04/22/2006. I was blessed to meet a cool Filipino man at the Post Office. The impressions I had leading up to it, and his connections to others whom I've met, indicate this was not a chance encounter.
This story starts out Saturday morning. I had three things to do: 1) check my PO Box, as a shipment of DVDs from the Distribution Center is overdue because it didn't arrive with the other box in the order, 2) shop at a dollar store (didn't they used to be "dime stores" at one time?), and 3) work out at the gym next door to the dollar store.
Working out was going to be last as it would leave me smelly and sweaty. To be efficient, I planned to go to the Post Office first, because I could easily walk from the store back to my car to put away purchases, and then walk to the gym. I'd save a few pennies of gas by not having to start the car an extra time.
But that's not how I was being "tugged." While driving there, I felt a spiritual pull to go to the dollar store first. It was far enough in advance that I could ponder it for a few more seconds while driving. Trying to think of turning left farther ahead at the light to go to the Post Office gave me a stupor of thought. Thinking of turning right into the shopping center did not produce a "burning in the bosom" but it felt good. The instruction to alter my itinerary did not rise to the level of plain and obvious. But, based on how past situations have worked out when I had similar feelings, this certainly fit the pattern, and was worth obeying.
I purchased my planned items at the dollar store. I didn't see any obvious possibilities. I probably could have made one, as an hispanic man asked my cashier a question as I was checking out. I could have waited for him outside.
As I left the dollar store I thought "Okay, so something is going to happen at the Post Office." I drove the few minutes to the Post Office, and parked, but before I got out of the car, I realized I didn't have the key to my PO Box. It was on my other key ring. I don't usually take that second key ring when I go work out.
So I headed back home, and would be passing right by the gym. I was frustrated at my forgetfulness, and I debated whether to get my other keys, or just blow it off and work out. I decided that because the impression to alter my itinerary came after
I had left the keys at home, and I was not reminded to get the keys first, this all could still be part of a grander plan of meeting someone. Besides, the earlier impression was to alter sequence
, not to avoid the Post Office entirely.
I retrieved my other key ring and went back to the Post Office. A CD that I had bought from someone on eBay, and a yellow "You have a package" card were in my box. Coolness. It was going to be a case of "To This End Was I Born
" multi-lingual DVDs. They're $4.50 each, but if you buy a case of 50, they're only $1.50 each. Such a deal! (I'm officially of the tribe of Judah, what can I say? And maybe I inherited my mother's shopping gene, too.)
I picked up my packages at the counter. It was the case of DVDs from the Church Distribution Center, and a book order from Amazon. Then an Asian-looking man walked in. I went to the outer-lobby and put my box on a counter. I looked towards the inner lobby, and the Asian man was being served at the counter. I opened the box up, took out a DVD and removed the cellophane wrapper.
Just then the Asian-looking man walked by heading towards the outer door. I figured he was probably my "intended contact." So I asked him what languages he spoke. He spoke English and Tagalog. So I showed him the DVD I was holding, and I said something like: "This DVD from my church has a Tagalog audio track on it. Would you like it?" I forgot to say up front that it's free, so at first he thought I was trying to sell it, but when I explained it was free, he politely accepted it.
The cover of the DVD case shows a painting of the Savior, which makes the content obvious, so I didn't think it needed explanation.
His happiness at receiving the DVD caused me to think he'd like a Tagalog Book of Mormon, so I offered one, and he agreed to accept it. I said it was in my car, and asked him to wait outside while I got it. We went out together, and he waited while I retrieved the Tagalog Book of Mormon from the trunk of my car. I thought I had a Tagalog New Testament
but I didn't.
We chit-chatted for about 15 minutes in front of the Post Office. He helped me with some Tagalog vocabulary. We talked about the local Filipino society/club, and a couple of Filipino owned stores in town. When I mentioned a store that I go to in another part of town, he said they were his relatives. He gave me one of their business cards, and it was indeed them. I had given Tagalog copies of the Book of Mormon, and DVDs with Tagalog audio tracks to a couple people who worked there, one of whom was his cousin. Coolness! Not only did the Lord arrange this meeting, he has a tie-in with other people I've met.
He also said he'd email me about some upcoming Filipino events in town.
I previously gave out books at his relatives' store here
, and here
Other encounters with Filipinos are here
, and here