Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Miracles for Marshall

This is our cousin, Marshall, you can follow his journey at http://ajmjensen.blogspot.com/. We love you Marshall! We are praying for you and we believe in miracles. Keep fighting! 

The McKee Family Presents

Miracles for Marshall
Marshall was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) at the age of 27.  After 6 months of chemotherapy and full body radiation, he was finally in remission and received a bone marrow transplant in June 2012.  After all of that, he received the devastating phone call in February 2013 that his cancer had returned.  Recently he was sent to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas to undergo an experimental treatment and trial drug to try and get him back into remission.  This treatment in itself is a miracle, but comes at a huge financial cost.  Please do what you can to help this young optimistic musician and his family in their fight for survival.

Mystique Theater
185 E. Chubbuck Rd.  Chubbuck, Idaho  83202
Monday, May 20, 2013     6:00 to 9:00 PM (Variety Show 7:00 to 8:30 PM)
This is a benefit for Marshall and Amanda Jensen.  Donations will be taken at the door. There will be a variety show, bake sale, raffles, silent auction, Marshall Jensen’s own CD “The Plan”, and more.  Please come, have a good time, and give to a great cause and young family.
For more information on how you can help or donate, please e-mail: miraclesformarshall@gmail.com

To Give Monetary Donations Anytime:
·        Wells Fargo: Go into any branch and tell them you want to give to the fund “Marshall and Amanda Family Trust”
·        Online: www.giveforward.com, Search “Hope for Marshall” (or)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Monday!

