Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 43 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - July 27, 2015

Hello my beautiful people!!  WOW!  Mom sent me some photos from Lake Powell.  I have the best looking family ever.  I love you guys to the moon and back.  

This week was a great week!  Not because anyone is progressing, or because we had a baptism, or because it is perfect weather, but because I have learned so much, and I have felt of His redeeming love and mercy.  Sometimes we realize we are doing everything our own way and that never works!  I read Mosiah 4:9-11 earlier this week and it brought me to the dust.  I am nothing but a helpless little human being without the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  But with it, I can be and do anything.  I know this is true.  Once again I was able to taste of His love and mercy.  I was able to be strengthened and I have a new vision for a new week!  

We were able to teach a wonderful new investigator this week.  Her name is R and has three beautiful little boys!! She is also married (HALLELUJAH!!) but her husband is a drunk and has been a burden for 14 years.  She is so humble and we showed up when she was at her breaking point.  She is a hair dresser that works under a member's home.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and prophets.  She had a beautiful light in her eyes and I know she felt the spirit testify to her.  I am so grateful for the experience I had that night.  I felt words being put in my mouth.  I am a 19 year old girl that does not know much about life, but I was able to testify of eternal truths that would help a mother in need.  We did not even have to invite her to church.  She told us we could be certain she would be there on Sunday.  She is from the heavens and will be baptized.  

Today was the funnest P-day ever!  We all hiked up to the Pico do Urubu.  We were able to see all of Mogi das Cruzes and it was beautiful.  It was so refreshing to my soul to be in the nature.  It is where I belong!  A few sisters and I took the hard way down with all the elders.  It was pretty much through the Amazons.  I was waiting to see Tarzan fly by!!  It was the muddiest thing ever and the Elders were falling down and slipping all over!!  I left the trail with very few mud stains....skill.  I loooooved it!!!  I will breathe better for a whole week.  I will send a few pictures :)

Well family and friends!!  I love you all, and I am so excited for Mitch!!  Just a few weeks man!!  TCHAU!!

Sister Cordner xoxo

I guess she couldn't download her pictures or didn't have time but she said she would send her pictures next week.  This is the only one we received that's of her companion.

Sister Pereira

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 42 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - July 20, 2015

E and L, the couple in the middle.

What an amazing week it has been!!  I am so grateful I have the chance to tell you all about it!

At the beginning of this week, I was really feeling inadequate and I was listening to Satan's lies!!!  I decided to fast and prepare myself to have our regular interviews with President Silcox. I sat down with him and let me tell you all, I have never in my entire life met a man more happy or pure.  While I was speaking with him, I really felt like I was hearing words from my Heavenly Father.  He was so inspired to tell me the most simple and true words that I needed to hear.  I left with a new mind-set and an eternal perspective.  

E and L were baptized and confirmed this week.  It was probably the happiest moment and night of my entire mission!!  The wonderful members planned a surprise for them.  They made a wedding cake and a feast of snacks.  Bishop Sidnei talked about marriage and baptism for a few minutes before the baptism, and then they were baptized!!  L is very tall, so the splashes made the most beautiful sound in the world.  I felt the sweetest spirit.  When the members surprised them after L began to cry and they loved it.  Everyone is now a member of the church in their family and they want so badly to enter into the temple one day.  

This week we will be working hard with 5 incomplete families in the ward. As a ward council, we felt like these 5 families will be able to progress and we will be able to baptize those who are not members.  I am very excited to work with the members more and more.  

This week in our zone meeting we talked a lot about the Sons of Mosiah.  Okay, they are so amazing.  They served for 14 years, had to hunt for their own food, were teaching those that wanted to kill them, and they were extremely obedient.  For sure they had many many dificulties and sad times, but they never gave up their faith.  They always looked to the Lord and trusted in Him.  Oh, how I want to be like them and be a better instrument in the Lord's hands!  I know I can do better this week!  We need your prayers that we can teach these 5 families with power and authority.  I have so much faith that we will be able to help these families be complete!

Thank you all so much for your emails, love and prayers.  I love you all so much!!  Sorry for the grammar and spelling, I really have forgotten all my English... (I always try to clean it up as best I can.)

xoxo Sister Cordner

I asked McKenzie some questions this past week and she answered me!!

How many missionaries in the mission?  How many of them are sisters? There are about 180 missionaries.  I don't know how many sisters, but 33 will go home in august.  
What is your favorite Brazilian dish? I love rice and beans.  I don't think i can live without when i get home.  I love also estroganoffe (I'm pretty sure this is beef stroganoff and I've made it for her before) Ask dad to explain it to you, and all of the fruits!!!!!!
What is your favorite Book of Mormon story? I LOVE the sons of Mosiah - Alma 17.  They are my greatest examples as missionaries.  
What food do you miss the most from home? I miss hawaiian haystacks, baked potatoes, yellow curry, haha, and EVERYTHING!!! mashed potatoes and gravy, and vegetables, no one eats vegetables here.  
What was your favorite area? It was the hardest thing in the world to leave Palmeiras.  I loved it there so much.  
What has been the hardest thing to see in your mission? I have seen so many sad and scary things that I do not know which to choose!!  A mom screaming at everyone on the street, and her little boy with the saddest face being dragged along.  He did not even have shoes.  This was last night. I wanted to help so bad.
What is your favorite hymn to sing in Portuguese? I love all of the hinos!!!  
What do you make for yourself to eat at night? I do not get very hungry at night... but I sometimes eat fruit, popcorn or ramen... haha!!  
Do you have an oven? Do you ever use it? we have an oven and a little stove, but we rarely use it! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 41 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - July 13, 2015

