Friday, November 23, 2012

November 18, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,
Happy Thanksgiving’s Day Week to all of you!   It doesn’t even seem possible that Thanksgiving Day is this week.  The weather has been beautiful this entire week  and was up to about 68 today.  Every week there are fewer and fewer leaves on the trees which makes the colors of the hills looking much duller than they have been—I suppose winter is coming even if it doesn’t feel like it in the air.  I’m certainly not complaining about that, however.  I LOVE  warm days!

Just had a rich experience with my kids.  I got to talk to each one of Michelle and Travis’ family, all 6 of their little boys and Travis and Michelle and share scriptures with them tonight. What great readers each one of them are!   They are all growing up so much and  I can’t even recognize the voice of Brayden, her oldest—14.  Sometimes I worry that those boys won’t even remember usl!  We got a video clip telling us that Mike & Kristen’s Andrew  (10 months old!)  is now walking (whom we haven’t seen yet!) and you should hear that Charlie read!  Peter is doing great in pre-school as well.  Jared & Brittany’s Ethan celebrated his 3rd birthday last week and we need to get more pictures of little Kason who was just born.  We hope Scott and Seren, Steven and Rachel, and Kylie are doing well.  It looks like Steven and Rachel and Kylie will be coming to spend Christmas here-----we are SOOO  excited!!! How we love and miss y’all!!!!  By the way, Angie posts many pictures on our family Facebook Page of Bill and RaNae Family, and also on our blog at

This week has been a VERY full and great one.  We started off on Monday  saying our goodbye’s to my sisters, Janet & Bob, and JoLynn & Bob who came to visit us and were flying back to SLC.  We  had such a fun time having them here!!!  The girls said they had never seen us have such a fun time together.  Angie said, “I felt like I was watching the golden girls LIVE!”  Aubrey said, “I have never seen them laugh like that before—Your sisters are really fun!”.    It was very hard for me to tell them goodbye—but they promised they would come back!

After my family left, we went up to Russellville for another choir practice.  We took a set of sisters from Franklin and then picked up a set of Elders from Madison, then drove about 2 hours to the northeast where we met another 20 Elders and Sisters who are singing for some Christmas Interfaith Programs the last of this month in Clarksville  and another one in December in Bowling Green. We practiced for a couple of hours then returned home.  The kids have been bombarded with homework in preparation for Thanksgiving week  (which they have the entire week off this week!) 

Elder and SIster Perkins, SIster and President McKee

Sister and Elder Perkins, Elders Payne an Andrew

Tuesday, after having to go to the dentist to get another crown glued back on, we went out to the airport to pick up Elder Anthony Perkins of the First Quorum of the Seventy and his wife who were here doing a mission tour for us. He spoke in the last General Conference in the Priesthood Session. It is always such a great experience for us to have general authorities here…and it is a bit stressful as you can imagine. 

Hopkinsville Zone
 Elder Perkins and his wife lived in China for about 8 years and then he was called to be a Mission President in Taiwan before he was called to be a General Authority.  He is a very intelligent man and we all learned so much  from him. He spoke about the importance of all of us becoming “master teachers”.  That as we speak with boldness, not being timid, yet not being overbearing with people, that people would be able to feel the Spirit and know of the truthfulness of the message we bear.  That all comes from learning to love them and teach them for the right reasons.   

Paducah Zone
We had a nice dinner for him and Sister Perkins on Tuesday night here at the mission home, and then on Wednesday, we all left at 6:30 am and drove up to the Clarksville building where he interviewed some of our missionaries and we had a zone conference/ mission tour for the 3 northern zones of our mission.  It was really a great experience for all of us.  He asked all of us to change the term MEETING to “a revelatory experience”.  So instead of going to Sacrament Meeting, to say we are going to have our “Sacrament Revelatory Experience” trying to teach us that the importance of any meeting in the church is to be able to get our own revelation for our lives. We do that by bringing questions to the meeting that we want answers for and then by attentively listening to the spirit as the spirit will give us answers that are often not spoken.
Zona de Espanol!! 

On Thursday, we traveled to the second half of our mission down in the Franklin Stake House and had a little bigger crowd with the other 4 zones of the mission. Each day, both President and I were able to train, then Elder and Sister Perkins spoke, we did several “real plays”,  and ended with the missionaries sharing their testimonies.  It was a powerful meeting!  We have such great missionaries in this mission.    Both days were just incredible and we learned so much from Elder Perkins. At 4:00, we left the church and headed for the airport where they had to catch their flight back to Utah.  The Nashville traffic is really something else –especially at that time of day so the fact that we made it there and they were able to get on their flight on time was quite a miracle in and of itself. 
Murfreesboro Zone

Friday,  I spent at the doctor’s office with one of our Elders who had a broken bone in his hand—yes, from playing dodge ball on P-day!!!. President was at the office welcoming and interviewing a new Senior couple, Elder and Sister Bishop from Meridian. They will be serving on the Fort Campbell base in Clarksville. He then met with Elder and Sister Wilson who will be going home this weekend. In the afternoon the rest of the office couples came in for a couples outing to the Opryland Hotel. It was a planned preparation cultural outing for the Senior couples.  They toured this amazingly big hotel that has 2,881 rooms on the outside with huge running waters and outdoor scenes (even with indoor boatrides) inside.  It really is a beautiful, but huge place. It is like walking through a gigantic park in Hawaii without the beaches and the sand. There are three separate parks inside as well as a mini shopping mall, restaurants, etc.  After that, we went with them to the original Grand Ole Opry setting called the Ryman Theater where they were able to watch a live show on that stage.  There were many stars that country western fans would know, like CharleyDaniels Band,  Riders in the Sky, Connie Smith.  Even Diamond Rio performed . It was a great program.

