Monday, June 17, 2013

Miracles and Miracles...

Dear Friends and Family,

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam , and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticing of the Holy Spirit and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient , full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah3:19

I have decided that the Lord is still working to get some of that natural man out of me by challenging us to use the atonement once more and to remember that He is in charge. Sister McKee has been doing so well. She has been out teaching and training at some of our recent meetings and has recently gotten prism glasses that help her not see double or triple when walking. She tells me that it feels like she is seeing all things underwater so nothing is real clear but it really helped to stop her bumping into walls. On Tuesday we were meeting with our missionary from India ,Sister Thulasidas as she was preparing to return to Temple Square for the remainder of her mission. Sister McKee was standing in the entry way and suddenly collapsed with no warning, falling forward and striking her head on a granite counter. I rushed to hold her and she told me that she was nauseated and wanted to go to a different room. I assisted her to a nearby room and then she immediately quit breathing and it looked like she was passing on, while in my arms. I yelled for the children to call 911 and within three minutes she began to respond again and soon was talking to us.(another miracle). We cancelled 911 and I drove her to the hospital to get an MRI to make sure that the brain was not bleeding after such a hard fall. The cut on her head was minimal but of course head wounds bleed a bit more. The MRI checked out fine which was another blessing.(miracle) but the doctors told her that she was in a category of “sudden death” syndrome with her heart as a result of her previous heart attack and that she had 45% chance of passing away immediately if she experienced another heart attack and they recommended that a defibrillator be put in her heart. Sister McKee was in the hospital for four days with this heart surgery. She has been in a fair amount of pain over the weekend healing from a sizable incision in her left clavicle. We were scheduled to travel to Winchester, Tn Sunday morning to speak at their sacrament meeting but she was unable to travel so Aubrey traveled with me while Kylie stayed with Sister McKee. This wonderful branch has grown to 140 active members from 20 in just 6 short months. They had 13 investigators in their sacrament meeting and plan on baptizing 20 new members in the month of June. Their energy was amazing and their enthusiasm for the gospel spread quickly. They have no chapel and found a local mortuary to meet in. The owner(who is not a member of the church) is so kind and lets them meet there for free in a beautiful chapel. Aubrey smiled as she said that she attended Young Womens in the casket room.   After the meetings we were invited to attend a beautiful dinner put together by Grace and Malcom Engineer. Grace is from the Phillipines and Malcom is from India. Malcom just joined the church and has such a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.

Later that night we drove to Springfield, Tn which is two hours north of Winchester. We met with a group there who are meeting each Sunday night to see if they can gather enough people to build a Branch. There were over 60 people there meeting in a member’s home. A beautiful lesson was given on the atonement. Kaylee Allen was there with a beautiful baby boy. Kaylee is the granddaughter of President and Sister Allen of the Chubbuck Stake. What a blessing to be there with our Chubbuck friends. On Saturday there were 14 people in the mission that were baptized new members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This Saturday there are 30 people scheduled to be baptized. The miracles are happening throughout the mission. This Saturday there is another Minister that is being baptized. These spiritual leaders will get answers as they read and study the Book of Mormon (a second witness of Jesus Christ).

We of course have such mixed feelings as we begin packing and prepare the Mission Home for a new Mission President. We will need to stay close to Nashville for the month of July as we do follow up with medical professionals. We are so anxious to do more treatments for Sister McKee’s eye. We love our missionaries. They are all like sons and daughters and we will be meeting with each of our zones next week as we travel through the mission for specialized trainings and to tell them all goodbye. This is probably one of the hardest things that we have ever been called to do but like Nephi, “We will go and do” because we know the this gospel is led by a living prophet and we know that the Lord is in charge. Our faith is in Him and we trust those leaders whom He has called. We are so grateful for this wonderful opportunity and thank you all again for your faith , love and prayers. While in the hospital last week we had several visits from nurses that cared for Sister McKee last December. They all love her so much. She smiled because she has no memory of them but they certainly remember everything about her. Relationships in this life and the life to come are so meaningful and important. We pray that each of you will strengthen family and friendship relationships as we progress toward our Heavenly home.

With love and appreciation for y’all,
President and Sister McKee, Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa


  1. Miracles are what we think but its a blessings of God that what its really are.


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  2. Read your article on DNews this morning. Thank you for your example of dedicated service amid such trials! Saying a prayer right now for your sweet wife.

  3. I'm so sorry I missed your post earlier due to being on Tour with the Choir. How scary to have Sis. McKee collapse and be hospitalized again! You have all been through so much. What a continuing miracle that you are. I am so sorry that you have had to suffer so very much. I was pleased to see your story (finally) be told in [url=]The Deseret News today[/url].

    Reading about the huge growth taking place in the mission, with so many baptisms happening all at once is truly stunning and humbling. The Lord has poured out His mighty spirit on the TN Nashville Mission and the people of Tennessee in marvelous ways. We feel continually blessed that our daughter is serving in your mission, and to have such good and kind people surrounding her, and of course to be ever blessed to have been under your leadership. God Bless you all with your packing (never fun) and your transitioning! I hope you will continue to update your blog even as you return home. We want to keep in touch and keep following your journey. You will ALWAYS be our beloved "President & Sister McKee in Tennessee"...and beyond.

    Love and prayers,
    The Abel Family

    P.S. Oh!! When I was in Wisconsin last week, the Choir had the privilege of dedicating a memorial plaque to the pioneer saints in Black River Falls that Joseph Smith sent on a logging mission to find and send timber to build the Nauvoo Temple. After our concert I was walking around the grounds and met a woman named Sister Bybee (sorry I cannot remember her first name) who was good friends with you in Pocatello. She and her family are now living in the Madison Wisconsin area and wanted to send you her love. xoxoxo Always a fun small world in the church! I took a photo with her. I will try to send it asap to you.

  4. Dear Sister McKee, I read about you in the news and had to stop by. I live in Salt Lake City and am myself a member of the Church. In December of 2008, I underwent a brain biopsy to diagnose my brain tumor that I was told should only keep me in the hospital a few short days. I didn't get home for weeks, and had to remain in home health care for months for rehabilitation. Many of the symptoms you now experience, I also experience. While I am still not as I was before getting surgery and nor will I ever fully recover, I too have found that my trials have become a blessing for others in ways I could never imagine.

    Having no family, the ward members came together in support while I was in ICU, the hospital, and rehab centers. I don't remember much those first few days after waking up, but I remember the sisters watching over me by my bedside... as if God were giving me mothers to someone who had none. These women didn't know me, I was new in the ward. But that didn't matter, because I was a sister in the Gospel and that made me family to them. How wonderful the gospel is! How loving they were and remain to this day! Yet they claim me to be their inspiration.

    Cancer has not been kind to me. I know my doctor's faces more than my friends. But because of my trials, I was given an opportunity to speak to a large group of people. I spoke of God's enduring love and that He is not the author of our struggles, and how to foster a more intimate relationship with Him. Afterward, many people came up to me and I just held them as they cried, each and every one. I spoke a few inspired words when I could. The video is up on YouTube and I still receive messages telling me how watching that video has changed their relationship with God - and one email said it convinced a girl to not commit suicide and to stop being bulimic and anorexic.

    I believe God allows suffering and steps back a little to see what we can make of it. Sometimes, with His help, astonishing miracles can happen.

    Thank you for sharing your story and I thank your entire family for staying with you every step of the way. I'm sure that the miracles will continue to happen in your life and the lives of others as long as you stay close to God and the gospel - the gates of heaven cannot hold them back.