Monday, 31 March 2014


So we had ZCM this week, which means the whole half of the mission in
the jungle has a big reunion conference and it was awesome! The AP's
and President all gave trainings and they were off the charts inspired
with everything I could have every wanted to hear from them. I feel
sometimes like our mission is run like a football time, like were
being coached and were in the middle of a hectic game. Its way good, I
always come out of meeting psyched to go! The best part was at the end
when they split us up into Elders and Sisters and we had little
seperate secret meetings. Sister Barrientos, the mission presidents
wife gave us a whole training not looking dowdy and old. She told us
we had to teach each other to do make up and buy nicer clothes and
shoes. And then she taught us how to sit and walk. It was rad, but so
funny. All these sisters sitting around the room in a circle
practicing being ladies, we felt way classy for a sec which was nice,
until we went outside and got attacked by the intense sun. Did I
mention its like living in the Sahara desert this week? This is know
to be literally the hottest area in the Philippines and it was off the
charts this week, being pretty is more of a challenge than expected. I
always used to look at some sister missionaries and just think, I bet
they dress way better than that at home, why aren't they putting in
any effort? I understand completely now, so I'm sorry to any sisters I
ever judged in my mind. She also then mentioned about mission crushes.
So this is a topic we always thought was incredibly bawal and not at
all allowed, then a couple weeks we were all hanging out and Sister
Barrientos was asking who everyone had a crush on. This led to an all
out free for all of mission crush chats and its all anybodys been
talking about for weeks. So in the training she mentions it, and shes
like its fine if you do, just don't act on it of course. Then shes
like "its completely normal if you have one, its actually abnormal if
you don't!" Then all my housemates pointed at me, then everyone
laughed. So I'm abnormal. Great. Haha.

This week I've been studying the Atonement. I started a new Book of
Mormon and decided I was going to highlight whenever it talks about
the Atonement, I made it a fair way through 1 Nephi and barely had
anything, so I'm thinking I know I'm not doing this right. So I take
it to the Quorum of the Twelve, whip out my conference edition and
start reading. Once I read their insights I really understood a lot
more how the Atonement really applies to everything. EVERYTHING. So I
started again. Theres barely anything in the Book of Mormon thats not
about the Atonement. One thing I've been focussing on is the
difference between the cleansing power and the enabling power of the
Atonement. There are so many things I could say, but one thing it
really comes down to is because of the Atonement we can be free from
our sins, and because of the enabling power of the Atonement we can be
great, and great things can still come to pass even though we've
messed up bad, and wasted opportunities and let other people down
because of our bad choices. We can never learn too much about the
Atonement, theres always more that we just don't understand yet. But
I'm so grateful for the scriptures, and for general conference and for
living day prophets and apostles. The church is revolutionary, and
theyre doing revolutionary things in the world right now. This is it,
this is the last days! Get your 72 hour kits ready and start repenting
because its going to be a wild ride. Haha joke lang, kinda. But for
reals, don't forget why were here and who sent us and where were going
and how we get there.

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Monday, 24 March 2014

This week, I remembered carpet.

Yeah, carpets a thing! I forgot all about it, and then we talked about
carpet for like 20 minutes and how good it is. I haven't walked on a
clean floor in 9 months and our house is the worst. Girls shed hair
like crazy here, I actually saw a tumbleweed of hair go past me the
other day while studying. Cagayan!

So yes, I AM extremely happy that I happen to be in the same place
that Survivor is being filmed. We've known about it for months and I
guess they just started advertising it. But no, I haven't seen Jeff
Probst, they're filming in one of the Elders areas a couple hours
away. But I do always feel like I'm on Survivor. Just this morning we
had to really quickly grab this huge rubbish bin full off maggots and
run it to the highway before they crawled out and touched our skin so
it was kinda like a survivor challenge. And we also happened to run
out of water on Saturday night, which means we went without until this
morning so we've been boiling water and picking out what could be
parasites, nobody really knows. We also had a stack of coconuts given
to us so we borrowed a machete and have been macheting coconuts
outside our house for weeks now. Plus its been raining for weeks so
I've been wearing wet clothes for weeks have never actually gotten
dry. It's been getting pretty primitive up in here but out of respect
for the calling I won't go into details. We're pretty much living like
Survivor anyways.

This week we went jungle trekking to find new investigators, and I
mean real trekking, like off book trekking and strumbled across this
creepy building that looks like a Dharma station from Lost. Then I
remembered tv. I just hit halfway this week so maybe I'm getting mid
mission trunky or something. I'm expecting to find that missing plane
any minute now and get snatched up by some of the Others. I'm assuming
I'm on the list of good people. This paragraph is both nerdy and not
mission related. Sorry bout it.

I had a really great moment this week where I had a really urgent
question that I didn't have the authority to decide for myself. I
called President and he happened to be with one of the 70, asked him
and got back to me straight away. I was really just marvelling for a
moment at how if we really need them, the leaders of the church are
there for us, even the 70, or even the 12, or even the Prophet if we
needed him individually. I really just reminded me how we really are
all just one family and each one of us individually is important.

I would also like a comprehensive update of the missing plane, and any
news from the real world. When I ask people about whats going on in
the real world nobody has any clue. I caught a glimpse of the news the
other day and it was a ladyboy beauty pageant so as far as I know
thats all thats going on.

We have been watching this DVD with our investigators lately, its
amazing, I cry every time. It's the John Tanner story of the man who
gave absolutely everything he had to the church in the early days when
the church had nothing. This is my favourite quote, I don't know if
its by him or by someone else but Google is bawal so I can't look it

"No man putting his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the
kingdom of God"

Don't ever forget that every minute of our lives here is for the work
of the Lord, and every minute we waste is holding ourselves and others
back from our eternal reward.

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Sunday, 16 March 2014

I'm breaking up with you

This week was a week of hardcore dropping. We have this awkward
problem here where we have too many investigators and not enough time
to visit everybody, so we had to go around to a lot of people and give
them last chances so we can focus on the people that actually want to
progress. It was like breaking up with people. You teach them a
lesson, read a scripture promising eternal happiness and joy if they
just do what they're supposed to do, but let them know they have a
choice, and if they don't do them they\re basically condemned, but we
do it in the absolutely nicest possible way. Its awkward because
they're kind of like, but we can still be friends right? And we're
like, if we happen to be in the neighbourhood we might stop
by....Really its like breaking up with people. But it is sad,
especially because at the beginning they were doing so well and were
really so so happy, and somewhere along the line something goes wrong
for them and they lose that motivation to be better. But really it
just means its not their time, and we can do find someone who's time
it is.

Theres some weird stuff that goes on out here in Cagayan so I'll give
you a bit of a run down. Because were so close to the mountains theres
a lot of native people things going on up here, I mentioned the dog
eating, and then theres witchcraft, voodoo magic, cock fights. The
cock fighting arena is right across from the meetinghouse so we get to
listen to them all night long when we have meetings. Its like a big
deal, you see people getting ready all week, training up their
chickens, and then they all leave so disappointed at the end. We had
an investigator who told us her dad was killed by voodoo magic, a lady
he worked with got mad at him and made a doll which apparently caused
his death, that was an interesting one to explain from a Gospel
perspective. We also have an investigator family where the dad puts
his son in beauty pageants dressed as a princess. So, needless to say,
there are always interesting times.

This week I've been studying about the Bible. I've become obsessed.
And the more the Bible is true, the more the Book of Mormon is
definitely true. And from an intellectual point of view there is no
way that it was possibly written without inspiration from God, but its
also plain to see the mistakes in translating by man. This is only one
reason we need the Book of Mormon to, they need each other, and we
need them both. If you don't read the Book of Mormon every day, you
need to start. And if you don't believe it, compare it with the Bible,
and then if you still need convincing, just ask God, and He will tell
you whats true.

I love the mission, I am blessed beyond reason to be in the Laoag
mission, these people were waiting for me! If I've learned anything
its that everythings part of God's plan, except when we mess up, but
even then He still has an unlimited amount of contingency plans for

Love you all, keep the emails coming, and with Easter only a month
away, I wouldn't hate to see some chocolates arrive on the doorstep

Mahal kita,
Magtiis hanggang sa wakas
Sister McKim

So the pictures. These kids are in the branch and we went to their
house and found them catching dinner, which are these little worm fish
things that chill in this sewer water. I was already worried about the
sanitary nature of the water before I saw the chunk of human poo float
past one kids hand. We then shook the kids hands before we left. I'm
forever being reminded how I need to wash my hands more often. This
kid was having a wicked time making his monkey dance all morning and
then fell asleep with it on his face. The kid was ignoring us when we
tried to talk to him so the monkey got made and smacked him in the
face. I'm like the money whisperer, its like he read my thoughts. So the 
drawing. Yep so, we assigned an elder in our district to draw us for our district tshirt,
and this is what he came up with. Pretty true of everyone and pretty
great, way inappropriate and won't be the district shirt, but doesn't
mean it wont end up on a tshirt in the future one day haha.

Monday, 10 March 2014

I will now stop my conference

Worlds quickest because I left this til last this week!

So! This week

We baptised the two cutest kids in the world, Amy and Louie. They are
8 & 9 and also tiny tiny Philippinos and were baptised by Elder
Pincock who also happens to be a very very tall white man. Hilarious.
We had another wicked tricie convoy to the river, baptism days in
Sanchez are my all time favourite.

Sister Baguio is transferring and I couldn't be more sad! But my new
comp is apparently amazing, and the two other sisters coming are both
American and I adore them both so life is going to be good. Every
second sentance out of our other housemate, Sister Copeland's mouth
begins with "In America..." so its going to get real American up in
here. For example, "In America, nobody would ever allow a dog to die
on their doorstep", or "In America, we only eat pure delicious meat
and we don't have to eat the gross bits...or dogs", etc. I need to
start writing things down, shes out of control.

We just started teaching the dad of one of our RC's and he came to
church a couple weeks ago but started running away from us. We were
way upset about it until he just texted us saying sorry that he
couldn't come to church because I love you. We're not really sure who
it is yet. Hopefully Sister Baguio because shes out of here anyway.

Were all on tsunami watch as almost every single missionary in our
ward has had a dream about a tsunami in Sanchez. A sister here before
apparently had a dream with the Town Hall in it before she'd ever even
come here. Yep. But were safe, I'm not worried! Except there is not
enough food in our house ever if we were to escape, working on it

There was a massive accident that rocked everybodys world in Sanchez,
a drunk tricie driver was killed in an accident, so for district
meeting, ELder Pincock was inspired that we should pretend we were
teaching his wife and what we would say to help her. Then the very
next day Sister Storey & Dela went to an investigators house and found
out it was her. What are the odds. Moral of the story, leaders are

Thats all I have time for.
But cheers for all the emails this week.
Love you crazy cats!

Sister McKim

Monday, 3 March 2014

"in America..."

So the day finally came where my Tagalog failed and I said something
terribly inappropriate at a terribly inappropriate time.
But I can't even tell the story because its pretty bad, and hilarious, and bad.
But lets just say, we all speak a combo of Tagalog and Ilocano here,
and I said a word that means one thing in Tagalog and means a
completely different thing in Ilocano. And then the conversation
continued for a long time and my innocent questions just happened to
apply directly to the inappropriate word. Oh grabi.
I knew this day would come.

This week we learned a lot more about the people were teaching and
learned a lot more about what life is really like here. We were
teaching this family this week who for the longest time just wouldn't
come to church and told us they didn't have money for food let alone
fare to get to church. At the time they were sitting there eating
these cookies and treats and we really went hard on telling them that
if they sacrificed the money for those treats on money for fare they
could get to church, and they didn't say anything. Later on we saw the
little daughter who told us that the day before they had gone to the
dump as a family and found all these unopened packets of treats and
were so happy. Really felt bad about that one, even though based on
the situation it seemed like the right thing to do. Sometimes even we
make mistakes. We also have this investigator lady who is 69 and I
just love her so so much. They have no money but she stays classy and
really takes care of her self, she looks like a 1950s movie star, I
just love her. She is so converted and wants to be baptised, but we
just found out that her and her husband aren't married. She wants to,
but he refuses. Apart from the fact that its expensive and they're old
so he can't see the point, he keeps threatening that if we don't stop
telling him he needs to be married hes going to move back to where he
came from. Its so hard for her, it hurts her every time we talk about
it, and we just don't know yet what the best solution for her is, but
as things unfold we know the right thing will happen.

So theres an American sister in our house whos Bishop conveniently
does quarterly trips to Laoag for work. We actually ran into him one
time when we were all serving in the city which was crazy. So when her
mum found out that he was coming this week she asked for requests and
sent us a SUITCASE full of food and clothes for all of us. It was like
Christmas, actually I got more this time than at Christmas, and we all
sat on the floor and ate like we were in America. Then by the end of
the night everyone got sad and they're trying to start a diet this
week. Its never gonna work, but we'll see what happens.

This week I've been thinking a lot about being a missionary. And I was
thinking how a lot of things are reveled to us because of our calling
that normal people just can't understand. Its like being privvy to the
secrets of the universe, we spend time with people and in situations
that just would never occur in real life. I wish I could tell you
every little thing that happens here but theres so much that it just
so sacred and so personal to me. But just know, I know this for a
fact, that God lives, and this is the ONLY true church, baptism is
ESSENTIAL by the true authority, and there comes a time in all of our
lives where we must take up our crosses and consecrate everything to
the Lord. And for the first time in a long time, this is the real
world, this is real life.

Btw, if you wrote me and I never replied I'm so so sorry, I lost track
of who I had and hadn't, so just write me back and I'll promise I'll
reply now, I'm on top of it!