Friday, March 25, 2011



Hola Family and Friends!

Who knew that a week could be SO full and go SO quickly. Amazing. Everyday we wake up early and get to work. In fact, since day one we've started going to this 'sister's only" exercise class that starts at six, so we've been getting up at 5:40, which was great. Finally yesterday we decided that we would "sleep in" until six thirty yesterday, it was incredible. I've thoroughly (for the most part) enjoyed getting up before the sun and getting so much done before I used to even be awake.

In other incredibly exciting news, I filled out my online visa form!!! Yes. It was on Tuesday when the other missionaries in my district burst into the room where my compas and I were studying and said they'd called my name over the intercom system. Yes yes, the MTC has an intense intercom system; they can call a specific classroom (they pretty much know where you are at all hours of the day) and you can talk back just to the ceiling, and they can hear. We were so excited, and though it's not actually a visa in itself, it is one step closer. We've actually had about five people in our district of twelve get visas in the past three days. They are all going through the San Francisco consulate (whereas I'm going through LA) and they all filled out their online forms four to five weeks ago. So I will still have a few more weeks, but yes - once the visa gets through, missionaries receive the itinerary to ship out in just a few days (but don't worry, I get to call home the day the visa comes.) Unfortunately, my companion Sister Forester got her visa, and even though I'm incredibly excited for her (she studies Spanish at BYU, so her Portuguese is muito bem!) but I will miss her terribly. Really terribly. But another sister from our district leaves Tuesday as well, so I'll be back in a threesome with Sister Ogletree, and there will be us and three other elders in our district. But it's exciting that visas are actually going through!

I have enjoyed having talks in Portuguese in church. Other missionaries that have been here for five times as long as we have speak in Portuguese, and it's fun to think that we too will get there. Happily, I already understand everything they say, and at the Teaching Resource Center we did contacting in Portuguese, and it's SO fun. Sister Forester and I also get to hold little study sessions with our district, and we help each other out whenever we can as a district. I LOVE everyone in district 15 D, and I feel so so blessed. I'm also feeling very blessed for my piano skills. In our branch of about forty people, only me and one other guy play the piano. IN-credible. Fortunately I love any excuse to play. It's wonderful.

On Sunday we decided that we would sing in the choir. Frankly, it was one of the only things that set Sunday apart from the rest of the week. Monday through Saturday (except most of Friday of course) we're in our formal Sunday-ish clothes, we pray all day, discuss gospel subjects, and refrain from singing non-church music. Except for Sacrament meeting and choir, Sunday felt pretty similar. The choir director was hilarious. And the sound was marvelous. We sang "be still my soul" and I don't know if any of you have ever paid attention to the words, but they are beautiful. It's a self-affirmation of calm and faith in Christ. The sound of hundreds of young missionaries was a pretty swell experience. And at the devotional on Tuesday night, Elder Costa and his wife came to speak to us. And they're Brazilian!!! Our district loved listening to them speak and picking out certain things that proved they spoke Portuguese; "hing" instead of "him," or "tey" instead of "they" etc. They both gave great comments about being the missionary we want to be pleased with at the end of our mission. Plus Elder Costa shared his conversion story, and it's pretty miraculous. It lifted all our spirits a bit about the work moving forward. Afterward we had a little testimony meeting as a district, and it was so powerful. It was this moment where I realized how big this work is, and that it's not ours at all - thank heavens. I knew this before, my own inadequacy became apparent, and the necessity of the Lord god's hand in everything was so clear. Miracles truly happen here at the MTC seriously. The Lord really looks out for his missionaries, and I know that prayers are offered on our behalf from faithful friends and family members all over the world. Nothing can happen without faith, but if we do have faith, and we're willing to do what he asks - goodness gracious, amazing things can happen.

Speaking of amazing things. My compas and I were teaching a "role-play" lesson (or "real-play" according to Elder Scott) sister Petersen was acting as the investigator, and Sister Forester and I were teaching her. We were working on the first lesson, and as I was starting out with "god is our loving heavenly father" I suddenly had this prompting to start talking about prayer . . . which is NOT in order at all. But I did, and then got back on track. Afterward, Sister P said that that was perfect for the person she was thinking of. It was this moment where it became manifest that you really can work by the spirit, and guess what - it works! Even when you're receiving revelation for someone who's pretending to be someone else. Whoa.

We finally got to go to the temple this week. Thanks heavens it happened soon enough so that we could go with Sister Forester. It was funny to be back in the ol' Provo temple but this time with so many friends! But then when we came out - it had snowed SO much! Oh silly Provo. There's just no rhyme or reason.

One other insight I wanted to share was regarding light, and truth. I was doing a study on truth, and what it really means in the scriptures and how we can relate it to others, investigators specifically (it's all about them!) and I was reading about how light is truth, which light is the light of Christ (this is all d&c 50 by the way) and that light, when you receive some of it will grow brighter and brighter until that perfect day. So, everyone has the light of Christ; every.single.person. We all do, amazing. Then when we bring truth to their lives through the truth of the gospel, that little light that EVERYONE has can be ignited. It will keep growing and growing, and bring enlightenment and joy and peace and happiness to people's lives. That's why we need missionaries to go around and spark the light of Christ of everyone. We'll see how that goes. So let your light shine! and read your scriptures, they really can tell you what to do, as well as the spirit, oh I love you all.

love love love,
Sister Cornwall

Mom and dad:

Please oh please tell Robb a very happy birthday. I don't have his address, but I figured you could let him know that I love him and that I'm grateful for his example.

also Katie - do you know a girl that was in MDT whose last name is Holtzclaw? curly hair? anyway.

Family, I love you guys, you're amazing. and I hope all is well!

1 comment:

  1. I was noticing that I did not get a phone call from Rachel that was nice of her to think of me. I enjoy reading her letters and it strengthens my testimony. Thank you Rach and dad for making this letter available