Witnessing in extreme climates

by Lady Lee 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I just got back from a 2 hour ride outside. The temp is around the freezing mark. And the wind made it feel even colder. Before I left I saw the beautiful sunny sky and figured it was nicer out so wore thinner gloves than I usually do when I go out. And using the electric wheelchair means I have to keep my hand out to use the controls. My fingers just about froze on the way back.

    Now the point of this is that it reminded me of going door to door when we had sub-zero temps and how cold my hands and feet would get. Of course being a "sister" meant wearing a dress regardless of how cold it was outside. The trip reminded me so clearly of how frozen we would get and how hard it was to write anything down on the record sheet. In my earlier years there weren't a lot of people in the cong that had cars so we either used the bus or walked. I think I walked to every part of the cong territory and it was a huge territory (population at that time was 60,000 just in our city but we were also responsible for an adjacent territory of probably 30,000 people)

    No matter how hard you tried to find comfortable and warm boots they never kept your feet warm. Mittens were awkward and gloves were just plain freezing. I won't even go into cold blasts of air rushing under your skirt. Leotards only do so much and believe me it ain't much at all.

    No wonder we knew where all the coffee shops were and stayed so long. We were trying to thaw out.

    Summer was just as bad. The heat would sap all your energy.

    Brrrr It's cold outside

    And the reason for all this? To sell magazines and books and make a "good" appearance.

  • stillajwexelder

    Not to mention in the country and downs vicious dogs snapping at your heels

  • lilybird

    I know what you mean Lady Lee... winters get pretty cold here sometimes..What were we thinking and how did I do all that for so long????..Guess people thought we were pretty wacky..

  • eyeslice

    Been out in all weathers - though perhaps never quite as cold as in Canada.
    been out when the temperature has been over 45 degrees C!

  • Scully

    I remember going door to door in weather so cold that doorbells would freeze and not work. So we had to knock on the doors instead. When your hands are practically frozen (even with gloves and mittens on) knocking on a door was a new experience in PAIN.

    I blacked out one time from being out In Service™ in the bitter cold of a Quebec winter. We were working with the CO and his wife in our Car Group™. I got in so much trouble for "wimping out" like that. I was maybe 11 or 12 years old at the time.

  • juni

    I hear you Lady Lee and all of the rest of you.

    I always got a kick out of the brothers w/mustaches and the ice build up!!

    We had to take off the time we spent on breaks from our service record.


  • greendawn

    Being in a milder climate we rarely experience subzero temperatures but I can imagine what it was like to sacrifice your comfort to that extend for the sake of a self serving cult.

    And how would the home owners react when they have to come out in the freezing cold?

  • juni

    My experience with householders:

    1. They'd be polite and let you talk (we kept it to just the offer d'jour; no sermon)

    2. They'd answer the door and tell you that you were crazy for being out in the sub zero temps

    3. They wouldn't answer the door, but peer out the window and shake their head "no"


  • Nina

    New things learned while living (and witnessing) near the Canadian border:

    Cut insoles from the styrofoam trays used by the meat department at the grocery store. Insert said trays insoles into your shoes or boots for insulation.

    Wrap a plastic bag from the produce department around each foot (after the sock, before the boot) for additional insulation.

    Don't knock on the front door of a dwelling since that door usually leads directly into the living area; opening it will let out all the heat. No householder is willing to raise the fuel bill on your behalf.

    Do knock on side doors or kitchen doors. When the householder answers, start stomping your feet to get the snow off your boots. Climb porch stairs as you speak. This encourages the householder to open the door wider and let you in since you obviously have plans to stay a while (and they can't keep standing at the door, they're letting out all that heat!).

    Wear looooooong skirts. Wear jeans under said skirt. Tuck jeans into boots.

    Layer t-shirts, blouses and sweaters. Add coat. Accent with two or three scarves. Wear a hat (doubles as a sign of submission).

    Mittens are good, gloves are better because they allow you to keep service records. Mittens over gloves are great and you can put a plastic bag between the glove and the mitten for another bit of warmth. Buy veggies to get plastic bags, use veggies in a good warm soup.

    If you must unglove to ring doorbells, turn Bible pages or write on field service slips keep that hand in your coat pocket as much as possible. Buy a good hand creme, preferably one with lanolin.

    We thought we were saving people's lives.


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    I remember all of those responses.

    On the rare occasion people would ask you to step in and shut the door so we stood in the entry wall and the warmth. But if you stayed too long you started to overheat from all the layers of clothes needed for being out in the cold.

    As cold as it got in Montreal I can't imagine going out in Winnipeg which is very similar to the mid west US but colder. Montreal had the bone-chilling cold and humidity. Winnipeg had winds that sucked the air out of you. I remember the news casters and weathermen throwing a cup of hot coffee in the air and it would freeze before it hit the ground

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