Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Final Installment: He Is Home!

video
Two missionaries returned from Brazil and on the same plane were 22 missionaries arriving to serve in the Kennewick Washington mission. The two returnees were first off the plane and were greeted by the Assistants to the President, the Mission President and his wife. Then Mom got a turn!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Minha última!


Wow... I never thought I would be sending one last email! 

So, this week was normal like all the others! We spent a lot of time looking for new investigators. WE didn’t have a lot of highlights, but I wanted to do something different for my last email!

So two years is a lot of time... and there are a lot of things someone can learn in that time. I want to just highlight some of the things I have learned.

First, Nothing will get done if you don’t do it. You can’t hope for someone to do something without them knowing what to do. This means you have to converse plenty with the people you work with, settle differences, and speak clearly. Beating around the bush gets you nowhere!

Second, our problems may be big, but our God is much bigger! Just about all of our problems we can find an answer studying scriptures, praying or fasting. If we think that something isn’t important enough to take to God, think again! He isn’t our boss, he is our Father. Like any good Father, he gives the same importance to a broken leg just like a craving for a candy bar (Luke 8). We just need to ask! If we don’t tell Him, He won’t be able to do anything for us (2 Ne 32:8-9)! 

Third, sometimes our Plan C is God’s Plan A. Many things will go wrong in our lives. We will be disappointed by many things, and we will get angry! The most important thing we can do at this moment, is get on our knees and ask what we are supposed to do! This is humility. Being able to recognize that God knows better and He knows what He is doing (Isa 55:6-10).

I have learned that just about everything we do revolves on those three things. When we look for what God wants, all of our problems will disappear, and all that is left is for us to get to it! I have seen everything that can be called a problem on my mission, and when the person was willing to do these three things, they were able to rise above their problems. Dieter F Uchtdorf said that above all sorts of dark and stormy clouds is always the clearest and bluest skies. All we need to do is rise above them.

The most important tools we have to rise above all of these problems are simply the restored gospel, the Book of Mormon and the living prophets. We missionaries preach that this Gospel will solve ALL of our problems if we are willing to do our part. Literally all of our problems. This is why the Book of Mormon is so important.. it is our guide to live a Christ-like life in less than favorable conditions. If we are able to apply all that we learn in the Book of Mormon, we will be better people. This will solve the biggest problem of all eternity, our return to our Heavenly Home. The Book of Mormon was a gift directly from God to us to help us know what is the truth in a time of such confusion. 

If we know that the Book of Mormon is true, which it absolutely is, we will know exactly what to do to have eternal life. Jesus Christ established, and restored, his church exactly for this purpose. We need to just follow, and trust, and we WILL return to our Heavenly Father. There is no simpler solution to such a difficult problem.

Jesus Christ was the perfect example for us because He simply did all that God asked. No more is asked of us. If we do something wrong, we can reconcile and keep going forward. If we follow His example in His church, we will take all we can out of our lives.

We just need to get down and pray, and our problems will start to solve themselves. Start from the top down... if we aren’t sure if God exists or not, just talk to Him, and wait for Him to speak back. If we don’t know where or if there is a true church, ask His help. It can be boiled down to this... our life is simpler when we know and do what God wants.

That is what I have learned these two years. There is no mystery, nor secret. I know these things are true. I know God exists, and His Son, Jesus Christ lives! I know His Church was restored on this earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Thomas S. Monson is His prophet today. God is more alive and active than ever. We just need to look!

With love,

Elder Cornwell

Monday, July 29, 2013

Terminado

Hello everybody! So this week was kind of uneventful, I got a cold on Tuesday, and felt terrible on Wednesday, and Elder Afonso didn´t feel very good this week.

So Tuesday, I didn´t feel good in the afternoon, and took some cold medicine, and I felt good enough to leave at about 4, so we talked to Yara, and with Marcel and Irací. Marcel is starting to work a lot, so its hard for him to come to church on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, I was worse than Tuesday, but we had a meeting with Elder Godoy. He talked a lot about us being balanced missionaries, or Missionaries who are spiritual and know how to work smart. After Lunch, we headed home, and I was just feeling awful.

