We often joke here appreciatively that we are literally living the Yearbook because we are fortunate enough to serve in a place with amazing experiences on a fairly regular basis. This is a long post, but I know these experiences encourage all of us, so I wanted to share a couple with you that have recently happened to me.
I've started to do business territory with a missionary sister on Thursday mornings. It's a new field for me, and frankly, I've been really intimidated because we're not just trying to reach the owners of little Nica pulperias, we're trying to reach bank and university presidents! It's been surprising, though, how many of them not just take the mags each month but set aside a few minutes to study each week!
So a couple weeks ago we're trying to reach the president of a national bank for his weekly study when his assistant, Ana, comes out to apologize and say he won't be able to study this week but we're welcome to leave something for him. Well, our directions from the branch are clear that if we leave literature, it must be in a sealed envelope, and we didn't have one with us, so my partner explained we'd just come back next week for him. Well, Ana is still standing there looking like she wants to say something and finally squeaks out really embarrassed, "You don't even have anything for me?". She added that she knows we drop off the mags to her boss because when he finishes, he always gives her the copies, and she and her hubby read them together with their Bible. So we gave her the mags for this month and she added she specifically wants to read about the family since she has two small children. The next week we came with a packet for her with lots of magazines on the family and a Bible Teach book. She said her husband used to study and liked it but had to stop when he started working. She adds, "Do you accept visitors at your church? Because we really feel the need to be meeting with someone, and your church is only two blocks from my house." Thankfully, she lives in the territory of my partner so (after we picked our chins up off the floor), they exchanged information to follow up on Sundays when they're as a family (also a meeting day).
Here's the second experience. A few months ago a sister from English Cong told me about one of the money collectors on the bus who used to study in Costa Rica and wants to restart. She wanted me to follow up since I speak Spanish. No problem, I'm thinking. Which bus? Well, the LaVilla/Mercado bus. But there's about six of them, and she's not sure which one. Which money collector? She doesn't know his name, but he's young and caramel-skinned....as they all are. So I'm thinking that I'm NEVER going to find this individual, but she keeps following up with me, so finally one week we're working the territory near the bus hub when I see a money collector who's friendly with me. I ask him offhand thinking he's never going to be able to help me, "Is there a relatively new bus collector on this route who's just moved from Costa Rica?"
"Yes," he tells me, "his name is Yalmer, and he's sitting in that parked bus right there on the other side of the parking lot."
So I go over to the bus and talk to Yalmer saying, "You don't know me, but about a month ago you spoke to a JW and indicated you'd like to study the Bible, is that correct?"
He tells me calm as can be, "Yes, I've been waiting for you."
So we sit in the bus and do a review of the first four chapters of the Bible Teach book--all he's studied so far. Yalmer not only answered everything correctly but had Bible texts memorized to support his answers. So I tell him, "Well, that brings us to chapter 5 on the ransom. How sad I didn't meet you sooner so you could have attended the Memorial with us."
"Oh, I went!" he tells me. "I had gone in Costa Rica before and knew more or less it was this time of year so was keeping an eye open for invitations. I saw one for Masaya (a town about 15 minutes from us), so I went there."
So now we study every week in the 30 minutes he has between bus tours, and he's just soaking the information up!
Now tell me you don't see Jehovah's hand or angelic direction in our work......