Mozambicans celebrate Christmas differently than I would have ever Imagined. Let me explain....
On Saturday the combined Maputo 1 and Maputo 2 Christmas Branch party began. The Maputo 1 Branch president stood up to begin the more spiritual part of the meeting, he anounced the opening hymn which wasn't even a christmas hymn. After that we had two short talks that were truly good, that touched on the Life of Christ. After that.....Things got crazy. It all seemed to me at this point more of a talent show. One girl sang My Immortal by Evanescence being accompanied on the piano. I was surprised, she sang well in english, but i'm not going to lie things just kept getting more and more strange. She was followed by another who sang "You raise me up" by Josh Groban After that a man named Felix Hawk stood up and came to the microphone. He said he was going to sing, (more like say, because he didn't sing) He asked someone in the audience if they could play somekind of backup music on the piano. Nobody really volunteered so I decided I'd do it. I went up to the piano and he told me to play something slow, and calm. He went back to the mic and in dialect began this interesting prayer/ ritual thing. (I was almost at the point of bursting out in laughter) Allow me to explain what Felix Hawk looks like. He has an average height and his forhead to about half of his head is completely shaved. The rest is all dreads that extend to his lower back. Felix Hawk was a contact made by the Maputo 1 Elder and They invited him to come to church. And he did, and happened to come on a day they were plainning the christmas activity. Thus is the reason Felilx Hawk is at the microphone speaking Xisena. (The dialect spoken in beira.) After he finished everyone clapped. At this point he says he'd like to share one more thing, and of course they all agree, and I'm still stuck at the piano. At the mention of performing another surprise from us the other elders had taken out their cameras and recorders, they didn't want to forget this. In all honesty, this next part will be very hard to forget. Again I began playing the piano, and He much to my surprise began rapping this time in portuguese and not dialect. I guess you would call it a Gospel Rap, he rapped about how through Christ he can overcome all things, and how he has been born again and all that other good stuff. The Irony is that all things considered, it was the only "talent" that actually was centered on Christ. I will never forget the day that Felix Hawk Rapped. I have it on video, so when in a year and a half you'll be able to see the proof.
Armando made it to church again for the fourth time in a row, and we are super happy for him. Elder Largent and I went to his house yesterday after church. We extended a Baptismal Invitation. He said that he had already been baptized. He also said that theres a reason that someone so strong in his church has come to our church four times in a row. He said that he does feel something different but that he considers it an offense to God to be baptized again. Elder Largent and I have decided we really need to help him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. His wife and son aren't interested at all, and originally we had asked them to read the Book of Mormon to Armando, because of his eye problems he can't read. Now we've decided that throughout the week we are going to go to his house and read to him and help gain that Testimony. He's dedicated to come to church everyweek, and participate so much in the Principles of the Gospel classes. This week I'll try to get a Picture of him with Elder Largent and I.
Well, Our P day is going to be nonexistant again. President wants a meeting with Elder Largent and I before he goes up to Quelimane for A Zone Conference tonight. (Speaking of Quelimane in the Conference edition of the Liahona, Quelimane's branch has a picture that made it into the liahona.)
I love being in Africa, even when I'm sweating my brains out because it's so hot. The work that's being done here and all around the world is true, and i'm grateful to be a part of it.