I just want to thank you all for your words of encouragement these past couple of days! I was overwhelmed with e-mails, messages, and phone calls after my previous post. We really have the best brotherhood on Earth, don't we? Thank you so much, and please don't hesitate to contact me. You have no idea how much it helps to hear from you all.
I had mentioned in my previous post that I would be cycling to Ojo for the meeting today. I am happy to say that I did it! I made sure to pack my meeting clothes in my bag along with two liters of ice-cold water. I have a pretty nice bicycle, but the problem is that I don't have a wrench to lower the seat. Yes, I know all you fitness freaks are gonna tell me that it's better to have the seat higher, but it's definitely harder on your legs! I can't say that the ride is enjoyable. It's hot, humid, and very long. Also, because we are in the depths of the rainy season, there are indescribable amounts of mud in Ojo at the moment. That's why I showed up to the Kingdom Hall looking like this:
I know you can't really tell from the photo, but I was drenched in sweat and my legs were peppered with mud!
Thankfully, I was able to change into my nice clothes for the meeting. The book study, ministry school, and service meeting all went very well. After our intermission, it was time for the public talk. Now, my Spanish has improved a lot - I feel comfortable commenting without notes and participating freely, but public talks are still a bit of a struggle for me to understand. I'm usually happy if I can understand 60% to 70% of what is being said. However, the speaker today from El Viejo was awesome. He spoke so clearly that I was able to understand the whole talk!!
My notes from the public talk. They actually make sense for a change!
It was a very nice talk about the coming paradise. We have so much to look forward to. He ended the talk by asking "Will you do everything you can to make sure you can be a part of that paradise?" The fact that I was able to understand so much definitely felt like a boost of encouragement from Jehovah. It made the grueling journey to Ojo all worth it. A very refreshing meeting indeed!
Then, it was time to change back and cycle home. The journey back is even harder, especially at mid-day and on a road where there is absolutely no shade!! I had to stop and take many water breaks. As soon as I got home, I called my mother (who told me to cycle out there in the first place) and shouted about how miserable that bike ride is. She then asked me, "But was it worth it?" After much hesitation, I replied, "Yes, it was one of the best meetings to date." She said, "Good. Now tell everybody that I was right." There you go, mom.
Is it easy cycling eight miles round-trip? Absolutely not, and it never will be. But today's meeting made it worth the effort. It really felt like a blessing from Jehovah at the just the right time. Things are still very difficult down here, but I'm confident that things will get easier. I'm also still hoping that my scooter will be fixed soon!
Thank you all once again. Please stay in touch!