Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Investigator's girlfriend investigates. Tue, Oct 31, 2006.

10/31/2006. A man to whom I gave a pair of Books of Mormon in September of this year has been investigating the church. I believe he is sincerely committed to baptism.

I looked up the address and phone number of the mission in his home country at www.ldsmissions.net, and gave him the info.

He emailed the mission office phone number for his home country to his girlfriend who is back there. Today he reported that his girlfriend called the office, and had two missionaries over for a lesson. I didn't find out what his girlfriend thought of the presentation, but he said that she reported that the American missionaries spoke their language very well.

There is also an elder (missionary) from Central Indiana serving in that country, though not in the same city as the girlfriend. A few weeks ago, I emailed him and also wrote (snail mail) the elder about there being someone from that country here in Indianapolis who is investigating, about how we met, and that I had a Book of Mormon in his language with me when we met. The elder wrote back to me, and also included a letter, in the investigator's language, for me to give him. He was very excited and pleased to receive it. He was impressed that someone from the church wrote him in his native language.

The elder has only been in that country for 14 months. All the more impressive that the letter he wrote was in their native language, and in their native alphabet, which is not a latin (a,b,c,etc) alphabet.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Books to Missionaries. Sun, Oct 29, 2006.

10/29/2006. Journal entry. Last week, the 22nd, I gave 13 English Books of Mormon and 2 paperback inexpensive English KJV Bibles to the sister missionaries in our ward, with an encouragement for them to give them out to whoever they meet who will accept them. I specifically wanted them to realize that someone does not have to be an investigator before receiving a Book of Mormon.

Today, the 29th, I gave the same stuff to two sets of Elders. 13 BoM's, 2 paperback English KJV Bibles, and also 2 Spanish BoM's and 2 paperback Spanish RVR-60 Bibles, to each set. And I gave them the same encouragement.

I chose to give them 13, because three sets of 13 is about one case (40) of hardcover Missionary Edition copies of the English Book of Mormon.

Inexpensive paperback KJV Bibles can be bought from the International Bible Society, www.ibsdirect.com, for about $1.99 each (in cases of 24) plus shipping.

I also like to give out the paperback New International Version Bible, which is currently on sale for $1.75/each in cases of 24, or $1.99/each for singles. This may be a better translation for recent immigrants who are still learning English. I think it's almost unfair to expect people who are struggling with English to also learn King James English.

There is also a paperback "Today's New International Version" Bible on sale at IBS for $1.75/each in caes of 24, or $1.99/each for singles. This is pretty much the NIV version, but updated for more modern language.

I have found that the key to opening the door (figuratively speaking) to offer someone a Book of Mormon, is to first offer them a Bible. Then, whether they already have one or if they accept your offer, you can then ask "Would you like a Book of Mormon to go along with it? Our church believes in both."

Offering someone a Book of Mormon, without first offering them a Bible, gives many people the impression that we don't believe the Bible.

I've had some situations where people accept both, but most people already have a Bible.

The least expensive Bible at www.ldscatalog.com is $7.00, so that's why I use the paperback ones from Int'l Bible Society.

There is a temporary sale at ldscatalog.com on Bonded Leather Large Print Unindexed Bibles. They are discontinuing this item for a different one, and the old ones are going for $5.50.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chinese, English at restaurant. Wed, Oct 25, 2006.

10/25/2006. 741. An errand took me to the East side of town in the late afternoon, and I decided to look for a new restaurant to try. I found a Chinese buffet restaurant that I haven't been to before.

The waitress made it very easy. Shortly after I placed a bilingual Chinese/English New Testament, English and Chinese (both simplified script [catalog suffix -266] and traditional script [suffix -265] ) Books of Mormon on the table, she came by, put her finger on the title of the simplified script copy, and said something in Chinese. I said something like "They're free. Would you like one?" but we didn't seem to communicate. I picked up the Simplified script, the English, and the NT, and presented them to her like a gift, and she gratefully accepted them. The cashier/hostess stopped by and helped translate, and confirmed to the waitress that they were free.

The cashier then asked for an English copy. I asked if she wanted a Chinese copy too, but she said she already had one. I told the cashier that I had more if anyone else wanted any. She said she'd ask around. But within a few minutes, the dinner hour rush was in full swing, and she didn't get back to me. They were so busy I didn't want to interrupt them any more. But they definitely deserve a follow-up visit.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Missed opportunity at Kroger's. Mon, Oct 23, 2006.

