We often hear about being in the “wrong place at the wrong time…” as an explanation for a tragedy or hardship in our lives, but I have learned over the years that being in the right place at the right time is just as powerful and maybe more of an impact on our lives.
Often, these experiences happen and we look back and realize there was Divine intervention into our lives LONG before we realized it. Nothing happens by accident.
Let me give you some examples from my own life. Lady Hiva and I were 25 when we were married, and for those of you who don’t know (and those of you that do) that is REALLY OLD for an LDS person to get married. We laugh about that now because it was the right time for us. Lady came back and we met at the perfect time in our lives to start an eternal relationship.
There have been countless times when I have met someone and later that relationship is one that becomes mutually beneficial when a problem arises and later solved together. Being assigned to the Philippines was unexpected, but with the church and community service we accomplished there, we really feel we were sent there for a reason.
Being back here in Washington, DC has been the right place at the right time for SO many reasons. Tau’aho and Lady were able to get the medical care needed to have a healthy baby and we have seen our families countless times during our time here. Being in the Foreign Service, time with family is a VERY PRECIOUS commodity.
Going to Turkey feels the same way. And that brings me to the most recent example. I started learning Turkish in September and every week I progress. Hopefully I have enough of it down to pass my assessment test! About 6 weeks into Turkish one the the leaders at church stepped into a class and said, “Do you speak Turkish?” I confirmed I did and he then asked me to follow him. After we were in the hall he told me a lady had shown up at the church and did not speak English and he wanted me to translate. I am not sure how he was able to understand she spoke Turkish, but I was more stressed about the fact that in 6 weeks I was excited to say little things like, “My name is Dust” or “The weather is beautiful.”
Luckily, between me and another Turkish student we pieced together that she had a daughter living nearby that also spoke Turkish and English. We went over to their home and when we walked in I knew her grandson. I had met him several months earlier at a meeting. Small world.
Both the grandson and this woman, Sebahat, started to come to church. EVERY WEEK. That is quite a feat especially when she does not speak English. Lady Hiva and I sat with her every week and I translated. At first my translations were shaky—I mean we don’t learn ANY gospel terms at work, right? So I was on my own. For example, my translation for something like, “..Jesus Christ gave us the chance to repent and be forgiven…” was something like, “When we are good, God loves us.” (I didn’t know how to say Jesus at the time.
Eventually, with Sebahat’s patience and my painful thinking process (aided by google translate on my phone for words like blessings and faith) the translation became more comfortable and easy. Lady Hiva and Tau’aho really enjoy her happy personality too. Sebahat even made Tau’aho some sweaters.
Sebahat’s grandson was baptized a few weeks ago and it was then that Sebahat, after reading the Book of Mormon several times decided she too knew she wanted to be baptized. Tonight I was able to baptize her. It was great to see her love for Heavenly Father and for the gospel.
I am glad that I happened to be in the right place at the right time to meet her grandson and then again to meet her. I am glad I am learning Turkish so I could help…at least with broken translations!