Monday, December 11, 2017

temple trip!


This week was an eventful week, yet at the same time not. Here's what happened!!

Investigator wise, we weren't able to see a lot of them. We met with Margarita and set up a church tour with an hermana to pick her up an everything, but then she couldn't. We had a really good lesson with another investigator, finally! We haven't been able to get very far w/ her, but we finally were able to explain the whole restoration with her and it went well! At the end she told us she just wants to find 1 church where she agrees with everything and feels comfortable! So that's cool!

We had a really good lesson with a less active hermana in our ward. We read in Alma 32 and she opened up to us again. Earlier she has talked about how she got offended by someone in the church and so doesn't want to see him again, but knows she needs to go to church. This time she added that she doesn't really have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and doesn't understand how it applies to her, but wants to gain a testimony. How easy could it be for me to just give her my brain/experiences I have had with the Book of Mormon, but it doesn't work like that. But we are going to help her gain a testimony of this book and help her understand the message it has for her and how it can help her!
As we had this lesson I learned 2 new things from Alma 32. Hermana Buitrago talked about how to nourish the tree, we don't just give it one thing (like water). But we have to do a bit a multiple things- give it water, sun, fertilizer, good soil, weed, etc. We can't just pray or just read, but we have to have a balance of multiple things to truly nourish our testimonies. I also realized that the fruit after the tree has grown is designed to be eaten multiple times! We don't just grow a tree to eat from it once! That's silly! We want to keep the tree strong and healthy so we can keep eating form it again and again! Same with our testimonies! Eating of the fruit and tasting of the goodness isn't a once in a lifetime experience, not even in a few/rare occasions. But it should be frequent, as we nourish it.

It is getting cold out here in the desert! haha. I've worn my coat multiple evenings. I feel like I'm in Nebraska, except there is no snow.
This week we tried to contact this referral. We knocked and right away this little girl opens the door. We asked if the referral was home, but this little girl (probably like 7) and her brother (probably like 11) wouldn't speak a word. We tried English and Spanish, but nothing. We didn't even know if they could speak! Nobody else seemed to be home so we left. And as we walked away we finally heard the brother speak "did they leave yet?". Lol weird experience. 

Other funny story! So for the more youthful people, it is super cute because Hermana Buitrago loves to say "BYE FELICIA!" lol. So this week she met her first Felicia. She spoke only English so I was talking with Felicia. At the end just naturally I said, "Thanks for your help. Bye, Felicia!" Hermana Buitrago started like dying and as soon as I said it I realized what I said. So we went around the corner super quickly and doubled over laughing. We kept laughing even in the car. It was funny!

We had MLC this week! We talked about how numbers are secondary, true desires, doing accountability as a zone, how to motivate others, miracles, using members, using the Book of Mormon, and the parables of the lost sheep, coin, and prodigal son. It was awesome- as always! This week the whole mission is having Book of Mormon week! (so call it the APs). We are going to focus hard core in the Book of Mormon this week and try and use it in every contact, lesson, etc. We want to carry a book in our hands like everywhere we go. It'll be sweet!
MLC Pizza


We tried by some members we don't know (so probably less actives) the other day. At this one house the hermana wasn't there but we met David! David told us the hermana had begun to talk to him about the church and wanted him to go with her one day! He seems pretty interested! We hope to teach him this week!

Recently we found a recent convert from Lake Elsinore that one of the other hermanas in the ward baptized a little over a year ago! So we had dinner w/ her twice this week! I only taught her like twice before she left Lake Elsinore but she still remembered me! Cutie!

And the highlight of the week- going to the San Diego temple!!! :)

A less active member from Jurupa drove Hermana Flores and I. It is true what they say- when you are driving on the interstate the temple just pops out and it truly looks like a castle! so beautiful! As we got there we saw a good amount of other missionaries. Turns out the missionaries going home from the San Diego mission had their last temple trip- in the same session. I met the mission president and wife (stobbs, I think)- I told them I know Elder Stephen who will enter their mission tomorrow (tuesday)! What a small world!
We saw a good amount of people from the El Cariso ward! The Esteves Srs. (the ward mission leader) who working during the session. We saw Obispo Valencia, the Magadans, Hermana Nieves, Hna Lem, etc. It was so much fun seeing so many familiar faces in the session!

So the session was all in Spanish!!! Wow!! I was super pumped and didn't want to use headphones. and I didn't! I understood it all! Wow!! It was an amazing experience! I remember about a year ago in my first sundays in the mission getting a headache after 3 hours of church in spanish. But here in 2 hours of spanish in the temple, nothing. It was tan facil (so easy) for me! Cool experience just right there!

The San Diego temple is the prettiest thing! The temple is big, but not as huge as I thought. But so pretty!!! #templegoals 
What surprised me was that the temple isn't what amazed me the most, it was Hermana V (the less active hermana Hermana Flores and I taught and helped reactivate, received her endowment Saturday). Hermana V was sitting in the room waiting for everyone else to enter and she requested that we could sit with her and wait. We entered the room and could just see her back. What blew me away was when she turned around. What a beautiful woman, dressed in perfect white, face full of happiness and light. There truly aren't words to describe the experience. She is a changed woman. She has made a lot of changes in her life to be there, but she did. She was so happy, so content. 
TAN HERMOSO! (the temple)

Here- this is what I told President Hammon about the experience. It is probably that best attempt I can do a trying to describe the experience, because truly I can't do it justice:

"This week Hermana Flores and I had the opportunity to go to the San Diego temple to see a less active Hermana we taught and helped her return to activity in the church receive her endowment. It was a marvelous experience! Of course the San Diego temple is beautiful and huge!!! It was an amazing sight to see! She and I had been waiting months to be able to go to the temple. Even though it was an amazing sight, what stood out to me most was seeing Hermana V in the temple. When she was sitting waiting for everyone to enter into the session, she had ask for us to come in and sit with her. That is the real sight I will never forget. I can't describe the sight of seeing her turn around, seeing her dressed in white, seeing her face full of light. Truly a change has occurred within the last 9 months. I truly saw a new woman. This woman was genuinely happy, full of light and hope and faith. She was worthy- she knew it and God knew it. And that knowledge lifted her. In my three transfers in Lake Elsinore teaching her, I was able to see little changes in her. In this moment it was as if I could see all the changes she has made in a instance- and it was incredible. Truly there are not words fit to describe what I saw and felt. For me, it was one of the best feelings I have felt in my entire life. Moments like these truly make the mission more than worth it. One question I asked myself afterwards was, "What if I never came out on the mission? What if I never met Hermana V and her kids? What if I never had this experience?" The relationship I have with Hermana V and her family and this short time I've had to know them and teach them has changed me. It was changed my life because it has changed me and strengthened my testimony and my desire to perserverar hasta el fin."
Love the El Cariso ward!

Amazing! The temple is so sacred, so holy, so peaceful. The experience of going with Hermana V was incredible, indescribable, so worth it. 

This upcoming week we have a christmas devotional w/ the south half of the mission and our ward will have the christmas party!
We helped a recent convert family decorate their christmas tree for a little bit!

Week 6! transfer calls this saturday! hopefully hna buitrago and I stay together!!

Hermana Schooff

Monday, December 4, 2017

bike life


This week wasn't super eventful, but still was good! And we are officially in December, so that's crazy!!!
This week Hermana Buitrago and I started using some books to learn English. She learned the word "terrific" and loves it. It is super cute when she says it (with energy!) :)
This week I had a doctor's appointment in Redlands (normal diabetes check-up). But the hermana who drove me, her gps took us the scenic route to get there. We went through beautiful parts of Moreno Valley and through a lot of farm land and orange orchards up to Redlands. So pretty! I really love Redlands! A cute little downtown area with vintage homes. Super pretty!

This week we had our last exchanges for this transfer! It was with more English sisters, but these ones are on bike! On Friday I was in English land on bike, and on Saturday the other sister came with me to Spanish land (but in reality she was there 2 days, once with me and once w/ Hna Buitrago). 
First time on a bike!!! I LOVED IT! <3

I LOVED BEING ON BIKE. But we didn't bike up very many hills, and they were pretty small, but I loved it! It was oddly relaxing, even though my legs were a little sore the next day. I loved biking around this pretty area, nice neighborhoods, a lake, lots of christmas lights, etc. Really pretty!  The sister I was with is a newer missionary. She seemed a little nervous about being in charge of her area for 2 days, but she did really well. We did a lot of bike riding and seeking with faith. We talked to this one interesting man- he told us the first time he went to an LDS church was when he was a teenager and he was trying to smoke a cigarette for the first time, but then he got in trouble. The second time a friend invited him to a Halloween party, but he came drunk and kissed the bishop's wife. He said a lot of weird things, including that the Angel Moroni should make us some "maca-roni"! (pronounced the same way as the name). We got a little bit lost trying to find the street our dinner lived on, but we found it eventually!

We had a pretty good in on exchanges in Spanish land too! We had a lesson w/ a less active lady who got offended once so doesn't want to see that hermano again, but she knows that going to church is what'll really help her in her life. We also met w/ one of our investigators, Margarita! She is so cute! She keeps reading a good amount in the Book of Mormon. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she enjoyed it a lot! She wants to come to church, but had to go to Tijuana this weekend (struggles of serving so close to TJ). 

Yesterday we went to try this lady on the ward list who we don't know (so we assume is less active or has moved). It looks like she did move, but we asked some of her neighbors if they knew anyone named Gloria in the circle. So we got a bunch of different neighbors referring us to basically every single house on the circle. But none of them were interested. UNTIL we tried the last referral. Gloria didn't live there, but we found another hispanic woman who wants us to come by this week! Pretty cool! As we went up to her house, I told Hermana Buitrago "we have to try this last house! We didn't come all this way for nothing! Something has to come from all this!" and it did! cool!

Awesome news! In Lake Elsinore Hermana Flores and then Godoy and I worked with this returning less active family. This Saturday the Hermana will be going to the San Diego temple to receive her endowments and Hermana Flores and I get to go too!!! Yay!!! Finally!!! We are super pumped!!! :)

That was basically it. We tried by a lot of people this week, but not much came of it. This week should be pretty busy with MLC and going to San Diego. It'll be good!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Hermana Schooff

Monday, November 27, 2017


found this in the apartment. I wonder how much is cost... especially since it isn't written correctly... and then somebody tried to fix it but didn't....

We had a pretty jammed pack week! But a good week! Here's how it went down:

Monday night we went to a recent convert family's house (PMF, we're teaching the husband/son) and Hermana Buitrago made Columbian arepas!! Pretty good! It was amazing to watch her form them- little perfect circles. #talent

We saw President and Sister Hammon twice this week! Once at interviews and they came to our ward yesterday!
Our Relief Society had their Christmas dinner tuesday night (yes, before thanksgiving). We had a meeting w/ bishop in the middle of it, but at the end we got tamales!!! (yay it is the season for tamales!)

Wednesday I was on exchanges with one of the English Sisters. I stayed in my area. It was a pretty good day! We had a lesson with Margarita- before she told us she was willing to listen but not much else. But since that lesson she has read 40 pages in the Book of Mormon! We taught her the restoration and she loved it! She wants to come to church and accepted a baptismal date! We also taught one of her sons who sat in near the end of the lesson. At first he seemed more skeptical and just wanted to point out differences in our beliefs. But then he opened up more and understood better too. Margarita is super open! She realizes that the beliefs she grew up with maybe aren't 100% correct and really wants to learn more!
We did some studies in the car because time and miles are rough, but this guy came up to our car and asked if we were ok. So we explained what we were doing and who we are and he said he'd be open to have missionaries stop by his home! Lol, he basically contacted us!
We had a lesson with a recent convert and we are helping him prepare to receive the Aaronic Priesthood! He seems pretty excited!
At the end of the exchange, this sister told me she learned a lot about the language of the spirit. Since I was teaching in Spanish, she couldn't really understand what was happening, but she said she had to listen to the Spirit to understand. She liked that experience and wants to seek to hear the voice/language of the Spirit even when she does understand the language of the lesson.

Thanksgiving! We had a turkey bowl with our zone and the lake elisnore zone! Which are probably the two biggest zones in the mission, or close to it! So a ton of missionaries! it was fun catching up with people!
We did some studies and had a lesson w/ the husband of the recent convert family- i'll talk about that in a moment.
We had dinner w/ Hermana Gonzalez, a cute little abuelita who loves missionaries and calls us her children, and her less active daughter. It was great! We had turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, corn, biscuits, pies, cake, etc. Great food! Afterwards we told jokes in Spanish- well at least tried! The next night we had dinner w/ her again and ate some of the leftovers- still good!
Then we went to our zone activity and watched "The Best 2 Years". Probably my fav. movie I've seen on my mission- it is even funnier once you are on the mission :)
Maybe not today, but I should be getting more pics from the other hermanas and our thanksgiving dinner.
oh christmas tree!

