Monday, March 16, 2015

Allow Me to Add My Two Cents... Week 103

G'day from Down Under!

Okay, first I need to cover acknowledgments and things of the like. Andrew, brah, happy birthday! You're old-as, man! But I love you anyways, and your friend is cute and adorable... does she have any friends? Ha, don't answer that- the prospect of near-future courtships is not one I am looking fondly upon at this moment in time, which is good because I am still a missionary for eight more days or something like that... I'm not really keeping track.

Second, Sissy! You're a missionary! You look just beautiful, and seeing those photos brings back a lot of memories, hey? Memories of a missionary gone to Ecuador, memories of a missionary gone to Australia, and now memories of a missionary gone to Chile. What a crazy family we have! I love you Sissy- you are my only sister so you are extra special to me =D

Thirdly, in answer to soon-to-be questions, hymn 44 is my favourite. It's the ZAAM anthem and if there was ever a hymn to be sung at any one time in the world, I would choose that one. As far as food is concerned, I want buffalo style chicken strips, or buffalo wings, whichever is easiest, most readily available, and smothered in cayan pepper sauce. Such things do not exist where I currently live and I have lived here for nigh well on two years... I would like some buffalo wings please. And Mexican food.

Also, Brother and Sister G were able to go to the Temple this past Saturday to do baptisms and confirmations, and they loved it! We spend a lot of time with them (probably more than we should) and every time is just a blast! They feel like family, and I wish that my family could meet them. They've taken such good care of us missionaries and I love them!

Fourth, in answer to soon-to-be questions of more life-decision things, Mum, I've got no idea what I am to do or where I am to start upon returning to American soil. As far as I know, the military is still a desire of mine. I've received no prompting or revelation counseling me to not join the Service, but on the flip side, I've received no revelation telling me to. I think I just need to explore more options before I pick something, because I really don't know what's out there to do. I know I want to help people in some way, and I would prefer my line of expertise to be more exciting than dull- something that involves riding in helicopters or airplanes. The need to carry a firearm whilst doing so isn't necessary- there are more ways to help people than just by killing their enemies, HOWEVER, I really want to be militaristic in some way, shape, or form. Not for bloodthirsty purposes, mind you.

And now for my two cents. It sounds like there is a lot going on in the Schomburg world as of now, and though sometimes I feel like I'm just on the sidelines looking on as all of these events play out, I'd like to share one experience that occurred just yesterday that was a fulfillment of something in my Patriarchal Blessing and that might add to the crazy lifestyle that we have opted to live.

Yesterday after the third hour of church, I was holding the door open for Brother W, an older man who is confined to using a walker. He was shuffling out of the chapel, and just as he entered the foyer and I closed the door, Brother Josh (second counselor on the branch presidency) called out, "Elder!" in a sort of anxious way, a tone not usually used unless in some kind of crisis. I walked further into the foyer to see Sister L, a woman who loves us missionaries SO much and is always going out of her way to provide us with extra groceries, lying sideways on the pew in the foyer. Sister D was leaning over her and trying to keep Sister L supported on her side, and bile had formed around her lips. She wasn't breathing. As Sister Lo entered the scene, Sister D (she's an authorized nurse of some kind and Sister Lo is a former EMT) announced that Sister L was suffering a seizure. Brother Josh (as President Armstrong was absent in Clare) rang 000 (triple zero is the equivalent to 911) and began the process of hailing an ambulance. With no medical training at all, but knowing extra hands might be needed, my companion and I remained nearby. The relief society sisters didn't want any little ones traumatized by the proceedings, so they corralled the little ones into the cultural hall, and other adults blockaded the hallway; mostly everyone tried to stay out of the way.

Finally Sister L, after an excruciating three or so minutes, started to breathe, but with much effort. I don't think she was "there" as it were, but she was battling, really battling, to get any air into her lungs. Josh came back and announced, "Ambulance is on the way, high priority." Sister Lo looked at the watch she had pinned to her chest and muttered with a grim expression, "8 minutes." One has a difficult time maintaining any hope in the situation when Sister Lo says something like that so grimly, especially 8 minutes- when an ambulance is called, one typically expects it right away. The real world is very different than the television dramas. 

So we remained by, watching Sister D and Sister Lo trying to rouse Sister L to some state of consciousness. I was tossing a multitude of thoughts around in my own head: do I jump in now and give her a blessing, or do I wait and see if she comes to? Will I be in the way if I insert myself? Will it even work? I have a tendency to think too much and act too little. What's more is that Sister L was giving up- the breath that once was flowing with such difficult effort was starting to slow and weaken. I'm not an expert, but judging by the increased urgency in Sister D's voice and the weakening breathing of Sister L, I truly, honestly thought that we were about to lose her. Josh strode past me then and said with that same urgency, "Elder, will you give her a blessing?"

That was all I needed. I called my companion to me and knelt down by Sister L. Someone asked if we needed oil, to which I responded, "It'll be alright, no need." Whether the use of consecrated oil is doctrinal or formal, I didn't care; I wasn't going to waste another precious second in doing what needed to be done. I asked as an afterthought, "Does anyone know her middle name?" Sister D called the question louder to those who were still nearby, but no sooner than she had did I say, "Doesn't matter." which was echoed by Sister Lo. With our hands placed upon her head, and mustering all of the courage I could -as I was very scared- I declared, "P----- L---- (full name), by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood which we hold, we lay our hands upon your head, and command your body to breathe, and to be healed through the power of Jesus Christ, and we do so in His sacred name, the name of Jesus Christ, amen." I hadn't fully risen to my feet before her lungs were suddenly opened. She started to breathe calmly and without effort, and she began blinking- conscious responses. Sister Lo announced, "That's it, she's coming to." Sister D started asking her informational questions- did she know Sister D, did she know where she was, things of that nature. The EMT's showed up just a few minutes later, and as directed by them, my companion and I moved out of the way and slowly slipped into our own states of shock.

Sister L is in hospital now and is okay.

So there's my two cents. I'm not sure what else to say about the ordeal. All I could think of was when Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said [from his General Conference talk "Sanctify Yourselves"], "Young men, you will learn, if you haven't already, that in frightening, even perilous moments, your faith and your priesthood will demand the very best of you and the best you can call down from heaven... brethren, the day may come -indeed I am certain it will come- when in an unexpected circumstance or in a time of critical need, lightning will strike, so to speak, and the future will be in your hands."

And that's all I have to say about that.

So this is my last full week as a missionary, the branch is brimming with excitement at my departure (good or bad? I can't tell xD) and everyone is trying to book lunches and dinners. Thursday night is probably the last night we'll see the Armstrong's, and then Sunday night we're having tea with the Gee's, and Monday morning we're going to swing past at about 7am and have a few final goodbyes. Then I'll drive the Port Pirie-Clare-Adelaide road one last time, transfers will be on Tuesday and I'll get to share a thing or two about what I've learned over the course of two years in the space of about five minutes with 80% of the ZAAM, and then Wednesday morning I will fly home, and you will all see me on Tuesday! Work that out in your head xD [Elder Schomburg is incorrect - he will leave on Wednesday morning from Australia and arrive in Colorado on Wednesday evening - however it will be approximately 24+ hours later.] I have a talk this Sunday on Elder Quentin L. Cook's remarks titled "Choose Wisely" which I found appropriate. I'm not sure what else to say. I will write my "I Just Served Two Years in Australia This is What I've Learned" email next Monday.

Ask me if I'm nervous.

I love you all and if you don't hear from me on Monday, I will see you soon! Hooroo!

-Elder Schomburg

The Schomburg Missionaries -
thus far...

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