Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Month of December

Week of December 22nd

With Christmas this week, we didn't have a lot of work like we normally do and only taught a couple lessons.  One was with the Ba family which we met a few weeks ago.  They are a great family and have said they feel something different when we are there.  We had a really good appointment and the next time we are going to teach the Plan of Salvation.

We also had a lesson with our recent convert who just got baptized -  Isadore.  He was so excited and has been so happy since being baptized and has tons of strength and is ready for anything that comes at him. He also had an interview with the bishop and will be getting the Priesthood in the next two weeks. We are teaching him a lesson on that tonight.  Everything is going well him. 

This week we spent a lot of the time singing. One day we went out with all of the youth in the Ward to sing to a number of families as well as some we are teaching. 
Ward Christmas Party
We spent Christmas Eve at the Bishops house with his family and Christmas day at another members house, the De Lauw's. We got some presents from both, they are very generous and are two really cool families.  The De Lauw's got me 4 hockey sticks that they ordered from Finland as they know how much I love the game and miss it.   Overall it was a really good week with a lot of fun. I learned to appreciate Christmas in a different, in a special way and grateful to be here on my mission to allow me to deepen my understanding of the Gift of our Savior. Thankful for that as well as the Skype call with my family in Dallas!

Christmas Day with the De Lauw's

Week of December 15th

We ended up going back to the Ba family the past week that we were led to earlier. The one time we just stopped by on the way to Paris and they set us up with all this food, we ended up having to go back later to teach a lesson. They had dinner for us so we taught them the lesson during dinner. They are really curious and are the nicest people in the world.  We have loved getting to know them and see them begin to understand who we are, what we do as missionaries and the message that we have to share.

Isadore was baptized this week, it was an amazing day. It was so cool to see him take that step and I loved being a part of helping him get there.  It was a good service and there were some really good talks given by the members,so many people came out to support him.  After his baptism he had a different glow and you could tell that he carried a different light with him. It was a great day as a missionary to be able to experience that.

On Wednesday we had a Christmas Conference in Versailles.  The mission was  split in half for convenience.  President Babin and his wife as well as the Area 70 for Europe Elder Texeria and his wife were there.   We took an early train from Brussels to Paris. Got to the conference about 9.  The first training session was given by President and his wife. The second was given by Elder Texeria and his wife, there was a Christmas lunch in between.  At the beginning of the second session President Babin asked a Sister to come up and bear her testimony and after she sat down, all of a sudden the Elder conducting says "Now we would like to have Elder McBride come up and bear his testimony!"  So on the spot I went up in front of the Area 70 and 160 missionaries. After the meeting I thanked the President for the opportunity, he had a big smile on his face. The training were really good, learned a lot. Grateful to be able to meet up with the many missionaries that  I have become friends.

To cap off the week we had a big Christmas Sunday yesterday. We had 2 less active families that we have been visiting,  a recent convert who just got baptized and 2 amis de Eglise attend church, it was great. After church we had a big lunch/dinner activity where Santa came, we ate, sang and had activities. The Belgians do Christmas right over here!.

Week of December 8th

We have been doing a lot of knocking on doors and asking people if we can sing them a Christmas song. One night we taught 3 lessons and sang three songs and one of the last streets we were on I felt like we should go down to this one building. The second buzzer I pressed, we asked this man if we could sing for him. He said one second I’m coming down and it ended up that we taught him a lesson on the street two weeks before where we had 5 min to teach him and he was really impressed but he really had to go. He came down and opened the door and invited us in. We walked in to meet his wife with their two kids.  The cool part was that I had seen that family 3 times before! We were on the bus with them and then we saw them on the street two more times!  As soon as we entered the apartment they took our coats and our bags and invited us to have dinner with them as they were just about to eat. We taught them the WHOLE restoration and had a 45 min conversation before dinner. Then during dinner we talked about what we do, who we are, our role, families, interests and hobbies. We also shared with them basically everything different about us. After they both said "you know this makes sense, you guys know your stuff. There is something different about you".  I know that it was not by chance and that we found them.

Week of December 1st

Leading up to Christmas we have been talking to people about Jesus Christ and asking them what they are doing for Christmas or why Christmas is special for them. It’s been really effective in getting people interested and we then share a message about the gospel.  We are meeting a lot of new people this way.  We have also been knocking on doors and singing Christmas Carols and sharing the story of the nativity.  The other night just before we were about to go in we knocked on this door and asked this older man if we could sing a song for him. He said yes. So we came in and sang away in a manger in French. He was blown away and he said it was amazing. He felt the spirit and said he felt different.  So he invited us back and we are going to start teaching him.  This week we taught 14 lessons and also met with Isador who is being baptized on the 20th.  He is so ready and I can’t wait for him to make that step.

It snowed this week which was awesome. Just a little bit of it stayed for a day!  I also taught a 20 minute lesson at a bus stop as our bus was late.  It was an older lady and she listened but wasn't that interested in the message, just interested in me. We are going to Paris on Wednesday to pick up Elder Bailey’s legality card and to help with luggage in transfers. Should be a fun week. Fitting in a little shopping in Paris which is always good too. 

New Suit, Merry Christmas Elder McBride

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Elder Cook Visit and other Highlights

Week of November 23rd

We have been teaching some different people on and off right now.  A couple of guys, one has a Baptismal date for December 20th and a woman from Ethiopia. They are all super awesome.  We have been working with the ward mission leader to set a date and figured out all the logistics of the baptism. He has 4 kids and 3 of them want to be baptized so that will be happening in the future too. He wants to be able to baptize them so that will be really cool. They all come to church every week. The other guy is 40 and lives on his own and drives big ships in the ocean. He has lost faith in the world. This week we dropped by because we hadn't heard from him in a while. He ended up being really sick. We taught him a little lesson then gave him a blessing, it was super awesome. We are going to meet with him again soon.

Then there is the woman from Ethiopia who is a refugee.  The lesson we had planned to teach her was the Plan of Salvation. As the lesson progressed it we ended up teaching about faith, repentance and baptism. I was questioning the whole time where this was going.  Then all of a sudden she commented that this was what she wanted to learn about.  I knew that's where the spirit guided the lesson. I realized that's the only way the lesson could of gone to connect with her. We offered a blessing to give her added comfort. I gave her a blessing and it was amazing the spirit was so strong.  That was probably the moment that I have felt the power of the priesthood the most.  She said she felt better and that she felt stronger after. She has had an amazingly hard life and I can't explain how much I've been humbled teaching her, pretty cool experience. 

This week we had our Thanksgiving district meeting with the whole zone. We had a massive lunch in Brussels as always. 

The number represents how many 6 week transfers they have been through

We got yelled at knocking doors this week which was funny. An old lady yelled something I couldn't really understand. We just stand in the lobby's of the big apartment buildings and buzz every sonar. 

I Had a cool experience on the train one day. We talk to a ton of people and contact on trains but this time I was sitting across from a lady, it was a short ride. We were getting off at the same place and I could see that she was looking at me so I smiled. All of a sudden she said "do you have a book for me?" I didn't say a word just smiled, pretty cool how the spirit works. We gave her a Book of Mormon and our card.  We also met this old guy contacting and we asked him if he had a relationship with God. He was convinced that God is the sun? He kept on going on about how he sees God (the sun) everyday haha. He even yelled it, So funny. 

We also had a couple service projects on Saturday. First we cut down a giant tree in an old lady's back yard. I don't think that using a chainsaw is allowed but it was super fun. The group of members said "Give it to the Canadian he knows what he is doing." Then we got to go work with horses and scoop poop. That was awesome. The family that owns the horses are really cool. hen to top off the week we had to teach the 5th Sunday lesson at church with the mission leader about effective ways to work with less actives and invite them back to church that went well. Over all is was a really good week. 

Last thing. We are doing a little bit of a Christmas study challenge thing that i think would be good for everybody: 

1. What can you do this month to come closer to Jesus Christ?
2. What can you offer him? 
3. How can you help other come closer to him? 
4. How can you become more like him? 