10/23/2006. Journal entry. A man and his son, who appeared to be from India, were leaving Kroger right when I was about to go in. We passed each other in the parking area between the sidewalk and the parking places, but we were not within comfortable conversation distance. In the second that I mentally debated saying something, the opportunity was lost.

It would have been a lot easier had I not mentally debated and just approached them as soon as I saw them. Another factor may have been that I did not immediately heed a prompting on which way to travel to Kroger's, which altered the timing factor. Had I immediately obeyed that prompting, and been there a few seconds earlier, the encounter would have happened in a closer and smoother manner.

It's interesting how sometimes Heavenly Father arranges meet-ups without any conscious effort on our part, and other times he asks us to do things which bring about the meeting.

One way in which I have been able to tell what is a "missed opportunity" is the guilty feeling afterward. But I've now realized that another common factor in those lost opportunities is that their faces stick with me even more so than those who do accept books.

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Amharic at Post Office. Mon, Oct 23, 2006.

10/23/2006. 740. I met two men who appeared to be Ethiopian or Eritrean at the Post Office. They were conversing outside, so I waited near them to talk to them. When they ended their conversation, they looked at me, and I asked where they were from. They were from Eritrea, and were speaking Tigrinya. The one who spoke better English answered my questions, and he translated a little for the other guy. I asked if he also spoke Amharic, and he said a little, so I offered him the Amharic Book of Mormon. He agreed to receive one, so we went on to the parking lot, and he waited by their car while I retreived two Amharic and two English copies from my car. I went back over to them and presented them. I got the impression he wasn't proficient in reading Amharic, but that's okay. Both men accepted the pairs of books. We chit-chatted for a bit. They work at a large place that employees a lot of African immigrants. I suggested that if any of his friends or co-workers wanted free books to call me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Amharic at laundromat. Sat, Oct 21, 2006.

10/21/2006. 739. As I was loading my washer, two girls, about 10 or 12 years old walked by speaking with an accent or speaking a foreign language. I asked where their family was from, and they said Ethiopia. Their mother then walked by, and I switched the conversation to her. I asked if I had given her the Amharic Book of Mormon before. I think at this point at least in this part of town, it's better if I assume I've contacted the person before. She didn't recognize me, so I offered her an Amharic New Testament and Book of Mormon, and she was was upbeat in her positive reply. I said I'd get it from the car after loading the washer.

They were just finishing up, and were taking their laundry outside when I met them coming back in. I presented the Amharic New Testament, then the Amharic Book of Mormon, then the Amharic Gospel Fundamentals. She said she was impressed. I then offered the English Book of Mormon and Gospel Fundamentals, and she enthusiastically accepted those, because she wanted to teach the girls to read Amharic, since they only spoke it up to now. She also expressed interest in visiting the church, so I pointed out the info flyer with the chapel addresses on it, and pointed out the one closest to where they lived.

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Spanish x2 at restaurant. Sat, Oct 21, 2006.

10/21/2006. 738. I took two of our full-time missionaries (elders) to a nearby Mexican restaurant. They were at a baptism for our English-speaking ward, and were also going to be at a later baptism for the Spanish-speaking branch. They hadn't made arrangements for lunch, so I offered to buy them lunch if they'd do a follow-up at the restaurant.

We missed the opportunity to do a follow-up with the waitress. I think she's the one to whom I had given material before. But one of the elders did strike up a conversation with the cook when she brought out our food. We were only able to give her an English paperback New Testament, but another patron had been observing, and the cook came back to tell us the other guy wanted to speak to them.

So the missionaries, being eager for a missionary moment, left their food and went over to talk to the other man. We should have probably invited him to our table or moved to his, because he kept them for quite a while. They ended up giving him just the Spanish Book of Mormon.

Finally, I went over and (politely, I hope) disengaged the missionaries, so they could eat and wouldn't be late for the 2nd baptism, and it turned out the guy had been drinking and was intoxicated.

I had fallen into that trap during my younger days, of being button-holed by a drunk, and wanting to be polite by answering their questions. So it was probably a learning experience for the elders if they hadn't been around a drunk person before.

After I had finished eating, and while the missionaries were wolfing down their food, I went back to the man when he motioned us over, and tried to explain that we were late for an appointment, but he probably didn't get the message. The book he received had my business card in it, and the mission office number, and I asked him to call me if he wanted to learn more.

