Monday, March 28, 2011

March 27, 2011

March 21 - March 27

    It's great to start our week with a p-day.  For this p-day, we, the senior missionaries, went to Sai Kung Fishing Village.  We met the Arnell's in Sha Tin and took Bus #299 for about 45 minutes to get there.  It was a beautiful scenic route as we sat on the top of the double-decker bus.

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   There were many fishing boats along the side with buckets of live seafood for sale.  We stood on the boardwalk watching the fishermen and women clean the seafood.  One woman skillfully cleaned the squid that was about 12 inches in diameter, not one bit of the squid was wasted.  There were all sorts of fish, clams, shrimp, crabs, and sea creatures that I've never seen.  For lunch we went to the seafood restaurant where we negotiated a price for the dishes we'd like, with 4 main dishes of fresh seafood in the tanks, tubs, in front of the restaurant.  We were brave to have shrimp, clams, abalone, and scampi, with a special request for sweet and sour pork and fried rice, and they gave us 2 bonus dishes of freshly cooked vegetables.  All for HK$750, or US$100, for 6 people.  Guess I haven't lost my bargaining power yet. :-)
   We worked morning shift from 7:45 to 3:00 this week.  There was a large group of members from Thailand visiting the Temple.  It was a very humbling experience.  A young couple were married in the temple and they were so happy.  At the end of the week, the Thai members invited us to a fireside at the chapel across from the Temple.  They dressed in their costumes and sang for us.  Then, there was a testimony sharing time where a lot of the members got up and told us how grateful they were to be able to come to Hong Kong to attend the temple  One of the older women who got up to speak was a deaf mute and she whispered words to us that was so touching. There were a lot of the young men and young women too.  For most, this was their first trip out of their hometown, and most of them knew this was going to be the only time.  After the fireside, they treated us a delicious Thai dinner.  They were so gracious and kind to us.  We can't help feeling their love of the gospel, the people and the world around them.  It was a very special day and week. 

    There were also a few members from Beijing, Shanghai, Japan, and the US visiting the Temple.  An older woman from Beijing came with her daughter-in-law and was so happy that she kept her smile on the whole time she was there.  Also, many prayers were said on behalf of the people in Japan.  It was very special, and I'm sure our Heavenly Father heard the prayers.  

    The Sunday services was a Branch Conference, so we had many leaders visiting us.  Most of them were US business men working in Hong Kong and their spouses.  The Branch President spoke and announced that a special date has been set for the sisters from our Sunday School class to go to the temple.  We were so happy.

    Still didn't get the pictures from our friends yet, so we'll update it later.  Have a good day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 20, 2011

    Our week started with p-day, Monday, March 14.  We cleaned up our apartment quickly as you know we only have 450 square-foot to deal with.  We talked to our children and grandchildren on Skype, which is always the highlight of our week.  We didn't talk to I-Shuan and Ryan as they were in South Africa visiting Ryan's parents who were on a church mission there.

    Monday, March 14, we set out to see the famous "Victoria Park Flower Show" in Causeway Bay.  We met the Arnell's at the Sha Tin MTR station, then on down to Hung Hom.  Then we got on Bus #102, crossed through the under-bay tunnel, and were at the park within minutes.

     This year, the theme flower is "Primula".  The profuse displays of exquisite potted plants, beautiful floral arrangements and gorgeous landscape displays were a sheer delight for the senses as you can see on the slideshow above.  But, it was "mountain people, mountain sea" (lots of people), hot and humid.  Elwin and I were done within an hour after we got there.  But, we stayed around for a while.  Then, we walked to "Time Square", about a mile away, to have lunch.  It is a big beautiful mall with a great food court.  All had good old American hamburgers at Triple O's (a Canadian company), but I was adventurous that day and had Indian curry in the paratha bread.  It was good and spicy.  

     After lunch, we hopped onto the "ding ding", a skinny street car and rode to Kennedy Town.  Follow this link and take a ride with us.  The cost was 15 cents and how fun that was!

