Monday, March 31, 2014

The "REAL" Way to Make Bread

Hey everyone! 

First off I need to let you all know that reading emails doesn't count towards my hour of email so write as much as you would like. Secondly thank you to all who write me. I will try to respond in the next couple of weeks, I dont have time to respond to all of you :)

Great big shout out to my amazing mother who had her birthday this last week! I love her SO much! Happy Birthday again mom :)

Also congrats to Garrett Vance and Sterling McCracken who got their mission calls!!! Missions are the bomb! I can't wait for you both to have the best experience of your life. You will both be wonderful missionaries. 

So this is how crazy small/ghetto my town is. We ran out of water yesterday so... that's an adventure, also there is one ATM for this side of the island.......and it's out of money.  In our stores you can only get the very basics (flour, sugar, yogurt, milk, eggs). If you want to get anything fancy or buy some new shoes or something you have to take the hiace to the other side of the island where they actually have a market. But its a good simple life. It's the Cabo Verde life. 

One day this week we helped this lady make bread the REAL way. I will send pics. It was really good! Then after her house we went and got fed half a thing of cake, then after that we got fed cuzcuz with beans!!!! I thought I was going to barf. It was rough, but we thanked them kindly and left before they could feed us anymore. 

So this week was pretty normal. We taught a bunch of lessons and had a great time. Nothing is really standing out to me at the moment so l will answer the questions my mom sent.
I have two more weeks until the next trasfer. Time goes by sooo fast here. I love you all so so so much! Thank you for your prayers, know that you are all in mine. Have a fantastic week!

Sister Taylor Goss

Mom's Q&A
Have you been able to play soccer with the kids yet?
No, we can't play with the members of the Church :( Super sad cause people know that I play and they keep telling me that I need to go out and play with them.
What is a typical meal like?
Typical meal..... beans, rice, chicken/tuna, bread and cake for dessert. Only veggies they have here are carrots and potatos...
Where do you get internet access to write and read your letters?
They have internet cafes that we go to or we can use the church computers if we have keys to the church.
What is something funny that happened this week?
My whole life is a joke.  I trip on everything and I get made fun of for being so white but you learn to just deal with it :) Also there are dogs EVERYWHERE. sometimes puppies will nip at our feet but no biggie. 
How large is your area?
Our area is HUGE. Like we walk two miles to get to our area. One area is just hills and the other is a straight up hike to get to. Nuts! 
What is a new word that you learned this week?
.....fubeca.... it's a lazy person. If I say I will do something then I dont do it I would be called a fubeca. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Wedding and Baptism

 Taylor with her companion from Pleasant Grove Utah
 This cute little girl drew a picture of Taylor and herself
 Taylor and her companion
The baptism
Act of service
  A boy and his goat?  She thought it was funny.
 "Me and Davison, aka the cutest kid on earth and he reminds me of Garret."

Whoa! A week has already passed. Its crazy how time here is so different than before the mission but this week was amazing. We had a a couple get married which is pretty much unheard of here. No one gets married. Ever. Then this Saturday the Bride/Wife was baptized by her husband. They have two little kids, and they really do have the whole happy mormon family feel now. It is so cool to see the difference in thier lives. 

I had some really cool spiritual experiences this week as well. So remember how in primary you are taught to follow the spirit. Its a little voice in your head. Guess what? They werent making it up! Its true.
My comp and I were neer our house after a lesson but it was still too early to go home. We needed more pesquisedors and so we went to the side of the road and prayed to be guided to someone who was prepared to hear our message. After the prayer we stood in silence... I looked up and said that we needed to walk towards the house. She said the same. So we started heading to our house. All of a sudden our phone rang and it was the branch president. He needed us to find this less active named Claudio. So we said if we saw him we would let him know. After walking a little further I had the sudden urge to yell out his name. I told my comp that and  she half yelled out his name as a joke. Then Claudio pokes his head out of the door from a house we were walking by. "oh, hey Sisters!"   ..... What in the world.... We told him pres called so they got all that business worked out. After, Claudio said, "Hey I have someone I want you to teach right now." with shocked faces we walked into this house and talked with this girl who was super interested in the church. She is prepared and ready to hear about the gospel. All we had to do was ask our father for help and guidence. The spirit is real and if we only listen and act on it we find blessings waiting for us. 

