Monday, July 15, 2013

Gpodbye Sullana... email from July 15, 2013

Well, that´s right! I have only survived one change here in Sullana, and boy has it been quite a change!! With Elder Vargas, a lot of things have happened. I have never felt the spirit so much in my life, and felt so close to God. He really has guided us so much´s incredible. Before the mission, I did believe that the Book of Mormon was true. Yes, I believe in angels. I believe that God can change an entire people and that 2,000 people can be baptised at once. However...did I REALLY believe that??

Now, more than ever, I can say that I believe in Christ. He lives. He is beginning to do a ´marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.´ It´s funny that I say that he´s beginning to do it, because it´s been going on for centuries! He has ALWAYS sent missionaries to preach His gospel. They have ALWAYS found success as they search to do His will, and He has always guided them to the people that are prepared. I have seen miracles. I have found the people that He sent me to.

The bad part about changes is saying goodbye. Right now, Elder Vargas and I have quite a few people that are going to be baptised with the next month! There´s Sara, Julio, Piero, Gloria, Fernand, Joaquien, Josselyn, and possibly Flor. That´s two families and two young women!!! ALL of them have been miracles. I have felt the spirit SO strongly with every single one of them. It´s sad to think that I might not be at their baptisms...but I know that Elder Vargas will do a great job finishing off all the details!

The most amazing thing about Sullana has been the work with the members. Honestly, I never felt like a part of the ward in other places. Sure...I was there every Sunday and I tried to work with the members, but it was different here. I really felt like the relied on my. The trusted in us as missionaries, and because of that we were able to see a lot of success here.

TRUST in the missionaries. Give them the names of your family members and friends. Ask them to help you get started on your own missionary work, because there´s nothing else that can bring as much joy!

This week, I had the opportunity to see that with Antonia, one of our ward missionaries. She´s a bit overweight, and has the BEST smile in the world. She´s been helping us a lot with the two families we´re teaching. Sara and Gloria are friends of hers because their kids study with her 14 year old son. A couple months ago, Elder Turcious (yep, my first companion!) told her to write a list of her friends and to begin praying that they could receive the gospel. She did that, and even invited Gloria to listen to the missionaries, but she said no, she was catholic and would be catholic until the death!

That´s when she kept praying! She didn´t know what would happen, and neither did we, but God knew.

On Saturday, we watching an hour long movie of Joseph Smith with Antonia and the young men we´re teaching. Gloria only made it for the last 15 minutes or so, where it showed how Joseph Smith died for the cause. We weren´t able to explain anything because it was 9 o´clock and we had to be home! However, Antonia told us on Sunday that she was really moved by it and because of that had a lot more desires to attend church!

Sunday rolls around, and they came! I taught the class to the investigators, about gifts of the spirit. I could see that Gloria and Fernando were paying a LOT of attention! That´s always good, because it means that the spirit is flowing there. :)

Antonia grabbed us after the meetings, and gave us a HUGE suprise! Gloria and Fernando, who didn´t even want to accept baptism before, want to get married and baptised within the next two or three weeks!!!! I was so excited!!! However, what gave me the most joy was the look in Antonia´s eyes...I could tell that she was just FULL of gratitude for how God had entered into the life of one of her friends and helped her make the decision to be baptised.

The work still goes on...we have to get their papers and everything, and then get the money together so that they can get married. Also, there may be some repentance to be done...but I know that God will be there every step of the way.

So...tomorrow there are changes! I don´t know 100 percent if it´s what I I´ll post it next week, but let´s just say that I will no longer be a Zone Leader, and I have an interview with President tomorrow before he announces the changes.

Want to know something incredible? This week I have felt the spirit very strongly. I feel more satisfied with our work than ever before...but we had ZERO new investigators...for the first time in my entire mission. Normally, that´s very depressing for a missionary. New investigators turn into progressing investigators, then with baptismal date, and then baptisms, and then CONVERTS.

However, I´m learning something very important: why should I be upset with something if God´s work is rolling forth? He overcame death. He overcame sin. Is there anything that He can´t overcome? He can turn a little family group into a stake in just a couple of years. That´s why I have decided that when things go bad, there´s no reason to be afraid or upset...unless things are going bad because we´re straying off the path. One little sin that we don´t correct can be held against us in the last day. That´s why we need to be humble and accept His love and help. He´s the only one that can take us to our Father in Heaven.

Life is amazing. For those of you passing through challenges, and I know that they are many and that it may appear very bleak...just remember that Christ has overcome the world...there is NOTHING He can´t overcome. I testify of that as one of His representatives.

Love you all!

Elder Schofield


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