October 31, 2016 “Dia das Bruxas”
So, transfers are out and I have good news and bad news–
The good news is that I will be staying here in Campo Cumprido in the shadow of the temple! Woo hoo! And more good news, Mariana is getting baptized this Saturday! We´re really excited for her! She´s such a sweet heart!
The bad news is that Sister Costa will be transfered to another area :,,( I´m super nervos to stay in this area and have a new companion–I have to know the bus routes and how to get to peoples´ houses and how to give directions and its so crazy. But it will work out. Right now we are still making the transition and so we are in trio–woo hoo! Its a party! But tomorrow we will go pick up my companion at the mission office and Sister Costa and Sister Mendoza will go to their area and me and my companion will come back to Campo Comprido. I´ve never met or talked to my new companion Sister Cordato, but I´m excited to meet her and learn even more! This coming week is gonna be busy!
But this past week was really awesome! We marked a date with Mariana and we are preparing her to be baptised this coming Saturday! Also, we had a Mission Tour! Elder Costa, the Area Seventy of Brazil came to give a conference. It was sooo inspired and sooo cool. The first time I heard him speak was while I was still in the CTM, and I didn´t understand anything because, hello, Portuguese. But 6 months later he came to our mission and the conference was amazing! I understood allll oooffff iiitttt!!! Benchmarks! On our way back to our area I realized that I actually understood and was like, “Wait….what? I speak Portuguese! Cool!“ Sister Costa was laughing at me for that.
Also, I got to meet Elder Costa! I was talking to Sister Cuvilier after the conference and he came up and asked “`Where are you from?“ Me: “Arizona“ Elder Costa: “Which part?“ Me: “Gilbert“ Elder Costa: “Aw. There is a very beautiful temple there, right?“ Me: `´Yes!“ Elder Costa: “Do you know who dedicated the land to build that temple?“ Me (thinking): “Oh man I should know this but I don´t…“ Elder Costa: “ME!“
It was so cool!
Later one of the assistants to the President came up to me and my companion and said to me “Sister Cox, after lunch you are going to be interviewed by Elder Costa“ The first thing I thought was “Oh no…what did I do?“ But it was all good! Mission president had selected a few missionaries to be interviewed by Elder Costa previously 🙂 It was really simple and brief but it was so good. One of the things that I loved (I loved all of it but I don´t have time to write everything he said!) was a promise he gave– He said to talk to children. One of my greatest weaknesses is talking and conversing with people (And that weakness is kind of awful when you´re a missionary haha) But Elder Costa gave the promise that if you can talk and converse with a child, you will be able to talk and converse with anyone and you will be happy because you will have love and you will have friendship. This is a rough translation–its more beautiful in Portuguese. But as I´ve tried to apply this promise just the last few days, I´ve noticed a dramatic difference in my level of confidence and level of happiness and level of love I feel for the people here.
I know that Heavenly Father speaks through our liders and His servants. When they speak, the words are from our Lord and Savior. As we follow the prophets, we are following Christ and Heavenly Father and the promises they give are real.
Amo vocês! Boa semana and Happy Halloween!
November 7, 2016 “BATISMO!”
Ok ok so this week was crazy! We had transfers and I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Cordato! She´s from São Paulo and she reminds we a lot a lot of Challis! She is really diligent and I´m really excited to be her companion!
Highlight of this week: BATISMO!!!! Mariana got baptised this week!! It was such a special experience and I´m so grateful I got to be a part of it. The baptismal service was really kind of funny because it was very much not what I´ve experieced but the ordinance and the covenant are the same and they are so powerful.
I don´t have much time left but I´m so happy that Mariana could be baptized. I loved seeing Irmão Flavio baptize her. It really was so special and I know that baptism by the correct authority really is the only way we can enter the kingdom of God and have heavenly peace and joy during our life here on earth.
Boa semana! Love you all!
November 14, 2016 “Olá gente! Tudo bem?!”
This week was super swell– we kind of ran out of phone credit and so we couldn´t call any of our referrals, members, investigators, or anyone to confirm appointments or get addresses… So we were even more unplugged that usual haha it was an adventure!
