Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Lost in the big city. Suicidal cat! Loving those who are harder to love.

Hello everyone!

So... it's been a crazy week!

We got lost. A lot. But it's really interesting how quickly you learn your way around a city when you get chucked in there with no idea of where you're supposed to go or how the heck you're supposed to use a metro. After several attempts to visit people and ending up several kilometers north of them, my companion and I slowly grew accustomed to the area and how to use the buses and metros. A very panic-filled week. I did learn one valuable lesson, though: if you're panicking, it usually makes you feel better if you just start laughing at yourself. You also feel slightly schizophrenic. :P

Funny story from this week: Elder Aulner and I go running every morning. (No, that's not the joke.) And one day, we got back from running and started jogging up the rickety stairs behind our apartment (we live on the fourth floor). When I hit the third floor, I met a cat who was coming down the stairs. In the process of about 2 seconds, this cat and I both stopped and looked at each other, and then the cat turned, jumped from the stairs to the third floor balcony, and then jumped off the third floor balcony to the ground. As it jumped, I honestly thought the cat was trying to commit suicide. Then it landed on the ground and just ran away. Like a super cat. It was crazy. Now we see that cat every morning when we go running and we always say hello. #respect

The subject on my mind this past week has been that of loving the people. I spoke a bit with President Phillips this past Saturday about how I can give more of my heart and mind to this work at the same time as giving my might and strength. Basically, how do I learn to more fully enjoy being a missionary? Because I have to be honest; there are days where it's just HARD. There are days where I wake up and I just don't want to get out of bed. There are nights where I really struggle to fall asleep because I wonder if I will be able to deal with the different responsibilities and struggles with this area and these people. Sometimes, it's just plain hard! As I spoke about this with President Phillips, he gave me some great advice that applies to everything, not just being a missionary: if you want to enjoy more what you do, learn to love the people, especially those who are different from you.

It is very difficult sometimes for me to really love those who seem to be so different from myself. Don't get me wrong; I have come to love so many people here throughout my mission, and I miss so many faces and names from my past areas and companionships. But I'm not here just to love those who love me or are similar to me. I'm here to love everyone, and that includes those who seem to be my opposite. So... I'm gonna give this a shot. :P

Love you all!

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

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