Monday, May 26, 2014

One Year Older...

So, as for the gazillion investigators that we were going to find this week... we didn't find any. That is not to say that good things didn't happen though. Our numbers this week were the worst I've had so far on my mission, but I don't care. I mean I do, but the numbers don't show everything. They don't show the members that we influence or the excitement that we help build in people to do missionary work or anything like that. We hope that though we may not have had any lessons that the work that we did was able to prepare us for a better week this week. Beaver is getting married this weekend and with work and everything we won't be able to meet with him until after his wedding. Cyndy we haven't been able to meet with still because she was still recovering and then went out of town to visit family. Then the investigator that we were supposed to pick up this week ended up being sick and unable to meet with us. We will be meeting with him next Sunday. We found a few more less actives to start working with though and so we hope to also find more investigators through working with them. One of the people that we helped reactivate was remarried and will eventually go through the temple and so I hope to be able to go to that when it happens. It won't be for awhile, but he's already promised to keep in touch so that will be good. Eating with the Samoans hasn't been too bad so far. They've just dropped the food off to us every time. I think only like one or two has been a true Samoan meal too, some of it was fast food. So we eat what we want and then give all the leftovers to other people who could use it. It's been nice. Good food too. So that's been cool. My birthday was this last Saturday. It was just a normal day for me. Went out and worked. It was raining. Transfers are coming up on June 4th. No idea what is going to happen. I can't believe this transfer is almost over. So things are going well. They are only going to go up from here :) Love you all! Have a great week! -Elder McKinney
We sent him his favorite Costco muffins and some candles, told him to put 19 in and take a picture!  So glad he obliged!  It's really not a giant muffin, he is just standing down from the heat!  ha ha

Monday, May 19, 2014

Shortest email ever written...

Well, the work was really slow this week. We only taught one lesson. Things are about to get a lot better though :) I can just feel it! We are redoubling our efforts and are going to find a gazillion new investigators this week! I know what you're thinking... a gazillion is a little low... I know, but it's a good goal for us :) So that'll happen and then we will be teaching all day every day. We are still studying about the Atonement. I love the guides that we got. About half of the days we study talks given by Apostles and Prophets and the other half we study their words in the Scriptures. I love it! They are all so amazing and have such great insight! Sometimes I hate writing emails on P-days... I can never remember what happened! So... this might possibly be the shortest email I've written yet haha. Oh yeah we moved last Monday. We had our zone leaders living in our stake last transfer. They covered the YSA stake and covered basically all of Sandy. The man they live with is single and this last transfer the YSA assignment was changed to Sisters and so they couldn't live with him. I don't know where they live now. But anyways the people we lived with only signed a one year contract and it was coming close to being up, but the man we live with now signed for two years and had more time left. So we moved in with him and now no one lives with the people we lived with before. Hopefully that all makes sense.. knowing me none of it does. In any case, he has a lot of health issues so its better for us to live there for his sake too. It is a really nice place though so I like it. I like having a door to the bathroom instead of just a curtain. I hope all of you have a great week! Its great to hear from you! Love you all!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Facetime!

We enjoyed our Mother's day skype with Elder McKinney from our Super 8 hotel! On his 8th month mark! It was different skyping from there!  Only cut out once!  But we still had sound...then the picture came back!  We talked for an hour and 45 minutes!  For a man of few words, it was pretty amazing!  He also demonstrated his Rubiks Cube he IS learning something on his mission!  ha ha.  We loved talking with him and his Monday letter is posted below.

I got to facetime home yesterday for Mothers Day!! Well.. if you can call it home. My family decided to take a trip to Disneyland without me. So they talked to me from a hotel. It was really wonderful though, despite their going without me ha. I couldn't tell you what we talked about, but it was fun :) I can't believe it's basically been five months since the last time I saw them!! It'll be a longer stretch this time with seven months until Christmas, but I think I can handle it. Not too much happened this week. It was a slower week. Beaver has a job now and so we haven't been able to meet with him as much, but they finally got their marriage license worked out and it will be here by the end of the month. So he will be baptized in June. Cyndy is our other investigator and we are only able to meet with her once a week and she is now having jaw surgery so we won't be able to meet with her for awhile again. We have some other potential investigators so we should be picking them up this week. That will be nice because we need to be teaching more. Wow this seems really short.... but I guess that's what happens when you're just trying to find people to teach all week. I'm not discouraged though, I know they are out there and I know we will find them. This week will be a lot better :) We get our study books today about the Atonement so I will let you know how that goes! Have a great week everyone! Love you all! Late Happy Mothers Day to all the women!!! -Elder McKinney

Monday, May 5, 2014

Zone Conference, Zone Training and a baptism!

It was a great week!! We had our zone conference on Wednesday this week and it was really awesome! I have so many notes that I took. More than ever before. I used like three pages. We are going to start focusing on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Even in the past few days I have learned more about the Atonement than I ever have before. We are going to get some kind of study book next week that will be a 31-day study guide all about the Atonement. I am super excited. This is something I have been wanting to study for awhile now but haven't really delved in yet. I've already picked up some of the talks I've printed and started studying those. Then on Saturday we had a zone training meeting in the morning where our Zone Leaders led a discussion on the Atonement and I learned even more. It got pretty deep... but then again the Atonement is probably the deepest subject there is. So this is a really exciting time for me. I can't wait to learn more and more each day. Then right after the meeting we had Samantha's baptism. It took a lot of work to get Samantha to this day.

When we first started teaching her she wanted to be baptized when she was 18, then we were able to get it down to when she was 10, and then finally we were able to help her accept the date of May 3rd. When the interview came around we knew she knew everything so we weren't too worried, but as soon as we walked in the door with the other missionaries she ran and hid in her room. Her mother as well as Elder Knowlton and myself tried to help her to come out but she was not going to come out at all. We tried everything we could and I just kept a prayer in my heart that she would be comforted and not afraid to talk to the other missionaries. Finally after 15 minutes or so we got her to come out, but it still took another 15-20 minutes for her to be comfortable when the rest of us left the room. She passed the interview and all was well. Then we had the baptism. She passed the interview and so we thought the worst part was over. Her great grandfather was the one to baptize her and after Elder Knowlton and I gave talks she went through the door but wouldn't get into the water. She didn't want anyone to watch and once again we had a dilemma. We tried for a few minutes to try and solve things, but we ended up having to close the curtain and the witnesses (which were Elder Knowlton and myself) had to stand on each side of the font. We don't even know why she acted that way, it was mostly family there. She did it though and so it all worked out. The next part now was the confirmation in Sacrament meeting. After the past two experiences, we started to worry a little bit. We ended up fasting that everything would go smoothly the next day and when the bishop announced it was time for that we both looked over at her and my heart dropped a bit because she had the face like she wasn't going to go up there, but her great grandfather stood up and grabbed her hand and walked up there with her, she was kind of hesitant but she went up and sat down. We faced the chair away from all of the people so she wouldn't have to see all of them. She was confirmed and so now it is all good! It was an interesting experience but the important thing is that she went through with it and now has the Holy Ghost as her companion :) It has been great to work with her and we have seen the change in her life. After lessons a lot of times she would squirt us with a water gun and so last night we decided to get her back, we borrowed some super soakers from a family and got her to come out by our car and then we pulled them out on her. It was really funny. She enjoyed it. She was completely soaked.

Beaver still has to get married. They are working on getting the license. Until they get married we can't do much. It took me until I got on my mission, but I finally made the connection between Helaman 5:12 and 1Nephi 11:36.I just want you all to know that the Atonement is real. We can find such great peace and happiness as we apply it in our lives! Christ suffered for you. He can help you more than anyone else ever can. We must always remember to turn to Him, not only in the hard times, but in the good ones as well. I know the Atonement can impact our lives in huge ways! It allows us to be forgiven of our sins, it allows us to find relief from pains and sorrows, and it helps us to become more than we ever thought possible. I encourage all of you to study the Atonement as much as possible, for there is no greater subject to become acquainted with than the Atonement. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!