Monday, November 28, 2005

Moment #497. Fijian/Hindi at Singles FHE. Mon, Nov 28, 2005.

11/28/2005. There was a newcomer to our Singles Family Home Evening group. I hadn't been there for a few weeks, so it might not have been her first time, but it was the first time I met her.

We had a nice pot-luck dinner, and a good lesson. After the lesson as we were mingling I asked the sister where she was from. She said Fiji. I asked if she spoke Fijian and she said yes. She didn't have a Fijian Book of Mormon so I offered her one. I thought I had one in the car. She said she also spoke Hindi, and agreed to receive a Hindi Book of Mormon.

I went out to my car and found out I didn't have a Fijian copy there, but I did bring in a Hindi copy. When I presented it to her she said she didn't know the church had it in Hindi.

I'll try to remember to take the Fijian one next week.

Moment #496. French Liahona + DVD at P.O. Mon, Nov 28, 2006.

11/28/2005. I retrieved my mail from my Post Office box and read some of it at a counter in the outer lobby. Next to me at the counter was a lady preparing an item for mailing and speaking French on her cell phone. I went out to my car, obtained a French Liahona, and a copy of the multi-lingual Joy To the World DVD, and took them back in. For some reason I was not inspired to offer a French Book of Mormon.

When I got back in, she was off of her cell phone, so I struck up a conversation. She was from Haiti, and spoke English, French, and Haitian Creole. She very gratefully accepted my offer of the French Liahona and the DVD. She expressed her appreciation several times. I offered her a Book of Mormon in Haitian Creole, but if I understood her correctly, she indicated she only spoke Haitian Creole, and did not read it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Moment #495. Spanish declined. Sat, Nov 26, 2005.

11/26/2005. I was reading from my triple combination and had left it on the folding table in front of the dyers I was using. When I came back to the folding table, an Hispanic couple was using the other half of the table, and the man had noticed what I was reading.

The man struck up a conversation in English, asking if I was reading the Bible. I turned to the cover page and said it was the Book of Mormon. At some point we started talking in Spanish. I pointed out the paperback Spanish Bible and Spanish Book of Mormon I had with me. He said he liked reading the Bible, but turned down my offer to look at the Book of Mormon. He then said that they were Jehovah's Witnesses. He was very friendly, polite, and outgoing. He then wanted to share a Bible scripture, so I handed him the Spanish Bible and he read a couple verses from John 21 if I remember correctly.

We had a nice conversation. I asked if there were Jehovah's Witnesses congregations in town for Spanish-speakers and he said there were five. And we talked a bit about where he and his wife were from, how long they had been here, etc.

Moment #494. Vietnamese at laundromat. Sat, Nov 26, 2005.

11/26/2005. I met a family from Southeast Asia at the laundromat. The husband was from Cambodia, and spoke Cambodian, Vietnamese and English. I brought in Cambodian and English copies of the Book of Mormon for him. Then I found out his wife was from Vietnam and wanted one in Vietnamese, so I brought in Vietnamese and English copies for her. The husband gave me the Cambodian one back, so I assume he only spoke Cambodian and didn't read it.

The wife saw my business card in one of the books, and asked me a computer question about getting viruses off her computer. I'm not too good at that, so I recommended a computer store that's not too far away that is owned and operated by a Vietnamese fmaily. They have been in business for something like 18 years, and are really good. I borrowed a phone book from the laundromat attendant, and looked up their number for her.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Moment #493. Arabic. Thurs, Nov 24, 2005.

11/24/2005. A friend invited me to his family's Thanksgiving feast. There was a large turnout from his extended family. One of his in-laws is from the Middle East. He expressed interest in seeing the Arabic Book of Mormon, so I brought one in and showed it to him, along with an Arabic/English New Testament. He accepted them, but confessed that his Arabic reading skills were very rusty. I suggested he could pass them on to others, and he indicated he would probably do that after reading what he could. His wife gave an approving-type smile when she saw us talking. Later I saw his young son flipping through the New Testament.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Journal entry, 2nd Joy ttW DVD at P.O. Wed, Nov 23, 2005.

11/23/2005. Another distribution center order arrived at my P.O. Box. The clerk who waited on me today was the one who asked the other clerk about the DVD that I had given her yesterday. There were three boxes in today's shipment, two of which were heavy. I thanked her for lugging the heavy boxes to the front counter, and to show my appreciation offered her "that Christmas DVD with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on it." She said "that would be nice", so I brought one in after taking the boxes to my car. She was already attending other people, so I got in line. But when she saw me, she extended her hand to receive the DVD, so I got out of line and gave it to her. She seemed genuinely happy to receive it.

I wasn't going to add this part, but I can't get it out of my mind. I was driving to my next errand, thinking of the things I had to do. A couple blocks away from the Post Office, a spiritual feeling of comfort and elation came over me. I call those moments "spiritual doggie-treats." At first I wondered why I was feeling that way, then I connected it to giving out the DVD. I'm not sure what it means, but I'm guessing that that small gift is going to lead to something in the future.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Moment #492. Tagalog/Cebuano. Tues, Nov 22, 2005.

11/22/2005. A monthly errand took me past one of my favorite Asian stores, and I needed some peanut oil for stir fry. The cashier looked Filipina, but I hadn't met her before. I asked if she was the daughter of the other lady who owned or ran the store. She said no, just a friend.

I asked her, in Tagalog, if she spoke Tagalog, and she said yes. I explained that I had learned a couple phrases from a CD. We chit chatted a bit, and I got around to offering her a free Book of Mormon in Tagalog. She said okay, but that she was from Cebu, and that her dialect was Cebuano. I said I had a copy in Cebuano too, and asked if it was okay if I brought them in. She said sure.

So I brought in a Tagalog, a Cebuano, and an English Book of Mormon, along with a multi-lingual DVD of Together Forever, that has a Taglog track. She said they didn't have a DVD player, but with the cost of them down to $35, I figured they'd get one soon.

She wasn't quite as excited as the owner of the store was the last time I was there, but she was happy to receive the material, and not the least bit reluctant.

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Moments #490-491. Spanish/Chinese @ Chinese Rest. Tues, Nov 22, 2005.

11/22/2005. I was on the Northwest side of Indy, and ended up at a Chinese restaurant (sit-down, not buffet) that I hadn't been to before. The circumstances that got me there aren't important, and there was no inspiration involved, but looking back, I now wonder if the Lord had a hand in the circumstances.

I ordered, sat down, put out the two kinds of Chinese Books of Mormon, and read my newspaper. The cashier/waitress brought out my plate, noticed the books, but didn't react or say anything, and I was not quick enough to say anything.

I continued to eat/read and another customer came in, ordered, and made small talk with the cashier. He had a heavy accent, but I could not identify it at all. He said something to the cashier, "In my country....," which gave me the perfect opening for starting a conversation, so I asked where he was from.

He said Dominican Republic, so we talked a little in Spanish but reverted back to English. I forget the my exact words but I brought up the Book of Mormon in Spanish, and he said he had already read it, and knew a lot about Joseph Smith. I pointed to the Chinese Books of Mormon in front of me and said I brought them in for the employees there, and offered him one in Spanish. He had an English copy, but agreed to receive one in Spanish.

When his food was ready, he sat down at his table to eat, and when he was finished, he came back to me. The fact that he re-intitiated contact with me after eating confirmed to me that he did not feel put-upon when I had first spoken to him.

We went outside, and I obtained a Spanish copy for him from my car trunk. When he saw the English copies, he requested one for a friend, so I gave him one in English too. I offered him a multi-lingual DVD of "Heavenly Father's Plan" and he accepted that too. He was very grateful for the material.

I went back in to get my stuff, and the lunch crowd had started. There were now 3 additional employees working in the kitchen behind the counter. I thought I had lost my opportunity to offer books to the cashier. But when I gathered my stuff, and turned to the cashier's counter, we made eye contact, and she was at a point where I could approach the counter. It only took about 12 seconds, but I offered, and she accepted, a Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon. There didn't seem to be time to offer her an English copy, so I let it at that, and went outside to my car.

However, after getting in the car, I remembered that I hadn't left a tip. So I went back in with a tip, and an English copy, hoping to find a tip jar on the counter. There was one, so I put the dollar in, and the cashier had a free moment, and she accepted my offer of an English Book of Mormon to go with the Chinese.

Journal entry, Joy to the World DVD at P.O. Tues, Nov 22, 2005.

11/22/2005. A distribution center order and some other packages arrived at my Post Office box. The usual clerk brought the boxes out. I took them out to my car, and one of the boxes contained the multi-lingual Joy to the World DVD, the one with the Mormon Tabnernacle Choir. The clerk was the one who had previously expressed an interest in reading the Book of Mormon, and so I had given her a Book of Mormon, a few months ago. I took one of the DVDs back in and offered it to her, and she accepted. As I was leaving, the other clerk asked the first what it was, and it occurred to me that I should have offered the 2nd clerk one too.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Moment #489. Chinese to teacher of Chinese. Tues, Nov 8, 2005.

11/08/2005. I forgot to log this earlier, so this is out of sequence. I found a local teacher of Chinese on the Internet. I contacted her via email, and she said she'd like to see both the Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese material. So I snail-mailed her Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and English copies of the Book of Mormon, Gospel Principles, and the JS Testimony pamphlet.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Journal entry. Books to members. Nov 20, 2005.

11/20/2005. I gave "car kits" to 5 people at church, Bro W, Bro WP, Bro AK, Bro BT, and someone else. A "car kit" is a ziplock plastic bag containing: 1) a paperback Bible containing a local-info flyer and a Book of Mormon pass-along card; and 2) a Book of Mormon containing a local-info flyer and a Bible pass-along card.

The copies of the Book of Mormon had stick-em notes at appropriate places marked "Best Part - 3 Nephi Chapter 11-26" and "How to know that this book is true - Moroni 10:3-5."

The Bibles had the Book of Mormon pass-along card inserted between the Gospel of John, and the book of Acts, and with "the books that should be written" underlined in the last verse of John.

Brother BT wanted some inexpensive Bibles to give out at the VA when he volunteers there, so I ended up giving him two car kits and a couple other inexpensive paperback Bibles, including one beat-up LDS edition KJV that I bought used on Ebay.

