Sunday, 29 June 2014

When the dogs in the fridge

This week was one giant miracle I don't even know where to start so
Ima go as quick as I can.
So our most recent RC who's YSA had to overcome a whole lot of
persecution from every single one of her family members and friends to
be baptised, NOBODY supported her. No matter how many times we would
try to teach them we couldn't even get them to be nice to us.
Miraculously we've started teaching her mum and sister who have
confessed the church is true, but we also started teaching her two
best friends. Sunday afternoon we went over there and her bestie AJ
was sitting there next to her, she had nowhere to go so we told her
just to stay while we taught her friend really quick. Shes way too
cool for school and would not even talk to us. Closing prayer over,
she thinks shes safe and thats when we turn on her and just start
testifying about praying to know, and feeling the Spirit, and
something just clicked in her. She reluctantly prayed and took a Book
of Mormon. The next night the RC was like, lets just go check on her
and try convince her to read. We get to her house and shes off the
chain happy. She just starts going on and on about the Restoration and
how it makes sense, and how she prayed to know that Joseph Smith was a
prophet and how she knows she has to get baptised. This week she
taught the gospel to all of her friends, taught them to pray, came to
a baptism of a kid in the branch she doesn't even know, and has ready
a good chunk of 1 Nephi AND quit smoking and drinking. Its like a
slightly less intense Alma the Younger story. When she came to church
yesterday it was like she was already a member. Through them we just
got this huge group of all the struggling and less active YSA together
and now they're all best friends. I can't even comprehend still the
people who were at church on Sunday that I never would have even
dreamed of last week. Thats missionary work for you.

We have an unusual amount of people we teach who are pipi, which is
like can't hear or speak, and they don't really know sign language
either so they just make it up! We were waiting in the foyer for our
investigators and we were talking to this pipi girl in our ward. She
signed to Sister Roma that she wanted her shoes, and Sister Roma
couldn't figure out how to sign that she needed her shoes to get home,
so eventually she gave up and told her that she'd give them to her
next week. We started teaching a mum of a family where all the kids
are grown up pipis! She said she used to know sign language but when
they started going to school they learned a different kind, so now she
doesn't know how to talk to them properly. Annnd we came across this
less active girl in our area whos pipi and shes SO FUNNY! We ran into
her yesterday afternoon on our way to an appointment and just decided
to teach her instead. She can talk a little bit but shes all Ilocano
and pretty hard to understand. Shes a partyer and she drinks a lot so
we taught word of wisdom. Sister Roma is way better than me at fake
sign language, so I just drew pictures of beer and cigarettes and then
drew big x's on them. Funniest lesson ever. Then she came and worked
with us the whole afternoon. I don't know how she did it but she
brought the Spirit with her to every lesson. She said, somehow I guess
she signed it, but she said after her missionaries left nobody ever
cared about her as much as them so she went less active, but she loves
us now so shes coming back to church.

So on Tuesday night we get a text from a member saying to come over
for dinner, turns out its a big party for their birthday. The menu was
goat, which was delicious, strangely delicious. There was this other
dish on the table that came out late and Sister Roma was LOVING it,
everyone could not stop talking about how delicious it was. After
dinner we were joking around with the member about how one day were
gonna get fed something weird and not know it, like dog. And shes
like, yeah, the black meat, dog. We thought she was joking, so we
asked her husband, who confirmed, dog. It was a dog. The whole way
home everyone was so upset about eating the dog but how delicious it
was, I didn't know because I didn't even eat it, so later that night
when I went to the fridge to get food I took out the dog, sat at the
kitchen table by myself and ate it. We also kind of thought they were
joking, but they weren't. But they assured us the place they got it
was safe and not even illegal. Hopefully, no tail yet.

I have a million more stories to write but no more time, but I love it
here in the Philippines so much, I can't imagine a nicer people. The
Spirit I felt this week as we worked with these new people and helped
those other return was incredible. I can't imagine going back to the
outside world again after this. I love this work and I love helping
people to understand the gospel, and they in turn help me to
strengthen my testimony. I just love it, and its all so true.

