Tuesday, May 29, 2012


What an exciting week this will be for the Cornwall/Tirrell clan! That is so exciting. What great wedding plans.

This past week was really special. Suzana and Victoria were baptized Sunday morning, and it was such a special baptism. Suzana and Victoria are the mom and sister of Tâmara, a recent convert. Suzana has been in our group since I got here and has been battling to live the commandments. Every question in the interview was a victory for her. She worked so, so hard, and Victoria miraculously felt the desire to follow her mom and sister. Even if Suzana hadn't been baptized she would have been someone I would have missed terribly. She is marvelous. And this was one of the only baptismal services I actually got emotional. She got out of the font and just started praying and thanking God for getting there. She lost her job this week, and her brother almost tried to kill himself in Switzerland, and her neighbor's dog almost ate the Elders that did the interviews (life is complicated isn't it?) but she made it. It was a lovely day.

We had a good solid week meeting several marvelous people. Raymond went to church again (Bill Gates' cousin!) and he is so excited for his baptism on Saturday. He has smoked for 50 years, and stopped this past week. PRAY FOR HIM! It'll be another really nice weekend.

Sister Smart and I are laughing all day. It's so fun to be around her, and I feel like we are going to be able to do LOTS of marvelous things in the next four weeks. I am excited to just keep going steady.l

I will be full of lovely positive thoughts on Friday for our dear family, and I know that the Lord's power really is on the earth to seal families forever. I am studying Acts in the Bible - so interesting. It's true that the church of Christ never changes. To have read Our Heritage, and then Acts, it's like reading parallel stories. I know God never changes. He is both logical and faithful, just and merciful. I read in Alma 34:15 that the intent of the Atonement of Jesus Christ was so that He could show mercy; it wasn't JUST to serve justice, that wasn't the point. The purpose of all this was so that WE could receive endless MERCY when we qualify ourselves. Cool right?


love, love, love,
and more love, love, love for Jeff and Reesa (soon to be my newest sister!)  I am thrilled. Everyone congratulate her and tell her she is marvelous, because I know she is and that my brother is a wise and lucky man.

Sister Cornwall

Saturday, May 26, 2012

So much rain. That's how I would most succinctly describe this week. I think the rain came a little late this year, and last year I had already missed most of the major rainy season. But this year, don't worry, I am fully enjoying the moisture that a tropical climate is able to muster up. It is just so much rain. It reminds me of a baby who's crying, and you're just thinking "oh, she'll give up soon, she can't possibly sustain this for that long." And then she keeps going. Well, now you know. Actually, it's a really marvelous and important thing here in the northeast because without rain, the crops don't grow, and the market is so thin that there's not a buffer between sellers and buyers and so prices automatically go up for things like rice and beans and flour . . . which is all anyone eats. But it's getting better. 

 This week, Sister Smart and I laughed . . . a lot. She has such a pleasant personality. I was thinking that this past transfer has been kind of rehab for me after some of the stress incurred during my transfers with Sister Ferreira. I am most incredibly grateful to Sister Smart for helping me feeling so incredibly like myself. It is nice to be with someone who has very little influence over me, and I'm able to come into myself once again.

 Another thing I'm very grateful for with Sister Smart . . . is that she bought the Doctrine and Covenants seminary dvds. I am OBSESSED with church history. I am just about done with Our Heritage, and I just get so so excited thinking about the early saints and how this church MOVES; there is action and motion and incredible things done. These people were so hungry to have something firm and true to hold on to, and when they found out what it was - oh how they suffered for it. They sacrificed SO much. The incredible thing that happened while I was reading, was how my head just opened up, and finally I started understanding things better. The past couple weeks have raised up a few questions for me about faith, and about . . . lots of things. And studying the experiences of these Saints, it made more sense. These sacrifices took away the cushion that sometimes distracts us and takes us away from the presence of God, but when we lose these material things, wow - there is nothing holding us back from the power of God. The Lord must trust us incredibly for having put each of us in age where we're able to be so incredibly self sufficient; we have medicine, and tools, and knowledge . . . and perhaps it seems like we don't need God; we are in an age where we can be more independent than ever, an age where it seems that we can become "agents unto ourselves" all by ourselves. But that's the trick. These things are to help us be more advanced, and perform this work in a way never before possible, and THEN, we are able to CHOOSE to draw closer to the Lord. That's the incredible thing about prosperity, and about agency, it's our choice. Choices are incredible things. (use them well shall we?)

 Also, we talked to a recent convert, Davi, last night who is part of this little society - a ordem da rosacruz. Really interesting. They study the origins of the ideas of God in societies not included in the Bible. We don't really study those things frequently, and it was incredible to put the gospel in a context that is larger than the one we usually depend on, and to see that it still works. Jesus Christ's sacrifice is still infinite, and is more than even the mere word "Christianity" is able to communicate. I tried (not very successfully) to try and explain that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the doctrine of God. It is not religion, science, physics etc, it is the truth, the way things are.

It was a really good week in my head. We also got to know some really marvelous people.

We still don't know about transfers, I think I'm going (we have 5 new sisters, and 2 leaving, and Sister Smart would be a GREAT trainer.)

love love love, Sister Cornwall

Mom. Dad. i love you. I'm excited to keep working and contributing and learning about this great work.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

[The photos are from a Mother's Day letter received at 336 this week.
The captions are handwritten on the reverse of the photos]
(It was delicious)
A magic trick, for the greatest Mom in the world.
Feliz dia das maes!
Happy Mother's Day
Oh how I wish I was there to tell you how much I love you!

Well first of all, it was so so good to see my darling family [on Mother's Day] and to hear about all the marvelous things that are happening. You are all really very incredible. I am realizing more and more what an incredible blessing family really is. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and feel secure and loved in this life, and so when we're little He provides us immediately with a family to take care of us. Then He also has, as part of His plan, for us to grow and progress, and refine ourselves while we're here in this life, and we get to have our own family. Everything we have has a purpose, and everything we do in this life should contribute to our happiness.
We found some really special families this week; first of all, Bill Gates . . . 's cousin and his son (and the son's girlfriend) who have this really loving relationship. Raymund (the dad) has such faith, and his only desire is for his son is a life of faith and peace in Jesus Christ. We also met Iolanda and her two sons Pable and Ian who are marvelous. Iolanda found a Book of Mormon in the street and read it, and has a lot of interest to know more about it. Brendo and his grandma Giçoli have a really cute little relationship, and she's gonna make sure he makes the right choice about his baptism.

I feel like I have met SO many families in this past year+ and I know that it is the most important thing in our life. I only hope that I can do my part to be worthy of having a lovely darling righteous (and slightly rambunctious) family.

On a less sentimental note, it rained a LOT this week. and as a result, there was a cloud of bugs in the air . . . it was a little off putting. Also, it was really hot. What a world we live in around here.

This is the last week of the transfer, and we are going to work our tails off.

love love love,

Sister Cornwall

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Oi familinha e amiguinhos,

This week we spent . . . running. We were all over the place doing tons of marvelous things.

First of all, we took a little trip over to the center of the city to get a document for Lau, the dad of the 4 kids that were baptized. Here, you have to have second documentation of your birth certificate valid within the past six months to get married. And we had the pleasure of going there. 
We were talking to a bunch of people this week, and we had a few good moments when we were teaching, and those we were teaching felt the spirit, and we stopped, and talked about it - and it's real!

And I am discovering more and more, it really is people that make this world worthwhile, they have a value so large, so marvelous. I am grateful to know so many.

love, love, love,

Sister Cornwall

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wow, I think I need to start out thanking everyone for the prayers. I know that prayers can be powerful, but I really felt the power this past week. Cleane, Cleonilton, Cleidiane and Cleiton were all baptized on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. [These are the 17, 16, 14, and 12 year olds, respectively, of the family of 9 - the Estandislau family - Sister Cornwall mentioned a few letters ago] It was incredibly special. We had been running the entire week (including the [mission] conference, which I'll talk about in a bit) and they live about a half hour's walk away, and so it was kind of an exhausting week. But it happened. About 18h [? This probably means "18 hundred hours" or 6 pm?] we were not exactly sure if there would be a baptism; our phone credits ran out, so we were calling the LZ's [Zone Leaders] to call the [ward] mission leader to call us . . .but we weren't hearing anything. The kids had gone to the zoo on a mega mutual activity, and we didn't even know where they were, and we were exhausted and frustrated (at least I was, very.)

BUT- Walter [? the Ward Mission Leader?] called, said he was on his way, that the kids were on their way up, Bispo had arranged his schedule so that he could go, an Irmã [?] called saying she would also give a ride, and when we finally talked to them, they asked, "Is our baptism tonight?"  We calmly said "yes," and they got so excited! They were so thrilled that when I gave the thought at the baptism I read Mosiah 18: 10ish - and they clapped their hands for joy and said THIS is the desire of our hearts. They all got Bibles, and Duty to God and Personal Progress. They are really lovely. The two oldest gave the opening and closing prayer (which I thought was strange but ended up being great) they were so spiritual. I LOVE those kids. We were so blessed. And now we're going to help the parents get married, so they can be baptized too.

We are so so blessed. I am feeling very grateful. And very tired. I also passed off the third level of excellence today (finished D&C, re-memorized 70 scripture references, and such, you know.) [Has there been a mention previously of the first or second "level of excellence"?] This means I get a leather case for my Preach my Gospel. TOday was the last day to do [so].

And the conference - Well, the music was lovely.[Sisters Cornwall and Peterson sang] We really did end up sounding good. Elder Clayton really talked about how we need to realize the consequences beyond the mission, calling President and Sister Vecchi to the front. Also, [Elder Clayton] talked about real growth. We need to open the door for people coming in, and close the door for those going out. And build UP! I'll have to write more comments later.

I am so grateful to be taking part in this work. It is rewarding . . . and exhausting.

love, love love,
Sister Cornwall

The above letter came through 8 hours after it was sent.  (A great delay is becoming very common with the reception of Sister Cornwall's e-mails.)  Then after the main letter a second personal note to Sister Cornwall's parents came through hours later from which excerpts are shared below.


We have a special request: can you send some family history stories from the beginnings - as in, the first members of the church in our family? We are going to work more with family history/temple with our recent converts/less actives, and I neglected to bring along a few personal stories. When people ask me how many generations my family goes back - I HAVE NO IDEA! So if you could send some stories/photos, that would be marvelous.

Also, if there is a possibility to send some little photos of the temple. I don't know if you in California have the resources, or if you could ask some Utah residents to send along like 10-20 photos of 3x5ish. Just so these people can have a personal desire to go to the temple. That'd be swell.


And yes, Skype is going to happen [Mother's Day]. Prepare yourselves.

love, Rach