We saw the husband of the recent convert family 3 times this week. We taught word of wisdom, fasting, and read the story in alma 2 with him. He is truly beginning to change. He went 3 days w/o drugs, but then relapsed. This week he is working in Bakersfield monday-friday, but he says he'll have a lot of time to read the book of mormon! awesome! progress is being made! I think he enjoys meeting with us (a major change from 3+ weeks ago)

Saturday we also had exchanges! Again in my area! We taught this guy we met the other week who had met w/ missionaries in Mexico about 5 years ago! He didn't really remember the message, but really wants to know what church is true. And he knows he needs to go to church to find out! Cool lesson!
That day Hermana Buitrago was in the English area w/ the other sister. That area is a senior center town basically. Hermana got a head ache and asked a sister for some pain meds. The lady accidentally gave her not normal tylenol, but tylenol 3 (codine). So she napped a lot, but I guess her head ache didn't go away. It was a interesting day for her......

Hermana Buitrago loves bubble wrap!!!

One night Hermana Buitrago and I stopped by some investigators we found my first week in Perris. They weren't home, but as we went back to the car, Hermana Buitrago heard a voice saying, "come over here." It was dark and late and we only had time to try 1 more person. We turned down the next street, and then she points at a house and says, "how about this one?" So we go and try the house. In the house lives a man named Johnny. We introduced ourselves and he told us he wanted to learn more about Mormons. We sat down on his porch and began to teach him briefly about the restoration. He had a lot of questions, but the questions missionaries love to be asked! He was filled with this desire and thirst to learn more. I feel like I can't explain it well, but it was a miracle. He is elect and has a desire to learn and to act.

Not much time left and that's about it anyways! Until next week!
Hermana Schooff
Lol we all keep on trying this jacket- super attractive (look at the map!)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mission Tour!


The beginning of last week we had Elder Keetch of the 70 and his wife touring the mission! Monday night we had an MLC at the mission office. The multizone in the North half of the mission was just ending, so I got to see so many people, including Hermana Flores!!! It was fun to catch up and see a lot of people I haven't seen in awhile. We ate some MLC pizza and then had a training by President and Sister Hammon and then by Elder Keetch. The Hammons spoke about spiritual gifts- really good! And with Elder Keetch we basically had a discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the mission and what we can do as leaders to help the mission overcome those weaknesses and help that no other missionaries in the mission will fall into those weaknesses. I won't explain it all in detail for times sake, but he gave this analogy of a man who sees a whole in a sidewalk and falls in multiple days in a row, sometimes because he doesn't care and sometimes even when he tried to avoid it. Eventually he finds another sidewalk to walk down, and finally he goes back and repairs the hole so nobody else will ever fall in again. He said we need to be the ones repairing the holes we have fallen in so the missionaries we serve won't fall in again. 
South Half of the CRM!!! With Elder & Sister Keetch

Then Tuesday we had the multizone with the south half of the mission (the better half, cough cough). It was fun again to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time- like Hermana Chandler (in her last transfer). So basically I saw the whole mission in 2 days. Pretty fun! Wow we talked about a lot of stuff! One thing I"ll share is from Elder Keetch. He served in Germany on his mission and only had 1 baptism. He lost contact with this man and always assumed he fell out of activity in the church. The day Elder Keetch was sustained as a member of the 70, the next talk in conference was by Elder Anderson (I'm pretty sure) and he started telling a story of 2 couples. One of those couples was Elder Keetch's baptism and his wife. They did not fall out of activity. They ended moving to the Ivory Coast (where there weren't even missionaries there yet) and starting a sunday school class w/ this other couple. This couple lived there and basically helped started the church there and just completed a mission serving in the temple. Elder Keetch told us to never underestimate the work we are doing and the influence it'll have in future generations. We may not be able to see or hear about the effects of our service, but they still exist. 
MLC w/ Elder and Sister Keetch

