Monday, 26 December 2011

Updates

A couple of updates for you:
1. Chris' dad is home now. He's feeling better and as long as he takes it easy for the next couple of months he should be fine. He gave us a big scare, but we're both happy he's fine.
2. We're changing house in the next few weeks. We found a house closer to the KH, in the territory and smaller. It's really nice, very oldish Italian style, in a privada (estate) enclosed with a beautiful park at the front where we can relax, use the swing or bbq some meat and have great parties with the brothers. It has 3 bedrooms (difficult to find it smaller than this), 2 and a half bathrooms (perfect for guests) big kitchen, dining and sitting area all open space (which I love). Now we need to buy the furniture. We'll move in the 15th of January after the SA.
3. We need to think about how we can renew our visas. We can either try to get the yearly kind of resident visa or we can decide to go out of the country in March. To go out, we need to either fly to Chicago or maybe go with some friends over the border in Feb. But we're still evaluating all options. The thing is, we need to do something by March.
4. My parents are coming next year for a month. My mum need some work to be done on her teeth and Italy is crazy expensive. So they decided to come here, have the teeth fixed and have a little holiday with us. That is also because we're not going home until March 2013 so I suppose they wanted to see us. So that's is going to be fun. 
5. My dearest Kentucky girls, Megan and Tay, are going home in few days until March so I'm quite sad. We have a great time together. I never thought I would meet such spiritual and "crazy" girls. We love them dearly. They're like sisters to me. So I hope nothing will make them change their mind. They're probably going to stay with us when they come back while they look for a house. In the meantime, we'll miss you girls. Please come back.
6. More people are coming. A MTS (BSSB) brother is coming with his wife in January as assigned from Bethel which means the elders here will be able to relax a bit. I believe it's been hectic for them being only two in a newly formed congregation. Then a couple of couples (do you like the wording :] ) are coming from Alaska. We still don't know if they're going to stay in Zacatecas or not but if not, they will still need great somewhere else in Mexico. 
7. We insured the car!!! (Ok... wtv...)

Seriously, that's it more or less. If something else comes up I'll update again. The field is still going fine. Obviously with Christmas celebration is more difficult to find studies available to do the actual study but that's normal. 

If you ever have any questions about what's going on down here or how's Mexican food, just ask ok?

Got to go now...

See ya!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Jehovah the God of all comfort

