Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great experience!!!!

Just finished the CO's visit and I'm totally on a theocratic high. Then after the meeting it just gets better. So here what happens...
I leave the hall and stop by the local grocery store to pick up a few things then intend to head back home. But for some strange reason I decide i want carne asada fries from this place near my place called Taco Spot (which btw were AMAZING, as is everything else there, if you're ever in the Eagle Rock area on Colorado Blvd). Now the reason this is strange is because i havent been eating any meat for the last week, and havent particularly had RED meat in weeks for dietary reasons. But for some crazy reason i just HAD to have it. So i go, get my food, head home, chill in my car for a bit then, eventually head to my building.
As I get to the front door and i'm trying to manoeuver the front door (its a whole process to get the key to work) this woman comes up behind me and is waiting to get inside as well. She says something about how she always has difficulty getting the door open as well. So FINALLY i open the door and i let the woman and her elderly mother in and enter after them. The younger woman gets the elevator, drops off her mom and these two grocery bags and says goodbye, leaving her 70-something yr old mom to figure out how she's gonna make it back to her apartment with the bags SOLO. In my mind i think, "WHO DOES THAT?! I would help my dear old mum to her apartment with her things and wouldnt leave until i knew she was safely home and comfy. She could slip and fall and throw out her back carrying this stuff. Tsk, tsk, tsk."
Needless to say, when i get in the elevator i offer to help the elderly woman carry her bags, and she says "oh no it fine, thank you". And i say "no dont worry its my pleasure". We get to her floor and i pick up the bags and these were some seriously weighty loads, which once again add to my amazement at her daughter who didnt help her mom all the way up. Anyway, I start walking with her toward her apartment and she tells me her apartment number so as to go ahead so that i can just drop them off and be on my way. But i'm not having that. I get to her door and wait for her to unlock it and get inside and i bring her bags in all the way for her. And for some strange reason her shock is increasing by the minute at my kindness (i assume anybody else would have done the same, no?) so she invites me in for some coffee. (NOTE: Those who know me know that I'm not a fan of coffee, esp strong coffee w/o cream and sugar. Now aremenians, which this woman was, are known for their infamously strong coffee. Knowing this i say yes ANYWAY) She clears off a chair for me and gets to work making the coffee for me and i'm cringing at the thought of having to drink it but she was such a sweet woman and was living all alone so it was totally worth it.
As we're sitting waiting for the coffee to brew she starts going on about how nice it was of me to help her and how suprised she was, etc. and i kept saying it was nothing, its my pleasure bc genuinely it made sense to me to offer an older, more fragile person my assistance. its the right thing to do. But i take the opportunity to try to witness to her bc its clearly an open opportunity thats fallen right in my lap. So i tell her, "Well my parents raised me & my brothers to apply Bible principle. And the Bible says that we should love and help our neighbor, so of course i would help you in any way i possibly could" And she says "thats so nice." We continue making small talk and she asks me what i do for a living and I say "I'm looking for a job. But i mostly do a lot of volunteer work with my congregation that actually meets right across the street. I'm a Jehovah's Witness" She asks me "what kind of volunteering do they do there?" I say, "I help teach people about the Bible. Oftentimes, many people own a Bible and maybe read it but dont really understand it or how to apply its principles. I help them get a better understanding of what it says. I also try to help them see how much better their lives would be if they just applied the Bible's counsel. For example, if everyone applied the principle to love your neighbor, it would be a much better world, dont you think?" And she says, "If everyone did that we would be living in Paradise!" (in my mind i'm thinking, "this convo is too good to be true. why cant field service be this easy, lol!") I reply, "You're right. But you know the Bible also promises that one day God is going to do away with everyone doing wrong and the earth will be perfect and filled with only good people, and we ACTUALLY will be in Paradise." Helen, the woman's name, responds "That would be nice, but WHEN?! The world is just getting worse and worse." I say, "Well 2 timothy 3:1-5 shows what would be the signs of the end of days: lack of natural affection, problems between family members and even selfishness. Things would literally go from bad to worse. And you'd agree we're living in that time wouldnt you?" and she agrees with me, so i continue, "But on the good side that means we're drawing closer to the end and closer to the day when God will put an end to all the suffering we see."
The convo continues on for a little bit more about the general population's indifference towards the Bible and religion in general and how much better it would be if we actually applied what it said. I then ask her if she reads in Armenian (i noticed her accent) and she says yes and so i ask her is she has a Bible of her own and she once again responds affirmatively. So i ask her if it would be ok if i brought her some Bible based literature the next day for her to read and she says she'd love that (SLAM DUNK STACEY!!!!lol) I say i have to get going now (i had made plans to spend time with some friends), then write down my name, apt number and telephone number and tell that if she ever needs anything to not hesitate to give me a call and she thanks me again. As I get ready to leave, i say i'll stop by the following day to see if she's well and she says "yes, you come with journals!" and i say "oh most definitely." Then i finish my coffee, which by the way was the hardest thing to have to drink (she also offered me chocolates, so i thought that if i ate the chocolates at the same time as i drank that coffee that would sweeten it, but no such luck, lol). But it was SO worth it for the convo that ensued. I say good-bye and head to my apartment. Literally i felt like i was floating on cloud 9.
It feels so good to have had a meaningful Bible discussion with someone who truly seemed to want an answer for the problems we all face in today's world and i feel so fortunate that Jehovah used me to do that. I've learned that literally any occasion is a good occasion to witness to people bc you literally never know what kind of impact even the smallest gesture of kindness can have on people. Also, i by no means believe in destiny or fate. I do believe though that Jehovah uses his angels to lead us to those whose hearts are rightly disposed to hear his message at any given time. I mean, why else would i sudden be craving steak and driving out of my way to get it instead of going home as i had originally intended? All i can say is when Jehovah presents us with an opportunity we need to seize it with both hands and hold on tight, and that goes for ANY situation in life.
Well I just wanted to share my happy, self-fulfilling moment with you, my dear friends and i'll def keep you posted with whatever results.
Much love to all!

