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Thursday, May 31, 2012

1st day back in La Paz- and more

So we have been back a week, and have pretty much got things back to our normal here. Except for cell phone issues & internet issues we have started our life back here in Dolores Hidalgo. And now we are able to focus our energy on what matters, the ministry. But we did some San Miguel stuff yesterday, almost 7 hrs of it. Had to get some fans, its hot here from 11am til 8pm now. This is our 1st summer, and boy oh boy, it is an adjustment. Yesterday we headed to SMA(San Miguel de Allende) and visited the library, health food store, La Organica, Mega grocery store, Office Max to get stuff.

Took this from car, fruit stands are out everywhere with heat.

Saw this vaquero riding on side of road while we were looking for an organic farm we were told about outside SMA.

And we saw this rio (river) we passed over. Why take a shot of a river? Because its the 1st time we saw water actually in a river, except when we had a week of rain in DEC/Jan. The water crisis here is deadly real. We had lunch at La Organica, a quaint really nice market that also has a restaurant in it. Fabulous, fresh dishes, veggie pizza, salads etc.
While there at next 2 tables, overheard a woman talking to man about different things, her life, she just had back surgery and will be able to actually dance again after 14 years. She lost her husband 12 yrs ago, and started a solar house/rancho not too far from Dolores, thats what caught our attention. She is very involved in teaching water conservation, and puts up her $$, to buy gutters to catch rain fall, if the owner of the small house will dig a catch hole and do labor of digging it. Quite the story we heard of her life. Tried to see if she would like to know the answer to those issues that she is so concerned about, but she wasn't open to that now.  
While we looked for the organic farm, stumbled on a fruit market out in the country.
 Wasn't what we were looking for but looked like they had great fruit. Its in full season here, so very plentiful, Pineapples, mangos, lettuces, lots of good fresh stuff.
When we were back in Missouri, took some grandsons fishing for weekend up at Mark Twain Lake, and the fishing was poor, or we were poor fishermen.
  Austin caught the most 2 fish, and this 1 wasn't a keeper. He was too short. Today we met a young man after leaving Miguels, we walked along sidewalk, and a man passed us, said hello in english, went past us, then turned around and stopped right by all 4 of us. Said he needed help,( radar is on now because of everyone here views us as "rich" so many will try to put the squeeze on you for a handout. He didn't say anything about us giving him $$. But soon he teared up and spilled his stress out. Alcohol issues, lost job in states, and now he has taking up drinking and it is bringing him much grief from family. Ron got his cell#, and made arrangements to call him next thursday. I was ready to feel sorry for him but figured he probably brought it on himself, right? Ron told us about a man, I just met with him that is studying and doing well, who almost did the same thing as this guy. Saw them on street, and told them he had problem and wanted help. Long story short, Doing well, keeping up study, and realizes he had to stop drinking.
Has had some very nice studies, and when I was with Ron today on that call, at his work to see if he could study today, he asked about going to KH! So even tho the  young man stopped us today, may have had a little too much, and is hurting because of the pain he cause to family, we won't "throw" him back, Like I had Austin do with his little fish. Will give him an opportunity to demonstrate, if he wants to apply the Man who taught us how to fish for men, his teachings. What does Corinthians say," Yet that is what some of you were".
Ron & Carolyn did 1 of Tom's studies, they were back in states, had an excellent study. He started to witness to friend who stopped by the shop. He translated the english into spanish for friend.
We made some calls, then went to Miguels, for his study. Then after that had Miguel & family join us for supper with Ron & Carolyn.

from left: Maria, Marlene, Carolyn, Ron, Elaine. Miguleito. and Miguel.
Ron & Carolyn Mudge- married a little over 1 year.

