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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last day of the Month!

Here we are at the end of Nov. 1st full month here in Dolores. We had hoped to use this month to finish getting house furnished enough to be able to focus on the ministry, the reason for relocating, as well as being able to retire 5 years early. So we are in the process but can see we can make aux pioneer hours at least, even if we had many days that were spent dealing with house issues. Here are some pics showing where we are with the house now.

Found some 1" aluminum angle so we don't have to worry about painting, helped finish the fiberglass
roof off. There was not a square, plumb wall on any of patio, so had to fill gaps, David a local man here studying helped out.

Very happy with our back gate.

Then went inside with some needed additions, especially since weather has really dipped at night. Were freezing. Got up sunday after seeing what forecast was, lows in the low 30s! Bought 2 wool blankets for bedrooms.

So we can stay warm, if you stay under covers! The 1st night sunday, woke up monday morning with no water from pipes. It unfroze about 8:30am, when housekeeper showed up, so she could start her routine. Rosario is a spanish sister, who helps out on several friends houses, does a great job, and we enjoy her company, when we can get her to slow down and have lunch with us.

Here is the curtain project Elaine has been working on, and with company moving in next door, we have  lots of windows so she is getting drapes up.
Here is our bakers rack, without junk, since we have desks.

 So after our day in La Paz yesterday, Elaine went to work on the curtains today, and caught up on laundry.

 I joined group in FS at KH. 4 of us went out to territory I had,  spent some time door to door, then tried to make RVs. Haven't been able to catch some men calls. but it was a bust, until we went to see if Mike's study was available. He was, Mike had to head to dentist, had me do the intro to BT book with a articulate young man in the centro district right next to jardin.

The 2 sisters did greeting work in jardin, while I did study. Good time, student had some good questions. When I finished sisters had to leave, so stopped at veggie stand and got a romaine head of lettuce, and head of broccoli. Cost 40 cents total.
They grow it all right here. Then went home, changed, and went to pay our 1st water bill, stopped by a pottery shop to check on an order I placed with young man who spoke english. Elaine had been wanting a utensil holder type vase/ jar. We have looked, a lot, but couldn't find any with black & white color scheme. So I asked the english speaking man if he could make one. He said yes, I gave him my ph#, and waited. A week went by, and I stopped by the shop. but he wasn't in. Then today I stopped by again, and his mother called him on phone, she didn't speak or understand anything. Well I had been going to wrong shop. His is about 1/2 block down, So he came & got me, said it was done, and he would go get it for me. Gave him  # again, and he called about 1 hr later, tell him me it was done, Went up there with book bag, because I had asked him he would like to study Bible in english, and he said he would. So gave him BT book, went thru the truth tract and we looked up 2 scriptures. He had a question about the movie, "Da Vinci Code," he had just seen it. Asked if it was true. Led to a discussion of the Vatican, and the scrolls movie talked about. read 2 Tim 3:16, then Rev 22:18,19?, "don't add to or take away from". He understood that anything other than whats in the Bible, is not inspired and thus doesn't supercede Bible. Like catholic traditions. He asked about our translation, explained some thought there, and mentioned the book, "truth in translation".  He owns his store and the factory where his & parents pottery is made. So he leads a very busy life, 7 days a week, which is the hard thing here with studies. The people have to work that hard to make ends meet. hard to get to mtgs, and study. So we exchanged numbers, and he'll call me when he can, or I'll stop by if I see he isn't busy.
I had told him we only wanted LEAD FREE, ware. And when I brought it home Elaine liked my surprise. So got a study started on my own, no referral from a sister. So this week I may have started 2 studies, and 2 good calls!!!  Then came home warmed up a pizza, and had dessert.
So November ends with us showing we can reach Aux Pioneer hours, and we will apply for that in DEC. Then see how difficult it is to reach 70, if we can then consider reg Pion, down the road.
Love to all,
Tom & Elaine

Monday, November 28, 2011

LA PAZ-FS-11-28

Well we had out 1st day of cold here! Got down to 38 degrees, and for here that is really cold. And there was no sun all day long, so no warm up. We went to the general store, 2 blocks away, bought 2 wool blankets and were glad we did. Reminded me up camping out in Nov back home, you could stay warm under the sleeping bag, but your nose would be cold. When we for up this morning, I dug out my bin, that I hadn't been into yet, a few winter clothes. Found a hooded sweatshirt, a flannel shirt, some long sleeve
shirts. Put on a hat, and wasn't pretty but helped stay warm.

