Saturday, October 17, 2015

New Service Year!

So we are well underway into the new 2015-2016 Service Year.  A lot of things have happened over the past 8 months.

About two months ago we stopped  to get gas and a quick break in service. One of our fellow pioneers gave a man a magazine and he was so appreciative that he gave us his personal recorded CD. Note such classics as Moonshine Woman, I Can't Sell My Truck (For Scrap) and Corn Crazy. Definitely classic Appalachian Bluegrass! Also I don't know if you can make it out, but on the cover of his album the man is holding a rooster!

Our area is teeming with snakes.  This year was a particularly bad year for copperheads and rattlesnakes.  One night after the Thursday meeting there was a young rattlesnake right outside the Kingdom Hall door.  One of our brothers was able to kill it before anyone was hurt.  Mike took it home and skinned it.  We ate the meat, which tasted like a combination of fried chicken and fish.  Then Mike tanned the snakeskin and it turned out remarkably well! 

Kayaking and Hiking with a visiting speaker and some brothers he brought with them.

Friends from Tazewell, VA

Molly & Herb came to visit at our Regional Convention in July.

At the end of July we got to bring our nieces Brooke and Bailey home with us for 2 1/2 weeks.  We spent lots of time in field service, hiking and exploring!

Teaching the girls to skip rocks in the river.

Checking out a large group of butterflies in service.

One of the nine turtles that the girls saved from the roads.

Petting a mini horse.

Feeding our call's goats

Petting a potbelly pig.

The girls got to make their own batch of homemade soap! 

Family Worship night on top of a mountain.

Riding the 4 wheeler

Canoeing with Johnny & Rachelle

At the end of August I had the privilege of attending Pioneer Service School for the second time! What a way to finish out my 10th consecutive year of pioneering.  There were 39 students in my class, with a large number of second timers and three third time attendees. There was a family that had seven members attending Pioneer School together! They made up three generations pioneering! Pioneer School was a much needed booster shot for me, so encouraging and upbuilding! It felt like a warm hug from Jehovah and was just what I needed to keep pioneering. Here's some pictures from our fun week!

My phone got hacked!

Roses were left on all the sister's desks for the section on women. 

These two sisters are mother and daughter.  They hosted me and Lori Walls when we first came and visited WV-1 way back in February 2012.  I remember one discussion we had that they both spoke of regular pioneering as a goal. What a treat to be able to attend Pioneer School with them 3 years later!

This is Derek, he and his wife, Jody, sat behind me in class.

Future pioneers who came to visit their Mom & Dad in class!

This is Sandra. She and her son Louis were in my class and they recently moved to our circuit from Brooklyn!!!!

All the Brothers from our class.
Class Picture

Finally, we went on a little trip to Ft Blackmore, VA to a hiking spot called the Devil's Bathtub.  Its naturally carved out by the constantly running water. What a neat swimming hole!

A few weeks ago we got to hear the review of our congregation activity for last service year.  You might find the statistics encouraging, I certainly did!

Phelps, KY Congregation Statistics:
25 publishers (9 of which are Regular Pioneers)
6 different Auxillary Pioneers during the year
142 Books
2,934 Tracts & Brochures
9,868 Hours
4,749 Magazines
2,876 Return Visits
24 Bible Studies/Month

What an accomplishment for such a small hall!
We get to meet our new Circuit Overseer in just a few weeks.  They are Joshua and Anna Hauser from MD-11 Circuit. Maybe they will know some of the friends from back home! 
I miss all you friends from home dearly! Hope everyone is doing well!


  1. Hey there Ki & Mike...Hooray for Pioneer Service School!!! :-) Only wish I could have been there instructing... (insert :-( ) Love the "Appalachian adventures" of skinning/eating rattle snake; Mountain top family worship; and pig petting! Keep up the fine work and please take our love! E&E Baumgartner

  2. Hey...I showed a few friends the picture of Mike & the snake and that got me wondering how long the Phelps congregation has been doing "snake handling"??? :-)

  3. Somehow I missed this a year ago but reading it today made a rather rainy and dreary afternoon a little brighter. Wondering if you've had many snake visitors at your KH this year! Hope all is well. 💚