August 13, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
Happy August 13th everyone! We hope you are all healthy, well, and finding much in life to be happy about! It has been a great week here in the mission. We have had good weather, even a little rain, warm, but not too extremely hot temperatures, and overall it has been great! The bright hot pink and red Crepe Myrtle Trees are in full bloom now and it is a gorgeous time of year here in Brentwood.
We started the week out with transfers!! Just that word alone makes me tired!!! We received 8 new missionaries, 3 new elders and 5 sisters. We usually only get a few sisters with a lot more elders. We normally put the sisters upstairs in our guest room with the elders downstairs in the missionary rooms, but because we had so many sisters, they got the beds downstairs and the elders had to sleep on the floor in the front room.
It is always amazing to me how young these new missionaries seem. They all arrive after leaving the MTC at about 3:00 am that morning, so we know they are not only dead tired, but starving as well. And they all seem to have that “deer in the headlights” look as they wonder what is going to be happening to them! They are so easy to love though. We tell them we first start loving them the minute we get their pictures from the website in Salt Lake….and it’s true. We do.
We picked them up from the airport, took them to the mission office to meet our “office angels” and brought them home and fed them right away before we did any training. Our two new assistants, Elder Payne, from Centerville UT, who has been an assistant a whole transfer (6 weeks) , and Elder Adams from Sacramento CA who just barely came in as an AP one day ago were awesome as they organized the whole week and made sure everything ran smoothly.. Elder Hill, a great missionary who has been an AP since May, was sent out to be a trainer for his last two transfers here in the mission. Time goes by so very quickly in the mission.
It was, again, a very emotional week, as we sent home 11 of some of our most outstanding missionaries. It us SO hard to see them leave! Every transfer it seems like it just gets a little bit harder---maybe because we have known and worked with them a little bit longer. Five of our missionaries had their parents come out to pick them up, with some with siblings as well. We ended up having 40 that evening for dinner and also for the testimony meeting afterwards. We may have to change what we have been doing as we don’t have near enough room to do that at the mission home. And, we found out that the lady who usually does my transfer dinner for me , lost her 96 year old mother on Monday, so fortunately her sweet daughter came through and prepared it with only a day’s notice.
It was a fun and very short night as the girls instigated some games and we all sang Broadway songs around the piano until the early hours of the morning. We had to leave to be out to the airport by 6:00 am so it was, indeed a very short night. (It was more like a nap!)
There are so many changes that happen during transfers. The whole system has to be updated by President McKee, changing companions, addresses, phones, etc. as he enters all of that into the computer so that not only this mission has the information, but Salt Lake as well. That takes quite a while and has to be done immediately after we get back from the airport.
President also had to take a trip to Paducah on Thursday. Because school started on Friday, he took Kiara, Angie, and Destini with him, while I took the other girls shopping for school clothes and supplies on Thursday.
Friday marked the 1st day of school for our girls. It just seems strange to have them get on the school bus while it is still the middle of summer. Angie is still doing her school on line, while Aubrey started her sophomore year at Brentwood High, Kiara is in the 8th grade at Brentwood Middle School and Destini is in the 5th grade at Scales Elementary. So …..we start our first day of seminary at 6:00 tomorrow morning! Hmmmmm……….Yes we love it!! We still love having Kylie here!
We were very excited to find out that Jan and Cliff Rhoades from Pocatello, now Elder and Sister Rhoades would be here on Friday afternoon. We arranged to take them out to dinner and do an orientation with them that evening and then they came over to the mission home to spend the night. We were grateful they made it when they did, because we had a Couples Conference scheduled for Saturday. They are an amazing couple and will be working in Murfreesboro organizing the YSA program over there. They already have a ton of ideas and are excited to get to work. We couldn’t be MORE thrilled to have them here! What a blessing they will be!!!
