Chinese at restaurant. Wed, May 2, 2007.
05/02/2007. 818. Last night, the sister missionaries in my old ward on the other side of town called and asked for an Amharic Book of Mormon. They were going to have a missionary discussion today with an Amharic-speaking family, so they wanted me to drop it off at the ward building downtown. That ward building is only about 20 to 25 minutes away, so I dropped it off at the arranged spot.
While on my way home, I was thinking about where to have lunch, and I had the idea to check out one convenience store for a possible book placement. It was one of those feelings that could have just been my own idea, or it could have been inspiration. I couldn't tell, but I've learned to act on those ideas anyway.
I had shopped there before, and did not offer anything to the Indian couple who ran it. I stopped there and didn't see them.
Once back in the car, I had the idea to drive a certain direction. This time, the impressions were a bit stronger. Though still not reaching the "obvious" level, the feelings or impressions about where to drive were kicked up a notch. It was not out of my way, but just another way to get home.
I went past a drug store for which I had a coupon, so I stopped by to use it and buy something I needed. I got another coupon printed for me at the cash register so I went back in to use it. If I don't use those coupons quickly, I forget about them and they expire.
Back in the car again, the feeling about where to drive was increased yet again. It's hard to draw a line between "faith" and "obvious", but I've learned that we should act on faith (although I still often chicken-out or ignore those feelings), and not wait until impressions or whisperings from the Holy Ghost reach the "obvious" level. There are blessings when you act on faith. Cool things happen when you act on faith. It pleases Heavenly Father, and we grow from it. Acting at the "faith" level (not waiting until we "know" or the impressions become "obvious") also makes us grow spiritually so that we improve out ability to act on those impressions in the future.
That part of town is not new to me, but it's been a long time since I drove along that particular part of that street. I knew there was a little shopping center off to the side, I've been there years before, and felt like that was where I was supposed to go. It's the kind of shopping center that usually has a restaurant or two, but I didn't remember if it had any.
I drove once around the shopping center, and found a Chinese restaurant that I haven't been to before. That's no big deal since most strip malls or shopping centers have a restaurant, and many of them are Chinese. But it's nice that it matched up with the impressions I was having.
I had the buffet lunch, and set out some books and a DVD on my table. They seemed busy in the kitchen, and didn't come by to take my used plates. I read my newspaper a little after I finished eating, waiting for an opportunity to speak, but no one came by.
One of the workers, who was probably the co-owner with her husband, was at the counter, so I picked up my stuff and decided to make a presentation on my way out.
I asked her if she liked to read Chinese and she said yes. I asked if she was from Taiwan or Mainland China, and she said Mainland China. I showed her a bilingual Simplified Chinese/English New Testament, and a Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon. She was definitely interested.
She spoke English well, but said she didn't read English. However, when I opened both copies of the Book of Mormon to 1 Nephi 1:1 and read part of it, she quickly captured the idea of reading them in parallel to help learn English, so she also accepted the English copy.
I also offer the Together Forever DVD and a Finding Happiness DVD. The Together Forever DVD has a Cantonese audio track, but not a Mandarin audio track, but it does have Chinese subtitles that a Mandarin-speaking person can read. She said her husband is from Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese, so that makes it cool, and she accepted both DVDs.
The Together Forever DVD is a great couples video.