Saturday, April 16, 2011

15 April 2011

Dearest friends and family-

Ahoy! How are you all? The MTC is, as usual, sublime. Truly. When we went up to the temple this morning we were saying hello to everyone with an "ola" and saying "obrigada" instead of "thank you". They didn't seem to understand; weird. Doesn't everyone spontaneously respond to any language that they hear with a heart full of gladness and a "Hey elder/sister" ? I guess not. Oh well. And of course, the temple was lovely. There were quite a few old people, and so the session took about twenty minutes longer than usual. But it's lovely to be around older people, all these young individuals I hang out with all day well . . . you know how it goes.

First thing, last week the Men's Chorus came to sing to us and it was lovely. So, so lovely. It was funny to hear the MTC cheer so loudly (we're a little lacking in real entertainment around here.) And they also sang Ubi Caritas, which warmed my soul.

I had been meaning to tell you about the list of scriptures from my mission president (or did I?) He gave us seventy scriptures that correspond to each lesson in PMG and cover topics that I'm assuming are a little more prevalent for my mission. We're memorizing the ones for the Plan of Salvation, and it's wonderful. And mom you'll be glad to know that out of the 70 scriptures 28 are scripture mastery.

Elder Rasband came to talk at devotional on Tuesday and it was wonderful. His wife also spoke and she was so energetic and so right on for missionaries; plus, Elder and Sister Rasband are so cute. They love each other so much, and it helped us all raise our standard a little higher for what we're looking for. Anyway, his remarks were on keeping the spirit with us. He gave three keys : 1. Bridle your passions. 2. Garnish your thoughts. 3. ASK for the spirit. Very good advice. I really really enjoyed his remarks.

Another great thing that I ended up doing this week at the encouragement of Sister Holtzclaw is tell my companions that I love them in Portuguese, a simple te amo. And it has been great. I love them, they're wonderful, and even so I feel like I've had extra cause to adore them this past week; their Portuguese is coming along so well. They may not see it, but every time they use the contraction "pelo" or conjugate a verb correctly, I want to leap up. I think I feel their victories more than they do actually. Which is wonderful. It's so much easier to be happier for other people. Truly. Service and giving of yourself are truly - though perhaps oddly - the keys to happiness and goodness.

This brings me to my next favorite thing from this past week. So, for some reason our district was under the impression that Easter was this Sunday - uh, it's not, in case you were wondering - and so I decided to start preparing a week in advance (actually now it's two weeks) for celebrating this special day. I decided to memorize the Living Christ, and it's going well. I broke it up into segments, and I've got about 3/4 of it memorized. And everyday for personal study I've focused on a particular highlight in the portion I memorized. Using Jesus the Christ mostly, I have had such a profound experience. It's been amazing. Sister Rasband mentioned that until we have a strong relationship with the Savior, even our best efforts won't be good enough. I have felt so much more appreciation for Jehovah, and the great things Jesus Christ did as the Messiah. He is all He says He is: perfect. I'll have to write out more of these specific insights later, but know that building a relationship with your Savior will be worth every effort, I promise you this.

We were able to teach some smashing lessons this week. After some workshops with other teachers we're finally seeing what it's REALLY all about. We need to teach the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to the needs of our people. We need to see others as Christ would see them and simplify this message so they can understand, feel the spirit of the Holy Ghost, and then realize in themselves the desire to follow Christ and be baptized. I'm so thankful for insightful and spiritual companions that have really shaped my views on this beautiful gospel and on our role as missionaries. Oh I am thankful to be here. I love it. It truly is a privilege, so thank thank thank you to all the individuals that have supported this effort. I am eternally thankful and incredibly blessed.

I know this gospel is true. I know that this "message" I"m sharing is the same one that Jesus Christ himself taught. He is incredible. He did everything, for no glory in return. He created this earth for us, prepared the way, then came to the earth, lived a perfect life, and then gave it up so that we can have eternal life. Wow. I know right? And I get to preach and testify of this ALL. DAY. Long. I love what I feel here. The Holy Spirit really does guide our actions, we can do so little without His help. Divine help, every day.

Oh how full my heart is today. Love love love,

Sister Cornwall

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