Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Ah man so,

This week there was this moment. We had just had the greatest lesson
with our recent convert family, and we all walked to another familys
house that were teaching, laughing and joking around and had dinner
sitting on the mattresses in a tiny bamboo hut, and then were cruising
along in the sidecar of the motorbike on the way home, looking up at
the stars in the perfect weather, and just thought about how life
could not get any more perfect. Which means transfers are this week
and everythings about to change.
But no matter what happens life here is always great.

We have an investigator that lives next door to our family and when we
met her she was 9 months pregnant and about to pop, she was so happy
and couldn't wait. Two months ago we were so excited when we saw her
cruising up the street in labour on the way to the hospital, until the
next day we heard that her baby was in an incubator and not doing
well. Last Sunday the update was that the baby was doing great! Doing
well and returning home soon, but we arrived last Monday night to the
house to hear that the baby had died. It was awful, so awful. The body
was already on display in the house and the mother was doing her best
to keep going. We've been back a couple times this week to talk with
her and make sure she knows her baby is in heaven, which she does and
she appreciates. All we can do right now is hope and pray that things
will get better for her and be there as much as we can.

So were currently on election lockdown. The local elections are on
today which means our p-day is coming to email, get groceries, work
all afternoon and then stay on lockdown in the apartment all night.
Hmm. Can't really complain though, we really are living the dream in
this mission. So election means that theres been hard out campaigning
all week, and Saturday was the worst of it. Every house we were
teaching in, a precession of like 30 people would walk in, shake each
one of our hands and give us flyers and then leave. And then the next
house, 30 more people would come in.....haha. One lesson we were
teaching one of the men slipped back in to hand the lady a flyer and a
couple hundred pesos. Bribes right in front of our eyes. Philippines

Oh and by the way, were totally fine from the earthquake, as everyone
keeps telling us, "there are 7100 islands in the Philippines and Cebu
is just one of them."
Other great stories from the week. We're now tight with all the
ladyboys in the village. Our Tongan housemate Sister V locked
herself in the bedroom for over an hour. I've never laughed so hard.
The doorknob broke and we spent all morning trying to help her escape.
After a while we gave up and sat on the floor for a while, she goes "I
hope you guys are praying for me". Nope. Whoops. She was out 5 minutes

I'm gonna reply to you all now, hopefully, maybe.
Love you guys.
Sister McKim

Monday, 21 October 2013

7 baptisms, 1 wedding, 1 baby and a whole lot of Pancit!

Pamilya ko!

This week was the happiest, most incredible, most stressful week ever
and I wouldn't change it for the world! So Saturday we had seven
baptisms scheduled for our ward, four for us and three from the other
missionaries! One of the other missionaries investigators has been a
long time investigator, her husband is a recently returned less active
and her conversion was the final battle for Sister Q, who has
been working on her for 6 months and shes goes home in two weeks. This
lady finally committed to be baptised after all this time, and Sister
Q truly believed that if her baptism didn't go through this time
she would never be able to commit again. The problem was, shes 9
months pregnant, and Thursday morning, two days before the baptism she
went into labour. We thought it was all over for her until Friday
morning we heard false alarm! And hoping the baby wouldn't be born in
the actual font, she was able to be baptised and confirmed without
problem. Our family were amazing. We knew they were solid and wouldn't
have any problems but we still fasted hard and worked so hard for
them. We shared our testimonies the night before and they all told us
about the changes in their lives since they've been coming to church.
When I asked the little boys what they liked about church they said
the learning....and the friends. But mostly the learning. They also
told us that earlier that morning they had woken up with 20 pesos for
the day, which is 50 cents, and couldn't afford food for the day, and
their youngest son had a bad fever and needed help. So he suggested
they pray as a family. Sister called her auntie and she said she
wanted her to do some laundry for her and paid her, they also found
out they're getting a huge government payout for some reason and
little MakMak was running around outside playing by midday. They are
so faithful its incredible. Their baptism was all over the place. We
went to pick them up and did sisters hair and makeup and she looked
like a celebrity, she was so happy because she never gets to look nice
as she can't afford it. We had their wedding in Bishops office, and it
was literally them, their siblings, the Bishopric and us. Small and
intimate and so perfect. At the end we got to sign the witness papers.
Their first language is Ilokano but they asked for the ceremony to be
in Tagalog so we could understand. They are incredible. By the time
the wedding was over we were 45 minutes late for the baptism and had
to rush it through as the other ward had baptisms straight after.
There were seven people getting baptised all up, so the whole front
row was filled with people in white suits. It took ages, but the
spirit was so strong. The water came out a putrid green sludge so when
we got there and saw it we had to book it to refill it a couple times
until it was only a little bit sludgy. There were so many
investigators present and they all brought kids, so as the final talks
and testimonies were happening, we were on kid duty outside. I have
never seen children so insane. There was about 15 of them running the
halls. At one point on of them was lying on the floor while another
one sat on his head and was repeatedly punching him in the face, and
there was another little girl who had pulled his pants down and was
pinching his bare bum. We had to literally pull kids off each other
and throw them into rooms and hold doors closed so they couldn't
escape. All this while the most beautiful spititual talks were
happening inside the next room. Man, the things we do. Eventually it
was over and we took all friends and family into the office and had a
cake ceremony for the married couple. Earlier in the day I felt the
sudden urge to buy a cake, so we bought this massive fancy on with
their name on it, and when they saw it they were really about to cry.
This is the best thing that ever happened to them and they really are
too happy. I love this work. I love this place, I don't even want to