It is possible that he may initiate contact in the future. But I think the best one can do when a drunk person wants to talk about the gospel, is just exchange contact information, give them something to read, and move on as quickly as possible. If they are genuinely interested, hopefully they'll either contact you when sober, or you'll run into them again when they aren't under the influence.

Friday, October 20, 2006

French at Post Office. Fri, Oct 20, 2006.

10/20/2006. 737. I gave French and English copies of the Book of Mormon to a man at the Post Office. He was from Niger and also spoke Hausa. I have copies of Gospel Fundamentals in Hausa, but I had taken the box containing them out of the car to make
room for other things and hadn't put them back in yet.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chinese x3 at restaurant. Thu, Oct 19, 2006.

10/19/2006. 736. There's a Chinese sit-down/carry-out restaurant on the West side that I've been to before, and where I've given out at least one Chinese/English pair of Books of Mormon. Perhaps a year or so ago, the Ward Mission Leader also gave out a Chinese or Chinese/English pair. This place has only 4 tables, but it's very popular for carry-out.

I was driving past it a little before supper-time on my way home from a missionary lesson that I sat in on. It was with the investigator who's scheduled for baptism next month. I thought of stopping there, but wanted to go home to eat, and remembering that they already had received two presentations of books, that the ground had already been planted. However, the impression of eating there persisted, so I stopped to eat there. Who knows, maybe they had some employee turnover, which is common, or I might meet a fellow customer who would be interested.

After ordering, but before my food was ready, I showed a Chinese/English pair of Books of Mormon to the cashier. I think I had given him the books before, but I asked him if I had just to make sure. He confirmed that he did already have them. However, as I held them up, they caught the eye of the other workers in the area behind the counter. I offered him more copies for his friends, and nodded to the others. The others in the kitchen area were definitely interested, so the cashier said sure, with no reluctance at all.

I ended up giving them two Simplified Script Chinese copies, and one Traditional Script Chinese copy. The cashier declined the English on behalf of the others, saying they didn't read English. Had I been able to talk to the others directly, I might have been able to sell them on the idea of reading them together to pick up some English, but they were very busy. There were six workers in the kitchen area in addition to the cashier.

However, they did show very positive interest, and they had enough time that at least three of them quickly flipped through the books before going back to work.

This was a case where I really wish there were a bilingual parallel-column edition of a Chinese/English Book of Mormon. That way, they would be guaranteed of having a copy of the English when accepting the Chinese. One cannot always quickly convey the concept of using two separate books as bilingual material. Sometimes, that picture doesn't sink in until later. But when the bilingual nature finally dawns on them, I believe they would be more likely to read it.

Does anyone have a contact in the Curriculum Department or Missionary Department at Church headquarters to whom I could pitch this bilingual idea, and illustrate how it might lead to the placement of thousands of more copies of the Book of Mormon across the country, and perhaps even more world-wide?

I would be willing to buy 1,000 copies of a Simplified Chinese/English bilingual parallel-column edition of the Book of Mormon. Both the English and the Simplified Chinese text of the BofM are in electronic format, as they are printed on the Church's computerized presses. So it would merely be a formatting effort to get the verses lined up in parallel columns. I would donate 10 copies each to 100 stateside missions with a cover letter to the mission president suggesting he assign compansionships to eat at Chinese restaurants and give out the books as bilingual material.

Granted, among Chinese who are already members, there are many more Traditional Script reading people, as the concentration of Chinese members are in Taiwan and Hong Kong. However, among the Chinese-speaking people in the US who are not already members, the vast majority are from mainland China, and would read Simplified Script. So that is where the greatest missionary opportunity lies.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

DVD's at funeral. Tue, Oct 17, 2006.

10/17/2006. Journal Entry. One of my favorite little-old-ladies (diminuitive senior womyn to you PC-types) lost her 56 year old son to cancer last week, and his funeral was Tuesday. This sister is in her late 80's (maybe 90) and is the only member of the church in her family, having joined maybe a dozen years ago. The funeral was arranged by the deceased's son and daughter-in-law, so there was a minister from another church who conducted and spoke/preached.

The minister mentioned how some people ask him what the meaning of life is during emotional times like when a loved one is dieing in the hospital or has already died. He answered the question in his talk, but his answers were no where near as satisfying as the "Plan of Salvation" as taught by the LDS church. They seemed to me to be wishy-washy platitudes, a non-answer answer.

I see this elderly sister almost every week on Sunday, and I have often been at our Singles Family Home evening when she is there. She has also invited me a few times when she feeds the missionaries every week. (We have two sets, so she alternates feeding each set.)

