Saturday, July 01, 2006

Moment #632. Chinese at restaurant. Sat, Jul 1, 2006.

07/01/2006. I had lunch at a Northwest side restaurant that I haven't been to before. It was a standard strip-mall Chinese restaurant. I ordered, sat down, and put a Traditional Chinese, a Simplified Chinese, and an English Chinese Book of Mormon on the table. I also put out a Chinese Liahona magazine, and a "Finding Happiness" multi-lingual DVD.

The cashier/waiter was a young-adult man. In the back was a woman who appeared to be his wife, and an older couple who were probably his parents.

He noticed the books when he brought my food. I asked "Have you seen this book before? The Book of Mormon?" He hadn't, but he said "It's some kind of Bible, right?"

That's a problem with the symbols they originally used to translate the phrase "Book of Mormon" into Chinese. The symbol the translators used for "book" is more accurately translated "holy book" and is also the second symbol used to denote the Bible in Chinese. So if you take the Chinese title of the Book of Mormon and translate it back to English, it comes out "Mormon Holy Book" or as most bilingual Chinese people would say: "Mormon Bible".

So this would have been a good time for me to have had a bilingual Chinese/English Bible handy, and illustrate that we believe in both. But, the International Bible Society is currently out of stock.

He was genuinely curious. I asked if he were from China or Taiwan, and he said China. I offered the Simplified Chinese and the English and he enthusiastically accepted them.

A little later, he and the other employees sat at the next table over for their lunch, and he asked me some more questions. We chit-chatted a bit, and I gave them the Together Forever and Finding Happiness DVD. The DVD case for Finding Happiness has an explanation on it in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and English. They were reading it and passing it around.

He asked an excellent question for someone from a non-Christian background about how I would describe Jesus, and how is he different from God. I thought for a moment and said "Jesus takes us back to God."

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