Saturday, December 7, 2013

Black Friday Caroling!

 black friday caroling - until we got kicked out 

souplantation with ivett and freshte

thanksgiving with the Gallegos family 

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Easter!

Dec 3, 2013

Howdy Y'aalll!!
It is December 3rd and I am wearing a short sleeve shirt. So weird. This week was my hump day! Crazyyy!! Time has flown by..most days at least haha. So..last week I told you how we got transfer calls and we were all going to stay the same. We were pumped and all that. Well..that night we recieved a call and I guess they made a last minute decision and decided to transfer Hermana Flandro. I felt so bad because it was the day before Thanksgiving and we made all these plans and then she got her hopes up and WHAM she was transferred. BUT..she also knew that it was where she needed to go. I was freaking out because I have only been in a new mission for 8 weeks and they need me to take over the area. I was kinda freaking out. But then I remembered that I had to take over Kennewick in only 4 weeks. The Lord always qualifies his missionaries.
So on Wednesday morning I picked up my new companion at transfer meeting. Her name is Brianna Barnes and she is from Springville, UT. She is like a little ball of sunshine. She is 5"0, blonde and just so happy all the time. She has been out for 7 months now. Her spanish is awesome. We get along great. She plays piano like a boss (which is nice cuz I am sure the ward is sick of me playing the same hyms in sacrament meeting every week). I can't wait for this transfer. We gonna tear it up!
My Thanksgiving was very odd but it was pretty expected. We did weekly planning (which usually takes 3 hours). In the middle of it, the apartment below us started on fire for a minute so we grabbed as much stuff as we could. It was a pretty dramatic 3 minutes of deciding what was most important to me haha. I grabbed my ukulele, pictures, journal, camera, and my ipod hahaha. It ended up being just a little tiny dinky flame and the lady freaked out and called the fire department. By the time the 3 fire trucks showed up, the alarm went off. It was pretty comical. Later we went to eat dinner at The Gallegos house. It was way fun. We ate turkey, potatoe salad, flan, and spaghetti. It was just so delightful haha. After, we met up with the other missionaries in the district and we went caroling while people waited in line for Black Friday. I played the uke and it was so sick. Our district can all sing so it was pretty legit not gonna lie. People were recording us and taking pictures and all that jazz. It was way cool. And then we got kicked out by Scrooge The Mall Manager. But hey, it was fun while it lasted.
Ivett and Freshte took us to this amazing restraunt this week. They aren't super ready for baptism yet but we are trying to help them get there. Same with Diana. She is progressing but we are gonna try to slow things down a little bit. Mayra got hit with some pretty crazy news...Before her baptism she had a boyfriend. She was fully repented of before her baptism and all and she was so excited to start a new life. Well..this week she found out she is pregnant. Super sad because she is only 22 years old and she doesn't have much money. PLEASE keep her in your prayers.
I am so excited for the holiday season to start!! The mission office will send mis padres an email but just in case you don't get it...If you want to send me something for christmas, make sure to write CHRISTMAS on the box so that they will hold them until christmas eve. They will give us all of our packages that night and then we will patiently wait until the next morning to open them haha.
Funny: Yesterday we were teaching Diana and her dad, Jose. He wanted me to say the closing prayer. In my prayer, I was asking to bless Jose and his family and he whispers to me..TRABAJO. So I say.."Y por favor bendice que Jose puede encontrar trabajo"..then I am about to the end the prayer and he whispers in my ear "JET PLANE". I was like..."QUE?" and I couldn't understand cuz he usually speaks spanish so I didn't know what the heck he was talking about. We ended the prayer and I was like "What did you say Jose??" He was like.."JET PLANE...hehehe...I want a Jet Plane." Probs should find the job first Jose..haha.  
Spiritual: This week I finished the New Testament, and The Book of Mormon again. I am now onto reading Jesus The Christ..(shes a long one..woof) and The Book of Mormon again. But this time I am really going to try to focus on The Atonement and how everything relates back to Jesus Christ. This week I was reading in Jesus The Christ and it talks about the knowledge of God. He knows more than we can even comprehend. He knows our hearts. He knows how we will react in every situation. He knows everything from the beginning to the end. It compared it to how much our parents know about us X100. We can't even comprehend the love he has for us. So, I was thinking a lot about why we come here and why we need to pray to him if he already knows how we will react. I have learned that we come here to learn by experience, to have joy, and to turn to him so that we can understand what HE wants us to do. And one day, we will get to meet him again. It will be kind of like the Salt Lake City Airport in 8 months but times that by 1,000,000,00...It will be a pretty legit. I am stoked.
Love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful first week of December.
Eat some snow for me..
xoxo. smile always.
-Hermana McBride

Rain, Rain.

 district t-shirts. so sick! 
rain! happy winter! 

shakin' it up at Mayra's baptism. 

