Monday, June 26, 2017

The Promised Land

Hola!

TRANSFERS! I am going to the promised land! If anybody has served in the CRM, you know that the promised land for Spanish missionaries is the De Anza ward, in the Jurupa Stake! Yay!!! Jurupa is like the surrounding area of Riverside. From what I've heard there are a lot of hispanics there and a lot of like "ranch" areas. My companion will be Hna Alvey! She is from Utah, is 25 years old and just finished her training. So that'll be a lot of fun! It'll be weird not having a native companion after 3 transfers!
In Jurupa there used to be 4 sets of spanish companionships in the ward. But now there are only 3: the hermanas, the ZLs, and the APs. So I'm surrounded by leadership! But I've heard great things about the ward! It should be A LOT bigger than the El Cariso ward!
So I'll leave Lake Elsinore this afternoon. It'll be weird! I'm kind of glad I don't have 7 more weeks here in Lk El, but I feel like I still need like 3 more weeks here before I leave. Oh well! I'm super excited to go to the promised land!
The Valerios!


Here is this week in a nutshell!
We went to try this less active family and there is this man standing near their house. Turns out he is a member of the english ward. And he was currently sending an email to his missionary son. What are the odds. With that less active family, they became less active once they moved here. The Hna wants to go to church, but her husband doesn't want to go, most likely b/c he hasn't made any friends in the ward yet. We tried to encourage hermana to go w/o him, and to be that example. So the Hermanas will continue working with them.
We found a new investigator while seeking with faith! She seemed pretty cool! she studied w/ the JWs about 2 years ago but then wanted a break. She told us she was looking for the truth. So we taught her and her 3 little kids. But then when we confirmed our next cita w/ her, she told us she didn't really want to study again right now. That's ok! In the future!
We did a service project this week! The city of Lake Elsinore is doing service projects once a month to "beautify" and clean up the city. So we went to the lake and picked up trash with those cool hand claw picker upper things. Lots of cigarettes, beer tops, glass, etc. Yep. Classy Lake Elsinore.
We found Maria again! And we officially paused her :( this time she is going to Mexico for a month or more. So we told her where the church is in Tijuana and will send her info off the missionaries down south. Hopefully the hermanas can teach her again once she is in town more often and things are more stable. I love Maria though! Such a sweet and funny woman!
Lovely Maria!

At a dinner this week, this 6 year old girl was near me digging through her mom's purse. She pulls out an inhaler, puffs some in her mouth, then tells me: It is like a cigarette or something. Hmm... yeah, exactly. Then she finds a nail (like nail & hammer kind of nail) and tells me it is a needle. Sweet. 
The Perez Seniors moved this weekend. :( So sad. They were ward missionaries and always were AMAZING team ups. The ward will miss them so much! Great couple! 
Los Hermanos Perez Sr. 

We got this referral this week and finally contacted him! He had a visita so he told us to come back in like 1 hour. Then we did and he had another visita, and then told us he was leaving for Guatemala tomorrow. He'll be back in August. #SummerStruggles #tooclosetoMexicotodomissionarywork
Speaking of summer it is getting hot! I'm not sure if our car thermometer is always right, but I think the highest I saw it this week was probably 117. High for today is 105. that's all I know. This week I learned there is a difference, a pretty big difference, between being in the 90's and in the 100's. 90's are ok. 100's get rough. Grateful I have a car! We've asked some people for tips on how to survive the heat. Most common answer: don't go outside. Hmm.. sorry not an option as a missionary. 
We had dinner w/ the Aguilars this week. We had flan for dessert. I have NEVER had some flan THAT GOOD before! Flan is like an egg dessert w/ some like caramel sauce type stuff over it. Man, it was good. She made a whole pan just for us, so we have like half a pan still in our fridge. I'll probably eat some more before I leave because it was that good.
Also, at the dinner we had some mexican rice. Hna put banana slices and jalepenos in her mexican rice. She said she grew up doing that... weird... I don't know if I'll try it...
We picked up a cute young couple this week!  The wife once was a referral we could never contact, so when I saw water coming from a hose while we were seeking there, I was like- we have to go there! somebody is outside! Anyways They are SUPER catholic, but willing to listen. The husband was super surprised when I started speaking Spanish. I think a lot of people think that the native companion only speaks spanish and I'm just there to teach people in english. Not true! Anyways the husband realizes he has some false info about the LDS church and was to be clarified. 
Another new investigator is Eddie! We found him seeking w/ faith as well. He was kind of weird. Told us he wanted us to come back and share our message on Saturday. So we did. He kind of more wanted to preach to us and then he really wanted to know Hna Godoy's first name. It was a little weird.
Yesterday we tried this potential I talked to. The husband came out and said his wife was busy, but then went in to get her. She came out super slowly, and then once she got to the drive way she started puking. It looked like she was about to faint, but the gate was locked so we couldn't help her. So we just told her we would stop by another day and told her to get inside and sit down.
Yesterday was June 25th- aka 6 months until Christmas, so we decided to celebrate! We listened to Christmas music and took a christmas pic! It was kind of weird, especially since it was SO HOT!
Happy 1/2 way to Christmas! (totally wasn't like 110+ degrees on June 25th)

