Monday, February 14, 2011

Scorpion Slayer!

Hi Everyone!
This has been quite the week. As you all know, Monday morning I got transfer calls and so I spent Monday and Tuesday packing up and saying goodbye. It was tricky to get to everyone, but I just about saw the people I wanted. I just missed one or two families who I had wanted to stop by. Oh well. I am now serving in a ward named Agua Fria. It's in Peoria. So I've gone from working in the ghetto to working in one of the richest areas of the mission. That's certainly made for an interesting change. We cover all of Peoria, parts of Glendale and parts of Phoenix. There aren't a whole lot of Spanish speakers here so the work is a little different. I've missed Aguila a lot this week, but I'm getting used to being here. My companion is Hna Aydelotte. She's from Boise Idaho and has been out a little over a year. Before coming out on her mission she graduated from BYU-I with a degree in highschool education focusing on Math and History. We live in an apartment off of the back of an older couple's home. I'm pretty sure it used to be a garage that was converted into an apartment. I've met Brother and Sister Anders once, but not really seen much of them. It's a nice little apartment, although I've missed having a washer/dryer in the apartment like we did in Aguila. The house is off in a nicer neighborhood so we actually have a back yard with grass and real trees. I love it. The Anders have a huge number of roosters and chickens back off of the side of the house, meaning our early mornings are punctuated by roosters crowing and me thinking about rooster soup.
Okay, now for some stories.
First, last Monday I taught a flute lesson. It was way fun. I had a really good time, and I think Sariah did too. She's 13 and we worked a lot with their family, and so it was fun to get to go over and help her out. It actually helped make me miss flute less, because it really showed me that I can do flute forever, but I can't be a missionary forever. I sound a little rusty, but I still know how everything works.
Second, Monday night was Brian's birthday party. It was so much fun. I've attached some pictures from the party. It was cool because Hna Perea wasn't expecting it at all, but we had found out that they didn't have money to celebrate, so we decided to throw the party for them. Brian was so excited. I will never forget the look on his face as we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him. That was probably one of my best moments in Aguila.
Tuesday was Transfer meeting. I spent Tuesday morning packing up and then running out to visit a few more people. Then we had to drive into Glendale for the meeting. There really weren't a whole lot of surprises. There are only 12 Spanish sisters in the whole mission, so it gets pretty easy to guess who is going with whom and where. Usually by Monday night everyone from the Spanish Sisters has talked and we all know whats happening, we just have to wait for President to announce it and make it official. This was actually a pretty big transfer for the Spanish sisters, because with Hermana Barker going home Aguila was closed and Elders were put in, and then a lot of Hermanas had to be shuffeled around. All but one companionship of Sisters came to transfer meeting.
Wednesday I got to go out and get to know the area and the other missionaries here. It's incredibly different from Aguila and being in South Phoenix, but change always makes for some good learning. The exciting news from Wednesday is that I killed my first scorpion. YUCK! I was reading Wednesday morning when I saw him coming across the floor. I was really, really, really irked. Hna Aydelotte would probably say that was an understatement. Luckily I won, and the scorpion died and noone got stung.
Here in Agua Fria we get fed a lot by the members. Last August, President sent out a letter to all the different wards asking them to no longer invite the missionaries over for dinner, since dinner appointments encroach on our best working hours. Aguila was pretty good about it... but from what I understand a lot of areas are still struggling, and Agua Fria is one of them. It's cool because it's a nice way to get to know the members, but it really just weirds me out. The good news is I've gotten to try a lot more Mexican food in the last week. Most of what I've had has been pretty good, although last night I had to think fast to avoid getting to eat Menudo... aka Cow Stomach Soup. Gross.
It's also been fun starting out again because I'm able to really see how my Spanish has improved. Most of the members when they first talk to me ask me if I'm going home soon, becuase they assume because I've gotten pretty comfortable with the language that I must be at the end of my mission. I still get that I have a South American accent, and I still don't know where that comes from, but we have a lot of Chileans here in Agua Fria, so they are enjoying my accent.
Well, that's about all the news from here. Things are going well, I'm learning to work with my new companion and in the new area. There's been a lot to get used to, because things here are very very different from my previous experience but I'm adapting.
Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Okeson

Ps. The first two pictures are with Rossy, and then with the Madruenos, my adopted family in Aguila. I'll work on sending pictures form Agua Fria next week.

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