Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Responsability coming my way! - Email from Dec 17, 2012

Well, every change here in Pampa Grande has given me another responsability and this change isn`t different! (oxymoron anyone?) I have been given the calling of District Leader! Can you believe it? I`m very humbled by this opportunity to serve the elders in my district and hope that I can have a positive effect on them. This zone has had some serious struggles this change...President even sent a message through the Zone Leaders that we need to work harder! I hope that I can help be a part of the change for the better.

Well, my companion is doing great! He`s sick right now with a pretty intense cough...which scares me at times, but emotionally and spiritually he is doing a LOT better. We had a great talk last week when we went to a training meeting for the trainers, and I know that he`s going to continue on. I just hope to be able to help him become a great missionary, the way I know he can be!

This week in the training meeting a really realized what an honor I have to be numbered among these other trainers...they`re amazing! I hope to be able to help my companion become a great missionary the way they`re doing it. I know that God has been here with me many steps of the way...and I`ve felt words coming out of my mouth many times that really were not my own.

I`m excited for the call this week! Can`t wait to see all of you! I hope you know that I love each and every one of you, and I`m hoping that all will be well! Tell all those crazy shooters to cool it down a bit...the world`s going to end on the 21st anyway, why do we have to kill ourselves? ;) Haha, ALL of Peru is talking about the 21st. However, they just keep on drinking and smoking and all of that...funny how the Book of MOrmon phrase `eat drink and be merry` is taken so literally down here, as if they`ve read it themselves! Well, the 22nd should be quite a shock for some of them. ;)

I love you all so much...sorry this email is so short! We are kind of rushed today and I had quite a few emails to reply to! Thank you so much for all your love and support!


Elder Schofield

Is it Really Happening? - Email from Dec 10, 2012

This week has been a really crazy week for me! A lot of things have
happened and I just don`t really know where to start! So, I`ll start
with the most important things and see what comes out. :)

So last week Elder Huaman was sick. He was coughing and was worried
that it might be something serious. I honestly was not worried, it`s
just a cough, but I told him that it would be a good idea to call
Hermana Rowley. He agreed. He seemed to be pretty worried about it,
but I thought that a quick call would be fine and everything would be
good. Guess I was wrong!

When we went to call her, I was putting in her phone number but Elder
Huaman corrected me saying that he wanted to talk to President first.
I didn`t think anything of it, and just put in his number. After
talking to him for just a few minutes, President wanted an interview
with him! I was a bit worried, but we just headed to an internet so he
could call president through Skype. He ended up there for over an
hour...turns out my companion was wanting to go home!!! President
talked to me for about two minutes, just to tell me that we were going
to Piura to see him and that I had to make sure that my companion
didn`t bring his suitcases with him.

I was shocked! I did not expect this. Of course, we haven`t had a ton
of success here in this area, but we`re working hard and I feel that
we have seen some miracles here. I think Elder Huaman just got really
discouraged with this sickness, and he also misses his family just
like any other elder that`s beginning the mission. We talked a lot the
night before he left about why we`re serving. I felt the spirit
directing my words as I tried to help him see the many reasons that
we`re here.

On Wednesday we headed down to Piura. We were able to eat lunch with
President and Hermana Rowley before his interview. He ended up being
in there for 2 hours! Thankfully, everything turned out ok. Elder
Huaman talked to his family, and they also really helped him to see
why he`s out here serving for two years. With their help, he was able
to make the decision to stick it out.

President called me into his office for only about two minutes to just
tell me of the responsability that I have to help make sure that Elder
Huaman stays here in the mission. I felt really comforted by the way
he told me that Heavenly Father had placed me in this Elder`s life and
that the way I help him in these first few months will have a huge
effect in his life. I hope that I can follow through with his council
and really be able to help him.

The end of the week turned out fairly well. One thing President told
me to do was give Elder Huaman more responsability in the work and
make him feel like he`s actually having success and doing well. Friday
and Saturday I pretty much made him the Senior Companion and tried to
just follow his lead and take on a supporting role. He did super well!
I also kept his mind occupied while we were walking, quizzing him with
the lessons and scriptures, and really just not giving him the chance
to think of home.

I feel so honored to be here. This week has been tough. I know what
Elder Huaman is feeling. I know that he feels kind of useless because
we can`t see the success right in front of us. That`s frustrating, and
it`s even harder when we`re so cut off from our families. However,
this is such an incredible opportunity.

I know that we are here on the Lord`s errand. He has sent us here. We
have the chance to see His hand in the lives of His children. I`m
honored to be able to become an instrument in this work, bringing
others to Christ. He has helped me through some of the hardest
challenges I ever thought that I would face. I now know, as Ammon
knew, that I can do all things with his strength. I am grateful for
that knowledge, knowledge which can only be gained through trials,
experiences, and these two years.

Thank you for all your support. Thank you for your prayers, your
letters, and everything you do on behalf of me and the people of Peru.
Please include us in your prayers, especially my companion Elder
Huaman and the people of Piura and Tumbes. I know that our prayers are
heard and that miracles really do happen if we have the faith

With the Christmas season coming on, it`s kind of cool to see all of
the lights and trees! At the same time, it doesn`t feel like
Christmas! It feels like the 120 degree weather in Arizona! This
Christmas will be even more strange than the last, I think. We`re
planning to get together with the elders from our district on
Christmas Eve so that we don`t have to be just the two of us.
Hopefully Santa Clause will bring us a great time!

Anyway, have fun there in the states! Keep warm!!!

Elder Schofield

December Already? - Email from December 3, 2012

Wow...this week it`s December!! Can you all believe it?? I was talking
just today with Elder Martinez, who`s also from my group. Just one
year ago, I arrived here in the mission! I can`t believe how quickly
time has really gone by.

This week went fairly well for us! We seemed to be a little swamped
with meetings and everything, but it went great! On Friday, we had a
Multi Zone conference with President and Sister Rowley. It was a
really great conference where we talked about the Plan of Salvation
and how important it is to teach that lesson. I guess about 50 percent
of our mission isn`t teaching it! Like I told President, and feel like
our job as missionaries is to really teach about Heavenly Father`s
plan! The lesson about the Restoration is about how Heavenly Father is
helping us to reach our full potential in His plan, as well as the
lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I really hope to be able to
apply some of the things I learned.

The other thing we talked about was the importance of working with
members. Honestly, that`s one area I really need to work on. In my
other areas, I think that I relied way too much on our own efforts,
and didn`t get the members as involved as they should be. Here in
Pampa Grande, I feel like I really need to do that because there are
great members that could really do a lot for the people here! Just
think about it, one simple invitation can really bring a whole family
into the gospel. I really hope that I can help others get involved in
what we`re doing.

On Saturday, we had a great ward activity! It`s the first ward
activity that we`ve been able to have in a month! We planned a night
full of games, and it really turned out great! We had about 40 or 50
people come, and a few of them were less actives. Even if just ward
members come, I know that it`s a great opportunity for them to gain
confidence in us as missionaries as well as being able to socialize a
bit. I hope that we can continue having activities like that and get
investigators there too.

Today we went to the beach in la Cruz!! It was pretty fun, but I`m
super tired right now! We played capture the flag, and I almost felt
like the 14 year old scout out there running around again. It was fun,
especially when one of the Hermanas pegged Elder De La Cruz in the
chest with a stick! It was pretty hilarious to see him fall to the
ground, faking that he was hurt! I`m gonna miss that Limeño.

Anyway...hope all is going well with you! Have a great cold December!
The sun here is pretty much burning me like toast! It`s getting hotter
every day...

Love you all!
Elder Schofield

Thanksgiving? Christmas?? Is it really that time of year?? - Email from Nov 26, 2012

Is it really already this time of year?? I can`t believe it! Dad just wrote me and said that Chelsey has already finished her volleyball season...didn`t she just barely start playing?? Ugh...the mission is just flying by waaaayy too quickly!

So for Thanksgiving, our pensionista also put up her Christmas tree and lights! It made me think of when we would do that as a family. :) I of course got to help put some lights up on the post they have running through the middle of the room. I didn`t even need a ladder. :) It helps when you`re 2 meters tall!!!

This week really has been great for us! We`ve found some good investigators and are seeing them progress! One of them is named Grace. She is a nurse in the local clinic, she`s 23 years old, and super intelligent! We found her knocking doors with a member, Roberto. He`s really been a great help to us. Anyway, she is super catholic, but understands our doctrine really quickly! After reading 3 Nephi 11, she understood baptism! She also understood that Christ organized His church!! It was really great to teach someone that really could understand so quickly.