|Our Senior Couples Conference, at the oldest chapel in Tenn.|
So bright and early on Saturday morning, we filled the big mission van along with three other cars with 12 of our senior couples and drove 2 ½ hours away to Altamont to have a conference at Northcutts Cove, the oldest LDS Chapel in the South, built in 1909. We invited President Crawford, Stake President of the McMinnville Stake to come and talk to all of us about the history of the church. It was such a spiritual experience. We also drove about 5 miles from that church to the 2nd oldest LDS church which was built in 1944. It is an old rock structure which was used until 1981 where a large new church was build. We had a luncheon at the new church and then had a nice meeting that afternoon with all of the couples. Kylie, Angie, and Aubrey came along to the conference and sang for them that afternoon. It was a WONDERFUL day. We have some outstanding senior couples out here in this mission. Unfortunately we have many who will be leaving in a few months….so, any of you seniors out there who wants to come to the greatest mission in the world , get your papers filled out NOW!!!! We need you!!!
We are excited to know that Elder Kopischke of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy will be here this Thursday to speak to the entire mission on Friday. Great experiences!
1) WE HAD THE MOST WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE LAST THURSDAY!!!! We needed some groceries from the store, so we went to Wal-Mart, but as we pulled in, my companion stopped the car and asked if I felt we should be there at that time and if we should go to the library instead. I said that we could go to the library and come back later. We drove over to the library, to find that it was jam packed, so we made a reservation and just headed back over to Wal-Mart. As we went in, we stopped in the fruit/vegetable section. This wonderful woman that was in a scooter cart paused as she got near us, and said, "Can I just tell you that you two are a couple of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen? You two have the brightest lights in your eyes! I have never seen light like that!" She glanced at our name tags and the first thing she noticed was JESUS CHRIST. She then said,"Oh that explains it, you have Jesus Christ. What church do you all belong to?" We told her, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She replied, "That must be the place to be, because the light in your eyes is just unreal!" We asked her what church she attended, and she said, "I have been going to the... uh..the uh....you know it's the...oh wow, I can't even remember it, haha must not have been that important! I can't get over the light that you two have, it shows, you're just glowing! If I could only have that light!" We told her that she could indeed have it! She said, "Oh good, because I want it!" We asked if she liked to read, and she said yes, so we gave her a copy of The Book of Mormon, and she committed to read it with incredible enthusiasm! We asked her if she would come to church and she said that she would, if she felt she was in good condition. We got her information and put our number inside The Book of Mormon, she responded with, "Thank you so much, this means so much to me." After this encounter, we proceeded to go get our groceries, both of us were completely stunned. Nothing like that had ever happened to either one of us before. We didn't realize that our light was so physically visible! On Saturday morning, she called to tell us that she wouldn't be able to come to church due to not feeling well. My companion was the one speaking to her over the phone and asked her if she had been reading The Book of Mormon, she said that she had AND that she knew it was true! My companion then asked her if she would prepare to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God, she sweetly replied that she wanted to learn more first. This wonderful woman is well on her way to obtaining the light that she saw ever so present in our eyes in a few seconds in the grocery st
2) Things are going great here in Shelbyville. We definitely witnessed a miracle this week as we had 16 nonmembers at church yesterday! It was amazing! This week we witnessed a miracle as we were able to help Sherri return home to her mother, Sue, we had dropped them the previous week because Sue started being very contentious and trying to bah with us, However we kept them in our prayer and prayed for the Lord to soften her heart. The Lord answered our prayers in giving us the opportunity to help the reunite and they ended up coming to church yesterday. What a blessing it was to be able to sit with them during sacrament. I love the work and am having a blast. I love you.
As you can tell, this work we are engaged in is a wonderful work. We have never been busier, nor happier. We come every day to appreciate the gospel of Jesus Christ and especially the Book of Mormon for we know they are true and are the tools that will bring happiness to this world. We have seen lives change right before our eyes. As we hear of the miracles .EVERY DAY from the missionaries , we can truly testify of the way the Spirit works in guiding us and helping us become more of what our Heavenly Father wants each of us to become!
We are grateful for good family and friends back at home who support and love us. Thank you for your emails and kind words of support. We love you!!! Have a great week and share the Book of Mormon with someone you have never thought of giving it to before!
All our love,
President & Sister McKee, Dad & Mom, Grandpa & Grandma, Bill and RaNae……
Kylie, Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini