Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Okay, it took a little longer than we anticipated, but we're back. The reason why we didn't get back last night was because we were at Presidente's house practicing a number we're going to sing at a special reunião [conference] on Thursday. We are going to sing a really pretty arrangement of Come Thou Fount (me, Sister Petersen! and one of the assistants, and another Elder) with some words in English some in Portuguese. We are going to hear from Elder Clayton, it should be pretty great.
Familinha e Amiguinhos, [Family & Friends]

This past week was, full. We had two days of Sister Ferreira giving her goodbyes, and then we had a Sisters' training, and then a stake dance, and a crazy Sunday morning.

First of all, the goodbyes: Sister Ferreira really loved this ward, and so we passed by a LOt of people, ate a LOt of goodbye cake, and got the idea of the transition fully established in our heads. We all went to Salvador, to President's house to have a lovely conference with the Sisters, and a few short-term Sisters that are from within the boundaries of the mission, but will only stay 1-2 transfers, just to help out. It was lovely. Sister Vecchi takes such good care of us. The biggest thing I took away was [?]

The story of the stake dance has a little foreward involved. So, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that we're teaching the family of Estandislau and Angela . . . and their 7 kids (Clea 19, Cleane 17, Cleonilton 16, Cleidiane 14, Cleiton 12, and Cleidinice 3 - and the oldest son Josias 21 we still haven't met.) They are a little milagre [miracle, wonder] from heaven. At Stake Conference last week, the Stake Young Women's President met the family, and really wanted them to go to the stake dance. Try as we might, we could not find a ride . . . so we went along and made contacts in front of the church. They had a really, really good time, and they are progressing really well. We are able to work a lot with the ward to help this family really have some growth and receive the blessings. They are rather wonderful. Sister Smart was rather taken aback by the faith of the family, and it's true, they have suffered quite a bit, and have great desires to do what is right. 

Also, Sister Smart is marvelous, (Mom- she's a mix of Katie-Sue and Hilary Barker). She's from Twin Falls, Idaho and has a year on the mission. She has a really nice spirit about her, and I am feeling really great about the work for this next transfer.

If you could please pray for our little family this next week, I know it would make a difference. I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit that really does confirm truths. It truly is the greatest gift the Lord can give us. I am grateful for the promises I have made with the Lord that help me to feel this peace everyday. It is incredible.

love, love, love,
Sister Cornwall
It was expected that there would be transfers that affected Sister Cornwall last week.  With transfers it would not be unexpected that it may be a challenge for Sister Cornwall to get her weekly e-mail letter off.  The short note shared below is all that was received last week.  So far, only a short note - shared below -  is all that has arrived this week as well.

17 April 2012

Thanks so much mom - and unfortunately we don't have any news yet - apparently there are going to be  quite a few little changes, so it's taking a little longer. you all will just be able to await a great big surprise next week! Those photos [from Jeff's post of "Silly Faces"] are really funny  and they are helping me right now. We had a truly incredible week, but I am kind of dead. I am just sooo tired. We also just spent two hours on bus coming home from the office . . . standing . . . with boxes of copies of the Book of Mormon. Oh boy.

We met a family this week of 9 people (different than Juliete's family, which we are no longer teaching.) They just happened to be in the home of another family we visit. They live in the last house, way in the wild, and they have - nothing to eat. Sunday morning was stake conference and they didn't have money for the bus, but they met up on our street - everyone all ready and snazzy - and we found rides among the members. We also had Vitoria and Gleice two young women, and Jade, an eight year old girl that went. It was quite the day - and Presidente Vecchi was visiting and even gave the family a ride home! We are really feeling blessed with the work, and we're excited to continue the miracles . . . even if we're not together. Until next week!

love love - and more love,
Sister Cornwall

23 April 2012

I stayed, and Sister Smart is here with me, and I am so so happy. We are going to practice for a special music number in a little conference with Elder Clayton this week, so we'll come back later to finish off our internet time, but I love you, thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and inspired lesson plan!
love, Rach

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Heyo amigos e familiares, [Heyo friends and family],

Well, I can't quite believe how time is slipping away. The weeks are just scrunched together between writing emails. The highlight of last week was our Zone Conference. After having a training the week before conference, then conference, and then zone conference, I feel like I have so many things to put into practice. We talked a lot about how great this work is. That this is not just getting people blessings of this earth (having success, having peace, avoiding trouble) but it's about ETERNAL blessings. I think too often I am looking to the ground, and just fretting about many things, but we also talked significantly about faith. Presidente Vecchi - wow, it was this flurry of wonderful ideas, and everyone was just taking down everything coming out of his mouth. Faith is a process that we live, that affects our personal progress on the earth. The fact that we're here to act for ourselves and not to be acted upon, means that we still need to have faith to trust that our actions will be recognized and furthermore rewarded.

After the conference we were invited to study how we can have faith to work miracles. As I studied I read 2 Nephi 9, and realized that we need to lift up our head and rejoice and give ears to the word of God, and recognize the past mercies of the Lord. Then, I read about Peter walking on water (I noted a few similarities between him and myself) and realized that these things really are the keys; if Peter had lifted up his head and focused on the Savior, and listened to his invitation to COME, and just realized that HE WAS WALKING ON WATER already, he would have made it all the way. Faith is something that I have sincerely needed to develop (and I continue needing that.)

In our study - and with our pesquisadores - we use a process of 7 steps with the purpose of reading a specific selection of scriptures, with a specific question (for example, How can I develop faith to work miracles?) : 1. pray, asking help from Heavenly Father in this little home work. 2. Read the scripture and 3. write your feelings and your answer. 4. Pray again thanking Heavenly Father for the answer, and asking for more guidance. 5. Read the scripture again. 6. Revise what you wrote, and write even more 7. Pray to Heavenly Father to know a) if the book of Mormon is true and b) if your answer is correct. It is an incredible process.

I know that the scriptures are true, and that the Livro de Mórmon is the word of God. I don't have a single doubt that He loves me and that this is His gospel here on the earth.

love, love, love,
Sister Cornwall

p.s. to Mom,

Oh thanks mom for everything. . . And thanks for sending your thoughts. I am feeling good. I really don't have all that much time left, but I know that Heavenly Father has a few lessons that He'd still like me to learn. This will be an interesting week, because it's probably the last with Sister Ferreira. . .

I am so happy that you're in Boston, our family is so great and so blessed.

At zone conference I had the distinct feeling that I do NOT want to go home; there's a Sister who's staying an extra transfer, and in her farewell testimony she said how grateful she was for another sacred month and half and I about died thinking that I was losing a potentially sacred month and a half, but I know that I'm going when Pai Celestial wants be to go. And frankly, there's a purpose, . . . I know, I need to focus on here, and I am, . . . Pai Celestial expects us to do a lot of things in this life. Thanks . . . for being so fun. I am incredibly blessed.

Kiss that cute, cute Emary for me, I can't wait to meet her. Love you so so dearly.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Photos from a recent 'sail-mail' letter received by Sister Cornwall's parents, with captions from Sister Cornwall written on the reverse side....
This is the famous elevator in Salvador that was used for imports/exports & black slaves. There's also the "Mercado Modelso" that is a HUGE tourist market.

Inside the Mercado Modelo. There are so many WHITE people it is a little strange to see people who are NOT Bainaos. That will be quite the adjustment when I get back. But it is a rather cool place.
At the top of the elevator with Sister Forester [from the MTC] - I LOVE that girl! Unfortunately when got transferred to Itabuna, making me all the more glad we went.

These are just some general thoughts about how great [General] conference was.

First of all, The Plan of Salvation is an incredible thing; when we understand WHO God is, WHY we are here, WHAT is most important- wow , life gets a lot easier. I feel like I am rather sheltered from the "real world" and that Bahia doesn't suffer from a lot of the materialism and business that a lot of the world suffers from (I am a little worried about going back to the shock of all that, but it'll be great.) The simple messages and heedings and LOVE shown were pretty impressive - "stop it", "step up", etc. is apparently what we need to hear most. So many of us already know what it is that we need to be doing, and now we just need to - DO it.

There was a lot of teaching about the nature of God, about how knowing about Him, and our relationship with Him helps us understand so many things in this world. I trust completely and absolutely in these men. The messages are simple, but bold. I am grateful for the emphasis on the família, and all of the great things a focus on the family causes. I know these men are inspired. I know that we will do well just getting ourselves where we need to be. I guess that in general there was a LOT of focus on the two great commandments - love God, and love your neighbor. Do what needs to get done because the time is getting closer. We know this, but we need to hear it, that's why we have prophets.

I am so grateful for the incredible marvelous gift that it is to have prophets.

a lovely week!
love, love, love,
Sister Cornwall