Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beru' Baptism, Elder Waddell, Changes! - Email from Sep 24

Wow...this week has simply been INSANE for me! I think it may be one of the best, if not THE best week in my mission! I just have so much to tell you all, and so little time in which to write it!

First things first...the baptism of the Berrù family! We ended up having it on Thursday in the afternoon. We went to Los Rosales, which has some small swimming pools where we were able to perform the ordenances. It truly was a beautiful site, with trees surrounding the area, and the pool sitting there surrounded by grass. We ended up having about 20 people in attendance, more than any other baptism that I`ve had! Hermano Orland Fasabi, the Mission Lider, was directing the whole thing, and President Bazalar was also there with his family.

It ended up being three baptisms, with Yanis Muro, Felix, and I baptising Nygeli, Ana, and Nelly. It really was an incredible experience!

Nygeli was baptised first. Her mother and whole family have been less actives for quite a while, but Yanis and his family have really helped them to come back to the church. Yanis is leaving for his mission tomorrow, so it was really special to be able to see him baptise just before leaving! He`s a super good friend of mine now, and I hope to be able to write him during the mission and after!

After Nygeli, I was able to baptise Nelly. She was a little nervous, but when we got in the water, everything was just calm. I felt the spirit so strong as I took her wrist, and began saying the words. Nelly Alicia Berrù Guerrero...honestly the words just came out, I didn`t have to think about it much because the spirit just seemed to guide everything. Before I knew it, I was putting her under the water, and then she came out! Choking, because she forgot to top her nose, but smiling nevertheless! It really was an incredible moment for me. After, before we went to change, she turned to me and said that it was everything she had hoped for, exactly like she pictured it! I`ll never forget the look on her face in that moment.

After Nelly, I got to see one of the most beautiful sights reminded me of when Mom and I went to do baptisms for the dead in the temple because Felix was going to baptise his mother. However, it was just so much more special. Felix was super nervous, and we practiced a lot. He ended up having to dunk her under 3 times! The first time, her hair didn`t go completely, the second time he forgot the word `and` but the third time, it went well! Even though all of that happened, it was an incredible moment. I`m so happy for them and I hope to one day get fotos of the temple!!!

After that amazing experience, you`d think nothing could top or equal it, right? However, the spirit can be strong in a variety of occasions! On Friday, we had a multi zone reunion with Elder Waddell of the 70. It was an INCREDIBLE meeting. I could feel the spirit testifying that this man was called of God as he spoke.

The really cool thing he shared with us is how the mission presidents are called. I guess their names enter into the temple with the 12 apostles, and then they are chosen among a few. Then an apostle, in just any old day, calls them up! They then have their first interview. After that, their names go back to the temple, and they are considered again. This time, they get another call and another interview, with the 1st presidency! President Rowley was interviewed by President Eyering. Finally, they get the letter in the mail.

The way Elder Waddell explained it really showed me that the mission presidents are SO important! He then talked about how missionaries aren`t assigned to missions, but they`re assigned to mission presidents. I know that to be true. President Chipman was perfect for me to start the mission, and now President Rowley is perfect for the second half. God has His hand in all of this.

Among other things, Elder Waddell talked about how we really need to be obedient. I can say that I have really tried to be 100 percent obedient...however, there are some things that I lack. I know that it is so important! For instance, Naaman was told to go wash in the Jordan river 7 times. What would have happened if he only went 6 times? He would still be a leper. Elder Waddell just explained everything so clearly...he truly is a man of God.

The really cool thing is that when we got in line for lunch, he came up and began talking to me. We talked a bit about San Diego, because that`s where he lives and hopes to retire, in Del Mar even! Also, about basketball and Utah and all of that. For some reason, I felt prompted to ask him if he ever thought he would be called to be a 70. He responded in a way that really made me think...he said that no one ever thinks they`re going to get that call. He just went home from the mission with desires to serve God, and then the calls just kept truly is incredible to me. Regular men are called to be God`s representatives to help us come unto our Heavenly Father, and God has put that confidence in me.

After the amazing conference, we left for the Clinica Belen! Ugh...after what I had to do there, I never want to go back. This time it was for my companion because he has some growth on his eye. After seeing the doctor, we found out we had to stay the night and that he would be in Surgery on Saturday! The surgery went well, although he said he could feel everything as they cut, cleaned, and stitched up his eyelid. I can`t even imagine the pain! After, he was so drugged up that we didn`t end up going out to work on Saturday. That`s ok because I also seem to have caught a head cold, and wasn`t really in the best condition either. Oh well...that`s the way the mission is!