Miguelito, with his new car, we brought for him from states.
So we are getting back into swing, but it is hot here, may have to make some sensible adjustments to take a break from heat.
All for now,
Love Tom & Elaine

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Getting back for Part 2- Planks Mexican Adventure

Heading back to Dolores Hidalgo,

Started out trip back Tuesday afternoon, about 4pm. Left later than we wanted because we were waiting on some items to come in, new glasses for Elaine, and some electronic equipment for me. Was a slow start, rush hour was started in earnest, so we stopped in Rolla, MO. And spent 1st night there.
Then we headed out for Oklahoma that night. Made it to Tulsa, Ok. that evening, my left knee had started swelling when I was working and kept up, so every 100 or so miles I had to stop and lay down with knee propped on bumper to help knee to drain, and allow me to keep going. Car was so packed again, there was no room to set the passenger seat back to change positions so I kept driving, and Elaine watched maps. WE decided that we would just take it easy going back, and not be in a hurry, good thing because after awhile we started stopping every 72 miles, before knee would get to painful to go farther. Every other time we stopped we’d fill up gas tank.
Thursday we drove from Denton Tx, to Laredo, to make our last pit stop and sleep before starting the Mexican part of the trip. From Laredo to Dolores should take about 9 hours, but with my knee it was slower, so we started out at 6AM at border. Got checked thru border gates, and then had our 1st diificulty. As soon as you leave the Mexican border agents, you are in Nuevo Laredo, not to safe a  place to be. The 1st time we followed Lipperd’s across, we almost were held up a a bunch of hooligans. 2 fellows stepped in front of car, within 50ft of us leaving the border guard, they had green highway worker safety vest on. They waved me over, and ahead of us, Tom & Debbie car saw we were stopping and pulled over too, but past these 2 “gov’t workers”.  As  I slowed down 1 motioned me to roll down window, as I did about 15-20 other fellows came out of alleys, houses, bushes and attempted to surround the car. I was confused at 1st, then Elaine said “Tom get going”, and just as she said that a fellow reached in his jacket and acted l;ike he had a weapon there. They were yelling at me then to stop and pay them. But I followed Abraham example and listed to my “Sarah”, and gunned it out of there.
So this time we were ready for some attempt like that 1. And sure enough it happened. As we pulled out of the border check and into the street, a sign said “Monterrey”, and to turn left. So I stared to do that, looked down to the next intersection as I was getting ready to turn, and saw that a gang had surrounded a car there and had it blocked in with a car behind it. So we kept heading straight, and went thru town and came to a big intersection that said Monterrey, so followed it out. Whew! That was the biggest fear we have is getting thru the border area.
After that there isn’t much between there and the turnoff for Saltillo bypass which heads you down to San Luis Potosi, but then we had another scary situation; the car stopped while I accelerated past a slow truck. The battery light indicated no power and we pulled over as far as we could on right to see what happened. There was a wide area there that gave us a margin of safety from the cars & trucks racing past. Thought maybe it was a vacuum line or fuel issue. Listed for any air noises from lines couldn’t hear any, didn’t see any problems, All the gauges were reading ok. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then tried to start and it fired up. So thought it might have been some bad gas, air in line, gunk that passed. But that began a long arduous, last ½ of the trip nerve wracking drive. The fuel pump I suspect was going bad. Going uphill it would stall, and we would have to pull over. Keep in mind there are not any repair shops along the toll road, at least that we could see or ask about. So it slowly got more often and we decided that we would fill up every PEMEX we came to. If the hill was a long upgrade we would not make it. Had to coast over to right, out on flashers and hope that we wouldn’t be rear ended. There are some huge heavy trucks that barely make the steep grades on the roads. They became our friends and protectors. The traffic had to slow for them so we just would follow those slow trucks, at 4-5 mph, up the last bit of hill, then we would be able to get up to about 50-55 on level grades, or slight grades. That’s when we figured that we had to have a full tank. So every 36-40 miles we would top off tank, so that by gravity I guess that we could still get some gas to carburetor. We made Potosi, had to decide if we could make San Luis de La Paz, Thought as long as we had light, and we could make Dolores or get close, we could catch a bus, or try to call a brother to come and help us get car to shop, and repaired. Then hope our stuff would be ok there. But the hills got less high, and farter apart, though we still were not able to go more than 36 miles without getting gas. The last 150 miles that’s what we did. And we made it to Dolores about 7pm Saturday night.
Got the car all unloaded and fell into bed. Spent & exhausted every way you can be.
Saturday had a Bible study Of Ron’s, David Peralta, go with me to take car to repair place, and at 5PM he said it would be Monday before the part came in. So we walked to vegetable market sat afternoon, after turning gas back on, got some food, went to Nanapancha, pizza place had 2 great salads, and came home to no TV, internet, or working phones. But got Elaines phone working then took my cell and paid for minutes to get it working.
Then we worked on getting house organized, and food, water etc into house. Sunday did some more shopping for fruit, and got ready for meeting.
Had good news from Mike Portell, regarding my study with Miguel, both he & Ron took study for me while we were gone. Mike said he came up to where we study with Miguel 1 day, and he already had his BT book out and there was a lady there with him and he was teaching her some truths!!!! I will get the lowdown on the hows; whys and wherefors, when I get to see Miguel this week.
Good to be back, even with the border scare, and the car giving us fits. Got car looked at Saturday-Monday, got new fuel filter, and pump installed. Now we can get back almost into our routines again!
Love Tom & Elaine  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Getting ready to back to Mexico.

