Monday, July 31, 2017

happy last day of july!

Hola!!

Wow! Crazy! Tomorrow is August! it is so weird! It just means we are slowly getting closer to cooler weather... but that won't happen anytime soon!
Time is flying by! I can't believe it has already been another week! If this was a normal transfer, this would be the last week. But instead we have a 7 week transfer. Crazy that the longest transfer feels like the shortest
This week!
Well overall not a lot happened Monday-Thursday AM. We did a lot of work, but weren't finding a lot of success. But Thursday evening our luck changed and Thursday-Sunday we were super busy, running around teaching people. We found 10 new investigators in those 4 days while also visiting current investigators! Crazy!
We stopped by one of our current investigators. She has 11 cats who chill on her front porch. They are way cute, but sadly don't want to come chill with me as much as I want them too. She is such a sweet, funny lady, but we are trying to find out if she is willing to act at all or just likes to listen to us. 
So on the same day I heard the high school band practicing what I think was a song we played in the BYU marching band (Beethoven's 5th salsa) and I found out the son of a family in our ward was in the BYU marching band for a few years, maybe when I was there. But their niece was the person in charge of uniforms so I knew her! It is a small world! The Najarro family!
Jurupa Valley!!

We had a lesson with Antonio and his son. Antonio saw my insulin pump on my arm and freaked out. He was like, "how could somebody like you have diabetes?" Because it is type 1. Like 5 minutes later I don't think he understood any better. Ha, also my ward mission leader told me he wants to get me special bread for diabetes for when we have food at our meetings. 
We started teaching this former Hna Garcia told us to visit. He was pretty drunk. His eyes were like swollen and red. It was really sad to see. But he has faith in God and prays. But he seems like a pretty bad alcoholic. We'll see what happens as we work with him.
This week at the old folks home we did water color painting! Which for me basically meant listening to the lady next to me tell me she never has been a painter before. Surprisingly a lot of the elders are really good artists. 
This week I ate tacos de Jamica! The members told us other members of the ward showed them how to cook Jamica so you can eat it in tacos (jamica, if i remember correctly, is a flower type thing they use to create a drink. but I've never EATEN it before). It was pretty good!
This one evening, we had a church tour set up with an investigator family, but she cancelled on us (kind of typical with her, she's got some crazy things happening in her life). So instead we decided to seek with faith in Rubidoux. We prayed and both felt like we should go to this one neighborhood. In 1.5 hours we walked down a total of 2 smallish streets, had 2 lesson and found 5 new investigators! Crazy! They seem pretty cool as well! It was awesome! We joked that we both picked that place b/c on the map there was some tape over it which made it shine in the sun. Maybe it was that, but better it was revelation!
norco.... goodness...

We also taught a former of my trainer! Poor thing! She has a son in his 20's who has MS and believes God doesn't love him. We didn't get to sit down w/ the son, but we want to next time. But also she said her husband is cheating on her and a man from her old church is demanding money from her and threatening her! so sad! We talked a lot about God's love and of the Spirit in the church. She said she might be able to come this next sunday! Ojala!
Sunday! Haha what a day it was. It was the 5th sunday of the month, so the ward makes sacrament meeting about missionary work. So us missionaries have to create the program. A recent convert shared his testimony, a ward missionary gave a talk, and an elder gave a talk. The elders put us in charge a musical number, so we asked our good friend and investigator Chaba for a favor. That's right. Chaba was so down to play the guitar/harmonica for us! But it was to be in the combined 3rd hour for the guitar. So I played the flute in sacrament meeting (Where can I turn for peace) and in 3rd hour Chaba played the guitar and harmonica and all the missionaries sang How Great Thou Art. Haha it was great! A little different for some of the members, but everybody loved Chaba! Poor guy, his guitar strap fell off part way through, but the bishopric helped put it back on. Some members afterwards even asked Chaba if he could teach their kids how to play the guitar! In our lesson with him, he read Moroni and Omni from the Book of Mormon! Haha. He loves Joseph Smith and every time he heard his name at church he turned to me and say, "Oh! Jose Smith?" haha. Chaba is just one of the friendliest guys you'll ever meet. Just a happy, content, musically talented, hispanic rancher guy. 
Baltazar finally got a blessing from the hermanos! It was great! We had a quick lesson on faith, then the blessing. Afterwards the spirit was super strong and Hna Alvey invited him to be baptized. Right now he is on date for the 13th, but we might have to move it back. We have to teach him a bit slow since Spanish is his second language. But we are super excited! All the hermanos have been great with him and he really feels at home at church I think! The recent convert who spoke sunday will be coming to our lesson w/ Baltazar tomorrow!

