Monday, November 28, 2016

Kissed by a Girl and Killed a Bird

Week of November 14-20, 2016
(14) SEGUNDA (Monday):  P-day!  So, I fought with a taxi driver today.  Here’s what happened.  Our bus left at 5:00.  We’re running late, so at center we grab a taxi to our house, and we ask him to wait a few minutes while we grab my bags.  After about 40 seconds of waiting, he leaves the car, and starts clapping his hands and yelling at us to hurry.  We were already leaving so it was all-good.  We put my bags in the car, and I said, “Just stop real fast in front of the computer house, my friend needs these keys.”  And he slammed on the brakes, and said, “Oh no, I don’t do stops.”  I said, “No, it’s just in the front, we need to pass, and just hand him the keys through the window.  So we went.  Then I said, “Alright, just let us run into the church real fast because my suit is there.”  He starts complaining, and I said, “Hey man, I’m paying you to do this.  Let’s go.”  So, we went and it took 1 minute to run in and grab it.  Then we went to the bus stop and the bus was almost leaving.  I wen to pay him the 30 reais I owed him, and I handed him another 5.  He said, “Oh no, 3 doesn’t cut it. I need another 20 for what I did for you.”  I said, “Are you crazy?  Give me back the 5 then because I won’t pay you anymore then it says on the counter.”  He starts complaining saying it doesn’t count the time he stays stopped.  I totally call him out on that lie.  I get out and start pulling out my bags.  He’s yelling that no other taxi driver would make stops like that.  I inform him that I have done that same thing with many taxi drivers, and until now he’s the only one to cry about it.  So, he said, “Then next time call them and don’t get my taxi!”  I said,  “Count on it.  Can I have the receipt for the 30 I paid?”  He looked at me, and paused, then said he doesn’t have one.  So, now I can’t get a refund for my 30 reais from the mission.  It’s fine.  Today was day 492 of my mission.
(15) TERCA (Tuesday):  New Area!  We had the mission council and then lunch, and then on bus to Santo Angelo.  My comp is from the North of Brazil.  His name is Elder Costa.  He’s from a branch, and is the first missionary of his city.  That’s cool.  But today was all day in a bus.  Today was day 493 of my mission.

(16) QUARTA (Wednesday):  I’ve already met a lot fo the members here when I came a year ago in a division.  We had a meeting with the bishop, and I learned that this ward has had 4 baptisms in the last year.  WHAT!?  That is so few!  We also had a meeting with the Stake President and President Louza to talk about this.  We’re going to work our tails off.  Today was day 494 of my mission.
(17) QUINTA (Thursday):  This area is very different.  For starters, it’s flat. It’s small.  And it has a lot of asphalted streets.  We don’t have investigators, but our area is very big with a lot of people to talk to.  We also have a subway sandwich and a Wal-Mart.  It’s basically New York.    Today was day 495 of my mission.
(18) SEXTA (Friday):  Today was an activity with the ward.  They had planned a movie night, with the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness”.  It was good except for only 9 people went.  I hate doing movies.  Everyone is at home watching TV.  We do an activity movie, and NOBODY will want to leave their TV to watch TV in the church.  No investigators.  No less actives.  That game we were doing in Cruz Alta, I’m going to bring here.  It’ll be smaller, but I think it’ll work very well.  Today was day 496 of my mission.
(19) SABADO (Saturday):  Today we met 3 young men, brothers, who are golden.  We met them knocking doors.  Felipe, who’s 19, Marcelo who’s 15, and Enrique who’s 13.  It was only them at home, and it was a great lesson.  We gave each of them a Book of Mormon.  They want to go to church with us tomorrow.  I’m super excited about them.  Today was day 497 of my mission.
(20) DOMINGO (Sunday):  We started off today passing by the house with the young men to take them to church.  Enrique came out and said, “My parents said we can’t go to your church because we already have a church and we don’t want you guys to come to our house anymore because you are strange.”  But, he said it so fast and like a robot, I think he had been practicing.  So yea, My 3 future missionaries will wait a bit more.  Then I gave a talk in church to a ward with 52 people.  52 PEOPLE!  This ward is weak in attendance and activities.  But my talk went well. I liked it.  We then had ward counsel where I presented the activity and everyone liked it.  We need to resurrect this ward.  Today was day 498 of my mission.

