IKEA Food Court…Romanian Style?
I’m just rounding off a great preparation day. Today’s highlight: IKEA. Of course I had to take a picture of myself getting a cinnamon roll (and a hot dog) there. International IKEA challenge…conquered. The only IKEA in Romania also happens to be next to what is probably the largest and classiest mall I’ve ever seen. It was really cool walking through the mall (note I went on post-IKEA energy). The shopping complex literally felt like America…weird, but in a good way. I better not go back too much though, it made me think of San Francisco way too much.
We also picked up groceries at Carrefour (the archrival of Kaufland, the store the vast majority of missionaries go to). When we were there, who do we run into (literally as far away from where he lives as you can get…and my companion later observed that he probably doesn’t have a car)? Our private-chef investigator friend, shopping in the small international/fine cuisine aisle (who knew there was one?). Seriously, the nearest Metro stop is about an hour walk. Maybe he took a bus?
Well, I don’t know if he needed to run into us for it to be a sign to him or something super-missionary like (but being in the same aisle of a grocery store in a random mall out of all of Bucuresti?).
We had just visited him the night before, and had a really cool lesson. As soon as we walked in, the Book of Mormon laying out on the living room table caught our attention. My companion asked him if he had been reading his Romanian notes (right next to the Book of Mormon). He responded that he had also been reading the Book of Mormon…every night. Well, that’s a pleasant surprise. But wait, there’s more. He went on to make a remark about Lehi. Did one of my investigators just use Lehi’s name? That’s downright impressive.
We had just challenged him to read the introduction of the book, but I guess he hadn’t understood and started at the beginning of the book’s actual text. So we went over the introduction, and origin of the Book of Mormon in depth. He liked it and thinks it’s just like the Bible. It made sense to him that God wouldn’t just call a prophet to direct the people in Jerusalem (I love how logical the reality of the Book of Mormon is, I mean, they didn’t have TV then, how else would the Americas get their direction?). He also said that he would be baptized if he found out that it was true; I love how prepared and open he is to receive and act on the truth.
This demonstrates an important principle, the importance of being a real friend. My companion and I have such a great relationship with this couple. Granted, they’re already awesome on their own, but being someone’s friend and acting out of a sincere desire to help that person be happier will open them to listen, trust, and accept truth. In other words, love opens and helps people the most.
I did better Sunday at church socializing with two members. With that experience, and looking back on how I became such good friends with the companions I’m closest to, I suggest the following to those looking to make closer friends: it doesn’t really matter what it is, just do whatever you can to focus your attention on them, and listen for details in what they say. That is probably natural to most people, but maybe not for people like me who have a hard time publically socializing.
Seems like I’ve written more than usual (should please my mom),