Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011 (update on 8/1)

     It has been a great week.  The Hong Kong Temple stayed very busy as people came back to visit the temple after closing for 2-weeks of maintenance work.  We saw many new people from all over and were thrilled to hear their stories and their excitement in entering the temple for the first time for a lot of them.  We met a 12-year old boy who was waiting for his mom.  We talked with him and when we were ready to say good-bye, he said to us:  I hope you have a successful mission.  Wow, what a boy!  The maturity, the social skills, and the pleasant demeanor impressed me.  The gospel shines on his face and in his heart.  Here is a picture:  (it was so humid outside which fogged up the camera lens):
the 12-year-old boy from China and his friend with us
    On Tuesday, July 12, we welcomed our new senior missionaries, the Deans, who joined us as temple missionaries.  We were assigned to be their hosts and busied ourselves to get their apartment ready.  The Bishops and the Wilson's set a good example for us as our hosts when we came, 8 months ago.  I'm posting a list here to remind us of what to do when the next set of missionaries come:  (many supplies were stored in the temple storage units for the missionaries)

  1. bedroom:  made sure a comfortable bed was brought with a nice padding, 2 sets of sheets, 4 or 5 comforters/blankets, a couple of chest of drawers, a heater, a fan 
  2. office/bedroom: desk, 2 office chairs, a clothes rack, a rod to hang clothes over the window ledge (about 30" wide), a fan, a heater.
  3. living room:  a nice couch, a rattan easy chair, TV w/stand, 2 bookcases
  4. dining area:  a dining room table that folds with 4 chairs, 2 extra chairs, a toaster oven with a nice stand, water dispenser
  5. bathroom:  4 sets of towels, extra wash cloths, bath mat, floor mats, cleaning supplies
  6. kitchen:  6 place-settings of ceramic dishes, 8 place-settings of melamine dishes (left by the Bishops), plenty of glasses and mugs, a set of pots and pans, a microwave, a refrigerator, a toaster, a shelf unit, lots of plastic containers, kitchen rug, dish cloths, dish towels, 2 aprons, cleaning supplies
  7. foods:  the Wilson's and us split the bill and supplied some basic food items, such as spaghetti and sauce, some spices, ham, bread, butter, eggs, juice, milk, cereal, and a basket of fruits
    The Deans are very gracious people and appreciated the things that we and the temple staff have done for them.  They came from St. George, Utah.  George served in the then Southern Far East Mission and learned Mandarin and some Cantonese.  They will be a wonderful addition to the Hong Kong Temple.  We spent the rest of the week showing them places to go to get foods and supplies, and the work they would be doing at the temple.  We hosted a luncheon for them at our apartment on Tuesday.  For lunch, we had a mix of American salads, Chinese soup and fried rice, and ended with the famous custard and coconut tarts.  It was a fun, busy week for us all.

    During the week we had some of the people attending the temple who came from diverse places in China.  They also came to the Victoria III Mandarin Speaking Branch for church services.  We were so happy to see them.  We are all brothers and sisters, and yet we live in two worlds apart.  Their tenacity to stay true to the gospel touches me greatly.

    After church Sunday, we had all 8 missionaries in the Victoria Third branch home to our apartment for Sunday dinner.  We had spaghetti, garlic bread, salads, mixed vegetables for dinner.  Thanks to Cami and Alice for sending spaghetti spices, mixes, garlic bread topping, Parmesan cheese...the spaghetti was delicious.  For dessert, I made a batch of brownies and a batch and a half of carrot cake with caramel frosting, topped with ice-cream.  Visiting with the missionaries is always the highlight of our dinner.  One Elder shared the story from the July Ensign on "Start Moving", about a couple of storm jumpers:  "Relaxing on the ridge may seem a safe way to avoid making mistakes, but it’s also a way to avoid making progress".  It was a good article to remind us of our roles as children of God.  President Packer made the following remarks:

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has taught us:

“We are expected to use the light and knowledge we already possess to work out our lives. We should not need a revelation to instruct us to be up and about our duty, for we have been told to do that already in the scriptures; nor should we expect revelation to replace the spiritual or temporal intelligence which we have already received—only to extend it. We must go about our life in an ordinary, workaday way, following the routines and rules and regulations that govern life.

“Rules and regulations and commandments are valuable protection. If we need revealed instruction to alter our course, it will be waiting along the way as we arrive at the point of need.”1

    The full article can be found at:

    Our 8 month mark is approaching.  It's hard to think that we've been here that long.  I hope we heed the counsel of President Packer to be doers of the work and not wait around for things to happen.

Update:  A brethren from Tianjing, China was baptized after church today.  Brother Tang 湯杰 was a pleasant man in his early 40's (I think).  He was curious about the Church when he walked by the Church Building in Wan Chai.  The Church does have a beautiful 12-story building in one of the most expensive, prosperous financial districts of Hong Kong.  The Church has a kiosk outside with a 52" screen.  People can touch the screen and see whichever topic they may be interested in.  It's usually very loud outside, so people would walk in to take a look.  Inside of the building, there is a large lobby with beautifully arranged fresh orchid arrangement, several church paintings.  It's like another world from outside.  Anyhow, missionaries gather around there to take a break from their proselyting or appointments.  This guy walked in and had some interesting conversation with the Mandarin speaking missionaries.  They talked for a while and he realized he just missed the plane leaving Shenzhen which was almost an hour away.  In any case, he left and hurried to the Shenzhen airport.  To his amazement, the plane was delayed.  The passengers were all angry for the long delay, but he was so happy as he had ample time to catch the flight to go back.  When he came back to Hong Kong again on business, he met up with the missionaries again and again.  Today, he was baptized.  The room was full and everyone lingered to congratulate him. He said his life has been calm and happy.  He loves the feeling.  We know he will be an instrument in God's hand to bring many souls into the Church.  We were all so happy for him.   
at the front lobby of the Wan Chai Church Building


  1. How exciting to get new missionaries! It's probably good to get back to work too! Hang in there!

  2. You've never been one to sit around waiting for things to happen! :-)

    The Deans are lucky to have you getting everything ready for them!