Saturday, August 28, 2010

French at gas station. Sat, Aug 28, 2010.

08/28/2010. 1249. I was on my way home from doing laundry. A new gas station had opened up on the route that I had chosen to drive home. The idea occurred to me to stop and get a newspaper. I don't know if it was a spiritual prompting or not.

Anyway, the cashier was a black man who spoke with a heavy accent. So after I paid, I took a guess and asked "Parlez vous francais?" He said yes, or maybe "oui". I asked where he was originally from, and he said Niger.

I didn't offer anything at the time, but when I got back to my car, I dug out a Together Forever DVD (that has a French audio track), and an old copy of a French Liahona magazine, and took them back in.

I got back in line, and when it was my turn, I asked if he'd like a free DVD in French and a free magazine in French from my church. He was very excited about them, and enthusiastically greed to receive them. I asked if he was Muslim, since most people from Niger are Muslim. He said yes. So I made sure he knew it was Christian material and if he still wanted them, and he said no problem. He also spoke Hausa, but when I offered him a Hausa copy of the Sunday school manual (Gospel Fundamentals), he said he didn't read Hausa, just spoke it.

I don't know why I didn't offer a French Book of Mormon, but since I'm regularly in that area (about once a week) I should have opportunity to follow up.

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3 degrees of glory explained.

This is not only hilarious, it sounds pretty on-the-mark too. It's a simplified version of Section 76 in the Doctrine and Covenants, where it states that people in one kingdom can visit the lower levels, but no one can visit the levels up from them (verses 86-88).

From Sista Beehive at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I was visiting with a few of my girls the other day, and one of our sistas who isn't LDS commented that she appreciated the VIP Heaven that we LDS folk have, you know the three Heavens, she said, because I just don’t think I want to be in the same Heaven as my Mother. (I've probably had that thought a few times myself.)

While engaged in this conversation, another sista bore her testimony about the three degrees of glory.

[name redacted]: When I was a child, Tupac had a popular song out where he asked the question, “Does Heaven have a Ghetto?” That struck a cord with me in my childhood, so much so, that I asked my Mother the very same question. She explained that her belief was that, in Heaven the Lord would want us to be comfortable, and because paradise was different to every person, it was entirely possible that Heaven did have a Ghetto. My mother and I always thought that this was something we would have to wait until we got to Heaven to find out. So, when at the age of 14, I started taking the missionary discussions and Sister Butterworth told me about the three degrees of glory, the Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Telestial Kingdoms. I knew the church had to be true, because Heaven had a Ghetto. It was also interesting to know that the Lord would answer a childhood question of mine. Plus in VIP Heaven (Celestial) you can go visit people in the other degrees of Heaven, but they can't come visit you! For example, my family in South Central can't come visit me in Beverly Hills, but I can go visit them in South Central. Yes, Heaven got a Ghetto/Trailer Park.

Of course our non-LDS sista was now even more curious so we broke it down for her.

Telestial Kingdom: This is the place for those who don't know how to follow the rules. If you don't know how to abide by the law, you might end up in the Telestial Kingdom. In the Telestial Kingdom you are stationary. It’s not prison, but a similar concept. You can make collect calls to your friends and family in the higher Kingdoms, you can beg for a visit, and they’ll come if they want to. No passing contraband from the other Kingdoms to the people in the Telestial Kingdom. It’s nothing like the Penitentiary (not that I know what that’s like). It’s nicer, more like where Martha Stewart went. You don’t have to visit through the glass, no one is going to shank you, and you don’t have to worry about your celly snitching on you. While it’s not quite lock down, it’s not all roses though, because you don’t get to leave. No outside visits, no leaving your Kingdom.

Terrestrial Kingdom: This is like a "middle class neighborhood". In this neighborhood, there are people who are good, kind, and who actually tried to live a decent life. They tried to do right, and still recognized that Christ was the Savior, yet didn't develop a personal relationship with God the Father. Now this place is much nicer than the Telestial Kingdom. You’re not rolling in a Lexus, but you do get a bus pass. There’s nothing wrong with public transportation, shoot, a bus pass is a privilege, cause that means you get to travel! You can visit all your friends in the Telestial Kingdom. However, that’s it though, cause your line doesn’t run up town.