Week of November 17th 

So this week we had a meeting with this guy that has been in contact with the missionaries for about a year. He is going to get baptized. It should be in the next two weeks. We are so happy for him. He really want's to get the priesthood and baptize his son in January which is awesome. Our last meeting he said some things that were amazing to hear. 

We got a referral from a lady in the ward who is a refugee from Africa. She moved to Italy and then moved to Belgium. She knew the church was true right away and got baptized here.  The referral is a woman about 25 and has a cute little daughter and are from Ethiopia. She has a huge family back in Africa. We went over to the members to teach her in English. She has had a lot of trials but during the lesson she commented that she is just looking for the right church. She expressed that she needs the love and comfort of our Savior Jesus Christ in her life. She loved everything that we shared and we are so happy we get to help her. She felt the spirit of what we taught.  She is a super strong women and a amazing example. I really hope everything works out with her. 

This Tuesday I got to go check out the Atomium. Its the famous huge sculpture with a ton of balls in Brussels.

On Wednesday we moved into our new apartment!  Its so cool and we have so much space. This whole week we have been putting Ikea furniture and we moved all our stuff to the new apartment in our tin can hybrid Yaris. 

On Thursday we went to Paris. We Caught a train leaving Brussels at 6am and got to Paris around 8am. From there we took the metros to Versailles where the chapel is located that the conference with Elder Cook was taking place.  It was an amazing conference, Elder Cooks witness and testimony of Jesus Christ was powerful.

A member of the church here owns a horse farm and we went and did some service there on Saturday. Cleaning and restocking and it was sweet to hangout with horses.  Over all it was a packed amazing week. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Trip to Paris & Other Updates!

A few highlights from Nate over the past two weeks 

Nate is continuing to teach a number of people and is picking up the language. These past two weeks he spent time in Paris, Brussels and Tubize in Zone and Distirct meetings, visiting with a number of families and having some wonderful experiences teaching them.  Whether in the streets or in their homes, the people they are meeting feel something different about them and are willing to open their doors and invite them in resulting in some great teaching opportunities.  Here are some highlights from the past two weeks:

Week of November 3rd

To start the week off we went to this little town in our sector called Tubize. We have some investigators and some less actives that live there. First we taught someone who we met on the street. It was our second lesson with him. He loved the first one and wanted us back asap. We gave him a restoration brochure at the end of the first lesson and asked him to read it. Usually people just scan over it and get the main points. Not this guy.  He had highlighted and marked up every page with notes and questions that he had for us. So we thought we were going to teach him but he actually really taught us. It was interesting and we cleared up all the questions he had.  So at the end he pretty much said he felt everything that we taught was true. Then we felt that we should invite him to be baptized. We gave him a soft invite saying when you know what we have taught you, is true, will you be baptized? He said for sure, would love too!  Will see where that goes.  

Trip to Paris!

Elder Bailey and I went to Paris on Tuesday for my French legality(getting legal papers). We had meeting in Brussels on Tuesday morning then our train left Brussels at 4:30pm to arrive in Paris at 6:00pm. So once we got to Gare du Nord station in Paris we bought some metro tickets and headed out to visit some sites. First of all it was Elder Bailey, myself and the Zone Leaders.  Elder G served as the Zone leader in Paris for 6 months so he knew his way around.  We were on the way to the Eiffel Tower when this guy we were talking to on the train said to get off at this one stop and you will have the best view. He was so right we walked out of the metro on to this street with a look out of Paris and the Tower in the dark all lit up. It was amazing. No words can describe it. We then headed back to the metro to go to the Champs d'Elysee.  The huge trees and big cobblestone sidewalks out of the movies.  We then walked a couple blocks down the street to the Arc de Triomphe. So cool all lit up at night too. It’s so much bigger than you think and a lot of history behind it. Took some great pictures and then stayed the night just north called St Oean.

The next day we had some training from President and Sister Babin. It was good. Loved the training. We had lunch there and then we went for legality. A small group of us went and it was long process. 