Hello my amazing family and friends!!  I cannot believe that we are already in the middle of July!  The weather here is so crazy.  One day it can be burning hot, sweating all day, and the next we are drenched with rain and shivering cold!!  São Paulo is way more bipolar than Utah!!  But our week was awesome!!  I love my companion!!  She is from Manaus, Amazonas (another manauara!) and is 23 years old, even though she looks 16!  She joined the church six years ago, and her sister is the only other member in her family.  She is so sweet and so excited to work!!  She loves to talk to everyone and their dog, and is so positive about everything. I am in heaven!!  The poor thing is freezing cold here.  She has not even felt wind or cold her entire life and did not even bring a jacket!  The members have been awesome to give her a lot of winter clothes.  

This week we have been doing a lot of cutting investigators and finding new ones.  It is really sad to stop working with the ones we love so much, but we need to use our time wisely and continue on!  The members are still giving us references, which is great, and we have a few great people that we know will progress beautifully.  E and L are very excited to be baptized this Saturday!! I cannot even explain the change I have seen in them.  When I arrived here, they had no hope at all.  I saw not one inch of happiness in their eyes.  But now I am so happy to say that they have had a great change in their hearts.  They have felt the power of Christ's redeeming love through keeping the commandments.  We have helped them get married and have helped their children be baptized, and now they will be able to see the blessings of making their own covenants!  They live in the smallest house that I have been in, here in Brasil, but they are so happy and they love each other so much.  When I got here I never saw E and L laugh with each other, touch each other or hardly talk.  But now I can see that they are in love.  This gospel has really changed them.  The elders that worked with them from the beginning are so happy to see them progressing!!  It has been 6 months of work with a lot of different missionaries!  

I think that this week has been the most stressful of all in my mission!!  I find myself so tense and worrying about every little thing!  I am so human and I have many weaknesses!  But I have a strong and firm testimony of prayer.  I know from experience that every time I turn to my Father in Heaven and I humbly kneel before Him to plead for help, He strengthens me, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Every single time.  I am nothing without my personal connection with my Heavenly Father.  I love to teach others to pray.  In our lessons, we need to not only leave our investigators with a prayer but we need to teach them to pray.  Our church is a very active church.  There are so many pastors and preachers that sit at the front of the congregation and do everything: yell, pray, and sing praises...but they do not teach.  We are a teaching people, a doing people.  We need to act to be better and to learn.  This is why we need to lovingly encourage our investigators to pray.  Even if they need to copy our words to say a simple prayer, they need to learn that they have their own way to talk to their Heavenly Father and to receive personal revelation.

I am so grateful to be here.  Really I am learning so much.  The Lord is stretching me and molding me into a better, imperfect person.  Sometimes it is uncomfortable, stressful, and difficult, but it is so necessary!!!  I love you all so much, and I wish you all a wonderful week!!  

Sister Cordner

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 40 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - July 6, 2015

My little district!
Hello my wonderful family and friends!

This week was just wonderful!  I would not trade being here with anything in the world right now!!  This week our new President Silcox arrived.  Our zone traveled in a tiny little school van made for five year old children for two hours to São José dos Campos to meet him!  It was quite the ride with everyone getting sick, but it was so worth it.  Pres. Silcox and his wonderful wife are amazing.  Their Português is a little rough, but they are so excited to be here and to serve the Lord.  They left their beautiful family in Utah and will be here in São Paulo for three years.  What an amazing sacrifice! As President was speaking I felt so strongly that he had been called of God.  He was set apart by Elder Ballard and has begun already to do amazing things in our mission!  I already love them so much!!

President and Sister Silcox
Sister Zanni's parents are here in Mogi!!  They have been in SP all week, and we they had their great reunion yesterday before church!  I could not help but think when I will be able to see all of you again!!  It will be wonderful.  We were able to go to Suzano last night and visit our convert Jessica!  She has been going to Institute a few times and needs to go to church!!  We left a message with her and bore our testimonies,  I hope that it touched her in some way that she will want to return!!  We met many members at Jeniena's home (a member that we lived next to).  There were so many people that I loved there!!  It was so much fun to talk with all of them, now that I can speak their language.  I loved it!!  

Sister Zanni and her parents.
So for the next two transfers I know that I will stay here in Jundiapeba, because I will train!!  I am so excited to meet my new companion tomorrow and to be able to help her start her mission!!  New missionaries are always so special.  I know that I am not by any means a perfect missionary.  For sure I will learn many things with her.  But I know with all of my heart that the Lord will qualify me to do anything He asks of me.  Right now, He wants me to train a new missionary and I will do what He asks with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength!!  I am so excited!!  I do not know if she will be American or Brasilian.  We will have to see tomorrow!

I know that a Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is the Lord's kingdom here on the earth.  The more I study about the restoration, the great apostasy, and the plan of salvation, the more I see that God is perfect and that His church here on the earth is so perfect.  I am so grateful for modern-day revelation.  We have a living prophet, and now we have ten apostles.  I know that the men God will call will be apostles ready and willing to serve Him.  Have a great week!!  I love you all!!

Sister Cordner xoxo

My little friends in Suzano!
Our zone in the little van.