Plantboy put together a great EQ party tonight. He hates parties. He hates planning. He hates being in charge. The motivation this time was a Brazilian-themed dinner. He has recently discovered just how many returned missionaries in the ward, himself included, went to Brazil on their missions. So he put on a full blown Brazilian BBQ. Like Rodizios without the $30/plate price tag.
As I saw the enthusiasm with which he prepared so much delicious food this weekend, and explained to everybody what they were eating, I was deeply touched. An LDS mission is remarkable thing. It is 20 years ago this year that my husband went to Brazil. Yet even now, the sound of spoken Portuguese, the sight of black beans and yes, even the smell of mildew, sends him down a lane of sweet memories and stories that are touching and funny by turns. As he shared the food, music and cheap souvenirs with his brothers and sisters tonight, the deep love he still holds for Brazil and the Brazilian people was apparent in every word.
I will teach Sunday school in the morning. I hope to convey to my young class how much a mission means, not just for your growth in the church, but for your whole life. When you learn to put yourself on hold and to do nothing but love and serve for 18 or 24 months, something deep inside you changes for good. For THE good.
There are many experiences that teach us to to love and to be unselfish. People from every walk of life, and any religion or NO religion can learn these lessons. But I still maintain that the LDS mission is a unique experience for the sheer speed at which these lessons are taught. I think it is an experience difficult to replicate in any other way. I'm grateful for the lessons of sincerity and compassion and devotion my husband learned so long ago and in that place.
And, you know, he just has a really cute face.