Saturday, October 21, 2006

Spanish x2 at restaurant. Sat, Oct 21, 2006.

10/21/2006. 738. I took two of our full-time missionaries (elders) to a nearby Mexican restaurant. They were at a baptism for our English-speaking ward, and were also going to be at a later baptism for the Spanish-speaking branch. They hadn't made arrangements for lunch, so I offered to buy them lunch if they'd do a follow-up at the restaurant.

We missed the opportunity to do a follow-up with the waitress. I think she's the one to whom I had given material before. But one of the elders did strike up a conversation with the cook when she brought out our food. We were only able to give her an English paperback New Testament, but another patron had been observing, and the cook came back to tell us the other guy wanted to speak to them.

So the missionaries, being eager for a missionary moment, left their food and went over to talk to the other man. We should have probably invited him to our table or moved to his, because he kept them for quite a while. They ended up giving him just the Spanish Book of Mormon.

Finally, I went over and (politely, I hope) disengaged the missionaries, so they could eat and wouldn't be late for the 2nd baptism, and it turned out the guy had been drinking and was intoxicated.

I had fallen into that trap during my younger days, of being button-holed by a drunk, and wanting to be polite by answering their questions. So it was probably a learning experience for the elders if they hadn't been around a drunk person before.

After I had finished eating, and while the missionaries were wolfing down their food, I went back to the man when he motioned us over, and tried to explain that we were late for an appointment, but he probably didn't get the message. The book he received had my business card in it, and the mission office number, and I asked him to call me if he wanted to learn more.

It is possible that he may initiate contact in the future. But I think the best one can do when a drunk person wants to talk about the gospel, is just exchange contact information, give them something to read, and move on as quickly as possible. If they are genuinely interested, hopefully they'll either contact you when sober, or you'll run into them again when they aren't under the influence.

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