Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas, Baptism and New Years!

It has been a great week!! Received many packages and presents from friends and family. Thank you to all who sent something! Christmas was fun. Opened presents and then got to Skype home. Spent the rest of the day visiting members and dropping off goody plates to some families. We spoke in one of our wards on Sunday. Bet you can't guess what we talked about. That's right, we spoke about the Law of Moses!! Haha just kidding, we spoke on missionary work of course. It was cool. That was the second ward we have spoken in. Only one left :) We are also starting a mission prep class (that we are teaching) in January. That should be really cool too! Jessica got baptized on Monday night! She will be confirmed next Sunday. The baptism was really good. We also found a family at church that has a daughter who is turning nine in January and wants to be baptized. So we are going to baptize her on the 18th :) They are an African family. Her name is Georgette. There is also another kid in one of the wards that is getting baptized this Saturday but has turned nine since his interview with the Bishop. So he is now under our Mission Presidents authority and our district leader will have to interview him again. So we have three baptisms projected for January already (counting Jessica's because her confirmation is in January) it's wonderful :) Tonight we are supposed to be home by 8 o'clock because of new years and all the crazy people out there. So we are going to play games with our landlords all night haha. It's going to be fun. We should also be going to the temple sometime this transfer. I can't wait for that! I have wanted to go so bad. I have so many questions that I know I can find answers to there. I hope you all had a great Christmas! and I hope you all have a wonderful New Years day! Make this year a great one :) -Elder McKinney ps next week my p-day will be on Monday again

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Skype...

Our Christmas day Skype session...almost 2 hours...wonderful!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Our P-day was today instead of yesterday. Merry Christmas everyone!! Both Elder Cleveland and I stayed in Kearns East for another transfer. There were only two changes at all in our whole zone actually. It was interesting. President Felts was talking to Elder Cleveland and I the other day and he said that they are trying to keep companions in an area for longer amounts of time to build more trust with members and things like that. So Elder Cleveland and I could be here for awhile longer too. President Felts was here to interview Jessica yesterday but she never showed up, but we talked to her and rescheduled for.. about half an hour from now actually. So I might just let you know how it goes haha :) She is scheduled for the 30th of December for baptism. Elder Cleveland will be baptizing her and I will be confirming her. At least that's the plan for now. We have gotten so many presents from members and leaders in our wards! As well as so many goodies that we can't eat them all. We are going to deliver them to other people who need a visit this holiday. I get to Skype home tomorrow. That'll be interesting. Jessica is still are main investigator right now. Micah is working on getting permission to come to church and might be able to come starting in the new year. So that'll be awesome! He wants to be baptized. He just can't progress right now. I can't think of too much else to tell from this last week. Oh Elder Langbata who lives with us got a new companion. His name is Elder Belliston. So the four of us all live together in a members basement. The only set of four missionaries that live together in the entire mission. Its really fun, but a little bit counterproductive sometimes haha. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!! May you all find peace and happiness in your lives! The Savior has come and has shown us the way, let us seek Him, let us follow Him. Love you all! -Elder McKinney

PS - I guess I forgot to talk about temple square in my email to everyone. We called temple square to set up the lesson for Jessica. Found out that they don't do tours past 5 during Christmas. But they said we could still come and teach her and stuff. So we decided to do that. We went there and they showed up 40 minutes late. We were about to leave when we saw them walk in. We had another lesson that night though so we taught very briefly, went and saw the Christus and then we had to go. They stayed though and looked at other stuff and the lights. I realized how much boots help this week too. I was walking and stepped on what I thought was a thin layer of ice on the ground only to find out it was a thin layer of ice on top of a giant mud puddle and my foot sunk about a foot down before I caught myself and stopped. So my boot was super muddy, I went home washed it off and then left it to dry. I put on my other shoes and was slipping the rest of the night. So that was fun.
This is the tree our ward sent with handwritten ornaments...

The four missionaries' Christmas tree and gifts...looks like they are well looked after!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Three months?

