Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Not All The Tarantulas I See Are Dead, Part II

Once again, we have come across a tarantula that wasn't quite as squished as Zach would like. Well, specifically, Zach came across it. As in, it fell out of the pile of clothes he had just picked up. In our apartment. We're really hoping it didn't sneak in through the hole in the window by the bed cause between that and the millipede in the sheets, we may never sleep again.






Monday, July 28, 2014

Belize

So we got our passport stamps. We are legal for another 3 months which will get us through the convention- just- and we'll figure it out from there. At least now we know the new rules on visas.

We ended up leaving super early Saturday for Belize and got back Friday. Airline miles are a lifesaver. Plus, we flew Avianca, which has great in-flight service. We had to take two flights each way- San Pedro Sula to San Salvador to Belize and reverse- and each flight was less than 45 minutes, but we still got drinks and food on each leg. I don't mean peanuts either. We got sandwiches with cookies and cake, burritos, all sorts of things. I think I'll fly Avianca from now on.

Belize is nice. We stayed in Belize City and really didn't do much since I was sick (plus our hotel room had a/c and cable which was a treat in of itself) but it basically reminded us of Honduras- the weather, the houses, the shops, the flowers and ocean and all that. Which makes sense since the two countries aren't exactly far from each other. The one main difference is that all the signs were in English and Chinese instead of Spanish. Since we were basically at home, I didn't take a ton of pictures, but here's some anyway.

These guys are loading a tree trunk from inside a bus to the boat.

I don't know why, but I found this sign hysterical.





Belize City's one advantage is that they have a ton of ethnic restaurants that we don't. Indian, Lebanese, good Chinese... We went for Indian one night and I seriously thought I would cry.


This river leads to the ocean. We asked our taxi driver about swimming in it and if the water is clean, because there really isn't any beach in the city. He told us a story about when he used to be a prison guard and they were transferring prisoners by bus. One prisoner managed to get off the bus and swam across the river to escape, where they watched as he was taken by a large crocodile. They found his body down river three days later with a huge bite. So no, they don't swim in the river here. 



BZE airport from the runaway. It's super tiny. You have to walk out across the runaway for every plane. 






Funny story- People in Belize primarily speak English. So I was all excited to get a chance to rest my brain from trying to speak Spanish all the time. Well as soon as we got on the plane to head there, a switch flipped and all I could do was think and speak Spanish. That definitely limited my conversing ability.



That's all for now. This weekend is the Spanish convention in town. We are going to go to part of it, although I don't know how much we will understand. My study asked me to go because she is going. That was a surprise! And of course, we have the campaign coming up in a few days. I'm sure everyone is going to have great experiences with that. Can't wait to hear some of them!

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.