Thursday, December 20, 2012

"THEN will I make weak things become strong..."

One of our favorite scriptures in the mission field comes from Ether 12:27 where the Lord says, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
This scripture has often been a blessing for our new missionaries as they arrive often thinking that they are very weak and that they cannot do this. The Lord promises so much to us and we need not be afraid when we believe that we are weak.
Today is our 28th day in the Intensive Care Unit. We have been here over one month now and it looks like we may be spending Christmas this year in the ICU based on what the doctors are telling us. The good news is that we are seeing a tiny bit of progress each day and in our own way seeing physically “weak things become stronger”. Each day Sister McKee works so hard to help her body become stronger. She is fully aware of everything and every now and again I see her personality come through loud and clear amidst the discomfort and pain. She is working on respirator trials every day and is now up to 7 hours a day without the respirator, breathing on her own through the trach. After several hours the energy that it takes to breath on your own just becomes too much for her but she is working harder and harder each day to stay off of the respirator. You would not think that breathing could produce a full sweat but that is how hard she works on it.
Jared is still here. He is a physical therapist and works each day with her in little and big ways. The nurses all have bonded with him and tell me that he is such a blessing for Sister McKee’s recovery. Today we were able to lean her forward and sit on a commode for a short time period. This is also a first and is seldom possible. At times she puts weight on her feet and actually appears to stand for a moment with three people holding her in place. Each time that we do this we know that “weak things will become stronger”. She was introduced to ice chips for the first time yesterday. Can you imagine feeling the ice in your mouth and throat after going four weeks with no liquids or food there and over two weeks with your mouth propped open night and day. She passed the ice chip , swallowing test and so today they let Kylie and I give her a half of popsicle. That was a pleasant first as well. She seemed to manage it well which is not always possible with the trach at first. She also mastered holding a pen today for a few minutes and wrote several letters on the board in her lap. We are hoping with time that she will be able to write. In the meantime we have become very good at reading lips as from time to time she will mouth words to us. Yesterday they downsized her trach tube from and 8 to a 6 which is also part of the plan to hopefully remove it someday. This has made it more difficult for her to breath today but she is working at it. Eventually they will cap the trach so that she can talk. She continues to move her hands and feet and can even shrug a shoulder now.

Kylie and Angie Singing with the Hermanas to Sister McKee

President McKee, Kylie, Angie, Hermanas Harper, McNab,
Garcia, McCalvy, Kamp, y Smith

We have zone conferences this week and so I attended part of one yesterday and spent the rest of the time with her in the hospital. Jared was able to be with her while I was gone. Today we held our zone conference in Gallatin so Jared stayed with her during the day and I will be here tonight. 8 of the Spanish Sister missionaries came to the hospital after zone conference tonight to visit and sing to her. This livened her spirits to hear these sweet sisters sing in Spanish to her. On their way out, Sister McKee mouthed, "Next time I see you I will talk."
 Elder Payne and Elder Andrew also came to the hospital to bring paper work for me to sign and they sang her a couple of songs. What great Elders they are to carry the work when so well while we go through this ordeal.
Thank you again for constant faith and prayers. We love you and love the Lord. We know that He will take our personal weaknesses and make them strengths as we trust in Him, lean upon Him and follow Him in obedient ways.
The William McKee family


  1. Oh, President McKee, this is such wonderful news to hear of Sister McKee's progress!! Thank you for sharing your updates, and for the beautiful photos and video of the Hermana's singing. This warms our hearts.

    Our family is pouring out our love and prayers and continual thoughts for your medical miracle and for added comfort and peace during this week. I'm sorry you will be confined to the hospital for Christmas. Please know that we love you so deeply, and wish there was more that we could do. I have blogged your story today (plus Facebook, Twitter and Google+) to get the word out to more people of faith to join together in petitioning our Heavenly Father on your behalf. WE BELIEVE in miracles and WE KNOW that yours will continue to happen! We pray now for progress to escalate, and the mission to continue to receive an added portion of the Holy Spirit for your sacrifice.
    Pray For Sister McKee In Tennessee

    With much Love from Mormon Soprano, Sister A., The entire Abel Family and all of Utah (and beyond)

  2. President: You've cited some wonderful passages and inspired us all with your faith and with RaNae's story. Here's one more we love and believe:
    “After their temptations, and much tribulation, behold, I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them.” DC 112:13

  3. Rog, Thank you for that beautiful reminder via scripture :)

    President McKee, Thank you for sharing Sister McKee's experiences with all of us. My eyes fill with tears of gratitude to not only know that sister McKee is "The Miracle" we are all praying for, but to also know that you are my son's Mission President. He is surrounded by your amazing family and expresses gratitude for that in each weekly letter. Your testimony and hard work support him in wanting to serve the Lord all the more.

    Sister McKee's name along with your family are placed on the Temple prayer roll whenever I attend the temple.

    Again, Thank you for the updates and all of the love you give our sons and daughters who are privileged enough to serve in the Nashville, Tennessee Mission.

    With much love and hope,
    Micki Sannar