Monday, January 30, 2012

Second letter from Jan 30, 2012

Hopefully these load quick...don´t have much time!

Anyway, the work is going great. Your son is a much darker color now with the sun, but I AM using sunblock, don´t worry mom. ;)

Oh! Btw...I hope you don´t feel that I´m demanding too much...but if you DO send some sort of package...can you include a few things? One is sunblock...because it´s about 50 soles here for the smallest one, which is about 25 SPF and not very much sunblock. 50 soles is half my money for the month too! Another thing I would like is a bigger CD case...the one I brought is already overflowing from the CD´s Jen gave me (which are amazing, ps!). Other than that...I did ask you for a USB if possible...but that could be a b-day present if you wanted to wait.

Really though, I have everything that I need. Just a few wants, but I am spoiled down here anyway. :)

I was really happy to hear that Chelsey´s surgery went so well! I´ve been praying a lot for her, that she´d be able to try out and have everything go fine. Knowing her, she´ll play through the pain even if she´s not ready. ;)

Oh! Shoutout to Jen...there´s an Elder Lindsey here who says that a Daniel Lindsey knows you somehow? Don´t know how...but kinda crazy!

Elder Foutz is starting to get kinda sad...haha, he only has 4 more weeks left in the mission! Actually, less!! You might even get to meet him...he´ll be going to BYU this summer I think. I told him he should talk to you, mom and dad. He´s been living with me for the first part of the mission, and is my DL. He´s really an inspiration to me...and I know you´d love him. He´s also a volleyball player! Kinda fun to play with him, cause he´s a setter, so I can actually hit the ball too. ;) Anyway...I can tell he wants to stay...but of course it´s 2 years and then you´re done. Not going to lie, I already feel at home here in the mission. I´m sure that I´ll have the same feelings of wanting to be a missionary all my life. It´s just so incredible!!

Now I´m just rambling...I need to go anyway! We´ve got a lesson with Gustavo in a few minutes, hopefully it goes well!! Love you all so much! Keep the letters coming!! I love receiving them, and I promise I´ll respond! It just may take a while to get there...


Elder Schofield

Woohoo! What a Week! Letter from Jan 30, 2012

Woah! What a week. This week has literally flown. I don´t even know what all happened! Time seems to be speeding up on my mission, kinda scary! Is it really already the end of week 8 in the mission field?? I´ve almost spent more time in the field than the MTC now! I feel like I just barely got off the plane from the states, yet no, I actually am in Negritos, and I even know a few people!

This week has been kinda weird with the weather too, it´s kinda rained every night. It´s more of a sprinkle, but with the flimsy roofs we have we can fake that it´s rain. ;) I´ve really loved it because it´s not nearly as hot as it usually is! Yeah Dad, it is kinda weird to be in the middle of summer right now...even weirder to think that my birthday is in winter!! However, it´s kinda cool. Other than the sunburn...I missed putting it on today when we went out. :/ sad when I´ve been putting it on every day the last week!

So last week, as you know, we went to the lighthouse. I included some pictures on there. The sunset was simply amazing...the panoramic picture I got is my favorite! I wish you could see what it´s really like here...the sun moves so fast!!! It´s also a lot smaller than I remember it being in Utah. Oh! Another kinda random cool thing! I finally found the Southern Cross! We were on our way to a multi zone conference at 430 am when I saw it! Ya...430...that was a LONG day. We had about 5 hours in a bus, there and back, but it was worth it!

The conference was focused on the Atonement, and we discussed some pretty amazing things. That talk I sent Dad last week is what we used to prepare to teach a 5 minute lesson on the Atonement to investigators, actually an entire family. Five minutes is not much time to teach the atonement to a whole family!! It was really tough, but I learned a LOT about the Saviour and His sacrifice for us through my study this last week. He truly was the only one that could do it, and His infinite sacrifice can be felt by all of us if we choose to accept and believe in Him.

As far as the work goes, things are progressing! Although it´s a little slow...we have a lot of good investigators. This week we tried to find a lot of new ones as well, and we had some good success! One of our investigators, Maritza Preciado, is really ready for the next step. She believes that everything is true. She knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the BOM is true. What she lacks is sufficient faith to attend church. I don´t know what´s holding her back. The past two weeks in a row she has promised us, but hasn´t come. We´ve tried going to pick her up, and we´ve tried having a ward member go. She doesn´t come. WE´ll have to see what happens this next week.

The other investigator we´ve been working with for a long time is Gustavo. I just don´t get why he doesn´t come to church with us. We´ve had some really spiritual experiences with him. This last week he really opened up with us and talked about what his fears are, and the stresses in his life right now. His wife is psychizophrenic (spelled that wrong) and has been in the hospital for a long time. He´s had some tough things to deal with in his life. We gave him a priesthood blessing, and I think it helped him a lot, but he still just won´t commit himself to coming.