That's about all I can think of from this past week. Got to say goodbye to everyone yesterday at church! I love the El Cariso ward! It may be small, but has such a huge heart. There are so many amazing hermanos y hermanas there! Such cute families! I will miss them!

At interviews President set a goal w/ me to record how many spiritual experiences I have a day and to write about the best one every night. So over 13 days I logged 55 spiritual experiences! pretty cool! I've really enjoyed doing that, reflecting each night and being able to see the hand of the Lord after each day. It has been really cool.
One experience I had was reading a conference talk! Lately I think I've struggled a bit w/ comparing myself to other missionaries. Sometimes it seems like everyone is having a lot more "success" than I am. One day during lunch I read this talk from the Feb. 2017 Ensign, called "Making the most of what we have". It talks about card games and how we are all dealt different hands in life. Some of us may be on winning streaks at times, others may feel like we have a bad hand. But our hands will change and we can use the cards that we DO have to their full advantage. There is a lot more so I encourage you all to read it! It ends by quoting from the BOM- men are that they might have joy. That's a promise, and it is not conditional. We are that we can experience joy, even through hard times. Maybe you just have to look at your hand differently. Who knows!

The district!

I hope you all have a great week, don't see too many people puking, stay cool, and have lots of spiritual experiences!

Hermana Schooff

Monday, June 19, 2017

our busy week

Hola!

This week was pretty busy! Here's what happened!
Tuesday we had our last interviews with President Mullen! Crazy! It was really good! We talked about how to increase our faith in order to have miracles, and we increase our faith by having spiritual experiences! To help me do this, we set a goal for me to count how many spiritual experiences I have a day and to write about the more significant one in my journal each night, so that I can better recognize/remember the spiritual experiences I have had and help them increase my faith. So that has been going really well! 
Wednesday we had our last multi-zones with the Mullens! That was sad! We took our last pictures with the Mullens, the incoming and outgoing missionaries shared their testimonies (there are a lot of time b/c it is the summer), and President Mullen gave his last training. Of course on the doctrine of Christ! It was really good, more about application for our lives than in missionary work. We sang "Called to Serve" and both of the Mullens started crying. That was sad :( Then the Mullens shared their final testimonies with us and went to the next multi-zone. Poor things are crazy busy right now. 
Last picture with the Mullens! :(

the Lake Elsinore zone! And Elder and Sister Just

what a zone- and the Mullens, once again

Thursday I got to leave the mission! I had to do some medical labs in Beaumont (north of Hemet). So it was fun driving through Hemet again! Our ward mission leader and his wife took me. She came in the waiting room with me and there was us two and then a lot of old people. She looks around, and leans over and whispers to me, "Puros ninos!" haha so cute! I was like yes hermana! todos somos ninos aqui!
Yesterday Hna Godoy and I did our musical number! It went pretty well! It was "Oh my Father", she sang, I played the flute, and our ward pianist was on the piano.
Two of the best people in our ward are moving this week! The Perez Seniors (Senior b/c their son lives in our ward). They are the cutest couple over, strong strong strong members, and were ward missionaries. We will miss them so much!
Saturday we were trying to contact referrals and we pulled up by this man's house and we saw this lady sweeping across the street. We went over to talk to her and she said her son threw glass down and now she had been trying to clean it up for a few hours. So we helped her clean it up as best as we good admist the grass, weeds, and dirt (and a random toilet that was sitting out there). She didn't magical want the missionaries to stop by and teach her, but she did thank us!
fireworks from the baseball stadium super close to our apartment! 

