Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Me & Sister Petersen studying in our (rather boring classroom).
Oh, I don't wear my glasses too often. But we just looked so studious
22 April 2011

Hello hello!

Oh what a thrill it is to be back here once again writing to all my loved ones. You are incredible!!! I am so blessed. I know my Father in Heaven is watching over EVERYTHING. We don't understand His ways, or how He works, but I know - you hear that - I KNOW that God lives and that He loves me. I hope you all do too.

Friends, this week was truly incredible. I am in awe of the blessings and power of this work. It is overwhelming but exhilarating, and I haven't even gotten to Brazil! I'm still here . . . in this closed in place . . . in Provo Utah, but this place is special. I love it. I realized this week how in love with missionary work I am. You may laugh, but I'll stand by it. I enjoy that it fascinates me, that we encounter all these different people and help them see based on their individual needs how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can change their lives. That's why we're here on the earth; we want to be better. We want to learn and grow and gain experience, and when we utilize the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can change - we will change, as long as we're willing. It's all on us.

Well, first, Elder Scott spoke at our devotional on Tuesday. I know he spoke at commencement as well, but we were so fortunate to have him come. Actually several rumors had spread that President Monson was coming. And I may or may not have spread some of these rumors, but regardless, we still had an apostle of the Lord come, and he was powerful. He gave good advice to us, telling us how to be better and such, but the two most significant remarks he made were first, he asked everyone learning a language to raise their hands. Most of the congregation raised their hands. Then he invoked the power of the gift of tongues - using his apostolic authority - to bless us, he said we'd still have to study, but it would be much easier.

I have already been SO blessed with learning this language (in fact, one of the teacher resources people observed one of our lessons last night, and he called me a brasiliera, which is what you call females from Brazil. I don't think I've ever been so pleased) yet I have seen it work more clearly in my beautiful companions. It's pretty incredible. This week was the first time I got the tiniest bit frustrated with the gap in our language abilities, mas, tudo bem. (All's well.) Second he bore an incredibly powerful testimony at the end. He said "I'm not speaking as Elder Scott, I'm speaking as an apostle of the Lord. I don't believe that Jesus Christ is a glorified resurrected being, I KNOW he's a glorified resurrected being." Holy mackerel friends, the power of the Holy Ghost is real, and frankly it's the only way we can really really know truth. It's an amazing power that I'm sure we can utilize more in our lives. It's one of the most amazing tools we have here on the earth.

We actually had a quite the revelation this week as a companionship. We've been told a lot about teaching to people's needs. We LOVE the people we teach, and we want to help them see how much the gospel truly does apply to their lives. But on the other hand, we need to teach doctrine; we have Preach My Gospel as the resource where lessons were prepared by the first presidency to cover the things that the children of god need to know, yet you can't just dish out memorized lessons. Anyway, we taught a lousy lesson in Portuguese on Monday, and we were frustrated and didn't know why really. But we sorta had it out and realized that it's possible to do both.
This may not seem like the most incredible thing to anyone but the three of us, but it has changed how we teach. We actually taught a couple English lessons this week to boost our confidence, and remind us that we are GREAT teachers together. But after that day we have been going so strong. We taught four lessons yesterday, all in Portuguese, and we nailed each one. We actually ended up singing in a lesson yesterday, and it was beautiful. We have all been incredible blessed in our lives, and all have certain gifts, but truly, we need the spirit there to guide and testify. And i'm so so glad. And actually at one of our English lessons, I prayed in English (obviously) but it was so strange my friends. Prayer in Portuguese was one of the first concepts that we learned, and so I haven't prayed in English for about five weeks (I know right, we've been here five weeks, it's lovely.)

One of the Portuguese lessons we taught yesterday was to a couple where the husband had served in Brazil and he and his wife were headed back in a week. And they were kinda tough, allowing us to practice explaining concepts that are so simple yet we often take for granted; what IS repentance, what IS baptism, WHY do these things matter. Well I'll tell ya. I love this, I honestly don't think I could give up this time, and truly testify to these people, and tell them to change their lives for this cause, for this gospel, unless I had absolutely no doubt that this is what matters. This really is the fullness of the truth. It's intellectually enlarging, it's uplifting, it's joyful and happy and hopeful. We just need to start with that seed of the word in our hearts. We have to want it, it's true, but frankly, it's all worth it. Anyway, so this couple we taught was at lunch, and we went over and said hello, but they invited us to come look at their books about Brazil.

Amazing. Friends, I am GOING to Brazil. Uh, I don't know when, I may get reassigned for a while, but hey, I'll get there eventually, and it will be amazing. That place; the people and the food and the language. I don't think it's all sunk in, but seriously, amazing.

My oh my, how happy I am to be here. Truly. There's only so much I can pass on to you in the 25 minutes I have to get it all down (we have thirty minutes, but to log-on and print letters it eats up five of those minutes.) Regardless, if not anything else, I need you to know that I am in love with this work. It exhilarates me; we were "contacting" other missionaries, and I get so fired up talking about the Book of Mormon. It's unique, and nobody else has it . . . and that's because this gospel is unique, and it's true. Please oh please, I don't really know who all reads these letters, but if you don't know that God's your Father in Heaven and that he has a plan for you, I beg you to find out. Find the missionaries and they'd LOVE to tell you more. And if you do know : TELL SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T.

I love you all dearly. And so does your Father in Heaven. There's a plan my friends. I hope you know that.

love love love,
Sister Cornwall
"Here's the thing - a few Elders from our zone started
calling us Charlie's Angels. (I know, silly. I swore I'd never do such things
but when you're in the MTC...). And so last Sunday
we all wore black and had a little photo shoot."
"And so --- "Charlie's Angles (oh boy) with our
artillery... scriptures. (Let it be known, very few
of these were my ideas, in fact... none.)"

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