With all the frustration...there is of course the light!! We´ve had some amazing lessons this week...and I wouldn´t trade them for anything. One of them was with Judy Tamai. She´s Jair´s aunt, and she started becoming interested on the night that Jair received his answer. We went over with the intention of watching the Restoration movie, because we know how powerful it is. When we tried to do it, the tv wasn´t working right. So while Hna Sulma was fixing it we started talking and somehow the conversation got to the law of chastity and how difficult it is to really keep this law today. There´s so much evil in this world, and just by leaving your house it´s sometimes hard to keep clean thoughts-especially when moto´s have pornography plastered all over them.

However, we have many promises given to us, and I shared them with her. She told me straight out that she doesn´t believe it´s possible anymore for a child to reach age 19 without breaking the law of chastity. I felt the spirit working inside of was an incredible feeling. I looked right back at her and said that it was possible. That God doesn´t give us commandments that we can´t keep. I then shared two scriptures that have helped me a lot. 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 1 Nefi 3:7. The first says that we will not be tempted above what we´re able, and the second that God will not give us commandments without providing a way to keep them. When I had her read those, I could tell she felt something...and she knew that we had this aid. I bore testimony that because the world is so evil today, God is blessing us more abundantly with His spirit. The gift of the Holy Ghost will protect us. There will never be a time when a temptation comes that God will not provide us the opportunity to say no. I know this to be true, and I´ve felt it many times.

After that mini lesson we watching the Restoration, and the spirit just got stronger and stronger. After it was over, Judy said she had felt the spirit, and wanted to be baptized. Unfortunately, she´s not married and she´s living with a man. It costs 300 soles to get married here, and Jershon, her husband, doesn´t have a job. Yet again, Heavenly Father blessed me with the opportunity to communicate what He wanted. I felt the spirit leading me to speak, and whispering to my heart. I looked her straight in the eyes and promised her that if she would do everything she could, read, pray, look for jobs, go to church, that God would provide a way. I told her that it was the spirit telling me this, it wasn´t a promise that she should take lightly.

I can´t tell you how incredible it is to be a missionary. To have moments like that where you know you are literally the Lord´s mouthpiece. I had another one this very Sunday!

So yesterday Jair was confirmed. Of course, I baptized him, so I was fully expecting Elder Turcious to confirm. Hmmm...not a good idea! Never assume, I´ve learned that now! When President Palacious asked him who he wanted to confirm him, Jair pointed right at me. Woah. I was not ready! I hadn´t reviewed the words that I needed to give a priesthood blessing, let alone confirm someone a member and give them the Holy Ghost. I felt my heart begin to race. Thankfully, Elder Turcious was going to stand next to me and help me to begin, but what next? How could I give the blessing?

Instead of thinking too much, I acted. When I began, I did need Elder Turcious´s help. He told me how to begin. After that...something miraculous happened. Yet again, the spirit began prodding me, telling me what to say. I´ve always wondered how Dad knew what to say during father´s blessings. How priesthood blessings even worked. I don´t wonder anymore. The spirit literally does tell us what to say. Although I didn´t do it eloquently or completely, I told Jair what Heavenly Father wanted him to know. I felt the spirit literally coursing through me. I couldn´t think about anything else except the words that needed to be said. It was a focus unlike any that I´ve ever felt in my entire life. It was an experience that will never be forgotten as well.

After the blessing, it was gone. The focus left, but the warmth and confirmation of the spirit remained. I saw the joy in Jair´s eyes, and I knew. Knew that yet again, I had been blessed to be an instrument in God´s hands...such an amazing thing!!!

After church, we went out with the members again to visit some of the less actives. It´s really great to see President Palacious getting excited to strenghten our area. He and I actually went out together. I talked to him about the ward, and how great things have started to improve. I can tell that he worries alot about the ward, and wants to help. Unfortunately, a lot of members don´t like him, and that´s why they don´t come. People don´t think he´s doing his job. I can see that he´s trying to improve, just like all of us. Elder Turcious and I are going to begin doing more acts of service for him...last Saturday we cleaned the chapel, something he usually does on his own after an 11 hour work day. Hopefully we can help him a little bit, and he´ll be able to help us a little bit.

Well, I´m going to send this one and try to start another...I´ve got more pics. ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pictures from Jan 23rd Email

MY FIRST BAPTISM! :) And a whole lot of other things...

Here's Dallon's letter from January 23, 2012.
Just a quick comment. I can tell he's really getting his Spanish up to speed because he's losing his English. Note some of the grammar and spelling errors! I remember doing the same when I was getting immersed in Italian but it was much later in my mission.


So this week I had my first baptism!!! It really was an amazing experience, and I can´t tell you the spirit of joy that I felt. Simply to incredible to describe. We got everything ready just after Sacrament meeting so the font would be filled after church was over. Then during Priesthood we left a little early, Jair and I, to get changed. It was kinda nerve racking! In the bathroom, when I saw myself all in white with the plaque, it was I´m really doing this. I´m really a missionary, and I was able to be the tool in the Lord´s hands for Jair to be baptised!

The baptism went really well! Kinda difficult to say Orlando Jairhizno Peña Silva, but I did. :) I did mess up the first time with the prayer, I said ´te bautizo´ instead of ´YO te bautizo.´ Same meaning, but I had to redo it of course! It was really incredible...I included a picture of us there. :)

After the baptism, Jair bore his testimony. It really is incredible to see the change in him. He talked about how when we first came he had absolutely no interest. VERY true. Elder Turcious and I both didn´t think anything would happen. However, with each visit he said he started to have more desire. He noticed something with us. He noticed the spirit. Then he started to pray more fervently and read the Book of Mormon. He bore testimony that he knows that this is the only true church! So incredible to see. It was awesome!!

That same day also happened to be Elder Turcious´s birthday! He turned 24.
It´s really the best birthday present to have a baptism, but he also got a cake from Hermana Victoria, our pensionista! I have a picture of that too.
It was really delicious chocolate cake.

We also had a suprise this week of a visit from President and Sister Chipman! Sister Chipman showed up just before lunch to do a room inspection! Other than our bathroom...we´re clean! But the bathroom is kinda hard when you don´t have water for weeks...we bought stuff to really deep clean it today though. That will be nice!

President Chipman came that afternoon, and we actually went proceliting with him! It was really an incredible experience, to see how he teaches. He can teach everything so simply, anyone can understand it! The other thing that he does is he tells people the power of our calling as missionaries.
It really made it all seem so much more important and incredible. I think the people we taught could feel that as well.

We encountered a really catholic lady that day...her name is Eliadora. She was interesting!! We ended up teaching the Restoration, and she actually seemed to accept it! Her one question was why the Catholics don´t have the Book of Mormon. Well, President Chipman explained that part, and told her, very boldly, that the Catholic church had changed things. They kept back scriptures and changed doctrine during the apostacy. That´s why they don´t have it, because Christ couldn´t change the Catholic church because they had rejected it. She really seemed to get it! Unfortunately...she didn´t.
The very next day Elder Turcious and I went back. For sake of time...I´m copying part of my letter to the President about her...

*We ended up teaching one of the ladies we taught, Eliadora, I don´t know if you can remember her or not, but she was super catholic, and was going to talk to her preacher. She didn´t get the chance to talk to him, but when we taught her she still had the question of why the catholic church doesn´t believe in the Book of Mormon.*
* *

* *
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*I think that was a really pivotal lesson for me. I explained to her how the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith, so if the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. When she understood that, I pointed out the fact that they don´t believe in Joseph Smith, so that´s why they don´t have the Book of Mormon. She really understood that and accepted it even. She even seemed to have a bit of a belief in what we had taught.
However, when we read Moroni 10:4 and talked about what real intention was, she got really upset. She talked about how she is NOT going to change her religion, even though I hadn´t even hinted at that. We ended up asking her to pray more, and try to have more faith and real intent before we left.
She doesn´t really want us to come back, I think mostly because she´s
* *

* *

*That´s one thing I´m beginning to learn. There are a lot of catholics that are scared to change because it´s a tradition. I´m really trying hard to understand their position, and be able to show them the truth and ease them into this transition, because I know it must be difficult. That lesson with Eliadora really helped me in that way.* Anyway...she really had an effect on me. That lesson was intense. I´m sure you´ve had a ton of experiences like that dad, with people that just are scared to change!

Hmm...k! So now I´m going to try to answer various questions...but I have so much more to tell you!! I´ll try to be quick...

Sam, and anyone else who´s interested...: As far as music goes, we listen to all of the above! Motab, EFY, the Best Two Years is a favorite on¨Pdays...(Thanks Jen!) Motab by far is the best though...the spirit is so much better with that kind of music!

Dad: The language is actually a LOT better now! I can understand practically anyone, and can communicate my ideas. I´m still having a little problem with pronunciation and conjugation, but the people understand me.
President Chipman even complimented me! :) I felt really good after that, but I´m still working hard to perfect the accent and learn new things.

Funny that you should ask about dreaming in Spanish...last night I dreamed I went home to grab some more CD´s and a CD case! I talked to both you and mom, and some neighbors, in Spanish! Kinda weird hearing your voices in Spanish...don´t know that that will ever actually happen! But I´ve been dreaming in Spanish since the CCM. Not every night, and occassionaly it´s Spanglish, but it´s still cool!

