Sunday, July 1, 2012

León, Nicaragua - July 1, 2012

The climate seems to have changed a little in the past week. We haven't been getting as much rain and the wind has picked up. We still get a lot of cloud - but we seem to be spared the crazy thunderstorms that marked the beginning of the rainy season. It's beautiful going for a drive out into the countryside because everywhere you look is lush and green - much nicer than the dry season.

Debbie & Lexi
We have been continuing to complete the census in a number of our territories. It is amazing the results we are all having and are locating many interested people. Remember that I told you we went to La Paz Centro a few weeks ago to do census? Well, Pat and I have since returned to visit with a man who showed interest and have started a bible study with him. He has many questions (why the name Jehovah's Witnesses, why no blood etc.). The first day that we called back we were startled to find that there was some kind of protest going on in town - you know the type - burning tires, wearing masks, carrying sticks - you get the picture.  - you can be sure that once we ran into this scene we decided it was time to head for home. We have since returned to find that peace was restored and there was no lasting damage - we still haven't found out what the protest was all about.

Another service experience is with a call that can only be done at 3 pm. Well, I'm not normally out at this time because I find it is still too hot. So, since we were in the area I thought I would try it about 11:30.... The young girl wasn't home but I left our phone number with her sister. Later that afternoon I picked up my phone to see that there had been 7 calls from a particular number. I figured they would call back so I kept my phone beside me and sure enough within a few minutes the phone was ringing. I explained to "Valeria" that we were looking for English speaking people to talk to them about the bible. She said that she was Christian and that she wasn't going to change her religion. I said I understood that and I told her that perhaps sometime in the future when I was in the area I could stop in to see her. She said that she really wanted to meet me and could I come by next week. So... we met yesterday and had a nice chat for about 1/2 an hour. She too had quite a few questions. One of them was in regard to her church - she told us that her pastor has told them that they should go out in the preaching work and talk to people in their neighbourhood. She was ok with this, however, she was upset because the pastor was trying to send them out in the community but he wouldn't take the lead and show them how to do it. She wanted to know if it was the same with Jehovah's Witnesses or whether the "leaders" in our congregations preached too. I was able to explain to her that it was important for brothers in a position of oversight to be "leaders" in the preaching work just like Jesus was. She has a real appreciation for the bible and wants us to come back.  We have an appointment to go back and see her in two weeks with the "Was Life Created" Brochure.

We are getting to see more and more of the different sides to León. One evening we were working out in a new "subdivision" where the lots are huge and are usually surrounded by large fences and have multiple guard dogs. It was so funny when we were approaching this one street and the three dogs were barking their heads off - warning us to stay away (or so it seemed). However, when we got up to them they happily turned around and "guided" us right to their house.
Guard Dogs - "Don't come down here"

Guard Dogs - "It's ok, follow us".....
I was laying in bed the other morning and listening to all of the "morning" sounds:  the rooster (which actually crows all day long), the horses clopping down the street, the motorcycles being revved up; the load speaker with someone already going through the neighbourhood at 6:45 selling his good.... it's such a mixed up life. Modern and old fashioned at the same time - but somehow it all works pretty well. Well, that is until the modern convenience - like the bus - stalls or breaks down. I was on the bus the other day when the driver stalled it when he stopped to pick someone up. He couldn't get it started and all of us passengers didn't quite know what to do. The attendants (they guys that collect the money) got off the bus and started to push it so that the driver cold "jump start" the bus.... only thing is, we had to get through a busy intersection. It was frightening to sit on the bus as it was slowly inched forward into the intersection and the traffic wouldn't stop for it. After almost creaming an oncoming taxi a second bus came along and effectively blocked the traffic so that the attendants could get the bus going fast enough for the driver to jump start it. After that, he had to go flat out in order to make up the time he lost. Scary! but not as bad as those camionettas - but that's a story for another day.

Gardener removing plant material

Pat and Scarlet conducting a census

Sergio and Lexi

Pat, Nathan and Theo

Volcanoes in the distance