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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?

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