When my husband and I were called as missionaries to Taiwan, our teachers chose a Chinese name for us. Since most names can't be translated directly, (how would you translate "Jones" for example?) the teachers came up with a name that had a similar sound. For example, one of my companions was named Bonkosky, so they gave her the Chinese name "Ban". Sometimes the names are common Chinese names, and sometimes they aren't.
Recently I got in contact through Facebook with an Elder that I knew, whose Chinese name is "Ni". One of the vivid memories I have of him is that at one time he had a companion whose Chinese name was "Hao". They would knock on a door, and when the people answered the one Elder would say, "My Name is Ni." and the other Elder would say, "My name is Hao". Together they would say "Ni Hao" which is a Chinese greeting. :)
I started thinking about my other post about finding old friends online, and how getting in contact with them is a little weird. I think part of the reason is that with my weird personality, I seem to mainly remember the embarassing moments with each person. About two days ago I became Facebook friends with Elder Ni. Let me tell you the embarrassing memory I have in connection with him.
He was a very funny person, and was always cracking jokes. I guess I was known as that same kind of person. The other Sisters who lived with me decided, unbeknownst to me, that he and I would make a good couple. They neglected to take in to account two very important facts: One, we were just friends and didn't like each other "like that". Two, WE WERE MISSIONARIES! And missionaries don't date or work on romantic relationships while they are serving.
So one evening they hatched a plan, and gave Elder Ni a call on the phone. They told him that I wanted to talk to him. Then they came to me and said, "Elder Ni wants to talk to you.". So I answered the phone and he and I started talking about nothing. We got along pretty well, so we just gabbed for 10-15 minutes about this and that. Finally he said, "So why did you call me?" I said, "I didn't call you, you called me." Then the Sisters in the house started laughing, and we realized what they had done. It's still embarassing some 28 years later! I just hope that being a guy, he has forgotten all about it. ;)