Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week #29: Helix YSA


          Happy 17th birthday AubreyAnn!!! That is so exciting! 17, wow! I hope you enjoy your last summer of high school.. That is weird.! Sounds like it has been a busy week of Lagoon, Missionary sleepovers, weddings etc... That is great! You all just never stop! We have seen so many amazing miracles this week. First of all it is such a miracle that Sister Baker and I are companions. It is so fun to be serving with a friend from before the mission. We have gotten to know each other so much better and We have such a great companionship! She is such a hard worker and has taught me so much. She is a great missionary and we really teach in unity! Must be a Pocatello thing, we are also both terrible at making decisions, which we also blame as being from Pocatello haha! She is super great though. We laugh all the time. Well wow it has been such a transfer of miracles!! Remember Kim who I taught in Santee? Well she is on fire and is getting baptized this weekend! However she got kicked out of her house on Sunday ( I feel like that is happening to everyone) They promised her she could stay until the summer and then they just decided they need her out early. It was a huge panic and what a tender mercy because the 2nd person we called we asked for their suggestions and they said that she is more than willing to stay with them. It was such a huge tender mercy!! Kim will be baptized this Saturday and Brent from Santee will be baptizing her. We are so excited for her and she is so happy! I love that girl. We also have 2 more baptisms coming up in June! Angel and Michael. We added 6 investigators this week and it already feels as busy as we were in Santee. We have 11 investigators right now! It is great and we love this work! Sunday we had 4 investigators come to church and they were participating a ton in class! They all asked some great questions and had awesome comments. In fact one of them asked if he could come every week and of course we said yes! He loves learning.
                We went to a less actives house last week and talked to him. He now lives in an agnostic home and literally every person there ( 12 ish people) are agnostic. However they are extremely open to learning and we had the best lesson on the restoration and we added 3 investigators from that home. We literally started out just teaching the less active and slowly a roommate would come and join us every 10 ish minutes! IT was awesome! They all think there is a God but they want tangible evidence so we talked about faith and its importance. It made sense to a lot of them and they all committed to first praying to know if God is really there. One of them came to church Sunday and he also went to Family Home Evening Monday! Miracles! Angel is another investigator who came Sunday! He is a golden investigator and loves this church. He will be baptized next Saturday! The work is flourishing here in Helix! 
                We have not had much time in our area with Mormon Battalion/ Missionary Training Exchange. Last week I coached The Black Mountain Sisters and it was so great!! I love MTE's miracles happen like crazy! We visited their members homes and challenged them to share a Book of Mormon with someone and they claimed they did not know anyone and we literally walked outside and there was one of their friends who was interested in the Book Of Mormon. So cool how the Lord just provides! We also had Mormon Battalion training this week. Brother Rasmussen came from Salt Lake to give it and it was AMAZING! It really helped a ton to remember that imperfections are necessary and that the most important thing is that we bring the Spirit into the lives of every single person that comes into the Mormon Battalion. This weekend we have a Young Single Adult training too! I love these training's! Well The work is awesome. I met a guy who served with Braxton Buffat in Honduras and Braxt was his district leader! Super cool. There was a guy who came in last week and said that I am related to him. He was a Petersen from Preston Idaho but He did not know us directly, but he is related to Spencer Condie and we figured out we are related somehow! Well the work is progressing every day!

                Weird to think how fast time flies. It is June this week! Wow!! Keep me updated. Sounds exciting getting ready to go to New York! That is one of my favorite places! That would be cool if you saw Cassidy there!

Well I love you all so much. This church is amazing. We are so lucky to have to truth and to share it. We are literally living in the restoration and this is an amazing time to be on the earth. Keep sharing it with everyone. We got reminded this week that members and non members need to be reminded of this. All of us our in it, not just those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints, but every person here on the earth!! We are so lucky that we are the ones who know and we are the ones who get to tell everyone else! Keep that in mind as you meet and pass by so many people each day. Try to just invite someone to something each day.  I LOVE YOU ALL!

Thank you for everything!

 I will attach some pictures of our Missionary Training Exchange!

Love you!

Sister McKee:)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Week #28: Transfers!

Hey family!!

             I hope Kirst had a great birthday! Wow what a crazy week it has been! First of all, Santee is now a full proselyting area which means we both got taken out last week! I am so sad to be leaving Santee, but I know that this is what is needed as we were super busy! I know the missionaries who are now there will take good care of it! I am excited to go to our baptisms there coming up! So my new companion is......... Brittny Baker from Pocatello!!!!! Isn't that crazy?!?! We are having WAY WAY too much fun and I love her so much. We already have such a connection and it is fun to talk about people and we both know who they are. We were super happy when we got that announcement! Now for the crazy part. We are serving in the Helix YSA Ward. That is the YSA area right under Santee. It is the biggest area in the mission besides the missionaries that cover the chinese/ ASL. So there are usually 2 sets of missionaries there because there are 2 stakes. Well we found out at transfers that they took the elders out because the work is so slow and just Sister Baker and I are whitewashing that area! Ya wow It has been a huge crazy week!! There is so much work there too and we have already seen so many miracles. Helix is struggling right now with leadership. It feels almost like everyone has given up on the work and given up on their callings. There were less than 20 people at church on Sunday and everyone was super spread apart and no one knew who each other were. There is a lot of chaos right now. We have decided to meet with every single member of the ward and to get their insight and help remind them of their ultimate responsibility being a missionary to everyone! We met with two last night right before FHE and they were awesome. They came up with so many great ideas and all 4 of us implemented them that night. I cannot tell you the amazing feeling it was to see everyone get to know each other! They came up and thanked us after and it was so sweet. They are all excited now and They want to come teach with us. It will still be a huge process, but we know that with their help and especially with the Lord's Helix is about to grow so fast. I am so thankful that Sister Baker is my companion too because she works so hard and is so obedient and ready to do what the Lord wants of her. We also teach in unity and we love this work! It is such a blessing and we cannot wait to see the miracles here!!! PLease keep Helix in your prayers. Now some amazing miracles, remember when I was in Santee and we passed of about 8 referrals?! Well half of them were to Helix! So I am now teaching my old investigators! We have 8 investigators right now and 4 with a date! We know this is going to help the ward get fired up! Kim and David are two that I was working with for weeks in Santee so I am excited for them! 

             This week we are starting MTE's or Missionary training experience. That is when each companionship is coached by another missionary for a day according to the teachings that President Clayton gives us at our meetings. I feel super humbled and excited, but I was asked to be a coach and I am very excited because I get to be with another YSA companionships for 2 days and help them with their needs, of course I am sure that I will learn more than I could every teach, but I am so excited! Miracles always come from MTE's! There are two of us coaching so we just drive together and then stay with the companionship we are working with for those two days. It will be great! We added a new investigator Lara yesterday! She is amazing! She is so ready for the gospel. We are so happy for her.  The Family that I met last week that knew the Bells and McDermotts was Cynthia and Sayth Stone and their son Gonzalo Villarreal who served with Brennan. So if you see the Bells or Brock tell them! I also got a cute visit from some friends this week. I got a cute note from Heather Shirley who I knew at BYU-Idaho. I also received some money and a note from my friend Haylee DAy. That was so nice!!! It is the best feeling to know I have such great friends and I great family! Mom- Greg and Cindy Montgomery came a while ago and said she was your room mate at BYU! So many crazy things. Also there is an Elder in the mission from Nashvile who knew you and a nice couple that came from Spring Hills! Super fun! Oh and Chantell from Nashville came too!! I hadnt seen her in so long!!! I will attach a picture!

              I have been down on my knees more then ever this week and I just want to bare my testimony of prayer. Prayer is so powerful. I know that because we put the Lord's will over ours that miracles happen. I know that prayer is here for us and that we are not alone. God gives us challenges to shape us and to make us become the best we can be. That does not mean they will be easy, but they will always be good if we put our trust in the Lord and seek to learn from them. We met a man today on the street and he said that he took all of the missionary lessons, but he was told he could never be mormon because he smokes. He said he believes everything and even knows it to be true. I was so thankful I was able to testify to him about the power of prayer and I told him the story of Kyle Cherry and was able to testify to him that with that same power, he too could stop smoking and continue to progress. He asked to have missionaries come over again and we are so happy that his life will be changed for the better. Thank you for all of your examples to me of faith even in hard times. I think about last year often and the hard times that came as we were told day after day that mom had no chance to live. The world's perspective was that there was no chance and somedays it felt like we were just waiting for her to go. I am so thankful that we have such an amazing Dad who had the faith to help us have that same faith and eternal perspective. I know that if it was not for him and his testimony of prayer I would not have known for myself that everything was going to be okay. Thank you dad and mom for helping me to expect miracles every day. Because of that experience I am who I am and I am the missionary that I am today. I definetly have a long ways to progress in this process, but because of that experience I feel like I have been able to understand so much more. I love you all. I have the best family in the world, and I do not just say that. I pray for you every night and day. I know this church is true and miracles are happening everyday. Keep the faith! Read, Pray and Go to church!



Sister McKee:)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week #27: 6 months!!


            First of all HAppy Birthday to Kirsten!!!!!! That is so exciting I love birthdays! And Congrats to all 4 of my brothers and sister in laws!!!! 4 babies this year?!?! Wow that is amazing and I am so happy, I cannot believe it! I am so excited for those babies, I love babies!!! :) It was so great to half way skype on Sunday. I felt like I hardly got to talk to any of you but it was so fun still!! Santee is on Fire right now! We had almost 80 come to church on Sunday and we have 13 investigators we are working with, the hardest thing is that we hardly have time to drive 30 minutes to our area and 30 minutes back every day with all the people we need to be seeing! We have been praying for some help and we just got transfer calls!! Santee YSA is no longer a Mormon Battalion area, it will be going full proselyting startingtomorrow and Sister Owens and I will be transferring to a complete new area which we find out tomorrow and transfer meeting!  We are shocked, devastated but more than that so grateful that Santee will be receiving the help it needs!! Santee will always be in my heart! We are going to be with the Zone today and say our last goodbyes in our area. We are picking up a new sister tonight who will be coming to our area with us tonight! Ton of connections last week which I wrote down and forgot the paper haha but A Crazy one I remember!! So a family came and the dad was born in Pocatello, they live in Corona and know the McDermotts there and Their son served for 6 months with Brennan Bell in the Dominican Republic!! It was so great! I took some pictures with them. Victoria is on fire right now, she has been making huge life changing changes haha.. She knows this gospel is true and she will be baptized, we will be excited to go to that baptism soon! In fact, she came with us on our temple shift last week and she brought her friend to the Mormon Battalion and we gave them a tour! So exciting! We are so sad to be leaving The Dalebouts the senior couple in our branch and the Littles. We are going to say goodbye tonight and share a last message! This work is amazing. Thank you for all of your encouragement and love! I am so lucky to be part of this family! 

                  So many changes will be made this week. I have been in my same apartment and area since the very first day I got to the mission and this will be good. I remember one of my leaders at BYU-Idaho part of student support would always say, " As soon as we get into our comfort zone the Lord knows what will take us out of it and he will make it happen." It is so true! My heart is in Santee and it is truly the promised land, but I cannot wait to learn and grow in my new area! Sister Owens is excited too! New adventures! well I love you so much! I was reading about Moroni today and how he was only 25 and yet he accomplished so much because of his faith. The Lord does not care about our age, but about the faith we have the the willingness we have to serve him. I love my mission and I love you all so much!! Keep going strong!! Mom looked amazing by the way!!! So great! I love you!!


Sister McKee:)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week #26: Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in our family and future mothers and especially to my AMAZING MOTHER!!! You are incredible and I am so excited to talk to you! Wow it was the best week ever. We are seeing so many miracles. We are working with 13 investigators right now and they are all super solid!! We have added about 6 in the last week! So remember Victoria?? She is the one that is living with her boyfriend and goes to a crazy Christian church here. Well she came to church on Sunday and she loved it, come to find out she hung out with some members that night and she came to Family home evening last night and hung out until midnight!! This is crazy because she is totally in love with her boyfriend and is always with him or working. She came home last night at midnight to her drunk boyfriend and told him ," I know I want to be mormon." He got really mad, but was drunk so she didn't think much of it. Well just this morning we got a call from her crying and she said that she knew she needed to move out and break up with him and start over and she knew this church was right. She said she was on her way to the temple to feel at peace because she has been scared to death. We read some scriptures with her and had her pray over the phone and it was the most spirit led prayer it was amazing and she went over there and talked to her boyfriend. She called us after and said, " I did it.. I feel so numb but I know it is right and now I do not know where to go but I am so happy!!!" She said that her boyfriend walked right out of the apartment and was furious but that she is okay. It is amazing, prayer works and the Spirit is so real. She has a date for this month, and we might be able to move it up! :) She is amazing! 