'Ding Ding' Hong Kong Tram


     Sunday Service at Church this week included a talk by the newly baptized young man. It was amazing and we were so delighted to have him with us. We taught our Sunday School class and loved those in our class. We had fun learning together. One thing for sure, we know our Heavenly Father loves us all.

     We worked in the afternoon shift at the temple this week.  Again, we enjoy the peaceful feeling we get going to the temple.  It was especially wonderful to meet some members from Hainan Island, China's southern-most province to the east of north Vietnam; a couple from Heilongjiang, the very northern east part of China near Siberia; and another couple from Chung Shan, the city in Guangdong province where Dr. Sun, Yat-sen was born.  It is always exciting to meet people from so many different places in China.  It was yet another special week.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

     We worked the morning shift this week and had some very interesting experiences.  A group of around 30 Cambodian saints came to visit the Hong Kong Temple, March 8-11.  The language barrier was great.  Luckily they brought with them a male and a female translator and also a couple of senior missionaries.  We had a chance to visit with the senior missionaries, and it was amazing to know that some of these missionaries have been in Cambodia for 2-5 years.  They love the people and decided to stay.  That's incredible to me as they must live in very humble circumstances and they are fine with it.  Below is a little description of the country.
     According to Wikipedia, Cambodia (Listeni /kæmˈbdiə/; derived from Sanskrit: कम्बोजदेश Kambujadesa), is a country in Southeast Asia that borders Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong River and Tonlé Sap lake.  Estimates as to how many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge regime range from approximately one to three million; the most commonly cited figure is two million (about one-third of the population).  The country remains to be very impoverished.

     Many of these Cambodian women are illiterate.  Because of the Khmer Rouge purge, most people didn't even go to school.  The ones who wore glasses during this horrible period of the history were executed because they were considered to be intellectuals.  The people who survived the atrocity are happy people.  The senior missionaries told us that most of them live in mud huts and live from day to day, but keep a smile on their faces as we witnessed this week.  We can't find more humble of people as this group is.
     By Thursday morning, we had a lot of Westerners coming to the Asia Women's Conference attending Temple sessions.  It was such a busy and happy place at the temple this week.  After working at the temple Thursday, I was able to go to Wan Chai to attend the conference.

     We met a few members at the temple and decided to take them on the bus to the Wan Chai Church Building for a women's conference.  Elwin was very kind to go with us to make sure we didn't get lost (I'm getting very good at getting lost here).  A couple of them were craving a steak at the "Outback Steak House".  It took us a little time and effort to find the restaurant, and even though we didn't get our "blooming onions", we had a great time. 

    The conference started at 7 PM, but there were some service projects going on from 5-7.  We got there at 6 and was surprised to see our friend, Robin Burgeous from Tai An there.  The Conference was very well orchestrated.  Carrie Chiles was the chair and did a fantastic job.  The two keynote speakers that night were President Simon Chan, the Hong Kong Mission President, and Elder Sam Wan of the Quorum of the Seventies.  Elder Wan was a fantastic speaker.  He gave the Brother of Jared story and told us that we each had a stone in our hand.  We are to make it shine brightly like the Brother of Jared did.  Because of his faithfulness, he saw the Lord's fingers.  Subsequently, he saw the Lord.  Wow, the faith...the blessings that we could be like the Brother of Jared was almost overwhelming to me.  It was so touching.  I hope I get a copy of his talk.

    I also attended the Saturday morning sessions and listened to some wonderful presentations.  Brother and Sister Sackley talked about the LDS welfare program in Asia, and it made us proud that the Church was so involved in helping the countries here.  Then, I attended Sarah Campbell's presentation on "Fake It Until You Makt it:  Live Like the Person You Want to Become".  It was very interesting.

    Then the sister, Debbie Spencer, who is living in Thailand (but from the US) spoke on "De-cluttering Our Lives:  Make Room for What's Important" and was very motivating.   She talked about emotional cluttering, physical cluttering and spiritual cluttering.  I was very impressed as I saw myself carrying emotional clutter, such as comparing with others, getting feelings hurt b/c of silly comments, etc.  I needed to get rid of negative clutter.

     It was a wonderful conference with 135 attendees from 10 countries. I would strongly suggest that the temple missionaries have the opportunity to attend. 

