Monday, September 11, 2006

Aunt made her give books back, at buffet. Mon, Sep 11, 2006.

09/11/2006. 724. I was at a nice buffet on the East side of town. They had lots of wait staff to take your used plate away as soon as you were done. I didn't put out the Chinese Books of Mormon until after I brought my first plate of food back. The waiter was sneaking peaks, but didn't want to be caught looking at the books, so I started the conversation. I asked if he liked to read Chinese, and where he was from.

I opened the books and asked which one he preferred, and he pointed out the Simplified script (LDS catalog suffix -266). Then two waitresses came over and they wanted to see too. They exhibited the gregariousness of excited young adults. I only brought in two Simplified copies, two Traditional copies, and two English. I probably could have given more out had I brought more in, but when I offered to get more from the car, they didn't respond, so they probably didn't understand.

Anyway, the waiter, and one of the waitresses each took a pair of Simplified Chinese and English. The waitress at first declined the English because she didn't read English, but the other waitress, who spoke better English, helped explain that reading them together would help her learn.

All three of them started browsing the books back at their wait-station, chatting back and forth in Chinese about it. And that attracted the attention of the cashier/supervisor. Eventually the waitress brought back both her books, and very apologetically returned them to me. If I understood her correctly, her aunt didn't want her to have them. There was no explanation, and her English wasn't good enough to communicate non-restaurant vocabulary. So I was left to wonder if it was because the Book of Mormon is Christian and they are Buddhist, or whether they are Christian and consider the Book of Mormon to be a counterfeit Bible.

Again, the strange choice of the Chinese word that the translators used to translate the word "Book" in the title "The Book of Mormon" may have come into play. It comes out "Mormon Bible" when you translate it back into English. So the problem is that Chinese who are already Christian misunderstand what it is and jump to the wrong conclusion.

Anyway, the waiter kept his pair of books.


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