Thursday, March 26, 2015

Right Down the Middle

Hi there!

The most productive thing I've done as of late, and even then...
If you're wondering why it's been a while since my last post (and I realize that's a big "if"), it's because the rising heat has been affecting my productivity. For reals, though, we're in March, the second hottest month of the year in Nica, and the heat is getting to our heads. I was going through a number of things I've done these past couple weeks that prove that point, including skipping breakfast, arguing with the neighborhood kids about mangoes, and not caring about wearing dirty clothes. Actually, now that I'm listing those things, I'm realizing that I do of all them on a regular basis anyway.

ANYWHO, almost everyone we know has been getting sick lately, and the Roberts household has not been exempt from it. Bree got a parasite, Ben got a weird infection in his foot, and I lost my voice last week. All of us are doing much better now, although it wasn't easy. Seriously, of all people to not be able able to talk, why me? I hated not being able to shout! I never realized how much I do was a rough week.

We've been up to quite a bit these past couple weeks, so I'll do my best to be concise. HA, that's such a lie. If I wanted to be concise, I'd erase the previous two paragraphs.

With some of our friends from Ojo de Agua.
With my good friends Yorleni and Ervin.
Zach took off last week, and some of the brothers from Ojo got together to have a going-away lunch for him. They didn't get a chance to have one for me when I left, so they made it a dual send-off for both me and him. It was really nice to visit with my old friends there. Being in La Norte has been just what I needed, but I would never trade the memories and experiences I had in Ojo for anything.

Elvis fetching us some mangoes.
I'm sorry, can I just get back to the weather for one second? It has been really hot, but not as bad the last March I was here for, and the good thing is that it's mango season! The mangoes here are so good I wrote a whole post about them. There are mangoes almost everywhere you look. Elvis has a mango tree right in his courtyard and he's given us three bags of them just this week. Eating them has proven to be a challenge since they don't last long. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy eating fourteen mangoes in one sitting as much as the next guy, but it's still not easy. At any rate, having these awesome mangoes has been a great way to counteract the heat!
A couple girls dealing with the heat.

Like everyone else, we've been plenty busy with the Memorial campaign. We're confident that a few of our studies will be coming and we've been having some really good experiences as well. I spoke to a man in our territory who invited me in and had some questions. We've talked with him on a number of occasions, but he doesn't have an interest in studying as of yet. However, this conversation was very interesting. While discussing the invitation, I mentioned how many people are familiar with John 3:16 and how the Memorial ceremony explains the details of that scripture. He told me he had never heard of that scripture in his life, and that shocked me. People here quote it all the time! Then he said, "Well, I may have read it before, but I don't remember. Let me check my notebook." He then proceeded to grab a notebook off his bookshelf, and its contents were surprising. He reads his own Bible very often, and whenever he comes across a scripture that captures his attention, he writes it down in that notebook. He even organizes each scripture by category! We looked through the entire notebook, which was nearly full, and out of all the scriptures he had written down, he had never written down John 3:16! He was very surprised and he loved the scripture, so we proceeded to write it down in the notebook. While he still isn't ready to accept a regular study, he really enjoyed our conversation and is very much looking forward to the Memorial.

Sidenote: It was HOT.
This past Sunday, we took another congregation trip to preach in Rancherias, a rural congregation outside of town. We rented a good ol' school bus and overfilled it once again, with over 70 brothers & sisters in our group. Preaching in the rurals is always very relaxing. The people are so friendly and receive us very well. At the end of the morning, we came upon three brothers, all in their late 20s & who all looked so alike they could've been triplets, and had a great conversation with them. We considered the "Bible Questions Answered" article on the back page of The Watchtower this month about why we should remember Jesus' death. They really enjoyed the scriptures we shared with them. At the end, one of them requested a copy of The New World Translation. Since we weren't able to give him one right then and there, we told him that he would be able to obtain one at the Kingdom the Memorial! He immediately said, "I'll be there!"

Me with my buddy Reinaldito.
After a working a lot of territory, we made our way to the local Kingdom Hall to have lunch. Because Ben, Bree, & I were all rushing to get ready that morning, we didn't really have time to pack much food, and neither did Amy & Ashley. Then, Maria, a very sweet sister in our hall, came up to me and gave me a huge Tupperware container full of chicken, rice, fried plantains, and veggies that she had prepared just in case someone didn't bring a lunch! There was more than enough for all of us. It was hands-down one of the nicest things someone has ever done for us. Days like this are always very encouraging for the congregation. Everybody looks forward to them and it gives the brothers just the boost they need. I think it's one of the best ways for a congregation to bond.

Bree entertaining the kids during lunch. Having lunch together in the hall as a congregation felt like being at a convention!
After lunch, we worked some more territory with a nice view of San Cristobal in the background. Sidenote: Rancherias is MUCH closer to that volcano, which probably explains why the territory is so hot and dusty. Seriously, bros, the pants I wore that day started off green, but when we got home, I honestly couldn't tell what color they were. Gray? Beige?

The Kingdom Hall + volcano view
During the afternoon, I worked with Salomon, an eight-year-old kid who has recently starting doing his own doors and is very excited about excited that he wouldn't let me do any. That's fine with me, bro, but if you wanna do all the doors, you're gonna do all the doors. We came upon a house and found a girl who was also eight-years-old. When she told Salomon that her parents weren't home and it was just her, instead of asking me what to do, Salomon continued with his presentation anyway. So yes, an eight-year-old asked another eight-year-old, "How do you view the Bible? Do you view it as a book of myths and legends, a book of human wisdom, or the word of God?" and then they both stood in silence, staring off into the distance, each one wondering if the other person even understood the question, waiting for the other to say something to break the ice, but neither ever would. Also, the silence was long enough for me to take a picture.
" we are. Just two kids attempting to talk about something other than juice. Speaking of which, you wanna get a juice box after this? I'm not gonna lie, I'd totally be up for that but I'm just not sure if you want to as well."
Me with the Cáceres family on the bus.
That day is gonna be one for the books because things are going to be changing here very soon. We've received word that they will officially be splitting our congregation! It will take effect in May, at the latest. While it's a really good thing and it shows that there is still a lot of growth here, it is very bittersweet, since being in this congregation has been such a blessing for us. No one is 100% sure on all the details just yet, but the good thing is that we'll now be able to share our five elders. Actually, Erling just told me the other night that our C.O. asked him and Rebecca to transfer to the Acomen congregation in the center of town starting next week. They were my first friends in this congregation, so yeah, I'm sad about that! However, I'm realizing more and more that everything serves its purpose for its time, and change is good.

Just a small portion of our group from that day!
Pase lo que pase, I know that things will work out well wherever I end up. I'll keep everyone posted, as long as I'm not being consumed by dust and mangoes.

Talk soon,



  1. I love the story about the two 8-year-olds...soooo cute! I love watching little ones preach!

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