April 28, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
We hope y’all are doing great!  Thank you to those of you who have written.  It brightens our days when we hear from you! I will give you an update on my health first.  Unfortunately not much has changed.  My eye is still the same,  double vision that moves around in my left eye. I am still very dizzy all of the time, and I had an MRI two weeks ago that confirmed that I have “frozen shoulder” in my left shoulder.  I’m still waiting to find out what I will be doing about  that.  I still go to physical therapy twice a week and my eye doctor felt confident that when I go see him next time ( 2 more weeks) that he will have some glasses ready for me that I should be able to see better with.  I really am grateful that with all of the things that could have gone wrong and could have been a permanent condition for me, that these are the only things I am struggling with.  Even though I still have my “pity party” days, I really am grateful and am grateful for the great medical help I am still getting.
    Today, Roy, Debbie and Anna came to see us.  It was SO much fun to see them.  They look wonderful!   They will be staying here for a few days and it has been fun today to visit and catch up with them.  We went to a mission presidents’ seminar this weekend and just returned late last night when we found out that Roy and Debbie needed to be picked up at the airport this morning.  We got our assistants to pick them up for us, as we had to leave by 7:00 AM to drive to Winchester where they were creating another branch. This Branch was created after only a few months of us assigning missionaries there. They went in and gathered less active members or returning members as we call them now and within a very few months with this gathering and baptisms there were over 100 people in this group ready to now become a Branch. It will be a ward before you know it.
Yesterday when we were in the Orlando Airport, we noticed a cute little  family walking by.  President McKee and some of the other presidents stopped to talk to them and then I heard the mom say in a rather loud voice” I prayed for you!” Come to find out this was Dr. Liljenquist  our last year’s mission doctor’s son, his wife and children.  He has been such a great support to me even since he returned to Idaho Falls, it was just a privilege to meet his great family and I’m sure it was NOT a coincidence! As I walked over to meet them, she hugged me and of course asked how I was doing.  She told me how she had prayed and fasted for me and didn’t ever think she would get the chance to meet me.  
Tonight I had another man who said the same thing “Sister McKee” I have been praying for you.  He said, “let me tell you of my experience.  I was deer hunting and was up in a tree when my wife called and said it was time to pray for Sister McKee”.  I  jumped out of the tree, got on my knees and prayed for you.  For the past several hours there were no deer in sight, but after I got up off of my knees, there were 3 deer standing right in front of me!”
  Organizing the Branch in Winchester  was an exciting event!.  Both President and I had to speak and then they had asked the girls to sing a special musical number.  They fed us lunch right afterwards and then we left and came home and got to spend some time with Roy and Debbie.  We then took the whole crew up to Hopkinsville where the Nashville Tribute Band was doing a missionary fireside.  We knew Roy would like that, which he did!
    Last week we took all of our senior couples (about 8 of them) on the General Jackson Luncheon Cruise ( a special preparation day).  It was a fun but very cold day.  As we were in the buffet line, the MC of the show came down and started talking to our assistants.  He asked them if they knew anyone who could sing.  He pointed to Kylie, Angie and Aubrey whom we had brought along. He said to him, “Tell them to get prepared to sing!”  Elder Horner told the girls while they were eating dinner and before they were  done, he announced that somewhere in the audience were three sisters who sing together and would they please come up on stage.  They went up  on stage and sang accapella “I Need Thee Every Hour”.  They really did a nice job.  On the chorus, they broke out in 3 part harmony and you could really feel the spirit!  It was a good experience for them.  
We now have 220 missionaries.  We have increased our numbers by about 80.  Our office couples have been efficient in finding apartments for them and we really do have some great missionaries here.  Three transfers ago we received 25 missionaries, the next one we got 24 with 7 visa waiters coming the following Monday.  It is a  lot of missionaries, but they are outstanding!   
1) “Rosie came to church again yesterday!! She was crying during Sacrament Meeting…… we talked about what she was feeling. She said, "It just keeps getting more and more inspirational every time I come to church. I feel so much peace." Wow! We set a baptismal date with Rosie for May 24th (her mother's birthday). We are sooo excited and so is Rosie!”
2)   “In my mind I thought it was a total waste of time and that she was never going to be interested in the gospel. I guess you could say that the world was very stamped on her….. On Wednesday we had a lesson with her with one of the member's Sister Abren. Something just clicked during that lesson. The spirit was so strong and I found myself saying things that I did not think of myself. She committed to read from the Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment for the next day. On Thursday Sis V and I went over there are she was so excited to see us. She had read the first 10 chapters of the BOM and loved it. She wrote down a bunch of questions that we answered. She asked us why the people in Jerusalem were so mean to Lehi, so I explained that he was telling them that they weren't living right and he was telling them they needed to change. She said, "Oh that makes sense...I would be really mad if someone came in my house and told me that I needed to stop smoking or something like that".....uhh...Sister V and I look at each other panicked and decided we would talk about that another time. We gave her the restoration DVD to watch. That night she texted and said "I loved that movie, I wish it was longer, I've already watched it 3 times." WHAT! The next day we went back and taught her more and she was totally eating it up. She finished 1 Nephi in 2 days basically. In the middle of the lessons she said, "Oh guess what, I decided to stop smoking, this is my last pack!" We were blown away. We said nothing to her about the word of wisdom yet..but the spirit was working with her! In Preach My Gospel there is a quote by President Packer that says, "The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior" We saw that happen in Amber's life so clearly this week. She committed to come to church on Sunday. She, her husband, and there 3 kids all came to church and LOVED it. The lesson in gospel principles was on the Atonement and she cried. Her 14 yr old son had friends from school there, and the little kids loved primary. When they got the kids from primary they were crying because they didn't want to leave and the Dad said, "I promise we can come back next week." YAY It was so amazing. Her husband was baptized as a kid but has never been active so we basically have the entire family to teach. We are so excited for them. We stopped by last night and the feeling in their house is so different than it was last week. The spirit is starting to be there, and it is changing them! I learned that you cannot give up on people...because everyone needs the gospel!”

We love our family and how willing each of them have been to come out here and help me out. How we have appreciated ALL your help!!!!     We love this work and our missionaries.  We are so grateful to have a living prophet on the earth today. Tonight as we listened to the Nashville Tribute Band, I remembered tender feelings about the prophet Joseph Smith, the pioneers, and why I love missionary work.  They performed songs about each of them and it was very touching. I know this is HIS work and I love being a part of it.  
Have a great week, y’all!
President & Sister McKee, Dad & Mom, Grandpa and Grandma, Bill & RaNae and,,,,, Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 14, 2013

April 14, 2013
Dear Family and friends,
     I haven’t been very consistent at writing lately, but hope to do better in the future!  Sure hope all of you are doing well. We have certainly loved hearing from many of you.  You cards and letters mean so much to me and to all of us!  It is spring time here in Brentwood, though it has taken awhile to get here.  The white Bartlett Pear trees have been blooming for several weeks now and the white blossoms have almost all turned green.  The light pink cherry trees are now blossoming and the very rich purple trees ( I still don’t know what they are called but they are beautiful!) It has been very warm during the day and still a bit chilly at night.

