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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