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Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017 Last One!

Hey Family,

We had a mini Pday today because the whole mission will switch to Wednesday Pdays starting this week. It sounds like this week will be a whole lot of fun. I'm excited to see you. I'm going to write a little testimony rather than write about my week.

I have come to know through the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Gospel has been restored to the earth. The Keys of the kingdom are here and will never leave again. I know that Jesus Christ atoned for my sins so that I can change. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 Home Stretch

Hey Family,

Thanks for the updates and love this week. My condolences, love and prayers go out to the Heaps.  She'll live again. 

This last week was great. We had a huge miracle on Wednesday night. We were on our way back from a baptismal interview we had in Olmstead (I was translating for President). By the time we got out of the interview and President dropped us off at the subway station it was pretty late. On the subway after getting ignored or rejected by a couple people we were just standing there on the train when this young man gets on and stands right next to us. We felt a prompting that this man wanted to talk to us, so we started talking to him about why he was dressed up. Unfortunately, just as we started talking about being ministers for our church, we got to the train station and he was gone. Somewhat disappointed, we started heading up to the street. As we got to the top of a flight of stairs we noticed him walking really slowly and looking backwards for someone. He saw us and waved us down and said " I know you guys are good guys.  When I got on that train I felt a peace that I can't really describe". We told him that we had a special message to share with him about how God speaks to man on earth and he excitedly gave us his contact info. It was a super cool experience. 

We were assigned to help for a wedding going on in our YSA Ward. The bride went to Mountain View so there were bound to be some people who knew some people there. That's where I met the husband of one of the bridesmaids who knew Matt in high school. I have a video at the venue for you, Mom. 

Also this weekend there was another Sister baptized into our Ward. It was awesome. There are some really great things happening here in Manhattan. 

Today is my last full Pday. Starting next week they are changing Pday back to Wednesday. We will have a couple hours on Monday to get some things done so... This is going to be my last full email home. At least we had a great day today though. President invited us to come golfing with him and the Assistants. It's been almost 2 years since I have swung a golf club, I was a little rusty, haha, but so was everyone else.

Looking forward to seeing you soon! Love you.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017 My Emails Are Numbered

Hey Family,

Thanks for sending some questions they are going to help me a lot. So, my companion is Elder Newbold from Wilton California which is a suburb of Elk Grove California which is a suburb of Sacramento California. He tells people he's from Sacramento. He's been out a little more than a year and has never left the city. He's pretty awesome. His trainer and one of his trainees are two of my best Mission buddies that I've never been companions with, Elder Tabor & Elder Davis.

Speaking of Elder Davis, I went on a split with him this week. He's from Houston Texas and just passed his 3rd anniversary of his baptism.  He's the coolest, I'll send you a video. We had a pretty interesting week. On Wednesday we went on a split with the Harlem YSA Elders. It was awesome, their ward covers my old area in Inwood so we got some Dominican food for old times sake and even got to see a member that used to go to my old ward but is now going to the YSA. It was a great split.

The next day we started a split with some Elders in my district. The Elder I was with, Elder Clark, is a super scout. By super I mean super. 87 Merit badges, career scout camp staffer, 7 years of counseling for the Environmental Science Merit Badge and in as deep as possible with the order of the arrow. He's a cool guy. Coincidentally half of his assigned ward's scout troop are non-members.  I smell a missionary opportunity.

On Saturday a Sister got baptized in our Ward that has been waiting for her parents to consent to her baptism for 3 years. It was a cool miracle to take part in, even though my part was little.

Elder Mackintosh will hopefully go to BYU Hawaii. He had been accepted to BYU Hawaii before his mission and had deferred. Unfortunately BYU Hawaii has no record of his having been accepted so his Mom is trying to get that figured out for him. If worst comes to worst he will go to UVU for a semester then transfer. I love Elder Mackintosh. His family seems awesome.

In other past companion news my trainer, Mike Buckley, is engaged. He's supposed to be getting sealed on May 26, but, due to some interesting, non-sinful on their part, complications they may be moving it back a little bit.

Love You family! Thanks for the update! I'm happy to hear you've had a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017 Hey Family!

Hey Family,

We had a pretty normal missionary week. With the new Easter video we did a couple of Missionary activities. Nothing too exciting or remarkable though. We did have a cool Stake Conference. The Stake President, David Buckner, was called as an area 70 at General Conference so we knew that a new Stake President would be called. His 1st Counselor, Colin Cropper, became the new Stake President. The General Authority overseeing the reorganization was Elder Pearson (Pierson?). He gave an awesome talk about faith. He said that in order to fully exercise faith we need to understand 2 things. We need to know who god is (what his attributes, perfections, and abilities are) and that our lives are in harmony with his will. It was pretty powerful. He said that through our personal prayers we should be aligning our will with God. General Authorities are awesome.

