So this week flew by again. WE got a lot of things done and had some really good experiences.
So Monday after the P-day routine, we stopped by and talked with Joâo (co-worker of John if I ever talked about him). He went to church on Sunday and he said he really liked it... in fact it was the best church he had ever been to. Later in the week when we talked to him, he told us how he felt when we left the message of the restoration with him. As we talked he said he felt a great deal of happiness that he just couldn´t explain. He told us he stayed up all night, reading the book of Mormon or just thinking about what he had just learned. He was very excited and we marked a date for his baptism, and his co-worker will be the one to baptism. What a great start to a week!
Tuesday, we went to Fortaleza for a Zone Training, and afterwards I stayed in Parangaba (read Bonsucesso and João XXIII) with Elder Clemens. We walked ALL over the two Bairros and finished the night at the chapel. In the morning, we headed out early again to get references, and then we headed to lunch, then back to the terminal to reunite ourselves with our normal companions. Elder Leal and I headed back home, and we got back way later... around 6 or 7. I don´t remember what happened the rest of the day.
Thursday, we did visits with John, and had a family home evening with Branco and Ancylia (we wanted João or Radsom, another co-worker to come) but they were working at night. WE visited Valdir and some less actives as well. The day flew by.
Friday, we went out to Candea for Lunch with Irmã Paula. Our ride back to town wasn´t going to come back to bring anyone to Baturité, so we took our time (She has a car) and visited some family of Irmã Paula. It’s always cool to go way out in the middle of nowhere to teach and stuff. The rest of day was going from one place to another... I don´t have many highlights.
Saturday was a BUSY day. 10:30 we headed out to the beginning of Aracoiaba, and then we walked probably 3 km into the rural part of Aracoiaba. Lots of cashew trees (did you know that cashew is actually a fruit? Fun fact for the day). We had lunch with a family who came to a member baptism. Afterwards, they took us around to get to know the cashew farm they have, and introduced us to all the family there. Afterwards, we showed the film of the Restoration and gave copies of the Book of Mormon to some of the family members. It was a really neat experience because it was easy to tell that our message was unlike anything they had ever heard before. It’s like the heavens are opening up for them like they did for Joseph Smith! I had a reverent, peaceful feeling when we talked about the film and presented the idea of a living prophet to these people. At night, we taught a commandment for João and also taught the Plan of Salvation. The rest of the day is a blur, overshadowed by these highlights.
Sunday was very good. I made tapioca for breakfast and then we headed out to wake up João and give a present (A white shirt and a new tie) which he accepted gratefully, and promptly put on. We headed off to church and Felipe was already there sitting in the front (he made a request of a shirt as well, which Elder Leal gladfully provided at night). It was really good to see him because church is exactly what he needs right now. The lesson in priesthood was a good one. The theme was on ´How to make this work go forward´. Bispo Edivã shared a story of a member in his old ward named Cicero. Edivã needed to reorganize the Sunday school presidency and he felt prompted to call Cicero. The thing was that Cicero was a new convert and he had great difficulty reading and didn´t understand much of the scriptures, much less how to teach a Sunday school lesson. He also only had one lung functioning because of a career dealing with paint. Some people raised concerns, but Edivã said that he was who the Lord wanted, and called him as Sunday school president. Cicero started in on his calling, grabbing all the manuals necessary and frequent meetings with Edivã. In these meetings, Cicero would open the manual and ask questions about the content to gain understanding. He continued in this path for a year, and Edivã asked him to give a public testimony during the sacrament meeting. Cicero went to the pulpit and set his scriptures aside the pulpit and pulled out a folded paper from his pocket, written from a typewriter that he had bought, straightened it out, and began to say that he was grateful for the chance to speak, and apologized for having to read his talk, because he didn´t have great diction. Then he began to read his talk. Edivã said he was amazed to see him reading with little difficulty, on top of a wonderful talk with quotes from leaders of the church as well as many scriptures. Edivã said that Cicero was later called as the High Priests Group President and now serves as a High Councilor... about 6 years after his baptism. Edivã continued saying that this work will progress whether or not we participate, but our part is simple. Heavenly Father sent his only Son, Jesus Christ to do his part. Heavenly Father gave his best. Christ gave the example of the BEST life. They only ask one thing from us to help this work progress. They only ask for our best. Cicero was the perfect example of this. Just like the widow, who gave two mites, he didn´t have much he could give, but he gave it all, and that is what makes him great. I think this story could go well with Mom´s talk she has coming up. The theme fits perfectly. But this is what I learned this week. It doesn´t matter what we give, as long as it’s our best, and The Lord will do the rest.
So that was my week.
Love, Elder Cornwell