Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blessings abound... Week 15

G'day y'all (gotta get both adapted languages [Tennessean and Territorian] in there somewhere),
This day finds me in the library sitting next to Elder Traconis, an American from none other than San Diego, California. He's a solid planner and teacher, though a bit loose with his words. In any case, we're getting along okay- we've got shopping to do later so we'll see how much our appetites clash.
This week we spent most of our time in Karama (a suburb in our area), and most of that time was spent pulling out the map, looking around, riding around, and then finding out that our potentials lived right next to each other (derp). Elder Traconis does not favor the bike, to put it politely, and we've discovered through careful observation that one member of one of our less active families more or less has a thing for missionaries... nothing has happened, but it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to know when someone is infatuated with you. Another problem with that is that the youth in question is somewhat attractive, which is a slight distraction to my companion, which makes visiting and teaching her older brother Jake -who has expressed interest in going on a mission- a somewhat difficult task, as they are together most of the time (and she. Is. A. FLIRT. Blarg!). Being the senior companion, I'm trying to rethink our approach to reactivating the family without risking distraction or thoughts that would be detrimental to maintaining and keeping the Spirit's company.
Now aside from that little complication, we've been teaching an Aboriginal named Ben. He's 60 years old and has had some pretty interesting spiritual experiences. He used to be a minister or preacher for a church, but he's very open to listening to what Elder Traconis and I have to teach. As we taught him the Restoration one day, his 15-year old son, Lucas (whom we did not know existed), came out of the house, sat on the grass with us, and listened in. We handed Lucas a Restoration pamphlet and continued to teach him and Ben, and Lucas just blasted through the pamphlet- read the whole thing right in front of us. Naturally, we moved on to the next thing to bring up: the Book of Mormon. We explained what it was and then revealed two copies and presented them to both Ben and Lucas... I have NEVER seen anyone's face light up so quickly. I have NEVER seen anyone so excited or so thrilled to receive the Book of Mormon. One would have thought that we had just presented a million dollars in cash, they looked so happy! We left them with a chapter to read and returned the next day (as was requested). [Click here to get a FREE copy of the Book of Mormon]
We found that they had both read, but their reading comprehension was very poor, so we read with them and explained what the passages meant. We also invited them to church, and Ben wanted to bring his whole family (meaning him and his three kids [his wife is in prison]). A little taken aback, Elder Traconis quickly siezed the situation and said that we could bring Ben and Lucas this week, and find a ride for all four next week. When does that kind of thing ever happen!? Elder Laca and I weren't sure Ben was going to be very solid, but he -and Lucas (who woke up from a nap to come and listen to us teach the second time)- are just eating it up! Again, the only complication is checking to make sure they understand what is being taught, but ultimately, they are solid. I'm a little apprehensive about helping them understand that by being baptized, they have to change and continue to live after the lifestyle that they will eventually adopt by being baptized, but it's in the Lord's hands and everything is going more than well so far (I have a bad habit of being too skeptical).
To sum it up, this week was VERY low in numbers, but as I wasn't permitted to work in my area until Thursday and even then did not know it by heart, I think Elder Traconis and I did very well with the time that was granted to us. I truly have been blessed with a good companion- I've never seen anyone plan as effectively as he does, nor have I seen anyone more excited about working with the members. I really do think that he, being my "step-father" (I've had an adoptive father, father, and now a step-father, how lucky could I be?), will teach me the last bit of things that I need to know before I finish my training with him. I really have been blessed with having three different trainers because it has given me a lot of experience and I've been able to discern what it is that I like in missionaries and would like to adopt, and what I dislike and what I will not adopt. It's all a big learning experience though (wow, random but can you believe this is the start of my fourth month, which means I'm two months away from reaching the quarter mark of my mission? Why is it that the time only goes by fast after it's already gone [because that made a lot of sense]?). 

Anyway, I'll be off for now. Thank you all so much for writing and for praying- I can definately feel your prays in my life and I really need them, believe you me XD
Love you all! Ta-da! (which is actually a way of saying 'goodbye')
-Elder Schomburg

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