Thursday, July 30, 2015


Elder McKee, Elder Bush, and Sis. Moss, Doyle, Walton, and Davis
 Tie Swap
 The Vault
 More Ties
 And More Ties
 And More ties
 Provo Temple Day
 Jake's District at the Temple
Sis. Walton, Sis Davis, Jake, Elder Bush, Sis. Moss, Sis. Doyle
 My Boy, he's a real live missionary!

Knives, Phones, Back to Class

Jake has had extra time on the computer this week because Elder Bush was given extra time to be able to communicate with his family and friends.  We've enjoyed the random emails throughout the day.  These are kind of hard to follow because we were asking questions back and forth but I thought I would put it on here.  It's part of his experiences in the MTC.  
Any word on Visa? I check every morning and night. So does everyone else. Thats how we know about our visas. it usually goes from recieved to ready to pick up in a day. They don't update it until it's totally complete, usually. It's ok. Most everyone is getting their visas, and if I dont I know that state side is where I am supposed to go. Thanks for all your help. 

How is Elder Bush doing?  Did he decide to go home for a few days? How are you doing?  Bush is staying here and sending them stuff to read at the funeral.  Yea, i'm doing way good. We take breaks from class because I think he is feeling over whelmed a little, which is understandable. Monday we skipped second block, and today we are skipping first block. He relaxes in the room and looks at pictures and sleeps, and I study out on the couch in the hall, to give him some time to himself. I could sleep too, but I just cant bring my self to sacrifice some prime studying time. 

The Baker family is praying for you and Elder Bush and family also.  I'm glad you have another family that loves and prays for you.  I'm super grateful to have them too!  All of them are a huge part of my life. 

I probably won't be writing home on a non p-day again.  Also, I forgot to give Jessica the memory card, but I'll get it to her tomorrow!  I took it out of my camera and I'll give it to her in the morning when I go to say hi. Also, I sold that little leather-man to Elder Christensen, so could you send me 3 more of them? Bush and Duque wanted them as well. 

Also, When I'm flying I can use the phones in the airport to call home and update you guys. Some missionaries use phone cards for the pay phones, but Elder Payne had his mom send him a pre-paid phone with 300 minutes on it. Which is a fantastic idea!! Will you send me one of those? and also let me know how much they are because Bush might want one too. If I had that I could call you guys and we could talk for as long as we wanted pretty much. and I could give the Bakers a quick call.  Just to say hi ya know? Other missionaries have done it. :) It's a really good idea. then when I'm done, there will probably be more time left and I could let a missionary I'm traveling with use it as well. When it's done, I just throw it away. 

I think it's a good idea. Elder Bush is writing home right now his little piece that will be read in the funeral. We're going to all of our classes again today, which makes me really happy. I didn't really like missing class. Everything is going very well here. I feel like I've kind of hit a flat spot in my learning of the language, which all the older missionaries have been warning me about. I guess it happens to everyone around week 3-4. They all said you just have to push through it, then things start to go. So I'm pushing. 

I love you guys!! Thanks for everything!! You really are the best family ever!! I cant wait to see you guys again in two short years. Hows football for josh? How does Andy like my room? How rich is Malena getting? haha.  I miss you guys, but I wouldnt want to be anywhere other than where I am.  Love you.

Jake's letter to Andy:
ANDY!!! haha you thought I forgot about you didnt you!? :) Nope! I just knew I'd have more time to email today, and I wanted to have enough time to tell you all the stuff I wanted to. So, everytime I show people a picture of our family, the first thing they say is "you and your little brother look exactly alike!" and I'm just like "yep, he's my clone." haha. I sure miss ya bud. I hope you're taking good care of my room! I always look at that picture you send of the new paint. My room where I live with 5 other people is about the size of a fourth of your room. That gives you an idea of how smashed it is. But we all have fun. Like last night we had a chips and salsa party with the chips and salsa that RJ and Kaycee sent me! My class room, which I spend more time in than my bed, is about the size of Josh's room. Im seriously in there 10 hours a day, with 7 other people. It's amazing really. 
I love you, Andy!! You, Josh, and Malena are such good siblings to me! I love you all!!! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rough Week!

Jake was able to email a few different times today.  He got a little more computer time because his companion was talking to home and taking care of some things.  We were able to email back and forth a couple of times. Here is the main email:

Still no visa. I'm loving it here!! 
It's been a crazy past few days, with Elder Bush's dad passing away, and then Elder Bradshaw, who got his tonsils out a week ago, ran out of the room randomly last night, came back in and said call the front desk, then turned around and threw up a huge mouthful of blood all over the carpet. Then he moved into the bathroom where there was tile and kept spitting up blood. SO MUCH. This is all at about 11 at night. Security came, and they called an ambulance. He's all good now though. One of the tonsil things just tore open again. He's good. I asked him for advice for the MTC, cause he is in week 7.5 of his 6. He said 1) dont get tonsillitis 2) get your visa 3) learn portuguese. He's a good guy to offer such wisdom. I love hearing from home about everything. 

Lexi did send me an email. (His friend, Lexi got her mission call to Peru.)
 It's crazy that I'm half way done. It feels like I just got here, and that I've been here for years all at the same time! Me and Elder Bush met with the President of the MTC, which was super cool. He's a nice guy. Bush is doing very well. Yes, i know Alyssa Moyer! (Alyssa is companions with his good friend, Jessica, up in Montana) We did track together, and talked all the time here. 

The language is so good. We did what is called TRC, where a volunteer comes in as themself and we just talk to them and leave a message. I loved it, and it was nothing but a good experience. Coming here on my mission was the best decision of my life. Park City sounds awesome!!! I'm trying to think of what else to write, but as i sit down to type all my memories fly out of my head. I feel like for the first time in my life I have the constant companionship of the holy ghost. I can always feel it in my chest, like there's something inside of me that's too big to be there. :) But not like a big rock, that would hurt. This feels good. I'm not district leader anymore, they switch callings at the half way mark. I love this place, and I love this gospel!!  I miss you guys like crazy, but honestly 2 years doesn't seem like a super long time anymore. It'll fly. :)  Happy Birthday, Mom.  I love you.

 I love you guys!!!  2 Nephi 31:20

Thankful for the Plan of Salvation

Jake's companion's father passed away a few days ago.  Please pray for Elder Bush and his family, and Jake, that they will feel comfort and find peace.  

This is part of Jake's letter home:

I am so thankful for the Plan of Salvation and how it makes it possible for us to be with our family forever.  Without this gospel, death is devastating and final.  But with our knowledge, we know that it is only a 'see ya later' and we can see our loved ones again.  Please include Elder Bush and his family in your prayers.  Our zone is having a fast for them.  
Having you guys as my family is the greatest blessing I have ever received.  
Love, Elder Mckee

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Language is Awesome!

                                                                                                  July 24, 2015
Respotas Por Sua Perguntas  (Answers for the questions)

Where is everyone in your district from:
Elder Bush: Idaho Falls
Sister Moss:  Orem
Sister Walton: Wyoming
Sister Davis: Northern California
Sister Doyle:  Pennsylvania

Gum:  hahaha!  That was awesome!  (Jake asked mom to send him some mint gum.  He didn't say what kind of mint, so we sent him 6 packages of different mint gums.)

Burning the Language Books:  The kid that burned his books took a year of Portuguese, and he is SO smart.  When he gets back , he'll be going to his senior year at BYU and he's 18 right now.  He's a little weird, but he is super funny now that I have got to know him.  Anyways, he's super good at Portuguese and he hates the books.

My language is awesome!  We did TRC which is when a volunteer comes and we just meet with them, kinda like a home teaching.  Elder Bush and I didn't even make a plan, we just talked to them, shared scriptures, and made them goals to help them come closer to God.  All in Portuguese of course.

Here's a scripture I memorized in Portuguese:
Portanto, Que se console vosso coracao no que diz respeito a sino, pois toda carve este em minha maos; aquietaivos e sabei eu sou deus
Moma says: Which translates roughly to:
Thus, you can calm your heart regarding what was said about the sign, for it is all carved in my hands.  Calm yourselves and know that I am God.

Love, Elder McKee

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Beware of the MTC faucets!

