Sunday, May 4, 2014

Think Happy Thoughts... Week 58

G'day all!
First things first! Mum, I will be calling at around 8-9am my time, I think... if not then, it'll be around 12-1pm, and I really hope that's not too late for you back home. I'll be calling on my Sunday, so it'll be Saturday evening for you (sorry... I tried to get the Zone Leaders to let me and the District call home on Monday [which I feel makes more sense anyways... P-Day and all] but they said no). I might also be skyping so if you could send me those addresses again so that I can jump on the email beforehand and get them when it's time to Skype or whatever, that would be great!
Now, for a brief status report. It was about Tuesday night when I got to thinking seriously-seriously about my new station as District Leader (I know, I talk about it a lot but it's not because I'm trying to put on a "Look at Me" show). I decided after some pondering that my overall attitude about the whole situation was just negative and bad- more like Laman than Nephi. So, I squared my shoulders and decided to be Nephi instead. I made a concentrated effort to look at my station positively, and I noticed on about Friday or Saturday night that the reason I was so unhappy was because I was still worried about me. The assignment to serve as a leader is an assignment to serve selflessly, or without care for one's own well-being, so instead of worrying about myself, I started to worry more heavily about my missionaries. Because of that increased concern for them as opposed for me, I actually saw more blessings come to myself as a bonus to having switched my priorities, and all I can say is that the Lord has blessed me to start performing my assignment much more effectively than when I first started. Oh, Mum... my poor sisters don't have any winter gear, so I went out and got them all gloves and scarves... and I got myself a nice jacket as well (matches with the one Elder Aiono got xD)... just FYI.
So I admit... I'm starting to enjoy being a District Leader. I felt really bad for how I had accepted the assignment at first, and I offered up a number of repentant prayers. During the week I came to the conclusion that having this assignment is actually a gift from the Lord, and He has given it to me so that I might serve His children more fully, and also become more refined myself. Such assignments are seldom conveyed and to know that the Lord trusts me is very humbling- I felt very badly for having accepted it so negatively. So, just know that I've since repented of my negativism, and am thinking more upon the happy thoughts that come with being a district leader.
As far as the work goes this week, Elder Aiono and myself only taught one lesson to one investigator, and a few lessons to some recent converts and less actives. The most spiritually filling/fun time was when, as I pondered how to strengthen and excite the missionaries about the work, we called up the District Sisters (Sister Moss and Sister Aspinall) and asked them if they were up for some healthy competition. The name of the game was this: whoever found the most potential investigators in a 2-hour block of finding time was the winner. If the Sisters won, we would have to wash their car on P-Day and shout them KFC (which is to buy them KFC). If we won, they had to bring us a number of assorted lollies and a tube of Pringles. To ensure that we stayed connected to the purpose of finding, we started with a prayer and asked the Lord to help us find as many of His prepared children as possible. Then we wished the others luck, shared in some harmless taunting, and got to work.
During the night -and it was very cold and wet- Elder Aiono and I took to keeping our spirits high by singing hymns and the occasional Disney song in between knocking the doors on a street he had picked the day prior. His street was an inspired street- we found 10 potential investigators, one of which is a young Christian family who were very kind and easy to talk with. We called the sisters later that night, feeling pretty confident but still a bit weary of losing the competition (sister missionaries have this way of pulling miracles out of the air). At the end of the day, though, we both hoped that they had found heaps as well, regardless of who won our game. The first thing Sister Moss said was that they had found 15! Elder Aiono and I were shocked! I was ecstatic for the work they had accomplished, but a bit mournful at having to shout KFC (I'd clean their car regardless- all about serving and whatnot). We then told them we had found 10, and then they told us the truth- they had found 7... we won! At first I felt a little bad about winning, but I think it was actually inspired because the sisters' reaction after finding out that we won was to say, "Elders, we're doing this again next week and we're going to smash you- rematch next week!" So there you go- a pair of sisters are super excited to go finding now and we're "playing" again on Wednesday... hopefully they win this time. xD Since it got them eager to do the work (I was just testing the waters with the District Sisters before I made it a District thing), I thought I would call up the Glenelg Sisters and have the same game with them, so they should be in on it as well before the day is done.
I love my missionaries- they're the best! Just in case anyone was wondering.

Elder Schomburg's District

Call-In with the Zone Leaders went heaps better this time, but it's because last Monday, after my first call-in, I went out and bought a notebook which I have made into my District Leader notebook. I have organized it according to the way it should be, in which information from the different areas can be easily accessed. With this new setup, I was able to manage the flow of information very efficiently this go-around, and the Zone Leaders were actually pretty pleased (ten points to Griffendor!). It really helps me to know what I can do to help the missionaries grow their areas as well, which is something that I am very grateful for. I have seen the Lord's hand helping me all this week, and I will continue to look for His hand in the work.
I also assigned the District Sisters to give a training last Wednesday for District Meeting on the Book of Mormon and how to use it. It was funny because they accepted it with a laugh as in "Are you serious?" and I was completely serious- they had the most progressing investigators, so it only made sense that they give a training to help the rest of us out. Of course I prayed about it and pondered quite heavily, and they were the ones the Lord told me to pick. Well they gave the training and it was inspired- I knew the Lord had inspired me to pick them because they definitely delivered what needed to be said. Afterwards, as I thanked them for the training (it was Sister Aspinall's first, as well, and she did great!), Sister Moss chuckled and told me that the training was exactly what they needed too- it was as if the Spirit was reminding them to use the scriptures more in their teaching, which was actually something they hadn't quite been doing prior to me asking them to give the training. Now that was cool to hear- revelation is real. I didn't know why the District Sisters should have given the training, but I knew with confidence that they were the ones to do it. Lo and behold, they needed a little bit of "spiritual rebuking" as Sister Moss put it, but they learned from it, so all goods.
But all is well in my realm! I love you all heaps! Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mums!
-Elder Jeffrey Schomburg

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