Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 17 - Last Day in Suzano/Transfers - January 26, 2015

Last Sunday at church in Suzano. Little Rebecca (Bishop's daughter) wanted to take a picture of me.


Bom dia família!

I am being transfered!!! And I do not know what to think!! This life in Suzano is the only life I know here in Brasil! It has been such an amazing experience with so many amazing people.  I have definitely grown leaps and bounds during these three months.  I am so excited to have new experiences as well!  I know that my Heavenly Father will be with me all along the way.  He will take me by the hand, lead me, guide me, and walk beside me as I serve in His work.  I have so much faith that the future is so bright.  We have so much to do today with packing, saying goodbye to members and just feels so strange! 

Elder Sellers and Elder Matos had a baptism yesterday!  Sharing a ward and practically working in the same area as them has been amazing.  We get to share stories and pretty much share investigators.  We have taught this family with them a few times and they have such an amazing story.  Alessandro is half Italian and half Brazilian, his wife as well is, and they have one son.  Alessandro loves to learn English.  He was on Facebook one day and saw that a mormon church had an english class taught by american missionaries here in Brasil.  He looked up the address for the closest chapel and showed up at church one day asking about an english class.  That same week Elder Sellers felt inspired to start an english class.  It is such a miracle how perfectly everything worked out.  Our Father in Heaven is so detailed and so perfect.  Alessandro loves the gospel so much and his wife and son are also working toward baptism, although it took four dunks to completely baptize him :) He will be an amazing priesthood leader one day and a great blessing to our ward.  What a great last Sunday it was here in Suzano!

We will travel to the Mission Office tomorrow morning... Sister Zanni will be training again this transfer.  I will find out where I am going in front of all the people being transfered.  How they do transfers in our mission is so stressful!!  Did I tell you all that I finished my training?! haha I still feel so new and so unable at times but then I remember that God calls his weak and simple to do His work and I feel much better :)  AAAANd... I have been dreaming in Portuguese for a few weeks now, weird but so cool! 

I love you all and I hope you are all doing great!! I love to hear all of the news and all of the funny things that happen!  

XOXO Sister Cordner

P.S. OH YEAH I FORGOT... We were walking down the cobble street little roads one day this week, and a truck, that was pretty much made of wood and was full of hay, drove by.  The bottom of the truck hit the road a little and made a spark.  the bottome of the truck burst into flames.  We almost died of fear, and we were waiting for an explosion!! I was yelling SAI! SAI! (Ken said this means LEAVE! LEAVE! I'm not quite sure what she meant by that? Leave the truck? Leave us so we don't get blown up? haha!) Another car started to honk like crazy at the driver.  The truck stopped and when he stopped all of the flames went out.  wow, what a miracle.  We traded roads and kept walking in pretty much shock.  

Bispo Rafael and his cute little family...I am going to miss them so much! His wife Cherleine, and children Rebecca, Sara and Samuel. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 16 - Suzano, Brazil - January 19, 2015

J - First person I taught to be baptized

Oi todo mundo, e bom dia! Eu espero que suas semanas foram muito boas!

Where do I begin?!  This week has been full of little miracles, and my testimony has grown so much! We began to teach J again at the beginning of this week because she finally returned from her vacation.  In the first lesson she accepted to be baptized on the 25th of Jan.  She was very excited and sure that this church is true and the right path for her.  The next day, we got a call from her friend M who is a member.  She is getting married on the 23rd and would not be able to be at the baptism.  She talked to J and J wanted to be baptized on the 18th instead! She even said that the 25th was just too far away and wanted to be baptized as soon as possible.  Well... our mission has a rule that you need to go to church three times in order to be baptized.  She had only been once, and the 18th would be the second time.  We called President Andrew and he accepted.  He felt that she was ready and could be baptized!  She was baptized yesterday and it was so beautiful.  She is such a sweet spirit that is so gentle and so sincere.  She works in a little school for children with Autism and will now be even more of a blessing to so many people because of being a member of this church.  Ahhhh, so amazing.

We helped Bishop Rafael and Cherleine move houses this weekend.  Let me tell you, I have never sweated so much in my life! The sun was beaming down all day with not a cloud in the skies and we were carrying such heavy loads up a staircase for what seemed like hours! haha, but now they live in the Center and not out in the middle of no where.  It will be so much better with them living there.

Well our teaching pool has been dwindling as people we are teaching turn into eternal investigators because of not coming to church.  So...this week is our week to search for the elect, the people that are prepared and ready to hear the truth.  We have been praying so hard to find those that have been prepared.  I have so much faith that we will!

 I have learned so much about people here in Brasil.  I can not even tell you how many people I see a day.  How many different faces, body types, skin colors, clothing styles, couples, and families like anywhere else.  When I am standing in crowded buses or when we are sitting in a humble home I try to imagine my brothers and sisters before this life.  We are all children of God that chose at one point to follow His plan and come to earth.  There are so many children that now are lost, and are depending on us to help them back to the family of our Heavenly Father.  There are many things holding them back like addictions, worldly music, movies, clothes, sin but they have so much potential.  Every person has the potential to become pure, clean and closer to Christ.  I know that when I focus on their potential and where they can be - in the Temple making sacred covenants -  then I will be able to love and teach more easily and how God would have me teach.  

I am so grateful for the people I have met and the lessons I have learned.  This mission is extremely difficult every day, but I would not trade it for anything.  I know that the Lord is stretching me in order to make me better and help me grow.  I know that Christ's church has been restored on this earth and it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am so grateful to know this truth.  

I hope you all have a great week full of doing meaningful and good things!

Love, Sister Cordner XOXOXO

Last P-day was so fun!  Côco Verde is not my favorite, but I had to try it!

We visited a Buddist Temple that has the biggest Buddah in South America... well it was not that big but the Temple was beautiful!  

We saw Macacos there! They were such little grandfather monkeys, so many of them, and so close to us!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 15 - Suzano, Brazil - January 12, 2015

Me and my sisters at the Mission Office! It was so good to see them!

Bom Dia from the pressure cooker of Suzano!  Let me tell you.. it is quente, quente, quente here and it will even get hotter!  We take two showers a day here because we are constantly sweating!

This week our amazing investigator returned from her vacation and we are ready to pounce and start teaching again! We want to have her ready for baptism in two weeks and we know we can do it with the Lord!  Her name is J.  She is twenty years old and a reference from a lady in the stake.  She is so interested in the Gospel and the great part is that her parents are also.  They need to be married first before they can be baptized.  They are a beautiful family that needs to have the fulness of the gospel in their lives! Please pray that they will accept the baptismal invitation and come to church this Sunday!  We also have been working a lot with the less actives in the ward.  There are so many and they live in such random places of the city.  But we have already reactivated a few, so let's keep it up! 

This week we had to wake up at 3:30 am one day and travel to the mission office.  I am officially Brazilian now with papers in hand!  At the Polícia Federal, Sister Bundy, Sister Johnson and I ran into three of our Elders from the CTM!!  Oh my, we were so excited to see them.  We all were talking in Portuguêse and sharing stories.  It was so much fun, and so good to see them. Such great guys.  

This week I have been trying to develop more and more faith.  I read an amazing scripture in Moroni 10:7. I have learned that every time we show even a little bit of faith like when we pick up our scriptures and read, when we say a little prayer in our hearts, when we take a trip to the temple, help someone out or make the right choice, we will recieve power from God.  We all need power from our Heavenly Father every single day.  He is not able to bless us with this power if we do not show Him through our actions that we are ready and willing to accept this power.  Let us try every day to show Him that we want His power in our lives.  He will send it and it will be glorious.  I have been trying so hard to memorize scripture references.  I want so badly to be more familiar with the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  Because I have been working on this, and praying every day for help, God has expanded my mind, and has given me the power to remember many things.  I testify that this is so true.  I love this gospel.  It is the only way to happiness and Eternal Life.  I love you all and I wish you all a wonderful week!!

Love, Sister Cordner XOXO

Me and an ant nest.  Luckily this one was abandoned, but there are so many here!

A rainy day here in Suzano.  There are so many cars like these here called Fusca Azul.  Every time one passes, they yell "Fusca Azul!" and punch someone.  The elders get really into it :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 14 - Suzano, Brazil - January 5, 2015

We spent New Year's Day at the Elder's investigators house.  They had a muito grande chuhasco para a gente.  They had so many types of trees filled with strange fruits that they were making me try!  It was so much fun! 

Feliz Ano Novo Família!!

Well this next year I will spend in Brasil, and I am willing and ready.  I am so excited to see what God has in store for me and my mission! Not excited though about what I am about to tell you.  A few nights ago, we were so tired because of the later than usual nights that we have been having.  I had just laid down in my bed and I was almost asleep, when I heard something fall right next to my head, probably in my hair and probably a cockroach.  I leaped up and ran to turn on the light.  To my horror it was not a cockroach but a big, brown, and creepy TARANTULA!! It had fallen on my pillow, and imagine if my face had been on the other side, it would have landed on my face!! I have the heebeegeebees just thinking about it!! A person's worst nightmare while sleeping and it happened to me!! haha. We brought Oliver the cat into our little cottage to kill the horrid thing, but it was no use.  We had to do it on our own.  Killing it would be too disgusting so I got a tupperware and captured it with all of the courage in my little heart.  Let us hope this never happens again.  

I have to say that one of the hardest parts about being a missionary is knowing that your investigators have felt the spirit, they have known the truth, and even had dreams and revelations, but they still choose to join and be baptized in another church.  A church that does not have the correct priesthood power and authority.  We testify with power, we teach with the authority of our missionary calling, and we even shed tears in front of the person, begging them to come into the fold of Christ.  Sometimes they still do not understand the importance of ONE FAITH, ONE GOD, and ONE BAPTISM.  This is key in the conversion of God's children.  I have only been a missionary here in Brasil for two months now, but already I cannot remember how many times I have taught the Restoration.  The Restoration is what sets our church apart from any other church.  Because there was an apostasy, and because Joseph Smith asked a simple question about which baptism was correct, we have the truth today.  Our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the power and authority of God on this earth today.  Our baptism is the only baptism that will let us into the Kingdom of God.  As I walk down the little streets of Suzano on Sunday nights, the air is filled with the voices of many many people singing praises to our Heavenly Father.  Little chapels are filled to the brim with lost people that are trying their best to fill their emptiness inside with the word of God.  They are so close.  They are already good people with families and a lot of love.  All they need is the power and authority, the doctrine and the covenants.  It is our job as missionaries to show them the way.  To restore in their lives what they already had before they were born on this earth.  Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.  Christ's church was restored on this earth in these last days. I know this to be true because I have read the Book of Mormon, the convincing evidence.  I am so grateful to be a missionary in this time, even in this time of confusion and evil.  He will gather His children from all four corners of the earth.  He is the beginning and the end.
I love you all, and I wish you all a wonderful week!  

Love, Sister Cordner

PS A man in our ward looks just like Papai Noel (Santa Claus) in fact, he is Santa at the mall near by.  haha right after sacrament meeting, right after the prayer, he came strutting in down the aisle in his santa suit!!

They were obsessed with learning how to french braid! It is so much fun to share cultures with the people here. Some people want to know everything about the American culture, and I want to know everything about theirs!