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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March 30, 2016 Weekly Email! Yay!

We had a pretty regular week this week apart from setting another baptismal date! We set a date for April 16th with this awesome investigator named I.... He's super cool, he's in the army and had investigated the church at two different times earlier in his life, but after joining the army he realized that he needs to find the truth. He's so sincere and he keeps every commitment and then some. So Gold.

Other than that we didn't have a ton of crazy stuff happen this week.  All of those things are happening this week. President interviews on Thursday, MLC on Friday, and Conference over the weekend makes this week a really crazy one. Thanks for being awesome! I pray for you every day.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Here's a picture of our zone minus Elder Dutson and Elder Matson because they had to go to a doctor's appointment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 23, 2016 Yay! Bap Dates!

Solid week, we've been seeing some cool progression with some of our investigators, and we had a former come out of the blue that is super excited and ready to go. We had a pretty cool thing happen to us on Friday. We teach this kid who's been getting taught since October that has a bunch of family that are members of the church but neither of his parents are. His parents are separated and his dad, even though not interested himself, has always supported his son meeting with the missionaries and joining the church. His mom however, has not been down and we have been told that she is opposed to the church. On Friday, for what we're pretty sure is the first time since he started getting taught, we got to meet with his mom. It was pretty cool, at first she seemed a little closed and cold, but then we showed her and her son "Hallelujah", the church's new Easter Initiative video. After the video she seemed visibly touched and really warmed up to us, and after a short discussion about the church she consented to her son getting baptized, we set a date in mid April. It was a cool experience to see somebody's heart soften to us on the spot like that. Of course it took a lot of time seeing her son change, learn and grow, but the switch happened during the video because of the Spirit.

On Sunday we had a pretty cool meeting with the Stake Presidency and President Smith in New Canaan. I'm not really sure what to call it but it was like "Stake Correlation". I was surprised at how productive it was because my last companion told me that at the last one that the zone leaders were able to go to they didn't even need to be there. But at this one they asked us questions, asked for feedback, gave us suggestions, some of which are really bold and I would be afraid of offending members had President Checketts not told us to do it, and President Stauffer even had a referral for the Norwalk Spanish Sisters. All in all, a really productive meeting. A kind of funny thing happened, President Potter had walked in a little late so we hadn't had the chance to say hi, so after President Checketts asked me to say the closing prayer President Potter realized that he knows me.  So right after the kind of uncomfortable prayer (I don't f
eel comfortable praying out loud in English anymore) he got up and said across the table something like "Hey, I know you!" came over, and gave me a hug. It was pretty good timing I'm not going to lie. I also met another person that said he knows me but that I don't know him, I think his name is Brother Ward but I'm not 100% sure, we didn't get a chance talk for very long, does that sound familiar?

Thanks for the Package! The candy is tasty, and the decorations are cute. We already put up the pictures of Christ banner. Thanks for everything, and have an Awesome Easter! I Love You!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March 16, 2016 The Temple is Great!

Hey Family! 

This is going to be a little bit short today because we spent our Pday going down to the temple. The temple is fantastic, I've really come to love it even though at first I thought it was a little weird.

A quick update on everything. I'm doing really well. The work's going well. The branch is doing well. The zone's doing well. Elder Gallardo is awesome. Time is flying by.

Sunday we had branch conference, which meant that the President Checketts and President Stauffer came to speak to the Branch. I was really busy before sacrament meeting so I couldn't go meet President Stauffer before, but during his talk he became the third person this year to mention me by name over the pulpit #beatthatmax. People in our branch keep coming up and asking me why people know me and then I have to explain to them the whole story, good Spanish practice. After the meeting we got the chance to talk for a bit and  when I told him about Seth being in his mission he took a super awkward video of me that he could show to him when he gets there in June.

Sorry for the short one today. I'll attach a selfie that I took at the Stamford train station. (Dad, is that the one you took all the time?)

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Sam with our good friend, Colin Stauffer

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

March 9, 2016 Sweet Week, Busy Pday

Hey, we had a pretty good week. We've been able to find a couple of families to teach which has been super rare so far on my mission. One of them we found because we had a lesson fall through and then a backup plan fall through so we decided to knock a couple of doors next to the backup plan and the very first one we knocked was this family of 4 that let us right in (3rd time that's happened on my mission) and seemed pretty open to receiving the message. The other family just recently moved here from the Dominican Republic and was found by the Portuguese Elders. The miraculous part about this family is that the apartment they live in is in such a weird place it's a miracle we were able to find it from the address let alone knock into it randomly like the Portuguese Elders did. It's cool seeing the lord place people into our path.

On Friday we had MLC, one of the parts of it was about Alma 17 and Ammon. I love that story, he is such an example of somebody that wants to do there best and is willing to break the mold in order to do it. The Lord commanded the sons of Mosiah to be examples (v.11) and because of the exemplary way in which Ammon conducted himself the Kings heart was softened and an entire nation was converted to the Gospel. Fantastic story.

Sorry I didn't have a ton of time to write this week. We had to help a less active move a piano, it brought back some old memories. I love you! Have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

P.S. Please thank Aunt Lynne for the box. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016 New Companion!

I got a new companion this week! His name is Elder Gallardo. He's from Texas, but both of his parents are Mexicans, so he speaks both English and Spanish perfectly. He's pretty awesome, I've wanted to be his companion since I met him in August. In other transfer news, both of our roommates got called to be trainers, but neither of their companions are coming out till later this transfer because of visa problems. Elder Baldwin will be training a missionary in Yonkers that's from Brazil that was called here to speak English. And Elder Vieira will be staying in his area and training but his companion isn't going to get here for another 2 weeks, so for now he's in a trio with the other Portuguese Elders waiting for his companion. That means that our roommates moved out and for the next little bit and it's just 2 person apartment it's just going to Elder Gallardo & I in the apartment.

To answer your question I haven't met any more people that we knew but I'm sure I'll keep running into people.

We have a pretty good week coming up, I'm excited for our area and zone. We have MLC this week and the rumor is that Presidents going to announce the new Easter initiative. It's going to be sweet, when we have the initiatives going the mission seems to perk up and really get behind them.

The Plan of Salvation is a sweet lesson to teach. For me the most important parts about the plan of salvation are the doctrines that hold the different events together. For example when talking about the fall it's really important for the investigator to understand the story of the fruit, but it is so much more important to understand the doctrine of sin and the principle of agency. And the Bible teaches those points very well (I.e. When teaching Agency Joshua 24:15 is a fantastic example to use). I love the Bible, the only problem is that when the Bible gets opened, people tend to get defensive. So depending on the investigator we decide how much we want to use the Bible and we always use the Book of Mormon more, always. I love teaching, you learn a lot while you teach.

I love you, have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

New Companion, Elder Gallardo from Texas.  
Also, this week:  Our fab friend, Eric Bench, was visiting his family in New York and Connecticut and look who he just "happened" to see!  So exciting!  We are so jealous!