Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Mighty Little Change of Heart - Email from 9 Sep 2013

This was quite a week! There was a lot to be done, and just a whole bunch of things came about. However, it really was a rewarding week where I was able to reflect and grow spiritually. It`s funny how after 23 months in the mission, I can still continue to feel inadequate and still learn how to humble myself and really have one of those `mighty change of heart` moments.

This week started with Leadership Council. It has to be one of my favorite meetings in the whole mission. Every month we get together and discuss how the mission is going. The zone leaders come together with the newly assigned `Sister Training Leaders` and we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the mission. Then the assistants and President give a little training.

This week we talked about Nephi. President sat down and had us read a bunch of scriptures about Nephi`s life. It really was a great experience, and it reminded me a bunch of just a regular old FHE: The spirit was super strong as we discussed the qualities Nephi learned to use in order to do God`s work. It really made me think a lot about the type of missionary that I am and the type of man I am becoming. I hope to be more like Nephi.

After that training, we had two meetings with the District Leaders. It was kind of fun to do that because I ended up getting to see almost all of the elders from my group! It`s cool to see how far we`ve all come, and where we`ve ended up. Some of us have really grown and progressed while others really haven`t changed a whole lot. I think that has to do with our desires and how we`ve used our time here in the mission.

This weekend was definitely a challenge for me. Our area is honestly not going well. For the first time in my ENTIRE mission, we only have 2 investigators. Well...if we`re really honest here, there isn`t even one because these two are IMPOSSIBLE to find at home, and one of them goes to Trujillo every weekend so he simply can`t attend church. So, that leaves us at ZERO new investigators.

We`ve been working hard to find new people to teach. We talk with people in the street. We`ve looked for every person on the ward list, but we simply can`t find people! We feel that the members don`t have a whole lot of confidence in us because we simply haven`t been able to make it to things on time due to meetings we`ve had with President Rowley.

We`ve been stuck.

So...I guess all of these things just really hit me. I felt inadequate. I felt unworthy to be assistant because shouldn`t I be an example to the other elders? How can I tell them how to find new investigators if I can`t do it?

Thankfully, my companion is amazing. :) God knows exactly why Elder Muralles is my companion. At times, I have to show a lot of patience with him, but he truly has become one of my absolute best friends. As I was talking to him about all this and how I was feeling, he simply listened and just helped me to recognize that everything would be ok.

Sunday was a great turning point. I went to church more humble than ever before. God really helped me to feel his love. The talks seemed to be directed to me, and i could just feel how much He cared for me.

In the afternoon, I sat down and began reading one of my favorite talks `The Fourth Missionary.` It really focuses on being a missionary that submits himself to God`s will. If a missionary chooses to live the law of consecration, he will grow, change, and become a better person. If not...he will not gain any sort of benefit from his mission. The third missionary serves well and has a lot of success, but he holds part of himself back, which causes him to lose the benefits. The fourth missionary gives his WHOLE heart, and receives a very real change in himself in return.

After reading that talk, I knelt down and offered one of the most fervent prayers I`ve ever prayed before. I promised God that with these last few weeks I have left, I will do whatever He would have me do. I don`t remember all of the words that I spoke, but I felt a warm feeling invade me heart and mind, and feeling of peace and the drive to do more, to be more, and to really give it my all.

Sunday afternoon was different. :) We found a new investigator! :) He`s been waiting for this message, and I have a good feeling about him. We worked hard and I feel rejuvenated, and ready to go to work! time is winding down...I`m going to up the effort. I must give it my all, or my offering really isn`t valid. If Christ had only been 99 percent obedient, would His sacrifice be sufficient to pay for the sins of all mankind? No. That 1 percent is important. If we are to give an offering to the Lord, 100 percent is required. Nothing more can be given, because it`s ALL we have. Nothing less is sufficient.

I have a testimony of missionary work. It`s the hardest work in the world. There is no success in missionary work if we try to do it ourselves. We have to recognize that it is God`s work and that it will progress only if we choose to turn ourselves over to Him. I have seen His hands pushing this work forward. Without hope, without faith, nothing can be achieved. However, if we can find a way to cultivate that hope and grow our faith, miracles will occur.

I love you all and hope that you all can strive to learn the same things I am here in the mission field. Turn yourselves over to God. If you do so, you will find that He will change your very heart and soul. You will be happier than ever before and will have the hope and faith that you`ve been looking for.

Love you!!

Elder Schofield

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