Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Year and a Few Days... Week 53

G'day all!
Again, I'm short of time- what I'll be sharing with you is what I wrote to President, and though much else happened throughout the week, I have not time sufficient enough to communicate it all... sorry! =/ First, though... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBY!!! On my side of the world, you're already 11, but on you're side, you're still 10 (try to figure that one out if you can XD). You're the best little brother in the world, I love you heaps, and I hope you have heaps of fun at the zoo and Golden Corral!!! Alright, on to one of my adventures for this week.

Baby Robby and Jeffrey when he was about 11 years old.

This week was a good one (not that the others aren't good, this was just particularly good). The spiritual highlight for this week for myself would have been when we met a man on the street late one night. We'd just finished tracting, it was about 8:00PM, and we were going to head back to the suburbs closer to our flats in hopes of making contact with some formers or less-actives. We hadn't found anyone on the street whilst tracting, which had dampened our mood just a bit- my companion seemed frustrated with it, so I did my best to keep my chin up. We first contacted a lone sister that was standing on the dark street by herself. Perhaps we shouldn't have, as it may have looked bad, but I felt pity towards her- a young woman left alone on a street in the dark waiting for a ride in a fairly dodgy part of town by herself is a very vulnerable target for those with evil intentions, so I thought the least we could do is try to teach her the gospel, and if she wasn't keen, at least keep the conversation going until her ride arrived- as her brother and as a gentleman, I couldn't just leave her there by herself. As Elder H engaged in talking to her, a man rounded the corner. I wasn't so sure of him at first, and felt that maybe it had been inspired that we had met the young woman when we had, but as he passed he said something interesting.

"Gabriel's coming."

Elder H and I and the young woman exchanged various glances. Immediately I thought, "Oh no, he's one of the Revelations blokes that stay up too late reading into 'deep doctrine'" and all the rest of it, when he went on to ask us,

"Are you prepared? I'm prepared."

Fearing that perhaps my suspicions had been confirmed, and seeing that the young woman looked very uneasy at that time, I opted to inquire as to what the man was saying, with the intention of following him to his house (if it wasn't far off) and if I could manage, I was eager to try to teach him. As it turns out, his house was right where we were. I engaged a conversation with him anyways, and asked him about Gabriel. He told me what he knew as far as his knowledge was concerned, and then in surprise said, "I thought you'd know about Gabriel- you've got a statue of him on your building." I then clarified and told him that the angel atop the temple was actually the angel Moroni. He was curious- who was Moroni? I then taught very simply about how Moroni was a prophet in a distant land, and that some of his writings were recorded in what we call the Book of Mormon. This perked his interest intensely. By this time, Elder H had finished his conversation with the young woman -who had been picked up by her ride- and he joined in the conversation. We tried to control it as much as possible, but the man went off talking about all sorts of conspiracy theories and the end of the world and all the rest of it. I wasn't so sure about him, but his openness to the Book of Mormon and just the simple doctrines I had taught him about prophets intrigued me- even if he was crazy, he had more than an 8-year old's understanding of scriptures and things of the world, and maybe his worries about the end of the world could be silenced with more gospel knowledge. Regardless, we spoke for a very long time, Elder H, myself, and the man, whom we came to know as Allan.

At the end of our discussion, he actually invited himself to church and inquired as to where it was. We told him, exchanged contact information, left him with a Restoration pamphlet, and told him we would talk about the Book of Mormon and the pamphlet next time we saw him.

He never showed up to church, but I think there's definitely potential there. He said he had to be careful about what he said because the government was close to locking him up for being crazy, but I think that if one can recognize that they're crazy, they're not crazy. His eagerness to learn more was just astounding, though- whether it's real interest or not is unknown to myself at this time, but I'm excited to go see him again.

This past week we only had one MML (member missionary lesson), but he wrote down several more names and has a plan to give the Proclamation to one of his mates upon his mate's return from Bali. As for other MML efforts, we were actually more occupied this week than we thought we would be with other missionary activities (teaching, finding, etc.), so we didn't go around to see as many members as we had intended. We did have an MMC (Member Missionary Contact [just asking them to say a prayer on behalf of our finding efforts, and we call them later telling them who we found as a result]) with Brother P, and we stop by on occasion to Sister H's and have a prayer with her in the driveway- she dropped us tea yesterday evening at 5 and after we asked if we could do anything for her, she expressed that she truly appreciated it when we dropped by just to say a prayer for her or ask her to pray for our finding efforts (we have an MMC with her every now and again on top of prayers out of the blue). "By small and simple things shall great things be brought to pass" (Alma 37:6) is the scripture that comes to mind when these little things happen. I just hope -rather selfishly- that I can see what the great things are when they come around, but if it's not in my time while serving in Evandale, I'll still be happy.

All else is well- my companion and I are helping each other to be obedient, despite my lack of understanding with some little things. I've decided that -though I pride myself on getting answers and reasons for everything and not committing to anything unless I know exactly why it is that such things should be done- I just want to be obedient; I feel better when I follow the rules and the Lord has already shown me more mercy than I can properly repay Him for- in this life or the next. The least I can do is follow a few rules, regardless of why we have them (and I'm just talking about the little things, which I understand make all the difference).
We also taught Eustina and her husband Lucas- they didn't come to church, unfortunately, and she's hesitant about what we have to say about a prophet being on the earth today ("beware of false prophets" and all) but she has agreed to pray about the message, and that's all we can ask of her. After all, we won't be the ones to convert her or her husband- the Spirit will.
Well, I'm not sure what else to say. As far as working with members goes, I have President Carter's full support and my actions are sanctioned by the top dog (Mildura shout WHOO-HOO!!!), so I fully intend to prioritize seeing the members heaps now, regardless of what anyone tells me to do (it's like on those movies when the CIA comes in and just smashes what everyone else is doing because they have permission to, with Elder H and myself being the CIA XD). I miss you all, I'm thinking of you all... and it's been over a year (shh... don't tell anyone that).
Elder Jeffrey Schomburg 

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