Last day of the C.O. visit, so we met as a group in the morning for service. Today I drove and used my nifty map to find the streets! Woo hoo! No GPS needed! They were all not at home- but we were successful. The only problem was that after service when I decided to “feel” my way home I almost gave the native sister a heart attack because I we took a highway that had NO END and then I had to turn around in a Farvela! Yikes! But we made it out OK.
After lunch and a nap I joined the sisters in the Spanish congregation for what I thought would be a stroll on the beach, instead we roller bladed at the beach. Not necessarily my strength- but I survived and made it in time for our evening meeting with the abbreviated WT and encouraging talk from the C.O. (Honestly I am going in English again in a few weeks- because I was lost most of the time).
I started working online at midnight and finished at 8am whew!
I woke up in time to do trolley witnessing with Marcia at 3:30pm. Today was interesting because we had 3 very interesting interactions. The first was with 2 young Italian guys from Sardania on vacation. I was rolling the trolley to sunny spot so the sister and I could take the photos below. What ended up happening was I walking behind the Italian with the trolley. So I said in Italian “ Boun giorno. Non sono segiendo voi, sembra, pero non e vero.” Then 1 of them turned and said are you speaking to me? I replied, yes you speak Italian don’t do? (This was all in Italian) She I parked the trolley and we chatted for a few minutes. We talked about traveling, Italy America, places he had visited that I hoped, the differences between Fortaleza and Miami, everything except the bible. That’s why I like the trolley- it’s clear as day who we are. After a few minutes, Marcia asked him would he like something to read in Italian, he quickly refused and said he knew all about Jehovah’s Witnesses from being in Italy and that he was all good. That pretty much shut down the conversation, but I can’t remember how but somehow his friend ended up with the Pornography magazine in his hand. After this I waved goodbye and told them to enjoy their stay here in Fortaleza. (See Friday to see how this interaction continued…)
Another funny interaction was when the sister went to buy 2 green coconuts for us to drink- a guy passed by the trolley and waved. I waved back. He approached me and asked for a picture with me. (In English). I asked him why? He then started fiddling with the magazines on the trolley saying he has them at home. They were September magazines, so I reached into my personal bag and offered him October. As I was reaching, he ran away! When the sister returned I remarked that unordinary things always seemed to happen at the trolley when she stepped away lol.
That night I stayed at the beach until 7:30pm when the Italian met up with us. We preached at the beach until 9:00pm.
This morning we went out in Italian and did search work near the beach. We left magazines in the buildings and hotels where Italians lived or would frequent. On the street I see a foreigner and ask him what language he speaks. Then I immediately realize that he has an Italian Watchtower in his hand- oh no the only sister have already talked with him! He engages in conversation about being a foreigner here and the low level of security and in general life in Brazil. Meanwhile the other sisters catch up to us. Then through conversing he reveals that he has studied the Bible before and was stumbled because someone told him that only baptized Witnesses would be saved in Armageddon. We compositely share scriptures with him, show him the website www.jw.org, since one sister had her Tablet, and another sister shares her personal experience about when she had stopped serving Jehovah and how she came back…it was amazing! And the whole conversation was in ITALIAN! He really was listening and I hope he really examines the scriptures and can come to the true conclusion not just what someone said. He seemed to be really sincere.
Later, after lunch and a nap I met with Marcia and did her Portuguese bible studies. Later we had Italian class and although we were only 6- we had a great time. Naomi upped the ante with a power point based game to help practice feminine and masculine words. Man, there are so many exceptions! Whew! And we started the verbs essere and avere and ALL the 16 tenses! Crazy!
Another nice morning in Italian service. This morning we did weekday not at homes. We go to one building and the Italian guy is actually home and what’s more, he invites us up! We meet in the hallway and Francisco starts a study. Just like that! They discussed the entire first chapter of the Require Brochure and read ALL THE SCRIPTURES! There are 6 scriptures in those 3 paragraphs. Matteo was super friendly and said that he wanted to continue! After that experience we were “done” in terms of if everyone else slammed the door on us- we were content. But the day doesn’t stop there! We do a call kind of far away in Paira del Futuro- and when we were about to finish I remember a lead that someone at the mall gave us- when we first did census 2 weeks ago. There was a Pousada called Alegria. Lo and behold we meet Andrea. Rough at first but kind in the end. While he didn’t except anything he invited us for pizza- which we definitely will do!
Afternoon service was at 3pm- we do 2 hours, and 1 entire hour was spent waiting in the car with another sister. Why? Because Francisco started ANOTHER STUDY with an older Italian man in the Bible Teach Book! Today we were just on fire!
At the end of the day we go on first night-time outing. I try for the first time draft wine- it’s a combo of beer and wine that only 1 restaurant has on tap. It was interesting… J But the Parmesan sausage was definitely on point. We also met a couple and sister from the Spanish congregation. Nice way to end a spiritually exhilarating day!
We hit the streets again, and this time we do search work again. Francisco and I literally encounter Italian after Italian and the majority listened. He is going to have so many visits and studies- hopefully he won’t leave! In 1.5 hours we met 6 native Italians.
In the morning we do a mix of Italian and Portuguese. When Naomi broke off to do her study I visited the local fruit and veggie market. So much better than the supermarket! There was so much variety and for $4.09 I bought a bag of cashews, beets, peppers, and Macaraua (the sleep inducing fruit).
At 12’o’clock we get invited to lunch with an elder and his wife and it was SPECTACULAR! It was a Rodizio restaurant. We just did the buffet- but for $2.99/ 100 grams which is $1.35 USD, we ate seafood, salad, sushi, rice dishes, pasta dishes, pickled stuff, fried stuff, you name it they had it! Then we got to the meats! I had lamb, sausage and rare meat. SOOO GOOD! Then the dessert cart came- that Cashew cake was sooooo delicious! After, I barely wanted to go back out- lol. But I met with the English and drove for them since no one had a car.
At 7:30 we met with the Italians at the beach and guess who we see basically at 7:30 on the dot? My 2 buddies from Monday. They immediately approach me and the group and shake hands and introduce themselves. Whoa! I was in shock. Guess who starts talking about the bible? The one who rejected the magazines! He and his friend talk for over an hr! His friend sort of hung back while Fabio approached me. He dives into a discussion about why God permits suffering and he wants 5 minute answer. You know that didn’t happen. 40 minutes into the conversation, I walk over to his friend who had pretty much wrapped up whatever he was speaking about with 2 brothers from our group and I tell him it’s going to be awhile because his friend asked a deep question. I tell him that Fabio wants to know about suffering, and then he explains to me that it’s the hand on the “Who Really Controls the World” tract. I was impressed- he had actually learned something well enough to tell others! 20 minutes later Fabio waves good bye and I notice that he has the Bible Teach Book in hand and we overhear his friend ask him as they walk away- so what they say? They were bound to have some deep conversation later on that night! Mind you all this was in Italian! You tell me if there’s need in Fortaleza in Italian or not..
Today was different. We met at 8am because we actually worked WITH the Portuguese congregation. Why? Because we combined to do census work all together! With 50 people out- we definitely covered way more than our measly 16. Later we’ll hear about the ones found from this concerted effort- but I am confident it yielded fruit. We also were instructed to ask for foreigners in general- not just Italians since we received a couple who are here specifically to start up the Chinese and Korea field! Awesome!
After service we had a “festa” with pasta, guacamole (me), a cake, sausage, rice, a pool, brief samba lessons and lots of laughter and Italian. It was great!
the fruit of sweet dreams
my treats from the market
elder and wife who invited us to lunch
my and CO wife
francesco in service
territory if you look close you can see the ocean