Sister Andrade and I were transfered all the way to the same city! Woohoo! We are now in the zone Cumbica, and are serving in Jardim Presidente Dutra. There have always been elders here...ALWAYS.... but there has been a lot of problems with the elders here so President Andrew decided to put two companionships of sisters in the same area!! The members are very excited, I'd have to say, and so are we!! It is kind of difficult because the elders left hardly anything for us to work with but we are getting to know everyone and are loving it!! Okay... it has been a crazy week!! We arrived on Tuesday to the most disgusting house I have every seen. There had been elders living in the house for 20 years and I do not think they ever cleaned it once. We tried our best to clean that night and we slept on the most disgusting mattresses of my life. I am gagging thinking about it right now. The next day we were determined to not return. The other sisters would be living in a different home behind the house of a sweet member but they wont arrive until this week. We decided to organize and clean their home to be able to fit us four. Thank the heavens that we have done it and we are living behind the sweetest little woman ever. Irmã Cecilia is the most Christ-like person here in Presidente Dutra and I love her so much. She takes such good care of us and would do anything, even give her life for the missionaries. Oh, I love her so much. She helped us clean the entire house and has been feeding us ever since. There are so many amazing members here in the ward. There is an energy on the street in our area that I love so much. It is a more humble neighborhood and everyone seems to be out and about all day long. The streets were filled on Saturday with the sun shining and a calm breeze blowing. So many children were playing outside and it felt so good to be a missionary!
We made a random contact on our first day here and went to visit him in his home the next day. His sister answered the door and let us in even though he was not home. She led us into her grandparents home. We sat down in the room of her paralyzed grandmother and began to talk with them both. "D" has been through so much in her life. She has consumed every type of drug you can imagine, has been drunken for years, has robbed and has been in jail. I have never seen someone so repentant in my life. She cried and cried trying to explain to us that she never wants to return to the life she had and that she now wants to turn her life over to the Lord. She has gone to every church in the neighborhood but had never been to ours! We shared with her the First Vision and she understood everything. We then marked her to be baptized in three weeks and she accepted! The spirit was so strong and seeing her feel the truthfulness of our message strengthened my testimony. In the very moment of the first vision, I saw a rat crawling on the wall!! It was huge and it took everything in me to not make a move to ruin the moment!! haha! The next day we went by her house to pick her up for an activity in the chapel. She had eaten lunch with her friend that day and her friend had said many things that confused her and distracted her from wanting to be baptized. Unfortunately she went with her friend to another church yesterday, but I have faith that she did not feel anything special and will want to come with us this week!!
I was reading in Luke this week of Jesus Christ in the home of a Pharisee. A sinful woman entered the home and started to weep on His feet and clean His feet with her tears and with the hairs of her head. The Pharisee was disgusted with how she was acting and asked Jesus why He was letting her do such a thing. Jesus then told of a parable of two debtors. One was in debt more than the other and the king let them both free without charge. He asked the Pharisee who loved the king more, and the Pharisee answered, the one whom he forgave most. The more we use the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives, the more we will recognize how much we are in debt, and how necessary He is in every moment of our lives. We will come to know Him, love Him and will want to share the same with everyone around us. In the words of Elder Bednar, (or could that be Elder Klebingat?) We need to be really really good at repenting really really quickly. And by so doing we will become closer and closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. I love Him and I know He is our Savior. Every time I repent or use His enabling power I feel myself closer to Him and His love. I hope all of you have an amazing week! I love you all!
Love, Sister Cordner xoxo