Mom: THANK YOU for writing your conversion story! I know that it is impossible to communicate your feelings, but by trying I think that anyone who reads it will be able to feel the power of your testimony. Also, even just the circumstances are incredible to know. It really means a lot to me to know how things went, and all that. Also! Kinda random...but I got a letter from Anne Wilson last week!! She talked about your baptism day...just makes me want to read it in your own words that much more! ;) I´m going to write her back was really cool to get a letter from her.

Also...very sorry to hear about your fall. :( You gotta be careful!! I know that Heavenly Father is protecting you while I´m gone, but it´s tough to hear about that stuff. Just make sure you keep both feet flat underneath ya. ;)

OH! I need to explain all the pictures, huh? Sorry this letter is all over the place! My mind is all over the place!

So there´s one of Jair, and also there is one of his family. From left to right is Cindy (baptised by Elder Turcious before I got here), Hermana Sulma (less active for years...but she´s coming now!), and then Jair! The tall white guy just kinda showed up...but he looks kinda like me ;), and then Elder Turcious of course!

There´s also a picture of me with a saw! That was a day that we helped a member make a table randomly. I gotta say...their idea of construction is a lot different that Dad´s! I felt like we needed to measure it more than once, and the cuts were pretty horrible that they made...but then I took over. ;) Dad, I think you´ve trained me pretty well! I wasn´t hesitant with the hand saw, but it came pretty easily. The wood is so thin and flimsy was cake.

Then you can see the picture of me on a Not going to lie, I was pretty scared! That ladder was old, and I´ve gained weight since I got here! Anyway, we were helping Gustavo, one of our investigators, put up a mosquito net for his daughter Priscilla. I was the only one tall enough! He actually has a real house! Kinda cool...

There´s one of Elder McDonough and Turcious, mostly cause I thought it was cool. :)

The last one is Elder Turcious with a birthday gift he got from one of the ladies that he baptised with his old companion!

Wow! Time flies...sounds like the NBA is going as usual! Kobe is incredible sometimes...and I´m glad to hear the Jazz actually play as a team! That´s a nice change. As far as whoever picking up where Jimmer left off...what do you mean??? He´s actually good??

Well, I kinda need to go. We´re writing early today because we´re going to the lighthouse this afternoon! Hopefully I´ll get some cool pictures.

I love you all! Remember that I´m praying for you every night. I hope everything is well with Chelsey´s surgery...keep me updated!

Elder Schofield

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pictures from January 19, 2012 email

January 16, 2012 Email from Dallon

Subject: Well hello family!! mom you asked what things I need! :) I actually just got socks from Grandma Shaw today!! (THANK YOU!!!) That should cover me for a while far as food, peanut butter would be great! It´s super expensive down here. Other things could be american chocolate, and nuts. I miss nuts...kinda a weird thing, but I do! I´ve been saving some of the nuts Grandma sent in her package during Christmas...but I think I have to eat them today! Oh! Another thing that would be nice, yet I know expensive, is a thumb drive. A lot of elders have them, and it just makes it easier to rip pictures off of their cameras.

Btw, the picture of me in the fire is from Elder Foutz´s camera. Pretty sweet huh? Guess Abinadi and I have something in common. ;) haha, but that was a ward activity that we had last thursday. It turned out great! We had quite a few investigators come, and it was just a great time to get to hang out with everyone.

Oh! Before I forget this...I need a shout out to Tosha! Someone can find her facebook or something...that would be sweet. I just got her email so I can finally write her. Tell her I´ll be sending a letter soon, now that I finally have her new address! I did get her letter a while back, but it didn´t have her address...anyway, I just want to make sure she knows.

Dad...nope, those girls weren´t prostitutes. Yes, they are here, but they´re just really crazy. We say hi, but I doubt we´ll go back again. They´re just not really interested in the lessons, ya know? this week was INCREDIBLE. This week really showed me why being a missionary is so incredible!! It started off pretty intense...running back and forth to Talara like three times because we´re having money problems (still short 30 soles) and trying to take all of our water buckets back. Oh! Haha, we´ve had water for almost a week and a half now!!! Can´t tell you how happy that makes me!!!

With our investigators, I can´t tell you how incredibly happy I feel! On Thursday, we decided to do a companion exchange. At first, I was hesitant because it was Elder McDonough and I and we had an appointment with Jair, our main investigator. But I think it was inspired. Being with Elder McDonough, we both had to really try our best with the language. It was a great learning experience. The lesson with Jair I guess was really incredible! They talked about receiving your answer through the holy ghost, and they had their first kneeling prayer with him. I guess he chocked up in the middle of the prayer and just said amen really quick. Elder Foutz asked him if he felt anything, and all he said was. Yes, good. Anyway, we went back the next day.

That day was one of the best days of my life!!! In the morning, we got 3 new investigators. Then in the afternoon, we were walking down the street and I got the prompting to go to one of the members houses that we had challenged to get a reference for us. When we walked up, she had visiting teachers! That was a miracle in itself! Also, there was a non member there! We got in, and she had questions, so we started a lesson on the Restoration. Our lesson actually was pretty horrible...but then we asked Sister Poly to bear her testimony of how she found out the church was true.

She went off on her little story. It was LONG. But towards the end, she talked about how missionaries came and she had one question for them: what happens with my kids after they die? What if they don´t receive baptism on earth? Well, obviously the answer is the temple...and the missionaries took a while to decide before they told her. The thing is, that got her right then. We have temple work that can help seal us for eternity. She was baptized two weeks later.

Of course, sharing this story with a non member right there is really confusing, especially the part about the temple. Thankfully, God was in charge of the lesson, and not us missionaries. She has 7 children. All 7 of them have died, and so has her husband. She´s living alone in Talara, and is really sad because of it. The temple is the message she needed. The spirit was SO strong during that lesson, and I know that the Holy Ghost prompted me just so we could ask Hermana Poly to bear her testimony.

Right after that, we had our lesson with Jair. Initially, it started off kind of bad. His aunt was there, and started asking us questions-pretty accusingly-about the Sabbath day. We started answering, but it wasn´t getting better, so I stopped it and said we´d like to teach more, but asked if we can start with a prayer. She said ok, and by that time, Jair and Cindy-his sister-were ready too, so we began.

Immediately after the prayer, things went smoothly. We started talking more about the blessings of going to church, and the spirit was there. For some reason, I was prompted to talk about the Sacrament, and I went off a little bit-not really knowing what I was saying, but the spirit kept going through me. I turned it over to the baptismal covenant and how we renew it every week, and can have the same cleansing effect every week. Then the focus went to Jair. Instead of answering his aunt´s questions, I was teaching him. I begin to feel the spirit just completely overwhelm the room. When I finished, Elder Turcios just kept the spirit going, and eventually we got to asking him again about if he had received his answer. We asked if he was feeling the spirit right then. He looked us in the eyes and said yes, and that he wanted to be baptized. He bore his testimony that he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that this is the true church, with power and conviction in his eyes!! Then his mother interrupted...

She told him to be honest, and tell us that he needed another week. The spirit started to leave. I asked him why he felt he needed another week and he explained that he was leaving for school soon, and he would be living with his dad. His dad is not a member, and he´s scared that he won´t have the support system, which is true. He also talked about how he´s worried about his mom being alone, because Cindy will go with him too. He said he does need another week.

Then the spirit prompted me to talk about you, mom. I looked him in the eyes and started telling him how you were converted. How you had to leave your family, whom you loved, because of the things that happened. I then shared Mosiah 4:9 which talks about how we need to believe in God because we can´t comprehend everything He does. I started to cry as I told him how you didn´t know the effects of the decision to be baptized. You didn´t know that one day, you would be married to dad, and have five children in the church. I told him that he´s doing the same thing. This decision will effect him the rest of his life, and he doesn´t know the effects right now. I told him to believe in God, and take this step, because he knows the answer.

The spirit was so incredibly powerful in that moment, I felt it all through my body. I know everyone present did too. Unfortunately, he didn´t change his mind, and the baptismal date is set for the 22nd. That just means there is more time for Satan to fight, so we´ll have to work hard this week with him too. However, I will never forget that experience, and I trust that he won´t either. Another amazing thing is that his aunt, Judy, felt the spirit there too. During the prayer, Jair stated that he knows the church is true. Judy asked us how she can know this church is true too. I have a feeling that she has a real chance in finding the truth too! We´re excited to get going with her.

After that experience, I just can´t tell you how grateful I am to be here. A missionary. This is the most exhausting work ever. Mentally, Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually. Every night, I have to fight to stay awake during lessons, but it´s worth it. It is so worth it! I know this gospel is true, and the spirit is the best thing in the entire world. To feel it speaking through you, showing other people, choice sons and daughters of God, that God loves them. That He has organized His church in the earth again´s just an indescribable joy.

When we left that lesson, we were in a spiritual high for almost an hour. I just couldn´t stop smiling! Even now, I feel the spirit burning in my heart, bearing witness that that was a real experience. I´m looking forward to many more like them.

I hope you all know how much I love you. Thank you for your support, and the letters truely are amazing! I got the one from Corinne with the pictures today! It was cool to see everyone with Christmas pj´s!! I love you all!!!

Elder Schofield

Dallon's January 9, 2012 Email

Subject: Craziest Week so Far!!

Ok, so this was a way crazy week, and I feel like I have a TON to write, so let´s get the office work out of the way first, shall we? ;)

So first I crazy or is David from our ward in the Liahona??? I´m pretty sure that´s him with his arm around an old lady in the issue with General Conference addresses. I thought that was pretty cool!

