Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Special Thank You to Family and Friends

We met with all of our missionaries on Monday. What a glorious sight. Over 220 missionaries here in our mission now. The spirit was strong as we expressed our desire to follow the Savior and follow a living Prophet no matter where the call. We are so grateful to each of you for your love, prayers and pleading to the Lord on our behalf. We will always be missionaries and will always be serving together as we do everything in our power to "invite all to come unto Christ" We testify that He is our Savior, He is our redeemer and His atonement heals all. HE is the Light of the world and we are so blessed to have His gospel on the earth today. We love each of you and pray for your happiness and eternal joy.
President and Sister McKee

Monday, May 20, 2013

Update from President and Sister McKee:

Dear Family and Friends,
We have continually been blessed with new missionaries and recently because of receiving missionaries waiting for visas, we have had three weeks of new missionaries or transfers in a row. One Monday we will receive 17 more missionaries (12 of which will be Visa waiters) going into Columbia, Denmark, Argentina, Mexico, Australia and Brazil. These missionaries are allowing us to put missionaries where we have never had them before and we continue to see success in these out lying areas. We have another group in Livingston , TN that will hold their very first sacrament meeting in their city tomorrow. There plan is to have 57 people there. Winchester Tn continues to grow . We are getting so many member referrals there that I am going to place ten missionaries in this small city. We have over 300 referrals to go and teach. With no chapel, they continue to meet in their precious donated mortuary. These times are so exiting for the members of the church here in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. “A marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men” D&C 4. We are a witnesses of this marvelous work.

Today we traveled to Paris Tennessee. Our good friend Alvin Travis and his son Andre were baptized there. Alvin was a minister for the Kingdom Vision Church and the first time I met him I knew that he was feeling the spirit of this wonderful message and I challenged him to follow the spirit and be baptized by one having the authority. He has traveled a challenging road but he always knew that this gospel was true and knew that he would actually have to change his livelihood in order to be baptized. We talked to the whole congregation and invited them to come with him but they have been hesitant. Alvin has come to the point where he has made a stand and chosen to follow the Savior by being baptized into the restored church of Jesus Christ. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true and wants to stand for that testimony and knowledge. Sister McKee and I have had him in our home several times even though he lives over two hours away. This gospel will bless him so much. We love him and are so blessed to have him stand as a witness to this great work. The members in Paris, TN were so loving and supportive as they came today to witness these wonderful baptisms. They will be a wonderful ward family for him as he strives to find another job and begin his new life. This step takes so much faith and we love him so much for his willingness to follow the Savior.

Love to all of you and thank you for your continual prayers for Sister McKee. Each day she becomes stronger and has been speaking often to members and the missionaries. She is such a blessing to this mission and to the Lords work and such a blessing for each of us. We love her and love all of you!!

Here is an article from the Tennessean on local sister missionaries. It was also linked on MSNBC for local stories.

President and Sister McKee  

Howdy from Tennessee!

