Monday, November 7, 2016

One more reason I miss my sister! :) Growing a testimony...God can REMIND us of things we used to know, but may not now remember. Pics!

Hey guys!

So it`s been a pretty warm week. My coat gets a little too hot sometimes... people tend to ask me why I`m dressed so warm sometimes and I respond, "I`m from Arizona." Turns into a great contacting tool! :) But yeah; it`s been pretty pleasant this past week. :)

Probably the greatest moment of this week happened while I was on exchanges with Elder Sykes. He and his companion live in the same apartment as 2 other missionaries who are called in Mandarin. While we were doing our nightly planning, they came in and started talking to us. Turns out Elder Lan (one of the Mandarin elders) knew a guy who taught him how to give killer shoulder massages. So we finished our nightly planning while Elder Lan gave us shoulder massages. Sometimes you`ll do anything to lose some stress. XD Honestly, probably one of the biggest things I miss from back home is getting back scratches from my sister... but I suppose sacrifice is a part of conversion. :P

I was sitting in church yesterday, listening to a great talk about the importance of writing in our personal journals (no, I`m not joking, it was awesome) and while the talk was being given I had one of those moments where a totally unrelated but inspired thought enters my mind and I learn something cool. I`ve been thinking a lot lately about testimonies; more specifically, how to grow our testimonies.

Before this life, we lived with Heavenly Father. We did not have a body of flesh and bone, but we were spirits, and we looked just like we do now. As the Lord says to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee." We lived with Him before, and He created an amazing plan of happiness to allow us to become perfect like He is and have all the blessings that He does. He taught us of this plan, and we learned and understood the importance of Jesus Christ and His gospel.

Now I`m approaching my point. We knew before we ever came here to earth that God is our loving Heavenly Father. We knew that our families could be together forever. We knew that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. We knew the truthfulness of His gospel. But when we were sent here to earth, we had to forget these things, in order that we could walk by faith and not by sight. Why? Because faith is a building block for our souls; we need faith to grow.

Here is the thought that crossed my mind yesterday; it is a point I have read before but I think I`ve gained a greater understanding of it:

Growing a testimony is not introducing new material to our souls; it is reminding our spirit of what we already know, but cannot recall. When we ask if something is true, we are not asking the Lord to force a new truth into us; we`re not asking Him to place a square peg in a round hole, as you will. We are simply asking Him to remind us of what we already know deep down in our hearts. In effect, we already know it.

Sometimes we all need that reconfirmation that something we love and believe is true. It is not a sin to ask again, to ask the Lord to remind us of the answers we have received to past prayers. I believe we can each ask again to know the truth of the Book of Mormon, of modern prophets, of the Restoration of Christ`s Church, of the role of Jesus Christ, and of the reality of God and His love for us.

I love you all! En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

The new district! From left to right: me, Elder Aulner, Elder Saunders, Elder Sykes, Elder Roubicek, Sister Johnson, Sister Dinge, Elder Tallon, Elder Yerke, Elder Christensen, Sister Christensen, and Elder Landetta.

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