Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Semana #9: ¡Hola familia!

¡Mi familia! ¿Como Estan?
It sounds like you all had a wonderful week with some snow, eh? I would have loved to feel snow this week. haha. It has been SO HOT here!! We had a rough week in our area this week, but before I tell you about that, I want to tell you about the great and funny things first:
1. My companion is great! I dont remember how much I have told you about her, haha but she has 24 years and is from Chile. Her original call was to Venezuela, and she waited for her visa in chile, went to venezuela, then i guess it is dangerous there, so they sent her here! To train me :) She reminds me alot of Kylie hahaha. I introduced her to pancakes this week.. She is a fan! haha.
2. So this week we were walking, and a man was sitting out by his door, and said something in spanish, and my companion just started laughing so hard! I asked what he said, and she said, "He asked why you are here, you are so white you need to be at the beach!" hahaha. had we not been late to an appointment, I would have turned around and told him why I was here :)
3. Remember at Mom and Dad´s cultural night there was a brother who said, "I think I counted 3 pianos in Ecuador..?" Or something like that? haha. Well, I found one!! Our neighbors, who are also in our ward, have one! Felt good to play again. I miss that.
4. The baptism that we had last week, Brigit, her cousin, Antonella was there. After the baptism she came up to us and said, I want to be baptizd too!! So now we are teaching her and her family :) They have dates to be baptized May 24
The end of the week we experienced many trials in our area. We had 4 baptisms set for this past Saturday... and had 0. Satan is working hard in our area! We were teaching a woman named Editha and her son Christofer, her husband was never home so we couldnt teach him. Editha had fear to be baptized because of her husband, so we fasted this week that he would have understanding. When we went to our next appointment, her husband was there! He was free from work for this week. So we spoke with him, and he said he wanted to be baptized too! So we got permission to have them all baptized together on Saturday. We were so happy!! Then we found out after the interview that they didnt want to pay tithing, and they dont want to be baptized, or listen anymore.. my heart broke!!
Next was Monica, the mama of Brigit, She told us she didnot want to be baptizedanymore or listen,  but she will continue to attend church, and maybe be baptized when her daughter has 8 years. And the rest of our investigators that want to be baptized, can´t because they need to be married, or are waiting for a divorce. Satanas is just attacking everywhere this week! We decided to spend our energy and efforts in finding those persons who are ready and are families.
This week we had a zone conference with 3 zones in the  mission. That was the weirdest thing for me! haha. first of all, it was all in Spanish--roleplays and all, so it was difficult to understand the whole day. second, it wasnt my mom and dad teaching from the pulpit! :) i tried to imagen it though :) haha. No, PResidente and Hermana Amaya are really great leaders and have a great vision for the work here. Especially in finding and focusing on families.
I read a quote this week that reminded me of what Mom and Dad always teach. "Worrying can be a way of mentally practicing failure." YOU GET GOOD AT WHAT YOU PRACTICE. I am working at this every time we go into a lesson. To think positive thoughts and successful, rather then worry about the language, or what am I going to say? I know that by doing this, I can focus on trusting in the Lord and letting the Spirit teach. The Spirit is what converts people, as you are studying Preach my Gospel and the Scriptures on your own or as a family this week, focus on what you can learn through the Spirit. That is what makes your testimony grow, especially when we apply the action afterwards. I know this is what strengthens the people of ecuador.
Thank you all for your prayers every day! The language is still progressing! I am understanding a lot more this week, although I cant speak and express how I would like. I would love to get a picture of our family in front of the temple in white if that is a possibility? I know that every good thing we have in our lives is from Christ. He is the way, the reason.. He is everything. His Atonement means so much to me. Love you all so much! Keep working hard in all of your jobs and efforts! Remember that family is the most important. That is what we have for eternitity. The members in our ward here have a goal to finish the Book of Mormon as a family before the end of the year. I am thankful for the family I have and goals we accomplish together! Have a great week yall!
Les Amo,
Hermana McKee

Monday, April 21, 2014

Semana #8: 3 Nefi 5:13

Familia! I will be honest and tell you right now I do not know what that scripture says, but I had it written down to share with you :)

It sounds like you are all having fun preparring for the summer. Cleaning up the property, and getting all my pregnant sisters getting ready to have babies! haha. Chevare. Im glad that things are going well for you all, and that eveyone is healthy and well. Here they are preparing for the "cold times" haha, not really. only 70 ish degrees. I love hearing from you all every week. I even got an email from Kiara this week! Woot Woot! Haha. She said, "It has been a while hasnt it? I think the last time I talked to you was when you left!" Its true. Thanks for the emails!

Here are some fun/interesting/random/ things from this past week!

1. Last Pday we went into Guayqauil to see the Park of the Iguanas, it was closed :( But this park is just in the center of the city, and its not even that big. haha it is the weirdest thing! But there are iguanas all over! like 3-4ft long ones. We could see them from the outside. We also ate at McDonalds! haha. After  rice every day.. never has a burger tasted so good. 

2. I may have already told you this, but an Elder in my zone, Elder Tiaua is in the same ward as Elder Justin Mauginoa from Nashville! Small World. 

3. WE HAD A BAPTISM!! Brigit was baptized this week!! It was a beautiful bautismo. 

4. Did I ever tell you I ate Cactus? Cause I did. 

We have planned for 4 baptisms this Saturday. The hard thing is we have so many investigators who have a testimony and are ready to be baptized, but they need to get married!!!  We also have so many investigators who are able to be baptized, but they do  not keep their commitments. We are working really hard with the Mom of Brigit, MONICA, and also a lady named MERCEDEZ, and EDITHA y CHRISTOFER. They all have a desire to be baptized, but the longer they wait the more temptaion comes. 

This week, we had a special stake conference! Only for Ecuador! Elders Nash, Sister Wixom, and Elders Holland and Scott all spoke. Elders Nash and Scott spoke in Spanish, and Ellder Holland... tried. haha! But I think his spanish is still better than mine! After the meeting, we met outside the members who had our lunch appt. And the weirdest thing happened! They took us to a restuarant? haha my companion and I were so confused.. but what do you do? haha. The members really do treat us well here.We had a lunch appt. this week with a member, Hermana Lesvia, and she put in front of us this huge bowl of soup! I thought, there is no way  I can eat all of this, but at lest there is no rice! So I did my best, but I couldnt finish.. then. Just gives us this huge plate with a mountain of rice and orange chicken (My favorite) Holy Cow. Ya, that wasnt happening! haha. But it was super good! Its hard because we only eat Lunch, and breakfast, so my body gets used to not eating that much and then BOOM! haha.

I read a quote this week from a talk by President Monson called "Meeting you Goliath" it said "Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty." This was kind of my motto for this week. I have seen alot of progress in my spanish thanks to your prayers. I have tried hard to always be studying and learning every minute between 630 am and 1030 pm. I am learning so much about Jesus Christ, his purpose, our purpose, and how they go together. Are you all still reading in the Book of Mormon every day? What about Preaach My Gospel? I want to know what you are learning. I know that this work is true. When people read the Book of Mormon their lives change, they recieve a Spirit in their lives they cannot deny comes from God. This I know is true. I love you all so much! Thank you all for the pictures! Ah l love them. You all looke Great. Aubrey you looks goregous in Jr. Miss! Thank you for your prayers! 

Les Amo,
Hermana McKee

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week #7: It's gonna take WORK!

¡ Hola mi familia!

This is my first PDAY in Ecuador! It was interesting to fly such a long flight and not have a time change! Right now it is 11.15am. My first night here, we had an hour or 2 to work, and my companion asked me if I just wanted to rest and sleep because of my day of traveling. I said no I am here to work! Well in that 90 minutes I recieved almost 40 mosquito bits on my legs! But I will always remember that first night. I know that I am here to invite others to come unto Christ, and every day I am learnng more that this work is not about me. 

I am in the area of Los Helechos, in the Santay 1 ward. The people here are incredible. Althought I cannot understand them, I do know that they do SO much for the missionaries here. My companion brought some music with her and so we listen to Nashville Tribute Band ALL the time in our casa. I love it. It motivates me to work, and brings back my favorite memories of Nasvhille. A couple fun stories from this week:

1. My companion is from Chile, and knows fairly good english, which is a blessing and a curse! But, the President has said that during Language Study she is to study english, and I spanish obviously. I can only imagine how strange it looks to see us walking down the dirt streets here, haha. and occaisionally someone will drive by and say in English, "Hello, Gringo!" haha. 