It's been a while

Its been quite some time since i've truly felt inspired to write anything but that doesnt mean i've havent been doing anything noteworthy. I started regular pioneer service this September, a major, life changing decision which i'm very proud of and for which i thank my AMAZING sister/bff Misty Rose Saskill, for being my inspiration =). My first month went really well thanks to the good association of my Cali girls. They all know how to hang tough.
I also went back to ATL to visit La Familia bc it had been a few months since i'd seen them and as much as i hate to admit it, i was quite homesick and missing them as well as all the friends back home. The highlights from that trip were def the family time and good parties but particularly our (me & my friends) attempt at a 24-hour service day, that was more like a 15 hour day due to an extremely long "nap", lol. Still it was nice to explore different forms of ministry and to be able to do it with ppl i love so much. Also, i love to be able to encourage my friends to explore their full potential. Sometimes we dont know the extent of what we're capable of doing until someone is able to bring that out of us, not by guilting us into doing it, but by helping us to see the joy we can get from it. Dear friends have done that for me, so i feel its my duty to share the same with my friends who i love n care for so dearly. Mae, Jasmine, Luci, Girardo, Monique, Rachael, you made it a night to remember and for that i that i am thankful.
I ended up getting a car while i was in ATL and i drove it back to cali, not solo but with my Pops. He's also a soldier who will do just about anything for his little girl, =). It was a really amazing drive and just being able to see the vast variation of the landscapes truly makes you appreciate the work that our Creator has done on this planet we call home. Most of you know, i 'm not one to typically bond with nature, but i was definitely loving what i saw. Even the crazy gale force winds in Arizona were cool bc once again we see just an ounce of the power that Jehovah wields and we have no business trying to mess with that, lol!
Now i'm back in cali with wheels and even more motivated than ever to preach the good news and also build tighter relationships with my brothers and sisters out on the left coast. We've had so many studies in the WT and Remain in God's Love about being encouraging and kind to one another and i can only aspire to live up to all that. So we'll see what happens. CIAO!

Here are some pix from the cross country trip. We drove thru Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pix from convention


This is my dad giving his talk Saturday afternoon

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Never a dull moment in the life of Stacey

Wow, a bunch of awesome stuff has happened in my normally average life. One of my besties n DR roommate Misty came to visit from DR/Wisconsin so she could come to the French district convention in North Carolina with my family and me. I'm not going to get into the convention program because i know many still haven't attended yet so i'll be considerate and say nothing other than it was AMAZING and it actually made me cry in public which NEVER happens.
Now, for some strange reason, whenever the two of us get together crazy experiences seem to ensue. That being said cut to Wednesday when we arrive in the middle of nowhere town of Salisbury, NC. It's about 10 pm and Misty, Girardo and I are STARVING. Seeing as how we dont know the area very well we're at a loss for what to get to tame our hunger pangs. So Misty calls the front desk and ask if there are any fast food places open late in the area (bc most of the place in the hotel's restaurant directory close @ 9 pm since we're in Hicksville, USA). The front desk woman says "Oh yea, there's a Wendy's right across the street." Perfect! So the three of us head out on foot since we figure that if its across the street, no need to contribute to the growing hole in the ozone layer by burning gas in a car.
So we walk to the front of the hotel, look right & see nothing, then look left & see more of nothing. Then we squint and turn our heads slightly on an angle n see lights further down. But no Wendy's sign. Hmmm... why not? We're always up for an adventure so we walk towards the light. So there are no sidewalks, no streetlights, not much of anything really but we just keep walking, in the hope that we'll stumble upon this elusive Wendy's, whose existence I'm honestly starting to doubt at this point. Then finally like an oasis in arrid desert (i'm sorry for the excess of drama, just getting a little carried but we were REALLY hungry) we see the Wendy's sign. And Misty says "What kind of across street is this? We're really in the country!" Truer words never spoken. But here's the best part, after walking to Wendy's Misty sees a Waffle House sign and says "Hey let's go there instead!" Now normally I'd object but since she'd been in the DR so long without one I figured I'd indulge the request. So further on we walk.
We eventually reach Waffle House and walk in. It REEKS of cigarette smoke bc apparently one can still smoke indoors when you live in the middle of nowhere. We then seat ourselves at one of the only empty tables and wait for someone to wait on us. Now just by looking at the rag tag waffle house team, we should have run for the hills but i try to not judge a book by its cover. But all the three of the employees were a strange mixture of redneck and emo, sporting dark goth hair and multiple facial piercings and tatoos but opening theirs mouths and sounding like characters right out of the Beverly Hillbillies. Regardless, we wait... and wait... and wait... Until finally a woman walks over to us and ask if she can take our drink orders and we say yes and make our requests. Then she asks us if we need menus. [Wait, do we need menus? Am i not in a restaurant? Do i seem to have the daily specials tatooed on my arm? Or do i look like i know the value items by heart? Yes i need a menu!] We say yes we'd like menus please and she says ok i'll be right back with some for you. So apparently being "right back" means something COMPLETELY different in Salisbury bc we waited like 10 minutes before she even brought our drinks back. Then she just walked away! No menus, no order taking, NOTHING! Then she walks over and answers the restaurant (of u can even call it that at this point) phone and proceeds to have a conversation with someone I'd have to assume was a manager. She says to said person (and imagine the most redneck accent possible, then multiply that x 10) "I would do my job if someone named DAVID would help me" And it just so happens that her tatooed counterpart standing right next to her is wearing a nametag that reads David. Burn! Then she gets more upset, then says "Well you know what? Tonight's my last night anyway" and she hangs up and we three can just feel the screwing over that was about to take place with our meal. She then walks away then walks back over again and asks if we're ready. We would have been if we'd had menus. So she finally gets us some then starts to take our order and we have a glimmer of hope of salvaging our night, only to have her answer her cell phone halfway thru my turn & before Girardo can even go, so she can converse with "manager" again. And she says "No, i havent even had one drink all day" then gets mad and hangs up and walks away again. And i think "Yep, we're screwed. Not only is she quitting but she's also and alcoholic. GREAT."
So a couple of minutes later "David" comes over to us to ask if we've been helped and we say know. Then he walks away and she eventually comes back and asks us uf we're done ordering. [Seriously?! Are we done?! You walked away before we could even get a word out! No I'm done! Are you done throwing a tantrum?!] And we say no and she finishes taking our order. So as we wait for our food, Johnnie (our waitress) is standing nearby writing stuff and Misty, with her heart of gold, asks her so nicely i alomost felt bad for being mad on the inside "Johnnie, are you really quitting today?" and Johnnie says yes and complains about poor working conditions and how she's been there 3 years. So Misty asks "Do you have any children?" Johnnie replies "Yes and I'm a grandma." And our jaws drop! She didnt look anything over 36 or 37. So I ask "Wow, how old are your children?" And she says "My daughter is 16" Oh. Then awkward silence. Then FINALLY our food comes out and we start to dig in and its amazingly, spectacularly, wonderfully... cold. What a bummer.
All that drama, frustration, & displaying the fruitage of the spirit only to get crappy food that's already bad for you? Epic fail. And to add insult to injury, despite the fact that the food and service were a royal disaster, we still tipped her about 18% because we felt bad that she was quitting in these tough economic times with a kid and grandkid to take care of. Darn Misty for making me feel compassion! Lol!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

so a friend randomly emailed me a list of things that make her happy and i therefore felt compelled to do the same. and then i figured I'd share it with you guys too.

Greeting cards for no reason or special occasion, just because someone thought of me
Rum raisin ice cream
Calla lilies
Sun showers
Getting tanned/ being in the sun
Being with my friends
just being in the same room as brothers and not fighting
Chocolate cake
Knowing that my friends think of me as a good friend
Singing out loud when I'm by myself, even though I'm sure i sound horrible
Mellow music (Adele, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ray Lamontagne, James Morrison, etc..)
Funny people
Audrey Hepburn
Organizing stuff (my space, my calendar, the bathroom)
Throwing parties
People being happy at my parties
When my hair unexpectedly looks amazing
Taking a great picture
A nice view
Dominican Republic

Sunday, May 31, 2009

First time to Venice Beach

Ok, so I've been living in Cali for almost 3 months now. I've been a lot of places and definitely seen a lot of "interesting" things. But i gotta admit, Venice Beach definitely takes the cake. From the minute we step on the walkway behind the beach, my girls Doreen & Genger tell me that i may see some things that may be surprising, so i should just brace myself. Even though they told me this, i realize now i wasn't mentally prepared.
We were able to find some french speaking people which was great bc we there to preach primarily anyway. We'd asked this one African woman if she spoke french and she said she didn't but the store owners next to her did. And we thought, "SCORE!". So we head next door and just our luck they're some beanie selling, rastafari looking dudes and their shopped smelled of weed and incense. I would have sworn they were Jamaican instead. Regardless, since the woman said they spoke french, we figured we'd give it a go. So I say "Bonjour" to one older guy and he responds in french n i was kinda shocked but kept talking and said in french, "we're Jehovah's Witnesses and we're sharing a Bible message with people who speak french" n old dude is like "oh i know who u are, but no thanks". There was a younger guy with him who walks over n looks at the magazines we're holding and asks "r u selling those?" n we say "no, we just give them to ppl who we know r going to read them" n he says "I'll read them" n we give them to him and leave bc i don't think our lungs could hold anymore of what their air was giving.
So we keep on walking n a guy comes up to us, trying to get us to let him take our picture n he'll print them n put them in a frame for us for just $10. And we of course say no n try to keep it moving. But dude is RELENTLESS. "Oh come on girls, your really pretty. U can put the dark skinned one (Genger) in the middle to balance it out. It'll be real nice" And we say no again. Then homie says "U guys r really well dressed to be out here. I know who u r. Gimme a second." And i say as a joke, "If u guess right i'll give u a prize" And he says " oh, i'll get THE prize?" n i say "no, A prize" (if u follow where he was trying to go) So he says "Yea i know, you're Jehovah's Witnesses." So i say "That's great. And for getting it right here's an Awake." And the guy just wont go away and keeps talking and talking about everything and nothing. Some of his convo was quite inappropriate and blush-inducing (Us having "thunder thighs" came up, much to my embarrassment). And after talking to him about his quite confusing life for over an hour, we some how end up walking back to our car with him still talking to us and good ol' Genger carrying his table for him bc his hands were full.
Sometimes i wonder how these things happen to me and my friends, but then i remember we're witness and prob tolerate alot more nonsense than most just to get Jehovah's good news out there.
So today's lesson kids: U never know how someone will be affected by your service so treat everyone like a potential sheep in Jehovah's flock.
Much love to all

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So much, so much

ok everyone, it has been quite a while since i've written an entry but i promise it isnt bc i dont care i've just been obnoxiously busy. after my little brother visited last month i was working super hard in field service and i had the circuit overseer visit and brother henderson and his wife were so nice and having their visit was so encouraging. and the brother's talk were so insightful and just makes me want to continue to do more for Jehovah and set even more spiritual goals.
After their visit it was off to GA for a month for various activities: CO & DO visit, Circuit assembly in French, lil bro & cousin's graduation, and their grad party that i was throwing for them. Amidst all that i was also supposed to go to Haiti with my mom but then there was the H1N1 (swine flu) scare so my dad said we should just postpone the trip. But i think he just used that as an excuse to get me to do stuff around the house bc in the time that i should have spent chillin in the motherland, i cleaned off the back deck, the back porch, painted the kitchen (which is quite large), primed the back room and painted it. So i had to wonder how all this would have gotten done if i had gone to Haiti (i dont know about you, but i smell a rat).
So Girardo and Joel graduated, it was awesome but also made me kinda sad bc it seemed like an era was ending. Girardo is the last Gaspard to graduate from high school, which means my parents r getting old, which by default means I'm getting old. Sigh, before u know it i'll be 25 which is pretty the same as being 75 (j/k!)
And the culmination of my month in GA was the grad party which was A LOT of work but seeing everyone (all 100+ of them), especially Girardo and Joel, definitely made all the stress worth it. But i definitely know i couldnt have done it alone. i had a lot of help but definitely most of all from my fabulous cousin Dominique who kept me sane and from the brink of a nervous breakdown in many instances. And let me just say that the music was quite off the chain courtesty of my brother, DJ DtM. And just so you know he DJ's for all kinds of events (except for those of pagan origin) and all kinds of crowds with kompa, reggae, zouk, latin, american and whatever else you can think of. If you want to get at him just email him for more info @
So now i'm back in LA, just got here today and time to get back on my grind and preach my but off and find a job asap and of course have a good time with my friends who i havent hung with in a while. Let the good times recommence
Here are pix from the grad & party: