The Missionary Set Sail

Welcome to the Blog set up for Emily McRae! Emily's serving the Lord in the Washington, Tacoma mission. She set sail to the Missionary Training Center February 24th 2010. She will be in the Tacoma area for 18 months. This blog is updated and maintianed by one Molly McRae. The blog should display letters and photos of Emily while she is serving the Lord along with a quick update about transfers and mission companions. Hopefully the blog can keep you tied over until Emily is back to entertain once more.

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Mission During the Holidays

So, I heard you guys got so much snow that they closed all the freeways and schools and whatnot. Is that true?! The kids here went to school for a total of, like, 4 hrs this last monday and then left early because the snow was getting too bad. The difference here was that we only got a whopping 6 inches; my comp. and I went out and did missionary work and they didn't even go to school. Sheesh! We went out on tues to visit the less actives from the ward and one of them had their 4-wheeler out towing people around on a sled. I had yoga pants on under my skirt so, skirt and all, I jumped on the sled and was towed aroung the neighborhood! So much fun!
On Thanksgiving, we went all over the place. First, we went to the Ferrin's house and had some chocolate hoapia (Hawaiin for coconut) pie and we wrestled with the 5 Ferrin boys. Then we went to the Wooleys and talked with them for a while. And then we went to our house and ate our first meal there with Sis. Swanson's family. We had helped her prepare the turkey earlier that morning and it was delish. She also had the most yummy mashed potatoes. So GOOD! Then we went to the Haskett's house where they had fake mashed potatoes (two thumbs way down) and played uno. AND THEN we went to, like, 4 other houses and had pie. One of the houses was having a PIE FEST and the winner was a pumpkin pecan pie. Wooee. My companion accomplished her goal of getting seven pies, one for every day of the week. So, overall, it was a good Thanksgiving!
As for Christmas, it was pretty much the same story. We went to so many houses and ate so much food! I was so sick by the end of the night! There was also a very nice Christmas program put on by the stake the sunday before Christmas and it really helped put me into the Christmas spirit! It even had a live nativity! I got to pet a ram, an alpaca, and a donkey. It was really fun :).
We've also been blessed with alot of miracles lately. This last week, we were able to make a part-member family from the ward we are serving in our new investigators! The bishop had gone over there and the member mom had said she wanted her eight yr. old to be baptized and that she wanted to make sure the missionaries knew so that she could taught. So, we went over there and invited non-member dad and their 11 yr. old son if they wanted to be baptized and they became really excited right away, even making jokes about what their baptisms would be like. I can tell that satan is hard at work at this family, but I can also tell they are ready.
Another miracle was that we were able to baptize Robert, a boy we met in the last transfer and were able to teach for two months. He was baptized on Dec. 19 and his non-member even came and was very supportive. I was also able to give a really powerful message on the restoration while we waited for Robert to change. The spirit was so strong! It was a great baptism.
Third miracle of the week happened when we were knocking on doors in the Sunrise ward and we knocked on the door of Becca. She was so excited because her best friend is a member and lives in Utah. She has been so prepared by that same member friend to receive the restored gospel in her life that she came on a church tour with us on sunday after the baptism. She is our same age, in college and looking for a place where she belongs. We took her to the font and asked her if she would commit to learning more and being baptized, and she said YES! It was an incredible miracle that I am going to record in my journal if I remember. :)
As a poor missionary, I can't give many gifts but as I share messages and talk to people at the door, I really start to realize what Christmas is about. I love my Savior Christ and am so grateful he was worthy and willing to save my life. I also am now realizing the comfort The Savior can give as we let Him take on our struggles and truly, with a full heart, turn it over to The Lord. I love you all and thank you for all your prayers and support! Please keep my investigators and newly baptized members in your prayers. Love you!

