I shouldve done this last week, but I was in a different area and not using my own LAN House so I forgot/didn't have time. So I have already done a shout out to my older sister, Carlie, and my Mom for their birthdays, now it's time for my old man's!
Ever since I can remember you have been there either holding my hand, or yelling at me to "SUCK IT UP, IT DOESN'T HURT THAT BAD!!" whenever I got hurt. But those times I cherish. I know I already wrote you a letter but I need to do this so the whole world knows how much I love and respect and look up to my loving dad. I remember when I was a little kid and we would sit outside of the house in the backyard in So Cal and you would look down at me and say, "Do you know how much I love you??" I would say, "no" you would reply and point up to the sky "I love you to the moon and back, do you know how far away that is?" I do know and realize how much you love me and I love you so much more than that now.
I remember when we would got to Fathers and Sons campouts and sit around the fire and just stare at it with me sitting in your lap thinking "this is the best day of my life, just me and my dad, best friends for life just camping and having the time of our lives, not worrying about anything..." I think of those days while I am so far away from you and I can almost feel your presence here with me.
You have done that so much in my life already. I miss your love and your wisdom in my life everyday. You have been there every step of the way. I look back at the days at Lake Powell and remember when you were teaching us how to ski behind a jet ski. We would cry and scream and do anything BUT want to learn how to ski. You would yell, "Were out here and your going to have GOSH DARN IT!!!" I look back and laugh now, but realize that I was having the time of my life, just learning and living with my parents.
You are the greatest dad that I could've ever asked for or wanted. You are part of the reason I am out here. I have seen the man that you are and wish with all of my might that I can someday be the man that you are now. I am trying so hard to do what you would do here and try to apply the things that you have taught me here. I have learned many things from you but the things that I am applying here are
1. Hard work, really hard work
2. How to love everyone, be serving to everyone who is in need of your help
3. Be obedient in all aspects of the word, no matter what.
These are just a few of life's most important lessons that you have taught me and I can't say thank you enough for teach me these and all things. You are the greatest dad even though every Saturday you would say, "Alright! Whose ready to go out and work in the yard!!!???" I hated that time then but looking back and thinking, those are the best times ever... just being in the yard with my dad, taking care of our things and just talking and fixing a problems and doing it together, you teaching me certain things that I would need to know to be a loving father and husband. You are the best dad and friend I can have.
This past summer we learned that dad had cancer in his stomach. When i heard these words, they hit me like a ton of bricks because the first thing that went through my mind was, "I NEED my dad in my life, he needs to be here to help me through trials to help me and to be here!!" I was so scared and this point in my life is when I REALLY learned how to pray.... I hit my knees every time I could and would plead with my Father in Heaven to keep my dad that I need him in my life and how important he is to me. I know that my dad is the strongest man that i have ever known and that i know that he can beat anything that comes his way, nothing like a little bitty cancer would stop him. The doctors were dumbfounded that he was beating the cancer and he was doing it naturally. I know why though, it's because of our family and friends who had faith and prayer and compassion for us and that my dad was not going to lose this battle. And of course, he didn't. He won and he continues to win because he is the greatest man I have ever had the pleasure and privelege to call "Dad". He is the best and he looks after me and i do the same for him.
This past May, me my little brother Kirk, and my best friend, Zack, and my Dad had an awesome trip to Yosemite to climb Half Dome, one last time before I went on my mission. It was so great to be able to do it again with my dad. When we did the first time it was great and I could remember how great the feeling was when I finally go to the top of it with my dad and we both just stared down the Yosemite valley. It was great and I wanted to have the experience one last time. It was just as great as last time that we did it and I loved it and I will cherish these times forever. I cannot put into words how much I love you dad, you are the greatest example I have in my life and i try so hard everyday to follow it. You are an amazing dad and I dont want you to change a bit. I miss and love you so much.
So, yes, this past week I got a new companion named Elder Padilla from Fremont, CA. He is a great guy and speaks great Portuguese. All we do is speak Portuguese with each other and my Portuguese is improving leaps and bounds. I know that we are going to do great things here in Brazil! We have 3 baptisms set up for next week and another 2 for the week after that. It's going great down here and I am learning so much here that I can't put into words. It is so great to be called as a representative of Jesus Christ to help and love these people here with anything we can. So many people here are so ready and prepared to accept Christ into their lives. I love them so much I can't even stand it! They are such a blessing my life. These people are so humble and I can't even begin to explain their love and my love for them. It is amazing what they do. I love them and I love you and miss you guys so much and pray for you always....
Love, Elder McKeon
Today is the last day of my second transfer here in Brazil!!! It's weird how fast this time has flown by here...
So my last companion, Elder Squires, was transferred this last Friday to go help Presidente Ferrin in the office and I had to go to Vila Galvão with Elders Anderson and Bangeter from my zone. So we spent the whole weekend together working here! It was kind of hard for me because I had to get around on my crutches here, but thanks to all that practice I had when I hurt my knee, it wasn't that bad at all!
We had to walk all the way from Continental, to our lunch in Vila Galvão, which was not very fun, because it was a long walk, and it's even harder on crutches. But we got to our lunch and taught the non-member daughter there and she said she would go to church which is great!! Then we made a few more visits that day and we went home and a member in our stake (Marcelo, the one you guys met on Christmas) came by and took us to McDonalds!! That was the first time I have had McDonalds, or any cheeseburger for that fact, since I left the U.S.!!!! Isn't that nuts??? Oh it tasted sooooo good!!! I know its gross but it just tasted like home!! And side fact, McDonalds here is very expensive, they dont have a dollar menu, they have the 6 reais menu, or in english, the 3 buck menu... Anyway, we got back home and it had been 5 days since I got my cast on so that night we got some scissors and I cut that bad boy off!! Oh it felt so good to scratch my leg!! It was sooooo itchy all week! It was kind of purple but not that swollen anymore. So we stuck it in a big bucket of ice water for 20 minutes and it felt so much better! I made a cane for myself when I couldn't leave the apartment last week and I have been using that and man does it work great! So I have been walking around on it and I have to limp a little bit, but it is getting better and better each day!
On Saturday, we had a talent show in our Ward here and we, the American Missionaries, did a hot dog eating contest for our talent with the Bispo here and, of course, yours truly won..... hands down... anyway, we got a ton of references from that night becuase there were a ton of non-members there!! Sunday was great because we had a baptism here!! But during the first hour of Church, Elder Bangeter was feeling sick, so we got through Church, had a great baptism and were JUST going to go to our lunch appointment, when 2 other members said we HAD to go to their homes for dessert and goodbyes (because Bangeter is being transferred). So we said O.K. We had lunch, but Bangeter didn't eat much, then we went to a members home and had an amazing ice cream cake... Then we went home so Bangeter could rest. We had another member family at 7:30 so we would rest till then. But they found out the Bangeter was sick and demanded us to let them give us a ride. So they came and picked us up and drove us to their house. When we got there Bangeter went straight to the bathroom and didn't leave for awhile... meanwhile I'm sitting down and eating all of the food this wonderful sister put out for us. A few minutes later, Elder Anderson said he wasn't feeling very well either. So she gave him some medicine and not 2 minutes later, he was throwing up in the bathroom as I was still eating happily all of THEIR food because they couldn't eat it. We then came to the conclusion that it was the hot dogs that we ate the night before. We ate too many and too fast! So the moral of the story was the McKeon won, AND didn't get sick!!!! My foot is getting better every day and I will receive a new companion tomorrow morning!! I am very excited!!!
I love you guys and can't wait to hear from you guys!! I think of you all the time and miss you so very much!!