This week we met w/ one of our investigators, Herminia. We read the testimony of Joseph Smith and she loved it! She was super impressed by his comments and experience. She wants to be baptized and already has a testimony of Joseph SMith and the BOok of Mormon!
We gave some service this week at this train museum/kid place. We moved old bails of hay and swept up the old hay. It is a pretty interesting little place!
We found this new investigator, Rafael. At first he seemed pretty normal, we didn't have much time to meet with him. But he gave the closing prayer and gave thanks that we came by and he really wants to learn with us he said!
We also met w/ a less active lady. The hermanas have met w/ her a few times before, but this time she just completely opened up to us. She said she has been out of work for 8ish years now and has lost hope of ever getting a job again. She was praying and telling God about this fear, when we knocked on her door. We helped encourage her and lift her up and we talked about service. She says she really just wants a job where she can serve others, so we told her she should do community service while she keeps looking for a job. She loved the idea! It was a really cool lesson!
Lol we went to open an investigator's gate, but it was like impossible to open. I kept trying, and trying- and then suddenly it like flung right up and I let out a little scream in surprise and almost fell down. Haha :)

So met w/ the son/husband of the recent convert family again! It is amazing! Last week he had already planned to start this week to stop doing drugs, etc. He should be starting today. We haven't even taught the Word of Wisdom yet! We are going to try and see him everyday to support him! It is awesome! We wanted to bring an hermano with us this week who has had some of these same issues in the past, but we couldn't think of anyone. Then yesterday sunday school was about the WOW and the hermano teaching it has some majors issues with it in the past- AKA we found our teamup!
We started teaching the niece of that family last night! She is 8 and already knows quite a bit!

Our Ward list is a bit of a mess. A lot of people are less active, or at least we just don't know them. We are finding a lot of people have moved. So we are trying to clean up the ward list and get to know all the members in our area. It is a big project, but it will hlep us and the ward a lot! THe ward is focusing on retaining recent converts and bringing back less actives. So this will be a lot of our work, but of course we'll keep working with investigators as well.

I had my first 2 exchanges this week w/ the other Hermanas in our ward. In one we gave some service at a food bank unloading frozen turkeys and putting them in a freezer. We had a cool experience that night! A less active daughter of a sweet, older hermana in our ward called us saying she had a bad day and didn't know who else to call. Within the past year, this hermana has drifted very far away from the gospel in her lifestyle, but still has a testimony. We told her we were already on our way over. When we arrived to her house, she broke down crying and my comp comforted her and listened to her. This hermana explained to us how she was tired of her lifestyle, but also tired of trying to come back to the church but falling. She received a letter from the Corona MidSingle Adult ward (a super new/tiny ward recently started) and felt like the ward could really use her help. Receiving that letter and picture of Christ really touched her and she kept thinking about it. It was amazing to watch my comp comfort her, lift her up, motivate her, and literally be a shoulder to cry on. At the end of our visit this hermana said she would like to receive a priesthood blessing and have an interview with the bishop. 

Lol sorry I copied that from my email to President Hammon #savetime
The next day w/ the other hermana we had a lesson w/ one of our investigators- except she was caring for an older lady, Juanita, who has dementia. Basically we couldn't teach b/c this lady loved to talk, but none of it made sense. But we were nice to her and listened. Also that day we were seeking- we tried talking to this guy who was working on his car but he wouldn't talk to us. Then we kept walking a saw this dead dog. We made sure it was dead, but then the guy we just tried to talk to starting yelling out "Is anyone there? hello! somebody?" So we went back and tried to talk to him. But it turns out he was yelling at somebody in his house and then he starting cussing. NICE! (lol not). But in that time a man in the next house came out. He asked if the dog was ours and we starting talk to him. Turns out he is from Mexico and has been taught by missionaries before! he said we could come back a different day.
Lol we took this at the parking lot of the library because we keep forgetting to take a pic together

Tonight we are making arepas w/ a recent convert family! #prosofhavingaColumbiancomp Tomorrow we have interviews w/ President. Thursday I'm not 100% sure what we are doing, but we are having dinner w/ all the missionaries in the ward w/ Hna Gonzalez (super cute) and we'll have a zone activity. Also sometime in there 2 more exchanges w/ some English sisters. Crazy!

That's about it!
Hermana Schooff