Thursday, August 28, 2014

... Week 74

G'day all! I haven't heard from Mum yet but I'm sure that's just because it's another hectic Sunday (ironic, I thought Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest). Most of my experiences this week can be summed up with what I wrote to President Carter, so I've decided to just copy and paste what I wrote to him and send it all to you. I hope you don't mind, it's just because I don't have very much time.
We received transfer information this morning, and it was a bit of surprise for everyone, to be honest. [I have chosen to edit the 2 paragraphs concerning the surprising transfers of the entire district and simply jump to the chase concerning Elder Schomburg.]  Elder Fleming will stay in Clarence Park and...... assume the position of leading the area, because I am packing. Yes... Clarence Park, that area which is said to have crushed missionaries whom were believed to have unconquerable spirits, has either slain me, or I've slain it. I think it's a draw- my testimony is still intact if not stronger, but I didn't baptize anyone here. I've been adding it up as of late, as I wasn't sure if I was leaving or staying, but on the off chance that I was leaving -and I am- I thought I would keep score, and see if I had done anything in Clarence Park. I'm pleased to report that, though I wasn't able to do much, I did something; the area has grown since I've been here. It might not appear so numerically (and I don't even know about that field because I haven't looked at it yet) but I know that it is organized, efficient, and ready to go. It has been, like most of my past areas, prepped for a missionary who baptizes.
Now I have been picking up on this pattern throughout my service. I am typically sent into areas where nothing is going on, and I have always left these areas just when things get started. Two of those areas baptized after I left and two others gained more investigators than when I had been there. At first I figured that just meant that I was holding the work back for whatever reason and by whatever means, but I've come to the conclusion that if that were the case, I would not have been assigned to teach a missionary how to work, nor would I have been given the assignment to teach other missionaries how to work. Instead, I've drawn the conclusion that perhaps that is just my specialty, or my niche if you could call it that (I'm not even sure that's the right word). When nothing is going on in an area, Elder Schomburg is sent in to give it a kick and get it going- after that's accomplished, it's time to pull him out, and put in a more effective teacher and baptizer. As I thought more upon it, I decided that such a theory is largely in alignment with what I have come to learn is difficult and easy for myself. Getting an area going again is VERY difficult, and I'm starting to feel very drained and very tired; I think I'll be able to fulfill that goal of dragging myself off the plane when I get home, but I need to ensure it happens in the remaining seven months. If I were sent into areas that just baptized, I would probably be able to say that I was having fun (which is different than being happy, as I am happy, but not finding much fun xD) as a missionary, and I would probably have a more positive outlook on things. But someone has to be the one that has grit, and someone's got to be the one that can clench his teeth every now and again; someone's got to be the one that plans for the worst-case scenarios expecting that the best things will happen- otherwise we'd all be softies.
I've been told more and more recently that I'm an optimistic person, and I'm always seen wearing a smile on my face despite any kind of difficult circumstance. That's quite a change coming from early on in the mission when I was actually given the improvement of smiling more often, but it's something that I haven't really noticed. Well, I'm not always optimistic in my head, but I guess that has been something that I'm starting to see fulfilled, as it was written in my Patriarchal Blessing that one such a gift as optimism had actually been given to me from on high. I can't say that I'm always happy and looking forward with a smile, regardless of whether that smile is or is not physically present, but I can say that the only thing that really helps me to push through the difficult and strenuous times is that unspoken hope that maybe, just maybe, a miracle -no matter how significant or insignificant- is just around the corner and we're about to run right into it; maybe, just maybe, something is about to happen that will make this day a most blessed day. I can say that my hope in such things, as this being God's work and of miracles being promised to those in His service, has only ever been dashed once, and that was in Clarence Park. At times while I have served in Clarence Park, I have felt as though the Lord Himself was standing over my shoulder as I taught His children about His restored gospel; other times, I have wondered if God -whom I never doubted existed- had just turned from us for a time, and left us to our own devices. Both occasions have helped me to gain much experience.
