Thursday, September 30, 2010

Follow-up at restaurant. Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

09/30/2010. Journal entry. I went to a Chinese restaurant that I hadn't been to in a while. The same people worked there. I had given them material before, so I just took in a Chinese Liahona magazine. The waitress/owner recognized me. As I put the magazine and my newspaper on the counter to reach for my wallet to pay, she noticed the magazine and said something about it, so I just offered it to her right there. It look like she was eager to receive it. We chatted a little bit, and as usual, the food was pretty good.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Korean at Post Office. Sat, Sep 25, 2010.

09/25/2010. 1254. I was at the Post Office checking my box. Just as I left the building, an Asian-looking man pulled into a parking space and got out of his car. I felt like I should talk to him.

I got into my car, rolled down my window, and waited a few seconds for him to come back out. When he came back out, I said to him, that I liked to give out books in foreign languages from my church, and I asked him what languages he liked to read. He said he was Chinese, but didn't read Chinese. Then he said his wife was Korean, and indicated he'd take something for her.

So I got out of the car and went around to the other side to get out a Korean Book of Mormon, and a Korean Liahona magazine, and a "Together Forever" DVD with a Korean sound track. He gratefully accepted them, and we went on our ways.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Missed op at laundromat. Mon, Sep 20, 2010.

09/20/2010. Journal Entry. Missed opportunity.

I was at the all night laundromat doing some late laundry. There was a man waiting around for his laundry to get finished. He was wearing a knit skull-cap that many Muslims wear.

After I got my laundry in the dryers, I went over and asked him where he was from. He said Bangladesh. I said "Apnar shathhe shakkhat kore khoob khushi holam." ("I'm very pleased to meet you." Which I learned from 101 Languages of the World.) He smiled broadly and extended his hand to shake mine. I then said "Ami matro olpo olpo Bangla bolte pari." ("I only speak a little Bengali.") We chatted a bit more, and I excused myself to check on something. But when I turned back to go offer him a Book of Mormon in Bengali, he was gone.

If ya snooze, ya lose. Just the chance of getting to offer him a Book of Mormon (whether he accepted it or not) would have been worth a wrinkled shirt.


Today is Pray for Christopher Hitchens Day. 9/20/2010.

Today, Monday Sep 20, 2010, is unofficially "Pray for Christopher Hitchens Day." He is an author famous for being an atheist, and has written books strongly advocating against religion.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

She stopped and asked me. English/parking lot. Sun, Sep 19, 2010.

09/19/20. 1253. I was getting ready to go to church (afternoon meetings), and was restocking the trunk of my car with some copies of the Book of Mormon to replenish ones I had recently given out.

A neighbor drove by, stopped her car, rolled down her window, and asked me what church I went to. (I was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and tie on Sunday, so my look screamed "church guy.")

I told her, and then she asked where it was. I got out an info flyer that lists the local chapels and gave it to her, and told her the address, and said she was welcome to visit, or she could call one of the numbers, and church representatives could visit her if she wanted. I then asked if she would like any church literature. She said okay.

I thought I had some missionary lesson pamphlets, but I only had them in Spanish. So I offered her a Book of Mormon and a Finding Faith in Christ DVD. And she accepted them.

Words fail me to express the awe I feel about this encounter. And there are so many implications and lessons in this, that I don't know where to start. Or, even if I should, because the reader will either get or won't get it, regardless of what I say. And, I don't understand all the lessons and ramifications myself. I know one thing where I fell short, and that is in bearing testimony. It was a perfect opportunity for bearing testimony, and I didn't. I invited, but I didn't testify.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shona at grocery store. Sat, Sep 18, 2010.

09/18/2010. 1252. I was on my way home from a ward dinner and activity. As I came up to a certain gas station I felt like I was prompted, rather strongly, to stop there. However, either I missed the opportunity to make a contact there, or else it was merely a timing loop. I bought a newspaper. The cashier seemed foreign-born, but somehow, offering him something just didn't feel right.

As I got closer to home, I decided to stop at one of my favorite chain grocery stores. On my way to get something in the store, my attention was drawn to two men half-way down one of the aisles. They looked like they could be African, and I thought I detected an accent in their speech even though I couldn't make out what they were saying. On my way back, they were still in that aisle, and my visual "focus" was drawn to them again, and I noticed that one of them was wearing African sandals. So I turned down that aisle. As I passed one of them, he moved away from the center of the aisle to let me by, and I said the normal "excuse me" as I passed in front of him. He said something that I didn't make out, but it was obviously with an accent.