Ok now onto some of the people we taught this week!
We taught this lady Cecilia, a mother in-law of a former I taught with Hermana Flores. She seems pretty cool- a cute old lady! She really understood the Restoration well! But they are headed to Oklahoma sometime soon (summertime struggles).
We stopped by this former, Juanita, who has a few LDS cousins who have served missions. We were going to teach her, but her daughter who has a lot of health issues was super sick and legit threw up right then and there. Poor thing. And she got a phone call saying her daughter's meds were ready to be picked up. So hopefully this week we'll get in with her!
Friday morning we found 3 new investigators in like 1.5 hours! One is a young couple, the Centano family! They go to a church super far away and are interested in finding a church nearby. They said they'd come to church, but didn't. But they seem like they have a lot of potential!
The other was Socorro, another former. It was a pretty quick lesson. She also has LDS relatives and has attended church with them when she has visited them! She said the closing prayer and we learned that her son in-law was just taken by immigration and might be sent back to Guatemala (which is like super dangerous to be sent back after coming to the states b/c if people know you've gone to the states I guess they'll kidnap you and eventually kill you) and leave his wife and kids here. So that was super sad!
We had a lesson w/ a less active family we've been working with! When I came into the ward, they just moved here and started coming back to church. The daughter is getting her patriarchal blessing next Sunday, the Hna is taking the sacrament again and will start taking the temple preparation classes! It is sweet!
And finally Hno Aguilar. It is kind of sad. We've taught him so much, he has no problems with like any of the commandments. He accepted tithing super easily, he has stopped drinking coffee, etc. But he told us this week he doesn't feel prepared yet. But he wants to keep studying. learning, reading, praying, and attending church. So we'll still work with him, but just won't be stopping by as often. He has a testimony, he is doing the right things, he has a testimony- And I know one day he will finally feel ready to be baptized. He is such a good man, with a great love for his family. I know things are headed in the right direction for him and his family, and the timing is in the Lord's hands.
found this while seeking with faith! yes! mexican food! And I've had all of these things!

This is the last week of the transfer since it  is a 5 week transfer! On June 30th the Mullens will leave and the Hammons will come in. 
So next week I'll let you know mostly likely where I am headed! But who knows, I could stay here for a fourth transfer!
I need to be better at sending more spiritual things in my emails so here I go:
First D&C 6. such an awesome chapter. In multi-zones we read verses 33-37. These have always been some of my favorite verses, but we read them more specifically in the context of faith. Faith is not fearing, not doubting, but trusting and relying on the Lord.
We sang "I"ll go where you want me to go" yesterday and I paid more attention to the lyrics/structure of the song. The chorus talks about going where the Lord wants us to go, saying what He wants us to say, and becoming who He wants us to be. And the verses follow this structure. Sometimes we don't know where the Lord needs us to be, but He will call us and lead us by His hand. We can share Christ's words of love with others to help them along their path. As we trust in the Lord, and accept His will for us, in the end we will become who He wants us to be. That's really how missionary work works! First we go, then we say, and through our experiences we become. All by seeking and following His will and example!
Well that's it for this week! I hope you all have a great week! 

Hermana Schooff

Monday, June 12, 2017

baptism! and 1 year ago...

Hola!

