Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Convention and more!

I must admit, I was never too fond of the vocal renditions of our new Kingdom Melodies. But now, I absolutely love them.

Okay, I realize that's an odd way to start off. I'll just fill you in on what's been happening recently, and you should understand by time I'm done.

As stated, I got here in Guyana on Monday, and I've been staying with a couple named Tom and Michelle Sanches (pics of them soon). On Tuesday, me and Tom went to the site of the upcoming Convention, because he's overseeing the cleanup. Yes, this place was in such bad condition that we were going to be cleaning Tuesday, Wednesday, AND Thursday. The previous Sunday, there had been some sort of fair or and exhibition, and the grounds were torn up.

Despite this, we were able to clean up and get the stage built very quickly. Unfortunately, no sooner had the stage been finished, a storm came. Rain, wind, lightning, etc. Wind was blowing so hard that the stage was literally ripped apart before our eyes. Everything was turned to mud, and the places that were already mud became worse. So we spent 3 days working through this. Finally on Thursday, the rain stopped. The clouds parted and the sun began shining through. Then, we heard singing. The sounds guys had finished hooking up the speakers and were playing the vocal renditions of the Kingdom Melodies. After going through all that for three days, and suddenly, right when everything clears, the first thing we hear is song number 2 "We Thank You Jehovah". All of a sudden, those songs were the greatest thing I'd ever heard.

Now that I've gotten that explained, here's some shots of where our convention was.

That's the complete seating area. They were expecting almost NINE HUNDRED people there. Needless to say, you got smushed in between people a lot. Also notice, the bleaches have no backs. So you had to lean forward the entire time, or sit back against the legs of the people behind you.

Now, one of the amazing things about this convention; as I said, they were expecting 900. So, here's the attendance numbers.
Friday: 848.
Saturday: 924.
Sunday: 1,332! Yes! One thousand, three hundred and thirty two!

There are many other things that were exciting about this convention, including an experience I had that was so awesome it must be told in person. So when I get back, remind me to tell you a story I call "Chris Hayes and the Scooter". It includes British people getting electrocuted (they're fine), a jumping donkey, and a flash flood!

One more thing before I finish. Here's a picture of what field service in Guyana looks like! The guy on the right is Tom Sanches.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Made it!

Hello Muddah
Hello Faddah
Here I am at
Camp Guyana

So anyway, got here Monday morning. I actually don't have time to tell you much else, but I just wanted to point that out. Also, I'll probably only be able to update this about once a week, so don't expect much.

I also have a ton of pictures, but I'll only post one right now. This is the Branch in Guyana.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not in Guyana yet....

Okay, before the Guyana trip officially begins, we're stopping off in New York, mainly to visit our cousin Timothy who's working in Wallkill. But many other things happened during our trip too! Let's start with....

Before even going to New York we went somewhere else first, in this case the Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania College. Dad had been hired to do a mural on a wall in the gym, so we thought this would be a terrific chance to get that done before heading into NY. Bad idea. After working for about 5 minutes, some students came in and started working out. Then they decided it was vitally important to start listening to rap music very VERY loudly. Needless to say, we got the job about half-done before we fled the scene.

Now in New York, we went to Wallkill for a tour. Interestingly, one of the sisters in our tour group is from (drum roll please) Guyana! Not only that, but her father lives in the town I'm going to (Brighton). That was the highlight of our trip. Shortly after the tour, we ate lunch and then took Timothy with us to Patterson for another tour. Unfortunately, we didn't get there until near dinner time, so our guide gave us a brief tour.

Shortly after this, as we were heading out, guess who we ran into. Alex and Jackie! In case you're not familiar with them, they are a couple who were formerly in Marietta (and later a Chinese congregation) who are now enrolled in Gilead! When we ran into them they had just finished getting the official school photo taken, and were now on their way to dinner. It was so neat seeing them again. That was the highlight of the trip.

We picked up Timothy again (this is a recurring theme in our Bethel trip story) and went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are some local brothers who run their own private tours of the Met, but use the artifacts to correlate with Bible accounts. I don't have much time right now to describe it, but here is a link to their site if you'd like to read more about it. http://www.oasisgrouptours.com/Oasis_Group_Tours/Home.html It's a really really neat tour. I definitely encourage everyone to try it at least once. It was the highlight of our trip.
However, I can't say much for the traffic around there. We spent 2 1/2 hours in traffic. The whole time I had Alicia Keys stuck in my head singing "Empire State of Mind". It doesn't mingle well with sounds of traffic.

This is New York
It's what dreams are made of!
"HEY YOU %#$&*!!"
These streets make you feel brand nHONK HONK!!!

Sunday. Today. We went to Timothy's congregation, and Steven had the public talk! (this was arranged a few weeks in advance) Afterward we went to this awesome seafood restaurant. Well, except it was too cold in there, but aside from that....

And so, that brings me to now. As I type this, I'm sitting in a hotel lobby because that's the only place that gets Internet signal. I'm really just killing time waiting until we leave for the airport.

2 hours.

Well, I'd like to now apologize for not having any good pictures. We took a bunch, but I don't have time to upload them. Maybe later. However, before I go I will say that undoubtedly, the coolest thing that's happened so far on this trip is....

HEY! America's Funniest Home Videos is on!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This is a test. Testing: 1, 2, 3.....

Okay, due to the amount of requests for a blog, here it is! The official "Josh Westfall-Guyana Trip" blog. I can't guarantee there will be anything interesting, insightful, or exciting about this though....

Actually, if you want to go ahead and skip this entry, feel free. I'm using this solely as a chance to practice and get a feel for this thing.

 What? You're still here? I'm telling you, there's nothing worth rea....

Oooh! I can post pictures! Oh goody goody!
Here's me at Bethel 2 years ago touching the horse fat that becomes glue in our Bibles!

 And I thought I wouldn't have anything exciting to post!