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A million stories

I swear I had a million stories this week but when I get to the
computer I just go blank!
This week was wicked as usual, totally changed up our teaching and
went for a different angle. Last week in district conference the
district president told us the numbers of worth active Melchizadek
Priesthood holders in the district and how many we need to be a stake.
That sounds like a challenge to me. We got straight on it this week,
met up with this half-active brother in our ward, told him we were
having lunch at his house. Told him what it is to be a worthy
Priesthood holder and asked him what he needed to change. He said,
wear Sunday best! His wife irons his shirt every Sunday but he never
puts it on, but this Sunday his wife walks in with out him, were like
oh no where is he! Shes like just wait. Ten minutes later he comes
running in buttoning up his white shirt, holding a tie in his hands!
We are cheering and celebrating with him in the foyer. Then he tells
us he just ran next door to the market and bought it, still had the
price tag on! His wife and us just look at each other, shes like, its
progress. Sabbath day next lesson, hey. Love them.
We get a text on Thursday from this lady who says shes a member and
wants to come work with us, and were like....uhh who is this? Happen
to run into her 10 minutes later and she tells us shes been in Manila
since the week I got here so obviously we never met her before, but
she wants to come out Saturday morning. So were like, sweet sounds
good! Saturday morning rolls around and we walk out the front door and
see her on the road in her BRAND NEW CAR! So we go cruising around the
bukid and everyones staring us down, there was literally still the
plastic seat covers on, I can't remember the last time I was even in a
car. We go track down this super humble family and and meet their 17
year old daughter who is the loveliest person who ever existed but is
so shy. She said she can't afford to study so she just works on the
farm, she never gets to leave the town, so shes basically Cinderalla
in real life. The member sits down and is like, you're pretty, can you
work a computer? You should come work for me. The girl is sitting
there jaw to the floor like her dreams literally just came true. The
next morning the member went back to pick her up in her fancy car,
probably the first time shes even been in a car, and comes to church.
She loved it. She had so many questions. So good. We been struggling
to find time to go find new investigators because we have a rediculous
amount of recent converts in our area we have to teach every week, but
this week we made a huge effort and had 5 new investigators at church
that we found this week. I about cried on Sunday morning when we
walked into church and they were already all sitting there lined up in
the foyer.
In other news, I'm singlehandedly speading the love of tacos across
the Laoag mission. Every time someone new comes in the house I feel it
my duty to make them for them, and they've all become obsessed.
They're not exactly right but they're close enough to hit the spot. We
went to this new restaurant for p-day today and tacos were on the menu
and all the Philippinos got super excited and asked if they would be
as good as the ones we have at home. We're taco-loco up in here!
Sister Webb who is my magaling housemate and me have been having deep
doctrine chats on the nightly. Its wicked. We'll sit there with our
books out and I'll be like.....time. Then we go hard figuring out what
is time, what is time! Such a concept. It gets a little deep then we
have to stop and do something else for a while because universe chats
are just so beyond out human comprehension. But seriously, just search
your scriptures. Look for answers and you'll find things you never
even dreamed of in there. All the doctrines for salvation and
exaltation are in there, so go find them.

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Running out of time so I'll cut it there.
Keep reading your scriptures. And don't just read them, get way in
there, find the doctrine and live it.

Teaching a lesson and a bat flies in, so they kill it with a shoe.
Regular occurance.
Maxine! Our little RC who is amazing! We taught her tithing this week
and she came to church on Sunday with ten pesos in hand. She asked who
to give it to so we taught her how to fill out the tithing slip. Even
kids can be converted!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Does it get any better?

So this week was probably the most special day for me so far out in
the field. For two reasons.

So first, I just casually had lunch with a general authority.
On Wednesday we had Zone Conference which is when the whole mission
gets together for two seperate conferences depending where you're
assigned, and we were blessed enough to have Elder Ardern of the
seventy and his wife come and share to us. Their training was as
incredible as you'd expect it to be, and so so inspiring. They had
gone all out at lunch and decked out the chapel hall super fancy with
this massive buffet, it basically looked like the nicest church hall
wedding you could imagine. When we were deciding where to sit Elder
Ardern yelled out 'Sisters, sit with us!'. Wasn't gonna say no. It
just reminded me how important the missionaries are in the running of
the church and how valued our service is, and also how these people
are all just people too, but really really really awesome people. I
had such a sacred experience during the conference and learned so much
that I have been applying to the work.

In the morning while we were waiting for the conference to start, my
old companion Sister Lainhart found me and told me that the house of
the Ramos family, my very first converts in my mission, had just
burned down two weeks ago. We ran to President and he told us the
whole story, and since we were hours away from home and only 5 minutes
away from them we asked him if we could go. President doesn't usually
give permission to do anything that takes away from work time, which
is good and I agree with, but we felt so strongly that they needed us.
He said pray that the conference would be over in time and we could
go. I thought of course its not going to finish on time this is the
Philippines, but we prayed and by some miracle on miracle, we got out
on time, dived in a tricie and went. Plus midway through the
conference the Cagayan bus arrived with the missionaries from 6 hours
away including Sister Storey! That afternoon after their tragedy they
got to see their 3 missionaries, and it was such a blessing. We didn't
even know where they lived anymore, we just went and spotted the kids
playing on the street. It was mid afternoon and everyone should have
been at work but by some MIRACLE they were all home. Sister Ramos saw
us pull up and we literally RAN to each other and hugged (in my brand
new heels which are now destroyed). She just cried and cried, and she
just kept saying its gone, its all gone. My heart hurt for them. I
honestly didn't know if I'd ever seen them again, but here we were.
After all the reunions we sat and got down to business. Brother Ramos
went and bought us food, as much as we protested that they had
nothing, and he insisted they needed the blessings from serving the
missionaries. He is amazing. They're literally counting the days til
they can go to the temple to be sealed, anddd its all entirely
possible that I will be able to go with them to the temple, to see all
three families be sealed together before I go home. He told us that
some of them have been struggling a little bit, some of them have had
to miss some Sunday's for work and things, so with what little time we
had left we RAN to our other RC's, and we all cry hugged together.
When I saw Juvie, one of the other wifes I looked her in the eye and
said JUVIE ARE YOU GOING TO CHURCH? She looked so guilty. I told her
never to forget that we're going to the temple, all of us. She knew,
she understood, and they're gonna be ok.

So this is the best part. We went to see the house and its literally
just four poles and a pile of rubble. They said it was some sort of
electrical fault, but luckily nobody was home at the time. They said
the whole ward bounded together to help rebuild what they could on
their land and give them clothes and supplies, so they're being taken
care of. I just love them, I'm probably rambling but I love these
people so much. Then this was the best part. We saw the house, there
was nothing left, EXCEPT, their Bible, and all of their Book of
Mormons. The Bible here in the picture, the back cover was gone, and
the side part binding all the pages was gone, and the pages were all
burned on the outside, and when you opened it, the edges were clearly
burnt, but not a single word of the text was missing, I kid you not.
Plus all of their Book of Mormons, about 5 or 6 of them, which were
all in different places in the house. Whenever I show this picture to
people they're like 'wow.....why didn't you take a picture of the Book
of Mormons? That would have been way better...' Well, yeah, I'll get
one haha. But anyone whole looking to see a miracle, this is one, and
this family definitely isn't missing the point.

In other really excellent news, Joann got baptised! She was amazing,
and even though only her auntie and uncle were there to support her,
none other of her family and friends, she cried in her testimony and
said she knew it was true even though nobody else around her wanted to
believe it. Her story is amazing. Her cousin was also 17 years old
when she got baptised, and like Joeann, her parents were opposed to
signing the papers or letting her be baptised, but the cousin
continued and eventually after a year and just a couple months before
she left on her mission, her parents were baptised. Now the parents
are the ones leading the fight for Joann and making up for not being
their for their own daughter. They're awesome, shes awesome, everyones

I just love this mission. And I'm including my favourite story that I
read this week from Acts 19. Talk about needing authority from God!

