Monday, December 19, 2011

Manna From Heaven

E aí meus amados?

All is well here. It rained yesterday and it´s a little overcast and cool here so I´m doing pretty good! So it’s the end of the transfer and basically everybody is staying in the house except for the Elder who finished his 2 years... he is being replaced by another Elder on his last transfer. We all feel sorry for this other Elder because his old companion wasn´t diligent and his new companion has been dead since before Elder Baltazar got here (7 months about).

As for this week, it was kind of just go go go the whole time. I didn´t bring my planner with me, so I can´t give the details of all that happened this week, but here goes the good stuff!

WE went to Aldeota earlier in the week because Elder Baltazar had to pay to get his camera fixed at the Samsung place, and then we came back and ate at the Sister´s house who was less active. We ate A LOT. I thought I was going to pop, but not die... somehow the food here just doesn´t kill me everytime I gorge myself. After that, Elder Heath and I went on exchanges together in Sitío São João for the rest of the day. We talked to three families that day, which was kind of a miracle! We understood well and talked well too. t was awesome because the last family we talked to we actually approached on the street. The son, Gutemberg, was on the curb playing guitar and his Dad was sitting out there too. Elder Heath played guitar too, so he approached him and talked a little about it. Then the conversation shifted to us and our missions, so we explained that we go around and share messages of happiness through Jesus Christ. We asked if we could share the message with them and they gladfully accepted. Turns out Gutemberg has already gone to church a couple times with a friend who is preparing for a mission. Elder Heath had never heard of this family, so it was pretty much a miracle that we passed by. He got four new investigators out of that. I came back to find that Elder Baltazar had gone with a member and visited 4 of her friends who were all excited about the gospel. We were really in need of more people to teach, so we really had some help there.

The next real specific thing I can remember is Sunday. We had an investigator who couldn´t come to church in the afternoon, but he could go to the other ward in the morning. We weren´t able to go so afterwards, we asked the other elders if he was there. They said no, but someone in our ward just randomly showed up. He lives in our area and has been going to church off and on since he was 8, but was never baptized. He is 19 now, so he’s familiar with the church.

Also, a friend of the member (Layane) came to church with her. Turns out he was investigating in Joãozeiro and was close to being baptized (she has a testimony and a desire), but one day the Elders just stopped showing up. She ended up moving up here and now she lives in our ward.

Two new investigators just fell in our laps when our other 16 that we found didn´t come. I guess the Lord is telling us where our place in this whole process is. It’s frustrating to work so hard and have no fruits come from our labors, but we are always overwhelmed with joy when we wake up and there is manna outside our door.

Anyways, it is Christmas season here, but it is hot, and no one really decorates in this part of Fortaleza, so it really doesn´t feel like it. We have a mission wide Christmas party on wednesday, with our district meeting in the morning, so that day is basically shot. Oh well, we will have a good time with it!

This was my President´s response to my weekly report

Caro Elder Cornwell,
Estou maravilhado com seu progresso. Parabéns por mais um batismo. Aprecio seu empenho em fazer um trabalho ainda mais excelente e em aprender o idioma e sotaque. Continue se qualificando para futuras responsabilidades na missão.

You can Google translate that later. (Allison’s note: here is the “Google” translation – “Dear Elder Cornwell,
I am amazed at your progress. Congratulations for a baptism. I appreciate your commitment to work even the most excellent and learn the language and accent. Continue qualifying for future responsibilities in the mission.”)

But also, my companion continues to express his feelings that I will continue progressing at a rapid pace. I can´t tell this myself. I´m just trying to keep the rules and do what I should be, which in reality is a C, but I´m receiving blessings that I ask for like I am earning an A. I always have something I can improve on, so I always can be better.

That’s all I have for this week! Also, thank you for all the letters! And give the Lee´s a big hug for me!

Felíz Natal para todo mundo! Eu vos amo muito!

Com amor,
Elder Cornwell

Questions and Answers:

• Are you calling on Christmas?
I am calling on Christmas... we have only sacrament meeting, but I still don´t know when I´ll call.
• Can the Brazilians pronounce “Cornwell?” If not, how do they say it?
Not even close. It takes about 2 weeks for them. They say ´´Cawwull´´ or something like it.
• Are you feeling well?
I´m feeling good! I just live with 6 other missionaries... BLECH
• How far do you walk each day?
Probably 6 or 7 miles. Not sure exactly.
• Are your shoes holding up?
They are indeed
• How far did you go to take your investigator to and from church (the one who wasn’t sure she wanted to have you teach her anymore and gave you chocolates when you took her home)? Did you walk?
We went to Palmeiras II near the edge of that and Palmeiras to Tamandaré so I think like 2 miles there maybe.
• Do you know your physical address now? If so, is it secure to send mail there?
I do, but they want us to send all mail to the mission office and it gets distributed weekly.

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