Monday, April 25, 2016

Fun Trip to Montreal. Repentance. LOVING MY MISSION! Lots of pictures!

Hi guys! :)

So, it's been a pretty dang swell week.

For starters, we went down to Montreal for exchanges this weekend. And it was quite entertaining. I got some pictures of the city as the sun was going down; those will come later. :) But Montreal is crazy... I thought Quebec was big! :P What is great about Montreal is that there are a LOT more people walking in the streets, which is a missionary's PARADISE because it means you can park a ways away from your appointment and just talk to like a million people! Le meilleur! :)

We also had a super fun district activity this morning. We went to Le Rigolfeur, this fun mini golf place at a mall near our church building. (Pictures to come) So hilarious. Each hole has some sort of laugh-inducing trick to it; sometimes something jumps out at you, or water sprays you, or you have to open a toilet seat to get your ball out of the hole. All in all, a great experience. :P It was kind of sad though, because last Saturday was transfers, and five members of our district are being transferred/going home. :(

Transfers are always a different experience. I was very happy to learn that I will be staying here in Quebec City for another 6 weeks with Elder Peery, at which point, he will be finished with his two years and headed home. He's kinda freaking out. I simply laugh at him, because I'm NEVER going home! :) :) Right?


Hahaha. Anyways. Great week.

I've been thinking this weekend about repentance. About change. I don't know if any of you know this. But I am not the same Elder McOmber who walked into the Missionary Training Center in Provo. I've learned a heck of a lot about a million different things.

Too often we associate the word "repentance" with sackcloth and ashes, tears and guilt. Well, that's not wrong. Certainly, sorrow for sin and failure is a part of repenting. But true repentance is so much more than that. Repentance is a turning of oneself, one's habits and lifestyle and, really, one's heart and very soul, more fully toward our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I could explain the steps to repentance, or how to know if we are really forgiven, or a million other things in this letter. But I really think the best way to explain repentance is to explain first the "why."

Our perfect Father wants us to become like Him. He created a plan to help us get there. He, knowing all things, of course new when He created this plan that we would inevitably all make mistakes.

I wonder if we sometimes think that when we sin, alarm bells start going off all over heaven and angels start running around yelling, "THEY RUINED EVERYTHING!!"

Of course not. Because that would be silly.

No, instead, our loving Father in Heaven knows our weaknesses and our shortcoming. He prepared the Way for us to return to live with Him again and to become like Him. And the Way is our older Brother, Jesus Christ.

He was chosen from the beginning to perform His Atonement, so that our mistakes are no longer our downfall, but our learning curve. We are NOT alone. We are NOT our weakness. We are so much more than that. We have the potential to become PERFECT. That is not an understatement. That is not a lie. That is an eternal truth, and the very purpose of the most powerful Being in the universe; He wants us to be like Him.

I think the key here is to stop thinking of sin in terms of ups and downs. What I mean by that is that we're not standing on a slippery slope every second of our lives, carefully making our way up the mountain to perfection, knowing that if we slip we have to start all over. I think that life is more like a marathon, and our goal is to reach the finish. We run and run. And occasionally, we trip. We fall. But that does NOT mean we have to start over. All that means is that we have a choice; we can stay down, or we can get up, dust ourselves off, and keep running. But how pointless is it to lie in the dust, when all of the energy and help and hope we need is there for the taking if we'll just let Him lift us? How silly to quit, when thousands of angels stand at the sidelines cheering us on?

My invitation this week is that of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

I testify that Jesus is the Christ. He lives. He loves us. I know it. I know we have a Heavenly Father who gave His Son so that we could overcome the stain of our sin in His Atonement, and become like Them; perfect in every way. They are real. They are there. And They love us more than we could ever try to comprehend.

Is that not a cause to rejoice?!?

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber
This is pretty much how elder and sister missionaries take pictures. Awkwardly.
  Don't know why I included this one. I think just because of Elder Peery's smolder.
Quebec missionaries group photo! Left to right: Me, Elder Peery, Sister Payne (she's being transferred... thus the photos) and Sister Clark (one of my MTC friends!)
The Westover couple came with us to mini golf! :)
If you look behind me, you'll see Elder Peery photo bombing. :P
Ste-Foy district represent! :) (Except for Rimouski... but they're 3 hours north of us so they couldn't come.) Fun fact... four of these people are either going home or being transferred this week!
  Mini golfing. It's... different.
Really different.
Elder Morris! He's being transferred to Ottawa. :(
There are ducks in our puddle outside!
No bicycle kicks allowed in Quebec!

  We knocked this door. It kinda freaked us out.
For the record... we knocked this door too.
The Olympic Stadium in Montreal!


Just because I could.
I really liked this photo. It just made me happy.
The Olympic Stadium again.
Montreal really is a cool city.

Only in Canada do the malls have a big hockey rink in the middle.

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