Ok, the last big news! I am leaving Sechura! We got the call this morning, and I am leaving but Elder Castillo is staying. I really am going to miss him. He has been the most supportive and loving companion that I have had. I`m so grateful for what he has taught me, and how he has truly shown me how to love the people. I definitely in going to stay in contact with him! I`m hoping that he`ll stay true to his word and come up to BYU! He`s 26, so maybe they won`t work the deal with him...but we`ll see. If not, I`m coming down to Lima to visit him!

Anyways, I`ll let you know next week what part of the world I`m in! Not looking forward to packing...I`ve got so much stuff! A large part of me wants to leave half of it behind. Remember the medium sized bag that I brought mom? The one that I wouldn`t open until the field? Ya...haha, I`ve only taken out one white shirt to give to someone! SO MUCH STUFF. I feel bad when I see other elders with so little...especially cause I know I don`t use what I have, but they don`t accept a lot. I`ll find some way to get rid of it all. ;)

Anyway, love you all! Keep me updated on everything! Photos would be cool too!!

Elder Schofield




Monday, September 17, 2012

Sechura with 6 missionaries!!! - Email from 17 Sep 2012

That`s right everyone! My mission president is now looking into sending two more elders here!! I`m really super excited about it. This week the Zone Leaders came and we looked at maps. The area that I am in may just get split in half and two more missionaries will come in to where I`ve been working for almost 4 and a half months! Super excited about that, because I know there are many people we just can`t visit because we don`t have enough time. Hopefully we do have two more missionaries this next change.

This week passed by, and it was fairly normal. Nothing really exciting happened, other than the splits! We did have a great activity put on by the Primary. I`m pretty sure that after a meeting we had with a high councellor, President Bazalar got chewed out a bit for things that haven`t happened. Although I didn`t want it to necessarily happen that way, I am very excited about the changes I am seeing. President is truly an amazing leader, he just doesn`t know how to do some of the things that need to be done. This week, things took a great turn for the better. We had almost 90 people in the church! The sacrament was done by priests instead of us elders, and only one class was taught by the other elders, instead of the usual three classes we teach. I have high hopes for Sechura, and now that the stake is really helping out, things are going to be a ton better. :)

As for how I am doing, things couldn`t be better. :) My health is great, and I am just really looking forward to the baptism this week of Ana and Nelly Berrù! I`ll have to make sure to send you pictures of that. I have been working with them for a long time, and I`m excited to see those fruits.

Oh! Another super exciting thing is happening this week! Elder Waddell from the seventy is coming! We`re going to listen to him on Friday in Piura. I am super excited about that; he gave one of my all time favorite talks this last fall in General Conference about missionary work. If you don`t remember it, read it again! Then you can feel jealous because I get to see him live. ;) haha, jk...jealousy no, just happy for the opportunity that I will have.

Well...sorry this email is so short, I just really don`t have much to say! We`re working hard. I love you all, and hope that all is well with you! Please keep the letters up! I don`t know why they are taking so long recently, but I promise that I am replying to every one I receive!!!

Elder Schofield

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Miracles in Sechura - email from 10 Sept 2012

This week truly has been incredible for me! I have seen the hand of the Lord in this work, and am just super excited and grateful to be here. I know that He is truly preparing people to receive the gospel, and that as we make even just the tiniest efforts, He will magnify our efforts and the people we love will be able to accept and live the gospel.

This week, I was able to see how God truly does answer prayers, and that people can change. You all know that I have been teaching Ana and Nelly Berrù for quite some time now. Well, this week, I was able to see a very big change in Hermana Nelly! She has always been the more hesitant one. She never really believed in the Book of Mormon, and she always had a few doubts about going to church. Well, all that has changed!

This past week we invited her to do something very simple. First of all, we invited her to pray with her 13 year old daughter who has been pretty rebellious. We told her that instead of telling her that they were going to pray, she could ask her daughter to HELP her pray. A much humbler approach to the task of praying as a family. When we invited her to do that, I could feel the spirit super strong. The other thing that we`ve always told her and every other investigator is simple: read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

This week she actually did it! We walked in to see her, and her face was just glowing! Before we even began the lesson, she couldn`t help it, she just said, I`m going to be baptized! I could see just pure joy in her face. When the lesson began, she shared with us how she had prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Then, as was her custom, she decided to open the Bible to find her answer. God stepped in and led her to a passage that said something to the effect that the book was true. She said she could feel in that moment that the spirit was truly testifying to her that what she was doing was right. The Book of Mormon is true and she should be baptised! She also was able to pray with her daughter, Jimena, and is just seeing a ton of changes and blessings in her life because of her obedience to the commandments.

