Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week 15...Tons of Fun!

Wow this week was crazy again! But it was so much fun! On Monday we packed up and cleaned the Hull's apartment. They made sure we got on the right bus and told us we are now their spiritual grandchildren. Then we headed into town to get our groceries and finish up souvenir shopping. So by the time the bus came to get us we had all of weekend bags, groceries for the next week and half, and souvenirs. We looked like we had enough stuff to last us a month!

   Tuesday Emily and I finally got to ride to Mourne Jaune! Montgomery's took us over and let us come on some of their calls and studies. Then in the afternoon we just ate lunch and hung out at their house. Kaysh had to stay home because she got Chikungunya!

   Wednesday Montgomery's took Emily, Mariah, and I to Delices to meet with the congregation for service. It was very nice! I worked with Shelby English and Marlin and Marlene Williams. The Williams just got back from visiting the states to help their families and they found that their home here in Dominica had been robbed. Robberies here are not common and the thieves were caught. However, the justice system is.....well it can be interesting. So they don't know if they will receive compensation for the stolen items. A few days later Marlene dropped her cellphone, went back to get it, and it had already been taken. Now because of family member's declining health they have to return to the states again. And just last night their house was struck by lightning (thunderstorms are also a rarity) and many of their appliances were fried. Amazingly they still plan on coming back to Dominica after handling their family responsibilities. But they would much appreciate prayers from the brothers and sisters!

  So back to Wednesday's events. We returned to La Plaine for some lunch and I enjoyed some upbuilding conversation with the Montgomery's. Then Em rejoined us to go over to the Castle Bruce congregation. What a blessing! The brothers and sisters were so kind to us. They meet in an elementary school. Even though they've been a congregation for about 5, maybe more, years they have never had a Kingdom hall. In fact, before they had a congregation they also had to meet with our congregation, La Roche. That was an hour and a half drive each way! Brothers and sisters all over Dominica still drive long distances to get to meetings and transport is not cheap, trust me. So you also have permission to pray that Jehovah bless the forming of new congregations and building of Kingdom halls in Dominica. Side note: almost every congregation here is DESPERATE for brothers!

   At the meeting we had the opportunity to meet more amazing examples. Two young sisters were visiting from Barbados to help out for a few weeks. They said even compared to Barbados the ministry here is incredible! We also had the opportunity to see two of my favorite people we've meet here, Jeff and Sang Mikel. I finally got to hear their story. They lived in California and just came here to visit. But when they realized the congregation only had 17 publishers they didn't see how they couldn't come back. So they went home and saved for a year before moving to Dominica to live. After two years their savings were dwindling and it appeared as though they would have to return to the states. However, Jehovah blessed them and they were appointed as special pioneers, which allowed them to stay in their assignment! About two months ago someone set their vehicle ablaze completely destroying it. They had saved money for several years to afford that van. And that was how many Bible students got to the meetings. The locals were so upset that this happened and were very afraid that the Mikel's would leave. Sang remarked to me that it never even crossed their minds to leave their assignment. For several weeks they walked from their home to the Kingdom hall, which is in the next village and up a mountain. Although Jehovah has blessed them with temporary transport, their request for a replacement vehicle is currently being processed. And the Prime Minister may be involved in the final decision. So again.....let's all keep them in our prayers.

   Thursday was meeting and there was less than 25 in attendance. Health issues have been affecting many lately. Friday was nice. Emily and I worked together all day. We had a hard time finding people home, but we enjoyed ourselves anyways! Especially because the Flavorite truck went all over and we finally got ice cream!!!! The gas stations have been out for weeks!

