Monday, February 25, 2013

Crazy week number 100!!!! - Email from 25 Feb 2013

So maybe I`m not sure how many crazy weeks I`ve had in the mission...but I`m pretty sure we`re approaching 100 weeks!!

This week was super amazing for me because we got to visit with Elder Uceda, one of the members of the seventy!! He really impacted me and I feel like a whole new missionary again! We talked a lot about the importance of those primary answers: prayer, scripture study, and attending church.

It`s funny how before the mission, you always think of those things as such simple steps in life. Now, as a missionary, I desire more than anything to see my investigators read, pray, and attend church. I will do anything possible to help them do it, and am always looking for new ways to help them.

In the multizone conference, Elder Uceda talked about how we need to focus in on helping our investigators learn to pray, read, and attend church. We talked about how many times, they simply don`t know how to say a sincere prayer. I think there are even a lot of missionaries that need to work on that, me included! He also talked about how to read the scriptures, how we really need to dive in deep, and not just read the surface. We have to help our investigators do that too. That`s another thing that our missionaries need to get better at! Thankfully, he gave us quite a few pointers to help us out.

After having the HUGE meeting with Elder Uceda, we got to meet with him as Zone Leaders. It was truly a great meeting. We talked about some of the challenges we are seeing here in the mission and how we can improve. Elder Uceda really helped us to see a lot of things that need improving. We talked about how to take all of this to the elders in our zone and something he said caught my attention. He said, When I listen, I forgot. When I read, I remember, but when I do, I learn. He really wanted us to understand that we have to give the elders an opportunity to actually DO. Not just listen, not just read, but DO what we`re teaching them.

Really, it was a great week with Elder Uceda. Haha, it was kinda funny to...he basically burned the translation of the Book of Mormon. :) Well, he didn`t say anything disrespectful, but he talked about how it`s just so much better in English. The translation does make a few things harder to catch. It was a bit funny to see the reactions of some of my latin companions. Maybe they`ll try a little harder to learn to read english like they`re supposed to!

Other than the conference with Elder Uceda, I have been super busy running from my duties as Zone Leader and here in Tacalà. This week we made two work visits! One of them was to Morropon, which is the furthest point east in our mission. Elder Tylen Smith, who came to Peru with me, is there with Elder Delgado. It was a fun time to be with him and talk about how different our mission experiences has been. Elder Smith is super awesome and I`m excited for him!

The other work visit was with Elder Sierra and Elder Vargas. Elder Sierra came with me in Tacalà and we had a good time together as well. He`s kinda been a problem here with his companion. They just don`t get along! Actually, Elder Sierra hasn`t been able to get along with hardly any of his companions. He`s just stubborn and he also gets kind of depressed quickly. I tried to help him out, but there`s really not a lot I can do. I realized that he really isn`t listening to anyone. He just does it his own way.

Lesson learned: we have to be humble in order to be helped.

The last thing that was kinda sad to hear about were two elders in Chulucanas, who are in Elder Smith`s district. When they called in to report, they had ALL ZEROS! They did absolutely nothing this week!!! That`s really sad for me to say, because I know that they have been called as representatives of Jesus Christ, and they simply failed to complete their duty this week. Sadly, we are not perfect as missionaries either.

Talking with Elder Smith, we were both worried about what could be done. As Zone Leaders, we can`t do work visits with elders that aren`t District Leaders, so Elder Smith is going to do one this week, and we`ll see what happens. These two elders are really great! I know that one of them is probably super trunky because he goes home in two weeks, but that really isn`t an excuse. We`ll see what we can do to help them catch the mission spirit again...mostly a lot of praying.

I am so grateful for this time in my life. I am getting closer and closer to the end...I don`t like to think about it. My companion is going home in just 8 weeks as well! That will be an interesting thing to see happen as well, that is if I get the priviledge of being his last companion.

I know that this is God`s work. Even if we don`t necessarily represent Christ the way He wants us to, I know that His work is done. Somehow, someway, He provides for the salvation of His children. I`m grateful to be, at times, an instrument in His hands. I know that if I just work hard, I will be able to become a powerful instrument: someone prepared and willing to go where He wants me to go, or say what He wants me to say.