We also went up to Brussels this week Zone conference was really good.  I don’t think I told you this before but every week when we go to Brussels for district meeting and the other districts in the Zone are there as well for their district meetings then we have lunch together as a Zone after; Its good because you get to know all the people in the zone.

Week of November 10th

This Week was an interesting one. Right now we have about 5 progressing Amis. So this week we taught a couple lessons and did some more finding. It was good. 

We teach and meet a lot of people that are from Africa and just LOVE the bible. I’ve gotten the opportunity to know the Bible a lot better.  So usually we have to plan our lessons with the bible in order to teach them with their own book.

One day we were contacting in the rain in the Center Ville of town and we stopped this woman and explained who we are and what we were doing. She was really interested in us at first but when we turned the topic of conversation into the gospel and the restoration, she wasn't really interested.  So we said, “we know you are in a hurry but we really want to pray with you”. She had never heard a prayer like that. The prayer was short but after when she opened her eyes she had tears. She didn’t know what it was or why it made her feel that way but she knew that we were different and she liked it. She actually had to go so we gave her our number and she said that she is going to call us.

Another cool thing that happened this week was when we were eating lunch out at this Fry place. It’s Arabic food which is super good and we eat at these places a lot. Anyway the owner brought us our food and then left and as we always do, we said a prayer and blessed the food. We ate the meal, which was really good and we went to pay and he said you know, I’ve been in this business for 16 years and I’ve never seen people, let alone two young kids like you bless the food by prayer before you eat.  He said he has a ton of respect for that. The drinks are on me today. We were like okay! cool! thanks you have an awesome day. Spirit works in cool ways.

This week was also interesting because there were some problems with trains and buses. First of all the people who own the buses always go on strikes because of the government so there are days when we just can’t get places. The trains are electric so there are malfunctions with the currents and things like that so there were a lot of late trains and trains that can’t even run. It was a little chaotic this week for travel.

We have been getting to know some of the families in the Ward well. Elder Bailey and I really like this family that we have a lot of our lessons with.  We are also as a Zone singing in this big Christmas concert they have in Brussels ever year. Apparently there are some very talented people that sing and play. So that should be interesting and fun. Looking forward to that. It’s a great missionary opportunity too. 

Train Station in Brussels
Anyway that was basically my week. It was great. In the coming week we actually get to go to Paris again. President Babin insisted on having the whole mission get together for the conference with Elder Cook. So we are going to Versailles on Wednesday morning for the conference with all 280 missionaries and Elder Cook. Should be amazing.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Never Been Busier! Oct 27th & Nov 3rd

So Where to start?   Thanks for all the emails love hearing from all of you.

 I had another really cool week and early in the week we visited someone in our ward that we see regularly, he was baptised 8 years ago through the missionaries, however his wife and his two sons did not join at the same time. They know who we are because we see them all the time. This week we went over to provide some service and helped his wife with some shelves.  We shared a spiritual thought as well with them.  His wife has never shown any interest at all in the church but we invited her to participate and this was the first time in 8 years she has met with the missionaries.  It was great  to see how happy the husband was that she agreed. We will enjoy getting to know them better.  

Train Station

 Part of our vision in the Ward is to visit and help all members become unified! We also visited a less active family that lived in the same area. They have a ton of kids and hadn't been to church in a while. We went and ate and socialized with them and then shared a message for family home evening. They loved it and they were touched.  The next day they showed up at church with all their kids. We were so happy we made cookies and delivered them to their house later that day and gave them to the Dad and left.  As we were down the road all of the kids starting running after us telling us that their Mom wants to have us over again ASAP!

The other night we were porting (knocking doors) and we found this family just before we were going home, a Mom and Dad and three teenage daughters.  We asked if we could meet with them but they said they were eating. Instead they asked if we wanted to have dinner with them and suggested that we just share our message then. We don’t even get those invitations with most members!

 We also taught Renault this week. We cleared up some other questions he had and helped him to understand the plan Heavenly Father has for all of us. He loved it!  If all goes well we are going to be inviting him to commit to a baptismal date. We pray all the time for him and all our other amis. I feels like he is is basically a member. He comes to church every week and participates. We went to a YSA activity in the ward with him this week too. He has so many friends in the YSA now. I hope everything works out!