   Yesterday was so nice. Some of the friends from the Grand Bay congregation came to visit. Jacelyn Miller (the mom), Jemmique (the daughter), and Dilano (the son). I worked in service with Jacelyn and after a few really nice calls in territory we headed over to my study. It went AMAZING! She understood and accepted everything! And at the end she said that i could come more than once a week! After service Montgomery's had Kaysh and I for lunch with the Miller's. Afterwards we all went to the river to swim. It was super refreshing! Mariah, Kaysh, and I were able to go close to the mouth of the river abs could feel the waves of ocean coming in! Then we finished off the night by eating cake and playing Phase 10!

   And that brings us to today! Meeting in the morning where there were only two brothers so Mariah had to run mics. After a quick lunch, Em and I joined the Montgomery's to go to Roseau North for James' talk out. The hall is in town and is AIR CONDITIONED. I actually wasn't  enjoying the AC as much as I thought I would. It was cold! But the meeting was really nice anyways. It was really nice to meet even more brothers and sisters. So that was my week. And the closer it gets to leaving the more I feel torn between being super excited to come home and being sad to leave this beautiful island.

Pictures of Our Fifteenth Week

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Week 14...So Close to the End!

Aww what a week!!!! I'm so sorry I'm so late again! These last few weeks are going to be crazy busy so i might be late writing the rest of my blogs. We are doing exciting things every weekend.

   So last Monday Nanci made a big breakfast for all of us girls! Eggs, potatoes, sausage, grits, fried plantains, juice, and coffee! It was so amazing! Emily and I ended up hanging out there all day. It was a much needed day off. We ended up staying another night at Mariah and Emily's. Mariah was working so the rest of us did makeovers which was fun!

   Tuesday we walked all the way to Mourne Jaune. And it was very, very hot outside. After an hour and a half we made it there. We did a call for Nanci, then went to Em's bedridden study. While walking to the next call Em said, "I just wish someone would give us some fresh juice." We kept going and went to Kaysh's study. Then to a study with two women that Nanci and Emily started. Lastly, we stopped to show a girl a Caleb video. And guess what....? Her mom gave us juice! Jehovah gives us just what we need. On our way back we were so tired so we texted Nanci and when we got back to La Plaine she made us iced coffee and fried plantains! The Montgomery's are always super hospitable.

   Wednesday Em and I headed over to two of my studies. Both ended up being busy. So we walked down a track to a river a local had told us about. We couldn't get to the river because it was overgrown with bush. But a man who had passed through the river asked about what we were doing and ended up giving us a soursop! When i walked past my study's house she seen Emily carrying the soursop and felt bad so she have me one too!!! After a couple more attempts at calls we were exhausted and headed back for lunch. In the afternoon we walked to Case O Gowrie and did some calls and studies.

   On Thursday our landlord, Marvlyn, came down to check out the house to make sure she didn't have to being anything back from England. She was leaving on Saturday for a few months and she gets all her dishes, blankets, etc while she's there to being back with her. She was very impressed with how well we've kept the house. After her inspection we cooked all of our food for the weekend and packed our stuff. We said goodbye to Marvlyn and her daughter drove us down to Mariah and Emily's. We went to meeting and I had a talk with a young girl but Nanci had to sub for her so i had to rewrite the talk during the meeting. So nerve wracking! That night we stayed with Mariah and Emily.

   Friday was awesome. We went into town but got to sleep an hour longer than usual! After picking up a few quick groceries and getting money from the ATM we got on a bus to Portsmouth. The drive was amazing. Every part of this island looks different, yet beautiful in it's own way. We arrived at the Kingdom Hall and were greeted by the Hull's, an older missionary couple who opened up their guest apartment for us to stay in for the weekend. She is full of energy and so nice! She helped us get settled in and talked to us for a bit. Then us four girls went on a tour of the Indian River. They take you by a canoe down the river which is really cool. We saw crabs, iguanas, and birds. We got back to the apartment, which by the way is directly above the Kingdom Hall, and Sis Hull was just leaving to attend a funeral. So we walked downtown and got some ice cream. Portsmouth has a medical college with a lot of foreign students. I forgot that Americans think it's weird if you greet them as you walk past.

