Ongofu in China – blogging in Chinese!

by Rusty Lindquist on January 25, 2011 · 12 comments

Several years ago I had the opportunity to serve two years as a full-time LDS (Mormon) missionary in Sydney Australia, speaking Mandarin Chinese.  It was the most amazing experience of my life.

During that time I developed a great love and appreciation for the Chinese people and their language., and I’ve always wished I could somehow go to China and teach the gospel.  Unfortunately, at this time, missionaries are not permitted into mainland China.  They can go to Hong Kong, but that’s it. 

Then over the last two weeks two important things happened.  The first, was that I decided to do a blog post about my inspiring friend Lin Hao (who we saw in the opening ceremony of the Olympics, leading the Chinese team – read his story here).  Shortly thereafter, my friend Linda (his godmother), and Lin Hao himself somehow found my blog, and offered their own comments.  I was, first and foremost, humbled that they’d even bother stopping buy, and secondly, amazed at the ability for a single blog post to reach all the way across the world, to readers all the way in the heart of mainland China.

I realized that the dream I’ve had teaching the gospel to the Chinese people in mainland China was within my grasp.  Not in the future, but today, right now.

But there is a problem.  While there are many in China that do speak English, I really would need to do posts in Chinese.  But because my mission was in Australia, while I learned to speak relatively well, I wasn’t fully immersed in Chinese writing, and never learned how to read and write (there are over 10,000 characters to memorize just to read the paper).

But watching Michael Phelps this last week, and doing my posts about his example of setting and achieving goals, made me realize that if it is within my grasp, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long, I should simply do it.  I should make the effort to learn to write Chinese, so that I can make my dream come true and begin teaching the gospel in China.

As I mentioned in my post here about the COP model, I have the competency (need more though), I have the passion, and there’s definitely a demand.  As I covered in my post here, Christianity is now exploding in China, so at such a critical time in the country’s history, as the government is just beginning to open up more and more to this potential, why should I sit on the sidelines and watch it all happen? 

What’s more, teaching the gospel to those who have not grown up in Christianity, means that their minds are not held hostage by the comforts and confinements of tradition, and they don’t reject concepts and teachings just because they’re new.  To them, it’s all new, so they judge principles and doctrine on their own individual merit and worth.

In short, now is the time to teach the beautiful doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to those in mainland china, in their native tongue, through the internet.

As such, and by way of holding myself accountable, I’ve decided to set the goal that by February of next year I’m going to start the Chinese arm of this blog.  That gives me 6 months to brush up on communicating and thinking in Chinese, and to figure out how to read and write.  I’ll need all the assistance from the Lord that I can get, for my brain is getting a bit decrepit in my old age.  But I’ll put my faith and trust in him, convinced that as I throw myself at the work of the Lord, he’ll magnify my effort, sanctify my work, and make it all possible.

“If ye have desires to serve god, ye are called to the work” (D&C 4:3), and “…the tender mercies of the lord are unto all those whom he hath chosen…” (1 Nephi 1:20).  For the work of God shall roll forth, as a stone cut without hands, until it fills the whole earth (Daniel 2:31-45, D&C 65:2).

In answer to my own question – what role shall you play?  I’ll be a missionary.

Rusty

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Margaret August 18, 2008 at 3:52 PM

Oops! I put my comment under the wrong post this AM. That’s what happens when you get up at oh dark thirty ;o).

I’m sure you will reach your goal and then some!

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2 Laurel Brooks August 19, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Hello Rusty,

I enjoyed your stories.
I am from Melbourne,Australia
My 77 year old husband Keith, baptised a lovely Chinese lady(married) on Sunday 10th August.
She rides her bycycle to church. We hope your efford does well. Thanks for this blog site. Laurel Brooks.

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3 DH August 27, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Rusty,
thanks for the comment on my blog. (asiffromthedust.blogspot.com) fascinating to watch the growth of the church throughout the entire world. more specifically i am intrigued at its growth in very populous countries-India and China etc. I have posted on the History of The LDS Church in India over at my blog. i thought you might find it intersting as it may one day parallel how china opens up to the gospel and how the church manages growth in such a large country. (the brethern take it slow and establish a good foundation even when they could baptizing tons!) i’ll keep following your blog and hope your mandarin efforts pay off!!
DH
asiffromthedust.blogspot.com

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4 Erik September 12, 2008 at 9:39 AM

I’m sure you can do it. When you start blogging in Chinese I’d like to a add a link to my Chinese LDS page.

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5 BR September 12, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Hey Rusty,
I am a Chinese girl, and I am from mainland China. My husband is LDS , and I have been going to church for about 10 months. Recently I am talking to the missionaries too. I enjoy learning about God. And I think I will be baptized soon.

I saw your goal and repect what you are trying to do for God.
“As such, and by way of holding myself accountable, I’ve decided to set the goal that by February of next year I’m going to start the Chinese arm of this blog. That gives me 6 months to brush up on communicating and thinking in Chinese, and to figure out how to read and write. I’ll need all the assistance from the Lord that I can get, for my brain is getting a bit decrepit in my old age. But I’ll put my faith and trust in him, convinced that as I throw myself at the work of the Lord, he’ll magnify my effort, sanctify my work, and make it all possible.”

Most people in China don’t know about God at all. So I think what you are doing is really a good thing. And I think as long as you try hard, you will make it happen.

送你一句话:有志者事竟成。

BR

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6 Rusty Lindquist September 16, 2008 at 1:42 AM

BR,

Congratulations, I’m so thrilled to hear that you’ve been introduced to the gospel, and are taking the opportunity to listen to the missionaries. How marvelous it is that the gospel is now tought in over 140 different languages, all over the globe.

I also appreciate your confidence, and share your faith. I’m sure the Lord will strengthen me in my endeavor, and magnify my efforts.

Thanks so much for commenting. May the Lord bless you. I hope to hear from you again!

Rusty

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7 sean October 12, 2008 at 7:51 AM

I was greatly challenged by your decision to resume your study of the Chinese language-surely not an easy task! I am sure the blessings from such work could be many. I really enjoy your blog Rusty for its optimism and clear explanation of LDS teaching and ideals. I am an English guy who is trying to get his life back on track after a long illness which has meant that Im starting afresh at 40! The thought of you with the chinese characters will strengthen me as I resume my education and trying to set and reach new godly goals.

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8 Dave in Alaska October 28, 2008 at 8:48 PM

My son, who was called on an English speaking mission to Canada (Canada Toronto West) , is currently serving with a Chinese companion and is doing his best to learn Mandarin Chinese. He loves the language and is excited to have this experience while he serves the Lord. I’m sure he’ll be interested to see your blog when he is released from his current duties.

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9 Rusty Lindquist November 21, 2008 at 4:32 PM

I’d love to hear from him. How exciting! It’s a great challenge, but also a great pleasure. And the Chinese people are simply amazing.

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10 Tyler March 15, 2009 at 11:40 PM

I applaud your enthusiasm. I have also found it hard to keep up on my Chinese language skills. Good luck!

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11 Trackback - Cheap Internation Call >> How to make cheap international call November 19, 2009 at 2:58 PM

,..] mormonconversations.com is another must read source of information on this issue,..]

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12 Edwina December 20, 2009 at 9:39 PM

BR
I am a Chinese LDS girl in the US. I also hope one day I could share the gospel with people in my country. I believe one day China will open its door to the LDS missonaries, and that day will come soon.
I wish you all the best of learning Chinese. And thank you so much for doing this wonderful thing.

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