This week we were knocking doors and to my horror we knocked on a door and three old ladies in skirts anwered–Irmãs from a really popular church called the Assembleia de Deus (Assembly of God). This church is super strict and sticks to the bible hard core. But the old ladies let us in and we started our message about the Restoration–at one point one of the Irmãs pulled out her huge Bible and started flipping the pages and I was like “Ohhhh no, here we go…“ But then it was kind of anticlimactic (is that the right word..?) because they didn´t really understand the concept the we are missionaries and not prophets and the lady that answered the door to let us in doesn´t even live in that house, and the other doesn´t even live in Curitiba and the other wasn´t really listening… I don´t even know… But they liked the message and at least the seed is planted 🙂
Yesterday we went out with a recent-convert,Yvener, to visit his friend Agnaldo–Walking to the house, Yvener told us about his friend and when we got there we got to know his friend more and talk to his wife, Andreia, and his family and we started our message. When we got to the part about how Joseph Smith restored the keys of the priesthood and the authority to baptise, Andreia started to cry– We talked about how through the Restored Gospel and baptism by the correct authority, we can be cleansed from all the wrongs we have made in the past and start completely over and have a new life free of sin. They accepted the challenge to pray about Joseph Smith and be baptized when they receive an answer. It was such a powerful lesson and when we asked if we could come back another day to follow up, Agnaldo literally exclaimed “Can you come back everyday?! I´m here every day! Can you come back tomorrow?!“ haha
I know that it´s the Spirit confirming the truth every time these people want us to come back–its not something WE are doing that make them feel so good in that moment. It´s the Spirit confirming to them that what we are saying is true.
Espero tudos vocês tem um boa semana! Amo vocês!
November 21, 2016
This week flew but lots happened! I don´t even know where to start with the majority of this emails but one of the highlights is our investigator Launi!
She´s SUPER elect! We found her when we went to teach a recent-convert and wouldn´t ya know, this family already taught her practically everything about the Gospel and the Church. We got to know her better and she´s so cute and so prepared by the Lord. The first lesson we taught she was already talking about how she wants to do baptisms for the dead for her family that has already passed away! And serving a mission! It was almost unbelievable–me and Sister Cordato were like “Oh my goodness somebody pinch me, this is too good to be true!“ When told her we would like to mark a baptismal date for December 10th, her eyes got super big and she said “December 10th? That´s so close! YES!!“ The Lord truly prepares his children to receive the Gospel. She is such a special daughter of God and I know she will feel like a completely new person after she´s baptized. The only setback is that she lives in a different area/ward, so this week we´re going to have to help her transition to another ward. We don´t know yet if we are going to get to teach her the rest of the lessons, which is SO sad because WE LOVE HER. But the important thing is that she can make this covenant with Heavenly Father and prepare to create an eternal family. She´s SO excited!
Also, our testimonies of the law of the fast were stregthened this week– We received 4 referrals this week and these people are SO elect and prepared, only to find that they actually don´t live in our area and we can´t teach them (we passed them on the the missionaries that CAN teach them). So Sister Cordato declared “That´s it! I´m thirsty for justice! We are going to fast to find the elect in OUR area!“ So we did– and this Sunday, the members in our ward brought SO many of their friends so church! We had forgotten that this Sunday was the Primary Program–and so there were so many people that came to watch and listen. It was so special and so sweet. Children have so much innocence and are provided with such a huge portion of the Spirit–to the point that they even help with missionary work! We had 12 people in sacrament meeting that aren´t baptized (YET)!! One of which cried through all three hours of church because she was feeling the Spirit so strong and she just felt so good. Her name is Sonha and she´s another elect! 🙂 Temos MUITO trabalho para fazer graças ao espirito das crianças! Que bênção!!
It was such a good start to a LOT of work to be done because we are determined to have a WHITE CHRISTMAS and baptize one of the Lord´s elect on December 24th or 25th. With so much help from the members and leaders and, of course, the Lord, the future looks pretty promising!
I´m so excited for Christmas here in Brazil! And since Thanksgiving doesn´t exist here, we can start putting up Christmas decorations way earlier! #foreignmissionperks
But since Thanksgiving DOES exist in other parts of the world, here are some things I´m super mega grateful for:
-That the gift of tongues is real. Halleluia. Because without it I would probably be dead.
-My super awesome family (including mom, extra moms, sister, extra sisters, brothers, extra brothers, etc *wink*wink)
-Claro, o Evangelho de Cristo.
-TODAS AS OUTRAS COISAS QUE EU NÃO TENHO TEMPO PARA ESCREVER
Happy Thanksgiving! Feliz Natal (que esta vindo rapido demais!)
Amo vocês com todo meu coração!
November 28, 2016 “#Seja a Luz do Mundo”
We saw so many miracles this week I don´t even know where to start!
