Monday, January 27, 2014

End of Kearns?

Well, transfers are this week. I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen. Apparently our landlords got a call saying they were only going to house one set of missionaries instead of two now, and another house down the street is going to house sister missionaries. So Elder Cleveland and I are fairly sure we are going to be pinkwashed. No idea what will happen though. We just both kind of feel like we are going to be leaving. Which is a bummer, but if the Lord needs us somewhere else we will go. We have four people on date now. Two are the kids of a family the Solomons were working with, another is a kid of another family the Solomons were working with (I love the Solomons!) and the fourth is Carlos. We took him and his sister to temple square on Saturday. This was my first time going and having a real tour with the sisters that are there. Carlos' sister Carmen only spoke Spanish but luckily one of the sisters taking us on the tour spoke Spanish too. We watched a cool video (in Spanish, so I really couldn't understand it ha) and after the sisters said some stuff we invited Carlos to be baptized. Carmen turned to him and said something in Spanish and then Carlos said he would be baptized. When we were talking with the sisters after the lesson they said that Carmen had said to Carlos "you need to be baptized in this church right now" it was really awesome! The sisters put Carmen on date and we are going to have the Spanish Elders in our area teach her. It was awesome! It was a super spiritual experience. This stake is really starting to catch the vision and the missionary work is taking off! Which is another reason I'll be sad to leave. I have had a great time here though and I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know what is best and where I need to be. I will always follow them. Mission prep was good this week. Elder Langbata taught about inviting others to come unto Christ. I know this gospel brings blessings that we cannot find anywhere else. It is only through Jesus Christ and His Atonement that we can find true and lasting peace and happiness in this life and in the life to come. Through Him we can become more than we are now, and more than we ever thought possible. We have our agency though, and must accept and apply His Atonement and follow Him. It is through our own choices that we receive those blessings. Please, Invite those who have not heard this message to listen to it. Invite them to listen to the missionaries in the area. You can be the way in which Heavenly Father blesses His children. We have to act though, it is up to us. I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week! Know that God loves each and every one of you and wants you to have everything that He has. -Elder McKinney

And a note from his letter to me (Mom) that made my day...We had some cinnamon rolls the other night for dinner. We asked for breakfast since we never have any good breakfasts, just cereal. They were good, but I still like yours the best. Hope you have a great week!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Temple, Baptism and Stuff...

So... last week I forgot to mention that we had our first week of teaching mission prep for the stake. It went really well and about 20 or so people showed up. The two sets of missionaries in the stake are taking turns teaching the class so last week the other Elders taught it and this week we taught it. This week there were over 30 people there which was great! It starts at 7 though which means with four of us in the same house with only one shower we have to get up around 5:30 to get ready. Who said Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest right? Ha anyways it went well and there are a lot of youth there, we hope that they will continue to grow in number as they invite others to come, as that is the whole purpose of the class (for them to become missionaries now). We got to go to the Jordan River Temple last Tuesday. It was really awesome! We got there and the session started and the video starts and all of a sudden we were seeing things we had never seen before! Turns out they made a new video and no one knew about it until we saw it. Apparently that was the first day they showed it in that Temple too. It was really good though and I'm still trying to figure out which one I like better. I think both have certain things I like more than the other, but either way. It was a really great experience and I learned a lot of new things. We also had that baptism on Saturday of the young African girl. Turns out, and make fun of us all you want, but the girl was only 8 years old. Which means she is not under our authority and therefore had to be interviewed by the bishop and didn't count for our numbers. In our defense though we had asked the family how old she was and they told us she was 9, but they are also African and can't speak English except for one or two of them and they can't read. So that was kind of a bummer, but she still got baptized so that's great for her :) A family the Solomons have been working with has three unbaptized kids in it so we went with them to a lesson to get them set up to be baptized. Only two that can be baptized were there and their main issue is just making it to church. Because there are so many kids and the dad uses the car on Sundays for work. Andrew and Cassie are the ones on date now. Andrew for February 8 and Cassie for February 15. Cassie didn't make it to church because she was sick but Andrew did. So it's been a great week, got some new investigators and will get some more this week :) I wish we could go to the temple more cause it is so awesome! Plus I want to see the new video again. Oh well. I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for all your love and support.
-Elder McKinney

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Four months!