I had already taken a step or two beyond him, but I stopped and turned, and said something like "'Scuse me, I don't recognize your accent. Where are you from?" He said "Zimbabwe." I asked "Do you speak Shona?" He smiled, as if he were very pleased that someone knew about his language, and said "Yes."

I said that the reason I asked is that my church had free books in many African languages, including Shona, and I asked if he'd like a free copy. He eagerly said yes. I said I had one in Shona in my car, and asked him if it was okay with him if I went to get it and gave it to him there. He said no problem. I pointed out that it was Christian material, and again, he had no problem with that. So I left my shopping cart there, and hurried out to get it.

He was still there when I got back, and he very gratefully and enthusiastically accepted both the Shona copy and an English copy. I pointed out the info flyer in it, and said he could call the number and get more information or visit the church if he wanted.

He probably would have talked more, but I didn't want to impose upon his time, so I excused myself and moved on.

We saw each other again in the check-out area, and he again thanked me for the books.

The next day, Sunday, as I was restocking my trunk with another copy of the Shona Book of Mormon, that put me in a position (instead of just hopping in and going) behind my car where my neighbor who was driving by could stop and talk.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

English x2 at gas station. Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

09/14/2010. 1251. This one was weird, but I thought, and still do, that the encounter was prompted of the Spirit.

I was on the other side of town and headed towards home. As I came up to a gas station on one of the major streets, I felt prompted of the Spirit to stop there. I didn't really need anything, but I bought a canned beverage.

The lady ahead of me in the check-out line was short of money, and she turned around and asked me for 75 cents. That was weird. I wasn't thrilled about helping someone buy cigarettes, but I decided to give her what I could. I checked my change and only had 50 cents to spare, so that's what I gave to her. I didn't have any one's either.

I didn't follow what happened, but I think the cashier let the remaining 25 cents slide. It then dawned on me that I could use the situation to offer her church material, so before she left I said to her that I had a favor to ask of her.

Hey, I did her a favor, so why not ask for a favor in return, right? I said I had something from church that I'd like to give her, and I asked her to wait outside for me. She said okay.

So I paid the cashier for my stuff, and went out, and she was waiting. I asked her if she'd like a free Bible, and she said sure and that she needed one. So I went to my car and got out an English Bible, an English Book of Mormon, a couple of DVDs, and went back over to her and presented them to her, and she gratefully accepted them. I actually gave one of the DVDs to her companion who was waiting in their car. Her companion asked for a Bible too, so I went back to my car and got another Bible and Book of Mormon for her, and she accepted them.

I pointed out the information flyers in them, and said they could call the 800 number and have lady missionaries visit them if they wanted, and told them where the nearest chapel was.

Overall, it was a pretty good encounter, and I think they were genuinely interested. This isn't the first time that someone asked for spare change, and it turned into an opportunity to share the scriptures. Granted, sometimes people in these situations might just accept the material to be nice to a benefactor. But these ladies responded with what looked to me like genuine interest.

Mormon parents spend $400/month so their children can have missionary opportunities on their mission. Therefore, giving spare change, or even a few dollars seems worthwhile if it can create a sharing opportunity.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remember September 11, 2001. Stories.

Remember 9/11/2001. Please read this column by Michelle Malkin.

Here's a story about a real hero, not only that day, but his whole life. Rick Rescorla.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Yoruba at gas station. Fri, Sep 3, 2010.

9/3/2010. 1250. I stopped at a gas station for a soda and a snack. There was a taxi in one of the parking spaces, with the driver inside the taxi. When I came back out here was still there. I ate my snack at my car, and the taxi driver was still there, so I decided to go over and see if he wanted something from the church. I looked like he might be from Africa.

I asked him if he spoke French, and he said no. I said I thought he might be one of the many taxi drivers from Africa. He said he was from Africa, but spoke English. I asked which country, and he said Nigeria. I asked him if he was Yoruba or Igbo. He said Yoruba.

I said my church has a free book in several African languages, the Book of Mormon, and asked if he'd like to see one in Yoruba. He said sure. In fact, he was very excited and pleased. I said I'd get one from my car and return.

You should have seen the look on his face when he saw the title. Not only did he want something to read in Yoruba, but he had been looking for a copy of the Book of Mormon too. Before I even asked if he wanted the English copy, he asked if I had an English copy. So I gave him that one too.

He was a really cool guy, and said that my offer was an answer to his prayer. I understood that he's either a pastor or some kind of lay minister in his church. We continued to chat for a while, and I pointed out the list of local LDS chapels and my calling card in the books.

I also offered him a couple videos, which he accepted too. I gave him "Intro to the Church" and "Joy to the World."

It was a very pleasant encounter.

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