I guess it's been three months now, I don't know. Transfers are this Wednesday, we should get calls tomorrow sometime. I will no longer be a greenie. Not in title at least. This week was good. Went and saw Brother Wimber a few times. We stop by every couple days and visit with him. He doesn't get to talk to many people and it is hard for him to find peace in a home with so many kids and so much contention. He has a lot of health problems too, and I think it was last week actually but we gave him a blessing. Got to see Gracie again after a long time. I've probably only seen her like once since the baptism. She was there when we went by on Saturday. They were having a late birthday party for her. She is the sweetest purest young girl I have ever known. Talk about selfless and kind, she is the epitome of both. So it was nice to see her again. We finally got a hold of Jessica after some troubles with getting in contact with her. We had a lesson with her on Saturday and she said she would be at church, but she never showed up. So we will have to postpone her baptism. There was a man and his daughter at one of the wards though that said they were being taught by the missionaries until they moved and so we got their names and set up an appointment for Saturday. Some good potential there.

I got to go to the mission office on Wednesday for second transfer training. Got to see all the people I came out with. That was fun. Maybe I'll see some after this transfer, I hope so. I think Elder Cleveland will be transferred. I hope I stay. I don't want to leave, not yet. I have more to do here. Wherever the Lord wants me to go though. We went to the choirside last night. It was amazing. They gave us a cd too because we helped hand out programs and stuff. Oh we also have been working with a man named Micah, but he is on parole and stuff and has to fill out paper work to come to church and stuff so he has been working on that. We are taking the bishop with us to the next lesson to finalize some stuff before he can come. He wants to be baptized though. His wife is a member and they have a young baby girl. Looks like things might happen soon :) We are also planning on taking Jessica to Temple Square tomorrow. If it actually happens this will be my first time taking an investigator. I haven't taken anyone my first two transfers. That is really uncommon haha. Either way, I hope it works out. Anyways I hope all is going well for you! Don't forget the real reason for Christmas. Luke 2:14 Have a great week everyone! Love you all.
-Elder McKinney

There are shopping carts all over Kearns...there are 5 in this yard, not sure why!

Big Daddy's Pizza ~ missionaries get half price...(13 dollars) this is HUGE.  The 8 of us finish it off in about 7 minutes!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow! December! Time! What?

Where do I even start? First off, it's almost time for transfers again. I have no idea what happened to the last 5 weeks. It's only going to get faster. I'll be home in no time. Secondly, it snowed. Probably like close to 6 inches here. To be honest I have no idea how to estimate snow in inches. I'm going to go with 6 though, it sounds good enough to me. It makes walking everywhere a delight! Not really. I'm surprised I haven't slipped yet. I wasn't going to get boots at first... now I am. As long as I have my coat and my hat on and stuff its not super cold, but its still not the temperatures I'm used to back home that's for sure. We have shoveled a few driveways and sidewalks for some people. One of the other Elders that we live with that is from Marshal Islands tried to make a snowman, he didn't do to well. This is only his second time seeing snow. The first was last winter while he was a missionary. So we have really only one solid investigator. That is Jessica. She is still planning on being baptized on Christmas. We might change that just because no one else can come. We will see though. Its only a little over 2 weeks until Christmas. What is going on?!?!? We gave a couple blessings this week to a few people who are poor in health. I think they are already doing better. I swear I have so much to say, but then as soon as I sit down to type my email it all goes away. You get the idea though. Two missionaries walking down snow filled roads and trying to find people to teach. Its a jolly good time :) I hope y'all have a great holiday season! Just know that with the meager amounts of money we receive, you probably won't be getting anything for Christmas from me. But that's not what it's about anyways. The First Presidency Devotional last night was great! This really is a time to remember the Savior, and to remember that He is soon coming again. May you all find peace, joy, and love. -Elder McKinney
 Elder McKinney in front of his grandparents' house from 1956!  They were the original owners of this house in Kearns.  They would be so excited to know that Joel is serving in their old stomping grounds!  And I know they would absolutely get a kick out of this picture all these years later!  Their house is not in his "official" area, but the area of the two missionaries who share the basement with him and his companion.  Here is the picture from 1956...His picture made my day! Signed, Mom

Monday, December 2, 2013

December already?

How is it December already??? It just doesn't make sense to me. This week was a lot better. We got stuff done and found a new investigator. Her name is Jessica. We were on our way to buy groceries last Monday when one of the members in one of our wards called us and told us she had someone who wanted to be baptized and was wondering when we could meet with her. We were like "well... we can come tonight. does that work?" She said it did so we went by and met Jessica. She had met with the missionaries before but the missionaries never did anything and they kind of just stopped coming. We found out later that Jessica is on parole so that is probably why they stopped going. We still have a lot to figure out. We have her on date for Christmas (White Christmas! As in white for Baptism) but it is possible it might not happen because of said reasons. Like I said we have a lot to figure out still.

We also have a man named Marvin we have been teaching. He too is on date for Christmas. He's black :) Though our last lesson with him fell through, he didn't make it to church, and we still haven't been able to contact him, so we don't know what is going on. We talked with Seth again... Seth was supposed to be baptized in October, but hasn't been to church in over a month. We talked to him and put him on date for the 21st but once again he didn't come to church! The fellowshipper we have who picks him up for church said that Seth said that someone in his family died. That was also what had happened a couple weeks ago and he was at a funeral so he couldn't come to church. So he fell off date once again.. That kid needs to get baptized. Those are the main people we are working with.

Thanksgiving. Boy I have never been so tired as I was after Thanksgiving. The family who signed up to feed us that day had us over at 1 pm. We ate and played some card games. Later that night had some dinner with our landlords. Then, on Saturday the family who signed up to feed us that night was having their Thanksgiving dinner that night. So yet another Thanksgiving for us. We purposefully tried not to end up eating too much food. There were plenty of companionships that had three to five dinners on the same night. One had like three dinners and then another one with a Samoan family (Who never stop giving you food). So they were plenty filled by the end of the night. The Christmas lights are starting to come up now. It seems so weird. ITS ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!! I can't believe it yet. Actually I can, but it is still crazy! The picture of the Christmas lights and stuff was from like a week before Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are truly blessed with so many things! It's important we remember to be grateful for them. Have a great week! Share the gospel with everyone! -Elder McKinney

Monday, November 25, 2013

Short letter this week...

This week has been... well interesting. No, to be honest it wasn't very good. My companion hasn't been completely obedient and because of that we haven't had the spirit with us and we weren't able to get basically anything done this week. We had about two lessons and that's it... So there's really nothing more to say. We gave talks on Sunday in one of the wards. We spoke about missionary work. It was good. They are having a choirside here in a couple weeks. We went and sat in on one of the rehearsals. It is being directed by Kelly DeHaan. He asked me during the middle to get up and share some experiences about people I've seen change in my mission (the song they were singing was about someone's soul changing) So that was fun. They sound amazing!!!! It was really cool. Makes me wish I could sing. This transfer is flying by! I don't know what is going on anymore haha. It's starting to get colder again. I might need to buy a better coat. It is very likely that I might not make it through winter. The coldest it ever got in Clovis was like mid 30s. On a good day that's the high here... It's going to be a long winter for me ha. I hope you all are having a wonderful time in your own lives! It's great to hear from all of you. Keep up the good work and share the gospel with everyone! It is the "Good News" so don't be selfish with it. -Elder McKinney

"Those faithful Elders who have testified of this work to thousands of people on the continents and islands of the seas will see the fruits of their labors, whether they have said five words or thousands. They may not see these fruits immediately, and perhaps, in many cases, not until the Millennium; but the savor of their testimony will pass down from father to son." - Brigham Young

Monday, November 18, 2013


I'm not sure what is happening to the time. One day we are doing our weekly planning and then it seems like we do it again the next day. I am so lost. I've been out just over two months now. I'm to the point where I can comfortably give a lesson by myself if I needed to. I still can't believe Thanksgiving is next week. Report for the week: Monday P-day as usual. Played some ball, stuff like that. Went to meet with the one guy who President Miller said not to go by for a year, and he wasn't there. So we aren't going back. Not yet at least. Tuesday was awesome. We had zone conference at the mission office and it was super cool! We watched a movie called Butterfly Circus. Wow what an amazing movie! It's only like half an hour long but it was really good! Learned a lot of stuff. Specifically about working with members. Because they basically want us to focus on that and only that for the most part. So that was an awesome conference, got to see my father again (Elder Bennett) that lasted most of the day and then later that night there was a musical fireside at temple square in the assembly hall that we as missionaries could take investigators to if they were on date. So we took Denny and his three little girls. It was an awesome experience! He had to leave half way through because his daughters needed to go to bed, but we were still glad he came. The fireside was put on by the sisters from the temple square mission, they did a really great job. The next few days we didn't get much done. Elder Cleveland got sick and so we stayed home all day for a few days. It gave me a chance to study so I learned a lot. We found a new investigator named Marvin. He was a referral from a recent convert. Marvin met with the missionaries before and was set to be baptized but then had to move and stuff so it never happened. Now we get to baptize him :) We don't have a set date yet but he said he would so it will be in December sometime. That's about the only update on our investigators right now. We really didn't do much since Elder Cleveland was sick. This week should be a lot more productive. We are going to speak in church next Sunday in one of the wards. We'll just be talking about missionary work and stuff. It'll be awesome. I hope you all have a fantastic week! Stay strong and share the gospel with everyone!
-Elder McKinney

