I didn't care much for talking to people at the doors, but there are other aspects of the experience for which I'm grateful.
I am grateful to have seen so much of my community at close range. I could have gotten this experience as an adult as a census taker, I suppose, but what 6-year-old gets this sort of experience? Most of my friends only knew people who were very much like themselves socially, religiously, and financially. I saw such a wider spectrum. We called on people who did not have running water and still used outdoor toilets. We called on people who had tennis courts and swimming pools in their backyards. We talked to people at the university, studying for degrees in theology. We talked to highly intelligent people with no schooling at all. We wandered back roads and nooks and crannies I would never have known existed.
I liked the freshness of the mornings, especially this time of year, walking along the sidewalks, looking at the flowers in people's yards, learning how the outside of a house could often tell much about the people inside.
I liked working rural territories in the summer, sitting in the car with the doors open, waiting for someone at a long call, watching the green corn sway in the breeze, breathing in the smell of warm earth, hearing the sound of insects buzzing, birds singing, watching butterflies and cows.
I was embarrassed when I met people I knew out in field service. Still, I'm glad I learned to have the courage to be different, to be unconventional. Many adults I know are still slaves to social pressure and what the ubiquitous "they" will think if they do this or that.
If I could choose which parts of my JW experience I would keep and which I would throw away, I think I would cling to the experience of field service, much as I often dreaded it.