Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 52 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - September 28, 2015 - I think I'll stay one more transfer :)

Agua de Coco!

Well family, it has been a wonderful week here in Jundiapeba, and I think I'll just stay here for another 6 weeks :)  Woohoo!  I was not transferred!  My companion is a little scared to cut the umbilical cord and get sent away, but I know for certain that she will love her new area and new companion!  Changes are great and are just what we need to grow.

Where to many things happened this week!  We have had a lot of dissapointing moments that led up to an amazing Sunday.  First of all, we were able to sit down with A, M, and daughter, Ar, in the beginning of the week.  The lesson was going smoothly until we invited Ar to be baptized.  M, her mother, got a wild look in her eyes and told us that we could never come back because she believes in only one baptism and Ar had already been baptized in another church.  Okay, we tried our very best to explain to her about authority and how Christ's baptism was...but she just would not have it.  The saddest part is how much Ar has changed.  She was finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and she was so excited.  A was also very excited about the changes he was seeing in his daughter.  For now we will not be able to visit them, but the Lord will provide a way one day.

Second, E (dream guy) picked up an infection in his intestines this weekend.  He has not stopped drinking coffee one hundred percent and needs a little more time to be more prepared.  But, I am so grateful that I will stay here for at least one more transfer to be able to see the end of the story!!  I know he has such a desire to change and be better.  

A lot of our appointments fell through this week and we have had to cut a few of our investigators, but you know what?!  The Lord knows what he is doing.  His timing is perfect and everything will turn out just fine in the end.  We have a lot of new people to teach and it will just be great!  I hope my new companion is ready to work!!

I have such a desire to be a missionary that exercises more faith, and sees more miracles.  I have been praying to be able to be a part of and witness the conversion of an investigator.  I don't know, I feel like this transfer will be different.  I want to totally give all of my hope and faith and prayers and work to the Lord.  I want to see the amazing things that I know He can do.  I know that my work here is not finished.  I have been praying to stay here, because I just feel like my work here would not be complete if I had to leave tomorrow.  I am just so grateful for the extra time He has given me.  

So many less-active members and totally inactive members showed up yesterday at church.  One of them, G, brought his wife, J, that we had lost hope in for some time.  But he had not lost hope.  I see so clearly how much he wants that she accepts the gospel.  It was so great to see them together in the sacrament meeting all together as a family.  I cannot even explain how many people there are to work with this next transfer.  I cannot wait!  Please pray that the Lord will prepare our path.  That we can receive the revelation that we need and that we can make the changes that need to be made.  Faith will be my focus on this new chapter of my mission.  This is HIS work, and not mine. The General women´s meeting was just amazing.  I love to see all of the beautiful daughters of God in the choir.  I was able to feel God's love for His daughters and I am so excited for General Conference.  I already have all of my questions ready to be answered.  Have a great week everyone and have a great conference weekend!!  Eat lots of ebilskeivers for me!! (if that is how you spell it!)

Sister Cordner xoxo

My companion made 3 months on the mission!!  WOOHOO!

A beautiful lettuce field.  Sometimes we have to walk through the most beautiful 
farm fields to get to our appointments :)

Sister bonding with facial masks???

Mamão is just such a great fruit.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 51 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - September 21, 2015 - Every knee will bow and every tongue confess!!

BOA TARDE minha família!!! 

There is just so much to say, and such little time!!  It sounds like Elder Cordner is doing great, and is having so many experiences!!  I would love to just spend one day together in this wonderful work :) It would be awesome!

So I am pretty sure my innards are cooked from this week of pure SUN.  But, you can all relax because I put on sun screen two or three times a day!  