As you'll read later on in my letter to President, I was doing some reminiscing this morning, and ultimately I came to the conclusion that I'm not really a boy anymore so much as I have become a man. I am hesitant to label myself as a man because I still feel like a boy, but the only reason I say it is because men are required to do hard things; a man has to square his shoulders and work through the pain, the sweat, the tears; a man has to face opposition headlong; a man has to do the things that no one else wants to do. I know that I've had to do all of these things whilst serving in Clarence Park -I can't recall how many times I have had to do the hard things that no one else was going to do- and looking back, I can honestly say that I am very different compared to when I left Evandale for Clarence Park. As I said, I caution saying that I have made it to the point where I can claim manhood, but I do know that I'm definitely not a boy anymore. This may all sound ridiculous and irrelevant, but I just wanted all of you to know that being a man -and growing up into manhood- is not easy. Nevertheless, I know that our capacity to do hard things can increase- it doesn't make doing anything a missionary has to do any easier, it just means that the ability to do that which is difficult increases.
This is what I wrote to President, btw:
"My companion and I had a bit of a miracle yesterday. We were going with the original purpose to follow up on a former that we had found at the beginning of last transfer. Instead of meeting our former, we met one of his mates. Both are Iranians, but where our former was Muslim, this man, Farhid, is Christian, and he readily invited us in. His English is very broken, but we were able to sit down and establish that he reads from a Bible printed in Persian on a regular basis. After some simple communication, we established that we were missionaries and our purpose was to bring others even closer to Christ, and understand how He has called a prophet in this modern day.
Farhid quickly pulled out his Samsung and was able to use a translation app as we taught purely from the pictures in the Restoration pamphlet. It must have been the simplest lesson I've ever taught, and my companion was quick to use Farhid's phone to type in unfamiliar words or phrases that were then translated into Persian. I can honestly say that we did not ask very many inspired questions due to the language barrier, but he understood -at least in part- the message which we intended to share with him. He gave permission for us to return with a Persian pamphlet so as to better teach the lesson again, but we did briefly check his understanding and he got the most important parts- God is our loving Heavenly Father and there is a modern-day prophet. We couldn't count him as an indicator because our return time was not specific, as per Preach My Gospel, but other than that, we did everything else required to count the lesson as a doctrinal lesson, and further we were able to pique a man's curiosity about Christ's church being restored to the earth. Again, it was all very simple due to the language barrier, but we're willing to work around it.
We got transfer information today, and I'm a bit shocked with some of it. I asked my companion how he was feeling afterwards, and he's not overly concerned about leading the area- in fact, he feels fairly comfortable with his knowledge of the area and layout. I apologized to him for not leaving him very much to work with in the area, but he recognized that we had tried our best. I really do feel like Clarence Park was, for myself, a battleground in which I suffered defeats and enjoyed victories on a roller coaster-like pattern. It has been my most difficult area thus far in the mission, but I know that I have learned a very great deal from the experience and -though I do not enjoy or even wish for the experience in the moment- I can honestly say that I am grateful for having been able to serve here, to test myself and to learn how to be a more diligent and smart missionary.
There's nothing else to report, President. Thank you for this opportunity to serve as a District Leader in the Marion District, but especially thank you for letting me serve in Clarence Park- I can honestly say that serving in Clarence Park has molded me into a different missionary, a different man. I caution referring to myself as a man just yet, because I still feel like a boy, but if there was ever an area that demanded a boy "man up" it was Clarence Park."
Well, I love you all heaps! I have to go now, but thank you for writing me!
-Elder Schomburg

