Monday, February 23, 2015

Busy Week!

Well, it has been a great week. It was nice to have a district meeting that I didn't have to plan and conduct. It was really nice. We will have a zone meeting next week that we will have to prepare for though. It will be after our training on the Ipads. We were picking up mail today for the zone at the mission office and we saw all the ipads coming in. They were all in boxes so I guess it could have been something else, but there's not much else it could have been. Our meeting for those is next Tuesday. Looks like we will get them sooner than I was expecting. About the mice, we are working on it. We have some traps already, but they don't come into our living space as much. We mostly hear them in the walls and ceiling. There is one room they have inhabited, so we keep the door shut and never go in. The stake is working on getting an exterminator. Our landlady is also going to be moving eventually so they are also looking for a new place for us to live. Seems like that happens in every area I'm in. She is going to live with her son though, she is a bit wiser in her years. We had stake conference this weekend. It was a great conference! I learned a lot. A lot of it was about councils and presidency meetings. They had people give examples of presidency meetings by going up and just actually having one. They also did that for a family council in the adult session. I can't remember if I told you last week, but we stood in the circle to bless this man's baby. It was a neat experience. This week we got to stand in when someone was ordained to an Elder. It's been awhile since I've done anything but stand in for confirmations so that was cool. Don't get me wrong though, I love confirmations :) Being a zone leader is interesting. I'm going to know a lot more about the mission than I think I ever imagined. I'm also going to see a lot more of President Chambers. On Wednesday this week we have a meeting as a mission leadership council from 9am-4pm with him and all the other zone leaders and sister training leaders. Should be interesting. Ellie K from my last area was baptized this last Saturday. I was able to go back and attend. I would send a picture, but I don't have any way to connect the camera to this computer. Pictures will come next week. Elder Hauata and I feel like we won't be together very long, so we will see what happens this transfer. It's crazy to think that after this I only have four transfers left. Too fast. We got Elder Hauata's bike fixed and we rode our bikes on one of the days. It got colder the next day so we haven't ridden them since. We might though if it stays warmer. It has been really chilly the past couple days. We reached our goal as a zone for the month of February. We had a goal of 14 people to enter into the covenant of baptism and it happened. Our goal for March is to help 18 people to get there as a zone. We had 20 people on date last night so I think we will be able to do it, we just have to really rely on the Lord and work as hard as we can. Thank you for all that you do, I really appreciate it. Hope you have a great week! Love you all!

-Elder McKinney
This photo was sent by a sister who gave them haircuts this morning and then sent the picure to my phone...I only know Elder McKinney and Elder Hauata on the right...signed, Mom - ps here is an interesting tidbit from his letter to me... My companion is 22 years old. He will be going to BYU after the mission. Will probably spend some time in Tahiti before he comes back though. We came into the field together, but since he was four weeks longer in the MTC he will probably go home the transfer before me. Just depends on the circumstances.I saw someone from Kearns when I went out to lunch the other day. It was cool. We had kept in touch and so to see him in person again was nice. He looked a lot different and it took me a second to recognize him haha.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Well.... Transfers were this week. I got transferred. I could kind of feel it coming. When I first got to Herriman I felt like I wasn't going to be there for very long. Elder Stanley is staying in the area and has a new companion. Elder Stanley is now the district leader. I'm proud of him. He'll do great! I'm going to miss him though. I am now in West Jordan as a zone leader. My companion is Elder Hauata. He is from Tahiti. He came into the field with me, but he went into the MTC four weeks before me to learn English. We will go home the same transfer. It's crazy. I am in the West Jordan, Prairie stake. It is a great stake with a ton of potential. We have seven lessons scheduled for tonight if that gives you any idea of what this transfer is going to look like :) There are 12 companionships in our zone and four or five senior couples as well.