We have been working wonderfully together as a trio, and I am pretty sure I have not worked so hard in my whole mission.  It is so great!!  My calf muscles have increased tremendously :)  

It is so funny that of all the people we invite to come to church througout the week, the most wild ones always come.  Yesterday a man we talked to showed up so drunk at church shouting at everyone that he needed to talk to the American girl with green eyes.  QUE MEDO!!  He was saying the most strange things and I felt so bad that he just ruined the Elders Quorum lesson.  But.... we never know the plan of the Lord, maybe He led his troubled son to his church :)  

E is progressing wonderfully.  He is so excited to learn, and even though he does not know how to read, he and his son are reading daily together.  His baptism will be this Sunday!!  We will have to take care of him with our lives this week.

Even though this work is so tiring, and sometimes I feel like I'll pass out from heat-stroke on the side of the road, I LOVE IT.  I love to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love to meet and talk with every one that I can. There are so many amazing people in this world!

This week we got a referral from a member that lives in Mogi Centro.  A and M are the parents of an 18 year old girl named Ar and V, the cutest little girl (she looks exactly like Boo from Monster's Inc.) Well, this family is super amazing.  Ar wants to change her life of drugs and homosexuality... so hard. But, she wants to be baptized and start a new life!  She is excited to read the Livro de Mórmon.  Her mom, M wants to get married and be baptized.  She knows that she "needs to prepare for the second coming" (her own words :)).  A is such a patient father.  He has been so hurt from the bad decisons his daughter has made, but he loves her so much.  None of them went to church yesterday because the girls went to town, and he had to watch futebol on the TV (soccer is such an addiction here haha!)... but next sunday will be so great :)  It is so funny how right when things start to pick up in the area... you have got to go.... I know I have so much more to learn in the next months and I am so excited to work with all my heart, might, mind and strength. On Sunday we will know who will leave Jundiapeba, and if it's me, I will be so sad.  You guys do not even know how much I love this place.  I love it here so much, because of how much I have learned, the wonderful members, and all of the amazing experiences I have had.  

I am so grateful for my Patriarchal Blessing.  This morning I studied every single line.  Our Heavenly Father is amazing.  He is so loving that He gives each one of us a special personal letter to help us on this journey.  I feel His love for me daily and I know I feel His love for the people here as well.  I love you all so much, and I hope it will be a great week!!  Thank you all for the emails.  They always make me smile :)

Sister Cordner xoxo

This is the Stake Patriarch and his wife.  They are absolutely amazing.  They live in the middle of nowhere and give us a ride to their house when we eat with them and their daughter. The drive is absolutely dreamy and their home is the cutest thing. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 50 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - September 14, 2015 - hey fam!!

Óla meu povo! Tudo bem com vocês?!!  Hello my people!  How are you? I am doing just great and I am excited to tell all of you how our week has been.  We have been getting A LOT of rain, and I have been walking in wet shoes for three days.  In the humidity nothing dries, so our toes turn into such raisins by the end of the day!  Yuck.  Many great things happened this week!  I was able to do divisions with a great woman, Sister Nogueira.  I went back to my first area, Suzano!  Her and her comp were new in the area so I was able to show many of our ancient investigators for her and her comp to teach!  It was so amazing to see H, E, and a few less actives that just showed up on the street. Little miracles. Who knows if they will be able to touch their hearts and remind them of how they felt when we taught them!  While we were there, the biggest storm hit.  It was so calm for a few minutes, but we saw the biggest mama clouds comin in... it hit hard.  All of a sudden everything turned dark and we ran into a little shop and we chatted with a few old folks... it was crazy!!  

That night all of the sisters in our zone came to the house in Suzano and we all slept together because we were going to wake up at 3:30 am to go to our mission conference.  It was the biggest ruckus.  I had pretty much 4 square feet on the ground to sleep, but it was necessary because it is really dangerous to travel that early in the morning.  Our whole zone piled into a little van and we headed to São José dos Campos again!  Okay pretty much everyone got so car sick and some of the elders were gagging, almost throwing up...okay I was laughing so hard.  It was terrible!!  We were able to meet Elder Mazzegardi, the first counelor in the Brasil Area Presidency.  He is amazing.  I have never met a more intelligent or spiritual man in my life.  We spent the whole day listening to his amazing stories, and his advice for our daily work.  The biggest thing that I learned is how much I need to have a clean life.  Vida limpa.  Every time he said these words, the more and more I wanted to be so clean!!  He taught us great ways to work with the members, and we read 2 Nefi 31 all together.  He has the Book of Mormon pretty much memorized, and we were able to understand and see things in this chapter that we had never seen before.  I can not even explain how amazing it was.  There was such a light in the room, and the spirit testified to me of every single thing he was saying.

