Dear friends and family,
Two weeks ago with the help of Jared and Brittany staying with Sister McKee, I was able to interview all 170 of our missionaries as I traveled through the mission each day and stayed at the hospital at night. Jared and Brittany have returned home and Michael came out. While he stayed with Sister McKee I was able to attend transfers and do trainings. We received 22 missionaries on Monday. 6 of our new missionaries were visa waiters going to Argentina and Jamaica. We picked up one group at 2:30 and the second group came in at 4:30. Their plane was late two hours so we did not get back to the mission home until 7:00pm that night. In this time we fed and trained 22 missionaries and I interviewed all 22 by 10:30 that night. We had to forgo testimony meeting and slide presentations in order to get them all to bed. Most had gotten up at 3:00am that morning. They are a wonderful group of missionaries with so much to offer the world. I am anxious to see what they will do with their time as full time missionaries. On Tuesday we took them to the Franklin Stake Center and did trainings for them and their trainers. With 22 new missionaries coming in most of the mission came in for transfers at 11:30. After Transfer meeting we had a lunch and then only 6 missionaries were interviewed to return home. We took them to the temple after interviews and then back to the Mission Home for a dinner, testimony meeting and then slide presentation. Three of the missionaries had parents come to pick them up but we took the other three to the airport at 5:00 am on Wednesday morning. Following the trip to the airport we go back to the office to update all of the new companionships on the computer so that they will be able to receive their mail right away and then back to the hospital.
Destini had winter Olympics at her school last week as well that I was able to attend. She participated in the Olympic rings and the Hockey competition. She was very excited to march in with her country with their own personalized tie dyed tee shirts. It was quite a production. Aubrey also had a monumental experience this week as we went to the courthouse to get her drivers permit. She now has a drivers license and will be driving with an adult for the next 6 months and then on her own. This will be a blessing to have another driver in the house. You can only imagine her grin when she passed her test with no mistakes. All of the girls have been so patient and helpful during this challenge. Each have stepped up in their own way to handle things in a mature way. I often take advantage of Angie and her home school by having her run a few errands and she has become the official grocery shopper over the last two months. Kiara is working so hard in school trying to keep grades up. I love and appreciate them so much. They not only have a mom missing for a period but dad is gone most of the time as well. The Lord has blessed them so much as well as Sister McKee.
Sister McKee continues to progress. She is still very dizzy and it is difficult for her to keep her balance. She is unaware that she is actually falling sometimes and will need someone to be around her whenever she walks. Her strength is better every day and she gets in and out of the bed with no problem , often walking to therapy with someone keeping her balanced. She has walked up and down stairs as long as she has rails for support and does all sorts of physical things that I am in awe of. She continues to play the piano in the cafeteria room and improves on that each day. Her left eye will not track still but we are doing exercises every day to assist that change. The eye doctor is very hopeful about this eye. It does cause double and triple vision though. She wears a patch at times and he has also fitted her with a contact that is like a patch for her left eye. She has about 90 % of her cognitive verbal communication back and is still blending a few facts as she pieces together the other 10%. We are all in awe as we experience the miracle.
I have been focusing on the beautiful scripture,”If ye have done it to the least of these my brethren , ye have done it unto me” lately. There have been so many kindnesses to our family through this journey. We have some very good friends that actually left their car with us for a month and a half for our adult children to drive, So many have helped with food for the missionaries and our family, Just last Saturday Jason Deere from the Nashville Tribute Band came by and gave Sister McKee her own personal concert in the dining hall here. We all loved it as he sang so many of her favorite songs. Sister Hunt comes up to assist her with piano lessons. Will Stoltze a famous country singer stopped by to sing her a song. One of my continual concerns has been to do something for her hair as her head had to be shaved in the front center(for her drainage tube) and all the way up the center through the back where the surgery was performed. It has grown back about an inch. Her brain surgeon Dr. Li did not want any hair products to be on her head for two months. We finally got permission to do her hair this week and two angel Sisters adjusted their lives and came to the call. Tammy and Melissa came and spent the whole afternoon on Saturday doing hair. They actually set up a salon in the hospital room which was very impressive. Tammy’s husband has gone through brain surgery over one year ago so she was especially sensitive to Sister McKee’s head. They were both so kind and so caring as they cut, colored and styled Sister McKee’s hair. Those out there of the female gender will understand quickly the therapeutic day that Saturday became. I have done my best to protect pictures of Sister McKee from being online through this whole ordeal as I felt like it should be her choice as to what pictures to show but today I want all of you to see how beautiful her hair turned out and the incredible transformation that is happening as she becomes our living miracle.
|November 28, 2012|
|January 26, 2013|
To all of you who help another along difficult times in life. You become a “type” of Christ when you do for others , something that they could not do for themselves. The Savior took upon Himself the sins of the world. He atoned for our sins. This is something that we could not do for ourselves. As we do things for others that they cannot do for themselves, we in turn become a “type” of Christ. We become like Him. As we do temple work for those who have passed on we do something for them they cannot do for themselves. When these sweet sisters came in and did Sister McKee’s hair, they did something for us that we could not do for ourselves. When others helped us with sky miles, and cars, words of wisdom, cards and notes, hope, and so much more, they are doing something for us that we could not do for ourselves. Thank you for being Christ like. Thank you for becoming a “type” of Christ. What a gift you all are and what a blessing you are to the world. The Lord must be pleased when we treat each other so kind and offer so much hope. We love you all so much and pray that we will all continue each day to become a “type” of Christ. He is our greatest model. As you participate in the sacrament today may you feel the blessing of becoming a “type” of Christ.
With love and appreciation,
The William McKee family