The paperback Bibles that I like to give away are:

Catalog #113011, ISBN 158516769X from American Bible Society which are $1.99 each plus shipping in cases of 24.

and: Catalog Item # 303 from International Bible Socieity which are $1.99 each plus shipping in single quantities, or $1.50 each plus shipping in cases of 24.

Later in the evening, after the Single Adult stake fireside, Sister MT told me that she had given her last Book of Mormon to one of her grandaughters who asked for it. So I gave her two more copies of the Book of Mormon from my car.

I journal these, but don't number them because they are going to members.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moment #488. Arabic/French. Sat, Nov 19, 2005.

11/19/2005. Tonight was laundry night at the laundromat, the one that's farther down the street than the all night one. I saw two Arabic-looking men doing laundry. One of them ended up using the same folding table I was using. I struck up a conversation. They were from Morocco, and spoke Arabic, French, and English. I spoke a little French with the one next to me. I said, in French, that I had books in French and Arabic from my church, that they were free, and asked if he'd like to see them. He said sure. I asked if he was Muslim, and he said yes. Then in English, I said the books were Christian, and asked if that was okay, and he said it was okay.

I brought back two French, two Arabic, and two English copies of the Book of Mormon from my car. The other guy had come over to where the guy I was talking to was. The guy I was talking to gratefully accepted one in each language, and the second guy accepted French and English.

Friday, November 18, 2005

China Arrests Priests, Seminarians.

This explains more of the relationship between churches and the government in China. And gives background info to the story about a man in China who was sent to prison for "illegally" distributing Bibles.

China Arrests Priests, Seminarians
or click here

November 18, 2005. Vatican City.

[On Nov 12] Chinese authorities have arrested a priest and 10 seminarians from that nation's underground Roman Catholic Church, a Vatican-affiliated news agency said Friday.
Six of the seminarians were released later, but Yang and the four others remain in police custody, it said.
The latest arrests apparently came shortly after security forces detained Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo, 70, from the non-government controlled Catholic church for the eighth time in two years, a U.S.- based monitoring group said Nov. 10.
Religious groups say Jia has been repeatedly detained over his refusal to affiliate himself with the Communist Party-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association, which rejects Vatican authority over issues such as the naming of bishops.
Worship is allowed only in government-controlled churches, which recognize the pope as a spiritual leader but appoint their own priests and bishops.

Many Chinese Catholics, however, remain loyal to the Vatican and risk arrest by worshipping in unofficial churches and private homes. They are frequently harassed, fined and sometimes sent to labor camps.

The government's Catholic church claims 4 million believers. The Cardinal Kung Foundation, a U.S.-based religious monitoring group, says the unofficial church of Chinese loyal to Rome has 12 million followers.

Insights from reading the Book of Mormon, 2005.

11/18/2005. President Hinckley's promise appears to me to be coming true. I'm picking up more things while reading the Book of Mormon this time around.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Journal Entry. A thank-you in Hindi, Thurs, Nov 17, 2005.

11/17/2005. I stopped at a Meijer store to make a quick purchase. The cashier looked, dressed and sounded like she was from India. She seemed a bit tired and robotic as if having a bad case of the work-day blahs. When she handed me my change and said "thank-you," I said "thank-you" in Hindi, "danyavad," to her. She perked up and smiled.

Moment #487. Thai, Thurs, Nov 17, 2005.

11/17/2005. I went to a Thai restaurant today for a late lunch. Got there around 2:30 so as to avoid the lunch crowd, and I was the only customer there.

The waitress was a Caucasian lady. I wasn't sitting where I could see into the kitchen, so I don't know if the cook was Thai or not. When taking my order, the waitress asked how spicey I wanted it on a scale of 1 through 10. I asked for a level four. I put out a Thai Book of Mormon on the table, and the waitress saw it when she brought out my food, but she didn't say anything. The food was pretty hot, and I had to drink some soda after almost every bite. (Note to self: try 2 next time.) Other than giving my taste buds a work out, the food was very good.

It wasn't until she brought the check that I asked "Do you know if anyone here likes to read Thai?" She said that all the other employees spoke it, but they didn't get there until later.

I explained that I had a free book in Thai from my church that I was willing to give to anyone who wanted it. She suggested I could leave it, and she would see that they got it. When I handed it to her, she flipped through it, and asked if my church had Thai members. I said no. I should have said "not locally, that I know of." I then said that it was the Book of Mormon, and the church had it in 103 languages. She seemed positive about it, and didn't give any indication that she thought my offer to be odd.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Moment #486. Chinese at Inst. Wed, Nov 16, 2005.

11/16/2005. Tonight at Institute I found out that one of the other class members has a coach who is from China. This member received a Chinese copy of the Book of Mormon in the Elders Quorum class in his YSA branch on Sunday November 6th. And he was planning on presenting it to his coach.

Later in the evening, upon talking with him, I found out that the Quorum instructor didn't pass along my explanation on which version was for China and which was for Taiwan. My explanation was only verbal. I should have included some of the book wrappers I made for the Chinese books which indicate that the Simplified version is for China and the Traditional version is for Taiwan and elsewhere.

Since his coach is from China, I showed the member a Simplified version, and he confirmed that it wasn't the one he had received in class, so I gave him the Simplified version along with some pamphlets in Chinese and English.

Moment #485. Malinke(Mandinka), Wed, Nov 16, 2005.

11/16/2005. After Institute I met a recent convert from Africa. He was the man for whom I gave a French Book of Mormon to the Zionsville sister missionaries on August 20th. The sisters had found him, he was not one of my contacts.

I asked what languages his parents spoke, and other than French, he said his mother spoke Malinke. That's another name for the Mandinka language, for which the church has a Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet and a Gospel Principles. I had the Mandinka JS Testimony pamphlet in the car, so I gave him one of those and an English version to give her. He was very pleased.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Journal Entry, New language CD's. Nov. 15, 2005.

11/15/2005. I received a 6-CD set from Topics Entertainment called "Instant Immersian 102 Languages. I bought it through for $30 plus $10 shipping. Amazon has another version of the same thing for $20, but I don't know what the difference is, so maybe I got ripped off the $10.

This is the 2nd set of language CD's that I bought. The other one I already have is "101 Languages of the World" from Transparent Language, and costs $50 plus shipping. So compare them and see what languages you need, and you might save a few bucks. However, the Transparent one is a bit more comprehensive.

I bought this new set mainly because it has Amharic, Shona and Igbo which the set from Transaparent doesn't have, and I regularly meet speakers of those languages. It also has several others that Transparent doesn't have and are spoken by people whom I've met in Indianapolis.

I would have bought the set from Transparent anyway, because it has Yoruba and Wolof, and Topics doesn't. And I regularly meet speakers of Yoruba and Wolof.

It can really make someone's day to greet them and say a few words in their native language.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Journal Entry, Missed opportunity. Nov 14, 2005.

11/14/2005. Had lunch at a Chinese buffet restaurant that I haven't been to before, just across the county line from where I live. The one Asian employee who was running the cash register and bringing food out to the steam tables didn't come out to the dining area. She was constantly busy, never stopping for a moment, so I didn't want to interrupt her. It was about 1:30pm, so the lunch crowd hadn't fully gone away. I need to remember that opportunities for conversations improve after the lunch crowd is gone.

I had the two kinds of Chinese editions of the Book of Mormon on my table. The busboy was a Hispanic gentleman with a long hairstyle typical of Indians, or those who are more Indian than Mestizo. I had a Spanish Book of Mormon with me, but it wasn't on my table the first time he came by to ask for my plate. I had it out by the next time he came by, but he didn't seem to notice it, and I wasn't feeling bold enough to start a conversation. His extreme soft-spokenness when he asked if I was done with my plate was also indicative of Indian heritage.

I'll have to go back there again.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

God's Army 2: States of Grace is in theaters now. Nov 10, 2005

Richard Dutcher's new film, God's Army 2: States of Grace is in theaters in Utah and Idaho. See web site at or

It's not a sequel to the first God's Army, but it is set in the same city, Los Angeles or a suburb.

The trailer is great. Richard Dutcher has come a long way in filmmaking since God's Army 1. The story is about two missionaries who get caught up in a gang war. One of the missionaries is a convert who used to be a gang member.

Chinese sent to prison for distributing Bibles.

3 Chinese citizens sent to prison for distributing Bibles as part of "unregistered" church.

Here's the story at the Washington Times:
or click here.

        Religious persecution in China has reached the point that distributing Bibles is earning a three-year prison sentence.
        Cai Zhuohua, 34, a Beijing underground church leader, was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for distributing Bibles and other Christian materials.
        His wife, Xiao Yunfei, got two years, and her brother Xiao Gaowen was sentenced to 18 months by the Haidian Lower People's Court in Beijing.
        They were arrested September 2004, said the China Aid Association of Midland, Texas. They were accused of distributing 200,000 Bibles and other materials as part of an unregistered house church Mr. Cai oversaw for 10 years.
        It is the latest in a long string of escalating arrests and harassment Chinese Christians have undergone in recent years.
        "This is not an acceptable result," said China Aid President Bob Fu. "We urge President Bush to use his upcoming visit to China to address this serious religious-persecution case."
        Mr. Bush will meet with leaders in Beijing during a Nov. 19-21 visit.
        "You bet when the president goes to Asia next week, he will continue to talk about the importance of promoting human rights and human dignity for all," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said yesterday.
        In a round-table interview yesterday with Asian journalists, Mr. Bush said he "will continue to remind President Hu [Jintao] about, for example, my personal faith and the belief that people should be allowed to worship freely.
        "A vibrant, whole society is one that recognizes that certain freedoms are inherent and need to be part of a complete society," Mr. Bush said of the message he would give China's communist leaders.
        Mr. Bush meets today with the Dalai Lama. The 70-year-old Tibetan religious leader, in town for several conferences about meditation and neuroscience, slammed his native country at a press conference yesterday for "very, very repressive" policies.
        Other religious groups claim persecution similar to that suffered by the Tibetan Buddhists represented by the Dalai Lama.

My comments:
        The article goes on to describe persecution of Falun Gong, Christians, and Tibetan Buddhists.

        However, there are apparently some important things left unsaid. I've learned through other sources that Bibles are legally available in China, in two versions; the Union Version (probably the first translation of the Bible in Chinese, which dates back to Christian missionaries going to China before Communism), and the TCV or Today's Chinese Version.

