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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016 The Temple is Great!

I'm running a little short on time today to write so I'll compensate with pictures. We went to the Temple twice this last week. On Saturday we went down to the Manhattan Temple and did baptisms for the dead with our recent convert. It was a great experience for him, his wife, his wife's grandma and us. He was baptized for his dad and the spirit was there. 

On Sunday we were able to go to the Hartford Temple with one of our investigators and his wife. The temple was great but, the best part was how it touched him. He expressed sincere desire to get baptized and join the church but was not quite ready to set a date. He is so prepared. He told us how he's had contact with the church for years and has always liked it but it wasn't until recently that he has felt like it's the right decision to join. His experience gives me so much hope as a missionary. I have taught hundreds of people but only a few handfuls have ever even had the faith to read the Book of Mormon. The hope comes from the fact that someday their circumstances will change and they will remember the promises that those dorky we'll dressed young men made them. And when that happens Heavenly Father will put them where they need to be to find and accept the Gospel. Thanks family! You're great!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

In less serious news this week. I found the answer to the classic missionary question "What's the weirdest thing you've eaten?" The answer is a Ghanaian soup called Banku. It has so much random stuff in it. It was all right, but not my cup of tea. We ate it all though because we really want her and her husband to get sealed in the temple some day. Also don't judge my table manners, she told us we that the proper way to eat it is with your hands.

1. The best pic we have of what's in the soup which includes full crabs, cow skin, salmon, salted beef, weird Ghanaian jalapeƱo looking vegetables and a bunch of spices I've never heard of before. Also Brother S--- is in the background, he's awesome.

2. Me holding a piece of beef skin.

3. Sister S--- isn't a member yet, but we're working on her. It was her birthday that day. We gave her a Book of Mormon with a personal note and a Hartford Temple Open House Invitation as a birthday present. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21, 2016 Week of Temples

Hey Family,

It's great to hear from you! Thanks for all of your prayers. So we had a pretty awesome week this last week. We found a bunch of new awesome people including 2 Nigerian brothers who are super cool. But everything that happened this last week seems to be in preparation for what's going to happen this weekend. On Saturday we are going to the Temple with the G--- family. Brother G--- got baptized in January, shortly after his baptism he and his wife kind of fell away for a little bit, but recently they've been progressing a ton and haven't missed church in months.  So on Saturday, we're going down to the Temple with them to do Baptisms for the Dead with him for the first time.  It's going to be awesome. We worked really hard with them to prepare his Father's name to do the baptism for him. 

We started teaching a couple last week. They are a newlywed couple, she's a less active member and daughter of an active couple in our ward and he's not a member yet. They recently moved in and are super prepared for the gospel.  We were able to get them into a special "Sneak Peak" of the Hartford Temple Open House this coming Sunday. It's going to be awesome. We get to go with them. We're going to try to commit him to baptism for late October or early November. 

I'm really excited to hear about Brother Harris becoming the Stake Patriarch. He's perfect for that. I honestly don't think that I've met anyone who just fits that calling so well. I bet Dad did a great job giving his talk.  That reminds me. I was on a companionship exchange in New Canaan Connecticut last Friday and the missionary that I was with hands me the Ward list and says "We don't have anything to do at 11am tomorrow so... who do you know? We'll go visit them." So we went and saw Craig Bench and his family haha. He gave me his talk from one of his recent high council assignments.  It's really good about temples. We shared a little spiritual message and invited them to invite friends to the temple open house. They were already all over that. 

It's so weird that there are people here that you used to know when we lived out here. Do you recognize the name Susana Sena? She lived in Stamford around the same time as us. She said your names sounded familiar and your faces are familiar but she couldn't remember you. 

I love you family! You're great!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016 Busy Weeks Are The Best Weeks

We had a great week this week. The mission is on the zone study & interviews transfer, which means that we get to visit all 11 zones. While President is interviewing missionaries we have a little leadership council with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders so that we can get some feedback and council with them about their zone. 

After the first 2 hours of interviews are over the whole zone gets together for a "Zone Study" which is basically President leading a discussion about Joseph Smith History 1:1-20. It's pretty awesome and it's still awesome even after being there for 6 of them. To end there's always a short testimony meeting where everybody that wants to stands up and bears a 30-60 second testimony about Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. The Spirit is really strong every time. 

This last week we visited the Olmstead Zone on Thursday, Manhattan North Zone on Monday and yesterday we went up to Stamford to have it with the Stamford Zone. It was cool, the meeting was held in our old chapel. It's eerily familiar every time I go there. 

During the zone studies President always asks somebody where and when they were when they started to pray out loud, in order to emphasize that young Joseph had never attempted to pray vocally before. He always picks someone born in the church and usually they can't remember but yesterday when he asked someone I realized that I totally had been taught to pray either in that chapel or at home just a mile or so up the street. Haha it's a small world. 

We had a great Sunday this week. We had 3 investigators at church. We didn't even have time to teach 3 investigators last week, but a young man from the local college walked into priesthood because he was brand new to the area and was looking for a place to worship God. It was a super cool miracle. The Lord blesses us when we do our best.

It was great to read about Isaac, what a stud. What a successful week, pinewood derby 3rd place and won an election. Keep going with the Book of Mormon reading. I love that book. You're great family. I love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

1. A slice of Pizza that we bought from Cross Bronx Pizza. It's about
a 5 minute walk away from the Olmstead (East Bronx) Chapel.

2. Sunrise over Long Island Sound. This view is from the apartment of
the other Elders in our District. Our view isn't so great.

3. Awkward picture of a family we got out to church this week. The man
is a member from Guyana, the women aren't... yet. The older woman is
the members wife, she is from Ghana and the younger girl is their

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 7, 2016 Busy Week. A Lot of Change.

So this week was super busy. We have had a lot of random assignments and and today we had a little mid-transfer transfer. We had 4 sisters come in from the Salt Lake temple Square mission to supplement for some Sisters from our mission that will be going to the Hartford Temple later this month to run the open house. So I'm a little short on time this week but I just wanted to tell you about Sunday.

When we first came into our area we had no clue what to do, so we decided to start working with some members. We prayerfully chose a few less actives to focus on and bring back. On Sunday 3 of them bore their testimonies. They also individually in the last 2 weeks all qualified for limited use temple recommends. 1 was baptized for the temple on behalf of his father and in the next 3 weeks the other 2 will be baptized in the temple on behalf of their fathers. All 3 have blessed the sacrament for their first time recently. 2 were ordained priest, 1 of which simultaneously received the Aaronic priesthood. And the Third is waiting for his recommendation for the Melchezidek Priesthood to go through. These men are changing. Even though we haven't baptized anyone in this area and we don't have any really super solid progressing investigators right now, I have seen 3 people repent become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you Family! You're great!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride