Monday, December 24, 2012

Circuit Assembly-Safeguard your Mind

Last weekend we had our Circuit Assembly.
We traveled by minibus almost 2 hours to the assembly hall in Ticuantepe. 
We left from the hall on 7a.m. on Friday (pioneer meeting and assembly hall cleaning)
and 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Here we are waiting for the bus.

Although our circuit includes El Salvador, Honduras, and groups in Guatamala,
our assembly was only for the congregation and groups in Nicaragua.

Here are some pictures of the assembly hall:

This also used to be the location of the Nicaraguan branch, but after the consolidation to Mexico, there are just translation offices. 

The largest attendance was 337 and 2 were baptized, including a sister from our hall Thalia and
a Canadian sister.

Here is Desmond doing some cleaning before the pioneer meeting on Friday:

A few of us took a break from cleaning to play with the baby: 
                                                            me and Lily

           Lily, me, Mariela

 Sergio and Lily

The pioneer meeting was wonderful! The District Overseer stressed the need for publishers in the English speaking field of Central America. Saying it is a hot spot even more so than Mexico.

Many of the friends in our congregation had parts(including each of our 3 elders):
 Mariela (soliloquoy on suggestions on making return visits) and Nathan

 Theo, with Sergio and Pat(giving him tips on fitting personal study into his schedule)

I (Shannon) also had the privilege of being interviewed by a brother in the Granada congregation about supporting the groups for service and the benefits of assisting others in the ministry.

Many of our friends also had parts on the circuit assembly.

 Miguel gave the #3 talk on the TMS, the District Overseer Brother Chobar called him a "seasoned speaker"

Me and Desmond had a skit with "our son" Moises. Here is the link to part 1 of the clip:

Please let us know how our acting skills are!

Here is a picture of our little family:
yes he is Nicaraguan and a 22 yr old pioneer brother from Chinadega.

 We also had the excitement of gaining a new sister, Thalia.

 Thalia studied with Ashlee (pictured here with hubby, Nate and baby Lily)

 Elfa, Thalia, Fanny, and Mariela

Being down here we have realized what a small world Jehovah's organization is. We ran into two sisters who know Josh C. from Charlottesville, they served with him Puerto Rico. They have been here for 3 months serving in small Spanish group in the mountains near the town of Masaya.
 Laura, Didi, and me
Thanks to these sisters I might see some familiar faces in a few months.

Here are some of the young people in our congregation:
 Caleb(pioneer brother visiting from St. Louis), Fanny, Sergio, Mariela, Sergito (visits from Spanish)

These are two friends who should be in the English but are still in VeraCruz Spanish (which is 5 minutes outside of Leon)
 Marian and Enrique

 Scarlett and Theo who are going back to the states for a few months!
 We're going to miss them!

After a wonderful weekend everyone was tired but in high spirits on the way home. See this clip of the friends singing Kingdom melodies on the bus:

And when we got back to the hall, one of the couples that from the sign language hall were selling shawarma ( made with homemade tortillas, chicken, lettuce, tomato, and their special sauce. We all got a yummy dinner for 50 cords ($2) each.
Thanks Colton and Indira !


Thursday, December 6, 2012

3 Months Down, 3 More To Go!!!

We are half way through our trip! We are finally feeling adjusted to the congregation, the ministry, and to the
town of Leon.

Puerto Sandino
Two Fridays ago, we went to a little beach town about 45 minutes away from Leon, called Puerto Sandino. It is much smaller than Leon but has a large population of people from Bluefields which is on the eastern coast of Nicaragua. Many of the people from Bluefields are descendants of runaway slaves and speak an English Creole as their first language.

We met many people who are interested in studying the Bible and we hope to return in a few weeks. Here
are some pictures:

This is where were preaching with Cali a sister visiting from Indiana.

This picture includes two more visiting sisters, Renee and Cheyenne, and Desmond.

Chelsea, Cheyenne, Cali and Renee.

The river in these pictures are home to large crocodiles. So of course many of the locals stir clear of it.

