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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24, 2015 Here and Safe!

Hey what's up? 

I bet you weren't expecting to hear from me today.  Wednesday is my P-Day. I'm in the Inwood zone, Washington Heights area.  Inwood is the northernmost part of Manhattan and I hear it is like a little Dominican Republic. I'm pretty excited because I really didn't want to go to a place that speaks a lot of English for my first place.  My Trainer is Elder Buckley from Ogden.  From what I hear, he's a beast.

So everything went well traveling, except the Atlanta airport doesn't have any pay phones, which really distressed 2 of the sisters in our group, but we were able to use the delta help desk and a sunglasses store's phone so that everybody could make a quick call home. 

When we got to White Plains President and Sister Morgan were there waiting for us with 6 missionaries. The AP's, the office missionaries, and 2 native speakers that went straight from home to the field because their language is good enough and they were living on the East coast. After meeting everyone and getting our bags, we were whisked off to the mission home in the mission van. The mission home is this beautiful old White House that is really big.  You would love it, Mom. 

After we had a little health and safety lesson by Sister Morgan, we got our Ipads, but the AP didn't have the paper that we needed to have to set it up so It just sat there until this morning. These things are gonna be sweet.  I won't have to carry around very much at all. After the iPads we waited around until President Morgan and the other AP got back from waiting for 2 missionaries returning to the field. Turns out that flight tracker told them they had taken off, but really they were on the runway for 2 hours in Virginia waiting for some weather to clear. 

Sister Morgan made us Thanksgiving dinner because "We are so thankful for you". We are their last new group so she was really happy she doesn't have to make a Thanksgiving dinner every 6 weeks anymore. After dinner we had a little testimony meeting, then went to bed on some really small beds on the third floor. I slept better there than I've slept since I've left home, probably because I was running off of 4 hrs sleep.  

We got ready, then had our interviews with President Morgan where he told me who my companion is and where I'd serve. Then we took pictures, ate breakfast and left for the city for transfer meeting. When I got there, Chandler gave me a 4 limbed jumping monkey hug. He's a ZL. My trainer adores him. Then after the transfer meeting, Elder Buckley and I went to unpack, since its P-Day and now I'm here sitting in the lobby of a legit NY City apartment building writing you. We're about to go to a really "cheap" grocery store to get food.  We don't have a ton of members in the ward to feed us, so we get a lil extra money every month. We only have 2 appointments tonight with a member and with the 1st counselor of the ward, 1 in English, 1 in Spanish. I'm excited!  My comp is really good at Spanish.  He spoke a little bit of "Dominican Spanish" to me and its very interesting, so this is gonna be fun. 

love you all! Wish me luck!

Con Amor,
Elder McBride

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015 Travel Plans!

Hi Family,

I'm so ready to be out of here! The other missionaries in my district are saying that they think it went by so fast, but I feel like I've been here for a year haha. Pretty normal week, I'm still sick, but I went to the doctor and he prescribed me some hardcore cough meds, and probably an antibiotic tomorrow so hopefully I'll be good by Tuesday. Good thing I saw him because the Health Center can only charge $10 for prescriptions, so it's pretty cheap and we get to walk down to the BYU Health Center to pick them up which is super nice because the weather's great, but here at the MTC you're mostly inside or walking underneath these massive sidewalk covers so you don't get a ton of sun. 

We had a sister go home from our district at the beginning of this week for some health/mental things word is that she's doing good.

The new guys in our zone are pretty cool.  All of them except for 1 are 18 and only 2 of them didn't just graduate. It's weird having all these guys around us because before they got here our zone consisted of mostly missionaries who had finished a year of college and worked. So now there is a little immature high school drama, but most of them have a real desire to be here. 3 of them are from AZ. 1 of them just graduated from Mtn. View.  He's pretty cool, Elder Buress he's like a 6'5 skinny volleyball player. We got a new missionary yesterday.  He went home early from the Mexico MTC last year and is coming back out. His name is Elder Gubler from St. George he says he knows Uncle Mark, Hailee, and Malea. I've only had a sec to get to know him but he seems pretty devoted. 

