Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Obama, Clinton, and Romney,

02/28/2007. This one is going around in email.

Would you vote for a black person for president?
Would you vote for a woman for president?
Would you vote for a Mormon for president?

If you answered "yes" to all the above questions, then come November 2008...

vote for a Mormon black woman, WRITE IN GLADYS KNIGHT!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Chinese at restaurant. Mon, Feb 26, 2007.

02/26/2007. 798. I had lunch with the ward mission leader at a Chinese restaurant at a strip mall. We ordered, paid, sat down, put out some books on the table. The waitress came by a couple times, but didn't say anything about the material. On her third time by, she brought my main dish, and I asked if she liked to read in Chinese. She said yes, and I offered her a Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon, and the Simplified Chinese/English bilingual parallel New Testamant. She accepted those, and the English Book of Mormon.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chinese at restaurant. Tue, Feb 20, 2007.

02/20/2007. 797. Today I had the idea to go to a certain area Northeast of Indianapolis for dinner tonight. I have passed that area on the highway before, and have had it in the back of my mind. I'm not sure if this was inspiration today, but the impression or idea was at a level that I felt confident acting on it.

I took off before rush hour to make sure I was beyond the metro Indianapolis area and the nearby bedroom communities in order to avoid traffic. I got to the place I had in mind about 5:30, and there was a strip-mall Chinese buffet restaurant where I remembered it.

They weren't that busy, but a little understaffed, and no one bussed my table while I ate. Eventually the bus-girl was cleaning the table next to mine, and I was able to strike up a conversation. Her English wasn't very good. But I was able to use the few Mandarin words I knew, "gay nee" (give you) and "mien fay" (free, or no money), to get the idea across. She accepted the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon and the bilingual Chinese/English New Testament.

I tried to convey the idea of reading the English Book of Mormon in parallel with the Chinese in order to learn some English, but she just repeated that she couldn't read English, so she didn't accept the English edition. The cashier was cleaning another table and was looking on during part of our conversation.

The bus-girl was very humble and sweet and appreciative of the gifts.

After I finished eating, I left a nice tip, and headed towards the front. Just as I got near the counter, the cashier received a phone-in order, so I sat down and waited. She looked at me and smiled, as if she anticipated me offering her the material too. When she got off the phone, I offered, and she accepted both the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon, and the English version. I forgot to offer her a video though. She was polite and receptive, but not excited about it. She pointed to some other bilingual Christian material sitting on the front counter that someone had left before.

I may not have been entirely smooth in my presentations, but the two ladies did project or emanate the light of Christ. They seemed humble, honest and righteous people. I don't know what's going to happen. But it was worth the trip. The fact that that area stuck in my mind for several months, and came to remembrance today may have some portent.

I stopped at a town along the way back home to do some shopping, browsing and make a reconnaissance for future reference, and found two more Chinese restaurants there that I hadn't known about before.

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Cell Phone vs. Scriptures

Currently being passed around in email. (Originally entitled "Cell Phone vs. Bible")

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Scriptures like we treat our cell phones?
What if we carried them around in our purses or pockets?
What if we turned back to get them if we forgot them?
What if we flipped through them several times a day?
What if we used them to receive messages?
What if we treated them like we couldn't live without them?
What if we gave them to kids as gifts?
What if we used them as we traveled?
What if we used them in case of an emergency?
This is something to make you go hmm... where are my Scriptures?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't ever have to worry about our Scriptures being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!

Pass this on to everyone you know that has a cell phone. Makes you stop and think "where are my priorities?"


Monday, February 19, 2007

Chinese declined at restaurant. Mon, Feb 19, 2007.

02/19/2007. 796. I had supper at a nearby Chinese restaurant at a strip-mall. I've had lunch here before, but I don't think I've ever attempted a book placement here. I placed my order and sat down. The cashier brought my main dish first, and said he'd be back with the egg-roll. He glanced at the Chinese Book of Mormon and the bilingual Chinese/English New Testament on my table, but he was moving too fast for me to strike up a conversation.

When he came back with the egg-roll he looked at the book again, and I asked him if he liked to read Chinese. He flipped through the Chinese Book of Mormon, and I made my offer, but he had to put it down and go back to the counter to attend to customers who just came in.

After he attended to the other customers, he seemed to talk to the other employees about the books, as a couple of them glanced in my direction. But of course, I don't know what they said.

After I finished eating, I went back to the counter to place a tip in the tip jar, and offered the books again, but he very politely declined.

As this is very close to me, I'll be back in the future, and will try to offer some videos that have Mandarin/Cantonese audio tracks* next time.

*Finding Faith in Christ, $1.36/each.
  Finding Happiness, $1.50.
  Joy to the World, $2.88/each.
  Special Witnesses of Christ, $1.50/each.
  To This End Was I Born, $1.50/each.
  Together Forever, $1.18/each.
  Introduction to the Church, $1.50/each.
  Our Heavenly Father's Plan, $1.50/each.

I buy them in cases of 50 in order to get the lower price. If you buy individual copies, they are $4.50/each, except Joy To the World, which is $6.20/each in single quantities. Go in with your ward mission leader, or other members of your ward, to get the lower price, which makes them cheaper than the Book of Mormon.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Put these LDS numbers in your PDA or cell phone.

02/18/2007. If you don't carry around pass-along cards, you might consider putting these LDS missionary department phone numbers in your cell phone or PDA, and then write them down on anything handy (napkins or whatever) to give out when the occasion arises. In a pinch you could even dial the number and hand your cell phone to the other person, and they can give their info on the phone to receive the material.

These numbers come directly from pass-along cards.

LDS KJV Bible, 888-537-1212.
LDS Book of Mormon English, 888-537-2200. (Or any language.)
LDS Book of Mormon Spanish, 800-952-4800.
LDS Finding Faith in Christ DVD/VHS, 800-443-9911.
LDS Lamb of God Video, 800-720-9400. (Depicts last week of Savior's mortal life.)
LDS Together Forever DVD/VHS, 888-537-6777. (Good couples video.)
LDS Booklet for happier family, 800-499-0033.
LDS Ideas for more loving family, VHS, 888-537-3377.
LDS Joy to the World DVD/VHS, 877-300-8000.

Also handy to put in:
LDS (Your Ward) Missionaries: ###-###-####.
LDS Mission Office: ###-###-####.
LDS Distribution Center: 801-240-3800. (Save the church a buck if you have free long distance.)
LDS Distribution Center: 800-537-5971.

All the above material is free to non-members. The phone operators will ask if they want "representatives" (missionaries) to deliver the material, but if they don't, the church will just mail it, and no one will actually show up at their door. I don't know for a fact, but it is my understanding that up to three follow-up phone calls will usually be made from the missionary department to the person receiving free material.

From what I hear, requests for actual missionaries sometime get lost in the cracks. So if your friend/contact actually does want the missionaries to come over for a presentation, it's best to call your local/regional mission office, than one of the 800 numbers in Utah.

Suppose you want a Book of Mormon, but don't want to go through the LDS Missionary department, in order to avoid any possibility of being contacted by missionaries. In that case, you can order one for $2.50 (softcover, hardcover is $3.00) through the LDS Distribution Center,, or by phone at 801-240-3800, or 800-537-5971. I'm fairly certain they will NOT share your contact info with the missionary department. I haven't received any phone calls, or mailings.

You can also get low-cost new or used copies of the Book of Mormon on, both the commercial Doubleday edition, and the church's missionary edition

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Stocking up the missionaries with Bibles. Sun, Feb 18, 2007.

02/18/2007. Today I stocked up the missionaries in our ward (one set) and the two sets of elders who serve in the other ward that shares the building. I gave each of the English speaking companionships four inexpensive paperback KJV Bibles, and an inexpensive paperback NIV Bible (in case anyone doesn't want a KJV). I gave the Spanish speaking companionship three paperback Spanish RVR-1960 Bibles (from American Bible Society), two of the KJV Bibles, and one of the NIV Bibles.

