Thursday, July 27, 2006

Moments #671-676 Road trip day 3. Thu, Jul 27, 2006.

07/27/2006. Day 3. Moment #671. Ilokano/English plus English.

I checked out of the motel, and headed down the main drag towards the town where my sister lives.

I was on the look-out for a tire store to replace the flat tire I had last night. It was a side puncture. I stopped at a gas station, and asked a man, and he knew where a tire store was, and it was even the brand I was looking for. It was just one more mile down the road, one turn, and then another mile. Easy to find.

My sister called while I was waiting at the store, and she'd get off work and come by the tire store right about the time I would be ready to go. So I ended up following her to her house.

On the way to her house we passed an Asian grocery store. I made note of where it was and how to get back to it. Had I not been given incorrect directions the previous day, I would not have discovered this particular store.

After having lunch and visiting, I wanted to go shopping at that store to get some unusual food items for my sister and her kids. My neice was busy playing, but my nephew agreed to go.

We got to the store, and it was run by Filipinos. I got to practice a little Tagalog. My nephew picked out some stuff he thought he'd like, and I picked out some stuff for him and his sister and some staples for my sister and BIL that they probably hadn't tried before.

I was out of Tagalog Books of Mormon, or at least I thought so. So I asked the cashier what else she spoke. She said Ilokano. I offered and she accepted the Book of Mormon in Ilokano, so I went out and got Ilokano and English copies from my car while she was ringing up my purchases.

She was surprised and grateful. At first I thought she was scared, but I soon found out it was awe. She had seen the Book of Mormon before, and knew what it was about.

She said that when she was a little girl in the Philippines, that a man from the Mormon church would regularly visit her village once a week (later once a month) and read to them from the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon in her native language brought back cherished childhood memories for her.

This lady spoke Ilokano, Tagalog and English. The other lady spoke Tagalog and English. I thought I was out of Tagalog, so I just gave the other lady an English Book of Mormon.

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07/27/2006. Day 3. Moment #672. Swahili and Amharic.

I had only scheduled one overnight in my sister's town, so I needed to hit the road that evening to keep my schedule. In the next major city on the trip, I was inspired to take a certain exit. Directly in front of me was a Shell gas station, and that caught my attention, but I felt drawn further up the road to a convenience store that did not sell gas, so I went there first. The cashier's dress suggested that he was from Jamaica. I bought something, and asked where he was from, and he said Kenya. I asked if he spoke Kisii, and he said no, but that he spoke Swahili. I offered him a Book of Mormon in Swahili, and he accepted. As I left to retrieve Swahili and English copies from the car, I saw a sticker on the wall that had the Ethiopian flag and a picture of Haile Selassie. So I asked him if he knew any Ethiopians. He said yes. I asked if he'd like to give them a book in Amharic to read, and he said sure. So I retrieved a Swahili, an Amharic, and two English copies of the Book of Mormon. He gratefully accepted them.

I went to the Shell station and bought gas but didn't see any opportunities, so I got back on the Interstate and continued on.

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07/27/2006. Day 3.
Moment #673. French to cashier.
Moment #674. Korean and Chinese to office missionaries.

Flashback: The background to this stop is that at some earlier point on this travel segment, I forget if it was before or after the previous placement, I was wondering what I was going to do with the Korean material I had put in my car. I had really felt like I was instructed by the Spirit to put one each of my Korean video tapes in the car for the trip. It was while I was pondering this that the thought of meeting missionaries popped into my head. It was not a direct command like "give them to the missionaries", but the thoughts were sequential. IE, "What do I do with the Korean stuff?", then the next mental image I had was of meeting some full-time missionaries, the white shirt and black name-tag type.

I was still in the same city as the previous encounter, and I was inspired to get off the Interstate at this particular exit, and while driving on the exit ramp I was then inspired to turn to the left. Those directions seemed clear. After crossing back over the Interstate, there was a gas station on the left that the Spirit clearly indicated I was to go to, but not before going further down the road. Again, it was very clear, "that's the place, but catch it on your way back."

I went further down the road, and checked out another gas station, but didn't see any opportunities. Sometimes, the little extra side trips are "timing loops." I headed back towards the Interstate and stopped at the indicated gas station, which was now on the right.

I bought an ice cream, and the cashier spoke with an accent. As he handed me my change I asked "parlez vous francais?" He beamed and said yes. I asked where he was from, and he said Cameroon. His other language was Basa, but I don't think the church has anything in that. I offered him a free book from church in French, and he readily and happily agreed.

I went out to get it the books. And there were three missionaries. One was gassing up their car, and two others were talking to other customers. Wow. Wow. Wow.

I talked to them, but I was pretty much a blathering idiot, because I was so overwhelmed by how the Spirit had apparently set up this encounter, and prepared me for it. I was trembling. I said something to them, and asked them to pull over to the side after gassing their car so I could talk to them. I didn't want them to occupy a pump space since the station was so busy.

I went to the car and got French and English Books of Mormon, a "To This End Was I Born" DVD that has a French track, and a French Liahona magazine, and took them inside. There were several people in line, and the clerk was very busy, so I just laid them down on an empty space at the end of the counter, and got his attention just enough to let him know that I put them there.

I went back out and continued to talk to the three missionaries. They worked in the mission office which was just around the corner. I forget everything I said, but I asked if they had any Korean investigators. They said no. I may have gone out on a limb telling them that there would be some within 30 days. I don't know if I said that by inspiration, or whether I was just blathering. Anyway, by getting those Korean video tapes, a Korean Gospel Principles, and a couple extra Korean Books of Mormon into the mission office, any missionaries in their whole mission will have access to them. They said they already had at least one Korean Book of Mormon in the office.

I also asked if they liked to eat at Chinese restaurants. They said yes, so I gave them some Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese Books of Mormon and explained the difference. I gave them some copies of my info flyer, and blathered on a bit about my book placement project, and giving out books along the way while traveling.

They probably thought I was crazy. But one of them did say "We don't normally come to this gas station."

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07/27/2006. Day 3. Moment #675. English Bibles and Books of Mormon.

This was a ways after the previous stop. I forgot to write down the reason for this stop, but I think it was by being "tugged" by the Spirit to take that exit. I stopped at a gas station, bought something, and offered the English speaking cashier a Bible. I said something like "I like to give out free Bibles. Would you like one?" I didn't write down good notes on this one, so I forget if the cashier accepted just a Bible or just a Book of Mormon. I think it was just a Bible.

Anyway, as I retrieved the material for her, she told three other employees of my offer. The three others wanted both Bibles and Books of Mormon, a pair each. So I got out three Books of Mormon, and also showed them the Bibles I had. I still had one more nice bonded leather LDS edition KJV Bible, so I also showed them the KJV and NIV versions that I had in paperback style, and let them choose the translation they wanted.

They were all eager and pleased to receive the material.

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07/27/2006. Day 3. Moment #676. Urdu.

I finally got off the Interstate to get a motel room. Before checking in, I went to a gas station and bought something, and started a conversation with the cashier. He was from Pakistan, but had come here when he was seven years old, after only two years of school there, and could only barely read at that time. Now he could speak Urdu, but not read it. I offered him the Book of Mormon in Urdu for his parents, along with the English edition. He thought that was a good idea and he cheerfully accepted it.

---- end of Day 3 ----

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