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, September 25, 2013

Transfers and a Baptism

Ok, so let me explain what happened last week...
Elder Hanni and I were in the LAN House (where we send emails, its a room of like 20 computers) and I had just sent you my pictures for the week and then the power went out! All of the computers just turned off, and it wasn't just that building, the whole area was out of energy. I didn't even have time to email Presidente. So, I didnt just 'forget' to email you guys sorry!
The night of our P-day we were at a member's home having dinner and playing games and it was the night of transfers. Elder Hanni and I had only been together for one transfer and he had only been in the are for 3 months, so all the cards led to us staying together for one more transfer. Then I get the call saying he is getting transfered at 11:30 that night. We had no time to say goodbye to anyone in our area and we had to stay up until 3 in the morning packing his stuff. So, then we have to leave our house at 6 in the morning to get to the office on time which made it was a very long day the next day.

(Elder Hanni and Elder McKeon's last picture together)

When we left the house, we forgot that we had left some of Hanni's pants at a member's home to get them fixed because she sews for a living. We left them there 5 days before and we got to her house at 6:30 in the morning, praying she was awake, but she hadn't even started on the pants yet! 

(Elder McKeon saying good-bye to Elder Haskell)

Finally we got on the bus to get to the office, but we got on the WRONG bus and had to take 2 more to get to the right bus to get us to the office. We finally got to the office and all of our friends were there. It was kind of hard saying goodbye to a lot of them. A bunch of my friends were all "dying" aka going home, and as I was walking around looking at all of the missionaries I realized that I didn't know most of them, because most of the people that I knew were already gone. It was very strange, but now I have a new companion, a brazilian named Elder Moises or in English, Elder Moses. He has been out for 4 months and is still pretty green, but he wants to work hard and that's all that matters!

(Elder McKeon with his new companion, Elder Moises)

We baptized this week! It was so awesome! We had Yuri, Felipe, Vitoria, and Maria Eduarda all come into the Church! It's that family we had been teaching and the kids were baptized this week. It was Stake Conference too and so we had to get them to Church by bus, which was no easy thing by the way. We had to get 3 buses there and 3 back. It was crazy because the oldest, Yuri, gets sick on buses and threw up like 4 times. It was a stressful bus ride. When we got them home, we told the mom, Pamela, (who was working and had just gotten home) that the baptism was at 4 and that we would be waiting there. She asked what they needed to bring and we said a towel and an extra pair of underwear and Pamela was in the middle of frosting a huge cake and she asked, "What about food??" I said if she wanted to bring something she was more than welcome to. So we left, went and got to the Church and got everything ready for the baptism. Then the family showed up in their best clothes and Pamela came in with ANOTHER huge cake that she had made in the time we were gone. Anyways, after we baptized the kids and now we just have to get the parents baptized too. It was just such a great experience to have them there and to feel that sweet spirit touch their hearts to really show them that this Church is true. 
Well, I gotta go! I am sorry again for not writing last week, and mom thank you for re-sending the package. Also, congrats on running the Ragnar! It looks like you guys were tired in the final picture! I am so proud of you for running it! Well I love you guys and I will talk to you guys next week!!! 
Elder McKeon

Monday, September 9, 2013

Catch Up!

I apologize for being a slacker these last few weeks. Here is the latest from Elder McKeon!

Hey everyone!

I am very excited for tomorrow because we get to go to the Temple! Especially because this week was pretty hard. We didn't have a baptism like we thought we would and I don't know whats going on. Elder Hanni  and I have been working hard and it just seems nothing is going right. We are finding people, teaching them, and then cutting them because they aren't really interested.

We have been branching out into new areas of our HUGE area (lots and lots of hills) and we stumbled into this little valley. We went there to go look for an investigator that might have existed. The other missionaries cut him and Elder Hanni wanted to go back and just see if he still lived there. All he remembered was what the house looked like. We found the house, but we didn't know his name. I clapped (which is how you knock on the door) and Elder Hanni was supposed to yell out what he believed to be the name of the man. When he yelled it out, all he said was "Adumehuar!" He immediately got scared, and I was worried, because I had never heard a name like that. We waited until a man called out and said, "Wait a minute!" He came out and told us his name was Ademar, so Elder Hanni was actually pretty close. We scheduled to talk to him later on in the week.

Then walking down that same road for a little bit, we started talking to some kids. We ended up going to their house and talking to their mom and invited them all to be baptized and they all accepted! When we went to go pick them up for Church, they couldn't go because their dad wouldn't let them (the parents are separated) and the mom didn't tell him anything about them going to Church. The kids were crying and begging their dad to let them go, but he wouldn't. I stood there for about 15 minutes asking him to come with us and explaining how the Church works, but he would  not budge.

Well, I got to go! We have to get to São Paulo to get my package!! I love you guys and I will talk to you next week!

Elder McKeon

Hey guys!!

This was a crazy week this week!!! 

It's starting to heat up down here and I love it. This past week was kind of a bummer because we were supposed to baptize Adelçio, but he had to go back to my first area (Continental) and help his son with some construction on his home. We had no time to teach him because he wasn't here which was really frustrating., but he said he should be back in town this week and we will teach him then.

We taught a girl named Evelyn. She is the neighbor of a member and she has been to Church a few times before but then stopped. We stopped by her house and she came to church and she said she is going to get baptized.

On Sunday, Elder Hanni and I were supposed to perform baptisms of a couple girls. But we did not have a way to get to the baptism because no one works on Sunday and the public transportation is limited. We had to ask someone for a ride, but not very many members have cars, so it took us a while before we were able to find someone to take us. We had to ride to Cumbica and the whole time the sister missionaries were calling us and panicking because we were late. Eventually I got a call from Sister Pacari and she asked me to sing a hymn over the phone to calm down the girls because they thought we were not going to show up. Well, I don't sing, but I tried for these girls. Elder Hanni was laughing at me the whole time, but it seemed to calm the girls down. It was actually kind of cool to see the desire of these girls to get baptized. We finally got to the Church and we jumped into the baptism suits, but mine was way too small, so the pant leg was like a foot from hitting the ground.

Overall it was a hectic, but good experience. I love you guys so much and miss you so much!


Elder McKeon

We had a mission conference this past week on Wednesday in São José dos Campos. It is very far away from us here in Cabuçú. We planned as a zone to rent a bus to take us there instead of taking 5 different buses and maybe getting lost. We had planned to have the bus leave our zone at 5:00 a.m. in the morning. On Tuesday night we get back home after working and we had to pack our suits and stuff, and then we started our way to Pimentas (the Zone leaders area) And Elder Hanni told me he knew how to get there SUPER easily. So, we get to the last bus we have to take and we hop on it and I think,"Great! Well get there soon, sleep well and get to the conference perfectly!!" Of course that is not what happened. I ask Elder Hanni what stop we need to get off and he waits a little bit and then we get to the stop and we get off and I call the Zone Leaders to see where we needed to go. We then found out that we were about an hours walk from their house and t was about 11:30 at night and it was freezing. We waited for the next bus, which took about 45 minutes to show up, and then we got to the Zone Leaders house about 12:30 in the morning. I then slept on the floor with a towel as a blanket that barely covered my legs. We then woke up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready to get on another bus. Once we got there, the conference was incredible and you could feel the spirit so strongly.

I learned so much from the conference. Presidente Ferrin is a really good man and I love him to death and I know that he was called of God to lead our mission and to lead to do even greater things! It was cool at the conference because Sister Ferrin played a game with the whole mission to see if we were taking care of our houses and keeping them clean by having all the missionaries stand up and she would ask questions like"Do you make your bed everyday? Have you swept the floor recently? Are all the dishes washed?" Elder Hanni and I won, but that is probably because our house does not have furniture so there isn't a lot to keep clean.

Well, I love you guys!


Elder McKeon