Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chinese at restaurant. Tue, Mar 30, 2010.

03/30/2010. 1237. I met a friend at a Chinese buffet restaurant in the next town over. He's a regular there and friends with the owners and the waitresses. He's American, but speaks pretty good Mandarin. I was there years ago, but I forget if anyone there accepted any church material. Even if it's the same owners, I'm confident that the wait-staff has turned over since then. My friend may have offered material in the past to the waitresses whom he knows.

We chatted with three different waitresses during our dinner. I think we offered something to all three of them, but only one accepted a Chinese Book of Mormon. She declined the English copy, saying she couldn't read English, and she apparently hasn't been interested in learning.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Key phrases for conversations.

03/28/2010. Journal entry. "Some day, in a future life, in a future world, you're going to chastise me because I didn't share these things with you sooner." I just wrote that in an email to a friend, inviting him to visit the church in his area:

Here are some other phrases that I've used or plan to use:

Conversation starter: "What church do you go to?"

Follow-ups: "You give off light. I could tell you believe in Jesus Christ."

"It must be a good church to attract a light-filled person such as yourself." Then wait for them to ask which church you go to. Let them set the direction of the conversation from there on.

I've used part of that before, and it makes for a nice interaction.

New idea: This year our ward meets from 1pm to 4pm. I'm going to invite myself to some other churches who meet in the mornings. There are at least seven churches within a mile of our ward building.

Possible conversation starter: "Our church doesn't start until 1pm, so I thought I'd stop by on my way and visit yours today. Do you mind?"

Watcha think? Probably wouldn't work if you have kids. Unless you have teenage boys and there aren't any girls their age in your ward. Say "Ok, let's go see if we can find any who want to join."

PS. Korean churches usually serve a meal after their services. So if you like Korean food... (But please make a donation to their church when they pass the plate. Don't be a free-loader.) And yes, I've done that!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Feed the mish'es, 3 contacts. Fri, Mar 26, 2010.

03/26/2010. Journal entry. The missionaries did the contacts, I bought lunch and facilitated. (I didn't make the offers, so I don't number it in my encounters.)

I was on my way to lunch, and saw a couple elders walking down the street. I turned around, pulled into a parking lot and called them over. They were about ready to take a lunch break, so I offered to take them to lunch.

One of the elders was from Honduras (the other was a US guy) so we chose a Central American restaurant nearby.

We met one of the office workers from their apartment complex, who was also patronizing the restaurant.

Anywho, we ordered, ate, I paid (and left a good tip), and the missionaries offered the waitress/cashier some material. I think she accepted a Spanish (and maybe an English) Book of Mormon, and a video.

We also flagged down another patron as he was leaving since the Honduran elder thought the guy was from Honduras, but he wasn't. He did accept a pass-along card and a pamphlet though. The missionaries play soccer on the west side of town, and this guy was a soccer player, so they invited him to the missionary soccer.

Right as we left, another lady left the restaurant. And if I understood correctly, she was the one who started a conversation with the elders on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. They offered her a Spanish Book of Mormon and a video, which she accepted, and she said she'd call them. We all chit-chatted in Spanish for a while, and it sounded to me like she really would call them.

I then dropped off the missionaries at their nearby apartment.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Skousen's "5000 Year Leap" at #146 at Amazon!

Wow! I couldn't believe this. Cleon Skousen's "The 5000 Year Leap" is currently ranked at #146 overall at Amazon! I was actually looking at another book, where it said 11% of those who viewed that other book's page end up buying 5000 Year Leap.

Ah, I read down further, and the book's popularity is likely due to Glenn Beck promoting it.

374 Customer reviews. 313 @ 5-star. 26 @ 4-star. 9 @ 3-star. 3 @ 2-star. 23 @ 1-star.

Other ratings by category:
#1 in Books > History > Ancient
#2 in Books > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Political Science > Government
#3 in Books > Nonfiction > Government > Constitutions

Scouting further, the 30th Anniversary edition, with a forward by Glenn Beck, is at #56.

#1 in Books > Professional & Technical > Law > One-L
#1 in Books > Professional & Technical > Law > Constitutional Law
#1 in Books > Nonfiction > Law > Constitutional Law

Reid, Romney, Beck, Skousen... no matter what you think of them, the church is "coming forth out of obscurity."

Wow, wow, wow.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Missed opportunity, Sat, Mar 20, 2010.

03/20/2010. Journal entry. I had just done some shopping at Wal-Mart, and at the stop light at the main street out front, there was a homeless man sitting on the grass with a sign. At first I thought to ignore him, but then decided to give him one of the apples and one of the oranges I had just bought. So I turned to the right instead of the left, circled back, parked in the parking lot of the adjoining business, got out two pieces of fruit, and walked over and offered them to him. He accepted them.

And I completely forgot to offer him any church material! I'm losing my touch, or else losing my mind.

In the past, what I've done for beggars is to give them a video, and suggest they sell it for a dollar. So that way, they'll pass it along (sell it) to someone who might watch it, or they themselves might watch it before selling it. Sometimes, I include a $1.00 with the video.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Found grandma on LDS-indexed 1900 Federal Census!

