Monday, May 2, 2011

"Sunday was SO nice here in Provo...
it was good preparation for Salvador.
We're getting pretty excited around here."
2 May 2011

Hello hello!
We finally got our email back and I am thrilled about it. We are on a different schedule than the rest of our district so our weekly service assignments have been off, and lots of other things have had to be moved around. But we're back . . . for the next couple weeks at least.

One wonderful thing about our new schedule is that we are in a group with what seems to be all the international missionaries. Tons from Tonga, Samoa, China, parts of Europe, Etc, and we LOVE it! They're hilarious. Actually most of our floor is international Sisters and I love them. The Samoan Sisters are totally hilarious, the Sisters from Italy are so beautiful, and the Sisters from Latin Aamerica are so fun. It's quite a party. And because our temple time is the same as them, the Celestial room is so beautiful and colorful. Speaking of the temple - oh my friends, it was exquisite. It always is, but I was thinking a lot about our investigators and the love we have for them as we did intiatories. I came to realize that it really is a matter of obedience. We are here to make covenants, and that is incredibly important, but what matters most - is that we KEEP these covenants. They exist to bless us, and that benefits us more than we can imagine. I have thought several times on John 15:16 - "If ye love me, keep my commandments." And quite frankly my friends, that's all I want to do.

This past week we taught and "investigator" (another teacher) who wanted to get baptized but couldn't, because he couldn't pay tithing because most of his income was paying for his brother's medication, who had cancer. We were all taken very much aback by this. And for a moment I considered how we could ask him to do this, but honestly, how could we not? We discussed after the lesson that it is truly the love of Christ that we have, because all the human love that I could possibly conjure simply as Rachel is not nearly enough; but because we're striving to love these people as God and Jesus Christ would love him, we can, and we do. There is no sacrifice that we make for the Lord that he is not willing to recompense and pay back more than tenfold! More than we can imagine. I sat there and I promised him that as it says in Malaquias (malachi) 3 - the windows of heaven are gonna open, and we can receive it. I told him about things that have happened in my life that PROVE there is a God and that is watching out to make sure that I am covered, to the extent that I am overwhelmed with his blessings. It was powerful. Truly. I don't know if you're all catching this, and what it means, but know that I know it's true. The power of the Holy Ghost is SO real, and the promises of the Lord - they come.

Another thing we talked about in class this week was the value of the members in our work. Our teacher showed us beautiful pictures of her mission in Portugal and talked about how areas that had been without any baptisms in a year - were made so fruitful by maximizing the efforts of the members. Okay, and now I get to utilize my authority as a representative of Jesus Christ to call others to change: my friends that already have the message of the restored gospel in your lives - when was the last time you gave a reference to the missionaries? I know you all have friends, and loved ones and neighbors! I know we try and do our part, and be good examples, but we've gotta be more proactive, we need to fulfill the part of our baptismal covenant that says that we help others - and guess what the best way to help others is? Yes! Bring them unto Christ and let them take part in this glorious gospel. I realize that as I write this, I was not the greatest missionary before I was set apart to be one full time - I admit it. I was scared to share my testimony, scared to approach people, scared of the responsibility that it would mean if they actually accepted! But hey, we've gotta get over it and do everything we can. Pray for help, pray for inspiration, pray to know what you can do TODAY to make a difference in building up the kingdom of God. That's right, you my friends. I realized this week that today is the most important day to act; certainly we make goals, and we strive for better things, but unless you're doing something about it today - what's the point? Whew, enough of that, but truly.

Guess what else happened this week - Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to speak to us. I know, I know, it's incredible. He and "Kristen" spoke beautifully, and I very much appreciated what he said. A couple of points: first, there are three challenges you go through as a missionary - to change, to achieve, and to become. These things need to happen, and they bring blessings, but they are indeed challenges. He also said that the most fundamental element of the gospel is our testimony of Jesus Christ. Yes yes. We taught an atheist this week, and I was baffled as to how she gets through the day. She certainly is missing out on blessings, let me tell you. And I realize that the only way to change hearts is to testify. She didn't know what she was missing, it's true, but when she sees this conviction that we have when we say "I KNOW that God lives, that He loves us, and the Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world," she's going to see that she doesn't have that . . . and then (hopefully) she'll desire it. Cause it's the greatest thing ever.

And in case you're wondering, my companions are still amazing. I love them dearly. They help me learn and develop leaps and bounds every day, and plus - they're so fun. We had a talent show while brushing our teeth the other night: Sister P. did an Australian accent imitation, Sister O. did a dance, and I sang some Beauty and the Beast - ta da! They're hilarious. We also have a "prayer bracelet" that we use; we pray so much throughout the day, and we can never remember whose "turn" it is, so we just pass along the bracelet throughout the day. And why yes, it was my idea.

We still have no word on visas, but frankly all three of us are feeling that life is good wherever we go, and we're thrilled to serve somewhere, somehow, and it's great. Oh and in case you're looking for a lovely scripture that has inspired Sister Cornwall this week - check out Helamen 3:35. Whew, so much to learn.

Well, I love you. Do ALL you can to do good. You have it in YOU! And if you're struggling, get down on your knees, open up the good word, and then act. It's all possible.

Sister Cornwall

"We're reviewing vocabulary -
food to be specific and filled the white board.
I was pretty pleased with these darling drawings..."

"Okay, now that the rest of our district is gone,
we've decided to join up with another small district of elders
(who are our zone leaders) to become the "mega-district".
(Or "mega-clique". This explains the "M" hand signs and the "click"/snapping.

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