As you might tell by this week's heading, I am battling! I am battling hard, brothers and sisters, because I am a representative of Jesus Christ, of the Monument Ward, and of my family, and I will not suffer the name "Schomburg" to go down in history as that of a trunky people. But I am battling! xD
I think it waswhen, as I fasted (that's why this happened) I suddenly felt the most driving desire to eat out at Red Robin. This was quickly followed by feeling nostalgic towards the times when Mum and I would go to lunch, specifically at Broken Bones BBQ. This made me think of my mate Ethan, because we made it a point to eat there every a month or so before I left for the mission. Not only that, but we took Kayla and Amber there on occasion (you all know where this is going xD) so I was left to fight off some old memories for the remainder of the day. This seems to be happening more frequently- I miss home, and I miss my friends, and I miss girls... what more can I say? Don't worry- I don't have time to be distracted because of my various assignments and responsibilities (still can't see straight, so all is right in the world xD), just know that it's begun! (dramatic music).
They do say that the last 8 months for a missionary goes by extremely quickly. Considering that the first week of the transfer is gone, I was almost inclined to believe that... and then I thought back to- that's when transfers were, and was a very long time ago. Sister Farr (I guessed she was going to the Aberfoyle Park area to begin her training as a Sister Training Leader [they act like liaisons between district leaders and zone leaders, and the sisters under their stewardship, because there are female needs that blokes just can't meet sometimes]) was sent to Modbury, and Sister Moss (I totally called this one- my last act of receiving revelation for her [because she was still in my district] was spot on xD) is going to Darwin! Now I will tell you all something- I miss those sisters already. The new sisters that we've got are AMAZING (Sister Bailey, 6 months out and coming from an outlying area) and Sister Lewis (she was in the same district when I was serving in Firle), and they are fantastic at what they do. I've only really gotten to know them this week, though, so that friendship that I had established with Sister Farr and Sister Moss hasn't been established between us yet, but it'll happen. They are expert missionaries and I'm excited to serve them in my appointed assignment.
As far as miracles go this week, I didn't do as good a job at keeping track of them. We found 7 more potentials, of which 4 are most likely going to reject us on the long run based off of what they said during our initial contact. I'm not one to believe in first impressions, though, because they never tell the whole truth, so we'll be going back, as per the norm. Some of our recent converts that we had planned to see fell through, and other appointments with potentials that would have gleaned more new investigators fell through as well, SO we just kept keepin' on. I definitely felt as though we were committed this week- I was doing my best and I know it, save for probably... moments of weakness, eh? They're like a... a wrench... in my bike chains.
We actually haven't used the bikes as often as of late- it's getting pretty cold, so we're abusing the privilege of having a car... we shouldn't be, but we are. I'll get some gloves today- should make it easier to ride around at night time, 'cause it is getting bloody cold in the evenings, and I can say that 'cause I'm a Yank! xD
What can I tell you all? I feel pretty happy- I don't know why. I'm so tired I can fall asleep in any position at any given time -all I have to do is close my eyes- and the area is improving but is doing so slowly. It may be that I've just severed my feelings from a lot of aspects of missionary work, perhaps that's why I'm so... I'm not sure, accepting of the situation I guess you could say.
Oh, I got a letter from Bro C this week, and a card from Mum and letters from Grandma and a letter from Amber! Not forgotten (plus one for Elder Schomburg and his fanno [Mauri for "family"]! And that fanno includes you non-blood related folks as well xD). It was mentioned to me in one of the letters that I shouldn't be so critical of myself and that I need to start loving me for being me (not in a Narcissistic way xP). I feel like that's true. I did a lot of self-evaluation after that (not too much, because being self-centered is not on my to-do list), and I definitely think that's true. The trick for me is going to be accepting that I will have faults for the rest of my earthly life... even saying that is uncomfortable, so it must be good, because President Carter says that we should be uncomfortable in our missionary work (talking with everyone and whatnot, I'm just applying it to the situation). So anyways, forgive me for depressing you with my own criticisms, if that has been occurring. I will strive to not be so critical, which is going to be weird and I'm scared to because I might give way to just being careless and lazy, and I don't want to be those things. Why are some things so difficult? Never mind, that doesn't need to be answered because I already know (amazing what the gospel will you teach you, hey?).
I guess being slightly "trunky" or starting to miss home a bit more is... normal, then? And therefore... acceptable? No, can't be- missionaries have to focus and work and think only of the work! Gah, see? I'm really at war with myself right now, with a number of things, but this is one of them. I think if I could just suss out my own self conflicts, I'd be a much happier person. That's not to say that I'm not happy, because I am really happy right now, I just could be happier- is that a bad thing?
I'm looking too deeply into things and thinking too much... tis a blessing and a curse. Anyways...
I don't know how much longer I'll be in Clarence Park, but to be honest -and maybe this is just because it's week one of the new transfer, or the start of week two anyways- I feel pretty... in place? Like I've found my feet in this area. I'm still trying to learn what it is that the Lord wants me to learn here so that I can take it to my next area and apply it there, all the while not trying to miss the "now" in hopes for a better "someday" because I'll just miss my mission and life as a whole if I do that. What I'm starting to stress about is this: I don't know if I have done what the Lord wanted me to do in any of my past areas, or if I'm doing it in this area, and I'm running out of time to do all that I can. That is a very uncomfortable thought, and I wonder if I'll feel like that when I'm 60-70 years of age. See, I think too much and too deeply.
Anyways, I'm sorry that this doesn't really give you a whole picture about what my life is like at this moment in time. Missionary work is not easy; being a trainer is not easy; being a district leader is not easy... and it's not that these things get any easier, our capacities to do them just increase. I sometimes forget that what I am doing is a very difficult thing... but it seems pretty normal to me. I'm going to get sent away after this transfer, I think- whenever things start to get "easier" I always get some kind of wake up call.
Oh, Sister Sperry! You emailed me, and I am forever grateful for your kind and supportive words. Thank you for your prayers as well (and I know there are many who pray for me, and you've no idea how grateful I am for that) and for the time you took to write me something- it means a lot, as any letter or note does, because I know that to write to a missionary is a sacrifice. Oh, my sister wrote to me too! What a joy my sister is! I love her and she's the best and I want everyone to know that! It's so much better when you've only got one sister- you have to treat her even better than if you had three sisters, ya know? Love you, Sissy!
I'm becoming a bit random and sporadic, so I should probably go now, but know that all is well and I love you heaps! The work is progressing, the district is awesome, I love being a missionary, I love Australia, and the sky is still blue- life is good!
[One of the members sent me these photos of Elder Schomburg with her son's Viking props. Nothing like a weapon and shield to make him feel right at home!]