Tuesday-Wednesday, 8/16 and 8/17: "Suosday", hello in Cambodian was in order for us as we greeted the 15 or so members from Cambodia. I was able to pull some greeting words together and put them on an index card as a cheat sheet. Loved the smiles from the Cambodians as I struggled to pronounce those words. It was great! But, how do we tell them that they have brought us so many blessings? What a faithful great people!
Thursday, 8/28: Another special day as we were invited by a sister, Jean, from Hangzhou to participate in her sealing to her husband from Fuzhou (both in China). They are both return missionaries from Australia, one from North Sidney, the other from South Brisbane. They met at church in Singapore where she was going to school and he was working there, but nothing came of it at that time.
Jean came to the Hong Kong Temple in May to do some ordinance work for her grandmother and to renew her commitments to the temple ordinances she made before her mission. Both Elwin and I helped her walk through all the work as she had to leave Hong Kong within 3 hours. She felt the Spirit and was so happy to have reached her goals and vowed to wait for someone to take her to the temple to be married. She thought the chance wouldn't be great as she was working in Hangzhou and there weren't any young men in the Church around in that area. The following is the amazing story of what happened:
After coming back from Hong Kong in May, one of Jean's friends e-mailed her and told her about Jim in Fuzhou. She remembered meeting him in Singapore and decide to write to him to renew their friendship. Within a very short time, they fell in love. They decided to marry. Both sets of parents went into panic mode and refused to give permission for them to marry. (This story is especially special to me as I went through the same thing when I told my parents about Elwin.)
After some pleading, Jean's parents gave permission and Jim flew to Hangzhou to meet the future in-laws. In the meantime, Jim's parents called for him to leave Hangzhou and fly home immediately. He obliged. Once he got home, he was locked up and his parents forbade him to communicate with Jean. You can imagine the many tears that were shed and many prayers said. Jim's parents believed that Jean's parents were involved in some illegal investment schemes in Guangxi. Finally, Jim's aunt asked for permission to meet with Jean's parents in Guangxi where they were investing in some vacation resort villages.
After the meeting, Jim's aunt was so impressed with Jean's parents and what they were doing that she arranged for both sets of parents to meet in Guangxi. The rest was history as both parents gave their blessings for them to marry. They got married on August 13 and the parents gave them a very nice reception. They came right down to Hong Kong to have their marriage sealed in the Temple. Jean's boss, an American from Utah, flew down from Hangzhou to be a witness of the sealing. It was a beautiful ceremony and we couldn't be happier to see this young couple beaming with joy. There happened to be some young Americans visiting at the time and we had some beautiful pictures taken in front of the temple.
Friday, August 19: The Americans are back. It was so nice to see the American LDS community come back to the temple. Most Americans in the business community go home for the summer from Hong Kong. Since schools will be starting soon, they are back. It was so good to see many of them come to the temple.
Saturday, August 20: A nice relaxing day, finally.
Sunday, August 21: The Cao family spoke today in the Sacrament Meeting. The mom speaks Mandarin, but the two youngsters speak English. The mom translated the children's talks into Mandarin and then put the pin-yin down for them. They did a fabulous job in Mandarin Chinese. Some Hong Kong people send their children to all English schools and some of them don't speak any Cantonese or Mandarin at all. But it's good to see that this parent is trying hard to help her children learn their native tongue. We had a good day!