In my condo apartment back in Virginia I never had to deal with door-to-door solicitors. In five weeks here we’ve already been visited by Jehovah’s Witnesses twice and a young boy selling something.
This afternoon was the second visit by the Witnesses. The first time we just waited quietly inside until they went away; this time I thought it might be Jeff at the door, since he had driven over to his mother’s house, and wouldn’t be parking his car back inside the garage since we’d be taking mine out later to visit some friends in Mountain View. So I opened the door, and there they were.
But they seemed even more surprised to see me. “We’re looking for Filipinos,” the woman said. She laughed nervously. “You’re not…” “No,” I agreed, “I’m not.” The two then asked me if I knew which of my neighbors were Filipino; I said that I’d only just moved in, so I didn’t really know my neighbors yet. They started to move away, then the man suggested that his partner leave something with me; she reached into her bag, but then hesitated, “Ah, but you don’t read…” “Tagalog?”, I asked. “No, but my roommate does.” “Your roommate…,” she began, obviously confused, but not pressing the point. She handed me a copy of Ang Batayan, and her associate gave me the usual English version, and then they left on their search for Filipinos to proselytize. I’m confused, though; are we non-Filipinos already automatically saved, or is salvation so totally out of reach for us that they just needn’t bother trying?
Coincidentally, I’d just checked out some Tagalog instruction books from the library last weekend. When we’re just with his mother alone, we all speak English together, but when we’re with a larger group of Jeff’s family, Tagalog is used at least as often as, if not more so than, English and I’ve been wanting to try to learn it in order to be able to participate more fully. Now I’ll have some reading material with which to practice.
Now I just have to figure out how to work the word “watchtower” artfully into a conversation with Jeff’s aunts.