She has not had much success in getting her many descendants to investigate the restored gospel let alone listen to her much about what she believes. She had given all her children, and many of her other descendants, copies of the Book of Mormon.

So, leaving the timing up to her, I merely gave her six DVD's of "Our Heavenly Father's Plan" to distribute to any of her many family members when she thought the time would be right.

I didn't really expect her to give them out there and then. But that's what she did, and gave out all six before going home. The sub-title on the "Our Heavenly Father's Plan" says "Reassuring Answers to Questions about the Purpose of Life." So is it wrong to give out that answer at a time when people are sincerely and deeply pondering it?

I think we are so used to giving out trite, non-concrete and purposely non-committal answers to that question in emotional times, that giving an honest "Okay, this is what I really believe..." genuinely "Mormon" answer may seem a little in-your-face.

Us Mormons either know the basic answer to the What-is-the-Purpose-of-Life question, or at least we think we do. And I believe a situation that calls for tender, gentle and respectful feelings does not dictate that we must hold back and give a half-baked namby-pamby answer when we are so confident in our testimonies about what the meaning of life really is.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Swahili, English, Spanish. Mon, Oct 16, 2006.

10/16/2006. 733. On the way to the Singles family home evening, Swahili and English copies to a fellow customer at a gas station. We made good eye contact when he entered the store, and when he spoke to the cashier with an accent, I could tell he was from Africa. He was rather enthusiastic about receiving the books, and said he was on his way to his church. Several promptings on the way there likely aided in the timing of this encounter.

10/16/2006. 734. On the way home from Singles family home evening, English Bibles and English Book of Mormon to cashier at another gas station. I thought I was inspired to go to a certain grocery store before going home, which put me on a slightly different path than what I would normally take when going home from church. I was then tugged into the parking lot of a different store on the way, and once in that parking lot, I was tugged towards the gas station next door. I went in and bought a caffeine-free soda from the fountain. The cashier was an English-speaking man, and I was going to chicken out of approaching him, but the Spirit indicated he was my intended contact. And no one else was waiting in line at that time. After paying, I turned and took a step towards the door, and tried to chicken out, but the Spirit cranked up the volume. I stood there a few seconds before I turned around, and offered him a free Bible.

He said okay, but only slightly on the positive side in terms of enthusiasm. Not reluctant, but barely lukewarm. I asked which translation he'd like, the King James, or a newer translation. He said he had a King James Bible, and asked what the newer translations were. I said the New International Version is written at a 12th grade level, and the Today's New International Version is written at about an 8th grade level, and I asked if he had any children. He had a teenager and a pre-teen, so I intended to give him one of each.

Then I said that my church believes in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and offered him a Book of Mormon. That was when he perked up, and became enthusiastic and expressed a very positive desire for a Book of Mormon. So I excused myself to get the books from the car, and brought in a NIV Bible, a TNIV Bible, and an English Book of Mormon. Right after I gave him the books, there were other people in line, so I had to let him get back to work, so it was basically a "hit and run" delivery.

The Lord knew he really wanted a Book of Mormon, and I was going to chicken out because he "only" spoke English. I need to be braver about making English-only approaches.

10/16/2006. 735. When I went out to get the books, there was a Mexican/Hispanic man loitering outside who drew my attention. After giving the books to the cashier, then instead of leaving, I pulled around to a pump, bought a couple dollars worth of gas, and observed to make sure nothing was amiss. It was raining, so it seemed like he was just getting shelter from the rain, either waiting on someone, or else taking a respite from the rain while walking. He went inside and appeared to buy something, then came out and waited around some more.

When I finally concluded he had no ill intent at the gas station, I approached him and asked him if he needed a ride somewhere. He did. He was going to have to walk 30 blocks in the rain after having an argument with his girlfriend. I offered to give him a ride, and figured I could offer him a Spanish Bible and Book of Mormon.

I had the two local Spanish radio stations pre-programmed on my car radio, and asked which one he preferred, and punched the preset for the one he liked. We chit-chatted during the ride. And before we got to his destination, I offered him a Spanish Bible and Spanish Book of Mormon. He accepted. And when we got there, I offered, and he accepted the English copies too. He may have been a little taken aback at the book offers, but he was not at all hesitant or reluctant.