The WT for this week has proved to be true (obviously right??!!).
You see, last week Chris' dad got pneumonia and ended up in hospital. We knew something was wrong because that was the day we generally call them to hear how they are. But this time their computer was off and there was no one at home. But we didn't want to be paranoid right?? The computer can be broken and they might have gone to do some shopping.
Then we called again the next day at a time we knew they would be home and still... no answer! Then we knew something was wrong (and to be honest with you I had that feeling the whole night). So Chris called his brother who told him that his dad was in hospital with pneumonia.
Imagine the panic. Here we are millions of miles away (ok only 5500 but still...) and we can't do anything about it. And we always promised ourselves and Chris' parents (and we always meant it and we still do) that we would be going back pronto if anything ever happens. So I feel desperately guilty and start looking at flights and Chris... well... you can imagine right?
So Chris calls his mum and obviously she's worried sick and tired but she can't sleep as well because she doesn't know anything yet because the doctors won't say much and Chris' dad had a problem with his kidneys since a couple of years ago so the infection attacked the kidneys as well, and he can't breathe properly so he has an oxygen mask, and the antibiotics are not responding... Then I obviously start thinking about his mum as well, not being able to sleep or eat and running to and from the hospital. And I feel even more terrible. I felt like I needed and wanted to be there to help her in the house so that she wouldn't have to worry about that as well.
So again... imagine the panic! Flights website again...
She kept on telling us not to panic and to wait before booking a flight back just to see if he would stabilize.
And he did for a couple of days. But he wouldn't eat. And that's worrying.
Then last Thursday we don't call because we're out in the field all day (one of our 10-hours day) and we forgot to tell Chris' mum. Anyway, the next day Chris' calls his brother in Italy and it comes out that hid dad got worse Thursday and he was coughing up blood and he couldn't breathe and that his mum was crying on the phone worried. PANIC!!!! We call Chris' mum and she explains everything and yes, his dad had a bad turn but not apparently the antibiotic started working properly and he was feeling better. Still not eating though...
Anyway, Chris' younger brother arrives from Greece as he anticipated the flight from Christmas so he could help his mum and when Chris talks to him it comes out that his dad was getting really depressed between being tired from not sleeping, being in the hospital and medications like morphine. So then I saw Chris checking out flights websites and then I REALLY GOT WORRIED!!!
We talked about it and we found a flight to Los Angeles and then we checked how to move the return flight forward. Anyway, we were ready to book it today for January the 12th.
This morning Chris calls his mum mobile while she's in the hospital with his dad and he talks to his dad and finally he can hear from his voice that he's doing well. He's eating, he's smiling and he doesn't need the oxygen anymore. Obviously he probably has another week in the hospital but the simple fact that he's eating is a relief. When Chris told me about it this morning he also said "I prayed about it last night". Well obviously we're not saying it's a miracle (we know better than that) but at least this gave us sort of peace of mind. Even just knowing that Chris' mum is doing better is a lot. And with her son there helping, she can obviously have some rest now (I hope).
Obviously we're still worried and ready to book the flight at any time but is in moments like these that we realize how close is Jehovah to us. He can give us the strength to keep calm and not panic completely.
In the meantime we're obviously trying to go on with our daily activities like working and preaching.
And we found a house. What? Yes we do have a house, but we're moving closer to the kingdom hall and in a smaller place. The house where we are served its purpose of letting us decide if we want to stay. So we didn't have to buy any furniture etc etc. But now that we decided (kinda of...) we looked for a smaller place where we feel at home. We'll move in on the 15th of January and then I will start posting photos.
We're also having some really good experiences in the field. One of my studies asked me about Christmas and its origins so I went back with the magazine from a couple of years ago. She still remembered what we talked about the previous time (idols and stuff) and she quoted the scripture we read PS. 115:4-6 from memory and she said that if it's in the Bible we must obey. I was kind of shocked. So now I'm going to go back on the Christmas subject next time and then start the systematic study with the TB.

Well, that's it for now. We'll keep you updated.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Sorry...

Sorry it's been so long. I promised myself I would write at least every week but to be honest now our life is kind of "normal" (although we're not normal, so that can raise some eyebrows) and we're working and going out in the field all the time... So I am barely at home, and when I'm at home I'm either cooking, cleaning, teaching, preparing for the meeting, ironing, washing my hair (it takes time ok????) or hating the computer because I'm using it a lot.
Anyway, we don't have much news around here to be honest. We're waiting for December to go by, for the cold to leave us alone, for the new year to arrive, for the special assembly day in January and for Steve and Sandra (dear friends who got us here) to arrive and spend some time with us.

In the meantime, Chris started two studies. One of them actually said that after the first call, he went to do research online about us and found (thanks to the wonderful work of the bros in Bethel) our website. He has an interesting belief as he was obviously raised catholic but doesn't believe God is the one causing suffering and doesn't believe in hell and all that stuff. So he really wants to study and he wants to do it in a proper way, peaceful setting, sipping a cup of tea.
The other guy was in the US for a long time, had houses, cars, family...until he was kicked out and the wife doesn't want to know anything about him anymore. He can't even see his kids. Anyway, he obviously has a miserable life at the moment. If you pass him on the street, you wouldn't probably stop him as he looks kind of a "rapper" guy, so you wouldn't think he's interested in the Bible. But Chris started the study using chapter 3 of the TB (teach book) and he was really impressed when he learned about how this miserable world will soon end.
Wait, I just realized Chris has 3 studies. This other guy sells electronic stuff in a local market (they sell everything in these markets...even their old underwear). Chris offered a magazine the first time and the guy went off at once saying how "messed" up is the world (the word between caption is been edited to be suitable for a younger public) and how life is complicated, bla bla bla. Well Chris started with him as well. Three or four paragraph at the time, but it's constant. And he's always carrying the book with him.

Ok enough of that. I started two studies too. 
The first is a young girl, 19 years old who is still at school because she lost 2 years after getting pregnant at 15. She loves her daughter and wants to give her a better future and that's why she's been thinking about going back to spiritual things lately. Last saturday we had an appointment and she was waiting for me with the Truth tract on her own doorstep. Next saturday I'm going to start with the TB.
The other is a woman, around 30, who lived in the US for 5 years. We found her reading her Bible inside her own coffee shop. When we asked if she wanted to know more, she was 100% for it so I promised to go back with a TB. In the meantime the sister who was with me, Dinah, met her while doing some shopping around town and finding her a bit down, shared a couple of scriptures to encourage her. When I went back, last Tuesday, she was outside her shop looking at the infinite queue of people waiting to enter the Cathedral where the Pope's body/remains were (I know...). So after talking for a bit about this, that and the other, I gave her the book and made arrangement to study once a week.

So we're quite happy about that. Getting BS here is more difficult, but it gives more satisfaction because you have to work to get one, but if you work well, you'll actually get it.

So anyway, these are the only news. Ah no, wait. I have another news. I made pizza!!!!
And it came out perfect! (Yes Trev, better than Uganda). We had a party Sunday night, so I made pizza and some of the girls experimented making different type of margaritas. Hard life!!!

That's all folks.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Zacatecas refugees

The cold is increasing. 
More people is sleeping outside in the streets as it's warmer than inside the house. 
Food is scarce.
Diseases are spreading. 
You can help!!!!



Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Important Message for All!

In the past few days, here in Zacatecas, the temperature has dropped drastically! It fluctuates between 2C (35.6F) and -1C (30.2F).
Many are finding it difficult to cope with!
Most of us don't even have the right clothes!
Majority don't have any heating in the house!
This is a call for all of you people!

video

Thursday, 24 November 2011

To stay!!!

Dear readers,

it's official! We're staying. At least for a year. Unless something bad happens that is...
Anyway, we're settled in our new house which is enormous, I finally got a job and the field has been great so far.
Have you ever had a 10 hour day in the field?
Well I've never had one until today. We finally organized our typical week:
Mondays we work all day and then we have the meeting in the evening;
Tuesdays I work early morning and then off for a long day in the field, which means either up to 5pm or 7pm;
Wednesdays I work early morning, off for a short day in the field which means up to 1pm, and then I work until evening;
Thursdays same as Tuesdays but longer so it's up to 8pm;
Fridays FREEEEEE!!!!
Saturdays same as Wednesdays (but generally there's a party or a gathering of some kind in the evening);
Sundays is field in the morning up to 12.30pm and then meeting at 3.30pm and then probably another gathering which generally is girls night watching a chick flick and boys night watching a comedy.
So today it's Thursday and we just got home from this morning at 9.30.
10 and a half hours people! 
We're ready for bed but the satisfaction has no price! And what a funny and productive way. Chris started a bible study and found a new call and I found a very interesting call (a woman was reading her bible and it happened she knew english because she lived in the US for 5 years).

Well, so I think you all get my point.

We're staying!!!



Monday, 7 November 2011

To stay or not to stay...

... that's the big dilemma! In a way, it's like we have decided we're going to stay. But at the same time, we don't know for how long we're going to stay.
In the meantime we found a really nice furnished house. It's BIG!!! And that's not necessarily a good thing, especially when you're only in two people. But here it seems that a two bedroom house is something "inconceivable" (as Vizzini said). You can either find a studio apartment, which would be too small for us, or a 3/4 bedroom house with 2 sitting rooms and 3 bathrooms and a massive terrace at the top of the house.
Anyway, it was a good deal and I'm sure Jehovah had something to do with this as we received a massive discount on it just because we're staying longer than the usual tenants. And as an additional blessing, the landlord is a car dealer.
The moment we met to agree on the house, a car turned up for a very cheap price. He offered to fix whatever is wrong with the car, whatever is wrong in the house and he's installing Internet for us. Which will be indispensable since Chris still works with websites and I'll soon start teaching online.
So that's it people... I think we're staying. Probably for at least a year.

