A + B = Persian at store. Wed, Mar 4, 2009.
03/04/2009. 1117. Today I picked up our ward's full-time missionaries, took them to an investigator's, sat in on the lesson, joined the discussion, and afterwards took them back to their apartment. After I dropped them off, and was on my way back home, I felt inspired to stop at a little cafe/restaurant that I haven't been to before. It's not ethnic, but the impression to stop there was strong.
I had lunch there and liked it. I did not make any book-placement attempts. On the way back home from lunch I felt inspired to stop at a certain close-out store along the way. It's one that I've often been to just to shop. Again, I hadn't planned on it, and didn't really want to, but the impression was strong.
I entered and started browsing the aisles that I normally browse, looking for deals. A fellow shopper walked over towards the check-out counter and asked for someone to get something down from a top shelf for her. It looked like it was going to be a while as the cashier had to call back to the stock room for someone. I offered the other shopper to get it down for her if it was in my reach, and she indicated I should be able to reach it by myself. I followed her over and got it down for her. I didn't have to use a ladder or step-stool or climb on anything to get to it.
She spoke with an exotic accent; and her appearance, demeanor and voice indicated she was a classy educated person.
I forget my exact words, but I commented positively on her accent and asked her where she was from. She said Iran. I asked if she spoke Persian/Farsi, and she said yes. I asked if she still liked to read in Persian and she said yes. I said that the reason I asked was that my church had free books in Persian, and that I had one with me in the car that she could see if she wanted. I said that it was a Christian religious book, but I forget if I mentioned at that point that it was the Book of Mormon.
She expressed interest, so I asked if I could get it and bring it in for her, and she said okay. I went out to the car and retrieved the Persian and an English copy of the Book of Mormon from the trunk, went back in, and presented the Persian copy to her. She started asking questions about where the church was, so I pointed out the information flyer that I had in it. I pointed out the chapel that I go to, but she was not familiar with that area. She actually lived in a suburb of Indianapolis, about 15 blocks from the LDS chapel in that suburb. So I pointed out the chapel that was close to her.
We chit-chatted some more, and I pointed out my two favorite passages that I had marked with Post-it(tm) notes: Moroni 10:3-5, and 3 Nephi chapters 11 through 26. I said I taught myself the numbers by studying the page numbers, but had forgotten them soon after. I also offered her the English, and she graciously accepted that one too.
She asked about a Persian Bible, and I wrote down the URL for the International Bible Society for her. I said that if she couldn't find it online, to call me, and I'd get her another number to call. The LDS church also sells copies of the Persian/Farsi Bible, but not online.
We met up later in the store, and she re-commenced the conversation, telling me what she does, giving me her card. I actually might be able to direct some business her way. She told me she speaks several other languages, which I noted on the card, and I said the church has translations of the Book of Mormon in those languages too. I did not offer her more copies, and I don't remember if I encouraged her to call the 800 number for more free copies.
Anyway, it was a cool encounter that I enjoyed, and I think she really appreciated getting reading material in Persian, and had no qualms that it was Christian in nature.
It wasn't until after the encounter that I realized that the inspired stop-over at the cafe was likely a "timing device" so that it put me at the store at just the right moment.