[While we did not hear from Elder Schomburg as to his transfer location, (he did not know it when he wrote) I received word from a member in the Broken Hill Branch via Facebook on Wednesday that Elder Schomburg has been transferred to Mildura.  They are very excited to have him back in their District and nearby again.]

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Talents... Week 73

G'day all!
I would like to get straight into it this week- I am doing well, aside from overcoming a nasty cold (I'm currently plagued by a splitting headache, so please forgive grammatical errors), and I went to the dentist last week- may or may not be in need of a root canal (joy) but the tooth seems to be doing me less trouble than before (had a few fillings and things... apparently my jaw and the strength of my bite cracked a back molar -a result of stress I think- which became infected and bacteria entered in, which has been causing some discomfort... all is well now). So I wanted to recount one of my past experiences this week.
Last Thursday we were out finding- we didn't do much fresh finding that day, but whilst doing some housing, we happened across a middle-aged Chinese woman who was eager to learn about Christianity- she was at the crossroads of choosing between Christianity and Buddhism, but she needed a second opinion. We arranged to teach her a lesson at the chapel and informed her we would be bringing one of our Chinese friends when we did so. We met a few days later at the chapel, and we introduced her to Aaron (English name), a recent convert of 9 months or so. Immediately those two -both uni students- hit it off. We took her through a brief chapel tour and then sat down to teach her the first lesson right in front of the baptismal font (wink-wink nudge-nudge). We taught her the message of the Restoration and she was entirely receptive. Aaron offered priceless support in overcoming the English language barrier by translating more Gospel-related terms (ie. "apostasy", "revelation") and she absorbed the lesson completely. She had a question about the Godhead in which we were able to apply a very unorthodox way of teaching her (it's known very uncommonly as the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Joseph Smith" teaching method). Upon answering her questions in a way she understood, we proceeded to invite her to pray. We prayed first, by way of example but also to ask for our own desires of an answered prayer to be given. She prayed secondly, and it was the best prayer I've ever heard in a very long time.
We asked her how God had answered her prayer and she wasn't sure. Again, we retaught very briefly how the Holy Ghost communicates with us and asked her what kinds of thoughts, feelings, or impressions had she experienced. She didn't waste time in telling us that she felt very peaceful. We explained to her that God had answered her prayer, and her face lit up in a way I've not seen anyone light up for some time. We invited her to be baptized on the 21st of September, and she readily accepted. I knew, as we taught this humble and willing Chinese student, that the work in which I am involved truly is God's work, and He answers everyone's prayers always. I knew, and I still know, that this is absolutely God's work- if it was some other work, the absolute impeccability of that lesson would not have existed. I have not had anyone working towards a baptismal date for -unless I am mistaken- almost 7 1/2 months, which is far too long for any missionary.
Our new investigator came to all three hours of church the next day, and made fast friends with a number of members. She was introduced to the bishop, met all of the proper quorum auxiliaries, was introduced to ALL of the Chinese members, and was led and guided every step of the way- I've never had an investigator so well chaperoned throughout the duration of our church meetings; she received quality treatment.
The next day, a regular Monday since we went to the temple today, I was very close to telling my companion that I was not up to leaving the flat. Plagued by a very cruel cold and feeling exceptionally weak, I was tempted to remain in the flat. But in the previous night's blessing which my companion rendered to me, it had been made known to me that this illness in particular was a test of faith. I had at the same time felt a very subtle prompting to take a day and rest, but I was ignoring it, thinking that only Satan would advise a missionary to stay within the confines of his or her flat. My foot was barely out the door, hovering above the tiled patio just a step down and out of the flat, when I felt the phone vibrate. I was surprised to see a text from our Chinese investigator, and began to read it just as I stepped out of the flat.
She dropped us.
She had experienced an unpleasant dream, which rarely happens, and she took it to be a sign that the church was not the right place for her. She was very apologetic and sincerely thanked us for what we had done for her, but she refused to come to the chapel for any further discussions.
