Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hindi. Spanish x 2. Tues, Aug 29, 2006.

08/29/2006. 697. I met a nice young couple from India at the gym. They helped me practice some words in Hindi. They accepted my offer of a Hindi and an English Book of Mormon.

08/29/2006. 698. I met my home teacher at the chapel to go out to eat at a nearby restaurant. We call that home-teaching. He works not far from the chapel, and has to be there Tuesday nights for a calling. So he walks there from work anyway. I picked him up and we went to a nearby Mexican restaurant that neither of us has been to before.

We had a good dinner and a good visit. The radio in the restaurant was tuned to a local Spanish AM radio station. There was talk on the radio, and it sounded like a religious show.

After we went to the counter and paid, I offered the cashier/waitress a free bi-lingual Spanish/English New Testament. She accepted it. I then offered free copies of the Book of Mormon in both Spanish and English, saying that we believe in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. She hadn't heard of "Los Mormones" before. She graciously accepted the Books of Mormon, too.

08/29/2006. 699. On the way home from the chapel, I stopped at a drug store. Right before I went in, a Mexican-looking man parked his bicycle in front of my car and went in. I felt like he'd be receptive to an offer of Spanish material. But I blew my chance in the store.

After I left, I noticed that his bicycle was gone, but he was only around the corner of the building, looking over his photos that he had picked up. So before leaving the parking lot, I just pulled my car into another parking space, rolled down the window, and asked him if he spoke Spanish, and started a conversation that way.

I offered him a free Spanish Bible, but he sort of declined in a soft way, saying one of his roommates had a nice big Bible. I asked if he had a DVD player, and he said yes, so I offered him three free church DVD's that have Spanish audio tracks. He accepted those. We chatted a bit more. I then offered the Spansih Bible again, so he could own his own copy, and he agreed, so I got out an NVI version Spanish New Testament. For some reason, I was disinclined to offer a Book of Mormon, hoping he'd first make contact with the missionaries. I wrote the local spanish-speaking missionaries' phone number on one of the info flyers in one of the DVD cases.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Lithuanian at parking lot of store. Mon, Aug 28, 2006.

08/28/2006. 696. I remembered that I needed some paper towels, so I decided to go to a nearby dollar store which has good prices on paper towels. It was just after 9pm, and I forgot if it closed at 9 or 10. I drove over, and they were just locking the door as I drove in front.

The 24-hour Kroger's is closer, but I received a distinct impression to go to a 24-hour mega-store a few blocks farther away. I went there, parked, got out of my car and headed toward the front door. I passed a mother and daughter who were putting their shopping cart in the cart-corral. I was too far away to make out their words, but when I heard them speak, it caught my attention. I couldn't tell if they were speaking English with an accent, or were speaking a foreign language. I passed them by, and then they crossed back to get in their car, and I heard the daughter speak again. I thought it was worth approaching them, so I turned around and went back. From a respectful distance, I asked if they spoke any foreign languages, or what language they were speaking. The mom said Lithuanian.

I forget my exact words, but I said something like I had a copy of the Book of Mormon in Lithuanian in my car, and that it was free. She agreed to see it, and appeared to follow me, but I asked her to wait by her car. I retrieved it and an English copy from my trunk, and went back and offered it. She was pleased to receive it, and we chit-chatted some more. It was a very pleasant encounter.

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Her restaurant contact got baptized. Guest post.

A sister in Ohio sent me the following. Here it is, slightly edited, posted with her permission.


We all need to share those experiences as it motivates each of us to do more. So to help you out, here's my latest experience in giving out the Book of Mormon.

Earlier this year while sitting at the counter at a Columbus Ohio area restaurant, I met a man from Indiana. We chatted while we ate our dinners and he told me he had just inherited Ohio as part of his territory. We ran into each other a few times in February and March. Shortly before we parted one evening, he confided in me that he was unhappy with his church and had been praying to find the right church. He was a member of the Friend's church. I told him that I was a Latter-Day Saint. He was interested as he'd never investigated the church. I gave him my work phone number and suggested he call me when he came into town again.