I hope that you all are doing well back in the states! Make sure to keep up with your primary basics! Don`t make light of it either...a prayer said just with words and without feeling really doesn`t do any good! Neither does going to church without looking for inspiration, or merely reading the scriptures and not SEARCHING them. Do it all, and life will be much easier. :)

Love you!!
Elder Schofield

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mini CCM!! What a week... email from 2/18/2013

This past week has been incredibly hectic, and the coming week will be even more crazy! Let me explain a bit...

So for the past 3 weeks we´ve been planning a one day MTC for the future missionaries in our ward. That has included visiting them, making sure that people are commited to bring them to church at 6 am on Saturday, and getting everything else prepared. Basically this whole past week we spent every spare moment visiting this future missionaries and coordinating with our Mission Leader! It´s been really hectic.

I must say, this ward is WAY more organized than Tumbes, Sechura, or Negritos. I am so grateful! Karina Flores, the daughter of our Ward Mission Leader, has been simply incredible! She basically organized the whole activity and gave us the responsabilities. Although we did not reach our goal of having 50 there, we had 37 and they had an AMAZING time!

Among other things, the youth were able to listen to the Stake President and President Rowley give talks. Both their talks focused on mission life and preparing. I found myself taking notes, trying to find ways to improve as well! The spirit was super strong. President Rowley even commented that in our ward there were more youth than there were in a similar stake activity that was going on at the same time! I felt good after that. :)

After having classes that the missionaries and RM´s taught, the youth went out on splits to find references for us. They had a TON of success! In just our area, we received 18 references! After, the youth came back and bore there testimonies. I felt the spirit stronger than I have in a very long time...I really saw how sacrifice and planning can make a huge difference in the lives of these young people.

After all of that, I had a talk on Sunday about how to share our testimonies. I had absolutely NO time to prepare this talk. However...for some strange reason, I felt like I had already been prepared. Thanks to some talks that Jen sent, I had been thinking a lot about the role of the Holy Ghost in gaining a personal testimony and sharing it with people.

When I stood up to give the talk, I felt the spirit enter my mind and heart with force. I just had to open my mouth and begin speaking. I spoke for only 9 minutes because the other missionaries had gone over on their time, but I felt the spirit SO strong. It really was an amazing experience where I was able to invite the people to put to test what it says in Moroni, read, ponder ,and pray! I shared how by just doing those simple things, we can develope a strong testimony that we won´t be able to resist sharing with other people.

There is not a better experience in the world. Feeling God work through you with the Holy Ghost is simply amazing. I was able to feel that more than once this week. Unfortunately my internet time doesn´t permit me to share everything with you all. Just know that I am learning so much about becoming an instrument in His hands.

Our Zone is doing ok. Honestly, we are passing through many challenges right now. I am trying to help out each district and missionary, one by one. At times, I feel like I can´t do much. I know that to be true! I can´t do anything by myself. What I try to do is just bring the spirit to everything I say and do. I´ve learned to stop stressing and just confide in the fact that God will take care of everything. I just have to look for the spirit and follow it. Every small act can lift a missionary and help him to become better.

Well, I hope you all know that I love you! Saludos a mi nuevo sobrino, Henry Jackson Bruton! It´s good to have one more member in the family. :) I can´t wait to meet him when I get home!

Love you all!!! Take care and remember that I´m praying for you!
Elder Schofield

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Crazy week of Meetings! - Email from 11 Feb 2013

Well, this week has sure been FULL of meetings!! I`m beginning to see
what it really means to be a Zone Leader. :) It`s a lot of fun, and a
lot of work!