   Saturday was an early morning because we went to the local market with Sis Hull. We left at 6:30 am. But the fruits and veggies were so fresh and cheap! This market was 10x better than the one in Roseau. We returned to the apartment to finish getting ready and went down to meet for service. I worked with a local sister named Christine and we had a very successful morning. In the afternoon we walked down to the beach and swam for awhile. There were jellyfish in the water. Not super dangerous ones, but they still stung us. The locals call them "sea ants" because it feels more like fire ants biting you than a jellyfish sting.

  Sunday was also eventful! We went to meeting and had a very nice time. After meeting Sis Hull prepared lunch for us and it was very delicious. Then Br. Thomas came and took us and some others on a small tour of the area. We went to an old fort which was simply beautiful! Then we went to the North peak of the island where you can see the outline of Les Saints, Guadeloupe, and Marie Galante. When we made it back to the apartment, the Hull's had us over and told us all about their life. They have over 100 combined years in full time service. They told us many stories, including ones about how they discovered their love of bacon at Bethel! It was the perfect encouraging final night of our mini vacation!

Week 14...I'm Missing Pictures From the Weekend

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Week 13...One More Month

Crazy to think that 3 months have already gone by on this island. We've met so many amazing brothers and sisters, talked to so many honest-hearted ones, and become accustomed to a whole new culture! Last week was pretty fun!

   Monday was a holiday of some sort so everybody was home from work and school. We worked as a group of four girls in the morning. Mariah had two studies with kids who would normally be in school. In the afternoon we walked to Case O Gowrie. Mariah had a call who told us that they had been praying for us because they think more young purple should be like us and study the Bible. After another study we walked home. Kaysh and I were having family worship that night and the power went out! Kaysh had to use a flashlight to see her book. Thankfully, it came back after only 5 mins.

   Tuesday was super fun!!! Em, Kaysh, and I walked about a third of the way to Maurne Jaune and all the way back! It's about four miles away from our village. Emily and Kaysh conducted some very nice Bible studies. On our walk back we messed with some crabs. Then after a quick stop at a black sand beach we went to the Riverside Café, a restaurant owned by some local French people. The juice and dessert was AMAZING!!! Our waitress took magazines and talked with us for awhile. She used to study and said we could visit anytime when she was not working at her home!

   Wednesday we visited James and Nanci before going out because they both got Chickungunya. They could barely walk. So we brought them some bread. After that Emily went with me to some of my studies. Annette was first. I asked her to bring out her copy of the Bible, and to my surprise it was the unrevised New World Translation!!! My other study was in town to get her high blood pressure checked. But i offered her daughter a study, which she accepted!!! That afternoon we walked to La Ronde. Unfortunately, none of our calls were home! However, I did one of Nanci's studies for her on the way home and it went very well!

  Thursday was finally the perfect day to do our wash! And we got ALL OF IT DONE!!!! Other than accomplishing that, we cleaned a little and made lots of food. At meeting Kaysh filled in last minute for a talk, and she did an excellent job!!! Friday we went to the assembly hall. Work there is winding down so there's not much left to do. After that we went to town. Most of it was fun as always, but i drank what I'm pretty sure was the equivalent to espresso and that made me feel horrible! But we did get to witness to a lady at the market who remarked that she could tell we were really sincere. It was very nice.

   Saturday we dropped some groceries off to Montgomery's and then headed for Case O Gowrie. Mariah's study was busy so we walked back to La Plaine for two more of Mariah's studies. In the afternoon Emily and I went to a few of my calls but only found Crystalyn at home. She is always so excited for her studies!!! On my way home a guy made an extremely perverted comment towards me. Jehovah helped me keep my calm though. And then he blessed me by giving me two new calls on some of my very close by neighbors!

