Well we returned to La Paz today and went with Lipperds for their studies but now have a new task before us that will enable us to be even more efficient in working outlying towns. We received permission from BOE, and encouragement from CO, to once again go to these towns where interest is, and cultivate it further. The Dolores congregation has a 250 sq. mile territory with 2-3 towns larger than Dolores in its boundaries. With the publisher total fluctuating in Dolores, after some departures the decision was made to focus on Dolores area. So last year or so no one has went to outlying towns that have a larger english speaking, potentially than Dolores. Don't know because there has been no sustained effort, due to other factors. Tom & Debbie, and a few others have had studies they go on, but as the case here in Mexico, the regularity is something that culturally & practically you can't expect, at least initially, or until study has progressed well, as I have been told. But after Co visit, we now can check out territory to work so we can start systematically work territory around existing studies, calls, to be more effective with the drive and time spent while in the town. So far I have seen no other nationality other than native Mexicans. As the case in Dolores, we are the only group outside the local residents. So we really stand out. Exception: there are several mormon young men, doing there assignments we have seen. But haven't seen more than 2-3 of them. So as explained to new ones moving in, your in the spotlight whenever you are about your personal business as well as ministry.
So yesterday about noon we started to head to San Luis de la Paz- took some pics on drive, and again saw the stark contrast between land having water and land with no water. When investment in irrigation/wells is made this land grows any vegetable/ fruit you almost can imagine. Oranges, tangerines, bananas, melon, peanuts, broccoli, cauliflower, many more.
No water than this is the
The problem is there is no money for the individual to invest in his own land to grow the food, for market, mostly for self sustaining. With the lack of jobs, then the men usually need to either travel long distance here to where the man'f, and commercial farming mega agri conglomerates have opened up here in Mexico to avoid the pollution. zoning, Osha, requirements they find oppressive in states/canada. europe etc. So you will see these huge walled/ barb wire complexes as you drive along the highway, off the road, where they have built the old company town type places that existed in USA. 150 yrs ago, that offers housing, so families move in there for what seems like a
Huge rows of Cauliflower
promising improvement, only to become entrapped thru the expense charged them for housing, food, electric etc. Saw a huge LEGO factory across border 100 miles or so, looked like a prison complex at first glance, security etc. Then as we turned around, was just this monolithic factory. The poultry industry has found a home here in Mexico too. So many former stable factory town businesses that once flourished in other places, see Dearborn Michigan. Have located here.
So many benefits to them. the main is a cheap- hard working workforce that is desparate for any chance to improve there family hope for the future. So it is interesting to see the Mexican struggle for jobs and the conditions they work under or around to help family. The markets here are all individual based. They grow there food on a small plot, cultivate by hand, water by hand, reap by hand, then bring to market. What is there only ally is the weather. theymight get 2-3 crops a year from ground. Especially if the rain comes at right tome in the amounts that help. One of the friends here that has been here awhile, said they are worried thatwith the weather changing, there is more dry season than normal, and the result is that if the land doesn't get rain this year in the amount back to normal it will drive area into a mass exodus south, so people can grow there food, or somewhere else to try to support family. Thus the immigration issue in USA. Then you get into the whole illegal immigration stuff. But if you were a man
trying to support your family in these conditions, how many legal options do you have?
Back to the ministry- Vicki went with us so the 5, of us headed to La Paz- Vicki was able to connect with her 16 yr old young lady, and Elaine joined in for a nice study.
We first worked Tom's territory, and found 2-3 english speaking men, that accepted & could read literature. Usually start in a tract, and see if progress merits the BT book.
After 4 hours or so took a break for supper about 5, ate at a local restaurant in a hotel and again was fantastic fare.
Had some great Sopas(soup) Sopas Azteca, with chocolate caliente(hot chocolate), Elaine had a mushroom soup that was equally outstanding. definitely coming back to this place. Plenty of fresh hot bread, with a celery dip that was good.
It got cold with wind picking up, I was in shirt sleeves and brought jacket, however didn't get to wear it, because Elaine thought she was layered enough but alas NO! Temperaature was 45, with a 10-20 mile breeze that chilled eventually even me. I received some "crazy american" looks from the locals who were bundled up like it was late Nov/Dec in St. Louis! I took one for the team, see Elaine, so to speak. What the saying??? If Momma isn't warm, either is Poppa?? So in the best Rhett Butler imitation I could, my light weight black jacket stayed on Elaine. I just was going to tell people if asked, " I'm a Norte americano", from St, Louis, este es no frio por mi", or something like that. But didn't have anyone ask the crazy gringo, why I didn't have a coat on as they were bundled up.
There is a suspicion here that you must cover your mouth/nose when its cold or you will get sick. Thought when I saw the tied cloth mouth coverings they had some kind of swine flu/ bird flu that had hit population. but no just an ill informed idea about getting sick from cool air.
Here are some pics around the town.
Had the real 1st day in 21 days, of seeing cloud cover all day! was a nice change from the bluebird skies that had been above constantly. I have not rached the point yet of really missing what those clouds mean this time of year back home. Not sure I will when it means driving on ice to work, chipping off windshield, or wondering if you can get to work.
Took this pic yesterday right outside our dining room window. red peepers growing up into our window when you opened, which I did, took 1, ate it, figured it couldn't be too hot right/ it was only 1 inch long, and maybe 1/8 wide. WRONG!!!! Man was that hot. Of course Richard Johnson, Elaine's uncle grows many peppers, and my friend Dan Winkelman likes them. I asked dElaine if we had any milk, we didn't but did have some plain yogurt that relieved my mouth.
So we are excited about the potential to develop La Paz, and other cities around Dolores, Now if we could just convince some of you to plan on joining us. Hmmmmmmm.... Maybe start praying about the subject. If you find calling on not at homes getting too boring, I know just the place where that isn't the problem, like in states.
Tom & Elaine