Monday, March 26, 2012

TWO Baptisms!!!

Well hello there family and friends!

We had a baptism this week!! It was pretty incredible...this lady, Doraliza Palacios Bobbio, was just ready to be baptized.

We met her only a week ago, but she accepted a baptismal date and was baptised 8 days after we met her! She´s already read through 1 Nefi, and has re read the pamphlets we´ve given here! She truly is devoted, and very strong already in her belief. It was amazing to see how quickly she changed and grew. She´s 76 years old too! Isn´t that incredible? Really, this week has been pretty much incredible. I didn´t expect her to be baptised so quickly, honestly.

When we meet old people, they´re usually set in their ways and don´t want to change. Not Doraliza. She has had some problems with her immediately family and was looking for something, and she found it in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can now really bare my testimony that the Lord is preparing people. They´re out there, and we just need to find them.

We also were able to take part in the baptism of little Katia Marisosa. Elder McDonough was able to baptise her. She just barely turned 8, and was definitely ready to be baptised as well. It really was an incredible fast Sunday for all of us. I couldn´t have asked for a better ending to a week.

Another success was our branch council meeting this past week! We were able to actually get some planning done, which I was really greatful for. I´m hoping that we can continue to have good meetings and that we can have great activities. As a result of this past meeting, the members were able to visit three of our investigators, including Hermana Doraliza! I really believe that that visit helped her to be ready for her baptism. She was really happy the day after the visit.

As far as the elders here in Negritos...things have been kinda tough! Last Sunday, as I told you, Elder Ramirez, McDonough, and Yupa all got sick. We found out it was some cheese that had been bad in the lunch we had. I don´t understand how I missed out on it, although I am very greatful! The rest of the week went fine until today. I don´t know what happened to him...but Elder McDonough became dilusional and couldn´t really hear or see well. He just got really sick, so we sent him off to Piura. He should be on his way right now, hopefully to see a doctor and get better. It was tough trying to get shoes on him because he kept fighting and didn´t know what was going on! I really hope that he gets better. All I can really do is hope and pray for him.

Not really much has happened in this I´m running out of things to say!

Haha! Oh! One crazy thing did happen...I finished my first journal! I wrote the last entry just yesterday. Definitely the first time I have kept a good journal, and it is full of my mission. Kinda crazy how fast it is going! Today I have to buy another one. Oh! Also, I got the package from Sam this past week! Thank you SO much for the CD´s and the food! I love the CD´s. :) They have some pretty amazing songs on them!

Another random thing, people have been asking in letters when my address will change or what address to send things too...I am going to have the same address my entire mission, so no worries there. :) It´s the mission office and they send the letters to our ZL´s every week, so that we can get them that way. It´s a lot easier and quicker, since the mail system isn´t the greatest here in Peru.

Well, I hope all is well with you! Remember that I love you all, and am praying for you! Keep up the mail! I can´t get enough of it. ;) I promise I will reply to everything I get, and I´ve done a pretty good job of that so far, I think! Just remember it takes over a month for things to get there...

Love you all!
Elder Schofield

**Mom's note... Dallon told us before his mission that he did not think he would ever fill a journal :) It's nice to hear he's not only doing that, but done that. Thanks to all of you who are writing Dallon. He has repeatedly expressed his gratitude for the letters e is receiving :)

The photo of Dallon in "civi" clothes with the very small guy is him with his current companion . The baptisms and a beautiful beachy equator sunset :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthdays and weeks! - email from March 19, 2012

Hello parents!! Hope this week was amazing for you both! Happy Birthdays to you both as well! Kinda hard from so far away to really be able to wish you both happy birthdays this month...but hey! At least you get it in an email! ;)

So this week was pretty intense! We had to work really hard, and meet a lot of new people. The investigators we have had, unfortunately, aren´t progressing. They just don´t seem to have the desire they did when we first met them. It´s frustrating, really, because I want them to feel what I feel so bad, but they can´t feel the spirit in their lives if they don´t invite it. Oh well, that´s all I can do, just keep inviting! As long as I´m doing my job, they will have the opportunity to choose between accepting the gospel, or not!

