Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Zone Conference!

Hello everybody!

I know I say this a lot, but this week FLEW by again. It seems like I barely have time to breathe with all the stuff we have to do here!

We did a lot of things this week, so I´ll just get started.

Monday, we went to a family night with Irmã Bia, and most of the youth of Conjunto Ceará 3. They did a cool little game that made me think about teaching. WE had to write a story following a certain topic on the top of the page. As we were writing, someone would grab our paper, and trade it with another, thus changing the story. I thought about how when we teach sometimes, without everyone being organized together, when we switch, the message we want to pass on gets changed, and can even stray completely from what was originally intended. If we aren´t completely in tune with the Spirit when we teach, we get little hints of what to say, but we may end up leading the discussion to something that was not what was needed to be taught.

Tuesday, we didn´t have district meeting because there would be Zone Conference that week. We visited a family that have a lot of interest in our message, but there are some habits in the household that prohibit us from entering and teaching. There really was a lot of potential with the family, so I was really saddened knowing that we can find people needing our message, but someone has been pulling them away from God for much longer than we have been around. Afterwards, we talked with Junior and talked about the Book of Mormon and some commandments as well. At night, we taught a reference we got last Sunday. The mother of the family actually asked a member friend to receive the messages, hoping that they would help her and her household. We talked about prophets and the Book of Mormon and how they help our families these days.

Wednesday, we had Zone Conference in the morning until almost night. A Stake President spoke to us first, talking about our motivation. He talked about how here in Fortaleza, people ´´don´t´´ want to be successful in life. He said they become ´satisfied´ with their conditions and fool themselves thinking that they cannot change their situation. He applied this to our work, noting that there is always something we can do to be better, but we just have to be willing to go and do the things we need to do to change our situation. We just need to set goals, which he defined as plans that we will complete in a certain amount of time. I learned that by starting with little things, we can complete our goals without seeing the daunting task. At the end of the meeting, President announced that we could Skype home for Christmas, but only from a LAN house, so I will be able to actually see you all this Christmas around!

Thursday, we tried to do a lot, but we only managed to talk with Junior and his friend Gabriel again.

Friday, we did some visits with Miller again, and we practiced some contacts with him as well. With him, we visited Eliomar and Julianna... Julianna´s sister Juliete was there as well. Turns out they found my blog as well (tenha calma Julianna, eu não estou falando mal de você. Apenas estou falando... leia O Livro de Mórmon!). We talked about church and the Book of Mormon with Julianna. They didn´t go to church last week because their daughter was sick, and Julianna said she hadn´t read the Book of Mormon because of work. I asked her how her week had been in comparison with the last three weeks, and she said it had been worse. I pointed out the lack of church and reading the book of Mormon, and she agreed that that may have been why her week wasn´t as good. That is another thing I have learned on the mission... my day just isn´t the same without reading the Book of Mormon, so now I always try to read at LEAST one chapter a day (but I usually end up reading more!). I have noticed the change it has made in my daily life.

Saturday, we had more good visits. We visited Junior one more time, to make sure he would go to church. We also visited Juliete for the first time. WE had already given her a Book of Mormon, and she had already read the part we marked for her. We had a good visit that started out different than normal. We talked about the book and what she had understood. We got onto the topic of Prophets and we came to the conclusion that her doubts about religion would be resolved if there did, in fact, exist a living prophet. WE talked about Joseph Smith as well as the Primitive Church and how this church once more, was on the earth. At night, we visited the reference again (Osmarina and Karine). They had read the Book of Mormon as well, so we talked about what they had read, and about prayer. Then we talked about church, and invited them to go the next day.

Sunday, we took Junior with us to church, and there were plenty of Young Men that befriended him. Osmarina and Karine came as well, and they really liked it. I noticed a few changes in behavior that led me to believe that some problems they had were on their way to being solved. Afterwards, we had lunch with our Ward Mission Leader in Ala 3. He served his mission in Provo, so we spent a lot of time talking about the little things (food wise) that we don´t have here (Like cream soda, root beer, Taco Bell). I had completely forgotten about those things!

So this week, I thought a lot about the Book of Mormon. I thought back on a lot of experiences so far on my mission were the book of Mormon helped us begin working with some people. I have seen someone open up their heart to the Book of Mormon because of a simple scripture about the Atonement (2nd Nephi 9:21-24), I have seen it save a marriage because of simply reading it as a family. Little by little I have been learning the true power the Book of Mormon has in our work. We are always encouraged to use the Book of Mormon to answer questions, and sometimes we are more willing to use the Bible just because other people believe in it. President once said, if someone has doubts about the Book of Mormon, then use it to resolve those doubts! They don´t know the Book of Mormon is a true book, and that doesn´t make it any less true to us! It really is something amazing the power the Book of Mormon has, and what a difference it can make in the life of people. They don´t even have to open their heart... if they just read it, it will already start to work within them.

Well, that was my week! Hope there was plenty in this letter for you all.

Love, Elder Cornwell

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