Monday, May 11, 2015

Whitewashing...and last skype...

This week has been, well... not expected. Once again, when I thought that all would stay the same, it all changed. We got whitewashed again (last time was when I left the Prairie stake) and now the Elders who were covering the Spanish Ward in our stake now cover both English and Spanish. Because we are losing so many missionaries there are a lot of areas being combined, mostly English and Spanish areas like what happened with ours. We are having like 15-25 missionaries going home and only about 5 or 6 coming in. We went from 265 missionaries at our peak to just under 200 now. Apparently the goal is to have around 180 per mission or something like that. I don't know, we will see. Most likely our mission will change a little bit come this July. The central mission just north of us (which covers Midvale, Murray, and Taylorsville) will be consolidated into the surrounding missions, and the new Orem mission will be created. Not sure how our mission will be affected, but we will see. So my companion and I are now serving in the West Jordan Welby Stake. I once again only moved across the street.

My companion came from another area in West Jordan. He was in a different zone though so I didn't know him. Neither of us have served here so we are whitewashing as well. He is a brand new zone leader so I get to train him as well. Elder Covington is off to Herriman. Elder Aquino is my companion, guess I should tell his name haha. He grew up in San Diego, but lived in Oklahoma City the past few years. He's been out for about 11 months and he's a few years older than I am. He was originally called Spanish speaking. He came to be my companion so that he can go into our district leaders areas on exchanges and actually know what he's doing. All of our district leaders were assigned to Spanish, so it was kind of hard for Elder Covington and I to train them in their areas when we don't speak Spanish. We only have 8 companionships in the zone now. It used to be 12 when I first got here. Still three districts though. And still 6 MLS couples. Lots of great missionaries. Things are getting a lot better too. We are going to have more baptisms this month and there is a lot more work going on. Even though we are both new in the area, we have found a lot of really good potential and picked up a family of four new investigators last night. They have been taught before but missionaries ended up going home or not coming back for some reason, so I think they will get baptized this time. I think Elder Aquino and I will stay together for at least two transfers. President Chambers has moved me around a lot lately so I kind of hope I stay for awhile. At least in the area. I can see my mission ending in this stake. I only have three transfers left counting this one. It's going to go so fast. Got to skype with most of the family yesterday for Mother's Day, that was fun. I can't believe it's not butter, oh... I mean I can't believe that was my last call home. I'm excited though, this area is going to be on fire. We are going to see a lot happen here the next few transfers. I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! I pray that all goes well for each of you. Have a wonderful week! Love you all!

-Elder McKinney

Some questions we had asked him, and another little note Elder McKinney wrote in mom's letter:

Favorite food, I can't pick, mostly just whatever I'm eating at the time is my favorite.
What makes me laugh, I can't pick out anything specific, sorry.
Favorite Pday activities, any type of sport.
Latest miracle, finding the family of four yesterday.
Testimony has grown a lot, so has my knowledge, though that's still pretty small. I've learned a lot about myself and who I am.

It was fun to see the family. My goodness David and Jacob have grown a lot! I couldn't believe it. I'm starting to fear how different everything is going to be when I get back. Not too worried though. I forgot to tell you that there's a small airport near our area and there's always a bunch of small planes and helicopters that fly around. I'm going to try to get someone who flys one of those Apache helicopters to take me home in one. That would be pretty awesome. Probably won't happen, but I can dream. 

Things are going well, I'm super excited to be in this area. It's got a lot of work!

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