I read the text out to my companion, pocketed the phone, and started down the driveway (we had decided to walk due to my weakened state). My companion slowly followed behind me. I knew he was crushed -who in their right mind wouldn't be?- but I had already made a decision earlier in the day that I was going to work as much as I could that day, and I did. I pressed onward and tried to encourage my companion along the way, all the while feeding on the inexpressible sadness that was beginning to consume me.
But it was that testimony which I had gained whilst teaching her that pulled me through. I had been given fresh knowledge that this is God's work and He is the Master of it, and will control and drive it as He will. The same feeling that had overtaken me whilst teaching her, a feeling of uttermost joy that one of Father's daughters was willing to come back to Him, was again felt as I remembered that this was still God's work, regardless of how anyone chose to use their agency. Thus, as with the Lord who gave so freely of his talents to his servants, I took happiness in knowing that I had taken that talent which had been afforded me (strength to my testimony of missionary work) and was able to increase it through applying and remembering what I had been taught in the face of discouragement and defeat. Hence I have titled this "Talents."
It is true of any gift which we receive from the Lord, that we are expected to use them to the betterment of ourselves, our fellow man, and any other way we can that will bring about positive growth in ourselves and others. Just as two of the Lord's servants were able to increase their given trusts by half, so too are we expected to increase that which has been given, no matter how much the original "amount" imparted. In my case, I was given strength and hope and confidence that I am a servant of the Lord and am involved in His work. In the moment of trial, I could have done one of two things: applied the talent afforded me, or bury it deep in the earth for fear of losing it at the hands of further disappointments. As taught in the parable, the third servant who hid his talent lost that which was given him, and then he lost even more. I'm glad I didn't turn straight back around and retire to the flat, using my illness as justification to hide the would-have-been doubt that perhaps this was not the Lord's work, and perhaps He had left us to ourselves. I know that He has done no such thing, nor will He, and I am thankful that -so soon after gaining a talent- I was able to increase it. If anything, I know that this is still the Lord's work, and I know that more than ever before. I know it sounds off, but perhaps it was the disappointment that drove me to look for new and remember old occurrences in which I came to know that I am on the Lord's errand, and ultimately, I gained more than I had when we first taught our now former investigator.
I didn't mean to rant on that, and I don't even know if that last bit makes sense- perhaps this whole experience is one that I alone will be able to treasure. But I tried to share it, and I hope someone gets something out of it.
We did go to the temple today, and I have photos, but unfortunately I did not bring my cord, so I cannot upload them. Suffice it to say that the temple was wonderful, as always, and I was again directed in a divinely appointed way. I received more revelation relevant to my actions as a district leader, and I even felt that the Lord had marked with His seal the approval of my service thus far. My Mum sent me an email loaded with counsel that I deeply needed, and in that way, I have yet again been answered by the Lord through my best friend (funny how that happens). I was even answered when I inquired as to how I could refocus my mind on finishing my service with heightened focus, as it has been very easy for me in the recent weeks to long for home. It doesn't help that I am especially longing for a companion of more feminine qualities, and I certainly shouldn't be as a missionary. Perhaps that is why I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve around so many Sisters- I'll know the exact kind of qualities to look for in a companion upon my return, BUT that return is not going to occur for a decent amount of time, and having asked the Lord how to refocus and having been answered, I intend to do that which the Lord revealed to me. So don't ask me what I'm looking for because it's distracting. xD
Anyways, sorry for that- I've oftentimes told my companion that I must be the most real missionary there is, in that I'm willing to say what everyone is thinking but not saying. Is that a good or bad quality? I'm unsure. xD
Transfers are in four or so days- please pray for Alice Springs! xD I have never asked the Lord nor petitioned President or the Assistants for a desired area, but I have roughly two areas left in my service unless I stay for an extra long stay here in Marion, in which case I'll likely only have one area left, and I would like to see the Territory again, specifically the part I haven't seen yet.
Anyways, I'm off to go eat, and do some light shopping -because it's transfers- and then rest my head (headaches.... are the worst). I love you all and I hope to hear from you soon!
Shout out to my Nan (Grandma) for faithfully sending a letter every week (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!) and to Brother Murrow- it's good to know my old YM leaders are still collectively men, but individually "the man!" xD
Love you heaps!
-Elder Jeffrey Schomburg