Now, she is very very excited for her baptism. She didn`t want to attend church before and felt a bit uncomfortable, but this Sunday she came with a completely different attitude, and stayed all three hours, just really ready to learn and be a part of the church of Jesus Christ! It was incredible to see the change in her.

We were planning on having her baptism, along with Hermana Ana, on the 21st of this month. However...another awesome suprise...Elder Waddell from the 70 is coming to speak to us elders! So, we have rescheduled for the 20th, a Thursday. The really amazing thing is that Felix, Ana`s son, will be baptising them both! I am so excited to see all of them dressed in white, entering into the waters of baptism. Michael, Ana`s husband, has also said that he thinks he`s going to be baptised before the end of the year! Before, he didn`t want hardly anything to do with us! He still doesn`t participate in family prayers, but his heart is definitely being softened and molded by God and the example of his family.

I know that this church is true. I know that the Holy Ghost is a very real influence in every single one of our lives. If we only just let Him in, we can truly be born again. Many think that baptism by water is when that happens, but I know, and testify, that the Holy Ghost really is a fire that we can experience even after making that sacred covenant with our Heavenly Father. He is a very real personage of the spirit, that influences all of the people around us, preparing them to receive these sacred ordenances.

After that amazing experience, I was also very grateful for this Sunday. It was my first reverent sacrament meeting since I have gotten to Sechura! It was just an incredible feeling. As I looked around, basking in the warmth of the spirit, I almost began to cry as I realized how much this little branch of Sechura has progressed in the short time I`ve been here. We still are missing many less actives. There are many that should be there that aren`t. However, it was still a very great experience.

A high councilment came to our branch this Sunday! The first one ever! After Sacrament Meeting, we discussed some of the things in Sechura that need a little help. I think he was suprised about some of the things that haven`t been happening, and I am excited to see the changes that are going to take place. We all have need for improvement, and the stake is really going to help train this branch up so we can become a ward, and even a stake! I honestly believe that in ten or fifteen years- even less- Sechura and la Union will become their very own stake, very seperate from Piura. We just need some more great missionaries and leaders!

I did send some pictures (finally) in this email! My companion there is Elder Castillo, by far the best companion that I have had so far. He`s teaching me so`s truly incredible! Also, there`s a picture of me with a boat. Those boats are outside of tons of houses here! Some of them are smaller, and some bigger, but I really liked this one. :) I hope you like the Catholic Cathederal too! It is really pretty, I just wish they didn`t have so many would be a lot prettier without them, I think.

Oh! I also had to take a picture of Mickey!! You may get to go to Disneyland without me family :( But I still have Mickey Mouse running around with me here in Peru!! Haha, I thought you`d enjoy that. :) It`s an elementary school door.

Well, I hope you all know that I love you! I am so incredibly grateful for every piece of information you send me! Oh!! Reminds me...whatever happened to our friends Obama and Romney? Are they still in it...or others are going? I remembered today that elections come up soon! Crazy...

Love you all! Hope to hear from you all soon! If my letters take forever, it`s not my fault! I got two letters from Chelsey and Tosha clear back from April two weeks basically the postal system isn`t the greatest on my receiving end! Paciencia, no mas!

Elder Schofield

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crazy Week of Work - Email from 3 September 2012

This week seemed to just fly by! I really loved it, because after four days in the office really just waiting for the test results...I was ready to get back to work! We got back Monday night, and then Tuesday just hit the pavement (well...more like a lot of sand..) hard. Elder Castillo and I are really doing great! I absolutely love having him as a companion! We both can really feel the spirit in our lessons, and I love that he is so motivated to work and help our investigators. Because of that, we are seeing a lot of success in finding new people to teach, and being able to help those that we already have to make REAL progress! I am loving it.

This week with the Berrú family we did see some progress! They´ve been super busy and so have we with things, so we were only able to visit Nelly, but I am really happy to see the changes that are taking place in their family. Nelly told us about an experience that she had reading the Book of Mormon, and she KNOWS it´s true! I was so happy to be able to see the light in her eyes when she realized that she had received an answer from God. She told us that she was really angry one afternoon with her teenage daughter (bet you know how that is mom!). In that moment, she decided to go to the Book of Mormon. She said that she read like usual, but when she stood up after having read, the anger was gone! She just had a feeling a peace left in her, her heart had truly changed! I showed her the scripture in Mosiah 5 that talks about how the Holy Ghost changes our hearts, and in that moment, she realized what she had experienced.

