Monday, August 8, 2016

Second Coming is Coming!

Week of August 1-7, 2016
(1) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Today all the missionaries in Cruz Alta had a cool lunch thing.  Then we taught Alison and his dad.  It went well.  Today was day 392 of my mission.

(2) TERCA (Tuesday):  Today was a division, and my package came.  They loved the baseballs and I gave some of them a dollar.  I had an elder from Argentina convinced that the 1-dollar bill is the highest note that there is.  The other notes have the number of that certain note that you need to make up one dollar.  For example, you need 100 100-dollar bills to make up a one-dollar bill.  He ALMOST traded a 10-dollar bill for a 1 with me, and then he saw the other American laughing.  Today was day 393 of my mission.
(3) QUARTA (Wednesday):  Today we had a very good lesson with Simara.  I took one of my drawings of Christ, and gave it to her as a present.  She loved it.  Then I used it in the lesson as we talked of repentance and the atonement.  Then I asked her how many cigarettes she’d smoked since Sunday.  She said 2.  I pulled out some scissors, and cut off 2 corners of the drawing.  I told her that every time she smokes, we’d cut off one more part.  We’ll start on the edges, but we’ll eventually have to cut Christ if she keeps smoking.  Then we wrote our testimonies on the back, and her son did too, and we put it next to her picture of the temple.  I’m hoping this works.  Today was day 394 of my mission.
(4) QUINTA (Thursday):  Lesson with Luciano and his family today.  He asked a question in the middle of our lesson on the Plan of Salvation.  Here’s what he said…
“Elder, I’ve asked every preacher, and many friends this, and until now nobody has been able to answer.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why does God let such good people suffer to much?”  I said a small prayer, and went to answer.  I don’t remember a thing I said.  I remember using scriptures, in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, but I don’t remember which.  I shared experiences.  Bore testimony.  Explained the best I could.  After, he sat there a second, then said, “Excuse the question, but do you guys memorize these answers?  It doesn’t seem like it, I can tell you’re speaking from the heart.  So many people who are preachers for a living couldn’t answer me, and you did.  I felt like a light lit up I my mind.  And you have the age to be my son!”  It was such a cool experience.  We taught the rest of the plan, and it was a very good lesson. They’re an amazing family that I want to see tin the church.
            Giovanna went to seminary, and brought ANOTHER friend.  I’m loving all these new people being invited by their friends to come to church.
            So, the other night the assistants sent a text to everyone.  It said, “Success in the Lords vineyard.”  I was already asleep when it came, so I half woke up and read it.  But in Portuguese the word for ‘vineyard’ (vinha) is kind of similar to the word for ‘coming.’  Me, half asleep, thought it said, “Success in the Lord’s coming.”  I thought “The second coming’s happening!!”  And I flipped around to search for a pillar of light in the window.  Then I woke up for read and read the message again, then went back to sleep.  It was kind of sad, because I got so happy at what I thought was an announcement of the second coming.  Today was day 395 of my mission.
(5) SEXTA (Friday):  Stefani and her mom, Janaina, want to be baptized!  They said they prayed and they feel like it’s the right thing to do.  Stefani will be baptized on the 20th and Janaina on the 3rd.  It’s going to be so good!  And Giovanna tomorrow.  We passed by to talk with her.  She is so excited.  Tomorrow will be a good day.
            Stefani, who’s 14 and her mom, who’s older, are great.  They’re excited to go to church and they’re  excited to be baptized.  We finished teaching the plan of salvation today.  They’re reading the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets.  Why can’t everyone be like them?  Today was day 396 of my mission.
(16) SABADO (Saturday):  BAPTISM!!  And it went so good.  She was so happy.  And it’s amazing the influence she has on others.  Because of her, we have 4 more baptisms in the works and she reactivated 2 less actives, and is bringing a bunch new people to the church.   Elder Jesus Santos baptized her, and she asked me to confirm her.  After everyone was playing Ping-Pong and that one game that’s like soccer on a table….I forgot the name….I destroyed in the table soccer.

Filling the font, and Elder Jesus Santos was taking a picture and I photo bombed it...can you see me?

            Tomorrow we should have a lot of people at church.  I love this area so much and I’m afraid I’ll have to leave on the 22, which is transfers.  I could happily stay here until I finish my mission.
            ALSO!!  I went to do a contact in the street, and then woman was Jehovah Witness. She started talking and asking questions and then showing us everything in OUR bible.  She destroyed us.  Ate us.  It was like she was playing with us.  She knew the bible INCREDIABLY well.  Everything she showed us was interpreted incorrectly, but she was able to bend it logically to where I could see why people believe it.  It was actually sad for me to see someone who knows so much, and really knows nothing.  She didn’t ever really let us talk or debate what she was saying.  So I finally put my hand out and thanked her.  Then we left.  But talking about the scriptures with her, I didn’t have that good feeling I usually have.  I love teaching because of the way I feel and when I see the person’ s face light up and I know they are feeling it, too.  There was none of that with this woman.  I really don’t know the bible very well, but I know the truth.  So all is well.  Today was day 397 of my mission.
(7) DOMINGO (Sunday):  16% of the attendance today was investigators!  Giovanna was confirmed.  The gospel principles was LOADED with people.  I loved today.  We also marked our father’s day Skype call, it’ll be at about 1-2:00 Utah time.
            Everything is going great.  Simara is managing to quit smoking.  Everyone is going to church.  I really can’t even explain how happy I am right now to see all these results for our hard work.

            Today the ward mission leader said to me he is certain I’ll be transferred to work closer to president.  When President Louza was visiting in the Stake President’s house here in Cruz Alta, the ward mission leader was there and he said they were talking about me!  I hardly even know the stake president, but he was telling Louza things Bishop had passed him. T he ward mission leader said he only had good things to say.  That makes the ward mission leader, the zone leaders, the sister training leaders, and the assistants who have told me I’ll be transferred to be a secretary.  I don’t know, but I’ll go where I’m called.  I’d really like to be called to stay here.  Today was day 398 of my mission.
Hugs to you all, Elder McKee
Playing Volleyball.  Jake is in the grey sweater.

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