Thursday, January 16, 2014

Baptisms and Birthdays...

Blog Post - January 20, 2014
Title: Chuva e Bobagem 

This week was crazy with all the rain we got!! And it's not like it rains in the morning when we're studying or at night when we're at always starts in between 2-5, right when we're leaving lunch to go out and work. I've been wet every single day. But we have sun today so my shoes get to dry out :)
We had a miracle baptism yesterday! Selma got baptized! President and Sister Tanner came
and it was awesome. She has a big family and is the first to get baptized. We sang Families Can Be Together Forever to her with Sister Tanner playing piano and she just bawled. She said she felt so clean and light and then everything has been left in the past, which is exactly the purpose of this gospel! I absolutley love this work. Being Sister Training Leader is extremely hard still as we are still leaders over 12 other sisters but it's good and I know the Lord qualifies the called. His hand is in every aspect of this work and my thankful journal is helping me recognize that.
We did a week-long division with some other sisters this week, Sister Keegan from New Mexico and Sister Dias from Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. I stayed in my area, Jordanópolis with S. Keegan Weds-Sat and it was great. She has 3 weeks in the field so just barely started her mission and is so sweet. We found Oeos this week in a supermarket! They JUST got to Brazil and I'm pretty excited about it. Some weird things I ate these past 2 weeks: fried sardines with rice and mashed potatoes and then last night...cow heart. Not a fan. Will not repeat. I thought it was just steak! But it did not taste like it. Well now I know.
So those of you who know me well know that sometimes I do silly/forgetful things. My Dad always says that I have blonde offense to all my blonde loved ones! Anyway, this week I was extremely blonde and I'm blaming it on all the rain.
  1. We had to defrost our freezer because it was just frozen over and full of ice. When it all melted I cleaned it out with a sponge then we left for the day to work. When we got home the other 2 sisters we live with asked us if we knew where the sponge was...whoops. Left it in the freezer and didn't even notice.
  2. Somehow my companion broke our microwave this week JUST when I was about to make some apple and cinnamon tea. I had my mug full of water and was just about to heat it up when we noticed it wasn't working. SO I just sat back down, finished writing letters thinking oh well, I guess I won't drink tea today then. My smart companion put the water in a pot to heat on the stove...why didn't I think of that?! Haha.
  3. And the last one...a little background info is that not all missionary homes have all sorts of cooking tools, my other area I always made grilled cheese in this small pan on the stove. Normal. But when I got to this house (we still haven't moved to our new apartment yet by the way) I noticed there were no pans, just pots. So. I made a ham and cheese melt in a pot. No big. Until...I was already eating and looked up/remembered that we have a sandwich maker...which I use almost every day to make toast. What is wrong with me? Haha!! So that was my crazy week.
Aside from all the rain, we have gotten really good at teaching right on the street. It's my favorite. Not everyone will let us in so when we talk to people on the street, we just start getting to know them and slip in gospel principles and before you know it we're teaching on the street. It's pretty cool. I like it!
I love you all and would love some LETTERS!!!!!
Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Cox

Blog Post - January 13, 2014

Not too much to update on this week. things are still crazy around here but...WE FOUND A HOUSE! Ok really it's an apartment but it's so nice and spacious and clean and perfect and actually in our area. Só alegria. My companion continues to be amazing and teach me new things every day. We went on 2 divisions this week so I left my area twice to work with other sisters.
We had a baptism yesterday of Élida and it was the most spiritual and emotional baptism ever. She's wanted to get baptized for a while now to follow Jesus Christ and to thank Him for all He's done for her. She is so sweet!! She is just full of love. After her baptism she bore her testimony that she knows she's in the right place and finally found the peace she's been looking for. She recently discovered she has a tumor in her brain and has to get surgery this week. She said she knows the surgery will go well and hopes it does so that she can return to her new family at church. It was the cutest thing ever. She said she had never felt more like a daughter of God than Sunday. Please keep her in your prayers that everything goes well.  It was a happy day! Have I mentioned I love this job?

That's about all. We have 2 more divisions this week but one will be for 4 days. I'll be with Sister Keegan from New Mexico all week but fortunately I'll stay in my area :)

Shout out to my best friend Janelle who turns 22 on Friday!!!! Sorry I can't be there, but next year, we'll party. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE BUG! Wishing you all the happiness in the world and I'll be thinking of you! Love you all!

Sister Cox

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy (late) New Year!!

