Friday, November 30, 2007

English DVD's at laundromat. Fri, Nov 30, 2007.

11/30/2007. 924. It was late evening at the laundromat. I was making several trips to take my clothes out to my car. There was a 50-something man in outdoor work clothes, tan overalls, eating at one of the small tables in the front waiting area. He looked weary, and humbled by the world. He looked as if some basic human courtesy acknowledging his existence would make a difference to him.

The idea of giving him a couple DVD's came to mind, Joy to the World, and Finding Faith in Christ.

On my next trip in, he was about to take his clothes out of the dryer, and I approached him and said I'd like to give him some free DVD's, and I asked if he had a DVD player. He didn't. But I had felt inspired to offer them to him, so maybe he knows someone with a DVD player. He gratefully accepted them.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tagalog and Waray at store. Thu, Nov 29, 2007.

11/29/2007. 923. The cashier was from the Philippines and spoke Tagalog. I offered her a couple of Tagalog Liahona magazines, and she accepted, so I retrieved those from my car. We chit-chatted some more, and I found out she also spoke Waray, so I offered her a Waray Book of Mormon, which she accepted. And she accepted the English edition too. I had those in the car too.

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$1 and "Joy to the World" DVD to beggar at gas station. Thu, Nov 29, 2007.

11/29/2007. 922. I was gassing up the car, and made eye contact with a pedestrian standing on the gas station property. I averted my eyes, but knew it was too late, and knew that he was going to hit me up for some money.

He approached and, from a respectful distance, asked for 51 cents. I said sure, just wait until I finish gassing up the car.

While I was still continuing to pump gas in the car, and I asked him for his story, why he needed 51 cents. He said "I'm not going to lie to you, I'm going to buy a beer with it." Then he said that he actually needed more than 51 cents, but that's all he wanted to ask of one person.

I finished, and asked if he had a video player or DVD player, because I wanted to give him a video from my church. He said he did, or knew someone who did, and I said I had a video from church I wanted to give him. I got back in the car and handed him a $1 bill and the "Joy to the World" DVD that I had on the front passenger seat.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Missed opportunity. Tue, Nov 27, 2007.

11/27/2007. Journal entry. I had just pulled into a parking space in front of a little strip mall of stores. Just as I was getting out of my car, the owner of the car next to me crossed the parking lot and was about to put her purchases in her trunk.

It occurred to me to say something to her, but I ignored the feeling. Twice more, while I was crossing the parking lot towards the store and again after I got in the store, I turned around, feeling like I should say something to her, and offer her a Joy to the World DVD.

But I "quenched the Spirit" and lost the opportunity. I chickened out.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Arabic at store. Mon, Nov 26, 2007.

11/26/2007. 921. I met an employee at a large store who spoke with an accent. He was very friendly to everyone, and he had a job where he could chat with me a while and also do his work.

He spoke with a cool accent, so I asked him where he was from. He was from the Middle East and spoke Arabic.

I offered him a free bilingual Arabic/English Bible, and he said he was interested, but he already had a New Testament and wanted a full Bible. I had a bilingual Arabic/English New Testament in my car, but had to go home to get the bilingual Arabic/English full Bible.

By the time I got back to the store, he was still on duty, and accepted the bilingual Bible. He also accepted the Arabic Book of Mormon when I offered it, but declined the English Book of Mormon saying he already had one.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Church HQ reads the bloggernacle.

They do read the bloggernacle at LDS church headquarters.

Domain Name ? (Organization)
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Utah
City : Salt Lake City
Lat/Long : 40.7242, -111.8787 (Map)
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Visit Entry Page http://indybooks.blo...copy-of-book-of.html
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Visitor's Time Nov 23 2007 3:37:12 pm
Visit Number 22,824

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

English pass-along card to beggar. Mon, Nov 19, 2007.

11/19/2007. 920. My friend and I stopped in Jonesboro Arkansas on our way back to Indianapolis. The trip had taken a day longer than we planned so we did a load of laundry so we could wear clean clothes the next day.

As we stood in front of the hotel near the laundry, a man approached us and told us his sob story of needing some money to buy his wife some prescription medicine. He was very humble and had a good story that I hadn't heard before. I wasn't convinced that it was a legitimate story, but it was unique, and it was a good story, so I gave him some money. He was very grateful. I didn't have a smaller bill so I gave him what I had. He wanted my address to pay it back, but I said to just "pay it forward" to someone else who needed help or give it to his church as a donation.

