Monday, 27 January 2014

They're shipping me off to the Jungle


Got the call. They're shipping me off to the jungle tomorrow and I
couldn't be more excited! My new comp is SISTER BAGUIO of the Angeles
mission, Sister Thomas will be loving that, and shes great, and I'm
back in the same house again as Sister Storey and our old neighbour
Sister Copeland! The area is called Sanchez Mira and its the chapel is
literally on the beach. Cheering. May not be cheering when I get there
and theres no stores and its raining all the time, but hey,

So I was expecting to be transferred so I was more than ready for it.
I didn't cry because I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone until
Saturday night. We had a basketball activity at the church and one of
the YSA yapped it in front of all our RC's who I was sitting with
courtside and they were like what. IS THIS TRUE? I held it together
until one of the kids started balling. Then his mums like look what
you did, hes crying for you. Then I cried. Then we all cried. Ah man.
I'm gonna miss them all, but at the same time I know its my time to go
so its all good. We have a lot of families in the works right now
which should be baptised in the next month or two, basically we only
teach families, thats the goal and if thats where we spend our time
thats where we have the most success.
So we went to follow up on our smoking program we started this week
and it absolutely worked like a treat! He was smoking half a pack a
day before we started and said by day two he had basically no
temptation! It really was a miracle! He did have one slip up later in
the week as he forgot to take all his stuff with him to work and was
stuck without it, but other than that, we can really see how it built
his testimony, which really was the ultimate goal all along, so its
still a success and he is getting baptised in two weeks.
In really sad news, yesterday morning we got to church and one of the
bishopric took me aside to tell me that one of our members had passed
away. She'd only been baptised for about 9 months, and I've visited
her basically every week since I've been here. She's been in and out
of activity and the last couple months we've really seen a change in
her and shes been getting active again! She had a heart attack at 3am
and they couldn't find her a ride to the hospital quickly enough and
she died. We went there in the afternoon and they already had dressed
her body and had her in the coffin on display in the house. It was
really confronting to see her like that, knowing we'd just seen her
two days before. Sister Lainhart and I talked all about the Plan of
Salvation last night and really took time to reevalutate what it means
and they way we taught her, wondering if we really did everything we
could do to help her to get to the Celestial Kingdom. I really hope
and pray for the family that one day they will all come around too and
be baptised so that her work can be done for her as she hadn't yet
made it to the temple.

On a happier note, I've loved San Nic and it really has become my
home! Bishop gave me a little appreciation speech and told me to thank
my father for teaching me to be persistent. He just assumed thats what
hes like, and I was like yeah, and he was like, yeah, I could tell.
I feel like I had a bunch of funny stories from the week but, forgot.
Next time na lang!
To close I will list my regrets from the last 6 months here
- The first day here I asked if our non flushing toilet was fixable
and I was told it wasn't. I always felt I should mention it to the
landlady, didn't do it until 2 days ago and she immediately came and
fixed the toilet. Great.
- My first week here I suggested we have weekly basketball activities
for investigators, then I never once followed up on it or suggested it
again. On Saturday we had our first one and it was was fun and we had
like 20 investigators come and they announced they were going to do it
every week. Siyang.
- Always meant to ask around people in Laoag where good places to eat
are since every p-day we come and get McDonalds or Pizza Hut. Found
out last week there was a mexican place. Legit mexican place. Like,
legit. Had my second and final taco for lunch. They don't make food
like that out in the jungle. Sad.

Ay so since were both goobers we just dress up sometimes. This shirt
thing is what the tricie drivers do but we ended up more being ninjas.
This is probably absolutely not at all funny to anybody else except
And then theres me and Sister Lainhart, I'm gonna miss the kid. I
would cry but she'd just tell me to rub some dirt on it.

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Mormons gonna Morm

So things just keep getting better in the promised land as the rules
keep getting stricter. But we're still living the dream here in the
Laoag Mission! Just got the word that another of Adelaide's finest
will be joining us in the field, the Aussie pool here is getting
bigger all the time, loving it!

So many things happened this week! Firstly we had our area broadcast
where the Area Presidency talked about the new area goals and it just
got me psyched for this year! Just talking about eternal families and
reactivation and increasing Priesthood holders just gets me every
time, I love it!

One of our sweet husbands has been having a lot of trouble overcoming
smoking which is so hard here since its so cheap and everyone does it
so theres always temptation. I knew about the churches quit smoking
program that the missionaries use and I've seen how effective it is
and I knew we needed to get it. Nobody in the mission has ever heard
of it so it took a lot of resourcing and a couple of weeks to finally
track down a copy. Basically they have to buy a whole bunch of
specific groceries which at home would be cheap but here are insanely
expensive, so we had to use our weeks grocery money to buy it for him
because they couldn't afford it, but we were blessed with dinner
appointments this week so we didn't go without! Plus we had to buy
things like pure grapefruit juice which as we've found is basically
impossible to get here, but we prayed and walked into the store and
there was one single carton of it left on the shelf. We highfived
right in the aisle and danced around a bit. The whole thing was in
English so we spent every spare bit of time we could over a couple
days translating it for him and started it on Thursday night. Without
hesitation he snapped all his cigarettes and started on the spot. Hes
been doing so good, he said its still hard but he knows he can do it
now. We've seen him every day and he is a changed man. He looks so
clean cut, hes running around playing with the kids and him and his
wife, oh my goodness I couldn't handle it yesterday, they were just
running around holding hands like newlyweds, it was the cutest thing
I'd ever seen. They, oh man they are just amazing. Hes really gonna do
it. Plus the other smoker husband whos started running away from us
has seen his success and wants on board, so hes next! Miracles. All.
The Time.

