Monday, December 5, 2016

#LIGHTtheWORLD! Sugar cookies...they LOOK easy to make. Parents are AMAZING!

Hello all ya`ll in warmer climates :)

It snowed again today. Big snowflakes, too! I`m still in that stage of the winter where the wonder of crystal snowflake formations is entertaining rather than infuriating. :) We`re so Lucky that we get to stay in a warm apartment every night... there are so many people who are out on the streets all day and night. Counting my blessings. :)

It`s been a week of learning. First off, I loved beginning the 25 days of Christmas for #LIGHTtheWORLD! While there are certain things I couldn`t do as a missionary, I found those things that I could do and I learned and felt a lot of great things as I did. For example, day 3 talked about how Jesus helped others to see, and so can we. So I studied the gospel accounts in the New Testament of when Christ healed the blind. And something I learned is that He didn`t heal everybody in the same way. Based on their situation and their faith, He used different methods to help them see. I loved this, because I as a missionary am pretty focused on trying to help people see, spiritually speaking. And I recognized that I can`t just try the same method with everyone, because everybody is different, and I have to adjust how I help them to what best works for them.

We had a lot of funny expériences with food this week... for example, one night I had a taste for some sugar cookies. Thanks to my family, I had a convenient mix for sugar cookies that could be put together and baked in basically 30 minutes... or so I thought. The problem is that things are more difficult if you don`t really have anything to mix the dough with. So... after slightly longer than 30 minutes, I was getting a bit frustrated and I just turned it into a Play-Dough face with a creepy witch nose. Elder Colunga took a picture, which was our phone`s screensaver for a few days. Pretty sure I`m gonna have nightmares. The next day, I proceeded to burn all the garlic bread we were trying to make, as well as accidentally spill out half the package of stir-fry veggies on the floor. Elder Colunga found all of these hilarious and proceeded to take pictures of my pitiful efforts at cleaning up all of the messes. By the end of the week, I found myself eating frosting out of the can with a spoon. I just had a clumsy week. :P

December 2nd in #LIGHTtheWORLD was the subject "Jesus Honored His Parents, And So Can You." I wanted to take some time today to honor my parents - and parents everywhere. I think there are too many parents out there who think that they are failing because of what their child says or how their child acts in the moment. It`s like the sugar cookies I made... I put together the mix, and maybe I didn`t do everything right, and at first, my beautiful sugar cookies looked like a creepy goblin creation (this is a spiritual analogy; I`m not calling anybody`s baby a goblin.... :P). But I kept working and I didn`t give up and I did what I could, and after a while in the oven, they came out warm and sweet in little round cookie shapes (and were even better when covered in frosting... but I think I got lost in the metaphor). Anyways, what I`ve come to realize is that there are lessons that my parents taught me throughout my life that continue to come back to mind, even here, many years and many thousands of miles later. Particularly in trials, in the furnace of affliction, I have come to remember very specific phrases and lessons I was taught both vocally and by example by my wonderful parents. And how silly it is to me that parents get upset and self-critical because they aren`t perfect. How on earth would I have learned to truly repent if I hadn`t watched my parents do it? How better for me to learn humility than to watch my dad or my mom apologize for having done or said something wrong?

I`m saying this to all parents reading this. Look. You`re not perfect. Embrace it; you`re perfectly imperfect! Our loving Heavenly Father decided to give you some of His precious spirit children to raise here in mortality. God doesn`t make mistakes, and He made you a parent. You are doing so wonderfully. Keep working. Keep trying. I promise your children will thank you eternally simply for waking up and giving it your best every day. I would NOT be here, I would NOT be who I am today, if it weren`t for the incredible examples of my parents. Callings in the Church or social position never took a part in how I viewed them; just the effort they gave. I love you, Mom and Dad. You`re amazing and I am so grateful for every moment you gave and are giving. You`re doing so well.

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

Your average Montréal metro platform.... :P

Welcome to the Hochelaga district. :) Left to right: Sister Johnson, Sister Poulton, Sister Davis, Sister Hoffman, Sister Christensen, Elder Christensen, Elder Sykes, Elder Landetta, Elder Saunders, Elder Roubicek, Elder Colunga, et moi. :)

Driving the mission van through downtown Montréal.... (We were helping with a move :) ) Don`t worry Mom... Elder Colunga took the picture. I had both hands on the wheel, I promise. ;)

More downtown Montréal....

Last picture of downtown :) (btdubs, the buses are actually surprisingly comfortable here. Who knew?)

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