Friday, July 18, 2014

Surprise



Surprise!!!!


 We're going to Belize. Tomorrow. Or Sunday, I don't know. Haven't actually booked the tickets yet.

I'm sure you're asking why. Us too. Well, actually we know. We just don't understand.

So our visa expired last month. We went to immigration and got a 30 day extension instead of the 90 day extension we were able to get before. They told us we could come back and get another 30 days. So we went to do that yesterday. Nope. Denied. Apparently, you can't actually get an extension more than once.

Now we have to leave the country for 72 hours. By Sunday. And because of the four country pact that is great and annoying at the same time, we can't just run to Guatemala or El Salvador. We have to go further. But of course, because of said pact, we can't go through Guatemala or Nicaragua to get to another country while on an extension. We have to fly, which is quicker, but you know, not as convenient as hopping on a bus or a boat.

We're all for a mini-vacation, but you know, with advance notice. O well.

Yay new passport stamp!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Lazy Day

I was supposed to go on a study this morning, but she just called and asked me to come tomorrow afternoon instead, so I have nothing to do right now. That means you get a random post and an invitation.
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We have been seeing all these great photos from the regional and international conventions going on right now. They make me a little homesick, and jealous- our convention is in October. I love how big the conventions are in the States, and some of the stats we have seen are amazing! (Ex: Over 30,000 in attendance, 200 baptized at one convention) That is so encouraging to see!

A couple from our congregation are at an international in Texas right now. We made these cute little magnets for them to take as gifts. This is the picture we used.


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We hear that the construction at the Norco Assembly Hall is complete, or nearly there. I would love to see the finished product, if anyone has pictures. Also, for those of you who have been busy working there the last several months, if you are wondering what to do next- Come to Honduras! 
We have congregations in English, Spanish, Sign Language, Miskito and Garifuna, so you could have your pick and we would all love to have visitors.

Speaking of visitors, we are going to pick up a couple from the airport this afternoon. We haven't met them yet, but our congregation is very excited.
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I had a really nice study last week. She's seeing the importance of preparing the material ahead of time now. She even read the cited scriptures ahead of time, so when I would say ok let's read this, she would tell me about it before we read it. We also started watching one of our videos- the one on the Bible. It is broken up into three sections, so last week we watched the first part. The whole time she was really into it, and even was making comments like "Wow" and her face registered surprise about certain things. When the video was done, I asked if she had any questions, and she said no, but she was "really eager to watch the next part." I thought that was really nice. 
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So that's all for now!



Saturday, June 14, 2014

Roatan, and How My Dad Went On a Trip and Didn't Kill Himself

 Here's more photos from my parent's trip.

On a cable bridge up the river.



Roatan

View from our rental house


The beach in front of the house



We were able to snorkel right off the beach. The water was super clear and calm, so we could go out pretty far, but there were even fish right by the shore.


This is a lobster hiding under a rock. He didn't hide so well though, he became dinner.

Lionfish. They are an invasive species here, and poisonous to the touch on some spots, I don't know which. But you can eat them, so figure that out. 


A sea urchin. Definitely don't want to step on one of these.









Requisite foot shot.

We went scuba diving one day and took the camera with us in a waterproof bag. The pressure was too high so it made taking pictures difficult, but also created some interesting effects.




Sunset



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So my parents made it home to cold Colorado safely, which for Dad is a big accomplishment. (Just kidding, I love you!) We might be slightly jealous of that right now though- it's really hot here. 

We had our last Special Assembly Day, with an attendance of 146- that's all the English congregations in the country.

We moved into a new apartment. It does not have a/c, but behind us is jungle-y, and there are even turtles and crocodiles. I don't think I'm gonna let Miss Kitty go outside much.




Sunday, June 8, 2014

Service Experiences

I know you were probably expecting the new post to be about Roatan or the Assembly or something, but we're going to go in a slightly different direction today. We had a couple of cool experiences in service lately that I wanted to share.

First, my study. Her mom gave her permission to go to the meetings when we first started studying, and in fact, she had come to the meeting to ask for a study- that was how I met her. But she hadn't actually come to a meeting since then. A couple weeks ago, the Spanish Special Day was in Tela, and her aunt- who is studying as well- took her to that. They didn't even tell me until after! Then last Sunday, as I was getting ready to head over to her house, she texted me and said she wasn't going to be able to study that morning, but could I pick her up to go to the meeting that afternoon? Ok! Her aunt came with her and since she is going to be in town for a few months, she asked for a sister in the Spanish to study with her while she is here. There's a very good chance that my study will be able to come to the meetings fairly regularly now.

A brother from a Spanish congregation passed a call with a teenage boy onto Zach last week. Zach arranged a time to go see him and bring him the Bible Teach book, the first question in it he wanted to discuss was Chapter 8- What Is God's Kingdom? So we went over that, then he had two more questions for us. 1- Where did Adam and Eve go when they died- Heaven or Hell? and 2- Is the Devil a God? I'll admit, I did not expect those questions from a 15 year old. It was really impressive though. We find a lot of young people here have really deep spiritual questions and spend more time thinking about spiritual matters than many we meet in the States.

