Monday, September 28, 2015

Elder "Cucumber" & IT'S COLD!!! - Pictures too

Hello family and friends!

Um. It's cold.

I'm from Gilbert Arizona. Where the coldest it really gets during the middle of the winter, in the middle of the night, is around like 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is currently hanging around 50 or 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the day here. And it drops below freezing often during the nights.

I think that I'm going to die. It's September. I'm legitimately terrified for this winter. People usually just laugh at me when they hear I'm from Arizona and that I'm going to be here for not one, but two winters. If you don't hear from me... send help. Preferably in the form of hot chocolate, 12 electric blankets, and a large dog with a keg of apple cider around his neck who will be willing to sleep in my bed and keep me warm.

For those of you who haven't already made the connection, the name McOmber has an uncanny resemblance to the word "cucumber." I had made the assumption that this would change when I switched countries and languages.

I was wrong.

The word "cucumber" in French is in fact, "concombre." Which is even MORE similar in its pronunciation to my last name. You are now reading the words of a missionary who has been lovingly (I think) designated as "Elder Concombre." Not sure how I feel about this yet. Do the people here like cucumbers? Would they be willing to take the missionary lessons from a cucumber? We shall see. Challenge accepted.

I have truly enjoyed this last week. We've had some really awesome lessons with our investigators, but I would like to talk a little bit about one of them. His name is Merville. He's 15 years old, and he and his father are both taking the missionary lessons, but separately. We had a great lesson with Merville this last week, in which we spoke about faith. He made a comment to the effect of, "It's alright that I don't keep this commitment to go to church on Sunday, because God knows my heart and He will forgive me. He knows that I love Him." I've thought about that a long time this week, and I have come to this conclusion. Merville made a great point. God knows our hearts, He knows how we feel about Him. So why is it that we go to church on Sundays? Why is it we should keep the commandments and keep the Sabbath Day holy and read the scriptures and pray and do all the things religious people who love the Savior do? If God knows how we feel... why do we do those things? Well, the only problem with Merville's point is that... he's wrong. His attitude toward why we do things is completely off the mark. We don't keep the commandments to show God that we love Him; He knows our hearts. I think we keep the commandments for three reasons (I assume that there may be more; don't take this as doctrine):
1) Because we love God. But we don't do it to prove to Him that we love Him, as He knows us all perfectly; we do it to prove to ourselves what we're willing to sacrifice to show our love for Him.
2) Because the commandments are there for our good. The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. We NEED to keep the commandments so that we can progress. Keeping the commandments and reading our scriptures and praying is not for God; it's for us!
3) Because we have been asked by the Lord to "be thou an example of the believers." He wants all the world to come to Him, and if our Lord isn't important enough to us to try to keep His commandments, why would anyone around us think this gospel is important enough for them to learn it? "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see YOUR good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16; emphasis added by me :P) It's our good works that can help others recognize the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them want to be a part of it!

Everyone, I love this gospel. I love it with all my heart. Why else would I be out here? I can't think of any other reason. I just love this work. I love the Savior. And with the missionaries and prophets before me, as well as those today and those to come, I stand as a witness that He lived 2000 years ago, that He gave His life that we might live with Him again someday, that He was resurrected three days later, and that He lives today and continues to speak to us through the words of modern-day prophets and apostles and through the Holy Ghost each time we pray.

I love you all and miss you daily. You are in my prayers always. Never give up! Keep trying to choose the right; it's so so worth it!

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber
 The river that runs through Victoriaville.
 Another picture of the reservoir here in Victo.
 Elder Rodriguez, one of my zone leaders, who I went on exchanges with this last week. He's awesome!

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