Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Phoenix Rains Mud

Hello All!
Happy P-day! First to get out the news you are all curious about... Transfers. The transfer news came as a complete shock. Hna Graves is being moved and I am staying. Not what either of us expected. I'm excited to have another six weeks here in Agua Fria but nervous about who I will get to serve with. This transfer has been such an easy one that it makes me wonder what is in store for the next 6 weeks. Tomorrow we'll go to transfer meeting and see where Hna Graves is headed and then who is coming here with me. I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what happens. I'm excited to get to stay here and see the ward continue to progress. We've had some good changes happen in the last week and I'm excited to see how they will effect the work.

Okay, now for all of the fun things from this week. This week ranks as one of the busiest of my entire mission. The craziness started on Monday. As we were leaving in the evening for our appointments we got a call from the member who was coming with us saying she couldn't come because there was a really bad storm. I was somewhat skeptical as from leaving our house it was sunny and 110 degrees. Well, with the pictures attached as evidence, it was stormy. I really think here in Phoenix it just rains mud. Our nicely washed white car turned brown. It was disgusting. YUCK! By not Arizona standards it was a pretty lame excuse for a storm... no really wind... not that much rain... no thunder... no lightning, but what impressed me was that the raindrops literally were brown, it was raining mud! Gross!

The week really was busy with getting ready for one wedding and two baptisms. I think we had something related to at least one of the events each day. Between that and trying to keep up with our normal investigators we were running around like crazy all week. It was fun, but I think I reached a whole new level of exhaustion. Okay, so the wedding was beautiful. The ward really went all out, it was quite the party. When we left at nine the fun was only starting, I hear the party lasted until late in the evening, and I believed it from the tired looks on peoples faces in church on Sunday. It was also cool because President and Sister Taylor came. It was fun to get to introduce them to the members of the ward. The whole ward was really touched that they came. I also realized at the dinner after the wedding that I had reached a new bench mark of sorts for my Spanish. I realized I no longer really had to pay attention to understand the lyrics of the music that was playing in the background. It didn't matter what was on, I was understanding it. But back to the wedding, the bride and groom looked excited and happy and it all came off really well. This Saturday Raphael will be baptized, which we are also really really excited about.

Sunday was Kassandra and Vanessia's baptism. We had taught both of them because of various extenuating circumstances. It was fun to see them baptized, and I think they were quite happy to get baptized together since they are really good friends. It was a very different experience working with children. I've taught more children than I expected here on my mission... I think God keeps putting me in this position because he knows how much I don't like it. I like playing with kids and being around kids, but teaching kids is a whole different issue. If I ever even remotely thought I wanted a career working with children, I am now sure I don't. That said, I really did enjoy working with both girls, and I had a good time with them... but those teaching situations were really a stretch for me.

I forgot my journal this week, so I have nothing to jog my memory... so I think that may be all for the really exciting news of the week, although I am sure there are things I am forgetting. This transfer has been the best transfer of my mission. Our numbers this transfer were better than I've ever seen, and I am loving how much we are working. I love being this busy and being able to work like this. I'm hoping that with the start of this new transfer we will be able to keep things moving forward. I want to keep things progressing here. I think the thing I have loved the most this transfer is just feeling so satisfied and exhausted at the end of each day. We have worked so incredibly hard. Some of our days as we are out on bike we end up looking pretty scary, but that's okay... We're about half way through the worst of the heat... and I'm told that when September hits, it stays hot, but not quite as hot. By the end of this transfer we are starting I will have spent 7 months here in Agua Fria. That's crazy to me. The time here has really flown, and I am impressed ever week with how it manages to go faster than the week before.
I'm working hard here, drinking lots of water, and absolutely loving every minute!
Love you all!
Hermana Okeson

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