We are having more investigators attend church! I was really suprised to see an older lady there yesterday. We´ve taught her one time, and she´s really firmly a catholic, but she came! She seemed to really like it too. She´s about 75 years we´ll see how she progresses! The really bright spot in my life right now is the family Guerrero Aleman. I´m really hoping and praying that we´ll be able to see them baptised. Pedro is a lawyer, super intelligent, and has a lot of faith in God and in the importance of families. His wife Edy is also really great! They have a 13 year old son as well who seems interested. Anyway, we´ve taught them 3 times now, and they have been saying prayers as a family every night, and Pedro is reading the Book of Mormon! He´s already had a lot of experiences where the spirit has witnessed to him that what we teach is true.

One of the experiences he told us about I thought was pretty cool! A few days after beginning to pray as a family, his coworker asked what he had been doing, because there was a light in his eyes! He said he knew it was something that he was doing with us missionaries. He´s also begun sharing the gospel message at work! He said he´s got a few coworkers that he´s talked to about our church, and he´s even cleared up some false rumors about us. This Tuesday we´re going to meet his dad! His mother died a few years back, and Pedro told us specifically that his father could use the message of the plan of salvation in his life. I´m really just so thankful for how God has prepared him, and I am really hoping that Pedro can continue to advance and become a leader in the church. We´re hoping to set a baptismal date with them for next Sunday, but we´ll see what happens.

The branch here is continuing to be a challenge. We are trying to organize a talent show, but it just isn´t working out. We talked about it two weeks ago in a leadership meeting, but no one did anything about it. We didn´t have a meeting last week, and then yesterday when we asked people if they would be willing to prepare an act for the show, all the leaders said it was too soon and we should have said something earlier. Not going to lie, I was a bit frustrated! I think they just honestly don´t know. Some of them don´t want to do anything more than what they are doing, which is a missionary devotional every thursday night where the four missionaries are in charge of a message and games. They honestly just don´t want to put in the effort. I have a feeling I´ll see this for the rest of my life. ;)

However, I´m learning a lot about the Atonement and how it can get members going. In Preach My Gospel it says that when members of the church really understand the effects of the Atonement, they will be more willing, and will be animated to share the gospel with others. So basically we, as members, can measure if we understand the gospel, the Atonement, by how much desire we feel to share the gospel with others in our lives. How much desire we feel to help other members, or even our neighbors.

I´m trying to apply that to this ward. This last Sunday I gave another talk, and my topic was supposed to be about missionary work. Well, I kinda twisted it a little and talked about the Atonement. ;) When I was writing it, I could feel the spirit guiding me. I first talked about the fall of Adam and Eve, and how we have two consequences: Spiritual and Physical Death. Then I talked about 4 things that the Atonement does for us:

1. Conquers physical death
2. Pays for our sins
3. Comforts us in times of need
4. Makes it possible for us to return to live with Heavenly Father

I think it went really well. When I looked at the branch members, most of them were actually paying attention!! Better than that, Pedro Guerrero was soaking up practically every word! I had written it under the influence of the spirit, and when I gave the talk, I could feel Heavenly Father helping me too. I didn´t need to look at the paper most of the time, and my Spanish was just perfectly understandable. :) I think they really understood what the Atonement does for us. I also talked about how we accept the sacrifice of our Saviour by having faith in him, repenting, being baptized, and enduring to the end. The Gospel!

I really hope that they can take some of that message to heart, and hopefully it will do some good for them!

So I also have to tell you about yesterday afternoon...and how your prayers really are blessing me. We had a great lunch of chicken, rice, potatoes, a sauce that I love, and an olive. It all tasted wonderful! However, the effects weren´t that great. I´m gonna guess it was food poisining. Anyway, about two hours after lunch, we were in a lesson with a less active when my companion had to run to the bathroom. I heard him throw up twice, so we left to our room.

