The pickle, 2 Vietnamese men, and a cat
Meine gute, this week was HOT. I'm pretty sure I have never drunken so much water in my entire lifetime. What makes it the worst is how hot it gets in the Straßebahns and buses. But apart from that, it's been a pretty good week.
I've spoken to more native Spanish speakers in this one week than I have since leaving my family. It's crazy! It's like they pop out of no where! Ironically, one of my favorite experiences from this past week has nothing to do with Spanish.
We had been trying to visit senior women within our ward boundaries, hint the word trying. Our plans all ended up falling out because we weren't able to come in contact with anyone. It was around 18, I was hot, Sister Olsen was hot, we were practically dying of thirst, and our energy was g•o•n•e, gone. We decided to push through and find in the area we were in. We prayed to know where to go and who to speak to. Then, we started walking. As we were walking we passed by a fruit stand, and for some strange reason I was drawn to it. I stopped walking and just stood there looking at the man inside by the register. I knew we needed to talk to him. We went in and got some blueberries. As we were paying, I soon realized he wasn't going to talk much. So, I asked him what was in the buckets that were right by him. He proceeded to take a pickle out of the bucket. He then proceeded to hand me the pickle, and I insisted on not taking it but he wouldn't let me deny the offer. Now, for those of you who might not know this about me... pickles are not Sister Quintana's favorite (except German ones are pretty good). In my head I'm already thinking, uh oh, how am I going to eat this entire pickle by myself? The man then proceeds to go for another pickle and tries to hand it to Sister Olsen. In that moment I remembered she doesn't like pickles either. We really did get ourselves into a pickle this time. Luckily, Sister Olsen managed to convince him to let us share the one pickle he gave me, so he cut it in half for us.
The story doesn't end just yet. I slyly mentioned that Sister Olsen is learning Chinese, and he then said the other guy that was working in the store is learning English. We were both confused on that one. He then looks straight at our name tags and asks us who we are. We started telling him that we are missionaries for our church, and he was just so excited. We asked him where he was from and if he had ever seen missionaries before. He said he is from Vietnam and that so is the other guy. The comment he made earlier made sense to us then. He then asked us where we come from, and we said America. He proceeded to say 3 things, bomb, Vietnam, and an explosion noise. We asked him how old he was when the war happened. He said he was 16.
Unfortunately we weren't able to share much with him since more people began to enter the stand and they were waiting for him. We plan on returning to the stand in the next week or two. I know we were meant to meet that man.
I am grateful to know there is someone that loves me and is with me every minute of my life. I am grateful to know that Christ came to this earth to free me from my burdened shoulders and break the band's of death. I am unbelievably grateful to know there is a life after death, and that families are forever. And more than that, I am honored and grateful to be serving as a representative of Christ to share that knowledge with anyone who is willing to hear.
P.s. Oh and after leaving the stand I saw yet another cat, but... this one scratched me. And if you have time, I highly recommend watching Reyna Aburto's story, you won't regret it.