About three weeks passed and one day he called saying he was in town and asked if I was going to that restaurant that evening. I said yes I was. So when I got there I walked in with a copy of the Book of Mormon for him. We had a wonderful conversation that evening. The following day he was calling me with all sorts of questions. As he travels a great deal it was very hard for him to hook up with the Missionaries in his area on a regular basis. His reading of the Book of Mormon really put him on fire and filled him with so many questions. I got a lot of calls. The long and short of it was that on July 15th he was baptized in his home ward in Indiana.

The interesting thing is that he frequents the local Bob Evans restaurant in his home town, where several other priesthood holders go on Saturday morning. They'd sit at the counter and chat with him about this and that; but in the 10 plus years that this had been going on, not one of them ever opened up their mouths to talk to him about the church. He had to inherit a larger territory and wander into a restaurant in Ohio to find a feisty redhead that opened up her mouth. Really makes me wonder how many others we daily come in contact with, that are out there hungering for the Gospel truth, and if we'd open up our mouths would jump at the chance to read and accept the Book of Mormon.

As a post script, he is happily involved in his ward now. He really loves the Book of Mormon, but recently he confided in me that his real love is the Doctrine & Covenants and that is what he finds most relevant. I thought how appropriate since the Lord gave us the D&C for our time.

Sister Patti W., Ohio.

Missed opportunity at Post Office. Mon, Aug 28, 2006.

08/28/2006. I pulled into a parking space at the Post Office and two Asian men crossed in front of me. As I got out of the car, I considered approaching them, but they had walked about 10 feet away. As I hesitated trying to decide, the moment was lost and they had walked away. I could have caught up with them without it looking too awkward if I had not hesitated.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Dist Center ran out of Books of Mormon. Fri, Aug 25, 2006.

08/25/2006. Not completely, just for four translations. They recently ran out of the Tagalog Book of Mormon. An order I placed in July was back-ordered. But they are shipping now.

They also ran out of Urdu Book of Mormon Selections, and removed that item from the ldscatalog.com web site. The news that I received is that an Urdu translation of the full Book of Mormon is in the works, and should be ready by the end of the year. However, based on past experience, that means it may be printed by the end of the year, and available to missions, but won't be available on the ldscatalog.com web site for several months after that.

Now they are out of the Simplified Script Chinese and the Maori translations of the Book of Mormon. They are still on the web, available for order, but the confirmation I received after placing an order said they were back-ordered.

I'd say this is good news. People are distributing the Book of Mormon in various languages faster than what had been envisioned by those who decide how many to print up, and at what points to re-print.

I would also like to use this to encourage ward mission-leaders and mission presidents to stock their supplies with at least a few copies of the Book of Mormon in all languages which are present in their area. Our local mission office recently had a request from a missionary for a Book of Mormon in Urdu, and the office was able to fulfill that request.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

English Bible at laundromat. Thu, Aug 24, 2006.

08/24/2006. 695. A lady sitting outside the laundromat made eye-contact with me as I took some clothes out to my car. On my next trip out I stopped as I passed by her, and offered her a free Bible and a Book of Mormon. She agreed to receive a Bible for her pre-teen son, but politely declined the Book of Mormon. I took my basket of clothes to the car, and retrieved an LDS edition KJV Bible, and a paperback NIV Bible, and a Heavenly Father's Plan DVD. She graciously accepted the two Bibles and politely declined the DVD. It was a nice encounter.

Elder Uchtdorf on gospel going to all cultures, ethnicities, etc.

Full story at: http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,645195417,00.html
And linked from: http://www.lds.org/news/headlines/0,5266,74,00.html

LDS urged to share gospel with all people, By Carrie A. Moore, Deseret Morning News

PROVO — The restored gospel of Jesus Christ must be shared with all people — regardless of culture, ethnicity, religious background or heritage — and Latter-day Saints have an obligation to share their faith without arrogance or self-righteousness.

Speaking during the keynote session of the 84th annual Education Week at Brigham Young University, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf told thousands gathered at the Marriott Center Tuesday that when Jesus Christ established his church anciently, he knew there would be a great apostasy to follow.


Other faiths and historic religious figures were inspired by God at various times to keep the flame of belief alive, he said.

LDS prophets have recognized the goodness inherent in other faiths, and have urged believers of all stripes to build on their own beliefs by examining the LDS Church, he said.

Such was the experience of Elder Uchtdorf's mother-in-law, who was living in an apartment in Frankfurt, Germany, with her two daughters and was taught about the LDS faith by young missionaries in 1954. She was a lifelong Christian and was seeking greater knowledge of things spiritual shortly after her husband died.

She wanted to know the purpose of life, whether there was life before Earth life and what happens to the soul when a person dies. The information provided by other clergy had not helped her, he said.

After giving her a Book of Mormon and asking her to read selected passages, the missionaries returned two days later to ask about her impressions. She told them she had read the entire book and believed it was true. The family joined the church shortly thereafter.

"The spirit was able to teach her, for she was open and receptive to truth and light. There was no disdain for what she had believed in her Lutheran faith for so many years," he said, adding she had learned to quote and internalize many passages from the New Testament.

It prepared her to listen to the missionaries, he said. "When she heard the message of the restoration, she was flooded with light and filled with love and hope. 'It was as if something of great importance had been lifeless and inert but was now resurrected to life, beauty and activity,'" he said, quoting her recollection.

"She represents in many ways the multitude of converts that come into the church every day," from every faith and none at all, he said.

While Latter-day Saints should be willing to share their knowledge with everyone, "Having the fullness of the gospel should not cause any of us to feel arrogant or have a 'holier than thou' attitude," he said, but should inspire "great gratitude" for knowledge of the truth.

"Let us never be ashamed to testify of this restoration. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation."


Monday, August 21, 2006

Good quotes: William Penn, Mohandas Gandhi. Mon, Aug 21, 2006.

08/21/2006. I found the following in someone's tag-line, or while surfing:

"I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." -William Penn.

Here is a collection of quotes from William Penn, born in 1644. Mohandas Gandhi is listed as a "related author," and I like some of his quotes too. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Follow-ups. Chinese @Stake conf. English @gas station, Sat, Aug 19, 2006.

08/19/2006. I took an "Introduction to the Church" multi-lingual DVD to stake conference to give to our sister missionaries who are teaching a Chinese couple. That DVD has a Mandarin Chinese audio track. I was able to see the sisters there and give the DVD to them. The sisters told me that they were also able to get in touch with a member in the ward next to ours who speaks Chinese. I had given the sisters that brother's number on Sunday. They also found another local member who speaks Mandarin and English. The member I know is Caucasian-American who learned Mandarin in the Army and has regular contact with Mandarin speakers and keeps in practice. The sisters told me he is going to help them present the missionary lessons to their Chinese investigators. The sisters said the investigators plan on attending Stake Conference tomorrow.

08/19/2006. I was told by a couple guys in our ward that my Book of Mormon placement project was mentioned in the leadership training session of Stake Conference.

08/19/2006. I stopped by a gas station on the way home from stake conference. I needed some pop anyway. The cashier was the same man to whom I gave an English Bible and Book of Mormon in March.

As I paid I asked if he had read the Book of Mormon I had given him. He said he gave it to his grandmother as she was interested in it. Cool!

I asked if he wanted another one, but he didn't really say. So I didn't press. I just reminded him to call the church office phone number on the info flyer if he wanted more information.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chinese, Igbo, (French + Wolof)x 2. Wed, Aug 16, 2006.

08/16/2006. 691. NW side of town, on way back from an errand. I was looking for a different restaurant, but saw this one first, and thought it would be worthwhile. The waitress/cashier accepted a traditional script Chinese Book of Mormon, and a traditional script Chinese Liahona. At first she declined the English, but changed her mind when she realized it might help her with English. She's only been in the United States for about a year. Very nice decor, and good food. I was intrigued by additional things on the menu that I want to go back and try for supper some time.

08/16/2006. Journal entry. Further down the street I found a certain restaurant I had been looking for. It was kind of hole-in-the-wall-ish. But worth a trip back.

