Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Book of Mormon Moment #400. Chinese, Wed Aug 24, 2005. Wowza.

08/24/2005. I've had Anderson (Indiana) on my mind for some time, and today it finally percolated to the surface, so I decided to go there for lunch.

I got there around 2:00pm, and found a Chinese buffet restaurant I hadn't been to before. It was kind of run-down on the outside, but often "hole in the wall" restaurants have the best character.

I'll give the address to my email friends, but I've decided to withhold contact information from this public blog.

I took in my large satchel of books of several Asian languages. Lunch was very inexpensive. The first waitress looked in her late forties. The second waitress, I found out later, was her 40 year old younger sister. I sat two tables over from the door to the kitchen.

I brought a plate of food back from the buffet tables, sat down, and placed one Simplified, one Traditional, and one English book on my table. The first waitress noticed them the next time she walked by, and said something. I asked if she liked to read Chinese. She said yes. I asked where she was from, and she said China. I asked if she'd like one, and said they're free. She said she already had one!

She went to the cashier's counter and brought back a Traditional Chinese Book of Mormon. I pointed out the Simplified one, and she flipped through it, and expressed preference for it.

I offered her an English one to go with it, and she said she already had one.

Then her sister came around, and had a look too. I offered her books, and she said she'd share her sister's. I offered again for any other employees, and she accepted a Simplified and English pair for one of the other employees.

The first waitress then sat at the next table over, and we talked while I ate. She said they had been here for almost 30 years. They spoke English very well, but still with heavy accents. She said she enjoyed reading the Bible. She went back to the cashier's counter and brought back Watchtower magazines and some other Jehovah's Witness booklets in Chinese. She said someone from that church comes by once a month and gives her the magazine, but he never eats there. She made me feel good, like I scored points by actually eating instead of just proselyting!

About 1/2 way through my meal, the staff started having their lunch at the next table over between me and the kitchen. One of the men flipped through the books I had given them.

The whole encounter was very friendly and upbeat. The two ladies were tickled pink to get something in Simplified Chinese along with the English translation. I was edified seeing their reaction, and filled my tummy for little money.

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