Friday, June 06, 2008

Amharic at store. Fri, Jun 6, 2008.

06/06/2008. 1030. Due to all the activity at the local storehouse I took a late lunch. My first and second choice restaurants were past their lunch hour and lunch prices. So I went to my third choice restaurant, which still had lunch prices.

Due to an oil burn on a finger sustained while cooking earlier in the week, and the grimey work, I was going to need a fresh bandage after washing my hands and before eating, and I didn't have any in the car. So I went to the dollar-store next to the restaurant.

I got my bandages (one to use and then put the rest in my car to keep for first aid) and got in line.

The lady in front of me in line looked like she was from Ethiopia or Eritrea.

When the cashier was ringing her up, and it seemed appropriate to strike up a conversation, I asked her if she was from Eritrea. She said she was from Ethiopia (which is next door, and Eritrea used to be part of Ethiopia). We started a conversation and I learned she has been in the US for a few years, but only in Indianapolis for a few weeks.

I asked if she knew about the local Ethiopian restaurant and the local Ethiopian grocery store. She didn't. I said that if she'd wait for me to check out, I'd give her directions to those places.

She seemed excited to be able to get in contact with other local Ethiopians. The cashier overheard all this and was excited for the lady, and handed me a piece of paper to write them down.

I asked if she spoke the "Amharic" language, and she did. I told her our church has free books in Amharic, that it's a Christian religious book, and asked if she wanted a free one. She agreed.

I told her that I had a copy of one in my car. I asked her to wait for me at the front door of the store and I'd get one for her.

After I checked out, I wrote down the names and directions to the Ethiopian restaurant and grocery store for her. Then she waited at the entrance while I went to my car and got out an Amharic Book of Mormon and an English Book of Mormon to go with it.

I went back to the store's entrance and presented them to her.

She was very grateful to have something to read in Amharic. I explained that we believe in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Both copies that I gave her contained a pass-along card, and an information flyer that listed all the local LDS chapels along with meeting times.

It was worth putting in a full day at the storehoue, and it was even worth burning my finger if that's what was needed to get me at the right place at the right time.

President Benson said: "The Book of Mormon is the great finder of the golden contact." in his First Presidency message in the January 1988 Ensign. "The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God."

I don't know if that lady is a golden contact. But that Amharic Book of Mormon certainly found her. I didn't place the order, but just got to be the delivery-boy.

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