(Hey Mum! So no doubt you might be a bit surprised to be getting an email on a, but there was a little bit of confusion and we found out that was our actual P-Day, which is why I didn't send anything larger than I previously did . So here's what I would've sent!)
First, update on my life. About two weeks ago... or a week and a half ago (time is becoming a bit fuzzy) Elder Aiono and I were requested to report to the mission office by the Assistants. We weren't sure what was up, but we automatically assumed we had done something wrong somewhere along the way and were mentally preparing ourselves for a thrashing of some kind (I was also rethinking my past actions in the week, looking for anything that I had done or hadn't done that would require a visit to the office). By the time we got down there, we never made contact with the Assistants, but instead were greeted by Elder Sheffield (the senior) who asked us if we were the Clarence Park elders. We confirmed that we were, and he threw us... car keys. Aww yeeeeaaahh- the mission just became a lot cooler xD We have a car! My first car area! How exciting is that!? I had to get used to driving again, but it's all good now, for the most part- my loathing for the Adelaide road layout and size and design will probably never subside, but I can't complain because I have a car now!
So that was the first update. The Glenelg Sisters had a baptism last week and the ward actually couldn't find anyone who could or was able to do the baptism, SO Elder Aiono got to baptize her. What a special event! There is nothing more satisfying for a missionary than to hear the waters of a baptismal font splash. The service was lovely and she will be confirmed this( for the rest of you).
This week I wanted specifically to talk about some of the revelations I had received recently. To be honest, this week has thus far been one of the most emotionally difficult ones, but I am thankful that it hasn't been worse and that it will all be okay in time. At this time, I actually don't have enough information to disclose exactly what it is that has beset me, but suffice it to say that I've been going through some emotional strife.
Having been so tormented in mind, I decided that the content of the issue was suitable to be brought before the Lord. With such matters, I'm finding that specific questions can actually be answered very quickly in the form of inspired scripture. So, like I have before, I knelt at my desk, scriptures in front of me, Patriarchal Blessing nearby, and I asked the Lord a few questions, spoke my mind, and then waited.
I pondered about which book of scripture the Lord would have me turn to when the Doctrine and Covenants came to mind, and I knew that I should look there with confidence. I waited and pondered a bit more on where to search, and for whatever reason, felt impressed to turn to D&C 58- I did not previously know the contents of these scriptures. As I read them, I found verses 1-6 and 15 to be particularly relevant, and the scriptures were made even more personal when I felt prompted to insert my name instead of the name of the man mentioned.
For those of you who do not know, D&C 58: 1-6,15 talks about persevering through tribulations, and how the blessings come after tribulations; they also warn against unbelief and hard-heartedness. Because I hold these personal revelations to be sacred to myself, I'll refrain from relating exactly how these scriptures applied to my situation, but they did apply as if the Lord Himself had spoken it. [I greatly encourage you to click on the link and read the scriptures referenced.]
Unfortunately... they did not satisfy my desire for knowledge. They didn't answer the questions I had of "What is to be right now and how shall I react?" I again took this question to the Lord the following morning and received this (isn't it awesome how I got two immediate answers in a row? I'll tell you how in a second).
I repeated the above process before praying and asking the Lord my question. Again, I felt impressed that the Book of Mormon held the answer this time, and I felt like perhaps turning to Mosiah 16 was the answer. I was disappointed when I found the reading to be completely irrelevant, even after I had tried to look for ways to liken the scriptures to myself. I said another prayer and tried again, and this time felt impressed to go to 2 Nephi 32. Three words: "What a rebuking!"
I applied the scriptures I read to myself, and again, it was as if the Lord Himself had spoken them to me. I was shamed for still pondering so heavily what was troubling me despite having received an answer for the big picture, and then I was rebuked for not relying on the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide and direct me in my response to the situation, as well as for not looking for examples in the scriptures. Then I came to know that the Lord was grieved by my unbelief in His promises that everything would work out in the end for the better; regardless of how it played out, it was going to be better than before. I was then rebuked for ceasing to look for answers myself and for having not continued to pray for further understanding about that which I had already received, and then I was exhorted to pray before I did act in any way or take any action towards the situation. Wow...