We did talk with her about baptism...and she`s got some doubts about that. Obviously, she`s been raised her whole life as a Catholic! However, I was able to bare my testimony about the Book of Mormon and how if she could read it and pray to know if it was true, she would also know that she should be baptised in our church. She seemed to accept that. We`ll just have to see if she`ll follow through!

We`re also still working with Carlos Huaman (crazy that he has the same last name as my companion, right??). He is really doing great! Last week he accepted the challenge of getting married and baptised! He seems really excited about it, and just accepts that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this is what he`s supposed to do. Our biggest challenge is getting him to come to church. I honestly don`t know why he didn`t come this Sunday! We have a member family that lives right in front of him that is always inviting and trying to bring them to church, but this Sunday they failed to come again! We`re going to have to do something more to get them to come...I don`t know that that will be!!

On Sunday I literally witnessed a miracle. Well, a miracle for me. I attended the first effective Ward Council Meeting in over a year in the field! I was impressed, stunned, and really built up by the testimony that the church really is what I preach every day: organized. We presented a great mission plan that the bishop helped us devise, and then got the support of all the organizations, minus the YW and Sunday School presidencies. EVERYONE ELSE WAS THERE!! Miracle number one. Then, the bishop got up and talked about their own ward goals of going to the temple at least twice a year. Ward goals? Unity? Plan? I think there are miracles two, three, and four right there. Seriously, I was just overjoyed to see that, and feel like I can be a lot more help after having seen that.

I`m really just so happy to be here in Pampa Grande. It`s not the easiest area. The people reject us more than my other areas. However, we have great members that are willing to work with us. My companion and I are becoming the best of friends. It`s going to be hard to leave him in two months. I am enjoying the missionary life more than ever before. We just need to get a few more people into the waters of baptism! Then it would be just perfect. :)

I hope that you all know how much I love you! Please keep up the letters!!!! They really do mean a lot to me, and unfortunately I haven`t received any for a while. I`m pretty sure that it`s just because the mail system is slow...I have received some letters that date 4 months back before in my other areas! Anyway, thank you for all of your love and support!!!


Elder Schofield

Monday, November 19, 2012

The biggest change in the mission so far! - Email from 19 Nov 2012.

It is official!! My mission has pretty much taken a 180 degree turn, and I think it`s going to be for the better! This week, President Rowley has made an announcement in our mission that will really change things! We had a Zone Meeting on Thursday to make it known, and the Zone Leaders began by asking two questions. The first question was, What type of converts does the church need here in Tumbes? We began listing things like leaders, people that serve, people that are truly converted, full tithe payers, people with a testimony of the Book of Mormon, etc. Then they showed us a scripture that really changed things! Doctrine and Covenants 58:10-12. It talks about first going to the rich, and then moving on to the poor. I guess President is really looking at what we`re doing and what would really help the church to progress in this part of the world. He thinks, as do I, that the church needs more leadership. The church needs more men that are strong in the priesthood and that really have the means to serve other people. Unfortunately, we as missionaries search a lot of the time for the easy baptism. We want to be able to say that we`ve baptised a lot of people. But to what end? President is really showing us that we have a purpose even higher than baptising. As he said, if we baptise the men that will really be able to contribute, the women and children will follow! Inevitably, they will be baptized as well.

When that announcement was made, I think a lot of the elders reacted pretty strongly. It`s a huge difference now! We were reminded once again that we are not allowed to enter homes where there is not an adult male present. Something that honestly has not been done during my time as a missionary. We`ve gone in where they`ve let us, even if it is a mother. Now, we are being told that that`s not ok, and we need to change. I really do feel like the mission is changing a lot. We will no longer have the best numbers. Our numbers are going to fall for a while, but if we really put in the effort, the church will grow and flourish.

So anyway, that`s the biggest news that I`ve got from thiis week! It really has been a lot of fun this week with Elder Huaman. We`re doing well working together, and I really feel like we`re going to have a lot of success. We`ve met a few good families that have the potential to really go far. Because of the changes that President has made, we`ve really been searching for those men that are going to help the church grow! As a result, we`re knocking doors that before we wouldn`t have knocked. The big houses are now sought after, instead of judging the area to be a bit harder. As a result, we found one man who told is just in his doorstep that he wanted a Book of Mormon, and that if we gave him two or three weeks he`d read it all!! I was really impressed by that because normally the people we run into struggle to even read one verse! I feel like things are really going to become a lot more exciting now.

The ward is also doing great! Because of the Stake Conference we had last week, our bishop is really more focused in missionary work. We had a meeting where we were able to make our ward mission plan, and I`m really excited to get it going! We`re now assigning a Book of Mormon to one family in Sacrament Meeting every week! Also, we have a least one activity going on during the week as well, and we`re hoping to have two. I`m excited for all of the changes and am really looking forward to being able to work with the members more. I know it`s going to be great!!

OH!!! Something else happened this week...I got my Christmas package!!! I was literally like a little boy at Christmas, I couldn`t believe how HUGE it was!!! Thank you Mom!! I`ve included a picture as proof of how amazing my Mommy is, and how GINORMOUS the package was!!! Haha, who could ask for a better mom??

Well, I really just don`t know what else to write! This week the sewage came up out of the ground on the way to our Pension. It`s been all over the other streets, but now we had to walk through it three times a day! Oh, also, they have now built another bar! It`s right in front of our Pension! I guess it will only be open on weekends, but Sunday night the music was so loud it felt like the speakers were inside their house!! Haha, I feel bad for the family...I don`t know how they could possibly sleep with all the noise! Then again, we have a club where they hold events just a couple doors from us...I guess when there are graduations this December we`ll have the privelege of listening to spanish hip hop as well! Oh joy! Can`t wait for the sleepless nights...haha, but I guess that`s part of being in Peru. :)

Anyway, I love you all so much! Keep up the letters! I`ve got one in the mail to all the family!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week one --- All over again! - email from Nov 12, 2012

Well, it`s now week one all over again in the mission field!!! At least that`s what it feels like to me....

After receiving the call from President and everything on Monday, I had a long trip ahead of me! We ended up having to go to the ZL`s to sleep for about 3 hours...and I didn`t sleep at all...before waking up at 1 AM to board a bus! We left at about 2 AM and got to Piura around 7:30. We had to wait for an hour before going to the office, awaiting our new companions! It was kind of a hard time to try and have personal fact, I couldn`t do it at all!!! Finally, it was time to go meet our companions!

We got to the mission home, and met up with the other trainers! There are 6 of us in all! One thing kinda cool is that my brother, Elder Skansiani is also training! That means Elder Turcious has 2 grandkids born at the same time!!! It`s pretty cool, and I was excited to see him there. President gave us an hour long training meeting before we were able to meet our companions. Mostly we just read D & C 121:34-41. That scripture pretty much is amazing for anyone who`s trying to be a great leader...look it up!

Anyway...the moment finally came to meet our new companions! We walked in the room and President just began reading off the list. I was the second to last to be called! My companion is Elder Helaman Huaman from Lima!!! It was pretty exciting to finally meet my companion. Of course we introduced ourselves and began talking. Elder Huaman is super talkative, like pretty much every Limeño that I`ve met! He`s one of two kids, and his older brother actually served a mission in the Utah Salt Lake Mission!!! He said he was in the Sandy area! Kinda crazy...but anyway, he was born in the covenant. Also, Elder Huaman served here 3 years ago! He got part way through his training and got sick so had to go home. He`s now returning to the mission, three years later! So, basically I get to retrain him and help him to remember some of the things he already knows!

I sent a picture...that`s not very good...of us at the mission home. He`s kinda short, but by now I`m pretty much used to that! I just hope he can get used to walking a bit faster than usual. ;)

Another crazy thing with Elder Huaman...when we got to the pensionista, we found out that Hermano Chota served in his ward as a missionary! His pensionista is Elder Huaman`s grandmother!! It was pretty suprising to really see how God had set that all up. I also included a picture of the Chota family there with Elder Panduro before he left. There`s Mary and Cesar, and then the kids (from oldest to youngest) are Brenda, Angel, Vania, and Shelby. The three younger ones are QUITE the handful. Mom, I`m pretty sure you`d laugh to see them, cause I think they act just like my sisters when they were little!! Poor Brenda has to help be mother too, but she`s really great with the kids. It`s fun to be surrounded by the girls, kind of reminds me of home! Only problem is that as a missionary, we can`t really do much with kids! However, it`s still fun to make silly faces and listen to the little girl laughs and screams.

