Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Semana #22: Hola Familia!

Buenos Tardes mi familia!

This email is late today because we had changes this week! I had a feeling like I was staying in Duran, and that my companion would be going, but turns out she is staying!! Our Zone leader called last night, and so this morning I packed, said my goodbyes, and got on a bus to a land called VALENCIA. Three and a half hours later without a phone and only one other hermana, we made it!  My new companion is Hermana Flores de Mexico. She has more then one year in the mission. 

This email will be a little shorter, but heres a few great things that happen this week.
- To celebreate the day of the pioneers here the stake did a presentation and every ward had an assignment and song. We were able to bring our Converts to it, and it was so great! I will try to attach pictures.

- I had my first exchange this week with our sister leader in the zone, Hermana Lagos. She is really great, and taught me so much!! I learned and relearned lots of things that I had forgotten, and that will help me be a better missionary.

- Jazmin, she is our rescued menos activo, she has a calling!! In the Young Womens. She is already stressed about doing it well. I think that family, and the family of Xavier will always be my memories of Duran. 

It was really hard to leave that ward this morning. I feel llike they are my family, and not only that but my "mamita" or my trainer, and all of our investigators and other people we are working with. But I know that is the mission, and I am excited to be here in Valencia. From what I can tell already it is a really small town, lots of farms, farmers, etc. But it is beautiful!! 

It sounds like you all had a great time in New York, all who went. Good Job, Desi! What will you do now? No, I havent recieved a package.. did you send one? My address is still the same :

Mision Ecuador Guayquil Norte
Casilla de correo 16160
Guayaquil, Ecuador

I got your referral! Thats so cool that she is from Guayaquil. From the looks it seems like she lives in Guayquil. Malecon is in the city there, so Im not sure if its our mission or not, but i will check! All of those babies are so cute and already getting to big! I guess the bigger they get the sooner I will get to see them,. :) I don´t like thinking about time in the mission, but its really hard because every single person you talk to asks you how much time you have, in what sector, when do you go home, etc. I hit 5 months this week and I feel like my mission is just slipping away from me and theres nothing I can do about it! I have so much to do and learn. Thank you all for your prayers, and encouragement. I love you all so much! 

Les Amo,
Hermana McKee

Monday, July 28, 2014

Semana #21: Get "O"ver it

Hola Famila!
First of all, Dad, (and Kylie) no se preocupen, no worries, there are no more mice in my bed! Haha. Its really funny because every night we come home and turn on the lights, there is (not always, but many times) something in our house. Cockroaches, mice, etc. jaja now we just expect it.
Super cool that you saw the Nashville Stake. I think I´m more jealous of that then not being there with the new babies ;) Those guys are the best. Miss that Green Hills Ward!!! 

A few funnies/randoms/etc.
-Last week when i wrote about the shoes on the tele poles? Kylie wrote me, and also I learned from the locales here, that i guess it means they sell drugs there! ha! So there ya go.
-On Friday, we were eating with a member and her daughter, and the member went up to answer the phone, meanwhile i was cutting my piece of chicken, and it was so hard that it flipped off my plate on the ground!! So we were all laughing and I picked up my chicken, put it on my plate and figured I just wouldn´t eat it (meanwhile my companion is thinking, "Is my companion going to eat that??" ) Then the member came back, and I thought, no, I have to eat it one Im hungry, and two and I dont want to waste it. jaja and so embaressingly I asked, "Hermana, can I wash my chicken because it fell on the floor?" haha. And im glad! It was good chicken :)
This week we had interviews with President and SIster Riggins. It was kind of run for me because it was my first! And I was thinking back to the interviews in Nashville, and mom always said hers was the hardest to pass! ;) THe Riggins are the best. They already have so much love for us as missionaries. Something I learned from Presidente, is that sometimes we have days when we feel like, his words, "a hellish day" or a super bad day. Doesn´t mean that we have sinned or done anything bad, maybe sometimes we have, but not always. Only that we are being invited into Gethesemani, to experience a little what Jesucristo suffered.
We also had our ward conference yesterday (and Bertha, Andrea, and Estefano came to the church!!) They brought in a keyboard for the choir, and asked that I played. SUper fun. Andrea is getting ready to get married to a man  from Texas, and then they will leave to live in Texas. Bertha told us that she knows its all true but doesn´t want to be baptized yet. Not sure what her concern is.. but shes super great. She loves to read in the book of mormon and cracks jokes all the time about the "Lamanitas!"
I think Ive wrote you alot about a menos activo family, (Yazmin y Jimmy).. The first time we passed to visit them, they were playing cards and drinking, with all of their friends and neighbors and wanted nothing with the church. This week Yazmin had her interview, and they all went to the church by themselves this week!! And invited a family with them. THey are the best. Yazmin lives next door to her mom who is a member, but they have a rough relationship because they both get offended really easily. (Just get "O"ver it, right fam?) :)
The mission is the best. I am learning so much about my Savior, and myself. I love my SAvior with all my heart. I know that this is the true church. Our Savior was our only example, and so we know the way. Thank you for all your prayers, emails, letters (and letters you are going to send me) :) I have the best family in the world!! Safe Travels, and happy babies!
Con Amor,
Hermana McKee

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Semana #20: Bienvenida el sol!!

(We can tell she is getting better at Spanish because some of her sentences don't make sense in English!)

¡Hola mi familia maravillosa!
It is a hot, beautiful day here in Ecuador, and I have so much to tell you!!!!
A few things first...
-¡Feliz CumpleaƱos a Brayden y Jaren!!!
- Yesterday I ate a sometime weird, but wasnt too bad! It was baked potatoe, with a fried egg, and peanut butter on top. 
-This week was SO HOT! A part of my glasses broke, (dont worry I can still use them and I have a second pair) but I think it melted! haha. My ears also got super burnt this week!

-This week my companion recieved a blessing of health from PRes. Riggins, and she decided to show her faith and humility by resting for 3 days. Since I am finished with my 12 semanas training, I was able to go on splits with members in the ward. That was the scariest thing of my life!! But it helped me alot. I was without my companion, teaching and finding people with my "other companion" and we found a family! So the blessings are coming!
-Perdon a head of time for the details in this story, but my companion and I decided it was a "must write home" story. haha. So, first of all, (yes dad I have sheets and a blanket) I only use a top sheet at night, because I sleep with a fan, and sometimes have cold. So in the mornings, the top sheet is just against the wall (No mom, I don´t really make my bed, because its just sheets.) Well, Saturday in the night, I sat on my bed to write in my Journal, and moved the sheet closer to the wall, and a MOUSE jumped out, and over my lap like Michael Jordan in slow motion, we made  eye contact and everything!!! And under the bed of my companion! Let it be known, that moms are always right, and we should make our beds.
Bueno, this week we were able to go to the temple with our latests Converts! Xavier, and Freddy! And The aunt of freddy came with us too! The temple is SO PRETTY!! We were able to go in with them and help as they did baptisms. The Brother that was working was from Ohio, and it was really weird to speak english with him! We also met the temple President and his wife, They are from Idaho Falls. It was a really neat experience, and is the vision of our new president. That a week after our investigators get baptized, they can do the work for their families in the temple.
I was remembering a story mom used to tell the missionaries in Nashville, that Hermana Riggins told us. About the place where missionaries werent allowed to teach, but they said, what do we do about the light? I saw that in action more this week, especially as I was with the sisters in the ward on splits, and we were teaching and finding, with my poor spanish. They would listen, and could thanks to the spirit. That my personal obedience to have the spirit affects those I teach. Just like the obedience of Jesus Christ affected so many people. Thats why dads 3 things of advice are... Be obedient, be obedient, be obedient.
I love you all so much! ... Even though I didn´t get pictures of the babies. Or the big kids. haha. Thanks for all your prayers. 
Hermana McKee

Monday, July 7, 2014

Semana #19: Buenas Dias!

Hola mi familia!
It is so fun to read all of your emails and especially I LOVE the photos. Muchas Gracias for them. Caroline is SO cute, and Tanner as well. He is so small!! Desi and Kiara look super old too haha. Thanks for always sending pictures. I love it.
A few funny/random/cool things this week..
-The word "puzzle" (like the thing we do at Christmas) in Spanish is "rompecabezas" Which translates in english to "breaks head" jaja. SO TRUE!
-This week I was showing our family picture to some members, and they all thought Brittany was Latina jaja because shes super tan.
-There are always tennis shoes on the telefone poles, all over!
ROSA was baptized this week!! Oh man, The whole times we have been teaching her, she would always joke with us and say If Xavier (her son, and other convert) doesn´t cut his hair, she wont get baptized. We always just laughed becuase she also said she would be baptized in a bikini.. jaja. Well, the night of her baptism came, she walked in and saw her sons hair, and said No. I wont be baptized this week because he didnt cut his hair, and sat down. She was so mad, just felt disrespected I guess, like she cant ever win with her son. She said, I will get baptized only because I said I would, but I dont want to. So then walked in the Bishop and said! Ok! lets take photos and get started. And Rosa and Xavier were not even talking to eachother. The contention was super thick! The bishop felt that, and took us all in his office, and to be honest, I dont remember what he said, but he fixed it all! haha. Xavier was able to baptize his mom, and the next day he blessed the Sacrament!!!! This family is the best.
This week we also found 2 familys!!! La famila Bravo, y la familia de la BArtida. They are all golden, we are super blessed in this area right now.
This week we also had a meeting with Presidente y Hermana Riggins! They are so great. The minute I met them I could just feel the love they have for us missionaries and the work. THey reminded me of Mom and Dad in Nashville. The fun thing is that they are from IDaho, so we have lots of connections. Did you have anyluck finding out if Elder Boyack is related to an Elder Ward Boyack who served in Ecuador??
Happy Fourth of July! No.. they don´t celebrate that here for all who asked. :) jaja. But I did celebrate by eating some fruit loops and oreos!! and I tried to remember the pledge of alligence, jaja. I guess Ecuador is just taking over my heart! :)) (The double chin is for the rice.)
I am healthy and happy here. Its amazing how many people the Lord truly prepares and puts in our ways. If we just open our mouths and try to do his will and not ours. Im so happy yall are going to be teaching 2 families in our home! And That Michelles friend was baptized. There are so many youth in our ward here who are SO strong and are the only members in their family. The gospel is for the familes. I love sharing our experience in the temple with our inviestgatores. I would love to have that photo of us if you can scan and email it, or mail it, whatever is easiest. That would mean alot!
Happy Birthday to Presidente Watson! :) Yes, Aubrey, I do remember Sister WAtson trying to fit the cake in the cooler with Dad. Thats so funny that was a year ago! The time goes so fast. Dad said he was missing me this week, jaja, because it was quiet over there. Sounds like you all need a fiesta!!! Im very thankful for my family. I do miss you alot, but I am very humbled and thankful to be here in Ecuador. I have had some really funy, and uplifting experiences that are hard to express over email each week, but someday when I return I hope to share them with you.
If there is only one thing I know, it is that Our Savior, JEsus Christ, loves us. His Atonement is the center to everything. This Atonement is the pure love of Christ. It means everything to me, and even more when it means everything to those persons we are teaching. Have a great week! I will attached some photos of my week! Les Amo mucho. I love you all very much!
Hermana McKee