Monday, July 18, 2011

Running Like Crazy

Hello All!
It has been an incredibly busy week yet again. This week I set a personal record for my mission for number of lessons taught in a week... and that was after lots of others fell through. We are running like crazy. Hna Graves and I have been wondering lately if this is a sign that they will be splitting our area next week at transfers. It wouldn't surprise me. In some areas our numbers are almost that of what two companionship's would be expected to do in a week. Needless to say, it's exhausting. I don't think I've ever been this tired in my life, we run and run all day, and then come home with just enough time to plan and go to bed to start doing it all again the next day. It's exciting and I'm loving every minute.

I thought for a change in my letters, and to maybe give you all an idea of what a missionary day is like, I would write about one day exclusively... I'm pulling mostly from my journal entry and then adding a few things here and there. This is from Saturday... as a side note, Saturdays are usually one of our busiest days, and this Saturday was no exception. So if it sounds like we were really busy and did a lot, it's because we were and we did.

6:30 am ~ get up... I can't say I exactly pop out of bed... On Saturday morning what gets me out of bed is the knowledge that in 2 days on p-day I can take a nap. Usually by about 6:45 or so Hna Graves and I are gathered up and we run to the park where we like to exercise. We usually run laps around the park. We tried running together but we run at different speeds, so we settled for the park. It works pretty well, our only complaint is it's sooooo hot at 6:30... most mornings it's already 100 degrees. Yuck!
7:20 am ~ shower, get ready and eat breakfast.
8:00 am ~ Normally personal study, but Saturday mornings we have an investigator who lives a pretty good difference from us who likes to meet at 9, so unlike most days, on Saturday we pull snacks together to leave by 8:15 to make the 45 minute drive to visit Veronica.
9:00 am ~ Veronica wasn't home. Yuck-o. Especially because we had driven the 45 minutes to visit with her. We called a few times and heard her phone ringing in the house. She ended up calling an hour later and telling us she left for the store and completely forgot we were coming. Since we were already out and about we decided to run by the Velasquez family. Kassandra is getting baptized on Sunday, and it was Kimberly's birthday. They were a little surprised to see us so early in the morning but Kimberly was excited to have us stop by. We sang her happy birthday and I graced her with happy birthday in Welsh and Chinese (at least what I remember from hearing "Happy Birthday" in Chinese a few times). I'm sure I butchered them both because everything now comes out with a Spanish accent, but there were no complaints from the audience. When we left we drove another half hour to a cita (appointment) way south of where we were... Not there again. Yuck!
10:00 am ~ We decided to cut our losses and go to the library and try and get some study time in. It was a little weird studying at the library, but beggars can't be choosers. Luckily it was quiet and we were able to get some good studying in.
11:00 am ~ When we finished we ran over to the Castro's to knock doors in their apartment complex. We talked with Hna Castro and she suggested some neighbors for us to stop by. We did so (and talked with anyone else who would open the door on the way), and had a really good lesson with a woman named Miriam. She's very Catholic, but has lots of questions about what we believe. We'll see what happens.
2:00 pm ~ We ran all the way back to the north end of our area for some appointments we had later that day. We had just under two hours for finishing our studies and so we did so. As we were studying a lady saw us and came over to talk to us. Turns out she's a member and just wanted to say hi. I don't know if the Elders get that a lot, but as sisters, we are somewhat of a rare species, and so we have people stop us all the time. While we were studying we got a call from Raphael saying he got called suddenly to go into work and would have to cancel for the evening. We adjusted some of our plans and headed to our next appointment.
4:30 pm~ Another descent drive to get over to the Ayala's. We were invited over to share a message before Bryan (the 15 year old) had his birthday party. We showed up and things were pretty crazy, so instead of a formal lesson we helped clean, set up chairs, make punch, and carry out food for the party. We got a short message in, not quite what we had hoped for, but it was still a good visit.
5:30 pm ~ Since Raphael had canceled we decided to run over and try to catch the Gutierrez family at home. We almost never catch them at home, but lucky for us, they were home! What a huge blessing! We were able to teach a lesson and then at the end Hno Gutierrez gave us a ton of Gatorade... like everyone else, they worry about us out in the heat. Hno Gutierrez is a miner, and I guess they give him packs and packs of Gatorade and he has more than enough, so he gave us some. I think we have enough Gatorade for an army of missionaries.
7:00 pm ~ We had a little time before our appointment at eight so we drove over to make a quick stop by Leonila. We've been teaching her for a long time, and she's really going through a rough patch right now, so we wanted to see how she was doing and maybe share a thought with her. We talked about the power of prayer and having faith through hard times. It was a good, and much needed visit.
8:00 pm ~ One last cita for the evening. We went to visit with Mary (the sister who was baptized in May). She made fruit salad (she makes the best fruit salad I've ever eaten) and we were finally able to meet her husband. He owns a company in Mexico, and she has her own business here, so they travel back and forth a lot... we were excited to finally get to meet him. We had a great lesson on missionary work, and I enjoyed getting to visit with them, especially because Mary is headed back out of town and won't be back until August.
9:30 pm ~ We arrived home in time to plan, update our records, and get ready for bed.
10:30 pm ~ after another super busy day two completely exhausted missionaries finally got to go to bed.

There you all go! That is a day in the life as a missionary. No day is ever the same, but I thought this would give you all a fun picture of how things normally are for us. The biggest difference from the "norm" for Saturdays is that we move our study time around and do it in the afternoon because we have people who like to meet with us Saturday morning. Normally we study all in one chunk and around noon.

Other news from the week was that we had exchanges again on Friday. I went out to Wickenburg for the day. It was fun to go out there, I had a good time with Hna Jaunfrea (she was Hna Graves' companion in the MTC). It was also fun because I had been on exchanges there before and got to see some of the same people again. I liked that, it left me feeling a little less lost than I normally do on exchanges. It's a little hard being the missionary who goes to a new area for an exchange because you don't know anyone and you have to really rely on the Spirit to know what to share and how to teach.

I think that's all the fun for this week.
Have a great week! I love you all lots!
Hna Okeson

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