I get these bursts of energy, then I get super tired.  I've fallen asleep in personal study time twice this week. I hadn't fallen asleep once until this week during the day haha. Other than that, I've been doing super good.  I finished my language book yesterday, which does not mean I can speak Spanish, but it does mean that I've been taught all of the tenses.

Ike and Cole's emails were so sweet. I read Ike's to Elder Porter and we laughed at how he explained his joke, so cute. Good Luck, Cole!  Be a stud.  Try your best and if you do, be content with the result. I repped my RMD shirt this morning.

I love you all so much and look forward to talking to you on Tuesday I already sent you a separate email with my travel plans on it.

Con Amor,
Elder McBride

p.s. Yep, I found Larry. Check-ins are pretty calm if you don't get assigned to be a "Host", which basically just shows the newbie's around. Haven't seen my pres yet but I wouldn't be surprised if he were here. Elder Porter hasn't gotten to sing yet.  We're hoping for the big Devo on Sunday. Yep he's kind of a goofball loves musicals and stuff like that, too.

These are the new guys minus the newest one who came in yesterday.

Elder Porter and Elder Canlass walking to the temple.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 11, 2015 Audition

Dear Mom/Family,

It was a pretty boring week here at the MTC.  We had a cool speaker on Tuesday, Sister Burton, the General Relief Society President, and her Husband who's about to be the President of BYU Hawaii. The Husband was really cool.  He made an analogy where the mantle of a mission is like a suit coat that's to big for you. Then you grow into it during your mission.  Then after the mission is over, the suit coat comes off, but you are a better/bigger man because of it. I hope that made sense, but it was really cool in the meeting because he had a small missionary up to put his coat on haha. 

She was a good speaker, too, but she asked people's feelings on some topics and she says to have like 2 or 3 people to come up to the microphones and like 8 people go up and give their life stories. One guy I noticed went up 5 times and told these really long stories. So she had to cut some stuff out, but it was still a pretty good talk. 

Our zone traditionally has 2 districts. 1 that's been here for awhile and a newer one and at the beginning of this week the district above us left to the field, which is pretty sad, but then yesterday we got 6 new elders. They came along with a rumored 600 new missionaries yesterday. 3 are from AZ. Elder Burris went to Mtn View and just graduated. Then there's Elder Smith from Glendale and Elder Johnson from Ahwatukee.  He went to Westview. I think they're all going to the El Salvador west/Bolivia mission (pretty cool 2 countries). Then we have 3 more Elders going to Florida Elder Walton, Williams, and [Utah]Smith. Yep 2 Smiths pretty random.  We're gonna try to call them by their states. 

You're probably wondering why I'm writing so late. The reason is actually pretty cool. We always plan our P-Days perfectly, so we don't waste any time in the morning, so we have as much free time as possible, but today we had to go to an audition. I mentioned in an earlier email that my companion, Elder Porter, is really musically talented, but that was being modest.  He's actually crazy talented... savantesque. He has a background in DJing, music producing, musicals, playing the piano, and singing with a super impressive tenor voice haha. So ever since the day I found out how good he was, I've been nudging him to audition for one of the big Sunday devotional special musical numbers. I wasn't very pushy because he's a little shy/timid sometimes, but he finally decided he would do it this week. So after laundry today, we (Me, Canlass, Jenks, and Porter) got dressed up all fancy 2 hours early (we usually stay in casual clothes till 12) and went to this audition. 