When we got to the room, he ran to the bathroom again. About 10 seconds later, Elder McDonough and Elder Yupa walked in, both of them throwing up too! Honestly, I have never seen so much come out of a single person. All three of them just let EVERYTHING out. More than I thought possible! We were in our room from about 5 to 10 with one of them in the bathroom, the other at the sink, and the third waiting for his turn. It was not the best night. I had to just sit there, and pray. I gave Elder Yupa a blessing too, he was by far the worse off.

Anyway, I have to go, but THANK you for your prayers. I know it was because of you that I turned out to be perfectly fine when three other elders were puking all night long.

I love you all so much! Keep the letters coming!

Elder Schofield

A SUPER week! - Emal from March 12

Hello Everyone!!

This week just flew by! I have so many things to tell, and there just isn`t nearly enough time. I`ll have to be content with the time I do have. I do have one request...can someone, if at all possible, send me some updates of the other missionaries that are out/about to leave? A DearElder letter would be cool from their blog every once in a while...but I know Addison, Zach Oldham, Kirk Whitcoff, soon to be Forrest, Rob, Rick, and whoever else is out...just a few here and there would be cool!

So this week kinda started off on a rough note. On Tuesday night we had Branch Council meeting. It was a disaster. We had to make yearly goals as far as baptisms. It`s up to the leaders for the numbers on this one, it`s a branch goal. We told them that 4 a month is very reasonable for each companionship, and that if we had membership help, we could definitely accomplish that. However, they disagreed. They got into arguments about how none of the organizations do anything, and it just fell apart. The branch president doesn`t really know how to take control, so it just didn`t turn out well. They decided that 4 was way to high, and that it would be stretching us to reach 1 every month. I was pretty disappointed. I think JUST us missionaries could bring one every month, and with membership help, 4 wouldn`t be a problem. But that was their goal, so that is what we reported to President Chipman.

However, that was Tuesday! A lot changed since then! We worked really hard this week, Elder Ramirez and I. I had a lot of really spiritual experiences. I am learning more and more about letting the spirit speak through me, and how to truly love each person I meet. On Thursday, we had our interviews with President Chipman. I asked him about how I can learn to teach better by the spirit and he told me to make sure I really learned every doctrine principle. Well enough that I had a very strong testimony in it, so I could really feel the principle. Thats helped me a lot with my personal study, and I`m learning a lot now! I also asked him about the leader situation, and how I could motivate them and less active members to really want to come back or work. He told me that the Atonement is the key. It`s so true though! When someone truly has a testimony of the Atonement, they WANT to work. They want to bring others to the gospel to feel the joy that the Saviour can bring them. The joy that only the restored gospel, with the full knowledge of His sacrifice, can bring. I put that into effect, and already am seeing the difference in members and leaders! I`m also growing in my personal testimony of the Atonement.

This week we met a man that is an alcoholic. His son, Broc, is a less active. We taught them two lessons, and I really tried to bear my testimony of the Atonement both times. The first lesson was pretty amazing. We didn`t know about his addiction, and just went in to teach. I had the prompting to teach lesson three about the gospel, and focus on repentance. Well, I did, but it turned into more of a lesson on the Atonement and on how we can change our very nature by turning to Christ. It was amazing. He started to cry...and talked about how he really wanted to change and just didn`t know how. He was soaking up every word I spoke as I told Him how Christ could change his very desires if he was truly willing to repent. The next lesson we taught the restoration, but more about how the restored gospel is here to help him. I have a lot of faith that he can change, and that as he puts more faith in God, he will be a lot better.

On Saturday, we had a pretty tough morning! We knocked over 35 doors, and didn`t get into a single one! That is very unusual here, and I got a bit discouraged. I didn`t feel discouraged, still confident, just a little bit of a doubt if I was following the spirit or not. That afternoon I said a prayer and plead that God would direct my path. In the afternoon, it started off the same. All of our appointments fell through, and we were left to knocking again. This time though, I felt something pulling in a certain direction. I looked down one street and just felt good about it, so I went. I looked down another, felt nothing, so I just continued. The spirit literally led me to the door of a 19 year old, Elvis Smith. We knocked, and my companion tried to get in, but he refused. For some reason, I just started to talk, and bore my testimony of how the restored gospel was here again and that it could heal whatever challenges we had gone through in this life, and that we were sent to his door to help him. He let us in! The lesson went equally as great, and he actually seemed to be pretty interested! I hope he progresses, but if not, it was an experience that showed me that God loves me and is looking out for me.

