Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! (Belated)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend, I know I sure did. Thanksgiving as a missionary is a very fun experience, especially when you are serving in a Hispanic Barrio (ward), because they love Fiestas! We started off last week with out a single dinner appointment, but by Wednesday night had turned down 4 because we just had too many. I ate 2 dinners, and had far too many deserts. We stopped by many members houses and got to see them and say hello. It was fun to go see the members and it also helped me to start putting families together. I've tried placing families together at church but all adults refer to anyone under 18 as "mi hijo" or "mi hija" (my son/my daughter). It's quite endearing, and often the older members will call Sister Hoof and I "Mi hija" as well. While it's very endearing, it makes for a very confused Sister Okeson as she tries to put families together.
On Thanksgiving morning the Zone got together and played Soccer. Trent referenced that European Football and American Soccer are not the same sport, so I guess I have the other end of the sports arena for "soccer" in whatever form it may be. It was fun to get together with the Zone (there are 6 sisters total in my zone, and we live with 2 of the other sisters, so it was fun to meet the last 2.) It was also fun because one of the Elders from my MTC district is in my Zone so we got to say hi and see how we've done in our first 2 weeks.
The really cool part of my Thanksgiving was visiting a single sister who was spending her Thanksgiving alone. She's in the process of moving, and had planned to move before the holidays but ended up not being quite done. Sister Hoof has been dropping by for months giving service and offering short spiritual messages, but to date she'd never really been interested. Well, when we showed up around 6:30 on Thanksgiving we were the first people she'd seen. We sat and talked with her and then shared President Monson's talk on Gratitude with her. The spirit in the room was incredible and it was amazing to see how touched she was by his message. That's what I'm really going to remember about this Thanksgiving, sharing that message and watching the change in her as we read.
Okay, here's a quick thought on virtue. Virtue as a missionary is interesting because you are out with your companion and it's just the two of you making decisions and deciding what to do and where to go and how to reach the most people. Virtue as a missionary is working hard and long, it's only taking that hour for lunch or dinner even when you are tired. It's talking to one more person, or knocking on one more door. It's saying "yes I'll help" after you've had a long day and don't really want to give more service, and you know that your Mission President will never know, or any other leadership, but you keep going because you know that it is what you came here to do. Virtue, like Mom said, is what we do when no one is watching.
Okay, now for my saga of the week. Remember the Sister we committed to baptism last week? Well, her baptismal date is on Saturday, and we still don't have anywhere to do the service. Who'd have thought that in a city full of LDS chapels we wouldn't be able to get a single one that will let us come do a baptism. We're moving forward with faith (and appealing to higher powers to help us make this baptism happen) and with any luck this Saturday Alma will be getting baptized. We're so excited for her, and I've just loved working with her.
Other points of interest, I feel that I have now officially become a missionary as I got chased down the road on my bike by a dog. Not really a highlight of the week, but certainly worth mentioning. It gave me my work out, and certainly got the adrenalin going.
I think that's about it for this week. Thanks to those of you who sent me letters, I really enjoyed getting them. Have a marvelous week!
Love you all,
Hermana Okeson

Nicole's Mission President's wife does a blog if any one wants to check it out.

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