Hey all! Things are still going great in the Nashville, TN area. I failed to post this Monday, so here it is today! We're getting ready for transfers this next week. We love adventures each day brings!..
-- Sept. 10, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
We have had an extra busy week here in the Great Tennessee Nashville Mission this week. This was our 2nd week of zone conferences that were held in 7 different zones of our mission—3 last week and 4 this week. By the time we leave in time to get where ever we are going by 9:00 am and conclude by 4pm ,(Then President usually has to interview a few for challenges or temple recommends) it has made for some VERY long days. Our focus this time has been inviting others to the 21 DAY BOOK OF MORMON CHALLENGE~! We know that all concerns can be resolved by using the Book of Mormon. So we have asked the missionaries to challenge people to read for 21 days, to attend church during that time and to pray about what they have read to see if it is true. The response has been amazing---many have accepted the challenge and we have seen many come unto baptism because of it!! Now we know that most people cannot read the Book of Mormon in just 21 days, so the missionaries are printing up calendars for them with important sections or scriptures that they need to read (34 pages in 3rd Nephi being one of them where Christ spoke to the people in the Americas). It is the Lord’s promise and we know he will fulfill it for anyone who inquires with a sincere heart and real intent!
At zone conference our office couple over the vehicles and apartments usually collects all of the keys from the missionaries and checks all of the vehicles while we are inside doing the conferences. They have done an incredible job and they make it really fun for the missionaries. He told them that he has actually gotten calls from Salt Lake to see why our vehicle costs have been so much lower than other missions. On Thursday, we went to McMinnville which is about 2 hours away from Nashville. The office couple left early to go back to Nashville before we were done with the meeting. The only problem was that they forgot to give the keys back to the missionaries!!! So they hauled the keys for about 15 cars back to Nashville with them. By the time we realized they had the keys, they turned around and came back, but it was a good 2 hours after the time we were supposed to be done. ( I reminded them that we would all laugh about this next week!!!) We sent the missionaries out to knock doors and to do a good hour of tracting, while the assistants and myself went out and bought pizzas for them all. In that hour, the missionaries got over 20 new teaching appointments and gave away almost that many Books of Mormon. The office couple felt awful about what had happened, but we told them “there are No accidents”. For some reason, we know that someone out there will receive the gospel because of that experience.
Tonight we had a dinner for a new couple that just came into the mission—the Wrigleys from Las Vegas, Nevada. They are a great couple who will certainly bless the mission. Before that we left early this morning to drive to Morgantown – 1 ½ hours to the northwest of us to speak in sacrament meeting to a branch there and do a combined Priesthood/ RS on setting up their own Family Mission Plan. We had lunch with the Petersons, a senior couple from Burley, Idaho who are leaving to go home this coming week. This couple knows Julie and Lloyd Monroe very well (some friends of ours from when we first moved to Chubbuck). How we will miss them and how much the branch will miss them! It is so much fun to see the friendships that are made with people here in the mission.
Last night President and I went out with a set of Elders who had an investigators who had asked them not to come back. The Elders asked if they could just bring “the President” back to talk with him one time. We drove out to Spring Hill and met with this man and his wife with the other missionaries. It was evident that he wanted to teach us, rather than being taught. We listened to him for awhile and then he proceeded to tell us what he thought was wrong about the Mormon church. 1st of all, he said that he didn’t like that we believed that the trinity was three distinct and separate beings. Secondly he thought we believed we Mormons were without sin, and thirdly he wanted to know what went on in our temples and why he wasn’t able to go inside. We proceeded to teach the truths of our gospel to him, that we KNOW we are all sinners and talked about the relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father. He was very determined that they were all one person and that Jesus Christ just changed himself into God the Father because he was God and could do that—He could do anything. He also believed that Jesus prayed to himself. We invited him to read in 3rd Nephi 11 and I think it touched him. We then told him that he was very welcome to come to the temple—everyone is, but they have to be prepared first. President said to him, “What would it mean to you if you could take your family into the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity?” It was so amazing to me to feel the Spirit enter the room and to see his heart soften. He was very quiet for a few moments as he pondered it and then he quickly “shook it off” and went back to his questions. We left him with the 21 day BOOK OF MORMON CHALLENGE, and he accepted. We’ll see what happens!!!!
The girls are all doing well. It was fun to Skype some of our family tonight. We certainly miss having Kylie here. How we miss all of our children and grandchildren. What a miracle it is to be able to see them while we talk to them! We have an awesome family and we love them all so much!
Here are a few mission miracles:1) It has been a good week. We have had some great experiences. Sister McKee had Elder Baugh go to the orthodontist this week to ask them a few questions and try and set up an appointment to get his top retainer fixed. When we went there was a lady there working. As we talked about insurance and what we need to do to get them the information it was brought up that we couldn't talk to our families except for Christmas and mothers day that really impressed her this lead into a conversation about what we do as missionaries. Then she ended up telling us how she has watched her church grow and how it is so big and how she doesn't like it at all cause she wants to know the people that she goes to church with. She ended up telling us a whole list of things that she didn't like about her church that she has been going to for 30 years. She basically said that she has been watching her church veer off to the left and right. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and taught her about the restoration. She was amazed of the first vision and the Book of Mormon she committed to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and she said that she will come to church with us. Then as we were leaving she told that she knew that it was not a coincidence that we came in on this day cause this was the only time that she would have been able to talk to us about religion. Things here are going good
2) Miracles are happening. This area is amazing! We've issued the Book of Mormon challenge to our investigators. Some of them have accepted, some haven't but we're really going to work hard to make sure that we read with them every day. We've talked about getting the ward involved with it and our ward is doing a 40 day fast for missionary work. This week was kind of hard at first but we had a few miracles yesterday! It was so great. First of all, Jackie Smith was at church! She showed up at the church building yesterday to give something to Sis. Austin. We convinced her to stay for Sacrament meeting. She left halfway through but the fact that she even stayed for part of it was huge!
3) As we were driving home we got a text from this kid asking if it was the missionary's number. This kid, he's 17, had been investigating the church about 2 years ago but his family didn't approve so he had to stop but he was in touch with Temple Square missionaries over mormon.org but eventually lost contact with them too. His grandma actually bought him a quad but somehow the rest of his family found out and something happened so he doesn't have it anymore. But anyway, he texted us yesterday wanting to know where he could get a copy of the Book of Mormon, so we told him we had one for him. We met up with him and his mom at the church and offered to give them a tour of the church so that his mom could learn about the church her son wants to join. It was AMAZING! The mom just kept asking questions about everything. She told us that she's been kind of scared of the Church but as her son started talking to her about it she wanted to know more about it. We taught her about everything from prophets to temples to polygamy to bishops. Anything she asked a question about we answered as best we could and her son was answering her questions also. He was talking about Bible verses about certain principles and how they connect with the Book of Mormon. He was answering her questions just as much as we were. As we walked down the halls we taught her using the paintings of the Book of Mormon stories and she loved that. We went into the chapel and the Spirit was so strong in there. She said, "this is the only church where I feel like I would be welcome. None of the churches I've been too have felt that way." Then we took them to the baptismal font and talked about more doctrine. We both bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and committed them to read 3 Nephi. We invited them to be baptized and the son said "I'm going to be baptized." All the mom said was "I need to pray about it but if God tells me, then yes I will be." It was such a Spirit filled night. Seriously, last night made up for the tough week we've had. I love this mission! I'm so grateful that I was called to serve here.
Well. I suppose that’s about it for the week. We love our Savior and know that He lives! We love the Book of Mormon and have had a testimony of it for a long time, but it has never been as strong as it is today. It is the true “How TO book for Happiness!” We hope you all have a great week.
President & Sister McKee, Dad & Mom, Grandpa & Grandma, Bill and RaNae and….
Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini
ps. We still love hearing from you!!