I officially hit my four month mark this week. I'm counting up to one year and then counting down to two :) Transfers are in two weeks, that's crazy to think about already. Elder Cleveland and I have been sick on and off still this past week. We are getting over it now though. Georgette should be getting baptized this week. It might be a little bit of a rush to get everything ready, but I think it will happen. We also found a new investigator at church. Three of our investigators have just shown up at church, its awesome!! We are meeting with her tonight after the Temple, but I think she'll get baptized. The Solomons have two families with unbaptized children for us and so we have four baptisms from that if we can find rides for the one family to church. There are like seven children in that house and the dad works on Sunday and takes the car. So it might be a little tricky to find rides for 8 people, but we can do it! So that is 6 baptisms counting Georgette coming up :) I hope I get to stay and see that happen. We will see what this transfer will bring though. The weather has been a lot nicer this week. Its actually been quite warm in the high 30s to low 40s. Its been really nice. There is still tons of ice and stuff everywhere when we walk, but at least we aren't freezing. Sometimes I hate emailing... I can never remember anything that has happened. Like right now for instance. Well... that sucks. Guess this is all you get for now haha. Sorry. Hope y'all have a great week!!
-Elder McKinney

I knew I forgot something in my email to everyone. Mission prep! It was awesome. The other elders taught it this time. They kind of just started out with basic stuff. There were probably about 15-20 kids there which was good. It will be our turn to teach next week but I think it will mostly be Elder Cleveland teaching. He is really excited about it.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I can't believe it is 2014 already! This year will be a great one! I already know it. This week not too much happened. Sickness is widespread this winter time and both Elder Cleveland and I took part in it unfortunately. So for most of this week we have been at home. We would go out when we had lessons and stuff, but for the most part we rested. I can't remember what all I told you last week, but I think I mentioned Georgette. She is on date for January 18th. She is a little African girl, 9 years old, and her family is all active. I don't know why she hasn't been baptized yet, but she will be now :) There is a less active family that the Solomons have been working with that have an unbaptized kid but they didn't want to baptize her until the parents were active again. They are now though and so we are going to meet with them next week and set up a baptism for her! Jessica was confirmed yesterday. I got to do it, it was really cool. Other than that there isn't much to tell since we have been sick. We start teaching a mission prep class next Sunday. That will be really fun! New Years Eve we stayed up and played board games and stuff with our landlords. It was really fun. We almost didn't have P-day today. Last Wednesday our District Leader texted us and told us that we were going to go to the Temple on January 10th, which is this Friday. When we go to the temple that is our P-day as well. So I felt really bad because I had just told everyone that P-day was going to be on Monday and then they wouldn't hear from me until Friday. But things got changed around and now we are going to the temple next Tuesday instead. That made me really happy. I love the temple, but I would prefer to go at the beginning of the week haha. I'm excited to go though! I can't wait! Other than that... we just get to walk around on ice all day trying not to die. It's great! Haha no but I love it here. I have learned so much from being on a mission. I've learned a lot about the Atonement. It's not just there to pay the price, but it's there to help us change, to help us become. As I realized that I was able to apply repentance more in my life. There were times where I would find myself making the same mistakes over and over again and then trying to repent only to fail again. That is what repentance is though, repentance is changing yourself. It is becoming more like the Savior. My testimony of prayer has also increased a lot. Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us. Prayer is the way we align our wills with His. When we do that, and we begin to pattern our own lives after His Son's, He will give us those blessings we ask for. Our Heavenly Father does love us so much! Never give up, just because we hit a few wrong notes on the piano doesn't mean we don't keep practicing. The road might not be easy, but the end is so worth it. I love you all. Have a great week! -Elder McKinney