Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gringo Doctors in​azy!! - Email from 22 May 2013

So this letter is coming to you on a Wednesday because the last two days, I`ve been translating for doctors from the Hope Alliance organization. They came down with about 7000 glasses to give away!! It was super fun, but at the same time pretty crazy... We ended up having to get up at 5 am on Monday to go out to La Matanza with them. We translated ALL day and got home at about 8 at night. What a long day! Tuesday was the same thing.

It was strange having to talk in English...not gonna lie, there were about 4 or five times when I turned to one of the gringos and talked to them in Spanish. They had to tell me that I wasn`t speaking in English, or I wouldn`t have realized it!! Makes going home look that much more difficult...

It really was a pretty cool experience...I got to help a lot of people see! There were some people that haven`t been able to see a thing for more than 5 years!! They could barely see my face it was so bad! When we put the glasses on them, their eyes just completely lit up! Way cool.

As for our ward...we`re kinda going through some tough times! There is absolutely zero unity here, and we`re trying to stay afloat. We haven`t had a ward council meeting in over 3 weeks, and things are starting to fall apart. We`re trying our best to stay positive.

On Sunday, we called a missionary coorelation meeting, with just us missionaries because our ward mission leader is pretty much inactive. We talked about the issues we`re facing and how we can help the ward get back on its feet. I felt super good about that meeting and I feel like we`re going to have a lot of success in the weeks to come. We`re going to begin visiting each and every leader, one by one, and help get some more activities going.

This last week I also got to deal with a fun little problem. :) One of the elders in our district left a girlfriend behind in his other area, and tried to sneak a letter to her. It was caught in the mail room. It makes me sad to know that that`s going on here in the mission, but that`s just the way things are sometimes!!

On a whole other note, this week has been pretty awesome! So...I sent a picture of a burn mark on our kitchen counter. Wanna know what that is? That`s when I almost died this week. Ya. So I decided I wanted to make some melon juice, and was pretty excited about it! I cut up the melon, put in the sugar and water, and hooked up the blender. The light came on and everything! Then I turned the dial, and it didn`t do anything at first, so I turned it up a notch....

BOOM!! Ya...that`s right! It exploded! There were a few sparks that began shooting out, almost right in my face! Thankfully, my companion came to the rescue and pulled the plug on it, but I was THAT CLOSE to losing my life.

Afterwards...I decided that I shouldn`t waste my sugar water and melon, so I ended up drinking it all up. :) Fun times.

The other thing we discovered this week...PICKLES!!!! I have not seen pickles in over a year and a half!! Today when we went to Tottus, which is basically like WalMart, my companion saw them stuffed away in some shelf! I was SO EXCITED! We pretty much jumped for joy! I took a video of us eating it too, I couldn`t believe how good it tasted after so incredibly`s funny how we miss out on the little things of life here. :)

Well, I hope that all is well with you! Keep doing the little things that will bring you closer to God! It`s funny because here in the mission, it seems like I`ve been given a HUGE secret: the purpose of life is to prepare ourselves to meet God. All the people around me seem to just wander around clueless. Is it really that hard to realize?? There`s really no point to studying if you`re not getting ready to meet Him. There`s no point listening to music if it doesn`t help you either. It`s like they just wander around trying to be happy doing things that really don`t make you happy!

I guess I could put it this way: 1 plus 1 is 2. I know that. You know that. So stop trying to make 1 plus 1 equal 5. It NEVER will. You can`t avoid the fact that we WILL go back to meet God again. I just hope that we can all be prepared to meet Him again. :)

Well, love you all so much!! Have a great week!

Elder Schofield


Seems just like yesterday -- Email from 13 May 2013

Has all of this time really gone by so quickly? Was yesterday really
the last time that I am going to call home? Strange. The time has
literally flown by. I don`t want this time to end...I want to stay in
Peru serving my Lord and Saviour until the trumpet sounds...but then
again, I`ve got other things that He wants me to do. Funny how life
always seems to be full of submitting ourselves to God`s will.

