Monday, March 30, 2015


Hey! So this week has been crazy to say the least. Remember how I said that I thought things would stay the same? Well I was completely wrong. It has been a great week though. Elder Hauata and I were both transferred. Our area was whitewashed meaning two new Elders came in. Elder Hauata is now serving in the Draper Young Single Adult stake. It's his first time being out of West Jordan his whole mission, and he came out with me! He is still a zone leader. I didn't get transferred as far. Actually, I stayed as close as possible and went to the stake across the street from where I was before. I am now in the West Jordan Cobble Creek stake. I am now the senior zone leader and my new companion Elder Covington is a new zone leader. He has been in the area for two transfers, now to be three, and was a district leader until now. I am training him as a new zone leader, which is crazy because I've only been one for a transfer myself. There are also two new district leaders in our zone who have never been district leaders before so we have to train them as well. There are two other companionships who are whitewashing in the zone. The Prairie stake where I was before isn't even in our zone anymore.

I felt a little overwhelmed on Wednesday when transfers came because I was now responsible for leading the zone and making sure everything happened that needed to. Then I got a little sick on Thursday, it wasn't too bad though. Just kind of a sore throat. But Friday got a lot better and we taught a lot of lessons and found a couple new investigators. Saturday was just as good. We taught more lessons and picked up even more new investigators. There's one woman who I think is probably the closest to baptism. She's a little bit older and has a lot of health problems. She's living with her daughter and her daughter has a couple young kids. None of them are baptized. The older woman, named Velanie stopped the Elders a few weeks ago from the second story apartment balcony and told them she wanted to meet with them. We finally met with her the other day and she said she would get baptized. She's the only investigator that I'm really familiar with. There's a lot of good potential here though. It's funny, well maybe not really funny, but cool.

A few weeks ago I came to this stake on exchanges. The whole time I was here I kept telling the Elder I was on an exchange with that his area felt really good. So when I got the news that this is where I was being transferred to I knew why I felt that way ha. We are going to see a lot of success here in this area. I'm excited. I'm not sure how long I'll be here for, but I look forward to the next six weeks. I'm finally working with an MLS couple again! It's been so long! It's been over 9 months I think since I've had a senior couple in my stake. It's nice :) there's also a set of Spanish Elders in our stake. One is actually our district leader. A lot of Spanish areas are being combined with English areas so I'm glad ours hasn't yet. Things are going well. Elder Covington has been out for about 14 months. We cover six wards. We have the white 2015 Corolla still which I'm happy about. There's a new video out, you should all watch it!
I'm excited for general conference this weekend! I'll most likely go to a session, but I'm not sure which one yet. We shall see. Come with questions, there will be answers. Thank you for all that you do! Love you all! Have a great week :)
-Elder McKinney

Monday, March 23, 2015

Transfer week...

Transfers are soon here. It's going to be crazy I'm sure. I don't know what will happen for our companionship. Guess I'll let you know next week :) I'll probably stay though. That much I can give you. This week I can't remember all that happened so I don't know what all to write you. I'll just write kind of my testimony and feelings then. I've learned a lot recently about aligning my will with Heavenly Fathers will. All acts of disobedience are because of wanting to do my own thing rather than follow Him. Sometimes out of laziness, sometimes out of anger, sometimes out of ignorance we make mistakes. We must strive to learn for ourselves however what God's will is. When we then figure that out, we must courageously follow it. It won't always be easy, in fact it might often be very hard. That is the process though by which we are sanctified and become like our Heavenly Father. I am far from perfect. I often want my own things instead of what God wants. I am trying to do things that are right though, even if I don't want to. Christ had to when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. Shouldn't I be required to offer some sacrifice of myself if I want to become like Him? It won't be easy. I have to let go of Pride however and submit myself to His will. I know we all face challenges. I know we all experience doubt or questions or concerns. We must willingly follow His will for us however. By so doing we not only allow the blessings of our Heavenly Father to reach us, but we allow them to change us. We are not only forgiven of our sins, but are sanctified to where we have no more desire to do evil. We are not only healed, but have strength to do more than we could before. There are many blessings that come from aligning our wills to His. It may not be easy, but we are not alone. The blessings of sacrifice will bring eternal consequences that will never be regretted. I may not be perfect, but I am trying. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all! -Elder McKinney

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I am still alive...

