Monday, March 2, 2015

All That Live Godly in Christ Jesus Shall Suffer Persecution... Week 101

2 Timothy 3:12

Good morning from Down Under!

Well, I don't recall being asked any questions this week aside from how I'm going and the like, so suffice it to say that I am really good. I have gone through a bit of a whirlwind of different emotions and it's still ongoing, but such is to be expected with this week's happenings.

So on Monday Phil and Lynny set a baptismal date for the 14th of March. That same day, they changed it to the 28th. We had a lesson with them and President and Sister Armstrong (and they have done so much to help us with Phil and Lyn that it's not even laughable) and the date changed to the 4th of April. This all happened this week, mind you. And then the biggest shocker occurred.

Sunday Morning, March 1st, Elder Duabe and I found ourselves in the usual position in the foyer welcoming members of the branch into Sacrament Meeting. We always stand by the door and anxiously await Phil and Lynny's arrival with their two boys, but the anxiety seemed to wear off for me after they started coming consistently. I knew they were coming- it was no longer a question in my mind. They walked up as a family like they always do, but this time, and though I only caught a glimpse of them for a time, I knew there was something off.  We had the following conversation:

"Good morning, Phil, how're you?"
"Not very well, actually."
"Oh, is everything alright?"
"No, we're going through a bit of a struggle at the moment. What exactly does a blessing entail?"

We then proceeded to tell him the difference between a healing blessing and a blessing of comfort and counsel, and he insisted that he and his wife receive one of the latter straight away. Though I've had a bit of missionary experience under my belt, I was becoming nervous, so we stole into the branch president's office and I quickly informed President Armstrong that they had requested a blessing. It was ten minutes to the start of the meeting but it could not wait. President Armstrong then informed us that we could use his office, left the premises, and closed the door behind him. Phil and Lyn were now both in the office, and Lynny began to fight back her weeping, though unsuccessfully so. Phil's eyes were turning moist and red as well.

I don't usually ask for details because most times the private details of people's lives are out of my jurisdiction to receive and or act upon, but due to the nature of the blessing, I needed at least a little information to go off of. I very gingerly said to him, "I don't need details, I just need to know what the trouble is." He struggled to keep himself composed as he gave me a heart-jarring answer. He went on to explain a few details that kept even me still in the dark, for the most part, but I came to understand clearly their situation.

I don't think words can describe the weight of the anvil that fell on my shoulders, the anvil that had the sentence, "You've got to give them a blessing in which they absolutely must feel of God's power, or you will lose them" written upon it. Not only did I fear losing them, I feared for the unknown. A lot of thoughts can go through one's mind when that one doesn't have a full picture. My heart was broken as I watched them both sit and cry bitter tears, tears that were the result of having gone to every extent known and not found any solutions. They were a mess, and my heart just broke- seeing them in such a pained and afflicted way was not pleasant.

So I kept things going and instead of let the dire situation slip into one that lacked hoped, I asked who wanted to receive a blessing first, and Phil was right quick to volunteer. We sat him down, placed our hands upon his head, and gave him a blessing. I have never struggled so much to find revelation for someone, and that was because, I am sure, I feared the results. I did not want to be the Priesthood holder that was called upon to give difficult counsel just as much as I did not want to be the Priesthood holder that gave a blessing that was not felt and resulted in a weakening of faith. But as I opened my mouth, just as the promise is written, it was filled with what Phil needed to hear. I knew he felt the Spirit very powerfully for the duration of the blessing, and after closing it, we shook hands and I held him for a bit longer and tried to look into his eyes as if to say, "It'll be alright."

His wife was next, and before I could finish asking -as I thought she would defer to my companion to give her a blessing- she had said, "You" twice. So I was up again, and the pressure that I felt lift after being relieved of giving her husband a blessing was again mounted upon me. Do not mistake me- giving blessings is not a burden but an honored privilege, and I've given enough that rarely do I feel nervous giving them. 

For example, an older lady who attends the branch, has stewardship over her two grandchildren, and one Sunday, her younger boy became suddenly very ill. It takes a lot to worry a woman like this sister, but she turned around in her pew after Sacrament that particular morning and said with absolute worry that her boy was just overcome with a fever and nausea and it was completely out of the blue and worried her extremely. She said he was to the point of hallucination. She asked if we could bless him, so we did. Again, I was given the opportunity to act as the voice, but I wasn't any bit nervous at all. In my Patriarchal Blessing, I'm told that I will be given power through the Priesthood to perform very miraculous healings, the nature of which should probably remain with me for now, and I had total confidence in that. I've seen that in my life and I've seen it in others- the Priesthood heals. Mick had trouble smoking, but after receiving a blessing, the very smell of smoke made him physically sick. The same occurred with this young boy; after the blessing he remained sick for perhaps thirty minutes. I thought they would have gone home, but the sister approached me after Sunday School and told me that all signs of illness had just vanished- he was right as rain again.

It was the prospect of not communicating vital information that made me nervous. I suppose anyone would have been, but again, how is a 21 year old boy with no experience, no knowledge save for that which has been observed, supposed to give a blessing to a man and a woman who have voiced their concerns which might help them at all? I don't know, but Heavenly Father definitely made up the difference for what I lacked. We gave her a blessing and again, I just feel as though the details should remain with those involved. Let it be known, though, that it was a very powerful blessing.

We gave them a minute to themselves and retreated back into the Sacrament Meeting, and I started praying diligently, very diligently. I thought they were going to go home- the fact that they came to church despite wading through trials and tribulations was absolutely shocking. It was painful to witness them in such duress, but it was more than comforting to know that they had turned to the Lord to help them. That is true conversion. That is true conversion.

They remained for the rest of church and spoke with President and Sister Armstrong afterwards.  That night we received this text message from them: "Thank you so much for today, you may never really know how healing your blessings were today, or how much pain we have been sharing. You would have felt the power of the blessing on me, it was an amazing moment. We are seriously contemplating moving our baptism forward to March 7th, we need that cleansing now and as soon as possible."

We responded by letting them know we love them, and the Lord loves them, and that we were there to help out with whatever we could and we were only a phone call away. Then we told them to just keep us updated with whatever they decided concerning baptism. It was difficult to remain calm. Then they texted back, which was a surprise as I thought we would just resume the conversation with them on Tuesday when we have dinner with them, and they said, "Thank you, we really appreciate the support today, it was everywhere. We are planning dinner for Tuesday night, but I think we should plan whatever else we need to do to make this coming Saturday our baptism day. How many more nights do we still need, and what about the baptism interview?"

We've been busy sorting things out ever since. It's amazing how busy you can suddenly become when you have a surprise baptism the very next Saturday.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

It was amazing to see the process of it all. Satan knows that they're on the right path, and he has been stepping up his game hard out. He knows that the branch needs this family, and he knows that those two little boys of theirs are going to be great missionaries someday. He hit them really hard this week with something, but the comeback was just incredible! The Lord allowed them to sustain Satan's blows so that they would call upon Him to help them via Priesthood blessings. Look at the result- they understand the importance and necessity of having the Holy Ghost as part of their lives as soon as they can because they have their future to think about. They need God's guidance 24/7 and they need it now, and they recognize that. Again, it was a miracle to see them at church given their circumstances, and now we're looking forward with eagerness to this Saturday.

Keep them in your prayers, please.

I love you all and I'll talk to you later!

-Elder Schomburg   

Meningie Lions Jubliee Park

Meningie Lions Jubliee Park

Elder Schomburg and Elder Duabe

President Armstrong, Elder Schomburg and Elder Duabe

Moonta Bay

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