Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy 6 Months!

Dear Friends and Family,
This week was really really cool. Well, in all but temperature. We've started hitting 90 degrees, and I'm starting to wonder exactly how I will survive this summer. I'm drinking more water each day, and have started figuring out ways to try and keep my water cold longer. We still have almost 30 more degrees to go, which to me is a little terrifying, but I'm sure I'll survive. Somehow. Also, tomorrow I hit my 6 month mark. I can't believe how fast these first six months have flown. I wasn't really paying attention until my companion made a comment last week, and then I realized that I really was coming up on 6 months.
I thought I would share a few cool experiences from this week. The first one happened last Wednesday. Each week when we do our weekly planning we do something called "windows of heaven". Effectively we set times and places where we are going to be, and then we trust that the Lord will put someone in our path who needs us. I've seen a lot of really cool things happen as we've done windows of heaven, but the coolest was this last Wednesday. My companion and I had both felt very strongly that we needed to go to a certain street and we would be there for two hours. We cover a very large area and so often we don't know what we are signing up for. That was the case this time. We ended up in an over 65 community. Usually seniors are not to happy when we knock on their doors, and have no problem letting us know. In about 20 minutes we'd covered half of the area we had decided to visit, and both Hna Aydelotte and I were really confused. We started making back up plans to go visit the near by streets, because at the rate we were going we would have finished that whole road in about 45 minutes. At about that point we knocked on the door, and not only was the person who answered the door nice to us, but she invited us in! It turns out she was a house bound member from one of the English wards, and was just thrilled that we were in her area. We chatted with her for a while and then as we were getting ready to leave she asked if we had talked to her neighbor. We told her no one was home. She then told us that her neighbor was an older Hispanic lady, who didn't speak any English. Then she told us that the children and grandchildren of this lady were member of the church, but to the best of her knowledge this woman wasn't. We're now working on finding this woman, and hopefully we'll get the chance to teach her. By the time we finished visiting with the Sister and knocking the doors on the street it was exactly two hours. That really taught me that the Lord takes care of everything, down to the amount of time we are in an area.
The other cool experience happened on Friday and Saturday. On Friday while we were planning we felt like we needed to find a member to take with us to an appointment with one of our investigators. We'd tried multiple times to take members, but for one reason or another things always fell through. As we were talking we decided that maybe it was that we were trying to take the wrong members. So we prayed. I think we prayed over 15 names. Each time we never felt right. As we had started praying I thought of a sister in the ward who I had only met a few times and didn't know very well. I didn't really pay attention because it was a sister who, as far as we knew, never went out with the missionaries. Eventually after going through what felt like every name in our ward both my companion and I started talking about this particular sister. We prayed and knew we had to invite her, even though we both were a little nervous. We called Friday night and this Sister moved everything to come with us. Not only that but she ended up having so many things in common with our investigator. She was able to help more than we've ever been able to, and it was incredible to see how the Lord really knows each of his children. It was also a bit of humble pie for Hna Aydelotte and I, as we had both thought of this sister, but chosen to ignore the prompting at first.
I've commented before on the fiesta atmosphere in the Hispanic community, and I thought I would share about the Relief Society dinner we went to on Thursday. This past week was the 155th anniversary of the organization of the Relief Society. Anything is a good reason for a party in Latino culture, and this was no different. There was a massive dinner, party games, and a pinata. It was quite the party. I've attached pictures as proof that I wasn't exaggerating. And the Relief Society got a kick out of watching the "grandota missionera" trying to hit the pinata. They do it a little differently, and instead of having so many swings or anything like that, everyone sings a song and you have until the song finishes to try and hit the pinata. This Saturday the ward is also throwing a huge pachanga (the word in Spanish/Mexican for a fiesta that is too big to be a fiesta) for an Elder who is leaving on his mission next Wednesday. I'm expecting a lot of food, two or more pinatas (one for the kids and one for the adults), and a bouncy castle... because every single event with Mexicans has to have a brinca brinca (bouncy castle). There's even one family here who owns one and keeps it in their back yard where it gets very very regular use.
Transfers are coming next week (crazy!) but I think we'll probably stay put. I'm not really expecting any changes. President likes leaving missionaries in the same area for a really long time (6-9 months for Sisters and 12-15 months for Elders) even though you probably wouldn't be able to guess that from my first few transfers. This next transfer should be a good one, and I'm quite excited. We've found a lot of really wonderful people in the last six weeks, and I'm really starting to love it here in Agua Fria.
I think that's about all for now. I appreciate all the letters and prayers.
Love you all,
Hermana Okeson

No comments:

Post a Comment