This week has been super great for me! I feel like I have learned and
grown a lot. I continue to progress and grow. I know that Heavenly
Father has had His hand in a lot of things lately. He`s answering my
prayers and helping me to have yet another `change of heart.` It`s
funny because I remember in an Elder`s Quorum lesson before the
mission one of the older men asked the question, `how often should we
have a mighty change of heart?` That question has always stuck with

How often should we have a mighty change of heart? Well...after a lot
of meditation, I will attempt to provide the answer. I firmly believe
that a change of heart is when we decide to put God`s will before our
own. When we choose to do our own will, it is a sin. Period. There are
no but`s to it. God has said that if we even say a prayer without real
intent, it does nothing for us. That, to me, means that we must always
do it His way, not ours. So, my answer to that question is that we
need to have a mighty change of heart every time that we sin.

This past week, I have felt that spirit working within me as I try to
become the missionary and leader that my Father in Heaven expects of

Towards the beginning of the mission, President Chipman gave us a talk
entitled `A Consecrated Missionary.` This talk teaches that to really
be a successful missionary, we have to put everything on the altar of
sacrifice. I would say that it`s the same for our lives. If we want to
be able to come back to our Heavenly Father with a clean heart and
pure intent, then we have to give Him everything.

This week, I tried to do that. Elder Smith came from Morropon on a
work visit this last week. In the afternoon, I really wanted to have
success. I wanted Elder Smith to have a good day because he`s been
struggling to find new investigators there in Morropon where it`s just
a super small town in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to show him that
God really is preparing people and if we simply have faith and work
hard, we will have success.

In other words, I wanted God to give us success in THAT moment.
However, He had other plans.

I tried to control things. I forgot that I simply don`t control them.
God is the one that directs this work, not me. I fought and fought to
find new people, to teach old investigators, and I began to run out of
things to do. Finally, after being rejected for the 20th time, I
decided that I needed to lift our spirits, so we visited a member to
read the Book of Mormon with him and ask for references.

We read just a tiny bit from Mosiah 3 about the Atonement. It seemed
to help bring the spirit back a bit. The teenager that we visited even
had a few friends that he planned on sharing the gospel with! When we
left there, I felt a bit better.

We also happened to be out with another member. He suggested we visit
his aunt who lives nearby, and he told us that she wasn`t a member and
that we might find her a bit anti mormon. Well, I felt good about it
for some reason and we went.

Come to find out, it was a GREAT reference! I know that God put us
there at the right time. We didn`t share a big message, but Alfredo
(the member) had a great experience because she accepted us. The
spirit was very strong there.

Reflecting on that experience, I feel that I was able to learn
something very important. I cannot expect God to just give me
something when I want it. I need to do HIS will. If that means that I
need to slow down a bit and look for what the spirit is directing me
to do, then I need to do that.

The next big thing this week was a work visit with Elder Lindsay. I
learned a TON from him! We talked a lot about some of the things this
mission needs to get better. I really like his attitude and his
ability to really make a lot of effort to improve. He told me about
his plan to just take one thing a month and really improve on it until
it`s just a part of who he is as a missionary. Lately, President
Rowley has been making some big changes in the way we work. It`s not
really a change, it`s just that he`s calling some things to our
attention from Preach My Gospel. They`re very needed changes.

I did feel good about a lot of things that I am doing. I am applying a
lot of what President has been teaching us. However, I was able to
realize that there are a lot of things that I lack.

Maybe that sounds like I`m discouraged about my work or something, but
I just want to testify to you all that I know that Ether 12:27 is
true. When we come closer to the Lord, He WILL show us our weaknesses.
We WILL be more concious of what we`re doing wrong. Is that a bad
thing? No. If we didn`t recognize that anything was wrong, we wouldn`t
ever improve. We wouldn`t ever ask for God`s help because we would
never be able to recognize what we need help with. I have found that
the closer I come to the Lord, the more I can see my defects.

I guess we could think of Him as the `light of the world.` Let`s say
that I paint a painting in the dark. When you look at it in the dark,
it looks super good! However, if I bring a candle a bit closer, I can
see some things that I need to change, so I change those things. As I
bring the candle closer and closer, I see more and more things that I
need to change, maybe many things at once! However if I slowly and
deliberately change each and every thing, my painting will become
better and better. As the light intensifies, it requires even more
effort to perfect my painting.

