Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Week #12: San Diego MB

Hola Familia!!

           How are you all?! I miss you all so much! I am so lucky I have you all. It has been a good week. One of the senior couples the Afflecks looked online and found a bunch of stuff out about mom and we talked to about it a little bit this week and she just kept saying how amazing my family must be and I agreed. It was a sweet memory to remember last Christmas and how we all came together and sleeping in the waiting room and so many other things that we did as a family. I am definitely very blessed. Thank you for being such an amazing family and for putting God first over anything. This week has gone by so fast it is insane. I feel like there is so much work to do and no time! We had commemoration this week too which was amazing. Commemoration is a celebration the city of San Diego has in old town to remember the day that the Mormon Battalion arrived to San Diego!! It is incredible and a lot of fun. It felt like pioneer days in Chubbuck, except it was here in San Diego with less members haha it was so great and such an amazing missionary opportunity. We were able to talk to a lot of people about Mormons! We had 1065 people come to the Battalion all day long on Saturday. It was so hectic and crazy! We loved every second of it! I will send some pictures of the commemoration. Sister Sanchez and I got to be Laundresses in the Parade because 4 laundresses made it all the way to San Diego. It is cool, because so many missionaries participate in this for the city. President Clayton and our new director Elder Barnes were there and they helped put everything together. Elder Holland's brother, Dennis also was here all weekend too. I was able to give him his tour and it was a lot of fun! He is a great guy. He is one of the people in charge of this commemoration. So great! I sent a few pictures of the commemoration. I met the Days who were a couple that served at the MB that taught Kirsten choir! and I also met a family there named the Jacobson's who know the McDermotts from Temecula. There were so many Idaho/ Utah license plates I thought I was there again haha. There were so many miracles this week. Sunday we had about 5 nonmembers show up and some that we are just going to start teaching tonight! We are excited! Miracles are happening and we are working so hard. We get to start a booth at grossmont campus next week. We are so excited! Ah! I love being a missionary. I really do. It makes me so happy to get to talk to people, get yelled at, and be persistent because of what I KNOW will bless there lives. It is truly amazing. At the Battalion yesterday a man came in with no hands. I talked to him for a while and he was amazing. He was so happy, and said he lost his hands in an accident when he was 12. So sad, but he has chosen to live a life of happiness. I asked him about religion and he said he was atheist and that I better enjoy life now because it will be over soon and he knows that none of the religions are true. He said that I can try to convince him all day but that he would never change his mindset. I boldly stated that I knew he was wrong. I told him that there is an eternal happiness and an opportunity for him and all of us to live with God again and I challenged him to listen to the missionaries. The Spirit helped me to be so bold and, amazingly,  he humbly said, "Yes, I will learn more." I sent the missionaries to him yesterday, and I know he will be baptized at some point. It is amazing how the Spirit can work through us when we allow him too. You all know I am not a very bold person, so I know it wasn't me, but I feel honored to have been an instrument in helping that man find his Heavenly Father. We are over halfway through this transfer. It is insane. I cannot believe how fast time goes. There is so much to do and I love it. I am so thankful for my family and for my amazing life. I am so blessed. This week I have been trying to improve my studying habits. I know that as we study with a purpose in mind that it helps us to learn and helps us to know what other people need from us. As you are studying this week will you all try to  think about a certain person/ topic while you are studying. I know it will help so many as you do this. Sound like you are all having such great missionary opportunities! That is awesome about Steven and Rachel's neighbors! Don't give up on anyone. I met a lady who had a son that served with Jared, however I left my paper that I wrote it down on at the apt. So I will try to remember that next week. Oh and I also met Nathan Allen's parents. They both came to the battalion and said they had met Steven during Les Mis. They were very nice people. Another miracle! We went to see Amber this week and she was not home, but we talked with the guy who owns her apartments and had a lesson with him. It was amazing. He said he didn't care to learn more, but we could feel that he needed that prayer and guidance especially that night. Little miracles are the best! I love you all. Keep smiling and do not give up on those less actives/ non-members. We have the truth and we have a responsibility to help everyone. This is a missionary church!

