Monday, July 18, 2016

Wheelchairs need seatbelts, and some French men need to pardon their French! Humility comes as we strive to be more like Christ...the perfect example. Pics!

Hi guys! :)

Well, guess who will be staying in Quebec South for the next 6 weeks of his mission? That's right, I will be spending a 5th transfer here in the Quebec ward and I am SO excited. This place is so amazing! :) And I love the ward. Elder Blackwelder will be staying as well; time to rock this city!

Fun experiences this week; well, we ate dinner with a member family who are about a half hour east of the city. It was super fun; turns out one of the aunts was in town and it was her 7-year old daughter's birthday. We had a bunch of fun together and talked about lots of stuff. I am still amazed that people continue to ask me about American politics, like the election is somehow all balancing on me, and the results are somehow my fault. If we're not talking about the gospel, the plot line of a Disney movie, or the average airspeed velocity of a swallow, I will likely have no valuable information to put into the conversation. But anyways, after we kind of awkwardly coughed our way through some comments about politics and such, we sang happy birthday and ate cake and had a swell time talking about the Book of Mormon. That family is inviting us back this week for ribs, and I am SO excited. :P

We also had a very interesting time in Trois Rivieres this week. We drove down there to do an exchange with the elders serving there. The first three hours of the exchange were spent in an old folks' hospital. It was somewhat eventful. We spent the first little while wheeling a bunch of the residents outside to have ice cream. Then we sat with them and fed them ice cream and gave them juice and talked with them. That part was super fun. I had just finished helping an older woman and was throwing away her bowl when I saw a bunch of nurses running over to the crosswalk leading back into the hospital. Elder Blackwelder walked up to me and said, "Did you see what just happened?" He explained that one of the elder in Trois Rivieres (I won't share his name, even though it wasn't even his fault :P) was wheeling a rather stubborn man back across the crosswalk. Apparently a worker stopped to talk to the elder, and while he was distracted, the man in the wheelchair got upset that he wasn't moving forward and decided to take matters into his own hands. He pushed himself up off of his wheelchair, stood up, took a step forward, and promptly keeled over on his head. He was totally fine (apparently this happens all the time? You'd think they'd give him a seat belt or something), but he was cussing up a STORM in French. So yeah. A bit eventful.

We taught a woman this week who is a member, but hasn't come back to church for about 25 years. She loves the missionaries and we've recently begun to go over to her house each week to do service in her yard. This past week, we shared a lesson with her after the yard work about the Book of Mormon. She shared with us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true, along with the Church and everything else we teach. So we asked her why she doesn't come to church if that is the case. She opened up to us, and explained her reasoning for not returning to the church; it was very interesting to me what she said. I expected her to talk about being offended by someone or something, but it wasn't that at all.

She explained, "I was active for 5 years, which was all the time I needed to learn what I needed to learn. I kept all of the commandments, and I was a perfect Mormon. I grew a lot and became a much better person. But I became too much like the Pharisees in the New Testament; I was keeping all of the commandments but I was judging all of the people around me. I needed to be humbled. So to humble myself, I stopped going to church and stopped keeping some of the commandments. That way when I feel critical of others, I can recognize that I am a sinner, too."

She continued to explain this idea she has that basically, in order to preserve her humility, she has to choose to sin. We tried to explain that choosing to sin is also choosing to be unable to live with Heavenly Father again, not to mention living forever with our families. And this is where she stopped me cold. She said, "I accept the consequences of this decision. I don't want to go to paradise; it would be too easy there. I want to take the difficult path."

I had no response. I've been wondering if there are others who think this way in the world. If anyone reading this has had thoughts like this, let me be very clear.

This way of thinking is a lie. It is a cold, dark, devilish lie. It is false to the very core. If it were somehow more heroic or righteous to live in sin so we could understand the sinner, the Savior of all mankind would NOT have been perfect. But He was. And He is. And He gave His life so that we CAN overcome sin. So that we CAN progress. So that we can CHOOSE to live with Him again one day. Choosing to sin so that we can be humble is like choosing to crash your car into a brick wall so you can recover.

So let us take the road He has given us. Let us put the effort in to become better. The Church of Jesus Christ is a hospital for all spiritual maladies, and we are all sick in our own way. Whether it be pride, addiction, self-deprecation, let us choose to let Him heal us. Because He can, and He will. Come unto Christ!

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

A view of the Fleuve and L'Ile D'Orleans from the north shore east of Quebec. :)

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