Monday, 27 October 2014

Finding joy as always.

Hi Team

So this should be short, it was an eventful week, but probably mostly things that are personal to me and you probably won't get much interest out of. But! I will share a few things that happened.

Spent basically the whole week on exchanges, including going back to my old area in Sanchez, again, blessings! Went to the house of my RC Sister Christy, oh and she is such a treasure. Shes still super active but the sisters say that even though she loves all the missionaries she still always tells them she wants me and Sister Alsado back haha. So shes getting pretty old and her body is kind of failing on her and she just got some new sickness thats pretty bad. Shes supposed to take this medicine 3 times a day to keep her alive, but most days she can only afford one, and somedays none. The pills are 10 pesos each, or about 25 cents. So she just waits until she literally can't breathe and starts having an attack before she takes the medicine. Shes so scared, but in a way shes sort of come to terms with death. When she saw me she just cried and cried. I just had to try and bear my best testimony of faith to her since thats all I could give. Its hard not being able to do more, but what I've realised on the mission is that if I was to break the rules and give her money or anything it would be a complete lack of faith on my part, and rob her of the chance to show her faith in God. It was hard to leave her crying on the doorstep, but I know shes being taken care of.

For some reason just really doesn't work on these computers so I've been struggling to get a hold of the conference talks, but managed to download a couple last week. Is it just me or are all the Apostles getting funnier? My favourite were the talks from the Priesthood session as usual, I love the rebuking most of all, especially the one about how all the men just need to stop sitting around and get married. We worked that into a few lessons this week at church to get the YSA moving, hopefully something sinks in and I'll come back to attend a few weddings here in the future :-)

Our District President and us are planning this huge Waters of Mormon style baptism in December where all of the people in the whole district to be baptised in December will be baptised at the same chapel on the same day. Its basically going to be amazing, and its also basically certain that I will be transferred and wont be there. But I can see the potential of all of our investigators here and I know that a ton of them will make it. Were working on a new little compound of people I call 'New Zion', and all going well we should fit a couple weddings in on that day too. One of our new investigators we've been working with is awesome. Hes 18 and when we met him he had just moved to the couch at his friends house because he couldn't stand his family anymore. This week we had the best lesson about the Book of Mormon with him and he texted us at 3am later that night to say he was still reading and had prayed to know that it was true. He also moved back in with his family because he said he feels that its better that he tries to fix their relationship, and thats where he feels that happy Spirit feeling. Golden.

I'm going to try write back to you all now so short lang! But I love it here more than ever, I'm loving seeing the miracles every day and I love feeling the hand of the Lord in all that I do.

And I love you all!
Sister McKim

Monday, 20 October 2014

To be chosen

A little few things I forgot to mention last week in my haste! I forget that not everyone reading this knows my whole life story and doesn't just get everything I'm talking about.
So my trainer Sister Storey finished her mission and went home! We were good mates before the mission and were there for each others crazy trying to decide to go on a mission moments, eventually both made it out, got called to the same mission, and then she trained me! It was the weirdest thing to see pictures of her at home with her family again and still hasn't sunk in any way that that might ever happen to me. Plus my trainee, my dear sweet Sister Lainhart is now a Sister Training Leader too. Absolute shock of my life last week when I walked into the STL house in Laoag last week and saw her there! It means shes grown up now too, which makes me old. Ugh, old. Haha. My current companion by the way is Sister Faletao. Shes from Samoa which is super funny when introducing herself because in Tagalog, you say 'sa' before the place. So if people asked me where I was from, I could just say Australia, or 'sa Australia'. So when she says Samoa, everyones like, Wheres Moa? And shes like nooo Samoa! Nobody gets it still. We laugh about it all the time.

