Thursday, November 21, 2013

So close.... Yet so far away...

Sooooo for some reason the "Hall and Oates" lyrics "So close... yet so far away.. (yeah we're livin' in a dream world!)" have been running through my head today!! I am not advocating the singers, the song or anything about it haha But the lyrics fit my day perfectly!!!!!!

I am about to embark on a venting session about my beloved Ecuador! I know I rave about the ministry, the food, the culture, the people and it's all true.. HOWEVER!!!! Sometimes the frustration of living in a developing country just makes me want to SCREAM!!! hahaha

Sooo the day was pretty normal, everything going as planned and then!! I received the LONG-AWAITED phone call announcing the delivery of my furniture!! YIPPEEEEE!!! Oh how exciting it was as the truck pulled up in front of my house! I should have know it was oh-too-good-to-be-true...

As the very nice men carefully pulled my furniture off the truck, to my grave horror I realized "IT"S ALL WRONG!!" Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh....

As many of you know, I have my own weird sense of style.. most of it being black and white. hahaha SO, as most of the living room suites come in 3-4 pieces, including a couch, a love seat, and 2 chairs, I decided to mix it up a bit and order 2 pieces of furniture completely black and 2 pieces of furniture completely white.  Putting aside your personal opinions as to if that will be nice or not (haha)... just answer me this question:  IS THAT SOOOO HARD TO UNDERSTAND? hahahaha 2 white, 2 black!!! It was clearly written on the order form that the nice man filled out.  And it wasn't our spanish haha We took a ecuadorian brother with us when we ordered it just to make sure there was no confusion! hahahaha

SOOOO what came off the truck???? 4 pieces of furniture, each with the bottom part of the furniture black and the top part white!!! WHAT!! They all looked like big, giant OREO cookies with the top missing!! Oh no no no this is not going to work!!!  I actually cried hahaha I know, it's a bit dramatic but WHAT A LETDOWN!!! haha

So... now you see.. as the very nice men loaded my furniture back onto the truck promising that they will remake mine to my specifications (which of course means another 2 or 3 or 12 weeks!!! hahaha) The lyrics for the song popped into my head... "sooooo close, yet so far away... yeah we're living in a dream world...."

ARGH!!!! Thanks for letting me vent!! hahaha

I will write soon with some great, encouraging, wonderful experiences of good 'ole ecuador! haha but, TONIGHT, as I sit here with a comforting glass of wine in my hand looking at my STILL empty living room, TONIGHT, Ecuador and I are NOT friends! hahahahahaha

Love you all..

Saturday, November 9, 2013

We're back safe and sound! :-)

Hello everyone! We are back and settling in here in Ecuador! A big thanks to everyone for making it such a
great visit! :-)  I am always a little bit down-in-the-dumps the first days back. But going back out in the ministry always helps me! This time was no exception! 

The sun has been shining! (I even got burnt the first day!)  We are in our tract campaign right now so that of course has eased me into preaching in spanish again (haha) Our bible students were very excited to see us! (Could it be because I bring them some Hershey's chocolate? hahaha) They always think we are never going to come back... funny.  

Specifically my little bible student, Michelle.  I called her a few days ago and asked if I could stop by and say hello and she says, "Thank you sooooo much for calling me! I have missed you sooo much!" So I stopped by (with my chocolate of course haha) and she and her younger brother sit down in the living room with me and proceed to tell me how they are discouraged because their parents haven't been going to the meetings (Michelle and her little brother Wilson, are publishers, but the parents aren't yet).  So we talked for a little bit and I asked them if they would like to go in service with me the next afternoon.  "Of course, hermanita!" Their eyes lit up and I gave them each a tract to read the night before and think about for the preaching the second day.  Well, I stopped by at 3pm to walk with them to the group and they were looking out the window for me! haha We walked to the group in the blazing sun (sorry if it is cold where you are right now haha).  We did territory for about an hour and then I had a return visit, so they went with me on the RV.  Little Wilson, who is about 10, paid such close attention on my return visit, he would look up the READ scriptures ahead of time for me and have them ready to read to the lady.  SOOOO cute.  When my call was done, we decided to walk all the way home instead of take the bus (it was about a 30min walk). So, I suggested that we give tracts to the people walking on the street.  They LOVED it!!! "Hermanita, Is it my turn? Can I give one to this lady?" Sooo cute.  I really didn't have to do to much because they were so excited when they would see someone walking toward us, they would be ready with their tracts in hand! All in all, I think I was more encouraged by the afternoon than they were and we had a WONDERFUL time.  

I asked little Wilson how school was going and he began to tell me about how his teacher wanted to force him to sing the national anthem.  He was nervous about it because she told him that if he didn't, he would receive a failing grade for the day.  So he went home and talked to his sister, Michelle, about it. She says, "Wilson, what is more important? To get 100% for the day? or please Jehovah?" Well, that was that.  He proudly went in the next day and told the teacher that it was more important for him to please his God Jehovah than to get a good grade for the day.  In the end, she didn't fail him, and he didn't have to sing! :-)
Awwwwwww.... so, Jehovah is helping me to get back into the swing of things here in the ministry. And using little kids to do it! haha

We send love to you all and big hugs!! Thanks again for taking such good care of us while we were in the USA!! We miss you all very much!

P.S. On a much more materialistic note (haha) I have ordered my long-awaited furniture for the living room (black and white of course SHOCKING!! haha) We have spent the week painting a few walls... I am SOOO excited! I owe a HUGE thanks to so many of you who over the past year and half have made contributions to my furniture fund!! YIPPEEEE!! I will send pictures when I have it all done! It should be a few weeks yet. They SAID that the furniture will be ready in a week, but by Ecuador standards that could be January... :-/ hahahahahahahaha

Have a great day everyone! :-)
Love, me

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Well hello! :-)

Hello everyone! How are things back home?  I hope you are all getting some warmer weather coming your way finally! 

Just an update on the goings on here in Cuenca.  We are both doing well, although Chad got the flu last week and very lovingly decided to share it with me :-) We are now recovering!

The congregation is good! We have had a few families move out to other congregations and some other congregations move in... all in all a balance!  We are excited to begin our D.C. invitation campaign.  Our convention is the last weekend of this month, here in Cuenca so we don't have to travel too far :-) The English convention is the first weekend in August so YIPPEEEEE! :-)

We have been good and very busy (aren't we all?) haha
The ministry has been great, as usual.  Recently Chad has been able to start studying with some of the husbands of a few of our sisters in the congregation! That is always a nice experience!  It is so great to see how the husbands really progress due to the great example of their wives all of these years!  And as an added bonus, Chad usually receives food because of course the sisters take real good care of him when he is on the study! :-)

I have a good group of bible studies right now.  This one little girl, her name is Michelle (haha) she is 12.  Oh my, what a bible student! She had studied before and got about 3/4 of the way through the Bible Teach book, but then her family moved and she lost touch and just hadn't really had a chance to study for a few months.  Well, they moved into our territory and came to one of or meetings and I sure grabbed a hold of that one fast! :-) The best place to find good studies? At our public talk and WT!!!! haha I make such a bee-line for the new faces they don't even know what hit them! :-) Seriously, you have no idea how many people just show up at a meeting.  Maybe they studied in the past, maybe they are just curious, have received literature somewhere in the past and wanted to see what it's all about!  (Well, I digress) haha 

ANYWAY... about Michelle!  I have had 2 studies with her so far.  So, I asked her how much of the Bible Teach book she has studied and she said up to Chapter 14.  But, she says, "But, please, could we do a review from the beginning to make sure that I didn't forget anything?" haha OF COURSE WE CAN!!!  She has not forgotten anything!  Some things she maybe never learned,,, but when we get to that, well, that is her homework assignment! You should see the excitement in her eyes as she writes down her homework assignment! She LOVES it! For example, the first week, I asked her about the Memorial and if she had attended.  She said yes, one time.  I asked her who partake of the emblems and why and she was so concerned as she told me she didn't remember!  So... the appendix was her homework! Who partake? Why? How many are there? When do we celebrate the Memorial? questions like that.  Also we covered the cross, she knew not to use it, but not sure why.  So I told her the next week I would be one of her classmates, and I wanted her to explain to me why we don't use the cross! :-)
(Bye the way, she gives me homework assignments, too.. like "Hermanita, next week I would like to you review this prophecy with me about Babylon (the one with Cyrus). Could you do that?" OF COURSE!!! haha)

Soooo, week 2 I get there for the study.  And she bought herself a special notebook just for her homework assignments :-). She had written notes about the Memorial and also about the cross.  She gave a little presentation on both topics... I was pretty much amazed at her maturity and knowledge... What can you expect from a "Michelle?" hahahahahahaha So again we continued through the book reviewing.  Her homework assignment this week is 1914 and how we use the bible to get to that date.  I almost felt bad giving it to her because it can be so challenging for some of the students to grasp... but I am sure she will explain it better than I can! :-) She really has been a joy to study with.

Let's see, what else? AHHHH if any of you remember the Criollo family? The ones that live up in the mountains? The 4 kids that study and were progressing and I was studying with the mom, Elena? Well, let me tell you!  Two of the kids are now regular pioneers, the other daughter is a regular auxiliary pioneer and the youngest is still in high school, but progressing very well!  Oh and Elena!!! What a sweetie! After we left their congregation, I turned her over to a very capable sister who took very good care of her.  But that sister also moved away and from there it was just a disaster.  Either the sisters weren't regular with her study, or their schedules didn't match, I am not quite sure, but she basically didn't study for about a year, although she faithfully attended all the meetings.  So about 6 months ago she is sadly telling me all this at the Circuit Assembly and I, as you can imagine, am ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED that my sweet little Elena has been neglected!!! So, I told her to think about the sisters in her congregation and choose one that she feels comfortable with! She thought about it for 10 minutes and then came up to  me with a name.  I didn't know the sister, so first, I had to ask around to make sure she was good enough for my Elena hahahahaa ANYWAY, this sister had a bible student with her at the assembly, so I was fairly confident that she would take good care of Elena.  

You should have seen the conversation.  Elena, of course, is extremely shy. So she goes with me but is hiding behind me. hahaha I think it went something like this... "Um, hi, you don't know me... My name is Michele.  I used to study with Elena. I think you know her? (As I am trying to pull her out from behind me) She needs someone to study the Bible with her. Would you be willing to take good care of her?" hahahaha And, as anyone would do, she readily accepted, they exchanged information and set up a day for the following week.  Well.... a few months later, not more that 3-4 I run into Elena on the street. She is SOOOOOOO excited! "Michelita (little michele haha) I just last week I enrolled in the TMS and I am now approved as an unbaptized publisher!!" Oh man, what an incredible sense of joy :-) She has since been a householder twice and is also preaching as much as her schedule allows her!  Just thought you would all enjoy that update on that precious little family!

Well, I started out this blog thinking "Whatever am I going to talk about?" hahaha It appears that I had more than I thought! Well, I have to go to work now! Nice chatting with you all! 

Oh and we are coming back for a visit mid-September through October! Hope to see you all! :-)