This Tuesday we had our Consejo de Zona Meeting. It was a lot of fun!
I got to see Elder Turcios there again! I sure miss him...he`s the
best trainer anyone could ask for! We had a great time there, and I
learned a lot! There`s a lot that we need to do better here in the
mission, and we were able to learn a lot about our planning that we
need to do better. There`s not much time left here in the mission! We
need to take advantage of every opportunity to find, teach, and

After that, we had our meeting with the Stake President. WOW: I have
not been in a meeting that organized and brief since before my
mission! It was amazing to see how a meeting can be that way. I guess
that where the church is just beginning they don`t have much
leadership experience, but in Miraflores, there are 42 missionaries
for a reason! They`re helping us!

On Thursday, we had our Zone Meeting that Elder Chinchay and I put
together. It went really well, and President Rowley even came to
visit! We were able to talk about what we learned in Consejo de Zona
and helped the missionaries a bit. I felt kinda weird being there in
front of them as a ZL, because it was really the first time, and many
of them are from my same group! However, after just two minutes there
it just felt natural, and I became more focused in how to help the
elders and hermanas in our zone progress.

During the reunion, we noticed that Elder Bricca, who came to the
field with me, was a bit discouraged, so we decided to do a work
visit. I went to his area in Miraflores, where everyone is rich! He`s
down because they just aren`t having a lot of success finding people.
They work more with converts than they can with investigators because
of that. We talked about our difficulties in the mission. I really was
able to share my experiences from Pampa Grande-which really showed me
how God had prepared me to help other elders. More than anything, I
listened. It was a really great time, and we had success findin 3 new
great investigators! I think I was able to show him that you CAN have
success in that area. You just need to be happy and have a good
attitude. Before I left, Elder Bricca thanked me and said that the
work visit had really helped him. I just hope that they can continue
working hard and having success!!

After that...the stoves arrived!! about a lot of work! We
had to pull down about 100 fridges, stovetops, microwaves, blankets,
beds, bedframes, utensils, and everything else from a huge truck. Then
we organized it by zone, and then by area! It took a whole morning to
get everything ready and sent off to the areas. Haha, it was kinda
funny because everyone was so excited about the stoves coming, and
there were two Hermanas that took everything to their apartment except
the stove!!! It made us laugh, even though we had to wait an extra 20
minutes for them to come pick it up. :)

My last experience-because a lot happened this week! Was our Fireside
we had sunday afternoon. We`re planning a great activity, one day in
the MTC for this Saturday and this was the kickoff. We planned on
projecting a talk by Elder Holland to get people excited for it.
Well...everything came through...except the projecter! We didn`t have
it! Thankfully, last minute, we were able to find one. Then, as we got
everything just about set up...the power went away. We didn`t have
lights, fans, or ANYTHING, and it was 5 minutes after when we had said
it would start! I said a quick prayer and just felt that somehow
things would be ok. we kept going, trying to cover windows so that the
movie could be seen without the sunlight coming in. We got that all
done...but still didn`t have power. Finally, it got so late that we
decided to just have the speakers begin and maybe just leave it at

As the young man said the prayer, he prayed that the lights would come
on. As soon as he said amen, the lights flipped on. The fans started.
The computer came to life and we were able to see the video! Turns out
that it was better late, because if it had been earlier, the sunlight
would have destroyed our idea of having a projector! Heavenly Father
knew that, and that`s why He waited until that very moment. Also, I
imagine that this young man will never forget that moment, and the
fact that God can answer prayers in the very moment that we say
them-we only need to ask.

Well, I hope you all know that I love you!!! Take Care!
Elder Schofield

First Week as Zone Leader! Yay Piura! - Email from Feb 4, 2013

Well, I am FINALLY in Piura! It`s kinda funny, I`ve been in the Peru
Piura mission for 16 months now, but just recently have entered what
you would call the city of Piura. I really haven`t gotten to know it
at all until now!

I am in Tacalà, Miraflores, Piura! My companion is Elder Chinchay from
Lima, he was my District Leader in Sechura before! He`s super great
and only has two more changes left in his mission! I may be his last
companion, in fact, more than likely I will be! I`m super excited to
be here, and I know that being a Zone Leader is a great opportunity to
learn, grow, and serve the elders and sisters in my zone.

Our zone here is BIG! We have from Miraflores, which is a pretty rich
area, to Morropon! It`s a pretty big area to cover, with Morropon an
hour and a half bus ride from our area. Our area is huge as well! I
think that if I stay here 4 changes, I still won`t be able to meet all
the people! It`s a great area to work in, and the ward here seems to
be pretty good as well. There are 6 elders and 2 sisters in the ward!
I`m really excited to be working with them.

This week has really been a great experience. It`s different, being a
Zone Leader. We`re always running around with things to do, and we
have to really work hard to go out proseliting in the little time that
we have! We`ve had some success this week finding some great
investigators! Unfortunately, none of them made it to Sacrament
Meeting, but we had 3 come to the second hour of church! I was
pleasantly suprised because it was just after the first time we had
taught them!

This area has a lot more people that are receptive than Pampa Grande.
I feel blessed to be here. We had to work hard in Pampa Grande to have
just 2 or three lessons a day. We`ve had two days this week with SIX
lessons! It makes me feel like we`re actually able to help more
people. :)

Although Elder Chinchay and I are having great success. there is one
district in our zone that is struggling. They`re in the richer part,
so that`s part of the problem. Also, two of the sisters have been
sick, and also Elder Bricca, the DL, has been vomiting this week! They
haven`t had much success and seem a bit discouraged. With four sisters
in the`s tougher. For those of you RM`s that have
had sisters in your district or zone, you should understand. I LOVE
sisters. They are the best missionaries out there! However, I think
they could learn to be a bit less reliant on their leaders. I think
we`ve gotten a call from them every night this week...

That`s another I lost our cellphone. :( We were coming
back from an activity in Chulucanas (super beautiful city by the way!
Cleaner than any other town in Piura or Tumbes!) and the cellphone
disappeared from my pocket in the bus. I`m like 99 percent sure that
the man that sat next to me robbed me. :( All day today we`ve been in
the Police station filing the report so we haven`t had even five
minutes to go proseliting! We reported to the ofice and
everything...and it looks like we should have a new phone tomorrow,
but I do feel bad about it.

Anyway, that`s the life here in the mission! I love it...and am LOVING
the fact that we now cook breakfast and dinner! That means we can be
out later, we have time to do excersizes in the morning, and I can
learn to cook! If any of you have some SUPER cheap and quick recipes,
I`m game. :) I`m going to try to learn some peruvian foods
too...although my companion doesnt know how to cook hardly at all!
That`s ok. :) We`ll learn together!

Well, time`s up! I hope you all know that I love you! Take care of yourselves!!

Elder Schofield

Elder Schofield, tiene una nueva asignaciòn​... - email from 28 Jan 2013

Well, that makes the 3rd time that i`ve heard those words from President Rowley here in Pampa Grande! After just one change here as District Leader, I have been called as a Zone Leader! Needless to say, I was not expecting this. However, I know that God has prepared me, and with my desire to just be of service to him and other missionaries, i know that I will be able to help at least some of the elders, even if I don`t necessarily have the leadership experience.

It`s interesting how much I have changed here in Pampa Grande. I came here just trying to be a good Senior Companion and help Elder Panduro out. Later, I was called to Train! Talk about a challenge...I didn`t feel ready, especially in this area. The call came in a time when I was more depressed than ever! However, I accepted with faith that God would help me. Later, I was called as District Leader! Another shock...another responsability that quickly turned sour as i had the misfortune of sending Elder Santillan home. Recently, I found out that Elder De La Cruz, also a member of my district, has been sent home as well. Not an easy thing to comprehend! Thankfully, my companion is going great...I`ve learned a lot. now I am leaving here to become a Zone Leader!

I know that God puts challenges in our path for a reason. We are constantly being prepared. if you just let Him mold you, you can become His most beautiful creation. .)

So...with all of this happening, my week has also been completely fantastic! On Thursday, we ran into another great couple! They are super catholic, but I feel like God sent us at a perfect time. Their son has had drug and alcohol problems for a while, and we were able to help them see how God is really prepared to help them through a modern day prophet. They even came to church this Sunday!