It wasn't until after he walked away that I realized I hadn't offered him a pass-along card, so I ran after him and gave him a customized Book of Mormon pass-along card. I explained that we believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and that he could call the 800 number on it for a free Book of Mormon.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pass-along cards at Vietnamese restaurant. Sat, Nov 17, 2007.

11/17/2007. 919. I'm accompanying a friend on a trip to Texas. He went off to visit friends, while I stayed at the hotel to do Internet work. Afterwards, I went out to eat, and found a Vietnamese restaurant right across the road. Good food.

My waitress was from Cambodia, but the owners were from Vietnam. I gave both the hostess and the waitress a customized pass-along card, with "Vietnamese" hand-written on the one, and "Cambodian" written on the other. They both seemed enthusiastic, and sounded like they would call the 800 number.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Amharic at store. Thu, Nov 15, 2007.

11/15/2007. 918. I stopped at a small mom-and-pop store that I hadn't been to before. The cashier was from Ethiopia and spoke Amharic. She helped me with some purchases and some Amharic words. She accepted an Amharic and an English Book of Mormon.

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Tagalog and Spanish at Chinese restaurant. Thu, Nov 15, 2007.

11/15/2007. 916. I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant on my way home from an appointment. I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting at the next table over. He grew up here, but was originally from the Philippines and spoke Tagalog. I ended up giving him a couple issues of the Tagalog Liahona magazine, and the "Together Forever" DVD (that has a Tagalog audio track) from my car.

11/15/2007. 917. I went back in to finish up lunch, and read a Spanish Liahona magazine. There was a word in Spanish that I wasn't familiar with. There was an Hispanic man sitting at the table on the other side, who was waiting for his order. I asked him what the word meant, but he didn't know. I showed him the magazine so he could read it in context. He seemed a little interested in the magazine, so I offered it to him and he accepted it. I also offered him a "Together Forever" DVD that I had in my Chinese bag.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

English at gas station. Fri, Nov 9, 2007.

11/09/2007. 915. Still on my way home from visiting friends, I stopped at another gas station to get a snack. I didn't see any opportunities until a scruffy looking guy hit me up for some gas to get him home. He really wanted gas, not just money, and had a gas can. I hope I've learned a lesson about beggars, and that they also present missionary opportunities. See here and here.

I went in and pre-paid a few dollars for him. While he was filling his gas can, I presented him an English KJV paperback Bible and a Book of Mormon which he accepted. My conversation starter was that I like to give out Bibles, and I asked if he wanted it, and he said okay. I then said at my church we believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and asked if he'd like that too, and he said okay.

I realize he was kind of socially obligated to accept them, but I don't feel any awkwardness about it.

As I drove away, I did see him pour the gas can into his truck, and there was someone else in the truck with him. He did say that his wife was with him.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Punjabi at gas station. Fri, Nov 9, 2007.

11/09/2007. 914. I was on the other side of town visiting friends, and on my way home stopped at a gas station to buy a newspaper. The cashier was from Punjab in India, and spoke Punjabi. He accepted my offer of Punjabi and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals, and Punjabi and English copies of the Joseph Smith Testimony Pamphlet. I had them in the car, so I retrieved them and presented them to him right there.

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Swahili Book of Mormon => Swahili Investigator.

11/09/2007. Journal Entry. I stopped by our ward's full-time missionaries' apartment during their lunch break to drop off some groceries and give them a couple Bibles and copies of the Book of Mormon.

They were very grateful for the food. And had an interesting item to report.

I had given them 22 foreign language translations of the Book of Mormon last Sunday. Those books included a Swahili translation and an Igbo translation.

During the week, the elders encountered someone who spoke Swahili and who is now investigating the church. The elders had kept the books in their car like I suggested, so all they had to do was to go back to their car and get it.

Also, another set of elders in their zone has an investigator from Nigeria who speaks Igbo, so our elders gave the other elders the Igbo Book of Mormon for their investigator.

I then resupplied our elders with another Swahili and another Igbo book.