That evening, in 3 and a half hours, we taught SIX lessons. It really was a miracle. I know that Heavenly Father was showing me that if I`m humble and have courage, He will direct my paths. I may have some days where I don`t have a single lesson, but that doesn`t mean I am faulting anything, there truly is opposition in all things.

Today for P day we had pizza!!! It was pretty delicious! Not like in the states...but still good.

I hope you all know how much I love you all. I`m working hard down here, trying my best to bring people to the knowledge that we`ve all been blessed with for years. Sometimes it`s not easy, but it`s definitely worth it. Heavenly Father blesses me so much with His spirit and His guidance it is incredible. Remember that each one of you has the right to His guidance and that He`s there for you. If you`re not reading and praying every day, repent and do it! It makes a HUGE difference. Even missing one day can be devestating to your spiritual health.

Love you all! Please keep sending letters. They mean the world to me down here! Mom, haven`t gotten the package yet, probably next monday. Oh! And if you are changing addresses for some reason let me know ASAP!! Chelsey, will you be living at home this summer? I need to know because I think my next letter will reach you after school ends...all of you, please send an address if it changes!

Tons of love,
Elder Schofield

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spirit filled companion!

These past few posts have really brought home to me the reason I must have cried so hard when Dallon(Elder Schofield) left. We sent our son, our boy out on a mission. Somewhere in the back of my heart and mind I knew that boy would not be coming home. Over the past month especially that has been confirmed to both Cory and I. A boy will not be coming home. A man will return. It is amazing to see how much growth and progress Dallon has already been blessed with. His perspective on life and the importance of eternal life and testimony is phenominal. Each day he takes a step closer to the Lord. Eaach day he seems to grow in humility and compassion. We are so pleased to be coming to know this new man in our lives. We are truly grateful for the blessing of having a son serving the Lord full time. We are appreciative of his ability to learn, grow and adapt.

This week has been completely amazing for me!!! I can`t even tell you how happy I am to be a missionary. The work is just so exciting right now! I don`t know why, but with this little change, I feel full of energy and really ready to go to work.

So mom, I haven`t received the package yet, I`m sure it`s in the mail somewhere. :) And don`t worry about the name, they said they could still get them if they had Elder Swasy`s name on them. No worries!

My new companion is Elder Ramirez! As you can probably tell by the photo, he is not very tall. Actually I think he`s one of the shortest missionaries in our mission! Of course, I`m the tallest! Kind of crazy...but he is really a great missionary. When we had our changes, of course I was worried I`d get someone who doesn`t follow the rules or who I couldn`t get along with, but President Chipman really comforted me during the meeting. Among his remarks before telling us the changes he talked about how he had had to make a bunch of last minute changes due to sick elders and a few that went home. He said he had finished the changes that very morning, and prayed to Heavenly Father to make sure he got it right. He said he could hear a voice saying that the changes were right. This is how it was supposed to be! Boy, am I grateful for revelation and great leaders!!

Another kind of crazy thing...Elder Foutz stopped by on Tuesday! I met his parents! They seemed super nice, and they even took down our home phone number and said they were going to try to call you guys. That would be pretty cool if they did! Also, he was going to try to pick up a DVD of photos and drop it by the house when he goes up to Utah. He`s got Dad`s cell, so hopefully it works out there too.

So as far as this week really was amazing. We`ve definitely worked in a different manner than Elder Turcios, and I`m liking it. With Elder Turcios we worked to get a second lesson, and tried to really focus on the investigators we had instead of just honing in on like two or three and looking to find a ton more. Right now, we`re just searching searching searching! We have four investigators we`re really trying to help, but really more like three. Instead of wasting time with people that aren`t super interested, we bear our testimonies and look for people ready to receive us. I`ve noticed a big difference in the way I feel too. I`m searching for their interest, and really trying to react with the spirit, amazing things have happened too!