 This week we also helped the Ward prepare for the Halloween party, pretty funny. This week we drove to some farther parts of our area in our little hybrid. It’s like a little tin can. Got to see some really beautiful countryside,  reminds me a lot of Ontario.  

 This next week is going to be really packed too. First on Friday we have Zone Conference in the morning. Then we go right to the Halloween party at the church at night, the next morning we move to our new apartment. THANK GOODNESS!  Then after that we have to go to Brussels in the afternoon for the adult session of Stake Conference. We are staying with the other Elders in Brussels on that Saturday night and Sunday we have Stake Conference. Monday we have P-day then we go back to Brussels on Tuesday for district meeting. Then on the Wed the 5th we go to Paris and get to the see Eiffel  tower etc.!! Exciting times ahead.
The Abbey in Nivelles

Nov. 3rd
Thanks for all the emails this week.  We are literally SOOOOO busy. We actually got the keys this week to our new place and the apartment is ours we just don’t have time to move in!  The office in Paris has to bring up desks and beds etc. It will probably be sometime next week.

So Noelle Finnigan is an old teenage friend of my Aunt Heather and knew my uncle Michael and my parents. Her husband is the son of  the member who Grandpa Sam knew when he was here on his mission 59 years ago. Her husband is actually the Stake President.  He is a great guy and very inspired. It was funny that she knew you guys and we could make that connection. She was wondering if it was the same family she knew from way back when. An Elder McBride from Ontario Canada, good chance there would be a connection.  She is actually in our ward and we are going there this week for dinner. 

So first of all I have never been this tired in my life. It is a good tired though. I really don’t know how I am really functioning. Anyway so right now the work is a little out of control. We have so many appointments and so many people we are teaching. We have this whole week booked already. We are teaching a group of around 15 to 17 people and on top of that we are always travelling. Trains, Bus, and car and people don’t live close to each other. The other day alone we walked like 10 miles!

We had a lesson with Renault this week and he is progressing.  All of the lessons are at a members home and they are a discussion and family home evening combined. It was a really good discussion. He is progressing with his reading.  As a part of the last lesson we gave him a soft baptismal invite; he said yes and told us that when he has been taught everything and knows it is true without a doubt he will be baptised.
The Hybrid!

Friday was the Ward Halloween party. It was a fun to spend time with the members. We were able to meet so many new people.  We had Zone Conference this week which was great. Interviews went well, the training was really good as well. The over-riding theme was about patience and aligning our goals and visions with Heavenly Fathers. Stake conference was totally missionary oriented.  The three speakers were President and Sister Babin, and the Stake President,  Pres. Kahne. They are all good friends.  For Stake Conference we stayed in Brussels ordered pizza with the other missionaries,  Elder Bailey and I get along with them really well.  One is Canadian so we are basically brothers.  
Halloween Party
Train Station in Brussels - Halloween Candy in mouth :-)

I get to go to Paris tomorrow!  Our train leaves Brussels at 4 and we get to Paris at 6. Elder Bailey and I have the whole night free because my appointment for legality is the next day so I think we might go see the Louve, Arc de triumph and the Eiffel tower. Maybe dinner by the Caen River. We have a Conference on Wednesday, the same day as legality in Paris.  We are staying with some Elders we know there too. It should be a good time, can’t wait. Oh and this week we have district meeting, ward mission meeting and 10 appointments.  Here we come!

Love you guys. 

Elder McBride

Monday, 20 October 2014

Waterloo & Braine l'Alleud

Our actual area covers a couple cities in and around Waterloo and Braine l'Allued with most people commuting to Brussels which is a 15 minute train ride. 