Thursday I felt much better, and I did a division with Elder Caceres in Palmeiras. The afternoons are good for him there, but at night it is hard to talk to people. But we talked to a lady who wants to be baptized, but not get married. WE talked about having to make the right choices and hope for the blessings. We also encouraged her to take her husband with her to church so he too could participate.

Friday, Elder Afonso was sick, but we managed to get out at night and talk with De assis and Cintia, and then we went to a farewell for a member who is leaving for his mission on Wednesday. We left a message, and I used D&C 42:6 to say that the mission isn´t convincing someone to use something, but it is a message of salvation, that is why we will go in the power of God.

Saturday, Elder Afonso still wasn´t feeling good, but we got out in the afternoon and tried to round up everybody for Sunday.

Sunday, we had church, and we went and taught the family   of a ward missionary. Actually, his aunt and some cousins who just moved from Maranhão. They were more interested in talking to each other, so we just marked another day to go by.

And that was my week! Not much to note. I hope next week will be better !

Elder Cornwell

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chegando ao fim!

Hello everybody! So, another suuuuuuper fast week for us. But we ended on a good note.

We passed by with Vanez during the week to see how he has been doing. He is super happy and he is now engaged with Yvonete (the member who gave us the reference!). He should be receiving a call next week that I am sure he will LOVE and do a great job.

WE are still talking with Yara, trying to help her make up her mind about baptism. She is in that mode of saying that she wants to be baptized, but not right now. She also has been saying that for the past five years. She is just missing prayer and study of the scriptures. She is active in the church, but not the Gospel. I have found that the Book of Mormon is the single most powerful tool we have to help people change their lives.

Jonas is still progressing, and trying to firm himself and make a decision. He just wants more time, so at this point it is just following up, and reading scriptures with him.

We spent a lot of time with De Assis and Cintia this week.; Their wedding was on Friday, and we helped resolve any doubts for their baptism. Their baptismal interview helped a lot, and they had a very spiritual experience with it. Their baptism was well attended, and they were very happy. They were both confirmed and De Assis received the Aaronic Priesthood. These past two weeks were the first adult baptism in the ward since December, so everybody is very excited and the member participation in the missionary work is increasing. 

Well, this week was pretty uneventful other than what I said. We are going to look for new people to teach this week, and I will have more to talk about!

Love, Elder Cornwell

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nova semana!

Hello everybody! Well, once again, another week has passed, and I don´t know where it went!

We started out with a family night with De Assis, Cintian and Vanez at a member´s house. That is most of what our week was. We passed by about everyday to help them with any doubts and to prepare for their baptism.

We also talked to Jonas a little bit more. We kept on talking about the importance of prayer to help him feel ready for baptism. Yara as well, but she doesn´t really want anything to do with baptism.

Throughout the whole week we had the hardest time getting in and talking to new investigators. It was horrible! But we had good things to focus on as well. On Saturday, we had Vanez´s baptism, and he was confirmed on Sunday. He was super happy, and his decision to be baptized came very quickly from a prayer (are you getting the theme this week?). De Assis and Cintia also pray a lot to have help to be baptized. We are going to review everything with them this week to help out with confidence. Their wedding will be on the 19th, and their baptism is marked for Saturday. The ward is excited to help us and they will be very welcomed in Castelo.

Well.. it's a short letter, but that was what we did this week. Most of my study was about how to help people keep commitments. In essence, we need to be direct, invite, promise and support in everything. We can´t give too much information, leave them on their own, or give any doubt in our work. If we have any doubts about our work, then we need to clear them up right now!

So that was my week. Until next time!

Elder Cornwell

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vixxi!

Hello everybody!

So another super fast week... I don´t know where it went! I´ll probably just stick to the highlights though, because a lot happened!

On Thursday, we had our meeting with Pres. Fusco and his family. He is very good humored, but has his priorities straight. He is very young and abandoned a very successful business to come serve a mission. It´ll be a great five weeks with him!

We also talked again with Jonas this week at the church. He wants to know that what he is doing is what he wants, and we talked about the importance of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon to help us want to the things God wants us to do.

We taught Vanez more this week, and talked a lot about the same things. Reading the Book of Mormon and praying. We even invited him to pray asking if he should be baptized. He told us on Sunday that he had prayed and he knew that he needed to be baptized and poof! All of his previous doubts were gone. Nothing will stop him now from being baptized! So we are all marked for this week.

De Assis and Cintia finally made it to church this week (no one was sick) and the process of marriage will be over next week. This week, we will go with them to the center to sign some papers. But on Sunday, their son, Daniel said he liked it so much, he didn´t want to leave when it was over. So next week will be the marraige and baptism, and the ward is SUPER excited for the next two weeks.

We contacted a family this week, Marcelo and Irací. Iraci had already come to church, and felt very good there. So we went and taught about the Restoration. After, Marcelo said he wasn´t very strong about religion or God, but said that our message really helped him have more faith. Believing in the restoration of Prophets, apostles and Priesthood really do help us believe that God is alive, and more active than ever.

So today is the start of my last transfer, and I have a new companion... Elder Afonso from Espírito Santo. So we´ve only got work to do the next few weeks. The Lord´s work will alw2ays go forward... and we can always help, never hinder.

Elder Cornwell

Monday, July 1, 2013

21!

Hello everybody!

So seems like a lot remembered my birthday! I got a call from Sister Souza and Sister Fusco yesterday. The whole week I felt kind of ucky, but thankfully I felt normal again yesterday!

SO the week went pretty fast like always. Monday, we visited a contact, but it was only a quick visit, since they didn't have much time.

Tuesday, we started teaching Jonas, a reference from Iara (who doesn't want to be baptized still!) We talked about the Book of Mormon with him since he already had learned plenty from coming to church.

Wednesday, we contacted a referral from the bishop. It was a family that they invited to church, and accepted our visit. We talked a while with them, but they didn't seem very interested in what we had to say (the grandson wanted to keep reading us passages from the Jehovah's Witness Bible). Then at night, we went to De Assis and Cintia. We talked a little more about the Word of Wisdom, since they have a lot of questions about it. They have no doubt they should live it, but they don't really understand why!

Thursday, we contacted some "lost" members. They weren't registered here in Castelo, but they live here. So we went and tried to find some of them. We did find one, and we invited her to an activity on Friday. That was about all we managed to do that day.

Friday, we went around talking to people and inviting them to the "quadrilha" or Brazilian Square Dance. We took a less-active and her grandson, and we met about five or six people to teach.

Saturday, I had a terrible stomach ache, so I spent a lot of time at home, since I couldn't wander far. But when night came around, I managed to feel better. We taught a man named Vanez who we had already met. We gave him the first lesson, which he received well. It seems like he has been waiting for our message a few years. This week he moved into our ward.

Sunday was my birthday, but most of our investigators were sick and couldn't come. But the Bishop brought another referral for us, and so were going there tomorrow! Most of the talks were on the importance of bringing the people that can't make it to church to come. Someone commented that there are many good people that really want to return to activity, but they don't know how! That is why we need to help them. A ward can't hope to have many new members when it can't take care of its old members! Thankfully our Bishop is very experienced and knows that. In the other ward, the Bishop is doing everything to bring new people in, references, even a bus to bring people to church! But little effort is put out to help those that are less active. At night, we watched the transmission, which was super awesome! It will help me be a missionary after I take my name tag off. That is something I have realized for a while, our mission is a help for us to continue being missionaries. That is why ex-missionaries are looked to as a resource... they already should know everything!

So, that was my week. Hopefully next week is much more eventful!

Love, Elder Cornwell