Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Vietnamese at restaurant. Wed, Jan 31, 2007.

01/31/2007. 787. I crossed town to take a teen from my old ward out to dinner. We went to an Asian restaurant. It was run by a Vietnamese family. Shortly after we sat down, another couple from his ward came in, recognized us, and sat next to us.

I asked our waitress where she was from and she said Vietnam. I asked about what other languages the other employees spoke, and she said just English and Vietnamese. I had only one Vietnamese Book of Mormon in my bag, so I went out to the car and retrieved another just in case. I put one Vietnamese and one English Book of Mormon on the table beside me. Later on the waitress saw them and asked about it. I didn't even have to start the conversation about the books.

She was genuinely interested for a while, and recited the title and sub-title of the Vietnamese edition, and picked it up without me having to offer or suggest it to her. She actually took the Vietnamese book to a location where there was better light so she could read it, and she flipped through it, but brought it back and said she didn't have time to read.

Later, just as the cashier came by to collect, I suggested to the older brother from the ward that he ask her if she liked to read Vietnamese. He must have had the right touch, because she stayed and showed even more interest, and we chit-chatted with her a bit. She talked about her grown children, and her grand-children. She ended up taking both the Vietnamese and the English copies. She asked where the church was, so I said where it was, and pointed out the info-flyer inside the books with the address, the mission office phone nuber, and my phone number.

I'll grant the possibility she accepted the books just to be polite, but it sure seemed to me that she was interested in reading something, anything, in Vietnamese. I'm pretty confident she'll at least browse through the Vietnamese book.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cool Romanian family at gas station. Sat, Jan 27, 2007.

01/27/2007. 786. I was on my way home from a late session at the laundromat. At a certain intersection, the Spirit indicated to take a detour, so I turned and I went exploring. It didn't occur to me that it was going to turn into a book placement, but I supposed that I was to make a reconnaissance of that area for future reference.

The detour took me past a gas station, of a brand I often patronize, and I was reminded that I hadn't gassed up the car. Had I gone straight home, I might not have remembered I needed to gas up the car for Sunday.

When I pulled in the gas station it finally dawned on me that it could also be a for a book placement. I paid at the pump, put gas in the car and went inside to buy a newspaper.

Immediately after me in line were two college-age young ladies speaking English, but with an accent. I almost thought they were hispanic, but the accent was definitely not hispanic.

While still waiting, I turned around and spoke to the one nearest me, and said "I don't recognize your accent. Where are you from?" She said she grew up here, but that her family was from Romania. I said my church has books in Romanian called the Book of Mormon, and that they're free. I offered to get one from the car and give it to her if I had one. She accepted, but later said that she'd rather have the English as she didn't really read Romanian, just spoke it. I asked about her parents, and she said they read Romanian, so I still offered her both.

After paying for the newspaper, I went out to the car and got the Romanian and the English out of the trunk. A van pulled up along side of me. It was their family, both of the girls and their parents. The young lady accepted the books, and I pointed out the phone numbers inside if they wanted more copies. Then her father asked me a question about my car, and so I talked with the father for a while about my car.

They were very nice people, and the young lady was rather enthusiastic about receiving the Book of Mormon.

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Is "failure" more interesting than success?

01/27/2006. Journal entry. I've noticed in my tracking service, that of the visitors who come to my blog via and, they more often come in to read instances where my offer of a Book of Mormon was declined than instances where the person accepted my offer of a book.

(Note: in my blog titles where I write "[Language] declined", that's my shorthand for "my offer of a Book of Mormon in [Language] was declined."

There was an article in the February 2005 Ensign (or here), entitled "Seven Lessons on Sharing the Gospel," about how every offer of a pass-along card or a Book of Mormon, every invitation to hear the missionaries, every invitation to visit church is a success. The mere act of making an offer, or extending an invitation, is in itself a successful act. An opportunity was successfully provided to someone. The offer or invitation is in itself a testimony. So if an offer or invitation is made, then a testimony has been successfully borne. Not all testimonies have to start out with "I know that..."

