home

I figure it’s about time I write an epilogue or something.

 

I am sitting here writing this myself at a computer with a million tabs open to various pages and a phone and an iPod beside me and all that going off every few seconds because my life isn’t really here any more.

 

Being home is a rough experience. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to finish their mission unless they have no choice haha. all of a sudden I have so much time on my hands. I have to think about myself. I’m looking for a job, I have to try sell myself with all these words of qualities and history and I don’t really know what to put because what I value in a person is not necessarily what others value. Who cares about integrity when you can get someone with past work experience? But that’s ok, I know all things will work together for my good.

 

Adjusting to missionary life has it’s own book and social understanding. Adjusting to POST missionary life could do with a little more attention… but it’s ok! One day, one hour, one moment at a time.

 

Thank you for following my mission blog on here ūüôā I plan to start a new blog or just life things soons and I’ll post it here¬†if you want to follow!

I open at the close

The past 18 months has just flown by. I can’t believe I am sitting here. I am the one going home. In a few days, I will have to, HAVE to board a plane and sit there for 14 hours doing pretty much nothing for the first time in 18 months.
I am grateful. I am just so grateful. I have felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I have carried my companions when they couldn’t walk, and they have carried me when the load broke me. it has been the easiest and the hardest 18 months of my life. I have never felt such a rollercoaster of emotions all at once.
I am so grateful I have been able to build a relationship with God. He is my Father. He knows me. Strengths and weaknesses. I have loved being able to help others build that. And they do it, on their own! A light comes into their lives and it’s one they’ll never forget.
I am so grateful for my mission president. He is literally a miracle worker. He was called by God. he knew me before I even sat down with him in my first interview. And as we sat down for my last, we cried together. How a mission president functions, I don’t know. But they are so strong.
I am grateful for all my companions. It’s hasn’t always been easy, that’s for sure. but I have learned so much from every single one of them. I hope their lives are continually blessed.
I know that this gospel I have been teaching is the truth. I know if you try it out, give it a chance, you will feel it. It will change you and alter the very fabric of who you think you are. I have seen it change people who didn’t want to be changed. I have seen it lift those who were down. Strengthen those who were already at peace.
My joy has come from the moments or seeing people do things on their own. Hira, when she had a nightmare, picking up the Book of Mormon in the middle of the night to find comfort and peace. John, Von and Franz, newly baptized and already quoting Preach my Gospel, expressing desire to go on missions, and baring their testimony to others who are learning. Nicole getting her patriarchal blessing. Sensi who keep on trying even though it was hard to believe. And so many more.
But life has to move forward. I don’t want it to, at all! but I know I have to go on. and so a new beginning. An opening.¬†I will go back to being Holly. Only now I will be Holly McKee, returned missionary, with a Canadian accent, a desire to¬† serve and someone who isn’t afraid to share and invite others to see what I do and who I am.
I am a disciple. I have literally given all I can. More than I should’ve because it almost killed me, but then I was lifted to keep going. My mission President has been breathing down my neck saying “take it easy! take your foot off the gas Sister McKee!” but I think he knows me a little better than that haha. I can’t stop. Why sprint to the finish when you can sprint your whole mission?
Anyway, I’ll close with some final awful photos of me. Enjoy!
19 Jan 2016 - back in VANYSA19 Jan 2016 - Sis Magleby19 Jan 2016- home time!19 Jan 2016 - well worn19 Jan 2016 - squirell
Sister McKee, Canada Vancouver Mission, July 2014-January 2016

Update

This week has been another blur..I honestly don’t remember too too much of it but of course it was great!!
This week I was really studying hard about my relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.¬†So I read through the lessons in PMG (Preach My Gospel) and underlined all the parts where it talks about the character of Christ and why he’s important. But as I was doing it, that wasn’t what stuck out to me..It was actually how much PMG talks about Heavenly Father. He is the start of so many sentances. All of this comes down to Him, and His purpose and I have felt so close to Him lately. He gives me purpose. He knows I am weak but still trusts me. He is pushing me forward, egging me on to continue even though things can seem bleak sometimes. Anyone can have this relationship with Him! All you need is to kneel in prayer to begin.
This week has been pretty crazy- we set a baptismal date!!!! With the little girl, Arisala! It’s complicated though, but we’ll work it out- she usually goes to her dads on weekends in Vancouver- but she’s willing to go to church if her dad lets her. He’s given the OK for her to be baptized though!!
Also, miracle- Yesterday I was so tired of finding…like we had 3 days straight of knocking/contacting and the odd member visit…and so we decide¬†to drop by a¬†potential investigator, just because it’ll break up the afternoon, and we can’t find their address! So we walk up and down the street for a bit trying to figure it – and nothing- but I feel like we should just knock on doors in that street anyway, even though I didn’t want to. Even though we were so so tired. So we start knocking and for the first 3 doors NO ONE answers..but we just keep going and then the‚Äč fourth door we hear¬†someone speaking inside, so we knock and it opens and there’s an older man who looks at us and we start talking with him but he says “I don’t actually live here, but you’ll probably want to talk to my daughter in law” so he goes and gets her and she welcomes us in and we’re both looking at each other like “what is going on??” but anyway long story short she’s an inactive church member from Utah!! It just was a tender mercy, and we had super uplifting conversation with her!!
Anyway, another P-day in Vancouver today!! I think we’ll go to Stanley Park!! and tonight… I am going on EXCHANGES TO VANYSA!! ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