Well we are in a trio now... Me, Sister Pereira, and Sister Nogueira.  Her companion had to go home because of problems with her knees, and we are all getting along great!  It is a little difficult to teach with three people, just because it is the first time we have had to do it, but with practice, all will be well :)  We were all set to see eleven people at church, investigators and less actives, but even though we were running all around Jundiapeba Sunday morning to wake them all up, no one was willing to go.  E (I think this is the man that had the dream about the LDS church steeple) is doing awesome.  He is so excited about the gospel!  We taught the Word of Wisdom to him and he accepted the commandment like a home-made chocolate cake!  He really has such a light in his eyes.  His life has not been easy, and still has many problems in his family, but I KNOW he wants to change.  He wants to be the example for his wife and his sons.  Even though many people here in Jundiapeba do not want to change, God always prepares those who need to right now.  He has been prepared.  

OKAY Funny story:  There is a homeless woman here that DOES NOT like me.  I do not know what I did to her, but every single time we pass her, she stops, waits until I smile and starts screaming at us and aproaching us... I can not help it!!!  I have to smile!!!  How can I be a representative of Jesus Christ and not smile?!  (haha!  this cracks me up. The picture I have in mind of this happening is priceless) Well, she has done this several times, and when I was in Suzano this week, poor little Sister Pereira and Sister Marthier were walking calmly when she saw them and started running after them!  She is a big, tall woman with two dogs, and she almost hit Sister Marthier in the head!  They ran as fast as they could, and got away in time.  But I am just so glad I was not there...I think she would have killed me!  I seriously am so scared of her!! haha but we are so protected :)

Thank you for reading this email, for your prayers, and your support.  I love this work with all of my heart.  I love the Brazilian people.  I love the members.  I love my companion.  I know with all of my heart that the Book of Mormon is a book of God.  It gives me power every single day of my life.  I believe in its promise.  I know God answers our prayers.  Have a wonderful week!!

Sister Cordner xoxo

Every single corner has one of these phone booth things.

The pizza we ate at Family Night.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 49 - Jundiapeba, São Paulo - September 8, 2015

Well hello my beautiful people!!  I am so happy to be writing you all after a week well spent and a lot of rain!!  I do not have a lot of time, but I have a few stories to share with you all!  

Last week we received a reference from the President of the Elder's Quorum.  He said that a man entered into the chapel while they were cleaning on Saturday and he asked him how he could be a member of the church... MIRACLE.  We were able to teach him and his family this week and he came to church on Sunday!!  In his home we were able to see how much they need the gospel!  He shared with us a very special experience.  Before he moved to Jundiapeba he had a dream with the steeple of the chapel and when he saw the steeple on Saturday morning, he knew he needed to be a member of the church.  When he asked Ronaldo what type of church it was, he said that it is the Church of Jesus Christ.  He knew it was true.  We taught him the first lesson and he got very excited about the Book of Mormon.  He explained that his grandfather always talked about a book that would come.  It would be another testament.  It would not be the new or old testament, but another- different testament.  We felt the spirit so strongly and I knew that he would accept baptism.  On the 20th of September he will be baptized!  His family has some hard things.  But the Lord knows exactly how we can help him.  What a miracle he is for us and our area.  I am just so grateful!!  

It sounds like all of you are doing well!!  Elder Cordner is workin hard in the Outback, and man I am so proud of him!!  I love you all so much!!

Let us all remember His grace.  We are nothing without Him.  I know He lives.  He loves us.  

Love, Sister Cordner xoxoxoxoxooxox