Monday, April 18, 2011

100 Degrees in April

Hello All!

This week has been quite an interesting one. On Wednesday I started feeling like I was losing my voice, and by Thursday morning I was in the middle of quite the head cold. This makes for the first (and hopefully last) time I've ever been sick in 100 degree weather. I think Arizona has ruined me. Apparently this is the time to get sick though, as many of the people we work with have told me that right now there are lots of people who have colds... I'm still a little surprised by the idea of having a cold when it's over 90 degrees every day. It really just means we are keeping our visits very, very short right now, I'm taking lots of cold medicine, and trying to stay away from people.

Besides being sick it's been a pretty good week. Friday we had Zone conference, which was very fun. I always enjoy the extra instruction and the chance to learn, although often it is hard not to come out of those meetings feeling like there are a million things I need to do better. Each meeting has a theme, and this one focused on church attendance. I really enjoyed learning about the purpose of church attendance and how it really can bless out investigators. Each time we have Zone conference (about every 90 days, or every other transfer) it runs all morning and into the afternoon, and so a ward is asked to prepare lunch. This time my ward, Agua Fria, was asked to prepare lunch for the missionaries. Personally I think they should always ask the Mexican wards to prepare lunch for us. Lunch was really, really, really good. It was also fun, because the night before Hna Aydelotte and I were able to help with some of the prep work. We spent a little over an hour over at a member’s home rolling flautas (little tacos) with their family. It was quite the party. All the kids and grandkids were there and everyone was helping with something. When we showed up to help we were surprised to see cars lining the street, and wondered where the party was... turns out it was just that everyone was there to help with preparing the food.

Saturday was also really cool. All of this past week, and all of this week there is a huge Easter pageant going on in Mesa. It depicts the life and ministry of Christ from the New Testament, and it's incredible. This past Friday and Saturday were the two performances in Spanish. As missionaries we can go so long as we take and investigator with us. Some things had fallen through and it looked like we weren't going to be able to go, and then on Friday everything slid into place, and someone was able to pull some strings for us, and we got last minute permission. The pageant was incredible. I really, really enjoyed it. This pageant is the oldest of the church pageants, and from what it looked like to me, the biggest (although I'm not completely sure about that one). There were hundreds of performers on the stage, and the whole performance was really very impressive.

Saturday afternoon we also had a rather comical experience. As we were out tracting, we knocked into an old folks’ home. They invited us in and we were able to share a short Easter message, which was quite nice. At the end though, they requested that we sing a song for them. We sing a fair amount, and so that wasn't the hard part, the hard part was that they all spoke English. I've not sung in English in 7 months. We picked a fairly easy song that we both thought we would remember in English... not so. We didn't even make it all the way through the first verse. Afterwards as we were walking back to our car I decided to try and see what songs I do remember in English. I can't sing a single church song all the way through in English. That said, I can't sing a single church song all the way through in Spanish either, but I was still pretty surprised to see that I've switched so much over into Spanish.

Tomorrow we have a huge training for all of the sister missionaries in the mission. I'm really, really excited. It's only a two hour training, but it'll be the first time I'll actually be able to meet many of the English sisters in the mission. Almost all of the Spanish speaking sisters are in Phoenix, so I've met all of them. But most of the English sisters are outside of Phoenix, so I've not run into many of them. It should be a really good conference.

That's about it for this week. We've officially been around 100 degrees multiple days this week. Even the locals think it is a really, really warm "spring" (to me anything over 85 degrees doesn't count as spring...). We've been drinking lots and lots of water, and I'm starting to understand why my companion is glad that if she has to go home, it'll be in the beginning of June, and before it gets too much hotter. Luckily people are pretty understanding and we get lots and lots of offers for water and such, which is always a life saver.

Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Okeson

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