This must be one of our busiest week ever. Started out with us going on Monday morning, July 25, to Brother Cheung's clinic for deep tissue muscle work at 9 AM. Last week's walk did a number on my legs, as my legs are still stiff. Elwin had the same problem with his legs too. It may be we have been on our legs too much. After the session, we went to YMCA Salisbury to meet the Deans and the Wilson's for a delicious buffet lunch on the 4th floor. We've been there a couple of times with the Bishops, the Arnells and the Aki's. Everyone seems to enjoy the place overlooking Hong Kong Harbor very much. The buffet is East meets West, with a large selection of salad, a soup bar, a sushi bar, the main dish bar and the roast beef station. For desserts, there is a fruit bar and also sweets, with cakes, puddings, and much more. The only problem is we eat too much.
After lunch, we walked over to the Space Museum to watch the IMAX movie about "Hubble". I had the chance to watch it in Philadelphia when I went there for a science conference in March of 2009. The Ben Franklin Science Museum in Philly hosted the premier showing of this fantastic IMAX film. I loved it and knew everyone would enjoy watching it too. The cost in Hong Kong was an amazingly low price of HK$16 (US$2), compare to the $15-20 admissions in the US. Everyone enjoyed the film. Afterwards, we took the Starr Ferry across the HK Harbor and took #104 to Hung Hom station and went home. It was a good, but it was also a very hot day.
Tuesday was a quiet day with a couple of sisters coming from Tienjing and Beijing, China to visit the temple. We take great pleasure in serving these great members of the Church. Most of them come by train and spent 36 hours to reach Hong Kong. They come for a few days, then get back on the train and head back up north again. Their dedication to the gospel, their love for the temple, their actions to show their faithfulness to the gospel are such great examples for all of us. When I'm with them, I feel like going back in time to my Taiwan days when I joined the Church. We helped each other grow in the gospel. I think that it's called "pass it on".
Also this week found 170 youths come from China to visit the Hong Kong Temple. For most of them, this was their first experience visiting outside of China, the first experience visiting a Church Temple. I was assigned to help them on Friday and it was such a special experience for me. I greeted them as the young men came to the temple, lined up one by one to check in. Each wore a white shirt and a tie; some also wore dark suits. What a beautiful picture to behold. The church works through family units in China. For example, if Chinese nationals join the church outside of China, they may share the gospel message with their immediate family members before or after they return home. So, most, or all these young men and women have their family nucleus as their support. The young women came after the young men; they were all dressed up and what a beautiful sight to behold too! I stand in awe at the mercy God has for all of His children. Even though we don't have formal missionaries programs in China, the Chinese are working on their own, as families, to share the gospel message. I asked one of the sisters who comes to the temple regularly as a volunteer worker why these people were so faithful and dedicated. Her reply was: We've been waiting a long time for the gospel to come. When we find the light, we work hard at it to catch up with the rest of the LDS people who have been in the Church for a long time. Hmmm...we are actually learning from them. They set great examples for us to show us how our Savior would have been wanted us to live. I'm very thankful for that.
Wednesday was our "other assignment day" and we had a great day waiting for us. Elaine's exchange student, Karina Wong, and her parents came to pick us up at the Luohu Port of Entry and we spent a whole day with them visiting and touring Shenzhen. A separate entry, called "Karina..." is posted separately.
Thursday we said good-bye to the Rui family from Victoria III Branch. Alex and Catherine are moving to Utah. They are both teachers in Hong Kong, but are ready for a change. They sold their house here and are ready to go join their 2 sons who live the Provo area. They'll be exploring the area to see what their options might be. We had dinner at the Crystal Jade Restaurant near the Wan Chai chapel. It was a beautiful restaurant. The Watson's reserved a room and ordered all the foods before we came. Since the Watson's served a Taiwan Mission andhaving lived in Taiwan for a while, the food they ordered was like what we would have ordered. It was great! There were 11 of us and we enjoyed one another's company very much.
We worked Saturday. Victoria III Branch had their temple day that day. Because of summer break, many people were out of town and could not make it to the temple in Hong Kong. I was going to go early, but then decided to go at the regular assigned time (at noon) instead. I was so glad I did as I ran into Sister Wong from the Branch. She works on Saturday mornings and could not come until later. It was so amazing as it was like I opened my eyes and she was there. We spent the rest of the afternoon together at the temple. It was a very happy time for me.