- Something JW's have to do for a specific number of hours per month
Yes. If you don't you're labeled inactive and usually you're subsequently avoided or outright shunned when it comes to other social activities as you would be 'bad association'.
- Can be any of the following: handing out pamphlets / flyers, phoning, writing, debating, inviting to bible study
Yes to handing out propaganda, phoning and writing. We are suggested not to debate and inviting to Watchtower Publication Study (not Bible Study, we don't actually study the Bible) is done after the target has received enough propaganda and is considered not to be combative about the brainwashing. If you're still debating say trinity, most likely you won't be invited to Watchtower Publication Study until you see their point the way they see it.
- Does this mean that JW's don't actually have to go door to door, and could theoretically write a mass spam emailing program which they run for a specific number of hours per month.
Unless you have a disability or other limitation, you are REQUIRED to go door to door at least once in a while (suggested once a week, getting together in a group session to discuss where you will be going as a group). Especially if you're 'reaching out' for higher status in the cult your face has to show up at least once a week. Using technology to recruit your targets is not according to the Watchtower interpretation of the first century Christians, according to Watchtower interpretation they went from 'door-to-door' during the day in an agricultural society, they also went from door-to-door with heavy, expensive papyrus scrolls and books and while in cities they also went door-to-door to Roman-style domus. Using technology could distract you and lead you to apostate Witnesses (apostate meaning 'not according to current Watchtower interpretation'), using technology to train your target is likewise ineffective and should be done in their house, face-to-face so you can point out what items in their houses are not up to snuff to get admittance in the cult.
- Have you ever gone door to door, while not actually believing the teachings of the organization? And, if so, did you still debate with people, or did you simply avoid questions, and say "I don't know", or "Maybe"? I'm particularly curious about this, because I wonder if there's a way to tell, when a JW comes around what their actual level of belief is... like, is there a question that you would have tried to avoid?
Yes. Nobody actually debates anything really around here. If people ask questions or want to debate topics, I give them an honest answer according to my interpretation of scriptures which does not necessarily mean that this is according to Watchtower interpretation, I personally respect other opinions and try to learn what others believe especially about things that are ambiguous in the Bible such as the trinity. If I can, I also point out that JW's are not really following the Bible when they say stuff.
- If JW's have to do field service for a couple of hours at a time, would they welcome a non-religious chat... "So, how's this weather we're having today?"... or would they prefer... "Thank you, bye bye", so they can move on to the next door and hand out another flyer?
There are many that actually do. Some older folks know a lot of people in the community. That is however not the goal and if the local leadership gets aware that you're doing it too much you'll be reprimanded. IF you decide to talk to them especially about religious topics you may have them back at your door step regularly as now you're a "return visit". Do yourself a favor and ask them nicely never to come to your door again.