Also...I don´t know if you did this or not, but because I got the $60 for Christmas, I do owe $6 in tithing, and you would be the one to make that for me. Could you pay that for me please? Thanks padres!! ;)

Now to the good stuff!

This week seems to have FLOWN! We have taught so much, and have had a lot of success. This week we had our first Ward Council. It was needed. It was really good to see that some of the members were willing to work with us, and even were excited! The President was pretty excited when he thought of having ward members go out and visit the less actives, two by two, and split up with the missionaries! Sounds kinda like Home Teachers, right? ;) It was good though, and this Sunday was our first time doing it. I think it will really pay off as we do it week after week. We have so many less actives here that need to be rescued.

As far as investigators go, we´ve had a mixture of success. We have the family of Dani Daniel Lopez and Jessika Silva. They´re not married, and have 3 daughters, one of them pregnant out of wedlock, which is completely normal here, btw. Anyway, we´ve been teaching them for a while, but they haven´t come to church or really followed through on commitments. So this last Wednesday we had a lesson where we just talked about how our lessons have been going and what they´ve understood. It was a really good lesson, where we were able to confront their concerns and help to strengthen their faith. Jessika didn´t really understand the Book of Mormon, so we talked about that. Dani talked about how he feels kind of pressured into this, and we assured him we´re only there to help, and he doesn´t need to feel that pressure. I think it went really well!

Friday, we stopped by again, but it was just Dani. We ended up having an awesome lesson on prayer. He told us he hasn´t prayed yet because he doesn´t have faith in prayer. We felt the spirit so strong there, and left it feeling like he really is going to follow through because he understands the power he will receive through prayer. I really hope he prays, because there´s nothing better he could do for his life right now.

The other investigator we´re working with right now is Jair. He may get baptized this next Sunday! He has also had some doubts with prayer, but has been really trying to receive an answer. On Friday, we also taught him, and taught him about how he can develope his faith, and the promise that we will receive an answer. I had a really powerful prompting come over me to share a scripture, and I showed him the council that Nephi gave his brothers to pray with faith in Christ, keeping the commandments, and that they would receive an answer. I then told him that if he came to church on Sunday, and showed God that he really wants to have his answer, God would bless him with that answer. It was such an awesome experience! I could literally feel the spirit working through me to promise him that. Jair did come to church yesterday, and I have faith that he has received his answer. I can´t wait to follow up with him in the next couple of hours.

We also had a very...interesting experience. One I will never forget!

We were on our way to visit our ward mission leader when two young ladies, about 24, called out to us. We went up and started talking to them, when we found out that they had sister missionaries teach them before and that they even had a Book of Mormon! In the middle of our conversation, Cita, the younger one, stood up and started SCREAMING at a passing neighbor. She was really mad that she was on ´her side of the street´ and that she better get over to the other side! It was intense, and an argument ensued, but only briefly. After that, the spirit was obviously gone, but things calmed down enough, and they really wanted to hear more about the Book of Mormon, because they couldn´t remember what it was. Anyways, we went in to teach them.

When we got inside, Cita´s little boy came running up, probably about 2 years old or so, and sat on her lap. We started the lesson, and got going about the Book of Mormon. Both of them were really paying attention, and seemed to be soaking in every word. The spirit was there, and things were great! Then the little boy started fussing a little, but it was no big deal, we just kept talking about how the prophets in america had written this book. Then, out of no where, Cita just reaches down her shirt...pulls out her breast, and starts breast feeding her 2 year old boy! In the middle of the lesson! She kept her eyes on us like nothing had happened, and we kept going a little bit, but it was way awkward! I kept trying to keep my eyes on Elder Turcios and Sera, the other girl. Finally, when the little boy had finished, we were able to talk to Cita again, and finish the lesson. At the end we had Cita say the prayer, and got out of there.

That is an experience I will never forget! First the argument, then the breastfeeding. I´m sure I´ll have many more crazy experiences!!

Anyway, not much time left! I love you all! Thanks for the emails! Tell Forrest good luck for me when you see him! Also, tell him to be patient with learning, that´s how things will work out!

Elder Dallon Schofield

PS The second pic is of our first Pensionista here. Unfortunately, not a lot of time to send pics, I´ve got some great ones of the lighthouse with the sunset!! I´ll try to send one next week.

Dallon's Email from January 2, 2012

Well hello and happy New Year from Negritos!! This week seems to have flown by!

So first I wanted to share a little about the New Year tradition here, it`s kind of cool! They have a tradition of taking all of their old clothes, or clothes they`ve had bad luck in, and making a dummy out of them. Then on New Years at 12, they burn it all! It`s supposed to represent them doing away with all of the bad and getting ready for a new year! I thought it was pretty cool until they burned in...smoke and ash in the air isn`t my idea of fun!

