Monday, June 25, 2012

A Semana voadore!

Hello everybody! (incluindo você Isabele, por que sei que você esta lendo a restante deste email no google tradutor)

So this week flew by REALLY fast. I hardly remember what I did exactly, but for sure it was work!

Tuesday, Elder Landskrun (soon to ´die´) and Elder Schmidt (yes, of German descent) came and did splits with us which was really good. We got about 13 lessons between all of us in, starting at 4:30 even! I went with Elder Schmidt and we went to the east side of town (Putiú and Centro). We visited Luciano and his wife, and a few less actives. It was a good busy day.

Wednesday, we were going to visit the Monastery in the morning for exercise, but Elder Landskrun and Schmidt had to go back to Fortaleza way early. So Wednesday... Wednesday. I forgot what we did on Wednesday, and I don´t have my brain with me at the moment (I knew I forgot something this morning!)

Thursday we headed out early to lunch out in the boonies with Irmã Paula. Lunch there is always awesome! We got back at about 1, and then we headed out to Putiu. We taught a less active family that, until now the mother of the family didn´t seem too interested in coming back to church. But we have already passed by a couple times and they always receive us well. What she didn´t know was that her husband told us she has been warming up more and more to going to church again. So we stopped by and asked how everything was doing, and she said she was having a little fight with her son. I was trying to think of something I could leave with her from the Book of Mormon (to help her with two problems). As Elder Leal was saying the prayer, the thought popped into my head of the Alma´s (Elder and Younger). One was a high priest, the other, an enemy of the church. What worse kind of fight is there between parent/child? So we read parts of the chapter in Mosiah with her and asked her to think and apply what Alma the Elder did to help Alma the younger in her life. She told us that that was just what she needed (for both problems). It was a really edifying moment for me and my calling as a missionary. Sometimes you work and work and work, but you don´t have results and you begin to get down on yourself. But when the people you visit comment things like this, it reminds you that as long as you have the spirit and are working with him, you are the best missionary you can be.

Friday... the only thing that stands out is our group of buddies that work at an auto parts store haha. A friend of Herlany works at an auto parts store that we always pass by, so we always stop by and say hi. She works with two other guys (one turns out to be less active and the other knows nothing of the church). This other guy, Isaías is a neat dude. We left a pamphlet of the restoration with him a few days ago and he had read it that morning. Since he read it, we gave him another present (BoM!) and Andrea (our other friend) told us that he was already reading in it. While we were waiting to give English lessons, he stopped by the church to see how it was. What a shame he didn´t end up going to the actual meeting on Sunday!

Saturday was more busy stuff, passing by everybody, but I had a really good hour of study. I can´t remember what chapter I read in the Book of Mormon, but I ended up studying a little bit about foreordination and whatnot. I ended up studying about the priesthood and I came to the realization that the priesthood is the power Christ will use to raise us up to God´s throne. When Adam and Eve fell, God was separated from mortal man because the flesh was impure, but it can´t be him that gives us as salvation because that would be unjust. For this reason, he foreordained Christ to be the son of god, and the only one in himself capable of returning to God´s presence. Christ has this power given to him by God, and therefore, only through Christ can this power be exercised. The problem is, our savior can´t be here to administer the saving ordinances for all mankind, so he gave his authority to man. This is why we have the priesthood... to perform all the ordinances of salvation through Christ´s name. I read Elder Bednar´s talk in the priesthood session in which he said that the priesthood is active. It doesn´t make us active, but it only works when the holder is doing something, so us priesthood holders always have to be doing something (home teaching is a start). Any ordinance or act we do using the priesthood is helping the salvation of that person. That is why it is the DUTY of all worthy priesthood holders to serve a mission, to help these people return to God´s Presence. Whew. Don´t blame me if there is any false doctrine here... that is the best I can do with one hour of study, the missionary library and my study journal in the house.

Sunday was normal. We went to church and then passed by João and Valdir after lunch, then headed home, planned and crashed.

Oh and Dad, to answer your question, I haven´t tried many yet, but I can play Íf you could hie to Kolob´ so there´s a start.

Welp, that was my week! I can´t think of anything else to say, so I´ll sign off with that.

Love, Elder Cornwell

P.S. the next time you will hear from me, I will be 20!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mission Picture From Elder Heath's Blog

The arrow is pointing to Elder Cornwell

Monday, June 18, 2012

Corre Corre Corre!

So this week passed by WAY fast. I guess that’s what happens when you only stop to eat and sleep haha.

So, Monday night, I went to a FHE in Conjunto Esperança with Elder Mosca, Schmidt and Lisboa. Afterwards, we slept at their house, and then headed off to district meeting in the morning.

Tuesday when we got back, it was already pretty late. We got to lunch at about 2:30, then we ate, went home and took a shower (The DL´s house was without water except for a tiny spigot out in front). Then we went and visited Edilene and Alexandre and that was the day.

