Sunday, March 18, 2012

Service and Food!

The next day I woke up and met with another brother staying at the same hotel as me.  He was having a bible-based discussion with a man visiting from Germany.  They were discussing everyone’s favorite subject-THE TRINITY.  The man was saying that there was some scripture somewhere in John that translates Jesus saying “I am”.  But he didn’t know where or what the rest of the scripture said.  The brother tried to reason with the man and quote scriptures , since his bible was in Spanish and not English.  I added my 2 cents and mentioned for him to look up the scripture at Acts 7:55,56 when he got a chance.  Then the brother and I ran over to the house of Linda and sat down to pancakes, eggs and coffee.  Yum!  The group for service was at 8am.  There were like 26 people out that day!  This was leaps and bounds from before the congregation got served 11 pioneers from Mexico on Route assignments.  (*Note,  the Route is a new arrangement from the Mexico Branch that is very similar to unassigned territory in the States.  Individual regular or auxillary pioneers sign up months in advance.  The assignments began in January and run through to June.  Each person can decide to sign up for a 1-6month assignment in a rural area.  Some of these people have never been preached to!  My friend Linda was on a 2 month assignment in Omentepe, the other pioneers were there was various amounts of times.  Linda was serving with father. )  Before hardly anyone would be out in service on a Friday, especially because they have no pioneers.  In fact the entire island of Omentepe only has 2 special and 2 regular pioneers living there!  We did a territory right in town and preached house over house to the locals.  We preached until about 11am.  My Spanish was horrible but I managed to place a truth tract as well as a All Suffering Soon to End tract.  My partner was nice Mexican sister from Mexico City.  We received bananas from a door that she took. 

After service we walked home and began to prepare lunch.  After all, Linda and I had to feed the brother from Costa Rica, the one from Mexico, her father and another brother, the one from my hotel who I met in Granada but lives in Canada.  After lunch we met up with 2 other sisters and took a private taxi to a lovely pool of water called Ojos de Agua.  This is a beautiful retreat that features a river that flows over volcanic rock that is natural and provides a mineral bathing experience.  It only cost $2 to get in for the entire day!  We bathed and enjoyed each other's company.  Afterwards, we hiked to the top of the hill for a great view of both of Omentepe’s active volcanos: Conception y Maderas.   After dark our taxi took us home and we prepared dinner and then went to sleep.

The next morning we ate a healthy breakfast of Oatmeal and fruit and then met the group at the Kingdom Hall.  Today we had even more people out in service!  We caught the bus to the rural territory.  This was crazy since there were so many of us and so many of the locals.  The bus was packed and we literally had to exit the bus using the back emergency door because there was no way we could get out through the front.  Then we walked another mile or so to the territory.  Then something epic happened, I discovered the Tamarid tree.  This is now my favorite treat!  I picked up the pods and stuffed them into a purse.   They have a sweet and sour tasting paste surrounding a seed.  YUM!  We preached until 10:30 .  This territory was way out and was lined with mango trees that the brothers ate from on our little sitting down break.  I got to put my knife to good use peeling the mangos.  We then went off to do a study: Linda, Efren, her dad and I.  I asked were they sure that we could bring 4 people on to one study.  Don’t worry Linda said.  We hoped to hitch a ride to the top of the long gradual incline that led to the study but NO CAR came our way.  But this afforded us the opportunity to see MONKEYS!!! There were over a dozen of them lurking in the trees on the side of the road.  Finally we reached the study.  No lie, the WHOLE FAMILY sat in on the study.  There were like 8 people present besides us.  There were 4 generations represented at the study.  Everyone who could read had their bible teach books and bibles out.  The older and infirmed ones listened in and offered comments.  I was able to participate by Linda’s dad translating my comments and questions.  It seriously was like a book study!  After the study the family gave us a huge bag of Starfruits to take home.  Then we started the trek back to the town.  This time we hitched a ride.  You won’t believe who picked us up!?  An Italian couple!  I spoke to them in Italian and Linda placed a Spanish Watchtower with them-man I knew I should’ve brought my Italian literature to the island!  We then reached the bus-stop and caught the bus the rest of the way home.  The men went off to a study and Linda and I prepared lunch.  We then ate and attended the meeting.  Afterwards we invited the congregation over and we ate Nacatamales.  (A traditional Nicaraguan dish similar to a Mexican tamale but more squishy).  After everyone left we prepare our Watchtowers together for the next day.  As we took turn reading, the lights went out and we lit candles and finished the preparation.  I slept contently that night as a party raged next door, blasting the newest Merengue, Bachata and Reggaeton hits.

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