Transfer Two

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September 26, 2016 “Palavrão”

Hola!

So…this week the ultimate Portuguese blunder: I said a cuss word in Portuguese! I was trying to say “The cookies are in the kitchen“…and it came out wrong…so that was cool…now I know not to say the word “kitchen“ wrong!
I don´t have a lot of time to explain everything that happens during the week but here are some of the highlights:
-This week we had a ward activity about the Plan of Salvation and the Iron Rod. It was crazy. But it was good! One of our less-actives brought a whole bunch of investigators and so it was really fun!
-We´re teaching a family of Haitians! The dad of the family is a recent-convert and he´s super strong and converted. He goes to church every sunday and loves learning about the Gospel. He brings his 8-year-old daughter, Carla to church every week! Yvener and Carla speak Portuguese, but Edwine, his cute cute wife, isn´t baptised because when another set of sisters were teaching her, she could only speak French and Creole and so the sisters stopped teaching her. But now we´ve started teaching her and Guito, Yvener´s brother! Edwine understands most everything now in Portuguese. But Guito just barely arrived in Brazil two weeks ago, and he doesn´t speak any Portuguese. We were in a lesson teaching them and Sister Costa was speaking in Portuguese– my heart was just tearing because you can see in their eyes when they understand the language. And Guito was totally lost. And I´ve been through that! It was so sad! It was so sad to see and know exactly was Guito was feeling and this total lack of understanding and to feel like an alien creature that no one understands and he doesn´t understand anyone either. I think we all feel that way in some form or another at times–that no one understands us and/or we don´t understand them. And so I tried something else–I spoke to him in English! And his eyes just lit up and he smiled so big and he understood and he spoke to me too! And I got so excited to see him realize that someone understood him and he could understand someone else. And thinking about it, it just reminded me again that we all have moments, big and small, where we feel totally depressed and sad and that no one understands. But we have a Savior who understands us perfectly and He communicates with us perfectly. And when that understanding comes, that beautiful Haitian smile breaks through and we smile with our eyes too. And it just made me think again how the Atonement is to make us happy. And Jesus Christ made that possible.
Amo tudo vocês! Boa semana! Smile this week knowing that you always have a Savior who will undertand!
Love, Sister Cox
photos:
-our Tree of Life at the ward activity
-Sister Costa having a blast
-Lucas Harry Potter was the photographer at our activity. This kid is always wearing some kind of Harry Potter clothing, so everyone calls him Lucas Harry Potter haha
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October 3, 2016 “Conferêcia!”
This week was full of Conference!! We had a Zone Conference and then we had General Conference!

I loved General Conference! I love that we have a living Prophet on earth today! We have 12 apostles and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ. They are inpired men and women and they speak to us for our day and our circumstances. Christ is at the head of His church. Heavenly Father knows and loves each one of us. I loved the talk by Elder Rasband– NEVER forget the times when your testimony was flourishing. Never forget sacred and personal experiences where you felt the light and love and certainty of the Gospel. Never forget those who love you and what you have already accomplished. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is the fount of the plenitude of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon! I know that eternity is real and that our convenants are real. We are part of something huge and joyful and beautiful. I love the temple and I love our leaders and our prophet and I know its all read and true.

I love you all!

Sister Cox

pictures:

-walking through a park to get to the Lanhouse (internet cafe) today!

-signature tree of Curitiba

-the street we live on

-tapioca with banana

October 10, 2016 “Esperança”

I have no time left!

This week was a good one! My companion had a birthday (she´s 20 now!), we had a Zone activity, and this coming week I´ll have 6 months on the mission already!
This area is super difficult. We´ll have an investigator that starts progressing and then moves away (happened twice already), our recent converts know everything about the Gospel but don´t live any of it, and our less-actives and even re-activated less actives have problems with health, work, etc. and even members of the ward who have been members of the church for years are falling away. But this sunday we were talking to the Bishop in our ward about these things. And he talked about how really, truly, these are the last days. And, the Curitiba Temple is in our area. So, OF COURSE Satan is working the hardest he can. I received an email this week that I loved: “… if the Church wasn’t true, Satan wouldn’t work so hard to oppose it.  The fact that there is opposition to the Church is evidence of the fact that the Church is true.  Satan would not waste his time and effort fighting against something that is false.  His efforts are laser focused on opposing and leading people away from truth.  So, when we encounter opposition from the adversary in our efforts to live and share the gospel, we can have increased confidence that we are actually doing what God wants us to do and that we are on His errand.“
Satan is working but we have to work harder.
I literally have no time. I love you all!
Sister Cox!
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October 19, 2016 “Milagres”

Ok.

So this week was full of adventures! We had a Zone Activity last p-day that was really exciting.
This week we went to teach a lesson as our last appointment of the day–and we got out of the lesson feeling pretty discouraged…and THEN, Curitiba happened and it started POURING. And we didn´t bring an umbrella…So at first we were like, You´ve got to be kidding me. But then we were like WOOO MISSION MEMORIES!! We arrived home literally drenched but it was fun! Good times!
On sunday we saw a lot of miracles! We had two investigators, Edeline and Julia come to church and two recent converts that had said earlier in the week that they wouldn´t come to church! They came! Woot woot! One of them has a son that was baptized the same time she was. And she´s been sending him to church but she never comes herself. And her son has been getting really sad because he loves his mom so much and wants her to come to church. And so this sunday we went to her house after going to pick up our investigators. We got a ride for our investigators and then went to Maria´s house– she was suprised when we showed up but we were like “COME ON MARIA LETS GO TO CHURCH!“ She had just woken up when we got there and so we helped her get ready and we got to church just in time for sacrament meeting– and when she walked in, her son, John Bryan, turned around and the look on his face was so priceless! He was so happy and got up and went to sit with his mom. It was such a sweet experience!
That´s all I have time for and I wish I could write more and organize my thoughts better every week. But just one last thing, we went to the temple today and it was such a wonderful thing. I love sitting in the Celestial Room–I was thinking about how so many people just don´t have any idea. There are some things you just can´t put into words and how I feel when I´m at the temple is one of them. Its like you´re in direct contact with Heaven. And the temple is the only place we can feel that.
I´m so grateful for the temple and for the Gospel and I love you all!
Boa semana!
Sister Cox

 

October 24, 2016 “Até o pó!”

So this week we learned that we can record our voices and send a recording to our families every week! Woot woot!

 

 

This week we helped one of our recent-converts move houses and it was super fun! She´s 78 years old and she has cloths and shoes até o pó! She also knits cool hats and so we wore hats while we helped clean and organize her new house. It was so so good. I love service and I love Angela ❤
Also, we are teaching a nine-year old girl named Mariana. She lives with a million of her cousins and family and she wants to be baptized! She is so sweet and so cute! We are really excited for her and to see her progress. She´s already been to church and she has a cousin and a friend that have already been baptised helping her a lot. She says she has really received an answer. We are really excited for her 🙂
Also this week we have been really anxious because next week is Zoo Transfers. Sister Costa has been in this area a really long time and so she will probably be transfered and I will stay here. I´m kind of freaking out. But it will all work out 🙂
Something I learned this week is that service is the best thing ever. I loved helping Angela with her house. I don´t know exactly how to explain it but service is something that makes you feel so happy inside and my testimony was strengthened a lot that when we serve, our love increases for that person and your love increases for the Lord and for those you serve with.
I love you all! Boa semana!
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Service with Angela

Training Done Transfer One

8/8/2016 “Scraped knees, mold, and zoo transfers :)”

Another week in Brazil!

So…at the beginning of this week we were walking to the bus stop to go to a district meeting. And the bus started coming up the street and we weren´t at the bus stop yet. So we were scared we were gonna miss it. So we started running. And…I totally biffed it lol so two bleeding knees later we´re on the bus and made it to our district meeting on time haha. So this week I was working around bruised knees. It was an adventure haha 🙂 Tudo bem!
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Also this week we cleaned our walls because S. Calevoso kept getting sick from the mold all over the place. It was so fun! Not the S. Calevoso getting sick part. That was sad 😦
 It was like…repentance. It was really gross and black and when we cleaned it up, it smelled REALLY bad. But afterwards, the wall was white and our house felt so clean and nice. haha #humidity #mofoatéópó (mold like nobody´s business) The funny thing is that we´ve been in that house for 12 weeks and just barely cleaned it up–don´t procrastinate the day of your repentance. Also, I haven´t gotten sick yet (except one day when I first arrived in Gralha Azul) so that´s always a good thing haha bênçãos.
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We went to the temple to help our recent converts do baptisms for the dead–all the missionaries in our zone do that every transfer. And since our recent convert didn´t get in to an interview on time, we just helped with other missionaries´ recent converts. 🙂 But the temple is so pretty! We got there earlier than last time and so the sun was still out when we arrived there. You guys, Curitiba is beautiful. And then you just add a temple to the picture and its pretty much the Celestial Kingdom. I can´t wait to actually do a session there!! Hopefully sometime this transfer!
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Mas então! This weekend was transferências! And I´ve been transferred to Campo Cumprido to be companions with Sister Costa (the sister I worked with for divisions!)!! Wooo hooo! We´re both super excited! Transfers are still going on so we´re in a trio right now! Sister Angulo is from México and Sister Costa is from Brazil and they are HILARIOUS. Oh my goodness its so much fun. I love them! Its going to be so sad when Sister Angulo´s companion arrives and we´re not in a trio anymore 😦 But its ok! Its been so fun! And I´ll still have Sister Costa and so it will be rad! She´s so super warm and fun and loving. Its gonna be great!
But yes…That was this week. This week I learned a lot about how we can have so much peace and so much happiness when we are obedient and honest. Honest with ourselves, honest with others and with our Heavenly Father. There´s no other way to gain the same divine peace than through being honest and having integrity 🙂
I love you all! Boa semana! 🙂
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8/15/2016 “Costa and Cox”

First week in Campo Cumprido was probably the greatest thing of my life.

