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

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