Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monday, Aug. 8:  Hard to believe that we were almost out of pages in our passports.  Since one has to leave at least 2 blank pages for the US Consulate Services to add pages, we had no choice but to apply for them.  The US  Consulate Service is located on 26 Garden Road in Hong Kong.  The best way to get there is to take MTR to Admiralty and walk up the hill.  Here are the procedures:
  1. Make reservations by logging on to
  2. Take your passports and US$82 or HK$656 (HK$16 more than paying in US$)
  3. Fill out applications there
  4. Pick up your passport between 3-4 p.m. if your appointment is in the morning and if you are only applying for adding pages to the passport. 
The cost was surprisingly high.  We were quite surprised to have to pay US$82 each to add the pages.  We were told to pick up the passports later in the afternoon.  Since it's an hour and half away from home, Elwin opted to go home and I stayed around, shopped at Central and also went to Sham Shui Po to run some errands and had lunch.  Glad that was done.

Tuesday, Aug. 9:  Sawat-dee 撒挖地 as we happily greeted the large group of members from Thailand on Tuesday, August 9.  Thailand is called the land of smiles and true to that description, the 12 sisters and 4 brethren brought a lot of smiles and excitement to the temple.  Out of the 12 sisters, 8 of them came for the first time.  We only can guess the sacrifice they have made to be able to come.  Several temple workers knew Thai or some have managed to learn a little of the language, making it a lot easier for the Thai members to communicate.  These members brought the Spirit of Christ into the Temple.  How we love them!

Thursday, August 11:  Our young missionaries came to the Temple.  What a privilege to serve these young missionaries.  There are about 100 young missionaries serving in Hong Kong.  They come to the Temple once a month.  Except for the 8 serving in Victoria III Mandarin Speaking Branch, they are all Cantonese speaking.  We are amazed at their language skills.  Surely, the Lord blesses them with the gift of tongues.  I listened and watched them singing hymns using only the Chinese hymnals.  Not only do they speak the language, they learn to read too.  Amazing!  Sister Gung (her husband is the newly appointed member of the Asian Area Presidency) told us that Utah is starting a Mandarin Chinese Language Initiate for the middle schools.  Hooray for Utah for taking the lead in language training.  We knew several primary schools in Utah already have the Mandarin Chinese immersion programs.  Hopefully, our grandchildren will be involved with the program.

The Temple continues to be the source of inspiration and place of worship for many members from afar.  At any given time, one can see members from Mongolia, Thailand, India, Singapore, the Philippines, and other places in the world, congregating together in one place, the House of the Lord.  How great it has been to serve here.

Sunday, August 14:  We were privileged to hear from a few leaders of the Church from Salt Lake City during our Sacrament Meeting.  Elder Subandriyo, an Indonesian, spoke to us about worshiping with music.  A family who sings together stays together, he admonished.  Elder Zhong 仲, of the Quorum of the Seventy, admonished us to read and study the scriptures every day.   Elwin and I have just finished reading the Book of Mormon together this year.  He would read 5 verses in English and I'd read 5 in Chinese.  The understanding I received and learned from doing this was great.  This would mark the first time I read the Book of Mormon in Chinese.  When I joined the Church, the Book of Mormon was not translated into Chinese yet.  Except for some pamphlets,  we relied on the missionaries and the Spirit to convert us.  How grateful we are that the translations have been done in many languages to bless many people in various parts of the world.  One can go on the web and read the Book of Mormon, Church magazines, announcements and lesson manuals in Chinese or other languages.  The final speakers were Elder and Sister Gung 江, the newly called Asian Area 2nd Counselor in the Presidency and his wife.  They both served a mission in Taiwan and speak fluent Mandarin Chinese.  They told of the love our Heaven Father has for each of us and that the plan of salvation is to help us navigate through the turbulent waters of the world.  The chapel was full.  We again met several investigators from China.  Some of them had families who have joined the Church, but others were just curious.  We were happy to have them in our midst. 

We had a great week and ask our Father in Heaven to continue to bless us with health and strength to carry on His work and to bless and protect our children and grandchildren at home.  The prayers are heard as we struggle through the hot and humid weather, and quite polluted air in Hong Kong as we walk from the MTR to the Temple.  It hasn't always been easy, but we are loving it. 

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