Thursday, January 19, 2006

Moment #514. French-Arabic-Yoruba-Amharic. Thu, Jan 19, 2006.

01/19/2006. I stopped at a gas station located between the sister missionaries and the Post Office to get a money order for an Ebay purchase. The clerk who waited on me appeared to be Ethiopian. The other clerk appeared to be West African and his name-tag was the same name as someone to whom I gave a French Book of Mormon at a Shell gas station over a year ago. There were no other customers, so it was a perfect opportunity to converse.

I asked the second clerk if I had given him a blue book in French at a Shell station, and he said no. In French, I asked if he spoke French and he said yes. So, again in French, I said I had a book in French, from my church, and that it was free, and asked if he'd like to see it. He said sure. We chit-chatted a bit more in mixed English and French. He is from Benin, which is next to Nigeria in western Africa. He also speaks Arabic and Yoruba, and agreed to see books in those languages too. He's ethnic Yoruba, and his parents were originally from Nigeria. When he said he spoke and read Arabic, the first clerk said that was because he was Muslim, so I said the books were Christian, and asked if that was still okay, and he said of course. He also speaks Gun, a regional language of Benin, but the church doesn't have anything in Gun.

The first clerk also agreed to see books in Amharic.

I brought in several books in their languages. I gave the Ethiopian clerk Amharic and English copies of the Book of Mormon, Amharic and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals, and Amharic and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet. I don't normally give out Amharic Gospel Fundamentals, but since I was going to give it to the other man in Yoruba, I wanted things to be even-steven.

I gave the man from Benin Arabic, French, and English copies of the Book of Mormon, Yoruba and English Gospel Fundamentals, Yoruba and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet.

For both, I presented their native langauge materials first, then asked if they wanted the English "to go along with it" and they both enthusiastically said yes. They were both very fluent in English.

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