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A Wonderful Encounter at 7-11

November 7, 2014

In the month before this encounter I write about now, I had been finding myself getting deeply involved in a few of my friends lives who were in great need during that time, and even still. While being involved with those people I love (let alone anyone) I will never consider them a distraction from Him, but in fact, testimony that we are His Children. That stated, while being involved a few individuals, I found I was allowing myself to neglect my duties to others, and even my commitment to the Church and Temple. I was finding myself troubled and had prayed that my friends would feel the Father’s love in their needs, and also that I would be able to more recognize the Spirit in my life that I may get more accomplished in the right way. After all, I had been told by the Holy Ghost before that if I placed the Father first that all else would fall in line. And so the Father proved that to me as I committed myself to Him. The talk “Lord, Is it I?” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf came to mind. Surprisingly in my want to help others, I still found I would stray from time to time, as I was taking much time to work on things that are only important in this earthly realm. In doing that very thing this day, I was unaware of what was about to happen.

It was a beautiful day outside. I was at Best Buy (our local electronics store) to purchase new speakers for our Ward Movie Night. I finished loading the speakers in my truck, and being I had been wanting a Slurpee from 7-11 for quite some time. The fact that 7-11 was just around the corner, I thought I would get one. My wiser self stopped my actions as I thought I should not partake of the sugary goodness at this time as I was trying to lose weight. So I started on my way home instead. Just as I headed for the parking lot exit that would head me to my home, the Holy Ghost spoke to me, telling me to “Go to 7-11″. Puzzled by the message, and knowing that the Holy Ghost leads perfectly, I turned my truck around and proceeded to go to the 7-11 on the corner. As I drove up to the building, I noticed the parking lot was empty. It was usually packed! In any case, I parked in the spot I would normally park in (the one on the alley side of the building where the black van in the photo below is parked. I immediately saw a homeless man with his cart sitting in the alleyway in front of me. Again, all other parking spaces were empty and nobody was around. I got out of my vehicle and went to the homeless man. Letting him know that I knew he was my Brother, I asked him if he wanted anything to eat or drink. He looked up at me with the most wonderful large smile and replied “No thanks…. I am good!”. I smiled back at him and asked if he was sure…. and again he replied with that wonderful large smile “Really… I am great!”. I smiled at him again and proceeded to go into the store, now intending to purchase some food and water for the wonderful man anyway. Hearing the entry bell as I entered the store, I noticed nobody was in the store except the cashier. I went directly back to the Slurpee machine, breaking my diet, first fill a cup for the man (my Brother) outside, then filling my cup with that wonderfully cool goodness. As I turned turned to go get the food and water for the man outside, I then noticed a nicely dressed man standing at the front of the aisle I was about to go down. He was staring directly at me with an amazing smile on his face…. quite wonderful. I thought to myself “Where did this man come from? There was no door bell while I was there”. As I walked closer I noticed his blue eyes, and kind demeanor. As I passed him I gave him the quick, Brotherly acknowledgment of “How are you today?”… he replied…. “I’m great! Thank you!”. I then proceeded to grab some food and water as stated before, a full bag of groceries to give to the man outside. Turning toward the Cashier station, the same nicely dressed man was still staring at me, with that wonderful smile still on his face. He stated to me… “Let me buy what you are getting.” In amazement I replied…. “Oh…no, thank you! But may I buy what you came for instead?”… still smiling he stated to me “I have what I need, but please… may I buy what you have here?”. I asked him “Why would you do that?”… he replied “Because you did not even hesitate to ask that homeless man outside if he needed food and drink.”. I thought to myself…. ‘but nobody else was out there‘.  As I know he was doing good, and thankfully I replied “OK… thank you! You can buy my Slurpee, but please, I must buy the rest.” He looked at the groceries in my arms and asked, “You are still going to buy that man food and drink?” for which I replied “Yes… I am, he is my Brother after all.” His wonderful smile became even larger as he proceeded to purchase my Slurpee for me. As he was doing so I stated to him “You are amazing, and truly refreshing.” He turned to me and replied “As are you.”. I again thanked him, placing the groceries on the counter to be rung up. I noticed the Cashier was a bit entranced, and while so, he looked at the groceries I had placed upon the counter, then stated “All of these items are ‘buy one, get one free!’”… and then followed that statement with, “I will get them for you.” I was taken aback as I watched this 7-11 Cashier proceed to double the groceries on the counter by his own hand. At this point I turned to the amazing man who bought me a Slurpee and asked “What is your name?”… he took my right hand, and looked directly into my eyes (with what seemed the bluest eyes I have seen) and replied “I am David.” I replied “My name is Kurt”…. without even a second between my giving my name to him he replied with certainty… “Yes, I know”. At this point the Spirit was very bright in the room. I then stated to him “I will see you again” of which he replied…. ” Yes…. you will.” He turned to the clear doors to exit, and as he went out the door, (amidst the clear windows that spanned the entire front of the store), he was simply…. gone. I looked to see if I missed something, but I did not. He was gone…. and I was feeling quite wonderful. Even the Cashier remained extraordinarily nice while ringing me up. I thought to myself ‘what just happened?’, then I proceeded to exit the store where there were still no vehicles in the parking lot,.. except mine. I went back to the homeless man that was still sitting in the alley on the side of the 7-11. He looked up at me once again with that wonderful smile as I gave him what I just purchased for him. I realized at that time this was the same smile, and he had the same blue eyes as the man names David, whom I just met inside the store. Without surprise, he thanked me greatly. What an amazing person this is. I then said to him… “Stay alive”. Smiling even more he looked directly into my eyes and stated…. “By the grace of God”. As I walked back to my truck, the Spirit overwhelmed me and I began to weep uncontrollably. Still weeping in joy, I immediately called my wife on the phone and told her of the encounter….. she asked me “could the homeless man have been the same person you encountered in the store?” While they looked nothing alike, again they both had that same amazing smile, blue eyes, and His Grace around them. The funny thing about this is that by the time I reached my home…. I had a melted, untouched Slurpee… LOL.

I can tell you now that I realize that both of these men were of the same man. I can also tell you that I now know that this man named David is one of the three Nephites who chose to remain on the Earth to help all of us along our journeys.

I stand amazed, and yet not surprised. The Father is with all of us, just as His Son is. All we need do is open our hearts to Him, and we will see the true world, as well as Christ Himself standing directly next to us.

Peace be unto you

 

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As I type this I find myself weeping yet again. Might I have encountered an Angel that day? Or…one of the three Nephites? I know not other than I know what happened was full of grace and beauty, and I felt every moment of it. This is 10 minutes of my life here on earth that I will never forget. By the Grace of our Heavenly Father. HE LIVES!

Brother Kurt Kuhn
Alluvial Ward Mission Leader