Current Mailing Address

Current Mailing Address

Elder Howard Derek McKeon
Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission
Rua Caa-Acu, 229
03171-020 Sao Paulo - SP

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A whole month

Derek has now been in the CTM for a month now.  Time is flying!

Hey Mom!!!
Im sending this to you but im talking to you and dad ok?
I love it down here! I got your pictures and everyone loves looking at them, especially my Brasilero friends! Tell that Ramirez guy that is dating Rylee to cool it alright!  Carlie told me about BYU and the Niners... That is so cool that Kirk is team captain for his football team! I'm so proud of him! 

My district is awesome and I love them all! Here's the list and I'll send a letter home with pictures later cause the CTM won't let us upload pictures here.
Companion, Elder Olson: Las Vegas, Nevada is a super amazing singer with perfect pitch and a great spirit and is one of the funniest guys i've ever met! He had a tougher time initially with the language but he's doing much better now! He has 9 people in his family and went to BYU before the mission, but we didn't know each other before.
Elder Glover: from Gary, Indiana and on the BYU track and cross country team and went on several dates with Brooke Holt! Hes a super cool guy and I love him to death! 
Elder Hohsfield: Galt, CA.  Dont really know him too well yet.  He was in the Provo MTC for 2 weeks and then came here because he finally received his visa.  He likes to sing as well and is picking up the language pretty well too.
I'll write a letter about them later, I'm running low on time.
I can email anyone in my immediate family.  Dad I sent a letter via email to your address from Mission Ties, did you not receive it? Please do a little research on them and let me know. And no I have not written grandpa or grandmother but i definately will! Keep me posted on everything please!
Mom, please send me my dirty clothes bag that I used up at school please, I am currently using a garbage bag and its starting to tear! I could also use flashlight please. I am doing fine and i am keeping healthy, I am eating so much food I can't even stand it!! None of it even comes close to your cooking so don't worry! I love you and will write you this week! I will write you a nice long letter full of details later! 
Love your son,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Meeting the Mission President

Elder McKeon's letter was a little bit shorter than usual, but he is absolutely loving the mission!

Dad guess what??? We have devotionals here every Tuesday night and one of them my mission President came!!! He only spoke in Portuguese and I understood most of it! I went up and shook his hand and talked to him after and he seems like a really great man. The second part of the story is that we went to the Policia Federal to register in Brazil and he was there to do the same thing and he remembered me!! How cool is that???  Oh! I met another missionary here from Brazil whose dad served in Portugal too.... guess who his mission President was...? President Ficklin!!! The missionary's name was Andreazza. If you remember that email me back so i can tell him! But life here in the CTM is great! I am picking up the language like its nothing and my teachers and Brazilian friends say it sounds like I've been speaking Portuguese for months! Its such a relief to hear that! But my time is running out and i'm loving it here so much tell everyone that i love them and miss them!
I miss you! How is everything going? I am doing fine so don't worry at all... even though you will anyways.  But i miss you and i can't wait to hear from you guys!  It sounds like you are having the time of your lives and your always keeping busy!!!!!
My time is up and I love you with all of my heart!!
Your Son,
Elder McKeon
I thought this was a cute email from Kirk to Derek.  This blog is to let everyone know what Elder McKeon is up to, but I also want Derek to be able to have his whole mission documented when he gets home, so I thought I would include this:

Dear Derek,
                Hey! I love you so much! I know that you are having fun and are learning the language, but don’t forget about me! J It is so great knowing that you are out serving the Lord. I can’t believe that your whole area is only 3 blocks! That is insane!! It’s funny to think that your companion did things with his hands, and it kind of reminded me of when I do all of those weird things with my own.
                In football, we had a bye this week, so no game on 9/7/12! Instead of playing a game, I went to the Roseville JV game; they played Folsom, and just got SMASHED!!! I did not go so much for the game, as I did to see all of my friends that go down there. ;) But it was fun!
                Well, as you know, Mom and Dad went to Utah, and watched BYU spank Weber State! But before that happened, Carlie and Dad went to the hotel that they were staying at, went in to get breakfast. The BYU Football team was staying there, and Carlie got me a football shirt, that Mom and Dad got me, signed by Riley Nelson!!! It is sooooo cool!!! I am not gonna wear it, im gonna hang it up in my room!!
                Also, I gave the lesson on Sunday, 9/9/12. It was on The Plan of Salvation. I was thinking, alright, it’s super easy, and I will only have to teach 25 to 30 minutes. Well, we blitzed through opening exercises, and I had to take up 45 minutes!!!! I gave the lesson, the Entire thing without taking anything out, and it was still only 2:40! So I just started talking about how we needed to be Missionaries, and that we need to let people know that they can be with their families forever. It was soooo bad! But Brother Motley said that I did well, and that he thought I did a good job, and I just thought of you the entire time I was talking about Missionary Work.
                I am glad that you are having such a great time in Brazil, and that you are learning the language of Portuguese, but just remember, I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ALL OF IT!!! And, if we have to, we can make up a code.J and, just on a side note, I have to say that I really like yer phone…
                I love you so much, and know that you are going to do ‘great and marvelous things.’
Love Your Best and Only Brother,
Kirk (Future Missionary)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Second week in the CTM

This is Elder McKeon's email from this last week.  He is doing great and loves the missionaries he is serving with!

Oi Everybody!!
How's everyone doin tonight??? Just kidding! Its been another awesome week here at the CTM and I love it!!! All of your support is sooo inspiring I can't even stand it!  Hmmmm where to start?? I'll just talk and you can decide when to shut me up. Everything is going awesome! I was a little sick last week towards the end but I did what my mom taught me to do: drink an enormous amount of water, take a really hot shower, and to suck it up you're being a wussy kinda thing.... Just kidding! I am fine now and am having the time of my life! My companions and I are working sooooo hard! And I am getting better and better at Portuguese, which means my English is getting worse and worse, my teacher says that I am the best one in the class!! That was a huge boost!!  But yes Dad, we get to go to the temple every P-day and the first time we went I was asked to be part of a sealing, and today I was asked to do a baptism after our session! So I've basically done everything I can do in the Temple without getting married!! But its such a great and beautiful temple, i think it might be my favorite..... the jury is still out on that one.... But yes I do my laundry, make my bed and got my haircut mom!!! I am the perfect little boy that you never had in high school!! But its great down here! My teachers are awesome and I love my district! There are about 13 of us in our district (which is big down here) and we all love each other and hang out when we aren't learning. 
Carlie and Porter:
I did get a letter from Sis. Lysenko!!! She seems to be having the time of her life down in Curtiba and gave me all of these wonderful tips about the CTM.  It was very nice of her. I hope that work and school won't kill you both!!! Sorry not a whole lot of time! I love you and miss you! keep me posted on everything in your lives!!!
Did you not get the thing I sent you about Mission Ties? i think that is the better route to take. I received my mission call March 27, 2012 and I had my ward at BYU there with me and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life! we had a devotional here Tuesday night and we had a speaker talk about "are you ready to be someones hero?" It was a fantastic talk and he said something i will never forget: "you have two names on your name tag: your families and the Lord's, honor them with your service."!! How cool is that!!?? It was awesome. and of course the language is coming easily to me!!! I want to know how much of google translate did you use to write your letter to me!!! just kidding!! keep me poseted about the election and sports!!
Don't worry about me. even though i know you will be. I am eating everything i put on my plate (which is a lot) and I am actually kind of gaining weight!! maybe cause i dont spend 30 hours in a pool each week!  but my time is running low and know that i love you and think about you all the time and i can't wait to see you guys again!!! i love you and miss you keep me posted!! And send me an address book of everybody's addresses, not emails please!!!

Elder McKeon also sent an email to his second family from Loa.  Here is what he had to say to them:

Como vaimos????  Or in Portuguese: How's it going???  Yup your right! I love it here and I love being a missionary!! The food is very different but I eat it all even if I don't like it to train for the mission field! Tell Maggie and Hannah good luck and that they'll stomp the competition! I don't know anything about musicals but I'm sure they're going to do a great job! And tell Jan that we had mashed potatoes here one night and I was so excited to eat them; took one bite and was sooo disappointed that they weren't Jan the Man's potatoes..... it made me soooo sad... But when I get back, first night in Loa I'll be expecting a big ol pot of mashed taters!!! And Mary, I know that if Loa wants the BEST postmaster, they're gonna pick you, and if they don't then its their loss and they're pretty dang stupid.... I love you and miss you all!!
Elder McKeon

He made it to Brazil!