May 19, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
         “Hallalujah!  Praise the Lord!”  Those were the first words out of the minister’s mouth who was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints yesterday.  As President brought him up out of the water, he shouted his praises and it caused everyone to smile.  Minister Alvin Travis from Paris Tennessee finally got baptized with his 10 year old son Andre’.  It was a great experience to see this large, black man dressed in white sitting next to his son knowing that they had true testimonies of the gospel.
        We drove up to Paris again this morning (about a 2 hour drive) to see him confirmed when 5 minutes before we arrived, the Stake President from Paducah called to see if President and  I would be the speakers for the meeting.  Of course, we told them we would.  As I ended my talk, Alvin rose to his feet and began clapping and saying “Hallalujah!”  again.  I told him that I loved his enthusiasm.  Sometimes I think we, Mormons, need to adapt to some of that great enthusiasm.(Sister McKee gave a talk that touched their hearts so deeply. There were many tears shed as she testified from the pulpit about how the Lord is in the details of our lives. I clapped as well inside along with Alvin for her)wm  One of the speakers said, “Sometimes it is easier to have faith when we are healed after we have prayed for that healing, but do we have faith in the Lord when we are NOT healed? “  He proceeded to teach us that faith isn’t just getting what we want, it is knowing that God’s way is the right way and it is when we can align our will with His will that we demonstrate our faith.  That taught me a great lesson. 
       After we attended the meeting in Paris, we drove another 3 ½ hours to the opposite side of our mission where there was a group (I call them a twig) who are working hard to become a branch.  This was in Livingston TN and there were about 40 people attending church in an unbaptized member’s garage.  It was very exciting to see them there—it reminded me of movies I have seen about the early days of the church.  There were about 9 investigators there and these members are determined to invite their friends and neighbors so that they can hold church there in their own city and not have to drive 45 minutes to church.
         We got home tonight at about 6:30 , just in time to go to the church to see Angie’s Seminary Graduation.  She was asked to speak at it—there were about 20 kids graduating, 5 from our ward.  Angie did an outstanding job as she always does.  She always knows just the right thing to say and how to say it.  I was so proud of her.  Both she and Aubrey got the Stake President’s Award.  And while we were sitting there in the chapel, Hermana Gold, Elder Knighton, and Elder Brown (one of our 1st AP’s) had come back to Nashville and surprised us.   I love it when they come back—they all looked so good!  They actually came back to go through the temple with one of the families they had baptized , They had four children sealed to them.  They are staying here at the mission home tonight.
        This week has been an interesting week. Steven and Rachel came on Thursday.  It is SO great to have them here.  I love it when my family is here.  Steven will be here for about three weeks, but I think Rachel has to go home a little earlier.  I hope we can do some fun things with them while they are here.  I also hope Kirsten had a great birthday last Monday. 
       I got my glasses from my eye doctor last Monday, but they don’t really help my vision, they are made so that there is a tape-like substance over the inside of both of the lenses, which is supposed to force my eyes to separate.  He told me that I have 100% movement in my left eye now.  Now he gave me more exercises to do that are supposed to help the muscles of my eyes connect to my brain.   I’m working hard on them but somedays it seems hopeless!  I know that as I continue working,  things will all come together!
      Tomorrow is our next transfer week.  We are getting 7 new missionaries plus 10 more visa waiters.   We will have 34 visa waiters in our mission after they arrive tomorrow..  We are losing 6 wonderful elders and sisters.  It always saddens me to see them leave.  I always pray that they will come back and see us! 
TNM Miracles:
1)“ On Thursday we got stuck in Paducah for about 2 hours because Sister Russell had an interview with President Okuda and we weren't going to be able to make it back in time for her to drive all the way back to Paducah for it. So we called the zone leaders and asked if we could go on exchanges with them during our time there. They were busy with some previous appointments, so we asked where a good place to tract would be. After some debating on their side, they decided upon a small neighborhood about a five minutes walk from the church. We spent two hours tracting, we only had time to tract about 45-50 houses because we found 10 new investigators, three of which we scheduled on the same day in the afternoon, one we invited to church, we passed out three books of Mormon and the rest received restoration pamphlets.”

2)“This week was so great!! We ended up having 23 member present lessons, we handed out 28 copies of the book of Mormon and we have 9 new investigators. It was so awesome! The difference was in our attitude about the work. As soon as we went out with the attitude that the Lord will provide and we were willing to be bold and talk to everyone, that’s when the miracles started happening. I'm sure He recognized that we showed that we cared for the people that we teach and come in contact with throughout the day because we recently recommitted to update our area book in detail every night after nightly planning”

3) My cousin emailed me today and my mouth just dropped open.  I didn't even know she was ever baptized, and now she's telling me her fiance reactivated her!  This is my cousin that lives in California.  Her name is Ashely.  I knew my aunt was less-active, but I had no idea Ashley was baptized.  Who knows, maybe the rest of my cousins were too!  Then my aunt emailed me telling me she gave a talk in sacrament meeting and is going to the temple!  We are talking about a woman with the craziest background you've ever heard”
We love you all and are loving serving the Lord here in Tennessee.  Thank you for your love and support.  When we see lives change as they accept the gospel and begin living  Christ’s teachings, we know that this is what the Savior would want us to be doing.  We love this work, the gospel, the mission, our family and good friends who continually support us and help keep us going.  I know God lives and that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer.  I especially love the Book of Mormon and all I learn from it daily.  May each of you have a blessed week.   

Much love,

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

Howdy from Nashville!