I use the inexpensive ($2.00 or so) paperback bibles from IBS and ABS because the least expensive English Bible from the LDS distribution center is $7.00. And the least expensive Spanish Bible from the LDS distribution center is $8.50.

The RVR-1960 is the official LDS Spanish Bible. The Spanish Bible available from the church's Distribution Center is in fact a hardcover RVR-1960 from American Bible Society.

Inside each Bible I put an info-flyer that lists the local chapels, a Book of Mormon pass-along card, a Bible pass-along card, a Finding Faith in Christ pass-along card. I mark (with a colored pencil) John 21:25, which hints at the possibility of other scriptures, and I put a custom Book of Mormon pass-along card there.

Not everyone is willing to accept a free Book of Mormon, but many people are willing to accept a free Bible.

Offering free Bibles goes a long way to illustrate that we do believe in the Bible. When Mormons offer people a free Book of Mormon, oftentimes the rejoinder is "What, don't you believe in the Bible?" So when I offer material to people who speak only English, I like to offer the Bible first, then ask "Would you like a free Book of Mormon to go with it? My church believes in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon."


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tamil declined at restaurant. Thu, Feb 15, 2007.

02/15/2007. 795. A friend and I were eating our supper at a restuarant, and another customer was chatting with the cashier/waitress while waiting for his take-out order. By his appearance, he seemed to be from Southern India, but he said he was from Malaysia. (I've learned that people from India have settled throughout the rim of the Indian Ocean, from East Africa through Malaysia and Indonesia.) He and the waitress may have said something about the Vietnamese Book of Mormon I had given her.

He was a friendly and chatty person, so I decided to see if I could strike up a conversation with him on his way out. He did stop to talk to us a bit. He was very fluent in English, and you could tell he was an intelligent and up-beat man. His native language was Tamil, but he politely declined to receive a Book of Mormon in Tamil. He did accept a pass-along card though. I should have also given him one of my personal cards, because I'd like to meet him again. So I hope I run into him again.

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Vietnamese at restaurant. Thu, Feb 15, 2007.

02/15/2007. 794. A friend and I went out to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant that we haven't been to before. I took in a Vietnamese and an English Book of Mormon, and put them face down on the table. We ordered, and while waiting on the food, I turned the Vietnamese book face up. Our waitress was Vietnamese. I asked her if she liked to read in Vietnamese and she said yes. I offered her the Vietnamese Book of Mormon, said it was free and was from our church. She seemed eager and started flipping through it. But when she realized it was Christian material, she very politely begged off, saying she was Buddhist, and gave it back. I accepted it graciously, and put it back on the table, between myself and the edge of the table. But before leaving us, she changed her mind, and asked for it again. This made me think she was accepting it just to be polite, but I'm not sure on that. She was not really fluent in English, so I think the curiosity of reading something in Vietnamese and English overcame her reluctance to accept Christian material. She accepted the English edition too.

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New Liahona translations!

New Liahona translations! Look at all the translations that the Liahona is now in:

Subscribe here.

Albanian, 3 issues per year = "$3.00 USD"
Armenian (East), 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Bislama, 1 issue per year = "$1.00 USD"
Bulgarian, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Cambodian, 6 issues per year = "$5.00 USD"
Chinese, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Croatian, 1 issue per year = "$1.00 USD"
Cebuano, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Czech, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Danish, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Dutch, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
English, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Estonian, 2 issues per year = "$2.00 USD"
Fijian, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Finnish, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
French, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
German, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Greek, 1 issue per year = "$1.00 USD"
Haitian, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Hindi, 1 issue per year = "$1.00 USD"
Hungarian, 6 issues per year = "$5.00 USD"
Icelandic, 1 issue per year = "$1.00 USD"
Indonesian, 6 issues per year = "$5.00 USD"
Italian, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Japanese, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Kiribati, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Korean, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Latvian, 2 issues per year = "$2.00 USD"
Lithuanian, 2 issues per year = "$2.00 USD"
Malagasy, 2 issues per year = "$2.00 USD"
Marshallese, 1 issue per year = "$1.00 USD"
Mongolian, 6 issues per year = "$5.00 USD"
Norwegian, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Polish, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Portuguese, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Romanian, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Russian, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Samoan, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Sinhala, 2 issues per year = "$2.00 USD"
Slovenian, 1 issue per year = "$1.00 USD"
Spanish, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Swedish, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Tagalog, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Tahitian, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Tamil, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Telugu, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"
Thai, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Tongan, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Ukrainian, 12 issues per year = "$10.00 USD"
Urdu, 3 issues per year = "$3.00 USD"
Vietnamese, 4 issues per year = "$4.00 USD"

