Football Games and Oreos – January 21, 2014

From: Jessica McKay <>

Subject: Football Games and Oreos

Date: January 21, 2014 1:05:04 PM MST

This week was super eventful! Our fireside is coming along…it can be so hard to manage time to have enough to plan things like this though! But we’re doing good staying on top of things. I have learned so much in the past year and expecially few months. Let’s go through some of the exciting events that occurred this week:

Wednesday morning I was doing some deeper study of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Preach My Gospel and was reading about justice and mercy. Justice is a law of God that says that everything must have a consequence, i.e. blessings for obedience and penalties for disobedience. When I read the word “penalty” my mind went immediately to football (tis the season??) penalties and thought of an idea of how to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ using a football game for Alfred, Stephanie, and Chapo (Lil’ Alfred) that night. 2 Nephi 9:10 talks about that awful monster of death and hell, so from there, our opposing team name appeared: the Monsters. Our team name was the Angels, but if I were to make another field, I’d probably name it the Saints. But we had Angels vs. Monsters, with Jesus as our coach and Satan as the coach for the monsters. We made a football field out of paper and created character pieces representing monsters and also our investigators. The point of the game was to score 5 touchdowns using the stratagies from 5 different plays: Faith, Repentence, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. Before we played, we presented each of the plays, explaining what they meant and basically taught the lesson there. Then we used scenario cards and Alfred, Steph, and Chapo had to choose which play would best help us score a touchdown. For example, “You are in a movie that isn’t very clean, and a little voice tells you to get out of there.” Chapo replies, “The Holy Ghost!” So, we used the Gift of the Holy Ghost play and scored a touchdown. The monsters had plays too, so there was actually a little bit of a competition to the game. It was such a hit. We played a “Pump-up” song before we started (Arise from the Youth website) and the whole family really enjoyed it. Alfred was really tired and didn’t want to participate at first, but by the end, he was having a great time. The best part was when we were talking about baptism, and Chapo said to his dad, “When am I going to be baptized?” Well, now he’ll be baptized with his sis on Feb. 1! Keep them in your prayers!
We also taught the Lori’s family this last week. Monica and Ivan, her two oldest kids are both singing in our ward choir for the fireside this Sunday! Lori told us that her family didn’t really approve of her going to another church because they’ve been catholic for generations, but she feels like there is something special in ours and it came at the perfect time. Lori, Ivan, Monica, Christian, and Johnny. We love them!
Speaking of our ward choir…it’s the size of a whole branch. We had almost 30 people in it at practice on Sunday, directed by yours truly 🙂 It’ll be so great!
On Friday we taught Oralia y Areli, had a very spiritually guided and filled lesson, and now they on date to be baptized the end of February! They still haven’t been to church yet, so it is a good thing their date is still a little ways off.
Saturday we went to help a sweet sister (Yvette) prepare her daughter (Jazmine) for her baptism on Feb. 14 and she also introduced us to her boyfriend, Pepe, who wanted to start coming to church! He came to church on Sunday with her family. It was the greatest. He only speaks spanish though, and he’s very shy and can’t really read. Knowing my spanish and his reading ability, we’re going to be teaching him very simply. But Yvette is perfect for him and we are so excited to get to teach Pepe!
Last night we had a quick ten minute lesson with Alfred, Steph, and Chapo because we had to get to sublette by 8:30. However, despite our time constraints, it went really well and they get it! We taught the law of tithing using oreo cookies: 1. Give them a little bag of 10 mini oreos because they earned them for one reason or another 2. Ask if you can have one back because you’re hungry, you want one, or just because you asked for it. I have NEVER had anyone not share with me when I ask for one back, sometimes I get weird looks, but I always get a cookie. 3. Give them an entire bag of real oreos because they shared their little tenth with you. This illustrates the promise in Malachi that the Lord will “pour [us] out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it” if we keep his commandment to always pay our tithing. We shared some personal stories after that and Steph and Chapo both committed to pay their tithing after they were baptized. I asked Alfred, “Will you pay your tithing after you’re baptized? Because you’ll be baptized eventually…” And he responded, “Yeah, I will.” Haha. He’s getting closer and closer! Also yesterday was Sister Moser’s half-birthday, so I told Sami and Jan, but Sami misread the text I sent and thought it was really her birthday. So people were telling her happy birthday all day and she was so embarrassed. She kept saying over and over “It’s not really my birthday!” I thought it was honestly hilarious because all I did was say it was her half birthday. So then when Sami found out it wasn’t her real birthday, they brought her over the cake they were going to make anyways, but instead of a whole cake, they only made her half of one, because “she didn’t deserve a whole cake, it’s not really her birthday.” I also enlisted the help of the other Liberal sisters and we threw her a surprise half of a birthday party, meaning we had cake and ice cream and made home made pizza, but she didn’t get any presents 😉 When it all came together, she said it was the best day ever. So fun. My excuse/reasoning when she asked why I did it was that I wouldn’t be there to throw her a real birthday party, so I had to make do with what I had. It was great.
Today I am on an exchange in Garden City with Sister Fuller and Sister Nash is down working with Sister Moser. I read about “hope” this morning in Preach My Gospel, and it described it as an abiding trust that the Lord will keep His promises to us if we follow him. After that, I studied more of what “abide” means, and ended up describing it as a trust in the Lord that sees us through even the darkest of times, acting as an anchor as we are tossed by the tribulations of our lives. Then I looked up anchor in the topical guide and it sent me to Hebrews 6:19 and Ether 12:4. Talk about perfect, right? This was an occasion when the Spirit was truly teaching me and the revelation I received was also backed up by scriptures that are thousands of years old. Well this was a long letter. Sorry I’m a bit long winded today. Love you lots and hope you have a wonderful week!
Con amor, Hermana McKay
P.S. I love being a missionary.

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