Saturday, February 02, 2008

Please share your Book of Mormon flooding stories here.

Have you given out a Book of Mormon in a foreign language? Do you have an interesting "Flooding the Earth" story? If you have, and if it fits in with the theme of this blog, please consider posting a comment on this blog entry.

I'm starting to get feedback from others who have given out copies of the Book of Mormon in languages other than English. Rather than have those comments sprinkled throughout various blog entries, I'll designate this blog post, put a link to it in the sidebar, and ask people to share their "flooding stories" here.

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At 2/02/2008 07:41:00 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

I'll tell a story of my father and a foreign language edition. When he was in Vietnam he ended up assigned to the Korean Marine Dragon and Tiger Battalions (he speaks Korean and had had forward fire control experience and training).

The chaplain wanted something religion for the men, as all they had to read was some Korean porn. My Dad was able to get a few Book of Mormons in Korean (though not as many as he would have liked).

The Chaplain assigned the men to read the book in shifts and give him reports. At the end of my dad's tour he gave him a marble statue which I have at my house.

The ironic twist to the story is that the translation of the Book of Mormon was originally done by a Korean marine in the Tiger Battalion, years before.

I've often wondered if he knew what had happened. The chaplain's name was Chu (I his name is on the statue), my dad's name is LeRoy Marsh. The unit's colonel was named Lee.

At 3/11/2008 12:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a ward mission leader in Bakersfield, California. I shared some of your inspiring experiences and achievements with my ward during a sacrament meeting talk yesterday. Thank you so much for staying close to the Spirit and taking the time to share with us.

I am going to see if I can inspire some of my ward missionaries to take a foreign-language approach to placing Books of Mormon.

We *do* have a dear sweet Hawaiian sister in our ward who, over the years, has placed about 250 books with her friends and acquaintances.

-Brent W.

At 4/25/2008 10:22:00 PM, Blogger New Mexico Militia said...

I work as a security officer in a shopping center. There is a clothing shop there run by a Korean couple. One day I was talking to her and it came to religion, and she began asking me questions about what makes our church different from other Christian churches. Toward the end of our conversation I offered her a Korean Book of Mormon. She seemed uninterested and since I didn't have one with me I didn't push the issue. About 2 weeks later I took a Korean copy and paired it with an English copy. In the ziploc bag I included a list of all our chapels and meeting times here in the city. I also put in a "Restoration" pamphlet. My wife and I went into the store and I handed her the bag. Her eyes lit up and she smiled and commenced to shouting, "It's in Korean! It's in Korean! Where did you get a Korean one!?!? It's in Korean!" She was so excited. It was the best experience I have had in a long time.

At 3/25/2010 01:00:00 PM, Blogger Tatiana said...

I made my first offer today, to a Chinese delivery guy. He declined, but I just feel glad that I was able to offer it to him. Do I call this encounter #1?

At 3/25/2010 08:21:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Tatiana: yes! Congratulations! Please give the details (here or on your Facebook.)

WOO-HOO! Another Book-of-Mormon-slinger!

At 3/26/2010 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Tatiana said...

There are no details. He came and delivered Chinese food. He's obviously Asian but he looked more Southeast Asian to me. We chatted while doing the food transaction. I asked him where he was from and he answered China. I said "My church prints free books in Chinese. Would you like one?"

He answered "No, thanks, I don't read Chinese" and seemed flustered. So I thanked him for bringing the food and told him to have a great day. That was it.

But today I ordered something from Dell and chatted with my salesperson Lui who is from Indonesia and speaks Tagalog as his native language. So I said, "My church prints free books in Tagalog. Would you like one?" He said yes, and that he would friend me on facebook when his shift was over so I could get details.

Will the church send Books of Mormon to the Phillipines? I'm guessing they will but if not I'll send him one each in English and Tagalog from here. He did sound like he was really going to friend me. He was quite personable and we chatted a good bit. He seemed impressed that I have friends from the U.S. who had spent 2 years in the Phillipines and learned to speak Tagalog. He asked if the book was a bible and I told him it was a Book of Mormon, another book something like the Bible that we also use. He didn't seem at all put off by the fact that it was church literature, and before we hung up he told me to have a blessed day. So I'm excited about that one and I think it may turn into a real contact. Wow, this is fun, isn't it? I'm getting a big kick out of it.

At 3/27/2010 09:29:00 AM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Ah! Those are very important details.

After asking where someone is from, my follow-up question is:

What languages do you speak? or

Do you like to read Chinese (or whatever is the common language in that country)?

That way, there's less of a chance to embarass or fluster the person in case they speak the language but don't read it.

Also, if he looked more southeast Asian, he could have been Hmong, or a couple other ethnicities that are from China, but are not Chinese.

So, at this point, we still don't know what languages he speaks and/or reads.

When they say what country they are from, it doesn't paint the whole story.

It could also be that his parents brought him from China as a child, taught him to speak Mandarin (or Cantonese) and he never learned to read Chinese, because they never sent him to Chinese school here in the states.

My follow-up question for young adults who speak Chinese but can't read it, is to ask if their parents would like the book. And offer them both the foreign language, and the English together, so that they grasp the idea of reading them in parallel as ESL (English as a Second Language.)

They often then say "My parents don't read English." The follow-up to that is, "They could use the two copies of the Book of Mormon to learn, you could help teach them."

As to your new Tagalog facebook friend, you said he was _from_ Indonesia and _speaks_ Tagalog, but you didn't say where he is _at_ now.

Anyway, the church has 15 missions in the Philipines! So I bet they can get him a book if that's where he is.

There is also a mission in Indonesia if he is still there.

At 3/27/2010 10:09:00 AM, Blogger Tatiana said...