Elder Bailey and I have been working hard this week and have had a number of cool experiences. This week we found 4 new amis that we are teaching and then taught an additional 10 other lessons. Our one Amis name is Renault. A 19 year old non practising Christian, super cool college student that is studying to become a teacher . We contacted him on Wednesday of last week walking down this tiny little side street. We have been praying and praying to find the people that are ready to hear our message. So we taught him this week in this cool little park and he loved it. He was super receptive to what we taught and definitely felt the spirit. At the end of the lesson after he said his first prayer with us, which was so cool we challenged him to pray about the truthfulness of our message and we promised him that Heavenly Father would answer his prayer and confirm what we said. He kind of pondered that and then we talked a little bit about that topic of receiving answers. He said "you know I think my prayer might have already been answered". During our discussion in the park that day he said that the day before he was on Facebook and saw a Muslim and a Christian arguing over beliefs. He said it made him think about things and he was really confused. That night he said he sat down and asked Heavenly Father to send someone to him or give him a sign of the truth. The VERY next day we contacted him on the street and he agreed to meet with us. I know that he was prepared to meet us and that it was not a coincidence that we were walking down that same little street at the same time he was.

Site of the Battle of Waterloo

So Elder Bailey and I had another super good week. We worked hard and had some amazing experiences. So first I was telling you about how Renault got an answer to his question and is super interested. This week we meet with him again at a members house, with a member who is his age, they get along really well. The member picked us all up and then we went to his house. As always he was super excited. We introduced and taught about the Book of Mormon because he was curious, we answered some questions by using the Book of Mormon. Throughout the lesson he keep saying/ referring to the previous lesson and how when we bore our testimonies he knew that there was something different about us! He knows that he has felt the spirit and he knows it’s real. The lesson went super well again. He said that everything made sense about the Book of Mormon. On the way back in the car with all 4 of us (Elder Bailey, myself, member Florant, and Renault) Renault starts talking about baptism and how soon does that process usually happen. We were like WHAT. We told him as soon as he knows and is ready he should get baptised.  After the lesson we invited him to church and yesterday (Sunday) he shows up in his suit, tie with his white shirt on all ready for class. All the talks and lessons were super good and he loved it. He even stayed after with all the youth, the bishopric, the young adults and the 4 missionaries to help plan for the Halloween party. He has all of these friends at church now too, So cool! We literally could not have asked the Lord for someone who was more ready. I really think that Renault is going to progress to baptism. All we have to do is trust in the Lord and help him get to that point! 

                   My First French Macaroon

So another cool experience this week we had in Waterloo was in this really nice area contacting on the streets. We were walking and we stopped this lady who was maybe fifty or so. We explained where we were from and why we were here. We taught her a little about why our church is different from others but she wasn’t too interested as most Catholics here. So we asked her if we could say a prayer with her before we left. She said sure and we asked her if there was anything specific she needed help with. She said that her husband was really sick.  So I said I would pray for him. I started to pray and blessed her and her husband as well as some other things. It was super cool. After I said amen she looked up and was almost in tears. She said she felt something different that she had never felt before. Unfortunately as people are stunned with what just happened they say that they have to go and we give them our card. It happens a lot.  People often deny the fact that they felt something different and say they have to go. That’s part of planting seeds though. We know and they know that they felt it. Pretty cool. We are also teaching another 10 lessons a week so we are busy. 
 I went on an exchange this week to Charleroi. I was with an Elder from Switzerland. It was pretty interesting. We had a couple lessons that day. (it was only for a day)One was in Spanish. A lot of nice people there. One man told me that he thinks with the accent I have I could have been here for at least six months. So that answers your question about how the Language is coming. In the lessons Elder Bailey and I try to switch off evenly. 


So this week was a cool European culture week. Our area Braine l'allued and Waterloo are FULL of teenagers and high schools, all the bus' and trains are packed. One night we were riding the train to a dinner appt. and literally the bus was empt,y we turned the corner and got to a stop and not even joking 150 teenagers got on the bus and you couldn't even see the front of the bus, it’s crazy. Elder Bailey and I were just sitting there like ummm we have to get off at the next stop and weave through a mass of kids.  Another thing that’s funny is that girls 14 to 18 years old drive these little scooter mopeds to school and then after school you’ll see like a train of them with their handbags and decked out helmets driving down the street. It's super funny.  The kids here are insanely well dressed.  You have no idea, when you guys come here after my mish to shop you will be blow away.   

