Monday, September 19, 2011

Boa semana gente, como é que tá? [Good week people, are you okay?]

Well, I get to stay in Candeias, Conquista another six weeks. Yes. I will also be staying with Sister de Assis . . . she will end up being in the same zone for about 1 year. That is extraordinarily rare. She (and I) know that the Lord has some special work for her to do here. She has been saved for something special, and I need to make sure that I`m up to par so that she can have the milagres [miracles] the Lord has in store for her. (As well as the milagres that He has for me to do.)

This week was incredible. We ended up only having one baptism. But that one was great. It´s been 7 months since the last baptism in this ward (for Brasil that is a huge amount of time.) But Jhony, he was with his family two hours away until Friday, and his cell phone wasn´t working. This is a nightmare for missionaries . . . having no way to follow up. But that kid is right on. He fulfilled every compromisso [promise/obligation] and it was a really good day. Bispo baptized him, and we were all so thrilled. The ward helped out so so much. It was incredible to see every one help out these little missionaries. It was quite a week working up to this great baptism.

First of all, Suelen was pretty much on track to be baptized, but she and her husband let us know on Thursday that they´re not civilly married, just in the church. That was a little devastating (in case you´re wondering, to get baptized, if you´re living with someone/have a child with them, you have to be legally married first.) She went on to tell about how difficult and expensive it is to get all the documents in order to get a place in line in order to get married. They have been trying for three years. I realized how . . . spoiled I am. We joked about how easy it is to get married in Las Vegas (maybe too easy) and how Brasil, this little country, and especially Bahia, has a few problems. I have been feeling incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have in my life. I told Sister de Assis that if it were me, this little American, I would protest, and there would be demonstrations, and people would not put up with it. I feel like that´s one of the biggest differences between Americans and Brasilieros, Brasilieros are willing to endure and just go with it. Sometimes I feel overly difficult when I´m not content with a situation, and want to find a better solution. It´s a very different mind set - this idea of contentedness versus constantly seeking betterment. I don´t really know that there is `better` or worse in this situation.

Anyway. That was tough. But it was funny how I could see all of the forces working against us in this little baptismo. First of all, Thursday I woke up feeling just, unenthusiastic. It was strange, and it is something that constantly needs to be conquered. Missions aren´t really about competition (shouldn´t be) but you are definitely fighting against yourself, your desires, and your body, and everything else. But also, Conquista has had some rain. Quite a bit. In 5 1/2 weeks it didn´t rain once, and then it all came down. We were wet pretty much all day Friday as we ran around trying to get everything arranged for the baptism. We ended up locking ourselves in the complex of a member (nobody was home, but the gate opened somehow and closed behind us. we ended up entering the members´s home to press the button to get out.) Suffice it to say that I learned a lot about myself, and how much better it is just to be positive, even when there´s construction and the poor little missionaries are trucking it through the mud. I love being on a mission.

Truly, the Lord watched out for us this week. We were praying and fasting for milagres, and they came. I feel so glad to be a part of this incredible work. It is great. I love teaching, I love meeting these people, and I love learning about how my life is so much affected by my decisions to have patience, to be diligent, to work hard - or not, sometimes. All I want to say is that there is a way. There are plenty of obstacles, but we can laugh and see the things that are going great, and recognize that it´s in the Lord´s hands. I realized this week that I don´t need to stress out about things that are happening in these people´s lives because the Lord knows, and all I need to worry about is doing what it is he has in store. Thank heavens.

love love love,
Sister Cornwall

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