Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 39 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - June 29, 2015

Òla minha família bonita!!  Que saudades de vocês!

Thank you all so much for all of the updates! I absolutely love to
hear from home and all of your positive advice and uplifting words!  I
am shocked to hear about the state of our country and the decision about 
gay marriage. We really do live in the last days.  Even with storms and 
tempests all around us we are able and we will be strong and stand for 
the right.  We have to be here in the world, but try not to be of the world.  
We are a covenant people of the Lord.  He will sustain us and help us 
when we stand and stay on His side.  Oh how grateful I am to understand 
the plan of happiness.  We need to strengthen our own homes first before 
anything else so that we will be able to help strengthen others!

What an amazing week we have had here in Jundiapeba! E and L,
E and S married this week, and we are so happy for them!  E
is so strong in her testimony of the gospel.  L is struggling a
little with going to church, but we can help him with that!  After we
took all of the coffee out of their house they have not been drinking
coffee!!  And L was even at a party with alcohol, and guess
what???  He did not drink!  Oh, we were so happy for him!  E and
S were not at church yesterday. "They slept in!" Oh please, why can't
these people just go to church!  We were able to talk to their son as
well, A, and he seems excited as well.  If everything goes well on
July 18th they will all be baptized when they are officially married! 
(Weren't they officially  married already?)

B, E and L's son was finally baptized yesterday!  We were
able to give a training to the teachers and presidents of the classes
in the ward yesterday, right after the baptism started and it was
beautiful!  I have never had so many people in a baptism before!!  100
people were there.  I could not believe it.  B took a while to
ease into the water because it was too hot this time, but he was
baptized! Oh it was the sweetest thing :)  One day he will remember
how brave he was.

Right now we are teaching the husband of a sweet member S, his
name is B.  Okay, I have to describe him because he is
hilarious.  Just imagine the old grandfather on the cartoon "Courage,
The Cowardly Dog" remember him?  The one that mom never let us 
watch?  Well imagine him but with brown skin and even skinner and 
wrinklier.  Okay, he is the biggest joker ever.  We love him so much 
and we are helping him stop smoking.  We were so tired of hearing all 
of his excuses so we brought down the hammer.  We read about the 
Anti-nephi-lehites with him, how they burried their weapons and never 
picked up another sword to fight again.  He knew what was coming and 
he did not like it.  He did not want to burry his cigarettes so he burnt 
them, even better! We put up little papers all over the house saying, 
"Eu não vou comprarmais cigarro!"  (I will not buy more cigarettes!) 
It seemed to work because he said that he has not bought any yet, 
and has not smoked!!! OKAY, MIRACLE.   He is the biggest 
complainer, but I know that he has the force! (Maybe she meant the 
help of the Spirit, power? haha)

Yesterday J went to church with us.  She is 14 years old and is so
sweet.  (We talked to her on the road one day)  She said she
looooved church.  We have so many good people and youth in our ward.
I can trust them to take our investigators and stay with them all of
church and when I talk with them afterward, they loved it!

I am so grateful to be here and to be having all of these experiences.
I loved what Dad sent me last week in his email.  Sometimes when we
have to prepare for a lesson, a talk or write a paper, we do so much
research and preperations.  But really the most important thing is to
make sure we are worthy vessels of the spirit.  When we are truly
worthy to have the Holy Ghost with us, we are able to say the things
that the Lord would say.  I know this is true.  In our training that
we gave this week we have been preparing for a long time, but I have
been also preparing myself spiritually to be a worthy vessel.  I know
that the Lord gave me the words to say.  I am so grateful for the
constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  When I feel that I am
straying away from Him, or that my thoughts, words, or actions are
making me lose Him, I do everything possible to have Him back with
me.  I need the peace He brings and the comfort I feel everyday.  I
love you all and I am so grateful for every one of you!!  I hope you
all have a great week!!  On Wednesday it has been nine months that I
left home!!  SO CRAZY!!  I will never get those nine months back!!!
But I have nine left to work hard and do my best!!  HAPPY FOURTH OF
JULY ON SATURDAY!!!  Okay, you all know how much I love the 4th so I
will try my best not to think about it this week :(  But have a great
BBQ without me!!!  I love you all!!!


Sister Cordner xoxo

Some of the members we ate lunch with yesterday!  Okay, she is the
most amazing cook in the ward and I did not even feel like eating because I was a little sick!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 38 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - June 22, 2015

Hello my beautiful, wonderful, and blessed family!!

Oh how great this week was!  We have so many people that are progressing and preparing to be baptized very soon!  

First of all, Luiz and Vanda were married this week and it was wonderful.  It was really fast and sweet, but they were married and Luiz was able to be baptized yesterday.  They are a beautiful family.  Members in the ward remember Vanda when she was a teen in the ward.  After many years of being inactive she has returned and her husband is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ!  What a beautiful new start for them!!  I will send pictures :)

Luiz and Vanda's wedding!

Luiz's baptism.