2 closing thoughts!
One of my friends from high school was baptized a little over a week ago! Which is crazy! In high school, I had a couple conversations with her about religion and the church, but nothing crazy or major. But later with other LDS friends, she began to go to church, read the Book of Mormon, and meet with the sister missionaries. And now she has been baptized! Crazy! I never thought those few conversations we had would ever lead to this, but it makes me so happy. It really shows me, as a missionary now, how important and powerful members are in this work. The Lord promises if we are worthy to have the Spirit, the Spirit will show as all things that we should do and what we should say. We need not be scared of sharing the gospel, even in small ways, if we are worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost.
I got a letter from my Mom this week that talked about how now days so many things are instantaneous. Food, information, etc. But that's not how God works 99% of the time (that's not a correct statistic FYI). If we are looking for an answer, often it doesn't come after the first prayer. If we are looking for a miracle, if doesn't come the same day necessarily. We have to search, ponder, and work for it. God knows what timing is best for us. He knows us better than we do. Trust in His timing. In the end, it'll be better for you and your character than an instant miracle or an instant microwave dinner. 

Hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Schooff
the foot tan line looks worse in person. And my arm and leg look like they come from 2 different people from 2 different races


Monday, July 24, 2017

tengo 20 anos!

Hola!

So I'm old now. Lame. Just kidding! It is alright! 
Not much time today....
So this week:

If you see my pictures, you'll see a ton of flies. Our homeshare was out of town and a ton of flies came in I guess when the door is open for the dog. So we came home like 2 or 3 nights and killed a ton of flies. Secret is, I'm actually pretty good. I went a little crazy too. But nothing is broken. Except for those flies. 

Looks innocent and sweet, but can kill flies like no other

Ssshh.... It's a secret, but I'm a fly killing professional now
and that was only day 1


Service this week! The elders got to build some office desks and Hna Alvey and I built a coffee cart thing. We're pretty handy. Not really. We also visited the old people again. It is always very interesting since the old people like to repeat themselves. 
2 of our investigators (father and son) work for this small company that creates small, old fashioned planes (pilots can use them after they lose their licenses). Super smart and pretty cool looking! People from all of the world buy them! The guy they work for is super rich and trying to send people to live on mars I guess.
We had exchanges this week! Hermana Garcia (she came in with me) came with me here in De Anza (where she served her first transfer). She loved being back in this area and we saw a lot of members and less actives! It was a busy, but fun day!
So in Nebraska, June bugs are big, brown bugs. In California, june bugs are huge black/green bugs that are nasty and fly around a ton and they just appeared out of nowhere! After service friday one elder caught a june bug and Hermana Garcia helped him tie a string on him to be like a leash/kite. So then this giant june bug flew around like a kite, or sometimes would go straight at the elders. so funny!
No other way to celebrate a birthday!
So yes I am 20 now! I had a good birthday! Thanks to everyone for the cards and packages! I loved them! On my birthday we had a blitz, a meeting, and tried to work as much as we could! Our dinner had to cancel on us, but it was perfect because I could choose my birthday dinner. Where did we go? To get pupusas!!! yay!!! such a good choice. no regrets. we had a good lesson that night too, description coming up. 
PUPUSAS!! <3 (shout out to the horchata next to it!)



So the people we are teaching!
Monica is doing well! We had an AWESOME lesson with her last monday. She wants to be baptized, but wants to talk to her family/boyfriend's family before picking a date. She is so ready though!!! Hopefully her family will be supportive with everything! Cute thing she told us, she has a goal to bear her testimony in sacrament meeting one day! 
Baltazar! We meet with him twice! First was just us. Remember, his first language is Mayan and Spanish is his second language. Sometimes all of us have struggles understanding each other (especially over the phone). He has a lot of hard things going on with his family and such, and it was a miracle that I could understand all he was saying about his family, finances, questions, etc. And that he could understand us! Saturday we had a lesson w/ our ward mission leader, a super awesome hermano, y obispo. It went well! They explained tithing super well and Baltazar wants to pay tithing! He came to church again and told an hermano he wants to stay in the church!
We learned J did not go to the men's home because of his dad. We have not been able to see him yet, but we'll see what we can do!
twinning w/ the stripes

We meet w/ this returning less active member who has been in jail a lot. He's in his 20's and was telling us all about gang life, jail, etc. It was a little different for me. But he is actually a really kind person and we had a super awesome lesson w/ him talking about peter walking on water
We had a lesson w/ Chaba again! He thinks we are good singers which is not true. We read the introduction to the Book of Mormon together and he loves learning more about Joseph Smith and what happened with him. Chaba always says, "I've never heard that before! Wow I'm learning a lot with you two!" 
We are working with so many people, we do not have time to see them all! we made some plans on how to get more working time and use our time more effectively! 
lots of cool things happpening in this area!
this is a pomegranate tree!


