Monday, 22 December 2014

Until the Great Jehovah shall say, The Work is Done.


So I was going to do the big reflective last-week-of-the-mission email, but then I realised, it ain't over til its over. And this ride, my friends, definitely ain't over yet.

A week ago we almost had ourselves convinced the ride was over. Christmas conference was going to take up a couple days, then we still have a bunch of other meetings and finishing stuff that was going to be taking away a ton of work time so it wasn't looking like we were barely going to even have a full day of work left. We sat down to our conference with President and he started laying down the law for us!

So my entire mission until now the standard of lessons has been 32 per week, and quite often people struggle to reach that. He upped it to 50 and everyone went nuts. But after a minute everyone kind of let it sink in and realised, yeah we can do that, and everyone got this new energy and excitement to just go back out there and work. Knowing we only had a week left, being like a half week at that it didn't even really occur to us that we would try, then we got the challenge from the AP's for everyone going home to give it all they got until the last minute, and that put the fire in our bones. At first we were thinking 50, then we thought, lets just do a miracle and get 70. So thats our goal. We have our week planned out like no week ever way, and even got a couple Christmas dinners squished in there in the middle. We're gonna save some souls this week. 

Other than the oh so inspiring conference, we had a wicked Amazing Race around Laoag, complete with all of us doing laps of the stadium in our suits and skirts and riding horse drawn carriages across the finish line. Loved it. At night we all did plays and ate our fancy buffet. The islander Elders did hukkas (I don't know how to spell it) all day and all night and we just had to enjoy it. I've never seen President laugh so hard. Good night for sure.

While we were waiting to go in, one of the Elders I used to serve with to me my RC, AJ was outside the chapel. I called him a liar because she lives two hours away and would have absolutely no reason to be anywhere near the chapel. He ran outside and tracked her down on the street, I spotted her, hurled my bag to the ground and just hugged that beautiful lady. Oh man she is just SO ACTIVE! And her little sister who we started teaching a couple months ago is getting baptised this weekend. She was over the moon. I was over the moon. It was just such a beautiful blessing. Apparently she went to the mall and saw some random sisters there and they told her about the conference she she just got on a jeep and came. Never thought I'd see that girl again. I love that little miracle!

I could tell you a thousand more stories but they'll just have to wait til I see your darling faces! Just at this Christmas time I hope we never forget whos the Reason for the season, and the Reason for each and every day. I love my Saviour and I love who I am because I know Him more than ever. I love you all, see you when I see you!

Maligayang Pasko!
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


Hey Team, 

So Saturday was well and truly one of the most spiritual days I've had in a long time. It felt like when I hit that 3 months to go part I just got hit with every challenge and every weakness I still hadn't overcome yet and I really had to push myself to work through it before it was all over, and this day was just one of those days where it all came full circle. For the whole day it felt like the Lord was just reminding me that I've done good and He's accepting me. Theres about 10 pages worth of good experiences in my journal but here I'll just share a couple and some other little treasures from the week.

Our golden investigator, oh my, she is an inspiration to me and increases my faith every day. We hadn't yet been able to go over the whole Plan of Salvation thoroughly with her yet so we sat down to that on Saturday night. She never has any questions because she always just gets it. We got to the kingdoms of glory and then she had a couple, about if theres any chance to go up once you're there. So we explained no, but about how its all going to be fair. And she seemed satisfied and we moved on. We were about to close a little while later and the Spirit spoke to me. I stopped her and said I feel to ask about your family, and she just broke down crying. She gets it so much that she knows if her family don't accept the gospel too that they won't be there in the Celestial with her. We testified and explained to her that SHE was their chance at the Celestial, they'll only get there if she shows them the way. And she gets it, shes amazing. What a blessing it is to know this girl, shes probably going to change the world.

Municipal Night was a beautiful mess. Supposed to start at 6 so at like 6.20 the drunk government employees arrive to set up the sound system, then after a while let us know someone borrowed the sound cable so we just weren't going to have sound! We did a lot of complaining and getting stuff done, eventually after like an hour they pulled it all together and we got some Mormon Messages playing and we all just felt a little bit happier inside. The man problem was we were having some hectic strong winds which were banging the metal sheets in the roof and we were all a little concerned at any point it was just going to fall down onto one of us, it was like that scene in Twister when the drive in theater gets town town in that massive tornado, if anyone gets the reference. Basta, it was a good night for everyone who came. I thought we'd found our golden of golden investigators, this guy around 30 who came and listened and we set an appointment with him after. Then he texted us the next morning, in English, and said he wasn't going to change religion, he was just happy to come and stare at the beauty. Fail. But there were other good people there too so its all good.

We ran into one of our less actives the other day on the street who we visit every week and she was talking to Sister Willson mostly then looks over at me and makes a shocked face. She goes 'Sister McKim, maganda ka pala!' I don't even know how to explain that in English, but its basically like, 'oh, what, you're pretty! - like she was surprised? I still don't quite know how to take it. I think its because it was Saturday which is a more 'make the effort' day and we usually visit her on Tuesday mornings which is my least attractive time of the week. I guess I need to up my game? Haha.

I love studying more than ever and I've had so many insights lately about how I can prepare myself, and others, for the last days. The day is close at hand and theres so little time, we all just have to be prepared, and don't waste anytime. So thats my advice to you all, don't waste a day, live in the moment, but live for the future, and love everyone and everything around you. I'm going to reply to you now, sana!

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Monday, 8 December 2014

Barangay Night

Hey team,

So this week was the massive typhoon that wasn't. All we heard this week was be prepared like never before, its going to be even bigger than Yolanda last year, and just to get ready. Luckily for us in blessed Laoag, we didn't have anything more that some wicked strong breeze. But having said that, I haven't heard any news from how they're doing down in Tacloban so please everyone check the news and start praying for them. Last I heard everyone was evacuated and nothing since. So I hope and pray that everyone is safe.

BARANGAY NIGHT or the 'Pasuquin Project' as we have named it is, to say the least, a MASSIVE success. We had our first one on Wednesday, we got there early, set up the projector, had Mormon messages playing on loop loud enough for the whole neighbourhood to hear, and half an hour after it was supposed to people. But, we take into account the conversion for Filopino time so we weren't that worried. We started doing laps to invite everyone we could find and inviting in anyone we could from outside. By the time we got it all going we had a good group going, about 30 really genuine people. Each companionship took time to share about families, Joseph Smith and the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon, then we had a question and answer. After we closed we put on the Restoration movie for background as everyone left but EVERYONE stayed to watch it. One man even said after he had questions but was too shy to ask, but all of his answers were in the movie! After we walked around and met everyone and got all their details and got appointments set up with the elders as it was their area, plus the sisters met their new golden family there, and we even met a guy whos seriously searching for the truth wander all the way over from our area. Such a blessing, such a good night. All the branch leaders came out and loved it, and are all on board for the next one at the municipal hall this weekend, its going to be massive! We're getting everyone involved. The mayors daughter hooked us up and its all looking good to go. Gonna be a good weekend!

So a baby miracle happened this week. On Saturday we were doing laps trying to find food that was delicious, and we just weren't getting any. All we could think about was Greenwich Pizza and living in a little town theres not anything like that anywhere available. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we were just going to go hungry that night. Then we went to our beautiful, inspired investigators house, the golden of all golden one, and while we were teaching, her mum comes out with a Greenwich pizza and bottles of water. We about cried. Then they sat there and watched us eat it. In their beautiful big house dimmed out with the Christmas tree and lights going. It was a beautiful moment. And she is golden. I love this girl so much, she is going on a mission when shes baptised. Couldn't be more blessed than to be teaching such a chosen daughter of God. 

This week was just generally a great week. On the days we set high goals we achieved them and our faith definitely increased. I just love every day here and its still feeling more and more like home all the time. Other blessings - my accent is back in full force. We tell people we're both Aussies and they're like, ohh you sound Aussie but Sister Willson's actually American? Haha. We're working on it though. Theres still room for improvement for both of us. You probably won't understand me when I get home anyway because I actually can't speak a full sentence of English.

Love you all my dears,
Sister McKim

"You gotta risk it for the biscuit"

Monday, 1 December 2014

Ye Days of Olde


So I didn't think about what I was going to write this week so now that I've sat down I've forgotten everything thats happened. That happened to me a couple weeks ago when I forgot to tell the story about when we got chased by the drunk boy with the machete and had to hide in a members house. Sometimes things happen and I forget, basta this week was cool!

We have been trekking from meeting to meeting, so our key indicators are not as pleasing as they once have been, but since were both about to leave this area were making sure we get all those little things done that sometimes missionaries just don't have time to do. Our branch president has been more than concerned about the state of the branch and the way things are going, so were putting all our heart and souls into making sure everyone knows and understands their callings. Its been really awesome actually, and stuff is getting done! Nothing feels as good as progress!

Our little town meetings are all set to go and we have 3 this week. One of the halls was pretty small and we weren't that keen for it, so we went to the municipal hall and were just kind of like, yeah here na lang! Sister Willson especially does not have any reservations about doing what it takes to get there. After a couple meetings in the mayors office and a couple after hours drive bys at the mayors house, we're getting a TOWN WIDE meeting hopefully next week. I like having a comp where we just get it done. We have realised that together we are basically unstoppable which is a scary amount of power, but we use it righteously.

We have met a lot of beautiful and prepared people who we just know are going to accept this perfect gospel. Our newest favourite is the niece of the American family who we met last week, because she is just straight up amazing. She just gets the gospel and she has already learned how to recognise the Spirit, shes basically already a converted soul in only a week! She came to church and saw one of her best friends there who is a member. Perfect. When I made her teaching record I wrote GOLDEN all over it in gold sharpie, then she came to church wearing gold. So awesome. Just, so so awesome.

Yesterday we were at a members house trying to work the projector to get it ready for Barangay night, and the miracle in itself was that I managed to figure out where all 50 cables went and get it working. We tried out a few mormon messages to make sure it was all working, so we decided not to waste the time and actually teach the member from the message while we were watching it. I just need to recommend it to everyone, its called 'You Never Know', and its about a woman running around doing all her daily things and at the end feeling like kind of a failure, but she doesn't quite realise all the good that she was able to achieve that day through all those little things. The sister we were watching it with was really affected, and so was I. I'm not gone to get all choked up about womanhood and motherhood but it really reminded me who I am, what my calling is as a woman, and what I really am preparing for. This is all so awkward to say but for some reason I'm still writing it. But the moral of the story, is we just need to give all of ourselves, to the Lord, to our families, and to those around us. And while we may feel so inadequate and so imperfect, we never quite know what we've done. But the Lord does and He never forgets about us. I just love my mum and shes probably one of the most unappreciated people ever. It reminded me that the road ahead is long and there is a work still to do, and everyones role is great even when sometimes it doesn't feel like it.

I hope you all loved your Sabbath Day yesterday and learned everything you needed for the week. Since almost every day here is like the Sabbath day I never want any day to feel any less after this adventure is over.

"Our great-grandfathers called it the Holy Sabbath,
Our grandfathers called it the Sabbath,
Our Fathers called it Sunday,
And we just called it the weekend."

Lets never forget why we're here and who we are, and never forget the One who made it all possible. Love you all,
Sister McKim

Monday, 24 November 2014


This week takes the cake for being the most rediculous week of my mission so far, and I won't be shocked if it just gets more wicked from here on out!

So being companions with Sister Willson is excellent, to say the least. I don't even know where to begin with this. Ok so, arrived at the bus station Tuesday morning, Sister Willson, me and the AP Elder Paasi who is also from Aus just met up in a circle and literally instantly our accents came back. We had a wicked 3 way fist pump and all confirmed that this was going to be the last transfer of our lives as were all about to die next month. I saw President and asked him just where he thought he was going with this and he just laughed and was like, 'yeah, I knew you'd love it'.

After one glorious morning of work we got the text, pack your bags youre going to Manila - TOMORROW. I realise no matter how I tell this story its just not going to be as exciting to anyone else as it was to us. But were missionaries and were easily excited. We stroll into the airport, a group of about 20 white people which just shocked the locals who probably aren't used to 20 people in general being in the tiny airport, so we were the focus of attention. SO not to waste an opportunity we just jamming out and start an impromptu baby tabernacle choir in the terminal which got everybody interested to stay the least.

Hit the airplane and rolled out of the Manila airport like high rollers, suddenly we seemed to fit in a little bit more dressed in suits and business skirts, everything seemed to make a little bit more sense. Climbed in a van and asked the driver where we were going. He gives us the little eyebrow wiggle and goes 'TEMPLE!' Needless to say a cheer was heard as far back as Laoag itself. Sister Willson and I clutched each other as we came into view of the MTC and our temple that we loved so so much. I shant go into the details of my experience inside except that I haven't cried like that in a long time. Nothing feels more like going home than walking inside the temple for the first time in 15 months. Rolled into the hotel and spotted Mormons in the hallway - including one lone Elder that just had no idea what he was doing. We walked up to him to try sort him out, he flew in by himself and they told him he was at the wrong hotel and wouldn't check him in or tell him where to go, plus he didn't speak Tagalog because he was still on his way to the MTC and had no food or money. After a minute hes like, 'wait, I know you guys!' Hes from Sydney and we used to be in the same chapel and him and Sister Willson were in trek together. Basta it was a beautiful moment where we saved him and found out where he was going, gave him all the food we had and we said goodbye to our new little brother. We're a sweet little team. I was more than excited for a hot shower since I also haven't had one of them in 15 months. Water was cold. I sucked it up, but turns out that we were the only ones that didn't have hot water. It hurt my heart a little bit but its ok, I'll have one again one day....

Friday morning we hit immigration to get some fingerprints done, and what should have been a half hour adventure turned into a 6 hour frustrating time in our lives, which meant we couldn't go back to the temple like we had planned. Sad. So we did the next best thing - we hit the MALL OF ASIA! It was the biggest mall I've ever seen, and they had every store I've ever seen. It was Babylon. But it was beautiful. It was overwhelming to say the least and I didn't know where to start, but something told us to look up, and we looked up, and right above us was a Max Brenner chocolate shop. I'm not proud of the scream that came out of my mouth, but it was so so happy. Bonding with the batch was the ultimate joy of the weekend, and the fact that we just happened to see 3 of our favourite sisters from this mission who had already gone home to Manila. It was amazing. Then we came back.

So we get back to Pasuquin and get into weekly planning. All the investigators here just moved, what do you know, so the work here is hard to say the least. The missionaries had been having trouble getting members involved and getting much done, so we tried to figure out what the plan was. We both go home at the same time and then our area is getting pulled out from the lowering number of missionaries, so we decided we could either die together with Pasuquin, or we could resurrect it and go out with a bang. We started talking about how we didn't want to leave with any regrets, and I remembered this idea we had a while ago that we never got to do. Basically we want to change the way we do missionary work here. Every one of the 843543 times I've watched the Restoration I see how they have town meetings and everyone comes out in droves to listen to the missionaries, and I wish that we could do that. So we thought, WHY CAN"T WE? By the end of the night we had all the missionaries on board and had personally spoken to every single one of the Barangay captains in the Pasuquin area, which are like the mayors of each little neighbourhood and set a time with them. Basically every night for a week were going to run town meetings where we preach the word to all who will come and hear it. The next day we got the whole branch presidency on board and in two days we have the whole thing happening. Pasuquin's not gonna know what hit it. The Mormons are coming. They better get ready.

Then just to top of our perfect week, white people appeared at church on Sunday! They're from Utah and the wife was born here but grew up in America and they were just incredible people. They invited us over for dinner and referred her whole family to us. They cooked us pizza. Like, organic pizza, with real cheese, I don't even know where they got real cheese from because its not even available here. He's a director/composer who has worked on a ton of my favourite movies. We sat there with our pizza in awe of his every word, and at the end they gave us their card and told us to look them up when we're in Utah. We will. Plus one of the nieces is about to go to BYU and is so excited to be taught so were gonna try get her baptised soon, and the grandma has just been waiting to come so we could invite her to church with us. She is excited to say the least. Best week ever.

So all is well. We are very happy and are driven more than ever to work hard and give it all we got. I love this mission. I love my life. I love you all.

See you all in Babylon!
Sister McKim

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Final Countdown

So the text we all knew was coming, Sister McKim is getting transferred for her last 6 weeks. And in the absolute shock of the century, my companion is SISTER WILLSON, the only other Aussie sister in the mission. Its also an answer to prayers because I wanted someone who was going to work super hard and knew what they were doing so we could just get straight into the work, and also have the funniest transfer ever, plus someone who understands my jokes, who understands my English, and who understands when I talk about my life, plus to serve close to Laoag, but not in Laoag. So I had a lot of requests, but I am not disappointed. Were in Pasuquin which is about 20 minutes out of Laoag. I can't think of a more perfect transfer. And I couldn't feel more blessed. Sister Willson is probably the loudest person I've ever met, so its going to be a wicked transfer!

We've been working out the details of our Waters of Mormon mass baptism and our district president is the fire behind the dream, and hes probably one of the most motivated people I've ever met in my life, and hes only 30. We were having coordination at the chapel when he kept sticking his head in and out throwing out ideas. Then he came in, gave us a list of part members and former investigators that hes been talking to and has found answers to all their concerns, and committed them all to be baptised on that date. He gave us the names and told us to go make sure they get taught the lessons. THAT, my friends, is how missionary work is supposed to be. He is one incredibly inspired man. He told us stories he'd heard about missionaries back in the day baptising whole neighbourhoods, hundreds of people, he said, in one day. He walked out and we all sat in silence from his incredible speech. Then one of the RM's piped up and said it was all true because President was the missionary that baptised them all. The man. I have been inspired to say the least.

Any other memories I have from this week went out the window last night when I was pacing back and forth on the kitchen tiles waiting for transfer texts. All I can say from this week is, after being without power for a lot of it, and having no water, and having to march up and down the stairs to our second story apartments with buckets of water that we pumped from the well a million times a day, as sad as I am to leave theres some blessings too. Plus our bathroom hasn't drained in 6 weeks, so it'll be nice not to have to stand ankle deep in thick grey and black water every time I walk in there. Ending the routine of having to shower AFTER coming out of the shower. Its all blessings.

I gave a training this week about diligence which really made me think. The main inspiration that came to me was about talking to everyone and inviting them all to come unto Christ. I thought, if someone could see the future and tell me that if I talked to every single tricie driver that picked me up my whole mission, that just one of them would get baptised, then of course I would do it, all that work but only one baptism is still worth it. So it would only make sense that because we ride with 100's of different drivers on our mission that by odds alone, and because some of them are probably prepared, that at least a few would get baptised. So I made it my goal, that I'm going to talk to them all. And what do you know, almost all of them have been taught before, or have a cousin whos a member, and are just super happy to have us come and teach them. That was a lesson for me about being more diligent for sure.

So next week I'll surely have 1000 stories for you all, until then, love you!
Sister McKim

The pictures!
Me and my baby Sister Razalan. Shes not actually my baby, shes a trainee in my apartment but I love her and shes my baby.
We made Graham cake and Australia just magically appeared on top of it in cherries.
Ferdinand, a member in our branch who is the most involved member of anyone ever. He has no arms so he does everything with his feet, hes the man.
These our our kids, its just them and their 80 year old grandma in their family so they all have to work hard. She had the kids chopping wood. They're young but they know their way around a machete!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

For the journey is long

Hi Team,

So this week was basically the best ever. Started with a wicked MLC with President, and then because we had the meeting in the morning we had p-day at night. So...for a whole night we all just walked around the city shopping and eating and checking out the sights. It felt like vacation. It felt like it shouldn't be allowed. I've never just wandered around for a night hanging out before, felt like normal life again. It was weird. But I loved it. But still not excited to go home and do it again. Then the next day was real p-day and that was even less real. All the leaders got in vans and we just took a wicked sightseeing trip up the coast. We all met for breakfast and the wicked adventure began. 

It all started at the salt refining factory, which sounds like the least exciting thing in the world, and probably would be if I was a missionary, and we don't get out much, so it was pretty exciting. They ship that salt to Australia. It was pretty special...haha. Then we hiked up this wicked lighthouse on the edge of a cliff, went to some wicked rock formations, the windmills, a waterfall, and just chilled on the side of the road. Doesn't sound as cool as it was, but what was cool was that I was getting worried that its getting to the end and I haven't even seen any of the scenery of the Philippines yet outside of the regular little towns, so it was a blessing to go and see all the cool stuff along the way. The best part of the day, we went to this place called Hannah's Resort, which is this massive famous resort. They have a HUGE zipline over the ocean, which hurt me a little bit inside to not be allowed to go on it, and a huge swimming pool inside the worlds largest witch cauldron, I guess? Haha basta it was cool. We ate in a fancy restaurant and drank out of fancy glasses which was a blessing in itself, I can't remember the last time I drank out of a clean glass let alone a fancy one. Then we ran around like crazy, they had every cartoon character you can imagine and we took a million and one pictures and just played. President and Sister just watched us run around like we were in a candy store, they were loving it. We found a trampoline and all just piled on and did backflips. Then we all hit the beach and played beach volleyball, someone bought a huge cake and we just kicked back. It didn't feel real. But it was cool. Blessings for hard work for sure.

Then came the bad bits. After four 6 hour road trips, and 3 days of getting up at 4 something and a couple more days of 5 something, and then some exchanges, I am thrashed. My eyes can't open all the way. The blessing is I can still teach, my mind is in focus as ever but then as soon as I walk out I go back into zombie mode.

Speaking of, I have been ravaged by poison mosquitos, I don't have dengue thank goodness, but I do have what looks like leprosy. Whenever I walk into a room the first think people ask is what happened to my legs! I always say 'kinagat ng zombie' or 'I got bit by a zombie'. The older kids think its hilarious. The old people and children become alarmed because they don't know what a zombie is and get scared its going to get them too.

Other favourite memory of the week, the other night it was about 10.25 at night, we were having a sleepover with about 10 of us because we were staying down in Laoag, and we were all just about to hit the hay, when we see a SNAKE come slithering into the apartment! Everyone starts freaking out and screaming as its a room full of girls and nobody knows what to do. One of the sisters upstairs, Sister Rodelas, who is basically the chillest woman who ever lived, probably more chill then me, just takes a sneaky peek over the balcony, sees the commotion, comes downstairs with a massive bamboo pole I have no idea where she got, and starts bashing the snake to death. Then once his little snake corpse has lost all signs of life, she gets him on the end of the pole and flings it over the fence onto the road. What a woman.

The work!
So we've been tested hard here over the last two transfers, and since the Rocero family baptism we've had a lot of golden investigators come and go. It seems like every time we find a solid person, they come to church twice and then MOVE AWAY. Its happened more times than I can even believe. So its been hard, but were finally seeing the fruits of our labours, and in the next couple of weeks we will have a family of 5 baptised, a grandma and her granddaughter, and all going well the husband of a recent convert, and maybe a couple more. The sad part, transfer calls are in 6 days and I almost definitely won't be here. But even though its a little sad, its ok because I know I was here for the hard parts and they're gonna do it whether I'm here or not, and I can use that time to go help someone somewhere else. So, blessings still. Its always a good feeling to leave an area way better than you found it. I'm excited for the future.

In spiritual news, I gave a training about the Rescue, meaning the saving of souls who have gone less-active in the church. And nothing in this world makes me happier than bringing someone back who was lost, its even better than baptising sometimes. And on that topic, we had an awesome miracle this week. We've been working with a less-active family who used to be so strong, the dad even used to be the branch president. They've made a lot of progress lately but still just had a really hard time coming to church. Yesterday the whole family was there at branch conference, and the dad got a calling! It was awesome, and it was so good to see the whole branch rallying around them supporting them. I definitely wont say it was us that did it, because it wasn't, but every little part made a difference, which was the whole point of my training. I shared my favourite song from the hymn book, Brightly Beams Our Fathers Mercy. I talked about how our Father is in the lighthouse, and its His light that does all the work to bring home His children, "but to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore'. We are just those tiny lights to bring those people that last little part of the way to make sure they don't crash when they hit the harbour. Our role is small, but if its not done, they can't make it in. So if we're just willing to be that one little light, and do that one little part, 'some poor fainting, struggling seaman' we may rescue, we may save.

I love you all,
Sister McKim

Monday, 3 November 2014

Happy Days

Hi Team!

This week was just all over place but so so good. This week Satan did not want me to think I was a good missionary, and he was pretty persistent, and almost had me convinced for a second there. We had interviews with President and he looked me in the face and asked me if I was obedient and I hesitated for a moment. The rest of the day I was thinking hard about why I couldn't just say that I was, because I had always thought of myself that way. I guess the name of the game in missionary work is that we never stop progressing and growing, and we have to keep the momentum going so that were continually growing faster and stronger, otherwise Satan will try to overtake us and slow us down. Or rather we will slow ourselves down, which in some ways I think I was doing. Still progressing, just not as fast, that 'all is well in Zion' attitude. Thats the slow killer. So its a blessing really that I'm being made aware of all my weaknesses at once so I can sort them all out before this chapter of my life is over, and I can honestly tell you I have more than a few. 

I have no pictures as my camera is still being ravaged by a deadly virus from little hole in the wall computer shops. But I just wanna add, that every one of the 6 is times now that I've gotten a virus on my camera, the Spirit has always prompted me to go to a different computer shop, and I've ignored it. Good to know I'm being look out for even in the little things, and also good to recognise that I need to pay attention to those little things too!

Had a wicked MLC today with President and that man is just loading with inspiration. Last night we had a Philippines area broadcast by Elder Oaks and some of the area authorities, and President felt inspired to just drop the whole plan for our training and base it off of that instead. Elder Oaks was so inspired. Basically he was the area president here 10 years ago, and he said he was basically going to repeat everything he said back then all over again because the Philippines is still experiencing exactly the same problems. My favourite thing that he said was something I'd never even thought of before. He talked about the commandment that says 'in six days shalt thou labour', which makes us always think about keeping the sabbath day holy. But the spin he put on it was that its a commandment that we LABOUR 6 days a week. And I guess if youre sitting around lazy all day every day your sabbath day isn't really going to be that holy anyway.

President Barrientos quote of the week: "The reason why we are few is because the church is true... and the truth hurts."

K thats all I have time for, not super funny but the work is getting done!

Love you all team,
Sister McKim

Monday, 27 October 2014

Finding joy as always.

Hi Team

So this should be short, it was an eventful week, but probably mostly things that are personal to me and you probably won't get much interest out of. But! I will share a few things that happened.

Spent basically the whole week on exchanges, including going back to my old area in Sanchez, again, blessings! Went to the house of my RC Sister Christy, oh and she is such a treasure. Shes still super active but the sisters say that even though she loves all the missionaries she still always tells them she wants me and Sister Alsado back haha. So shes getting pretty old and her body is kind of failing on her and she just got some new sickness thats pretty bad. Shes supposed to take this medicine 3 times a day to keep her alive, but most days she can only afford one, and somedays none. The pills are 10 pesos each, or about 25 cents. So she just waits until she literally can't breathe and starts having an attack before she takes the medicine. Shes so scared, but in a way shes sort of come to terms with death. When she saw me she just cried and cried. I just had to try and bear my best testimony of faith to her since thats all I could give. Its hard not being able to do more, but what I've realised on the mission is that if I was to break the rules and give her money or anything it would be a complete lack of faith on my part, and rob her of the chance to show her faith in God. It was hard to leave her crying on the doorstep, but I know shes being taken care of.

For some reason just really doesn't work on these computers so I've been struggling to get a hold of the conference talks, but managed to download a couple last week. Is it just me or are all the Apostles getting funnier? My favourite were the talks from the Priesthood session as usual, I love the rebuking most of all, especially the one about how all the men just need to stop sitting around and get married. We worked that into a few lessons this week at church to get the YSA moving, hopefully something sinks in and I'll come back to attend a few weddings here in the future :-)

Our District President and us are planning this huge Waters of Mormon style baptism in December where all of the people in the whole district to be baptised in December will be baptised at the same chapel on the same day. Its basically going to be amazing, and its also basically certain that I will be transferred and wont be there. But I can see the potential of all of our investigators here and I know that a ton of them will make it. Were working on a new little compound of people I call 'New Zion', and all going well we should fit a couple weddings in on that day too. One of our new investigators we've been working with is awesome. Hes 18 and when we met him he had just moved to the couch at his friends house because he couldn't stand his family anymore. This week we had the best lesson about the Book of Mormon with him and he texted us at 3am later that night to say he was still reading and had prayed to know that it was true. He also moved back in with his family because he said he feels that its better that he tries to fix their relationship, and thats where he feels that happy Spirit feeling. Golden.

I'm going to try write back to you all now so short lang! But I love it here more than ever, I'm loving seeing the miracles every day and I love feeling the hand of the Lord in all that I do.

And I love you all!
Sister McKim

Monday, 20 October 2014

To be chosen

A little few things I forgot to mention last week in my haste! I forget that not everyone reading this knows my whole life story and doesn't just get everything I'm talking about.
So my trainer Sister Storey finished her mission and went home! We were good mates before the mission and were there for each others crazy trying to decide to go on a mission moments, eventually both made it out, got called to the same mission, and then she trained me! It was the weirdest thing to see pictures of her at home with her family again and still hasn't sunk in any way that that might ever happen to me. Plus my trainee, my dear sweet Sister Lainhart is now a Sister Training Leader too. Absolute shock of my life last week when I walked into the STL house in Laoag last week and saw her there! It means shes grown up now too, which makes me old. Ugh, old. Haha. My current companion by the way is Sister Faletao. Shes from Samoa which is super funny when introducing herself because in Tagalog, you say 'sa' before the place. So if people asked me where I was from, I could just say Australia, or 'sa Australia'. So when she says Samoa, everyones like, Wheres Moa? And shes like nooo Samoa! Nobody gets it still. We laugh about it all the time.

This week was a week of strengths and weaknesses, which was obviously what the Lord wanted me to learn. I was on exchanges with Sister Vaka, a sister who I started out with in my first apartment so we've seen each others changes from the start until now. Now being at this point in the mission calls for a lot of reflecting and wondering where I'm going right and where I'm still going wrong, and the thought came into my mind, that I have done a lot of good, I really really have, but am I changed? I know I've done a lot of good for the people, through the Spirit of course, but what have I allowed the mission to change in me? Is it possible that even after all this great good has been brought about, that I could go home and be exactly the same person that I was before I left. That freaked me out, and me and Sister Vaka both freaked out a little bit and had to really think about it. And as always, when theres a question, the Lord is always right there to answer it.
So I'd heard a lot about this talk called 'The Fourth Missionary', which I'd heard about but only just now was given to me this very week. It was written by a mission president who said basically there are four types of missionaries; the first is the disobedient kind who either gives up or gets sent home, then there is the second who makes it the whole way through the mission but is still pretty disobedient, and therefore comes home unchanged or gone backwards. Then theres the third who does great work, strives to be completely obedient and has a lot of great success, but remains unchanged by the mission because they served only with their might and strength, and not with their heart and their mind. As I was reading about this third missionary, I was hit pretty hard. There was this one sentence which I wish I had with me right now that basically said exactly what I was feeling, in big bold letters on the page. But basically, this third missionary sometimes measures themselves in comparison, if their having more baptisms than everyone else they're successful, kind of thing. They're always obedient but lacking that extra charity that a true disciple needs all of the time. They can help change others, but they didn't change themselves. So here we are, Sister Vaka and I discussing this, feeling like someone has just cut to the core of us, thinking we are straight up that third missionary. So I started to think really hard about what to do to be better. The next day I finally had time to finish that article, which was 24 pages long by the way, and I read the characteristics of this fourth missionary. The fourth missionary is totally consecrated. They want to serve the Lord, and they seek His will and not the will of man. They do things not to be seen, but because they are right. They measure their success on what the Lord thinks of them and not what man thinks of them. Then it says, the fourth missionary is not without weakness, but they are very aware of their weaknesses. The closer they are to God, the more that they realise that they just are straight up weak and they need Him more than anything. So I really thought about this weak missionary, and I thought about myself, and I thought about how nobody could really put themselves into one of these four completely, but it really is a day to day process. We recently had a Zone Conference about being chosen. We all know the scriptures in D&C where they say over and over again that 'many are called but few are chosen', and so I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be chosen. We are already called, 'if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work', but being chosen is a day to day process. We are only chosen on the days that we chose to be chosen. And we live to be chosen of the Lord, not of man. And thats what I learned from all of this, we just have to take it one day at a time, remember who we are and what were here for, and that more than anything we just need the Lord, and we will remain the chosen ones. And the only way we fail is if when our weaknesses get the better of us, we choose not to repent and do better tomorrow.

I hope you got something out of this, I think I just needed to put all those thoughts into words for myself more than anything else :-)

Pictures next week when I get on a computer that works :-)
Love you all, 
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Do they want you to Twitter during Conference...?

Hey kids so quick one today before we go back to the jungle.
Theres nothing I hate in the mission, not a single soul, not a single
thing, except that 6 hour bus ride from Laoag to Cagayan. I hate it so
so much. But everything else is such a joy :-)

So I would so badly love to talk about all my insights from conference
with you, but I barely got to watch it, so I'm downloading it and
gonna do my best to get through it this week. But from what I did get
to see, I loved the Lynn G. Robbins talk about which way do we face.
Its something that hit me so hard, because especially the stronger we
get spiritually, the further we have to fall. It made me think about
our immense responsibility to be exactly obedient to all of the
commandments, to strive for true discipleship, and to be willing to be
the unpopular one. And thats one thing I've had to really get to do on
my mission, be the one making the unpopular calls. And everyone here
wants to be a great missionary, and they all want to be exactly
obedient, so its a duty to them to tell them where they're falling
short, or where they're going wrong even when they hate it, and taking
the same criticism from others. I'm always trying to remember who I'm
serving, and also making sure that person isn't myself.

This week we had a wicked week for finding. Everything just went so
right. At weekly planning I set a bunch of steep goals for me and my
new comp and decided I was gonna get every one of them. And we did,
and it was glorious. We found this girl last week who told us that
she'd had a baby who died when it was only two months old, and since
then her and her husband, or live in boyfriend rather were really
struggling with it. Went back this week saw them sitting together on
the road. I don't know what got into me this week but I got super
confident and bold with everyone and just worked like a treat. I told
them to go inside because we were going to teach them about their
family. They didn't even say anything they just went. Then we taught
them the Plan of Salvation, exactly where their baby is and how they
can be a family forever, if they do what we share with them and get
baptised. The boy was hanging onto every word like never before, and
then he straight up asked, "when?' So we gave him the date, but told
them they would have to get married that day too so we have to start
working on their marriage papers. He was keen for that. It was one of
the most spiritual lessons I've been in for a long time. As a mission
we've been working on astonishing our investigators, and this guy was
honestly astonished. They're now getting it all sorted out and should
be set before transfer day if all goes to plan. Turns out they're also
best friends with our RC family, another strong member family, and all
the RM boys that just came home. We truly found the prepared souls
which means we must have been doing something right!

We found some other really awesome people this week including two
different boys who we thought were absolutely golden, one a member
referral and one a part member. We were so excited about it until one
of the boys grandma told us that that she just found out that he had a
boyfriend, and basically perfectly described our other investigator.
We were gutted thinking our two golden people were each others
boyfriend. BUT one came to church and it turns out it wasn't him after
all. But he came dressed as a girl so doesn't matter how golden he is,
we have some work to do before his baptism. But hes such a genuine
soul we know he'll make it in the right time.

So we love teaching our cool new little family. We went there the
other day and they were busy cooking up a feast. Turns out they just
killed the family dog and the everyone was out at their place for the
feast. They hung the head and legs up while they were cooking so we
took a few sneaky snaps, but they said the menu for the next day was
boiled head. My comp was super excited to try the dog for her first
time but for the rest of the night was riddled with guilt.

Was a packed week, had MLC, ate a lot of take out and keen as to just
get back to work tonight. The other thing that happened is SISTER
STOREY WENT HOME! I just saw a picture of her, at home, in Utah. And I
remember when she left and it was like, 5 minutes before I left, which
means.........ugh. Don't even want to think about it.

Love you all,
watch all of conference if you haven't yet!
Sister McKim xx

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Hi team!

So what a week, as usual! I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but
in the week leading up to transfers I’m always a stress case. Not
because I’m worried because transfers always work out for the best,
but because I JUST CAN’T HANDLE THE SUSPENSE! Just found out like,
right now, and I’m getting my first islander!! I’m literally over the
moon. We were batch in the MTC but I didn't know her that well, but I
hear shes wicked so its gonna be good. I need an islander to keep it
loud while we wait for our other sister and her new baby to come home
on the weekend.

So just yesterday we watched the Women's Conference broadcast, and
being the goober I am I just cried like a baby the whole thing.
Nothing like listening to an hour and a half about the temple to make
me just miss it so much. And those little Korean kids singing would do
it to anybody. I just loved it. I am so obscenely excited for
conference this weekend, and blessing that I'm serving in an area
where they do the right thing and play it in Tagalog for everyone. I
am ready for a feast.

So my favourite thing that ever happened ever happened this week. So
were in Cagayan, home of Survivor, and one of the AP's was showing me
his camera the other day from when they were filming and it was in his
area! He has pictures of all the cast and crew and all of it. Then
Sister Lainhart's zone WENT there last week for a zone activity and
all got Survivor shirts.  I'm so close but so far. BUT THEN. The best
thing happened. So we were on split exchanges this week - its the new
rage here, me and my comp split and go with a different companionship
each instead of regular exchange - so I was staying with these two
other sisters. For some reason at lunch time they change into
lava-lavas, just to make it all the more islandy. Then Sister Vaka
comes out of the bedroom and accidentally locks the door behind her.
The study tables are in there and its almost time to study so time is
already against us. She left the keys on the desk inside the room.
LUCKILY there is a big hole in the wall above the door, and we found
some sticks for decoration in the corner, and it was just out of
reach, so just like a Survivor challenge we tied all the sticks
together with rope and managed to loop the keys onto the end and got
in just in time to start studies exactly at 1pm! SO HAPPY! Best ever.

We were teaching an investigator and her little son was playing with
our shoes that we left outside. Now, most people here don't use
nappies for their kids, or anything. They just put shorts on their
kids and when the kid pees they just change the shorts and wipe it up.
So the kid peed directly into my shoes. Now this isn't the first time
this has happened, but the mum just picked them up & shook them out a
little bit and then expected me to just put them back on. I didn't
want to offend her. But the plus side is, I hate wearing shoes in
lessons and people always try to get me to keep them on, so all day I
had an excuse. When they tried to tell me I just said a kid peed in
them earlier and they felt that was an acceptable excuse. Great times.
I also had an unfortunate event where I was on exchanges for two and a
half days without going home, and in my haste to leave at 5.30am I
didn't notice I'd put on two different ones. So thats about a good
indicator of where my head was at this week haha.

