Two Visits From Jehovah's Witnesses This Past Week

by TMS 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • TMS

    My wife and I were both on ladders painting the exposed boards of our storage shed on a weekday when a car pulled into the driveway across the street. Mr. and Mrs. Gomez were not at home. Like most of the homeowners in this community, they use these homes only on weekends or holidays. We are among the few permanent residents.

    I continued to watch the car as I painted. It was a full-size Cadillac like realtors use. No one exited the car for
    several minutes, so I imagined a realtor describing and pointing out features of the house. Eventually, the driver's
    door opened and a man with a book bag exited, soon joined by a teenaged girl from the back seat. They stood, knocking on and facing the door for several minutes. Jehovah's Witnesses in the neighborhood!

    As we continued painting, two young men, one anglo and one hispanic approached our fence. The young blonde boy intro-
    duced himself and his companion, almost shouting. He didn't really give us time to respond. He simply said: "Keep painting! I will leave you an important invitation under the mat." The blonde boy could have been me forty-five years ago. He was very self-assured and saw nothing inappropriate in commanding two senior citizens to keep painting.

    When I later picked up the invitation, I noticed it was to a JW convention in Katy, TX. Google Earth estimated the distance from my home to the convention center as 337 miles and the travel time as 6 hours, 4 minutes. What would be the odds of some non-witness in this remote fishing village responding to this invitation? Would they find Katy, Texas just west of Houston? Once there, where would they spend the night with all the available motel rooms taken up by the witnesses who invited them?


  • TMS

    Before I describe my next visit this week from Jehovah's Witnesses, I think I should mention that two separate, very different groups of JW's work the territory in the Rio Grande Valley; English and Spanish. In this area the Spanish outnumber the English by approximately 10:1. The Spanish always have a circuit assembly locally, with the English traveling sometimes 300 miles.

    Having read some of the letters from the Society in the 60's regarding the makeup of the English and Spanish congregations, it is obvious that their directives were not followed. The Society's intention was that all of those who spoke fluent English, regardless of ethnicity, would attend the English congregations. The Spanish congregations would consist of those not fluent in the English language. That is not what happened.

    The Spanish congregations are populated by whole extended families who did not want to be broken up despite the fact that the younger generations have been taught in English-speaking schools and speak fluent English. I applaud them for that. I submit that the majority of those in the Spanish congregations speak fluent English. Many of the elders are professional people, school administrators, municipal workers, lawyers. etc.

    It may actually be an economic advantage in this part of the country to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Spanish congregation. To work in the communities, the one language you must speak is Spanish. English is optional. Most native Spanish speakers are not literate in Spanish. Spanish Jehovah's Witnesses are-having read and studied the Watchtower in Spanish, given talks in the Theocratic Ministry School in Spanish and conducted countless Bible studies in Spanish. These folks are highly employable in this culture.

    Driving by the Brownsville, Texas Civic Center on a weekend I noticed the marquis: "Assemblia de los Testigos de Jehova". In front of the main building were fully operating rides with miniature race cars, etc. Little hispanic boys and girls in suits and dresses were riding these cars. I smiled. That is something the English JW's would never permit; having fun at an assembly. That is just one of the differences between the two groups.


  • TMS

    My first visit of the week from Jehovah's Witnesses was from the English congregation. On Saturday, I was visited by the Spanish.

    A minivan parked on the street in front of our home. A man and his son got out and walked down our drive. My wife asked them to wait a second, giving me an opportunity to put on my pants. I stepped out, motioning them to the covered patio outside.

    "I like what you've done here!" said the father with a big smile, gesturing toward my landscaping. He was very relaxed, confident. He introduced himself and his son: Frank and Frank, Jr.

    He began very nonchalantly: "I own a construction business and work usually 5 or 6 days a week. On weekends I enjoy talking about Jesus and his father Jehovah and what they have in store for all of us." Smooth!

    I mentioned that I have some problems with his god. Did he say his name was Jehovah? Is this Jehovah all-knowing and all-powerful?

    He assured me that he was. Then how could Father Jehovah stand idle, watching thousands die in the tsunami hitting Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand? Wouldn't an all-knowing god forsee the storm and an all-powerful god protect his children from harm?

    Frank nodded his head. He said that he and his wife had talked about this very thing. He said they came up with no answer but launched into the illustration from JW publications about a child needing an operation and the pain of the operation, but the good result that would come out of such pain. I stopped him.

    "Frank, can't you see that illustration doesn't fit? No one benefitted from pain here. They lost their lives."

    Frank agreed. He shifted to the universal sovereignty issue, proving Satan a liar and God the truthteller. Again, I stopped him.

    "Frank, your god is so concerned about his own reputation, he allows his children to suffer all kinds of wars, genocides, natural disasters, etc. just to prove he is not a liar. I don't think that's the kind of father you are."

    Frank said something odd: "I like the way you speak. And don't worry about saying these things in front of young Frank, Jr. He hears his mom and I talking about these things all the time. We are a very open family."

    Frank said: "Jehovah's Witnesses probably don't have everything right, but I think they are close. We just want a better life, not just for us but for you and everyone."

    He then went into a brief comparison between the nominal churches and JW's. He mentioned pedophile priests. I stopped him again.

    "Frank, don't you know that you have pedophiles among Jehovah's Witnesses?" He said: "Yes, I know I ran one of them off a couple of months ago." He related the story of a brother at the Kingdom Hall he observed hugging the young sisters. He noticed his hands were roaming inappropriately. He approached the man: "You and me outside." The man hesitated, stating that he had a part on the program shortly and couldn't leave. Frank told him that either he would step out voluntarily or Frank would drag him out.

    Once outside, Frank stated that he gave the man an ultimatum. "If I ever see you put your hands on a young girl like that, I will not go to the elders. It will be decided between you and I alone. Do you understand?" Frank was getting somewhat animated as he recounted this.

    Our conversation wound down pleasantly with Frank promising to return. I really doubt that he will. But I never expected such an agreeable exchange with one of Jehovah's Witnesses.


  • under_believer

    If only Frank were on the Governing Body. I like him already, he has a degree of honesty.

  • parakeet

    I like that Frank guy. Sounds like too nice a guy to stay a JW long. The nice ones usually don't last.

  • TMS


    I certainly liked Frank, too. He was open, unpretentious and someone any organization would be proud to have as their representative. Frank mentioned that he was 33 years old. I did not tell him that I have a son that age.

    Something I neglected to mention. I asked him if his God treated everyone in the same way or did he favor big shots? When I mentioned two capital offenses it the Mosaic law, instantly he said: "You're talking about David! I told my wife if I ever see that guy I'm going to chew him out. No excuse for what he did! The man he killed fought for him!" I said yes, but Jehovah, orchestrated the punishment, and decided the adults could live, but the baby had to die." Frank just shook his head.


  • freetosee

    Wow, I really hope he does return with one of his family. He didn’t lie when he said they are a very open family. I’m sure he having a hard time with the hypocrisy of the elders. Nice man. Well done.

  • Bstndance

    With the first visit you mention how they parked in someone's driveway for a return visit. Oh that would just piss me off. Even if they were visiting me, I wouldn't want them parking in my driveway. Maybe it's just an LA thing.

  • TMS


    I simply neglected to mention that the first group pulled out of my neighbor's driveway before calling on us. Their incentive to pull into the neighbor's driveway initially might have been the fact that our road is very narrow with steep shoulders.

    Neither group did anything out of the way. Both groups were outstanding representatives of Jehovah's Witnesses, just as most of us were in the past.

    Actually, I'm somewhat surprised no one has commented on the absurdity of the English group inviting us to a religious convention so far away. Since our area is so remote, I'm assuming they covered their entire territory with these invitations as the Watchtower Society had advised.


  • under_believer
    Actually, I'm somewhat surprised no one has commented on the absurdity of the English group inviting us to a religious convention so far away.

    It's been fairly well covered in other threads. Certainly it is ridiculous; several Witnesses I've spoken to about it also realize it's silly, but our town happens to be a D.C. site, and so it's not so bizzare in that context.

    The general consensus on the board here has been that getting "worldly people" to the convention is a tertiary goal of the campaign; most of its purpose directed inward, at getting Witnesses worked up.

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