Estoy Agradacida - Happy Thanksgiving

Hola y Feliz Dia De Accion De short...HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
This week Mayra got "baptizized" as she would call it. YAY! It was the smoothest sailing baptism. Which was nice because given my past....batisms are always a little crazy. Mamma Ivett and her daughter Freshte accepted a baptism date as well as Diana (15 year old) for December 7th! YAY!!! It was a day of miracles thats for sure! Keep them in your prayers! Also, we found out today that our whole district is staying the same this next transfer!!!! YAY!!! We are all so pumped for the holidays. And pumped to play my new ukulele!!!! (THANKS MOM!!) I am so happy. haha.
Anyway..This email I just want to throw down a few things I am grateful for. Not just in general but from a missionary perspective.
1st and most important Jesus Christ: As a missionary I get the opportunity to teach His gospel and watch how it can change lives. But more than anything, I get to see how many situations that the atonement can change lives, including my own. Lately, I have been watching the new bible videos (highly recommended) before I go to bed. I have been trying hard to really focus on the atonement. Although I don't understand it completley, what I do comprehend is that for maybe a split mili-second He suffered there for me, Madison McBride. For my pains, trials, sicknesses, heartbreaks, sins, etc. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
2nd My Family: Every single prayer, I never neglect to pray for my family. I miss them more than words can describe but I have seen the most amazing blessings that they are recieving for their sacrifices. I am grateful for the house I have at home waiting for me, for the arms that I get to hug in the SLC airport in 9 months, for the life lessons that i have learned that I use while I teach the Gospel, and for the love and support that I get from them. I carry around 3 huge picture books around with me everywhere I go and I make sure that everyone knows how amazing MY family is.
3rd The Little Things: Some moments as a missionary are priceless but I can try to explain...
-Hearing somebody say "Nuestro Padre Celestial" for the first time
-The little party that you have in your head when your investigators come into the chapel on sunday.
-taco trucks
-watching someones heart completely change in a matter of 3 minutes of a street contact
-listening to christmas music in October
-hearing water running in the church for a baptism
-letters from home
-acting as if P-Day is christmas day EVERY week
-service (like last night, we gave out food to the homeless with Ivett and her kids)
This will probably be a thanksgiving like none other. I will probably be eating tortillas and flan. I hope you all enjoy this special day. THANK YOU. Everyone of YOU. for your love and support. I miss you like crazy but I am so happy and excited to see the work of salvation unfold here in Chulajuana.
Love you allll of the dayth.
xoxo. smile siempre.
-Hermana McBride

Happy Fall! errrr.....Happy Winter!

 avery and me

happy fall errr...happy winter

hermano augiar paying his rent. such a squisher! 

Remember Gethsemane

(Nov 19, 2013)