2- We took an investigator, Brigit, (17) to New Beginnings Saturday, and it reminded me of a year ago when all 10 of us girls went with Dad to the New Beggings for Young Womens in Nashville. I loved my Young Womens experience! It is still weird for me to attend Relief Soeciety every week haha.

3. Saturday our toilet quit working. Haha. We couldn´t decide if we should buy a plunger or wait and buy one on Pday. We decided, we would need to use our toilet, but as sisters we have to be in our house at 8.30 at the latest, and it was 8.25! So.. instead of buying one, we went contacting... for plungers! haha. We knocked on all of the doors on our street asking if we could borrow a plunger. Turns out a member had one.. it was a funny night though. haha.

Right now we have 13 investigators with a baptismal date!! The Saturday before I arrived was the Baptism of a 20 yr old names Kevin. He was confimed Sunday! And wants to serve a mission. It is so fun to teach him, because he has such a strong desire to learn and progress in the gospel. We teach him at the house of his friend (Brigit) And we are also teaching Brigit, and her Mother, Monica. (Monica reminds me of Heather Rolapp haha) They are really progressing, and we teach them almost every day. 

The Relief Society President arranges our lunch every day. And every day I have been here it has been hot soup (which is so confusing to me? haha. Most peope use their napkins at meal times to wipe their we use them to wipe the sweat from our face!!) meat, and rice. MOUNTAINS OF RICE. We only have lunch appointments, and no dinners. Usually I am never hungry at dinner time so  I havent even thought about it! 

My area is about 30 mins outside of Guayaquil, and today we are going to Guayaquil to see the Park of the Iguanas. (ew!) haha. There are alot of little geckos here similar to Hawaii, but I have only seen one iguana so far that was about 3 or 4 feet long. luckily it was quite some distance from me. So no- your package did not arrive. The mission said that any package that is over 4 pounds has to go through some long system and takes months and months to get here.. So they said, by the end of your mission you should have that! I wish they would have said that in our mission pakcet. Anyways, they gave me a new address too, but remember it needs to be under 4 pounds. And honestly, I am doing fine. Anything I need, I should be able to find here. I also found my piano book too. Do not worry about sending anything! I know it is expensive, and I know that you love me! I am doing great!

here is the addres: 

Hermana Angelee McKee
Mision Ecuador Guayaquil Norte
Casilla de correo 16160
Guayaquil, Ecuador

this is for letters and packages!

I want you to know that I know this gospel is true. It is amazing to me to teach the people here who have never heard of anything about the LDS church, or Jose Smith, or the Book of Mormon, it just makes sense! If God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, of course he would continue to call prophets! The language is what I struggle with the most. It is easy to be discouraged and feel like I am not fulfilling my purpose because of this, but I have faith it will come little by little, as long as I do ALL I can do. I just hope that I am doing my part. 

Aubrey, congrats on you Jr. Miss, i wish I could have been there! Know that I was thinking of you .And thank you for your email. I love that you said, you are praying that I will understand a little more of the language every day. I am too, I know it will come in little by little. Thank you for all your emails! And Kirsten thank you for the pictures! Charlie makes a cute Jack o lanteren! Thanks again for all of the birthday wishes. I love you all so much! 

If there is anyway, I would love it if you could email me the photo of our family sealed at the temple. 

Con Amor,
Hermana McKee

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week #6: Off to Ecuador!

Muchas Gracias for all of the birthday wishes. My companions were so nice to me, and I loved getting to see conference for my birthday. It was a great present. I was thinking, a year ago, I was woken up with balloons and confetti by the Sister Missionaries, Sister littleford, and alphin, and Heather Rolapp haha with birthday cake remix from Coldstone! That year as gone fast! My companion left this morning, and so I am with my roomates who are emailing, so I wanted to share some things I learned from conference, and also some photos. 

First of all, Did you all see the guy in the choir that looked like Tad Hancock? haha.  I also got to see the Womens Meeting Saturday night, and thought it was an amazing! I love those meetings, they are super powerful. 

