HI!!! I know, it has been forever. For that I am sorry. I have gotten a few friendly reminders from family this week and so I thought I would say hello!
We are trying to get settled into a routine again here...new house, new congregation, new language, new territory, new job for chad....so many adjustments for us.
Things are going well...I have days of loving Kichwa...and then....well, you know...but, all in all we are having good experiences. The congregation is doing very well. We have about 30 publishers and have been having about 50-60 in attendance. We have quite a few bible students in the cong. that are making good progress and have been a source of true joy for me. Although they aren't my students, I visit them at the market when they are working and they have been so encouraging. They really have embraced Chad and I and make us feel like we are part of the family although we are struggling learning the language.
I gave my first talk 2 weeks ago...they say it went well...I don't know the language well enough to judge myself!! But, it felt good to have a part. The Bible students loved it....they always like to see me dressed up in their style clothing. They really appreciate such little gestures of appreciation for their culture.
We have been heading out to some outlying areas to preach and do census which has been great. It is so nice to escape the city and the marketplace preaching every once in a while!
Chad's job is going well...he has been working about 15 hours a week and enjoying it. They have been pretty busy with the holiday season, so we will see after that ends if he still has work, but we are enjoying it while it lasts!!!
I have no set in stone Kichwa bible studies yet...a few promising return visits. But, I still have Elena, the mom of the family that lives up in the mountains. She is super shy and I haven't been able to turn her over yet, so the elders in spanish are letting me continue studying with her and she is such a BRIGHT spot in my week!!! Due to being so shy, we are struggling with trying to get her to become an unbaptized publisher. Since the thought of knocking on doors and talking to complete strangers terrifies her, two weeks ago, Chad and I tried to encourage her to do some informal witnessing to people she works with and already knows. We reviewed pages 4,5 in the Bible teach book about the promises, and suggested that she just mention one of the promises to someone if the opportunity presented itself. She agreed to give it a go.....
So, that weekend she very excitedly tells me that she preached to someone at work!!! She shared the promise of the resurrection with the woman and she was very interested. So, this week we practiced what she could say for the return visit this weekend....she is sooooo excited and proud of herself! I just love her!!!
The spanish CO and his wife are temporarily assigned to the Banos congregation due to some health problems. As I have mentioned before, they are super awesome. Anyway, Elena is in their congregation and was asking me about their situation. I just explained that he wasn't feeling very well lately. I mentioned that they really need our love and support right now and that they have done so much for all of us and for Jehovah we should take good care of them. She readily agreed and said that she would go out of her way to take care of him. We had the CO and his wife over for dinner last Monday night and he was telling me how much he appreciates Elena because she comes up to him every meeting and touches his forehead (like a mom) and asks him how he is doing and gives him the BIGGEST hug in the world. He was laughing because he is probably almost as tall as Chad and she is about 4' 11", so she is practically hugging his waist, but he says that she hugs him so tight he feels like she is going to pick him up off the ground....she brings a tear to my eye thinking about how special she is and how much love she has for us all and for Jehovah.....and on a personal note, her daughters just got together and bought her some dentures (she has been missing some of her front teeth for quite awhile but didn't have the money)...anyway...YOU SHOULD SEE HOW BIG SHE SMILES NOW!!!! Did I mention how much we love her? haha
Sorry this blog has no pictures I was having trouble loading them for some reason! I will try to write sooner and post some pictures for you all!!! Miss you all...and hope to blog again soon....