    Angie has been playing rugby and it feels like we are in Idaho watching baseball games with out blankets wrapped around us.  She has been phenomenal at rugby.  She had never played the game before this year, but every game she does better and better.  She came home last week with cleat marks in her thigh and she was very proud of them.  Her coach said she was a natural born athlete.  I agree.  She will be flying to Lehi on May 22 where she will graduate from high school there.  Her online distance education classes have been through American Heritage in Lehi, so she will be able to walk on that night with all of the other graduation seniors.  I’m so proud of her.  She has worked very hard—in spite of doing my jobs for the past few months.  That Angie is one of a kind.!!! I know that Heavenly Father knew  I would need her stabilizing influence in our family about now! I’m just not sure how I am going to get along without her.  She will be going to Fiji the last week of July.

Last Season game
   Kylie is coming out tomorrow for a week.  I am so grateful for my children who have sacrificed to come out to Nashville to assist their mom.   They will never know how much I appreciate it.  Mike was here for awhile,  Jared and Brittany came for a few weeks, and Michelle came leaving her boys with Travis and Grandma and Grandpa Draper.  They all have been such amazing help for me.  This past couple of weeks I have gotten Stacy Nemelke (my cousin Barre and Karen Burgon’s daughter) who is living here in Nashville while her husband is going to school to not only help me with the medical things for the missionaries, but to take me to my appointments and to help me whenever I need something.  She is a doll and has helped me a lot.

  I am still doing pretty well.  Except for my left eye, my dizziness and my left arm, I am pretty much all back to normal.  A couple of weeks ago, one of our 1st assistants, Elder Adams, called me.  When he was 2 he had cancer in one of his eyes and had to have a glass eye put in.  When he called me, he said,”  So Sister McKee, how are you doing?”  I told him I was doing great except for my left eye---I see double and everything moves around that isn’t really moving!  Elder Adams said, “Oh Sister McKee, did you forget all of those things I used to tell you?  He said, First of all, eyes are over rated.  You have one good one, that’s all you need.  Then he reminded me in D & C 4:5 that it says, “And faith, hope, charity, and love, with an eye single to the glory of God qualify him for the work.”
He said, “You see, it says EYE not EYES and you have everything you need to be qualified for the work.
I have to say that he made me feel better.
I am still attending physical therapy twice a week and I think they are doing a good job there.  I have to have an MRI on my shoulder—they told me I have frozen shoulder, but now they think it is my rotator cuff.  My eyes are still about the same, in that I can’t really see very well at all.  When I use my reading glasses, I can see SOME things but it is a challenge.  My eye doctor has me doing some eye exercises that are trying to force my eyes to diverge, but I’m not doing very good with them!
Mama McKee speaking to her missionaries. 
Two transfers ago we got in 25 new missionaries, last Monday, we were supposed to be getting 14 but two days before transfers, Salt Lake called us and said we were getting 10 visa waiters along with out 14.  And we are getting 7 more visa waiters today.  This is always exciting, but the logistics of it all makes for some stressful days.  Double the food, apartments, companions, where do we put them the night they generally stay in the mission home, etc…………and on top of it all President has to interview each one of them.  The group we got in last Monday was an amazing group though and we are grateful to have each one of them.  We actually got 2 from Pocatello,  Aubrey Kepler and Elder Williams.  Sharp missionaries!!!   Our baptisms seems to keep climbing and the wards and branches out here are growing.  It is very exciting. President and I are going to our next Mission Presidents’ Seminar the end of this month.
New Missionaries in the TNM

Miracles in the Great TNM:
1) I went to my orthopedic doctor about my arm and he said, “RaNae, I don’t believe in miracles.  I never have believed in miracles.  But I see you sitting here today after having seen you many times when you were in the hospital and YOU ARE A MIRACLE!  Sitting right here in front of me! I can’t believe you are even alive, let alone walking around doing what you are doing.