Happy Tuesday everyone. First of all, SHOUT (hehe) out to poppa McBride this week! Happy Birthday old man! Love you so much. This week has been a great one. Mostly because I have been listening to christmas music all week and it is starting to get cold..60 degrees. Its great. I am really starting to feel like Lexi with all of this Christmas in November non-sense but whatever..feels like home haha.
This week we had the opportunity to visit with the granddaughter of this lady that we have been teaching. Her name is Avery. She is a 9 year-old with Cerbralpalsy. She is such a fire ball. Full of life and so girly. We visited with her for about 30 minutes and she was so freaking cool. She told us to go visit her friend who has to be in the hospital for 6 weeks because of surgery, and to go share a scripture with her brother, but mostly she wants us to teach her mom. Her mom wasn't there but she is an alcoholic and has been having a really hard time with a daughter with this life-trying disability. I was so humbled by going to visit her. She learned how to dial our phone number and we now get phone calls every so often to tell us hello. It is the little things in life..Be greatful for the life you have. Avery is so happy and full of light. (See Picture).
This week we also had these things called MTE's (Missionary Training Expierience). We have a meeting/training in our zone with President Clayton and then one of the sister training leaders comes with us for a day and we go out and teach in our area. The next day we report on all of the cool miracles that we saw. And man oh man did we see miracles!! We had 10 lessons in one day and we got 4 new investigators! It was so sweet. We had some amazing lessons. Also, Mayra committed to be baptized on Saturday! WHOOOO!!
Random things that happened this week:
-We have been teaching a 16 year old member. He is the piano player for our ward and he is way cool. He has a ton of quesitions about life and faith and theory. My mind is blown after every lesson we have with him. I feel like I am teaching Austin or Brandon haha. But I am learning a lot as we try to help him understand faith and how to use it. I really really hope he will serve a mission!
-We had an activity as a stake this week called "Meet the Mormons". It was a casual dinner for members to bring there non-member friends to see what we believe. They had every room with displays of things that we believe. IT WAS SO COOL. Soooo many people came.
-We ate Peruvian food with the Coca family this week. They are so sick. She is white. He is peruvian. And they have the cutest kids. And their food was amazing. She reminds me a lot of my aunt Marci so it was way fun to hang out with them.
Spiritual: President Clayton just got back from a missionary president training in Washington with 40 other mission presidents. He told us that Elder Ballard spoke to them and at the end he walked to his seat and right before he sat down, he walked back up to the pulpit. He pulled out of his pocket a pass-along card, a picture of Jesus Christ, and said.. "If you ever get tired, or weery, or want to give up...Remember Gethsemane. And you won't be tired anymore". As missionarys, as human beings, as disciples of Jesus Christ, there are so many times where we are tired and we just don't feel like we can go any further. I add my invitation as Elder Ballard said.."Remember Gethsemane".
Funny: Workouts are fun and all. Sometimes we go walk up to the hospital and look at the beautiful view of TJ and San Diego. Other days we go run on a track. This week we decided to get creative. I have a samoan upbeat song that I got from Hermana Pierce on my ipod and Hermana Flandro knows how to Polynesian dance. (Proabably an outcome from going to Cyprus High School). So she taught me how to polynesian dance in our apartment. Hehehe. Oh and yesterday we were doing service at a park and the elders wanted to know if we could do i threw a round-off back handspring. Without Stretching. I still got it and all but the poly dancing mixed with the tumbling...I AM SORE. Woof. haha.
smile always.
-Hermana McBride

Just a Bunch of Random

(Nov 12, 2013)

Howdy Y'all!
Okay..first of all..HAPPY BIRTHDAY MCKSMELL. I can't believe you are so old. freaks me out. we got to the library a little bit early so we went across the street to H&M. Worst idea ever. Don't worry, I didn't buy anything but HOLY MOLY I miss winter sweaters so much haha. It made me think of Nordstrom last year. I might miss clothes more than my own family. #Withdrawls. Hahaha. JOKE. I miss you all oh so much. Week are just flying by. I can't believe that in 9 months I will be at home. Loco. I am really trying to live it up while I am here.
This week I felt extra cool because we started re-teaching one of the cute ladys from the district movies. Her name is Ofelia and she is so sweet. She didn't even know there was a spanish congregation this whole time and that is her native language. SAY WHAT?? She was really excited that we spoke spanish too haha. So I hope that she will progress and her family will too.
One of the members that we work a lot with had a really hard fall and broke her hip and leg in 3 places. She is 87 years old. We have been visiting her a lot in the hospital. It is really sad to see how short life can be. But at the same time, she shared with us her cute stories from her life and I felt like I was hanging out with my own grandparents. So much to learn from them..youth these days are crazyyy loco.
Speaking of the youth, we have seen some really sad things happen with a lot of our investigators and members. Kids are doing the craziest things at such a young age. This week we got caught up in traffic because apparently, 2 minutes before, a 14 year old boy jumped off of a bridge onto this busy highway because he was being bullied. LIKE WHAT?! So sad. I am soo grateful that I have had God in my life to help me through hard times. I swear I am going to lock my own childeren up in a closet and never let them out haha.
We had another Mission President Fireside (with the music and conversion stories) this week. This one was in English so there were SO many people there. It was so weird to go to a meeting like that in english. The last one was probably the MTC. There were so many cool stories from converts and I got to sing in the choir. It was awesome.
I am now doing my personal progress in Spanish now. So..McKell, Cassidy, and have competition. Lets see who can finish first! Hehe. I am excited because I am doing it all in spanish and when I finish, I get the gold medallion :)
Spiritual: Lately, For one of our investigators, I have been studying a lot about the atonement and how it can help people overcome regret. I asked President Clayton more about his thoughts on the matter and he related it in the perfect way for me..relationships. He basically talked about when a relationship is broken up and the one person moves on and another one doesn't. The person who doesn't move on sits and thinks about every little thing that could have been and how they could have changed. But the only thing to do is to move on. He also told me the story of a friend he had that left his house with his wife and kids and they were hit by a drunk driver. The wife and one of his kids died. He couldn't help but think.."if only I left the house 5 seconds before.." and other thoughts like that. He used the atonement to forgive the drunk driver and move on. I think life can be really hard if we dwell on the past and think about "WHAT IF". Life is too short and it is time to just MOVE ON. (cue in Rascal Flatts "I'm Moving On" hehe) Sometimes we have to go through point B when we are on a journey from point A to point C. We are here in this moment in our lives for a reason and we are to learn day by day by experience and to be happy! Happieness.That is what God wants. Not regret.
Funny: In a spanish ward, about 95% percent of people are converts to the church. And most of them were catholic or christian. This week at a baptism, one of the recent converts was asked to give the closing prayer. Lets just say it was a good 5 minutes and it was a lot of yelling hahaha. The best part is that nobody else thought it was weird. just us gringos.
Oh and just a fun fact..I crossed 2 things off of my bucket list this week. 1. I finished a full chapstick without losing it and 2. I learned how to whistle with my fingers! WHOO!
Welllllp That's all folks.
Have a good week. Loves you all oh so much.
xoxo. smile always.
-Hermana McBride

Halloween 2013

halloween dinner Mexican style 

maria and me

mario and luigi! 


(Nov 5, 2013)

Bienvenidos a mi correo-electronico :)
I hope you all had a great week and a fabulousaaaa halloween. Mine was pretty fun, i guess. Me and Hermana Flandro dressed up as Mario and Luigi..tehehe. It was pretty fun. We had a little lunch with the missionaries before our district meeting but me and her were definitely had the best costumes. We had to come in the apartment by 7 at we decided to eat Helotes (corn with mayo, parmesean cheese, and tapatillo) and tomalles for dinner. A halloween like non other! Haha! (see pictures)
This past Wednesday was crazy. We got a text from Ivett that said that she couldnt meet with us for dinner because her son (Bijan, 17) ran away from home. We were so worried but we just went about our day. At about 6:00 at night, I felt like we should go see how she was doing and if we could help in anyway. We went over there and her daughter, Freshte (17) told us she was glad we came because her mom needed company. We went and talked about all the possibilitys of where he could be and how to track down his Iphone and yada yada..during this whole time, Hermana Flandro was just praying that he would call. She finally said, "lets just all say a prayer together". Right then, Freshte's phone rang from an unknown number. It was him! He told her that he was in Chicago and all this stuff but he was acting way fishy. Anyway, we recorded the conversation on Ivetts Iphone and replayed it looking for clues. When Freshte asked him if he was with his friend "Johnny" he hesitated a ton. We started talking about who this Johnny kid was. As we sat there we just kept praying that we could know what to do next and where he could be. She then said "Well..I don't know much about him but he is 22 and he lives behind Vons I think..". Me and Flandro teach people all the time over in that area. All of the sudden it clicked. We teach our recent convert named Nelly and her son's name is Johnathen. He has taken the lessons before but was never baptized. She pulled up his instagram and we figured out it was him. We had even planned on visiting them that night. So we grabbed our stuff and drove over to see her. I felt like a freaking CIA agent. It was so intense haha. Welp..Johnny didn't show up until we were about to leave. We talked to him for a bit but he wasn't with anybody but we walked outside and talked to Ivett and she said that she found out he was in Hawaii. Crazzzy. Moral of the story though...PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED.
Crazy part of that story too is that we are now teaching "Johnny" and he came to church this week! Ivett went to Hawaii and picked her son up and we have a lesson with her tonight. Hopefully all is well!
Diana is doing awesome as well. She came to church and she really likes it. Her belief in God is growing so much. We invited her to be baptized on the 23rd of November and she accepted!! We aren't sure how sure it is but pray hard for her! She really wants an answer. Woop woop!
So..we had a record-breaking miracle this week. 8 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH! We were expecting about 2. Mayra's family came. One family brought their neighbors. It was so sweet. The member missionary work is starting to catch on fire here in CHULAJUANA! and I DOTH LOVE IT!
Not So Funny Moment of The Week: Besides Mothers Day and Christmas, there is one day that every missionary looks forward to..daylight savings. I have been stoked all week for that beautiful day that I get an extra hour of sleep. Well..I hurried to bed as fast as possible and we set our alarm and went to bed. Well..we are used to our great Iphones and how they change the time for you. Not these phones. We got up at 5:30 am..thinking it was 6:30. Went to pick up the other sisters and they said..uhhh its only 7:30. I was so mad!!!! Maybe next year..:(
Oh and also, word on the street is their is an underground tunnel from TJ to Chula Vistab equipped with air conditioning and heating. I think like it sounds like a great finding opportunity..we will see what the mission president thinks ;) bhahaha! SIKE.
Spiritual Moment: We went to Bishop Chavez's house for dinner on Sunday and they have gone through lots and lots with their family and everything. My companion was talking to Hermana Chavez a lot about forgiveness. She told us a personal story of her own family and how she knows when she forgives somebody. She told us.."I know that I have forgiven somebody when I pray for them or want what is best for them. Not in a judging way but in a genuine care for their well-being."
I, personally, haven't had any crazy grudge held up in my life or anything like that but I feel like there are little things that bother me or people in my past who I still have hurt feelings. I have learned that it isn't about becoming best friends with that person or having to be in contact with them but it is more to really try to see somebody as God sees them and hope that they do well in life. Anyway..just a cool dinner convo.
smile always.

Photos from San Diego!

mayra's birthday tea party

sunset cliffs

Hola from Chulauanna!

(Oct 29, 2013)

Hola from Chulauanna!
This place really is like lil mexico. In fact, Saturdays are like a ghost town because everybody and their chiwawa goes to TJ for the weekend. I am excited for Halloween although I have no idea what I am going to be. We get to do a little activity for the primary tonight which should be fun. We are also going to Old Town San Diego today to see all of the decoration for the Dia de Los Muertos.
Lots is going on with our investigators this week. We have a few solid people. We had 5 investigators at church and 3 less-actives too. SO COOL. I was stressed out of my mind the whole time but it was the primary program so it was comical as well as spiritual.
First, Mayra (21 years old). Her uncle that was deported came back somehow and the family is so so happy. They now want to come to church and take the lessons. We are so happy because we tried to get them to come before but they were very shy but now they are very grateful because the church helped them out with food for the next month. QUE UNA BENDICION.
Ivette (single mother of the teenagers) came to church too. She is so so solid. Her boss is LDS and talked to her for an hour about it and she called us and was so excited to tell her everything she learned from him.
We went by to see Charlie (Cota). He wasn't at home cuz he was at the hospital. We went the next day to visit him and Bishop Chavez came too. It was so sad to see that little guy so weak but it has brought their family so close. One of the sons even fasted with us for Charlie.
I have taught like 3 different teenagers this week about the nature of God and prayer. There are so many who don't believe and I can really see how wicked the world is lately. We are teaching a 14 year old girl named Dianna who is so freaking cool. She is so smart and has so many questions. She came to church this week and really liked it. Its just sad how many young kids don't have the hope of something more than this world.
Spiritual: There is a famous picture of Jesus Christ when he is standing at the door but there is no handle on the door. He is knocking but it is our choice to open the door. I had a cool thought this week about how Jesus Christ can help me out so much as a missionary because he knocks more doors than I ever could. He knocks on every single door and waits and waits until we are willing to open the door and let him help us. As a missionary, I get frustrated when someone won't keep their appointment or they are inside but ignore us..that is probably how Jesus feels. But he is patient and loving. In our lives we need to be more like Him, patient and loving and willing to wait for those who need our help but arent willing to ask.
Funny: We were walking and walking and walking on Saturday but nobody was outside. Well..I spent most of this time walking behind Hermana Flandro. I finally went in front of her to walk up some stairs in a trailer park and she just started laughing so hard. I turned around to see why and we both noticed that my backpack had pulled my skirt up in the back and basically I was just flashing the whole old-folks trailer park for who knows how long. HAHA! Good stuff. hopefully the old people couldn't see very well. oops..
Miss you and Love you all.
Feliz Dia de Los Brujaaasss!!!
-Hermana McBride