09/14/2010. 1251. This one was weird, but I thought, and still do, that the encounter was prompted of the Spirit.
I was on the other side of town and headed towards home. As I came up to a gas station on one of the major streets, I felt prompted of the Spirit to stop there. I didn't really need anything, but I bought a canned beverage.
The lady ahead of me in the check-out line was short of money, and she turned around and asked me for 75 cents. That was weird. I wasn't thrilled about helping someone buy cigarettes, but I decided to give her what I could. I checked my change and only had 50 cents to spare, so that's what I gave to her. I didn't have any one's either.
I didn't follow what happened, but I think the cashier let the remaining 25 cents slide. It then dawned on me that I could use the situation to offer her church material, so before she left I said to her that I had a favor to ask of her.
Hey, I did her a favor, so why not ask for a favor in return, right? I said I had something from church that I'd like to give her, and I asked her to wait outside for me. She said okay.
So I paid the cashier for my stuff, and went out, and she was waiting. I asked her if she'd like a free Bible, and she said sure and that she needed one. So I went to my car and got out an English Bible, an English Book of Mormon, a couple of DVDs, and went back over to her and presented them to her, and she gratefully accepted them. I actually gave one of the DVDs to her companion who was waiting in their car. Her companion asked for a Bible too, so I went back to my car and got another Bible and Book of Mormon for her, and she accepted them.
I pointed out the information flyers in them, and said they could call the 800 number and have lady missionaries visit them if they wanted, and told them where the nearest chapel was.
Overall, it was a pretty good encounter, and I think they were genuinely interested. This isn't the first time that someone asked for spare change, and it turned into an opportunity to share the scriptures. Granted, sometimes people in these situations might just accept the material to be nice to a benefactor. But these ladies responded with what looked to me like genuine interest.
Mormon parents spend $400/month so their children can have missionary opportunities on their mission. Therefore, giving spare change, or even a few dollars seems worthwhile if it can create a sharing opportunity.
Labels: English, gas station