Anyways...the work here is going GREAT! We have a great family that is now progressing! They aren`t married, which will be a challenge, but Carlos and Juana are just super! Their son, Yan, was baptized about a year ago and is now less active. However, Carlos has started reading the Book of Mormon and is understanding a lot! We also have been able to get the Lopez family to help us out, they`ve gone with us to some of our lessons and are really becoming a great resource for Carlos and Juana as they have questions and concerns with what we teach! I feel really confident that they`re going to accept the gospel and be baptized!

As for Jorge...well, he`s struggling. He`s got a ton of health issues that he`s dealing with, and with his son in prision it`s just super tough on him. He has stopped smoking, well for at least 6 days now, and is sticking to his goal of the 18th. However, his faith is really waxing thin...he says that he`s doing everything he can to keep the commandments and he`s not seeing any blessings. It`s hard for me to try to show him some of the blessings he has because he`s just so hardened. He is making a ton of sacrifices to follow Christ, and I know that he is being blessed and will be blessed more for what he`s doing, but he can`t see that. If you can include him in your prayers...I`d appreciate it!

Oh! Another really cool thing happened this weekend, our Stake Conference! We had a 70 come! Elder Hooker came and spoke. He was also accompanied by the Lima temple President and his wife!!! President Rowley and Sister Rowley tagged along as well!!! It made for a super special meeting where we were able to feel the spirit super strong. We had at least one investigator there, and I`m sure that she felt the spirit strong. They talked a lot about honoring our wives and really doing the things to live a happy life. The wife of the temple president spoke of how miracles occur in the construction of temples. I wish I could tell you all of the stories, but I just don`t have time! Really, too much is happening on a daily basis!!

I hope that you all know that I love you...sorry if these emails are just throwing information at you...I`d love to be more detailed, I just have too much on the mind! Love you all, keep in touch! Write letters if you want more details. ;) haha, I promise to respond to you all!!! :)

Elder Schofield


Monday, November 5, 2012

Ahhh!!!!! Training Begins! - email from 5 Nov 2012

Well, it`s official! I have now been give the new assignment to train a brand new elder! I must say, I am very excited for the opportunity, and I know that Heavenly Father really has given me this responsibility at the perfect time. He really is directing this mission, and I feel the spirit confirming to me that even if I don`t feel READY, I have been PREPARED: I was thinking about that the other you think that any of us actually felt ready to come to earth? I doubt that. I do know that our Heavenly Father prepared us. Each and every one of us have the abilities to overcome any challenge or responsibility that we are given. All we need to do is make the effort and really follow His plan, His way.

This week was actually a pretty tough week for us here in Pampa Grande. My companion and I both caught the flu, and it was super hard to go out and work. There were times where I honestly could not focus on the lessons and my body was so tired that I just collapsed when we got home. However, that`s ok. :) I know that it was only for a time. Now that all I have is congestion, I know that everything is going to be great. :)

We also had a challenge this week with our recent convert, Karina. We found out that her daughter tried to commit suicide. Not just once, but four times! Obviously, she was pretty devestated. What made it worse was that Karina had made a comment to her daughter about how difficult life was becoming, and that sometimes she wondered if it wouldn`t be better to be dead....obviously Karina feels super guilty for saying that.

Unfortunately, we didn`t find out until about 3 or 4 days later. When we found out, I just felt the huge weight that she must be feeling settle over me. I thought of some of the experiences that I`ve had with family problems...and memories just came flooding back. The guilt that each person feels: mother, daughter, sibling, etc. The true pain that`s there, as well as the numbness of shock. It just all seemed to come back in one moment for me. When we visited her, I could see in her eyes all of these feelings. Mostly, we just listened. She needed to get it all out.

After listening and trying to see what she needed to hear in order to continue forward, I realized that God really had prepared me. Although I don`t know what it`s like to see a child try to committ suicide, I have had similar feelings. I was able to understand enough to at least listen. I also understand that it really is not Karina`s fault. She was not at fault for the suicide attempt. Yes, she may have said something that shouldn`t have been said, but she shouldn`t feel that weight of guilt.

The other thing that I could testify and tell her is that her daughter, Daniela, really is not fully at fault either. She`s pshyzisophrenic (idk how to spell that...), and she constantly has a man following her and telling her to kill herself. In that state, she really does not have full, 100 percent control over her actions. I was comforted by the knowledge that we will be judged not only just by our actions, but by our DESIRES. I know that God is merciful. I know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, she can have forgiveness. Both Karina and Daniela can move on and have happy lives. I`m grateful for the examples in my life, of family members I have seen go through challenges just as hard and work through them, and become stronger as a result. I know that Heavenly Father is there for us.

Christ`s sacrifice really does take care of all the hurt in the world. I`m so grateful for that knowledge.

So...I heard about New York!!! Huricane season!! My thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved. Not sure how bad the damage was...but I heard it was pretty big.

I guess the elections are coming up! I`m actually kind of glad to not be involved in any of that. Haha, I guess that`s the blessing of being a missionary! Let me know who wins, although I`m pretty sure the people in the streets will let me know. They have the strange habit of talking about the states every time they see a gringo...I wonder why?

Well...I don`t know what else to say! I hope you all know that I love you. I miss you. I am looking forward to skype! Only 50 more days! Haha, but who`s counting, right? Oh...I`ve also decided that instead of telling people exactly how much time I have in the mission, I`ll just say one year for now. Once January comes, I`ll tell them I got here in October, but I won`t say what year. ;) Being old in the mission is lame...I want to stay forever!! But I guess I have another mission awaiting me at home....

Love you all!!!!

Elder Schofield

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An incredible week in Pama Grande! - email from 29 October 2012

Well...this week was simply INCREDIBLE!! I don`t have a ton of time to be able to write about some of the experiences I had, so I`m going to copy a message I sent to President Rowley that I wanted to share with you all. I want to first bare my testimony that I really know that this church has the authority of God. I know that not because of reading a book or being told by priesthood leaders, but because I have actually felt God working through me as I perform priesthood ordinances. This week I was able to have one of those experiences, and I wanted to share this one with you:

This week I had an amazing experience that I want to share with you. One of the MA that we`ve been working with called us as we were walking to district meeting on Tuesday. He wanted us to visit a friend that was in the hospital that was super sick. He has diabities to the third degree and really wasn`t doing well. The hospital is outside of our area, so after calling and getting permission from the Zone Leaders, we were able to accompany him to his friend. When we got there, the guards were super strict and said that only one person could enter to see him at a time. They didn`t even want to let one of us wait outside the door. After explaining a little more, they let us in. Unfortunately the critical care unit is really shut off to most people, so they absolutely refused to let us both in.

After just a few moments, both my companion and I felt the prompting that I needed to go in and give him a blessing. I didn`t even have to say anything, Elder Panduro just looked at me and said you`re going. As I entered the room, he was just barely propped up on the bed, and really looked horrible. It reminded me of my grandmother right before she passed away, just horrible. Anyway, I explained what I was going to do the best I could, and he nodded his head a little, like he understood. As I put my hands on his head, I could just feel the spirit burning within that room. I really think that someone else was there with me. The words seemed to just flow as I gave this man a blessing. I knew, better than ever before, that he was going to be healed. I promised him that he would walk out of the hospital healed, and that he would be able to return to his family again. I`ve never felt more sure of something before in my life.

When I left the room, I was suprised to find myself alone with him. I honestly felt the presence of someone else there. Later, I came to realize that someone else really was there. Whether it was an angel or the Holy Ghost Himself, I don`t know...but President, I have never felt the presence like I did in those few moments during his blessing. Later as I talked to my companion about the experience, he said that he could also feel the spirit from the hallway, and knew that something incredible was going on inside.

I know that this church really does have the authority of God. It was an incredible thing to feel it working through me. Thank you for the opportunity to serve, President. I know that you received the inspiration so that I could be here in Pampa Grande. I can`t wait to hear that this man has left the hospital, and I know that it`s no longer a matter of `if` but of `when` he leaves.

Wow, right? Can anyone else in the world say that they have been able to experience something so incredible? The great thing is, YES they can. I know that there are millions of worthy priesthood holders out there that really do have the power of God and really can perform miracles like this.

