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

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