Monday, December 14, 2015

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...PLEASE. Faith and Math. Missionaries and Cows (pictures)?

Hello all!

Well. Quick note to all of you.

Canada is not cold.

Not even joking. Seriously. It's mid December and there isn't one flake of snow on the ground. It's currently raining outside and it's only like 4 degrees Celsius. Everyone lied to me. Snow isn't even real; I think Santa made it up. Because he's real. Right? Cool. But honestly, it's a little depressing to be walking around getting closer to Christmas and not have ANY snow. I thought I'd be having a white Christmas... guess the joke's on me. XD

Funny moment from this week was actually last Monday when we got home from emails. Elder Gutierrez had a big headache and so he went to take a nap at around 4. As we have to be out working again at 6, he told me to wake him up at 5. So I wrote letters and listened to music for an hour, then opened the door and turned on the lights in the bedroom and said, "Aight Elder, it's 5:00."


He let loose a growl that would have sent a full grown grizzly bear scurrying for cover. "Turn. Off. The. Light."

I didn't really know what to do. "Whoa. OK. I'll come back when you're.... different."

So I came back at 5:35, cause we really had to get going so we could be at our next appointment at 6. I opened the door (much quieter now) and turned on the light (with quite a bit more apprehension). He growled in a slightly less terrifying manner. 

I said, "Hey Elder, it's 5:35. We really gotta get going. You good?"


"I apologize; I speak French, not Inuit. But... we really do gotta go."


"Um. Yes. It is 5:35. That means you gotta get up."



"ELDER. FIVE THIRTY-FIVE." He was gradually sounding angrier and angrier. I began to fear for my life.

"I'm confused. It IS 5:35. Come on, let's go!"

"FIVE THIRTY-FIVE." I was sure he was going to start throwing punches in a few seconds.

"So... what exactly would you like me to do here, Elder Gutierrez?"


So, considering I would prefer to remain intact, I turned off the light. Ten minutes later, a very grumpy and tired looking Elder Gutierrez walked into the kitchen. He proceeded to apologize for whatever he had said, as he apparently wasn't in a perfectly clear frame of mind at the time. But, ca va. I thought it was pretty funny. I told him what he'd said and he had no clue what it meant either. It was interesting.

The idea of faith has been on my mind for the past week. A comparison came to my mind the other day that I would like to apply to the sometimes abstract idea of faith. I believe it correlates well with math.

When I came across a situation in my Calculus class that went against what I thought I knew was how things should work, it could get a little bit frustrating. I would continue getting answers that were not correct, even though I was sure I was inputting the formulas and variables correctly. When this occurred, did I simply give up and throw the calculator to the ground, proclaiming, "Since I don't understand this, math must not be real. Calculus is false."

Of course not. Because that would be silly. I continued to work at understanding, knowing that with time and effort, I would figure it out. And eventually, it all worked out and I found myself able to do well on the tests and quizzes that came my way. But first, I had to acknowledge that a) I didn't know everything, and b) my understanding of math could not decide whether or not Calculus was a valid concept.

This is how faith works. Sometimes I think we all run into these questions that seem to run against everything we think we know about our Heavenly Father and His plan for us. The answers we get don't seem to fit into the gospel formulas we think we understand. And in those cases, I have seen many declare that God must not exist, or that a particular true and valid doctrine, which has been testified to by prophets and apostles, must be false because their own understanding seems to clash with the new information they've received or learned.

There is a reason that one of the most important principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the ability to endure to the end. That concept INCLUDES enduring those crisis of faith and questions that come with our eternal learning curve. Faith is that motor that continues to push us forward when doubts and questions would have us stop and quit.

The counter argument arises, "Math is different. You can prove these theorems and formulas."

Well, is that not also true of God? There are miracles all around us; things that cannot be adequately explained UNLESS there is a God who lives and loves us and the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are as true and living today as they were when He established them in the first place! Ask any faithful Christian and they will be able to find miracle after miracle. The living proof surrounds us.

The answer to an equation cannot be found without putting the correct variables into the correct formula. In the equation of eternity, miracles and answers to questions cannot come before putting the variables of time, effort, and faith into the formula of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So when the road seems long and the mountainous trials grow steeper, when questions arise and doubts threaten to overthrow the faith we have, let us remember that our loving Heavenly Father has established the method to find our answers. And with time, effort, and faith, the answers to the questions we have, and the miracles that provide proof of His existence and His loving kindness toward each one of His beloved children, will come. I know it. I've seen it in my life, time and time again.

We have a Heavenly Father who lives and loves us. We have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who does as well. We can know of these truths, as well as all others, through prayer with real intent and a humble heart.

I love the Lord. And I love serving Him here in the mission field.

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber
So... there were these cows that we drove by. And for no apparent reason, we decided to take pictures of them. Why? Because we're Elders. That's why.
When we got closer to the fence, all the cows started walking towards us. Probably because we were mooing at them in a very mature and dignified manner.

That would be me and my companion.
This cow is my favorite. So I took a selfie with it. It is now my friend forever.

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