As for the baptism, we aren´t 100 percent sure of what is going to happen yet, but I have a lot of faith that Ana, Nelly, and Jimena are going to be baptized soon! Ana is ready. We haven´t had a chance to talk to her about this Saturday, but we´re hoping. Nelly is nervous still, and she hasn´t attended church enough...but we´re going to see! Jimena is Nelly´s daughter, and she recently just opened up to us. She´s 13 and is really against the idea of talking to us just because she´s rebellious with her mom. However, this Sunday she came to our English class and I was able to get her to open up! It´s really kind of like talking to Chelsey when she was 14...Hannah Montanah, iCarly, Zack and Cody, Bruno Mars...ugh...thank you girls for brainwashing me enough to be able to relate with 13 year old girls. :P Haha, but really...I pray every night to see this family in the temple. I am amazed at how God has already changed them so much. The changes just keep coming!

Well, I better go...sorry I can´t write too much! Just not enough time. I love you all! Please keep me updated on everything!!!

Elder Schofield

Well...An Interesting Week - email from 27 August 2012

NOTE FROM DAD: If you haven't heard - we kind of kept it quiet, Robin got a phone call from Dallon's mission president informing us that Dallon was ill and we going to go to the clinic for a colonoscopy in the morning. Of course, I was travelling in Europe (Samantha's appendicitis attack was while I was in London.) Everything turned out good but we were a bit worried for a few hours until we heard the results.
So...most of you know because of the phonecall President Rowley made yesterday, but I have been in the clinic here for a little test! I guess the food here or something just hasn`t agreed with my body. I`ve been living with it for about 10 months now, and now that it has worsened a little bit more, I decided that I should have someone look into it. Well...they sure LOOKED into it! Today I had my first colonoscopy!
It really started on Thursday when I was just knocked out, having to go to the bathroom about every half hour. Pretty sure that my system was completely cleaned! Also, when I saw a little more than the usual...I decided to call Hermana Rowley and tell her that I think it`s time I saw a doctor. So, here I am, in the mission office because I have been going in for tests since then! Today they did the colonoscopy and endoscopy. Super weird because I was awake the entire time! However, everything went good and as of right now, they haven`t detected any problems. I`ll find out the whole story at about 5 oclock though.

Enough about all`s pretty much over and I`m more worried about having to miss another day away from Sechura! I miss it...on Thursday we were able to visit one investigator, Claudia. She is having a lot of doubts with some of our commandments, especially in relation with the `For the Strength of Youth` Well...she`s 14 and has a boyfriend! Of course she`s a little worried about that. We explained a lot, and talked about the law of chastity. She`s completely fine with all of that, but not with all of the rules that help us avoid falling. I`m really hoping and praying for her. She won`t accept a baptismal date yet. We just have to keep working with her!

As for our other investigators, they seem to be going great! We have Ana and Nelly Berrù that I really feel like they`re prepared for their baptism on the 8th of September! We had a good FHE with them again and we even were able to visit with Jimena, the daughter of Nelly. She`s 13 and kinda shy, but I`m hoping to be able to get some of the YW to befriend her as well. We`ll see how that goes. We were also able to talk to Nelly about the Book of Mormon a little more. She`s a little scared to ask in prayer still. However, after our conversation I`m pretty sure that she`ll ask. We haven`t been able to visit them since, but that`s ok.

Here in the office, I have been able to go out proceliting a little bit as well! Elder Bricca, who`s also from my MTC group, and I went and knocked some doors. Of course, being in Piura Central, the people are a lot richer! It was definitely a different experience. We got to ring their doorbells! That`s right, DOORBELLS! Haven`t seen many of thoughs in a while. They had the little speaker phone things...not a huge fan. Harder to get a message in. However, we did enter one house with an older lady. She seemed pretty nice and could progress.

Being in the office is a different experience. I think I could handle it here, whereas before I was always VERY against the idea. They do have to be inside a lot, but they are now going out to procelite every afternoon. They also have the amazing luxury of HOT WATER and AIR CONDITIONING! Two miracles in my life. Saturday was the first time since the CCM in Lima that I was able to shower with hot water...I didn`t know you could feel that clean! However, even with all of that...the field is just so much better. Being able to focus on people and helping`s just better. If it`s my turn to be in the office in the future, I`ll do it. But I hope President keeps me in the field working.
I also had the chance to assist a WARD meeting! Crazy...the Elders didn`t have to do anything! They could focus on their investigators! Also, it really reminded me of home. The church really can be strong here in Peru. I was glad for the opportunity to see that.

Well, I`ve got to get going...I can almost eat! 20 more minutes! I may splurge and buy myself a pizza...I think after the tests I deserve it. ;)

Love you all! Have a great week! Thank you for your prayers. I know that God`s hand is in all of this, and I`m really truly not worried at all. Just hoping to get back to work ASAP.

Elder Schofield