Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 101

Only three weeks left to make as much of a difference as I can. All things are counted unto the Lord so I don't feel bad counting ha. Things are going well here in the Westland stake. I've realized my emails each week are probably boring and short. I apologize for that. Before my mission I never said too much, though I do better now. My writing still lacks however. So I will attempt to write more interesting emails for the next four Mondays.

So, Lacie has not been baptized yet. We've tried to contact her mom who lives in another stake but she hasn't responded. We have tried to work through her dad but he never talks to us in person we always have to go through the grandparents. So it's been rather tough to get things going. Both parents have given permission so all it is now is just scheduling the baptism. It's a little frustrating because I just want it done. The Lord has His timing though, and I will be patient. Everyone else we are teaching won't accept what we are saying though and are looking to be comfortable with sin rather than with God. It's hard because I want to see something happen before I leave. I haven't had a baptism in my own area for over 8 months now. It's been a little bit depressing. Every time I would get transferred before someone got baptized. Now I stayed for once and the one baptism that was scheduled for Lacie fell through. There's still time for plenty of miracles though so I'm looking forward to those. If nothing else I want to leave some people scheduled for baptism when I leave.

The members here are great and we are seeing the Ward mission leaders in the stake really start to step up their efforts. The stake president is really great! He's one of my favorite stake presidents. He's defended us and is doing all he can to assist us in the missionary efforts throughout the wards. We have breakfast every now and then with his family on Saturdays. It's supposed to be a weekly thing, but with crazy summer schedules it doesn't happen as often. It's nice to have that time to talk with him though. He always has something for us to study and discuss as well, which makes it all the better. It's like a cool little study session.

I've been grateful to hear so much about the sabbath day these past few months. I feel like ever since cobble creek every area I get transferred to is starting to discuss it so I get it all over again. They discuss it in Ward councils and have talks in sacrament meeting and things. It's really helped me learn and grow as I've been there for some of them. It's helped me better understand the sabbath and get more out of it each week. The sacrament means a lot more to me now and it gives me everything I need to keep going.

We found out yesterday we are going to have a meeting with the mission leadership(zone leaders and sister training leaders) on Saturday for a few hours with a general authority. We don't know who it is, but the topic will be on how the focus on the sabbath is affecting missionary work. Our zone is doing pretty well. We have a few companionships who are struggling, but overall we are looking to have at least 8 baptisms for the month. It's a lot lower than we'd like, but grateful to see the miracles we have. Our goal is 12 for the month. Our goal as a mission for the year is 475, I think we are starting to fall behind though. We will need to catch back up.

I am excited for my return home. I will miss it here for sure, but this new phase in life will be exciting(and probably a little scary at times). I used to worry about what I was going to do for school and work. I'm not worried anymore. I still have no idea what I'm going to do, but I've felt at peace about it. We will see what adventures lie ahead. For now, I will do all I can to leave this mission better than I found it. May the Lord bless all of you in your individual challenges and concerns. He is watchful over you, so never feel alone. Have a wonderful week, love you all!

-Elder McKinney

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