This transfer had been one of the hardest for me work wise, I feel
like were doing our best in teaching but were just struggling with our
investigators. Part of the problem is we haven't had a week were we've
had nearly enough teaching time because we've had a lot going on, and
we've also got a lot of hard people who we don't want to give up on,
like husbands of members, parents of members, etc. So this transfer
we're gonna have to push it like nothing else to get this area moving
again. In the ultimate blessing though we've had a rediculous amount
of success with our RC's who had fallen away and helping them to get
back. Progress is progress whether or not it shows in the numbers.

So my sweet little comp is leaving, so here are some of my favourite
memories from this transfer from our dear sister.
- A few transfers ago a recent convert family allowed her to name
their baby because they wanted a Book of Mormon name. She chose
Sherrizzah. As in, the tower of Sherrizzah from Moroni 9 where
everyone went crazy and ate their children and families. The family
thought it was super cute, all the other sisters had to change the
topic when they asked what the story was. At the time they were only
up to Alma, but the latest news is they just finished the Book of
Mormon, and the baby now goes by another name.
- It was avocado season so we went crazy and had guocamole every day!
The Philippino sister loved it and it became their new favourite food,
except they couldn't say it. Every time they would ask for it some new
word would come out and we would laugh and laugh. They finally know it
now but they have to say mochamolia before they remember what the real
word is.

Love you all, cheers to another great transfer in this beautiful country!
Sister McKim

Survivor challenge!
So this cool thing happened! We were teaching an RC and he pulled out
a Book of Mormon that he had from way before he was investigator, the
first one he ever had. Checked to see the name and IT WAS MY NAME! We
had given it away to their neighbour on exchanges in March and somehow
it ended up in his house. Hes baptised now, whaaat!
Elder failing the burger challenge. Has to be done in 5 minutes.
Saw a 9 year old member in our area driving around this motorbike with
all these tiny kids on it. Uhh probs doesn't have a licence, hey ...

Monday, 29 September 2014

Brgy Baliw

This week was like a blur.

The rest of my birthday was good! In the town where I am assigned the
food situation is not good. If you're lucky enough to score a dinner
appointment the food is always amazing, but the restaurants and places
to eat are not so good. We literally spent 45 minutes going from place
to place before we found somewhere that didn't only sell pancit bihon,
which we eat several times a week anyway, until we finally went to the
place we always go to. In Aparri theres a ton of wicked places, plus I
celebrated with a buko shake and Dunkin Donuts so couldn't get any
better really. Had a sleepover in Sister Ramos apartment so I was SO
happy to see her! But it didn't get too crazy because her comp got
sick, she ate something bad and was suffering pretty bad. She'd
already been to the hospital and was advised to go home and just wait
it out. Personally, I was genuinely concerned she was going to be the
latest person to enter the Spirit World that night, but luckily for
her she has the best comp in the world. So we spent the night by her
bedside while Sister Ramos boiled water and made food and tucked her
in and did all those beautiful things. It literally looked like that
scene in Legacy where shes sitting there dying from some disease and
shes all "has God forsaken us??" and the friend is all "we can't lose
faith Eliza!". I took a picture with her permission. She survived, it
was a miracle.

Had our zone con on Tuesday, said goodbye to Sister Storey. She is
going home in a week. What the. I remember when we got our calls, and
when she left, and she left like 5 seconds before me. Oh goodness. But
the conference was amazing. It had this huge emotional undertone
because everyone is so close to the end now, and everythings changing
and everyone is so tired. But the trainings were inspired. The part I
loved most was about being chosen. We all know those scriptures 'many
are called, but few are chosen', and we're already called, that parts
over, but we have to chose to be chosen every single day. The only
days we are the chosen one are the days we give it our all. I needed
that. I'm tired. And its hard to sprint when you feel like you go
almost nothing left, but thats why we have the Atonement right? And
for all those other reasons too.

President Barrientos quote of the week:
"I texted all the missionaries in Ilocos who were trapped in their
apartments during the typhoon to check if they had any food left. One
of them texted back and said "we only have our 72 hour kits and the
Atonement." Lol.

Our RC dad blessed the sacrament yesterday after only being a member
for 3 weeks now. He was worried about messing it up and studied it all
day every day all week, plus he didn't have a white shirt and tie on
Saturday night, but we arrived on Sunday and someone had donated to
him and he was already up there ready to go. Got it right first time.
He is the man!

We were told last minute we were having a missionary fireside on
Wednesday night so we dropped all our plans for it, got there and it
turned out to be a welcome home party for a missionary in the branch.
Luckily we had a bunch of investigators so it was still a good use of
time. It was the weirdest thing. We watched him get out of the van,
straight from the airport. Then he bore his testimony, had some talks,
and then while we were all eating they took him out to be released. He
came back 10 minutes later without a name tag on. Oh gracious it was
awful. Its crossed my mind about leaving the mission, but the thought
of actually getting home was weird and shocking and I didn't know how
to handle it. I had to leave, I hated it. Pero! We went and taught his
family yesterday, and it was him and another boy in the next ward who
just came home on the same day, the sister who also a new RM, and the
parents who are service missionaries. So we had a wicked missionary
lesson about missionaries with a whole room of missionaries. Luckily
they are keen as to start reactivating everyone in the branch.

It feels like we've had literally no time to teach lately because
we've had so much going on. This week we just had a ton of meetings, a
funeral, activities, all of it. But sometimes when you feel like
theres no way, the Lord opens a way for you. So we have investigators
on the way to baptism still, with little or no time to teach them or

Still loving it. Still the best mission in the world. Still love you all.
Sister McKim

Photos:  Last generation picture! My mum and my daughter, we did a 'spontaneous
laughter' picture. Magunda.
Our RCs pig had 11 piglets and this is the morning after they were
born. They are the best thing I've ever seen.
Sister Ramos saving her comp, so sweet.