    Sunday was another special day.  Three young women spoke at the Sacrament meeting on "temptation" and each did a superb job.  After Church, a young man was baptized.  He's a college student and brought some of his friends with him, too.  The missionaries are doing a good job; the people being baptized seem to be very well prepared.  The young man spoke after his baptism and was so humble and happy to be in the Church.  We all welcomed him and wished him well.

     Before the baptismal service, Doris L. and I visit-taught Sister Chan.  It was quite a humbling experience as we listened to this young lady talk about her life.  It was an  unbelievably difficult and tragic life she had already experienced as a young woman.  I'm going to need to write a different blog to introduce y'all to this young lady.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Repulse Bay, Hong Kong
     This has been a busy week.  We started out visiting the Stanley Market on Southern HK Island on Monday, our p-day.  The Arnell's, a couple from Idaho who also work in the Temple went with us.  We took the East rail line, then Bus 104 to Exchange Square.  Then, we took Bus 260, sitting on the upper deck, to be delighted by beautiful Repulse Bay.  The Stanley Market wasn't very different from 30 years ago, when we were there.  Elaine and I took a shopping to Hong Kong before we left Taiwan after living there for 4 1/2 years in 1982.  It was fun to see all the souvenirs, but I didn't have much desire to buy any yet.  Perhaps, before we go home, we'll buy some.  I did get a blouse to go with the temple skirt that I got in Utah and also an outfit that cost only HK$50 (about US$6).  I'm still a good bargain shopper, but bargains don't mean much if I don't need it (Elwin speaking). On our way back, the Arnell's showed us a store named "Prize Mart" in ShaTin where one can buy a lot of American products. We bought a bag of almonds for HK$98 (US$13), and a few other things.  Then we headed home.  It was a full day!  Glad we cleaned up the apartment before we left; we were exhausted when we got back.

      Tuesday, 3/1 was Elaine's birthday.  I sure miss seeing that sweet girl of ours.  So, to celebrate her birthday, I went hiking on the Butterfly mountain.  It was beautiful, but I took a different path down and became very lost.  I knew I could take a taxi, but didn't want to.  When I saw a sign pointing  toward Tai Po, I knew I was way off.  A kind young lady walked me to the bus stop that she was going to, and I found myself at Wah Ming Estate.  I didn't know where that was from our apartment, but there was a bus going to Fanling Train Station, so I took it and got home after wandering for almost 3 hours.  Elwin was quite concerned.  I repeated the same thing again on Thursday, but was lost in yet another direction.  I made it back within 2 hours, before Elwin called for "search and rescue". 

     At the temple, we had a couple of young visitors from Thailand this week.  These sweet sisters and a brother were so full of spirit and we were so lucky to have them.  People may think we sacrifice our time to come to Hong Kong, but we are richly blessed because we meet humble members of the Church from places like Thailand, Indonesia, China, India and some other Southeast Asia locations.  I asked one of the ladies from China about the rich spirituality in these people and her reply was:  the gospel didn't come to us until just a few years ago from people who went overseas and found it.  We are so overjoyed that people are usually very devoted after they found the truth.  Wow, there is so much to learn from these people.

    We continue to see people like the ones I mentioned.  This coming week, we will have people coming from Malaysia and we are looking forward to meeting them.

    At the Victoria 3rd Branch where we attend church, we witnessed a young man being baptized today, Sunday, March 6.  He was about 22 years old.  He got up and expressed his feelings of being baptized and was overcome by the Spirit.  He told of his family having health and financial challenges, and it was a blessing that he found the missionaries, and they encouraged him to pray.  He was so grateful to have the gospel in his life at this difficult time.  I never saw young Chinese guys get emotional in public before.  We were very touched by his spirit.

    Our temple preparations class is going well too.  There are 4 sisters in the class, and they are so awesome.  They call us Teacher Davis.  I built a powerpoint presentation for them about the temple each week.  Elwin and I co-teach the class.  It has been a wonderful and rewarding experience.   
    Below are pictures of Repulse Bay, Hong Kong.