Monday, October 31, 2011

Biking and more biking!

Hello All,

I remember during the summer saying that I couldn't wait for it to cool off, and that I hoped that when it did I would get sent to a bike area. Well, technically this isn't a bike area, but it might as well be. We bike everywhere! Pretty much the only time we use the car is to drive from our apartment and to park near our last appointment of the night. Then we pull the bikes of the bike rack and we ride everywhere all day. I think I have spent more time on the bike in the last week than I ever could have imagined. It's lots of fun! We get to meet a lot of people out on the street every day, and I'm really enjoying talking with everyone. It's also nice because this is a more Hispanic area, so well over half of the contacts we do on the street are in Spanish. I like feeling like I am speaking more Spanish, and I am enjoying the chance to dust off some of the Spanish vocab and skills I hadn't needed while I was up in Peoria.

Mom asked if we feel like we know the area better... that would be a yes and no. There are still people we have not met. We've met the majority of the people the previous missionaries were teaching, but there are still some that we cannot seem to get in contact with. It's pretty tricky. All we have with some of them is just an address. No phone number, no hints as to when they are home, no record of how much they were taught or if they were just contacts off of the street... so it makes for a lot of guess work on our part. We finally were able to meet with one family after one of the sisters in the ward gave us a suggestion as to when to find them home. That said, the members have been super helpful. There are a lot of people in the ward who are very involved in missionary work and we are never lacking for people offering to come out with us. That's really, really nice. We've had multiple members point out to us people who they know who might be interested, and we've also had lots of people who remember former investigators, and they've told us to go stop by. We are sitting on a pretty big list of people we're still trying to meet.

We've also had some entertaining moments as we've tried to chase down regular members of the ward. We were given a ward roster last Sunday, and set out to try and meet as many of the members who lived in our area as we could. We've discovered that some of the addresses need updating. My personal favorite was we went by one house for dinner with the family. We biked up and saw a kid playing out in the yard. We asked him if this was his house, and told him to tell his family we were here for dinner. Turns out the family who we were having dinner with had moved. Super awkward. We were already locking our bikes to the basketball net when this guy comes out and goes, "I think the people you are having dinner with moved..." We've now taken to checking addresses before our dinner appointments.

Being back in this area really does remind me of serving in Aguila. Once again you see cowboys out riding their horses down the street, and I've been chased a few times on my bike by dogs. One guy sicked his dogs on us as we were riding by, rude! We've also done some off roading through the cotton fields here, we just take the paths that the tractor would use. It saves us some biking distance, but sure makes for a bumpy ride.

I'll try to have pictures for next week. I keep forgetting to take my camera with me. I've got to work on that again. It's all that biking, you try to take as little stuff as possible, because you don't want to carry it all day.

Love you all lots!
Hermana Okeson

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