Monday, March 7, 2016

Blizzard buried my car (pics)! Attitude. Beautiful Quebec frozen waterfalls!

Howdy ya'll!

What a lovely week.

Well, it was the "blizzard of the year" this past Thursday. Some of the missionary teams didn't even leave their apartments all day. The snow was blowing horizontally and there were HUGE piles of snow everywhere, even before the snowplows came around to push it all away. Insane.

So what did my companion and I do?

Business as usual.

We left the apartment at our normal time. It took a little while to get the car unstuck, and then we proceeded to drive around town to see people who were stuck at home because of the storm. I love the mission; the times when everyone else wouldn't DARE go outside are the best times for missionaries to go out, cause everybody's home! :) It was actually super fun (and I was warmly dressed, I promise Mom) and we had a blast. We started by visiting some of our members who were just chilling at home, and shared lessons with them. Then we went out around their homes to knock doors, shovel snow, or do whatever else seemed worthwhile. We also helped somebody move. THAT was hilarious. We were slipping and sliding down the truck ramp carrying furniture and it was probably on Canada's Funniest Home Videos. (Does that exist? Please tell me that exists.) So... great day. :)

Aside from that, nothing too major has gone on. We've spent a lot of our free time knocking doors, and I have really improved my ability to just start a conversation with a random person (even in French!). It's pretty dang fun to see how different people react! Some people just slam the door with a "not interested." Those can sometimes be fun... it's amazing to watch their reaction times. The fastest yet was this lady (probably in her 70's) who opened the door and shut it in seriously less than half a second. It was incredible. I was legitimately impressed. Other people have any number of responses, from being interested in who we represent, why we wear name tags, what these pamphlets we're holding are, if we're Jehovah's Witnesses (that's one we hear all the time), where we're from, how long we've been here, if we like the cold, etc, etc, etc. Finding people is fun! :)

I've been thinking about what to share this week and I think I'll talk about attitude.

This is a principle I have a REALLY hard time with. I've heard it said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I have ignored this idea for basically my whole life.

I was talking with another missionary the other day about how sometimes I can get a little bored out here. I mean, sometimes it seems like I'm just doing the same thing all day, every day, for two years, and not really seeing much come out of it. Which... was getting a little boring, a little frustrating, and a little annoying to me. I'd always heard returned missionaries talk about how much they've loved their missions, and so I knew I must be doing something wrong. And in talking to this elder, he told me that my problem is my perspective.

See, I've spent a lot of time looking ahead. It's been a great boost for me throughout my life; I worked hard at what I was doing as long as I could see the benefits in the long run. I've always been looking forward in my life, whether it be to a holiday, to the next year in school, to my mission, to college, or any number of other things; it's always been about the next big step, the next fun thing. Rarely, if ever, have I truly stepped back to enjoy the good things that surround me, to truly "stop and smell the roses."

Huge, huge, huge mistake.

Do we really take time to appreciate each day on this earth? To appreciate the fact that we're living, breathing souls, with friends and family and the ability to affect our surroundings with something as little as a smile? I've realized I've grown so used to solving problems I find around me so I can reach that next step that I've never really learned to enjoy the perfectly imperfect world I'm living in.

So one of my goals now is to take things day by day; to respond to each new setback with a smile and a laugh and a quick prayer of thanks for all of the things that ARE right about my life. And you know what? It's working already.

I love my mission. I love serving here. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I love this gospel I'm sharing and I know it's completely, utterly, and irrevocably true.

Is that not a cause for rejoicing?!?

En avant!
Elder Bryan McOmber

Sunglasses. Elder Peery had a huge crick in his neck when this photo was taken. He was in a rather large amount of pain. :P

Deer! They're like right next to these houses on the side of a mountain next to the river! Crazy!

"Quick, Dave, those missionaries saw us! Hide, let's pretend we're not home!"

This is a view of the St-Laurent River. It is almost completely frozen over. Quebec... you're insane.


This is Montmorency Falls. They are mostly frozen. It is pretty cool.

Frozen waterfalls look pretty sweet.

"Is this the high dive? That water looks warm."
That bridge goes right over the top of the waterfall. It's super sweet!

A picture from just over the waterfall.

"Uh. I think I hate my life."

This is Quebec in one picture.

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