First really cool experience happened with our mission leader! He actually went out with us last week, and we had a great experience. He took us to one of his friends, and when we knocked on her door she let us in without question. We taught her the first lesson about the restoration, and she just broke down and started crying. She said just before we knocked on her door she had been praying for someone to come. She said she knew we were sent by God and really just accepted everything. Tatiana, that`s her name, really is ready, we just need to get her married (of course they just live together) and set a baptismal date!

The other miracle happened on Saturday. A lot of our appointments fell through, and I was leading in the door knocking because Elder Ramirez doesn`t know the area super well. I felt just a slight impression that we should go to this random hill with these big houses. Normally, they don`t let us in, and usually the rich people are working almost all day. Anyway, we went! We got rejected four times before coming to the last red brick house. We knocked and no one seemed to be home. For some reason we waited longer than usual, and then Edy came around the corner and saw us. Her husband, Pedro, followed and we began talking. They let us inside.

During the lesson, I felt the spirit really strong. Just a calm reassurance that we were supposed to be there. They didn`t really say anything, but were really interested in what we had to say. The lesson just seemed to go really well! Towards the end of the lesson we asked them what they thought, and they kind of just looked at each other and told us that they felt we were sent at exactly the right time. They said they had just barely been having some struggles, and that they were looking for something that could help them out, and then there we were on their doorstep. Pedro is a lawyer, so he`s obviously very busy. He looked at us in wonder and just asked why we had chosen to knock their door, because no one comes up their hill. I told him the truth, I just felt the need to do it, so I did! He said he believed God had sent us.

It was such a great lesson!! Pedro is super intelligent, and so is his wife. They have a 13 year old boy and a 3 year old girl that we weren`t able to meet, but you can tell their family is super close knit. On the outside, you may even think they were mormon! However, something is going on underneath. We also went back Sunday afternoon. When we got their, you could tell they had been waiting anxiously. They were really excited and let us in and we began discussing the Book of Mormon.

The spirit just seemed to enter so quickly during that lesson. I asked them if they had been able to pray as a family about Joseph Smith like we had asked them too, and they looked at each other again, and then began explaining how as they had prayed, they felt this joy just enter into their hearts, something they had never felt before. They were trying to describe how powerful of a feeling it was, but they just couldn`t! They said that their 13 year old had felt it too. They didn`t recognize it as an answer, but they said since we had come into their home, they had felt this spirit, and just have felt...happy.

Of course I was completely excited about this, and we bore our testimonies that that was the Holy Ghost they were feeling. They accepted that. Another kind of random thing happened...we talked a bit about baptism, and they accepted a baptismal date. Both Elder Ramirez and I thought we should leave 2 Nefi 31 because it talks about baptism. However, when Pedro asked us where he should begin reading, 2 Nefi 31 flew from my mind, and I couldn`t think of anything better than starting from the beginning. It was a weird kind of impression, but I followed it! Elder Ramirez told me later the exact same thoughts went through his mind. We`ll see what happens!

I`m just really excited with this family! We set a baptismal date for the 18th of this month. We`re hoping that comes true, because Pedro works a ton, and his wife Edy is going to have obstacles with her family. They`re both catholics, and even asked if they could attend the catholic church in addition to our church after they`re baptized. Of course, nothing says we can`t, so we told them yes. However, I think their minds will change when they come to church. We have another appointment this friday with them. I really hope they read the Book of Mormon and continue praying. Heavenly Father definitely prepared them for us, and it was incredible to be there.

I`m really looking forward for this next week. We`re going to work hard. Our goals are high, which is definitely good.

I love you all so much! Oh, hey, if someone can give a shoutout to Ryan Hatch, tell him good luck this week entering the MTC!! That`s really awesome that he`s going Spanish speaking! Also...David Archuletta is coming to Peru??? What mission?? That would be weird to be his companion...especially since we made a music video to his song... ya all!!

Elder Schofield