My companion is literally the greatest. She likes to eat food. We get along really well.
So yes. Transfers left us and our house and everything in kind of a mess– and the Sister that was there before me has a heart problem and so the work in this area has been kind of inconsistent. So this week we did lots of cleaning and organizing at home, lots of contacting, and lots of teaching. And it was so great! We had a lot of ups and downs–like how we had an investigator at church but the rest of the day the streets were full of drunk people and Brazilian thug music because yesterday was Dia dos Pais (Brazilian Father´s Day). But that´s just mission life I guess haha 🙂 Tudo bem!
But yeah let me tell you about our investigators! Rubia and Caio– a mom and her son! Rubia is so sweet and Caio is so cool! He´s 15 and is obsessed with the United States and Adrianna Grande (or some celebrity with a name like that…I don´t know!) But he´s super receptive and intelligent and listens and remembers everything we teach. We marked a date with him for 27 August woo hoo!
But yeah–wanna hear my Portuguese blunders from this week? We were making a teaching record for Caio. And the first time I tried writing his name on the teaching record, I wrote “Kyle“ because “Caio“ is pronounced like “Kyle`´ with a Brazilian accent. But then Sister Costa is like, “Um..no that´s wrong.`´ And so I tried again and wrote “Caeo“ because the letter “i“ here is pronounced like we pronounce the letter “e“ and sister Costa was spelling the name for me… but I guess my handwriting is really weird because when she looked she thought I had written “Caco“ which is Portuguese for “poop“ She read it and just DIED lauging and I´m like What?? and she´s just like “CACO!!! HAHAHAHA!!“ It was hilarious hahaha
But yes. We had some good laughs this week. And also I learned more about love. And how sometimes we´re afraid to love someone completely because we know we aren´t going to be here forever–for me, I was thinking of how I´m in love with this area and these people and that´s going to make it really hard to leave. But we were reading a scripture in Corinthians with a less-active this week about charity–and how charity is the pure love of Christ. We know that Christ loves each one of us more than we could ever comprehend. But we also know that He suffered more than we could ever comprehend. And we also know that “charity suffereth long“. And so when we love, we are becoming like Christ. And since Christ already suffered, we don´t have to suffer loss when we love someone. We can love completely without that fear of suffering because we can turn to Him and He will take that suffering away. All He wants us to do is LOVE and enjoy it and be happy 🙂 I don´t even know if that makes any sense…it makes sense in my head haha
If you see my brother Adam this week SING HIM HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Its his birthday on the 19th!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM!! 12 YEARS OF AGE ROCKS!!!!!
I love you all! Boa semana para vocês!
Sister Cox
pictures:
Sister Costa and Sister Cox–our last names are the names of different bones in the body (in Portugues) Costas= backbones and Cox (the pronunciation) = tailbone haha we´re really cool
Also, I ate this really awesome exotic fruit this week!
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August 22, 2016 “When life gives you oranges…that are actually lemons…?”

So funny story–last week I sent an email and the Portuguese word for “poop“ is “Coco“ not “Caco“….Just thought I´d clear that up before I begin with this weeks happenings…

Anyways. So here in Brazil, the lemons are orange…so when I went to the really awesome fruit market last week and bought oranges…they were really lemons… haha tudo bem! #whenlifegivesyouoranges? ANNNDDD, when you ask “Is this an orange?“ no one will give you the same answer because they respond “No, thats a alskdhgo“ “No, thats a çlejrp´tu“ “No, thats a erpotuwqe“. You guys, an orange is an orange. These Curitibanos…
But this week was way good! Caio is progressing…Well, another funny story. So, we had marked a baptismal date for this coming Saturday, but it fell through because Caio didn´t come to church Sunday (that was a little complicated because we had Stake Conference). So we went to visit him last night and remarked a date with him for not this coming Saturday but the next one– and he asked “What time Saturday?“ and we said “7pm“ and then HE says “Oh…well…I don´t think that will work out because I have church 7pm Saturdays.“ My companion and I were like, Uhh….Ok, we obviously missed something here. We kind of panicked there for a second but cleared things up…hopefully…haha I´ll let you guys know in the week to come… OH and then we ended our message and Caio was like “Hey, say the prayer in English“ and I was like, “Oh…um…ok“ and I COULDN`T DO IT. I literally couldn´t remember the words—I´ve been praying in Portuguese since the CTM. Every single prayer. And when you´re a missionary, thats kind of a lot of prayers…. It was crazy. I couldn´t believe it. AH! Maybe I´ll get the hang of Portuguese after all haha 😛
So, at Stake Conference, one of our less-actives and one of our recent-converts received the Melquesideque Priesthood (how do you spell it in English? is it the same…?) and we were so happy and so excited for them! It was such a happy moment.
This week I was kind of amazed at the amount of love I feel for these people. My companion, Caio, Rubia, our little pool of investigators, our district and zone leaders, our President. I love them so much all I want to do is serve them–
This week was SUPER wet and SUPER cold and so Sister Costa got sick and we had to stay home one day because of the rain and cold. And S. Costa felt so bad that I had to stay inside all day when I wasn´t sick at all (I don´t know how that keeps happening…) But it was totally good with me because I got to serve Sister Costa and make her soup and ginger milk with honey (hot milk with ginger and honey–I learned it does great things for sore throat) and hot chocolate and juice. I loved serving her!
I love serving people here in Brazil and all our crazy adventures and learning this language and being a missionary!
I love you all! Boa semana!
Sister Cox
picture: my orange lemon
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August 29, 2016 “Blusas, Brigas, e Brincos”

This week. Was an adventure.

So. Me and Sister Costa are kind of strange people. Last P-day we bought matching sweatshirts we found in the men´s section at this super cheap “everything“ store by the bus station where everything is 12R$ (about $3.50) Annddd we found this other sweater that was kind of too hilarious to resist–its pink and flowery and says “Live you dreams“ Sister Costa was like, “Oh these Brazilians, trying to speak english hahaha!“ It was great. Matching blusas!

We had divisions again this week! I went to another area to be companions with Sister Pattee for the day. A few funny things about this situation: I only have 4 months here in Curitiba, Sister Pattee is American with only 3 weeks in Curitiba, I didn´t know her area and we´re both Americans still learning how to be missionaries and how to speak Portuguese… Annnddd we knew eachother before the mission! We were in the same YSA ward at BYU and she lived in the apartment right below mine! haha It was really crazy. But yeah..we went to go visit a part-member family. When we got there, the mom had just left but they let us in… but the girls in the family were totally in the middle of an argument and then the little brothers joined and then the mom came back and joined in too. One person would leave, one would go after them, we would hear some screaming and yelling, they would come back, they would start yelling at eachother in front of us. And the whole time they´re all talking really fast and so I´m barely understanding what´s going on and poor Sister Pattee too…yeah…it was an adventure. I returned to Campo Cumprido and Sister Costa with a whole new appreciation and love for everyone and everything.#brigas #lessonlearned
But hey, on the other end of the spectrum, this weekend was really great! One of our recent converts is engaged to one of our other recent converts! Haha the funny thing is that Angela is 68 and Valdimo is 58. Moral of the story? ITS NEVER TOO LATE! You can´t put an age on love! Haha
And at church on Sunday Sister Costa´s grandma showed up! It was a really exciting, strange moment…? We called President and everything´s alright haha Her grandma gave us a bunch of stuff too–she´s so cute! I love these Brazilian grandma´s! They´re literally the greatest!
And wowza–so yesterday we were contacting in the street and we tried to talk to this rapaz (young man) but he signed that he couldn´t hear and just avoided us. This is the second time this has happened–encountering a deaf person in the street. And both times I´ve been so shocked that they´re deaf that my Portuguese totally slips and I say out loud “They can´t hear!“ haha But Sister Costa says that that´s so strange that in her 6 months on the mission she has only ever ran into deaf people with ME. AND DURP I totally haven´t taken advantage of it!! I don´t know how similar Portuguese sign language is to American sign language But yeah–I JUST realized yesterday that UM DUH TRY AND SIGN WITH THESE PEOPLE haha so next time I´ll do better haha
But this week I realized (re-realized) how grateful I am for the sacrament. We were explaining the importance of the sacrament to our 15 year old investigator this week. And we used the analogy that not taking the sacrament is like not taking a shower. Your body needs to be cleansed and renewed or else, like Caio informed us, you will get a rash in places you never want a rash. And so we need the sacrament to cleansed and renew our spirits. I know that baptism, the sacrament and repentance is the only way we can have that renewal to our spirits. The Sacrament is an incredible blessing to all of us!
I love you all! Boa semana para vocês!
Sister Cox
pictures: matching sweatshirts, divisions with Sister Pattee, earrings that Sister Costa´s mom sent us 🙂

 

September 5, 2016 “Inglês!”