The elders then asked if I had anything in Burmese for another investigator. I thought I had a Burmese Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet in the car, but when I checked, I realized I was out, and hadn't resupplied my car stock. So I'll give them that when I see them Sunday.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Albanian and Spanish at restaurant. Tue, Nov 6, 2007.

11/06/2007. 913. I was at the Indianapolis storehouse for an appointment, and during a break went to a nearby restaurant. One of the staff was Hispanic, and the other lady was from Albania. I offered them the Book of Mormon in Albanian and Spanish, and they agreed to see them. I knew I had Spanish in the car, but wasn't sure about Albanian. After paying I went out and found the Albanian and brought it and the Spanish, along with two English copies back in. Neither of them had heard of the Book of Mormon before. I also brought in a Spanish Liahona.

The lady from Albania was impressed, enthusiastic and grateful, and she accepted the English edition too. The Spanish-speaking lady was grateful too, but didn't want the English. I pointed out the address and meeting time for the Spanish branch, and also the ward that meets near where the other lady lives. That really made her day to get something in Albanian to read. I was able to give a short "more prophets in another part of the world testifying of God" explanation of the Book of Mormon, before more customers came in.

I think that might have been the first Albanian book I gave out. See an interesting note about the Albanian translation here.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

English at Nursing home. Mon, Nov 5, 2007.

11/05/2007. Journal Entry. I finally got back to the nursing home, and my widow friend was back, along with her daughter in law. I took her a belated pumpkin (with a face drawn on, not carved) for Halloween, but it's okay to have pumpkins out through Thanksgiving. I had given her one a few years ago last time she was in a nursing home recovering from surgery and she liked the idea.

It occurred to me to give her some material to have at the ready should she have any gospel conversations at the nursing home. There was a TV and VCR/DVD player in the lounge area. So I went out to the car and brought back in 6 church DVD's. There was one she hadn't seen yet, "The Testaments". And she could show them in the lounge if anyone was interested. I also gave her a TNIV paperback Bible (from Int'l Bible Society) and a Book of Mormon to offer anyone should they ask about the church.

I suggested she could just donate them to the nursing home library or activity room when she leaves.

There are several church members who work at the nursing home, too.

I struck up a conversation with her room-mate about cats since she had a cat magazine on her table. Do you ever feel awkward visiting a friend in a hospital or nursing home, and never know what to say or how to greet their room-mate? It seems impolite to just ignore them and pretend they're not there. Yet you don't want to intrude on the other person.

Well, I decided a long time ago to not pretend someone isn't there. And chances are the room-mate would appreciate being acknowledged. And it's possible they don't receive visitors or enough visitors anyway. So I make it a point to say something to the room-mates of the people I visit in nursing homes and hospitals.

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Punjabi at restaurant. Mon, Nov 5, 2007.

11/05/2007. 912. After leaving the Chinese restaurant, I shopped at a nearly "dollar" store for some stuff. Then as I got in the car, I felt a "tug" towards a discount department store in the same shopping center. The "tug" didn't exceed the "obvious" threshhold, but was of sufficient intensity that I believed I should follow that prompting based on past experience.

So I went into the discount department store with my eyes open for an opportunity. Inside near the entrance was a fast food restaurant of a chain known to have many franchisees from India. I backtracked a little to see who was working there, and I saw an employee with a turban, and realized he was from Punjab.

I went in and bought a soda and struck up a conversation with him, and offered him the Punjabi translation of our Gospel Fundamentals Sunday school manual. He agreed to see it, so I went out to the car and got it, along with an English translation, and Punjabi and English copies of the Joseph Smith testimony pamphlet. He politely received them and started to flip through it. He declined the English Gospel Fundamentals though.

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Chinese at restaurant. Mon, Nov 5, 2007.

11/05/2007. 911. I went to the south side to visit one of the elderly widows who was in the ward I used to be in. She was a regular at the singles Family-Home-Evening, and one of the fun-to-be-around live wires. Due to weakness and injury, she's in a nursing home, and will likely be moving into her son's home or an apartment when she gets out of there.

According to one of the staff, she was out at a doctor's appointment when I got there, and then would likely go out to eat with her son's family. So I decided to go look for an ethnic restaurant in that part of town. I don't normally travel in that area, so I figured I could find something I hadn't been to.

I was on my way to a restaurant I remember reading about, and saw a Chinese buffet that I hadn't been to before, so I pulled in there.

I put a Chinese Book of Mormon on my table while I ate, and the waitress noticed it when she came around. We chatted a bit, but she declined my offer to give her the book, or a DVD in Chinese. She said something that indicated she might already be Christian (as opposed to Buddhist or agnostic as most Chinese are), but I didn't have a Chinese/English Bible in my bag.

After paying I said to her that I might have a Chinese/English Bible back in my car, and she indicated a little interest. So I went out and found one (a bilingual New Testament actually) in the trunk. I went back in and presented it to her near the front desk, and she enthusiastically accepted it, and was a bit excited about it. It reinforced my opinion that we need to start with offering the Bible before offering a Book of Mormon. Especially since the word translated as "Book" in the Chinese title comes about "Bible". So it looks like we have a literal "Mormon Bible" instead of "Mormon Book."

The cashier/hostess was also interested, so I pulled out a Chinese (simplified script) Book of Mormon and an English Book of Mormon out of my book bag to show her. She was mildly interested and accepted them.

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Thai at bank. Mon, Nov 5, 2007.

11/05/2007. 910. My teller at the bank was from Thailand, but he grew up in the States and didn't read Thai. I went back and took in a Thai Liahona magazine, hoping that he knew others who like to read Thai. He enthusiastically received it.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Amazing post at Mormanity blog.

Speaks for itself:
The "God Makers" Quiz: Five Quotes on the Divine Potential of Man.

Signing on the missionaries. Sun, Nov 4, 2007.

11/04/2007. Journal entry. Our ward's missionaries seemed to have caught the vision of international language placements when they received a referral from Temple Square to deliver a Chinese Book of Mormon, to someone who had requested one while visiting Temple Square. Last Friday the 2nd, I had delivered a couple Chinese copies of the Book of Mormon to them for that purpose.

As I was chatting with them about my Book placements, they seemed to catch the vision. So I offered to give them a supply of foreign language translations if they'd keep them in their car. The senior companion agreed.

Today, Sunday the 4th, I gave them a first installment of a "car kit" with 22 different translations, plus a couple more English: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese-simplified script, Chinese-traditional script, French, Haitian, Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Lingala, Portuguese, Russian, Shona Spanish, Swahili, Telugu, Thai, TWi, Vietnamese, and Zulu.

I believe there were Post-it notes in all the copies, denoting 3rd Nephi chapter 11-26, and Moroni 10:3-5. All had info-flyers listing the chapels in town. All were in zip-lock plastic bags to keep out dirt and moisture.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Yoruba at grocery store, Chinese to missionaries. Fri, Nov 2, 2007.

11/02/2007. 909. I was at a large multi-ethnic grocery store that caters to many immigrants from different countries. I was in the neighborhood and went in to shop without any intention of making a book placement.

I was still in the produce section when an African family caught my eye. I was going by them when they had a break in their conversation, so I asked the father what language they were speaking. He said Yoruba, from Nigeria.

I asked he'd like to see a free copy of our Sunday School manual in Yoruba, that I'd bring one in from my car. He said okay. So I left my shopping cart in the produce section, and went out to the car and retrieved a Yoruba and an English copy of "Gospel Fundamentals."

When I took it back in, they had moved on further in the produce section, but they eagerly came back towards me to see it. They were a bit excited to see something in Yoruba, and were very grateful to receive it. We exchanged names, and I pointed out the flyer inside with information to contact the church if hey wanted to know more. And I pointed out my card that I had taped inside.


Journal entry. Afterwards, I went to another nearby Asian grocery store, and bought some stuff. I had a slip of paper in my wallet with the owner's name to remind me. I had given him a Vietnamese Book of Mormon a year or two ago. He remembered me, too. I think he was sleeping when I went it, and the door-chime woke him up. He was very helpful and eager to chat. I didn't mention the Book of Mormon or anything religious.


Journal entry. Our ward's missionaries had requested a Chinese Book of Mormon for a referral from Temple Square. So I stopped by their apartment on my way home and got there just before they got home for the night.

It turns out they had some buried in a stack of other copies of the Book of Mormon, but I gave them another pair of traditional and simplified Chinese copies, and explained the difference. I also took over some food and cleaning supplies they had askef for previously.

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