        The Chinese Union Version is said to be equivalent to the English RSV (Revised Standard Version). And the TCV (Today's Chinese Version) is an easier to read translation that is equivalent to the TEV (Today's English Version).

        An explanation of the various Chinese translations and editions can be found on under ISBN 9622934579, or click here. That reviewer indicates that the Union version is freely available in PRC (mainland) China, and is preferred by most Christians there.

        So I am confused as to what the real story is of those who were imprisoned for "illegally" distributing Bibles. Since Bibles are available there, and it is apparently legal to distribute them, it then appears the violation was that of not being registered or licensed to do so. Was it also because their church was "unregistered"? What are the pros and cons for churches being "registered" there? I'm not trying to justify the Chinese government in these questions. Rather, the article raises more questions than it answers.

The New Korean Book of Mormon is here! Nov 10, 2005.

11/10/2005. The new edition Korean Book of Mormon, copyright 2005, softcover, catalog # 34407-320 is out! The Salt Lake Distribution Center has it,

This new edition has the newer footnotes, which I assume correspond to the footnotes in the English edition. The text is in two columns and the footnotes are in three columns like they have been in the English edition. Also in the new edition is the Guide to the Scriptures, or Guide to the Study of the Scriptures, I'm not sure the exact title.

This edition looks like it was printed by the church's printing division, whereas the previous edition was printed in Korea. This edition has larger physical dimensions as the text font is bigger than the previous edition.

For those who need to be told, this post is intentionally geeky. Think Steve Martin saying: "The new phone book's here!" But I do want to point out that the monumental translation effort of the church continues forward, with new languages, and creating more material in currently-served languages. Since the church doesn't publish Bibles in other languages, putting the Guide to the Scriptures (or Guide to the Study of the Scriptures) in our foreign-language editions of the Book of Mormon makes sense.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Moment #484. Persian(Farsi). Wed, Nov 9, 2005.

11/09/2005. After Institute in the kitchen. One of the members of the YSA branch was there and mentioned that her non-member parents were from Iran. I asked if they had a Book of Mormon in Persian (Farsi). She said no. I offered her a Persian Book of Mormon if she'd give it to them, and she agreed. I retrieved it, and a Persian copy of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet from my car, and presented them to her. She was very glad to see the material. She expressed a little fear about giving the material to them, but was enthusiastic about it. She didn't know the church had the Book of Mormon in Persian.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Saw someone reading Zulu BoM. Sun, Nov 6, 2005.

11/06/2005. After the Sunday meetings in my ward, I drove to another ward to meet a convert from Africa who had been baptized the previous evening. He was confirmed a member at the beginning of their sacrament meeting. He was not one of my contacts, but I was excited that another African immigrant had joined the church.

While sitting in their sacrament meeting, I saw Brother E, (who was baptized in 2004) who is from South Africa, by way of Zimbabwe, reading the Zulu Book of Mormon I had given him earlier in the year. When he joined the church, no one told him we had the Book of Mormon in Zulu, and the one I gave him was the first he had heard of it.

I heard of Brother E from Brother M, when Brother M came to our ward building to watch General Conference. I actually gave the Zulu and Shona Books of Mormon to Brother M to give to Brother E back in his ward.

Journal entry, Chinese. Sun, Nov 6, 2005.

11/06/2005. The Elders Quorum instructor of the Young Single Adult branch called me yesterday to ask for a supply of English Books of Mormon to give out as part of a lesson on being member missionaries.

I'm almost out of English, so I didn't have enough to give him. But I have a lot of Chinese on hand. So I offered them, and suggested people attempt to give them out while eating at Chinese restaurants.

So today, I gave him a dozen Traditional Chinese and a dozen Simplified Chinese Books of Mormon, with a brief explanation of the difference. I also gave him a handful of Joseph Smith testimony pamphlets and Book of Mormon pass-along cards for those who didn't feel up to attempting placements of Chinese books.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Moment #483. French/Wolof. Sat, Nov 5, 2005.

11/05/2005. On the way home from the Singles conference and dance, I stopped at a Shell station for gas. The cashier was from Senegal and spoke French and Wolof. I was out of Wolof Gospel Fundamentals, but I gave him Wolof/English JS Testmony pamphlets, and French/English BoM's.

International Festival, short report, Sat Nov 5, 2005.


Just a short recap until I have time to write more. At the International Festival.

# 468. Igbo BoM to man who parked next to me in the parking lot. He was wearing a t-shirt with the name of the Igbo Nigeria club I saw yesterday.

# ---. Wolof and Fulani Gospel Fundamentals to guys who I met yesterday, so they each had one of each language. Later gave French/English copies of Book of Mormon to them.

# 469. Burmese/English JS Testimony pamphlet.

# 470. Ewe/English JS Testimony pamphlet, to lady from Togo.

# 471. Czech BoM declined.

# 472. Latvian BoM.

# 473. Ukrainian BoM. (first)

# 474. Romanian BoM. (first)

# 475. Hungarian BoM. (first)

# 476. Slovenian BoM. (first)

# 477. Polish BoM. (first)

# 478. Wolof/English Gospel Fundamentals and Wolof/English JS pamphlet at another booth.

# 479. Turkish BoM at another booth.

# 480. Wolof/Fon/English Gospel Fundamentals, French/Dutch/English BoM, and
Wolof/Fon/Ewe/English JS Testimony pamphlet to _ _ _ _.

# 481. Tagalog/Cebuano/English BoM, and Taglog New Testament to president of Philippines club.

# 482. Hmong declined.


After the Int'l festival I went to the Single Adults conference. I met a recent convert from Zimbabwe who spoke Shona. She already had a Shona Book of Mormon, but didn't get one until after she joined. I gave her the name and phone number of a Shona-speaking member in another ward, and the name/number of a Shona speaking investigator. She didn't know them already. But, she knew the name of the musical group that my investigator friend played in back in Zimbabwe. The other member and the investigator gave me permission to give out their names/numbers to other Zimbabweans.


At the Singles conference, I met a Portuguese and Spanish speaking Brazlian member. She had a Portuguese, but didn't have a Spanish Book of Mormon, so I gave her a Spanish.


I gave 4 Chinese BoM's (2 traditional and 2 Simplified) to a single brother from another town to take the next time he goes to Chinese restaurants in his town.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Moment #467. Amharic at Laundromat, Fri, Nov 4, 2005.

11/04/2005. At the 24/7 laundromat.

While doing the wash, I saw one of my previous contacts, Edwin, getting ready to leave, so I went over and talked with him. I told him about the International Festival, and we chatted a bit. I invited him to church on Sunday to meet Brother E in Zionsville ward, who is also from Zimbabwe, but originally from South Africa. This is about the second time I've recently run into him totally by accident.

#467. Two young women, about 18 to 20, used a nearby dryer, and were standing at the other end of the folding table that I was using.

They spoke English with regular American accents, but the older one looked Ethiopian.

The older one looked familiar, and I wasn't sure if I had spoken to her or given her a Book of Mormon before. At what seemed like an appropriate time, I asked her if we had met before because she looked familiar, and she said she didn't think so. I asked where her family was from and she said Eritrea. She spoke Tigrinya, but not Amharic. She had come to the United States with her family as refugees from Sudan when she was four.

The church doesn't have any Tigrinya material, and I was out of Tigrinya Bibles, but she said she couldn't read Tigrinya anyway. She talked a bit more about her family's history and we chatted a bit about Africa and refugees. Her family lived in Minneapolis before moving here and said there was a large population of Eritreans and Ethiopians there.

I mentioned that the church has the Book of Mormon in Amharic, but not in Tigrinya.

Right before they left, I offered her my card, and said that if any of her Ethiopian friends wanted a book from my church in Amharic, to call me. She then volunteered that she had a friend who could speak and read Amharic that she would give it to. I then said I had a copy in the car, and I asked if she would like to give her the book herself, and she agreed. So I retrieved Amharic and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and presented them to her. She was surprised, but impressed and grateful.

#460-466. Spanish Turkish Fon Fulani Wolof Igbo Yoruba. Int'l Festival. Fri, Nov 4, 2005.

Moments #460-466.

11/04/2005. I stopped at the International Festival at the State Fairgrounds tonight. Boy, did I have a great time. Good food, met lots of cool people, gave out books. I don't know if I can remember everything in order, but here's what happened.

I didn't take books in with me at first. I struck up conversations with people, and got their permission to bring them material. It was totally kosher. The ticket taker at the front started to catch on to me the third time I re-entered, but she didn't say anything. I distributed what I brought in, then met more people who wanted stuff, then made another trip out to the car to bring those books in.

#460. Spanish. First booth I stopped at looked like an Otavalenan Indian from Ecuador. I asked and he was. He's a member too; from Utah. He asked about the chapels in town, so I gave him a list, and pointed out the Spanish branch, but he'll be working at his booth all day Sunday. I ended up giving him Spanish and English copies of the Book of Mormon to give out, and he did. There were at least 3 booths staffed by Ecuadorians.

#461. Turkish. I had my first plate of supper at the Turkish booth. It was staffed by volunteers from the Turkish Association in town, and the food was from the Bosphorus Cafe. Good stuff. I had taboulie salad, vegetarian "meat-balls" and humous. They agreed to look at a Turkish Book of Mormon, so I brought one back in for them. They declined the English. But one of them started reading it right there.

#462. Fon, didn't work out. Where I had my second plate, the lady was from Benin, and spoke English, French, and Fon. I forgot about offering a French Book of Mormon; totally spaced it. She agreed to see the Fon book, but when I showed it (Gospel Fundamentals) to her, she said it wasn't Fon. That could be possible. Sometimes the printing division puts the wrong covers on the books during binding. But she probably just spoke it, and didn't actually read Fon.

#463. Fulani and Wolof. The next booth I stopped at were two guys selling carvings and small artsy stuff. They were from Senegal and spoke English, French, Fulani, and Wolof. I have been studying a little Wolof from my Transparent Languages CD set, so I practiced with them, and they could understand me. That made their day! They were tickled to see me say even a few words like "Yes," "Thank-you," "you're welcome," and "I speak a little Wolof." They agreed to see what I had in their languages. I brought in English, Fulani, and Wolof copies of Gospel Fundamentals. I asked "These are Christian, is that okay?" and they had no problem with it at all. They were very comfortable with it. They started reading them right there, and they wanted the English to go along with it. I only brought in one of each language for them to share, but they both wanted Fulani and Wolof each for themselves, so I'll take more copies to them tomorrow. Again, I totally spaced offering a French Book of Mormon.

