Book of Mormon Moment #444. Chinese. Mon, Oct 17, 2005.
10/17/2005. I decided to go out of town for lunch today. There's a small town about 30 minutes Northwest of Indy. I looked online and found two Chinese restaurants there. I picked one, and made a mental note of the address, but when I got there it was closed, and a sign said it was closed every Monday.
I didn't remember what the address of the other one was, so I went to a nearby Kroger grocery store, asked to borrow a Yellow Pages, and looked up the other one. It was just one block up the street from the Kroger.
It was a nice buffet. When the server came to take my empty plate, she noticed the Chinese Books of Mormon on my table, so I asked her if she liked to read Chinese. She didn't really answer, so I asked if she was from China or Taiwan. She said China. I couldn't tell if she was just really shy, or if she didn't speak English very well.
I offered her the books, and she didn't really answer but went into the kitchen, and I could hear her asking the people back there something. She came back out and politely declined.
I couldn't tell whether she needed their permission to accept the books, or whether she wasn't interested and just went back to see if anyone else was. Anyway, I didn't press the issue.
When I finished eating, I did something I haven't done before. I was not inspired to do it, I just felt like it. I left a nice tip (as usual) but I also left the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon and the English Book of Mormon on the table. I also left two multi-lingual DVD's of "Together Forever" which have Mandarin and Cantonese audio tracks. (The DVD's were in paper sleeves, not the plastic DVD cases.)
I hope that wasn't overbearing. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
As I write this, another thought came to mind. The next time a Mandarin-speaker declines like that, and I'm not sure they understand the offer, I could ask if they would like to speak to one of the Mandarin-speaking members that I know, and call him on my cell phone.