                    Oldest Shopping Mall in Europe

Each Tuesday we also get to go to district meeting in Brussels. We take the train to Brux Nord station and then walk 5 min to the church. I took a super cool picture there this week that you should get printed and put it up on the wall. Anyway it’s awesome.  I’ve made some great friends in the Zone. We had a mini Canadian thanksgiving last week and one Elder wore his Canada tuoque, tie and sweater. I think we are having a zone conference in the next couple weeks.  This week we actually had the chance to go to Brussels on Friday. We took a little tour for our lunch break and went to see Grande Place and the oldest shopping mall in Europe. Super cool Experience. We just had some fresh baguettes and ice cream on the street. Pretty cool!

                                           Grande Place

Anyway's it’s been another awesome week! Oh so at this point I would just send letters to the mission home with my name on them. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

First week in the Field - Nivelles, Belgium



I’m here at a little library in a Nivelles, Belgium.  This week has been awesome. What an experience packed into a week. 

SO first, when we got off the plane we picked up our bags and meet the AP's and the mission president and his wife. They were super nice and cool. (Pres. Babin is a tall guy).  After that they took us all out to this little truck and we put all our bags in and then they give us a pain du chocolat. They were super good, all the food here is amazing. Once all the bags were packed up each of us received a Book of Mormon to give out on the train to Paris.   It was a direct train so there were only a couple people on it. I asked some guy if I could practice my French with him and he said "no". ha-ha.  

Train Station in Paris
When we arrived in Paris and got off and walked through the city to the chapel, which is that cool building in all the photos. It’s in the most unique part of Paris, the artsy district, it's a great area. It’s the most expensive church building in the world because it’s pretty big and right in the middle of Paris.  We hung out there for the day and had interviews with the President and his wife. They are super nice people. While you were waiting for your interview, you would go out tracting with a missionary serving in or near Paris. It was a great experience. 

One of the first people we stopped on the street we ended up teaching a lesson too. He was this older guy that was so friendly. We prayed with him on the street and it was amazing, you felt like you were in a little spiritual bubble in the middle of the street. So after that we went back and had dinner at the chapel.  At the end of the day we spilt up between the Presidents home and a near by hotel.  People just volunteered to stay different places, I ended up staying at the hotel with some elders I knew. 

View from the Church 
So the next morning we took the train back to the chapel and had a meeting to find out where we are going and who are trainers would be. It was so nerve-racking waiting to see where you were going to go. I was one of the last ones and Elder Bailey and I got assigned to "white wash" Braine L'Allued sector. So white wash means that there has never been missionaries there before, it’s a completely new area. That’s why we are living in Nivelles currently,  we are getting our new apartment this week, So send all the letters to our new address, I’ll send it next week. 

Elder Bailey
So it’s a little bit of a challenge because we have no "aim's"  there to teach right now because its brand new but it’s cool because there are so many opportunities for work. We contacted and "port'd" or door knocking a ton this week and found 5 or 6 people that invited us back the next day to pray and talk with them. The best are the buildings with the intercom because you can just buzz every apartment - lol. 

View from Apartment in Nevilles, Belgium

So back to it, after the meeting I meet my trainer Elder Bailey. He is legit the best trainer I could of asked for. He speaks fluently because he has been here for a year. He is so helpful, cool and funny. We get along so well it’s awesome. We gel really well!  We went to go visit a member the other day and they thought we had been together for months, it’s amazing. After the meeting we hoped on the train at the gare du nord in Paris and took a train to Brussels, My area is super close to Brussels and we go there every week for district meeting, AWESOME. The night we arrived we had to host a youth night/missionary night where the youth basically just asked us questions. It was super fun. 