One thing I've started to do in my studies is what I call "unplanned finding" in the scriptures. If I look for a verse in the topical guide, etc. I will also read the verses around it. And I find a lot of super cool things- not necessarily about the topic I was looking for! That happened a lot this week!
One of those times was when I found a verse when Christ invited us to come as little children unto Him. We really are like little children. We have our own mind and rebel often. But really we don't know what we are doing most of the time. But even though we will all make mistakes, Christ is the perfect loving parent who always has His arms outstretched towards us. He will never send us away. He'll forgive us and love us. He knows we'll make mistakes and that we are still learning and takes us as we are and strives to help us through it all.
LOVE CALI


I hope you all have a great week! Can you believe July is almost over?
Also it started raining this morning....magical! But I want a thunderstorm!

Hermana Schooff

we are actually really bad at silly pictures



Monday, July 17, 2017

last minute miracles - everywhere!

Hola! Como estan?

We had a good and busy week here in Jurupa. I'm still loving it here! Here's a little of how our week went!

Monday we had a FHE activity for the ward/investigators. Sadly no investigators came, but some less active and recent convert families did. We watched the testaments (kind of awkward to watch as a missionary FYI), a couple of testimonies, and had treats.
Wednesday mornings we usually have service, but we had some appointments so we didn't go. Instead we had 3 lessons in like 3 hours! and 2 new investigators! Super productive morning! 5 lessons total that day w/ investigators! Sweet!
One of our new investigators was Chaba! haha what a funny man! the first time we saw him he played the guitar and harmonica for us and sang some of his church songs. He is pretty talented! The second lesson he pulled out his accordian (apparently I can't spell that word)! So cool! Haha we sang "Soy un hijo de dios" (I am a child of God) and he loved it. We even made a recording of us singing w/ him playing the guitar and harmonica. Jammin' for days! He wants to come to church next week to listen to our hymns. He also says he is learning a lot from us, and he also wants to teach us how to play guitar, etc. Sweet man!


This is Chaba! Accordian in hand, guitar pick in mouth. What a guy! Oh down below is the thing he uses to play the harmonica w/ no hands.




One of our investigators, J, should be leaving California today. He has some drinking issues and he wants to go back to a men's home, but his father wants him to go to one in Tijuana. J says he wants to stay for 3 months, but his dad wants him to stay for 18. So we'll see what happens. But we taught him the plan of salvation and he loved it! answered a lot of his questions! He has a great desire to change, but really needs a change of environment at this point.
Friday was a crazy busy day! We had a breakfast at the stake president's house w/ all the missionaries in the stake and President and Sister Hammon. Introductions and goals mostly. Then we had service at the old folks home. Mostly talked to the residents and then we tried to play some games with them. I was given connect 4, but the residents didn't know how to play and didn't understand. So we just put the pieces in, and they really liked when you're doing and the pieces get to fall down. Then we had interviews with President Hammon at the mission office. 
Ready for this? Play a movie in your mind as you read this. We park at the mission office. We are standing outside the door as Hna Alvey talks to her trainer (she was there b/c they were getting a new car). The door to the mission office opens. It is hermana Flores. She sees me, mouth opens from surprise. We run and hug each other. 
Wow! Wasn't that dramatic!












So yeah I saw Hermana Flores again! yay! they were also getting a new car (after dealing w/ that old chevy cruz, she finally gets a newer car!) There were so many missionaries in the office, it was a lot of fun! It is fun to be at this stage of my mission because I feel like I know so many people!
Interviews w/ President were good! Mostly getting to know each other, sharing testimony, setting goals. All good stuff! He seems like a great, loving man with a strong testimony and  a desire to work. 
Saturday we had a blitz for the Norco elders. I want everyone to go on google, serach Norco, CA. AKA Horsetown USA. No joke, that's what they call it. So we went seeking w/ faith in "downtown" Norco. In norco there are no sidewalks, instead horse trails (smelly and gross FYI). You see more people riding horses than anyone else outside. Looks like a normal neighborhood, but almost everyone has horses out back. Please, just google it. Put in the end we actually found some pretty cool people!
Yesterday we taught this young girl, Tanya. Hna Alvey had taught her before but hadn't gotten in with her in a few weeks. But we found her and she was ready to listen. She had a lot of good questions- all answered by the Restoration. It was a really good lesson and she accepted all our commitments! It was awesome! It is cool to see the Lord's timing. The Hermanas found her in her time of need one night. And within the past few weeks she has had some changes in her life, though hard, that have helped her be ready to learn of this message and be willing to make changes in her life. Super cool!
Biggest miracle of the week- church! We had a few people we were planning on going to church. They didn't come. So like 2 hours before church, we texted and called like all of the people we've had lessons with the past couple weeks and invited them. Yesterday we had 3 people at church- none of whom we thought we come! Baltazar came- even though the day before he told me on the phone he couldn't come (shoutout to the hermanos in our ward, calling him and picking him up. Not sure what changed, but there hermanos are awesome!). Monica came- even though she prefers going to the Spanish ward in Riverside where she started attending. Antonio came- right after returning from a trip in Utah and even though his daughter (who is the most solid person we're teaching) is out of town. It was awesome!
So overall this week, Hna Alvey and I had a lot of "last minute miracles". Church- all those 3 were last minute, unplanned people at church. Not the people we thought would be there, but miracles! New investigators- a lot of the new we found this week and last week were the last tries of the night. We didn't head home at 8:40PM, but we kept trying a couple more people if we had the time. And in those last minute tries, we found new investigators. Seeking- we would seek with faith either nobody interested would be outside or just nobody would be outside, until the last like 10 minutes. Then we would find cool referrals and potentials. 
The Lord rewards us for our obedience. If you show Him you are obedient, you are willing, you are working, you are doing your best, He WILL bless you. In His time of course, but he will do it. It might be in the last 10 minutes of your day, or whatever you are doing. But as we do our part, He certainly does His. 

And that was our week in a nutshell! This coming week we have exchanges. I'll be with Hna Garcia here! Yay! There is so much work to do here! WIth current investigators, referrals, potentials, less actives, part member families, etc. I just wish there was more time in the day!

Went to the mission office for interviews, found two of the favs! Actually make that 3. My amazing old comp Hna Flores, and the dream Spanish incoming team of Hna Garcia, Elder Rivas, and I. Fun times!


Hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Schooff

Monday, July 10, 2017

fuego

Hola todos!

As I told hermana Alvey this week, "El aire es como un fuego". Man, it got hot this week! I'm sure it'll just get worse! The car said 120 degrees once, but I think it was more like 110. One thing I've learned is sweat is real. real gross. But something I have to live with (basically constantly) for the next 2-3 months. awesome. Nobody said missionary work is a glamorous work.

this week!
Our 4th of July Celebration was mostly on the 3rd. There was a fire work show at the high school across the corner from us. and Sister Burrola (our homeshare) had her family over for a pool party, food, and to watch the fireworks. so we had dinner with them (really good food. Haven't had a bbq in a long time! the best was the carne asada though). We actually got 2 lessons that evening! then we got home just in time to see the finale of the firework show.
One of the investigators we taught is Baltazar. He went to church a few times, but we had a hard time meeting with him. so we finally saw him monday. sad story. He is here and his family is back in his country. So he's trying to get money so they can come here. but his older son tried to cross the border and apparently got kidnapped by a mexican cartel and is being held ransom. So Baltazar is trying to find all the work he can to get more money to help his son. It is so sad! We're not sure how he found this out or anything. But we are planning to have some hermanos from the ward give him a blessing of comfort soon. so that'll help!

4th of July! We did our studies and then had "Meet the President". It was good! The Hammons seem super nice! Decently young as well. They're from utah, he was like associate vice pres of UVU, they served in the Dom. Republic together doing like welfare type things, but also working in the temple and D.R. MTC. so that's super cool. His Spanish is like way good. And I think Sister Hammon speaks spanish pretty well too- so that'll be awesome! We got to know them more, they got to know us, and then they gave us a training about missionary work in general and some things they want to focus on. It was great! The day before the ZLs asked me to do a musical number, so luckily it worked out. I played I stand all amazed on the flute. We went to grab dinner and ended by getting my fav- JAMBA JUICE! the first jamba I've had on my mission. The girl working there is the relief society pres. of the YSA ward here and gave us medium cups for $1 #BLESSED  that evening we had a zone activity with both zones in the stake. we played sports (aka volleyball for the sisters) and talked mostly. it was fun!