I love it here so much! I know that the spirit guides us and protects us if we will only listen and act. I love hearing from all of you about life, missions, and experiences. I pray for you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 

Eu sei que o evangelho e verdadero com toda meu coracao.

Com muito amor,
Sister Goss

Mom's Q&A
Where is your companion from?
Pleasant Grove Utah
Do you feel safe?
I always feel safe 
Does your area have a branch?
Yes 2
What is your mode of transportation?
We walk everywhere besides going to the main city in Fogo. It is an hour drive.
What has surprised you the most?
The food is so good!  I am going to gain weight instead of lose it!
What is your favorite thing about this area?
All the people are awesome, they are nice, they love to joke with you, and they think im especially cute cause I cant understand creole, or much of portuguese but secretly I can understand half of what they say.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Greenie Alert

Wow. Ok first of all I am blessed to the max. Second of all I really miss cereal. 

Anyways, this week has been awesome. So I arived in praia with probably half of what I had packed when I left home. But I honestly didnt need any of it (so dont worry mom). I spent the first three days in praia until the mission president came back from another island. I went to church and a zone meeting while I was there, which was pretty good but the best part was I got to go out and start teaching. The very  first lesson I helped teach was with a new investigator we had found right then and there. His name was Ivan, and he had been looking for a church to attend for a while (perfect, I know). So we got in there and my temporary companion taught basically the whole thing but I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and then invite him to pray and to be baptized. HE SAID YES TO BOTH! I probably looked like the biggest dork with my mouth hanging wide open, but I was pretty shocked. I got a commitment to baptism on my first lesson ever... whoa. 

When I finally arived to Fogo, I met my companion, who by the way is absolutely amazing, and we headed to the other side of the island to our area of Cova Figuiera. We ride in what are called hiaces (say it like: goss but with a y. Yoss). All the streets are made with stones, and there are no real traffic rules... kind of exciting at times. The houses are just built totally randomly. The area I am in is a small town. It looks exactly like Kenya but the houses are a little nicer. They are made of cinderblock instead of mud, and some of the houses have tile  instead of dirt floors. No such thing as carpet. Only little rugs. 
Our house is pretty nice. For starters we have warm water, which is super special. We also have a washing machine! Yay! Dad, you were wondering if I had to wash out of buckets... I will if we have no water. The water goes out super randomly for who knows how long, but if I ever wash out of a bucket Ill take a picture and send it, ok? ;) 
Our house overlooks the ocean and the island of Santiago (thats where Praia is). On the other side of the house we can see the top of the volcano..... so SICK!!!!! 
I have also made tuna...but for reals. We bought the tuna fish whole, gutted the fish, cleaned it, chopped it up, and cooked it. Super delicious. I have had the opportunity to cescar beans(I dont know what that is in english....). I also helped make flour from corn stalks... take the corn off, put it in this stone-smashing-thing, and boom! Fresh homemade flour. 
Mom I will be pro at cooking when I get home, no microwaves to reheat food so we have to make something everyday.
Ok now for the people. First of all this one lady named Takinha makes us dinner if we are ever over at her house. Super good stuff. Cabo Verdians know how to cook some good meals. Takinha just feeds anyone who is at her house, no matter what. Little kids, adults, members, nonmembers, even some men who get drunk at night. She isnt rich, far from it,but she gives all she has to everyone else. 
I helped teach 27 lessons.... it feels like 4 though, its so strange! Half the time I cant remember what I say so thats a good sign, the spirit is talking, not me. We have two weddings scheduled for this next month! That is a miracle becuase NO ONE gets married here. Even if they have2kids and have been together for 17 years. They say "Im not ready!" Im not ready. Really. Sometimes its frustrating but the spirit will touch them when it is time. The kids here love the missionaries and we always have a little buddy to walk around with.
The language is coming slowly but surely. Creole is hard but I uderstand portuguese pretty well,if they ever talk in it. The Lord is blessing me so much I just want to work harder and harder for Him!!! I love this gospel and these people are really ready for the gospel. I cant wait to find more children of God to share this amazing truth with. 
Thanks to friends and family for emailing! I read them all with a big smile on my face! I dont have enough time to write back to all of you but know I really, really want to write every single one of you! I love you all! 


