Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mother Tongue

     This same morning in Machajmarca, Anacleto preached to an older woman who speaks one of the native languages Quechua. I couldn't understand much of what was being said. Ok let's be honest, I understood nothing of what was being said. Nonetheless I followed along in the scriptures he was reading, as he was reading in Spanish and then translating to Quechua. He reads John 5:28,29 and then Psalms 37:29. All of the sudden the woman turns around and leaves. Surprised and concerned I ask, "what happened?" Not a moment too soon she returns with her Quechua Bible!

     Anacleto later tells me that this poor lady lost her husband to death a year ago. She said that she is waiting for the day when she will see him again in heaven. Anacleto asked her if she had known that the Bible actually speaks of a resurrection here on earth. After showing her those scriptures she had to see for herself in her own Bible and of course in her mother tongue! She was so happy to learn what the Bible really teaches. She was left with magazines and a promise of a returned visit.

I have two return visits of my own in that area who want to study the Bible! Our day in territory Machajmarca was a successful and memorable one indeed.



This morning I worked in a part of our territory called Machajmarca. This territory requires a lot of walking, or better said, hiking. The terrain is mainly dirt mixed with rocks and sand.  Filled with a mixture of both steep hills and flat fields....let's just say the journey is anything but easy. However, with that said, allow me to describe my morning in said place.
I had the privilege of working with our dear 75 year old brother named Anacleto. Coming down a hill, on our way to the next house, my curiosity gets the best of me and I ask, "Brother Anacleto, how did you come to know the truth?" He stops, looks at me and replies with a grin, "You really want me to tell you sister Daniela?" "Of course!" I reply, returning the smile. He walks me to the side of the road and begins telling me the story....
"First of all, let me tell you that I blindly came into the truth. No one taught me. I was without knowledge. Should I continue?" Again said with a smile. I nod and smile. "The year was 1964. I was just a young kid, 25 years old. I was in a city going to visit my brother at a plaza. Upon arriving, I see my brother walking towards me with something in his hand. Approaching me he asks, 'Have you seen this magazine!?' It was the Watchtower. I tell him yeah, I've seen it. 'Well have you read it?' Months ago I had received one of the magazines from a workmate who was handing them out to all of us. I had accepted it and just kept it in my room. I never read it. 'You have to read it!' He tells me. 'It teaches from the Bible that God's name is Jehovah.' I look at him and smirk. God's name is Jesus Christ. 'No, his name is Jehovah.' No it's Jesus Christ. 'Why don't you come to meeting with me. Sunday at 4. I'll meet you here at 3:30 sharp.' I agree.
After spending the whole week thinking about what my brother had told me, Sunday finally comes. I arrive at the plaza at 3:20 eager and ready to go. The meeting was in a very small room with maybe 30 others there. We began with a song. At the time we didn't have music. We just all began singing on the count of three...one, two, three...and we all began. After, the brothers gave me a watchtower to study and a songbook. Everything that I would need. I left that day totally convinced of God's name Jehovah. I attended every Sunday meeting. My brother tells me that there is a book study on Tuesday evenings at 7 for one hour. 'Do you want to come?' Of course! Every Sunday and Tuesday I was there. 'We have another meeting on Thursdays from 7-9. Wanna come?' Of course! Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday I was there.
'Now, it's time to preach with us. I will meet you in the plaza at 9am.' I loved preaching. It was easy! All I had to do was accompany the brothers and sisters. It was great. Until.... 'Now it's time to talk to the householder.' No way! What am I going to say? I can't! 'Yes, you can. Read Matthew 6:9 and explain it. It's easy!' Ok. First door. Scripture is ready. Thoughts are in order. The man comes.....I freeze. I have no idea what to say. Gggg...I try to say good morning. Nothing. My brother takes over. Little by little sister Daniela I learned to speak at the doors and to love it.
Now, back in those times, at assemblies the brother would simply say, 'those who desire to get baptized please come to the first aisles tomorrow.' 5 years went by until I finally decided to get baptized. I was married to my lovely wife at the time. She told me, 'well if you're getting baptized, so am I! 1969 we were baptized. She knew less than I did about the Bible! (He laughs to himself) So here we are sister Daniela. Preaching the kingdom, without having had anyone preach to us. (He laughs again).

Our loving brothers taking the lead in service
Anacleto, Orlando, Carlos, Juan
(from left to right)

Anacleto preaching with his 8 year old grandson, Job.

This brother is out in service faithfully every day. One of the happiest brothers I have met. You will never see Anacleto without a smile. (with the exception of the picture I posted hahaha!)



