Thursday, September 27, 2012

Daily Life

We live almost 2 miles from the Kingdom Hall so we usually take a taxi to the meeting for service and try to walk to the center of town and take a camioneta for our ride home. A taxi costs 20 cordobas ($.85) for each person. A camioneta is 3.5 cords ($0.15) This is a camioneta. It is usually really packed no one has personal boundary issues!

There are 2 supermarkets here owned by Walmart, so they have good exchange rates and a lot of U.S. brands and foods, but of course they are more expensive than local things. We get most of our things from there except veggies and fruits which are cheaper in the open air market. Here is an example of one of these markets. 

There are also many people who walk around selling tortillas, pastries, or avocados like this man is selling. 

Also many people have businesses out of their homes, where they sell snack foods, drinks, etc. This is called a pulperia. Which is really nice because you know anywhere in the territory you will always be able to find a cold drink. 


I love to order the refrescas naturales (natural drinks) made from different fruits. My favorite is mango. 
You have to drink it out of a bag, (like Dez is above) the bigger bags have straws in them.

Desmond has started three bible studies and Shannon has started two. 
Last week on tuesday night at the meeting a young man came to meeting, Reynaldo. He told Desmond how someone used to come and visit him but hasn't been back for a while so he decided to come to the Kingdom Hall. He really enjoyed the YPA question and answer, and asked Dez to bring the DVD over the next day so he could watch it and be prepared for next week as well. He was waiting for Dez, wednesday morning, they watched the DVD and began Chapter 11 of the Bible Teach book. 

We often come home tired and sweaty(last week on Tuesday we calculated we walked over 4 miles) but full of contentment. We are really enjoying having a full share in the ministry without any distractions. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

District Convention

Our convention for the English circuit is in San Salvador, El Salvador. We left at around 5 a.m. Thursday (Sept 6th), we didn't arrive in San Salvador until midnight! It was quite an adventure!

Let's see what happened first! When we were getting ready to  leave the house to meet the rest of the friends at the hall....Shannon fell into some sort of drain, but we don't think anything's broken. We had some problems leaving Nicaragua, one of the brother's passport was missing a special stamp. We sat there for about 4 hours. Then we headed into Honduras, where we were stopped many times within the country.

Finally we arrived at the border of El Salvador! We had to wait here for about 2 hours with the same previous problem. 

We met some of the local San Salvador brothers at a museum near the convention site, they were expecting us at 4 p.m. but they waited for us to arrive at midnight! They were so welcoming and hospitable! They drove us to wherever we were staying.

San Salvador is really different than Leon it is pretty big and is more comparable to U.S. cities. Here are a few pics:

The first day of the convention was awesome! Some of the brothers in our hall had parts. Scarlett was afraid to informally witness to her neighbor (Hazel).

 Lydia helped Scarlett to see how to prepare for informally witnessing.

Theo handled the part in the afternoon symposium on informal witnessing. All three of our elders had parts this convention, and Theo had two.

We met some really nice friends at the convention. It included all the English congregations and groups in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. We met the Kings, Stephen and Lona who are from Ontario and have been serving on the Honduras island of Roaton for the past year. They decided to move there when they heard of a horrible plane accident which killed three of the elders in that congregation.

We also met some very hospital local friends, the Marins, who go to the local English congregation Antiguo Cochatlan. They saw us walking to catch a taxi back to the hotel and picked us up and took us for some authentic Salvadorian food. Also on Saturday they took us to the mall and to get Mexican, we definitely met some new family. Milton (14), Ornada, and Erick.

This is Desmond eating empenadas, made out of a plaintain dough and full of a cream cheese or beans!

This is me eating a papoosas, it's a flat tortilla filled with beans and pork. Yummy!

Here's the couple we are staying with for the full 6 months, Miguel and Michelle Martinez.
They may look familiar!!! Michelle is from Ruckersville congregation in VA.

So we had an eventful trip to the convention! It was so encouraging and very much like an international convention with locals from central america, as well as Americans, Brits, and Australians!
It took about 12 hours to get home on Monday. We were all very very happy to be home!!! We're excited to get back into the field!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Our Arrival!

We arrived in Managua, Nicaragua on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. A local brother whose is a cab driver picked us up from the airport. His name is Norman, he is 32 and the coordinator of his body of elders. He used to be a temporary special pioneer in Bluefields (english congregation).

 There are no house numbers in Leon, but our house is located on the 2nd entrance of Saint Matthew (Segunda Entrada de San Mateo) that's how we let the taxis know where to take us. Here are some pics of the house.

This door leads out into a courtyard and there is a bedroom, bathroom, and utility room.

Yesterday, September 1st was our first day of service with the Leon English Congregation. Although there are some Americans and Europeans living here, it seems that the interest is mainly with the local Nicaraguans whom have learned or are hoping to learn English. Many think they are learning about the Bible to practice their English but then are moved by what they learn to become Jehovah's Witnesses. According to the Mexico Branch, English is the fastest growing language in the countries they oversee.  Each territory is divided in city blocks, with descriptions of each house with an english speaking person. Desmond went with a brother on return visits. I was able to talk to a medical student and a young man who speaks English, I hope to return on them in a few weeks.

We went to our first meeting today, they asked Desmond to be the chairman a few minutes before the meeting! There are 24 publishers, 12 pioneers, 3 elders, and 3 servants(including Dez), meeting attendance is around 30 -35. A local brother gave the public talk and the simplified version of the Watchtower is used as a basis for the reading and questions.
This is the brother who gave the talk Nathan Leviolett and his wife, Ashley, and their baby Lilly. They have been here 4 years (well not the baby). He is one of the elders and they will be returning to the States in September for 2 months.

Here are some pics of the Kingdom Hall. The English meets at 9:30 a.m. and a Spanish congregation meets at 5:00p.m.

The congregation is very friendly and hospitable, we are really enjoying ourselves! We hope to have some good experiences to share with everyone shortly.