Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 34 -Moóca, São Paulo - May 25, 2015

Well family, I have something to say, but do not freak out because everything is just fine :) The reason that I have been here in Moóca for a week is because for one week in Presidente Dutra I was feeling my heart acting really strangely.  Every single heart beat I felt very strongly in my chest and head and any sudden movement my heart beat increased rapidly.  Also at times I felt very short of breath and like my heart was acting irregularly.  Strange no?  So I called Sister Andrew and they had me move to the big city for the week to do some tests on my heart.  After waiting in a very fancy hospital for SIX many people were there...they did an electrical test for a few seconds but in the moment I felt my heart acting normal... so the results were normal.  Soooooo, I had a 24 hour test done on my heart.  In the morning we traveled to Tatuapé and they put on the device. During the day my heart was going absolutely crazy.  It was so strange, but I am glad it picked up some good information.  But after the test was done, these past few days, I have not noticed anything strange.  Later today we will go back and pick up the results and I hope they will be normal!  So, just kidding I won't be staying here in Moóca, I am sorry that I did not tell you all about this last week, I was just scared that you (Mom and Dad) would be worried all week.  But now everything is fine and I will be going to a new area.  Probably here in the capital, to be close to Sister Andrew and the hospitals...haha.  

I can not even tell you all how much I have learned this week though.  The sisters here in Moóca are amazing.  We have been working with them every single day this week and with their investigators.  Sister Martinez is from Panama and she is my soul sister.  I really think we were such good friends in the pre-mortal life.  We have been teaching so many amazing people and it would be my DREAM to stay here and work with her!  We laugh so hard and she loves to sing too so we sing all day long.  It is the dream life with her.

This week back in Presidente Dutra J (14 years old) was baptized, V (14 years old) accepted to be baptized, and N is still going strong with her baptismal date.  Oh it has been so hard not to be in my own area with my own investigators, but I know that I needed to learn many lessons with Sister Martinez here about courage, love and dedication.  This week we have been teaching two different people who need to stop smoking.  I have seen very clearly the importance of humility and submissiveness.  J is so humble and is ready and willing to accept our help and the help of the Atonement and she is doing great with her goals!  But C comes up with excuses and denies any kind of help we offer her.  Until we become humble and submit to the will of the Lord, He can not make miracles in our lives.  This is true with any person.  I am so grateful for the example of J and how she has taught me to be willing and ready to change and be a better person.  

Here in Moóca there is such a difference in the social classes.  I have seen the saddest situations with some families we taught this week.  I wanted to take a picture so badly of where I stood in the dirtiest, leaky walkway with the most humble homes, and looking up I saw sky-scrapers filled with well-off families in their most comfortable apartments.  As a missionary I feel such a need of everyone having the opportunity to hear of and enjoy the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am just so grateful and so humbled to know that I have been blessed with this wonderful blessing in my life.  It is everything to me to be able to share it with others.  So, tomorrow I will be heading off to a new area with a new companion...once again!!  I had a dream about Sister Johnson and I together so... ya never know haha!  

Please mama do not call to our mission office about my heart... haha I know you won't! I will be fine, and I feel totally normal now!  I felt very strongly yesterday that I just needed to be here for a week to learn many things from Sister Martinez!  I love you all and I am so proud that you guys have finished one more year of school!!! WOOHOO!! SUMMER!!!  And congrats Mitch for graduating Seminary!! Play really hard for me guys :)  I love you all and I wish you all a great week full of great things!

xoxo Sister Cordner

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 33 -Guarulhos, São Paulo - May 18, 2015

Well, it feels like an eternity since I talked will you all on Mother's Day!  I hope all is well back at home and that everyone is happy and safe.  This week was a great one!  Sister Andrade and I have loved working together and we have learned so much together.  I will be transfered....again...I will go to Mooca in the middle of São Paulo!!!  President Andrew called us last night and I will be heading there today!  It has been a crazy weekend with a lot of changes, but everything will be great :) I have so much peace that when I do not know the reasons for some things, I just need to follow and be obedient and the Lord will bless me.  I am excited for one more adventure here in the mission!

This week we had an amazing little miracle.  When we were all in bed sleeping one night K, a young man in the ward, called at eleven o'clock wanting us to visit his friend the next morning at nine AM.  Ta bom, beleza.  So we got up the next morning and got ourselves ready and headed to the chapel - happy and punctual.  Well, right when we got to the church, he called and cancelled... OK... so we decided to pass by the market to buy a few things.  While we were walking down the street, I recognized a man that we talked to our first week here.  I do not know why or how I remembered him or his name but the Spirit helps us with things like that every day!  We began talking to him and we ended up talking about the restoration and how his family could be blessed with the gospel in his life.  He began crying and the Spirit was so strong.  We bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and how if we read it, we will be blessed in all areas of our lives.  When we gave him the Book of Mormon he was so excited and so happy.  I know that we were supposed to be where we were in that exact time!  Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways.  

Okay Satan is so annoying!!  I swear every single time we teach the restoration (this has happened so many times) in the exact moment we want the investigator to feel the power of the first vision, every one and their dog wants to disrupt the Spirit!  Either the TV strangely turns off during the video, or someone calls, or the wife starts yelling, or the baby starts crying! My companion and I just look at each other in shock sometimes. haha it is great :)

Oh, I will miss Sister Andrade so much!  She is just the sassiest most animated brazilian woman that I have met.  She loves animals so much, more than humans, and you all know how I feel about animals...not my favorite thing in the world.  I cannot even tell you all how many dogs and cats are in the roads here.  It is crazy.  SHE LOVES ALL OF THEM.  One day we were walking on the street (when are we not?) and we passed a cute little dog and she started to talk about how cute it was and how she wanted to take him home.  When we passed him he looked up at us and his eye was completely taken out and the hole was stitched up.  He looked up so sadly and she about died, I was laughing so hard I could not even take it!  I will miss that woman.

My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much this week.  When I read it every day I feel the love of my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.  I love to learn about the prophets of old and how strong they were in their beliefs.  I love to read about Ammon, Alma and the sons of Mosiah. They were amazing missionaries.  I love to testify of the Book of Mormon and share what I know to be true with everyone here.  I am so grateful for the prophet Joseph Smith and all that he sacrificed so that we can have the Book of Mormon today.  I love you all and I hope you all have an amazing week!!!  Read the Book of Mormon every single day!  

xoxo Sister Cordner

McKenzie and her MTC friends meet up.

McKenzie met Sister Lauren from Alpine who is serving in another mission in Sao Paulo meet at the temple.

Aerial view of Mooca

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 32 -Guarulhos, São Paulo - May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Skyping with Sister Cordner

Oh my family!  It was so amazing being able to talk with you all yesterday!  I feel renewed and ready to get back to work because I have seen all of your smiling faces!  I just feel so proud to call all of you mine :)

Well false-alarm.  I thought I had dengue and I had all of the beginning symptoms, but thanks to my amazing and very humble Bishop Oliveira I recieved a simple blessing yesterday in his office and I feel absolutley good as new.  I have a strong testimony of the power of the priesthood.  I was not only feeling sick physically, but I was also feeling a little bit sick spiritually.  Heavenly Father knew this and He let me see that His power could cure both types of sicknesses.  I am so grateful for the worthy priesthood holders in my life and in my mission.  

This week Sister Andrade and I have been really trying to have meaningful and spiritual experiences in our personal and companionship studies.  This was a challenge that Elder Clayton gave to us and let me tell you all, it is amazing what a difference it makes!  After studying with Sister Andrade every day, I feel like I have put on spiritual armor to defend the gospel truths that I know to be true.  And when I teach throughout the day, the words flow from my mouth with more spiritual power.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, I know it is the word of God.  

I am sorry that I do not have many stories to tell after talking to you all yesterday, but I am excited to work hard this week!  Happy, Happy Birthday to Mitch this week! Oh my heart drops when I think he will be 18!!!  WOW.  I love ya man, have a great week!  

Love, Sister Cordner

Please pray for:

Vivian, and her courage to make her own choices and leave the church Universal.
Vitor,  that he can keep praying to recognize his answer.
Nayane, that she can continue reading the Book of Mormon and praying to be baptized on May 30!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 31 -Guarulhos, São Paulo - May 4, 2015

OH my family and friends!!  I hope that your week was as amazing as mine was!!  I have never been happier or more focused on this work than I am right now at this point in my mission!  I love to be a missionary!  We are now with the other sisters in our home and they are great!  I am living with three Brazilian women and I love it!  Oh my Português will be so much better at the end of this transfer!!  We are all working so well together here in Presidente Dutra and we were able to have six investigators at church on Sunday!  I am loving the members and this area.  

This week our entire mission was able to meet along with Sao Paulo Norte mission with Elder Whitney L. Clayton.  He is a member of the presidency of the seventy.  The many things that I learned and felt in that conference changed my nature as a missionary and I have had a turning point in my mission.  I have made goals to talk to everyone, no matter who they are. I will also be more bold and fearless in my calling and in helping others make commitments.  But most importantly I will try harder and will focus daily on being more like my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have less than a year left here in São Paulo and I need to do all that I can to help my brothers and sisters be baptized and enter the kingdom of our Father.  I can testify that when I try my very best to be like the Savior, I am truly happy.  Nothing has really changed, I am still in Presidente Dutra, I am with my same companion and I am doing the same work, but now I can truly say that I am trying with all of my heart to be like Jesus Christ and I am so happy!!  As Elder Clayton was giving his talk one line at a time, because the translator had to interpret and speak in Português, the Spirit testified to me of his sacred calling as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. He is a man with a wife and family, but he is different because the Lord has qualified him to be a special instrument in his hands.

Our teaching group is growing and we are finding great people to teach every day!  Unfortunately D did not want to come to church with us on Sunday, but she will eventually see she needs more help.  We are teaching a wonderful woman named N.  She is a referece from a man in our old area and she is 24 years old.  She has been attending institute with her member friends and is loving the church.  She also says that all of her prayers and her reading of the Book of Mormon are indicating that the church is true! She went to church yesterday for the first time and loved it!!

On Saturday we spent the day with the ward mission leader on the streets reminding and inviting everone we saw to go to church with us on Sunday.  He only has been a member for one year but is preparing to serve a mission!  We had visited all of our investigators and were wanting someone new to teach and bring to church (one last lesson to end the week.)  In the middle of the street Sister Andrade lifted up her head and hands and said, "Heavenly Father we want to teach one more lesson and invite one more person to church, please help us!" (In Portugês of course).  We turned around and a cute fifteen year old girl holding a black cat stood behind us.  She said, "Are you guys missionaries?" I thought I could hear angels singing!!!  MIRACLE!! She had wanted us to talk and try to help her mom, but she did not accept us.  So we walked to the nearby park and taught her a beautiful lesson. She is only 15 years old, but is so mature and understood everything and always has many questions.  She loves visiting different churches and decided to go with us on Sunday and loved it!  Every day, each experience strengthens my testimony more and more of our Heavenly Father's love.  

Tomorrow at 5:00 in the morning our entire mission will be going to the temple.  It has been six months since I have entered into the Lord's house.  I have been praying all week to have the spiritual experiences that I need to in the temple.  The temple is everything to me.  I am so grateful for my temple covenants and I challenge all of you to go to the temple this week!  I love this work, and I love this gospel.  I testify that it is all true.  Have a great week!!

Com muito amor, Sister Cordner xoxo

PS.  Today Irmã helped us make a huge meal/churraso of the most delicious brazilian food.  Oh my it was heaven.  We invited our district over and it was so fun!  We topped it off with mousse de maracuja (passion fruit)!  YUMMM ! OH my.... the food here is tooo goood.