Other than that experience, I was also able to work with Elder Naranjo again! He`s here in the area just next to me, and we had companion exchanges. I was supposed to be with Elder De La Cruz, but I ended up with my ex comp again. It was great to be with him again. I forgot how much I loved him! He really has changed a lot in his teaching style, and I felt the spirit strong with him. It was a great time to be able to proselite with him.

Oh! The pictures! First of all, I have to say that this week I was able to try some sweet dishes!! The one in the picture is shrimp soup. It is simply DELICIOUS! Mom and Dad, if you come down here with me, we HAVE to eat this! It was probably one of the best seafood dishes I`ve had, and my pensionista made it!! I was also able to eat this week chicken leg soup!! Haha, as I was eating it, I thought about how Jen, Sam, and Chelsey would react seeing it. Hahahaha...I doubt they would eat it! However, I liked it! It was really delicious! I also was able to try shark, and cow stomach again. Both were really good. I`ve told my pensionista that I really want to try different dishes, and I guess she`s giving me what I wanted!!

The photo with four elders is from when we had companion exchanges. Elder Naranjo, Elder Zavala (he`s black, from Ecuador), and Elder De La Cruz. We had a lot of fun together! It made me remember Negritos where four of us lived together. It`s a lot better, because you`re able to have more fun and talk to other people, more than just one companion. We also played Chess with the bishop`s daughter!! I CREAMED here. Don`t worry, she`s 15, so she`s definitely at my playing level. ;) Haha, it was fun to be able to do that.

Anyway, another incredible thing happened this week...Elder Panduro really opened up to me. Can I just say, I have been blessed with an incredible calm life. His father was a drug dealer and was dealing across borders. He also had another wife and kids...Elder Panduro had to grow up with just his mother. He also ended up getting into some bad things, but through the gospel and some great elders he came back. I KNOW the gospel is true! Every companion I`ve had has proved that. I`d love to be able to share more of his story right now, but time is pretty much gone!

I love you all so much!! I can`t wait for the Christmas call!! Make sure and keep doing the small things, and grow closer to God each and every day!

Elder Schofield


Monday, October 22, 2012

Pampa Grande is growing! - Email from 10/15/2012

Well, another week has passed here in Pampa Grande! It`s hard for me to believe that I`ve been here for almost a month now! Time really just passes so quickly in the mission, it`s crazy.

So this week I was working with quite a few people. Jorge Silva is really just having a ton of challenges hit him all at once. It`s been tough to see. His son was put in jail on the 6th of October, and because of that Jorge didn`t come to the General Conference. He is really depressed because of it. He doesn`t have work, doesn`t have anyone to help him here, and now his son is in jail. He`s also losing his faith, which really hit me hard on Tuesday when we saw him. It`s hard to see a man like that. He knows what it`s like in jail, he says, and I guess the police are curropt here, and they bring drugs in, and everything else in between. It`s like one of those movies where you can pay the cops to be able to kill someone inside, he says. Obviously, he`s very worried about his son, and so are we.

On Tuesday, we really didn`t know what to do for him. It was super hard to see him that way. We just listened, and at the end of listening to all of that, we really didn`t have an answer for him, but I felt the prompting to give him a blessing. When I put my hands on his head, I just felt...right. During the blessing, I didn`t know what to say at first, but then the words just came. I honestly wasn`t thinking, I just let the words come out. It was a great experience.

We then visited him again on Friday. That`s when I really made a mistake...he hadn`t been reading the Book of Mormon or praying. I know that those things will help him more than anything, so I tried to communicate that to him. Unfortunately, I did not do that in the correct manner, and I realized that later.

Saturday, we were on splits with some RM`s in the ward. As I was walking with Roberto, I all of the sudden got the prompting to go visit Jorge. It was one of those times where I just felt like we needed to visit him. Immediately, we went, even though I had just seen him the day before and left a little frustrated, without knowing what we could do to help. When we got there, I think we could both feel the depression hanging there in the air. He was getting a small package ready for his son with toiletpaper and clothes. He had obviously been crying. We just sat there and listened for a while, and then we were at least able to communicate our love for him. By the time we left, he had changed. It may not have been a huge change, but I could feel the spirit in his home again. It was a great experience that really taught me a lot. One, that God is watching out for His children and sends people to them in the exact moment they are needed. Two, that sometimes a missionary can be effective just by bringing the spirit into a home. He doesn`t neccessarily have to teach a whole lot, the people can feel the spirit and will be motivated to do what`s right with that spirit.

Although Jorge could not come to church on Sunday because he went to visit his son, I know that Saturday was key. We saw him again Sunday afternoon, and he actually could smile! He`s still not very happy, and who would be? His son will be in jail for at least 10 months. However, I think that he at least has confidence in us and confidence in the Lord again. I know that if we can help him make it through this, he will be baptised soon and will be able to enjoy many blessings.

That was one of the best experiences of the week! The other one was when we met Kennedy Stewell. We were with Roberto knocking doors and he told us that he know the owner of one of the small stores in the block. We decided to go see if she was home, but her 16 year old son answered the door. Kennedy is really a bright kid. He wants to be a lawyer when he graduates, and I can see that he`s going to be great at it. He enjoys learning about the crazy things that happen in the world, the weird and strange things. As a result, he had a ton of questions for us! We tried to answer a few, but mostly focused on teaching him the Plan of Salvation. We were able to explain it fairly well and by the end his countenance had changed. He said he had always worried about life after death, but we were able to life a huge weight off of his back. It was great to be able to see that!

We went by later and were able to teach him the Book of Mormon. It was really a great lesson, although he told us that others had told him it was the Devil`s book. Gotta love the opposition!

We had another really great experience teaching Carlos Huaman. His son is a member, but less active. We taught him about Joseph Smith and by the end he said he believed it was true! He also committed to be baptized. :)

I am just so grateful to be here in the mission. Experiences like this are just amazing things! I would love to be able to write about them all, but there simply isn`t time. I hope you all understand!

Anyway, I also had my interview with President Rowley this week. I was able to talk to him about a few of my concerns, and he helped me see through a lot of them. Can I just tell you, I am so grateful to have leaders that are called by God? I have no doubt in my mind that when I am listening to one of these men, I can feel the spirit teaching me through them. They are truly inspired and can help us a lot.

Not sure what else to write! My health is doing great, better than ever! Pampa Grande is getting ready for the rain to come! They say it`s a ton, and that when the sun comes out it`s hotter than Piura! We`ll see! I`m pretty sure I`ll be here through Christmas, and then January! That`s the hottest part of the year...oh fun!

Well...I love you all! Have tons of fun! I look forward to every letter, so please write!!! Handwritten ones are always way cool to get. ;)

Love you,
Elder Schofield

Greg wasn`t lying!!!! - Email from 10/22/2012

Ok mom...sorry I can`t send a picture of this because I didn`t have my camera at the time, but you now have a second witness that Greg was not lying: they really do put a string of limes around the necks of the dogs when they get sick!!! Greg, I officially apologize for not believing you.

So we were walking in one of the trailer park type areas, where it`s all dirt. We rounded a corner and I saw this shaggy white dog sitting on the corner, in plain site. He was sitting there, just looking out, and hanging in plain view on his neck were two green limes! I literally stopped, which kind of suprised my companion and just said `NO...` I couldn`t believe it! After over a year in the mission, it has been confirmed: Greg was not lying. They really do have that tradition! I asked my pensionista about it, and she even laughed about the tradition and said that a lot of people here do it. How crazy!

Anyway, that was one of the crazy moments of the week, and something that definitely made it to the journal. ;)

This week was really great for me. Honestly, I felt like we made a lot of progress, especially as a companionship. On Thursday, we had a long talk where Elder Panduro really opened up to me. I feel like he`s exactly the way I was about 7 months ago. He doesn`t have a lot of confidence in his teaching, but he has all the desire in the world to change and become a great missionary. I told him of all the times that I had really felt the spirit while he taught, and tried to help him recognize that he really is a great teacher! I think that he was able to recognize that. I also really felt the spirit guiding me while I talked to him...I kinda felt as if I were teaching an investigator. I guess we all need a reminder once in a while of some things!

