and let him
work through us. Everyone keeps asking how I feel. I dont know how to answer it.
I apologize if I'm a little
weird when I get home, I'll probably be in culture shock or something.
But I will let you spoil me I guess :) Mostly I just want to sleep
Is Christmas still going to be Friday
morning too! Because I have some presents too. As far as the clothes
go...that is from Guatemala. Its a long story but there isn't a whole
lot of remaining culture here in El Salvador (Ill tell you about it
when I get home). The clothes that they sell here are like America
This week was GREAT! Eva was baptized! Miracles Happen!
Love you! See you Thursday!
Monday, March 31, 2014
Thinking about this past week it has been full of miracles. We are improving in everything. We visited more people, found more people to teach, had more investigators in church. Things started clicking this week and yesterday it just all came together.
The day started pretty low. The people we went to bring to church didn't come, and we showed up to sacrament meeting pretty much expecting to have no one in church. Then one-by-one investigators started showing up. As my companion put it "I started to fill with hope." We are teaching a family, she is a faithful member and comes every Sunday with her young daughter she is not a member and has TONS of doubts. But we have visited and promised not to pressure her too much to baptism and she has now come 2 Sundays in a row. I know that it makes her happy that her whole family is in church on Sundays.
In the afternoon we were able to do divisions with a member. The best is when we can do it with ex-missionaries...they just know how to do it. We were able to find new investigators and teach less-actives. We went home feeling pretty good about how the day went. But it didn't end there...Eva, our investigator who has a baptismal date for this weekend called. She told us that a family that she had never even talked to visited her after church and really strengthened her faith with their message and she is feeling better than ever about her baptism this Friday. We were THRILLED! But then, the young women's president called with more good news. We are teaching a 13 year old, her sister is a recent convert and the young girl wants to be baptized. Her mom had always said she needs more time. Last night the YW presidency went to visit them and said that the lesson was so great that they almost put a baptismal date. The Mom said she would give her daughter permission to be baptized and that she herself would like to learn more and be baptized. My mouth was hanging open. They say God works is mysterious ways. I say that's true. He does things His way and in His time. We just need to have faith.
Today I had my final interview with President. It was mixed emotions. But at the end he reminded me that it is not overr and I still have 10 days to give it all I've got. That's the plan. Looks like Pres. Martin will be releasing me. Could you coordinate that with him? Thanks.
Loved all the pictures of Daddy flying and of you girls in NH. The girls look SO big. I'm sure everything is going to be so different when I get home. I don't know if I'm ready for this. Can you believe it has been 1 1/2 years...this is the second to last email. WOAH!
I love you!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Mom, where are the pictures of this baptism! I was starting to think that McKenna never got baptized! Haha. I am so happy to hear that she is active and participating in Temple work. They say that the faster new converts go to the temple the more likely they are to stay active. I miss the temple. I wants to go lots when I get home. Once every six months is just not enough.
That´s very touching to read about my blog. I am glad to hear that it is helping others. My purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ and I am learning that there are many ways to do that. I have many plans to keep doing so even after I am released.
This week we had a special training meeting with President and Sister Glazier. They talked alot about LOVE and how love should really be our motivation for everything. I think if we really understood Heavenly Father´s love for His children sharing this TRUE gospel would be so easy. Fear would not even play apart. Are we not all willing to throw away our fears to help those we love. Thinking about this has really helped me this week to talk to as many people as I can about the gospel. And as we testify of the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for them, they usually accept the invitation to hear more. Hermana Romero said something really inspiring. ¨When I start testifying of Jesus Christ it doesn´t matter if they accept or not, I feel good.¨Wow.
At the end of the training they handed out our new CELL PHONES! We turned in our house phones and all companionship's now have a cell to ¨hasten the work¨ The LORD truly is hastening his work in this day! And I am learning how to text again haha.
It´s a good thing too because this week, thanks to a big mix up, our electricity got cut off and we were without power for 2 days. I just have bad house luck haha. It was fun though. Like a sleep over. We planned, study and journaled in a little circle by candle light. Always an adventure.
Just one more thing. We have an investigator named EVA. She has been an investigator for 2 years. Yesterday her children were blessed and are now on the church records. We are trying to have her baptism on the 29 of March but she needs lots of prayer. Please keep her in mind.
I love you! Dont cry. Time is short. Just enjoy the blessings of these next few weeks.
