Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Find People to Teach . . . email from 19 Aug 2013

So...this week has been very crazy for me! A lot has happened, yet I feel that the time has gone by so very quickly!!

This week began with a typical Peruvian FHE. Haha, have I mentioned that the Peruvians aren`t very punctual? Well...on Monday we had an FHE that was supposed to begin at 8 o`clock. We had told them that we were going to have to leave at 9 because we had a meeting scheduled with President Rowley. Of course, they assured us that they would be there on time and that there wouldn`t be any problems. Well...when 8:30 rolled around and NO ONE WAS THERE! I was getting kind of antsy, and told my companion that we would have to begin in 15 minutes, even if it was just with the three people that had gotten there.

Well, in the end we ended up beginning at 8:50! We taught a VERY quick 10 minute lesson, and then had to tell everyone goodbye! I felt bad because they had invited friends and less actives, but there really was absolutely no way that we could stay any longer. President was waiting for us, and we even got there 20 minutes late...anyway, that was the beginning of my week. :)

Tuesday was honestly really hard for me. We had Leadership Council meeting where all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders get together and we discuss what`s going on in the mission and President Rowley and the assistants do some training. It was hard for me because honestly when I look around the room I wonder if I really belong where I am. It`s hard to feel like I really am Assistant. Also, the practice that we did just didn`t seem to come out the way that we wanted it too. It turned out fine, and a lot of Zone Leaders told me later that the meeting really helped them a lot in their zones, but it was just a bit hard for me. Live and learn, I guess. :)

After the Zone Council meeting, Elder Muralles and I saw a miracle occur! President had talked to us about talking WITH the people, instead of talking AT them. A lot of us have been talking about religion first thing, without really getting to know the people. President told us that needs to stop, and invited us to talk with the people, get to know who they are, and then teach something short. Well, on Tuesday night we did just that! The most wonderful part was that the people we talked with opened up a ton! We had two new investigators!!! It was really cool, and I knew that President had received that revelation for the mission.

During the week we had a blast with two work visits! I had the opportunity to be with Elder Kener, who is from Idaho! He`s from my group so it was really great catching up with him. We`ve never been in the same zone together, so there`s a lot to talk about! He`s really an amazing elder. Very dedicated. I`m very glad to have been able to work with him because I can tell that he is an amazing leader. He`s had some tough companions to work with, but has always found a way to have success.

In the visit with Elder Kener we saw a few miracles! First of all, I had the impression that we needed to go to a certain part of our area, called `La Alborada.` We got there and were looking for some members to visit and also trying to talk with everyone again. Haha, it was kind of funny because we ran into a guy that was really into longboarding, surfing, and other extreme sports. We spent a few minutes talking to him about that and his life. He seems super energetic and fun, but needs a lot of help to put his life in order!

After that, we headed off down the street. We passed one man that was looking down and we said hi to him. He then looks up and then calls out to us! He asked us where our church was located and what times we meet at. He said that he was passing through some tough times and wanted to.go to church. We took down his phone number and made an appointment for the next day in our church building.

Unfortunately, I wasn`t able to be there when Hugo got to the church because we had a work visit, but Elder Muralles told me that it was an AMAZING lesson! He started crying as they explained the Atonement and told him that everything would turn out fine. :) Elder Muralles then invited him to the baptism that the sisters were going to have the next day, and he said yes! He even came the next day and just loved how everyone seemed to be in family!

It really was a miracle that we found Hugo. I know that God put us there in the right place at the right time so that he could come to know the true church. It really was incredible. :)

The other part of this week was the work visit with Elder Barreno! Man, is he an incredible missionary! I don`t know many other missionaries that are that focused in on the work! It really was a pleasure to work with him, especially because there is a possibility that he could be my next and last companion! We`ll see what happens.

This change has been incredible with Elder Muralles. We`ve been able to be super honest with each other. At times, I feel like I have been very direct with him. I try very hard to have good companionship inventories. I have looked for the good in him, and have been able to identify what is bothering him. He doesn`t have self confidence. In fact, he is constantly belittling himself, which really makes me sad! He`s an amazing missionary! That`s why he was called as Assistant! However, he just doesn`t have that self confidence that he needs. Hopefully this week I can help him with that. I`ve been trying to do it, but this week we have the goal to write 3 things in our journal that we`ve done well every day. Hopefully that helps. :)

Well...love you all! I hope that you all know how much I love this work. As time winds down, I am sad. I really love being here. Yes, it is INCREDIBLY hot. The work is the hardest thing I`ve ever done in my life, and there are a lot of stresses involved. However, I wouldn`t trade it for the world. Missionary work is the work of salvation. People are saved!! That brings a joy to my heart like none other. I hope to continue working and never stop until the day I die!!

Love you all! Have fun this week!!
Elder Schofield

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tumbes!!! - Email from 12 August 2013

So this week we had a blast going to Tumbes! First, we had a Multi Zone Conference here in Piura and then we were going to head up at about 5, but turns out that there weren`t any bus tickets, which meant we had to go up at midnight! We were pretty upset about that, but it turned out to be a good thing because we were able to have one lesson with Jaime! The elders have been teaching him for a while, but we were able to help him put a baptismal date! I really hope that it can come through.

The bus ride to Tumbes was quite the event! We woke up about two and a half hours into the ride to find that we had stopped!! Apparently, the bus broke down, which made a 5 hour ride turn into 7 and a half hours in that tiny, very smelly bus! It was a great time. :) We got there just in time to begin personal study, even though I was DEAD physically and mentally.

Tumbes was really great! I got to go out with two of my groupies! Elder Smith and Elder Smith!! Haha, it was pretty funny, but way fun. :) they are both great missionaries and it was fun to be with them again. It was cool to hear about their experiences, challenges, and everything else that is going on with their Zones. They both are so different in their styles of teaching. I really like how each and every one of us bring something different to the mission, yet all of us can still teach the same thing, with the same spirit! It really helps me to believe what it says in the Book of Mormon, that God will teach every man in `his own tounge.` To me, that means more than just a language, it`s also a specific person that will be sent to a specific home, be it an elder or member, God truly is in charge of the work.

On Friday we had our last Multi Zone Conference! It was really the best out of all of them! The spirit was really strong and quite a few elders participated! It was cool because i got to see Elder Turcios again, and he gave his last testimony! He`s really a great leader, and it sounds like he could be getting home just in time to get married and called as 1st councellor in the bishopric!! Haha, he`s pretty nervous about that, but I have confidence that he`s going to be a great leader in the church, and will help a lot there in Nicaragua!

After Tumbes, we ended up getting to Piura pretty late. We were able to go to the baptism of one of my ex-investigators, Ana. She`s the daughter of Oscar and Danitza, one of my favorite families from the mission who lives in Tacala. After that we had the not so nice pleasure of hearing about two elders that are having dinner with teenage girls alone at 11 pm. After dealing with that, we had to plan for the changes this week! It`s crazy how things are happening here in the mission now. We have changes about every three weeks now because of the age change and everything. We have to organize all of that which is pretty interesting and kind of frustrating because the elders aren`t always very punctual, but I guess that`s just how it is!

Sunday was great! The ward got together and made a Mission Plan! I`m super excited to see what happens, they seem really excited to work now. Hopefully we can keep them excited and work together in order to help other people to come unto Christ!

Well...sorry that this letter is so wacky...lots of things to do and lots of things on my mind! Just know that all is well in Piura and that I`m working really hard to help this work go forward!!!

Elder Schofield

Multi Zone Conference​s!!! (Trunky Conference​s!) - Email from August 5th, 2013

This week has gone by incredibly fast! We had 3 Multi Zone Conferences this week, which meant a ton of work for us as Assistants! However, it was a great learning experience where I really was able to feel the spirit really strong.

The downer of these Multi Zone Conferences is the fact that they will be my last. :( In our last Multi Zone Conferences, we always have the chance to give our `Final Testimony` to all present. That means that I get to see all 61 sisters and elders give their last testimonies! That`s a LOT. It also makes it very plain and clear that my mission isn`t going to last much longer. It`s hard to admit that...even harder to admit it and keep working hard! However, that`s the test these last couple of months of the mission!

These conferences have been focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been really impacted by a few points, and I would like to share those with you. The first one would be repentance. I have learned a TON about repentance this past week.

One of the things that President has really wanted people to learn is what is in Preach My Gospel. It says, `Our faith in Christ and our love for Him carry us to repentance, or to change our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.` I really love that word: change. That really means a complete change of heart, mind, and the vision that we have for the future. I`ve thought a lot about the vision that I have for the future. Part of my repentance process is to change that vision so that it will be in harmony with the vision that God has for me.

He believes that I can make it to the Celestial Kingdom. Do I? He believes that I can change lives and really be a representative of Jesus Christ in all times and places. Do I? He believes that I can live worthily in order to enter into the temple and be married for time and all eternity. Even more importantly, He believes that I can keep the promises I have made and will make in the temple and endure to the end. Do I REALLY believe that?

I think that our beliefs are closely linked to our repentance process. That`s way it says that it`s our faith that makes us want to repent.

The other thing that has really impacted me comes from Alma 11:40-41. The way President explained these scriptures just really hit me in the moment, and it`s just so clear to me that it makes me wonder how people can possibly believe that Christ will save ALL mankind, regardless of their actions or attitude. There`s also the belief that by simply being baptised, I can be saved! Or being married in the temple! That`s not true, and this is why:

40 And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else.

41 Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that ball shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

We must BELIEVE and then we must have GOOD WORKS. Belief carries us to repentance, which carries us to making a covenant with God. It could be baptism, it could be investidura, or it could be eternal marriage. But that`s only the first part!!! If we don`t have good works, if we don`t truly change our very character, our very souls, then we will not be fit to enter into the kingdom of God.

The greatest gift that God has given us as His sons and daughters, second only to this life, is agency, and the ONLY gift that we are physically able to give back to Him is the decision to do His will, and not our own.

His will really isn`t that complicated. All you have to do is make the decision to follow ALL His commandments. All of them! I love the picture that came out in the Liahona. I`m pretty sure it`s in the Friend as well, but there`s a boat in the middle of the sea with the quote from President Monson saying that we don`t need to wonder where we have to go, obedience to God`s commandments gives us a very clear direction and shows us the way to go. If we decide to only follow 99% of His commandments, it`s not enough. He requires all of our agency, the only thing we can truly give Him.

That`s what I`ve learned here on the mission. I can only feel good, feel truly happy and successful, when I decide to turn it ALL over to God and do His will. I know that this will apply in the many months, years, and decades to come. I just have to keep working on changing this very hard heart of mine. :)

Love you all, and I hope that you have a great week!
Elder Schofield