Anyway, after that, we just were on fire! Friday and Saturday both just FLEW by because we had the spirit so strong in our companionship. On Friday, we were able to have a truly amazing experience. We taught this lady, Maritza, who really did not want to talk to us at first. I was a bit pushy to get into the door, but we did get in! It was our second visit with her. We began talking about how the gospel really does bless our families, and I felt the prompting to pull out Alma 37. I began reading it and talking about how the Book of Mormon teaches us how to be better parents, and how to help our children when they do horrible things like Corianton. She was definitely interested at that point. By the end of the lesson, not only did she want to listen, but she was excited to read the Book of Mormon!

Immediately after her, we met Javier, who is struggling as an alcoholic. In that lesson, we also really had the spirit with us. My companion was able to help him see how baptism really was going to help him leave everything behind. I know that the spirit guided us to him and that it was just an amazing experience.

Anyway, that`s a bit of what`s going on here! I feel great here in Tumbes. It`s kind of weird to realize that I`ve been gone so long! However, I know I`m where the Lord wants me to be. I hope that you all are doing well, and don`t forget to send me a letter every once in a while! The mail here takes longer than in Piura, but I promise that I reply to everything. :)

Love you all!

Elder Schofield

Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference! - email from October 8, 2012

What an amazing week, right?? I really practically jumped for joy when President Monson spoke! 18 years old! 19 years old!!! Bring on the sister missionaries! They`re going to change the world. Then...AREQUIPA, PERU!!!! THREE TEMPLES IN PERU!!! Many of you probably were more excited about Tucson...ya, well, Arequipa is better! :P Haha, but it was pretty exciting, to say the least.

Conference for me was a VERY spirit filled experience. I received so much personal revelation it was insane. For instance, I felt from the beginning that I was watching at the same time as Mom and Dad, and turns out that was true! I also felt during many times that a message was directed for one of my sisters or family members. It really was a spirit filled weekend, one I wouldn`t change for the world.

Wow. I think they put a bit of pressure on us! `Ask the missionaries! They can help!` Haha, but`s true. As I sat there and looked around the stake center at the 20 missionaries...I thought, it`s true. If I had a question, I could go to any one of them. They are blessed with the gifts that only God can give. I have seen that in action in my companions, zone leaders, district leaders, assistants, and many others. It`s incredible to think that maybe, just maybe, I can be counted in with them. It truly is an honor to be a part of the Lord`s force to go out there and help people discover for themselves the truths that have been hid for thousands of years. Do you know how incredible that is? Well, I love it!

This past week in Pampa Grande was awesome! As many of you know, on Friday I completed one year in the mission! It was a great day! First of all, in the afternoon we had some great lessons. I`d like to tell you what an amazing companion I have, and how I really saw the spirit work through him.

So, we were teaching Monica, who told us up front that she is never at home, so we can`t really schedule visits. I could tell she was just being honest, but that she really wanted to learn. So, we began teaching the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. She had a TON of questions! For most of them, I had to tell her that we simply didn`t have time to explain all of the doctrine, but that we would give her something that truly could answer each and every one of her questions. She was interested at that point!

We then explained the Book of Mormon and how it can answer any questions. She accepted it, but then she had a question about why even the best people can fall. She was saying that she listened to tons of different missionaries from other religions, and she wanted an answer to this one. She said she couldn`t really trust any church because she always read in the news about how a bishop and violated a follower or that a church leader was using drugs, etc. She wondered why the best fell. She said everyone just told her that Satan was in it, and that she should be fine with that answer, but she wanted more.

The spirit really had been strong that whole lesson, but when she posed that question, I simply did not know how to respond. So, instead of saying anything, I waited for Elder Panduro. He began by saying, `Hermana, you know how Jesus Christ had His 12 apostles, but one of them betrayed Him...` At that point, I think all of us felt the spirit strong. She interrupted him, with a new light in her eyes, and said, `OH...` like he had answered her question in a very direct manner.

Later, my companion told me he had no idea how to answer the question, but the words just seemed to come out. I know that the Holy Ghost answered her question through my companion. It was an incredible experience that really taught me that we are just instruments in God`s hands. He will be the one teaching them, not us. I am so grateful to be in this position. Although Monica is VERY busy, and we may not get to really follow up with her, I felt the spirit whisper to me that she will be baptised. She is going to be converted through reading the Book of Mormon. I know that book can have a powerful effect in the lives of all people. I will continue to share and bear testimony in every opportunity I have.

Another really cool thing happened Friday! My pensionista made me a cake!! It was HUGE! I was very suprised. :) They took pictures with their camera, but I haven`t had a chance to copy them yet. :) Anyway, it was such an amazing thing because with four little girls I know that they don`t have a lot of money, and they really don`t know me that well yet! Haha, it was funny cause they wrote my name SCOTTFIELD. But hey, close enough, right? It was super delicious and made for a very memorable year in the mission.

Today we got to clean the apartment again, yay!! I finally feel like I can breathe a little more, but it`s still super dirty...I don`t think a single missionary has cleaned it in a year. Reminds me of the warning sister Baird gave me before the mission to make sure my room is clean. She was right, missionaries aren`t always representatives of Christ in their cleanliness!! Anyway, I`m trying to follow her council.

I love you all! Have a great week! Write me soon!!!

Elder Schofield

Monday, October 1, 2012

A bit of info on Tumbes, Peru'

So, I (Cory) did a bit of research on Tumbes so we could learn a bit about where Dallon is at. Tumbes is right on the very northern tip of the Peru' coast and is very near the boarder of Equador. It is a bit inland from the coast.  Tumbes is a city in northwestern Peru, on the banks of the Tumbes River. It is the capital of the Tumbes Region, as well as of Tumbes Province and Tumbes District. Located near the border with Ecuador, Tumbes has 94,702 inhabitants.

Here's a map showing where Tumbes is:
View Larger Map

Here's a closer look at the city with the area Dallon is living in pinned.

View Larger Map

Here are some pictures of Tumbes I found on the internet:


Pampa Grande, Tumbes!!! - Email from Oct 1, 2012

Well, it`s official! I have left Piura! The department seemed to just drift behind me in the 6 hour bus ride from the station in Piura Central. It was a LONG ride. Rambo 1-4 played on the bus...kind of an annoying temptation to avoid, and since I can`t sleep and get carsick in the tiny buses...well, you can imagine how much I love riding in these big greyhound buses! However, there was an AMAZING sunset to see, and we had a great view of the beach for quite a while. Elder Sims from Iowa is one of my new ZL`s, and he and I talked quite a bit on the way. Oh! Also, Elder Littell came with me to tumbes! However, he`s in a different zone that they just barely opened this change! Exciting things are happening here in the greatest mission in the world!!!

So my new companion is Elder Panduro. I`d love to show you a photo but unfortunately the battery has died. Next week! When I got to Pampa Grande, he really didn`t talk much. I found out later that the reason is probably because he got a Dear John letter last week! Thank goodness I don`t have that to worry about. Now he`s opened up and I think we`re going to be great friends. He`s more obedient than other companions I`ve had, we even went running today! I am DEFINITELY out of shape. It felt super weird to run, and I know it`s because I haven`t done it in almost a year. Ugh...I`m OLD. Mission wise. World wise. What are you gonna do?

The area that I`m in, Pampa Grande, is pretty. If you Google it, we live on Calle Loreto, near the park Pampa Grande. The park is more of a plaza de armas in from of the Catholic church, but they call it a park. We have pavement!!! Big change from the sand of Sechura. The people are more reserved here, more protective, but that`s ok. :) They are all still getting used to seeing a very tall gringo walking down the street. My companion as well! They point, stare, make comments, and attempt to speak english...well, I think they`re trying to speak english! Many times I wonder what language it is...but my companion seems to think it`s english as well!

The people here seem to work a lot in sales. Another interesting thing is the contraband gasoline on every corner. they have bottles of coke filled with gas that has been stolen that they sell to the moto taxis. Police even buy it from them. Doesn`t seem to worry them where it came from. The area we`re in includes the university of Tumbes, which seems fairly large! Also, I`m in a ward!! Big change from a branch. On Sunday, I was able to attend a Sunday School class that felt just like Utah. They were talking about some deep stuff, and I learned a ton! Definitely different from Sechura and Negritos, where I sometimes had to correct the doctrines that they were teaching. Here, it`s different.

Mom...if you could have seen the room I walked into, you might have died. It was FULL of trash. I guess Elder Panduro was with someone else when his companion was packing and leaving, so he left all of the trash there. Today I got it all taken out, and the room is CLEAN! You may not believe it, but some of Sam and you must have rubbed off on me. Negritos, Sechura, and now Pampa Grande have all had to be cleaned, organized, and kept that way. I`ve found that I just can`t study or even be in a room with trash on the floor. I`m learning to handle my companion spitting and blowing his snot all over the floor and walls. It`s something that a lot of Peruvians do, that are from the jungle, so it`s hard for him to change. But the room is definitely cleaner than before!

