Thursday, December 02, 2004

Moment #110. Shona at store. Dec 2, 2004.

12/2/2004. On my list of things to do before going to Institute class was to eat at the nearby Chinese/Mexican restaurant, and to shop at the Dollar General store down the street.

I wanted to go to the Dollar General store first since I wouldn't have to back-track, but the Spirit clearly indicated I was to go eat first. In fact it seemed as if the Spirit was hustling me out of the house.

So I ate first, and the waitress seemed to recognize me as it was my 4th or 5th time there.

I back-tracked to the Dollar General store and did some shopping. As I walked down one aisle in the direction of the check-out, there was an African-looking family speaking a foreign language in the other aisle, grandma, mom, and little boy. Bingo! Stop shopping, time to do the Book of Mormon thing. We ended up next to each other in separate lines. I asked them what language they spoke. The mom seemed a little taken aback, but she said "Shona, we're from Zimbabwe."

I said I had a book in Shona in my car, called the Book of Mormon. Then she seemed excited, and asked what it's about. Without fear or hesitation I said it's about Jesus Christ. But, I was just a tad discombobulated; I said the Lord's name in public! I said it in front of third-party strangers who could overhear our conversation. The check-out lines were crowded with holiday shoppers, and I was sure that other people heard me say the Lord's name, but I didn't care, and I felt no shame in saying I had a book about him. After all, his name is on the front cover.

I said that I'd go get it after I checked out, and would meet them outside and show it to them. I mentioned the names of a couple other Shona-speaking men from Zimbabwe, Desire and Eddy, who worked at Speedway gas stations, but she didn't know them.

After checking out, I went to the car and got out Shona and English copies of the Book of Mormon. (The African language Books of Mormon were the ones that the Spirit told me to put in the car on June 18th, 2004, Moment #2. Within a couple hours, I had met a man who spoke Zulu. Seeing the pattern I then put other likely languages in the car.)

I went back to the store and waited outside on the sidewalk for them. They came out and the mom seemed to be in charge. I showed her the Shona copy, and her face lit up. She asked how much it was, and I said I'd give it to her free if she could translate something into English. I believed her, that they spoke Shona, but I just wanted to get them started. She translated 1 Nephi 1:1 to English correctly, with no hesitation. I pointed out the info flyer with the chapel addresses and mission office phone #, and my phone number, and that they could call for more. I gave her the English copy too. I suggested she could use them to teach her son Shona.

She seemed extremely happy to have something in her native language. The looks on her and the grandma's faces were worth much more than the price of the books. I must have said Merry Christmas several times.

You could tell by their demeanor and countenance that they were African-African, not African-American. The grandma had the countenance of someone who had been through many tough times, traumas and tragedies, like the faces of refugees that you see on television. The son had discolored eyes indicating current or previous illness, along with a blank stare that was not normal for a child his age.

The Lord blessed them tremendously by bringing them from war-torn Zimbabwe (the former Rhodesia) to this country. And I am extremely grateful and awed that I was called upon to give them a key to even greater blessings.

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