Sister Taylor Goss

Fun Facts:
Praia (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpɾajɐ], meaning "beach", in both Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole), is the capital and largest city of Cape Verde, an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal. It lies on the southern coast of Santiago island in the Sotavento Islands group. It is the island's ferry port and is home to one of the nation’s four international airports. The city centre is known as Platô due to its location on a small plateau.
Praia is Cabo Verde's largest city, a commercial centre, and a port that ships coffeesugar cane, and tropical fruits. Praia also has a fishing industry and there are resort beaches nearby. It is the seat of the Praia municipality.
Fogo (Portuguese for "fire") is the most prominent island of the Sotavento group of Cape Verde: it rises to nearly 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above sea level at its summit, Pico do Fogo.
Fogo was discovered in 1460 by a Genovese captain António Noli on behalf of Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese Crown, and was first called São Filipe, meaning Saint Philip in Portuguese. It gained its current fiery name before the 1680 eruption, since a madrigal "The Andalusian Merchant" by Thomas Weelkes, who died in 1623, sings "how strangely Fogo burns, amidst an ocean full of flying fishes".[1]
There are now two cities in the island: São Filipe and Mosteiros.
The Portuguese settled the island in 1500. Emigration started in 1850, mainly to North America. The 1910 civil revolution in Portugal drew aristocracy and large landowners back to Portugal and left civilians behind. A small museum on Fogo explains many of these connections.
Volcanic eruptions have occurred in 1680, 1951, 1995 and 2014.[citation needed]


One of the southernmost islands in Cape Verde, Fogo is located between the islands of Santiago and Brava. Practically the whole island is a stratovolcano that has been periodically active: it last erupted on 2 April 1995, forming a new crater called Pico Pequeno, the "Little Peak". The largest volcanic feature is a 9 km wide caldera, which has walls 1 km high. The caldera has a breach in its eastern rim, and in the centre a resurgent dome with an ash cone that forms the highest point of the island: its summit is about 100 m higher than the surrounding caldera wall. Lava from the volcano has reached the eastern coast of the island within historical times.

Two small villages, Portela and Bangaeira, exist in the floor of the caldera (Chã das Caldeiras); the residents were evacuated during eruptions.
The island's main city is São Filipe, near which is an airport. Fogo is largely an agricultural island. It has fertile land in the southwest with a slope of about 10 to 15 degrees. The north and the east are steeper. The island rises abruptly from the ocean, which can be as deep as 5,300 m at a distance of 5 km from the shoreline. The exception is to the west, where the island is connected to another seamount; further west in Brava.
The steep slopes in the northeastern part are green and grassy all-year round. The rest of the mountain is dry and barren, its dry creeks and streams are dry washes.
São Filipe's buildings use classic Portuguese colonial architecture. Mosteiros in the northeast is the island's second most important town.
A violent eruption took place in 1680, forming a new cone that was visible over hundreds of kilometres but lasted only for a few years. It was during this eruption that the island earned its name.


There are various endemic plants on Fogo:


Being one stratovolcano and extremely mountainous, this island has quite a diverse climate and many various microclimates. Along the coast Fogo has a moderate dry tropical climate according to the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system; higher on the slopes (~ 800 metres ASL) it has a semi-arid mild tropical climate (Köppen–Geiger Bsh_ with very balanced temperatures year round; above 1,000 metres it has a cool highland subtropical steppe climate (Köppen–Geiger BskL). The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23-25 °C, decreasing to some 12-14 °C on the highest ground. There can be remarkably cool weather in the interior, with the warmer wet season starting in July and ending in November, with the colder dry season starting in December and ending in May. Drought, the major climate risk of Cape Verdean islands, is much less pronounced on Fogo, due to the mountain's ability to gain moisture from clouds. During the mid-19th century, Fogo suffered from severe droughts. Death from starvation was common in the population as of 1832.

