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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 30, 2015 The Lord Keeps You On Your Toes

It was great to see and talk to you this week! It does not feel like it's already been more than 7 months! It was great to see everybody happy and healthy, and the random buddies were a nice surprise. Christmas ended up being pretty awesome. After Skyping, we went and met with a less active, then we met up with our whole district and caroled. The caroling was a ton of fun.  Every companionship picked out a few of their less-active families and investigators. We took them little gift bags with brownies in them and sang a Christmas carol. Some of the people were super touched by it and a few tears were shed. Great experience I'll never forget it. It was a great way to forget yourself on a day when some might have been a little more susceptible to homesickness. 

We're having some awesome success with R--- and L---. Last night President approved us to have R---'s marriage and baptism on the same day, if he's ready. He really really wants to be baptized.  The marriage is the struggle right now, but things are looking good. L--- is almost for sure going to happen on the 16th or 17th (depends if he can get work off that Saturday), which is really exciting. He's flying through the Book of Mormon, and he loves it. That's the investigator update of the week. 

Other than those two guys and Christmas this week was pretty standard until yesterday. I feel like the Lord's letting me get comfortable then throwing me curveballs. I always liked hitting curveballs though.

Love you, I pray for you every day. I'll write another short email about the questions you asked.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23, 2015 Christmas Week!

So we had a pretty awesome week this last week. The Mission Christmas Devotional was on Friday in Ossining, which is the farthest I've been from the city since being here. They had this huge musical program planned and performed by missionaries with a couple talks and a huge Christmas dinner after. It's a pretty crazy experience because its one of the two (maybe the only from now on) times that the entire mission is together in one place. Other than that, the ward Christmas party was on Saturday. It was pretty awesome, Dominicans know how to cook for a group. We had R--- (Investigator with a bap. date) there and during the party we snuck out for a bit and showed him the baptismal font.  It was a super cool experience, he felt the spirit. We also did some finding activities that were pretty cool this week. We wrapped presents last Saturday and caroled yesterday, and tomorrow we're doing both of those again and taking brownies to a bunch of the less fortunate families in the ward and investigators. It's a great time to do it mostly because nobody really will set appointments with us on Christmas Eve. This last weekend we also set another baptismal date for the 16th of January and Rafael is on track and progressing to his baptismal date of January 9th. I'm so excited.

Thanks for the boxes, I've held off on opening most of them. I opened everything that was small and squishy and I went through my stocking, but the other stuff I'm saving. Tell Uncle Mark and Aunt Holly thanks for their present. We're going to set up the cardboard nativity seen in a less active less fortunate family's house because they don't have a whole ton of Christmas decorations.

I'm going to keep it a little short this week because we're talking on Friday, I'll add dad on skype today.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Apartment Christmas Picture
With Elder Gallego at the Christmas devotional
Rockefeller Center
The Tree

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 16, 2015 Wait, It's Winter??

Hey family, how's it going? The reason I subject per my email the way I did is because even though it's December and I'm in New York City it's still 60 degrees outside. People are saying this is one of the warmest winters in a really long time and I just keep laughing because it feels a lot like winter in Arizona. I've gone out with short sleeves for the last 3 days just to say that I can wear short sleeves in December in NYC and be perfectly fine.

We're having some really good success in our area by trying to focus on the importance of families and how the Gospel blesses them while we contact people. I'm very thankful that I can testify how the Gospel has blessed my family and that when the principles that missionaries teach investigators are lived families really are stronger. We've found that people are much more open to the message when you just start off testifying and promising them and their families blessings (especially in this culture where families are so important and are being so destroyed.)

Speaking of the culture I'm going to finish today by explaining the video that I'm going to send to you. We went on an exchange with our Zone Leaders on Saturday and Elder Colson and I had been looking for one of their investigators in their area when we heard some Mariachi music that sounded so real it had to be fake coming from a few floors up. We had thought that somebody had just opened their door and they were blasting some mariachi music, but it turned out to be a full band coming downstairs from the 6th floor. It was so random, we laughed for a solid 5 minutes.

Can you please tell Brother Holt thank you for the Box that he sent me, the card games  are pretty funny I don't know if I'll ever have a chance to play them though, and the 2 decks of playing cards that he sent are pretty sweet. Also the young women sent me a letter too, I appreciate it. I love you family and am excited to talk to you next week.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 9, 2015 Miracles!

Hey family--

How's it going? I should probably be able to be on the call at 4:00 Danish time, which is 10:00 my time and 8:00 Arizona time. I'll confirm with President that I'm allowed and make sure I send you my skype information.

So today was a ridiculously busy day with transfers so I don't have a whole ton of time to write today but I did want to tell you about my Saturday. This Saturday we had the coolest 2 hours I've had on my mission. We set 2 baptismal dates with new investigators that we had found that week. One's name is R---, he's living with a less active and he's so cool. Every time we teach him something new, even if it's something very unique to our church (I.e. Joseph Smith) he says "really?! I didn't know that!" And he doesn't even second guess that it's not true, it just makes sense to him. He's such a great guy, his baptismal date is for Jan 9th, Cole's birthday. The other investigators name is J---.  We ran into him on the street and he stopped us and said that he really needed to meet with us and after a handful of tries to meet with him we were finally able to meet up so and he has some awesome desire to learn more about the church. So yeah, this Saturday we set both baptismal dates with both of them back-to-back. It was really, really cool because we've really had some trouble finding people with intent so we haven't had anybody take a serious baptismal date for a long time (we've extended a bunch, just nobody's accepted). That night I was pretty down because I had a pretty good chance of getting transferred out and we had just had such a fantastic day with a ton to look forward to, so when we finally got the call and found out that we were both staying I was super excited.

Sorry this is so short. I love you! I promise to write more next week. I'll throw our zone picture from this last cycle on this email. I look like a dork because I had just jabbed one of our roommates/ZL's Elder Colson in the ribs while trying to make a funny face for the "funny picture" it's pretty goofy.

Con Amor,
Elder McBride

December 9, 2015 Transfers!

I'm sending off this is short letter about what's happening with our transfers. Elder Mackintosh and I are both staying as well as our roommates/Zone leaders. Other than that, basically the entire rest of our zone is getting changed around quite a bit. Our District leader and his companion are both leaving and my new district leader is Elder Gore who will be finishing his mission here after being an AP for the last 5 transfers (I'm super excited, he's great). His companion is Elder Tippiani(? No clue how to spell his name) who is a sign language missionary getting switched to Spanish. One of the Spanish sisters is going upstate and her companion is training a new missionary. With the English district both the sisters and elders have one leaving and another missionary coming in. Fun transfer, a lot of change besides our apartment. I'll write another letter about my week later. Love You!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December 2, 2015 Great Week!

Hey family!

It's great to hear about your thanksgiving. It sounds like it was quite the party. Ours turned out a lot chiller than we thought it would but it was still great. Wow! I can't believe Zach's home, it sounds like he's doing great. That's awesome to hear that Danny's getting ready to go on his mission.  Wish him luck for me.

Things are going well over here. We had a pretty sweet week. One of our investigators has just started to progress, his name is A--- and he is just super prepared to hear what we have to say. I've never seen somebody so readily accept the restoration in my life, he's eating it up. He's great and progressing but we have to help him grow his faith in order to make the jump from his old church (which he is very, very involved in) to our church. Also this week we found two new investigators that seem really sincere that should be progressing by the end of this week. I've been here for awhile and this is the most progress I've seen since I got here. This transfer cycle's starting to winding down, and I've been here awhile, so I might not be able to see these people through to the end, but it's whatever the lord wants. One cool thing that I found out this week was that we had this investigator that we taught for my first three months in the field that got baptized earlier this month. Long story short we taught him pretty regularly up until September then we were finally able to get him moved over to some elders in the Bronx where he could get baptized (because he lives but he spends most of his time and works in Manhattan) and in less than a month, baptized. The story's a lot more complicated and dramatic than that but that's basically what happened.

Other than that, I don't have a whole lot else to update you on. I got the box of Christmas decorations and stuff! Thank you so much! We haven't named the elf yet but, he has been a lot more active than Mr. Narwhal. He's already found his way into a few places that have really surprised my roommates and I. I'm going to put some pictures we took while walking through Central Park today. It was a little drizzly but not to cold so we walked through the park after finally getting Elder Mackintosh's hair cut. We tried to go last week, but the member barber we go to was super busy because of thanksgiving the next day. Late fall is super cool because the trees all have their own schedule so some of them are like super deep red or orange.

Con Amor,

Elder Sam McBride

Beautiful Winter Day in Central Park

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 25, 2015 Winter Is Coming!

