Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chinese at restaurant, Arabic at gas station, Ukrainian at store. Thu, Jun 14, 2007.

06/14/2007. 829. I had supper at a small mom-and-pop type Chinese restaurant on the NE side of town. I hadn't been here before. I put out the books on my table before my food arrived, but I couldn't tell if the owner noticed them when he brought my food. He was rather quick, and I didn't have a chance to strike up a conversation.

After I finished eating, I went to the counter and offered the Chinese Book of Mormon, and they accepted a Simplified Chinese copy and an English copy.

06/14/2007. Journal Entry. After eating, I stopped to buy a newspaper a gas station that I hadn't been to before. I talked to one of the cashiers, and he spoke Arabic in addition to English, but didn't read it. I don't think I offered him a Book of Mormon, but I suppose I could have offered one to him for any of his relatives that might be interested in reading something that's in both Arabic and English.

06/14/2007. 830. I stopped at one of those mega-stores on the way home. I didn't really need anything, but bought some stuff to build up my year's supply of consumables. I picked up some items, then I scanned the check-out lines looking for either the shortest line, or someone to talk to. I ended up picking the shortest line, which was the self-checkout lanes.

Within a minute or two, I heard someone speaking a foreign language behind me. I asked what languages they spoke, and one said they spoke Ukrainian and Russian. I offered them the Book of Mormon, and they agreed to see it. I asked them to wait near the exit door after they checked out, and I thought they said okay. I got through the checkout lane first, and when I got outside, I ran to my car. I had a Ukrainian, but not a Russian Book of Mormon in the car. By the time I got back to the exit, they weren't there. So the offer was made and the offer was accepted, but the books just didn't get delivered.

I then realized they may have been suspicious of my motives in asking them to wait for me. Or else, they just weren't interested, but were too polite to say 'no.' They had some difficulty understanding me in the first part of our conversation, so the third possibility is that they just didn't understand my offer of free books. I should have just left my shopping cart in the store, and retrieved the books before checking out, and made the presentation in the store so that they wouldn't have cause to suspect I was going to mug them. When people actually see the books in both their native language and in English, hear the word "free", then they usually catch the idea of what I'm offering, and the idea of reading them in parallel.

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