#464. Tagalog. My only declined moment tonight. I had an egg roll at a Filipino booth, and practiced a little Tagalog that I learned from the CD, "Do you speak Tagalog?", "I'm very glad to meet you," "Thank-you". And when the the other ladies at the booth heard me, they came over to the lady who was serving me. This CD set, from uses native language speakers, and is kind of cool. I think I flubbed this one.

#465. Yoruba. I then saw Victor O. at his booth. I met him in July of 2004 at the African Unity Festival. He had a store at Lafayette Square Mall, Afri-Mart, but closed it earlier this year. He remembered me. I found out he speaks both Igbo and Yoruba. I had given him an Ibgo Book of Mormon last year. So I brought in a Yoruba Bible, and Yoruba and English Gospel Fundamentals for him. He was very impressed, and very grateful.

#466. Igbo. On the way out to get books for Victor, I met a Nigerian lady who spoke Igbo. So I brought back in Igbo and English copies of the Book of Mormon for her. When I got back her husband and children were there, so I presented them to him. He was impressed and very grateful to receive the books. I had an Igbo Bible with me, but they already had one.

Other contacts I made but will give them material tomorrow:

- A lady from Burma who agreed to see our Burmese pamphlet.
- A lady from Togo who speaks Ewe, who agreed to see our Ewe pamphlet.

In every case I made sure they were aware it was church material, and in most
cases, even after they agreed to see it, I asked if it was okay for me to bring it to them while they were working their booth. Nobody had any problems with it. Nobody acted as if they were put upon. Everyone was very positive about talking about where they were from, and what languages they spoke.

I didn't stop at these booths yet, but we have translations of the Book of Mormon in their language: German, Swedish, Latvian, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Czech, Chinese, Japanese, Indian (India), Russia, Hmong.

I stopped at the Polish booth, but didn't offer a Book of Mormon in Polish. I talked to them about suggestions on doing family history work for my grandfather who was born there.

I stopped at a booth whose owner was from Tanzania, and spoke Swahili, but will offer a book tomorrow.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Quote from Elder Richard G. Scott, Oct 2003 General Conference.

A friend sent this in email today:

"I have seen valiant missionaries brave icy wind, resist torrential rains, slosh through slippery, muddy streets, and conquer fear. Often they bear a powerful testimony, only to be rejected and roundly criticized. I have seen them struggle to communicate truth in a new language. Sometimes the listener stares in puzzled silence. Then there dawns the shattering realization that the message is not understood. But I wouldn't change any of it, even if I could, because there are those golden moments of success that make all of the hardships worthwhile. Such rewards come when the Spirit touches a heart for eternal good because someone like you was there. To share truth in difficult circumstances is to treasure it more. When you push against the boundaries of experience into the twilight of the unknown, the Lord will strengthen you. The beauty of your eternal soul will begin to unfold."
("Realize Your Full Potential," Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov. 2003, 41)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Book of Mormon Moment #459. Vietnamese, Wed Nov 2, 2005.

11/02/2005. I love it when things just kind of line up. All of my previous contacts today were along the routes I was going to travel anyway. The sister missionaries were along the route to my client, I was going to eat lunch at a restaurant anyway, the dry cleaners and Wendy's were on my way back.

Tonight after Institute I stopped by our ward's elders' apartment. Okay, these guys were a few blocks out of my way. But I wanted to drop off some groceries to even things up because I gave identical groceries to the other two sets of missionaries last week.

When I stopped by, they asked if I had a Vietnamese and Punjabi Book of Mormon. Vietnamese yes, Punjabi no. There is no Punjabi Book of Mormon yet, just the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet, and Gospel Fundamentals. They already had those. So I gave them a Vietnamese Book of Mormon from my car, and offered an English Gospel Fundamentals to go along with their Punjabi, and explained the pairing concept for ESL (English as a Second Language.)

They had already given a Hindi Book of Mormon to a family that speaks Hindi and Punjabi. Punjabi was their first language, and they all could read it, but Hindi was their second language, and not all in the family could read it. So the family member that could read Hindi, was going to read it aloud for the others.

That scenario is typical. India is a country of many states, and each state has it's own native language, Gujerat has Gujerati, Punjab has Punjabi, Bengal has Bengali, etc. Hindi is the overall national language of India. In some states, only the regional native language is generally taught in school. Almost everyone speaks Hindi, but when it comes to reading and writing, some people only read and write their state's language, such as Punjabi.

I also gave the elders a Shona Book of Mormon, just because that seemed to be getting popular.

Moment #458. Arabic/English New Testament. Wed, Nov 2, 2005.

11/02/2005. Still on my way home from Carmel, I needed a bathroom break, and stopped at a convenient Wendy's along the way. I feel uncomfortable about using a store's restoom without buying something, and as it was almost supper time anyway, I bought something from their 99 cent menu.