Week of November 21-27, 2016
(21) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Wow.  Today we had quite the lesson.  His name is Beao.  We taught the 10 commandments.  This man has problems with EVERYTHING!  He has a little saint to which he prays.  I taught him about taking the Lord’s name in vain, which he does a lot.  He said, “Oh no, I don’t do that.  I just say xxxxx” and he started swearing HARDCORE. Like HARD, HARD CORE.  So, we get off that topic.  Keep the Sabbath day holy.  He started talking about how much he drank yesterday and has other sins.  Don’t kill.  He starts swearing about the people who kill and everything.  Then he says, “But I myself shot a guy a while back.”  Don’t commit adultery.  I won’t even go into what he shared.  Let’s just say he spends 600 reais every other day…. He’s robbed, He said he always lies.  I said, “And the last one is don’t covet” and he starts talking about his friends wife.  The guy is the lowest of low, but he is super funny. But he’s addicted to beer and women.  Today was day 499 of my mission.
(22) TERCA (Tuesday):  Today We did visits with a young man from the ward.  It was pretty good.  Today was day 500 of my mission.
(23)QUARTA (Wednesday):  All day in the bus, but at the end of the day I spent in my first area!  Andressa heard that I was in the area and came to the house to visit.  We’re in Santa Maria for a conference with Elder Costa, who’s the president of the area Brazil or something, I think.  Today was day 501 of my mission.

(24) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today was the conference.  5 hours we sat listening to Elder Costa.  It was incredible.  I learned a TON of new stuff, and also discovered a TON of things I need to improve.  He talked a lot about the atonement, and shared a lot of cool stories.  One interesting thing he said was “If you really understand the atonement of Christ, any sacrifice that is required of you turns into a privilege to serve the Lord.”  Those made me think of a lot.  That really it is a privilege to give back to the Lord a little of what he has given us.  So, when things get difficult.  Study the atonement.  Compare your difficulties to the difficulties that Christ passed through because of us.  It’s a lot of think about.  Today was 502 of my mission.

(25) SEXTA (Friday):  Today was a long day, but it was good.  Something interesting that happened.  The other day Elders from another city called us to get a birth certificate from the city for them.  It was for an investigator they’re teaching that’s going to get married and baptized.  Today, knocking doors, we found that person’s parents.  They said, “Our daughter lives in Ljui and she’s going to get married and baptized in your church.”  We went talking and it turns out it’s the same person!  Today was day 503 of my mission.
(26) SABADO (Saturday):  So, today I killed a bird and a girl kissed me.  It’s stake conference in Sao Luiz and we came for it.  So, I saw Alex, a young man that I did a bunch of splits with.  I’m talking to him, and a young girl, about 15-16 comes from behind me and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, which is a common way of saying hello.  She talks with him a bit, then looks at me and says, “hello!”  And give me a FREAKEN KISS ON THE CHEEK!  I hadn’t realized how much I had changed, but I froze!  She just turned back to Alex and he’s laughing, but she didn’t notice.  She hadn’t seen my nametag!  So, I just leave, and I go to another part of the hall.  During this time, my comp was in an interview with President.  Alex then come up to me after, and said, “I told her you’re a missionary and she got super embarrassed and said to tell you she’s sorry.”  Ha-ha, it was pretty funny.  I can’t even imagine how I’m going to be after the mission, without a comp, hugging girls, or going on dates.  I hope I get back to normal fast.
            And the bird.  My comp and I walking in the street and we see a bird on the sidewalk.  I got to it, and it’s just flopping around, its head all messed up.  It doesn’t know how to fly.  I pick it up, and I see that its neck is broken.  It seemed like a baby bird that tried to fly and fell and broke it’s neck.  When he breathed it would swell up his neck, like a balloon beneath the skin.  Super messed up.  So, to stop his suffering and save him from the dogs, I broke its neck the rest of the way, like we do when we go hunting.  My comp was very disgusted. 
            President called me up on the spot today in Stake Conference to talk a little.  It was a bout a paper that we use to track the progress of the recent converts and returning members, and how to sue it, and the importance of the members help in these things.  He literally, in the middle of his talk, said, “Elder McKee and Elder Costa, come here and explain this.  Thank you.”  Ha-ha.  It was all-good.            
Today was day 505 of my mission.
(27) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Today I saw Marcos!  Woot Woot!  He’s got a missionary calling now.  He came with a nametag and everything.  I also saw a man that called us in the street one day, saying he was inactive and wanted to return.  I went to his house only 2 times, then I was transferred, but he remembered me, and he’s now the ward mission leader.  That was super, super cool!  But today was just the conference really.  Today was day 506 of my mission. 
Making pancakes in Cruz Alta.  
Elder Gates has been out 3 months in the mission.  
 And Jake has been out 1 year and 5 months.
 Making Tapioca with his district.  Elder Gates, Elder Robledo, Elder Costa, Jake and 2 sisters

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Week November 7-13, 2016
(7) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Today was super funny. P-day for starters.  But after, we went of a house of less actives.  We’re good friends with them.  But today we realized that they know NOTHING!  Camila started asking about what happens when we die.  Then she stated yelling, asking why there are so many churches in the world when there’s only one God.  But it was funny because she had so many questions that she wouldn’t let us talk!  She had more questions about the Plan of Salvation, so we taught that lesson, and next time we’ll teach the rest.  Today was day 485 of my mission.
(8) TERCA (Tuesday):  ONE YEAR AND FOUR MONTHS IN THE MISSION!!  Man, I am really getting old.  It hit me today that really a majority of the missionaries now look at me as someone experienced and almost going home.  Two false statements, but I remember thinking the same thing when I got in the mission.  It’s all passing super fast.  In about a month it’s already Christmas again. 

            Today we did a meeting for the game we’re doing.  We answered all their questions and established a few things.  Today was day 486 of my mission.
(9) QUARTA (Wednesday):  We had an awesome lesson with Elizeu.  He wants to be baptized as Well!!  WOOT WOOT!  We’re finally seeing some progress!  We taught the gospel, and he already knew everything because he had heard it at church on Sunday.  At the end of the lesson, he said he wants to keep learning and going to church, and be baptized.  Woot Woot!
            Today we also stopped by the hospital with all of the missionaries.  The stake president’s wife finished her last session of Chemotherapy today.  So the 6 elders and 4 sisters entered singing ‘I Know My Redeemer Lives.’  It was super cool to see how much that meant to her.  Today was day 487 of my mission.

(10) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today the transfer came out. I’M LEAVING CRUZ ALTA!  I love this city and these people, but I am so ready for a change.  My comp will be Elder Costa.  Brazilian.  He’s a good missionary.  He also has a year and 4 months in the mission.  I'm going to Santo Angelo, which I’ve already visited in divisions.  This city has a subway, so I think all will be well.
            Also, I almost punched a member today.  Here’s the story.  So we got home at the end of the day, took a shower and yea.  Then we decided to watch a movie.  We had pizza, Pepsi, and ice cream.  We pulled our mattresses in a like our own movie theater around our little portable DVD player.  It’s a real party.  The other elders had lost their cell phone, but they were watching the movie with us.  Then we all hear the door open.  It’s about 10:15.  We look at each other, and we hear it close.  We don’t say anything, but I go running to the door.  There’s a man with his back to me in our house.  I’m right in his blind spot, and I’m coming fast.  My fist is back and I’m about 6 feet from him about to give this intruder a feakin’ falcon punch in the jaw.  He turns and his eyes go HUGE!  Then, something stops me.  I recognize him because he helped us move some beds onetime.  He is the 2nd councilor in the other ward.  He says, “Wow, Elder!  You gonna kill me?  You Crazy!”  ha-ha-ha, then he holds up the elders lost phone.  He’s super crazy.  He’s super funny.  We’re all laughing now, and we gave him some Pepsi twist and he left laughing, calling me crazy.  Then I locked the door.  Today was day 488 of my mission.

(11) SEXTA (Friday):  The activity!  Man, today went awesome!  I am super tired right now, but super, super happy.  Everyone loved the activity.  We had games and competitions.  One of the things they had all week to find the biggest and the smallest knife.  The winner MADE a knife of about 8 feet.  It was HUGE!  He also made the smallest knife.  Everyone was laughing super hard.  We also got so much food for the bishop’s storehouse and also a lot of recyclable material to sell for the EFY for the youth.  We have more than 200 pounds of food in 2 weeks.  Awesome!

            After I went to the chalkboard and updated the points, with EVERYONE breathing on my neck and watching which points were going where.  It was good.  Today was day 489 of my mission.
(12) SABADO (Saturday):  So, I am finishing today very happy.  Today was Stake Conference.  We went today because a family we are teaching was supposed to go, but they didn’t.  But the reason I am so happy is because they called Thiago Gomes to the front to bear his testimony.  He only talked about how happy he is now because of the gospel.  And it was easy to see that he really is happy.  It reminded me of the fruits of my work.  His whole family was there, with some in-laws as well that he brought with him. I’m happy with my work here in Cruz Alta, and I believe the Lord accepted my efforts.  Today was day 490 of my mission.
(13) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Conference, good byes, interview with President, and a LOT of food.  That’s my day. In my interview with President, I talked with him about how you guys will come fetch me.  He said that’s awesome, and that he wants to make dinner for us.  Then he said, ‘Wow Elder, you only have 7 months left.  How’s it feel to be at the end of your mission?”  Its super weird for my, but its true.  Next month the sisters that came with me go home.  Strange.   Now, I’m packing my bags because I leave TOMORROW!  Today was day 491 of my mission.
 Giovanna, Graciele, Thaigo, Elder Jesus Santos, ______, Jake

 Jake, Giovanna, Elder Jesus Santos

 Marcos and Jake
Jake and Thiago Klein

Are you excited about your transfer?  Yes, He’s a good guy.  But I’ll also be living with an American, Elder Gates, who doesn’t have too long in the mission.  Elder Costa is my comp, Elder Gates, and Elder Robledo.   I’m still zone leader.

I love you all. 
Elder McKee
Some of the posts that people put on Facebook when they found out Jake was leaving Cruz Alta:
Simara Costa:

An Elder of much value that taught us the true gospel, which now go get some more people for the flock of Christ, we are sad for your departure, but we are more than happy to have met you Elder Mckee you made a difference in our lives.
Thank you for everything, but mostly for your friendship!

Giovanna Gomes Moura
"how could feel unhappy if I have around me ears listening my lamúrias, lips who say words of comfort, hands hold my hands, shoulders that allow me to cry! thank you, Sir, by have put on my way wonderful people like you!" 
" you brought sunshine to my life
And Light to my path.
If I lose myself on the road
I know I won't be alone!"
" thank you for putting me on the right path already I miss you!"
Graciele Machado
Double amazing thank you very much for being by our side in a stage so beautiful and decisive of our life we will be eternally grateful to you guys. I pray that our heavenly father follow you every step of the way they make and in every home that you visit.

Pictures of Jake and Elder Nascimento around Cruz Alta
 Elder ________ and Jake
 House of Cards
 Jake on his balcony
 Elder Rapuzzi
 Zone t-shirt

 Halloween Fun.  Elder ___________, Elder Rapuzzi, Jake, And Elder Nascimento

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Week of October 31-November 6, 2016
(31) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Happy Halloween!  Today was good.  We talked with our families, then went and got ice cream.  Then we went with the sisters to one of their investigators, to try and help in the lesson.  We taught the restoration, and it was super good.  Today was day 478 of my mission.
(1) TERCA (Tuesday):  We did splits with 2 young men from the ward.  Leo and I visited a young girl named Luciele.  She’s 12 and is already going to church for years.  She stopped a few months ago, but now her family moved to a house that is closer to the church, and she started going again.  We watched the Restoration with her and her friend who is a member.
            Then in the church there was a presentation thing for a school, which we had to be there.  3 different professors came to explain about the class.  Ha-ha, at one point I was dying laughing because there was a fly in the guys face, but you couldn’t see the fly,  just his hand constantly waving in front of his face.  I had the STRONGEST urge to wave back at him.  Today was day 479 of my mission.
(2) QUARTA (Wednesday):  Because of divisions we ate lunch in first ward.  Then had a baptism interview there.  Then, an activity because today was a holiday.  Then, a meeting.  Then cleaning the church.  One more meeting.  Then we walked home. Yep.  Today was day 480 of my mission.
(3) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today we planned the next activity for the ward.  The rest of the day fell through, so it was just doing contacts.  Sorry, but I am super tired.
Today was day 481 of my mission.
(4) SEXTA (Friday):  Today was the first activity.  Ha-ha, men there were a TON of people, a lot of visitors as well.  It was super exciting.  We had contests and everyone arguing and me trying to keep control.  Everyone mad at everyone, but everyone laughing.  I loved it.  People dressed up.  People dancing.  It was awesome.  I’ll try and send stuff, but my comp was only taking video the whole time, so I’ll see if I can manage to send them.  But it was super funny. T he members of the ward liked it as well.  But I am super tired.  Today was day 482 of my mission.
(5) SABADO (Saturday):  So, here’s a story.  At lunch, we ate and they had made a dessert, which was Jell-o.  I don’t like Jell-o, but it’s fine, I’ll eat it.  So, I’m eating, and as I go to put the spoon in my mouth, I see a dark spot on my yellow Jell-o out of the corner of m eye.  I don’t really give it much thought, but then I notice it moved.  My hand was already in the route to my mouth, and I ate it.  Then I realized I had put the black moving spot into my mouth.  Nobodies looking, so I spit it back out.  IT’S A FREAKEN SPIDER!!  You know that feeling you get when your throat tightens and closes, and you feel like your stomach is doing flips.  I felt this big time, and my eyes started watering.  And I’m just looking at that spider crawling around in my bowl.  But besides this, today went well.  Today was day 483 of my mission.
(6) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Today was awesome.  Because of this competition we are doing with the members we had 6 visitors at church.  6!!  And we didn’t have to do anything!  We just brought Elizeu, who is our investigator already.  The rest was the members bringing investigators.  Today was day 484 of my mission.

How far do you think you walk a day?   About 10-15 on any day.  We live about 3.1 miles from our church, and then another mile or two to the end of our area.  Then we have the other half of our area that is about 6 miles in the other direction.  I’ve never even gone there because it’s so far.  Nobody there wants to walk so far to go to church.  So, we work closer to the church.

I’m doing good.  Transfers come this week.  I’ll let you know next Monday.  7 1/2 months in the same city is a long time, but I could stay here for the rest of my mission and be happy.  

I love you all. 

Elder McKee

 Elder Rapuzzi has been in the mission 6 months.  Celebrated with pizza.
 I came home one day and the other elder had taped my wallet to the ceiling.  
So, I grabbed a hammer, and some nails.  Then I grabbed his planner (The little book we use to plan and organize EVERYTHING) and I nailed it to his door with a nail going right though the middle of it.  Then I nailed his drawer shut on his desk as well.  haha.  Then I discovered that it wasn't evenElder Rapuzzi that did it.  It was his comp.  haha.   

 I start my meals with fruit then load up my plate with rice and meat and pasta and lasagna.