This week was much better than last week, and I got a ton of emails from friends and family so my day has just been made! Anything sent to me is GREATLY appreciated, so thanks to everyone whose keeping up with me! I wish I could send pictures but library computers don't let you attach anything, so I'm going to try to find a place to print pictures and I'll send them home with a few letters (after I get them written).
So last week was really difficult... extremely difficult. This week was better as far as my mental state goes, but the work hasn't really sped up as much as we'd like it. Alas, the wants and desires of missionaries are not always in keeping with the Lord's will- His will and His time be done, and not ours. First off (I need to get this down before I forget), the RAAF is doing Top Gun training right now, and the F-18s are always flying extremely low overhead all over Darwin, which is pretty cool but also inconvenient when street contacting- it's difficult to feel and teach with the Spirit when you've got four F-18s screaming overhead in their mock dogfights.
Also, there's an Australian dessert here (I'm finding that I have a really bad sweet tooth, and Australians know how to make very good desserts) called Trifle, which is a mixture of Jelly (Jello) on top of cream (pudding), on top of a cake of fruitful flavor (mango in my case) served with vanilla ice cream, stacked in that order. It is just one of many God's gifts to the worlds, and whoever thought it up is wonderful.
|Summer fruit trifle|
Anyway, on to missionary-related topics! As I struggled through last week (and I sent a very sad letter to my mother [since then I've gotten better, don't worry mom!]), I questioned why it was so difficult for me. The simple answer is that I've been too self-oriented. Though I may not openly verbalize it, my thoughts were focused on MY needs, and MY wants, and MY discomforts, which is why I'm convinced last week was so... sour. That being said, this week I've been focusing on everyone but me, and missionary work becomes much easier (in a manner of speaking, this is still really hard work and my body is starting to feel it). We didn't find as many people as we wanted to this week, an investigator dropped us, and those with baptismal dates are falling off the radar (Sunny, one of our investigators, is actually in the exact same position spiritually as Zach from Tennessee [interesting, eh... eh is actually an Australian thing, by the way, Canadians just stole it from them]).
But I finished reading the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover for the first time this week. I prayed about it before and after I finished reading the last sections of the book, and the promise given by Moroni is a true promise- the Book of Mormon and the teachings therein are true. It is a real, tangible record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. When I prayed to know if it was true or not (as I had always just taken it for granted to be true, or at least believed it to be), I did not see any angels. I was not struck dumb or translated in order to behold our Savior proclaiming "This book is true!" I did not faint for three days. Instead, I felt the calmest, most peaceful feeling that I have felt, which I can only relate to the feeling one is overcome with as they sit quietly in the Temple. There was no lightning, no thundering voice from Heaven to testify and declare that the book was true- just the still, small voice that is known to be the Spirit, declaring in such a tranquil manner that, yes, the Book of Mormon is true, and the events found within did occur. With this knowledge, I have not handed out copies of the Book of Mormon so easily- that is to say, I have not just given them out with a brief explanation and a commitment to read from it. Such a sacred work should not be taken lightly- it is the word of God and teaches us how to live in manners that will and do bring eternal happiness; that the mundane and short-lived pleasures of the world cannot measure up to. It's just that simple.
Speaking of worldly things, I've been reading out of Jesus the Christ, in coordination with Preach My Gospel and the Doctrine and Covenants. I encourage everyone who is a strong and faithful member of the Church -and scholars who are mature enough- to do the same; if you really want your mind blown, that is the way to do it. Eric, you especially would love the deep doctrinal topics found within. I won't divulge too much, but just know that my whole perspective has been changed, and the troubles of the world seem very insignificant compared to our divine potential and the plan of our Heavenly Father.
All in all, this week has been educating. I miss you all (as always) but that won't last either. I love you all very much and I would invite all those who have yet to read the Book of Mormon to do so, and to do so prayerfully. Anyone can read the book, but by doing so prayerfully, the truths found within will be made much more apparent.
From Darwin, Australia, cheers!
|"Official" Mission photo taken prior to |
Elder Schomburg's departure in March 2013
Thanks to Jen of DuvalDigital.com!