Monday, March 26, 2012

Ao infinidade... e além!

So,I´ll go up front and say it, pegei conjutivite, e tenho que ficar na casa por mais 4,talvez 5 dias. Que bom que tenho p-week! Então, esta semana passada começo ou no 2a feira, e terminou no 5a feira. Qe joia!

[Allison’s Rough Translation: I got conjunctivitis, and I have to stay in the house for another 4, maybe 5 days. It’s good to have a p-week! (didn’t really get this next part…something about this last week early Monday, and ended on Thursday.) What joy!]

There. Said it!

So now that I have a working card reader, here are some photos! (I had intended to send my last card in that package, so I am without it at the moment...I´ll get it back tomorrow though)

1. Baptism of Jane
2. Elder Rocha and I
3. My current accruement of souvenirs
4. Elder Costa and I(Vai Corintian!)

So yeah, this week not a whole ton happened because of what I mentioned at the beginning. I´m stuck in the house until next Thursday, so Elder Francis has been doing exchanges so our area will still be alive.

Monday after we finished emailing, we went to a member´s house to visit a less active and his non member wife, but it turned out to be a family home evening of the whole ward, so we partook and received 5 references. Cha-ching! Then we headed home and it was all good.

Tuesday, we had district meeting and then we went to teach a kid named Erickles who just started appearing at Seminary and activities. After that, we taught a 19 year old girl that is friends with a newly returned RM (Allison’s note: RM=Returned Missionary). She was very interested in our message (the RM explained about the plan of salvation to her and we just picked up from there). Then at night we taught Kleber and Claudianna (the less active from earlier). He was really excited to see us. We talked about the Book of Mormon with Claudianna and answered some questions. After that we headed back home.

Wednesday we headed out waaay early (8:30) and taught a cousin of a member. Then we just continued all morning until lunch, then set out again. We set up two baptismal interviews, one of which didn´t work out because the girl is too closely attached to the catholic church (but she still attends church every Sunday???). We finished about 6 and headed home to study.

After that it’s just nothing. I had to stay in the house and just work on getting better.

BUT to get some real meat in this letter, I will pass on some counsel from Elder Bednar in preparation for conference.

At the beginning of his 3 hour talk to us, Elder Bednar said more or less ´Don´t copy my talk down word by word!´ which you all should do at conference. Seriously, it´ll be printed word for word the next month, just don´t be occupied by it. Elder Bednar said why... ´If you are occupied copying down word for word what the speaker is saying, you won´t hear what the spirit is saying... and that will not be copied down for you to read afterwards in the Ensign.´ So he said take notes on what the spirit says to you because that will be of more worth eternally. Just think, what are more important in the Book of Mormon to us right now, the Large or Small plates? So start your own small plates here in this general conference, and I can guarantee it will be the best one you have ever listened to because you will have been taught by the spirit for 8-10 hours. What has more value than that?

Also remember to take the counsel of what they say. Sometimes we find parts we like, but skip over the general message of our inspired leaders.

Also to Dad, it sounds like you are really enjoying your working the temple! It’s good to hear its reaching into your life outside the temple. Mom likes it too1

So, that’s all for this week. I love you guys!

Elder Cornwell

Allison's PS - Here is the reply to my email about how much I enjoy participating in Sunday School discussions:

I´ll pass a little something Elder Bednar passed for us about Sunday School. He said the problem is that it turns into a guess what I´m thinking and less what can you learn?. So his model is to give material to read before the class, and then start to talk about the topic and ask what everyone learned in their personal study. He said that is what most invites the spirit of learning and revelation. Incidentally, that is exactly how missionary discussions should be. We leave something for them to do, discuss and teach after. Always remember the best Sunday school teacher is the Holy Ghost.

Also, look in Mormon Doctrine where it talks about the Lost 10 tribes. It says that there is a good possibility that some of them rebelled and spread throughout the earth (the example given was of Laman and Lemuel, and that was just one family). Bruce R. McConkie makes a comment about the Tribe of Ephraim and how it was most probable for them to rebel, given their history. So maybe we are literal descendants of Ephraim (The only uninhabited land in that era is modern day Russia by the Black and Caspian sea)... some interesting thoughts (BUT NOT DOCTRINE!). I think I decided today I would like to do a religion minor of some sort... become a biblical scholar to a minor extent. I have found I enjoy reading biblical texts and religious texts to learn more than reading other books for recreation. Just some thoughts.