We had to go to Monteagle to CVS to get some perscriptions, our goal for the trip was to give eight people we met
the card "Finding Faith in Christ", give out four Books of Mormon, visit two members, and visit a referral we had.
Passed out twelve cards, got one invite to come to their home,  found where the referral lives, fond one member had moved and one that invited us back. While at CVS we gave four cards and got one invite to visit.(Sr. couple)

“ Remember when we sang to Dawn in Taco Bell "I Know that My Redeemer Lives?" Well, the next day we went to find a couple members who we didn't know anything about, and came across Bob. He is not a member, but lives in the house of one of those members whom we were looking for who moved. Well we got on the topic of doing awkward things and Elder Webb shared this story with Bob of singing in Taco Bell, and he though for a second and asked which Taco Bell. We told him the one, and he said, "All my buddies in the Army were talking about you today." We started laughing and couldn't believe it. We were the talk of the army post that day. So crazy!”
“we had 8 total investigators come to General Conference with us! It was awesome!”
“ Lesson number one "Compromise"  Just because I am the senior companion doesn't mean you opinion doesn't matter.  We are a team and with that statement that also mean I have to trust you and listen to what you have to say some times. “
“We still have 5 dates set but I’m not settling at that. We have around 35 potential investigators that we have met this last transfer and about 15 -20 investigators who we haven't set a date with for some strange reason but we will do that ASAP! The more people the Lord gives us means the more time we need to spend preparing and keeping a record and plan for them.”
“ we had 5 investigators watch general conference at the church,”
“ We had 5 investigators at church which is the most we have ever had so far. …. That makes 4 dates so far and we are hoping to set at least two more this week. It truely is Missionary Fun,”
“First off Kristin got baptized even through all the opposition that came her way. Her husband Alex has mentioned a desire to be baptized as well, which is amazing to see his progress from atheist to thirsting for truth. It really was quite the miracle getting Kristin to her baptism. It was a testimony builder of faith and pray.”

How we love this work!!!    And what a blessing  for us that we are able to stay out here in Tennessee and work with these amazing missionaries.  Everyday there are miracles that we tend to take for granted and as we acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all things and watch for his “tender mercies”  we will be happy. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much since we have been in the mission field.  There are promises for all of us in that great book—it is up to us to put them to the test.  I know the Lord will not let us down.  This is an amazing church and gospel that we have.  I love it and know of its truthfulness.  May y’all have a great week!
Love  y’all!,
President and Sister McKee,  Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma, Bill and RaNae and Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

TNM Mission update:

To family and friends,
We are continually receiving blessings of healing and miracles continue to happen in a variety of ways. Sister McKee is still marching forth. She is a bit frustrated at her progress with her eye and dizziness but I keep reminding her that she only remembers the past  weeks while we all remember her hospital stay and the incredible progress that she has been making. Her headaches have subsided substantially. We are dealing now mostly with balance issues and sight. She still sees everything double and triple . They have made a black contact for one eye which will help somewhat so that she walks with a patched eye in a sense. This helps her function in groups and helps somewhat with the dizziness. She is weak still and must take breaks during the day as the chest pain reoccurs quite often with any stress throughout the day. She has become very wise on balance and what she can and cannot do. I have to say that I am completely amazed at how independent that she has become. We are still dealing with some left arm abilities but other than that she handles things very well. The Lord has been so good to us and we acknowledge all of you for your prayers and faith. I told Sister McKee not too long ago that the Lord might be worried about all of these prayerful people praying on her behalf and had to send her back to us. She is truly a miracle as are all of you.

