Today, we attended the meeting and listened to an exhilarating talk given by our one and only Francesco. It was great! After, we enjoyed a Watchtower study consideration from our newly returned elder, Mauricio. He and his wife just got back from a tour of Italy and France that lasted 3 weeks. They were celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary- how sweet. J
After I skipped out on telephone witnessing (sorry folks) and went to a 1 hr away beach with the sisters from the Spanish congregation. We enjoyed fried fish and huge waves!
After I returned home and rested up a bit and rejoined the girls at a local beach and we played Mafia. Guess who was the narrator? Me! I barely speak either Portuguese or Spanish- but somehow everyone enjoyed the game and they successfully beat the Mafia.
Later I went to work online and ended at 10:30am Monday morning.
Obviously I slept for a bunch of the day. I managed to make it to the beach for Public Witnessing with Marcia at 4:00pm. Later Marcia got traded for 1 sister from the English and another from the Italian group. During all this switching around- I met Benedetto. He is here on vacation from Italy and I simply said Bouna Sera. Since I was with the trolley which is stuffed with our publications- he knew why I was greeting him. What I come to find out is that he prayed to Jehovah that morning for help… Long story short, he used to study and wanted to attend meetings here and had no idea there was an Italian group here in Fortaleza. I invited him to the meeting and offered to pick him up. Hope he shows up! We ended up staying at the beach until 9pm!
This morning we did Italian territory and found an Italian man who’s lived here for 70 year. Dare I say he’s more Brazilian than Italian? Turns out that is the case- after a misdirected conversation with Francesco, we leave him with the magazine in Portuguese. However, the man was very kind and invited us in and attempted to consider chapter 2 of the Bible Teach Book. (Side note: Don’t ask me why home boy has the Proclaimers Book, Insight Book and loads of our publications in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, lol) After service, since we were exhausted from the heat and no-one wanted to cook- we ate at a delicious Sushi Buffet near our home that cost $2.29 or roughly $1USD per 100 grams. I ate abundantly for about $6USD! After I went home and napped and was back up by 2:30pm to join a pioneer sister on her studies.
While waiting for her study who works in a dress-shop the nearby shop-owner from Spain invited us in. We sat down and chatted about the bible and listened to his reasoning about the human spirit and reincarnation. He said he would welcome another visit- so we’ll definitely direct the Spanish brothers to him. After we went to conduct Marcia’s study. The trouble is- I almost blacked out from I guess heat exhaustion so I ended home by 3:30pm L I don’t know what happened! But I felt extremely weak, hot, I had a head-ache and my vision went dark. Obviously I drank water and slept for the next 3 hours straight. I woke up just in time to do a little Italian homework and head off to the Italian class at 7:30pm. It was a fun class since we were back up in numbers, last week was 6, today was 10.
After class we enjoyed pizza with the returned coupled from Italy and listened to perfectly timed and much-needed encouragement. The wife simply asked: “How are you girls doing? Are you happy here? Is everything OK? I know its hard being in a space that’s not your own, do you need anything?” That’s all I needed to express myself, because while the ministry, landscape and local friends are amazing, I was feeling neither physically well- obviously- nor emotionally well. *Note* Think carefully before planning an EXTENDED stay in a small space…I know this is all we can afford- but I might work the extra day if I need to – in order to have a just a tad bit more space….if you know what I mean…
Today I had the privilege of working at the couple’s school! I had the same responsibilities as last time except I knew everyone already so I enjoyed a relaxed and fun work atmosphere with great sisters! Lunch was stupendous! Thanks to my little episode yesterday I was told to rest. So I went outside to sit in a rocking chair to do some Bible reading. As a result I ended up meeting a special pioneer couple that was visiting the Assembly Hall. They were so sweet. They were in their 5th assignment and had only been married 8 years. The sister explained that they both were single-appointed special pioneers from different areas and someone suggested that they meet. So they wrote letters to each other and ended up getting married and continuing to serve together. That’s about the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.
At lunch though, I heard something even better. A couple who spoke English explained that the brother had made a list and served as a single person up until age 28 in a foreign language field. When he met his wife who was 10 years older than him, he knew she was the one because she was the list and they dated, got engaged and married within 6 months after having known each other for over 1 year and 1/2. Now they are together at the Couple’s school awaiting their assignment. So cute!
Then my friend, who brought me to the School, tells me her marriage story. She got married at 16- but had already been attending meetings and had gotten baptized while her parents went inactive. She was basically alone in the truth and was already working to support herself. Therefore she wasn’t a naive 16 year old but a rather mature one. She and her husband have 2 daughters serving Jehovah and they now serve in the Italian field, him as an elder and her as a pioneer. 3 very different ways or finding mates and 3 great outcomes. Interesting…
After the school I washed clothes, painted my nails and made a delicious salad with my veggies from last week. I combined beets, carrots, onions, an apple, honey, vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice and zest for a tasty yet healthy treat.
Thiane joins us this morning and we do territory and return visits. Honestly something awesome probably happened by I really CANNOT remember! I only remember leaving magazines at hotels in various languages such as German and English.
Later I met English at 3:15pm. There were only 2 sisters and they were going to walk to do territory. Good thing I showed up with the car. Everyone was not at home or away in their home country today.. WHY??? Between a few addresses we looked at a few apartments- prices ranged from $600RL/month with no furniture to $1200RL with everything (flat screen TV, Panini grill- you name it)… Finally we reach our last address since it was getting dark. The address was 1 such and such street with an apartment number. There was no #1, the lowest number was 31. After asking at 3 buildings we were thinking to give up…finally at a 4th- a passerby overheard us say the name of the person. She knew him and pointed out the building across the street- it was number 263…so odd! Any who, we go and ring the bell- at least the apartment # is the same as what we have written. A man answers- I take the door because he’s from the UK, a missionary and supposedly nice. The last time he was contacted was in March by Special Pioneers who no longer serve in Fortaleza. For whatever reason- I switch up my presentation. Beeepppp.. “Hello. Do you speak English? My name is Alana and I am working with a local group that reaches out to foreigners in the area, Do you think you will ever see your dead loved ones again?” Hey – it just happens to the topic on the back of the Oct. WT. He says, “1 minute..” Seconds later he appears at the gate. We consider the 1st paragraph and read all the scriptures. He asks but where will we be resurrected to? As his wife and 3 kids pull up- I point out the next sub heading- What will the resurrection be like… He agrees to another visit to answer his question. Just like that I got my first English speaking visit! How awesome was that!?
After the girls from English head to the beach for night witnessing and I head home. I have a talk tonight and guess who’s coming to the meeting and needs a ride? Benedetto! Francesco, Naomi and Priscilla join me to pick him up. He’s ready with white shirt and tie, clean-shaven and tennis shoes. But he made it! I give the Number 2 talk and guess what my setting is? Beach witnessing. Pretty realistic- I think.. Thiane was an awesome house-holder and when I didn’t stick to the script- she kept it going!
During the meeting we have an announcement that Paira Central, our congregation, has received a new special pioneer couple that will be handling the Chinese field. They are a bright-eyed young couple from Brasilia. After the meeting they join us for gelato with Benedetto. Of course we choose an Italian place to satisfy our sweet tooth. At 11pm or so the couple bids us goodnight as the owner of the place pulls up a chair. For over an hour we have a bible based discussion all in Italian about the current state of affairs- increase in violence, the economy and overall shift for the worst on a global scale. At midnight we wave good night and the owner leaves with the brochure A Book for All People. What an amazingly LONG DAY!
Somehow I actually wake up in time to do service at 8:45. This morning we hit a gold mine of Italians at an Italian café. We encountered 4 upon arrival. 1 was depressed due to the death of a sibling and was near tears and listened intently to Francesco. He agreed to attend a meeting and said he would like to receive a visit to speak further. We noted his residence info and promised to stop by before Sunday. After we realized that we needed 15 more minutes to make 3 hours. So what do we do? We head to the beach. Literally as we step foot on the beach 2 young Italians walk by… After a pleasant interchange and leaving a tract and a magazine, guess what time it was? 12! Lol
The English group was at 3:30pm and we went on the hunt to find hidden or badly- recorded addresses. I abruptly had to stop when I received a call from the insurance company for the car that I am borrowing. They needed to take pictures of the car- so I stopped before 5pm. After that got sorted out I accompanied Francesco and Alex on a bible study of the owner of the best Italian restaurant in Fortaleza! Tonight was the 3rd time- you go head Francesco! After we met the friends at the beach and divided into pairs. I was with Alex and I bought my first Fortaleza keepsake- a huge hammock for only $35RL. In the meantime we found a few Italians and bunch of misses- sometimes my hunches can be SO OFF. Lol
After service we ate at Habib’s. A fast-food like restaurant that serves middle-eastern style food and
burgers- weird combination if you ask me. I don’t have to do back…L
Today, we had enough people to have 2 car groups! We do far away territory and don’t find anyone L After lunch at the Japanese Market, a new photo for my CAN you NAME the FRUIT collection, and a rest we regroup at 3:45pm. This time we have 10 people wow! We find an Italian man who owns a restaurant that combines Brazilian and Italian food- definitely made a note to go back- not to preach but to eat. He was working that churassco like a native and he’s only been living here for 1 and ½ years! We try to visit the depressed man to confirm for tomorrow’s meeting- but he wasn’t in L At 7pm we regroup for beach witnessing and we end up eating Subway(not met for crying out loud) and shrimp!! I totally suggested the shrimp! $12RL for 500 grams of garlic soaked shrimp!! YUMMY! A funny incident was Clea-one of the sister was convinced not 3 but 4x that certain people were Italian- but instead we met people from Sao Paolo, Portugal and Fortaleza! Yikes! Lol
Tonight I will sleep well! It has been a full week! Only 30 something more days to go!
(Sad note- today I went to wash the car and dropped my Samsung Galaxy in the bucket of water- WHY??) It is resting in a container of rice. If I can revive it, I can post the pictures from this week!
sisters working at couples school
me and special pioneer I met on my break
food at couples school
lunch at couples school. we get to sit with the couples! and listen to morning worship!
young brother who took the lead in the absence of the couple who usually does
beach day on Sunday
Meeting Thursday night, guess which is my beach buddy...