Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Already?

This week has gone by so fast! It is just plain old crazy! I´ll just get down to business I guess.

Tuesday, I had my first exchange with the Zone Leaders (since Elder Baltazar is our District Leader, we do exchanges with the ZLs). I went to an area called Castelão with Elder Garcia (he is from Yakima, funny huh?). We pretty much just walked around that area and went searching for new investigators, asked for references and also visited less active members. It was fun to go to a different place and teach for a while, and I also observed some things I could do to better my teaching (bearing testimony frequently was one of those things). I also got to walk by and see the Castelão, which is where they will be playing the games for the World Cup in Fortaleza. It seats about 66k people and they are remodeling it to have a cover and just be all new and whatnot.

The next day, I came back and it took FOREVER! I didn´t get back to the house until about 3 in the afternoon and we had left at about 12:30 from lunch. After that, we studied, and then went out and met with our investigators. The end of the night we went to a ward Family Night for a little bit, and then we headed back out at about 8 and visited with another one of our investigators who is preparing for baptism.

Thursday was more of the same of just studying and teaching. We did have the ZLs come down to do Two baptismal interviews though which was awesome! One was Junior and the other was Dianne (think Die-yannie). It took them a while to get down here, so that was pretty much our night.

Friday we had a meeting with Elder Costa which was awesome. He gave us more ideas on how to improve our abilities as a missionary and other things to help us be inspired. He answered questions and also talked about his time as a mission president in Manaus. It was awesome, plus, we got to go to Aldeota, which is always awesome. It was a zone conference, so it was smaller, and we just had a quick lunch because it was 1 o´clock when it ended and we had to get out and going. Also, something for Dad. If he remembers a Mike Redd from Blanding, his son is in my Zone. At the conference I asked him where he was from (I already knew he was from Blanding, but no one told me). Then I asked him if he knew any Harvey´s, he just chuckled and said ''Oh yeah I do!'' It was a funny coincidence.

The next day was Saturday, and we did more teaching and all of that. We had the Baptism for Junior at 6 that night. His whole family and his girlfriend were there. His family was super excited because they all joined the church about a year or so ago, but he just wasn´t interested. He ended up going to some sessions of conference and then he went to sacrament meeting last week and felt the spirit really strongly and wanted to join the church. We didn´t have to teach him anything, he already knew about it all, we just had to make sure he knew everything. He had a strong testimony and everything. So that was really great, the whole family was so happy to be complete in the church. His girlfriend isn´t a member so we arranged to meet with her and talk about the church.

It was incredible to see the changes that came to him in just one week. It is impossible to describe how much happier he was over the course of just one week. He was confirmed by the bishop on Sunday, and he was even more excited after that. Elder Baltazar and I just loved it.
We also had another investigator at church and we talked with her after and asked her how she liked it. She said she really loved it. She felt great and she loved the way they taught the word of God. I remembered something she had said in our last visit with her along the lines of ''I still don´t know a difference between your church and my church (she goes to a Baptist church nearby)''. I asked her if she still felt that way and she said that our church focuses more on feelings and teaching simply and getting the word of God across clearly. We had a primary program and she loved that too. She said that the children were messengers of the word of God and she really loved that. She said her other church focused more on knowledge of a single person, and that the more you knew the better you were (kind of like a competition). It got me to thinking about how sometimes it is that way in the way we teach and the way we act in our church. In all reality, there are only six things we need to do to inherit the kingdom of God. Have faith in Christ and his atonement, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, endure to the end, and go to the temple (that is the gospel of Jesus Christ with going to the temple added in). The message and way is simple, but we get caught up in details. If we just focus on how we can do those things the best that we can, we don´t need to worry about anything else. It will be a straight path to exaltation. That is what is so wonderful about our church. It is simple, and it should be! That the way it is here, and just because these saints here that haven´t been members all of their lives and can´t tell you squat about Kolob doesn´t mean they will receive a lesser reward. We take our knowledge with us, but we are judged by our works, so we should continue to improve our works in Christ.

So that was pretty much my week. I would attach pictures, but I don´t have a chord to get them to the computer. I will work that out somehow. Also, I got Toni´s letter this week... it got here really fast! As for a journal, I can probably find something that will work, we´ll see.

That’s all I have for this week! Love you all!

Elder Cornwell

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