I love you all, 

Sister McKee

PS - Thanks scott and seren for the Christmas card & Mom and Dad for grandpas story! I loved it!! Tell Grandpa Hi please!:) 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week #11: San Diego

Hey Family!

         It has been such a great week! So much is happening and we are seeing miracles everywhere. Last week we were able to meet back up with Amber and she is doing better. We are hoping we will be able to keep that date for the 15th. At the Battalion last week I was talking to a family and they said they were from Riverton Wyoming! Anyway, come to find out they know Travis and Michelle well and their kids are in their ward in Riverton. Their names are Dennis and Diane Tippets and their son Bruce and his wife Stephanie Tippets are in their ward. They said they knew Travis so well and they kept going on and on about how amazing Travis is and how much help he had given to their son. Sounds like Travis has made a huge impact on their family. I told them I was not surprised at all because Travis is one of the most serviceable people I know. He always helps people out and is extremely humble about it too. I also told them he was my favorite brother in-law:) I also met a man named Russ Sturges who grew up in Pocatello and his family moved to Inkom. I told him I am sure my family knows some of his family haha. I also met Sister Jergensen who served in Nauvoo as the Missoin Presidents wife. She said she know the McMinns and Ricks very well. Very sweet lady. So many miracles are happening here. I love my companion Sister Sanchez. We are working so hard. We love the work and we talk to everyone!! I gave a tour to a family from Salt Lake and they had a huge family. It reminded me so much of our family. It was neat because some of the family was not LDS and some were. It was a great opportunity to find out more about them and why they chose to not be baptized. They said they have been relying on prayer a lot lately. I know they will come to know for themselves the truth. We had interviews with President Clayton this week. about 8 of us in our zone were sitting in the foyer talking to Sister CLayton when a man came to the door and said, "Hi my name is David, I was wondering where I could go to find out more about this church and what the beliefs are." It was amazing. We all taught him the restoration as we switched off interviews. We had a lesson there and he loved it and the first thing he said after was "What time should I be at church??" God is preparing so many. We also got a referral last week for a lady named Sarah. She is 32 so we had to pass her off the the elders, but we taught her a couple lessons and she loved it all and came to Stake Conference on Sunday. We had a fireside that night and she couldn't go because she had dinner plans. Well , after stake conference, she turned to us and said, " I am cancelling dinner plans, can I come to the fireside?" Amazing. The elders are taking good care of her, but we are expecting her baptism soon:) We usually have to pass off every one we meet who wants to be taught because we are only YSA, but yesterday we found so many prepared YSA on the street and we cannot wait to start teaching them. We have so many less actives and we are visiting like crazy. We get less time in our Area because of MB so we decided to start going on splits almost every day we can with our members so that we can get more work done!! We are so excited, and it will also strengthen the members and their missionary efforts. We love it. we are going to challenge 2 people a week to give out a book of mormon. We started last night. I cannot wait to see Santee YSA Branch expand!! We are ready for miracles:) Tell Destini congrats!! So exciting!! Sounds like Aubs is dating away!!! How is Kiki loving colorguard!? Love you all!!!!! Is there anything I can do to help any of you?! I was reading in 2 Nephi a lot this week and it talks about us not being the servant of God, but being His friend because His friends know the truth, and we know the truth and are teaching it. I love that concept. We must allow the Savior to be our friend, and tell him about our struggles our hard times. He wants to hear from each one of us and knows what we are going through. He wants to help us, we can ask for that help and he will give it to us. Have faith and keep smiling!! I LOVE YOU!


 Sister McKee:) 

* HEre are some pictures of my and Sister SAnchez! I will try to take more, I forget! Love you

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Week #10: San Diego

Hello family!! 