His niece, R was not baptized because we need to get the signature of her mom or dad.  It is so frustrating because they are not even in her life and her great-grandmother does everything for her and doesn't have legal guardianshipship!  So this week we will try our best to get her dad's signature and explain to him the situation!  Oh sweet R was crying last night because she would not be baptized.  It will be a beautiful day when she is!

E and L with her sister E and S will be married this Thursday!  In the center of Mogi it is so much easier to be married and they are so excited!  We were with E and S this week teaching about the Word of Wisdom and they were so willing to make so many changes in their lives!  When S was saying the closing prayer he asked for help to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost one day.  I love them so much!  They are the most humble people who love their family.  S is very quiet and pretty shy.  But each time we visit them I see more and more confidence.  They all even came to the Festa Junina (it is like a brazilian hoe-down) this weekend that the ward put on!

Festa Junina! (Festival of June) 

There were so many sweets and candy!

B is E and L's son and he tried to be baptized yesterday.  The water was so cold because the heater has been broken for a long time.  First of all,  he is scared of water and second, it was freezing!  He was coaxed into the water and finally dunked but the elder let his feet come up.  He panicked and would not try again!  So we are praying that next week the heater will be working and he will have more courage being baptized with his mom on the same day!

This week a member in the ward made pancakes and maple syrup for us and it was a dream!!  Rice and beans every day sometimes gets to me, but I know I will miss it when I get home!!  I am so grateful for the chance to meet so many wonderful people and share my testimony with many of them.  I know that our Heavenly Father is worried about each one of us and that because His Son, Jesus Christ, suffered everything that we suffer, so He knows exactly how to succor us in our times of need.  Every day I am able to converse with my Heavenly Father and I know that He is hearing me.  I do not feel that I am talking to a blank wall but that He is my Father.  He knows me better than I know myself and He knows the people I need to be with, where I need to be and what I need to hear or read.  Every day I feel more and more grateful to know that I am His daughter.  I have never been more aware of my weaknesses than I am here on my mission, but I know that the Lord gives us weaknesses so that we will be humble, so that we will always turn to Him.  He loves us enough to give us weaknesses.  For this I am so grateful!!  Feliz dia dos Pais ontem PAPAI!!!  Eu amo você para sempre!  Obrigada por tudo que já fez, está fazendo, e vai fazer em minha vida!! (Happy Father's Day Papa!  I will love you forever!  Thank you so much for all you have done for me, are doing for me and will do for me in my life!!) Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Com muito amor, 
Sister Cordner xoxo

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 37 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - June 15, 2015

Bom dia família!  I hope that your week was just wonderful in the beautiful Utah sunshine!  Here it is getting pretty chilly and I feel like it should be Christmas!  Weird!!  We have many great people that we are working with and that are progressing!  I will write a little bit about each of them:

L is an amazing man.  He is 22 years old and will be married with his girlfriend on Saturday who is already a member!  They have two beautiful children and are very excited about the gospel.  They are reading the scriptures daily together and I can just see the change that they have made in their eyes!!  The members are really welcoming them into the ward family.  I am just so grateful that they have finally found happiness!  He will be baptized this Sunday!  

His niece R will be baptized as well!!  Her story is a little funny.  She lives with her great grandmother because her mom is a big partier and is not even in her life.  Her great grandma loooooves us.  Even though she does not go to church and does not want anything for herself, she is so supportive of R!  Blessing!!  R, these past weeks, has been battling baptism in her mind. She tells us that she does not want to be baptized but after our lessons with her, she just does not know what to do!  It is a big choice for a young girl!  One morning she asked us if she had to wear skirts for the rest of her life after her baptism and not watch TV or movies.  What?  Who told this to her??  Well, we cleared things up and she is so excited to be baptized!

E is the sister of an eternal investigator.  They both need to be married but they both looove the Church of Jesus Christ.  It is the biggest battle to get people married here, but we will work with them so much this month to get them baptized in JULY!! E, and her husband, S, and their children went to church for the first time yesterday and they loved it!  It is so awesome to be teaching a couple!  

I am just so grateful for the experiences that I am having here in my mission.  I would not trade them for anything.  The ward is really picking up the excitement of missionary work.  We asked all of the members that helped us during the week with teaching lessons or giving references to share their testimonies about their experience in the testimony meeting yesterday.  Almost all of them shared their experience and bore testimony!  It was so amazing to have a sacrament meeting to get everyone excited about sharing the gospel.  

I know that God is our Heavenly Father and that we are His children.  I am grateful forever for the sacrifice that the Savior gave to us.  Every single day I grow and I learn through the Atonement.  The sacrament is the most important meeting in the church and we need to learn how to use the sacrament every week!  Bishop Sidni taught something so interesting a few weeks ago.  When the Lord commanded all of the Jews to kill a lamb and smear the blood of the lamb on their door to protect them from the curse, they were showing God a sign that they were a different kind of people,  a covenant people.  We need to do the same today.  But the way that we show God we are a covenant keeping people is through how we keep the Sabbath day holy.  When we go to church every week, take the sacrament to renew our covenants, and when we go home and feed our spirits even more throughout the day, we are showing Him that we want to be saved, that we want to be His people.  

I wish all of you an awesome week filled with good and uplifting things!  Go to the temple!  Serve others!  Read the Book of Mormon!  And prepare yourselves for the sacrament!  I love you all!  

Sister Cordner xoxo

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 36 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - June 8, 2015

Hello and Boa Tarde Família! 

Well, I just wrote an entire email and I accidently deleted it. I knew that one of these days this would happen!  This week was a good one and a tiring one!  We searched many addresses of inactive members for the church, as they are trying to organize everything and we walked a ton!  We probably found two or three houses that were correct and the house numbers here are so out of order.  It kills us!!  I also went on an awesome division with Sister Berry from Arizona.  I always learn a lot in divisions!  I caught a bad cold and I have not been sleeping very well because of the church called Congregação Cristão do Brasil that is next door.  One night they were crying and screaming and worshiping until four o'clock in the morning.  I have learned that there are many weeks in the mission when we are planting seeds left and right and there are few weeks where we harvest the good fruit.  The Lord tests our faith and diligence in the weeks of planting.  But of course, weeks like these are so necessary and can be so much fun.  This week we have been giving all of the members "missionary investigations".  We made a list of ten questions about basic doctrines in the gospel and we passed them to all of the members to ask their friends and family.  The last question is if they would like to recieve a visit from the missionaries!  We have had a lot of success with this and getting a lot of references!!  WOOHOO!!  I love to work with the members.  It is the best way to do missionary work!  Well, I love you all and I miss you all!  I cannot believe that little Maddy did baptisms in the temple for the first time this week!  I hope you all have a great week!

Sister Cordner xoxo

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 35 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - June 1, 2015

Back with Sister Zanni!  At a wedding this week.


I hope you are all doing wonderfully!  I am writing from Jundiapeba, in the zone Mogi das Cruzes! I am in the little tiny town right next to Suzano, where I was born!  And you all will not believe who I am with... SISTER ZANNI!!  My own mother here in the mission!  It is her last transfer here in the mission and I am so happy to be with her! It is so rare in our mission to serve with the same person twice!  It must have been inspired!  This is my fourth area and my smallest.  There is not one hill in the entire city and it is a great place to serve.  The Lord has been so generous with me and where I have served here in São Paulo.  

This week we ate lunch at the Patriarch's home out in the middle of nowhere!  They grow oranges, limes, avocado, jaca (the biggest fruit I have ever seen...the size of a large head), peanuts, and all types of bananas, the smallest being the size of my thumb!  It was so much fun to try all of them.  I felt like I was at Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins home for an afternoon!

Well I am feeling great!  I have been feeling the heart spasms every once in a while, but I am glad it is no longer a constant stream.  I still have not heard anything from Doctor Swenson (the doctor here serving, I think he is from Provo) but I will call Sister Andrew and tell her about the PVC  that runs in our family.  Thank you all for your many prayers! (Premature Ventricular Contractions - When my dad was visiting this week he told me that several people in our family have experienced similar symptoms so he was thinking that she might have the same thing)

I have been thinking a lot about the family unit lately and how important it is to our Heavenly Father that we have complete families.  There are many beautiful families in our ward that are strong and teach the principles of the gospel in their homes.  There are also many families where the father is being reactivated!  It is so exciting to start to see the light of Christ back in the eyes of an inactive member!  

We made a great contact this week at the bus stop.  She is a single mother that has five children under 12 years of age. They live in government apartments that are so run-down.  When we passed by her home she had forgotten that we were going to pass by.  There was soapy water covering the floor, the washing maching had leaked all over and naked children running around making all kinds of messes.  I started to pray that there would be able to have a calm moment for her to feel the spirit and peace in our small lesson of the restoration.  As I bore testimony of how the gospel blesses our families I felt so strongly of how much she needed the gospel in her home and in the lives of her children.  I am so excited to return this week and teach her more!  Even though she had never really prayed and she has never had religion in her life, she prayed for the first time and I saw the beginning of something wonderful!

Oh my, I love this work so much.  Every morning when I wake up I feel such an eagerness to share the gospel.  I am so grateful for this oportunity to grow in testimony and spirit.  I know that our families are the most sacred thing to our Father in Heaven.  We must do all that we can to strengthen our families through scripture study, prayer and family night every single week.  

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADDY DEAR!!  I cannot believe you are a little Beehive!!  I hope you had a wonderful day!  Congratulations to Mitchy for graduating High School!! Sorry but your "glory days" are over.  Now it is time to move on to the real GLORY DAYS!  MISSION!  School is over and I hope all of you have a fun and fantastic summer!!  I love you all!

Love, Sister Cordner xoxo

Elder Sellers went home this transfer.  The time is going by so fast!!

Sister Zanni and all her daughters at transfers.

Jaca Tree!  Can you see the gigantic fruit?  (No...not really)