Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

November 23, 2015

Hey Family,

So this week has been an interesting week. We’re in a trio now so gettin used to that. But we got a lot of work done that week.

Like I said last week, we had Zone p-day on Tuesday. We went and had a Turkey Bowl at a field. I was the stop-watch person. I didn't want to play football with a bunch of Elders who get really competitive and I wouldn't even get the opportunity to even touch the ball. But I got to keep the time and take pictures so that was fun!! 

On Thursday we had to get up pretty early to take Sister Bills to the airport. She had to go home early for medical reasons so we did that and now have Sister Thompson is with us. Also with her working in Biloxi, we get to work both areas, which is pretty big. Then later that day, we had dinner at Sister Maisch’s house. She is the granddaughter of President Wilford Woodruff. She is a really sweet older lady. She lives right on the coast so I got some really good pics of the sunset. They are my favorite!!! We ate dinner there with a couple of the older ladies in the ward. We had an early Thanksgiving dinner and it was so good!!! We were so full after. Then after we went and helped the Thomas's out for a little bit. We had a lot of fun and were laughing so hard, one because we were so full, second we were super tired.

The last couple days we just have been working both of our areas and visiting people. On Sunday, Mercedes Wright had her Farewell talk. She reports to the Provo MTC on Dec 2. She is going to be serving in the SLC South Mission, Spanish Speaking. She is super excited!! After church, we joined the choir and sung some songs for the Christmas Special, then after we went tracting. We went out on splits. I went with Janae Totton (Sister Thomas's daughter) and Sister Burgess and Sister Thompson went with each other. We were able to get are full 7 hours of tracting in. Nobody really answered the door with us, but oh well. Then we went out with Sister Ganschow to go visit less-actives. We got to visit a couple of them out in Vancleave. I think she sent you a picture? Yea so this week has been pretty good.

That is great about Mikey's Eagle Project and reviewing it with the board. Also about him getting all trained with football!!! Okay, super jealous with you having prime rib for Thanksgiving. We are eating at the Thomas's Family. It will be a lot of fun!!!! Being with Sister Thompson has been good.

I love and miss y'all.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Sister McKenna O'Connor

My favorite picture so far. Taken from Sister Maisch's home. 

Found a goat while out tracting

Huge Oak Tree

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Attrictive and Trio

November 17, 2015

Hey Family,

So this week has been good and the weather is starting to change. Sometimes it feels like Utah weather which is nice. So last Monday we played basketball at the church. It was a lot of fun and a good work out, haha! It was good playing with the Elders but it has been a while since I’ve played.

We then went to go see James who is an older gentleman that we tracted into a few weeks ago and when we got there, his daughter pulled up and told us that he has his own church. She then went inside to get the Book of Mormon that we gave him and she basically opened the door and threw them at us. They were all dirty and had stuff on them. So we just left and were amazed how rude people can be. We got to visit with Johnny this week and he lives out in Vancleave. He was a media referral and we got to talk with him about the priesthood and baptism. We asked him to pray about a baptism date and he told us that he would be at church Sunday with his mom. We were pretty excited about that. After, we went to try a less-active and we wet off-roading down this long dirt road to get to the house. When we got to the house, it was Sister Oliver (Mother of all the Oliver kids, which there is 9 of them). One of her sons is starting to come back to church with his wife, and the other one we got to meet with on Monday. The whole Oliver family are amazing. The father is super sick and is in a nursing home now, he has Alzheimer’s. So I understand how they all feel. When we were talking with her, she admitted to being in-active. Most of the family is. So we are just meeting with the family now just to gain their trust and one day have them back to church. So can you keep the Oliver Family in your prayers? 

So we have been able to visit the Thomas Family a couple times this past week. We have started reading with them from the beginning at the very beginning. It has been really cool to read with them and help them grow their testimony on the Book of Mormon. 

So on Thursday we had a cool experience tracting with Bree Thomas. We sometimes go out with her every week. We tracted in her neighborhood and we went to go see one of her friends. When we got there, Bree was talking with Paige and we got to talk with her grandma. We talked with her about her life and how she was serving in the Navy a while ago, and then Paige came over to use and asked us "What is the Book of Mormon?" So we pulled out a copy and started telling her and her grandma what it was about. But the grandma didn't agree with us having a prophet now. So we just stopped there so we didn't offend her. Then we headed back to the house and we were so proud of Bree bringing it up with her friend. She also talked about FHE and things we do at church. She always gets excited going out with us and we love when she comes.

On Saturday, we had ZDM (Zone Development Meeting) and President Olson was there. He told us that a General Authority is coming in December and so we are having a Mega Zone Conference up in Hattiesburg on December 9.The Jackson, Hattiesburg and Gulfport/Slidill Zones will be meeting. It will be so much fun to see all of the missionaries. Also President has made some changes. He wants everyone to do a survey about miles on cars, so if he needs to ask for more miles or cars. Which would be nice because our mission is sooo huge and there are a lot of places we can't get to because of lack of miles. Another thing that he changed was the Music Policy!!!! So excited about that. He told us that we can listen to anything that can be played in sacrament meeting. So we can listen to hymns sung by other artist, Daniel Beck, Hillary Weeks, some of Vocal Point and many more. We are all so happy about it. So if you guys could get some of that type of music and send it to me (email/mail) that would be awesome. Cause I can't get any of it on iTunes. Also President taught about Our Sacred Calling! It was a really good lesson. He talked about how we are Attractive spiritually and have a glow about us. So that was really cool. Also I talked with president and he should have signed the endorsement. Then after the meeting we headed to Cane's for lunch. When I was waiting for my food, a gentleman came up to me and asked what church we were from. I then told him, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He then replied saying that we all look really nice. I thought that what President Olson had just said an hour earlier was true. We do have this spiritual attractiveness as missionaries. Later in the evening, we went out with Sister Ganshow to go try some referrals and less/in-active. We tried a lot of people and most of them was either watching the Alabama Game or not home. We were driving all over Vancleave and it is really big. We went and tried a referral that I had gotten from another missionary. We got to her home and she didn't answer. So when we left, she texted us to tell us to come back on Wednesday. Then Sister Ganshow took us out to dinner at the Shed (So that is kind of funny that you brought it up). It's a fun cute little place and the food is pretty good. After, Sister Ganshow took us back home. We had a really fun time being out with her. 

On Sunday we had ward council in the morning, and we were able to talk about the people we have been visiting. When we brought up Dimaris (the referral) The members had told us that where she lives is not in the ward boundaries or in the mission. So they basically told us that we had left the mission. Opps :( We were kind of in shock about that. We called President later that day to tell him and he said that it was okay and to get all of her information so that he can get permission to talk with her. It was a blessing that he responded that way. So hopefully we can get permission to visit with her.

On our way to dinner on Sunday, we were walking and we were passing James house. We were joking about how the daughter is going to come out and yell at us to get away. Then all of a sudden, she pulled up right next to us. She wanted to apologize for the way she acted a few days earlier. She was in a hurry and didn't mean to be ugly. Then as soon as she pulled away, we saw someone else that we tracted into a few weeks ago. Susie was talking with us and telling us that she really wants us over for lunch one day. So we will see how that goes. After Dinner, we went and tried Tequina Sparkman. She is a less-active/recent convert. Her husband is a Jehovah ‘s Witness. We got to visit with her and her kids about the Restoration. It was nice to refresh everything for her and to teach her kids. After we walked over to the Thomas Family and read from the Book of Mormon. We had a really good Sabbath Day. 

Then on Monday, we went bike riding with Bree and Scobby Thomas. It was fun riding our bikes around the neighborhood. It was pretty fun though, because Scobby ran his bike right into a basketball pole. I had to stop my bike because I was laughing so hard. He was good though, no cuts. We then rode back home and went to dinner with the Chesley’s. They are such an awesome family!!! We got to talk about the Holidays coming up and having Christmas at their place. They are so nice and caring about us. I always feel loved going over there. Then they drove us home. 

Also President called us this morning. We will be in a trio starting on Thursday till the end of the transfer. One of the Biloxi sister is really sick and needs to go home early, so her companion is going to be joining us. Her name is Sister Thompson and she is a childhood friend with Sister Burgess.

Yea we got news of what has happened and it is just sad how much the world has changed. We are all children of Heavenly Father and people have forgotten that. So sad to hear about Aunt Rosie. Everything happened so fast. I am thankful that the spirit was there though and that they know that we will all be able to see Aunt Rosie and many other loved ones again. That is the great thing about the gospel. I can't believe Mikey didn't make the team. But what I have learned is that everything happens for a reason. So the Lord has something else in store for Mikey. That is cool about Dad's new calling. You can probably just send the packages to Sister Cardon. That is so cool about Markee Jones coming to the MJM. Apparently the Lord needs missionaries in the south. 

I love and miss y'all!!!! Have a Great Week!!!!!

Sister McKenna O'Connor

Kenna eating at the SHED!

The Shed

We love the signs in the South

Beautiful drive in the south

The Trio, Sister Thompson, Sister Burgess and Sister O'Connor
Yes, McKenna looks pretty cold!

Weather and Service !!!!!

November 9, 2015

Hey Family,

So this past week has been pretty good. The beginning was really hot and this weekend it has been raining. It’s starting to get a little cold now which the other day, it felt like Utah weather. Which I miss some times.

On Monday we had a wedding. A less-active couple in the ward, it is his 5th marriage and hopefully the last. They have been married to each other before but got a divorce for medical help. So we had a little service at the church building and it was pretty cool. Now we need to get them ready for the Temple.

Tuesday, we went on exchanges with the STL's. I went to Diamondhead with Sister Winkel. Diamondhead is about 45 miles west towards Louisiana. We went out with the ward mission leader’s wife and saw some of her people on her visiting teaching list. We went for out in the country and got to visit a couple sisters. One of the lady's we visited has a daughter with a learning disability and we couldn't find the mother anywhere. We didn't have the right number and we were trying to clean the place up to find it written down. They live in a small trailer and they have a lot of stuff. I'm pretty sure a couple bugs crawled on my feet and walked into a couple spider webs. But luckily the mom showed up ad we were able to leave. Then we went tracting and got to talk with this man who had a couple drinks. He reads the Bible and hopefully he will read the Book of Mormon. Then we had Dinner at a member’s home and it was fun to get to know them. Then we went home and got some rest.

On Wednesday, we woke up and got to go to the beach for studies. It was so nice to see the ocean and to feel the breeze. We saw some trees that were from Katrina that had been carved into and it is called the "Angel Tree'. It saved 3 people’s lives during Katrina and it is so weird to think that that happened just 10 years ago. But after we went back to the apartment and heading back to Ocean Springs for District meeting. The meeting went pretty good and we talked about out motivation of being out on missions. Then after we went out to eat with everyone. It was fun talking with everyone. 

Thursday was pretty hot and busy. We helped a part-member family move out and that took a good 3 hours. It was sooo hot that day, I'm pretty sure I got a little dehydrated. Then after we went to an older lady in the ward who fell last week trying to pick some sticks up in her yard. So we went there and racked her leaves. I then got to talk with her about Katrina because she lives right by the coast, and she told us that a lot of the homes next to her was taken by the storm or had about 4 feet of water in them. When a member went to check the house, the water line on the outside was about 4 feet high. But when we got inside, there was no water damage. The water had basically went around her home and got others. They call her house the Miracle House. I got the goosebumps when

she was telling me this. It is so amazing how the Lord works.

Saturday we went out to Vancleave to try some less-active/In-actives. We got to meet a few people. We also tracted and we had no luck. It was so hot and people were being ugly to us, so we called it quits. Then later that night, we had dinner at the Chelsey’s. They are such a fun family, and they were talking about Christmas at their home. They have a Hawaiian Christmas and it sounds so good. We will most likely have Christmas over there to eat and skype. 

This week has been pretty busy with driving all over the place and meeting all these new people.  
I am so jealous of y'all going to San Fran. That is so cool that they are going to Nationals. Who asked Mikey to Sadie’s and I hope he does his very best with Basketball. Sounds like Ashleigh had a lot of fun in Zion's and she is looking really good. 

Also with the packages, Burgess said that our mail people are really good with them. One of them is a member and the other one is familiar with missionaries, so you can just send them here or if you feel more comfortable sending them to a member. 

I love y'all soooo much and miss ya. Have a great week!!!!

Sister McKenna O'Connor   

 Angel Tree from Katrina

Ocean Spring, MS

Beautiful morning at the beach

Morning Studies at the Beach! She is loving it.

Tracting in the rain going to Vancleve
 Ward Members wedding...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Half Way There "Hump Day" & Happy Halloween

November 2, 2015

Hey Family,

Hope everything is going well in good old Utah. Mississippi is doing pretty good. This week was a pretty good week. We got to hang out with a lot of members this week with meal appointments and visiting teaching. The members here are awesome and they take really good care of us and go out with us. Many of the families here are military families because of the base nearby. We got feed by the Chesley Family on Monday and they are a great family, and I believe they will be feeding us on Christmas, but I’m not sure. We went visiting teaching with Bobbi Scaturo and Sister Thomas (Not Thelma) and we had a whole lot of fun. We got to visit quite a few sisters in the ward.

So this week we tracted for 9 hours and got 4 lessons out of it. There are a lot of Catholics down on the coast. It makes it a little harder to find people here but we are working so hard. We didn’t have the car for most of the week and we have probably walked I don't even know how much we walked, ha-ha! Being down at the coast, we have gotten to bed around 9:30 pm because we work so hard and am so exhausted by the end of the day, which is such a good thing. It feels great.

Saturday was a pretty fun day. We got to help out with the Bishop storehouse. Well the storehouse is in Gulfport, so they ordered everything and we set it all up in the gym at the church. We got to shop for people and it was awesome to help out people in the ward and area. Bobbi picked us up and we had donuts which were good. Oh by the way, they have a Krispy Cream Donuts down here!! The rest of the day was hard talking with people because everyone was getting ready for Halloween. But after a while, we went to the church and had a pumpkin carving contest and had some treats to eat with the other missionaries. It was fun, but holiday’s kind of stink on the mission. Yesterday we had dinner at the Cardons home, and we got to talk about missions, because Brother Cardon served his mission in Florida. And they made us caramel apples which were really good. So this week was a good week.

I think I will be down here for the Holidays. You could maybe send  the packages it to the Cardons? I watched the bands show, it is so cool. That makes me happy that they placed 3rd. I am so proud of them. Mango always makes shows that are BOA style, Utah is just REALLY biased, we all know which is lame. I hope they do awesome in San Francisco and I am so jealous.

I love you all and miss you every single day!!

Sister McKenna O'Connor