Okay, those are good ideas. I'll get better at this as I go along, I'm sure, but the delivery guy was obviously in a hurry, probably trying to get as many deliveries in as possible in a short time, so I didn't want to delay him. Also, his accent was pretty heavy so the amount of mutual intelligibility during our short interchange seemed low. He seemed like a recent immigrant because of the accent and other indefinable qualities of dress and bearing. Plus I was a bit nervous about asking, so it seemed best not to pursue it further this time.

As for the phone contact, he was also in the Phillipines, not just from there. And he hasn't added me on fb yet. Either he forgot after his shift or else that's the standard thing they say to anyone who initiates any sort of personal contact during a sales call, as it's friendly but not encouraging, and they can always 'forget' to add you later. It's actually a good way to handle that situation, I think!

But the important thing is that I made the offer, right? Don't discourage me with too many instructions until I get more comfortable with all this, okay? =) The tips will be helpful when I'm further along. It's obvious you've worked out from experience the exact best approach in all situations. I appreciate you sharing that stuff to shorten my learning curve. Just for now I'm feeling happy to have even begun.

At 3/27/2010 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Yes, the time-factor was the likely thing going on with the delivery guy.

It sounds like you got a good plan and are progressing on it.

You're analysis of the Dell rep seems right too. They are likely forbidden to make off-work or non-work contact with customers. He'd probably get fired for it. Best you can hope for is he'll go to

I'm excited for you!

At 3/27/2010 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Tatiana said...

I meant the Phillipines, above, not Indonesia.

At 3/27/2010 07:41:00 PM, Blogger Tatiana said...

Offer #3 made, and this time accepted. =) I happened to be reading "Because He First Loved Us" by Henry B. Eyring and was impressed to give it to the guy who does my landscaping work. He's a great fellow and a man of powerful prayers. I gave him the book, plus an English Book of Mormon I had prepared with sticky notes and a pass-along card and flyer with local church information. He seems very happy in his current church, but no doubt that seed will sprout at some point for someone who encounters that book.

At 4/03/2010 12:35:00 AM, Blogger Tatiana said...

I placed another English BoM today, with a man who came to fix my computer. As he was leaving, I said "My Church gives free books, would you like one?"

He said "Sure!" so I handed him one that I'd prepared with a flyer with information about local chapels, the mission office, and family history libraries, plus sticky notes in various places, and a pass-along card tucked in at 3Ne:17, my favorite chapter. Hopefully it will be a seed that sprouts for someone at some point. This is getting easier!

At 6/02/2010 09:26:00 PM, Blogger Tatiana said...

A guy came to work on my internet today, and he was really nice. I offered him an English BoM and he accepted it. I told him simply that the restored gospel had transformed my life hugely for the better, so I wanted to give other people an opportunity to have the same blessings. He responded very favorably to that, telling me some of the ways God had worked miracles in his life, and I felt the spirit very strongly.

He said he and his fiancee were looking for a church and I said we love to fellowship new people, so please call any of those numbers in the flyer. It felt as though the spirit spoke to him and that this contact might lead to some investigation of the church. I felt really great about it, and was so glad I offered.

I was preparing a new batch of BoMs for distribution, and I had just one completely finished when he rang the doorbell to check on my internet troubles. So I was able to offer it to him. It was almost as though the spirit was choreographing things for that encounter to take place. That's a cool feeling, humbling and awe inspiring. Is the Master and Lord of all Creation really working through insignificant me to reach some of his children?

At 1/25/2011 01:19:00 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

I live in Utah, so I assume most people are either members or are aware of the Church already.

Last November one of my daughter's YW leaders mentioned something about bookcrossing in a book review on; not knowing what the term meant, exactly, I looked it up on Wikipedia. At the end of the article there was a see also link to an article on postcrossing. Even before I got to the end of the Wikipedia article I was hooked on the idea of "send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!"

Upon signing up I immediately thought of bookslinger and how this might give me some similar opportunities to share foreign language materials.

So far I've sent Church materials (two Books of Mormon, two Liahonas, and one How Rare a Possession DVD) to people in France, China, Taiwan and Ukraine and will be sending some materials to Latvia, Belarus, Poland and The Netherlands as soon as my next order from the distribution center arrives.

Two quick stories about France and China...


In the case of the Book of Mormon I sent to France, I sent a Japanese copy. The woman I was sending a postcard to had mentioned on their postcrossing profile that she spoke English, French, and Japanese and had lived in Japan for eight years earlier in life. So I on my postcard I wrote that I was going to be sending her a copy of my "favorite book in Japanese" and I was curious for her to tell me which got their quicker, the postcard or the book (mailed separately).

Turns out they both arrived at the same time.

I chose Japanese, rather than French, figuring she likely didn't have regular access to books in Japanese, and might be more likely to actually read it to refresh her Japanese.

When she got the postcard and the book she emailed me back a note thanking me. She said that as a teenager many years prior she'd worked for a summer selling things door-to-door in the Ogden, Utah. She said she'd received several copies of the Book of Mormon from people then, in both English and French, and had maybe even met with the missionaries. She said she had very fond memories of the many nice people she'd met while in Utah.


A teenage girl in China listed on her profile that, among other things, she was interested in any postcards that were related to Christmas, so I picked out one showing the Christus statute from the North Visitors Center on Temple Square.

When she registered the postcard online after receiving it she was very grateful and said she loved the postcard because she was the very first Christian in her family. She asked if my family was Christian.

I replied back that we were and that (since it was Christmas time) we were going to send her a copy of a special magazine (the March 2008 Liahona) in Chinese that was all about Jesus Christ. She said she would be very excited to receive it.

It's been fun, and my kids (ages 8-14) have gotten excited about postcrossing too & the opportunities it's giving us to share our beliefs with others.


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