Monday, October 22, 2012

Pampa Grande is growing! - Email from 10/15/2012

Well, another week has passed here in Pampa Grande! It`s hard for me to believe that I`ve been here for almost a month now! Time really just passes so quickly in the mission, it`s crazy.

So this week I was working with quite a few people. Jorge Silva is really just having a ton of challenges hit him all at once. It`s been tough to see. His son was put in jail on the 6th of October, and because of that Jorge didn`t come to the General Conference. He is really depressed because of it. He doesn`t have work, doesn`t have anyone to help him here, and now his son is in jail. He`s also losing his faith, which really hit me hard on Tuesday when we saw him. It`s hard to see a man like that. He knows what it`s like in jail, he says, and I guess the police are curropt here, and they bring drugs in, and everything else in between. It`s like one of those movies where you can pay the cops to be able to kill someone inside, he says. Obviously, he`s very worried about his son, and so are we.

On Tuesday, we really didn`t know what to do for him. It was super hard to see him that way. We just listened, and at the end of listening to all of that, we really didn`t have an answer for him, but I felt the prompting to give him a blessing. When I put my hands on his head, I just felt...right. During the blessing, I didn`t know what to say at first, but then the words just came. I honestly wasn`t thinking, I just let the words come out. It was a great experience.

We then visited him again on Friday. That`s when I really made a mistake...he hadn`t been reading the Book of Mormon or praying. I know that those things will help him more than anything, so I tried to communicate that to him. Unfortunately, I did not do that in the correct manner, and I realized that later.

Saturday, we were on splits with some RM`s in the ward. As I was walking with Roberto, I all of the sudden got the prompting to go visit Jorge. It was one of those times where I just felt like we needed to visit him. Immediately, we went, even though I had just seen him the day before and left a little frustrated, without knowing what we could do to help. When we got there, I think we could both feel the depression hanging there in the air. He was getting a small package ready for his son with toiletpaper and clothes. He had obviously been crying. We just sat there and listened for a while, and then we were at least able to communicate our love for him. By the time we left, he had changed. It may not have been a huge change, but I could feel the spirit in his home again. It was a great experience that really taught me a lot. One, that God is watching out for His children and sends people to them in the exact moment they are needed. Two, that sometimes a missionary can be effective just by bringing the spirit into a home. He doesn`t neccessarily have to teach a whole lot, the people can feel the spirit and will be motivated to do what`s right with that spirit.

Although Jorge could not come to church on Sunday because he went to visit his son, I know that Saturday was key. We saw him again Sunday afternoon, and he actually could smile! He`s still not very happy, and who would be? His son will be in jail for at least 10 months. However, I think that he at least has confidence in us and confidence in the Lord again. I know that if we can help him make it through this, he will be baptised soon and will be able to enjoy many blessings.

That was one of the best experiences of the week! The other one was when we met Kennedy Stewell. We were with Roberto knocking doors and he told us that he know the owner of one of the small stores in the block. We decided to go see if she was home, but her 16 year old son answered the door. Kennedy is really a bright kid. He wants to be a lawyer when he graduates, and I can see that he`s going to be great at it. He enjoys learning about the crazy things that happen in the world, the weird and strange things. As a result, he had a ton of questions for us! We tried to answer a few, but mostly focused on teaching him the Plan of Salvation. We were able to explain it fairly well and by the end his countenance had changed. He said he had always worried about life after death, but we were able to life a huge weight off of his back. It was great to be able to see that!

We went by later and were able to teach him the Book of Mormon. It was really a great lesson, although he told us that others had told him it was the Devil`s book. Gotta love the opposition!

We had another really great experience teaching Carlos Huaman. His son is a member, but less active. We taught him about Joseph Smith and by the end he said he believed it was true! He also committed to be baptized. :)

I am just so grateful to be here in the mission. Experiences like this are just amazing things! I would love to be able to write about them all, but there simply isn`t time. I hope you all understand!

Anyway, I also had my interview with President Rowley this week. I was able to talk to him about a few of my concerns, and he helped me see through a lot of them. Can I just tell you, I am so grateful to have leaders that are called by God? I have no doubt in my mind that when I am listening to one of these men, I can feel the spirit teaching me through them. They are truly inspired and can help us a lot.