Oh and I forgot from last week, we had balut. We put it off for ages,
and one day the Sisters in our apartment brought some home for us so
we just had to do it. It was the worst thing ever. It was hard and
soft and chewy and there were feathers and a beak. The beak was the
worst. And we ran into our mission president in the supermarket buying
Durian, which is this fruit which is wife said 'tastes like heaven but
smells like hell'. Its actually illegal to take it into public places
because it smells so bad. So they bought it for us, which then stunk
out our whole house, tasted like off custard but is actually kinda
delicious. When we couldn't finish it it all told President who ten
minutes later rocked up on our doorstep yelling at us from the street,
so we all go out in our pyjamas to give it to him and see a car full
of office elders outside. Just chillin on the porch in the middle of
the night with President and a bunch of Elders. So random. I love our

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Monday, 14 October 2013

Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it.

So I know General Conference weekend is amazing all the time, and over
the last couple years its become my favourite, but its on another
level of exciting when you're a missionary! The highlights were
probably the same as everybody else, I love Elder Bednar so much, he
gets to the point, and its my favourite thing when people call people
to repentance, he was awesome. Every time he talks it takes me back to
this one thing he said when he visited us in Adelaide years ago that
gets me every time.... President Uchtdorf, hilarious and made a lot of
good points that made a lot of sense. And as always, Elder Holland, he
made me cry right there in the chapel in front of everyone. He is the
most incredible speaker I have ever heard. Before I came out here I
would youtube videos of him talking just to hear him speak. I love it,
General Conference!

So as we get closer to our family baptism which is this coming
Saturday, we get more and more nervous about what we say and do just
incase something goes wrong. We were particularly worried about
tithing, so we put the lesson off for ages until we really felt we
were prepared to teach it as these people out here are pretty poor and
it could be a dealbreaker for even the solid investigators. So on
Tuesday we get to their house, armed with scriptures and stories and
our best fellowshipper, and we mention tithing and he laughs. The dad
goes, yeah I know all about it, I was just waiting for you to ask.
Then proceeds to teach us a lesson about the importance of giving and
says he can't wait to start paying it. We were jaws to the floor.
These people really do exist. They are also hard out fellowshipping
the whole neighbourhood. We took them to general conference yesterday,
and the dad especially was absolutely giddy when President Monson
spoke. We went to a different chapel than we were assigned because it
was closer, and later found out that a big group of our investigators
went to the session at the other chapel. They had told us they had a
family event and couldn't go but at some point one of the members went
and tracked them down, picked them up and drove them 45 minutes to
conference. We currently have about 12 baptismal dates for the month
of November so we're praying it all goes ahead for them all. Man.
Miracles. This place. I'm scared to leave because I can't imagine
anywhere being this good but I'm also making sure I'm prepared for

So this weeks funny stories. Last night we were teaching this
investigator we haven't taught in over a month, its been ages, and we
just really needed to have a good lesson with him. It was all going
well, and I was in the middle of talking and just about to ask him to
be baptised, and his baby that he is holding......passes gas. I ignore
it and keep going, but he goes ahhh sorry sorry, and I'm like its
fine, and start talking again, then he cuts me off and goes, ...whats
the word for that in English? Sister Storey is appaled and leaves it
to me. I'm like....a fart? And he's like ohhh yes fart. Sorry about
the farts. So the moments kind of over, and so awkwardly with nothing
else to say, I go, whats the word in Tagalog? So he tells us and were
like, oh cool. Awkward again. And then I continue on and invite him to
be baptised. Just so you know, hes gonna talk to his wife about it.
 We have this hilarious member family who drive us home from our area 
out in the jungle. We get there and they dont have their motorbike so were stuck,
 the dad, the worlds most helpful old man, happens to be chilling in his,
undergarmets only, which are not for human eyes. Hes so excited to
help us, so he starts running up and down the street searching the
streets for a bike for us. We're like no come back! That is BAWAL!
Awkies for everyone. But funny nonetheless.