It was very interesting in church because Raul and Enma received a call during Sunday School! They answered and I heard them tell the other person that they were in the `Mormon Church` and the other person began ridiculing us and telling lies about the church. It was super awesome to here Raul defend the church and basically tell the other person to go jump in a lake! ( sorry, had to use that English phrase.) It was cool, and I feel really great about them!

Marcos and Elizabeth are doing well as well! Unfortunately marcos didn`t make it to church Sunday...we left it to them to come, and he had to cross the border for some things and didn`t get back in time. however, Elizabeth came by herself with the kids!! That was huge for me because i was thinking that she still was a bit reserved for her Evangelical background. However, it appears that shes also serious about baptism!

Well, I don`t know where I`ll be next week! i`m pretty sure in piura again. i`ll miss the rain here and the people, but I`m excited for what lies ahead. Maybe I`ll be companions with Elder Turcious again!! he`s Zl in Sullana. i would love that. :)

Oh!! I need help too...send me some recipes that i can make for dinner! I`ll be cooking tomorrow!! Simple things...that will be quick and cheap. :)

Love you all!!
Elder Schofield


Hola Padres y Familiares! - email from Jan 21, 2013

So...this area has just completely changed! We now have...wait for it...3 people that are progressing!!! I am so happy right now, you have no idea. I have worked hard here, even cried to just have one or two people that really wanted to listen to us. These last two weeks have been answers to my prayers, and I`m sure it`s thanks to all of you. Thank you for your support, your prayers, and most of all for your examples to me.

Marcos and Elizabeth (we got her name wrong last time...happens a lot ;) ) came to church again this week with their kids! It already seems like they just belong there. They know a lot of members, and are really understanding everything super quickly! Marcos has some problems with alcohol, mostly because of his friends. However, after just teaching him about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvaiton, he`s turning his friends down! I am super excited to see that progress in him. He really feels the truthfulness of this work.

Last Wednesday, we had a super great lesson with them. We talked about marriage and then about the Plan of Happiness. As I began explaining the Atonement and what is going to happen after, I felt the spirit so strong. We pulled out a few scriptures from the Book of Mormon and just simply read so that they could understand for themselves. I KNOW that it was the spirit teaching them. I`ve never had investigators understand the passages that we read, but after asking just a few questions, they were teaching us! It was an incredible experience.

They have committed to a baptismal date the second weekend of March. They still need to get married, so we`re working to pass through that hurdle first. At the same time, they have literally `invaded` an abandoned property to build their little shack of a home. Basically all of the homes here in my mission start that way. They build little mud huts before the big cement homes. Usually it`s property of the municipalidad, but later they pay to get their property license and everything. Gotta love Peru!

Anyway, we`ve been helping them with their house and everything. Really great people!

We also got a reference this week from the Bishop from Buenos Aires. We went over there, and found another great, unmarried couple! We`re working with them and having some success. They`re passing through some serious financial difficulties, and I`m hoping that they can llook past all of that in order to accept our message and follow Christ. If they do that, I have faith that they can pull out of this debt, one way or another.

Some missionaries have a hard time testifying that money comes to those that follow the commandments. I understand because people need to follow the commandments because they love God, not because of the money. However, I want everyone within the sound of my voice to know that I know that God blesses us in EVERY way. I have not met a single person who is faithful to their covenants and is following the commandments because of their love of God that is begging in the street. God blesses us. He will bless us all if we simply come to Him. Trust Him. Build up treasures in heaven first, and the earthy treasures will follow. Why do you think the Nephites always got rich before apostasizing again? Because God blessed them with those riches.

I know that these things are true. There is nothing more important in this life than following Christ and doing His will. I hope you all are doing that!