Cheers to bring in  the New Year
I am extremely grateful for the fact that all the holiday shenanigans are over, especially the fireworks!! For Christmas here everyone stays up 'til midnight and there are fireworks for hours...and then every night leading up to New Year's. So Sister Cox didn't sleep too much these past 2 weeks and she is exhausted. But happy despite the heat :)
Me and Sister Moura
This last week has been the craziest!!! So after emailing last week, we went home, I packed like a madwoman because nothing was fitting in my suitcases (thanks for the Christmas packages parents) so I was getting really stressed out but in the end it all worked out. I think I was the Sister with the most stuff at transfer meeting. Oops. Thank goodness we got a ride and I didn't have to take a bus, train, and 2 subways to get to the meeting with 2 huge suitcases, 4 bags, and a box of books.  Anyway! My new companion is Sister Moura from Fortaleza, Ceara and she is also a Sister Training Leader which is great because she can show me the ropes of what I have to do now. She's really great. She's 26 and has a year and 2 months on the mission will go home in May...she doesn't like to talk about the fact that her mission is ending haha.
My new area is Jordanópolis, São Bernardo but here's the confusing part...This area's last transfer was HUGE for just one set of Sisters, so President decided to split the area. Sister Moura was already here with her companion Sister H. Souza and they separated and got new companions (Sister Sequeira and me) Now the 4 of us are working here. HOWEVER--! The house these 2 were living in is too small for all 4 of us so we're actually living in a different house with other sisters in a different area. It's 40 minutes by foot from our house to our area and forever away from our Chapel on Sunday soo we're been having a member help us at night with rides back to our house to avoid walking on a highway at night...yep we have to walk on the side of a highway to get to our area. But no worries, we're looking for a house in our area to avoid this...I feel like I'm on an episode of house hunters every single day.
We work but President also asked us to be looking for a house at the same time so we're visiting some, get the price, talk to the landlord, etc...nothing yet. We're praying to get outta here because I'm sleeping on a pull-out couch and my companion has a blow up mattress on the floor. Poor girl..not that the couch is any comfy-er...yes I know that's not a word.
This week I felt a little lost. I'm still working on finding my place in this area since I'm new here, no one knows me and everything on Sunday was different, so I was missing Utinga a ton!! But the ward is nice, just small. Also in our house I am a baby! The other companionship of sisters we live with are 35 yrs old and comp is 26 and then there's me, the baby. They don't act like anyone is different. It's funny that I'm way younger but I've been on the mission longer than the other 2 sisters.
As for Sister Leader head hurts just thinking about it. So our job is basically to help the other sisters in the mission. There's about 60 sisters on the mission like I said before and there's 8 Sister Training Leaders (STL).  Sister Moura and I are responsible for 6 companionships which is 12 missionaries. We have to go on divisions twice a week which just means we'll switch companions with another set for 24 hours twice a week just to see how they're doing, their work ethic, and just help them out with any questions, etc. Sounds easy but it is not.
We had our first division on Friday and it went really well! I liked seeing a different area and working with a new companion for a bit to see the way she teaches. I feel like I will be learning a LOT this transfer and transfers to come. I'm really grateful though because honestly as we help them we learn and grow too. It's not a matter of who has been on the mission longer or what title you have or whatever. I'm just here to help them and grow WITH them because I'm far from perfect. I'm excited.
We have been planning up a storm, calling the sisters often because many of them are new and have lots of questions, and looking for a house as well as teaching our own lessons. It's just a lot at once. But it's good, I'm liking it. I would always prefer to be busy.
 All the Sister Training Leaders...yup. I'm the only American, but it doesn't look like it!
Yesterday (Tuesday) we had a meeting with President, all the Zone Leaders and STLs to talk about the vision for the mission in 2014 (which is why my p-day changed but it's just for this week) and it's: Real and True Conversion. We've been having lots of problems with retention. People get baptized then never come again so the goal this year is to help the people we teach recognize that this is a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus Christ, not just for this month or whenever you want to go. It was a great meeting and we had taco salad for lunch with ranch dressing!! That doesn't exist here and Sister Tanner saw and laughed at how excited I was about it. It was homemade. She is amazing!!
So as 2013 ended and 2014 started I was thinking a lot in retrospect about how crazy this year has been and how fast it's gone by. This time last year I was home getting ready to go on my mission, taking online classes, waiting for my cute niece to arrive, babysitting, the usual. And it's just so cool to see how different things are now; how much I've learned and how gracious the Lord has been to me and my family this year. I can't thank Him enough. I have, in fact, started a thankful journal where each day I write something I'm thankful for and a blessing I recognized during the day. If we aren't conscious of all the Lord has given us, he won't continue to bless us. Always express gratitude. That's something my mama taught me since I was little! And it never stopped being true.
In 2013 I realized that I still can't cook, I still can't do as many pushups as I'd like, and I still talk way too much...even in Portuguese. So these are my goals for the new year. I love you all so so much. Thank you for your prayers and love! Until next week :)

Sister Cox

Friday, January 3, 2014

...And She's Outta Here!

8 months on my mission - Christmas Eve
My time here has been great buuut the time has come. After being in the same area my whole time here in Brazil and 4 transfers later, I'm finally moving on!  I don't know where I'll be going yet but I'm so excited to see another area.
My District - last one in Santo Andre Zone

My Zone - there's always one in the crowd
Also I got a nice little call today saying that I'm going to be the new Sister Training Leader! I didn't believe the Elder that told me because everyone has been joking about this for a while but when he said 5 times that he was serious, I cried a little bit. Nice, huh? This basically is the only leadership position for Sisters on the mission and it's hard and requires a lot of work. We have more than 50 sisters in the mission right now and now I'm one of 8 leaders to help and serve them. Here's to a new phase in the mission.
I'm gonna need lots of prayers but I'm also really excited! More details in the weeks to come on what's required of me in this new calling.
 My dear Sister Hargrove...

And my last companion Sister Liosotto
There's not too much to update except that I spoke to my dear family on Christmas! It was so good to talk to all of you. Christmas was good but nothing like Christmas at home.
I hope you're all doing well and all have a Happy New Year! 

Sister Cox