Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunshine and Dog Bites

Hello All,

It has been quite the week. The weather here in Phoenix is beautiful right now, and I am really enjoying it. I keep having to warn Hna Garcia that she shouldn't be fooled, it's going to get really hot really quick, Luckily I will miss all of that. We've had some really cool success moments over the last week. Effectively we have dropped all of the investigators that were being taught when I came and we've been starting from scratch. It's one of the bigger challenges in working with Hispanics. They love to hear you talk about God, but they are not so keen on commitment or making changes. So often missionaries will get attached to an investigator (or an investigator to the missionary) and then when the missionary leaves the area and a new one comes in there are usually some pretty big changes. I guess that's just part of how all of this works. It's been cool though, because we have been really blessed to find some really cool families. I don't think I will see them get baptized in my time here, but I feel like they are well on their way.

It's been pretty interesting coming into an area knowing I would only be here for 6 weeks. 6 weeks go by really quickly. So far no one in the ward knows that I am going home in 3 weeks, and I like it better that way. It's been really nice to just focus on working and not to be bogged down by the "trunky" questions that often get asked to missionaries just before they go home. This is by far the most... interesting ward I have served in. I'm learning a lot here, and so while it's been difficult having to be somewhere new for my last 6 weeks, I'm glad that I've had this chance to serve.

I had an interesting experience this week... somewhat of a first for my mission. We see a lot of dogs as missionaries. I've worked in some rougher areas, and either you see a bajillion chihuahuas or some pretty vicious looking guard dogs. Well, on Saturday we were out knocking doors and we came up to this house and the main door was open, but the metal screen door was closed. So, like normal, we knocked. The next thing we knew four good sized dogs jumped at the door and it was open! Long story short, I got bitten by a dog. Right on my ankle. I had to kick him off of me and I'm pretty glad the owner called them off because he was winding up to really bite me a second time. Don't worry, I don't have rabies, and he didn't draw blood. He just scratched up my ankle pretty good and I'm a little bruised. It was quite the experience. The poor lady who felt there just about had a heart attack and she felt really, really bad. So I can officially say that as a missionary, I've not only been chased by dogs, I've been bitten by one! (The strays will chase you and they look pretty vicious, but you just have to grab rocks and start throwing and they'll take off pretty fast. haha.)

This week we have the Sisters Conference. I am super excited. We got the invites for it on Saturday. We will be "hiking" to the new temple site up in North Phoenix, and then after we'll have lunch and a conference in the mission home. I'm pretty excited. The temple (originally) was supposed to finish during my mission, but from various hold ups it is now just barely peeking out from above the ground. It looks like it won't finish for another 2 years. Hopefully I'll make it back some day to see it when it is finished. I'm excited to get to see old companions and such at the Sisters conference. It will be really good.

We had a really cute experience on Saturday. We are working on and off with a little girl named Jossy. She's getting ready to get baptized this summer. We had dinner with her and her Grandma and as we were getting ready to leave she bounced over with her backpack and told us she was ready to come with us. We walked out the door and she had parked her bike right next to ours. She was ready to go! I attached pictures with her. It was too cute. She's a fun little girl in some rough circumstances so it's nice to get to at least spend a little time helping her family out.

I think that is about all of the excitement for this week. We have a pretty packed week in this coming week, which will be good. I'm pretty excited. Everything just keeps moving forward, and the work is really moving. Missionary work is the best!

Have a great week!


Hermana Okeson

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