Changes and Yoga Mats – September 30, 2013

From: Jessica McKay <>

Subject: Changes and Yoga Mats

Date: September 30, 2013 10:18:10 AM MDT

Here’s a little gem from a baptism we went to in Hugoton on Saturday. The young man being baptized wanted to bear his testimony about how his life has been changed. He said, “Change happens as soon as you decide, ‘I want this.’ Change stays until you go back to old habits.” I thought that was pretty profound.

So…Don’t get too comfortable, changes are going to keep coming! These ones aren’t too bad though πŸ™‚

Drum roll please…I am…

Training again! In…

Liberal again! In…

Spanish again! And I’m…

Moving again!

Yes, I know. The Lord really just wants to keep showing off by having me train again in Spanish when I’ve really only been a Spanish missionary for a transfer. But hey, baptism by fire, right? Hopefully I’ll just keep learning quickly and be able to stumble through a lesson or two without Sister Torres by my side. The Lord will do whatever He needs to with whomever He needs to in order to progress the work. The moving again part is the part I’m not looking forward to. :S That’ll be 4 times in 3 transfers 😦 At least it’s just to a different part of town. Sister Nash and I are still going to be Sister Leader companions, but only half companions because we’ll have our own trainees now. So yet another transfer in which we can expect lots of excitement and many miracles!

On a sad note: one of our investigators had to go to jail last week. She’s really been turning her life around, but every action has a consequence and some of her past actions came back to haunt her. It really wasn’t a fair situation, but they put her in jail for 1 1/2 years. It really broke my heart. We’ve been given commandments for a reason–they are only designed for our happiness. Please, please, PLEASE keep the commandments. I can’t tell you how many instances I’ve seen on my mission where following the commandments from the beginning would have made all the difference. Satan will tell you otherwise. Don’t listen to him.

Something I’ve been learning that brings me back to the topic of changes. Sister Nash’s district leader always told her “Don’t be a thermometer, be a thermostat.” We were not sent on missions or even sent to the earth to be acted upon by our situations. We have the power in us to change the situation we are in and act for ourselves! Heavenly Father gave us our agency and Christ gives us that power. Why waste it? We can make the best of any situation.

Church yesterday! Raychelle came again. And a less active 21 year old named Tarin came for the first time in months. I love it.

We had our Sisters’ Conference on Thursday in Pratt. There were 48 of us! That’s a lot of sisters, and there are even more of them up north. There was another conference on Tuesday in Manhattan, KS with about 20 sisters. So under the direction of Sister Bell, we planned a conference specifically designed for the sisters and their concerns and struggles because–let’s face it–sisters are different than elders, and we need different things sometimes. It was fun. We did Yoga (Sister Hachtel from the mission office is a Yoga Instructor), had trainings on the dress and grooming standards for Sisters, and then talked about stress management. Sister Bell asked the sister leaders to prepare short trainings on what we felt the sisters needed. Sister Nash and I felt we should talk about developing a Christlike character and relying on the Atonement. This has been something that has really been on my mind in the last few weeks. It really is healing in so many ways. We were so blessed as we were giving this training. Sister Nash spoke first about being Christlike and did a wonderful job. Then I spoke about the Atonement. All I had written down were a few scriptures, but the words just came. It was truly a time when I felt the spirit putting words into my mouth as I spoke, because I knew exactly what I needed to say and how I needed to say it. No “umms,” “likes,” or “ahhs,” it just flowed. We’re promised many times in the scriptures that the Spirit will tell us what we need to say, but we’re also told to treasure up in our minds the words of the gospel. The Spirit was able to tell me what to say in that training about the Atonement because I had been learning about it and pondering it very deeply for weeks before we felt prompted to address it at Sisters’ Conference. Yes the Spirit will not leave us alone, but we need to study and prepare ourselves so that the Spirit has knowledge, thoughts, ideas, and truths already in our minds and hearts to work with when the time is right. So, keep reading the scriptures daily. Keep studying those general conference talks. Keep praying and working to develop Christlike attributes. If the conference touched even just one sister’s heart, it was worth it.

My new companion’s name is Sister Hunter, and that is all I really know about her, except that she does have previous spanish background, so that’s good πŸ™‚ She’ll probably be training me.

I’m so excited for General Conference this weekend! What a privilege it is that we get to listen to a prophet of God and literally hear his words for ourselves! We couldn’t have done that two hundred years ago…

Love always,

Hermana McKay

(P.S. This will be my fifth child…weird.)


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