New Years was also really tough for proseliting, because of course everyone drinks. They were going all night, and all day on Sunday. We only visited members Saturday and Sunday, but on Sunday there were so many drunks that we ended up just going back to the room. Probably best.

The work here has started to pick up a little, and I`m really excited now that we have the holidays over. We can work a lot harder! One thing that has been lacking is member support, so we`ve tried hard to get them involved. This week we taught a member family the Restoration and gave them a pamphlet to give away. Three days later we checked up, and they had given it away and wanted another! I hope that continues, and that we can bring them with us to help during lessons. It`s so much better when we have a member because the investigator can see that we`re normal, and they can be part of the branch. We just have to keep working with members! Also, we`re going to have our first branch council tomorrow since I got here. I guess a lot of people don`t like the branch president, and there have been some arguments in the past. I find that so sad, because I know that he is called of God, and he`s there for a reason, even if he isn`t doing the BEST job, he`s trying.

This week in the mission has also shown that changes can happen fast. On Wednesday, we randomly had an elder from Talara show up with a different companion! There was an Emergency exchange. I guess two elders were fighting, so President Chipman mades some changes. Two of the elders that were in their training stage had to get new trainers. Elder Rice, I heard, was one of them! We also lost two elders from our zone, but the new ones that we got are great! It`s just kind of crazy how fast it happened. They get the call one night, and are in a completely different area the very next day. The life of a missionary is unpredictable!

As far as any real progress with investigators...this week was a lot of hit and miss. We had some good lessons, and some not so good. We don`t have any that we can consistently visit. A lot of them have been out of town and things, and of course we still haven`t had anyne attend church. We did have one lesson about the Law of Chastity that went well with a girl named Karen Sandoval. She straight up told us she has broken it before, but she really wants to live it, and she even understood the importance! I think that was one of our best lessons. She really seems to be excited about the prospect of baptism, we just need to keep following up.

We also had a great lesson with an older woman named Juanita. She is catholic, and LOVES to talk. We taught her about the apostacy and why there are so many churches, and how we have the same church that existed during Christ`s time. I think she understood it all! Hopefully we`ll continue with her, but I don`t know. She`s 90 years old, and says she`s talked with a lot of missionaries! We`ll just have to continue working.

We have one investigator that`s really tough! His name is Jesus, and he`s 11 years old. We taught him about prayer, but he just didn`t understand. He doesn`t know anything about the gospel at all. He didn`t know who God was, or who Jesus Christ is. When we explained prayer, I don`t know why but he just didn`t understand. We used the simplest terms possible, but he didn`t get it. I really don`t know what it was! It will be tough to continue teaching him, but he really wants to know, and his parents are completely fine with it, even happy that he`s talking with us! Maybe we can get talking to them too. We`ll see what happens!

As far as my health and everything are going DON`T WORRY. I`m completely healthy and happy!! :) We got water today! Also, we found out that we should have water now every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so we`ll be able to bathe, and have water for bucket showers the other days.

Also, I got the package from the YM/YW. It`s the best package ever! Tons of bathroom supplies and really good food I`ve missed. They gave me a couple packages of nuts, something they just don`t have down here. It was a nice change. I wrote a letter to them, so hopefully it gets there soon...but tell them thanks anyway!

Grandma Shaw also sent me a package with food, which was awesome! I already sent her a letter last if you could let her know I got it and that I`m very grateful, that would be awesome! Also...kinda weird, but I shared some of the Boston Baked Beans with an Elder from Mexico and he said they have them in his country! They call them garapiñados. I thought it was just a NE thing!

Another thing that happened is that we changed our pensionista...I`m actually kind of sad! Saturday night we had our last dinner with her, and we talked quite a bit, kind of a good by. We also made her promise to come to church, so hopefully she does. I`m including a picture of her, and the food we ate so you can see what it`s like, and you can know that I`ve been eating a lot of food! Her name is Hermana Roxanna Gonzales, and she`s lived here in Negritos all her life! Kinda crazy. Ok...maybe I`m not including a picture! My camera battery is dead. :( Next week!!

Oh! I did get the letter Jen was talking about...the Dear Elder about her trying to get prego. ;) and I got the one mom wrote Christmas Day! They seem to take about a week or two...but it`s nice to have something I can look back on! I have been getting letters by snail mail too. The Friedbauers sent me a Christmas card, as well as the Churchills, Brother Salow from the ward...and I think that`s about it! Tell them thanks and that I`ve got letters on the way! They just might make it by the end of the month, if we`re lucky!

