Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Heading to Montreal Next Tuesday!!! So excited!!

Bonjour mes amis et ma famille!

So this week has been pretty interesting! WE GET TO GO TO MONTREAL IN A WEEK!!!! SO EXCITED!! But Elder Niederhauser had a kidney stone that wouldn't pass, so he had to go in and get surgery on Friday. They pulled out the stone, but there was a complication (something was really tightly shut in his body so they had to open it and put in a stent) and so he may have to stay in the MTC a couple extra weeks which is REALLY hard for him. But he's still possibly able to come with us to Montreal... so we'll see. Please pray for Elder Niederhauser!

One night this week, we were going to bed and just kinda laying in bed quietly. Elder Woo started to tell us this story. "So there was this boy, a really long time ago. And he was a pretty special kid. Like... really special. But he was living in this really poor town with his mom (his dad was gone). He was also super smart and loved building and fixing things, but the town where they lived was in the middle of the desert so there wasn't really a lot to build and fix, except for these race cars that the people of the town all loved to watch race. It turns out this kid was pretty good at racing those.
"One day these two older guys got stranded near the town. And they had this really beautiful girl with them. They went to the little shop the boy worked in (by the way, the shop owner was kind of a jerk and he really took advantage of the boy and his mom, who were basically his slaves) and asked the shop owner if he could give them some stuff to help them make it where they needed to go. But they didn't have enough money to pay for the stuff, so they started to leave. But the boy felt bad for them so he decided he'd help them. In order to help them, he had to win one of the races they had in this town."
Here the whole district is enthralled in his story. But then Elder Bird goes, "Wait. Is this Star Wars??" And Elder Woo goes, "Dang. I thought you guys would think I was the best storyteller ever." We DIED laughing. Now we've begun a tradition of telling really vague stories with no names involved and seeing if everyone else can guess the movie. It's crazy funny.

I was reading a talk this week by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, who is an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The talk is entitled, "Lord, I Believe" and I would encourage all of you to look it up. But Elder Holland addresses the story of a father who approaches Jesus Christ with his son. His son is possessed by a devil and he has tried EVERYTHING to help his son, to no avail. Then he hears of this rabbi, who people are calling the Son of God, and who has relieved other demoniacs of their burdens. With all the desperation of a parent with a very sick child, he rushes to the Savior and asks Him a question that I love. "If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us." This father is desperate for ANY help he can get, and while he doesn't know if the Savior can actually help ("if thou canst do anything"), he's trying hard to get help from our Lord. The Lord responds with "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." The father immediately cries back, "Lord, I believe," but follows that statement with, "Help thou mine unbelief." The Lord then heals his son.
Sometimes we feel that in order to receive help from God, we have to have perfect faith in Him. That is NOT true. Elder Holland says something I think we could all learn from: "In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited." If we are willing to pray to ask God for help, we are in essence declaring, "Lord, I believe!" And then all we need do is ask for aid from our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and they will strengthen our conviction, deepen our resolve, and calm the tempests that rage around us. And because of the help they have given us, we will recognize that they have helped our unbelief.
I testify that we have a Savior. I testify of the truth that He knelt in a garden two thousand years ago and felt every pain we will ever endure and took our sins on Himself so that we could be forgiven of all of our mistakes as we come to Him and so that we could return to live with Him again. To ANYONE at home who is struggling with faith, with doubt, with uncertainty, I beg you to do what this father did. Explain your struggles to your Father in Heaven, ask Him for help. Remember that we are NEVER too far away for Him to hear us and help us. He will help you and all who have just enough faith to hit their knees and ask him to help them carry the burdens placed on their backs. He has helped me countless times, and He will help you. I KNOW that, and I bear witness of that truth in His name, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love and miss every single one of you. I can't wait to hit the field, and I will see you in 23 months. :)

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber
 Elder Woo and I forgot what the Mexican flag looked like... so we drew this.

 Left to right: Me, Elder Woo, Elder Niederhauser, Elder Bird

 Elder Woo and I outside the Provo Temple

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