I just found my 7 year old grandmother on an indexed 1900 Federal Census form at http://pilot.familysearch.org. It's linked to the image, so I saw a picture of the original census form. Wow. Does that ever drive home the importance of indexing. Sign up/register to contribute your time typing in the information from a picture of a census into computer forms at indexing.familysearch.org


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Book of Mormon is "Our Story." h/t Br. Lindsay.

I love this post by Jeff Lindsay about the Book of Mormon being "Our Story."

On March 16, 2010, he wrote:
Recently I was in a discussion with the missionaries and a couple of friends, one a member of the Church and one not. One of the missionaries, in talking about the Book of Mormon, talked about the ancient journey of Lehi and his family out of their homeland to the Americas. "Their story is really our story," the missionary said. I was puzzled at first. "Why is this about 'our story'--what does he mean?" As I looked around, it hit me. In this room of five people, I was the only one born in the US. One woman came here from China and another emigrated from Taiwan. The missionary who had been speaking was born in the Marshall Islands and emigrated to California with his family, and the other missionary was raised in Mexico City and his family has now emigrated to the US. Everyone but me had he story of being born elsewhere but emigrating to the United States in search of something better. This is related to a theme in the Book of Mormon in which physical migrations to a "promised land" are treated as a symbol of our journey the Kingdom of God. These journeys include those of Nephi and Lehi to the America, the Mulekites to the Americas, the Jaredites to the Americas, the Nephites from the south to the land of Zarahemla, and Alma and his group oout of captivity back to Zarahemla. The story of deliverance from captivity or other problems by emigration to a promised land, with all the dangers and hardships that come along the way, is "our story" after all.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Bookslingers! Yippee!

Kelsey recently reported that she took this idea and replicated it a few times.

I had previously found out that taxi driver Bill Cortelyou in the Boston area was doing this with non-English editions long before I started. And Vearl McBride of the Roanoke Virginia area also gives/offers copies of the Book of Mormon faster than I do.

Are there any more Book-of-Mormon-slingers out there?

Update: Geoff B at Millennial Star blog is now a slinger of books.

Update: Tatiana is now a slinger of the Book of Mormon.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Pass-along card at laundromat. Tue, Mar 9, 2010.

03/09/2010. 1236. I was at a laundromat, not one of the ones I normally go to, but one within convenient driving range.

A man folding laundry next to me had a certain spiritual radiation, such that I assumed him to be a believer in God. I was considering striking up a conversation, and the Spirit seemed to strongly indicate that I should. So before I finished my folding, I struck up a conversation by asking him what church he went to. He said that he didn't go to church, but that the teenager with him (who I assumed was his daughter) did go. I wasn't prepared for that answer, so I didn't have a ready response. After a brief pause, I said "Well, you're welcome to come visit my church." He asked which one, and I said the name of the church, and the approximate address (cross streets).

I asked which one she went to, and he mentioned one not far from my ward's building.

That was about the extent of the conversation, but then before leaving, I felt inspired (strongly prompted of the Spirit) to offer him something. So I asked if I could give him a card with the church's phone number and web site on it. He said okay in a manner that let me know he was not put off at all by my offer. I gave him one of these.

Update: This is actually a new dynamic, or new approach for me. I think I was "taught from on high" in this. This new conversation starter: A) ask what church someone goes to, B) wait for a response, C) if they say they don't attend church, say that they are welcome to attend yours, D) wait for a response, E) if they ask what church you go to tell them, F) ask if you can give them something with the church's information on it.

The card I gave had the church's toll-free Book of Mormon number on it, and the church web site, but I didn't realize until later that it needed my ward's chapel address on it. I should have written the chapel address on it in case he wanted to just show up. After all, I did invite him.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

English pass-along card at store. Mon, Mar 8, 2010.

03/08/2010. 1235. I was out running errands, and felt inspired to stop at an office-supply store. I picked up a couple items that were on sale that I could use, and continued to browse in the computers/electronics section, checking prices, and looking for any deals.

There was a lady shopping for another memory card for her digital camera, and I helped her a bit. I wanted to give her a web site where she could buy that type of memory online. I took out my wallet to write the URL on a personal calling-card, but I was out, and only had a customized business-card-sized Book of Mormon pass-along card, so I wrote the URL on the back of it.

When I gave it to her, I mentioned that there was some church stuff on the other side.

Ma'am, if you're reading this, I did not set up our encounter just to give you that card. I wasn't even thinking about it. I'm just naturally "Mr. Helpful". I'm what is known as a "compulsive helper". I had just run out of my personal cards in my wallet, and the other card was there. If you happen to be curious about the Book of Mormon, then I hope you call the number for a free copy. But if not, then it's just a piece of scrap paper with the web site that sells the memory.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Videos to Vietnamese member. Wed, Mar 3, 2010.

03/03/2010. Journal entry. (Not numbered, since this person was already a member.) While driving across town, I stopped by the chapel that hosts Institute classes and decided to sit in on a class. The new teacher is pretty cool, has lots of energy, and connects well with the students.

After the class, I noticed an Asian student. He joined the church last year. He's from Vietnam, but also speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. I offered him some church videos, which he didn't have, and he accepted those. He also accepted a couple copies of the Chinese Liahona. He already had a Vietnamese Book of Mormon. I thought I had some Vietnamese Liahonas, but I'm all out.