08/16/2006. 692. I headed towards the Interstate exit, but I saw a small group of stores that I wanted to explore. The sign for one attracted me into that group of stores, but then I saw an African store. It had some stuff I wanted. The owner is from Nigeria and spoke Igbo. The 'g' is silent and it is pronounced EE-boo or EE-boh. She didn't have an Igbo Bible, and was very excited that I offered her one. I went out to the car and retrieved the Igbo Bible, and Igbo and English copies of the Book of Mormon. She accepted the Igbo Bible, but declined the Igbo Book of Mormon in a manner that indicated she had false impressions of it, even though she had never read it.

We chatted some more, and another man came into the store. He spoke French and Wolof. (693.) I offered him material, and he wanted to see it. So I went back out to the car and retrieved Wolof and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals, French and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and the Together Forever and Heavenly Father's Plan DVDs. He accepted all those.

I continued chatting with the owner. We had a nice talk in which she shared some of her beliefs, and she told me a little about the various career and gospel things she does, and her church, and a women's ministry program that she's involved in. From what she shared of her Christian beliefs, I did not perceive anything that was contrary to what we believe.

It took me a while (too long), but I finally gave up trying to correct her misunderstandings of the Book of Mormon and the LDS church. Her assumptions of what we believe, though incorrect, were so intertwined with the roots of her good (and correct) Christian beliefs, that she gave me no opening to correct her understanding of what we believe. It was clear that she had bought into anti-Mormon propaganda. She thought she knew everything about "Mormonism."

It's sad, because when I first joined the church, I had to give up nothing that I believed from the Bible. But she automatically assumed that what we believe is in opposition to the Bible. I hope my giving her the Igbo Bible illustrated that we believe in it. Maybe I should have given her a copy of the LDS KJV Bible too.

I offered her a copy of our Sunday School manual Gospel Principles, and a DVD (Together Forever), and she agreed to see those, so I made another trip out to the car.

It's really sad how a small minority who oppose the church have ingrained a false picture of Latter-day Saint beliefs in the minds of so many good Christians, to the point that they have the false impression that we don't believe the Bible or that we oppose it. One of the tools of the adversary is to create the false impression that we are in opposition to what most Christians believe, when in fact we agree with so much, and merely add more. It appeared to me that this nice lady probably took the word of others as to what we believe, without checking the facts for herself.

Another factor is that when the faith that you currently have makes you so happy and spiritually fulfilled, it just doesn't occur to you that there could be more to the picture, that there's even more faith, knowledge, joy, and blessings available. If someone has peaked with what they believe, they either don't want, or can't conceive that there's more. You can't add more water to a cup that's already full.

08/16/2006. 694. It was now into the afternoon rush hour, and I couldn't make a left turn onto the street that goes towards the Interstate. I'd have to go another way. On that route home, I passed a branch of my bank, and stopped to get some cash. There's a gas station next to it, and I felt inspired to go there. I've given material to several people there before, and thought I could do some follow up. Two young employees were there, and were speaking English with an accent. They both spoke French and Wolof. I only had one French Book of Mormon, and one Wolof Gospel Fundamentals in the car. I offered to show them the church material I had in their languages, and they agreed to see it. I took those in along with the English versions, and a French VHS copy of "Finding Faith in Christ." I handed the stuff to the young man, saying I only had one each of the French Book of Mormon and the Wolof Gospel Fundamentals, so they could decide who gets which, and after looking it over if they both wanted copies, to call me and I would bring more from home.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Moment #690. Vietnamese at store. Mon Aug 14, 2006.

08/14/2006. I had just entered the dollar store, and two Asian men were just leaving the checkout lane, talking to each other in their native language. I stood there a second and asked what language they spoke. One said Vietnamese. I asked if I could talk to them a minute, and I followed them outside.

I said my church has a free book in Vietnamese, and it's in both Vietnamese and English. I said it was the Book of Mormon. One of them had heard of it, but the other hadn't. I said I had the Vietnamese and English copies with me in the car, and offered it to them, adding that it was Christian, and they accepted, or at least one of them did. They went to their car, and waited while I went to mine and got an English and a Vietnamese copy out of the trunk.