             Mom thank you so much for the package you sent with the Bakers!! I was in my area when the Baker's came but I loved it so much!! The cookies are delicious and we are very thankful for them and the lotions/ necklace/ bookmark. I love them all!:) Transfers were last week and I now have a new companion Sister Sanchez!! I love her so much. We are a lot alike and we are just ready to work hard. She has been out for 2 transfers! We are both very new, but we are working hard and we are trying our best to be more consecrated to the work every day. She is from Goodyear Arizona. She is a chemical engineer and the sweetest person you will ever meet! She got transferred from Spanish Speaking as well, so I think I am getting the hint that I need to learn Espanol, Which I have been doing:) I love it! Well miracles are happening here in Santee. We have been meeting with many new investigators and we have met back up with Kawa this week and he is asking a lot of questions and really praying/ studying hard. He is a great guy and he wants to know what the truth is. He is very logical and he asks a lot of questions. We are relying on the Spirit! We tried to see Amber last week and when we went to her house, the lady she lives with told us that she is in jail:( I guess something went wrong with a court hearing. We do not know details, but we are hoping to visit her in jail this week. She should not be there too long. She has a strong desire to become a better person and we are not going to give up on her. We have over 25 less actives that we are trying to go and see this week too. It has been crazy! We are so busy. Our YSA branch meets across the street from a college, Grossmont, and we are not allowed to proselyte on campus, however the institute director/ 1st counselor in the mission presidency - President Morgan- has asked that Sister Sanchez and I head a booth there at Grossmont. We get to go on campus once a week and talk to students and invite them to come to activities, institute and we can teach them lessons if they ask questions! We are praying about when the best times will be and we schedule times for some elders to come to. We get to do everything for it. It is awesome because both Sister Sanchez and I have had so much experience leading different booths/ groups at BYU-I and her at ASU, so we get to use those ideas and implement them into missionary work!! I love it! We are expecting miracles with this booth. There was a group of students in our branch that went to BYU-Idaho this week just to visit. I told them to wave to Pocatello haha. There are so many that attend there who left from the branch too. Amazing! There is a sister here, Sister Tucker, who knows Sister Fowler and Siser Nordstrom! She said that Sister Nordstrom came and visited the Battalion before I got there and that she grew up with Sister Fowler. There was a couple that came to the battalion who works with the Hottels in Pocatello. Not the ones in our Chubbuck ward, but in the Tyhee area. I just know their daughter Brittany who was on my softball team. We are getting a new director at the Mormon Battalion next week. It will be so sad to see the Seegmillers go. They are incredible, but I know that change is good! Our leaders are not better or worse, just different:) It will be great to learn from new leaders and the Seegmillers will be missed. I hope the Macintosh family are all doing okay, that is so hard losing someone so close! I hope speaking and playing at the funeral goes good.  Sister Sanchez and I got asked to speak for Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. It went really well. It was fun to speak because we are both so new! I love our branch. So much! We spoke about the law of tithing and on hastening the work. We love missionary work and we are expecting miracles every day. It has been slower at the Mormon Battalion because the holidays are over, but we have been getting referrals like crazy. The Lord knows when to send his prepared children. I hope you know I love you all! Aubrey - Get better! I will pray for you, the flu is no fun. Tell Kiki and Des hello! I miss them! And all of you of course! I love you all!

Sister McKee

Oh and the couple that knows the hottels is Mary and Ron Van Veghel. They worked with brittany's dad at MARC and he said that the kids would cal him the "Crazy Old Guy" haha I forgot I wrote it all down. love you all! have an amazing week:)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week #9: Transfers!

Hey Family!