Thanks nice Jamba Juice lady! totally worth $1


Wednesday we went to stop by this investigator and she was cooking lunch so she ended up feeding us! some kind of soup (lol she had us cut some potatoes but I think we went too slow for her) and some carne asada tacos (the meat was like red, but it was cooked. she said it was weird but fine). Had a quick lesson with her and her husband and son.
What says America more than tacos? That fish taco was really good FYI


Later that evening Hna Alvey felt sick. Sis. Burrola's family brought a stomach virus with them it seems and Hna Alvey got it (I didn't so that was good). So we stayed in wednesday and thursday. But thursday we got a split with us- a returned missionary named Jocelyn. She served in Honduras. She has been looking for a job for awhile now. I guess she told her mom before she left that she was going to come out with us since she doesn't have a job and hopefully she'd be blessed with a job. BAM! DONE! We were driving to our first person and she got a phone call of a job offer. Then at the end she got a phone call with another job offer as well. Blessings! It was awesome!

Friday we had service at the old folks home. We played bowling (the bowling bowl is a hollow rubber ball). Some were actually pretty good at it! Friday Sis. Burrola had a party she has every July for her friends (like an unofficial bday party). So we had some tacos from a taco guy she hired (I can never go back to American tacos. You need to have a corn tortilla, good meat, onion, strong salsas, and most importantly- cilantro. can't have a taco without cilantro). But the house got so hot that evening! It was a hot day already! By the time we went to bed I think it was 90 degrees in our bedroom. A little rough, but we made it. Like I said at the beginning, sweat is real. We took cold showers before going to bed that night, and like 5 minutes after we were already sweating again. oh well... moving on....
mira loma though


We met with one of our investigators. Sadly he fell back into drinking again. He got mad about some events in his life and started drinking. So we shared a message about Peter walking on water and faith and focus. We set some goals with him and hope he'll stick to them.

We met with Valerie again. She is still being weirded out by some weird spirit thing in her house. I don't know, it kind of weirds me out. But we taught her the plan of salvation and she agreed to be baptized! yay! She said she'd come to church, but didn't. We're not sure why yet, but will find out!

Yesterday was the first time I actually got like scared by a dog on my mission. We were walking up this street to contact referrals and 3 dogs run out of this open gate: 1 little and 2 big. First time they ran to Hna Alvey and I wouldn't look at them but just kept walking. Second time they ran to me and the big dark one literally like ran right up to me barking. It kind of freaked me out, but all I could do was walk on the grass like 3 inches above where he was. It was a little scary. But all that happened is I guess the little one bit Hna's shoe. 

craziness of yesterday! So we went to church and well I don't know a lot of the people yet (week 2 you know). But by the end of church the elders tell us that a lot of people were there from our area who aren't members. what? our bad, we should've talked to everyone. So sunday after dinner, we were searching for new investigators and hopefully some of the people who went to church. We found one, a neighbor of an investigator who cancelled on us. Then we stopped by this PMF family who went to church to pick up the father and son (non members) as investigators again. But they were busy eating, so we teach a lesson anyways, and 2 visitors of theirs (who also went to church) sat in! Milagro! So we got 3 new investigators yesterday and 2 of them went to church. Awesome! Most of the week was hard for us work wise, with meetings, holidays, sickness, service, etc. so it felt like we didn't get much work done. but we did the best we could and the Lord blessed us in the end. Legit the very end though. Like that PMF was the last people we had time to try last night. Milagros!

Tonight our ward is doing an FHE. We invited a lot of our investigators and less actives. Some of them have been a little flaky lately, but we hope lots of people come! 

Lol- yesterday at dinner I realized I can actually make like some jokes in Spanish now. Ok maybe not jokes is the best word, but I can make humorous comments in a conversation now. Progress- it is real! I asked this hermano where he was from and he said the largest country. I assumed he meant Mexico, but I asked "Russia?" they thought that was so funny. turns out Hispanics will call people russians when they want to call someone mean or cold. So they thought that was funny. Turns out he is from El Salvador (don't ask me why that's the biggest country)
lunch today- I broke two forks while trying to cut some chicken.


One cool thing I liked from my studies this week was reading about Pilate in John. When Christ is crucified, Pilate puts up a sign that says "Jesus Christ King of the Jews". People wanted him to write that he said he was kind of the jews. But Pilate wrote a statement- King of the Jews. The couple of times Pilate questioned Jesus, he asked him if he was a king. Christ bore witness of himself and His kingdom, which is not of this world. In these moments, Pilate gained a witness/testimony that Christ was a King. And he showed this in the end by writing that statement. 

Anyways I think that is it for now!
Oh! So today we saw a video some elders made- called The Mission Office- like a spoof of the Office, but about the mission. I think it is on facebook (maybe in the california riverside mission page). Look for it! It was awesome!
Also the Hammons will be starting a blog if you want to look at it: http://hammoncaliforniariversidemission.blogspot.com/

Que tengan una buena semana!
Hermana Schooff
lol today since we forgot to take pictures of us this week.