Wednesday was the normal. We headed out to the eastern part of town to teach less actives in the afternoon, and then at night we went to the center and taught investigators. We talked quickly with Daiana and marked another appointment, and then we taught a short lesson with Marcos and Raquel (they are doing a lot better now). We also marked an áppointment´with a man named Valdir. His son is preparing to leave for a mission (from another ward) and he wanted to ask some questions (and boy is he going to get some answers!)

Thursday was more of the same. This time we talked with Angelica and Juruna as well as Evilania. Angelica said that she was ready to be baptized a year ago, but something happened with the missionaries and they stopped going. But she told us she was ready to go forward with this. With Juruna, I took a different approach. I didn´t think in terms of how I was going to baptize him, but how I was going to help him comprehend and accept the gospel. This made a huge difference. We explained a little about the word of wisdom, and talked a lot about how things would change for the better. I don´t remember a lot of details, just that we asked him to say the final prayer, and he did with a little help. Afterwards he kept quiet and said ´I guess I´m going to give this a try´. Golden! Evilania was baptized a while ago, but is afraid to go to church because she knows NO ONE. The thing is, she hasn´t stopped doing anything else. She doesn´t drink coffee, she always reads the BoM, she is just embarrassed to go to church. She also is busy doing something for a June festival or whatnot, so she can´t go to church this month, but we ´convinced´ to go again.

Friday, the only thing different was we gave an English class. There weren´t many people there, but a man named Antonildo was interested in the BoM, so we gave him one as well as an appointment the next morning. Afterwards we talked with Edilene and Alexandre. She read Alma 40 in the Book of Mormon and understood little of it, so we explained it and explained about what we need to be doing here on earth. She really liked it, but the problem she works every Sunday, so it’s hard to get her to church.

Saturday, we got out early to get a head start on the work. Nobody was home in the places we went, so we headed off to lunch, and then we went and taught Antonildo about the Book of Mormon. He was still pretty interested (he knows plenty of the bible, so I think that sparked his interest.) Afterwards, we went to visit Daiana again, and she was painting her house, so we told her we would be right back, we went home and changed clothes and went and painted with them (service is the best way to help in this work... I learned that home teaching with Dad). when we finished we changed, and then headed out to a few more people to round up plenty of people for church.

Sunday, two high councilors came and spoke, and they gave awesome talks. One talked about how we have tons of responsibilities in the church, and only us and God knows if we do them all or not, but still, we will be held accountable for the things we didn´t do. Pretty much the ward got grilled for not doing any visits or anything like that. Afterwards they came to us and said ´´It's up to you two to visit the less actives, because it just isn’t happening here.´´ Good thing we were already doing them.

So that was our week, but a cool thing I noticed in my study this week. I read a chapter in the BoM every day, and then afterwards, I would read a conference talk and something in Preach my Gospel... every day this week these materials were very interrelated. I didn´t consciously seek to study a topic, but it ended up like that because of the principles of the gospel. I learned a lot that I can apply to this area. One thing I remember was Alma 36 or 37, and President Packer´s talk. We need to be selfless, but not self hating, meaning, you don´t think about yourself or your reputation when you do things, but you don´t seek to ruin yourself. This is what charity is, doing the right thing no matter what. Moral of the story, we have living prophets today, that with the influence of the spirit, proclaim the gospel just like in the bible.

So that´s all for this week. Love you all!

Elder Cornwell

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My really really REALLY busy week

Hello again!

So this week left me really drained and exhausted for a couple of reasons. First, we walked ALL over town non stop and second, we listened to a lot of less actives say that it doesn´t matter who is in the church because it’s true, but as long as so and so is there, I won´t go. Sigh.

SO. I will just go over what our plan of attack was this week, because going lesson by lesson just won´t work out for me (there were a lot!) So we wrote on a makeshift whiteboard all of our investigators, potential investigators and then less actives that we would work with (5 from each organization). Then we planned to visit our investigators 3 times during the week (once in the first few days, once later in the week and once Saturday), and to contact the potentials near the end of the week. With less actives, we passed by each one whenever we could, which worked pretty good with us.

So the first part of the week we focused on how we could help these people truly become converted to the Gospel, and not the church. We brainstormed for about 5 seconds on what could be the tool to do this. The first thing that came to mind was the Book of Mormon, because its, you know, proof! So we planned to focus on helping our investigators (and a lot of less actives) get a testimony of the Book of Mormon. During our study, we turned companionship more into a discussion about all the things we learned (inadvertently, but we thought it went very well). A thing that I learned was that the Bible is absolute of Christ´s divinity and his earthly mission, but the Book of Mormon puts in clear words how we are to go about following him. For this reason, the Book of Mormon is so important in conversion to the Gospel. It teaches and guides you to be converted to the gospel!

The latter part of the week we continued trying to contact new investigators, but the references we had were never home! We ended up finding a lot of new investigators through less actives friends and family. It is always good that way because it (The message of the Restoration) really reminds the less actives truly why they are in the church and helps investigators feel that what they are looking for is in our church. The problem with the majority of the less actives is that the church was really fun for them, but they completely lost focus on the Gospel. They had a testimony of the church and its leadership, NOT the Gospel (Which I will note, is the complete OPPOSITE of all the active members.)