-Sister Emily McRae

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Things Are Still Going Good :)

First, to get you updated on Richard the investigator.
The first we hear about Richard is this:
So, we met our miracle Richard a few weeks ago and we have been able to continue to teach him and yesterday he went to church even without his fellowship. He even stayed for all three meetings!!! We think he might chew tobacco and that is a scary challenge for me because I've never taught someone that had to give up an addiction who wasn't already a member.
Then the next week we hear this:
Well I don't know if I told you, but our investigator Richard, when we found him, had a crazy mustache. So we always commented on it cause it was just the wierdest stache we had ever seen. This last meeting we had with him, we talked about him getting baptized in the Carbon River, cause that's what he requested, and we said jokingly "Haha, what if you get a hook stuck on your stache?!" And he said, "I'm gonna cut it off!" So, Sunday rolled around and his mustache was gone! Oh man, I felt terrible. He takes everything to heart! On a more positive note, he learned about the word of wisdom last week in sunday school and then at our discussion on thursday, he said he had already started to quit. We were really proud of him. He says that he thinks it's going to be easy to quit because of his faith in Christ. He's so cool. He'll be baptized this weekend.
Then in a card she sent this last week, she also sent a program from Richard's baptism, her first baptism where she got to see an investigator all the way through; she and her companion found him, taught him, and were there at his baptism. So awesome, right?
Anyway, here's this week's news:
Okay, so we are doing really well up here! The weather is getting wetter but it's really not that cold. It's only rough because I never hear the end of it from my companion.While it's raining up here, I can't help but think it would be snowing in Utah. I miss the snow already!
So, I have people tell me all the time about their vices. You know, the kind that keep them from coming to church and all I say to them is "hey man, I'm a missionary. I don't care what you do as long as you come to church!" Coming to church is the best way for them to feel the spirit enough to get the motivation to make changes. I know the power of a dedicated building is so great.
Okay, that's all I can think of. Love you and thanks for your prayers!
-Sister Emily McRae

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Six Months Under the Belt!

I have been in the mission for six months!!! Crazy, huh?! Yesterday I had EXACTLY a year left of my mission. I love the area I'm in right now; the ward is really strong, which is great members. This week my new companion and I have been trying to get in contact with the less active members in our ward. We got return calls for all of them!! Great, huh?! We dropped all but one of our investigators. Margaret was the only one that we could see improving even a little, and Margaret is a really great lady. I'm so glad I got to meet her.
Yesterday we tracted in this low-income apartment bldg/motel and we had this old man (who was inebriated) rant to us about soliciting him at his house. Then he told us God was a girl. He needs the gospel someday when he hasn't been drinking. It's kind of funny that I have been offered more alcohol as a missionary than EVER before. Satan is funny. In that same building though, we were able to place a BOM with a really nice man named Tim and set up two church tours, one with a German kid with a cool accent. Those are our miracles for the week. :)
It's been soooo hard to get miracles. Heavenly Father promises us them if we do what he asks, and I think my companion and I have been, but a sour attitude can get in the way. You know I decided that all the Christ-like attributes are so horribly intertwined that it can kind of hard to work on just one. If you have any suggestions on how to find hope and faith, let me know :)

Okay, love and miss you all!!!!!!!
-Love Sista Emily McRae

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So, I have a new companion as of last monday. Her name is Sister Allison Laws from Fairfield, California. She's really nice and plays the piano. Of course, I had a hard time getting used to her, but what I am still learning and have to keep telling myself is that if we don't talk about what is bothering from the start, there is going to be alot of tension. So, I finally told her that I thought she was judging me, thinking that I didn't work hard enough and that was really bothering me. It's been better since then. I've been alot happier.
Well, we've had a couple of REALLY nice days here in Gig Harbor, so on Saturday, my companion and I went out and pulled weeds and then we went tracting in a neighborhood with no trees. I got sooo burnt. Then, on Monday, we played football and played in the backyard and it was sooo sunny. Loved it. Got a 'lil more burnt. Haha, need to get some sunscreen I guess.
Well, we have been teaching this one lady for the last month or so and when we first tracted into her, she said we could come back because she was friends with some members. Then we went back and gave her a pamphlet and she agreed to take the lessons, mostly for knowledge sake. So, we taught the rest and she says it really has been making a lot of sense and she's agreed to come to church and take a church tour! So great! We are going to commit her to baptism on the church tour and I just feel really good about the whole thing. We had Kathleen, another investigator, on date, but she didn't come to church this past sunday and she fell off date. So frustrating. But it was only because she wasn't back from California yet, not necessarily because she didn't want to come. So, please pray for those two!!!
LOve you!!!
-Sister McRae

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lots of exciting new stuff!!

There are alot of exciting things happening in the area right now. This week so far has been so full of surprises, it's ridiculous! We found a new house to live in (the place they were living in before had a kind of crazy landlady). It's way out in the middle of nowhere (pretty much not in our area at all), but the circumstances are way better than what we have now. The room is huge and has desks and lots of storagbe space (huge plus). We'll be living with an old lady (91 yrs) who goes to the Gig Harbor because that's where her boundaries are.But the land we live on, which is about 20 acres, all belongs to the Paulson's who are LOADED. We live on the second floor and the maid who cleans all their many houses lives on the third floor and the old lady lives on the first floor. The house has a grand piano and an organ. In the backyard they have a water slide and two ZIPLINES and everyy weekend during the summer, they have big BBQ's for everyone and anyone. It's so cool! But the best part is that we are going to have a kitchen that we are actually going to be able to use! Great!

The next exciting thing that happened is that we had the opportunity to teach at the Women's prison on sunday. It was really fun, and the lady's there are for the most part really nice. I couldn't figure what they could have ossibly done to get themselves in prison. The sister that played the piano was really nice and told me her mom and dad, two brothers, and two sisters all served missions, and she said 'I just went a little off the path.' So wierd! But, we were able to teach the first two missionary discussions to the sisters there. Really cool experience. The spirit there was a little different, but what is interesting is that there is still the spirit there that influences and can witness of the truth of the gospel to these women. Amazing. There is one sister who isn't a member but has been coming to every meeting for the last five years. She has read the Book of Mormon so man y times and I am positive that she will be baptized when she gets out, she just has to wait aonther 5 years. AMAZING!

The last exciting thing I wanted to talk about is something that happened on Memorial Day! The Boy Scouts have a fundraiser breakfast every year for camp, and of course the missionaries eat for free. So, what happened is we were pulling up to the park and we were going to turn a U so we could park on the side of the road. There was no curb and the ditch wasn't that deep, or so I thought. It was a really short climb into the ditch, so when the car started going into the ditch, I figured I could back it up or just pull into the ditch. Then all of a sudden, someone comes running up and yells "STOP!" The driver's side tire was a foot and half off the ground!!! So they weighted the back of the car and we got out before we flipped the car. It was so crazy. Long story short, because we weighted the back of the car, we didn't have to have a tow truck come and pull us out and we were able to just drive into the ditch and out onto the road. No harm, no foul . . . Right??? Lol, just another one of Emily's stupid car stories.
Love you guys!
Sister McRae

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gig Harbor is slowly getting better . . . sort of?

Well, I was over at a non-member's house the other day and he was getting his planters ready for really tall tomatoes! And then I said, my dad does that, too! It's too early to plant them yet, though, so he was getting out his wooden tressels. This non-members' name is Bob and his wife died in January; he's really curious about the church and so we go over and "practice" the lessons on him. He's a great, really cute old man :)
I've decided that there's alot of moss over here, but don't worry, I'm not molding. It's just really pretty here in Gig Harbor, and I'm going to be here for about another 6 weeks. I know it's gonna be hard, but I also know that the harder I work, the more The Lord will bless me, and it will be better here and I'll love the people here that much more.
Also, we met a new investigator last week named Burt, and then this week he said he wanted to cool it off for a couple months so he could get his life in order. He's 88; I'm afraid he'll die before we get another chance to teach him. Seriously though, it was very disapointing. I hope he continues to read while we're not there. You all can pray for him if you'd like!
Well, gotta go! Love ya!
-Sister McRae

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The First transfer. . . Already?!