I love you all. Serve hard, whatever your calling.
Sister McKim

Acts 19

13 ¶Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon themto
call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord
Jesus,saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief ofthe
priests, which did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I
know; but who are ye?

16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them,
andovercame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled outof
that house naked and wounded.

17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling
atEphesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord
Jesuswas magnified.

18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewedtheir deeds.

19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their
bookstogether, and burned them before all men: and they counted
theprice of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Goodbye sweet sister.

Hi Team!

Another wicked week down.
Said goodbye to my sweet Sister Ramos! We like kind of exchanged
companions because the two of them left on Tuesday morning at like
4am, so they didn't wake us up to come with them. I woke up just as
they were walking out the door and waved goodbye to my little darling!
Luckily Sister Webb is my other favourite and she was the one left
with me so we had a wicked day being comps until our new ones came. We
have two teeny tiny little Philippinas as comps now and they are so
cute and so awesome. I was expecting Philippino masterchefs but
they're not so now I'm the one back to cooking every day, which I'm
not sad about at all. I feel like everyones mum again, loving it.

We have this one investigator called Joann and shes awesome, shes 17
and the relative of recent converts, but other than them NOBODY wants
her to join the church. She has such a good testimony and loves it but
its a constant battle with her because one day she'll be loving it and
so excited to be baptised, next day she'll be scared and say she wants
to wait til the end of the year. The whole family literally bails
every time they see us coming. We got there the other day and were mid
lesson, then found out it was her dads birthday so he was super drunk
with all of his mates out the back of the house. They all came over
and we were getting ready to bail mid lesson and he starts asking a
million questions, so we assess that hes alright and we can stay for a
minute longer. Then he tells us hes just shy and really wants us to
teach him. So we ask him if Joann can be baptised and hes like OF
COURSE! Then everyone was loving it and celebrating. So were like ok,
we leave and tell him we'll see what happens when hes not drunk next
time. Came back two days later and Joann told us the next day her dad
and all his friends had purposely not drunk and were waiting all night
for us to come over because they wanted to ask us questions about the
church! Best day ever. She got interviewed on Sunday - miracle - and
should be baptised on Saturday! Love that kid.

Had so many really spiritual lessons with a lot of people this week
and really was able to get into some peoples souls and get to know
them better. It like nothing else being here on the mission and just
being in peoples houses all day every day and they just know that we
can help them, so they just tell us everything there is to know about
their lives. I love being a missionary, seriously changing lives. One
of our RC's who's a mum gave a talk on Sunday that was so inspiring.
Her and her 3 teenage daughters were baptised about 2 months ago
during the kids school vacation (I can't remember if I already wrote
this story or not?). So the oldest who is 13 went to school to enroll
and all the teachers said they heard she'd been taken in by the
Mormons and persuaded by the Americans, basically chastising her for
being baptised. She was so nice and respectful in return and just bore
her testimony. Her mum was thinking about it and then had a dream. She
said in her dream they were having a beauty pageant at the school and
all the other girls were dressed up so fancy, but her daughter Bea was
standing there just dressed for church, wearing a skirt and sandals
with no makeup. Her mum was super worried trying to get her to dress
up so that she would win but Bea kept saying she was fine the way she
was. In the end, Bea won the beauty contest, and her mum was so
surprised, but then she realised that her daughter was different and
so special, and she didn't need to be fancy, she was just a beautiful
righteous girl. I love love love that story, shes so inspiring. We had
an amazing lesson with them this week. The dad has been struggling a
lot lately and getting further away from his baptism, but I was
inspired to put together a two part lesson on justice and mercy,
focussed on repentance and the atonement. The kids did not get it, but
brother was hanging on to every word, and I think it really effected
him. Basically, Christ died for us, he paid our entry into heaven
because we can't afford it ourselves, and if we don't accept the
atonement by being baptised and repenting, we cannot get it, we just

I love being a missionary, and I know that this church is true, I know
that Christ lives and we need him, or we just can't go to heaven.
We just can't!

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


This week was wicked as usual! Four of our little kiddies got baptised
this week which means two families complete and active again! Loving
it. But no baptism is without its drama. A week before, the older
brother of little Jonalyn decided she needed a haircut and took it
upon himself to do it. She looks a little like Spock now. It really
breaks my heart whenever I look at her now, Sister Ramos says
sometimes she just catches me looking at her with a sad face. But its
ok, its gonna grow back, and we bought her a headband as a baptismal
present. Then her two other brothers got in a fight, the two little
ones, and the younger one threw the older one to the ground and sliced
his face but. So kind of sad times for the pictures, but they're still
way cute and were running around like ninjas in their huge outfits so
its still a win! The other awkward thing happened when we got to their
house to pick them up. We hadn't seen the mum in a couple days to
finish their baptismal records so we took a minute to do them. So the
kids are 9, 11, and 12 right. So I'm like Robert, you're 12 right,
whens your birthday? So he tells me and I'm trying to mentally do the
math, and I'm like, thats not right is it? So the mums like, I dunno
actually let me check the birth certificate. So I'm like uhhh...ok? So
she pulls them out and I take a look. I'm like, um, I don't know how
to tell you this but your kids are actually 8, 9 and 11. So the
reactions were the best bit. The mums kind of like, oh hmm yeah I
dunno. The little girl is literally devastated. She like I'm nearly
10! And I'm like, umm you're not. So the oldest boy, who we've been
telling is going to pass the sacrament in a couple weeks is like,
wait, so how old am I?? Then hes like ok, 11 it is! The middle one
doesn't even care, I'm not even sure he knew what was going on, he was
just giggling away. So, that was interesting haha. I'm sitting there
like, is this real life? Basta, they got baptised and they are way
The other kid is Dan Dan and he's the man, hes like my little bestie
here and he is a changed man! 6 weeks ago he was staying out all
night, his family never knew where he was, they couldn't control him,
he was boxing for money and gambling away all his winnings. And now
its all over and hes begging his mum to get him a new shirt and pants
so he can pass the sacrament. Hes awesome, and did I mention hes 12?

In other news, its the peak of mango season right now which means
mangos are like 50 cents a kilo and apart from the truckload we buy
every week people keep giving us bag loads of them so we've gone mango
loco up in here. I knew it was inspired that I came here!
We have this awkward problem here where whenever our investigators get
really interested they suddenly move really far away to somewhere
where there are no missionaries. This week we got to our investigators
house and her mum told her that they had just got a job and left
immediately. She is now a servant for the Princess of Jordan. Just
In other hilarious news, in gospel principles class yesterday they
were teaching about fasting, and as they do they have to teach it in
all 3 languages so everybody understands. So they write up fasting on
the board, then the Tagalog word, then the teacher yells out if anyone
knows it in Ilocano, nobody does, so I yell it out, and nobody
believes me. So they go around asking everyone, suggesting what it
could be and then finally someone figures it out and yells it out.
Turns out I said that like 5 minutes ago. Haha. Baroak pay laeng iti
Ilocano! Thats probably wrong, people love judging my Ilocano haha!

One thing that I came across in my study this week is in Luke 24 about
when Christ appears to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. At
first they don't recognise Him as the Lord. The Lord gets them to
share everything they know about Him, and then Jesus Himself uses the
scriptures to teach them and prove to them that the Lord has actually
risen and lives. Then they recognise that this is a good man with good
knowledge and invite Him to eat with them. Its not until they see the
Christ doing something that they acknowledge Him as being Christlike,
and realise He is the Christ Himself. Then basically they say, did we
not feel our hearts burn while He was with us? Did we not feel the
Spirit that whole time?? Its kind of like this with us as missionaries
sometimes. At first people don't recognise us as servants of the Lord.
So we ask them what they know, then we use the scriptures and share
what we know with them. Then they recognise we are good, and they
invite us to stay longer. Then when they see us doing Christlike
things, doing something that they can associate us with being like
Him, then they will see that we are true servants, and they will
realise the truth, and they will understand the Spirit, and they will
say, weren't we feeling this the whole time??

Love you all,
Are year mark presents a thing? If they are I should be expecting
packages from you all in two weeks time!
The church is true!

Sister McKim