Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Yoruba Bible at laundromat. Tue, Apr 24, 2007.

04/24/2007. 816. I was at a laundromat relatively close to home. Not the 24-hour one, so I had to get there early.

I noticed a lady who appeared that she might be from Africa, but I couldn't tell. Eventually another younger lady, who turned out to be her daughter, joined her; and as they were speaking a foreign language, I decided to strike up a conversation.

They were really nice people. They are from Nigeria and speak Yoruba. I said I speak only a little Yoruba, in Yoruba. I learned it from a computer multi-media CD, and they seemed pleased and impressed. Well, at least it caught their attention.

I offered them a free copy of the Yoruba Gospel Fundamentals manual. The mother asked which church it was from, and when I told her, she politely declined. She said they were missionaries in Nigeria, and she started reciting some commonly held but mistaken beliefs about what the LDS church believes. They go to a nearby church.

I eventually went out to my car to see what I had, and I had run out of the Yoruba Gospel Fundamentals anyway, though I thought I still had some back home. But I did have both a Yoruba Bible, and an Igbo Bible in the car, so I brought those in to show. They don't speak Igbo, but it's another common language of Nigeria. They were very impressed to see a Yoruba Bible, and the mother wanted it because her son had her Yoruba Bible, so I gave it to her.

The mother was firm in thinking that Mormons don't believe the Bible, or at least don't believe all of it. Both the mother and daughter asked me some basic questions, so I tried to answer the best I could. The daughter was a bit more curious, so I had to tread carefully to answer her questions without offending the mother.

I feel very honored to have been able to give someone a Bible in her native language. She looked up one of her favorite verses and read it in Yoruba.

I also showed them a copy of the LDS King James Bible, and pointed out that it was indeed the King James version, published by the LDS church, with LDS footnotes, and Topical Guide (what other churches call a "concordance.") I showed the daughter how some of the footnotes refer to passages in the Book of Mormon.

It was a really cool encounter because the daughter asked some golden questions, and I felt the Spirit while answering. And I hope that, eventually, the fact that a Mormon gave out a Yoruba Bible sinks in as a testimony with the mother that maybe Mormons do believe the Bible. I have a picture in my mind of her telling the people at her church that a Mormon at the laundromat gave her a Yoruba Bible.

We chit-chatted a bit more, and eventually we all went back to our laundry chores. I have a feeling that the daughter is going to have further contact with the restored gospel.

What a meeting. A missionary lady travels 6,000 miles from home and finds the Bible in her native language at a laundromat. God is great.

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At 4/25/2007 12:47:00 PM, Anonymous Barb said...

That is cool that you know a little Yoruba! It sounds like a postive experience in sharing with mother in helping her with misunderstanding and with the daughter who sincerely wanted to learn some. I have a friend who says how important it is to be available to nonmember friends at the very least to clear up misunderstandings that they may have about the LDS faith.

I recall seeing the commercial Heavenly Father's plan that played in the late eighties. The commercial had towards the end, the statement "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" We are the Mormons(or something like that at any rate). I remember thinking how that was a clever marketing ploy as I did not know that was the name of the Church. My high school religion teacher at my Catholic high school had told the class that Mormons believed that Joseph Smith was Christ. This was a highly educated woman. She had been my 8th grade religion teacher at a different Catholic school. That course was so compact with information. We learned about the Bible, a little about the Crusades including the bad parts of Catholic history, the reforms after Martin Luther King's reformation etc. I think it is a more challenging course in many ways than my high school's religon coursework. I love the learning! She also taught me English for a semester in high school. It surprises me that a woman so versed could be so wrong about LDS Doctrine. She was very open in our class though about how she went through a searching period where she was deciding which of all the Churches was right and attended other Denomonations. She went to Catholic Mass as well so as not to be in jeopardy in fulfilling that requirement each Sunday. She based her decision in keeping with the Catholic as that was the Church that traced back to Early Christian times. I wished I had been able to tell her about the apostacy and Resotoration. I never worked up the courage as I did not want to be seen as a traitor to my former faith in her eyes. She was a very critcial to me in my young womanhood. I am not sure where she lives now as I believe she is retired and may have moved away.

Well, I am a getting off track a bit going into my story. It does look like you have had a lot of great experiences in just a few days time!


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