Laune is so ready to be baptized its rediculous. The first day we taught her she had already read the Book of Mormon until Alma 42!!! She´s so so excited! I love teaching her and being her friend! She calls me hot-sauce because its summer here and I´m always red haha. Tudo bem. Also we found a lovely new investigator Regina! She is so spiritual and reads the Bible every day, but she stopped going to her other church because she uses a wheelchair and nobody was willing to pick her up and take her to church. One of the Irmãos in our ward went to pick her up this Sunday and she even brought some of her nephews. William is 10 and at the end of church he asked us “Can I come back every week?“ Yes, sir. We´re excited to follow up with them this coming week! We´ve been working a lot with the members and have been receiving referrals left and right and allll over the place! We even received a phone call from Rio Grande do Sul from a girl saying that her boyfriend lives in Campo Comprido and he wants to be baptized! What??? People—that doesn´t happen. We´ll see just how far that one goes! Temos fé!
Also, we had divições (divisions) this week on Thanksgiving! Going into the divisão I was super anxious because hello two americans together is quite a sight here in Brazil. But it worked out! We even found new people to teach! And at the end of the day, me and Sister Pattee celebrated Thanksgiving after the manner of Charlie Brown with a dinner consisting of toast and popcorn 😀 T´was amazing.
Really, so much happened this week that I have no idea how to tell it all. But Something I really loved is that I´m so happy to be a missionary! I love the Christmas message we get to share with everyone about being the light of the world! It´s truly so powerful and wonderful to think about how we can truly be like Christ. Sister Cordato and I felt so much of His love this week and saw the Lord´s hand so many times. Remember that we can truly be the light of the world and share the light with everyone you know!
I love being missionary and the Church and the Gospel is surely true! Brasil é a melhor lugar no mundo! Amo tudos vocês! Boa semana e Feliz Natal!!
-Missão Brasil Curitiba Sul version of “Happy Thanksgiving Charlie Brown“
-Sister Cordato and I make food em casa
December 5, 2016 “It´s gonna be a WHITE CHRISTMAS!”
This week was slower as far as how many people we found and taught but rich in miracles! The highlight: We marked a baptismal date with Regina and her neice and nephews (Bruna 18, Victor 13, William 10) for December 25th! They are so humble and have such a hard life, but they love learning about the Gospel. Really the Church of Jesus Christ is perfect and Heavenly Father thought of everthing when He organized it. We also contacted some referrals and they too are so elect! They have some problems with work, family, etc and so we think it will take a little longer to get them to church, but we are excited to teach them! This week we will also be preparing Luane to be baptized and confirmed this coming Saturday and Sunday. She´s so cute and so excited! We love her and can´t wait to see her be baptized and literally start a whole new life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Every week I´m more and more amazed at how inspired our leaders are, how perfect the Gospel is, and how perfect Jesus Christ is. Just this morning, my companion and I were talking about how wonderful and amazing and incomprehensible it is that Christ is literally PERFECT (and I realized also that seriously what a blessing it is to be on the mission– almost the only place where it isn´t weird to have a full-out conversation about Jesus haha)
But really, the church is true and Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for each one of us.
Amo vocês! Boa semana e Feliz Natal!!
ps. no pictures because….i didn´t take any this week…but my companion did and I will send those next week!
December 12, 2016 “We taught a millionaire this week!”
This week we had a lot of appointments fall through and whenever we had an appointment fall, we did a service project instead. We showed up to teach a lesson at one of the member´s houses, but our investigator didn´t show up. Instead we tried to help the family not kill each other in the process of fixing an old closet. While the Irmã was hammering old nails into places they really shouldn´t go I got to thinking about Nefi and how he must have been reeeaaalllly truly inspired when he built the ship crossing to the Americas. Also, he was a man, and so he had the man power to hammer things. So that must have been a blessing. #sacerdócio Also, we tried to help our other investigator clean her room this week… She lives in really really humble circumstances…And she likes to collect things…and so we kind of left 3 hours later having done…not a lot…I had a dream that night about cockroches and trying to clean a room full of things I couldn´t throw away… Mas tudo bem! Vamos ensinar esta semana em vez de limpando por que, eu não aguento mais 🙂
Também, algumas semanas atrais, nós recebemos uma referência de um Americano que apareceu na capela um Domingo. Esta semana, nós fomos lá para ensinar aquela referência. Só que, nós estávamos na casa da Regina (aquela casa super humilde). E fomos direito para o casal (referência). E daí, chegamos no apartamento deles.The guy is LOADED e nós ficamos super awkward porque nós chegamos lá molhadas até o pó da terra por que tomávamos chuva, o apartamento tem um motif que é BRANCO, o elevador chega na frente da porta do apartamento e eles moram no 15° andar. Até Sister Cordato não sabia como agir. Foi um shock we didn´t know how to handle. Eles nós deram cookies que nós não sabíamos como comer e 5 tipos de bebidas para escolher. E nós estávamos tão desconfortáveis, nós escolhemos água. Minha nossa, estávamos morrendo. Mas, nós compartilhamos o vídeo, Seja Luz do Mundo e marcamos para voltar semana agora. No fim, aprendemos que precisamos ter mais confiança em nossa mensagem. Eu estava trabalhando nisso durante estudo esta semana.
December 19, 2016 “Feliz Natal!”
6 dias até Natal!!!
This week was interesting (como sempre)–we talked to a lot of people in the street trying to share the “Be the Light of the World“ message and pass-
along cards and encountered some interesting people– one told us “Oh don´t worry! I´m a prophet, I already know who Jesus is!“ Another guy told us that Santa Clause is a demon of Satan. And another lady stopped and looked at the card, then looked around and called to a construction guy working near by and said (rough translation) “Oi, you, hansome man! Come here and read this for me because I can´t read it!“ when he came over she gave him the pass-along card and walked away. Awkward…
Also, we had a baptism in our ward! It was such a sweet experience! It wasn´t nessassarily OUR baptism because Carla is 8 years old, and she´s the daughter of a recent-convert, Yvener, and one of our “eternal investigators“, Edwine..But it was the cutest thing of all time to watch Yvener, baptize for the first time! We are working with Edwine (mother of the family) to be baptized. But its really hard because they are Haitian and Edwine doesn´t like Portuguese…she speaks French and Creole… But it will work out!
Also, we are working with our investigator, Regina, to be baptized December 25th! Buuut, we discovered that she has problems with coffee and guess what?! Satan is oh so very tricky– Because Regina uses a wheel chair and is super humble. So we figured “Oh good, it will be hard for the adversary to get to her because she can´t really do a lot by herself. And so WE can help her and she will have good influences!“ And guess what the adversary decided to do?! Give her a computer with internet! And she´s a very inteligent person and so she´s going to invesigate all that she can about the church–but the internet can be a very horrid place. So we´re preparing for some new challenges. But Regina is truly one of the Lord´s elect. She reads the Book of Mormon and wants to pay her tithing and she likes going to church! She even fasted on Fast Sunday without us knowing and she received a testimony of fasting all on her own! We´re praying a lot that our “Data de Fé“ can really happen and she can be baptized on Christmas day 🙂
But this week, I learned a lot about patience. There are a lot of children in Regina´s house and sometimes it´s really hard to teach her because the kids are being absolutely insane. Like, seriously. Sister Cordato and I almost lost it. But we prayed and studied a lot about how we could have more patience so that Regina could feel the Spirit. And it helped me a lot to think of how Christ feels about little children. And how He loves them “with a perfect love“. And thinking about that love has helped me a lot with having patience with everyone. Because all of us are children in the Lord´s eyes and He loves us “with a perfect love“. Which is charity, and “charity never faileth.“
I love you all!! Feliz Natal para vocês!!
-Super ward missionary Giovanna taking a selfie!
-We sometimes find slugs in our house lol
December 26, 2016 “White Christmas”
Feliz Natal para tudo mundo!
This week was so crazy. I don´t even know where to start…There´s also so much stuff that I wanted to say during the Christmas skype call that I didn´t get to say! 1 hr passes so fast!
Wellll, we worked a lot a lot a lot with Regina this week to help her prepare to be baptized–we called her everyday to help her not drink coffee, we went to the temple, taught the last of the lessons, and she had her interview! It has been quite the journey–I feel like we´ve been working with Regina for so long but its only been a few weeks. But this week we saw so much progress. Since she stopped drinking coffee we have been able to see (literally see! its incredible!) her testimony growing, and her spiritual comprehension increase. Without knowing, she practically bore her testimony to us, sharing her thoughts and feelings about the true Church of Jesus Christ. When we took her to the temple, it was such a sweet experience. I love the undeniable, peaceful Spirit we can feel when we are near the House of the Lord. On Christmas Eve, Regina passed her interview with flying colors! And the next morning she got baptized! It was an experience I will never forget…for many many reasons…one of them being that I was really stressing out because she uses a wheelchair and baptizing someone that uses a wheelchair isn´t really that easy…Just think about it…
On Christmas Eve we had dinner with our ward mission leader´s family at a fancy little rented out reception place…I don´t even know how to explain it. But it was so fun! I love the members here in Campo Comprido!