-Sister McKee

It’s Snowing!

What a week!!! It has been a really good week. In a weird way. There’s been no change in our teaching pool, or teaching puddle, or maybe it’s still 100% dry BUT we have been able to visit more members and just work so hard!
So I don’t know if this is the case for all missionaries but apparently in your last few weeks your body just breaks down to mush, and it’s true, because I have never been more physically tired, EXHAUSTED in my life. We spend most of our time outside talking to people etc and that combined with cold and everything has just killed me haha!! But, I’m still alive!! I am exercising every morning!! I am still giving my all!! Literally!
This week it was so so frosty, hence all the pictures. Like inches of weird frost everywhere!!
I finished reading the Book of Mormon again this week. I love the way it’s all becoming so familiar to me, if you haven’t read it before, read it!!
Last week we had our zones specialized training- where the mission president trains you on more practical missionary work like teaching. it was so good!! I was called up to bear my testimony AGAIN!!! by the mission president, and I quoted a bunch of 2 Nephi 4 (that’s for you Sister Ditto haha) but I just love my mission president and his wife!! They are the best.
On new years eve we stayed in and did our weekly planning, it was fun!! and new years day we went to a popular park to talk to people and the ocean was frozen!! That seagull in the picture ice skated a little!
Anyway, have a great week!!
5 Jan 2016 - Coquitlam (3)5 Jan 2016 - Coquitlam (2)5 Jan 2016 - Coquitlam

It’s the P-Day before Christmas!!

We are so excited!!!!!
  • This week we talked to 203 people about the gospel!! That is a huge huge amount. It has been really difficult to find people to teach here and it’s not the most fun situation to be in. In Preach My Gospel it says “Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach” and it’s true- this ward is ready to¬†befriend¬†investigators only we have none yet! I’ve never really been in this situation before because usually I find it easy to find people to teach but I think it’s a little to do with us needing to have better quality conversations but we’re working on it!!
  • We got fed so much pasta again this week!! Ahhhh pasta!!
  • We had a great zone meeting, it was really short so not very in depth but we talked a lot about the Atonement and so this week out on the streets we’ve been sharing a lot about why we celebrate Christs Birth- because of the Atonement and the hope that comes from it. READ HERE but anyway, go through your scriptures and study how the Saviour ministers one by one..it’s everywhere!! Are you treating other as an individual or are they just another face in the crowd?
  • It has rained like every. single. day. It almost snowed on day too, hence the hair picture! it was just really slushy.
  • We rode the bus on walking day and it was so much fun!! I love buses!
 
Anyway, have a good week!!
29 Dec 201629 Dec 2016a29 Dec 2016b

 

 

 

JOY!

This week has been a week of Christmas miracles and they fill me with JOY!

 

Tuesday morning I’m sitting in studies in our apartment praying and praying for a miracle. A miracle where we set up an appointment for THAT DAY. I wanted to show my companion how with a little faith and hard work the Lord provides. And so we go out that morning and I am so, so determined! We talk to people and talk and talk and have some good conversations…but then the miracles comes as we approach a younger woman. She is happy to talk with us and we find out that she has a Book of Mormon. She has the most inspired questions and as we keep teaching and talking we end up going through the whole message of the Restoration and you can see the light in her eyes and everything clicks into place. We set up a time to meet that night, it didn’t work out because she had to stay late at work but we met up the next night and had such a feel good lesson!! Miracles are according to our faith!!!

