Opa minha familia e amigos!
Time is starting to wind down and I am feeling the excitement! We’re starting to get more and more into the mode of getting out the door, so it is starting to get different here. It definitely is weird to think I am leaving to be a ´real´ missionary in just a week, and it is going to be super awesome, I can´t wait!
Today was my last day at the temple for a while (hopefully not until September 7th, but that depends on how fast they build the temple in Fortaleza, more on that later). It is always awesome to go into the temple and feel peace and quiet in a city as big as São Paulo. You cannot hear a peep! The building is just so beautiful too, it’s a wonderful place. I will miss it and all the learning I do every week in the temple.
I guess I´ll talk about the real happenings of this past week.
Our practice investigator Claudio committed to baptism. It was a different experience because normally it’s just to practice the lessons and the process and I had figured I would only really strongly feel the guidance of the spirit when a person is actually just finding out about the Gospel and its teachings. This last lesson though, Elder Heath and I were talking about the plan of salvation and about how we have to follow the example of Christ... we read a scripture and asked "From that scripture how do you think we can follow Jesus and receive all the blessings of this plan?" and then he just said "Be baptized!". At that point we just looked at each other and thought "Holy crap! At least we know what our next question will be!". It’s an unreal experience and I can´t wait to feel it more.
Also, this morning all of my good Brazilian (and Uruguayan) missionary friends left for the field. I think most of them are going to Vitoria, but that’s where my roommates are headed off to. I learned so much from them! I will miss them a ton!
Anyways, the good stuff. We did preslitismo yesterday around the MTC boundaries and first off I am going to say it is HARD. So many people weren´t interested in the Book of Mormon or another religion, and some people just didn´t want to talk to us, it was really tough. But, we did talk to some people who were really receptive.
First, there was a teenaged guy (I cannot remember his name) and we talked with him a little bit, and found out he lives really close to the church (and he already had a book). He also spoke English and he LOVED the opportunity to practice it. We talked about the Book of Mormon more with him and told him about Moroni´s Promise and he looked at us and said "A promise?? Really???". We were really excited to share the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon with him and we invited him to read it and pray about it and we told him that that is exactly what we did and its why we are here in São Paulo. Since he already had a book, we invited him to stop by the church any Sunday and there would be someone there more than happy to talk to him and help him.
We placed our first two books to a lady who owns a candy shop and we gave her another book so she could have it work and read it. Then we gave one to a homeless lady who was so happy to have it, she had me read something from it, so I read 1 Ne 6:4-6 and told her that she could find happiness through this book and through Christ.
Here’s the good part... we had about 30 minutes left and we still had two books, so we wanted to just go out and find someone. We had prayed to find someone who was prepared and it had taken 3 and a half hours up to this point, so we were beaten down, tired and a little bit discouraged. It was really hard and we walked past some of our district members and teacher. We talked for like 15 seconds and then I just though "We need to go down this street right now." So I grabbed Elder Heath and we thought we were just going to finish strong and do the best we could. We get halfway down this street and I say a lady sitting down on the other side of the road and I was planning on coming back up and talking to her. Right as I had that thought, she looked up and waved and hollered at us to come over, and we ran across the street and introduced ourselves. She asked us to tell her a little about our church. She saw I had a book in my hand and she asked what it was, and of course we told her! I gave it to her and we talked about the message and about the message of Christ and she was so happy to hear it and to just have the book. She asked how much it was and we told her it was free and she just lit up and said "Deus lhes abencoa!" Which means "God bless you!" We bore our testimonies and told her how she could find out more, and then we had to leave. We said it was a pleasure to meet her and she said the pleasure was all hers.
Flash forward to today, she works at the grocery store next to the CTM and she had told us that yesterday. So we went in to buy some treats and try to find and talk to her, but she wasn´t working which made me kinda sad. As we left, I saw a worker taking a break and saw that it was Diana! I was so happy to see her and she was excited to see us too! The first thing she said was "Eu lendo o Livro! Eu o gosto muito!" It was so great to see someone so excited. I wish I could be the one to teach her, but I am happy enough as is.
Well, that is all I have for this week!
Até logo! Amo-vocês!
Love, Elder Cornwell
PS from Allison: The pictures below are courtesy of Elder Heath's blog and were taken in front of the Provo temple in September.