Well here we are. The first week of January has come and gone. We hope that you have had a good start to the new year and that you are working towards whatever goals you may have made for yourself. We have to admit that we weren’t sure what to expect with our new goals starting this month and we were a bit nervous. Thankfully, it seems like things are falling into place. Even though it’s only been a week we want to fill you in on how things have been going.
Last week we got off to a great start with our spiritual goals because we had the visit of our circuit overseer and his wife. The CO was one of our teachers during Pioneer School in 2015 so it was nice to be able to see him again. Him and his wife have been living in Spain for around 15 years being from the UK originally. He is one of the brothers that we talked to when we were looking for a new place to serve while living in Bilbao. During the week it was great to be able to hear the wonderful talks that were prepared as well as be able to give good support to the ministry. We were able to have the CO for hospitality and have a nice lunch on our patio outside. We learned that their assignment covers all eight of the English congregations in Portugal as well as the other foreign language groups that are hosted by the English congregations in addition to many English congregations in Spain. After leaving the Huelva English congregation they will be heading to Albufeira, Portugal.
We really enjoyed being able to have ample time to support the week and to have a nice balance between work, spiritual activities and family time. Being able to start work at 9h and finish at noon at the latest allows us to get so much more done. During the week we were able to go for walks and take siestas and enjoy lunch at a leisurely pace. Afterwards we would start work on our own projects such as this blog and our other online projects. So far we are enjoying our new way of eating as well. We told ourselves that if we had any meat in the fridge we would just finish it before making a complete transition. We were able to do that on Saturday when Kanicia made pork meatballs with gluten free pasta and kale salad for the hospitality. We definitely got teased for being healthy but having lived in northern California you can’t really help it.
You may notice that the blog has been simplified in design. This is intentional. Instead of focusing on many things we are going to only focus on only a few things and make it more enjoyable to visit. We’ve removed the language learning links as well as the course links except for the TESOL Course. We should be adding two new options for the TESOL Course this week which will give you the opportunity to package the courses together in order to get more experience in different areas. We are also going to update and redesign the Course page which should hopefully be done this week as well. We’ve also been looking to update the framework of this blog and we are looking to switch to a theme that will give us more flexibility and design choices. We have it narrowed down to a couple of excellent options so hopefully that will take place before the end of the month. You also may notice that we didn’t post on Sunday. From now on we are going to be posting new posts every Monday instead of Sunday.
We’re really excited about the Special Convention in Milan and today we made our hotel reservations. So it’s becoming more and more real! We also recently received the dates for the regional convention that our hall is assigned to. It will be the week before we will be in Milan. We aren’t sure if we will still be in Spain at all in July but it would be nice to attend the program in Madrid and to see our friends from Bilbao. Our CO mentioned to us that the theme will be “Don’t Give Up!” After hearing that we want to make an extra effort to attend because we can’t wait to here the program. We took a lot away from the CO visit but some things in particular are that continuing to do the basics will really help us to keep our relationship with Jehovah solid. One thing that we have really appreciated from moving not only from the states to Spain but even from Bilbao to Huevla is that we have so much more time to try to make sure that we don’t miss the basics. One point that the CO mentioned is that we should try to meditate for the same amount of time that we do our Bible reading. I thought that was really interesting and it’s something that I would like to try to put into practice.
Since this is the start of the new year we have begun simplifying our possessions. I’ve already cleared away four large reusable grocery bags full of clothes, and other random stuff that was just taking space. It feels great to simplify in this way and we know its only the beginning. Next week we’re looking forward to the visit of a sister from Florence who is considering Spain as a place to serve. She will be staying with us and we hope that we can give her a good impression of the ministry and the congregation here. This weekend we’re looking forward to visiting the English congregation in Cadiz for the public talk. We’re planning on staying the weekend there so it should be nice to get to know the brothers better. We hope you enjoy the rest of the week!