Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Revelations and converting experiences

Hi my dearest friends,

So last weeks p-day was the come down from a couple days in bed, so I
guess I was still a little loopy when I emailed. I read my email back
the next day and I sound like I was absolutely out of my mind. So I
was kind of feeling a little bit bad about it for a couple days,
telling my comp over and over that everything must think I've gone
crazy and I think she got sick of hearing it haha. On Thursday at
District Meeting as part of the training we talked about Nephi, and
how he and all of the prophets had weak spots and times when they fell
short, or wavered in faith, or sinned, or made mistakes and they all
got recorded right there in the scriptures for everyone else to read
for the rest of eternity. So as part of this blog, you're going to get
to see some of my crazy moments, some of my mistakes and failures and
sometimes even a little bit of my pride (which I'm working on I
promise!) BUT just like all those prophets, I hope you can see how far
I've come, and what we can achieve in the strength of the Lord, and no
missionary no matter how set apart we are is perfect. And all of you
that know me anyway know that I was definitely not without my mistakes
and weaknesses before, so some of us have had a long way to come!

So, re-do.
Our next door neighbours are an amazing member family, some of the
pioneers of the area, especially the Lola/grandma who is in her 70s
now. She has been sick the last couple weeks so we made it a goal that
every week we'd find a little bit of time to go and share with her.
All she knows is that shes sick, because her family haven't told her
she has liver cancer because they don't want her to worry. At the
moment shes taking medicine that costs 500 pesos a day, or about 2 and
a half days work for one of her family members. What she does know is
that her family can't afford to keep buying her the medicine, and the
day she stops taking it is the day she will die. When we go we ask her
what she wants us to teach, and last week she said enduring to the
end, and this week she said something to comfort those who are about
to die. I just love her so much, and shes held her family together all
these years, and the biggest blessing of all was just a year ago they
managed to raise enough money that her and her kids and her grankids
could all go to Manila and be sealed in the temple. She is a true
example of enduring to the end, and although I don't have the
authority to tell her exactly where shes going, I think I have a
pretty good idea.

So last week I got sick and the doctors told me I was to stay in bed
for 5 days. President Barrientos told me to take the medicine, drink
some water and get back to work as soon as I could. So obviously I
trust President more and didn't lose too many hours of work and this
week I was back at work without a problem! We had a ton of making up
to do as those couple days before Sunday are critical in getting
people to church, especially as most people don't have phone or able
to reply to texts so if we say we're going to come and we don't, we
can't organise how they're going to get to church. So this week we put
all our time and attention to those who needed us most. It was a
critical Sunday for me because they need 4 Sundays at church before
they can be baptised so anyone who didn't come yesterday wouldn't be
ready in time before the day I will almost definitely be transferred.
I've been going crazy with plans of  how we're going to get everyone
ready, and then the thought crossed my mind for half a second if I was
being selfish by trying to get everyone baptised before I leave. Then
I realised, immediately after I pushed that one out, that I need to
get people ready for baptism as soon as they can possibly be ready, we
need to do everything we can to get them on that covenant path as soon
as possible. So on Saturday after lunch I was standing in the fridge
drinking water and the thought came into my mind - you need to fast
for them. Dropped the water mid gulp, went to my knees asked the Lord
to bless our investigators. All six of our investigators set for
August were at church yesterday. And unless the Lord intervenes, I
know they're all gonna make it. After being in the mission for so long
its easy to slow down, and I've felt that was a little bit lately,
like I was running out of energy and I needed to stop for a second. It
was then that I realised that we need to push harder in those moments.
When Satan pushes you one way you just have to push him back harder,
and then after that the Lord will just knock him over.

My study this week is focussed on the Book of Mormon, because I spent
too much time every where else and I wasn't appreciating it enough. I
bought a new notebook and read every verse carefully and write down
every brand new thing that I have learned. It's been three weeks now
and I've made it to 1 Nephi 16 haha. But I have a ton of notes. One
thing I haven't been able to get out of my mind is the difference
between Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. Sometimes I think we all just go
oh they were so evil, they were always just doing the wrong thing. But
heres the thing, Laman and Lemuel didn't have to leave Jerusalem and
travel into the wilderness, but they did. Laman even went into Laban's
house by himself. They continued on in their travels for years and
years. Laman and Lemuel were active members of the church and they had
testimonies! But heres the thing, even though they were active, they
were always complaining, they only wanted to do the bare minimum, or
the easy things. They never learned to respect their leaders, they
never learned how to trust in the Lord, they only repented when things
got really bad or when they had huge spiritual experiences. And even
though they carried on being active for all these years, their hearts
were so shut off from feeling the Spirit that eventually the day came
when they just would not do it anymore. They seperated themselves from
the church and from their family and they went so far away from what
they'd always known to be true. We need to think about ourselves. We
could be serving as missionaries, or in leadership positions, and we
do it because we have testimonies, but if we are not CONVERTED, the
longer we go on the further we will fall if we fall away. We can't be
Laman and Lemuel's. We have to hold on to the things we know to be
true, we have to LIVE the thing we know, we have to become TRUE
DISCIPLES. I don't know that I'm there yet but I know I'm on the path.
Think about it, where are you now?