We also had some really interesting adventures. Like, on Christmas day, I accidentally locked myself in the bathroom of a member and we had to use lots of tools to take the lock off the door (it got very stuck…) It was kind of hilarious. Also I was sweating like nobody´s business because it was really hot on Christmas and the member´s house had a roof of tin… It was a memorable experience.
We also had Christmas Conference this week and it was so good. There was a talent show and lots of food (physical and spiritual)
I loved talking to my lovely family and it was so fun! I love and miss you all! I think the hardest part was trying to remember English…It was interesting…haha
Feliz Natal e Novo Ano para vocês!
January 2, 2017 “Feliz Ano Novo! Happy New Year!”
This week was really interesting, because the streets were pretty much dead with everyone gone for the holidays. And since we are relatively close to the coast, everyone went to the beach this week. So not only was it hard to find new people, but also it was difficult to find recent-converts and less-actives and even members to visit because no one was home! But even still, this week was a good one!
We have seen a lot of growth already in Regina and how she´s already trying to help her family be fortified by the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. It´s been the greatest miracle to see the change in her life and in her countenance and her family! Even her crazy crazy nephews are behaving better! haha
But here are some highlights from this week:
It was really hot this week and I turned red, Sister Cordato made juice that looked like puke (don´t worry, it was very good and not puke tasting), we went to McDonalds for New Year´s Eve, last p-day we went to the Urgent care because I got a weird purple bug-bite–the doctor guy saw my name and he asked if we were brazilian. My companion said “I am, but she isn´t“ and so he started talking to my companion as if I didn´t understand anything. Its always funny when that happens–Sister Cordato gets mad because she doesn´t like playing the role of my mother haha–But anyways, moral of the story is that the urgent care is close by the temple and so on the way home, we got to pass the temple! We are preparing our cute investigators, Milena and João (John) to be baptized this coming Saturday! We´re so excited for them! Milena is 10 and João just turned 12 this week! Also, New Year´s Eve we had to be in our house at 6pm because its dangerous to be in the street at that time on a holiday here. Because everyone is partying and lighting fireworks that are, in reality, bombs. In few words, midnight sounded like war haha. Also, New Year´s here is like Thanksgiving in the U.S. and so our meal Sunday was super huge and super delicious! Also, the members that fed us Sunday are totally crazy and taught me a Portuguese tongue-twister. I´m still working on it haha
This week, I was filled with so much love for Jesus Christ and who He is and who we are. He loves us and I know that He has a plan for each one of us. He knows your name, He knows my name, and His way is simple and clear and pure. And it is the most joyful path we will ever walk. Its super rough sometimes–super rough– but it is joyful. I know that as we place Him in the first place in all things, He will bless us.
Happy New Year! Love you all!
January 9, 2017 “Batismo!”
Hello! This week was way rad! We had another BAPTISM!! Woo hoo!! Milena and João! Their baptism was so sweet and so happy! People, it was so good. Our recent convert, Yvener (from Haiti–he´s literally the greatest person) baptised them. It was so sweet because Yvener is still learning Portuguese and so his accent is so funny and so cute. And it was his second time baptizing, so he´s still so new but such a worthy priesthood holder. And Milena and João!– Literally, Milena came out of the water laughing, she was so happy to be baptized! It was so cute and so sweet. I just wanted to dance the whole time–but that´s not allowed…
We also started teaching Mateus (Matthew)! Mateus is 19 years old and he found the church through his “friend“ (because they´re a little more than friends now haha), Raquel (Rachel). Raquel is a young woman in the ward– He said he really noticed something different about her and wanted to find out why that was. Well, my friend, welcome to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! We had such a special lesson with him and Raquel. Mateus shared how when he prayed about Joseph Smith he really felt this was the right path for him. Raquel shared her testimony and it was such a sweet experience. I think my testimony was really strengthened in repect to how the examples of the young women in the church really to have an impact on peoples´ lives. We marked a date with Mateus to be baptised at the end of this month!
Also we had a Family Home Evening with Yvener and his family! We´re trying to help his wife progress towards baptism– it´s kind of inevitable that she will be baptised because with Yvener´s level of conversion– its just rediculous. He reads the Book of Mormon and church manuals and Liahona allllllll thhheeeee tiiimmmeeee. Edwine just needs to be baptised already and she knows it too.
Also, this week I was really hungry during personal study and so I warmed up some beans and rice that one of the Irmãs gave us. And when my companion noticed she was like “OK, wait–are you eating beans and rice for breakfast??? An American is eating beans and rice for breakfast. Can I take a picture??“ Oh it was so funny. She says I´m more Brazilian that she is! Haha not true!
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
January 16, 2017 “Happy Birthday Beautiful Emma”