Monday, August 25, 2014

Semana #26: Woohoo!!!

Hola famila!!! I really feel like I just wrote you, haha. This week went by so fast!! We weren´t in our area alot this week, but when we were... great things happened!!
First of all, I got your package!! Holy Cow!! (¡¡Santa Vaca!!) It was like Christmas morning. haha. Thanks so much, I wasn´t expecting so much!! I think i´m set for the next 12 months :) You all are the best. Mom and DAd thanks, I know that its not easy or cheap to send packages.
Ya, a few fun/funnies/interestings this week:
-Saturday is the party day here. EVERYONE plays music for everyone to hear. Its so hard to sleep Saturday night with all the noise, but when you are a tired missionary... itsnot too bad. haha. 
-This week we went to Guayaquil to go to the temple with the zones here in Quevedo. Thje bus ride is about 3 hours, and in the bus, there is usually a video. Well, una hermana brought the video of the Testaments and asked the driver if we could watch it. There was about 20 missionaries in the bus, and about 10 or 15 others. It was super cool to watch it, and see how many of them were interested! Some great referencias! 
-I play the piano every sunday in church.. People always tell me what a good job i do, I tell them, Thank my mother!! :) 

SO we left our area Wednesday in the afternoon and traveled to Guayquil. When we arrived we ate Pizza Hut because here in Quevedo there is no pizza! haha. So we took advantage of that. I turned around from eating and standing there was the hermana Latorre!! Mi mamita! My trainer!! There were traveling from the temple and so I was able to see her. That night we had planned to stay at the hotel that is at the temple, but we ended up staying at the apartment of the hermanas in the area. There  was 12 of us in a houws with 5 matresses 2 bathrooms, and we had to be ujp at 4.30 in the morning to go to the temple. ha! It reminded me of nashville... good times. Well, the temple was amazing!!! It was so refreshing to go to the temple. and Later we had a conference with PRes. and HErmana Riggins. They are the best!! I learn so much from them, and they always make it fun,  and have so much love. Just like Pres. and Sister McKee :)
Saturday, our investigator Jesus, who has 16 years and comes to church on his own every week wwith white shirt and tie, had his enterview Saturday, in the night, and the Elder came out and said is the font ready? We laughed jokingly saying, oh ya we called the firemen and they are on the way! He said, perfect! We are going to go find some white clothes and a towel for JEsus. We will be back soon! We thought he was kidding, but it was true!! haha. So Hermana Flores and I literally RAN to the firestation and asked them a favor if they could fill the font, and sure enought they came, and we had a baptism!! :)
Alot of our investigators right now are not progressing.. They just dont have desires! Its hard because we cant force and obligate them, only love and serve them. Well, I have been learning that my ALL is more then I think it is. I just have to open my mouth and invite, and fulfill my purpose. One day as we were walking down the street, we decided to open our mouths and we found David. We invited him to a Noche de hogar, and he went! And to church too! He is preparing for the 5 de Sept. Milagros.

Good luck in school this week!!! Love you lots!!
Hermana McKee

Monday, August 18, 2014

Semana #25: ¡Hola!

Hola familia!

I feel like I just wrote you all yesterday, this week went by really fast!  But there were lots of great things that happened!:

-Erik was baptized this week!!! Erik is 19 years old, and really has made a big change in his life. He has such a strong testimony, and his changes are slow, but the changes he makes are permanent. 
-This week I ate crab! Bueno, it wasn´t crab, it had a different name, but I dont remember, and I dont know what it is English, so lets just say I are crab. haha. I´ll attach a pic. It wasn´t too bad, difficult to eat, but was good. 
-Not sure if I already told you, but our days wednesday in the mission are finding days now. We don´t have fixed appointments, only are contacting! It helps my spanish alot :) Sometimes I find its hard to start up a conversation, but once I open my mouth, the Lord fills it. 

I can´t believe you all start school next week. That summer flew by! I can´t believe how fast the time goes. The mission really is the best, it is hard, but its worth it! I learned alot about opposition this week. If the mission wasn´t hard, I wouldnt be able to enjoy the joy and blessings of the mission. If no one ever offended you, you wouldn´t be able to learn forgiveness. Opposition is apart of life! To always be learning. That is something i remember steven wrote or told my at the beginning of my mission, that there are many things I will do wrong, or mess up, or wish I could do over in the mission, but I should only learn and move on. 

So, here in Valencia, we live and work in the city for the most part, but our area is really large, and so it covers lots of farm areas too. We walk everywhere! Luckily here there are more paved roads haha. We take the bus to farther places, or a tricimoto. Mom asked about my shoes.. haha ya its time for some new ones! But no worries, I will buy some here. 

We are teaching a couple named Carlos and Johanna, they are so great. We taught Carlos one night, and left him a chapter to read in the book of mormon, he called us the next day and said his dog ate his homework haha. His dog ate his book of mormon, haha. They are also preparing for baptism. 

Bueno, enjoy your last week of summer yall!! Gracias for all the cute pictures, I can´t believe Elder Horner is married, and that Elder Tondevold and Hermana Dodge came to visit.. They are the best. When do you all head to Nashville? 
Love you lots!!
Hermana McKee 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Semana #24: 6 months!

Buenas Dias familia! It was great to read all you emails. It sounds like you all had a great week, and a full weekend of weddings, family, and other fun stuff. Thanks for all the fun pictures! I will have to get those printed so I can show off my family! :)

A couple fun/interesting/cool things from this week:
-Not sure if I already wrote this, but our area is really big!! We live in the city, but our area covers lots of land, there are lots of farms here. Banana farms mostly, but lots of fruit! We are defintely in a higher altitude because it is alot different here then in Guayaquil. Very cloudy most days, and very fresca (I dont know if there is an english word for that? Maybe cooler?) And in the nights I sleep with my sheet, and sometimes no fan! 

-This week I was told I have a baby face :) haha. It made me think of that song mom has on her piano.. haha. I also got asked how many years I have lived in Ecuador? When I said 5 months, they were surprised because of my Spanish. haha. (I think they were just being nice). I still struggle with the language, but I do pretty good with church vocabulary :)

- Isaias was baptized this week!! But he slept in Sunday morning and so he wasn´t able to be confirmed... but this week he will! Also this week will be baptized Jesus (who has 16 years old) and also Eric (19)! 
-This week Hernan and his wife were married!! His wife is a member, and now Hernana can be baptized too!

Last week our Zone Leaders had a training meeting with Pres. Riggins and so we had a zone meeting to be able to learn what PResident Riggins taught. They started to share a story that Pres. Riggins shared, and all of the sudden I heard "Pocatello, Idaho". Haha. Turns out he shared the story of your friend, Dad, who was in the Hell´s Angels group and ended finding his brother in the mission. I was able to share at the end that he is now sealed in the temple. 

When are you heading to Nashville?? I´m super jealous!!! Tell everyone hi for me. I miss Nashville. Alot! There is an Elder Reyes here in the mission from Madison. HE was in the Spanish branch there, and knows Hermana Gold.. and more. Small World! 

This week I learned alot in my studies about having the courage to talk to everyone. In the mission now, we have every wednesdays only finding days. No planned appointments. Its easy to think that we are working when we track how many hours outside of the house we have, but we always need to be talking with people to find who are the prepared. I know this will help my SPanish too :) I actually really enjoy contacting, especially here in a new area, it helps to become more familiar with the people and the area. 

We found out that next week we get to go to the temple as a zone!! Im super excited for that. Pres. Riggins and his wife are so great, they do so much for us here and are always full of love. 

Thanks for all of your love and letters and pictures! No, I didn´t get any packages. I learned this morning that if you send packages to send them with the green sticker instead of the white sticker? Not sure what that means. Haha. But I guess green is quicker and cheaper. 

Mom and Dad hope you had a great anniversary! Sounds like Tanner had a great blessing too. Miss you all alot, but thanks for always writing and praying for me. Love you lots!
Les amo mucho!
Hermana McKee

Semana #23: ¡Feliz Cumpleaños Kylie!

Feliz Cumpleaños a mi hermana Kylie dawnathon este dia! 21? You are sooooo old. According to her email there is another baby boy coming? Nobody told me.. haha. I assume Scott and Seren? Or Michelle? News travels slower here in Ecuador, haha and its in Spanish. :) Just kidding. Felicidades! I was thinking that a year ago,  I was in Fiji!!! The time really does go super fast. 

Bueno, I am here in Valencia Ecuador!! And our area is SO big!! My new companion is Hermana Flores from Mexico. She goes home in about 4 weeks, so thats weird!
A few funnys/interesantes/ from this week:

-The streets here, most of them, are names by the date they were established. For example, we live on the street 2nd of August. And so the day of the street there is a fiesta! We missed out on the fiesta, because we had appointments, but we heard it! :)
-I am in the same Zone as Hermana Olsen! I was in the CCM with her, her brother is Matt Olsen (Joseph Smith from Nashville). Super fun to see her again. We did a service project this week with our zone. We cleaned up a park here, and this lady came up to us and started shouting how embaressing it is that us "foreigners" have to come and clean up there city haha. 

-My first area was like a little neighborhood that was on the outskirts of the big city of Guayaquil, now I am in a community, like old town pocatello or something like that haha. Except.. Equadorian style. The people here have more money, the houses are bigger, but still there are poor people. Its not a huge town, but our area is big. Sometimes we have to take buses 30, 40 mins just to visit a person. 

This week we had an activity at the church called "Travel to Hawaii" They transformed the church benches in the chapel to look like an airplane, and all of the people traveled to hawaii, when they arrived, they had options to enjoy themselves in different classrooms. Casinos, Disco, Church movies, Missionaries, Fortune tellers, etc. Depening on the things they chose they got a sticker. Then later, they got on the plane, the plane crashes and they die! They then go to the Kingdom (Celestial, Telestial, etc.) depending on their stickers. It was a really fun activity and we got a lot of referencias! 

We have so many investigatores preparing to be baptized, and everyday we are blessed with more and more people. This week preparing is Isiais, y Hernan. Hernan is going to get married in Wedesday to get baptized Saturday! I am missing all of our converts and investigators in my old area, but I know they are in good hands :) 

This morning I learned from my compañera about Testimony. Jose Smith was able to handle all that he went through because he had seen God and Jesus Christ and had a firm testimony in them. We don´t have to see God to carry on in our Faith, but our Testimony will help us in the trials we have in life. Because our testimony is the things that we can´t deny. I can not deny that Jesus Christ is my Savior. THat God is my Heavenly Father. That the Atonement is real. I know the Libro de Mormon is true. I know that families are forever, and that the family is central to everything. I am very thankful for parents that raised me that way they have to have the experience and knowledge. 

Hope you all are enjoying your summer!! How many days till school starts? haha. Thanks for all of your pictures, those babies are super cute!! I Love those pictures. Is there someone that could attach a photo of our family at the temple when were sealed? And maybe one of our family last Augst? Thanks so much for your emails and prayers!! 
Les Amo,
Hermana McKee