Monday, July 03, 2006

Moment #634. Cambodian at gas station. Mon, Jul 3, 2006.

07/03/2006. On the agenda was to pick up mail, buy gasoline, have lunch at a new Chinese restaurant I found Saturday.

Knowing that the "moments" that happen at the Post Office and at gas stations are time-sensitive, I sought guidance, trying to feel if I should go eat first, or pick up mail first. With the low-fuel light showing, my natural inclination was to get off the Interstate and go to the Post Office and get fuel near there, as that was the closer exit. But the "tug" was to stay on the Interstate and get off later at the exit nearest the Chinese Restaurant I had in mind.

I don't like gambling with the low-fuel light, but the tug was definitive, and it indicated to stay on the Interstate. There would be a gas station immediately after getting off at my intended exit, and I'd pass right by it on the way to the restaurant. I've placed books at that gas station on at least two occasions, so it would be good follow-up. Besides, if the Lord wanted me to run out of gas, there must be a purpose in it.

As I write this, my conscience convicts me that I didn't properly formalize a mental or vocal prayer in that instance. I was neither humble enough in my supplication, nor did I properly express gratitude after receiving the obvious "tug". I should not have waited to see the result before expressing gratitude.

I made it to that gas station without running out of gas. There was a van-load of hispanic landscaping workers using the other side of my pump, but I didn't communicate other than a polite nod and a "Muy buenas" to one man with whom I made eye-contact. I probably could have made an approach, but I was not confident enough.

After fueling the car, I went in to buy a newspaper to read during lunch, but none of the employees were immigrants at this time.

I continued down the street to the Chinese restaurant, and as soon as I entered the next intersection, I received a definite impression to go into the gas station/convenience store on that corner. I've made two placements there before, one just a few months ago.

I had to buy something, so I got a different newspaper this time. I got in line, and one of the cashiers was a college age woman who appeared Southeast Asian.

There may have been someone behind me, but after paying I asked quickly "Do you speak any foreign languages?" "Yes." "Where are you from?" "Cambodia." "Can I show you a free book in Cambodian from my church?" She couldn't read Cambodian, only speak it, but I offered them for her to give to her parents or relatives, and she was genuinely interested. If I held up anyone behind me, it was less than 10 seconds.

I went out to my car and got two issues of the Liahona in Cambodian, and a Cambodian and an English Book of Mormon.

I went back in, got in line, and let a couple people in front of me so as not to delay anyone. I told the other customer something like "This isn't business, it's just a personal thing" pointing to the books, as an indication I didn't want to delay them for non-business chit-chat.

The cashier was rather excited about the material. I asked her if she knew another Cambodian lady who worked at an Asian market down the street. She didn't know her, so I gave her the other lady's name, the name of the store, and the location, thinking she'd enjoy meeting another Cambodian who worked just a few blocks away.

I don't know when this lady's shift ended, so going to the Post Office later may not have affected this encounter, but it did affect an enounter later on.

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