We continue to be involved in the hastening of the work. I am sure that many of you picked up from General Conference the big push on the missionary effort (FUN) and hope that you are having success in your own individual areas. We have received over 60 missionaries in our last two transfers and will receive 7 more tomorrow only one week after our last transfer. We are so blessed but I can say that it taxes every area of the mission as we work so hard to find living quarters for all, trainers for all, transportation for all and medical arrangements for all. When you think of 65,000 young men and women out serving throughout the world , with an additional 20,000 who have received their calls, it is one of the most exciting things happening on this earth. We have the greatest message on the earth and the world certainly needs it now more than any other time.
Here in the Tennessee Nashville Mission we have a new ward being formed in the Franklin Stake next week and a new Branch being organized in the McMinnville Stake with one more on the horizon in Hopkinsville and one in Cookeville. It is so exciting to see that the chapels are full here with such a need to expand and build others. We actually have one Stake now that you can drive across in less than 20 minutes which has been unheard of out here as the wards and stakes cover such a large geographical area. Many of our stakes have high counselors that travel 1-3 hours to a high council meeting. This is changing rapidly though as the wards are divided and the church continues to grow. We really do have a shortage of meetinghouses which becomes our greatest challenge.

Over the last three weeks we have held a Spanish conference for our Spanish missionaries. We have around 30 Spanish missionaries which cover 12 -14 Branches and ward. The local Spanish ward has around 400 members in it with surrounding Branches that have any where from 30-200 members in them. The Spanish work is very strong here. We also held our zone leader training which has now turned in to Missionary Leadership training as so many Sisters have entered the field. We have always invited 5 Sisters to come to this training in the past as I believed that their input was so valuable for the mission. The new program will have Sister Leader Trainers that will come from each zone to this monthly training meeting. We finished interviewing over 200 missionaries over the last few weeks and loved every minute of traveling through the mission and meeting with each missionary individually.
Two weeks from now the Nashville Tribute Band is going to put on four firesides throughout the mission in an effort to invite those who have ears to hear about the Gospel. They perform throughout the world. One of their members is in the band “Diamond Rio” and has performed for many years with them. They have written songs about the gospel and about missionary service. The spirit reaches so many people through them and they are doing this all for free.

Last night Nathan Pacheco performed in Nashville. He is a singer , similar to Josh Groben who has performed all over the world. He lives here in Nashville with his family and is in our Stake. If you are interested in him at all look him up on utube. He is the heart throb of many women in the world and serves here in his ward in a very humble way. He is a great example of a Latter Day Saint throughout the world.

Michelle flew back home to Wyoming last week. We so appreciated her help. She drove Sister McKee to out patient therapy when needed and to other areas. We so appreciate the sacrifice of her family for being here. Sister McKee is doing so much better in this new out patient rehab program. The Vanderbilt out patient rehabe Pi beta Phi kept wanting her to use a walker which she is determined not to use and she has done so much better in this new rehab. It is a Baptist rehab in Cool Springs. Kylie will be flying out tomorrow for her spring break and that will be a wonderful help to Sister McKee and the family. Thank you.

We are so grateful for the Book of Mormon and continually find people who love the Bible who would also love the teachings of Christ in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon, testifies of Christ, it teaches of Christ  and stands as a witness to Christ in these the latter days. Anyone who loves the Bible will love the Book of Mormon as it reinforces so many of the teachings of Christ in the Bible and continue to serve as a second witness of this  wonderful Book. How grateful we are in these latter days to have a second witness about Christ and a prophet called in these latter days. We were so blessed to hear the prophets and Apostles at conference time and find such value in being trained by them. The Lord is mindful of each of us and carefully guides us to truth each day. We challenge each of you to continually read in the Book of Mormon and discover the beautiful truths that exist there and the answers to questions of the soul. We know that this Book is true and are so happy that there is a second witness of Jesus Christ and His atonement. We love the Bible and the Book of Mormon and know that they go hand in hand and that the Lord’s truths are taught through them. Thank you again for your love and support. Thank you for your faith. Thank you for your dedication to the Lord and His gospel.