This week was full of adventures! But I don´t have time to write them all how I want to. Que raiva hein?

Mas, tudo bem! This week we taught a lot more lessons and we found a new investigator named Darci! He (yes, he) is super duper sweet and accepted a baptismal date the first lesson! He has had a little contact with the church because he transports trees and landscaping–and he was the one who trasported the trees to the Curitiba temple! And he had already had some contact with other Evangelist churches but he said he never felt anything and was never interested and never let missionaries (Jehova´s Witnesses or others) past his gate. But the other day when we were knocking doors on his street we saw him sitting on his front porch and I waved to him. A couple days later we knocked/clapped at his gate and he let us in. And in the middle of the lesson he asked “What are you doing that´s making me feel this way?“ BOOM– Its called the Spirit wanna get baptized? Haha he´s pretty much golden and we´re super excited to work with him this week 🙂 We´re still teaching Caio but he hasn´t come to church since the first week we were teaching him so his baptismal date keeps falling through 😦 But we have faith he will get baptized eventually!
Also, we started teaching an English class this week as a way to get referals! It was the greatest thing of my life. Everyone here knows a little English but its kind of funny because most of the time its totally wrong or its something they´ve heard from songs by Adel or Bioncé. Fazer o que neh? haha
I´m super grateful to be here in Campo Cumprido! The members here are so wonderful and I´m starting to realize just how fun and crazy and wonderful Brazilians are haha Its the best! Heavenly Father has definitely blessed me with the best of everything here! Its still really hard but I love it!
Love you all! Boa semana!
Sister Cox
photos:
English class and Caio! Also we figured out that “Caio“ in English is “Kyle“ so I was right the first time! He really likes Arianna Grande…this kid haha

 

September 12, 2016 “Cookies Demais?”

This week…

This week was interesting…Just to give you an idea, one of our less-actives has a son that got sent to prison, our super awesome investigator has an ex-brother-in-law (how does that even work?) who is a pastor of another church that was visiting and so our investigator didn´t want to visit with us this week, lots of our recent converts don´t want to go to church aannnddd me and Sister Costa were eating cookies alllll week long…Annndd my trainer S.Calevoso finished her mission and she´s home now–and she´s dating an elder that served in Campo Cumprido the transfer before I got here…its really strange…what even is dating??
But yeah. The last couple weeks we´ve been working on knocking on doors of this one street–we´re convinced it is a blessed street. We´ve found new people to teach there and had an investigator come to church! He´s super sweet and old and we have high hopes ;P But it was kind of funny because his hearing isn´t all that great and he´s really independent…so as soon as he knew what class or what room to go to, he almost completely ignored us and just WENT. We were like, “Um. Ok cool haha“ but then church ended and he was OUT of there. We barely caught him before he left! haha So I guess we´ll see about that one haha
Also a few other highlights from this week:
-Family night with the family of our recent converts (the old couple that´s getting married soon) We shared a message about missionary work and they got really excited to share the Gospel! The dad of the family is literally Brother Jensen speaking Portuguese haha!
-Cookies até ó pó–literally I never want to eat cookies ever again.
-We found a little friend on our floor–this tiny little lizard. But I didn´t want to pick it up and Sister Costa even less so…and so I put a tupperware over him…and then forgot about him…and he might have died a little bit…poor guy…
-English class again! We had new people! One of which is a recent convert named Lucas and he is a fan of Harry Potter–to the point that he died his hair red and wears some form of Hogwarts attire every day haha
Also not this sunday, but a couple weeks ago I forgot to tell about how the Primary President called us into primary to bear our testimonies–Two elders and sister Costa and I–and when we were standing in the front, one of the little boys said “Olha! Agora tem três marrons!“ (Look! Now there are three brown people!“) and my companion was like; “Sim! E uma branca!“ (“Yeah and one white!“) Good to know no matter what country you´re in, children always have something awesome to say 🙂
I love you all and hope you all have a fantastic week!
pictures:
-my companion is really cool
-that moment when brazil doesn´t have chocolate chips and so you resort to chopping a chocolate bar
-cookies demais

 

 

September 12, 2016 “Estamos em Greve”

Oi gente!

Então, eu quero escrever em Português mas se faço isso, ninguém vai me-entender…infelizmente…Mas esta tudo bem!
This week was the last week of the transfer! There were a lot of changes, but the good news is that me and Sister Costa are staying together here in Campo Cumprido! But like I said, there were still a lot of changes. Before this transfer our area was split into two parts (Campo Cumprido A & Campo Cumprido B) And so me and Sister Costa worked in one half of the area/ward Campo Cumprido and a companionship of Elders worked in the other half of the area/ward. But this transfer, President took the Elders out of the area and left all of it to me and Sister Costa–so now we will be working with the whole ward/area instead of just one half. So it should be interesting… We´re a little anxious but we´re excited! We´ve got our work cut out for us haha We were so sad though! Our district was so cool! But it will all work out! New transfer, new district, new people! Woo hoo!
One of the highlights from this week was a lesson we had with a family– the dad of the family is less-active but the mom isn´t a member. They have two little kids: a 7 yr old daughter and a 2 yr old son. Their progress is pretty slow because we can only teach all of them together once a week– and its been difficult because their kids are kind of craazzzyyy and the 2 yr old José likes to throw EVERYTHING. (The lesson about the Plan of Salvation a couple weeks ago was interesting…we brought pictures…needless to say they ended up in allll kinds of places.) So THIS week I was kind of anxious about teaching them because the Spirit hadn´t really been able to testify to Luciene (the mom) because she was always stressed out about her crazy two year old. But this time we brought a member with us–André. And wowza it was so awesome. We taught them the Restoration and used a video (videos are great). The kids were totally calm the whole time and Luciene totally opened up and was so much more relaxed. The Spirit was so there! I was really grateful for that moment because it was a moment where Luciene could have a spiritual experience and really understand and feel the truthfulness of the Restoration.
This week I also learned that we have to be bold. We have the truth. And not just a peice of it, we have ALL of it. And if we aren´t bold enough to share it with conviction and clarity, the Spirit can´t testify of its truthfulness. We can´t be wishy-washy about the truth. The world is so full of wishy-washy-ness its rediculous. We can´t be like the world. We have to be bold!
Share your testimony with someone this week!
Boa semana! Amo vocês!
Sister Cox
pictures:
-I didn´t take pictures this week lol but heres a sign the mission secretary gave to us: all the banks that are closing put up a bunch of these signs on their windows. Its so not funny but it is…
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In Training

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5/30/2016 “Minha nossa! (My goodness!)”

WHOA I’M A MISSIONARY GUYS IT’S KINDA CRAZY.

ENTÃO.
EU. NÃO. FALOU. PORTUGÛES.
So the first day was reeeaaall long but it was still good. I traveled with one other Brazilian Sister and Elder Carson (from AZ) from the CTM to Curitiba and that´s when it began: ONLY PORTUGUES. I just followed whatever people were gesturing for me to do. It´s pretty much how I´ve survived this week haha…
So my first area isn´t the main city of Curitiba. In Brazil they always have a main city (Curitiba) and what they call Enteriors (<–spelling?) (smaller cities surrounding the main city).
And so I´m in Mafra! With my companion Sister Quiñones! She´s from Chile and only has 12 more weeks of the mission–which is the length of my training. Então, she´s my first companion and I´m her last! And so the first day we and two other Sisters (One from Natal(which means Christmas!) Brazil and the other from Chile as well) traveled to Mafra via onibus. The busing system here is crazy high-tech and awweessooommeee its so exciting! Anyways. We arrived at our casa and ewwww. Elders lived there before and it was so so so disgusting. We got there at about 9pm and were cleaning until 12:30 and when we woke up in the morning we cleaned some more. Oh it was gross. ELDERS. POR FAVOR. But I guess we can forgive them because they left food–even though some of it was old and smelled like canned dog food and all that. And so its the four of us Sisters here. Me and Sister Quinones cover Mafra and the other Sisters cover another area across the way called Rio Negro.
And so we´ve been contacting a lot. There´s only a small branch here–Uma Ramo. And I really don´t understand what´s going on the vast majority of the time so I just do whatever my companion does and so I don´t really know the members very well because I don´t understand what they´re saying…. but from what I can tell the members are so great! A lot of them are converts. The Presidente de Ramo and his family are wonderful. We´ve had almoço (lunch) with them a couple times–because we don´t have dinner appointments. Almoço is the biggest meal of the day and so that´s pretty much the greatest, I think. We´ve had almoço with members almost every day since we´ve arrived so that´s really fun. They have a thing for gelatin desserts…ew…but that´s ok because they also have fruit and creme as desert! Fruit for dessert guys. Its so good. AH LOVE IT.
Also we´ve been doing a lot of contacting–via clapping in front of people´s houses and having their dogs run out to the gate (everyone has a gate with a lock on it) and bark at us. And depending on the street people let us in and we teach the first lesson and etc… But yeah. My companion speaks NO english so I guess that´s a good way to learn Portugues. Also she´s pretty much the Chilean version of Mary Poppins haha I LOVE HER. And I´m learning A LOT from her because she makes me do EVERYTHING I absolutely DO NOT want to do– I don´t speak any Portugues and she makes me teach lessons and invite people to be baptised and all that stuff.She´ll be talking during a lesson and then look at me like “Ok you´d better say something because I´m not saying a word.“ Uhhh…. there have been a lot of awkward silences. She literally just sits there WAITING. AH. But its good because I hope that helps me learn faster…or I´ll just be the cause of the apostasy of every Brazilian I try to teach…There was one lesson my companion just sat there staring at me and it was so rough.The lady was super nicebut it was still so rough. And so when we finally got out to the street again I just broke down. And my companion doesn´t speak English and I don´t speak Portugues and so I could´t explain anything and she was just frustrated because I didn’t talk very much during the lesson and it was so bad. But we had to keep going because we couldn’t just stand there while I was having a break down so we went to the next house and clapped and someone came out and she made me talk to that person too. GAH. And as we continued I pulled it together but it was so rough. I was just like “Oh my goodness whyyyy do people do this mission thing??? I don´t know if I´ll ever learn the language or if I´ll end up doing any good here or if people will love me or just judge me cause I´m a spoiled american or just what even??“ But then I kept thinking and praying and I realized that that´s what faith is. Faith is NOT KNOWING what will happen or what the purpose is or if you will fail or succeed or if this is right or wrong or if people will love or hate you for what you´re doing but MOVING FORWARD ANYWAY trusting that the Atonement has made up for whatever you have done, are doing, or will do wrong. Also, I remembered the Elder from our stake who what from Tonga who was learning English. And everyone loved him not for his English, but just for who he was. And I remembered a RM Sister I met once at institute who served in Brazil who said she learned to language,but she also said there are other ways you can communicate while you´re learning Portugues. And so that brought me a lot of peace.
And so, this week I´ve been learning about faith. And also how to be positive while doing it. Its all ok and I dont have to be stressed or overwhelmed or unhappy because Christ already suffered all that. And this is HIS work, not mine. Isaiah 5:3-5
I love you all!
Sister Cox
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6/13/2016 “Morte-valdo”
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Oi tudo bem?!

Então this week was kinda crazy…
So Curitiba is really cold and wet. And it has a bad effect on the people so its hard to find investigators…é triste. But we do have this one investigator. Ohhhh man we visited her this week and it was a very interesting experience. Just a little background, Luzinete is Jehova´s witness (Everyone here in the city has their religion. Its terrible.) and she saw the Sisters walking down the street one time and told them ´´Hey! You´re the Mormons right? I want to learn more about your religion but you know I´m not going to join ok?´´ Oh. Challenge accepted.
So this is what happened: We showed up to Luzinete´s house (and a lot of houses here are really two houses behind the same gate so neighbors are really family…something like that? I don´t even know) and her neighbor had fallen. He was an old guy and so when we got there everyone was kind of in a panic because he was just laying on the ground and his arm was bleeding. Luzinete was just told us to go wait in her front room. Her neighbor was ok (I think…?) and so she came back in with her husband and was like ´´Ta bom. Pode comencar.´´ (´´Ok. You can start.´´) We do all the convites (invitations) like starting lessons with a prayer and all that but she doesn´t ever let us and she doesn´t ever want to pray or read what we invite her to read but you´ll see why in a second— So I don´t speak a whole lot of Português very well but I can understand pretty much everything. And so Sister Calevoso does a lot of the teaching. And for this particular lesson we were teaching about the Book of Mormon. And Sister Calevoso went alllll Isaiah and Bible on this lady it was craaazzyyy and you could just see Luzinete totally understood everything and you could just see in her face she felt in her mind and heart the Book of Mormon is true. And so we invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. But she said (more hesitantly than usual but still) ´´Not now…maybe later´´ We think she is scared to pray because she knows that God will answer and she´s afraid He will answer ´´Yes.´´ She´s afraid of change. But she doesn´t have to be, because Christ and Heavenly Father and the Spirit will be there every step of the way. The Gospel isn´t something God has given us to weigh us down–its meant to make you life the happiest it can be. I just wish I could communicate that to her–in Portuguese… Mas, tudo bem.
So here´s the funny part. So we ended the lesson and Luzinete´s husband had just been sitting there listening the whole time–and then Sister Calevoso went to the bathroom and so I was just talking to Luzinete and her husband and her husband started saying stuff like “Where are you from? Estados Unidos! Nossa! You speak so well! Your practically Brazilian! Your hair is so beautiful! Nossa!´´ and then he started talking to S. Calevoso when she came back in and her family is from Argentina but she was born in Miami and speaks spanish, english and portuguese with NO accent and so this guy started getting really really excited and talking her to about how amazing she is and accents and nossa! And then is was just all down-hill from there– and I realized more clearly this man wasn´t actually ´´all there´´ (if ya know what I mean)– he just talked faster and faster and more excitedly and then we got up to try and leave and we went to shake his hand (this whole time he just kept talking very excitedly) and he wouldn´t let go of my hand as he was talking to Sister Calevoso and she´s trying to help us get out of there and long story short he gave us both a kiss on the cheek and a hug before we could get out. AHH we were dying laughing when we finally got out to the street IT WAS HILARIOUS WE ARE SUCH FUBECAS IT WAS CRAZY AHHH. And so, it turns out, that this man is 82 years old, his mind isn´t all there, he´s only been married to Luzinete for 3 years, and she´s his third wife…uh, what?
Brazil man…Brazil.
So yes. So also, this week was transfers and since we´re super close to the mission home, we had 4 other sisters staying with us in our little apartment and so it was definitely a party. Im staying in Curitiba with Sister Calevoso to finish training and hopefully learn more Portuguese (woot woot!)
So that´s all I´ve got for you people this week. I hope you´re all enjoying the sun because its UH. COLD down here.
Love you all!
Sister Cox
Photos:
1. Mission tour last week with Presidente Callister
2. Transfer party at our apartment

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6/20/2016 “Yur Mom”

Good news! The shift key works this week!

So I got to shake hands with Elder Holland. AH! That was THE coolest. I dont even know how to describe the experience well enough. Its Elder Holland, so naturally it was an Elder Holland talk that we got. And all of the Americans were really excited to hear him but, no joke, we thought maybe we would still have to use headphones to hear a translation from Portugues to English because we thought maybe he would receive a huge outpour of the Gift of Tongues and say everything in Portugues. And he had us going for a second when he started his talk ´Bon dia…´ then he continued ´Bem vinda. Parabens. Guarana…´and a few other words I cant remember and then he stopped and said ´thats about all I know in Portugues so I think I should just stick to English´ We were relieved! And it was amazing. He talked about how we need to be ´champion´missionaries. He related it to swimming a race– when we all start out, we start together and excited and fresh and everyone looks like a champion. But God hasnt called us to BEGIN His work. He´s called us to finish it. And so we only really know who the real champions are at the END. If at the end you´re still working hard and going strong. He said this is the key to be a champion ´Kick when you dont want to kick. And stroke when you dont want to stroke.´ Doesnt that sound just like Elder Holland?? There was a whole bunch of other amazing stuff and it was a wonderful and enriching experience. Now just to apply it…
Also. We went proselyting this week! It was our second round! The first time was during our second week or something like that and it was way rough but still a good experience. So THIS time was so much different. The purpose is to place Book of Mormons and get contacts for other missionaries in the area. So we were walking around and, trying to follow the Spírit, I initiated a conversation with this sweet old lady in a park in downtown Sao Paulo and she said her name was Beatriz. AH. First of all I had to tell her how much I loved her name because Im a fan of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit and allllll those homies. So yeah. Then we started getting to know her and teaching her a little about the gospel and she just started pouring out her heart and there were tears. From what I understood she had been having heart problems for a couple of months and she just felt so sad and so confused at everyone preaching goodwill (she had some catholic background and at first didnt want to take the Book of Mormon we were trying to give her) and yet she felt so alone and confused. And so I got to tell her about how there was a boy named Joseph Smith who felt the same way. And Im not entirely sure I was understanding her correctly or if I even said the right words cause at this point I cant really remember how we got the the end result which was SMILES, Beatriz saying over and over “Obrigada, obrigada, obrigada”, hugs, she said she was going to read the Book of Mormon and wanted to meet with our missionaries and gave us her contact information. I loved her. She was the sweetest. I hope the missionaries find her.
Also, our instructor Irmao Valente told us we were going to be here for an additional 6 weeks because there were too many missionaries arriving in the field at a time and so we were going to just go through the same material and same schedule we´ve had for the 6 weeks we´ve been here.
And I totally believed him.
And I was the ONLY ONE.
DUMMBBB.
It was totally a joke and he had other instructors in on it so I totally fell for it and I was just like ”HOW AM I GOING TO DO ANOTHER 6 WEEKS OF CTM??” OH man it was so embarrassing they totally had me going there.
AND THEN one of the Elders had to do this really really freaky GOLEM impersonation TO ME that was so scary I thought I was going to die. It was so  scary just believe me please.
Also I used a ”Yur mom” joke for the first time in 5 weeks. Someone was doing a lesson plan and said ”No way I have I way better scripture” and then it just came out I couldnt hold it back ”Your mom is a better scripture.”
It was hilarious just trust me. Ive been trying so so so hard not to use those jokes. Its ok I repented for that one I wont do it anymore. I love you mom!
Next email you get I will probably get to send pictures finally and I´ll be in CURITIBA!!
I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Cox

 

View More: http://shannonbowphoto.pass.us/coxfamily

6/27/2016 “Girias (Slangs)”

Hello my people!

I have no time but here´s a little peak at how my Português is going:
We were walking down the street knocking/clapping in front of doors and this house had a pretty yard (I´ve been trying to just practice phrases to my companion and she corrects me) and so this is how the dialogue went down–
Me: ´´Como se diz `yard`?´´
S. Calevoso: “Yard?? Sei la“
Me: “Esta terra aqui? Eu gosto desta terra aqui.“
Ohhhhhh it was hilarious you people just don´t understand we´ve been lauging about it all week long hahahaha
Sister Calevoso has been teaching me A LOT of slang and I don´t understand perfectly was everything really means and so the other day at district meeting I said ´´Ahh, que legal!´´ (English: ´´Oh cool!´´) to President Fernandes and his eyes just got really big it kind of shocked him. Oops. Haha.
But hey this week we get a new president!!! I´m sad President Fernandes and Sister Fernandes and their family will be leaving because they have really truly blessed my life, even in the short 5 weeks I´ve been here. But I´m super super excited to meet our new president! woot woot!
That´s all I´ve got for you all! I love you and hope you all have a WONDERFUL week!
Love,
Sister Cox
pictures: study area and minha companhiera

7/4/2016 “Tem que rir pra não chorar!”

 

So this week was really hard but also really great!

Here were some ´´highs´´ this week:
-I ate baked chicken and rice with bananas on top. Bananas for daaayysss guys! Its the greatest!
-People here light fireworks every night–but Sister Calevoso says that people here use kites and fireworks (not at the same time) to signal that the drugs are in #childhoodcrushed
-We got kissed on the cheek by a drunk man (more on that in a minute)
-We have an investigator with a baptismal date! Woo hoo!
-NEW PRESIDENTE Ê DO ROCHA ATÉ Ó PÓ!! He´s SO rad I can´t even handle it.
Anyways, so let me tell you a little about this drunk man and our investigator–
We were knocking/clapping doors and this cute old lady let us in and we sat down and were talking to her when her grandson, Bruno, walked in. The grandma was catholic and so wasn´t entirely interested but Bruno stayed and listened and said he would pray about Joseph Smith and all that good stuff 🙂 So then we went to follow-up real quick with Bruno and we just talked to him outside his front gate because we were on our way to another appointment–and he said he recieved an answer and he just felt so much weight lift in his heart. He´s just so good!
 BUT THEN his uncle shows up and this guy was drunk off. his. rocker. And Sister Calevoso is really good at keeping her cool–and I´m sooo not. And so he´s going on about things like ´´OH. You´re missionaries? Well, you see, I´m catholic–and I have a VERY strong belief in God..etc´´ and then things like, ´´Oi vocês estão muito lindas!´´ and compliments and that–but this guy is drunk até ó pó (the literal translation is ´´until the dust´´ but its the equivalent of the American slang ´´like nobody´s business´´). And so Bruno is just super duper sweet–and he was sooo embarrassed and this crazy uncle and S. Calevoso was just handling it so well that the whole situation was just HILARIOUS and so I was trying SO hard not to laugh–but is ok Bruno was trying not to laugh too, so no one was offended but still it was so bad.And so Bruno´s uncle eventually left but right before he just went for it and kissed S. Calevoso on the cheek and then me too and I was like `´What in the world?! AGAIN?!´´ Oh it was so bad but oh so funny…But wait, it gets better—
And so we went back to teach Bruno about the LDM (Livro de Mórmon) and S. Calevoso at the very beginning said ´´We can´t teach it today–it doesn´t feel right´´. Tudo bem. It was revelation because while we were talking to Bruno about the pamphlet his uncle shows up AGAIN even more drunk than the last time and sits down right next to Sister Calevoso and starts talking and complimenting and was like ´´What do you think of my life?? I´m a drunk, I smoke, I´m a sinner´´ And S. Calevoso responds `´Well, you have your agency and its your life`´ and o chiu do Bruno (Bruno´s uncle) responds `´Nossa. Você esta MUITO inteligente!´´ You guys—I LOST IT. I actually started laughing and was trying so hard to hold it back but I COULDN´T and Bruno was just dying too and it was a MESS. When we went to leave, we said a prayer but during the prayer the uncle took S. Calevoso´s hand and right when we went to get up he started leaning over to kiss her on the cheek and she´s like ´´Não pode não pode não pode!!´´ BOOM. Too late. Then he tried to kiss me on the cheek but I was ready and so I fended him off alright.
You guys it was just toooooo funny and we were DYIIINNNGGGG
I´m out of time but just so you know the next lesson with Bruno was SO good because his uncle was sober and Bruno is super receptive to the Spirit and accepted to be baptised 23 de Julho! Woo hoo! We are excited!
Also we´re planning an atividade with our ward to train the members how to be member missionaries! Curitiba is actually a very very European city, and so the people here are not like the rest of Brazil in their super open, crazy, warm, party personality. And so we´re trying to work through the members here in our area.
This week the sun came out too! It was so wonderful. So many blessings.
Also this week I learned a lot about how to laugh about things that are completely out of your control. There are things I could (and have) become really preoccupied and worried and stressed over that are really something I can´t change–like mission rules, trying to learn Português, really awful lessons, etc But really, Satan tries to use those things to take away your happiness. Sometimes you just have to let it go. My companion told me after the incident with Bruno´s uncle–´´Tem que rir pra não chorar´´ which is ´´Take a laugh to not cry´´ Men are that they might have joy. So Heavenly Father taught me this week: Let go of things you can´t control. Do your best, and the Atonement will take care of the rest–the Atonement is something that allows us to laugh and have JOY. Everyday.
I love you all! Remember: Tem que rir pra não chorar!
Sister Cox
picture: our window every morning 🙂
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7/11/2016 “Food Poisoning”

Hello family!

So, first, every week when I use Portuguese words in my email, the following week I figure out that I spell the words wrong so I just need to stop haha
So last P-day Sister Calevoso and I went to the sister´s apartment in another area for 4th of July! We made American food and it was super fun. I should have taken a picture but I forgot 😦 But hey, pizza, french fries, chicken nuggets and cake and ice cream. It was beautiful.
This week my poor companion got food poisoning. She already says all the time she feels like her physical well-being is on the decline because she´s at the end of her mission, so the food poison didn´t help too much. We had gone to a buffet-style restaurant for lunch (they have a lot of those here)
with a member, and later that day S. Calevosoasked for a blessing for health from our ward mission leader (not anticipating the food poisoning reaction–just for overall health) That night she was vomiting aaallll night long and so we had to stay home the next two days. It was so sad…She stayed in bed and I did lots of reading and writing in my journal. So that part was good 🙂 And my companion is doing A LOT better now! woot woot! Yesterday was our first full day in the street since she got better and it was really good.
 I didn´t get any food poisoning at all. Bênçãos. Sister Calevoso thinks it was the chicken she ate because I didn´t eat any chicken. In fact, I didn´t really know what I was doing and was just trying to get my food and get out of there as fast as I could–so I ended up grabbing this really sketchy-looking hamburger thing…But no food poisoning! Então tudo bem!
We went to visit Bruno yesterday because he didn´t come to church this Sunday or last Sunday (BUT we´re really pushing for this coming Sunday! We hope we hope we hope because he´s soooo gooooooooood!) and we showed up right as his uncle was leaving…to go to the bar…haha And he tried to kiss us again but its ok–I´m going to be a pro at fending off drunk men from kissing me by the end of my mission haha. Bruno was super repentant about not coming to church. Oh my goodness he felt so bad. So maybe he will come next week. We hope!
And then we went to visit our recent-convert and SUPRISE! His daughters were there too!! He´s divorced and so his daughters don´t live with him and he hasn´t seen them for a looonnggg time– But yesterday they were there!! And they´re so so so darling and I love them. One is 3 and the other is 8. It was such a beautiful experience to see him and his daughters together—and it kind of hit me that this is what the Gospel is for. To help our families be the happiest they can be. Because, a family without the Gospel can be pretty happy–REALLY happy, because families are naturally ordained of God. But when you give a family the Gospel to live by, that family can become ETERNALLY happy. And its the greatest thing EVER.
I love you all! And I hope you all have a super fantastic week!
Sister Cox
picture: I just thought I would introduce you to Nascau–chocolate milk/hot chocolate mix that I pretty much depend on every day of my life here. And everyone here in Gralha Azul (our area) drinks it. #ilikebrasil
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Pictures: My district in front of the São Paulo temple, my comp. for divisions from Cabo Verde (in pink), the view from our dorm window was beautiful at night (just imagine it), my comp for divisions from Curitiba (in blue) and my roommates for the second half of our CTM experience!! Woot woot!

 

7/18/2016 “Vocês estão importantes!”

Hello my people!

So this week we had our district meeting and we did a scripture-mastery scripture-chase. Meu gente, it was really intense. I thought scripture mastery games in seminary could get pretty crazy–but then I came to Brazil and did one with the missionaries. Whoooaaaaa it was super hilarious! Scripture masteries in Portuguese–its my new project.
This Saturday we did a training with the members in our ward about how to be a member-missionary. Not a whole lot of people came, but it was still super awesome! I got to compare the gospel to scorpion hunting. Woo hoo! But seriously, we have really awesome leaders here. Our Bishop and ward mission leader are super involved and willing to help with anything.
Not a whoolllee lot happened this week–appointments fell through and no one likes to let us in when we knock doors…these German descendants are killing us haha Its like that ´´Hello´´ missionary remix. Literally. We were out with our Ward mission leader knocking doors and he started singing it in the street haha Oh Irmão
My poor companion keeps getting stomach pains and pretty much pain all over so our schedule gets pretty messed up some days. I haven´t really had a problem with anything…yet…? Poor thing 😦
So just a little something I learned while we were preparing for our activity this week– WE NEED THE MEMBERS. Missionaries can´t do this work alone. We need members to love and help our investigators and recent-converts and less-actives just as much as the missionaries and ultimately love them like Heavenly Father and Christ would. Members are IMPORTANT.
I love you all! Hope you all have a wonderful week! Read the Book of Mormon and invite your friends to church!
Love,
Sister Cox
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7/25/2016 “Oi gente!”
This week was SO full and SO awesome.
On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference and got to know our President a little more! He changed a few rules that made us all super excited: We can listen to FSY music every day in the morning and at night (before we could only listen to MoTab in the mornings and FSY music on P-day). As a Zone we can go to the temple to do a session once per transfer (WOO HOO!!!) and also we can do more Zone activities (I don´t know what the rule was before…) President didn´t change the rule that we can´t drink Coke and so everyone is all bumbed out about that haha But he´s the best guys. We all love him!
But yes. So after Zone Conference we had divisions–and so I was with Sister Costa for a couple days in another area! Sister Costa is from northern Brazil and she´s literally one of my favorite people on earth now. We stayed SUPER busy in her area. The same day as the conference we had lessons until it was time to go home. The next day we didn´t have a lunch appointment and so we got pizza (one for lunch and we kept the other one for later…) and then we were out allll day teaching with one of the ward missionaries here. She was super awesome too! She just recently returned from her mission and so she could have been wearing a nametag totally passed as a misssionary (haha actually a lot of people could probably do that) When we got home that night we pretty much had a party (after planning and everything) and ate pizza and listened to music and it was so fun! Don´t worry, we went to bed on time :)By the end of divisions we were like, ´´Lets just be companions ok??´´ I don´t even have words haha But it was so awesome! And I learned A LOT. It was such a great experience.
We also had an activity in another area working with the youth doing contacts and getting referrals–It was super crazy! By the end of the activity, the sisters in that area had 107 referrals! S. Calevoso wants to do that in our area now haha And after the activity we had Brazilian BBQ and it was so fun!
AND we had a Zone Activity TODAY for P-day and it was so fun! We played frisbee, basketball, ping-pong and ate food. Need I say more?
So all-in-all this week was amazing. The language is coming along still 🙂
I also learned that more than Heavenly Father wants me to be a perfect missionary, He wants me to be a happy missionary.
I love you all!
Sister Cox
pictures: Zone activity and divisions with S. Costa

 

8/1/2016 “I forgot a title last week lol.”

 

Holá!

Another week in Brazil eating lots of rice and beans and meat and bananas woot woot! We also got a lot of referrals this week and so that´s always a good thing 🙂
O my goodness so I´ve been in training for the last two and a half months and my training is almost over! Its like, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel haha kidding kidding (but really). So this next week is transfers and I don´t know if I´ll be staying here in Gralha Azul with Sister Calevoso (she´ll be leaving in the middle of this next transfer whoa she´s so excited to return to Miami!) or if I´ll be sent to another area. We´ll see! I´m excited either way 🙂
But hey, just a highlight from this week: Yesterday I walked into church and one of the Irmãs came up to me and took my arm and started walking me up to the pulpit saying ´´You play piano right? Will you play for us today for sacrament meeting?“ And I´m like “…Um yeah but I don´t know all the hymns“, meanwhile in my brain I´m like,OH no this ain´t gonna be pretty. So I get up and play hymns I actually know for prelude–but then I actually look to see what hymns they wanted me to play for the rest of the meeting and LOL I don´t know any of them…and sooo my brain is totally failing on me along with my Portuguese. So the Irmã leading the music looks at me right before the opening hymn and I´m like, “Eu não sei esse hino.´´ and she´s like ´´tudo bem´´ So I´m sitting there behind the piano as everyone sings acapela lol embarrassing até ó pó. Then the couselor in the bishopric conducting the meeting came up to me and was like ´´what sacrament hymns do you know?“ …Oh great…“Um..this one?“ HA. Except not because I actually don´t really know how to play any of the sacrament hymns. Then I play one hand for the sacrament hymn. Then during the sacrament the coucelor comes up to me AGAIN and is like “What hymns DO you know?“ Ok. “Nearer My God to Thee and We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet.“ Beleza. Só que não because I assumed that the coucelor would announce those hymns in that order–hahaha nope. He announced that we would sing “We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet´´ first as the rest hymn and “Nearer My God to Thee“ for the closing hymn. And to tell the truth I was still thinking about how embarrassing it was that I couldn´t play the first two hymns, so I totally missed that he announced the final two in a different order– so when the rest hymn comes, everyone stands up expecting to sing a happy jubilant song about the prophet and I start playing “Nearer My God to Thee“ Everyone looked really confused, and I was confused and it was a mess haha but then everyone flipped to the right page and sang “Nearer My God to Thee“ standing up…it was weird…
In the moment, I wanted to cry of embarrassment (even though it wasn´t THAT big a deal) but then I remembered a part of this talk “Come what may and love it“ where (I think it was Elder Worthlin..?) it said that to get through hard or embarrassing experiences, sometimes you just have to laugh about it and move forward. And I was thinking about how that´s such a great way we can apply the Atonement–laugh about the stuff you do wrong because really, its alright.
And so now I have a story to tell my posterity about how I ruined a sacrament meeting in Brazil because I didn´t know Portuguese very well hahaha 😛
Love you all! Boa semana para vocês!!
Sister Cox
picture: When you´re doing weekly planning and companion inventory gets a little out-of-hand.
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The MTC (CTM)

4/13/2016

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Mamacita!!

I have arrived safely in Brazil! We have about 15 minutes to shoot a quick email home!

The flight from PHX to Atlanta was good. I gave away the pass along cards they gave me in my passport haha but then on the flight from Atlanta to Sao Paulo I sat next to this teeny tiny Brazilian man and he kept giving me death looks so I was like, Umm….I don’t know if I should talk to you. Its ok it was fun! 🙂

We are here at the CTM! My companion is Sister Dobson and she is from Washington state! She is literally the cutest. Her mom packed her a TON of vitamins and a schedule for when to take them and eeevverrryythhhannngg its cracking me up she’s so cute.

So yeah I met up with two Elders on the way here. One from Gilbert and one from Ohio and then when we got to Sao Paulo, me and Sister Dobson realized we were on the same flight and didn’t even see each other. But thats ok, because we are companions now 🙂

Also flying here I was really excited then when we landed in Sao Paulo I was like, WHAT AM I DOING IM A CRAZY PERSON HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE IN BRAZIL FOR A YEAR AND A HALF WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?! But then I got off the plane and got to the CTM (the freeway was 1st world but the driving was like…Iron-Pedal Louis was multiplied by a million and one! Motorcycles were driving between the lanes on the white lines and it was kind of hilarious) and the Spirit is SO here and I feel A LOT more safe now. I know it will get hard, but for now its just good to know I’m in a safe place and everyone is here for the same reasons and when it DOES get hard, I won’t be the only one having a hard time.

Me and my companion are in a room with two bunks, and the second companionship will be two Brazilian sisters and so that will help us a lot! Im really excited to start learning but also Im kind of bracing myself. But mostly excited!