Two Sundays ago, Desmond had another outgoing talk to Chinandega which is 45 minutes away from Leon towards the border of Honduras. Here are pictures of the Kingdom Hall:

There are 24 publishers in this congregation, with 5 elders (one working in Australia right now), 2 ministerial servants, and 14 pioneers.

One of the couple's looked familiar....
Kyle and Melissa, from the Walkil, NY area. They visited the Rising Sun congregation 2 1/2 years ago shortly before coming to Nicaragua.

The friends in the congregation were so hospitable, Steve and Elkie (Australian) took us to a nice restaurant.

And most of the congregation came along:

Leon Congregation

At the suggestion of the Circuit Overseer, last week our congregation set up a table at La Union, a supermarket owned by Walmart, that a lot of foreigners shop at.
The table was setup from Wednesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Some literature was placed and four people requested a bible study. Here is me (Shannon) and Brad (one of the elders in the congregation:

Each week the brothers will be moving the table to different locations, to see which has the best results. It's nice to be able to sit for a little while!

This past month we had a lot of visitors:

Corinna (a pioneer sister from Sacremento, CA) and her little sister, Anna (who is currently studying). They stayed 2 weeks.

We also had six sisters from Indiana who visited for a month:

Above: Skye and Cali and their fleshly sister Ashlee (who lives here) and niece Lily 

Cheyenne and Jacqueline.

They also had an opportunity to do demonstrations before they left.

Chelsea and Cheyenne demonstrating the presentation for the Watchtower and Awake.

 Renee and Jacqueline reenacting a good presentation with the tracts.

In order to show them our appreciation and say bye, we had a dance party!!!

It was a lot of fun!!

Both Desmond and I are enjoying our trip so far! We have really been developing our skills in the ministry especially our teaching skills. We are becoming really attached to our students (3 each) and will hate leaving them in a few months.

Thanks everyone for your love and support!!

Monday, November 19, 2012


A few weeks ago, Desmond gave his first outgoing public talk in the Granada English Congregation.
In order to get to Granada, we hitched a ride with friends to the Managua bus station (1.5 hours away) and
then took a bus to Granada (45 minutes).
Granada is very similar to Leon with a lot of churches and parks, but it is a smaller city but a larger tourist attraction, so their territory consists of more foreigners.

This is the family we stayed with:

Lisa and Ed and their daughter, Brianna. They are from Chicago and have been serving in Granada for 2 years. They have 2 more sons, one in Patterson and the other in the States.
They were very hospitable and their home was beautiful. This is a view from our bedroom:

The artwork in Granada is so colorful and beautiful.

We also really enjoyed visiting the congregation.
 Here are pictures of the Kingdom Hall, very similar to Leon:

(no Desmond did not give his talk with sunglasses on his head, he was just arranging his notes.
This congregation has 20 publishers 2 elders and 2 servants, and 14 pioneers.

The other elder Jimmy and his wife took us for hospitality They are in their 70s and have been in Granada for about 2 years as well. He also takes donations for sound equipment and installs them free of charge throughout Nicaragua and soon to be spreading to Honduras as well.

Granada is a very interesting city, we were able to take a tour of it in a horse drawn carriage here are some pictures:

This is Xalteva Church

This is the cathedral in Central Park and below is the Park (where we found our horse-drawn carriage)

As we are riding in the carriage we can see the Mombacho volcano in the distance:

Below is Fortaleza la Polvoro. The fort was originally built in 1748 to protect the city's gunpowder supply and ward off pirates

This is Guadalupe Church built in 1626.

Below: This is me and Dez in front of the Granada train station. The railway system has been obsolete in Nicaragua since the early 2000s.

This is the Maria Auxiliadora Church

This is the Calvario Church

Below are pictures of Lake Cocibolca (also known as Lake Nicaragua), is the 10th largest fresh-water lake on earth and is inhabited by Bull Sharks, informally named the Nicaragua Shark.

This lake is featured in 2009 watchtower September 1 pages 25-27. "The Treasure's of Central America's Largest Lake"

We hope to visit again and explore the islets on the Lake as well as the Volcano!