Shona at grocery store. Sat, Sep 18, 2010.
09/18/2010. 1252. I was on my way home from a ward dinner and activity. As I came up to a certain gas station I felt like I was prompted, rather strongly, to stop there. However, either I missed the opportunity to make a contact there, or else it was merely a timing loop. I bought a newspaper. The cashier seemed foreign-born, but somehow, offering him something just didn't feel right.
As I got closer to home, I decided to stop at one of my favorite chain grocery stores. On my way to get something in the store, my attention was drawn to two men half-way down one of the aisles. They looked like they could be African, and I thought I detected an accent in their speech even though I couldn't make out what they were saying. On my way back, they were still in that aisle, and my visual "focus" was drawn to them again, and I noticed that one of them was wearing African sandals. So I turned down that aisle. As I passed one of them, he moved away from the center of the aisle to let me by, and I said the normal "excuse me" as I passed in front of him. He said something that I didn't make out, but it was obviously with an accent.
I had already taken a step or two beyond him, but I stopped and turned, and said something like "'Scuse me, I don't recognize your accent. Where are you from?" He said "Zimbabwe." I asked "Do you speak Shona?" He smiled, as if he were very pleased that someone knew about his language, and said "Yes."
I said that the reason I asked is that my church had free books in many African languages, including Shona, and I asked if he'd like a free copy. He eagerly said yes. I said I had one in Shona in my car, and asked him if it was okay with him if I went to get it and gave it to him there. He said no problem. I pointed out that it was Christian material, and again, he had no problem with that. So I left my shopping cart there, and hurried out to get it.
He was still there when I got back, and he very gratefully and enthusiastically accepted both the Shona copy and an English copy. I pointed out the info flyer in it, and said he could call the number and get more information or visit the church if he wanted.
He probably would have talked more, but I didn't want to impose upon his time, so I excused myself and moved on.
We saw each other again in the check-out area, and he again thanked me for the books.
The next day, Sunday, as I was restocking my trunk with another copy of the Shona Book of Mormon, that put me in a position (instead of just hopping in and going) behind my car where my neighbor who was driving by could stop and talk.