I love you mom! You are the best! Tell Joyce and Blake and Adam and Mitchell and everyone I love them so so much! You are all amazing!

Brazil is absolutely beautiful and absolutely humid but the temp. is nice 🙂 The humidity is very much friends with my hair and I’m like the annoyed aunt trying to keep one or the other under control hahaha but maaannnn it feelllsss soooooo niiiiccceee loooovvveee iiittt (I’m actually serious. My companion doesn’t really like it as much. She doesn’t like that its hot. But it’s not THAT hot…at least, not yet :))

I LOVE YOU!!

Love,

Sister Cox

(My nametag doesn’t say Irma. What even?? haha)

 

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4/22/2016

Whoa guys. Just, whoa. First week and a half on a mission in the CTM.Let me describe day 1: AWFUL. Totally awful. It was long and crazy and full and it seemed like it would just. never. end. But hey! It did!And I´m still alive and its ok. The secretary to the mission president and other American missionaries and everyone has said Day 1 is always the WORST. (I don´t know how to handle these keyboards so I apologize)So, I´m in Brazil and so naturally everything is written in Portugues.Aannnddd everyone speaks Portugues. There are only three pairs ofSister companionships who are American here at the CTM (and one of those companionships is leaving next week so the grand total ofAmerican sisters will be 4/250 missionaries) and our district consists of me and my companion + one other elder companionship (the elder that was at the airport in AZ is in my district). So when all the otherBrazilian elders or sisters come up to me or Sister Dobson (my companion) and start asking us questions in Portugues we´ve gotten reeeaaalllll good at a couple of phrases “Eu nao entente. Eu nao fala Portuguese…Desculpa!“ Translation: “I don´t understand. I don´t speak Portugues. Sorry! “ Yeah…so that´s been my life lately. But guess what!? ITS OK. We eat lots of food that looks good but sometimes doesn`t end up tasting good. For example: Me- SWEET! Pickles! I like pickles! Me(as I eat `pickles`)- Ohhhh….THOSE ARE NOT NORMAL PICKLES. Gag. hahaha its been pretty fun 🙂 Its ok guys! The gross looking beans and rice are supa delish! Also I feel like Im eating mystery meat every day. CAMI. You would not like it. You guys the CTM sounds super not fun, but really, its Tudo bem (all good)! My instructors are sooooo funny and we love them! Actually, the other day I had one of my laughing fits (Brother Eaves and Joyce Cox know about these…They´re terrible.) and it was sooo bad but just sooo funny. Irmao Valente was just telling us about how he remembers a formula and it had something to do with ice cream and a bigger ice cream and for some reason, it was just hilarious and I don’t even know. But anyways. I digress. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just so weird being the missionary writing home. So my mom’s (yes, its plural) told me there’s always that wall that missionaries hit after being super excited for a couple weeks but to be completely honest, I feel like I got hit in the shins with a baseball bat when I got here. I have to keep reminding myself it’s only the first week. But I love the Spirit here. I feel like they´ve really emphasized this week is that we´re not here to learn Portugues. We´re here to convert ourselves and become more Christ like and I feel like Portugues and companions and the Gospel and being obedient are tools Heavenly Father and Christ give us to make that happen. And Irmao Valente has also said no matter what `Sempre sorria.´ Always smile. It helps. The culture/language shock has been kinda rough BUT I think it will get better after some time. Its only week one. I dont have time to tell you all the miracles and tender mercies Ive seen here but I love you aaaalllll and pray for you every day! ALSO ITS BUHLAWKAYS BIRTHDAY TOMORROW SO MAKE SURE AND TELL HIM HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY FOR ME AND EMBARRASS THE HECK OUT OF HIM I LOVE YA BLAKE!!!love ya mom! you the best! and I loved your hospital story! it did make me smile!  Love, Sister Cox (not Irma. apparently people would associate us with nuns if we were called that.) SEMPRE SORRIA 🙂 🙂 🙂 (also no pictures cause we´re not allowed to send them from the CTM) 😦 mom can you forward this? it’s not letting me do it:(

🙂

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4/29/2016

Ok. So I learned something new this week: My name in Portuguese is the word they use to describe a small ostrich. An Ema. Neato 🙂

I feel like my days are so full but I don’t know what to write about…hmm…

We get to go to the Sao Paulo temple every P-day so this week was my second week! Its super duper tiny but its sooo beautiful and I love it. A LOT. And so on our way to the temple from the CTM we drive through the city for about 30-45 minutes. Sau Paulo is a really cool combination of the Amazon, New York city and the ghetto. I enjoy it 🙂 The weather for the first couple weeks was warm and HUMID. Not burning hot but warm and our dorm didnt have the greatest circulation at night and so we would just sweat in our sleep. Yummy. 😛 But this week its cooled off A LOT and the last couple days have been SO nice.

So trying to communicate with Brazilians is getting more fun than painful haha 😛 And so whenever they find out my mission is in Curitiba, they have all kinds of lovely things so say about it so me and Elder Carson are really excited. They say its cold (but its not Utah cold so I assume its pretty nice..? We´ll see 🙂 )

I don’t know what else to say…I love love love our instructors. One of them is like a young Brazilian version of Bishop Schlerf and the other one is an older Brazilian version of Quinton MacDonald (if you guys know who that is?) It cracks me up. They´re the best. Also they´re white. hahaha like that even matters ok 😛

We go on splits with Brazilian/Portuguese speaking sisters about three times a week and my companion is from Cabo Verde! She´s seriously SO sweet and I love learning from her–even though I cant understand a whole bunch…Its still awesome.

So we have these ´fake´ investigators that we teach every day and we have to teach them in Portuguese (they´re actually just our instructors) but THEYRE REAL. Oh my goodness seriously they´re real. Its ridiculous. Maybe I just take it way too seriously…? Jefferson and Edivaldo. And this week, Edivaldo was totally killing me. AHHH KILLING ME. But its ok! Long story short: Im learning line upon line and I´m not frustrated with him anymore so thats good 🙂

Also, yesterday we had a devotional and a member of the seventy came! Elder Costa (I don’t know how to spell his name). He talked a lot about having the Spirit with you when you teach. I think Edivaldo taught me that too. Teaching with the Spirit isn’t about whether or not I feel the Spirit. Its not really about ME. Its about whether the investigator feels and is being taught by the Spirit… I dunno. Im pretty ignorant at this point but I love being a missionary. A lot of the time I feel like the things I have to do and the things I actually accomplish is like the way sand in an hour-glass falls through a tiny tiny bit at a time….accept someone keeps dumping sand in the top half of the hour glass and so the hour never comes to an end haha 😛

But anyways one of the american Elders asked me this week why I always look so mad all the time and I was like, WHAT THE SERIOUSLY?!? And I realized I guess I had not really been trying to look happy at all because my heart didn’t necessarily feel blissful because I was stressed out over everything I needed to do. BUT THEN I figured out, my circumstances aren´t changing. So my heart needs to change. I think in the FSOY it talks about gratitude bringing more happiness. And so instead of focusing on everything I need to accomplish, I have been trying to focus on all the help I have had accomplishing those things: my district, my instructors, other missionaries, etc. and trying to tell my heart about all those things because a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance 😛

Sempre sorria! Love you ALL 🙂

Love, Sister Cox

ps Buhlawkay sorry I didnt have time to reply to your very in depth email I love ya and try to hang out with Garner more because Garner is rad 😛 love ya! hope your b-day was the best!! 16!!!

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5/6/2016

AH I love love love getting all your emails! They make me so happy!

This week was WAY better. Actually…I don’t even remember what happened this week…

OH wait no I remember some of it now! I’m in a trio now! Its me, Sister Dobson and now we have Sister Poulson! She´s from Twin Falls Idaho and she´s way sweet! They put her with me and Sister Dobson because she´s been at the Provo MTC waiting for a visa that finally came through. It was really exciting because we had to move dorm rooms the night before she came and we have 0 time during the day so we were up really late for our fake emergency transfer 😛 We were hard core Fubecas for a second there yikes! Fubeca is actually not a word…its three Portuguese words put together to mean Apostate Missionary. Do some research, let me know what you find about how the word Fubeca came to be 😛 Its bad.

Anyways. What to share about this week…? Our Brazilian roommates left for the field on Tuesday so we have a new set of Brazilian roommates who are also a trio 🙂

Also, the first night the new Elders show up, they are always really really crazy and they do crazy things late into the night shouting and throwing things out the windows of the CTM. So that’s a party.

OH here’s a good one: we tried to teach the law of chastity for the first time…in Portuguese… HA. That’s all you need to know.

But anyways. We´ve kind of gotten into a pretty consistent routine so I don’t really know what to share that´s new…? Portuguese is better but still hard. We still eat mystery meat every. day. ah. But hey, the pineapple here is SUPA good. (Have I already mentioned that before…? Its just too good)

I think that’s all I have for this week…sorry its so boring 😦 One of the Elders in our district accidentally mixed up the words for `sins´and ´fishes´ the first week. No, I have not noticed the water flushing the opposite direction that it does in America. And oh man EVMCO was probably the best thing ever! I saw a bird that reminded me of Cami because it was a really beautiful yellow ❤ And Sarah can you please just get your mission call already??? ALSO MOTHERS DAY EVERYONE LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHERS AND HEARKEN TO THEIR COUNCIL BECAUSE THEY’RE THE BOMB.COM.

