Monday, January 23, 2017

Great Week

Week of Jan 16-22, 2017
(16) SEGUNDA (Monday):  So, we have this old lady, 83 years old, that we found knocking doors.  She’s super sweet.  Well, we were teaching her about baptism the last time and when we taught about the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, she got super worried because she never received that.  So, we showed her the scriptures.  Well, today we went back, and she told us that she had asked her pastor.  She said he told her that it isn’t necessary.  She said, “How can he say it isn’t necessary when its in the Bible?!”  ha-ha, then she said, “I already was baptized in the water.  Can you guys put your hands on me and give me the Holy Ghost?”  But we went explaining.  She said that she would really like to go to our church, but she has no way to get there.  So, we are going to work with a member to pick her up with us.  She’s a super cute old lady. Today was day 556 of my mission.
(17) TERCA (Tuesday):  Today was a division I stayed here in my area.   And Elder Costa left.  I stayed with an elder named Elder Rodriquez.  He’s from Santa Maria.  This isn’t his real mission; he just left for one transfer to stay as a mission.  It’s pretty cool.  We found 2 new families today, and they seem super good.             
            At lunch Elder Rodriquez said that its’ very easy to see the difference between a leader who loves those he leads, and one who doesn’t.  He said that since the first time he talked with me on the phone, he could feel that I cared about him.  He said that the other missionaries notice that.  He said that he wants to be a leader like me when he’s on his mission.  Wow.  Those make me super happy.  Today was day 557 of my mission.
Elder Rodrigues (Part time missionary)

(18) QUARTA (Wednesday):  Another division, but now with a different elder.  Elder Vasquez, who got in the mission the same day that I did.  It was actually a really good day teaching.  We went with a member and he took us to a few of his friends.  That was super cool, because the people let us right in, and paid attention.  We also did a contact with a young woman named Elaiza, who’s 19.  And is an English teacher.  We sat at the front gate for about 15 minutes talking in English.  Then we shared a quick message from the Book of Mormon, and gave her one.  We’re going to go back another day when her parents are home.  Today was day 558 of my mission.
(19) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today we taught the plan of salvation to Juraci.  She loved it and had a lot of questions.  I love teaching the Plan of Salvation.  Before, it was my least favorite to teach because there are so many points they need to understand.  But now I love it because it’s so much more personal for the person when they understand it. They learn that they can have an eternal family.  I love teaching about the family.  Today was day 559 of my mission.
(20) SEXTA (Friday):  We found a family of 5 today, mom, dad, 2 daughters, and a son.  The son is 9-10 and has already gone to church a lot with his grandpa.  The family was super cool.  It had been a while since we’d had a full family like that to teach.  I’m super excited for them!  Today was day 560 of my mission.
(21) SABADO (Saturday):  I sat down with a hymn book today, started with middle C on the piano and by counting the notes I learned how to play ‘Called to Serve’ with the tow hands.  So, today was pretty dang good day.  Today was day 561 of my mission.
(22) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Juraci went to church!  And everyone loved her.  She’s 83 years old and she is super cute.  Also Barbara went, and asked how she can pay tithing.  This shows a TON of progress on her part, about the which we are super excited.  Today was day 562 of my mission.

Thank you for all your love and prayers,
Love you all,

Elder McKee

Elder Robledo, Elder Gates, and Jake
 Elder Costa talking on the phone
Jake, Elder Costa, Allan, and Alefe Lucas
 Jake and Alefe Lucas, who is preparing for a mission. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

A lot of traveling this week.

Week of January 9-15, 2017

(9) SEGUNDA (Monday):  We traveled to Santa Maria for a mission counsel.  All the leaders in the mission went.  Today was day 549 of my mission.
(10) TERCA (Tuesday):  A bunch of training.  It was really good.  I’ve got a lot of stuff to change in my zone.  Then we grabbed the bus back to Santo Angelo.  Today was day 550 of my mission.
(11) QUARTA (Wednesday):  Division with assistants.  Bus ride BACK to Santa Maria but it was a good exchange.  Today was day 551 of my mission.
(12) QUINTA (Thursday):  I was suppose to grab a bus again to Santo Angelo today, but E. Smith the assistant asked me to stay one more day with him because he had a bunch of commitments.  So, I’ll be going home tomorrow.  All the commitments fell through, but we still had some great lessons.  We spent the whole day laughing.   Today was day 552 of my mission.
(13) SEXTA (Friday):  Another 4 hour bus ride.  That’s 16 hours total in a bus this week.  Back in my area now.  We taught this old lady who started asking about the differences in baptisms between the churches.  So using the book of ACTS, we explained all the baptisms.  When we explained how you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, she said, “I’m going to ask the pastor why he doesn’t teach this when it’s in the Bible.  And why I didn’t receive it.”  Today was day 553 of my mission.
(14) SABADO (Saturday):  So, we had a huge show de talents today with the 2 wards.  I was the announcer and in charge of stalling with jokes in-between the acts.  I DON’T KNOW ANY PORTUGUESE JOKES!  And most of my English ones are racist.  But all went well.  We made it work.  There was a lot of people there.  Today was day 554 of my mission.
(15) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Not much happened today.  Today was day 555 of my mission. 

I’m doing great.  I love my mission.  Lots of traveling this week.  I am happy and healthy. 
I love you all,

Elder McKee

Jake, Sister Ancay, Sister Bahmad

Monday, January 9, 2017

18 Months in the Mission

Week of January 2-8, 2017

(2) SEGUNDA (Monday):  I have some repenting to do for my lack of journal writing.  P-day today!  The new sister, Sister Elite, and her first xis, which is basically a Panini hamburger.  It’s super good.  They only have it here in the south.  We taught one family today.  Our plan was to teach the Book of Mormon, but they started asking about what happens after death and where we go, so where they had little time, we gave them the watered down version and marked a FHE to teach the whole plan to them.  Today was day 542 of my mission.
(3) TERCA (Tuesday):  Sun.  Muito Sun!  My shirt was heavy it was so wet with sweat.  We stopped by the church because my comp was feeling sick, and I’m pretty sure I could have wrung my shirt out.  Everyone says that the south is the hottest place in the Brazil, not because of the temperature exactly, though it is hot, but because it’s so humid.  Today we suffered.  But we had some very good lessons.  I lot it when the people actually understand the message.  Then we got home at night, dripping with sweat, and I did exercise.  All of my mission I’ve been saying that when I lack 6 month, I’d start to really do exercises.  Now I lack 5 months, and I think “I only need 3 months of exercise heavy.  I’ll start when I lack 3 months.”  Today was day 543 of my mission.
(4) QUARTA (Wednesday):  Today was interesting.  The other elders came to sleep in our house, so we did division with them all for a good part of the day.  I went with Elder Codera, the only Mexican in the mission.  He’s got 5 months in the mission.  Until I told him I was from Utah, he thought I was Brazilian!  We found a lady named Gislaine.  She’s a single mom with 3 kids.  It was an incredible lesson.  She loved it, and asked a lot of questions.  It made me super excited.  Today was day 544 of my mission.
(5) QUINTA (Thursday):  TODAY WAS THE FIRST DAY I DIDN’T LEAVE TO WORK!  In my whole mission. 
            So, in the morning we had the zone meeting.  President came.  We, Elder Costa and I, had to give an hour training to the 4 district leaders, and President. Then, another hour with all the 26 missionaries of our zone, and President.  But it went very well.  After, we had interviews with President and I was organizing everyone to run to the bus stop to go back to their areas. I love my interviews with President.


            After, we went to the house, and Elder Costa wasn’t feeling well.  It was about 5:00 in the afternoon, and so I told him to just lie down and rest a little before we left.  When I went to check on him he was sleeping like a bear.  So, I just left him.  I had a bunch of questions I’ve been studying, so I took advantage of the opportunity.  It was like this.  Lay on the couch, Doctrine of Salvation on my lap, Jesus the Christ open on my right, the scriptures on my left.  For 3 hours I sat there studying, writing notes, and reading.  My eyes started to hurt I read so much.  And I found a lot of my answers.  He didn’t wake up at night, so I just continued and then I grabbed all the zones numbers.   Now I’m going to bed.  Today was day 545 of my mission.
(6) SEXTA (Friday):  The other ward had a baptism today and afterwards we played volleyball with water balloons, which of course turned into a water fight.  I got SOAKED!  Then I went sprinting 2 blocks after my comp with a bucket of water.  It was a great baptism.  Today was day 546 of my mission.
(7) SABADO (Saturday):  So, we’re knocking doors and a lady and her husband let us in, which is already a small victory.  Talking with them, they say they are adventista….I have no idea how to say it in English.  Anyways, they keep Saturday as the Lord’s Day.  So, we’re teaching the restoration, and in the middle he cuts us off asking why we keep Sunday and not Saturday when the bible clearly says the 7 day of the week.  Every time we would go to try and explain he would cut us off and not let us talk.  So, then I just cut him off and said we were going to leave.  We said a prayer and we left.  It’s sad that so many people are so confused.  Today was day 547 of my mission.
(8) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Today exactly today, I finish a sister mission.  18 months.  One year and 6 months.  That is a LONG time, but it seems like it passed so fast.  Looking at myself in the moment, it seems like I’m the same person that left, but looking back I can see how far I’ve come.  I never imagined I would have the testimony I have now.  Everything just makes so much sense.  I know that God exists, and that He truly is a loving Father for us.  He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to save us from the effects of the fall, and our own sin.  His true church is this one, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I have no doubts about this.  Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of God, called to guide and lead this church. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, the iron rod that will lead us to eternal life.  I know God knows me and loves me.  I have felt that love many times.  He has a plan for me, and my mission is part of that plan. The best part of it all is that he WANTS us to make it back to him.  He doesn’t sit, waiting for us to mess up, but rather He sends all He can to help us stand back up.  Christ suffered for our sins.  He felt them all.  For a moment in that garden, I know and feel in my heart that He suffered there for me.  I’m serving an all-merciful God, which makes me happier then I’ve ever been. I know my family will be eternal.  My future family will be created strongly in the church, because I want to have the maximum chance of my children and wife to be with me in the Celestial Kingdom.  I love my Savior, I love this Gospel, and I love my family.  These three things will always come first.  Today was day 548 of my mission.

Love, Elder McKee

 Matching ties and they didn't even plan it. 
Elder Gates, Elder Costa, Elder Robledo, and Jake
Elder Costa and Jake
Elder Costa, Jake, Christain, Nicolas

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rain, Subway, Pizza

No journal pages this week, just some great pictures.  
 Enjoying Subway
Sister Cunha, Sister Fernandez, Elder Costa, Elder Robledo, Jake, Elder Gates

 Elder Costa's hair cut.
 That is a lot of rain.
 Not sure what Elder Costa is doing under the spout.
 Elder Costa
 Gingerbread Ninja cookies
 Oatmeal for Apple Crisp that Elder Gates made
 Beautiful Sunset...Elder Gates, Jake, Elder Robledo, Elder Gates
 Pizza to celebrate New Years Eve.