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Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016 Welcome to Mars

Dear Family,

Things are still cruising here on Iceland. We're working hard and seeing things progress! Summer sure sounds like a blast at home but I'm definitely in the cooler place ;) We had to drop a senior couple off at the airport and we took a different way home and it seriously looked like we were driving through Mars! Some places here just look unreal! The Icelandic is coming along but can be occasionally frustrating haha!

I still haven't had any "traditional" Icelandic food but I think next week i'm going to buy one of those sheep head things and cook it haha. We did eat at a members house this week and they live in such a sweet place. We drove inland a little ways and got to their house which is in the middle of this valley surrounded by mountains! So sweet! 

I hope you don't get too absorbed in Pokemon haha! I've heard of the game but I don't think I've met anyone that actually plays yet I'll keep my eye out! I love you guys! 

Öldungur McBride

P.S. Happy birthday soon old man ;)

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016 Another Week Another Mountain

Iceland is seriously so epic! Right after we wrote last week we climbed a mountain that overlooks Selfoss! At the top there was this moss that feels better than a temperpedic mattress. We almost took a nap laying in some moss on a mountain while looking out over a river running into the ocean!
We had a great week! We had a first lesson with a nice couple we knocked into which went pretty well and we even set up an appointment with the first person I gave an Icelandic Book of Mormon to! We're hoping for the best! We also visited the first convert on Iceland after missionary work was re opened! She's the one who translated the Book of Mormon into Icelandic in 1980! Pretty amazing huh! We also had zone conference! An area 70 came and he was really nice Elder Pills from Germany! It was totally different getting trained by a 70 and the mission president with only 8 elders! We learned a lot!

I got two compliments this week that I've never ever gotten before. One was that a member said I must have played soccer before and was sincerely surprised when I said only on my mission. The second was this guy at a 2nd hand store we volunteer at sometimes told me I have a really nice smile! Well I've heard that once or twice but then he added on. "Yes you have a very nice smile like you should be in the pictures to sell ice cream!" Apparently I have the face and smile to be an ice cream model! I guess I won't be needing the business degree from BYU after all haha. We told that story to a member family here and now I'm known for my "ice cream smile" haha.

Life is good! Its good to see pics of you guys having a blast at Lake Powell! I miss swimming! I miss Cole and Ike too. Finn and Jake are still standing on my desk but I gave B-Mo to one of my best mission buddies!

I love you all
Öldundgur McBride

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016 This Place is Really Cool!

Dearest Family,
Iceland is just really cool! Mom I got the package on wednesday so it was perfect, right before our fourth of july district activity! Fourth of July is not as fun living outside the states but it is kind of fun just celebrating america when you haven't been there for so long haha. I took some fun pics!
Iceland is very different than Denmark. In a lot of ways its like half european and half american. There are big cars and big grocery stores. The grocery store had full on shopping carts! They seemed ginormous! I missed hanging out at the beach with you all but last wednesday we did something cool for an activity! We did this little hike where we could see a bunch of geothermal stuff with hot springs and steam and stuff up to a naturally heated river at the top! It was really cool!
Also on tuesday we had to go to the danish embassy to work something out so I got to see Reykjavik! That is a cool city! It is so unique! It felt different than any city I had ever walked around in. It's not very big but the buildings are a little tall and just the vibe is cool. It be like walking down main street in park city but right on the beach at the same time. I'm dying to get me an icelandic wool sweater, they look so great! I had a really sweet gift of tongues experience this week! I was asked to bless the sacrament and when I read the prayer it came out in the smoothest Icelandic I've ever spoken! I've been blessed to have specific moments where I can understand or communicate over here. The gift of tongues is real!
Ya that question is definitely a tricky one. How I answer it usually depends on how sincere they are. If someone is really wanting to make a covenant with God then they are willing to be baptized again. Like I--- in Odense when she got baptized it was her third time being baptized but the last time it was a covenant. In the lutheran church people are just dipped in water as babies, there really isn't anything more than ceremony to it. I could go off on the doctrine of baptism and stuff but really if they're sincerely trying to come closer to God I don't feel like making a covenant scares them off!
Dad is going to kill it! He usually does! I hope everything goes well with the car and stuff! Lake Powell will be a blast! :)
Öldundgur McBride

