Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Transfered to Ocean Springs

October 26, 2015

Hey Family,

So this is my first week down at the coast. I haven't seen the ocean yet but I will probably this week. 

On transfer day (Tuesday) I got to see Sister Quilty before she went home to Canada and that was really nice. So we took a 12 passenger van down south, we first stopped in Hattiesburg where I got to see Sister Demo. We got to catch up a little bit, then I got back in the van for the hour ride to the coast. When we got there, I saw Sister Burgess and I am super excited for this transfer. Also I got to see the Sauciers which it was nice to see a familiar face. 

It has been very weird being in a new area, also I am driving for right now and that has been pretty stressful because I have no idea where I am going. And now trying to remember everyone's name again, but I will get it down.

Sister Burgess is awesome. We have been having a lot of fun. Last transfer she had a REALLY hard companion and has enjoyed having a nice companion and taking a break from all the drama. I know that I am her companion for a reason and we will be working so hard, which I am excited about.
The members are great here. They feed us good and go out with us each week. I have gotten the opportunity to meet a couple of the families and they are all really nice and care about the missionaries. I still miss all of the members in Meridian but I will love the members here. 

Our district is really small, it’s just us and a set of elders, (Double date district). Elder Ross is from West Jordan and has been out for 18 and a half months. Elder Nubivula (I don’t know how to spell it, ha ha) He has been out for about a year and is from Fiji. They are both funny guys.
So this past week we have just been going out with members, tracting and fixing some bridges. Some investigators had to be dropped because of a certain missionary so we have been finding them and fixing/starting relationships with members.

I can't believe I hit my half-way mark on Wednesday. It has all gone by so fast and I know these next 9 months will go by even faster. You truly do lose the time when you are enjoying the Lord's work.
So happy that Mikey ended the term with great grades and with all that he has done. Yea, you bet Lehi, that makes me happy. Happy that Ashleigh is doing well in school and work. I really hope that everything is clear with her MRI. 

WOW, Can't believe the stake split... again!!! Is President McMurtary still our Stake President?? It will be exciting with them making new callings. News with Hurricane Patrica, we will just be getting a lot of rain these next few days. It's supposed to rain about 3 inches today but we need the rain. I will make sure I drive carefully. 

I love and miss y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!!!!

Sister McKenna O'Connor

Monday, October 19, 2015

Last day in Meridian....

October 19, 2015

Hey Family,

So today I get to email because I won't have much time tomorrow to. As you have heard I am getting transferred. I am so sad to be leaving Meridian and all of the people here. I have grown to love them and it has been hard saying good-byes, but I told them that I plan on coming back to visit. I know that the Lord needs me down in Ocean Springs and I am pretty excited to go there with Sister Burgess. I have heard great things about it. I prayed to Heavenly Father to ask if I could stay one more transfer in Meridian, but after I got a feeling that I was leaving and I felt at peace with it.

Sunday it really hit me hard that I was leaving at church. Sitting there during sacrament meeting, I was just looking around and seeing all of the people that I love so much. Then Bishop announced that I was leaving so I was able to bare my testimony. Of course I cried and was shaking. I told them how much each of them has impacted my life so much and how they had been my parents. Many people were crying after my testimony, most of them were the young women. I have gotten so close to the young women and am going to miss them all.

Sunday night we got to have dinner at the Bryant's house and they fed us ribs. It was so good!!!! We got to talk with them for a little and it was just nice to be around people that care about you. Then after we went over to the Blalock’s and did some pottery. I got to spin and make a bowl, which turned out pretty good and got to make a Mississippi State. I am really excited about them (Stacey has mom's number to talk about sending it home, because I don't trust it with me getting moved around a bunch). 

Saturday was a great day, besides getting the call of transfers. I got to see Payton baptized and that made me extremely grateful that I was able to see it before I left. She has come a long way and I am so thankful that I was able to start teaching her and seeing her be baptized. She is such a strong girl and I will miss her so much.

We went and saw Jottie and Savannah this week and was able to talk about Jottie getting baptized. She isn't married but is leaving with a guy, so that is the only thing in the way. So hopefully that will get done soon. She asked me for my email so that she can send me pictures when she gets baptized. That made me so excited to hear. Also her daughter Savannah and I have gotten really close and she was really sad that I am leaving. She told me that she would love to have me as an older sister. That just made me feel so loved and know that I am making an impact on people’s lives.

I love the people here and am truly going to miss them. This is always the hardest part about missionary work.

Love and miss y'all
Sister McKenna O'Connor  

(McKenna said that Sister Burgess has been in Ocean Springs for one transfer and that she is excited to serve with her. The two of them were in the MTC together and came out at the same time.)

Sister O'Connor and Bishop Blalock of the Meridian Ward

Sister O'Connor with the Blalock family. She made pottery and loved it.

Forrest Blalock, Savannah and Sister O'Connor at the
Temple Theater for movie night "Forever Strong". 