Not sure what else to write! My health is doing great, better than ever! Pampa Grande is getting ready for the rain to come! They say it`s a ton, and that when the sun comes out it`s hotter than Piura! We`ll see! I`m pretty sure I`ll be here through Christmas, and then January! That`s the hottest part of the year...oh fun!

Well...I love you all! Have tons of fun! I look forward to every letter, so please write!!! Handwritten ones are always way cool to get. ;)

Love you,
Elder Schofield

Greg wasn`t lying!!!! - Email from 10/22/2012

Ok mom...sorry I can`t send a picture of this because I didn`t have my camera at the time, but you now have a second witness that Greg was not lying: they really do put a string of limes around the necks of the dogs when they get sick!!! Greg, I officially apologize for not believing you.

So we were walking in one of the trailer park type areas, where it`s all dirt. We rounded a corner and I saw this shaggy white dog sitting on the corner, in plain site. He was sitting there, just looking out, and hanging in plain view on his neck were two green limes! I literally stopped, which kind of suprised my companion and just said `NO...` I couldn`t believe it! After over a year in the mission, it has been confirmed: Greg was not lying. They really do have that tradition! I asked my pensionista about it, and she even laughed about the tradition and said that a lot of people here do it. How crazy!

Anyway, that was one of the crazy moments of the week, and something that definitely made it to the journal. ;)

This week was really great for me. Honestly, I felt like we made a lot of progress, especially as a companionship. On Thursday, we had a long talk where Elder Panduro really opened up to me. I feel like he`s exactly the way I was about 7 months ago. He doesn`t have a lot of confidence in his teaching, but he has all the desire in the world to change and become a great missionary. I told him of all the times that I had really felt the spirit while he taught, and tried to help him recognize that he really is a great teacher! I think that he was able to recognize that. I also really felt the spirit guiding me while I talked to him...I kinda felt as if I were teaching an investigator. I guess we all need a reminder once in a while of some things!

Anyway, after that, we just were on fire! Friday and Saturday both just FLEW by because we had the spirit so strong in our companionship. On Friday, we were able to have a truly amazing experience. We taught this lady, Maritza, who really did not want to talk to us at first. I was a bit pushy to get into the door, but we did get in! It was our second visit with her. We began talking about how the gospel really does bless our families, and I felt the prompting to pull out Alma 37. I began reading it and talking about how the Book of Mormon teaches us how to be better parents, and how to help our children when they do horrible things like Corianton. She was definitely interested at that point. By the end of the lesson, not only did she want to listen, but she was excited to read the Book of Mormon!

Immediately after her, we met Javier, who is struggling as an alcoholic. In that lesson, we also really had the spirit with us. My companion was able to help him see how baptism really was going to help him leave everything behind. I know that the spirit guided us to him and that it was just an amazing experience.

Anyway, that`s a bit of what`s going on here! I feel great here in Tumbes. It`s kind of weird to realize that I`ve been gone so long! However, I know I`m where the Lord wants me to be. I hope that you all are doing well, and don`t forget to send me a letter every once in a while! The mail here takes longer than in Piura, but I promise that I reply to everything. :)

Love you all!

Elder Schofield

Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference! - email from October 8, 2012

What an amazing week, right?? I really practically jumped for joy when President Monson spoke! 18 years old! 19 years old!!! Bring on the sister missionaries! They`re going to change the world. Then...AREQUIPA, PERU!!!! THREE TEMPLES IN PERU!!! Many of you probably were more excited about Tucson...ya, well, Arequipa is better! :P Haha, but it was pretty exciting, to say the least.

Conference for me was a VERY spirit filled experience. I received so much personal revelation it was insane. For instance, I felt from the beginning that I was watching at the same time as Mom and Dad, and turns out that was true! I also felt during many times that a message was directed for one of my sisters or family members. It really was a spirit filled weekend, one I wouldn`t change for the world.

Wow. I think they put a bit of pressure on us! `Ask the missionaries! They can help!` Haha, but`s true. As I sat there and looked around the stake center at the 20 missionaries...I thought, it`s true. If I had a question, I could go to any one of them. They are blessed with the gifts that only God can give. I have seen that in action in my companions, zone leaders, district leaders, assistants, and many others. It`s incredible to think that maybe, just maybe, I can be counted in with them. It truly is an honor to be a part of the Lord`s force to go out there and help people discover for themselves the truths that have been hid for thousands of years. Do you know how incredible that is? Well, I love it!

This past week in Pampa Grande was awesome! As many of you know, on Friday I completed one year in the mission! It was a great day! First of all, in the afternoon we had some great lessons. I`d like to tell you what an amazing companion I have, and how I really saw the spirit work through him.

So, we were teaching Monica, who told us up front that she is never at home, so we can`t really schedule visits. I could tell she was just being honest, but that she really wanted to learn. So, we began teaching the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. She had a TON of questions! For most of them, I had to tell her that we simply didn`t have time to explain all of the doctrine, but that we would give her something that truly could answer each and every one of her questions. She was interested at that point!

We then explained the Book of Mormon and how it can answer any questions. She accepted it, but then she had a question about why even the best people can fall. She was saying that she listened to tons of different missionaries from other religions, and she wanted an answer to this one. She said she couldn`t really trust any church because she always read in the news about how a bishop and violated a follower or that a church leader was using drugs, etc. She wondered why the best fell. She said everyone just told her that Satan was in it, and that she should be fine with that answer, but she wanted more.

The spirit really had been strong that whole lesson, but when she posed that question, I simply did not know how to respond. So, instead of saying anything, I waited for Elder Panduro. He began by saying, `Hermana, you know how Jesus Christ had His 12 apostles, but one of them betrayed Him...` At that point, I think all of us felt the spirit strong. She interrupted him, with a new light in her eyes, and said, `OH...` like he had answered her question in a very direct manner.

Later, my companion told me he had no idea how to answer the question, but the words just seemed to come out. I know that the Holy Ghost answered her question through my companion. It was an incredible experience that really taught me that we are just instruments in God`s hands. He will be the one teaching them, not us. I am so grateful to be in this position. Although Monica is VERY busy, and we may not get to really follow up with her, I felt the spirit whisper to me that she will be baptised. She is going to be converted through reading the Book of Mormon. I know that book can have a powerful effect in the lives of all people. I will continue to share and bear testimony in every opportunity I have.

Another really cool thing happened Friday! My pensionista made me a cake!! It was HUGE! I was very suprised. :) They took pictures with their camera, but I haven`t had a chance to copy them yet. :) Anyway, it was such an amazing thing because with four little girls I know that they don`t have a lot of money, and they really don`t know me that well yet! Haha, it was funny cause they wrote my name SCOTTFIELD. But hey, close enough, right? It was super delicious and made for a very memorable year in the mission.

Today we got to clean the apartment again, yay!! I finally feel like I can breathe a little more, but it`s still super dirty...I don`t think a single missionary has cleaned it in a year. Reminds me of the warning sister Baird gave me before the mission to make sure my room is clean. She was right, missionaries aren`t always representatives of Christ in their cleanliness!! Anyway, I`m trying to follow her council.

I love you all! Have a great week! Write me soon!!!

Elder Schofield

Monday, October 1, 2012

A bit of info on Tumbes, Peru'

So, I (Cory) did a bit of research on Tumbes so we could learn a bit about where Dallon is at. Tumbes is right on the very northern tip of the Peru' coast and is very near the boarder of Equador. It is a bit inland from the coast.  Tumbes is a city in northwestern Peru, on the banks of the Tumbes River. It is the capital of the Tumbes Region, as well as of Tumbes Province and Tumbes District. Located near the border with Ecuador, Tumbes has 94,702 inhabitants.

Here's a map showing where Tumbes is:
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Here's a closer look at the city with the area Dallon is living in pinned.

View Larger Map

Here are some pictures of Tumbes I found on the internet:


Pampa Grande, Tumbes!!! - Email from Oct 1, 2012

Well, it`s official! I have left Piura! The department seemed to just drift behind me in the 6 hour bus ride from the station in Piura Central. It was a LONG ride. Rambo 1-4 played on the bus...kind of an annoying temptation to avoid, and since I can`t sleep and get carsick in the tiny buses...well, you can imagine how much I love riding in these big greyhound buses! However, there was an AMAZING sunset to see, and we had a great view of the beach for quite a while. Elder Sims from Iowa is one of my new ZL`s, and he and I talked quite a bit on the way. Oh! Also, Elder Littell came with me to tumbes! However, he`s in a different zone that they just barely opened this change! Exciting things are happening here in the greatest mission in the world!!!

So my new companion is Elder Panduro. I`d love to show you a photo but unfortunately the battery has died. Next week! When I got to Pampa Grande, he really didn`t talk much. I found out later that the reason is probably because he got a Dear John letter last week! Thank goodness I don`t have that to worry about. Now he`s opened up and I think we`re going to be great friends. He`s more obedient than other companions I`ve had, we even went running today! I am DEFINITELY out of shape. It felt super weird to run, and I know it`s because I haven`t done it in almost a year. Ugh...I`m OLD. Mission wise. World wise. What are you gonna do?

The area that I`m in, Pampa Grande, is pretty. If you Google it, we live on Calle Loreto, near the park Pampa Grande. The park is more of a plaza de armas in from of the Catholic church, but they call it a park. We have pavement!!! Big change from the sand of Sechura. The people are more reserved here, more protective, but that`s ok. :) They are all still getting used to seeing a very tall gringo walking down the street. My companion as well! They point, stare, make comments, and attempt to speak english...well, I think they`re trying to speak english! Many times I wonder what language it is...but my companion seems to think it`s english as well!

The people here seem to work a lot in sales. Another interesting thing is the contraband gasoline on every corner. they have bottles of coke filled with gas that has been stolen that they sell to the moto taxis. Police even buy it from them. Doesn`t seem to worry them where it came from. The area we`re in includes the university of Tumbes, which seems fairly large! Also, I`m in a ward!! Big change from a branch. On Sunday, I was able to attend a Sunday School class that felt just like Utah. They were talking about some deep stuff, and I learned a ton! Definitely different from Sechura and Negritos, where I sometimes had to correct the doctrines that they were teaching. Here, it`s different.

Mom...if you could have seen the room I walked into, you might have died. It was FULL of trash. I guess Elder Panduro was with someone else when his companion was packing and leaving, so he left all of the trash there. Today I got it all taken out, and the room is CLEAN! You may not believe it, but some of Sam and you must have rubbed off on me. Negritos, Sechura, and now Pampa Grande have all had to be cleaned, organized, and kept that way. I`ve found that I just can`t study or even be in a room with trash on the floor. I`m learning to handle my companion spitting and blowing his snot all over the floor and walls. It`s something that a lot of Peruvians do, that are from the jungle, so it`s hard for him to change. But the room is definitely cleaner than before!

As for investigators...we had a baptism this week!!! Hermana Karina was baptised on Saturday and confirmed Sunday. It was a great welcome for me! We have one other progressing investigator, Jorge Silva, that I have just immediately come to love. He reminds me of Grandpa Shaw a lot in his mannerisms. He used to be a huge mechanic in Peru, he tells us that he won a competition and was one in 2 of the best mechanics in Peru. As a mechanic, he had his women, beer, and two packs of cigarrettes a day. He said he drank a beer all day long! Right now, he has dropped the women, beer, and is down to 2 or 3 single cigarrettes a day! It truly is a miracle to see how much he`s changed.

I`ve been working to try to help him set a date to stop smoking. He has a baptismal date for the 14th of this month, but he hasn`t stopped smoking so that will not be possible. This is the first time I`ve taught someone that has had an addiction, so I`m looking to all sources for how to help him. An Ensign article from a couple years ago that talked about Pornography helped a little, but if anyone has ideas of how to do it, advice is welcome! For now, I`ve talked to him about the times he has the urge to smoke. He said around 630 to 9 is when it`s the worst. We set up a goal that he`s going to go out walking until 8, when it`s cold (it`s NOT cold here...but they think that 74 F is cold...), then he`s going to come home and immediately pick up the Book of Mormon, say a prayer, and lose himself in the stories. I have a lot of faith in the power of that book, because I know that I have left a lot of my bad habits behind using this same strategy. The key is that he has faith in God and the power of the Atonement. Hoping that that will help!

Another really neat thing about Hermano Jorge, is how humble he is. He told us that he`s been praying to God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost to help him. Well, we only pray to God. Most people don`t accept that we teach them changes to their prayers, but this last week, I had to tell him. I was able to explain the role of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in our lives, and he almost had tears in his eyes as he said thank you for explaining to him. I know his prayers will have more power to help him now.

Well, I have to go. Love you all so much! Hope to hear from you all soon!

Elder Schofield