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

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