Sister O'Connor, Payton Milstead and Sister Williams
at Payton's baptism

Savannah and Payton with Sister O'Connor

The Bryant's with McKenna

The McDurmond Family with Sister O'Connor

Sister O'Connor with the Slaughter Family

McKenna and Fern

Sister O'Connor and Sister Burgess after they just arrived
at the MJM together. A blessing they get to serve together
in the Ocean Springs Ward

Thursday, October 15, 2015

House least it felt like that!

October 11, 2015
Hey Family,
So you might of already heard but Sister Williams was sick this whole week, so we had to stay in the apartment. the whole time. It was not fun at all. 

Monday was pretty fun because Elder Homer had this game called, "Spike Ball" and it is a lot of fun. But of course my competitive side came out a little bit. Then we got to have FHE with the Campbell Family. We had a lot of fun there and got to teach one of their friends about the Restoration. We pray that she wants to hear more.

Tuesday we went to a members home and Sister Williams wasn't feeling good at all. We called the Elders and they came over to give her a blessing. Then the member took us to Insta-care. We had to wait a little bit then we finally got in. The nurse was very nice to us and Sister Williams took a bunch of tests because we are so far a way from home. We figured out that she had strep and other things. We go in this Wednesday for a CT scan just to make sure everything is alright. 

So this week we have just been hanging in the apartment, watching the D&C movies and coloring. Members have been really good to us. After this whole week being a mom and taking care of Sister Williams, it has made me pretty homesick. When your not doing anything, you start focusing on home and family and that's not a good thing. 
But this next week, we are going to visit a bunch of people, have the movie night at Temple Theater, and have a baptism on Saturday!! It will be a great week.

I have no idea what is happening this transfer? I really want to stay but it is all up to the Lord and where he wants me to go. 
I love and miss y'all!!!!
Sister McKenna O'Connor

General Conference was amazing!

October 5, 2015

Hey Family,
So this past week has been pretty good and spiritual. 
There is a member that just moved in and we went over to help clean her home. She has been struggling since being in Meridian because there isn't much stuff to do for her and her daughter (not the safest area). So kept her some company then we returned later to have dinner with her family. I could tell that she needed this time to talk with us.

This past Wednesday we had interviews with President Olson, and it went very well. We got to talk about a lot of things and he told me that I have changed a lot since the first time he met with me. He told me that I am meant to be here and I contribute a lot to the mission. That was really nice to hear him say that. 

On Thursday, we had exchanges with the STL's and everything turned out great. We got to visit all of our people and we had a blast. I got to serve with Sister Moffet. She is pretty cool and we had a lot of fun. We got to see Cynthia that morning so the Elders could give her a blessing, then we got to talk with just her. The kids are all at school and it was nice to talk with her about everything. She has been able to stop smoking the past week ever since the baby was born. We hope that she continues to stop smoking so keep her in your prayers. It was so nice that everything went well cause normally it doesn't, so I am grateful for that.


Then this weekend, we had General Conference. It was so amazing!! I had written down questions that I have and prayed that they would get answered, and ALL of them did. It is so amazing to see how your questions can get answered. I am excited about the 3 new apostles that have been called. I know that they have been called by God and they will serve him well. I loved President Monson's talk and I was really scared while he was finishing up his talk. He has dedicated so much of his life to this work and he is an amazing man. He bore his talk with so much power. I loved Elder Hollands and Nelson's talks about Women/Mother's. To hear such powerful speakers talk about our important and how much our Heavenly Father has in store for us. I noticed a lot that each speaker mentioned the word Grace. That word has stood out to me the past weekend.  
We sent a General Conference package with comfy socks and treats to enjoy!


Sunday after Conference, we were at the Slaughters (I love them so much) home and got to teach Jaylon and Payton. We talked about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and Follow the Prophets. Payton has sch a fire about the Gospel and has changed a lot over the past few months. Jaylon is trying to figure everything out for himself and figuring out if there is even a God. We all bore our testimonies, including Savannah who is 17 and was baptized before I got here. Even though she is young, she bore the most powerful testimony that I have heard. We just asked Jaylon that he needs to pray for himself and he will receive an answer.

I am so jealous that y'all went to see Idina, that sounds like a lot of fun!! So happy to hear about the crazy game against Riverton, wish I could have been there. I am so happy that a lot of people showed up to help with Mikey's Eagle Project. It all worked out which is so nice. That makes me think of the talk "Come What May and Love It" Miracles happened and it is so great that it all happened and that Mikey was able to learn from this experience. So happy that Chris and Maribel could come up with the baby and spend time with y'all for conference. I didn't know that they moved to St. George or I forgot. I missed making our sunday scones but oh well.  

So happy that everything worked out this past week. I just want to say how grateful I am to be out on a mission and bring my brothers and sisters closer to our Heavenly Father.
I love y'all!!!
Sister McKenna O'Connor