Current Mailing Address

Current Mailing Address

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

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference Miracles

Hey everyone!

I love service and miracles!

This week we had been preparing for conference and I was so excited for it. I really didn't take conference seriously while I was home and now I am really kicking myself for that. Anyways, earlier on in the week we ate lunch at an Irmã's house named Alzenir. She is old and lonely, so our visits with her are usually a little bit longer. During our visit, I noticed that one of her walls was super moldy and falling apart. At the end of every message we give I always ask,"Do you have anything that we could do to help you?" Usually they always say "no" (and she did as well) which I expected, but then I told her that if there was ANYTHING we could do just to tell us. She got kind of quiet and I told her, "Irmã, just because we are wearing these clothes doesn't mean that we cant work, these are our working clothes." She was still quiet, so I had had enough, I stood up, went to the wall, grabbed a hammer and a screwdriver and I was about to start cleaning it up when she started to scream and yell at me saying that I couldn't do it because my clothes would get dirty. I told her that I was still going to help and I started to chip away at the wall. 

(Elder Moises and Elder McKeon working on a moldy wall)

Then Elder Moises came and started to help. She started to cry because she didn't have the money to pay someone to come and do the work. It was such a touching experience for me, she reminds me of Grandma Gale because she sows for a living and she always worries about us, but I love her and it made me feel so good to help her out. She was right though, it got us SO dirty. I was COVERED in dust and rock, but I was so happy to have the opportunity to help.

(Covered in dirt after doing a little service)

We then get to Conference and MIRACLES! 

We have been teaching this guy, Ademar, but he wasn't really progressing. He didn't want to go to church or read the Book of Mormon, but we visited one last time on Friday and told him how incredible conference is. He ended up saying, "Alright, I'll go and if I like it and feel the Spirit. I'll be baptized!" I walked out of there feeling great. On Saturday were in the session and I am was looking for Ademar. It was hard to pay attention because I was just looking at the doors waiting for him to come in. We called him during the break and he said that he couldn't go Saturday, but that he would go on Sunday. Great. So, we go back Sunday and Ademar didn't show up for the first session, so I was hoping he would be there for the afternoon session. Then I remembered that he said if it rained he wasn't going to come. Just as the second session started, I heard rain, so I lost all hope.I was already bummed because we had all of our other baptisms fall through that week in our district, which meant we weren't going to have a single baptism in the whole district that week (which had not happened in this zone ever). I started to pray for a miracle. After I finished the prayer, we got up to sing the intermediate hymn and as I got up I turned around to stretch. Guess who I saw sitting in the very back? That's right, Ademar! I ran back there and brought him up to the front so he could see and hear everything. It was awesome! 

(Elder Moises, Ademar, and Elder McKeon at Ademar's baptism)

After the session, Ademar had his interview and he came out with a huge smile on his face. We went to the baptismal font and immediately started to fill it up. The water was freezing cold, but we had the service anyways. Ademar started to cry, and we were so happy to see him enter into the Gospel. It was a great testimony builder for me and I was so grateful to witness these miracles happening in the lives of others.

Well I have to go, but I hope you all have a wonderful week.


Elder McKeon 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Change in Seasons

Hey guys!

This week was not the greatest we've had, it was actually pretty hard. It just seemed like everything that we had going for us hit the wall and stopped. All the investigators we were teaching were either not home, or were too busy to let us teach them. It was super frustrating and discouraging. We then turned to contacts to try and turn the week around, and it didn’t work out either. Everyone that we talked to (and we talked to a lot) just seemed super uninterested and didn’t want anything to do with us. It was making me angry, because I thought I had done something wrong, like the contact wasn’t as strong as it could be, or I said something that might’ve offended them, or if I wasn’t in the right place or the right time. It was just a very difficult week. It was a lot of prayer and study. But then once the week ended, I realized, that I hadn’t fasted once during the week and that was where we went wrong. It’s very hard to fast here in this area and for me personally, I love to eat, but when we fast, we are asking the Lord for help, and I guess He was trying to teach a lesson because I wasn’t asking for much help! Now we are going to fast this week and see what we can do to turn this thing around! 

Also, Brazil’s weather is bi-polar. We had to go to Cumbica (one of my districts areas) to do an interview. When we got there I was sweating up a storm. It was so hot! Then we met up with the Sisters and started heading to another appointment, and when we came out, there were clouds all over the sky and it was windy and cold. I was mad because the guy that I interviewed was supposed to be baptized right after the interview by one of his best friends. Unfortunately, the friend’s mom wouldn’t let him baptize David, the guy I interviewed, because she is 100% against the Church. David was kind of bummed, but then asked me to do the baptism for him. I had to wear this HUGE baptismal jumpsuit and the water was freezing. It was such a great experience and the Spirit was super strong there and everyone loved the service. Since I didn’t know that I was going to baptize, I didn’t bring an extra pair of underwear so it was ALL WET and I just left them on and we had to leave for another interview, and when we stepped outside, it was super windy and freezing cold! When we got back to our area it was ALL mud because there are just dirt roads here. So, all my pants are dirty and I don’t even polish my shoes anymore because they will just get dirty in 5 minutes after leaving the house.

Well, I gotta go! I love you guys so much and miss you all everyday! I love you and hope you guys have an awesome week and a good time at the "MTC!" (side note: our stake back home called all of the kids on a “mission,” so Rylee and Kirk are on mini missions right now.)


Elder McKeon