Monday, April 4, 2011

The Errand of Angels

Dear Friends and Family,
This week has been incredible. It has been full of really cool experiences. We've had multiple experiences where we've shown up at just the right time to help out. The first one happened on Thursday night. When we were planning on Wednesday night we felt like we needed to go by a family we've been teaching at 8pm. It was a little weird because we'd just gone over to visit them, but we decided we'd go anyways. We drove over Thursday night at 8 and knocked on the door. When they let us in the wife explained that 15 minutes earlier they had recieved a phone call from Mexico that her husbands youngest sister had just passed away from Leukemia. She was 23 and has a little boy who is 4 years old. We spent the rest of the evening with them and as we were leaving they told us that they wanted to call us when they got the call from Mexico, but didn't want to bother us becuase they figured we would be at other visits. It was so cool to see how the Lord already knew that they were going to need extra support, and I was very humbled to be able to help.

We had another similar experience Friday morning, where all of our plans for the morning fell through and we felt impressed that we needed to go check on a Sister who lives in our area. She has a lot on her plate, and we ended up being there at the perfect time to help her with some rather pressing problems. We ended up being with her for almost 3 hours that morning, and it was a huge learning experience for me. I think in those 3 hours I learned more about the importance of making wise decisions than in any other three hours of my life. I also learned about how our decisions affect others, becuase the problem we dealt with Friday morning was a result of someone else's poor choices, but it was affecting many other people, including, and especially, this Sister.

The last big experience like that happened last night. It's cool to see how as missionaries we are often the first ones to get calls when people are in need. We got a call from a young sister in the ward who had had a really really rough weekend and she asked us to come by. We moved some things around and told her that we would come by in the evening around 7:30. When we got there we were surprised when this young sisters mother answered the door looking pretty shaken up. Her daughter had left, but it was readily apparent that the weekend had been rough on her too. We stayed and chatted with her, and at the end of the visit she told us that she thought that our visit was actually for her, and not her daughter, and that she had really been needing support that day.

Experiences like these are some of the things I have grown to love as a missionary. Friday morning's was rough, and I would never choose to be in that situation again, but in each situation I was very greatful that the Lord had sent us to help. It's moments like those that I know I will always treasure, especially when we hear the people we work with say "I knew you would come". We get that a lot, and each time it makes me realize how carefully Heavenly Father is watching over each of his children.

The other really cool experience this week was on Saturday. Saturday afternoon I was able to go back to South Phoenix for Rossy Romero's baptism. To date I think that was the happiest moment of my mission. I can't begin to describe how much time and energy my companions and I poured into Rossy and her family. She was the only one to be baptized on Saturday, but I am confident that more will follow. The changes I saw on Saturday were incredible. I was so happy to be able to be there to support her. It was also fun to be able to see some of the members from the ward and also to see Hermana Ayala. I sure miss her. She's going home in four weeks, and I expect that Saturday was the last time I'll see her on my mission.

We've also had some really cool experiences with some of the families we are teaching that are progressing to baptism. We're working with a lot of families who have not been to church in a while and want to come back. Each family has kids that are over 8 and want to be baptized and so we are working to help get them ready. The Lopez family have two sons ages 9 and 13 who we are working with, and as of last Thursday are now preparing to be baptized on May 4th. We're very excited for them, and I've had a good time working with their family. The other family, the Gutierrez family, is a family we just started teaching this past week. They have a son that is 15 and reminds me a lot of Todd, and I've had a good time getting to know him. They also have a daughter who is 13. She's quite shy, so I don't know her as well yet, but we're going over on Friday for a girls night while Hno Gutierrez and Caleb are out on a camping/fishing trip. I'm pretty excited.

Okay, I think that's about all for this week. I love you all!
Hermana Okeson

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