What do I have? Excellent question, I'm glad you asked. First, I'd like to point out that we have done extremely well when it comes to the whole "catching tropical diseases" thing up til now. Second, we aren't 100% sure what it is cause I never went to the doctor. But when everyone and their sister has had dengue before, you kinda don't need a doctor to tell you what you have. So it's either that or Chikungunya, which is another mosquito-based illness which is basically the same exact thing with the same exact treatment- there is none. Besides acetaminophen anyway. So you don't have to go google the symptoms, it's essentially pain. Lots and lots of super fun pain. And fevers. And that brain fog I mentioned.
But I'm getting better, and it's not contagious so Zach doesn't have it. Moving on. Here's some service experiences I do remember.
Zach has a really cool study with an older gentleman. He gave him starfruit last week, but that's not the experience. He has done a lot of his own studying in the Bible and talked to people of other religions before, so he has a pretty decent knowledge base. He has asked Zach some questions that he says he asked others and never got a satisfactory answer, but Zach has been able to do research and give him the answers. So one of the last times he was there, they were talking about the last days, and the man says that according to his personal research, all the prophecies in regards to that topic have been fulfilled except one- Matthew 24:14. Well funny you should say that....He made the comment that we can't know when it will be fulfilled, so Zach told him that it would be helpful to associate the with the group that is doing that work. Gave him some food for thought.
This is a story about perseverance. A few weeks ago, a couple in a Spanish congregation were doing public witnessing and talked to a young woman who speaks English. She asked for a My Book of Bible Stories in English as she has a child and she was familiar with the book from her youth. So the couple passed her address onto a sister in our hall to visit her. Well, we haven't been to the area that she lives in before, just looked at it on Google Maps a few times, so we didn't really know where it was. And of course there aren't really street names or addresses here, although she did give us a house number- D26. So we went to the barrio and drove up and down the streets, stopping and asking if anyone knew her or the house numbers, no one did. They could tell us which block was D, but not which house was 26, and we couldn't just count 26 houses without knowing where to actually start the count. We weren't able to find her that first time, after probably close to an hour of driving around what was actually a very small area.
So we went back another week. This time, we thought maybe the letter of the house address was wrong, could it be a B instead of a D? So we tried to find Block B. Then we tried to find house 26. We found someone who sorta spoke English and they told us to try a certain pulperia, because they might know who she was or the numbers. Curtis walks up the street to the pulperia and they don't know, so they holler over to the house across from them- hey that's actually B26. But she doesn't live there, well maybe it was actually 28, so he goes down a few doors. No, she doesn't live there either- but the person who does actually knows her! Apparently, there's two D blocks. What we thought was the furthest edge of the housing area isn't- there's a little creek and some more houses on the other side. So we drive over there, now to figure out which one of these is right. We count what we think is A, B, C, D, but once again, no numbers. So we try to ask someone else- they speak English too! He tells us she lives right next to the creek, it's like the 5th house down the right side. So we go there- the 5th house is a pulperia. Nope, that's not her.
We are about to give up because we have another appointment and this has taken a long time and it feels like a wild goose chase, everyone tells us to go somewhere else, but maybe he meant the right side, let's try it just to see. We back up and go over there, nope, but hey- could it be? That's an address on the house, now we can count to the right one. So we back up again and count...count....count.....D26! Curtis jumps out of the car, "Are you so-and-so? We've been looking for you!"
It was kinda sad, after all that, it turned out the book she wanted didn't make it into any of the service bags that day, so the sister had to make arrangements to bring it back the next week. But you know what other arrangement she made at the same time? Starting a Bible study. Was it worth all that time trying to find her? I think so.
And now for a funny story...as we were leaving, we had to get a picture on this "bridge" just down from her house. What we are standing on in this picture are just nice round logs, there is a thin cable on the one side, but nothing else to hold on to. So we take the picture and I start walking back, at which point I lose my balance. Instead of going into the river, I decide the best option is to lean towards the log Zach is standing on and put my other foot on it. Well, it's a bit further than it looks in the photo and my legs aren't as long as I thought. I got stuck. Couldn't move without risking a swim. And to make it even better, there was an old couple sitting outside their house watching the whole thing. I'm not really sure what they thought about all that, but I think they were laughing. Seems like the appropriate thing to do.