I'm both grateful and amazed at the series of promptings that got me to this gas station. I want to think that it's appropriate to maintain a sense of awe and wonder over it. But I'm also starting to see that I shouldn't let that awe and wonder overwhelm me, because there are even more awesome things that can come of such encounters, especially with one who was as eager for a Book of Mormon as was the cashier. Contacts and book placements are merely steps along the path towards people's conversion.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Bengali x 2 at gas station. Fri, Oct 13, 2006.

10/13/2006. 732. On my way home from a club meeting I passed a gas station that I don't think I've been to before. I thought about it, and instead of going straight home, I turned to go around the block and went back. I bought a newspaper. The two clerks appeared to be Middle-Eastern, so I asked where they were from. The one said Bangladesh. He kindly reminded me that I had spoken to him before somewhere. But I wasn't able to tell if he still had the Bengali Book of Mormon, or what exactly I had given him. He agreed to receive a copy, along with the other guy, so I retrieve two Bengali and two English copies of the Book of Mormon from the car. I also brought in a Bengali and an English (NIV) New Testament.

The first clerk gratefully and enthusiastically received them, and the second clerk was clearly interested too.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Hindi at restaurant. Mon, Oct 9, 2006.

10/09/2006. 731. On my way home from meeting the ESL teacher at her church, I passed a chain restaurant and felt inspired to stop there for a drink. I had to go down to the next intersection and turn around, and ended up making a detour into a drug store looking for something else before going back.

I got there just before closing and got something quick and a drink. I supposed the man behind the counter was the owner, and guessed that he was from India. When he handed me the food I said "Thank-you" in Hindi, and that elicited a smile from him. We chit-chatted a bit, and I offered him a Hindi Book of Mormon, and he accepted.

I went out to the car to retrieve it, and brought back in an English copy too. At first he only wanted the Hindi, but I pressed the English copy just a little bit, so that he could use the pair to teach Hindi to his children, and then he accepted it. I'm sure he and his whole family are 100% fluent in English, but having both languages will help his family keep the Hindi language alive if they read them.

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Chinese-English bilingual Bible to ESL teacher. Mon, Oct 9, 2006.

10/09/2006. Journal entry. A couple months ago I met a man while he was teaching English as a Second Language to two waitresses at a Chinese restaurant. I gave him my card and asked him to contact me. He later emailed me and put in contact with a lady pastor at his church who oversees their church's ESL local program. I talked to her today to see if they had a flyer for their on-site ESL tutoring program that I could give out at Chinese restaurants. She said that they'd make one up, and get back to me.

I also asked if she knew about the bilingual Chinese/English New Testaments at the International Bible Society. She said she knew about IBS, but had not seen the bilingual New Testaments. I said I could give her one and would take it to her at her church. They were having an ESL class for Spanish-speakers tonight, so we arranged to meet at her church after their classes.

She's a super-cool senior citizen who taught at one of their church's seminaries in Taiwan, now retired, and is apparently fluent in Mandarin. We chit-chatted a bit, and she had a couple questions about our church.

Tagalog-Ilokano at Chinese restaurant. Mon, Oct 9, 2006.

10/09/2006. 730. I was near a Chinese restaurant that I've been to several times before, and felt inspired to eat there this evening.

There's even more to the "back story" conconcerning replacing the tail and stop/tail lights on my car. I replaced the wrong pair of bulbs on Friday evening. Then I replaced the correct lights on Saturday evening. And today, I realized I put in the wrong bulbs on the ones I changed Friday. While leaving the parts store (a different one this time) this evening is when the idea of eating here came to mind, because it was close by. So it makes me wonder if the stop/tail-lights affair was to manuever me into position.

I ordered, sat down, and put out the Chinese/English New Testament, Traditional and Simplified Chinese Books of Mormon, and two DVD's with Chinese audio tracks on my table. Unfortunately, the waitress/cashier called me to the front to pick up my plate instead of bringing it to me, so making a presentation was going to be a little more awkward.

A Filipina woman was waiting in the customer area for her order. She was talking on her cell phone. She was speaking English, but by her looks and her accent, I guessed she was from the Philippines.

We made eye contact a couple of times. I hope I didn't come across as flirting. By the time I finished eating she was done with her phone call. I approached her on my way out and while keeping a respectful distance, asked if she spoke Tagalog. She said yes. I asked if she had seen the Tagalog Book of Mormon. She said no, and she volunteered that she already had an English Book of Mormon. Coolness!

