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