The cashier was in her late teens, and looked middle eastern, and spoke with a slight accent. There were no customers behind me, so I asked if she was from India. She said she was from Egypt. I asked if she spoke Arabic, and she said yes.

I said my church has Bibles and Books of Mormon in foreign languages, and asked if I could give her some stuff in Arabic. She didn't say no, but wasn't sure if she was allowed to accept, as she was new there. Her tone of voice and attitude was not at all negative, so I decided to bring her something.

The Arabic Book of Mormon is kind of big, so I decided to give her just a pocket-sized Arabic/English bilingual New Testament from the International Bible Society. I made sure there was a Book of Mormon pass-along card in it. I wrote on the card "Available in Arabic." Also in it were a local-info flyer, with the list of chapels, and my business card.

There was one customer in front of me when I went back in, but there were no more customers behind me. When it was my turn at the counter again, I presented the New Testament, and she graciously accepted it. Upon leaving, I could hear one of the other employees politely ask her what it was.

Moment #457. Korean Liahona. Wed, Nov 2, 2005.

11/02/2005. After leaving my client in Carmel, I stopped by the dry cleaners nearby. I still had two Korean issues of the Liahona with me. I had placed a Korean Book of Mormon at this dry cleaners before, but I found out the Korean employee no longer worked there.

Before leaving Carmel, I saw another dry cleaners, and decided to take a chance that that one might be Korean-owned. I went in, and a Korean-looking lady with a nice smile came to the counter. While offering the magazines to her, I remembered to say "free magazines from my church" instead of "church magazines, and they're free". She was pleasantly surprised, and graciously accepted them.

Moment #456. Already had book. Wed, Nov 2, 2005.

11/02/2005. After leaving the sister missionaries, I headed towards my Carmel appointment, but was on the lookout for a place to have lunch along 86th Street.

I decided to stop at an Indian buffet restaurant. I took the Chinese Books of Mormon out of my carrying case, and put in Books of Mormon in the 5 Indian languages, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Sinhala (Sinhalese).

When I got in, I noticed the waiter/cashier was one of the guys who used to work at an Indian buffet on the west side of town not far from where I live. I had previously given him a Book of Mormon, but I forget what language, either Hindi or Tamil.

After getting some food from the buffet table, I asked him if he used to work at the other restaurant. He said yes, but that he didn't recognize me. I said I was the guy who gave him the blue book, and then he said he remembered me.

I didn't see any other employees except for a girl who brought out some plates and stacked them next to the buffet table.

After paying, I chatted with the cashier a bit, and found out this restaurant has the same owner as the other, and the owner just moved some employees around.

Book of Mormon Moment #455. Bemba/Shona/Zulu. Wed, Nov 2, 2005.

11/02/2005. Yesterday I received a call from the Zionsville sister missionaries. One of my contacts who had turned into an investigator for them had given them two referrals, one of which spoke Zulu, and another spoke Bemba. They asked me what material I had for those languages.

This worked out well, because the sisters live on the way to my customer in Carmel with whom I had an appointment in the afternoon. So it was convenient for me to stop by the sisters' apartment (stayed in the hallway of course). For their Zulu-speaking referral, I gave them Zulu and English copies of the Book of Mormon, a Zulu and English Gospel Fundamentals, a Zulu and English Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlets; and because I think Zulu-speakers usually also speak Shona, I also gave them a Shona Book of Mormon.

For their Bemba referral, I gave them Bemba and English Gospel Fundamentals, and Bemba and English Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlets.

Then the sisters brought up that they had another Shona contact, so I went back to my car and brought them another Shona Book of Mormon.

They also said that one of their French-speaking African investigators has committed to baptism this weekend. He was not one of my contacts, but I had previously given the sisters some French video and church material for him.

Bemba is spoken in Zambia, Shona is spoken in Zimbabwe, and Zulu is spoken in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Some groups of people who speak Shona and Zulu overlap the border of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Zimbabwe is the former Rhodesia.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Moment #454. Korean Liahona. Tues, Nov 1, 2005.

11/01/2005. I went to another Korean-owned store in the same shopping center, a 99-cent store. It's an independent version of Dollar General or Family Dollar. It's kind of like a general store or variety store. They have a food section, cookware, clothing, health-and-beauty-aids. They have interesting and usefull items that the big chain stores don't carry, and I like the family-run, little-bit-of-everything atmosphere.

I found what I was originally looking for, and as usual, wasted more time browsing, but did buy some usefull things that I had on my mind.

I was still carrying the Korean Liahona with me while shopping, and after paying offered it to the cashier, this time saying "free" before "church."

He was very gracious about it. But perhaps he accepted it only as a matter of politeness, because he then gave it to one of the other employees.

Moment #453. Korean Liahona declined. Tues, Nov 1, 2005

11/01/2005. I stopped at a Korean-owned clothing and beauty-supply store to get something, but they didn't have it. I started to offer the cashier a Korean Liahona, but he cut me off and declined before I could say it was free. I think he thought I was selling it. He probably would have accepted if I had said "free magazine" up front, instead of "church magazine." But I felt such a barrier put up, I said no more, feeling that he wasn't going to reverse himself upon finding out it was free.

I did find a high-quality t-shirt that I liked and ended up buying it instead.