Alright. First off!!! Thank you soooo much for those packages!!! The district LOVED them!!! They all said that they love their own moms most, because they have to, but that if they had to choose a second mom it would be you. :) haha they loved the packages. The language is coming along so good!!! I say all my prayers in portuguese, and can talk to my teachers really well. Well, maybe not really well, but I can get my message across and that's what matters. The lessons are awesome. and now we are teaching two investigators. We have to juggle our classes, and prepare personalized lessons for both investigators. Did I mention it's all in Portuguese? But i love it!!! All of the older loud guys have left, and it feels weird. Kinda like when all the seniors graduated when I was a junior, and suddenly I'm the old person people look at and think I'm so experienced! The 22 new people coming tomorrow will look at me and think I'm 1) older than them 2) fluent in Portuguese and 3) super cool. I know thats how they'll feel because thats how Ii felt about everyone when I came. Just because I've been here for two weeks, they'll automatically assume all those things. It's cool. I love going up to the new people pretending I'm fluent in Portuguese. :) I just say the missionary purpose or first vision really fast, and they get wide eyed. haha then I tell them just kidding. But really, the language is coming so fast. Ive far surpassed any spanish Ii ever learned in 3 years of spanish at school. 
Also! I finally finished the book of Alma!! hahahaha yes!!  Finishing alma is like the most satifying thing. It's like getting over the last big bump, and the rest of the reading is just coasting to the finish line. Before I came here, I was reading 15-20 chapters a day trying to finish the Book of Mormon before I came here. Now that I'm here, I'll maybe read one a day, but I spend the same time on that one as I did on the 15-20. Quality reading far surpasses quantity reading. Look at the cross references. They are AMAZING!!! and reading with a purpose, such as an investiator, makes it all the better. 
The cinnamon rolls to Sister Davis were a HUGE success!!! As soon as she saw the package slip she got so excited, she instantly grabbed it and ran to the mail room. She hasn't gotten any other mail besides those cinnamon rolls and a letter that Sister Doyle wrote her, signed from "A friend".  It's a little sad, but she was so excited to walk in with those cinnamon rolls. It made the whole district so happy to see her so happy. Thanks mom!
So my tie collection is the BEST EVER!!!  Like I mentioned, ties are like currency here. I could probably buy an elders ID card off him with the right tie. My bartering power is so prime right now. I can give a guy a decent tie that I'd maybe wear, and then two crap ties I'd never wear for two super super nice ties. Which I have done. AHHH these ties are awesome!!! I took pictures of them all, and a picture of my vault of ties. I'll send the sd card home in a letter, you can look at the pictures, and then send the card back with Jess. Don;t delete any pictures. I think my 32 gb card will be enough for my whole mission. 
So, last night being the last hurrah for a lot of elders in the MTC, they went outside and burned some of their language books. I want you to know I didn't go. I didn't want to get in trouble. But, I did contribute the sparklers I found in the air vent in our room to the show. I guess it was pretty cool, but it's whatever. 
So this part is to all future missionaries that are going to the Provo MTC. I dont know if it is like this in all the apartments, but in mine the sinks have two settings, ice cold, or burning lava hot. I swear you can fill the sink, throw some top ramen in, cook it, and then have to blow on it to cool it down before you eat it.  It is scalding hot!!! If you have your hand in cold water, and it starts to get warm, dont assume the sinks are back to normal. I've made that mistake about 12 times. Get your hands OUT!!!!  haha.   The showers are similar, but there's a trick I discovered. I think the valves are just worn out, so here's what you have to do to reach optimum water temperature. Step 1) get in the shower, and turn it on barely, so it's really cold. 2) let that run for a second, then turn it up to about 90% heat. Watch out tho. remember the top ramen. 3) turn it back to about 20%. wait. 4) put it at about 60% and you're golden. It took me many tries and multiple burns to figure this out. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice. 
my address is

Elder Jacob McKee
Aug 17 BRA-SM
2005 N 900 E #255
Provo UT 84604

Write me!!