Offers and invitations, along with formal "I know/believe that..." testimonies, are seeds. They create memories in the minds and souls of those who hear them. Then, at any time in the future, whether on this side of the veil or the other, those memories are things that the Holy Ghost can bring to remembrance in that person when the time is right for that person.

That verse in John 14:26 talks about what Jesus said. And today, we are the mouthpieces of Jesus Christ. We are to say what Jesus would say. We are to make the offers and invitations that Jesus would make.

When we do and say what Jesus would do and say, I'd call that a success.

Sample "calling card" to include with material.

Here's a sample personal 'calling card' I include with all material I give out. I also try to include either a pass-along card, or an "info flyer" with all material. I generally tell the people whom I contact that if they want to know more, they can call me, or the "regional office" (local mission office) or the church's toll-free number. The mission office number, and the toll free number (888-537-2200) are on a 8.5x11" flyer that I also include in all material. These were done at using template B2, and a coupon code to get the $10/1000 price.

These are standard size business cards, 3.5" wide and 2" tall.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Fortuitous follow-up, Cambodian. Fri, Jan 26, 2007.

01/26/2007. Tonight, I met the older brother of a young lady I met on July 3, 2006. I was at a grocery store, a well-known local chain, that I haven't been to in a long time, near my new home.

One of the employees who was bagging groceries looked Asian. I took my groceries out to the car, and came back in to buy a newspaper and try to meet him.

When I got back in, he was working in a different area up front near the check out lanes, but wasn't busy, and was approachable. I asked what languages he spoke, and he said a little Cambodian, but he didn't read it. I asked if he knew the young lady that worked at a certain gas station/convenience store, and he said she was his sister.

I asked about the Books of Mormon and magazines I gave her, and he said he had seen his parents reading them a few times. Cool!

I offered him another magazine for his parents, and he agreed to give it to him. I went back out to the car and got another Cambodian Liahona, and a copy of Finding Faith in Christ DVD.

I thought the DVD had a Cambodian track, but after getting home and looking it up on the web, I see that it was Thai instead of Cambodian. Thai writing is similar to Cambodian to my untrained eye. Unfortunately, the DVD case does not list the languages in English, only in the target language. So unless you know how to read the Thai on the case, you wouldn't know that the DVD has a Thai track.

Anyway, I presented the material, and he was very grateful. But his manager/supervisor kind of looked askance at me from a distance. I hope I didn't get him in trouble.

He looked at the card inside, and then commented it was the same one in the books at his parents' home. I mentioned that the Church has more material in Cambodian, and if his parents want more, to call me and let me know.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Vietnamese declined. Thu, Jan 25, 2007.

01/25/2007. 785. I had supper at a Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant that I haven't been to before. It's not far from where I now live. The restaurant's name is Vietnamese, so I assumed that the owners/operators were Vietnamese. I asked, and the cashier/waitress confirmed she was from Vietnam.

I ordered and sat down, and put out a Vietnamese Liahona and Book of Mormon, and an English Liahona and Book of Mormon. When she brought my meal I asked if she liked to read in Vietnamese, but it seemed like she didn't understand. I offered her the Vietnamese Liahona, the November 2006 issue that has a painting of Christ and a child on the front. She looked at the cover, and humbly shook her head and said "no thanks."

The food was really good, so I plan on eating there again.

I haven't had much (if any) success at placing material at Vietnamese restaurants. So I was not surprised, and only slightly disappointed, that she turned me down. The Vietnamese folks I've met at restaurants have been either Buddhist, and aren't interested in Christian material, or they've been Catholics who think Mormons aren't Christian.

But a note to anyone who wants to try this: Sisters in the church have reported to me that they have had success placing Vietnamese/English Books of Mormon at Vietnamese owned nail salons.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

English, French declined. French at gas station. Tue, Jan 23, 2007.

