Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Madness and the Final Four!

Today we wrapped up the longest transfer we have had on the mission, three days, four trips to the airport, 18 missionaries leaving and 22 missionaries arriving!  Our "Final Four" missionaries arrived here in Curitiba this afternoon after more than 48 hours of travel.  They left Spokane, Washington on Monday and flew to Seattle.  The pilot for the next flight from Seattle to Detroit never showed up which delayed their flight by more than two hours.  They arrived in Detroit one hour after their Sao Paulo flight departure therefore winning an overnight stay in Detroit at the Airport Holiday Inn. They continued their journey the next day catching their new flights late on Tuesday afternoon.  They were delayed in Sao Paulo and finally touched down in Curitiba around 3:30pm today.  Wow!  We were super relieved to finally have them here and happy to get them fed and off for some sleep.  Despite being a little sleep deprived, they arrived excited to share the message of the restoration with the people of Parana.
(Left to Right: Presidente Cordon, Elders Nixon (Washington, D.C.), Stout (Oakdale, CA), Gunnerson (Hayden Lake, ID), Bennion(Stark City, MO), and Sister Cordon)

With their Trainers!  Elders Gunn and Nixon, Elders Stout and Gray, Assistants: Elders Gabriel and Schmidt, Elders Gunnerson and Hogge, Elders Bennion and Mullins.

Ready to Take on Their New Apartment!

We received a call from Sisters Johnson and Da Rosa last night after they had arrived in their new apartment which had been inhabited by Elders for the past 6 years.  The Elders claimed the apartment was clean.  I guess that depends on whose standards are being enforced.  There was terror in the sisters' voices.  Sister Cordon and I drove over to their apartment, reviewed the situation, and then gathered them up and took them to the mission home where we promptly put Sister Johnson to bed to get some much needed sleep.  In the morning we took several new items including new pans, tables, a new mattress, and a blender to their apartment and then cleaned for two hours.  It will be a great little apartment for them once we get it painted.  Oh what elders will do to an apartment over several years.  The highlight was removing an old picture and finding that some elder had drawn a "hidden safe" on the wall.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Two Sisters Finally Arrive from LA

This afternoon, after sending our first group of new missionaries off with their respective trainers, we headed to the airport again to pick up our remaining 6 missionaries arriving from the United States.  To our surprise only our two sisters came off the flight from Sao Paulo.  The elders had been held up in Detroit from some reason and missed their flights.  They will arrive in Curitiba tomorrow.  Sister Cordon rode in the van with our sisters from the airport to the mission home.  We had a nice lunch and conducted interviews and then introduced them to their new companions.  They were then off to their areas to unpack and get some much needed rest.  (L to R: Pres. Cordon, Sister Hammon, Sister Johnson, and Sister Cordon)

Sister Johnson with President and Sister Cordon

Sister Hammon with President and Sister Cordon.

Sister Medrado (Cuiaba, Brasil) will be training Sister Hammon and Sister Da Rosa (Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil) will be training Sister Johnson.  We are so excited for these two.  They have great trainers and are eager to learn and teach.

The Sweet 16! New Missionaries Arrive!

Our new missionaries in March seem to be coming in waves.  Our first large wave arrived this morning with 16 missionaries arriving from the Brasil MTC.  It was inspiring to see them all coming out together from baggage claim.  Fantastic to see such a marvelous addition to our mission.  They arrived with two North Americans, two Chilenos, and 12 Brazilians.  I love the diversity of this mission.

Monday, March 25, 2013

God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again!!

This should get easier after so many departures however it seems to get just harder and harder.  We said goodbye to dear friends, fellow missionaries, and forever family this afternoon.  We will miss each and everyone of them.  (Front row, l to r: Sisters Horkley, Hass, Pres. and Sister Cordon, Sister Patton; Back row, l to r: Elders Barreto, Alves, Howard, Fernandes, Ferreira, De Araujo, Brino, Souza, Lacerda, Deivid, Fuchs, and Suan)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fireside - Piraquara Ward, Pinhais Stake

Tonight we had the privilege of speaking at a fireside out in Piraquara, a city on the outskirts of the Curitiba area.  It was great to see the faithful saints attend with their families for this "serao gostoso" which included ice cream sundaes at the end.  The ward had several recently returned missionaries bear their testimonies which were inspirational.  Elders Welch and Hogge can be seen in the picture as well as Sister Cordon wearing a lime green jacket.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March New Missionary Training

It has already been one transfer since our new group arrived.  It is amazing how much they have learned in this small amount of time.  The 12 week training program is excellent and inspired.  It really helps the new missionaries grasp the principles of missionary work and the doctrine of Christ.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Elders Little and Pereira Join Us for Breakfast

Elder Little (Paragonah, Utah) and Elder Pereira (Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais) joined us for breakfast prior to some medical exams that they needed to do close to the mission home.  Elder Pereira is in his first transfer here in the mission field.  He has a great trainer in Elder Little.  Two great missionaries with great desires to follow the Savior and help others to come unto Him.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hospital Emergency

It has been a long couple of days for a few of our missionaries.  Elder Brino (Botucatu, Sao Paulo) called last night late with abdominal pain.  A member drove him and his companion to the Santa Cruz hospital where he was diagnosed with appendicitis.  He had surgery early this afternoon.  His good companion Elder Santos Silva (Manacapuru, Amazonas) never left his hospital room, making sure Elder Brino was well cared for.  Our elders from the Barigui ward, Elders Folsom (Salt Lake City) and Haycock (Sandy, Utah) and Dallin came by to offer their support.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Family Night at the Mission Home

Tonight we celebrated Sister Cordon's birthday by holding a special family home evening at the mission home.  He showed a video, "Only a Stonecutter", which related the story of John Moyle, an early pioneer and we played a game which highlighted the importance of reaching out to the individuals and lost sheep.  Sister Cordon is not one to think of herself ever and the evening was really about showing our love for others.  Wonderful friendships that will last an eternity!!
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Sister Cordon with Luiza and Emily!

Presidente Miled and Marli, Sister and Presidente Hepworth.

Friday, March 8, 2013

March Zone Leader Council Meeting

One of the real choice experiences we have on this mission is working with great young men and women leaders who rise to the challenge and help guide this mission.  They fulfill their callings with exactness and with the Spirit.  It makes our responsibilities lighter.  

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Elder Rios

Elder Knowles

Elder Gomes

Elder Martinez

Elder Woodruff

Elder Sudweeks