Monday, June 27, 2016

Changes = Lessons Learned. Work is fun! Creating a silver lining so you can enjoy the ride no matter what.

Hey guys! :)

It's been a pretty good week. We had our farewell meeting with President Patrick... that was kind of sad. I'm very excited to meet President Phillips, but I'm also a little sad to realize that I won't be seeing President Patrick for a while (or getting brownie bombs for my birthday from Sister Patrick). Change is interesting, to say the least. It's funny... one of the greatest (and hardest) things about serving a mission is that your whole life can change on a dime. Often you have very little warning, and all of a sudden you're in a new area, or you have a new companion, or a new mission president, or a million other things can change. It's all over the place, and it's insane. And I can't say I always like it. But I do love serving my mission. And with every new change comes a new lesson, bringing about a new change in me.

We had a super fun day on Saturday. We woke up and went through the normal morning routine, but instead of changing into proselyting clothes (white shirt and tie), we put on service clothes (t-shirt and shorts) and went out to start what would end up being 11 hours of moves, yardwork, driving, and really good food. To start, we drove to a member's home, where we worked together with several other members to get all of their furniture and boxes from their 4th floor apartment down into the moving truck. From there, we followed the truck across town to unload all of the furniture and boxes into their new basement apartment. After that, we drove to another member's home, where we spent several hours putting branches into garbage bags. The highlight of this part of the day was that this family made us brochettes (kabobs) for lunch. Cool fact about French brochettes - sometimes, they take the brochette and they get a baguette and you put all of the onions and meat and peppers from the brochette into the baguette and then you eat it and then you feel really really full and really really tired. We then proceeded to drive back across town to a Native American town called Wendake, where we helped the Quebec sisters with another move. And then we drove 30 minutes out of town to a place called Shannon, where we mowed the lawn of a member who was out of town for the day. Then another member family in Shannon had us over for dinner. (If you ever get the chance to eat dinner with a family from the Philippines, DO IT) By the time we got home, we were dead tired and covered in sweat and dirt. It was awesome. I slept like a log and woke up Sunday morning feeling like I'd been beaten up by a moose. How grateful I am that the Sabbath is the day of rest. :)

I think one of the biggest things I've learned this week is that no matter what we are asked to do, we can always choose to have fun with it. I've had a really hard time learning this lesson in my life. When things haven't gone according to plan, or when I've been asked to do a task that I really would prefer not to do, I've had the tendency to get kind of melancholy or just grimace and do whatever needs to get done, trudging dejectedly through the mud of my own self-pity.

How silly of me!

Of course we don't have to like everything that happens to us or that we're asked to do. It's pretty unlikely that we will always be given milk and honey through our whole lives (If one of you has figured out how to make that happen... please explain how to me so I can apply your method). But I've also learned that every dark cloud has a silver lining; and if it's up to us sometimes to create that silver lining ourselves, all the better! Whether it be an exhausting day of work, an annoying boss, or an incident involving two children opening a whole lot of Christmas gifts several weeks before the big day (there's a story behind that one... ask my parents), there's always a way to find joy in the journey. There will most certainly be moments where the climb gets steeper and handholds seem few and far between, but if we wait to find enjoyment until everything is going according to plan, I am convinced we will miss out on a majority of those precious little moments that make life so worth living. So let us whistle while we work and enjoy the ride! :)

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

Elder Sykes, Elder Bird, and me! MTC district homies! :)

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