Thanks for the updates Dad! It sounds like the NBA is going to be really different this year...and that`s sweet that BYU and Utah both won their bowl games! I`m sure that was exciting to watch. It`s kinda weird being disconnected here, but I`m not worried about not seeing that stuff. Just fun to here what`s up! Also, that thing sounds pretty cool! When I get back, you need to show me that a missionary, I feel so much happier to hear about baptisms and saving ordinances...I think I`m finally beginning to understand the true impact that has. To be able to live with our Father in Heaven again is just incredible...whenever I hear about temple work or someone getting baptized, I just feel so happy! One more person will live with Him again. Tell Chelsey yet again how proud I am of her for going to the temple! That makes me more happy than many people are waiting, alive and dead.

So I`m starting to feel like a horrible letter writer...I just don`t know what to say! I`m really trying to learn right now how to teach effectively and use the language in a smoother way. The other night, we talked to a less active and they told me they could understand everything I was saying! That was good to hear. I also read my journal today and had to laugh...I wrote some in Spanish and my grammer is HORRIBLE. Also, I used words COMPLETELY wrong. Hard to believe that was only like 2 months ago! Time flies...

Well, I hope you all know how much I love and appreciate you! I`m really working hard, and focusing on working harder this year. A full year of missionary work!!! I can`t tell you how happy I am to be here. After the phone call, I just feel so much more motivated, and I forget about home a lot more now, focusing on the people. It`s an incredible thing, to be a missionary.

Have fun with everything! Work hard! Keep up going to church and everything. Even if you don`t want to...remember that Satan works SO hard to stop us from keeping the commandments. When we love Christ and God, we will keep thier commandments, and recognize that Satan is trying to stop us from keeping them. I also never heard how you ended up with your BOM reading mom? Let me know! That goal by the end of the year is pretty awesome!! Love you all!!

Elder Schofield

Pictures from Dec 26, 2011 email

The one of the back of the missionary is Elder McDonough. I just really liked that picture, and the city below is Negritos!

Elder Turcios really likes those ugly teeth. :) he took them to Talara today and showed our Zone. They got a lot of laughs out of them.

Dallon's Letter from Dec 26, 2011

Subject: Day after the phonecall...what to write??

Well not much has happened in 21 hours...oh wait! I did get to shower!!! Before you get too excited, no, we don´t have water, but we took a trip to Talara and showere at our ZL´s apartment. It felt SO GOOD. I feel refreshed and ready to go! Also got my hair cut! We haven´t been able to do that for a few weeks either, and it feels nice and cool.

I´m going to include a few pictures on here of my companion, Elder Turcios, and some of Elder McDonough and Elder Foutz. Elder McDonough is the heavier set one, and he was my DL in the first 3 weeks of the CCM if you remember! It´s been really great to have him in our apartment, and I´m sure appreciating Elder Foutz´s knowledge of the language, customs, and the mission life! His parents are coming to pick him up, so I´ll even get to meet them!

I´m so happy that we were able to talk face to face yesterday! The time seemed to fly...I wanted to keep talking forever! There´s a lot more that I´d like to know about what´s going on with you all! Don´t worry too much about the cars mom, I made it sound worse than it is. They know what they´re doing. It´s just as bad in California! Also, I wanted to thank you for being such an amazing, supportive family! I can´t imagine how much harder it would be if I didn´t have you all to rely on. I´m so glad that you´re willing to make sacrifices for me, and it makes me that much more motivated to go out and make you all proud by being the best missionary I can possibly be.

Don´t worry too much about packages either! It would of course be nice to receive them, but realize that I have everything that I need. All I really need is the scriptures and my testimony. Heavenly Father is filling in the rest! The one thing that I do kind of wish I would have thought to brought is more church music and church DVD´s. We´re actually allowed to watch anything that has the church´s name on it, and have even used mormon messages in Spanish occasionally. So that can be an idea for my birthday present! :) Like I said, I definitely don´t need anything right now, so don´t fret at all.

Hmm...I feel like I´m kind of just rambling...well I am! I don´t have much to say, cause I think I´ve told you most everything! I did write a few letters today, I wrote one to Sister Leifson and one to Sister Colliar in response to their Christmas wishes. Maybe they´ll get them by January. :) Oh, another thing...I was hoping that maybe you´d be able to send my Grandpa Shaw´s email? I´d like to email him...I guess that´s the easiest way for him, and we´ll be able to talk more. Grandma Shaw likes her letters, I think, so I´ll write her today. Oh! That reminds me...I don´t think I told you this before, but I can´t use American Stamps. You put some in my Christmas box, so I may just end up mailing them back to you. The way they do it is they have to pay by weight through Ser Post. The ZL´s will just give me a bill at the end of the month I think for all of my letters that were sent. I think it will still be about the same amount of money, just has to be paid differently.

Well, I´m going to try to send some pics, so I´ll end the email! Love you all!!
Elder Schofield