Monday, March 24, 2014

It's Been So Long... Week 52

Good Morning!
Elizabeth is officially the man for taking on the play directing- (Mildura shout) WHOO-HOO!!!
Andrew is officially the man for going on a date with such a tall girl (Mildura shout) WHOO-HOO!!!
Robby is officially the man for being awesome (Mildura shout) WHOO-HOO!!!!
My parents are the man because they are continually AWESOME!!!! (MILDURA SHOUT) WHOO-HOO!!!!
Well, I can't say very much has changed since last writing home 4 days ago. The week finished out on a bit of a flat note instead of a high note- our indicators were very low, yet we had worked very hard. It was one of those frustrating things where you're the farmer that reaps with a sickle and not a combine harvester- you work the hardest but hardly see any results. So that was a bit disappointing, and during our Call-In Summary Report last night (where the District Leader calls you up and you report on your efforts throughout the week) Elder L suggested that we work more with the members and that I specifically apply what I learned to do in Broken Hill. That was a bit of a "Well, duh!" moment in my life, but I'm a bit apprehensive about taking that approach here in Adelaide, or rather, here in the heart of the mission. Here's the thing:
In Broken Hill, the members were excited to meet us- they hadn't had missionaries in a long time, so their eagerness to do the Lord's work was already up there, and there was a buzz about having missionaries in the branch again. Once we started working with the other members of the branch, we actually took our time with it- we would go to their homes about three times, offering whatever service we could, sharing scriptures, singing hymns, and just trying to uplift and strengthen them spiritually. About the third or fourth time going over, we would introduce the MML (Member Missionary Lesson) which basically -if performed correctly, which is a bugger to do- is supposed to result in the members telling the missionaries about their missionary work, at which point the missionaries encourage the members to start inviting their friends to learn about the gospel through one way or another. We found that -because we had visited the members beforehand and had really made an effort to build friendships with them- the members were extremely ready to let us help them do their missionary work. We saw baptisms from it, and they saw even more baptisms from it after I left. 

Sadly in my current area, it is difficult to get to know and work with the members.  Because they have been so pressed to do missionary work in the past, when any conversation of missionary efforts is brought up, the members spit out everything they know at the speed of light and then close the subject with something along the lines of "So we're doing it but our friends just aren't keen right now." Then they look at you with anxious and worried and tense smiles, and everyone becomes uncomfortable. That is not how missionary work gets done. So this week Elder H and I are going to try to do the best we can with Broken Hill-styles member work- I'm sure the members will be very surprised when we drop in for the sole purpose of saying "Hi, can we sign a hymn with you? We want to get to know you."  Missionaries should not treat members as though the members' sole purpose in life is to do missionary work, because it's not- we need their help, but members have lives and are not called to spread the gospel on such a devoted scale as full-time missionaries.
So now that I've explained all that... this week one of our families dropped us. The JW's won- we didn't have a good enough first lesson with them to get continued return appointments and we took too much time, as we feared- the main reason they cancelled with us was because they felt they did not have enough time with our missionary lessons on top of the JW's lessons. Our last lesson with the husband involved us sharing the Book of Mormon with him. Knowing that we were going to be dropped, Elder H and I bore raw testimony of the things we know to be true, taught him about the Book of Mormon and how it is another testament of Jesus Christ that cannot and does not replace the Bible, and we left him with one. Maybe he'll read it or read some passage that will prick his interest and eventually result in inviting us back. We left him our contact information and have permission to drop in once in a while to say, "hi" (on the doorstep, sadly), but we did all that we knew to do. We still haven't taught that woman from Papua- she's studying at uni right now, which makes life a bit more hectic for her, as she's also raising two children, but she texts us and gives us heads up about when she has to change her schedule or when a good time for her would be for us to come over, so there's still a lot of promise there. Another man, Frank, we've learned is a solid investigator- he invited us into his home, actually read the Restoration and Family Proclamation pamphlets (rare), and we hope to start teaching him a bit more seriously  (our first lesson with him was very brief).
I've also earned the nickname "Lightning Bolt" within the district for being quick on my feet and difficult to beat while playing at morning sport... just fyi. XD
I love you all! TTFN!!!
-Elder Jeffrey Schomburg

I think this is Elder Taylor along with Elder Schomburg
mugging for the camera.

I have no idea. :)

Elder Schomburg and Elder H at the Adelaide Temple.

Elder Schomburg and Elder T - Adelaide Temple

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