Also, you can make juice for dad pretty easy. How they make it here is a good amount of fruit (an example would be 2 oranges) probably half a liter of water and enough sugar for taste and then blend it until its juice. That's how we make it here and it is really delicious. Try it with strawberries or limes. Also get a feijoada recipe and give that a shot. It is just black beans with different cuts of pig, but it is REALLY good.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Minha Semana Corrida!

Hello everybody!

So this week was half bleh and half ugggggggggggh. That groan is good though! So we finished up transfers and headed out on Monday night to talk with some members since we had nothing marked for that night. Elder Francis was not excited for the next six weeks because he timed a 20 minute walk into our area... than another 20 minutes to the member´s house. He actually served 1 year in Nebraska (Spanish speaking) waiting for his visa, then he came here! But I really like working with him, we have been getting along really well already and our teaching (meaning my teaching) has come together really well.

SO; The first half of the week we got maybe 2 or 3 lessons. EVERYTHING fell. Our investigators that are always home weren´t home, we didn´t have any references, we didnt have anything to do. Sufficeth to say, we walked plenty this week. That was pretty much our week until about wednesday or thursday... I forget, I´m not with my planner right now.

So we get back one night and crack open the area book (which hasn´t been touched in about a year and a half) and then pull out everything with an address, and then filled out sheets for our investigators. The next day we went out with about 15 or 20 names and addresses and just went gung-ho. We got 9 lessons in that day. Most of the people had moved, but the others were excited to see us again. For most of them it had been 4 years since missionaries had passed by. We also passed by Roberto and showed him the restoration DVD which he just loved! He told his wife you goes to an Evangelical church all about it; He really likes what we have talked about to him, but he hasn´t been able to make it to church since he drives his wife and daughter to the center for church on sundays sometimes. But we saw his copy of the Book of Mormon and he was about halfway through it! We were both impressed.

Saturday, we did an inte3rview for the sisters in Aracati. We had to get there at 11, so we had to take a topeki at 7:30 to get there in time.... at 9 o'clock. We just wandered the shopping around the terminal and came back at 11 tro the terminal. We finished up there at 1 and waited another hour for the bus back to Pacajus. Then we taught a 12 year old sister of a member, but she doesn´t want to leave her comfort zone and go to church, so there isn´t much we can do there. After we tried to make a contact with someone who asked the bishop at his work if we could come and teach him. He had gone to Fortaleza though, so he wasn´t available, but we are excited to go by there soon.

Sunday was crazy too. We went out early to teach a family, but they didn't want us to come because a bunch of family came unexpectedly and were drinking there. So we talked with some members until lunch, and then went off to talk with the mom of an investigator. After that, we just wandered until Church. We had 3 people there, 2 of which are teenaged boys who are already going to activities and seminary, one of which will be baptized this week. After that, we headed back.

Then today we had lunch and played uno with some members (ALL of us, two of the members were people Elder Rocha baptised here), Then we came and emailed. That was my week! I don't remember a whole ton of details really, but it was good overall. I am definitely really tired though... like REALLY tired. So I'm gonna go head off and take a nap here soon.

Love you all!

Elder Cornwell

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tenho falta dum título legal

Boa Tarde/Bom Dia!

So, I´ll start off answering Mom´s questions!

• Do you now have Taft’s correct email address?
It depends if I spelled ´Johnathan´right this time/if the keyboard picked up my keystroke!

• We received a statement from Group Health saying you went to the Health Center while you were in the MTC. It said you had a sore throat. No big deal. I just want to know if you have had any illnesses since you have been in Brazil (don’t spare the details, I just can’t believe with everyone else getting so ill, that you haven’t at least had some gastric distress)?
No. I´ve been perfectly healthy since I´ve been here. Don´t worry Mom ;) But really, DON´T WORRY.