As of 1832, Fogo had an estimated population of 10,000.  The official language of Fogo is Portuguese; yet mostly Fogo Creole is spoken. According to the 2013 national demographic census, Fogo was the fourth most populous island in the Cape Verde archipelago.


The economy of the island is based on agriculture and fishing, with coffee and wine among the main products. In the 1830s, Fogo's wine was described as being "very superior."  Due to its volcanic soil Fogo's coffee also has a good reputation. The island has experienced a substantial diaspora. Many households live off remittances from emigrants in the US and in European countries (Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Italy). Fogo fosters strong connections to Rhode Island and to Massachusetts (US), where many people with Cape Verdean origin live.

Tourism is steadily becoming popular. The volcano (allowed only accompanied by a local guide) is the island's major attraction but many visitors also come to see relatives. The historic city of São Filipe and Chã das Caldeiras in the volcanic crater receive the bulk of visitors. No great tourism facilities exist, but there are small hotels and B&Bs and local guides offer hiking tours 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Week 6 "Cape Verde or Bust"

Hello Family and Friends!
Thank you all for writing and for being so wonderful! I miss you all a lot and hope all is well.
This week was really hard, but amazing. So before I came on the mission I felt like I knew Christ and understood what he did. I was wrong. These past couple days have been such an eye opener.
A while back I bought the book "Jesus the Christ" because I had a deeper desire to learn about the Savior. Later as a district we read 3 Nephi 11 and 12 which is about Christ visiting the Americas, cool insight thanks to all my friends in the district. The devotionals later that week were about Jesus Christ. I dont know how to explain it, but with all of the study, prayer, desire to learn, and faith, I have felt like I have become so much closer to my Lord. I am starting to understand certain things that were said often, but never had any deep meaning for me. Dad you and I had this talk about doing research on gospel topics and really trying  to dig deep into books, scripture, and prayer. Well I get it now. I did it and I hope I can continue to study with real intent. Doing this has really changed my outlook and understanding of truly learning.
Cool story. So my family knows that I like to ask for blessings pretty often because I often want to hear spoken words from my Father. But I was nervous coming to the MTC because I didnt know if I would feel super comfortable with strangers giving me blessings. Well after the first couple of weeks I was more comfortable with asking. This past week I asked for two blessings. The first one I didnt feel a need for anything, but I had a really strong impression that this one Elder needed to bless me (This Elder had been having a tough couple of weeks with the language and his confidence). I was going to ask before we all left to the residences at night but half of our district was already gone. This one Elder and his companion were about to leave and I started getting a sick feeling in my stomach. So I ran over and asked nervously if he would be willing to give me a blessing before he left. Shockingly he ask "Voce quere eu?" (You want me?) and I assured him that he was the one I wanted to bless me. So he agreed and after that blessing we were both crying. I thanked him and he thanked me. He hasn't had any real issues with the language or his confidence since, and he has been in a much happier mood. Now I'm not saying that was because of me, it wasnt. The spirit prompted me and the spirit blessed us both. It was really inspiring. 

The second time I felt that prompting was later in the week. My companion had just received a blessing, and during it I felt that I should get one after her by another Elder in our district. This was so weird because it was so out of the blue. But I listened and I asked this Elder who said yes. Right before the blessing he asked for help from the other Elders because this was his first blessing he had ever given. (All of the Elders where supposed to have given blessings before they left the MTC, so that they could have some kind of practice. Somehow he had been looked over.) He gave me a wonderful powerful blessing. Who knew this Elder needed this opportunity? No one. I am so grateful I listened to the promptings of the Spirit. It never ceases to amaze me.
I love all of you so much! You are all incredible people and I feel so privileged to know all of you! 
Have a wonderful week! I will let you know how the first week in the field goes :)))))
com amor,
Sister Goss