Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Excuse Me, Where is the Shut-Off Switch?... Week 63

G'day all!
This morning has already been extremely spiritual, and extremely emotional. I think it finally hit me just now; my friends back home, and my loved ones, and all that I hold dear... are moving on in their lives. Everyone is growing up and heading out and all the rest of it, and when it is time for me to come home, it will not be the same place that I left. I'll need to make new friends, I'll need to start doing grown-up things (like get a job and work), and I'll have to find a wife, I won't get to see my older brother or my sister as often. The world and those in it continue to progress while I get to watch... perhaps I just need to start looking out a different window. ;D
ANYWAYS! My melancholy is NOT going to sour the sweetness of the Spirit which I have felt this morning. But before I go into my spiritual highlights and all the rest of it, I have to report on what's been going on. Transfers went something like this, as Elder Bingham (the senior assistant) read the list: "Serving in the Clarence Park Area as the Marion District Leader will be Elder Schomburg, and he will be training." I want to show you all something, it's my surprised face- ready? =O Hhwhaaat!? This experience was cool. After Elder Aiono and I parted ways, I had to stay for an extra 3-hours of combined leadership training, and trainer's-training. After taking as many notes as possible, I departed for my area with Elder Nay (it's his last transfer), and we tried to proselyte for the space of  a day and a half before returning to Firle to pick up our trainees. Elder Nay mentioned something beforehand that as he had observed, the trainers and trainees usually found each other before the names were even read.
As the falsely confident new missionaries strode into the room and we shook hands, we started conversation with them. It was going to be time for tea soon (they call the whole thing Arriver's Dinner), and as I was about to take my seat, I felt almost compelled to sit next to one of them. It was as if the still small voice was urgently saying, "You must sit by that missionary and talk to him." So I obeyed- I always obey. I started conversation with the elder- he was as tall as me with a Sunny Bill haircut, skux smile, and a slight lisp. He hailed from Central Coast, just north of Sydney if I recall correctly, and he is the only member of the church in his family.
Tea came to a close and it was time to read of the names. Again, Elder Bingham read off the list, and he called the trainers first and then directed the trainees to sit by their trainers. I was the first name called, and though I knew that I wanted this elder I had spoken to, I wasn't going to hold my breath. "Serving in the Clarence Park Area with Elder Schomburg will be Elder Fleming." Ha-HA! Yes! That was my reaction- I could see something in this missionary and I wanted to train him, and what a blessing it has been to me to be able to be his trainer. Mum, Dad... I have a son! He may or may not be the only one I have, but my posterity has begun! Now I just have to train him properly and make sure he knows the ropes well enough that he could train right after his training (such is the expectation).
Now on top of that, they did take our car and promise to return it this week, but as of yet, we've had no word. Again, I think we've lost the car for good. But that's okay. We had a meeting with Bishop, like we do at the beginning of each transfer, in which he said he wanted to blitz the Clarence Park area. So, on top of training this missionary (and he's been a good trainee thus far), running the district, and managing the area (since Elder Aiono has gone, the area fell to me entirely), I was now tasked with coordinating a blitz. I did so with my companion, as he too receives revelation for the area. So, on Thursday 12 June, we are blitzing the Clarence Park area and your prayers will be much appreciated. The theme for the area this week is finding- we've got few to no investigators, and nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach.
It's been good to watch him grow and learn, and so quickly. Truly, this intake of missionaries was a good one- Elder Fleming is a new breed of missionary, and once he accesses his potential, he will be far better than I, or anyone before me ever was. He is a great missionary -even wanted to give planning a go last night (and they don't plan until Week 6 or something like that)- and I have high hopes for him.
This morning my study was intensely spiritual. I remained grounded in Preach My Gospel and decided that every study I have for the remainder of my mission must be just as edifying, uplifting, and educating; otherwise, I'll not have an effective study.
I've been waking up at 4AM every night (I woke up at 1AM and 4AM the last three nights), and every time I awake, my mind is just as active as when I went to sleep. It seems as though I haven't been able to shut down or even calm my thinking. As soon as I wake up (and sleeping feels literally like blinking) I'm back into the rush of everything. I've been so busy this past week that I know that it is only by God's hand that I was able to continue on and do that which I need to do. I definitely feel the weight of my assignments and calling on me now. Last night's sleep was fair enough (awoke at 4 again and didn't get back to sleep, as per the usual), but I'm getting used to the new bodily routine of running on empty continuously.
Regardless of my sleep deprivation, the district is running smoothly, the area is going to get going even if I have to systematically take note of every single house that hasn't been knocked, and my companion is learning what he needs to be at this time. He keeps telling me that I shouldn't overwork myself, but "overwork" has become the regular "work", so no point in whining about it- just do it.
Anyway, my study was in Preach My Gospel, and I learned heaps this morning, and the revelation didn't stop flowing! Now all I have to do is actually apply it. I suppose being so busy occupies my mind from pondering on things that don't matter for the next 10 months. Nevertheless, I have been missing home a lot this week, and reminiscing on what was that will not be... the business staves off such distracting thoughts though.
I'm glad to be a missionary, and I am blessed to be the district leader and trainer of one our Father in Heaven's most valiant sons. Elder Fleming has a lot of mission left, unlike some of us, and I want to make sure that he has a better mission than I did; that he uses his time wisely and purposefully, and accomplishes everything that he wants to. I have regrets- there are things that I wish I had done better, or hadn't done at all during my mission, and I regret every wasted second. I will do all I can to ensure that Elder Fleming does not learn these lessons the hard way, so that he can have the mission experience that I feel I may have denied myself.
I am blessed to be a member of the Lord's restored church, and I am blessed to have the family that I do. Though my little sister is growing up, and though my older brother is off and away, I know that there will come a day when I will just have to cross a celestialised road to see them and the rest of my family.
I love you all heaps!
-Elder Schomburg

Elder Fleming and Elder Schomburg

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