Friday, December 27, 2013

Pioneer Day at the Beach!!

On Christmas Day we went to the beach to do some search work in Poneloya and Las Penitas, the beach about 20 minutes from Leon. Many people in Leon travel to the beach with their families on the holidays so we only stayed a half a day, because it can get pretty rowdy in the evenings.

We had a nice, productive day.

Here are some pictures:

 the friends waiting on the corner for our micro bus

 we walked along the beach front to find some permanent english-speaking people

 Aileen, Mery, David, Avery, Sumanta, Forest, me and Corina

 waiting for directions from Chris 

a cool house Corina and Forest found in the territory, unfortunately no one was home. 

A few of us rewarded our hard work with a delicious fish lunch. 

Corina eating the eye. 

Overall a few studies were started and many other english speakers were found so that a more detailed territory can be created for the beach area. 

Back in Leon!!

We have been back in Leon for the past two weeks! Due to some unexpected circumstances we will only be here until the end of February.

When we returned we saw a lot of new faces. Although the congregation only has 32 publishers, meeting attendance has been 60-70 because of the many visitors that have come and helped out over the past few months.

Most of the remaining visitors will be leaving at the end of the month, but here are some pictures of these self-sacrificing friends.

Percy and Ember from Atlanta, GA-stayed one month

 Shane, Cindy, and Michael from Atlanta, GA
staying 2 weeks

 Audrey and David- Nazareth, Pennsylvania stayed two weeks

 Taylor and Devin from Pennsylvania stayed 2 months

 Avery and Asia from Tennessee stayed 1.5 to 2 months

 The Gayle family sons are 9, 11, and 14 from Atlanta, GA and stayed 2 weeks

me and Dez pictured with Gene from Tennessee he stayed about 10 days.

Anastasia and Nina, their family relocated to Leon and they have been encouraging within the congregation. They recently became unbaptized publishers.

Simona and Chris from Sweden who are visiting for a month.

Forest from Atlanta, GA who hopes to make his home here permanently and Erion who has been supporting the congregation for the past 4 months.

Pirjo and Jeffrey who spent the last few years in Spain but are originally from Australia are now planning to stay for the next year at least.

There were many more visitors but the majority of them left before we returned to Leon, but they really helped us to cover our territory. 
Last week, Marcus, our acting Service Overseer, told the congregation that we covered 95% of our territory for the recent tract campaign in November. That was in large part due to the visitors who were so zealous in the ministry!

Thanks to everyone!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hellos and Goodbyes

The last two months have flown by! We have had a lot of Hellos but a many sad goodbyes! I know the post is long but please don't forget the experiences near the end, which are very encouraging!

We lost two couples that have been with Leon English since it was a group. The C.O. has assigned them to other places that have a greater need within our circuit.
                                                         (makeover the morning they left)

Brad and Lydia have been pioneering here in Leon for the past two years. In early May they moved to San Miguel, El Salvador to support a group there. The group in San Miguel does not have any pioneers and Brad will be the only Elder for a while as well. We are very excited to visit them in a few weeks.

Lydia's sister, Scarlett and her husband Theo also left us in early June.

Theo and Scarlett have been supporting Leon English for the past 3 years and have been asked by the C.O. to move to the capital Managua. The Managua English congregation will now have 3 elders and 55 publishers, which is the largest in the circuit. We think the goal is to split the congregation because they have a large concentration of english speakers over a large area.

Before the couples left, we had a goodbye party for them. Here are a few pictures from that:

musical chairs
duck duck goose

Another couple have returned home to Australia, in order to save money for their return.
 Ben and Marissa had been supporting a Spanish congregation here for 7 months before they left. They are originally from Australia, but had been serving in an English congregation in Spain for a year and a half before coming to Nicaragua. When they return in August, they will be helping to start an English area in San Marcos, Nicaragua.

Before they left we managed to go to the beach for a last meal, and they were able to purchase some fresh lobster as well. 

At the end of April we received a special invitation to conference into the zone visit to the Mexico branch. We had two other congregations join us. It was very encouraging and upbuilding. What a privilege!

Now that we have covered the goodbyes, we will share some experiences of friends who have been able to visit recently. 

Allie and Corey are from St. Louis, Missouri and have been here for the past 3 1/2 months and hope to continue returning indefinitely. They arrived here in Leon 3 days after their wedding! They have both been to Nicaragua before when they were single. So they decided to start their married life here!

Jasemine and Danielle are pioneer sisters from North Carolina. This is Jas' second visit and it was nice getting to know them in the ministry. We hope to see them here again soon!