Elder McKinney sent a memory card with some pictures...not sure what all of them are, but pretty sure these are some pics of the basement 4 elders are staying in.  I will just put a few pictures here and he may have to explain them later!  I do know the shoe picture is of all the thorns he picks up every day when he's walking!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Transfers! (and pictures!)

Transfers were this Wednesday. Everyone knew Elder Bennett was going to be made district leader. That made me excited because I would get a car and wouldn't have to walk in the snow. Transfer calls came, I was going to stay in the area and Elder Bennett was going to be a district leader in Herriman. So I was super disappointed that I didn't get a car. I was also hoping to spend all of my training with one companion, but oh well. My new companion is Elder Cleveland. He is from Maryland and has been out for just over 7 months. He and Elder Bennett just switched places. So this week has been good. Monday night we had a lesson with Denny and Rheanan. I honestly can't remember what I've told you about Rheanan but we set up to go to temple square with her on Thursday. We can take investigators and have the sisters there give them a tour and then we have a lesson at the end. We never went my whole first transfer so I was excited to finally be able to go. Thursday morning we got a text saying she got called into work and couldn't go -_- totally ruined everything ha. We hadn't made any backup plans for that time either so we had like three hours now with nothing planned. It all went well though. We worked and filled in the time. She said she still wants to go so we will see if we can't find another time to go.

Jake is still out of town working and his wife didn't want us to come by and meet with the rest of the family when he wasn't there so we haven't seen them recently. We put Denny on date for December 7th and he came to church this Sunday! It was super awesome! Stayed for all three hours. The only thing I think we have to worry about is his smoking now. We were tracting in the apartments the other day and we found a woman who had questions so we taught her for a few minutes and set up a return appointment. She has some serious potential so we are excited. We also ran into a man who had met with missionaries before but was on his way to work so we set up an appointment for tonight. We went and looked in the area book at his teaching record and apparently he is suicidal and the old mission president and his doctor said not to go back by for at least a year to kind of let him settle down.... it's only been five months. So we are going to be very careful tonight when we go. We aren't really going to try to teach anything, just assess the situation and stuff. We will try to talk to President Chambers as well to see what we should do. That's really all I have to report on the work here. Oh Seth, we put him back on date for the 23rd of this month but he missed church yet again! So he's off date once more. He was throwing up and stuff. Bummer. But yeah that's basically what's going on right now.

We went to a fireside last night where a man came and spoke who has worked with the building of temples and the conference center. He had some really awesome stories! After what he told us about the conference center, I'm afraid to go sit in there now because of what is over my head. After some of the things he told us, you know that the temple building work is inspired. For instance, for the Washington D.C. temple they had four different firms draw up what it should look like and he had three of the original pictures that looked practically identical. The firms were told not to talk to or correlate with one another. These are inspired buildings no doubt about it. So that was pretty awesome to go to. The weather this week has been really nice actually. Haven't had to use my coat or anything. Haven't had snow for a week either. So things are going well. I'll send a few more emails with pictures. I can only attach one at a time it seems. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

-Elder McKinney

p.s. in this picture it is our district and two zone leaders right before transfers. So the two in the middle in the back are our zone leaders (who are still here) My old companion Elder Bennett is in the back on the far left. The middle in the front is Elder O'Dair our district leader and the Solomons on the right side. The other elders include Elders Curtis, Young, Langbata, Mansfield, and Morenda. Elder Birch and Elder Johnston are our zone leaders.
 I wasn't lying when I said it finally snowed!  Someone even made a snowman...

 New companion Elder Cleveland...saying goodbye to Elder Bennett
 Gracie with Elder Bennett and I...
 Willow with Elder Bennett and I...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Snow! Oh yeah, and a baptism too!

It's been a long week. We've had so many lessons set up each day but as they all got closer they all had to cancel and reschedule. We only had a couple lessons. BUT, we did have a baptism, so all is well! Willow was finally baptized. This week should hopefully be better, no, it will be. We haven't been able to put anyone on date. They are all iffy about it. The only ones who are solid for being baptized is Jake and his daughter, but we have to wait until he is interviewed by someone in the mission presidency before we can put them on date officially. To add to that, Jake got a job finally in North Dakota driving trucks and stuff so he is gone for the next week or so. It's making it a lot harder to get in contact with the rest of his family to try to still teach his daughter while he is gone. We will continue trying though. So to be honest there isn't much to report this week. Just a lot of rescheduled appointments.

It finally snowed though! We woke up on Sunday to snow. We weren't expecting it at all the night before because it didn't feel too bad out. There was a good inch or two on the ground in the morning though. It was so weird walking to church while it was snowing. I've been in the snow before but not really while it was actually snowing. They were huge flakes too. New experiences for a California boy. So yeah that was the coldest its been so far. Needless to say I will be buying some warmer clothes later today haha. We did go to the temple on Thursday for Halloween. The Jordan River temple is pretty awesome! Every time we go to the temple we're always rushed and so I didn't really get any pictures of it :/ just some quick ones of Moroni and stuff. To make things even worse, I just found out that we can't use our cameras on these computers. We are in a library and they don't work. So I can't even send the pictures from the last two baptisms either... Next week I promise!

Transfers are this Wednesday, its most likely that I'll just stay in the same area with my trainer. But who knows, I'll be fine with whatever. Yeah.. to be honest I don't know what else to say now, so I'll just say a few more quick words and say bye. I know without a doubt that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. Everything in the gospel is centered around that. Because of His infinite sacrifice we are able to return to live with out Heavenly Father again some day and we are able to find peace and happiness in this life. It is up to us to accept and utilize the Atonement to its fullest however. We must do our part and accept and follow Christ. One of my favorite hymns is "There is a Green Hill Far Away" one of the lines in there is "He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. I think that kind of has two meanings. 1. That He was the only one who could perform the Atonement and fulfill the Father's plan and 2. That He could only open the doors and it is up to us to make the decision to walk inside. It is not always easy, even Christ Himself asked for help, but we are not alone. Because of the His sufferings for us He knows exactly what we need. He wants to bless us and help us but He is not going to force those blessings upon us. We must go to Him and ask Him. I know that as we do He will listen and will answer us with those things that we need. I have seen that in my own life and I promise the same applies to you. Trust in Him. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! -Elder McKinney

Monday, October 28, 2013

Two Baptisms!

I apologize now because I can't send pictures, my bad. So we baptized Gracie and Neralyz this Saturday!!! We were really glad to get that done. They were both confirmed on Sunday too. Gracie's mother even came down for the baptism, which we were not expecting. So that was a really cool experience. I was able to baptize Neralyz, and Elder Bennett baptized Gracie. So that made the week so much better. I'm short on time so I'm going to summarize a lot.

Jake came to church again for the second time. Wohoo! The FLDS church is the one that practices polygamy and stuff. I forget what all I said last time about it, but Jake's father practiced polygamy and so Jake was baptized FLDS when he turned 8 but they stopped going to church when he was like 9 and at some point his father divorced all the wives except for one. So Jake didn't really practice the religion except for that time as a kid. Nor has he ever had more than one wife. So it shouldn't be a problem getting him baptized. Seth we haven't really been able to teach this week, he's been busy and there was a death in his family so he missed church for the funeral. That means his baptism will have to be pushed back another week :/ We picked up like four new investigators though! We were going to visit a woman who we thought possibly might not be baptized or might have kids that aren't or something but we went and found out they had all been baptized. Bummer, oh well. She lives in the basement of someone else's house so when we came back up there was a man smoking in the garage and we stopped to talk to him and turns out he's been going through hard times and stuff and was interested in what we had to say. His name is Denny and we've taught him a few times now and have tried to commit him to baptism but he wants to have the conviction that it is true before he goes and gets baptized because he's been baptized multiple times before. I have great hope for him though. We also were able to have a lesson with a sister who we had been trying to get in contact ever since I got here. Her name is Sis Schneider. Got to teach her and she seems really receptive, we also invited her to be baptized but she said she wants to know more first. We are going to try to resolve her concerns tonight and see if we cant put her on date. We also finally got a hold of Angelita and her daughter Chelsea who was a referral from the Bishop and we went and talked to them once but weren't able to teach much and we've had trouble getting any appointments with them. They always have to cancel. But they know a lot about the church and seem like there is a good chance there too. Willow is planning on being baptized this Saturday. So yeah it's been awesome. We've got a lot of people to teach and baptize!