 

Christmas Eve I got to skype home and it was fun to see all the summer Christmas celebrations. I have to admit, I’m excited for sunshine!! It has pretty much rained every. single. day here for the past 2.5 weeks, and if not it’s still been cloudy!! The family we Skyped from had us for lunch, they are the most kind people EVER. That night we spent time for a family that needed a little strengthening and the dad cooked us the best straight out of mexico food ever. SO GOOD. also stores here close early on christmas eve…no late night santa here!!

 

Christmas day we woke up and opened presents with exercise and cooked a delicious christmas breakfast…my companion likes to eat good food, hence how we could afford bacon and raspberry syrup haha!! We talked to people at the bus stop and we skyped Sister Magleby’s family ( so much screaming haha!!! ) and then we talked to people at the sky train station and then had dinner and sung christmas carols at a huge family gathering! the real Christmas miracle happened that night though…we get a called from the VanYSA sisters. They’ve been keeping me updated on a few investigators I knew really well there and one of them I found right before I left…anyway, they were all getting baptized this weekend. like 5 PEOPLE in one baptism!! But the conversation went like this..

“sister McKee, we havea ¬†Christmas miracle for you!”

“…ok, What”

“It’s a real Christmas miracle!!”

“OK!! what is it!!”

“we just got off the phone with President and he wants you to be at the baptism this Sunday in Vancouver. ”

“……….silence….WWHHHAAAAT!!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!”

 

So yes, yesterday I got to go to my final baptism in VanYSA (Vancouver Young Single Adult congregation).¬†My heart was so so full of joy! REAL ETERNAL JOY!! I just stood there and looked around at all those in white- they’re all recent converts now but I have seen most of the journey of every. single. one of them. It was the best Christmas present a mission President could give. It just filled me with so much of Heavenly Father’s love!! Everything from the past 18 months seemed to have led up to that moment. and I get 3 more weeks to pump it out and find more baptisms!!! While driving home with my companion after I just told her story after story about each of those guys…….converts will never comprehend a missionary’s love for them, just as we can’t comprehend the Saviour’s love for us!!

 

The person¬†I found was Franz. It was a cold rainy night in¬†Vancouver and we didn’t have much happening in our area. I was feeling so down about it all. So Sister Ditto and I prayed and felt we should go to Joyce. then we proceeded to set up 2 return appointments and met Franz. We met with him a couple days later and could tell he was so skeptical. He was Filipino and catholic. That’s the hardest nut to crack!! But as he stood and bore his testimony to us yesterday at the Baptism…he knows now. His first line was “When I first starting learning about this church I though “HELL NO am I going to be a mormon!!” (all the Americans flipped haha, american swear word) and then I actually prayed about it..” so many of them said that. All you got to do is PRAY ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON AND THEN IT’LL CLICK.¬†Franz said he was so lost and then we walked up to him and now he is found (hahaha amazing grace???).¬†talking¬†to him after I just straight up asked “How do you feel about¬†serving a mission?” And he smiled and said “I would love to. I want to find others who are lost and bring them here.”

The church is true.

Anyway, I love my mission. I love baptism. I love seeing others feel that pure joy. Go out and spread it!

 

Sister McKee

 

Pasta!

Why pasta you might ask? Well, we arrived in our area to find the sisters before us didn’t go grocery shopping this week so we had…no food! So with permission off we go to the store to grab a couple of tings..and we end up ended pasta 3 days in a row. by the 3rd day I am so done with pasta and I say to my companion “I refuse to any any form of pasta. For a WHOLE WEEK.” then we get a phone call of a member inviting us for dinner and she’s made a “lovely big pasta bake” hahahahhahahahahhaha death by pasta. We’ll get some new food today, yay!! And we have so many dinner appointments this week!! It definitely helps us to feel more welcomed.
it was sad to leave Penticton…there are some real amazing people there and that ward knows how to look after us..it’s like having 40 sets of grandparents!! I am so grateful for the time I had there with Sister Hubert.
Wednesday we flew the huge total of 38 minutes from kelowna back to Vancouver in the evening. Seeing all those lights and cars and buildings felt like coming home!! And all the missionaries…I’ve figured out I love being around lots of people, that’s for sure!! We dropped a sister off at the mission office (Aaaaaahhh how I missed the office!!) and then Sister Magleby from Idaho and I were off to our area.
We arrived to no food but also no one to teach…yes, an empty area book!! but they have a sweet young woman recent convert and a great ward that we are excited to gain the trust of!! There are many young couples and families and then a bit of a gap and old couples. We have done lots of knocking and contacting and Im getting better at mall contacting!!
Anyway, got to go!!!