I apologize for forgetting to tell you that we were going to the temple today. Hence the preparation day on Tuesday instead of Monday. I'm glad that we get to go. It's been over six months since we've been! I think that might be how it is from now on, but I'll get to go at the end of my mission either way. iPads are still crazy. It's actually pretty tough to try to adjust our teaching to use them. It's a completely new concept and I wish I had more than six months to master it. They are really nice to have though. They help in a lot of ways. Sometime in the future we will use an app that will allow us to have our area book and planner on here in digital form instead of having huge paper binders. That will be so nice! I'm excited for that. We went on two exchanges this week. One of them I stayed in the area, the other I went to their area and worked with one of them. It was really fun and I learned a lot. We have a lot of things that we have to deal with as a zone leader, it's a little more than I was expecting. It takes up a lot of time and there are days that we don't work our own area until the evening. It's all pretty crazy and I'm still trying to get the hang of it. When I got into the area we were teaching a woman who lived out of the mission. She wanted to get baptized and has been coming to our stake, so we transitioned her to the missionaries where she lives ( in Murray) and actually got permission from our mission president to leave our mission to have a transition lesson in Murray. We also got to go to her baptism this last Saturday in Murray and it was really weird to be out of the mission but it was a great baptism and I'm glad she made that choice. We had a really cool miracles this last week. Elder Hauata and I have tried to be specific in our prayers and so we prayed that we would receive a phone call with someone to be baptized. Last Wednesday we got a phone call from one of our bishops early in the morning saying he wanted to meet with us that day. He was just put in as the bishop about a week early and a woman scheduled to meet with him. She told him that she wanted to join the church. So, he talked about meeting with us and now we have a lesson set up with them fortomorrow night:) she also has a son who is old enough to be baptized. The power of specific prayers are real. Transfers are in a week. Crazy stuff. I think I'll probably stay here. We both think that Elder Hauata will be transferred though. We will see. No one knows for certain. This transfer has gone by quicker than any other so far. I feel like it's only been a week or two. I'm excited to see what happens though. I feel like there will be a lot of changes in the mission. Things are going well, I'm happy. Thank you for all that you do. Hope you have a great week! Love you all! -Elder McKinney P.s. I'm still trying to figure out how to email on the iPad. So I might send a few more emails with pictures and stuff if I can figure it out.

Monday, March 9, 2015


iPads.... It's been a crazy week! We had our meeting on Tuesday with Elder Schwitzer of the seventy. It was really good. We didn't learn any of the technical stuff, but they really focused on the vision of how to use technology to further the work of salvation. It was 4 hours and really good. We then had our zone training meeting on Thursday for 3 1/2 hours. It was my first long meeting to conduct as a zone leader. It wasn't too bad. My back was killing me after standing for so long though. We got the iPads that day and handed them out. We didn't set them upuntil Friday morning though. Friday was fun. The iPads needed to be set up and needed wifi to do it. We were told to go to our zone building district by district to set them up. The zone building is a chapel. Each district had an hour and a half to get it all configured. Elder Hauata and I went first before anyone to set ours up so that we could help others when they came. So we went and were there untilhelping missionaries set up their iPads. It was a long day. There were only a few problems that came up, eventually we got the, all figured out. We now have access to lds tools, gospel library, and lds pamphlets. The lds pamphlets are awesome! They are like the pamphlets we have now but with a few better pictures and they are interactive. The iPads we have are the iPad mini 2. All missionaries will be able to keep the iPads at the end of the mission. Except.... Those missionaries who are going home on or before theSeptember 9th transfer. So basically I am just using a loaner from the mission. Also international missionaries will use a loaner. So now we are trying to adjust to using this technology in our work. It's a lot different for sure. We are taking it one step at a time. There are three phases to introduce them. The first is just using things like gospel library etc. Next we will get an app that will allow us to have our area books and planners in digital form. The third phase is using social media. So things like Facebook and Skype. We will see if that happens before I leave. Only 6 months. It's scary. There's a lot of small things I'm excited for as well, there's a lot though and it's hard to explain. I just wish I would have had more time to adjust. I can't believe transfers are basically two weeks away! It has flown by this time. Maybe it seems shorter since last transfer was 8 weeks. I'm not sure. Either way. It's right around the corner. Elder Koo's companion was sick on Saturday and so was mine so they both stayed home together and Elder Koo and I got to work together in both areas. It was amazing. It was so fun to be with him again. It felt like I never left. I really enjoyed it. He's grown a lot. He's going to be a senior companion for sure next transfer. It's really weird. I have an iPad right now. Well, that's about it for the week. By the way, I will be able to see emails throughout the week now, I just won't be able to respond until Monday. Well, I hope all is well. Have a great week! Love you all! -Elder McKinney

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ipads this week!

Time only goes faster and faster. This week we taught a lot of lessons. I can't even keep track of all our investigators anymore. We have over 15. No one is really solid for baptism right now, but there are about seven or eight that can be baptized in March. We went on exchanges with one of our district leaders this week. Elder Hauata went with him into his area and his companion came with me into ours. It was really good. The Elder I was with is in his second transfer and is a really great missionary. We taught a few lessons and had some good studies together. On Saturday we had two young men come with us from the Draper area to work with us for a few hours. Their whole stake young men got to work with the leadership in the mission and it was really cool. We got a free lunch, also nice. We are getting Ipads this week. Crazy, can't believe it. We have our meeting to be trained on it tomorrow morning. Then we will get them it looks like on Thursday and then get them all configured and set up the following couple days. Still doesn't seem real. No idea how it's all going to work. Might be emailing on an ipad next week though. I'm exhausted mentally, hence why this email will probably be so short. We had someone come and lay some poison for the mice. It's supposed to dehydrate them so they will leave and try to find a water source. We will see how well it works. None of the traps have caught anything yet. I can't believe that this transfer is already half over. This is the fastest transfer yet. We are going to have a lot of meetings this week. Things are going well. I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

-Elder McKinney

p.s. the picture is someone who we thought looks a lot like me :)  Then transfer day (not the best light) and Ellie's baptism.