We also have started teaching this family again,all the kids
investigated but only the 14 year old daughter was baptised last year.
The dad would not ever sit down for a lesson, but a couple weeks we
wouldn't take no for an answer and managed to get him to sit down for
5 minutes. His wife works abroad so he takes care of the four kids on
his own, but he basically gets drunk every night and they fend for
themselves. Last week the girl was sick in bed with a bad fever and
the dad was drunk, so we brought her food and water and everything we
could to help her and I think the dad started to feel a little guilty
that he hadn't done anything. This week it was the sons birthday and
we told him we'd drop by. They said there would be no celebrations
because they couldn't afford it, so we arrived and found the dad and
all his friends outside drinking liquor and singing karaoke while the
kids sat inside and tried to ignore it. We have the son a little
bottle of Coke and a bag of treats we'd bought and just the look in
his eye, he really just needed it. His dad walked in just then and I
don't know if it was the guilt or the appreciation or what, but he
just broke down and cried and hugged his son. They're hard, they're
going to take time, but they need the gospel, and they're really
starting to realise how much better off their life is going to be.
Saving these families, this is what its all about.

I just keep thinking all the time about who I was before and who I am
now, and how far I've come and how far I've still got to go, and how
much time I've wasted, and how much mercy my Father in Heaven has for
me to have taken me to this point. I can't even tell you enough how
much this is changed my life. Everybody needs this. I've never had so
much fun, I've never laughed so hard, and I just really understand
what true happiness is. If anyone thinks they shouldn't come because
they're not the type, all the more reason to come. I'm not a robot yet
haha and I don't think I ever will be. I just love being HAPPY!

And I love you all. Some of you need to do your duty better and write
me more. You know who you are!

So much love,
Sister McKim

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Deep thoughts and tales of the soul

Where are the weeks even going?
This morning I said goodbye to a missionary whos going home TODAY and
another that starts her mission tomorrow! Its crazy, I remember when
that was me! Probably not the greenest of all greenies but green

This week. Ah man it was all over the place. For the first time we had
genuine investigators HIDE from us. It was only when a kid bashed open
the door from the outside that we saw the dad pretending to be on the
floor with a fever, the mum hiding in the shadows in the kitchen and
the daughter in the fetal position behind the door. Great. But luckily
we have a bunch of other investigators. We've been working hard to
strengthen the centro area close to the chapel and even though its
been a tougher couple of weeks doing a lot of finding and working on
part member families who don't want to be taught, we're starting to
see the successes. This week we had a ton of teens at church whos
parents are less active, so we're hoping through a bit more work and
their example their parents will follow them. We have this one family
in particular, the mum wants the kids to be baptised but the dad is
less than supportive of them and is a less than great example for the
kids. The two teenage boys, being teenage boys are generally less than
excited about becoming active church members, but over time we've seen
the change in them. The dad is drunk every time we go there and treats
his wife terribly, and even though the boys don't really enjoy church
and don't have any friends there, its like they know the gospel really
will help their dad to be a better person so they do it even though
its hard. We taught them with their mum this week and after the
longest time, both boys prayed in the lesson. The mum cried. That dad
might take years yet to change but whatever happens we don't give up
on them.

We also found the worlds best new investigator family on Christmas
Eve! They have 8 kids, 6 who live with them. The dad was less than
keen until we finally got him to sit down and listen and now hes
really having some of his questions answered that hes had for years.
He basically taught himself the Restoration the other night, he was
like it would make sense for the true church to have this, and then
he'd read a passage of the BoM and be like, annnd you do, so good. The
mum is amazing. Shes proof to me that they're no 'type' of person that
we're looking for, we're all children of good. She came to church and
brought all the kids and answered every question in every class. She
said shes been to every church looking for the true one and she knew
this was it before she even came. She just gets it. I love people like
that. I honestly know that the Spirit drove me to her house on
Christmas Eve. If I hadn't seen so many other miracles occur in my
life, finding her alone would make me believe. They're definitely
going to have road blocks along the way, and I won't be here to see
them get baptised but they're on the way. One other thing I realised
is that she lives next door to a member who always invited her kids to
activites and thats how shes always remembered that our church was
good. Months ago when I first got here Bishop gave us a list of names
of members and told us that he was inspired that we needed to ask them
for referals and this members name was on it, we just were always too
busy to go to her house and ask her, and if we had it probably would
have been this lady. It also strengthens my testimony that the
prepared people will be found eventually, and whether or not we are
prepared will be whether or not were the missionaries who are blessed
to teach them, and how much sooner their lives will be blessed! I also
have a stronger testimony that when a Priesthood leader tells me hes
been inspired that I should do something, I should probably do it
right away.

We also had a special experience with one of our RC's this week. We
couldn't do the lesson we had planned so I shared a story from general
conference that I liked and asked her if she'd seen any miracles in
her life. She told us that her dad, who has now died, years before had
been sick and actually died but come back to life. That in itself was
a miracle, but he told them all about what he had seen in the spirit
world and all of the angels while he was briefly there. She said she
didn't believe it at the time until she heard about the Plan of
Salvation and realised these things can actually be real. The more I
get to know these people the more I can see how special each and every
one of them is to our Heavenly Father, and I really think of them as
my brothers and sisters.

Missionary work! If you can get out here, get out here now. There is
nothing, anything in this world like it.

Mahal ko kayo lahat, mga guwapo at guapa!
Sister McKim

Monday, 6 January 2014

Then sings my soul

Great times as usual here in San Nic! Sister Lainhart and me have been
having a wicked time entertaining ourselves in our apartment now we
don't have housemates. On New Year's Eve we went on lockdown at 5pm
and had to entertain ourselves until bedtime since we weren't allowed
to go to bed early. We are actually masterchefs and made ourselves the
best chicken burger and fry meal imaginable in our apartment and
celebrated New Years at 9.30 when it ticked over in Adelaide. Sort of
celebrated. I was kind of like, yaaaay and then moved on. The
neighbours were partying hard, there were literally fireworks going on
24/7 for the week, kids lighting them off in the street, or lighting
them and throwing them in the middle of groups of people so they all
had to run away, or doing them in the middle of the day so you can't
even see them but theres loud bangs going off all the time. Apparently
there were a lot of firework related deaths around as well. Bad news.
There really are no rules here, people just do what they want with
them. And then on New Years morning when we were struggling enough to
wake up, the neighbours had hired a karaoke machine and there was a
little girl going hard all morning. Oh man. Rough morning haha.
The rest of New Years was great, we went to our RC's house and they
had been saving their best chicken for us to kill. He died a noble
death and he was delicious. The picture of Sister Lainhart is when she
puts its blood on her face. Its gross I know. Then we wandered over to
our investigator husbands house and his brother told us he was drunk.
I honestly thought he was joking because he has a smoking problem but
doesn't even drink, but we walked up to his house and saw him dancing
around the living room. When he saw us he stopped, and thought, and
put on a shirt, and just sat there. We were just like, why? His face,
he was so so guilty and so disappointed. Every time we went back he
would see us coming and run away, and his wife would cry, shes been
praying so hard for him. On Saturday we finally caught him round the
back of his house pretending he wasn't running away, and dragged him
inside, he woudn't even look at us. Instead of calling him out, we
just talked to them about fasting and how they can receive help in
their own problems and the problems of others. The next morning they
both came to church fasting , he went in for an interview with Bishop
and they sorted something out and now hes back on track. Miracles from
fasting - they are real. Fasting here is so much harder because its a
lot more hours of being awake than at home plus were walking around in
the sun still all day. But it was so worth it for everything that
Things have been going really well in our area, we felt like we'd hit
a wall there so we took a hard look at what was going on and made some
big changes. We noticed that when we put a little bit more effort into
every area the miracles happened, and making sure the members are
doing the work and were supporting them and things go a lot faster. We
found two new investigator families that are looking really promising.
On Christmas Eve in the morning we were preparing to go about our day
a certain way and I just really felt the Spirit drive me in another
direction. Its like it was literally moving me to do things. After
being prompted to read certain scriptures and certain passages in
Preach My Gospel, I wrote in my journal 'Today we will find somebody
who will be baptised'. Even I was surprised at what had happened, but
I was prompted to a girl in our ward to come out with us, it was a
miracle that she was free since she always works, and in that short
time she was out we met a lady on the street. Turns out the two of
them are from the same town in Manila. The lady we met told us she
always wanted to talk to us because she investigated the church 20
years ago in Manila but didn't think they had a chapel here when she
moved back. And she has 8 kids, who love us. She lives next door to a
lady in our ward who shes friends with and we got her to come over
with us last night and she convinced her to come to church with all
her kids. Miracles. Even if it takes time, she will be baptised. I
really think I've only got a couple more weeks here in San Nic so I'm
trying to get it all ready for the next missionary to take over so
they have plenty of investigators to work with. Can't wait to hear
about all the baptisms that happen after I've gone.
I love this work and I love you all. I have such a testimony of
everything I do. I read a quote this week that said we are responsible
for all the souls we had the opportunity to save and didn't, and I
don't want to get to judgement and regret all these things I didn't
Work hard, love you!
Sister McKim