May 12, 2013
Dear Family and friends,
          It has been a couple of weeks since I have written.  Thanks for your patience.  Also, thank you to all of you who have written to us.  We appreciate your letters so much!   There has been a lot that has happened in the past couple of weeks. First of all we were able to attend the Mission Presidents Seminar in Orlando the first week of May.  It was so great to be able to see our friends that we made at the MTC and at the other seminars we have been to.
          Right after that, Roy, Debbie and Anna came out for a few days.  It was so good to see them.  They came the Sunday we arrived home and we took them to a fireside put on by the Nashville Tribute Band in Hopkinsville, Ky.  They have 3 CD’s recorded.  One is a tribute to the prophet Joseph Smith, one is a tribute to the Pioneers called “The Trek’ and the last one is a tribute to missionary work called “The Work”.  We have approved each of them for our missionaries to listen to, some because of the messages and some because of the culture in the music.  Roy seemed to love the fireside—in fact at one point I thought he might just walk up and start playing with them!  The Tribute Band also came to our Train the Trainer meeting in Nashville, we had last Thursday and just sang a few songs for the missionaries.  They have a great spirit about them and the messages in their songs are wonderful!
            It was sad to see Debbie and Roy leave but just a few days later Scott flew out  here and we were able to spend about a week with him.  He was a great help to me in driving me to my doctors appointments and physical therapy.  He would take me to appointments in the mornings, and then take me to zone conferences in the afternoon where I was able to acknowledge missionary birthdays and speak to the missionaries.  I really appreciated Scott for all of his help especially driving me places. 
            It was really hard to see Scott go home.  And a few days later he called with the news that he has been officially hired as a seminary teacher and has been given the assignment to teach in Boise next year.  Luckily Steven and Rachel are still living in our house so I guess they will take over living there for the next year!  Steven and Rachel are flying out for a week or so this coming Thursday and will be helpful in driving me to rehab appts, so we are anxiously awaiting their coming.  Steven is graduating with his masters degree on May 15 the day before they come.
      Angie and Kiara will be flying home on May 22 for Angie’s graduation onMay 22 in  Lehi , Utah and then will stay there for a couple of weeks.  They will come home in June and then Angie will leave for Fiji on July 22 for a couple of weeks.  She is still deciding  when she will do her mission.  She was accepted at BYU Hawaii and thinks she might do a semester of school before she turns in her missionary papers.
     Last night we went to Destini’s elementary school play “Annie”.  Destini played the part of Cecille, the maid.  She did such a cute job!  We were really proud of her.  Aubrey is rejoicing that this is her last full week of school.  She has done well in school out here and keeping up with everything she has going on.      Kiara also just made the FLAG TEAM for next year at Brentwood Middle School.  She worked really hard the weeks of tryouts and we are so proud of her.   
         Many of you may remember Reverend Alvin Travis (our minister friend)  whom the missionaries taught about a year ago.  He couldn’t get baptized because his girlfriend was not legally divorced.  It took him awhile to get it all worked out, but he is FINALLY getting baptized  this coming Saturday
    Things are going about the same for me.  I am still overly dizzy  to the point that I can’t walk straight and I  am still struggling with my vision, but most everything else is doing well.  I am supposed to get glasses from my Ophthamologist tomorrow.  And then tomorrow night the missionary choir is singing the “National Anthem” for the Sounds Baseball Game.  I am planning on leading them, so if I get someone to walk me to my place I will just pray that I can  stay standing  up during the whole National Anthem. 
  President McKee is working hard doing both of our jobs.  I  will be forever grateful to him for how he has supported me over the past 5 months especially.
TNM Miracles:
1.  The Winchester Miracle:
     6 months ago we placed two missionaries in this small town and assigned them to gather the less active for Family Home Evening and baptize preparing this city for a Branch. Two weeks ago we organized the Branch with 153 people attending. They are meeting in a funeral home. The funeral home director donated this location for free for them. He is not a member of the church but wanted to do something to help God. It is an ideal location and soon will become a ward. They have applied to Salt Lake already to build a chapel there. They held a Dogwood festival last week and ended up with 273 solid referrals so we have sent 8 missionaries down there just to teach all of the people. This has all happened so  quickly that no one can believe it. The Lords hand is in every detail
2.  On Saturday night we received a call from our Bishop telling us that on Wednesday, him and his daughter were eating at the local Sonic when they noticed a family of five that they thought would be great in our ward. They went up and introduced themselves and gave them his number. On Saturday night during the stake conference session our bishop received a phone call from Tony, asking if they can still come to church!!! Tony called again Sundaymorning to double check! The family is great! We sat behind them during the broadcast”

3,  “Synthia got baptized on Saturday! It was wonderful. She came from a Pinnocostal church and has always "felt" the spirit quite differently. We were a little bit nervous about how she would act during her baptism and confirmation but she sat really still and tears just streamed down her face. She asked if everyone felt that burning and we explained, again, that it was the Holy Ghost. Then after her confirmation she wouldnt let anyone hug her because she didnt want them to take that feeling away from her. It was so cute! She felt the spirit so strong and i think she finally figured out what it is all about.” 
quickly that no one can believe it. The Lords hand is in every detail.
We love this mission.  We have testimonies of its truthfulnesss.  We love working with the missionaries and we rejoice in our Savior and in His Atonement.  We know that through Him all things and people are made whole and we are so grateful for His help in our behalf every day.  The Book of Mormon is a marvelous book.  Read it again and again.
Loads of love,
President & Sister McKee, Dad & Mom, Grandpa & Grandma, Bill and RaNae
Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini.