Monday, May 1, 2017

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people!🤣 Repentance...a ladder or a bike? Keep pedaling!🚲

Hi guys! :)

It was an awesome week! The Longueuil stake (where I served for over a year) had mini missions this past weekend and they had too many youth who wanted to come, so they needed some teams from the Montreal stake to help and we were one of the lucky teams who were chosen to receive a mini missionary. His name is Alex; we had a ton of fun together, and he did so awesome! He actually taught me a lot about listening and testifying. It was a great experience. (And yes, Mom, I have pictures :P)

Funny moment this week happened when we started talking to these men in a park while we were waiting for an investigator to get there. There were three guys sitting around a table and we walked up and said, "Hey guys! How are you?" To which one of them responded, "Oh no. I don't wanna hear it." He then started to go off on a rant against Christians. Now, I've discovered something on my mission. Somebody once said that laughter is the shortest distance between two people. I have figured out that people here can sometimes seem super rude, but if you can just be real with them and get them to laugh, things almost always get better, even if they're not interested. So I just try and make people laugh. And as this man was ranting, at one point he said, "You need to go home tonight and ask yourself, 'How long am I going to do this?'" So I interrupted him and said, "Until June." My companion laughed and said, "For me, until August." The look on this man's face was priceless. He had no idea what to say. Which was a perfect moment for us to start into an explanation of who we are and what we're doing here for two years. Now, he still wasn't interested, but we had a good conversation with some smiles and laughs and left on good terms. It was a good experience, and we had a good laugh the whole day thinking back on what he looked like when we answered his rhetorical question. I love laughing and I love the gospel; why not share both with as many people as possible?

I was studying repentance this morning in preparation for a lesson we will be having tonight and I had a thought. I used to think of repentance like a ladder; we climb up rung by rung, overcoming sin after sin. And when we mess up we drop back down a rung. It's honestly kind of a depressing analogy in my mind because it means that sometimes we can get kind of stuck on one rung for a while, not making any progress.

But as I was pondering this morning a thought came to me: maybe repentance is more like the pedals on a bike. We have to keep pedaling if we want to keep moving; if we stop pedaling, eventually we'll coast to a stop, especially if we're struggling to climb up a steep hill. Sometimes our progress may be fast or slow, but as long as we pedal consistently, the wheels will always keep turning, and we will always keep moving forward. Some hills are larger than others, and some sins take more effort and time to overcome. Often we are not strong enough to pedal our way up the hill on our own, and it is at these moments that our older Brother comes along side us and pushes us along as we strive to progress together with Him. Certainly, He could push us the whole way, but His goal is not just that we finish the journey; He wants us to be better and stronger for it. So we pedal on. And maybe sometimes we'll fall off the bike; maybe we'll get some cuts and bruises. Thankfully, our Brother also knows spiritual first aid, and He will help us and run along side us as we get back up, dust ourselves off and get back on the road. It is never too late to do so.

I guess my point is this: we have to keep pedaling, all the time. We have to keep up our pattern of repentance daily if we desire to keep up our spiritual momentum. And I know that as we do so, the Savior never leaves our side; He's been on this road before. He knows the bumps and holes and dangers along the route; He knows how hard it can be to get over some of those hills, and so He will stay with us, pushing us when we need it, picking us up from the dust when we fall, and always loving us and cheering us on.

Keep pedaling!

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

Elder Valencia, Alex, some weird guy :P

 This photo just made me laugh. :P Left to right: Savannah (the mini missionary who went with the Hochelaga sisters), Sister Terou, Sister Roush, Elder Valencia, Alex, me.

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