I have a testimony that the Lord knows each of us personally, and He knows what we need and the moment that we need it in.
Now I wish I could say I was satisfied, and I was for the day. But that night I was again troubled, and sleep did not come easily (nor for the previous nights). The next evening, I was enjoying some good readings and I flipped open an Ensign from 2006 (I forget the month). I flipped through to the talk I had been reading previously, and having become bored with that particular topic, flipped the page. The next talk was -I'm fairly certain- directed straight towards me. It was -perhaps but not for certain- the answer to the more immediate issue at hand; a part of the "tribulations" if you will. I did not like what I saw or read one bit -in fact you could say that I despised what was before me- but when I showed my companion, we both had a good laugh. As sorry, painful, and disappointing as the whole scenario was shaping up to be -at least in my mind and by educated guessing (this is the part where lack of information really proves to be a pain in the neck)- we were able to laugh at the irony of it all. I came to the conclusion that it was either an inspired reading, or Satan was playing with my mind (he can use scriptures and the words of life to teach false things, ya know).
That night was a very low one for me- perhaps the lowest of my mission thus far, as I pondered and thought of all the possibilities that could come from the situation I was and currently am in. But the next day (today) was the temple trip for the district, and so I again prepared to receive the answers I so desperately longed for.
In order to receive such answers so "quickly" I prepare for them by asking the question the day before- this gives me the appropriate time I need to ponder and think it out myself, and to prepare myself spiritually. I also inform the Lord -without asking for anything- of my intentions and the questions I will be asking throughout the day in prayer, and tell Him exactly when it is that I will be searching for an answer. Then, when the time comes to actually receive the answer, I'm spiritually prepared and ready to receive it (because not all answers are answers that we want to hear [but they're always the answers we need to hear])- that's when I ask the Lord my questions, and so far, it has never failed to bring an answer immediately after asking, save for that short period of time in which I have to listen to the Holy Ghost's promptings. Some might say this is a slow or ridiculous process, but I receive answers to my prayers, which is something that many people struggle with.
So anyways, I again informed the Lord of my intentions, validated everything I had already received as revelation, informed the Lord that I would be asking for a confirmation of those answers to be sure, and prepared to go to the temple.
Today I was expecting again to be taught out of the scriptures as I pondered in the Celestial Room. No such teaching took place- I flipped through the Bible and Book of Mormon but never felt impressed to search any one book. I read from different gospels and flicked through multiple chapters, but never did I receive any direction as to where to go in the scriptures. It was then that I knew that the answers I was looking for didn't really even have questions- I had the answers I needed according to the information I had, and even then some; what I was really looking for was some comfort. The things which I think are going to take place very shortly are -should they take place- going to be very difficult things to accept.
As I pondered in the Celestial Room, I placed my scriptures down, and waited for the Lord to talk to me- not through the words of any of His prophets or apostles, but from Him, and He did through the Holy Ghost. He reminded me of what I had already read, especially about how I need the Holy Ghost more now than ever. The Lord was and still is teaching me to rely and trust in Him, and if you know me, you know these are very difficult lessons to learn. He also reminded me to not be unbelieving in His love, kindness, or mercy, and to expect blessings to come after the tribulation. I still don't know what is going to happen or how these blessings will be conveyed or in what form, but I know that the Lord is going to help and direct me so long as I rely on Him, and that no matter how it turns out, it will be far better than it currently is.
But that's all the ramblings I have for this week. I'll let you know how it all goes!
Please keep me updated on what's going on back home! I love you all heaps, and especially my Mum, who is the best person ever! And I don't say that lightly- my Mum is the best!
-Elder Jeffrey Schomburg
|Since we haven't received any photos from Elder Schomburg lately|
I decided to share a photo of his beautiful sister Elizabeth
who, after four years of dedication and sacrifice,
graduated from Seminary last week.