January 9, 2017


Montreal, Canada


Elder Colunga

Here, let my concentration give you a gorilla.🦍 Negativity accomplishes nothing.

Hey everybody! :)

So... it's been a cold week! I have legitimately contemplated putting my hands on a hot stove top when we got home a couple times (I promise I won't, Mom). Life in Canada. :) So many people we talk to are like, "It's cold, I can't talk to you." And I just think, "Man, I've been out here for like 3 hours. I bet you can still feel your ears. Come on, sacrifice!" Then I don't say that because it probably isn't very charitable to say to them. :) I have also thought of saying, "Well, my companion can just give you a hug while we talk." Also probably not the best idea. But it's fine because my lips are usually somewhat frozen by that point so if I tried to say that (especially in French) it would probably come out more like, "Here, let my concentration give you a gorilla." Speaking in the cold is an art, and I have no talent. XD

Funny moment this week: my companion has begun setting alarms on the phone with strange noises or phrases. So on Tuesday I woke up in the morning to the same scream Darth Sidious makes when Darth Vader throws him off the edge of the Death Star. Over. And over. And over again. Have you ever just woken up ready to hit somebody? I now have. We also developed some great quotes. One of my favorites comes from Elder Saunders, who was just transferred out of Hochelaga (le pire!!). One of the sisters apologized to him for something or another and he responded, "If sorry meant anything, there wouldn't be a need for police!" We died. It was hilarious. :)
We had a great moment of repentance earlier this week. Elder Colunga and I were working on some stuff on the computers at the mission office. We were talking together and, without entering into details, we checked something that was supposed to be done by somebody a month ago and found out it hadn't been done. We began complaining and murmuring and became very, very frustrated with this situation. At this point the sister missionaries in our ward walked in and, when we had explained the situation, they recognized the real problem and called us to repentance. To quote what they said, "Elders, we know you're frustrated, and we understand why, but negativity is going to accomplish nothing. You'd do a lot better to use your energy on helping and supporting and building rather than wasting it on criticism."

So, after we'd made a quick stop at the nearest store that sold sack cloth and ashes, we set some goals to avoid frustration and criticism. The sisters, bless their hearts, had reminded us very clearly that our attitude is our decision and nobody can make us frustrated or angry without our consent. This is something that I have struggled with for pretty much my whole life; learning to support and help others, and expect the best of them, and not getting frustrated when they don't meet those expectations. This also applies to myself; expecting the best of myself and not getting frustrated when I don't make it sometimes.

I had a thought this week though. True conversion, true progress, comes in those little moments of decision we have every day. The best way I have found to avoid getting frustrated with myself is to focus on those moments when I DID do my best, and then try to make those happen more often. I think this applies to others as well. We have to learn to praise the little moments where those around us do the right thing, and help them (not destroy them) to do it more often.

So that's my invitation this week! Do that! :)

En avant!

Elder Bryan McOmber

The attached pictures are:
1) This was our New Year's Eve meal: sweet and sour chicken on top of french fries on top of fried rice. We felt accomplished. :)

2) Did we wanna build a snow man? Yes, yes we did.

3) Trees are super pretty when they're covered in snow. Then it falls on you and you wonder why the idea of snow ever occurred.


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