photo planning by candle light.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Things of note this week:On Tuesday I got a phone call that went something like this:"Hermana Giossi""Yes""It's Elder Lowry " He's the Travel secretary and a friend of mine in the mission...great guy"Hi Elder Lowry! How are you?""Great! Just here with the phone call I know you never wanted to receive...I need to know what airport you want to fly home to.""Boston...or Logan. Something like that."Yeah, so that brought some weird emotions. I have forwarded my travel Itinerary to you. I don't know exactly what needs to happen once I get home. but I imagine I will need to be released by President Ward...unless they want to reassign me to another area in the Boston mission haha.We had a little earthquake the other night. Usually I dont tell you about these things but whatever it was awesome. It happened at 4 in the morning and it was pretty strong. A 6.0 I think. I remembered when I was little and always asked Daddy what earthquakes were like and he said "It feels like someone is shaking your bed" EXACTLY!I met a woman from Ukraine that has been living here since 1998...she spoke to us in a weird mixture of Spanish, English and Russian. She also sells delicious cakes on the street in our new area.We went to contact a referral from a member. We got there and she told us that she had already read the Book of Mormon. She finished it in 1 and a half weeks! Less than 2 weeks! And she'd never even met missionaries. It was amazing. We taught her a little and she told us that she is going to pray to know if what we teach is true because even though she read it she hadn't prayed about it. Small Miracles.Mom, is everything okay. I don't know. But reading I just felt like you seemed a little down. Hope everything is okay.Love you and Miss you!Hermana Giossi
February 24, 2014
Sorry, but I seem to be running out of titles and opening lines for the emails. Last week were changes and we sure did have them. I have a new companion. Her name is Hna. Romero...but really its Hna. Baratta, but that means ¨cheap¨in Spanish so she had to change her last name. because Sister Cheap just doesn't cut it for a missionary. She is from...BELMONT MASSACHUSETTS! And she knows the Bowen's, and a bunch of other people. Its weird. We talk about MA alot...it's really bad for the both of us, makes us a little homesick but its also really fun.
We also had a little change in area. Previously there were 3 sets of missionaries in the ward but this change they moved one pair of sisters out so now we only share it with the assistants. Well the problem is that the assistants old are wasn't producing and they have to have THE model area in the mission so...they took the part that the other sisters had (the most successful member missionary area in the mission) and half of our old area and gave us their area. I don't know if that all makes sense. But basically I have to learn another new area. It basically looks like a bunch of neighborhoods in California...I feel like I have been transferred to a States mission haha...maybe President wants to help me avoid culture shock. We are excited for the opportunity to work in a new area and have been brainstorming ideas all week.
Sounds like things at home are going really well. What happened with the baptism...did it happen? Can you send me pictures? Also, Hna Romero has a book written by a member in Belmont called Powerful Everyday Missionaries. Its from Deseret Book, I thought maybe with all your member-missionary work you might like it.
1. The finshed map of our area...but really our area is only half of it
2. My Companions. I will "die" in a trio.
Please dont get so baggy on me just yet. Haha. Baggy is what we say when someone is like ready to go home...we also use it here to mean a lazy missionary sometimes haha. But I'm excited that the bed is underway and that Shelby appoves. I also laughed to hear about Emily's mom posting pictures of us. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. But I still have 6 weeks to give it everything I've got. You will receive an intinerary soon, don't worry. I think I will be coming home around April 3rd...but I dont really know.
I'm so glad to hear about all of your missionary effeorts. How awesome that the mission President baptized McKenna! One on the other Sisters in my zone is from Belmont and she was so excited to hear about him, she says he's great! I know that if you keep working and the other ward memebers keep working we will see miracles! It's the promise of missionary work in this time.
This week President has assigned us to study about Faith. This quote really impacted me.
"I say emphatically that faith is not the power of positive thinking. Faith is not the personal resolve that enables us to will some difficult situation into existence. Faith is not always the capacity to turn tragedy into celebration. Faith is a principle of power, of God's power. We do not generate faith on our own, for it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). We do not act ourselves into faith, for faith is a gift of the Spirit, given by God to suit his purposes and bless the body of Christ, the Church. People act in faith when they act according to the will of God. To say that another way, I have sufficient faith to move Mount Timpanogos to the middle of Utah Lake only when I know that the Lord wants it moved!......We are further counseled to doubt not because we see not, for we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith. (Ether 12:6) This is the nature of the leap of faith, a leap from the safe and the secure to the anticipated and the hoped for. (see Alma 32:21) The disciples of Christ are not called upon to proceed wholly in the dark, to leap from the precipice without evidence of deliverance. Rather, we are asked to rely upon the unseen, to trust in the quiet but persistent whisperings of the Spirit, to lean upon the prophetic promises. In the words of President Harold B. Lee, we must "learn to walk to the edge of the light, and perhaps a few steps into the darkness, and [we] will find that the light will appear and move ahead of [us]."
It changed how I looked at faith. I realized that to truly have faith one must understand how it is that the Spirit works. One must be able to recognize the promptings of the Spirit in order to know the will of God and then follow it. Faith isn't blind at all. Faith is knowing what God's wants and being brave enough to act on it, no matter what! God has power and He manifests it through us, his servants, how amazing is that!
Thanks for the pictures...talk about flashback with that oldie haha! I miss snow! It looks so foreign.
Love you! Miss you!
English Class "Mother May I?"
Monday February 10, 2014
I don't really know what to say about this week. It was pretty uneventful. But it went super fast because we worked really hard. I should stop working hard so that the time goes slower...just kidding. Events of note with attached photos:
The highlight of the week was our Zone Conference with president and Sister Glazier. President talked about the importance of seeking first the Kingdom of God and then riches. He used Jacob 2 and talked about how if we seek God's Kingdom, we are promised riches if we are to use them for the good of others. He also talked about Fast Offerings and how we should be as generous as possible. It is the price of 2 meals and if we have the means we should pay 10 times as much as that. I remember thinking, I just hope my future husband has a mission President like this. Haha...but really.
