There are some people you should meet. They are a few of the members of our little branch who have quietly been an inspiration to me.
Marisha is the one in red helping someone's little girl eat some food from our branch president's farewell potluck several weeks ago. She comes to church with her aunt and uncle who care for her and her younger sister despite the fact that money and food are scarce. Her mother is there but the situation is not good.
The entire extended family live in a tiny one-room shanty where Marisha works hard doing all sorts of chores. She is low man on the totem pole and bears the brunt of the daily tasks. She melts my heart with her quiet smile and unassuming ways. While most of the branch was eating and enjoying each other's company, I happened to go by the kitchen. There, from the doorway, I saw Marisha working while a few other adults chatted. She had a twig broom and with some difficulty was sweeping up the mess of scattered rice and food from under the tables and all over the floor. When I asked what she was doing, she said in a near whisper, "This is God's house."
I love Marisha and the lesson she taught me.
Syam is the first counselor in our branch. His wife Radica struggles to come regularly with their son Rithvik.
Radica and Rithvik showed up at church after an absence and with Syam's help we managed to get Rithvik to come to nursery. Primary and nursery are just becoming structured and organized according to the handbook. Our departing branch president (in the middle) would run a nursery himself when he could because the other members are new converts and need to be in class learning the gospel. The next week Rithvik came with Syam to nursery again. When I came in for singing time, he had many questions for me.
Syam: "Sister, what can I do to help the nursery."
Me: "What do you mean, brother - Do you mean toys?" (We had a broken car, one wooden spoon, and 3 crayons)
Syam: "No, sister. I found the nursery book and read it last week - the one from the Church website. It talks about lessons. I want my son to know these lessons. Could I work in the nursery? I have read 3 of the lessons and taught them to my son this week."
Me: "Wow. You did? That's amazing! Are you really offering to work in the nursery? That would be wonderful!"
Syam: "Yes, sister. I had no idea that you could teach small children the gospel like this. I want to teach my son the gospel. And, sister, I need to know where I can find that cleaning song you sang last week. I have been trying to sing it every night so my son will know to help clean when you sing it at church, but I don't know all the words. Tell me, sister, where can I find this cleaning song."
I could have kissed his feet - my jaw was low enough. Today Syam and Rithvik sang the cleaning song without any help :)
These are just two people whose faith and Christlike service have inspired me in this faraway place where I thought I would be the example.