I love you all,
Share with me your spiritual experiences and your insights. A
missionary is only as strong as the people supporting them. I can't do
this without you!

Sister McKim

Monday, 21 July 2014

Bawal ang dengue sa Laoag Mission!

Work was progressing extremely well in the area. Was pretty excited
for a good amount of baptisms in the works for this transfer. Until.
On Wednesday I worked up a pretty wicked fever but continued to work
pretty solidly the next 3 days. I don't think Sister Roma even really
realised I was sick because she laughed every time I said something
like 'after we walk past this person I'm probably going to be sick
behind this tree'. Not until Friday night when we said the closing
prayer and I crawled my way from the study room onto the top bunk did
anyone realise what was going on. Didn't emerge until I crawled my way
to the Elders on our doorstep the next morning so they could bless me.
If nothing else from this week, I was reminding just how true
blessings are. Before they came I couldn't eat and I could barely
stand, afterwards I wasn't healed but I was functioning which was
enough. Luckily our landlady is a member and lucky shes friends with
our doctor neighbour so she dragged me over there. He says, you
probably have dengue, pack your bags, because when you get to the
hospital they will confine you. Noooo. Get to hospital. Dengue test,
super expensive, do the conversion into dollars in my mind, still
expensive. Fall asleep in waiting room. ITS NOT DENGUE! Fist pump with
my tiny strength. Same doctor from that morning appears. He says,
would you like to be confined? I said, no. He says, stay in bed for 5
days. Buy a lot of drugs, and go have my first nap in over a year. Not
as glorious as I dreamed it would be. So I don't know what it is, he
said infection which basically sums up how I feel right now -
But! We're missionaries, and they always say forget yourself and go to work.
Before when I would hear this I was like what, no, I'm not a robot I
can't just do that.
But we're not robots, we're missionaries, and we're set apart to do
the work, and the work won't get done unless we do it, and the Lord
can make us strong. Whom the Lord calls He qualifies. And its true.
The Lord gives just enough of what we need so we can do it, and we
have to do the rest. I gave it two days off and back to work.
So our investigators took a bit of it hit this weekend which was
really hard. We couldn't get out to visit them and by Sunday
temptations just got the better of them and there just weren't as many
of them at church as I was hoping. Satan just knows how to time it!
But we keep going and we keep praying and we know they're going to
make it, even if their little backslides push their baptisms after I
leave, as long as they make it there is all that matters

I hope you all get something out of this mess of a story! The last
couple days staring at the roof have reminded me how much I just love
being out there teaching, and how much I love all of the people, and
how good my comp is! This morning the sisters went to the market,
bought me a coconut and my tiny little companion, in her skirt, got
the machete out and hacked away at it so I could drink it for
breakfast. That's real love and charity!

Love you all my family! Take care of yourselves, the was time is
speeding by I'll see you like, tomorrow!
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was.

The week!

So we waited patiently for transfer calls all day, which is pretty
much like the pinaka-exciting time of the transfer, everyones freaking
out and on edge waiting, we sit by the phone all night waiting to see
if it rings, then it does and we all crowd around, everyone screams
when they find out where they're going. So anxious.....then all we got
was a text saying who was transferring and to check their emails on disappointing. Probably in an attempt to keep us more
reverent and focussed. Lesson learned. BUT I'm not transferring, what?
But wicked! Got way too much work still to do. This morning was the
start of another long string of revelations on what this area needs
and what we need to pull all our investigators through to the end. Its
gonna be a good transfer! The one sad thing is my confidant and
classier twin Sister Webb is being transferred for her last transfer,
to my first area and home! If I can't have her I'm glad they get to
have her, so everything works out the way that its supposed to for

Last week p-day we climbed a mountain, in thongs, or jenelas, or flip
flops or jandels or whatever depending who you are. And today we went
back to the zoo. P-day has become my least favourite day of the week
because it is always incredibly short and stressful, it takes us
forever to get anywhere, and the work is way good right now. But I
feel blessed to have another transfer in this Zone, the city here is
such a little tourist spot and theres always a lot going on, so if you
have a spare 5 seconds on p-day you can go have fun haha.