As for investigators...we had a baptism this week!!! Hermana Karina was baptised on Saturday and confirmed Sunday. It was a great welcome for me! We have one other progressing investigator, Jorge Silva, that I have just immediately come to love. He reminds me of Grandpa Shaw a lot in his mannerisms. He used to be a huge mechanic in Peru, he tells us that he won a competition and was one in 2 of the best mechanics in Peru. As a mechanic, he had his women, beer, and two packs of cigarrettes a day. He said he drank a beer all day long! Right now, he has dropped the women, beer, and is down to 2 or 3 single cigarrettes a day! It truly is a miracle to see how much he`s changed.

I`ve been working to try to help him set a date to stop smoking. He has a baptismal date for the 14th of this month, but he hasn`t stopped smoking so that will not be possible. This is the first time I`ve taught someone that has had an addiction, so I`m looking to all sources for how to help him. An Ensign article from a couple years ago that talked about Pornography helped a little, but if anyone has ideas of how to do it, advice is welcome! For now, I`ve talked to him about the times he has the urge to smoke. He said around 630 to 9 is when it`s the worst. We set up a goal that he`s going to go out walking until 8, when it`s cold (it`s NOT cold here...but they think that 74 F is cold...), then he`s going to come home and immediately pick up the Book of Mormon, say a prayer, and lose himself in the stories. I have a lot of faith in the power of that book, because I know that I have left a lot of my bad habits behind using this same strategy. The key is that he has faith in God and the power of the Atonement. Hoping that that will help!

Another really neat thing about Hermano Jorge, is how humble he is. He told us that he`s been praying to God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost to help him. Well, we only pray to God. Most people don`t accept that we teach them changes to their prayers, but this last week, I had to tell him. I was able to explain the role of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in our lives, and he almost had tears in his eyes as he said thank you for explaining to him. I know his prayers will have more power to help him now.

Well, I have to go. Love you all so much! Hope to hear from you all soon!

Elder Schofield

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beru' Baptism, Elder Waddell, Changes! - Email from Sep 24

Wow...this week has simply been INSANE for me! I think it may be one of the best, if not THE best week in my mission! I just have so much to tell you all, and so little time in which to write it!

First things first...the baptism of the Berrù family! We ended up having it on Thursday in the afternoon. We went to Los Rosales, which has some small swimming pools where we were able to perform the ordenances. It truly was a beautiful site, with trees surrounding the area, and the pool sitting there surrounded by grass. We ended up having about 20 people in attendance, more than any other baptism that I`ve had! Hermano Orland Fasabi, the Mission Lider, was directing the whole thing, and President Bazalar was also there with his family.

It ended up being three baptisms, with Yanis Muro, Felix, and I baptising Nygeli, Ana, and Nelly. It really was an incredible experience!

Nygeli was baptised first. Her mother and whole family have been less actives for quite a while, but Yanis and his family have really helped them to come back to the church. Yanis is leaving for his mission tomorrow, so it was really special to be able to see him baptise just before leaving! He`s a super good friend of mine now, and I hope to be able to write him during the mission and after!

After Nygeli, I was able to baptise Nelly. She was a little nervous, but when we got in the water, everything was just calm. I felt the spirit so strong as I took her wrist, and began saying the words. Nelly Alicia Berrù Guerrero...honestly the words just came out, I didn`t have to think about it much because the spirit just seemed to guide everything. Before I knew it, I was putting her under the water, and then she came out! Choking, because she forgot to top her nose, but smiling nevertheless! It really was an incredible moment for me. After, before we went to change, she turned to me and said that it was everything she had hoped for, exactly like she pictured it! I`ll never forget the look on her face in that moment.

After Nelly, I got to see one of the most beautiful sights reminded me of when Mom and I went to do baptisms for the dead in the temple because Felix was going to baptise his mother. However, it was just so much more special. Felix was super nervous, and we practiced a lot. He ended up having to dunk her under 3 times! The first time, her hair didn`t go completely, the second time he forgot the word `and` but the third time, it went well! Even though all of that happened, it was an incredible moment. I`m so happy for them and I hope to one day get fotos of the temple!!!

After that amazing experience, you`d think nothing could top or equal it, right? However, the spirit can be strong in a variety of occasions! On Friday, we had a multi zone reunion with Elder Waddell of the 70. It was an INCREDIBLE meeting. I could feel the spirit testifying that this man was called of God as he spoke.

The really cool thing he shared with us is how the mission presidents are called. I guess their names enter into the temple with the 12 apostles, and then they are chosen among a few. Then an apostle, in just any old day, calls them up! They then have their first interview. After that, their names go back to the temple, and they are considered again. This time, they get another call and another interview, with the 1st presidency! President Rowley was interviewed by President Eyering. Finally, they get the letter in the mail.

The way Elder Waddell explained it really showed me that the mission presidents are SO important! He then talked about how missionaries aren`t assigned to missions, but they`re assigned to mission presidents. I know that to be true. President Chipman was perfect for me to start the mission, and now President Rowley is perfect for the second half. God has His hand in all of this.

Among other things, Elder Waddell talked about how we really need to be obedient. I can say that I have really tried to be 100 percent obedient...however, there are some things that I lack. I know that it is so important! For instance, Naaman was told to go wash in the Jordan river 7 times. What would have happened if he only went 6 times? He would still be a leper. Elder Waddell just explained everything so clearly...he truly is a man of God.

The really cool thing is that when we got in line for lunch, he came up and began talking to me. We talked a bit about San Diego, because that`s where he lives and hopes to retire, in Del Mar even! Also, about basketball and Utah and all of that. For some reason, I felt prompted to ask him if he ever thought he would be called to be a 70. He responded in a way that really made me think...he said that no one ever thinks they`re going to get that call. He just went home from the mission with desires to serve God, and then the calls just kept truly is incredible to me. Regular men are called to be God`s representatives to help us come unto our Heavenly Father, and God has put that confidence in me.

After the amazing conference, we left for the Clinica Belen! Ugh...after what I had to do there, I never want to go back. This time it was for my companion because he has some growth on his eye. After seeing the doctor, we found out we had to stay the night and that he would be in Surgery on Saturday! The surgery went well, although he said he could feel everything as they cut, cleaned, and stitched up his eyelid. I can`t even imagine the pain! After, he was so drugged up that we didn`t end up going out to work on Saturday. That`s ok because I also seem to have caught a head cold, and wasn`t really in the best condition either. Oh well...that`s the way the mission is!

Ok, the last big news! I am leaving Sechura! We got the call this morning, and I am leaving but Elder Castillo is staying. I really am going to miss him. He has been the most supportive and loving companion that I have had. I`m so grateful for what he has taught me, and how he has truly shown me how to love the people. I definitely in going to stay in contact with him! I`m hoping that he`ll stay true to his word and come up to BYU! He`s 26, so maybe they won`t work the deal with him...but we`ll see. If not, I`m coming down to Lima to visit him!

Anyways, I`ll let you know next week what part of the world I`m in! Not looking forward to packing...I`ve got so much stuff! A large part of me wants to leave half of it behind. Remember the medium sized bag that I brought mom? The one that I wouldn`t open until the field? Ya...haha, I`ve only taken out one white shirt to give to someone! SO MUCH STUFF. I feel bad when I see other elders with so little...especially cause I know I don`t use what I have, but they don`t accept a lot. I`ll find some way to get rid of it all. ;)

Anyway, love you all! Keep me updated on everything! Photos would be cool too!!

Elder Schofield




Monday, September 17, 2012

Sechura with 6 missionaries!!! - Email from 17 Sep 2012

That`s right everyone! My mission president is now looking into sending two more elders here!! I`m really super excited about it. This week the Zone Leaders came and we looked at maps. The area that I am in may just get split in half and two more missionaries will come in to where I`ve been working for almost 4 and a half months! Super excited about that, because I know there are many people we just can`t visit because we don`t have enough time. Hopefully we do have two more missionaries this next change.

