It's funny how one experience can change your perspective. So, I'm still adjusting to my life down here and it's certainly got its ups and downs but I had the coolest experience this morning in my Book of Mormon class.
Our class meets in an auditorium type classroom with about 200 people. I got to class five minutes early, much earlier than usual so I sat on the fourth row on the aisle seat. The professor, Brother Merrill (who is without question my most brilliant professor), said hello to me on my way in. This may not seem like a big deal, but when most of your classes consist of over 100 students, it feels great to be recognized.
Just before class started, a girl with dark skin and a french accent asked if the seat next to me was taken, it wasn't. I introduced myself and asked her where she was from and to my astonishment, she said she was from Mali. Yeah, Mali the country in Africa. At the beginning of class, Brother Merrill had her introduce herself to the class and asked if anyone could possibly tutor her in French. She speaks great english but she isn't a member of the church and has no experience with the Book of Mormon. When we started, she asked if she could share scriptures with me in that she had just transferred into the class and forgotten hers. I was more than happy to. I prepared myself to maybe answer any questions she might have. There is something about answering questions about my beliefs that is fulfilling to me. Quite surprisingly, she didn't have any questions and she probably understood more about the reading than I did. She had read it multiple times and was answering the professor's rhetorical questions quietly to herself. There was such a sincere fascination in her eyes the entire time and she wrote down everything Brother Merrill said.
Whether or not she is interested in learning more about the LDS faith, I don't know; but for me, it was just an uplifting experience to see someone with such an open mind. I think I realized that no matter the subject, I don't have any reason to give any less than my best.