We attend the Nivelles ward because there is nothing in our sector, so all the members there are the ones that we visit. It's about a 10 min train ride to church which is not bad. We ride the train probably 4 or 5 times a day which is perfect for contacting because they can’t go anywhere. So after that we just went out and worked for the rest of the week trying to find people. The one day we were not having a ton of success porting, so we stopped and said a little prayer to be directed where to go. The next building we went to there were 10 apartments and we talked to 5 people and got their names and numbers. It was super cool. I have found out that missionaries pray all the time. You really do see miracles all the time as missionaries. It has been a super cool experience this far and I’m so excited. I have such a cool area and a cool comp. I think we can really be successful. 

The people are literally SOOOOOOOOO nice. All of them with big hugs and hello's helping your French.  They are so cool, I love them and the ward is awesome. We always go and visit members and play games and teach lessons because the main goal right now is building up the ward and strengthening the community. I love it here so much. I feel really lucky and blessed. Oh and we taught a lesson on the street and the women really liked it so much she gave me a "bisou" which is like the little kiss on the cheek. It’s a mission rule not to let people do that but you are allowed one, your first one, ha-ha and I got mine in the first week. 

We watched conference in the clerk’s office yesterday in English while everyone else watched it in French. We bought a ton of cheese and bread and had a little party, Not to mention the talks where awesome. I got so much out of it. All of the questions I had were totally answered.  

Anyway I hope that was a good little update. Thanks for the advice and those journal entries are funny, good times at the mtc. I’ll send some pics along in other emails. It's a little tough to write as I’m writing on a weird French keyboard.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Elder Nathan McBride - France, Paris Mission

Nathan has asked us(his family) to keep his friends and family informed of his experiences in the France, Paris Mission.  We will be posting pictures, excerpts from his letters and other experiences so you can be a part of Elder McBride's two year journey as a full time Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

MTC District
The MTC Experience:

Elder McBride entered the MTC in Provo, Utah  on August 20th 2014 and spent 41 days learning to speak French, teach gospel principles and build his testimony.  Here are some highlights:

"I am fully in the routine now here at the MTC and I am super excited to get into the mission field.  The French is coming along but the challenge is you know exactly what to say in English but its hard in translate into French. You feel limited in your vocabulary which is hard and feel like you could do so much better. There are lessons and days when everything comes together and the words are coming out right and those you are teaching understand what you are saying."  

"To be effective in teaching, you need to get to know someone at a personal level and share personal testimony." 

"Interesting how the spirit works.  I've come to know of that even the short time that I have been here. I have learned how to rely on spirit and have it with you all the time. It’s amazing the promptings that can come, you have to listen for them."

"A testimony isn't enough, you have to able to live and act on the principles you believe in and be an example of Jesus Christ."

Elder McBride loved his time in the MTC. He had such amazing teachers who had recently returned from the Paris, France mission.  Nate loved the missionaries in his district and felt blessed to work with them.  He really enjoyed the music, singing in French as there are many hymns they sang in French that he hadn't heard before.  Nate felt blessed to be able to hear so many great speakers such as Richard G. Scott and Russell M. Ballard and a broadcast from David Bednar. These strengthened his testimony of the atonement and understanding of the worth of souls.  He was ready and anxious to get to the field to participate in missionary work in France.

Arriving in Paris, France:

September 29th Elder McBride departed for France.  After a 10 hour flight he along with 27 other missionaries arrived in Paris. They were introduced to the  mission tradition of French pastries provided by the mission home upon their arrival.  There were so many missionaries coming in this transfer that only a few could stay at the mission home, the rest had to stay at a near by hotel.  The group spent the day visiting at the mission home as well as exploring the town where the mission home is located and talking to people they met in the streets.

The following day the missionaries met their companions(trainers) and proceeded to make their way to their first area.  There are 65 area's in the mission with only 7 in Belgium.  Nate was paired with Elder Bailey and are serving in Nivelles, Belgium.  Nathan was hoping to have the opportunity to serve in Belgium as it is a small part of his mission.  We have yet to hear from Elder McBride since he arrived but did hear from the Mission President that he had arrived safely.  Looking forward to hearing his updates next week!

President & Sister Babin

Elder McBride & Elder Bailey

Arriving Missionaries