• Tell me how the members cooperate with you in teaching investigators.
So normally when we teach with members, we have them there as friends already, or to help them know somebody in the church. As we teach, we can normally recognize needs of the people we are teaching, and depending on the doubt or question they have, we ask questions of the members to give better answers (or more respected answers) than ours as missionaries. Also, we always ask them to bear testimony of prayer and share their story of conversion.

• Where do most of your teaching opportunities come from?
Most of our opportunities come from references. We teach a few from random encounters, but mostly, we teach people we meet at church or members ask us to teach. At this moment, we are teaching like 2 or 3 people that weren´t references from members. After all, everybody can be taught in the eyes of missionaries. Members have more refined spiritual eyes for their friends and family (GIVE REFERENCES TO THE ELDERS!)

• How many lessons do you teach per week?
Usually from 14-20 lessons every week.

• How many repeat lessons do you get (for example: three subsequent lessons for every ten first lessons taught)?
Normally we do about 9 follow ups after every 10 first lessons. The people here literally WILL NOT turn us away. That just isn´t a part of the culture here.

• How many wards to you work with?
Just one. For the most part in this mission its just one most 2, but that isn´t common anymore.

• Tell me about your Sunday routine:
Here, my Sunday routine is way different. We get p and study, and then usually we head off to lunch at around 11:30. Then we head out, make plans with members to find investigators and take them to church. Then sometimes we pass by and take investigators to church, then church is at 4-7. After, we usually talk with investigators about the experience, set appointments, and then we need to be back at the house at around 8 at night. So that’s Sunday.

• Did you receive the stuff we sent with Craig?
I did! The pictures are already well appreciated, the shirts caught some attention and I loved the letters! Make sure to give a personal thank you from me (where possible)to Sister Sant, the Slaters and the (Elder)Lee´s!

• If you were the senior companion, what would be your ideal P-day? (What would you do, if YOU got to choose?)
My ideal P-day would probably be, waking up early (on time really) then going and doing email and such early, then going out and maybe seeing a sight, playing a sport or something. Then eating lunch, and doing whatever I felt like afterwards.

• How expensive is the food compared to in the USA?
Expensive!!! The food is less in R$ than in $ without the conversion. The cost of living here is way way way way lower than in the USA. For example, a whole watermelon is about R$4 ($2.25) and the most expensive fruit is Granny Smith apples and those are about R$6 for 3. Meat (as in good barbeque stuff) is normally like R$25/Kg.

So enough about that stuff...

My week... my week has been pretty uneventful.

Tuesday, we had our district meeting and we talked about prophets and so forth. Then we headed back, had lunch and then headed out t teach.

We taught 5 lessons that day, but I´ll just talk about our last lesson of the day. It was with Roberto (the man from São Paulo who is neighbors with the crazy old lady). Anyways, we started talking about prophet´s and Christ´s Church and he started talking about his 50 search for the true church and he said he had never felt confidence in all the churches he had been to. The word he actually used was ´firmeza´which I can´t think of a word that is equivalent in meaning.But it was a perfect segue. I started talking about Joseph Smith and his journey, and how it was the exact same that Roberto was undergoing. After I recounted the first vision, I asked him if that seemed like ´firmeza´to which he responded ´yes!´. I told him he could have that sureness in our message and in our church, he just had to pray and our Heavenly Father would respond. We introduced the Book of Mormon as well and said that this was proof of our message. I handed him the book and asked him if he could feel it and handle it. He said (obviously) yes. I replied ´This is surety. If you want to have surety, read and pray about this book, and you will feel what you have never felt in any other church.´ After this, he was real quiet and reverent as we finished with our time. Ten we headed home. We still haven´t had an opportunity to talk to him about how it went.

Wednesday, we taught another 5 lessons, but there isn´t much I can really remember for it.

The rest of the week was just kind of burnt and we didn´t get opportunities to teach.

Sunday, we went to church like normal, but the church is being reformed, so we had church in a school. Not normal at all. But it was still good! We had three new people go to church and they really liked it, so we will go and follow up with them.

Then today was transfers! Surprise! So I´m still here in Pacajus, but with Elder Francis from Mapleton, Utah! He has two transfers left in the mission, so he will probably finish up here. But he served a year in Nebraska waiting on his visa, then he came here and had been in the same area for 9 months! He just finished training and he came here.

Elder Johnny went to Grande Lisboa, Elder Smith went to Juãozeiro do Norte and Elder Batista went to Sitio São João with Elder Heath! (You will hear some interesting stories there for sure!). Also, here is something Elder Clements will be tickled over. Elder Rocha is going to train here in Pacajus 2,so we will be living together for at least a transfer! I´m excited to get to know him!

So that was this week. But I ran into a neat scripture that I want to share.

Just a little side note, the Introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants says that ´´ The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind´´

And also, a scripture from Deuteronomy 18:18 that says ´´18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.´´

So remember, this next part is really important! You know how I know?
Because the Lord said so himself. The Lord says in D&C 15:6 (see also
16:6) ´´6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.´´

You all can take from that what the Lord wills, but I just felt that I needed to share that little bit from my study.

That´s all I have from this week, so with that I will close!

Love you all!
Elder Cornwell

P.s. Parabéns to Trent and Cassie! I was just wondering how soon it would be! (Name it Kyle!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

MY super eventful fantastical week!

Hello everybody!

So today is the start of the last week of this transfer. We´ll find out on Friday what our fate is for the next six weeks.

This week though. This week was, as I would say, mais ou menos. Just about everything fell through, and we didn´t get a lot of teaching in... which I hate to happen.

Last P-day, we ended up playing Volleyball at the church for a while, then we headed home, got ready, and went to a Family Home Evening of the ward.

The next day, we had district meeting in the morning, then headed back and head lunch with Jane, one of our investigators. She babysits for members, so she made lunch for us. We stayed a little more after and talked with her a little bit more. After that, we talked with Gerlane to get him ready for a baptismal interview the next day. After we taught two other families and called it a day. Gosh it seems like it was so long ago, I can´t remember anything!

Wednesday, we had the other Elder´s come into our area and do Baptismal interviews for us. That took up a big chunk of the day. Afterwards, we stopped by a members house for a birthday party of the Bishop´s Wife. We only stayed for little bit, then headed back home.

Thursday, Elders Johnny and Batista went to Fortaleza for a leadership meeting, so Elder Smith and I did our thing. We had lunch in my area, then went to Horizonte (about 10 km away) and we taught two lessons there. WE taught one to a 16 year old girl about the Book of Mormon, but from what I noticed, she is already ready for Baptism. She has an answer to her prayer, and she is pretty excited about it. Then we taught a family about the Book of Mormon. It was a really good lesson. We had the mom, dad, 3 kids and a teen aged grandkid there listening, so we felt like the missionaries at the beginning of the Church teaching about the Restored Gospel. It was a powerful experience for me.

Friday, we did an interview for the other Elders and then went back to our area and ran into a RM who got back on Wednesday. He was talking to some friends, so we got some references, then he offered us some water at his house, so we went, and chatted with him a bit. Then we headed out and tried to talk to a woman who had dropped into one of our lessons. When we knocked on the door, an old lady came to the door and she was already done with us at that point. We asked if we could talk to her daughter and she said ´´No! She goes to my church. She´s not interested in yours!´´ I just chuckled to myself as she shut the door. Luckily, there were some neighbors next door outside. The guy started to laugh and we started talking with them. My companion asked if they went to the same church. They both laughed and said ´´thank goodness no!´´. We talked with hem for a while, and the whole time that old lady kept on poking her head through the door. After about 15 minutes she said to us (through the door) ´´She´ll talk to you!´´. I got a kick out of that too. So after a while, she came out, we set n appointment (after she apologized for her ´crazy mom´ her words). Then we headed back home.

Saturday, we left early for an appointment in the morning that fell through. We had lunch with a member, that wasn´t scheduled, she just made food and made us eat haha. Then we went to the one lady´s house again, but that fell through too. So we went back and got the church ready for the baptisms that night. We baptised Jane and the other Elders baptised an investigator of theirs. It was well attended and went great. I baptised Jane and I was really grateful for the opportunity.

Sunday, we had the usual Lunch, rounding up investigators and then church. After that, we came back home and just did the usual.

Today is just as usual. Wake up, eat, email, and that's where we are now! We are going to watch Megamind today, and then probably eat feijoada.

Anyways, that was my week.

Love you all!

Elder Cornwell