Hey everybody! 🙂
So, I got to talk with my wonderful family yesterday. Which was just the best. It was funny as well because I realized that if I forgot anything, I guess I can just talk to them about it in like… a month. XD Super weird to think about it. Anyways, we had a great time. I have the best family in the world.
I honestly am not sure what to write in this letter. I pretty much told my family everything they wanted to know, and I didn’t get the chance to think too much about it this past week because we were flying all over the place for lessons, exchanges, and meetings, so I’m just gonna wing it and see where it goes.
I guess I can just share something I learned about myself this week. It goes along with a quote from President Henry B. Eyring in this past priesthood session of General Conference:
“…the Lord’s work is not just to solve problems; it is to build people. So as you walk with Him in priesthood service, you may find that sometimes what seems like the most efficient solution is not the Lord’s preferred solution because it does not allow people to grow. If you listen, He will teach you His ways. Remember that God’s work and glory is not simply to run an effective organization; it is ‘to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’ (Moses ). This is, after all, why He gives His priesthood authority to flawed mortals like you and me and invites us to participate in His work. Our progress is His work!”
A good friend, a younger missionary with whom I was on exchanges this week, talked to me at the end of the exchange about this subject. He explained, “Elder McOmber, you are very effective. You know how to teach and you know how to find. It is very difficult to find something about the work that you don’t do well. But you need to understand that others have to grow to be where you are. And that means that you need to avoid taking over, and you need to let me and others try so that we can grow.”
This hit me so hard. I kind of knew this already about myself; when I get stressed or have a lot of things that need to get done, or when I feel like someone isn’t understanding something, I tend to take over, pushing others out of the way and trying to make sure things are taught and done “my way.” This is an aspect of my personal pride that I haven’t really put a lot of effort into tackling; but this wonderful missionary was a tool in the Lord’s hands in helping me recognize just how important it is for me to build people, not just solve problems. This is very, very difficult for me. And here’s the greatest part; I don’t have a magic formula. I really don’t know what my action plan is to improve in this right now. But I can tell you that I’m going to study the subject and make some specific goals to become a better coach.
As I think back on the rest of my mission and my life, there are so many people who have been such wonderful coaches for me, letting me teach and lead, even though I know I was not the most effective or concise. There were so many moments where I know that my parents, leaders, or companions must have just sat back and smiled, biting their tongues and remembering that I am imperfect but getting better. The process of stepping back and observing and letting others make decisions that may not always be the most efficient is so contrary to my character that it is almost laughable; yet I know that this is exactly what so many people, especially my Heavenly Father, does with me. It requires a high level of trust and a high level of patience, and we have to put more of that trust in the Lord, remembering that His grace will support and strengthen them far more than we ever could.
So that’s what I’m going to work on this week.
Elder Bryan McOmber