I went back to their car, and the one graciously accepted it. He started flipping through it. He opened it to 1st Nephi, because that is where I put the info flyer. I pointed to the top of verse one, and recited the first phrase in English, and he caught on. They seemed to be in a hurry, so we didn't chit-chat further.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Simplified Chinese, Korean at Church. Sun, Aug 13, 2006.

08/13/2006. Journal Entry. The sister missionaries were teaching a couple from China, and expected them to be at church today. Before sacrament meeting they asked me for a Chinese Book of Mormon. After sacrament meeting, I retrieved one from the car, along with two DVDs that have both Mandarin and Cantonese tracks, Finding Happiness, and Heavenly Father's Plan.

The sister missionaries were with the couple, so I presented the material. Thinking back, even though the couple was right there, I should have given the book and dvd's to the sisters, and let them give it to the investigators.

Later in the day, back home, I remembered that I had the new Simplified Chinese/English New Testamant. I even had two copies in the car. So I took one of those, and also a Simplified Chinese Gospel Priniciples, and an English Gospel Principles and dropped them off at the sisters apartment.

08/13/2006. Journal Entry. The brother sitting next to me in Elders Quorum asked if I had a Korean Book of Mormon. At a park, he met a Korean man, who is working or studying in town, and who is looking for ways to improve his English. He said one of the things the man does is strike up conversations with people he meets. He said he has seen him several times there, so he expects to meet him again. I asked if he needed an English Book of Mormon to give to him, so it will be a bilingual pair, and he said he already had one. So after the meeting I retrieved a Korean book from my car to give to the guy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Moment #686. Spanish at restaurant. Fri Aug 11, 2006.

08/11/2006. I had supper at a restaurant that I haven't been to in a long while. It has changed names, and probably owners too, since then. The food was excellent, the ambience was good, and the service was great. If you're in my ward or the next ward North, and like Mexican food, email me and I'll give you the name/address of the restaurant.

I had the dinner special of the day that included rice, a chicken burrito, an enchilada, and a taco. The rice, the burrito and the enchilada were outstanding. The taco was good, but not outstanding. The rice had just the right amount of saffron and some other seasoning I can't pinpoint, and just a tiny amount of vegetables in it, to be perfect. I haven't had rice that good for a long long time. The burrito and enchilada had very authentic-tasting and upscale spices that I only remember having at some expensive restaurant. The enchilada had a REAL chile in it, too. I was in Mexican food heaven. And to top it off, the price was very good for the quality of the food, making it a good value. The enchilada was cooked with a lot of cheese, so you may think it a bit greasy, but I think that's the way it should be.

The decor was better than the last time I was there. It has been remodeled. The decor was not as upscale as the food, but again, it was better than what the low prices might indicate. So if you're tired of the hole-in-the-wall decor of many small Mexican restaurants, but want great tasting food, try this place.

Oh yeah, and I gave the waitress/cashier a Spanish Liahona, and I think I gave her one of the DVD's that has a Spanish audio track.

There are plenty of other employees to whom you could give material, and plenty of opportunity for follow-up. So if you like Mexican food, but are afraid of missionary work, take the Spanish-speaking missionaries there for lunch or supper some time.

Chinese-English New Testament now in Simplified Script.

International Bible Society has now made available a Simplified script version of their Chinese/English bilingual New Testament.

This is in addition to the Traditional script Chinese/English bilingual New Testament.

People from mainland China generally read the Simplified Script version of Chinese, which was implemented by the communist government in the 1950's. Chinese-speaking people in other areas of the world, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc., kept the traditional form of written Chinese.

In the LDS church's cataloging system, suffix -265 indicates Traditional script, and -266 indicates Simpflified script. The Simplified script Book of Mormon is 35607-266, and the Traditional script Book of Mormon is 33572-265.

The idea we use the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible can be hard to convey. I have found that it often helps to take Bibles with me to restaurants or other places where I attempt to distribute the Book of Mormon. Even if they already have a Bible, it illustrates that we use the Book of Mormon with the Bible, and not to replace it.

