Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday , August 28, 2011

Monday, 8/22:
    Love those P-days.  We spent most of the day home to prepare for the talks on Tuesday, to clean and to PrePare for the week since we have morning shift at the temple from 8-3 this week.  We walked to the local market to get some grocery shopping done.  Grocery shopping can be a daunting experience.  There is no one-stop shopping here.  We shop at various places:
  1. "Wellcome", a small local super market that's close to our apartment.  We don't even have to get outside of the apartment complex to get there.  We go down to floor 1, walk through the parking lot, and open the door to the shopping center, we are there.  On a rainy day, we can walk to the MTR station this way without even getting wet. 
  2. "Park N' Shop":  a larger super market that has just about anything one needs, except it's crowded; fresh fruits and vegetables are not as fresh.  A package of 8 tortilla costs US$4, a small bag of tortilla chips is US$7.50.  So only we buy it occasionally when we have the urge for such extravagant stuff.  
  3. "Wet market":  There are several around us.  The floors are always wet, but you get the fresh stuff.  
    1. Fanling Wetmarket, close to us
    2. One beyond "Avon Mall", which I found in my morning walks, it's a little further, but has more choices
    3. "Luen Wo Hui" Wet market:  a 2-part market place.  One with vendors lining a street with fruits and vegetables, a fresh noodle shop that makes all sorts of noodles and pastas, a couple of bakeries with delicious french bread, mien-bao (sweet bread).  One of them carries cheese and butter.  I purchased a 1 KG (2.2 pounds) of sliced American cheese from US$12, a cube of butter (quarter pound) for $2.50. To get there, I now take a bus #278K from the MTR station.  I used to walk there which takes about 20 minutes going, but coming home with the groceries takes much longer.  So, I was delighted to find a bus that goes there.  It only costs 18 cents each way. The second part of this market is a large building that includes all kinds of fresh meat, including live chickens to be butchered in front of you.
    4. Wah Ming Estate Wet market, Park N' Shop, Wellcome:  all in the same area.  I came across this shopping area on one of my hikes.  It's on the other side of "Butterfly Mountain Path" and takes 2 hours to get there, but probably takes only 30 minutes if one were to walk straight there from our apartment.  
    5. Sheung Shui Station Markets: This township is just one stop on the MTR north of us.  It's full of shops, from Gucci, Dior, to small vendors, Dim-shum eateries, wet markets, medicine shops, flower shops, baking supplies, name it, and you'll probably find it here.  Since it's only minutes away on the train, we go there from time to time to find hard to find items, such as lime, okra, etc.
    6. "Taste":  Located in Kowloon Tong, at the Festival Walk Mall where all the upscale shops are.  It's a fun mall to go to when we have time after our work at the temple.  This grocer has anything from avocado to Butterball turkeys (about US$80 each).  Needless to say, we only buy things there when we can't find at other places. "PrizeMart":  We stop at this store anywhere we could find it.  Yes, we got off the bus one time when we saw the store sign.  They carry American stuff, a lot of them are Kirkland brand stuff that you buy at Costco.  A big container of mix nuts costs US$20, about twice as much as you'd pay in the States.  They have all the American candy bars... Here is the PrizeMart, Hong Kong store list if one is interested.
Tuesday, 8/23:  We met a couple of Church members from mainland China, who came to visit the temple.  It's always special to see them as they come to Hong Kong and spend most of their time at the temple.  Definitely a special group of visitors that we treasure and love to see.  In the afternoon, we were asked to speak at the Filipina Sisters' Sacrament Meeting at the Wan Chai Church Building.  The topic is on "temple, a place of refuge".  We love these special sisters.  We could feel their love of the gospel.  We wrote a blog about this special group of people a few months ago.  Most of these sisters are domestic helpers in Hong Kong.  They are joining the church in record numbers.  Because of their work schedule, most of them have to work on Sundays, the Church has set up schedules so there is a sacrament meeting everyday of the week except for Mondays.  The Brown's, who served with Elwin in Taiwan at the same time, were called to be the branch president of this special group.  What a special feeling it is to be in their midst.  We are grateful that church meetings were organized for these sisters.    
Wednesday, 8/24 - We went to Central (a district on Hong Kong island) for Elwin to get a routine blood test and checkup at Dr. Fung's office.  Afterwards, we went to Tin Shui Wai to meet Feng Qin and her daughter Angela.  This is the family we met a week ago.  Sister Feng方芳, a member in our Vic III Branch introduced us to her sister and niece.  Sisters Smith and Farr, a couple of young missionaries, met us at the Yuen Long MTR Station and took us there.  It was a great meeting.  We hope we have helped them make some connections to the church.  Unfortunately, it took 2 hours to get there and 2 hours to get back.  We were exhausted when we got to the temple to work for the rest of the day.  Luckily, the temple has a way of rejuvenating us.  When we got home at around 10:30 PM, we hit the bed in record time. 

Thursday, 8/25 - The young missionaries came to the temple today.  We were delighted to see them.  Some sisters from Zhong Shan came to visit the temple and it was a delight to see them.

Friday, 8/26:  Two Chinese sisters, and then around 25 youth from Guandong II Branch, came to visit the temple today.  What a handsome group of people!  Just a few years ago, we didn't even know there were Chinese members in the mainland, but now, we see them, adults and young people.  It's amazing...just last week, we met a young woman who came to the temple to get ready for her mission in Australia.  These 25 youth are from the same unit.  What?  We didn't even know they have a branch of the Church there.  I think everyone is doing a good job following the Church's counsel to not have any direct contact with local Chinese members at their home units.  But they are free to come to the Temple in Hong Kong where we can interact with them.  Very cool! 
Sat. 8/27 - Vic III Branch Temple Day at 10 AM.  Brother Poon came to the temple for the first time.  There were 18 people in attendance to support him.  What a great Branch!  We feel their spirit as they participate in the Temple affairs.
Sunday, 8/28 - the Dai family spoke at the Sacrament meeting today.  Sister Dai is from Japan and it's amazing to hear her speak Mandarin.  She's done well.  They have 6 children and I believe their children go to International schools where they speak English.  The 4 older ones spoke on "Our body is the temple of God".  Except for the oldest, who spoke in English with his dad translating, all the younger once spoke in Mandarin, fluently.  It's so nice to get to know the children through their talks.  Brother Dai was the concluding speaker. What a great guy he is.  Since we have the same surname, people thought he was our son.  We don't bother too much to clarify that.  We'd be happy for him to be in our family. 
Elder Davis, 12-year-old from China, Sister Davis, Sister Wong
After church meetings, a baptism took place at 12:30.  A young girl of 12 was baptized.  She is from China.  Her mother was introduced to the Church a year ago and came to Hong Kong to be baptized.  Her daughter gave her a lot of encouragement to accept the gospel as she was also introduced to the gospel at the same time, but she couldn't come to Hong Kong at that time.  After her baptism, the mother bore her testimony and thanked her daughter for the strengths she gave her to accept the gospel.  The little girl got up and told us that she knew the gospel was true and had wanted to be a member for a long time, but she was not allowed the leave the country.  She kept praying and finally her wishes were granted.  Her mom apparently got a job in Hong Kong and was able to apply for her to come.  We don't know all the rules of how people could be baptized into the church, but were so grateful to hear from a 12-year-old about how she kept her prayers alive and how miracles happened.  Above is the picture of the girl with Sister Wong and us. 

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