Monday, August 8, 2011

Locust in the car!

Hello All,
This week has been interesting. But the good news, is that interesting weeks are often followed by good weeks, so I have high hopes that this week will go better. That's the funny thing about being a missionary. You do everything you can, and then have to leave the rest to God. Sometimes it works out how you hoped, but often it works out better, the trick is that some times that time in between is a little more iffy. So we're in the in between time.

Dad commented about it being Typhoon season over in China. Here in Arizona it's Monsoon season. It's still pretty muggy. Hna Alvarez is from Florida, and assures me that this isn't too bad, but I'm pretty sure that this kind of heat with any humidity is a lot to take in. Luckily we're heading towards the end of summer, something I've been readily anticipating for months. I think the Elders are also pretty excited, because biking in this heat is a lot of work. We haven't spent too much time lately on bikes, something I miss. Trent talked in his e-mail about how he is happy that they get to go on the bus, because it's better for contacting people. For us bikes are a huge step up from spending all day in the car, although right now only the crazy people and the missionaries are outside. It makes for some interesting contacts. I think all of the sun sometimes messes with some of the people we run into. Hna Alvarez and I have set the goal to use bikes a little more. They're actually pretty efficient when we are out in the evening. Once it cools off to a more reasonable 100 degrees people seem more prone to come outside.

Okay, now for some interesting events from the week. Wednesday we were able to have Sister Taylor come out with us for the afternoon. It was really cool to have her, although once again it highlighted the differences between the Taylors and the Becks. Both are really good though, and I'm so greatful that I had the chance to work with two mission presidents and their wives. Sister Taylor was able to clear most of her afternoon, so we had her with us until 5pm. We made multiple visits, and were able to get a lot of work done. I've also been really impressed with the Taylors Spanish. It's cool to see how they both worked hard to be able to speak here with our members. (Both spoke Spanish previously, but had many many years with out using it much).

Thursday night Hna Alvarez and I had an interesting experience. As I was about to get in the car I felt some sort of bug zoom by my arm. I didn't think much of it, until Hna Alvarez and I shut the doors, and suddenly this huge winged bug flew in our faces. We shrieked and jumped out of the car as fast as we could. We then spent the next few minutes trying to find the bug to get it out of the car. Hna Gutierrez (the sister we had just finished visiting) came out to try and help us. We decided that it must have been the worlds biggest grasshopper and that it was now gone. We got in the car once again, and right as I put the car into drive, it came out again! The exact same chaos ensued and we both were now less than thrilled about the idea of carpooling with whatever bug it was that had made it in the car. Again we couldn't find the thing. So we set off on our way home. As we left Hna Alvarez looked down at the phone... somewhere in the midst of all the chaos we had accidentally dialed the Elders. They had heard everything. They thanked us for the evening amusement, and now everytime we see them we get comments about killer grasshoppers. In our defense, the next morning when we went out to the car we found the bug. It wasn't a grasshopper. It was a big nasty looking locust! Yuck! He was huge.

One of our huge blessings was finding a lot of people this week to start teaching. This is an area where traditionally it's hard to find people to teach. Hna Alvarez and I have been working really hard to figure out where the Mexicans are, and then to start teaching them. We had a huge miracle this week when we went to check up on a potential investigator and for once she was home. Visiting her is interesting. She has a huge dog that looks like he could eat you in one bite, and then three little dogs, que muerden (that bite). So going and knocking her door isn't much of an option. Instead what you have to do is stand outside of the gate and yell. You yell some, and then you take your key from the car, and bang it as hard as you can against the metal on the fence. Between the yelling and the clanking from the key on the fence and the dogs barking we were able to get her attention (she's hard of hearing and her TV is usually on pretty loud when she is home). I'm pretty sure the whole neighborhood knows everytime the missionaries come. We were excited to start teaching her, and her daughter and 5 grandkids were also around, so we had a great visit with all of them.

This week we also got to teach primary for church. It went pretty well. The kids were excited to have us there. Hna Alvarez loved it, she loves working with kids. I like working with kids, but not on that large of a scale and in another language. It was quite fun though. We had a short lesson and then helped them write letters to the missionaries serving from the Agua Fria ward.

I think that's about all for this week. We're working hard and keeping busy. I love you all lots. Thanks for the support and prayers!
Hermana Okeson

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