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 , 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 . 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!
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 .. 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!
1)“ 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.
President & Sister McKee, Dad & Mom, Grandpa & Grandma, Bill & RaNae and…
Angie, Aubrey, Kiara and Destini