This week was a week of strengths and weaknesses, which was obviously what the Lord wanted me to learn. I was on exchanges with Sister Vaka, a sister who I started out with in my first apartment so we've seen each others changes from the start until now. Now being at this point in the mission calls for a lot of reflecting and wondering where I'm going right and where I'm still going wrong, and the thought came into my mind, that I have done a lot of good, I really really have, but am I changed? I know I've done a lot of good for the people, through the Spirit of course, but what have I allowed the mission to change in me? Is it possible that even after all this great good has been brought about, that I could go home and be exactly the same person that I was before I left. That freaked me out, and me and Sister Vaka both freaked out a little bit and had to really think about it. And as always, when theres a question, the Lord is always right there to answer it.
So I'd heard a lot about this talk called 'The Fourth Missionary', which I'd heard about but only just now was given to me this very week. It was written by a mission president who said basically there are four types of missionaries; the first is the disobedient kind who either gives up or gets sent home, then there is the second who makes it the whole way through the mission but is still pretty disobedient, and therefore comes home unchanged or gone backwards. Then theres the third who does great work, strives to be completely obedient and has a lot of great success, but remains unchanged by the mission because they served only with their might and strength, and not with their heart and their mind. As I was reading about this third missionary, I was hit pretty hard. There was this one sentence which I wish I had with me right now that basically said exactly what I was feeling, in big bold letters on the page. But basically, this third missionary sometimes measures themselves in comparison, if their having more baptisms than everyone else they're successful, kind of thing. They're always obedient but lacking that extra charity that a true disciple needs all of the time. They can help change others, but they didn't change themselves. So here we are, Sister Vaka and I discussing this, feeling like someone has just cut to the core of us, thinking we are straight up that third missionary. So I started to think really hard about what to do to be better. The next day I finally had time to finish that article, which was 24 pages long by the way, and I read the characteristics of this fourth missionary. The fourth missionary is totally consecrated. They want to serve the Lord, and they seek His will and not the will of man. They do things not to be seen, but because they are right. They measure their success on what the Lord thinks of them and not what man thinks of them. Then it says, the fourth missionary is not without weakness, but they are very aware of their weaknesses. The closer they are to God, the more that they realise that they just are straight up weak and they need Him more than anything. So I really thought about this weak missionary, and I thought about myself, and I thought about how nobody could really put themselves into one of these four completely, but it really is a day to day process. We recently had a Zone Conference about being chosen. We all know the scriptures in D&C where they say over and over again that 'many are called but few are chosen', and so I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be chosen. We are already called, 'if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work', but being chosen is a day to day process. We are only chosen on the days that we chose to be chosen. And we live to be chosen of the Lord, not of man. And thats what I learned from all of this, we just have to take it one day at a time, remember who we are and what were here for, and that more than anything we just need the Lord, and we will remain the chosen ones. And the only way we fail is if when our weaknesses get the better of us, we choose not to repent and do better tomorrow.

I hope you got something out of this, I think I just needed to put all those thoughts into words for myself more than anything else :-)

Pictures next week when I get on a computer that works :-)
Love you all, 
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Do they want you to Twitter during Conference...?

Hey kids so quick one today before we go back to the jungle.
Theres nothing I hate in the mission, not a single soul, not a single
thing, except that 6 hour bus ride from Laoag to Cagayan. I hate it so
so much. But everything else is such a joy :-)

So I would so badly love to talk about all my insights from conference
with you, but I barely got to watch it, so I'm downloading it and
gonna do my best to get through it this week. But from what I did get
to see, I loved the Lynn G. Robbins talk about which way do we face.
Its something that hit me so hard, because especially the stronger we
get spiritually, the further we have to fall. It made me think about
our immense responsibility to be exactly obedient to all of the
commandments, to strive for true discipleship, and to be willing to be
the unpopular one. And thats one thing I've had to really get to do on
my mission, be the one making the unpopular calls. And everyone here
wants to be a great missionary, and they all want to be exactly
obedient, so its a duty to them to tell them where they're falling
short, or where they're going wrong even when they hate it, and taking
the same criticism from others. I'm always trying to remember who I'm
serving, and also making sure that person isn't myself.

This week we had a wicked week for finding. Everything just went so
right. At weekly planning I set a bunch of steep goals for me and my
new comp and decided I was gonna get every one of them. And we did,
and it was glorious. We found this girl last week who told us that
she'd had a baby who died when it was only two months old, and since
then her and her husband, or live in boyfriend rather were really
struggling with it. Went back this week saw them sitting together on
the road. I don't know what got into me this week but I got super
confident and bold with everyone and just worked like a treat. I told
them to go inside because we were going to teach them about their
family. They didn't even say anything they just went. Then we taught
them the Plan of Salvation, exactly where their baby is and how they
can be a family forever, if they do what we share with them and get
baptised. The boy was hanging onto every word like never before, and
then he straight up asked, "when?' So we gave him the date, but told
them they would have to get married that day too so we have to start
working on their marriage papers. He was keen for that. It was one of
the most spiritual lessons I've been in for a long time. As a mission
we've been working on astonishing our investigators, and this guy was
honestly astonished. They're now getting it all sorted out and should
be set before transfer day if all goes to plan. Turns out they're also
best friends with our RC family, another strong member family, and all
the RM boys that just came home. We truly found the prepared souls
which means we must have been doing something right!

We found some other really awesome people this week including two
different boys who we thought were absolutely golden, one a member
referral and one a part member. We were so excited about it until one
of the boys grandma told us that that she just found out that he had a
boyfriend, and basically perfectly described our other investigator.
We were gutted thinking our two golden people were each others
boyfriend. BUT one came to church and it turns out it wasn't him after
all. But he came dressed as a girl so doesn't matter how golden he is,
we have some work to do before his baptism. But hes such a genuine
soul we know he'll make it in the right time.

So we love teaching our cool new little family. We went there the
other day and they were busy cooking up a feast. Turns out they just
killed the family dog and the everyone was out at their place for the
feast. They hung the head and legs up while they were cooking so we
took a few sneaky snaps, but they said the menu for the next day was
boiled head. My comp was super excited to try the dog for her first
time but for the rest of the night was riddled with guilt.