This week passed by, and it was fairly normal. Nothing really exciting happened, other than the splits! We did have a great activity put on by the Primary. I`m pretty sure that after a meeting we had with a high councellor, President Bazalar got chewed out a bit for things that haven`t happened. Although I didn`t want it to necessarily happen that way, I am very excited about the changes I am seeing. President is truly an amazing leader, he just doesn`t know how to do some of the things that need to be done. This week, things took a great turn for the better. We had almost 90 people in the church! The sacrament was done by priests instead of us elders, and only one class was taught by the other elders, instead of the usual three classes we teach. I have high hopes for Sechura, and now that the stake is really helping out, things are going to be a ton better. :)

As for how I am doing, things couldn`t be better. :) My health is great, and I am just really looking forward to the baptism this week of Ana and Nelly Berrù! I`ll have to make sure to send you pictures of that. I have been working with them for a long time, and I`m excited to see those fruits.

Oh! Another super exciting thing is happening this week! Elder Waddell from the seventy is coming! We`re going to listen to him on Friday in Piura. I am super excited about that; he gave one of my all time favorite talks this last fall in General Conference about missionary work. If you don`t remember it, read it again! Then you can feel jealous because I get to see him live. ;) haha, jk...jealousy no, just happy for the opportunity that I will have.

Well...sorry this email is so short, I just really don`t have much to say! We`re working hard. I love you all, and hope that all is well with you! Please keep the letters up! I don`t know why they are taking so long recently, but I promise that I am replying to every one I receive!!!

Elder Schofield

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Miracles in Sechura - email from 10 Sept 2012

This week truly has been incredible for me! I have seen the hand of the Lord in this work, and am just super excited and grateful to be here. I know that He is truly preparing people to receive the gospel, and that as we make even just the tiniest efforts, He will magnify our efforts and the people we love will be able to accept and live the gospel.

This week, I was able to see how God truly does answer prayers, and that people can change. You all know that I have been teaching Ana and Nelly Berrù for quite some time now. Well, this week, I was able to see a very big change in Hermana Nelly! She has always been the more hesitant one. She never really believed in the Book of Mormon, and she always had a few doubts about going to church. Well, all that has changed!

This past week we invited her to do something very simple. First of all, we invited her to pray with her 13 year old daughter who has been pretty rebellious. We told her that instead of telling her that they were going to pray, she could ask her daughter to HELP her pray. A much humbler approach to the task of praying as a family. When we invited her to do that, I could feel the spirit super strong. The other thing that we`ve always told her and every other investigator is simple: read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

This week she actually did it! We walked in to see her, and her face was just glowing! Before we even began the lesson, she couldn`t help it, she just said, I`m going to be baptized! I could see just pure joy in her face. When the lesson began, she shared with us how she had prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Then, as was her custom, she decided to open the Bible to find her answer. God stepped in and led her to a passage that said something to the effect that the book was true. She said she could feel in that moment that the spirit was truly testifying to her that what she was doing was right. The Book of Mormon is true and she should be baptised! She also was able to pray with her daughter, Jimena, and is just seeing a ton of changes and blessings in her life because of her obedience to the commandments.

Now, she is very very excited for her baptism. She didn`t want to attend church before and felt a bit uncomfortable, but this Sunday she came with a completely different attitude, and stayed all three hours, just really ready to learn and be a part of the church of Jesus Christ! It was incredible to see the change in her.

We were planning on having her baptism, along with Hermana Ana, on the 21st of this month. However...another awesome suprise...Elder Waddell from the 70 is coming to speak to us elders! So, we have rescheduled for the 20th, a Thursday. The really amazing thing is that Felix, Ana`s son, will be baptising them both! I am so excited to see all of them dressed in white, entering into the waters of baptism. Michael, Ana`s husband, has also said that he thinks he`s going to be baptised before the end of the year! Before, he didn`t want hardly anything to do with us! He still doesn`t participate in family prayers, but his heart is definitely being softened and molded by God and the example of his family.

I know that this church is true. I know that the Holy Ghost is a very real influence in every single one of our lives. If we only just let Him in, we can truly be born again. Many think that baptism by water is when that happens, but I know, and testify, that the Holy Ghost really is a fire that we can experience even after making that sacred covenant with our Heavenly Father. He is a very real personage of the spirit, that influences all of the people around us, preparing them to receive these sacred ordenances.

After that amazing experience, I was also very grateful for this Sunday. It was my first reverent sacrament meeting since I have gotten to Sechura! It was just an incredible feeling. As I looked around, basking in the warmth of the spirit, I almost began to cry as I realized how much this little branch of Sechura has progressed in the short time I`ve been here. We still are missing many less actives. There are many that should be there that aren`t. However, it was still a very great experience.

A high councilment came to our branch this Sunday! The first one ever! After Sacrament Meeting, we discussed some of the things in Sechura that need a little help. I think he was suprised about some of the things that haven`t been happening, and I am excited to see the changes that are going to take place. We all have need for improvement, and the stake is really going to help train this branch up so we can become a ward, and even a stake! I honestly believe that in ten or fifteen years- even less- Sechura and la Union will become their very own stake, very seperate from Piura. We just need some more great missionaries and leaders!

I did send some pictures (finally) in this email! My companion there is Elder Castillo, by far the best companion that I have had so far. He`s teaching me so`s truly incredible! Also, there`s a picture of me with a boat. Those boats are outside of tons of houses here! Some of them are smaller, and some bigger, but I really liked this one. :) I hope you like the Catholic Cathederal too! It is really pretty, I just wish they didn`t have so many would be a lot prettier without them, I think.

Oh! I also had to take a picture of Mickey!! You may get to go to Disneyland without me family :( But I still have Mickey Mouse running around with me here in Peru!! Haha, I thought you`d enjoy that. :) It`s an elementary school door.

Well, I hope you all know that I love you! I am so incredibly grateful for every piece of information you send me! Oh!! Reminds me...whatever happened to our friends Obama and Romney? Are they still in it...or others are going? I remembered today that elections come up soon! Crazy...

Love you all! Hope to hear from you all soon! If my letters take forever, it`s not my fault! I got two letters from Chelsey and Tosha clear back from April two weeks basically the postal system isn`t the greatest on my receiving end! Paciencia, no mas!

Elder Schofield

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crazy Week of Work - Email from 3 September 2012

This week seemed to just fly by! I really loved it, because after four days in the office really just waiting for the test results...I was ready to get back to work! We got back Monday night, and then Tuesday just hit the pavement (well...more like a lot of sand..) hard. Elder Castillo and I are really doing great! I absolutely love having him as a companion! We both can really feel the spirit in our lessons, and I love that he is so motivated to work and help our investigators. Because of that, we are seeing a lot of success in finding new people to teach, and being able to help those that we already have to make REAL progress! I am loving it.

This week with the Berrú family we did see some progress! They´ve been super busy and so have we with things, so we were only able to visit Nelly, but I am really happy to see the changes that are taking place in their family. Nelly told us about an experience that she had reading the Book of Mormon, and she KNOWS it´s true! I was so happy to be able to see the light in her eyes when she realized that she had received an answer from God. She told us that she was really angry one afternoon with her teenage daughter (bet you know how that is mom!). In that moment, she decided to go to the Book of Mormon. She said that she read like usual, but when she stood up after having read, the anger was gone! She just had a feeling a peace left in her, her heart had truly changed! I showed her the scripture in Mosiah 5 that talks about how the Holy Ghost changes our hearts, and in that moment, she realized what she had experienced.

As for the baptism, we aren´t 100 percent sure of what is going to happen yet, but I have a lot of faith that Ana, Nelly, and Jimena are going to be baptized soon! Ana is ready. We haven´t had a chance to talk to her about this Saturday, but we´re hoping. Nelly is nervous still, and she hasn´t attended church enough...but we´re going to see! Jimena is Nelly´s daughter, and she recently just opened up to us. She´s 13 and is really against the idea of talking to us just because she´s rebellious with her mom. However, this Sunday she came to our English class and I was able to get her to open up! It´s really kind of like talking to Chelsey when she was 14...Hannah Montanah, iCarly, Zack and Cody, Bruno Mars...ugh...thank you girls for brainwashing me enough to be able to relate with 13 year old girls. :P Haha, but really...I pray every night to see this family in the temple. I am amazed at how God has already changed them so much. The changes just keep coming!

Well, I better go...sorry I can´t write too much! Just not enough time. I love you all! Please keep me updated on everything!!!