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Chinese at restaurant. Mon, Feb 12, 2007

02/12/2007. 793. I went to a nearby Chinese buffet restaurant for lunch. I wanted to ask the waitress if she read the simplified script Chinese Book of Mormon I had given her the previous time. But when I held the book to show her what I was asking about, she probably thought I was giving her another copy, and she took it. She apparently doesn't speak much English outside of restaurant vocabulary. She showed the cashier and they put it back at the waitress station.

After paying, I talked to the cashier, who seemed pretty fluent in English, and I explained that I had already given the waitress a copy before, and just wanted to know if she read and liked it, but that they could keep the one today. The cashier wanted a copy too, and when she understood that the one I gave them today was the same as before, she said she'd just take that one.

I offered the cashier an English copy. At first she declined, but when I explained the concept of reading them together, she seemed to understand, and accepted it.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stocking up the missionaries. Sun, Feb 11, 2007.

02/11/2007. Journal Entry. I visited the White River 1st Ward in hopes of meeting up with some people, and to deliver some stuff to the missionaries there. I gave a Vietnamese copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon, plus a Vietnamese Liahona magazine to the elders for them to deliver to a missionary from another city who would be staying at their apartment. The elders from the other city had called me earlier looking for one.

I also gave them four extra Spanish Books of Mormon and four extra Spanish paperback Bibles for their own supply since they are Spanish-speaking missionaries.


Arabic, Persian, Turkish at gas station. Sun, Feb 11, 2007.

02/11/2007. 792. I was on the way home from a late session at the laundromat. I stopped to get gas and buy an early edition of the Sunday paper. It was Saturday night, but it was slightly past midnight, so it was Sunday morning.

I bought gas, paid at the pump, and went inside to get the newspaper. I had to look around to find them, and another customer pointed them out to me. He spoke with an accent, so I struck up a conversation and asked where he was from and what languages he spoke. I offered him some free copies of the Book of Mormon in his languages and he agreed to see them. After I brought them in and gave them to him, he said his car had broken down, and he needed a ride to get his other car at a house just a few minutes away. He seemed like a professional type person, so I felt safe in giving him a ride.

We chatted some more on the ride over, and while waiting for his other car to warm up. He told me about his business and invited me to stop by to talk more. He mentioned that he knows some Mormons and that they're nice people. I plan on stopping by his business soon.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Hindi, Punjabi at gas station. Fri, Feb 9, 2007.

02/09/2007. 791. On my way home from a monthly social meeting downtown I took a route I haven't taken before. That took me past a gas station I hadn't been to. It's a brand that often is owned and staffed by people from the Middle East or India.

I stopped in to buy a paper and chatted a bit with the cashier. He was from India and spoke Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. I'm out of Urdu Books of Mormon (and they are out of stock at the Salt Lake Distribution Center), but I retrieved Hindi and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and Punjabi and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals from the car. He accepted them and immediately started flipping through them.

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Spanish, Korean, Mongolian. Fri, Feb 9, 2007.

02/09/2007. 789. I had lunch by myself at a Mexican restaurant. This is my second visit. This is near where I live. I'm trying a new approach for restuarants where I expect to return, so instead of offering material on my first visit, I'm going to try offering material on my 2nd visit, so that I'm not a 100% new stranger when I make the offer.

The attentive waitress moved quickly between between tables and I was not quick enough to start a conversation. I had my Spanish and English Books of Mormon in a bag on the chair next to me, and had the Spanish and English Liahona magazines on the table.

I ended up presenting the Spanish and English Liahona magazines to the cashier after I paid, and she cheerfully accepted them. I hope I didn't make the waitress jealous, but I plan on going back there anyway, and will take more magazines and copies of the Book of Mormon.


02/09/2007. 790. While running errands I passed a store I hadn't been to in a long time. I bought some food, and found out the owner was an acquaintance of a former customer. We chatted a bit, and I offered him a Korean Liahona magazine, and he accepted. I found out one of the employees there was Mongolian. I didn't offer him any material, but I got his name and number, and gave it to a local friend from Mongolia who recently joined the church. It made his day (my friend) because he didn't know any other Mongolians in town, and now he knows there is a small Mongolian community in town, and is in contact with them.

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Info-flyer, book labels, now online.

I finally put the "info flyer" online so that people who want to try this can see a template for creating their own. I try to put a copy of this in every Bible and Book of Mormon I give out. You can see it here, then click on "info flyer" to download it in MS-Word format. It contains church contact info,, the toll-free number from the Book of Mormon pass-along card, the local mission office number, and a list of all local chapels with addresses and meeting times.

Also on that page are sample book labels or "wrappers" that I use to help me identify the various translations of the Book of Mormon. The labels/wrappers use 8.5 x 14" paper.

That page also contains a list of the 104 languages into which the Book of Mormon is translated.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bird flu pandemic: a reason for food storage?

A very practical reason for a one-year (or more) food storage is making itself known.
US companies prepare for bird flu pandemic.

The scary food-related part of the article is:
Jay Schwartz, vice president of information systems at North Carolina-based Alex Lee Inc., is worried about what will happen when food supplies begin to get scarce as people become ill, stay home to care for children when schools close or tend to ill relatives.

"Security is a huge issue," Schwartz, whose company owns a chain of grocery stores and an institutional food supplier, told a conference in Orlando.

Big food trucks may be targeted by bandits. "Maybe we'll have someone riding shotgun for added security," Schwartz told the Business Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza summit, sponsored by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Another thing that occurred to me while reading about terrorists having material to make "dirty bombs" is: what if terrorists touched off one or more of those in America's breadbasket and made millions of acres unsuitable for growing crops?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vietnamese to sister missionaries for nail salon. Sun, Feb 4, 2007.

02/04/2007. Journal Entry. It was the first Sunday of the month, so it was fast-and-testimony meeting. After all the meetings in my ward, I went to visit the Spanish branch sacrament meeting because I like to listen to their testimonies in Spanish. They changed their schedule, so I was too late for their sacrament meeting.

While there, I saw the sisters who serve the other ward and singles branch that share the building with the Spanish branch. I recognized one sister, and she had a new companion. The sister I recognized had previously accepted my offer of a Vietnamese Book of Mormon, and successfully placed it at a nail salon, while going there for a manicure. (I had paid for her and her companion to get manicures.)

I decided to make the offer again for the new companion. I only had $15 with me, just enough for one to get a manicure, so I hoped that would work. So I gave them the $15 and a Vietnamese Book of Mormon, and they accepted the challenge again.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hindi, Gujerati at gas station. Thu, Feb 1, 2007.

02/01/2007. 788. On the way home from a friends house I stopped at a gas station I hadn't been to before to buy a newspaper. (This was the first time I'd been to this friend's house since moving, so this was a new route for me to travel.) The cashier seemed middle eastern. I asked him if spoke Hindi, and he said yes. I asked if he spoke any other languages, and he said Gujerati.

I said I'd like to give him a free book in Hindi from my church, and a free Bible in Gujerati. He indicated okay. So I went out to the car and retrieved Hindi and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and a Gujerati Bible.

I went back in and presented them, and he accepted them. He was at first reluctant to accept the English Book of Mormon as he didn't read English very well. But when I illustrated the parallel concept, reading and pointing to 1 Nephi 1:1 from both editions, he seemed to catch on to the ESL aspect.

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