Yes, we got through our first week here. It's been GREAT! We work with a group of very special people in the temple. First, our fellow senior missionaries are great, and they take very good care of us! Their help has been invaluable. They took us on the MTR (subway) to the temple, to church, to markets, to anywhere we needed to go. They are the Wilson's, the Bishop's, and the Arnell's, all from Utah. Their dedication to their work as temple missionaries is exemplary. What a blessing to know them and work with them.
Since we are in training the first week, our schedule has been a little different. Monday is always P-day, Tuesday and Wednesday we worked from 8 AM to 3 PM. Thursday and Friday, we worked from 2:15 to 9:15 PM. Since it takes about an hour of traveling each way, we are exhausted when we get back to the apartment.
Can anyone expect to have a better place to go than to the temple each day? I have had to pinch myself a few times because I'm not sure it is for real. We are so happy doing what we are doing serving those people who come to the temple. We were especially thrilled to have met several members from Mainland China. Their love of the gospel touches me each day we meet them.
This week three (church) sisters traveled from a branch of the Church between Shanghai and Nanjing to be patrons for a week. We guess that the distance is seven to eight hundred miles away. They brought their genealogies with them so that their ancestors could also share in the same blessings we have in being together as families in the hereafter. We find it somewhat overwhelming to see the sacrifices they make to travel so far. When we think about how much we have and how little effort we sometimes make, these faithful saints who look up to us make us feel very humble indeed.
Elwin and I are learning our work in Mandarin Chinese so as to be able to communicate with our patrons from Mainland China. We are also assigned to attend Sunday services in a Mandarin Chinese Branch in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island, south of us. We take the "blue" line MTR from Fanling to Hung Hom, then walk through the station for about 10 minutes and down the steps to take Bus #104. The bus takes us through the Harbor Tunnel and a couple of stops later, we are at the vicinity of the Wan Chai Chapel. This is probably the most expensive area in Hong Kong with financial institutions.
The church office building houses several wards and branches from first to 7th floor. The 8th to 10th floors are the church offices and apartments housing Area General Authorities. It's simple but also magnificent. We were there for the senior missionaries activity night and the night view was unbelievable. There are many senior couples working at the church office building. Most of them were there as volunteers and a few others who are church employees working on buildings and/or other projects.
Over all, this has been an eye opening week. We feel very blessed to be here.