@ UnshackleTheChains. And, this whole time I was told by many brothers that it's allowable for brothers in Europe to grow beards bc it's their "custom" (unlike in the US). I'm quickly figuring out that their reasoning is a copout. It just seems brothers everywhere are realizing that there is nothing wrong with it! In our congregation, all but a few were completely fine with my growing a beard. They simply didn't see what the big deal was.
The whole beard thing is a farce. Rutherford brought this rule into Bethel and it eventually permeated out through the whole organisation as what many of us believed to be an unwritten rule.
What amazes me is that for many years I believed this to be an unwritten rule when in actual fact it is a written rule. I managed to read the branch correspondence guidelines that basically instruct elders to not give privelages to any brother wearing a beard after having been admonished.
The elders encourage those wearing beards to read up on watchtower articles. Thankfully many brothers can see through this MAN MADE RULE and are making a firm statement that It is completely natural and normal for men to grow beards. It's a God given right.