I'm happy everybody is staying busy! Love you! Have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

P.S. I'm running out of things to write about so... Questions would be appreciated, otherwise I'm not sure how satisfied you'll be with my emails. Sorry.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017 Conference is the Best as a Missionary

Mi Familia,

It's great hearing from all of you! Happy birthday Isaac & Grandma! I love you both so much. Did Grandma bring her picture frame? I sent a bunch of pictures to it today. 

Thanks for all of your insights from conference. It was such a good one wasn't it? My favorite talks were Elder Hales, Elder Costa & Elder Palmer. I loved Elder Hales' so much, he talked about simple obedience without being "selective" and how faith can be measured by what it drives you to do. I'm pretty sure Elder Costa wrote his talk with one of our investigators in mind and he said "Repentance clears the path to growth and happiness" and "nothing draws you closer to Christ like the desire to change". Elder Palmer in the Sunday afternoon session spoke about "Then Jesus beholding him, loved him" that struck a chord with me. Other good quotes from Elder Palmer were "How can I be worthy of Christlike love so that others can feel his love through me?" "Those that are hardest to love need love the most" "The Lord expects much from us because he loves us".  It was such a great conference.

We had a pretty good week. On Thursday we had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators. We had him read part of 2 Nephi 31 in his native French then pray about a baptismal date in French. The spirit was so strong! He's pondering and praying about being baptized on April 22nd. We're super excited for him!

I pray you have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

I thought I would follow Mom's example and send pictures first.  Brother Ward has a connection with the Empire State Building which gets us up for free and lets us skip the lines. It was awesome.

Selfie with our area... +a double chin.

W/ Elder Mackintosh. This is mostly his area but we cover the World Trade Center and down.

Our recent convert J---'s wife works in the American Eagle right next to the Empire State Building, so we stopped by and said hi.  I'm afraid to by normal people clothes again...

Another picture of the north part of our area.

South part of the island. Our area is East (left side of the
picture) of 5th Ave.

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017 Hey Family!

Hey Family,

We survived the "blizzard". It actually wasn't even close to as bad as everyone thought it was going to be but it was enough to have to wear my boots and some thin thermals. We shoveled the chapel out and helped a ton of people get their cars unstuck. We had an awesome miracle this week. One of our investigators named Charles was able to get a new job and will be able to attend church. We are hoping to set a date with him this week. 

Transfers are tomorrow and since Elder Wilson is going home I'll will be receiving new companion. His name is Elder Newbold and he is a legend.  I'm super excited to have him. Also I got called to be the east Manhattan District Leader. I've never been a District Leader so we'll see how it goes. 

Today has been awesome! We got a private tour of the UN from a member here in the city. I have a few pictures, he offered to take the family when we come in June. I have a bunch of pictures to make up for the short letter. Love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

UN General Assembly Room

If you look carefully, there is a little family praying in the center of the mural.  It's to remind the members of the UN that their purpose is supporting and preserving the family.  Hmm.  Interesting.

Sam at the UN Podium

The United Nations 



World Trade Center

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 1, 2017 Elder Gong Was Here!

Hey Family,

It's still blowing my mind that Max will be home next week. That's so crazy. Time goes quick. Our Pday was changed to Wednesday this week because Elder Gong was in town and we had a Zone conference with him on Monday. He is awesome. On Sunday we had a Devotional with him where he met every missionary in NYC, shook their hand, and asked a question. Then we had the Devotional part about the importance of the sacrament followed by ice cream served personally by Elder & Sister Gong. It was pretty great. 

Zone conference was also an awesome experience. They spoke to us about the importance of following the spirit, improving our studies & "Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts" which is the new theme of the missionary department. Elder Wilson, Elder Pulu (we are in a trio for the time being) & I got invited to MLC on Tuesday where Elder Gong spoke about how missionary leaders can beat help their missionaries. We also set a new Mission Baptismal goal (because we hit our last one!). 

In other news, I spoke on Sunday. I think it went pretty well. I shared a few conversion stories and tried to point out how Members had influence on them throughout their lives.  It was pretty good timing as well because the sister who spoke right before me is a recent convert and has a very Member missionary work heavy story. Great set up. 

I have some videos to send this week. We're trying to not look like tourists so instead of stopping for a picture I just start up a video and keep walking. Love you family! Don't spoil Max too much!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, February 27, 2017

March 27, 2017 Happy Birthday Ike!

Hey Family,

Sorry this will be short since I went back and forth with mom a little bit already today. Elder Newbold is awesome! We are having a great time together and seeing some awesome miracles! 

This was a super weird week. During the week we saw some awesome progress in some of the people that we are working with but our weekend was full of setbacks.  So it's been kind of a roller coaster week. It's a huge blessing to have Elder Newbold here though because he has a great sense of humor which makes those slow days a lot easier to cope with. 

