Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've heard all my life that people are put into your life for a reason, but I've always thought of these special people as ones who are with you for a long time - parents or siblings, etc. But today I met a man. A stranger. I don't know his name, and I don't know if I will ever see him again in this life.

But I believe he was put into my life for a reason. It sounds cheesy. Hang in there with me while I clumsily try to explain..Kristofor and I were at the school, trying to study for a test. I say "trying" because we had just been in a big fight and it's hard to concentrate when you're upset.

An older gentleman walked by, and, I won't lie, he was outright staring at us. A few minutes later he approached us and asked us what class we were studying for; it turned out he was studying for the same thing. He left and we starting studying again.

Then he came back again, this time asking if he could sit by us. Of course we didn't mind so he sat down and got out his books, laptop, etc. He wasn't shy so he started up a conversation. Anyone who knows Kristofor and I know we are not the most outgoing people. And considering that I was still upset, I wasn't exactly in a chatty mood.

But we talked - or more, he talked.

I can't describe the conversation exactly, but the feelings I got from it and the words I heard will stick with me for a long time.

He asked us how long we'd been married, if we were born in Utah, if we were LDS, etc.. Turns out he is LDS too. He's from Haiti, speaks Creole and French, went on a mission to Florida, and translated the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants from English into Creole for the LDS Church. He's been through a divorce and he described how being that felt with him being a member of the Church - see, I told you he wasn't shy.

I told him about how my mom died when I was young, and he said that although that's not necessarily a good thing, we are given things from God to "digest" - for him it was his divorce.

He told us about going back to school when he's over 50. If he doesn't do well in this course, he will simply take it again because he's determined and patient - and knows what he wants. His wife helps him study; she reads out loud to him from his text. He said he wished she could be there with him at the school today to help him.

I thought that was sweet.

He talked about America, the land, the civilization. He told us about Haiti and the people there, and how lucky he feels to be here in the US so he can live a free life with potential. We talked about how we don't even realize what great power we have, to be able to get an education and live where we do.

He talked about black people and the issues of 'racism' in the church, and the history that all goes into it - you see, he wrote a book about the history of 'his African ancestors' that gives insight into why blacks have only been able to receive the priesthood fairly recently (this is a subject I have had questions on - and he helped me understand).

He bore his testimony to me in a way that was different than other testimonies. He didn't say "I'd like to bear my testimony"- rather it was in the little things he mentioned. Like how he keeps praying for help with this test. About how he believes Heavenly Father influences our bodies, to make them healthy or let them be sick.

He doesn't just have a testimony of the Church, he has a testimony of history, America, the potential we have for good...

He was straightforward but not overbearing. He was sincere. He was open to what we had to say (although we mostly just nodded and prompted him to go on). I felt like he was the type of person I could pour my heart out to.

I had been feeling very self-pitying before our conversation. But afterward I felt renewed. Determined to press on. To study more and complain less. To realize how blessed I am and to continue to try to do better. He made me realize that my small, little world is not the only thing that matters.

Like I said, I can't explain it. But I feel extremely blessed to have met this man, although it was only for a short while. I cried after our meeting. My heart was so touched. I feel like his words reached into my soul.

I don't know if any of you have made it all the way through this - pretty sure it's my longest post ever. But I mostly wanted to write this down so I'll rememeber that man - and our long talk.


Brein said...

He sounds awesome! Your lucky to have met him. Hopefully you can bump into him again and let him know how much that chat meant to you.

Autumn Mist said...

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