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

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