Monday, August 11, 2014

Time is Ticking... Week 72

G'day all!
I'm finding that the longer I seem to stay out as a missionary, the shorter the days and weeks begin to grow. In fact we stayed relatively busy this week (effectively busy, mind you) so it more or less seemed as though all the days were just one long day, with six naps in between. Thus I feel that time is starting to tick a bit faster. I'm excited and not excited- it's probably not good, but I thought of a few things I'd really like to do when I get back home. I also thought of a rather scary thought- I probably have two areas left to serve in as a missionary, and probably only two more companions, and then I'll be done. Oh boy!
Well, in the interest of time, I'll send you what I sent to President, and then expound upon a few more thoughts:
"The spiritual highlight of this week was an ongoing one, I suppose you could say. My companion and I finally had some solid return appointments with a number of potentials we had found the week prior. We were riding our bikes Monday night headed to an appointment with one of them that fell through. We thought for a time and I felt a prompting to go to a referral of ours that we had tried for about the third time without any contact. He lived just down the road anyhow, so it wasn't like he was out of the way, but I felt particularly drawn towards him this time, in that subtle way that the Holy Ghost usually prompts us. I told my companion about it and he offered the idea of praying about it. I was already sure we were meant to go there, but I didn't see any harm in running it past the Lord, just to be sure. So we prayed, went past his house, and lo and behold he was there. We were able to teach a lesson and he became a new investigator. We were able to repeat this the next day and gained yet another investigator. Later on in the week, we were doing some housing and it had been fairly successful, though nothing fantastic occurred. We got to the end of the street to discover that the same street was home to one of the former investigators listed in our area book. We knocked the door, as we had in the past (and to no avail), and an Indian woman opened it. She practically set the return appointment herself and willingly gave us her phone number. When we returned to teach her, she mentioned that it was our appearance and conduct that had most impressed her, as we are young men and most in our age range are off being riotous. She then, after exchanging formalities with her husband and herself, invited us to present our message, stating that they were completely ready to listen. They eventually accepted a baptismal invitation and even the date of 31 August, but we'll have to reposition that- they don't entirely understand that baptism includes making covenants with God, and one of them is to abandon all other gods (they're Hindu, and thus believe in many gods). Regardless, they were extremely kind and hospitable, and readily agreed to have us back.

In the district, I trained on how to help our investigators better keep commitments, and how we should respond when they've kept them and when they haven't kept them. The emphasis was placed on the baptismal commitment. At the end, I did something I don't really do and had a bit of a final thought, asking the missionaries if they had the faith to baptize; if they believed the could baptize. I then went on to expound the scriptures, taking examples from Alma the Younger baptizing in the Waters of Mormon whilst being on King Noah's blacklist and Alma the Elder baptizing enough of King Limhi's people that seven churches (a whole stake or district) had to be organized for them all. I went on to explain that there was no reason why we could not baptize in Adelaide, and explained that (as it was common knowledge in the district) that though my area was proving to be "difficult" to work in, I do not believe in "hard areas" because I don't see why the people should be any different based on location- it only takes a broken heart and contrite spirit to give place to the Holy Ghost, who is the converter in this work of salvation."

That's what I wrote to President. To fill you in on the previous week, it was fantastic! We gained a total of four new investigators, and every single one of them was invited to be baptized! Only the two Indians said yes, but we didn't count it because -where we're supposed to invite people to be baptized regardless of understanding (in order to check their desire)- we felt that their understanding of making such a covenant was not quite up to par, and they might and most probably will decline an invitation once they learn more about what baptism really is. But I'm not being picky- I have people to teach the gospel to, and that is a wonderful thing for me because I'm a missionary, and it's heaps good!
President Carter called me yesterday about the letter I wrote to him last week. He was particularly concerned about me not feeling the presence of the Lord as much as missionaries should. He went on to say that not only did he read the letter I wrote for that week, but he also read most of the previous letters that I've written over the course of my mission, as it was my concern that I was missing the joy of being a missionary. He agreed with me in that -ever since being stationed as a district leader- I had become more reliant upon works than faith, and that my concern for a multitude of variables that arises when given responsibility had overall caused me a bit of undue grief. One thing he said in particular was this: "Elder Schomburg, don't worry so much." Of course President Carter is and has always been a very loving and understanding mission president for me, and I've come to be very close with him, but to know that he was interested enough in me to make a phone call, one of 126 missionaries, and a missionary on top of his duty as steward over two districts (Northern Territory District and Mildura District) and by implication, the steward over many many others, was quite humbling. I explained that I didn't want to be a problem child for him, after which I was told that I was anything but one. He gave me a number of other compliments, but I know my nature and will not repeat them, lest I become lifted up in pride, whether internal or external. So we continued to discuss a few more issues and concerns I had.
He asked me what I thought he meant when he said "Don't miss the joy of your mission." I told him that, to me, it meant not so much a matter of having righteous fun as it was a matter that one should be able to look back on their mission with gratitude and thanksgiving, having found joy in the journey and being grateful for what the experience molded him/her into. He said I was spot on. He then explained the me that being able to go home and at my "coming home" talk which isn't a coming home talk, and being able to say that I loved my mission was going to take an increase of feeling the Lord's love for myself, and of feeling His presence daily by drawing closer to him, and not relying so heavily upon my own merits. Well I've been told this who knows how many times, but this time I actually took notes, and it brought to my remembrance all those times when others, especially my Mum, have exhorted me to look for God's help more often and more readily. President then asked me a very thought provoking question: "Elder, at the end of the day when you're saying your prayers, do you feel God's approval for your work?"
I told him that I felt it rarely; that my thoughts were oftentimes turned too often to that which I had yet to do, that which should have been done, that which needs to be done better, and the like. Oftentimes I miss out on just feeling that sense of approval for a day's work because I'm too busy feeding on what didn't go right. President reiterated something he told me in a letter a month or so ago- "Don't worry about what isn't happening." He then exhorted me to seek for the Lord's commendation, and to ask him daily if I had done well enough for the day. He also told me to not think so heavily upon the negative side of things, but to focus on that which went right- one can only feel of God's love when one's thoughts are garnished in virtue, or in other words, continually positive and uplifting, moving one to do good continually. So that's what I'm going to work on this week- I want to be able to say that I enjoyed my whole mission by drawing closer to God. Furthermore, I want to do something else President told us to do: "Be able to look back on your missions with fondness and love and joy, but make sure that when you go home, you never wish you were a missionary again." That was not said with a negative connotation- President Carter was telling us to build lives that would make us happier than when we were missionaries. He said one of the saddest things he had ever heard came from a mate of his who was married and had children. He recalled his mate saying, "I wish I was a missionary again." My goal is to not be able to say that afterwards. President has a very eternal perspective- he isn't just helping us to become amazing missionaries, but he's helping us to become amazing sons and daughters of God, because he knows that missions are not even a full blink when compared to an eternal spectrum. I love my mission president, and I know that it's true what they say: "Missionaries are not assigned to mission- they are assigned to mission presidents."
I love being a missionary, and I love being able to learn and grow and work. I love having to earn my pillow on a daily basis. I love the Lord, I love His gospel, and I love sharing it, and I love you all too! I know that what I am involved in is a great and marvelous work, and I have been privileged to serve in the capacities that I have served in thus far, and will yet serve in. Our missions are not camps, but workshops in which what we build is ours to keep forever (that was President Carter's, I can't claim that one xD). I know that this is the work of salvation, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
-Elder Schomburg

Too cool Elders - Fleming and Schomburg

They've really lost their marbles...

Hot Tamale!

The District
Don't mess with the missionaries. :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pray for Rain... Week 71

I want to explain the heading really quick! In Adelaide, it is winter, and winter means cold mornings, bitterly cold evenings, and RAIN!!! And... it sounds like it's been raining back home too... and I fear I may be the one to blame. Allow me to explain.
At about the start of the week, or late last week, I was pondering (something I do a lot of, but this was pondering on myself as a missionary, which is something I don't have time to do very often) and I felt as though I was slipping back into that angry and frustrated person that I was last transfer, and I didn't want that. That actually leads me to another point of interest that I may or may not get to later- we'll see how this goes. Anyways, I decided that I wasn't going to be frustrated or angry anymore, and as I watched the clouds gathering outside, I went and said a prayer, and I asked the Lord to make it rain; I asked Him to make it absolutely pour... and it did! And we went out on the bikes in the freezing cold rain and I had a GREAT time! So the next night I asked him to make it rain again... and it did! And I asked him to make it rain... and it did! And then I forgot to ask... and it didn't rain. That's happened a few times now, but for every time that I have asked for it to rain, it has rained, and every time I've forgotten to ask for rain, it has been the sunniest, most beautiful Adelaide winter day conceivable! I never once thought that the Lord would answer my prayers across the pond though, so sorry for that. I'll be more specific in my prayers next time. xD
Now back to that point of interest. In the recent weeks, as the time of my eventual departure from the field grows ever near and sneaks into my thoughts more frequently, I was finding that certain things I was saying, doing, and thinking were all very much like the Jeffrey Scott Schomburg that left for the field a year and four months ago. As I thought about it, the reason why suddenly clicked! I was told by someone very close to me before I left to hold on to any changes that occurred in the mission field, because they would all be for the better. That much has been true- I think I'm a much better guy than when I first came out, but you'll all have to be the judge in 8 months. Anyways, it clicked then- Satan knows that I don't have very long to go, and he knows that I've picked up some pretty useful skills out here, as well as become a bit more well-rounded in regards to being a person. He knows I've really come to identify myself as a son of God and the weight that I put behind such a statement. With such an understanding, he's thrown all of these challenges and tribulations in the way that hit me in just the right spot that provokes me to revert to my old thought patterns and behavioural responses to certain situations- he wants me to become who I used to be.
So I put my foot down and albeit very simply, said to myself, "No, that's not going to happen because I am in control of that, and I will not tolerate it." I don't think Satan liked that, because I was again obligated to contend with one of his followers one of these past nights. After the fourth time, you sort of expect it to keep happening- just goes to show that Satan has no intelligence, what with doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I'd invite him to use his head... but... that's like asking Lord Voldemort why he doesn't have a nose...
It was funny in my head. xD

Anyways, moving right along! My companion and I found 13 potential investigators this week! And we made an effort to follow up with those whom we had already found, but still nothing's going for us. We've got potential investigators that we are really dying to teach but they never seem to be home the second time we come calling! Bugger! We also need to find someone to teach and extend a baptismal invitation to this week- the objective is to baptize someone in August, and if we don't find someone this week, it won't happen. Guess who is a bit stressed?
Speaking of that, I was asking myself the hard questions this morning. I was wondering if I was missing the joy of being a missionary. I know I've loved being a missionary before, but I was wondering if I loved being a missionary now. I ultimately came to the conclusion that I was letting some things get in between me and the joy of being a missionary, things that just don't need to get in the way of being happy. Yes, things are difficult, and hard, and stressful, and some nights you don't get the sleep you want, but being a missionary is still great! I'm called to the work of salvation, to help Heavenly Father "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." How great is my calling!? It's pretty great, and I just need to look at the good things more often, and do all that I can. I could probably be applying myself even more... but we'll see how I do it; one bite at a time, what an opportunity, cross that bridge when I get there, all the rest of it! I wonder if that just sounds like an excuse to procrastinate, because it's really not. ;D
Ah, anyways, the Outback is great, even though I'm not really in the Outback... I miss the Outback, though... BUT the Lord has called me to serve here, and so I shall!
I love you all heaps!
-Elder Schomburg

[Elder Schomburg has a hard time getting photos to us - he said that these are from 3 transfers ago. That's about 3-4 months.]

Elder Schomburg assured me, it's not his bike. haha
Elder Aiono and Elder Schomburg