service views and scary markets
For a minute there we actually settled into a really nice routine and felt like we finally had our life together, but we are learning things never stay the same here for too long! But for now, our house is functioning, the ants have been conquered, and our service presentations are steadily improving. Aaron and I have started working together in service now instead of only with other Thai speaking friends, so that has added to some of our adventures. Its kind of a “do or die” feeling when there is no one to help bail you out if the householder doesn’t understand you, but it’s been a lot of fun and it’s helping us to learn a lot.
So this has been my typical service presentation lately…
สวัสดีคะ ดิฉันชื่อคิมมี่ค่ะ มาจากแถว ป.ข.ส. วันนี้ผมกำลังเยี่ยมเพื่อนบ้านสั้น ๆ ดิฉันอยากให้แผ่นพับนี้ ให้ไว้อ่านค่ะเกี่ยวกับครอบครัว อะไรช่วยให้ครอบครัวมีความสุ
Got it?!? Yeah some days I don’t either!! But this is what I attempt to say: ” Hello! I come from around the bus station. I am visiting all your neighbors today. I want to give you this tract. Please read it. It is about family. What can help us have a happy family? What do you think?” Then I play the video on family happiness. “Have you ever heard of the Bible?” if the answer is yes I say: “The bible can help us a lot. We are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Here is an invitation to our meetings. Everyone is welcome and they are free. Our website is Jw.org” Many people will talk about Jesus when we ask about the Bible, because different missionaries here have taught the trinity. So when that happens I say “Jesus is God’s son. God’s Name is Jehovah” Then I attempt to read Psalms 83:18…although I usually only make it half way through until I start messing up and the householder jumps in and finishes! The people are always fascinated we can read (sort of) and are always happy to help us out! Then I give the meeting invitation and finish the same way. However, about half the time the householder says they have never heard of the Bible!!! So then all I know how to say is “the Bible is the holy book of the Almighty God…” Usually then I finish up with the website. That part still needs a little work!! How do you answer that question with one short and easy sentence?!
The people in service are usually very happy to talk with us. Often they will pull up a chair for us and we can play several videos. It’s not uncommon that they will give us water or fruit to eat. Kids are always everywhere so we get to play lots of Caleb and Sofia videos, although its Danny and Sofia here in Thailand! The kids love them, and its usually a good witness for the parents too because they learn they can find a bunch more on our website.
As foreigners we always get attention when we are out in service. It’s pretty common that we hear shouting from across the street “farang! farang!” meaning white person, or “western foreigner” to be more politically accurate. It always leads to a funny conversation, especially if they’ve been drinking which is really common on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Everyone is interested in where we are from and why we are here! They like to poke us or feel our skin or touch our hair. They are always generous with compliments and constantly tell us how handsome and beautiful we are even when I have sweat pouring down my face. They like to take our pictures too, which I HATE when I look so gross! But they love it. Also if we meet older people in service its considered polite to ask them how old they are! They like to brag about being 70, 80, or even we met a few in their 90’s! Then they always like to tell us all about their health problems, none of which do I ever understand! But I just nod along and say I’m sorry to hear.
It’s also pretty common to be followed by a pack of dogs in service. They bark and bark and pretend to be tough but thankfully we’ve never had any problems with them. We use our umbrella to protect ourselves if they are getting too close and shoo them off with it. If they are still not giving up then we bend down and pretend to pick up a rock to throw at them, and that always scares them off.
So now maybe you can picture what a morning in service is like for us!!! If not, don’t worry, theres a million pictures to look at! But first we made a video to tour you around one of our town markets! Markets like this are a really big part of Thai culture. We have a bunch here, so we named this one the “scary market” …you’ll see why! It’s open all day every day, and it’s where a lot of the local people get their meat and veggies from. But definitely not us! We wouldn’t dare hahaha!
So thats it for now! Hope you enjoy the million pictures below. Clearly I havn’t posted in a while!!! If you have any good ideas about things I should post about, leave me a comment below!! Even if not, comment anyway!! I love reading them 🙂