I offered her a Tagalog Book of Mormon, and she agreed to receive one, so I went out to the car and retrieved it, along with a couple of DVD's that have Tagalog audio tracks, Heavenly Father's Plan, and Together Forever. She gratefully accepted them. I then found out she also spoke Ilokano, so I offered that one, and went out to the car to get it.

She said that she had been given an English Book of Mormon when she was in college, and that some of her friends had joined into the church.

I wrote the sister missionaries' phone number on one of the info flyers in the books.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Swahili and Kisii at parts store. Sat, Oct 7, 2006.

10/07/2006. 729. I was at a parts store to replace two stop/tail light bulbs on my car. One of the employees was outside on break so I asked him if he'd help me check to see if it was working after I replaced the first bulb. Since it's a combo stop/tail, I was unsure if I had replaced the right bulb.

He's a friendly and cool guy, and he helped me out. He spoke with an accent, so I asked where he was from. He said Kenya, so I asked about the languages he spoke, and offered him a Book of Mormon in Swahili. He enthusiastically accepted. I mentioned the Kisii translation of the Book of Mormon too, and though he didn't speak it, he asked for a copy for a friend. And he accepted two English copies to go along with them.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Russian for investigator's mom. Fri, Oct 6, 2006.

10/06/2006. 728. I had lunch with the guy who's investigating the gospel. He mentioned that his mother speaks Russian. I offered him a Russian Book of Mormon for her, and he thought she'd be interested. So I got one from the car and gave it to him for her.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cool restaurant owner. Thu, Oct 5, 2006.

10/05/2006. Going home from sitting in on a missionary lesson, I stopped at a chain restaurant (not a fast food place) to have an early supper.

I wouldn't have expected a franchise of this store to likely be owned or operated by immigrants, but I figured that I was going to talk to somebody there, since it seemed like a prompting.

It turned out the owner-manager is a delightfully outgoing and chatty grandfatherly type. He has a cool accent, so I just asked "I don't recognize your accent, where are you from?" He's originally from a Middle-Eastern country, but has been in the US a very long time. We chit-chatted a bit, and even as I was sitting and eating, he still initiated casual conversation a few times. His friendly style had turned this franchise store into a cool mom-and-pop.

For some reason I decided, no inspiration -- just my own decision, not to present any church material in his native language at that time. I wanted to come back and make a presentation on another occasion. And I felt comfortable with that decision. This restaurant is near my area of activity, so there was no sense of urgency as if this were the only opportunity.

Investigator commits to baptism. Thu, Oct 5, 2006.

10/05/2006. I accompanied the missionaries for their third lesson with a young adult man to whom I had given a Book of Mormon. He's been to Sunday church meetings three times so far.

At the first two lessons, he seemed positive about everything. And at the first lesson, he answered in the affirmative to the half-committal question "If you knew it was true, would you get baptized."

Today, he made an affirmation of believing the restored gospel and agreed to a baptism date next month. He's a shy man, but I did not detect any wishy-washiness in his answer. There was no pressure or cajoling on the part of the missionaries or myself. And I have no doubt that he wants to join the church on his own volition.

Sitting in with two righteous missionaries and an investigator who has received a spiritual witness of the message is a sacred thing. I felt priviledged to witness it, and be a part of it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just a lunch with book display. Wed, Oct 4, 2006.

10/04/2006. I had lunch at a Chinese buffet that I haven't been to in a while. I don't remember if I made an offer of books here, or if they were accepted or not. I need to get my older journal from another hard drive and put it on my current hard drive, so I can search for addresses. I used to keep two journals. One, unedited and with addresses, in a word-processing document. Then the 2nd version, which has names and addresses edited out, is my online version. I could search for an address, street number, or street name, to see if I had been there before and look up what the result was.

I can see that I should really have a database for this. And if ward missionaries were to do this on an organized basis, a database, kind of like the missionaries "area book," would be called for.

I'm still working on conversation starters that leave open the possibility that I've met the other person before, but don't remember the details of the contact.

Anyway, at this buffet lunch today, I just put out a Chinese/English New Testament, the two Chinese Books of Mormon, and the English Book of Mormon on the table. I'm sure the waitress/cashier saw them, but I initiated no conversation, and just waited for her or her husband, who was eating nearby, to ask or say something.

I forgot to put out the multi-language Asian DVD "Finding Happiness". Sometimes a DVD case or the Liahona magazine garners more attention than books.

I have a 2nd Chinese Liahona subscription on order, because I usually go to at least 2 Chinese restaurants every month. And sometimes those are easier to place than the Book of Mormon.