This week!
Well let us start w/ the big news! On Tuesday we got a text from the Hemet Hermanas, telling us that an investigator I taught my first transfer, Rueben, would be getting baptized Sunday! Both Hna Godoy and I taught him, not for very long though. He was a referral from a member when we taught him, but he could never go to church b/c of his work schedule and told us he was going to stick w/ being catholic. So I guess the member gave him as a referral again and things in his life were better to make those changes in his life! So we went to his baptism yesterday! YAY HEMET! The baptism was great and it was so much fun to see a lot of the members in Hemet! I got to see my recent convert, Jacqueline, and her sister and great grandma! So cute! Hemet is great! I will always carry this hope in me that I'll end my mission there!
Hna Chandler w/ all her Hemet companions

Rueben's baptism!

Now for less exciting news about another of my investigators from Hemet, Carlos. The Hermanas in Hemet kept teaching Carlos, but a week or so ago he moved to Ramona, (not the Ramona Ward, the spanish ward in Hemet- but a town) which is outside the mission. So I don't know if I'll every find out if Carlos will get baptized, but I hope he does! I'm glad I got to teach him and help him feel the Spirit!
Hna Morales! <3


We had 6 new investigators this week! Here they are!
Lily! She has a sister or sister in law (I forgot which) who is a member! So she and her kids have gone to church before and liked it! She said if she is going to join a church, it would be ours, but she is not sure if she is ready to make that change in her life right now. Her son is 19 and is managing and playing in some band that seems pretty successful. They are often out of town on the weekends. We are exciting to keep working with her!
We started teaching a family of former investigators, the Paz family! They are very nice, and super active in a Christian church! There are only like 2 or 3 days a week where they don't go to church! Her kids are attending bible study classes and love them! We didn't get to meet w/ them for long but we'll see how it goes!
A few weeks ago while on a blitz, Hna Godoy talked to this man and he said his wife is a member but isn't active. She is not on our ward directory. So we visited with her and her kids (her husband wasn't there, but he told Hna he wasn't interested). She was baptized in mexico about 8 years ago I believe and then stopped going to church when her kids were younger and would be noisy in church. We are hoping to meet with them more and get the ward involved!
And then a man named Baltazar! Weird name, I know. We meet him in the street a few weeks ago. He goes to a Christian church in Murrieta and told us this crazy story about when his father, a pastor, healed this lady and about this evil spirit/animal type thing. It was crazy folks.
trying to keep it cool in lake elsinore


We were trying to contact a former investigator this week, and this not skinny man opens the door wearing a batman shirt w/ abs printed on it. So Hna Godoy asks him if he is batman? He says, "No. I'm fat man!". Weirdest door contact ever.
Hno Aguilar! He is doing well! He came to church again yesterday! He had a super awesome lesson w/ him this past week! We brought the perfect member with us who has a similar conversion story to what Hno is going through right now. And we just simply asked Hermano about his testimony and if he believes certain things- which was actually really great. We weren't really sure where he was at, but he has a testimony of the restoration and such! It was cool to see him share his testimony and explain what he knows. He is currently praying about a baptismal date for the end on June. His older children aren't super active so he said he wants to talk to them about that as well. We are excited to keep working with him and his family! They are so close to being an eternal family!

So on Saturday we had dinner w/ this hermana, but we were a little late so us and the elders got there at like the same time and in the Cali Riverside Mission elders and sisters cannot eat dinners together unless it is w/ the bishop. So since we were late, we ate our food in the car so the elders could eat in the house. Well we were eating tostadas, AKA the messiest Mexican food on earth. Hna Godoy and I were both wearing black skirts. On the tostadas were beans, chipotle chicken, lettuce, sour cream, and queso (like white, thin, sprinkling queso). We made a mess.
Tostadas in car = no bueno


On Friday we had exchanges! I was w/ Sister Jensen in my area. I met Sister Jensen my first transfer in Hemet! So it was fun to be with her! We had a full day w/ seeking, studies, and in the end 3 lessons. One was w/ an investigator David. We talked to him about the sabbath day, because he was always just telling us, "yeah I'll come to church one day- but when you least expect it! I can't promise you I'll come this week..." and so on. But he said he'll come next week because he couldn't go this week b/c of a funeral. He wants to see how the church and people are and if he likes it. Also we started teaching a less active 18 year old girl. She is super cool and has a great testimony. We want to also start teaching her mother too and help the whole family get back to church. It was a great exchange! Sister Jensen is awesome (she goes home in 2 weeks) and we had fun together!

after a great exchange!

Church yesterday was great too! Awesome talks about families and temples and blessings. We had a full house in gospel principles class- I think there were like 14 of us there! Sweet! All of our recent converts were there, Hno Aguilar, and returning less actives!
Yesterday after the baptism in Hemet we got the chance to give a fireside for the youth about missionary work! It went pretty well, especially since we didn't really get a chance to plan it out well. We talked to them about how they can start becoming a missionary now. It doesn't just start when you enter the MTC, but we can all become missionaries, even if we don't serve full time missions. Then we talked about ways they can share the gospel, shared pre-mission and mission stories, and did a Q&A. We had fun and felt the spirit and there was food at the end. What could be better?


So this upcoming week: tomorrow we have our last interviews w/ President Mullen. Wednesday we have out last multizones w/ President and he'll give his farewell message (or however that works). 

At the end of the week, I realized 1 year ago I received my mission call! Crazy! Time flies by so fast! I remember waiting anxiously for the envelope, and now here I am- 1 year later. This week I will be half way done with my mission. TIME FLIES! ah! It is crazy to think how much I've learned and how I have changed since a year ago. Little did I know about the crazy, awkward, and spiritual adventures that awaited me! I knew I would love the people, but I never imagined how much they would inspire me. I knew it would be hard, but I never imagined how hard, yet how worth is. I am excited to keep going! Here's to 9 more awesome months!

Hermana Schooff
what a great name for a street and a person!

Monday, June 5, 2017

JUNIO

Hola!

Junio! Wow June! How did that happen?
June has been pretty hot lately! We've been in the low 100's lately. It is the life! We are starting to mostly do our seeking w/ faith in the morning when it is cooler, do most of our studies in the afternoon, and then try people in the evening. 
So last week!
Well on monday as we were driving home from emailing and grocery shopping, we got a flat tire! Some pretty big metal thing stabbed our tire. So we called the nearest elders and they came and changed our tire for us (yeah, I didn't remember how to do that). Then the next day we took the car into a tire place and they changed the tire while we have district meeting!
This week we started teaching this referral, Maritza! She was super cool! Young mom of a super cute little girl! She really wants to learn more and come closer to God and be a better person! We invited her to church and to be baptized (she wants to!), then she told us they were going to leave for Tennessee this weekend (yesterday). Sad! It might just be a 2 month trip, but if they like the area they are going to move there. So we taught her and her husband the next day, gave them a book of mormon, and send their information of to missionaries in Tennessee. But she is super cool! You're welcome, Spanish missionaries in Tennessee!
We also started to teach the Aguilar Family (not the same Aguilars as Hno. Aguilar). Husband and wife and 3 girls ages 11-4. Cute family! We only taught them super quickly but they're cool! They go to a christian church nearby, but the older daughter, the 11 year old, really likes church and wants her parents to be more active in church. They seem to have a lot of potential! The littlest girl didn't really have an attention span and instead tried to play hand clap games with me.
a chicken the Aguilar's own. "franseau"

