Thursday, February 21, 2013

Howdy from Tennessee! -- Missionary Work and the Atonement

Dear family and Friends,

We had a very busy week last week with zone conferences and now are preparing for transfers next week. I traveled the mission training for Zone Conferences while Jared took Sister McKee to therapy. We are grateful again that Jared and Brittany could be here to allow me to go and train throughout the mission. We also received a wonderful visit this week from Sister McKee’s two sisters, Jolyn Jex(Tremonton)  and Janet Johnson(Preston). I know that this was a big boost for Sister McKee and our family. How we love our family.  We received two new Temple Square Sisters that will come to the field and serve in what the call “outbound” for a portion of their missions. They are Sister Thulasidass and Sister Felsted. Sister Thulasidass is from India and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints five years ago. She is a former Hindu and believed strongly in reincarnation until she was taught by the missionaries and prayed an received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. She is 33 years old and a pharmacist. Her spirit radiated as she bore humble testimony about her conversion. They have recently created their first Stake(a congregation of around 3,000 people) in India. Sister Thulasidass is a wonderful example of a strong convert to the church. She knows that it is true and has sacrificed all to come to the mission field. She is the only member in her family and because of her culture she had to wait 9 months for her mother to give her permission to come on a mission. Where there are many church members we often take our membership and our opportunity to serve for granted.

Sister McKee attended sacrament meeting last Sunday again with our family. Aubrey 15 had been asked to sing so Sister McKee had prepared during the week and accompanied her. She was able to do this by patching one of her eyes so that she did not see double. (We call her the pirate now). You can only imagine as we all experienced this miracle. There was not a dry eye in the congregation. She and Aubrey did a superb job and created such a beautiful spirit for the meeting. One of our favorite ICU nurses ,Carolyn, called Jared about one hour before to find out what the McKees were doing today. Jared told her we were going to church and invited her to come along. She was relaxing in pajamas on the patio at 12:00 noon and changed and made it to church sitting with Sister McKee on our row. As we all partook of the sacrament together and I watched Nurse(Sister) Carolyn who was attending sacrament services for the first time, put her arms around Sister McKee and expressed unconditional joy and love for her, I wept inside and out with joy that she had also become a “type of Christ” . I had watched those hands so many times nursing Sister McKee, turning her in bed, changing a trach, siphoning fluids out of her lungs, giving her medication, adjusting her laser, monitoring respirator tubes, feeding tubes, brain drainage tubes, IVs, bathing, changing, assisting in every area and so much more, and today they were holding Sister McKee with joy and rejoicing as we shared a spiritual time together partaking of the sacrament. I know that there are no accidents and that Carolyn is truly our Sister and was meant to find this gospel and connection to our family. We love you Carolyn and will always be grateful to you. You are not just a nurse , you are a Sister and one of the most unconditional loving people that we know. You refresh our hearts knowing that you are not just doing a job. You are loving people. We hope that you will come back often to church with us and experience the joy that is there. We are all so grateful that you helped to save Sister McKee’s life and that we could enjoy that special Sabbath Day because of your special care.

Each of us have hands to lift up the weary, care for the feeble, served a neighbor, friend or someone we haven’t met yet. The Savior has said, “If ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me”. Our hands are the hands that the Lord has to use. What we do with our hands in serving others will be recorded in the heavens. What we do with our hearts as well will be recorded in the heavens.  Sister McKee surprised me as well and showed up for an hour at our zone conference in on Tuesday in Franklin. Jared, Angie, Brittany were on their way to take Jolyn and Janet back to the airport to fly home. Of course the missionaries were elated. She stood up and gave the most beautiful ten minute talk and testimony. She said, “ You can see that my eyes are not synchronized.  They do not want to go together in exactly the way that they should go. This caused me many challenges and I cannot begin to accomplish what I need to do as they do not work together. This will happen in your companionships if you do not work together and be synchronized in this work. You must be a team and work together like two eyes to accomplish what the Lord has called you to do. The eyes are the windows to the soul.” As she bore humble testimony about her experiences and her challenges and the truthfulness of the gospel , there were few dry eyes in the room again. I always said that she probably went to Celestial Boot Camp while in her coma and now I will never keep up with her.

As far as the family goes, Aubrey now has her drivers permit and drives me many places. Kiara will be registering for High School this week for next year. Destini is still reading many books each week and Angie just went out with the missionaries again and will soon be graduating from High School. They have all been such a blessing during this challenge as they somehow kept up with school. Angie is also preparing to go on a Service Exchange to Figi this summer.
The Lord has blessed us so much. Our missionaries continue to work hard and remain faithful. They baptized 17 people into the gospel of Jesus Christ last Saturday. We acknowledge the Lord in all things.

During Zone conferences , we focused on the Atonement , knowing that unless our investigators understood it they would never get baptized. We need to understand it as well to make sure that we teach with exact clarity to those coming unto Christ. I have enclosed a video clip that we shared with the missionaries that reminded me as well that we will all go through that refiners fire. This life experience is full of challenges and difficulties that will require us to “Become  like Him”. As we turn to Him, Remember Him and allow the Atonement to work in our lives we will make steps to become more like Him.  We love each of you and hope that this clip of living Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ will bless your life as it has blessed ours.

Love, President and Sister McKee, Jared, Brittany, Ethan, Kason, Angie, Aubrey, Kiara, and Destini


  1. You both along with your family amaze me... I think of you everyday!!

  2. Just checking in this morning on your blog - thrilled to find your update - reading, and weeping tears of usual.
    I cannot think of any other family I would rather be giving my daughter to for the next 18 months than yours. My mother's heart is tender today, but also filled with peace. It's hard to believe how fast her MTC experience has flown by. She's counting down the hours and minutes now until she is there with you. Eager to meet the good souls of the Tennessee Nashville Mission. My heart is full of joy beyond words to hear of Sister McKee's continued recovery and to have been privileged to be a witness to her miraculous journey. I am filled with joy to know of our Savior's great love for each of us and how mindful He is of every detail, and every step. I am filled with joy to be a small part of the Lord's new Marvelous Work and a Wonder unfolding all around us as we speak! A world filled with thousands of bright, beautiful, courageous new missionaries eagerly answering a Prophet's call to serve, and flooding the gates to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every soul living in every corner of the earth. These valiant souls were truly saved by God to do mighty things in this generation. How grateful I am to know that those chosen to serve in the TNM have been given a mighty leadership team to teach and guide and love them, and champion their groundbreaking work. Thank you, Mckees. Bless you. We love you so much more than we can express.
    The Abel Family - Bountiful, Utah

  3. Thanks for that very informative post about the good things of God and I've learn from this.

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  4. Congratulations to the two new Temple Square Sisters of the family :) God Bless and I know you can do it. Just trust God and Enjoy!

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