Monday, May 16, 2011

Signing Off From Provo, USA


That's right my friends, we have our visas, and we're going to Brazil, and it's going to be absolutely INCREDIBLE.

Here's the story: So ordinarily visa-waiters get their reassignments on Wednesdays, and when we checked our mail with no sign of a reassignment, we went to the travel office and asked if they had any news for us. They did. Sister Petersen (who's also going to Salvador South) got reassigned to Louisville, Kentucky with me

Sister Ogletree was reassigned to Chicago (her mission is Goiania, southeast of Salvador) but her name was crossed out . . . so we figured she was headed out soon enough. They didn't have our travel plans yet, so we went in on Thursday to see when we'd be leaving, and the lady said "you're all going to Brazil aren't you? I have some bad news, the mission president in Kentucky is very sad because he's not getting any sisters, because you got your visas!!!" We were elated. We jumped around and screamed. We're dying to get there. We had a full day of in-field orientation talking about how to connect and work with the members, how to plan and fulfill goals. We also had a departing devotional, and other talks on getting to the airport etc. And through it all, I just get anxious in my chair and wish I could leave this instant!

It has been an incredible experience here, but we're all feeling very ready to get ourselves someplace where we can put this into action. We've learned so much, and I can't wait to get there. I'm sure you can all imagine the anticipation.

We also had to do this training for Health and Wellness where we talked about animals we can't touch, foods we shouldn't eat, where to drink water, how to wash our hands . . . let me just say that I can already tell it's going to be an adventure.

Elder Andersen came last Tuesday, and it was very special. He is quite a fellow, and I appreciated his comments. We're just so blessed to have had three out of the twelve apostles come to see us in our two months here. I love it. I am inspired by their witness every time they come. Cecil O Samuelson also came last night, and quite frankly, it made me miss the BYU. All those devotionals spent listening to him speak, admiring his perfect comb-over - nothing like it my friends. But I really enjoyed hearing him, and we've still got one more devotional Tuesday night.

We had to say goodbye to Irmao Johansen on Wednesday. He is the greatest teacher, and got us all so pumped up to just go out and do the work. Before he left he showed us pictures of his mission in Sao Paulo, oh man, I have a love for those people in Brazil. It is the Holy Land for me. I want to love them, and teach them . . . and play futebol with them. And we got some practice in gym this week. The field was open so with some other sisters we played soccer. It was so wonderful. And though this may surprise some people, the other sisters were quite impressed with my skills (all that Primos practice i suppose.) I actually even scored about . . . five times. Those AYSO days sure served me well.

Another not very spiritual thing that happened this week was that they replaced our bedframes. But unfortunately there was a lapse in the replacement time, so for a night all we had was four mattresses in our room. Now, we're not as creative as the elders, but we built a fort, which we consequently demolished in order to do gymnastics. Don't worry, we took pictures. I love my companions. Truly, they are the best. We taught a lesson to "Andy" - a substitute teacher on Saturday night, and it was a glorious moment. We were teaching him, and I looked over at my companions, and they were speaking so incredibly well; they didn't look at me for words, they didn't stumble, they just taught and testified beautifully. Then I remembered my language goal, which was essentially to help my companions be able to speak, and I felt that it was all completed. Obviously we all still have such a long a way to go, but quite frankly, it confirmed that we're ready to go out and learn even more.

It's been fun to be in Provo during the winter-spring transition. Watching the flowers and the trees go from essentially nothing to being full and green. It's been an interesting parallel to our own development here. Since day 1 in our classroom, I've sat in the same seat where I've got a great view of the mountain just South of the Y. Some days it was cloudy and you couldn't even see it, other days it was so clear and beautiful, and also on Saturday we saw a gorgeous huge rainbow. I know the Lord is looking out for us, and that he's happy with the work we're doing. I'm so blessed to be here. This gospel is true and correct, and it's made all the difference. I'm so grateful to know my Father in Heaven loves me. There is nothing that gives me more peace and confidence than knowing that. Well I shall write you sometime within the next week and half . . . from Brazil.

I love you all dearly,

Sister Cornwall

Mom and Dad:
I'm going!!! Thanks for being great. The itinerary:
leave Salt Lake at 11 am, land in Detroit at 4:30 pm
leave Detroit at 7:50 pm arrive in Sao Paulo at 7:20 am
leave Sao Paulo at 12:40 pm and land in Salvador at 2:55
these are all local time, obviously.

I love you, tell Hillmill congrats.

I love it all and I can't WAIT to get down there.

Love love love,



  1. Of course, I am elated that your visa came through and you will get to use your Portuguese.
    But to think-- my family was THIS CLOSE to being able to have you over for dinner!!!

    Alas, Thy will be done. :)


  2. Thanks for the shout out Sister Cornwall! Can't wait to be your fellow South American pen-pal in the upcoming months. xoxo Hermana Miller {gah!}