Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A God of Miracles

Last night I had one of the most amazing, humbling experiences in my life. The missionaries had asked me to come with them to visit a family in our ward who is currently hosting a couple of foreign exchange students, one of whom is Japanese. The prospect of sharing the gospel with someone in Japanese is always exciting to me, having served my mission in Japan some 9 years ago. The "visit" turned out to be a birthday party for Ayumi, the Japanese exchange student. It was loud and well attended, so I didn't try talking to Ayumi or her friend (another Japanese exchange student) right away (my hearing aids were magnifying EVERYthing so it was almost impossible to talk to anyone anyways). But after a bit, the mom kindly pushed me over to where they were talking, and we struck up a conversation. Now I haven't used my Japanese all that much in the last 6 years or so, so normally I would have been a bit rusty and stuttery at first. But last night, I was able to jump right into talking to them. It was amazing! We chatted about their experiences here in America, a car crash Ayumi's friend was in the night before (the car had rolled!) what they thought of American schools and people versus Japanese, lots of things. Later on, after Ayumi's friend and her hosts had left, the missionaries talked to Phillip (a German exchange student also staying with the family) about the gospel, and I interpreted for Ayumi. Again, normally my interpreting skills are much worse than normal conversation (the MTC asked me to interpret twice while I was in college, and I did horribly both times), but I was blessed to be able to keep up with them and translate for Ayumi, even when looking up scriptures at the same time. It was the same gift of tongues I was blessed with as a missionary. The Lord never took that gift away when I came home, as I had previously feared. When the need is there, and I am willing and humble enough, the gift returns. Now I know I need to keep up on my Japanese, not just for my own personal gratification, but because if these kind of situations come up again, the Lord can use me to teach others His gospel. I need to be humble and righteous enough to be worthy of the gift. I look forward to sharing the gospel more, it feels so GOOD when I do!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama, Wright, and Hatred

Today, in speaking about his connection with radical race-hater Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama said he disagreed with the former pastor's remarks, "just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed." My religious leaders never preached race hatred. Or compared our government to Al Qaeda. Or called upon God to curse and destroy this (or any other) nation. Or used vulgar and offensive language from the pulpit. Or said the HIV/AIDS virus was created as a weapon against blacks. Rev. Wright has done all of that. And Obama goes to him for spiritual leadership??? That he can't disown him any more than he disown his grandma? Can't disown him, or won't? If any "friend" of mine had views like that, and openly and aggressively tried to spread them, they wouldn't be a friend of mine for very long. That goes against everything I stand for. Apparently Obama doesn't have any problem being friends with an America-hater, a promoter of racial hatred. I wonder what he'd do if a member of his cabinet started talking like this while on official business? Or if his wife started talking like this while talking to other world leaders. Would he condemn their remarks as well? Or just say "well, I don't agree but I can't disown them." Obama better realize America will soon disown him if he doesn't disown his reverend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Customer (dis)service

Just a thought for all you customer service people out there. If you have a customer asking a question about your product, and they misunderstand something - pricing, description, whatever - even if they grossly misunderstand you, don't laugh at them. I had that happen to me today. The sales rep was showing off the merchandise, and I misunderstood the pricing (in my defense, he had two pricetags on there) and when I asked if the product's price was the lesser of the two, he just outright laughed in my face, saying "For all THIS? Get real!" Safe to say I probly won't ever shop there again.