On Saturday we were having a pretty slow day but it ended with a miracle. We were able to contact a less active member who was super excited to hear from us. On top of that we asked him for referrals and he said he has a few people that he wants us to meet with. He's super cool, we think he'll be the key to a lot of the success we are expecting to have here in the next few weeks.

I'm so proud of you Ike! You're double digits! That's crazy!  Are you like 6ft tall now?  What color pants are you wearing these days? Love you bro!

Have a great week family!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20, 2017 The Temple is a Really Cool Place

Hey Family,

It's great to hear from you. I hope you had a great Valentine's Day.  It sounds like Isaac will be the lady's man of the family. We had a great week this week and some special experiences on Saturday. On Saturday we went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with a recent convert named V-- (He's Indian and has an awesome conversion story that I'll tell you all about later). While waiting in front of the temple for him to show up Brother S--- (the 80 year old man who we helped get the Melchizedek priesthood in my last area) was walking out with a few members from New Rochelle. He had just been endowed! I had no clue that he would be doing that that day but it was just a crazy coincidence* that I was there. And to top it all off Elder Mackintosh was out contacting people on the street right out in front of the temple so he got to see him as well. It was a pretty amazing experience especially going to do baptisms with V--- for his first time right after. The temple is a really special place. 

Today we went to the Tenement Museum with the senior missionary couple that's assigned to our Ward. It was pretty cool, we learned all about what it was like for the millions of immigrants who moved to New York in the late 1800's and early 1900's. New York is a pretty cool place. Our area has so much history. We have the World Trade Center, the UN (which we're touring in 2 weeks), We have most of The Financial District, the Chrysler building, Chinatown, little Italy, and the Empire State Building across the street from where our area ends. How cool is that?! Joseph Smith even walked and did business on some of the streets in the southern part of our area. Well family, that's all from me. Love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017 "You are the most mature missionaries I've ever met"

Hey Family,

The first week back here in Manhattan was pretty great.  We have got to have the coolest/weirdest (in a good way) ward ever. It's a total change of pace from the office and normal missionary work but it's awesome. We have a solid 9 active priesthood holders, 1 pathologist, 2 lawyers, 1 investment banker (who works 100hrs/Week), 1 financial consultant, 1 student at NYU, 2 entrepreneurs, and 1 guy who just lives here for fun. The rest of our 60 active members are the bishopric and women. It's a pretty interesting dynamic for a missionary to work with. 

I'm sure you're wondering about the subject line. On Tuesday night we ate dinner at a fancy restaurant with one of the entrepreneurs. He asked us a bunch of really deep searching questions. We responded thoughtfully and he was actually really impressed with our answers so he called us "the most mature missionaries he's ever met". It was a very unique complement to receive as a missionary, but it was very heartfelt. 

The work is chugging along.  We have two pretty great progressing investigators that we are hoping to give Baptismal dates soon. Thanks for the update from home. I hope your trip is safe. Have a great week.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 7, 2017 Transfers!

Hey Family,

Super sorry that I won't be able to write much this week (and that it's late) because it's transfers. I've been transferred! I am in the Manhattan YSA Ward with Elder Wilson. The Ward covers the entire Eastern half of Manhattan and my area is the whole Ward. Elder Tabor will be replacing me as an Assistant and I will be completely released from all leadership responsibilities. I'm excited, relieved and nervous. 

This Ward is super cool. Basically everyone is young, ambitious, successful & crazy busy. It's fun being in a totally different church culture than all of my last areas. If you have any ideas for fun activities that would interest 18-30 year olds that live in Manhattan please send them my way. 

Love you! I promise I'll write more next week.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, January 30, 2017

January 30, 2017 No clue what to title this

Dear Family,

This week was pretty great. We had a pretty crazy Sunday.  Monday got asked to speak at the Westchester Stake Priesthood meeting which happened yesterday at 7am. I was so nervous but I think I did a good job. We were asked to share a missionary miracle then give some advice to the young men who are either preparing to serve or thinking about serving a mission. I chose to focus on prayer and invited them to learn how to really pray. 

Yesterday we had an awesome experience. Some of the Spanish Elders told us they had found a 19 year old guy for us to teach. When we showed up to the house we realized that we had tracted into his single mother just a week before we gave her to the sisters, they weren't able to contact her. We found out that the woman that we tracted into had ordered a bible a few months ago and the sisters weren't able to contact her then either. Then we found out that the other Spanish elders had taught this woman as well. Literally all of the missionaries in the area had had contact with this family in the last few months. We were able to go teach them and had a super spiritual lesson. They are so prepared for the Gospel. We are super excited for them and hope that they will progress super well. The Lord is preparing his children and will help us find them even if it takes 4 tries. 

