Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 21 -Guarulhos, São Paulo - February 23, 2015

Sister Cordner and Sister Saavedra in front of the Sao Paulo Temple.....
Same place where her Dad sat 25+ years ago with a family that he taught and baptized.  I love that they get to share this common bond.

Bom dia minha família bonita! Esta semana foi cheia com muitas muitas coisas boas!!  (Good Morning my beautiful family!  This week was filled with many, many good things!) Seriously I do not know where to start!  The days pass by so quickly and the weeks even faster!  I cannot believe that I have almost already been out on the mission for five months!  Well, last P-day we asked Presidente Andrew for permission to travel all the way to São Paulo Centro to see all of the old buildings (which was way cool) and the road 25 de Março.  Okay...I cannot even explain to you all about this road.  All of the things you could ever think of are sold here at the lowest prices ever.  Imagine thousands of people speaking Português on one skinny road with so many little trinkets that are worth nothing and will break the next day. (We all know how I feel about little trinkets) haha It was way cool but I will never go back haha. 

 The next day  we had our Conferência de Zonas!  I learned so many things from our amazing assistentes and Presidente and Sister Andrew.  The preisthood leaders in our life really have authority and power to recieve revelation for us in our trials. I know this to be true.  We were able to watch "Meet the Mormons" (in Português of course) and let's just say that all of the missionaries were in tears! It was absolutely amazing. If any of you have not seen it, watch it today!

We have been trying to increase our group of investigators and it has been amazing to see the hand of the Lord in our efforts.  We have been picking specific roads prayerfully to make contacts and have been praying to find people or have the Lord lead the people to us that have been prepared.  We were walking making so many contacts in one of the neighborhoods that we picked and finally we were heading back to an investigator's home when we saw a girl in a park nearby with her head in her hands.  We felt strongly that we needed to talk to her.   She said that she was going to be moving all the way to Lorena the next day and was going to start college there.  She was leaving all of her family here in São Paulo and did not know what to think about all of it.  She is only 17 years old, and I was able to relate to her so much.  I told her about my experience and how I worried so much about moving away, but in the end everything works out and we wonder why we ever worried in the first place.  I could tell that her heart was opened after we talked to her for a little while and we shared the Restoration with her and sent her off to college with a Book of Mormon in hand.  I pray so much that she will find the missionaries there and recieve an answer from God about the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Sometimes (almost all the time) we do not know why we do things or say things that we are prompted to, but I trust that this is God's work and He knows exactly what He is doing.  

OH MY! We were also able to go to the temple this week with our recent converts in the ward and all of the youth to watch them be baptized! Our recent converts have been working so hard to find all of their grandparents and great-grandparents names...(just the names!)  They had so many miracles in the process and it was an amazing spiritual experience watching them be baptized.  Words cannot describe the feelings that I have while I sit in the House of the Lord.  It is where I always want to be.

And finally, yesterday we had our NOITE AZUL and it was so great.  Many of the baptisms fell through, but we are not on our timing, we are on the Lords so we should not be sad or worry.  A our investigator was baptized, and he was so happy!  He could not stop smiling!  He is not married and he does not have children but He loves the Lord and He wanted to do the right thing!  I am so proud of him and there is such a joy that I cannot describe when you help someone become a little more like Jesus Christ and be baptized!  

I am sorry I do not have time for a spiritual thought, but I love you all with all of my heart!  Have a wonderful week!

Com muito amor, Sister Cordner

The tallest building in São Paulo, it was closed so we were not able to climb to the top :(

São Paulo, and the amazing Cathedral there!  It was cool!

A and his family I and G are already members and we are working with R and his girlfriend R! 
The Irmãs (Sisters) in the Stake help us with all kinds of things.

Thank you for the Package!! It was definitely a highlight in my week!! I loved all of the letters most of all!!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 20 - Guarulhos, São Paulo - February 16, 2015

So many members give us food here, it is amazing! One awesome member gave us a Dragon Fruit and it was so delicious! It tasted so much like a kiwi. Strange!

Oh what a wonderful week it has been here in Guarulhos!  I have felt uplifted by your prayers and your faith! Thank you all for your loving words of encouragement that I recieve every single week.  Our investigators are progressing and we are helping them be prepared for this Sunday! A Noite Azul (Blue Night) will be legendary in our zone and so many people will enter into the Kingdom of the Lord!

This week we had divisions with the other sisters in our zone.  I spent the day and night with Sis. F. Alves in Vila Galvão, and it was amazing!  Although all of our appointments fell through we were able to teach so many people on the road; people that the Lord put in our path.  One little woman named Sophia stopped us on the sidewalk.  She was so frail, barely had any teeth and was carrying a heavy load.  She immediatley recognized that we were representatives of the Savior and began to spill out her entire life of hardship and trial to us.  She was weeping and trying to express to us how much she loves our Savior and our Heavenly Father.  I have never felt in my life the way that I did then.  Sis. F. Alves held her in her arms as she cried and I could see and feel so clearly how much Christ loved that little, frail woman and how he sent us to her that day to help her carry her load to help take care of His little girl in her time of need.  I do not think that we understand how much the Savior understands us and loves us.  He knows how to help us better than anyone.  He knows exactly who we need in our lives, what experiences we would be able to learn from and where we need to be.  We must trust in Him with all things!

I want to share a miracle with all of you.  I have come to know that at the end of the day when we are wet from the rain, our legs are aching and the Português side of my brain is fried, we need to rely on the Lord the most.  Throughout the day He tries our faith, He sees if we will listen to the spirit and talk to those that He sends and if we do this, we see miracles at the end of the day.  Our most amazing lessons are at the end of a hot and tiring day.  Last week we were trying to contact a reference from a member.  We only knew the name of the road and that he was a cook at a Churrascaria (helpful na?).  We stopped at a restaraunt and asked a young man if he knew where we could look.  He did not know how to help us, but he said that he had been baptized in our church when he was 12 years old and that he works a lot and would not be able to meet with us any time soon.  He pointed us in the direction of his home to maybe talk with his mother.  We headed to his humble little home and there was his mother.  She talked with us and wept about her son and the life that he has chosen.  He is into drugs and drinking now and she does not know what to do.  We shared with her the joyful message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She accepted all of it including the Book of Mormon with such an open heart and with such faith.  She has accepted baptism and hopes that with her example she will help her son return as well.  During every single day we never know who we will run into, who will need to talk to us or who the Lord will send.  It has been incredible to see how detailed and how personal Heavenly Father is.  This work is truly His and it is an honor to see how it is being brought to pass.  

We have almost made it through Carnaval here in São Paulo and it will be even more of a holiday for us missionaries when it ends!  Every person in this city seems to love to smoke, drink all day and not get married!  Haha surely the difference between those at the tree of life and those in the great and spacious building will increase and is increasing very rappidly!  We must cling to the Iron Rod, the scriptures, prayer, the temple, our covenants with all of our might, mind and strength in order to keep on the path in this fallen world.  It is possible to have peace and true happiness in this world today but only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!! 

With SOOOO much love, 

Sister Cordner xoxo

I know a lot of you are wondering what the rain situation is in Sao Paulo.  This is just a little update she sent me on the side.

We have not heard anything about water yet.  The past week the water level was at 2% yikes!! But this week it has rained a lot and has risen to 7%... hopefully it will keep raining! I love you so much, we are working so hard here! I love this work, I love being a missionary and sharing what I have with others.  This church is true. I know with every fiber of my being that it is true.  I love you so much!!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 19 - Guarulhos, São Paulo - February 9, 2015

You can see the never ending abyss of buildings in São Paulo City from an apartment of one of our members.  I get overwhelmed sometimes at the amount of people in one city!!

The famous bridge in Guarulhos!

Ola Família! Eu espero que suas semanas eram muito boas! 

So many things have happened this week, I do not know where to start! Here in São Paulo we are really needing water.  Especially here in the city.  Right now we are one day without water (having to use our water reserve tank on top of our little house) and one day with water from the pipes.  But it will get worse.  People are saying that in a few months it could get so bad that we will have five days without water, and one day with! WHAT?! There goes taking showers, cooking, washing our clothes, and everything else.  I guess we will keep praying for rain!  It rains a lot here in the city, but not in the places that it needs to. In our mission now we can only have one baptismal service per month per zone because of the water problem.  So, on Feb. 22nd we will be baptizing soooo many people in our zone! It is going to be so amazing!

I have a crazy story to tell!  We were working in an area this week where we don't have many investigators.  We were making so many contacts in the streets and were running into so many inactive members, it was amazing.  We bumped into a woman that was leaving her sister-in-law's house and heading to her own.  She asked if we could walk with her and talk. Perfect.  We were asking her about herself and her beliefs and were about ready to ask her for her address to mark an appointment with her when she started to walk really slow and her eyes started to roll back into her head.  She began to seizure and collapse to the ground. Sister Saavedra and I grabbed her and placed her on the sidewalk.  My companion ran to get her family and I asked a man near by to help.  He got his sister that knew a lot about what to do.  By this time she had wet herself and drooled all over my hand.  I turned her onto her side and we all waited for it to pass.  Thankfully she was breathing the whole time.  When all was well, we brought her back to her house and they explained that she had forgotten to take her medicine that day for her seizures.  We tried to explain to her that God had been mindful of her and sent us to help her that day.  I tried to tell her that there was obviously a reason and that she needed to listen to our message.  She would not buy it and would not give us her address to come and visit her.  She had her religion and would not change. 

We have been trying so hard to have more faith this transfer.  We have been working so hard with our investigators to have them come to church and keep their commitments.  Yesterday none of our investigators came to church but our Heavenly Father did not ignore our prayers.  He did not discount our efforts.  He sent a miracle.  Laura is an old little woman that showed up at church yesterday.  Years back she had studied for four years to be baptized into the Jehovah's Witness church.  Soon after joining, her friend gave her a Book of Mormon.  She could not stop reading for a whole year and also studied the Doctrines and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.  She learned on her own and with her friend about Joseph Smith and the Church's history.  Yesterday she decided to finally come to church.  We invited her to be baptized on the 22nd of February and she began to cry.  She has been wanting to be baptized very soon but did not know that she would be able to!  I have never felt such a joy in my mission than in that moment!  I felt that my heart would burst!  This little old woman had found the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the end of her life and she was so happy to find it!  I know that she is such a loved daughter of our Heavenly Father. I love her so much! 

God's work will always keep moving forward.  If I were not here there would be another Sister in my place to testify of Christ.  It is a privilege to be a part of this work.  It is our choice if we want to see the work move forward and if we want to be a witness and grow from all of the experiences that a mission can bring.  My mission has already helped me grow so much.  I am so grateful!  I love you all so much, and pray that you all will have a great week!  Happy Birthday to the twins on Wednesday, WOOHOO 16!!!  And Happy Valentine's Day on Saturday!! 

Love, Sister Cordner XOXO

Our very pretty chapel, we are so blessed here in Palmeiras!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 18 - Guarulhos, São Paulo - February 2, 2015

Guarulhos, São Paulo

Well, here I am in this huge city and sometimes I do not know what to do with myself!  Our area, Palmeiras, is so big and has so many people.  It is also so much more clean and nice and there are not as many drunks and crazy people on the roads (that is always good).  My companion is Sister Saavedra and she is my fourth companion! Every transfer so far I have had a different companion.  She already has five transfers here, so I am preparing again to know the area inside and out before she leaves!  She is from the coast of Perú and is so little! I swear all of my companions are going to be little women that make me feel like a giant! When we teach together I always feel the spirit and she is very easy to get along with.  I have been blessed with easy-going very sweet companions in my mission so far.  WE WALK SO MUCH!  I swear we walk twenty miles a day! But it is really good because we are able to get a lot of exercise and make a lot of contacts on the road.  

We have made some really amazing contacts this week.  Most of the people that we have talked to either already have gone to church, have had the missionairies in their home, or are baptized and inactive.  It really has been amazing to see the hand of God guiding His children to His missionairies.  One man that we contacted had already been taught by the missionaries and when I took out a pamphlet of the restoration, he grabbed it out of my hands and started to flip through the pages.  He said that he still has his pamphlet after four years.  I am so excited to teach him!  Our investigators are progressing and they are accepting the baptismal dates that we give them.  We are very excited to have baptisms this month!  It is so much fun to get to know all of the members in the ward, all of the people that are being taught here and getting to know a whole different area and city. 

I am already in love with all of the members here and how loving they are.  I was able to bear my testimony yesterday and as I looked down at all of their smiling faces I felt so much love for them and so much of a desire to serve them and be their missionary.  I am so grateful to be here and to learn all of the things that I am learning.  This mission is not easy and sometimes it is not very pretty, but I have never felt the love of my Heavenly Father so strong and I have never had to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ more.  I am so grateful for His sacrifice.  In every weakness, every sad moment, every heartache, I can turn to Him and be whole again.  I am so grateful for the Sacrament, a new beginning every single week to try harder and become better.  I hope you all have a great week full of the best things!  Please pray that our investigators will accept the baptismal invitations
and that they will be able to come to church this week!  If they do not go to church, they can never progress! I love you all!

Sister Cordner

My new companion, Sister Saavedra, at the Mission Office

Our view from our little home.  The sunrises here in the mornings are so beautiful!