I am cultivating a new study (I guess that's the phrase to use) right now. She is a young mom with two kids and her husband works on the islands, but when he comes home they like to read the Bible together. I have been calling on her for a few weeks, and she made the comment that she likes to study about the Bible, well ok, I would be more than happy to help you do that. So the last two weeks we have been looking at the book and she seems to enjoy it so far. The blue intro pages were very helpful, when we got to the scripture in Psalm 72:16, she was really affected by that. Down here we see so many people going hungry, that the idea of there being enough food for everyone doesn't seem possible, but we know that Jehovah's promises are true. She told me this week that she wants to learn all she can about the Bible so that she can teach her daughter, so I mentioned the Learn From the Great Teacher book that she can use to help her daughter, and she was very excited. I will be bringing that back next week.

So that's just a couple recent experiences. Hope you enjoyed reading them as much as we enjoyed having them. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Parents Are Visiting!

Last Saturday we drove up to San Pedro Sula to pick up some very special visitors and a new roommate.


Yes, my Mom and Dad! And what is my mom holding in her arms? Could it be? I think it could! My Kitty!
As you might imagine, I am very excited.

The weather has not been very kind to them so far though. When they left Colorado, it was snowing. Yes, in May. So far we have had massive amounts of rain and very hot sun. Bit of a change.

We have gone out in service the last few days, which has been fun. We're still trying to get them comfortable with yelling at the doors, but they have the Spanish presentation down pretty well. Here's some pictures.


This hill was a lot steeper than it looks.



Dad taking advantage of the shade.



You could see the ocean from the top of this hill.



Mom and Zach at a door.


Next week we are taking off to Roatan, then we have the Special Assembly. More pictures to come later.


PS- The new roommate is the cat.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Funny Cop Story

We had an interesting experience in Nicaragua. We didn't know what to make of it at first, but let's see if you come to the same conclusion we did.

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We were driving from Granada to the Honduras border on our way home. At this point, we had been let into Nicaragua, out of Nicaragua and back in again. That meant crossing the border and dealing with officials three times. As you might remember, we had some difficulty at those stops and had to get lots of paperwork.

So we are about twenty miles from the Honduran border when we come across a police checkpoint. That's a pretty common thing in Central America, every so often you go through a checkpoint and depending on your license plates, the tinting of your windows and other various factors you may or may not be pulled over. Since we had Honduras plates in Nicaragua, we got pulled over. This was not the first time that happened in that country.

The officer walks over to the car and we give him our paperwork. He then starts asking us a bunch of questions, including asking if we had the car fumigated when leaving Costa Rica. Of course, we don't speak that much Spanish, so he is pantomiming the act complete with whooshing sounds. Yes, we had that done. No, we don't have the receipt since it was a week ago. Ok, no problem. Then he starts asking for something else. Um.....

Finally it clicks. He is asking for our insurance papers. Well, we don't have those. In Honduras, you can only get insurance if a car is less than 10 years old or something like. In Costa Rica, they made us buy insurance, and we would not have been able to leave the border crossing without it. In the three times at the Nicaragua border, no one said anything about insurance, and they had previously sent us back for not having all the paperwork. Well, this could be a problem.

So the officer has Zach step out of the car and go over to the police car with his partner. Then they show him what the insurance paperwork looks like, and hey, it comes with handy dandy road cones. Where are our road cones? What do you mean you don't have those? So Zach says ok, you have a stack of those insurance papers right there, give me one to fill out and I'll go back to the closest town and a bank to pay for it. No no, that's not necessary. Um ok, you're giving me a hard time for not having insurance, but now you're telling me I don't need to buy it?

That's when the conversation got really weird. The policeman says "Dos." That's it. Just "Dos." Zach says "Dos what?" What do you want two of? There's two cones. There's two of you. There's two of us. So he says it again. "Dos." Cue more confusion from Zach. After a moment, the policemen laugh, give Zach back the paperwork and tell him we can leave. So he comes back to the car, starts it up and the officer yells over at us again. He comes over, fixes our headlight which was off-kilter, and waves us off. Down the road we go.

Ten minutes later, we hit another checkpoint and get pulled over again. This time, they take our passports and car registration, glance at it and send us on our way. No mention of insurance at all.

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So, what do you think? Was that the world's worst way of asking for a bribe? And if so, do you think he would have been satisfied with two Cordobas ($.07)?







Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Kingdom Hall Is A Kingdom Hall Is A Kingdom Hall....

On our latest adventure, I was struck by how we could be driving along and randomly go "There's a Kingdom Hall!" This made me think of all the other times we could spot one in areas we had never been before, while driving down the road at ludicrous speed. (Bonus points if you get the reference!) There's something about a Kingdom Hall that always stands out. Personally, I think it's the modesty and cleanliness of the building and property.

So, I bring to you: Kingdom Halls from our various travels. Maybe you will see it too.








This hall doesn't have room for landscaping outside, so there's a garden inside!




















A double hall in California. 



Our current Hall. Attached to the missionary home.





The End.