Elaine wouldn't let me take her pic, so this is whats left to give you an ides of cold.
But we bundled up, and headed to San Luis de La Paz. This is our 1st monday, going early, to just work territory. Vicky & Ron Mudge, both have worked here before, and so were our directors/navigators. We drove the blazer, and followed directions. Its about 45 minute drive, made a few calls in Dolores then headed over. Got there about 11:30 and we had picked territory close to centro/jardin so we could take a break, rest the shoe leather if needed, and see what we could accomplish.
Very interesting results, time will tell if they pan out, but a fine start. Parked at the Bodega-Walmart-(they actually own this chain).

So we started out and picked a block, Vicky & Elaine worked Ron & Carolyn, left me by myself.
This is called canvassing, we find out if/where the english speaking people are, record it on data sheets, then when the next time that territory is checked out work only the english contacts. Then the next time you repeat canvass to see if any one new has come in, moved etc.
  I have been looking forward to this, because Dolores english have been worked much more, and the results from last year, the last time La Paz was worked , in about 4 months, 4-6 studies were started, and continue.
I called on an "escuela" school, and after trying to communicate with the secretary, I understood her to say there was some english speaking teachers there, but they were teaching till "doce"12 noon. I left with  the intent of coming back at noon, I walked away about 10 steps out of door, and heard, "hello". I was so startled, I didn't comprehend the greeting. Turned around and a very pretty lady was smiling at me, asking if I had asked about english speakers. Turns out it was Sochie, a study that Elaine has been on, with Debbie, and and because she has been a door step study, she has come to her front gate, and had study there. Her home has 2 roof dogs with pretty tree right in front. So she told ,e about some other school that may have english speakers.
Then we finished block, and it started getting warm enough to shed coats. Ron, Carolyn and Elaine walked back to car, and made a sandwich, while Vicky & I started a new block, 1 way, the others would go opposite way and meet us.

Here in this area, at 6-7000 ft elevation, the sunny side is about 20 degrees warmer than shady side of street.
Gov't bldg.
So we worked up the street, and meta young man in front of a chicken restaurant, of which there are a zillion, it seems. Left Truth Tract, and tried to pin him down where he lived, he said just come back to chicken place. Oh well.

Worked a little farther, reached corner and there was a gov't building. Vicky remembered she had
 found a lady who spoke english last year, so we went in. Asked around and went into an office. I saw it had to do with maps, and got the idea to ask if they had a large map of town, Vicky translated, and they directed us, and then led us across street to office of planning & zoning, and there was an english speaker there, But he was out. Worked some more, came back and he was back, met him, and thru his broken english & our spanish conveyed what I was interested in. He showed me a pic on his computer, and the end result was I purchased a map, large size, maybe 17 x 35, plus 1 half that size. Placed 2 mags with him, thanked him and we net back with the rest in the jardin.
Regrouped, marked our map, Ron had met a nice man, spoke english well, and arranged to call back next time. Then Vicky, Elaine, Ron & Carolyn went to finish the block, My heel was sore, so I stayed in jardin to do "greeting" work. Let me sit for awhile on a bench, had english literature out, and as people pass they can see mags, and if they appear to recognize language you initiate conversation. Or something like that. I haven't been trained for that yet. So after getting a "helado" small ice cream, I walked aeound jardin with mags out. Haven't dome that in 50 years, when we had the Awake/watchtower satchels and did street work! WT or AWAKE 5 cents. Well didn't see anyone that responded, went back to my sunny bench, went over to thro my trash away, and a enchilada vendor at corner asked me in english, what I was doing? Well I had found, or rather they found me! Manuel, and I had a nice conversation, I got an enchilada from him, which I have been warned against doing, you can get sick, and arranged to come back thursday. He said he usually comes there after 2. When I offered him mags, his friend spoke up in english, and asked if I had 2 more he could read, I asked in English? Yes. Here they are
So I had my best call, ask me for literature! I was very happy. It can be somewhat difficult doing canvassing, because it takes so many calls to fine the 1 english speaking person, then they have to be able to read also. but today we had several. earlier, a man who walked up to us, wasn;t interested, but he took us over to another man, Juan Carlos, who operates a meat vendor cart, in a busy market, we talked to him and he asked, "what happened to the english speaking people from San Miguel?" That congregation had this town until last year, then Dolores started working, but had to stop due to circumstances. He had been wondering why JWS stopped coming. He was too busy then to talk, but we told him our schedule, Monday & thursday, and he said he would try to let the english speaking know! So when we return will follow up/ Who knows how many are ready for us to teach them?
It was about 3:30 we had a drive back, so we ended there. But accomplished much. In addition to the interest we found were able to get a great municipal map, for future efforts.

