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! :-)