Current Mailing Address

Current Mailing Address

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Recap of the last couple of weeks

Friends and Family,

I apologize for not updating the blog the last couple of weeks.  Here are Elder McKeon's last few emails.  The week of Christmas he did not send an email.  Our family got to skype with him on Christmas and he looked and sounded great!  He loves receiving letters/emails/pictures from all of you.  Thanks for your support!

Elder McKeon's email from December 31, 2012:

Hows everybody doing??? 

It was so great to see all over your faces this past Christmas! I missed hearing all over your voices and seeing you in person! I loved every minute of it. Me and a few other missionaries cried, we all agree that skyping is the best and the worst thing ever. It's great to see you and hear you, but it is hard to hit that hang up button. We all just felt so great to hear you guys, but so bummed to hang up.... But I loved it all, hearing you guys talk was music to my ears. You guys are the absolute best family anybody could ever ask for. I am so glad that I picked you guys in the pre-existence to be friends. But i loved Christmas here, it was amazing, we got to eat some amazing bbq and talk to you guys!! 

Marcelo and Elder McKeon holding the Brasil National jersey he got for Christmas

I totally went home and couldn't think of anything else but you guys. I would keep running through memories we had: the lake, camping, sitting at home making funny jokes, going to Utah like you guys are right now. It brought tears to my eyes and I miss those days very much.  But, I know why I'm here and what I need to do here and I know you guys are being blessed for me being here and I pray for that everyday. Dad, hows the business going? And the Chemo? When's your next treatment? You're still good right? Everything looks good? And I am very jealous of you guys that you're in Utah with the family and going to BYU games! Go to Brick Oven for me while you're there! 

O.K. well this week was good! 

Elder McKeon with a couch that was burning in the middle of the street

We had a baptism this past Sunday for Samanta. She is the girlfriend of a Young Man here in our ward and she is awesome! The first Sunday that I met her, she seemed like she was going to be a tough one, because she said that she had too many questions and we couldn't answer them.  I scoffed to myself and thought, "Do you know whatIi do for the next 2 years? All i do is answer questions.... and I KNOW I can answer yours!" So we went to her home and she had a lot of questions, but they were very basic question and we answered them and she then came to the understanding of why they were true! We then went back and she watched the video of the Restoration and she said that she would pray about the Church and see if it was true.  We then came back the next day and she said that she had a dream that she was like Joseph Smith and prayed about it and Christ appeared to her and told her to join the Church!!! How awesome of an answer is that? We then taught her the rest of the lessons and had to squeeze in the Commandments into one day and she asked us about piercings. And we said, only one in each ear, and i turned to look up in the pamphlet to show her, and i turned around and see her take her belly button ring out right there on the spot!!! Talk about faithful!! It was so great on Sunday when we had the Baptism. We had more people to attend this baptism than in all the other ones I've had and the Spirit was so strong and I had to give the message! I was so nervous because i found out about 15 seconds before I had to give it. So i pulled out the story of Christ's baptism and said we need to follow Christ and you have taken the first step and bore my testimony of the Church and why i was there to help, but now she has to Ward to help her and it was a fantastic baptism. Her boyfriend baptized her and it was so awesome to see this wonderful ordinance be performed for this great girl.

Elder McKeon with recent convert, Samanta, her boyfriend, and Elder Squires

Well I'll email you guys later, my time is running out on my lan house and weve got an appointment! I love you and pray for you guys all the time! 

You guys are the best!!!


Elder McKeon

Email from January 7, 2013:

Hey everyone!!! 

How is everyone doing??? I am doing great here in Brazil!! I LOVE IT HERE SO MUCH!! We had a confirmation this past Sunday and it was great!! Samanta is her name and she will be a great and faithful member of the Church.  

We made a ton of contacts this week and they are going to be great, I just know it! Last week I got a few letters! I got some from Mary and Jan down in Loa! So if you could tell them thank you and that I am writing them back! Also, I got one from the Franks along with their Christmas Picture and they looked great! Tell them that I will also write them back! And finally I got one from my surrogate grandparents the Rounds!! I am busy writing on P-Days now!! I can feel all of your guys's love all the way down here!!!

Elder McKeon w/his poster from the GB2 ward (he is also sporting his Washington shirt signed by Mike Leach)

I am glad that you guys had a great time in Utah, but so sad that you all got sick! That reminds me of the time when we were driving back from Utah and well got some kind of food poisoning thing.... it was a reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaalllllllllly long drive, I'm not going to go into any details but it was bad! I miss you all soooooo much! 

This past week was good, it was soooooooooooooo hot!!!!!!! Foi Muito Quente!! But it was a great week here, what am I talking about, they're all great weeks!!! We have these 2 promising investigators. One is named Sheila, and the other is Jose Carlos. They are great. They have both accepted baptism, but won't pick a date because they want to learn more, but in Sheila's case, she is afraid of being baptized then sinning afterward and making it "void". We have really been trying to tell her that baptism and repentence are gifts because we WILL sin because we are human. But through the wonderful atonement we have we can become clean again. She also has had a son pass away and she really loves the idea of the Plan of Salvation. So they will be baptized, its just a matter of time. Jose Carlos is a great man! He just wants to learn more about Joseph Smith and see what he went through. He will be a great addition to our Ward and Church! 

"Sledding" in Brazil with a few other children

It's hard at times being a missionary, but I just remember what our Lord did for us. There is a video of Elder Holland and Elder Erying talking about how hard it is being a missionary and then they compare us to Christ and that we will get the tiniest taste of what he went through when His own people turned against Him and spit upon Him. We will experience hard times and we will feel dejected but we just need to remember that we are doing this not only for our Brothers and Sisters around the world, we are doing this for our Savior. 

I love this work and being a missionary!! The 30th of December was my 2 month mark in the field and 4 month mark of being on a mission... Can you guys believe that ive been out here that long already??? It's nuts how time flies!!! 

I love and miss you guys so much and think and pray for you all the time.


Elder McKeon

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