   Sunday was full of fun! Meeting was very nice. I wore a madras dress and the local sister's faces lit up. One said: "You are wearing the dress of my people!" It's very important to people that you love and enjoy the culture of the island. After meeting we went home for a few hours to prepare for Thai Night! Kaysh, Emily, Mariah, and I went over to Montgomery's for dinner. Kaysh prepared traditional Pad Thai which was amazing! Mariah made banana rotis, also delicious. And Nanci made a chocolate cake! The whole night was spent laughing, and talking, and playing cards! Afterwards we spent the night at Emily and Mariah's. It was the most fun I've had in awhile!

   This next month is going to fly by for me! We have lots of plans so please excuse me if I'm a few days late with my blog...I will try my best to get it out on time. My love goes out to everyone back home. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon!!!

13 Pictures From Week 13

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Dozen Weeks Have Passed!

Okay....I've probably tried to write this about 5 times. I'm having technical difficulties. But my week was interesting. Monday was good! In the morning Mariah, Emily and I worked together. I tried to have my study with Crystalyn but someone came in to tell her that her cousin had died. People here take news of death very well for some reason. I worked with Kaysh and Emily in the afternoon. We met a bunch of our neighbors and we got ice cream.

    Tuesday was a disappointment. I got up early but felt absolutely horrid. So i stayed home. I just felt worse and worse as the day went on. Mariah apparently had all the same symptoms. Kaysh was so nice and took care of me when she got home. Wednesday Mariah went to the health centre and found out our symptoms pointed to Chickungunya. And Thursday I finally started recuperating so I went to meeting. But i was still feeling awful so Emily was nice enough to fill in for my householder part!

   Friday we went to town like always. And I felt better for the most part. But it was fun as always. I especially enjoyed the market and got some gifts for friends this week!!!! And Saturday i finally got to go in service again. I was with Mariah on some of her studies and finally had my study with Crystalyn! I also started two more studies with Mariah's study's sisters!!! Yesterday was also nice. After meeting Emily came over for a girls night!!! So that's my week in a nutshell. Still having lots of fun here but still very excited to come home for international convention!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Week 11, Also CO Week

So Monday started off the week pretty good! I worked with Mariah all day and got to join her on some of her studies. That night Kaysh and I tried to make dinner. But the standards for butchering meat are different here. So the chicken wasn't bled properly and we had to throw out the entire meal before even taking a bite. Pancake mix came in handy! Tuesday was enjoyable. Em and I went to Case O Gowrie by ourselves for a few hours to do her calls. We enjoyed the meeting. The circuit overseer is from Barbados and his wife is from Grenada.

   Wednesday we worked La Plaine as a congregation. I worked with a local sister, Lucy. She is really funny. She told me stories about her grandchildren, her pets, and her late husband. Kaysh, Mariah, Emily and I hosted the CO and his wife for lunch. His name is Paul and she is Marie Jean, the Codrington's. We had a nice meal them went back in service for a few hours until we had to go to the pioneer meeting.

   Thursday was super fun. It was a day off for starters. Which was really nice after our busy week. But meeting was amazing and afterwards Mariah and Em came over for a sleepover!!! We watched a movie but we couldn't stay up late because we had to be up around 6 the next morning. We got to the bus stop at 7:20 Friday morning. Our bus driver was late and also forgot he was supposed to take us to Delices. Well he arranged for another bus to pick us up. That bus didn't come until 9, the time we were supposed to be in Delices by. We still made it for service. Even though it was cold and rainy we enjoyed the morning. Then we went to a local sister's house for lunch since she was housing the CO. Her cooking was excellent and she shared some of her recipes with me!

   Yesterday was also nice. I got to work with one of the younger local sisters. We had a few nice conversations. The Montgomery's hosted the Codrington's. Apparently, on Saturdays when you provide a meal for the CO, you are also supposed to feed everyone who confess for service! It was a lovely lunch. Today was our last day with the Codrington's. Paul gave two outstanding talks. And so concludes my week. It was fun, but very exhausting!

Apparently Week 10's Photos Never Published!