Monday, March 13, 2017

I. Am. A. Popsicle.❄️ Laughing over spilt Be the difference others need! 💕

Salut tout le monde! :)

C`était une très bonne semaine. On a eu des très bonnes lecons et je n`ai pas des plaintes! :)

I have decided I will only speak French when I get home and I will force my family to learn it if they want to understand me. :P

IT IS SO DANG COLD. The last few days have been like -30 with wind chill and one of those days was pretty much empty as to lessons so we ended up doing a few hours of street contacting (talking to people on the street while trying not to let your hands freeze off while you attempt to write down their name). Not even joking, the condensation from my breath into my scarf froze on my eyebrows and made me feel like that one ice beast from Frozen (all good things, all good things). It`s also a super fun game to try and see the amount of time it takes for your fingers to move after your brain tells them to. The lag time is insane. XD

Anyways. It`s supposed to get warmer this week. I`m excited. #missingArizona

Funny moment this week... so, P day last week was pretty funny. I was passing Elder Colunga the milk after we`d gone shopping so he could put it away in the fridge. I wasn`t looking while I passed it, so I let go thinking he had it, and apparently he didn`t really have it. About 2 seconds later I heard an explosion and looked down to see milk pouring out all over our fake tile floor. At first I thought Elder Colunga had just thrown it down on the floor like that weird trend back when I was home (reminds you all how long I`ve been gone) and I was like, "MAN that milk cost us like 7 bucks why did you do that?!?!" And he knew exactly what I was thinking so he immediately said, "I promise you I did not mean to do that." Meanwhile there was milk everywhere so we set about cleaning it up. And since our washer was connected to our sink (first world problems), and somehow some milk got on some of our clean dishes (I honestly don`t know how), I went into the bathroom to wash them off in the tub and proceeded to turn on the water, not realizing that it was on "shower" mode rather than "bath" mode. Guess who got his head soaked? This guy. Elder Colunga thought it was hilarious. I stayed quiet because I was taught when I was young that if I don`t have something nice to say I should just clean the milk off of the baking sheet.

Anyways. A wonderful experience to remember, but not to repeat. :)

I was thinking a lot about love this week, about charity and selflessness. I was thinking about how we are so very loved and we just don`t even understand that. See, I think sometimes this world just gets so cruel. We get so focused on what isn`t working in our lives, what hasn`t been solved, what just fell apart, who doesn`t care, and even in a perfectly blue sky we can tend to search out that wisp of a cloud and call it a stage 4 hurricane.

I have grown to love and admire those who look outward. Those whose lives are falling apart in the eyes of many, and yet they are the first to reach out to a struggling soul. Those who seem to barely be keeping their heads above water, and yet many others can attribute life-changing décisions to their support. These are the Good Samaritans. And what`s so bittersweet is that often, these modern Good Samaritans don`t even come to know, perhaps in their whole lives, what good they have done. Some of them may even give up, thinking they haven`t changed anything regardless of their efforts.

I want to tell you about a man I met in my first area. I will call him John, although it is not his real name. I am certain that he is one of the biggest reasons I managed to stay on my mission in those first 6 months. I love this man more than I think he knows.

John had a very difficult time that year. He had recently lost his oldest son, who had been married only a few months earlier, in a car accident, and some of his other children had chosen paths which caused him and themselves a great deal of pain. He was serving in several callings that demanded a lot of him, and was also trying to simultaneously keep his family together and moving forward. He and his wonderful wife, who I`ll call Jane, let us come over to their house for haircuts every so often, and while my companion was getting a haircut I would sit down at their piano and play for a while, missing many notes and struggling to remember songs I used to play. John would come in and sit down or stand behind me and listen, and he and Jane praised me and made me feel like one of their own children. When I couldn`t speak French, they would listen to me and help me, patiently waiting for me to stumble through and explain a story. On Saturdays, I would get in the car with John and my companion would go with another brother in the branch and we would drive around the city, delivering boxes of food to those who needed it. I loved the talks we would have. And I loved watching him interact with people. For John, everone was important. He knew their names. He knew what was going on in their lives. He seemed full of energy, and as soon as someone would open the door he would come bounding in and give them a kiss on the cheek (it`s a French thing) and start asking them about their family or their job or a million other things. I never once heard him complain or murmer.

On days where I felt like nobody cared and nobody listened, I know John did. On days where I felt like I couldn`t speak French and I never would, I knew John would listen and John would understand. When I would walk into church on Sundays, struggling to hide the doubt and discouragement and self-criticism, I knew that if John could keep that much energy and joy in his life with all he was going through, if he could walk up to me and shake my hand and make me feel like I was the most important person in the world for just a moment, I could serve this mission. I could speak French. I could talk to strangers. I could grow and learn.

John and Jane are some of the most Christlike people I have ever met in my life. I don`t have the chance to see them very often anymore, as they live an hour and a half away, but I plan on letting them know just how much they have done for me. My worry is that there are some people in this world who never get to hear that, who never get to know just how much they`ve affected someone else`s life.

I want each one of you to understand something. If you wonder if you`re helping, if you wonder if you`re making a difference, if you wonder if your efforts matter, stop wondering. You are. They do. You just may not see it. But if John can have made that big of a difference in my life and doesn`t even know it, I know that you are making that big of a difference for someone. People tend to be a bit guarded and a bit slow to change, but they open up and they change. And I promise that as we strive to emulate the Savior`s example, we will be amazed one day to find how many people will approach us and say, "Thank you. Thank you for what you`ve done for me. Thank you for who you are." Every interaction is for something. The Savior spent only 33 years on this planet and yet His words and mission have influenced all of His Father`s children for thousands of years, even since the very beginning, when it was explained to Adam that there would be a Savior. Can we really think that if the Savior has commanded us to be "even as [He is]," that He would not consecrate our efforts in that regard to help us as well as others? If His mission was all about helping others, and we`re trying to do the same, can we really think that He will not intervene and help us help His other brothers and sisters?

I testify that He cares. He cares about you and He cares about me. And He cares too much to let our efforts to be like Him go unaided. He is not a dictator, watching idly behind a screen as we fight our own battles. He is our Captain, our ready companion in our darkest moments. I know He lives! I know He loves us!

So keep loving! Keep sharing! And trust that He will make you and your efforts into more than you can imagine!

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

Sorry there`s not more than one.... :P

When it`s -30 outside and there`s not even snow and you hate your life....😂

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