Church was just straight up the best. Basically everyone we could have
expected and more were there, callings being handed out all over the
place, people receiving the Priesthood, and people bringing their non
member friends. It was like, oh man, just a good Sunday. It all comes
down to Sunday, you spend the whole week running around doing
everything you can and it all - not all, but mostly - comes down to
who walks in those doors Sunday morning. Marami. Miracle.

The other night a sister in my house turns around and goes Sister
McKim I want you to cut my hair. I assured her that I was in no way a
professional, and couldn't make any promises about how excellent it
would be. She said that was fine, and she was pretty keen for it to
happen and kept reminding me. So I committed, prayed first and started
at it. Her hair was LONG and she wanted it short. Turned out amazing,
she looks maganda now. Ignore the crooked bit in the picture, I wasn't
finished yet haha.

This week in one of my journal entries I quoted Troy Bolton from High
School Musical. I haven't quoted anything not Mormon related on a long
time and somehow that was the first thing that came to my mind. I'm
lame now but I like it. Lame means focused.

Kind of lame email which means - focused. Hopefully!

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


So we've been thinking about praying about how we can help our branch,
its like the leaders are doing the best they can but it is super hard,
half the callings are unfilled, the leaders are overworked and
everyone else is underworked. We felt like although we're still
getting baptisms the branch wasn't really moving forward and we know
there was an answer. That answer came last Sunday when in Sacrament
our branch president - who was awesome - was released and they called
a new one. We were all so shocked but we couldn't help but feel like
this was the new start that they needed. The new branch president none
of us really knew that well, I'm not even sure if he had a calling
before that, but hes such a hardworking guy and his wife is one of the
only RM's. Our old President looked though it was going to be hard to
give up his calling, but he has no kids and his wife is abroad and he
needs a break from the stress. After church we met with the District
presidency and the branch council and the president stood straight up
and asked every quorum what they needed and what callings needed to be
filled, then we gave him our list of requests and needs and he said he
was on it. This week we got to sacrament and one by one sustained
people who for a long time hadn't had callings, and filled callings
that for a long time hadn't been filled. I was fist pumping to myself
all sacrament, especially when our old president was called and
sustained as our new branch mission leader, which we haven't had here
in a long long time and he was absolutely beaming happy. I was already
on a high when the sister behind me tapped me on the shoulder, showed
me a list of names and asked me where they lived because she was going
to do her visiting teaching that afternoon. I about cried. Later that
afternoon when some of the YSA came to our house so we could help them
get started with their visiting teaching too, we went and visited a
less active man in our area who said I'm good sisters, your Branch
President and his companion came and visited me earlier. I think I
might have actually cried then. Probably only people who have served
mission understand quite how incredible this all was, especially in a
place where people not only don't have the time or money to do their
callings as much as they could, but they're all fairly new members
still and don't know really what to do in the first place. Miracle.
For real.

Our miracle investigator hit her road block this week, as I predicted
she would. As fast as people feel the Spirit, Satan gets in there and
messes everything up. Our sweet AJ, completely reformed in the space
of a week told her parents on the third day that she was going to be
baptised. Even though shes 19 and can choose for herself, her parents
made it clear to her that it was her family and her education, or her
baptism. So shes done a lot of crying, and we've done a lot of
scripture texting to her but she seems to be doing better. The saddest
thing about it is shes dropped every thing bad, drinking, smoking, all
of it, and when her parents fight with her she gets mad and wants to
go back to it. We're working on it, we're hoping her and her friend
will still be set to get baptised in a couple weeks and we'll keep
praying. This week we had to deal with a lot of really hard things
with a lot of people were teaching, even members just coming to us
needing serious help. One thing I've had to really change, because it
was a hard part of me to let go of, is that I've just had to become so
empathetic to the point where it hurts me too. I used to be made of
stone I swear, and my MTC family will attest to that that they
couldn't make me cry no matter how hard they wanted to, when people
would come to me with problems I would hit them with the most logical
answer, no stress, just go do this and you're gonna be fine. And my
advice was always right, but I guess I'm working on my delivery. Its
like when Jesus' friend Lazarus died, and He knew it was going to be
ok, He knew He was going to raise him from the dead, but he didn't
tell everyone just to calm down and stop doing that, He wept with
them, and then when it happened it was all the most special. So thats
what I've been trying to apply, so I've been crying with a lot of
people lately, and staying up late praying for really long amounts of
time. But I think its good, I want people to know that I know the
answers, but I want them to know I love them first.

Thats all I have time for you sweet treasures. I'd tell you all the
funny stuff, but the important bits first.

Love you,
Sister McKim
We ate frogs this week. they taste like chicken and are actually pretty
good but not a lot of meat.