Monday, October 31, 2011

My my my,

I feel like I start every letter the same, but missions are kind of like that. This week was a little doida [crazy]. It was the last week of this transfer period, and the end of the month, so all of our goals were waiting patiently to be met. Sister de Assis and I grew even closer this week. So let me just lay it out for you; we have goals of how many lessons wére going to teach, how many new people wére going to teach during the week, and yes, we have goals for baptisms. (This may be a point of confusion or controversy, but just know that we need measures that will gauge our work, as well as motivation to change the lives of these people for the better. We decide the number according to what we feel is just, and the Lord helps us find the people that will receive the blessings of these goals.) We have been teaching some incredible people, truly, but we were looking - without much faith on my end - to see who was prepared to make this covenant with our Heavenly Father. Well, Celia and Carlos didńt get married this week (no marriage = no batismo) so we decided to visit Rodrigo and Diogo. We taught them a pretty straightforward lesson on the lei de castidade [law of chastity], and they looked rather penitent. We had a really serious and rather spiritual lesson, and decided to go by with the Elders for the .entrevista [interview]. When we got there the next morning . . . neither of them was home. (Well that was disappointing. Though it followed suit with the rest of the week. The members of this ward have been so kind to wander around with us as we fumbled to find people at home. One thing you certainly learn on a mission is humility, and overcoming embarrassment, and realizing that yoúre not perfect . . . and perserverance, and patience with yourself.)

So we decided to look for him at the internet cafe. One slight complication is that they live at the highest point in our area. It́s a little bit of a hike, but we did it twice and finally found them at home (after a few prayers, a few calls, a few tense laughs.) We had read that morning as a Mission Alma 19 - which talks about King Lamoni and how he falls to the ground because hés so overcome with the spirit, and when he comes to, he has had this INCREDIBLE change of heart. He is converted completely to follow the Lord and seek out the blessings of the Lord. We were hoping - knowing that the Lord is capable - that Rodrigo would be willing. I love this kid. Hés about six feet tall, he has earrings in both ears, a scorpion tattoo, but he has the sweetest smile you will EVER see. Ever. I love this kid. I know that batismo would change his life, that he would be different, gain the blessings that his Father in Heaven has in store for him, but he wasńt feeling prepared. Tranqüilo. But Sunday morning we hiked up to his house again, yes, he was still in bed, but we ever-so-gently woke him up, reminded him about the compromise wéd made, he even sat up in bed and talked with us. Said héd follow after us with his bike, but he didńt go.

When I got to church I accompanied the Primary in preparation for the Primary program. And there was a little drama from the husband of the Primary president who was complaining about the chorister, that she was off, speaking random English with me, and . . . making an unnecessary ruckus, taking away the sweet spirit of the kids singing. And then I got to play for Sacrament (as i usually get to) and I just didńt have a chance to really breathe and pray and settle in my head how I was feeling. And then I took the sacrament. Wow. When they started to say the prayer over the bread, I thought about the promise that we make with the Lord - that wéll remember his Son, that wéll take upon us His name, that wéll obey the commandments, and then (and THEN, in addition) Héll give us His spirit to always be with us. Do you know how much we gain with the covenant? Do you know how much happiness we have just keeping our end, without the recompensa [compensation/reward] of the Lord? Do you realize how blessed we are to know what it means to be a filho de Deus [Son/Daughter of God]? It́s everything. EVERYTHING. I get frustrated that people wońt reach just a LITTLE bit to receive these blessings in abundance. Just do a little bit, and then do a LOT. Please.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He knows. Whatever yoúre feeling, He knows, and better yet, He can help.

(Also, it́s transfers week, Sister de Assis after 11 months in Conquista is going to Itabuna. I shall stay and train. Yup.)

love love love,
Sister Cornwall

[Excerpts of letter to Sister Cornwall's mother]

Íll be training this next transfer. yup. I am freaking out a little bit. I think the Lord tried to teach a few last minute lessons on patience this past week in preparation. Yesterday was one of the most meaningful sacrament meetings of my life. Also one of the teariest (funny how those things tend to go together.) But I learned so much about the power of the atonement to heal, not just to forgive. To take away aching and suffering. Every week we need to have lessons with members. Wéve been faulting immensely, so this week we got everything arranged for every night of the week . . . and then no one was home. We worked so hard, we exhausted ourselves, we were hoping for miracles . . . and they didńt come quite like we asked. But the Savior can take of our disappointments when investigators stay in bed instead of going to church. etc.

Also, I dońt know if I mentioned that I talked about your reverence during sacrament meeting mom. That you always indicated the speaker instead of chatting with me - and that that was the greatest lesson I could ever learn! Thank you.

To get trained to train, Ím going to Salvador tonight...

Happy Halloween.

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