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.
Labels: laundromat, Yoruba