Was a packed week, had MLC, ate a lot of take out and keen as to just
get back to work tonight. The other thing that happened is SISTER
STOREY WENT HOME! I just saw a picture of her, at home, in Utah. And I
remember when she left and it was like, 5 minutes before I left, which
means.........ugh. Don't even want to think about it.

Love you all,
watch all of conference if you haven't yet!
Sister McKim xx

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Hi team!

So what a week, as usual! I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but
in the week leading up to transfers I’m always a stress case. Not
because I’m worried because transfers always work out for the best,
but because I JUST CAN’T HANDLE THE SUSPENSE! Just found out like,
right now, and I’m getting my first islander!! I’m literally over the
moon. We were batch in the MTC but I didn't know her that well, but I
hear shes wicked so its gonna be good. I need an islander to keep it
loud while we wait for our other sister and her new baby to come home
on the weekend.

So just yesterday we watched the Women's Conference broadcast, and
being the goober I am I just cried like a baby the whole thing.
Nothing like listening to an hour and a half about the temple to make
me just miss it so much. And those little Korean kids singing would do
it to anybody. I just loved it. I am so obscenely excited for
conference this weekend, and blessing that I'm serving in an area
where they do the right thing and play it in Tagalog for everyone. I
am ready for a feast.

So my favourite thing that ever happened ever happened this week. So
were in Cagayan, home of Survivor, and one of the AP's was showing me
his camera the other day from when they were filming and it was in his
area! He has pictures of all the cast and crew and all of it. Then
Sister Lainhart's zone WENT there last week for a zone activity and
all got Survivor shirts.  I'm so close but so far. BUT THEN. The best
thing happened. So we were on split exchanges this week - its the new
rage here, me and my comp split and go with a different companionship
each instead of regular exchange - so I was staying with these two
other sisters. For some reason at lunch time they change into
lava-lavas, just to make it all the more islandy. Then Sister Vaka
comes out of the bedroom and accidentally locks the door behind her.
The study tables are in there and its almost time to study so time is
already against us. She left the keys on the desk inside the room.
LUCKILY there is a big hole in the wall above the door, and we found
some sticks for decoration in the corner, and it was just out of
reach, so just like a Survivor challenge we tied all the sticks
together with rope and managed to loop the keys onto the end and got
in just in time to start studies exactly at 1pm! SO HAPPY! Best ever.

We were teaching an investigator and her little son was playing with
our shoes that we left outside. Now, most people here don't use
nappies for their kids, or anything. They just put shorts on their
kids and when the kid pees they just change the shorts and wipe it up.
So the kid peed directly into my shoes. Now this isn't the first time
this has happened, but the mum just picked them up & shook them out a
little bit and then expected me to just put them back on. I didn't
want to offend her. But the plus side is, I hate wearing shoes in
lessons and people always try to get me to keep them on, so all day I
had an excuse. When they tried to tell me I just said a kid peed in
them earlier and they felt that was an acceptable excuse. Great times.
I also had an unfortunate event where I was on exchanges for two and a
half days without going home, and in my haste to leave at 5.30am I
didn't notice I'd put on two different ones. So thats about a good
indicator of where my head was at this week haha.

This transfer had been one of the hardest for me work wise, I feel
like were doing our best in teaching but were just struggling with our
investigators. Part of the problem is we haven't had a week were we've
had nearly enough teaching time because we've had a lot going on, and
we've also got a lot of hard people who we don't want to give up on,
like husbands of members, parents of members, etc. So this transfer
we're gonna have to push it like nothing else to get this area moving
again. In the ultimate blessing though we've had a rediculous amount
of success with our RC's who had fallen away and helping them to get
back. Progress is progress whether or not it shows in the numbers.

So my sweet little comp is leaving, so here are some of my favourite
memories from this transfer from our dear sister.
- A few transfers ago a recent convert family allowed her to name
their baby because they wanted a Book of Mormon name. She chose
Sherrizzah. As in, the tower of Sherrizzah from Moroni 9 where
everyone went crazy and ate their children and families. The family
thought it was super cute, all the other sisters had to change the
topic when they asked what the story was. At the time they were only
up to Alma, but the latest news is they just finished the Book of
Mormon, and the baby now goes by another name.
- It was avocado season so we went crazy and had guocamole every day!
The Philippino sister loved it and it became their new favourite food,
except they couldn't say it. Every time they would ask for it some new
word would come out and we would laugh and laugh. They finally know it
now but they have to say mochamolia before they remember what the real
word is.

Love you all, cheers to another great transfer in this beautiful country!
Sister McKim

Survivor challenge!
So this cool thing happened! We were teaching an RC and he pulled out
a Book of Mormon that he had from way before he was investigator, the
first one he ever had. Checked to see the name and IT WAS MY NAME! We
had given it away to their neighbour on exchanges in March and somehow
it ended up in his house. Hes baptised now, whaaat!
Elder failing the burger challenge. Has to be done in 5 minutes.
Saw a 9 year old member in our area driving around this motorbike with
all these tiny kids on it. Uhh probs doesn't have a licence, hey ...