Elder Koo is in my zone! So is Elder Walker. I am happy to see them again. Elder Laughlin was in this zone but got transferred as I came in. He is now a district leader in the East side of West Jordan. Our zone covers the West side. One of my other previous companions, Elder Cleveland, goes home this transfer. I can't believe how fast time has gone! Seems like we were just together yesterday. I'm somewhat close to my first area in Kearns. I go shopping in the same place as I used to and see a lot of the same places. It's a weird feeling to see some of these places again. Elder Hauata served in this stake when he first got into the mission, then got transferred out, and then got transferred back in a few months ago. He has served a total of about a year in this stake. Maybe I'll get a chance to go back to my first stake as well. That would be amazing!

Well, being a zone leader is a lot different. A lot more time is spent doing mission business compared to before. Whether that's taking bikes to missionaries or the mission office, or meeting with the district leaders or whatever, we are busy all the time. Our Monday will be mostly taken up with stuff like this so if I ever send a short email, it will probably be because of that. I apologize in advance. Even now I'm already emailing a lot later than normal. That will probably become the norm. We have a lot of investigators we are currently working with. As soon as I know who they all are I will let you know :) We are driving a new 2015 Corolla. It's pretty nice. This transfer is going to fly by! The next transfers are the end of March. We live with a single sister in the stake who is in her later years. The basement is nice and cozy. We share it with some mice unfortunately. Apparently they've killed four or five so far and there seems to be plenty more. We can hear them in the walls near our study area and in the ceiling. Either running or squeaking. We have started to get up at 5am to have more time to prepare and study in the morning. I've loved it so far. Yesterday was the only day that I was exhausted. Today I feel fine again. We cover seven wards by the way. Well, that's about it for a quick update. Hope all is going well for all of you! Love you all! Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Letter from the president...

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS Utah Salt Lake City South Mission 8060 South 615 East Sandy, Utah 84070 February 11, 2015 Dear Parents of Elder McKinney, I am happy to inform you that Elder McKinney has been entrusted with the new assignment of Zone Leader at the West Jordan West Zone of the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission. I am confident that he will use and further develop his leadership abilities. In this calling he will be expected to be an example to other missionaries under his direct supervision. He will guide and motivate the missionaries in his zone and work with the district leaders to help them lead more effectively. He will need your support and encouragement to do his best in this new calling. He is growing in spiritual knowledge and wisdom and you have every right to be proud of him. May the Lord bless you with the satisfaction that can accompany the sacrifice you make to have your son in the mission field. Sincerely, President Chambers Robert E. Chambers Mission President

Monday, February 9, 2015

17 Months...

As I start this email, I'm thinking to myself that I have a lot to write about. As normal though, it will probably end up being really small haha.

Update on investigators:
Travis-still out of town Ellie-Came to church, but still canceled two lessons this week (the mom did) so I don't know what we are going to do there. I've never not met with an investigator for over a month and a half but still have them come to church. Pattons (Talitha, Christian, Christopher)- I don't think Talitha is interested in meeting with us anymore, she has stood us up a couple of times. Christian and Christopher had a lesson with us this last week though. They both seem open, but I know they really like the church they are a part of right now. Christopher came to church, but went to a different stake. Said he liked it though and learned a lot. We are meeting with them this week. Anna and Max N.- We picked them up as investigators this weekend. Their neighbors across the street are members and invited them to have a lunch with us. We shared a message at the end and the parents said they were fine letting their kids choose for themselves. The father grew up a member but hasn't been active since youth. The mother is not a member but is very strong about not becoming one. The kids are interested though and will be at church this next week. They didn't come yesterday because they were at their grandparents house. So that's about it in terms of who we are teaching. It was a slower week in terms of lessons, but our next week is completely booked. The only night we have open is Saturday and we will even be splitting most of the nights to cover all the appointments we have. It will be a good week. It is also transfer week. I don't know what is going to happen. We will be having a meeting on March 3rd to be trained on how to use Ipads, there will most likely be a general authority there-someone from the Seventy. That's about all I can think of right now, I'm sure something will pop in my mind a few minutes after I send this email. Normally does. I hit my 17 month mark this week, if anyone's counting. I know my mom is. Well, things are going well, I'm excited to keep going forward. Have a great week everyone! Love you all! -Elder McKinney

With the Doughers in Herriman

Monday, February 2, 2015

A lot of things...

A lot of things have happened this week. I'll start off with the work. The Friedlines are gone, so we are no longer teaching them. Mike H. was baptized into a Baptist church yesterday and so we won't be meeting with him for awhile. Christian and Talitha, weren't home for our appointment so we still haven't taught them since that first powerful lesson a few weeks ago. We are set up for this Thursday with them though so we hope to make some progress with them. Ellie's lessons have fallen through multiple times and so we haven't met with her now for over a month and a half. We are also scheduled to meet again this week as well though. Travis is doing well. We met with him this week and he said that things are different this time than when he's met with missionaries in the past. We wanted to commit him to do everything (live the word of wisdom, pray, read, come to church etc etc..) for three weeks. It turns out they are going to Disneyland and so they won't be here for two Sundays (starting yesterday). So that was kind of a bummer, but he said he would when they get back. He already does most of it. The only one he doesn't is he doesn't come to church every week. Other than that he basically already lives the life of a member. So that's kind of what has been going on with everyone.

We didn't find anyone new to teach this week, but we have a couple potential lessons this next week so we are excited. In other news, we had our zone conference on Tuesday which was super great! I got to see a lot of missionaries I know and it was fun to talk to them. I got to talk to the Solomons who are serving as the senior couple in the stake in Kearns where I was over a year ago (crazy to say that, it has literally been just a few days over a year since I went from Kearns to Sandy). They are working with a man who I have been worried about a lot the past couple months, so to hear that they are meeting with him brought me a lot of comfort. I also got to see both Elder Laughlin and Elder Koo. Elder Laughlin is a senior companion in West Jordan now. Elder Koo I feel will soon follow. We were also introduced to something at zone conference that I wasn't expecting. When I went with the missionaries to lessons and things in California they had a little box to monitor their driving. I thought all missionaries had them. When I came here and found out our cars didn't have them I was surprised. Well... we now have them. They use gps and all sorts of things like that to make sure we are driving the speed limit and don't do anything stupid or reckless. I think it will be overall beneficial. It's super loud though when it warns you that you are going too fast. It scared us really bad the first time we heard it.

We also found out we will be getting Ipads in March. It's going to be hard to try to transition, especially after having been out over a year and a half at that point, but I guess I'll make it work. It will be nice to finally have the gospel library app and the lds tools. Those alone make it so worth it. I'm not sure what else will happen with Ipads, but we will figure that out as it gets closer. All we know at this point is that we are getting them. This time for real, because I've heard rumors ever since I've been in the mission ha. So that's kind of been the week.

We played basketball last Monday and it was probably some of the best basketball I've ever played. Not only was I playing above my average, but it was just a good all around game. Everyone was playing together, no one was being aggressive, and it was really intense. I've realized recently how much I love basketball. I wish I could play it more. So that's my week for you. I know times get tough, but they will always end.

Two thoughts to close. Both are related. One: Last Christmas during a devotional our mission president shared a story of a woman talking about a verse of scripture that changed her life. That verse was Luke 2:1. The reason it changed her life was because she learned that trials come so that they can pass. They are never here to stay. Two: A woman was bearing her testimony yesterday in one of the Sacrament meetings we were at and she talked about how the Savior had to suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane on Friday but was resurrected on Sunday. She talked about how we all have our "Fridays" but there will always come a "Sunday" we just have to be patient and trust in the Lord. I know that is true. If you are going through a hard time right now, be patient, trust that all will end well as you have faith in Christ. I have seen it in my own life. Thank you for all that you do for me. I love you all! Have a wonderful week! -Elder McKinney

ps We see lots of deer around here. We may or may not have hit one. Just kidding, we didn't. We have come close a few times though.