Sunday, February 10, 2013

1st Day of Service

So, we're all settled in Playa del Carmen.  The first thing we do is head off to field service with the Italians.  So I call the Kingdom Hall as listed on the website and lo and behold it's the wrong address!  So Andrea saves us and makes a few phone calls.  Turns out the Italians are going to Tulum to preach today and they are leaving at 1pm from downtown.  So Emily and I bought ourselves some extra time, since we were going to late as it was anyways.  So we walk from home to downtown, a wooping 40 blocks or so!  But we get to see all the "sights" and trips on the greasy sidewalks every 5-10 min.  I say "sights" because we live in Colossio, an area of Playa that's sorta ghetto.  Tomorrow I will take pics to show our neighborhood.  But it's just a local area that is NOT touristy and not safe after dark.  We eat at the local Walmart and reach the meeting spot at 12:30pm.  We wait and by 1:20pm chuckle, all the Italians have arrived.  We are 8 all together and we hop on a Convi, a van, and head down to Tulum, about 40min south (sounds just like service back in CT.)  We reach and meet another couple in the grocery store, and 2 sisters visiting from Italy outside who arrive on bikes.  Outside the store we make "walking" groups since there are no cars and say a prayer.  I end up with one of the sisters from Rome who leaves Saturday to go back to Italy.  A brother and his wife who are serving here for 6 months gives us a map and instructs us to do 5 blocks, all 4 sides each and sends us on our way while he walks with his wife to do some return visits.

The sister and I embark on the first block.  By the 2nd side we meet an Italian man selling Sugar Cane Juice from a cart he has assembled on his car.  He is agnostic and doesn't really want to discuss religion.  But then his buddy comes out from the kitchen next to the cart and he mentions that he is religious.  We end up talking for over 30 minutes with both guys and read 2 scriptures.  The Italian sister places 2 magazines, the January set.  The one about the end of the world with the religious one and the one about raising children with the initial man because he has a 14 year old son.  They both accept and say they'd talk again if we're in the area!  AWESOME!! We met straight up Italians! And they were YOUNG! Both were 42 and under I would say. We turn the corner and write down the experience so the brothers can follow up.

Next we cross to the other side of the street and ask for Italians at a restaurant.  There we meet a young Sicilian in his 20s.  He was nice and we place a truth tract with him.  He was very hippie and go with the flow but didn't think our actions could change anything about world conditions.   Yet he also agreed to speaking with the witnesses again.  After this experience we meet back up with the couple and I switch partners.  The next Italian speaking person we find is a Mexican who works in a restaurant.  We turn that corner and stand in front of a place called Trattoria Romana and me and the sister are saying to each there must be someone there who speaks Italian.  Immediately the server walks up to us and says BOUN GIORNO!  That was easy.  He was busy attending to customers but accepts a truth tract.  As we walk away we see him sharing the tract with a co-worker who probably also speaks Italian.

To sum up, there are Italians in Mexico and there is need.  How are 18 people supposed to cover territory in 3 cities without cars!  (We have visits in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancun.)  We meet back with everyone else around 5:30 and hop back on the Convi to head back to Playa.  By the time we reach it is dark and we all go our separate ways.  What a day of service!  It was in a nutshell: AWESOME!

PS.  A funny experience was while preaching we run into some brothers from the Mayan and English congregations in Tulum.  While chatting with English friends the tables turn and I have to translate for the Italians because they don't speak any English, just thought that was funny.

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