Big mountain overshadowing La Paz

Our small but mighty group: Ron Mudge, Carolyn Mudge, Vicky Harris, Elaine.

Heading home, after a good day.
Tom & Elaine

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Field Service-AM- San Miguel PM

Went in service in the morning, had 1 good experience, with a young man, spoke good english. Left him the Young people ask book. But as we have in many days in service saw some more horses.

Working with Marion, Angie, Deb Buentello(also known as the mayor, she has been longer in Dolores than anyone), Elaine.

So after service, Elaine was going with Debbie to San Miguel to artisans market, I thought I had the afternoon off. wrong. This was also a day when Tom was taking me to the Library in San Miguel, so after I dropped Elaine off at house to finish service, I got a call from the lovely Elaine, telling me I had forgotten the library. So turned around came home, put on jeans, and joined Lipperds, and Marcus, and we headed to San Miguel de Allende.

There was a interesting event on the central Jardin, featuring a dance quartet. Very intricate steps they performed for appreciative crowd.

It is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico.

Then Tom took off to explore, while Marcus & I went to sit in another jardin, and people watched.
Met a couple at a statue, which I didn't know the name of, asked them and they told us.

Told couple why we are here in Mexico. They live south of Mexcio City 2 hours. Spoke pretty good english. Very nice.

Explained that the statue is who San Miguel de Allende is named after:
General Ignacio Allende!

Finally we met up with the girls, they found us at Statue. We still didn't have Tom.
So we started waslking to the main Jardin, which I didn't realize was where Tom told us to go. There jardins everywhere in this beautiful City.
When we got there its obvious thatn there is only 1 main Jardin. Its  was packed with visitors, locals and musicians.

We passed this outdoor restaurant/ food court with lots of visitors.

The musicians heading to their Gig!

                                              The Balloon man.

The funny thing is we still hadn't found Tom or vice versa. So we watched the dancers, listened to the musicians and chilled. Then we sat down, and who finds us there, The Portells! We had been there Monday with them, and they took bus over to enjoy the day, same as us. Then I looked up and here comes Tom dragging a bit. he had come to this Jardin, expecting to find us, didn't see us after 20 minutes, walked over to car, a long way, walked to another jardin, then circled a bit, and then came back to the main Jardin, and found us, He sat and rested for awhile, was a good sport with my misunderstanding. Then it ws time to eat, again. That walking gives you an appetite you know. So we headed in car to a nice restaurant, Hecho's.

Had a nice meal, some great red pepper salsa.
Elaine had veggie burger, I had pastrami, Debbie
had Coconut shrimp. Tom, nachos. Marcus a burger.

Then we went to the Mega supermarket on way out of town, and we looked for a large pot yet again, found nothing good. They have cheap SS pots that are so thin, you can warp them if putting them in cold water after being hot! Aluminum with SS exterior. We only need1 large 1, so we can maybe cook 2 things at once. Have a small sauce pan we brought. And a SS frying pan. Oh well will get 1, maybe next time to Leon.
Did get our dining room table delivered Sat am, before service.

Sorry if I posted this already, but after 6 weeks of eating on out all purpose table, 18" x 24" I'm really happy to have table. Watched the blacksmith forge the 1/2 steel rods, heating them red hot, the bending them to the design i showed him. AMAZING!! My brother -in-law Bill, retired boilermaker/blacksnith, I don't think did this even. The craftsmanship here is alive & well.

All for now, here are some extra pics of San Miguel.

Beautiful doors along this road, and flowers.

San Antonio Convent.
By the way, Library close at 2PM, so will have to come back yet again.........oh well someone has to have an excuse to come back and feast ones eyes on some gorgeous creations.

Till next post.
Tom & Elaine