Tuesday, February 28, 2017

LOOK WHAT WE GOT! IT'S GETTING REAL!



Dear Family and Leaders:

With great joy we communicate the return home of your Missionary at the end for his/her honorable mission. During the time of his /her service, he/she had served with dedication and love and brought many souls unto Christ.  Please be aware that he/she had fulfilled his mission and is now returning to continue a life of righteousness building over the foundation of Christ.

In the Attachment, you will find a summary of the travel itinerary, including the flight plans so you may take the necessary means to meet him/her and proceed to his release. A Release Certificate was send with the Missionary; it should be given to him/her when released.

Once again, we would like to express our gratitude for the opportunity of serving with your Missionary during this precious time that he/she dedicated to the service of the Lord.  Without a doubt, he played a fundamental role as an instrument in the Lord’s hands to bring the joy of His Gospel to the Gaucho people. We also thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made to support him/her in the Missionary Field.

We wish him/her a happy and safe return as well as a life filled with joy and blessing from his Mission.
Sincerely,

Andréa e Marcelo Louza
        
BRAZIL SANTA MARIA MISSION



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lots of Teaching

Hello Family, 
This week was fantastic.  We got to go out and teach a lot.  And next week I will travel to Urunguaiana.  I will do exchanges with Elder Jesus Santos, the elder I trained, and Elder Jensen, the elder that he’s training right now.  
            Our baptism is still set in 2 weeks.  The lady has 11 kits!! And their names and dates of birth have to go on the record, and the poor lady doesn’t’ remember everything.  It’s been a fight to try and discover everything, but it’s pretty fun.

We asked him if the Carnival is celebrated in his area and does it affect him?  Carnival isn’t really that big here, just a lot of stuff on TV. But, where we don’t watch TV, no problem.

Here are a few stories I wanted to share from this week: 
            One lady, we knock on her door and she comes and starts talking with us. We tell her we have a message of Jesus Christ that we would love to share with her. She cuts us off, and says "I already read a lot of messages on Facebook this morning. I have a lot of evangelic friends and they always post pretty messages" I say "No, but our message is more than just some Facebook message. Our message can change your life and your family’s life. What we have can bring you an eternal family."  Then, she comes back and says "nobody knows if our families really are eternal, but everyone wants that" which made me a little mad, and I say "look, we DO know!! And that’s what we want to talk about!!!!!" she says "No you don’t. Look, my dad passed away 4 years ago, and now he´s gone. We´ll never see him again." I say "Yes you will!!! That’s why we´re here! We want to give you an eternal family after this life!!!" her "no, i don’t want to know about the eternities. So many things I’ve passed through in my life, I’m just here for today, and ill leave tomorrow to God. Nobody knows what happens after we die." Me: “We do! We know! We want to explain it!  Let us teach you."  Her "No, I’m content with what I have." Me: "Alright then. Do you know someone who lives around here who wants to have an eternal family?" She says, “no.” I say "that’s right. … Nobody wants an eternal family. Its sad right?" and she agrees!!! I can’t take it….
            Another guy, we are walking in the street searching for an address, and we look at his house to see the number and keep walking. We didn’t even stop walking. And this guy looks at us and yells "what do you want!" so we stop, turn around and say what? He yells "why are you looking at my house! Keep walking!" Luckily my companion was faster than I was to talk because I had a thousand replies come to my head. It had been a pretty rough day trying to find someone to teach and this guy, for some reason, ticked me off. My comp says "No, were just looking for a house number." and he says "well you can be sure it isn’t here!" After, my comp said, "hey man, I saw the look on your face as you turned around and know it was going to get bad real fast, so I started talking."  Ha-ha thankfully this work is inspired to have us walk in 2 in 2.

            One more guy, we´re walking in the road and I stop to talk with him.  This guys was HUGE!!  Like 2 feet taller than I am. And I say "Hey how’s it going!" and I start to introduce myself. Then he yells "NO!! I worship Satan! I worship and love the devil. If you want to talk about God, you’re loosing your time with me." and then he left!! I wanted to yell that if that were true, then he´s needing our message more than anyone. But I just let it slide.

            My week was a week of a lot of contacts in the street. We´re trying to find new people to teach, because we don’t have much time in our areas. But, I’m happy and I always feel super excited. 

            I’m just happy to have the knowledge I do and to know that I belong to and represent the true church of Christ. I love my Savior, and even with all these people that don’t want to recognize the truth, I know I can always be happy with what I have. I’m thankful to have my eternal family. I’m thankful to have the priesthood, the power of God to act in his name. It’s a good feeling. 

I’m happy and healthy.  I love you guys so much.
Elder McKee




Saturday, February 18, 2017

Little 19 year old American!

Week of Feb. 13-18, 2017
Hello,  I didn’t write journal pages this week.  We get home and spend the whole night calling people, or don’t get home until 11:00 and have to go right to bed.  I’ll start writing in the mornings this week.
            So, this week was very cool. On Monday, we were in the office until 4 calling everyone to get their numbers and commentaries. Then, at 4 we left with president for Alegrete, another city that’s about 3 hours away. We went there for the conference we were going to have the next day with 74 missionaries. I was the one who contracted the food catering, and the buses that would bring all of the missionaries.
            Tuesday morning, a few hours before the conference, some missionaries said that their van hadn’t come to pick them up. So, I call the guy, and the guy said he hadn’t seen our email so he wasn’t going to do the trip. Man, I let him have it. I had to repent a little afterwards, but I learned that when you talk with authority people obey. I don’t think it ever crossed this man’s mind that I’m a little 19-year-old American. We had confirmed with him 2 times, and sent several emails, and the day of the trip he says he wouldn’t do it. So, he sent a van, and it got there late and the missionaries got there late, but its all good. Then, the conference went well. Then, we got home at about 10 that night.
Jake and Elder Martin.  
 Sister Louza and Jake
 Jake is on the right side, on the end front, second in, with black tie.

            On Wednesday we spent the whole day in the office. It was supposed to only be for a little to get some stuff ready for the mission counsel with all the zone leaders, and we started to plan our training. Then, president came and told us some of the stuff some missionaries are doing and asked us to take care of it. We had a meeting with him and talked about a bunch of stuff, like new secretaries, how to help missionaries, and then some ideas for trainings. President is such a cool guy!
Elder Santos, President and Sister Louza

            Thursday was normal work! And we marked 2 baptism dates in a family we are working with!  Their names are Vanda and Ana.  We are super excited. But we were trying to do the baptism records with them, and it asked for the full name of every child and their dates of birth. This woman has 11 children, and doesn’t remember the birthday of most of them. So, that was a fight to discover them all.  We also are waiting for marriage papers for Gean and Thalia.  Please pray for them all.
            Friday was also a normal day of work, but I was dying. I don’t know why. I had a fever and a huge headache, but we have so few days to actually work that I just went with it. And everything fell through. So that was a good day. But I’m still happy. Then today is p-day. So that’s good.
            P-day is like this:  I woke up, studied, at 8:30 P-day started and so I went back to sleep, and passed out.  At 10:00 I woke up again and went and cut our grass.  Then I listened to music and drew a picture of Christ that I’m working on for President’s house. 
Then, I made some tapioca with nutella for lunch, then came to talk with you guys.  Until 6 I can do whatever needs to be done.  After 6, we’re going to the family that we marked for baptism, then to another family for teaching.  It’s a good day.
Thank you for everything.  I love you guys!
Elder McKee

Sister Lipps, Elder Santos, and Jake
Sister Lipps said, "The AP's are cool."  haha


We got a very nice message from a man in Santo Angelo.  


Hello.

I am a member of the last ward that E. McKee has been to.
Santo Ângelo ward. He was a great friend and an example to me. Helped me greatly with his example of obedience and righteousness.

It made me rethink about everything I was letting go of. I had a problem and I was left out of the gospel stuff. And he simply was the light on the way. I'm very grateful.

Darcy Fareirra Ramos


We are so grateful for the members and people Jake meets who reach out to us, and send such nice messages. We sent this to Jake today and he said, "I love that guy. He's such a great man."

Monday, February 13, 2017

Busy week!

Week of Feb. 6, 2017
My week was SUPER busy!!! We follow up on EVERYTHING!! Basically we run around organizing stuff so President can focus on his task of teaching. I live with 4 missionaries, besides myself and my comp. There are 4 missionaries in the office, and then the 2 AP’s. In the last 2 weeks we went out for 2 days to work, because with the transfer and counsel and conferences, there was a LOT of stuff to do. 

What is the most rewarding thing about being AP?  I can call whomever I want to so now I can follow up on everyone and try and help them. (people I taught and missionaries).   Also, sometimes President just randomly stops everyone to have a study group.  He’s so good!

What is the most discouraging thing about being AP?  There are a lot of problems to deal with. 

It is a great honor to be AP. I’m learning so much stuff and my testimony is growing SO MUCH. I’m also learning a lot of time management. 

I love you guys!! Thanks for everything!!!
Elder McKee

Friday, February 10, 2017

Good Bye Pictures

Jake got to be involved with the Goodbye dinner for the missionaries going home.
Sister, Sister Cornick



Elder Silva, Elder Smith, Elder Santos, Jake


Jake, Elder Jesus Santos, and Elder Jenson
And he also got to be involved with picking the new missionaries up at the airport.  
Jake and Elder Santos are on the far left.