Woohoo! What a week...So first of all...mom, I don´t have a new companion yet! Haha, sorry to confuse you...Elder Vance and I worked together for a day because Elder Turcois had to go to Lima for Immigrations. The next day we went back to Negritos, and life is normalish again. :) However...next week are changes. :( I´m going to be sad to see Elder Turcios go. He´s been a great ´dad.´
So last week we had our training in Piura, kinda to end the 12 week program we have. It was AMAZING. I felt the spirit so strong the entire time. President Chipman taught us a lot of the time, and I could feel his love for the missionary work so strong. I learned so much from that, it was incredible. One of the things he did was we went through the rule book and just read some certain frases. Basically all of them had to do with staying with your companion at all times. Then he asked what the doctrine was that was behind staying with your companion at all times. Of course, there were a TON of answers, but we finally got it right. ;) Families are eternal. Hmmm...kinda crazy! Staying with a companion all the time shows us how families can be together forever. He talked about how he and his wife still use some of the rules, even when they weren´t in this position. One of them is not riding in the car alone with someone of the opposite sex. Simple rule, yet it protects from a lot of people talking behind their backs. The other thing he pointed out is how as missionaries, the rules really aren´t that different that real life, we´re just living the ´higher law.´ Then he asked what the higher law was. Of course it´s love...and when you realize that, you realize that these aren´t rules at all. We´re not here on earth to follow rules or to just do what Heavenly Father says. We´re here to learn how to love Him. Learn how to spread the love of Christ to all that we come in contact with. That´s what I´m doing as a missionary!
It was really an incredible time to focus on our purpose as missionaries. The other thing we really focused on were the first 5 minutes with a new investigator. Of course those are key, because it establishes expectations. Not only for a new investigator, but for our old investigators! I learned a lot about being straightforward in stating the purpose of why we´re there. In chapter 10 of PMG it has some frases that we´re supposed to say when we meet someone. They really are BOLD! However, it works! When we actually use those bulleted items, the people listen. They want to know more, and they understand that we´re not like the jdubs or the other missionaries here. We´re sent from a prophet of God, and we have the true church of Jesus Christ. It´s really awesome. :)
Another thing we learned about were inspired questions. It´s amazing how as a missionary, you can just feel what kind of a question to ask someone. When you actually ask it, wonders happen. President Chipman told us of when his wife met this man, and she had a prompting to ask him why he had a light in his eyes. The room went silent when she said that, and after about 5 minutes of silence, with the man crying and the spirit touching all, he consented to be baptized. She didn´t know the situation, still doesn´t really, but the Spirit does. The spirit works through us, and it´s simply incredible.
After one day of the training, I got to go out with Elder Petersen! Don´t know if I´ve mentioned him, but he was in my district in the CCM. He´s really great! We went out and really worked hard. It was kinda cool to see how much we had progressed and changed too. He was always one of the best in Spanish, so I was pretty confident with us two just going out, as far as understanding people at least! However...turns out he´s changed. He hasn´t grown as much as I have, and it makes me wonder why. Mainly, he doesn´t have confidence in speaking. He seems to still be testing the waters instead of really diving in. My companion made me dive! It was a good experience to see that I have grown, and that I can grow even more! We tried to apply a lot of the things we had learned it training, and had some success! In five hours, we taught 5 lessons, got 9 new investigators, and taught about 9 short lessons!! It was incredible. We worked hard!
He also made me think a lot about my attitude. The elders in his room aren´t necessarily the most obedient. I went to bed at 1040, which is still 10 minutes later than we should, but they were up until at least 1130 or 12, my companion said. It was tough cause we didn´t eat until 945, but still. Also, they didn´t wake up until about 645, another 15 minutes past when we´re supposed to. So maybe I sound like I´m really uptight about that, but those are two rules I really don´t want to break! I think I´ve seen the effects though, of not having complete obedience. They weren´t as focused, and Elder Petersen isn´t feeling as motivated as I feel. He commented multiple times about how there are 21 months left and his mission seems to be going so SLOW. Not so with me!! I never want to go back...and time is flying by too fast.
After that trip, we came back, and tried to work hard. Unfortunately, our numbers aren´t the best this week, in fact they´re horrible. This week is all on me though...Elder Turcios told me that I have the reigns! We´ll see what happens.
So the picture of pizza is what we made on Saturday! We had a branch activity making pizza and cleaning the church. It was way fun.
The other pictures are of the beach and cave we went to today. It was REALLY beautiful, and a lot of fun!
Mom, I did get your Vday package!! Thank you so much! I´ve already eaten quite a few of the nuts and the candies. :) Good package! Also, the USB is AMAZING! Forgot they made them that big...16 GB should be enough for all of my pictures from my whole mission!! I´m already using it. :)
Oh, mom that´s awesome that you and dad are looking to maybe come down towards the end of my mission!! That would be an incredible experience. I know it would also be very expensive...so don´t stress a ton about it! Elder Foutz´s parents come next weekend to get him! He said if you do it while you´re still a missionary, not released, you can work it out with the mission office in planning your flight home and everything. We´d have to plan like way in advance for that too, but really, I don´t want to think about the end right now. :( Watching him leave makes the two years seem so much smaller...
Well, love you all!!! Sorry this email is kinda small...next week will be bigger! I´ll know if I´m leaving Negritos or not! Probably not...but we´ll see. :) God is the one that´s driving this work, not me or President Chipman.
Elder Dallon Schofield