This last Sunday we were invited to dinner by Sister ?-Wilson. Sister ?-Wilson aka, Mama Cherry, a nickname her father gave her as a child. So that's what I'll be calling her. She is from Jamaica and has 21 sisters and 6 brothers; her father was married 3 times. Mama Cherry is faithful in her attendance of church each week and always sits near the front of the chapel. We generally sit by her on the same pew. Actually, everyone in attendance could have their own row, as the attendance has been low these summer months. If you happen to be talking to Mama Cherry at 1:00 she will "shush" you as the meeting is suppose to start at 1:00. The meeting usually doesn't begin until 5 or 10 minutes after the hour.
Mama Cherry is a convert to the church. She lives about 5 miles from us in east New York, which is not a nice area to live in. We asked her how she learned of the church. Here's her story.......
Her house is on a busy street with a bus stop in front. Each day she would look out her window and see two "white boys" all dressed in white shirts and ties just standing around. After a couple of day she went out and told them they were nice boys and they shouldn't be buying drugs. Evidently, that was a hot spot for drug sellers. They told her they were missionaries and were there to catch the bus. Then they asked her if she would like to know more. That started the first of many discussions until she was baptized. Since that time, she cooks Sunday dinner for any missionary that is hungry. And, what missionary is not hungry for a good home cooked meal???
We took the sister missionaries with us to dinner, Sister Barton and Sister Solamo. The first thing Mama Cherry said to us as we entered her home was, "wash your hands" which we all promptly did. We all went into her kitchen, well, I should say, one at a time as the kitchen is very narrow, and helped her finish preparing the meal. She was a gracious hostess.
She told us she had two sons. One is deceased and other lives upstairs with his wife and son. She said her daughter-in-law is evil. Mama Cherry had a stroke in December and is sure her daughter-in-law tried to push her down. Richard said maybe she just accidentally brushed against her. Her reply was, "I'm not dumb. She pushed me!" We changed the subject.
After dinner we wanted to help clean up, but she insisted that she wanted to serve us. Her Sunday routine is attend church, make dinner for the missionaries, clean up, and then watch Colombo on TV. She thinks he is very cleaver.
It is interesting to become acquainted with members of our branch who come from different counties and cultures. We learn from each of them. Mama Cherry reminded us of the value of loving, selfless service. Not only is it a big expense in her budget, but is a lot of work to prepare a nice dinner each Sunday for the missionaries. It was a nice evening and we are grateful for the faithful and kind members of our branch.