That's right, ladies and gentleman, the Lord has blessed myself, Elder Schomburg, with another baptism!
To start, we've just about finished teaching Annie all of the lesson content she needs to know. We always check for her understanding and it's always there. She's really shy in teaching settings, but last night we had the opportunity to have dinner with her as well (usually it's just Brother and Sister Pioch that stick around for a feed) and we got her to open up a bit and have a few laughs. It's good to see that there is a great personality behind her generally shy demeanor. Sister Pioch and Brother Pioch teach her in a less formal way when we're not there, and we always ask them where Annie's understanding is. Even if she's shy in front of us (and I reckon she's just shy about saying the wrong thing or something) she's not shy in front of her auntie and uncle, which helps Elder Callahan and me a lot, as indirect as it may be.
She gets baptized on Dec. 21st, and we're trying to go through and make her a program with our branch mission leader, Brother Seve. Annie was fairly indifferent about the program -not a whole lot of preferences as to who did what- so Sister Pioch suggested the missionaries baptize her. Then came the golden question- which missionary? So we made sure to give Annie all the options available and in the end they settled on having me baptize her. Lest my ears deceive me, I'm going to baptize someone personally whilst serving in the Zion Australia Adelaide Mission. I wanna show you all something, okay, it's called my surprised face: WHHAT!? I'm a bit nervous- her full name is Tongan (Annie is her English name) and actually consists of five names. Even Elder Callahan said, "I'm indifferent, but deep down, I'm thankful that I'm not the one baptizing her- that's a long-as name." Well, well, sir, you've dodged one bullet, but he might be the one confirming her, so HA! xD
Also, we saw the Paewai's again! I love serving in Mildura because I get to be so close to my Kiwi Whanau- it's the best! Oh... I need Sister Paewai's email address. Ah, shucks! I'm not allowed to email her yet 'cause we're still in the same boundaries... bugger. Oh well, someday soon.
|Dinner with the Paewais|
|Mildura MiniConference with Sister Paewai!|
Speaking of soon, guess who has two thumbs, wears a badge that says "ELDER SCHOMBURG" and got asked a terrible question today? Ya, this guy, and that question was from the office, from the beloved Sister Sheffield, who is leaving after Christmas... all the good missionaries and senior couples are going home.... anyways, the request was this:
"For yourtravel date, please advise us of your home airport asap, please. Love you all- Sister Sheffield."
To which I responded: "Sister Sheffield, this is the worst email I've ever gotten from you... but I still love you heaps. Denver International Airport."
Did you read that correctly? They're starting the process of sussing out my flight information. I wanna show you all something, okay, it's called my negatively surprised face: WHHAT!?
Hmm, ya, so moving on. This week was relatively hot- yesterday was about 38C or 39C so it was pleasurable on the bikes. Something about the hot weather makes me want to work more diligently- couldn't tell you why... maybe it's because biking is the only way of creating a substantial breeze to cool down and cool off.
On average, I find myself eating a lot of chicken, or chook(s) as the Aussie's have dubbed them. My favorite is probably the chook kebab. We eat lots of Tongan food, which is alright- I'm not a fan of the way they prepare their pigs, and they don't really flavor much of their food, but it fills us up, so it's good. I like Brother Pioch's cooking, though, and Sister Strathairn (both Aussies, coincidentally). They make a mean-as feed, probably because it's always closely related to what we have back home (potatoes with steak or pork chops, casseroles, seafood salads, all the rest of it). I just don't really like Aussie salads, though- they don't serve them with dressing. I always feel like it'd be equally good to go outside and eat some grass in exchange for eating the salad, but alas, such is a first-world problem; some people don't even have grass to eat, and that's saying something.
Aside from that, we eat a lot of rice for lunch. I've come up with a good way of cooking sugar rice that involves adding butter, heaps of raw sugar, and milk, which gives it a nice, creamy texture. A bit easier than eating it plain. All the missionaries that know of it always ask me to make some when they come on trade-offs or are traveling to and from, so it must be good. It also turns out that I give a really good back massage. "Magic Hands" is a common nickname for myself now, so I guess it's not so bad a thing- just extra practice for when I've got a tahini or wahini, depending on your language (Tongan and Moari for "girl" if I recall correctly). But we don't think about those kinds of things for very long- only when the other missionaries tease me about getting ready to receive the next ordinance xD
I don't know what else to say, and I'm probably out of time by now. I hope my less-than-spiritually filling letter was at least informative. I love you all heaps, and I'll talk to my Whanau soon and to the rest of those whom I think of, I'll do my best to send you a Christmas card or note or something. I love you all!
-Elder Jeffrey Schomburg