Time is gone! I realized the other day that I just passed the 7 month mark...really??? That´s really hard for me to believe...I still feel like I´m one of the new missionaries just trying to get through it and help people in the little ways that I can. Time just really flies here on the mission. Before I think too much about it, I´ll be coming home! That honestly scares me a little! So much to do! So little time! Ahh!!
But really, this week has been pretty good for me. I do feel more confident with a lot of things, and I´m learning a lot. This week Elder Ramirez had a training meeting in Piura because he´s our District Leader, so I got left here for a day with another missionary, Elder Martinez. He has one change less than I do, so I was the older one for once! It was really a great opportunity, I felt, to see what it would be like. I prayed really hard the night before so that God could help me know where to go and what to do, because obviously he doesn´t know this area at all! I ended up having a great day with him, and felt the spirit guiding me and helping me a lot. Although we didn´t have a ton of success in finding new people to teach, I felt that it was a success in that I learned more from him and what it´s like to be Senior Companion.
One amazing thing about Elder Martinez is what he´s gone through in his mission. I´ve only known him for this exchange, and when I´ve seen him I´ve thought he´s been a little down. Well, come to find out, his father died two months ago. While he was here in the mission. What makes it really hard for him is that him and his mom are super close and they´re the only members in their family. I guess it´s been super hard for him, as I´m sure you can imagine. However, he was still able to have a great spirit with him knocking doors and teaching lessons! It really is an amazing testimony to me of how Christ can strengthen us during the rough times of our lives. He´s going through a lot, but because of what Christ did, he´s strengthened each and every day, and can share his amazing testimony with all that want to hear. I know that Christ live and supports us through all of our difficulties, and this is just another example of that!
The rest of the week was pretty tough for us. We had one investigator that we thought was really promising last week, Mirian. She accepted a baptismal date and just seemed SO EXCITED to receive the gospel. I really was seeing a change in her in two lessons! However, a week ago she wasn´t at home when we went to take her to church. She had told us she was going to Piura so we didn´t stress. On Tuesday, we passed by and her sister said she had gone to Piura but would come back Wednesday morning. We passed Wednesday and no one answered...we ended up going to her house every single day, but we were met by her cousin and he lied and said she was still in Piura. Also, one of the times we passed, both of us saw the arm of a woman retracted rapidly as we were walking up to the door. When we got there, her brother claimed he was the only one there. An obvious lie.
It´s really tough to leave her, but if she doesn´t want to talk, that´s her decision to make. We think she may have heard something about the church that was false and is now having problems believing what we shared. Everyone has to go through a test of faith before they can receive the blessing. Maybe she´s just not ready to make the leap.
The rest of the week also seemed to pass with just a lot of opposition. It wasn´t the best, but my companion and I really seemed to grow closer together through it, I think. I´m so grateful to have him. I know that Satan is also going to work in the same way that we are. We have to work hard in order to fight him, and we will face some difficult times. Honestly, I know that I haven´t seen hardly anything yet. Satan has a lot more forces out that people just saying they´re not interested. A lot more than a mother saying that the tall gringo is going to steal her child (honestly made me laugh a little when I heard that. How ridiculous can you get??). I know there´s opposition, and the world is just going to get worse. I also know that this mission is one of the relatively ´easy´ missions. Derek and Dad had to have gone through a tougher time with opposition in Europe. However, it really was incredible to me and a great testimony builder this week that it doesn´t matter what opposition I face, I have the spirit with me and I can support it all and still be happy. THAT is the power of God in my life. That is the support that I hope to receive from here on!
I hope that all is well in Utah! Tell the primary thanks for their efforts to raise the pennies for a Book of Mormon! I will look for someone really special to give it to!
Have fun in all that you´re doing! Please keep up the letters and communication! They really are a great moral booster!!!
Love you all so much!!Elder Schofield