Well we finished up the job I did at Labadie, Mo, weld inspecting. It went well, we had 4 critical welds that all passed examination, so that was good. It feels good to be able to head back to Dolores, ready to pick up again our ministry there, and get back in a routine with our friends and the congregation.
Attended the assembly today at assembly hall, we missed our 2 day in mexico, so we are going here to catch it. Bro Cook is DO, and Bro Burge(sp) is CO. Certainly enjoyed the program today. After having to work 7 days a week for last several weeks, it was nice to be in our spiritual paradise and physically there too, with the Circuit.
Met the Eiseman's at session. Marion was happy  to see familiar faces. We caught up with them, they moved from Dolores shortly after we came back for work. Marion & Deb are teaching spanish to 5 young ones in Gainesville, MO. Deb & her husband are going into growing exotic garlic in their farm in southern Missouri. They are getting beds ready for fall planting.
Took oldest grandsons fishing last weekend. Austin was the star fisherman. He caught most fish, Spent the night, and kids made a big bonfire, and had some marshmallows going. Jordan fired up some dogs & burgers. And Noah, really enjoyed swimming in Mark Twain lake. He had a snake swimming behind him for awhile, he never saw it. Austin & I saw a beaver come out of some rocks, and then saw us and turned around to go back.
Planning on heading back south tuesday or wed. Getting everything packed up will be a challenge.
It will be nice to go thru border  with just stopping for border, not having to go to immigration dept for visa.
Our cong in Dolores has lost some very fine publishers, and commenters. Both Eisemans, Anne & Amelia Dohn soon will depart for a new area in Mexico, and Vicky, is in the Spanish sign group. So we will be needed at meetings. Right now there is another 6 of us on vacation or away at same time from Dolores. Makes it difficult for our remaining ones in Dolores, but we know they are doing a good job.
Not planning on any more trips for awhile. Being in a congregation with a lot of retired, people does present certain situations that aren't found in most places. There has been a turnover of publishers historically at Dolores, but that is the nature of this area. 3 years is a long time here. So that is a reality to deal with.
Well all for now, till we get back to Dolores and have some news for everyone. I have received many comments while back in Missouri from friends who enjoy the Blog, didn't know how much some enjoy it, but they appreciate it, so will keep it going, but maybe at a reduced edition. Have to give some attention to my health, and doing some rehab on knee. Jared had me go to a physical therapist he goes to, and he found my left hamstring wasn't firing electrically. Was getting very weak, and getting water on it, so have been getting treatment on it. Getting some exercises to strengthen it.
Keep up your service as we will ours in Dolores. Find joy in the ministry, and we all will stay in touch.
 Tom & Elaine