I could write more but I'm gonna try reply to some of you, love you
all, keep up the good work, and watch out for your friends, you never
know who needs you to be their angel!
Mahal ko kayo!
Sister McKim xx

Monday, 7 October 2013

One testimony

Hello from the Promised Land of Laoag!

Ok I know I’m such a missionary right now, but I’m putting aside all
of the other stories this week to tell you about one, because its the
best story ever and nobody will appreciate it if its surrounded by
other random things.

When I got here there were no progressing investigators, nothing to
work with, my trainer was still new and there wasn’t too far we could
get with out limited experience and Tagalog. It was kind of hard going
to church the first couple Sunday’s knowing we had no investigators
coming, nobody even thinking of coming and having no idea how to get
them there. In probably my third week we went down this path that we’d
never been down before, I guess because nobody thought it was worth it
before. We go and we meet this lovely lady in her 30’s outside her
house and we teach her, as we do most people we meet on the street,
and shes nice enough, like everyone else we meet. We come back and her
husband joins in, we invite them to church as we do everyone and
didn’t really expect them to come. The place they live is so far away
from the chapel, they’re pretty poor and they don’t really go more
than a couple of minutes walk past their house ever. We walk into
church on Sunday and the dad is sitting there in the foyer waiting for
us and we were so surprised! He keeps coming back for the next couple
weeks, so we teach him but his wife has now stopped listening as she
has her own religion and doesn’t wanna change, we also find out she
only speaks Ilokano and doesn’t really understand us and they’re not
married, so even if he wanted to get baptised he couldn’t unless she
agrees. So it comes to the crunch, we take our secret weapon with us
and he works his magic in Ilokano and the spirit, and by the end of
the lesson we have both of them and two of their sons committed to
marriage and baptism!! The last few weeks they’ve been coming to
church so diligently. They read the Book of Mormon and pray together
every night, we shared the Word of Wisdom and they happily agreed. One
week their motorbike broke so the dad walked two hours to church. The
repairs also used up all their savings so they sometimes literally
can’t afford to eat, but they come to church every week. They have
that incredible faith you don’t come across often. This Sunday was
fast and tesimony Sunday, and the dad gets up, walks to the front, and
bears his testimony. He says he knows that this is the only true
church on the earth, its the truth hes been looking for his whole
life, and he has already seen it change his life. He thanked us for
coming to find him and his family and for the happiness that they now
have. We cried like babies. The ward was crying, everyone was feeling
the spirit so strong. He’s not even baptised yet! So in two weeks on
October 19th, they will be married and then afterwards the four of
them will be baptised. That moment when he spoke is one of the
happiest moments of my life. Knowing that that family is so converted
and has found that truth in the gospel through our efforts is the
greatest feeling in the world. And its not at all us, our teaching is
awkward and our Tagalog is bad, but they feel the spirit and they are
doing everything they can to come closer to the Lord. There is no more
incredible feeling. If I don’t baptise another person my whole mission
it will be worth it for them. The other best part is that we are also
teaching their friends who live close by. We have around seven lady
investigators who are seriously progressing and gaining testimonies,
but we’re holding off on their baptisms until we can teach their
husbands too. Oh it is a joy. I don’t know what the Lord is blessing
me so much but He is. I don’t deserve the happiness I have but these
people deserve the Gospel and someones got to bring it to them, and I
am humbled that I was chosen to be the one to do that. Missionary work
is the greatest work on earth.

Please understand the point of this story. I always used to think
like, well yeah I love the Gospel and it makes me happy, but I don’t
know why other people would want to accept it from the outside looking
in, because it is a lot of effort to stay strong. But this week I
realised from this family, and from the stories of other
investigators, that I have no reason to complain about my life in
anyway, I have everything, and there are some people who need this
Gospel in their lives because they literally have nothing else. Its
such a blessing to be here in this country where I can teach these
humble people and bring this joy into their hard lives.

This church is the best thing that ever happened to us, and only
through it can we be eternally happy. What have you done lately to
deserve to have eternal happiness? All of us, especially me, can work
a little harder.

I love this work. I love you all.

Mahal ko kayo,

Sister McKim