Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Monday

Dear Family and Friends,
This has been an interesting week. We've had a lot of hard things happen and lost a lot of our investigators. The hardest one for me was loosing Carmenza, she and I really liked each other from the start, and I miss teaching her. I'm hoping that if we give her some time we can start going over again. It was an interesting week because while we had a lot of hard things happen in Agua Fria, I got amazing news this weekend from Aguila. One investigator who I had taught for my whole time there got baptized last Saturday, something I was not expecting at all. When I left we thought it would be months and months before she would be ready. The other exciting news from Aguila was that Rossy and Reuben got married, and if all goes well with getting permission, I will be at Rossy's baptism on Saturday. I am so incredibly excited. It really helped put things in perspective for me after this week. We can't choose the timing. As a missionary it's amazing to me how fast I love the people I work with. After just the first visit I would do anything to help them. But sometimes they just need time. So, while it was really hard to see some of our investigators leave, I'm confident that with time we'll be able to start working with them again.
I've gotten some questions about the weather so I thought I'd answer, yeah, it's getting warm, but my companion constantly reminds me that this is nothing. Whenever I start to moan about it being warm she reminds me that I will be here this August when it hits 120. Yikes! I'm working on a pretty awesome farmers tan. I wear the same pair of shoes every day becuase the tan line is so dark that all my other shoes look funny. I also have quite the watch tan line on my wrist. For now though the heat really hasn't been that bad. We've actually cooled off a little in the last week, and I had to laugh when it was 65 one morning and I ran back into our appartment to grab a jacket. I think I may be ruined.
Mom asked a good question, and since I struggled coming up with things to write about I thought I would try and answer it.

"What is the best thing about serving at this time?"
I feel like I'm finally really getting used to being a missionary. When you first start a mission you are really excited and full of lots of energy, but you spend a lot of time not knowing what you are doing. I still don't know what I'm doing, but I've gotten more comfortable with that. I've learned that doing missionary work is a lot like Nephi going for the brass plates. He had a plan, get the plates from Laban and he started heading into Jerusalem but then he says he was "lead by the spirit not knowing before hand the things which [he] should do". Missionary work is a lot like that. We often go into appointments with a plan to teach a certain lesson and we know what we want to help our investigators do, but often we have no clue how to make it all come together. In so many lessons something will come up, a doubt or concern and then we have to be quick on our feet to answer and to follow the spirit. I've been amazed to see that as I've really worked to trust that often I find that the words aren't mine. I see that especially in my Spanish. I've been amazed over the last few weeks in particular by how much I understand. When I first started my mission I was constantly writing down words and phrases that I didn't know, I still do that now, but not nearly as much. I've seen in a few lessons in particular where my Spanish was far better than it is on it's own. There have been many times where I feel like I'm speaking English and I understand like I'm speaking English, but I know it's all in Spanish. It actually leaves me scared for after my mission. I'm scared to see how my Spanish really is when I'm not a missionary.
Other things of interest... I sang in the ward choir this past week. That was an interesting experience. It reminded me just how impatient I am about music things. I guess I still have room to grow there. Even after being away from music for 6 months I'm still just as picky as ever. :-)
I think that's about it. There's not much to write about from this week. Hopefully next week I'll have more. We're going to a museum today with some of the other Sisters, and I'm pretty excited. I'm not sure how they'll deal with my need to read everything, but we'll see how it goes.
Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Okeson

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