Monday, December 15, 2014

Party Time - Christmas & Birthday this month!

Taylor and her MTC companion together again!

 Zone Christmas Party in Sao Vincente

 Sisters In the Zone

Sister Goss and Sister Gates celebrate their December Birthdays :)

Hey Mom, 

So I am with sister Gates, and she has her birthday in December too!! So we did an early celebration with the cake and all. It was soooo goood. Thank you so much for the food. I have been loving it!

We also had our Christmas party this week and it was super fun! (Sorry I used the skirt you gave to me for Christmas but I thought for the Chirstmas party I could use it.) 

This week was another great one. I did divisions with Sis Gates comp (almost our whole district from the MTC is in this zone) and we had some really great lessons. 

We have met a lot of people who have told us that they are just confused on what church is true. We have done our best to explain that that is why we have prayer and scirptures. If you read the scriptures adn pray you can know what church is true and what chruches aren't true.

 Also, testifying of the book of mormon so much has helped me realize tht my answer that this church was true wasn't this huge bang prayer. I just knew overtime that this was a church with truth and with correct doctrine. I love the misssion mom. I have been thinking about family more as the Christmas season comes around and as my year mark comes around and it just makes me scared. I dont feel ready for coming home in 7 months. I am only looking forward to seeing family. Wow, it is just hard to describe. I love you!

Sis Goss

Friday, December 12, 2014

Temporary area - Sao Vicente

Okay, so we had our leadership council on Tuesday were we learned more about being devoted missionaries. It was spiritual and wonderful.
We left the next day for Sao Vicente, 4 in the morning :) Yay!
When we flew into sao vicente my jaw dropped. They have these amazing mountains that remind me of south america because the are jagged and tall. Next week I will try and send a photo. The water was a blue-green with white sand: more inland the dirt turns to the color of St George rock. Super beautiful. 
Pres. told us that we would be going to this island to the area of Sis G. and Sis H. We would be hleping them in their area but we would be teaching less actives and recent converts specifically. Our goal is to teach the five lessons after baptism and to rescue.
When we got here we got a paper with names and info. And we left and started contacting, finding, and exploring. It was a blessing how many people we found through contacts in teh street. We found almost everyone in two days and had some really great lessons.
 While we were finishing up with a less active we contacted a man sitting in his doorway. He was a quiet young man who lived in an appt. We marked for a day to meet with him which he acepted easily. When we went to visit him with some members he really seemed interested in everything we said. We could tell he felt the spirit.  The second time we met with him was stressful. We had invited him to another members house but the kids were crying and screaming during the whole second lesson. As we finished we asked if he would say the last prayer. He agreed and started a very simple, heartfelt and sprititualy strong prayer. As he closed his prayer he wiped tears from his eyes. He accepted a date for baptism and has already read quite a few chapters in the BofM. He was one of the Nobles prepared for this message. He is a wonderful man.
I am so grateful for the mission and for the Christmas season. I hope we can all give a little more Christlike love around this time of year and keep our thoughts on the real gift of Christmas, Jesus Christ our Savior. 
Sis Goss

Fun Facts
São Vicente (Portuguese for "Saint Vincent"), also Son Visent or Son Sent in Cape Verdean Creole, is one of the Barlavento islands of Cape Verde. It is located between the islands of Santo Antão and Santa Luzia, with the Canal de São Vicente separating it from Santo Antão.

Geography-The island is roughly rectangular in shape with a surface area of ca. 227 km2 (88 sq mi). From east to west it measures 24 km (15 mi) and from north to south no more than 16 km (9.9 mi). The terrain includes mountains in the west, the southwest, the south, the east-central and the north. The area is flat in the north-central, the central part, the eastern part south of Calhau and the northern part in the Baía das Gatas area. The urban area of Mindelo is in the northern part. Much of the island is deforested. Although volcanic in origin, the island is quite flat. Its highest point is Monte Verde (Portuguese for green mountain) located in the northeast-central part with an altitude of 725 metres (2,379 ft). Although a great amount of erosion has taken place, some craters still remain — in particular near the bay of Mindelo. Other mountaintops include Monte Cara and Topona.

Climate- São Vicente enjoys a very rare mild and dry tropical climate (classified as As according to Köppen's and Geiger's systematization), much akin to Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Las Palmas on the Canary Islands with only difference of being somewhat warmer during winter months. The average annual temperature in Mindelo is 23.2 °C (74 °F) which is exactly two degrees more than in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Island is very arid with only 80–130 mm falling annually, somewhat higher only near the tops of the few mountains. These rare climate conditions are due to its position far off the west African coast and because Cape Verde are in the middle of cold Canary Current. The ocean water temperature every year is between 22 °C (72 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F). There are two seasons: December through July is mainly dry, cool and windy, while August through November is a wetter and warmer season.

History-São Vicente was discovered on Saint Vincent's Day (January 22) in 1462. Due to its lack of water, the island was initially used only as a cattle pasture by some proprietors of the neighboring island of Santo Antão. The island remained practically uninhabited until the middle of the 19th century. It was only in 1838, when a coal deposit was established in Porto Grande to supply ships on Atlantic routes, that the population started to grow rapidly. Due to the lack of rain and consequent lack of natural resources, the economy of São Vicente is based mainly on commerce and services

.Population-The population of São Vicente in the 2010 census was 79,374 of which 5,639 are rural. It is the second most populous island of Cape Verde. The annual population growth is around 1.3% (higher than the state (national) level of 1.2%). 92.6% of the population live in urban areas, higher than the Cape Verde's level of 61.8% and is the highest in all of Cape Verde. Life expectancy is 76 years, higher than some other parts of the world. The birth rate is 2.7% and infant mortality rate is 18 per 1000 live births[1] (for comparison 103 in DR Congo, 55 in India, 27 in Turkey, 23 in Brazil, 16 in Russia, 4 in Finland). The majority of the population is young; 66% of the population is under the age of 30, and 8.6% of the population is over the age of 60. The island has 16,000 families, of which there are an average of 3,6 persons per household, lower than Cape Verde's level of 3,9 persons per household. 56% of the families live in houses, the other 30% live in poorly built houses.

About only 11% of the families own automobiles, which is 7.4% of Cape Verde's level.
Population of São Vicente, Cape Verde (1940—2010)


The economy of the island was always based almost exclusively on commerce and services. Due to lack of rain, agriculture is at a subsistence level. Fishing has some relevance, but conditions prevent it from being more important, not only for the catch — lobster — but also for the associated industries: conserves, drying and salting of fish, and naval construction.

Porto Grande is the main port of Cape Verde, through which passes much of the country's imports. It has a terminal of containers, silos, and refrigeration units that make handling load overflow possible. There is also a modern seawater desalination plant, which provides water for public consumption and for naval shipyards.
In the industrial sector, the island presents an abundance of manpower, even though unskilled, resulting from the exodus of inhabitants of other islands to São Vicente. About 27% of the employed population is unskilled. Highly qualified employees — company executives, public administrators, and managers and directors — make up less than 2% of employees. It is distinguished, however, by a bigger participation of women in decision-making positions than the national average.
According to the 2010 census, the island of São Vicente has the largest unemployment rate of the country — 14,8% — while the national average is 11%. Unemployment affects women more than men. The industrial park of the island — the Industrial Zone of the Lazareto — concentrates diverse types of manufacturing, essentially due to foreign investment, in the activities of footwear, confections, and fish processing.
In recent years, the National Center of Workmanship of Mindelo supports local craftsmen in the production and commercialization of ceramic parts, articles made of coconut rinds, and necklaces of shells and rocks.
São Vicente has a great tradition in sports; from here many sports have spread to the remaining islands. Windsurfing, for example, relies on the excellent conditions here. The beach of São Pedro is considered one of the best for windsurfing, as shown by the many world-class champions of the sport. Cycling, walking trails and horseback riding are good ways to explore the island. The English influence on the island is still recognizable today in the golf: São Vicente has an excellent 18-hole golf course. For these reasons, tourism has excellent growth potential on São Vicente and in the rest of the Cape Verde archipelago. Travel between the diverse localities of the island is provided by a system of public transportation operated by five private companies: Transcor.SA, Morabeza Transport, Transport Joy, Friendship, Sotral and Automindelo. However, especially for places farthest from the city of the Mindelo, namely Baía das Gatas, Calhau, and São Pedro, van and bus leasing are the usual forms of transportation.
São Vicente has churches, a post office, a few banks, shops (not as many as Praia), a hospital named Baptista de Sousa and squares (praças)
The Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory CVAO at the north-east of the island


Other than Portuguese which is the primary language, Cape Verdean Creole is mainly spoken by the majority of the population. The São Vicente variant is known as Crioulo de São Vicente (in Portuguese) or Kriol d Sonsent (in Creole).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"My Heart Will Forever be in Fogo"

So this week was another strange one. We started getting ash in the air again and it was starting to make the 
Sisters sick. So the assistants called and told us to go get some boat tickets and to ship off to Praia. Later President called and told each companionship where they would be going until the volcano settles down. SIs B. and I are going to one of the north islands called Sao Vicente. That's where my comp from the MTC is serving so I am  excited to go see her agian. The other Sisters are going to Assamada and one is staying in Praia.  President told us we will probably be going back but I think he plans to keep us in these areas for a while. 

Any ways, after the phone call, a crazy night of packing, and some cake cookies we made for the trip, we headed on down to the port. We loaded onto the Fast Ferry and began the four hour trip to Praia. During those four hours we just listened to the majority of the passengers throwing up due to the rocking of the boat. Its always a good time on the barco. 

When we got into Praia we unloaded our stuff and went to the Sisters house to eat and rest. Since then we have been doing divisions, and on Tuesday we will have our leadership conference. After the leadership conf we will head off to Sao Vicente. 

This week I have learned so much from all of the sisters we have done divisions with. They all have such wonderful strengths, I hope that I can be able to apply some of the thigns they do to help me be a better missionary. 

Also I want you ALL to enjoy the moments that you have when you have them. You never know when they will end, so make everything you do in life count. I wish I was more grateful for my last area. I already miss Fogo so much and I know that there are some really special people there. Enjoy your moments and give those around you your love. Most of the time you never know who needs it the most until after you have given it.

I will let you know how amazing leadership conf is this next week. I love alll of you so much. 

Sis Goss

Mom's Questions:
Where do you hold your baptisms?  
We have a font in the chapel in Fogo

Did you do anything special for Thanksgiving?
Man mom you would be so proud, I made chicken, potatos, cookies, juice, peas corn, and rice for our Thanksgiving as a treat for all of the SIsters. It was good but I still want to be better on flavoring chicken.

Do you have anything special planned for Christmas?
Sister Mathews has been a sweatheart and organized Chirstmas parties for everyone on all of the islands! We will be helping her in Sao Vicente.

Most interesting thing this week?
We left Fogo because of the ash.

Funny thing this week?
Sister Barbosa and I carried bags and sleeping mats on our head for a couple of blocks to the sisters house, pretending to be the banana lady who always sells bananas, shouting, "Cusao! (Cushon for sleeping) 200$ Escutos!!!" Everyone laughed as we passed by.

Powerful moment this week?
President and Sister Mathews came to our ward in Praia this week and bore thier testimonies. Sister Mathews went up and although she speaks very little port. she has the most wonderful spirit. I teared up a little as she explained that Heavenly Father and Christ live, and they love us. She has so much love when she speaks and you can just feel the love of the savior and God when she speaks. She has been like my mother here on the mission. I love Sister Mathews so much. 

I hope those were good answeres! Love you mom!!
Sis Goss

Except from letter to Dad:
The people here are soo beautiful. Mostly from the island of Fogo. I love my mission and all of my areas but in reality my heart will forever be in Fogo. I will try and send you some more pictures of the people. 

Dad, I only have five more transfers of my mission. I can't tell you how many mixed emotions come when I think about that. The mission is by far the hardest I have worked, the least amount of sleep I have gotten, and one of the most difficult things that I have ever done in my life. But I realized today that I keep going, not because it would look bad if I came home or not because I want to baptise as many people as possible; but because I love my Lord and God.I want to do his will. Even if that means talking to strangers in the street, listening to people telling you youre wrong, or hearing to people mock you for your beliefs. Its all worth it because I know my Father is happy and that I am representing my Saviors name with righteousness. That is what makes me happy. Making Him and his children happy. Men exist that they might have joy. I am helping people find happiness that will last them for eternity. Nothing gets better than that.

 I will be eternaly grateful for my mission. As I know you are as well. I am proud to be your daughter and a part of our family, and I want you to know that I am working the hardest I have ever worked to represent our family well. Our family on earth and in Heaven. I love you so much Dad, nothing will ever change that. I hope your week is a good one and that as the Christmas season comes around you will be generous to others like you always have been. Remember the Gift that was given to us at Christmas, the Savior. 

With lots of love,
Sis Goss