Monday, October 15, 2012

October 14, 2012

October 14, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,

OHHH the leaves here in Tennessee are just GORGEOUS!!!!!    I’m wishing that JoLynn and Janet and their husbands were coming two weeks earlier than they are planning!  I’m afraid they will miss the spectacular colors that are just now appearing everywhere when they come in November!  We hope y’all have had a great week.

Sister McKee in front of the Mission home
Good luck to Michelle & Travis and the Draper boys as some of them are beginning their basketball season.  We pray for them and hope they know how much we love them.  It sounds like Mike & Kirsten and boys are drumming up very creative things again for Halloween!  Can’t wait to see some pictures! We are still anxiously awaiting the birth of our 11th grandson.  Jared and Brittany and Ethan, we are praying for you  that all goes well with the delivery—whenever that is.  We know you probably have a couple of weeks left, but we are so excited for that special day! Scott and Seren, besides their own jobs are creating another spook alley, “Terror at the Zoo?”  I can’t wait to hear how that is going!  Steven and Rachel are working and going to school and I’m sure helping Scott with his projects and everyone else! We love that both families are living at our house and taking care of it for us!    And Kylie is very involved in her school  at BYU-I as a trainer of other student ambassadors, working and trying to study in her spare time.  How we love and miss y’all!!!

 It has been a marathon week here again with us doing interviews every day in a different area of the mission.  We would be on the road, some days by 6:30 am because the Nashville traffic is horrendous and not get home until 6, or 7 or 8!!!  By Friday night, I was so tired I could hardly move---and it really isn’t that hard of work!  It is just very exhausting-- mentally!  What a treat it was to meet with each of the missionaries and talk about things that were important to them!  President conducted the normal worthiness interviews, and I would visit with them about health and other  concerns  and then have them real play with me!  It was great to see what kind of teacher they all are!  I get to know the missionaries so much better when I am able to spend that time with them. We also showed them a DVD of Elder Holland at one of his speeches at the MTC in 2011—POWERFUL talk, along the same lines he spoke at during general conference this session “DOYOU LOVE ME?”   Several nights President met with the Stake Presidents for Correlation council and this week he had an audit that had to be done at the office.

Visa Waiters
Elder Andrew, Elder Payne, President McKee, and Elder Adams
at the Airport
The Packer's enjoying their calzones!
Elder Adams!!
Monday, our four visa waiters left for Argentina.  We took them out to the airport and said our good-byes to them.  They had been here in the Tennessee Nashville Mission for 9 weeks---the longest that we have had visa waiters stay here before their visas arrived.  That evening we had Elder and Sister Packer over for a Family Home Evening.  The Packers are our office couple who have been over the cars and the apartments.  We call Elder Packer our” Car Czar”.  They are an EXTRA special  couple whom we will miss very much!  We made calzones with them and then Destini taught a family home evening lesson.  The girls ended the night by singing for them, but it was hard because we were all crying!  They are actually leaving tomorrow, but they, along with the Christensens from Fillmore, Utah,  were the ones who actually trained us the most in our position because they had been here about 4 months by the time we first got here in the mission.  How we will miss them!   The Rodaks from Providence , Ut are already doing a marvelous job.  Destini and I were walking home from the neighbors on Saturday and we noticed someone in our front yard doing something to our car.  As we got closer, we noticed Elder Rodak waxing our car!  He said he was “just trying out this new wax” but it is so easy to tell that they are SO into service.  There are so many wonderful people that we get to work with here in the mission!  We are so blessed!
Making Calzones with the AP's and the Packers!

Elder Packer, our office "angel" found his halo! :)
Elder Payne's... was creative. 
Elders Adams, Payne
The whole crew!
On Thursday, I had to leave the interviews and come home to do a Parent/Teacher Conference for Destini!  I was so excited to get a raving report from her teachers that she is doing so well in school!   She is my scholar-reader!  She is constantly reading and reads these thick books in about a day and a half!  I am very proud of her.
Kiara is also doing quite  well in school and is becoming quite the social butterfly.  She has suddenly decided that boys are not all that bad and that is really concerning to me! She has done some of her own compositions on the piano and is still an amazing artist.  She went to the Haunted Woods here with some of her friends this week and has some great ideas for Scott and Seren and their spook alley!

Aubrey is doing very well in school and we are going to her concert this coming  week.  We were quite thrilled to know that she had an influence on the choir dresses that are used.  Last year, the choir dress was a sleeveless black dress.  Aubrey, with no coaching from us,  asked the choir director if she could get a  black bolero to  wear over it because she didn’t feel comfortable wearing the sleeveless dress.  The teacher told her it was ok. We found her one that was not very expensive  and at the concerts, she was the only one in over 100 girls who had sleeves. She looked so nice!   One LDS family, who has a boy in the choir, came up to her and thanked her for standing up for her standards.  Well this year, they changed the dress so that  everyone  will wear boleros.  Neat!

Angie is still working hard at her on line  school so that she can graduate in the spring. This week, she signed up for a  HEFY—a humanitarian EFY to go to FIJI next summer and she was accepted.  We have a sister missionary, Sister Rativukivuki  from  FIJI   who is just an amazing missionary!  She will be going back  home to Fiji  in April and will probably be a part of the program Angie is going to.  Angie would like to adopt her as a sister!!!

We  mentioned last week about  a phone call from a Catholic Priest in Franklin, KY that asked our Bowling Green Sister missionaries to come and do an Interfaith presentation for ministers of all faiths and the whole community so that can understand what Mormons believe. Is that just exciting or what?  They asked US to come and they are going to invite the whole city to learn about the Mormons!!!   We will be meeting with them on the 24th in their building(Catholic Church). They are inviting the whole city.  It sounds like it will be a very big production!  We are excited to be a part of that as the sisters are preparing how to teach all about our doctrine in about 90 minutes.  People here are actually asking us to talk about the religion that Mitt Romney belongs to.  It has been a great opportunity for missionary work.

Saturday, we invited our neighbors who have a girl Destini’s age over for dinner tomorrow night for FHE.  They are a wonderful family of 3.  The mom is training to become a Baptist Minister and the father used to work with Tripp Merideth, a man who was the 2nd counselor in the mission, but was called last April to be  an Area Authority Seventy.  He is a great man and we miss him terribly in the mission.  But it is a connection with this family and we hope we can touch them in some way.

The mission had 13 baptisms yesterday and we have about 34 scheduled for the rest of the month and into November.

Saturday evening I  spoke in the Franklin Stake Conference and President spoke in Priesthood leadership and then again today in their Sunday Stake Conference.  This is the only stake in our mission that has two sessions on Sunday—one in Columbia at 9:00 am  and one in Franklin at 1:00.  I was excited to be able to just have to give my talk once!!!  I certainly enjoyed the Sunday meetings much more by not having to worry about speaking!  The visiting authority was Elder Tony Parker, a large  African American from Atlanta Georgia.  We knew he would have to have known Steve and Anita Satterfield, which he did and paid her a great compliment, saying she had more love in her heart than any other women he knew!   He was a kick!  He told some of the funniest stories and was such a great speaker.  It was a treat to listen to him in three  (four for President) different sessions!

President Greyson, Franklin Stake President  is a wonderful man and we love his whole family.  He talked about the 3 great motivators in life.  1)   out of fear  (fear of not pleasing  another person, or fear of judgment)  2)   out of duty (it is our responsibility to do it)  3)  out of love. He also talked about: The great test of life:  which is obedience.  The  great task of life: which is to learn the will of God and then do it.  The great commandment of life is : To love the Lord. The difference between testimony and conversion is that conversion is not a one time experience.  It takes time and patience and requires 5 things  Helaman  15: 7-8.  1) believing in the teaching 2)  exercising faith 3)  repenting 4) experiencing the mighty change of heart 5)  being steady, firm and steadfast in living the gospel.  Many times people think that their conversion is the climax to their spiritual experience.  It should really be just the beginning to bigger and better things! 

Some missionary miracles:
1)  Its been a great week so far! My companion and I are so excited for this Saturday wtih the baptism we have planned for Robert and Pamela Youngs! And wtih the miracle we had last night on how Robert fell into chewing tobacco again but as soon as he put it in his mouth he heard a voice tell him "don't do it Robert, you need to be baptized with your wife on Saturday." What an amazing experience! The Youngs are truly some great people and they will be a great addition to the Sparta Branch. We are so excited for them and they are really excited as well!

2­  “We currently have 7 baptism dates set all within this month and the first week of November. On top of that we have a ton of investigators who we will get to set dates with as well. Each day I’m learning and growing and continue to feel my Heavenly Fathers love for me. 
Just last night one of our families brother and sister…. had a date set for Nov 1. Before the lesson started they said they had something to tell us. We couldn’t tell if it was bad or good so we just said that we will teach them first and tell us after. Well right when we were done they said that they prayed together yesterday and want to be baptized on October 20 instead. Its amazing we said why? (he) said that he was waiting for his wife to say so and they decided together. He also has had a dream (that he thought was real) that we gave him a bracelet made out of brown shells like a Polynesian bracelet that had a small chain and had a shield shape to it with initials that said CTR!! He had no idea what that stood for or meant. It was amazing. We said it was a sign to him.”

3.)  “..because I was feeling and recognizing the Spirit. I had some apartments in mind to go visit and we started walking and I made sure I was paying attention to what I felt and what the Spirit directed me to do. ………. I did not know where to go so I sat and pondered. I felt we should take a road I had never been on so we went and walked down that road. I was looking for houses that we should knock, but a feeling did not come that we should go knock any particular house. We arrived at the end and I had an impression to go to the local post office to pick up my companion’s  package. The post office was on the left at the end of this road so it was about 30 seconds walking there. We arrived and were waiting in line and an older lady approached us and asked if we were with the church Romney goes to. We said Yes and then she asked us if we had a Book of Mormon. We said yes and gave her an English copy and a card and she left. That experience deepened my testimony about this work and how it is guided by God and when we allow God to guide us He guides people to us. One of the biggest things I learned was that He guides us by the little thoughts and impressions we receive. The Spirit is the key in this work and Heavenly Father is teaching me how to use it.”
“This next week we are going to be doing a zone Book of Mormon challenge where we are going to try to pass out 150 copies of the Book of Mormon in one week.”

We know this work is true and how exciting it is to live in this day and time.  We truly are in the Mormon Moment and with Mormonism being talked about every day on the media, people really do want to know more. We love missionary work and know that the more we do, the easier it becomes.  I know our Savior lives and loves us.  I know “He is in the details of our lives”.  I know we have a living prophet.  I also testify to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon! 

We love our good family and friends.  Thank you for your letters—even though I am very slow to respond to you.  Some weeks are much busier than others and sometimes it takes me awhile to respond, but we still love hearing from you.  We love you!  Have a great week!
President and Sister  McKee, Dad & Mom, Grandpa & Grandma, Bill & RaNae and Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini

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