Monday, June 18, 2012

Map of the state of Bahia, Brazil

Well, Here we are.

The first week in the ol' Jequié branch. I think when I heard branch, I was thinking there would be like 15 people . . . not really. The Jequié branch actually used to be a district. It was two branches, but because of lack of growth, it was combined. There are about 100 people that go every Sunday, and they are really great people. It's always so interesting to work in an area for almost a week, hear so much about the area, and THEN go to church on Sunday already having formed a few ideas, heard a few names, and then you have to go and piece everything together. It can be kinda fun.

One of the things that I had already perceived that was pretty much confirmed on Sunday was that despite the fact that some of these people have been members for a very long time . . .they don't really get it. That's actually true in most of the wards, but Jequié is so cut off, that it's a little more so. It's actually a really cool city - and reminds me so much of Monrovia; it's in a valley and it has mountains! I haven't seen mountains for so long. We have a nice house that is on the 4th floor with lots of huge windows. I love windows. And we can see the mountains. In the morning it's actually a little cold and in the afternoon - it's pretty hot. And dry. But I've already been through that.

Also, I have . . . Sister Lima. Goodness gracious. It is a blessing from God that we are companions. I think I mentioned that she is only serving short term. She served eight years ago in São Paulo and she is . . . incredible. She moved to Salvador three years ago, and within a month she was called as Relief Society President. She's single obviously, but she serves so well. She also was not released from her present calling (stake primary president) and she has decided to stick around for one more transfer. To describe her, she's like a tiny 36 year old Brazilian Bonnie Young (Bonnie, did you come home from your mission yet? - if so, write me darling.) Also, for those of you that know her, she has a few facial features that for some odd reason remind me of Jodi Bell. She is incredible. She has this burning testimony, she's a member 17 years and lost her mom 3 years ago. She is solid and fun and hilarious. We are both feeling grateful to be together.

Sister Lima & Sister Morgan

There is also something else very special here in Jequié: the Morgans. They are senior couple that is serving here. They are incredible (mom, they also have a blog: they've been here for four months I think, and are from Arizona. This morning (when we all played soccer together with the two other pairs of Elders) Sister Morgan and I were talking about how different things are here. They are an incredible resource. We talked to the Branch President (in a miraculous meeting - everyone has been trying, trying trying to arrange a meeting with him, and haven't been able to. but Thursday night I felt like we should visit seminary; there wasn't seminary but Presidente José Hélio was there,) and we talked about the programs 15 famílias/unidos em propósito [united in purpose] and the sanctification of the branch and its leaders. We are all recognizing that this is the key moment for this branch. I feel so blessed to be able to be here. This past week has been a LOT of really pushing my enthusiasm for all the Jequieences so that they feel that it can happen. LOTS of positive thinking. But honestly, there is so much potential. It's gonna happen. We don't know what's going to happen at the end of the transfer next Monday, but it doesn't really matter.

This letter contained significantly more information than inspiration, but I studied a lot about submission this week. When we submit ourselves to our God, and commit ourselves to do His will - hey, He'll give us a power to help enable us to get through. I needed to learn about that this week.

love love love,
Sister Cornwall

File photo of Jequie from the internet

Photo from the Morgan's blog

Photo from the Morgan's blog

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