Transfers are next week. I have no clue where I'll be. Sorry for the short email this week. I'll be happy to talk your ear off in a few months. Love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Pic: we taught a lesson in a tent set up in someone's living room... fun

Our Old House in Stamford! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017 Slow But Solid Week

Hey Family,

We had a pretty unremarkable week this week. It wasn't bad, but there weren't a whole lot of "things to write home about" (haha it's funny because it's literal). 

In my studies I've been learning a whole lot about the Atonement. What a wonderful gift!? We don't have to be perfect to be saved in the kingdom of God. Sometimes in my life I've, in Joseph Smith's words, "felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections".  It led to a lot of internal anguish and a never ending feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt. While I've learned and experienced the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I've come to know that the whole reason for the Gospel is to make it so we don't have to feel that way. Through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance we can let the Savior take those feelings from us. He picks up the slack when we've done all that we can do. Therefore I don't have to be perfect. I just have to try. There is no reason to make myself miserable when I mess up. "Let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance." Any extra sorrow beyond the sorrow necessary for repentance is not from God. And the beautiful thing is that with agency we can choose to rid ourselves of Satan's influence. God is good. 

Love you family have a great week.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16, 2017 We have 1 more member of the church

Hey Family,

We had such a great week. Zone conferences are done. We had the last one on Thursday in Manhattan. They are such great spiritual experiences, but they are quite a marathon. Now it's onto the tough part for President. Having 190+ personal interviews with missionaries 2 weeks

J--- is doing great. He was confirmed yesterday! Our Bishop was the one who performed it. The Ward is so excited to have him. After his confirmation and the sacrament I gave my talk. I think it went pretty well. It was kind of a rough start because one of the younger young women from the Ward was supposed to speak before me, but she was too shy and embarrassed to give her talk so, after a few uncomfortable minutes, I got the nod from a member of the bishopric to go first. I had never seen something like that happen before.  We hope she doesn't feel to bad. 

We had another cool experience after church was over. We helped an 80 year old man that Elder Mackintosh & I had worked with, who had recently been ordained an Elder, exercise his Melchizedek Priesthood for the first time. He did an anointing. It was a really cool experience for me because since he was having trouble remembering the words to say (partly because he was so nervous) I got to whisper it to him. I felt like a proud parent helping a man take his first couple of steps as an Elder. He's such a great man. 

I'm so happy to hear Isaac is doing well. I'll be praying that his recovery goes well. Thank you so much for all that you do for me!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9, 2017 Baptism!

Hey Family,

We had such a great week this week. J--- got baptized yesterday! The service was pretty great.  You should have heard his testimony afterwards. I've never taught somebody so prepared in my entire life. One of our investigators showed up just after the ordinance was performed, but he came in time to hear J---'s testimony which was centered on his powerful witness of the Book of Mormon. It was a special experience for me because I know that he received that testimony from God and not me. It is amazing to see people change because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

My prayers will be with Ike that the surgery goes well. And happy birthday Cole!!!!!!! How in the world are you 14 already!? Max and I are going to get home and you'll be able to beat us up. 

I loved reading through your talk notes Mom. It sounded like it would've been a good one. I have to give my second talk in Sacrament Meeting of my mission. It's on Elder Bednar's talk from the April conference about always retaining a remission of your sins.  It's pretty perfect timing because J--- will be confirmed that day as well, so I will have some pretty great examples to use. I'm trying to figure out the tie in to missionary work with an invitation, if you have any ideas send me my way. 

I love you and am praying for you.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

From the mind of Elder Sam McBride 
Typed (mostly) by the hands of William Smith

Elder Mackintosh got special permission to come back for the baptism. Also Elder Tabor (the one on my left in the group picture) was the missionary I was on a split with when we set his baptismal date. He just so happens to be Elder Mackintosh's current companion. The fourth missionary is my companion Elder Krzymowski (pronounced kshmovski).

Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2, 2017 New Year!

Dearest Family,

2016 was a really special year for me. I truly came to know my Savior this last year.  I will always remember 2016 as the year when I got to give literally the entire year to Heavenly Father.  I will probably never be able to do that to the same extent ever again. This experience as been such a blessing. 

We had a great New Years.  I set some goals for 2017 that I'm really excited about. The Sabbath was great.  J--- came to church, he's getting baptized Sunday.  We're super excited for him. 

This week is bound to be fun. On top of the baptism, we have 2 Zone conferences and the meeting for new missionaries.  We had a great planning session with President last night for Zone Conference. We feel like these zone conferences will help the mission to improve and achieve what the Lord wants us to achieve.  Mom, it sounds like your talk was pretty amazing. Will you send me a copy? I would love to read it. Thank you so much for all that you do. Thank you for your prayers.

Con tanto amor que no lo puedo contener,

Elder Sam McBride