My Dearest Family,
I know that right now things are a little rough, actually more like really rough, because we have lost someone who is so dear to all of us and has made a permanent mark that will be in the hearts of everyone for time and all eternity. I was hoping that I wouldn´t have to write these words and that I would have a chance to speak them, but that is not how the Lord would want it, and I believe He knows that my real talent lies within writing more than it is speaking. So as of right now I´m praying fervently that I will have the Spirit of Revelation with me right now to say the few words that the Lord would have me say to you all to give you comfort, that all will be alright. So here we begin.
When I hear the name Mary McKay or better yet for me Nanny, there are many words that describe this amazing, wonderful, woman who has touched the hearts of so many people. The one word that stands out stronger than any other word that can describe Nanny is a simple four letter word spelt L.O.V.E. Her love and charity that she had, and will have throughout the eternities, for others is the most amazing example to me of what the Savior showed us when he was her on the earth. Her love was so immense for everyone, and I never heard her say a bad word about a single person, and if she ever did it was followed directly by some kind of good compliment that she saw in them.
I will warn you all now I will be using quite a few quotes, solo because it is one of the strongest ways I can express my feelings, but Nanny loved quotes anyways, and this is for her, but there is one quote that says, "When you touch one life you touch a thousand," and this was so true with Nanny. I don´t believe there was a single place that exists in Utah County where we could go and not be stopped by someone who knew who Mary McKay was! :) Her example was that strong, she fulfills the meaning of these quotes that say, "The way I live is my clearest testimony, it reflects what I truly believe." and "It is important to have a good example to follow, and example who is full of charity, love, and kindness."
Charles Kingsley once said - "Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance, self-control, diligence, strength of will, content and a hundred other virtues which the idle will never know." This explains Nanny to a perfect "T" No matter what she was asked to do whether she liked it or not, if someone needed her to do something she was always there and did all she could without a single complaint.
Growing up I have so many wonderful memories with Nanny, memories that will never fade, memories such as, going to Wendy´s or Taco Amigo to get a Bandito, or watching Mother Goose, Sound of Music, or many other movies that she has. I remember also coloring in the many coloring books that she had and she would sit there and teach us how to "color in the lines." Always, Always Nanny would be singing some kind of song with us like "Cream of wheat is so good to eat and we eat it every day, la la la la la la la la la, it makes us shout hooray!" Haha she could never remember the middle part of the song, but it never mattered. Other songs like "Won´t you be my sweet heart, I´m in love with you.." She would always sing or have primary songs playing for us, some of my greatest memories with this was driving to her house in the red Lincoln and singing at the top of our lungs popcorn popping on the apricot tree, My Heavenly Father loves me, and many, many other primary songs, and others. And speaking of an apricot tree, if there was anyone who visited her house you would know right away that Mary McKay had one of the greatest green thumbs in this world, and you could tell that by the amazing, garden that she took care of so dearly, with her famous tomatoes, or apricots, zucchini and many other plants, she would take good care of them until they were ripe and ready to pick, then she would bottle them or give them to other people. My favorite of all the things that she had was her bottled peaches, and we would eat those with Grandma Sycamore bread! YUM!!! :) That was one of my favorite things to eat at her house.
