Saturday, February 28, 2009

Serendipity, walker for investigator's wife. Sat, Feb 28, 2009.

02/28/2009. Journal entry. I joined a bunch of ward members and the two full time missionaries to help move stuff that was stored in the garage at a member's old house to the garage at their new house.

Among the "stuff" was a walker, the kind elderly people use.

Aha, thought I. This is what our African investigator's wife needs. She uses a cane, and can barely get around, and needs something more.

I asked the owner of the stuff how much he wanted for it, and he said I could just have it. I then told him it was for the investigator's wife.

Later on in the day, I took it over to their house. His wife doesn't speak English. When she saw it and realized it was for her, she threw her hands up in the air, and started singing in her native language. The only word I could make out was "Hallelujah!".

The grand-daugther then went to wake up her grand-father, though I didn't want to bother him because he works nights.

She tried it out walking down the hall-way and back. She kept on singing.

Not having a walker was one of the main reasons she hardly ever left their apartment. Now maybe she can walk to the bus stop. I encouraged the investigator to invite her to come to church so she could thank the couple who donated the walker. Not being able to get around well was one reason she wasn't coming to church.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fante, Twi, Arabic at restaurant. Mon, Feb 23, 2009.

02/23/2009. 1115. After I left the Chinese restaurant, I needed to make a left turn from the parking lot onto the street to get to the Big Lots store that I wanted to go to. But there was too much traffic to turn left, so I turned right, hoping to circle back.

At the first stop-light I turned right again, hoping to later make a third right, but the Spirit indicated that I should keep going on this street to have another encounter.

Just a block or two down the street, there was a fast-food restaurant on the left. It was a brand that I don't normally go to, and I don't think I've ever been to that chain. But the Spirit indicated I should go there for another book placement opportunity. I had just eaten, so I knew it wasn't my own desire to go there, and that was a clue that it was a real prompting.

I figured I could order something to go, save it and just eat it later.

Well, the cashier who took my order was a young black man with an accent. He was from a country in West Africa, and learned Twi and Fante while he was in Ghana. I offered him free books from church and he agreed to accept them. After paying and receiving my order, I took it out to the car and brought back in Twi, Fante, and English copies of the Book of Mormon. I presented them, and he graciously accepted them.

The manager joined the conversation, and I learned he spoke Arabic. I offered him an Arabic book, and he said okay. I made sure he knew it was a Christian book, and he said that was okay. So I went out to the car and retrieved Arabic and English copies of the Book of Mormon. He graciously accepted both.


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Chinese Bibles and DVDs at restaurant. Mon, Feb 23, 2009.

02/23/2009. 1114. I felt inspired to go out of town to have lunch at a certain Chinese buffet restaurant that I was aware of.

I put several things on my table while I ate: Traditional Script and Simplified Script copies of the Chinese Book of Mormon, English Book of Mormon, Chinese and English copies of a Liahona magazine, and two copies of a bilingual Chinese/English New Testament from the International Bible Society.

On one of her passes by, I asked the waitress if she liked to read in Chinese. She said she did, so I offered her the free material. She started flipping through the stuff, and soon we were joined by another waitress and the male cashier. Before they had to get back to work, two of them accepted the bilingual New Testaments. They said they already had copies of the Chinese Book of Mormon. However, since the word for "book" on the cover of the Chinese Book of Mormon means "Bible", they may have mistaken it for "Mormon Bible", and already having a Chinese Bible, they just said they already had it.

(Update) I later remembered that a year or more ago I sent copies of the Chinese Book of Mormon to the missionaries in that city, so it is possible that they already had copies of it.

When I paid up front, I offered the cashier DVD's of "Finding Happiness", "Together Forever" and "Heavenly Father's Plan" which he accepted.

I saw a Big Lot's on my way to this restaurant, so I planned to stop there on my way back home. But apparently, there was another delivery to be made.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spanish at restaurant. Wed, Feb 18, 2009.

02/18/2009. 1113. I took the missionaries to their appointment with the African investigator. It went pretty well. On the way back to their apartment, I offered to take them to lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant, during their scheduled lunch break. I said the deal was that I'd pay, but they had to offer our waitress church material. They accepted, and agreed to meet me at the restaurant later.

We met up there, were seated, and ordered. I showed them what I had brought: Spanish and English Bibles, Spanish and English copies of the Book of Mormon, a Spanish and an English Liahona magazine, and 2 multi-lingual DVD's.

After we were served, I put the two Bibles and two copies of the Book of Mormon on the outside of the booth's table. On one of her trips back to check on us, the senior companion offered her a Bible, and she perused the material. She accepted the Spanish Bible, but didn't want the other material. Inside the Bible was a flyer listing the local chapels, including where and when the Spanish branch meets, and listing the Spanish-speaking missionaries' phone number.

After we paid at the cashier counter, the junior companion offered the cashier a multi-lingual "Introduction to the Church" DVD, which the cashier accepted.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spanish at restaurant. Tue, Feb 17, 2009.

02/17/2009. 1112. After doing some stuff at the storehouse I stopped at a Mexican restaurant for supper on my way to another appointment. I think I took in only the Liahona magazine, an English and a Spanish copy.

I didn't offer the waitress anything, but after paying at the cashier station, I offered the cashier/manager the Spanish Liahona first, which he accepted, and then the English copy of the same issue, which he also graciously accepted.

I've learned that it's easy to get out of practice. The last couple times I've offered anything were where the waitress noticed the material on the table and initiated the conversation, freeing me from the natural fear of starting a conversation.

I think I need to make sure I eat out at least once a week, and keep in practice by initiating conversations. Habits are easy to get into, both the habit of non-speaking and the habit of speaking.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Follow-up with more Korean material. Fri, Feb 13, 2009.

02/13/2009. Journal Entry. I went to a meeting of a social club that I belong to. A guy I met last August was there. He read some of the articles in the Korean Liahona magazines that I gave him, and said that his beliefs were slightly different.

I told him about some church videos that have Korean audio tracks, and offered them, and he said he'd like to see them. I brought some in from my car, and he accepted two of them, Together Forever and Finding Happiness.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Missed opportunity. Thu, Feb 12, 2009.

02/12/2009. Journal entry. I was at the laundromat, and had just finished folding the laundry and had put it in the basket, and was ready to leave. I felt inspired to strike up a conversation with the family using the folding table next to mine. But I chickened out (disobeyed) and left without speaking to them. They were speaking Spanish, and I had a Spanish Bible and Spanish Book of Mormon and a Spanish Liahona magazine with my stuff that I could have offered them.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Chinese Book of Mormon in Simplified Script.

The Chinese Book of Mormon received a new translation last year.

First, it was available in Traditional Script. That makes sense since most Chinese-speaking members are in Taiwan and Hong Kong where they use Traditional Script.

That translation is now available in Simplified Script, which is the version of script (characters) that is used by people in China (mainland China) and by most Chinese immigrants in the United States.

In other words, your Chinese investigators here in the United States (actually, everywhere except Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia) will likely want to read the Simplified Script version. This is the version I give out at most Chinese restaurants. However, there are some exceptions.

The pictures of the cover have not been updated on the web site. Here's a pic of the two new covers, the traditional is above, and the simplified below. The traditional script is catalog # 34407265, and the simplified is catalog # 34407266.

This is not just a new type-setting, it is a new translation. Both have the new footnotes, and both have "Guide to the Scriptures" in the back.

The traditional script reads top-down, and right to left.

The simplified script reads left to right.

Both Mandarin and Cantonese use the same written characters. Only the spoken word is different. The writing is the same for all Chinese dialects. So you don't need to ask which dialect they speak, just where they are from (China versus Hong Kong/Taiwan) to know which edition to offer them.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

church (B.o.M.) ads on Drudge!

I just saw an ad for the Book of Mormon on

It was the tall skyscraper ad in the right-most column.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Chinese at restaurant. Fri, Feb 6, 2009.

02/06/2009. 1111. This was a road trip to visit a customer in another city, then on to visit family. I intended to stop for lunch somewhere along the Interstate highway. I felt inspired to take a certain exit at a small town, and was on the look-out for an ethnic restaurant. I found a Chinese place in the commercial district near the Interstate, entered, ordered a lunch combo, paid, and sat down. I placed a Chinese and an English Liahona on the table, along with both kinds of Chinese editions of the Book of Mormon, and an English Book of Mormon. I read the English Liahona while I waited.

When the lady brought my food, she noticed the material and commented about it. I said it's from my church, and it's free, and offered it to her. She accepted both the Chinese and English Liahona, and the simplified script Chinese Book of Mormon, but she politely declined to receive the English Book of Mormon. I wasn't able to quite get across the bilingual nature of using the Book of Mormon to learn to read English. This was a situation where a bilingual (diglot) Book of Mormon would really have come in handy.

Their grade-school or middle-school-aged son was milling about the restaurant, and he started a conversation, and I hoped he could catch the idea and explain it to his parents. He was bilingual in English and Chinese, and could read English, but couldn't read Chinese. But he wasn't interested in learning to read Chinese, or didn't think he could.

I had some DVD's and a bilingual Chinese/English New Testament, but kept those in my bag. It's worth a follow-up next time I make a trip that way, and I'll offer them the other material.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Friendshipping investigators. And Samoan, Thai to missionaries. Sun, Feb 1, 2009.

(Coincidences pile up.)

02/01/2009. Journal entry. I gave a ride to the investigator and his young-adult grand-daughter today. This was their seventh time at church. Between the meetings, I asked one of the sisters who's going to the Relief Society's "Enrichment" day to take the grand-daughter and her grand-mother to the event. The grand-mother doesn't speak English and doesn't get out of the house. So it should be exciting for her, and her grand-daughter will be along to translate.

Since there's a YSA (Young Single Adult) branch in town, our ward doesn't have any young singles who are near the grand-daughter's age. I asked her if she'd like to visit the Young Single Adult branch, and she said yes. (She's been to two of the YSA Family Home Evenings so far.) So I went to the YSA branch this afternoon (our ward meets in the morning), to find someone who could take her there.

And coolest of cool, there's a sister member of the YSA branch who lives in the same apartment complex as the investigator family!

So I got her name/number, and gave the investigator's address and phone number, and my name and number to her. I'll tell her (the investigator) who to expect next week if she still wants to go.

I also talked to the sister missionaries who work in the YSA branch (along with another ward that meets there) and told them the story, and to be on the look-out for her.

I also told the investigator (the grand-daughter) that I'd give her a ride to the YSA's FHE tomorrow, and the sister missionaries said they'd be there too.


02/01/2009. Journal entry. One of the sister missionaries at the YSA branch is from Samoa, and wants to meet local Samoans, so I gave her a Samoan Book of Mormon to give out when she meets any. They also asked for a Thai Book of Mormon since they are teaching a Thai family, so I gave them one, and also a Thai Liahona.

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