How has everyone been doing? Sorry it has been a little while since we blogged last...We just passed through ¨Carnival", which basically is 4 days of heavy partying right before they all go to church and repent for lent. But, because the majority of the partying includes drinking (and driving) and water balloon throwing (and that would be throwing indiscriminately at anyone walking down the street, dressed up or not!) the elders cancel the meetings for service. There really isn't much to do because all the stores close, even the buses and taxis are either non-existent or scarce! Anyway, we were basically holed up in the apartment for 3 days, keeping dry. So, we didn't have very much interesting information to share! But, now we are back into the swing of things!
Just to keep you updated on some of the bible students....unfortunately the pharmacist and Maribel, the pregnant lady, haven't had their study the last 2 weeks, I guess with the holiday and everything they have been super busy...I'll keep trying...
Berta, the woman who called me crying and then went to the meeting 2 Wednesday´s ago, continues to enjoy the bible study! This week we were studying the section on the name of Jehovah. She just sat there quiet for a few minutes and I asked her if she had a question. She smiled and said, "No, but this information is so impressive! I have always known the name Jehovah, but to actually learn what it means about him and what it teaches us about his qualities, it really makes me realize how insignificant we are as humans, and how wonderful God really is!" She told us that every week that she learns a little more, she realizes how much more there is to learn and since she has wasted so much time, she better get moving! She really is such a humble person. Chad has been studying with her 10 year old grandson who is really smart. We started having him memorize the bible books, so he now knows the first 5 and is excited to learn the next 5 for next week. Last night they both came to the meeting again. She pays really close attention. It was interesting when we got to the paragraph that asked for us to relate experiences of someone we know who in the past was opposed to the truth, but have changed. The brother asked the cong for a show of hands of how many people in the audience at one time were opposed to the truth and Jehovah's Witnesses and have now changed? It was so cute to see Berta raise her hand with a big smile on her face.
Chad has also been studying with a man in his 40's who had a stroke about 5 years ago and has a lot of difficulty with his motor skills, especially walking and talking. Chad first found him in the tract work and he asked Chad for a Bible. So, Chad took the Bible back and the Bible Teach book and asked him if he knows how to use the Bible, which he said that he didn't. His wife died 2 years ago and so he had questions about the resurrection that Chad mentioned. So they started studying the chapter on death and have continued studying ever since. Although it took Chad a few times until he got used to his slurred speech, they are really enjoying studying together. He goes to therapy 3 times a week and so now part of his at-home therapy is reading aloud...he studies for his bible study and reads the material aloud so he is practiced for when Chad comes. He is really smart, and although he can't read the print in the Bible very well, and usually just listens to us read, he always captures the main point. He is a really nice guy.
Every week Chad calls him to see what days he has therapy and what day he would like to study. Usually one of the kids answers the phone and asks their dad if he can have the study and lets Chad know. This week the 8 year old little boy answered. As usual he checked with Rodulfo to see if he wanted to study and then came back on the phone and told Chad that Rodulfo could study. But then the little guy asked Chad, "Can you teach me the Bible, too?" Which of course Chad said yes. It was soooo cute. So, we will see what happens with that.
There is a little hardware store down the street from where we live that we usually go to in order to charge our bus cards and Chad buys little tools here and there from the owner, named Leonardo. He is always really nice to us and always calls Chad "hermano". So, we knew he knows we are Witnesses. Recently, we have started to go there to make copies of the WT articles for our Bible students for the meetings. So, we have gotten to know him a little bit over the last few weeks. This past week we were there making copies of the WT and he says to Chad, "Is the Devil real, or is he just the bad things that we humans do?" We were coming home from service, so we had our Bibles and Chad shared a few scriptures with him and showed him the Bible Teach book. He said that he had never seen the book before, so Chad offered to stop back with the book and demonstrate the bible study to him. He readily agreed!
It was funny, because last time we were there, Chad and I had said that we really should offer to study the Bible with him, but it just never happened, either we were in a hurry, or he had customers....or maybe we were just chickening out! Who knows. But as we walked away on Friday after HE had initiated the conversation with US, we shamefully started laughing. I guess sometimes Jehovah has to bonk us on the head!...
So, that's what we've been up to the last week or two! Hope things are going well for you all! We miss you!