Sorry for not emailing last week- 'twas a bit hectic around here. Suffice it to say though that I have been very well-fed down here (to the point that I'm very heavily considering passing our tea-dates on to other missionaries because I feel quite fat), I've been in good health, and I feel very happy. =D
Well, yesterday (my a woman decided to take the stand. [The Church designates one Sunday each month, usually the first Sunday, as a day of fasting. Proper observance of fast Sunday includes going without food and drink for two consecutive meals, attending fast and testimony meeting, and giving a fast offering to help care for those in need. Members of the congregation are then encouraged to go to the pulpit and share their testimony of the gospel with everyone in attendance. It is typically a very spiritual and uplifting meeting.] You would have thought that my interest would have been perked when she said, "This is not a testimony," but instead I was just as interested as with anything else. She had a sheet of paper that she started to read off of, and it listed various facts and dates when certain events happened and all the rest of it, so to be honest I became a little bored. This wasn't a testimony at all, and while I was waiting for her to tie it all back into the gospel, I became bored. Well, before long I saw members of the congregation start to exchange questioning looks. Sister G (the Relief Society president) leaned over and asked, "Is she allowed to be saying that?" Elder Taylor leaned over to me then and said, "Wow, this lady is just bashing Christianity." This perked my interest and I started listening in. Unfortunately, her voice was still sort of soft and we were in the back, so it was difficult to decipher everything she said, but it wasn't long before I got the gist of it- she was preaching against Christianity and trying to convert the congregation to Judaism... as a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ and care-taker of His church to some degree, I wasn't sure what to do- approach the stand and ask her to step down, or wait to see what happened? There were a number of investigators and returning less-actives at church as well which made the situation all the more concerning. Bishop C then stood up, put his arm around her, and told her, "It's time to go, Lynn." She argued passively at first, finished her speech, and was taken from the pulpit. She walked back to her seat, stayed until the closing hymn, and then left early. I looked to President Carter for guidance, but when I didn't receive a "Go after her" motion or expression, I didn't move. Bishop then went to chase her down, and I don't know how that went. It was an interesting , to say in the least.) was really quite interesting. As we were sitting there during Fast and Testimony meeting,
*Pause To Read Message From Home* =D
Sweet, wow, some crazy news! Elizabeth is going to BYU-I and Amber is going to Provo! As we do in Mildura (even though I'm not there, it's stuck with me) *high, girly pitch* WHOOOO-HOOOO!!! That is so COOL!!! My little sister is going to be Student Council President at BYU-I (don't even doubt or argue with that- some things are just indisputable truth ;D)! That is really cool! =D Elizabeth, if it's one thing I've learned it is that where you end up is where the Lord wants you to be and most probably needs you to be. I am a high-school anomaly, will have to take some remedial math courses, and it'll be a wonder if I get into BYU-I - But I know that the Lord needed me in Options [alternative program in high school]- for my own growth or for others, I do not know, but I was needed there. So maybe you didn't get where you wanted to be- that's okay! Because you are definitely going there for a reason! =D You are going to have SO MUCH FUN!!! Maybe that's why you're going- the Lord just wants you to have some fun for a little while (I might be a bit biased, but I've heard BYU is for the preppy people... who wants to hang out with preppy people? And don't you worry, I give Amber just as hard a time about that as anyone else who goes to Mormonville XD). No matter what, though, I want to tell you something I read just awhile ago. I won't get it exact, and I forget which apostle or prophet said it, but it went something like this: Someday, we're all going to have our personal interview with the Lord Jesus Christ. He won't care who we married- he'll ask us if we loved and cherished our spouse regardless. He won't care how many kids we have- he'll want to know what our relationship was like with each individual child. He won't care about what our job was or how much money we made- instead, he'll ask us if we did our best at it.
Just with this in mind (and he said a few more things of course), I don't think the Lord is really interested in where anyone ends up going to get their education, but rather, I think he'll want know if -once there- they did their best at it. Regardless, I know you'll be well-off in lovely Idaho! ;D
By the way... Elder Taylor just received a call from Elder L (our district leader) and our zone activity (which was supposed to involve running and chasing kangaroos and holding koalas) got cancelled... and he's (Elder Taylor) being ET-ed (Emergency Transferred)... well, I guess it was only a week until transfers anyways, and I didn't think we'd be staying together to be honest, but it is what it is... we'll see what happens and what it's all about...
I wish I had more time because there are more things that I'd like to talk about, but unfortunately I have to go now- my companion has to pack, say good-bye to some folks, and we've just got heaps more things to do now. Awesomesauce!
I love you all heaps!
-Elder Jeffrey Scott Schomburg