Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Four Changes in Negritos! - Email from 9 April

Well, we found out our changes today and I´m staying in Negritos with Elder Ramirez! It´s really hard to believe that I´m going to spend more than 5 months in my first area! Not going to lie, I have knocked every single door in this area now...many of them two or three times! That´s ok. :) Heavenly Father is always preparing people, and I know that He is the one that decides the changes, not President Chipman or the assistants, it´s God who is directing this work. I only hope and pray that I can continue working diligently in order to find and bring more people unto Christ. Sometimes it´s hard, not going to lie, looking up and down the streets and remembering knocking every single door and wondering, ´where should I go know? Which door should I knock again?´ However, I´m learning that I can knock the same doors over and over again, and usually you don´t run into the same people. :)

This week has been one of reflection for me, I think! I´ve been thinking a lot about the teachings of Christ this week and how I am personally applying them to my life. We haven´t had a lot of success finding people that are interested in our message. It´s been tough, a lot of people just simply aren´t interested. As a result, personal study has sometimes been just that: personal. Normally, we study for the investigators that are progressing so that we can help them. When you don´t have anyone progressing...well, you study to strengthen yourself. :)

Anyway, I was reading in Jesus the Christ about the parables of the kingdom of heaven. Mainly a couple that talk about someone leaving everything behind in order to reach the kingdom of heaven. I´ve been really pondering that a lot. Am I really willing to leave EVERYTHING behind for God´s work? As a missionary, do I still have some things that I´m trying to hold on to from home? It´s been tough to face the facts that yes, I still am not completely 100 percent devoted to the Lord´s work. I remember in the MTC I would always have to fight thoughts of worldly songs or people, or whatever. Here in the field, it is a lot harder. My neighbor just happens to be a fan of Styx and Queen. :) It´s not easy to not listen to that, or to not remember listening to it with Dad in the garage working on the cars. The streets are full of music and different things, and I haven´t been gaurding my thoughts as much as I should have.

The other thing that I´ve thought about is really submitting myself fully to God´s will, and not having my own priorities. Honestly, that is my biggest desire right now. Before my mission, I still had the worldly desires to have a great job and accomplish something for myself. Now...I don´t want that. I´m begginning to understand that yes, I am going to be judged for each and every action and decision I make here on earth. Christ was perfect because every action and every word He said was under the direction of our Heavenly Father. I want to do that. I want to be completely devoted to Him, and to forget everything else in this life. I´m beginning now, and I hope and trust that God is going to help me and direct me. I know that only by doing this will I have eternal happiness.

As far as investigators this week, I did have quite the interesting experience with Hermana Doraliza and her daughter. We were teaching a lesson, and I happened to ask a question, and her daughter Marla did not like the reply of Doraliza. She came out of our room and began calling her mother a liar, and ripped her up oneside and down the other. Doraliza began crying, and you could tell that Marla as well was really upset. Marla says that Doraliza has not been the perfect mother and Marla blamed everything on her. It was pretty pathetic, to tell you the truth.

However, I could tell that there was true feelings behind what Marla was saying. Maybe Doraliza has said some horrible things to Marla, maybe some things haven´t gone the greatest in their family. However, Marla blamed absolutely everything on her mom and wasn´t willing to face the fact that the reason she´s not happy is her own fault. We ended up going back the next day and just teaching Marla. We talked for a long time, and I think she understood that the responsibility to be happy rests on her shoulders. She needs to follow the gospel and keep the commandments, that is the ONLY WAY to be happy. It doesn´t matter what other people do to her, what they say, or even what they think. What matters is if she is completing her purpose here in life, if she is following Heavenly Father´s plan.

Another update is on Pedro Alama! I think I´ve told you quite a bit about him, he´s the lawyer that we´re hoping would get baptised soon. Anyway, we visited just his wife and son this week because we just haven´t had the opportunity to teach them, school has started so their very busy. We found out that He really does want to get baptized. He is reading the Book of Mormon and talking with his wife and son about joining the church. However, they both told him that he can join, but they will not. They say their whole extended family is Catholic, and won´t consider changing religions. Edy, his wife, made sure to tell us multiple times that she does have confidence in us, and likes that we come around and likes our lessons, but she just doesn´t want to change. She said maybe with time, but right now, no.

Well, it was kinda tough to hear that, but I´m really glad she came out with it. We said we understood, of course! A big change like this is hard, especially when your whole family is Catholic. All we can really do is try to keep encouraging them to progress, and to keep reading the Book of Mormon. Edy hasn´t read any of the Book of Mormon on her own. She said she doesn´t have time, or Pedro keeps taking it to his office. Well, I solved that by giving her her own copy. :) Now she really doesn´t have an excuse.

I hope this family can progress in the gospel. We´re going to keep working with them. I really hope that Pedro will have the strength necessary in order to be baptized without his family, and that they will follow after. I know that he knows it´s true. He´s received more than one witness. We just need to get him to commit. I think that´s going to be our goal this week.

Well, nothing else really big has happened this week...I keep chugging along here in the mission! I hope all is well with everyone in the states! Keep up the letters! I love receiving every single one of them!


Elder Schofield

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