“You can see that my eyes are not synchronized. They do not want to go together in exactly the way that they should go. This caused me many challenges and I cannot begin to accomplish what I need to do as they do not work together,” President McKee recalled his wife saying on the family blog. “This will happen in your companionships if you do not work together and be synchronized in this work. You must be a team and work together like two eyes to accomplish what the Lord has called you to do.”
Sister McKee’s determination to overcome her challenges and commitment to the work motivated the LDS missionaries in Tennessee.
“It brought a focus to the mission,” Scott McKee said. “(The missionaries’) theme is, ‘We can do hard things.’ ”
In working through this “hard thing,” the McKees have learned valuable lessons.
“I’ve learned how good people are,” Sister McKee said. “People — especially the people around here — are so good and so kind and so helpful. My family has been so good. They’ve given up so many things to be able to come out and support me. I’ll just never be able to even let them know how much I appreciate them.”
In November last year, Scott McKee sometimes wondered why this trial would come when his parents were serving a mission.
“I often would ask myself, 'Why would that happen as a mission president’s wife when you’re out there doing what you’re supposed to do?’ Scott McKee said. But 'as I’ve read letters, messages of people literally all around the world, I’ve realized just the influence she’s had on so many people. There was definitely a bigger purpose to what was going on.”
In late May, the McKees received a letter from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informing them that they would be released from their missionary service July 1, 2013, a year earlier than they had anticipated. Although they are sad to leave the mission field and especially the missionaries, they are preparing to leave the work in Tennessee and return to their home in Pocatello, Idaho.
“It is difficult to leave the mission because these missionaries are like all your children,” President McKee said. “I suppose there’s never a good time to go home, but in the gospel, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there are so many opportunities to learn and to grow and the mission field teaches you so much to remind you that the Lord really is in charge, this is his work, and we are called of God, all of us, to do what he would like us to do.”
The McKee family members are grateful for the time they had to serve their mission. In their two years they saw the mission increase from 140 to 230 missionaries, as well as the creation of a new stake and new branches. They will not forget the miracles they witnessed.
“It’s a great time to be serving a mission,” President McKee said. “Miracles still happen.”
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