Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just for fun...

Just for fun, the editor wants to put this picture on Elder McKinney's blog!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Last Transfer week...

It is here. I never thought it would come. My last transfer. Transfers are this Wednesday and we will find out on Tuesday what is going to happen. I feel it's unlikely for Elder Aquino and I to stay together, but I've obviously been wrong before ha.

Not too much to report on this week. Things are similar, but we were able to teach a few more less active members. President Chambers came with us to work Thursday evening with his wife. He sent us a text that morning asking if they could come, and asked us to have appointments. I felt kind of lame because we didn't have any set up and even though we tried we couldn't get any set up before he came. It was a good night though and we found one teaching opportunity. Wow, this is a lot shorter than I thought it would be. We've been able to speak in at least one Ward the past few weeks, so that's been nice. Other than that I can't think of too much else to say. I hope you all have a fabulous week! I'm sure I'll have more to say next week.

Oh yes, I forgot. We went up to Alta last week. It's a ski resort. It has a lot of cool hikes and stuff for the summer. This is a lake we hiked to.

Oh yes, now I'm remembering things. We also went out with the man from the mtc. He's one of the people who trains the teachers there. He also gets to work with missionaries on occasion. He just came with us for the day, he would testify in lessons and things like that, but didn't tell us what to do or anything. He's an elders quorum president down in Orem. He also hired a missionary from our mission to be a teacher at the mtc. He used to be one of the assistants to the president. He went home a few months ago.

This next picture is from my last zone conference. All the missionaries who won't have another zone conference give their "departing testimony" so this is one of our district leaders Elder Tamacas and myself. We came out together and we were just waiting our turn to bear our testimonies. Okay, I think I'm finished now. Have a great week!

-Elder McKinney

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Mountains...

This week was great! Last week after I emailed we went to the temple, had a wonderful experience there. We went to the Jordan River temple. Then after that we went up into the mountain. We had heard you could go up and see into the mine. We decided to try. Here's what we found :)

It was a really neat trip. We could see everything from north of downtown salt lake to most of Utah Valley and Utah Lake. We could also see Tooele on the way up.So it was a great preparation day! Then during the week we went on exchanges with one of our district leaders. His companion came with me into our area. Lacie is finally on date for August 1st to be baptized. We talked to her parents and they agreed on a date with us. Things are going well there. Then we also taught two new investigators. They have been taught before in the past but their dad hasn't given them permission to be baptized. Their names are Lily and Daisie. We only meet with them about once every two weeks.

Things are going well in the zone though. We are passing the goals that we have set recently so I am glad that things are going up. Other than that we are working to find more people to teach and baptize. We spoke in a Ward yesterday. We got to meet an area seventy that lives in that Ward. His name is Elder Allen. He is also the managing director of something for missionary work. His wife said he's the highest civilian in the missionary work field. So that was cool. The first mission president of the Salt Lake City mission lives in our area as well. It was cool to meet him, he's really funny. We haven't had the chance to talk to him too much though. He was the first stay at home mission president ever to be called.

No more zone conferences for me unfortunately. We have them about once every three months. It was cool though, in my first zone conference we watched a 20 minute movie thing called the butterfly circus and related it to missionary work. We watched it in my last zone conference as well and related it to the parable of the talents. It was cool to start and end with something like that for a zone conference.

Things are going well, I'm glad to be serving a mission. It's helped and taught me a lot. Have a great week! Thank you for everything! Love you all!

-Elder McKinney

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Temple Week...

I guess first off I'll describe why I am emailing today instead of yesterday. Our preparation day was changed. We found out that we would be attending the temple next week as a zone. Two different sessions for the two districts. We also found out that Elder Aquino and I were selected to have someone from the MTC come work with us for a day. They want to come see if missionary work is the same or if they need to adjust some of the things they teach at the mtc basically. The day we were assigned however was the same day as our temple trip. So in order to accommodate, Elder Aquino and I will be going to the temple today with another zone and our preparation day next week will be on Monday still. That way we can work with the mtc person on Tuesday. That probably doesn't make any sense, but that's why I'm emailing today.

It was a slow week last week, but I feel it was a necessary one. We decided to transition most of our investigators to the wards. Meaning we won't be working with them as often. This means less teaching right now, but more time to find others to teach. Many of our investigators weren't willing to progress and keep commitments. As a consequence we only taught two lessons, and none of them were to non members. However, we set up with many of our Ward mission leaders and our bishops to go out and make visits with them. We feel this will bring many miracles because we will be working together instead of apart.