Saturday, we were to be at the Madison Stake Conference, where President had to speak for the afternoon Priesthood session of conference, we attended their evening session and both of us spoke at their Stake Conference today. President had to do a couple of temple recommends afterward and then we went in for a nice luncheon with the Stake Presidency. President Abernathy (convert to the church) is a great man and his wife and family have become very good friends of ours.  They have 3 daughters that are Kylie, Aubrey and Destini’s ages, so the girls love to go over there.  They always have a very nice luncheon for us  and spoil us after their stake conferences .  Such great people.

Miracles in the Great TNM this week:
1)“ We found a family that is really great, we were out walking to an investigators home and it started sprinkling a little rain. They were outside their house about to leave when we walked by them. We greeted them and asked them if we could serve them in anyway, they said no and we went on to go to the investigators home. The investigators we wanted to see weren't home so we walked back and this time they initiated the conversation, "aren't you guys getting wet in the rain?" We started talking to them and it stopped raining, which I don't think was a coincidence. They asked us if they could come to church with us and we gave them each a copy of the Book of Mormon and set a return appointment. There are close to 7 that could progress to baptism soon, and they have relatives that they mentioned might be interested in meeting with us, we are going there tomorrow to follow up on that and teach them more” 
2)“We are always helping each other become better. This week we had four investigators at church, and they all said they really enjoyed it. I have a goal for this week to love my companion to help him with just little things.”
“We've set a goal to set 5 dates this week and we have prayed about it and both feel they are ready. It will be an exciting week.”
“ We had two baptisms this past weekend!”
” He has been investigating for years now and has set his own date for sometime next week! He has an AMAZING testimony of the Book of Mormon, Christ and His atonement, and the restored church!! It is awesome.”
“our main investigator, Roman ……., got up and bore his testimony about what a great experience he had getting to meet and shake hands and talk with an apostle and how ever since that night he's just felt peace and joy all the time!”

“ This quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf helped me make that transition—

“Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end? Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition. Do we say our prayers with only the “amen” or the end in mind? Of course not. We pray to be close to our Heavenly Father, to receive His Spirit and feel His love. We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect.”
I learned, I think, the most important lesson of my mission (thus far) last week on a dusty old couch in the dim front room of a less-active member's home. I'm not even sure why I learned the lesson when I did. We were reading the Book of Mormon. I found my mind drifting to mistakes I had made earlier in the day—not talking with a woman on the side of the road, failing to reprove a missionary for an inappropriate gesture he had made, the list goes on. I realized in an instant how silly it was to continue bludgeoning myself over the head with past mistakes. No amount of worry now could change what had happened in the past. In fact, worry could only add to my list of regrets because it was keeping me from being involved with the lesson.
3) We also found two new young families this week to teach the Gospel to. The first came by us knocking on a door and asking if we could come in and pray for her family and bless their home. Katerina said, "Well, the house is a mess, but give me a minute. I could really use this." We ended up sitting on her living room floor for a half hour after the prayer just teaching her about the Gospel and hearing her story. She said she's been looking for a church and this was an answer to HER prayers. What a miracle!
The second came from a referral. Tricia has been looking for truth but feels that all the congregations she has attended contradict each other. She lives with her fiance and her parents, all who warmly welcomed us into their home.
It's not that we haven't been doing the wrong thing, we just hadn't been doing the right thing for long enough. Now we are receiving miracles for our efforts!”

May we just bear witness that we know this work is true and that it is His and that WE LOVE IT!.  We love working with these amazing missionaries—the young ones and the senior couples!!!   As we see people come into the Church and see the happiness that has come into their lives because of receiving the fullness of the Gospel of Christ—it is just amazing to see the changes that occurs in people’s lives.  I love the Book of Mormon and love the truths that are contained within it.  I am so grateful for a living prophet upon this earth today, President Thomas S. Monson and testify that He is the Lord’s spokesperson upon the earth today.  I am SO grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ,  for His life, His example to me, His sacrifice for me, but most of all for the promises He has given to us---to ALL of us!
Have a GREAT week and don’t eat too much on Thanksgiving Day!   We love you all,  both family and our dear, dear  friends and love hearing from you !   Thank you for those of you who have written and kept us up on the happenings of home!  You are the best!
Loads of love,

President & Sister McKee,  Dad & Mom, Grandpa & Grandma, Bill & RaNae……and  Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini

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