Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The MTC Is Still Awesome!

Hello all!

     The MTC is still awesome! I realized that last time I didn't update everyone on who's in my district, so I'll do that now!

Elder Woo: Black hair. 20 years old. From British Columbia, Canada. Funny. Asian (got his permission for that descriptor :P). Moans in his sleep sometimes... kinda freaks us out. Enjoys naps. My comp.

Elder Sykes: Blonde. 18 years old. From Utah. Very excited... all the time. Bounces off the walls in class. Funny. Enjoys laughter. Comp with Elder Critchlow.

Elder Critchlow: Redhead. 19 years old. From Tennessee. Played QB for his HS football team. Got a scholarship to a college (forgot which one) for football. Strong testimony. Funny. Can be serious when needed. Comp with Elder Sykes.

Elder Bird: Brown hair. 18 years old. From Utah. Athletic. Shortish. Enjoys making funny faces at people in class. Gets along well with everyone. Comp with Elder Niederhauser. (They went to the same high school).

Elder Niederhauser: Brown hair. 18 years old. From Utah. Athletic. Tallish. Wears glasses. Has a Texas accent which sounds HILARIOUS in French. Tells funny stories. Can be serious when needed. Comp with Elder Bird.

Elder Phillips: Brown hair. 18 years old. From Utah. Not too athletic, but super tall and willing to try anything new. Wears glasses. He's our district leader for the first three weeks; good leader. A bit socially awkward, but his heart is definitely in the right place and he's very good at keeping the Spirit in the group when we start to get a little off topic. Comp with Elder Herring.

Elder Herring: Brown hair. 18 years old. From Utah. Athletic (played hockey). Slight stutter when he talks, but it doesn't stop him from serving and sharing his testimony. Struggles a lot with the French language, but he's improved the most of us since he got here. Very short. Was in the theater class from his school, played the lead in several plays. He's kind of the black sheep of the group; we do a good job of including him in our activities but he's the most homesick of all of us (he's got a GF back home and he lived nearby so he's really struggling). Likes talking about the number of girls he's kissed (177... whoa...) and his girl back home. Comp with Elder Phillips.

Soeur (Sister) Guzman: Black hair. Not sure how old she is, she won't tell us. Somewhere around 25? Latino. From Arizona. Funny. Can be serious when needed. Probably the most mature of the whole district. Went to college at University of Florida. Strong testimony. Speaks Spanish and English, and is learning French.

Soeur Clarke: Blonde hair. 19 years old. From California. Sits directly across from me and Elder Sykes in the classroom, and we have gotten really good at communicating what we're thinking through facial signals since we're not really allowed to speak in English very often. Good at French. Can be serious when needed.

Soeur Cunningham: Red hair. 19 years old. From Utah. Sits next to Soeur Clarke. Strong testimony and very good at French. Good at making sure the class stays on task. Funny. Smiles often.

Welp. That's everyone. I'll start sending pictures of us all next week so everybody can recognize who it is I'm talking about.

     A funny thing that happened this week. During choir practice, the camera crew pans over the choir to check their settings and stuff before the devotional happens. All of the elders in our district were sitting together. When the camera would zoom in on our district as we sang, three or four of us would have do duck our heads because we would all make each other laugh at that moment with how we looked at the camera. I don't know what was wrong with us! The camera would pan across us, and Elder Woo would just get this weird grin and then burst out laughing, so the camera would start to move again but not before all of us noticed that happened and would all die laughing.

     We were rather disruptive.

     Suffice it to say that we did not get the opportunity to be on camera for the devotional itself. I wonder why?

     I'll end with a quick spiritual thought. 1 Nephi 17:50-51

     This scripture describes the prophet Nephi's reaction when his brothers tell him he can't build a ship as God commanded him to do so that he and his family could sail to the Americas.

50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
 51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?
     I know that we have the responsibility to do certain things in this life: lift those around us, battle temptation, teach our children and our peers, learn of God. But too often I forget that with these commandments God has given us, He has also given us a way to accomplish those very tasks. Nephi's response to the doubts that we all face in this life, from ourselves and from others, is basically, "So? Of course it's difficult. But impossible is NOT in God's dictionary! If He tells me to do something, gosh dang it I can do it!" (I may have translated his words into Bryanese for my own interpretation :P) So just remember that when it seems too difficult to do the right things, it's not impossible. Life is not designed to be an endless maze; it's a mountain, and He knows the right path and will provide all the direction and assistance we need to accomplish the things He commands. I know that and bear testimony of it in His name.

     I hope all is well in every place all of you are. I miss each one of you and thank you for the teachings you've shared with me and the examples you've set. I love you all!

     En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

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