This week should pick up a lot because of that. We had our zone conference this week with President Chambers and a few other zones. It was great! It was also my last one before I depart. Our stake president was able to attend as well which was neat. He is a great man and does a lot to move the work forward and bring all unto Christ. We also went on an exchange with the assistants to the president on Friday and Saturday. I went with Elder Flack to sandy(their area) and Elder Wise came with Elder Aquino here. It was neat and we saw a lot of miracles.

Other than that, I'm down to about 8 weeks left. Not that anyone is counting. It doesn't feel like it though, which is nice. I feel like I'm going to be here forever and even my last few days I'll probably still be working as if I was staying for another year. It appears that I'll be speaking in my home Ward (in American Fork) on September 20th, so if anyone would like to be there for that feel free. I'll probably send another email closer to then with more details. Have a great week everyone!

-Elder McKinney

Monday, July 6, 2015

July Already?

This week was unique. We together as a zone last Monday and played some simple games together. Then when we went out to work that night we saw a man who we had talked to on the street about a week before. He had said he would come to church, but never showed up. So we stopped the car and talked to him again. His phone had been shut off so he never got the address and time for church that we sent him. His wife was there this time so he introduced us. We set up a lesson for the next day and went on our way.

Tuesday we had district meeting. When we got there we saw our mission presidents car. Not a huge surprise, we knew he likes to go to as many as he can. President Chambers and his wife only stayed for about half an hour before they had to go pick up a missionary who was arriving at the airport. After district meeting we met with the man and his wife that we had talked to the day before. We found out they were living in downtown salt lake with a member. We had a nice lesson and talked about transitioning to the missionaries over there. Wednesday we had our mission leadership council meeting with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders. Since the split there aren't too many. It was a small meeting. We talked about a new yearly goal for baptisms. Our goal previous to the mission changes was 1150. We talked about it and the new goal(counting ones that have already happened) is 475. It's crazy but the areas we lost also had over fifty percent of the baptisms. I don't think any of us realized it was that big. It was only about 30% of the mission. So we are excited now to move onward and upward.

We are officially the smallest mission in the world now. Only temple square could technically be counted smaller. Our zone is the smallest zone in our mission so we could say we are the smallest zone in the world too haha. As a zone we cover four stakes and two Spanish assignments. We lost one companionship in the split last Monday. Only six companionships counting Elder Aquino and I. It's really strange, but fun at the same time.

Then on Thursday Elder Aquino went to get his driving permit. We went to draper in the morning and he took the test and passed. After that we took our car into the shop to get a new battery. Both of those took most of the morning hours. Thursday went on like normal and we tried to find people to teach.

Friday we did five interviews for people who were baptized on Saturday. It was kind of hectic, but we got it all done. I even interviewed a Spanish speaking man. He spoke English and tried to give me as much as he could in English, but I had to have another Elder there to translate. It was interesting. All five got baptized on the Fourth of July.

Saturday was neat, we were able to return to the Welby stake to see Nathan baptized. It was a wonderful baptism and great to see him finally make that commitment. We didn't do anything too special for the fourth. Tried to find people we could teach. It was a somewhat unproductive day though. Not too many people answered the door. Saw some fireworks at night though so that was neat. Sunday was different. Our mission president called us on Saturday night and asked if him and his wife could shadow us at church. I had heard of him going out and working with sets of missionaries, but I had never heard of him shadowing missionaries at church. We of course said yes and he came with us to one of our wards. I'm still not sure the purpose and what he got out of it, but he came with us for a full block and then left. He made comments if he was asked, but other than that him and his wife were just there. Went to the classes with us and everything. So three days this week we saw him. We aren't teaching as much as we'd like. Ashton came to church, but his mom did not give him permission to be baptized. Lacie came to church as well, but we are having trouble getting her parents to communicate about a day for her to be baptized. So we are trying to find more people. We know they are out there, we just have to find them. So that's about my week. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Happy late Fourth of July! God bless America! Love you all!

-Elder McKinney

Our new mission boundaries. The west and east missions are above us, the Orem mission below us. The little part that sticks out on top is our stake, the Westland stake. It is a long skinny rectangle from the top down to about where is says West Jordan on the map.