February 15, 2016
This week I have to tell you guys about three things that happened!
First off lunch that we had at a member´s house. Thursday we had lunch marked with Irmã Irenil and Irmão Militão. I had already spoken to them once or twice at church but hadn´t had the chance to really get to know them, but every one in the ward speaks really well of them. So when we arrived at their house for lunch it was pretty normal to see a decent sized brick house. But when we stopped at the gate the owner of the house came out and told us that he lived behind his house. As we went around the back of his house we found a much smaller brick house which had clearly been personally constructed by someone who wasn´t exactly an expert in construction. The walls were a little crooked and the roof had holes which would definately leak water when raining. I was a little taken back by the simplicity of the house. When we stopped at the gate, Militão came out to greet us and had the biggest smile on his face! After greeting us the first thing he told me was`` Elder Rice I know this is your first time eating at your house so iI want you to understand something, when the Elders come for lunch it is a celebration!`` And he started to laugh ``your are at home, do as you please`` all of the food had already been prepared and Militão set a table just for me and my companion under the shade of a tree in the front of his house. As my companion and I started to eat I realized that we were eating with the only two plates and two sets of knife and fork they had in the house, Militão and his family used only a spoon or fork to eat and left over icecream tubs to serve their food, which they got inside the house, while our food was served on the table in front of us.
Needless to say I felt pretty undeserving of how we were treated but to them, it was the least that they could do. Militão told us about how the missionaries and the gospel changed his life. He smoked, drinked, fought, cursed and everything else you can think of he had done it. But shortly after getting to know the church his life made a complete 180 and now he is one of the strongest members of the church I have ever known. I can´t even explain the spirit of love that I felt there in his simple house, and I will never forget his example of service in the church.
Second: (and now these next two things will have to much quicker because I have to leave) was at Mateus´s baptism that we had this Sunday. The service was done shorthly after church and nearly the entire congregation stayed to watch his baptism and the primary did a special music number. It was a great experience for everyone that was there!
Third: Was the devotional about missionary work that my companion and I planned for Sunday afternoon. We had planned a special devotional with the presence of the stake presidency and the assitants of the mission, but unfortunately after a few unseen emergencies, the assistants and the stake presidency weren´t able to come. But all ended well as my companion and I gave a training about how we can naturally invite our friends to get to know the church. It was a great experience and everyone that was there enjoyed it!
Love you all and hope you guys have a great week!