Saturday, April 8, 2017

"Jesus Take The Wheel"

April 1, 2017
Hello.  I KNEW ZAC WOULD GO TO JAPAN!!!  I started yelling when I watched the video.  He’s going to leave before I get back though.  I might have to meet him at the temple or something before he leaves from the MTC.  
(Zac Baker is one of his best friends, who will leave July 5th.)  
            I wanted to tell you guys something.  So, my date had been changed from the 6th of June, to the 18th of July because of my visa, but the longest I could stay would be the 7th of August.  I decided I am going to tell President that I’m willing to stay until August if he needs me to.  I know you won’t believe me because it’s April Fools, but I’ve already talked with President.  It would only be until the middle of the transfer, I don’t know if he will need it, but I want to stay.  It’s only another 3 weeks.   I am not messing with you.  I’ll talk to President later today about it.  But my Visa really expires August 18th.  And families are eternal but my mission is a one-time thing.  I want to take advantage of what I have.   (This turned out NOT to be a April Fools Joke.  Jake got back on his email later in the day and sent this message:  “Hey mom.  I’m back for like 3 minutes. I was talking to President right now and we decided that its better for me to just come home normally on the 18th.  Where I’m the assistant it wouldn’t really help much because he would still have to call the new assistant on the 18th, so we would be in a trio.  So, I’ll just be coming home on the 18th.  Sorry this was all on April Fools.  I didn’t know it was until after I read your email.  Love you guys!”
            I traveled all week, AND I GAVE A BANANA TO A MONKEY THIS WEEK!!  I went to Urugaiana, which is on the border with Argentiana, separated by the river.  We aren’t allowed to cross.  Then I wend to Sao Borja, which has monkeys in the park and turtles in the other.  I used my waterproof camera.  We were in a park and I saw a sign with old Brazilian presidents,and wanted to be in it.  

 Then, I saw the monkeys and yelled, “We need to buy bananas!”  So we bought like 6 bananas for about a dollar and I went under the tree.  As a gringo American I didn’t know how one calls a monkey, so I tried everything I knew, holding the banana above my head.  Remember this is in the center of the city at about 11 in the morning.  I whistled, called them like a horse, like a cat, yelled, “Hey, monkey come eat a banana!”   Then a crowd came and watched as about 4 or 5 monkeys started eating my bananas.  The people were laughing, most people think I’m nuts. 

            Then yesterday at 11 at night randomly comes a shipment of 100 pillows to our house, so I say, “Hey, put them there, I’m going to jump off the porch onto them!”
             I love you guys!  Stay safe at Powell this week.  Have a great week.
Love, Elder McKee
Vanda, Thalia, Ana, Elder Santos, Jake, Gean

April 8, 2017
            Soooo... today I finish one year and 9 months in the mission. 
That’s a flippen long time. 
            This week was super, super good, but really tiring. Today was p-day, and I slept for 3 and half hours before we left to talk to our families. I was super, super spent. And after we talked with our families Elder Santos and I will probably watch a movie because this is the only p-day we have that we don’t have to do something tonight. 
            So we have this investigator. Here’s her story:   Elder Santos and I did this thing where we folded paper into little shirts, and put some questions on them like "is there life after death?" "what’s my purpose here?" and then we put a date and time that we would return to answer the questions. Then we left them in about 10 different apartments. When we came back on the day we marked, nobody wanted anything. But, even though we were super tired and worn out, we continued. At the LAST house, we found a woman named Priscilla. She didn’t want anything to do with our message, but noticing my accent she asked about the English classes that are going on in the church. Then she said she would go the next time. AND SHE ACTUALLY WENT!! This was last week. Then she went again, and again. She liked it a lot, and has a friend who was born in the church, so that helps a lot. Anyways, in the class on Wednesday, we marked with her to come early to the next class, and we were going to teach her a little. So yesterday, she came with her friend early. It was one of the best lessons I’ve had on my mission. She was super honest and said, "I can’t honestly say I believe in God, or any one religion. But I want to believe, and I know I need to believe in something. That’s why I keep coming here." She had read the Book of Mormon we gave her, and we read Alma 32 with her about the seed of faith. She said she was feeling a lot better, and she is honestly interested. Her friend bore her testimony, and the two of them were crying together. Man, it was a super, super good lesson. Then she went to the English class, and said "next Friday I’ll come early again for us to keep talking" WOOT WOOT!!!!!! IM SO EXCITED!!!!!!
            Also, one thing super funny that happened this week was I was in an exchange with Elder Baker, from Minisoda. (This is his spelling..haha) He came in the mission with me and we´re good friends. Anyways, we were talking while we were walking, and he asked me about what kind of music I liked. I said I like everything except rap, and there are few country singers that I like. He said "Me too. I only like country from Taylor Swift, and..... ahhh what’s her name."  But for some reason I knew exactly who it was he was talking about, and I said "Same! The other woman is.... ahhhh, I don’t remember her name! She sang in the Stadium of Fire when I went!" So we walked for a while trying to remember, singing her songs. Then, I can’t take it, so we call Elder Hyland, from Texas, and put him on speaker phone. We sing the songs we remember to him, and he also can’t remember the name. We're all getting frustrated, so I call Elder Shepard, and put him on the line together with Hyland and us. We´re all singing her songs, walking in the street, trying to remember the name. So we´re all walking in the street, talking in English, singing "Maybe next time he´ll think before he cheats" and "Jesus take the wheel" then, we call Elder Ostergaard, another American, and we all start singing to him. Then he thinks for a little bit, and says, "is it Carrie Underwood?" and us 4 start yelling and cheering because we got it. 
Ha-ha it was the best thing. 
             We also have another family we are teaching. They are super, super poor, and have a TON of kids and grandkids. This week we went there, and the dad was the only one home with the kids. He isn’t too interested in listening to the messages, so I focused more on the 6 kids under the age of 10. We taught them how to pray, and each one took their turn saying a prayer. In every single one of their prayers, they asked for more food at home. They have nothing. So, later that week when we went back, I came with 2 big chocolate bars and a box of little candy bars, and they went crazy. All the little kids sharing and eating and 
making a mess. It was awesome. 
            My week was super good. I’m worn out and its hard to find the energy to walk sometimes, but I’m doing great.   I stayed in Santa Maria this week but went on splits with 4 different Elders.  Elder Santos was traveling.
   Elder Cordoza, Elder Costa, Jake, Elder Baker   
           Did you try the Peep Oreos?  YES!  I THOUGHT I WAS SICK!  I thought I was pooping blood.  I came out of the bathroom yelling.  Then, I figured it out when another elder noticed the packaging of the Oreos, and we put two and two together.  Freaked me out!  I am saving all the rest of the Easter candy for our egg hunt.  All the eggs opened, mom, but I’ll fix them back up. 
            So, the other elders in our house and me grabbed a bunch of pieces of railroad tracks to use as weights in our house.  We’re all working out.  I feel happy and healthy.
I love you guys.  Thanks for everything!

Elder McKee

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