So yesterday, I went to my first meeting with the local congregation. I say local, but this is the only one on the island! Haha.
The topic for yesterday’s Watchtower was a little bit complex, so I only prepared two comments. It was nerve-racking, preparing to comment, mainly because I realized that I didn’t know what to say if the brother called on me and asked for my name.
Why, you ask? Because in Thailand they don’t use real names. Of course, they have their real names, but nicknames are more common for speaking with one another. Of course, I wanted to make a comment, but I wasn’t sure if I should say my real name or if I should say my Thai name when raising my hand. I asked Maki, and she laughed a little bit and said that I could use my Thai nickname, that that was totally fine. It completely surprised me!
A nickname, at the meeting?
But when in Thailand….
So I raised my hand and when he asked for my name, I introduced myself by my Thai nickname, which is…!
And then I gave my comment.
By accident, I said ‘want’ instead of ‘difficult’ (low tone vs high tone) but I corrected myself and Maki said my comment was very clear!
After the meeting, we got lunch (only 50 baht!) And then, we went deck the hall for some brief hard cleaning and field service. I realize again how privileged I am to live in the US where there are multiple congregations in one Hall. When there are multiple congregations, you can share the duties such as Hall cleaning. But when there’s only one conversation, you always have to do the whole cleaning. Anyway, I just thought that was interesting. Not just that, but Thai style brooms are completely different from American style brooms!
As you can see, they’re more like fans. Not just that, but they don’t use the stands. They have a small vacuum cleaner that they used to vacuum up the dust after sweeping it into a pile.
So, we did hall cleaning. Lèk, the brother who we played badminton with was there of course, and he was so surprised to see me sweeping and helping them clean. He was like, oh! Thanks so much!
Lowkey, I laughed to myself because I thought to myself… if I become part of the congregation, would you still thank me we like this? Haha.
A funny thought to imagine!
We had the meeting for service and I got a picture of everyone. Well, almost everyone. Jaehee and Yungsik weren’t in the picture because he took it and she was in the bathroom. I hope to get a picture of them before I go!
Left to right: Maki, จันทรา (Jantraa), Makiko (tall Maki), Me!, Nice, รัช นก (Ràtnók), Gantípaa (กันทิพา), Lèk and Ikko
In this photo is actually almost half the congregation. There are 18 members of this congregation.
The field service, we went back to the Fisherman’s Village area, mainly because the shops had been closed and the householders sleeping the first time we went. I got to speak to some people. In fact, I preached in Thai for the first time!
I really want to learn how to read. It’s hard to use the tracts effectively when you can’t read the scriptures, haha.
It went well, but I really couldn’t talk more because I didn’t know how to read. So, for the next few months I’m definitely going to be working on that.
A few hours later, I was invited to dinner so I went to Makiko (tall Maki) and Ikko’s house. They’re roommates! The food was delicious! More important in the food was the fact that Maki noted that I can handle spicy food (thanks to years of African food) so she brought a bunch of these and dared me to eat by itself. And by “these”, I mean these bad boys.
As everyone knows, the smaller the pepper, the hotter and this thing was about the length of my pinky– so small enough to do some damage. I actually got scared before I ate it, but I just leapt right on in and boom!! I did it!
It was hot but… somehow, I didn’t have much reaction. All that happened was my left eye watered a little bit. After I ate it, everybody at the table just stared at me like I was some kind of alien. Ikko kept saying, “Really? Really? Nothing’s happening?!” I think they were actually a little disappointed that I didn’t breathe fire something like that. Haha. That’s because they haven’t had African food. LOL!
I conclude this post with a picture of my empty plate from my 50 but lunch. I’m going to take a picture before I ate it, but I forgot. So here’s picture of the plate as well as some leaves.
Now, to be honest I don’t know what the name of the leaves are but they’re apparently to help with stomach trouble or something like that. I ate some because Jan-traa offered it to me.
That said, they tasted pretty much like leaves, however they weren’t bitter like regular leaves are (don’t ask me how I know that and don’t worry about it. Okay? Okay.) and the mouth-feel sensation was faintly like cranberries. (They had that same tongue drying sensation.)
And that concludes today’s post!