Monday, June 20, 2011

Well hello hello,
I am grinning knowing that I get to tell you about all the INCREDIBLE things that happened this week (Sister Denson said I use that word a lot, so beware.)

This week was just . . . pretty much a string of miracles. Every day I write one miracle that happened, and one day in my journal I simply wrote `the whole day.´ It was incredible that we found many people to teach, and that the people we taught really needed and wanted this message. I realized that the first couple of weeks the people we were working with let us in, but they weren´t really desiring this message. But several times this week either we thought or they thought/said that God had sent us, that it was a miracle we came, and that they were looking for something like this. Right? Amazing.

Every week, or day rather, I just think - I am learning and discovering so much. This life is so much more than we can even imagine presently; God´s hand is guiding our lives more than we can even muster to understand, and I am so grateful. Even things before this mission I am starting to recognize as having been guided by the Lord - I´m just trying to accept his will. That was a little bit tough yesterday. We were fasting for our little investigators to come to church and feel how gREAT it is, and our two goldens did not come. (We had four others there, so we were still so blessed) but I was heartbroken. And slightly nauseous. It was hard. I understand that life happens, and that we all have the ability to choose, but that doesn´t make it any less disheartening. But we are going to baptize Alixandra and Yasmim this week - they are incredible. We were making contacts and decided to go the the praça [square, plaza] to talk with people, and there was Alixandra - who had´nt been home earlier. That happened a half dozen times this week; we´re walking along, and voila - the person we need to talk to. Wow.

This week we are aiming for zona de exelencia. That means our zone is going to meet every goal we have as a zone, and work EXTREMELY hard to all get there together. It is going to [take] work, but hey - that´s what I´m here for right? But happily, this weekend is São João, [a.k.a. Festa Junina] a holiday that we do not have in the US, nor anything remotely similar. I don´t know that I can even explain it here, so go on Google and look it up. It is going to be CRAZY. But I love it. All the little kids are dressed up and it is so fun. Brazil is so funny. Sometimes I feel like it´s a third world country pretending to be something else. They´ve got nice cars, and a huge economy, but then there are donkeys pulling carts in the road and women carrying groceries on their heads. And it is SO green - have I mentioned that? It is gorgeous and tropical. And yes, I AM learning the difference between a coconut tree and a banana tree, in case you were wondering. There is so much fruit and flavors that I am trying and becoming accustomed to. I am in love with this place. It´s a blessing to be here.
Another thing I thought a lot about this week was prayer. At the end of the lesson, we always ask if they will pray about these things. If we need to know something, we may as well ask somebody who knows everything, and who won´t lie: God. And people agree that yes, they will. But then when we get to the prayer at the end of the lesson, and we ask them to pray, they are at a loss. EVERYONE has pai nosso/the Lord´s Prayer memorized. Even babies. But when it comes to their own prayer - nothing. My heart is always so sad when they don´t know that prayer is simply speaking with their Father in Heaven - their own words mesmo [even. yet]! But then . . . then when they get it, when they start their own prayer and say the words ´Pai Celestial´[Heavenly Father] and they offer up their heart to God - oh my, I just want to weep and yelp and . . . you know. It is great. And amazing that these souls are just learning how to pray, and how it blesses their lives, and that for me - it STILL blesses my life. Oh how I need prayer. It is the best.

I feel like things just started clicking this week. I felt so much more of an instrument in the Lord´s hands. We´re teaching Aristedes, who reads the Bible everyday, and has loads of questions. But he´s not reading the Book of Mormon and he´s not praying about these things. But I was able to just testify with all of my heart about the Book of Mormon being true, about the priesthood being the most powerful force on the earth, and that Jesus Christ - oh he is my Savior. It was a powerful moment for me as a daughter of God. I feel his love so strongly everyday, even if I´m a little tough to love sometimes (due to little reclamações [complaints] etc.) But it´s true, and that´s what matters. And it´s real. It is real.

I am in love with this Gospel, and in the love with the opportunity I have to share it. If there´s somebody on the street, or a house that looks cool, I can just go up to it and strike up a conversation. It is the best. Certainly there are things I´m missing, but it´s getting to the point where I can´t imagine my life without Alef, Dagmar, Marhdel, Tuã, Noeme, and my companions (and no, I did not just pick the people with the coolest names.)

This work is completely in the hands of the Lord, thank heavens . . . literally. I love you so dearly, and I hope you know how blessed you are. And thank you for your prayers on behalf of these people . . . I daresay they´re working.


Sister Cornwall

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