Saturday, October 19, 2013

Special Convention Day 1 - Friday

You'd think I wouldn't have much to write about a convention day. I mean, typically you just wake up and hurry and get ready and get there and sit in a seat and pay attention.  But not so much here. Yes, we did wake up early and hurry and get ready.  We had to be at the busses at no later than 6:45, otherwise we'd be left.  So we made it on time, didn't want to chance that. We load the bus and ride about 45 mins (by the way, that has been where I've been writing my blogs recently since I'm usually tired when I get back to the hotel). When we get to the convention (it is a rented facility to fit us all) we look up and there is this HUGE banner on the side that looks like our regular badges but 100x the size. It says "God's Word Is Truth" 2013 Special Convention and the dates, for all to see as they pass by. You can't miss it. What a witness! And outside are tons of witnesses all loading into the building. I think John said there are just 1,500 total delegates, and the rest are from the Philippines. I'll have to let you know the total number in attendance later. It seems like a lot. We get inside and everyone is so happy to see us. Everyone is smiling and waving and saying welcome. The program started pretty soon after we got in the building. The music started at 8:20 am. Earlier than ours - but it ended earlier too, so that was nice. Oh and when the music started we were supposed to go to our seats, but we found Tim and Christa Ramey! So we just had to go say hi to them.  :)  We then went to our seat after. The program was in Tagalog, but we could listen to the interpreters in English (loose translation may I add)  through our MP3 players. At lunch time we had to go to get our lunches that were set up in the hallways and then go back to our seats to eat.  After our lunch we went and walked around, and it was crazy! Most people you pass want to shake your hand and ask your name and where we are from. I love the little kids. They are adorable. They even come up to you and ask you questions to get to know you. One little girl asked, "are you enjoying your stay here?"  haha what a cutie. Some people we talked to longer than others and made stronger connections with. It was nice. And again, so many people ask "Can I get your picture?" (My face hurt from smiling in pictures and to the people at the end of the day). So the afternoon session starts and we have to go back to our seats. It seems like the breaks fly by and you never have enough time. During the convention program we got to hear some special speakers as well. A Branch Committee member and the last talk was by Brother Splane of the Governing Body. He was also wearing a Barong (the traditional dress shirts that the Filipinos wear). That was pretty neat to see. The session ends and again we feel like there isn't enough time to talk to people before we have to be to wait on the buses. It was nice getting to the Philippines early and meeting all the people we did already  because now we recognized quite a few people at the convention and felt like it could have been one of our conventions at home. When we wait in line for our buses we get to meet more delegates from all over. We talked for a while to a couple from New York who are now serving in Taiwan. They were interesting to talk to. After a while we load the bus and head to the hotel (the traffic was bad at this point - a lot of starting and stopping, starting and stopping). At the hotel we were pretty tired so we just order room service (which was our 1st time doing that by the way) and then head off to bed. Tomorrow is another early day.

Getting to the convention 

This sisters notes were in Japanese characters . It was neat to see.

Bro Splane showing us the new tracts.  I got some in Tagalog.

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