Monday, May 28, 2012

Fora da casa!

Hello everybody!

So this week I spent a LOT of time out of the area for one reason or another... most of which having to do with a meeting with Elder Godoy of the Seventy. I spent most of the time with the LZ's in their area, so it was all good.

Monday, we hurried out to Fortaleza and we stayed with Elder Mosca and Elder Landskrun in Parangaba/Joqui. We spent the night there and had a good time.

Tuesday, we had district meeting there in the chapel, and then lunch in Parangaba. Afterwards, Elder Mosca and I went out and worked in Joqui. We made contacted three or four references there, one of which was a pastor for the Assembly of God. He is really busy with work and the church, so even if he stopped and listened to our message, it would be very difficult to follow. Afterwards, we made a few quick visits to some of his investigators along with the Stake Patriarch. It was neat to get to know him (the second here on the mission). Afterwards, we headed back to their house.

Wednesday was the meeting with Elder Godoy. The whole mission was there, so I got to see a lot of the Elders from my group (Elder Heath, Empey, Swinney) it was really neat. Elder Godoy talked about things that trap our work into something ineffective. It was a lot about what happens and what should happen. Like if you're out of the house 10 hours a day, but getting 2 lessons, you aren't doing something right, as well as the fact that baptism does not mean that someone has been converted to the gospel. He helped us realize this misconception and gave tools of evaluation to correct these things. After that, we headed home and got back around 8 or 9.

Thursday, the LZ’s came and worked with us, this time I was with Elder Landskrun. So we went out with five ex investigators we were going to contact. The first one was a family that loved the church, and lived close to the old branch president, but had troubles getting officially married, so they stopped going to church. They were ready to try for it again, and were really happy to see us. We promised them there was a way to get it all sorted out and that they could receive the fulness of the gospel in the near future. Afterwards, we searched for another family and it turned out they moved. So we ended up doing a bunch of contacts with neighbors looking for them, and then we found them! WE knocked the door and she invited us in. We sat down and she looked at us and asked... "How did you guys find me?!?". She ended up moving and the missionaries didn’t know where she went. She was really happy to see us, and she like the church as well, but for some reason or another, she stopped going to church. Afterwards, we met with members and taught lessons, and then headed home.

Friday the LZ’s went home and we taught a bunch of lessons and made new investigators. We got the call for transfers and I was to stay, and Elder Rodrigues to go.

Saturday we worked to sort things out with the new house and Elder Rodrigues packed at night.

Sunday, we had church and afterwards, we did some visits with the stake and branch presidents with less actives. Then we came home and visited some other people, then headed home.

Today, we went to transfers (I only went to the terminal). I met up with Elder Leal, my new companion and we headed on our way. He is 19 and from Sao Paulo. He is from the same group as Elder Rodrigues and was serving in Juazeiro. So now we are together! I am short on time, so I will say more the next letter.

Love you all!

Elder Cornwell

Monday, May 21, 2012


Hello everybody!

So this week was kind of uneventful because we didn´t have a lot of time to actually work. Tuesday, we tried (and failed) to go to Fortaleza to get to the Zone Conference on time... but it turns out the last bus to Fortaleza leaves at 6, not 6:30.

Wednesday, we had Zone Conference with the zones Bom Sucesso, Caucaia, Maracanaú and Bom Jardim. Pretty much our entire district got to the bus terminal in Parangaba at the same time, so we all headed out to the Stake Center in Montese (close to the center). The meeting started at about 10, but we got there at about 9 so we had plenty of time to talk to other Elders. There was only one other Elder of my group there before the meeting, but some of my old Zone Leaders, people from Zona Pacajus and people from my first house were there, so I knew plenty of people. The training was about our study and applying the scriptures not only to ourselves, but to our investigators. The Assistants highlighted an important principle, that without applying what we read in a scripture, it doesn´t really have any importance. The scriptures are a good tool for our spiritual improvement when we APPLY what we read and learn. So the meeting finished at 5 o’clock, and we had to book it out of there to get a bus back home before 6 (when the last one leaves). So we got a bus at 5:30 and got home about 2 hours later. We tried to visit some people, but it just didn´t work out. 

Thursday, I got up and felt pretty crappy, but we studied, did the whole routine and went to lunch. Afterwards we visited an inactive who had been baptized in June. He had a really long story about a surgery he had in an awkward place. We just nodded and said ´´uh huh, yeah, really? No!´´ the whole time. He said he would go to church if someone could give him a ride, so we arranged for it. Then we went and taught this lady Sandra at a member friend´s house, but she was just wandering in her head the whole time (just like the first time). At this point, I was feeling REALLY crappy, so we went to one more person, and called it quits. I headed home, took some meds and conked out big time.

Friday, I was a little better but still pretty bad, so we went out to lunch (out in the mountains. On Google maps, if you follow a road that goes to the northeast from a place called the Lages, you´ll get there eventually). WE took this sketchy flatbed that had boards for seats about an hour into the mountains and got to the sister´s house/farm. We had lunch and talked for a bit, then we took the same sketchy truck back home, but this time it was practically just us there. So, we get back and I buy more cold medicine that Sister Sousa told me to get, and I took some to try to feel better. I felt better, but the medicine left me really dizzy and loopy, and I couldn´t even walk straight. So that was that day.

Saturday was busy. We had lunch in Aracoiaba, and headed back fast and visited 7 or 8 houses and just left a short message and asked (read begged) them to go to church. One of our investigators was drunk when we got there and he kept on reading the pamphlets out loud and begging us to forgive him because he drank cachace. It was pretty funny for us because he wasn´t an angry drunk, but a ´´I love you man!´´ drunk. We made him promise to stop drinking and said we would come get him to go to church the next day. Then he shook our hands about 10 times each, to the enjoyment of our other investigators who live there. After that, we went to Institute, which they didn´t end up having, so we finished up our day.

Sunday, we went and brought the same guy (sober) to church and he really liked it. It as high council Sunday, and the talks were awesome. They both spoke on the Atonement and the universal nature of Christ´s sacrifice. Luciano was confirmed as well, which he was really excited about. Then they gave a Sunday school lesson on the scriptures (same in priesthood). They teacher brought up an interesting point. He said if we had two men, one who grew up reading all the books the world had to offer, and the other who read the bible his whole life, there would be a dramatic difference. One would be intelligent beyond all imagination, but the other would be wise, prudent and a good man. That is the difference scriptures make to us. They contain the knowledge necessary for a good life full of happiness. After church, we had lunch with Luciano and his family, and then visited members who didn´t go to church that day. Then we headed home and slept!

Then today, I woke up and went to take a shower... turned on the shower, and scared the crap out of the bat that was sleeping on the shower head. He darted out of there like a bat out... well, you know... a bat out of cold water (hehe) and he gave me quite the scare. Then he flew into our room to scare Elder Rodrigues and rested on a light in another room (I think he is still there too). WE decided to leave him rather than run the risk of being attacked. And then we came here!

So that was my week. A lot busier than I realized! So this week, we have a meeting with Elder Godoy of the Area Presidency, and then we are going to work some days with the ZL´s, so this next week will be full of good stuff.

I´m going to attach more pictures and I hope they work. Included are some of the central park/church area, the truck we took to lunch and other fun stuff.

and before I forgot, HAPPY BIRTHDAY (3 days ago) DREW! I wuv you and I´ll give you a present here in a year or so.

So that was my week. Love you all and have a good Monday!

Elder Cornwell

(Meaty letter, huh?)
View from "Sketchy Truck" while driving into the mountains.
Another truck view

...and another view out the truck

Elders Cornwell and Rodrigues with Luciano

At the "Square at the Church" or Praça at the Igreja Matriz

View of the town (which town, I don't know)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hello Everybody!

We will begin with a couple of notes from Allison:

1.The pictures referenced in this message did not turn out...maybe next week.

2. He neglects to mention that he spent one hour talking the Bruce and me on the phone yesterday, in honor of Mother's Day. It was a great chat! He still LOVES his mission and the people. I will post some highlights of our conversation later.

Now...drumroll...the email from Elder Cornwell:
Hello Everybody!

 So, this week seemed a little shorter than the past weeks, but we have been busy! It´s too bad I left my planner on my desk again so I can´t remember exactly what we did, but here we go!

SO. Tuesday was district meeting like always. I got a package from Aunt Mitzi (PB and Chocolate hehehehe) and a Letter from Sammi (whuddup cuz!) so it went pretty well for me! Then we had lunch with the LZ´s again and they were lusting after the peanut butter (both brazilians). We got back at about 5:30 and taught some lessons in Beira Rio to friends of a member. Then on our way back a REALLY drunk man stopped us and asked us to pass by and leave a message with him one of these days. So we got his address (or at least the best he could give us) and then we headed back home.

Wednesday, we tried to get our contract for the new house all done, but the guy couldn´t come to town for some reason. We went to lunch in one end of the area and it turned out that lunch was in the other side of the area (I think the sisters switched and forgot to tell us), so we walked plenty that day. I remember we taught a bunch of lessons that day, but I left my brain on my study desk this morning, so go figure.

Thursday... just like Wednesday. I have forgotten pretty much everything of this week.

Friday, we spent most of the afternoon finishing up the contract for the house... running from here and there and doing all that fun stuff. We finished up about 5:30, then headed off to Beira Rio and we taught that drunk guy that stopped us in the street. The difference was, he was sober and with two of his brothers and they were all real interested in our message. We talked about Christ´s church and the restoration, and then about the Plan of Salvation. They have a brother who died about 2 years ago, and they brought that up, so we talked more about it to them.

Saturday, we had lunch in Aracoiaba, and then came back and waited for the LZ´s to arrive to do a baptismal interview for us. They got here at 3, and then we headed off to do the interview. Everything went smooth. The stayed until 6 to get a bus back to Fortaleza and in the meantime, we got food and ate a little bit. Then at night, we went by a good number of investigators to remind them to go to church.

Sunday, we got up early to get the baptismal font ready, and then went about a mile away to bring an investigator to church. We got to church in the nick of time, and then the Branch President asked Elder Rodrigues if he could give the first talk (nyuck nyuck nyuck). After the meetings were over, we had the baptism for Luciano (the man in the pictures). He was really excited about it, and he was real happy afterwards. Then, we headed up in the mountains for lunch at the president´s house (and we came back with fresh picked bananas and mangos (eat your heart out Kate!)). It was nice and cool up there and lunch was EXCELLENT!. Then we got back to the chapel and called home! I played piano while Elder Rodrigues was talking to his family. Afterwards, we went to Irmão Branco´s house and then headed home. When we got home, I won some brownie points with sister Sousa, by calling her and wishing her a happy mother´s day. 

So that was my week! Kind of a short letter, but it was a busy busy week!

Love you all!
Elder Cornwell

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pode Dizer... ´Snake´?

Hello everybody!

Here are some pictures of your beautiful people, Mom.

The first one is with a new convert, Karla. The other ones are Irmão Branco e Irmã Ancylia. I don´t have any other photos of this area on this card.

So first things first... Emails from the mission say nothing about calling home this week... so I have a feeling someone forgot about it in the mission office. I´ll pull up that email with the calling card information and get that all straightened out just in case.

So, this week went by kind of slow it seems like, at least the days went by slow. But here we go!

So, Tuesday, we had district meeting in Parangaiba, so two hours there. After district meeting, we had lunch with the ZL´s in their area, and then headed home. We got back at about 5, so it put a good sized dent in our work that day. WE still managed to talk to the girls who just got baptized and find three new investigators. The bad part is, one ran into us on the street and said she didn´t want   anything to do with the church (which means someone in her family talked to her) and the other studies here, and lives somewhere else. Such is the life!

Wednesday, we taught a neighbor of the recent converts, a husband (I think) of an investigator, two eternal investigators, and Luciano. The day was full, but I don´t remember a whole lot. Just that when we taught the two eternal investigators, the mom said ´´Oh, my sister in law here was one of you!´´ and we´re thinking ´´Oh, how interesting! What church was that?´´ Then we remembered the only other church around here that sends out missionaries is the Assemblia de Deus (God´s Assembly or something like that). They aren´t exactly friendly with our church here, so you can probably figure out how it went talking with her.

Thursday was really busy too. After lunch, we taught Deborah about tithing because she had a question about it, and then we headed off to Beira Rio to teach some people there. We taught a girl named Isabelle who is a friend of a less active member, and her cousin. We ended up giving a run down of the restoration and talking a lot about Joseph Smith and prophets with them, because Isabelle already heard it, but about a month ago. At the end of the night, we taught two friends of another recent convert, one of which already wants to be baptized. They just have to go to church now! (more about that subject later)

Friday was more of the same. WE talked to some recent converts, and talked with another old investigator who is grateful for having gotten to know the ´´Mormon Religion´´. Just smile and wave, boys. AFter, we talked with Leidianne (recent convert) and her friends again.

Saturday, we had lunch in Aracoiaba (about 30 minutes from Baturité) and got back at about 3:30 and headed out and talked to practically ALL of our investigators doing all we could to make sure they went to church. All but one person had absolute certainty that they were going to visit. We talked with Shellidah and her friend (who looks like she could be her sister) Geberlane about church and whatnot since Shellidah hasn´t visited yet. We also passed by some old investigators who had the same old ´´Some day I´ll visit!´´.

Then Sunday. Oh Sunday. So we go to church, and 10 minutes until the start of sacrament meeting, there are about 20 people there in total. It turned out that 40 people came, but that is including little kids and everything. Our only investigator to come was Luciano, but we were happy with that. It was fast and testimony meeting, so just about everyone bore testimony. Including our investigator! Such a good feeling to have that happen. After the meeting I went to talk to him a little bit and he turns and says to me ´´Now, baptism!´´. Super awesome. So we went to his house that night and talked to him about baptism and helped him with questions and then marked his baptism for this Sunday after church. He said he had gone to so many other churches but nothing seemed right, and then he turned to other things and had been stuck with them until we came. He said that when we passed by him the first time, he felt like someone ´´touched´´ him. Things that make me smile!

So that was my week! It seems like it happened so long ago! AS for the guitar, it has already been well used... I don´t know about using it for contacts though... its a pain to carry around!

As for my area, its the whole city, and other cities around it, but we mainly work here, since its the only one that has a building/branch.

I can´t think of anything else to say, so I´ll close with that!

Love you all!
Elder Cornwell