Love, President and Sister McKee, Angie, Aubrey, Kiara, and Destini, ie Grandma and Grandpa, DAD and MOM

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

Dear Friends and family,

Having just experienced a beautiful Easter I found myself sitting in the congregation at the sacrament table again counting my blessings and handing another mountain over to the Lord that seemed impossible to bear. Each Sunday I am grateful for the Savior’s atonement and the symbolic way that He allows us to experience a portion of that atonement as we renew covenants with Him and pass along to Him things that we really do not have control over. I have contemplated today how many years that I have spent worrying and wishing for some things to change that were completely out my control when in fact I could use that same energy putting faith in the Lord and trusting that He will make everything whole as He has promised. The sacrament is a symbolic way each Sunday that we can meditate about our efforts during the week and then ultimately laying the balance before the Lord with faith that He will take care of the rest. If our Savior would not have gone through His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane we would not be experiencing Easter or the sacrament. Again , How grateful I am to Him who made it possible for each of us to be healed in our suffering and sorrows and to be cleansed of sin.

Over the last two weeks we have traveled to every corner of the mission and interviewed each of our missionaries (207).Each missionary comes from an entirely different background. Some are newly baptized, some have been trained in the gospel all of their lives, some are recently activated while others have been given many double messages while growing up. All have in common a desire to serve the Lord and teach His word.  Each missionary carries some burdens and each carries with them the excitement of a “new spring” where one can start over and rededicate their lives to serve Him. While visiting with them I am always in awe at their individual commitment to the Savior and their determination to serve Him for two years or 18 months. Each starts out with some reservation and fear but quickly replaces it with faith as they realize who they really are and that the Lord has set them apart from the world to declare His word and “invite all to come unto Christ”. As they begin to see who they really are and that the Lord has called them they begin to realize their true potential. They become confident in the Lord, confident in the spirit and confident in their message and realize that it really has nothing to do with them and the success begins to happen. The message that we carry is so important. There could be nothing more important in these latter days than to have a book that is a second witness of Christ. This is a day where all need to have faith in Him and turn toward Him.

Friday night the Nashville Interfaith Choir held an Easter Concert in the Green Hills chapel and asked me to give the Easter message for it. They sang beautifully and again reinforced the beautiful message of the atonement through music. The Lord has given us so much and only asked in return that we are obedient and that we take care of His children. He wants us to turn the other cheek, Forgive 7 times 70. Love one another, Bear one another’s burdens. Seek first the kingdom of God. Lift where we stand. It is the least that we can do as we try to become more like Him especially after all that He has done for us.
Dr. Webber, Elder Hymas, Elder Nelson, Sister McKee (Dec. 2012)

On Sunday a tear filled my eye again as Sister McKee was asked to speak about the atonement and unconditional love. She was assisted to the pulpit and then humbly gave a masterful talk which was spirit filled. I sat in awe as I realized again how far she had come and how beautiful her mind was working. She is still so weak and yet so determined. We  have gone over a week without carrying around a basin for her nausea. Each day she becomes a little more independent. After her talk Angie, Aubrey, Kiara, Destini and Michelle sang a song with Sister McKee playing at the piano. They all did amazing. We had a young man named DJ that was sitting next to us in church. He had been introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ only the day before. He said to me. “I just feel goose bumps when I am in this church”. I said, “ That is the spirit of the Holy Ghost telling you that this message is true. You are going to love this gospel”.

This is a picture of Sister McKee and her new IPAD. It helps when we walk and it only costs 2.99
(March 2013)
We found out today that we are going to get 24 new missionaries next Monday. We had 14 coming at first and then the MTC called and they are sending us 6 Visa waiters going to Denmark and 4 going to Brazil. Finding 24 new trainers will be a wonderful quest within the mission again. Almost half of our missionaries are training or being trained. It changes the dimensions of the mission so quickly. Our baptisms are doubling and the members here are so enthusiastic with sharing the gospel with their neighbors. They are inviting so many friends to come to church. Two weeks ago we organized a Young Single Adult Branch in Murfreesboro. There were 115 in attendance and next month we will organize a new Branch in Winchester. We have a Senior couple there that are assisting in gathering less active members and have gathered a group of 85 together. We love the Lord and love this work.

Thank you again for your prayers and faith . Sister McKee is in out patient therapy and is still progressing. We pray for her eye every day that it will resume back to its normal position and that everything will not be seen as double but in the mean time we thank the Lord that she is with us and that she is healing.

Love to all,
President and Sister McKee