I enjoyed every session of conference so much. The talks were amazing. I feel like they were centered on strengthening your conversion so that you are able to defend your faith in this crazy world. There was also a emphasis on member missionary work. Im excited to work with the members in ecuador! I really enjoyed Bishop Stevensons talk, talking about the Olympics, and how those athletes prepare all of their lives for their 4 minutes. That related alot to my life, and my mission. The clock is ticking!! Don{t idle your time with things that dont matter. 

They stressed alot on our familiy relationships. I am thankful that our family is as close as we are. I hope that we can continue to be close as our family grows bigger. Family is the only sure thing that we have for eternity. This I know to be true!! 

Happy Birthday Desi and Dallon! Have a great week, and I will email you from Ecuador next semana!

These photos are with Hermana Jones, (She is like the office angel here), Our district, and my birthday. 

Con Amor,
Hermana McKee

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Semana #5: Zechariah 5:1

Hola mi Familia!

Hoy comenzo my seis semana aqui en la CCM. No puedo creer como rapido este tiempa hace que. Estoy muy agredicido por este oportunidad, y yo se que me lo ayudara en Ecuador y en my vida. Este ultimo pasado hay muchas momentos comicos:

1. We were in the auditorium, and my companion and I were trying to get our Distrcit Leaders attention, so we yelled Elder! And all of the elders turned and looked at us. I guess I can check that off my CCM Bucket list haha. 

2. My companion and yo try to eat with the latinos as much as we can. Whenever I introduce myself, they always say.. [Like Mickey Mouse?] haha. 

3. In one of my classes we played a game called BASTA!  It is like Scattagories, but its in Spanish.. haha sometimes I randomly start laughing trying to think of words, because of our family{s history with that game.. haha. Es broma. 

4. We had a first lesson with a new investigator this week. We new his name ahead of time, but knocked on the door as if it was the first contact. So I asked his name there, and then once in the room, I asked him to repita por favor por que I could not remember it! So then, I go to say the opening prayer, and ask if there is anything he would like me to pray for him. He asked to pray for Him.... him... ok what is his name.?! haha. I prayed a prayer within a prayer to try and rememeber his name! Nada. haha. So I just made one up and mumbled it... and then comitted myself to always remember their names. haha. 

So you all got some snow for your April Fools day, eh? How fitting! It is a hot 77 degrees here! This week was a great week. I took advantage of every hour of study time I have because I am getting nervous for going to Ecuador next week! I really enjoy the study time I get. I struggle alot with the conjegations for all of the verbs in Spanish, there are like 10 different tenses! haha Im sure when we teach, our investigators are just thinking: Just Spit it out already!!  haha

 I plan on finishing the BOM (LdM) this week, and starting over. Will you all read with me?? We are teaching 3 prog. investigaotrs as of now, Genaro, Daniella, y, Jasmine. They all have dates. And we only teach them one more time before we leave. I am not sure when I leave, although I think it is sometime tuesday. I will be able to email you Saturday Night to confirm all of that. 

This week our teacher should us an incredible youtube about Missionary Work and The Atonement. I think those 5 or 10 minutes was probably the highlight of my week. Very powerful words coming from Pres. Eyring, and Elder Holland. Every tuesday night we always have a devotional. Usually we get a translator, but last week was our first week without one! It is so draining to translate for a straight hour! haha. but the Spirit taught me alot through his words. Our branch also sang a spanish him at that Devotional. This week was our last week with our Branch also because of la Conferencia General. (Woohoo!) Im so excited for that! I guess Mexico does a time change on Sunday, so our sunday sessions are at 11 and 3. Anywho, we took pictures with them, they are so great. Right now we are the only district in our branch, because our second one left for San Diego this morning!! Kylie better take of them! They{re great. On Wednesday we get another one though. Right now there are prob. 300 missionaries here a la CCM, but this summer they plan on gettin 1200!! 
Thank you for all of your emails, and I got a letter from Elder Stringam this week too!! Thank you for that advice Elder Stringam. I appreciate the prayers, and the thoughts. I love and miss you all so much!! 
Les Amo,
Hermana McKee