Monday, June 30, 2014

Semana #18: I have a niece! I have a niece?...

Oh my goshnee!!! Today we had to go to the medico for my companion, first thing for our Pday. And All I was thinking, I want to know if they had their babies!!! haha. Then I saw those cute pictures and thought..  What the heck am I doing in Ecuador!?? Just kidding :) Congrats! Tanner and Caroline and super cute names, and they are SO CUTE! Tanner looks like a mini Steven :) Im expecting weekly pictures now, ok? :) haha.

Bueno, a couple fun/funny/random things..
-I was thinking, while eating rice this week, that I am glad that there are none, or very few, surprises in what I will be eating. Before my mission I thought, Ecuador? What will I be eating?! Well, its Rice.. every day :) A member told me this week, that if there is not rice in a meal, He is not full!
-Yesterday I finished my 12 week training program here in the mission. I can{t believe where the time went. 
-My companion and I were walking from the Medico to the Mission office just a few hours ago, and in such a hurry we almost stepped on this huge Iguana in the middle of the road!

This wee President and Hermana Amaya, from Columbia, finished their mission, and went home. We had one last meeting with them to say goobye and take pictures. Our zone sang the EFY medley for them. Now we have Presidente y Hermana Gibbons from Rexburg! I actually just met Presidente while at the office! So excited to have them as our presidentes. He said his wife, is a McKee, Bonnie McKee who was born in Las Vegas, and they are from San Diego? Small world. 

My companion doesn{t have to rest for her hip anymore so we are excited to be our working all day every day now!! The mom of Xavier will be baptized this coming Friday.. When asking if she was excited, she said yes, and asked if she could be baptized in a bikini? haha. She jokes with us alot, but she is a really sweet woman, and has such a great family. Xavier is preparing to go on a mission, and he got a calling this week to be a ward missionary!! 

I really love Santay, the members and people here I have such a good relationship now. Although at times it is still hard to communicate, The spirit helps me, and I am able to teach, help, and get to know the people here. I was joking with my compatnion last night saying, I want a mission like Hermana Savannah Birch, only 2 areas. :) haha. 

I was reading a talk from Elder Ballard, with a quote I loved, he said, " Weaknesses become strengths, challenges become opportunites, trials become triumphs, and adversity becomes adventure in the service of the Lord." Its so true. And I love every minute of it. 

Cant wait to see more pics of those cute babies, and the rest of my family. Miss you all lots, but know I am doing fine!! 

Con amor,
Hermana McKee

Friday, June 27, 2014

Semana #17: Ha sido BAMBOOZLED!

¡Hola Famila! :)

I was just looking at some pictures of the family that someone sent me, and one popped up of the 4 of yall who are pregnant, and my companion looked over and said, wow! all of your family is pregnant!! haha. You all look so cute! 

A few fun/funny/cool things here...
- We had some Family Home evenings this week with our investigatores, and so we put together a little game called... BAMBOOZLED! :) Its like Jepordy.. with some added rules. Its really fun, especially for our LEss Actives who at times it can be hard to get them to focus in a lesson, but they love the competition so this way they can learn and compete :) 
-This is the last week of my 12 week trainings here!  I can´t believe how fast the time flies.
-The weather is SO HOT during the days. The mornings and the evenings are perfect, its like a summer day in IDaho. 
-I don´t like seafood. Yesterday, a member made us Shrimp Soup. I ate it, it wasn´t too bad, but it was my first tme having shrimp. There was white squares in the soup and I just assumed it was cheese, because people do that here jaja. Then after I finished, my companion asked what the white stuff was because she didn´t believe it was cheese. It was SQUID! So,  there ya go :)

This week was a slower week because my companion is still in a lot of pain in her hip, so we only went to the appointements with persons who are preparing to be baptized, or fixed appoitments. So,  remember Xavier? Ok, he is like the best convert ever! He has such a strong testimoni! His mom will be baptized this sAturday, and we asked him if he was excited, He  said more or less. When we asked why he said, I just wish she had a stronger testimony to not be scared to be baptized.  As missionaries, my companion and I have seen that sometimes people have fear at first, but by living the gospel they grow a testimony. And that is what Xavier is learning. 

Christina and her family.. haha ok. This is a different story for a another time, but basically they don´t want to change or progress in the gospel. Really, she is so mean to her son and her husband, and so we are only going back to teach the son, because he still has some light in him. We pray everyday that he will want to change and progress, because we think he can help his family. 

Ok, is Elder Boyack, who served in TEN, who plays the cello super great, related to a Ward Boyack? Who lives/ed in New MExico, and served his mission here in Guayaquil in 1990?? We were eating lunch with Hermana Lesvia, and she pulled out a picture of this Ward Boyack and asked, Have you gringas seen this face walking around your land? haha. AT first, it didn´t look familiar, then I saw the name, and it kind of looked like Elder Boyack! She said it was the missionary who baptized her, and they have lost contact. So, if you know or hear anything.. let me know! :)

I hope Grandpa is doing better, I know he doesn´t have an email. I should write him a letter.. tell him I love him and am praying for him to have a quick recovery! You all sound very busy this week. Especially dad! haha. Happy Birthday Dad! Your party looked way fun, we do have a p`retty great family! And Mom, the baby shower looked super fun too! Good Work! :) Can´t wait to get those pictures :) Thats a bummer that packaged showed up at the house.. sorry you spent so much money to have it return there. I really don´t need the bedding anymore. The only thing I could use from it is that picture of our family at the temple. I would love to have that! 

Something I learned this week is that Heavenly Father will not let us be content with our weaknesses. He will push us and pull us to make us grow. And in the meantime, we should compare ourselves, because when we do, we are comparing our weakness to anothers strength, (or vice versa, because everyone has both). And this is super unfair! Everyone has their gifts and talents for a reason, and the responsibility to increase them. MY companion is such a great example of that. She is the best!! We have so much fun together. I know that We have a Heavenly Father who loves us more then we can imagine. And that we made a convenient to obey him before this life. Thank you for your prayers and  support!! 
Con Amor,
Hermana McKee

Semana #16: Transfers!

Happy Fathers Day (yesterday) to you Dad! And all of my brothers that are gonna be dads! And Happy Birthday to Dad also :) 

It is another beautiful day here in Ecuador. Some fun/funny/intereseting/ things:
-The nights, evenings, here are perfect. Theres a little wind, clear sky to see the stars. which is weird because usually its cloudy during the days. And theres always bats! Not sure if I told you that already, but I always see them and think, Kiara would love these! jaja. Also, there are a ton of dragonflys here!! .. and cuckarachas.
-With the world cup happening right now, everyone is crazy! jaja. You can hear the games and see televisions in every house, store, whatever place!
-Last week I was reading my email from Sister Goody, and she said she had lice! I felt bad, but laughed a little when I though, thats funny, I´m in Ecuador and nothing has happened to me! ... This week. I have lice. 

This week is transfers! And My companera and I are both staying. Which I am happy for because I love this ward and this area. We have the best members. 

This week was a little rough because my companion has been sick. She has inflamacion in su hip, and it hurts when she walks. And we walk... 24/7. haha. So we had to spend some time in the house this week, and also make some trips into Guayaquil to see medico. Its hard to no be working in our area, but still we are being blessed with miracles. The other day,  we were walking, and past us walked this group of teenagers. One shouted, Hey! Huccum you never came back to visitme? We learned that the missionaries before us taugh him, and he was ready to be baptized, then never returned! 

Christina, Cesar, and their son, Cesar.. are progressing :). They have so much hate and bad thoughts about eachother. Always telling us what the others do wrong. But they want to change! Last night we had planed to teach a lesson, and spent our time doing "counseling" jaja. We made each person say 3 things they were thankful for for the others, and sang a hymn, it was amazing the spirit of their home changed. And they recognized it too. 

Wison and Bertha, who are neighbors to Xavier, are the best. They are slowly building their testimonies, and learning the blessings of the gospel. 

This week I have been reading the talk by Brad Wilcox, His Grace Is Sufficient. It teaches alot about what the Atonement means. Not that we dont have to do anything because Christ saved us, its how much we use and accept His sacrifice in our lives. So much we can have from the Atonement, comfort, peace, strength, and forgiveness. This atonement means everything to me. 

Thanks so much for your emails and all your prayers. I feel your love and support every day. Hope yall are enjoying your summer, and have fun in New York! I hope you get the chance to see the sacred grove and visit some cool church sites. Travel Safe. Love you all, and can´t wait for those babies to come!!! :)

Con Amor, 
Hermana McKee

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Semana #15:

¡Hola familia! Es una dia hermosa aca in ecuador. The weather is like a summer morning back home.. but with some humidity :) And its winter here! haha. Happy Birthday Collin y Trav! (50!) jaja. Loved the pictures of the baby cows and the Lagoon trip! Yall look good. 

A few fun/funny/intresting things here in Ecuador:
-Everyone drinks soda, or Juice with their meals. I have never had so much soda in my life!! I love the jiuce though, especialy Jugo de piña!!
-There are only pianos in the Stake Centers here. This week at our district meeting, it was our Zone LEaders last, so we had a little testimony meeting, sort of thing. And I was able to play the piano!! Ah. I have missed that!!
-Everyone eats with spoons here. Itssuper funny. They have forks, but they just always use spoons! 
-This week we walked past some people cooking Guinea Pig!! Il attach a picture. 

This week we had a special training with President Amaya, it was a really good reminder of why we are here, and the preparations that we all had before our missions to get to the point in our lives we are right now. I have had so many experiences in my life to help prepare me for my mission. Many is gracias a my family. 

We also had a meeting with the 3 missions here in Guayquil. (North, South, y West). Elder Oaks was supposed to come, but had some troubles with his plane and couldn´t make it. Such a bummer! jaja. My companion even straightend my hair and everything! ;). We got to hear from all of the mission presidents and wives, including Presidente and Hermana Dennis, whos daughter I emailed before I came here. It was fun to meet them! And we also heard from 2 of the 70.One of which was Elder Wadell! He gave a great talk. He  taught us that we are teaching for conversion. Not baptism. Baptism doesn´t mean  as much as it could without the ordinances of the temple. Eternal Families!! 

We were teaching the mom of Xavier, and sister, this week. She asked sort of our schedule, what we do all day. haha. She asked, so do you just teach? Or do you find people to teach? Or what? As we explained, my companion mentioned. Right now we are spending lots of time finding because all of our investigatorsa are baptized! She said, ok, I will help you! And yesterday, we were able to teach and set a date with her neighbors. This gospel truly is amazing. It changes lives, and brings so much happiness to families. It is amazing to teach and watch people pray for the first time, maybe in their entire lives. The people here are very humble, and want God in their lives. When they understand that we have the same gospel that Jesucristo established, with the same authority, It just makes sense. If you want to follow Jesus Christ, he set the way, He is our example, in everything. 

Thanks for all you emails, and letters. Can´t wait to get pictures of all those babies! (Human babies, haha kylie). Ya, and I still didn´t get the other package, but no worries, im doing good! Eating well, getting the rice belly, and learning spanish! haha. This is the mission. Love you all lots!! Oh. PS. Saw a pictures of Hma. Ratuvukvukis wedding! Goregous!! 
Con Amor,
Hermana McKee

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Semana #14: Christoffer se bautizo!!

¡Hola mi famila!!

It is another beautiful Day here in Los Helechos :) The days are still hot and humid, but the mornings and the nights are cool, and humid. haha. There was actually one night this week that my companion and I both had cold during the night! 

So a few funny/fun/interesting things in Ecuador this week:
-Yesterday was Dia de los niños! Super cool. Just a day for children, and there are fiestas, and music everywhere! Always, people play their music for everyone to hear.
-I learned how to make, and to eat :), patacones con heuvos! Patacones look like a green banana, but it tastes like a potato. They fry it here, and eat it with eggs. Super good! I really like the food here...which is a blessing and curse. haha. I haven´t eaten anything too crazy or gross yet. So I am just enjoying it !!

Christoffer was baptized this week!! Ok. So we just passed Christoffer on the street by his house, and he wanted to listen. Turns out he was taught about a year ago, and wasn´t ready to be baptized. We taught him the first 3 lessons, and then everytime we went back he taught us!! After his first time at church, he didn´t have a good experience, and didn´t want to be baptized anymore.. then he did.. so he had his interview, and then after, he didn´t again! haha. We invited our Zone leader Elder PEña to come and chat with him, and the Spirit was super strong. He was baptized the next day! We went to the church, and noone was there... expect the bishop, his counselor, and missionaries. SUPER SAD! We had the baptism the same, and it was perfect. Christoffer was praying before he entered the water and told us later, he knows this is right. Afterwards, he shared his testimonio, and said he wanted to cry. I know it was special for him as he begins this new journey, even though it wasn´t perfect for us.  Also Xavier and Freddy recieved the priesthood!! And we are taching the mom and sister of Xavier!!!

Tuesday of this week, we were feeling a little discouraged because all of our investagators are baptized! We had nobody else! We spent one whole day finding, and the spirit led us to many people who are prepared to hear the gospel. One being a family... that although it is hard to teach them because their house is so small, and their is animales everywhere, and things everywhere, like hoarders, I love teaching this family! Because their lives are changing. 

This week we were teaching a menos activo, and across the way lives one of our investagators. As we were teaching, we saw to missionaries of the Jehovahs Witness knock on her door!! My comp. and I looked at eachother with hugeeyes, and we wanted to go tell them not to knock on that door! haha noones home, Sorry! haha, no we were just praying really hard that Socorro would not be home. And she wasn´t! Satan is working hard in our area, but always we see the blessings!!

Real quick, one cool story! We live next door to a member in the Stake Presidency. He told us at lunch the other day that a few years ago, Elder nelson came to visit the area. As he got up to speak, his translator stood up as well. The room was silent, and he turned to his translator and said, Please, take your seat. He sat. And Elder Nelson began speeaking to the people in Spanish. WOW! The gift of tongues is real. It is still a difficult thing for me to speak spanish but I am understanding alot more. I am learning more how to testify from my heart, and by the spirit. I know that the Spirit can speak SPanish, even if I Can´t! 

Hope you all have a great week! Can´t wait to start seeing pictures of those babies. I keep seeing babies EVERYWHERE here. Its so unfair :) haha. Good luck with your Cows! When do you go to New York? Take lots of pictures! 

Les Quiero,
Hermana McKee