The weather has been pretty nice this week but the storms are coming so we've heard. This week is supposed to be really cold. Oh joy. Temple on Thursday though! I am so excited for that! I wish we could go more often. But we've got stuff to do :) Oh yeah me and my comp went to the mission office on Wednesday for training. They do it for first and second transfer missionaries. So that was cool, President Chambers gave us some cool insight on the First Vision. After the training I started feeling sick. Thursday morning I spent mostly resting. I felt horrible. It sucks because all I could do was lie there. If I moved or tried to study or anything it made me feel worse but I couldn't sleep for more than 10 minutes so all I could do was sit there and think. I went out and worked after dinner that day though. I've been sick ever since but it's just the sniffles now. Nothing terrible. So yeah its still been a great week though. I hope you all have wonderful weeks! Don't be afraid to share the gospel :) -Elder McKinney

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dodgeball, Investigators, and the work...

This week started out really slow in terms of the work. We didn't really have any lessons until later in the week. Monday was good, it was our p-day and as a zone we got together and played dodgeball and stuff at the church. I was sore for days! I love being so close to all the other missionaries. I guess I didn't realize how much of a blessing that really was. We do zone workouts in the morning every couple of days. Something that not many missions can accomplish like we can. So last p-day was good but really tiring haha. Tuesday through Thursday basically we just tried to contact people and set up lessons. We did some service a couple times. After Thursday it was kind of a smorgasbord of lessons. Our goal for the week was 8 lessons with a member present and by Thursday we were afraid we weren't even going to come close, but by the end of the week we actually had 7. Along with a couple without members. So it turned out really well. We didn't have dinners planned for this week because of some difficulties so we ate out a lot. The only food place in our boundaries is a KFC/A&W so we had that like three times at least haha. We had one dinner with our zone leaders who were driving by and found out we didn't have dinner. They are in the Spanish assignment in the mission. So when me and my comp went to dinner we had no idea what they were talking about. Still good food though. Then another night we had dinner with the Solomons (the senior missionaries in our area) which was cool. So it wasn't too bad in terms of food.

Investigators. I cannot express in words my love for the Wimber family. They go through a lot, especially Gracie the little girl we are trying to get baptized. I want to do so much for them but as a missionary there is only so much I can do. She is scheduled to be baptized this Saturday but its possible her mother might keep her for the weekend for whatever reason. But our hope is that she is able to come to her dads and get baptized. Side note, Brother Wimber is an amazing painter. I love his paintings. When I get off my mission I am totally coming and offering to buy some of his paintings. Seth was scheduled to be baptized this Saturday as well but was unable to come to church this Sunday so it will have to be pushed back. Willow also had to push her baptism back another week because her mother couldn't get work off. But Gracie and Neralyz are still on for this weekend. Neralyz is solid and has her interview this Tuesday. I'm going to be the one baptizing her so that'll be interesting. I've never baptized anyone before. Sall good though.

So more background on Jake. Jake was raised in the FLDS church. His father practiced polygamy for a time but eventually divorced all of them but one. Jake was baptized when he was eight but stopped going to church when he was like nine or ten. He knows this is the true church and wants to get baptized. Still not sure who will technically have to interview him. Nor do we know how long until he can be baptized. Still some technicalities to work out there. He has a daughter that is of age to be baptized though and so she should be getting baptized too. So I might not see them get baptized but they should be getting baptized sometime in the future. Transfers are coming up in a couple weeks. Kearns is way different than the rest of the mission according to everyone else so I'm interested to see if I get transferred what the rest is like. I don't think I'll be transferred though. We'll see. Sunday was amazing! Six hours of church again. It's really awesome until the last two hours where I'm just physically drained haha. We cover three wards so we try to go to two hours of each while making sure we get to at least sacrament of each. The first two wards we went to this Sunday had their primary programs. Oh it was so amazing! Nothing brings the spirit more than little children singing and speaking about the gospel :) It was powerful. The other wards program is next week. I'm excited to see that one. We were able to get Gracie to church, it was a rough morning for them but we got them there. As said before Seth wasn't able to make it but Jake and his family finally made it! Neralyz was there and Willow went with her father to his ward. So it was a pretty good Sunday. Sad that Seth has to move his baptism back though :( So yeah the work is going good here. We've got a few potential investigators that we are trying to commit to baptism but we've got to start finding more people.

