Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Moment #228. Swahili in Ft. Collins. Wed, Mar 16, 2005.

03/16/2005. I left the __________, and headed for the Colorado State University Campus, looking for their library. I pulled into the parking lot of the first big building I found. There was a man walking towards the building, and I could tell that our paths were going to intersect, so I rolled down my window and pulled over. I don't think I felt any specific prompting, but he "stood out" spiritually. I also wondered if he were an African immigrant. (When I say that someone "stood out" in a spiritual sense, I mean that they radiated something extra, or somehow caught or drew my attention in a non-physical way. It's almost like a halo or spotlight is on them. In rare occasions it's a spiritual equivalent of the "angel effect" on the TV show "Touched by an Angel.")

I asked him where the main library was, and he indicated that it was on the other side of this big building.

He spoke with an accent, so I asked him what languages he spoke besides English. He said Swahili. I said I had a book in Swahili in the car, called the Book of Mormon, and asked if he'd like to see it.

He said okay. I got out, reached into the back seat, and got out the Swahili copy, and presented it to him. He was amazed. It was the first book in Swahili he had seen in the United States. He's been in the country 2 years. I then opened the trunk to get out a hard-cover English version because the Swahili is in hard-cover. He accepted the English version too.

We talked a bit. He's from Tanzania, and also speaks a tribal language, but it's a small tribe, so it's not known very much. I forgot the name of the language, but it wasn't one in which the church has material.

Here is where it gets cool. He asked where our church was. I took an info flyer from one of the books, and showed him the addresses of the four local chapels. He asked what time we pray, and I pointed out the times the services started. He said he usually goes to Catholic church to pray, but would visit. We chatted a bit more. Perhaps I should have asked his contact information and given it to the missionaries, but he seemed positive about visiting on his own.

We shook hands and I got back in the car and drove off. But before I left the parking lot, I had to pull over, and write down this and the previous two placements in my journal. I was shaking with excitement.

Moment #227. Several. Wed, Mar 16, 2005.

Book of Mormon Moment #227. Wed, March 16, 2005.
Arabic/Chinese/Chinese simplified/French/Hindi/Japanese/Spanish.
Ft. Collins, CO

On the way to the CSU campus, I stopped at a bank to use an ATM. Walking away from the ATM I saw a sign for some kind of language place. Bingo! I drove over to their parking lot, and took in a few books. A nice young adult lady asked if she could help me. I asked "Do you, or would you accept donations of books in foreign languages?" She said sure, and rattled off some languages they could use. I gave her three of the books I had in my hand, and said I had more in my car. I showed her the back of my "info flyer" that lists all 103 languages. I offered her a free copy in whatever languages she wanted, and that if I didn't have it in my car, I would ship them to her when I got home.

She was very positive and excited about the Japanese edition that I handed her. She immediately started flipping through it. I said it is a religious book, but she said she already knew all about it and Moroni.

She checked off: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Maya (Mayan), Navajo, Russian, and Spanish.

I was able to immediately deliver the Arabic, Chinese (both flavors), French, Hindi, Japanese, and Spanish.

We talked a little bit about foreign-born populations in Fort Collins and teaching English as a second language. She said that her organization and some of the schools are looking for Chinese speakers who can teach English. I told her about the many Chinese who I have encountered at local Chinese restaurants who could use ESL courses, and who were eager to receive the Book of Mormon. I mentioned that the owner/cashier at a certain buffet was bilingual and very good in English.

Moment #226. Spanish/English to library. Wed, Mar 16, 2005.

Book of Mormon Moment #226. Wed, March 16, 2005.
Spanish and English at Fort Collins Public Library.

I took in a stack of Books of Mormon, one each in all the languages I brought with me. I went to the information desk and asked if I could donate them. The information lady left and brought back one of the librarians. She was very appreciative of the offer, but only wanted one in Spanish and English, which she gratefully accepted.

I decided I'd try the CSU (Colorado State Univ) library.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Moment #223. Arabic at fireside. Sun, Mar 13, 2005.

Book of Mormon Moment #223. Sunday, March 13, 2005.
Arabic, at after Fireside after the Single Adults dinner, Arvada.

After the dinner and fireside, I spoke again with one of the sisters with whom I had sat at dinner. At dinner, I had told them about my book placements. She had lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for seven years. She spoke a little Arabic, so I asked if she wanted an Arabic Book of Mormon. She said sure, and offered to pay for it.

She served a mission, and thought book placements were a good idea to keep involved in missionary work.

Moment #222. Chinese at church dinner. Sun, Mar 13, 2005.

Book of Mormon Moment #222. Sunday, March 13, 2005.
Single Adults dinner, Arvada.
3 Traditional Chinese, 1 Simplified Chinese, 4 English to Chinese member

I went to the pitch-in dinner put on by the Denver Metro Area Single Adults at the Arvada (suburb of Denver) chapel on West 72nd and Alkire.

There was a good turn out, about 30 or 40 people. I met a guy from Taiwan. His family was Manchurian, but he grew up in Taiwan. He spoke Mandarin. He was talking with a guy who served in the Hong Kong mission.

I asked the guy from Taiwan if he had any Chinese Books of Mormon to give out to his Chinese-speaking friends, and he said no. I asked if he wanted any, and he said sure. I said "Hold on, I'll be right back" and got some from my car.

He didn't know how to order them from the Distribution Center, so I gave him the URL, I gave him 3 traditional Chinese, and 1 simplified Chinese, and 4 English.

Followup to #220. Ft. Collins, CO. Sun March 13, 2005

Follow-up to # 220. Sunday March 13, 2005
Fort Collins Stake Center.

At the Fort Collins Stake Center, I found a lady who spoke Mandarin Chinese and asked her to visit the restaurant I ate at the previous week. I told her that one of the cooks there wanted to talk to a Chinese member of the Church. She said she knew the restaurant and sometimes goes there. I didn't write anything down for her, so I hope she remembers. The 2 missionaries I had lunch with were there and saw the exchange, so I hope they'll follow-up.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Moment #221. Chinese at restaurant, Ft. Collins. Fri, March 11, 2005.


3 Simplified Chinese/1 Traditional Chinese/4 English.
Chinese Restaurant, Ft Collins CO. Friday, March 11, 2005.

Yesterday I offered to take the missionaries to lunch today. They called when they were ready, so I picked them up and took them to a buffet that the motel desk clerk recommended.

It was a good one, with a Mongolian grill. I stuffed the missionaries' coat pockets with books, and took my little black case with 6 books.

We got our food, sat down, put the books on the table, and when the waiter came around, he did a classic double-take.

I offered him the books, and he accepted the Simplified Chinese copy. He was hesitant about the English until I explained he could read them together to learn more English.

I offered books for all the employees, and he accepted 2 more Simplified Chinese, and one Traditional Chinese, along with an English copy to go with each Chinese copy.

He started reading it right there. And throughout our meal, we saw him reading occasionally at his station in the corner.

When we left, he gave one pair of books to the cashier.

I gave the missionaries the name and address of the restaurant from last night and asked if they could get a Mandarin Chinese speaking member to contact the man at that Chinese restaurant. They said that since the senior companion is the District Leader, he meets with the Stake Presidency every Sunday and will check with him then, and pass on the info.

The missionaries were duly impressed with the placement, and thankful for the meal.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Moment #220. Chinese. Thur, Mar 10, 2005.

03/10/2005/ Arrived Denver. Rented a car at the Airport. While driving North to Ft. Collins, I couldn't find a Chinese restaurant at two exits, and just had to
eat, so stopped at McDonalds.

Arrived Ft. Collins. Used printout from to get to the Stake Center. Family History Center was open. One of the volunteers let me get names and numbers for one of the wards from their copy of the Stake Directory.

Arrived at motel room. Called EQ Pres, high councilor over the singles, and missionaries, and left messages. EQ Pres's wife called back with name and number. Missionaries called back with more.

Ended up talking to two single sisters in town and found out Single Adult events for the weekend. 2nd sister offered to have dinner with me that very night (Thursday).

We made a blind date to meet at a Chinese restaurant I passed on way to Stake Center. Met her there, and she's about my age and attractive.

We ordered, sat down, and I placed the two flavors of Chinese Books of Mormon on the table. Waitress did a classic double-take, and I offered her the book. She was reading it, and then one of the cooks brought out the other plate and looked at the book too. The waitress declined a copy. But the cook wanted one (Mainland Chinese version) to give to his mother. He didn't want an English one at first, but when I pointed out it can be used to learn English, he accepted it.

Later while we were eating, he came back to our table with the info-flyer (I made an info flyer for Ft Collins with Missionaries' phone #, Mission office phone #, and addresses of the 4 chapels), and he asked which church had members who speak Chinese. We said we didn't know, but would find out for him.

My dinner companion was very pleasant, and we planned on going to a couple of the Singles events together.

Labels: ,

Moment #219. Amharic to Taxi driver. Thu, Mar 10, 2005.

03/10/2005. Taxi ride from home to the Airport, early AM.

The taxi driver was from Ethiopia and spoke Amharic, so while loading bags into taxi, I retrieved two Amharic books from my car's trunk to take with.

On the ride, he graciously accepted an Amharic and an English Book of Mormon. He said, and the icon on his dashboard indicated, that he was Eastern Orthodox Catholic.

He spoke English very well, and also spoke/read Tigrinya and Amharic. His main language was Tigrinya. Amharic, Tigrinya and Ge'ez are languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which all use the same alphabet. But aside from Amharic, the only other language of the area in which the church publishes stuff is Afar.

He also told me an important piece of info, that most of the African taxi drivers in town are Ethiopian. Note to self: Always have Amharic Books of Mormon when taking a taxi in Indy. Note to self: pay a visit to the office of "______ Taxi" on West _______ St.

Labels: ,