Love you!!!
Elder Schofield

Miracles Happen! - email from Jan 14, 2013

So this week, I have been able to witness a miracle here in Pampa Grande! Really, I am so thankful for all that God has done for me here. I have learned so much, and I continue to learn every single day. I hope that I can always remember these small and simple lessons of obedience and how God`s hand really is in everything.
So the miracle that I witnessed wasn`t just one investigator attending was FIVE!! I can`t tell you how excited I was to see FIVE people that we`ve been teaching there at church!! In my four months here in Pampa Grande, I have only had one investigator attend church! This week really was a miracle for me.

We have really worked hard to help a lot of people, and have struggled finding new people that really want to listen to us! However, in this last week, we found a great family! Marcos and Isabel are living super close to our apartment, and have two children. We knocked their door one day, and they are just super receptive! Marcos went to church for the first time in his entire life this Sunday and seemed to love it! The members were super welcoming, we didn`t even have to tell anyone to say hi to them, they just all went up and did it themselves!

It really was a great experience to see them there. They still need to get married before their baptism, but I have a really good feeling with this couple. They are just so sincere with us. Marcos will have to make changes in his life, but he`s already made a few. :) He cut off his beard, and cut his hair too, which made him much more presentable for church! Isabel still holds on to some of her beliefs, but I think the changes in Marcos are softening her outlook on the church. We`ll be working a lot with them over the next couple of weeks!

Other than that amazing miracle, this week has been super great for me. The zone leaders did a work visit with me, and we just had a ton of success! Elder Trowbridge, who`s from Texas, was with me. Haha, it`s kind of funny because I heard about him from his sister before the mission! We worked together at Pinnacle Security, and now he`s my ZL! Funny how small the world is. Anyway, we had a great time and I really felt the spirit working alongside him.

Here in Tumbes...we`re DYING of heat...I did not think I could sweat soo much! Thankfully, last year prepared me a bit for this, so I`m not overwhelmed by it, but my companion is always dripping sweat! Pobrecito, I bet he loses a lot of weight because he`s going to pass the whole summer here in Pampa Grande!

On top of all the heat, yesterday they cut the power and the water all day! Needless to say, church was interesting in a room that has two doors and NO windows! It was hot, stuffy, and very loud with all the little kids. With the five investigators, I was so excited that all that didn`t matter. However, it was very interesting. I`m pretty sure a lot of people weren`t able to bath either...

Anyway...I don`t know what else to write about! I just want to thank you all for your support. I know that your prayers have given me this great blessing. Five people that attend church...for me, that`s a lot. God has blessed me this week with hope, faith, and a renewed vision of what can be done. My circumstances really haven`t changed a ton. We`re still struggling to find people to teach and still having to work very hard. However, God has given me the faith and the strength to move on. I just hope to keep moving forward in HIs work!

Take care of yourselves! Don`t forget about your New Years Resolution! If you could all just put one more on that list....just to bring ONE person to Christ. It might be your neighbor, your family member, your dentist, etc. God puts people in your path. Are you recognizing them? Are you reaching out to help them in the moment that they need you? I know that if you put specific goals to find the one God is putting there, it will happen. You will see miracles, just like I`m seeing here from a very hot, sweaty, and beautiful land in Tumbes.

Love you all!!

Elder Schofield

Interviews, Rain, and CALOR!!!! (Heat!) - email from Jan 7, 2013

So I think we have officially entered the summer season here in Tumbes! I am DYING of heat! It is pretty intense! Today while I was eating my hot soup for lunch (weird, right?) I was sweating so bad that drops were falling from my arm to the floor. I`m pretty sure that wouldn`t happen very much in Utah at this time of year!!

The other really cool thing about Tumbes is the rain! It`s rained almost every day this week, even if it`s only been about 15 minutes. It`s quite strange to feel raindrops when the sun is blazing hot, but that`s the way it is! One day it poured pretty good, but they say it`s just beginning! Gotta love Tumbes!!

This week really was an important week for me, I think. We had a Zone Meeting on Wednesday where we talked about our goals as a mission. The mission has changed a LOT. Last year, we had the goal to teach 30 lessons a week and have 4 baptisms a month! Now, we have changed to just 2 baptisms a week! Quite a change, right? I feel like the people already know`s actually turning into a mission like the states! We really have to work with members.