     Every Wednesday morning Danielle and I attempt to travel to a town called Thio Moko to study with a mom that Danielle found in the territory a few weeks ago. The attempt comes from the fact that on some days we have had to wait up to 45 minutes along a hot, dusty road for a truffi to pass that will take us there. The duty of stopping the correct car usually falls on my shoulders since Danielle claims I have eagle vision and she can’t read the signs in the car windows from far away. It is quite disappointing though when I get distracted for two seconds that right when I look up again the exact car we need passes right on by without seeing us. However, once we finally get the truffi we need, we are excited, of course, but they are often very full and quite smelly. And when I say full… I mean, that in a van that should hypothetically fit 7 people it remarkably ends up fitting 13… and then stops for two more. These Bolivian’s get very creative. However, once we are on our way, it is a short ride along a smooth paved road. Not! It is the longest, bumpiest road ever.  Somehow though we always get there and wonderful Rosa is waiting for us.   
     She is such a sweet person with so many questions and so much interest. However, that is about all I can tell you though because about five seconds after we arrive each time her adorable two year old daughter, Kenya, comes giggling around the corner.  So, since the very first study, it has been my duty to keep this mischievous child occupied while Danielle and Rosa study. She has an attention span of less than five seconds and after opening everything, touching everything, climbing on her mom’s back, running towards the street, pulling the cats tail and doing every possible thing that she shouldn't she looks at us scrunching her adorable little face and starts giggling like she is being tickled. It is so hard to be mad at her and we all just start laughing.  As naughty as she is, she is too adorable for words.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014


One Month Anniversary

It is hard to believe that yesterday marked our one month anniversary in Bolivia!  We have already learned so much and feel so grateful to be here. Though it is hard being far from home and from the people we love, it is such a privilege to have the experience of serving in a place that needs so much help. Comments from brothers and sisters expressing how grateful they are to have our help in the huge assignment that they have makes us feel so appreciated and that our sacrifices to get here were worth every effort.  Every day is a completely new experience, not knowing yet of what to expect. We’ve been preaching far into the mountains, to a national park and to distant farm lands. With that said, we wanted to share some pictures!

"The truth will set you free" - John 8:32

The truth behind these words have been proven true countless of times. They have touched us personally, we've seen others benefited, and often read of experiences. I would like to share a few of them that I have seen thus far:

1. Does God hear my prayers?

A young mom named Benita wondered this. "I would pray asking God for many things and never received an answer. I felt that God never listened to me. I even got to the point of bad mouthing him and denying his existence. However, since studying the Bible I have realized that that is not the case. Jehovah always listens to our prayers and answers us. I have learned that I had a selfish motive when praying to Him in the past which is why I felt that He wasn't listening. I love my Bible study. I feel so much closer to Jehovah and that I have an actual relationship with Him."

Benita expressed this just after chapter 2 of the Bible Teach book.  :-)

2. Does the Bible truly benefit me?

Another young mom named Rosa grew up in a Christian household. Her parents would often teach her Bible texts that she would recite often. "After getting married and moving away from my family, I drifted away from God. I didn't read the Bible. I never went to church. I felt so stressed all the time and that something was missing in my life. I then found out that I was pregnant. Once my baby girl was born, I worried so much about her and wanted her to grow up knowing God. I prayed so much and started reading my Bible again. I would often feel worried or stressed, but after i felt calm and peaceful. I have such a hard time understanding the Bible, but I have no doubt that when God is in my life everything is ok."

A Bible study was started with her that day. :-)

3. Are the dead living?

One lady named Norma asked this question after one study. She had been taught before by other witnesses that the dead are simply sleeping. "But the other day I was watching a television program given by a pastor that said that the dead are living. One part showed some of the dead burning in hell. It scared me! I am just so confused. If the dead are sleeping how could they be burning in hell?"

Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 and 1John 4:1 were shared with her. We explained that what she had learned about the sleeping condition of the dead was indeed a biblical teaching. We went on to discuss how hellfire is not a teaching of the Bible and encouraged her to "test the inspired expression" due to the many false teachings in the world.

"Thank you so much! Now it makes sense. It is very clear."

4. Fear of God

Zaida a single mom with a Catholic background had a true fear of God. She felt that she couldn't have a relationship with him because of that. "To be honest I sincerely fear God. I know the power that he has and I make many mistakes. I fear the punishment that he is capable of giving."

Acts 17:27 was shared with her.
"How beautiful! I am going to keep this in mind to remind myself of this."

We then explained the proper fear we should have of God and how he is a God of love.

These are just a few of my favorites. It is such a special thing to see someone coming to know Jehovah and be apart of their spiritual growth!