Elder Schofield

Well...An Interesting Week - email from 27 August 2012

NOTE FROM DAD: If you haven't heard - we kind of kept it quiet, Robin got a phone call from Dallon's mission president informing us that Dallon was ill and we going to go to the clinic for a colonoscopy in the morning. Of course, I was travelling in Europe (Samantha's appendicitis attack was while I was in London.) Everything turned out good but we were a bit worried for a few hours until we heard the results.
So...most of you know because of the phonecall President Rowley made yesterday, but I have been in the clinic here for a little test! I guess the food here or something just hasn`t agreed with my body. I`ve been living with it for about 10 months now, and now that it has worsened a little bit more, I decided that I should have someone look into it. Well...they sure LOOKED into it! Today I had my first colonoscopy!
It really started on Thursday when I was just knocked out, having to go to the bathroom about every half hour. Pretty sure that my system was completely cleaned! Also, when I saw a little more than the usual...I decided to call Hermana Rowley and tell her that I think it`s time I saw a doctor. So, here I am, in the mission office because I have been going in for tests since then! Today they did the colonoscopy and endoscopy. Super weird because I was awake the entire time! However, everything went good and as of right now, they haven`t detected any problems. I`ll find out the whole story at about 5 oclock though.

Enough about all`s pretty much over and I`m more worried about having to miss another day away from Sechura! I miss it...on Thursday we were able to visit one investigator, Claudia. She is having a lot of doubts with some of our commandments, especially in relation with the `For the Strength of Youth` Well...she`s 14 and has a boyfriend! Of course she`s a little worried about that. We explained a lot, and talked about the law of chastity. She`s completely fine with all of that, but not with all of the rules that help us avoid falling. I`m really hoping and praying for her. She won`t accept a baptismal date yet. We just have to keep working with her!

As for our other investigators, they seem to be going great! We have Ana and Nelly Berrù that I really feel like they`re prepared for their baptism on the 8th of September! We had a good FHE with them again and we even were able to visit with Jimena, the daughter of Nelly. She`s 13 and kinda shy, but I`m hoping to be able to get some of the YW to befriend her as well. We`ll see how that goes. We were also able to talk to Nelly about the Book of Mormon a little more. She`s a little scared to ask in prayer still. However, after our conversation I`m pretty sure that she`ll ask. We haven`t been able to visit them since, but that`s ok.

Here in the office, I have been able to go out proceliting a little bit as well! Elder Bricca, who`s also from my MTC group, and I went and knocked some doors. Of course, being in Piura Central, the people are a lot richer! It was definitely a different experience. We got to ring their doorbells! That`s right, DOORBELLS! Haven`t seen many of thoughs in a while. They had the little speaker phone things...not a huge fan. Harder to get a message in. However, we did enter one house with an older lady. She seemed pretty nice and could progress.

Being in the office is a different experience. I think I could handle it here, whereas before I was always VERY against the idea. They do have to be inside a lot, but they are now going out to procelite every afternoon. They also have the amazing luxury of HOT WATER and AIR CONDITIONING! Two miracles in my life. Saturday was the first time since the CCM in Lima that I was able to shower with hot water...I didn`t know you could feel that clean! However, even with all of that...the field is just so much better. Being able to focus on people and helping`s just better. If it`s my turn to be in the office in the future, I`ll do it. But I hope President keeps me in the field working.
I also had the chance to assist a WARD meeting! Crazy...the Elders didn`t have to do anything! They could focus on their investigators! Also, it really reminded me of home. The church really can be strong here in Peru. I was glad for the opportunity to see that.

Well, I`ve got to get going...I can almost eat! 20 more minutes! I may splurge and buy myself a pizza...I think after the tests I deserve it. ;)

Love you all! Have a great week! Thank you for your prayers. I know that God`s hand is in all of this, and I`m really truly not worried at all. Just hoping to get back to work ASAP.

Elder Schofield

Monday, August 20, 2012

Changes! - email from 20 August 2012

Well hello family and friends!! Can you believe that it`s already towards the end of August? Winter is just flying by! Haha, that`s`s summer up there in the northern hemisphere. Here I am enjoying cool weather for the first time in a year and you all are suffering from 100 degree weather! Corinne and Spencer must be dying from the heat of Texas!
On a different note, this week has simply FLOWN. I don`t even know where to begin! So last monday was pretty crazy...I had to travel practically all day for Elder Naranjo! Turns out...he`s training a new missionary!!! I`m super excited for him and I know that he is going to do a great job training in the humidity of Tumbes! Everyone says Tumbes is a punishment, but I also know that they are having a lot of success there! Heat, humidity, and bugs...but the gospel must go to all four corners, right?
My new companion, Elder Castillo that`s in this picture I sent, is AMAZING! He truly is an answer to prayers. I prayed for a companion that was obedient and that really wanted to be here in the mission. Boy, have a received the greatest companion in the world or what! I kind of feel like the two really super dorky elders from `Saturday`s Warrior` because both of us are just excited to go out and teach the people of Sechura. It`s amazing what the difference a positive attitude can make. Elder Castillo talks like the people are already committed to being baptized and have accepted our message. I think it`s a little word called FAITH. However, works miracles!
So a little more about Elder Castillo...he is from Lima! However, he actually knew about the church for the first time in Huanaco, that`s where Elder Ramirez, an anterior companion, is from! While he was studying there, one of his friends (yep, one of his GIRL friends) invited him to learn more about the church. He went to one of the dances, saw her dancing and...well...he changed! Haha. Flirt to convert, right? However, it really wasn`t like that. He has changed a ton. He`s told me just a little of what he went through to become a member of the church, and it truly inspires me.
He is the only member of five children. He got baptized without their approval, because they are all super catholics! He didn`t even tell them that he was in the mission until about 3 months in! He truly is an incredible example to me of what sacrifice is and how the gospel can change people. He left everything behind to be here, and is putting his whole heart and soul into the work! Ugh, I could literally write pages and pages of the story of his conversion and the conversion of all of the people I`ve met! Isn`t it simply incredible how the gospel can change each individual to become someone COMPLETELY different? One day I`m going to create a blog of the conversions of everyone...the world will listen and be able to share in the joy of the gospel through the experiences of their brothers and sisters.
So as for our pensionista...we`re actually eating in our own apartment! The owner said she was willing, and so we`re there. She is a JW, so we`re trying to slip in a little teaching at every meal time. She`s really a great lady, and I know that little by little, she`s going to see how the gospel truly changes lives. I have no doubt that the gospel will change each and every person that we meet.
So this week we were also able to have an incredible lesson with Ana and Nelly Berrù! We went with Prdte Bazalar and his wife. After teaching a tiny bit about the Word of Wisdom, which they were already living, we began talking about the way the gospel can bless and change lives. The spirit was super strong! Towards the end of that, Ana`s husband walked in, Michael! Although he really isn`t too willing to make a lot of changes yet, I can see that his heart has already changed a TON! We ended up spending FOUR HOURS in that house! Every time we were about to leave, something else came up. Although I normally would NEVER say that was a good thing, I do feel like we made a lot of progress with the family and with Michael. Had we not waited to leave, we wouldn`t have been able to talk to him.
Sunday was a very emotional day for me for many reasons. First of all I did NOT participate in the Sacrament! Yay! For the first time, all four of the holders of the priesthood were members of the ward. I know that is going to be the same from here on. Also, Felix gave a talk! He was super nervous, but did great! Another speaker was Sheyla, the girl in the photo I sent. She has been less active for more than two years with her family, but we`ve got them back and they are now trying to gain their own personal testimonies! Sheyla, Martina, David, and Leidy are all in that photo. Leidy is 10 years old, and is Martina`s neighbor that we teach along with the whole family. We`re working on trying to get into her house, but it always begins with one person.
One more thing that I had to write to you about is Claudia! She came to church on Sunday too! Although she really didn`t agree with all of our rules on dating, I know that she felt the spirit while she was there. It`s a whole new world in the church. That`s why we are `born again` during baptism. We have to learn everything like little kids! We also had an awesome lesson with her where my companion was able to share his conversion with her. He was COMPLETELY Catholic, but now has changed 100 percent! He shared how he came to know the truth, and I know that helped her as well. I hope and pray that she will continue to progress and that we can get the rest of her family to listen to us as well.
Well, it`s time to much to do! I love you all so`s crazy to think I`ve been gone so long. Please keep up the letters and emails! They really do mean a ton. I`ll try to be better about sending them back too....
Elder Schofield

Back Row - Dallon, Elder Castillo, Sheyla, Martina
Front Row: Leidy, David