We also had two brothers come from Bethel, one from Walkil and the other from the Tuxedo location, Gavin and Paul. They stayed for two weeks. 
hospitality for speaker(Gavin at head of table and Paul on his right)

We also have some exciting experiences from the last two months: 

 Mario has been studying with Desmond for the last 3 months. A sister who was visiting a call nearby happened to see him walking and gave him an invitation to the meeting. He attended the very next Sunday and has been regularly attending ever since. He comments regularly and has expressed interest in joining the school. He asked Dez if only brothers can wear ties, once he hard no everyone is encouraged to dress up. He began attending meetings looking like the other brothers.


she finished her last chapter of the Teach book                 she joined the school as a householder in May 

                                          (she turned in her first month of time for the month of May)

Mery is 19 has been studying off and on for the past 1 1/2 years, but she has really begun making progress in the last 4-5 months. We can see some of her progress from the pictures above. She is  so zealous for the ministry and gives such heartwarming comments. She is also already conducting a study with her mother. 

Clinton and Anne

The last week of May we had our circuit overseer visit. We really enjoyed this couple they were very encouraging. They are substitutes in the Circuit Work, but have been serving as missionaries for the past 10 years in Honduras. Although they are both originally from Canada, they had been living in North Carolina before their acceptance to Gilead. Our circuit overseer, Todd has now been assigned to be the district overseer over English, so we are hoping to see Clinton and Anne on the next C.O. visit. We will see. 

Here are a few more pictures from the past few months:

 truck loaded down with Theo and Scarlett's stuff

 Aileen, Mery, Scarlett, Talia, and Elfa

 Francinette, Hazel, Danielle, Jasemine, Alli, David and Gustavo

Mery, Danielle, Aileen, Fanny, Jasemine, and Lydia.

Mery, Fanny, Sergio, and Mariela with Dez for Game Night

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Before we talk about the memorial, we would like to share some pictures from the weeks leading up to it.

Here is David visiting from Greensboro, NC for a month. He is a computer programmer and told his boss he could keep up his work schedule while down here auxiliary pioneering. He managed to get his work done and will be moving down here permanently in May. We look forward to getting more long-term help.

Also on March 10th, Dez gave another outgoing public talk to Managua, the capital city. They currently have 40 publishers with 3 elders. One of our elders will be moving there in May. Here are some pictures of the hall:

We met a new couple from England. David and Sylvia (originally from El Salvador) They took us out for hospitality. As we were walking to the Mexican restaurant, David was stopped by a man he wants to study the Bible with him. He told us all of his children are witnesses in Florida and he really wants help making changes especially in his drinking. They set up a time to visit that following week.

So we had a wonderful month for the campaign. I believe we covered a majority of the in-town territory of Leon. We also covered about 80% of La Paz Centro which is one of our outlying territories about 45 minutes away. 
We had a cleanup with the Spanish congregations at our hall. Here are some pics:

Tyler doing some painting.

For a while we were wondering where all the brothers were and then we saw this:

They all had to take turns chopping down the tree.

After all of that hard work some of the brothers were hungry:

They were able to catch a few mangos to eat.


We had our memorial at a local hotel. Hotel Los Balcones. It was such a warm event. Everyone was so happy to be there. We had a total of 60 publishers, which is an increase from last year's attendance of 50. We have a total of 27 publishers and a few visitors. We counted about 22 visitors, although some of us including Dez had studies that attended with their families in Spanish. 
Here are some pictures:

I was given the responsibility of making the flower arrangement. A sister in our hall, Lydia is so creative and she taught me so much by helping me make this.

Her husband, Brad, did the Memorial talk. 

Here are pics of people with their bible students:

Erica(holding baby Lily) and her student, Vanessa  

 Dez, his student Fabrizio, Sadia (my student), and me. They are married but she has just started studying so we study with them separately.

 Ally and her return visit, Cherry
 Me and my student, Massiel

 Maria and her student Darling

 Dez and his student Dennis and Julio (his nephew)
This was Julio's first meeting, he really enjoyed it and wants to attend more. 

Lydia and her student, Martha

Elga with her unbelieving brother, Rolando

Mariela, Michelle, and Michelle's student Belisabeth.

 Maria and her student, Leda.

 Aileen (my student), me, and Leanne (visiting sister from Canada)

Marcus and his student, Brian.

Desmond's student Mynor was unable to get home from work on time but came after we ended. He is pictured here with Dez and a brother from our hall, Lenin.

It was so encouraging to see the wonderful attendance. A few attendees were "planted" by some visitors who have since left, but we continue trying to "water" them.

Here are some pics of the friends in the congregation.

Dez and Marcus

 Rob and Anne Watcher (leaving in April :(
 Miguel, Dez, and Tyler

 Nate, Ashley, Baby Lilly and their adopted daughter Jesslyn

And we'll end with a picture of us for Dad: