Sunday, July 20, 2008

7/21/08 What is that light?

What is bad light?
Last Wednesday we had a "journal moment" experience in the MEGAS grocery store. President and sister Gushin took us shopping to one of the new "mall" stores near our apartment. We need the help both because we don't know our way around quite yet, but also because of the volume we buy, both from Cindy's mentality that more is better and our need for supplies to feed the missionaries, investigators, and young adults.

As we came into the mall, we stopped at two other stores looking for tongs and a rubber spatula before we got our groceries. Entering the MEGAS store with bags is not allowed, so they seal your bags in a 10 gallon size "seal-a-meal" type bag.

After getting our bags sealed, we got two carts (most shoppers never fill one) and started splitting up to be more efficient when just behind us came a missionary companionship doing their P-day shopping. We stood and talked for two or three minutes and then started to separate again when a nice-looking 50ish man walked up to sister Gushina and began to speak to her. I presumed it was someone she knew and went about gathering my assigned items. When we met up again she related this story.

"I was just about to go help sister Simmons get her items when this man walked up to me and asked who we were. I told him we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was a little concerned at first. No one had ever done that to me. He explained that he noticed the light around us and wanted to know what it was and who we were."

That started a fifteen minute conversation about the church , the English club we have (we can't characterize it as a class because we are not licensed to teach) and the Gospel we preach, and it ended with him giving her his name and telephone number and an interest to learn more. She told him about the English Club and he asked if we preach the Gospel in English, to which she answered that they were separate, but that we did preach the gospel in English.

It is easy for us who live in this light to be unaware of it, but others notice and are at least curious like this man. We gave the name and phone number to the elders and asked them to invite him to English Club. They called and spoke to him, but he said that he had "turned to Christ" 14 years ago and was not interested in our religion. They will continue to invite him to English Club and I expect  that the story is not over yet.

The point of the incident is not that he joined the church with his wife and 10 kids and became the branch president. The point is that he SAW the light and wanted to know what it was, and it is a reminder to me and all of you that your light IS shining and people do notice you. Probably the contrast is more obvious here than where you live, but the light is still attractive to "beings of light" who are here, temporarily absented from the world of light that is their home.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven, and when they are curious enough to ask, "What is that light?", your job is to open your mouth. Chance favors the prepared mind. You can do this if you are prepared.

What a country.

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