Another miracle was with Chelsey, as you know she has been praying to figure out what to do with her living situation. We still cannot find a place for her to live and so we changed our prayer to soften her aunts heart! She texted us just barely and said, "Sisters! My prayer worked her heart is softened!" Miracles every day! We also were on the way to teach our new investigators Lauren and Dawn who are best friends and They were not home but their friend Alex was outside waiting for them. We started talking to him and he muttered " How come whenever I am going through a hard time mormon's show up." We told him exactly why and he said he knew this was a sign from God. He talked to us about his trials and that he knew God was calling him through us. We are going back this week! We also met Raphael this week and taught him the plan of Salvation. He loved it and agreed with a lot of it. He said as soon as he saw evidence he would believe everything. We told him that we have a huge list of evidences and that we will never pull any of them out because that is not how we know it is true and that is not how he will know either, he started laughing and said we have a good point and he committed to pray and ask with faith. Good man. We had 7 nonmembers at church on Sunday!!! We have also seen so many less actives come back. It is the best feeling in the world. So many miracles at the Battalion too! Wow! I love being a missionary!! Oh and last week we helped to teach the pathways class for BYU-Idaho! The class was teachings of the living prophets and I was so happy because I took that class at BYU-Idaho! It was fun to be on the other side of Student Support! Last week we walked into the institute and Dallin Fisher was there! It was so crazy!! He served in the Santee YSA Branch so it was great to talk to him about the people in the area that he wanted us to go visit! Also Greg DAvies came to the Battalion! I got a picture I will send it! Melissa Roberts came too and left me a cute note! And tell Jolynn that I met Lorraine and Matt Christensen from their ward, her maiden name is Hill and she said that she would know Bonnie Hill! Sister Owen's is doing awesome! This week is the last week of her training, so I pretend I do not know anything in the area haha she is just doing amazing! 

Elder Ballard was here Sunday for the CES Fireside, if you have not seen it yet go to lds.organd watch it! They video recorded us for the beginning, but only used a few shots however when you watch it look for my friends!! Buddy, Jaime and Odka! Also MY friends Brent, Even and Dallen were part of the fireside. They are great members of our branch! We have not been able to see it yet, but Elder Ballard spoke to us specifically as missionaries yesterday morning. It was so great! He really helped us to see a better view of an eternal perspective with each person we meet. The former mission president of the Alabama mission was there too, President Hasaffle I think! Dad, do you know him? He was great! Well I am loving my mission. There was so much more this week, but we have to get going! I could talk forever as all of you well know haha:) The work is hastening and I love it!! I know that the plan of salvation is so real. We get to live with our families forever and that is a miracle. I know every step we take every day will allow us to progress in the direction we want to go. I know the we have a modern day prophet and I love him and am so thankful to him. I know the teachings and authority of Jesus Christ are on the earth today. WE are so blessed! Keep looking for blessings in trials! Everyone has trials, but not everyone has the truth. Because we have the truth we know there are miracles in every trial. I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep smiling and I will talk to you Sunday!!!!

Oh and I just remembered that Elder Moore in my zone knows Angie from the Mexico MTC, he said hi and that you are cool! Haha he is a funny spanish elder!!! 

And wow my mind was blown the other day! I just found out that this amazing couple, The Afflecks, who already went home, know mom and dad in a round about way! They came back this week and it was a miracle I even saw them, but Sister Affleck's sister is Dad's mission president's wife!!! The Oscarsons! Sister Affleck said that they were talking and that her sister said, "Wow one of our first AP's Elder Mckee has had quite the life etc..." and told everything about mom and then Sister Affleck made the connection and found me! So weird! Anyway this couple is amazing and I can just tell that Dad's mission president was outstanding because of who their family members are. I love you all!

Love, Sister McKee