Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 12 - Suzano, Brazil - December 21, 2014

Me and my new Argentine companion, Sister Zanni

Boa Tarde Minha Família! E Feliz Natal!

Can I just say that this week has been so amazing? I really have had to grow up, take the reins and get things done.  With my new companion Sister Zanni from Argentina, we can only speak Portuguêse and at times it is so frustrating. I went from a companion who isn't afraid to talk to a companion that is the most gentle, sweet, and calm person that I have ever met.  Sister Zanni has had eleven months in the mission and speaks Portuguêse perfectly.  She is really shy, but when she teaches you can tell she is very wise and has a powerful testimony.  

S is still "studying to be baptized" as she calls it.  She is so excited about this new path and even wants that one day her seven year old son will be able to serve a mission.  She does not like coffee, which is so rare here in Brasil.  She just threw out her last bottle of wine fifteen days ago for no reason and her boyfriend lives in another city.  It is amazing how much she is prepared for this next step in her life.  I am excited to see her make her first covenant this Sunday! What a perfect way for her to start of the new year.  It is amazing how much love I feel for our investigators.  When I look into their eyes while I am testifying of our Savior Jesus Christ, I feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for them so strongly.  

I have been really focusing lately on having an Eternal Perspective.  At times I feel so stressed about making appointments, being on time, taking the right buses and finding the right roads and houses, but when I remember that this is the Lord's work and not my own - all of the dust settles and I see so much more clearly.  Right now I am reading the New Testament in Mark.  When Christ was on a ship in the middle of a storm, all of the Apostles were panicking.  They ran to wake Jesus so He could calm the storm, but when Jesus raised His hands and the waves were calm, he chastised them for not having enough faith - faith that everything would be okay because He was with them.  We need to always remember that everything will be okay as long as we are with Him.  The only time we need to worry is when we find that we are not with Him - when we find ourselves slowly, little by little, leaving His side.  Many of the less active members that we visit here did not drop out of the church all of a sudden.  They started leaving the Savior's side little by little.  They started to not read their scriptures, or say their daily prayers.  Their familes fell apart because they were not having family prayer or family home evening.  These small and simple things every day keep us at the Savior's side.  May we always keep an Eternal Perspective especially at this Christmas time.  

Me and my Brazilian siblings! (They live behind this cute family in a little apt.)

Our mission has been really focusing on a program that the church has this Christmas.  Ele é o Presente.  He is the Gift.  Many of you have probably already seen this little video clip that the church has made. We have been passing out little cards with a picture of Mary and baby Jesus like crazy.  We have been testifying of Christ left and right as we hand out these little cards.  I have loved being able to spread Christmas cheer in this special way.  Many people have really hard lives here (just like in America) - in the famliy, living conditions, health and financial problems.  I hope that they have been able to stop and take a few minutes to watch this beautiful little video.  I hope that they feel the love of our Savior.  I hope that they will want to embrace the gift and share the gift.  I am so grateful for the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Through Him everything is possible. Through Him we can make covenants with our Heavenly Father.  Through Him we can live with our families again.  I hope all of you will embrace this gift and want to share it with others as well.  There are people all around us that need to realize what the Savior can do for them.  We are here to show them the way.  Feliz Natal everyone!  Have a very magical and Merry Christmas! I love you all very very much.

Love, Sister Cordner

We had to make the long trip to the Mission Office this week to do some paper work, but I was able to see my MTC Sisters! They are all doing great! (McKenzie with Sister Bundy)

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