I LOVE Mexican food and I love Cinco de Mayo. Here in Australia, you can get excellent Greek food but the Mexican food was non-existent when I first came to Melbourne 18 years ago. Yes 18 years ago! Now it’s much better and my family love’s to eat at Guzman Y Gomez. It’s Australia’s sort of answer to Cafe Rio.
Anyway, for Cinco de Mayo they were having $5 burritos! (normally $10.50 so Yes, cheap right!) After a night of Friday night sports…Yes, our weekends are now ruled by sport. So after The boy’s basketball game and then his football game, we rushed over all of us tired and hangry, to get our four $5 burritos.
It was very busy, there was a big line and all the employees were run off their feet. W got in line to order our burritos and the kids and I found some space at the end of a big table just big enough for the four of us.
Occupying the table was a group of 9 or so twenty-somethings. They ate and left but left behind all of their rubbish. It was a mess. Too tired and hangry to really care, the kids and I sat chatting while W waited patiently for our order.
A Fifty-something woman came over and started cleaning the table for her family to sit down. I got up and helped and so did the boy. She thanked us and I said, “I think the group of people that just left still lived at home because the didn’t know how to clean up after themselves”. She heard my American accent and asked where I was from.
Now, whenever I am outside of Utah–but in America–always the second question asked is ‘are you a Mormon’. This is what this lady asked me, however, I was not expecting that and it surprised me. Me, still in the practice of being authentically myself, said: “yes, I am”. Then she quickly responded with “I won’t hold that against you”. Now, this caught me off-guard. I smiled and then W had arrived with our food.
I sat and ate while I thought about why she said, ‘I won’t hold that against you’. Then I thought about the musical that has been here in Melbourne since the start of the year…The Book of Mormon Musical. Of course, she’s seen the musical and has the wrong impression of us Mormons. So when the opportunity presented itself, I asked her.
“Have you seen the musical, The Book of Mormon?”
“No” she replied, “have you?”
“No, I just thought that maybe that’s why you asked if I was a Mormon.”
“I use to be a Mormon, but not anymore”
Then a twenty-something guy across from her asked me where I was from. I reached out my hand to him and replied ‘I’m from Utah, I’m a Mormon’. W beside me about died as he had not been there for the initial conversation–I choose to ignore his remarks as he would either catch on or I could explain it to him later.
The twenty-something guy then explained that he grew up in the church and we exchanged notes about being raised in the church, primary and all that fun stuff. They were nice. I was able to share my own experience of being inactive for a time but found my own testimony a few years back.
I learned that the woman I helped clear the table was his mother. His parents had come to visit him and his wife and their new little 2-week old daughter. I went over to the pram for a little look at her. A new baby, straight from Heavenly Father. This was the first time they had ventured out of the house since she was born. I asked how the mother was and she was good.
By this time W had cleaned up all our rubbish and cleared the table and I knew I had to end the conversation with my new friends.
“It was really nice to meet you all and congratulations on your daughter and granddaughter. I need to get my family home now but I really enjoyed talking to all of you.”
As we drove home, I felt good about the Mormon I was tonight, the example I was to my children and my husband (even though I may have embarrassed him). I was proud of who I was and not afraid to share it with my new friends. I was able to share a piece of my testimony that hopefully can make them think. Think about what the church did mean to them especially bringing a sweet new little buba into the world.
It’s all about planting seeds and sharing your light with everyone around you.