Monday, 22 December 2014

Until the Great Jehovah shall say, The Work is Done.


So I was going to do the big reflective last-week-of-the-mission email, but then I realised, it ain't over til its over. And this ride, my friends, definitely ain't over yet.

A week ago we almost had ourselves convinced the ride was over. Christmas conference was going to take up a couple days, then we still have a bunch of other meetings and finishing stuff that was going to be taking away a ton of work time so it wasn't looking like we were barely going to even have a full day of work left. We sat down to our conference with President and he started laying down the law for us!

So my entire mission until now the standard of lessons has been 32 per week, and quite often people struggle to reach that. He upped it to 50 and everyone went nuts. But after a minute everyone kind of let it sink in and realised, yeah we can do that, and everyone got this new energy and excitement to just go back out there and work. Knowing we only had a week left, being like a half week at that it didn't even really occur to us that we would try, then we got the challenge from the AP's for everyone going home to give it all they got until the last minute, and that put the fire in our bones. At first we were thinking 50, then we thought, lets just do a miracle and get 70. So thats our goal. We have our week planned out like no week ever way, and even got a couple Christmas dinners squished in there in the middle. We're gonna save some souls this week. 

Other than the oh so inspiring conference, we had a wicked Amazing Race around Laoag, complete with all of us doing laps of the stadium in our suits and skirts and riding horse drawn carriages across the finish line. Loved it. At night we all did plays and ate our fancy buffet. The islander Elders did hukkas (I don't know how to spell it) all day and all night and we just had to enjoy it. I've never seen President laugh so hard. Good night for sure.

While we were waiting to go in, one of the Elders I used to serve with to me my RC, AJ was outside the chapel. I called him a liar because she lives two hours away and would have absolutely no reason to be anywhere near the chapel. He ran outside and tracked her down on the street, I spotted her, hurled my bag to the ground and just hugged that beautiful lady. Oh man she is just SO ACTIVE! And her little sister who we started teaching a couple months ago is getting baptised this weekend. She was over the moon. I was over the moon. It was just such a beautiful blessing. Apparently she went to the mall and saw some random sisters there and they told her about the conference she she just got on a jeep and came. Never thought I'd see that girl again. I love that little miracle!

I could tell you a thousand more stories but they'll just have to wait til I see your darling faces! Just at this Christmas time I hope we never forget whos the Reason for the season, and the Reason for each and every day. I love my Saviour and I love who I am because I know Him more than ever. I love you all, see you when I see you!

Maligayang Pasko!
Sister McKim

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


Hey Team, 

So Saturday was well and truly one of the most spiritual days I've had in a long time. It felt like when I hit that 3 months to go part I just got hit with every challenge and every weakness I still hadn't overcome yet and I really had to push myself to work through it before it was all over, and this day was just one of those days where it all came full circle. For the whole day it felt like the Lord was just reminding me that I've done good and He's accepting me. Theres about 10 pages worth of good experiences in my journal but here I'll just share a couple and some other little treasures from the week.

Our golden investigator, oh my, she is an inspiration to me and increases my faith every day. We hadn't yet been able to go over the whole Plan of Salvation thoroughly with her yet so we sat down to that on Saturday night. She never has any questions because she always just gets it. We got to the kingdoms of glory and then she had a couple, about if theres any chance to go up once you're there. So we explained no, but about how its all going to be fair. And she seemed satisfied and we moved on. We were about to close a little while later and the Spirit spoke to me. I stopped her and said I feel to ask about your family, and she just broke down crying. She gets it so much that she knows if her family don't accept the gospel too that they won't be there in the Celestial with her. We testified and explained to her that SHE was their chance at the Celestial, they'll only get there if she shows them the way. And she gets it, shes amazing. What a blessing it is to know this girl, shes probably going to change the world.

Municipal Night was a beautiful mess. Supposed to start at 6 so at like 6.20 the drunk government employees arrive to set up the sound system, then after a while let us know someone borrowed the sound cable so we just weren't going to have sound! We did a lot of complaining and getting stuff done, eventually after like an hour they pulled it all together and we got some Mormon Messages playing and we all just felt a little bit happier inside. The man problem was we were having some hectic strong winds which were banging the metal sheets in the roof and we were all a little concerned at any point it was just going to fall down onto one of us, it was like that scene in Twister when the drive in theater gets town town in that massive tornado, if anyone gets the reference. Basta, it was a good night for everyone who came. I thought we'd found our golden of golden investigators, this guy around 30 who came and listened and we set an appointment with him after. Then he texted us the next morning, in English, and said he wasn't going to change religion, he was just happy to come and stare at the beauty. Fail. But there were other good people there too so its all good.

We ran into one of our less actives the other day on the street who we visit every week and she was talking to Sister Willson mostly then looks over at me and makes a shocked face. She goes 'Sister McKim, maganda ka pala!' I don't even know how to explain that in English, but its basically like, 'oh, what, you're pretty! - like she was surprised? I still don't quite know how to take it. I think its because it was Saturday which is a more 'make the effort' day and we usually visit her on Tuesday mornings which is my least attractive time of the week. I guess I need to up my game? Haha.

I love studying more than ever and I've had so many insights lately about how I can prepare myself, and others, for the last days. The day is close at hand and theres so little time, we all just have to be prepared, and don't waste anytime. So thats my advice to you all, don't waste a day, live in the moment, but live for the future, and love everyone and everything around you. I'm going to reply to you now, sana!

Love you all,
Sister McKim

Monday, 8 December 2014

Barangay Night

Hey team,

So this week was the massive typhoon that wasn't. All we heard this week was be prepared like never before, its going to be even bigger than Yolanda last year, and just to get ready. Luckily for us in blessed Laoag, we didn't have anything more that some wicked strong breeze. But having said that, I haven't heard any news from how they're doing down in Tacloban so please everyone check the news and start praying for them. Last I heard everyone was evacuated and nothing since. So I hope and pray that everyone is safe.

