Monday, August 29, 2016

Transferred! Playing hopscotch. Being out of our comfort zone is the most efficient way to grow our faith! Pics!


.....hey guys!


I'm being transferred. :( I have really loved Quebec and the time I have spent here. It is a very bittersweet time for me, because while I am incredibly excited for the time I will be able to spend in my new area, I will dearly miss everything about this area. These people and these missionaries I've served with have changed me so much for the better.

I am being transferred to Hochelaga Plateau, an area on the island of Montreal. Our truck Staci is being ripped away from me and I will now be on bus and metro. I am also receiving a new missionary, whose name I will not know until transfer day this Wednesday. If you could all do me a favor and pray for whoever this new elder is going to be... he's going to need it if he wants to survive being trained by me. :P This also means I am being dropped into an area without any knowledge of how things work (metros, members, how to not die in the big city, etc)(we call this being "flushed" into an area) and my companion will be just as clueless as me! So... cheers for being terrified! In case any of you are wondering, no, I have not really slept for the past few nights! :P

I really am excited. But I am also terrified.

Funny thing that happened this past week: we were walking in this area we're in fairly often and we were about to walk into this building when we came upon a very long hopskotch sidewalk. There was a couple mothers and their children sitting nearby and as we approached one of their children said that it was necessary that we follow the directions on the hopskotch. Basically, the directions were to do a catwalk for about 10 feet, then jump criss cross for another 10 feet, and then hop on one foot for about 20 feet. We kind of laughed, and then the moms told us that it was in fact necessary.

So both Elder Blackwelder and I proceeded to play a game of hopskotch. We made complete fools out of ourselves and it was hilarious. After we'd finished, we started talking to the mothers and they were much kinder to us than they'd originally seemed like they would be. Which was awesome! :)

I think in light of this new change in my mission life, one lesson I've heard during my mission continues to come to mind, and that is this: faith never grows when we are in our comfort zone.

The day before we were to get our transfer calls, I turned to my companion and said, "Elder, I've got a bad feeling that I'm going to be flush training in Montreal on bus and metro." And literally less than 24 hours later, my fears were confirmed. :) There are so many things that I don't know how to do and so many things that I'm worried about. In essence, I am VERY uncomfortable! And you know what? That is so awesome! Because being out of our comfort zone is the most efficient way to grow our faith! I was praying a few nights ago about this next week, hoping and begging that everything would go alright and we would be okay. And you know what? I know it will! Because while our Heavenly Father may send us into situations that are new and foreign and strange and awkward and sometimes really terrifying, He does not send us alone. 

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)

While we may be worried, and while we may fear, we have to always remember that we never stand alone! :) I know it!

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

Sister and Brother Falardeau, Moi

 Moi, Brother Paradis 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Becoming the 100th degree! Keep that heat on!

Hello everyone! :)

So it's been a pretty fun week. On Tuesday we had an awesome zone conference, and everyone has been talking lately about what we want to change because of what we learned there. It was super great! :) I just love being a missionary. When we all came together in a room just full of people whose only goal for 18 to 24 months is to serve the Lord, it was POWERFUL! We talked about so many great things and I've set some goals to really try to improve.

Last Monday we had a district activity where we had a picnic (ever had a baguette with a rotisserie chicken? I recommend it) and then we all went to see a huge cathedral in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, which is a town about 30 minutes east of here. It was HUGE. It amazed me how beautiful and intricate the inside of this cathedral was. There was so much work put into it. I love how much people were willing to give to show their devotion to God. It is incredible! :)

I wanted to share a thought that was shared in zone conference by a missionary who I really look up to. He talked about "becoming the 100th degree." Here's the analogy he made.

Water is one of the most valuable resources on the planet. All life on Earth depends on water for survival. Water freezes at 0 degrees (Celsius - I'm in Canada) and boils at 100 degrees. When water boils, it does two things: first, the water is purified and cleansed, and second, steam is created. Steam can be used to do many things; with the amount of energy found in steam, one could literally move a mountain.

But here's the key; water doesn't boil at 99 degrees.

In our lives, our "temperature" can vary pretty often. But the invitation we were given (and that I'm giving to all of you) is this:

Become the 100th degree!

Sometimes we can be working super hard and nothing seems to be happening. Sometimes we seem to be giving so much of ourselves for nothing. But there is always a point where we choose to leave it ALL on the floor, where we give every ounce of ourselves that we can and just at that point where it doesn't seem like we have any energy left, just at that point where we don't think we can go back out and try to talk to people on the street or we don't think we can deal with that insufferable colleague any longer or we don't think our children will ever learn their lesson - keep the heat on! Because when you get to that 100th degree, the Lord will intervene and that water will BOIL. I know it! I've seen it happen to me time and time again!

I love you all! Keep working hard!

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

Monday, August 15, 2016

I LOVE the scriptures! Gaston from Congo. Charity and seeing people for who they really are.

Hey guys! :)

Well, it's been a pretty good week. It's been pretty rainy, so we've gotten pretty wet a few times, but being from Arizona, I take in all the rain I can get. Pretty sure my companions think I'm a little crazy, but man, I love the rain! :)

I'm excited for this upcoming week. Today we're going to a nearby town as a district to visit a Catholic pilgrimage site (yes, Mom, I will send pictures :)). Tomorrow we're supposed to have a zone conference, which is basically a giant meeting of missionaries where we have trainings from our leaders and we eat lunch together and it's just a grand old time. It's going to be super cool! One thing I really like about President Phillips is that he really loves the Book of Mormon and wants us to use it as much as possible. If any of you know me well, you'll know that I love the scriptures, and I LOVE the Book of Mormon. The stories and counsel we find there are so applicable to us today and I love trying to picture how it felt to run with the 2000 stripling warriors into a battle against the Lamanites, or to sit with the brothers of Ammon as they were in prison, or to sit in the presence of the Savior when He visited the Americas after His resurrection. It's an amazing book! :)

We had a fun experience this week with one of our investigators named Gaston. He's SUPER cool! He's from Congo and he's super full of faith. But this past week we were talking about missionary work with him a little bit and he was asking us about how his village in the Congo really want to hear our message. Apparently, every thing we've asked him to read, he's been sharing with about 300 people in his village in Congo and they're super anxious to get copies of the Book of Mormon and visits from missionaries! He's also been sharing the Book of Mormon in Swahili with a couple of his friends here in Quebec who speak Swahili. He's seriously so awesome!

I think the only thing I'd want to share with you all today is something I'm really trying to work on, and that's charity. I'm not very good at loving people like the Savior does. I tend to look at people and notice mostly the things that they don't do well or that they could improve on, or simply the things they do or say that annoy me. This is usually not a good people skill, by the way. :P But I am often reminded myself of how many things I don't do well, how many things I could improve on, and how many things I do that must annoy the living daylights out of the people around me (just ask my companions, I'm sure they'd find plenty). :) And yet we have a loving Heavenly Father who sees us through the eyes of a perfect Parent. He doesn't look PAST our imperfections, but He sees us for who we are, and more importantly, who we can become. He sees our potential and all of the talents and blessings we have been endowed with, and He sees our imperfections as stepping stones to move higher up the path to being like Him. How wonderful it is to know that no matter what I do, no matter how often I fall, He will always love me and always try to help me. How wonderful to know that as long as I simply keep trying, He will be there, lifting me up and helping me forward. How amazing it is to have a loving Heavenly Father! And the best part is, He is willing to help us have this same love for those around us if we humble ourselves in prayer and allow Him to shape our lives to be more like Him and His incredible Son. I love Them! :)

I love you all! Thank you for the love and letters. :) En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber