Saturday, June 17, 2006

Moment #609. Amharic at Dollar General. Wow. Sat, Jun 17, 2006.

06/17/2006. After leaving Meijer, I went to Kroger, which was still on my way home from the office supply store. I got some fruit, and intended to take my normal "route" through the store, but the Spirit told me to hustle and go directly to what I had come for, so I got the rest of the stuff I wanted, and then headed for the checkout.

I looked at the various check-out lanes to see if there were any opportunities, and didn't see any immigrants so I chose the shortest line. Since I had received instructions, I was on the look-out.

I took my groceries back home and put them away. I still had one more store to go to, so there was still the chance for a placement opportunity for which that "hurry up" instruction was given.

I drove to the Dollar General near my home, and I saw a frail elderly African man just outside the store walking away with his purchases. Bingo. That was my contact for whom I had to hurry up and get out of Kroger's.

I parked in front of Dollar General, and had to jog to catch up to him. He dropped his receipt, so that gave me a good excuse to approach him. I picked up his receipt, and gave it to him. I forget whether I first asked where he was from or what he spoke, but he was from Ethiopia and spoke Amharic. He had a bloated belly indicating an illness. His slowness of movement indicated illness, but he was fully responsive, and exhibited intelligence and education in his speech.

I offered an Amharic book from my church, and he agreed to see it, so I asked him to wait there while I got it from my car. I retrieved Amharic and English Books of Mormon, and Amharic and English New Testaments. He was excited and curious about the Amharic Book of Mormon. He already had an Amharic Bible, but wanted the English New Testament. He accepted the English Book of Mormon too. As I opened them and explained the bilingual nature, he read 1 Nephi 1:1 aloud in Amharic. It is a beautiful language.

He had just gotten out of the hospital. I asked where he lived, and it was in a complex almost 10 blocks away. He was too frail to walk that much so soon after getting out of the hospital, so I offered to take him home. He agreed, so I went to my car and pulled around to where he was standing, and took him home. I left him at the front door to the complex. He was very appreciative.

That was such a "divine appointment." That meeting was just meant to be, so I invited him to church. He said he had a wedding to go to tomorrow, but the next week he could.

We chatted on the ride, and for a bit after we got there.

Man, he was so humble and meek and he was still suffering from his illness and his hospitalization. I was kind of wondering if he was all there, but I just got the impression he was just slowed down, but not significantly diminished in his mental capacities.

This has been an intense two days. Not just in number of placements, but in "wow" moments, and in meeting important and special people.

Oh, Wednesday night, my elders' quorum president asked me to give a lesson tomorrow on using the scriptures in missionary work.


At 6/18/2006 10:55:00 AM, Blogger annegb said...

I'm reading the Book of Mormon again, Neal. I'm making myself read every word, too, like if I were reading it aloud.

I'm doing it to help me get more spiritual and it's working.

I've read it countless times, but this time I'm doing it for specific stuff.


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