Monday, August 8, 2011

Boa tarde [Good afternoon],

Meus amigos [my friends], how is it that another week has passed by? There´s a phrase in Portuguese, well, it´s a word actually: Cadê. It pretty much means whatever happened to..., where is..., etc. On the phone if someone´s late you can say `cadê você?` when you want to know where they are etc. I bring this up only because we´ve been saying it a lot, as in `cadê this week . . . cadê this transfer?` This is ridiculous. These past six weeks have just skipped by. I can´t believe it.

This morning as most of the zone we went to the dunes in our area - big white hills of sand and greenery close to the beach (I know right) and at the top of one of the dunes, we had a ceremony of announcing transfers. This past week we´ve been joking that Sister Denson would be leaving (she´s been in the zone two transfers) and so we were all prepped to help her arrumar as malas [pack up] . . . but she´s actually not going anywhere. I am! Yes, yes, I spent one transfer in an area and left, and I am doing the same thing again. I´m headed to Conquista, which is pretty far in the interior. I leave tomorrow night for a ten hour bus ride. Uh huh, it is going to be marvelous. I will confess to you, I had some dificuldades [difficulties] with that. I had been so prepped to bid farewell to Sister Denson, that I had not in the least really anticipated my own farewell. My heart is so sad to leave Itapuã, goodness gracious I love this Ward, this is going to be incredibly dependent on faith, that this is where God knows I need to be. Fortunately I trust Him, and Sister Denson to cuidar [care] for our precious little area.

I was pretty glad that I bore my testimony yesterday (yup mom, I really did.) There are a lot of Sisters that have served from our Ward, and that will serve from our Ward, and as many of them were bearing their testimonies, I decided that as a Sister Missionary presently, I may as well go up. I just wanted to thank God for being so good to us. During the morning we had passed by a lot of people, and many had excuses, and I was working on not being disappointed (sometimes I sort of let my heart go and get pretty sad on Domingo [Sunday],) but this week I just felt rather calm that we had done so much this week to help these people, and I was nice and tranqüilo. We worked hard this week. We did a division Wednesday with one of our zone leaders, and he helped us realize where we can improve our teaching. Also, God put so many incredible new investigators in our path. I find that the best way to do missionary work is just to put everything in every week, you can´t ever just `get by`one week - you need to beg God for miracles everyday, and then they will usually come.

Our little baptismo that was planned for this week - Ademareo, will wait one more semana [week] and will probably be baptized with his neighbor Rebeca that we´re teaching. They are wonderful. I get a little sad knowing that I will not be around for their baptismos, but that nonetheless, the work carries on.

I thought a lot about faith, testemunho and provas [proving, examining] this week from Ether 12:6. We have faith in things that we hope for, but can´t see, and that´s great. Plenty of people here have so so much faith, but the thing is, faith alone simply isn´t enough. To have a testemunho, we need to prove our faith, DO something to strengthen, to try, to fortalecer [fortify, confirm]. Without that, our faith will simply remain this passive power that doesn´t affect our lives like it should. We need all the people we´re teaching to understand this. Enos wanted a resposta [response] so badly that he prayed all day, he had a luta [struggle] with God, and just did everything in his power to get a resposta de Deus [response from God]. If we have this same desire for joy and eternal life like he did, we´ll also esforçar [work] to make it happen. That is true testimony. And it comes from works. We have to do something friends to get anything out of our spirituality.

I´m so grateful for every precious little day here. I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can try and get over it, and deny it, and walk around it all day, but it is truth. There is a formula - and we talk incessantly about it - to have a confirmation from God of truth; we have to pray, we have to ask someone who knows. There are a lot of fruits here that you just don´t have in the United States (shame) and I can´t describe them to you. To really know what the graviola tastes like, you just have to try it. You have to go to the church of Jesus Christ to partake of the ordinance of the sacrament to know what it´s like - I can´t describe it well enough to you. And instead of having to try (provar) every fruit/church in the world, we just have to ask someone who knows, who we trust, and try (provar) his goodness and power. We also have to partake (provar) of the scriptures. The Book of Mormon is simply the word of God, and that book has power. I love it. And if you´re willing, you´ll feel it. And when that resposta comes, you can´t deny it, it´s yours, it´s your testimony, and that is your alicerce [foundation] forever.

I love studying the gospel, it´s interesting and poetic and hopeful, it gives me purpose and direction that I want for everyone. It´s real, and I´m so glad I can trust it. I know God is guiding this work, and I also know that I´m imperfect, but that there´s still hope for me friends.

I hope your week is marvelous, and next week I´ll let you in on the wonder that is Candeias, Conquista.

Love, Love, Love,

Sister Cornwall

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