BARANGAY NIGHT or the 'Pasuquin Project' as we have named it is, to say the least, a MASSIVE success. We had our first one on Wednesday, we got there early, set up the projector, had Mormon messages playing on loop loud enough for the whole neighbourhood to hear, and half an hour after it was supposed to people. But, we take into account the conversion for Filopino time so we weren't that worried. We started doing laps to invite everyone we could find and inviting in anyone we could from outside. By the time we got it all going we had a good group going, about 30 really genuine people. Each companionship took time to share about families, Joseph Smith and the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon, then we had a question and answer. After we closed we put on the Restoration movie for background as everyone left but EVERYONE stayed to watch it. One man even said after he had questions but was too shy to ask, but all of his answers were in the movie! After we walked around and met everyone and got all their details and got appointments set up with the elders as it was their area, plus the sisters met their new golden family there, and we even met a guy whos seriously searching for the truth wander all the way over from our area. Such a blessing, such a good night. All the branch leaders came out and loved it, and are all on board for the next one at the municipal hall this weekend, its going to be massive! We're getting everyone involved. The mayors daughter hooked us up and its all looking good to go. Gonna be a good weekend!

So a baby miracle happened this week. On Saturday we were doing laps trying to find food that was delicious, and we just weren't getting any. All we could think about was Greenwich Pizza and living in a little town theres not anything like that anywhere available. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we were just going to go hungry that night. Then we went to our beautiful, inspired investigators house, the golden of all golden one, and while we were teaching, her mum comes out with a Greenwich pizza and bottles of water. We about cried. Then they sat there and watched us eat it. In their beautiful big house dimmed out with the Christmas tree and lights going. It was a beautiful moment. And she is golden. I love this girl so much, she is going on a mission when shes baptised. Couldn't be more blessed than to be teaching such a chosen daughter of God. 

This week was just generally a great week. On the days we set high goals we achieved them and our faith definitely increased. I just love every day here and its still feeling more and more like home all the time. Other blessings - my accent is back in full force. We tell people we're both Aussies and they're like, ohh you sound Aussie but Sister Willson's actually American? Haha. We're working on it though. Theres still room for improvement for both of us. You probably won't understand me when I get home anyway because I actually can't speak a full sentence of English.

Love you all my dears,
Sister McKim

"You gotta risk it for the biscuit"

Monday, 1 December 2014

Ye Days of Olde


So I didn't think about what I was going to write this week so now that I've sat down I've forgotten everything thats happened. That happened to me a couple weeks ago when I forgot to tell the story about when we got chased by the drunk boy with the machete and had to hide in a members house. Sometimes things happen and I forget, basta this week was cool!

We have been trekking from meeting to meeting, so our key indicators are not as pleasing as they once have been, but since were both about to leave this area were making sure we get all those little things done that sometimes missionaries just don't have time to do. Our branch president has been more than concerned about the state of the branch and the way things are going, so were putting all our heart and souls into making sure everyone knows and understands their callings. Its been really awesome actually, and stuff is getting done! Nothing feels as good as progress!

Our little town meetings are all set to go and we have 3 this week. One of the halls was pretty small and we weren't that keen for it, so we went to the municipal hall and were just kind of like, yeah here na lang! Sister Willson especially does not have any reservations about doing what it takes to get there. After a couple meetings in the mayors office and a couple after hours drive bys at the mayors house, we're getting a TOWN WIDE meeting hopefully next week. I like having a comp where we just get it done. We have realised that together we are basically unstoppable which is a scary amount of power, but we use it righteously.

We have met a lot of beautiful and prepared people who we just know are going to accept this perfect gospel. Our newest favourite is the niece of the American family who we met last week, because she is just straight up amazing. She just gets the gospel and she has already learned how to recognise the Spirit, shes basically already a converted soul in only a week! She came to church and saw one of her best friends there who is a member. Perfect. When I made her teaching record I wrote GOLDEN all over it in gold sharpie, then she came to church wearing gold. So awesome. Just, so so awesome.

Yesterday we were at a members house trying to work the projector to get it ready for Barangay night, and the miracle in itself was that I managed to figure out where all 50 cables went and get it working. We tried out a few mormon messages to make sure it was all working, so we decided not to waste the time and actually teach the member from the message while we were watching it. I just need to recommend it to everyone, its called 'You Never Know', and its about a woman running around doing all her daily things and at the end feeling like kind of a failure, but she doesn't quite realise all the good that she was able to achieve that day through all those little things. The sister we were watching it with was really affected, and so was I. I'm not gone to get all choked up about womanhood and motherhood but it really reminded me who I am, what my calling is as a woman, and what I really am preparing for. This is all so awkward to say but for some reason I'm still writing it. But the moral of the story, is we just need to give all of ourselves, to the Lord, to our families, and to those around us. And while we may feel so inadequate and so imperfect, we never quite know what we've done. But the Lord does and He never forgets about us. I just love my mum and shes probably one of the most unappreciated people ever. It reminded me that the road ahead is long and there is a work still to do, and everyones role is great even when sometimes it doesn't feel like it.

I hope you all loved your Sabbath Day yesterday and learned everything you needed for the week. Since almost every day here is like the Sabbath day I never want any day to feel any less after this adventure is over.

"Our great-grandfathers called it the Holy Sabbath,
Our grandfathers called it the Sabbath,
Our Fathers called it Sunday,
And we just called it the weekend."

Lets never forget why we're here and who we are, and never forget the One who made it all possible. Love you all,
Sister McKim