Christ is the light of the world. He has asked us to `be perfect, even
as His Father in Heaven is perfect.` Here on the mission, I am
learning this lesson. I am eternally grateful for those that have been
brave enough to tell me what I need to improve on, using the light of
Christ to discern what it is that He would have me change in myself.

Elder Turcious told me to be patient. Elder Ramirez told me to work
hard. Elder Naranjo told me to have fun. Elder Castillo told me to
love more and be optimistic. Elder Huaman taught me to be concerned
for the needs of others. Elder Chinchay taught me to work with other
people together. Elder Woodburn is teaching me today. :) I hope to
learn from him how to be more tactful when working with leaders in the

I`m not sure why all of this is coming out now...but it`s been on my
mind for a while, and this week sure was a great week of learning. :)

As for our area...we`re doing ok. :) Our ward is struggling. It`s been
three weeks without a Ward Council Meeting, and the leaders don`t seem
to be worried about it. The other day we were able to talk to our Ward
Mission Leader who hasn`t come to church for three weeks. He tried to
tell me that by visiting the sick and afflicted, he was making up for
not attending church. He tried to describe it like he was paying off a
debt for not going to church.

I asked a simple question: Why do we go to church? He responded: to
renew our covents. Me: And how long has it been since you haven`t
renewed your baptismal covenant? Him: 3 weeks. Me: Do you think that`s
ok? Him: Obviously not.

Direct, no? I tried very hard to control myself in this moment, but I
knew that I had to be direct. I then explained to him how I felt about
our baptismal covenants.

It really doesn`t matter what we do. We can serve God all of our
lives, and give Him everything that we have, but we still wouldn`t be
worthy to enter into His kingdom. I can visit the sick and care for
the poor and give everything I have, but it simply wouldn`t be enough
if I don`t accept the Atonement in my life. We are NOTHING without
Christ`s sacrifice. The Sacrament is what allows us to be clean again.
It is the ONLY WAY to get back to our Father in Heaven. There is no
other way. (I can`t take credit for all this...Mosiah 2 helps me out
quite a bit. :) Actually, the whole talk from King Benjamin helps me
out a lot with this)

Anyway...that`s a bit about this last week! Hopefully this next week
will be even better. We`re struggling to find people to get baptised.
We have a lot of great investigators, they`re just not ready or
willing to take that step yet. Hopefully this week we can have a few
with baptismal dates.

I love you all! It was super great to see you all yesterday! I hope
that you all can come closer to Christ. He doesn`t ask us to make
leaps and bounds each and every day, just one step at a time. There`s
no need to rush. It`s like learning to fly...hey`s this a
worldly song? Weird. :P

Love you tons!!!
Elder Schofield

Monday, May 6, 2013

This Work is TRUE. - Email from 6 May 2013

This week may have been one of the most wonderful weeks in my entire mission! At the same time...there were a few struggles that I had to go through. But isn`t that the purpose of life: to struggle and enjoy it?

So it all started on Monday at 6...normally elders choose to waste that time. Many of them don`t even leave their rooms until 7. However, Elder Woodburn and I have been really focusing on being 100 percent obedient. So, last weekend when we contacted a lady in her doorstep and she told us that she was busy and to come back (normally they say that because they don`t want anything to do with us) we told her we would be there Monday at six. We knocked that door and were astounded when she opened the door and just said, come in!

We got in the door and it looked like they were playing a game as a family! Something that I have NEVER seen here in Peru. However, they were just doing some homework. was suprising to see five people working together on something.

We sat all six of them down and began talking a bit. We found out hat 4 years ago one of their 4 daughters died in a car accident. You could tell that they were all torn up by it. They also told us that their granddaughter had been living with them for 3 years when their son in law decided out of the blue that he wanted his daughter back, so he abducted her as her aunt was walking her to school!! They`re now in the middle of a trail with him, hoping to get their granddaughter back because the father really isn`t a great guy. I heard this story, I KNEW that we needed to teach the Plan of Salvation. The spirit told me clear as day. I also knew that we needed to teach a bit about the prophets as well. It was really cool because my companion had the same exact impression so we taught a really good lesson, and left there feeling the spirit.