My district is awesome! We stick together and are closer than any other district I've seen. We all support each other, and I really do consider them great friends. 
I feel the spirit stronger each day, but I dont think it's because I'm gaining the spirit. I think I'm just learning to recognize it and know it's there. I've always had it, just like you guys. The trick to it is to look for it and listen. I notice the hand of God in everything I do. I know he helps me with everything, from not running into doors to the time I went to jump off my top bunk and my foot got caught in the sheet and I still somehow landed on my feet. I testify that He is there and that He is watching over all of us. I love you guys, and eu amo o evangelho. Ate mais!! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Answers to Questions

July 17, 2015
Moma says:  I sent him some questions to answer.  He wrote back…if anything is in bold it is mom writing.
*What do you do in class everyday?  I have 3, 3 hour blocks of class from 9-12, 1:15-4:15, and 6:30-9:30.  The first block is with irmao Barlow as our teacher.  He is so cool.  he's been teaching here for 3 years, and went to Mozambique.  The second block up until now has been to ourselves, teaching our investigator, and just kind of relaxing.  But starting tomorrow we will have a teacher from 1:15-4:15 as well.  Irma Read, who was our investigator up until now.  Today was our last lesson with her.  During those two blocks with the teachers we learn language, and learn ways to teach and study preach my gospel.  I actually love it!  The last block is from 6:30-9:30, and we have no teachers.  We do individual study, companion study, and then language study.
*Have you been taking pictures?  I am taking some, but not enough yet to send home.  On Sunday we do our Sunday walk, and I forgot my camera last time.  That's when we all take pictures.  I'll send them soon.
* Did you get Grandma Munoa's package?  Yes!  I ate almost all of it!!  I did share though, no worries.
*Do you need anything?  More ties.  haha.  Just kidding.  I need nothing.  This place is awesome and I'm doing great!
*Have you opened all the letters?  I've only opened two letters.  That was such a good idea mom, Thank you.  I had family and a few friends write him letters to open when he is having a hard day. There were about 40 letters in all.  I was hoping he didn't open them all this week.
*Is everyone in your zone learning Portuguese?  Yes!  Which is cool.  But not all of them are going to Brazil.  Lots are going to Africa.
*Where is everyone in your district going?  Elder Bush and Sister Doyle= Sao Paulo East, Me and Sister Moss= Santa Maria, I think Sister Davis is going to Florenapolis, and Sister Walton is Porte Alegre South.
*What do you want treat wise?  I want cinnamon rolls please.  But there is a catch.  Address it to Sister Davis, and leave the "from" anonymous.  She hasn't got any mail and it's bugging her more them she is letting on.  Make it from "A Friend".  That would be perfect. :)

So there's a way to check the status of your visa, but it isn't ever updated until it's all the way done.  Anyways, my whole district checked, and Sister Doyle and Walton's are DONE!  They could leave to Brazil at any time or they could stay for the whole 6 weeks.  Mine isn't done.
Love you guys!
Love, Elder McKee
P.S.  Elder Bush says THANK YOU!  (I sent him a candy bar in Jake's package)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