My Cool Hike

Elder McBride with some Americana

Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th!!! July 4, 2016

Dear Family,

I'm sure you've all just been dying of curiosity about what the heck I'm doing out here! Let me give you the details! Two weeks ago on Tuesday Elder Weese and I were driving to a member's house for dinner and we get a call from President O'Bryant. That almost always means something big. He says he wants to talk to us for a bit and then asks us to pull over to the side of the road when we can, he's got something to tell us. We had no idea what was happening haha. We weren't expecting transfer calls until Saturday. He told Elder Weese that he was training which was very exciting and then he said well Elder McBride...(and then he chuckled I think).  I've got something special for you to do. If you say yes, you will be going to Iceland. Hahaha Pres, good one. Wait what? Are you serious? Yes your new area will be Selfoss and your new companion will be Elder Stewart if you accept it. YES YES I'LL GO! Ok you will be getting on a plane on Monday.  Bring one suitcase and I´ll have some language material sent to you so that you can start studying.

Woah. Coolest phone call of my entire life. That night I was almost in shock.  I still didn't know if it was real! He told me I could write my family and tell them I'm leaving but I asked him if I could just wait and surprise them hahah. You gotta love the suspense! On Monday I drove to the airport. I didn't expect to take a plane ride until the day I went home, but we hopped on a plane, 1 suitcase and a carry on. The reason is because a couple Icelandic elders went home earlier than expected and three went home normally and they aren't expecting new elders for a little while. So there are currently three Danish missionaries here in Iceland. They're expecting that I'll be here for 3 months and then finish my mission in Denmark. I'm learning the language as fast as possible and the mental challenge of it is kind of thrilling! There are a lot of words that overlap with Danish but almost 0 that overlap with English. They pride themselves on having a very pure and old language! The grammar is something entirely new so that's a little challenging and the pronunciation is crazy haha! It's actually coming pretty fast! A member told me that when I try to speak Icelandic I have the Danish accent. I took that as a huge compliment to my Danish!

Iceland is incredible. There are mountains!! With snow on top, glaciers actually! Some are even volcanoes! When we drove form Rekyjavik to Selfoss there were places where steam comes up through the ground on the sides of the road! The water here is incredible! I've taken the best showers of my life the past week! Our apartment is huge! Huge! I think its three times as big as my last one, at least the roof is three times as tall. I call it my airplane hangar there is so much space! The members here are really great! I think we had 10 in church in our branch but usually there is a little more. Testimony meeting has a whole new meaning in a little branch. It really reminds you that the gospel isn't just a social club but something real for individuals. It was so cool. My first night here was basically an Icelandic holiday. Iceland was playing England in the Euro cup and they have been a miracle under dog team! We were allowed to watch it with a member family because literally the entire country was watching the game! Iceland won! áfram ísland!!! They lost to France yesterday though so the fairy tale is over.

Some days it feels like I've just started my mission over! I'll stand in front of someone's door and have a million things I want to say but I just don't have the words yet! It's usually pretty hilarious because if I get going too fast in Icelandic it just comes out all Danish and then I say sorry in English hahaha. Elder Stewart is great though and people will listen longer here than they seemed to in Holbæk, we'´re going to have quite the transfer! One other thing is that Elder Stewart is Canadian! So we celebrated Canada day on the 1st haha! Also they have a lot more American food here! I've eaten mac and cheese out of a box like 3 times already! Amazing!

I love you guys! I hope that answered some of your questions :) Have a blast at the beach! Really get that tan on! I love the pictures you send they always make me laugh!

Öldundgur McBride

Black sand beach with a snow topped volcano named Hekla way off in the distance!
New Companion, Elder Stewart from Canada
Mac n Cheese Taco?