So, I got transferred this last week. I was only in Sequim for a second it seemed like and then a sister that was here from Temple Square went back so I was put with another sister in Gig Harbor. I've been here for. . . 4 days now? I did not want to leave Sequim. President promised to get me back in Sequim before my mission is over. My new companion is Sister Burgess from St. George, UT. She's really nice, but she's only been out for 9 weeks and I've only been out for 3 weeks so we both are kind of confused about what we are supposed to do.
Gig Harbor is alot harder to serve in, I can already tell. Everyone here is really rich and they are young and prideful. The members are nice, but they are all busy with their kids and vacations and such. Apparently they are good at pointing out the people who aren't LDS but aren't good at sharing the gospel with them . . . ugg. I have a feeling that the work here is going to be so hard without the support of the members like we had in Sequim. Therefore, we don't have very many people to teach and the ones we are teaching can't get baptized until they are 18.
Don't worry, I'm not homesick yet, but it really just isn't very busy here. Plus, to make it worse, some of the investigators that we taught in Sequim who were on date for the 18th are getting baptized on the 11th. It's Nicole and Ashley. There dad hadn't been to church in, like, 30 years and was a heavy smoker. But he quit smoking and is doing alot better now so that he can baptize them! I'm so happy for them, but I don't get to be there for it. Jennifer and Israel are another coulpe we were teaching when I left and they were awesome! They're still on date for the 18th. There are so many miracles always happening in Sequim. I hope you guys can all see those kinds of miracles where you live. Keep up the missionary work!
I did get to watch confrence. I loved all of it. We watched all 4 sessions at the church. I always love Elder Hollands talks; he never ceases to amaze me with his bold talks. Elder Packer's talk was also very good. It was perfect for one of our investigators who won't let his son get baptized until he is 18. This dad, Br. Groves, was baptized when he was 18 but then went inactive shortly after because of a divorce. He needs to feel the power of the priesthood in his life again; it is such a powerful tool! It's something I enjoy sharing with people when tracting. While tracting, I've really had to work on being more bold with people and when it comes to sharing those things of the gospel that make it unique and what blessings can come from living it. Anyway, I love you all so much!

- Sister Emily McRae

Monday, March 22, 2010

First Week in the Mish' Field!