July 14, 2015
THANK YOU FOR THOSE TIES!!  hahahahahaha!!!  I am the wealthiest man on the block!  That was seriously the best thing ever!  All of the elders were going through my ties.  And one guy even stole one of them!  He kept asking if he could have it and I kept saying no, just because if I had said yes then everyone would have expected one.  AND HE STOLE IT! haha, I don't even care.  
All I'm saying is "what is your soul worth?"  I won't confront him about it.  But counting that one and 3 others I gave away, I had 100 ties exactly.  So awesome.  I filled my locked drawer, now called 'the vault', and 3 hangers worth, and a pile on my shelf.
Today was also laundry day.  I now know exactly how many clothes I need for one week, and it feels so nice to be clean again.  Also I bought new soap.  Day 2 in this place my bottle of soap fell and broke and it all got washed down the drain.  I kept forgetting to buy more so I went for about 2 days w/out soap.  I'd just rinse off thoroughly. 
 Everyone sings here, not well, but loud.  It's a compromise.  The language is coming great.  When I'm writing, there's been a few times I've written "Nosso Pai Celestial" instead of "our Heavenly Father" without even meaning to.  De nada, desculpe, and obrigado are more natural to say than You're welcome, sorry/excuse me, and thank you.  I LOVE STUDYING!  I do it a meals sometimes.  My district tries to speak only Portuguese, and it's really helping, I feel like.
Yesterday me and Elder Bush taught our third lesson.  It was so bad.  I don't think I've ever felt so disappointed.  We had prepared a lesson Christ's Earthly Ministry, The Great Apostasy, and then the focus was on the Restoration and Modern Day Prophets.   Right before a guy came in and talked to us about our lesson and tried to help us.  I don't think he meant to, but he totally tore our lesson apart and told us it was wrong.  He did tell us how to modify it with a different focus to help the investigator, but I don't think he realized that we were teaching in 5 minutes.  So we went in with our confidence shot, and we did not have the spirit at all.  While it was a terrible experience I think it was my most valuable one yet, while here.  It taught me what I am capable of accomplishing myself (Nothing!) compared to what I can accomplish though proper preparation and when I have the spirit with me and I am only the messenger for God.  Me and Elder Bush grew way closer while talking about it.  I also learned patience and that I need to slow down.  I'm a goer, and because Elder Bush is quiet, I'd usually speak the most, kinda leaving him in the dust.  I learned the value of slowing down, and working together.  It was very humbling, for which I am Gratos (Portuguese) Grateful!
Me and Elder Bush are way closer now.  Now that I've slowed down we are becoming actual friends.  We joke around and laugh about stuff.  We are just starting to get into the groove of things and 
we know how things work now.  
Want to hear something I can't believe!?  I only have 5 weeks left!  This last week have FLOWN!  and everyone says that after the first Sunday, the weeks fly by faster!  That's insane.  My 6 weeks will be up before I know it!  I can't wait!  I want to be out there now, but I think its good I learn how to teach and speak Portuguese first.
Keep these letters in a safe place, because they will pretty much be my journal for the MTC when I get back.  I'm still keeping another journal, but I'm not putting in the details I am into this.  I'm keeping another notebook as well with all my lesson planning, and devotional/class notes as well.
Elder Bush is taking a nap right now.  So are a bunch of other Elders until dinner.  But when I saw these two hours of nothing, my first thoughts were 'letters and study time!'  I love being a missionary!  It's the best thing ever!  I would love to come back and work here as a teacher when I get back.  
I know this church is the only true church, because Christ is at its head.  I love you all!  
ALSO:  Elder Toledo just showed me a bag of Oreo/reeses cookies.  Oreos with peanut butter in the middle.  This is the Lords training center.  
Ate Mais!

Part of mom's letter from Jake:  Today at lunch Panini's were one of the options, so of course that's what I got.  I was sorely disappointed.  The only similarity to your panini's was the diagonal cut.  They weren't' nearly as good.  So also, I joined the MTC choir.  I had to audition and of the 550 missionaries that came the same day as me, only 50 made it….JUST KIDDING!!  You just show up. Mainly you get dinner early.  The sisters in my district were doing it, and our district is tight.  So me and Elder Bush tagged along.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

First P-day!

i love you all!!! i'm going to come back later today and write back to you all! the way it works is we come in and print off all our emails and then go do laundry and read them, so as not to use up our computer time, and then come back and reply. ate maid!!

( 2 hours later):  wow. this place is amazing mom. i've been eating a minimum of two plates of food at every meal, with snacks and lots of chocolate milk, and i've lost 3 pounds. not sure how, but its cool. the language is coming great. i prefer to write actual letters over email, so i'll do that with a more detailed account of this week later and give it to jessica tomorrow. i love you all!!! alma 5 is my favorite of all time!! along with moroni 10. the scriptures are so full of good stuff!! i've been missing out so much my whole life! i cant even believe it. 4 on stats isn't bad. the ties were brilliant!!! hahahaha i love them all!!! i now have 99 total. everyone on my floor was going through them offering money. i traded a few really bad ones for some actual nice nice ties. haha these guys love the crazy ones that you would never wear anywhere else. everyone said i'll be then next tie draft king, and i locked the nicest ties in my drawer. we all call it'the vault' now.:) i love you guys and i'll write you more details in a letter by tomorrow!! also the cherries were amazing. i've hidden them and only shared them with my distict. if i opened them to the public they would disappear so fast. last night we had security stop by our room because we were up late laughing and telling stories. (11:30). we didnt' even realize it was that late.
i'm eating tons, learning tons, feeling the spirit tons and laughing even more. i'll write you again.

