Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Transfer 9!!! What??... Week 50

G'day all!

This is a bit late in coming, but transfers are pretty hectic. Nothing hectic really happened with me- I'm staying in Evandale with Elder H for this transfer. Yesterday we ate at Hungry Jack's and there were heaps of transferring missionaries there! I saw Sister B (it was really good to see her! She's been in Darwin for 5 transfers now and -like me when I first came down- doesn't know anybody, so I think she appreciated seeing a familiar face), Elder A (I still love him heaps!), Elder D (it hadn't been too long but it was still good to see him), Elder F (from Mildura), Elder B (my little "brother" by Elder L), Sister M and Sister C (from the MTC; heaps good to catch up with them!), and Elder B (Elder P's last companion) was down to pick up a new companion that he was taking back to Broken Hill. Elder P dropped in to our flat briefly and we had a brief exchange... he seemed different; quieter, maybe a bit more humble. He's been assigned as a district leader in another new area south of Adelaide (always knew he would be a district leader someday). Aside from that, apparently the mission is getting heaps of new missionaries every transfer and there are more yet to come next transfer. They expect that the numbers are going to die down as 2014 goes on, but suffice it to say that exciting things are going on in the mission... unless you're serving in Evandale. Sorry, that probably sounds bad, but it is a bit teasing to see such exciting things happening all around while being assigned to an area that has been saturated by missionaries because of its close proximity to the mission office (in other words, the work is going slowly here right now).

[I discovered early on that any name/person included in Elder Schomburg's blog can be found by a simple Google search; therefore, in case they don't want to be listed publicly, I choose to simply use their initials to protect their privacy. Sometimes I miss a name here and there and for that, I do apologize.]

Now, aside from my frustration with the pace of the work, I find it expedient to mention to all those interested that I have seen a real life koala in the wild... so to speak. Seeing a wild koala is rare apparently, and seeing it in a suburb is more rare, but it was right there, sleeping in a gumtree outside of the mission office, which is located in a quiet suburb.

This week I had an experience with Elder H in which we had just finished trying to follow up with yet more potentials that must no longer exist. My companion and I hit every suburb in our area, and he was very tired and irritated with the lack of results. I opted to take a break from follow-ups and sat down to make some phone calls to investigators and members. I was trying to give him an opportunity to rest and clear his head a bit, but he wanted to be staunch and tried for a brief time to do street contacting. Having yielded nothing from it, he shortly came back and asked me how the calls had gone. I told him we had two set appointments with some recent converts and had made arrangements to talk to a member about his MML investigator. Then we debated about what to do next. It was clear that he was done with what we were doing, but he also wanted to stick to the plans. I was a bit more lenient with the plans (as I was taught, planning is more or less showing the Lord that you're invested in your area, but sometimes the Lord has different things in mind, so He makes it known to you the following day and you have to change plans... at least that's how I've looked at it). I asked Elder H if he wanted to stick with the plan (follow up even more) or go street contacting. He made an argument to do both, which sort of confused me because he made it sound as if he wanted to do the other as soon as we made a decision, but finally he decided on street contacting, and left choosing the area up to me.

I picked a direction and started to go down it. The street was vacant to start, but I knew that it would come out on a busier one. As we went though, I kept my eye open for the wandering person, if there was one. A small green hill at the end of a lane perked my interest and I was drawn to it. I tried to argue with myself that going back was a waste of time, but then I remembered what Elder Pe taught about how the Holy Ghost would "work THROUGH you". I wondered if my curiosity was divinely inspired and was a means for the Holy Ghost to take me somewhere we should've been going, and I heard the still small voice confirm that ever so softly. I turned around and as I passed Elder H, who looked a bit irritated at the change in direction, I said, "I want to check something out." I went back to the lane and turned down it, and after riding down the lane to the green knoll, a park was revealed to the left. A father, with his two children, was at the park, which was in all aspects of the term, secluded from all distractions. At first I was intimidated- I didn't want to distract the man from his children, but I knew the Holy Ghost had led me there for a reason, and I'm sure that reason was to actually get Elder H's teaching skills to the father. We engaged him and he was very open, but did not accept a return appointment. Nevertheless, we left him with a Restoration and Proclamation pamphlet and Elder H proved to be a master teacher. He delivered the Restoration almost single-handedly, with me acting as his support and testifier. It was just a very cool experience for myself.

[I have learned through reading and listening that Australians frequently use “myself” where we would use “me” in American English. I have been correcting Elder Schomburg's usage in the past few blog posts, but will no longer be doing so. If you listen in your mind as you read, you can hear his Australian accent developing nicely. :) ]

Elder H mentioned that I somehow keep going and don't seem to have an off switch, which is a good thing, I think... I get just as tired as the next guy, but I think the thing that drives me is knowing that I'm not doing this for me- if it was for me, I might've thrown in the towel already, but I know that I'm serving for the Lord. The Lord has blessed me with so many things that I can't count them, and I find something(s) new to thank Him for every day- the least I can do is square my shoulders and work like a missionary should.

I should probably get going. Just know that I love you all heaps!

-Elder Schomburg

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