After the meeting, President Rowley called Elder De La Cruz, whose from my district, into a different room to talk to him. At first, I thought it would have something to do with Elder Santillan because Elder De La Cruz was the last one to see him. However, it was something completely different!

When he walked out from talking with President, I knew something was wrong. We were on companion exchanges, so I went with Elder De La Cruz to his apartment. I simply asked if he was ok, and if I could do anything-I knew I really shouldn`t ask what President had said or anything, even though I knew Elder De La Cruz was bothered by it.

After spending almost an hour in the bathroom, Elder De La Cruz came out and just began telling me EVERYTHING that had happened. I was suprised, but he seemed to have a lot of confidence in me. After I found out that there was a rumor going around about him in another area, and that he was scared to be sent home for this rumor, I could understand his nervousness. Thankfully, God put the words in my mouth to help him out. He was super nervous, but I really did feel God working through me to help calm him more and put his trust in God and President Rowley as his leader.

It really was a good experience that helped me to see that maybe I was called as District Leader for a reason. I truly feel like it wasn`t a mistake that we had companion exchanges that day. I was able to help Elder De La Cruz, even if it was in just a small way.

The next day, we all had our interviews, Elder De La Cruz for the second time. Thankfully, everything went ok with him. The interview I had with President also went really well. He helped me to see that God really had put me in this situation and had placed confidence in me. President always supports me so much, and I`m very grateful for that.

On Friday, I got a call from President. He wanted me to have Elder De La Cruz call him. After talking to President, Elder De La Cruz called me completely freaking out! President told him that he had to come to Piura with all of his bags packed, everything ready to go! He thought he was going home!

After the rumor that had gone around, I honestly did believe he was getting sent home! I told him that we`d be over to give him a blessing before he left, which seemed to calm him a bit. I couldn`t believe that I was going to send 2 elders home in my first change as District Leader!! was a false alarm! Haha, Elder De La Cruz called President again because he was so worried and got the news that he was going to be the next Personal Secretary to the President. BIG relief! It does mean that my district has now been downsized to four...which is kind of lame, but that`s cool!

I know that this really is God`s work. Things happen for a reason. I don`t know why we have to go through so many struggles to learn and grow, but we do! I have learned a ton in these four weeks, and I know that I will just keep learning.

I hope this email makes sense...I`m finding it harder and harder to express myself! One day I`ll have to learn how to write in English again. :)

Love you all so much! Hope you have a great January!!!

Elder Schofield

Christmas Week!!! - email from 12/31/2012

Well, it is official! I have now passed through my two Christmasses away from home!! Very hard to believe...and a very good thought. :) Honestly, this Christmas was one of the very best in some ways, but it was also one of the very hardest!

So on Christmas Eve, we got to go and be with the Elders from Buenos Aires, that are part of our District! It was a really fun night where we played Monopoly (I OWNED, just so ya know...), ate a HUGE Turkey with spaghetti noodles, and just had a really good time. It was nice to be with all the other elders during Christmas, because otherwise it would have been pretty boring!

On Christmas Day, I got to make my phonecall through Skype! It was a very emotional call after so long not seeing any of you girls or mom and dad. Haha, but I guess that`s the way it goes! It`s tough to be so far away, especially when our family is growing and changing so much together. However, this is what God wants. This is what the people of Peru and our family needs.

After the phone call, we had a District Meeting!! Talk about difficult...I hadn`t had much time to prepare and my whole district was basically walking like they were dead. Another tough part was that Elder De La Cruz was having a tough time...I could see it in his eyes, he was at the point of wanting to go home!

During a practice when Elder De La Cruz was supposedly an investigator, I was able to tell that I wasn`t teaching an investigator, I was teaching him. Thankfully, God somehow put some words into his mind as he listened, and he was able to recognize the importance of prayer, and received some comfort that way. However, what really saved Elder De La Cruz from going home was his family. Wherever they are, I hope they know that they were God`s hand. After talking with his family, he was ready to go again. :) We`re all passing through a tough time, and I am so grateful for the many people that are watching out for us and really conveying the love, concern, and councel of our Heavenly Father.

On the 26th, we went to Talara!!! Wow...I miss Talara!! I was even able to see my first pensionista, the Hermana Victoria Rosales!!! It was cool to talk to her, and hear about some of the success that Negritos will have! Since I left, they haven`t had a single baptism...but they should have had one this last weekend! Negritos now only has two missionaries due to the lack of support and makes me sad, but that`s the way it goes.

During the conference, President showed us the movie `Silent Night` about how the song was written. It just came out!!! Very weird to watch a REAL movie like was also an AWESOME film! I hope you all see it.

The 27th, I got to go to Piura! There we had a training meeting for the District Leaders. It was cool to see old companions there, Elder Ramirez, Elder Yupa, Elder Martinez, and others. I learned a lot about my responsabilities as well as how I can be a better leader. We also set monthly goals for this next year! Wow...has the mission changed! I think the people in our mission have changed, they`re just not as receptive. We need to build up the converts before we can see the success we had in baptisms again. I hope we can do that. Our goals have dropped from 4 baptisms a month to 2. That`s just a small taste of the changes this mission is seeing.

Well, I hope all is well with you. Remember that there`s at least one elder here in Peru that is praying for all of you! I love you tons, and hope all is well in this new year! Don`t forget to set spiritual goals, and really follow the spirit to do that. If you need some help setting great goals, Preach My Gospel has a great chapter about using time wisely and setting goals! I think that`s chapter 8!! you all so much! Keep up the letters please!! They mean more than you could ever know...

Elder Schofield

La Buenanoche!!! - email from Dec 24, 2012

I simply can`t believe Christmas Eve is here! I feel like just yesterday I was telling myself that I just needed to wait a few more months to talk to my family...and tomorrow is the day!!! Can you believe it?? I`m sure you`re all as shocked as I am about how quickly this time has gone by! Life sure has changed in the last year...I can remember it like yesterday when I called from Negritos during Christmas! Haha, remember that family? I hadn`t bathed for 5 days because of the lack of water!! Well, I just barely got out of the shower. :) Life is better, if not just a little hotter, here in Tumbes. :)

So this week for me was pretty crazy! Of course we had changes and I got the new position of being the District Leader! That didn`t mean a whole lot to me until Thursday when I found out who`s in my district! I get to have Elder Fankhauser in my district! He`s in my group, and is from Utah as well! I`m super excited to have him.

After just barely getting to know my district...we`re already missing one! I got the notice on Sunday night...Elder Santillan went home. :( He`s also from my group. I guess he just packed up his bags and left. He didn`t want to talk to President, nothing! His companion begged him to stay, but to no avail. It`s super crazy to know first week as a District Leader and someone decides to bail, someone that has almost 15 months in the mission!

Besides all of the worry with that, this week has gone pretty well! My companion is doing great, and every day I feel like we`re becoming better friends! It will be tough to leave him.

This week we had to work hard to try to find new people to teach. This area just...I don`t know, it`s tough to find people to teach! However, we have faith that God will put people in our path. We were able to have some great lessons together. Even more great, we have some members who are really doing their part to help us out!

Oh! Another awesome thing...this week we had a Talent Show! I`ll try to include the picture of what we did, a midget trick! It was pretty fun, and a lot of people turned out! I wish the ward would do more activities, but that`s ok. :)

Anyway...I am looking forward to the phone call tomorrow! It will be fun! On the 26th, I`ll be heading back to Talara for the Christmas Multi Zone Reunion! I`m excited to go back...if not a little homesick for good old Negritos...I have a bit of hope of passing through there, but I highly doubt that I`ll be able to. It`s about 15 minutes away from the center of town, and there just won`t be time. :( Maybe I`ll get back to Talara sometime in the future...

Anyway, hope all is well with you! I love you all so much! Have a great Christmas Eve and remember to leave the cookies and milk for Santa Clause!!!! Haha, funny how we have such silly traditions, right? :P

Elder Schofield