Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Since stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand, everybody is always under some degree of stress."— Dr. Hans Selye.

I was listening to this talk by brother Splane called "Guarding our hearts" and he listed 6 things to relieve stress, since it affects all of us.

1\ Simplify our lives.
2\ Confess serious sins.
3\ Don’t be a victim, take charge of unpleasant situations.
-For example, letting teachers, employers, and others of our faith before waiting for them to find out. Waiting for such thing can cause stress for some.
4\ Any problem is temporary and Jehovah and Christ are with us.
5\ Focus on positive things. (Study, meditation, and meetings.)
6\ Above all, prayer.

By doing so, we will be calm and happy as a bird, and it will help us to endure.

Matthew 24.13 - "But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Good afternoon. Just thought I put something up to let all who were wondering how I am doing. And doing good, I am. Just getting ready for the convention we have in San Angelo in a few weeks. I can't wait. It should be most intriguing.

This past weekend a few friends from San Antone came to visit and we had a good time. Saturday morning, we went to the town of Ozona to preach. It went very well, for a sister started, what will undoubtedly become, a study. And another sister found a lady that used to study and asked me if I could restart the study with the whole family. I said... YES, OF COURSE! So Thursday, I will be heading out there. :)

Then at around 3:30pm we headed for the Caverns of Sonora. For an hour and a half, we walked down to 150 feet below the surface and saw awesome rock formations. The guide was explaining how some of these formations formed with temperatures, minerals and stuff. I didn't really follow, but it made me appreciate Jehovah's creation and wisdom.

Psalms 19:1 - "The heavens are declaring the glory of God; And of the work of his hands the expanse is telling."

I didn't take too many pictures, but here are some.

caverns of sonora_062307 (1)

mr peacock

caverns of sonora_062307 (2)

caverns of sonora_062307 (3)

So that was cool. Sunday was the meeting and the brothers and sisters here just loved the ones visiting and vice versa. It was really encouraging.

And today, I had the internet installed on my computer. And as we were both in the room, conversation started up, and then religion then came up. He said that religion fascinates him. He was kinda enthusiastic about it. He was convinced that we have to base our beleifs on the Bible, not on what a person says or teaches. So we talked a bit, at least one Scripture was read and I was planning to give him a tract when he left, but I didn't. :( I gave him a BOOK INSTEAD! :) I gave him What does the Bible really teach? and briefly explained that it has what we believe, as Jehovah's Witnesses. He graciously took it and left with a smile.

'Twas a good day.

I'll leave yall with a joke:

A grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey, we have a drink named after you!"

The grasshopper looks surprised and says, "You have a drink named Steve?"

Come on! You know you wanna laugh!

Until next time.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The moral of the story: Choose your words wisely.

Proverbs 12:18 - "There exists the one speaking thoughtlessly as with the stabs of a sword, but the tongue of the wise ones is a healing."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hello, my friends! It’s been 12 days since I have moved to Sonora, Texas and it’s been going pretty well. Of course, it hasn't been easy the first few days. Loneliness is not good company. But I guess it’s natural to feel that way. But what really helps is just keeping busy with the preaching work, studying, the meetings, the brothers in the congregation, and, above all, prayer. What also has helped are articles such as "Go Out From Your Land and From Your Relatives" found in August 15, 1988 issue of The Watchtower (w88 8/15) pp.21-23, and "Thinking About a Move to South America?" found in the July 22, 1972 issue of Awake! (g72 7/22) pp. 13-16 (for Spanish: g72 8/11 pág. 13-16), shown to me buy a sister that had gone to serve in the Dominican Republic with a couple other sisters.

Well I’ve settled in, but I’m still unemployed. No worries, hakuna matata. Something will come up with Jehovah’s help. Something always does.

Psalm 37:25 – "A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread." – King David (hopefully Jehovah considers me righteous)

I’m staying with a brother, Jesús Dehoyos. He’s an older brother and he’s lived alone before me. And he happens to rent out rooms to whoever needs them. It’s just what I need, so I’m thankful to Jehovah for this, for an apartment would cost a lot more, more so that I don’t have a job yet. And brother Dehoyos is refusing to take money! But I’ll keep trying to give him something for the expenses. He’s a wonderful brother that likes to joke around, even though he’s 84 years old.

