Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1, Transfer 6

Hi All,

Today began my sixth transfer... weird. I've officially become one of the "old" sisters in the mission. We've had a lot of new sisters come in since I got here, and now well over half of the sisters who were here when I got here have gone home. It's crazy how fast time flies. This week has been a pretty good one. I now understand why we don't get transfer news until the day before, when you know you are leaving far too much time gets waisted saying goodbye. It did get us back in with some people we've not been able to see in a while, so I guess we're going to count our blessings.

Monday night we had a really fun lesson with a family in the ward, and a friend who is investigating the church. We taught about testimonies, and coming closer to Christ and made pizza. Dad, your testimony pizza lesson has been a hit every time I've used it. Monday night was no exception. It's especially fun with Mexican families who have never made "homemade" pizza before. Everyone was very very excited and the results were quite yummy. I've attached a picture for you all. The lighting isn't so great, but we did manage to get a picture which was a small victory.
I think I'm in the opposite position from Trent, we're trying to squeeze in time for finding between all of our appointments. To try and do that this week we're going to be using our bikes as much as we can. We are able to talk to way more people on bikes as we go by bus stops than we do when we knock doors. I just wish we had had this problem before it got so hot. Hna Graves and I went out on bike a few days ago, and by the end we were completely drenched. I'm starting to understand when I've heard people talk about how sister missionaries here often go home half way through the day and shower. I'm not sure that we can do that, because we live a good distance from the areas where we usually work... but there may be days where we have to, because we get pretty gross pretty fast. We're hoping that with it getting hotter we'll be able to somehow move more of our appointments to the hotter hours of the day so we don't have to spend as much time outside. The sun is brutal! You can just feel it roasting you right there and then. It's certainly an interesting experience.

We've had some interesting experiences this week. I can only write about a few of them in part... but this week because of some things that have happened we've seen some of the uglier side of the immigration issues here in Arizona. Most of the time here as missionaries we work very very hard to stay oblivious. We never ask, and if anyone tells us anything we try hard to forget. Most of the time we really don't have to deal much with the political issues here, but this week was definitely an exception. It was a little stressful. Luckily things always manage to work out, and we always manage to feel incredibly blessed.

Friday was interesting, we had the Trainer/Trainee meeting. It was at that meeting at the beginning of my mission where Hermana Hoof received her flight plans to go home. It was weird to think about that and to realized that I was at the same point where Hermana Graves is when I had to take things over for Aguila. It made me really realize once again how blessed I was during that time, and how the Lord really helps us. It also made me really evaluate myself as a trainer, and wonder if I would be able to let Hermana Graves take over the area and feel comfortable that I had taught her enough and been a good example to her so that she would know what is required of us as missionaries.

The Trainer/Trainee meeting was also interesting because we had a chance to evaluate the new training program and to also swap ideas as to how to do better. This new training program is going world wide in August, and so we have been monitored very very closely over the last month or so for feedback. I honestly have nothing bad to say about the program, and I have loved it. It walks you though all the different things we do as missionaries week by week, so one week we will focus on just a few skills, and then the next move on to others. It really helps me as a trainer know how to help Hermana Graves, and I feel like I am learning so much as well. I really hope I get to train again, because I am really loving it. It was also nice to hear the other trainers talk about the challenges associated with training. Training is so demanding because you have such an impact on the kind of missionary your companion will be. I know both of my trainers impacted me a lot and that I learned so much from them. I think the hardest thing is just making sure that you are doing everything by the book and that we are really living up to our potential. As missionaries we do a lot of things very repetitively and it is so easy to get caught in ruts... I guess it's like that for everything in life, but I think it really applies here. So as a trainer I feel like I've really had to stretch to try to avoid those ruts. It's been amazing to see how I've progressed and how blessed I have felt as I've really given all that I have to work and serve.

I think that is about it for this week. If I haven't melted by next Monday I should have lots of fun things to share with all of you. Feel free to send questions, sometimes it's hard to know what to write about as a missionary, so I always love getting questions. Also, the other picture I attached is of one of my favorite two-year-olds. As a missionary I do quite well with the two-year-olds, and I even have one who comes and looks for me and sits with me in sacrament meeting. My companions think it's quite funny. This one likes to steal my name tag, and in this picture she wanted to wear my shoes... Oh, and here is one of my district. I hope you like that one too. Aaand one more, one of the families we work with has puppies, so we got to play with them... I think they are maybe a month old... I guess I'm just full of pictures today.

Anyhow, have a wonderful week. I love you all lots!
Hermana Okeson

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