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.

Monday, 22 September 2014



So its my birthday, again! Yep. I'm here in Apparri for a conference
tomorrow, which means SLEEPOVERS with my favourite sisters! Blessings!

This week was just a lot going on. Actually this whole transfer has
been a lot going on, felt like I haven't had a moment to sit or think
or sleep in my own bed, but its been good, loving the ride. This week
was another week of typhoon, we had power for a couple days which was
good, always makes life a little easier. Had exchanges this week, met
the sisters at 6.30am and the told us they still hadn't emailed 3 days
after P-day because of black outs, so President let them do it then,
meaning I got a blessed hour of time while we waited - it
literally felt like Christmas day. I watched the documentary about
President Thomas S. Monson's life, and here I am at the crack of dawn
in a weird computer shop in the back of someones house in some dark
alley tearing up, just thinking about the Prophet and how amazing he
is. I can just tell how great of an example he was his whole life,
even when he was young he was so humble and such a great leader. I
can't remember ever being so inspired so early in the morning, but I
just want so much to be like him, to just be anxiously engaged in a
good cause literally all of the time. I can't imagine his life. Those
general authorities are really earning their exaltation. It really
just gave me that push this week that I so desperately needed, not
just to finish my mission, but to keep earning my exaltation. Nothing
scares me anything more in the world than thinking I  just might not
get there.

Had exchanges again and WENT BACK TO MY OLD AREA! I had been waiting
ever so patiently for the day, and the beautiful sisters over in
Sanchez had planned to visit all of my recent converts. Ah man.
They're so good! And so many more of the people we found have been
baptised since I left. Such a blessing, not a chance that comes around
a lot. Plus I ran into so many of my old investigators who have since
not been progressing so well, and was able to be very bold in a very
loving way with them. After that I felt like I had to leave on that
spiritual note, so I didn't feel right about taking pictures. Siyang.
So no pictures this week, sorry! Stuck around for district meeting
with my Aussie mate Elder Naulu - finally in the same zone so caught
up on all the chika-chika. I was called on to be the surprise musical
guest and the two of us had everyone going with a rousing rendition of
Advance Australia Fair. Its in the hymnbook so its allowed.

In blessed news, the dad we've been working with came to church on
Sunday. I just felt so strongly from the moment I got here that he was
one of the reasons I came here, and when I teach him I just feel like
I know what to say, WHEN I've been working to maintain the Spirit. I
can't even describe the feeling when I saw him walk in with his whole
family just before the sacrament was passed. Of course, I've had a lot
of investigators come to a lot of sacrament meetings before, but this
one was something special. I feel like if I don't put my whole heart
and soul into this one he might not make it at this time, so its the
push I need to give it my all. I think we're gonna do it. In other
amazing news, the AP's came up to do a training, and one was just
newly called coming from my first area in San Nic. He told me that TWO
of the families we found and baptised last year will be going to the
temple in December to be sealed, and HOPEFULLY also the third if they
can be ready in time. It was the most amazing news I'd heard in a long
time. The bit thats a little sad is its literally a week before I will
be in Manila at the temple anyway, otherwise I would have been able to
be there with them. I don't think I'll be able to swing a trip down
there a week before I go home, but it doesn't mean that I'm not going
to beg President super hard when I see him tomorrow.

So, I love my mission. I'm so so tired. The last couple weeks have
been 5am wake ups MOST of the days, and I'm tired, I'm so tired, but
the work will go forth boldy, nobly and independent until it has
penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country
and sounded in every ear. I didn't even mean to start writing the
Standard of Truth just then but my mind fell asleep for a second and
my brain thought thats what I wanted to write. The life. Haha. My new
favourite song is the April 2014 conference version of Let Us All
Press On. I have to listen to it on full volume at least 10 times a
day right now. Ah man. Can't wait for conference.

