Two amazing members of our branch are Rubina and Mansi - vivacious mother and daughter. This picture of them competing against each other at our branch activity shows their fun personalities.
They are strong women who joined the church together. Though the men in the family (husband and son) are not interested, these two keep each other going through hard times. Ty was just assigned to be their home teacher so last night we went together to pay a visit.
They live in a warren of housing set aside for government workers and we played our own version of Marco Polo for a while before they rescued us and led the way. The address was something like: 1st floor, building 60 near the school and across from the auto rickshaw stand. Mailmen are first rate detectives here!
We arrived with all of our Utah home teaching habits - apologize for coming on the last day of the month, don't stay too long, bring treats, offer to help, give a brief message, leave quickly and let them enjoy their night. Instead, we were treated to the Indian version - come whenever traffic lets you, stay many hours, feast on their food, accept their help, listen to their incredible testimonies, linger longer and plan 5 other times to see each other the next week.
This is the entirety of their home. Mansi is being instructed where to find the only two glass glasses which are reserved for company. All they own are in those cabinets and in the one underneath the bed where Ty & I sat. Never did they apologize for their house like we tend to do (sorry for the mess, excuse the old furniture, etc), but they told us how grateful they were to have it. They know someone who is looking for a house but sadly, he can't afford one in their neighborhood.
We were treated to such kind hospitality - they went to great lengths to make sure we knew we were welcomed and that we enjoyed visiting their house. The orange chips are spicy for Ty and the light ones are not spicy for me and the cookies are sweet for everyone - Mansi explained this to us as we sipped our cold soda purchased just moments ago because they don't have a refrigerator.
We laughed and enjoyed great stories while getting to know each other better. For the first time since he was 10, Ty sat on a seat high enough off the ground to swing his feet :) Okay, it's the brother's bed but it doubles as a couch during the day. The rest of the family sleeps on the floor together.
Ty tried to give a short message on prayer, but Rubina has a giant testimony on the power of prayer - "I pray all day long and have many conversations with God. He helps me. I know He does." Indians have the gift of speech and we heard the best home teaching message on prayer and scripture reading "All my coworkers know I read my scriptures. I come to work early and that's what I do first thing always I am found reading my scriptures. No one bothers with me. They say, 'don't bother with her - she is reading her scriptures!' so they leave me alone. Every day it is like this only."
As we slowly made our exit over many pleas to 'come visit any time - no call required!' and planned to meet up again later on, I looked at those two women with their beaming faces so happy that we would come to share food with them in their home, and thought it should be called Home Blessing instead of Home Teaching.