This confusion is compounded by the how the translators chose to translate the name "Book of Mormon" into Chinese. The symbol used to translate "book" literally means "holy book", and it's the same symbol used to translate the word "bible." Therefore, a Chinese person translating the Chinese title of the Book of Mormon back into English would say "Mormon Bible."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Moment #685. Romanian at Library. Wed, Aug 9, 2006.

08/09/2006. I left the Post Office and felt like going to my favorite dollar store. I bought some food for the missionaries and for me. I had a Triple Combination scripture (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) that I wanted to drop off at the missionaries, and decided to drop off some of the food instead of waiting for Sunday to give it to them.

I went to their apartment, and just left the bag on their apartment's doorknob. As I went out the main entrance to the parking lot, the missionaries drove up. And we chatted a bit.

From the missionaries' apartment, I felt impressed to take a longer way home, and when I got at the next major intersection, I felt impressed to go to a public library. I signed up for an Internet terminal, and browsed the some DVD and book racks while waiting. As my number rose up in the queue, I hung around the sign up computer, and browsed the magazine rack near it. Two men came to that reading area speaking a foreign language and sat down. I asked them what language they spoke and one said Romanian. I offered the Book of Mormon in Romanian, but they didn't understand. I made the "just a minute" gesture, and went out to my car and got a Romanian and an English Book of Mormon, and went back in and presented them.

I forgot that there is a member of our ward who went to Romania on his mission, and still speaks Romanian. I didn't have his number with me. I probably should have asked for their number, but at least they have my number on my cards in the books. I asked them to call me for another copy, so they could have one each, but I don't know if they understood.

After my time on the Internet terminal was up, I looked over, and they were reading the "info flyers" (list of local chapels, mission office, and church's toll free # on one side, and list of 104 Book of Mormon languages on the other side) I had put in the books. I don't know if they caught the idea of learning a little English by reading them in parallel, but I didn't want to belabour the contact since they didn't understand English well. I went back to them after I was done on the Internet, to ask them again to call me, and I finished with handshakes and a "Welcome to Indianapolis."

Afterwards, on my way home, I was prompted to eat supper at a restaurant where I had taken the missionaries on July 12th. The lady recognized me. I wasn't sure how to follow up. Anyway, after eating I bought a gift certficate so the missionaries could eat there again some time, and went back to the missionaries' apartment, and stuck the gift-certificate under their door.

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Moment #684. Yoruba at Post Office. Wed, Aug 9, 2006

08/09/2006. I checked for mail at my post office box. There was a man in the lobby preparing something to mail. He looked like he might be from Africa. I went to the inside counter to buy a pre-paid envelope to mail something and came back to the outside lobby, and started to prepare something to mail. After he deposited his mail in the outgoing mail slot, and headed towards the door, I asked him where he was from. He said Nigeria. I asked if he spoke Igbo or Yoruba. He said Yoruba, so I said good afternoon in Yoruba.

I offered him the church's Sunday school manual "Gospel Fundamentals" in Yoruba, and he agreed to see it. We went outside, and from the car I retrieved Gospel Fundamentals and the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet in Yoruba, and the Gospel Fundamentals in English. He was very pleased to receive the material, started flipping through it, and wanted the English translation too. He asked my name and about the church, so I pointed to my card and flyer inside the books and invited him to come by or call some time. It was a very pleasant encounter.

Moment #683. Spanish at Restaurant. Wed, Aug 9, 2006.

08/09/2006. I had lunch at a new Mexican restaurant. This location has had three different owners in the last three years or so. The previous owners were from somewhere in the Caribbean, and the current owners are Mexican. I had my standard lunch meal, a chicken burrito. When I paid, I offered the waitress/cashier a Spanish Liahona magazine, and she graciously accepted. This place is close to where I live, so I'll be back before long and can follow up.

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Follow-up to May 17/Jun 10. Nepali. Wed, Aug 9, 2006.

08/09/2006. I decided to go to a new Mexican restuarant. I first went to the grocery store next door to buy a newspaper to read while eating. In the store, I saw a lady walk by who I thought used to work at the drug store in the same strip mall. I approached her and asked if she was the lady who spoke Nepali. She said yes. It was her. I had given her a Hindi Book of Mormon on May 17th, and learned she also spoke Nepali. I didn't know if the church had anything in Nepali, but looked it up when I got home. The church does have the "The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles" in Nepali, so I ordered a few copies. When I went back to the drug store on June 10th, she no longer worked there. So I've been carrying the Nepali translation of "The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles" around in my car for about 2 months, hoping I'd run into her again.

So today, when I met her, I said I'd go get it from my car. I put the newspaper back on the rack, went outside and retrieved it from the car. I found her again, and gave it to her. She seemed to be in a hurry, so we didn't chat-chat. Then I went and bought a newspaper.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Moment #682. Arabic declined. Tue, Aug 8, 2006.

08/08/2006. Just as I was leaving the laundromat, I passed a man going the opposite direction. I stopped to ask where he was from. He was from Morocco and spoke Arabic. I offered him an Arabic Book of Mormon, but he politely declined, saying he was Muslim. I brought one in anyway, just to show him. Sometimes people change their mind and become interested when they actually see the book. He still wasn't interested, but he did accept my business card.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Moment #681. French, Haitian Creole at store. Thu, Aug 3, 2006.

08/03/2006. After leaving a meeting a church, I picked up a package at a friend's house. On the way home from his house, I felt an obvious impression to turn left at the light towards a commercial area instead of continuing ahead to go home. The first thing that popped into my mind was to eat supper at a particular restaurant. That was a less clear impression, but it felt right. I ate there, but didn't see any obvious opportunities for book placements.

Leaving the restaurant parking lot, I felt a clear impression, or "tug" to go to the Meijer store. This probably meant that going to the restaurant was a "timing factor," and that my contact would be a fellow customer. I needed some groceries anyway, so it worked out.

I saw a family in the produce section, one of whom was talking on her cell phone. I wasn't close enough to hear if she was speaking a foreign language, but the kids were speaking English without foreign accents. So I figured they were not my contacts.

I passed through the frozen food section, and was about to head for the checkout when, just by chance, I walked directly past them going in the opposite diretion. Then it was clear that she was speaking a foreign language on her phone.

I started a conversation by asking if she spoke French, and she said yes. She was from Haiti, and spoke French, Haitian Creole, and English. In French, I offered her "books from my church" in French and Haitian, and she agreed. Switching to English, I said I'd bring them in from my car, and find her again.

I left my cart, and went out to the car and brought back in French, Haitian, and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and a French Liahona magazine. I found the family again, and presented the books and magazine to her. She was eager and happy to receive them. We chatted a bit more. She had married a man from the US and their children were raised in the US, so that was why they didn't have an accent.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Moment #680. Chinese at restaurant. Wed, Aug 2, 2006.

08/02/2006. I took a teenager from our ward to lunch with me in a neighboring town. I'm friends with his family, and had called to see if he was doing anything that day. We went to a Chinese restaurant that I had scoped out on July 4th while driving home from a restaurant run and after making other placements.

As the cashier came to clear the plates from our table, her face brightened up when she saw the material. She accepted a traditional Chinese and an English Book of Mormon, and a traditional Chinese Liahona.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Moment #689. 4 people at a festival. Aug, 2006.

08/2006. I had rented a booth in my name at this cultural festival. I told the organizers that I wanted to give out copies of the Book of Mormon in their country's languages along with English, and it was fine with them.

Perhaps a better way to do it, and make it official, would have been to go through the full-time missionaries and mission office, or the ward mission leader, or the stake Public Affairs Council, and have the booth in the church's name. But then there's a lot of rigamarole getting approval from different church leadership, committees and councils. Then you would have to have planning meetings, schedule people to man the booth, bla bla bla.

Nobody else I know has done this kind of thing before, so that might have made it even a harder sell, and getting consensus on what to do. It's simpler to just plain "do it." So I did it.

Due to the location, I was hesitant to have full-time missionaries with me. But I have had them with me at a previous festival where I had a "Book of Mormon booth." I probably could have asked a ward missionary, or another member, to be a helper, but I didn't plan ahead well enough.

In addition to books, I took a TV and a DVD player for the videos that included that language. But that didn't generate much interest.

I had a sign on a posterboard, and had it up on an easel, but I didn't make the word "FREE" prominent. I had "free" printed on the book wrappers, but that still didn't make it obvious enough, as people still thought I was selling the books.

One passerby politely gave me a little tract from her protestant church, which I politely accepted.

I gave out pairs/sets of books to four people, and one of the people also accepted two DVD's. One of the people who accepted books was working the booth next to mine, and another person was their spouse. So only two people who walked by accepted anything.

Not a huge success, but I learned that I needed better signage, and that having the full-time missionaries would not have been a problem for the festival or for the venue. Though I'd probably recommend sister missionaries instead of elders for this particular venue if it's at the same place next year.

Next year I'll recommend that the mission office, or the ward do it officially. And if I'm available then, I'll volunteer to coordinate it. Now that having a "Book of Mormon booth" has a track-record at this festival, it should be easier to get official approval through official church channels, instead of "just a guy with some books."

Moment #688. Latvian declined. Aug, 2006.

08/2006. Like the previous encounter, this falls under the heading of "always talk to strangers."

I was carrying stuff from the car into the building where the festival was going to be. Outside the building, an elderly man was dropping stuff off for recycling. We greeted each other, and he spoke with an accent that I didn't recognize, but it sounded European, perhaps German. I said "I don't recognize your accent. Where are you from?"

He said Latvia. We got to talking, and he had an intersting history of how his family and many other Latvians were refugees during World War II and how many of them ended up in Germany, and then later in the United States. He said the Latvian community in town has dwindled due to their children moving away after graduating college. I mentioned some of my family's Eastern European history.

I offered him a church-book in Latvian. He said he had plenty of books in Latvian. So a book in Latvian was not a novelty to him. I forget if I even mentioned that it was the Book of Mormon. I probably should have, as the name itself may pique further interest, and the mere offer becomes a testimony for future reference.

Moment #687. English DVD's at Post Office. Aug, 2006.

08/2006. I stopped by the Post Office to mail a letter and check my PO Box. I was also on the way to a festival to set up a "Book of Mormon Booth" to give out copies of the Book of Mormon in that country's languages.

There was an elderly man in the outer lobby. He had an old blurry tattoo on his forearm. I couldn't tell what it was, but its location and general outline hinted that he was in the Navy. I asked him something like "Sir, is that a Navy tattoo?" He said yes, he got it in the Navy. I asked where he served, and if he had been in a certain country (that being the country of the festival). He had been there! I told him about the festival, the location and time, and invited him. He seemed like a pretty nice guy. We only chatted a little bit.

We met up again outside the Post Office. He approached me and he started up our conversation again. He said he just might go to that festival. He also said his wife died a few months ago, and he said how much he missed her. He was at an age where most people stop driving and live with their children, but he seemed in excellent health and was driving himself. My heart went out to him. We chatted a bit more, and it occurred to me to give him a couple DVD's, the Together Forever DVD and the Heavenly Father's Plan DVD. Out of the 8 DVD's I carry around, those two seemed most appropriate for someone grieving the loss of a loved one. I got those two out of my car, offered them, and he accepted.

I took one of my business cards, and wrote down the name of the festival, the address, and the time, and gave it to him. He was eager for conversation, so we just stood there a while and talked some more. You could tell he was lonely.

Later at the festival, he did show up. He had brought his Navy discharge papers, that indicated he was awarded a ribbon for his service in that country. I introduced him to one of the organizers, and she introduced him around some more. You could tell they respected him very much for his service in World War II. I bought some tickets to be used at a food booth, and gave him some. He stayed for the opening ceremonies of the festival.

He stopped by my booth before leaving, and I walked with him on the way out, stopping to introduce him to some business-men that I recognized. He showed them his Navy discharge papers too. I walked with him out to his car. I wished he could have stayed some more, but he had somewhere he had to be.