In the meantime we're realizing how much need there was in the congregation. Chris is being used at every meeting for one thing or another. Which makes him very happy.
And I will never repeat this too often: the people here, especially the brothers, are simply AMAZING! Friendly, easygoing, helpful, hospitable, always smiling or cracking jokes and always in the field.

Well what else can I say? Our main worries were the house, the job and the car. Jehovah answered positively to all. It seems that everything is on the pro side of Mexico! And how can we say no to that???

Monday, 31 October 2011

Well well well... Need Greating in Mexico

So let me see, where do I start...

Less than a week and I think we really like it here. The field is good. Although totally different from the African field, I like it because even having 12 bible studies can be monotonous (I know what you're thinking,"oh boo hoo!!" but you should try it first).

So what we do is go to door to door asking if anyone speaks English and if they say yes, we'll leave a tract or a magazine with the person. If they say no, we'll just thank them and leave. Reminds me a bit of a research type of field. But we like it.
So anyway, the brothers here are really like a family. We've been invited already 4 times in less than a week and apparently it's always like this here.
At the field service meetings, we have an average attendance of 12. Out of less than 30 publishers, we're 16 pioneers from California, Kentucky, Japan, Canada and us. And everyone wants to stay here long term. The kingdom all is beautiful with 2 halls and 5 congregations sharing them.

The town center is absolutely beautiful. Reminds us of Italy in the 50's. And we're in a valley surrounded by rocky hills which were old silver mines. There is also a typical roman aqueduct (although I'm not sure the Romans have anything to do with the original design) and an old bull fight ring, arena-style, which has been turned into an amazing (and expensive) hotel.
The people is really friendly. Sometimes we can't believe how much friendly they are. Do you know the saying: "Mi casa es su casa"?. Well we're realizing how true that is for the Mexican culture.

And the food? Well don't get me started on that... Quesadillas, Tacos, Tapas, Gorditas, Fajitas, Enchiladas... We're going to have problem not putting on weight while we're here. At the same time we're still adjusting at the altitude (more than 8000ft) so we generally feel breathless going up a easy hill. The temperature is perfect as well. Hot and dry during the day and chilly and cool when the sun goes down. The sky is always clear blue without clouds.

We'll start looking for a car this week and for a house in a couple of weeks. Who knows... if Jehovah directs us like he always does, we might end up here long term as well.

While we wait for his direction, we'll keep you updated on any development.

Ta ta for now

Hasta luego

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Nadie escarmienta en cabeza ajena


...or Nobody learns in the head of someone else!

So here we are, in the middle of nowhere (again) but this time in Mexico... the other side of the world for us, learning! Learning about a new culture, learning a new language and learning from past experiences which should have helped us to mature (without taking the fun away).

We just been in L.A. for a couple of days, visiting Hollywood Blvd, the walk of fame bla bla bla (nothing special, just a street with different tiles on the pavement) and we've been trying to catch up with the time difference, but now it should be easier as we're only 6 hours behind GMT while L.A. was 8 hours behind (I was up at 3am as it would be already 11am in UK).

So I have some sleep to catch up with. And some laundry. And some ironing.... Sigh!

The flight from L.A. to Zac was very pleasant actually. Nice spacious plane, very quiet and half empty. Never enjoyed a flight so much to be honest.
We landed at around 5pm local time and the sun was still scorching. But what struck me was the amazingly blue sky (el cielo azul). There were NO CLOUDS at all. And keep in mind that we're coming from rainy season in Uganda and the beginning of winter in UK so for us to see such a clear sky it's something!

Some brothers kindly came to pick us up and drove us home, which is next to theirs.
From what they say, things looks much easier here than Uganda of course but the field is still the same! And, this is official, there is great need in the English field... so much need that Bethel decided to send an MTS brother to the congregation (that's why I say it's official...because it is).

A couple who was living here and left recently kindly offered their house as they had paid rent in advance. This will allow us to look for a place suitable for us.
So we're here, ready for a good night sleep and the start of a new adventure!
Tomorrow we'll go around to get used to the place and I'll take some pictures so to give an idea of what Zac looks like.

Buenas noches a todos

Ve hablo luego

Ola