Monday, July 11, 2011

Monsoon Season

Hello All!
It's been another busy week here in Phoenix. We have been running from one thing to another all week. I'm actually starting to hope that our area will get split in two weeks, just because we really can't keep up with everything anymore. Having another set of missionaries here in Agua Fria would be a huge help. We'll see what happens. Main events from this week would include meeting President Taylor, getting caught out in the dust storm, and going to Mesa with the Valencia family. We'll see what all I can get in this week.

Thursday we had interviews, which was our first chance to meet and interact with President Taylor. He will be a very good mission president, but he is certainly a huge change from President Beck. Where President Beck was very formal and business oriented, President Taylor is a little more laid back. I am curious to see how things will be over the next few months. There were no huge changes starting off, but I figure they will come. For a little more background. President Taylor was an editor at the Deseret News, he had covered stories from all over the world, and most recently had spent the last year or so covering church affairs. His wife, who I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with runs a preschool in Provo that has a waiting list already for when she gets home in 3 years. We promptly invited her to come with us to our many lessons with children. We're teaching a lot of young families, and Hna Graves and I are fast running out of ideas. They came with their 16 year old son Braeden (I have no clue how to spell his name). He seemed like a good kid, and really enjoyed being with the Elders. I think this will be a good but interesting change. I didn't expect it to be hard, but I've struggled more than I expected. I think I fit more comfortably with President Becks way of doing things. President Taylor likes to chat a little more and the meeting was a lot more laid back. Where President Beck had an agenda timed down to the minute, President Taylor had a loose agenda of things that needed to get done. Both ways are good, it's just making the transition. I am excited though to keep working with him and see where the mission will go.

Dad mentioned in his letter about seeing in the news about a huge dust storm. There was a lot of dust. I felt like you could feel it in your teeth and like all you were breathing was dust. Luckily we were in the car that night, but I feel for all of the Elders who were out on bikes. The dust was thick enough as we drove home I could barely see the tail lights of the cars in front of me... it was like driving through a blizzard. The dust storm was also significant, or so I'm told, because it marks the beginning of the Monsoon season. No one told me it would get humid here! Shame on all of you! Dry heat when it's really hot is pretty miserable, but wet heat when it's really hot is awful. Luckily we're doing the best thing in the world, so it doesn't matter how miserable it gets, we're still happy about life. It just means we smell worse and worse every day. Oh well.

Saturday night we went with the Valencia's down to Mesa to the visitors center. I'd send pictures, but none of them turned out... something was up with the camera setting, and the battery was dying so I didn't have much time to mess with it. It was a really good visit. The best part was getting to talk with Raphael and Berenice about having a goal of coming back to the temple in a year to be sealed as a family. They looked so excited. Both of their faces just lit up as we talked to them. They are getting married on the 23rd, and I'm getting quite excited.

Besides all of that excitement things are going pretty much the same as ever. We are working hard, and seeing great results. I've seen so much progress here in Agua Fria, and I am loving every minute. It's really amazing how fast this time goes by. It's starting to really make me nervous. Thursday at interviews when I was talking to Sister Taylor she asked me how long I'd been out, when I told her she responded with "Oh, you're half way done! Bummer, we won't get you for very long then." Yuck. Each week goes a little faster and I am amazed at all that I am learning here. This really is the experience of a life time, you learn and see so much.

I love you all! Have a great week!
Hermana Okeson

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