Celestial Kingdom: Now this is what Brigham Young was talking about! This is the place! This is an all access pass. This is the Kingdom that you inherit if you have lived up to all the covenants that have been required of you. In this neighborhood, you really do get to leave your doors unlocked and everything is fine. If your address is 2438 North Celestial Boulevard, then you have arrived. The best part about living in this neighborhood is that the "Stationary" and "Bus Pass" friends and family can't just stop in and case your house. No one can try to make you feel bad because you have nicer things than they do. They have to call and invite you to visit them... and you got the free agency to say we’re not available. Now what I hope is that we have caller I.D. in the Celestial Kingdom, for just in case we don't feel like answering the phone.

But then we had to drop the BOMB… the Celestial Kingdom has a VVIP! So if you should be one of those who has earned a mansion in the Celestial Kingdom, don't be shocked if you look around one day and find there is an area that is sectioned off, with Porter Rockwell guarding all of "us" VVIP folk. Please don't think I can get you in, chances are I barely got in myself. However I will tell Jesus, Joseph Smith, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, my Mama and my Daddy that you said hello.

Peace & Love,
Sista Beehive


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Persian to members at conference. Sun, Aug 22, 2010.

08/22/2010. Journal entry. It was right after stake conference, and people were milling about. A member of my ward asked me for a Persian and an English Book of Mormon for a friend of his. I had them in the car, so I went out and retrieved them and gave them to him. He even offered to pay for them, which I accepted.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Hindi at restaurant. Fri, Aug 20, 2010.

08/20/2010. 1248. I had lunch at an Indian restaurant. I put a Hindi copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon on the table as I ate and read my newspaper. The waitress noticed them and started a conversation about them. I offered them to her, and she enthusiastically accepted them. Later, she gave them to one of the other employees and appeared to make a brief explanation of them to him. The other employee was not fluent in English, so I gather that she suggested he use them to improve his English reading skills. That was really nice of her, so I'll have to follow up to see if they want any more

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chinese to members. Sun, Aug 15, 2010.

08/15/2010. Journal entry. A family on vacation visited our ward today. They used to live in the ward, then moved to Utah. They were passing through Indianapolis on their way home from vacation.

I thought "There are a lot of Chinese restaurants between here and Utah" so I offered the father a Chinese/English pair of copies of the Book of Mormon, and suggested to him that they eat at a Chinese restaurant on the way home. He enthusiastically accepted the challenge.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Recap of customized pass-along cards.

I thought I'd do a post of all the various custom pass-along cards that I've come up with. All of these are business-card sized, 3.5" wide by 2" tall. Some were done at Office Depot, one at Office Max, and some on my home computer and printer.

The reason I use these in addition to church-produced pass-along cards is that these fit in my wallet. The church-produced cards are not business-card size. Another reason is that the church-produced cards don't have the local mission office on them, and don't mention that the Book of Mormon is available in many non-English languages.

The copies of the Book of Mormon that I give out usually contain 3 cards:
1. The church's Book of Mormon card inserted at 3 Nephi chapter 11.
2. The customized business-card sized Book of Mormon card at 1 Nephi chapter 1.
3. My personal calling card inside the front cover.

Plus, I put a list of local chapels on a 8.5x11" flyer inside the front cover, and mark both 3 Nephi chapter 11, and Moroni 10:3-5 with post-it notes.

If I'm in a situation where I can only give out a pass-along card, I can just use an appropriate one from my wallet.

Here is the main one that goes in all material I give out. These were done online at

The 317-802-9650 number, which was the local mission office, is now 580-0479. 888-537-2200 is the toll-free number from the church's official "call for a free Book of Mormon pass-along card."

The next has the same information, done online at

For English-only speaking people, it can be easier to start out with an offer of a Bible:


888-537-1212 is the toll-free number from the church's official "call for a free Bible" pass-along card.

Also important to include, is your own contact information. I prefer not to write anything directly on the books, so I include a personal calling-card:

The recent ward pass-along card, or "invite to church" card:

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

English at gas station. Thu, Aug 12, 2010.

08/12/2010. 1247. I was on a trip in a nearby town (see previous entry), heading back towards home, and I stopped to refuel at a convenient gas station along the right side of the main road back to the Interstate highway. The cashiers weren't immigrants and I did not offer them any gospel material.

As I was about to pull back onto the main road, I believe the Spirit indicated I should go to another gas station on the other side of the street. So instead of turning at the light, crossed the street and went to that gas station. I bought something to drink, and after paying I was the only one in line, so talking to the cashier would not delay any other customers.

I said to him that I liked to give out Bibles, and asked if he would like a free Bible. He did not show any sign of annoyance, but politely declined. I then asked if he'd like a free Book of Mormon. He asked what that was as if he had never heard of it before. I said that at our church we use both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, that we believe in both. He asked what church and I said the name of the church. He thought about it a few seconds, then casually said "okay." I said I'd get it from the car, and be back. So I got one from the car, and went back in and got in line, and presented it to him. I said that if he wanted any more information or had questions, that he could call one of the numbers in the book. In the book I had placed a church Book of Mormon pass-along card, one of my custom pass-along cards, and my personal calling cards.

I am very grateful for that opportunity; grateful to the Lord, and to the gentleman at the cash register.

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Chinese at restaurant. Thu, Aug 12, 2010.

08/12/2010. 1246. I was in a nearby town, and stopped at a Chinese buffet restaurant for supper. The last time I remember going to that restaurant was September 2004. So I was pretty sure they would have had a turnover of waitresses since then.

I put a Chinese (simplified script) copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon on my table while I ate and read the newspaper.

When the waitress came by to retrieve a used plate, she noticed the books, and I asked if she liked to read Chinese. She was genuinely interested in them and appeared to be excited to see a book in Chinese. She asked how much they were, and I said "mien FAY" (free) and "GAY knee" (I give you). She was very excited to receive the Chinese copy and she politely declined the English, indicating she couldn't read it. At that point, I opened both books to 1 Nephi 1:1, and put my index fingers on each copy, and read the verse in English while I moved my fingers under the verse in each book. It then dawned on her that she might be able to use the pair of books to learn to read English. At least I hope, because she then graciously accepted the English copy too.

Hopefully, the church will publish parallel-column bi-lingual copies in Chinese/English, Swahili/English, etc. And the idea of using the Book of Mormon to learn English (or another language) will be more obvious.

When I paid later, I offered the cashier the same books as I gave the waitress (I brought in 2 copies of each). But she was fluent in English, and politely declined.

I have to give the Lord credit on this one, because I sincerely believe my trip to that town was inspired, a spiritual prompting. That's the only reason I went. I hope I'm not saying that to brag, but to give credit to the Lord, and illustrate that He knows where everyone is, and who is ready to receive a gospel seed. If you're willing to make a delivery, He's willing to give you an assignment.

See next post for a gas stop on the same trip.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Invite to church cards.

A church invitation card:

These are standard size business cards, 3.5" wide by 2" tall.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Hebrew at grocery store, missed op. Mon, Aug 9, 2010.

08/09/2010. Journal entry. Missed opportunity. At the grocery store, I heard two young caucasaian ladies speaking a foreign language. I turned around and politely asked what language they were speaking. One of them said Hebrew.

I thought that was so cool since they were the first people I've encountered locally who were speaking Hebrew. There is a sizeable Jewish immigrant population in Indy, but that group is Russian. I didn't ask, but I assumed these ladies were from Israel.

The church doesn't have anything in Hebrew that I'm aware of. There used to be a Hebrew edition of the Book of Mormon, but it's out of print, and used copies go for over $100. Rumor has it that pulling the Hebrew edition BoM off the market was one of Israel's conditions to allow the church to put a BYU branch in Jerusalem.

I couldn't think of any material to offer, so I just smiled and said "That's cool. Welcome to America!" But in hind-sight I still could have given them a pass-along card and one of my personal calling cards.

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Missed op at McDonald's, Mon, Aug 9, 2010.

08/09/2010. Journal entry. Missed opportunity. I stopped at a McDonald's on my way home, and got hit up by a beggar before I even got out of the car. He was smooth about it too, going into his long sad story before asking for money. I actually said "get to the point" a few times because he was so hung up on telling his manipulative story. Needing to get a tire fixed seems to be a common ruse, they're from the next town over, lost their cell phone, or they're new in town and don't have any friends, or had their keys stolen. No matter what you ask them about other solutions, there's always a problem with whatever you suggest, and the ONLY thing that can help them out is a few dollars,

I ended up giving him a few bucks anyway, which I usually don't do. He was a good player. But I completely spaced out on giving him a church video. I should have given him a couple, and said to sell them to raise the money he needed. Even with just the few dollars, I should have given him a business card with the chapel's address and the missionaries' phone number on it.

One of the keys that tells you that you're being played is when they dominate the conversation and are so emotionally manipulative.