He plays and sings the most gentle/emotional version of Called to Serve you could imagine. So one of the rules to musical numbers is that you CANNOT accompany yourself.  But we didn't know that until we got there and all the wives of the MTC Presidency told us pretty straight up that he wouldn't be allowed to play and sing, but they would let him audition still playing for himself.  We had to wait a few minutes for one of the Sisters to go to the bathroom or something, so while we were sitting there we kinda talked him up and we got that sort-of eye roll "yeah I'm sure". Then he started playing and they literally almost started to cry.  It was so satisfying haha. During the song the MTC 1st president poked his head in and was engrossed.  After, the Wives were so excited and said that they're going to try to let him do its by himself, but if they can't, they're going to get him the best accompanist they can so that he can teach them the song (he wrote the accompaniment in his head). It was pretty awesome to see because they were like "we have to make this happen" and "we've never done this before but...". So yeah, that's my companion, Elder Porter.  He might be the first ever missionary to play the piano and sing as a MTC Special Musical number. 

Not a lot of updates on me.  I'm feeling a lot better but I still have this nagging cough that I heard sticks around for like 15-18 days which means I have another 2 or 3 days left. I finished all the pills, but by the time those were gone I was feeling better, so I don't need anymore. Thanks so much.  I'm gonna try to send a couple pics but it's sketchy sometimes.

Con Amor,
Elder McBride 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 4, 2015 2 1/2 Weeks Left and Lots of MTC Pics

Dear Mom,

I sent you a ton of pics with captions so I'm gonna keep this short. This week was tough.  I caught a cold last Thursday that is just starting to lighten up, but I just decided I was gonna fight through it so I didn't have to miss any class and it didn't really seem to affect how fast I was learning.  I just kinda felt like crap while I was learning. 

We had Elder Christofferson, its really weird having apostles come in and talk a little less formally than normal. He talked about Elder Perry and how awesome he was.  He said that a lot of the time they would have things come up in the 12 and he would say, "Give it to the 5 young Boys" (Bednar, Holland, Anderson, Christofferson, and Cook).  It was really funny. Then he proceeded to answer basically Missonary FAQ's haha. He gave some good advice on a bunch of different stuff. 

The other district in our zone leaves next Monday and Tuesday.  Then we get a new district on Wednesday.  It'll be fun to meet the new people, but I'm really gonna miss the other guys. I'm bummed Larry and Jack aren't coming a little earlier.  I'll be looking for Larry because I'll probably be a Host (one of the people who meets them on the curb and takes them to their room and classroom, so I'll try to find him). 

Congrats on an awesome trek and good job making it fun for them. Tell Ike I love him and tell Cole, too, and to really take advantage of those first scout camps.  They make it a lot easier to get your eagle in the end. I love you all so much.  Thanks for the brownies.  They were really good, but we get way too much junk food here at the MTC, so we ate half the tray and then gave the rest of the tray to some native Spanish speaking missionaries who devoured the rest haha.

I love your Dear Elder letters.  Getting one of those is so much better than a treat in the MTC to be honest because they give us way too much dessert at lunch and dinner. Please text Emily McBride and tell her I say thanks for her box.  I don't know her email. I love you all.  Have a great week.  I'll focus on the email next week so I can give you some more info.

Con Amor,
Elder McBride

Great full zone pic except Elder Lau is a lil cut off
This is a picture of all of the elders in our zone.
We're all studs.
This is the best picture of all of the Hermanas in our zone.  They're all super nice.  One of them is going to Tuscon.  From the left, we have Hermana Hebden, Krage(my District), (can't spell the next name), Clark(My district), Greenalch (my district), Bradford (my district),Gregory (my district), and Von Kampfen
I set this picture up then ran in that's why my head is behind Senden's.
The smudge on my Camera really helps this pic look dope
Jenks with Canlass between his legs + a really pretty background
Elder Lau is a goofball!  On our Sunday walk last week he and Elder Clegg took a
picture with every group he saw Elder Palei is taking the picture
This picture is of the back of the temple. The smudge might be a bit distracting,
but I'm really thankful I brought a good camera and know what I'm doing.
The temple is pretty and I'm really happy I brought a good camera