Monday, February 2, 2015

More Miracles and the Most Repulsive Thing I've Ever Laid Eyes On... Week 97

How's that for a subject title!? My Mum and I are running out of ideas (104 weeks is a lot of weeks to title, and it's not even 104 yet xD).

So I just finished writing my mission president, and what I wrote him best sums up what I was going to write home in the first place! So you get to read what I wrote to him, and hopefully it turns out alright. Sorry it's not tailor-made but time is so precious! This is in regards to the new investigators we have, btw.

"We went over to their (investigators Phil and Lyn and children) home and ended up teaching them about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon in the same night. That is a completely unorthodox thing to do but we felt so impressed to do so- they've had eight years of exposure to a bishop being their best mate in Queensland, and Phil and Lyn told us that they have morning prayers themselves, then they hold family prayers with their little ones, and they even held their own FHE (Family Home Evening) this past Monday, at no suggestion from us or anyone in the Port Pirie Branch. They actually had the Book of Mormon on electronic format, so really we were just teaching them about it according to the manner of missionaries and giving them their own hard copies for study. We taught them how to STUDY the Book of Mormon, not just read it- they looked at me and my companion's marked scriptures and it made them want to study their own books in such a fashion. They had a notepad and pen right there to ask questions, and they ask VERY good questions. I meant to ask you about one because they actually asked us a question that I wasn't sure how to answer, and that hasn't happened in a while (mainly because teaching is rare and good questions are even more so).
"I know you've been a mission president for longer than I've been a missionary, but in my service thus far, I haven't seen anyone so prepared as these investigators- "Bishop Ben" as we know him by did a REALLY good job with this family. Phil has a lot of questions, but none of them are nit-picking; he is a perfect example of what it means to be an honest truth seeker. Lyn is sold; she is the driest Mormon I've come across and both of them want to be baptized. Our lesson was so unorthodox, I've never taught anything like that before. They were asking us how many lessons there were, how much time we had to teach, what needed to be taught first- they were basically setting it up for us to design the overall discussion process and conversion experience with them. We told them that as missionaries we could help them to prepare and know what they needed to know to be baptized in 3-4 weeks time, but if that didn't suit them, we would follow their lead. They want their bishop in Queensland to baptize them, but the soonest he could come to Port Pirie would be in April. Phil and Lyn are discussing it, but that's why they're not on date- we're leaving it to them to decide on when they want to make such a covenant because they already want to make it.
"They came to church again and we attended the Gospel Doctrine (Sunday school) class instead (Elder Barnes and I felt that they felt a bit... out of place and uncomfortable? when they were in our Gospel Principles class; everyone else was in the chapel learning and we were in there with our branch mission leader.). They had good questions and the whole branch was sympathetic to their learning. There's a buzz in the branch now and everyone wants to get to know them and take them in and support them and answer questions- it's been a miracle to witness the branch adopt them as their own. Honestly, President, if you came down here and came to church, you wouldn't be able to tell Phil and Lyn apart from anyone else. Well, you could because I know you're inspired like that, but no one else could.
"Sorry to go on about that for so long- I love golden investigators, they get me so excited! Elder Barnes and I are doing very well- he's young but he's willing to learn and he's taking in a lot. He's grown a lot since when I first met him and he'll be a sharp missionary in your quiver and the Lord's. He studies the Book of Mormon religiously -as he should- and he's always looking for ways to improve. He's easy to get along with, he has standards and lives by the mission rules, and he loves the mission."
So you have a glimmer of what went down this past week. Phil and Lyn are my new best friends and I love them! And they love us, too, which is great! Straight up, I've never really had investigators like this before. Mick would be the only one who I can say was up to par with Phil and Lyn as far as actual desire to learn and change goes. I haven't had many investigators who have been baptized, but I know that Mick and Phil and Lyn will all be those ones that will help build up Gods' kingdom on earth, because they are just that solid.

And now onto this most disgusting thing ever- I received my flight information today... ask me how I feel, I dare you. For the next 20 minutes I will continue to have this gut-wrenching feeling, and then I think it'll switch to a trunky excited, and then it will switch back, and so on and so forth until it is time for me to give President a hug, step on that plane, and come home.

I love being a missionary. I love getting to do crazy things like walk down the streets, approach random strangers, spark conversation and God-willing, teach some Words of Life. There is nothing better that I could be doing right now at this point in my life. But I am excited to come home and catch up with everyone I need to... I love you all and I hope this is somewhat spiritually uplifting!

-Elder Schomburg

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