Saturday, September 10, 2005

Moment #422. Yoruba, again. Wow. Sat, Sep 10, 2005

09/10/2005. Still on my way home from an event, I did some shopping, then took a route home that would take me past an office supply store so that I could photocopy the missing page for the Yoruba Gospel Fundamentals, and have it drilled for the spiral binding. I had previously obtained permission from the church's copyright (Intellectual Property) department to make copies of the manual because the Distribution Center had run out and didn't plan on printing more.

The place I went to didn't have a hole making machine for the spiral binding, so I went to the next nearest store. Took in my original, and one of the six photocopied manuals that were missing the page. This store had the right machine, so I made my copies, and the nice employee drilled the holes for free.

I was second in the cash register line. The man ahead of me, currently being attended to by the cashier, had African-style leather sandals. I silently debated a bit, then waited until an appropriate moment and asked him "Parlez vous Francais?". He said no, just English. But he had an accent. I asked where he was from and he said Nigeria. I asked if he spoke Igbo or Yoruba, and he said neither. He spoke Isoko, a minority language. That's the first time I've ever heard of it. I looked it up later, and one web site claims 321,000 speakers of Isoko in Nigeria.

As an explanation, I pointed to the two Gospel Fundamentals manuals in front of me and said my church has books in African languages, and these are Yoruba.

He said his wife, who was in the car, spoke Yoruba.

Gulp.

I explained that the good one was my master copy, and offered him the photocopied one, and he very eagerly accepted. I forget if he brought it up, or if I first told him an English one existed, but he then asked if I had an English one with me. I said I had one in the car and if he would wait outside I'd get it when we were finished here. I quickly shoe-horned a photocopy of the missing page in the book and gave it to him. I made his day. And he made mine.

We saw each other outside, and I took an English Gospel Fundamentals, and Yoruba and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet to him.

He was standing outside the passenger side of his van, and his wife was sitting in the van holding a small infant and reading the Yoruba Gospel Fundamentals. He accepted the other material, and we chatted some more. He said that one of his coworkers back in Nigeria was a member of our church.

He handed me a flyer about an event next week at his church and invited me. I looked at the address and it was familiar, I asked where it was near and he told me. I then recognized the address and the church from a previous moment where I gave an Igbo Bible to a mildly anti-mormon pastor from Nigeria at the Post Office in Moment #82, in October of 2004, and is posted over at Mahonri.org. Later on I read it more carefully and found the name of the pastor and it was indeed him.

However, this man was of full joy, and when he wanted me to meet his pastor, I smilingly told him that we had already met and that he didn't like me. (The pastor had been polite during that previous encounter, but had said that he had encountered LDS missionaries back in Nigeria and that he didn't consider us Christian.)

We chit-chatted a bit, and I suggested they now had something to teach Yoruba to their children. We shook hands a couple times and departed very happy.

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