01/23/2007. 782. English declined. I was paying for my purchases at a dollar store, and the cashier (who I assumed spoke only English) was apparently required to pitch some doo-dad, and also ask for a donation to a cause or charity that the store was sponsoring. She apologized for being in-your-face about it, and I said it was all right as I used to be a Mormon missionary, and then I immediately asked her if she wanted a free Book of Mormon. Turn-around is fair play, right? She didn't say "no," but continued chatting in a way that implied "no thanks."

I don't know how I segued it, but as there was no one in line behind me, I started talking about how there were many immigrants from Africa on that side of town, and how the Mormon church has the Book of Mormon in over 100 languages, including many African languages, and that I've given many out to people from Africa, and they are tickled to have something to read in their own language, even if they aren't interested in the religion. It wasn't until later that I realized I still could have given her a pass-along card.

01/23/2007. 783. French declined. The cashier/manager of this restaurant spoke with an accent, but I couldn't recognize it. So I just asked what languages he spoke, and where he was originally from. He was from an Arabic country in Africa, and he spoke Arabic, French, and English, but didn't read Arabic. He's been in the US a long time. He declined my offer of a free French Book of Mormon, but we continued to chit-chat a bit when I went back to the buffet. He did accept a pass-along card and my personal card.

01/23/2007. 784. Finally on my way home, I stopped at a gas station. I went inside to pre-pay with cash, instead of paying at the pump, in case the cashier spoke any foreign languages. This cashier was from Senegal, and spoke French and Wolof, so I got to practice those. Like the many others I've met who are from Senegal, he was a positive upbeat kind of person, and seemed to enjoy the fact that I could speak a few words in his native languages.

I was all out of Wolof material (the Gospel Fundamentals manual), but I offered him the French Book of Mormon, and he agreed to receive it. So after gassing the car I took in French and English copies of the Book of Mormon, a French VHS tape of "Finding Faith in Christ" and a French copy of the Liahona magazine. He didn't have a VHS player, so I gave him a DVD of the same video.

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Amharic at library. Tues, Jan 23, 2007.

01/23/2007. 781. I was running errands on the west side of town, and stopped at a public library to check email. I saw an Ethiopian-looking girl, about 10 or 12 years old in the lobby prior to my turn. Her turn at a public terminal was before mine, and she eventually sat next to someone and talked with him as if she knew him. While I was waiting for my turn, I went out and got an Amharic and an English Book of Mormon from the car.

After my turn on a terminal was over, I found her again in the lobby, and politely asked if her family was from Ethiopia. She said they were from Eritrea. Eritrea is next to Ethiopia and used to be part of it. The main language of Eritrea is Tigrinya, but many also speak Amharic as a second language. So I asked if I could talk to her mother or father, and she said they weren't there, but her big brother was. She pointed him out, and I approached him.

I asked him if they spoke Amharic, and he said they spoke Tigrinya, but that his father and older brother spoke Amharic. Since I've given out many copies already, I asked him if he had seen the Book of Mormon in Amharic and showed it to him. He said they did not have it already. I asked if he thought his father would like a free copy, and he sounded confident in saying that he would, so I gave him the pair of books, and pointed out the flyers and cards inside. He thanked me for them, and I suggested they could call me or the church office if they wanted to learn more.

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Custom pass-along card, v2. Cheaper.

I received a coupon in email from for standard-template business cards, black ink on plain stock, for only $10 per 1,000, even cheaper than the previous ones I did for $16.99 per 1,000 at, and cheaper than the 2.0 cents per that the church charges. But granted, the church's are full color, with nice pictures.

They don't have the exact same templates, but it's close enough.
Here it is:

802-9650 was the Indianapolis mission office phone number (now the local mission office number is 317-580-0479), and 888-537-2200 is the toll free number from the church's English Book of Mormon pass-along card.

I used template "JB4" for the above, at, and a coupon code to get the $10 price. Without the coupon, the price is $19.99/1,000 with free shipping. So if the coupon expires, go to, for a better price.

See my previous entry for more about custom business-card sized pass-along cards.

