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