Hey Family! 

I'm loving this weather! It's starting to get chilly especially when it's windy. I'm sure it's going to get really cold and I'll be sick of the cold before spring but, as of right now I still like the cold a lot more than the hot. 

We had our primary program this last weekend too. Oddly enough, both the English and the Spanish wards here had a little party after and the classes were canceled. I've never seen it before but, it was a ton of fun, the members brought a bunch of their friends, and a lot of less active members came. Kinda weird for the Sabbath though. 

We have some big hopes for this week with a few of our investigators and we have a few new ones too. One of them is named A---, he's super cool, he should be progressing by the end of this week and we're going to try to get him a baptismal date for sometime around Christmas. 

Speaking of Christmas, the Christmas initiative starts on Sunday, which is huge for us. We got to see the video a few weeks ago at zone conference, it's really good we're going to show it to everybody.

We got invited to go to a members family's Thanksgiving tomorrow. We all had to report whether or not we had somebody to feed us so president could make sure that everybody got Thanksgiving dinner. I'm pretty excited to see how these people are going to celebrate because the family we're eating with is 1st generation American so it's going to be a mix of a Peruvian feast and Thanksgiving.

It's cool hearing about all of the friends. How's Zach doing? I hear the adjustment from mission life to regular life can be rougher for some people. It's great to hear that Austen's doing well, I was really worried for him. Thanks for the update on the friends, Dad.

I hope you have a great thanksgiving, good luck with having everybody over. Tell them I said hi. Have a great week. Eat a lot of turkey.

Con Amor,

Elder Sam McBride

So for some reason they lit up the bridge for a few nights a little bit ago. It was super cool looking but, I'm not sure the picture does it justice. I promise, it was really cool looking.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015 Change Is Good!


We had a super good week this last week! We decided part way through the week that instead of just working harder, we were going to work a whole lot smarter. And since then we've had a lot more success and things have been really moving. By the end of this week we should have a couple baptismal dates and tonight we have a couple return appointments with people that we've really been struggling to contact that could be awesome. 

For some reason this last week we've had a bunch of people just walk up to us on the street and ask to meet with missionaries. Unfortunately most of them don't live in our area, I guess that's one of the downsides of serving here, especially when your area is only 15 streets long and about a half mile thick.

I'm happy everything's going great back home. I hope everybody's happy and healthy and doing well. Thanks for the stories, they're always entertaining. Oh, and don't be too worried about me and the France thing. I'm never really in an area that I feel like would be targeted.  It's so sad, we're really in the last days. Anyway, How's the new job going dad? How's Cole's football team doing? Is he still wrestling? Is Ike still doing music and art? I'm super super sorry for the short email this week. We went down to china town and went to a really fancy stationery store, Mom would've been in heaven. Then we went and got dumplings, Chinese foods still not really my thing but I tried it. And then we walked around and I got to watch my roommates walk around and get haggled by the Indian trinket salesman. It was a pretty interesting Pday, Chinatown's cool.

I love you, longer email next week. I promise.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11, 2015 Hey Family!

We had a pretty cool week over here in the city, it started off with that meeting that I told you we were going to go to last Thursday. It was a super cool meeting, there were a couple of brethren from the missionary department there but it was mostly run by President Smith. The big news is that he basically threw out the old Standard of Excellence because not a single companionship in the entire mission was hitting it, not a single companionship, literally nobody... So he and the Lord decided to throw out the old one and set a really super simple, difficult, but achievable, Standard of Excellence that I think might actually help to "expand our vision", like it's supposed to. Which is really cool, change is good, improvement is good, priesthood keys are good. Other than that we got some great instruction on planning and how we can improve as a mission, according to some surveys that everyone filled out right when I first came into the mission. It was really cool and I'm happy Elder Mackintosh and I got invited. I also got to see Elder Gallego for the first time since he got transferred a transfer and a half ago, he's always a hoot.

Other than that meeting we've had a pretty normal week so far, a lot of member work, we have a ton of less active members in our ward and so we spend quite a bit of time working on reactivation as well as the normal missionary work with investigators. It's fulfilling work, I love the feeling every time we have a member come to church that hasn't been for a really long time, there's nothing that quite feels like helping people participate in the Gospel. We also have a couple investigators that we're excited to meet with this coming week who'll hopefully be progressing in the next week or so. One of them came up to us on the street a few weeks ago and just straight up asked us how he could become a member of our church but, unfortunately, he left on a 2 week trip to Florida two days after we were able to meet him. He gets back Monday, so have your fingers crossed for that. 

We also have zone conference tomorrow, which is always really good. President sent us a talk from the most recent New Mission President Conference by both Elder Holland & Elder Christofferson (That's right both of them) to study for it. It's a very good talk/open discussion they had with the new mission presidents about "doing the will of the Father" and it's super cool to get to read it because I think the talks from that conference are only available to mission presidents. So, if the study material is any indicator for the conference it should be a good one.

I Love you Mom. You're the best thanks for being a great mom. Tell Cole and Ike that I love them.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4, 2015 It's Always an Adventure in New York

Hey Family! Seems like Halloween was a bunch of goofy fun as usual.  Halloween out here is super weird, all the kids still go out trick or treating but, instead of knocking on doors where people live, they walk down the avenues and trick or treat at the businesses. It's super goofy there were literally thousands of kids and their parents dressed up in Halloween costumes walking into barbershops, stores and restaurants swarming the poor employee whose job it was to hand  for the day. We only had one group of kids knock on our door all night and they were systematically knocking whole floors at the same time and then swarming any door that opened. It seemed to be working pretty well, every kid had a ton of candy and there were some adults following them carrying full sacks as well. Smart Kids, they must've done a bunch of buildings because they were flying.

Other than Halloween we had a pretty good week, we're trying reallyhard to work with the members right now, because there's a ton of "less actives" and part member families in our ward. The vision is to bring people back to renew their covenants and create Eternal families by completing part member families. It's a tough task, but nothing feels better than helping somebody find their way home.

We're having a really cool Pday so far. President approved for us to get taken out to lunch by a family friend of Elder Mackintosh's family. He's a nonmember so president was very supportive. His name is Immanuel Kelly, he's actually kind of famous. He made it pretty far on the Australian Xfactor and has a pretty cool story, you should look him up, super interesting guy and a crazy interesting life. He was found in a box in Iraq with some really serious physical disabilities, then he got adopted by an Australian woman and is blessed with a beautiful singing voice. Crazy. Other than that we did some extra grocery shopping last week so that we could have time to go down and see the MET.

The cheesecake turned out well but, we ended up not making it until Monday. We really didn't do to much for Halloween because our roommates had to weekly plan and Elder Mackintosh is kinda sick and he wasn't feeling very well on Saturday. So I watched Elder Holland talks, it was a good night. It was scary for the first couple of weeks but, then you just get used to figuring out how to communicate, I hope I'll be a pro in the next year and a half. As for the other questions I don't really need much, I don't have any warm socks yet so I'm gonna need some of those and my iPad case is falling apart but other than those things I don't really know of anything else yet. I'll get back to you once it gets cold.

This next week's going to be pretty cool, Elder Mackintosh and I got invited to a special MLC up in Scarsdale with Elder Donaldson from the 70 tomorrow. We don't really know why we got invited, but it should be awesome. And we have Zone Conference which is always a blast.

Sounds like you guys had a pretty busy week back home. Good luck Dad with the new job! Cole keep being a beast, don't burn yourself out keep that fire. Ike keep doin you stud. I love you Mom, I appreciate everything you've done for me. Have a great week.

Con Amor,
Elder McBride

A friend from our home ward's sister, who lives in Manhattan, found Sam and sent this picture.
Made our day!  What a small world!

Walking through Central Park to get to the MET.

It's Fall. I bet you're so jealous Mom (I am)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 28, 2015 Transfers! Kinda...

So today's transfer day, but not a lot changed for me.  Only one person in our entire zone got changed and it was one of the English sisters.  I'm super happy though, Elder Mackintosh and I are doing really well together, our roommates are awesome, and all the other Elders are pretty cool too. To answer your question, I've loved training so far, it's truly a growing experience. It's like jumping into a really cold pool instead of slowly letting yourself in. Since Elder Mackintosh is so awesome it hasn't been very hard but, especially at first, it was very nerve racking to be forced to speak Spanish without a safety net.  The Lord will do his part though, as long as you're striving to be your best.

It's great hearing about back home, what an exciting week. Good Luck with the new Job, Dad, I'm sure you'll kill it! Cole has got to be the busiest person on the planet! How does he do all that without being tired all the time? I'm so proud of Ike, remember a few years ago when we were all worried that he would really really struggle in school?  Look at him now, doing well in school, and still being awesomely crazy. Mom, sounds like you're having a great time teaching young women's. That system kind of sounds how a perfect lesson with an investigator should go, follow up, teaching, application and commitments. Can I make one suggestion? Always encourage them to pay attention and see if the things they learn apply to people they know, and then to act on the promptings they receive and share it. The Gospel's a gift and it's free to give and happily accepted by the people that need it.

Halloween here is a mission wide curfew. From what I hear people are nuts on Halloween, so they just try to keep the missionaries out of the fire. Our plans consist of making a cheesecake, going to bed early, and maybe playing Jenga. I bet the house is super decorated, it feels weird not having a bunch of decorations up haha.

I've gotten my haircut twice and both times we've gone down to this barbershop in Harlem that's owned by a member named Evaristo, they give any missionary that shows up there on Wednesdays a free haircut.  Both times I've gone Evaristo's Ben there and if he cuts your hair it's basically no choice you get a "Dominicut" which is basically just a normal really short haircut but with the front of your hair left really long.

I did get my shoe fixed. I took it in and they said they were going to glue the piece back down so it was only $5 but when I went to pick it up we had to wait forever but they replaced the entire leather piece for no extra charge.

I Love you so much! Have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015 Busy Pdays

Hey Family! 

What's happening? I'm happy that you had an awesome trip, Elder Mackintosh went on one of those bus rides across America church tour things and saw a bunch of the stuff that you guys saw haha. What does it feel like to ride in a car for that long? I can't even remember it's been awhile since I've been in a car for more than a few minutes.

There's not a whole lot to update you about but, we did set a baptismal date with a friend of some young men in our ward and we had a bunch of less actives that we've been working with at church this last week. We've got transfers next week, I'm not to sure how much is going to change but it's always fun meeting new people. We're not expecting too much change, but I learned last cycle that really anything can happen.

I loved the weather this last week, I don't know how long I'll like it because in the next few months it's going to get really cold but, as of now I love how the weather is here.  I'm sorry this is such a short email, we're really busy today running around and getting winter clothes. Sometimes Pdays can be super super busy out here in the city because there's just so much you have to do and so little time to do it.

I love you and pray for you all the time.  
Thanks for the care pack Dad, it was great.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

I took a selfie to show you the "Dominicut" I got this morning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14, 2015 Lots of Learning for Just a Week

This week was pretty awesome. On Thursday the Bench's took us out to dinner, they were super sweet. I told Sister Bench that Dominicans make great chicken parmesan, and I was right, but, when they brought out her plate it had 3 full breasts and there was no way she was going to be able to eat it all. So she made us eat the rest of what she didn't eat, which was most of the plate. 

Friday was that special zone conference with Elder Arnold of the 70. It was great, we learned a ton and he just kind of refocused the entire mission on some teaching and planning principles that we've been trying to apply and have had some really good success with so far. On Saturday, Elder Mackintosh's best friend's parents took us out to lunch and were really nice.  They had been planning it for more than a week. The rest of the weekend was good, nothing too exciting happened. Then on Monday, we found out that the old paper Area Book had never been transferred into the iPads, even though we've been using them for more than 2 years. So we're hoping to capitalize on some seeds planted by some other missionaries in the next few weeks. And Yesterday we had 2 fantastic lessons with some in/less active members and it's looking like we're going to be rounding in some lost sheep, which, in my opinion, is just as good as baptisms, especially in a ward like ours which is like 20% active. So yeah, that's my missionary report of the week. 

We're heading down to the temple to play some basketball and to pick up the box that dad left for me at the Bench's apartment. We were going to go to the Met but, we ran out of time to go all the way to the East side today, maybe next week.

It was great to hear from you. Mom those decorations looked great, that's such a perfect job for you. How often are you working? Is it mostly just shopping? Or do you mostly just rearrange the decorations that you already have? Cole! Keep it up you stud! I wish I had had the drive to get straight A's. I'm jealous of Ike's music stuff too, it would be so helpful to be able to play the piano.   Nobody in our entire zone can play well enough to play more than a couple hymns. Dad, why were you in NY? It's a bummer that it was such a surprise, otherwise we would've been able to meet up.