Sunday was a very special day. We were responsible for 6 people in sacrament meeting, and it was a good meeting. Elder Leal gave a talk on our responsibility to help less actives, and the secretary spoke on our Agency and fulfilling our ´potential´. Afterwards, we continued in Sunday school with that same subject. It was interesting to note that we are preordained to do something special, every one of us, but we are not predestined to do anything. Our agency and willingness determines if we fulfill our purpose on earth or not. After sacrament meeting, we hurried to Fortaleza to watch the temple dedication in Manaus. It was an excellent meeting )Elder Clark of the seventy, Elder Cook and President Uchtdorf spoke) and I was very very VERY happy to use my temple recommend again. Elder Cook (I think) said something very profound. He said we cannot live on borrowed light. The Terrestrial Kingdom is compared to the glory of the moon, which glory is actually reflected, or borrowed, glory of the sun, or celestial kingdom. We must find our own light and testimony, so that it can be reflected and place the desire in others to seek their own, but most importantly, to stay firm in the Gospel. Then he told a story about how his father wanted his brother to study instead of going on a mission. He said if Christ was just a great man, and not divine, if Joseph was a great man, and not a divinely called man, if the Book of Mormon was just a good book, and not the divine word of God, it would be better to stay home and study, but if these things are all divine, if Christ is our savior, if Joseph was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon is the true word of God, it is much much MUCH more important to ho and serve a mission. These people are living on borrowed light, and you can´t live or stand on your own with borrowed light. For this reason, we are giving them their own light, so they can stand on their own and live in the world to come.

Today, since we stayed in Fortaleza, I went to the Center to have a fun time. We went to a bunch of stores and dreamed of buying original shirts (I settled for a false shirt of the Brasilian Selection... good birthday present for $7!). We’re going to stay with the ZL´s until tomorrow, so it will be a good time.

So that´s all I have for this week. Vós amo! O Evangelho é verdadeiro e o templo é a casa de Deus aqui na terra. Tenho nehuma duvida disso, graças à minha própria ´luz´

Elder Cornwell


Monday, June 4, 2012

Mais uma carta rapidinha!

So I´m short on time here because they guy whose lan house we go to has to go to Fortaleza shortly, so this will be a quick one!

The majority of this week was spent moving or preparing to move, which was a pain in the neck, but it’s all taken care of now!

I´m going to skip forward to the days where we really did stuff.

Friday, we had lunch with Branco and Ancylia and headed up to Putiu to visit some less actives. There was a lot of walking so that took up a lot of time. We talked with a young man, about 17 years old who hasn´t gone to church for about 2 months. It turns out he always went because his friends went, but someone stopped going and then everyone just stopped completely. So we talked with home about church and faith and the Book of Mormon. It turned out that he hadn´t even opened the Book of Mormon. When he said that my companion said ´´and that is why you never had a true testimony. This is the proof!´´ and how true it is! After that we visited a family of Ronaldo, who had just gotten back from a surgery in his leg. Good timing on our part, because we were there visiting him as soon as he got home! Afterwards we passed in with some of our investigators and that was our day.

Saturday was WAY busy. We taught 10 lessons that day! Most were with investigators and we went by plenty of less actives too, but I´m just going to skip to the highlight. So just about our last lesson, we went to Marcos´ house. His wife died about a month ago and we visited him last Sunday with the stake and branch presidents. This time his daughter, Raquel, was there to listen to the message too. We left the message of the restoration with him (specifically the restoration of priesthood power and the sealing power, yay temples!) and it was a really strong and powerful lesson. I left with a testimony of the gospel stronger than when I entered. So we left the message and I was going to talk with Raquel about why she had stopped going to church, but I felt that I should just leave with message we taught. So we headed on our way. 

Sunday we go to church to prepare things and then church started. Marcos didn´t come for some reason, but Raquel was there. It was fast and testimony meeting, so it’s always a good thing. The meeting is about to finish and Raquel gets up and bears her testimony that she knows the church is true. She finished by saying something like this. ´´Last night, I received a visit from the Elders who talked with us as a family. The left a message so strong and I felt something so powerful that I knew for a fact that the church was true, and that I will never distance myself from the church again.´´ Wow... talk about a humbling experience. I leaned over to my companion and whispered to him ´´Just as good as a baptism to me.´´ The rest of the day was just a normal Sunday, but a day that I will never forget the rest of my life.

Then today, we went up to the Nossa Senhora de Fatima again, and headed up even further to the Jesuita Apostolic School. It was a really neat old monetary and we took tons of way cool pictures. It’s the kind of thing Mom and Dad would love! That was about 3 or 4 hours of our day well spent. 

So I´m really pressed for time now, but I love you all! The church is true and be nice to the missionaries!

Love, Elder Cornwell