Here's the Spanish version. The x'ed out numbers are the phone numbers of the apartments of the missionaries who speak Spanish. The missionaries gave me permission to use those since no one at the office speaks Spanish.

custom Spanish Book of Mormon pass-along card

These are standard sized business cards, 3.5" wide, and 2" tall.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Mongolian, French, Arabic to elders. Ammon's service. Mon, Jan 22, 2007.

01/22/2007. Journal entry. During our lunch, the junior companion elder mentioned that he and his previous companion had found a Mongolian family while tracting. They weren't able to communicate well, but their daughter spoke some English, but they didn't accept any English material as they couldn't read it. The senior companion didn't know about it, since he just got transfered into the ward.

I told the elders that there's a man from Mongolia who recently joined the church on the other side of town, and that there's a member who served a mission in Mongolia, and still speaks Mongolian who lives in the next town over on the west side of Indy.

I gave the elders a Mongolian Book of Mormon, and they said they would try to find that family again when they go tracting in that area, which they were planning on doing soon anyway.

I also gave the Elders four paperpack KJV Bibles and four more English hard-cover Books of Mormon for their supply, and encouraged them to give out books while tracting, not just pass-along cards. I explained how I usually offer a Bible first before presenting a Book of Mormon to an English-only speaking person.

As we talked about tracting (knocking on doors) I suggested they offer to shovel snow for people as a free service, instead of just starting out with proselyting approach. I drew a parallel between that and Ammon offering to be King Lamoni's servant in the book of Alma. Ammon thereby got an "in" with the King prior to sharing the gospel with him. Whereas his brother Aaron started right out preaching repentance in another area and was rejected.

I offered to buy them snow shovels, and they accepted the idea.

Later in the day, I went out and bought a couple snow shovels. I checked the forecast at, and there's a chance of snowfall on Wednesday (the 24th). Around 9:00pm, when they were due back, I stopped by their apartment and dropped off the shovels. I also gave them four more hard-cover Books of Mormon, and suggested they pray for snow.

One of the cars parked in front of the elders' apartment had a personalized license plate with an Arabic-sounding name on it. I asked the elders if they knew that person and if he spoke Arabic. They knew him, and said he was from Algeria. Since they speak French and Arabic in Algeria, I went back out to my car, retrieved French and Arabic copies of the Book of Mormon, and gave them to the elders, and suggested they present them to their neighbor.

Chinese at restaurant. Mon, Jan 22, 2007.

01/22/2007. 780. I picked up our ward's two full-time missionaries to take them out to eat. It was about 3:30pm, so I don't know if it was lunch or supper for them. Probably a late lunch. These two are pretty cool. The younger/newer guy is humble and presents himself well. He's been in the mission two months. The senior companion is about 24 or 25, has been in the mission for about a year, and is a marine who served in Iraq.

We headed for a commercial area that I haven't been to in a long time. (I moved to a different part of Indianapolis at the end of November, so I have new places to explore.) I don't believe I've made any book placement attempts in that area. I figured we could find either a Chinese or a Mexican restaurant there. We quickly found a Chinese restaurant at a strip mall.

We ordered, paid, sat down, and I put out the two kinds of Chinese Books of Mormon and an English Book of Mormon on our table. I explained to the elders the difference between the simplified script version (suffix -266) for mainland China and the traditional script version (suffix -265) for Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries.

After going back to get some utensils I stopped at the cashier counter to ask her where she was from. She said southern China, near Hong Kong, so I figured she might read the traditional script. Those in southern China often read both kinds and speak both Cantonese and Mandarin. I think Cantonese was her main language.

When the cashier brought out our food, I made the presentation and offered her both styles of books. She chose the traditional script version. She also accepted the English version. She didn't stick around the table long enough to continue the conversation, but it seemed more like she was just busy than not interested.

However, after she got back behind the counter, when she got time, she did start reading the Chinese Book of Mormon, and talking with the cooks about it. The elder who was the senior companion had a good view, and was duly impressed that she was reading it.

We were the only customers there at the time, it being between the usual lunch and dinner hours. At some point I went back to the cashier counter and presented the Together Forever DVD (which has a Cantonese audio track, and Mandarin subtitles, but no Mandarin audio) and the Finding Happiness DVD which has both Cantonese and Mandarin language audio tracks.

(If you follow those links, please note that Together Forever is only $1.18 each in a case of 50, but $4.50 each in single quanitities. Finding Happiness is $4.50 each in single quantities, and $1.50 in a case of 50, but the discount is not advertised. If you add 50 to your cart, it will show the $1.50 price.)

Since she was reading it for a while, and there were no other customers, I should have suggested to the elders that they approach her and ask her if she wanted to learn more, and see if they could arrange an appointment. We'll have to go back for a follow up.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Custom pass-along cards, business card size.

The thing I find awkward about the church's full-color pass-along cards is that they are an odd size. You can't put them in your wallet without folding them, and that ruins them for giving away. A woman can carry them in her purse. But a man has to carry them in a breast pocket of his coat, or else carry them in a briefcase. So what if you're a guy who doesn't wear sport coats, suits, or carry a briefcase all the time?


See also my second version of the card, a Bible-and-Book-of-Mormon card, and a sample calling card for your name and phone number.

Also see an "invite to church card".

I use a separate calling-card (or personal business card), because I don't want people to assume I'm an employee or official representative of the church.

The business card size pass-along card you can carry in your wallet or regular business card holder with your other cards. So with this, if you have your wallet, you can always have a pass-along card with you!

These are standard sized business cards, which in the United States are 3.5" wide and 2" tall.

I created this online at Office Depot , ordered 2000 and paid $16.99 per 1000. At 1.7 cents per, that's cheaper than the 2.0 cents per that the church charges. But, granted, the church's are full color, with nice pictures.

If that link doesn't work, go to, click Office Supplies, click Custom Printing, click Business Cards, click Standard Business Cards, click the second item #166163. $19.99/box, 2 boxes at $16.99/box, 3 boxes at $15.99/box, 4 boxes at $14.49/box. Shipping is free.

Click Customize, and choose format B3.

Not wanting to bother with getting official clearance to use a copyrighted church logo or church font (yes, the church had a font custom-designed for the logo), I used all plain text (no logo) and plain Helvetica font.

Style B1 has a place where you can use a standard logo on file with Office Depot, or upload your own logo if you want. Style B3 lets you put more text in the upper right corner.

317-802-9650 was our local mission office number, now it's 317-580-0479. 888-537-2200 is the nationwide toll free number from the church's official Book of Mormon pass-along card. By including your local (or nearest) mission office, you can eliminate up to two months lag time that is inherent in using the centralized toll free number. I've also heard of stories of referrals from the toll free number getting lost. So if people can call your mission office directly, so much the better. But I include the centralized toll free number for when I'm outside of the Indianapolis area.

It works for me.

If you want to see the phone numbers that the church uses on the other North American (English) pass-along cards, see this post. Program all those numbers in your cell-phone or PDA, and you always have the information to make your own custom pass-along cards on the fly on whatever is handy, even on a napkin.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Found a lost member at laundromat. Sat, Jan 20, 2007.

01/20/2007. Journal entry. The laundromats I go to always have Spanish-speaking customers, so I usually take a Spanish Bible and a Spanish Book of Mormon in with me. I usually put them on top of the front-loading washer I'm using, and then put them in the laundry cart or on the folding table as I'm folding laundry.

Tonight, an Hispanic-looking lady passed by my cart and stopped, looking at my Spanish Book of Mormon. I asked her if she had read it, and she said yes. I asked if she was Mormon, and she said yes. She said she joined the church in Mexico, but hadn't found the church since moving here to Indianapolis. She wasn't able to bring any of her scriptures with her when she came here from Mexico, so I gave her the Spanish Bible and the Spanish Book of Mormon.

She asked about where the church was, so I took the "info flyer" (which lists the local chapels, meeting times, local mission office phone number, and church 800 number) from the Book of Mormon, and told her about the Spanish branch that meets downtown at the chapel next to the Indianapolis Zoo.

