Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hey guys! Sorry I haven't been around, we have been without internet for about a week now. Doug has a portable internet device that he let us borrow, but we have been trying not to use it too much since there is a monthly limit! Hopefully things will be back online soon! But, just wanted to let you know that we had a record 443 at our memorial last night! We were super impressed last year when we had 350!! And now almost 100 more! There were so any people that I met that had come for the first time and were really nice! Too bad they were each already studying...I was hoping to score a new bible student or two!!!! Bummer! hahaha

Poor Doug lost his voice, so Chad had to pinch-hit at the last minute...he had only a few hours notice to practice the talk! You could definitely tell that his nerves were worse than usual (I don't understand why with only 443 pairs of eyes staring back at him), but he did well, and he didn't spill the wine, or forget to pray before passing the emblems, so all in all it was a success!...

Hope to be back online in a few days...missing you all!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just taking care of business....

Chad had an awesome and somewhat amusing experience last week that I wanted to share with you! He was in charge of a group in the territory in the mountains. The urge to go to the bathroom became overwhelming and so he decided to send the group on ahead while he "checked to see if anyone lived in a house back in"...even though he knew it was vacant. But, a good excuse, right? So, he did his thing...and as he was coming out from around the side of the house there was a man standing there. Guess what he asked him? "What is your business here?" (I just thought it was a funny irony since Chad had indeed been "taking care of business")

Anyway, Chad explained to him that he was one of Jehovah's Witnesses and that he was just checking to see if anyone lived in the house because we try to reach everyone in the area with our message. Surprisingly enough, the man was very pleasant! He mentioned that he had studied the Bible years ago with Evangelicals but had never talked to the Witnesses. He asked Chad what he thought, "Are we really living in the last days?" so Chad explained that to him and shared some scriptures. Then, he proceeded to tell Chad that he and his wife had been separated for a time, but were trying to get back together and that it was a challenge. They had just recently been talking about the need to study the Bible together to help their marriage! So, he asked Chad if he would study the Bible with them! SURE!!!

So, last Friday Chad went for the first visit, but the husband had to work overtime, so Chad talked to the wife and they have the study set up for this Friday! Just a cute story that I wanted to share!

Well, it's late and I gotta go to bed...we have had a few more good experiences I will try to write about soon! Miss you all!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The End of the Dinosaurs....

So on Sunday we went to study with Joanna, Zoila and her husband. To our surprise, not only was he not drunk, but he was surprisingly knowledgeable about the Bible! He has studied with every religion known to man, so you would think that he would be very confused, and granted, he is about a few things (read on...). But, he has figured a few things out on his own just from reading the Bible. For instance, he was saying that one religious group tried to teach him that Jehovah and Jesus are the same person, so he immediately walked out. His reasoning? How could that be? When Jesus was baptized here on Earth, there was a voice that came out of heaven...who would that have been if they were the same? or in Genesis when God says, "Let us make man..." He looks at us and says, "I don't know about you, but when I am about to go do something myself, I don't say, "Let's go me and do that!" It was really funny to hear him use our same reasoning.

But, he did have a little bit of confusion (as I mentioned) and totally stumped us with this one...He mentioned that he thinks that when Satan and his demons were thrown out of heaven it produced a "comet-like explosion" that destroyed the dinosaurs! Ahhhh, he was doing sooo well up until that point! haha
But we had a really good study with him. We could only stay an hour because I had another study up the mountain, and so when we were finishing up he looks at us and says, "Why can't we study 2-3 hours?" We explained that we had another appt. and Chad explained the meetings to him and invited him to come for more learning. We'll see what happens!

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but my study Jessica, who lives up in the mountains, had her first part in the TMS 2 weeks ago! I gave the talk and she was the householder! She was really nervous, but she did really well! Chad put us up in the front school...nothing like 180 people to make the nerves act up! I was really proud of her! I had given her the part a few days in advance and we practiced it, but I told her to practice on her own. To my surprise, she showed up on Wednesday at the meeting without the notes! I thought, uh oh, this is it! But, she had MEMORIZED everything! She did awesome!

Not too much else new here! The weather has been awesome...a breezy, sunny 75 degrees! I hope it keeps up for the Memorial campaign! I haven't been good about taking pictures lately, I will try to do better so I have some for the next post! But, I do have some pictures for "the cousins"! I wanted to show you how much Fernando enjoyed his gift of Pez candy!!!!! He takes it with him to the meetings and every once and a while just pokes the head out of his suit jacket at us! It reminded me of Jimmy and his Yoda!!!!

He did have a little bit of trouble figuring out how to put the candy into the dispenser!! But, he eventually figured it out with a little help from Chad!

This was the end of an evening of Settlers...he had eaten Pez, licorice, laffy taffy, combos and pretty much any other kind of sugar he could get his hands on!!! Drunk on sugar!!! But, he keeps telling me how nice my family back home is that they sent us so much candy and junk food!
We waited a little while to break out the chocolate licorice. So, one night, I just pulled 2 pieces out of the bag and was sitting there playing the game and eating them. All of a sudden he looks at me with HUGE eyes and says, "WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY ARE THERE ONLY 2 OF THEM!!" We all busted out laughing and pulled out the bag...well, that has been his favorite so far! After eating 2 pieces, he looks at the bag and says, "Where have you been all my life?" Nothing like corrupting the locals with our junk food!! hahaha

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It just gets better and better.....

It has been an exciting few days here in good 'ole Ecuador! Thursday is a usually full day of preaching, bible studies and phone witnessing, so it is always exciting! This Thursday I had my study with Joanna and Zoila (if you remember from a past blog, it is the girl who lived in rented rooms that I directly offered the study to thinking she wouldn't accept, but did!) Anyway, she and her mother have been studying very faithfully ever since! This Thursday morning, the mom called me to see if I could come for an extra study since she didn't have to work that day for some reason! So, after my usual 3:00pm study, Chad and I headed over to their house! When we got there, Zoila and Joanna were ready and waiting, and they also had the stepson visiting from the coast, who also got a book and sat down with us! Zoila is really picking up the information quickly and is a pleasure to study with! So, we studied about an hour, and then they have had some family issues they were venting about.

Well, maybe it was holy spirit, but we just sat around and chatted for a while, when the husband got home from work. I was a little nervous, because I had never met him before and I was worried he would squash the study! But, Zoila whispered to me, "He said that he would be interested in studying the Bible with you!" So, I decided to stick around another 1/2 hour and chat and get to know him better. He was really nice, a little frustrated with work issues...but who isn't here? So, I finally get up the nerve to ask him if he would like to study! "Thank you. Yes I would." He looked pleased as punch as we set up a study for this weekend. I think he has a little bit of a problem with alcohol, as a matter of fact, he said he does. So, I made him promise that if he was going to study with us, he could not drink beforehand. I had explained to him that in the past in the Bible, Jehovah has severely punished those who mixed alcohol with their worship of Him...Where I got the nerve to say all that I don't know...but, anyway, he had this huge grin on his face and promised to not drink before the study today. I have arrangements to go this morning with Chad, so we will see!

Also, last night 2 younger women walked in late to the meeting and sat across the aisle from us. They didn't have a song book or magazine, so they were obviously new. Anyway, Chad gave them his songbook to use. Anyway, after the meeting, they returned the songbook and Chad started asking them where they were from. They had come to the meeting for the first time on their own initiative! They aren't even studying yet! It turns out the one woman works or worked with one of Jehovah's Witnesses and so was receiving different literature from her. She studies it all thorougly. Her "daily text" book is thoroughly marked and studied every day and she studies all of the magazines! She really enjoys the information, but decided on her own that she needs to study with someone and go to the meetings to progress. So, she just came last night! Whew! She wants to study on Sunday mornings, which might be nearly impossible for me ( boo hoo), but Chad will find someone this morning to go with him to set up the study! Very encouraging!

Well, gotta go get ready for service! Just wanted to share! Miss you all!

Friday, March 5, 2010


For those of you who are bored with scenery pictures, this post isn't for you, just wait for the next one! But, there have been many of you who have come to visit us, and we take the bus ride through the "Cajas" to see the beautiful mountains, but it is usually raining or foggy. So, on our way up to Guayaquil last week, Kami got some beautiful pictures and I wanted to share them with you! The crazy thing is that, even though the mountains in the pictures seem so huge, they are only the tops of the mountains that we are already on! "Oh, the wonders of creation!"
Enjoy...sorry if some of you are bored!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Back to Normal...

Well, Chad got home on Thursday and so things are returning to "normal" here in our house! It certainly was a crazy 3 weeks while he was gone!! I had Sara and Kami with me to keep me company...and you know how it is with 2 single girls in the house! Everyday was action-packed! Then, the last week, I got a call from a brother here in the city, that there were 2 Austrailian sisters visiting Cuenca for the week and would I like to have them stay with us? SURE--why not? So, for a week we were a party of 5! We had a blast! They really were sooo sweet.

The last week we tried to do some sight-seeing with Sara because she was going home. So, we went to Ingapirca (the incan ruins) and we went to a hostel about an hour out of the city that has fun activities like horse-back riding, paddle boats, a cable swing across the pond, pool tables, ping pong and beautiful views. So, we went and spent the afternoon there. Monday, we took Sara up to Guayaquil because she had to be at the airport early Tuesday. Tuesday, Sara said goodbye and we got back on the bus to come home. There had been torrential downpours here on Monday night, so the roads were pretty treacherous coming home from Guayaquil and it took us 5 hours instead of 3 1/2. Wednesday, was a normal day of service and meeting. Then, Thursday, Chad came home! So, things, as I said, have finally settled back to normal. We still have Kami with us (and the poor thing is sick).

It has been nice to get back into a service routine again. On Monday I went out in service up in Banos. It had been a while since I had had a really good experience. Well, "really good"in ecuadorian terms! haha The first door Jenny and I walk down into a longer building that looked like it had different rooms rented out. As we were walking in, a younger woman with 2 kids was walking in behind us. So, I stopped and talked to her. It turns out that she used to study with a sister in the congregation a long time ago. But, said that for whatever reason, they just haven't studied. So, I asked her, "Do you want to continue the study?" She says, "Sure! When can you come back?" So we made arrangements for the following Monday at 10. I had noticed other rooms, so I asked her if there were other families that live there. She said that there were, and went to get the other family. I could hear her saying, "Come outside, Jehovah's Witnesses want to teach you the bible!" So, another younger woman comes walking out with a bowl of uncleaned fish in her hand. She proceeds to clean the fish under the faucet outside, and BOY did it STINK!!! But, she was very conversational and listened to me. The first woman was standing there also. I asked the second woman if she had ever tried to read her Bible, and she said "yes, but it was hard to understand" so she got discouraged. Then she looks at me and says, "Could you come and help me understand the Bible?" UM, YEAHHH!!!! The first woman that had studied before then says to the other one, "People say that Jehovah's Witnesses have a different Bible, but the woman that I studied with before let me use my own Bible and it really isn't that different. Just a few words are different. So, you can use your own copy of the Bible for the study if it makes you more comfortable!" I just had to stand there with a smile and let her set up the study for me! So, we will see what happens. I am supposed to go and study with both of them on Monday!

Chad got back on Thurday, as I mentioned, and so Saturday night was his first meeting back with us. And, what a welcome back he got! On his way walking to the meeting, he got a call from Doug saying that there was no speaker, could he give the talk? So, he ran back home, grabbed an outline, and gave the talk! Nothing like trial by fire! He did really well, but he did seem a little more nervous than usual (understandably)! Nothing like going from not speaking spanish for 3 weeks, to a public talk!!
Well, soo much has happened in the last month...busy, busy, busy...I can't possibly write about it all! But, I am attaching random photos for you to see! Miss you all and thanks to all of you who took good care of Chad while he was there!!!

One day we went to visit the Assembly Hall so that Sara and Kami could see it! The sister that I am standing with, her and her husband are the caretakers of the assembly hall. Very sweet!

Playing "Mexican Train" at the Ochoa's house!
We taught them this game and they (especially the mom, are addicted!)

The "crew"! Here we are with the girls from Australia the morning we had to leave for Guayaquil with Sara.

One of the many parties we had at our place!

Kami took this cool photo of Josue spashing Fernando with the paddle!!

There is a restaurant here in town that we rarely go to, but it is very "americanized". We can get burgers, wings, french onion soup...and of favorite...Margaritas!!

Kami went to the zoo and took this picture of the "monkeys"

When we got to Ingapirca it had been raining, but as it cleared up, the views were spectacular!

Kami finally fulfills her life-long dream of "frollicking with the llamas"!

The "temple of the sun" in Ingapirca.
I think I have this same photo with each guest that comes to visit us!

The goat milk doesn't get any fresher!!! These guys drag their "about to explode" goats around the streets selling the milk. If you want some, just approach with a bag or jug or container, and he milks it for you right there!