Monday, July 4, 2011

Hi There!
What a week it has been. Transfer weeks (I hear) are always rather tricky, but this week was pretty interesting for Sister Denson and myself. Let me explain real quick the situation at hand. So, technically Sis D and I are in the Itapuã ward, but there´s a part of the ward - Stella Mares - that has never had missionaries working there, so the ward has been split between our district leader and our dupla [pair/companionship]. Stella Mares is technically our area though it´s kinda far from our house and rich, with LOTS of condos, so we´ll be working a lot with the stake president and bishop and members to figure out the best way to get the work going there.

The ward is incredible. We were there yesterday for the first time, and everyone LOVES us. There have never been Sisters there so the ward has been asking the Elders for weeks when we´re coming, and now that we´re finally here . . . well they can´t wait. There were several people coming up and asking when they can go out and help us, they want to give us references. Uau [Wow], it is great. Also, there´s this funny little American family - theCampbells - that travel a bunch, and their visas were running out, so they´re living here for the summer. They are especially stoked to work with us . . . we´ll see how that goes. But I am feeling renewed love and appreciation for the ward. We need it! There is NOTHING that we as missionaries can do that even reaches the support of the ward. So - you know what you all need to do.
And yes, we´re living in our new house. Because we´re opening an area it´s brand new, and it had nothing. Literally, nothing. Over the course of the week we´ve officially acquired: 1. A chuveira, shower head (nope, wasn´t included, before it was just a pipe sticking out of the wall.) 2. Two cushions. we swept the floor really well beforehand. 3. Two cups and two spoons (before that we had empty yogurt containers and a straw. Suffice it to say, we´ve really moved up in the world.) 4. Two chairs. the Elders live really close and they´ve been helping out a lot. We should be getting furniture today. We´re pretty excited about that. We´ve been limited to eating things that neither need to be refrigerated nor heated . . . which means we have eaten a fair amount of crackers, bread, bananas, apples . . . and powdered milk. I have to say it has been a really fun experience. Sister Denson and I are living it up. But we´re glad to be here. This past week we´ve just been adjusting and getting used to the area. We have found some incredible people this week, and even when we are exhausted and frustrated (Itapuã has been wiping me out. It has a LOT of really big hills and we´re just so tired when we get home) , when we enter a home, and start teaching about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ - oh glória it´s the best. I know this gospel´s true. I know it.

There was a family in the supermercado [supermarket] this past week behind us in line. Father mother and adorable son, and - as missionaries tend to do - I invited them to get to know the Church. They are already Baptists, and I just kept thinking about them and this idea that there is happiness in truth and light, and that there is truth and light everywhere. I know that this Gospel is true, it´s just hard to realize that now´s not the time for everyone. I feel so privileged to be part of this work, and to have the same purpose as Jesus Christ. I´ve started reading the Gospels looking at the questions that the Savior poses. but he starts out his ministry saying - repent, the time is at hand (or something like that in English, yes yes, I´m reading in Portuguese) and that is exactly our message today. Make the changes you need to in your life so you can receive the blessings. I feel the love of the Lord so much. He is extremely patient with this little servant of his. I am very grateful.

There are a few other little things that Brazilians have/do that I´m grateful for (and plan to inculcate in my future life) pipa, pão, and passarros. First, pipa: kites. Everyone flies kites. The~y´re just bits of paper with string wrapped around a tin can, but they fly, and I LOVE it. Pão is bread, and everyone buys it fresh everyday. Thy´re just little rolls, but they are tasty, and smell SO good in the street. Also, passarros: birds. Everyone has a bird cage. Literally. I don´t really know why, but they do, and it´s lovely. And weird. But it´s just a little something that I like about these Bahians.

This is the best opportunity in the world. And the church is an incredible system - I don´t like to use that word, but it´s an organization that functions so well. We have so much support and everyone is taken care of. We are part of an obra maravilhosa [wonderful work]. I love each of you, and I hope that you´re doing what you know is right, because it´ll make you happy friends. That´s why we´re here, and we all know how we can get there.

Love love,

Sister Cornwall

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