Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011

    Hard to believe that we were late for church on the 1st Sunday of the year.  The sun didn't "come up" and we overslept; it was overcast and the morning was not very bright.  That was our excuse.  But, we didn't get lost at the Hung-Hom MTR depot this time on our way to church, so we made pretty good time and were only about 10 minutes late. 
The LDS Church in Wan Chai - an 11-story building with chapels for 6 wards

    Since this was the first Sunday of the month, we got to listen to some incredible spiritual stories.  One man from Dallas, Texas, a returned missionary from Taiwan told us the following story.

"I was laid off last year after working for a law firm for 3 years.  It was a turning point for me and my wife.  We always wanted to come to live in Asia.  With my Chinese, I felt like I would be useful working in Asia.  But, do we want to give up our beautiful home, a comfortable life style, leave our family, loved ones and friends behind, and take our two little ones to Asia?  After many prayers and much fasting, we decided to start looking for a job in Hong Kong.  I ended up with a fabulous job with an international law firm and moved here last year.  We couldn't be happier.  We are very actively involved with church activities.  My Chinese speaking abilities have increased.  We just had our 3rd child and we have lots of support.  We are very blessed."

    A woman said:  "I had "dim sum", afternoon snack, with my old girl friend who joined the church a few years ago.  I hadn't seen her for a while and wondered how she was doing.  The story she told me made me cry.  After she converted to the LDS faith, she felt that it is important to pray.  She lived with her husband, his parents and some of his siblings.  When she insisted on having a blessing on the food, the in-laws declared that she had gone crazy.  One day, a white van showed up at her house and picked her up.  It was from a psychiatric ward.  They took her by force and put her in the institution for a while.  She's out of the hospital now, but has to take lots of medication for her nerves, the uppers and the downers.  She's shaking and jittery all the time.  She's so sad and unhappy, but doesn't know what to do.  I feel so sad for my friend, but in the meantime, I'm so grateful that I have a supportive family and church members.  I'm so happy to come to church each Sunday and partake of the sacrament and feel the spirit here."

    Yet another young woman said:  a year ago, I was a hopeless unwed mother with two young children.  I was lost until 2 missionaries approached me and brought me the gospel.  I have been in the church for almost 1 year now and I am so happy.  My two children were unruly, but the members here help me handle my children."  I remember her little boy, about 6, was running wild at a church function one night and ran into my side and knocked the breath out of me.  The children have calmed down and are willing to attend the children's Sunday School now.  I'm so happy for them.

   I also befriended a lady from the mainland, who is probably in her 50's.  She lost her husband a few years back.  She said he just worked himself to death.  She is lonely because her son has graduated from college and got a job working in Beijing.  We have sat together the last couple of weeks at church.  Today's Sunday School lesson was on "eternal family".  I had the feeling that the message was for her.  I wasn't sure if I had to substitute for the teacher again this week, so I ran off the lesson from the church website.  I gave her my copy, and she read the lesson over and over again.  I saw tears in her eyes.  I whispered to her that the message was true.  We can be "forever" families.  She nodded.  She's going to be baptized into the church next week.  I'm so happy for her.

   We came home and I fixed a delicious Sunday dinner for 4 missionaries, 2 from Provo, Utah, 1 from Spokane, Washington, and the other from Taichung, Taiwan.  We had curry chicken with about 6 or 7 different vegetables, over rice, deviled eggs, a green salad and home-made bread.  I also made "wassail", a warm Christmas drink, for the elders as it is cold.  For dessert, we had home-made brownies.  It was a good Sunday.  We don't seem to be hurting for good food, do we?

   We miss our kids, grandkids and friends, but we know we are supposed to be here.  We are happy to be missionaries.             

1 comment:

  1. What a blessing to hear such faith-building stories from the people in your ward (even if you were late!)! Thanks for sharing with us. I can tell you are doing a great job there!