I also pointed out the nearest chapel, the one I go to. She said she doesn't speak English, but didn't want to go all the way downtown. I said that there were some bilingual English/Spanish speakers, besides myself, in both of the wards that meet at our chapel, both the 9:00 am ward and the 1:00pm ward. She said that she would go to our chapel the next day. But I wasn't sure at what time.

I had written the phone number of the Spanish-speaking misisonares on the info flyer, but they live on the complete opposite side of town. But at least she has my phone number, the spanish-speaking missionaries phone number, the mission office number, and the church's 800 number to contact.

Today (Sunday the 21st), there were several inches of snow on the ground early in the morning, and the streets were not plowed by the time I left for church at 8:25 am. It usually takes me to 20 minutes to get there, but took 30 minutes today. The streets, and especially the Interstate, were slow.

I mentioned to at a couple of the other bilingual people in our ward to be on the look-out for her, to be sure to greet her if/when she showed up. But she didn't make it.

After our meetings I stayed around until 1:00 pm to see if she'd come to the afternoon ward. I told the afternoon ward's missionaries and one of the bilingual families in the afternoon ward that she might show up, and they said they'd look for her too.

At the laundromat she seemed upbeat and positive about coming to church, so I expect she'll come next week.

Bengali declined at laundromat. Sat, Jan 20, 2007.

01/20/2007. 779. The employee at the laundromat was from Bangladesh, and speaks Bengali. I've given out copies of the Bengali Book of Mormon at nearby businesses, so I asked him if he had one already. He said he did, but he did not receive it directly from me. He said he was Muslim, which I already surmised since that is the predominant religion of Bangladesh. I gave him my calling card and a business-card sized pass-along card anyway.

He wasn't busy, so we had opportunity to chat a bit. He said he was trying to learn Spanish because many of the laundromat's customers spoke only Spanish. I offered to make a short list of words in Spanish and English that would be common for the laundromat. We couldn't find any blank scrap paper, so I went out to the car to get some paper. Since I was out there anyway, I brought back in Bengali and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and used the wrapper from the Bengali copy.

As long as it's not an imposition to the person, and if it doesn't cause other customers to wait, I like to actually show the Book of Mormon to people. Sometimes when they actually see it in their native language, they change their mind and want a copy.

Sometimes seeing the sub-title "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" in their native language helps them understand what it is. A few times, people have declined to receive a copy, thinking that the Book of Mormon was not Christian, but upon seeing the sub-title, they changed their mind and wanted it.

He gave me a list of words in English, and I wrote them down on the paper along with the Spanish translation. He seemed grateful for the help.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Yes, there is a Montgomery Ward! (in the church)

Yes, there is a Montgomery Ward, in the Cincinnati East Stake.

Interestingly, the Montgomery Alabama Stake does not have a Montgomery Ward.

Montgomery Ward (the business) was the first mail-order catalog, and grew into a national chain of department stores. The stores are now closed, but the online and mail-order operation is still in business.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Urdu, Hindi, Telugu at gas station. Thu, Jan 11, 2007.

01/11/07. 778. I was on my way back home from a coin laundry (laundromat). There's a laundry room in my building, but it only has 3 top-loaders; and I prefer to do everything in one trip, just once per week. Besides, going to a commercial laundromat is a great opportunity to meet people. Although I speak adequate Spanish, I didn't approach any of the Spanish-speaking patrons there tonight.

The one I went to tonight is far enough away that there are several routes I could travel. On the way home, I chose a route that I hadn't taken before, and it took me past a gas station that I don't think I've been to since starting this book placement project. As I came upon it, the idea occurred to me to stop there to buy a newspaper. It wasn't a whisper or a prompting, just an idea that came to mind.

I grabbed a newspaper and let someone else in front of me to improve my chances of not having anyone behind me when it was my turn. The cashier spoke with an accent, so I asked where he was from and what languages he spoke. He was from India, has been here about a year, and speaks English, Urdu, Hindi, and Telugu. Although I didn't say the name of the books or the name of the church, I said I wanted to show him some books from my church in those languages, and he nodded his approval. I retrieved those four copies from my car, returned inside, and fortunately no one else was in line yet. He didn't read the Urdu, but correctly read the titles of the others. I was going to ask for the Urdu back, since the distribution center is currently out of stock, and that might have been my last one, but he said he knew other people he could give it to. Maybe I should have left another English copy with him to give away with the Urdu.