Work hard my dears,
Salvation is not a cheap experience!
Sister McKim

Monday, 15 September 2014


Shortest week ever this week!
After the worlds most tiring weekend ever we got back on the bus up
here on no sleep and having eaten nothing with nutritional value for
at least three days. We got on the bus and my comp recognised the
conductor as the one involved in the bus crash she was in just a
couple weeks ago, where a person was killed, so we were already off to
a sketchy start. Having no other choice, we stayed. Now bus rides here
aren't like bus rides at home. Its more like a roller coaster. You're
going super fast, weaving through traffic, overtaking things and
rushing back to avoid head on collisions, suddenly stopping, getting
literally airborne, its out of control. Plus the road is on stilts on
the side on a mountain above the ocean. Its magunda but its
nakakatakot. So we're all trying to get some sleep when BAM, smash
into another bus and the guardrail protecting us from a watery grave.
Everyone starts yelling at the bus driver but we don't really have any
other option we just have to keep going. The ride was ok after that,
but one of us threw up in a plastic bag, again....I won't say who.
The whole time I was thinking about this training someone gave a while
ago. About when Nephi was tied to the ship and everything was out of
control and how at that point he just really didn't feel like a
prophet. I have a lot of those moments. Sometimes you're just in these
really awkward situations and you're just thinking man, I just really
don't feel like a missionary right now. But then you get home, pull
yourself together in the 5 minutes you have to spare, head out to a
lesson and you just testify, and then you have those moments when you
can feel like a missionary again.
So I had one of those this week! I think I said it before that 6
months ago I used to come on exchanges in this area so I'd already met
a lot of the people. There was this one family where everyone but the
dad is a member. 6 months ago he'd done a 180 in his life, was coming
to church, loving the scriptures and set for baptism - the only
problem was he was struggling to give up smoking. I remember teaching
him back then and seeing how much he wanted it, but its like the focus
was all on his smoking. When I got here my comp had never even taught
him before so somewhere along the line he got lost, and obviously was
never baptised. I felt so strongly to go there, and have been going on
about him for weeks. Finally we found them, and at first he tried to
make an excuse to leave but we managed to get him to sit down. I
haven't felt the Spirit that strongly in a lesson in a while, it was
telling me every word to day. I told him we wouldn't even ask him
about his smoking, because thats not what were here to do, we're gonna
focus on his spirituality, and helping their family to be as strong as
they can be. And then out of nowhere I went on about how sometimes we
feel like failures, and we get kicked when were down but if we just
remember that the main goal is them going to the temple then
everything will happen in its right time. He looks at me and goes,
"Sister, thats exactly how I felt, like a failure." I knew I'd said
the right thing. I felt like a missionary. Sometimes you really just
don't, but sometimes you just really do.
So Saturday afternoon at 3 we get a text from President saying at 5
everyone is to be inside, were on lockdown because theres a massive
hurricane coming. Take a sneaky peek out the window - not a cloud in
the sky. Nevertheless, being obedient, we we go home and at 5 on the
dot it starts to rain. Wake up in the middle of the night to a raging
storm. It went all morning til literally about half an hour before
church, and there was sudden calm. Not even half the members were
there because the areas flood super easy, but as it went on we watched
people start arriving one by one. I was so happy for them, they really
area amazing to do that. Then like clockwork about half an hour after
church, power cuts back out and the storm starts raging like nothing
else. It was a violent, violent hurricane.  I sat and watched the
shore for a while waiting for the tsunami any second, our house was
shaking, the coconut trees were bent further than any tree should
bend, and the rain was basically horizontal. But were not scared,
because we're missionaries. But were a little scared to see what the
storm did to the members houses, so were going after this. We've still
got no power but we managed to find a computer shop with a generator.

So thats my week. I just love this place so much, and I don't like to
think that theres going to be more storms and more problems in the
future and I'm going to be oblivious to it all in my happy little life
at home. But like everything else, the Lord's got this, and thats
really the most important thing.

Love you,
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Are we sleeping through the Atonement?

Hi guys,

Quick one today since there is no p-day this week. Woke up at 5
something to write this email and so that we could eat this week so
I'll do my best to keep it short and sharp!

Feels like we barely even taught this week, travel and meetings all
week but still managed to hit the standard of excellence, since its
not allowed to be anything less than an excellent missionary! We ran a
training for the district leaders and the training I gave was about
not being boring. Haha. It was actually about working with members and
leaders but it was really about how if you're motivated and fun and
exciting its way easier to get people to work with you, give you
referrals, and all that great stuff. Gave another training at
Leadership Council on Monday which I was informed about at 9.15 the
night before. After spending the last few days with all the
missionaries closest to going home, I felt inspired to give a training
about enduring to the end and not getting trunky. Everyone is still
doing awesome but with about half the mission going home by the end of
the year the trunky influence can get spread super easy. I'm nowhere
near trunky yet but other people freaking out about going home makes
me freak out so gotta stay away.

Baptised a family on Saturday! This family is amazing, they remind me
so much of the Ramos family back in my first area. They have 3 girls
but one of them in studying away but will be baptised as soon as she
comes back for summer break. What I love about these families, is how
it all goes back to a good dad. The dad is awesome, and so nice and
just so excited to get the Priesthood and bless his family. When you
have an awesome dad, you have an awesome family. BTW, happy Father's
Day Tatay McKim, you're the man! It was a blessing to be a part of
their conversion, and like all baptisms, it wasn't without its drama.
We all arrived at the chapel on time assured that the font was being
filled, and found it had been taken care of in time, except that quite
often the water just runs out without warning, and the water was still
about shin deep. They insisted it was going to be ok but looking at
the size of Bro I wasn't sure even if he laid on the floor of the font
that he would be covered enough. So most obvious solution, BEACH
BAPTISM! The best kind. Everyone was keen except for the people being
baptised, until the district president came and saved the day. He got
all the men together, sent them down to the well and bucket by bucket
got it sort of up to knee deep. Worked out alright in the end.

Favourite quote from this weeks district meeting. Talking about the
Atonement, our district leader referenced Elder Uchtdorf's talk from
last conference, "are you sleeping through the Restoration?" but
changed it to, are you sleeping through the Atonement? Really made me
think, are we?? Are we forgetting that we are living in a time where
we have the blessing of repentance and forgiveness, that if we are
sick we can us the power of the Priesthood to be healed, or that if we
struggle all we need to do is call on the power of the Atonement which
was wrought for us?? After that it really made me ponder what I can do
to even more apply the Atonement in my life each and every day.

Thats all I got time for.
Love you all,
Sister McKim