The room is very adequate. I am happy here. My room has 7 windows. And although it does get hot at times, its not that bad. I just think about a couple I know that is serving in a Spanish-speaking town in Africa, and things start to look a lot better. Surely Jehovah is blessing them greatly for their efforts. Back to my little room, when all the windows are open with a fan in one of them, mmmm, it feels so good.

And there is an agreeable sound outside my windows. The constant chirping of birds. And there are a lot of them. Just looking outside my room, I mostly see trees, and birds are always flying by. It’s quite calming. And then there are the squirrels who ruffle around in the trees. I don’t know if it’s the same one who visits my side of the roof, but I’d like to think so. I’ve named him Felipe. I’ll see if I can get a close-up of him.

The congregation is a small one, but filled with wonderful brothers and sisters. I’ve come to realize that they were already my friends and family. I just didn’t know it yet. :)

In this town, there is only one congregation and it’s in Spanish. There is no English-speaking congregation around here, either. So our territory includes both languages. This is also the only congregation for the neighboring towns. There is Ozona, Rock Springs, and El Dorado. So we rotate every Saturday on which towns we will go preach to. Last week it was Ozona and this past Saturday, we went to El Dorado. I did get to talk to this very nice elderly lady. She asked for me to come back, so I'll see how that goes. There are also brothers who come from those towns to attend the meetings here. The farthest town, Rock Springs, is an hour away, so it obviously requires effort to make the meetings and it’s so encouraging to see the brothers and sisters do just that, especially the older ones.

Hebrews 10:24,25 - "And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as YOU behold the day drawing near."

Today I went out on service in Sonora, and talked to a few people. It's somewhat different than San Antonio. Can't put my finger on it, but I enjoyed it. As long as there are people to talk to. And, in doing so, I encountered a elderly sister from the congregation, sister Reina. What a sweet sister. We talked for almost an hour and what I got out of it was encouragement, learning about her family and hardships, but yet, still serves Jehovah. It turned out to be an awesome day.

There are also three book studies where we study the Revelation book: one is in Ozona, another in Sonora, and the other in El Dorado, which is the group that I will be attending, some 20 minutes away every Monday. I gotta watch out for the deer though. :o But to my unnecessary surprise, a brother offered to take me to the book study, so that I could save gas and so that I don't have to go alone. So I ride with his wife and 4 year-old daughter.

The brothers have really helped me to feel at home. I have also kept in contact with my family and friends, which helps me to adapt to the changes. But it truly feels great to be here. All I have to do is stay focus and remember why I’m here. An elderly sister, Mary Villalobos, that has been a dear friend to me and my family told me that it will all be ok. "It’ll be just like going home, but to a different family," she said. Also a circuit overseer’s wife from California gave me great advice, which is in harmony with what that first Watchtower article stated:

"After you get settled in the new area, homesickness may be a major problem. Love for Jehovah and for the people who need to hear the good news of his Kingdom will help you to cope with this. Many problems can be lessened if you truly make your new location your home. Avoid making negative comparisons with your previous home, as doing so can cause discontent and resentment. When facing difficulties, remember Jehovah’s invitation at Malachi 3:10: "Test me out, please, . . . whether I shall not open to you people the floodgates of the heavens and actually empty out upon you a blessing until there is no more want."" – w88 8/15 p.p. 22-23, par. 12; (bold and italics mine).

Wow! Is that awesome advice or is that awesome advice? Yup, it’s great advice.

On the subject of food, I’ve been doing pretty well, if I do say so myself. The first few days I’ve been stuffing myself with Sonic and Dairy Queen and I started to get tired of it, so last Friday, I went grocery shopping. I bought all of the essentials for a good sandwich. I know, not the best, but hey, food is food, and it’s even better if I am the one buying and making it.

Well, I guess this is it for now. I don’t have Internet access in my room, BUT there is a library! So that is where I will be posting when I get a chance. Feel free to email me or call me and oh, PLEASE: when you see or talk to my parents or grandparents, tell them that I’m ok and that Jehovah is taking care of me.

Psalm 34:19 – "Many are the calamities of the righteous one, but out of them all Jehovah delivers him." (again, hopefully Jehovah considers me righteous)

To see some pictures of my little corner of Sonora, click here.

Until next time.