I pointed out my card inside, and the local mission office number, and encouraged him to call. He was very polite and grateful for the material.

Something felt really good about that encounter.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Spanish at Chinese restaurant. Wed, Jan 10, 2007.

01/10/07. 777. The busboy at this restaurant was Hispanic, so I offered him the Spanish Book of Mormon as he came by, and he accepted it. He accepted the English edition too. The employees at the cashier counter were always busy, so I didn't have opportunity to approach them and make a presentation.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Missed opportunity at Post Office. Mon, Jan 8, 2007.

01/08/2007. There was a white-haired caucasian man at the Post Office. He entered and exited at the same time I did. He looked in his late 50's or early 60's. The Spirit indicated to me to initiate contact and say something, an opening line even came to mind, but I disobeyed. I chickened out. Ack.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Portuguese at church. Sun, Jan 7, 2007.

01/07/2007. Journal Entry. A 19 year old at church, who starts his mission in Brazil in a couple weeks, asked me if I had a Portuguese Book of Mormon. I went out to my car and retrieved one, along with Portuguese and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet. I told him I'd sell them to him because he's a member. But I felt a little guilty afterward for charging him, since he's going on a mission.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chinese at restaurant. Wed, Jan 3, 2007.

01/03/2007. 776. I had a late lunch at a buffet that I've never been to before. I find that it's best to attempt book placements outside of the lunch and dinner rush hours. On several trips to and past my table, the waitress seemed to have noticed the Chinese and English copies of the Book of Mormon that I had on the table, but she was busy with other customers so I didn't initiate a conversation. When she brought me a refill of soda, there was only one other table of customers, and she had just attended to them, so I figured I could talk with her without disrupting her.

I asked if she liked to read Chinese, and handed the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon to her. I forget her response, but I then asked if she was from China or Taiwan. Someone once pointed out to me that I should then be more specific about mainland China or Hong Kong, because now Hong Kong is part of China.

I tried some rudimentary Mandarin with her, and either I didn't get the pronunciation right, or she didn't speak Mandarin. I tried saying "Gay nee" which means "give you" and "mien fay" which means "free" or "no money."

Anyway she accepted both the English and the Simplified Chinese copies, and the "Finding Happiness" DVD. She immediately said something in Chinese to the other employee who was at the cashier counter. She was very grateful, and more curious than enthusiastic.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Chinese declined. Tue, Jan 2, 2007.

01/02/2007. 775. I placed my order at the counter, and sat down, and put out the Chinese and English Books of Mormon on the table. When the waiter brought out my meal, I offered him the Chinese copy. He picked it up and flipped through it, but said he was studying to be Buddhist. He was very friendly and humble. His English wasn't too good, so he probably could have benefited from the bilingual material.

Monday, January 01, 2007

LDS Ward Mission Plan Ideas

Anyone can offer people a Book of Mormon, you don't have to be a full-time missionary or a ward missionary. You can give out pass-along cards, or an actual Book of Mormon. You don't even need a pass-along card, just write down 888-537-2200 on any piece of paper.

Offering and giving out pairs of copies of the Book of Mormon, in someone's native language and English is very easy to do, and is very well received. People love to receive something free in their original language, along with the English translation.

Quick start guide to give out copies of the Book of Mormon..

Tips, part 1.

Tips, part 2, goals and attitudes: don't think of it as regular "missionary work".

Tips, part 3, how to approach people who speak "only" English.

Tips, part 4, using videos as give-aways. Cheaper than a Book of Mormon!

How this started.

One reason why.

Languages represented in Indianapolis. Use as a starting point for your city.

Starting with Chinese restaurants.

Make custom pass-along cards for your ward. Version 2.

"Invite to church" cards.