Elder McKeon made it safe and sound to the CTM (MTC in Portuguese) in Brazil!  His president contacted the family to let us know that he had made it.  This is the group that entered the CTM with him.

We received an email from Elder McKeon last week.  Here is what he had to say:

Oi familia!!!
Como vai?  I love it here in Brazil!!  I can't believe how weird it is being here in a different country.  I fall asleep every night looking out our 5th story window looking at the massive city that's Sao Paulo.  I can't even describe how big this city is.  I am just going to email you mom and you can show the rest of the family.  But I love the mission life! My other companion is Elder Glover and he's great.  But the living conditions are, I think way better than when I was at home!!! But its like a dorm room at BYU except the sheets smell like they're from 1972.... but ya the food is different, but I eat it all, believe it or not Mom, I EAT IT ALL, and its pretty good, I'm really enjoying rice and beans!!! I also have 2 Brazilian roommates and they are amazing! They teach me Portuguese and I teach them English.  They say I am pretty good at Portuguese for only learning it about a week! My teachers are awesome and I got a letter from Alex Lysenko!! One of her teachers is now one of my teachers! How about that?? But yes the days are long and and the work is hard but it is very rewarding.  I love it so much.  Today (wednesday 9\5\2012) was a P-day, and we walked all around the 3 blocks of our area, I spoke with a bunch of Brazilians and they said I also am pretty good at Portuguese too!!! So look out Brazil here comes Elder McKeon!! This past Sunday was Fast Sunday and that was tough because we started fasting Saturday afternoon and we didn't eat until Sunday.... that was the longest fast I've ever done. But it was great! Tell Kirk that I wish I was there to see him dominate on the field! Tell him to rip the heads off of the DO punks!! And tell him to keep working hard and to never stop no matter what, that's what I've learned here in the CTM (here its called the CTM Centro de Trainimento Missonario!) And tell Rylee that she'll get better she just needs get used to running with older kids I know she'll do the absolute best in XC. Tell Dad that when we talk at Christmas I'll be able to speak to him in pretty good Portuguese!!! I've registered for this service called Mission Ties and it is kind of like Dear Elder but faster, I will write a letter then send it to the Mission Ties office, they'll scan the letter into the computer and then email it to you!! I gave them Dad's email address because he checks his the most often.  I don't know if it will cost anything but its cheap I hear.  This first one is free and we'll see how it works ok?? Well my time is about up and i miss all of you and I can't wait to hear from you!!  Letters take about a week to a week and a half to get here so don't get mad if I take long to respond ok?  Well I need to to go!!! I love you!!!
Elder McKeon 


The week leading up to Derek's farewell was filled with family, friends, and fun.  Between lake trips and game nights, Derek was busy enjoying home before he left.

On Sunday, August 19th, Derek spoke in church.  Following his talk, plenty of his family and friends came over to bid him farewell.  Mom had to snap the Christmas card picture before he left, hence all the matching gear.

The evening of his farewell was the last time the entire McKeon crew would be together for the next two years.

On August 28, 2012, Derek left Sacramento and headed to Georgia to board his plane to Brazil.  Kirk and Rylee said goodbye before leaving for seminary and Mom and Dad dropped him off.

Now Derek is a full-time missionary!

The Opening of the Call

It FINALLY arrived!!!

Derek received his mission call on March 27, 2012 to the Sao Paulo East Brazil Mission.  Family and friends gathered in the Heleman Halls lobby to watch him open that coveted white envelope.

Derek had several friends who had also received their mission calls, so we took a picture of them proudly displaying their calls.  From right to left is Phil Condie (Colorado), Taylor Bassett (Ogden, UT), Derek (Sau Paulo East, Brazil), Sheldon, and Chance.

Derek's grandparents had also received their mission call a couple of weeks before Derek did.  This is Grandpa Gale and Derek right after he opened it.

Derek's friend Sheldon made this video of the mission call opening.  If you have a minute and have a tear to shed, check it out!