A friend took this when she saw Jake on P-day heading to the Provo Temple.
Elder Bush and Elder McKee

Monday, July 13, 2015

I Love This Place!

Oi!                                                                             July 11, 2015
Today we taught Cristiane for the second time.  She is a role play real investigator, and we have to teach her all in Portuguese.  My brain is fried!  But my portuguese is very good considering I've been here for four days, almost.  Most of my zone is leaving in the next 10 days.  I've already grown so close to them and I will miss them.  I just can't wait for Wednesday when I won't be the newbie any more.  These guys are all so cool and they totally watch out for me.  We played volleyball for gym time today, and I was the smallest Elder, but I held my own. Most of these guys are 19, 20, 21.  The sisters in my district after told me that I am sassy and very opinionated towards the other elders and sisters, and that I'm the nicest Elder. (The other guys are just competitive and a little rude w/out meaning to be).
My district is amazing!  I've never really felt this welcome or wanted.  The spirit is so strong and constant here I almost forget I'm feeling it until I look for it.  
I'm studying Portuguese whenever I can.  I love this language, and I love learning it.  I don't think about home or anything I'm missing because then I start to miss it more, but I'm doing so good right now.
One sister in my district, Sister Walton, reminds me so much of Malena, for example, today she tried to do Parkour off a door and her skirt fell down.  I didn't actually see it, but she told me and Elder Bush about it.  She spent about 10 minutes trying to hit my heart with a rubber band from across the room.  Plus, she is super funny.  
Also, look up 3 Nephi 5:13.  It's very good.
As DL, I'm going to make my district memorize it in a while.  
I love this place!  The Church is true! The Spirit is real!

And part of the letter he wrote to Malena on Saturday:
I was in the shower washing with my brand new, just opened shampoo and I set my shampoo on the little shelf and then it falls off and the bottle broke!  So, my soap went everywhere.  I had to wash it all down the drain.  A whole bottle.  So far the past day and a half I haven't had any soap.  And I worked out, played sand volleyball, and did a service project.  Lots of scrubbing with no soap in the shower.  I'll get more on Monday.  Never forget that God loves you and so do I!  Read your scriptures and pray for me!  I'm praying for you guys. :)  Te Amo!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Our First Letter and Picture!

We got a picture and a letter today!  Our friend, Jessica L. works in the MTC mailroom.  She is our new best friend.  She takes letters and packages in to Jake for us, and snapped this picture and brought us a letter from him today.  She told us some things today about Jake:
His P-day is on Tuesday, His companion is from Idaho and going to a different mission in Brazil.  Jake met a girl that is going to Santa Maria.  He is the District Leader, and he has more hours of instruction (classes) than sleep.   AND  Jake did get his magnetic name tag.  We are sure grateful to Jessica for any tidbits of info she brings us.  
Jake and Elder Bush
Dear Familia! and others,              July 10, 2015
I am alive and well.  I'm actually better than ever before in my life!!  The spirit you can feel here is so thick you almost trip over it when you walk.  It's amazing how much prayer and scripture study you see here.  Everyone is trying to live by the spirit, and is inviting it into their lives, and you can feel it so much.   
The Portuguese is SO HARD!  But I love it.  Tomorrow, as in day 3, I have to teach an investigator with Meu Companiero (that's probably wrong), Elder Bush.  And we aren't allowed to speak English.  Did I mention it's a 20 minute lesson?  But everyone had to do it, and they all got torn apart.  So I won't fail alone.  That's a comfort.  
Our two roommates are hilarious.  They've been here for 2 weeks, and they are way cool about helping us.  Our entire floor is our zone, and it's so much fun.  These guys are all so cool!  We did this thing yesterday called a tie draft.  Everyone puts in a tie, and their name in a box.  We draw names, and pick ties in that order.  So much yelling and laughing.  And we all act like we speak Portuguese, but we don't.  Fake it till you make it.  As I'm writing this, Elder Christainsen, our roommate, asked who was DL (district leader, It's me) and when we told him it was me, he started jumping around and screaming, because he called it.  Just as he did that, the Branch President walked in.  He's talking to him about reverence as I write.  Christainsen is crazy.
My P-day is Tuesday.  I met a Sister Moss, in my district of 4 sisters and 2 elders, who is going to my same mission!  She is from Orem.  She's way cool.
My companion, Elder Bush, is from Idaho Falls.  He's really quiet, but he's opening up.  He's actually really funny. I've been here like a day and a half, but I feel like I've been best friends w/ my district for years.  This place is amazing.  I've never looked at a schedule HOPING  for extra class time.  I'm wanting more time in class after I sat for four hours.  There is never enough time for what we want to do.  I really wish they would've given me these books before I got here.  Nothing but Portuguese in the class from our teacher, Irmao Barlow. I didn't even think he spoke English until today when all the sudden he was explaining something to us.  At first I thought, "IT CLICKED! GIFT OF TONGUES BABY!!" but that's not what happened.  I still can't speak Portuguese.  lots of Portuguese and constant sign language and charades.  Me and Elder Bush have a plan set up to be fluent ASAP.  I'll keep you informed.  
I love you all!  Love, Elder Mckee
P.S.  Send me some ties!  Doesn't matter which.  

Moma says:  
If my baby wants ties, 87 ties is what he gets, and a box of homemade cherry chocolates!
Hope he wins the tie draft! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


 We spent the morning having our "special occasion" crepes and taking some family pictures.  

 And the kids were anxious to take back to back pictures with Jake so they could see how much they grow during the next two years.
 Best Picture of the 4 of them!  With our Salem Pond in the background.
 We went over to the temple grounds to say goodbye.  It was HARD!!  There were a lot of tears today.  
A lot of hugging, a lot of reflection, and a lot of anxiousness for all of us.  
 And at 1:15 we dropped him off.  It was quick and just enough time for one last hug and 'I love you', and he was off.  
 It was bittersweet.  We are so proud of him and his choices to get to this point.  We are excited for the adventures and opportunities he will have.  We will miss him and pray for him daily.  He'll be a great missionary!
The car ride home was quiet with a few sniffles and sobs here and there.  But when we arrived home this was on our front porch.  We have such great friends.  The Bakers left this for us and it sure did cheer us up!  Thanks, Baker Family.  
Now we wait for the 1st email and contact!  Can't wait!

Official Missionary!

Jake was set apart tonight and is now officially ELDER MCKEE.  It was a beautiful blessing and we all tried to listen to the things being said and make note of them afterwards…
It was given to him by:
Dad, President Quesenberry, President McVey

You have the Love of your Heavenly Father.
You will have the Spiritual Gifts needed to be a missionary.
You will have the gift of tongues.
You will have the courage to the point of bringing about Miracles.
The Scriptures will be highlighted in your mind.
You will have the ability to love people you don’t know well.
Your thoughts and memory will be magnified.
 And when it was time for bed, Andy was sure that Jake needed a companion and 
shouldn't sleep alone.  What a nice brother.
And later that night there might have been a little intervention needed, but mom will admit nothing, but I may have tried to sneak a journal page into Jake's journal.  If you can't read it it says "Jake, RUN!  They are stealing you!"
(I had a weak moment.)
And for any future mom's reading this….This is the hardest thing I've ever done.  The 2-3 days leading up to MTC day is heartbreaking!  I've cried off and on.  It's not an easy thing to give up your child and let go.  SO HEARTBREAKING!  
We are so proud of Jake and his desire to serve the Lord.  
He is a great example to our whole family!

Packing Up and Getting Ready

We tackled Jake's room.  After 3 bags of garbage, a car load of school work that he had kept since the 8th grade, and 2 bags to DI, the room was cleaned out. 
Mom snuck in to get a picture of him sleeping.  I'll miss him.
Brooke, Malena, Josh, and Andy scavenged his clothes.  It was like a garage sell. 

Picking ties to take.  

 2 years worth of stuff.
 Packing it all up.  We packed the biggest suitcase with stuff he shouldn't need until after the MTC.  Hopefully he can just put it away and not have to get in there for 6 weeks.
 Weighing his suitcases….about 130 lbs of stuff in 3 suitcases.
And he is all packed up!