 

Love you all!

Sister Cox

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5/13/2016

This week. This week the shift key doesn’t work on the keyboard so hey! One paragraph! Anyways. This week one of our instructors hurt his knee so he was gone for 3 days. Actually, his knee has been bad since we got here because he served his mission in Japan and had to kneel for all of his lessons and stuff and so now his knee is messed up. Its sad. Sooo….Hmm… Well. I don’t know what to report on. I got a new companion for divisions and so now Im with a Sister from Curitiba! Shes really really really reeeaaallllyyyyy crazyyyyyy. But she’s so sweet and its been an adventure for sure. Also we got some new Americans this week so now there are about 20-25 of us..?? OH MY GOODNESS I JUST REMEMBERED ELDER HOLLAND IS COMING TO THE CTM THIS COMING SUNDAY OR MONDAY AND WE´RE ALL DDYYYIINNNGG BECAUSE HE WANTS TO SHAKE HANDS WITH ALL OF US WHHAATTTT??!!!! SO PUMPED GUYS WHAT EVEN IS THIS?!?! Oh yeah…a mission. Duh. OK. So anyways. I don’t really know what to talk about but I guess here’s a day in the life at the CTM: We wake up at 6:30 and get ready then we study then we eat breakfast (bread and cheese) and then study more and then have class on grammar or how to teach or something and then we teach our investigator Jefferson and then we have more class and then we eat more food (mystery meat for dayyysss guys) and then we have more class or divisions and then we teach our other investigator Edivaldo (but while our Irmão was gone, we called him Morte-valdo because Morte is the word for death in Portuguese but is ok Morte-valdo came back to life on the third day haha) and then we have more class and we have Actividade Fisica/Physical Activities in the evening and its kind of funny because we´re not allowed to jump (Não pode polar! …or something in Portugues like that? You can´t jump!) and its a real trial for a lot of the Elders here and then we go shower and then do a planning session or district study and then we go to bed. So yeah… The highlight of this week was that one of our Instructors was gone and so it messed up our routine a little bit but its ok. It was a good time 🙂 Also a few other things I learned more about this week: The scriptures and the Spirit are the greatest. And prayer. So when we´re told to get in the habit to pray and study our scriptures every day, We need to DO. IT. We need to practice (shout out to Brother Eaves and scripture mastery D&C 46:33 right?) because when we study and pray every day we are setting ourselves up for spiritual experiences that will help us recoginize and get to know the Spirit better and it is absolutely essential. The Spirit is sometimes the only resource we have for guidance, counsel, etc. We need to USE the gift we´ve been given. We have the gift of the Holy Ghost, which means we´ve got a member of the GODHEAD with us 24-7 and thats uh, AMAZING. USE IT. POR FAVOR. Also, here´s a last minute laugh for ya that I just remebered: some of the elders a few weeks ago were talking about how they missed america and one of them had a pair of american flag patterned pants and so they tied them to a pole and then they plegded allegiance to the pants…Pfftt. Elders. I love you all so so much and hope you had a wonderful and fantastic week! Happy late mother´s day to all my moms!

❤ Love, Sister Cox

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5/20/2016

Good news! The shift key works this week!

So I got to shake hands with Elder Holland. AH! That was THE coolest. I don’t even know how to describe the experience well enough. It’s Elder Holland, so naturally it was an Elder Holland talk that we got. And all of the Americans were really excited to hear him but, no joke, we thought maybe we would still have to use headphones to hear a translation from Portuguese to English because we thought maybe he would receive a huge outpour of the Gift of Tongues and say everything in Portuguese. And he had us going for a second when he started his talk ´Bon dia…´ then he continued ´Bem vinda. Parabens. Guarana…´and a few other words I cant remember and then he stopped and said ´thats about all I know in Portuguese so I think I should just stick to English. We were relieved! And it was amazing. He talked about how we need to be ´champion´missionaries. He related it to swimming a race– when we all start out, we start together and excited and fresh and everyone looks like a champion. But God hasn’t called us to BEGIN His work. He´s called us to finish it. And so we only really know who the real champions are at the END. If at the end you´re still working hard and going strong. He said this is the key to be a champion ´Kick when you dont want to kick. And stroke when you dont want to stroke.´ Doesn’t that sound just like Elder Holland?? There was a whole bunch of other amazing stuff and it was a wonderful and enriching experience. Now just to apply it…
Also. We went proselyting this week! It was our second round! The first time was during our second week or something like that and it was way rough but still a good experience. So THIS time was so much different. The purpose is to place Book of Mormons and get contacts for other missionaries in the area. So we were walking around and, trying to follow the Spírit, I initiated a conversation with this sweet old lady in a park in downtown Sao Paulo and she said her name was Beatriz. AH. First of all I had to tell her how much I loved her name because Im a fan of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit and allllll those homies. So yeah. Then we started getting to know her and teaching her a little about the gospel and she just started pouring out her heart and there were tears. From what I understood she had been having heart problems for a couple of months and she just felt so sad and so confused at everyone preaching goodwill (she had some catholic background and at first didnt want to take the Book of Mormon we were trying to give her) and yet she felt so alone and confused. And so I got to tell her about how there was a boy named Joseph Smith who felt the same way. And I’m not entirely sure I was understanding her correctly or if I even said the right words cause at this point I can’t really remember how we got the the end result which was SMILES, Beatriz saying over and over “Obrigada, obrigada, obrigada”, hugs, she said she was going to read the Book of Mormon and wanted to meet with our missionaries and gave us her contact information. I loved her. She was the sweetest. I hope the missionaries find her.
Also, our instructor Irmao Valente told us we were going to be here for an additional 6 weeks because there were too many missionaries arriving in the field at a time and so we were going to just go through the same material and same schedule we´ve had for the 6 weeks we´ve been here.
And I totally believed him.
And I was the ONLY ONE.
DUMMBBB.
It was totally a joke and he had other instructors in on it so I totally fell for it and I was just like ”HOW AM I GOING TO DO ANOTHER 6 WEEKS OF CTM??” OH man it was so embarrassing they totally had me going there.
AND THEN one of the Elders had to do this really really freaky GOLLUM impersonation TO ME that was so scary I thought I was going to die. It was so scary just believe me please.
Also I used a ”Yur mom” joke for the first time in 5 weeks. Someone was doing a lesson plan and said ”No way I have I way better scripture” and then it just came out I couldn’t hold it back ”Your mom is a better scripture.”
It was hilarious just trust me. I’ve been trying so so so hard not to use those jokes. It’s ok I repented for that one I won’t do it anymore. I love you mom!
Next email you get I will probably get to send pictures finally and I´ll be in CURITIBA!!
I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Cox
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5/24/2016

I´m here at the mission home in Curitiba! And they gave me the package you sent! Tell Sister Dye that I love love love love love love love the little book and tell little Carson that I haven´t gotten the chance to read all his notes but I will for sure! Thank you so much for my scriptures! It was like meeting a friend here! Thank you so so so much!

So on the way here one of the Elders said the field is so much better than the CTM. I sincerely hope thats true because the CTM was not my favorite thing. But I did learn a lot. But now the real deal is about to start. I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m kind of bracing myself for the really hard work everyone talks about.
Also, IT’S COLD. The mission president´s wife says it snows here! Soooo…I might be doing some winter clothes shopping just a little bit! Haha! No worries! Really! I’m just happy to be out of the CTM right now. My companion was so hard. But it’s ok. WE GOOD 😉
Also I miss Buhlawkay a lot a lot a lot so tell him he´s the bomb.com. Also, a lot of the Elders at the CTM were just so immature and not gentlemen at all so Blake had better be a million times better than them when he gets to the CTM – no pressure. I actually met a brazilian version of Mason Welch my first couple weeks or something while I was there and it was kind of scary. But hey! Blake can be awesome like that too! IT HAS TO HAPPEN BUHLAWKAY IM NOT KIDDING YOU´D BETTER BE TOP-NOTCH OR ELSE.
Yeah so my third companion that came 3 weeks in with another Sister from AZ were like, my favorite people at the CTM. They LITERALLY brought sunshine and fresh air with them. NO JOKE. So grateful for them. Also Irmão Louza was my favorite instructor. I’m serious he’s like the young Brasil-hero version of Bishop but also not? I don´t even know. He was just great.
Anyways I gotta go! I´ll let you know when I hit that wall of affliction here in Curitiba! So far it’s good and I can actually understand what people are saying to me most of the time. But keep praying for that gift of tongues for me and I love you mamacita and Taylor (and girlfriend I havent met youre super duper cuuuuttteeee) and Joyce and Buhlawkay and Adam and Mitchell and moms and everyyyooonnneeee!!
Love, Sister Cox