Tuesday, September 13, 2011
First full weekend in Rimini...
At any rate, Friday night we went to our first meeting! They have it at 8:30, which is a tad late but of course is necessary for them to have it at that time since most of the friends work til late. It's about a 12 minute bus ride to the hall from where we are, and only takes about a 20 minute walk to get to the actual bus stop from where we are, which is not too shabby, considering its a nice scenic walk to the stop. The kingdom hall has 3 levels (including an auditorium in the basement). There is a russian, chinese, and spanish congregation and french group that meets at the same hall that we do, and obviously italian cong too. (Surprisingly, there is a HUGE need for chinese here!) It is beautiful! View above picture. I will take inside pictures this weekend! The friends are WONDERFUL! So nice, friendly and warm! Immediately they started asking us what our service plans were to start making as they call "appointments" to go out. About 3 different friends are british and finnish..about 10/15 africans-to be specific nigerians, and the rest italian. Here's the kicker for a congregation of only 32 publishers:THEY HAVE 60 BIBLE STUDIES AND ONLY 14 PIONEERS. 20 OF THESE STUDIES USUALLY ATTEND MEETINGS. Clearly, Jehovah is blessing their efforts. The following morning we met with the group for service.
We quickly learned how much WALKING is involved and still much search work is being done here. They have about 700 different territory cards, for rimini, san marino, and other regions near by, including the mountainous areas. A lot of streetwork is done, especially saturday mornings at the open markets (which they sell FABULOUSLY CHEAP clothes, food, real italian leather shoes, bags, belts scarves, coats, etc that are good quality) We mainly are responsible for reaching nigerians,those who speak bengali (bengladesh) and phillipino. Therefore, we carry 3 main languages on us, since there are no current groups for begali or tagalog here. Also, I've quickly learned how to differentiate those who are nigerians, (which they usually wear regular clothes unless special occasions) and those from sengali wear their special garb on a daily basis, but they mainly speak french. It is neat to see all the different types of people in the center city part of rimini. Italy is much more diverse than I originally thought!
I LOVE SPEAKING TO NIGERIANS! They have such high respect for the Bible, that when you mention to them at first that you are a witness (which they appreciate you identifying yourself first as a witness, since they have many witness friends back at home) they actually stop and listen to you and will take anything you have to offer to them. It is so refreshing to have someone stop what theyre doing and listen to you, since they have such high regard for the Bible. So I'm very excited to start developing calls to say the least!! After service, a big group of us from the hall and a few others from surrounding area went for some pizza and gelati! After, we took a stroll at the beach at night, which was absolutely gorgeous considering it was a full moon. The friends in the congregation are definitely outgoing, fun, and great to be with! Definitely jokesters too, so I blend in haha
Sunday, after the meeting I went to the beach with the friends from the hall, which is a normal custom here during the summers after the meeting. Their beaches here are definitely interesting. Your not charged a beach tag, but you pay $3.50 euro to use a beach chair, and you are not allowed to bring your own or lay a towel on the ground to lay on. The adriatic sea is definitely warm, not wavy, and beautiful!!! Of course, after the beach we went for some more italian delicious food followed by some gelato...who can ever get enough of gelato?! We managed to meet up with even more friends from different areas--gotta love loud crazy italians that are obsessed with wanting to come visit NYC and California!
Yesterday and today did more service of course, and really got to enjoy some nice conversations with a few nigerians and scottish people. It is currently 1:06 am right now, and I have early service tomorrow! But I will keep you posted on the next developments and more details about yesterday and today's experiences in the next post! Come back!!!
p.s. the last pic you that you see on this blog, was our first home cooked meal today..which was delish! (gnocchi with pesto sauce, homemade bruschetta bread, mozarella, and salad!! I can definitely eat like this everyday.