Friday, March 30, 2012

Your Girlfriend's Hot

PhotobucketWhile on a Spanish-speaking Mormon mission, my companion and I began making small talk with a twenty-something Hispanic man we didn't know. While we were talking, a woman came out of the house. The man said something to her, and my companion asked who she was. When the man said it was his girlfriend, my companion, intending a platitude equivalent to "Oh, cool!" said "Que buena!" which is more like, "Wow, she's hot!" The man then glowered and asked what that was supposed to mean. After a quick explanation, we ended the encounter quickly and left.

-Ryan Farnsworth

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Little friends.
While giving the Holy Ghost to a young boy as a missionary, I added the words "my little friend," which would be just fine in English. However, since I was speaking French, my "petit ami" didn't hold the same meaning. I was told later that I had called the boy my boyfriend.

-Anonymous (you know who you are)

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Missionary Walks Into a Nude Bar

A missionary told his new companion to pronounce the "nacht" in "Nachtbar" (neighbor) with a strong K, which made it into "naked bar." The new companion asked everyone to refer any naked bars they knew of. Even though the members kept correcting him, the word had been reenforced enough that he just continued saying it that way. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Preaching in the Nude

PhotobucketThere was a brand new missionary to Quebec and as is often the custom he was asked to introduce himself to the congregation at church. He said 'Bonjour, je m'appelle Elder Smith et je suis 'new'." In his nervousness he had forgotten the French word for new, which is "nouveau" and had unfortunately substituted it with the English word "new." The entire congregation erupted into a tremendous laugh at hearing the Elder say he was "naked."

-David Jarvis

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Are you choking or can I offer some other kind of support?
I cannot vouch that this actually happened; it may be one of those mission field urban legends, But just in case:
It is reported that an experienced missionary in the French missions sometimes picked up a brand new junior companion at the train station, pretending to have such a raspy voice and sore throat that he needed the new man to request cough drops from the pharmacist. The new guy, not yet having a vocabulary that included medicinal terms, carefully practiced what he was told was the French word for cough drops: "soutien-gorge" (literally: "support-throat"). The newcomer would approach the counter and announce that he was in need of some very strong, very powerful soutiens-gorges, while the senior missionary would watch from a distance . . . where he could laugh at the red-faced younger missionary who had to endure the pharmacist's sign-language explanation that a soutien-gorge was a woman's brassiere.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Human Sacrifice

Get away as fast as you can!
While talking about the law of Moses during a lesson in Germany, my friend said that the Israelites had to sacrifice "Lahme" (lame people) instead of "Lämmer" (lambs). Everyone seemed a little surprised by that statement.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Do, Destroy . . . You Know

On my mission to Germany I heard one elder bear testimony on fast Sunday that he was so grateful to be able to "destroy" the work of the Lord. He had meant to say to "do" the work of the Lord. The German words "verrichten" and "vernichten" are very similar indeed.

-Micheline Jarvis

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Employ that Ticket!

A lecturing German caught in bronze.
Once when planning to board a train in Germany early in the morning, I discovered to my horror that my ticket needed to be validated before being used. Unfortunately, at that time of the morning, there weren't any employees at the information desk or elsewhere. The only person I could find who might be able to help me was the driver of the train. He saw me motioning to him and stepped out. What I should have asked was, "Am I allowed to use this ticket?" "Darf ich dieses Ticket benutzen?" but the only thing I could think to ask was, "Arbeitet dieses Ticket?": literally, "Does this ticket labor?" (At that time, I didn't know the word "funktionieren," which might have worked better.) I knew my words weren't conducive to my meaning, so I tried some simple English when I saw the man was confused and probably also upset that I had disturbed him. He scared me off by gruffly saying, "Wir sind in Deutschland! Wir sprechen Deutsch!" (We're in Germany! We speak German!)

Luckily I liked Germany so much anyway that I moved there later.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Special Experiences

What kind of experience is Japanese food?
The worst I've heard of is a common mistake in Japanese. In the MTC they were quick to warn me not to mix up the words "reiteki" (spiritual) and "seiteki" (sexual). Very awkward if you want to tell others about a spiritual experience you had with your companion.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A True Banana

A true banana.
I heard of a Mormon missionary who mixed up the Chinese words for "banana" (xiāngjiāo or 香蕉) and "prophet" (xiānzhī or 先知). She told the investigator that she knew that Joseph Smith was a true banana.

-Delores DeVictoria

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

No Beating Around the Bush Here

"Nurse" in German.
A German nurse friend of mine remarked to me that she'd recently had an English-speaking patient. "I wasn't sure how to give him instructions, but it turned out just fine," she said. "We had to do a urine test."

"What did you say to him?" I asked.

"Piss in the bucket!" she said proudly.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some Balls Need More Dodging Than Others

Dodge Ball Night.
While I was studying in America for one semester, I was able to participate in activities with other students every Monday night. One night, we played dodge ball. There was one boy, Ian, who always threw the ball extremely hard. I was really scared to get hit by him, but someone else ended up hitting me. As I left the field, I said to a friend, "I'm so scared of Ian's balls!"

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Kiss of Sleep

Good night kiss/pillow.
As a young missionary in Germany, I needed a new pillow. However, while asking the young, cute, 18-year-old salesgirl, I accidentally said I needed a "Küssen" (a "kiss") to sleep instead of a "Kissen."