We all know that Nanny´s middle name is Louise, but even though it is not on her birth certificate she always had another middle name and that is BYU FOOTBALL. Nanny hardly missed a game of BYU football and I´m sure she was their greatest fan! I remember watching the games all the time with her while I was little and would copy her by yelling get´m, get´m, get´m! :) One experience in particular I remember was I was out for a walk near her house with Cambry on my shoulders, when all of a sudden I heard a scream from her house, I´m sure you can all imagine how fast I took Cambry off my shoulders and went running like a bullet being shot from a gun to the house, when I got to the house, I ran in completely out of breath, saw Nanny and asked her if she was alright; she then commenced to tell me in a very ecstatic voice that "BYU JUST MADE A TOUCHDOWN!!" :)
One of the memories I will always cherish is the many phone calls that we shared, I would always call her when I was little but it was when I started my Senior year of high school and on, that I called her many times a week, if not at least one time each day of the week. I know that she cherished this, and each time I called her she always had some kind of advice for me. She was someone I could talk to about anything and everything in my life, and as I said she always had advice, the greatest of all the advice that she ever gave me was, "No experience is a total loss if you learn from it!" That is one phrase that has helped me through all situations, because she taught me to be positive and strong and to look for the good in everything. "We can choose to be sad, but it is so much easier to be happy, and takes less muscles to do it," is one other thing she would always say. She never faulted on giving me some kind of advice even while I have been on my mission, she has shown me the greatest love, and has always been one of my number 1 fans and cheering me on to accomplish my dreams and when I was down she was always there to pick me up. In the first letter that she sent me while on my mission while in the MTC, she wrote, "Always know my love and prayers are with you. Know that I miss you, but I would not want you to be anywhere else but where you are at. Keep up the good work, the challenges we face make us learn to be strong, one step in front of the other, and remember, No experience is a total loss if you learn from it. Many, many thing in your life you are preparing for by what you are doing now.¨ Right now one of the reasons I´m here in the mission is for her, I´m here to show the same love she showed to all people.
I could go on for hours and hours talking about Nanny but I know I don´t have that much time in the program, so to end I want to share two quotes and my testimony. The first quote I found in the copy of an orbiter (her ward news letter) that she sent me in the MTC, which says; "Every sister who stands for truth and righteousness diminishes the influence of evil. Every sister who strengthens and protects her family is doing the work of God. Every sister who lives as a woman of God becomes a beacon for others to follow and plants seeds of righteous influence that will be harvested for decades to come. Every sister who makes and keeps sacred covenants becomes an instrument in the hands of God." - Elder M. Russell Ballard -
Than this last quote I found in a talk by Elder Holland while I was in the MTC, the name of the article is "However long and hard the road" and in a part of this talk he talks about how each of us are building our own temple, each stone of our temple is experiences, and the part that stood out the strongest to me was this -- "As long and laborious as the effort may seem please keep shaping and setting the stones that will make your accomplishment, a grand and imposing spectacle, Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. Dream, dreams and see visions. Work toward their realization, wait patiently when you have no other choice. Lean on your sword and rest a while but get up and fight again. Perhaps you will not see the full meaning of your effort in your own lifetime. But your children will or your children´s children will, until finally you with all of them, can give the Hosanna shout."
We all know that Nanny worked very hard building her temple throughout her life, and today as we look at her hard work and dedication we can see clearly and without a shadow of a doubt that her temple is a "grand and imposing spectacle" that will last throughout the eternities. Nanny has been an inspiration to many people. Through her hard work, love and compassion she has touched many people´s lives. "Mary´s life has not been easy. She is a true example of faith, and enduring to the end. Mary is a friends to everyone. Her neighbors love her, her co-workers love her, and her family loves her dearly." She is a great example for everyone to follow.
Don´t worry about me in Chile, I will be fine, because I know that right now she is by my side and I have had that confirmation of that in the past few days by the feeling of the spirit as if it were a fire burning in my chest, and it was the strongest I have ever felt the spirit and I know it was her. I know that through the plan of salvation none of us need to have fear, because we can know for a surety that we can be with our loved ones again. "And that same sociality which exists among us here, will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy." D&C130:2. I know with all my heart and every fiber of my soul that this church is true, and that through Christ and His Atonement we can all learn the way back to our Heavenly Father and live forever with those we love. DO NOT FEAR, DO NOT WORRY, right now start learning about this plan because that is what our beloved sister, mother, grandmother, friend, and example would want us to do. Know that she is looking down on us right now with the biggest smile you can imagine because she can see the eternal aspect and true meaning of this plan. We will choose this day to be happy and follow her example, that is what Nanny would want more than anything is for everyone to do all they can to return and live with her again, and we can all do this through Christ, so follow Him. Make her wish come true. I seal these words with my promise as one of the Lord´s missionaries that all will be well, have no worries. Just smile and move forward. Remember no experience is a total loss if you learn from it. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Love Always and Forever,
Hermana Aubrey Jo England