Maybe Zach should listen to the missionary discussions. And do the things that they are asking the investigators to do. He has to find his own conversion. Just remember, Zach, that you don't have to KNOW everything...you will never know everything...you need to have faith! I love you. I know that this is the only TRUE CHURCH. Other churches might be good but they will never have the authority to perform saving ordinances.
I am happy to hear about your missionary successes. You're having more baptisms than I am haha. But I am happy to know that there will be lots of work to do when I get home...that I can still be a missionary but my family will be my companions...SWEET!
I love you all! Stay strong!
February 3, 2014
It was an interesting week here as well. On Tuesday I went on a companion exchange. When we showed up to a missionary correlation meeting my companions informed me that during lunch something happened with the plumbing and our house flooded with "aguas negras"...basically sewer water. Apparently there was so much that it was just spilling down the hill we live on. Luckily the elders were eating lunch with the same sister from the ward. And my companion said the elders rolled up their pant legs and started cleaning the house. We share the ward with some awesome elders. Our house reeks...its not as bad as the first day but it still smells pretty bad. I have had such interesting experiences here in my little country haha.
We are working hard and having success. This week a General Authority, Elder Duncan came and it was amazing. He talked about change and how we should always be trying to improve. He really inspired me to just be a better missionary. To work harder and LOVE more. Love the people even when they aren't easy to love. I think that is one of the things I have learned the most about out here. That charity really is the answer. If we can just see people as Heavenly Father sees them we have no choice but to love them. And the best way to see this way, is to serve them. My goal for this year is to serve more. Serving makes me happy!
I love you! I hope everything really is okay! I'm proud of you!
Monday January 27, 2014
This week was wonderful! We had interviews with President and Sister Glazier which is always amazing! President is so loving and wants us to be the best we can. And Hermana Glazier just always has the spirit with her.
On Thursday Elder Cook can and spoke to the 3 missions. I was sitting 2 rows away from him. It is something amazing to be in the presence of an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. He left us beautiful blessings and his testimony of the Savior brought a truly incredible feeling to my heart.
As far as my "almost luck" goes. Sis. Cook was also in attendance and scheduled to talk. Well, she speaks English and most of the missionaries only speak Spanish so she needed a translator. They had one planned for her and everything but as the time came for Sis. Cook to speak the translator was nowhere to be found. According to Elder Acosta (the AP and my former Zone leader) they came to him and said "Find me the sister you know that understands english and speaks the best spanish." So there I was sitting and taking notes and he comes up "Hermana Giossi. Come here, the translator hasn't come we might need you to translate for Sis. Cook." I almost had a heart attack as they brought me up on the stand and sat me three seats away from Elder Cook. About two minutes before the talk, the translator showed up and I didn't translate. Anti-climatic I know. But I felt very grateful that Heavenly Father has answered my prayers and allowed me to learn the Spanish language. And that I was sitting so close to Elder Cook and his lovely wife...haha.
Other than that the week was pretty normal. We walked alot. I took some awesome pictures but I still wont be able to update them. Sorry. One day you will get to see how beautiful my area is haha.
Also, I am beginning to buy souvenirs (is that spelled right?) so if there is anything in particular you would want let me know. Or some sort of idea.
What shop did Zach choose? Looks like dad has transformed my bedroom into a cockpit (you thought I wouldn't notice). And woo, Dad with two callings...excellent. Should be fun with Pete.
Love you. Miss you!
Monday January 20, 2014
I laughed out loud imagining Nana running to find me in the States. Sorry for the false hope. I'm starting to adjust. My legs dont hurt anymore from all the climbing and I can do it much faster now. Its cold here. I mean its like 72 degrees. But I walk around with a sweater every night. Haha...I-m gonna die when I get home.
I should probably tell you more about my companions. Hermana Garcia is from Guatemala. She's a convert of about 4 years. She is really humble and down to earth. She loves to cook, its kind of her thing and we don't touch it when shes helping the members in the kitchen. Hermana Merrell was trained by Hermana Sosa (who i trained), making her my granddaughter in the mission. She is awesome. Such a hard worker. Seriously she is keeping me working hard. And she is super obedient which makes life alot easier...it's hard having a disobedient companion.
We are teaching some great people. One of our investigators owns a bakery. He always tells us that we are welcome and that it is our bakery too. The bread he makes is amazing...which isn't so amazing for my figure. Haha. I am so excited to start working out again when I get home.
I am proud to hear of the spiritual progress the family is making. And I am so happy to hear that you are member missionaries. When I get home I dont want to stop being a missionary, you can let the sisters know that. The mission isn't just a year and a half...its forever. As we beocme converted our desire to share this gospel with others grows. I only wish I had been a better member-missionary before my mission. Haha.
I love you all. I think about you often and pray for you always. Let the ward know that I love them! And tell the missionaries to keep up the good work. And thank them for their service. Thanks them for being there and giving their all to edify us.
Hugs and kisses.