              Sorry I sent everyone the pictures last week. It confused me and I realized I sent like 10 emails so sorry! So Surprise! We just got a call from our Zone Leader and Sister Salinas is getting transferred! We don't know where yet, but we will find out in the morning. I don't think there is any way I can overtake the area haha so it might be an interesting transfer, but I know the Lord is with me. It is just crazy that We are switching mid-training! I will miss her so much. She only has one transfer left. :( I know whoever my companion is tomorrow that she will be exactly what I need though. I have no doubts. Miracles are happening here in Santee. So as battalion sisters we all switch off cars every day according to our schedule. Well we got the car that didn't have a GPS and I know the area pretty well so we were okay, but we had one address I didn't know where to go for it so we pulled the car over and used a map. Well Sister Salinas sneezed haha and we heard someone say "Bless you! Do you need help?" So we looked out the window and there was a girl there so we started talking to her and anyway she sounded really interested in just learning more, but nothing more than that. We met her on Saturday and the lesson was awesome. She loved it and committed to going to church Sunday. A member picked her up and we had testimony meeting. We explained everything to her. Well mid-testimony meeting she got up and bore her testimony. She is a pretty spunky black lady so Sister Salinas and I just looked at each other praying it was going to be okay. It was the most beautiful testimony and she included that she was praying on Thursday for some guidance and then she was walking down the street and heard someone sneeze and realized we were lost. She said that was not a coincidence and she knew it and that she was going to find out everything about this great church. The members loved her and welcomed her. We met with her again yesterday and she is just on fire! She will be baptized in February and we are hoping to move the date up! She is amazing! Miracles! Another miracle is that one of our investigators Kalen has been not answering our calls or texts for weeks and he texted us and wants to meet with us this week. So Thursday! Wahoo! I will find out my new companion in the morning! TRansfers here are a lot different. The departing missionaries left this morning and the new ones come in this afternoon. We get to pick up the new sisters tonight and they will stay with us at the battalion. Crazy to think one transfer is gone. Time just flies! 2014!! Last week I received a package from Katy Winston which was so sweet! She made me cookies which were delicious. I also got some sweet cards from you all and the Burches and President Barfuss. I love them all. I am so blessed. please tell them all thank you! I will try to send more thank you's today! Pday flies by sometimes! Tell Hayden McKee that a YSA ward he served in had an activity at the Mormon battalion last week. The Tolmans were the ones I met and they just went on and on about him. They said he was such a great elder and left his mark there. I added to that and how great of a cousin he is! And he is getting married right?!? Exciting!! Tell him to write me! It is fun to have our missions so close. I just realized these past few weeks that I am serving in the same branch that Dallin Fisher served in when he was here. The Branch President and wife love him so much!! I also met a man who served in the mission presidency in Alabama. They said they knew about mom and that the mission president there had been with mom and dad in Florida for the mission presidents seminar. There has also been a few nonmembers visiting from Tennessee! It is always fun to make that connection. And as you probably know Patti was there this week! It was a surprise to see her! It always feels so weird to see people I know, but I was grateful to see her.  She also told me that the new senior couple coming in a few months is going to be living in her house. I finally met Elder Birch today! He is from Pocatello and is friends with Angelee and has a little brother who is friends with Aubrey. We have the same emailing schedule so he is actually here with me now funny! There is a sister that went home today that I want to set Elder Joel Brown up with. It must be done, :) so if you could have him email me asap that would be awesome haha. And I cannot believe Sierra is engaged!! She sent me a picture of her ring so I hope it is open knowledge.  I am so happy for her. She is amazing. You will have to all help her out for me since I will be gone for all the planning/ preparations/ wedding. Tell her I love her so much when you see her!!! Well I am loving the work. It is not easy,  but I am learning amazing things. We have started completely over with our area last week as we have had so many changes with people leaving so we are trying to visit every member and less active. The work has been slower lately, but we know referrals will come as we keep working hard with obedience. We are talking to everyone, but most of the referrals we send our out of our area, which is great! We love helping others in their work too. The church is true!! It is the best that I get to bare my testimony of this amazing truth everyday! Thank you for all being such a great support. I am very blessed. I know that I am learning so much every day. I know that I will continue to learn and I am excited for the future! In Genesis it talks about Lot and his wife. They were leaving the wicked city and were commanded to "Look not behind thee" Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. She could not progress when she looked at the past. I know that is true for us as well. Every moment is a new moment, every day a new day and we are able to progress and do better as we continue to look forward. I love this gospel! I love all of you so much!

Sister McKee

*Oh and will you ask Jared to send me Brittany's uncles information! I totally forgot the street name. Thanks a ton:)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Week #8: San Diego

Hello Family!!! I hope that you had such a very merry Christmas!! It was so great to talk to you all. It was crazy how fast it went by, but I was so thankful for the time I had. Thank you so much for the advice and help you had  for me. I have had a great week! The Rest of Christmas we went to members homes and shared messages. We have been talking to everyone we see on the street and we have gotten so many referrals lately. Yesterday We were walking down the street and a man walked by and I said Hello! He said "Hey! That book in your hand, can I have it?? And Can I go to whatever church you go to??" It was amazing and reminded me of all of the prepared people out there. We referred him to the elders in our area and they are going to start teaching him today. Exciting! We have been slow in our area because our area consists of the Grossmont college students mainly and they are on break until January 30th. It has been a great time to focus on the other people who stay during the holidays though! We will go find them all!! There are about 10 members from our branch leaving to BYU-Idaho this week. They will be missed in the branch because that is about 1/5 of the branch. We keep seeing miracles everywhere. We passed off Janey to the elders last week, it was pretty sad and she was not happy. We are meeting with a new investigator tonight his name is Tommy. He was so excited to come to the sports activities the branch has to offer. We are excited to watch him want to learn more. The Battalion has been extremely busy!! My tours have almost always been over 25 people. We had 1045 people go through tours on Sunday! Amazing! It is crazy to think this is the last week of my first transfer. I cannot believe how fast everything goes by. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to serve. This gospel is so true. I have written on my desk, "It is not about me" in big letters and I have been trying to be bold with piercing clarity as I am teaching and street contacting. Thank you mom and dad for those words of wisdom. I am so lucky to have parents to help me along this journey. I had temple shift on Saturday and there were so many people there from all over the world! Kate came with her family and Axel!! He is not the little baby he used to be! I missed them and it ws great to be their tour guide! I saw my FHE brother Mark from BYU-Idaho and then this girl came up to me and said,"I know you!" Come to find out we had met at general conference 2 years ago! Her name is Sarah. She said she remembered us talking there. I remembered her after a while! Crazy! Caitlyn Robbins was also at the temple with her In-Laws the Schows. They all say hi! It was weird to see their Pocatello License plate. My MTC Visitor Center teacher Sister Wilkinson was also at the temple. She is great. She 

will be getting married next year, but it was so fun to see her and remember all of the things I was able to learn. Sister Salinas is still amazing. She just really realized she only has a transfer left, but I am not letting her think about that! Oh and it is amazing how God just takes care of the little things. I have been praying for time to fix my camera because there is not time to do so on P-days and Sister Salinas camera also broke so we were going to go in together, and last night we were planning when to go fix them and we both turned our cameras on and they were both fixed. That is such a little miracle, but it meant so much to both of us. God is aware of all of our needs. I am really happy here. Yes it is hard, but I know that I am not making this journey alone. In each of our tours we talk about the amazing journey these men made. They walked 2,000 miles because the Prophet of the Lord has told them to. We are also walking our own 2,000 miles everyday. We are going to come across sicknesses, trials, opposing forces, however we can do it. Just as these men did, so can we. I know that as we continue to press forward with faith , hope and charity that we will have that eternal happiness. I love you all so much. Christmas talking to you just reminded me how blessed I am. Heavenly Father knew that I needed each of you to learn from. And I have learned so much that I appreciate. Thank you for supporting and loving me. I love you so much!!


              Sister McKee

*Oh and I got way too much stuff! I feel so blessed. Thank you Mom, Dad, Angie( My Hawaiian chocolate is already gone... yum! oh and what was your friends name that serves here?? I think I saw him haha) , Aubrey, Kiara, Destini, And if you see and of these people please tell them thank you!! Tricia and Scott Galer Family, Kris & Shane Bell family, Brother and Sister West, Josh, Breanne and Noah Bishop, Amanda, Marshall and Kezman Jensen, The YW in 2nd ward, the ward members and so many other people! I wish I had them all here with me so I could say everyone!! But know it was greatly appreciated!!

Pictures: Getting my package from Mom and Dad before Pday.. waiting to open it!  First day with my trainer/ companera! I will send more next week! Bye!