Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bryan's 1st Letter!

Mon cher famille et amis, 

This is SO AWESOME!!!!! I've been here 6 days and already this is the greatest experience EVER! It's also one of the hardest things I've ever done! I'm speaking French almost 24/7 and it's really really frustrating because my vocabulary is about as short as my stay here has been. And I'm ALWAYS exhausted but I can tell my strength is being bolstered as I try to stay awake enough to learn French and prepare lessons for the investigators we're ALREADY teaching en francais. This is really, really hard. But that also makes it super super amazing because I can see just how much progress I've made in these few days! This place really is amazing because we're already conversing in French and I'm able to understand what my teachers are saying and all I can say is the gift of tongues is SO REAL! My comp is Elder Woo... he's learning both French AND Mandarin in 6 weeks (I just have to learn French). He speaks Mandarin already, but he can't read it or write it yet so it'll be interesting for him! He's super cool though and I really enjoy learning from and with him and teaching with him. He's awesome.

One thing that freaks me out a bit: sleeping in a room with three other Elders, you hear some weird stuff in the middle of the night. Elder Woo, my companion, woke us all up at about 5 AM yesterday morning. He was still asleep, but I think he was dreaming he was a whale? He groaned REALLY loud for about 45 seconds (no breaths, just straight UUUUUUUUUGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHG). Then he stopped, then started again. Mom, those earplugs you gave me really came in handy. ;) Another funny thing: all of the elders in our district (the group we're put in that all speak the same language) take showers together. (Okay, that sounds funky. We're separated... but we can hear each other and talk to each other.) Anyways, all of the elders have conversations en francais as we shower and it's HILARIOUS. It also probably terrifies everyone else. And the showers are the annoying kind that stay -99 degrees when you're showering, unless someone flushes a toilet (which happens a lot), and then the showers teleport to the surface of the Sun. Talk about a burning bosom!

I've also had some really cool spiritual experiences here. The gospel of Jesus Christ is SO TRUE. When 2000+ elders and sisters join together to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic... WHOA. We haven't sung Called To Serve yet, but I'm psyched for that. On Sunday, Elder Woo and I got lost, and we were stuck on where to go. We stopped and said a quick prayer, and literally 5 seconds later our zone leaders walked in and were like "Hey! You guys are late!" and took us to our sacrament meeting. It was so cool, Elder Woo and I just looked at each other and grinned. We also watched Elder Bednar's talk to the MTC a few years ago near Christmas entitled "The Character of Christ." It was AMAZING. It was all about how we should look outside ourselves when we start to struggle and the immediate natural response is to think about ourselves. I loved the talk, and the Spirit was even stronger while he spoke.

I miss you all. You have my love and care, and I'll continue to write and talk about just how freezing cold I'll be in Canada! En avant, mon amis!

Elder McOmber


  1. Je suis désolée de ne pas avoir pu te dire au revoir avant ton départ. Je vois que tu fais déjà d'énormes progrès au MTC. Continue à travailler dur et rapidement tu parleras français parfaitement!
    Je continuerai à lire ton blog et suivre ton aventure au Québec. Que dieu te bénisse. Au revoir!

    Jacqueline Baldwin