Jun 1, 2016

Home, Car and Hurricane (2015 Part 2 & 2016 Part1)

Soooooooo its been a while since we've done an update 😀 We have been busy, so apologies these are so late.  We do update our Instagram account some. You're welcome to follow us there, our user ID is Dane_And_Emily

Some of you may know the gist of the following events and stories. But here are some more details and such. We hope you enjoy!

As we mentioned in our last post we had to move out of our house because of owner difficulties. Which was unfortunate because we really loved it there. Our move out date coincided with our yearly return to Oregon for work. When we returned to Manzanillo in the fall of 2015 we were essentially homeless and looking for a new place to call home.  We rented a room from the Molina Family while we looked for a place.  This is their son Ethan.

 He loves to draw.  This is his representation of one of our territories.

As we searched for our new home we also had another search going... For 4 years we were able to drive our 1995 Toyota Corolla with Oregon plates since we were Temporary Residents.  Since after 4 years being here we became Permanent Mexican Residents the laws did not allow us to drive a foreign plated vehicle.  That means we can only legally drive a Mexican Plated vehicle.
Which meant one of two things:
1) Pay $2500 USD or more to nationalize a vehicle from USA to Mexico
2) Buy a car in Mexico

Some things were not intimidating for us in coming to Mexico - dirty bathrooms, sounding dumb when we try to speak Spanish, etc...  But one of the things we were VERY intimidated by was buying a used car.  With the help of some friends in Colima (Oscar and Claudia) and a great website recommended by mechanics that has actual car owner reviews and real problems you can expect with any vehicle www.CarComplaints.com we were able to find a good used car.  It had some neglected maintenance but overall in good shape.  And because the Peso to US Dollar exchange rate had gone significantly in our favor we saved about 25% on the price compared to US prices. We were able to get an affordable service vehicle that handles the Mexican roads well, a 2005 Toyota RAV4.

From Mild Storm to the Strongest Recorded Hurricane Winds
Just one week after we purchased our car we heard news that there was a tropical storm coming.  By that evening it was upgraded to a hurricane - category 2 but it wasn't supposed to hit anywhere near us.  It was a very erratic storm and kept changing directions.  The wind speeds kept increasing and by 9am the next morning the wind speeds were faster than any hurricane ever recorded. And it was heading straight for us.  By noon we packed ourselves and the Molina family into our car and were on our way to Guadalajara.  We had a stressful day watching the storm but it was very nice to stay with our friends Kathy and Bernie in Guad. The wind speeds reached over 200 MPH - the highest every recorded for a Hurricane.  When we returned to Manzanillo Sunday there was some damage but not as bad as we had expected.  The hurricane had hit South of us and then veered away and hit again North of us.  No brothers or sisters were hurt but some had their homes damaged.

A week later in some towns north of us they were hit with extremely heavy rains and there was a lot of flooding from it.  There was actually more damage from that storm than from the hurricane!

It took us a longer than expected to find a new place.  One day Jordan was walking past a house and the door just happened to be open while someone was sweeping inside.  He could tell it was not lived in.   There was no sign saying it was for rent.  The owner had held off renting it out before and it had been empty for a couple of years.   Before we could move in there were a number of repairs that needed to be done.

 There was a lot of mold and water damage.  This is midway through the repairs.  Fortunately the owner was willing to take the repairs cost off the rent if we oversaw the work.
 We put in plenty of our own elbow grease as well...
Here is the street view

                         Spiritual Highlights

Paulina is sadly the only one in her family that is studying right now.  But she hasn't let that stop her.  She is still steadily moving forward.
 She has been working on memorizing scriptures.  We've found that using pictures instead of writing the words out helps her - and her drawings are so fun.  You might get a kick out of them too.
 (Isaiah 48:17,18)
 (2 Timothy 3:16)
 (1 John 5:19)

Paulina's fight to go to the Convention
Paulina had to really push to be able to go to the Regional Convention with us last year.  She had to go to all 9 of her teachers individually and tell them she needed the time off of school.  We asked the locals how to handle it and had practice sessions on our study.  All but one of her teachers allowed it.  But her math teacher said there was a math test that Friday.  And if she missed that test she wouldn't only fail the test but she would recieve a failing grade for the whole year.  She asked to take the test early but he refused.  We discussed it and decided the next person to talk to was the Administrator of her school.  She talked to him and he agreed it was a reasonable request and said that he would support her.  She then had to go back to the math teacher and ask again.  He finally agreed and gave her the test early.  So she was able to go with us to Guadalajara and get the Convention!

It's always a joy to meet new brothers and sisters.  This dear sister lost her husband shortly before the Convention but was still faithfully serving.  The man on the right is her late husband's bible study.  It was greatly encouraging to her that he came for the first time to the Convention.

Mmmmmm, a treat. Authentic Indian Food with long-time friends Kathy and Bernie!  The owners of the restaurant are from Southern India.  They were studying last year - several of them are now baptized!

Eric and Rosie Green decided to move back to the States. We were very sad to see them go after serving with them for many years.
One of their studies traveled to Guadalajara with her son to attend the Convention.
Monday we went to a park

The Memorial
You may recognize the woman on the left - Imelda.  She hasn't resumed her study but it was nice to have her with us at the Memorial.
Adriana had been studying for some time.  She has started using Jehovah's name and over the summer cleansed her home of idols and spiritistic items.  Her husband put up resistance to this at first but she persevered until everything was out of the house.  Doris is the older sister with us - she is in her 12th year in Mexico - at 82 years old!  One day Adriana made us mole' tacos and shrimp soup.
Rudy's First Circuit Assembly
It was a push to get Rudy to his first Assembly.  I'll let Dane explain....
So at first his mom was hesitant to let her boy go 4 hours away for 4 day, and that they had no money for him to go. Well, Jehovah is a generous God, and he touches the hearts of those that are humble and are willing. Jehovah found a way for it to happen and eventually Rudy's mom said yes and actually was happy for him to go. Some of you have made donations to our ministry here and us helping Rudy go was a way we could give back. Like Paulina, he had to talk to his teachers as well and get permission. He was amazed at the brotherhood and spiritual feast presented at the Convention.

Before the Circuit Assembly a group of us went to the Guadalajara Zoo. Here we have good buddies Rob and Lydia, some of their family the Wesolowskis (now serving in Guanajuato Mexico), Angie and Nyah.
These little fish eat your dead skin and make it soft!

In June we were short on brothers - including Dane who had gone back to Oregon to work.  Some of the sisters were able to do the michrophones!