[As a precursor to today's blog entry, I'd like to let you know that Elder Schomburg received word last Thursday that his visa had not yet arrived and he would be staying at the MTC in Provo for at least another week. He should find out this Thursday if he will continue to stay at the MTC or if he will be sent to another mission stateside while he awaits the arrival of his visa from Australia. During his visa application process, Australia changed their visa requirements and while he submitted all of the correct forms and information, there is simply no way of knowing when he will be leaving for Australia. That is up to the Australian government. In the meantime, Elder Schomburg and all missionaries who are waiting for their visas to any country will be assigned to stateside missions where they serve until they are able to enter the country in which they were originally called to serve. Lest anyone think there is any confusion or mismanagement within the Chuch's missionary program, please know that there are 65,000 missionaries in the field serving in 347 missions located in 150 countries throughout the world. It is one of the largest, most well organized missionary efforts in the world and we know that Elder Schomburg is being watched over every step of the way. As we believe him to be on the Lord's errand and the Savior Himself directs the work of the Church, we know that Elder Schomburg is in the best of hands. ~Lisa]
Well, here I am again, writing to you from the MTC. Today, District 24C, my district, was more or less disbanded; there were nine of us, with six going to Phoenix, Arizona, and those six left at 5AM this morning. Now, it is just me, Elder Warner, and Elder Taylor. P-Day has been quiet and boring and uneventful, and I fear the next couple of days will reap the same fruit. We're probably going to go to the temple today again, so that will be cool, and we're going to study (as always). Such is my life right now. Elder Warner's visa had some trouble so he's being sent to Oklahoma on Wednesday, and then Elder Taylor and I will become companions and welcome in the newest batch of greenies. The bunk room has been very quiet today, and it will be quiet -for a time- tomorrow. I'm not as excited to meet this new bunch of greenies, only because I know that four more young men are going to be bunking with us again, Elders I don't even know. It will be like day one all over again.... bleh.
Anyways, onto happier topics (sorry, today is just a 'bleh' kind of day), yesterday Elder Warner and I taught our last lesson to Robert, and he committed to be baptized. How awesome is that!? Took us four or five lessons to get through to him, but it finally happened, and we found out what it was that he needed from the gospel. Even so, I felt hollow with the "victory" I guess you could say; ever since I started finding success in our lessons with Arnold, Satan has been trying to get me to affiliate success with the phrase "That's not good enough" which is just the absolute perfect way to get to me, even when I have done some good work. I respect him for that, he deserves a pat on the back for his efforts. Unfortunately for him, I -being a worthy Priesthood holder set apart to teach the words of God- have more power than he does, and in the end, I am obliged to sorely disappoint him. So, now that I've got that little rant out of my system, let me talk a little more about how it's been going.
I am convinced that the MTC is a time wormhole, because the days have ceased to have any difference or significance and time seems to have been put on hold; every day is the same day, except Sunday -which is only slightly different- and it all seems to be melding into one giant day, with eight-hour periods in which I go to sleep. It's still great to be here, but even so, I want to get out into the field. We were supposed to have left by now, but who knows where Elder Taylor and I will end up. He has his visa, the Australian government just hasn't released it yet. I don't know if I have my visa yet, but they're keeping us together, and where I have been told not to expect a visa soon, I have been fasting and praying a lot (probably more fasting than I should have, my stomach was unhappy this morning, in an aching pained way). So, come Thursday, we'll know what our plans are (we hope).
I received a TON of pouch, thank you all SO MUCH for the packages and mail. I have more candy and food than I know what to do with, and that's a good thing; it'll be the last time I can receive such things [due to Australia's restrictions]. Also, as far as mail and writing goes, I have divided those who have written me into two groups. Group One consists of Mom, Robby, Amber, and Dad. Group Two consists of Andrew, Elizabeth, Grandma, anyone who writes me during the week, and Amber... (don't judge me :P). I also reserve the right to mix it up and send letters to people in Group One on the P-Days where I write to Group Two... again, judge me righteously. I would send pictures but I can't figure this... frustrating machine out, SO I will send MTC photos when I get to someplace where I have 90 minutes to figure it out.
Again, I can email anybody, so send me emails, and when I'm in the field I'll have MUCH more time to email back. I love you all, I'll try to keep you updated as best I can and I love you all more than when I said it before (I roll like that). Until later, from Provo, Utah, Goodbye all!
[As another aside, if I have anything to add or interject, it will typically be in brackets and in Italics; that way you know if it is Elder Schomburg speaking or if the comments are from me. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org Please keep all communication upbeat, spiritual, and centered on his work if at all possible. Thank you!]