When we went back on Wednesday, the Bayona Chunga family was waiting for us. :) The mother and two daughters had read the pamphlet! Not only had they read, they understood! Not only did they gain understanding, the spirit was STRONG in their house. It was really cool to walk in and just feel that cool breeze of the spirit enter into your heart. There was a feeling of love, hope, and peace that simply was not there before we had come.

We began teaching a bit more about the Plan of Salvation and talked more about Adam and Eve and the consequences of the fall. That`s a doctrine that the whole world has confused, and they loved how we taught that Christ had overcome the fall so that we could have eternal families. This time we commited the father to read the pamphlet and also left the video `Together Forever.`

I thought that was a super amazing lesson...but I was wrong! Friday we got there and instead of a cool breeze or more of a hint of the spirit, we walked into a WALL of pure power that only comes when God has entered into a home. It reminded me of the temple...honestly. They all immediately stopped what they were doing, turned the TV off, and before even having a lot of small talk they explained to us what they had read. The father had read and understood the whole Plan of Salvation! HE taught US!! It was super cool! The older daughter, who really hadn`t listened a lot before, said she was super moved by the video and by the possibility that she could see her sister Jaquelin again.

Pure JOY filled my soul as I just sat there and listened to how this family was already changing...the house had changed completely. They hadn`t painted or moved the furniture or even taken the huge image of the Saint off of their wall, but the spirit had done a very thorough job of cleaning out the sadness and giving them joy and hope.

We explained very little in this lesson, because the father had asked us about `who is your leader? or who gave you this knowledge of the plan?` They didn`t have time for us to explain so we simply left the pamphlet that talks about the prophets and Joseph Smith.

Saturday was the last time that we saw them, and we had another great mini lesson. They had all read the pamphlet about the Restoration and understood really well!! They were a bit confused because they had always heard that Peter left the keys to the Papa. (What`s he called in English? The leader of the catholic church...oh! Pope!!) However, they had some great questions! He even asked about the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchezidek! Obviously, he`s never heard of that before.

We could tell that there was some doubt there so we left the commitment to read some scriptures in the Bible that explain more about the apostacy and also to pray to God to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.

I want to bear my testimony that I KNOW, without a single doubt in my mind, that this is God`s work. Elder Woodburn and I haven`t done anything more than follow the spirit with this family. We have entered into their home, two young men from a foreign nation, and taught them what we have learned. God is the one that is changing them. God has entered into their home and family in a way that they have probably never experienced Him before.

Of course, this wasn`t the only experience from this week...we have had some really amazing lessons together, Elder Woodburn and I. We`re very similar in how we teach. We both have a lot of desires to be here, which helps a lot! I`ve had some very...submissive, kind of go with the flow companions. They don`t take the initiative. However, Elder Woodburn does. He really does everything he can to be a great missionary and we`re both working super hard.

This week we also had our Zone Meeting where we train the elders in our zone. didn`t go very well! The elders just didn`t seem to understand...and I didn`t feel very good about my performance personally. That`s ok, because every training meeting can`t be perfect, but I hope that God will give me the chance to help this Zone get better. Our numbers are falling a bit, but I know that we`re all working super hard!

This week we had 2 baptisms!! I was able to baptise Felix, and i included a picture here of him and me. It was really cool to participate in his baptism, even though I hardly even knew him!

Well...I hope all of you are doing well there in the states! I can`t wait to see you this Sunday! It will be a very interesting phone call...seeing as that it`s my last. Wow. My last phone call? Didn`t I just make the first one last month? Honestly...time flies in the mission. I`m just glad that I`ve got a long time to go before I get on that plane. :) Not that I don`t miss you...I just love being part of this work. If you had been with the Bayona Chunga family this last week, you would understand too. :)

Love you all to tears! Keep working hard! Keep up your spirits! Don`t forget to do `the little things` like reading the scriptures, praying, going to church, and keeping the commandments. In the end, it`s really easier to do all of those things because if not, you`re left to yourself, without the spirit to help bouy you up and guide you. It really is a horrible life without the Holy Ghost to help you.

Love you all!
Elder Schofield
1. Elder CaƱete before he went home! He was the AP that I learned most from! Really a GREAT missionary that I will ALWAYS remember! too bad I never got to proselite with him. :(

2. Elder Chinchay (now Brother Chinchay) with his cowboy hat. Pretty good lookin pair, huh?

3. This is PROOF that my companion is cold!!! Elder Woodburn got out his blanket this morning. I was suprised!! However, it has been kind of chilly here lately...(i`m gonna die at USU!)

4. Elder Woodburn and I. It`s super fun to be two gringos together!

My Gringo Companion has finally come!!! - Email from April 29, 2013

Well, after the changes this last week...I have a new companion!! I am
super excited because he`s from the good ol USA!! I always wanted to
have at least one companion from the states so that I could look him
up when I got home! Now, Elder Woodburn will be that companion! He`s
from Washington, but his family has recently moved to Logan area in

So...this week has been crazy! First of all, my companion went home!!!
It was very interesting seeing him say goodbye to everyone. I`m glad I
get to wait a VERY LONG TIME before that time comes. (Yep, I`m
choosing to be in denial.)

Then...we had a TON of changes!! 7 new elders came to our zone! I know
most of them, and we got one new greenie here. I`m really excited
about the changes and I know that Miraflores is going to do great with
the new elders. :) Hopefully we can have a ton of success this change!

Among other changes, there are 7 new Zone Leaders! Elder McDonough,
who was born in Negritos with me, is a Zone Leader now too! I`m super
excited to see him tomorrow in the Conference meeting with the leaders
in the mission. Also, Elder Vargas will be there. :) It`s really cool
to see other elders from my group getting called up. It`s been kinda
lonely with all the `oldies` there in the conference meetings.

OH!! Other exciting news!!! One of the sisters in our zone is going to
be the new training sister in the mission! I`m super excited for
Hermana Delgado. She will also be there in the conferences every
month, and we`ll finally get to hear the wisdom that only women have.
I fully support the changes that President Monson is making in the
missions. I know that the sister missionaries have a very distinct
viewpoint and will be able to remind us elders how we`re supposed to
do things. Hopefully we can listen and do what is right.

As for our investigators, Elder Woodburn has been helping me a ton. :)
I am so glad to have him as a companion!! We are teaching a couple
that had a baptismal date for the 28th. However, neither of us felt
like they were really ready. They just haven`t earned a real testimony
yet! They are doing great and are progressing nicely, but they need a
bit more time. My other companions would have pushed for the baptism.
However, Elder Woodburn and I were able to make the decision to let
them decide on a baptismal date. Cesar and Susana have decided on the
12th of May, Mother`s Day!! I really hope that they can prepare
themselves well. They seemed to accept the Word of Wisdom well and are
also more excited about preparing themselves for baptism. I`m sure
that it will be a great experience.

Manuel is doing AMAZING! He is now attending Mission Preparation
Class! Also, we have talked with the Bishop and they are preparing him
to receive the priesthood. :) I can`t wait to hear the news that he
has left on a mission! I know that he will do a great job. He is
already helping us, and is even going to go on splits with us this
week! What an amazing convert! The spirit really does work wonders.

The ward is also seeing a lot of good changes. I don`t remember if I
told you, but we`re going to be doing a training meeting for all the
members in church! We have planned on teaching them how to welcome the
members that haven`t come to church in a long time, the investigators,
and the new converts! It will really be a great experience :) The
bishop is trying to start a few new things as well, creating our Ward
MIssion Plan. It has been a huge deal trying to get them to start
doing that...but the ball sure is rolling! Hopefully they can stick
with it. They are going to give us one Sunday a month to train the
members in missionary work! Hopefully we can follow through with our

On the other hand, our ward mission leader is kind of struggling. :(
His family is passing through a lot...his brother was killed by his
sister in law about 2 years ago. They`ve filed a claim against her and
are now in the middle of the trail. Obviously, that`s a very emotional
thing for him and the whole family. In the midst of all of that,
Hermano Flores is experiencing financial problems. I really hope and
pray that things will go well with them! I have fasted and prayed for
them...we`ll see how things go!

Well...I`m not sure what else to write! The mission is an incredible
experience. There are tons of things to learn. This past week I got
to showere with a bucket again! It brought back memories of Negritos
when we were only able to shower about once every 3 days...what a
memorable experience! The water is a lot colder when it just sits

Oh! Another cool thing! This week the UNG comes to Tacala! I guess
it`s a group of about 20 gringos that come every year to do service. I
am nervous and excited about it. I half hope and half fear that I
might know someone that comes! I doubt it, cause they would have
written me, right? But hey...who knows??

Well, love you all!!! Take care of yourselves and always remember that
you are in my prayers!!!

Elder Schofield

Elder Chinchay has gone home!! :( - Email from April 22, 2013

Well, it`s oficial! I am now a killer...I sent Elder Chinchay home
today! I am so glad to have been his companion. He seriously helped me
a ton. I know that God really puts people in our path to help us to
learn and to grow. Elder Chinchay taught me how to finish a mission.
He worked until the end!!! I know that he really deserves all the
blessings that he received. I can`t wait to see him and his family get
sealed in the temple! His mother was recently baptised two months ago!
If they can continue faithful in the church, I know that in one more
year they will be able to be part of that sacred ordinance.

This last week was honestly...difficult. I felt super bad for Elder
Chinchay because we might have had one of the worst weekends possible
this last weekend. Everything went bad...and I felt super bad because
I know that he will always remember this last weekend in his mission.

The biggest challenge was the activity that we had on Friday. We
planned `The Tree of Life` activity for the ward, and basically it
turned out...ok. However, it was a HUGE pain in the neck! The girl who
was in charge of it all, Katrina, is SUPER awesome, but she also has
quite the temper! Unfortunately, she also leaves a lot of the main
details for the last moment! So...we didn`t have the projector that we
were planning on having, and we also weren`t able to even start until
about 8! The activity was planned for 7!! It was pretty nerve
racking...and at the end of the activity, we had to leave early and
couldn`t help clean up because it was already 930 and we still hadn`t
even gotten the food out! Talk about a nightmare...

Saturday was also a bummer...we had some GREAT appointments set, and
had 3 members that were commited to help us out with the lessons. I
thought that we could have an amazing day, and then at night they had
some sort of party planned for Elder Chinchay. Well, as you can
probably guess...things didn`t happen the way we had planned!

In the morning...the member that was supposed to accompany us didn`t
show up. Then, our appointments fell through! We ended up visiting
some members and trying to help them with their missionary work. In
the afternoon, we visited one of the less actives where her little boy
managed to spray women`s perfume all over my companion`s backpack,
throw shampoo all over the floor, and rip up one of the pamphlets we
had given about an undisciplined child!!

After visiting her...we went to get the members and they weren`t able
to come either! We went to our best appointment of the day...a whole
family that has a lot of interest!! However...only the 15 year old
daughter was at we had a great conversation with her, but
weren`t able to teach. After, we ended up looking for some other
people to teach but couldn`t find anyone!!

It seriously was one of the worst days that we`ve had together. I felt
horrible for Elder Chinchay. However, I was also happy because I knew
that we had some sort of a party to look forward to!! We got to the
church and...yep, you guessed it, NO ONE was there...

So...we left the church, and ended up looking up some old contacts.
Elder Chinchay and I began talking along the way, and I asked him how
he was feeling. He said that it really wasnt the best end of his
mission, but I was suprised about how optimistic he was. He talked
about how during the whole mission, we pass through some good days,
and some bad days. It really is that way! The mission is the HARDEST
thing I have ever been a part of. I miss home. I miss a lot of things.
It`s hard to be here trying to lead a bunch of 19-25 year olds that
just don`t want to do what they should! It`s hard to be their leader.
However, it`s all worth it in the end because I know that God is
looking over me. I know that He is helping me every step of the way. I
feel his love and I can feel the Holy Ghost guiding me along during
these hard times.

I hope that you all know how much I love you! I`m sorry that this
email isn`t specific or very lenghtly. So many things on my mind with
the changes! I hope you all know that I love you! Take care of
yourselves, and if you get a chance this elder here in Peru could sure
enjoy some mail! ;)

Love you tons!
Elder Schofield

Here are some pics from our last Zone Activity in the bus on the way
to Piura and also where we played futbol.

I look pretty great in my football uni, right? ;)