Wouldn't you know it, the first area I get called to is the Port Angeles Zone! I'm 20 minutes away from Port Angeles but have yet to see any werewolves. The area is beautiful though so I have a hard time being disappointed. I am over two wards in Sequim, Washington! Pronounced Squim.
The work here in WA-TAC is so great! I am so excited to be here. There are currently 21 missionaries in the WA-TAC mission, so alas, I have been put in the one companionship with 3 missionaries, just like in the MTC. My trainer is Sister Gainer and everyone I talk to says she is the best sister in the mission, so it's kind of an honor :) She and I get along real well. It has been determined that if we had ever met outside the mission field, we probably wouldn't be friends, so what a blessing it is to have met her in the mission field! She sets a really good example for me and our other companion Sis. Luke. Both Sis. Luke and I came into the mission field from the MTC at the same time. Sis. Luke was in the district next to me and we were in the same zone. I was totally fine with her then, but now that I am with her 24/7 and am really getting to know her, I realize now that she has a few habits and personality traits that bother me. But, a wise person once told me that if there is something I don't like about someone, it's a problem I have inside of myself. So, I've really been praying to be able to serve her and have love toward her. It requires a lot of prayer though.
When we got to the field, we went to a part member family's house and started to teach them. There are two unbaptized children that we have been trying to put on a date all week. But the dad, who is the member, really wants his children to know for themselves before they decide to get baptized so that they are less likely to become rebellious later on. Anyway, we had a breakthrough in teaching them, though! On Sunday, Ed, the dad, met with the bishop who challenged him to stop smoking and be ready to babtize his two children in 3 weeks! The mission president stresses urgency here so everything moves really fast. So, he accepted the challenge and we have them on date for April 11. Yay! I really feel confident it will happen.
Then yesterday we started teaching a guy named Israel who lives with his girlfriend and they have a baby girl. He is searching for something that will make his lil' family stronger and really feels like the LDS church has something that will really make them happy. He was a really neat guy. We are supposed to commit a person on the first time we meet with them, but we didn't with him. I feel like he is ready to receive the gospel in his life and am really excited to teach him. . . We get to teach him again on Wednesday. Yay!
Well, as a mission, we are reading a packet of talks by the General Authorities all about the atonement. I have learned so much about the sacrifice Christ made for me! I love it! I still feel as though I am learning for the benefit of my own growth and learning, but I know that eventually I will be able to read things and know how to apply them to my investigators. It's exciting and I just can't wait until I get to that point of progression as a missionary. Pres. Bowen said we aren't here to BE missionaries, we are here to learn how to BECOME missionaries. I think that's so true. I keep thinking of the ways all I am learning as a missionary can be applied to my life when I get home.
I had an epiphony that the work I have to put into the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father is like the work I have to put into a marriage; it's hard and there has to be complete honesty, but in the end, the feelings and blessings that come from a good relationship outweigh the hard stuff.
Boy, the things you learn and how you can change in such a short amount of time!
Anyway, I love you!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

The weekend before departure to the real mission world!!!

So I'm in the laundry trying to get as many of my clothes clean as possible. I fly out early monday morning and because you sent me a phone card, I think I'll be giving you a call that morning. I'll try and do a few minutes to each of you on cell phones most likely. I'm getting really nervous; I just really don't want to leave the MTC.
Did you notice I got myself a good computer this time? It's keys are all in the right place and in proper working condition! Yay!
So I think I told you about the guy who we are teaching in the TEC that is gay? Well, it was really tough the first time and was progressively getting better. Well, yesterday (friday) was our last lesson with cause he doesn't come in on Saturdays and we are leaving. He had said that when he was trying to pray, he would think of us and what we had said. I feel as though, because of the non-profit org that he was creating, that he and I were able to find something in common and make a connection that made it so much easier to teach him; you know me, when I get talking about education and getting other people started in their own education, it's like a light just pops on, only I've never had to incorporate the gospel into that so at first I had a hard time; good thing I had my companions there. I found that in later discussions it was increasingly easier to talk to him about his passion of esucation and being gay and incorporate the gospel. Loved it! By the end of our last discussion, he was willing to go to church with a friend and was truly sad that we weren't going to be able to teach him again.
I think that is going to be my biggest struggle, not getting attached to the people that I am teaching that they become "converted to the missionaries" as they say here at the MTC. I just really find it so easy to talk to people and with the Lord's help, I have been able to create an environment where the gospel can be present too! It's so cool!
My companions and I arew really gonna have a hard time adjusting to the mission field without each other. We have become so close, and I never thought that would happen! We already have plannes that we are going to have a reunion here in Utah and meet at the MTC and teach in the TRC. That is where volunteers can come in and pretend to be investigators so that the missionaries can practice teaching lessons.
We took an evaluation of the MTC and one of the questions asked how my experience here has been; I said it has been the 2nd best thing that has happened in my life so far because I'm sure the mission field is going to be my first :)
I'm not homesick, but I do miss you guys. I look forward to getting letters from you as soon as I get to Washington on Monday :)

Love you,
Sister Emily McRae

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Week 1 in the MTC: Success

Here is Sis. McRae's first email detailing what her first experiences in the MTC have been. Sounds like it's going pretty good so far, if you ask me :) Let's hope it stays that way.

I have had a relatively good time. The hardest part for me is not knowing my scriptures very well and having the worst memory in the world just makes it that much worse. I have two of the best companions a girl could ask for! Sis. Ashley Gandolph is from Smithville North Carolina and Sis. Elisabeth Conger is from upstate New York. We work together so well because we can laugh all the time while still having the spirit of the Lord with us when we want it. I'm in Disrtict D-43 with some of the coolest Elders in the MTC. All the Elders are going to Rapid City, North Carolina and it will be a sad day when we have to leave them all. There are seven sisters in the MTC going to Tacoma with us, and two Elders. I don't quite get along with the other kids going to our mission like I do with my sisters. We went to the temple this morning and I had the oppprtunity to pray to know what to teach our INVESTIGATORS!!! We went to the Referral Center made some calls and Sis. Conger talked to a lady that wanted us to call back! She already has faith in God and knows she is a child of God but is confused on the difference between Jesus Christ and God. We are hoping to clarify that for her and see if she will commit to reading the BOM. Very exciting. I already hace the title as the loudest missionary in the MTC. I'm cool with that! At least people know they can't walk by without me sharing the gospel. The MTC has been really hard, but it has its rewards, too, so I'm willing to grow closer to my Heavenly Father so that I may have a better time here. I don't really feel like I'm on a mission. Except for the content I've been studying, it basically just feels like I'm away at school like I have been for the last four years. The MTC is also really great because I have never felt so spoiled in my entire life! I get to cut to the front of the line, the Elders take my tray when I finish eating, and they stand when you come to the table. Not to mention, I don't think I've touched a single door since I've been here. It's so great . . . although, being the independent kind of girl I am, I did kind of fight at first; I would try and race the elders to the dishes room for a while.I've humbled myself now though. I do have to say though that I am not getting nearly enough letters. The only escape I get from the MTC bubble I'm in is from a letter from the outside world. I really can't tell you how great it is not to have conflict with my sisters; we have plans to go on family camping trips when all is said and done :) On Sunday for Releif Society, we had Sis. Dibbs (aka Pres. Monson's daughter) come to speak to us and it was really great. She spoke on being the best missionary's we can be through obedience. It was fun to have her speak because she was so interactive with the audience. Then Tuesday we had the presiding Bishop come and speak for a devotional, Steven B. Allen, and he siad something along the lines of not being quiet or timid when it comes to teaching the gospel, but to be BOLD! Anyway, I miss you and love you all!!!
- Sis. McRae

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Drop-off

The delivery of Sis. McRae to the Mission Training Center was definitley a bitter-sweet one; bitter in that we were only given what seemed like 30 seconds to say goodbye to our beloved sister and daughter for a year and a half, but sweet because we know she is going to do SO well in the MTC and in the mission field. It was definitely a hard and unforgettable day. If anyone would like to write to Sis. McRae while she is in the MTC, here is her address:
Emily Anne McRae
MTC mailbox #357
WA-TAC 0315
2005 N 900E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
Thank you to everyone for all your love and support!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My address!

This is going to be the address you'll be able to reach me at all the time. More updated addresses will come later.
Sister McRae
Washington Tacoma Mission
4007 Bridgeport Way W Ste D
University Place, WA 98466-4330

The "Farewell"

This post is being made by Emily herself. Feel privledged. It won't happen again.

Today Emily gave her talk in church with what seemed like a hundred of her closest friends and family. The support she had while giving her talk was amazing. There was such a great spirit in the room. Emily worked hard to make sure her talk was put together well and in the end she felt like everyone benefited from it.
Later at the house the people that came to support her made her feel like this tough decision to serve a mission may have just been worth it. Emily has never been close to her family but in recent years she feels that has changed drastically. Especially recently the support she has received from her family has given her a great sense of love and appreciation for her family. She is so glad to have that kind of love in her life.
Emily would like to just thank everyone so much for being there to support and for the advice given to help her through what is sure to be a difficult time in her life. Worth it, but very diffuclt.