Speaking of Aguilar- now Hno. Aguilar! He didn't come to church again, I guess because his company car broke down so he needed to fix it yesterday so he could work today. We finished teaching him the word of wisdom this week and he has a great plan to stop drinking coffee! His wife is going to buy his food to make smoothies instead. Also, I guess papaya is very good to eat in the morning and help you to wake up. So that's his plan! We are still working with him to choose a new baptismal date. We talked to his wife yesterday and she thinks he will need a decent bit of time. Hno really understands what we teach him, but we are just trying to help him gain his own answer/testimony. So for now we have to be patient, but it'll be worth it! One day they will be a wonderful eternal family! They are so close!
Good news! We are going to work with one of our recent converts to go to the San Diego temple with him! I think I've talked about this before, but if not here's that story again. Lake Elsinore is the only stake in my mission that goes to the San Diego temple. We helped 2 recent converts find names to take to the temple, and we were planning a trip with them, but then they went w/ the stake to a temple trip that we couldn't go to and took those names. But President is letting us help them find new names and then we can go with them. So we are in the process of doing that!
We had dinner with a less active and part member family this week! They have a nice backyard, pool and all! We had a little bbq out back and it was great to get to know the family better! One of the daughters, she is 9, asked her mom when they are going to church. She is so cute and really wants to go to church and learn more. The mom said maybe this sunday, but they didn't go. So we'll keep working with them!
This week while seeking we met this guy named Wisdom. Turns out he is homeless and unemployed, but he told us he loves doing service for his neighbors. Pretty chill dude. Then the next day Hna Godoy saw him w/ another sister and I guess he told them a poem that went something like this: I wrote your name in the grass, but then it got mowed away. I wrote your name in the sand, but then the ocean took it away." Yep. That's it. He also invited them to lunch one day, but they politely declined. 
Lake Elsinore!

We stopped by this cool former investigator! Her name is Juanita. Turns out she has cousins who are serving missions. She seems pretty cool! The reason the missionaries stopped visiting her was b/c she didn't have enough time, but she told us we could come by like anytime. So we have a cita w/ her this week!
We saw a ton of dogs and cats this week. We stopped by this one house and there were like 10 cats on the front porch. 
Saturday on the blitz (seeking w/ faith in 1 companionship's area) there was this hispanic lady getting out of her car. I saw she had a plat w/ round things wrapped in tin foil and a baggy of some salad looking stuff- which can only mean 1 thing, especially for hispanics- PUPUSAS! So we started talking about how great pupusas are, and then she starts giving them to us (she had more). She was so sweet and wouldn't let us go w/o giving us 4 pupusas. So we gave some to the english sisters we were with so they can enjoy the wonders of pupusas and we ate the rest for lunch. Such a sweet lady! The spanish elders will stop by her sometime!
Saturday we didn't have a dinner so we went to this new mexican restaurant that just opened up in "downtown" lake elsinore. I got a burrito w/ pastor. Man it was so good, but so huge. Some really got salsas too. And Horchata. Ahh.... hispanic food..... <3
On Sunday Hna Godoy was going to a baptism in Menifee, so I needed somebody to come out with me. We have an 18 year old girl named Keily who wants to go on a mission! So after church we took her w/ us and did our studies, and then she and I went out to work while Hna Godoy went to the baptism! She is such a great missionary! We had a lesson w/ this woman named Evelia. Keily killed it! Once she goes on her mission, she can basically skip the MTC. Evelia is pretty cool! She's pretty catholic but she has a nephew who served a mission and she's been to temple square before. She'll be out of town for awhile, but we'll go back to see her probably after father's day. After that we went to have dinner at Keily's house, and Keily taught the lesson for us. What a great future missionary! Look out world!
Keily! She'll be a great missionary! and baby Leah too


This week we have exchanges! I'll be here in spanish land w/ sister jensen, who was in hemet w/ in back in the good old hemet days! so that'll be fun!
The following week we have interviews w/ President Mullen and President Mullen will be doing his farewell tour :( how sad! The Mullens only have 3 weeks left! They are crazy busy! Interviews, farewell tour, lots of meetings left, packing, transfers, handing off the mission, etc. Poor guy!

This past week I started rereading my first mission journal, from the MTC. It was awesome to see how excited I was to go to the field, teach investigators, etc. It showed me ways that maybe I've kind of relaxed in, so the past couple of days I've been trying to be better. And it has been great! Great to focus on the needs of those I teach and to have greater faith.
One thing I've also realized recently is that sometimes I can get offended easily, haha. Even when people don't really mean to be offensive. But I've realized I just need to not take offense and life is so much more pleasant! I am always in charge of my attitude, and nobody can change it w/o my consent!
From Jenna's mission's blog. The photographer told them to "get in a group and smile at your moms."


Well that's about it for now! I hope you all have a great week! Think cool thoughts for me!
Hermana Schooff

Here is a picture of the goat from last week.