It's getting to that time, I'm going to need to start buying winter clothes. Elder Mackintosh and I, since we're both new, are going to go winter shopping next week. I'm kind of worried because other than that coat, I've got nothing haha. Have a great week. I love you. Happy Birthday Mom!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

I'm going to include a couple pictures, they're not super exciting.  Just a selfie that Elder Mackintosh took with just a little warning and a couple pictures we took around the GW bridge the other day while we were looking for a member who lived super out of the way. They didn't turn out too great, but, maybe you'll like to see the area a bit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 7, 2015 Conference!

Hey Family! 

Everything's going well out here in New York. Conference was really cool. We watched every session at the church, because we weren't supposed to watch it at a members house, but a bunch of our members came out to the church anyway so it wasn't super weird in the Spanish room. Though we watched the English feed in the chapel (because neither of us can really follow well enough to get a lot out of a talk), and it was pretty much completely empty except for missionaries and a handful of English members. 

President approved us to go to the Priesthood session past curfew, which I'm super thankful for because president Monson's talk was really good. Some awesome members fed us in between sessions and in between the Saturday afternoon and the Priesthood session there was a baptism with dinner after. So, with the baptism, all the food, conference sessions, and the extra training studies we're supposed to do, we didn't even make it to our area all weekend. We did have a few people make it out to conference though and we taught a lesson or two in between sessions, so it wasn't a complete lack of missionary work we just didn't get to do any "normal" proselytizing.

I loved this conference, there were so many great talks. I loved the new apostles, each one of them said something that has stuck with me, and Elder Rasband shouted our mission out. Elder Holland's talk was
great, I bet it made mom feel great. The scripture I'm "ponderizing" is Alma 33:10. The President Monson thing was pretty sad but, he finished his talk, considering what he must've been feeling that's amazing. That man is living example of divine support.

Other than Conference we had our interviews with the president this last week, this was my 2nd one and it's always a great experience. This week is going to be pretty cool, on Friday we have a special zone
conference because Elder Arnold from the quorum of the 70 is coming to the mission. We had a bunch of things to study and I'm sure it's going to be awesome.

It's great hearing from you. Thanks for writing to us Ike, you're awesome!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

P.S. President Bench called us a couple of days ago and said that he called president and got approval to take Elder Mackintosh and I out to dinner tomorrow, and I just saw him in the temple so that's pretty awesome. What a small world.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30, 2015 Hello Family

Hey Family, 

It's great to hear everybody's got their thing going on back home. Mom has a job, Ike's playing music, Cole's getting straight A's while playing the 2 most exhausting sports I've ever played, and Dad's job shopping. It's like everyone's lives got a lot more interesting now that me and Max aren't there. I'm jealous that Ike's actually doing musical stuff, I feel like I say this every week but, I wish I had. Which companies are Dad interviewing with?

Over here we had a solid but slow week. The first part of the week was pretty standard, until Friday when we got to go up to Scarsdale to have Elder Mackintosh's new Missionary meeting. It was pretty sweet.  I've really been blessed with a lot of opportunities to go to a bunch of meetings with President Smith in the opening months of our missions. Besides that, it was a pretty standard week of teaching, studying, and knocking on doors when we have appointments cancel. The works going pretty well, we're trying to find that golden investigator that's ready to receive us.

Well there's not a whole lot more to add today except for that we went to the natural history museum and somebody mistook us for being with the huge group of messianic Jews that were already in the museum so a lady came up and handed us some tickets and told us to go in and it wasn't until after we got into the museum that we realized that when they asked us if we were with the others they weren't talking about other missionaries. We didn't feel too bad because it was donation day anyway and we were only planning on paying $5.

I'm going to throw a panorama that we took of our zone from Fort Tryon park near the Cloisters.

I love you!
Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23, 2015 Training

The first week of training was pretty good. It's a real testimony strengthener, training. Especially when you feel like you should still be being trained. Elder Mackintosh is awesome, I couldn't have asked for a better trainee. He's really patient with me and understands that I'm still learning too. My Spanish has really started taking off, the gift of tongues is real, I wouldn't have been able to do it without a
bunch of extra help.

So this week has been pretty nuts with the new missionary and all that stuff but there isn't a whole ton to update you guys on because if you want to know what we did you can just go back 12 weeks and look at my old emails about what we did on my first week... Except my new companion's IPad isn't working yet because it came with IOS 9 installed on it which doesn't get along very well with the Church's security
software. He's going to get it on Friday at the New Missionary Meeting.

The cool story from this last week is basically the miracle that I'm actually able to speak good enough Spanish and do the things you need to do to be a missionary, while teaching a new missionary. Sometimes things get stressful then you sit back and think. "Why am I stressed? Look what the Lord has helped you do, if he made it able for you to do/learn that he will help you do/learn [insert struggle here]. You'll be fine, just try your best." And then you lift your head up, smile, and go to work.

So yeah, other than that I don't have a ton to update on, I'm doing great, I love you. I hope you're  all safe, happy, and not too stressed. Cole, don't stress about missing school, you have class every day there will always be time to make it up. Ike, keep up the music, I wish I had. I'll answer those questions that you have. The Q&A's make it so easy.

1.  Where are your companions from?

Elder Mackintosh From Lehi, Utah. The English District leader in our zone called that I would be training him when they saw his picture on Facebook like 4 weeks before we even knew I would be training, pretty crazy.

How old are they?

He turned 19 in the MTC and he's fresh out of High School

How about the other guys in your apartment?

Elder Smith is 20, from Salt Lake and he went to a semester of college at the U before.  Elder Colson is also 20, from Albuquerque New Mexico, and He worked a year before coming out

2.  What are your Sundays like?

Pretty much a normal day except we go to church from 11-2 then come home and do language study and 12 Week. We almost always tract on Sunday nights because everyone's home.

Do you attend multiple wards?

Nope we only go to 1 ward and there's 8 missionaries in it. So it's actually the complete opposite haha

Where do you attend? 

Our building is by 200th and Dyckman and we're in
the Inwood 2nd Ward.

Is it a building like we are used to or something different?

The building is a lot like a normal one except it has 3 levels. The bottom one is a garage and the top two are like a regular church building.

3.  How much do you knock on doors?

A lot

Someone mentioned to me that they didn't think that tracting was part of the program anymore and I laughed out loud.  Do you mostly contact on the street?

The goal nowadays is to do the majority of your finding through the members. In some places they don't need to tract anymore because member referrals but in places where the Ward is small and shared with other missionaries, there just isn't really going to be a lot of work unless you tract. Some missions in other countries I've heard also don't tract because it's too dangerous (MTC teacher went to Mexico and wasn't allowed to tract).

How safe do you feel knocking on doors?

I feel super safe. I've never once been straight up yelled at or threatened or anything really scary.

4.  What kind of service activities do you participate in?

We haven't done a whole lot of service but, we do teach English Classes twice a week and have service opportunities with members sometimes.

Are there organized projects?

Usually no

Do you go to certain places over and over? Or is it just case by case?

Case by case usually except for English class our companionship teaches every other Thursday.

5.  How do you divide up the cooking and cleaning duties?

We kind of just do our own thing and then sometimes we work together and make something special. Ideally we just clean up after we do whatever and it never gets to bad but, that doesn't always happen so when we need to do a special cleaning on a pday we divide up what we need to do and get it done. And every transfer the day or two before the transfer the people who aren't cleaning the apartment do a really deep clean.

Do you feel like you know how to clean?

I'm not the one to ask that would be my roommates. I feel like I'm fine at cleaning though.

6.  Have any of your roommates been good cooks?

Elder Smith is a really good cook, so sometimes he'll make something really good, but usually we don't have the time or the energy to cook anything more complicated than Mac and cheese.

7.  What do you do on P-days besides write to us?

Sometimes we'll go do something cool like my first pday when we went to the 9/11 memorial or go play some sport. But a lot of the times we do our laundry and get our groceries and just kind of relax.

8.  What do you do for exercise?

I mostly just do some push ups in the morning because we walk around all day and a lot of buildings don't have elevators, so I kinda count that as my working out, and do some push ups for obedience's sake.

9.  Have you heard from any friends?

Ha but not for a bit I shot off a couple how are you doing emails today

10.  People always say that crazy things happen on the mission that its best for moms not to know.  Like crazy people being taught or crazy comps or missionary associates.  So are there any crazy things you are not telling me?

Crazy stuff happens, but nothing you need to be worried about.

11.  What are your feelings about fasting?

Fasting is awesome, I've really gained a testimony of it these last couple of weeks ever since I was called as a trainer. I fasted the Sunday before and it really reassured me.

12.  Packages.  Did you finally get our packages, Max?  And Sam, I sent one to you too with your coat in it.

Yes. Thank you, you guys are so nice.

I Love you so much,
Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride