Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 5-11: The week of Tony & Flor[esita] Contreras

Well, its Saturday, July 10, and its been a busy week. The CO, Antonio Contreras & his wife Flor, have been staying with us and visiting the cong.

We had a group of 10 out in FS Friday, went to a nearby little (pop. 30,000) very old town named Meoqui,(its just a few minutes up the road.), went door to door, and business to business asking for anyone that speaks English, and our group started 7 English bible studies in two hours. This was an exceptional morning, as we sometimes don't find anyone to talk to, but today it was a highlight in the congregation's short history!

One workplace, the boss said the forklift driver spoke English, so I approached him and of course couldn't take much of his time with the boss watching, but briefly told him about our work, gave him the tract Do You Want to Know the Truth, gave him a handbill inviting him to the meetings, and he said, Yes, I would like to take my family to that! It reinforces to me that Jehovah's spirit is on the work, because why else would he want to come to our meetings when it really doesn't make any sense, as he didn't even really know much of anything about us or our meetings... Really, why would he want to come, I asked myself. Only because Jehovah's spirit was drawing him.
Then a Spanish sister on the street said to us, there's an inactive family that speaks both languages, and she gave us a little handdrawn map to find them. We went, and the guy agreed right away to come to our meeting this weekend in English, and he accepted a bible study, Fridays at 4 pm. Just like that. His name is Mario, and he came to our meeting tonight, the day after meeting him. Then Sandi met a young man in his twentys in a store, who talked with her, accepted the offer of a study, and she arranged for us to meet him, I am not sure when. The the CO went into a corner store, met a lady who lived in the US for 18 years, and she accepted the offer of a study. He gave it over to one of the pioneer sisters. The whole morning was like that.

Here the 10 Witnesses go to the terr. in 3 cars, then get out and gather on the street, talking, arranging, chatting with people, etc. In Canada I would be mortified at the spectacle, but here its normal, and people don't mind. Its just one of the many differences we are adjusting to. A group of 10 publishers walking together thru a territory, standing on a corner, and the CO is in the middle of it all. Not in Canada. In Canada we are discreet! Down here, I somehow enjoy the public show of our arrival. I am sure if it irritated the community the brothers would change the way they do things, so it must just be a normal part of street life in this part of the world, the presence of the Testigos! People are very friendly when we tell them who we are, there's little if any hostility from people in general.

I also got clarification re. territories from the CO. that we go door to door, do not take NH records, except of English calls that are NH. Like if someone says the neighbour is able to speak English, and they are NH, so we take note of the NH. But we are to speed up the terr. coverage. So we don't really need terr. cards of the whole city, only terr. with english calls, so eventually we will have a "book" of maybe 500 English doors, and only work those doors, unless we don't have enough to do with that and studies, and RVs etc, then we could go back to general canvassing for English. I get the picture better now.

Well, its been a great week with the CO and his wife staying with us. They came into town on a bus, and are leaving Monday on a bus for Durango, then the next week a 27 hour bus trip back to Tijuana, where they pioneer when not subbing in the circuit work. They are absolutely great people, and his life story is so amazing I can't put it all here right now. At 16, visited Witness relatives in the US and got the Truth, was baptized, and never looked back. He pioneered many places, found the right wife when in his late twenties, pioneered in Belize for 3 years in Spanish of course, pioneered outside Cancun and elsewhere, but he never spoke English until two years ago. That's right, only two years learning English, and he is subbing as a Circuit overseer again. He has spent well over 2000 hours listening to the recordings of the publications in English over the last couple of years. A very dedicated brother, yet a great sense of balance and humour. His wife grew up as one of 5 daughters of a couple who picked strawberries for a living, that's right, and so the CO and his wife are humble enough to do anything for a living when they are pioneering in Tijuana, like she has some kind of a job, but he goes on Craigslist daily and gets casual work when he needs it, usually averages 2 days work a week doing anything at all. And they are both so young, 36 and around 28, and good-looking, well dressed, sucessful, and focused on the service of Jehovah. His talks are so heartfelt, so warm, it lights your heart, yet he feels he cannot express himself from the heart yet. Maybe another couple of years, he says. But we felt his talks were so encouraging, and we have enjoyed so much having them with us for the week. She cooked a couple of Mexican meals here, and we had all breakfasts and dinners here, and the cong. provided Lunches each day. Its been a great week, we had our Sunday meeting Saturday, today, at 6 pm, as we thought he would be travelling Sunday to the next town. But they leave Monday morning, so Sunday morning after Field Service, the whole cong., and the CO and his wife, and one of the new students we met Friday who came to the meeting tonight, are all going to a picnic at a nearby dam called Lapresa, or something. I haven't seen it, but they all want to go. So we'll go.

As to the house, the second bathroom was finished finally, except for the ceiling, while the CO was here and using it daily. But its done. Now we still don't have closets or kitchen cabinets. We hear they are made, and ready, so the dysfunctional carpenter will someday arrive and finish his work. Then we will be done with tradesmen coming and going. But, it really is a lovely house, we love it, and Trooper loves his park across the street. We are so fortunate to have such a nice place to call home, so far away from home.

Sept. 26 we fly to New York for a week, meeting Hymers there and attending the Annual Meeting Oct. 2. At the end of October is our District Convention, 9 hours away at Monterrey, Mexico. (South East of here)

We intend to return to White Rock in mid December, take care of some business, and stay until maybe Jan. 8 or so.

Thanks for reading our stories, and may you all stay in Jehovah's love.


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