I'm doing well though, learning each day. I didn't have as hard of a time transitioning to being a missionary as others seemed to have. I'm grateful for that. I'm still waiting for the snow to hit here. The tiny bit on the tops of the mountain sits there each day like its mocking me knowing I'm going to die this winter. We get to go to the temple again on Halloween. They don't want us out doing stuff that night so they make us go to the temple instead. I'll gladly go :) I think it will be the Jordan River Temple this time too so I'm excited to see that one. The pictures I've seen are beautiful! I'm super excited to go. Other than that we don't go to the temple all too often. Like once a quarter I think. I think that's basically all there is to report this week. I hope all is going well for you all! Love you!

Monday, October 14, 2013

One Month Mark...and Oquirrh Temple

So this past week has been pretty great. I got to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple for the first time. Our district leader was the one to drive us but we also stopped by Chic-Fil-A for lunch and had to pick up another elder so we ended up being late and missed the session we were supposed to go to at 1. So the five of us did initiatories until the next session started at 2. It was some of the elders first time seeing the new video so it was cool to see what they thought about it. It's a beautiful temple! We were rushed all that day, especially since we were late. We weren't even able to go buy groceries either. So that's why we didn't get too many pictures. It was still awesome though! I learned a lot. We were able to teach Gracie Wimber the first lesson. She's a really smart kid and she understands a lot. I got to teach most of that lesson. Seth, Neralyz, and Willow are all progressing towards their baptism on the 26th. That's four baptisms on the 26th... Not sure how we will work all that out haha.

The other companionship that lives in the basement with us has like 10 or 11 people on date right now. They found a family that accepted. Way awesome! We have tried to meet with this one man named Jake. He always had to reschedule when we went to visit him but we finally got to teach him this last Saturday. He was actually baptized FLDS so one of the members of the Seventy has to interview him if he wants to get baptized, which he said he did. We didn't have too long to talk to him last time so hopefully in the next few days we get the chance to learn more about his situation. But hey, I might get to meet one of the Seventy :) haha. The days all seem to run together and I can't ever remember what happens on what days. For all I know I could be telling you stuff that happened two weeks ago. Oh yeah so Friday was the 1 month mark for me! Counting the MTC. Only 23 left! It's almost over!

The weather hasn't been too bad. There are some cold days but nothing I can't handle yet. I know it's coming though. I don't think I am going to survive. We had to walk all day in the rain the other day. It wasn't too bad because it wasn't raining hard, but it's annoying carrying an umbrella. Me and my comp went on an exchange with our district leader on Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. So I was with Elder O'Dair in his area and his comp was with mine in our area. It was pretty cool. All we did really was tract and talk to people on the street. One person we came up to was drunk or on really bad drugs or something. He came and gave us both hugs. Then he wanted to bow to us and then grabbed our feet and kissed them... it was an interesting experience to say the least. I had no idea what to do haha. Kearns is kind of like the Ghetto in our mission. Everyone wants to be in this area because its produces the most. We also don't have any sisters in our district which is interesting. We do have a senior couple though. They are awesome! One of the nights we didn't have dinner (which is unusual) we went to a KFC (like the only food place in our area) and someone bought our dinner for us. Other areas apparently that happens all the time, especially in the richer areas. I didn't expect it to happen here in Kearns. But it did.

So yeah, I learn and grow each day. If I could say anything to anyone who isn't on a mission, I would say you're still a missionary! We need you more than ever! This last General Conference proved that. It is everyone's duty to preach the gospel. Don't let anyone slip by without knowing about it! I wish so much that I had done a better job of that before my mission. I only hope that I will do a better job from now on out. I will certainly try my best. The people are out there, we just have to open our mouths. Anyways I love you all! Hope you have a wonderful week!
Love Elder McKinney

The Draper Temple...

Mom: I don't know where the last picture in this group hangs...in the mission home?  In their basement apartment?  I don't know for sure, but it is a favorite picture of mine...great pics from their day at the Draper temple!

MTC life in pictures part two...

These MTC pictures end with their trip on the Frontrunner and ending at the mission home...